Author Topic: Doug Ford Helps the Poor  (Read 746 times)

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Offline SirJohn

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Re: Doug Ford Helps the Poor
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2018, 09:12:38 pm »
They, along with everyone in the supply-chain, create the means of profit for the exploitative Walton family and majority shareholders. Their earnings completely disproportionate to the actual value they bring to the enterprise.

That's a meaningless statement. By that logic any time anyone starts a business and hires anyone they're exploiting them. The Waltons had an idea. They started a store. They had ambition. They expanded and multipled their outlets. They had drive, smarts and worked their asses off. And btw, I don't shop at Wal-mart's and never have because I don't like their business practices.

Nevertheless. They created the enterprise. The others are simply unskilled people who agreed to exchange their time for the money the Waltons paid them. It's an agreement freely entered into  by both sides.

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To your other point, the system is predicated on people at the bottom who are exploited. You give an abstract solution, so let me frame it as an abstract problem. What happens when EVERYONE improves their skills?

There will always be a scale of skills. By the standards of a few  generations ago almost everyone is skilled. Everyone can read, for one thing. Virtually everyone can use a computer. That sure as hell wasn't the case in the 1980s.

And there is always a learning curve. Those who start out have few skills. When I first worked in an office I did data entry. That was my only skill. Then I became a low level clerk, and as my skills accumulated I was paid more and promoted higher. That's how the system works.

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Who is left to do the jobs that keep society running?Subsistence wages is the capitalist form.

Nonsense. Nobody forces you to continue working for subsistence wages.  You improve your skillset and earn more. Or... if you don't have the drive, or motivation or ability, then yes, you live on subsistence wages.

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The minimum you can pay is just enough for them to “get by.” Since full employment is impossible in a capitalist economy, EVERYONE’s wages are driven down by a reserve army of unemployed labour that capitalists use to threaten their workforce.

Except we know that's not true. There have been many, many instances where unemployment became low enough, including in Alberta recently, as well as in any number of US states, where even fast food workers were in short supply and could command much higher than subsistence wages. This has been short-circuited, to some degree, in Canada, by the federal government bringing in temporary foreign workers to do those jobs, thus sparing businesses the need to increase wages. I have been 100% against that policy.

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Ontario’s min wage is $11.40 per hour. Full time employees get 2080 hours per year. That’s $23712 per year, gross income. They say housing should cost you no more than 25% of your income. Have you seen many mortgages or apartments for less than $500/month?

I lived on considerably less than that much of my life. Ontario's minimum wage is $14hr btw. But never mind. If you get $2,000 a month gross, given you pay virtually no taxes (or what you do pay gets refunded) you can, at least in this city, find an apartment, without sharing, for $800 which includes heat and water. Pay probably $75 month for hydro and what else is absolutely necessary but your food? And you've got plenty for that, plus cable and internet.

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But what do you care? You got yours, so fuck those who are struggling, right? They’re masters of their own destiny, as long as you ignore the fact that the capitalist system cannot, has not, and will not ever have full employment.

No one ever said the Capitalist system was without flaws. But every other proposal has proven to be disastrous. And the Capitalist system has uplifted billions from poverty. The world is richer than it has ever been, and I'm not simply talking about the 0.01% (the actual rich). When you compare the ordinary standard of living of the bulk of people around the world, those in Capitalist nations have all risen enormously in the last century. Even those in most third world nations have risen enormously.

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You propose an impossible utopia of everyone being able to better hemselves and get out of that condition.

Not at all. I fully support social welfare programs that help those who are unable to support themselves. What I don't support is removing the incentive, which human nature requires, for people without skills to improve their skills and better themselves. If I had been able to earn a 'guaranteed income' back when I was working the midnight shift as a security guard or an all-night service station, or an evening janitor,  I would have quit rather than do those jobs. I would have quit my data entry job, too. What motivated me was my desire to improve my life by continually learning new things and applying for different jobs.

One of the clear memories of my life is trying to decide whether to go and take yet another government test for a job. It was in the early morning and I was working an evening shift would would not see me in bed before 2am. I finally decided to sacrifice the sleep and just go for it. It was a very close decision since I really like my sleep and I really was pessimistic at the time. But I did go and I did get hired. Where socialism fails is in refusing to take human nature into account. Remove the economic incentive to work harder, longer or improve yourself and many, many people will do none of that. That's why socialism has been a catastrophe wherever it's been employed, and has only succeded in LOWERING everyone's standard of living across the board.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 09:16:01 pm by SirJohn »
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