|QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 04:09)|
|Doesn't this rather ignore the fact that the training and education system in all it's forms is far less agile to respond to the needs of the market than is required? An industry can literally go out of fashion overnight, so are you saying that the individual is solely to blame for picking an industry which all evidence indicated was steadfast and long-lasting but due to completely unforeseen consequences ceases to have relevance? For mid-high skilled work you can expect a reasonable training period of anywhere between 1 and 3 years, so coming from a technically skilled role like metalworking to a different technically skilled role is a long and costly process. Personally, I think it's extremely misleading to blame the individual for failing to assess circumstances that were not only beyond their control, but beyond their reasonable foresight and vision.|
I guess I should have modified a verb there with "inadvertently" or some such. That one happens
to choose wrong does not change the fact it was a choice. Choices have consequences. This includes the unintended ones.
With regards to training, yes, it could take a while to train for another job of equal skill. But he would still be getting paid from his current job if he was taking classes at night or online, no? Even if the steel mill pay is "bad," that's still better than the zero pay if he quits or the "wage slaves" demand too much and put the mill out of business (see also: Hostess). Or, he could take a job which requires lesser skill. Maybe even run for Congress, which doesn't even seem to require a functional brain stem, let alone skill, and become a millionaire.
|QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 04:09)|
|Also, it rather misses the issue in regard to improper and unethical business behaviour. There's enough cartel economics being done by large firms under the current, regulated economic system, and it links directly to organisational profiteering at the expense of both the workforce and the consumer. I cannot fathom any realistic reason why this would become anything other than completely endemic under a completely deregulated economy, and without sufficient centralised checks and balances and under the protection of personal and business privacy it might remain largely unseen. So in essence it could be perfectly possible for large groups of interlinked organisations to fix the market in their favour and consign their staff to effective wage-slavery by drastically cutting the amount of pay they receive in order to both decrease the net cost of their product and increase their profit margin. The effect of this would be twofold- it would economically disadvantage and potentially impoverish the workforce and also effectively prevent them from "jumping ship" because due to the likely increased consumer spending caused by effectively undercutting rival products, the competition would either have to wage-match downwards or be forced out of the market. And under the guise of defending business strategy and intellectual property, the entire thing could be effectively and largely hidden from the majority of the population because applying the concepts of personal and private property to business effectively eliminates the requirement for transparency between the provider and the consumer.|
But how much of the current cartel environment exists due to government protection of them? If I wanted to start a company to build cars or (random example off the top of my head) even help people pick curtain colors
in some States, I have to jump through licensing and regulatory hoops which favor established players. Which in turns, limits the potential for competition. So which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
As for downward pressure on wages by cartels in the absence of regulation, yes, this is a possibility. As it stands, however, wages in most of the cartels here (from automakers to fast food to whatever) are already above-- often well above --the legally defined minimum wage. Even (before one of our World Workers chime in..) in States and industries with little union influence. One could argue these wages are as high as they are because the legal minimum wage is but a floor above which skilled wages must only float marginally above.
If the legal floor were removed, and wages were marched downward, consumer spending would go down, not up as you suggest, because the workers, in aggregate, would have less to spend. Or if you mean consumer spending in relation to just the one entity with the lowest cost/price, wouldn't this just expose them to more competition for labor? If the wage is driven low enough that one can earn essentially the same amount flipping burgers as from building cars, then why take the harder job? Even if wages in skilled trades remain higher, the risk from worker poaching would increase as there are generally still job specific training costs involved.
If you're suggesting cartels would expand their influence by taking over unskilled industries which compete for labor to drive their wages down in tandem, well, then we get back to overall decline in consumer spending I mention above when all the workers have less to spend. Less spending means less aggregate demand. Which means less incentive for anyone, cartel or not, to produce. Pretty sure even Keynes said something along these lines. If production incentives decrease in general, it would stand to reason there would likewise be less incentive to exert the thought and effort required to maintain a cartel.
Speaking of, and unlike Keynes, however, I see no real point in artificially stimulating aggregate demand to support some arbitrary price/wage target. You might view this as a "race to the bottom." I see it as equilibrium. If you're earning $10 an hour and paying $1 for a Coke, or making $1 and paying $0.10 for same, is the difference anything other than nominal? Oh, sure, it might "feel" better to get the larger paycheck, and the relative price stability might be nice, but is it really worth the use of lethal state violence against those who only wish to participate in voluntary exchanges?
It's funny. People accuse us
of caring more about money than people, while at the same time threatening to kill others-- either themselves in some workers' uprising, or by proxy via the state --in order to maintain their own wages..@Melchior
- Running low on time here after, so I apologize for not taking time to reply point by point. What I said above has as much to do with the financial class as it does informing the public. Part of, perhaps even the largest part of psychological conditioning that the markets are "safe" comes from government tax "subsidies"/preferential treatment given to IRAs/401ks/etc.. and the encouragement to use them. Were it not for this, there would be less money in the hands of brokers and hedge fund managers to play with. Yes, reversing this now would require the public becoming informed to an extent (though many would likely switch to simply saving if not for the tax breaks), but had the state not gone down this path to begin with, the monster wouldn't be so large, would it? As with the FDIC, along with the public being informed (or not, maybe, as you contend), the bankers themselves would have to guarantee the deposits. Right now, if they lose too much gambling with other people's money, they feel the gov will be there to cover the deposits until they (hopefully) make it back on the next coin toss. Might not they act differently if their own ass was on the line?
You speak of private investors chasing short terms as inherent to and entirely comprising markets when, to me, it seems as if they tend to grow in number the more government gets involved. It used to be normal for people to go to a local or regional bank to take out a loan when they wanted to start a business, rather than playing cat and mouse with Wall Street firms. Or, well, it's actually still quite normal, as most businesses don't have much to do with investment markets until they're well established and push an IPO when they seek to expand nationally or globally.
It also used to be common for banks to favor loaning money to those with long-term abilities to pay them back with interest and stuff. But then the state came along and said that was just unfair to the poor/workers/random-class-identity and convinced them (by law) to take the risky bets (or else) with short-term high interest rates as a consolation prize should the customer default.
And, in contrast with the rather modern inventions of 401ks and such, stocks used to be mostly something played with by stodgy old rich guys, who, being stodgy and old and all, tended to favor safer, long investments like Standard Oil or railroads or whatever. Other than maybe getting a few stocks when you got a job at a big company (why, it's almost like they were worker owned..), it seems most people didn't bother. But then the state comes along and says it's unfair that not everyone gets to play, so the market gets more money to throw around. More money to throw around means more to spend on stupid things. This is true whether we're talking investors saying "f*ck it" and buying short term risk or a consumer with a ton of disposable income buying a $1000 designer shirt made to look like sh*t you can get at a thrift store.
Might all this still happen absent regulation and state intervention, without anybody involved learning from their mistakes? Sure. But couldn't the same be said of any economic model that desires growth to make its participants better off? Even if you got your workers paradise, and if it worked as advertised, what's to stop the happy complacent workers of the future from setting up worker owned business which fail? Oh, sure, you've got a social safety net there, but it can only hold so much before breaking, and it runs the same risk of creating a moral hazard.
(and that went longer than planned, doubleplus sorry for the singularity)