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Re: [existlist] Property is theft

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  • Brent Irvine
    I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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      I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)


      While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear. Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two. The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US. I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).

      I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.



      ________________________________
      From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, June 30, 2010 6:44:12 PM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


      Hi Brent and all,

      On 1 July 2010 00:25, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
      > Yes - a few of the Russians I worked with liked elements under Communism - safe streets, not worrying a lot of financing. Though many felt that the Gangster-Capitalism of the mid 1990's (when most got out) was because people saw the US TV show "Dallas" and thought that was how the free market operated. A few ran crossways of the authorities (hence their location in the US now) so didn't have an overall positive experience.
      >
      >
      > I am not certain that the current Russian state of the free market is the future of the US - similar models (fictional, or reality) have been the predicted of the future of the US for over 100 years (and the UK before that). I expect the US to come out of its funk, to muddle through, fix some issues and not fix others - and move on. I am not sure the "winner take all" turn followed by the "oh and we define winner on who has good political connections" model to be relegated to the dust heap. It may be true of Russia and China right now, but I cannot see such an attempted-abrogation of responsibility to last.
      >

      I too have plenty of anecdotal evidence that life in the old USSR
      wasn't so bad. It is a shame we do not have a representative sample of
      US residents on this list. Anyone would be tempted to believe that
      life is not a day to day struggle for the average American punter.

      As to todays Russian "free" market, it was born out of Yeltsin selling
      off some of the state corporations in a closed market, all in order to
      finance his next election campaign. Hardly an auspicious beginning.
      But then again, (mis)appropriation generally is the foundation for
      "free" markets.

      Polly



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Herman
      Hi Brent, ... I didn t make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in the US
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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        Hi Brent,

        On 2 July 2010 01:12, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
        > I currently live in the US, having been born here.  I also have lived (briefly) in the UK.  All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)
        >
        >
        > While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear.  Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two.  The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US.  I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).
        >
        > I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.
        >
        >

        I didn't make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are
        working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in
        the US was more like 16%. My point was that all the active US
        residents in this group are not in the struggle-street demographic.
        But there is a large chunk of US population entrenched there.

        Polly
      • Brent Irvine
        I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word representative to mean typical and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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          I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time). The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well. During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.

          I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US. The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.







          ________________________________
          From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 5:37:26 PM
          Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


          Hi Brent,

          On 2 July 2010 01:12, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
          > I currently live in the US, having been born here. I also have lived (briefly) in the UK. All in all, the day-to-day was not very much different in either place (I worked for a company in both locations)
          >
          >
          > While colleagues in the companies I worked for (I am a technologist by profession) are much more flexible in the US towards work, and more willing to work overtime, it is more because of cultural reasons (people self-identify with their profession more strongly in the US than in the UK, though I believe the gap is smaller now) rather than fear. Before the recession, in the UK it took about a year to find work if you had been made redundant, in the US it took a month or two. The pay in the US is generally higher than in the UK, and taxes and cost of living (in general) is lower in the US. I think the financial day-to-day is easier as well (even without taking on debt - of which I have none).
          >
          > I think there is a real danger in taking things in the abstract and passing a form of judgment on them regarding non abstract activities.
          >
          >

          I didn't make my point very clearly. Pay is only relevant if you are
          working. It was you yourself who recently said that unemployment in
          the US was more like 16%. My point was that all the active US
          residents in this group are not in the struggle-street demographic.
          But there is a large chunk of US population entrenched there.

          Polly



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Herman
          Thanks Brent, ... The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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            Thanks Brent,

            On 2 July 2010 08:18, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
            > I see your point.  Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time).  The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well.  During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.
            >
            > I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US.  The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.
            >

            The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing
            a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
            can not sustain a family unless multiple jobs are being worked. I
            wonder how this fits in with the unemployment statistics? If you have
            a job, and still can't make basic ends meet, what use are the
            employment statistics?

            Polly
          • Brent Irvine
            I d agree that the Federal minimum wage (US$7/hr) isn t enough to support a family - and most likely people would work 2 jobs to make enough - or have one with
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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              I'd agree that the Federal minimum wage (US$7/hr) isn't enough to support a family - and most likely people would work 2 jobs to make enough - or have one with a lot of overtime. There are a lot of minimum wage jobs, but I don't know what the statistics are - I am under the impression that even most fast-food jobs pay better than that so in effect the US doesn't have one. Mostly. The Median wage is about $15-20/hr and depending upon where you are, it may or may not be enough to live modestly if you had a family with one income. Most every family in the US has 2 incomes because it is economically required. I believe the UK is in a similar situation, too.

              I think the employment statistics are useful for measuring the economy and a touchstone on how healthy it may be. It is of little use to anyone beyond that - as you said individuals situation may not be reflected an abstract numbers like that. The same way someone who broke his or her arm on VE Day might not view it in the same light as the majority of people.

              Though, I would say we *are* talking quite abstractly at the moment.







              ________________________________
              From: Herman <hhofmeister@...>
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 6:49:48 PM
              Subject: Re: [existlist] Property is theft


              Thanks Brent,

              On 2 July 2010 08:18, Brent Irvine <brent.irvine@...> wrote:
              > I see your point. Though I stumbled over the word "representative" to mean "typical" and the unemployed even taken at the broadest measure (16%) instead of the more narrow official (10%) this means that at least 84% of the people of adult age who want to work are employed fully (not underemployed, or part time when they want full time). The company I work for went through 50%(!) redundancies during the downturn, as well. During more "normal" times, the redundancies wouldn't have been as large (though every few years there are lay offs), and the time to get another job wouldn't have been long.
              >
              > I suppose if one were to judge a society by the way it deals with its least ... well this is something that we're struggling with in the US. The Senate keeps approving extensions of unemployment benefits - and while it certainly won't be enough to keep a family afloat, will assure groceries at the very least.
              >

              The information might have been totally incorrect, but I recall seeing
              a documentary which showed that the minimum wage in the various states
              can not sustain a family unless multiple jobs are being worked. I
              wonder how this fits in with the unemployment statistics? If you have
              a job, and still can't make basic ends meet, what use are the
              employment statistics?

              Polly



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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