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What is so wrong with socialism?

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by Larnievc, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    I didn't say that "none of them do that"...I asked, do most get that lavish golden parachute?...and the bigger question, do most abuse it?

    From what I'm seeing, you'd be hard pressed to find a CEO with a lavish 7 or 8-figure golden parachute outside of the fortune 500 list...you'll find even fewer who abuse them. (their original intent was to protect executives in cases of unplanned mergers, etc...)

    Here's some fun facts about CEOs
    There are ~400,000 of them in the US
    Only 8% of them have 7-figure+ salaries (the overwhelming majority make between 100k - 500k)
    57% started the company
    According to Fortune magazine, only 38% of them have any sort of "change in control" compensation package in their contract...and of them, only 9% have one that exceeds their yearly salary.

    How many of them were crooked and abused bailouts and parachute clauses in the events you describe...15, 20 maybe?

    You're basing this notion of "CEO=corrupt,greedy,carefree - Employee=hardworking,exploited,abused" on how a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of CEOs conduct themselves.

    Interesting fact...France (the country everyone in this thread is suggesting we should be more like "France can do it, why can't we?") seems to be the biggest offender in terms of this practice.

    the highest "change-in-control benefits" have been for French executives, as of 2006 according to a study by the Hay Group human resource management firm. French executives receive roughly the double of their salary and bonus in their golden parachute.

    That's why I was asking, are you talking about the norms, or the outliers...if you're talking outliers, then sure, you're bound to find an example that fits your narrative...if you're talking norms, then no...most CEOs aren't behaving (or making as much as) Richard Syron or Charles Prince. Most CEOs take a lot of personal risk, spend a lot of time away from their family, and have a large level of accountability and liability.

    Slavery is when you force someone to work against their will for nothing...

    That's not what's occurring here...to say that's the case is to trivialize what a horrible thing real slavery actually is.
  2. ChristsSoldier115

    ChristsSoldier115 Mabaho na Kuya

    In Relationship
    I think most people don't think of those small business owners when they think of "CEO". Luckily, major corporations haven't totally shut down the little guys just yet, but I bet it isn't for a lack of trying.
  3. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    ...but even if the other poster is only referring to "the big guys", I think my point would still be applicable.

    During the financial turmoil they described, there were a handful of people who were guilty of some abuses...if you look at that handful, and compare that to the vast majority of fortune 500 CEOs who don't take bailouts, who don't abuse (or for that matter, even use) their parachute clause (for the ones who have them), don't mistreat their employees, and are relatively fair players...it's still not accurate to say "CEOs just kick back and relax and coast off of the work of everyone else while ripping them off"

    ...in terms of the major players shutting down the little guys, that's why I always remind people of the potential pitfalls of these drastic minimum wage increases that certain people are recommending. The major players can absorb those types of increases with little impact to their pricing...the smaller companies cannot. Raising the wage to $15/hour as some have recommended, would all but hand Walmart a definitive victory over their smaller competitors.
  4. LionL

    LionL Believer in God, doubter of religion

    In Relationship
    By supporting the American system you are.
  5. LionL

    LionL Believer in God, doubter of religion

    In Relationship
  6. Jan Volkes

    Jan Volkes Well-Known Member

    The American system is rotten to the core and only a complete overhaul will bring it back to life, unfortunately millions will die before it's functioning properly again, life in the US seems to be cheaper today than it ever was in darkest Africa.
  7. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    I have an intense dislike of high taxes on anyone...rich or poor.

    The US government spends > $600 billion on foreign intervention via military
    $40-70 Billion on foreign aid
    $15 billion on the 'war on drugs'
    Close to $100 Billion on expired programs

    How 'bout we make some better use of that money before going back to the taxpayers for more?

    Why tax anyone at a high rate if you don't have to?
    (unless you're just specifically aiming to take from the rich just for the sake of taking from them...and you don't care what the money gets spent on, just as long as they don't get to keep it)

    The scenario we currently have is this...
    Mike = The Rich
    Joe = The Government
    Joe's kids = The poor

    Mike asks Joe for some money to help him live more comfortably, Mike (though not thrilled with the idea) says OK, and gives Joe $500. Joe then proceeds to buy a Playstation 4 and two games with it. He goes back to Mike and says "Hey, I need another $100 so I can go to the grocery and buy some food for my kids, can you hook me up?" Mike, naturally, is enraged by this and refuses to give him more money. Joe, then, proceeds to tell everyone "Mike hates my kids, he'd rather see them starve than part with a measly $100!, can you believe how selfish Mike is!?!?!"

    If we stop wasting money on expired programs, end the war on drugs, stop the foreign aid, and cut our military budget by a third, that gives us an extra $385 Billion to work with.

    There are 45 million living in poverty in the US.

    If we're doing the math, that's an extra $9,000/year per person currently living in poverty that the government would have to work with. ...and that's just with targeting 4 items on the budget...if we looked at the entire budget and made common sense adjustments, we could easily increase that number.

    Any reason we shouldn't take that approach first? rather than instantly jumping to the conclusion "we need to raise taxes!"
  8. interpreter

    interpreter Senior Member

    At least half of US Christians are democrats, and agree that socialism is pleasing to Jesus.
    The US is still controlled by Christians, and will be for a thousands years. (But we will need to repeal the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 that has let in a lot of non-Christians, and because the proof of God and Jesus is the fulfillment of their prophesies, we need to show the doubters that 95 % of the Revelation has been fulfilled over the centuries -- despite what the futurists say).

    Christian voters can do anything they want to do. Nothing can stop them.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  9. Loudmouth

    Loudmouth Contributor

    Do janitors make that much? Do CEO's have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck with massive responsibilities at home to support their families?

    This is the majority of upper management. Read more here:


    There were hundreds of high level employees that got bonuses from TARP money at multiple banks.

    Which is the result of not seeing your employees as people who are moral beings.
  10. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    No, CEOs just have to worry about their hundreds (or thousands) of employees and making sure they all have a place to come work every day and earn a living.

    No, this is not "the majority of upper management".

    This is a story (which we already touched on earlier) that represents only a small minority of executives. I stated openly in my previous posts that yes, abuses have occurred (Citi Bank, GM, etc...), however, that doesn't justify your statement of "majority of upper management"

    There are more businesses in the country other than the handful of banks involved with the financial fiasco.

    Satya Narayana Nadella of Microsoft
    Howard Shultz of Starbucks
    Tim Cook of Apple
    Craig Jelinek of Costco
    Dan Amos of Aflac

    All of them evil because they have the title of CEO on their business card?

    Clearly you have a vendetta against anyone with a six-figure income and nobody is going to be able to convince you otherwise.

    Tell me, at what income level (or career level) does a person go from being inherently moral to inherently evil?

    Nearly 2/3 of the nations 400,000 CEOs were people who were employees at the company and worked their way up through the ranks over a period of 10-15 years...since the majority of them, by your estimation, are evil...which promotion was it that took them from "hard worker being exploited by the man" to "greedy rich guy looking to exploit the work of others" ?

    Does it happen when a person becomes "Sr Manager of Payroll", "Director of Accounting", or does the Jeckyll and Hyde transformation not actually occur until they're officially "CEO"?
  11. Loudmouth

    Loudmouth Contributor

    No, they don't. They lay people off all of the time to increase profit. They also move jobs overseas to increase profits.

    Hundreds of employees? Really?

    And you would react the same to each one I discuss.

    How many of them have laid off employees to increase their own bank accounts?

    You are blind to how corporations have stacked the deck against the middle class.
  12. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    Who is "they"? And quantify "all the time"...

    You're making it sound as if the majority of executives are out to screw over everyone else to line their own pockets. While that's true for some of them, that certainly doesn't justify making the accusation that "all" or "most" do that, as you have done.

    Again, there's 400,000 people in the US with the title of CEO...you've described the actions of about 20 of them that were involved with the banking fiasco. Explain to me why the CEO of Costco (known to be a fair player to both his customers and employees) falls into the same class as the head of CitiGroup simply because he's in the same type of position of authority?

    Some have, but most have not.

    According to a study done at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, 20% of American workers have had the undesirable experience of being laid off.

    ...that means 80% have not.

    One must also note that of the 20% of people who have been laid off, not all were due to some executive wanting to get rid of people to line his own pockets. In cases like my dad's, he was laid off way back in the day due to the fact that the company was essentially regulated out of business by the state government due to certain insurance laws so some of the staff was relocated to the Michigan office, the rest of Ohio operations were shut down.

    If I'm blind to it, then by all means, show me the light lol.

    I asked you a very simple question in my previous post that you failed to answer in this post, so I'll ask it again.

    Based on your posts, you're operating on the premise that the following are irrefutable truths:
    1) American Workers are being exploited and underpaid in order to make CEOs richer
    2) The Majority of CEOs are guilty of this behavior (in your own words)

    The other truths we know
    66% of CEOs are promoted from within and have worked their way up through the ranks of the company they run
    The average tenure of that journey to the top is 15 years

    If your "truths" are actually true, then combining those with the Bureau of Labor stats I provided can only lead to one possible conclusion:

    Most CEOs were good decent people, and at some point, a magic transformation happened at which point they transitioned from one of the people getting exploited, to one of the evil people doing the exploiting.

    So, my question, which I asked before and I'll ask again...what promotion or career level change is the tipping point at which this occurs?

    We'll look at one of the "Big Boys" as it were...the former CEO of McDonald's. (Jim Skinner)
    1971: Assistant manager at the Capentersville IL McDonald's location
    Between then and 1992 he wore numerous hats: Manager of Field Operations, Regional Market manager, etc....
    Was promoted to a regional VP in 1992.
    Was promoted to president of Euro operations in 1997.
    Transferred to run the Asia market in 2001.
    Became Chief Operating Officer in 2002.
    Then served as CEO from 2004-2012.

    At which point did the Jeckyll and Hyde transformation occur? It certainly wasn't when he was an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant...and while Market manager was probably a comfortable living, he's still one of us at that point right?

    When exactly did he go from being a struggling assistant fast food manager who's being exploited by the man, to a evil titan consumed with greed?

    And how does that tie in with your assertion that the deck is stacked against the middle class? Clearly it wasn't stacked against him was it? Assistant manager at a fast food restaurant is about as "regular dude" as you can get...
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  13. Loudmouth

    Loudmouth Contributor

    By they, I mean all of them. By all the time, I mean whenever they get the chance.

    Do you really think that there is not a CEO of a major corporation that has not fired people solely for the purpose of increasing profits?

    Fair player? Does he make the same income as his employees? How many more employees could there be if he made the same salary?

    You keep closing your eyes.

    We can start with the cost of education. As corporations and the top earners have had their rax rates slashed, we have seen the cost of education increase for middle class families. This means less access to higher paying jobs. This gets even worse for the poorest classes.

    We could continue with the for profit healthcare system that conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to keep in place. Why? It benefits the richest 1% while bankrupting the middle class. The US pays twice per capita in health care compared to equivalent 1st world nations, and it is because profit drives the system.

    Did 66% of CEO's use to be janitors with that company? Or are they already high paid executives when they joined the company?
  14. Mediaeval

    Mediaeval baptizatus sum

    Family and church make better educational institutions. Home schooling perhaps has never been more convenient and inexpensive. The new Ron Paul curriculum, for example, costs about $46 per month.
  15. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    Well, my CEO for one lol.

    The company I work for hasn't had a single layoff in it's 27 year history.

    No, the stock clerks don't make as much as a CEO (nor should they...a 19 year old coming in off the street shouldn't make as much as one of the guys who helped build the place up)

    Why is "making the same income" so important to you? Not all jobs are worth the same amount of money. I've worked for over a decade to improve my skills and become very good at my job...I'm worth more to an employer than the 17 year old who tears tickets at the movie theater...that's simple supply & demand.

    Is your ideal world a scenario where every single worker gets the exact same thing regardless of the type of task they're performing? It seems like you're leaning even beyond socialism territory and treading the line of communism...you seem to be asking for 100% equality, enforced by the government.

    Do 66% of janitors have the correct skill-set and business acumen to run a fortune 500 company?

    As someone who's been in the corporate world for a while now, I can tell you that high paid executives are usually appointed from within, or hired from another company where they had a lot of experience in their field...it's not very often that a 22 year old would be plucked right out of college to be a VP or C-level officer for a company. (I've never seen it happen)

    The people who are CEOs were typically high ranking in the immediate former position yes...and before that, upper management, and before that middle management, etc.. etc...

    I'm not aware of any fortune 500 CEOs that have made the jump directly to CEO without first climbing the ladder, either in their own company, or a previous company.

    Education is one thing we'll agree on...I have no qualms with breaking libertarian ranks to endorse the idea of free college.

    ***and you still didn't answer my question that I've asked twice pertaining to when this magic transition happens from "one of us" to "evil greed"
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  16. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

    Poorer families, in general, are not well educated themselves, and are therefore not in a position to educate their kids themselves.
  17. Jan Volkes

    Jan Volkes Well-Known Member

    I have news for you, you will never even reach the top 75%, it's a lie told to Americans to keep them quiet.

    You are obviously one of those people who think trickle down economics actually works, well it doesn't,
    today the American millionaires and billionaires shop all over the world because they can either get it cheaper or made better
    in countries other than the US, which means the money is spent elsewhere and other countries get the benefits.

    Billionaires rarely put their money in banks they invest it all over the world, if they do put it into a bank I doubt it would be an American bank it would be in offshore accounts like the Romney's use for tax reasons, they don't even pay tax in the US,
    they take the money out of America and spend it in other countries, if there is trickle down it happens in other countries.

    Here's one case, an American cruise line company wanted a ship built and they wanted it to be the biggest liner in the world, where did they go to have it made? STX Europe Turku Shipyard in Finland, they have since built 2 more and 1 more is planned,
    They cost 1.5 billion dollars each, that's an awful lot of money spent in Finnish businesses, BTW Finland is one of those nanny state countries you mentioned.

    Most Americans believe they are millionaires waiting to happen, it's a cruel lie told to every American school child,
    bright smart people do not need to live in America to become millionaires, admittedly there are more gullible people in the US from whom you can take money, but as far as business is concerned lots of people in every country become millionaires and billionaires.
  18. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    I don't know if we can make that assumption.

    While there certainly are parents who would be more than qualified for the task in some regards
    (for example, if your Dad works for the history museum, he could definitely teach history to his children), how is he going to fair when it comes time to teach health, or English?

    Parents can offer depth in terms of their area of expertise (as any professional can)
    An educational institution can offer breadth...meaning, there are educators there that can provide knowledge on a wide variety of topics.

    Unless your household contains a math expert, science expert, historian, English major, Woodworker, and Fitness instructor...it falls short of what a full-time educational institution can provide.

    Granted, public schools have some serious limitations due to the fact that it's very difficult to fire bad teachers due to union involvement...which can definitely have a negative impact. I'm sure we've all had teachers at some point in our life who, looking back on it now, we realize they weren't all that knowledgeable on what they were supposed to be teaching. My example would be a Tech teacher I had in 11th grade when my school started offering Tech-Vocational courses. We'd have questions about how certain things could be done, his go-to response would be "you'd have to write it in binary" lol...as a 10-year software engineer, I realize now that he was giving us a pretty lame answer because he didn't know the real answer...but when you're 16 and new to it, you don't know.

    As it currently stands, Private schools seem to offer the "best of both worlds" approach...they offer the breadth of knowledge of a full time institution, but without the limits imposed on public schools by the unions which allows them to easily get rid of bad teachers, and retain good ones.

    And the results show:
    In the first set of analyses, all private schools were compared to all public schools. The average private school mean reading score was 14.7 points higher than the average public school mean reading score.

    The average private school mean mathematics score was 12.3 points higher than the average public school mean mathematics score

    In the stats I'm reading, it seems as if the ranking goes as follows:
    1. Independent Private School
    2. Charter Schools
    3. Parochial or Church School
    4. Public Schools
    5. Home Schooling

    The issue that some will run into, is they fall in that order in terms of cost as well.

    Two of the major drawbacks associated with homeschooling are as follows
    1) Lack of social interaction with other kids.
    2) Teaching with an agenda...the 2nd most common reason given for homeschooling when parents are surveyed is "teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth." In plain English: "I don't want the school teaching my kid evolution, I want them to believe in my chosen deity"
    3) Lack of quality control in terms of test scores and grading...while home schooled kids produce slightly higher test scores and GPA's than public school kids, there are serious doubts about their accuracy due to the fact that there's no controlled environment. Is the kid sitting a computer with google during the test? Is mommy going through and fixing the incorrect answers before mailing it in? Is the kid even the one filling it out? In many home schooling environments, you just can't be sure.

    My cousins on my dad's side (his sister who was devout Catholic) were all home-schooled, from personal experience with them, all 3 were true.

    They were socially awkward well into their upper teens, my aunt had a specific religious agenda in mind, and testing was not performed with the utmost integrity.

    Another thing that happened to them (which wasn't mentioned in the list) which is also a draw back is that the institution that was offering their home schooling program/curriculum had its state accreditation pulled when my youngest cousin was in 11th grade...so he had to end up studying and getting a GED.
  19. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Programmer Extraordinaire Supporter

    United States
    Top 75% of what?

    If you're referring to top 75% as far as income percentiles, then I'll have to say you're wrong on that one.

    The 75th percentile starts at around $85k/year.

    That's not an unattainable goal by any means.

    I agree that trickle down doesn't work...

    However, as to your other comment about where millionaires spend their money...

    They might buy some things overseas...but that's not where the majority of their money gets spent.

    I've seen articles that a large number of millionaires invest up to a third of their money overseas...however, I'm not finding anything to suggest that that's where buy most of their stuff from...not saying you're wrong, just saying I can't find any articles that support your assertion on that one. Do you have a link?

    When you say millionaire...do you truly mean millionaire?...are you referring to multi-millionaire types when you say that?

    As far as having a net worth of a million dollars, I don't think that's all that difficult in this day in age is it?

    My grandfather was a truck driver for 42 years, and between his house (which is paid off) and his savings, he has a net worth of over a million. Granted, he was very frugal with his money during his time in the labor force...he saved about 20 cents of every dollar he made in that time window.