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[Police brutality] American injustice, yet again.

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27 minutes ago, Cygnia said:

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I can't say for sure, but IMO it is 'more likely' this is a threat/no threat training target with the other side or another nearby target being an armed target.  So as to distinguish between the two situations on a target course.

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10 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

Man, I don't know.  I work a pretty middle class job and live in a middle class neighborhood and own two-thirds of my house now.  And it puts me about double of what I'd need to be in the top 10% of all people on Earth.  And between my wife, daughter and I I'm sure we've spent a LOT over the years on medical bills (after insurance) so it would be quite easy to have more with a little luck in the health department.

 

Middle class.  House not even paid off (single story, nothing special).

 

If you have a net $4,300 in assets - not cash - assets.  You're richer than half the planet.

 

Even the poor in America have it pretty good compared to the rest of the planet.  We have had it really good for a few decades in America.  REALLY good.

 

 

Not denying that, but not everyone has it so good. Many don't own their own property. And more to the point...we talk about "making America great" while the people who could do so...the billionaires...expect the minimum wage workers of the country to do it. The Amazon CEO could end hunger and homelessness in America and still be a billionaire. Does anyone think that will happen? No. because altruism isn't a feature of American capitalism. The Amazon CEO is worth by some accounts a TRILLION dollars now. If a minimum wage worker makes say...10 dollars an hour....that means Bezos makes about 50,000 times that of the average worker per year. I seriously doubt he's putting in 50,000 times the workload of that average worker. That kind of income disparity is not only criminal...it's not healthy for the long term prosperity of the country. Most Americans are one bad illness or accident away from bankruptcy thanks to medical costs in America. I also question justifying our nation's ridiculous income disparity by saying "well....it could be worse...you could live in {insert poor country here}". Well...we don't live there....we live here...in the country with the world's strongest economy that still doesn't take care of its citizens to First World standards. I've said this before...it could be worse, but it could also be better...a LOT better. And THAT should be our goal...not trying to justify our clearly flawed system.

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15 minutes ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Most Americans are one bad illness or accident away from bankruptcy thanks to medical costs in America. 

 

Hence the television show Breaking Bad literally could not have been set anywhere else in the world.

 

In any other nation, at least any other civilized nation, Walter White finds out from his doctor that he has cancer. He gets referred for treatments, he gets treatment and goes home to his family. It's an after-school special.

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BBC America is airing the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars" right now. The juxtaposition between events in this story, set in the 1950s, and real events happening in America today is a little jarring.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

BBC America is airing the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars" right now. The juxtaposition between events in this story, set in the 1950s, and real events happening in America today is a little jarring.

 

That's because we haven't evolved much socially from the 50's to be blunt.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

BBC America is airing the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars" right now. The juxtaposition between events in this story, set in the 1950s, and real events happening in America today is a little jarring.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

 

 

Not denying that, but not everyone has it so good. Many don't own their own property. And more to the point...we talk about "making America great" while the people who could do so...the billionaires...expect the minimum wage workers of the country to do it. The Amazon CEO could end hunger and homelessness in America and still be a billionaire. Does anyone think that will happen? No. because altruism isn't a feature of American capitalism. The Amazon CEO is worth by some accounts a TRILLION dollars now. If a minimum wage worker makes say...10 dollars an hour....that means Bezos makes about 50,000 times that of the average worker per year. I seriously doubt he's putting in 50,000 times the workload of that average worker. That kind of income disparity is not only criminal...it's not healthy for the long term prosperity of the country. Most Americans are one bad illness or accident away from bankruptcy thanks to medical costs in America. I also question justifying our nation's ridiculous income disparity by saying "well....it could be worse...you could live in {insert poor country here}". Well...we don't live there....we live here...in the country with the world's strongest economy that still doesn't take care of its citizens to First World standards. I've said this before...it could be worse, but it could also be better...a LOT better. And THAT should be our goal...not trying to justify our clearly flawed system.

 

Bezos is a lot more valuable to the economy than a guy who flips burgers.  Does he work 50,000 times as hard?  No, but "working hard" isn't a factor.  Is he 50,000 times more valuable than a burger flipper?  Yes, probably more than that.  If you could pick one Jeff Bezos/one Elon Musk/one Bill Gates to add to your economy... versus 50,000 McDonald's employees... who would add more to your economy?

 

Don't forget, Bezos started Amazon in his garage, and used to personally box up people's orders and drive them to the post office in his car.  He grew his garage business into one of the biggest companies on the planet.  Other people chose to invest their money in his company, and he made it grow.

 

Part of the reason we're the world's strongest economy is because we don't demand that the wealthy pay for every social program under the sun.

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14 minutes ago, massey said:

 

Bezos is a lot more valuable to the economy than a guy who flips burgers.  Does he work 50,000 times as hard?  No, but "working hard" isn't a factor.  Is he 50,000 times more valuable than a burger flipper?  Yes, probably more than that.  If you could pick one Jeff Bezos/one Elon Musk/one Bill Gates to add to your economy... versus 50,000 McDonald's employees... who would add more to your economy?

 

Don't forget, Bezos started Amazon in his garage, and used to personally box up people's orders and drive them to the post office in his car.  He grew his garage business into one of the biggest companies on the planet.  Other people chose to invest their money in his company, and he made it grow.

 

Part of the reason we're the world's strongest economy is because we don't demand that the wealthy pay for every social program under the sun.

 

We're also lagging way behind in education, standard of living and other metrics while spending an obscene amount on the military....but hey....

 

You're right. We should just eliminate and dismiss the majority of Americans and focus on the ones who are "valuable" to the economy.  Let's prep the concentration camps now. Oh wait....we can't kill all those people...they're the ones who do all the work that make Bezos, Elon Musk, and Gates so "valuable". What a great society we've developed here...

 

 

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12 minutes ago, massey said:

 

Bezos is a lot more valuable to the economy than a guy who flips burgers.  Does he work 50,000 times as hard?  No, but "working hard" isn't a factor.  Is he 50,000 times more valuable than a burger flipper?  Yes, probably more than that.  If you could pick one Jeff Bezos/one Elon Musk/one Bill Gates to add to your economy... versus 50,000 McDonald's employees... who would add more to your economy?

 

Don't forget, Bezos started Amazon in his garage, and used to personally box up people's orders and drive them to the post office in his car.  He grew his garage business into one of the biggest companies on the planet.  Other people chose to invest their money in his company, and he made it grow.

 

Part of the reason we're the world's strongest economy is because we don't demand that the wealthy pay for every social program under the sun.

 

How much of his income goes to other businesses? If he's holding onto it, then it's not working for the economy-at-large. Money has to move around to be of benefit to the economy, and it's much more effective to give "50,000 McDonald's employees" who have to buy goods and services more money to do so. The money will eventually bubble up to the billionaires, but it will touch a lot more folks along the way.

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5 hours ago, massey said:

 

Bezos is a lot more valuable to the economy than a guy who flips burgers.  Does he work 50,000 times as hard?  No, but "working hard" isn't a factor.  Is he 50,000 times more valuable than a burger flipper?  Yes, probably more than that.  If you could pick one Jeff Bezos/one Elon Musk/one Bill Gates to add to your economy... versus 50,000 McDonald's employees... who would add more to your economy?

 

Don't forget, Bezos started Amazon in his garage, and used to personally box up people's orders and drive them to the post office in his car.  He grew his garage business into one of the biggest companies on the planet.  Other people chose to invest their money in his company, and he made it grow.

 

Part of the reason we're the world's strongest economy is because we don't demand that the wealthy pay for every social program under the sun.

 

Whom did you last advocate for: Mr. Scratch?

 

5 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

 

We're also lagging way behind in education, standard of living and other metrics while spending an obscene amount on the military....but hey....

 

You're right. We should just eliminate and dismiss the majority of Americans and focus on the ones who are "valuable" to the economy.  Let's prep the concentration camps now. Oh wait....we can't kill all those people...they're the ones who do all the work that make Bezos, Elon Musk, and Gates so "valuable". What a great society we've developed here...

 

 

 

Don't be so cynical; as AI (and robotics in general) continues to improve, that multitude of workers will become progressively less of a necessity.

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No one benefits from allowing Jeff to amass a trillion dollars' worth of wealth.  Not even Jeff.  Would garage-Jeff have been demotivated by the prospect of only becoming a mere billionaire?  Did he actually earn a trillion dollars or is the system set up in such a way that he just siphons off the value created by, say, his Amazon warehouse workers currently risking COVID-19 exposure for $15/hour?  Does Jeff's trillion dollar net worth somehow stimulate the economy more strongly than, say, the demand that would be created by giving $999B to poor people who would be virtually guaranteed to spend it?  Perhaps through a system of social programs? 

 

Also, Dr. MID-Nite's math is off by a decimal place; Jeff makes $4.4M/hour, so 400000 times a $10/hour minimum wage.

 

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5 minutes ago, Old Man said:

No one benefits from allowing Jeff to amass a trillion dollars' worth of wealth.  Not even Jeff.  Would garage-Jeff have been demotivated by the prospect of only becoming a mere billionaire?  Did he actually earn a trillion dollars or is the system set up in such a way that he just siphons off the value created by, say, his Amazon warehouse workers currently risking COVID-19 exposure for $15/hour?  Does Jeff's trillion dollar net worth somehow stimulate the economy more strongly than, say, the demand that would be created by giving $999B to poor people who would be virtually guaranteed to spend it?  Perhaps through a system of social programs? 

 

Also, Dr. MID-Nite's math is off by a decimal place; Jeff makes $4.4M/hour, so 400000 times a $10/hour minimum wage.

 

 

Aw man...that's a lot of "not valuable" people I need to round up for the camps now....damn it.... 

 

This thread is really starting to depress me.   :(

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9 hours ago, Ternaugh said:

How much of his income goes to other businesses?

 

Well, 798,000 people work for Amazon full or part time so I'd say a LOT of money of those employees is going to other businesses.

 

I've had friends work at Amazon and while they had to work VERY hard the money was the best they had seen so far.

 

I had a work project once that saved my company 8 million dollars.  That was 150-200 people who got to keep their jobs for a couple extra years because of a project my team completed under massive time pressure.  I felt like a champion of humanity getting that done.  That was 200 people who got to feed their families and put Christmas under the tree for their kids for a couple more years. 

 

Basically nothing at all compared to Amazon.

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4 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Well, 798,000 people work for Amazon full or part time so I'd say a LOT of money of those employees is going to other businesses.

 

An issue in the UK is that some big businesses, Amazon among them, pay workers so poorly that the Government supplements their wages through social welfare.  As such, the Government is subsidising Amazon (not to mention the convoluted tax arrangements that mean the company pays MUCH less than they probably should).  That kind of thing needs to stop.  I can understand a Government subsidising small businesses and even some larger ones as these are important to keeping the wheels moving but larger companies should be able to pay their workers a living wage.   Do not know if that is true in the US.

 

However, regardless of how many employees Amazon has, it is the disparity between the owner and top executives compared with those 800k workers that is the real issue - the US was an economic powerhouse in the 50s and 60s when the wage differential was not anywhere near as stark.  Also, if Amazon did not exist, there would be probably more people employed (across a number of other companies) providing people with the goods and services that they want.  All those companies like Toys R Us that were driven out of business and whose employees are not spending those wages offset Amazon in this respect.  Obviously I am not saying that we should save ToysRUs over Amazon, just saying that the efficiency gains by switching to Amazon should not disproportionately benefit the Amazon bosses and disadvantage the workers that have to switch from one big corporation to another, probably with more work and fewer benefits (coz, efficiency).

 

Doc

 

PS: just realised this was a bit political and not on the politics thread - will not take this any further here.  🙂

 

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3 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

However, regardless of how many employees Amazon has, it is the disparity between the owner and top executives compared with those 800k workers that is the real issue - the US was an economic powerhouse in the 50s and 60s when the wage differential was not anywhere near as stark.

 

 

Yeah, this.

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The 50s and 60s were a completely different era.  The rest of the industrialized world had been bombed to hell, and you could get a good job in the US if you could stand on an assembly line.  But as the rest of the world rebuilt, American businesses became stagnant and uncompetitive.  That led to all the economic problems of the 70s.  Of course (to kinda bring this back around to something on-topic), in the 50s and 60s you couldn't get a good job if you were black.  Or a woman.  We've basically doubled the percentage of our population who are competing for jobs.  Wages have gone down, but that's what happens when a bunch of people who used to stay home are now out looking for work.

 

My understanding is that most of Bezos' money comes from his ownership of Amazon stock.  According to a 5 second Google search, his salary is only $81,000 a year, and hasn't increased since the 90s.  My wife and I made more than that last year.  I'm sure he's received bonuses and things (he has some very nice houses, including the Beverly Hillbillies house, and you don't get that on an $81K salary alone), but his real money is that he personally owns 11% of Amazon.  As that company increases in value, so does his net worth.  You can't really tax that money without forcing him to sell his ownership of the company he built.  That seems wrong to me.

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If wages went down because of more people in the work force were competing for the same jobs, wages should down ACROSS THE BOARD. They're not. Instead, the wage disparity in America is among the worst in the First World. Things didn't "just happen" because...circumstances. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer because the rich maintain the system for their own benefit.. This isn't an unfortunate "accident" of the system. It's a feature. But to get this back on topic, this system funds our police force. It's there to promote the "order" part of law and order....and that order includes maintaining systemic racism. Unless we completely rethink how our society functions (which as this thread shows seems to be difficult), things will never change for the better for the majority of Americans.

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43 minutes ago, massey said:

You can't really tax that money without forcing him to sell his ownership of the company he built.

 

They used to say that you could not tax income.  Until the Government needed money and income was the best way to raise that.

 

With enough incentive the Government can find a way to tax things - even if that means that a proportion of the stock accrues to the Treasury until such a time as it is sold and becomes part of the public purse (very simplistic, I know, but when capital accrues and when folk hide their wealth in stocks and shares a government will at some point come after it).

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1 hour ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

They used to say that you could not tax income.  Until the Government needed money and income was the best way to raise that.

 

With enough incentive the Government can find a way to tax things - even if that means that a proportion of the stock accrues to the Treasury until such a time as it is sold and becomes part of the public purse (very simplistic, I know, but when capital accrues and when folk hide their wealth in stocks and shares a government will at some point come after it).

 

Oh, I'm not saying they can't do it.  I just don't think it's a good idea.    

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