Tyndmyr wrote:That's not how sampling works.
It most certainly is, in this case, because no one is claiming that the salaries of the S&P500 CEOs = the average of all other CEOs. You are the one who has decided that unless every CEO is paid millions, CEO pay is not a real issue.
The fact that workers are not spread evenly between CEOs is trivial and unrelated. It is not a point in it's favor, it merely demonstrates the bias.
No, given that we're discussing the difference between what front-line workers are paid and what the CEO of the company is paid, the number of people working in companies that express this dynamic is very much at issue. When we're discussing inequality, the status of the CEOs where people actually work matters.
The total number of CEOs is significantly larger. I do not believe that you simply are unaware of this. Even if you restrict it to publicly traded, that's about 19,000 stocks in total, US only*. 1500 would be an excellent sample size for that quantity if it was distributed randomly. Taking the top 1500, not even a little valid.
It's perfectly valid for the way I am using the information. You want to cram your statistical average with the "CEOs" of primary schools and local governments. That is a dishonest way to avoid talking about CEO pay.
This was brought up in the context of suggesting a band of salaries according to which the CEO could not make more than 100 times the lowest-paid employee. For a policy like that, there is no necessity that all
CEOs make millions. Your woebegone blue-collar state government CEOs (and, just to reiterate, WTF?) would simply not be affected.
I, bluntly, am not a CEO, and even the average CEO wage is more than I make. I'm hardly poor, but 150kish is probably more than most of us make. However, this is a reference to, again, the curious tendency to only worry about inequality within certain bands. Ie, those who make more than the speaker, usually. OBVIOUSLY, that's too much money. But there's a lack of concern about people making far, far less money overseas. Why? Where is the line, and why does it exist? What methodology are we using here, and why is it valid?
What is morality? Does the universe have a beginning? Does the tree make a sound?
What concerns people about CEO pay, and the reason you get more concern about that than you do about, say, Facebook billionaires, is that to many people, it does not seem as if the CEOs are doing much for their millions and millions and millions of dollars. And those CEOs, in many cases, feel free to pay poverty wages to thousands of their front-line employees, lending to fiascos like Walmart's $6.2 billion of taxer payer money for food stamps and other welfare for their employees
. So the notions people have of basic fairness get engaged.
Radical inequality within a field is frequent, particularly at the very high end. The very top sports stars command an impressive salary compared to average, likewise the very top movie stars make a stunning wage, while the idea of the starving actor waiting tables unable to get a gig is something of a steriotype.
What do all these fields have in common? They have comparatively few openings. Competition is brutal. Therefore, being merely average in such a field is simply not good enough. Such fields are playing with only a small chunk of the bell curve. See also, CEOs.
Right, and can you show any evidence that this brutal competition has in fact led to better, smarter, more effective CEOs? Or that these folks are in any way an elite, or doing a job the average blue-collar worker could not?
Also, implying that I am arguing out of emotion is a touch rude. Any dislike conveyed is not due to the position you are taking, but the way in which you are taking it, and the apparent dishonesty of your arguments.
Consider it a compliment to your intelligence that I attribute your failure to understand the argument and the evidence to emotion.
Were you not emotional, you would have picked up on the fact that I didn't bring up CEO pay, came down against pegging worker income to CEO pay, and in fact have said nothing more definite than that some CEOs are making a lot of money and that it is "hard to see" the value justifying it. This is a very gentle, "let's consider" non-argument sort of a thing to say, and it is hard for me to see how you can have constructed it into a call for class warfare, sans emotion.
It is not a matter of stupidity, per se(intelligence is a distribution, of course)...it is a matter of structuring financial benefits so as to overwelm other incentives. You will have stupidity either way, in roughly the same degree, discounting second order effects. However, if a person makes $20k/yr for doing nothing, but makes comparatively little more for giving up a large degree of time, having to pay for child care, having to maintain transportation, etc, they may decide that the costs simply outweight the benefits, and cease working. As finances are the dominant reason for employment, any significant change to this would significantly alter the employment landscape.
This will affect society negatively in a number of ways, some of which are not easily undone. If your society has most of it's poor simply stop working for a number of years, any skills or relevant work experience they possess will atrophy, and if they do decide to return to work, they will be further disadvantaged, even compared to their initially poor position.
You are arguing that it is important for your long-term prosperity to work and gain skills. I repeat my question: Are you saying that America's workforce is not smart enough to come to the conclusion you just did about the value of work?
You just tried to defend it by saying "it's not perfect". Nobody demanded perfection. However, you did make claims like "This may seem like feel-goodism, but in fact it's supported by data:", while citing things that were not, actually basic income at all. . . . You just brought crappy, irrelevant data is all. Thus, your idea remains unsupported by actual evidence.
Ah, but here is your error, because I didn't claim they were a basic income. Let's look at the quote in context:
Many of our social problems -- a lot of the crime, some of the mental illness, a lot of the failures of the educational system, a lot of the substance abuse -- can be traced back to unstable homes and poor upbringing. To address this, we direct a lot of aid at children (who are "deserving") without acknowledging the basic reality that the children will not prosper without stable homes, and you do not have stable homes without stable parents.
This may seem like feel-goodism, but in fact it's supported by data . . .
The examples that follow illustrate that households which get cash transfers from the state have more children get better grades, score higher on IQ tests, graduate from college, etc.
I didn't call those programs a "basic income." What I said was that the measured effects of these unconditional cash transfers suggests that it is not merely feel-goodism to suggest that households with more money due to cash transfers might lead to other social benefits.
If you want to make the claim that one program of unconditional cash transfer is going to have radically different effects than another program of unconditional cash transfer, feel free to make that argument.
Essentially, and I'm sad to say this is something of a pattern with you, you did a quick, sloppy read, and based on your misreading of the argument, decided the evidence was poor. Unfortunately, you got it completely wrong.
You have given a great number of generalities.
It's always funny when someone who posted one link to one Koch-funded think tank's screed accuses the person offering source after source of speaking in generalities.
You have not laid out anything like a plan in significant detail. In particular, you have skimmed over cost, instead focusing on grand, poorly supported benefits, with no attempt at a comparison to the current system.
If you can't multiply $10k by the US population, I don't think that's my problem.
Do your own homework, please.
If you're buying x for everyone, instead of only a few people, it's going to cost more. Maybe not proportionately more, but still more. This is a pretty basic assumption. Marginal costs cannot be assumed to be negative.
Not necessarily. Imagine a program to provide fluoride to poor families only. First you need a registry of the indigent. Then you verify their incomes so no one is cheating you. Then you ship the fluoride tabs to the eligible houses. Then you pay a fleet of vans to distribute the tabs to qualifying homeless people.
Or, you could simply put the fluoride in the water and be done with it. That's going to be cheaper.
A basic income of $10k would not raise individuals above the poverty level by itself. If you're going to cut health care, current means tested aid, and so forth, someone at the low end of the scale could end up significantly worse off. Someone on the high end, well, they weren't getting means tested aid anyway. So, from an income equality perspective, I can't imagine why you'd want that.
No one said it would replace every government program. In particular, I said nothing about healthcare. The goal in terms of simplicity would be to set it high enough that it could replace things like unemployment insurance and Social Security. $10k hits the lower end of those kinds of payments. Of course, $15k would be better!
In any case, the necessary taxes required to raise the 3.188T yearly would, if used as a straight income tax boost to EVERY level, and was not reduced at all by any deductions or other means, require a 23.8% increase. This is highly optimistic, as in the real world, deductions, etc exist. So, it'd probably need to be way higher. And if you want to only tax the rich, and thus, only increase the higher brackets, you'd need to run the numbers higher still.
Look, you can multiply!
I probably would not immediately cut the kids a check from the day they pop, so cut about 25% of the cost there. No more Social Security, food stamps, etc; that'd save about $1.5 trillion. What's left is not really all that much.
So, really, you're talking about a drastic and sudden change to the entire US economy, and a vast increase in taxation and related costs.
No one said anything about "sudden." Obviously, a basic income would be a drastic change. It doesn't follow that such a change would be a bad thing. A libertarian in particular should see the potential opportunity to eliminate entire government departments and huge swathes of the government bureaucracy. Social Security administration: no, just a check. Public housing: no, a check. Food stamps, disability insurance, unemployment insurance: a check, a check, a check.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"