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I would believe in a freemarket with no government interference if i thought that the business owners would treat their employees fairly...

It makes sense to me that in the quest to create and to earn money from your creations, the people who you employ should be given fair wages, decent benefits, and proper shares of the profits... Bythat i mean bonuses based on productivity, paid vacation and sick time, insurance and benefits subsidised by the company, all based on the profits and growth of the company... right now we have things like minimum wage and labour laws to ensure people are not taken advantage of...

From my own experience, the jobs i was most productive at were not the ones i liked the most... they were the ones where i was treated the fairest... my most recent job in a call center (the modern equivalent to an industrial revolution factory in my opinion) was for a major vacation company, part of a bigger umbrella corporation. It appeared that even tho the company was making money, they weren't sharing it with their employees. now we were not the ones who started the company, we didn't invent anything, "all we did" was answer phones for 8 hours, book vacations and take all manner of abuse from our clients. the company depends on this division, however. yet if you missed too much time, you were fired. if you didn't take calls fast enough, you were fired. if you didn't sell enough, you were fired... there was no loyalty or understanding for individual needs and circumstances. my fellow workers felt taken advantage of and didn't give their all, effecting customer service and starting this vicious cycle again..

and that is why i think that most "workers" get scared when they begin to discuss capitalism, they've been burned by whatever company they work for...

so these are my thought and here comes my question: how do you ensure that the common worker is not taken advantage of in a laissez-faire economy?

i do not have faith that corporations will step upto the plate and up wages/benefits as soon as the government agress to step out of things. i worry that instead, working conditions will regress even more. i also do not think all business take advantage of workers. I am sick of companies in my area (i live in a call center city) using temp agencies so they won't have to give benefits, paying less than they are capable of paying for a job that deserves higher rates of pay and then posting record profits or growth, and revolving door hiring that preys on the fear of dismissal instead of the reward of hard work...

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I would believe in a freemarket with no government interference if i thought that the business owners would treat their employees fairly...

What do you mean by "fairly"? And is this an entitlement that you extend only to employees, or does it extend to all people (e.g. customers are to be treated fairly, businessment are to be treated fairly, and so on)? I assume that your conditional support of capitalism expressed there means that if businesses will not support your particular concept of fairness, then you opposed capitalism. If that what you're saying?

It makes sense to me that in the quest to create and to earn money from your creations, the people who you employ should be given fair wages, decent benefits, and proper shares of the profits...
But it also makes sense to not provide any benefits at all, no share of the profit, and I still don't know what you mean by "fair", so let me say it makes sense to pay $4 an hour. I don't know what you mean by "makes sense". Of course, it makes sense to pay an employee really big bux, give 'em great benefits and even a share of the profits if the employee actually does something worthwhile for your company. So it really depends on the employee and the business.

right now we have things like minimum wage and labour laws to ensure people are not taken advantage of...

I don't have anything I feel like saying about the unspeakable horror that is the minimum wage. What do you mean "take advantage of"? Do you mean, promise to pay people for working and then just not pay them their wage? That's theft.

From my own experience, the jobs i was most productive at were not the ones i liked the most... they were the ones where i was treated the fairest...
I still don't get what this "fair treatment" is. Do you mean, you got all of the entitlements that you wanted? That you worked for decent humans rather than jerks (let's face it, there are plenty of them out there)?

my most recent job in a call center (the modern equivalent to an industrial revolution factory in my opinion) was for a major vacation company, part of a bigger umbrella corporation. It appeared that even tho the company was making money, they weren't sharing it with their employees. now we were not the ones who started the company, we didn't invent anything, "all we did" was answer phones for 8 hours, book vacations and take all manner of abuse from our clients. the company depends on this division, however. yet if you missed too much time, you were fired. if you didn't take calls fast enough, you were fired. if you didn't sell enough, you were fired... there was no loyalty or understanding for individual needs and circumstances.  my fellow workers felt taken advantage of and didn't give their all, effecting customer service and starting this vicious cycle again..

However, people who do phone calls are an untrained dime a dozen, and a high percentage of them are worth that as well. I understand that a person doing that kind of work might feel that they had a right to better working conditions, but phone soliciting is notoriously crummy work and if a person can't handle it, they ought to either get a different job, or a different attitude. It's true that the company depends on somebody to make the calls, but there are millions of job applicants. Is it your argument that employers at these phone call shops are morally obliged to pay benefits? I.e. pay their employees more than twice what they are getting now?

and that is why i think that  most "workers" get scared when they begin to discuss capitalism, they've been burned by whatever company they work for...
But I don't understand in what way these people have been "burned". Are you saying that they have a right to slack off and not meet calling quotas, or that they have a right to saunter into work whenever they please?

i do not have faith that corporations will step upto the plate and up wages/benefits as soon as the government agress to step out of things.

Basically, if the employee is worth that much, then the employer will offer whatever compensation the employee is worth. They won't and shouldn't offer more then the person is actually worth. That would be economic suicide. If the employee fees he is worth more than that, he can inform the employer of his opinion, and threaten to take his skills elsewhere, where he will be paid what he feels he is worth.

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Of course, it makes sense to pay an employee really big bux, give 'em great benefits and even a share of the profits if the employee actually does something worthwhile for your company. So it really depends on the employee and the business.
I think if you employ people they must be important to your business, or else you don't need to employ them, correct? If you didn't NEED the employee, you wouldn't hire them and pay them, am i correct?

It's true that the company depends on somebody to make the calls, but there are millions of job applicants. Is it your argument that employers at these phone call shops are morally obliged to pay benefits? I.e. pay their employees more than twice what they are getting now?

Well, i never worked making the calls, as i feel that soliciting sucks, and since i don't approve of being called at home, my 'sanctuary' to buy or sign up etc etc...

All but one of the call centers in my city are INBOUND, and deal with customer service/sales and information storage, retrieval, national answering services, etc. I have always worked inbound and now have 7 years of customer service experience, along with a total of three years actual customer service training. As for millions of applicants, that may be true, but it appears that the industry is actually now finding it difficult to find people to work for them as they have employed so many of the 'unskilled labourers' in the city and surrounding area they have no more pool of resources to draw from.

If people are WILLING to work in a sweat shop, is it moral to pay them slave wages? If you pay them slave wages and they generate excessive income for you, are they entiltled to some of the benefits of that income?

But I don't understand in what way these people have been "burned". Are you saying that they have a right to slack off and not meet calling quotas, or that they have a right to saunter into work whenever they please
No, if you are not performing then you are not earning your pay and in fact, you are stealing from the company. yet i have made many aqcuaintances at work who perform routinely well yet still consistantly receive warnings for behavior and stats... other aquaintances are able to find loopholes in the bonus system, and make their stats with short cuts and by stretching the truth of their productivity...

'burned' in my friends eyes ( and remember, my friends are all pinkos and so-called anarchists/punks) has to do with continual increase in wages for salaried employees, mostly management staff and head honchos flown in by the head office, whereas raises on the floor are few and far between. it creates unrest for workers, and then the good workers end up feeling guilty for wanting better treatment, whereas the lazier workers who slack off and saunter in as they please are happy to get paid whatever they can to do as little as possible. (i dislike dishonest workers as much as dishonest management)

Basically, if the employee is worth that much, then the employer will offer whatever compensation the employee is worth. They won't and shouldn't offer more then the person is actually worth. That would be economic suicide. If the employee fees he is worth more than that, he can inform the employer of his opinion, and threaten to take his skills elsewhere, where he will be paid what he feels he is worth.

Again i ask, if a person is willing to work for slave wages, does that mean its moral for an employer to pay slave wages. slave wages meaning not enough to 'survive' on in relation to the amount of work put forth. (And i understand the tax-man takes a lot... but as an example, i don't pay taxes on my income until february when i actually do my tax return, and at one job, where i worked full time in the service industry (i was working as a cook) i still didn't have enough to pay for rent, lights and phone. forget about cable and extras.)

without the 'unskilled' labour force doing menial jobs, the great minds of the world would be forced to do those same jobs, giving them less time for loftier pursuits. Doesn't that make it a symbiotic relationship? where the brains needs the brawns as much as the brawns need the brains?

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Well, I really don't feel like commenting on your post right now, there is too much about it that bothers me. But as a single comment, I will say yes, it is moral for an employer to pay 'slave wages' (a contradiction in itself in my opinion) to someone who is willing to work for those 'slave wages'. I prefer the term low wages.

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'slave wages' also means to me the mentality that workers are kept at. In my area, no one complains about the treatment to their superiors or else you are blacklisted from getting work at the other centers.

yet too many people in my city are now considered below the poverty line, it is extremely prominent in the local news now. I don't believe in just handing out subsidies either, i think there is a tenuous balance needed. too little regulation and we are subject to unfair labor practices, wherein the fear and ignorance of workers is taken advantage of, too much regulation and we witness unfair union and collective agreement practices wherein companies are taken advantage of by the government and the worker's unions.

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I think if you employ people they must be important to your business, or else you don't need to employ them, correct? If you didn't NEED the employee, you wouldn't hire them and pay them, am i correct?

Yes, and the exact importance (value) can be roughly gauged by the money that you are willing to pay someone to get them to work for you.

All but one of the call centers in my city are INBOUND, and deal with customer service/sales and information storage, retrieval, national answering services, etc. I have always worked inbound and now have 7 years of customer service experience, along with a total of three years actual customer service training.
Ah. Well, that does make quite a difference because then the pool of alternative employees is much larger, since (I believe) it's cheaper and easier to set up a call receiving center in India. There isn't much reason at all to hire most of these people.

If people are WILLING to work in a sweat shop, is it moral to pay them slave wages? If you pay them slave wages and they generate excessive income for you, are they entiltled to some of the benefits of that income?

You should note that slaves don't get wages. So I'll take the liberty of rephrasing your question as asking, is it moral for a company to pay as little as they can to an employee? The answer is, yes. It is similarly moral for a consumer to pay as little as they can to purchase a product. Why aren't you complaining abouty purchasers ripping off manufacturers, by not paying every single penny that the product is really worth? If peple would do that, there would be huge profits for businesses and them maybe they could afford to pay higher wages.

You make the unsupported claim that a person is entitled to more than their agreed on wages: what is your justification for that statement? Where does this entitlement come from? Now, suppose I hire a crew of 20 men to manufacture some widget; I borrow $5 million to get the company started, and in a year cannot even sell enough units to pay production costs. Does this mean that the employees all owe $100,000 each for having worked at this failure of a business? If not, why not?

No, if you are not performing then you are not earning your pay and in fact, you are stealing from the company. yet i have made many aqcuaintances at work who perform routinely well yet still consistantly receive warnings for behavior and stats... other aquaintances are able to find loopholes in the bonus system, and make their stats with short cuts and by stretching the truth of their productivity...
Well, whatever. There are plenty of idiots in the world, and if your friends are really getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop through no fault of their own, they can move on. While I'm pro-business, I'm not deluded into thinking that every company is angelic, and as I said, phone call joints tend to be dubious.

Again i ask, if a person is willing to work for slave wages, does that mean its moral for an employer to pay slave wages. slave wages meaning not enough to 'survive' on in relation to the amount of work put forth. (And i understand the tax-man takes a lot... but as an example, i don't pay taxes on my income until february when i actually do my tax return, and at one job, where i worked full time in the service industry (i was working as a cook) i still didn't have enough to pay for rent, lights and phone. forget about cable and extras.)

If a person is willing to work for X dollars, and a boss is willing to give a person X dollars in exchange for their labor, then it is completely totally absolutely moral. It is not your right to dictate to the person or the boss that they cannot enter into that agreement, just because you don't feel that the pay is "enough". Your question about making enough money to survive reveals a seriously collectivist streak in your thinking. Implicitly, by raising this question about the morality of paying a person low wages in connection with "making enough money to survive", you are accepting that one man has a right to another man's life: that because so-and-so is an "employee" and not an evil boss, the employee has the right to the boss's life. That exactly what you are saying, when you say that the employee is "entitled" to more than his fair share (a fair share is determined in the employment agreement -- "I'll pay you $4.50 an hour to make phone calls",

I know you've said that you hang out with nothing but punks, second-handers, socialists and thieves (more or less), but I think the company you are keeping has taken a serious toll on your moral code. Your highly conditional acceptance of capitalism tells me that you haven't really integrated the meaning behind your monicker.

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i don't think that wanting enough money to live on means i am stealing from my boss... nor do i think all bosses are evil bosses, heads of big corporations, out to step on the poor little worker...

my thoughts stem from the feeling of inability to demand more, from wanting to stand up and say, hey, i work hard for you and help you further your company and your profits, there was a 35% rise in profits this year over last year, why don't i get a raise? since i am making it possible for the company to earn more profits, doesn't my value go up as well?

It is similarly moral for a consumer to pay as little as they can to purchase a product. Why aren't you complaining abouty purchasers ripping off manufacturers, by not paying every single penny that the product is really worth? If peple would do that, there would be huge profits for businesses and them maybe they could afford to pay higher wages.
i don't think companies would sell products at a loss. unless they don't do their research and come up with a product that isn't popular or wanted and therefore try to sell at a lower price. having worked in retail as a teen i can tell you that the clothes we sold for 50 or 100 dollars did not cost that much to make, and when the head office decided to put things on sale, they were still making profits. (on a side note, i loved working there, not because of the actual job, but because i was paid for my time and then bonuses based on my sales, which equaled lots of money for me, as i worked hard and sold lots).

That exactly what you are saying, when you say that the employee is "entitled" to more than his fair share (a fair share is determined in the employment agreement -- "I'll pay you $4.50 an hour to make phone calls",

and if i will work for 4.50, and i generate profits of 100 dollars an hour, is it immoral to ask for a raise? I am demanding more than the original agreement entitles me to, so does that makes me a evil thief?

Your highly conditional acceptance of capitalism tells me that you haven't really integrated the meaning behind your monicker.

I have a highly conditional acceptance of everything. (hehe)

My nick comes from a trade paperback called 'preacher'... in the story John Wayne offers a lighter inscribed with f*ck communism to each soldier in a particular squad serving in vietnam... couldn't think of a good original nick when i was registering...

Edited by Capitalism Forever

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It's really quite simple.

A job exists ONLY because an employer CHOOSES to create that job. Because they are the creators of that job, then they should be allowed to offer whatever salary they like for that job. As an employee you have three choices.

A. Take the job and salary.

B. Refuse the job and salary.

C. Negotiate with the employer for a higher salary.

Now, if you choose option C, you may well convince the employer to offer you more money, if you can justify why you DESERVE that money. Note the difference between showing why you deserve the money and showing why you NEED the money. But the employer has every right to refuse to pay you more. In such a case, you are left with options A and B.

It's exactly the same deal when say, you are buying a product from a store.

Now, if a company makes a huge profit, and you believe that you played a part in that profit, then go up to your boss and demonstrate to him/her HOW you played a part. If they still refuse, then leave the job. No-one is holding a knife against you. It is also possible that the profit may have had little to do with what you do. If that is the case, then no, your value does not necessarily automatically increase just because the company has made a profit.

And if you think that you alone do not have much bargaining power, then form a union where membership is voluntary and negotiate with your employers to give you a raise. Obviously they can refuse, but that is their choice.

And you made a point about bonuses and benefits and things like that. I agree that these sort of things are great and make the job better. But if you want to have these things, then you have to prove that you are worth it to the company. The government has no right to step in and force the employer to pay these things for your benefit.

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so, then, a wage is based not on the actual value of the effort but of the value the employer puts on that effort. or that the actual value is not the work put into it but reward given by the employer.

ie. if the effort of a salesperson means that the company sold 25% more this year than last, they are still only entitled to whatever the original wage agreed upon.

Next question:

if an employer can afford to pay more without effecting his own life, should he? or should he pay the absolute lowest possible? am i wrong to think that Galt would say to take no concern for others, only worry about your own productivity and profits?

I myself try not to support companies that i feel take advantage of their employees, as well as companies that move jobs overseas in order to pay signifigantly less than they would here. sometimes that means paying more for something than i would if i didn't have these beliefs.. (part of my personal philosophy is to use your purchasing power as a voice. i wouldn't give money to a political party or other organization i didn't agree with, so why give my money to a corporation or business who's business practices i don't agree with)

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"so, then, a wage is based not on the actual value of the effort but of the value the employer puts on that effort. or that the actual value is not the work put into it but reward given by the employer. "

No. A wage IS based on the actual value of the effort as determined by the market. It is not based purely on the employer ONLY because an employee MUST accept the offer of the employer to make that a wage. If no-one accepts what an employer is offering, then the employer will have to raise the wage that he/she is offering to the labour market.

if the effort of a salesperson means that the company sold 25% more this year than last, they are still only entitled to whatever the original wage agreed upon.

Employees are always entitled to try and negotiate a better deal for themselves, as long as both parties are participating in the negotiation process voluntarily and for mutual benefit. If, because of the effort of a particularly good salesperson, the company sells 25% more, then:

A. The salesperson has a strong chance of getting a raise because

B. The employer will recognise the value of retaining this employee.

In that case, both parties negotiate voluntarily, and both parties gain. The salesperson gets more money and the company retains a valuable employee. However, as soon as you bring the government in, you are entering force into the equation - and that is no way to negotiate.

if an employer can afford to pay more without effecting his own life, should he? or should he pay the absolute lowest possible? am i wrong to think that Galt would say to take no concern for others, only worry about your own productivity and profits?

If an employer pays more, it WILL effect his life. But I think what you are referring to is a case where it will not effect his life significantly to pay an employee more, because he is extremely wealthy. Let's go with that scenario. Again, it's a matter of personal choice. If the value he gets out of giving a raise to an employee (e.g. employee is retained, is more satisfied, his productivity therefore increase) is greater than the money amount that he increases the employee's wage by, then he'd be a fool not to give the employee a raise. However, if the value is less, then it doesn't really make sense for him to give him more money. I think you may be suffering to some extent from the old socialist mantra of how it 'pays' to 'exploit' workers. Marxism and its various derivatives never seem to recognise how it can make financial sense for a company to give incentives, better working conditions, etc. to its employees. But the fact is, that in a lot of cases, treating your employees well can lead to real benefits for a company.

It is also perfectly legitimate for you to worry only about your own productivity and profit. Because the assumption is that everyone else will do the same, and people will only deal with each other only if mutual benefit is possible. And I think I highlighted that above.

I myself try not to support companies that i feel take advantage of their employees, as well as companies that move jobs overseas in order to pay signifigantly less than they would here. sometimes that means paying more for something than i would if i didn't have these beliefs.. (part of my personal philosophy is to use your purchasing power as a voice. i wouldn't give money to a political party or other organization i didn't agree with, so why give my money to a corporation or business who's business practices i don't agree with)

I'm not going to get into why there's nothing wrong with a company outsourcing work to overseas places where labour costs are low. But you are well within your rights to use your consumer voice to say whatever you like - EVEN if what you are saying MAY be irrational.

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so, then, a wage is based not on the actual value of the effort but of the value the employer puts on that effort. or that the actual value is not the work put into it but reward given by the employer.

ie. if the effort of a salesperson means that the company sold 25% more this year than last, they are still only entitled to whatever the original wage agreed upon.

It would seem to me that it is all a matter of trading value for value. When a person agrees to work for a wage, that person is agreeing to trade a value, (time), for the employer's value, (money).

If a person thinks that the trade is not equal they are free to renegoiate the terms, or to find an employer with whom they can make a better deal.

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i don't think that wanting enough money to live on means i am stealing from my boss

That's perfectly fine. Want all you want. But you did say that you "would believe in a freemarket with no government interference if i thought that the business owners would treat their employees fairly". That tells me that if you don't get your demands for higher wages satisfied by the boss, you are going to use the almighty power of the state to force him to pay what you believe you are worth. That is theft.

my thoughts stem from the feeling of inability to demand more, from wanting to stand up and say, hey, i work hard for you and help you further your company and your profits, there was a 35% rise in profits this year over last year, why don't i get a raise? since i am making it possible for the company to earn more profits, doesn't my value go up as well?
Point 1: you mean that you feel for some reason that if you ask for a raise, you will get fired (because I'm pretty sure that there are no bosses in the western world who will shoot you for asking). If you are just afraid for no reason, that is your fault entirely. Point 2: Do you believe that you are such a valuable employee that you can demand more money? If so, go for it. Do be realistic though. If you single-handedly made the company 35% more profitable, then good on ya and they say down under. Point 3: Your value to the company is how much they value you, i.e. want to keep you. That what value means.

(on a side note, i loved working there, not because of the actual job, but because i was paid for my time and then bonuses based on my sales, which equaled lots of money for me, as i worked hard and sold lots).

Well for crying in the beer, then if you were good at it... don't you get the idea? That how sales works. People who are good at it get a lot of money because of the commission. Those who are bad at it change jobs.

and if i will work for 4.50, and i generate profits of 100 dollars an hour, is it immoral to ask for a raise? I am demanding more than the original agreement entitles me to, so does that makes me a evil thief?

No, you are always entitled to ask anything; since you almost certainly do not have an employment contract, negotiate anytime you want. If you are a valued employee the boss may give you a raise. (Of course there is the chance that the boss is a spineless collectivist and will whine "But if I give you a raise, I'd have to give everybody a raise, because it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the workers". Unlikely, though).

The main point is, do not involve the government.

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The main point is, do not involve the government.
i must say that i do believe in the least amount of givernment interference possible... I've raised the issue of smoking by laws before, and i'll just quickly give my thoughts:

Lately there has been a lot of talk about banning smoking from restaurants, bars, etc. The only place to smoke cigarettes would be outside or in your private home. I dislike tobacco, i think it a vile substance, yet i still believe the government has no business telling business owners whether or not their patrons can smoke. it is up to the business to choose. I think the reason the government is able to take such action is that people don't want to go thru the effort of using their own choices as influence on business. if you don't want to eat in a restaurant with smoking, go elsewhere. the business will suffer and maybe the owner will realize hhe will get more business if he bans smoking, and voila! no government interference.

(Of course there is the chance that the boss is a spineless collectivist and will whine "But if I give you a raise, I'd have to give everybody a raise, because it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the workers". Unlikely, though).

altho you'd be surprised that i received a similar answer twice at one of the call centers

i guess my view boils down to the fact that i don't have faith that everyone would be honest, whether workers or employers. I think it beneficial to pay your workers a decent wage, which can then be used to buy more things, meaning more business, more jobs, etc etc etc... i see too many employees mooch and slacking, and too often my employers have tried to use fear of reprimand or dismissal to keep the boat from rocking...

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In other words, FC's position is: I would 'allow' people to be free (to act according to their OWN judgement without having to ask permission to do so) as long as they would behave the way *I* want them to behave. But since I don't trust that they will behave *my* way, I will not 'permit' them to be free.

The blatant contradiction is obvious.

Note to FC - I would suggest changing your nick, because you aint rejecting collectivism at all.

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you just had to toss a little attack in didnt you? (not that i care, i thought it was a little funny) just seemed a little out of place, dont you think?

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It really comes down to the fact that "Workers" in factories, call centers, etc. are expendable, replaceable and generally a dime a dozen and those who are especially talented probably aren't going to stick around to work an entry level job the rest of their life anyways.

Why should a company dole out benefits or reward hard work, when that hard work can be done by the next guy, and the next guy, and the next? According to the executives who started the company you are simply a hired hand bought and paid for to save them time and make them money, and when you take the job you are accepting that that is the way things are. At one point they had to make all those calls, but now they can afford to pay you to do it instead and if you don't like it you are welcome to quit.

Temps are just like you, they work for money, just like you. Yes they will take lower wages, just like "strike breakes" in the age of the "robber barons". If a company pays too little then who will work there? If the treatment is too bad then who is going to stick around? That is what determines how much people are paid, supply and demand. If there are a high supply of workers then why should a company cater to their demands? Unskilled workers, are replaceable, like I said before.

I worked at McDonalds. Talk about replaceable, it was ridiculous how often we were training new people. It's not fun or rewarding to be good at jobs like those, because there's nowhere to go. Think it's any different in any other kind of unskilled labor? This leaves people with choices, stay or go. I went. I am capable of doing specialized work, and I want to be paid more and treated better. So does everyone else, you might say. So why are they complacent?

I remember I would hear those employees complain about their wages and how they wished they had better jobs, and then go spend all their income on alcohol and marijuana instead of saving up for a higher level of education that would have given them skills to carry them to the next level.

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you just had to toss a little attack in didnt you? (not that i care, i thought it was a little funny) just seemed a little out of place, dont you think?

What the heII are you talking about? Please be specific and please identify the nature of the 'attack' and how it is inappropriate.

Otherwise, retract the statement.

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Note to FC - I would suggest changing your nick, because you aint rejecting collectivism at all.

it was just a low blow. You dont have to be so defensive. It was funny.

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Dont take my statement too personally. I merely noticed the jab...laughed for a second...cuz it sounded like something off of an Objectivist Jerry Springer, and posted that remark. I didnt intend to offend (hey that rhymes). :)

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You accuse me of inappropriate behavior and then tell me not to take the accusation too seriously or personally? Im sorry but that is not rational behavior. If you accuse me of something, then you either need to stand behind the accusation or RETRACT the accusation. Here you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to get away with the accusation unchallenged and unsupported. Since the accusation is aimed specifically at me, I will not allow that.

I DO challenge it. And I expect either support for or retraction of it from you.

"it was just a low blow."

You have not EXPLAINED anything with this statement. You have merely REPEATED your attack. You have provided NO support for it, AS I ASKED.

So please - explain how identifying the fact that a persons nickname is in direct contradiction to their expressed premises is a "low blow"? Explain how it is INAPPROPRIATE behavior.

The identification of reality can only be considered a "low blow" and "a little out of place" ONLY if reality and identification are NOT your standard. Since those ARE my standards, the identification was neither a "low blow" (which means inappropriate/against the rules - ie not proper behavior) nor out of place. It was both valid AND appropriate.

If you believe my statement WAS inappropriate, then you need to BACK UP that claim - you need to SUPPORT your attack on me.

If you now realize that it was NOT inappropriate, then you need to RETRACT your claim (and the insult which it embodies - 'you are behaving outside the bounds of logical/rational behavior').

"You dont have to be so defensive."

You attack me - say I am engaged in low blows and Jerry Springer-like behavior (ie that my behavior is WRONG) - and then tell me I don't have to be so defensive?!? Sorry. Turning the other cheek is not my philosophy.

I await either support for your claim, or its retraction and an apology.

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My opinion on this has to do with the existence of entities that once did not exist. If one looks at the industrial revolution, exploitation of workers was rampant... Though the "responsibility" for said exploitation was in the hands of a group of people. However, with all of the government controls that exist today, a new entity has emerged, the "soulless" corporation.

Said corporations are those that would actually compromise the quality and/or safety of a product for the sake of increasing profits. While this isn't the fault of Capitalism itself, it IS the fault of A) rampant, unchecked consumerism and B)Oligarchism. Capitalism, more than any other system, provides for individual freedoms. However, Oligarchism, as a means of utilizing the fundamental elements of Capitalism, proves to allow the unchecked power of Corporations.

edit: on a joking, but not entirely unserious note, Reality TV is (I believe) a direct product of said Oligarchy

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" If one looks at the industrial revolution, exploitation of workers was rampant... Though the "responsibility" for said exploitation was in the hands of a group of people. However, with all of the government controls that exist today, a new entity has emerged, the "soulless" corporation."

Plese identify what is "exploitation of workers" in this context. As it stands, you are identifying voluntary agreement between two parties as 'exploitation'. That is a fallacious position.

"Said corporations are those that would actually compromise the quality and/or safety of a product for the sake of increasing profits."

Volvo makes 'really safe' cars. It decides, because it can make more money (ie MORE PEOPLE WANT) cars without all the safety features etc, it will not include those features in its products any more.

This is something you condemn. You condemn them making value choices with which you do not agree.

THAT is an invalid position as well.

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