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Myths About Capitalism

Deuce

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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.

Who owns the local rivers or lakes? How large an area does air pollution affect? Quite frankly I'm more comfortable starting from the position of "you don't have the right to pollute."
 

Sov

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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.
I agree, which is why the first priority of anyone opposed to capitalist domination (again, not to be confused with free markets) must be to eliminate the State. Without the State, capitalists and their allies would be unable to maintain their status as power elites.
 

phattonez

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You don't have a right to pollute until you strike deals with nearby property owners allowing you to pollute.
 

Deuce

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I agree, which is why the first priority of anyone opposed to capitalist domination (again, not to be confused with free markets) must be to eliminate the State. Without the State, capitalists and their allies would be unable to maintain their status as power elites.

Err, I'll take abuse-by-industry over the Wild West, thank you. Eliminate the state? In that case, the Google Mercenary Army would be in charge.

You don't have a right to pollute until you strike deals with nearby property owners allowing you to pollute.

(insert repeat of previous question)
 

phattonez

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People who buy the rivers or lakes are parts of them own the land (water). So if you can prove that you'll be polluted, then the company will need to strike a deal with you.
 

tacomancer

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People who buy the rivers or lakes are parts of them own the land (water). So if you can prove that you'll be polluted, then the company will need to strike a deal with you.

Pollution can be unpredictable and there is always more to learn. I just don't see that solution as viable. Especially when it comes to water ways that flow or extend into drinking water tables. I don't think anyone's property rights should take precedence of those sorts of things, ever.
 

phattonez

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Pollution can be unpredictable, but if you can't measure the pollution then it's negligible.

And it would be easy to trace water. If it gets into a company's water way, then they have to pay the company for that water and the company can distribute it to their customers however they see fit.

And how are property rights taking precedence over anything in my scenario?
 

tacomancer

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Pollution can be unpredictable, but if you can't measure the pollution then it's negligible.

And it would be easy to trace water. If it gets into a company's water way, then they have to pay the company for that water and the company can distribute it to their customers however they see fit.

And how are property rights taking precedence over anything in my scenario?

Because you are relying on negotiation with people and their property over regulation.

Also, I was referring to water tables, not necessarily water ways (I was jumping off your water way point), but I just don't see it as feasable. For example, if a factory wanted to pollute along a river, they would have to negotiate with everyone down stream (and if they were in ohio, for instance, thats a lot of miles to get to the gulf). Also, as to the water table point, if it gets into the water table, you are talking about potentially poisoning an entire population (really you can do that with rivers too) and some water tables are larger than states I think. It would be basically impossible to negotiate and get agreement from that many people or companies.
 

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I agree, which is why the first priority of anyone opposed to capitalist domination (again, not to be confused with free markets) must be to eliminate the State. Without the State, capitalists and their allies would be unable to maintain their status as power elites.
Capitalism, with the minimal intrusion of government, creates wealth and prosperity. Those societies which have tried to eliminate capitalism inevitably discover that when it is sufficiently blocked, not only is prosperity blocked, but those societies are incapable of creating sufficient wealth to sustain a basic minimum standard of living.

Always will be corruption and greed in any system and people can profit from corruption for a time. But capitalism is the road to sustainable growth.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the worst way to run an economy...except for every other method ever tried.”
 

LiberalAvenger

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I have no problem with rich people, as long as they understand that they rely on us. I also understand that the wait staff suffer a loss when people cut back going out to eat, since we rely on each other to get by in this world. Working hard in your chosen enterprise should lend itself to rewards; whether it's a comfortable middle class environment or a mansion with lots of hired help. However, there is a need for some regulation to keep the greed in check; otherwise some people will take advantage of others.

Michael Medved is a silver spooner trust fund baby boomer. He went to Hollywood High with a bunch of snotty rich kids.

If you want to get into his head read his "Whatever Happened To The Class of 69"
 

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There are people who whine about the fact that they have to deal with evil corporations for such things as food. Some people fail to see that capitalism have provided them with a vast array of quality goods, services and a standard of living that they blithely take for granted and the providers of which they look upon with contempt or even jealous hatred. The fact is that if it weren't for evil corporations, they most likely starve to death.
 

LiberalAvenger

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There are people who whine about the fact that they have to deal with evil corporations for such things as food. Some people fail to see that capitalism have provided them with a vast array of quality goods, services and a standard of living that they blithely take for granted and the providers of which they look upon with contempt or even jealous hatred. The fact is that if it weren't for evil corporations, they most likely starve to death.

When corporations learn how to grow a real tomato then maybe I will believe them. BTW have you been grocery shopping lately? A cucumber cost a dollar. Watermelons are $4.00 and they are round this year instead of oblong and are about half the size. A pound of onions costs as much as a pound of cheap hamburger.
 

DarkWizard12

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When corporations learn how to grow a real tomato then maybe I will believe them. BTW have you been grocery shopping lately? A cucumber cost a dollar. Watermelons are $4.00 and they are round this year instead of oblong and are about half the size. A pound of onions costs as much as a pound of cheap hamburger.

O.O where the hell do you shop at?
 

Deuce

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Capitalism, with the minimal intrusion of government, creates wealth and prosperity. Those societies which have tried to eliminate capitalism inevitably discover that when it is sufficiently blocked, not only is prosperity blocked, but those societies are incapable of creating sufficient wealth to sustain a basic minimum standard of living.

Always will be corruption and greed in any system and people can profit from corruption for a time. But capitalism is the road to sustainable growth.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the worst way to run an economy...except for every other method ever tried.”

And unregulated capitalism kills people. As in literally, directly, causing them to die. Regulation and Capitalism are not mutually exclusive. People who talk about the FDA or OSHA being some sort of massive government overreach should read up on why those agencies were created in the first place. The government doesn't just expand because it feels like doing more stuff. It does it because the people demand action over something or other.
 
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Hoplite

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Capitalism, with the minimal intrusion of government, creates wealth
This is not in dispute.

and prosperity.
This, however, is. Prosperity is created for the select few, the wealthy.

Those societies which have tried to eliminate capitalism inevitably discover that when it is sufficiently blocked, not only is prosperity blocked, but those societies are incapable of creating sufficient wealth to sustain a basic minimum standard of living.
Examples?

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the worst way to run an economy...except for every other method ever tried.”
To quote John Maynard Keynes, "“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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This, however, is. Prosperity is created for the select few, the wealthy.

Capitalism, or reletively close approximations of it have down pretty well for American, Europeans, and East Asians. Poverty in areas that are embracing capitalism like China and India is decreasing as well

Examples?

Post WWII Burma, North Korea.

To quote John Maynard Keynes, "“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

Economics has nothing to do with morality but responding to incentives.
 

Areopagitican

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Just a general question: If capitalism doesn't work, except for the ultra-wealthy, how has the world's median household income gone up?
 
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Hoplite

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Capitalism, or reletively close approximations of it have down pretty well for American, Europeans, and East Asians. Poverty in areas that are embracing capitalism like China and India is decreasing as well
Brining the poverty level down a few percent is a good start, but you still have widespread poverty and much of that is directly attributable to many of the Capitalist activities.

People who work in factories overseas are paid FAR less than an American worker doing the same job. So someone in China may get a dollar an hour as opposed to an American worker who gets 8 dollars an hour. Companies defend this by saying that a dollar an hour is about the standard wage and that it's better than nothing. While true, it's still not decent pay and raising the pay to even three dollars per hour would not, in the long run, be a bad thing on the budget because you now have a workforce that is well-paid and probably happier. Happier workers dont need to be watched as closely and are less likely to strike as well as working harder. These companies do lift some people out of poverty but they continue the problem for many more people.

Post WWII Burma, North Korea.
Burma was extremely poorly managed. In many cases superstitious beliefs were implemented as law and the central planning comities had no real experience with what they were doing. On top of that, there was no political fluidity as there was a one-party system.

North Korea is not a socialist country, it is a totalitarian system that has picked the "give to the government" part out of Communism and ignored the rest. North Korea is a beautiful example of a totalitarian dictatorship that cherry-picks from other ideologies to suit it's own desires, nothing more.

Economics has nothing to do with morality but responding to incentives.
Economics and morality HAVE to be related in the modern world. Economics that is untempered with morality is a frightening idea.

Just a general question: If capitalism doesn't work, except for the ultra-wealthy, how has the world's median household income gone up?
Overlay a chart of the world's median household income with the world median purchasing power and see what you get; incomes have risen, yes, but what those incomes are able to buy is far decreased in most areas.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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Brining the poverty level down a few percent is a good start, but you still have widespread poverty and much of that is directly attributable to many of the Capitalist activities.

Poverty has decreased dramatically due to capitalist activities.

People who work in factories overseas are paid FAR less than an American worker doing the same job. So someone in China may get a dollar an hour as opposed to an American worker who gets 8 dollars an hour. Companies defend this by saying that a dollar an hour is about the standard wage and that it's better than nothing. While true, it's still not decent pay and raising the pay to even three dollars per hour would not, in the long run, be a bad thing on the budget because you now have a workforce that is well-paid and probably happier. Happier workers dont need to be watched as closely and are less likely to strike as well as working harder. These companies do lift some people out of poverty but they continue the problem for many more people.

If you want to make them pay a higher wage they are going to leave. This method has brought millions of Chines out of poverty as their economy has flourished.

Burma was extremely poorly managed. In many cases superstitious beliefs were implemented as law and the central planning comities had no real experience with what they were doing. On top of that, there was no political fluidity as there was a one-party system.


North Korea is not a socialist country, it is a totalitarian system that has picked the "give to the government" part out of Communism and ignored the rest. North Korea is a beautiful example of a totalitarian dictatorship that cherry-picks from other ideologies to suit it's own desires, nothing more.

You asked for governments that went away from capitalism and suffered, and I showed you examples. Also, as for Burma, you can't train an elite to centrally plan an economy effectively. It is far to complex.

Economics and morality HAVE to be related in the modern world. Economics that is untempered with morality is a frightening idea.

No they don't. You can be the greediest CEO in the world, but that doesn't mean that the board will give you one cent that they don't think you deserve; you can cheat your customers, but you'll lose business. It doesn't matter if you're bad in economics if the incentives push you to act good.

Overlay a chart of the world's median household income with the world median purchasing power and see what you get; incomes have risen, yes, but what those incomes are able to buy is far decreased in most areas.

The rise in things like health care and food prices is attributable to government. Even then, the fact that the quality of material life for the average person in the US or any other country that has embraced capitalism is beyond dispute
 

ecofarm

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Overlay a chart of the world's median household income with the world median purchasing power and see what you get; incomes have risen, yes, but what those incomes are able to buy is far decreased in most areas.

I find this to be disengenous. Yes, inflation exists - but it does not overshadow the massive gaines in standard of living achieved in India (and even China, despite social totalitarianism) via the free market.

Also, if you are going to ask for examples of failures that moved away from capitalism, don't respond with "but they are not REAL (utopia) Communism!" That's just intellectually dishonest, as your original question was not the favorite among the far-left: "show me a communist country", follow by "Haha, I got you! There are none!". That wasn't the road we were going down and you didn't even set the trap properly; your actual request was more vague and was answered fairly.


I'd like to note what I find to be the weakest link in capitalism (or, if we can be more realistic and less inflamatory - the free market)... It's not a process, it's not greed and it is not evil corps. The biggest problem, the real soft spot in the free market is one of its components: the 'informed' consumer. When the consumer is not informed, the market operates sub-optimally; this is the most glaring (and correctable) aspect of the free market. Saying "stop being so greedy!" is dumb. Saying "stop being so evil!" is just lame. Saying "let's get educated and become informed consumers" - now, that makes sense.
 
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FilmFestGuy

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This is faulty analysis. First off "selfishness" is nothing more than an emotional word with no quantitative value. The second flaw in your analysis is the complete omission of the supply chain, things cost money including but not limited to raw materials, distribution, labor, means of production, taxes, regulatory costs, etc. All of these things will change the final price of any good or service. The third flaw is the assumption that the market should be "made accessible" and this will increase the consumer base, this is possibly the most flawed argument because of the human condition....tastes, tolerance for price, value considerations, and other decisive factors in any given transaction.

You cannot simply add to a market by artificial expansion of such, see above.

If nothing else, this does not speak to myths of capitalism, rather a complete lack of understanding of such and too much reliance upon Keynsian economics.

What you're missing in your analysis, though, is this:

Capitalism relies upon people acting in their "rational self-interest". This, to me, is the inherent flaw in those wishing for less, instead of more, regulation. Taking out loans one can't conceivably afford? That's not in one's rational self-interest. Forsaking long-term profits for short-term gains? That's not in one's rational self-interest.

Now, I think individual's should be allowed to screw themselves up all they like. As long as they pay for it. But the fact that - through deregulation which allowed companies to merge and grow to behemoth size - we actually have corporations so large that their failure could drag the nation to its knees should be proof that a complete lack of oversight isn't acting in OUR rational self-interest.

I would argue that without some form of oversight, many people act irrationally against their own interest and when many people do so, as we have learned, it wreaks havoc with the system harming those who were doing everything the right way.
 

ecofarm

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I think that goes back to the "informed consumer", the free-market's weak-link. I don't think the people are acting irrationally, they're acting ignorantly (that goes for the supposed smarties on the boards of directors, too).

Why presume malice, conspiracy or insanity when ignorance is a perfectly reasonable explanation?
 
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DrunkenAsparagus

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I think that goes back to the "informed consumer", the free-market's weak-link. I don't think the people are acting irrationally, they're acting ignorantly (that goes for the supposed smarties on the boards of directors, too).

Then tell them to go on the internet and research what they're buying.
 

ecofarm

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People barely read labels on processed food and most don't have the slightest clue how they even get their food (method of production, delivery... nothing, they know nothing). And this is our most basic product necessary.

There's a long way to go. People are not going to just start researching for their own good in masse. I wish, but that's not likely; however, as the world becomes more educated and the consumers more informed, the free-market's efficiency will improve and the impact of externalities will be reduced.

As with gun control, I think we should focus more on education and less on frivolous regulation that is designed to address symptoms and not the source of the problems.


Informed consumer. That's the part we can really control and improve, even at a personal level. That's the part that can work from the bottom up.
 
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DrunkenAsparagus

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If people don't know what they're buying when the information is all available, their loss
 
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