How Capitalism Works.

Sparta

Former Staff
Aug 2006
22,057
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Connecticut
#34
I feel your pain.

I'm not arguing against your post, but I still think the OP makes a valid point.

Sure it's over the top when you look at it from where you and I sit (we both employ people).

But for this discussion, I'm not sure your business or my business are exactly "capitalism." We're free-market businesses for which people can choose to work or quit.

I see the OP as addressing a more global cause and effect manifesting in vast income disparity. On my best day, I pay myself about double what I pay employees, plus I keep a big chunk of any profits we earn...or not. At Walmart, it's a little less equitable.

No question, I want to be rich and when I get it, I won't feel guilty for a minute, but I think we need to be mindful of the contributions of LIVES that workers make to our wealth.

A little bit of a side note: here's the scariest capitalism depiction I've seen in a while:

That map is wild, and you're right, when I think of the impact of my companies I consider it in terms of how many mortgages it's responsible for. I'm going through some relative lean times right now and my biggest concern is holding onto employees and keeping everyone fed. For the most part, the people I employ show appreciation in the effort they put in. It's a weird thing, the basic rules which provide us an opportunity to not punch that clock also exist to enable that map.
 

Sparta

Former Staff
Aug 2006
22,057
12,728
Connecticut
#35
IOW, wallmart/ups employees have the exact same right to quit and find a better job as do your employees. Why imply it's somehow different?
I don't think Walmart is a great example because the rules I discussed in my post apply equally to walmart employees. If working there is bad, you don't have to work there. But we have to also admitt that walmart being such a huge employer while offering such little pay and benefits goes against the theory that suggests workers can just do better for themselves if they want. It's possible that the reason walmart workers don't do better for themselves is not because they don't want to, but because they can't. It's definately fair to ask if there are barriers, intended or not, built into capitalizm which present themselves to the average person who attempts to advance within the system.
 
Likes: orangecat
Apr 2018
9,295
2,269
oregon
#36
I don't think Walmart is a great example because the rules I discussed in my post apply equally to walmart employees. If working there is bad, you don't have to work there. But we have to also admitt that walmart being such a huge employer while offering such little pay and benefits goes against the theory that suggests workers can just do better for themselves if they want. It's possible that the reason walmart workers don't do better for themselves is not because they don't want to, but because they can't. It's definately fair to ask if there are barriers, intended or not, built into capitalizm which present themselves to the average person who attempts to advance within the system.
Workers create their own barriers by way of life choices. Of course, there are exceptions, but that is generally the case from what I've observed.
 

Davocrat

Former Staff
Apr 2007
50,844
36,907
Deep State
#37
That map is wild, and you're right, when I think of the impact of my companies I consider it in terms of how many mortgages it's responsible for. I'm going through some relative lean times right now and my biggest concern is holding onto employees and keeping everyone fed. For the most part, the people I employ show appreciation in the effort they put in. It's a weird thing, the basic rules which provide us an opportunity to not punch that clock also exist to enable that map.
I just don't think of small business being at odds with more socialism.

In fact I believe universal health care would make life easier for small employers.
 

Davocrat

Former Staff
Apr 2007
50,844
36,907
Deep State
#38
I don't think Walmart is a great example because the rules I discussed in my post apply equally to walmart employees. If working there is bad, you don't have to work there. But we have to also admitt that walmart being such a huge employer while offering such little pay and benefits goes against the theory that suggests workers can just do better for themselves if they want. It's possible that the reason walmart workers don't do better for themselves is not because they don't want to, but because they can't. It's definately fair to ask if there are barriers, intended or not, built into capitalizm which present themselves to the average person who attempts to advance within the system.

Companies like Walmart survive partly by virtue of the entitlement safety net, given the number of its employees with food assistance and--to a smaller degree--health insurance subsidies. So as capitalists, they're cheating.

I think of capitalism as inherently exploitive. But you can have a free market economy with a lot less exploitation. Surely, you're exploiting any employee if YOU make more from their efforts than they do, but in a small company, it's a lot easier to draw two columns on a piece of paper and show that there's a fairer exchange of value between employer and employee.

If you're an associate at Walmart, you're probably not going to learn how to start a retail company. If you're a copywriter at an ad agency, you've got a better than average chance of owning your own ad agency.

Most smaller companies aren't beholden to nameless / faceless shareholders who have no interest in individual employee welfare beyond compliance.

In my mind, capitalism doesn't really start happening until there really is significant capital at stake. Most small businesses are more covenant-based.
 
Likes: Sparta

Sparta

Former Staff
Aug 2006
22,057
12,728
Connecticut
#39
Companies like Walmart survive partly by virtue of the entitlement safety net, given the number of its employees with food assistance and--to a smaller degree--health insurance subsidies. So as capitalists, they're cheating.

I think of capitalism as inherently exploitive. But you can have a free market economy with a lot less exploitation. Surely, you're exploiting any employee if YOU make more from their efforts than they do, but in a small company, it's a lot easier to draw two columns on a piece of paper and show that there's a fairer exchange of value between employer and employee.

If you're an associate at Walmart, you're probably not going to learn how to start a retail company. If you're a copywriter at an ad agency, you've got a better than average chance of owning your own ad agency.

Most smaller companies aren't beholden to nameless / faceless shareholders who have no interest in individual employee welfare beyond compliance.

In my mind, capitalism doesn't really start happening until there really is significant capital at stake. Most small businesses are more covenant-based.

I agree with this, and with your previous point about being in support of UHC. I absolutely think we're too far right of socialist policies, capitalism should have a small to zero footprint in healthcare (and education) imo. I'm ok with some profit in healthcare I think, maybe if you need dick pills or you're trying to go on Test after age 40 because you don't like getting old.

But the asociate at Walmart not being able to climb within the system, I just don't agree with that. A guy/girl has to have SOME hobby or interest, we can't count on a company like Walmart to train us. Why does bettering yourself from a position at Walmart have to have anything to do with skills associated with working at Walmart? By definition those are low to zero skill jobs, that's where some personal responsibility has to take hold. I think it's actually a good thing that there are low skilled/responsibility positons available for those who want them, but at the same time it's disappointing that those jobs take up so much of our work force. Education is a problem, people not understanding their options is a problem, I spend time every day contemplating my options and I still suck at it.
 
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