Rara
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The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:33 pm

I thought this was a pretty good (however long) read:


http://motherjones.com/politics/2012...e-online-shipping-warehouses-labor

Quote:

"Don't take anything that happens to you there personally," the woman at the local chamber of commerce says when I tell her that tomorrow I start working at Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc. She winks at me. I stare at her for a second.

"What?" I ask. "Why, is somebody going to be mean to me or something?"

She smiles. "Oh, yeah."

And then, people again wonder "with all the profits these companies are making, can't they afford to treat their workers more humane?" Sure they can, but that's not the issue. In Capitalism, the important point is not whether you make a profit or not, it's how large that profit is. And the investors' money will go to whoever makes the largest profit and can offer the largest return on investment. The true reason those workers suffer is not that their companies couldn't operate otherwise, it's that somebody else would undercut them and make an even larger profit, and that's where the money would go. It was true in 18th century Manchester, and it is still true today.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
seb146
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:10 pm

But, we were told when we give tax breaks to the billionares, it will trickle down and we will all be rich and work in high paying jobs.
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
BMI727
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting Rara (Thread starter):
In Capitalism, the important point is not whether you make a profit or not, it's how large that profit is.

  

Quoting Rara (Thread starter):
And the investors' money will go to whoever makes the largest profit and can offer the largest return on investment.

  

Quoting Rara (Thread starter):
The true reason those workers suffer is not that their companies couldn't operate otherwise, it's that somebody else would undercut them and make an even larger profit, and that's where the money would go.

  

I'm missing something here. Is this supposed to be considered a bad thing? Because it isn't.
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Rara
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):

I'm missing something here. Is this supposed to be considered a bad thing? Because it isn't.

Tell that to the "wage slaves" who get zapped whenever they touch the shelf..  

It depends on your viewpoint, I'd say - but you're right, it wasn't making the point that it's a "bad thing" as such, it's just a fact of Capitalism. However, it is also a fact that those mechanisms benefit the few, and disadvantage the many. And I don't have the impression that most people are aware of that.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
Acheron
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:33 pm

Quoting Rara (Thread starter):
. It was true in 18th century Manchester, and it is still true today.

I certainly can't see much of a difference between the working conditions of the people in the article and those in factories during the industrial revolution.

And I'm pretty sure there are a few out there who would be more than happy to allow a return of said conditions.
 
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casinterest
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:35 pm

Not sure what is wrong with this. This is Capatilism at it's finest.

1. There is a steady supply of workers
2. The wage means the job requires skills and has demands.
3. There is nothing stopping someone from walking right out the door. after a one week expose.

If #1 and #2 get out of balance due to #3, then the company will have to adjust.

However currently the company has enough workers to fill the jobs that are in place.

Nothing really wrong here. Those that survive long enough move up and become supervisors.
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PPVRA
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:22 pm

Why should I listen to you or the author of this piece when neither of you even know what slavery actually is?

The title is obviously intended to inflame, so I would take anything from the article with a boulder of salt to begin with.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 3):
It depends on your viewpoint, I'd say - but you're right, it wasn't making the point that it's a "bad thing" as such, it's just a fact of Capitalism. However, it is also a fact that those mechanisms benefit the few, and disadvantage the many

No, that is not a fact. The mechanisms of free market capitalism produce vastly better outcomes for people of all income levels than do the mechanisms of centrally planned and heavily regulated economies.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 5):
Nothing really wrong here. Those that survive long enough move up and become supervisors.

And more importantly, anyone who chooses to take an ownership stake can do so.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 1):
But, we were told when we give tax breaks to the billionares, it will trickle down and we will all be rich and work in high paying jobs

And in reality, fiscal liberals consider "billionaires" to be anyone earning $250k household income.  

As a point of historical fact, we know that investors heavily modulate their investing decisions based on capital gains tax rates. Investors know the rates are subject to change, so they will buy/hold/sell accordingly. Jack up the tax rate and people will sit on their investments until the next administration lowers them. We also know that when rates are lower, the total revenue generated by capital gains taxes grows faster than when rates are higher. This trend has been verified through multiple business cycles.

What you sarcastically suggest is that the government should take action that would ultimately make it less effective at collecting revenue for some narrowly-defined appearance of "fairness."
 
Rara
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
Why should I listen to you or the author of this piece when neither of you even know what slavery actually is?

Please. Wage slavery is a long-established concept; if you're not familiar with it, I suggest you look it up.

The conditions described by the article are not a textbook case of wage slavery, but they bear some resemblance, and that's the point the author is trying to make.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):

No, that is not a fact. The mechanisms of free market capitalism produce vastly better outcomes for people of all income levels than do the mechanisms of centrally planned and heavily regulated economies.

Well THAT is definitely not a fact.   Unless you somehow define "outcome". If you mean material riches, then you may be correct. But some people may also define a satisfying job that doesn't rob them of their dignity as "better outcome". And jobs that are designed to make people feel bad to maximize their output (at least until a replacement takes their place) don't rank very highly on that.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
GBLKD
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
No, that is not a fact. The mechanisms of free market capitalism produce vastly better outcomes for people of all income levels than do the mechanisms of centrally planned and heavily regulated economies.

I think the Chinese and Indian factory workers who live on site, work 12 hour shifts, and "hot bunk" for less pay in a week than I earn in an hour driving a truck just so the developed world can have cheap trinkets would heartily disagree. Free market global capitalism has certainly given them a choice, work in a sweatshop in terrible conditions or your kids starve. If you start to organise and want higher pay and better conditions the factory closes and production moves on to somewhere else with fresh meat to exploit.

Nice.
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:04 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
The mechanisms of free market capitalism produce vastly better outcomes for people of all income levels than do the mechanisms of centrally planned and heavily regulated economies.

Perhaps we can agree that capitalism improves the material living conditions more effectively in a society characterized by chronic shortages. As far as affluent societies are concerned, evidence doesn't appear to be clear. A capitalist economy is heavily dependent on growth, and it seems that most of the growth necessary can be found outside wealthy states such as the U.S., Canada or most European countries where one company can at best drive a competitor out of the market, which doesn't really qualify as growth.
Besides, when a western economy grows by say: 1 billion Dollars, you'll find that the federal dept has grown by ~ 1 billion Dollars as well. So for every additional Dollar generated by growth we generate ~ 1 Dollar in dept as well. Is that really growth? It is more like a give and take, I dare say, only that wealthy people have disproportionately benefited from the economic growth. You can witness the same effect in basically every industrial nation with the exception of China and other societies where a) workers' rights are poor to non-existent and b) that are generally far less affluent.

Capitalism is dependent on growth. Always. But growth is necessarily limited. You don't need a third freezer, a fifth bicylce, and then there is the environmental factor: Every company, in one way or another, turns natural values into monetary values. Since natural values are limited, economic growth is limited as well.

As a result, we need to reform capitalism by heavily diminishing its dependence on growth but still maintain its free and market driven character.
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
And in reality, fiscal liberals consider "billionaires" to be anyone earning $250k household income.

I'm not sure what point you are making. According to http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you/ having a $250k household income puts you in the top 4% of income in the US, definitely on the "have" side of the "have" / "have not" border.

If you consider the definition of middle class to mean at the 50% line, that is all of $43k of family income.
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Ken777
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:38 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
The mechanisms of free market capitalism produce vastly better outcomes for people of all income levels than do the mechanisms of centrally planned and heavily regulated economies.

Which is why the middle class has been shrinking in this century. To build the middle class and increase the buying power of this group will take away from the wealthy.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
As a point of historical fact, we know that investors heavily modulate their investing decisions based on capital gains tax rates

Maybe they need to invest based on corporate performance. Take a look at Apple - they are delivering investment performance without regards to tax rates.

In reality, lower capital gains tax rates simply prop up the shares of companies that are poor performers.

Maybe we need to simply say that income of all types is Income for tax purposes. That will put significant pressures on companies to deliver performance.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):
Jack up the tax rate and people will sit on their investments until the next administration lowers them.

Then they are sitting there with their head where the sun doesn't shine. If you can turn stock and make an after tax profit then you should be turning that stock.

In terms of the warehouse jobs, this is not the first time they have been in the news. There was recently a story about the Riverside CA area warehouses. From the articles it seems that pure capitalists need serf level labor in order to be successful. Maybe if we shut those companies down new ones will start up and perform better on the employment side.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:49 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 8):
Well THAT is definitely not a fact. Unless you somehow define "outcome". If you mean material riches, then you may be correct. But some people may also define a satisfying job that doesn't rob them of their dignity as "better outcome". And jobs that are designed to make people feel bad to maximize their output (at least until a replacement takes their place) don't rank very highly on that.

Yes it is. This is not an area for reasonable disagreement. You are just dead wrong, period.

Centrally planned and heavily regulated economies diminish opportunities in all areas of life, not just wealth creation. Fulfillment, self-determination, health, well-being, individual liberty, all of that stuff. A market economy creates more choices and more opportunities for people to align their lives to the way they want to live.

The exploitation you describe becomes more wide-spread as regulation/planning increases because worker's opportunity to go elsewhere decreases.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):

I think the Chinese and Indian factory workers who live on site, work 12 hour shifts, and "hot bunk" for less pay in a week than I earn in an hour driving a truck just so the developed world can have cheap trinkets would heartily disagree.

And both the Chinese and Indian economies are characterized by decades of state management and central planning. You are proving my point.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):
Free market global capitalism has certainly given them a choice, work in a sweatshop in terrible conditions or your kids starve.

The choice between work and starvation is just biological. You have to act to sustain yourself.

The Chinese who must choose between working in a sweatshop and starvation are the result of the Chinese state.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
According to http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you/ having a $250k household income puts you in the top 4% of income in the US, definitely on the "have" side of the "have" / "have not" border.

That's not really for you to decide. I'm "above average" in that I make more than $43K, but I'm not close to the income I eventually want to earn. So I work for it. You could argue that I have enough today and that it is selfish for me to work for more than I absolutely need.

A market-driven economy is defined by the absence of ceilings, which fuels the aspirations of our creative, innovative, and productive class.
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Which is why the middle class has been shrinking in this century

You have no perspective. The standard of living for the middle class is orders of magnitude greater than it was a century ago. We hit a recession and a weak recovery and the progressives start talking about the good old days of 1912...  
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
To build the middle class and increase the buying power of this group will take away from the wealthy.

False, wealth creation is not a zero sum game. Someone does not have to lose for me to win, and vice versa.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Maybe they need to invest based on corporate performance. Take a look at Apple - they are delivering investment performance without regards to tax rates.

Your infatuation with comparing the entire range of private businesses to AAPL is tiresome. AAPL is a phenomenal company because they are delivering innovative new products into markets that didn't exist before they created them. They grow rapidly because they are expanding into a vacuum.

By that standard, no one should invest in growing an established industry. We would have no power companies, construction companies, insurance providers, clothing companies, etc. Different investors have different objectives, which drives different investment decisions. Not everyone is looking to ride the next hot stock with 50% annual growth.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Maybe we need to simply say that income of all types is Income for tax purposes. That will put significant pressures on companies to deliver performance.

You'll just drive them out of business. People don't work and take risks for the sake of paying taxes.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Then they are sitting there with their head where the sun doesn't shine. If you can turn stock and make an after tax profit then you should be turning that stock.

Not if I can expect a greater return by holding.
 
seb146
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:06 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
I'm "above average" in that I make more than $43K, but I'm not close to the income I eventually want to earn. So I work for it. You could argue that I have enough today and that it is selfish for me to work for more than I absolutely need.

And that is great. More power to you. "Liberals" do not hate anyone like that. What "liberals" hate are the people who sit back and wait for money to roll in. Like Romney, Cheney, Bush, et cetera.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
A market-driven economy is defined by the absence of ceilings, which fuels the aspirations of our creative, innovative, and productive class.

But, because of huge tax breaks for the 1%, we do not have a productive class. We have a class that is just scraping by and paying for the few that are getting rich off tax breaks and off-shoring their wealth. It may not look like we have ceilings, but no one can afford to even think about getting to that point. We have to pay for housing, food, and getting to and from work. We can't even afford health care.
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
What "liberals" hate are the people who sit back and wait for money to roll in. Like Romney, Cheney, Bush, et cetera.

Running multi-billion dollar enterprises like a capital management firm, one of the largest oil field services companies, and an MLB franchise is really "sitting back."

That you actually "hate" these people shows derangement.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
We have a class that is just scraping by and paying for the few that are getting rich off tax breaks and off-shoring their wealth.

How does one "get rich" off tax breaks? Think about what you are saying. Tax breaks on what? Oh that's right, a huge income that they earned by doing extremely high-value work. God forbid they keep what they earn. Are you actually more entitled to their work than they are?

And you are most certainly not "paying for the few" as the top 1% of income earners alone contribute 36% of all income tax revenue. The bottom 50% only pays 2.5% of income taxes.
 
vin2basketball
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:24 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 16):
And you are most certainly not "paying for the few" as the top 1% of income earners alone contribute 36% of all income tax revenue. The bottom 50% only pays 2.5% of income taxes.

While earning 20-22% of the income
 
vin2basketball
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:26 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Which is why the middle class has been shrinking in this century. To build the middle class and increase the buying power of this group will take away from the wealthy.

Ken777, two things.

Firstly, the middle class has gotten smaller, because more people have moved into the higher income distribution

(Source: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/04/burkhauser_on_t.html)

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/07/...nging-middle-class-stagnation.html

Also from that source, the real purchasing power of the middle class has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years, as has its quality of life. Now this new middle class may not be the same as the old manufacturing based middle class, but it is better off.

[Edited 2012-04-13 19:28:23]
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:50 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
Centrally planned and heavily regulated economies diminish opportunities in all areas of life, not just wealth creation. Fulfillment, self-determination, health, well-being, individual liberty, all of that stuff. A market economy creates more choices and more opportunities for people to align their lives to the way they want to live.

Likewise, in a fully unregulated environment the same is true. Workers become slaves and have no upward mobility. A caste system forms.

The most prosperous situation for all concerned is a partially free-market economy with reasonable regulation. Europe, and particularly France, is a very good example of how to do it. Yes, Europe has had economic and financial crises, but so have we.

Let's not forget that the root of just about every violent revolution in history has been that the gap between the few "haves" and the many "have nots" got too big. If communism ever comes to America, it will be because capitalism was allowed to go completely out of control.
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Ken777
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:56 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
Centrally planned and heavily regulated economies diminish opportunities in all areas of life

And centrally planned and heavily regulated jobs like those warehouse jobs increase opportunities in all areas of life?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
Fulfillment, self-determination, health, well-being, individual liberty, all of that stuff.

Unless you have a serf level job in a warehouse.  
Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
A market economy creates more choices and more opportunities for people to align their lives to the way they want to live.

And I'm sure those people in the warehouse serf jobs appreciate that.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
A market-driven economy is defined by the absence of ceilings, which fuels the aspirations of our creative, innovative, and productive class.

The warehouse in the article has enough ceilings for most people. A Serf Economy Company if I ever saw one.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
The standard of living for the middle class is orders of magnitude greater than it was a century ago.

But todays standard of living for the middle class is lower than it was in, say, the Clinton Years. I didn't realize you would have had problems with the comparison i made. Maybe I should have just said "Since Bush & Cheney screwed up the economy, started an unnecessary war, etc.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
Someone does not have to lose for me to win, and vice versa.

No doubt about that.

At the same time we don't need to diminish the middle class in order for the wealthy to continue to grown their wealth.

Nor do we need to allow serf economy jobs.

If someone works a full time job they should earn enough to not need welfare (a good way to cut the debt and tax rates over time).

And companies should not be allowed to cut per hour wages for part time workers. Those part time jobs should actually cost more per hour.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
Your infatuation with comparing the entire range of private businesses to AAPL is tiresome.

I've been comparing companies to Apple for years because of their overall performance. Is your preference a lower level of performance?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
AAPL is a phenomenal company because they are delivering innovative new products into markets that didn't exist before they created them.

Like computers, MP3 payers, mobile phones, tablets?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
They grow rapidly because they are expanding into a vacuum.

With computers, MP3 payers, mobile phones, tablets?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
By that standard, no one should invest in growing an established industry.

The mobile phone industry was pretty well established before Apple released the iPhone. Same with the MP3 industry before the iPod.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
We would have no power companies,

[

Power companies (utilities) are generally monopolies with maximum profit levels allowed, which leaves them to be a stable source of income.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
construction companies

When I look at construction companies my first thoughts are of construction companies I see working on the roads and bridges - via government contracts.

Then there are the construction companies building military projects, like carriers, fighters, war ships, etc.

Also under government contracts.

Then the decent paying jobs from these programs allow people to buy homes and othe stuff that requires construction companies and construction workers.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
Not everyone is looking to ride the next hot stock with 50% annual growth.

Doesn't matter to me either way, as one as they pay their taxes on the income generated. And that includes all income being taxed at the same level.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
You'll just drive them out of business.

And they will be replaced with companies that understand that it is net profit that counts and are able to be successful under that standard.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
People don't work and take risks for the sake of paying taxes.

That's not an excuse for eliminating taxes. You sound like it's better for the taxes to go away and we can just print money instead.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
Not if I can expect a greater return by holding.

Take your chances if you want. Investments go up and down so take your pick (risk) - it's the American way.

But that has nothing to do with our deterioration of the middle class. Unless your investments will grow with a serf economy.
 
BMI727
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:37 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 9):
Nice.

It is, isn't it.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 10):
As a result, we need to reform capitalism by heavily diminishing its dependence on growth but still maintain its free and market driven character.

We actually need to break down barriers to allow the most free competition and encourage growth.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
Maybe if we shut those companies down new ones will start up and perform better on the employment side.

Certainly if you shut those companies down new ones will start up and perform better in Mexico or Malaysia, or any number of other places.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 14):
The standard of living for the middle class is orders of magnitude greater than it was a century ago.

   But, let's take this a step further: what's with the deification of the middle class? Why is that considered the end all be all of American life?

I don't know about anyone else, but screw middle class. I don't want that. I want to be upper class. If I make a million dollars, I want to go for two million.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
What "liberals" hate are the people who sit back and wait for money to roll in.

You mean investors. The very lifeblood of a market economy. Yeah, hate them. They're evil.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Europe, and particularly France, is a very good example of how to do it.

Their workers have a tendency to not work a whole lot though. Somebody in France is on strike? It must be Thursday.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 20):
Nor do we need to allow serf economy jobs.

You do if you want a strong and complete economy. People complain about losing blue collar jobs, but they only want them with better than blue collar wages. The real problem is that Americans think that simply being alive should punch their ticket for the middle class. The truth is that being uneducated, unskilled labor sucks. It sucks in this society and pretty much every other. The solution is to not be uneducated, unskilled labor.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Pyrex
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:34 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
Why should I listen to you or the author of this piece when neither of you even know what slavery actually is?

You should have stopped as soon as you saw the name "Mother Jones" pop up.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
The exploitation you describe becomes more wide-spread as regulation/planning increases because worker's opportunity to go elsewhere decreases

Not for him I am sure. He is a "social scientist" so I am sure he would be one of the wise annointed bureaucrats in the Politburo telling everyone else how to live. It would suck for those who actually work for a living, though.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 15):
And that is great. More power to you. "Liberals" do not hate anyone like that. What "liberals" hate are the people who sit back and wait for money to roll in. Like Romney, Cheney, Bush, et cetera.

Oh, you mean like book royalties?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
France, is a very good example of how to do it
Yes, if you are an ENA-graduated bureaucrat or part of one of the hundreds of parasitic classes that live off the government (from artists, to "intellectuals", to farmers, etc.) life is great. If you are one of the three people in France that actually produces more than what they take in life sucks. Good thing those people are smart enough to know where the train station is and that London is only two hours away.
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Rara
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:59 am

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
You are just dead wrong, period.

Ah this is great.   "Hey Capitalism may not be ideal for everyone at every time." "NO YOU'RE WRONG PERIOD"   Signs of open-mindedness.

You still haven't said how you define "ideal outcome". Do it and we can discuss that. From reading between the lines, I suppose you're talking about quantifiable material riches, but you somehow refuse to say so.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
The truth is that being uneducated, unskilled labor sucks. It sucks in this society and pretty much every other. The solution is to not be uneducated, unskilled labor.

The truth is that the working conditions of the warehouse workers in the article could have been improved easily and without rendering the company unprofitable.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 22):

You should have stopped as soon as you saw the name "Mother Jones" pop up.

Don't know who that is, but I find it amusing that you folks keep advocating not reading the article.   Which I find very reasonable from your side. Because if you religiously believe that a completely unregulated free market is some sort of divine perfection, you better keep your eyes tightly shut from the many ugly consequences it has.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 22):

Not for him I am sure. He is a "social scientist" so I am sure he would be one of the wise annointed bureaucrats in the Politburo telling everyone else how to live. It would suck for those who actually work for a living, though.

And now we arrive at the ad-hominem attacks. Really classy of you to suggest that I don't work for a living. Just FYI, I don't work for the government (I wouldn't see anything wrong with it if I did, I should add). Now if you find it acceptable to construct insults from profile information, I could add that one could also construct something from someone over the age of 26 still labelled a "student", but I'm certain there's a good reason for that, so I'm not going to. Just don't assume from what people have written in their profiles, is the point.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
Mir
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:16 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Likewise, in a fully unregulated environment the same is true.

   Capitalism is great, no doubt about it. But, like pretty much everything else, let it run amok and you're going to have problems. There's a reason the term "market failure" exists.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
But, let's take this a step further: what's with the deification of the middle class? Why is that considered the end all be all of American life?

I don't know about anyone else, but screw middle class. I don't want that. I want to be upper class. If I make a million dollars, I want to go for two million.

You're basically advocating a caste system, where those who are lucky enough to make it to the upper class live very well, and those who don't get to live off of nothing, with very little mobility between the two. That will eventually lead to a revolution, when there are so many in the lower class who are sick of being stuck there while the rich get richer and richer that they revolt and set up something else.

Not everybody can be upper class - the economy couldn't sustain it. You need some people doing unskilled labor. That doesn't mean you should look down on them, treat them like crap, and then say that it's their own fault.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Europe, and particularly France, is a very good example of how to do it.

Their workers have a tendency to not work a whole lot though.

And yet their economy is not in shambles, and they enjoy a high standard of living and a good quality of life.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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Revelation
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:22 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):

That's not really for you to decide. I'm "above average" in that I make more than $43K, but I'm not close to the income I eventually want to earn. So I work for it. You could argue that I have enough today and that it is selfish for me to work for more than I absolutely need.

We in the US live in a democracy and so there are a lot of things that others do decide for us, especially when it comes to money and in particular taxes. I'm reminded of this as I pull out my copy of TurboTax, trying to get my taxes done a few days before the deadline, because indeed I spend most of my time working hard on complex software engineering problems as opposed to spending my days shifting money around from place to place to get the most advantage for me.

As much as the wealthy have been able to use their wealth to make it all be about them, they would not be where they are without a whole lot of lower and middle class wage earners. They have relied on nannies, school teachers, professors, gardeners, mechanics, plumbers, construction workers, factory workers, retail workers and countless others, and these people need consideration too.

The debate isn't about cutting you back to what you absolutely need, it's about what is fair up and down the income scale, and about all of us having a say in what that fairness is.

Personally I don't think we are anywhere near the point where the movers and shakers are going to just pack it in just because of taxes. As they say, that's a classy kind of problem to have. The wealthy have gotten historically better tax treatment ever since the days of Reagan/Stockman trickle down economics, yet it hasn't led us anywhere. I think we're much closer to the point where lower or middle class people pack it in because they see no way forward, and that has nothing to do with the tax rate they'll get hit with if/when they're making $250k.

And I will add to the chorus here who are saying there is more to your working life than making the absolute most amount of money and paying the absolute least amount of taxes. Yes, we work to make and keep money, but IMHO the need for money should get balanced against taking advantage of the talents you are given and the enjoyment the use of these talents can bring. I have found that focusing on using my talents has always created plenty of income, and made my life more enjoyable too. Conversely, some of the most miserable people I've met are the ones who are focused just on the money.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 20):
Unless you have a serf level job in a warehouse.

Personally, I don't see much wrong with these warehouse jobs, presuming they are obeying the labor laws.

There's always going to be less desirable jobs, and this just happens to be the kind we have in our current times.

If the work sucks so bad that no one will take the jobs, then the conditions will change.

Of course, the bad publicity these jobs are getting is a key part of that, so I see nothing wrong with complaining about warehouse jobs either.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
Rara
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:28 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):

Not everybody can be upper class - the economy couldn't sustain it. You need some people doing unskilled labor. That doesn't mean you should look down on them, treat them like crap, and then say that it's their own fault.

My grandfather left school after 9th grade and started working in the metal industry. He never got a high school diploma, let alone a university degree. Yet by working hard, he was able to build a house, support a family of four and send his children to university.

Try that today, they'll laugh in your face.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
Ken777
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
Certainly if you shut those companies down new ones will start up and perform better in Mexico or Malaysia, or any number of other places.

You might be surprised. Shutting down companies the operate outside the laws and regulations doesn't mean that another, more reputable company can't come in and replace them. Of course, you might have to pay an additional 2¢ for a product shipped from a reputable company.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:43 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
I don't know about anyone else, but screw middle class. I don't want that. I want to be upper class. If I make a million dollars, I want to go for two million.

Nice to admit that you are purely motivated by greed.

But worry you not, you can't possibly become upper class. The upper class has made that much clear. You will sooner get eaten by a shark while getting struck by lightning.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
johns624
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:22 pm

The difference between an American liberal and conservative is this--
A liberal hates his country but loves its people--"America is the world's bully but we should strive to help all of our fellow Americans".
A conservative loves his country but hates its people--"America can do no wrong and we should spread its system everywhere, even by force. However, if those lazy, dumb lower class people won't work for a pittance, we'll move their jobs overseas and let them starve".
 
NoUFO
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:28 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
We actually need to break down barriers to allow the most free competition and encourage growth.

The question remains where, in the long run, growth is supposed to come from.

Let's assume Beiersdorf (Nivea) sells 1 million cans of deodorants in 2012. Next year they need to sell more than 1 million, say: 1.005 million cans and in 2014 even more and in 2015 even more. Sure, they have more in their portfolio, but the fact remains that, should Beiersdorf grow, L'Oreal or Garnier will grow less or not grow at all. Beiersdorf did not generate enough growth to please the shareholders, which is why Beiersdorf is trouble. A shrinking population doesn't exactly help. They look forward to sell more in Brasil and open a plant there, in other words move much of their business to outside of Europe. So how do we generate growth in developed countries like the Netherlands, Germany or the U.S.?
Perhaps Beiersdorf will be fortunate enough to develop something truly expectional (not just the 79th deodorant) and make huge profits. But then Beiersdorf's competitors would be in trouble. I feel we don't generate true growth anymore, but merely move the cake from one place to another.

And then there is the ecological factor of course. We cannot grow bigger than this world allows us to do.

[Edited 2012-04-14 13:36:15]
I support the right to arm bears
 
BMI727
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:44 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):
Not everybody can be upper class - the economy couldn't sustain it.

Just like the economy can't sustain itself without $9 per hour warehouse jobs...somewhere.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 27):
Of course, you might have to pay an additional 2¢ for a product shipped from a reputable company.

Why would I do that?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
Nice to admit that you are purely motivated by greed.

Of course I am. One could call it ambition, but it's all the same thing really. Greed is a beautiful thing when you think about it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
johns624
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:45 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
I don't know about anyone else, but screw middle class. I don't want that. I want to be upper class. If I make a million dollars, I want to go for two million.

I see from your profile that you're a student. You need to take some investing and economics classes. One million dollars ain't sh*t. Someone making only $35K can make that amount in less than 30 years. One million invested ain't sh*t, either. That would only give you about $40K annually to live on.
 
BMI727
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:16 am

Quoting johns624 (Reply 32):
You need to take some investing and economics classes. One million dollars ain't sh*t. Someone making only $35K can make that amount in less than 30 years.

Believe me, I know a million isn't much, I was just throwing out a number. I was just having this conversation with my dad, who still thinks that a million is still a lot of money, when in reality, it only entitles one to pay more in taxes and a middle class lifestyle.

Frankly, there is no excuse for any American these days to not retire with less than a million dollars. If you do, chances are you've been mismanaging your money for a long time.

I always say I want to make enough money that I stop caring about money. I have no idea how much that is, but almost certainly well into nine figures.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:39 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
One could call it ambition, but it's all the same thing really. Greed is a beautiful thing when you think about it.
Ambition: An earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

Greed: Excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.


Nope, not the same thing.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
johns624
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:58 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
I always say I want to make enough money that I stop caring about money. I have no idea how much that is, but almost certainly well into nine figures.

Nine figures??? What line of work are you planning on getting into? With the market just averaging around 4-5% the last decade (if that), that'll be hard to do. Don't forget, having children and paying for their education reduces greatly what you can save for yourself.
 
NoUFO
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:12 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
I was just having this conversation with my dad, who still thinks that a million is still a lot of money

Well, your dad is right. And so is Revelation: Ambition and greed are not the same.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
Frankly, there is no excuse for any American these days to not retire with less than a million dollars.

You sound like a spoiled brat here.
I support the right to arm bears
 
PPVRA
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:45 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 8):
Please. Wage slavery is a long-established concept; if you're not familiar with it, I suggest you look it up.

Slavery is a very simple concept: forced labor. Nothing more, nothing less.

Even the COMPLETE absence of a wage does not imply slavery.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:59 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 37):
Slavery is a very simple concept: forced labor. Nothing more, nothing less.

I guess it's my night to go to dictionary.com:

slavery: the condition of a slave

slave: a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another


So one person could enslave another without ever making them work.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
BMI727
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:35 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
Nope, not the same thing.

Where the rubber meets the road it is. The only meaningful borderline is the line between legal and illegal.

Quoting johns624 (Reply 35):
What line of work are you planning on getting into?

I want to start in aerospace and end up God knows where. It might end up being an industry that hasn't been invented yet.

Of course I know the odds are against me and I'll most likely never reach that plateau. But I don't want it to be for lack of trying. But it's far better to achieve only a fraction of an outlandish goal than to get the entirety of a mundane "American Dream." And then there is the possibility that I could make $100,000,000 and still not be satisfied, which wouldn't be the worst thing. After all, the most important million anybody ever makes is their next million. One always must be looking to push the limits: a little bit further, a little bit faster, a little bit better. What's the point of doing anything if you aren't trying to be the greatest ever?

The truth is I don't lose sleep over the size of the American middle class, or the conditions of Chinese factory workers. I lose sleep wondering how old I'll be when I can afford my first Porsche.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 36):
You sound like a spoiled brat here.

...or just somebody that understands the power of discipline and compound interest.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
StarAC17
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:41 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
I always say I want to make enough money that I stop caring about money. I have no idea how much that is, but almost certainly well into nine figures.

You won't make that much money with hard work alone, you need to create something that people want. You could do it the Mitt Romney way as well or get into the black market.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
Frankly, there is no excuse for any American these days to not retire with less than a million dollars. If you do, chances are you've been mismanaging your money for a long time.

I betting not as there are many things in life that will prevent you from saving money at that rate, perhaps someone gets sick or one of their children has a genetic disease that requires constant treatment. There are many things that happen that are beyond the control of others that may have an affect on how much money they can save.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
The truth is I don't lose sleep over the size of the American middle class, or the conditions of Chinese factory workers. I lose sleep wondering how old I'll be when I can afford my first Porsche.

Well if you think that way that is your business but you do have some serious growing up to do because if you do get all the money and toys you desire and in the end no one loves or cares for you then you are not going to be happy no matter how much green you have.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:37 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
Where the rubber meets the road it is. The only meaningful borderline is the line between legal and illegal.

Maybe for your definition of "meaningful".

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
The truth is I don't lose sleep over the size of the American middle class, or the conditions of Chinese factory workers. I lose sleep wondering how old I'll be when I can afford my first Porsche.
Wikipedia now:

Quote:

Materialism (adj. materialistic) is the excessive desire to consume and acquire material goods. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being determined by affluence (see conspicuous consumption) as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through buying, spending and accumulating material wealth. Positively, materialism might be considered a pragmatic form of enlightened self-interest based on a prudent understanding of the character of capitalist society. Negatively, it is considered a crass, if not false, value system induced by the spell of commodity fetishism and void of more noble and worthy values.

Good luck with that.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
Mir
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:05 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
What's the point of doing anything if you aren't trying to be the greatest ever?

How exactly can you be the greatest ever at owning a Porsche? Seems like that would be a very hard thing to objectively measure.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
sccutler
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:48 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 3):
However, it is also a fact that those mechanisms benefit the few, and disadvantage the many. And I don't have the impression that most people are aware of that.

An imperfect system. Just better than any other conceived thus far.

And they've all been tried.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Rara
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:06 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 37):

Slavery is a very simple concept: forced labor. Nothing more, nothing less.

Even the COMPLETE absence of a wage does not imply slavery.

I suggested you look up wage slavery, and again you talk about slavery, which in the context we're discussing really isn't particularly relevant. Here's a link then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

Quoting sccutler (Reply 43):

An imperfect system. Just better than any other conceived thus far.

More efficient than any other in allocating resources and in promoting economic growth.

Yet it appears that one could contain some of its negative effects without curbing its efficiency - something that several people on this thread deny.   That's what makes it interesting..
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
johns624
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:21 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
I want to start in aerospace and end up God knows where. It might end up being an industry that hasn't been invented yet.

So basically, you have no ideas or talents in any particular area. You just want to make money. Like StarAC17 said, you won't make that money working for someone else.
 
PPVRA
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 44):
I suggested you look up wage slavery, and again you talk about slavery, which in the context we're discussing really isn't particularly relevant. Here's a link then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

AGAIN, the term is ridiculous and designed to do nothing more than to inflame. I am perfectly aware of it's definition. And I continue to stick to what I am saying and go further: people who use it should be called out on it EVERY TIME because the analogy this term tries to invoke is illogical and dishonest.

It is nothing but a propaganda term.

[Edited 2012-04-15 07:51:26]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:00 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):

Frankly, there is no excuse for any American these days to not retire with less than a million dollars. If you do, chances are you've been mismanaging your money for a long time.

Or maybe just having your pension wiped out in the last five years before retirement...
You Sir, are a very funny lady.
 
seb146
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:26 pm

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 16):
Running multi-billion dollar enterprises like a capital management firm, one of the largest oil field services companies, and an MLB franchise is really "sitting back."

Actually, it is. Have you paid for a gallon of gas lately? Or gone to a baseball game? Or bought stocks?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 16):
huge income that they earned by doing extremely high-value work.

That the middle class can not afford. It is only high-value to other wealthy people. For a hated low-income wage slave like me, they are just driving up prices so I can't make any money.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
You mean investors. The very lifeblood of a market economy.

Which has nothing to do with the middle class. Except we give them tons of cash when they crash the markets.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 31):
Greed is a beautiful thing when you think about it.

I believe that was said just before the market crash in 1929, 2008, and the mid-1990s...
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
Rara
Topic Author
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RE: The Warehouse Wage Slave

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:31 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 46):

AGAIN, the term is ridiculous and designed to do nothing more than to inflame. I am perfectly aware of it's definition. And I continue to stick to what I am saying and go further: people who use it should be called out on it EVERY TIME because the analogy this term tries to invoke is illogical and dishonest.

It is nothing but a propaganda term.

Do you object to the existence of the term wage slavery in general, or to the use of the term wage slavery in the article that I linked to?

If the latter, can you explain in what way the people in the article weren't subject to wage slavery?

And please, once again, stick to "wage slavery", not "slavery" which is not in discussion here.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.

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