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The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

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Helsworth
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Post: #1
The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Source: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/gates-unmask...-of-davos/



Bill Gates is worried – too many people are talking about raising the minimum wage. Appropriately, the world’s richest man spoke on the eve of the World Economic Summit in Davos. Gates is a great symbol of the Davos summit, an annual away day for global capitalism, at which the world’s 1% mouth concerns about poverty and climate change, while working on policies which fuel inequality.

Despite a fair bit of evidence that a reasonable minimum wage doesn’t cost jobs, Gates is picking up on a regular Davos theme. In 2012, Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Prudential, called the minimum wage a ‘machine to destroy jobs’.

Last year Gates increased his wealth by $15.8bn and has now once again become the world’s richest man, worth about $78.5bn. He’s not alone – as a whole the world’s millionaires got 11% richer last year. For the rest of us, the decades-long trend of stagnating income continues. In some countries – Greece, Spain and Britain – median household income fell sharply.

The policies dreamt up by those who meet in Davos are a direct cause of these historically unprecedented rates of inequality. Last week, even the financial press was taken aback at the concentration of corporate wealth. Just six companies – including Apple, Microsoft and Google–are sitting on more than a quarter of the $1.5tn reserves held by US non-financial corporations.

Amongst other reasons, a big factor is tax avoidance, enabled by the financial liberalisation regime put into place over 30 years by the likes of those who attend Davos. According to the Financial Times: ‘some 94 per cent of Microsoft’s $81bn is now outside the US.’

So Gates doesn’t want a higher minimum wage denting the amount of wealth his company is able to avoid taxes on.

The really incredible thing about the Davos set is the way they are able, without irony, to expound all the good they are doing in the world. We barely question the illegitimacy of the enormous power that these corporate leaders hold over the world.

This week Gates is portrayed as a dreamy idealist, explaining to Davos seminars how ‘there will be almost no poor countries left in 20 years time’. Presumably this will happen with a lot of charity, but without minimum wages. Certainly Gates’ money will have significantly shaped the form which that ‘development’ will take, not least through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Forget democratic national projects, the world’s richest many will decide what sort of food you will eat and which corporation will supply your medical needs.

In an article in the Observer at the weekend, the head of the World Economic Forum, Robert Greenhill, said that mental and physical health were a priority of this year’s summit. Good business depends on good mental and physical health.

Yet some of the participants at Davos are directly responsible for the crisis and austerity measures which have been responsible for mental health problems spiral across Europe. In Greece, suicides rose 37% from 2009 to 2011. The Red Cross published a shocking report on Europe, characterising the continent as one of mass unemployment, suicides, social exclusion, deep poverty, crime, racism and collective despair. We should remember that none of this was an accident.

Charities like Oxfam which talked about inequality did some essential work to frame the global context in which Davos takes place. But we need to do more than put these issues on their agenda. The corporate elite represented at Davos cannot be allowed to meet in luxury and pretend they have the answers to the world’s problems. They are the world’s problems. Gates has helped us unmask the true interests of the corporate elite.


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03.02.2014 15:44
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Rising Phoenix
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Post: #2
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

TriniSary7 Wrote:
You didn't even mention his role in international genocide.
https://archive.org/details/WipeOutHuman...latePlanet


Helsworth Wrote:

That explains why pirate Windows are better than official ones... Suspect

09.02.2014 19:16
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xmaslightguy
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Post: #3
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

I'll probably get digitally shot on the spot for this post, but here we go...


The issue of minimum wage is not so much wanting to avoid paying people, but wanting to be paid more than your job is worth. For the vast majority of people, the minimum wage is unimportant because their pay is above it. The people that need to pay attention to the minimum wage are those that use it, and that would be the job holders of positions that aren't worth a whole lot.

What an unfortunate number of socialist believe is that you should be paid enough to support your lifestyle, regardless of what you do. This simply isn't true, as many low-indexed jobs aren't worth that amount of money. The reason I would never pay $20 an hour for a janitor is because almost anyone off of the street can quickly learn how to be a janitor. Meanwhile, I will pay well over $20 an hour for police, because it takes extensive training to be a police officer, and the risk associated with the job is much hire than a janitor's potential risk.


Ironically enough, the second post on this thread is the solution to the first post. The population is horribly out of control, which is why unemployment is so high. We simply have more people than needed in human society, and so it is an employer's market. If the population was suddenly reduced by 15% world-wide, I guarantee that unemployment would disappear and suddenly employers would offer $20 an hour for janitors, because there is no longer a surplus of people who need a job.

As for how to lower the population by 15%, I'm not suggesting concentration camps or genocide to kill everyone, because we already do that. Everyday people die, and our issue arises from having more people born each day than those that die. What we need more than abortions and increased education on sexuality, we need to just flat out prevent certain populations from having kids. Mainly the poor, why? Because they can't afford it! Income would be the deciding factor, and if you don't earn enough money, you simply aren't allowed to reproduce. This isn't killing anyone, but preventing the creation in the first place. In a few decades when the population has decreased by a marginal amount, we will be able to lax the restrictions, and hopefully not reproduce like parasites again.


I think that is everything, but I'm rushed as I typed this and may have missed something. I will review this later, and if I make any content changing adjustments, I will make note of it below:
- No changes so far

21.02.2014 21:34
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Helsworth
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Post: #4
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

xmaslightguy Wrote:
The issue of minimum wage is not so much wanting to avoid paying people, but wanting to be paid more than your job is worth. For the vast majority of people, the minimum wage is unimportant because their pay is above it. The people that need to pay attention to the minimum wage are those that use it, and that would be the job holders of positions that aren't worth a whole lot.

The minimum wage adds to aggregate demand. An increase in the minimum wage is well warranted, and of wages in general, because of higher gains in productivity. Capitalism only works if sales are strong. Depressed consumption leads to depressed sales, which leads to depressed levels of output, which leads to fewer jobs. Spending is income. Investment is savings. Basic double-entry bookkeeping. Someone's surplus is another's deficit. Someone's liability is another's asset. Someone's loan is another's savings. Someone's income is another's payment. (S-I)+(G-T)+(X-M)=0
Private sector + Gov sector + Foreign sector (Capital account) = 0. This is not someone's opinion. It's not a model. It's not a theory. It's a simple accounting identity, it's fact.
The government deficit equals the net savings/net surplus of the nongovernment sector to the penny in a given fiscal year. Public spending finances taxation. Government creates net financial assets for the private sector to absorb by running fiscal deficits, and it destroys them by running fiscal surpluses. Governments with monetary sovereignty are not households. They are not revenue constrained. They;re the only ones able to run deficits without going bankrupt.

xmaslightguy Wrote:
What an unfortunate number of socialist believe is that you should be paid enough to support your lifestyle, regardless of what you do. This simply isn't true, as many low-indexed jobs aren't worth that amount of money. The reason I would never pay $20 an hour for a janitor is because almost anyone off of the street can quickly learn how to be a janitor. Meanwhile, I will pay well over $20 an hour for police, because it takes extensive training to be a police officer, and the risk associated with the job is much hire than a janitor's potential risk.

There's no risk for a multinational to pay a janitor 20 dollars an hour. But the minimum wage, at least, ought to keep up with the living costs; ergo, the bottom earner being able to make a decent living. The so-called "right to work" states in the US (those that practice union bashing and or who don't have a minimum wage implemented) have higher levels of poverty than their more progressive counterparts.

xmaslightguy Wrote:
Ironically enough, the second post on this thread is the solution to the first post. The population is horribly out of control, which is why unemployment is so high. We simply have more people than needed in human society, and so it is an employer's market. If the population was suddenly reduced by 15% world-wide, I guarantee that unemployment would disappear and suddenly employers would offer $20 an hour for janitors, because there is no longer a surplus of people who need a job.

A baseless assumption. Unemployment is a monetary/macroeconomic phenomenon. Yes, unemployment- source of the greatest economic loss as well as a social tragedy and a crime against humanity, is always the evidence deficit spending is too low. There is no exception as a simple point of logic. The currency is a simple public monopoly, and the excess capacity we call unemployment- people looking to sell their labor in exchange for units of that currency- is necessarily a consequence of the monopolist restricting the supply of net financial assets.
Government taxation creates unemployment of money paying jobs. And public spending employs the unemployed previously created by taxation. The unemployment rate is a government policy choice, whether the citizens or the politicians are aware of it or not. Labor is a buffer stock. The neoliberal establishments employ an unemployed buffer stock as price anchor. But it's true purpose is that to stymie labor; to ensure that capital puts and maintains downward pressure on wages. The NAIRU is a crock. An employed buffer stock policy works as a price anchor and does away with the social and psychological diseases brought about by permanent and involuntary unemployment.

xmaslightguy Wrote:
As for how to lower the population by 15%, I'm not suggesting concentration camps or genocide to kill everyone, because we already do that. Everyday people die, and our issue arises from having more people born each day than those that die. What we need more than abortions and increased education on sexuality, we need to just flat out prevent certain populations from having kids. Mainly the poor, why? Because they can't afford it! Income would be the deciding factor, and if you don't earn enough money, you simply aren't allowed to reproduce. This isn't killing anyone, but preventing the creation in the first place. In a few decades when the population has decreased by a marginal amount, we will be able to lax the restrictions, and hopefully not reproduce like parasites again.

Higher birthrates in poor countries are a function of economic, infrastructure, and social hardships. Lower birthrates in developed countries occur because people no longer need to rely on building big families in order to support one another. There are proper institutions in place. There are no sectarian and segregationist conflicts going on. There is no neocolonialist theft happening in the US, in Japan, in Germany, France, or the UK.
If you want to achieve lower birthrates in a humanist way, you'll first bring about the improved social conditions alongside the education - then you'll see those numbers drop.


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This post was last modified: 21.02.2014 22:57 by Helsworth.

21.02.2014 22:36
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Helsworth
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Post: #5
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Yan Liang3 Wrote:

xmaslightguy Wrote:
The issue of minimum wage is not so much wanting to avoid paying people, but wanting to be paid more than your job is worth.

The fuck are you on about?

Trini, please don't use cursing. I really don't want to have to censor you. Hmm


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This post was last modified: 21.02.2014 23:51 by Helsworth.

21.02.2014 22:55
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xmaslightguy
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Post: #6
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Im interested in how we can reach a compromise, but I need to understand your position. So you think the minimum wage is important, but for what class of person?

Also with lowering birthrates, how do you propose to increase the social factor in developing nations fast enough to stabilize the population?


If im sounding insulting or sarcastic that is not my intent. I am genuinly interested in your opinion.

22.02.2014 00:26
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Helsworth
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Post: #7
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

It is important for the minimum wage to be higher in % with the median wage. Income inequality is exacerbated when corporate welfare is introduced. And without taxing wealth, they dont really pay income taxes.
My solution for any developing is full employment and price stability. Ensuring that sustainable aggregate demand is created via fiscal policy rather than monetary policy. Ergo increased consumption from more income, rather than debt/leverege spending.


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22.02.2014 00:46
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xmaslightguy
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Post: #8
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Im not sure I understand your first point.
Lets say we have a company that hires 2000 employees at minimum wage. This factory makes shoes, which is sells to retailers for $50. Now that shoe costs $20 in material, $12 in labor, and $8 in general expenses (administration, utilities, ect). That factory makes $10 on each shoe, which goes to advertising, expansion, and whatnot. Lets say in this situation, that the price of labor increases by $3 a shoe. The manufacturer still wants to make that same profit, so they charge retailers more. The retailer also wants to keep its profit, so it raises the cost in the stores.
Now while the wage of the workers may have gone up, all that ended up doing was making the cost of shoes also go up. The way I see it, it is like chasing a carrot tied to your head. The more you increase minimum wage, the higher the cost of living gets.

My solution would be increase incentives for education by making college cheaper, but even then, not everyone can get a college degree. A certain percentage inevitably ends up only qualified for jobs that arent worth being paid the cost of living frankly. At this point I become unsure how to fix the problem.


As for putting developing countries to work, that in no way gaurantees lower birthrates. American went through a time when everyone was suddenly put to work,and we got the baby boomers...

22.02.2014 02:04
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Rising Phoenix
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Post: #9
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Helsworth Wrote:
Unemployment is a monetary/macroeconomic phenomenon. Yes, unemployment- source of the greatest economic loss as well as a social tragedy and a crime against humanity, is always the evidence deficit spending is too low. There is no exception as a simple point of logic. The currency is a simple public monopoly, and the excess capacity we call unemployment- people looking to sell their labor in exchange for units of that currency- is necessarily a consequence of the monopolist restricting the supply of net financial assets.

Not necesarily. Unemployment can also be caused by technological application: A factory that automates it's assembly line no longer requires workers to - well - work in the assembly line. This results in a lot of workers being fired, since their jobs became irrelevant all of a sudden.

22.02.2014 09:53
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Helsworth
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Post: #10
RE: The real face of Bill Gates and Davos

Rising Phoenix Wrote:
Not necesarily. Unemployment can also be caused by technological application: A factory that automates it's assembly line no longer requires workers to - well - work in the assembly line. This results in a lot of workers being fired, since their jobs became irrelevant all of a sudden.

This is just an effect, not a cause. The currency monopolist determines the underlying cause. Why create more unemployed than you wish to hire? Either employ them, or reduce the tax! As capital's productivity increases and labor inputs decrease - it makes sense that the necessary employed labor force will shrink in time. Once again, here we're talking about the involuntary and permanent unemployed. This segment of people are the result of a government policy choice. Namely, the monopolist restriciting the necessary flow of net financial assets to these individuals.

@xmaslightguy
Your example is another a priori exercise meant to ignore actual empirical evidence. The fact of the matter is, that while not working at full employment/full output - faced with an increase in aggregate demand (an increase in sales), firms become supply adjusters. Only when aggregate demand rises past full ouput, do firms stop being supply adjusters and start becoming price adjusters.
I will elaborate.
First, unemployment is always a greater problem than inflation in almost any dimension you want to define it and which are calibrated by metrics that different ideological persuasions agree on – such as lost GDP. There is nothing ideological in the statement that the losses from unemployment dwarf those associated with inflation. Even mainstream textbooks struggle to come up with large estimates of the costs of inflation that they itemise.
Condition and liquidity are the keys. Just as soggy rotting wool is useless in a wool price stabilisation scheme, labour resources should be nurtured as human capital constitutes the essential investment in future growth and prosperity. There is overwhelming evidence that long-term unemployment generates costs far in excess of the lost output that is sacrificed every day the economy is away from full employment.

So what is inflation?
Note, for the sake of keeping it simple, I am only considering inflationary pressures that arise from nominal demand (spending) growth outstripping the real capacity of the economy to react to it with output responses. In other words, I am excluding inflation that may arise from supply shocks – such as a rise in an imported raw material (for example, oil). That is another issue altogether.
The reason I am excluding supply-driven inflationary impulses is because the mainstream attack on the current use fiscal policy (and monetary policy) is really about demand pressures. We are continually reading crude statements such as there is “too much money” in the system.
However, the solution to both sources of inflation is not that dissimilar although additional measures might be brought to bear to handle the case of a price hike in an imported raw material.

First we should make sure what we are talking about. Many conservative commentators think that when workers get a pay rise it is inflation. It is not. Those on the left think that when the corporate sector increase the price of a good or service it is inflation. It is not.

It is also not inflation when the exchange rate falls pushing the price of imports up a step. So a depreciation in the currency does not constitute inflation. It might stimulate inflation but is not in itself inflation.

It is also not inflation when the government increases a particular tax (say the VAT or GST) by x per cent to some new level.

So while a price rise is a necessary condition for inflation it is not a sufficient condition. Observing a price rise alone will not be sufficient to categorise the phenomena that you are observing as being an inflationary episode.

Inflation is the continuous rise in the price level. That is, the price level has to be rising each period that you observe it. So if the price level or a wage level rises by 10 per cent every month, then you have an inflationary episode. In this case, the inflation rate would be considered stable – a constant rise per period.

If the price level was rising by 10 per cent in month one, then 11 per cent in month two, then 12 per cent in month three and so on, then you have accelerating inflation. Alternatively, if the price level was rising by 10 per cent in month one, 9 per cent in month two etc then you have falling or decelerating inflation.

If the price level starts to continuously fall then we call that a deflationary episode.

Hyper-inflation is just inflation big-time!

So a price rise can become inflation but is not necessarily inflation. Many commentators and economists get this basic understanding wrong – often and continually.

Second, it also follows that cyclical adjustments in price levels by firms from what they are currently offering at depressed levels of activity to what the price levels that are defined at their normal operating capacity levels are not inflation. When the economy is in poor shape, firms cut prices in an attempt to increase capacity utilisation by temporarily suppressing their profit margins and hence maintain market share. As demand conditions become more favourable the firms start increasing the prices they offer until they get back to those levels that offer them the desired rate of return at normal capacity utilisation.

Firms are basically quantity adjusters if they have spare capacity. They will seek to maintain market share when nominal demand grows by increasing output where possible. Should nominal demand growth (supported in part by net public spending) outstrip this capacity then firms will become price adjusters, because they can no longer expand real output.

Bottlenecks in some sub-markets may occur before other sectors are at full capacity and so price pressures might emerge just before overall full capacity is reached. So, in reality, the aggregate supply response (which tells you how much real output will be forthcoming at each price level) may not be strictly reverse-L shaped (where price is on the vertical axis and output on the horizontal axis). The extent to which the reverse-L becomes a curve at at a point approaching full capacity is an empirical matter.
Inflation occurs when there is chronic excess demand relative to the real capacity of the economy to produce.

Note: the mechanisms through which the supply shocks manifest are different and this deserves a separate analysis; which I won't go into here.

PS: The baby boomers turned out to be the burnt out hippy generation which enjoyed staying buzzed and baked, thinking that just because they protested against wars, they somehow had no social responsibility to contribute to society as a whole. Then suddenly, the acid trip was over and some of them became desperate to acquire welfare checks, fireproof pijamas, child-proof caps, "healthy" foods, and stair-masters. So yeah, the baby boomers would not have been such a problem if not for the hippie generation (aka, the unemployed buffer stock).

PPS: I also wouldn't use one bad example from history to make a general principle out of it for other countries across the world.


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This post was last modified: 22.02.2014 16:37 by Helsworth.

22.02.2014 12:23
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