(Gavin Ritz 2011.03.01.10.30NZT)
[From Bill Powers (2011.01.01.1025 MDT)]
From Rick Marken (2011.1.1.0910) –
After reading the comments below, I have given it some thought. None of the statements can be proved to be true in all circumstances and if fact can probably be proved to be untrue in many.
I think those statements are about a position, corporates and individuals in them (namely management) are bad. Which could be true if one’'s specifically talking about say Enron, then some of the managers there were appalled by the controlled variables of other managers. So it wouldn’t even hold true even for Enron.
types of positioning comments are the root cause of human disharmony. We are better then them, type position. They are bad because they are lazy and greedy and probably stupid, whilst we are right, hard working, and smart.
The sooner these comments are honestly dealt with, human harmony will not get better even with PCT and worst PCT will not flourish. Of that I’m certain.
The economy is a zero sum game for the reasons I give in the
next part of my post, which you quote:
If 90% of GNP goes to the top 1% then only 10% of GNP can go to the bottom 99%.
This zero sum characteristic of an economy holds true even though the
size of GNP is typically increasing from year to year. I leave that
proof as an exercise (hint: a spreadsheet will come in handy again).
The conservative response to this idea is “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If the 1% of
recipients spend some of their 90% of the GNP on improving the quality of life for everyone, then of course the other 99 percent of the population do find their quality of life improving (while that of the 1% improves nine times as fast). So the game is not zero-sum because the sum keeps increasing.
Of course the 1% don’t spend their own income on the business or to pay the workers. The business spends its income, and uses other people’s money to start up and expand, not the CEO’s salary. Salaries are a business expense. If the business fails, the business is responsible for any debts, not the CEO or owner. That’s why corporations are so happy to be treated as if they were people. The owners and CEOs aren’t taking any financial risks. They lobby very hard in Washington to make sure of that.
Secretly, the 1% know that they don’t have any extraordinary capabilities, or unusually high intelligence, or God-given rights to have a better
life than others do. They know they have no reason at all to lay a claim to such a large share of the available buying power, except that they want it so much. However, it is necessary to convince the 99% (and of course themselves) that the 1% do contribute immensely more to and deserve immensely more from the economic system than the 99% do. That is the basis of all arguments in favor of the status quo. You can always predict what a very rich person will say about his or her wealth. Such a person will always say that this is exactly how it should be for the optimum state of the world.
We can’t deny that people who run businesses have useful talents and deserve to be paid for applying them. If they have to do this under squalid conditions, putting in longer hours than other workers do, suffering more stress and weariness than other workers do, and risking more of their personal wealth because of their jobs, I think most people would agree that we
would need to pay them well. We would try to persuade them to continue to give us the benefit of their services as long as they are more successful at their jobs than other other people would be.
Of course that is not how things are. The upper management people have the plushest offices, eat long lunches at the best restaurants, drive or are driven in the most luxurious cars, live in the biggest houses full of the best amenities, and never have to lift a finger to clean or maintain anything. They have so much personal income that they can’t come close to spending it all, so they can invest much of it to increase their already-huge incomes. And they don’t seem to be significantly smarter than the average worker. Do they somehow deserve to live like royalty? They think they do.
One wonders how anyone could agree with them.