- Capitalism and Alternatives -

no? but but...

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on March 31, 1999 at 12:46:51:

In Reply to: NO!!! posted by Lark on March 30, 1999 at 18:18:04:

: : Redistribution is not an effective answer to poverty, wealth creation is much better. Is that something agreeable?

: NO!!!

: Compare the wealth gap between the poor of our age and the poor of the last century. It doesnt matter how "well off" the poor get their condition will always be determined by the service of powerful elites and these elites will always be more powerful.

So you are saying that the actual wealth is of no consequence, but only the wealth relative to the richest? That leads to the never ending cycle, where poverty would theoretically exist in a person with a house and 3 cars, because someone else is that much richer. Is poverty absolute or relative? - and if relative is there ever a cut-off point where we can say "that person is no longer impoverished".

: Plus Gee how can all the cuts in the real value of wages through the hammering of organised labour etc., cuts in benefits etc. and the increases in the cost of living indemic in the "wealth creation" process be reconciled with improving the living standards of the lowest in our social hierarchy.

Try this time travel trick. Spend $1000 dollars today, or its equivalent amount in 1899 (or even double the equivalent amount). Today you can buy technology, food, communications and medicines that didnt exist back then - which can and do improve the quality (and length) of peoples lives, thats the reconcilliation.

Incidently, its also how govts get away with taxing an ever greater proportion of income - because whats left buys you more 'utils' than twice the amount decades ago. Ie, you still get richer.

: Dont say the market determines the wage

Didnt you just suggest that it did in response to Joels truce?

: because if the individual capitalists where a little less profit hungry or sought to make their organisations more efficient rather than pursuing the quick fix of lay offs and wage reductions accompanied by work load increases, we the workers could be payed a lot more.

Efficiency is the key. Business managers are *not* all productive geniuses (I think I mentioned the quotation of one CEO that board rooms are populated by one or two producers and a lot of hangers on). The much frowned upon restructuring, with its reductions in management levels reflects the move to efficieny, in recognition of the above quotation. Profits arent all secreted away under the mattresses of the rich, they become investment for future employment opportunities - ie the created wealth goes into the economy. What you are saying is that the same profits are better distributed among employees - hence the vast increase in share-save schemes in work, pensions and other benefits - in recognition that part ownership is far more motivating than just wages.

Union power is fine, but unions do not have the right to restrict other willing workers from entering employment industries they relate to. They do not have the right to form coercive monopolies over labor.

Ofcourse lots of jobs have nothing of the sort. Where a thousand other people would take your job in a instance and at a lower wage its difficult to make demands. Where the reverse is true, 1000 other employers would gladly pay more to have you then you can make demands.

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