great idea: bad boss tax

I am liking this idea. Out of Minnesota comes this idea.
In Minnesota for example, because Wal-Mart doesn’t pay enough to its employee’s
for them to survive, they must turn to public assistance such as food stamps and the like.
In Minnesota alone, this public cost to support corporations, cost 92 million dollars.
So the corporation must report how many employees are on public assistance and
based on some rate, the corporation will be tax for the number of employee’s on public
assistance. This will encourage corporations to pay a living wage to employee’s.
now some may say, that this will cut employment but a corporation that does so, will pay
the price by losing customers.

Now some may claim that this will encourage companies to move overseas.
I say great because going to say Europe, will mean they have to pay even higher wages
and give more vacations to workers.

Kropotkin

Firstly, Wal-Mart and other retailers cannot merely move overseas. It is not a manufacturer.

Secondly, EVERY change in economics is SOLELY for the purpose of increasing the gap between the wealthy and the poor. The socialist empire is not built on altruism.

When you change anything like the tax rates or minimum wage, all you do is shift the numbers around ending up with the poor being relatively more poor and the wealthy being relatively more rich, simply because there are fewer of them. The poor are conned by the numbers. But the wealthy control the value of those numbers (the banks).

Why would wealthy people ever allow for any laws to change that caused them to be less wealthy?

Remember, these are laws that force these costs. It is not the companies fault that it costs this much… If you want to claim that it “supports” corporations, remember, people voted to do so.

Now some may say that it was falsely sold to the general populous as “Helping the Poor,” but no one really expects a progressive to tell the truth.

Yes, this is minimum wage, that is hidden in a different form. It will have the same results as minimum wage. It increases the costs to have employees.

Now some may say, the result will be, the people in charge of declaring the poverty line gain a bunch of power, that this is taking more power out of the workers hands and giving it to bureaucrats, who’s goals will be to remain in power, but that is usually the result of all progressive action anyway…

Who cares about the companies? I sure as fuck don’t. I care about the employees. I’m surprised you care so much for them Peter.

Now some may say but don’t the companies matter, because that is what makes an employee and employee, but, they fail to understand, progressive ideology must succeed, regardless of the costs to employees.

Some will mover overseas, yes, but Europe is not the only place outside of America. In those other places Americans are not employed, and the wealth that the workers create will be limited in its effects in America. But, I understand you are ok with the failure of America.

Now some will say, but China is a progressive country, one that cares for its employees, but few of those want to talk about the abysmal worker safety and environment.

This part is true.

Wouldn’t the efficacy or justice behind this law depend on the assumption that everybody who was getting the public assistance truly needed it? Imagine a fantasy world in which people who work at Wal-Mart are fully capable of paying their bills and getting by, but many of them go on food stamps anyway so they have more disposable income, and the State doesn’t bother correcting this because, having no profit motive, they have no reason to. In such a fantasy world, a law like this would amount to the State forcing employers to fund corruption. Moreover, the employer could pay a living wage all they wanted- in this fantasy world where the welfare system is corrupt, their employees would still collect food stamps, and the company would end up paying both a higher wage AND the penalty.
Even in our world where the welfare system isn’t corrupt, there’s not a direct connection between a wage being fair and needing public assistance. If Wal-Mart pays a wage enough for a person to support themselves, that same wage isn’t going to support a person and their three kids, or support that person while they are paying off loans, or support that person if he is only able to work part time. In order to avoid paying the penalty, Wal Mart would either have to pay some people more than others for the same work, or else pay everybody as though they had five kids.

Interesting point, as this would create a great incentive to have multiple kids. Though, this also creates a situation where people with more kids are less likely to be hired, as they are going to cost the most… Creating a natural bias against anyone with kids at all, because they are more likely to be accepted on such programs. It’ll also create more troubles for people with disabilities to get jobs, as they also gain help regularly. As “Blacks” are statistically more likely to be on programs, a bias against them will increase… But, for the most part healthy, white young men with no kids are never accepted, so a bias towards hiring them will increase.

Bad philosopher tax…

Who would be the bureaucrats in charge though… Seems like a power grab, and that’s about it… After all, nothing wrong with a bad philosopher, its not like philosophers do anything important. :wink:[tab]A joke.[1]


  1. /tab ↩︎

There are several points made and I hope I address them all.

First: the fact is there are not that many families having more than 3 kids. I was born in the 50’s and
my family and every other family had 5 kids, but not today.

Second: I deal with people on food stamps and WIC every single day and the vast majority of people
on those programs are the working poor including people who work at my store.
Why should taxpayers bailout billion dollar corporations like Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart doesn’t
pay its employee’s enough money for a family of three to survive? It means we the taxpayers have to
pick up the bill for Wal-Mart so Wal-Mart can make billions of dollars in profit. If Wal-Mart can make billions
of dollars in profit, it can pay its employees enough money to live on. Costco has shown how it is possible for
a company to pay its employees a living wage and still make a profit.

3: Someone mention how this tax would encourage families to have larger families?
I don’t see in any way, shape or form how this encourages a family to get larger or smaller.

4: Someone else mention a bureaucracy power grab. it seems to me we shouldn’t have to need to make laws
or create a bureaucracy to get corporations to treat people like human beings. The failure of capitalism
as Marx stated 150 years ago is capitalism treats its employee’s like a commodity to be used and if need be
discarded as the corporation see’s fit without regard to the employee.
It leads us to a deeper point which is this, it calls into question our society, our civilization, the very reason
for this society existence if we treat our citizens as disposable commodities. What then is the justification for
this society to exist, if we treat the members of this society like trash to be taken out?
What is the value of our society, or said another way, why should this society exist if it cannot treat
human beings with value and dignity? A society or civilization is judged by how it treats its citizens
and we in America should be judged harshly for our despicable treatment of its citizens.

5: I have been accused of being anti-American. Think of it, what is the criteria of being born American or French or
German or Mexican? You are born within that country’s borders, borders which are artificial lines drawn on a map.
For example, take Minnesota (where I was born) If I am born on one side of the border, I am American, on the other
side Canadian. Why? because of an artificial line that only exists in our minds. If Given birth three feet in one direction
and your Canadian, given birth three feet another direction and your American, yet there is no line, no demarcation
line between the two. I know I have been there is nothing in the landscape that suddenly changes that tells you that
you have traveled from one country to another. Same is true of states and cities, be born on one side of an
imaginary line and you are consider Californian and be born on the other side and you are a Nevadan.
Suddenly we are suppose to have pride in being born in California because of some imaginary line that
you can’t even see? To be born American is to be born within artificial lines that can easily be changed because
they are artificial. Today being born on one side of the line can just be as easily be American or Canadian
because the line can be drawn anywhere. Look to Europe, there you can be French or german depending on
a line that has been drawn and redrawn easily a dozen different times. Today that line says your german, tomorrow
that exact same place can be French and suddenly your nationality changes? Over the many years, I have
begun to rejected such artificial lines that decide I am American or Canadian or Californian, lines I can’t even see.
I have embraced a deeper vision which is I am a human being. Lines that are nothing more than accidents or artifical
do not have to define who I am. I embrace being human. My world view has grown from family, to the neighborhood
to city or state to country and now I embrace human beings. I hope to become enlighten enough or grow enough
to declare my self as a member of life and not just the accidental lines that create countries.
This shift has taken me many years. I am an American by an accidental line and that I cannot change but
I can overcome it and become something more, by saying I am a human being and that is what is truly important,
not being Californian or American but being part of the human race, that is what is important and soon (I hope)
I can overcome that bias and admit my family, my true family is life.

Kropotkin

Peter, I agree that a company shouldn’t be doing business if it can’t support it’s staff. But you’re shaking the most fundamental assumptions of the greedy, and they’re going to say anything they can to try and make it seem absurd.

In philosophy, if someone comes out and says, “i’m an objectivist”, or “I’m a subjectivist”, or “I"m a dualist” or “I’m a monist”, then we just smile and nod and recognize that they only got one side of the debate and don’t understand that both sides have virtues and faults. In economics, for whatever reason, people just take whichever theory they’re in love with and run with it like it’s the holy bible, or like they can tell the future. Some people believe that the almighty dollar should trump the rule of law. I don’t think we need people like that.

Yes, I think we are all aware that you are a good lil true hearted Globzi; “small order = evil, world order = good”.

James, when you make comments like this, it makes wonder if you have actually ever read a history book?

The path of humans has been a long and rocky one but the general trend has been clear since the beginning.
We have traveled from families to small tribes to larger tribes to small cities to larger cities to cities states
to states to vast empires involving millions of people. The path has gone from small group of people to large
group to millions of people. The path has involved increased complexity at every step of the way and with
this increased complexity comes a ever larger and larger number of people needed to keep the system going.
This ever increasing complexity has been happening for thousands of years and will keep going to the point
of where we are one. Simple as that. There will not be a separation that has existed such as
I live in say, Rockford and you can say you live in, Deerfield. We self identify with larger and larger
groups as time has gone on. When we self identify, we say Americans, then by state, Californians,
we don’t self identify by our little village anymore. Soon we will no longer self identify as Californians or
any other state, but by country, Americans. Then at some point after that, we will self identify as
a large block say, north Americans or Europeans and then at some point we will self identify as
as a larger block and that block will be human and then in some future point, we will identify
as life. At that point, I believe we will have reached the end but this is the future because this
has been the past. Increased complexity leads us to self identify with a larger and larger group.
So you say, good or bad, I say you are thinking too small. there is no good and evil. There is just us.

Kropotkin

The difference is that I read with my eyes open.

Yeah, greater and greater lusting carnage with a clear sight of the end of the journey.

Yeah, to hell with the individual, if you are not a part of the collective, you shouldn’t exist.
Yeah, I got that point.

Yeah…
But is “us” killing me or helping me?

Oh, sorry, I forgot, there is no “me”, just the collective, ever sacred, ever lasting, as long as the individual slaves and dies properly for its reign. [size=150]Sieg heil!!! Technology Save the Emperor !!![/size]

PK, you didn’t address the points I made:

1.) The proposed law only makes sense if the welfare system isn't corrupt, and the people on it actually need it. 

2.) There is no wage Wal Mart can pay that will guarantee it's employees don't need welfare-  one employee might have three kids and student loans, another employee might still be living with their family. It makes no sense to penalize Wal-Mart for the differing life circumstances of it's employees.  

And a new couple points:

3.) There's already a minimum wage law. What's the point in even having a minimum wage if you're going to 'penalize' employers who are paying that wage?  This law just seems like a way of sneaking in a higher minimum wage in a state where it wouldn't have enough votes to pass if you did it straight. 

 4.) It makes no sense to charge Wal Mart for the costs of welfare when the Gov't is deciding what the costs of welfare are, and plenty of people think those costs are too high as it is.  Even if the system isn't corrupt, having a law that just passes the cost on to employers creates a disincentive for the State to reduce the cost of the program.  You'd essentially be writing the State a blank check- if they want more tax revenues, they just have to find a way to say Welfare costs went up, and businesses would be obligated to pay up, no legislation required.   If you want to raise taxes on corporations to pay for welfare, then propose a bill to raise taxes on corporations to pay for welfare.

Welfare is a different system then one I am talking about. People who
are the working poor are not on welfare, they are on food stamps and WIC and other
such programs designed to get them to some basic level of being able to afford the basics.

The corporations pay so little that people cannot afford even the basic necessities, like
food and shelter, those are the ones I am referring to, not welfare.

As for a pay wage that guarantees a family won’t be on food stamps,
and what in the universe is guaranteed? Nothing, but paying higher wages will
help a family hopefully avoid food stamps. It has been my vast experience
people who need this help want to avoid being on it as much as possible.
It is a pride thing. People take pride in being able to support themselves without help.
let us try to make that happen.

Yes there is a minimum wage and it is far, far too low. When I started my current job 7 years ago,
I was paid 8.65 an hour and we never got over 30 hours a week, so my weekly paychecks were usually,
under 250 and over a month that meant I usually got give or take, around 1000 a month and it was usually less.
Here in the bay area, 1000 a month can’t even rent a studio, little less a one bedroom and that doesn’t include
all the basics, which are you know food.

If Wal-Mart pays so little as to force people to go on food stamps, which then cost the taxpayers millions,
in California I heard it was over 200 million dollars and that is just Wal-Mart. think of all the companies that
pay bare minimum forcing their employees to food stamps. If a company uses water or electricity from the state,
the company is required to pay for that, now why shouldn’t a company pay for employees forced to use governmental
services because the company won’t pay a fair wage. Btw in the bay area, for a family of 4, it has
been calculated that to stay above the bare minimum requires an income of over 35,000 year.
poverty level is I think 12,000 but in the bay area, it is really 16,000 because costs are so high here.
the average wage in the United states as dictated by the census bureau is around 17,000 plus some change.
so around the bay area if you get the average national wage, you are barely above the poverty level.
so the minimum wage really doesn’t even cover anything here, to survive in the bay area, 12.00 bucks
an hour still keeps you barely above water.

( a studio in my area assuming you can find one is around 1,200 a month, a one bedroom is bottom line, 1,500
you might be able to find a two bedroom for under 2,000 but I seriously doubt it.)

Kropotkin

So you are saying that no one should give a job to people on food stamps.

… and fire the ones already employed.

Sounds like a plan.

… to a very serious end.

If you can’t figure out what I am saying, I suggest the problem lies with you because I haven’t
been that subtle.

Kropotkin

We know what you were saying. The communication seems to be the reverse denial, you not seeing what we are saying and thus not addressing the points we are making. Or perhaps seeing the points, but being unable to address them in hopes that they don’t really exist.

James S Saint: So you are saying that no one should give a job to people on food stamps.

… and fire the ones already employed.

Sounds like a plan.

… to a very serious end.

K: thus leading us back to a point I made elsewhere, that the greatest danger we face is corporate
tyranny. You could carry this even further by a corporation can decide to fire anyone with children
because children cost money and people might miss work dealing with the children, so never hire anyone with
children. That is why a corporation is a danger to all of us and without protections, we can be
fired for literally anything including just because, why not fire them? We must act to protect workers
before corporations can fire anyone, at any time, for anything. Right to work laws are really just the right
to fire workers law. corporations treating workers like commodities is exactly what Marx wrote about
all those years ago and he has been proven right and the solution he suggested is more and more like
the only solution available to us to protect us from tyranny of all types.

Kropotkin

But rather than decreasing their incentive to fire or not hire, you are proposing to increase it. You are in fact, giving them a scapegoat, “now we have to let you go because they are charging us too much tax”.

Corporations love new laws, because it gives them excuses for not being blamed. New laws allows them to not need to worry about competition, because the laws apply to their competition as well. So they don’t have to be kind hearted at all because the law doesn’t allow them to be and stay in business.

It is a game being played on the masses by the two hands of “government and corporation” with you trapped in between, neither of which could care less about the masses.

The long term intent is to get rid of the masses. "If you can’t afford to do it with machines (which are far more loyal to us), don’t do it. And we will make it too expensive to do it any other way for you."

And PK, note that the tax money is going between the corporation and the government, NOT to the person on food stamps. The person on food stamps ends up with even less incentive to work because prices will increase more than any remuneration in food stamps. They work the same or more, but get less for it. It is a con game against the masses to make them entirely dependent upon the government, which ends up being dependent upon machines and no longer needs the masses. And then guess what happens to he masses. "Over population is costing us too much!!"