Fun with Twitter: Fellow socialists come to Bernie Sanders’ aid

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), an an admitted socialist tweeted about unequal wealth distribution: a notion I find sinister.  The complaint rests on a presumption that wealth is distributed, and not earned.  It’s almost as though Sanders and other like-minded socialists believe everyone is entitled to an equal share, more or less, of the economic pie regardless of their effort, training, education, experience, or motivation.

Not surprisingly, at least one of his ideological minions spouted the idea that work and wealth are not connected.  It’s a sad state of affairs when capitalism is looked upon with disdain.

https://twitter.com/JulianLives/status/306871721334550528

Comments

  1. Liberals foster stupidity. If the burger flipper makes as much money as the doctor and lawyer, then what incentive is their to put in the hard, rigorous intellectual work required to become a doctor or lawyer? None!

    Instead of studying for that test, let’s get drunk and don our grammies underwear (because it’s totally normal, ya know), comforting ourselves with the reality that no matter how poorly I do, I’m gonna end up in the same lot in life as the Dean of the school! Hallelujah!

    Liberals are a bane on the existence of men.

  2. Liberals are just plain ignorant of basic economics.

  3. John,

    “Not surprisingly, at least one of his ideological minions spouted the idea that work and wealth are not connected. It’s a sad state of affairs when capitalism is looked upon with disdain.”

    Work and wealth not being connected is one of the core ideas of capitalism.
    Capitalism is based on private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, not based on working.

  4. John,

    “And goods and services are produced out of thin air…with no work?”

    One’s wealth, other’s work.

    It seems you get too literal to avoid the heart of the comment

  5. John,

    “How do you get others to work for you?”
    By coertion, scam, trade and so on.

    “Where did the wealth come from to begin with?”
    It was already there (natural resources), others work, one’s work, et cetera, et cetera…

    I don’t get the point of your questions.
    For the pure capitalist the work is a secondary issue (“Let your money work for you”).

    • You are equivocating capitalism and investments. I think its pretty clear that living in Spain/Europe, you don’t have a clear interpretation and example of capitalism.

  6. John,

    “You are equivocating capitalism and investments.”

    capital
    2 [mass noun] wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available for a purpose such as starting a company or investing:

    “you don’t have a clear interpretation and example of capitalism.”

    It seems you are the one who confuses capital-ism and work.

  7. Isu,

    Could it be that you are confusing capital with capitalism. Maybe you don’t understand that capital has to come from somewhere. Usually, it comes from work. Either physical work, or intellectual work. But capital does not just exist out in the ether somewhere. The only people who have amassed vast amounts of wealth without working are either thieves (although you could argue that theft is work, just not honest work), or by virtue of a government position, which allows them access to other peoples money.

  8. Craig,

    There is no confusion there. Capital is the core of capitalism.
    You are the ones confusing capitalism with workism. That is delusional.

  9. Isu,

    The word capital is indeed the root of the word capitalism. However, the capital does not appear magically from nowhere. The only way to acquire capital is through some type of work. (Obviously, it is possible to inherit capital, but that is still the result of someones work) The fact that you think it is possible to separate capital from work, and that you think there is such a thing as workism, leads me to suspect that the delusion is on your side of things.

    Maybe it would help if you addressed the point, rather than called names. For example where do you think capital comes from? How does one acquire capital without work? Do you think capital(ism) is a zero sum game? Given your cultural differences, it’s difficult to assume that you have the same understanding of terms as someone from the US.

  10. Craig,

    I said: “One’s wealth, other’s work”, therefore it is clear that I’m not making a total separation between capitalism and work as you pretend.
    Hard working can result in making other one rich.

    In the capitalist system the core asset for economic profit is the capital. Work is secondary.

  11. Isu,

    Your response indicates that you still don’t quite understand the relationship between work and wealth. Wealth (or capital) does not magically appear for people. Capital is always the result of work. It may be physical or mental work, but there is no other legal/ethical way to acquire capital.

    I will say that you are correct in a limited way. If I work for someone else, that person does earn income based on my work. While I earn money for my work as well. Where you seem to miss the point, is that that person had to do something in order to have the money. The money to pay employees does not grow on trees, it comes as a result of work on the part of the owner which allowed them to reach the point of hiring employees.

    You make the pronouncement that capital is more important than work, yet provide nothing beside your assertion to support your opinion. Perhaps it would be helpful if you would do a couple of things. First, don’t assume that just making a statement carries any weight. Second, answer questions when people ask them. It is difficult to respond to you when you don’t provide any basis for your opinions, and don’t answer questions when asked.

    • Craig,

      I think I may have figured out where the disconnect is. Isu and others seem to disregard any prior work done by someone where they created their capital. So the restaurant owner for example worked his tail off to be able to get the money and experience needed to start a restaurant. Now though, he sits at home while others work for him. His initial labor investment is disregarded and now he “earns off the backs of others”.

      The same is said of investors and heads of corporations. The years, and many times decades of long hours at the office, moving to different states, 4 years + of education and research into business no longer counts now that he sits in an office and earns from investments his employees make.

      In both cases the owners had many years of labor, intellectual and physical that doesn’t count to people who criticise.

  12. Craig,

    “First, don’t assume that just making a statement carries any weight.”

    Apply your point to all your statements.

  13. Isu,
    I deeply appreciate your well thought out and supported rebuttal of my position and your detailed answers to my questions, well done sir.

    John,
    I completely agree. While Bill Gates certainly makes money from the work of others, without his own hard work, he wouldn’t be in the position to do so. Capital without work is impossible.

  14. John,

    The problem is that you are taking particular cases of results from working as the whole. That’s a fallacy.

    Craig said:
    “If I work for someone else, that person does earn income based on my work. While I earn money for my work as well.”

    That isn’t necessary true in a capitalist system. For example, slaves didn’t earn money for they job.

    That statement is not criticised.
    The critique comes when that person’s income due to my work is highly disproportional compared to mine. That is the real critique you are misleading into strawmans.

    • Isu

      No, at some point in time someone had to work in order to gain money, it never materialized in from of them, so ot doesn’t matter if those are just two examples, it works the same way no matter what you choose for examples.

      And slavery is not a component of capitalism. There might be a case where someone used slaves while existing in a capitalist society, but it is not a part of capitalism as an economic system.

  15. John,

    “No, at some point in time someone had to work in order to gain money, it never materialized in from of them, so ot doesn’t matter if those are just two examples, it works the same way no matter what you choose for examples.”

    But it doesn’t have to be the work from the one who uses the capital.
    You go on missing the critique.

    “And slavery is not a component of capitalism. There might be a case where someone used slaves while existing in a capitalist society, but it is not a part of capitalism as an economic system.”

    But it’s a clear sample that wealth isn’t necessarily earn from work in a capitalist system and therefore a clear sample against your point. Earning from work is secondary in a capitalist system, just as I said.

  16. John,

    “People rob banks within capitalist societies, it doesn’t mean it is part of the fabric of capitalism. And neither is slavery.”

    And neither pay for your work, as slavery demonstrates.

  17. Isu,
    While you cut and pasted my comment, I don’t think you actually read it. Had you actually read it you wouldn’t have responded the way you did. Instead, your big example of how bad capitalism is, the best you could apparently come up with, is slavery. Where do I start? First, slavery is not an essential element of capitalism. Second, slavery exists(ed) in other types of economic systems. Third, I’ve seen some pretty convincing arguments that slavery in the U.S. actually was detrimental to healthy economic development in the south. Fourth, slavery is illegal in the U.S. and is currently only practiced in various African/Muslim countries. Not exactly hotbeds of capitalism.

    As far as your “critique” goes. Yes capitalist economies have income disparities. Guess what so do socialist countries. How about the USSR, no income disparities there. Again, your “critique” doesn’t really pass muster.

    But, for the sake of argument, lets pretend it’s serious. Isn’t it, to a great degree a matter of what someone brings to the table. Isn’t about risk/reward. An entrepreneur invests time, and money into opening a business. In most cases this involves borrowing money for start up costs or making sacrifices in order to save start up money. It also, usually, involves a much greater time commitment than the 40 hours which is considered normal in the U.S. It involves forgoing vacations, and making other sacrifices. After all of this, if the business is successful enough, it becomes time to hire employees. At this point the employees have invested absolutely nothing in the creation of the business. They show up, put in their time, and go home. They don’t have to worry about making payroll, or dealing with withholding taxes, or government regulations. The employees have no responsibilities other than to do their work. Now, having said that, in many cases an employee makes such a significant contribution to the success of the business that they get more responsibility and more compensation. Are you seriously saying that the company owner is not entitled to a greater percentage than an employee? The only straw man here is your suggestion that slavery is representative of capitalism.

    You have continued to avoid answering my questions, which leads me to question how much you actually understand about capitalism.

    Both John and I have been very clear, there is no capital without work. It may be work done by someone’s ancestor, but this doesn’t change the fact that work is what is the foundation. Even in the case of a bank robber, there is still some degree of “work” involved. It’s not legal or ethical, but it’s work nonetheless.

    Once again, I’m going to ask that you answer the questions posed to you. If you won’t it will become increasingly hard to take you seriously.

  18. Not to specifically bash Spain, but how long can one of the 4 worst economies in Europe continue to provide “free” health care?

  19. Craig.

    It seems you are using a red herring to distract the real discussed points.
    I said that getting paid for your work is not inherent in capitalism. You divert the question to talk about slavery inherency.
    I mentioned a critique about highly disproportionality. You divert the question to talk about mere disparity.

  20. Isu,

    First, why should I continue if you refuse to answer some basic questions?
    Second, I know what you said, and I demonstrated that you were wrong. John and I also debunked your point about slavery being an integral part of capitalism. Maybe for you this constitutes as red herring, for the rest of us it means we provided evidence to dispute your “point”. Now, you could counter that evidence, or you can try to dismiss it. The problem with the second option is that it causes to to lose credibility.
    Third, I pointed out that some degree of income disparity is normal and why. I further pointed out that income disparity is not limited to capitalist systems. So, far you’ve done nothing to address my responses, you’ve just restated your point. But, if I was to grant your point for the sake of argument, you still have no basis to determine at what point “income disparity” is wrong. Remember, simply asserting something does not make it true.

    In conclusion, if you’d be so kind as to answer my questions and provide something besides dodges to counter my responses to your opinions, I’d be thrilled to keep this going. If, you’re just going to ignore questions, and not provide and sort of meaningful responses, then I’ll just chalk this up to experience and move on. There is no reason for me to continue to deal with your comments if you won’t extend the basic common courtesy of answering questions.

  21. Craig,

    Firstly, your questions are not related with my speech. It is reasonable to not answering captious questions.
    Seconly, I didn’t say that slavery was an integral part of capitalism. So your “debuking” is a patent lie and a strawman fallacy.
    Thirly, I didn’t make a complain about some degree of income disparity, but about a high disparity. You are making a strawman fallacy changing my speech at your convenience.

    In conclusion, you are making a strawman instead of “dealing with my comments”.

  22. Isu,

    It appears that your understanding of this medium is that you make unchallenged speeches, and that anything questions intended to attempt to understand your position are “captious”. Well, it’s a plan, but it certainly is not much for a conversation.

    Sorry for misunderstanding your point. I think my problem started when you made an assertion that was false. “That isn’t necessary true in a capitalist system. For example, slaves didn’t earn money for they job.” The fact that your “support”, the absolute best example you could come up with to try to support your “point”, is to invoke slavery. So it is completely reasonable to point out your misunderstanding. If slavery is the best you have, then your point and example fail completely. Again, if you would answer questions and deal with things rather than simply call names or ignore them, it would be a much more productive conversation.

    Yes, you did say a “high” degree of income disparity. So what. You have offered nothing to suggest that capitalism is the only system with a high degree of income disparity. You have offered nothing to suggest why a “high” degree of income disparity is objectively a bad thing. You have offered nothing that explains the arbitrariness of the term “high”. So, yes, I pointed out the income disparity is a reasonable healthy part of a capitalist system. I pointed out that communism also has a high degree of income disparity. Haiti, has a pretty low degree of income disparity, but I don’t think you’ll be moving there any time soon.

    This goes back to you other recent comment, where you seem to think that this medium is a series of speeches by you, and that any challenge to your speech is inappropriate. It is really helpful for you to answer questions so that people can understand your points. Obviously this is exacerbated by the language barrier in this case. I would hope that you would want people to understand you and what you are trying to say, but unless you are willing to engage in a dialogue that is very difficult.

    If you’d prefer not to do that, just say so.

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