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Michael Tanczos

Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?

152 posts in this topic

[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1320749352' post='4881711']
cut
[/quote]

Even on just a national scale, saying you are the 99% has the same problems it does globally. In reality the top 50% is doing just fine. The top 70% isn't even doing terribly for themselves. Below that is more difficult, but "the 99%" is very misleading. Obviously it's to cause a bigger stir, but saying it that way makes me think #firstworldproblems.
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Not to go off-topic, but I've been randomly reading CNN and tech blog comments lately. After the recent [url="http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/06/foxconn-chairman-signs-letter-of-intent-for-intelligent-robot-k/"]Foxconn[/url] news and [url="http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/08/hondas-asimo-robot-sheds-a-few-pounds-gets-all-autonomous-on-u/"]Asimo[/url] videos I've been seeing this rise of comments like the "1%" getting rid of the "99%". It's an old idea though that's been brought up a lot when predicting the time when manual labor is automated. You see this kind of thinking everytime a new 3D printer is made also. Not to be a ludite or anything, but I think that's the bigger threat to the poorer 99%. That is when all jobs are moved into skilled professions.
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[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1320774530' post='4881820']
Not to go off-topic, but I've been randomly reading CNN and tech blog comments lately. After the recent [url="http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/06/foxconn-chairman-signs-letter-of-intent-for-intelligent-robot-k/"]Foxconn[/url] news and [url="http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/08/hondas-asimo-robot-sheds-a-few-pounds-gets-all-autonomous-on-u/"]Asimo[/url] videos I've been seeing this rise of comments like the "1%" getting rid of the "99%". It's an old idea though that's been brought up a lot when predicting the time when manual labor is automated. You see this kind of thinking everytime a new 3D printer is made also.
[/quote]

I read to here and started fantasizing about buying a 3D printer...

/honesty
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320767155' post='4881785']
[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1320749352' post='4881711']
cut
[/quote]

Even on just a national scale, saying you are the 99% has the same problems it does globally. In reality the top 50% is doing just fine. The top 70% isn't even doing terribly for themselves. Below that is more difficult, but "the 99%" is very misleading. Obviously it's to cause a bigger stir, but saying it that way makes me think #firstworldproblems.
[/quote]
Yep. Global scale is what matters now though, as the market really is global. re: 3d printers fear: the working class which would have been rendered redundant by 3d printing is primarily in china anyway. Massively exploited, as how much you earn is not really a function of how much you produce but a function of how much you own personally and collectively. E.g. if I didn't own anything, I'd not be able to decline a job offer of working for the most basic food, animal feed grade, total of maybe $10/month.
The most interesting thing about global capitalism is the production of money themselves. Globally, the main producers of money (US, EU) get a lot of stuff effectively for free.
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For free in terms of use-value or labor cost maybe. Free in the context of the modern economy, not really.

And labor conditions globally are really an area that americans in particular (though the world in general) don't pay enough attention to. Time and time again the economic benefits of human exploitation seems to make it totally acceptable to those not exploited.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320866030' post='4882233']
How is a 3D printer replacing the working class?
[/quote]

Because the upper class will be so busy printing action figures they'll have no time to pay people to work for them; duh.
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Regarding the wealth distribution, consider a system of initially identical actors who are between themselves playing a betting game on coin flips, every time betting some set % of their 'money' vs someone with comparable amount of money ; those running out of capital receive 'wages'. If you actually run this, you will notice that end result of this model very closely resembles the real world wealth distribution. The power law is a robust feature of multiplicative games.
[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1320850363' post='4882132']
For free in terms of use-value or labor cost maybe. Free in the context of the modern economy, not really.
[/quote]
Well, the cost of printing the money is on shoulders of everyone who has the money, while the benefit is going to whoever is supplying the money.
[quote]
And labor conditions globally are really an area that americans in particular (though the world in general) don't pay enough attention to. Time and time again the economic benefits of human exploitation seems to make it totally acceptable to those not exploited.
[/quote]
One thing that is annoying is how the moderately rich (includes poor in developed countries) see it. A chinese worker works for very cheap making ipods - chinese is letting himself being exploited, he's stealing my job, why won't he just work for 'normal' wage, that's the reaction. No, no, your "normal wage"'s purchasing capability is directly reliant on the majority of people not having 'normal' wage and consequently using up very little of all the resources (including their own labour), leaving those for you to consume.
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[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1320832762' post='4882054']
Yep. Global scale is what matters now though, as the market really is global. re: 3d printers fear: the working class which would have been rendered redundant by 3d printing is primarily in china anyway. Massively exploited, as how much you earn is not really a function of how much you produce but a function of how much you own personally and collectively. E.g. if I didn't own anything, I'd not be able to decline a job offer of working for the most basic food, animal feed grade, total of maybe $10/month. [/quote]

3D printers don't replace the working class.
They replace highly skilled jobs.

They replace the car designer. Before, they needed to train for years, building models out of clay, they would need a combination of art and hand skills. They are artists, sculptors, and much more.
With 3D printer, a CAD model is ran through a few algorithmic permutations (running on a building-sized cluster), then it spits out 55 variations of next car model over night. Suddenly, instead of having some of high paying positions working 3 months for one, you just take pictures of finished models and send them to focus groups. Don't even need people for that, it can be automated, so skip the middle management as well.

Or toys. Today, there are studios which design them. Many are low quality, but there are somewhat big franchising deals. So when a movie comes out, an office in US acts as proxy between hundreds of manufacturers around the globe to ensure the production is ready by movie release.
Enter 3D printers. Designers at studio reuse the 3D CGI models and put those blue prints on the web, for anyone to download and print them, for $5.99. And the high-paying office in US is gone. Manufacturers in China don't lose much, they'll still be mass producing models for those without printers.

A large portion of support sector becomes redundant, including logistics. Buying a replacement part for a computer, car or various other devices is an absurdly large scale operation these days. Starting at design, it then needs to go through life cycle management, logistics and planning, global distribution, down to training of staff at points of sale or repair shops. The number of high-paying jobs such chain supports is vast. From IT (building systems to manage all of these parts) to management (coordinating the flow between all of these), localization (translators at various countries), logistics (again, software and operations, warehouses, dozens of individual companies, cleaner-to-CEO). At the end of day, even gas industry profits due to transporation.
With 3D printer, when a car/device/product is finished, the CAD models that were used to make it are put on the internet. User visits a page, prints the part. Optionally, this can be done at repair shop, where they install it. The entire chain becomes redundant, affecting *millions* of currently middle-class jobs, essentially making them obsolete.


As for unskilled jobs? Well, someone needs to make plastic pellets that printers use. And pay no attention to those lung burning fumes while doing so.

Changes that are coming won't affect unskilled jobs, those will remain plentiful. It's the middle-class and white collar jobs that aren't needed anymore since machinery and computers do it better.
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I'm apolitical. I don't know anyone involved in OWS and I don't know what anyone involved wants. I don't know what the members have in common. I'm not interested in finding any of that out.
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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320875431' post='4882287']
[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1320832762' post='4882054']
Yep. Global scale is what matters now though, as the market really is global. re: 3d printers fear: the working class which would have been rendered redundant by 3d printing is primarily in china anyway. Massively exploited, as how much you earn is not really a function of how much you produce but a function of how much you own personally and collectively. E.g. if I didn't own anything, I'd not be able to decline a job offer of working for the most basic food, animal feed grade, total of maybe $10/month. [/quote]

3D printers don't replace the working class.
They replace highly skilled jobs.

They replace the car designer. Before, they needed to train for years, building models out of clay, they would need a combination of art and hand skills. They are artists, sculptors, and much more.
With 3D printer, a CAD model is ran through a few algorithmic permutations (running on a building-sized cluster), then it spits out 55 variations of next car model over night. Suddenly, instead of having some of high paying positions working 3 months for one, you just take pictures of finished models and send them to focus groups. Don't even need people for that, it can be automated, so skip the middle management as well.[/quote]

Does not compute. None of what you said is dependent on cost effective 3d printers. You said they would take pictures of the 3d models? wtf? Why not just send renderings of these designs to focus groups? You're making a very weak case for the elimination of skilled jobs through 3d printing technology unless you're strictly referring to the sculptor who used to create the original molds for casting. Someone still has to design the part that is going to be created, and that's where the skill really was to begin with.

[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320875431' post='4882287']
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"][left]As for unskilled jobs? Well, someone needs to make plastic pellets that printers use. And pay no attention to those lung burning fumes while doing so.[/quote][/left][/size][/color][color="#1C2837"][size="2"][left]Umm... no. That would be completely automated and would only require technicians who know how to fix the machine when it goes down and a machine operator to dump in more materials to be processed.[/left][/size][/color]
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[quote name='lrh9' timestamp='1320876238' post='4882291']
I'm apolitical. I don't know anyone involved in OWS and I don't know what anyone involved wants. I don't know what the members have in common. I'm not interested in finding any of that out.
[/quote]

Good for you. Otherwise you might actually learn something and lord knows, we don't want that.
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I feel like this picture sums up most of my feelings toward 99% of the people involved in the 99% movement (See what I did there?! PUNS)

[img]http://hackedirl.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/epic-win-photos-writing-on-paper-win.jpg[/img]
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[quote name='ChaosEngine' timestamp='1320892458' post='4882366']
[quote name='lrh9' timestamp='1320876238' post='4882291']
I'm apolitical. I don't know anyone involved in OWS and I don't know what anyone involved wants. I don't know what the members have in common. I'm not interested in finding any of that out.
[/quote]

Good for you. Otherwise you might actually learn something and lord knows, we don't want that.
[/quote]

Why you attacking me?
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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320875431' post='4882287']
[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1320832762' post='4882054']
Yep. Global scale is what matters now though, as the market really is global. re: 3d printers fear: the working class which would have been rendered redundant by 3d printing is primarily in china anyway. Massively exploited, as how much you earn is not really a function of how much you produce but a function of how much you own personally and collectively. E.g. if I didn't own anything, I'd not be able to decline a job offer of working for the most basic food, animal feed grade, total of maybe $10/month. [/quote]

3D printers don't replace the working class.
They replace highly skilled jobs.

They replace the car designer. Before, they needed to train for years, building models out of clay, they would need a combination of art and hand skills. They are artists, sculptors, and much more.
With 3D printer, a CAD model is ran through a few algorithmic permutations (running on a building-sized cluster), then it spits out 55 variations of next car model over night. Suddenly, instead of having some of high paying positions working 3 months for one, you just take pictures of finished models and send them to focus groups. Don't even need people for that, it can be automated, so skip the middle management as well.
[/quote]
3d printing has been used for prototyping for this sort of use for ages, and what you have described has never happened, and especially not the drop in required training to design a car.
Hell, it has not happened even for the character design in computer games, despite it making total sense to automate content generation.
[quote]

Or toys. Today, there are studios which design them. Many are low quality, but there are somewhat big franchising deals. So when a movie comes out, an office in US acts as proxy between hundreds of manufacturers around the globe to ensure the production is ready by movie release.
Enter 3D printers. Designers at studio reuse the 3D CGI models and put those blue prints on the web, for anyone to download and print them, for $5.99. And the high-paying office in US is gone. Manufacturers in China don't lose much, they'll still be mass producing models for those without printers.
[/quote]
Say hello to the toys made of more than just plain plastic, or having several moving parts.
[quote]

A large portion of support sector becomes redundant, including logistics. Buying a replacement part for a computer, car or various other devices is an absurdly large scale operation these days. Starting at design, it then needs to go through life cycle management, logistics and planning, global distribution, down to training of staff at points of sale or repair shops. The number of high-paying jobs such chain supports is vast. From IT (building systems to manage all of these parts) to management (coordinating the flow between all of these), localization (translators at various countries), logistics (again, software and operations, warehouses, dozens of individual companies, cleaner-to-CEO). At the end of day, even gas industry profits due to transporation.
With 3D printer, when a car/device/product is finished, the CAD models that were used to make it are put on the internet. User visits a page, prints the part. Optionally, this can be done at repair shop, where they install it. The entire chain becomes redundant, affecting *millions* of currently middle-class jobs, essentially making them obsolete.
[/quote]
Star trek replicators might accomplish that. The 3d printers make plastic parts, and do that very, very inefficiently. The parts need to be assembled, and combined with non-printable parts (good luck have fun printing electric motors). At home? Your average joe makes / relates to web comics about how hard it is to assemble ikea furniture!
[quote]


As for unskilled jobs? Well, someone needs to make plastic pellets that printers use. And pay no attention to those lung burning fumes while doing so.

Changes that are coming won't affect unskilled jobs, those will remain plentiful. It's the middle-class and white collar jobs that aren't needed anymore since machinery and computers do it better.
[/quote]
This sort of fear is as old as technology itself. Did the computers eliminate need for accountants (as was feared)? I wish.
The new technologies, many times over, have failed to render anyone redundant, as everyone just starts consuming more (which is rather terrible for the environment though).
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To chime in with my two cents, it appears to me that capitalism is not failing. What I do see is the middle class losing ground to the upper class, and siding with their soon to be peers, the lower class. Eventually the 3 groups polarize will completely, and the paupers will oust the princes.
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[quote name='Burnt_Fyr' timestamp='1320945098' post='4882658']
To chime in with my two cents, it appears to me that capitalism is not failing. What I do see is the middle class losing ground to the upper class, and siding with their soon to be peers, the lower class. Eventually the 3 groups polarize will completely, and the paupers will oust the princes.
[/quote]

Marx FTW! Seriously, I can see society diverge into two truely distinct layers due to technological or economical developments, but thats not whats happening today.

Whats happening today is in fact a massive increase in equality between the western marginally productive worker and the vast numbers of actually poor people eager to take their subsidized jobs. The supply of low-skilled labor has expanded enormously, and the supply of capital and high skilled workers relatively little. That is to be expected when most of the world is quite busy pulling themselves out of the dark ages. But this trend is probably already on the decline; now its china being asked to bail out europe. Their stocks of (human/technological) capital are growing, and its increased supply will make it relatively difficult to continue the trust-fund lifestyle that we have been enjoying; especially for those most reliant on it (the very very rich).
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I really want to chime in with my 2 cents as well but I'm not so sure how to express those 2 cents.

I don't really hear a lot of good things about the OWS protesters. The media seems to make them out to be a bunch of people with nothing better to do trying to do something for a cause to make things better but no one can really come to a consensus on what those things are or how to go about it. No doubt there is a lot of things that could change to be make it so that people can have a better life. I don't know what those things are or how they should change. I'm not certain that even all the well educated posters to this thread that are able to articulate themselves well could come up with a direction to take the protests let alone a bunch of allegedly lowly educated, obsolete factory worker types. Although it could well be that they don't need a consensus if they just figure they have enough people and decide to do something or if one person can bullshit them enough into following him.

As for the original question, I don't think raising taxes on the rich will really address what I see as the general intent of the protest. That a corporation or someone should be taxed equally to everyone else appeals to my sense of fairness but it puts more money in the hands of the government when what I really want is more money in my hands. Getting money to the gov't for social programs is great and all since they can do more with say $500 per person than one person can do with $500. But I don't think the protesters are looking for more social programs. They want those other things that none of them can
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[quote name='kseh' timestamp='1320964434' post='4882755']
I really want to chime in with my 2 cents as well but I'm not so sure how to express those 2 cents.

I don't really hear a lot of good things about the OWS protesters. The media seems to make them out to be a bunch of people with nothing better to do trying to do something for a cause to make things better but no one can really come to a consensus on what those things are or how to go about it. No doubt there is a lot of things that could change to be make it so that people can have a better life. I don't know what those things are or how they should change. I'm not certain that even all the well educated posters to this thread that are able to articulate themselves well could come up with a direction to take the protests let alone a bunch of allegedly lowly educated, obsolete factory worker types. Although it could well be that they don't need a consensus if they just figure they have enough people and decide to do something or if one person can bullshit them enough into following him.

As for the original question, I don't think raising taxes on the rich will really address what I see as the general intent of the protest. That a corporation or someone should be taxed equally to everyone else appeals to my sense of fairness but it puts more money in the hands of the government when what I really want is more money in my hands. Getting money to the gov't for social programs is great and all since they can do more with say $500 per person than one person can do with $500. But I don't think the protesters are looking for more social programs. They want those other things that none of them can
[/quote]

Putting more money in the hands of government isn't what the protesters want either, at least not broadly; they just don't want such a huge proportion of it concentrated in so few hands. They're very clear on that, even though it's such a fragmented and leaderless group that more difficult things like specific policy ideas don't come through as clearly or coherently. There's no lack of ideas, including some pretty particular ones of varying quality. They're definitely not in favor of limitless welfare. Raising taxes on the rich (however you want to define that) certainly doesn't solve all problems, that's foolish. However, the current tax code very very strongly favors ever greater concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands. A different tax scheme might discourage that pattern somewhat, but it's certainly not going to be the whole solution.

As for the protesters themselves, there's a wide cross section of people- -it's definitely not all workers without college educations. In fact, most of the coverage I've seen has focused on middle class recent college graduates. They might not have "better things to do" than protest, but then again there isn't enough work for them. Not even close. And the current state of the economy is a product of unrestrained corporate greed and power (among other notable things). And worse still, the people who drove the unrestrained corporate greed and power were able to because they convinced the government to let them, and are generally [i]still[/i] quite wealthy and powerful while most Americans are sitting in a crater of wealth, opportunity, and voice in government deeper and broader than any seen in decades.

But they don't seem to want to operate the way that you're suggesting, becoming a specific organized movement and a distinct force in politics, a la the Tea Party. My sense is that the protesters perceive the whole system as fundamentally rigged by and in favor of the rich, and that doing things like becoming formally organized would only lead to them and their message excluding more and more people, and then being co-opted by the corruption of the system anyways.
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[url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/07/one-per-cent-wealth-destroyers"]This article[/url] was interesting to me.

There's no way any human can generate as much value as certain humans are being compensated for. Value creation is largely distributed, but the compensation seems rather consolidated.
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The United States does not use so much capitalism. Countries around the world such as China is more capitalistic than the United States as of late.

Top private businesses and top political leaders have very close ties, how is this capitalism?
I've read articles where political leaders are making salaries of half a million dollars, since when was serving as a politician a career choice instead of a choice to serve the country? There is a reason why political offices are meant to serve in terms.
When some of the largest businesses in this country fail, they are rewarded by the government with bailout money. How is this capitalism?
The government allows the FED to print tons of worthless paper money to inflate the value of the dollar to fix short term economic problems, how is this capitalism?
The government provides tons of loans and benefits to home-buyers who cannot responsibly afford their homes, how is this capitalism?
The government provides tons of money towards students allowing school prices to continue to rise in one of the worst economic times of U.S. history, how is this capitalism?

A government in general is a deficit to a country's economic spending. I am not saying government is bad, there are many reasons why a government is required and necessary. But right now, government & the FED is destroying this country's economy, not capitalism.

I don't understand why people think collecting MORE taxes is going to possibly fix the issue. No matter where the money comes from, a government just collecting more money to spend it the same way it's been building its giant deficit over the years is NOT going to fix the problem at all! If a government knew how to make profit from the money it collects, it wouldn't need to tax its people to begin with. What do these people think the government is going to do with the money from taxing the wealthy? I think some politicians are looking for a big raise sometime soon... which of course will funnel back to corporate ties.

R.I.P. - capitalism in the U.S.
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Another good one:
[img]http://chzmemebase.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/internet-memes-a-challenger-appears.jpg[/img]
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1321133523' post='4883286']
Another good one:
[/quote]

Isn't that slightly undermined by the paychecks and tuition coming from by tax dollars.
If you want everyone to literally follow that example your basically advocating communism.
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[quote name='Kaze' timestamp='1321137208' post='4883297']
[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1321133523' post='4883286']
Another good one:
[/quote]

Isn't that slightly undermined by the paychecks and tuition coming from by tax dollars.
If you want everyone to literally follow that example your basically advocating communism.
[/quote]
Saw that one the other day. I believe it was a joke. Like he's trolling. :lol:
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