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So you think you've got inequality?

  1. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 6 years ago

    Here's what happens if you let the free market determine working conditions:

    http://paranormal-hotel.blogspot.com/20 … -doha.html

    Please be careful what you ask for, folks!

    1. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      What does that have to do with the free market? Poor people can't afford to do many things... heck believe it or not there's a lot I can't afford either but I don't blame my status on the free market! It's always possible to improve oneself... look at those kids in Slumdog Millionaire!

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Why should someone who works six long days a week be so poor that the only entertainment he can afford is hanging around in the street? Why should the workers' accommodation be so bad that hanging about in the street is better than going 'home', even in temperatures around 120F, in summer? How do you 'improve yourself' when your employer holds all the cards, including your passport? When you can't work for anyone except your employer/sponsor without a letter of no objection, which you won't get?

        That is what the free market does where there is no workers' representation. As I said, be careful what you ask for.

        Slumdog Millionaire was a movie, not a documentary.

        1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
          prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I agree totally with you Dave. A decrease in labor unions can increase the gap bet. the rich and poor  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/How-the-m … 48381.html

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Hi Maita - workers' conditions here in the Gulf are the same as conditions in Europe about 100 years ago before the birth of the Trades Union movement. No representation = subsistence wages, or worse.
            That's why I worry when I see people try to legislate against organised labour. Of course there have been excesses, but the movement has been a force for good.
            What are workers' terms and conditions like in the Philippines?

            1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
              prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              it is bloody there, Phils is second to Colombia in terms of the killings related to labor unions. When you are a factory worker, they will let you sign a piece of note not to join any labor unions. Conditions are still oppressive there, there are lots of Multi national corporations run by the locals. And that is why Filipino people go overseas to find job, only to find more oppressive working conditions (Middle East) but they accept it anyway because they need jobs.

              1. Paraglider profile image87
                Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Yes, there are lots of your people in the Gulf. Some are earning quite a lot more than they could at home, but the cost of living here is very high. So high that they are personally poorer here than at home. So they deprive themselves seriously while here, living often at subsistence level (or below) with a view to just getting through it and getting home with some money to show for their efforts. It is a poverty trap.

                1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
                  prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Not the same treatment with engineer like you??

                  1. Paraglider profile image87
                    Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm the only engineer like me wink
                    Seriously though, I can negotiate my own contract. But an engineer from the Philippines will be offered substantially less than a European, even if doing exactly the same job. There is no fixed rate for the job. The employers offer as little as they think they can get away with, based on the source country.

        2. lady_love158 profile image59
          lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Your employer holding your passport and a requirement for a letter of no objection is NOT a free market! These people aren't where they are because of the free market, they are there because the free market is absent! This is government persecution it's got nothing to do with capitalism!

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Why is it Government persecution? There are laws in place but the big companies often ignore them. Government workers here generally do better than workers for private contractors.

            1. lady_love158 profile image59
              lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I think you answered your own question. Your government is ignoring its own laws that's corruption! Those conditions can't stand but its up to the workers to organize and confront business and the government.

              1. Paraglider profile image87
                Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                If it is up to the workers to organise and confront business and the government, they are going to need the strength of a union behind them. Without union backing, any immigrant worker who raises his head above the parapet will just be repatriated. So we're agreeing that unions are a good thing?

              2. kerryg profile image85
                kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I thought the government wasn't supposed to regulate the employment practices of businesses anyway. Shouldn't workers and companies be free to set their own wages and benefits without government interference?

                If the government is not enforcing its own regulations, that's not corruption, that's a de facto free market! Workers and business should be rejoicing in their freedom!

                1. lady_love158 profile image59
                  lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  The problem here is workers AREN'T free to negoiate deals with other businesses and the job of government at least in the USA is to keep people free. But go ahead and try to twist this into your leftist world view.

                  1. kerryg profile image85
                    kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Well, I'm glad we can agree that some government regulation of employment practices is necessary. big_smile

                  2. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    But isn't that the way you'd have it?
                    Aren't you opposed to unions and organised labour?

                    It seems to me that it is you doing the twisting!

    2. Jeff Berndt profile image88
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The rich must be morally superior then, because they nobly refrain from all such practices.

  2. lovemychris profile image80
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    They do the same thing on Cape Cod in the summer. Shoo the homeless away so the tourists don't have to see them.

    1. Paraglider profile image87
      Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, sweep it under the carpet and pretend there's no problem.

  3. mikelong profile image75
    mikelongposted 6 years ago

    Lady somehow thinks that the individual worker should be able to negotiate terms and conditions with a company....at least this is the only way to interpret her responses here....

    How else can workers be "free", at least in her mindstate....

    What I don't understand is how an individual can stand up to the group....the lone outsider against the invested and self-interested group....

    This is why labor unions and other similar organizations have been a major part of European and American history for centuries....

    Lady....do a little research....  Tell me, starting with England before the Industrial Revolution, and working our way around Europe and the U.S......when did homelessness (as the problem we see today) begin? 

    If I remember correctly....yeoman farmers in England were doing just fine before private enterprise came on the scene.....and then we see the true face of unadulterated capitalism: The elite drive the farmers off the land....fences are put up, and the now homeless farmers are turned into cheap labor.....and how many are then pushed into the cities to find work...because they no longer can take care of themselves?

    This process has been repeated over, and over, and over again....

    It all comes down to who one supports....the propertied who continue to derive their wealth from ill-gotten gains....or those who lose their land because the "free-market" (meaning the wealthy) has control of the government....

    Just look at the State of California....peer into its history and go from there....

    Leland Stanford, Celis Huntington......Lady...how would you view these men and their "free market" "accomplishments"?

    1. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe you should read the posts and try to follow the subject matter instead of just jumping in to attack me and change the subject.

    2. S Leretseh profile image62
      S Leretsehposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I’ve read enough from Miguel (no question in my mind he‘s Hispanic). He is a Hugo Chavez wannabe, tho on a much grander scale. He envisions himself saving the world - from capitalism.  I’m quite sure he lies awake at night dreaming of becoming the world’s benevolent DICTATOR (no other way to accomplish Miguel‘s Socialism/Communism), occasionally deigning to appear before his masses from his palatial estate, satisfied he’s gifted them their mere sustenance.

      Marx: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

      Miguel would, of course, be the sole decider of abilities and the sole dispenser to satisfy needs. Ah, if only Miguel could reign over us all.  Keep the flags of discontent waving Miguel…

      1. lady_love158 profile image59
        lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Lol! You hit the nail on the head! He's the typical liberal intellectual responding to my posts with insecure historical events ( because he has a degree ) that has nothing to do with the subject under discussion! His aim to show his intelectual superiority and to distract from the facts and disrupt the discourse.

  4. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 6 years ago

    Back again, after a night's sleep.
    Mikelong's analysis is right on the nail. The situation here is exactly analogous to Edwardian England (1900-1910) where workers were exploited mercilessly by the owner class. Possibly even worse, because the Edwardians didn't have the repatriation threat available. Oh, wait, they did, except they called it expatriation instead!

  5. mikelong profile image75
    mikelongposted 6 years ago

    Lady... 

    Am I supposed to deduce from your wise words that you are on the side of the Huntingtons and Stanfords?

    Keep those blinders on tight, and keep the "la la la" chant going loudly....

  6. mikelong profile image75
    mikelongposted 6 years ago

    "The problem here is workers AREN'T free to negoiate deals with other businesses and the job of government at least in the USA is to keep people free."


    How many American workers are "free" to "negotiate deals" with employers?

    Aside from the work of collective action (unions, worker centers, etc), or from executive positions, which workers in this nation have really any say? 

    In California, the "at-will" termination/resignation policy tightens the power employers have over the unorganized... For those who are not familiar with this term, "at-will" means that an employee can quit at any time (no two week notice), but the employer can terminate employees at any time and with no cause...  They are just required to make sure one receives their final paycheck and any money owed....  I have watched this practice be abused repeatedly...leaving the fired with no answers and no means of income.... 

    And then there are those, often from the same socio-politica-economic camp as the "at-will" supporters, who see unemployment benefits as "big government" and wasteful spending....

    I suppose the unemployed should just starve....and of course, they should wither away from the city centers, where the "at-will" benefitting bosses are "beautifying" in order to draw more international money their way......

    There is a flaw in using the word "capitalism" as a large thing... It is the same mistake made by referring to "Muslims", "Christians", or "whites" and "blacks" as wholes....

    I can use this idea of capitalism to gain my own status, and those I select to join me..with only the enforcable laws to stop me (for it is not enough for a law to be written..).

    The linkages, through family, fraternal organizations, religious identification, etc, those with power (beyond political office) picked and chose where "prosperity" would rain....

    Which is why so many were driven to the West... For the indentured servants/free labor, they were promised their freedom in the stolen frontier....  Of course...one had to be a part of the newly created "white" club...and also a part of the longstanding "Protestant", "male" traditions...

    It is the failure of the capitalist-centric-laissez-faire system that injustices grew to the point of requiring civil rights and collective action legislation.....

    It is this same problem that organizations like ACORN and the CRA were formed...

    Have you heard of "redlining", Lady?  Regardless (for the internet is at your fingertips and google is just a click away), what is your view of this practice?  What is a just response to the inequalities that it created, and that it, in many ways, still perpetuates?

    1. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Everyone is free to negoiate their own terms of employment! Being at will to leave a job is a good thing, it allows you to leverage an opportunity elsewhere with your current employer.  Its a tactic I have used more than once. Why shouldn't an employer or business owner have the same ability? Shouldn't he be free to run his business as he sees fit? Should he be denied freedoms afforded employees simply because he is mire wealthy or successful? That's the premise of liberalism right? It seeks to create a class society and pit one against the other and then ruse to power in the chaos confusion and destraction! You constantly attack freedom as a bad thing as unjust but the unjust, the evil is the government interference in people's freedom cloaked in the disguise of fairness! You liberals are indeed an evil lot!

  7. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 6 years ago

    If there are no checks and balances on the business owners, they will push wages down to subsistence level. They did it in Edwardian England and they are doing it now in the Gulf.
    Unionisation was what slowly lifted western workers out of poverty. Unionisation/representation is the only thing that can help these poor guys in the linked picture, some of whom are paid around $200 per month.
    Trickle-down economics and laissez faire capitalism clearly doesn't work (except for the very rich) because these impoverished workers are living in just about the richest country in the world.

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Paraglider, what's with the Edwardians?
      The problems with exploited labour went much further than that. From the earliest days of the industrial revolution in the later part of the 18th century, through the Tolpuddle Martyrs, deported for trade union activities in the 1830s through the Victorian free markets that saw young children working in coal mines and as chimney sweeps and the prostitution of young girls, and the exploitation of women right through the 20th century.

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, I know. I was citing a period almost exactly 100 years ago because there are resonances between 1910 and 2010, and because I'd recently been discussing The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists elsewhere, so the period was on my mind.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I do think the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists should be compulsory reading.

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It is, in my immediate circle! I've bought and given away many copies over the years.

            1. Jeff Berndt profile image88
              Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I just checked, and my local library doesn't have it.
              I'll have to wait for the inter-library loan.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Jeff, when it was first published it was heavily abridged to give the opposite message. The first unabridged edition was, I think, either the late 50s or early 60s.
                You need to make sure they don't palm you off with the abridged edition.

    2. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      What nonsense!! Even the rich can't resist market forces! When there is demand for labor wages increase... its happening right now in China and it happened in Mexico after NAFTA and in the USA when our economy was growing. Naturally in these times of high unemployment wages will be under pressure but this is all due to market forces not the rich or the poor!

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Which is exactly why they have engineered the system so that we will never see full employment again. There will always be a pool of unemployed, but wanting to work, to keep wages down.

        1. lady_love158 profile image59
          lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Who are they? Big spending big government liberals that's who!

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Lady Love, a bit of advice, please engage your brain before speaking!
            Why would "big spending liberals" want to keep wages down?

            1. lady_love158 profile image59
              lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Because they wish to create an entitlement class dependent on government for their survival... that's their base for reelection... this class warfare thing is all being perpetrated by liberals!

            2. DTR0005 profile image84
              DTR0005posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              John, you are wasting your time. This started out being an extremely informative forum post - still is. Best to ignore her lollll

      2. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I don't talk nonsense. I'm sorry you don't understand.

  8. mikelong profile image75
    mikelongposted 6 years ago

    Lady....again you avoid answering to direct questioning, and your support of "at will" status, and ongoing nonsense about the ability of American workers to have negotiating leverage show your lack of understanding....

    Again...I will redirect....

    Redlining.....the freedom of investment houses (banks) to pick and choose what neighborhoods (and people) they will invest in.....leaving minority neighborhoods with no access to capital..

    Should financial institutions have this freedom, Lady?  Should we go back to those days?

    As for the employee ability to negotiate that you claim exists....you (again) need to talk to the independent contractor truckers, teachers (like me), permanent temp status warehouse workers, Walmart employees, and countless others across this nation....

    You will find that you are mistaken....

    1. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      No I'm not at all mistaken. Pushing a broom requires little skil stocking a shelf again requires little skill. Low skill jobs have a more abundent labor pool to draw from ie greater competition for available jobs which leads to lower pay scales. The market is telling you to train for a better job. Again this is your choice accept a low skill position or improve your marketability.

      Investors banks or other private venture capitalists should invest in what ever neighborhood they wish! What kind of government would tell its people where to invest? You're a socialist, an America hater.  You hate freedom and seek a system of government that imposes its view of justice on society. What's more disturbing is you're reaching our youth these perverted ideas. You are what's wrong with America, you and your ilk that seek to crush freedom. You, Obama and the progressives in both parties!

  9. mikelong profile image75
    mikelongposted 6 years ago

    Thank you Lady...

    You have obviously supported redlining...and the freedom of business to discriminate against people based on ethnicity and socio-economic status...

    If only you belonged to the minorities who have suffered because of this, and similar discrimination....

    I wonder what your worldview would be then.....

    More and more, you are demonstrating that you have no real idea about what you are trying to discuss....

    You'd rather play partisan "rah rah rah" then seriously think about the reality facing the majority of the American workforce....

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image79
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      actually, I have to agree with Lady Love, i read that and saw NOTHING about free-markets in there.

      All that i saw was government transgressions: why are police going down the streets demanding people move about?

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Because they can. That's what happens when workers have no representation.

      2. mikelong profile image75
        mikelongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I was not referring to the article, but to a specific comment that Lady made...

    2. lady_love158 profile image59
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yeah I support freedom and I'm not ashamed of that. I think in the case of redlining one needs to look at the cause... why do such neighborhoods exist? Usually its because of government low income or rent controlled housing. Government creates the problem to begin with and then to fix it wants to force people to invest in it! Its laughable! Everytime liberals get involved in solving a problem their solutions only make things worse and what is even worse is they never acknowledge their failures instead they seek to blame others like those on the right!

  10. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 6 years ago

    Funny how every thread here always ends up in America big_smile

  11. Susana S profile image92
    Susana Sposted 6 years ago

    It is possible to be an ethical employer but it's down to the employer to make the choice to be ethical - the employee desperate for money has little choice in the transaction as Para has pointed out.

    For instance I sometimes hire freelancers from India or the Philippines and I always pay more than the going rate. From a purely financial perspective it doesn't make sense, but in terms of that person feeling valued and therefore doing better work for you than they would if you paid them the minimum, it does. Paying them more is probably also relieving them of some stresses such as worrying about having enough to buy food, having enough to pay for a doctor if they need it or even having enough for a vacation.

    Unfortunately many business people do not care one whit about their employees welfare and will just squeeze as much as possible out of them for as little as possible. When it's left to the employer to choose to act ethically, many just won't.

    1. Paraglider profile image87
      Paragliderposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well done, you :)Exactly. Proper legislation, properly applied, together with workers' rights, including representation- this is the only way towards fairness.

  12. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 6 years ago

    And the last word goes to. . . wink

 
working