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Many of our politicians along with the rest of the 1% have led us in a fundamentally dishonest understanding of the nature of work. They have come to define work as simply holding a job for which we are paid wages or as managing or owning a business, a useless and meaningless definition. They regard those who run businesses as “makers” and job creators, those without jobs as “takers” and job destroyers. But that attitude is at best uninformed and at worst deliberately disingenuous. A more honest and appropriate definition of work is to make a product or provide a service that is useful to society in general. Understanding and accepting this very practical and sensible definition could ultimately lead to serious revision of the ways in which we regard and compensate workers.

    Clearly, according to this definition, both minimum wage workers and mothers on public assistance work. Anyone who thinks a “welfare” mother does not work should be condemned to spend 24 hours a day for a year with sole responsibility for two toddlers. I’d love to see the typical corporate executive try that. What could have more value to our community than loving, attentive child-rearing? Yet we fail to compensate mothers at rates even close to their value, essentially devaluing their service. Low wage workers, mothers, even mothers on public assistance spend all of the little they get, thereby increasing demand and creating jobs. They are the “makers” and the real job creators in our economy. Yet we have the cruelest, most parsimonious family support systems in the developed world. We continually cut the little mothers have to raise their children, refuse to subsidize day care that might enable them to earn income from a job, and are often even reluctant to provide adequate medical care for their children.

    Most corporate executives, hedge fund managers, and other financiers do not work. Instead, they are essentially required by law to pursue profit above all else. Those profits, in turn, often come at the expense of competitors, governments, workers, the environment, and the community as corporations hire armies of accountants and lawyers to seek maximum advantage, to decrease labor costs, to reduce taxes, and to buy up or bankrupt competitors. Their jobs, pursuing profit at any cost, amount to a negation of work. In addition, financiers create debt out of nothing, drawing more and more of our economy into debt service. Little if any of their profits is spent in the “real” economy; rather most of it is “invested” to buy up stock, buy up other companies, and generally enrich themselves to pad their tax-protected bank accounts. Corporate executives and financiers are the job destroyers, the parasites, the “takers.” Classical economics regards such people as rent seekers or rentiers, as a drag on the economy because they receive income without providing value. Yet we allow them to be compensated far beyond their value, even taxing their unearned incomes at lower rates than the earned income of less well-to-do workers.

    If we come to understand this simple, honest definition of work as having value to society as a whole, then we can begin to change policies to reward people according to their actual contributions to the community. We would tax unearned income at a higher rate than earned income; we would make it illegal to move income to offshore tax havens; we would increase family support in the form of sick leave, family leave, nutritional, medical, and housing subsidies. We would raise the minimum wage not to a mere $10.10 per hour but to a living wage of $20 per hour. We would institute a transaction tax on Wall Street trading. And we would raise top marginal income tax rates to 80% on incomes over $1 million. After all, during the longest economic boom in American history—the mid-forties through the mid-seventies, top marginal income tax rates ranged as high as 90%--and businesses as well as the public as a whole thrived.

Originally posted to Bill Day on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bill - It is illegal to move money earned in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kathy Scheidel, thestructureguy

    US to offshore tax havens, unless you notify the IRS and pay taxes on the income it generates. You might want to edit your diary.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:13:28 AM PST

    •  It's only illegal if you enforce the law (14+ / 0-)

      That whole "enforcement" thing is the real problem.

      Thank goodness Holder's DOJ is working on that.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:40:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some very reasonable ideas: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shifty18

        "We would tax unearned income at a higher rate than earned income..."

        Some crazy ideas: Pay mothers more to raise their children.

        Once again, a liberal idea completely misses the boat.

        If I hold off to have kids until I can afford them, why should I pay someone else my hard earned money to raise their own kids?

        Classic liberal response: Because it's cheaper to pay for their upbringing then to pay for their jail time later.

        Pfffttt. Institutionalized Cuckoo Parasitism.

        •  ? (7+ / 0-)

          None of that makes sense. Care to try again?

          Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:54:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  .... (6+ / 0-)

          I have always felt like taxing "earned" income at a higher rate than "unearned" income was fundamentally wrong; akin to "stealing" or "getting something for nothing" (which we're told all the time is wrong, wrong, wrong!).

          In fact, when the phrase "moral hazzard" started being tossed around, this was what I thought they meant by it at first!  Silly Goose... I was quickly disavowed of that heretical idea.

        •  Is care-giving "work"? (8+ / 0-)

          Well I can answer some of this as I write about it all the time.

          Yes raising children IS"work" as we are investing in the future for ourselves. We tend to think of "work" only relating to now when in fact this is not the only "work" there is. Those kids will take care of us when we can no longer care for ourselves. They will fight in our wars, run our infrastructures, and pay our Social Security and Medicare.  

          But there are other forms of care-giving as well that is "work".  The AARP estimates that women lose over $400,000 in a work lifetime because of care-giving as it also involves care for our elders and our spouses too: Social Security calls these years of unpaid labor as "zero years" meaning that this 24/7 time of care-giving with no sick leave, no vacation, no benefits "does nothing" and therefore is not worthy of an old age pension or of support while the work is being performed.  Indeed most of the time while this unpaid work is being performed, the worker is forced to live off the income of her loved one and has no income of her own.

          It gets worse about this unpaid labor that officials refuse to recognize. The AARP also estimates that, if we were to build and maintain institutions to replace this unpaid labor, it would cost taxpayers over $450 BILLION dollars a year! In other words it would cost almost 1/2 $Trillion for the subsidy for businesses to pay women to go out there and say, "do you want fries with that?"

          You can read the wonkly AARP report here: http://www.aarp.org/....

          Right now, transitional housing is full of these women who spent their lives giving this unpaid labor. Their charges have either grown up or died after having used up all the resources and there was nothing for the ones who cared for them. These women are too young to receive any Social Security even if it would be paid to them, and too old to find employment with a livable wage since they "did not work" for all those years. This is because we do not know how to define real "work", indeed this work ihas been legally defined as"doing nothing" by Welfare Reform that says the only work is paid work.

          I could go into even more detail and have in other diaries but suffice it to say the definition of what is and is not "work" has been stolen by corporate interests thanks to the Heritage Foundation who wrote Welfare Refrom and even some rather clueless Progressives who seem to think that the only contributiton to their communities is paid work.

          My 2 cents,

          Cat in Seattle

          First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

          by mntleo2 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:23:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Credit care givers (0+ / 0-)

            Use the same rational used for the military at least in the 60s and before. Military personnel were given credit for Social Security as if they had earned the equivalent amount. $100 per day twice a month only went so far, and was too low a threshold for social Security deductions.

            I may be off, but that is how I read my social Security income statements for those years.

            •  Interesting take ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch

              So are you suggesting that Social Security estimate a payment that would somehow take into account the estimated cost of that care that the care giver is giving? Labor studies have done some of that work and estimate the unpaid work that stay-at-home (mostly) women perform is estimated at around $137,000 per year if paid market rates. These duties included everything from complicated nursing care, to housing maintenance, to chauffeuring, to childcare, to cooking, to laundry care, to minor repairs, etc. and remember the care giver is "on duty" virtually 24/7 so this pay should extend for all 24 hours as even sleep time is expected to be "on duty". So at least $108,000 of that estimate could conceivably be attributed to retirement pay?

              I know it is just a dream but still, wouldn't this be amazing?

              Cat in Seattle

              First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

              by mntleo2 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:54:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  You're missing a major point - perhaps (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw, Kevskos, Calamity Jean

          deliberately? If mothers are paid for their work in child raising, then the odds that you would have to wait to have kids go down markedly - your wife (I'm assuming from your image that you're male) would be paid for her work in raising your children.

          In your haste to trash a liberal idea, you completely ignore how it might make a difference to you.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:17:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tax rates before the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, 2dot

    have no relation to tax rates after TRA86. The IRS code that applied to pre-TRA86 income has no similarity to the one that now exists. The rates are apples and oranges and it is not valid to compare them side by side. It's a false comparison when applied to the current IRS code.

    Prior to 1986 there were legal, economically sound, tax shelters available to individual investors so the actual taxes paid by the top 1% were about half the stated maximums. TRA86 eliminated nearly all those shelters so for people with earned income the effective rates are much closer to the top marginal rates, unlike the pre1986 rates. A tax rate of 80% today would have an effective rate of nearly double what it had pre-TRA86 and would be by far the highest effective tax rate ever. It's fine to be an advocate for significantly higher tax rates on high income earners, that's a legitimate public policy goal. Just be honest that an 80% top tax rate now has no relationship to 80% in the 50s or 60s.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:24:50 AM PST

  •  Was just watching "The Men Who Built America" (25+ / 0-)

    Probably one of the strangest, most delusional entertainment documentaries in some time.

    At the end of one episode, as the narrator lamented the era of trust busting and the end of monopolies, he waxed poetic about the glorious leaders like Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Rockefeller who built the US and made it powerful.

    Really?  They did that all by themselves?  No, they didn't.  The railroads, factories, steel mills, etc. were built by men, women and children who worked for starvation wages in unsafe environments with seven day workweeks and 12 hour days.

    It always amazes me how the wealthy ignore the real value of human labor.  They want to pretend the brilliance of corporate tycoons is all that's necessary for nations to succeed.  Human nature is a constant in history. For centuries, people have exploited human labor assets to gain power.  In the long run, it always ruins nations and civilizations.

    It's amazing how political leaders keep forgetting those lessons by falling for the false promises of each new generation of corporate predators.  

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:07:22 AM PST

  •  ...so close... (0+ / 0-)
    A more honest and appropriate definition of work is to make a product or provide a service that is useful to society in general.
    Excellent!  We're not going to immediately fall for the misconception that effort = work.
    Anyone who thinks a “welfare” mother does not work should be condemned to spend 24 hours a day for a year with sole responsibility for two toddlers.
    ...and it's gone.
  •  Wait, I stopped too soon. (0+ / 0-)

    It gets worse:

    What could have more value to our community than loving, attentive child-rearing? Yet we fail to compensate mothers at rates even close to their value, essentially devaluing their service. Low wage workers, mothers, even mothers on public assistance spend all of the little they get, thereby increasing demand and creating jobs. They are the “makers” and the real job creators in our economy.
    If you raise a child who ends up welfare or in jail (where the state pays to keep you) you are actually doing negative work (i.e. actively consuming goods and services without contributing anything.)

    Raising a child only produces goods and services in that presumably the child eventually produces good and services (as a net positive of what they consume.)

    Low wage workers, mothers, even mothers on public assistance spend all of the little they get, thereby increasing demand and creating jobs.
    "Why destruction, and the money spent to recover from destruction, is actually not a net-benefit to society."
  •  I'd make the top marginal rate be 100%, not 80%, (5+ / 0-)

    on incomes over, say, $1million per year.

    That way, people who currently make (note: "make", not "earn") more than that would have an incentive to work part time, freeing up jobs for others.

    There should be a limit on how much profit from your employees' work you should be able to expropriate for yourself.

    Plus, if democracy is to have any hope of surviving, we need to cap the amount of power that any one person is allowed to have. This requires capping their wealth.

    •  rbaillie - there could be many unintended (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, thestructureguy

      consequences to your suggestions.

      If I am an entrepreneur, and an owner, with a successful business if my income is limited I would have no incentive to ever be more than a small business and employ more people? If I already had a larger business wouldn't I contract it to the point where I was making the maximum allowed and terminate all the other employees?  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:03:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not going there...at all. BUT (9+ / 0-)

        we have the documentation (and over 50 years of business practice) to prove that taxing corporations and taxing them heavily leads to greater investment. NOT taxing corporations leads to them sitting on tons of cash: good for investors, a disaster for the economy.

        As we have seen since 2008.

        There are two reasons why the U.S. economy did very well from F.D.R. until the 1970s: heavy regulation on banking, and high taxes on high "earners" and big corporations.

        There are two reasons why the U.S. economy is "soft" right now: low taxes and low regulations.

        QED.

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:15:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please provide links to your documentation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy, VClib

          that higher corporate taxes leads to greater investment.

          Also who are those high growth countries that have higher business taxes than we have today in the US?  

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:29:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ohhhhkay? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy, VClib

          Post-World War 2 we had no foreign competition and our industry sold to all of post-War Western Europe and much of Asia.

          The increase of foreign competition shrunk our market share. That was inevitably going to shrink our economy.

          The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

          by Common Cents on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:16:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy, VClib

          The fact that we had no real competition from any other countries as they rebuilt from WWII had nothing to do with anything.

          Or the GI bill

        •  Youffraita - I have never seen data that proves (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, Shifty18

          higher tax rates lead to more investment. I do know that every capital budgeting software tool, used by the Fortune 1000 to allocate their capital, has taxation as a variable. The higher the total tax rate for a project the lower it scores because the after tax cash flows are reduced. Businesses much prefer investing in cities, counties, states and countries that have lower total taxes. It's a rational economic decision.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:52:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, Calamity Jean

            If taxes are high, it's a rational decision to invest in the business (to buy new equipment, for example).

            To keep it simple, let's say the federal tax rate on corporations is 75% (so moving to another state isn't an option, but moving to another country might be, but we'll ignore that option). And let's say your company makes a profit of a million dollars (which is a simple number). So your company would pay tax of $750,000 and keep $250,000. OK, but if you buy new computers or new trucks or new factory machines (or whatever), you can amortize the expenses and subtract that because it's an expense. Instead of sending the money directly to Uncle Sam, you end up paying less in taxes, but you gain from getting new computers and trucks and other stuff.

            So investing in infrastructure (for your company) means your company pays less in taxes.

            QED.

            "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

            by Dbug on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:57:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Likely to see those most capable at building (0+ / 0-)

      businesses (that employ people) from other countries, would no longer emigrate to the US and many from the US would go to other countries.

      It is easier for high income and those capable of building businesses to leave the US for economic reasons than it is for poor people from Mexico to emigrate for economic reasons.

      The result of course would be lower incomes for the middle class and working poor in the US.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:12:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are plenty of people here capable of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, Anika, Tonedevil, ozsea1

        building businesses.  All the easier when those who do not want to return a portion to the society that made their business possible, up and leave.  Less competition, and less predatory competition.

        "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

        by Bisbonian on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:30:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You assume that people don't change their (0+ / 0-)

          behavior, or how businesses are structured in response to your proposed change.  

          Where have policies as you proposed worked outside of times of world war?

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:40:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You can, of course (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, thestructureguy, ozsea1

        provide us with many examples of such tax incited emigration, yes?

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:43:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, when the "reasons" are emotion-based (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          and pulled out of the behind, yes.

          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

          by ozsea1 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:07:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Many examples of people emigrating from taxes (0+ / 0-)

          Over the years, citizens of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France who are business owners, sports and entertainers go elsewhere in Europe due to taxes (esp.  places such as Monaco and Switzerland ) and the US.  During the time that Sweden had higher tax rates than today, the general population expected their wealthy celebrities to call some other country home for tax reasons.

          When people relocate for tax purposes they generally don't make the news.  One that made the mainstream news was one of the co-founders of Facebook who moved to Singapore.  Another that made the news was Motown singer Tina Turner, who renounced her US citizenship and is now Swiss.

          Plus the less dramatic flow of people changing states, esp those making great wealth in California and New York and then moving out of state before they sell significant portions of their shares.

          US companies have also been changing their corporate headquarters to outside the US as well to reduce their global taxation.  In addition, when a US company merges with a non-US company, the merged company is frequently the non-US company.  Just in the beer business, classic US companies Coors, Miller and Budweiser (Anheiser Bush) are all now based outside the US.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:20:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  From Forbes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, ozsea1

            a clear commie source on Tina Turner:

            "There’s little to suggest taxes motivate the decision, and Swiss rates are high. Yet filing tax returns in multiple nations and claiming foreign tax credits is an imperfect process that often results in tax mismatches."

            Depardeau got a special rate from Putin, 13%.

            Corporations have been relocating for some years now, the fact that most of them pay higher taxes overseas doesn't have much to do with it. They get to dodge environmental regulations and a relatively accessible justice system.

            "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

            by johnmorris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:36:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Location of Corporate HQ is not connected (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thestructureguy

              to where business operations are which is where environmental laws apply.  When Coors was no longer a US headquartered company, which US environmental laws no longer applied to their US plants?

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:47:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Other wealthy French left as well due to taxes (0+ / 0-)

              not just Depardeau.

              The Swiss tax rates are still lower than US rates.  Also the way US law works when one renounces US citizenship, there is a high price to pay if you give US tax law as the reason.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:51:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Swiss Capital Gains rate is 0% (0+ / 0-)

              see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Ordinary tax rates also much lower than US.  See

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              There are however other nice to live countries that have lower tax rates than Switzerland.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:04:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ingvar Kamprad, founder of Ikea, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nominalize

            is an example of this. This right wing Swede moved to Switzerland. His bad karma is being returned to his family as they fight over the money, or so I've read.

            fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

            by mollyd on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:40:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He also set up IKEA as a non-profit charity (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mollyd

              the Kamprad Foundation or some such.  And based it in the Netherlands, where charities have no taxes and much less oversight than in Sweden.  

              So the "charity" goes to the Kamprad family, is what's really happening.

              Nobody deserves poverty.

              by nominalize on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:10:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  To be fair to Tina Turner (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos

            she married a Swiss citizen and has lived in Switzerland for 20 years.  That's why she took up the Swiss nationality.

            Nobody deserves poverty.

            by nominalize on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:09:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why stop at there? give the "conservatives".. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, Tonedevil, Egalitare, ozsea1

      ..something real to cry about:
         

      "It would be great if there were Democrats out right now who would say to billionaires..oh you're crying.. we'll give you something to cry about.  You don't want a minimum wage?
      How 'bout we not only have a minimum wage,.  we have a maximum wage.
      That is not a new idea. James Madison who wrote our constitution said 'government should prevent immoderate accumulation of riches'. Washington , Jefferson, Hamilton, they all agreed that too much money in the hands of too few would destroy Democracy"





      Egberto Willies has a Dairy with a partial transcript and links documenting the statements made by these spoiled rich assholes  

      It would be so nice if more of our congress Dems dropped the friendly routine, did their job and really told it like it is - imo - the people are there already with protests in the streets. Time for our elected "leaders" in all three branches to catch up to the world

      •  We are talking about the 99.9% (0+ / 0-)

        If the country cared so little for its citizens that they prepared to loose 5-10k troops during Desert Storm to reclaim land for Kuwaitis who were vacationing in Europe during the hot season anyway, why should we care about the wealthof even fewer than that families?

        At least Rockefeller, Carnegie and quite a large percentage of those robber barons felt obligated to give back to the society that made them wealthy. And they created their wealth by creating stuff and infrastructure. what good had high speed trading done, by swapping already existing stock?

    •  Could we please wake up in the real world (0+ / 0-)
      That way, people who currently make (note: "make", not "earn") more than that would have an incentive to work part time, freeing up jobs for others.
      Ok, what job pays a $salary?

      Athlete maybe...
      CEO...

      So what, how many jobs would actually open up...and to whom?

      Do you really want more jobs?

      How about eliminating the employer part of the payroll tax for incomes less than $30k?  That is a direct tax on employment.  You could then lift the max SS tax to make up the difference.

  •  Obviously a very important and probably under (0+ / 0-)

    appreciated Diary

  •  Bertrand Russell quipped (5+ / 0-)

    "There are two sorts of work; one consists of moving things about, the other of telling others to do so." Fairly workable definition.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:45:02 AM PST

  •  Well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    richardvjohnson, Fall line
       Most corporate executives, hedge fund managers, and other financiers do not work. Instead, they are essentially required by law to pursue profit above all else.
    It is well accepted that CEOs or officers of a corporation are legally obligated to maximize shareholder value (profit) but that is a myth.

    More importantly, having known a lot of corporate executives, I can assure you that they work. Most of them work very hard. You can choose to devalue what they produce, but that doesn't change the fact that most of them work. They make decisions about where to apply resources, how to compete, how to price and market and sell product, and when and how to expand (or contract). Corporations employ just under half of our nation's workforce and their ability to continue to write paychecks to those people is sort of one of the pillars of our economy, for better or worse.

    So, we can choose to redefine commonly understood terms to advance the idea that corporations are bad and worthless, or instead we can figure out how to better regulate corporations so we can keep harnessing their potential without having to choke on their waste.

    •  Prepare three envelopes. (5+ / 0-)

         Your reply reminds me of a joke. An outgoing CEO hands 3 envelopes to his newly hired replacement says to open one each year. The envelope marked #1 says "Expand" so the executive expands. The second envelope says "contract" so the CEO contracts. The 3rd envelope says "Prepare three envelopes."

          I believe chance plays a large part in the success of  CEO's. Take 1000 Business school graduates and let them loose in new jobs. After 3 years half outperform the others and are promoted. The 500 newly promoted middle managers set to it with all their skill and again half outperform the others. 250 are promoted to the next step. You can probably see where this is going. After 30 years there is one left with a perfect track record. That CEO will be rewarded as the top performer in the business. He will then prepare 3 envelopes.

  •  Didn't take the Passive Income onepercenters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies

    to show up and offer their unbiased "pov".....

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:08:48 PM PST

  •  Work is whatever you can make money doing. (0+ / 0-)

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:19:31 PM PST

  •  Cue the apologists for the rentier classes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    in 1, 2,3.....

  •  By your definition which I don't disagree with (0+ / 0-)

    means all Mothers should be compensated.  

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:45:35 PM PST

    •  All should recive a guaranteed minimum income. (0+ / 0-)

         Fiat money is a creation of governments. They should have the right to earn back a percentage of it every time it is used. If it was a proprietary product of a corporation you can bet your bippy they would extract as much as they possibly could for your use of their product. But since money is the product of government and our government is defined as being by and for the people it makes perfect sense that money should be distributed back to the people. I like to call these principles OWE US and GIMMIE.

      It is long past time to stop taxing labor and start taxing money.

  •  Work is a Productive Actiivity, Something that (0+ / 0-)

    suits rarely engage in because it might get their expensive clothes wrinkled, dirty, or sweaty.

  •  "Enterprise" is legitimate only when it (0+ / 0-)

    produces Needful Things and Gainful Employment.

    Or at least such was the opinion of mainstream English Protestant clergy at one time ... that time being 1721 or thereabouts..

    Of course under this standard both the Fast Food (paying starvation wages)  and Pornography (unnecessary and luxurious)  industries are not legitimate."

  •  Let's not forget the real reason to raise taxes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbaytransplant, Kevskos

    It's to fix the damage caused by the broken promises of "trickle-down" economics and its successors over the last 30+ years.

    Trickle-down had three steps (sold as four):

    Step 1: The people loosen regulation on businesspeople, and lower top-tier taxes so that the wealthy "job creators" would do more job creating.

    Aside: This is the "supply-side" idea: Instead of creating jobs to meet customer demand, they're supposed to supply jobs and hope demand catches up.  Which makes no sense at all.  I'm pretty sure no business school teaches management that way. But let's roll with it

    Step 2: The economy grows

    Step 3: The rich get richer

    Step 4: The rest of us get richer, too.

    So what happened?  We did our part with Step 1.  We cut regulations. We cut taxes. Step 2:  The economy has grown enormously since 1981.   Step 3 : The rich got richer.

    But step 4... well, we're still waiting for that train. Trickle-down never came through on its promise.

    Not only have the rest of us not gotten richer, we've gotten poorer:  The average American makes less now than they did in 1981.  You might reply that Americans create less value, but that isn't true either. Productivity (value created per hour) has doubled since then.

    Translated into everyday speech: The average American makes their employer twice as much money as their parents did... but gets paid less in return.  And we wonder why our economy is slumping.  

    This is the broken promise of trickle-down.  Trickle-down is what is wrong with our economy, because it doesn't work.  30 years of trying has proven it.  Worse, not only does it not work, it CAN'T ever work.  Remember the "supply-side" aside?  Businesses don't create jobs for shits and giggles.  They create jobs when they need more employees to satisfy their customers, and when they know there are enough customers to support those jobs.  Businesses creating jobs just because they have money to spend is like the old Soviet planning system of having factories churn out things nobody was buying, while not churning out things people were buying.  It makes no sense and it's doomed to failure.

    Which is why businesses don't do it.  And giving business owners tax breaks don't entice them to do it.   If you want to promote job creation, create demand.  

    And that's where minimum wage laws come in handy.  In our economy, most demand comes from consumer spending (70%).  So if you want more jobs, you need more spending.  And for people to spend... they need the money.  So we get a moral wage, AND an economic boost.  

    Nobody deserves poverty.

    by nominalize on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:26:10 AM PST

  •  I'm curious about a distinction (0+ / 0-)

    WORK and JOB
    Both have multiple meanings, obviously.
    When politicians talk about "jobs" they don't use the word in the same sense as my supervisor means when she says "I have some jobs I want you to work on after you get done with that job."
    Some people work themselves to death and don't have a job, and some people have profitable jobs which don't require work.
    Discuss.

  •  Your Definition Is Far Better... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and falls right in line with what I was taught as a teenager and young adult. It's amazing to me how much "work" has been mangled and propagandized over the last three decades - and how abusive "work" has become under the current corporate leadership. The modern American workplace is dysfunctional on multiple levels to the point of mild psychosis. "Hyperefficiency" has driven the resiliency out of many companies, and they don't even know it.

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