- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Oh ye of little faith.

Posted by: MDG on January 18, 19100 at 21:21:37:

In Reply to: minimum effort posted by Gee on January 18, 19100 at 18:42:29:

: : Converting a capitalist society to socialism, communism, or some other "ism" will be a lengthy and cumbersome process -- at best.

: I though the ideal was revolution and not trying to patch things up as one goes along?

What's "ideal" is subjective, nay? I think the need for a revolution (and by this I'm guessing you mean a fast revolution, not a gradual one) is correlated to the amount and severity of governmental repression. In Guatemala 10 years ago, the need for revolution was great; today in the U.S., by comparison, the need for fast revolution does not seem as necessary, though the greater the levels of poverty and repression, the faster a revolution we'll need.

: : In the meantime, and in the interest of promoting social justice and equality, I advocate a maximum wage, i.e. the total amount of wealth (not wages or salary) a person is allowed to earn per year.

: Where? in the US?

While I'm using the U.S. as my context, the principle of a maximum wage can be applied everywhere or, for arguments sake, in every capitalist country.

:ok, at least one way airline tickets will be a boon industry for the first year after that legislation.

Why not round trip? Oh, you mean all the rich dudes will flee to Switzerland, etc. Maybe, but I'm guessing there's more reasons for the wealthy to stay in the U.S. besides money. Stability, for example.

: Lets stop everyone at $5 million? yeah ok, once that medical company chief has his $5 million he needn't bother to push for that heart attack preventing medicine research - half his motivation has gone (like it or not).

Oh ye of little faith, are you really that cynical? Just in case you're right, we'll take the extra tax dollars generated by the max wage and give it to government health researchers -- civil servants who definitely are not in it for the money.

:Same with producers all over, all reaching the ceiling before the year end and slowing down there, produsing far less wealth than would otherwise have been the case.

That may happen too, and that may be a downside. I never said the maximum wage would not have downsides, but I believe the upsides outweigh them.

: No MDG - its a silly thing.


:the irony is that a socialist revolution would actually be far more honest, the above is just a sure way to hamper economic abundance under the current system (making it less easy for socialsim to take it over) - now why would you want to do that?

I'll leave it to the socialists on this board to answer those charges, as I don't know enough about the Big S to do so myself. As for honesty, I was honest in my reasons for advocating the max wage, and those reasons were not for or against socialism, only to make things better - Betterism!

: : On the other hand: all wealth above $5 million will be subject to taxation. People can give the extra money to charity, reinvest it in their businesses (increased wages for their workers, new machinery, etc.), but on the last day of the year, whatever is still in their private possession goes to the Government.

: Boy I'd like to see what utter crap people will write off their 'excess' earnings on

You mean material things? Republican campaign contributions? They do so now, anyway.

:and how little those earnings will become when they see that they can no longer choose what to do with it - so why bother earning it (and no, zero sum fans, this does *not* leave more for others)

I put the max wage at $5 million as an incentive for people to work hard to get rich, if that's what they want. With a max wage in effect, it might be that much harder for people to make $5 million, especially if it's coupled with a higher minimum wage. And who knows what other positive effects a max wage will have? If it means we stop producing tons of unnecessary crap, like the latest McDonalds-Hollywood tie-in plastic toy (today's free Happy Meal giveaway, tomorrow's landfill filler), then that, as Martha S. says, is a good thing.

: : This would provide billions of additional monies with which to improve public society --

: If it were enacted it would provide an amount equal to that which by the oversight and accident of the earner crept over their 'dont bother after today' line. i.e. not much. You would be far better (assuming you want to achieve tax paid goodies for 'the public') to completely unleash earning power and just demand a flat rate proportion of it. 10% of a billion is more than everything over $5m when the fellow stopped bothering after that level.

Hmmm, you might be right there, Gee. Again, I think we need some think tank eggheads to prognosticate on the long term effects of the max wage, including taking into account decreased production that you posit. If it turns out -- after careful study -- it's a bad idea, I'll renounce it faster than a pro-choice Republican in a South Carolina primary.

:I fear you may in a zero-sum trap.

I haven't thought it thru, but I'm not a zero-sum kinda guy. Like Andrea True, I think there's always room for more, more, more!

: I wasnt rude.

You disagreed with me! That's what I meant by "don't be rude." Ah well, I suppose I need thicker skin.

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