• BolexForSoup
        link
        fedilink
        12
        edit-2
        15 days ago

        Jfc are textbooks prices even worse than when I was in undergrad? What do things typically cost now? It was awful when I was buying them.

        • @Spacehooks@reddthat.com
          link
          fedilink
          English
          314 days ago

          It was 200-300 for me 15 years ago. Worst part is you cannot pirate them because you need the online code that comes with a new book. I recall something dumb happening if you just got it separated from the book.

          • BolexForSoup
            link
            fedilink
            3
            edit-2
            14 days ago

            Yeah some shift the pages a bit so you can’t buy the online portion separately and have it line up with a previous year’s version even though there is almost no difference in content. At least that’s how it was when I went to undergrad, sounds like about the same time you did.

      • @psud@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        114 days ago

        Text book prices are part of the compensation package for University professors. It’s no surprise their price has risen, since wages aren’t keeping up

    • @j_robyOPM
      link
      English
      1315 days ago

      Oof…

    • @bort@feddit.de
      link
      fedilink
      3914 days ago

      I like that they bring up all these informations, just to conclude, that neo-liberalism would be the solution (instead of the problem).

    • @Sanity_in_Moderation@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      16
      edit-2
      14 days ago

      They don’t actually answer that question. It’s like they’re building to a huge reveal, and then it just stops. Unless I missed it completely.

      Edit. Never mind. It’s just a bitcoin pump. What a waste.

      • @psud@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        1
        edit-2
        14 days ago

        I think there’s some hints.

        • Administration costs have risen, food quality has gone down*
        • Everything has become market based, inflation is built in and required in modern market stability models
        • The very wealthy have learnt to extract more of the value share
        • Residential land in good places is now scarce and so expensive, where it was abundant and cheap back then (because population has increased)

        They seem to think Bitcoin would fix it, but Bitcoin is in the market, and is more volatile than cash

        They seem to think gold has stable and intrinsic value

        Of course what happened then was computers, they are the biggest productivity multiplier since the wheel, and I wonder, do we the workers deserve that share of our productivity that was provided by our employers’ computers?

        *That’s contentious, some people think food quality has gone up, despite obesity rates now vs 1972

    • @JasonDJ@lemmy.zip
      link
      fedilink
      4
      edit-2
      14 days ago

      Vietnam and feminism. Mostly feminism.

      Women joining the workforce in huge numbers increased the labor pool without significantly changing the demand for goods or services. Thats basic supply and demand.

      Owner class played the long game on that movement. Boiling a frog.

      Nothing wrong with women working. And I’m not saying women can’t work.

      All I’m saying is that we’re all complaining about needing two working adults in a household to survive, while simultaneously renting two adult bodies per household to the owner class.

      I’m not saying how to fix it. I have no idea how to fix it. A massive strike sounds adequate, at least 35-50% of the workforce. Never going to happen though, because most of them need two incomes. Pretty shitty.

      • @lledrtx@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        414 days ago

        How do you explain the concentration of wealth in the owner class, then? There are plenty of plots showing that in that website.

        • @JasonDJ@lemmy.zip
          link
          fedilink
          4
          edit-2
          14 days ago

          That’s a separate issue.

          Most of the 1% don’t have their value on cash or from wages. It’s all a giant scattered portfolio, funded largely by loans against stocks which make up most of their compensation. Most of the portfolio cannot be easily liquidated, at least not in large amounts, without serious rippling effects in the economy.

          The problem comes in being able to place loans against stocks to fund future investments. In theory, it’s a high-risk, high-reward opportunity that’s available to all. It could be a great mechanism for middle-class stock owners to build a comfortable nest egg…but instead what’s left of the middle class has whatever stocks they own in their 401k and if they did have other stocks, the risk is far too great to be palatable to most of them. At the scale of billionaires, though, putting a few million worth of stocks as collateral for a loan to start a new company is practically Monopoly money.

          CEO salary is interesting. Most of the big salaries that get people pissed off are in the S&P500. Those salaries are insanely high, far higher than they should be.

          It is worth considering, though, that the S&P 500 are some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. It does deserve some sort of an exceptional wage to be responsible for steering those ships. Not hundreds of millions, probably not even tens of millions, but the CEOs are the figureheads of companies directly responsible for the livelihoods of millions of people, not just their employees but entire economies.

          Thats an insane amount of pressure, and ought to be well compensated. And CEOs aren’t really there for leadership qualities or whatever they say they are (although some of the celebrity/prima donna CEOs certainly bring their own different breed of value to the companies they represent…people like Musk, Gates, Jobs, etc). They are there to be a person to point to when shit hits the fan. As they say, you don’t pay a hooker for sex, you pay a hooker to be quiet.

          In my opinion, I think that a CEOs pay should, generally, be a significant salary proportional to the market-cap of the company, and a large percentage of stocks should not be able to be touched until 1 year following the CEOs departure from the companies.

          • @Shadywack@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            114 days ago

            We’re past the point of asking for ethics, I don’t think you interpreted the guillotines remark correctly.

          • @Rivalarrival@lemmy.today
            link
            fedilink
            114 days ago

            It’s all a giant scattered portfolio, funded largely by loans against stocks which make up most of their compensation.

            Yep. A solution is a tax on registered securities. Any individual holding more than $100 million in registered securities owes 5% on that excess value, per year.

            Most of the portfolio cannot be easily liquidated, at least not in large amounts, without serious rippling effects in the economy.

            Nah. They don’t have to liquidate their holdings. We’ll go ahead and do that for them. We’ll take 5% of each of their positions each year. Transfer them to an IRS liquidator, who will sell them off over months, years, decades if needed, in small quantities, no more than 5% of traded volume per month.

    • @OpenStars@startrek.website
      link
      fedilink
      English
      6815 days ago

      1979 was Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. Reagan did not start until 1980, and while he is famous for breaking the backs of unions, thus crippling their ability to fight back against this trend, he did not actually start it.

      Before Carter was Ford and Nixon, both Republicans. Ford pardoned Nixon’s crimes, supposedly to help “heal the nation”.

      According to Robert Reich’s “Inequality for All” (free link) - he was the Secretary of Labor under Clinton and previously served under both the Carter and Ford administration so he was very much attuned to what was going on - this trend started due to the rise of corporations, which have super-rights that humans do not have. e.g., taxes on stock dividends were capped at like 13% while payroll taxes can go up to >35%, and while if a human commits a crime they would go to jail, but not so with a corporation. It’s a great racket scheme for the rich to cover themselves in a legal fiction so as to avoid pretty much any responsibility for their actions. Hence why we see so many corporations acting so very boldly to destroy the planet - after all, why not? What’s the worst that could happen to them in return?

      • @ProdigalFrog
        link
        English
        2515 days ago

        I was surprised to learn that Carter deregulated trucking, which devastated wages for truckers, and they never recovered.

        • @frezik@midwest.social
          link
          fedilink
          214 days ago

          Carter has become something of a sacred cow among progressives. His post-presidency had shown him to be a wonderful human being, but there’s lots to criticize about his time in office.

      • @Psychodelic@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        114 days ago

        Can you clarify what you mean by rise of corporations?

        I’m asking since I recently learned they’d existed for hundreds of years by then, at least. My understanding is the British East India Co was the first legit corpo

        • @OpenStars@startrek.website
          link
          fedilink
          English
          2
          edit-2
          14 days ago

          Robert Reich can definitely explain it better than I:-). Basically any law that further enhances their protection moves them forward - e.g. Citizens United - while other things may pull them back, e.g. Obama raised the marginal top tax rate on dividends.

          But corporations can do many things, like corporation A takes out a huge loan, builds a building, then hands it to B, then defaults on the loan, even while the board members of B are the same humans as were on A. Sounds like stealing right? Humans need to eat, breathe, sleep, and pay their debts, but corporations do not, plus have special protections besides. In the USA, a “President” of a legal entity can be held liable for actions taken by either himself or by the company, whereas a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) not as much.

          Corporations helped do things not otherwise possible, e.g. didn’t they build the Panama Canal? At the time that was such a huge endeavor that a single normal company could not have done it.

          But there’s a balance, and all told that balance has as of late tipped towards enhancing protections for corporations while offering less rights to the humans, i.e. the former has risen and by implication, at the expense of the latter.

          • @Psychodelic@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            114 days ago

            That makes perfect sense! I 100% agree with you and Mr Reich (love his YouTube channel as well) on the need for striking some kind of balance.

            We need a set of checks and balances just for corporations!

            • @OpenStars@startrek.website
              link
              fedilink
              English
              213 days ago

              Even if we were to assume for the sake of argument that corporations were the best thing since sliced bread - which in some ways they legit are, e.g. see how powerful computers have gotten in the hands of American LLCs, and there seems little doubt that such a pace of innovation would have occurred elsewhere in the world? but even so, setting that aside - the many special exemptions that have continued to be granted to them seems to have lost the balance that they may once have enjoyed.

              Like, when will their wealth eventually trickle down to the rest of us mere humans? Even their own human CEOs are as nothing compared to those giant monolithic entities, able to engage with the world underneath the umbrella of special protections granted to them by governments, which their human board members could not accomplish either on their own or collectively without those special exemptions - that’s just the whole point of forming a LLC to begin with.

              And the American taxpayer continues to subsidize them, so yes we get even more powerful computing devices (in our pockets, on our wrists, on our faces, inside our very brains!?:-P), but on the other hand, most millennials and younger who do not already have a home have lost hope of ever owning one?

              So yeah, as the OP graphic illustrated, “productivity” went up but “wages” (unlike stock dividends) did not, depicting the rise of corporations that use stock rather than Oxygen as the air that they breathe, and correspondingly that occurred at the expense of the mere human, who must rely on “dolla dolla bills ya’all” to be able to purchase goods & services. And there the ultra-wealthy have the most advantages (by design) as they can sacrifice the tiniest percentage of their stock portfolio to be able to purchase a car (or private jet, helicopter, humongous boat, whatever), whereas the mere human must scrimp and save for literally DECADES just to live somewhere where rain does not fall onto their heads as they sleep. It’s not fair - which is fine, nobody who thinks about it for even a moment wants it to be even (why should someone who never works get paid, whereas someone who expends great sacrifices and efforts get similar reimbursement in return - that would be the true unfairness, from a ROI perspective) - but more to the point, it’s nowhere near as balanced today as it once was, say, back in the 50s, 60s, and early to mid 70s. We used to exist side-by-side with corporations, whereas today a tipping point has been crossed and now we are becoming their slaves.

    • @TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      28
      edit-2
      15 days ago

      Reagan was a couple of years later.

      Coincidentally though, Thatcher happened in 1979, and Reagan is just Thatcher with a penis.

      But the real answer is likely that after the financial troubles in the 70s and sky high inflation, there was a number of changes in government to try to have and maintain low inflation - things like higher levels of unemployment being tolerated, employer protection laws not evolving to combat companies’ growing anti-union sentiment, fewer and smaller rises in minimum wages.

      At the same time, lowering of tax rates on wealthy/high income people meant those people at the top wanted to take more of the pie than ever before, knowing that far less of it would end up being lost as taxes anyway, and that meant less for the workers.

    • @nikt@lemmy.ca
      link
      fedilink
      English
      4
      edit-2
      14 days ago

      I’m really surprised no one here has mentioned this yet, but a huge factor would have to be globalization and the offshoring of American manufacturing.

      It started in the 70’s, with companies like GE and the car manufacturers moving factories to Mexico and later Asia, and with growing supply of imported cheap goods like steel. This really took off in the 80’s and 90’s with deliberate market liberalization and promotion of globalization during the Reagan/Bush and Clinton administrations.

      In other words, American workers’ wages were pressured by the extremely low wages of overseas labour.

  • @iAvicenna@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    27
    edit-2
    14 days ago

    spoiler: productivity is cheating on wages with CEO wages

    “our company is making tons of profit, it must be because of the CEO, let’s give him more money”

    • @Asafum@feddit.nl
      link
      fedilink
      2
      edit-2
      14 days ago

      No need to, someone always already did. We’re just in the timeline that goes back so it can’t change this one. Everyone else gets the benefit.

      Screw you Asafum-UN420:69 you’re in the nice universe with no runaway capitalism!

    • @Evil_Shrubbery@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      614 days ago

      Yes.

      In a post scarcity economy, it only makes sense. It would be better for everyone, even nature I bet.

      It would give people options to pursue the career they enjoy.

      • @somethingsnappy@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        1214 days ago

        Should have started in the industrial revolution, clearly should have started in the petroleum/corn age, and stupidly far behind in the computer age.

      • @MrMakabar
        link
        714 days ago

        It makes sense in any economy, which has enough material to provide the basics to everybody. We indeed could do it today, even though we have material constraints as we can see with the climate crisis for example.

    • @psud@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      114 days ago

      Productivity increases were probably from computers. My job has been replacing hundreds of processing staff with computer software. Lately it had been moving the last paper processes to electronic and consolidating as much data as possible

      I think my industry (data capture and processing) has had x100 productivity increases. I doubt the same has happened in more physical work

      Put another way, people aren’t more productive, systems are

  • @shalafi@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    -4015 days ago

    Yes, productivity is up. Yes, wages are stagnant. But we are loads wealthier. In some ways…

    We have access to goods and services and foods and everything, that was unthinkable in 1980. Y’all young people would shit live kittens if you were thrust into 1982. GenZ literally could not function being warped back into those days. And for that matter, I’d be pretty fucked in 1960, but times weren’t as different. If that makes sense?

    The young have had their future stolen. Millennials got the idea quickly and GenZ is certainly getting it. My kids are GenA, don’t know how I’ll talk to them about all this.

    Here’s the thing: Y’all can’t buy a home any longer. So you whine about landlords and rent and capitalism and how ownership shouldn’t be an investment. Sour. Grapes. You lost and cry about the luckier of us being evil.

    No. You got shut out of what used to be a fair(ish) system. You worked and saved and bought a home, you slowly gained modest wealth until you retired. Sounded good to me.

    Anyway, it’s all fucked up for the young. I’m so sorry. Doing what I can for my kids, and it ain’t much.

    But if anyone tries to sell you a simple solution or slogan or meme, tell them to fuck themselves. It’s complicated and you won’t fall for easy solutions. You’ll fight the good fight.

    • @AVincentInSpace@pawb.social
      link
      fedilink
      English
      2415 days ago

      We have access to goods and services and foods and everything, that was unthinkable in 1980. Y’all young people would shit live kittens if you were thrust into 1982. GenZ literally could not function being warped back into those days.

      What are you talking about other than computers? Because if it’s just that I think we’d manage.

    • @Dutczar@sopuli.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      1014 days ago

      So what you’re saying is, we no longer live in a fair system and it used to be fair(ish), better. That suggests it’d have been easier to live in the 80’s.

      What is your point?

      I get your intial point was that life is more convenient now, but you have done nothing to substantiate the claim that we wouldn’t manage in the 80’s. Only thing that comes to mind is shipping things from abroad via Internet, but that’s only really for side hobbies in my experience, I could focus on other, local things instead. Everything else I feel would just be varying degrees of “less efficient” and/or have alternatives.

    • @psud@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      214 days ago

      We could probably do some things to reduce housing cost, make houses less attractive for investors. But the root cause is the increased population