When Is Class Warfare Just Plain Common Sense?

capitalism
Philosopher Ayn Rand

CNBC POSTED A POLL on their "Squawk On The Street" module questioning whether one felt better about job security after hearing the President's SOTU speech last night. Here's one comment that struck a chord with me from a commenter called Youknowme:

I don't feel better about job security, but I do have more hope than I did a month ago. At least he's beginning the long road of reform that we need in compensation (because CEOs simply don't deserve 300 times more than they made 20-30 years ago). What are they, supermen? Last time I checked they need their middle managers and working class to run operations. Their so called "leadership" is incredibly inflated. I understand that having a competent CEO is important to the company's success but that doesn't mean that the CEOs now are 300 times better and smarter than the ones 20-30 years ago.

However, gimme a widdle time here..im finkin...im finkin..and it's urting my widdle bwain...

A valid point, one I have been making for nearly two decades now. As much as I admire our "objectivist" philosopher for her vigorous stand against the pernicious methods and goals of the Communists, Ayn Rand just doesn't account for the perils of excessive greed or pure evil and the snarling matrices of aggressive fascism possible in her worldview, and of course this is due to the same flaw as other grand illusions, the flaw generally known as human nature. Man is simply not always as moral as our idealists would prefer. A quick glance at their own flawed lives should be enough to put the question of perfect morality to rest.

We all know by now it was the banks with grins and government nudging who created this financial mess, yet the individual players are paying few if any reciprocating personal penalties for these mistakes. This disconnect from the cause and effect realities dominating our own lives tends to exacerbate the irrelevancy most of us are feeling with regards to this administration.

The economy is frozen tundra, so it appears that the American people have yet begun to fight.

Addendum

John Malichky is a commenter over at Think Progress, and outnumber by piss ants, he nevertheless stands tall to make a few great points about about mostly great system, and other points which draw claw from a few buffoons, including myself. He starts out with smarts. "I bet you have never owned a business. Go out and try to run a business making 18 cents on a sandwich and see if you can afford to bump up your expenses. Burger King owners almost revolted last year because the corporate office was setting the prices too low and they were LOSING MONEY on each burger they were selling (even while having entirely minimum wage workers). We both know that the only reason people eat fast food is because it is cheap. Raise the cost of labor will raise the cost of the food and then no one will eat there when it isn't cheap anymore. McDonalds and Burger King are not run by CEOs. The CEO just sells products to the individually run stores. Minimum wage doesn't affect them at all except all the owners that they sell to (who generally only make $80K or $100K per store if they are lucky) will be out of business. Also, I don't watch Fox or any other news, but I do have an economics degree. I consider myself a Libertarian.

"James Reid, you should take a minute to google something at lease before you make a fool of yourself (again). Any quick google search will show you that the vast majority of fast food franchises are privately owned (thus no CEO like you so ignorantly suggested and no LOL billions in profits). I don't think there is even a fast food place in the world that makes $700,000 a year. Most make far far less. Here are all the hoops you have to jump through just to own a store that will probably earn you $100,000 a year if you are lucky.

"Then you have to learn or consider another term called OPPORTUNITY COST. If you are a baseball player with $5 million in the bank, do you put $1 million of that aside for a McDonald's franchise that used to earn $70k - $120k a year with the old minimum wages (will be much less with higher minimum wage) or do you take that $1 million and invest it in land, stocks, bonds, or a high end restaurant? Only a moron would think that the people who own these individual fast food places make millions. The McDonalds CEO doesn't pay minimum wage workers, he just collects franchise fees from the individual owners when they start and then he sells them all the buns, burgers, and fries. Raising the minimum wage will undoubtedly hurt him also in that far fewer people will want to own a franchise, thus hurting his sales of buns, burgers, and franchise fees. But you have the whole situation messed up in your mind. I'm glad I was able to set you straight on how businesses are actually run.

"CEOs of large companies generally get paid about $0.000001 per unit sold or less (i.e. NOTHING in compared to the billion dollar decisions they make). Doubling wages from $7 to $15 an hour would cost some large companies BILLIONS of dollars. Most CEOs make about $5-$10 million and work as slaves for 20-30 years and 12 hours a day making $80k a year to get to that level. If CEOs of large companies didn't take any pay and gave all that money to their employees in the form of higher wages, there wouldn't be a single company that would see workers make even $0.25 more per hour. Your sense of scale and costs is all screwed up.

"Ana Eugenia Martinez, CEOs don't own McDonalds franchises. Raising the minimum wage doesn't affect their pay at all. The franchise owners do not make millions. I've seen their tax returns. Many barely make a profit at all. The increased costs would have to be passed along to the consumer in terms of higher costs. Would you pay $4 for a Big Mac?

"They also appear on business/stock market investment shows, but the liberal media doesn't want to talk about that. They try to discredit what they are saying because they know liberals hate anything that has to do with Fox News. James Reid, the problem is that people like you confuse profit with greed. If a company doesn't make profit, it no longer exists. So profit is good. It means that people have jobs. Greed is just doing what is in your own best interest. That is what capitalism and democracy is all about. Otherwise, you have morons making decisions for you like the government telling 50 year-old women who have never smoked or touched a drug that they need to have pregnancy coverage and drug rehab coverage.

"How about all the minimum wage people actually pay attention in school, get good grades, get good grades in college instead of partying, and then pay another $50k for graduate business school, and then start off life $100,000 - $150,000 in debt. Only to get hired as a mid-level manager who works 60 hour weeks for 10-20 years as a slave (without overtime). Probably gets divorced because his wife never sees him. Probably has health problems from not eating right or exercising at all. All for only a 5% chance of becoming a CEO of a company by age 45 or 50. If you don't like making minimum wage, then go through the steps that the CEOs have. I chose not to have all that stress in my life, but this is America. Everyone has the same options. Just don't complain when you choose the path of partying, dropping out of school, or goofing around at work and never getting a promotion. I don't feel sorry for you. If you have mental problems and are unable to do any work besides flip burgers, then you probably need to cut costs by living at home.

"Corporate profits are not at an all time high. Corporations are BIGGER than ever before though. Profit margins are the lowest they have ever been. Competition across the globe has never been tighter. So would you rather see 300 companies with $1 billion in profit on $30 trillion is sales or 1 company with $300 billion in profit on $30 trillion in sales? THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME. But the media will report that $300 billion is record profit and someone who doesn't understand business will believe it.

"The real problem is that the US unskilled workers are competing for the first time in history with unskilled workers across the world. Wages are rising in China, India, and Mexico while decreasing here until they reach an equilibrium point. Anyone who thinks American unskilled workers are somehow special and worthy of more money than an unskilled worker in China who is trying to feed his family on $2/hr is selfish and ignorant.

"The stock market has only doubled because the Fed has pumped trillions into the economy to keep it from collapsing. As soon as the Fed pulls that money back out (and they will), the smoke and mirrors are going to cause the stock bubble to burst. But there is no easy answer. We aren't producing stuff anymore because it is much cheaper to produce it elsewhere. People without a specialization are going to continue to see their wages drop. Obama, Bush, a Democrat, a Republican, or a Libertarian can't change that. The power of supply and demand can't be redirected for long. It is too powerful.

"Yep, and it causes unemployment every time. And higher costs for you and me. Think of how many more middle manager positions would become available if we had new factories open in Detroit with Chinese workers being paid $3 an hour? We don't want those jobs though. Americans are too good to work for $3 an hour. Lots of other people around the world would kill for a chance to have work of any kind. We turn away work opportunities and would rather sit at home and let the working people pay for our food, cable, and smart phone.

"I assume you are talking about the greedy people who collect unemployment/welfare/fake disability rather than work for minimum wage? I worked for $4.25 an hour growing up. Milk was $3 back then. New cars were still $20,000. 2 litres of soda was still $1.29. Home prices in rural areas were still $50,000. How was I able to save up to buy a good used car for $4,000? Sickness is not having any marketable skill and assuming that you deserve a certain amount because of the amount you spend, not the amount of value that you bring. Sickness is people who didn't study in school criticizing people who worked their butts off for 20+ years and passed up countless opportunities to study in college and post college grad school at huge expense to themselves. Sickness is thinking that someone who makes billion dollar decisions every month doesn't deserve 1/10,000 of the money he/she saves or could save a company."

Robert Johnson pitches in, “If they did this minimum wage thing I’m telling you there’d be another 15 to 20 percent [of small businesses] that are going to go away. If people actually knew the crap they were eating at McD's, there would be another 50-75% drop in McD's business, regardless of minimum wage levels."

"Why aren't all the employees working at In-N-Out instead of McDonalds then? I live in CA and I always see help wanted signs at In-N-Out. If McDonalds raises their prices to In-N-Out levels, no one would eat at McDonalds. The people who say that raises wages won't cost jobs never answer me as to then why we don't make everyone's wages $200,000 a year. Why stop at $15/hr? Any economist understands that increased cost of labor equals decreased supply of demand for labor at that price. The question isn't "are jobs going to be lost?" the question is "HOW MANY jobs are going to be lost?""

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