Friday, January 21, 2011

new socialist symbol?

The hammer and sickle is too 19th century. What do we need now? The keyboard and tip jar?

15 comments:

  1. Something indirect?

    A honey bee over a microchip?

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  2. Hmm. What inspired the honey bee? Busy worker?

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  3. Now I'm trying to think of egalitarian creatures, 'cause ones with queens describe how things are rather than the goal.

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  4. How about a hand-wavium symbol over an ingot representing the element unobtanium?

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  5. Joel, for all that it moves in fits and starts, socialism is winning. The robber barons of the 19th century would be horrified by the concessions that the robber barons of the 21st have made--though I admit the modern robber barons are winning the class war just now.

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  6. The robber barons of today are winning BECAUSE they make concessions. One thing both sides often get wrong is believing it has to be winners and losers. Socialism imposed from the top down by government bureaucrats almost always fails... but the very same systems, grown from the bottom up, work quite well.

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  7. Joel, we're not completely at odds. I'm pretty comfortable with the Scandinavian model of socialism. But concessions are being withdrawn there, too.

    What do you think of as bottom up socialism?

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  8. A number of things in that category...union negotiations and concessions by both sides, the general public becoming stockholders and influencing corporate policies thereby, etc. We could be excercising far more power than we do as citizens and stockholders, but people are taught to whine and call their congressman rather than filling out and mailing back the proxy forms forwarded to them by their retirement funds... poor people will spend $400 for shoes, or $3,000 per corner for fancy wheels on their rides, but never EVER spend a hundred bucks on stocks that will FORCE the company to listen to them. Neither will their advocates... millions for faxes to congress, but not one damn cent spent to directly coerce corporations in the only manner that gets rapid results!

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  9. You have noticed that the war on unions has been quite successful in the last few decades? And I sure don't notice poor folks with the kind of money to spend you're talking about.

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  10. Wrench and keyboard, crossed.

    Regarding Joel's whole "let's all buy stocks and mail angry letters to the board of directors" plan, what on earth makes you think that companies pay any attention to the opinions of individual stockholders? The only kinds of stockholder they pay even the slightest attention to are the umbrella groups that buy millions of stocks at a time, and those are controlled by the same kind of people that're on the BoD. Hell, half the time they ARE the same people. Individual stockholders don't exist to them; they're just the rounding errors in their accounts.

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  11. Joe, I like that a lot. Someone on Twitter suggested a telephone headset, which is pretty good, too, but with miniaturization, they'll prob'ly be gone in a few more years.

    And What You Said about little guys buying up stock to influence corporations.

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  12. Even when "little guys" own stock and in theory could mount a proxy fight the challenge corporate leaders, the obstacles can be insurmountable.

    For example, when the owner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel faced dissident shareholders who wanted to change the company's strategy -- all of whom were former employees of the once-employee-owned company -- the parent company succeeded in blocking them from being able to send communications (other than at a prohibitive cost) to shareholders.

    http://milwaukeenewsguild.org/news/archive/0109.html#a3

    [The above story was before the final decision was rendered, but the ruling did favor the company and the dissidents had to abandon their effort.]

    Successful proxy fights are mostly mounted by very wealthy interests who represent equally wealthy shareholders. They're the only ones who can afford them.

    It's a rigged game.

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  13. Joel, what DSD said.

    And the guys with the tricked-out cars? Are a tiny minority of their community, and they tend to have solid working class jobs or illegal funds. They're the urban equivalent of the folks who spent way too much money on their pickups.

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  14. I'm not even sure where you'd get $400 shoes around here. I suppose you could buy four pairs of $100 shoes or something. But it isn't like your average shoe store takes Bridge Cards (the current version of food stamps) and most of the poor people I know do not have retirement plans unless "die before you get old" counts as a plan.

    I do know a lot of people who piddle away their money on tobacco, cheap beer, and lottery tickets. I suppose if they saved that money for a year or two, they might be able to buy a few stocks.

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  15. serial, yeah. Among my many peeves is the notion of middleclass folk that poor folk should deprive themselves of the few comforts that are available to them. During one of our poorer spells, Emma would buy a lottery ticket every week. She knew she wasn't buying a ticket out of being broke for her dollar. She was buying a few days of hope.

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