Democrats & Liberals Archives

Unrealistic Expectations

Why do these folks think they get such bad press? If you’re making a profit, reaping your own share, but slapping the people in the face who made your products for you, what can you expect? The simple truth is, if you want to encourage productivity, hell, if you want to encourage leniency towards the 1% in general as far as profit goes, you need to share the wealth.

I won't go on for too long, because the idea should be fairly obvious: if you want people to work hard, and stay working hard, it has to be worth it. All too much effort has been focused on pushing down on the very things that make it worth it to a worker to give it their all, even as expectations have been growing as to what workers have to give up in terms of time and availability to their job.

Time and money are in short supply for many, and if they can't enjoy the profit they make possible, why should they continue to make it possible?

Just take it on a simple, self-interest-based level. It's not as if Caterpillar is unprofitable, or in trouble, and it's not as if the sacrifice is spread all around for the general good of the company. What is happening, is that the people at the top have decided that they, and only they are responsible for making the success happen, and everybody else is a liability on the books who must be minimized.

Business leaders in America have gotten egotistical, elitist about how they look at their workers. And the worst thing is, they're surprised, shocked, and disgusted when the workers start demanding more. Are they saying, given their actions, their willingness to increase their own pay and benefits and threaten to withhold their services or go to a competitor with them, that the workers aren't doing exactly what they are doing, just at a different level?

Long story short, if you demand people help you make your business profitable, but then fight like hell to avoid sharing the benefits of that profit, you're not exactly going to get sustained help for the indefinite future. It is one thing for businesses to compete in zero-sum games for profit, but do profitable working relationships last long if the benefits of helping people be competitive do not come back in turn to those who made it possible? What moronic enterprise punishes those who made their profit possible? Caterpillar won't necessarily win if it succeeds in ending the strike on its terms, because its terms seem to provide a disincentive that anybody with a lick of common sense can understand: make your business profitable in the midst of a downturn, and they'll ask you to sacrifice even more.

This election is about choosing between those who understand that self-interest and personal benefit must be shared to increase productivity, and those whose common-sense defying position is that one group of people should yield up their profit, so that a few others, already profiting can benefit even more. America needs an approach to the common person's place in the economy that doesn't expect them to wait indefinitely for somebody else's greed to be satiated, before they can ask for more. It needs something more of a compromise, where those who work to make the businesses that run our country profitable, profit themselves by their work. That's capitalism, in its real and best form.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 24, 2012 12:25 PM
Comments
Comment #349188

Stephen, it seeems the ‘peace initiative’ in globalism was to be achieved on the back of the middle class.

The working class is scheduled to crash and burn in preparing the US to compete in a global economy, while the corporate owners and their gov’t cronies, aka Corpocracy, retain their right to continue winning, zooming off into the stratosphere of monopolies/conglomerates.

The ‘new normal’ axiom is ‘a worker should not earn more than an illegal immigrant would be paid’, etc.

Otherwise, - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 24, 2012 1:54 PM
Comment #349191

People need to make the connection that while folks in the 1% are pretty much identical to them in most respects, their wealth and privilege isolates them in terms of what they consider to be their interests. The best of them naturally recognize that in order to maintain good profit and prosperity, good work has to be rewarded. The worst, though, expect people to simply be grateful for having a job, or for the opportunities that somebody “moving their cheese” represents.

I mean, we would hope it would occur to them that having somebody “move your cheese” is different if you’re floating down on a golden parachute, than if you’re basically **** out of luck, in danger of losing your ability to support yourself. I mean, they make it nearly impossible to save any appreciable amount, but then expect people to have thousands saved back to be a cushion for such misfortune.

If you don’t recognize that being rich makes you inherently more robust in terms of the risk you can take and the hazards you can surmount, you might start to look at the people struggling under the system, and blame them for their troubles, when more than anything else, their troubles have an external cause they’re ill able to influence on their own.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 24, 2012 3:03 PM
Comment #349195

Stephen,

The working relation between employer and employee is a contract. If I agree to work for you at the rate of $15 per hour and you accept that offer and later decide it’s not worth it to you, you have the option of re-negotiating
with me or firing me or laying me off. If I later decide that $15 per hour is not enough for me, I have the option of trying to re-negotiating with you or quitting and seeking employment elsewhere. That’s how a contract works.

Posted by: tdobson at July 24, 2012 3:39 PM
Comment #349197

The nature of corporate is to grow, thereby producing more and selling more product. Some businesses reach a certain size and are satisfied. For others, growth is akin to survival.

All corporates look for ways to be competitive and many will move up to monopolize and conglomerate if allowed. Gov’t has failed in their oversight authority in many areas with the regulation of business being a major.

In breaking up the middle class and establishing a ‘new normal’ we may have a ‘business model’ that is just not tenable. Perhaps it might fly from a fiscal position but the neighborhood is not going to sit still for long, IMO.

The corporate - government relationship is way beyond cozy. The money influence has been a problem for the folks ever since oil was discovered in Pithole, Pa.

In 1886 corporations gained human rights without there ever being a test in the courts. Through their ‘humanity’ corporates are allowed, encouraged to buy as much ‘gov’t’ as they can afford. We need to abolish corporate personhood as a means to get some of the money influence out of gov’t. Some organizations, such as movetoamend.org and reclaimdemocracy.org are working to achieve just that.

Gov’t should invoke anti-trust to relive us of the ‘too big to fail’ syndrome. Take the 10 largest banks and create 50 banks, etc. Puts competition back in the system and employees way more people.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 24, 2012 4:36 PM
Comment #349201

Stephen,

I appreciate your thesis on socialism but I don’t need the government to tell me how much to pay my employees. They will tell me that and so will competitors. I own a business and I set a fair price for my services so I also don’t need the government to tell me how I’m doing in that area either. My customers do that and so will competition.

I don’t need you to tell me where my money should go that I earned or how to run my business. It wasn’t your livelyhood at risk when I sunk every penny I had into my business. If it failed I would have lost everything so please spare me with you and others trying to take way more credit than you should. If my biz fails you aren’t offering me a bed to sleep in while I find my next job and rebuild everything I’ve lost. So please stop with your socialistic sermon and trying to diminish the risk that I took and therefore my reward.

By the way, raising taxes higher and higher won’t cover the millions of poor that can’t contribute enough in the taxes department. There are too many taking out of the system and not enough to putting in. That’s a fact.

Posted by: whatajoke at July 24, 2012 6:59 PM
Comment #349202

Stephen

I got my MBA many years ago and have followed the management practice and theory since then. There are good and bad business leaders. But the general idea is that our businesses value their people. It is a team effort.

Leadership can let the team down and so can the workers. It is hard to get good and competent people. When organizations get them, they want to keep them. A problem is that there are also many less competent workers and some bad ones. You want to get rid of the bad ones. The bad ones rarely see the justice in this.

I have had to fire some people. I tried to be morally sure that they deserved it. I could have been wrong, but it was my duty to make the judgement. One of the worst thing you can do as a manager is to allow bad performers to stay. It shows disrespect for the good workers.

As I get older, I worry that I will not be able to pull my weight and may not know it. One thing I don’t want to do is hang around like a fart in a phone box when I am no longer productive. Nobody owes me a job. I keep it as long as I can do it and should go when I cannot. IMO there are too many people who don’t want to do the job but still want to collect the money and benefits.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2012 7:05 PM
Comment #349205

Whatajoke,

Henry Ford understood the concept of a consumer economy. Labor and capital are inexorably yoked. Wages provide the means of purchasing the goods and services produced by capital. Nobody was going to purchase any of the efficiently produced Model-Ts if wages were low. He dramatically raised wages, not only to maintain a highly skilled work force, but to provide a strong consumer base.

In recent years, wages have stagnated. Consumer demand has been maintained by an enormous bubble in private sector debt. That is not sustainable in the long run, particularly after the collapse of housing equity, the principal collateral supporting that consumer debt.

I don’t have any simple answers. However, there are two sides to the argument.

Posted by: Rich at July 24, 2012 9:07 PM
Comment #349206

Stephen Daugherty; I doubt you have ever owned a business or paid a wage and therefore have no comprehension of what you are talking about.

Who owns Caterpillar? Do the employees own the company or do stockholders own it? You are a socialist and socialist believe corporations come into existence for the purpose of creating jobs. Sorry Stephen, but corporations exist to produce a product and make money. The stockholders make the money. Corporations and small companies try to keep costs down and profits up. The reason the taxpayers had to bail out GM and Chrysler was because they could not control costs. It appears to me that Caterpillar is not planning on making the same mistakes as the auto companies. Who gives you or any other socialist politician the right to say how much an employer is supposed to pay his employees? In the mind of a liberal, everything boils down to fairness. Well, life’s not fair sometimes, get over it.

A few years ago, when everything was booming and unemployment was low; I remember McDonalds was paying wages above the minimum wage. Why; because employees were at a premium and companies paid top dollar to get them. Hospitals paid $10k + signing bonuses to hire nurses. Tell me Stephen, were you complaining in favor of the companies then and whining “it’s not fair on the companies”?

I told a few weeks ago, my son owns a business and pays union scale wages. He now has 20 employees. If he had to pay journeyman wages, he wouldn’t be able to hire 20 men. But the union came up with a plan for contractors to hire journeymen for short term work, with a wage and benefit package at about 2/3rds what he would normally pay. The reason the union came up with this deal was to keep their members working. You know Stephen, working together; something you are always talking about.

But Stephen, since you have never had a real job, and since you have no concept of working or owning a company, and since you have never belonged to a union, I doubt you understand anything. I have belonged to a union, and I was out on strike; and guess what Stephen, you NEVER make up what you lose on an extended strike, NEVER.

My opinion, the workers at Cat should be grateful they even have a job in the Obama economy. If the truth was known, it is probably the union leaders who are pushing for the strike. I can tell you from experience Stephen, most workers don’t want to strike.

“This election is about choosing between those who understand that self-interest and personal benefit must be shared to increase productivity, and those whose common-sense defying position is that one group of people should yield up their profit, so that a few others, already profiting can benefit even more. America needs an approach to the common person’s place in the economy that doesn’t expect them to wait indefinitely for somebody else’s greed to be satiated, before they can ask for more. It needs something more of a compromise, where those who work to make the businesses that run our country profitable, profit themselves by their work. That’s capitalism, in its real and best form.”

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 24, 2012 12:25 PM

Stephen, you are a thief. You think that the profits of a company belong to the employees, and they don’t.

But I will tell you; this election is about choosing between a narcissist business hating big government fool, and a man who knows how to put America back to work and off food stamps and welfare.

Posted by: Frank at July 24, 2012 9:14 PM
Comment #349211

tdobson-
I’m aware of how a contract works. I’m also aware that when you change an employment contract, you demonstrate something of how you value the other person’s work.

So why is Caterpillar opting to freeze pay when it has posted record profits, and paid more to its executives? What message does that send to those who worked hard, and even apart from any strike, does this make workers more willing to repeat that productivity?

Or were they even thinking that way? Have the folks there on top just gotten so cluelessly trapped in their own little world that they just expect people to be grateful for what they got, even while they quite obviously enjoy the success of the company more than their employees?

whatajoke-
Barely anybody’s taxes have been raised, and I’m not talking about socialism. I’m talking about capitalism where average folks have a stake in the system, where they can invest in the stock market and not think their brokers going to screw them. Where they can set aside money for retirement, and not worry that a Medical Emergency’s going to bankrupt them.

But you’re too interested in lecturing me about the market. I’m not interested in micromanaging the economy. If you want to debate somebody about that, put a stuffed animal in the corner and debate that thing, because I don’t think that way.

What I think is that you can’t trust the market to do all the rewarding and all the punishing, because the market’s actions, in aggregate, don’t have to be moral or logical. If your business is big enough, the size alone may nullify people’s ability to right a particular wrong. I mean, any of us could protest what WalMart might do, but how much will WalMart miss our money if we go?

We need more than just consumer action, we need the rule of law. We need people bound to the same standards of behavior that the rest of us must observe.

Frank-
I just want to start out by asking you how far you plan to get with me by calling me a thief. Right, you don’t actually think about what you’re saying to people. Common affliction on the right these days.

Who own Caterpillar? The Stockholders. But how many people are really stockholders, with any kind of real percentage in the company? Many times, in a publically owned company, the impression is that the stockholders are a great mass of people, when in reality just a few companies or individuals own the lions share, get the lion’s share of profit, and the lion’s share of control over the company.

And unfortunately, a culture has developed that wants the impossible. It wants to make as much money as possible off a consumer economy, while sending the jobs that make most consumers able to afford their products overseas, or at the very least, cutting their pay and benefits.

But of course, we have to pay the folks heading up the company more, especially if they’re stockholders, especially if they’re exercising leadership in some form. But people are seeing these folks, instead of working for the good of the company, enriching themselves, then leaving the company in a shambles, while they float down with a golden parachute.

What kind of situation do you get, when workers are not rewarded, no matter what good they do, and executives and leaders are not punished, no matter what bad they do? This isn’t simply about fairness, this is about whether normal rules of healthy social behavior apply!

Not socialist. I’ve never been one, never wanted to be one. I’ve held down real jobs, kept my current one for several years now. But I know what it’s like to be on the bad end of a pay freeze. I know what its like to be in a situation where hoping for something better becomes being resigned to just having a job.

I suppose you can be grateful for having a job in this economy, but that’s a sorry thing to accept, and not especially economically healthy as a whole. Folks are going to raise prices on groceries, on gas, on all the necessities. if wages don’t go up with that, people are poorer, and poorer people don’t buy the goods that keep things and companies running.

As for the last part?

Stephen, you are a thief. You think that the profits of a company belong to the employees, and they don’t.

Takes a lot of balls to call somebody a thief on the internet. You’re a brave, bold soul.

I think they deserve a share, the question is, why don’t you? Do you think the executives from Caterpillar get their hands dirty putting the bulldozers and backhoes together themselves? Without them, they don’t have a business. I would think being a necessary part of the process of making that profit would entitled them to a fair share. That’s not theft. In fact, it’s the opposite. If an executive makes a profit by somebody’s work, it’s a form of theft if they don’t share the profit appropriately.

America doesn’t need more companies being cheap bastards. It doesn’t need more “productivity” gains that come what are essentially self-serving accounting gimmicks. That kind of business sensibility is what got so many people stuck on government assistance in the first place.

Romney’s only going to put more people on food-stamps and government assistance, and those he “helps?”

Well, lets take a second to look back at the Bush Administration. Using Romney’s policies, Bush managed to take an environment of record-breaking employment gains, and essentially flatten it out. Wages flattened out, and he didn’t even really overcome his first term losses until the beginning of his second term. And what was his success based on? That’s right, the housing bubble.

I wonder what bubble Romney will encourage, and how far we’ll fall when it bursts.

The problem with trying to encourage growth from the top down is that you essentially have to endebt everybody else to encourage growth. Only when people can spend from what they earn can the economy truly grow.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 25, 2012 8:00 AM
Comment #349212

“This election is about choosing between those who understand that self-interest and personal benefit must be shared to increase productivity, and those whose common-sense defying position is that one group of people should yield up their profit, so that a few others, already profiting can benefit even more”

This election is about choosing between those who believe individuals have the right to run their private company how they want, and those who believe government should dictate how individuals behave.

This election is about having the freedom to choose for yourself if you want to run your business like a commune, a miser or anything in between.

And it is absolutely hysterical to read that a successful multi-billion dollar company is holding a “common-sense defying position” and doing somthing wrong with their business model.

Posted by: kctim at July 25, 2012 10:30 AM
Comment #349214

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Posted by: fashion handbag at July 25, 2012 10:55 AM
Comment #349224

“Frank-
I just want to start out by asking you how far you plan to get with me by calling me a thief. Right, you don’t actually think about what you’re saying to people.” Stephen Daugherty

Yes, I know exactly what I am saying. Democrats are thieves; they want to take from those who have worked and give to those who have not, all in the name of social justice. You are a liberal Democrat; therefore you are a thief.

“Who own Caterpillar? The Stockholders. But how many people are really stockholders, with any kind of real percentage in the company? Many times, in a publically owned company, the impression is that the stockholders are a great mass of people, when in reality just a few companies or individuals own the lions share, get the lion’s share of profit, and the lion’s share of control over the company.”

Stephen, are you aware of the fact that some people get dividends checks and some see a rise in the investment in the stock. So any stockholders of a corporation, that is making a profit, are going to benefit.

“And unfortunately, a culture has developed that wants the impossible. It wants to make as much money as possible off a consumer economy, while sending the jobs that make most consumers able to afford their products overseas, or at the very least, cutting their pay and benefits.”

I’m sorry most Americans are not like Stephen Daugherty, who works for free. That is what you are telling us, isn’t it Stephen? You work for free, and you don’t expect to get paid, because you don’t want to, “make as much money as possible off a consumer economy”? No, I don’t think you work for free; but you have the socialist/communist mentality that everyone else should.

I was waiting for the “dumbass” statement and here it is:

“But people are seeing these folks, instead of working for the good of the company, enriching themselves, then leaving the company in a shambles, while they float down with a golden parachute.”

Isn’t your post about Caterpillar? Management enriching themselves and” leaving the company in shambles”? Have you changed the conversation Stephen? You said in your original post that Cat was making a profit. How could they be in economic shambles and be making huge profits? My guess is that you have left the original topic and are now spouting liberal anti-corporation rhetoric, right???

If you want to talk about Corporations who have enriched the management and then left the Company in shambles, here is a partial list of Obama’s tax dollar billions given to green energy, enriched the management and then lost thousands of jobs by going bankrupt: Solyndra, Evergreen Solar Inc., Mountain Plaza Inc. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Co., Ener1, BrightSource, Tonopah Solar Energy. Abound Solar Inc, A123 Systems, Beacon, Amonix, EnerDel, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, SunPower, Solar Trust of America, and the list goes on.

Do you feel the same way about Obama’s investments; or are you just against private industry?

Another dumbass statement:

“What kind of situation do you get, when workers are not rewarded, no matter what good they do, and executives and leaders are not punished, no matter what bad they do? This isn’t simply about fairness, this is about whether normal rules of healthy social behavior apply!”

What is the difference between “fairness” and “Social behavior”? You claim you’re not a socialist and yet your argument is based on socialism. What does “healthy social behavior” mean, in the context of company wages?

“Not socialist. I’ve never been one, never wanted to be one.”

Stephen, your argument is from a socialist point of view.

Another dumbass statement;


“I suppose you can be grateful for having a job in this economy, but that’s a sorry thing to accept, and not especially economically healthy as a whole. Folks are going to raise prices on groceries, on gas, on all the necessities. if wages don’t go up with that, people are poorer, and poorer people don’t buy the goods that keep things and companies running.”

When you say “in this economy”, are you referring to a bad economy? Haven’t you and other liberals on WB tried to make the argument that the economy has improved under Obama? Secondly, the prices of groceries, gas, or energy are not considered when figuring a COLA. According to the Federal Government, there is no inflation. Why should wages go up, if there is no inflation? But, perhaps you are against the way the Obama administration figures inflation, which is it?

“Takes a lot of balls to call somebody a thief on the internet. You’re a brave, bold soul.”

Send me your home address and I will send you snail mail.

“I think they deserve a share, the question is, why don’t you?”

Based on what Stephen; companies don’t owe anything but an agreed upon hoiurly wage.

“Do you think the executives from Caterpillar get their hands dirty putting the bulldozers and backhoes together themselves? Without them, they don’t have a business. I would think being a necessary part of the process of making that profit would entitled them to a fair share.”

If it is part of the Exec’s job description, then I guess they get their hands dirty.

Another dumbass statement: “I would think being a necessary part of the process of making that profit would entitled them to a fair share.”

Didn’t you just say, it wasn’t about “fairness”? Either you were lying before, or you’re lying now.


“That’s not theft. In fact, it’s the opposite. If an executive makes a profit by somebody’s work, it’s a form of theft if they don’t share the profit appropriately.”

Based upon what? Fairness??? Theft is when liberals take from people who work, in order to re-distribute to those who won’t work; and all based on the liberal’s interpretation of fairness.

“America doesn’t need more companies being cheap bastards. It doesn’t need more “productivity” gains that come what are essentially self-serving accounting gimmicks. That kind of business sensibility is what got so many people stuck on government assistance in the first place.”

You really don’t have any concept of free enterprise and capitalism, do you Stephen?

“Romney’s only going to put more people on food-stamps and government assistance, and those he “helps?”

Well, he certainly can’t do any worse than Obama; who now has 1/6th of the American people on food stamps.

“Well, lets take a second to look back at the Bush Administration. Using Romney’s policies, Bush managed to take an environment of record-breaking employment gains, and essentially flatten it out. Wages flattened out, and he didn’t even really overcome his first term losses until the beginning of his second term. And what was his success based on? That’s right, the housing bubble.”

Let’s just take a look at Obama’s policies; Bush hasn’t been president for almost 4 years.

“The problem with trying to encourage growth from the top down is that you essentially have to endebt everybody else to encourage growth. Only when people can spend from what they earn can the economy truly grow.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 25, 2012 8:00 AM

Well Stephen, the economy hasn’t grown at all in the past 4 years. Not one single program (scheme) of Obama’s has done anything for the economy. The reason: Obama’s knowledge of the economy is about like yours; and from the arguments you have made…complete ignorance.

Posted by: Frank at July 25, 2012 1:07 PM
Comment #349227

SD

“Unrealistic Expectations”.

This fits Obama to a “T”.

Good Title

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at July 25, 2012 2:36 PM
Comment #349230

Good article, and follow ups SD.

btw, “whatajoke” is very aptly named!

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2012 3:56 PM
Comment #349232
Well, lets take a second to look back at the Bush Administration. Using Romney’s policies, Bush managed to take an environment of record-breaking employment gains, and essentially flatten it out. Wages flattened out, and he didn’t even really overcome his first term losses until the beginning of his second term. And what was his success based on? That’s right, the housing bubble.

I never actually understood this line of thinking… Perhaps it is because I was around at the time, but the last year of the Clinton administration was when the ‘flattening’ occurred, not afterwards as you seem to hint at. We were entering a recession before Bush took over and did the tax rebate which helped prevent a technical recession from occurring.

The trouble actually started during the last of the Bush I administration, about the time he agreed to raise taxes and break his ‘no new taxes’ pledge, which cost him 70% approval rating in the polls in just a few short months and (along with Perot) was able to get Clinton into the WH. Had the internet boom not occurred, creating a huge tech bubble, during the last several years of the Clinton administration, little would have been different from the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administration’s economic handling.

In fact, aren’t the same people who created the housing bubble the same people who are creating the new bubbles today? Isn’t the fed chairman the same now as it was then?

The bubble wouldn’t have been an issue had the democrats running congress listened to the experts and relaxed the mark-to-market rules on mortgages, which they eventually did in the spring of 2009, instead of going for the presidential election at the cost of the wellbeing of many Americans.

If your business is big enough, the size alone may nullify people’s ability to right a particular wrong. I mean, any of us could protest what WalMart might do, but how much will WalMart miss our money if we go?

I assure you that WalMart cares if you don’t go to their stores. They can’t MAKE anyone go into their stores, like a government can. The point is that they are providing what people want, lower priced goods in one place, and no one else is doing that as well. And because not enough people are upset about their businesses practices and continue to shop there just makes you want to ‘solve that issue’ in the governmental system because you think it is right, even though the majority disagrees with you.

So much for the rights of the majority that you claim is beyond reproach, as a good progressive you are all about protecting the minority when YOU are a member of that minority. When you aren’t, it should be majority rules.

That’s the hypocrisy many of us see…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 4:17 PM
Comment #349236
“The man of system … seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.”

As true now as it was when Adam Smith said it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 4:40 PM
Comment #349246
“There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money — if a gun is held to his head.” — PJ O’Rourke
Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 5:11 PM
Comment #349260

“Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” — CS Lewis

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 8:18 PM
Comment #349261
“What most people know of how business operates — the harsh, mean businessmen, the dirty tricks, the skirting of the law, and so on — they know only from screenplays written by people who have never been in business. Until they go into business for themselves, most people will never know that the reality is almost exactly the opposite.” — Harry Browne
Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Comment #349262
“What most people know of how business operates — the harsh, mean businessmen, the dirty tricks, the skirting of the law, and so on — they know only from screenplays written by people who have never been in business. Until they go into business for themselves, most people will never know that the reality is almost exactly the opposite.” — Harry Browne
Posted by: Rhinehold at July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Comment #349267

kctim-
You present it as this flat choice instead of the conflict it really is. Oh, on one side, there are these people who love freedom, and on this other side, there are these freedom haters who just want to nationalize all the business and destroy liberty.

Right. The common sense defying position is that you can make it easier and easier for people to keep the profits all to the people upstairs, and all of a sudden see a magnificent golden shower of altruism from above.

That’s the banal, mundane point behind most of what legislators are talking about when they talk about deregulation. They’re not talking about freeing you or I from intrusive government. They’re talking about weakening restrictions on harmful behavior so their friends can make more money.

Frank-

Yes, I know exactly what I am saying. Democrats are thieves; they want to take from those who have worked and give to those who have not, all in the name of social justice. You are a liberal Democrat; therefore you are a thief.

Everybody should take a look at this bull****. This is how you start your argument, with petty propaganda. Why is that necessary? Why must everybody share your hatred for your opponent?

Stephen, are you aware of the fact that some people get dividends checks and some see a rise in the investment in the stock. So any stockholders of a corporation, that is making a profit, are going to benefit.

I know how the system works. I also know that profit comes after you’ve dealt out the payments to suppliers, to employees, and everything else. The question is, how do we resolve the conflict between the drive for profits on one hand, justifiable in a capitalist society, and the drive to be paid and compensated well at the employee levels, also justifiable?

Isn’t your post about Caterpillar? Management enriching themselves and” leaving the company in shambles”? Have you changed the conversation Stephen? You said in your original post that Cat was making a profit. How could they be in economic shambles and be making huge profits? My guess is that you have left the original topic and are now spouting liberal anti-corporation rhetoric, right???

The original entry is about people getting a fair share for doing work that benefits the company.

An executive that does their fair share of good for the company deserves to be compensated accordingly, as should be true for employees who do a good job. Incentives for good work. Basic stuff I can’t figure out why you don’t support.

An employee who fails to work well typically won’t get as well compensated, in a healthy system, and the same should be true for executives who fail to lead their company well.

You see a paradox because the one thing you are stunningly blind to is the standard of good fortune based on merit that I apply to both sides.

As for the list you got from the Heritage Foundation (who likely distributed it to the myriad of conservative sites who suddenly, conincidentally blasted it out all the same time, let me ask you the question you don’t likely have the answer to: These failures are out of how many other companies? And how many failed companies would I find in the wake of Romney’s operations that you would balk at me insisting were his fault?

See, folks card stack on the right like this all the time. Solyndra itself is an example. You wouldn’t know that almost all the other companies on the same loan guarantee program have so far made it. I wonder how many other companies have succeeded, only to be ignored by your side in its quest to prove there is no market for solar?

You keep talking like I’m a dumbass, but I know the tricks. I know the way your side skews the truth.

What is the difference between “fairness” and “Social behavior”? You claim you’re not a socialist and yet your argument is based on socialism. What does “healthy social behavior” mean, in the context of company wages?

Reward the good, punish the wicked. What did you think it meant? Oh, that’s right, socialism. This seems to be a pattern of misunderstanding with you, and your hardline, radical views. I have to be the one who’s out of the mainstream, not you.

People want folks who do good for others, and by others to be rewarded, those who do bad to be punished. If you think that is marxist-socialist in origin, read your bible. Read what they say in the prophets.

When you say “in this economy”, are you referring to a bad economy? Haven’t you and other liberals on WB tried to make the argument that the economy has improved under Obama? Secondly, the prices of groceries, gas, or energy are not considered when figuring a COLA. According to the Federal Government, there is no inflation. Why should wages go up, if there is no inflation? But, perhaps you are against the way the Obama administration figures inflation, which is it?

The Obama administration did not invent the formula. Many past administration of both Republican and Democratic composition measured inflation the same way. Measuring it with energy and food costs skews the results, because those markets are so volatile.

You want to talk about things as if a bad economy and Obama successfully stimulating the economy are mutually exclusive, or as if basic inflation can be flat- meaning consumer goods aren’t really getting pricier, while food and energy go up and down in price as supplies are found, bumper crops brought in, then crop lost to drought, pestilence and other concerns.

I mean, are you telling us that crops getting wiped out in Russia and the American bread basket by drought don’t effect the price of grain or fruit, or the livestock that depend on all that? Or that a bumper crop brought in because of unexpectedly good conditions might not drop that price? The futures markets in commodities like grain and oil were founded for a reason: to stabilize cost. Folks don’t have to use it that way, but that was the original intention.

New finds on one hand, world events like Libya’s unrest on the other…

That’s right. We should measure the growth of the money supply by pegging it to resources whose supply is always inconstant, is that what you’re trying to say?

Frank, you seem to be arguing things from a basis of just attacking me for not agreeing with your narrow interpretation of capitalism. Getting back to that list, how many of those companies went under because China subsidized its solar industry, while folks back home insisted on letting the so-called free market decide things?

Republicans have a reputation for being tough minded, but all too often, they are very naive. They expect the world to treat us fairly, to go along with our libertarian theory of trade. But that’s BS. Other countries lie like dogs about it, and cheat like cardplayers in a Maverick episode. economic foreign policy from the GOP seems to boil down to “lie down and think of England.”

As for your insistence that we leave Bush’s policies behind?

Well, any day now. You can stop anytime you want to. Stop the tax policy, stop the free trade policy, stop coddling the oil companies at taxpayer expense, quit insisting that Global Warming is not a problem, etc.

When you leave your policies in the past, when you quit trying to revive it all, then I’ll be satisfied that we don’t need to bring up the examples of his policy, as a means of critiquing your nearly identical proposals.

You can talk about complete ignorance, but I don’t feel the need to speak about it from personal experience. It’s time to pop the GOP bubble and get this reckoning going.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2012 12:46 AM
Comment #349269

Rhinehold-
I don’t know, but I think most people get their formative experience about business from the way they get screwed over. The Layoffs, the skimping on benefits and salaries, the takeovers, the bankruptcies, etc.

You would like to believe it’s just bad press, but at some point, that’s just a reason to ignore the obvious.

All too much politics these days, even among the people whose politics I like, is about trying to manifest ideas in literal concreteness, instead of merely starting out from the ideas, and then adapting in both directions in terms of technology.

The question is, how much of what we think is real maps to what is real, and are we even asking that question at all?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2012 1:03 AM
Comment #349286

“Everybody should take a look at this bull****. This is how you start your argument, with petty propaganda.” Stephen Daugherty

Stephen, there is bullshit, but it’s coming from you. I did not start the argument with the fact you and all Democrats are thieves, I concluded with that fact: read the last couple of lines in comment #349206. It is only “petty propaganda” if you don’t want people to know what you are doing. Stephen, you are a socialist, you want government to right all the wrongs of the world. How do you do that? By taxing people and redistributing the wealth. This is not propaganda; it is the reality of what your side does.

“An executive that does their fair share of good for the company deserves to be compensated accordingly, as should be true for employees who do a good job. Incentives for good work. Basic stuff I can’t figure out why you don’t support.
An employee who fails to work well typically won’t get as well compensated, in a healthy system, and the same should be true for executives who fail to lead their company well.
You see a paradox because the one thing you are stunningly blind to is the standard of good fortune based on merit that I apply to both sides.”

Stephen, you really are a “dumbass”: first, does an executive work under a contract; and secondly, does a union employee work under a contract. Yes to both. An executive has a contract and his bonus and pay package are based on his success. A union employee also works under a contract. The “dumbass” comment is that you expect a company, even though successful, to pay above and beyond what the contract says to pay. A union employee agrees to work for X dollars and that is what he gets. You are saying that a company should pay a percentage of its profit to a union employee, instead of paying the contracted wage. How stupid; what if the company loses, should the company take away from the contracted wages? You say again:

“The original entry is about people getting a fair share for doing work that benefits the company.”

Since when is “fairness” the issue? Do you go to the grocery store, or in your case, and electronics store to purchase a product, go to the store manager and say it’s not “fair” that you charge X dollars for this product? The store manager would most likely tell you, this is the price, take it or leave it. Stephen, you are the one who posted this article; you are the one who said Cat was trying to negotiate a contract with its union employees. “Fairness” does not enter the negotiating process. You claim. It’s not all about “fairness”, but fairness is all you have talked about. What would your argument be if I said, I don’t believe it’s fair for the government to take my money, in the form of taxes, and pay for social welfare programs?

“As for the list you got from the Heritage Foundation (who likely distributed it to the myriad of conservative sites who suddenly, conincidentally blasted it out all the same time, let me ask you the question you don’t likely have the answer to: These failures are out of how many other companies? And how many failed companies would I find in the wake of Romney’s operations that you would balk at me insisting were his fault?
See, folks card stack on the right like this all the time. Solyndra itself is an example. You wouldn’t know that almost all the other companies on the same loan guarantee program have so far made it. I wonder how many other companies have succeeded, only to be ignored by your side in its quest to prove there is no market for solar?”

You’re wrong again Stephen; I didn’t get the list from Heritage. I got the list from many web sites; but I fail to see why it matters where they come from. The list is correct and you play the same old tired game of the left by attacking the source instead of dealing with the topic. Then you try to change the subject by asking how many other succeeded. It doesn’t matter if any other companies succeeded. You keep changing the subject; your original post was about the success of Cat and why they weren’t being fair to their employees; then, in your responses you talk about companies failing after paying their execs big bonuses. I gave you a list of green companies, in which Obama invested billions of taxpayer dollars, only to see the money lost, companies bankrupt, and thousands of employees unemployed. Stephen, I will talk about anything you want to talk about; but stick with one subject and quit bouncing around. Are we talking about successful companies or are we talking about failed companies. This was your statement:

“But people are seeing these folks, instead of working for the good of the company, enriching themselves, and then leaving the company in a shambles, while they float down with a golden parachute.”

So are you talking about Cat, or are you just using WB to throw out a laundry list of liberal complaints about free enterprise, capitalism, and corporations? If you want to talk about failed companies, I gave you a list; failed companies who were financed by tax dollars. Let’s talk about them…no, you don’t want to talk about Obama’s failed policies. Once you throw failed companies in the mix of the conversation, you now want to talk about how companies are screwing their union employees by not giving them above what their contract calls.

I don’t think the government has any business whatsoever, investing in private enterprise. But I will tell you what Stephen, you give me a list of the green companies Obama has put tax dollars in that have succeeded?

“People want folks who do good for others, and by others to be rewarded, those who do bad to be punished. If you think that is marxist-socialist in origin, read your bible. Read what they say in the prophets.”

No Stephen, people like you always want to do good for others, as long as you are doing it with others money. The bible says nothing about talking someone else’s money to do “good for others”. It talks about using your own money; and the facts have been established many times that Conservatives out give Liberals. So your side need not lecture conservatives about “doing good”.

Mother of all dumbass statements by Stephen Daughety:

“Republicans have a reputation for being tough minded, but all too often, they are very naive. They expect the world to treat us fairly”

Stephen, you’re whole post is about fairness. What a dumbass.

Posted by: Frank at July 26, 2012 9:35 AM
Comment #349287

Stephen
I didn’t mention anything about deregulation, that is a different argument than the one you make here.
What you wrote about is your opinion on the lack of concern and generosity from business owners and their failure to acknowledge their success as you think they should.

My position is that you, me or any other individual has the right to run this aspect of private business as they see best, not as you or government sees as “fair.”

How a business distributes its profits is not for you or government to mandate. Whether it’s paying the people “upstairs” more than others, paying everybody the same or paying by scale, it is the owners choice, not yours. The business will succeed or fail on its own.

“They’re talking about weakening restrictions on harmful behavior so their friends can make more money.”

In keeping within the context of your post, the “harmful behavior” you are speaking of is the unequal distribution of profit. You want government to regulate that distribution so that it matches your definition of “fair.”
This is nothing but the same “you couldn’t and didn’t do it on your own” rhetoric.

This election truly is between having the right to run your business as you see fit, OR running your business as government mandates is the most “fair.”

Posted by: kctim at July 26, 2012 9:48 AM
Comment #349290

Frank-
And now we see you for who you really are. Why is it necessary to call me a dumbass and a thief? Why all the loaded words, blasted out at us like grapeshot out of a cannon?

Because you cannot argue against fairness. A man or a woman should be paid the same, for the same work. They should have a share of whatever success they are a part of, and the degree to which they are not given a share is the degree to which an injustice has been done. That’s not marxism.

Of course this proportion is not written in stone. To answer the potential challenge, whether you should make it or whether it’s slipped your mind, this is not so simple as an obvious set balance. This is something that should be negotiated, and negotiation like that is a critical part of the market actually functioning. If it doesn’t take place, then sooner or later, the socialists you call thieves will take over.

The simple fact is, people don’t set their market price simply on the basis of personal greed. They set it on the basis of what things cost. We have set a social norm for people that has them pursuing houses in the suburbs, college education for their children, private investment for retirement, and paying bills from internet to electricity that are necessary to maintain everything. If we’re going to sell people the American dream, seek to make money off of them as they work to attain it, we should have the decency to let them do it within their means.

You are saying that a company should pay a percentage of its profit to a union employee, instead of paying the contracted wage.

You have a real problem with listening. The story, if you even bothered to read it, was about Caterpillar freezing pay increases, despite the fact they ostensibly did great business, and had the money to pay executives more compensation. The question I raised was whether this reflected a healthy, sustainable path for business.

You talk about the market, but you seem to think of it only in terms of not letting the government do anything to police that market.

Fairness not part of the market? What the **** do you think people are trying to attain in that deal? Do you think people spend their hard-earned dollars to get cheated? Do you think I go to Best Buy and just take something off the shelf? Do you think my comments to the staff that I think a product costs too much should go unnoticed? Do you think people should just keep their mouths shut when a product breaks down, and somebody gives them the runaround on the warranty?

People want value for their money, a fair price to give their product or service. That is the integral value of the market, allowing the interactions between the two to take care of most of the problems, instead of some slow to react bureaucracy.

Of course, nature has people wanting to get the best things in life for free, and that applies to both sides. The tendency in business is towards selling people as little as possible for as much as possible, and the tendency in being a customer is to seek as much as possible for as little cost. Allowed to reach for their extremes, each side creates a dysfunctional scenario.

The compromise between the two is the market, and properly policed, you don’t have to have the government up everybody’s ass. Properly policed, the market does its job. The policing merely functions to eliminate unhealthy alternatives for all sides. The market then allows people to choose among the remaining alternatives, optimizing that result.

The key here is that I’m not expecting the government or the market to do the whole job on a mutually exclusive basis.

You’re wrong again Stephen; I didn’t get the list from Heritage. I got the list from many web sites; but I fail to see why it matters where they come from.

It won’t pay for me to beat around the Bush, so here goes: the competition to clean, alternative energy sources is funding the people who created that list. The people who have the most to lose if society is no longer dependent on their product, who make incredible profits off of it, are the ones who help make that kind of propaganda possible.

There are innappropriate appeals to the character of the source, and then there are appropriate ones. The simple fact is, The Heritage Foundation has a conflict of interest with telling you the truth.

You never answered my question about how many other companies got stimulus grants or contracts. A certain failure rate is expected on Wall Street with investments. Do you deny Bain had its share of failures? If we are not given a sense of the proportion of failure, how do we judge it properly? 16 out of 32 would be half. 16 out of 160 would be ten percent. 16 out of 1600 would be one percent.

How many companies are we talking about? If we are being asked to conclude that the green programs are a failure, what is the failure rate for these investments? This isn’t an idle question here, mister, this is integral to the truth of your argument!

You accuse me of bouncing around. I’m sorry if it seems that way, but I take a more comprehensive view of things, and I follow up on the things you are too interested in calling me a thief and a dumbass to actually look into.

I’m sorry you feel so badly about me not judging what you say by the narrow set of premises and insulting charges you’ve thrown my way. But I’m not going to yield up my right to see and look at things for myself to you, give you the satisfaction of bullying me out of presenting the alternatives to our audience.

kctim-
The trouble with your sensibility, is that people don’t always agree. You act like government intervening in business is something new. It’s not.

The questions in any market economy are, to level a few,
1) How do we hold people to their word?
2) How do we keep people from selling goods that may harm people?
3) How do we keep people from abusing their employees?

Just these are impossible without government, because once you have two private actors in a dispute, the only resolutions require the intervention of one set of citizens against another. Even if it’s just one guy arbitrating for the two parties, one of those parties can still weasel out of things, and the only solution would be for the arbitrator and the wrong party to exact their penalties themselves.

The point of government action is that it’s binding, and the government has the force to make it so. If business agreements, hell the charter of corporations are non-binding, then they’re just worthless peaces of paper, and commerce is inherently problematic.

The framers gave government the right to regulate interstate commerce, and the states the rights to regulate commerce within their border, where federal law did not apply.

The question is, how? Do we have a government that trusts to the so far discredited notion that banks and financial institutions will hold themselves to high standards and ethical, responsible practices on their own, or one that takes appropriate steps to make the economy safe for the free market to operate, for the basic needs of the people to be fulfilled in the process?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2012 11:07 AM
Comment #349293

I don’t just find Stephen’s comments ignorant; I find them an offense to the very things that made America great. Stephen thinks I am personally attacking him with my comments; but he has no problem personally attacking free enterprise. I thought I would do a little research on the whole subject of Caterpillar and this is what I found:

Tier 1 contract union employees make $55k a year, plus benefits and overtime. At $26 an hour; one overtime day a week would amount to an extra $16224.00 a year, making a total salary of $71224.00 a year. I’m sure that they were able to make more than 8 hours overtime a week. Now, check out the salaries of management:

Mechanical Engineer (21)


Salary $53,638 - $84,563
Bonus $1,014 - $12,822
Total Pay $52,357 - $95,674

Manufacturing Engineer (13)
$38,579 - $83,864


Salary $52,275 - $78,405
Bonus $0.00 - $7,946
Total Pay $38,579 - $83,864



Electrical Engineer (8)


Salary $48,758 - $101,699
Bonus $1,020 - $19,939
Total Pay $45,982 - $103,813


Senior Mechanical Engineer (8)
$68,442 - $131,721

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Caterpillar%2c_Inc./Salary

These salaried jobs are for college graduates and the starting salaries are all lower than a tier 1 non-college skilled worker. Does Stephen have outrage for these salaried workers who are not sharing in the profits of Caterpillar? No…he is only concerned about the union workers. So we have to ask WHY? The answer is these salaried employees and part of the problem; they are part of the corporation and therefore the enemy of the rank and file. But, we find a fairness in the qualifications and the pay scales of all the employees.

Next, we find these employees have been on strike since May 1st. Perhaps Stephen could tell us what these striking workers have gained over the past almost 3 months? They will NEVER recoup what they have lost. Some will declare bankruptcy and lose homes and cars. This was a fight between liberal controlled unions and corporations, tell us Stephen, who is the loser in this power grab?

Let me list some of the losers in this power struggle:

http://www.suntimes.com/business/13494396-420/caterpillar-strikers-we-cant-give-up.html

The very idea that liberals and Stephen in particular, are trying to argue how much a company should or should not pay is absurd. How much money has Stephen ever invested into building a business…nothing? Stephen wants to make this about a personal attack on him; it’s an attack on all liberal socialist who think they know more than everyone else. Stephen’s arguments are typical liberal ideology and this shows the complete ignorance Obama, their leader, has when it comes to capitalism.

“Frank-
And now we see you for who you really are. Why is it necessary to call me a dumbass and a thief? Why all the loaded words, blasted out at us like grapeshot out of a cannon?”

Dumb:
a: lacking intelligence : STUPID b: showing a lack of intelligence
c: requiring no intelligence
d: not having the capability to process data

Ass:
a: sometimes vulgar: a stupid, obstinate, or perverse person —often compounded with a preceding adjective

In this case DUMB-ASS: an unintelligent (not having the capability of processing data) obstinate (perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion

Stephen, I don’t know how else to describe your condition.

“Because you cannot argue against fairness. A man or a woman should be paid the same, for the same work. They should have a share of whatever success they are a part of, and the degree to which they are not given a share is the degree to which an injustice has been done.”

Here you go again Stephen, another “dumbass” statement. Have I ever said anything about pay for men or women… No, I haven’t. So once again you are introducing liberal theology into the conversation. Talking points meant to lean the argument in your direction and make the conservative side look unfair. Nothing was said about men and women’s pay scale; you are more than a dumbass, you are a habitual liar. If I am wrong, show me? Once again Stephen, you show your ignorance of the work force. Union men and women both make the same pay scale. Stephen, what part of “union contract controlling the pay and benefits” don’t you understand? You are posting an article about a union shop Caterpillar and trying to argue from a non-union shop corporation. At least that is what you sound like you are doing. Non-union shops don’t work under the same rules as union shops. Non-union shops CAN base pay and benefits on merit, union shops cannot, because they work under a CONTRACT…

Once again “Because you cannot argue against fairness”, you bring “fairness” into the conversation and yet you claim it’s not about fairness. What is wrong with you Stephen?

A corporation is an inanimate object; it is a company; corporations don’t care about fairness. They are not created for fairness they are created to produce a product and make a profit. I doubt you will ever be able to understand this.

“The simple fact is, people don’t set their market price simply on the basis of personal greed. They set it on the basis of what things cost.”

Yes Stephen and the price of labor is based upon the availability of labor. In Williston, ND, the unemployment rate is low, wages are high, and there are companies (restaurants, shopping centers) who cannot start up because the unemployment is so low (thanks to oil production) that these companies cannot compete with the high wages. So high employment has set “the basis of what things cost”; in this case, wages.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/opinion/collins-where-the-jobs-are.html

“You have a real problem with listening. The story, if you even bothered to read it, was about Caterpillar freezing pay increases, despite the fact they ostensibly did great business, and had the money to pay executives more compensation. The question I raised was whether this reflected a healthy, sustainable path for business.”

I know exactly what you are saying Stephen; but who gives you the right to determine what a corporation does? “Healthy, sustainable path for business”? How sustainable is a 3 month strike?

“You talk about the market, but you seem to think of it only in terms of not letting the government do anything to police that market.”

This is the fundamental difference between freedom loving, entrepreneurial, capitalist and the left; we believe government never created anything and they should stay out of the way of business.

Stephen, answer me a question if it’s possible; tell me, what would the US economy look like right now if Obama had adopted the policy that has taken place in Williston, ND? They have a 1% unemployment rate.

At this point Stephen, after reading the rest of your garbage, I am going to quit commenting. I have come to the conclusion you are a flaming liberal with no concept of free enterprise. You simply parrot the talking points of the left. There are a couple of idiots on WB; Adrienne is one, Adam Ducker is another and now you are the third. Talking to you is a waste of time. How do you hold a conversation with someone who is brainwashed with liberal socialism.

In the mind of a liberal, it is all about fairness. Well Stephen, sometimes life isn’t fair. Get over it…

I have some experience with starting a company, fighting government laws, making payroll, producing a product, and trying to keep your head above water. You don’t; and you have no concept of what you are talking about. This is not a personal attack; it’s a fact. Maybe, one of these days, when you move out of that liberal bubble you live in and have to face the real world, without depending on living off the work of others, you might learn something. But, I honestly doubt you will.

Posted by: Frank at July 26, 2012 1:27 PM
Comment #349298

Stephen
There is no trouble with my “sensibility,” but there does seem to be some trouble with your understanding.

I didn’t get that you were writing about contracts, harmful products or employee abuse, when I read your post.
And, as I have mentioned countless times before, smart, limited government does not mean no government at all.

Again, your post is about profit and the distribution of that profit. In your opinion, business owners believe “the people at the top have decided that they, and only they are responsible for making the success happen, and everybody else is a liability on the books who must be minimized.”
You are blaming business owners for not distributing their profit how you think they should.

In essence, you believe private companies are not sharing the profits how you want, so you want government to “regulate” the distribution of those profits. That their success means nothing if they don’t share the wealth as you believe to be fair.

This election is about whether individuals should control their own business OR if government should. About whether one believes in the individual OR if one believes the individual is nothing without government.

Posted by: kctim at July 26, 2012 2:38 PM
Comment #349299

kctim, you are correct about the election and you are correct that Stephen Daugherty believes it is not fair that; first, corporations make money and secondly, that they do not distribute these monies to whoever.

Stephen Daugherty wrote the post about Caterpillar’s profits and has used it as a platform to preach the leftist ideas of re-distribution of wealth. He manages to include a plethora of liberal abuses of US Corporations. Stephen’s concepts of business are a microcosm of Obama and the Alinsky/Keynesian idea of what to do with the wealth in America. The sad thing is, Obama stated exactly what he believes on July 13th, even though he and the left are trying to walk it back. Obama has always stated exactly what he believes, but the Anerican people just didn’t listen.

Posted by: Frank at July 26, 2012 3:32 PM
Comment #349316

kctim-
Examine your words again. You talk about not forcing people into things, yet no government can function without the ability to coerce. If your government can’t force somebody to heed a contract, the contract means nothing, and they can effectively do what they want.

I’m sorry, but I base my response on your own words here, your own written philosophy.

Frank-
“I find them an offense to the very things that made America great.”

Pardon me. I thought we were having a debate. Instead it seems we’re having a pity party for your poor, offended soul. Give me a break. I was raised in Texas, educated during the eighties, which means I sure as hell was taught quite a respect for this country.

Not once was I taught that being a far right ultraconservative was required to be respectful to what my country stands for. So pardon the **** out of me if I’m behind the curve on that, because apparently adopting your hardline politics are a requirement for upright citizenship now.

I went further into your source, something you should grow to expect when you use one of them on me, and what I found was that there were other position, management and supervisory position which paid much more. Additionally, there are plenty of employees who start out in the twenties and thirties and top out in the 50-70,000 dollar range. You just failed to notice them.

Strikes are difficult, but that’s the market for you. Unions have to weigh the value of future contract improvements and avoiding concessions against the cost of remaining out of work. Why do you keep on making the mistake of believing that I think these things are easy, or simple? The balance is that it’s no easier, and no less disruptive for the business.

Can Caterpillar executives really maintain a well motivated workforce indefinitely doing this? I don’t think so. This is a show of contempt for their interests. They are right to respond to protect themselves. Of course, if they weren’t trying to union bust, they could negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement, but instead the company’s trying to play hardball with their skilled workers.

How many do you think will stay with them when the pressures of a lousy economy are lifted?

The very idea that liberals and Stephen in particular, are trying to argue how much a company should or should not pay is absurd. How much money has Stephen ever invested into building a business…nothing? Stephen wants to make this about a personal attack on him; it’s an attack on all liberal socialist who think they know more than everyone else. Stephen’s arguments are typical liberal ideology and this shows the complete ignorance Obama, their leader, has when it comes to capitalism.

Look, you’re calling me a dumbass and a thief. Saying it’s a generalized slander just means you’re not even bothering to treat me as an individual, deal with me in particular. Am I supposed to thank you for being generally bigotted rather than specifically slanderous?

You think you’re the only person who has ever run a company? You’re not.

And really, how obvious do you want it to be before you admit the problem? The executives are making money, the business is making money, but despite the fact that the business is doing well again, they want sacrifice out of the workers. Why? To create BS improvements in productivity? To make it look like they earned more, so wall street will make their stock worth more?

It’s not like with GM, where you had a company in trouble, and the likelihood of collapse if concessions weren’t made. Caterpillar is looking up! This isn’t a response to a crisis, nor a shared haircut among all the actors.

This is unreasonable. If you’re such an expert, tell me why a company that’s not losing money, or falling behind on profits has to squeeze the workers. Demonstrate the value of the experience you claim, and come up with something better, more resembling of accountability than “It’s their right.”

Let me be blunt, and clear up this confounded misunderstanding that you’ve been laboring under, so to speak: if they weren’t union, I’d consider it just as unjust! The difference here is that these union workers had the option to strike, to stand up for their interests, rather than have to endure such treatment arbitrarily.

I have never been a big fan of the modern employer’s love of laying people off or reducing compensation, in no small part because I’ve been in a household where people were laid off. It marked a turning point in my family’s fortunes. I find those who celebrate it clueless about the pain and suffering it causes, and though I admit it’s sometimes necessary, I don’t get the impression, with what I see in compensation on the top end of the corporate ladder that it’s being done for reasons of good conscience. The destruction of jobs is being called creative destruction, but this hasn’t been machines replacing people, but rather money in the pockets of many being replace by money in the pockets of a few. The necessities of corporate governance are being abused to enrich a few.

Yes Stephen and the price of labor is based upon the availability of labor. In Williston, ND, the unemployment rate is low, wages are high, and there are companies (restaurants, shopping centers) who cannot start up because the unemployment is so low (thanks to oil production) that these companies cannot compete with the high wages. So high employment has set “the basis of what things cost”; in this case, wages.

Take it from a lifelong Texan: What goes up, must come down. I’ve lived through a number of booms and busts, and the layoffs were related to those. We can’t plan for extraordinary anomalies like the oil boom in the Dakotas. We have to plan for economic policies that handle the worst case scenarios, how things can go wrong, rather than jump to fit policy around the best possible outcome.

I’d think that after all this time, with all the crappy outcomes, you would have learned that by now. The Housing market and the stock markets didn’t go up forever. Wall Street did not police itself. The Iraqi insurgents didn’t just fade away with the capture of Saddam. The Tax cuts didn’t create runaway growth and restore the lost revenues by secondary effects any of the times it was tried by Republican Presidents. No, the beast did not starve. No, taking America close to the default on its debt with the debt ceiling debacle did not reassure investors or consumers.

Your people have been wrong time and time again on what to expect, yet you expect the benefit of the doubt on all policies.

If you find political debate a waste of time, go. Leave until it’s no longer such a burden to condescend among your inferiors. You find talking to people a waste of time, you’ve not seen anything yet. If you can’t talk to anybody who doesn’t buy into your ideology, you’re going to rapidly find yourself low on recruits, because in the end you have to start with those who don’t fully believe.

Only cults depend strictly on true believers. Parties that hope to survive in the real world must allow a range of belief, so as to spread the political power more broadly. When only the few who believe everything are allowed to bear the name, folks are going to go elsewhere.

But I guess you hate their guts anyways, so trading real world power for complete political loyalty isn’t such a loss for you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2012 6:19 PM
Comment #349335

“Give me a break. I was raised in Texas, educated during the eighties, which means I sure as hell was taught quite a respect for this country.” Stephen Daugherty

Your outrage means nothing to me; it’s merely for show. The left has no problem insulting the right, and now you are offended? Sure you are.

“I went further into your source, something you should grow to expect when you use one of them on me, and what I found was that there were other position, management and supervisory position which paid much more. Additionally, there are plenty of employees who start out in the twenties and thirties and top out in the 50-70,000 dollar range. You just failed to notice them.”

No I didn’t Stephen; and if you read what I wrote, you would see I said Tier 1 employees. I figured you had enough sense to figure out there were also Tier 2 employees, making a starting wage. As for the execs, that was a given, since your article is about how they are stealing from the working man. I bet you think you got me in that one.

“Can Caterpillar executives really maintain a well motivated workforce indefinitely doing this?”

Well Stephen, as long as Obama is president, and the economy continues to tank, there will never be a shortage of people looking for work, will there?

“How many do you think will stay with them when the pressures of a lousy economy are lifted?”

All of them; if you had any experience in the work force, you would know that this type of job is hard to find. One that pays a good wage, and offers HC benefits and a retirement plan. So I wouldn’t imagine any leaving

“Look, you’re calling me a dumbass and a thief. Saying it’s a generalized slander just means you’re not even bothering to treat me as an individual, deal with me in particular.”

You want to be dealt with as an individual? Then stop quoting the daily talking points of Obama and the left.

“You think you’re the only person who has ever run a company? You’re not.”

No Stephen, not the only one; but I would venture to say that most people who run companies feel the same as I do about Obama and his anti-business stand. But you Stephen have no comprehension of what it is to own a business and this next statement proves it:

“And really, how obvious do you want it to be before you admit the problem? The executives are making money, the business is making money, but despite the fact that the business is doing well again, they want sacrifice out of the workers. Why? To create BS improvements in productivity? To make it look like they earned more, so wall street will make their stock worth more?”

Stephen, you really are a “dumbass”; you can’t get it through your head that companies, whose employees are union, work within the bounds of a contract. The contract is negotiated between management and the unions. The company makes certain demands and the unions make certain demands and they come to an agreement. The companies are going to ask for concessions and the unions are going to try to get more. This is the way it works in every situation. Which leads us to your next stupid analysis:

“It’s not like with GM, where you had a company in trouble, and the likelihood of collapse if concessions weren’t made. Caterpillar is looking up! This isn’t a response to a crisis, nor a shared haircut among all the actors.”

The democrats made sure the autoworkers union knew they would be taken care of, and GM management was put over a barrel to obey Obama, or else. Stephen, I’m going to relist the questions I have asked you, that you ignored. But, here is the first; why was GM in trouble? And secondly, what concessions did the unions make?

“This is unreasonable. If you’re such an expert, tell me why a company that’s not losing money, or falling behind on profits has to squeeze the workers.”

The simple answer is that they don’t want to end up like government motors. The long answer is because they are a corporation and corporations are in business to make money and not to please thieving liberal democrats.

“Let me be blunt, and clear up this confounded misunderstanding that you’ve been laboring under, so to speak: if they weren’t union, I’d consider it just as unjust! The difference here is that these union workers had the option to strike, to stand up for their interests, rather than have to endure such treatment arbitrarily.”

No you wouldn’t. I gave you the salaries of the engineers and you said nothing in your original post about their unjust pay. As I pointed out, the Tier 1 pay scale with overtime was higher than the starting wages of engineers with college degrees. So you just lied; you have no concern for anyone other than unions, because the union leadership supports Democrats.

“It marked a turning point in my family’s fortunes.”

I find it interesting you would talk about your family’s experiences and not your own. What’s the matter Stephen, never had a real job? Don’t feel bad, neither has Obama.
Yes Stephen and the price of labor is based upon the availability of labor. In Williston, ND, the unemployment rate is low, wages are high, and there are companies (restaurants, shopping centers) who cannot start up because the unemployment is so low (thanks to oil production) that these companies cannot compete with the high wages. So high employment has set “the basis of what things cost”; in this case, wages.
“Take it from a lifelong Texan: What goes up, must come down. I’ve lived through a number of booms and busts, and the layoffs were related to those. We can’t plan for extraordinary anomalies like the oil boom in the Dakotas.”

You missed the whole point on that one didn’t you Stephen. You better go back and read it again.

“I’d think that after all this time, with all the crappy outcomes, you would have learned that by now. The Housing market and the stock markets didn’t go up forever. Wall Street did not police itself. The Iraqi insurgents didn’t just fade away with the capture of Saddam. The Tax cuts didn’t create runaway growth and restore the lost revenues by secondary effects any of the times it was tried by Republican Presidents. No, the beast did not starve. No, taking America close to the default on its debt with the debt ceiling debacle did not reassure investors or consumers.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2012 6:19 PM

Stephen, here we go again; you can’t help but bring out the laundry list of liberal talking points can you? I won’t comment on this because it doesn’t pertain to the conversation. I have noticed that at the end of your lengthy replies, you have a tendency to ramble incoherently.

The questions I asked:

1. Why was GM in trouble?
2. What concessions did the unions make?
3. Who gives you or any other socialist politician the right to say how much an employer is supposed to pay his employees?
4. Do you feel the same way about Obama’s investments; or are you just against private industry?
5. When you say “in this economy”, are you referring to a bad economy? Haven’t you and other liberals on WB tried to make the argument that the economy has improved under Obama?
6. Stephen, you are a socialist, you want government to right all the wrongs of the world. How do you do that?
7. You claim. It’s not all about “fairness”, but fairness is all you have talked about. What would your argument be if I said, I don’t believe it’s fair for the government to take my money, in the form of taxes, and pay for social welfare programs?
8. So are you talking about Cat, or are you just using WB to throw out a laundry list of liberal complaints about free enterprise, capitalism, and corporations?
9. I don’t think the government has any business whatsoever, investing in private enterprise. But I will tell you what Stephen, you give me a list of the green companies Obama has put tax dollars in that have succeeded?
10. Does Stephen have outrage for these salaried workers who are not sharing in the profits of Caterpillar?
11. Next, we find these employees have been on strike since May 1st. Perhaps Stephen could tell us what these striking workers have gained over the past almost 3 months? They will NEVER recoup what they have lost. Some will declare bankruptcy and lose homes and cars. This was a fight between liberal controlled unions and corporations, tell us Stephen, who is the loser in this power grab?
12. Stephen, answer me a question if it’s possible; tell me, what would the US economy look like right now if Obama had adopted the policy that has taken place in Williston, ND?

Stephen, I honestly don’t expect you to answer any questions. If you answer as you normally do; you will just repeat your liberal laundry list and throw in a bunch things that don’t pertain.

Posted by: Frank at July 27, 2012 12:15 AM
Comment #349358

Stephen

I did as you asked and “examined my words again.” From post one to the last, I have kept on the topic of your post by talking about who should distribute the profits of a private business: business owner or government.

You have based your response on what I have not said and have derailed to things other than who should distribute the profits of a private business.

Why are you afraid to admit that Stephen? If you believe government should determine profit distribution of private business, say so. Push for another law to do so, like the ACA does.

Posted by: kctim at July 27, 2012 9:39 AM
Comment #349495

SD has another type of syndrome afflicting him. It is “I didn’t hear it that way” syndrome.

If you asked the question, “Did you flush the toilet?” his response would be “it sure is humid today”.

Or “did you see the lightning last night” his response would be “why does that guy drive with his lights on in the day time?

The message here is he cannot extrapolate a logically correct response to the question asked. Kinda like Obama at a press conference.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at July 28, 2012 9:05 PM
Comment #349583

tom humes-
The message I would give to you is that you try and pigeonhole every event’s cause into your politics. I try to learn the real cause, and real causes aren’t as simple as the ones that politicians come up with to mislead impressionable people like yourself.

Also, if you think for yourself, respond for yourself, rather than responding with prepackaged responses, inevitably you run longer than somebody who is simply restating what some glib pundit or politician said.

kctim-
Let me ask you a pointed question: how does one go about the business of setting up a corporation?

Or, why is that you get the reports you do from the corporations you invest in, rather than that business just taking your money and running?

What’s the whole point of the FDIC?

I don’t subscribe to the theory that government should micromanage this, but I do believe that government should outlaw certain problematic financial practices, and regulate certain others to prevent abuses of clients, investors, and the public in general. I don’t subscribe to the theory that all will be well if we simply let people do whatever they want to do, because I’ve seen far too many people pull tricky crap with other people’s money. The temptation is too strong, and just as we outlaw somebody picking your pocket, we shouldn’t have people bilking their investors out of money.

Frank-
1) Why was GM in trouble? As far as I can tell, the major reasons were that it was trying to sell fuel inefficient vehicles in an economically strained, high-gas price environment. Also, though, and you might have missed this in your quest to blame the unions, a huge part of how GM made money was from GMAC, it’s car-financing non-bank lender. That’s part of what was bailed out, and that’s part of why the timing of GM’s troubles were coincident to the credit crunch of 2008. Ford and Chrysler were in the same boat.

2)Well, take a look.

They got paycuts, for one thing. Reductions in healthcare plans, reductions in job protections, loss of plenty of jobs, loss of hours worked, a concession to some autos being made outside the country. Thousand still lost their jobs, thousands of dealerships still closed.

3) When people get underpaid, the economy suffers. It is the right of a society to set minimum pay standards in order to assure that as many people as possible draw salaries rather than federal benefits, and buy something in our businesses, rather than nothing.

But that’s minimum wage. Really, the main policy issue here would be unionization, which I take a fairly predictable stance in favor of.

4) I think I’ve made my stance on private investment clear. I believe in a moderate form of capitalism, not some marxist socialism, nor your naive, unrealistically trusting form of capitalism.

5) Republican Rhetoric assumes that things got worse because of Obama. Yet a look at the actual numbers shows turnaround on nearly every front. What’s up with that?

Most job losses, about 92%, took place within the first year, well before Obama’s policy had time to kick in. The decline of GDP ended in Summer 2009.

What you ask, you ask having willfully hobbled the man. Ah, but you can turn around and justify that in the name of fighting socialism. Well, even so, it demonstrates that he’s at least tried. What have your people done?

6) I guess you couldn’t keep up the facade of being a serious debate opponent for long.

7) Everybody’s got their idea of fair, what’s in their self-interest. But for somebody else, that’s not their idea of fair at all. Our Democracy is meant to allow us to come to an agreement that is an approximation of fairness in the general opinion.

I can’t listen to you whine without shaking my head, because I’ve had to live with tons of policies I don’t consider fair or right in my lifetime. To me, you seem like a spoiled brat having a temper tantrum on the supermarket floor. Oh, I have to pay taxes for policies I don’t like. Well, millions have had to pay taxes for a war they thought was mismanaged, which they thought should have been concluded years before. They’ve had to watch your policy hands trillions to the rich, while it drove us towards greater and greater debt.

That’s Democracy for you. Or Democratically Representative Constitutional Republicanism, if you insist on being tedious about it. You’re screaming in pain, holding your paper cut finger up while people like me have been walking around with sucking chest wounds watching your people shred the economic safeguards that kept us out of this economic situation for the several decades that came before today’s recent disaster. What is it, you guys have that junk bond crash, that insider trading debacle, that Savings and Loan Crisis, the Enron debacle, the Tech bubble burst, the Housing Crisis, the crash of 2008, and we’re still obligated to operate by what you consider fair?

Nah. If you want to pose yourself as a true American, then you have to learn how to maturely deal with the fact that you’re going ot have to deal with a lot you don’t like in Government. We went through this for twelve years. You can take a little while to get used to it.

8) What I saw in the Caterpillar story was a common-sense defying action on the part of the executives of that company. You want people to support capitalism, you support employees getting the kind of treatement that will turn them to supporters of their company, rather than folks looking for the nearest convenient exit.

9) You know what, if you’re so wise about how terrible a waste the Obama Administration’s green programs have been, you should know the statistic of how many companies out of how many more have failed.

If you don’t know the number of companies that Obama supported, how can you possible comment with any authority on the number that failed being all that bad.

10) I didn’t use the word profit in the accounting field correct sense of the term. Perhaps earnings would have been better. But a person should be reasonably able to detect my real message: when Caterpillard did better, its workers should have shared in the rewards. After all, they helped make it possible.

Can you tell me one good reason why Caterpillar employees of any kind, unionized or non-unionized should not have shared in their company’s good fortunes? What is the value of a situation where people climb the income ladder while kicking down at their employees.

11) Tell me, would the cumulative effects of the concessions, the pay-cuts and pay freezes not lose them much over time? Heck, the willingness to cave in? Are you that guy in Gladiator who says “people should know when they are conquered?”

12) Finally, what about Williston is replicateable? There are only so many of these shale oil deposits, and we’re on the upswing or the crest of this boom. As a lifelong Texas resident, and a man who grew up with a father who sold Cathodic protection, I have a certain awareness of how evanescent these trends are.

We actually already tried the assumption that oil would be cheap and plentiful forever. We tried drill baby drill, we’ve drilled these areas, and oil remains expensive.

The question is not what Williston looks like now, but what it looks like in 30 years, or even ten or fifteen.

Stephen, I honestly don’t expect you to answer any questions. If you answer as you normally do; you will just repeat your liberal laundry list and throw in a bunch things that don’t pertain.

It’s such a joyless slog, arguing with hacks like you. You just declare things over, declare things wrong, and don’t even bother to mount a decent argument.

You’re so concerned about painting people like me with a broad brush that you fail to see how broad of a brush you paint yourself with. Has it ever occured to you that Republicans have made themselves their own stereotypes?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2012 2:40 PM
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