Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Food For Thought

J. James gave me some food for thought. I am always interested when someone gives me something to consider.

Here's J. James:
I know you're not a big fan of numbers, but on the topic of Germany, there unemployment is right about 10.5 percent.

Just food for thought.
Here's me:

J.J. - I don't dislike numbers per se, and I always appreciate food for thought. I am not saying that we should be like Germany - I am saying that we can do better with the system we have than showering the wealthy and the corporations with tax breaks in the hopes that jobs will result.

As we have seen, it hasn't happened that way. We've had outsourcings, giant mergers with resulting layoffs, and the job growth that we have seen is mostly in the area of service jobs - jobs that do not pay a living wage. Meanwhile, CEO wages continue to increase, prices increase, corporate profits rise, and regular wages stagnate or retreat.

A number like 10.5 just out of the blue does not take a lot of things into consideration. For instance, there is the difference between East Germany and West Germany numbers. There are also a lot of other factors that are not comparable between our business model and theirs. If you count people with service jobs that don't pay a living wage, how is that better? If people who work at Wal-Mart have to get food stamps, what kind of employment is that?

If I have a business, and hire 2 guys at $15 an hour, and you have a business and hire 10 guys at $3 an hour, are you creating more jobs than I am?

I am not advocating socialism and reviling capitalism. I think the socialist countries could do with some capitalism, and I think without some regulation and constraints, unbridled capitalism leads to where we are headed right now - a huge gulf between the haves and have-nots, which eventually leads to revolt and the swing of the pendulum the other way, which certainly doesn't work either. Communism is a fairy-tale and so is Ayn-Rand-every-man-for-himself-the free-market-is-king capitalism.

We need to rein in the excesses or we're going to be even sorrier than we are now.

And if you're interested in numbers, here are some...


Lt John Finian said...

From the looks of your comments sections discussion isn't really welcomed here. I'll let you guys go back to groupthink, sorry I interupted.

Alicia Morgan said...

j. james - I can't speak for karena, who is a smart, funny, articulate and passionate blogger whose opinion I value, but I will concur that we on the left are a little sensitive about being told 'if you think this country is so awful then what about (fill in the blank)'. When we address what we see as a problem in the United States, it's because we love our country.

If you are a parent, are you doing your child a favor by ignoring bad behavior and allowing them to do anything they want, no matter how destructive their behavior may be? The result is a spoiled, cruel child who cannot function in society.

And as for 'groupthink', one criticism of the left is that we don't have a coherent position. Again, I can't speak for others, but here in Hooterville, we try to sort of band together on things we see as important. My goal, as I stated in the 'About' section, is both to connect with the people who share my views and those who do not.

I obviously valued your criticism enough to make a separate post about it to try to address your point. I don't think you asked your question in a disrespectful way, which is why I tried to answer it in kind, but in this particular blog circle, we have some trolls who use sarcasm, not to the issue, but to the individuals who post, and we're a little sensitive about that.