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Does Capitalism Inevitably Produce Inequalities? The answer is yes.

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posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: jjkenobi
I love when people talk about minimum wage in the USA. I'm not sure if they realize how very few people actually make minimum wage. Wal-Mart, McDonalds, all hire in at above minimum wage. 3.3 million according to Google make Min wage (or less), but that includes workers who collect tips. So abouts 1%. And an unknown number of them receive tips that may or may not push them above min. wage.

Anyone who wants to in the USA can earn as much as they want. The key work is WANT to. In my opinion that's the key difference between Capitalism and the others.


Paying near the minimum wage is effectively paying the minimum wage. This argument usually comes from people who are in the $10-$15 range, who think that because they can see others doing worse, that they're somehow in a better position. It's not about the minimum wage itself, it's about the fact that wages for the bottom 80%, and closing in on bottom 90% have been stagnating or declining for a generation now.

If you make anything less than $26/hour right now, you have less purchasing power than someone in the 60's had at minimum wage.


Yes and no. While a dollar yesterday is worth more than a dollar today, you also have to take into account that standard of living has improved because many goods and services are in fact cheaper and of higher quality than decades ago. Pretty much everyone has cell phones, flat screen TVs, computers, cars, clothing, airline travel, air conditioning, etc.

Hell, it was only in the late 90s that the general public other than Doctors and drug dealers had cell phones. Now I see homeless folks begging on the corner with cell phones. I




posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 01:27 PM
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Unless we have filled every square foot of land in America we have living space, so yes there is a finite aspect to it, so lets talk once America hits a few billion.

I need you to show me the path of a poor person in America where limited resources is the reason for them being poor. We are poor because we are a consumer based society. Spend Spend Spend like there ain't no end is the mentality. The reason why people want $15 min wage is because of their spending habits and they want a job that requires zero skills, takes a day or two to master and needs no more than 8th grade education to be a living wage job.

We also have an issue with what is common throughout the world of living within the synergy of a group. Here in America everything is based on a individual living standard that is actually a privilege and not a right as so many see it as.

OOPS-above should be a quote

Anyway, the question was does capitalism inevitably cause inequality. My response is that in a system based on distribution of finite resources, it does. I'm not arguing about whether the poor are poor because they spend too much. Just for the record though, I dont believe every homelss guy I see wound up there because he frittered his money on gambling or fast cars. I think he was probably just l ike you and me but not as lucky.
edit on 20-6-2017 by lawman27 because: incomplete post



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 02:31 PM
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originally posted by: lawman27

Anyway, the question was does capitalism inevitably cause inequality. My response is that in a system based on distribution of finite resources, it does. I'm not arguing about whether the poor are poor because they spend too much. Just for the record though, I dont believe every homelss guy I see wound up there because he frittered his money on gambling or fast cars. I think he was probably just l ike you and me but not as lucky.


Like being poor we haven't established what is actually inequality. If one person makes 500k a year and another makes 50k what is the inequality between the too. I do see that lower income can get scholarships based on their income were I make too much, but then I still can't afford the cost.

What do you call it when your finite resources still exceed demands? How many people are starving in America because we have exceeded the amount of food we can produce?


edit on 20-6-2017 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
I do see that lower income can get scholarships based on their income were I make too much, but then I still can't afford the cost.

That would be inequality and you should be pushing against that. It's the way the world works.


What do you call it when your finite resources still exceed demands? How many people are starving in America because we have exceeded the amount of food we can produce?

Cherry picked examples do make your argument so maybe finite resources isn't the right term but it is true that everyone can't be a billionaire. It isn't a zero-sum game but certain things are limited.

If a town only has business for one bakery shop then someone opening up a second shop will take away from the first. If the market isn't there for the two one or the other will probably end up closing shop. Not finite resources but also not limitless opportunities.



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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originally posted by: daskakik


If a town only has business for one bakery shop then someone opening up a second shop will take away from the first. If the market isn't there for the two one or the other will probably end up closing shop. Not finite resources but also not limitless opportunities.


Well until the town grows a little then 2 are needed. The problem I have with the term finite is that in your example lets say the town has 100 people with 20% children and 20% retired that leaves 60 people who need jobs. In your finite situation only 30 jobs would be needed to keep the town healthy and that would mean 30 people would be out of work who want to work, willing and able to work. I don't see it, the town to operate efficiently will have jobs for all, now only one person can be mayor, but jobs are available or important/needed processes would just not be taking place.

One problem in America today is there are more jobs available than the skill sets of those looking for work. You develop skills and are open to where you want to live and you will find a job.

One personal example, back in the 80s I thought I missed the boat on computers, thought that I was past the point of matching those in the field already... I feel you have that same perspective...


edit on 20-6-2017 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
In your finite situation ...

I didn't say finite.


only 30 jobs would be needed to keep the town healthy and that would mean 30 people would be out of work who want to work, willing and able to work. I don't see it, the town to operate efficiently will have jobs for all, now only one person can be mayor, but jobs are available or important/needed processes would just not be taking place.

Like 30 working spouses and 30 homemakers?


One problem in America today is there are more jobs available than the skill sets of those looking for work. You develop skills and are open to where you want to live and you will find a job.

Maybe there are too many jobs available paying below what people think the work is worth?


One personal example, back in the 80s I thought I missed the boat on computers, thought that I was past the point of matching those in the field already... I feel you have that same perspective...

Computers are always evolving though. No matter when you start everyone is learning something new to keep up.

Jobs that have not changed in 100 years must still provide the worker with a wage that allows them to live at a minimum level.
edit on 20-6-2017 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 07:16 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
I'm not saying 100k is impressive today as it was in 1970s, but it is not a starting wage out of college either. Median also isn't a starting wage out of college, and never has been. Do you see similarities below?


Not for every job, but for many jobs it is. For example, anything computer science related should start you around 100k. Other jobs won't which brings the average down, but there are fields of study available that pay those wages.

Median however used to be a starting wage, it had to be. The number of college graduates were fewer. Today only 33% of the population has a college degree. If you make $1 million more over your working years that's $25,000 per year. If a store clerk is getting $25k/year ($12.50/hour or so), then the person with a degree is making $50k. In large cities the difference is even greater, someone can work retail and make $15/hour, or they can work for a tech startup and make $50/hour thanks to their degree.

As for the numbers, I was using time worked to purchase something as the measurement. Not CPI inflation data.


Houses are more expensive today with 360,000 average range and that would be 57,000 compared to 24,000 1970s dollars, but then we want more and more so houses today are at least 1000 sq ft larger than houses built in the 70s.


But the cost of goods has come down, and productivity has gone up. That means you should be getting more for the same money spent. But you aren't. In 1970 you could buy a typical home on minimum wage. Today, even if you saved 100% of your paychecks for 40 years at minimum wage you couldn't buy a home. This doesn't just apply to minimum wage either. Housing shouldn't be costing more than 20% of your income, but for a very large chunk of Americans it's in the 33-50% range. It didn't used to be that way, and that was back in an era where home loans were 10 years (resulting in much larger payments). Today payments have gone down, yet housing is more unaffordable than ever.


originally posted by: Edumakated
Hell, it was only in the late 90s that the general public other than Doctors and drug dealers had cell phones. Now I see homeless folks begging on the corner with cell phones.


Does the cost of goods coming down, mean your purchasing power is going up? That's the same argument that the poor in the US are well off because they still have access to luxuries far beyond that of any king in medival Europe. I find that argument strange from one of the more fiscally conservative members here, because the same argument holds true for many social programs. If our income was zero, but health care, housing, and food were all available in excess, would we necessarily be more wealthy, or have more purchasing power?

Instead of looking at things on an absolute scale, they need to be judged on a relative one because people rate themselves against each other. People feel financially well off because they can look to the things they have, see others without, and in turn justify to themselves that they've made the right choices to get what they want. Similarly, people see others with things they want, but can't afford, and it motivates some to put in work. Those inequalities have grown tremendously since the 70's despite the fact that people are more productive and work more. Yet, their share of the total wealth has gone down. That suggests that something is wrong.



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 09:41 PM
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originally posted by: daskakik

Jobs that have not changed in 100 years must still provide the worker with a wage that allows them to live at a minimum level.


That is another point what is minimum level? Is it single living?



posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 09:44 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

Median however used to be a starting wage, it had to be.


Then starting wage would have been called median...



This doesn't just apply to minimum wage either. Housing shouldn't be costing more than 20% of your income, but for a very large chunk of Americans it's in the 33-50% range. It didn't used to be that way, and that was back in an era where home loans were 10 years (resulting in much larger payments). Today payments have gone down, yet housing is more unaffordable than ever.


Dude people want big houses with a lot of cool electronics today compared to simple 1400 sq ft houses....lol



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 07:37 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
Then starting wage would have been called median...


Many jobs start below median. Jobs which require a college degree typically have not (in good fields at least).



Dude people want big houses with a lot of cool electronics today compared to simple 1400 sq ft houses....lol


What does that have to do with it? If the cost of everything is brought down due to a lower barrier to entry on trades, lower cost of goods, and access to more land, then the same time worked that bought a 1400 sqft house decades ago, should purchase a larger house today. But it doesn't, it purchases a smaller house.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
That is another point what is minimum level? Is it single living?

Basic needs met. Will vary from person to person and from place to place but I'm sure an average can be calculated.

The average person should at least be able to get by without federal aid.
edit on 21-6-2017 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: daskakik

The average person should at least be able to get by without federal aid.


On his own as a single person? As a starting wage, mid career wage?



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 11:01 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

Calculated as the average person and adjusted for specific cases.

How long is the US Tax Code? Ive seen 74,608 pages long.

I'm sure a sliding scale would be a snap compared to that.



edit on 21-6-2017 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 11:32 AM
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originally posted by: daskakik

How long is the US Tax Code? Ive seen 74,608 pages long.



I have only read the first 50k...


What I think everyone should define is what is considered minimum living condition. Back in the 80s I could not afford to live on my own until my late 20s earily 30s, so I had at least one roommate. I had a crappy car or motorcycle and of course didn't have a lot of extra expenditures like cable/internet/starbucks/cell phones etc. I also thought rice and chicken or mac & cheese with hamburger was great. All in all I didn't make much but I lived within my means.

Today it seems that a living wage needs to be high enough for one person to live on their own, have a car, have all the bells and whistles electronics, internet, cable etc and eat out probably 5x or more than what I would ever have had considered to do.

All this makes a big difference in funds needed for either condition and why I would like to define what is a basic human right for living compared to what would be just a desire.



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

When a universal wage rolls around someone will define that and some will argue it is too high and some will argue it is not enough so defining it will not end that.


Today it seems that a living wage needs to be high enough for one person to live on their own, have a car, have all the bells and whistles electronics, internet, cable etc and eat out probably 5x or more than what I would ever have had considered to do.

Sounds fine to me. Isn't humanity supposed to be moving up? I live in a third world country and the average family has these things why wouldn't someone living in the wealthiest country in the world have them?



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: daskakik

Sounds fine to me. Isn't humanity supposed to be moving up? I live in a third world country and the average family has these things why wouldn't someone living in the wealthiest country in the world have them?


Really? I have lived all over the world and group synergy is how the world lives, but in the US so many feel a starting wage should be high enough for the luxury of single living.



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 03:00 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
Really? I have lived all over the world and group synergy is how the world lives, but in the US so many feel a starting wage should be high enough for the luxury of single living.

Single living is a luxury? Who defines luxury? (Just had to)



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 03:14 PM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero

Like being poor we haven't established what is actually inequality. If one person makes 500k a year and another makes 50k what is the inequality between the too.


Both earn more than enough, therefore there is no inequality.

Inequality only exists between those who have more than they need and those who have less than they need

Here on ATS, we all without exception falv into the former group


But there is no "system" yet found that means everyone is equal. Some will always have more than they need, some will always have less. And the happiest are generally those lucky few who dont care.

The Interesting thing is that those who have more than they need, tend to want even more, and to want the system changed so that thse they see having yet stil more than they have to have less ..... Without ever wanting to give what they have to those who have less .... Curious. Thats socialism.



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 04:33 PM
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originally posted by: daskakik

Single living is a luxury? Who defines luxury? (Just had to)



We can call it a desire and desires are typically a luxury since they are not a requirement for basic living standards when you have other options too. We can say that most need some form of transportation for a basic living standard without suggesting it should be a corvette as a minimum.

You should make enough money to afford at least a percentage of rent and actually have a place to live that is somewhat clean and safe. If you can't do at least this then you are unable to afford housing and so would need subsistence of some kind or live on the streets.



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 04:47 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

What is a basic living standard? Didn't you ask something similar earlier in the thread?

The point was that there are no hard definitions for these things. Just because you grew up during a time when some of these things were luxuries doesn't mean that they currently are.

Just surviving is a suckers deal. You sound like you expect people to be subservient. That is not capitalist at all.



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