The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:27 pm

Im with Mets.

You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?

No way, we can still improve our lot through hard work; just recognise that that hard work is only a fraction of the reason why we get to scratch our balls in a nicely heated room while we watch some dribble on a 42 inch flatscreen TV.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:31 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I agree with you AND YET some of those regulations (for instance, the redefining of full time as thirty hours) are a direct response to the actions that businesses are taking in trying to circumvent things already in place. The business' actions are a part of the problem.


And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:33 pm

Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:Ask most people what the #1 contributor toward success in general is, and they will often cite "luck" as a factor.


You talk to some strange people. I don't know anyone other than you that would say that luck is the #1 contributor toward success.


I would say that. For example, I freely admit that my success occurred because I was born into an extraordinarily wealthy family (by global standards; middle class by American standards), because I have fair skin color, and because I was gifted with above-average intelligence and skill in mathematics and science. I didn't earn any of that, yet it was probably responsible for upward of 90% of the share of my success so far in life.


So it's your contention, then, that nobody should bother to try to accomplish anything in life because the primary determinant of their success is based on random chance anyway? Because that seems to be what you are suggesting.


I am simply suggesting that we all recognize that what Obama said is even more significant than when taken at face value, because it also applies to the success we achieve as a result of winning the genetic lottery. One should still want to accomplish things -- but just remember that the accomplishment was only possible because of things you didn't yourself work for.

Obama wrote:If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.


It's funny because one could turn that Obama quote into a defense of free markets. I wonder if the reactions would differ...
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Metsfanmax on Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:12 pm

Woodruff wrote:I agree completely that any success necessarily must include the work of others. That does not in any way contend that luck or the work of those others is the primary reason for success, however.


I am contending that luck and the work of others are in fact the primary reason for success for most people in middle class America. Not that it had to be that way -- just that it is. That group of people is born with extraordinary privileges when compared to the average person on the planet, and it is therefore unsurprising to see that person do well in life (again, compared to the average person). If you disagree, you should advance an argument in the opposite direction. To do this, you'd have to show that the gifts granted to, say, a middle-class American by the lottery of birth cannot explain most of that person's success. There are surely a few counter-examples to my contention, but I doubt it is the norm.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Night Strike on Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:21 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Night Strike wrote:Player, are people greedy when they demand that the government force businesses to pay them more than their position is worth?

Businesses set the value of their products and business, not people. That is where you err. People are not limitless commodities. People have inherent values, apart from what any business owner claims.
In this case, the question is who gets to decide the worth of the people. Historically, society, not individuals get to set the minimum value for people and their labor. This is why slavery and various types of worker abuse are outlawed. People, joined together form government that can and should limit business overreaches such as claiming that humans have no worth other than what any random business owner decides.


In order to set the value of products, a business MUST factor in the value (cost) that their workers add to those products. It's asinine to think otherwise. If a person thinks that their work is of more value than what a particular business wants to provide, then that person must go out and find a new job that will provide that value. They have no right to demand governmental intervention.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Night Strike wrote:And if you hate companies that have shareholders, then only work and shop at places that do not. You have the freedom to make that choice, so why don't you want others to have the freedom to make that same choice? Why is the only permissible business model the one that YOU approve of?

Actually, no on both counts.

I don't "hate companies that have shareholders". Corporations are fine, but not superior to humanity. What benefits a particular corporations has nothing to do with what benefits society or humanity. In fact, there are many cases where meeting "corporate need" means denying basic human rights -- that was proven very much in Bangladesh, as it was proven over and over in our country up until roughly the 1950's.

Secondly, I do NOT truly have the choice to just "opt out". I don't have the choice to not invest in mutual funds if I wish to ever retire. I don't have the choice to buy everything from non-corporate sources. Not even Lancaster old older Amish really have that option any longer. Corporations literally control almost everything in our society.

Corporations are not necessarily bad, but they are not inherently good, either. And, they are an artificial construct, not humanity. Humans, not corporations are what our country should be made of, but lately.. people take second fiddle.


No one is forcing you to invest in mutual funds. If you don't like corporations, then stop funding them! Besides, with how much you hate corporations, if they're actually expected to follow the fantasy that you want them to operate on, your mutual funds won't be making any money anyway.

Aren't corporations comprised of and run by humans? Or are they just all robots dictating what happens within? ALL businesses are run by humans, whether they're organized as a corporation or not. Someone needs to learn Business 101.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:36 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:What do you think autarky would do to an economy?

Depends on the economy.

In a vacuum isnt autarky a good thing?
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:45 am

Lootifer wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:What do you think autarky would do to an economy?

Depends on the economy.

In a vacuum isnt autarky a good thing?


Trading enables the ability to capture greater benefits at a reduced cost--depending on the two parties' comparative advantages.

For example, it's more costly to produce oranges in Canada than it is in Florida, and in Florida it's more costly to produce... elk? Canadian whiskey? than it is to produce those in Canada.

Therefore, instead of wasting resources on inefficiently producing such goods locally, it makes sense and is more beneficial to trade.

It's the same on an individual level. Imagine a life where you do not trade anything. You'd have to dedicate more resources to producing items which you're not as efficient in producing (i.e. you lack the comparative advantage). There would be no division of labor since the benefits of doing so are unattainable (cuz no trade).

It's the same on a national level. Trade expands the pie.

So, no, even in a vacuum, autarky sucks--compared to the greater benefits of trade.

(Of course, if one's goal is to capture votes, then sure, "busy-work" by the state is effective at that. Tariffs also appease uninformed voters, who tend to be patriotic. Etc.etc.).
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Lootifer on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:23 am

You know I agree in theory, but the practicalities of the situation make it rather moot. Its not like China and the US have a nice happy mutually beneficial trade; China makes shit and the US buys it. Its all pretty one way.

Add in that Chinas only comparative advantage is unsustainable (you can always grow oranges better in Florida, but Chinas labour wont always be cheap) and mostly a product of distortion (im sure you can rattle off all the government induced labor market issues) then things start looking pretty messy. Sure I agree trade can be great, but if youre already in a hole, digging some more isnt always the best way out...
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:30 am

Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestion that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Metsfanmax on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:37 am

Woodruff wrote:
Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestiong that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.


This argument is simply fallacious, though. What you've said is not a reason that luck is not the primary determinant of success. The argument you're making, which is valid, is that we maximize our success if we act as though we have control over our outcomes. I agree. I am simply pointing out that compared to what was available to you simply by being born, what you can do while you're alive is not the biggest factor in your success. If you strongly value a $100,000/year job over a $50,000/year job, then you'll have to work harder to achieve it. But if you could put in not much effort and have enough to live a comfortable life, that is a fairly good indicator that you are born with significant advantages that help you succeed.

I think the argument you are making is that you don't consider it success in life to simply rest on your laurels and accept what you have. That's fine. I am measuring success by objective standards, such as whether you have enough food to eat and whether you have a house to live in, and access to health care. If you are measuring success by a different yardstick, such as improvement relative to your own personal goals in life, then we're just talking past each other.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:46 am

Metsfanmax wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Lootifer wrote:Im with Mets.
You dont have to connect it to how we should act. There is no neccessary link. We, as middle class 75th+ percentile intelligence white males, were undeniably lucky when it came to the roll of the game of life dice; does that mean we shouldnt still strive to succeed?


The suggestiong that luck is the primary reason for success means that we don't NEED to strive to succeed. Given luck, we will succeed whether we try or not. Given a lack of luck, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. This is because luck is the primary reason for success.

That's my problem with his argument...that luck is the primary reason for success, and the above is why i don't believe that it is.


This argument is simply fallacious, though. What you've said is not a reason that luck is not the primary determinant of success. The argument you're making, which is valid, is that we maximize our success if we act as though we have control over our outcomes. I agree. I am simply pointing out that compared to what was available to you simply by being born, what you can do while you're alive is not the biggest factor in your success. If you strongly value a $100,000/year job over a $50,000/year job, then you'll have to work harder to achieve it. But if you could put in not much effort and have enough to live a comfortable life, that is a fairly good indicator that you are born with significant advantages that help you succeed.

I think the argument you are making is that you don't consider it success in life to simply rest on your laurels and accept what you have. That's fine. I am measuring success by objective standards, such as whether you have enough food to eat and whether you have a house to live in, and access to health care. If you are measuring success by a different yardstick, such as improvement relative to your own personal goals in life, then we're just talking past each other.


I see. For me, "success" depends entirely on the person's view of what success is. The only person who can determine if they are successful is themselves. I considered myself a success in the military, based on my rank and the work that I did. I consider myself a success as a teacher because of the impact I have on young people. Many people would look at my paycheck, my house, my car...and say that I'm not particularly successful, so for them the things I mention don't apply. None of what I'm referring to is particularly relevant to survival ("survival is not the word I'm looking for, but I can't think of a better one, because you're talking about more than survival, I recognize), which appears to be what you're somewhat basing success on.

Honestly, your argument sounds very much like the one in the thread about "choices", and I dislike it for much the same reason.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:55 am

Lootifer wrote:You know I agree in theory, but the practicalities of the situation make it rather moot. Its not like China and the US have a nice happy mutually beneficial trade; China makes shit and the US buys it. Its all pretty one way.


So you deny that Americans obtain the cost-savings from such exchanges?

If not, then your position is incorrect.


Is it "pretty one-way"?

US exports to China for 2003-2012, so no, you're wrong.

Here's the imports:
https://www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html

$400 imports v. $100 exports (excluding exported 'money' via US bonds). But government trading is a completely different conversation on trade itself.


Considering the above, your "practicalities" argument is based on nothing.



Lootifer wrote:Add in that Chinas only comparative advantage is unsustainable (you can always grow oranges better in Florida, but Chinas labour wont always be cheap) and mostly a product of distortion (im sure you can rattle off all the government induced labor market issues) then things start looking pretty messy. Sure I agree trade can be great, but if youre already in a hole, digging some more isnt always the best way out...


As the marginal costs of labor rise for China--with everything being held constant (as you are doing), then sure, but that's not how it works. Marginal costs for the factors of production are more than just labor, and people sell different products at different qualities.

Even if we accept your contention, which is incorrect/misleading, then people would trade less with China--assuming that price is the only factor that matters (e.g. rising price + rising quality may offset each other as far as quantity traded is concerned). <shrugs>


Sure, China's subsidizing various things (as the US does) distorts their markets. If they want to ruin their economy, then let them at it. May as well buy whatever you want from them while they're producing it at the current prices.
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Re: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:57 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
Woodruff wrote:I agree with you AND YET some of those regulations (for instance, the redefining of full time as thirty hours) are a direct response to the actions that businesses are taking in trying to circumvent things already in place. The business' actions are a part of the problem.


And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:

No response, Woodruff? Has logic escaped you?
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e: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby Woodruff on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:34 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:And yet those same regulations are costing workers even more hours than before because now the government has set up an exact line where businesses must provide benefits such as health insurance and where they do not have to provide it.
Previously, if a business were to not offer a benefit or as many hours, they risked losing their workers to other companies who would provide such benefits and hours because it was up to each business to choose where to draw the line, causing actual competition. But now, the government has laid out a standard for every business to be the same, which means there are fewer options for workers because every business knows where the minimum is.


But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:


Huh...somehow I missed that post (I remember seeing the one right after it). At any rate, I'm not suggesting that we revert to autarky, and your suggestion that I am simply shows to me that, as I already mentioned, you are routinely blindly defending corporate America. I know you don't like that assertion on my part, but that really is how you come across to me in these fora.

The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention.

Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance.

BigBallinStalin wrote:No response, Woodruff? Has logic escaped you?


Have I really struck you as the type to avoid spouting my opinion or that I do it routinely, as is Phatscotty's wont?
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Re: e: The Ultimate pro-WalMart Article

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:51 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
But again, in today's job climate, this is irrelevant because there is little threat to losing a worker to another company when there are no other jobs available. That's the problem...corporations, with some significant help by the government, have made it so that the American worker does not have those options.


Wait, corporations prevent people from getting jobs?


American jobs? Yes. Only someone who routinely blindly defends corporate America, such as yourself, would suggest that outsourcing of jobs to other countries provides jobs here in America.


Let's get beyond your stupid assertions (underlined).

What do you think autarky would do to an economy?


In keeping with Woodruff's tradition of constantly heckling PS:


Huh...somehow I missed that post (I remember seeing the one right after it). At any rate, I'm not suggesting that we revert to autarky, and your suggestion that I am simply shows to me that, as I already mentioned, you are routinely blindly defending corporate America. I know you don't like that assertion on my part, but that really is how you come across to me in these fora.

The idea that outsourcing jobs to other nations isn't taking away American jobs seems like a foolish contention.



Yet you use nothing new to defend your claim. You're simply repeating what you said earlier.

I'm not suggesting that you're saying we revert to autarky, so stop being thick. It's a question, which should force you to think, which you're unwilling to do.

I already addressed my question about autarky and trade with Lootifer here:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=192883&start=90#p4228580

and it's related to your claim.

Here's something to think about: Which economy would have more domestic jobs? One which has spent decades in autarky, or one which has spent decades trading.

Do you realize that outsourcing is related to trade? Do you understand the benefits of the division of labor (which includes outsourcing)? Why not think about these concepts instead of digging in your heels and repeating your argument?

Woodruff wrote:Actually, I would amend my previous statement a bit (above that last sentence), now that I consider it...you routinely blindly defend the free market as the fix to everything. I do recognize that you don't care for crony capitalism, for instance


I made a thread about crony capitalism regarding ethanol and the EPA. I point out the crony capitalism when I see it, and feel like typing enough down. Since you're incapable of moving beyond logical fallacies to defend your claim about corporations being the problem that prevents Americans from getting jobs, then at this moment you're not worth taking seriously. For someone so supposedly fixated on exercising logic, you're failing terribly at it.

I would ask you to provide quotes which support your ad hominems, but knowing you, you won't look for them. Why hold yourself to a standard to which you hold others (e.g. j9b)?
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