TED Conversations

Anon Ymous

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Restructured Economy

Restructure the economy to have an earnings cap. Yes an earnings cap. As one meet success and money, they’re sense of self worth becomes proportionally inflated (not all, but an overwhelming majority). As such, they justify terrible things, and therefore do terrible things.

There are plenty of studies showing less competitive markets actually have people doing greater innovations for the greater good. Communism failed ( no I’m not a communist, just someone throwing some ideas out there) due to the fact it failed to take into account human psychology. But I believe only a system truly based on the greater good stands a chance to last. People should still be paid accordingly for the jobs they do, and have as many freedoms as possible under the governing system. People should be allowed to disagree, speak their minds, and choose what type of life they want to live.

The true issue is the people at the top with inflated senses of self worth overpaying themselves simply because they can. Excess money that would have gone to over inflated bonuses, salaries, etc. should not just go back into the business but literally be forced to go into social programs, charities, sustainable energy and food research/resources.

Our true enemy is ourselves. That being said we need to prepare against ourselves. I have seen what success will do even to good men, and what good men will do with success… its not good. Not just in the sense of what we do to our environment, each other etc. but our very nature. We have animal instincts, and capitalism appeals to our animal survival instincts in a tragically primal way. Simply put, we have outgrown our own evolution.

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    Sep 2 2011: We need to limit or completely block some kind of industrial activities, by taxing them more than they could even make profit. We need to policies human activity according to basic morality. As you say, capitalism appeals to animal instinct; now we need to choose, as a specie, if we want to remain lesser animals driven by our greed, anger and fear or to become truly civilized and allow only what is good to be profitable and not what is not good, as a whole.

    Companies making nuclear arsenal, or fireguns need to disappear, armies and banks must go. We need to switch the economical system upside down.

    Humanity is entering the 21th century, we need to take our responsibilities now, are we going to grow up into adulthood or do we keep playing childish.



    ~Cuz I've got one hand in my pocket
    ~And the other one is giving the peace sign

    =)
  • Sep 9 2011: I agree with salary caps however I do not agree with taxing the rich even more. If we were simply to lower the coorperate tax to say 9% then more people would build busnesses here thereby creating a wealth of jobs that we desperately need. Any monies over the salary cap should go to social service programs so that we might strengthen our communities.
  • Aug 31 2011: You idea is somewhat the opposite of the one I posted on TED conversations recently. I am in favour of a "salary cap" in as much as the top earners must take the rest of their team along for the ride. I could live with a world in which one person makes 100 times as much as another, but thousands or millions of times as much is too much to bear. I invite you to look at my conversation as well, there may be some ideas that apply to your idea also.
  • Aug 31 2011: This sounds almost exactly like another idea posted about a week or two ago about wage caps.

    "But I believe only a system truly based on the greater good stands a chance to last."

    When it comes to how people should be compensated, It does not matter what you believe but what the system can afford to withstand.

    If a company is so profitable that it can afford to pay its leader a large salary, why limit the pay? If the company is not profitable, then it will not remain in business for long. If there is theft then there are criminal consequences and a wage cap is not needed.

    "There are plenty of studies showing less competitive markets actually have people doing greater innovations for the greater good."

    Name a market so I can research this topic. Maybe that market had less restrictions or regulations on industries allowing for more profitable innovative outputs.
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    Aug 30 2011: It shouldn't be relative from the highest tier to the lowest. As for people being paid for what they do, I suppose a better way to put it would be "to a point". Factory workers should still makes less than managers, etc. But think of the implications a salary cap would have, the people who are most productive should still be paid most, but there's no sense in people taking home 100M a year for tanking a company just because they can.

    If someone is @ the salary cap are they going to take a position in another company that they know much less about if there's no pay hike? Or would people stick to fields they feel passionate about as the draw is no longer more money? There are plenty of people who do incredibly productive things for free because they actually care about the field.

    This would also level some power structure that's eventually going to lead to our downfall. If officials, ceo's, politicians can't be bought out, corruption takes a hit. If we know human beings aren't ideal, then set up a system where it forces them to be ideal. Systems don't fail people do, if that's the case make a system where people aren't allowed to fail, and if they do it's so transparent they are caught immediately.

    If this were coupled with a shift in popular culture mentality away from greed and the ego, to the truly greater good, perhaps in time would could get people to act on better morals.

    An ever growing economy is impossible, sooner or later we'll strain the finite resources we have, and things will get ugly. Knowing full well what is currently motivating humans, how can we change our value system so they are motivated for something more sustainable. We only want insane amounts of money because we know we can get it as some people out there already do. Think of the psychological shift taking that possibility away across the board (even the highest tiers of influence). In short, if human beings aren't ideal then teach them to be better by example.
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    Aug 30 2011: so there should be a maximum income, and people should still be paid accordingly for the jobs they do.

    question: how is that possible? suppose there is a person who has a marginal productivity of USD 5M a year. there is another person, who have a marginal productivity USD 50000 a year. how can we introduce a cap of, say, 1M, and still have income proportional to the contribution? pay 1M to the first guy, and 10000 to the second?

    now suppose the smart guy reads a book, and becomes even smarter. now his productivity is 6M. so then he will get 1M, and the other guy gets 8300?
  • Aug 30 2011: In theory communism is the ideal state, unfortunately human beings are not ideal. As a fellow Canadian I would support the issue of wage caps, I think what we need is less tax credits on the wealthy though.
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      Aug 30 2011: Non-ideal humans are not the only problems Communism has. Marx's labour theory of value is so flawed that it is beyond repair. The Communist ideal depends on a Hegelian historical procession that eventually leads to a state of super-abundance which takes the theory out of the real world into the land of fairy tales.

      That's not to say Marx is without value—his critique of capitalist society and the alienation of the individual is very interesting and has lead to some great criticism, but he doesn't offer a good positive model for an economy.