Immigration raids and deportations

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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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Radbird wrote:
GOP/Nazi rule.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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In the US we refuse to pay the proper price for commodities. This is not new.

Converted from L to gal, and from Euro to USD, a gallon of gas in France is roughly $6.25. In France they pay a reasonable price for the gas they use. In Chicago gas is like $3.50/gal usually, and I've heard visitors comment on how expensive our gas is here. Even though it's three bucks a gallon less than it really needs to be. If we charged for gas what the price should be, we'd probably have fewer drivers. Our public transpo systems would improve. We'd waste less money rebuilding roads and bridges because they'd have less wear and tear. We'd pollute less. There's literally only one thing driving cheap gas: people in the US want it.

Coffee is the same. We can go pay $17.99 for 12oz of organically grown coffee, brought to us in a sustainable and ethical way in which the farmer earns a living wage plus maybe a little extra for retirement, or we can get the 16oz bag of store brand coffee or some Folgers for 1/2 the price so we save a bunch of money on our coffee while the farmers flee dictators. The thing about Starbucks and "jeez, a 12oz coffee is two and a half dollars now?" is: that's what it needs to cost for coffee that meets sustainability tests. Starbucks is buying cheap commodities, of course, so there's another issue there. There's only one thing driving cheap coffee: people in the US want it.

Tequila is the same. Tequila production in the past required that an agave grow 8 years or so, then be cooked in a steam oven, then be pressed in a roller mill or a screw mill or under a tahona. Then corporations started buying up tequila brand and they built diffusers--giant machines that take immature 1.5 year old agave, shredding it, spraying it with sulfuric acid--and cooking it in a pressure cooker called an autoclave for a few hours rather than a steam oven for a few days. 30,000 unemployed in the state of Jalisco ENTIRELY because Americans want tequila for $10/bottle and corporations want to make money on that tequila--which, BTW, we could have an hours-long discussion on how lousy diffuser tequila tastes. But on the back bars of restaurants where they boast about how they support farmers on their menu, there's diffuser tequila on the bar creating poverty in Jalisco. There's literally only one thing driving cheap tequila: people in the US want it.

We could go on here: the cost of an iPod, a t-shirt, the global impact on those purchases. Want a pair of boots? You can get some Danners, made in the US, for $300, or you can get something made in a sweatshop for $70. Some jeans? Plenty of options at $80-300, every mid and major city has a fancy denim place, or you can go to Kohl's and get something for $20.

Now combine that with the wage stagnation that we have and our wealth disparity. It's chicken and egg. We should want to pay $18/lb for coffee and $30 for a bottle of tequila and $6.50/gal for gas, but we can't because that's too expensive based on wages. We can't earn higher wages because people need to buy stuff cheap and because of corporate corruption and greed.

But all these things, our demand for them fuels them. We have Trump b/c people voted for Trump. We have a horrible coffee ecosystem b/c people want coffee, even freaking teenagers who "need" a frozen frappe thing. It's a luxury item that we treat like a necessity. We don't need $10/btl tequila. Or $3.00/gal gas. If we stop acting like they're necessities and understand that driving to a supermarket 8 blocks away to buy $10/lb coffee is a luxury we might get somewhere. This is not all on the evils of capitalism or the marginalization of the worker by billionaires. A lot of this is the decisions we make in our lives, and the stuff we as consumers think we need, and our perception (often wrong) of what the correct price is for something.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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The US corporations that buy all that coffee are paying less than they were 3 years ago, but that cost savings has not been passed onto US consumers. The US corporations are just making extra profit. This has nothing to do with US consumers. They have not seen a change in price at all. If anything they've likely seen a small increase in what they pay.

With capitalism, the pressure to reduce costs is even more than just what consumers are willing to pay - corporations' goal is to reduce costs below even what consumers will pay. Zero is the ultimate goal. Every penny corporations cut out on the supply side is an extra penny in profit, and profit is the only thing that matters in the current system. So yeah if the real cost of gas is $6/gallon, but consumers only want to pay $2.50 per gallon....doesn't matter to corporations. In either case, corporations will still want to get oil out of the ground for as little cost as possible to maximize profit because that's what our system rewards.

As for transportation. Right now my choice as a consumer of transportation is: buying a car + gas and driving 20 minutes each way versus a 70 minute bus ride with 2 transfers. These are my 2 choices right now. If you want people like me to make a better choice, then give me better options than these. I gotta get to work somehow. I will say though that I am considering buying an electric car for my next vehicle. We'll see.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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pioneer98 wrote:The US corporations that buy all that coffee are paying less than they were 3 years ago, but that cost savings has not been passed onto US consumers.
There are corporations out there taking advantage of our desire for cheap and fast things. Coffee? Easy.

--Don't buy Folgers. Don't buy the store brand thing that's $9.99 for 30oz. Buy fair trade coffee for $15 per 12oz bag.
--Don't buy Starbucks. They buy commodity coffee, roast the crap out of it so it meets their profile, and charge like it's a luxury item when it's a commodity item. (Same time, no more McDonald's, ok? That's factory beef and even though it's fast and easy and cheap it's awful for our economy and our ecology when we buy it, so that's out.)
--No more gas station coffee at a road trip pit stop. Sorry, that's commodity coffee that feeds this bad economy.
--If we are getting coffee in a coffee shop it should be like $4/cup so that the farmer is getting paid a fair price. So if it's not $4 for a 12oz cup, then the purchase is part of the problem. It should be purchased from and independent or a small local chain known for quality and sustainable practices.

If we all do that, if every one of us only buys fair trade coffee, those corporations--Starbucks, Roundy's, Kroger, Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods, Amazon, all of them that make big bucks on commodity coffee--will suffer and the problem will diminish.

You like tequila? No more Herradura, El Jimador, Casamigos, Cazadores, or any of the other garbage brands owned by big corporations. Youi're either paying ~$28/L and up for tequila or you're part of the problem. If we all refuse to buy diffuser-made tequila then they'll stop making it and all those farmers will get paid and the guys who run the ovens and donkeys will get back to work.

You like smart phones? Don't buy one until yours is either dead or slowed down to the point that it's unusable or you're part of the problem. Don't get a new iPhone every 16 months and Apple will stop using child labor to make a new iPhone every 16 months.

This blind blame being applied to corporations without any acknowledgement of our own rampant consumerism is a load of [expletive] bull [expletive]. Every person participating in conspicuous consumption drives the global consumerist economy and if we were just not so [expletive] consumerist the corporations would go out of business. People literally have the collective power to bankrupt Starbucks and they don't.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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How much of an iPhone is profit?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-appl ... SKBN1D62RZ
The iPhone X smartphone costs $357.50 to make and sells for $999, giving it a gross margin of 64 percent, according to TechInsights, a firm that tears down technology devices and analyzes the parts inside. The iPhone 8 sells for $699 and has a gross margin of 59 percent.
Literally the only thing consumers are telling Apple is: they are willing to spend $999 on a damn phone. Yes it is ridiculous and I'd never do that myself. But consumers are not telling Apple "Hey, I'll spend $999 on a phone, and by the way, no profit margins under 60%!!!" No, that second demand is coming from Apple stockholders. And so then Apple does what it takes to keep profit margins that high, even if it means using slave labor under a totalitarian government. If stockholders were cool with, say, 6% profit margins instead of 60% profit margins...you could make that labor a lot less slave-like, and keep the price of a phone the exact same.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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I don’t think the price is outrageous for what you get but the profit w/respect to lousy working conditions definitely is.
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Re: Immigration raids and deportations

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pioneer98 wrote:How much of an iPhone is profit?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-appl ... SKBN1D62RZ
The iPhone X smartphone costs $357.50 to make and sells for $999, giving it a gross margin of 64 percent, according to TechInsights, a firm that tears down technology devices and analyzes the parts inside. The iPhone 8 sells for $699 and has a gross margin of 59 percent.
Literally the only thing consumers are telling Apple is: they are willing to spend $999 on a damn phone. Yes it is ridiculous and I'd never do that myself. But consumers are not telling Apple "Hey, I'll spend $999 on a phone, and by the way, no profit margins under 60%!!!" No, that second demand is coming from Apple stockholders. And so then Apple does what it takes to keep profit margins that high, even if it means using slave labor under a totalitarian government. If stockholders were cool with, say, 6% profit margins instead of 60% profit margins...you could make that labor a lot less slave-like, and keep the price of a phone the exact same.
People know the phone is made by people paid slave labor. Ask literally any adult "who makes your iPhone" and they'll say "some kid in China." They still line up for the phones. People know that Guatemalan coffee farmers get [expletive] in the butt on every cup of Starbucks they buy. They still buy the [expletive] coffee. Have you not bought a cup of coffee for under $4 in a gas station or cafe in the last 20 years during this boom in portable caffeine? Every time you do you tell Starbucks or whoever else "I vote yes, please do more."

When we stop buying the phones at $999 every time Apple announces a new phone, Apple will go "oh snap, we gotta drop the price on these phones." When we keep not buying them just because they're now $799 (only $33.29/mo over two years!!!!!) they'll go "oh snap, these phones are not selling. Drop prices again." That's the only way their margins drop, is when demand drops.

ALL. PEOPLE. HAVE. TO. DO. IS. NOT. BUY. THE. DAMN. PHONE. It's not up to stockholders to go "wait, they'll line up and buy these at $999 the minute the doors open? Let's cut prices. I don't need a return on my investment and the company doesn't need to staff their retail stores with like 1 staff member per 1.5 guests for great customer service, let's just sell the phones at cost so that everyone can recycle their iPhone every 12 months." That's a bad ask. A REALLY bad ask to the point of absurdity, that a company that can sell stuff at high margin just stops, when demand is high. Why don't you demand sports games cost a dollar and movies are free while you're at it. What's the % markup on a $19 ticket to see stuff blow up in computer-generated IMAX?

It's up to consumers to change the system. Supply. Demand. Pricing. Scarcity. This is Econ 101, it's hyper-basic. Blaming it on corporations like corporations are universally the problem with everything while neglecting the culpability of the consumerism that's rampant in our society might be popular in certain very small bubbles but it's not an accurate view of the world.
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