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Comment Re:Unconstitutional (Score 1) 268

I think we have had this conversation in another thread. You believe that there should be no limit on free speech. I believe reasonable limits are good. Neither of us will change our positions therefore there is no reason to continue this thread.

I have just one question. I'm not sure I'd ever agree with your position but I would like to better understand it. I remain open-minded about its potential merits.

Why do you believe that a reasonable legal (i.e. case law) limit is better than any other method of providing an effective limitation?

For example, if the average person learned not to ever believe anything important without first investigating it, then false statements stemming from unlimited free speech would be effectively limited. Such statements would exist but they wouldn't have any power. As a bonus this mentality would be much more resistant to the various marketing and propaganda techniques.

What makes you sure that legal limits would be better than another solution that we've never seriously tried?

Comment Chickens...roost (Score -1, Troll) 97

I guess the President's corporate sponsors have figured out that patent trolls are an expensive nuisance.

So Obama's going to go after patent trolls while pushing for international trade agreements that will allow the biggest corporations to use IP laws to further crush competition and keep regular people poor. Typical.

I'm furious with myself for ever having supported that guy.

Comment Re:Employed (Score 4, Interesting) 712

Yeah, there is a difference between a guy who bets he can make a company successful and the guy who gets a multi-million dollar salary plus stock options to help him avoid paying taxes.

The first is a rarity. The second is business as usual in US corporations.

Today, the average CEO makes $9.7 million annually, up year after year, while worker salaries are on a steady decline.

Two separate economies. That is not sustainable.

Comment Re:Employed (Score 1) 712

I wonder how many people would be currently employed at Apple if not for a CEO named Steve. Would there even be any?

So your proof of the value of CEOs is one of the guys who started Apple?

And if "Steve" is solely responsible for all those Apple employees, why do they still have jobs now that "Steve" is worm food?

If your argument is that someone who starts an incredibly successful business should be rewarded, that's not the same thing as saying that CEOs can't be replaced by someone making considerably less.

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 712

There really isn't much value in what they do.

Except that without the burger flippers, I don't see how McDonalds' business model could work.

It's not like they can hire people in India to flip burgers for them in Chicago.

I think there's a good argument that the people flipping burgers are more important to McDonalds' model than whoever happens to be their CEO.

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 712

The sports stars and movie stars argument is a loser. Hollywood, despite it's liberal reputation, is the most cutthroat example of capitalism there is.

Pro sports is second on the list. Have one bad season, or even one bad game, and you're gone.

Plus, you won't find a better example of socialism working in America than pro sports

So, let me get this straight: You're saying that pro sports and Hollywood are "the most cutthroat example(s) of capitalism" while at the same time being the best example of socialism "working in America"?

That's some trick right there.

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 5, Insightful) 712

The salary of the vice president at McD's isn't taking money meant for the burger flippers pocket....

He absolutely is.

In fact, in the specific case you cite, low-end wages are kept below poverty so that not only is the vice-president of McD's taking money away from the burger flippers, but he's taking money from each and every taxpayer by having the government subsidize his employees.

There are even laws now to codify such arrangements. If a Southeastern state lures a manufacturing plant from say, Washington or Oregon, one of the ways they do it is to agree to allow the company to keep any state income taxes that are withheld from employees wages. The taxes are still taken out of each paycheck, but the money never goes beyond the company's coffers.

Corporations are seeking out this kind of deal, and states, in a rush to the bottom, are giving in so they can show how they're "bringing jobs" to their area.

The issue of sports stars or movie stars is a red herring. There are so few of them as to make it irrelevant, and their pay is directly tied to the profits they are expected to generate for the owners.

CEOs' salaries on the other hand, are entirely a function of a buddy system in corporate boards. Everybody gets a nice income and lifelong security and they scratch each others' backs. You will never hear of the board of directors of a big company or bank asking if maybe they can find a CEO from Pakistan or China who's willing to work for $250,000 instead of $40,000,000, even though there is very little evidence that the CEO has that much impact on a company's bottom line. Despite the fact that it's absolutely the job of the directors to do so. And even if that did ever happen, it wouldn't explain the huge salaries for unproven CEOs for companies getting huge bonuses even when the company is not doing well, which is much more common than most people would imagine. You will often hear, on the other hand, about sports teams deciding not to pay a veteran $40,000,000 if there is $400,000 rookie who can do the job. One of those "minimum wage" players was the quarterback who won the Super Bowl this year, in fact. The guy he replaced was obscenely overpaid and the rookie showed promise and the owners gave him the job.

And there are plenty of other ways in which income disparities directly hurt most people. Just have a look at the work of Richard Wilkinson and co, who have done a lot of work on this issue. Yes, when people at the top make a lot of money and their incomes increase out of proportion to the rest of society, it takes money away from the people flipping burgers and making cars. And writing code.

http://www.ted.com/talks/richa...

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