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Comments about ‘John Florez: Institutions must change with the times’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

We still live in a world where most of us work for a business that provides goods or services. The secret has always been to provide something that people want at a price that they are willing to pay.

Who would have ever thought that McDonalds would become one of the largest companies in the world by providing low cost hamburgers? Who would have ever thought that UPS would compete with the U.S. Postal System and provide world wide parcel service at a price that people are willing to pay? Who would have ever thought that many people would cancel their Qwest phone service because cell phones let them call anyone at any time without paying long distance fees?

Yes, the world is changing. Yes, "institutions" are changing. Those who open their eyes and change along with the "world" still have jobs. Those who want to use yesterday's skills and be watched over by yesterday's unions will fall behind.

Find a need and fill it. Find a problem and solve it. Invent a better mousetrap. But, whatever you do, stop complaining that someone is being unfair to you because you got off before the ride ended.

Nonconlib
Happy Valley, UT

"We now have more productivity and fewer jobs."

This perspective reveals a surprising ignorance about the nature of productivity improvement. Increasing productivity has one effect: it allows a business to produce either more product with the same number of workers or the same amount of product with fewer workers. Increasing productivity can lead to increasing jobs only if the savings reduce the price of the product sufficiently that demand soars. But if the owners and executives prefer to keep the price the same and use the savings to pad their own bank accounts, productivity increases will result in the loss of jobs and no increase in demand. This is pretty basic. And it tells us something about what's wrong with our current system. Those who hold the reins have forgotten one of their primary responsibilities: to pass along a significant share of the profits to those who create them. The greed at the top is what is crippling our economy at all levels.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

One of the greatest fallacies of our time is the belief that we, as workers, are somehow entitled to participate in profit sharing. That is false. That is completely false. That has always been false and it will always be false.

We are paid for our labors. We risked no money to build that company. The company risked everything to provide us with a job. We have been paid all that we were owed.

If we want to participate in profit sharing, we have to risk our own money. We can start a company. We can buy stock in an existing company. In either case, we will be entitled to share in the profits or loss of the company.

The greed from those who believe in Marx (and Obama's "rich guy fable") more than they believe in America is what needs to change. Every one of us can afford to buy stock, a few shares at a time, if we simply turn off the TV and work a part time job. Those who have done that look with contempt on those whose greedy eyes want those profits without risk.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mike Richards "Find a need and fill it. Find a problem and solve it. Invent a better mousetrap. " This is good advice. Any individual who would like to survive should heed it. But Mike is implying (I think) that involuntary unemployment is not possible. We know this is not so. The system can thwart even the most inventive and ambitious.

Florez' heart is in the right place here, but I don't think he perceives the importance of economic theory in allowing us correct perceptions, which leads me to my observation that the economics discipline is frozen in place - in the past. Why? One reason is the absence of Marxian economic theory in the economics framework. Very few American economists have any knowledge of Marx. Marx must be let in the front door, not because he is the last word, but rather because he has a lot teach neoclassical economics.

Mainstream economics is totally hamstrung in attempts to explain what is happening to us.

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