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Is Capitalism Healthy?

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posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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The question I pose is one of humanity and ethics.

I've seen that Capitalism is efficient in that it grants considerable freedom to the individual, giving us all the opportunity to be winners.

When compared to systems where the change of financial status isn't possible; or where one is subjected to the stone-cold law of some oppressive tyrant, it sounds delectable.

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But what about the societal effects of Capitalism? Capitalism has seemingly supercharged our populace with a "profits, profits, profits" mentality. How does this effect the way people manage themselves?

Doesn't this inevitably hit home? I feel that a lot of people fail to see the resulting chain of events that comes from people adopting a certain ideology.

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I've made my view on Capitalism abundantly clear, I feel it is corrosive to integrity and humanity as a whole.

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It seems that Capitalism is most efficient at allowing people to capitalize on situations, or more specifically ... to capitalize on each other. In this way, it really does allow everyone gross financial freedom; freedom that can be abused if left unwatched.

And it does often get abused. We wouldn't be in this current situation if it wasn't for those abuses.

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I don't support socialism, or communism. What I do support is a movement towards a completely new spectrum of "economics", so to speak.


I've heard people talk about "resource based economies", but I haven't looked into it enough to truly advocate it.

In the end, I'm not sure which road we should take, but I believe we do need to embrace inherently humanistic beliefs. We need to be more conscious of ourselves, of each other, in that regard.

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This is why I don't believe the current economic layouts work, because they are enablers for wanton manipulation.


I've heard people state that "every economic plot is perfect until you add people to it."

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Socialism stands there with government as the mediator in public affairs, controlling who gets what. Yet, it "allegedly" serves to regulate businesses.

Communism grants the government massive far reaching powers, powers that can easily violate human rights and privacy. Dropping everyone but those at the top to a common playing field. Yet, it allows for everyone to have the essentials.

Capitalism champions financial freedom and innumerable possibilities. Yet, it allows for gross infractions and abuses.

EDIT: Whoops. Confused communism and socialism for a sec there.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by SentientBeyondDesign]




posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:15 PM
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I have been thinking the same things recently. But I have no clue what a possible solution could be, if there is one. Capitalism does indeed grant considerable freedoms, although these are distributed inequally and have been gradually eroding over the past ten years anyway. Capitalism before globalism was better for everyone except the elite.

I would like to see a new system to replace capitalism, but I fear the human element will always corrupt anything it touches.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:40 PM
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I have a link i would like to share with you.
www.cato.org...



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by Romantic_Rebel
I have a link i would like to share with you.
www.cato.org...



I've read the information you've put forth and it doesn't seem to address the fundamental point of my question.

The information you've introduced seems to talk about Intellectuals.

I don't believe I've hinted towards the notion that these alleged "Intellectuals" deserve more merit and whatnot.

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I was asking about the effects of Capitalism on the human. What values are extracted out of Capitalism and then perpetuated throughout society via the human vehicle.

There are complex dynamics at work here that, by sociological principles, serve to shape the overall nature of our world.

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My point, if you hadn't noticed, is that the rules of Capitalism promote a lesser sense of humanity. And that cannot be disregarded, because it is known and accepted by many that Capitalism is an engine of selfishness.

I, personally, do not believe that such a cut-throat system is the best system.

I feel that things can be done another way.

And like I said before ... I don't mean Socialism. And I don't mean Communism. Unfortunately, I haven't any numbers or plots and graphs drawn up to outline how an economy outside of the aforementioned types would function.

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I'm actively trying to become more and more mathematically capable. I recognize that theories supported by tangible evidence and models fair far better than long-winded speeches of idealistic ventures.


I merely suggest that there could be a better way than Capitalism.




And I don't understand why so many Capitalists say that Capitalism isn't perfect, but then act as though nothing else could possibly trump it. Nothing else could be better.

They act as though it's either CAPITALISM or CRAPFEST ARMAGEDDON 5000.


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And then of course, I get pegged with slumping arguments and criticism from people that merely uphold the mechanics and imagery of Capitalism. Failing to recognize the societal effects.


But ... leave it to them to ignore everything else and use the "incentive/technological leap" arguments.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by SentientBeyondDesign
 


Sorry, I wanted to share a link with you without reading it. I've been bed ridden all day and I don't feel like reading anything. Let alone eat.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:37 PM
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My answer is simple. I've been on ATS for a couple years now and read the pro's and con's of Capitalism - Socialism - and others.

I view it as Survival of the Fittest. An animal instinct.

I would hope humankind would reach a level of evolvement beyond Survival of the Fittest.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


I feel that I must agree with your assessment.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by SentientBeyondDesign
reply to post by Annee
 


I feel that I must agree with your assessment.


I would like to add. If basic needs are met for all humans.

They are then free to - use - explore - display - learn - evolve in their own interests and specialness. Which in turn could/would evolve humanity.

Survival is debilitating.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:39 AM
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My opinion is greed will do the same to us as it did for Easter Island the only way out I can see is if CEOs, Managers and even shareholder's face legal action for company decisions until that happens their motives will always be profit first.

I also think lobbying should be illegal for pretty much the same reason.

Will it ever happen I can't see it the whole thing is to out of control now Corporations are more powerful than Governments and profit comes before the population.

We are doomed as a species.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by SentientBeyondDesign
 





I don't support socialism, or communism. What I do support is a movement towards a completely new spectrum of "economics", so to speak. I've heard people talk about "resource based economies", but I haven't looked into it enough to truly advocate it. In the end, I'm not sure which road we should take, but I believe we do need to embrace inherently humanistic beliefs. We need to be more conscious of ourselves, of each other, in that regard.


Many people are confused by economics until they take a basic course like Economics 101.

It explains how no other system but a free economy can fulfill the needs of supply and demand.

Very simple except for those that get upset when someone makes excess profit. And for that we have laws!

The problems we have with excesses in a true Capitalist systems are nothing compared with the inefficiencies and misery of socialism, communism, or dictatorships.

Again, courses in basic economics are very available. Most students come in with some very bizarre ideas but then again, most are true believers when they come to understand the basic principles.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:15 AM
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One of the many problems capitalism has produced for the human is the alienation of the human to their "work". People sit in offices behind computers typing out reports no one reads, in a Job they have very little interest in apart from the fact it pays them money to survive. very few people are lucky enough to work in their chosen field and get satisfaction from their work.
I mean how many kids when you ask them "what do you want to be when you grow up" will answer " I want to work in an office and sell advertising space".

So for 5 days out of the allotted 7 people find themselves alienated from their work with little satisfaction.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:19 AM
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It's all very well defending profit but when laws are changed to protect it and corners are cut health/safety wise that's where we have problems. I don't even think you can vote with your wallet any more in all honesty as governments will bail out company's anyway.

I'm tempted to rant about software patents and such but just look at the whole BP mess that says it all to save a few bucks a company puts the whole gulf in danger although the BP is the exception as they got caught publicly.

Capitalism isn't bad in itself but I tend to agree about corporations basicly running things now at the expense of everyone else at the minute.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:21 AM
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Hell yes its healthy.

Capitalism promotes competition and innovation.

Where there is a profit motive, there will be an efficient way.

Other economic systems with their confiscatory tax rates do not provide enough incentive to entrepreneurs to innovate and create when they know that a large percentage of their profit will be stolen from them in the form of taxes.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by brainwrek
Hell yes its healthy.

Capitalism promotes competition and innovation.

Where there is a profit motive, there will be an efficient way.



BP was driven by a profit motive, the most efficient way was to cut corners and employ contractors



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:40 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


And now they are paying the price for their poor decisions.

point?



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:41 AM
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reply to post by SentientBeyondDesign
 


Pure Capitalism is not healthy. Capitalism is an extreme view on the the spectrum. We can now see how capitalism can be bad. Captialism has allowed few rich people to manipulate the outcomes in a troubled countires, like Greece. The capitalist speculalist have the ability to bring down a whole country: Greece and the whole EURO zone.

Capitalizm allowes few rich people to collude and bring a whole country down by "their" speculations....

Capitalism has it's own flaws as well as Communism.... No system is 100% fail proof.


[edit on 3-6-2010 by saabacura]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:44 AM
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Originally posted by brainwrek
reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


And now they are paying the price for their poor decisions.

point?


But who's paying the real price, the ceo's will walk away. The Gulf of Mexico and those who make a living from it are in a real mess. real lives messed up, thousands of marine life dead.

An example of how capitalism encroaches on the life system.

[edit on 3-6-2010 by woodwardjnr]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:48 AM
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when comparing capitalism to communism,

Obviously captialism has out lasted communism. Communism fails simply because it voilates the law of nature....
Capitalism is in accordance to the law of nature...


But,,,, it does not mean pure capitalism is the IDEAL. Pure capitalism and pure communism are both at the extreme ends.

Solution is to be at an equalibrium.... Be at the center.... That is the long run sustainablity option.....

Both extreme systems ( captialism communism) will miserabley fail.

Must be in the center.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 05:07 AM
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reply to post by SentientBeyondDesign
 

I think you may be basing you beliefs on modern day capitalism, which is more like a hybrid. the government is diverting too much money this way and that for it to be true capitalism, to individuals, to businesses, for "green energy" or whatever the newest popular trend may be!!
this has opened up new avenues for abuses and such which would have never been possible if it was true capitalism.

but then, we might just be seeing the evolution of capitalism, ya know, like everything, it rises, and then it falls, and well, it rose in europe before us, then it fell somewhat, and well....then their government decided (maybe was forced by circumstances) to take on more socialistic policies to preserve their people's standard of living.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 06:30 AM
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In this way, it really does allow everyone gross financial freedom


At what cost?

If by freedom you mean the ability to consume, then yes. The benefactors of capitalism are free to consume more.

Capitalism is a con. It promotes the idea that anyone can make it, anyone can be a Bill Gates, or Donald Trump. All they have to do is work hard.

Well millions of people ARE working hard, and often for very little so they too can have a chance at that "American dream". They toil for the corporations that make the stuff that they are told they need in order to be "successful". And the truth is...a very small precentage do "make it".

Our indicators of success are skewed in such a way as to promote greed, and selfishness.

There is another way. I work a 9-5 office job, it's boring and the only satisfaction I get out of it is a paycheck. I' m ok with that, becasue I have absolutley no desire to have any financial "succes", I could care less about promotions, or moving up. My ambition level when it comes to my job is zero.

I do however consider myself to be very successful as I have the most valuable commodity of all. TIME to do the things I want to do. Time to spend with my family. Time to enjoy nature. Time to learn new skills. Most of my collegues are on a "career" track, they work late, the work weekends, they work lots of overtime, in the hopes that their sacrifices will get them promotions, and more money.

And in some cases it will, and they will move on to bigger houses, fancier care, different social circles..ect;

But at what price? Not knowing your children? Not investing in the simple pleasures in life? Bad health due to stress?

In my opinion, capitalism has been bad for society as a whole. There must be another way.



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