Originally posted by Mister.K.There is difference between level playing field and equality of wages. We ensure education for all to create a level playing field. How well the person studies, what he chooses to study, how far he will study, what will he do with his education, these things are all upto the individual. The first part which gives equal opportunity to all and thus creates a level playing field can be ensured by the govt. by us the people but the latter part, which is upto the individual, is what will determine the income level.Similarly, keeping inflation in check, ensuring fair trade practices, etc. can be ensured by us but at an individual level, what one wants to do with it will be beyond our control. Some may use that opportunity to surge ahead, while others might take it for granted and simply sit back and do nothing.We shouldn't mix failure on the govt's part to ensure fair trade with disparity in income. The two are separate, though the former can give rise to the latter. But where the former is corruption and will happen only when the govt. fails to do it's duty, the latter is natural will occur irrespective of everything else unless we use force to make things even.
Basically, what I am asking is for the governments across the world to keep goods and services affordable to the populace by keeping inflation in check, to curtail artificial demand, to disallow entities from monopolizing the markets and allow for the macroeconomics to function under conditions of parity and, above all, to guarantee a certain social environment in which nobody is excluded from the core industrious activities of society, such as education, employment and health care.
In a nutshell, that would be my recommended plan of action.
Originally posted by Mister.K.What you are assuming (and it's a pretty big assumption) here is that you have endless resources to pull up every university and college to the level of Stanford. Does the US have that kind of resources to bring up the level of each of it's universities to Stanford's level? Can every university and college in the world be provided with the kind of resources that is needed to make them like Stanford?
And to reiterate, before you move forward without fully grasping what's been said so far, it is more about looking at the system inside-out rather than focusing on one individual or a corporation.
The ramifications would be felt in a circuitous way across the system but I believe that would keep the existing power imbalances in check and swerve the system towards a more naturalized regulation of money flow.
Let's suppose that getting an admission into a Stanford university is essential to have a lucrative career after graduation. My plan of action would first evaluate what makes Stanford tick and try to bring other schools and universities on par with the Stanford standards be it the curriculum, facilities or the faculty. In other words, my plan of action will not take the special out of Stanford; it will endeavor to counterbalance the "bias" built into the situation by improving the lesser-than-ideal circumstances that are dragging down the other universities thereby making them less attractive.
I'll say no. Not every place has that kind of resources. For now let's leave aside the monetary part and take up the human resources that will be necessary.
Say there are a 1000 universities (including Stanford) and a total of 100 professors are required for each university, i.e. we require 100,000 professors.
To make each university excellent, we will require that all 100,000 professors are brilliant. For that we'll have to show them that they'll have better opportunity cost as professors. Simply put, we'll have to pay them more than what they'd have earned at another job. But you've already thrown the idea of higher pay out of the window.
So, we recruit 100,000 people as professors at a wage which is comparable with many other jobs. Not all professors from the 100,000 that we recruit will be equally good, it's simply not possible. Say we get only 10,000 professors who are actually good.
We will have two choices:
1. We can let 100 universities have the top 10,000 professors and the mediocre and not so good professors can be distributed among the rest of the universities. This will ensure that the brilliant students will have a place where there brilliance can be further polished. And brilliant group of faculty will ensure that they will be compatible with each other and will learn from each other.
2. Or we can have each of the 1000 universities have 10 good professor each and have 90 mediocre and not so good professors. But that will only ensure that not a single university, including Stanford, gets quality staff for all positions. Effectively you did take out the 'special' out of Stanford. On top of that, by placing the brilliant professors in a majority group of mediocre, you've seriously limited their potential utility.
You are preferring the second way. You might have heard about this. If you flatten the Alps and distribute the soil evenly across Europe, it will raise the level of the continent by only 6 inches. I feel that is what you're trying to achieve. The problem that I have with it is, you won't make any significant difference to those who are at the bottom but you'll bring down those who have rightfully earned their place at the top.
Originally posted by Mister.K.I don't know why we're constantly mixing corrupt business practices with income disparity. Creating artificial
demand or creating artificial shortage are not fair trade practices. Why
do we need to discuss about that. Everyone knows that these things
should be eliminated.
On the other hand, if, in general, getting an admission into any school or a college is proving difficult, my plan would assess what is it that is making it difficult? Is the demand artificial or real? If the demand is real, is it because of overpopulation? Is it because of lack of infrastructure at certain locations that is making one school accessible and one not? Is it because, some applicants were not able to meet the basic requirements?
If some applicants are unable to meet the basic admission criteria, then my plan examines the conditions that contributed to one's success and one's failure. How do their backgrounds compare? What went wrong with the person who failed? What worked for the person who succeeded? Were their any training institutes or private services that one could avail of and one couldn't?
My plan of action would thus retrace the history as far back as applicable and narrow down the list of events that led to the above mentioned outcome and try to rectify the inequalities, if any.
In my plan of action, a Nike or a Microsoft wouldn't be monopolizing the markets 'governments would encourage competition to their products and services by whatever means necessary. Also, they wouldn't be allowed to crush their competition by predatory pricing made possible by unfair and/or illegal off-shoring of work to sweatshops that may have mushroomed in the developing and/or underdeveloped countries for precisely the same reasons which my plan of action is trying to attack and nullify. So, it's not about why Nike rules. It is about the how and what could be done to even the money flow. If the governments close the sweatshops and not let Nike pay pennies to the exploited workers, then would Nike be forced to share the "profits" with legally employed workers instead of sharing it with the athletes and the executives and the shareholders and bond holders? It's about sending a message to the Nikes, the Walmarts and the Microsofts '"Don't rob Peter to pay Paul".
Now, granted there are highly driven individuals, exceptionally meritorious students, remarkably talented artists and superbly skilled athletes. Granted there are geniuses and dullards. Granted there are hard working people just as there are the lazy. But instead of rewarding the "good" with obscene amounts of money and punishing the "bad" by exiling and relegating them to dark alleys, streets and slums, my plan of action will attempt to keep the disproportions that led to this final outcome of "good" and "bad", to a minimum. In other words, my plan of action is not looking at how best to reward the good and how best to punish the bad (even if the punishment is not deliberate). My plan of action is only concerned about controlling the events that lead to these undesirable disproportions and making sure they don't repeat.
If Nike is off-shoring it's production to sweat shops in Cambodia and those factories are paying their workers less than what one needs to survive, then who is most at fault over here? It's the fault of the Cambodian govt. who are allowing such factories to exist. It's the fault of the Cambodian govt. that they can't arrange for alternative means of income for those people. Nike is simply taking advantage of the opportunity, cos if they don't someone else will.
If Nike pays $2 per worker per day at present but tomorrow finds out that no worker is ready to work for that amount and is demanding $5, then it'll be forced to pay $5 per worker per day.
But if the worker sees that if he doesn't work for $2 per day, there'll be a hundred others who'll work for that amount and on top of that, if he loses this work then he won't be able to earn even $2 everyday, then he'll be forced to continue working for Nike at $2 everyday.
For the worker, the solution is not in closing
down the factory where Nike shoes are manufactured, cos then he will
lose even the $2 that he earns everyday. The focus should be on creating
enough opportunities, so that, just as competition amongst workers is
making employers pay them low wage, similarly competition amongst
employers will make the employers pay higher wages to the workers.
As far as sharing profit and paying large sums of money goes, if that worker is able to sell a million Nike shoes every year, Nike will be glad to share their profits with him apart from his wages. But for now the selling of a million shoes is done by the marketing team and the celebrities who endorses Nike.
As for monopoly. Businesses will always try to eliminate competition and monopolize by being the single supplier in the market. And as long they try to achieve that through fair competition, there's nothing to complain. Keeping entry barriers as low as possible to encourage new entrants and ensuring that new entrants are not subjected to unfair trade practices is upto the govt. If a large business entity indulges in unfair trade practices to discourage competition, then yes punish them.
Edited by souro - 17 July 2010 at 1:31am