They won’t make those changes though because they amassed their wealth through profit provided by that system, and, as you said, there’s little altruism in business. Why change the system that gave them what it did?
But the “system” is not the problem. Because a person gets rich does not mean another person got poor. An economy is not a zero sum game.
Here’s a simple question to pose but a hard question to answer:
In 1960, the median house price in the US was approximately equal to the median household income. Today, the median house price is about 4–5 times the median household income. Yet, the profit margin taken by the supply chain, then and now, is approximately equal.
Profit gets the most focus because it’s the least necessary of the three items listed.
I’d argue that it’s the most necessary, because without it, there is no incentive other than to take a 9–5 job.
Do you know what even an 11% reduction in pharma costs would mean to many Americans? And that is just one area -you also indicated housing at nearly 8%. The sum of those figures is significant and does get compounded by the supply chain.
They are both large, but they are also outliers. An 11% reduction in pharma costs is substantial, but it doesn’t even come close to solving the pharma costing problem. An 8% decrease in housing prices is substantial, but it is again, not even close to enabling low income people to afford housing.
The point here is that minimizing profit does not change the affordability problems that face middle-to lower class America. It eases the pain *slightly* but the problem still exists.
If you want to solve a problem, it’s generally a good idea not to focus your attention on variables that are not the cause of the problem. :-)
Why does it cost a minimum of $100/sq ft to build a house in the US, while it costs $100/sq METER in Morocco? Are our trees made of gold, or something?
That’s a great example of what I mean — we know the drug is not worth what we’re paying for it because we see it sold in other markets for far less.
I completely agree that our pharma situation is fucked up beyond belief. But there are hundreds of industry groups and that’s only one of them. Fix pharma and the underlying problem still exists.
My position is coming from one of altruism because I find people more important than the economy.
That’s a bumper sticker. People (as laborers) represent one class of actor in the economy. They contribute to it and benefit from it that is balanced against the supply of labor.
If pulling people down from a Bezos/Walton level of excess meant a proportionate change on the other end of the economic spectrum, I am all for it; not to punish the wealthy but to make life better for the many.
But it wouldn’t make life better for the many. Capital will always flow to where it is used the most efficiently. IBM’s headquarters may be in the USA, but @ 80% of their employees are located overseas. Turns out that the programmers in India are just as good as the ones in the US, and earn 30% of the wage.
“Pull down” most industrialists and their capital just shifts overseas, and there’s nothing that can be done about that, really.
If we can find a way where people can amass that kind of wealth AND we can look after others better, I am all for that.
Sure. That’s the wet dream of socialism, to have the same level of production as a capitalist country with the industrialists earning an income which the poilticos approve of. Problem is that it’s an impossible objective. Every time it’s been tried, economic disaster ensues.
I disagree with your assessment of “well paying”.
It’s not an opinion, it’s an observation of reality. The perception of what good pay is is relative across the earnings scale.
The core of what I am arguing is that those wealthy folks, they derive benefit from the economy for their risk and work. These workers, they don’t.
The workers get paid relative to experience and training. (Which, btw, is under their control.) So, it cannot be said that they do NOT derive benefit.
Taking that from them, compensating them as a cost of doing the owner’s work (the idea from the owner’s perspective is to pay them as little as possible),
and then charging them prices that are higher than they need be amounts to the actively poor treatment of fellow human beings.
Anyone who charges a price higher than “need be” isn’t in business very long. Would you shop at a grocery where the eggs were $10/a dozen? No, and neither would anyone else.
It also seems like precisely the other writer’s point that one could view her as entitled for her opinions, but not the multi-millionaire who employs so many working poor and does not care.
Simple solution, but politician has the conjones to do it — end all benefits for people working more than 20 hours a week. Watch how the economy shifts almost overnight.