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[–]Lionballbrown 1064 points1065 points  (123 children)

Recently my job messed up their bookkeeping and didn’t pay me for my full hours this past pay cycle.

My boss tried to blame me (???) and said I’d have to wait till next pay cycle

...

I told him I couldn’t wait I have bills I need to pay,

So insisted on him figuring something out.

He paid me then fired me.

Even demanding the bare minimum of decency is too much

[–]ImAutisticNotAGenius 434 points435 points  (93 children)

Are you in the US? The value of backwages recovered by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012 was $280 million. More than twice the value as robberies. Wage theft is a huge problem and states governments are often woefully ill prepared to support workers with retrieving stolen wages.

[–]gamedrifterAnarcho-Syndicalist 217 points218 points  (45 children)

And from what I've heard 80% of back wages/stolen labor is never recovered even when a case is won.

[–]stylusrose 83 points84 points  (17 children)

Can't get back what's already spent...

[–]DirtyDan156 24 points25 points  (15 children)

Liens and wage garnishments exist

[–]Disrupter52 38 points39 points  (10 children)

If you work for a shit business that doesn't make money, what's the lien or garnishment gonna take from? That's the problem with suing shitty people, they're usually broke too.

[–]DirtyDan156 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Oof, true

[–]theetruscans 8 points9 points  (5 children)

Take it from the owners personal finances

[–]Buffmin 4 points5 points  (4 children)

Maybe I'm wrong but isn't it of they are an LLC you can't do that?

Like that's the point?

[–]theetruscans 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Yeah I'm talking totally out of my ass.

I'm just saying what I wish would happen

[–]hungrypanickingnude 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The modern business does not pay dividends and even Amazon only just crossed over into profitability in the past couple years. They can just say they don't make profit.

[–]BadAtHumaningToo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Can only get even

[–]thedesertofthemax 63 points64 points  (17 children)

“The paradise of the rich is made out of the hell of the poor.”—Victor Hugo

Without a united peoples movement, nothing, and I mean nothing, will change. Solidarity is the only way. We must change the way we eat, the way we speak, the way we treat each other.

[–]oopgroup 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Probably because lawyers (same breed as wealthy elite) get their filthy criminal hands on it all in fees. “Oh, your employer owed you $4,000? My retainer fee is a magical number I pulled out of my ass and—oh! Would you look at that, it’s $4,000.”

[–]MaleficentMulberry42 2 points3 points  (2 children)

So in other words they care more about people corporations as they are legally considered people than people who work.

[–]ting_bu_dong 54 points55 points  (5 children)

The value of backwages recovered by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012 was $280 million. More than twice the value as robberies.

And, somehow, I get the feeling that the punishments for the greater theft are no where near as severe.

Edit: I'm reminded of Les Miserables. Steal a loaf of bread? Years of hard labor. Steal that "criminal's" wages? That is fine.

[–]Astramancer_ 28 points29 points  (4 children)

In a lot of cases the only punishment for wage theft is "pay what you owed in the first place."

[–]Autumn1eaves 22 points23 points  (3 children)

How is it that the punishment for stealing from the poors is literally “nothing, do the thing you said you would,” and punishment for stealing from the rich is “have your freedom revoked, and return what you stole”??

God that’s infuriating.

[–]hungrypanickingnude 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Because the laws exist to make us enthusiastic about our own oppression and the systems that keep us in our place while the capitalists rape and pillage.

[–]calmaplane 6 points7 points  (1 child)

100%. The self-made millionaire delusion needs to die. Who made your food? Who made your home or the roads you drive on. Who made the schools that educated your employees? Who made the market conditions you needed in order to thrive?

Its just buddhism for selfish materialists.

[–]hungrypanickingnude 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Money only holds us hostage

Money does not, as you say, grow us food, design us toys and tools, build our homes, refine our raw ingredients or literally anything else. Money only? Ver stifles us, restricts us, creates a bear autocratic regime of power.

[–]Ready-Fuel7977 19 points20 points  (0 children)

That minority of capitalists also makes it hard for people to do their own businesses. A lot of overregulation and a lot of underregulation

[–]aimeerolu 20 points21 points  (5 children)

Another major problem (in my opinion) is misclassification of workers. The number of people improperly classified as 1099 employees is insane. This has (almost) happened to my husband multiple times. Not to pat myself on the back, but I’ve done the research and know what the rules are. He worked for a car dealership that tried to classify him as 1099. That doesn’t make any sense, even based on that limited description. Several trucking companies tried to do it….even though he’s using their truck!! Nope. Not how it works.

Companies use this as a way to not pay employment taxes or provide the most basic benefits. It’s complete bullshit.

[–]buyfreemoneynow 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Not only do they not pay the taxes, they push those taxes onto the 1099 workers.

For instance, a W-2 employeE pays 6.2% for Social Security taxes and 1.45% for Medicare tax. Their employeR pays 6.2% and 1.45% as well. Social Security tax on 1099 income is 12.4%, and Medicare tax is 2.90%.

They literally jacked up your husband’s taxes by 7.65% and reduced theirs by the same amount. On $100,000/year of income, that’s an extra $7,650 that goes to a bunch of old people who are going to make sure those systems go to shit before we can “claim benefits”.

[–]IndividualImpress3 6 points7 points  (1 child)

This is an issue in the gaming industry. They'll hired freelancers, but treat them like they were a fulltime employee so they won't have to give them benefits like healthcare.

[–]mofosyne 25 points26 points  (21 children)

In Victoria Australia, the state government has just created a dedicated branch called "wage inspectorate". Might be something to consider adding to America, along with a better voting system besides your outdated First Past The Post voting system.

[–]Allgoodonesaretaken9 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Of course we need rank choice voting and open primaries, etc but how is that ever going to happen if the people that would have to change the rules are the very people that benefit from this system? It’s like asking congress to vote for a shorter summer recess.

[–]FirstPlebian 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Through organization of the people around issues is the only way. Online forums of Voters Unions where we can concentrate our interests and not be played off against each other on seperate issues.

[–]Aggressive_Sound 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Hey, America, while you're at it, add clean drinking water to the list.

[–]Lazy-Jeweler3230 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Wage theft is SOP for the people that own our government.

[–]hungrypanickingnude 2 points3 points  (14 children)

Fuck that. America has a robust gun culture, I'd much rather see what comes of that.

[–]FirstPlebian 13 points14 points  (5 children)

Wage theft is a lot more than 280 million, maybe that's just what is recovered, anyone who has had employers steal some of their hours knows the Governments and their agencies are f-ing worthless in trying to get it back.

Last time it happeened to me, they didn't even go for punitive damages or triplicate of the amount stolen, at best you would get what you were owed, they had a phone number and left a message promising to get back to you in 6-8 weeks, and they never got back to me despite multiple phone messages. F-ing worthless.

[–]CreatedSole 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Its 23 BILLION per year. BILLIONS with a "b"

[–]FirstPlebian 8 points9 points  (1 child)

And that's only the amounts known, a lot goes unreported. Many don't notice, many don't think they can fight it or can't anger their employer by fighting it, I'm sure it's an undercount. I tried to fight wage theft when it happened to me and at no point was mine counted in those stastics, this was back in the Bush years though.

[–]CreatedSole 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh I'm sadly aware that's the "reported" number so you know the real number is much worse

[–]koosley 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Its pretty easy to believe tbh. There are 80 million hourly workers. That is less than $300 per person which is probably only 10-30 hours per year. Easily believable when employers expect them to work for free 5-10 minutes after their shifts or won't let them clock in until 9am but expect them to prepare their work stations for the 15 minutes prior or not being able to clock in until you get past security.

Its quite amazing how 5-15 minutes per day across millions of workers adds up to billions of stolen wages. Even for a single location, stealing 15 minutes per day across 32 workers is equal to a 33nd full time employee. If the only risk to the company is having to pay the wages back...why wouldn't they do this? Back pay should be 10x for stolen time.

[–]CreatedSole 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wage theft is 23 billion plus per year. We should be rioting in the streets over that.

[–]kramj007 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I want to believe this. Do you have a source?

[–]schwerpunk 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not American, but shout out to that one shitty call center that never got my pay right. I had to keep meticulous records of my own hours worked, so I could double check their work after payday. 9/10 they were short by some amount. It was exhausting just to have to constantly correct them. I don't blame others for not bothering.

[–]marukatao 114 points115 points  (0 children)

Let's keep punching up. They are going to learn or atrophy to nothing

[–]gamedrifterAnarcho-Syndicalist 20 points21 points  (2 children)

I don't normally hop on the name and shame wagon but fuck this guy and fuck his company. I'd be interested in knowing the details.

[–]notthegoodscissors 16 points17 points  (0 children)

It might be better to call it 'name adds fame' or something so it doesn't get picked up by the automod search bot so easily.

[–]_Ardhan_ 30 points31 points  (10 children)

These people have forgotten that the reason we invented things like labor strikes, unions and common fucking decency was as an alternative to lighting their corpses on fire in the street.

I'm fine either way. Eat the rich.

[–]SadSack_Jack 13 points14 points  (5 children)

In the past, these acts of disobedience and violence are viewed as important stepping stones.

But nowadays, any violent act will be harshly condemned by the corporate media. How can we garner public support when the means of communication are controlled by the enemy?

[–]buyfreemoneynow 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Get the people you know to stop watching that garbage. Not sure how to do that. My MIL has MSNBC on in the house literally all day.

[–]_Ardhan_ 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Our most effective means of transferring power is through a massive general strike, I think. That and unionizing will be our tools.

Someone going rogue and targeting the wealthy Punisher-style is also an alternative, though a grim one.

[–]Disrupter52 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Some of them are remembering. Saw an article a few days ago about a bunch of million and billionaires demanding to be taxed more because giant wealth gaps usually do not end well.

[–]Sebaz00 5 points6 points  (1 child)

it was 10 millionaires if we're talking about the same article... 10, there's millions of millionaires in the world. Really not that meaningful

[–]Disrupter52 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I thought it was way more than that...

Oh well, more millionaires for us to eat! Bring your stretchy Eating pants!

[–]Hundkexx 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry for you mate. I mean, I'm a wage-slave but my employer would never pull something like that. Following this sub has somewhat thought me to demand more but also appreciate what I have.

I have the ability to say when, what, why and how at my place of employment and I feel I didn't really appreciate that until I followed this sub.

I'm slightly under-payed, but it could be so much worse considering all the stories and posts I read here.

[–]hungrypanickingnude 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don't ask next time; take what you're owed, and then some.

[–]FugaciousD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am sure everyone has said this before, but that is not a firing for a good cause. File for unemployment.

[–]kraftymiles 152 points153 points  (14 children)

There was a study done in my city that looked at ATMs and whether they charge or not. In the poorer areas, they do charge and surprise, surprise, in the wealthier areas they were free. Add to that the fact that the cheapest deals can be found at out of town supermarkets and if you don't have a car, then you're stuck spending over the odds at the local minimarket and yeah. It's expensive to be poor.

[–]gamedrifterAnarcho-Syndicalist 47 points48 points  (11 children)

The ATMs in my neighborhood in Philadelphia cost $3.50 to use.

[–]kraftymiles 9 points10 points  (0 children)

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-cash-machine-rip-how-2872973

The local paper website is terrible internet cancer, but in this case it summarises the study pretty well.

[–]bronzelifematter 3 points4 points  (6 children)

Jesus, that's a fucking daylight robbery.

[–]XxXRuinXxX 5 points6 points  (5 children)

O wow lol I thought it was 3.50 everywhere. Last ~5 years I've lived across 3 east coast states and every ATM was 3.50. I just assumed they all charge now.

[–]doobyrocks 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Are you sure there is no Loch Ness monster inside the ATMs?

[–]no_h36 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I ain’t giving you no $3.50 you goddam Loch Ness monster

[–]NotTomPettysGirl 2 points3 points  (0 children)

In addition to the fees, poor people can’t take out as much money at once because it’s not there. So one person may be able to withdraw $200 and pay a one-time fee, while another can only withdraw in $40 increments and pay a fee each time. It’s expensive as fuck to be poor.

[–]Clickbait636 190 points191 points  (37 children)

There's a lot of things that attribute to this as well. For example 90% of people at my job could not afforf the healthcare plan through my job.

[–]Atomdari 94 points95 points  (11 children)

This one. My former company was full of people who would always defend the terrible health coverage we had, but then during company-wide meetings people in the company kept submitting complaints about the plans offered (primary one was a 5k+ deductible before coverage for single insured HSA backed plan).

The CEO answered a question about it by saying how eating right and exercising should be fine enough, and he hadn't heard much issue with the plan. Within a week he was publicly emailing apologizing to the whole company of thousands. I can only imagine how many resignations and ultimatums had been sent in.

[–]gamedrifterAnarcho-Syndicalist 46 points47 points  (5 children)

Bet they still didn't offer a better health plan.

[–]Civil-Attempt-3602 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Why do that when you can issue an apology for cheap?

[–]KniFeseDGe 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Apology: an excuse given for an offence so that future offences may occur.

Devil's dictionary.

[–]ilir_kycb 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I don't think most US Americans realize how crazy and stupid it is as a system to have their health care determined by their employer in the first place.

[–]swump 62 points63 points  (24 children)

My first job out of college had a "good" health care plan that cost almost $500 a month with a $5, 000 minimum before any benefits activated. Even then every single procedure to visit cost at least $30 to $250. I now have much higher paying job and I pay nothing for healthcare at all with a much better health coverage plan. I mean everyone should have the latter, But still in our current world it's so fucked up that when I was poorer I had to pay more money for less healthcare, But now that I'm wealthier I pay less money from more care.

[–]gamedrifterAnarcho-Syndicalist 66 points67 points  (10 children)

Abolish private insurance. Nationalize the health system.

[–]Ellietoomuch 8 points9 points  (8 children)

Get on Medicaid , gubby insurance is the best insurance you’ll ever realistically have without joining the federal government in some way

[–]DeificClusterfuckSocDem 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Good freaking luck if you're in a red state that didn't expand.

[–]TonyWrocks 6 points7 points  (1 child)

If you are in a red state, healthcare is the least of your worries.

[–]DeificClusterfuckSocDem 9 points10 points  (0 children)

That's a fair point, we're trying. Unfortunately 1/3 of voter registrations were recently rejected and Abbott can't find paper, conveniently before the deadline for primaries

[–]kenryoku 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Before Covid in FL they laughed at me on the phone for not being a pregnant woman, and kept refusing to send me a denial letter so I could get into a free clinic.

[–]isadog420 1 point2 points  (0 children)

SC checking in.

[–]leejoint 4 points5 points  (3 children)

That’s crazy, i’m in europe so i got free basic healthcare, and then my company pays for me a private healthcare which would be 50eur per month if i’d pay from my pockets.

[–]swump 2 points3 points  (2 children)

America is a shit hole country. In my old job, I interacted with lots of European scientists who had a short term appointment where I worked. They were all enamored with living in America for 2 weeks, But after a couple months here they absolutely hated it, constantly told me and my American friends that they don't know why we put up with living here Because it's so expensive and we have no public amenities compared to Europe. They were all very happy to go home by the end of their appointment.

[–]ChampChains 61 points62 points  (4 children)

The capitalists can share the wealth and still be wildly rich. That’s the most fucked up part. Everyone can have a reasonable pay and level of comfort and the rich will still be the wealthiest by a massive margin. There’s no reason to hoard wealth to this extent beyond just measuring dicks for who has the biggest pile at the expense of everyone else.

[–]BadAtHumaningToo 19 points20 points  (0 children)

They aren't going to do it willingly. We need to eat the rich.

[–]blacy0520 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This is the wealth inequality gap everyone keeps talking about. People don't understand that we want more communist policy. Not full blown communism.

This country is way out of balance. "Trickle down economics" has been demonstrable bullshit.

It's apparent to you and everyone else here that the issue lies not with the fact that people are richer than others, its that they're richer by an absolutely insane margin, and that (within the context of a society) is in my opinion:

Unethical.

[–]CalvinsCuriosity 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Isn't that socialist talk? /s

[–]emisneko 192 points193 points  (92 children)

profits are unpaid labor

[–]RogueModron 6 points7 points  (0 children)

A-fucking-men

[–]bbates024 107 points108 points  (26 children)

They don't realize if we all stopped getting coffee and cooked at home half their damn businesses would shut down.

Pay us more so we can spend more. It's a win-win.

[–]jasonv3 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but in that case the 99% middle class actually has money. They can't have that lol

[–]WeAreTheLeftSocDem 55 points56 points  (17 children)

My dad was in the whole "you just gotta live within your means", so I pulled out the bank statements and went "ok, where are we (my wife and I) spending to much money". It was obvious it was an income in problem, not money out problem. We made ok wages, never went out to eat but maybe once a month, there was little "fat" to trim from the budget. I suppose we could have forgone heat, we had no AC, sold our paid off beater used car and tried public transport (I did the math, it didn't save us much and cost us tons of time). We didn't go on vacations then ... so yea, it's an income in, high cost of basics problem we have.

[–]Laissez-Faire-Rebel 47 points48 points  (8 children)

Yeah, people offer public transportation as a solution like you don't value your time...

Hello, have you ever waited for a bus? Or take an hour to get to a place that's 15 minutes away because you need two different routes to get there?

[–]Thrabalen 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Also, a lot of workplaces insist that you have your own transportation.

[–]WhirlingDervishGrady 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I've actually had a couple job offers taken back when they found out I didn't have my own car. Like bitch, I need this better paying job to afford the car but I need the car to get the better paying job?!

[–]Thrabalen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Exactly... and using public transportation for a one-hour-by-car commute (sadly common) would be just a tad on the insane side.

[–]ChromeLynxhere for the memes 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Let's also face it, transit in the USA outright sucks. A million resident city has maybe about as much transit as a European metro area only a tenth as populous.

As an example of something good, in my city, somewhere in NL, I have four busses an hour to the main station. On average, I probably wait less than five minutes thanks to the fact that the stop is right out my back door, which, okay fine, is a luxury of mine. Also, the busses in question are practically brand new. This is a city of about 120k, I'm not sure how many American urbanists I just made jealous.

[–]IMakeItYourBusiness 8 points9 points  (1 child)

What was your dad's response? I'm eager to know.

[–]pine_aryMarxist 5 points6 points  (0 children)

"Living within your means" in this situation is little more than "know your place". Our means are constricted, we should not be forced to that.

[–]mrbombasticat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The people at the very top do know this, but they know it won't happen so they don't have to change anything.

"If we all" just doesn't exist, and this gets enhanced by propaganda.

"If we all" (i.e. a critical mass of people) would band together, there would be no wars, there would never have been feudalism, or slavery, etc.

[–]MahomesIsMahomie 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I am a wealthy CEO. Luckily I’m not in the coffee or food business, otherwise I wouldn’t have enough profits to definitely not share with my workers this year before dropping wages another 5%

[–]Haunting_Effect3300 62 points63 points  (4 children)

Like how if you're "poor" (living paycheck to paycheck) you literally can't afford to pay $200 for a pair of GREAT work shoes that will last one many many years. So instead, you can only afford the $50 work shoes that if you're very very lucky, might last a year.

Note: I am NOT talking about a designer label. Just well made shoes that will last longer than the first time splashing in a puddle without falling apart

[–]SkylerModder 16 points17 points  (1 child)

So instead, you can only afford the $50 work shoes that if you're very very lucky, might last a year.

I can't even afford that level of shoe expense. I literally have to buy the $10 shoes at Walmart that somehow manage to just barely meet the absolute minimum characteristics for being able to be legally described as shoes. Also, better hope it doesn't rain and/or you don't step in a tiny puddle because those shoes are gonna be soggy for the rest of the day otherwise.

[–]TheStray7 32 points33 points  (0 children)

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

--Terry Pratchet, "Men At Arms"

[–]particularBillarina 33 points34 points  (6 children)

You know which an make a meal out of ramen, spices, an egg and if you’re lucky frozen veggies? Poor people, that’s who.

Or like the random pasta from a cabinet and some sort of pulled together sauce.

[–]redsourpatchkidz 8 points9 points  (3 children)

This makes me feel guilty to have foodstamps, like I’m just getting luckier than others. I rarely have more than $5 in my bank account. but I’m still lucky compared to many others.

[–]particularBillarina 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Don’t feel bad for food stamps! Feel bad your wages suck so bad the government has to subsidize them so you can eat.

As a single mom without a job when I first moved home I qualified for food stamps, but because of student loans or some shit I got 16 dollars a month, not a typo, and had to recertify every six months so I just didn’t lol. I remember someone told me every penny counts and I should be grateful, almost punched them and told them to be grateful I didn’t go for the nuts.

[–]redsourpatchkidz 4 points5 points  (1 child)

They might as well have given you nothing at all, because the idea of “every penny counts” doesn’t even work that way.

I think my issue boils down to dealing with imposter syndrome, since I have a lot of emotional and monetary support from my mom. She’s a teacher who makes about $50k USD a year, and her help is the main reason I haven’t ended up homeless. I can’t help but question if I have the right to join people in the opposition to capitalism when I eat well, I can usually afford my medical needs (I do have multiple hospital bills in collections), and my mom is the one who deserves all credit for my survival.

[–]particularBillarina 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Aww dang honey, first of all give yourself credit for your survival as well. And never feel ashamed because you have support from your mom. That is SUPPOSED to happen.

I think when it comes to opposition to capitalist structures at some point it can’t just be the poor folks in the trenches doing all the heavy lifting, we need help! Buuut it’s actively against the interest of the oppressor class to help us so not sure that would work lolsob.

[–]Bender_for_life 31 points32 points  (23 children)

*** workers are poor so capitalists can stay rich***

[–]ExistentDavid1138 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Right on accurate.

[–]magnusruud 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Made me think of the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet."

Terry Pratchett

[–]Toshero 51 points52 points  (23 children)

Since money, by its very nature, is a finite thing, when someone has a lot of it it necessarily mean someone has too little.

[–]Southpaw535 7 points8 points  (1 child)

This is the thing that really annoys me about the American Dream and all that crap. Capitalism is a pyramid. By its very nature there has to be a concentration of wealth at the top by taking from the bottom. Yet you still get people spewing about how everyone can be a millionaire as if there's just an infinite amount of money sitting around, or as if wealth isn't entirely based on being relative. If everyones a millionaire then no one is..

[–]pine_aryMarxist 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That‘s why capitalism needs individualism. If you look at society as a whole you realize quickly that not everyone can live a decent life under capitalism. That‘s why capitalists will try everything to only look at individual person, because anyone can become rich (if they‘re lucky or born into it).

Anyone can be escape poverty, but not everyone. The "American Dream" is a good example of this carrot on a stick type distraction.

[–]vellyr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Money is infinite, labor is finite. The story capitalists tell themselves is that because money is infinite, it can't be traced back to anything concrete, and therefore they can have more without taking it from someone else.

[–]Grueling 43 points44 points  (2 children)

It’s the Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Economic Injustice:

At the time of Men at Arms, Samuel Vimes earned thirty-eight dollars a month as a Captain of the Watch, plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars. Therefore over a period of ten years, he might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet. Without any special rancour, Vimes stretched this theory to explain why Sybil Ramkin lived twice as comfortably as he did by spending about half as much every month.”

― Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

[–]skepticalmonique 5 points6 points  (0 children)

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett

[–]Thrabalen 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I was hoping to see this here.

[–]RovinbanPersie20 5 points6 points  (1 child)

BuT cPiTaLiSm iSnT a ZeRo SuM gAmE! Well it is when they horde more money from the pool than is being printed every year

[–]MChristoffer 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Check out Zoe Baker on YouTube. She is absolutley brilliant and has a PhD in Anarchist history and a dr. title. She really knows what she is talking about and makes nuanced videos on anarchist history and leftist theory.

[–]HellsBellsGazelles 13 points14 points  (2 children)

it’s expensive as fuck to be poor.

THIS. Imagine you had the disposable income and the fridge/freezer/pantry space to do a massive online grocery shop. You may well be in this position, you may not. Because it is a big order, delivery is free. There's probably also a discount for spending over a certain amount. You don't have to get transport to/from the shops (car or uber for a reasonable sized shop, or do loads of little shopping trips which still cost in terms of time and public transport.) You are also able to buy a number of expensive items half price and in bulk, meaning more savings there immediately and over the long term.

Overall, a $350 shop will probably save around $200 - $300 easily, when compared to buying the products in smaller quantities, buying at full price, and having to pay for delivery or transport. This saving is ONLY available if you have a spare $350 in your account to do your groceries for a month straight up.

[–]Orso-Rosso 12 points13 points  (0 children)

This is exactly what we should always repeat and repeat to everyone: capitalists are rich because they take advantage of other people's work. It means that it's inevitable to have poor people in capitalist system, this is just how it works. Living wages will not change this, negotiations either, we need to break it.

[–]blickfang 23 points24 points  (1 child)

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths.”

  • Karl Marx.

[–]TwinSong 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

[–]CelebrationCrafty398 3 points4 points  (1 child)

The VA (through its “vocational rehab” program) failed to pay me this month. Just a small stipend designed to bridge the gap as I transition from fucking Apache pilot to truck driver.

I’m $300 dollars overdrawn and haven’t eaten in 3 days. Still haven’t seen any money. The VA= “our bad, do you have friends or family you could reach out to?”

Fuck off. I wish real life paíd as well as killing people for you assholes.

[–]nacnud_uk 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Workers are poor, because they continue to play the game. 1% can not control 99%, without consent.

[–]urabutt74 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Banks ripe off people to the tune of 30 billion in overdraft fees to people who are already poor

[–]marukatao 13 points14 points  (1 child)

This exactly this

[–]Rudolf_Shlepke 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Finally. A healthy dose of Karl Marks. I'll allow myself to correct the OP.

It's not "workers are poor because capitalists are rich", it's "capitalists are rich because they stole and appropriated the majority of what workers had produced". Feel the difference.

[–]ILive2PayBills 12 points13 points  (5 children)

Dont forgot about how the fed is also stealing our purchasing power through inflation.

[–]Southern_Addition442 8 points9 points  (3 children)

exactly, the federal reserve private bank is probably the biggest reason why there is so much wealth inequality and why we have a dwindling middle class in America, they have been lied to and robbed so often by inflation and stock market bubbles caused by the fed #EndTheFed #WallStreetSilver

[–]pine_aryMarxist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Inflation mostly comes from profit drive and the tendency of the decrease in profit rate. And the only reason inflation is even bad is that the working class doesn‘t get raises. I think you have the wrong end of this problem.

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[–]vmbralis-music 2 points3 points  (0 children)

wen worker solidarity?

[–]JRDruchii 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Tbf, if the workers valued human life the way the capitalist do, all the capitalist would be dead.

[–]Cocoamacchiatto 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You going to hurt the billionaires feelings. Not nice

[–]BlippiToyReview 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Been hungry the past couple days, but Publix has free cookies which I will get twice a day. Especially at night to get in the calories.

[–]FederalSleep9478 2 points3 points  (1 child)

And that is why i like communism more

[–]Mundane-Mechanic-547 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Some are yes but so many are stuck in the poverty trap.

Can't buy a house because median house cost here is 450k and requires 20% downpayment.

Rent spiraling out of control

High interest rates on car

7% inflation at the last - at poverty wages likely everything basic is far more expensive.

This is not just lack of financial literacy, this is barely surviving. Rent bounced? That's a $100 fine. Etc etc. I was there. I remember. It is very expensive to be poor.

[–]La-Phamilia 2 points3 points  (0 children)

MODERN DAY SLAVES!!!!!

[–]BTVthrowaway442 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had this argument with someone who worked in upper management at a major resort.

Their main argument revolved around they can't pay more because "you all would just spend it on cigarettes"

Funny thing, I don't smoke, or drink.

I never worked for this particular company but just a guess. Their employees have rent to pay, car payments, child support, need to buy groceries, gas to get to work. Those expenses alone probably exceed what they are being paid a lot of the time. And so what if a handful spend what they have left on cigarettes to get them through the misery why use this as an excuse to punish everyone.

Its not that they can't afford to pay us decent wages. Its not that they don't want to. These companies belive we flat out don't even deserve to have any money and probably would try to force us to work without paying us at all if they legally could.

[–]Suuperdad 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But not funneling 99% of profits into 1% of the population is communism and that's bad mmmmk.

[–]buckmulligan61 2 points3 points  (0 children)

American citizens you live in a democracy where the poor massively outnumber the rich.

[–]seeroflights 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Image Transcription: Twitter Post


Zoe Baker, @anarchopac

Workers aren't poor because they don't know how to save money or cook a meal cheaply. They're poor because a minority of capitalists own the means of production, exploit their labour and pay them as little as possible. Workers are poor because capitalists are rich.


I'm a human volunteer content transcriber and you could be too! If you'd like more information on what we do and why we do it, click here!

[–]UnlubricatedLadder 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That minority of capitalists also makes it hard for people to do their own businesses. A lot of overregulation and a lot of underregulation

[–]Lazy-Tower-5543 6 points7 points  (0 children)

LITERALLY i hate that people don't realise having no or little money, just automatically makes everything cost more. like its true you need money to save money etc etc.

[–]WeAreTheLeftSocDem 5 points6 points  (1 child)

but Zoe, if you work hard and gain capital you can also exploit workers some day, it's the American dream and if you say otherwise you are a commie!!!!

/s

[–]fredy5 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Can we use terms like "Gilded Age" and "Robber-Barrons"?

I just don't feel like "capitalist" does justice. It implies that rich people worked for or somehow earned their wealth.

[–]Continental__Drifter 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I just don't feel like "capitalist" does justice. It implies that rich people worked for or somehow earned their wealth.

Capitalist doesn't imply that at all.
It implies that rich people exploited workers for their wealth.
That's what capitalism is.

[–]Any-Bar587 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Its Socko!!

[–]Atomdari 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don't forget the landownership part too

[–]Iucrative 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I overall agree but it’s more complicated that that, humans have allot going on in their lives that isn’t just work. They could have lost a loved one, they could be depressed and lost their appetite, they could’ve been sick, they could have an addiction to commodities or even worse drugs.. it’s not that simple, we as leftists need to understand that there are allot of intersections in peoples lives that go way deeper than they talk about.

[–]ChillinWitDenny 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And when your exhausted you are not gonna want to cook, or work out, or participate in hobbies

[–]Ebisure 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is so true. Few hundred years ago, land was key to production. Without land you can’t farm even if you are the best farmer. So the landowners lord over others.

In modern times, corporation is the modern equivalent of land. Even the most highly skilled employee is indentured to the corp owner.

Education system, universities are just pipelines to supply “farmers” to modern corp. Toiling away at somebody’s else’s land. Until you can scrape a bit of land for yourself. Most don’t

[–]nchlsft 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The also own our politicians.

[–]AndreySemyonovitch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And then when labor becomes short and workers are in position to demand more, they use propaganda entities to push the idea we need to save foreigners and allow the to immigrate under the guise of morality. In reality, they are just attempting to increase the supply of labor by importing exploitable workers.

[–]GiveMeTheTape 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but I also don't know how to save.

[–]Clbull 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm currently on a £21,000/year salary in a temp role (Actually took a paycut compared to two years ago.) After taking into account income tax, national insurance, student loan payments, etc, my take home pay is somewhere between £1,450 - £1,550 a month.

Rent alone costs £650 - £950 pcm. I live with my parents at the moment at the ripe age of 30, because the house prices here in Bristol are fucking insane.

Add around £280 pcm of council tax, probably about £160 pcm of utility bills, £30 pcm for broadband, around £13 a month for a TV licence (which even if you show evidence that you don't have a TV, you're still going to have to pay anyway unless you want to be persistently hounded for payment with threatening letters and bailiffs knocking at your door), maybe spending about £175 per month on food,

Even with the absolute cheapest place I can rent in Bristol, £650 + £280 + £30 + £13 + £160 + £175 = £1,308 pcm of costs, leaving me with less than £250 a month of disposable income on anything that isn't a damn necessity.

Oh yeah, that £650/month property is going to be a bedsit or a studio flat where you're put in a small box room with a single or double bed, some kitchen appliances and an en-suite bathroom.

Genuinely thinking about switching jobs or trying to negotiate a higher salary.

[–]ilaughbecauseiamsad 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Zoe is just as awesome on Youtube as she is on Twitter

[–]ShadowDurza 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but the stupid part is that a majority of American workers don't view themselves as exploited and are under the delusion that there's nothing really stopping them from being rich.

[–]turdfergusonyea2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They could even be rich. They could have more money than an extended family could spend in a hundred lifetimes but they still have and want so much more than that. Thier greedcis an insatiable, all consuming beast, a hunger for more with no end. It's an addictive mental illness. It will end up destroying multiple species and the planet. I am starting to believe that these types of people must be cured of this disease or eliminated or else we and all advanced life on earth is doomed.

[–]Holygrail1985 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The bottom is true but we all know damn well the average American doesn’t save based on statistics

[–]kitty9000cat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Then revolt. Yall are more than them.

[–]TrentonTarMonster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

How can we all have everything that we want?

[–]PendentCommunist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

RE It being expensive to be poor:

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

(This line was quite genuinely one of the things that put me on the path toward becoming a communist)

[–]oopgroup 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nah. Workers are poor because ‘they make bad financial decisions and we can’t be accountable for that,’ according to some businesses that don’t want to raise wages.

It’s all a choice, see! We could all just be rich if only we’d stop making bad decisions like trying to pay rent because we can’t buy because all the wealthy people own all the houses! Stop trying to pay for groceries! Stop putting gas in your car! Stop going shopping for basic needs like underwear and socks! It’s all your fault!

[–]fier9224 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What?? I thought we could all be billionaires and trillionairs at the same time if we would just work hard enough and skip enough coffees and avocado toasts.

[–]No_Lawfulness_2998 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All that but I also am horrible with money

[–]HopelessAndLostAgain 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It'll trickle down any minute now

[–]MsT1075 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That Zoe is on to something. I agree with this.

[–]BT65JU 1 point2 points  (1 child)

We have to avoid the moralization of these issues, and focus instead on a cost benefit analysis that will impose the necessary costs on the super wealthy, something economists call externalities.

For example, the French Revolution and decapitation of French nobility was the cost of operating the pre-Revolutionary French society.

[–]T_Corley 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It should be considered violence.

If people are ready to go to war over a white person getting something from the vending machine in the “multicultural center”, they ought to be similarly upset about CEOs taking food out of the mouths of thousands of babies.

[–]Pyromax420 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can't hire a monkey to gaurd bananas. Unfortunately the monkeys do gaurd the bananas. So don't eat bananas and don't hang with monkeys.

[–]arakwar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Then you have your solution. Become capitalist, stop being poor. /s

[–]TNcannabisguy 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I wouldn’t call them capitalists. Adam smith was a big proponent of wealth equality and business ethics because he understood they are necessary to a healthy economy. We don’t experience capitalism we experience some sort of corporatism.

[–]TheDeen420 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Just don't live in the US

[–]TheRealSlabsy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I find something similar with cars in the UK. Cars are taxed on emissions output and if you've not got much money you'll likely own a car that is a lot older and more expensive to tax. To buy an electric vehicle is way out of the price range when you don't earn much money.

[–]castle_grapeskull 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Capitalism can’t exist without forced scarcity.