A Philosopher's Blog

Profit

Posted in Business, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on June 17, 2013
Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency

(Photo credit: epSos.de)

Roughly put, profit (or loss) is the difference between what it costs to sell a product/service and what is received for that product/service. For example, if it costs me $1 to make and transport a widget to the purchaser and the widget sells for $5, then I would make a profit of $4 on each widget sold. Naturally, the overall profit of my widget business would be a more complex matter involving total costs, total income and so on. But the basic idea is profit is what one gets when the cost is lower than what is received for the product/service.

As a general rule, just as Trix is for kids, profit is for employers and not employees. In fact, the stock criticisms of profit tend to focus on the fact that making a profit often involves paying workers less than the value they produce.  So, on the face of it, it seems like the idea of a worker making a profit is a non-starter. After all, the worker gets paid (hopefully) and the mechanism of a profit does not seem to figure in here. However, it seems interesting (though perhaps totally misguided) to consider the matter of a worker making a profit (as a worker, not in another role).

As noted above, profit occurs (crudely put) when the seller makes more for a sale than the sale costs her. One way to look at this is that the value paid by the purchaser exceeds the value of what is sold. In the case of a worker, it would seem that a profit-like situation would arise when a worker is paid more than the value of her work. That is, I would make something profit-like if I were paid more than I was worth. The gap between the value of my work and what I receive for it would be my “profit.”

In either case, it would seem that making a profit generally entails that someone is getting exploited. After all, if all those involved in producing the product got their just share of the value of the product, there would be no surplus left to provide the profit, unless the customer pays more than the value of the product. Likewise, if the worker is paid more than the value of her work, it would seem that she is exploiting the employer.

It can be countered that profit can arise without exploitation. One way for this to occur involves what could be called relative/subjective (or perceived) value. For example, if it costs me $1 to make a widget and I sell it for $5, yet the customer values it at $5 (or more), then it could be claimed the customer  is not being exploited. After all, as she sees it she is getting her money’s worth. However, it would also need to be the case that the workers involved in producing, transporting and selling my widget also regard themselves as properly compensated.  Likewise, if a worker values her work less than the employer values it, then it could be claimed that the employer is not being exploited. For example, if I valued my time at $30 an hour, but I was paid $50 an hour and my employer valued my time at at least $50 an hour, then I would not be exploiting my employer. Or, perhaps more accurately, she would not regard me as exploiting her.

The response to this is to contend that a person can be wrong about being exploited. In the case of a worker, he might regard his pay per widget as fair, but might be mistaken. One obvious cause could be ignorance: the worker is unaware of the value her labor adds to the product and if she were aware of this, she would change her mind about the fairness of her pay. Likewise for an employer: she might believe she is getting her money’s worth (or better) but be wrong about this because I am so very clever about appearing to be worth more than I am actually worth.  Naturally, it could be insisted that in matters of money all value is relative/subjective (or perceived) and that the idea of some sort of objective foundation for claims about exploitation is fundamentally mistaken. If so, this would also entail that the idea of some sort of objective foundation for claims about fair or just profits would also be fundamentally mistaken. Presumably it would come down to whoever had the most power defining what is called “just” and what is called “unjust.” In this case, it would seem most sensible for each party to endeavor to get as much as he can and to get it labeled as “fair” and “just.” That is, the employer should endeavor to get as much for as little pay as possible from employees and employees should endeavor to get as much as possible for as little work as possible from the employer. That is, in a profit focused system everyone should try to exploit everyone else while contending that they are being fair.

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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” ~ Jesus (Luke 16:13)

    People? or Profit? God? or Money? Justice? or Exploitation?

    It used to be the government was the peoples means of protection from exploitation, via corporations… now the government enables such exploitation, on behalf of corporations.

    As the many peoples I spoke with during my trip to Mexico said to me, concerning the drug war hyper-violence and their dead and missing children: “When the police and military, who are supposed to be protecting us, are the ones who are murdering and disappearing our children, who can we go to for help?”

    Concerning corporate exploitation of the poor worker, look at this article from today:

    Cashless “paychecks” come with hidden fees

    “All Natalie Gunshannon wanted was to be paid a fair wage for her work, she said.
    Gunshannon, 27, of Dallas Township, worked at McDonald’s Restaurant on the Dallas Highway from April 24 to May 15. When she received her first paycheck, enclosed was a Chase Bank debit card with instructions on how to use it and the fees attached.

    “Her future earnings would be deposited into the debit card account and she could access her money from there. Gunshannon never signed the card and when she returned to work she asked her supervisor if she could be paid by check or by direct deposit. She was told the card was the only option.”

    McD’s worker sues: Don’t pay by debit card – http://articles.philly.com/2013-06-16/news/40008232_1_debit-card-minimum-wage-fees

    I was having a discussion, recently, with some of those anti-abortion “Christians” who advocate getting rid of the minimum wage. I told them, sadly, they were stereotypically the types of “pro-lifers” the pro-choicers love to fault for caring more about the unborn than they care for the born. I gave them a few versus of scripture, and I suggested they read their Bibles, follow Jesus, and practice seeking justice, instead of advocating laissez faire economics and exploitation of the poor :(

    People are more important than property, and one cannot serve both God and money, according to Jesus.

    “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.” ~ Deuteronomy 24:14

    “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor” ~ Proverbs 22:2

    “Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers” ~ Isaiah 58:3

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” ~ Matthew 6:4

    “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” ~ James 5:4-5

    See also: On poverty, wealth, and private property – http://www.scribd.com/doc/145866964/On-Poverty-Wealth-and-Private-Property

  2. WTP said, on June 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

    TJ, Are these not the ponderings of a full-out socialist? This plays into basic Labor Theory of Value, of which Mike has written approvingly of here in the past. A discredited theory that is not even taken seriously by many socialists.

    Mike fails to recognize the EMPLOYER is doing work also. The EMPLOYER is the one providing the job. The EMPLOYER is the one taking the risk with his capital and effort. The work is being done for the EMPLOYER, to accomplish a task the EMPLOYER desires to be done. The EMPLOYEE does make a profit. The employee gets paid for the work that he does. He put forth an effort, the only skin he has in the game, so his cost in monetary terms is zero. His pay is his profit. He can work elsewhere and/or do other kinds of work that pay more money, if he so chooses.

    Again, the depth of ignorance of basic economics on Mike’s part is shameful. Yet he makes no effort to learn. It’s all what’s in Mike’s head. Other input not required unless, of course, it corroborates what’s already in Mike’s head.

  3. T. J. Babson said, on June 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    “In either case, it would seem that making a profit generally entails that someone is getting exploited.”

    This is where Mike goes wrong. In a free society, employment is a voluntary arrangement between employer and employee. If the employee is unhappy he is free to seek employment elsewhere, or go into business for himself.

    I don’t see how a voluntary, non-coercive agreement between 2 free individuals can be considered exploitative.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      You are right: voluntary, non-coercive agreements between two free individuals in a free society would certainly not be exploitative. However, there is the question of whether or not that scenario generally exists in the United States.

      In some cases it does. For example, the CEO of a major company almost certainly engages in a non-coercive agreement to get millions in compensation for his labor. However, the general system of employment seems to be situation of rather unequal power that strongly favors the employer. Naturally, some would say that the use of this imbalance is not coercive, since the worker can refuse the job-even if this means that he goes hungry and homeless.

      • T. J. Babson said, on June 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        True, unskilled workers are often at a disadvantage. The way to remedy this situation is to limit the supply of unskilled labor. With a limited supply wages will rise.

        Too bad Dems want to flood the market with cheap, unskilled labor. They are more interested in increasing the number of Democratic voters than in truly helping the people at the bottom.

        • WTP said, on June 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm

          To what extent are unskilled workers at a disadvantage? Should workers who lack skills be paid as much as those with skills? They are only at a disadvantage relative to more skilled workers, but not at a disadvantage relative to the value of their work. In fact, what with minimum wage laws, it could be argued that those unskilled who get jobs have an advantage relative to the value of their labor. Their only true disadvantage comes from do-gooders like Mike who encourage the government to drive the cost of labor up and thus bring the number of available jobs in that market segment down.

          Dems aren’t the only ones looking to flood the labor market, GOP elements are good for that too. But in an increasingly global economy, the cost of labor is becoming immune to the barriers borders used to present.

          • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 8:23 am

            They are at a disadvantage in that they are easily replaced and therefore have little bargaining power. Highly skilled employees are difficult to replace and have a great deal of bargaining power.

            Again, all the people who are trying to bring in hoardes of unskilled workers are no friends of those Americans who are unskilled.

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

              Border security should be addressed as a matter of national security, not in context of the supply and demands of labor. Have you hired “unskilled” labor lately? Simple expectations of labor, like showing up on time and doing the job properly are hard to find. From what I’ve seen in areas where people complain about a lack of work and/or pay is a lack of willingness to do the job. Where is it written that all unskilled labor must work for some employer? Many lawn maintenance people, maids, janitors, work for themselves. My sister ran her own janitorial service for many years. It’s hard work but if you are dependable you have considerable leverage with your customers. You’re buying into a leftist mythology about work. I am not speaking from an ivory tower. I’ve been out there. I’ve worked some of these jobs. I’ve worked with people helping the poor to get on their feet (see above). The true poverty in this country is a poverty of the soul, which is reinforced with leftist propaganda the likes of which are regurgitated here on a regular basis.

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

              Connect the dots for me, WTP. How do you go from what I have written to I’m “buying into a leftist mythology about work”?

              As far as I’m concerned I am just talking about supply and demand.

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

              Via this:
              therefore have little bargaining power

              I disagree. The unskilled laborer who does a good job, has no crminal record (something that is hard to find), shows up on time, etc. has bargaining power. I know. I’ve seen it work. There is more to a person than their skill set. Give me an unskilled worker who shows up for the job over one who’s qualified who doesn’t want to work. I can train the unskilled worker. Motivating the skilled one is more problematic.

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

              “The unskilled laborer who does a good job, has no criminal record (something that is hard to find), shows up on time, etc. has bargaining power. I know. I’ve seen it work.”

              No argument from me, but quantify this statement. How much of a wage premium over minimum wage would a model worker rate? 2-3 extra $/hr? More? That is a measure of his bargaining power.

              Keep in mind that if this model worker develops management skills he is no longer unskilled.

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

              How much of a wage premium over minimum wage would a model worker rate? 2-3 extra $/hr? More?

              I wouldn’t pretend to know. It depends on the job, etc. But that’s what makes a free market work. I would trust the market far more than a bunch of ivory tower intellectuals who don’t venture out into the world to test their simplest theories against an objective reality.

              Keep in mind that if this model worker develops management skills he is no longer unskilled.

              Yes, and that’s what makes America work. The socialists, philosophers, etc. do not give credence to upward mobility. They have a Malthusian, steady-state perspective which they cling to like a baby chimp to its mother. They can’t see opportunity because they don’t want to see it. It upsets their world-view. And their world-view predominates. It’s at its base, an ego/narcissist problem. You can’t fight it with logic nor reason.

            • WTP said, on June 26, 2013 at 8:28 am

              BTW, TJ, here’s our genius government’s solution to the flood of unskilled workers. More dole:

              One of the Senators who needed some vital funding necessary for the survival of the Republic thrown his way before he could vote in good conscience for cloture was Senator Bernie Sanders (I- VT). His vital funding is found in Title V of the amendment under the heading ”Jobs For Youth” and the text of it begins on page 1169 of the Corker- Hoeven Amendment. Basically it’s a $1.5 billion a year jobs program for underprivileged youths, tacked onto the bill as an admission that flooding the labor market with millions of unskilled and low- skilled immigrants willing to work 90 hours a week for wages barely above subsistence level will make it hard for native- born unskilled and low- skilled young people who demand a 40 hour workweek and minimum wage to get a job.

              http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/dude-wheres-my-obamacar/

      • WTP said, on June 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        As for this hungry and homeless bs. I’ve done volunteer work both in schools and at a food pantry. I’ve also had discussions with pastors and other church people, including my father, who worked with the poor, finding them jobs and getting them on their feet. While there definitely are some who have been dealt a bad hand, the unlucky ones almost always get back on their feet. The vast majority of the poor and homeless, for whatever reasons, do not take advantage of the opportunities they do get. Working the food pantry, it nauseated me to see the utter filth most of the fit, able bodied poor lived in. If one does not have a job one should have plenty of time to clean up ones car and house. Again, for some it’s a mental health issue, but for most it’s an inability to take responsibility for their own lives. What sickens me more is that these able bodied folks drain resources from the few elderly and truly disabled poor.

    • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 5:18 am

      They poor we will have with us always, according to Jesus, and contrary to utopian visions of a future harmonious egalitarian society. The question is are the poor workers being taken advantage of in our society, and I would say “Yes” and it’s getting worse. Rand Paul, for example, putting business and profit over workers and wages, considers people the asset or property of the business owner, to do with as he wishes. If the business owner wishes to pay his workers $1 per day he has that right. Paul would also remove all protections and regulations from business that protect workers from exploitation: minimum wage, OSHA, unemployment, workman’s compensation. In other words: turn the US into Bangladesh and Indonesia. This is unjust on its face and is the opposite direction our society should be going. We have a choice: we can serve God and people or Satan and money. It no surprise to me we have chosen to serve Satan, and the fruits of this are evident everywhere.

      • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

        Rand Paul, for example, putting business and profit over workers and wages, considers people the asset or property of the business owner, to do with as he wishes.

        Lies make baby Jesus cry, you know…unless you can provide source for this. Is this what your religion teaches you to do? It’s ok to lie if you do it for Jesus? Or think you are doing so.

        • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 6:59 am

          It’s called following his logic to its inevitable conclusion. Paul is a lying, double talking politico, who would not say these things outright, yet, but his Randian libertarian deregulationism unhinged from natural law demands it. He’s already on record in support of the racial segregation of lunch counters, if thats what a business owner wishes to do. This is what happens when money comes before people, Satan before God, and business rights before human obligations.

          VIDEO – Rachel Maddow- Rand Paul on (1) civil_ federal and business rights – http://youtu.be/G_FDPZJlaOc

          “If the Tea Party believes that limited government is best, and that a free market with as few regulations as possible is best, than it’s not that far a jump from Tea Party-ism to what apparently is Ron Paul’s brand of Libertarianism. Well, the Tea Party embraced him, and now that he has jumped the shark, just let them try to distance themselves from him.

          The Tea Party believes that the only proper role of the federal government is to defend the borders, conduct foreign policy and provide general security in case of disaster. All else of any consequence is the proper role of state and local governments, and in reality, business and property owners. That includes social legislation, business and safety regulation.”

          See: The Poster Boy: Rand Paul, The Tea Party and Deregulation – http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/05/25/869635/-The-Poster-Boy-Rand-Paul-The-Tea-Party-and-Deregulation#

          • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

            Because such is the role of the state. One of the great insights of Christiainity is that legislating morality is approaching the problem from the wrong direction. Morality must come from with the soul of the individual. From what I’ve studied, the Great Spirit In The Sky is big on something called “Free Will”. I don’t think it’s asking much in the way of Christian charity to consider Paul’s position in such a context.

            As for “following his logic to its inevitable conclusion”, this is a fallacy of significant proportions, a strawman, and essentially a lie. When one rants about jooos as much as you do, suggesting that people should follow someone’s logic to its “inevitable conclusion” is probably not a good line of reasoning if you wish to be taken seriously. Seriously.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

              All law is legislated morality, that’s what law is. Following someone’s logic to its conclusions isn’t a fallacy, it’s called critical thinking.

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

              But saying “I support freedom” is not the same as saying “I support anarchy”

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

              C’mon, you know you want to try a little anarchy. :)

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

              All law is legislated morality
              No, it is not. Morality is saying what one should do. The law is about what people should NOT do and physically preventing them from continuing to do so. You’ve supposedly studied philosophy and you’ve never considered this? Of what use philosophy? Is it moral to hate another person simply because they are, say Jewish? Of course not, but should there be laws against hate? Where would that stop? Who, aside from God, is capable of making moral judgements sound enough to provide the appropriate punishment? He who is without sin? The law exists to protect us from the violent, theiving bastards of the world. It exists to separate them from the rest of society so that society can sort things out for itself without interference from those who have no concern. The founders of this country understood this. It’s taken 200 years for us to forget it. A Republic if you can keep it, indeed.

              But saying “I support freedom” is not the same as saying “I support anarchy”
              Who said that it was?

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

              Stop being a sophist WTP.

              The Definition of Morality – http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/

              The term “morality” can be used either:

              1. descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,

              a. some other group, such as a religion, or

              b. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or

              2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

              Morality:

              1. Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

              2. Behavior as it is affected by the observation of these principles.

              All laws are both proscriptive of evil and instructive of good, and are social codes of moral conduct, which outline both legal and illegal – both good and bad – socially acceptable conduct.

              By definition the law defines both acceptable and non acceptable conduct.

              For example: robbing a back is against the law, because it’s wrong, which means its opposite is also true and instructive of acceptable conduct: to respect bank’s property because it’s morally correct conduct.

              With every legal prohibition of criminal, immoral conduct comes it’s opposite, which tells us what is legal, moral, and acceptable conduct.

              Laws are written against immoral conduct because society defines what it moral conduct.

              What is moral and acceptable has to come first…. before we can know what is immoral. That’s why we say the words: “moral” and “im-moral”.

              As with defining “evil”, we first have to know what “good” is.

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm

              The word “law” does not appear anywhere in your provided definitions of morality. Even your link makes a distinction between the two. not that your link is the definitive of law.

              From Webster:
              Moral:
              1a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior c : conforming to a standard of right behavior d : sanctioned by or operative on one’s conscience or ethical judgment e : capable of right and wrong action
              2: probable though not proved : virtual

              3: perceptual or psychological rather than tangible or practical in nature or effect
              <moral support

              Haven't the time for any more of your misstatements of fact. You lack the understanding to discuss this subject rationally.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm

              law is an established moral code, and you’re a sophist

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm

              But saying “I support freedom” is not the same as saying “I support anarchy”
              Who said that it was?

              AJM. “following someone’s logic to its conclusion” People who argue for smaller government obviously want no government, etc.

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

              smaller government? or no government regulations on business? Smaller government doesn’t mean none, but no government regulations means none. The original federal government had none, because it was small, which is what Paul wants: small and without regulations on business.

            • WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

              Ah, got it. Btw, TAG…now you’re a sophist!

          • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

            “The Tea Party believes that the only proper role of the federal government is to defend the borders, conduct foreign policy and provide general security in case of disaster. All else of any consequence is the proper role of state and local governments, and in reality, business and property owners. That includes social legislation, business and safety regulation.”

            Indeed. This was the vision of those who founded the U.S. and wrote the Constitution. It is hardly a radical vision.

          • T. J. Babson said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

            C’mon, you know you want to try a little anarchy. :)

            The truth is that I tried it, but didn’t inhale.

  4. ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

    When 7-11′s headquarters sent the wages for distribution, the employers stole “significant portions” of the workers’ pay, authorities said. The defendants also forced the workers to live in houses they owned and pay them rent in cash, they added.

    Feds: NY, Va. 7-11 stores exploited immigrants – http://www.wfla.com/story/22611754/2013/06/17/ny-va-7-11-stores-raided-as-part-of-us-probe

    “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.” ~ Deuteronomy 24:14

    “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor” ~ Proverbs 22:2

    “Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers” ~ Isaiah 58:3

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” ~ Matthew 6:4

    “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” ~ James 5:4-5

    Rand Paul: Congress has no business protecting miners – http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/worker-safety/112133-rand-paul-congress-has-no-business-protecting-miners#ixzz2WZrmBJru

    Republicans call for lowering, eliminating federal minimum wage – http://www.examiner.com/article/republicans-call-for-lowering-eliminating-federal-minimum-wage

    Paul Amendment to Strike OSHA Provisions Defeated in Senate – http://www.iammoody.com/paul-amendment-to-strike-osha-provisions-defeated-in-senate/

    Rand Paul Still Defending Racial Discrimination – http://pageonekentucky.com/2010/05/20/rand-paul-still-defending-racial-discrimination/

  5. WTP said, on June 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Mike, whatever you do, don’t read this article by PJ O’Rourke.

    The individual is the wellspring of conservatism. The purpose of conservative politics is to defend the liberty of the individual and – lest individualism run riot – insist upon individual responsibility.

    The great religions (and conservatives are known for approving of God) teach salvation as an individual matter. There are no group discounts in the Ten Commandments, Christ was not a committee, and Allah does not welcome believers into Paradise saying, “You weren’t much good yourself, but you were standing near some good people.” That we are individuals – unique, disparate and willful – is something we understand instinctively from an early age. No child ever wrote to Santa: “Bring me – and a bunch of kids I’ve never met – a pony, and we’ll share.”

    Conservatism is sometimes confused with Social Darwinism or other such me-first dogmas. Sometimes the confusion is deliberate. When those who are against conservative policies don’t have sufficient opposition arguments, they call love of freedom “selfish. ” Of course it is – in the sense that breathing is selfish. But because you want to breathe doesn’t mean you want to suck the breath out of every person you encounter. Conservatives do not believe in the triumph of the large and powerful over the weak and useless. (Although most conservatives would make an exception to see a fistfight between Norman Schwartzkopf and George Stephanopoulos. If all people are free, George Stephanopoulos must be allowed to run loose, too, however annoying this may be.)

    But some people cannot enjoy the benefits of freedom without assistance from their fellows. This may be a temporary condition – such as childhood or being me when I say I can drive home from a bar, just fine, thank you very much, at three a.m. – or, due to infirmity or affliction, the condition may be permanent. Because conservatives do not generally propose huge government programs to combat the effects of old age, illness, being a kid or drinking 10 martinis on an empty stomach, conservatives are said to be “mean-spirited.”

    In fact, charity is an axiom of conservatism. Charity is one of the great responsibilities of freedom. But, in order for us to be responsible – and therefore free – that responsibility must be personal.


    ….and the rest

    http://www.conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=6131

  6. ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Keeping up with inflation: “Raising the minimum wage to just $10.10 per hour would pull more than half of the nation’s working poor out of poverty, according to a new study.”

    $10 Minimum Wage Would Push More Than Half Of Working Poor Out Of Poverty: Study – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/10-minimum-wage_n_3474024.html

    • WTP said, on June 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Sure. And push the rest onto the unemployment lines. Economic ignorance, pure and simple.

      • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        if we had congress issuing sound money we wouldn’t need a minimum wage, but we don’t live in a constitutional nation. have a heart WTP :( and support increasing working people’s wages

        • WTP said, on June 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

          AJ, sometimes you almost understand things and then you lose focus. Yes, an unsound monetary policy, printing money and pretending that by doing so you are creating wealth, is nothing less than theft. But at the other end of the economy, fixing prices for labor and other economic means, does not help those at the bottom either. Labor is worth what the market is willing to pay. Force the price of labor up and demand for labor will decrease. Economics does not get much more basic than supply and demand. I have a heart, believe it or not. I worry about those at the bottom who are artificially priced out of the market by government dictate. People lose opportunities to prove themselves. Opportunities to gain experience. Opportunity costs. The more expensive labor becomes, the less likely an employer will be to take a chance on those at the margins, or those who lack a support network with connections or recommendations. Those who are truly poor in resources and in spirit.

          • T.J. Babson said, on June 22, 2013 at 7:35 am

            WTP, can you explain to Mike and AJM what will happen to the prospects of unskilled Americans when 11 million new workers are suddenly brought in and allowed to compete with them?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

              We already have many non-American legal and illegal unskilled workers here. Is there a plan that will suddenly import another 11 million workers?

              If it did occur and if the imported workers will work for less, then they would displace any unskilled workers who will not work for less. This would have various effects, ranging from increased profits to increased unemployment (in terms of numbers).

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

              Just pointing out that the Dems really don’t act in the interests of poor Americans.

            • wtp said, on June 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm

              TJ, ive splained these thing over and over again, to no avail. though sometimes i suspect AJ has the capacity to grasp it. Mike just plain refuses to think. Perhaps you can point out the fallacy in his statement.

          • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

            WTP – You say ” Labor is worth what the market is willing to pay” but I say “Labor is worth a just reward, meaning: wages should be sufficient to earn a man a decent, simple living.” To you, if the market is willing to pay $1 per day then so be it. Life, Humanity, Compassion, and Justice be damed. The Money Market is more important than People. I say that is unjust, because a man cannot live on $1 per day, let alone a man with a wife and children. You should be ashamed of yourself buddy :( But then, you don’t grasp the concept of justice, do you? No sophist does.

            Watch this video, maybe you will learn how an employer is supposed to treat his employees. You should read the Bible ( = Old Testament Torah), like this man did, and do the right thing for people. Money be damned.

            VIDEO – Aaron Feuerstein’s Malden Mills – http://youtu.be/ry7_FcSiQL8

            • WTP said, on June 23, 2013 at 7:22 am

              If you are only willing to do labor that has a value of $1/day, yes. I’m not the one making the rules. I think if you read your bible you will find many references to a workers obligations to their employer as well. Read Matthew 20 and tell me if that employer was being fair to his workers. Then there is this from Titus:
              “Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:9-10). I’m sure you can find much more if you try

              An employer may have a moral obligation to pay more, but if you force an employer to pay more than the labor is worth, the employer will find some other means of getting the job done or will have to get out of that line of business and the job(s) will disappear. Use your God-given mind and really think about this. If you force employers to pay, say $50K/yr to do menial tasks like sweeping floors, there are robots today who will do the job. Why pay someone to do so? I can tell you’ve never run a successful business, you don’t understand where wealth comes from nor how it is created. Ignorance of the law of supply and demand kills jobs.

              Also, I leave you with
              Romans 2:1-4

              Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

            • ajmacdonaldjr said, on June 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

              “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.” ~ Deuteronomy 24:14

  7. T. J. Babson said, on June 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Our new friends in Syria…

    Mohammed Katta’s mother witnessed the execution of her son in three stages.

    She was upstairs at home when she first heard the shouting. The people of the neighbourhood were yelling that “they have brought back the kid”, so she rushed out of her apartment.

    “I went out on my balcony,” Nadia Umm Fuad said. “I said to his father, they are going to shoot your son! Come! Come! Come! I was on the stairs when I heard the first shot. I was at the door when I heard the second shot.

    “I saw the third shot. I was shouting, ‘That’s haram, forbidden! Stop! Stop! You are killing a child.’ But they just gave me a dirty look and got into their car. As they went, they drove over my son’s arm, as he lay there dying.”

    Mohammed was 14 when he was killed, earlier this month, prompting international condemnation. He has become a symbol of the fears many Syrians have for the future of a country where jihadists are vying with the regime for control.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10135823/Syria-I-saw-rebels-execute-my-boy-for-no-more-than-a-joke.html

    Democrats at work!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      The Democrats are in Syria shooting children? I thought they were anti-gun?

      • T. J. Babson said, on June 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        They are only anti gun when Tea Partiers want guns.

        Do you think the Syrian rebels Obama is arming would pass a background check?

  8. T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Our new friends in Syria…burning churches.

    Damascus, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) Members of al-Nusra Front, affiliated to Al Qaeda terrorist network, set Syrian-Christian al-Waha church on fire, in Deir Ezzor city today, about 460 kilometers northeastern Damascus, reported local press.
    The fire destroyed all the furniture and valuable objects inside the facility, which was seriously damaged, broadcast official news television channel.

    The armed opposition groups fighting here for overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, with the approval of regional and western governments, have destroyed mosques, shrines, and religious buildings during the over two years of conflict.

    http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1530291&Itemid=1

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Is this a group the US officially supports? Is there a morally good faction that we can back with a clear conscience? Or are we stuck with what we usually have done, namely backing the folks who are fighting those we like least in that area?

      • T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        “Or are we stuck with what we usually have done, namely backing the folks who are fighting those we like least in that area?”

        Yes, except this time we can’t plead ignorance but are doing it with our eyes open.

  9. T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Democrats at work…making even Nixon look good!

    Prior to Barack Obama’s inauguration, there were a grand total of three prosecutions of leakers under the Espionage Act (including the prosecution of Dan Ellsberg by the Nixon DOJ). That’s because the statute is so broad that even the US government has largely refrained from using it. But during the Obama presidency, there are now seven such prosecutions: more than double the number under all prior US presidents combined. How can anyone justify that?

    For a politician who tried to convince Americans to elect him based on repeated pledges of unprecedented transparency and specific vows to protect “noble” and “patriotic” whistleblowers, is this unparalleled assault on those who enable investigative journalism remotely defensible? Recall that the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said recently that this oppressive climate created by the Obama presidency has brought investigative journalism to a “standstill”, while James Goodale, the General Counsel for the New York Times during its battles with the Nixon administration, wrote last month in that paper that “President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.” Read what Mayer and Goodale wrote and ask yourself: is the Obama administration’s threat to the news-gathering process not a serious crisis at this point?

    Few people – likely including Snowden himself – would contest that his actions constitute some sort of breach of the law. He made his choice based on basic theories of civil disobedience: that those who control the law have become corrupt, that the law in this case (by concealing the actions of government officials in building this massive spying apparatus in secret) is a tool of injustice, and that he felt compelled to act in violation of it in order to expose these official bad acts and enable debate and reform.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/22/snowden-espionage-charges

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

      There is an unfortunate irony that the Obama administration touted itself as being transparent and supporting whistleblowers while acting in ways directly in contradiction to their stated policies.

      While the state can claim some legitimate secrets and not all people who reveal secrets are true whistle blowers, the administration has been a moral disappointment here.

      • WTP said, on June 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

        Yes, it’s “unfortunate”. Of course, shoe on the other foot and (rightly) it’s intentional. TJ, you do see the problem here? Is this wording Mike uses unfortunate or intentional?

    • T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      It’s not just the Obama administration. The Dems have plenty of enablers in the media. Here is a good example:

      • T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        Honestly, what did people expect from a Chicago machine politician?

        • WTP said, on June 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

          Don’t care for Greenwald but he is spot on here. Funny how Dick Gregory wants exceptions for journalists when breaking laws that are not indemic to the story that are reporting on (the gun magazine violation) but cool with persecuting fellow journalists for doing the job of journalism. he’s simply a lackey apologist for the Dems.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

          Probably similar to what they’d expect from the Texas or Massachusetts machines: a politician.

          • WTP said, on June 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

            Yes, because all political machines, real or imagined, operate basically the same, with the same faults, the same sins. More sophistry.

          • T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

            How many governors of Illinois have gone to prison? Do you think that happens in every state? You need to get beyond reflexive relativism, Mike. Islam is far worse than Christianity, and Massachusetts pols are far more honest than Illinois pols.

            • T. J. Babson said, on June 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

              This is the cesspool Obama comes from, Mike.

              From Wikipedia:

              Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during or after their governorships; four were convicted, and of those, one (Blagojevich) was the first to be impeached and removed from office.

              Convicted

              Otto Kerner, Jr. (D), governor from 1961 to 1968; Stratton’s successor and later a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was convicted of 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury, and income-tax charges from his time as governor,[6] and received three years in prison and a $50,000 fine in 1973. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson.[6]

              Daniel Walker (D), governor from 1973 to 1977, was later involved in the savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook. He was sentenced to seven years in prison with five years of probation following his release.[7]

              George Ryan (R), governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver’s licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, and one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed six children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan.[8] Ryan was released in 2013.

              Rod Blagojevich (D), governor from 2003 to 2009, and Ryan’s successor, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in a unanimous vote in January 2009 after being tied to multiple “pay to play” schemes, including attempting to sell the former Senate seat of recently elected President Barack Obama.[1] In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges.[9] Blagojevich was retried on 20 counts from his 2010 trial and on June 27, 2011, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of fraud, acquitted on one count and the jury was hung on two. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

              Obviously New England is better than the lesser states.


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