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Unregulated Capitalism does not give opportunity to all

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posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by saturnine_sweet

First, let me say, I agree with you. My background is much the same as yours.

I think some here confuse the weaknesses of capitalism with the weaknesses of men. Capitalism does not prevent corruption, laws are meant to do that. The hijacking of a lawful government by corrupt individuals is a universal problem, not limited to capitalism. In fact, capitalism gives each of us some opportunity to be as corrupt as we choose to be. Therein lies the problem.
The solution lies in severely limiting the power of the federal government, and giving a more local government the powers not specifically granted to the federal government.
I think the constitution sort of, kind of, does that? Why did we choose to ignore the greatest contribution by men to mankind that ever came along?

On another note,
Fractional reserve banking is responsible for a great deal of our ills right now. An example:
If I sign a note with a bank for 10 grand. That is an asset on the banks books, and they can now loan MANY TIMES that amount because of my signature. No reserves. Just my promise to pay. This Ponzi is collapsing in real time, of course, and we are blaming capitalism?

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

I have a very successful retail business I have sweated blood to build it up. I am a business man that has been threw it all.

What we have in America is a failure that is a direct effect because of deregulation. The small business owner is not the one to regulate, its the ultra powerful large monsters that need to be leashed. In the beginning of the industrial age it was fully free and deregulated. It took advantage of the working class to the point that regulations had to be placed to protect the underdog from the rabid beast.

Trickle down does not work except for these monstrosities we have created on the sweat and blood of the American people. We have been divided, and this division started in the 60's, gained traction in the 80's and is now is reaching critical mass.

This division was created as a smokescreen so your average person would go duh yup the only way is deregulation and free worldwide market.

Regulation is placed to protect the underdog from the rabid monster.

We are not animals and do not need to have this dog eat dog world anymore. People are waking up and understand at a basic level that we just cant live like that anymore.

We need to live closer to the heart.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Originally posted by rizla
The trouble with unregulated capitalism is that it will by itself become an oligarchy. Those who succeed will use their economic leverage to stop competition.

So unregulated capitalism won't work, unless you want an oligarchy. Some regulation is required, such as the stopping of monopolies and the encouragement of competition.

This is clearly not happening because the extremely wealthy are using their economic leverage to control government policy.

I said the exact same thing on that ridiculous Ayn Rand thread.

Given the chance Corporations will become the government and exploit their power to limit competition and then drive up prices.

People choose to forget that Enron faked power shortages in California (if not elsewhere) to screw "little old ladies" out of their money.

Regulation protects people from the invisible hand of the market which would happily wrap it's invisible fingers around your throat.

People (and I mean Americans) seem to think that:

100% government regulation = Awful
90% government regulation = Awful
80% government regulation = Awful
70% government regulation = Awful
60% government regulation = Awful
50% government regulation = Awful
40% government regulation = Awful
30% government regulation = Awful
20% government regulation = Awful
10% government regulation = Awful
1% government regulation = Awful

0% = Perfect heaven on earth

In fact, thanks to the efforts of lobbyists we've seen what 0% government control looks like:


posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:51 AM
As of last night, I had gone through this entire thread, and while it was entertaining to see how people from both sides of the "coin" felt, I couldn't help but think the going back and forth was nothing more then mental masturbation.

By this I mean, either you agree or you don't. Either you like the way things are going, or you don't. But this thread left me wondering, it left me with a feeling of "ok, 6+ pages of thoughts and ideas but no action".

There have been a few people in this thread that have stated they came from poor, uneducated, and big families who's parents worked as hard as they could so that they could help their kids make a better life then they had.

Then we had people who say they started a business, then couldn't even keep it and now don't own it anymore.

We have people saying "the system works I am happy we have the system we have in place, if you work hard you can make it from the bottom and not have to be a common worker"

Then we have people saying "the system cannot work without people being at the bottom, and there will always be a bottom."

Both of these are essentially right, are they not? We see it everyday. But regardless how you feel on the topic, all this is pointless if you aren't doing anything to either attempt to change it or fix it. The guy who worked hard and got a business up-and-going, used the system to his advantage. The guy complaining he can't get ahead obviously didn't, due to what ever the reason might be. Through experiences of multiple people, we essentially have proof of both facts. But then that in itself creates a paradox.

Everyone technically does have a "chance". No matter how poor you are, if you are born able bodied and able minded, you essentially have a "chance" to make enough of yourself that you don't have to grind 9 to 5. There are tons, and tons of examples of people who were either born broke, disabled or had gone through countless traumas in their life and still made it to the top, I can cite if needed. But then, this is where the current paradox takes place, while everyone has a "chance", without "workers" or a "bottom" class, if you will, most people wouldn't be able to make it to the top because you would still need workers below you. There can be no top without a bottom. So if everyone has a chance to make it to the top why is it that there is even a bottom at all? Because not everyone who has a chance, has a chance to make it. By the time you realize you had a chance, for most people it's too late. Kids, dead end job, bills, laziness, disability, debt, lack of education. But even then, you have a choice. With the right decisions, you can still do something. That doesn't mean you will make it to the top, that is as much dependent on other people as it is to you. A form of game theory if you will, in the sense that your success will be directly dependent on what other people do, and what other people do (concerning you) will be dependent on your success. Basically, what I am saying is, in my opinion you essentially have a "chance" but the amount of "chance" everyone has is substantially dependent on many aspects of their lives they can't control.

I see both sides of the argument, and agree with them both, to an extent. The system is not perfect, in my opinion with every variation of the system there will be tons of problems. I am happy with the current system more or less, but that doesn't mean I am opposed to change. Everything can be improved upon, but just remember, with every iteration eventually comes problems from a different source. People like to exploit. No matter what it is, people will find a way to exploit it. No matter how controlled, uncontrolled, programmed, or fixed something is, somebody will eventually find a way to exploit it. Casinos, video games, computers, jobs, government, cable, drugs, slavery ect. ect.

While I will always be open to new changes, this brings me back to my original point, if you aren't doing anything to try and change the way the system is working, then what is the point arguing back and forth? What is this accomplishing? You can either be the guy who makes it to the top, or you can be the guy who doesn't like the current system and tries to fix it. You can be the guy at a dead end job arguing Marxist points and a completely free trade market system, or you can be the guy who does something to try and change the way things are going to the way you think they should be going.

I am not bashing anyone's ideas as I can see where all 20 sides are coming from, I'm simply asking a question. I see points from all sides, and they are more or less all contrived with properties that are right in some way. But the thing is, if you want to make something better I just want to know not what you propose we do, but what you are doing.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:57 AM
reply to post by skunknuts

Bang on. I am surprised there is such little talk of the principles of Georgism on threads such as this one. Henry George stated proposed a hybrid form of socialism and capitalism, taking more form capitalism than socialism. The introduction of a Land Value Tax (as which is present in Hong Kong from where they receive 35% of their tax revenue) would prevent upper-class domination of the poor as suddenly the rich would be unable to afford to own all the land they wanted. These ideals have been around for generations, but most likely suppressed as if introduced would hinder the ever increasing wealth of the rich.

Tolstoy's "Resurrection" is highly georgist in it's principles and a fantastic work of literature. I recommend to anyone, anywhere.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by TranscendencyNow


That's what everyone who contributed are doing. Those who have fixed mindsets will never change either way. But many, if not most are fence sitters, and it will be the fence sitters who may hold the key to change - by talking to others - their families, relatives and friends - discussing it and finally addressing it to their elected representatives to take charge of the situation as they, being supposed leaders of the communities, should.

We are, after all, a democracy, where freedom comes with a responsiblity to not only ourselves, but to our society for progress and prosperity, an elevation of life where none should get left behind.

It may take patience and time, but that's our destiny, and thus the social spending for education, to prepare our minds to percieve a better world together than the jungles and caves our ancestors once lived alone hazardly like animals.

[edit on 10-1-2010 by SeekerofTruth101]

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:07 PM

We need closely governed Capitalism with NO LOBBYISTS.

That would make the American economy more efficient and more fair.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:17 PM
reply to post by SeekerofTruth101

Ah, creating awareness. That is a good point, I mean threads like this are great, it does allow people to at least have the "opportunity" to learn from both sides of the spectrum

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:28 PM
reply to post by marg6043

lol marge, made me think back 40 years!

An income like that back then would have been enough to buy a house (with only one income earner in the household), a used car, feed a family of 5, pay bills, save money, take a vacation for two weeks, and buy new clothing in a department store.

The income it's being compared to wouldn't even buy a shack in the town I live in. I saw a shack on sale recently for $80,000.

Americans after WW2 showed the world how to spend money on a lifestyle of acquiring things, the latest of things, and living quantitatively well. Of course, many, like my dad, got a profit sharing check at the end of the year to help out, a share of the corporate profits from the wealthy owner, who deemed it good business to reward those who helped him make those profits.

As others in the world have caught up, or want to catch up, with that higher quantitative lifestyle, the American worker has found every drop of income wrung out, bled out, to try to hold onto that quantitative lifestyle. Heck, such a lifestyle was deemed the antidote to terrorist attacks, "Go shopping!"

As workers, to reign in spending, must then spend less on services in an economy increasingly based on services, the economy implodes further. Many will be trampled by this economy, as surely has been the fate of some who were trampled by unruly customers fleeing and fighting for bargains.

Americans made an unknowing pact with the devil, when they changed from being called citizens to consumers.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by desert

"Americans made an unknowing pact with the devil, when they changed from being called citizens to consumers. "

I just had to chime in and say, wow, that is a great quote. It's funny because you hear the word consumers being used to describe us more then the word citizens, on a day to day basis.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 12:39 PM
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." Dom Hélder

Can I also say that the above is likewise a fantastic quote...

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 01:02 PM
There is nothing wrong in being labelled as 'consumer'. Civilisation began its rise through consumerism. Trade had always been the lifeblood of civilisation, coursing through mankind's history since its beginnings.

There is nothing wrong in achieving for material goods, so long as one has the capacity and capability to earn it through honest means. It's an individual's right and freedom to do so or not to do so.

Our purchases had circulated and fueled economies, furthering education, research and developement in better materials and products. It lead to our technological progress.

And there is nothing wrong if others in the world follow such examples, as it will further synergise techological advances as one human race. There are enough resources on Planet Earth to continue on for millions of years as most resources are renewable. Even for those not renewable, we are at the point of tech to recreate or replace it or even venture into space to find it.

The main point is - money must circulate, but unfortunately, the rich are the greatest hoarders of money. They rather exploite the poor, keep them poor and stupid, and lock up earnings in banks or homes. Banks are under no obligation to loan to anyone, least of all to the poor. Not only that, they always want more for their products, raising inflation.

Inflation is good, so long as it is kept to reasonable limits which may account as justification to pay better salaries for products, but unfortunately, rather than pay workers, such profits goes in the rich's pockets and never seen again.

As such, what should have led to our further advancement is held up by the rich. I have nothing against the rich, they deserve their due, but by their selfishness and selfish acts, they will eventually doom mankind and may even regress our growth.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by Southern Guardian

What you point out is the ugliness of capitalism. Like communism, its a system that has an unbelievably demonic side to it, as well as an unbelievably angelic side to it.

What bothers me the most, is that such a proposition that we as a country focus more on quality of life are met my responses such as "Quality of life? What's that, socialist talk?"

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by Southern Guardian

I am curious, if capitalism cannot work, as you have stated that is has never been able to work, what system would you prescribe?

It seems to me that it is sort of easy to criticize governments, economic systems, etc., as long as you never have to offer a solution. Many would be revolutionaries build arguments against this or that power structure, and gain support for their cause, and it is only after the tearing down of the old that everyone realizes there was no plan to replace the old structure.

What is your replacement for capitalism? Perhaps you are correct, and Adam Smiths system is fundamentally flawed, though personally I think it premature to say that, when it hasnt ever been implemented. But I am curious as to what YOU think would be better.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Its very convenient that you say this to me:

You can point to all the figures and percentages you want to illustrate the wealth gap and it won't make the "working class" any wealthier.

And then you turn around and use all these figures and percentages to make your point with basically the same data source that i am using.

In 2008 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the annual income of people doubled from that of 1968 from $13,374 to $26,804, and non wage compensation in the form of benefits had increased greatly as well. These figures are adjusted to account for inflation to accurately show how people two years ago were doing fabulously better than people were doing 40 years ago. Between 2005 and 2006 the millionaire population had increased by 8.3%, (See 2008 U.S. Census report and Wall Street Journal The Wealth Report June 27, 2007).

Interesting that in 1968 most families only had one bread winner and were able experience wealth and success. And today, most families need two wage earners in order to accomplish the same thing. And I promise you that benefits have not increased. Many companies are dropping benefits especially in the last 2 years. And your point that the number of millionaires increased is exactly the problem. How has the middle class fared in this same time frame? Why dont you include the numbers that show how the middle class has shrunk and the number of people below the poverty line has increased.

Showing numbers that display how the upper 5% has increased does not help to show that capitalism is a good system for the majority of the people.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:53 PM
The OP is right. In unregulated capitalism, the big fish easily eats the small fish, and inequalities means that people don't start with equal opportunity.

The best system is sociodemocracy, i.e. capitalism that the government makes sure everyone plays fair and also protects the weaker parties. Countries with the highest standard of living are those that apply sociodemocracy.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:57 PM
reply to post by Gorman91

The American dream did exist, because guess what, most of those CEOs today started out in the lower class.

Can you back this up with any data?

2nd line for all the capitalists.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:29 PM

Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
reply to post by Southern Guardian

I am curious, if capitalism does not work, as you have stated that is has never been able to work, what system would you prescribe?

Unregulated capitalism does not work. Regulated capitalism is not perfect, but it serves the best outcome in all situations for the people, as I had stated in my OP. Obviously the argument from here will be as to what type of regulated capitalism and to me its the kind of regulation that protects the opportunities of the bottom majority who find themselves in an inevitable bottom spot on the pyramid.

Unregulated capitalism like communism does not work and both extremes have their flaws.

It seems to me that it is sort of easy to criticize governments,

Its very easy for the free-market capitalists to criticize the government when the corporations control much of it. This is where the irony comes into play, when the corporations themselves cannot be supposedly blamed because they are "people". No really.... corporations have the same rights has people! So in the views of free market advocates, blaming the corporations will be like blaming the citizens! Which nothing of the sort!

Many would be revolutionaries build arguments against this or that power structure, and gain support for their cause, and it is only after the tearing down of the old that everyone realizes there was no plan to replace the old structure.

I do not deny that in any other system we will not have the issue of a lower class. What my argument is over the case of unregulated capitalism is that this issue is at its worse, where the majority must be the bottom workers, and where they must earn significantly less that the top to keep the system alive. This system is the worse when it comes to this case and it doesnt work.

The system we have now in american is only recently going under some regulation but the last decades this system of capitalism has been under general de-regulation and in turn we saw the results. It doesnt work in my view unless we protect those who inevitably end up in the majority bottom. Unregulated capitalism works on the premise that the bottom majority do not deserve help, when the odds have already been stacked against them. The excuse of opportunity and hard work doesnt cut it either when the wealthy begin to reserve their space and refuse to make way for others to climb up, and we saw that happen over the last few decades.


[edit on 10-1-2010 by Southern Guardian]

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:34 PM
My interpretation of the genesis and promulgation of capitalism is essentially that early capitalist economists regarded it as a necessary evil. Essentially, that it was a dangerous beast with an uncanny ability to lift the tide but also to manufacture staggering waves of destruction. The view in the early 1900's was that capitalism would be necessary for a time, but that it was a means and not an end. Once the end is approached (i.e., hyper-industrialization, plentiful wealth and opportunity), the means reach chiasmus and become a liability. In other words, societies with a lot of economic development to do need to use capitalism, a cheap and dirty form of economic energy. More economically advanced societies can eventually destroy themselves with it. Singing the praises of capitalism and denying the criticism is to ignore the dangerous force that it is, like saying that fire brings warmth but does not burn. Capitalism is like a stage in a rocket -- necessary to escape a certain gravity, but something to be discarded at the right moment if the trajectory is to work out.

[edit on 10-1-2010 by JohnnyElohim]

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:54 PM

Originally posted by Southern Guardian
Unregulated capitalism does not work. Regulated capitalism is not perfect, but it serves the best outcome in all situations for the people, as I had stated in my OP.

Well if you like regulated Capitalism, then you'll love it here in the States.

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