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Supporters of capitalism are crazy, says Harvard

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posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by Frankidealist35

Supporters of capitalism are crazy, says Harvard


mises.org

Last weekend, Harvard University sponsored a conference called (I am not making this up) "The Free Market Mindset: History, Psychology, and Consequences." Its purpose was to try to figure out why, since everyone knows the current crisis amounts to a failure of the market economy, the stupid rubes continue to believe in it. The promotional literature for the conference opened with That Quotation from Alan Greenspan — the one in which he suggested that there was, after all, a "flaw" in the free market he hadn't noticed before.
(visit the link for the full news article)




Is there true free-market capitalism anywhere in the world today?

I thought that meant lack of government oversight?

Actually, nowadays that would be an oxymoron, because government seems to be on an acquisition frenzy. If anything, the US economy is becoming increasing fascist.




posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by vcwxvwligen
 


... Is this a rhetorical question?

I think freedom is important because it makes me happy to be able to think for myself. It would make me happier if everyone were free, and no one worked in a sweatshop or suffered at the hands of a political or otherwise majority. A lack of freedom is violent, and destructive. It's human nature to want to do as you will, to want to be free.

Oh, and because I'm an Anarchist. But anyone who doesn't like or yearn for freedom has something wrong with their head.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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Capitalism has precisely the same flaw as communism does.

Both look good on paper, but both fail to assess the implications of human nature sufficiently.

A free market would be a beautiful thing. Adam Smiths model is brilliant. And we have never used it. The portions of it that suit the powerful and wealthy are used, and the portions that do not suit those individuals are discarded.

Same with communism. The portions that suited the powerful were implemented, the portions that did not suit them were discarded.


One of the problems with most people are that they are utterly unaware of what both communism and a free market economy would actually look like, and they believe the propaganda about both systems, rather than actually find out.

Unless and until we design a system that safeguards against a few manipulating the system for their own benefit at the expense of both the many and the system itself, we will continue to end up in the same situation we are in now. Plato attempted to do this, and he probably did the finest job of constructing safeguards against human nature of any political system I have ever seen. But that same human nature that has spoiled our economies to date will prevent us from ever implementing one that cuts out the loopholes, and actually corrects for self interest and greed.

The article is not wrong. If you think we have had a free market, and you still think what we had is workable, you are certifiable. At the same token, the same would apply if you think communism as designed were viable.

Adam Smiths brilliant model will never work because it requires some rational force to prevent monopolies and other protectionist polices from arising destroying the action of the invisible hand. (which is what has happened to us) But his model provides no means for ensuring this rational force will exist, and will be in the position to keep the market free. Plato does provide this mechanism.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by sadisticwoman
 


freedom has to go both ways. you can be free, but that means free from the government as well.

I agree that capitalism seems a bit unfair at times, but look back at every socialized economy, communism, etc. (government subsidizing could arguably be blamed for japanese deflation) and you see that the more the government interferes with the economy the less efficient and worse it becomes.

Sweatshops are an unfortunate result of capitalism... well kind of. Again, if history teaches us anything, its that EVERY WESTERN AND INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD has gone through a 'sweatshop' phase, and it does everything but hurt the countries economy and living conditions. Usually sweatshops pay much higher wages than farming, prostitution or whatever other option there was in the previously undeveloped country. Sweatshops suck, but they're necessary for things to get better.

You know, there was a time when we didn't rely on the government to protect workers, in fact, workers decided it was far more effective to organize themselves into 'unions' which after their original use almost all ways end up corrupt and useless, but in a crisis they're great.

And I'm sure the government helping to manipulate the housing market had NOTHING to do with the consequent bubble and now economic crisis, just as i'm sure you've taken a hard look at what most historians and economists agree 'new deal' economics did last time we started government spending.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by djon01]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by sadisticwoman
reply to post by vcwxvwligen
 


... Is this a rhetorical question?

I think freedom is important because it makes me happy to be able to think for myself. It would make me happier if everyone were free, and no one worked in a sweatshop or suffered at the hands of a political or otherwise majority. A lack of freedom is violent, and destructive. It's human nature to want to do as you will, to want to be free.

Oh, and because I'm an Anarchist. But anyone who doesn't like or yearn for freedom has something wrong with their head.



Actually, freedom is violent and destructive. Liberty is not.

I'd like to think that most governments strive to prove their people with liberty.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by sadisticwoman

Ha ha, are you joking? You want sweatshop conditions?


Honestly, I would rather join the zulu tribe in Africa...

And stop with the extreme analogies...


Because I'm pretty sure people working in sweatshops barely make enough to EAT let alone enough to start their own business.


Well, it seems to be working for the chicoms.



Pure speculation- right! Because there were never children who were miners who were paid a quarter a week and ended up being crippled for life! And let's not forget that women seamstresses probably loved being killed in fires in their workplaces! They were probably cold anyway.


Yes, please continue to dazzle me with your [snip]


And no- sweatshop jobs are crippling, demoralizing, and generally not better than not having a job. At least without a job you can suffer on your own terms and you won't be beat for not producing fast enough.


see zulu tribe remark above...



Ours sure as hell isn't! We don't choose what we can buy-


You dont? Then why, and how the hell are you typing on this computer with internet hook up? Its a supply and demand world, if no one is producing it, then how the hell are you typing all your [snip] I am guessing you are typing on a computer you bought, therefore you chose it...


the companies in our country are mostly one big monopoly without being a legal monopoly so they could be cut down to size.


God, you have one [snip] up view of the world..So your saying you want the government to cut these corporations down in size... You have absolutely no idea what that would do to our markets and investments... America is the investment capital of the world, we are a market driven economy, if we do what you are proposing, we would instantly become a undesirable place for investment, because over governmental regulation. You do that, you take a HUGE chunk of our economy away.


That means we don't get to choose whether or not Nike gets shut down, because they also profit from a clothing line and energy drinks (a hypothetical situation, as I can't remember who Nike is actually partnered with). We don't choose what's available in the market. We don't get to choose with our money.


The thing you seem to be forgetting is, these companies can, and are supposed to fail if the product they are producing is, for lack of better word, [snip] That is pure untainted capitalism. Like the pheonix, another company, a better one, will rise from the ashes and take its place or go the way of the dodo... Its a beautiful, yet flawed system that has seen china go from sh!thole to the worlds fastest growing economy..

These bailouts need to stop! Let capitalism take its course.

[edit on 20-3-2009 by Fox News]


Mod Edit - Mod Edit: Profanity/Circumvention Of Censors – Please Review This Link.


[edit on 20-3-2009 by elevatedone]



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Fox News
 


You shouldn't purposely misspell swearwords to get around the censors, and I never once said I was pro-bailout. That money should have gone to the American people to buy things with, and to fix their own debts.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 11:08 AM
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There are many maxims that reside under the heading of "capitalism" that are born out of a philosophy of greed really. The same can be said for the other end of the spectrum.

In capitalism when considerations of market realities become secondary you have problems. Labor unions and share holders want their streets paved with gold. The government steps in and promises you the streets paved with gold and an "equatable' economic reality that the free market has failed to provide. What a mess.

Most power centers these days depend on a dumbed down consumer base or voter base. Weak disorganized mass of retarded sheep make all the power worlds go round. Cant let them do to much thinking.

What we are seeing these days is a war between competing power seekers. I would rather take my chance in a free market environment simply becouse more and larger scraps fall from the table. Reality and history have shown the free market contest to be the clear winner in the produce game.

Its can be ruff out there so strap up and watch out, use your head, defend yourself, educate yourself. There are sharks out there and saints. Be vigilant. Or just go communist becouse it requires none of these things, just gray drab for one and all.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by sadisticwoman
 


Well put. And succinctly. Sometimes, I have to sigh when I encounter ideas that were never discussed when I went to college. I am a college professor, btw, and make a point of sharing these tidbits that I feel my students need an opportunity to think about.

The Tragedy of the Commons is apropos for this discussion. I am sure philosophy classes must throw this around, but it seems way too important not to be given closer scrutiny by those of us who regard a capitalist republic as the ultimate environment for its citizenry. The Tragedy of the Commons offers some serious challenges to how much we can allow ourselves to trust a free market, when resources may eventually become scarce or the market so overrun that small businesses become extinct.

Then, there is the Tragedy of the Anticommons. Where government and corporate funding guides research, dictates what resources are lawful to treat human problems, and ignores resources that at least in some instances would be less expensive and work much better.

And, most interesting of all to me is how the various "crazy" things discussed on this site can be summarily dismissed by skeptical academics and people like me, face people reporting experiences with these "crazy" things without training to help them. We see them as, simply, delusional, and might prescribe a neuroleptic (antipsychotic) for them to shut them up and keep them from upsetting others.

I do wish, sometimes, I had not fallen into Alice's #ing rabbit hole!

Dan



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Logarock

In capitalism when considerations of market realities become secondary you have problems. Labor unions and share holders want their streets paved with gold.


You speak as though labor unions and shareholders are on the same team. They arent you know. In theory, shareholders ARE the corporations. They are the actual paper holding owners of the corporations. They are the intended beneficiaries of the business. Not CEO's and other corporate officers. CEO's are employees of the shareholders. For the shareholders to expect the companies they own, (their stock) to increase in value, or pay dividends, is not contrary to a free market. It is the very essence of it.

Likewise with labor unions. When companies are large oligopolies, that is problematic in a truly free market. Monopolies and oligopolies are not consistent with a free market. Labor unions form to even the score. A free market needs a large amount of small competitors, so that they cannot influence price. When they become large, they begin to influence prices, including the price of labor. Labor unions are oligopolies themselves, as individuals (or small businesses) are on unequal footing with the business oligopoly. Allowing oligopolies to form in business, but preventing oligopolies from forming in labor is NOT a free market. It is the opposite of it. What we have seen is the government intervening on behalf of business to break up labor oligopolies.

Why are oligopolistic businesses encouraging the government to intervene on their behalf and prevent oligopolies in labor from forming or thriving? Simple. They want to control the price of labor themselves, rather than allow the invisible hand to do so. Why? They want larger profits. Now you may assume that wanting larger profits is perfectly consistent with a free market. You would be wrong. In a truly free market, profits begin to approach zero. Understanding that goes a long way to understanding why you will never see any truly free market. What you will see is what we have. The wealthy invoking the term "free market" when they wish to break up oligopolies of labor, or when they wish to remove other barriers to their own oligopolistic or monopolistic movements, but the truth of the matter is they are vehemently opposed to a free market.



Originally posted by Logarock
The government steps in and promises you the streets paved with gold and an "equatable' economic reality that the free market has failed to provide. What a mess.

Most power centers these days depend on a dumbed down consumer base or voter base. Weak disorganized mass of retarded sheep make all the power worlds go round. Cant let them do to much thinking.


The government is actually trying to please two masters. The voter, who is not yet locked out of the game, and the wealthy, who are trying very hard to fix the system in such a way that the market is no longer free, or anything approaching free, so that the system itself works in their favor. (Again, which is the antithesis of a free market) The only real competition at this point is between competing behemoths. You have two parties in America, that serve two competing blocks of businesses, (and those business try to hedge their bets by betting on both horses) and both parties only offer token benefits to the individual citizens.

The people who are disorganized sheep are not the people who try to form unions, or other large blocks of labor, the disorganized sheep are those who are opposed to any sort of organizing of labor against industry. Individually we (the American people) do not stand a chance at having our interests served in this system. Only by either forming oligopolies ourselves, and lobbying for our interests or by forcing the breakup of business oligopolies do we stand any chance.

Those who buy into the propaganda about a "free market" that business sells to the masses via "news" and other means, are the disorganized sheep. A free market would NOT preclude unionization when dealing with business oligopolies. It would require it. Or, it would require the regulation of business to the degree it did not become an oligopoly or monopoly and acquire the power to manipulate the market for labor in such a way that unions were necessary to get a fair market value for your labor. When corporations are allowed to import labor, use illegal labor, or export manufacturing, they are manipulating the labor market in the US and driving wages down by increasing the supply of labor.


Originally posted by Logarock
I would rather take my chance in a free market environment simply becouse more and larger scraps fall from the table. Reality and history have shown the free market contest to be the clear winner in the produce game.


Reality and history have shown two catastrophic collapses of this system in 100 years. That is hardly a "clear victory."


Originally posted by Logarock
Or just go communist becouse it requires none of these things, just gray drab for one and all.


There are more than two choices here. The only two possibilities for economic systems are not 1) a manipulated and mislabeled "free" market and 2) a manipulated and mislabeled "communist" system. There are as many choices as we will consider. The problem is, we the people do not educate ourselves on economic theory AT ALL. We simply take the two labels that are handed to us by the wealthy and powerful, and we accept without question that these things are what they tell us they are. The problem is, they arent what they tell us they are. Unless people are able and willing to look pass the labels that are put on the packages and sold to us, we will continue to unwrap packages of Bull poop labeled "candy." A label means nothing. It says nothing of necessity about the contents of the package. Only by examining the contents of the package can you tell what you really are being sold.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 



Nice post. I hardly needed the lesson though. Save for a few points I was basically saying what you were without elaborating.

The government stepping in and threatening to make employers of ten or more employees carry health insurance is a labor/social issue and really doesn't take into account market realities. This is the type of traditional government involvement on the small end of the picture anyway, that in theory emanates from ideas that for profit enterprises must serve the community beyond the simple idea of making widgets a 2$ per idem profit.

At the core of most labor ideology rest ideas of this sort. If labor unions were simply a matter of labor safety and working conditions, which are not unjustified really, that would be one thing. But they also believe it rests on the corporation to address labors bottom line, based on any thing from a simple desire for a higher standard of living via the wage, to hardcore ideas about exploitation/standard of living vs wage deferential. Some of these issues not being without merit, the answer to these questions many times rests on the market value of the end product and have less to do with wishes of owners and stockholders. So in comes government to subsidize in some cases and artificially prop up the whole show. And for what? So the labor unions can believe they have a measure of victory when in reality its the tax payer or customer of end product somewhere whos paying their wage, not the market. The history of the coal industry in this country is probably the best example of this. The history should be titled "The history of the american coal industry/how to quell civil unrest and the redneck wars by passing the cost on to the customer."

The coal industry hasn't been a free market from the days before electricity was generated by coal or industry was driven by coal. Back when a man could dig a load out of the hillside, toss it into his wagon and sell or trade it with neighbors. However over time this lead to thousands of leaching river polluting mines that had to eventually be sealed up at great cost and the little guy put out of business for environmental and uniformed safety standard reasons. Not that the big mining companies were cutting edge mine safety and environmental paragons. They would probably still be operating on 1940 standards with higher acceptable causality rates if the unions and government hadn't stepped in.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by sadisticwoman
"Freedom" to watch your small business get taken over by Walmart?
"Freedom" to barely be able to buy food?


Shop at Wal-mart! Also keep in mind there are lots of companies still out there besides Wal-mart silly.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Originally posted by Logarock

In capitalism when considerations of market realities become secondary you have problems. Labor unions and share holders want their streets paved with gold.


You speak as though labor unions and shareholders are on the same team. They aren't you know"



To me, in many cases labor is really after becoming little shareholders. There justifications are no different really than the stockholder. In other cases labor does believe that entities must serve them in their quest for higher standard of living.

Below is classic.



The people who are disorganized sheep are not the people who try to form unions, or other large blocks of labor, the disorganized sheep are those who are opposed to any sort of organizing of labor against industry. Individually we (the American people) do not stand a chance at having our interests served in this system. Only by either forming oligopolies ourselves, and lobbying for our interests or by forcing the breakup of business oligopolies do we stand any chance.

Those who buy into the propaganda about a "free market" that business sells to the masses via "news" and other means, are the disorganized sheep. A free market would NOT preclude unionization when dealing with business oligopolies. It would require it. Or, it would require the regulation of business to the degree it did not become an oligopoly or monopoly and acquire the power to manipulate the market for labor in such a way that unions were necessary to get a fair market value for your labor. When corporations are allowed to import labor, use illegal labor, or export manufacturing, they are manipulating the labor market in the US and driving wages down by increasing the supply of labor.


Reality and history have shown two catastrophic collapses of this system in 100 years. That is hardly a "clear victory."



Well not with basic free enterprise/market, but yes this big massive industrial/ cash based system.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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Honestly, who would want to go around believing people at Harvard... Pfft.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by OKCBtard
 


All of them just as much a monopoly, or about to be eaten by one.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:16 AM
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To everyone condemning a free market and point to what there is in the US:
There is no Free Market with "fiat" currency. The market cannot be free because there are those at the top who manipulate the market in every thing they do, because there is no intrinsic value in the currency that permeates the market.

That, btw, is why proponents of TRUE free markets, such as Ron Paul, also push for a currency with an intrinsic value. Because you can't have one without the other.

And BTW...why is it shocking news to so many that Harvard is full of socialist idiots? The majority of "educated" in the US are by far the least intelligent people in our society. They spout dogma, parrot facts, and spend their careers growing dogma and catch phrases and "models" to support their beliefs. Perhaps one in ten, if that, has any true intelligence, and those are often shunned by the majority. No idiot masquerading as an intellectual wants to have a constant example of true intelligence working at his side.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by saturnine_sweet
 


Yeah, all those facts they learned, they don't have a lick of truth to them!



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by sadisticwoman
 


The problem rather is that there are too few facts and too many opinions, for one, and a horrific lack of critical thinking, for another. the ability to spout memorized data has nothing to do with intelligence, nor the ability to apply data to real world issues.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:25 AM
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i think capitalism and communism are equally crazy.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:27 AM
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This whole thread fails. Capitalism is the creation of this worlds troubles end of story.




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