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#452 Feb 05 2013 at 3:51 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm saying that the person paying should always be the one to decide if the thing is worth the asking price to him.
Which is completely different from "the person who should decide how much something is worth to him should always be the person who's paying for it," but I guess it's because you're just poorly communicating.


Or assuming I'm speaking to people with above monkey level intelligence. I'm sorry lolgaxe, but I just can't dumb down my speech enough for you apparently.


Edited, Feb 5th 2013 1:53pm by gbaji
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#453 Feb 05 2013 at 4:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oh be a little more confident. I'm sure you'll say many more stupid things before the week ends.
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#454 Feb 06 2013 at 1:54 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Now, if they want to waste 10 million dollars paying an incompetent friend of theirs a massive salary, also ensuring that the company does less well than it would otherwise, then that's their money to waste.


So, in a way, you're saying there's nothing wrong with someone making a completely ridiculous 10 million dollars per year unless that person **** everything up?

gbaji wrote:
Your argument requires that those people all abandon the presumed goal of making money. Which is why it makes no sense at all. I know that liberals love to parrot this, but it's inconsistent. Which is it? Those greedy corporate types just want to maximize profit? Or they want to lose tons of money so that they can engage in a CEO circle jerk?


There is nothing wrong with making money. The entire point of the capitalist system is to make money and maximize profit. However, no one, for any reason whatsoever, needs to be making millions of dollars per year. No one should be making that much money. That's the problem with modern capitalism. It's stopped being a matter of making money and living better, and more a matter of making as much money as possible, even if it's a completely ridiculous amount that no one could possibly ever need. Even within the boundaries of capitalism, there's a such thing as "good enough". I call myself a capitalist, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't be fine making even as little as 50k per year. 50k is more than enough to live quite comfortably unless one thinks living comfortably requires expensive everything. If a company makes tens of billions of dollars per year, they do not need to make cutbacks, they do not need to outsource. If a person makes, say, 200k per year, they do not need to start whining about paying taxes, or acting like they're poor. They're doing magnificently well as is. Why is there this huge problem with giving a little back to the consumer, and the worker, without whom, the company, and it's higher-ups, would be bust?



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#455 Feb 06 2013 at 3:30 PM Rating: Default
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Driftwood wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Now, if they want to waste 10 million dollars paying an incompetent friend of theirs a massive salary, also ensuring that the company does less well than it would otherwise, then that's their money to waste.


So, in a way, you're saying there's nothing wrong with someone making a completely ridiculous 10 million dollars per year unless that person @#%^s everything up?


No. I'm saying that the guys who pay his salary and who stand to lose a boatload more than 10 million dollars if he screwed up should be the ones to decide if his job is worth that much money. And if he does **** up, it's their loss and once again their decision to fire him. There's no absolute right or wrong here. It's about people's choices. Your statement is like arguing whether there's something wrong with someone paying 10,000 on a sound system for their car. Well, if they want to spend that much money on something like that, it's their choice, right? It might not be the decision you'd make, but then it's not your money.

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There is nothing wrong with making money.


You and I have different ideas of what "making money" means. I think you're missing the point of money in fact.

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The entire point of the capitalist system is to make money and maximize profit. However, no one, for any reason whatsoever, needs to be making millions of dollars per year.


No one needs to wear pink fuzzy bunny slippers. But the nature of a free society is that people get to do what they want, not what they need. I'll point out that money really serves no purpose at all if no one's allowed to have more than they "need".

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No one should be making that much money.


Why? Have you ever questioned this assumption? What you're doing is arguing that no one should have more than they need. That's quite the communist view of the world, and frankly it doesn't work well. People having more than they need is what drives economic growth and prosperity for all. If no one was allowed to earn more than they needed and build wealth for themselves, then we would all be living on farms and riding in wagons, and have an average life span about 20 years shorter than we do now. Wealth is the incentive to do things of value for others (so they'll pay for it). Take away the wealth incentive, and there's no reason for anyone to build cars, or factories, or better houses, or televisions, or computers, or any of the modern conveniences we have today.

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That's the problem with modern capitalism. It's stopped being a matter of making money and living better, and more a matter of making as much money as possible, even if it's a completely ridiculous amount that no one could possibly ever need.


And who gets to be the arbiter of need? I think that's the problem with all systems other than capitalism. Capitalism isn't perfect. It's just better than any other system we've tried.

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Even within the boundaries of capitalism, there's a such thing as "good enough". I call myself a capitalist, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't be fine making even as little as 50k per year. 50k is more than enough to live quite comfortably unless one thinks living comfortably requires expensive everything. If a company makes tens of billions of dollars per year, they do not need to make cutbacks, they do not need to outsource. If a person makes, say, 200k per year, they do not need to start whining about paying taxes, or acting like they're poor. They're doing magnificently well as is. Why is there this huge problem with giving a little back to the consumer, and the worker, without whom, the company, and it's higher-ups, would be bust?


Here's the problem with that theory. While having everyone make $50k/year would certainly ensure that everyone had "enough" to live on, what do you think would happen to productivity? The guy doing the job that in a free market would earn him $200k/year has no reason to work that hard or efficiently. If he and the guy next to him will both make the same "living wage" regardless of the value of their efforts to their employer, then both will do the minimum work. I know it's hard to understand but people do work really hard to earn that higher than $50k/year paycheck. They become better at their job. They learn new skills. They make themselves more valuable. Take away the incentive and very few people will put forth that effort.

And this is a problem because it's the total productivity of the workforce which creates the pool of money from which we pay out the salaries in the first place. You're making the mistake of assuming we can change one thing (relative pay) without affecting anything else. You see it as a static dollar amount of compensation which could be more evenly distributed among employees. But it is because of that uneven distribution that the compensation is what it is. Take away that uneven distribution, and you take away the incentive to be more productive. That in turn affects profits, which will shrink the amount of compensation for employees (cause their combined labor is worth less than it was before). This in turn means that everyone loses money.

I know that this is hard to wrap your mind around, but in many cases the reason why the entry level guy can get a job for $25k is because there are guys earning much more than that at the company. Instead of looking at that discrepancy and declaring it unfair to the guy only making $25k, you should be thinking that because of the incentive of higher pay, the company earns enough to have hired that new guy in the first place. And over time, as his skills and value to the company grow, his salary will grow as well. Then, one day, maybe he'll be the guy making a 6 figure salary. That's how the free market works. It's about maximizing opportunity and rewarding success with the understanding that when you do this, you make things better for everyone. When you fail to do this, you make things worse for everyone.
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#456 Feb 06 2013 at 3:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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That argument would hold more water if fired CEOs didn't tend to walk off with ten million dollar golden parachutes.
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#457 Feb 06 2013 at 4:31 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
And who gets to be the arbiter of need?
The CEO's. Hence the vast gulf between what they make and what the actual producing workers make.
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#458 Feb 06 2013 at 4:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Driftwood wrote:
However, no one, for any reason whatsoever, needs to be making millions of dollars per year.


Not true at all.
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#459 Feb 06 2013 at 5:02 PM Rating: Default
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catwho wrote:
That argument would hold more water if fired CEOs didn't tend to walk off with ten million dollar golden parachutes.


So? That was part of the compensation package given to him when the board decided to hire him. Again, it's their money and their choice. What right do you have to demand that they do something else with their money? When hiring a CEO, they are taking a risk. It's an investment, just like any other. The compensation package is greater because the CEO has a vastly greater impact on the bottom line of the company than any other single employee.

Strange that very few people complain about professional players being given similar contracts, with similar amounts of money, and also with similar termination clauses. Why does the star quarterback make millions of dollars a year, while the third string tight end makes much less? One has a greater individual impact on the success of the team than the other. Why does the star actress get paid $10M for a picture, while the grip gets a scale wage? She's got a much greater individual impact on the success of the film than the other. How many times more money do you think Letterman makes per show than the guy operating the camera? This is not a unique concept, but it's interesting how selectively people choose to become upset about it.
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#460gbaji, Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 5:39 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) PS: Median pay for a camera operator (presumably not close to the lowest paid person on a set) in the US is $37k. David Letterman earns $28M. Yet I don't recall a single person *ever* complaining that he earns 750 times as much as his camera operator does (well, or anyone making a pretty normal median salary in the US). So why the selectivity? Why the outrage over CEOs at the largest companies earning 230 times as much as their employees, but not those in the entertainment industry even when the numbers are much more ridiculous in that industry? It's pretty clear that the difference in outrage has nothing to do with actual economic unfairness but rather is purely politically driven.
#461 Feb 06 2013 at 8:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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So? That was part of the compensation package given to him when the board decided to hire him. Again, it's their money and their choice. What right do you have to demand that they do something else with their money? When hiring a CEO, they are taking a risk. It's an investment, just like any other. The compensation package is greater because the CEO has a vastly greater impact on the bottom line of the company than any other single employee.

False. Crazily false.
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#462 Feb 06 2013 at 10:52 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
So? That was part of the compensation package given to him when the board decided to hire him. Again, it's their money and their choice. What right do you have to demand that they do something else with their money? When hiring a CEO, they are taking a risk. It's an investment, just like any other. The compensation package is greater because the CEO has a vastly greater impact on the bottom line of the company than any other single employee.

False. Crazily false.


Which part? Care to elaborate more? I've already questioned your insane theory that boards of directors engage in CEO hiring circle jerks and you never responded, so simply repeating the same apparent claim without addressing my earlier response would seem to be somewhat pointless.
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#463 Feb 06 2013 at 11:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
So? That was part of the compensation package given to him when the board decided to hire him. Again, it's their money and their choice. What right do you have to demand that they do something else with their money? When hiring a CEO, they are taking a risk. It's an investment, just like any other. The compensation package is greater because the CEO has a vastly greater impact on the bottom line of the company than any other single employee.

False. Crazily false.


Which part? Care to elaborate more? I've already questioned your insane theory that boards of directors engage in CEO hiring circle jerks and you never responded, so simply repeating the same apparent claim without addressing my earlier response would seem to be somewhat pointless.


It's not an insane theory. It happens. all the time.

Beyond a certain compensation level you don't get a better CEO. A couple million in total compensation is roughly where that line is for a CEO.
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#464 Feb 07 2013 at 6:19 AM Rating: Default
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Can we talk about abortion now? I don't like being on the "majority" side.. it's no fun. Smiley: frown
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#465 Feb 07 2013 at 6:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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I've already questioned your insane theory that boards of directors engage in CEO hiring circle jerks and you never responded

Did you? I didn't notice. Hard to imagine how since it's a known phenomenon that happens on a near constant basis. In many companies the CEO is also literally a voting member of the board determining his own salary.

Anyway, the myth of the hero CEO is a stupid one and should be obviously false to nearly anyone. You know when good CEOs succeed? When they head companies that provide in demand products and services in a good economy. In many cases, the most successful companies have founders as CEOs. How does that work, exactly? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were just secretly master businessmen who could have succeeded selling snack cakes, but happened to end up in charge of tech companies? Odd that it works that way most everywhere. I guess Larry Page and Larry Elison are also expert at managing people, and their companies success has little to do with incredibly rapid growth of their markets they had little or nothing to do with.

You could replace every CEO of very fortune 500 company with a coin and just flip it for decisions and the financial results would be the same. Well, you'd have a little more income at each company since you probably wouldn't have to pay the coin quite as much.
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#466 Feb 07 2013 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
.....a big part of the labor cost is based on the employee's education. Someone with a PhD has spent far more time and money educating themselves as to be able to perform such non-trivial tasks and the compensation is invariably based more on this fact than on the actual labor performed.

I believe the pay and/or value of the service is actually a consequence of scarcity of the resource.


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#467 Feb 07 2013 at 8:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Someone with a PhD has spent far more time and money educating themselves as to be able to perform such non-trivial tasks and the compensation is invariably based more on this fact than on the actual labor performed.

Right, because academia is where the real money is in this country. Nexa works in higher ed. We're rich, honey! Keep bringing home that sweet sweet University pay check. Better yet finish your PhD so you can be a professor and make $150k at the peak of your career in an ideal case. Or you know, invent a blanket with a hood or something, because we reward the education in the US.
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#468 Feb 07 2013 at 8:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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#469 Feb 07 2013 at 9:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
.....a big part of the labor cost is based on the employee's education. Someone with a PhD has spent far more time and money educating themselves as to be able to perform such non-trivial tasks and the compensation is invariably based more on this fact than on the actual labor performed.

I believe the pay and/or value of the service is actually a consequence of scarcity of the resource.


So much this.

There's such a glut of these highly educated people out there right now, so many incompetent ones too. Couldn't get a job so went back to school to avoid the loans coming due. Now they got a better degree and still can't get a job. Same problem, only more educated. Smiley: rolleyes
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#470 Feb 07 2013 at 3:24 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
Elinda wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
.....a big part of the labor cost is based on the employee's education. Someone with a PhD has spent far more time and money educating themselves as to be able to perform such non-trivial tasks and the compensation is invariably based more on this fact than on the actual labor performed.

I believe the pay and/or value of the service is actually a consequence of scarcity of the resource.


So much this.

There's such a glut of these highly educated people out there right now, so many incompetent ones too. Couldn't get a job so went back to school to avoid the loans coming due. Now they got a better degree and still can't get a job. Same problem, only more educated. Smiley: rolleyes


This is why certain degrees are "valued" more than others. Even though it is possible to give more value to society with a literature degree than a nuclear physics degree, it is not likely. The scarcity, or the necessity, of your training can easily outweigh the amount and difficulty of your training. The correlation, more often than not, is that the more necessary training equals a smaller population to choose from.
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#471 Feb 07 2013 at 3:28 PM Rating: Good
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#472 Feb 07 2013 at 3:36 PM Rating: Default
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Timelordwho wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Which part? Care to elaborate more? I've already questioned your insane theory that boards of directors engage in CEO hiring circle jerks and you never responded, so simply repeating the same apparent claim without addressing my earlier response would seem to be somewhat pointless.


It's not an insane theory. It happens. all the time.


What makes it insane is the idea that there's some kind of secret method of making money by cross hiring incompetent people as CEOs of the companies they board.

Quote:
Beyond a certain compensation level you don't get a better CEO. A couple million in total compensation is roughly where that line is for a CEO.


You're just making up a number though. Why not say $10 million? And at the risk of repeating myself, it's not your money so why do you care?

Smasharoo wrote:
In many companies the CEO is also literally a voting member of the board determining his own salary.


So? That means he's effectively paying himself out of his own pocket. Not seeing why this is a problem.

Quote:
Anyway, the myth of the hero CEO is a stupid one and should be obviously false to nearly anyone.


Excluded middle. There's a huge range between being a "hero" and being a competent CEO. And there's a huge range between being competent and incompetent. And the difference between those latter two is huge in terms of profits and return for investors.

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You know when good CEOs succeed? When they head companies that provide in demand products and services in a good economy.


Yes. Which requires someone to make decisions like "what products should we start designing today because we think it'll be in demand 3 years from now when it hits market?". To suggest that CEO decisions don't affect the bottom line of a company over time is ridiculous. If that was the case, then we wouldn't have successful companies and failed companies. If it was that easy to always make those right decisions, everyone would do it. Clearly, quite a number of people *don't* make those right decisions.

Quote:
In many cases, the most successful companies have founders as CEOs. How does that work, exactly? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were just secretly master businessmen who could have succeeded selling snack cakes, but happened to end up in charge of tech companies?


They made the decision to create those industries though Smash. That's like saying Ford just happened to luck into the car business at the right time. Ford made that the right time for the car business.

Quote:
Odd that it works that way most everywhere. I guess Larry Page and Larry Elison are also expert at managing people, and their companies success has little to do with incredibly rapid growth of their markets they had little or nothing to do with.


That's an unfairly easy thing to say after the fact though. How many people's names do we not know because they thought some other product would be huge and it wasn't? How much influence does the CEO have on that? Some. Certainly, once a company is up and running, the choice of CEO has a massive effect on whether it grows or stagnates.

Quote:
You could replace every CEO of very fortune 500 company with a coin and just flip it for decisions and the financial results would be the same. Well, you'd have a little more income at each company since you probably wouldn't have to pay the coin quite as much.


No. You couldn't. I get that this plays into your "rich people were just lucky" narrative, but it's simply not true.

Edited, Feb 7th 2013 1:37pm by gbaji
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#473 Feb 07 2013 at 3:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Which part? Care to elaborate more? I've already questioned your insane theory that boards of directors engage in CEO hiring circle jerks and you never responded, so simply repeating the same apparent claim without addressing my earlier response would seem to be somewhat pointless.


It's not an insane theory. It happens. all the time.


What makes it insane is the idea that there's some kind of secret method of making money by cross hiring incompetent people as CEOs of the companies they board.


Call it crazy but so much of a CEO these days is appearance, almost like hiring a good politician, or finding the right actor for an advertisement. There a 'job skill' portion sure in a stereotypical sense, but so many times you're acting more as a public figurehead than anything else. Go to meetings, give talks, do public announcements, give your brand of political spin to stockholders. Those things are obviously valuable, having someone with the connections and social talents can't be under-rated. I think most other people don't tend to think of that as "skill" though, for what it's worth or something.

Here at the hospital we have people here who's job is primarily to be friendly with potential big donors. Crazy over-paid? Maybe, but when you bring in $100 million in donations they don't mind paying you 6 figures for your social skills.

For my money as long as the poor have their basic needs met and the middle class can live comfortably I don't really care so much what a CEO or whoever makes. I imagine we could debate endlessly about what are basic needs and who's living comfortably, but for my money we're largely there. So, meh. Let richy-rich have his fun. He's as dead as I am in 60 years. Besides, I don't need lots of money to be happy in life, I has beer. Smiley: boozing

Edited, Feb 7th 2013 1:58pm by someproteinguy
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#474 Feb 07 2013 at 4:23 PM Rating: Good
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Besides, I don't need lots of money to be happy in life, I has beer. Smiley: boozing
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#475 Feb 07 2013 at 4:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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So? That means he's effectively paying himself out of his own pocket. Not seeing why this is a problem.


Requires some level of understanding of how ethics works, so I can see why you'd miss it.

Excluded middle. There's a huge range between being a "hero" and being a competent CEO. And there's a huge range between being competent and incompetent. And the difference between those latter two is huge in terms of profits and return for investors.

Yes, that's true. The problem is anyone with an MBA can be a competent one and there aren't any heroic ones. There are two primary ways to become a CEO, start your own company, and excel at stroking the egos of old white men.

Yes. Which requires someone to make decisions like "what products should we start designing today because we think it'll be in demand 3 years from now when it hits market?".


Is that *really* your idea of what a CEO does? Decide what products to design? Just so I understand, in your mind, Jack Welch sat at his desk and thought "you know what will sell in 1985? an improved hydroelectric turbine and black light bulbs, I'm going to call down to the R&D fellows and get that going right away, @#%^ that sh*t they've had in the pipeline for 15 years"


To suggest that CEO decisions don't affect the bottom line of a company over time is ridiculous. If that was the case, then we wouldn't have successful companies and failed companies. If it was that easy to always make those right decisions, everyone would do it. Clearly, quite a number of people *don't* make those right decisions.


Of course they do. I'm suggesting that how they effect a company is *random*. The same way stock picking is *random*. The same way winning the lottery is *random*. After all, were it easy to win the lottery, everyone would do it. Instead only a select few are capable of it. Clearly those people deserve massive salaries based upon their success.

See the problem with your "logic" yet?

They made the decision to create those industries though Smash. That's like saying Ford just happened to luck into the car business at the right time. Ford made that the right time for the car business.

Ford happened to luck into the car business at the right time. Inarguable. What in the world makes you think that wasn't the case?? Do you know anything at all about the history of Ford?? It's genuinely difficult to think of a WORSE example.

That's an unfairly easy thing to say after the fact though. How many people's names do we not know because they thought some other product would be huge and it wasn't?

Thousands, and that' the point. More to the point, many of there were absolutely right and the product WOULD be huge, they happened to be early to the market. Not because they were bad managers or had an inferior idea, just because of timing. Every "great idea" that "revolutionizes" something is almost certainly decades old. Do you think Ellison was really the only guy that figured out RDBMS was going to a big deal? Do you think Jobs was the only guy who realized that a digital music player would be a good idea?

How much influence does the CEO have on that? Some. Certainly, once a company is up and running, the choice of CEO has a massive effect on whether it grows or stagnates.


No, not some. Virtually none. I know the "come on guys" argument is that "common sense" tells us that CEOs must have SOME positive effect or no one would pay them. There is *absolutely nothing* empirically to indicate this is the case.


No. You couldn't. I get that this plays into your "rich people were just lucky" narrative, but it's simply not true.


It's not "my narrative" It's a conclusion drawn from actual performance of millions of CEOs over centuries. There are some jobs where skill matters a great deal. Surgeon, say, or migrant laborer. There are some where it just doesn't at all. Investment adviser, say, or CEO, or "life coach". Unless you consider the ability to take credit for random events a "skill".

Edited, Feb 7th 2013 5:38pm by Smasharoo

Edited, Feb 7th 2013 5:48pm by Smasharoo
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#476 Feb 07 2013 at 4:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
Besides, I don't need lots of money to be happy in life, I has beer. Smiley: boozing
As Paul McCartney once sang: "Thought of giving it all away to a registered charity. All I need is a pint a day"

The Mrs. would kill me if I did that... Smiley: frown
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#477 Feb 07 2013 at 4:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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What makes it insane is the idea that there's some kind of secret method of making money by cross hiring incompetent people as CEOs of the companies they board.


You really don't understand CEO hiring procedures at all, do you?

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So? That means he's effectively paying himself out of his own pocket. Not seeing why this is a problem.


You really don't understand CEO hiring procedures or compensation structuring at all, do you?

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No. You couldn't. I get that this plays into your "rich people were just lucky" narrative, but it's simply not true.


While I don't agree with smash on the 'swap ceos with a RNG' theory, quite a lot of the decision making is either made easy by in-house analysis, and choosing the 'correct' answer to a tough decision doesn't have a strong, or even weak, correlation with compensation. The CEO's most important job is actually being a figurehead.
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#478 Feb 07 2013 at 4:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
Besides, I don't need lots of money to be happy in life, I has beer. Smiley: boozing
As Paul McCartney once sang: "Thought of giving it all away to a registered charity. All I need is a pint a day"

The Mrs. would kill me if I did that... Smiley: frown
Drinking a pint a day? Just tell her that's good for your health. and maybe she can register as a charity of some sort?
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#479 Feb 07 2013 at 4:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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The CEO's most important job is actually being a figurehead.

Barely even this. The most important job is the anthropomorphizing of a balance sheet. There's no requirement to have social skills. Many "successful" CEOs have been and are known **** who don't present their companies very effectively. Reed Hastings comes to mind. Eisner when he was at Disney. Jamie Dimon. Steve Ballmer. etc.
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#480 Feb 07 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Drinking a pint a day?


Giving my money to charity. I'm apparently supposed to use it to educate and feed children or something. So I offered to give the money to a children's charity as a compromise and she gave me a dirty look.

I haven't brought it up again since.
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#481 Feb 07 2013 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
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I think your wife is a smart lady. Maybe she'll agree if she is the charity you're giving it to Smiley: wink
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#482 Feb 07 2013 at 5:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
The CEO's most important job is actually being a figurehead.

Barely even this. The most important job is the anthropomorphizing of a balance sheet. There's no requirement to have social skills. Many "successful" CEOs have been and are known @#%^s who don't present their companies very effectively. Reed Hastings comes to mind. Eisner when he was at Disney. Jamie Dimon. Steve Ballmer. etc.


Isn't that what figurehead means?
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#483 Feb 07 2013 at 6:13 PM Rating: Default
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So? That means he's effectively paying himself out of his own pocket. Not seeing why this is a problem.

Requires some level of understanding of how ethics works, so I can see why you'd miss it.


I didn't miss anything. There's nothing there. Let's remember that we were talking about a CEO who is already a voting member of the board for the company. So he's in a group of a dozen or so people who make up a controlling interest in the ownership of the company. Let's imagine for a moment that he and each of the other 11 board members personally hold 5% of a company with stock valuation at say $100B, collectively holding 60% and a controlling stake in the company (yes, I'm oversimplifying this, but this example is good enough). Let's say they want one of them to be CEO, so they pick the least capable of the bunch and give him a $10M/year salary.

Um... The guy holds $5B in stock. A random week on the market will cost or gain him more than that yearly salary. It's nothing. It's certainly not something he'd take if he thought "I really suck at this job" because he and the other 11 guys will lose more money if he shows up on TV with his tie crooked than they'll lose each year from paying his salary. There is no financial reason to put a buddy in that position. Ego reasons? Sure. But companies that do that often suffer for it.

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Yes, that's true. The problem is anyone with an MBA can be a competent one and there aren't any heroic ones. There are two primary ways to become a CEO, start your own company, and excel at stroking the egos of old white men.


Key phrase being "can be a competent one". I've met a lot of people with MBAs whom I wouldn't trust to operate a lemonade stand Smash. They hand those degrees out like candy. Executives who can consistently make good choices that benefit their companies are actually quite rare. And CEOs who start their own company absolutely have a huge impact on the success of said company.

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Yes. Which requires someone to make decisions like "what products should we start designing today because we think it'll be in demand 3 years from now when it hits market?".

Is that *really* your idea of what a CEO does? Decide what products to design?


Yes. Among other decisions.

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Just so I understand, in your mind, Jack Welch sat at his desk and thought "you know what will sell in 1985? an improved hydroelectric turbine and black light bulbs, I'm going to call down to the R&D fellows and get that going right away, @#%^ that sh*t they've had in the pipeline for 15 years"


No. Someone at the VP level came to Jack Welch with 12 different executive summaries with recommendations about different R&D projects, and he made the final decision regarding funding and priority for them. And if he didn't do so directly he chose the guy who did. Then years later, if they spent their R&D budget correctly, they were poised to make money in an emerging market. If they chose poorly, they lose money. CEOs make decisions about whether and where and how to expand the business. They make decisions about acquisitions. They make decisions about resource division across the company. Obviously, they have folks under them (usually several layers of folks) who deal with the details, but the big broad decisions will be made by the CEO.

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They made the decision to create those industries though Smash. That's like saying Ford just happened to luck into the car business at the right time. Ford made that the right time for the car business.

Ford happened to luck into the car business at the right time.


No. He made the decision to get into the car business when he did and to operate his company the way he did. That's why a century later, there are cars with his name on them.

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That's an unfairly easy thing to say after the fact though. How many people's names do we not know because they thought some other product would be huge and it wasn't?

Thousands, and that' the point. More to the point, many of there were absolutely right and the product WOULD be huge, they happened to be early to the market.


Yup. Which means they failed, while those who realized the right time for the right product succeeded. By your logic, no decisions anyone makes matters at all because it's just random as to whether they just happened to be the right ones. That's insane.


Quote:
Not because they were bad managers or had an inferior idea, just because of timing. Every "great idea" that "revolutionizes" something is almost certainly decades old. Do you think Ellison was really the only guy that figured out RDBMS was going to a big deal? Do you think Jobs was the only guy who realized that a digital music player would be a good idea?


So what? It wasn't random chance that one succeeds and the other does not.

Quote:

No. You couldn't. I get that this plays into your "rich people were just lucky" narrative, but it's simply not true.


It's not "my narrative"


Yeah. It kinda is. You've been spouting this narrative for as long as you've been posting here. White people were just lucky to pop out of the right vagina, successful people were just lucky to get their jobs, etc. In your world, there's no skill at all involved in success. It's precisely the world view one adopts when they fully embrace Marxist theories. Individual actions can't matter, not because they don't, but because you're advocating eliminating any reward for them and it is more difficult to do so if people believe that their actions do matter in terms of their outcomes. It's the basic fundamental assumption lying at the ultimate core of everything you believe in. It's a cart before the horse approach, but then that's common on your side of the political fence.


CEOs are just an obvious and easy target Smash, but hardly the only ones. After all, never forget that the true enemy of the proletariat is not the rich, but the middle class (or even the concept of a middle class). If people believe that they can succeed by their own actions, then they'll be less likely to join the cause for government imposed equality. People only want enforced equality if they believe they'll never be above average. The trick is convincing a majority of a population that they have no chance of ever achieving that. This is why you use that narrative Smash.

Edited, Feb 7th 2013 4:17pm by gbaji
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#484 Feb 08 2013 at 9:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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So what? It wasn't random chance that one succeeds and the other does not.

Yes, you stupid bastard, that's *precisely* what it is.


Yeah. It kinda is. You've been spouting this narrative for as long as you've been posting here.


I'm sure that's true. The kids call it "reality".
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#485 Feb 08 2013 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah. It kinda is. You've been spouting this narrative for as long as you've been posting here. White people were just lucky to pop out of the right vagina, successful people were just lucky to get their jobs, etc. In your world, there's no skill at all involved in success. It's precisely the world view one adopts when they fully embrace Marxist theories. Individual actions can't matter, not because they don't, but because you're advocating eliminating any reward for them and it is more difficult to do so if people believe that their actions do matter in terms of their outcomes. It's the basic fundamental assumption lying at the ultimate core of everything you believe in. It's a cart before the horse approach, but then that's common on your side of the political fence.


1. I'm not a Marxist.

2. You have exactly zero idea what "Marxist" means.

3. Contrary to the 1950's straw man version you seem to embrace (who knows why), individual achievement is fully embraced and actually required by socialism. Without it, it fails as a viable economic system. What isn't embraced, however, is the backward looking *granting of achievement* based on results. That's idiotic. That's not how any rational system should work. One of the lazier big lies of capitalism is that people get rich because they know more or work harder, etc. They don't.

By and large, they get rich because of luck. Not sure why that's so hard for you to deal with. In the US caste system, which class you're born into correlates with which class you die in at around .9. No other factor comes even vaguely close. Not ideology, little buddy, just math. Again with the math. Maybe you should take a high school statistics class or something?
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#486 Feb 08 2013 at 9:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think Steve Jobs has clouded gbaji's vision of what a CEO actually does. He was the exception, not the norm. For every Steve Jobs, there's a dozen Carly Fiorinas who should have been booted out the door with nothing more than a pink slip taped to their backs.

A CEO's job is not to design products. A CEO's job is to inspire a vision, motivate employees, and make pretty speeches at TED conferences. A CEO who has a failed vision, which is the majority of them, is just an interchangeable cog in today's modern business world. Every once in a while, a CEO gets the opportunity to make a life and death decision for the company, but the decision is largely made by committee, with the CEO giving the final thumbs or or thumbs down based on their recommendations. That CEO takes all the credit when things go well, and then gets fired when things go bad. Then they're usually scooped up by some other company, who knows why, when in reality a freshly graduated MBA has the same skill set and could probably do just as well at the actual day to day decisions.
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#487 Feb 08 2013 at 9:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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By and large, they get rich because of luck. Not sure why that's so hard for you to deal with.

Points for tact, I suppose.
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#488 Feb 08 2013 at 9:36 AM Rating: Excellent
Ya know Gbaji, I think that athletes, entertainers, and CEOs are all vastly overpaid. However, my issue with CEOs in particular, is that so many of them are making their big bucks by shafting the people that work for them. Too many people in the service industry cannot live on what they make. Too many people are forced to work hours of unpaid overtime lest they lose their jobs. Benefits are shrinking or being lost altogether.

That's my problem with today's corporate America. They have lost their souls, and they really need to find them.
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#489 Feb 08 2013 at 9:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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A CEO's job is not to design products.

Including Steve Jobs. It's to file for patents for Johnny Ive's work. THAT'S a CEO's job.
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#490 Feb 08 2013 at 10:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
I think Steve Jobs has clouded gbaji's vision of what a CEO actually does. He was the exception, not the norm. For every Steve Jobs, there's a dozen Carly Fiorinas who should have been booted out the door with nothing more than a pink slip taped to their backs.


I still wonder about Steve Jobs. The man was obviously talented, but he's taken on this weird almost demigod status over the last few years I'm not sure I completely understand.

Technogeek wrote:
That's my problem with today's corporate America. They have lost their souls, and they really need to find them.


Very much doubt corporate America ever had a soul.

Besides we're supposed to abuse our employees and pass the savings on to our customers so it will enrich our stock holders. Who ironically are mostly our middle-class neighbors. We'll complain about our ridiculous working conditions with them while wondering if our retirement package is going to grow fast enough to get us out of the workforce on time.

Things are connected people! Smiley: motz

Or something... Smiley: um

Edited, Feb 8th 2013 8:43am by someproteinguy
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#491 Feb 08 2013 at 10:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Who ironically are mostly our middle-class neighbors.

Haha, no. How quaint that you think so.
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#492 Feb 08 2013 at 10:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Who ironically are mostly our middle-class neighbors.

Haha, no. How quaint that you think so.


Smiley: dubious

Was pretty sure if you include retirement investments the vast majority of people who owned stock would be considered middle class.

Edit: Linky

Just because it was the first thing I came across, now down to 54% of Americans from 65% at the start of recession. That's still a lot of us.

Edited, Feb 8th 2013 8:16am by someproteinguy
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#493 Feb 08 2013 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, the problem is that without Steve Jobs, Apple doesn't really have that visionary any more. They're floundering. What do they do now, but continue to release incremental upgrades to their phones?

That's not to say Jobs was perfect - the Cube was his idea and it flopped. But he kept a tight reign on product development and heads rolled when he wasn't happy, and he minimized mistakes for the most part (the antenna debacle notwithstanding.) More importantly, he knew how to hype up products like nobody else, to the point where the Apple fanboys drooled at the mere mention of a new thing.

Then what's the first thing that happens after he's gone? Apple Maps. Smiley: oyvey
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#494 Feb 08 2013 at 11:13 AM Rating: Good
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CEOs are just an obvious and easy target Smash


That's all they are? That doesn't sound like something worth millions.

I'll call King post-haste and tell him he's got the boot. Maybe throw in some kind of monopoly joke, you know, play it businesslike.
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#495 Feb 08 2013 at 1:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Just because it was the first thing I came across, now down to 54% of Americans from 65% at the start of recession. That's still a lot of us.


Hi. You said something you thought was right and it turned out to be wrong. It happens. Not a big deal. Happens to me all the time. Don't be someone who has to defend his wrong position through wilder and wilder justifications and backpedaling. We have that guy, already. One is plenty.

Seriously. Don't be that guy. The "middle class" even including pension funds and retirement etc owns a miniscule fraction of publicly held companies in the US. Unless you define "middle class" as including people with 8 figure net worth.
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#496 Feb 08 2013 at 1:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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The "middle class" even including pension funds and retirement etc owns a miniscule fraction of publicly held companies in the US.


Well yeah, but that's a different thing than the number of people who own stocks, isn't it?
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#497 Feb 08 2013 at 5:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well yeah, but that's a different thing than the number of people who own stocks, isn't it?


Sure, but your original post is obviously not referring to that:

quote]Besides we're supposed to abuse our employees and pass the savings on to our customers so it will enrich our stock holders. Who ironically are mostly our middle-class neighbors. We'll complain about our ridiculous working conditions with them while wondering if our retirement package is going to grow fast enough to get us out of the workforce on time.

Things are connected people![/quote]

What's relevant to this? Who controls and benefits from the decisions to cut worker pay etc and thus who has control of the company. If a hundred guys have 100 shares each and one has a million, most shareholders in the company might be middle-class - but the one who counts isn't.

Let me be clear. This is the most charitable reading possible of your post as well as the one which makes most sense. If you did not intend to claim that most shareholders are middle-class then you are not simpy mistaken as to a fact, as we all are from time to time, but you're basing your rant on a completely irrelevant statistic. That is to say, you can't reason for **** This is the reason why this kind of **** is so ridiculous when gbaji pulls it; even if it were believable, it only makes him look worse.
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#498gbaji, Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 6:11 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) And this is improved in socialism? Lot of folks rising from poverty to riches in say France, or Belgium? In the US you have much greater odds of changing your station in life for the better than in most other countries. Socialism does not promise riches or even the chance at riches. It removes the chance of becoming rich in return for making poverty more bearable. It's a pretty horrific idea if you stop and think about it.
#499 Feb 08 2013 at 6:26 PM Rating: Default
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However, my issue with CEOs in particular, is that so many of them are making their big bucks by shafting the people that work for them.


How many are "so many"? Perception isn't reality. The overwhelming majority of CEOs make their money while employing thousands of people and providing them better benefits and pay than they would likely get anywhere else in an environment where their skills and marketability will increase over time. The problem with CEOs is that they are the target of many on the left who will single out the rare exception and make it seem like the rule.

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Too many people in the service industry cannot live on what they make. Too many people are forced to work hours of unpaid overtime lest they lose their jobs. Benefits are shrinking or being lost altogether.


Just checked the list of the 25 highest paid CEOs in the US. Not one of them runs a service industry company. I think I counted one that ran an auto parts company, and one who ran a raw materials (copper, gold, lead, etc) company, so I suppose that's "close". I imagine you're talking about like McDonalds, or Macy's or something though, right? Not on the list.

Again, I suspect the problem is that most people have an incredibly skewed view of what corporations really do and how they really work. You see the small handful that the media puts in front of you and constantly tells you are terrible for this, that, and the other thing, while ignoring the overwhelmingly positive work experiences of millions of Americans who work for various corporations, most of which you've never heard of and don't even enter your radar screen in terms of your view of corporate America. It's not remotely like what you think.

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That's my problem with today's corporate America. They have lost their souls, and they really need to find them.


I'm sure that thousands of hours of media talking heads telling you this is what's informing your assumption though. Again, perception and reality are not the same thing.
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#500 Feb 08 2013 at 11:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well yeah, but that's a different thing than the number of people who own stocks, isn't it?


Sure, but your original post is obviously not referring to that


Well apologies then, I made my point poorly as people seem to be reading things there that weren't my intention.

It was just one of those things I found ironic in my own life. For example I would be irked at a company for mistreating their workers to cut costs, then would later on find myself wanting to squeeze the most I could out of my retirement money. Noticing among other things that the socially conscious investment option wasn't performing as well as the generic one and such.

Then you realize a lot of people are in that same boat. Many of us are choosing to have stocks as part of our retirement portfolio, and while we may not be the majority stockholder who's forcing some of the questionable practices to occur we're still benefiting from those actions nonetheless.

Or maybe I should just stick with bonds... Smiley: rolleyes

Edited, Feb 8th 2013 9:13pm by someproteinguy
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#501 Feb 09 2013 at 1:38 AM Rating: Good
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Corporate America is just the return of Fascism. Capitalism by nature spawns fascism. Free markets controlled by the select few, with the influence to buy the people they need to buy. Hitler was a patsy,,,not diminishing the atrocities he committed with the power bought for him. **** Germany was a marriage of the corporations and the state.

The same is occurring across the free market world. Slowly but surely entire markets are consumed by few organizations of people. Fascism fled Germany and found a new home in America, and used its influence to spread it throughout the world. The media spins what the small groups dictate. They use buzz words like Socialism,Communism, and apparently Rush uses Marxism (cite: Gbaji). While the argument it is socialist is some what valid. They natural enemy of Socialism (equality) is Fascism (control) it makes perfect sense that the media is staunch supporters of anti socialist propaganda.

The same tactics were used by German media leading to the rise of the **** party, and the eventual destruction of the communist party in Germany. Ironically enough the wealthiest of Germans, Americans, and British, chose a social workers party, the very kind they sought to destroy. Some believe the **** party was set up to fail because it could later be said Socialist Politics cause this, Go propaganda.

The fact that the worker is under represented in the west is disturbing. Money is constantly being moved up the pyramid to the top. Less and less hands control the wealth of our entire societies. Some folks think this is fair, these people worked for it! So can you. When in reality the super rich, the guys who can afford to pull all the punches. The descendants of the perpetrators of the 1929 Stock Crash, the financial backers of WW2 to all major parties, the very people who walked away with billions of untraced public funds in 2008/9. Now the public not only bailed them out, but also has to repay them the money because many of these super rich families are share holders of the Federal Reserve. America owes money to the very people who the money was given.

Consolidation of wealth. While the worker scrapes by.

Edited, Feb 9th 2013 2:41am by rdmcandie
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