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To Help The Economy, We Must Embrace Socialist Ideals

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:00 AM
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Right now many major American companies are in serious trouble. Their business models functioned fairly well in a more effective economy, but in the current recession, they are floundering if not completely sinking. To remedy this, the government has offered a bailout.

That, in and of itself, is a bad idea. It's like giving a liver to an 80 year old drunk instead of a 10 year old child prodigy who suffered liver failure due to a car accident.

However, the government has added stipulations to the bailout, as if to ensure that the companies fail. The government has said that the CEOs and upper management is not permitted to get bonuses and there will be a salary cap dictated by the government. To those of us little guys, we think, yeah, who the heck needs a $300M salary and a bonus to boot? That's insane!

The problem is, saying they can't is a surefire strategy to cause the companies to stay in the red.

You have several companies that have relied on a legacy system of business, and in order to get out of the hole they're in, it's going to require some remarkable talent. Like it or not, CEOs add a ton to a company. An army without generals, while better equipped and better trained in fighting, will be easily beaten by a weaker foe who has generals coordinating all efforts towards a singular purpose (companies often refer to this as a hedgehog concept).

To save the airlines and auto companies, it will require focused and experienced leadership. However, the government has dictated that that focused and experienced leadership must be willing to work for far less and be rewarded with nothing except the satisfaction of a job well done.

Let's say there's a baseball player who has a hitting average of .732 and every third ball he hits is a home run. Not only that, but he's also an amazing pitcher who typically throws a no hitter. Amazing ball player. Two teams are trying to get him to play for them. One is offering a hundred million dollars a year, plus a $50G bonus for every game won and a $20G bonus for every home run. Another ball team who desperately needs him offers him $300,000 a year with no bonus. Why would the ball player elect to play for the second team?

Yet that's what the government is doing with these troubled companies. Executive management is a competitive world, and those who are very talented are fought over in bidding wars between companies. It is that talent these companies need, and that talent they have been told they will not get.

So what does socialism have to do with it? In Marx's concept of socialism and communism, the people would work at what they do best for the good of the society, content with having the same as any other people, regardless of skill level or aptitude. Effective CEOs are rare, and these bailout companies are going to need one of the best. For what they're being offered compared to what other companies would offer them for their services, the only reason they would have to go work at, say, GM, would be for the betterment of the nation. Someone whose paycheck would be to see the recession turn around.

Since most people (if not all) that have reached that level of talent in managing businesses in a capitalistic environment are capitalists themselves, this is probably not going to happen. Which means either the government is going to have to continue to throw money into these sinkholes, essentially paying all of their employees welfare, but welfare that requires showing up at a job every day, or letting the companies go belly up after wasting billions of dollars postponing the inevitable. Does anyone else see a problem with this plan? Am I wrong in seeing a lose-lose scenario with the way we're going about this?




posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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I am not going to be a very good debater as I am just now really starting to care about politics and the goverment. But i dont see how giving a handout can really help. IMO the people in charge of the companies did not manage money correctly. But, you can't blame the big-wigs as a whole. Not when last year gas was at a all time high. we have been at war with everyone who is, or might be a threat for 6-7 years now. Crediters are hitting younger people who have no monetary values (which was me) it was really bound to happen.
But socialist idea's might help, but at the point i see america, there is really no justifiable way to get out.
stimulus plan is to hand them a shovel and say dig your way out.
Just doesn't seem fair to me.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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That, in and of itself, is a bad idea. It's like giving a liver to an 80 year old drunk instead of a 10 year old child prodigy who suffered liver failure due to a car accident.


I agree completely with this statement, but I'm afraid that's where our thinking diverges.



You have several companies that have relied on a legacy system of business, and in order to get out of the hole they're in, it's going to require some remarkable talent.


The talent doesn't magically appear - the 'talent' is responsible for getting them in this mess. The 'talent' managed to completely and totally mismanage trillions of dollars and cause a global collapse. The 'talent' is no more 'talented' now, months later, than it was at the start of this debacle.



Like it or not, CEOs add a ton to a company.


Okay - yes, they do, I agree. But what they add is their rolodex, not some financial or business acumen, not an amazing, superhuman ability to squeeze blood from a stone.

The modern CEO is hired and retained based on his connections, often established at Ivy League universities, or from stints in public service. These connections are the only thing worth paying for.



Yet that's what the government is doing with these troubled companies. Executive management is a competitive world, and those who are very talented are fought over in bidding wars between companies. It is that talent these companies need, and that talent they have been told they will not get.


That's a good line you're selling, but I aint buying. There are guys coming out of school every day who are smarter and more talented, but they get very small levels of compensation because they have no track-record.

CEO compensation has balooned to these obscene levels because everytime one of these guys leaves his job and goes to a new one, he demands just a little bit more than he used to make. He's not doing a better job (often he's doing a worse job), but he's getting paid more.

I've dined with these masters of the universe, I've worked alongside them - if you can call it work. They're not magicians, they're not geniuses, most of them are not exceptional in any way. They're simply paid more than the rest of us.

The guy who cleans to toilets works ten times harder, and makes an average of 320x less money. Explain that to me, please?

I think it's ludicrous to say that CEOs deserve 300 million dollars a year, given the amount of work they do. It's even more ludicrous to say that taxpayers need to subsidize their luxuries, and take the hit for the mistakes of the CEOs.

Why should we pay a premium so that some jerk can continue to eat well, fly around the world, keep seventeen houses and three boats in three different timezones, and all that after running his business into the ground?

Saying that you have to pay for talent is true, but if you have ever been toe to toe with this 'talent' you know, there's no spark in most of them. Some are meaner than the average bear, some are smarter, the ones who are both go far, and earn a ton of money, and that's fine.

But I don't have any interest in subsidizing their failure. Thanks, but no thanks.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:40 AM
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reply to post by junglejake
 



Are you on the payroll? It's too late anyway. Freefall has begun and I really don't see how it's going to stop. I am in no way a radical survivalest type but I also think that this system needs to be somehow "reset". It is not going to be pretty, but we need to be shaken to our cores so we can once again realize what we have (or used to have).



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:52 AM
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Free handouts in the form of bailout money will make lazy people lazier. It appears the socialist ideals would stifle creativity and entrepreneurship, which to me is the backbone of a free market system.

The point behind ‘spreading the wealth’ is meant for those with some moral conscious not to hoard for their mansions, parties and such but to take whatever bonuses they have and re-invest in starving workers, who would in turn offer their talents in helping the company make profits.

I just don’t like my hard-earned taxpaying money to go to old-timers with outmoded business models of mass-producing stuff that doesn’t get mass-consumed by buyers, who are already unemployed and cannot afford to buy beyond basic means to life. I would rather invest in young minds with new ideas.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 02:12 AM
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I honestly feel that the only way to "save" the economy is to get rid of the fraud. Capitalism has nothing to do with any of our problems what is the key contributor to our problems though is government.

Lobbyist for these institutions have the politicians in their back pockets and have essentially manipulated the government into passing laws that benefit the corporations. That is corporatism. Which is what we have although it is secretive.

Then we also have Central Planning (Federal Reserve) that has complete control of our monetary policy. Central Planning is socialist. There are lots of reasons why the worlds economy is in the toilet, and lots of it has to do with socialistic, corporatist policies.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:53 AM
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The problem is that if you take a person with raw talent it takes years with the right mentors and experiences to turn a person into the end product which in this case is in the very least competent or excellent Corporate managers . To much or little of certain experiences or someone being removed from the reality of the situation can all lead to the crucial process of producing the next generation of leaders to fail . Those who have read Military History should understand my point nicely .

Largely the current bunch of CEOs and managers that help to create the mess we are in come from a failed culture if not system and thus cannot be counted on to help the situation .



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
The talent doesn't magically appear - the 'talent' is responsible for getting them in this mess. ...


That's founded on the idea that they would maintain the same executive management, which is probably the worst thing they could do. Whenever you have a merger of two major companies, usually the first thing that takes place is all management gets canned in the company that is acquired. This isn't necessarily because they can't do the job, but because they were advocates, and would more than likely continue to be, of the culture that brought the company to the point where it needed to be bought.

It sounds like, from reading many of the responses here, that most see executive management as a sort of boys club, where everyone knows everyone and everyone is working to help everyone else. Essentially what we see here often regarding politics -- meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In addition to that, there is an idea that the CEOs are just figureheads and the real work and decisions come from below. The evidence seems to point to another direction.

Leadership makes a huge difference. Let's take ATS as an example. By this principle, we could strike down Springer and Skeptic and replace them with any other pretty face and not run into a problem. Sure, we might miss their faces, but ATS as a model would continue to move in the same direction and continue to become a better and better discussion board because they offer only "their rolodex, not some financial or business acumen, not an amazing, superhuman ability to squeeze blood from a stone." Yet, you look at the rest of the conspiracy world out there, and it's pretty pathetic. Is it just the members? Well, many of the members of ATS are members at other conspiracy websites, too. Why aren't they flourishing as well as ATS is? ATS's admins have added a lot, and the result can be seen here versus other places.

Does it happen to be that we just happen to be the burp in the universe, the one situation we're all familiar with is the exception, not the rule, and typically leaders of companies are bumps on a log that get a big office to keep them quiet and let the real movers and shakers get the work done? Why, then, would the employees of companies like Walgreens, Kimberly-Clark, Abbott, Gillette and Wells Fargo, when their companies moved from decent to spectacular, give all the credit to the CEOs? (It's interesting and important to note, too, that those CEOs who were alive to be interviewed said it was their people and luck that got them there pretty consistently -- read Good to Great by Jim Collins for an indepth analysis of this -- it's a good, no great read!)

It's easy to condemn the CEO when the company flounders and praise outside circumstances when it succeeds, but so consistently in those successes those employees who were directly involved in the move almost always attribute their success to their fearless leader. Why would this be if they only added a watch to the mix?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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Out of curiosity, WyrdeOne, you said you work with CEOs. How so and which companies?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
It's like giving a liver to an 80 year old drunk instead of a 10 year old child prodigy who suffered liver failure due to a car accident.


Excellent analogy. I love it!


Let's say there's a baseball player who has a hitting average of .732 and every third ball he hits is a home run. Not only that, but he's also an amazing pitcher who typically throws a no hitter. Amazing ball player. Two teams are trying to get him to play for them. One is offering a hundred million dollars a year, plus a $50G bonus for every game won and a $20G bonus for every home run. Another ball team who desperately needs him offers him $300,000 a year with no bonus. Why would the ball player elect to play for the second team?


Er... not so good of an analogy this time. lol Mainly because these 'players' are more frequently injuring the spectators at the game with foul balls instead of hitting home runs.

Just my humble opinion. If things were working the way they should work then you would be absolutely correct. But reality shows this isn't exactly the way it has gone, is going, and most likely will not go.

Edit to add: If they prove themselves worthy, though, then I would have no problem with them receiving bonuses after the fact. As in, receive your reward for a job well done- not for a job to be done.

[edit on 3/10/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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Socialism has NEVER worked before! Why are people so dumb to believe that it will work now??? Failing companies deserve to fail! They are failing for a reason!



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by junglejake
 


Worked - past tense. Nowadays I only ever see the CEO of my company rarely, when he makes a presentation to the facility.

Are you gonna check my past credentials and validate my opinion?


Reach Networks - 2 years, office assistant
MarchFirst - 1 year assistant to the controller and 1 year assistant office manager
B&R - 1 year, security
Delaware Limousines - 1 year, shift fleet manager
Big Deahl Prod. - 1 year, digital artist

I also spent some time as a researcher/executive assistant for the former CEO of Fruit of the Loom in the late 90's. I was perched right outside his office like a good little helper monkey, and witnessed all sorts of amazing feats of ass-sitting on his part.


Got a job for me, jake? I'm always accepting 6 figure offers.


I'm worth it, trust me. Better yet, trust a guy I know who went to Harvard, I'll give you his number. I also once got hit by a van that was being driven by a Yale alumni. Does that count?

I've never been degreed enough to hold the title CEO, CFO, or COO myself, but I've got the two former in the family. So as I said, I've dined with these supposed giants. On more than one occasion I've passed the potatoes.

Alright, enough, I apologize for the tangent - my point is that the title doesn't make the man.

AshleyD makes a good point about a 'job to be done' - and more, severance packages in the tens of millions for a job poorly done, or a job not done at all - what's up with that?

These are not supermen, they're not titans - they're just people. Many of them went to the good schools, some of them even got good grades.


I long for the day when this country is a true meritocracy, where one is rewarded according to his or her abilities and achievements, and not the inverse as seems to be the case right now. It's bad enough when it's just the Board of Directors okaying these hugely inflated salaries, it's so much worse when our elected officials are endorsing checks that come out of our bank account.


BFO

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by junglejake
 

From a debate on Socialism elsewhere on ATS:

Here is one definition of socialism that might fit our more specific needs:

Socialism does not mean government or state ownership. It does not mean a closed party-run system without democratic rights. Those things are the very opposite of socialism.

"Socialism," as the American Socialist Daniel De Leon defined it, "is that social system under which the necessaries of production are owned, controlled and administered by the people, for the people, and under which, accordingly, the cause of political and economic despotism having been abolished, class rule is at end. That is socialism, nothing short of that."


This is sooo old skool! First of all, within the US we lost all hope of having the means of production when Ross Perot lost the only US election during the only 20th Century Presidential election where a 3rd Party candidate had a remote chance of winning since Theodore Roosevelt ran under the "Bull Moose Party".

So forget those concepts. The New World Order is FIRMLY in place. Production, Allocation of Resources, Agriculture, Energy, even WATER is ALL Globally privatized and completely out of the realm ANY Nation's People can do ANYTHING about anymore, short of a Global revolution. And, I hate to deflate any idealistic aspirations anybody out there might have, but it just isn't going to happen.

Like we used to say when Bush went rampaging into Iraq looking for WMD's, Regime Change Begins at Home

Peace begins within each and every human heart. Things are so out of control now, ANYBODY who thinks following the pied piper of Chicago is going to make things better might as well keep his or her head buried in the sand and hope that protects them from the devastation that appears to be approaching fast and furiously.

If people do not start becoming realists very fast and in great multitudes, and with the courage to speak their minds, not be "Ditto Heads" like Rush Limbuagh's followers used to incredulously define themselves; then brace for the worst - even though, IMO, we should still all hope for the best.

Do not get me wrong. I would LOVE for Obama to actually lead the World to peace and prosperity. I still love watching Disney Cartoons too. Which is more likely to be real?



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 10:41 PM
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It could be argued that the CEO's of the failed banks and insurance companies and etc. were not entirely to blame for the mess they're in. The atmosphere of deregulation that has encompassed Wall Street through every presidency since Reagan (excluding Obama, who has just started) made the collapse a disaster just waiting to happen. There have to be some restraints placed on our biggest financial institutions and they just aren't there anymore.

That said, there is the honored corporate tradition of the "general" (CEO) falling on his own sword in defeat. Though they couldn't control all the circumstances of their collapse, they should take responsibility for running their companies into the ground. The CEO's of the three automakers had to suck it up when they went before Congress, divest themselves of their corporate jets, and agree to work for $1 a year. The CEOs on Wall Street should be expected to do no less. I've no doubt they all have valuable skills and experience, but the fact is they couldn't have produced worse results. If somebody else is really out there, ready to offer them millions in salaries and perks, then by all means they should go. But I very much doubt that is the case.

While there are some great ideals in socialism, I don't believe that one has to become a complete Marxist in order to be a successful CEO in today's business climate. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are two millionaires that come to mind when you talk about combining business acumen with selfless humanitarian ideals. I believe they have both suffered some from the present crisis, but I'm confident they won't be the cause of disasters on the scale of Wall Street's.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by kozmo
Socialism has NEVER worked before! Why are people so dumb to believe that it will work now??? Failing companies deserve to fail! They are failing for a reason!


Yes, and they should be allowed to fail. That's capitalism. Those with poor management and business plans will replaced by businesses that are well-managed and have a good business strategy- if capitalism is left alone. Artificially keeping companies like GM alive is the problem. They couldn't turn a profit when times were good, yet many think throwing tax-payer money at them will cure their ills.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 11:59 PM
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This is the death of Capitalism and it deserves to die.

The rules were if you worked hard you would get ahead. That is not the case. I know many retired people these days who spent their lives working their butts off in search of bigger and better things without success. Why? Because they didn't go to the right school (or couldn't afford the right school or any school)or kiss the right ***.


Well many smart hard working people are now out of work. And yet the people who are responsible for this whole mess continue to collect bloated, over inflated paychecks.

If Capitalism allows this then how can it possibly be the right way?
I am not pushing socialism either, but there has got to be something inbetween.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 05:00 AM
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reply to post by junglejake
 


Don't you see that has been their plan all along?.... The destruction of the REpublic by turning it more, and more Socialist and then claiming only making it MORe Socialist will solve all problems?....

You know, after years of some other members and myself saying this, and now it being more and more obvious that this has been their plan SHOULDN'T IT BE OBVIOUS THAT WE SHOULDN'T ALLOW THE REPUBLIC TO BECOME SOCIALIST?.......

BTW...why is it that EVERY TIME that "scientific Socialism/Communism is embraced the nations embracing it ALWAYS become dictatorial, yet you want to try this again?...


Giving ALL POWER to the STATE, and those in power in the STATE will ALWAYS make a nation into a dictatorship....

There is never, and will NEVER be a "true worker's paradise". That's just some illogical fantasy made up by illogical minds.

[edit on 1-12-2009 by ElectricUniverse]



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 05:14 AM
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Originally posted by Hastobemoretolife
Lobbyist for these institutions have the politicians in their back pockets and have essentially manipulated the government into passing laws that benefit the corporations. That is corporatism. Which is what we have although it is secretive.


Exactly. The repeal of Glass-Stegall act (thank you Phil Gramm and the rest of GOP bastards) was the root of the current financial disaster, and yet the press keeps remarkably quiet about it.

Capitalism is great as long as it's properly regulated. Just like firearms.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 07:02 AM
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The best thing to do for the economy is to let it alone and allow it to function as it will. Markets will ebb and flow regardless of what kind of controls are placed upon it in the same way oceans ebb and flow and at least with the oceans humanity hasn't been foolish enough to think they can actually control the coming and going of tides. The trick with bodies of waters such as oceans is to understand the cycles of ebb and flow and to work with in that paradigm, not to waste time and effort trying to change how oceans ebb and flow.

Want to know the primary difference between capitalism and socialism? In capitalism man exploits man and in socialism its the other way around. Exploitation is the key! Once considered to be the hallmark of heroic behavior, Hercules was praised for his exploits. Then Marx and his ilk popularized modern day socialism and communism and suddenly Hercules went from being the glorious hero who achieved 12 exploits and became the mundane hero known for his 12 labors.


Exploitation being a pejorative is a modern day phenomenon and there was a time when it was understood that in order to flourish and prosper one must learn how to exploit the environment and circumstances surrounding them. This is not to argue that one should summarily abuse and recklessly disregard the environment or the people who constitute the circumstances that one exploits and indeed, we all reap what we sow. However, one can not expect to flourish and prosper by simply doing the least that is required for the least amount of time. We flourish and prosper only when we decide to be more than who we have been and to create out of nothing...something!

Humanity was not born with naturally growing wheels that we casually picked off of wheel bushes to attach to carts we picked off of cart trees. Wheels and carts were invented and the person who invented these machines of marvel created them by exploiting the environment and creating a scenario which was conducive to expediting progress and success. The agricultural era did not happen naturally but was created by thinkers and planners who endeavored to exploit the world around them to create a better world.

Exploitation was never the problem, what became the problem was the promise of flourishing and prospering under false conditions. The claim that the owner of a factory was less important than the workers who worked for that factory created an illusion of self importance misplaced and woefully incorrect. The idea that people could equally own the means of production through some system of social equanimity misrepresents the truth of the situation.

A factory that produces cog wheels has to be built and the raw materials needed to produce those cog wheels must be purchased or dug up from somewhere and, of course, the salaries paid to those precious workers who have come to believe that they alone are the reason cog wheels get made, are expected to be paid whether or not the cog wheels are brought to market and sold. The socialist will look at the profit the owner of a cog wheel factory makes and ask; "from whence came those profits?" and smugly tell himself or herself that he or she should see that profit and not the owner who did nothing but build the factory, purchase or find the raw materials needed to produce the cog wheels and produce the investment capital that would allow that owner to pay the workers salaries before those cog wheels were even made and then ultimately bring those cog wheels to market and sell them.

There is much in the entire equation of business that is left out when it comes to socialist idealism and in terms of controlling economies too many times will the idea of price controls be implemented on an economy without any understanding that price controls are not cost controls. That the cost of goods and services will ultimately adhere to the prevailing conditions surrounding those goods and services is a given and the ultimate price of those goods and services may at times exceed or even fall well below what the market will bear, but when prices do this it is because someone, somewhere is jigging the system. Even so, while that jigging of the system may be able to sustain itself for a time, it is inevitable that the system itself will tend towards entropy as that is the natural order to all closed systems.

The current economy and its ultimate failure is a testament to the truism that all systems tend towards entropy. Although blame tends to be irrelevant, in this current economic downturn it is clear that neither capitalism nor socialism proper are to blame. What has created this current downturn is a reliance on something quite different and that difference is corporatism. Corporatism is neither capitalistic nor socialistic even though it can adopt some of the principles of both, corporations never seem to adopt those principles that would allow their system to avoid the pitfalls of entropy. Corporations are more akin to oligarchies or what John Kenneth Gailbraith termed; oligopilism.

A true capitalist system is one based on massive competition with in a free and unregulated market place where the currency is a system of value that is agreed upon by all parties that what is being used as currency actually has value. In today's economic system where corporatism rules, competition is not only frowned upon it is viewed as as sin! Corporations spend millions of dollars each year lobbying government to regulate the hell out of the market place to better ensure newer competition or smaller companies have no hope of surviving the system and the currency which was once lead by the U.S. dollar is now going through radical changes because the U.S. dollar is worthless and is so because it has no value but is merely fiat money printed as needed.

In a capitalist system where massive competition is the order of the day, when a business fails it is not felt by the whole economy because there are countless other businesses in place to pick up any slack left by that failed business, but in today's economy when a corporation fails, regulators such as the Federal Reserve will declare that business "too big to fail" in spite of the clear regulatory anti-trust laws put in place and delegated to the Federal Reserve to regulate. This coupled with fiat currency is what has created the current economic downturn and it was created by those who claimed they could help.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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The problem with Socialism is that it never stays within the utopian bounds as set by authors and philosophers. Everything is done for the betterment of the state or it's people, unless it can benefit those in power or those "dictating what is best for the masses." While the philosophy in many's eyes are perfect, the people administrating it are far from it and DO NOT have the best interests of thier tennets at heart. Take a real good look at America's "Neo-Socialists/Marxists. While they talk a good game they also speak of limiting speech, liberties and even some cases rights both human and civil, as long as it forwards thier agenda. I am not saying Capitalism is the best but it is far better than allowing a bunch of Chavez clones get thier greedy hands on American way of life. And I do mean greedy, because I would be very surprised to find out if these community conciuos people give everything they expect others to give to the cause, AKA Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Van Jones, etc. etc. etc. If the Socialist ideal wants to wipe it's slate clean and start over and re-present it's case with actual constitutional limitations on it's policies, I might hear it. Until then it is nothing more than a bunch of the same hypocrits trying to seize power, line thier pockets and stick thier noses into places it doesn't belong.



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