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"Let them eat cake". (B/M)illionare CEOs reactions to inflation

ygolo

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I have read about multiple CEOs (including Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk) making disparaging remarks around remote work.

Here's yet another:

Among Millennials, Zuckerberg by himself has a significant portion of the wealth of that generation. I don't agree with may people's characterization of these people as parasites or freeloaders, but to say that they are taking an outsided portion of the world's resources is pretty accurate.

I believe genocides and coups of the past, in France, Germany, Rwanda, and even the insurrection on Jan 6th in the US are symptoms of frustration directed towards I'll ends. They are examples of labor-type collapse of societies.

Out of touch comments like the one linked abound. There lower level executives and managers who make similar comments. Pundits on shows make similar comments.

I, for one, especially for people who do most of their work on the cloud, believe people can spend a lot less time commuting, and spending much more time with family.

My mom has been able to work remotely, and spend time with her granddaughter, and with me when I was sick. I was able to actually do work despite being to dizzy to drive.

Forcing people back to the office is taking the world of work backwards.

I understand that there are somethings that require a person being some particular place at some particular time. But if you spend your time writing documents and writing code, I don't feel like that qualifies.

If people's loyalties are shifting away from corporations and their teams towards family and friends, I believe it's actually a very healthy thing for society.

The scapegoating of remote work for incompetent management and greedy rent-seeking is I would say a sign to vote with your feet.
 

Maou

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Anyone who supports Biden is a Fascist.
 

Vendrah

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A relevant counterpoint to both the greedy CEO stereotype and the sociopathic boomer trope:
"He could have lowered the price on his products at any time and reduced the profits of the company while still making good money. For the most part Patagonia has become a status symbol for out door gear because of it's exorbitant price. Most of it is made off shore with cheap labor and materials."
 

ygolo

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"He could have lowered the price on his products at any time and reduced the profits of the company while still making good money. For the most part Patagonia has become a status symbol for out door gear because of it's exorbitant price. Most of it is made off shore with cheap labor and materials."
People can change their minds and their ways. At least we hope. People are in general flawed. Just hoping for movement in less harmful directions.

Besides, like the article says, this isn't "woke capitalism", just capitalism moving in more egalitarian directions. I was in search of a counterpoint to my own initial thoughts.
 

Totenkindly

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Out of touch comments like the one linked abound. There lower level executives and managers who make similar comments. Pundits on shows make similar comments.

I, for one, especially for people who do most of their work on the cloud, believe people can spend a lot less time commuting, and spending much more time with family.

My mom has been able to work remotely, and spend time with her granddaughter, and with me when I was sick. I was able to actually do work despite being to dizzy to drive.

Forcing people back to the office is taking the world of work backwards.

I understand that there are somethings that require a person being some particular place at some particular time. But if you spend your time writing documents and writing code, I don't feel like that qualifies.

If people's loyalties are shifting away from corporations and their teams towards family and friends, I believe it's actually a very healthy thing for society.

The scapegoating of remote work for incompetent management and greedy rent-seeking is I would say a sign to vote with your feet.
I agree with a lot of what you are saying here -- mostly what has been thrown out of whack is the real-estate space economy. Certain jobs can very easily work remote and the primary savings here involves (1) reduced travel times and (2) location costs. When people don't have to commute for hours a day, it gives them time to focus on other things of importance and allows for a better work/life balance. Not all jobs can be remote but COVID at least let it prove in real-time which ones are actually suitable. It also means people can do things like work at home while waiting for service guys to show up (plumber, electrician, home fixing, package delivery) rather than just not working at all. Doctor appointments are easily to fit into the day too.

Not everything is perfect with remote work. Even with my job working very well online, sometimes it was easier for certain tasks to just visit someone in their cube to discuss and looking at tangible prints, or to have a conference room meeting. It's a little more difficult to get that online, and you also have to make sure you communicate better versus just expecting to overhear conversations or having someone stop by in your cube, etc. I guess the final thing is mostly F2F contact. I miss office parties for birthdays, and getting to know new hires face to face, and getting more exercise because I had to actually walk around more, etc.

I've been working from home since March 2020 and am overall happy. Government had been mostly resistant to accepting telework and we had been stuck at 2 days a week, until COVID proved we could release software entirely remotely and do our jobs.

I have trouble having sympathy for Musk and others when they tear into telework.


Let's face it. I give the 40+ hours of my life a week, and I work hard at home even if it's remote. It makes it more endurable because I can get up to get a soda easily, use the bathroom as needed, answer an important phone call, play music, tossing lunch in the microwave, but I am working. It's actually common for people in my role to remote work more often but government had been resistant. (Our prior Commissioner under Trump was anti-telework and trying to take it away, but he was still bragging about using a Blackberry and didn't even understand Systems.) I work with some of the most hardest-working people I've met in my life but they don't also feel the need to be on call 24/7.

The thing is not everyone wants to be all-consumed by work and be a billionaire or entrepreneur. Some of us just want our fair pay, then we have other values in life that make life worth living. Also, some people just don't have personalities that allow for working insane hours or 80 hours a week without them falling to pieces eventually. Some of the things these guys impose on their work force are just ridiculous.
 
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ceecee

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I agree with a lot of what you are saying here -- mostly what has been thrown out of whack is the real-estate space economy. Certain jobs can very easily work remote and the primary savings here involves (1) reduced travel times and (2) location costs. When people don't have to commute for hours a day, it gives them time to focus on other things of importance and allows for a better work/life balance. Not all jobs can be remote but COVID at least let it prove in real-time which ones are actually suitable. It also means people can do things like work at home while waiting for service guys to show up (plumber, electrician, home fixing, package delivery) rather than just not working at all. Doctor appointments are easily to fit into the day too.

Not everything is perfect with remote work. Even with my job working very well online, sometimes it was easier for certain tasks to just visit someone in their cube to discuss and looking at tangible prints, or to have a conference room meeting. It's a little more difficult to get that online, and you also have to make sure you communicate better versus just expecting to overhear conversations or having someone stop by in your cube, etc. I guess the final thing is mostly F2F contact. I miss office parties for birthdays, and getting to know new hires face to face, and getting more exercise because I had to actually walk around more, etc.

I've been working from home since March 2020 and am overall happy. Government had been mostly resistant to accepting telework and we had been stuck at 2 days a week, until COVID proved we could release software entirely remotely and do our jobs.

I have trouble having sympathy for Musk and others when they tear into telework.


Let's face it. I give the 40+ hours of my life a week, and I work hard at home even if it's remote. It makes it more endurable because I can get up to get a soda easily, use the bathroom as needed, answer an important phone call, play music, tossing lunch in the microwave, but I am working. It's actually common for people in my role to remote work more often but government had been resistant. (Our prior Commissioner under Trump was anti-telework and trying to take it away, but he was still bragging about using a Blackberry and didn't even understand Systems.) I work with some of the most hardest-working people I've met in my life but they don't also feel the need to be on call 24/7.

The thing is not everyone wants to be all-consumed by work and be a billionaire or entrepreneur. Some of us just want our fair pay, then we have other values in life that make life worth living. Also, some people just don't have personalities that allow for working insane hours or 80 hours a week without them falling to pieces eventually. Some of the things these guys impose on their work force are just ridiculous.
I would say most of us aren't looking to become a billionaire or feel opening a business is the only option (instead of focusing on why there are so few options). I've worked remotely for some time. I like the flexibility but I work just as hard as anyone in an office. After finding out just how much the National Association of Realtors lobbying arm has to do with the return to the office bullshit, I'm much more inclined to dig in and push to continue working remotely. I understand the concern some have with the blurring of lines between work time and off time but that's often a boundaries issue just as much as an overreaching boss or company.
 

ygolo

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Another scapegoat CEOs uses for inflation is wage growth, which is ridiculous given the history.

 

Kephalos

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Poor people, people who earn their livelihood and people living on fixed incomes suffer the most under inflation. This is something economic populists have historically failed to understand, time and time again, to their own detriment, and for the detriment of the whole world. It is the poor, not the rich, who have the most to lose, the most to suffer from inflation Much much more in fact than anyone else, even than the middle classes pauperized by inflation.

Unlike richer people, who may have assets that to some extent protect their wealth from being eroded by ever-rising prices, or who can hold their wealth outside pula country suffering under an inflationist economic policy, people who work for a living suffer when real wages decline (even if nominal wages go up), or when the value of their savings in fixed-income (but not indexed to inflation such) financial assets are wiped out. There is no upside to high, unstable inflation, and, therefore, no upside either to economic policies that cause high, unstable inflation, nor is there any upside whatsoever to policies that make high, unstable inflation worse (e.g. price controls of any kind).

Economic populists, however, faithfully, fanatically attached to their destructive snake oil, never learn. This is part of the reason why it is an absolute necessity, on the one hand, to educate as many people as possible about the consequences of economic populism, so that it loses supoort from the population, and to some extent, economic populism not only becomes politically unpopular, but unthinkable, anathema. Ultimately, in the longest-run, that is the only way I can think of to make the world safe from economic demagoguery.

On the other hand, in the meantime, it is also necessary to strengthen legal, institutional, and constitutional contraints on economic populist policies that are already in place, and create new ones where there they do not currently exist. In this respect the biggest problem is how to stop and reverse the explosion in the use of executive orders as a means to conduct economic policy. This with the intention that, in any event, politicians who would otherwise enact electorally popular, but economically harmful policies will be deterred from considering to propose doing so in the first place -- let alone from actually enacting them. And also to deter voters who support economically destructive policies from electing politicians who support those policies.

The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. David Satter.
The hyperinflation began on January 2, 1992, after the abrupt freeing of prices, and it quickly divided the population into a minority of the very rich and a majority of the grindingly poor...Within three months, 99 percent of the money held by Russian citizens in savings accounts had disappeared. Money that had been saved for decades to buy an apartment or a car or to pay for a wedding or a decent funeral was lost, causing crises in the lives of millions of people...While millions of ordinary Russians were losing their savings, however, former Soviet government and party officials began to use their ties to officialdom to accumulate vast wealth.
Inflation could wreak vengeance on the world’s poor. Indermit Gill and Peter Nagle.
In advanced economies, low- and middle-income households tend to rely more heavily on wage income and transfer payments than wealthier households...Price inflation often outstrips growth in wages and transfers, while self-employment income and investment income may be more likely to keep pace with inflation. As such, inflation can reduce the incomes of poorer households relative to those of the richest. Among emerging market and developing economies, the picture is similar. In Brazil, for example, self-employment and investment income account for a larger share of income in high-income households than in low- and middle-income households. However, the very poorest households also rely on nonmonetary income.
Inflation and the Poor (2001). William Easterly and Stanley Fischer.
Using polling datafor 31,869 householdsin thirty-eight countries and allowing for country effects, we show that the poor are more likely than the rich to mention inflation a top national concern. This result survives several robustness checks. We also find direct measures of improvements in well-being of the poor -- the change in their share in national income, the percent decline in poverty, and the percent change in the real minimum wage -- to be negatively correlated with inflation in pooled cross-country samples.
The Inflation Crisis, And How To Resolve It (1959). Henry Hazlitt.
The German Hyperinflation, 1923. George J.W. Goodman.*
How It Happens: Talk about German People, 1914-1933. Pearl S. Buck.
Inflation had finished the process of moral decay which the war had started...Our times made us cynical. The pie was growing smaller and more people wanted to have pieces of the pie, and so there was nothing left from the ‘good neighbor’ atmosphere of former days. Everybody saw an enemy in everybody else.
 
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ygolo

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Poor people, people who earn their livelihood and people living on fixed incomes suffer the most under inflation. This is something economic populists have historically failed to understand, time and time again, to their own detriment, and for the detriment of the whole world. It is the poor, not the rich, who have the most to lose, the most to suffer from inflation Much much more in fact than anyone else, even than the middle classes pauperized by inflation.

Unlike richer people, who may have assets that to some extent protect their wealth from being eroded by ever-rising prices, or who can hold their wealth outside pula country suffering under an inflationist economic policy, people who work for a living suffer when real wages decline (even if nominal wages go up), or when the value of their savings in fixed-income (but not indexed to inflation such) financial assets are wiped out. There is no upside to high, unstable inflation, and, therefore, no upside either to economic policies that cause high, unstable inflation, nor is there any upside whatsoever to policies that make high, unstable inflation worse (e.g. price controls of any kind).

Economic populists, however, faithfully, fanatically attached to their destructive snake oil, never learn. This is part of the reason why it is an absolute necessity, on the one hand, to educate as many people as possible about the consequences of economic populism, so that it loses supoort from the population, and to some extent, economic populism not only becomes politically unpopular, but unthinkable, anathema. Ultimately, in the longest-run, that is the only way I can think of to make the world safe from economic demagoguery.

On the other hand, in the meantime, it is also necessary to strengthen legal, institutional, and constitutional contraints on economic populist policies that are already in place, and create new ones where there they do not currently exist. In this respect the biggest problem is how to stop and reverse the explosion in the use of executive orders as a means to conduct economic policy. This with the intention that, in any event, politicians who would otherwise enact electorally popular, but economically harmful policies will be deterred from considering to propose doing so in the first place -- let alone from actually enacting them. And also to deter voters who support economically destructive policies from electing politicians who support those policies.

The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. David Satter.

Inflation could wreak vengeance on the world’s poor. Indermit Gill and Peter Nagle.

Inflation and the Poor (2001). William Easterly and Stanley Fischer.

The Inflation Crisis, And How To Resolve It (1959). Henry Hazlitt.
The German Hyperinflation, 1923. George J.W. Goodman.*
How It Happens: Talk about German People, 1914-1933. Pearl S. Buck.
Economic populism is also a symptom of unsustainable inequity. The scapegoating happens in many forms. Disastrous travesty like the Rwandan genocide and Nazism have been precipitated by inequity like what we see right now globally. I fear what will happen if the global inequity lasts much longer.
 

ygolo

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I watched a couple of The Problem with John Stewart youtube videos that unfortunately just heightened my convictions on inflation.



I personally think trust busting, and allowing individual people to take risks is key. Corporations cannot take ridiculous profits when there's a lot of competition. Imagine if every tech-worker started a competing firm instead of working for Meta, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, and the big tech firms known for being horrible to its employees instead. Imagine the same thing for big pharma. Imagine even allowing ambitious workers of Wal-Mart, Sam's club, Costco, etc. also create tons of competition.
 

Indigo Rodent

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I think what we really need is bringing nazi social Darwinists to justice. All those people in power and wealth who want disabled or unneeded people to die or rot in poverty need to be charged for planning and conducting a genocide.


Giving Dolly Parton a no-strings $100M is great but could he maybe start with his own employees? smh
Reminds me of his ex-wife. It's always about giving to special prestige causes, never to people who are in need or to people off whose backs they built the empire.
 

ceecee

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I think what we really need is bringing nazi social Darwinists to justice. All those people in power and wealth who want disabled or unneeded people to die or rot in poverty need to be charged for planning and conducting a genocide.


Reminds me of his ex-wife. It's always about giving to special prestige causes, never to people who are in need or to people off whose backs they built the empire.
I'm as much of an eat the rich as any leftist out there but McKenzie Scott has given to causes no one ever hears of and big ones, very few are prestige causes. She's given $2B to 343 orgs in the past seven months alone. What Jeff Bezos is doing is philanthrocapitalism . What McKenzie Scott is doing is actual philanthropy.
 

ygolo

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Raising taxes on the rich and canceling debt for the poor seem like fairly straightforward deflationary fiscal policies that would make the pain go more towards the rich rather than the poor. We need reverse the bail-out style activities of 2008-2009.
 

ygolo

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This data again highlights how bad things already were before the souped up insanity of all the effects of the pandemic and subsequent inflation.

The gini coefficient measures inequality in various countries. You can watch the gap on the map till 2019. There's an issue on my browser right now that I can only visualize that data right now.

 
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ceecee

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Coriolis

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Raising taxes on the rich and canceling debt for the poor seem like fairly straightforward deflationary fiscal policies that would make the pain go more towards the rich rather than the poor. We need reverse the bail-out style activities of 2008-2009.
It mystifies me how so many people can be opposed to the notion that such burdens should be borne primarily by those who have the greatest means to do so. That is how healthy family life goes. It should not seem so foreign.
 
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