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RE: SICK PROFESSION

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Bill:

I agree with you on a basic level.  Where we likely differ is on the
"practical" application/definition of "ensure life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness".  What I wonder is how does someone who is paid
minimum wage (which is essentially below poverty, as I understand things)
really have "life" when it is difficult if not possible to pay the minimum
necessary bills like rent, food, and clothing, let along come close to
"pursuing happiness".  It seems rather straight forward to me that if
capitalism where the only factor then there would be a lot of people let
behindm because there will always be some jobs that companies will not
near pay enough to do.  Not everyone can be doctors, lawyers, engineers,
factory workers, and other jobs that pay reasonably well to very well.
Someone has to stand behind the cash register at stores or restraunts.
Someone has to cook those fries at McDonald's.  And it won't/can't always
be a high school (or college) kid.  The plain fact is that if left
unchecked companies would not pay such workers much at all if they could.
That is where government should (editorial note: my opinion) step in and
ensure that they get a decent wage.  And the notion that such people
should have worked harder in school or tried harder is BS, because
ultimately there MUST be someone that fills these positions.  So, even if
EVERYONE were straight A students that were geniuses, someone would still
need to fill these jobs.

So, to me there are situations where government must go beyond the things
like OSHA, defense and police.  BTW, things that an agency like EPA do
also can deal with creating safe work places, not to mention safe non-work
places (i.e. your own home and neighborhood).  I agree that many times the
government fails to get things right, but that does not mean that
government should not "legislate" business at times.

I too believe in the "invisible hand" of market forces/capitalism.  But,
the problem is that many times it acts too much after the fact and cannot
replace what was lost while the "invisible hand" is waiting to act (if it
ever does).  So, sometimes the "invisible hand" needs little help from the
visible hand of government.  As a prime example...Enron.  While the
"invisible hand" certainly (iin my mind) had a hand in "catching" them
with their hand in the cookie jar, so did the visible hand of government.
Unfortunately, since we sometimes rely too much on the invisible hand,
neither it nor the visible hand acts in time.  As a result, shareholders
and more important employees got royally screwed before either acted.  And
the invisible hand is not capable of giving back all the retirement funds
that employees lost due to poor (if not corrupt) choices by management.
Yet, here was a case of management employing "capitalism", even if it was
a little shady.

Well, I am gonna stop myself (as tough as it is) from posting on this
anymore.  We have gotten rather far astray from structural related issues
and more into politics (but then the "monitor" of the list helped us a
little in getting far afield <grin>).

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com wrote:

> Exactly!
>
> Government should and must STAY OUT of business.
> Let the free market and business community dictate policy.
>
> Govenment's role should be limited to insuring a safe workplace (OHSA)and a
> stable national situation (police and defense).
>
> Its seems as though everytime goverment has tried to legislate business, it
> has the same result as trying to legislate morality.
>
> It doesn't work.
>
>
> dlf
>
>
>
>
>
> Original Message:
> -----------------
> From: Bill Polhemus bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc
> Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 04:36:28 -0600
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: SICK PROFESSION
>
>
> It has been established that the role of government--at least as far as the
> American experiment is concerned--is to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit
> of happiness. At least, I seem to recall reading that somewhere.
>
> Unfortunately it has become an unquestionable political truism that
> government must ensure, not merely the PURSUIT of happiness, but happiness
> itself. That's where we have departed from our original, correct principles,
> and why we are in the mess we're in, whether you're talking about taxes,
> intrusive government regulation, or what-have-you.
>
> William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas USA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Allen [mailto:T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)cox.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:47 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: SICK PROFESSION
>
> I HOPE the role of government is NOT to insure (or even ensure) a level
> playing field. IMO, they are already doing WAY to much for me as it is
> now.
>
>
>
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