Silicon Valley Wages Are Shrinking for All Except the Top 90th Percentile

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Basically, industry sector exploding, breakthrough profits, unheard of productivity, two trillion dollar organizations, oh and the income for the rest is being shed for the income of the few.

    If companies want this angle then at least stop with the BS about treating employees right etc etc
     
  2. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Put up with it, put in some overtime, and you get full retirement at $150k+ a year at 45-50. What other job can offer retirement benefits like that?
     
  3. NickJames

    NickJames [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because I can retire here at $115K/year with full benefits, retirement, pension etc.. while paying less in taxes and have a nice piece of land I can call home. There's just no incentive to taking government jobs in California in my opinion.
     
  4. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    That is true yes, though unfortunately many don't know where to draw the line in this regard, anything that comes in the way of "business" is automatically viewed as bad, which should not be the case.

    Capitalism is good, it encourages productivity and can potentially support social stability if done right, but unchecked capitalism/corporatism goes too far, it replaces votes with dollars, so obviously one side of that equation becomes the master, and the other the desparate servant.
     
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  5. GNUse_the_force

    GNUse_the_force Limp Gawd

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    I agree that's how it is right now. But i don't think it always has to be that way in a sensibly regulated free market without excessive corporate lobbying.
    Capitalism is just a financial tool, corporatism is hitting people over the head with that tool.


    more of a de-volution :)
     
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  6. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well the thing is, we've already been there. We used to have much stronger regulation of markets that most would consider sensible. Busting monopolies abusing their power, making stock buybacks illegal, hell, even fixed terms on how long the legal state of a corporation could exist. But guess what? Pressure from capitalism undid all that. That's the thing, capitalism pushes in one direction: profit. Anything that stands in its way gets shoved aside or eroded. So maybe you can't change the law today to make your business more successful, but if you fund think tank organizations, contribute to politicians sympathetic to your views, and a million other things, you can erode necessary regulations to get back to where we are.

    I'd argue it's more than a tool, it's an ideology. If it was just a tool, society would be comfortable with turning it on and off as needed. That's not how it works.
     
  7. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sorry to nose in. I agree with most points, but not under the blanket term of capitalism. The term should be, simply, anti-capitalism. A term often misused to group and describe social movements against capitalism -- not the version to which I refer or would ever use. (I know I'm going against centuries-old misuse of the term, but proliferation of incorrect information never ceases to be incorrect. And yes, I'm okay with fighting this losing battle against popular use of a term, among many other misused terms and phrases.)

    The term anti-capitalism refers to any action, condition, or policy which ignores the fundamentals of capitalism (free markets, fair trade, and basic capitalism) through abusive practices to maximize short-term profit. Conditions such as rent-seeking, corporate-personhood, regulatory capture, protectionism, subsidy/bailouts are all examples. While true that these are most commonly loosely associated with capitalism, they are a destructive end to capitalism as they prevent competition and peer regulation.
     
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  8. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    A lot of companies view tech support as a commodity now that can be swapped in and out as needed. It's a race to the bottom to save money where quality no longer matters.
     
  9. Nunu

    Nunu Limp Gawd

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    Well the way products are designed now a days, qc isn't a concern for the vast majority. It's a consumer driven global economy, profits wouldn't be maximized. Cheap and easy is the way things are being done.
     
  10. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I admit, I'd never heard that term before in the sense that you're describing it. I'd argue the two are almost inseparable however. Take something like rent-seeking. Say I'm a baker selling bread. Through free trade, I manage to gradually accumulate wealth, so I ended up buying property, which I rent out, because that's more profitable for me than working all day for a living. Bam, capitalism just incentivized me to participate in anti-capitalism as you define it.

    The thing to realize is the GOAL of capitalists is not to compete, that's just the common environment in which wealth is acquired. The GOAL is to make profit; so any angle to weaken or eliminate competition to make your job easier or more effective is sought after. People frequently follow the path of least resistance. Anti-capitalist behavior as you define it, makes capitalists' jobs easier and enables them to do more, so it's actively incentivized under capitalism. There doesn't seem much point in separating the two if one force is always going to promote the other. It's like trying to separate guns from the military. The goal of the military is to defend the country. Guns make that goal far more effective, thus their use is incentivized. So talking about a military devoid of guns doesn't make much sense, at least since the middle ages.
     
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  11. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Allow me to continue to derail the thread and ramble on in support of the most important natural process known to the power of will (aka, life).

    First off, I still believe we are both standing on the same side of this argument, but I'm hoping to convince you that lynching capitalism for the villainy which infects it is akin to throwing away the baby with the bath water. I'm very much willing to concede that even _anti-capitalism_ is a generalized term that only works within context. The activities associated with it are not unique to infecting only capitalism. To speak of the individual abuses of power without incurring the "capitalism" word is tricky. I'm sure that some dissertation will make a valiant effort someday to finally invent new terms which are not so muddled with misuse, which everyone can then accept as cannon, but in the meantime, let's talk.

    I do need to clarify that _rent-seeking_ is a term for the act of establishing and rationalizing profit sources which do not associate with the expense model of a company. Often through abusive practices or unethical legislation, usually under a clever guise of morality (such as protectionism). It's one example of anti-capitalism, but an important one since it often leads to all other forms of anti-capitalism. The historical example (ye olde economics 101) is to buy two plots of land on either side of a popular river-way, and charge a fee to open a gate. There's no reason for the fee, or the gate, other than the existence of the gate, and the new gatekeeper (Good ol' Joe has a job now). This job is at risk if anyone opposes this new toll, and thus Joe is used as leverage in lobbying and actively supports rent-seeking in his community. It's a silly and oversimplified example, but it hits on a common case usually associated with abusing some sort of loosely related policy, statute, or even moral cause to extract profit without sources of legitimate expenses or productivity of any kind. Note that it has nothing to do with the literal "seeking rent," even though it can be used in such circumstances (speculated market value, forced insurance, etc).

    Rent-seeking is a dirty game, it's complicated, but these acts and traits are not unique to the world of capitalism, and that is one of the major reasons I feel it's important to maintain some distinction, even in spite of the weak use of the term _anti-capitalism_ to encompass all that is rotten in the heart of capitalism.

    The goal of capitalism is to incubate a market and then capture said market, which is an iterative process. Profit is the incentive, not the system. To stop playing fair and instead squeeze blood from the stone would not be part of this system. As you say, these anti-capitalist activities seem to make jobs easier or allow them to do more (and this... Is... to go... even further beyond), but unfortunately, making your job easier is not the _goal_ of capitalism, and usually disrupts it or detracts from efficiency. Personal incentives do not necessarily align with the goals of all parties involved in a system, thus, are not a welcomed part of said system. Similarly, any corrupt activity of a company does not reflect on capitalism, but quite the opposite. For those who are fat and comfortable after a satisfying run at a market can bow out (cash out as most do) or continue to adapt and proliferate by reinvesting into their clearly lucrative industry. If they instead choose to abuse their condition/stance/incumbency it is due to personal reasons or limitations to properly conduct themselves according to a fair system. In that, capitalism absolutely requires regulation, as all systems do. Unfortunately, more often than not, populations fail to recognize when new regulations are purely destructive to a fair system. This is why people often oppose regulation. Whether it's a blind or educated opposition, or a noble or corrupt regulation is up for debate, but is both intentionally and unintentionally as such (clever fuckers find a way). Calling a man who supports corrupt regulation a "dirty capitalist" is far more damaging than identifying him as an "anti-capitalist". It's easier to identify what the problem truly is and how it is hurting the system than it is to condemn the entire system for some correctable faults. In other words, its bogging everyone down and leading us to uncertain ends. Any economist, biologist, or _retired_ politician will tell you that we _really_ don't want to get rid of capitalism.


    An example of rent-seeking: (for fun, do not read this)

    A growing media company claims that recent losses are due to illegal competition: copyright infringing streaming services. Perhaps a website or HDMI/Android dongle. They claim that the effect of these illegal competitors is taking significant portions of their profit margin. Supplied evidence of estimated "pirate" revenue versus their existing margins looks bad. The media company is now effectively using their profit toward lobbying for new rights to block international access to IP addresses serving their copyrighted works, and on the side, new laws and rights to sue consumers who are paying for illegitimate streaming services -- restitution fees will help combat copyright infringement for their industry. That's some rent-seeking.

    However, the truth is that the media company failed to cite a growing market cap. The data on illegal profits has little to nothing to do with the small amount of media they control. It is a convenient coincidence that the total known data of illegal revenue _would_ pose a significant threat to their total market share, but is mismatched and actually accounts for a very tiny portion of revenue in a much larger market. The data is used to justify redirection of profits away from growing their own industry to capture enormous untapped market, and instead into protection of their existing revenue stream. The truth is this is an expanding market, and as it goes with an increasing supply within a particular market, prices go down. It isn't the Roku boxes and Greasemonkey scripters killing their business, it's simply that the business-as-usual has a market cap far greater than anyone is willing to admit because they got _LAZY_. Failing to realize the industry has grown much bigger than they are, and instead trying to protect their billions when there is trillions to reap as a market expands is downright anti-capitalistic. The advent of new regulation against certain types of streaming boxes was a blanket measure which has "accidentally" pushed out potential legitimate competitors, and that little startup can't afford to fight for their right to paaaartake.

    Margins shrink with new competition, but there remains a net positive profit overall. Supply and demand 101. To claim that a shrinking margin is reason to lawyer up is utter bullshit. They are inept at expanding, scared, _lazy, pick three. Their product or service model is simply failing due to mismanagement and it is time to either adapt or bow out (cash out). They have decided to abuse their incumbency rather than improve. Unwitting supporters are now effectively paying a high premium to retain a steadfast price (rent-seeking!) and supporting a claim that the extra cost is needed for protectionism when it should be used for improving infrastructure (taking advantage of new/cheaper tech to offer competitive service/prices). Those so called _losses_ (reflected as illegal revenue) are merely uncaptured market which they currently have NO claim to. Ignoring opportunity toward a greater market (incompetence), abusing their own industry with false regulation (rent-seeking), _and_ abusing their own customers with unjust litigation (just plain bad business) are all anti-capitalist antics. Whether the platform which lead to this point is capitalism or not doesn't really matter.
     
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  12. GNUse_the_force

    GNUse_the_force Limp Gawd

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    Exactly. it's not too far of a stretch to call it corporatism, in this modern context.

    (great post above btw (y))


    velusip put it better than i did. It is probably more original to call it anti-capitalism.
    Id agree in this age it is going to be hard to turn the cart around as we are at such a late stage of anti-capitalism, but i think the distinction is still important.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  13. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's at times like these I wish I studied category theory and philosophy (language + logic). I see what you're getting at, but I'll try to describe how I feel about it: Categorizing and grouping is based purely on understanding, so we all have biases even when applying the pragmatics of defined words. I recognize that I don't know much about corporatism, so I can't say for sure, but I would jump straight to the simpler term _corruption_, as it doesn't incur too much else. (Wing it and say Corruptism. hehe) I don't know of a word to group and categorize all of the "diseases" of economic systems, regardless of any selected ideology or groundwork. There is no word (that I know of) in systems engineering to describe a device within a system that provides powerful gains within one portion of the system, but at the expense of undermining the foundation of the entire system; other than "a massive fuckup -- how did this ever get approved?"

    It's very likely that corporatism has assisted in spoiling capitalism in certain ways, but if corporatism is about categorizing groups of society and using their ideologies to rationalize economic decisions, then to analyze for problematic roots of corporatism we would be well outside of the realm of economy systems, and well into social ideologies. That's why I'd say it isn't a great word to use because we further muddle and charge the term with new unsavoury meanings specific to economic systems. I believe it can definitely work in many modern contexts, but I will use it cautiously and try to to use it only when the problem is very obviously connected.

    I'm basically being super pedantic -- I get that. Until I have a good grasp of meaning of a term, and a good understanding of mine own biases, I make an effort to avoid charged terms or accidentally charging a term within a misleading context. I don't have a problem "taking back" anti-capitalism, and maybe I should. In this case, I have great respect for capitalism from a purely natural economy point of view (literally in nature), and how it can be used as a model for good in business/market economy. The reality is a few degrees off the mark, implementations get affected by things like unfair ideologies (even things like Corporatism), but we can be more exacting when choosing a word to describe the bad implementation, oversights, or outright abuses.

    There are very specific terms for each kind of abuse (I outlined a couple at length in my earlier post), but no popular term to refer to them all outside of the context of "bad capitalism". I consider this to be more of a coincidence in that capitalism is so common that we have a perceived direct correlation.

    You know what? Bad capitalism is a better term because atleast then it doesn't incur the bias of an obnoxiously general movement "against the use of capitalism, in any of its forms, ideally bad capitalism." But, god damn, can we get some Words for Things up in this bitch? English.
     
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  14. nomas

    nomas Limp Gawd

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    I have another term for you to consider: neo-feudalism.

    Wealth distribution in America -
     
  15. LightsOut41

    LightsOut41 Limp Gawd

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    I can't even imagine how people afford houses out there. What kind of jobs do they have?
     
  16. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The recent influx is family money from China and India, at least, the vast majority of it. In most of the neighborhoods around me, I have seen a significant increase in the Indian and Chinese population.
     
  17. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

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    Damn that's a stupid video.

    No kidding the top 1% has a LOT more money than the rest. Doesn't take much more than 2 or 3 brain-cells rubbed together to figure that out when you realize the median income (nationwide) is ~$60,000... Doesn't matter what ideal you think is best, there will ALWAYS be a handful of people who make so much more than the rest that even comprehending the disparity is difficult. Like it or not, there isn't any ideology that will fix "wealth inequality" - take one of the more socialist countries I can think of: Norway. The top 1% own 21% of the wealth (not all that much better than the US and it's unfair capitalist ways where the top 1% own 38% of the wealth) and Norway is ranked 3rd in the world when it comes to wealth inequality (yes third as in there are only two other countries with LESS inequality.) I wonder how all those socialist policies would fare without the cash pouring in from the state's "interest" in the petroleum industry...
    Either way, even with the magic-sauce of socialism there will always be winners and losers. It's human nature. Even if you could flip a switch, redistribution of wealth will not fix wealth inequality. If you find a resource that can't be outsourced (mineral rights) and do a decent job of nationalizing it, you MIGHT be able to reduce the inequality by a bit, but even then you're not going to "fix" it. All the people who think otherwise would be better severed spending the time and effort they put into "preaching" on bettering themselves - and then donating the fruits of that labor to charities. And before you even think about saying the US should follow Norway's lead, the gas and petroleum sector makes up ~ 20% of Norway's GDP, and ~ 8% of our GDP. Not enough cash to make more than a dent.
     
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  18. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't know about that...

    A graph with some unsettling piano music. The music produces a sad or uncomfortable tone -- critical to the purpose of the video; leveraging fear of poverty.

    It's also highly targeted. From the simplified subject matter, the target audience is likely ignorant or youthful, akin to proselytizing to children since you can't convert knowledgable people so easily.

    It's highly selective. It chooses allude to, but not fully discuss that the graph data and subject matter is partly due to some simple concepts:
    • money begets money (disposable income affords investment, and investment yields a percentage gain) by mentioning poor people are not investing.
    • and Price's square root law (the square root of a domain of work yields half the total productivity) by disputing that wealthy are doing hundreds of times more work.
    The graph is helpful, but the sarcastic reference to _the "dreaded" socialism_ as an ideal followed by the elicited tone of reasonability and a compromise/middleground graph for redistributed wealth. This part is key, as it provides no details of such a solution, likely because it incurs a dangerous political regime, far outside of the scope of understanding at this level of education, but hints at something everyone wants: equality, and enormous amounts of free, redistributed money.


    So, I disagree. It's not stupid, but is a beautifully crafted, evil-genius video proselytizing to the weak. :)