What went wrong with communism?

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LuckyR
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Sculptor1 wrote: June 21st, 2021, 6:18 am
LuckyR wrote: June 21st, 2021, 2:26 am
Sculptor1 wrote: June 20th, 2021, 9:34 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 20th, 2021, 7:36 am







I don't mean to say that humans cannot or do not co-operate. We are a social species. We live and work together, and always have. But our greed and selfishness are just as much a part of 'typical' humanity as our co-operative urges, and the former tend to compromise the latter. This much, I think, is true.
The greedy predators like to spread the myth that greed and predation are normal and inevitable.
That is the basis of capitalism. Such psychopathy is in the minority. But even predating psychopaths have to subvert and mobilise the human tendancy to co-operate. How do you think Hitler managed. Certainly not alone.
Capitalism is much more than Gordon Gecko. In a market economy folks have the freedom to work less and earn less or work more, take risks and earn more.

Do you agree that in a Communistic system everyone gets average compensation, regardless? That sort of system rewards folks who produce less and punishes those who want to work more. 40% of USSR workers took second jobs to add to their compensation. A significant subset of workers want to be rewarded more for working more. They aren't satisfied with average.
Please refer to my previous post to you regarding praochialism.
I don't disagree with your review of early civilization. However in today's consumer economies, folks like to acquire goods and services. I would call this an almost universal reality.

The questions are: how are these desired resources going to be distributed? Is there going to be a connection between work and compensation? Lastly, who owns the means of production?

Many focus on the last question (geared towards a few business owners or government officials), but ignore the first two which impacts everyone.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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LuckyR wrote: June 21st, 2021, 2:26 am Do you agree that in a Communistic system everyone gets average compensation, regardless? That sort of system rewards folks who produce less and punishes those who want to work more. 40% of USSR workers took second jobs to add to their compensation. A significant subset of workers want to be rewarded more for working more. They aren't satisfied with average.
Although this has been said many times, there is an aspect of it that remains ignored. Those workers who "want to be rewarded more": are they worth more? And that brings us to the bigger question of what a particular job is worth. Can it really be the case that the man (it's nearly always a man) 'at the top' is worth so much more than the man who keeps the toilets clean? What is the benefit that the company gets from each worker, and can it be accurately assessed? Is there a way to recognise that the toilet-cleaner always has a cheery word for everyone they see, and the effect on morale enhances the company's profits? And so on.

What is a worker worth to their company?
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 6:38 am
LuckyR wrote: June 21st, 2021, 2:26 am Do you agree that in a Communistic system everyone gets average compensation, regardless? That sort of system rewards folks who produce less and punishes those who want to work more. 40% of USSR workers took second jobs to add to their compensation. A significant subset of workers want to be rewarded more for working more. They aren't satisfied with average.
Although this has been said many times, there is an aspect of it that remains ignored. Those workers who "want to be rewarded more": are they worth more? And that brings us to the bigger question of what a particular job is worth. Can it really be the case that the man (it's nearly always a man) 'at the top' is worth so much more than the man who keeps the toilets clean? What is the benefit that the company gets from each worker, and can it be accurately assessed? Is there a way to recognise that the toilet-cleaner always has a cheery word for everyone they see, and the effect on morale enhances the company's profits? And so on.

What is a worker worth to their company?
An excellent question. I whole-heartedly agree that at the current time, CEOs compensation ratio compared to the average worker is way, way too high. Just as taxes on the 1% are way, way too low. However, I don't think the CEO should make the same as the janitor.

If you look at compensation and taxes before 1964, I'd call that about right. Rich folks were still rich, the government had enough money to build bridges, airports and highways. Medical and scientific research was well funded. No one was a multibillionaire.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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LuckyR wrote: June 21st, 2021, 2:26 am Do you agree that in a Communistic system everyone gets average compensation, regardless? That sort of system rewards folks who produce less and punishes those who want to work more. 40% of USSR workers took second jobs to add to their compensation. A significant subset of workers want to be rewarded more for working more. They aren't satisfied with average.
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 6:38 am Although this has been said many times, there is an aspect of it that remains ignored. Those workers who "want to be rewarded more": are they worth more? And that brings us to the bigger question of what a particular job is worth. Can it really be the case that the man (it's nearly always a man) 'at the top' is worth so much more than the man who keeps the toilets clean? What is the benefit that the company gets from each worker, and can it be accurately assessed? Is there a way to recognise that the toilet-cleaner always has a cheery word for everyone they see, and the effect on morale enhances the company's profits? And so on.

What is a worker worth to their company?
LuckyR wrote: June 24th, 2021, 1:56 am An excellent question. I whole-heartedly agree that at the current time, CEOs compensation ratio compared to the average worker is way, way too high. Just as taxes on the 1% are way, way too low. However, I don't think the CEO should make the same as the janitor.
OK, let's use this as an example. Can we describe how the CEO benefits the company more than the janitor does? Trying our best to take all issues into account, if we can. I can see that both of these workers benefit the company, and the jobs they do are quite different, but is one worth more than the other? Would the CEO do the janitor's job, for example? Even if he retained his CEO pay-rate? I suspect not, which says a lot, I think. What do you think?
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 13th, 2021, 9:20 am
Newme wrote: June 12th, 2021, 7:19 pm Why jump to conclusions & engage in appeal to authority - just to see if you could do both simultaneously? :D

I was mistaken in that it was SOUTH, not North, Carolina...

“A Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship departed South Carolina in July carrying 6,000 pounds of human remains valued at $67,204”
https://www.westernjournal.com/shipping ... argo-ship/
OK, but I can hardly be blamed for being unable to find a news item when you didn't describe it well enough to be found. A brief examination of the new link you offer, and the Reuters report that spawned it, shows what we all might expect. American Capitalistic greed trampling traditional values, and exporting parts of dead Americans for profit.
Reuters wrote:The body parts came from a Portland business called MedCure Inc. A so-called body broker, MedCure profits by dissecting the bodies of altruistic donors and sending the parts to medical training and research companies.
So the situation you referred to doesn't seem to be what you claimed it was. This is not the evil Chinese stealing the dead bodies of Americans. It's the willing and eager participation of an American company in a rather distasteful global money-making operation that seems to include many nations, including the USA and China:
Reuters wrote:Since 2008, Reuters found, U.S. body brokers have exported parts to at least 45 countries, including Italy, Israel, Mexico, China, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Whole bodies are studied at Caribbean-based medical schools. Plastic surgeons in Germany use heads from dead Americans to practice new techniques. Thousands of parts are shipped overseas annually; a precise number cannot be calculated because no agency tracks industry exports.
So this sensational anti-Chinese propaganda story turns out to show the Americans and the Chinese both involved in making money in a rather unpleasant manner. And many other countries are involved too, it seems. So your comment that "China got caught shipping US body parts to add to their massive human organ-selling industry" is untrue, yes? China is far from perfect - very far - but the USA (and my own UK) are as guilty in different, but equally unpleasant, ways.

The current wave of American-sourced anti-Chinese propaganda worries me. For as the American Empire fades, it is probably China who will be the next global Imperial Power. American animosity toward them won't help anyone, I don't think.
A simple word, “north” rather than “south,” shouldn’t have prevented you from finding it... unless you are searching using 40%-biased & censoring Google. I use Duck-duck-go - not 100% objective, but better. You blaming me for you not being able to find it, is revealing. In discussions as these, I pay attention to HOW people communicate as much as the topic.

Chinese leaders have announced their goal of replacing the US by their 100 anniversary in 2049. I’ve already explained (other thread?) How Israel (who gets more US foreign aid than all others combined) has been giving US military intelligence to China. And who pulls the strings in Israel - who established Israel with help from Nazis in 1948, around the time China was established? And Soviet Union/Russia (where Protocols were discovered) founded North Korea & is significantly responsible for the suffering there. Same puppeteers expanding the stage?

Chinese medicine & older culture are fascinating - I am gaining increasing respect for them. For the record, I am not prejudice against anyone except people who prove to actively be trying to hurt many - & such people come on all shapes, races & facades.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 24th, 2021, 12:33 pm
LuckyR wrote: June 21st, 2021, 2:26 am Do you agree that in a Communistic system everyone gets average compensation, regardless? That sort of system rewards folks who produce less and punishes those who want to work more. 40% of USSR workers took second jobs to add to their compensation. A significant subset of workers want to be rewarded more for working more. They aren't satisfied with average.
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 6:38 am Although this has been said many times, there is an aspect of it that remains ignored. Those workers who "want to be rewarded more": are they worth more? And that brings us to the bigger question of what a particular job is worth. Can it really be the case that the man (it's nearly always a man) 'at the top' is worth so much more than the man who keeps the toilets clean? What is the benefit that the company gets from each worker, and can it be accurately assessed? Is there a way to recognise that the toilet-cleaner always has a cheery word for everyone they see, and the effect on morale enhances the company's profits? And so on.

What is a worker worth to their company?
LuckyR wrote: June 24th, 2021, 1:56 am An excellent question. I whole-heartedly agree that at the current time, CEOs compensation ratio compared to the average worker is way, way too high. Just as taxes on the 1% are way, way too low. However, I don't think the CEO should make the same as the janitor.
OK, let's use this as an example. Can we describe how the CEO benefits the company more than the janitor does? Trying our best to take all issues into account, if we can. I can see that both of these workers benefit the company, and the jobs they do are quite different, but is one worth more than the other? Would the CEO do the janitor's job, for example? Even if he retained his CEO pay-rate? I suspect not, which says a lot, I think. What do you think?
There are two factors that go into finding the "correct" wage. You brought up one of them, value to the company. The other is the supply of replacement workers to do that job.

If a software company needs to hire a new software engineer and there are extremely few to be had, you will fail to attract one by offering a janitor's salary. It has nothing to do with if your current janitor is the best janitor in the world (brings much more value to the company than any other janitor).

There are probably times where there are more replacement CEOs available than engineers. In those times, perhaps the CEO should make similar to, or even less than an engineer. I'm ok with that.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 6:38 am What is a worker worth to their company?
LuckyR wrote: June 24th, 2021, 1:56 am An excellent question. I whole-heartedly agree that at the current time, CEOs compensation ratio compared to the average worker is way, way too high. Just as taxes on the 1% are way, way too low. However, I don't think the CEO should make the same as the janitor.
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 24th, 2021, 12:33 pm OK, let's use this as an example. Can we describe how the CEO benefits the company more than the janitor does? Trying our best to take all issues into account, if we can. I can see that both of these workers benefit the company, and the jobs they do are quite different, but is one worth more than the other? Would the CEO do the janitor's job, for example? Even if he retained his CEO pay-rate? I suspect not, which says a lot, I think. What do you think?
LuckyR wrote: June 25th, 2021, 2:21 am There are two factors that go into finding the "correct" wage. You brought up one of them, value to the company. The other is the supply of replacement workers to do that job.

If a software company needs to hire a new software engineer and there are extremely few to be had, you will fail to attract one by offering a janitor's salary. It has nothing to do with if your current janitor is the best janitor in the world (brings much more value to the company than any other janitor).

There are probably times where there are more replacement CEOs available than engineers. In those times, perhaps the CEO should make similar to, or even less than an engineer. I'm ok with that.
Yes, I accept the external reasoning you offer: scarce resources command a higher price. But what of the internal issues? Does the individual contribution to the company of these two workers differ, and if so, how? I don't mean to refer to the difference in their duties, but to the contribution each of them makes. Even though they fulfil different functions, does one of them really contribute more than the other?

Both of them fulfil necessary and useful functions for their company. But are the functions of one more (in some sense) than the other?
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 26th, 2021, 7:58 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 23rd, 2021, 6:38 am What is a worker worth to their company?
LuckyR wrote: June 24th, 2021, 1:56 am An excellent question. I whole-heartedly agree that at the current time, CEOs compensation ratio compared to the average worker is way, way too high. Just as taxes on the 1% are way, way too low. However, I don't think the CEO should make the same as the janitor.
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 24th, 2021, 12:33 pm OK, let's use this as an example. Can we describe how the CEO benefits the company more than the janitor does? Trying our best to take all issues into account, if we can. I can see that both of these workers benefit the company, and the jobs they do are quite different, but is one worth more than the other? Would the CEO do the janitor's job, for example? Even if he retained his CEO pay-rate? I suspect not, which says a lot, I think. What do you think?
LuckyR wrote: June 25th, 2021, 2:21 am There are two factors that go into finding the "correct" wage. You brought up one of them, value to the company. The other is the supply of replacement workers to do that job.

If a software company needs to hire a new software engineer and there are extremely few to be had, you will fail to attract one by offering a janitor's salary. It has nothing to do with if your current janitor is the best janitor in the world (brings much more value to the company than any other janitor).

There are probably times where there are more replacement CEOs available than engineers. In those times, perhaps the CEO should make similar to, or even less than an engineer. I'm ok with that.
Yes, I accept the external reasoning you offer: scarce resources command a higher price. But what of the internal issues? Does the individual contribution to the company of these two workers differ, and if so, how? I don't mean to refer to the difference in their duties, but to the contribution each of them makes. Even though they fulfil different functions, does one of them really contribute more than the other?

Both of them fulfil necessary and useful functions for their company. But are the functions of one more (in some sense) than the other?
I get what you are driving at. The standard answer would use a monetary measure to show that the engineer contributes more than the janitor and the CEO contributes more than the engineer.

However, I don't disagree with your premise that they contribute similarly. We seem to agree that the ability to attract janitors and engineers and CEOs are quite different and justifies different compensation.

In my mind I can reconcile this by offering all workers the same benefits package (due to their similar contribution) with different payscales to reflect their different positions in the hiring marketplace.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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LuckyR wrote: June 27th, 2021, 3:18 am I get what you are driving at. The standard answer would use a monetary measure to show that the engineer contributes more than the janitor and the CEO contributes more than the engineer.
I think this is one thing that I challenge. I don't say it's wrong, but that I am unconvinced that it is right. Do these analyses of contribution take into account all relevant factors, or are they superficial and partial judgements? If they are partial, it seems clear that the bits missed out are less obvious and less easy to demonstrate.

So I would ask what is the justification for concluding that the CEO (retaining your example) contributes more than the janitor? We can assume, in this simple example, that both are competent at their jobs, and that both of their jobs are essential to the optimal functioning of the business. So what is it that the CEO does that exceeds what the janitor does in terms of its value to the business and its commercial wellbeing?


LuckyR wrote: June 27th, 2021, 3:18 am However, I don't disagree with your premise that they contribute similarly. We seem to agree that the ability to attract janitors and engineers and CEOs are quite different and justifies different compensation.
Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am
LuckyR wrote: June 27th, 2021, 3:18 am I get what you are driving at. The standard answer would use a monetary measure to show that the engineer contributes more than the janitor and the CEO contributes more than the engineer.
I think this is one thing that I challenge. I don't say it's wrong, but that I am unconvinced that it is right. Do these analyses of contribution take into account all relevant factors, or are they superficial and partial judgements? If they are partial, it seems clear that the bits missed out are less obvious and less easy to demonstrate.

So I would ask what is the justification for concluding that the CEO (retaining your example) contributes more than the janitor? We can assume, in this simple example, that both are competent at their jobs, and that both of their jobs are essential to the optimal functioning of the business. So what is it that the CEO does that exceeds what the janitor does in terms of its value to the business and its commercial wellbeing?


LuckyR wrote: June 27th, 2021, 3:18 am However, I don't disagree with your premise that they contribute similarly. We seem to agree that the ability to attract janitors and engineers and CEOs are quite different and justifies different compensation.
Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
LuckyR wrote: June 29th, 2021, 2:30 am I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
I wish I had some. I'm not happy with how it is, but I can't quite see a practical way to improve matters. Perhaps getting rid of Capitalism would help? 😏
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: June 29th, 2021, 10:48 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
LuckyR wrote: June 29th, 2021, 2:30 am I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
I wish I had some. I'm not happy with how it is, but I can't quite see a practical way to improve matters. Perhaps getting rid of Capitalism would help? 😏
What about universal basic income? Say you give everyone $20,000 a year, and they can go out and earn whatever they want on top of it. I doubt this would much affect the wages of CEO's. However, the supply curves of labor for jobs that pretty much anyone can do would change quite drastically, I would think. If the job was fun, a lot of people would be willing to do it for a fairly low wage. If the job was miserable, then a lot of people would be relieved of having to do it to survive. So, the labor pool of people willing to be janitors might pretty well dry up, and wages for these jobs could go way up to attract enough workers. However, a lot of people might still enjoy being lifeguards, and wages for lifeguards might go down.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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chewybrian wrote: June 29th, 2021, 7:42 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 29th, 2021, 10:48 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
LuckyR wrote: June 29th, 2021, 2:30 am I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
I wish I had some. I'm not happy with how it is, but I can't quite see a practical way to improve matters. Perhaps getting rid of Capitalism would help? 😏
What about universal basic income? Say you give everyone $20,000 a year, and they can go out and earn whatever they want on top of it. I doubt this would much affect the wages of CEO's. However, the supply curves of labor for jobs that pretty much anyone can do would change quite drastically, I would think. If the job was fun, a lot of people would be willing to do it for a fairly low wage. If the job was miserable, then a lot of people would be relieved of having to do it to survive. So, the labor pool of people willing to be janitors might pretty well dry up, and wages for these jobs could go way up to attract enough workers. However, a lot of people might still enjoy being lifeguards, and wages for lifeguards might go down.
I don't have a major problem with this plan.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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chewybrian wrote: June 29th, 2021, 7:42 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 29th, 2021, 10:48 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
LuckyR wrote: June 29th, 2021, 2:30 am I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
I wish I had some. I'm not happy with how it is, but I can't quite see a practical way to improve matters. Perhaps getting rid of Capitalism would help? 😏
What about universal basic income? Say you give everyone $20,000 a year, and they can go out and earn whatever they want on top of it. I doubt this would much affect the wages of CEO's. However, the supply curves of labor for jobs that pretty much anyone can do would change quite drastically, I would think. If the job was fun, a lot of people would be willing to do it for a fairly low wage. If the job was miserable, then a lot of people would be relieved of having to do it to survive. So, the labor pool of people willing to be janitors might pretty well dry up, and wages for these jobs could go way up to attract enough workers. However, a lot of people might still enjoy being lifeguards, and wages for lifeguards might go down.
People will trell you that this would be an inflationary measure. But I think, not so much that it would invalidate the value of the 20k very much.
It would certianly save money on the labyrinthine systems of benefits payments and means testing that is current.
Janitors would have to be paid a decent wage. I can't see a problem with that.
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Re: What went wrong with communism?

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chewybrian wrote: June 29th, 2021, 7:42 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 29th, 2021, 10:48 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 28th, 2021, 10:37 am Not quite. I agree that this is how it is, but I'm not convinced that it is justified.
LuckyR wrote: June 29th, 2021, 2:30 am I am open to your ideas on what is a justified way of acknowledging the differences in hiring various positions and filling those open positions.
I wish I had some. I'm not happy with how it is, but I can't quite see a practical way to improve matters. Perhaps getting rid of Capitalism would help? 😏
What about universal basic income? Say you give everyone $20,000 a year, and they can go out and earn whatever they want on top of it. I doubt this would much affect the wages of CEO's. However, the supply curves of labor for jobs that pretty much anyone can do would change quite drastically, I would think. If the job was fun, a lot of people would be willing to do it for a fairly low wage. If the job was miserable, then a lot of people would be relieved of having to do it to survive. So, the labor pool of people willing to be janitors might pretty well dry up, and wages for these jobs could go way up to attract enough workers. However, a lot of people might still enjoy being lifeguards, and wages for lifeguards might go down.
Yes, that would surely take us in the direction of social justice. But my original musing was more specific: does the CEO's job really benefit the company more than the janitor's? They are both necessary functions, but is one worth more $£€ than the other? I can't see it....
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