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Michael McGuire

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About Michael McGuire

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    Michael McGuire
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  1. You insist on evading reality by intentionally not understanding why thousands of Alaskan fishermen were not adequately compensated, people who received a fraction of their actual losses, and doing so by essentially saying "Well the Supreme Court ruled this way so it must be just." I can bet you have haven't even bothered to find out why so many fishermen were devastated. The court had every legal justification for ruling the way it did, but in the end is justice served? Ask the plaintiffs who died before they got money, or the plaintiffs who were stripped of their livelihood through no fault
  2. The purpose of bringing up Exxon was to show the potential futility of taking claims to court against a mega corporation. In order to protect one's rights and property, relying on the court system after the fact would seemingly give such mega corporations more rights than individuals. Trying to sue a company like Exxon, which had clear liability beyond dispute, was an exhaustive ordeal. If you're lucky you might get a settlement offer, which almost assuredly will be far below the actual damages, but at least its money in hand. If anyone wants to read the link describing the litigation and h
  3. And here is a link to an analysis of the Exxon litigation. A long but thorough explanation of how you can get screwed in the court system fighting for your rights. Interesting bit from the conclusion that goes to my point:
  4. Which is indicative of....what? What do cells subdividing have to do with anything? It is certainly not a similar situation to having an entire ecosystem affected by toxic oil and having it still impacting the environment (and thus people's income) 20 years later. I mean if we're going to have even a semi-serious conversation here, you've got to figure out why such false equivalencies are only distracting from any point you wish to make. I think you meant to say statists. Fascism is a term that really does not apply here. Unless you have your own definition you are working from that I a
  5. This essentially dovetails with my original question. More importantly, the assumption made by Russk and Seeker is that money can return the damaged party to the original state before the initiation of force. As we talked about the Exxon Valdez spill, it is clear from all the studies in that case the Prince William Sound has not returned to its previous state, despite the cleanup efforts. So in cases where the damages are not reversible, or at least for not many years, does the government have an interest in mitigating risky behavior that have the potential for catastrophic consequences?
  6. I couldn't find anything to verify Exxon paid out $500 million to victims right away. My understanding is that amount was the actual damages they were sued for, and wasn't arrived at until a jury made a determination in 1994. That's five years, not "almost immediately." And you figure the lawyers take a third of that. The payments averaged out to about $15,000 per plaintiff. I don't know about you but that hardly sounds like adequate compensation for the loss of even a year's pay, much less the loss of one's livelihood through no fault of your own. One in six plaintiffs died before they got a
  7. It's clear everyone agrees that if BP is liable for the accident they should pay the damages. What might be problematic is that it could take 10 years or maybe 20 to be awarded any damages, and huge up-front payouts to attorneys. That's a good portion of one's lifetime down the tubes waiting. I don't think disasters like this are covered by insurance. So in the case of a fishing company, it's pretty much game over. From Wikipedia: According to several studies funded by the state of Alaska, the spill had both short- and long-term economic effects. These included the loss of recreational sports
  8. I haven't seen any commentary on this site concerning the massive oil spill in the gulf that is currently hitting the Louisiana coast. Considering the massive amount of property damage that is about to occur, not to mention the catastrophic effects on the ecology of the region, how should we be thinking about this disaster in terms of off shore drilling and any possible regulatory oversight? Is it fair to say that some risky actions such as off shore drilling have the potential for widespread and long term damage to other parties and should be curtailed? I for one am perplexed by the impli
  9. It's only voluntary in that the alternative can mean that by quitting you end up 1) losing your house and becoming homeless, 2) not being able to feed your family, 3) starting over at another company at a lower wage with less security, 4) losing your pension, 5) not being able to afford the insurance and you have a medical condition, or your family member does, etc. etc. etc. I'm not saying you should never quit, but just really sometimes that it can come at a real price. This is why coming together as a bargaining unit with your fellow workers makes real economic sense. Not really th
  10. I'm not talking about feelings really. There are rational reasons why people stay near family and friends, people who they know and can count on. Leaving all that for a job that doesn't pay substantially better may be counterproductive. Not to mention a mortgage on a house and the consideration of the lives of one's other family members. Don't employers know the difficulty and oft times impossibility of just picking up and leaving a job, and isn't this a factor that works in their favor in wage negotiations? I would check your assumption there. Wouldn't you agree that human beings are no
  11. I would think there would be many reasons why people would feel compelled to take a job where they were underpaid. What if there is a surplus of job seekers and too few jobs? What if a person's family/friends/interests were within a certain geographic area and it would not be easy to relocate (losing support system)? There are reasons other than monetary compensation that are important. I think of the Gilded Age and the rise of labor unions when I think of this subject. At this time industrialists had come up with many production methods where the use of unskilled labor was relied on more a
  12. For the sake of argument, isn't it possible that workers could be broadly exploited by businesses working in collusion to keep wages low? Marxists believe that profits by a business entity are derived by undervaluing the worker contribution. In reality, don't workers have very little leverage in salary negotiations for most low to mid wage jobs? And without leverage, how can workers negotiate for the true value of their labor, and thus avoid exploitation?
  13. I wouldn't have thought money=power concept would be controversial either. If CEO Johnson of corporation X worth $100 billion is vying with small business owner Miller over (fill in the blank), who do you think has the money to buy allies and influence people in order to get his way? There are billions of examples of money equating with power that have nothing to do with politics. That's just the reality that has to be accepted, losers get stomped. Survival of the fittest. Maybe you have some evidence to show that the conventional wisdom is wrong and that the Bush Administration was actuall
  14. He did spend more, but the oversight of the economy and society at large by regulatory bodies was loosened for sure. I don't think this is controversial. Maybe not a rational argument, but there is a practical argument. That is, one can argue that the continuity of a stable and prosperous society that is predominantly free is preferable to a completely free society riven by internal strife. Earlier MichaelH made the point that money equals power in society. If this is true, and economic inequality results from Capitalism, then one can make a good case that society may start to frag
  15. I think it is reasonable to ask whether or not the system that is proposed to replace the current one is self-sustaining or not. If it collapses in on itself (high unemployment, economic gridlock, low consumer confidence, etc) then most people would say it hasn't "worked". So you have to make the case to people that their lives will be better under Capitalism rather than a mixed economy. Perhaps it would be better to explain why, when arguing for pro-Capitalist principles, the median income in the USA has gone slightly down during the last 8 years, a time with relatively less government ov
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