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Originally posted by 30_seconds
In capitalism, there is a generally fixed money supply. A worker is born into this world with NO money at all, and he has to compete and fight with other laborers to try and gain this money from someone who already has it. The person who has the money has an advantage over the money-less, and this advantage is exploited: the person without the money works for the person with the money so they can get some. The person with the money is assumed to have worked for their money too, but this isn't usually the case with the wealthy. They always only pay people for doing the things that increase their wealth. In other words, the value of the money they dish out to their labor force will always be less than the value of the money they bring in from that labor. It's pimping workers.
So this fixed money supply enables those who have wealth to further consolidate wealth, and by this process the working class gets more desperate over time, until after a number of decades the vast majority of people are poor, and there is nothing left but a very few very very wealthy people left in the world.
The problem is how money comes into existence, or I should say how it doesn't come into existence. It doesn't come into existence whenever value is produced. If it did, a worker wouldn't have to go to work for a master who has money... they could go to work for themselves. As soon as you create something of value, you put it on the market, and then the market decides how much money should come into existence for it. By this system, there would be almost no unemployment, and it would put an end to the stranglehold the wealthy have always exercised over the poor. No longer would we be forced to run the world the way the rich want us to because we need their money or we starve. In a way, we enslave ourselves by always doing what they want, because they have the money to tell us what to do.
In a publicly traded corporation, the people – including the CEO – are all employees of the institution with few if any individual rights. They are paid to serve the institution at its pleasure. The people are required by law to leave their personal values at the door, and are subject to dismissal without recourse at a moment’s notice. It is the institution, not individuals, that count here. And all these people, who could be spending their life’s energy doing something worthwhile, are instead spending eight hours a day, five days a week (sometimes more) doing what the corporation wants done, because the people have been told that they require the corporation’s money so that they may live.
This is an institution of enormous power governed by absentee owners and unaccountable managers for the business of converting the life energy of people and nature into short-term financial gain for already-wealthy shareholders, without regard to human or natural consequences.
The publicly traded corporation is a gigantic pool of money with an artificial personality required by law to behave like a sociopath. It is the modern equivalent of unaccountable and sociopathic kings of the past.
Originally posted by queenannie38
reply to post by ExPostFacto
if capitalism only existed in the form of purely free enterprise, i.e. the government is not involved AT all in trade and finance, then it might actually work.
but the problem is the government's interference. it started off innocently enough, i am sure - trying to protect the consumer from unscrupulous and dishonest merchants as well as trying to make sure business deals were always conducted on the up-and-up...
but just like every other man-made set of laws, it soon grew into a monster that is bigger even than those who created it.
if enterprise was left solely up to supply and demand, it would work. i do think so.
Originally posted by Doc Velocity
There's no such thing as a "perfect model" of Capitalism, or of Socialism, or of a Democratic Republic, for that matter.
Originally posted by Doc Velocity
Only in the perfect sense is Capitalism a failure. But, if Capitalism is a failure, then Socialism is a torture device, and a Democratic Republic is a vaudeville routine performed for the distraction and amusement of the masses.
All of which is true, by the way.
Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
For those who argue Jobs and Gates as examples of capitalism working, I will remind you, they did not enter a field with high barriers to entry. They created new fields. Which is fine, if your personal excellence is as a creator of something new. But what if your area of excellence is in an existing field, like medicine, or something already established? Professional organizations exist to keep raising the bar to entry into the field to keep competitors out. (Keep supply of said professional low, to keep salaries high) Thats what they do. (Though they do so under the guise of making sure people are "qualified" they ignore that those who came before them, and often they themselves, did not have as many hoops to jump through to enter the field.)
And I will also remind you that for every Jobs or Gates, there are examples of creators, innovators, who have their work stolen and litigated out of their control by existing economic giants, who never benefit from their own excellence.
Originally posted by silent thunder
One problem with "hypercapitalism" or "pure capitalism" is that it gives you only two options: mega-success or abysmal failure.
Notice I excluded "capitalism in general" from my critique above. It is possible to come up with a more nuanced form of capitalism, and in fact the "golden years" of the mid-20th-century were capitalist, but not "hypercapitalist" in the Ayn-Rand-ian sense.
See, there are millions and millions of people who just want to do something like run a small shop, or be a librarian, or keep a farm that's been in the family for five generations. They don't care about being Bill Gates, but they'd prefer not to be homeless. We used to call these people "the middle class." They defined happiness and "a better life" not by the size of one's plasma-screen TV but by other values: integrity, pride in a job well done, a good family life, maybe time to go fishing or whatever once in a while, general job stability so planning more than a month ahead a time would be possible, and vibrant neighborhoods and communities.
"Capitalism 2.0" as currently construed has no room for these people. Either they become pinstripe Wall Street warriors (the 0.00000001% of them that are able to) or they are simply "lazy" and can go curl up in a gutter and die.
I consider myself a "capitalist." But the above paragraph doesn't describe
the kind of world I was born into. Those weren't the kinds of values I was raised with. And that's not the world I want to die in.
[edit on 7/13/10 by silent thunder]
Originally posted by Magnus47
At the turn of the 20th century, my impression is that it was fairly easy to start your own successful company. How do we bring that back?
Originally posted by Magnus47
These cases seem like a failure of copyright and intellectual property protection laws.
Originally posted by Enf0rc3r
Difference here is that in real life u dont get a liberal professor failing you automatically. In real life, if u work hard, u will make money. Simple concept that has made America the power house it is today. The professor was a complete idiot, ad used a biased model of capitalism based on his political views to hammer home a point that some people aren't good enough in his world to succeed.
Originally posted by Stewie
There is absolutely NOTHING about "capitalism" that assures the wealth will end up in a few hands, or that the system REQUIRES a poverty class.
Who allows our congress to pass laws that benefit the privileged? Who allows our congress to live like kings and queens? Who keeps voting them in?
WE DO! That is not capitalism, that is stupidity. That is laziness. That is apathy.
Who EXPECTS a job just because you went to school? Who EXPECTS to be treated with the finest medical care, but on the cheap? Who EXPECTS to be paid whether you work or not?
They are not called "capitalists", they are apathetic, stupid, lazy people who feel like THEY are the ENTITLED class.
Blaming capitalism is just the latest blame game, where we can blame someone else for our troubles.
Originally posted by Magnus47
As for where the money would go when you die... I'm not sure, to be honest.
Originally posted by theotherguy
Technically, all of us can actually physically provide for ourselves. You just start planting and building. Anyone with an able body can do it. It is the laws of our society, the laws of the rich that prevent us from doing that. They control the land, control the factories, control all the patents and copyrights and put in place all of the bureaucracy that we must adhere to. It is they who have made us dependent, they who have removed our ability to fend for ourselves.
Originally posted by DeReK DaRkLy
Capitalism will only work for everyone when Capitalists decide to adopt a Socialist mindset...
In other words, SHARE the wealth instead of hoarding it.