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Author Topic: How Would One Reduce Inequality?  (Read 22584 times)

Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #135 on: October 19, 2012, 07:49:59 pm »

why do we assume inexperienced workers would manage business\factories\whatever themselves? why wouldn't they instead rely on the judgement of a competent administrator they themselves elected? that's the way businesses work in capitalist systems, shareholders usually have someone managing the business for the shareholders benefit, in this case you would just replace the shareholders with the workers

SalmonGod

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #136 on: October 19, 2012, 08:21:22 pm »

in this case you would just replace the shareholders with the workers

First, I don't see anything wrong with this.  Second, the role of an administrator in this case wouldn't quite be the same.  They couldn't just get rid of people who don't fit their personal agenda.  There would be less economic threat for an administrator to translate into coercion.  Their job would be to make things run smoothly, not to ensure subservience and exploitation.  There's nothing wrong with that.

Compare to today, where management/administration is less about effective organization and more about "behave exactly how I want you to behave, regardless of how it actually effects your work, or your family starves".
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Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #137 on: October 19, 2012, 08:45:24 pm »

i'm not disagreeing with you, i'm just advancing a simple solution to the "workers are incompetent managers" problem opponents of the worker's corporation have mentioned. i don't think anybody would have a problem with a manager being responsible to the people he's supposed to manage, its the basis for representative democracy after all

SalmonGod

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #138 on: October 19, 2012, 09:16:44 pm »

Ah ok I understand.  I read your previous post the wrong way.
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Leafsnail

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #139 on: October 19, 2012, 10:25:34 pm »

why do we assume inexperienced workers would manage business\factories\whatever themselves? why wouldn't they instead rely on the judgement of a competent administrator they themselves elected? that's the way businesses work in capitalist systems, shareholders usually have someone managing the business for the shareholders benefit, in this case you would just replace the shareholders with the workers
If you make it "workers and customers" then that is exactly what a co-operative is.
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ed boy

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #140 on: October 20, 2012, 09:18:16 am »

I don't really understand the significance of Dunbar's Number.  I've been aware of it even before that Cracked article where it was termed The Monkeysphere, which is how most people seem to know about it.  It's an interesting concept.

But it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to me to objectively appreciate the notion that the people outside of your monkeysphere are just the same as the people inside of it.  Society is a massive web of billions of overlapping monkeyspheres, and while yours may feel more important than others, that doesn't mean it objectively is.
I agree completely. I'm fully aware that there is nothing that makes the wants and desires of my neighbour worth more than those of someone on the other side of the world. Objectively, they are just as important. I know this completely, and fully logically and and rationally accept and live by this. However, making myself feel this way is not as simple. I can (and do) fully decide that I shall give someone I don't know the same respect and consideration as someone I do, but believing it subconciously is not something that is subject to rational decision.
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Frumple

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #141 on: October 20, 2012, 12:19:27 pm »

You... don't have to believe it subconsciously to manifest it behaviorally. It helps, but it's pretty far from a necessary condition. So, if you've got the latter and maintain it,* why does the former matter all that much?

*Which, I'unno, I'd say is somewhat easy. I maintain a polite an' civil attitude towards people that I have basically a frothing hatred for very regularly, and treat them as evenly as I do people I'm fond of, in most situations. Business is business, etc. Damn sure don't like 'em, but if that was sufficient reason to treat people poorly I'd be a pretty miserable bastard to most folks I encounter on a day to day basis :-\
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SalmonGod

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #142 on: October 20, 2012, 12:26:33 pm »

I've managed to be civil while staying for two weeks in the home of someone who is responsible for inflicting horrible trauma on someone close to me and absolutely deserves to be in prison for life.  It's really not hard.
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GreatJustice

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #143 on: October 20, 2012, 03:51:43 pm »


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The capitalist faces the same problem. When he is investing, he needs to sacrifice a significant part of his profits, having no way to be sure it will increase productivity.

Yet the capitalist has to compete with other capitalists to continue to even make profits, and these profits are his only source of income. Worker-owners would be making money through a mixture of profits and wages, and thus would have far less incentive to bother innovating.
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No, he didn't. Inheritance and the positive feedback involving generation of capital means you don't have to lift a finger through your entire life, and still be able to live an opulent life. Hell, even the starting capital can be obtained in many ways, including crime, marriage, luck or other factors which don't involve merit in any way. Some of the successful European capitalists in XIX century, for example, were nobles - who were able to buy factories because they owned land, which could have been granted to their distant ancestor by a king several hundred years ago.

Inheritance requires that someone actually created the wealth to pass on in the first place, though. It's not like the person wished it into being.

Certainly, some capitalists gained their capital through unscrupulous means. Some workers are rapists. It's rather irrelevant unless most capitalists did, which is not the case. In fact, the aristocrats and landed classes of the time generally opposed the industrial revolution because it undermined their previous dominance through land ownership, took away their former near-slave serfs to work freely in factories, and brought non-nobles into positions of power. Certainly, the conservative parties of the time and things written by the aristocrats of the time were anti-capitalist.

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As for capitalist owners being necessary in order to take "risks" and for establishing means of production in the first place... that depends on how late into the capitalist game you are.  At our late stage, most of this is achieved through inheritance, and capitalist owners are so powerful that they can rig the game to benefit them even when their investments fail.  If you don't see this happening right now, you're delusional.  In early stages, inequality is negligible enough that you can't really argue that inequality played a significant part in that establishment.

Is that a problem with capitalists in of themselves, though, or the present system?

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Plus, you keep talking about wages.  Any system involving wages in any form comparable to what we know today would not be social libertarian.  Your wage is a roughly equal access to the total wealth of your whole community, not just in the single operation that you participate in.  Hoarding of goods beyond what could be called your personal possession is also literally impossible, as such ownership is seen as fundamentally illegitimate.

That only makes my point stronger. Again, if the community as a whole shares the resources, then each individual stands to benefit most by being as lazy a bum as he can be without being caught and punished. After all, if he works any harder, he benefits not at all. In fact, if he works harder, he benefits the lazy bums the most by disguising their reduced output!

Besides that, Mutualism generally doesn't oppose "property" per se, moreso absentee ownership. If everything is shared, you're looking more at anarcho-syndicalism. The obvious problem of that is that "personal possessions" are hard to define after a certain point. Would it be considered bad if I went into the shelter in which you reside and took a dump on the bed in which you sleep? Whether your bed is actually a personal possession when you aren't in it could be debatable.
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EnigmaticHat

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #144 on: October 20, 2012, 05:01:00 pm »

And this is what I've heard from people my whole life, but I never understood what they were getting at.  What is it about a larger community that makes it impossible to organize in an egalitarian fashion?  What is the common feature of large scale societies that allows them to organize? 

Eventually I figured out that the common feature is centralization, and the obstacle that centralization overcomes is limitations in communication.  Now those limitations are gone, and the need for centralization with it. 
It's one thing to be able to communicate with people, it's another to be able to care about them. It's quite easy to logically arrive at the conclusion that all people should be treated equally and you should look out for the interests of all people equally, but to actually do so is quite hard. There's a leading theory in anthrpology of Dunbar's number, which is that it is impossible to properly care about more people than a certain number (usually given as being around 150).
The idea that people need to personally know someone to care what happens to them is BS.  Look at the difference between attitudes towards humans and animals.  Where I live, people will be disgusted at the idea that somewhere in the world, a relatively small amount people are committing honor killings in on their family members.*  But these same people consider it totally normal that anyone is allowed to go kill, say, a deer, purely for fun.  Or that large amounts of livestock are raised so packed together that they can't move for most of their lives.

And this (mostly) isn't an animal rights rant, you can see the same disparity in attitudes in other places.  For example, the way some pre-civil war Americans saw slaves, or the way colonial era Europeans treated anyone who wasn't white.

The point is, if you think "I don't personally know this guy so I'm not strongly emotionally attached to their success" to be "not caring", you need to look at the way people treat humans/animals/things that they don't extend their concept of personhood to.  Humans really do care about people they don't know, or else there'd be no difference in the way many modern people act towards animals and the way they act towards humans who live far away.

*Not to imply honor killings are insignificant, I was just pointing out the disparity between "kills single human for specific reason, in faraway country and not too often" and "kills animal for no reason, in same country and very often".  I also picked this example to show that people do show some preferences as to how people they don't directly know are treated.  And I talked about treatment of animals first because its modern.
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Gantolandon

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #145 on: October 21, 2012, 07:05:51 am »

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Yet the capitalist has to compete with other capitalists to continue to even make profits, and these profits are his only source of income. Worker-owners would be making money through a mixture of profits and wages, and thus would have far less incentive to bother innovating.
And where would be worker-owner money come from? That's right, from the company profit. Without profit, they would have to pocket company assets to fund their needs, which is a certain way to get their workplace bankrupt. Again, there is no difference between the situation of a worker-owner where you claim it is and I'm starting to wonder if you really see any significant distinction, or is it just a way to drag the discussion until I get exhausted.

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Inheritance requires that someone actually created the wealth to pass on in the first place, though. It's not like the person wished it into being.

Certainly, some capitalists gained their capital through unscrupulous means. Some workers are rapists. It's rather irrelevant unless most capitalists did, which is not the case.
You are ignoring what I stated before - that this system doesn't involve merit in any way. Someone created a small amount of means of production which in turn created more and more without needing their owner to even do anything. Even assuming an ideal case where the original owner of the capital honestly earns it, the reward given to each person in the inheritance chain is disproportionately high.

You are concerned about workers slacking off, but seem to not mind in the slightest that someone may not work through his entire life and consume much more this worker could.

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That only makes my point stronger. Again, if the community as a whole shares the resources, then each individual stands to benefit most by being as lazy a bum as he can be without being caught and punished. After all, if he works any harder, he benefits not at all. In fact, if he works harder, he benefits the lazy bums the most by disguising their reduced output!
And how does it work out in a standard workplace, where the capitalist owns everything and all the profits from increased productivity go directly to him? Are they not inclined to be lazy, or his job-creator superhuman powers allow him to identify and expel slackers better than the people who work with him and are directly affected by his negligence?

Right now you are pointing out the problem that not only exists in the standard workplace, but it's even magnified there. People who do a fraction of the work they pretend they're doing are actually a pretty common sight. No one gets anything from increased productivity except of rewards the owner seems fitting to bestow, and usually they are one of the first things that get cut when he needs more money.
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SalmonGod

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #146 on: October 21, 2012, 07:16:30 am »

Yeah, I do the bare minimum where I work right now, because I see zero reward for doing any more than that.  There's a yearly performance review where I'm eligible for a merit raise, but in my 6 years of working there, the potential raise has never even kept up with inflation.  By working hard to increase the company's profits, the only thing I would accomplish is to accelerate wealth consolidation.  There are more disincentives for me to be productive than there are incentives.

I know for a fact that the company could easily afford to hire twice the people working for twice the pay in half the hours.  Happiness and efficiency would increase across the board, more jobs would decrease social tensions, and it would hardly make a dent in their profit margins.  The reason they don't is they don't want to create jobs.  Unemployment is highly beneficial to the owning class, because it threatens workers in a way that they couldn't do personally.  Bargaining power is non-existent for a person who can be easily replaced, which results in absolute compliancy of the workforce.

George Carlin said it best

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The middle class does all the work, and the poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class.  Keep them showing up to those jobs.
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Maybe people should love for the sake of loving, and not with all of these optimization conditions.

GreatJustice

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #147 on: October 21, 2012, 08:20:58 am »

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And where would be worker-owner money come from? That's right, from the company profit. Without profit, they would have to pocket company assets to fund their needs, which is a certain way to get their workplace bankrupt. Again, there is no difference between the situation of a worker-owner where you claim it is and I'm starting to wonder if you really see any significant distinction, or is it just a way to drag the discussion until I get exhausted.
Because in the worker-owned factory, there is no single person with expertise in capital investment, etc. It comes down to a vote, and the "voters" will change from time to time depending on who retires and who joins the company, so whether they make a good decision on Day 1 is largely irrelevant to whether they make a good decision on Day 250, whereas an entrepreneur who has been doing well on Day 1 will probably continue to do well up to Day 250 (though his methods may become outdated, etc in which case his company's assets will eventually be bought out by someone else to try again). They could vote to "hire" someone for these purposes, but then it just gets more complicated. Does he get an equal share in the factory too now that's managing things and controlling the assets of the factory? What if he wants a bigger share because his decisions have increased success at the factory far more than any other individual? What about R&D, which may vastly increase the factory's profitability but may also create nothing? Can a worker decide that he doesn't want the risk of actually losing money from the factory, and "sell" his ownership in exchange for a set amount of money from another worker? By the end of it all, you've more likely than not recreated a system extremely close to the original capitalist system, except the "capitalists" are just those workers who are willing to take a risk on their money (which, incidentally, would be the way right-libertarians generally advocate privatization). This also raises the problem of how any new factories are supposed to be made, or what happens when they go bust. After all, if workers could compete on equal terms under this system, they wouldn't need to "seize" anything, they could simply save up and make their own factory. Since the capitalists apparently don't contribute anything, they would quickly and immediately drive them out of business.

Also, out of curiosity (and largely unrelated to the main point, by the way), what exactly makes the factory "owned" by the workers? What happens if squatters come in and live there? After all the squatters "use" the factory too by sleeping and living in it, yet they make it harder for the workers to get anything done.

Mind, this is largely semantics in the modern economy. CEOs, middle-upper management, etc are all "workers", while some of the people working on the floor manufacturing parts are "capitalists" with shares in the company. Bill Gates was a "worker" at Microsoft while simultaneously "owning" Microsoft. 
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You are ignoring what I stated before - that this system doesn't involve merit in any way. Someone created a small amount of means of production which in turn created more and more without needing their owner to even do anything. Even assuming an ideal case where the original owner of the capital honestly earns it, the reward given to each person in the inheritance chain is disproportionately high.

So they created a single machine, which in turn created more and more machines without them working?

No. They need to ensure what they created doesn't become obsolete, that they aren't run out of business by others with different wage rates, that they see economic trends to know when to shift production, etc etc etc

They also need to be able to save considerable amounts to even be able to accumulate capital in the first place, and that has to hold true throughout the entire inheritance chain. If, at some point, the money goes to someone who isn't going to live at least somewhat frugally and use their money carefully, it will be quickly lost. Similarly, if you invest it in something, you're still taking a risk as to whether you'll actually benefit from it or not.

Whether the person at the end gets a lot of money, however, is generally a null point. It isn't that they deserve it, it's that the person who does deserve it (the initial wealth creator and anyone who added to it) decided that they wanted to give the money to them. Similarly, someone along the line could give all the money to charity, or distribute it amongst the workers, or (after withdrawing everything from banks and so on) toss it into a pit and burn it.

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You are concerned about workers slacking off, but seem to not mind in the slightest that someone may not work through his entire life and consume much more this worker could.

The person who doesn't work their entire life does so because someone else did so for them. The "lazy worker" could similarly have a benefactor who pays them to loaf about doing nothing (though investing is hardly "doing nothing"), and there would be no direct problem. However, when working in the X factory with hundreds of other workers who co-own it, they not only drain from a person who willingly allowed them to do so, they drain from the other workers who aren't willingly allowing them to do so.
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And how does it work out in a standard workplace, where the capitalist owns everything and all the profits from increased productivity go directly to him? Are they not inclined to be lazy, or his job-creator superhuman powers allow him to identify and expel slackers better than the people who work with him and are directly affected by his negligence?

He has managers, etc to keep an eye on productivity. That's the whole point of management. Not to mention, if he wasn't capable of weeding out slackers, he would probably go out of business quickly from accumulated inefficiencies.

Plus, this still doesn't preclude workers from going into business themselves and proving that they can do a better job, as has happened many times in the past, rather than "seizing the means of production" so that they don't have to compete.

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Yeah, I do the bare minimum where I work right now, because I see zero reward for doing any more than that.  There's a yearly performance review where I'm eligible for a merit raise, but in my 6 years of working there, the potential raise has never even kept up with inflation.  By working hard to increase the company's profits, the only thing I would accomplish is to accelerate wealth consolidation.  There are more disincentives for me to be productive than there are incentives.

I know for a fact that the company could easily afford to hire twice the people working for twice the pay in half the hours.  Happiness and efficiency would increase across the board, more jobs would decrease social tensions, and it would hardly make a dent in their profit margins.  The reason they don't is they don't want to create jobs.  Unemployment is highly beneficial to the owning class, because it threatens workers in a way that they couldn't do personally.  Bargaining power is non-existent for a person who can be easily replaced, which results in absolute compliancy of the workforce.

You could just go into business for yourself, you know. It's not like the companies that offer you jobs literally own you, and you are physically bound to stay with them regardless of conditions.
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The person supporting regenerating health, when asked why you can see when shot in the eye justified it as 'you put on an eyepatch'. When asked what happens when you are then shot in the other eye, he said that you put an eyepatch on that eye. When asked how you'd be able to see, he said that your first eye would have healed by then.

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SalmonGod

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #148 on: October 21, 2012, 08:51:57 am »

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Yeah, I do the bare minimum where I work right now, because I see zero reward for doing any more than that.  There's a yearly performance review where I'm eligible for a merit raise, but in my 6 years of working there, the potential raise has never even kept up with inflation.  By working hard to increase the company's profits, the only thing I would accomplish is to accelerate wealth consolidation.  There are more disincentives for me to be productive than there are incentives.

I know for a fact that the company could easily afford to hire twice the people working for twice the pay in half the hours.  Happiness and efficiency would increase across the board, more jobs would decrease social tensions, and it would hardly make a dent in their profit margins.  The reason they don't is they don't want to create jobs.  Unemployment is highly beneficial to the owning class, because it threatens workers in a way that they couldn't do personally.  Bargaining power is non-existent for a person who can be easily replaced, which results in absolute compliancy of the workforce.

You could just go into business for yourself, you know. It's not like the companies that offer you jobs literally own you, and you are physically bound to stay with them regardless of conditions.

Sure.  That would be easy.  Except that I have to continue supporting a family while I build up this other thing to be able to support me at some later point.  It's actually near impossible.  I've suspected for a while, but at this point I'm almost certain that you're not a working adult.  If you are, you've either had plenty of opportunity handed to you, you've never actually entertained any ambitions, or you're simply trolling.  There's a reason rags to riches stories aren't a daily phenomenon.

It didn't take me long after becoming full-time employed to realize that it's a trap.  Once you're there, your ability to create other opportunities for yourself is almost completely demolished.  There's just no time.

Let's break down the day, and I'll do this generously.  Let's say you work 8 hours and sleep 8 hours in a day.  That's 16 hours gone.  Now take your standard half hour lunch break.  My commuting time averages about 30 minutes a day, so I'll go with that.  That's 17 hours gone.  Now take your other two meals a day outside of work and basic bathroom activities and the like.  That's at least another hour, being very generous.  That's 18 hours gone.

That's 6 hours absolute maximum that a person has to themselves in a day.  That's if they're completely mechanical about going from Point A to Point B in their daily routine.  Six hours a day is decently sufficient for accomplishing meaningful things.  Starting a personal business is fairly ambitious, but doable with that much time freely available every day, plus weekends.

Now factor in maintaining relationships with friends and family, regular chores and errands such as cleaning and grocery shopping, exercise, longer commutes, overtime or multiple jobs, random life events such as illnesses or social obligations, keeping up with news and otherwise being an informed citizen, a hobby so that stress doesn't kill you in your mid-30's (like my grandfather who worked himself to death), and god forbid you actually have a significant other or children you need to spend time with.  Yeah.  Most of these are things you have little control over, and any combination of them locks your life in place pretty damn hard.

I've actually been working with a small start-up business the last couple months.  I think it will probably be at least a year before it turns into a paying gig.  In the meantime, I'm neglecting my family and haven't done anything for fun in a couple weeks.  I haven't done anything with a friend in months.  I'm feeling it.  It worries the hell out of me.  I have a family history of stress-related illnesses, and have suffered them myself in the past.  I've had two MRSA infections during two of the most stressful periods of my life, and the last one nearly took my arm.

It's thoroughly bullshit, to the point that I could easily take such a flippant statement as "you could go into business yourself, you know" as insult if I wanted, due to the nature of what that statement implies versus everything the suggestion actually entails.  I'm just pointing this out for you, though.  I don't think you actually meant insult.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 09:21:29 am by SalmonGod »
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In the land of twilight, under the moon
We dance for the idiots
As the end will come so soon
In the land of twilight

Maybe people should love for the sake of loving, and not with all of these optimization conditions.

Gantolandon

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Re: How Would One Reduce Inequality?
« Reply #149 on: October 21, 2012, 12:21:17 pm »

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Because in the worker-owned factory, there is no single person with expertise in capital investment, etc. It comes down to a vote, and the "voters" will change from time to time depending on who retires and who joins the company, so whether they make a good decision on Day 1 is largely irrelevant to whether they make a good decision on Day 250, whereas an entrepreneur who has been doing well on Day 1 will probably continue to do well up to Day 250 (though his methods may become outdated, etc in which case his company's assets will eventually be bought out by someone else to try again).

They have the access to the same data as the capitalist. They can hire (or contract) the same experts as the capitalist would hire. I'd like to hear why would they be unable to make a good decision and why some of them retiring would affect the rest of them so much they lose all the expertise obtained. Oh, and what happens when the capitalist dies or sells his business to someone else?

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They could vote to "hire" someone for these purposes, but then it just gets more complicated. Does he get an equal share in the factory too now that's managing things and controlling the assets of the factory?
Or they could hire several people who would assess different aspect of the company and find the ways to improve the production process. Then they present their propositions to the assembly and the workers vote if they accept them or not. Of course, the hired managers are considered workers, too, so they get a vote and a share.

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What if he wants a bigger share because his decisions have increased success at the factory far more than any other individual?
Well, he goes to the assembly and tells them he wanted a better share because his decisions had increased success of the factory far more than any other individual. Then they vote.

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What about R&D, which may vastly increase the factory's profitability but may also create nothing?
Everyone who does the work for the factory gets a share of profits. This also includes R&D, management, maintenance, shipping. Why do you think that only the guy at the assembly line adds to the factory profitability?

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Can a worker decide that he doesn't want the risk of actually losing money from the factory, and "sell" his ownership in exchange for a set amount of money from another worker?
No.

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By the end of it all, you've more likely than not recreated a system extremely close to the original capitalist system, except the "capitalists" are just those workers who are willing to take a risk on their money (which, incidentally, would be the way right-libertarians generally advocate privatization).
I'm afraid that I didn't answer to your questions as you predicted, so this statement no longer makes sense.

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This also raises the problem of how any new factories are supposed to be made, or what happens when they go bust.
Most of them will most probably just split when they grow too big and cumbersome. Without a single person or small group of persons as the owners, it makes no sense to expand constantly, because more and more money gets spent to manage this monstrosity.

As for such structures going bust, I'm not sure what problems do you see with that.

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After all, if workers could compete on equal terms under this system, they wouldn't need to "seize" anything, they could simply save up and make their own factory. Since the capitalists apparently don't contribute anything, they would quickly and immediately drive them out of business.
SalmonGod already answered that.

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Also, out of curiosity (and largely unrelated to the main point, by the way), what exactly makes the factory "owned" by the workers? What happens if squatters come in and live there? After all the squatters "use" the factory too by sleeping and living in it, yet they make it harder for the workers to get anything done.
You answered your own question.

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So they created a single machine, which in turn created more and more machines without them working?
No. They need to ensure what they created doesn't become obsolete, that they aren't run out of business by others with different wage rates, that they see economic trends to know when to shift production, etc etc etc

They also need to be able to save considerable amounts to even be able to accumulate capital in the first place, and that has to hold true throughout the entire inheritance chain. If, at some point, the money goes to someone who isn't going to live at least somewhat frugally and use their money carefully, it will be quickly lost. Similarly, if you invest it in something, you're still taking a risk as to whether you'll actually benefit from it or not.

At certain point this process becomes self-sustaining. With enough capital, you can hire people who will do all the work for you, including managing your investments and caring for your property. You are also able to influence the state to help you - hamper your competition, influence the market to help you earn more, make a favorable deal with you. Everyone who enters the market after you will have it harder to compete with you for that reason, which makes the game even easier for you.

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Whether the person at the end gets a lot of money, however, is generally a null point. It isn't that they deserve it, it's that the person who does deserve it (the initial wealth creator and anyone who added to it) decided that they wanted to give the money to them. Similarly, someone along the line could give all the money to charity, or distribute it amongst the workers, or (after withdrawing everything from banks and so on) toss it into a pit and burn it.
I'm not thrilled to have my life dictated by someone on the basis that his distant ancestor had a successful workshop in 1836.

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He has managers, etc to keep an eye on productivity. That's the whole point of management. Not to mention, if he wasn't capable of weeding out slackers, he would probably go out of business quickly from accumulated inefficiencies.
Nothing I said did state that I want a factory composed only from assembly line workers. It was already said in this thread that cooperative factories are expected to have workers responsible for the coordination of work. Besides, it's much easier to spot a slacker when you are working next to him.
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