Re: In this respect it is the perfect poster-boy for Free Market Capitalism
@ jason 7
"But what I'm saying is that those at the top want to take away our money and jobs. So how do we buy their products when they have taken the very money we need to buy them?"
How? Are they putting this money in a vault that nobody can access? Are they doing all the jobs to confiscate them? Not at all. They invest the money which brings jobs or they put it in a bank which loans it out to businesses which brings jobs. In fact they splurge it on their wants and desires just like everyone else does and since only people spend money and money only has value to people it must be a person spending and receiving it.
"Wall Street hails the likes of McDonalds for trying to replace serving staff with machines."
With fantastic reason. Minimum wage is a wonderful way of saying that if you dont produce anything of value over a specific amount then what you are doing is not worth doing. That is a truly rich persons statement which is why rich countries have such a situation. Yet the recent demand for more automation has been pushed because of unrealistic demands of the minimum wage being pretty wealthy by world standards and beyond what can be currently be supported with human labour. Basically if people think their time is worth more than the job they are doing either the job goes or they get replaced, previously by a poorer countries population or now by automation.
"But then the consumer economy loses millions of people at the bottom that actually buy those very products."
No. I am personally very happy not to spend my day (from sparrow fart to dark) standing in some bloody muddy field with the driving force being to avoid starvation. The ushering in of tools saved me and 90% of the population from such peasantry. I am also grateful not to be working in a factory. Again automation saved >60% of the population from that! And yet we import vastly more people and yet still have full employment.
"How many Big Macs, Krispy Cremes and Corvettes does Buffet or the Koch Bros buy a year? Not many I'm guessing."
Probably not many, I have no idea. I am guessing they are the kind of people who bought those damned huge bricks which consisted mostly of a battery just so they could make highly expensive phone calls with little reception. That would be the precursor to the little pocket sized device with the capacity of calls, sms and more which can be bought for almost nothing (and often thrown out with such regard) and possibly the more functional smart phone version which is ubiquitous now. Likely on a payment plan or pay as you go which even the 'poor' in this country can afford and as such is now seen as almost a necessity.
"It's slitting your own economic throat. But I guess we all work on short term goals now."
Short term is jumping without thinking. For example demanding a minimum wage vastly higher than sustainable. Or government splurging to buy votes leaving the future to pay for no real gain and probably just a liability. Short termism is barely looking back or even outside our little place on earth to decide what is poor. We have never been so wealthy as a population throughout history! We think little of food or where it comes from (in growing it or its travels), nor of travelling huge distances on a whim, nor the joy of actually having time off and reduced working hours for this greater wage, nor our taken for granted welfare state we demand does more and deserves even more money, nor our capability of communicating with each other over vast distances even across the earth in almost real time!
And so on. There are people in this world who know absolutely nothing of any of that nor even of being employed at all. Only to get on with subsistence living or starve to death. This article is a discussion of taxi companies for god sake! I think we are a long way off apocalypse of the hardships of life.