Excerpted from a discussion on Facebook:

Let's say that the minimal amount of effort required to achieve basic
needs can be represented by the variable B. In order to achieve a
higher standard of living, one would need to exert an additional
measure of effort, which we'll call variable C. If one is minimally
motivated, then the amount that they will earn is equal to ability
*which we'll represent with the variable A* times B *minimal effort*.
The higher earner must therefore be represented by A x (B+C), where
C>0. If C<0, then that person will have a standard of living below
that suggested by his/her abilities. An extreme Leftist would contend
*theoretically* that C need not be tied whatsoever to the person's
desire for more personal monetary gain, whereas an extreme Rightist
would argue that said desire is the ONLY thing that motivates a person
to increase C.
Both ideas are bogus. The Communist believes that human nature is 100%
alterable by a change in culture, and altering the "means of
production." The Libertarian position is that the desire for self
enrichment is the highest ideal. Collectively, we put in place
standards for human interactions, being social creatures. A big part
of that is determining what we, as a collective, determine is an
acceptable allocation of resources to each person or group of persons.
One thing that we consider, unless we buy into the extreme Left
ideology, is that a desire for greater personal comfort is great
motivator for increasing C. Heck, I agreed to work some overtime this
week, and I acknowledge that the main reason was the bigger paycheck.
Now, we get to the question, and this is a question that maybe you
haven't thought about. What is the relationship between B and C? In my
case C represented the additional effort to work approximately 3 extra
hours, in addition to my normal 40. True, it was at 1.5 times base
wage, but considering the other benefits typically offered full time
workers, it may very well have brought my average total hourly
compensation down, but I was willing to trade those extra hours out of
my free time and my feet being more sore for the larger paycheck. How
much would C have to be in relation to B to prompt that extra effort?
But I've left out something, haven't I? That we'll call variable D. It
is simply, the amount that "C have to be in relation to B to prompt
that extra effort."
Forget for a moment that I'm not really getting time and a half when
total compensation in considered. What would the multiplier D have to
be in order for me to agree to work those extra three hours, assuming
even a *light* version of the Libertarian/Right view? What if it
really were just one fortieth of my normal effort times 1.5 times
three? Would that be enough? What if it were much less? What if it was
3 times? What if it was ten times? What about 100 times? Should D be
unlimited? Those who advocate an end to progressive taxation are
advocating exactly that. The current argument that The Republican
Party is making for continuing ridiculously low tax rates for the rich
is absurd, and is based on working folks believing that D must be very
high, or the owners of businesses will pick up their marbles and
hunker down in John Galt's refuge.
There is a value of D, such that folks will be disincentivized to take
risks, and will instead sit on their wealth, and that value is partly
influenced by the idea that they can wait out any temporary tax code
swings, in order to be maximally liquid when things swing to the
right. I wonder how many of them do this in class solidarity with
their competitors, their fellow capitalists. Those that do are engaged
in class warfare against the working class. They are the source of
much of the funds behind the sneaky, deceptive campaign ads put out to
defeat progressive political candidates. It's Fascism, plain and
simple. They have one goal, to increase the wealth gap. Why would any
reasonable working person support their agenda? Again, Why would any
reasonable working person support their agenda?

[name deleted]: Bryan, I have read not a single word, and I won't
engage unless you promise to not be a hit and run commenter, as you've
been, in the past. Promise to follow through?

Oh, I'll be here. I'm not running off to some secret, undisclosed
location. The point is this, if putting in extra effort will double
the average person's income, then that average person will likely do
it. If it quadruples income, then the hypothetical person might put in
more effort, but certainly not four times the base effort. Obscene
wealth disparities don't do anything to increase the effort put forth
by the rich, who, being demi-gods, *create* the jobs. The wealth in
fact must invest rather than merely sit on money because currency
inflation continually erodes their wealth. The extreme Right even has
an idea to remove that barrier, returning to the gold standard. And
Chris, I don't "hit and run." If you'll debate me publicly, I'm here
until the cows come home. Your reply from early September was, "Does
the man who works hard and produces deserve more than the man who
works not at all, thus produces nothing?" That would be a legitimate
question if one were arguing with a Communist.
I'm not a Communist.
Further, you stated, "I do not base my existence on the thoughts of
the Bushmen." The only way that sentence makes sense is if it means
that you are not open to other ideas about the nature of private
property and the inherent naturalness of accumulating more and more
wealth. Views on wealth are cultural, and not based on any natural
You stated, "Government is here, should be here, only to defend us
from invaders and to protect me and you from harming each other or
stealing from the other, whether via robbery or fraud." In that sense,
the government is merely a referee over a giant game of Monopoly,
making sure that the rules are followed and that no outside force
turns over the Monopoly board. As the game progresses, one or more
players accumulates wealth far out of proportion to their contribution
to the game, but that's the rules to the game. Let's take this
further. (FB has some arbitrary length limit, which is why I'm
splitting this up into shorter posts)
The differences in Monopoly and the real game are that the game never
ends. The winner never completely kills off the losers. Instead, he
alters the rules, adjusting rents to a level where the poor can stay
in the game. What choice do the losers have but to stay in the game?
After all, it's "the only game in town." As you suggested, " people
are always welcome to move to another town." That's true, if they have
the resources, but in this case the resources have already come into
the hands of the winner. Besides, what good does it do to move from
one company town to another? The rules are similar in all the towns.
Savvy players come to dominate every game. It is the game itself that
is flawed. It is in the interest of the players to instruct the
referee, who serves at the pleasure of the players to alter the rules
in ways that lessen the wealth gap, but the players, being less savvy--
after all it is their lack of savviness that has got them where they
are in the game--are tricked by the winners into believing that the
winners are what makes the game possible at all. They are a higher
order of persons. They are CREATORS!
We MUST not increase taxes on the rich because the rich CREATE the
jobs. How is it that only the rich can organize the tasks that benefit
everyone? Is it because we have allowed them to monopolize capital?
There is no question in my mind that many tasks are best performed by
the private sector employers, who are for the most part motivated by
"naked self interest." There are other tasks for which the profit
extracted from the operation is greater than the inefficiencies that
can sometimes result from removing the "naked self interest" motive.
Most people in the USA have been led to believe that this is very
seldom the case. Even President Obama seems to have drunk the Kool-
Aid. He says stuff like, the government can't create the jobs. Only
the private sector can do that. People blindly accept that, and it's
bull****. A good example of a service that is socialized rather than
privatized is Kirkwood Electric:
I'm going to reprint from their website.
From the Kirkwood Electric website:
"Kirkwood is the only municipality in the Greater St. Louis area that
owns and operates its own electric utility. For Kirkwood customers,
that means better service, local control, and more accountability.
Kirkwood’s City Council is the 'agency of jurisdiction,' which means
they are self-governing, and you have somebody local who sets the
rates and is accountable to you when you vote.
It also means that utility revenues stay in Kirkwood and help fund
essential City services for all Kirkwood citizens."

WHAT? No profits being siphoned off by owners? What are these
Kirkwoodians, Communists?
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