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Myths About Capitalism

Hoplite

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One of the biggest myths about capitalism is that it is synonymous with market, let alone free market.Big capitalists have been in bed with government from the beginning. The rules, regs and red tape supposedly put in place to protect people end up stifling small business and suffocating individual initiative and free enterprise. They don't cramp the style of the big CEOs, bankers and super-rich lawyers who can afford to rig the system in their own favor. The Republicans are sometimes called the Party of the Rich, but it's no accident that this is even more true of the Democrats. The Democratic Party is the party of Wall Street, big business, and billionaires even more than the Republicans ever have been. If most of the super-rich really opposed a highly regulated economy then the Libertarian Party would rank first among billionaires and on Wall Street, but that's never been the case.
The Capitalist system will ALWAYS spur private enterprise try to find ways into the governmental structure. That is a fundamental part of Capitalism, the ever increasing profit drive, that you cant get around.
 

Geo Patric

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I don't think you get how things work. It is not up to me to provide that an improper law is unnecessary or improper, it is the onus of those who desire to prove that it is.

dunno what led to this argument, but i am afraid that YOU have gotten it backwards.

we pass laws based on any of a number of premises. the apriori argument ("i do not need to show that is is bad law, YOU need to show that it is good law"} is rational BEFORE the proposition becomes law. After, its establishment obliges the reverse, apostiori arguments. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals does not appear before the Supreme Court, the appellant having lost to the 9th circuit does.... with the express intent of showing the law in question to be bad law.

geo.
 

phattonez

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It's kind of funny that you guys pretend that the logical conclusion of capitalism is something that goes against the definition of capitalism. Call me crazy, but I think you got something wrong in your reasoning.
 

tacomancer

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It's kind of funny that you guys pretend that the logical conclusion of capitalism is something that goes against the definition of capitalism. Call me crazy, but I think you got something wrong in your reasoning.

I don't agree. Humans are not perfect moral creatures and corruption will happen, no matter how pure our motive or systems.

Not to say capitalism is bad, but it does have some flaws (as all systems do)
 

phattonez

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Capitalism isn't anarchy.
 

phattonez

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Capitalism allow for prosecution of fraud and intimidation. What's the problem then?
 

tacomancer

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Capitalism allow for prosecution of fraud and intimidation. What's the problem then?

Our current system does to, but it still happens. I fail to see how, in the absence of a change in human nature, this problem would be eliminated by any ideology.
 

phattonez

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What is the problem if you prosecute fraud and intimidation?

If anything, the study of human nature tells us that you can't regulate behavior. Making something a law won't change the way people behave. Only convincing their moral sentiments will create a real change. This is why we put violent people in jail, because they're a danger until they really change. Trying to regulate human behavior is a futile endeavor. As long as they're not violent or causing harm to others, what's the problem?
 

Deuce

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I don't think you get how things work. It is not up to me to provide that an improper law is unnecessary or improper, it is the onus of those who desire to prove that it is.

We've made those arguments all over this board, in congress, everywhere. Do I need to repeat them? You're the one who made a bunch of claims about quality going down and talked about being punitive. Nice try on making a bunch of wild claims and then throwing up your hands claiming "NO I DONT NEED TO SUPPORT ANYTHING I JUST SAID."
 

tacomancer

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What is the problem if you prosecute fraud and intimidation?

If anything, the study of human nature tells us that you can't regulate behavior. Making something a law won't change the way people behave. Only convincing their moral sentiments will create a real change. This is why we put violent people in jail, because they're a danger until they really change. Trying to regulate human behavior is a futile endeavor. As long as they're not violent or causing harm to others, what's the problem?

People with influence will always find a way to be above the law. My personal opinion is that in a more regulated society, we have better protections from these problems beyond prosecution. Its a bit of a buffer.
 

phattonez

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People with influence will always find a way to be above the law. My personal opinion is that in a more regulated society, we have better protections from these problems beyond prosecution. Its a bit of a buffer.

But you're not even putting forward an argument. Of course people will try to be above the law, but why would laws against fraud and intimidation not be enough?
 

tacomancer

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But you're not even putting forward an argument. Of course people will try to be above the law, but why would laws against fraud and intimidation not be enough?

Ultimately, here is the way I see it.
1. Prosecution is not enough of a deterrent because the justice system is not flawless. There will always be people who get away with doing the wrong thing.
2. Laws can be manipulated. I know you don't see this is as argument, but I do. No purely capitalist system would always exist in a stasis, which allows room for that manipulation and corruption.
3. In a purely capitalist system, without regulation, I see corruption as far more potentially harmful to regular people.
4. In any system where you prosecute after the fact, the harm is still done and people's lives are potentially ruined (and money does not always fix that)

Our current system also suffers from these same problems, but I think there is less potential for damage to society as it is now. Not really interested in argument though, intellectually honest or not, my mind is pretty made up here.

Ultimately, you have faith that the system can work where I do not. I am arguing from my lack of faith where you seem to be arguing from a high confidence perspective.
 
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phattonez

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Ultimately, here is the way I see it.
1. Prosecution is not enough of a deterrent because the justice system is not flawless. There will always be people who get away with doing the wrong thing.

Granted, the justice system is not flawless.

2. Laws can be manipulated. I know you don't see this is as argument, but I do. No purely capitalist system would always exist in a stasis, which allows room for that manipulation and corruption.

The problem then is with the law, not the system. Do you want to have an agency that is above the law? Because that is what this argument would seem to imply.

3. In a purely capitalist system, without regulation, I see corruption as far more potentially harmful to regular people.

Corruption, such as lobbyists influencing decisions to make certain laws that grant special privleges and such, is harmful to regular people. However, it's not capitalism. Again, the only solution to this is to have someone above the law.

4. In any system where you prosecute after the fact, the harm is still done and people's lives are potentially ruined (and money does not always fix that)

But the problem is minimized, and I don't know of any system that completely eliminates all problems.

Our current system also suffers from these same problems, but I think there is less potential for damage to society as it is now. Not really interested in argument though, intellectually honest or not, my mind is pretty made up here.

Ultimately, you have faith that the system can work where I do not. I am arguing from my lack of faith where you seem to be arguing from a high confidence perspective.

I can see why you don't like it. It's not perfect, I can accept that. But what can you do about it? There is no ultimate authority that can catch everything ahead of time, institute justice flawlessly, and all without a great hit to production (well, besides God, or some kind of deity, whatever you believe).

We have never been able to stop corruption in the legislative branch.
We have never been able to stop all fraud with regulation.

Prosecuting fraud itself is a deterrent to fraud. It is the first deterrent. Without it, then there is no deterrent. Regulation goes above and beyond this. It is a further hindrance on production by sacrificing productive capabilities (you need people in order to regulate), and it puts a lot of strain on business to the point that it hurts competition (new firms will find it hard to conform to the laws/regulation).
 

tacomancer

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Granted, the justice system is not flawless.



The problem then is with the law, not the system. Do you want to have an agency that is above the law? Because that is what this argument would seem to imply.



Corruption, such as lobbyists influencing decisions to make certain laws that grant special privleges and such, is harmful to regular people. However, it's not capitalism. Again, the only solution to this is to have someone above the law.



But the problem is minimized, and I don't know of any system that completely eliminates all problems.



I can see why you don't like it. It's not perfect, I can accept that. But what can you do about it? There is no ultimate authority that can catch everything ahead of time, institute justice flawlessly, and all without a great hit to production (well, besides God, or some kind of deity, whatever you believe).

We have never been able to stop corruption in the legislative branch.
We have never been able to stop all fraud with regulation.

Prosecuting fraud itself is a deterrent to fraud. It is the first deterrent. Without it, then there is no deterrent. Regulation goes above and beyond this. It is a further hindrance on production by sacrificing productive capabilities (you need people in order to regulate), and it puts a lot of strain on business to the point that it hurts competition (new firms will find it hard to conform to the laws/regulation).

I agree, there is no way to prevent it, but with things like regulation and other preventative mechanisms we now have in place that favor regular people, we can tilt the system to get back to some sembalance of balance. If those mechanisms were not there, I believe people would be far worse off.
 

phattonez

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I don't see it. What problems would we have that would stay long term if not but for regulation, while keeping laws in place against fraud and intimidation?
 

tacomancer

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I don't see it. What problems would we have that would stay long term if not but for regulation, while keeping laws in place against fraud and intimidation?

Well, I think the oil spill is a good example as it shows the irrationality of people. Regulations were gutted by the Bush administration and not reinstated by Obama's, but large scale problem still occured even though BP, if they were rational, would know the huge problems it would create for their company and applied their own self-regulation measures, which they did not do sufficiently.

With proper regulation and enforcement of that regulation, this would have been prevented. However, as it is, no matter how much BP spends for cleanup and legal issues, there is damage that cannot be fixed by money, such as to the environment.
 
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phattonez

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Well, I think the oil spill is a good example as it shows the irrationality of people. Regulations were gutted by the Bush administration and not reinstated by Obama's, but large scale problem still occured even though BP, if they were rational, would know the huge problems it would create for their company and applied their own self-regulation measures, which they did not do sufficiently.

With proper regulation and enforcement of that regulation, this would have been prevented. However, as it is, no matter how much BP spends for cleanup and legal issues, there is damage that cannot be fixed by money, such as to the environment.

The Oil Spill is not really an example of capitalism in action with or without the regulations. This is international waters, and nobody owns that land. Things would have been very different had people owned that land. The rig would have been much more secure because the penalty would be much more severe if people owned that land (well, I guess water in this case).
 

tacomancer

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The Oil Spill is not really an example of capitalism in action with or without the regulations. This is international waters, and nobody owns that land. Things would have been very different had people owned that land. The rig would have been much more secure because the penalty would be much more severe if people owned that land (well, I guess water in this case).

The penalty is already extremely severe though. When all is said and done, this is going to cost BP a rediculuous amount of money. Much, much more than installing safety equipment on their rigs (which is about 500k per rig, according to an article I read on CNN, but cannot find the link to, sorry). Not to mention the massive damage to their brand. So, yeah, I think it is a very good example.

Also, that oil is not staying in international waters, so there is property damage as well. (Also, this type of ecological damage is simply more important than property anyway, in my opinion)
 
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phattonez

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It's more than that though. Polluters would already have deals with nearby property owners (in a truly capitalist system). One of the deals would be about excess pollution like this. The property owners would probably demand great fees with this pollution beyond just damage. BP would have to pay a lot more than just damages under a truly capitalist sytem, so they would have been safer. Not to say that it never would happen, accidents always happen (even with regulation), but it would be much less likely.
 

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It's more than that though. Polluters would already have deals with nearby property owners (in a truly capitalist system). One of the deals would be about excess pollution like this. The property owners would probably demand great fees with this pollution beyond just damage. BP would have to pay a lot more than just damages under a truly capitalist sytem, so they would have been safer. Not to say that it never would happen, accidents always happen (even with regulation), but it would be much less likely.

I do not see how your argument is relevent because in this case, it does not involve nearby property owners since it is in the gulf.

Also, we can speculate on how property owners would act all day long, but since this system is not in place, at best we can say is "we theorize it would work like x, given xyz set of laws" However, the issue I see with that is the irrationality of people is a bit of a problem in economics (as opposed to classical theory which does base its rules on the idea that people are) and we cannot assume rational action or even predictable action.
 
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Deuce

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I do not see how your argument is relevent because in this case, it does not involve nearby property owners since it is in the gulf.

Also, we can speculate on how property owners would act all day long, but since this system is not in place, at best we can say is "we theorize it would work like x, given xyz set of laws" However, the issue I see with that is the irrationality of people is a bit of a problem in economics (as opposed to classical theory which does base its rules on the idea that people are) and we cannot assume rational action or even predictable action.

We have some idea because we observed the behavior of companies before these regulations existed. So yes, we can make some assumptions. The entire reason these regulations come about is because of public outcry due to behavior of shady companies. OSHA, FDA, EPA, these agencies weren't created just because the government felt like doing more. Serious **** was going down and the population started to realize "Holy crap, these people are literally killing us. Someone has to stop them." The free market would not and will not fix these things. The customer of Huge Chemical Manufacturer #23 doesn't know or care what HCM23 does with its waste or how it treats its employees. Can you get me 4000 metric tons of sulfur trioxide by next month? Great, how much?

TL,DR version: Libertarian policies completely ignore history and human nature. ;)
 

tacomancer

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We have some idea because we observed the behavior of companies before these regulations existed. So yes, we can make some assumptions. The entire reason these regulations come about is because of public outcry due to behavior of shady companies. OSHA, FDA, EPA, these agencies weren't created just because the government felt like doing more. Serious **** was going down and the population started to realize "Holy crap, these people are literally killing us. Someone has to stop them." The free market would not and will not fix these things. The customer of Huge Chemical Manufacturer #23 doesn't know or care what HCM23 does with its waste or how it treats its employees. Can you get me 4000 metric tons of sulfur trioxide by next month? Great, how much?

TL:DR version: Libertarian policies completely ignore history and human nature. ;)

I was referring to a system where a factory or mining operation would have to negotiate with local landholders for pollution rights as Phattonez referred to. To my knowledge, this sort of thing implemented on a large scale would be a new innovation.
 

phattonez

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I do not see how your argument is relevent because in this case, it does not involve nearby property owners since it is in the gulf.

Also, we can speculate on how property owners would act all day long, but since this system is not in place, at best we can say is "we theorize it would work like x, given xyz set of laws"

So at least we can settle on the fact that we're dealing with a system right now that is not capitalism.

However, the issue I see with that is the irrationality of people is a bit of a problem in economics (as opposed to classical theory which does base its rules on the idea that people are) and we cannot assume rational action or even predictable action.

So what (not meaning to sound like a jerk, I just want to know the consequences of this supposed problem)?
 

phattonez

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I was referring to a system where a factory or mining operation would have to negotiate with local landholders for pollution rights as Phattonez referred to. To my knowledge, this sort of thing implemented on a large scale would be a new innovation.

Exactly, we haven't ever had capitalism as far as I know when it comes to pollution and property rights.
 
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