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Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Jul 8, 2014.
I'm going to take a wild guess and just say "Planet Billionaire."
He was over at McAffee's house inserting bath salts in his bottom.
People keep abusing this quote with misinterpretations. The man is obviously speaking about society in the abstract and his point is arguably correct. Humanity is capable of providing for everyone, hence "...a time of abundance..." However, human nature is petty, cruel, and generally incapable of the kind of self-sacrifice that would be necessary to forge this theoretical utopia. The Star Trek economy is not an impossibility, but it will not be reality until there is something bigger than our little blue orb for people to concern themselves with.
This is what I was referring to in the last sentence: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox..._federation_is_only_mostly_post_scarcity.html
B O R I N G........
There talk in such an boring sleepy manner.... balls in mouth
A socialist says, "No one should live in excess wealth"
A capitalist says, "Everyone should live in excess wealth"
Not even close.
then google should stop hiding all their cash over seas in countries that have low Corp tax!
A guy who bought a Hawaiian island and sued a city for regulating against his private jet from landing at night talks about plenty for all. Ok...
Very eloquently put. I don't think I can really add anything to that.
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? 'No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.' 'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.' 'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.' I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture
Maybe the US should stop having the highest corporate tax rate in the world?
But I do agree with you. US companies should pay taxes based on their percentage of revenue that originates FROM the USA.
+10,000,000 FTW lol. Well quoted *claps*
Come on gentlemen, there's nothing wrong with a billionaire telling you what you're doing wrong. After all, he's a billionaire, he's clearly doing more things right than you.
There was a point and time everyone lived the same. There was a point and time everyone was farmers/hunters too.
As times changed, and skills became diversified, those who were more clever, efficient, and hard working found means to return more of their work towards themselves. After a while wealth becomes self perpetuating as Maslov's heirachy of needs are met and excess wealth is reinvested. This is how the rich get richer.
Meanwhile an entire class of citizens who lack proper training and education are stuck in remedial jobs where they don't even have a chance of prospering. Certain political parties depend upon these poor and point to the big guy and go, "He's the source of your problems" And those same people gain political power that way. Blaming the other guy for your woes has always been a source of great way to obtain power.
But truth being told, the standard of living in the USA compared to other countries is still astonishingly high. People in Mexico and Africa would kill for a chance to be "poor" here with the opportunity to become something better. It's all a matter of perspective
If everyone were educated. If everyone could be "farmers" and self sufficient and produce for themselves, then society would be stratified. But that isn't the society we built. We built a society that values things like iPhones. And if I can't afford my iPhone and cable TV and new car payment, and house payment, and have four kids when I have no unique skills, then I blame the big guy going "It's not my fault."
If we were all farmers in the fact that we all offered something unique or something that made us self-sustaining, then there would be less stratification between rich and poor. And that requires education and working for it.
Edited for mistakes. Sorry.
It takes a certain amount of work and materials to create a certain amount of goods and services. Extending the goods and services to non-contributors does not create a utopia. It increases the workload of people who, for the most part, already spend too much time working. Where does the utopia part come in?
Note: the point of this post is NOT "fuck the poor," but in any case you're not correct in your statement about the utopia, whether or not you're trying to paraphrase Page.
Very true there will always be those that won't contribute. While I fell the need to help those that can't, I really hate being forced to help those that simply won't.
that little blue orb is all we have to be honest.
Why would you hobble US companies against foreign competitors (which is what pretty much happens anyway since foreign companies drop massive coin in Washington)
All true and I was never trying to imply that there would not be people who do not contribute. That is a fundamental aspect of human nature, just as there are people with a drive to improve both themselves, as well as society around them. I do not believe it is the government's responsibility to level this playing field or make the sacrifices on behalf of those that do not. I think that it is a necessary evolution that must come from within the individual, because until we reach the point where we no longer care about the fact that some people are not producers, we will be incapable as a species of having the ideal society that is so often dreamed about.
On another point, I concur that as a company, and as individuals, these guys should 'put there money where their mouth is'. They should lead by example. Their behaviour unfortunately just illustrates another negative aspect of human nature: while we are capable of dreaming the dream, very few are capable of performing the actions necessary to make the dream a reality. I am reminded of a quote from the War of the Worlds when the narrator is observing the artilleryman that is attempting to build an underground society, "I had my first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers." It is just how people are, I suppose.
Is Page running for President? Sounds like it.
level the playing field. In my world, the foreign companies would pay the same level of tax to do business here. And if they have an unfair edge, (ie: cheap labor) then they get additional tax % thrown on to make up for the wage difference. Thus encouraging companies to hire workers back home. That said, everyone would realize that their iPhone would likely be $2000. That is one of the things you would have to accept. Less stuff, but less stratification.
I suggest you study some basic macro economics
Yeah, what the fuck was with the asthmatic sotto voce?
You're missing my point - I'm not actually complaining outright about non-contributors. I'm saying that even if those of us with jobs did everything we could to help those without jobs or with low-paying jobs, how do you think that would work? What do you think that involves? It's already asking too much for a worker to be expected to spend 40 hours a week at a job. Where do you intend to generate the extra goods and services that would be required if we extend them to every person on the planet? That would be increasing demand significantly without increasing supply. While the study and prediction of economics involves a lot of theory and opinions on some of those things vary, there is also a very factual side to economics that cannot be changed unless a government is able to successfully force an unnatural system like communism.
Also, just because some people think that it's possible to do this utopia BS where all humans look out for each other doesn't make them right. Humans are animals and we are individuals and nothing can ever change that. Our minds did not evolve to handle considering 7 billion people. And that number is only increasing because humans are NOT a system and few individuals stop and think, "Well, maybe having 7 kids is not such a good idea."
I want all the good things that some people claim can come from doing this, but unlike those people, I live in reality, where such a thing will NEVER happen.
Human nature is also kind, benevolent, and just quite a lot of the time too. That's why in a utopia you have a completely different incentivization and structure than what we have now. Saying humans can be cruel and petty is just a cop-out. That's like saying people will always murder and steal, therefore doing anything about that is impossible. I mean the whole concept of police is that we don't just bow down to that mentality and let it rule us.
Well we're talking more in a sci-fi capacity since our current society is so far off the mark with what we should be focused on, but to answer your question, we have the potential now, but not the incentive. Productivity has done nothing but skyrocket over the past half-century. Futurists of the 50s were predicting that by this time everyone would be "burdened" with more leisure time than they knew what to do with, as the actual amount required for society to run would be met ample times over. Grain still gets harvested, steel still gets milled, etc. The reason we're NOT living that kind of existence is because of priorities. Hell, since the recession, about 95% of economic gains have gone to the upper 1%. So you're working extra hours to keep your job and making your bosses richer essentially. If they only made, say, double what you made, instead of hundreds of times what you make, that's a lot of extra resources freed up. Same with man hours. Let's say an organization only NEEDS 20 hours of work a week to be stable, but everyone is working overtime so they can make MORE income. Well if your goal is sustainability instead of expansion-until-you-bust, that frees up a lot more hours with the work still getting done. The reason this is more of a sci-fi concept is because most governments aren't structured to be able to handle this concept of everyone not needing to work as much. Like say somebody doesn't work AT ALL, yet the country can EASILY provide for every citizen who isn't working. A lot of people don't like that concept, even if the people who ARE working can afford a better standard of living than the ones who aren't.
A more real-world analogy to this would be food supplies. My understanding is we produce enough food to feed a hell of a lot of impoverished regions, with something like 40% of our food allowing to spoil. The problem is distribution, through economic incentives, local warlords taking control, etc. We CAN do it, but we WON'T.
The bottom line is you'll never have this kind of shift unless you have a shift in societal values, otherwise you have constant forces undermining efforts. I would argue it totally is possible, it will just never happen.
Allowing people to be non-contributors is a choice though ... in the Great Depression they didn't just hand people money (except for the very old) ... they made them work for it ... many of our roads and national parks were built by out of work people ... it is one thing to support the aged (who cannot work) or the disabled ... it is something else to support healthy men and women who have no disabilities that prevent them from working
As to birth rates that only becomes a choice for a developed nation (which is why almost every developed nation has ZPG or even negative population growth in some cases) ... poor and developing countries tend to rely on subsistence farmers more (which tends to promote higher birthrates since your kids are your workers on the farm)
As long as we are earthbound we will never be able to solve the problems of population, pollution, or the many other problems we have inflicted on ourselves ... as we move out into our solar system we should be able to more effectively solve these issues since we should have many more tasks than we have workers at that point ... and the ideal of a Utopia will always be beyond us most likely ... humans never like to do things the easy way ... besides which, Utopias are boring and bad for evolution ... we evolve through adversity and only in a Dystopia is there sufficient adversity to push our species forward ("that which does not kill us, makes us stronger")
The fact of the matter is that if you add up the whole GDP and then redistribute it to everyone "equally," there's barely enough to keep everyone in a home, car, and 3 meals a day, at around $49k/year. and that's just in the US. If you go through the whole world, add up all the nations' GDPs and redistribute it, we'd all be very,very poor, at around $14k/year.
The biggest reason for this is simply that most people don't work, mostly because the reward for working is not what it should be. Most people in the world have their governments take most of what they make/build/grow and keep it for themselves. (India and China are horrible about this. People simply can't work harder to get more because of government regulations and restrictions.) Especially in poor nations, the despots take so much of their citizens' work results that there simply isn't a way for them to work harder and make a decent living. It's estimated that many countries in Africa take poor farmers' crops at a rate above 90%. Can you imagine working hard to grow a large field of crops, only to have the government demand 95% of it at harvest time, and you're left with barely enough to feed your family?
Even in the US, where the reward for working is greater, and closer to what it should be. With all the different taxes we all face, from sales tax, to property taxes, to license plate taxes, to payroll taxes, to income taxes, we don't even get to keep half of what we really make, on average. (Most people don't realize that corporate payroll taxes reduces the pay to you actually see on your paycheck by an additional 3-29%, depending on the income level.) Various government charges total up to 51% of our income these days, and that is significantly down from the 62% of the 90s or the 78% of the 70s. Federal taxes do make up the majority of this, at 36% of GDP last year, but the local taxes also significantly add up. Still, we're far better off than Europe, where the average for all the nations is about 60%, with some nations, like Sweden with a total tax rate in excess of 75%, much higher if you buy a car.
With so many people not working, or partially working, the world doesn't make enough for everyone to get enough. In the US, we have enough people, barely, to make enough for everyone to get enough, barely, but that is at the sacrifice of those who work harder and smarter. Those who work harder and smarter, where their work is actually worth more, wind up making the same as others who don't work as hard, so they either quit working as hard or go elsewhere.
(At my last full time job, we had several people in the company who barely produced anything at all and were kept around simply because they were minorities. Management was afraid to let them go, even though they were worthless employees, because they were afraid of accusations of racism. One was on my team, constantly taking credit for my work, putting in tickets and closing them under her name for work that I did, and blaming me for things she didn't get done. She'd come in at 8:40, when her shift was supposed to start at 8:00, drop off her purse and head back out to get breakfast, come back at 10:00, head back out for Starbucks until 11:30, come back for a few minutes, head out for lunch until 1:00, sit at her desk from 1:00 to 2:00 messaging people, possibly do a little work during that time, go back out for Starbucks until 3:30, do a little work from 3:30 to 4:00, then leave to get her daughter from school at 4:00. It was totally bogus. However, she is a hispanic single mother, so they kept her around and believed all her lies about me and my work. I left after they promoted her to team lead. After I left, she had nobody to hide behind anymore. The manager got demoted, she got demoted and put on probation, and eventually fired. There were many people like that in that company, since the company management was quite liberal.)
Simply put, for people to work harder and smarter, they need to have greater rewards. Without those rewards, they'll do barely enough to get by. A Star Trek economy simply won't work because there is no reward to putting your best work out there. At least in Star Trek, if people were better at their job they'd get promoted faster and get bigger quarters.
The socialist utopia where everyone gets the same pay no matter what their job is just won't work. If that were the case, everyone would simply do the least they could, and nobody would put in the effort to build a bridge that would be safe, lay down a road that would last, make glass that wouldn't break at a touch, or design the software to allow us to do our work better.
This was very obvious with the Soviet Union. I heard a story about a glass factory in Moscow in the 70s. They had a certain quota of window glass to produce per month. They'd make the quota in the first two weeks, making the thinnest, worst quality glass they could. It had distortions so bad things weren't recognizable through it. Worse yet, at least half would break during shipping. They changed management around and offered a bonus to groups that would make better quality glass. Within a month, the quality improved significantly. They wound up paying about 20% more, but got almost twice the usable glass out of it. Within a year, other production centers and groups got annoyed that the glass people were making more money than they were, and production slowdowns occurred because of upset employees, so the bonuses were stopped. The glass got even worse than before, but eventually evened out to be just like before.
We will never have equal pay because the work people do is never going to be equal. If someone bussing tables for a living started making what I make being a systems admin, I'd be very upset. My work is worth far more than someone bussing tables. My work is worth far more than someone taking orders at McDonald's. It takes more brains and more effort and more investment of my personal time and income to be able to get it done. Therefore, I should make more. I am very resentful to these people pushing for $15/hour for things like bussing tables, taking fast food orders, or working retail. Their work isn't worth that. If they want more, then they'd better go get the skills to do more valuable work.
Larry Page is obviously living in a different world. He doesn't understand any of this.
The problem is that back in the early '70s, worker productivity gains and income gains were completely de-coupled. It used to be that as workers were more productive, they made more money. Not so.
Not so anymore*.
For those too lazy to click through: '48 - '73 productivity and wage gains tracked almost perfectly. Since '48 to now though, wage gains are only 113%, while productivity is at 254%.
The whole concept of "utopia" is flawed, and anything that has it at its root (including Marxism) is inherently doomed to failure. Plenty of evidence to back that up, although I would suggest starting with Isaiah Berlin for those seeking edification. It's not human nature that is petty and cruel, it is life, the universe, existence itself, for life only began through ruthless competition. Humanity is based on a species that, ultimately, clawed its way to the top, and the fact we have any stability at all is a miracle. He's right - we do have the ability to meet Maslow's needs for every person. It's a process, though, with many complex roots, and simply building the houses (as China has learned with some of its 'ghost' cities) does not mean people will live there unless forced, defeating the entire purpose as freedom is a more important security.
Either I'm misunderstanding things, or that's not socialism, that's communism. I feel like you're only looking at opposite extremes. I think a middle ground like social democracy would provide the optimal results. So let's take your example of 15k a year for everybody. That would be the communist route. My example would be more like this:
Don't do any work = you don't get ANY money, but government can provide you with basic housing and food. So you don't HAVE to work, but it will be a meager lifestyle if you don't.
You're a janitor = 30k a year
You're a plumber = 50k a year
You're a doctor / structural engineer = 150k a year
You're some other position deemed highly essentially to society = up to 250k a year
Who gets millions or billions of dollars for their work in this system? Fucking no one. There would be a "cap" to maximum income, but there would still be plenty of incentive to work. Now of course this will never happen because the people who DO have millions will never give it up, but if you had sort of a fresh slate, this sort of society isn't
A system like this would allow profit incentive without taking it to the truly unbridled extremes we currently do.
In real-world, it's actually more extreme than this, because while wages have more or less stagnated, costs have not. It costs more for rent, food, basic supplies than it did in 1978, so that's less available income people have even if their wages have matched inflation.
If you think about it, that was around the time when US society started to change, too. Companies stopped promoting from within as much and started hiring from outside to fill higher positions. People started moving from job to job and company to company instead of sticking with one company looking for a promotion path because of this. Nobody works for the same company from their 20's to retirement anymore. (In my line of work, it's pretty much mandatory to move to a different company in order to get ahead at all. In 17 years in IT, I have only had the occasion to apply for a better position twice, and only got it once. Every single time, they'd hire from outside rather than promote anyone.) Company loyalty just isn't appreciated at all anymore.
People tend to live in groups. Unless I'm mistaken, that's a per capita number. ~$200k for a family of four will more than keep most in a car, house and put food on the table.
I'm not suggesting that we distribute wealth, go communist, go socialist, eliminate the poor, etc. - just correcting some math.
Bolded part is what stops me from being more liberal with things. I'm all for helping those that need help. Genuinely need help. Those that just don't want to do shit, but still want stuff - no. I give to homeless folks and donate to charities that give to those I think actually NEED it (vets, mostly). But, being forced to pay for someone's food, shelter and iPhone when they CAN work, but they WON'T work? Nah. That's why I can't live in that world. If everyone pulled their own weight, society wouldn't have a problem like that. But, socialism punishes those that are willing to work to reward those that aren't willing to work (willing and able).
That system isn't fair either though ... who says all janitors are equal ... and who is to say that if I create my own company I am not entitled to millions (or billions) because of that (if my company is successful)
I don't like CxO (CEO, COO, CFO, etc) pay anymore than anyone else but the market has spoken on that ... if the BoD of a company wants to pay a CEO 50 million that should be their choice (and the choice of the stockholders)
We should do what we can so that everyone who wants a job can have one but job performance needs to affect compensation at some level ... and whether it is realistic or not, every American dreams that they can come up with the next big idea to be a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, any of the myriad other great inventors or CEOs
The Larry Page interview was a little weird in that he proposed more workers could work part time to increase employment (great if you are Walmart or France but not such a great suggestion for most of the American workforce)
Know what's wrong with this idea? In order to institute this, the only employer would have to be the government, and then we'd all be slaves. Don't like your boss? They treat you poorly? Tough, if you quit, you have nowhere else to go to make a living. In addition, you have to take what they give you, no matter what job it is.
We HAVE to have entrepreneurs who build companies and make other places for people to work. With that comes people who make millions. It can't be done otherwise.
Without that basic concept, those in the government can pay whatever they want and keep the excess for themselves. Limit them to $250k/year? They'll find other ways to get the luxuries they want. Vote them out? Ha! When has anyone in this do nothing congress we have now been voted out? No seat has changed hands in the last twenty years except when members retire. It would be far worse in a case where the government was the only employer.
The big point here is don't trust the government. They're only out for themselves. Vote where you can use them, but don't ever, ever trust them. Simple greed can be used. Lust for power and control can't be.
Indeed. United States GDP for Q1 2014 (still struggling through our recession) is a meager $17 trillion.
The number of 'households' in the United States (singles to small families) in the same period is 115 million.
The AVERAGE household income (this doesn't mean "everyone gets this"...just that this should be the AVERAGE if the income of the country was distributed along a curve) is right about $150k a year.
Now, the question is...why is the average household income, presuming a boring curve distribution...IE., 50th percentile...instead putting you in the 91ST PERCENTILE of earners, instead of 50th?
Because: I dunno, freedom. Also: job creators. Whatever. Just don't question your masters. Didn't you get a nifty cell phone last year? And how about those circuses, and all that bread? Stop asking questions...