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Kaa
10-12-2012, 12:41 PM
An interesting take on what The Economist thinks the new center should be...

http://www.economist.com/node/21564556

Kaa

jsjpd1
10-12-2012, 11:22 PM
Really interesting article, thanks for posting it.

David G
10-13-2012, 12:34 AM
Yup... good article.

Meli
10-13-2012, 12:55 AM
Really interesting article, thanks for posting it.

Ditto.

I've always wondered why the idea of employees being given shares in companies as a compulsory part of their salary package (in line with years of service) has never taken off?

jsjpd1
10-13-2012, 01:34 AM
Ditto.

I've always wondered why the idea of employees being given shares in companies as a compulsory part of their salary package (in line with years of service) has never taken off?

Wait, you mean employees being compensated based on the percentage they contribute to the success of the enterprise? Socialist!

BTW- When I was driving log truck I got paid on percentage. I took 30% of what the truck made, sometimes it was good and some times it sucked, but there was a definite incentive for me to make it succeed.

Jim

Meli
10-13-2012, 01:40 AM
Wait, you mean employees being compensated based on the percentage they contribute to the success of the enterprise? Socialist!


Jim
:D.

BrianW
10-13-2012, 02:17 AM
Yep, that pretty much wraps up most Bilge topics in 15 short paragraphs.

Farfalla
10-13-2012, 02:32 AM
Some interesting perspectives but there are a few strange conclusions unless you accept that massive inequality is a good thing and the spiral to the bottom of the wage pit is all that workers have a right to expect.
It values capital far above labour when it says that labour laws in the West need to be removed, leading one presumes to such rosy situations as Apple having $100billion stashed away and it's workers in China being paid a pittance.
The income disparity in the West is huge and growing, the figures for the US are crazy but it claims that taxing the wealthy which it considers to be the "income generators" in the West is a bad thing!

Ian McColgin
10-13-2012, 05:40 AM
The Economist is neat because for more than a century and a half it's been true to notions of basic democratic captialism and the social liberalism that goes with it. Some on the thoughtful right like to read it responding to the notions of free international trade and human initiative. Some of the thoughtful left like the read for the social freedom and fair competition stance.

skuthorp
10-13-2012, 06:03 AM
Wait, you mean employees being compensated based on the percentage they contribute to the success of the enterprise? Socialist!
Jim
Umm, like stock issues to company executives in lieu of salary so as to dodge taxes? And the company doesn't even have to make money!

David G
10-13-2012, 10:32 AM
It occurred to me to wonder what candidate/party is most likely to promote such policies.

The cynics would likely say, 'neither'... with some justification. But if I had to pick, I'd say it'd be Obama. He's more inclined toward such an agenda in the first place, as are the Democrats (historically). In addition - Obama would be better placed to buck the trend. While Romney would still be beholden to a party less inclined in that direction for support for his second term.... Obama has no such constraints.

But... does Obama have such a vision? I couldn't say for certain - but possibly. Does Romney? Seems pretty clear not.

Gerarddm
10-13-2012, 10:46 AM
Very interesting, thanks for posting.

Most great societies, going back to the Romans, anyway, had socio-economic inequality. The issue is therefore is not that inequality exists, but the gap between haves and have-nots cannot grow so large as to shred the commonweal. Everybody wants a Fair Deal.

Obama may talk about Teddy Roosevelt, but has not practically embraced him. I have long thought that if he had from the outset combined Teddy Roosevelt progressivism with some Bobby Kennedy political ruthlessness, he and the country would be in a lot better shape right now.

Keith Wilson
10-14-2012, 08:49 AM
That's a very good article, and I could support most of what it suggests. One quibble: like some of the of editorials in The (British) Economist, it betrays a somewhat superficial understanding of US politics, a tendency to false equivalence, and confuses rhetoric with reality. The Obama administration's policies are far, far closer to what they suggest than the neo-social-Darwinist ideas of the current radicalized right, who generally deny that inequality is a problem at all and mainly support polices that will increase it. When the US Republicans start proposing something like what the editorial describes, I may very well vote for them.

hanleyclifford
10-14-2012, 09:43 AM
What's needed now is a candidate to go with the article.

Keith Wilson
10-14-2012, 10:04 AM
I think we have one, more or less. Others may disagree.

hanleyclifford
10-14-2012, 10:17 AM
Certainly Mr. Obama appears to fit the profile better, but he lacks real teeth for reform because he doesn't have the Congress he needs to effect change. The Congress is lacking because the power of the electorate has not been marshalled for reform. Most voters don't even know the questions, let alone the answers. The impending recession may stimulate some education.

ccmanuals
10-14-2012, 10:36 AM
Certainly Mr. Obama appears to fit the profile better, but he lacks real teeth for reform because he doesn't have the Congress he needs to effect change. The Congress is lacking because the power of the electorate has not been marshalled for reform. Most voters don't even know the questions, let alone the answers. The impending recession may stimulate some education.

Is it our responsibility to fix Congress or is it just easier to blame the President for Congress? Note: Prior to his death, Khadafy had a higher approval rating than Congress. :)

hanleyclifford
10-14-2012, 10:53 AM
Is it our responsibility to fix Congress or is it just easier to blame the President for Congress? Note: Prior to his death, Khadafy had a higher approval rating than Congress. :) You can blame whomever you like but real reform comes thru elected lawmakers with mandates and skill. The politicians can provide the skill but the voters must furnish the mandate.

Keith Wilson
10-14-2012, 12:10 PM
True enough, but some systems work better than others. We need something that sort of works even when there's real disagreement, for there will always be disagreement. We currently have a system that allows a determined minority to tie things in knots, if they don't much care about the consequences for the country. For an extreme example, check out the Polish Sejm of the 1700s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sejm_of_the_Republic_of_Poland), which required unanimity and hence could never do anything at all. That's one major reason Poland never became a great power, and was carved up between Germany and Russia multiple times.

hanleyclifford
10-14-2012, 01:36 PM
True enough, but some systems work better than others. We need something that sort of works even when there's real disagreement, for there will always be disagreement. We currently have a system that allows a determined minority to tie things in knots, if they don't much care about the consequences for the country. For an extreme example, check out the Polish Sejm of the 1700s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sejm_of_the_Republic_of_Poland), which required unanimity and hence could never do anything at all. That's one major reason Poland never became a great power, and was carved up between Germany and Russia multiple times. Economically speaking the USA is also being carved up.

johnw
10-14-2012, 08:15 PM
Hollande's tax rate isn't as outrageous as it seems. Remember the Laffer Curve, which said that if you lower taxes, you will increase tax receipts? There's been some research on this, and it appears to happen only when taxes are above 70%. http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.25.4.165

I find the article's reference to "wealth creators" a bit incongruous, as if only those who gather wealth to themselves create it. Carlos Slim has managed to gather great wealth to himself because of the restricted competition and high prices in the Mexican telecoms market, but his society would be wealthier as a whole if it had a more efficient and cheaper telecoms system.

The Gilded Age, which featured great inequality, suffered from financial bubbles and busts, as does our own age. The period of moderation was the period in which incomes were more equally distributed. What if great concentrations of wealth are the reason for the bubbles and busts? This could be the case if it's a matter of too many dollars chasing too few investment opportunities because the consumer economy is not providing enough demand.

I've long been a subscriber to The Economist, and consider it the most thought-provoking news magazine in existence. This article, like so many of theirs, is a good jumping-off place for a discussion.

Keith Wilson
10-14-2012, 09:14 PM
In the same issue, the special center section is about increasing inequality and what to do about it. I'm partway through it; very interesting. After The Economist, every other news magazine seems like it was written for children, or perhaps the mentally deficient.