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Capitalism: A love Story

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posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
But if I were a capitalist and wanted to own more capital then I would buy more business's, Then with the influence my capital brings I would influence those in power (the government), so they would allow me to make more capital.


In a free market system you do not have to lobby government to "allow" you to make more capital. In a free market system you are free to own as many businesses as you like. The government is not preventing you from doing so. Conversely, if you fail, you can't rely on the government to bail you out. This is the reason for massive competition. Businesses will fail, but because the competition is massive, that failure will not be felt by the general population.

Concepts such as "too big to fail" are corporatist concepts, and in fact, the "too big to fail" concept is not even official U.S. policy because there are anti-trust laws in place that are supposed to prevent anyone company from becoming "too big to fail".




posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:05 AM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
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In a free market system you do not have to lobby government to "allow" you to make more capital. In a free market system you are free to own as many businesses as you like. The government is not preventing you from doing so. Conversely, if you fail, you can't rely on the government to bail you out. This is the reason for massive competition. Businesses will fail, but because the competition is massive, that failure will not be felt by the general population.

.


So, you say in a free market you are free to own as many businesses as you like, then what stops the forming of a monopoly? Surely that is a contradiction to the tenants of capitalism you outlined previously.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:30 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 





So, you say in a free market you are free to own as many businesses as you like, then what stops the forming of a monopoly? Surely that is a contradiction to the tenants of capitalism you outlined previously.


Monopoly defined:


1. Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service:


Do you understand the difference?



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:37 AM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by woodwardjnr
 





So, you say in a free market you are free to own as many businesses as you like, then what stops the forming of a monopoly? Surely that is a contradiction to the tenants of capitalism you outlined previously.


Monopoly defined:


1. Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service:


Do you understand the difference?


I understand the difference, I just dont understand how you will not get monopolies if you allow capitalists to buy up any business they wish. I understand the concept of competition in the market, but surely the idea of the capitalist is to make as much capital as they can. If that means buying more business's which eventually leads to exclusive control of the means of production then all the better for the capitalist.

I would say the Capitalist class have exclusive control of the means of production anyway. It's certainly not the workers.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 





I would say the Capitalist class have exclusive control of the means of production anyway. It's certainly not the workers.


In a free market society, nobody is forcing anyone to be a "worker". People are free to contract. If a person wishes to make a contract to be a "worker" this is their choice to make, and they are free to negotiate the best possible contract. If a "worker" wants to have "exclusive" control of the means of production of a company, in a free market society, workers can form their own company and eliminate management. There is nothing to prevent them from doing so in a free market society.

Each "worker" does have exclusive control of the means of production of which is their labor. The exclusively control when and how they contract this labor out. The difference between a capitalist, and a "worker" is that a capitalist will look for ways to make money while they are sleeping, as well as when they are awake, and the "worker" can only rely upon the labor that "worker" can produce while they are awake.



[edit on 4-8-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 




This video explains how the worker has no choice but to work



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


With all due respect, I don't need to watch propaganda in order to know that your assertion that the "worker" has no choice but to work is a lie. I know this because I no longer work for other people, as a "worker" and instead work for my clients, and own my own business. I struggle every day to make this business work, and at this point, I have no employees, it is just me. I refuse to be a "worker", and even when I sometimes agree to help out my old "boss", I am free to negotiate the best possible contract, and I assure I most certainly do. When I worked for him, I did not have this leverage, which is why I quit. Now I do have this leverage, and when he is in a jam, he has to meet my demands if he expects me to help him out. The tables were turned.

If you want to be a victim, this is your choice. Owning a business is not a crime, and hiring people to work in that business is not a crime. Thus, there is no victim. If you don't want to own your own business you don't have to. If you do, then start one up, if you do, and at some point begin hiring workers, then, and only then, will you come to know the true value of labor.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


You have made a number of valid points in this thread, but no matter how theoretically justifable your arguments, certain ugly empircal realities always rear their heads. Do you really imagine that in a nation of 300-plus million (or a 7-billion-strong planet, for that matter), even a sizable minority -- to say nothing of a majority -- can survive as "entrepreneurs?" Logically, historically, common-sensically, this just doesn't fly. Remember, with the median IQ on earth at 100, half the human species has a double-digit IQ. Just savor the rancid implications that brute fact for a moment.

Don't worry, I'm not going to launch into an argument based on "compassion for the less fortunate." Even if you don't give a toss about the dumb and poor (which is certainly your right), history suggests that down-at-the-heels humans can only take so much before their frustrations create turbulance that undermines the basic foundations of society.

If a society embraces an ideological fundamentalism that favors absolute entrepreneurship and allows everyone else to "sink or swim," the outcome is a populace in which the vast, vast majority spiral downward spiral year after year, while a tiny minority soars to great heights. Which is, in fact, what we have on our hands.

So, the purist might retort, who cares if you are on the "winning team" ? Well, let's turn for a moment to Exhibit A: human nature in its sweaty, sullen, warts-and-all realty. No matter how lofty the peak to which the most fortunate ascend, they are in for a rude tumble if the base of the mountain isn't stable. Crass human passion, frustration, and jealousy always tosses a monkey-wrench in the cogs of the finest theories and systems when inequality passes a certain point. If inequality gets to be too extreme, you will have riots, panics, chaos, and eventually extreme bloodshead, whether its "fair" or not. Just ask Marie Antoinette, or the last grandees of the Qing Dynasty.

I personally find that when drinking at the well of theory and philosophy, a hearty dose of historical reality, while perhaps unpalatable, goes a long way toward avoding a nasty hangover.



[edit on 8/4/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 





Do you really imagine that a in a nation of 300-plus million (or a 7-billion-strong planet, for that matter), everyone can be an entrepreneur?


No I don't imagine such a thing, nor have I suggested that everyone be an entrepreneur. I do think, however, that being an entrepreneur was for a long time, a big part of the American Dream. Then at some point it become more like this go to college, get a good job, and retire with a good pension sort of thing. Both are fine with me, I am not suggesting that people shouldn't be employees for other people. What I am suggesting is that if a "worker" wants to own the means of production to a company, then they should own that company.




Remember, with the median IQ on earth being 100, that means half the human species has a double-digit IQ. Just savor the rancid implications that brute fact for a moment.


You don't have to have an IQ as measured by the standard IQ test in order to be an entrepreneur. Chef's often take on the role of entrepreneurship when the start their own restaurants. A Chef is not necessarily one who will possess an IQ over 100, although I am sure many do. However, if they don't, all they really need is a high IQ in their specialty. An understanding of the chemistry of cooking, which doesn't mean they have to be a chemist, it means they understand the nature of cooking. Often, what will make a restaurant successful is the reputation of the Chef. Of course, if that Chef does not have much of a mind for economics, then it is unlikely his, or her, restaurant will survive. However, Chef's often partner up with someone who does have a mind for business, and those restaurants tend to succeed, where if the Chef were attempting to operate the business on their own, they are less likely to succeed.




Don't worry, I'm not going to launch into an argument based on "compassion for the less fortunate." Even if you don't give a toss about the dumb and poor (which is certainly your right), history suggests that they can only take so much before their frustrations create turbulance that undermines the basic functions of society. No matter how elegant the logic that underpins such a society.


It is an unfair characterization to paint advocates of capitalism as people who don't give a "toss" about the poor. I am leaving dumb out of this, because I just think that such a measurement is far too subjective to speak to. Poverty, on the other hand, can be measured in a much more objective way. Advocates of capitalism and the free market system do give a "toss" about the poor. There is such a thing as rational self interest. Not that everyone uses rational self interest, but for those who do, it is rational to understand that the prosperity of all is better than the prosperity of a few. This is why they are advocates of capitalism. Capitalism is a system that better facilitates prosperity for all.

Do not confuse prosperity with entrepreneurship either. One can prosper while being an employee for somebody else. If one is not prospering by being an employee for somebody else, then I strongly urge them to walk away from such a bad deal and find a better deal. Or, at the very least, find a better deal before walking away from that bad deal, so that you can walk away.




If one becomes overly intoxicated with the ideological purity that favors pure entrepreneursip in a fundamentalist sense and allows everyone else to "sink or swim," you will end up with an economy where in fact (not theory) the vast, vast majority find themselves increasingly mired in a downward spiral year after year, while a tiny minority soars to great heights. Which is, in fact, what we have on our hands.


Actually, in fact, (not theory), this is what you have in America today, and the economic in America today is in fact, (not theory), no where near being a capitalist system. Capitalism requires a free and unregulated market, of which is not the economic system in America today. Capitalism requires massive competition, and while in some ways that seems to exist, less and less as corporatism rears its ugly head. Capitalism requires a currency backed by wealth where all can agree upon its value, and in America we have a fiat currency which is not backed by wealth. It is my considered opinion that because we have a heavily regulated market place, because competition is diminishing, and because we have a worthless currency that we now have an economy where the vast, vast majority find themselves increasingly mired in a downward spiral, year after year, while a tiny minority soars soars to great heights. In a capitalist system, far more people would be prospering.




So what so bad about that if you are on the "winning team" ?


Winning teams do not remain winning teams forever. Using your metaphor, and just looking at any American sport, dynasties are few and far between. They happen, but even dynasties topple, as other teams rise up to take their place. This is the nature of life in many ways. Floyd Patterson, a boxer who won the heavyweight title twice, was known for a time, as being the boxer who got knocked down the most. Here is his response to that distinction:


"They said I was the fighter who got knocked down the most, but I also got up the most."


That is life in a nutshell. Every runner stumbles. We all get knocked down. Those who get up the most will do better than those who don't. When we see those around us who get knocked down, we should extend our hand and help them back up, but in the end, if they are to be champions, they have to decide to keep fighting. We can't make them fight, all we can do is extend a hand and help as best we can. This does not mean that we should not flourish and prosper ourselves, and in fact, (not theory), the more prosperous we are, the better position we are in to help others.




If inequality gets to be too extreme, you will have riots, panics, chaos, and eventually extreme bloodshead, whether its "fair" or not. Just ask Marie Antoinette, or the last grandees of the Quing Dynasty.


Neither Marie Antoinette, nor the emperors of the Quing Dynasty were advocates of capitalism...but, I suspect you know this.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Gee Whiz!!

Of course if my child broke a leg, I would rush them to an Emergency Room... let's not read me as a kook here... nowhere did I say that I was a die hard backwoods person who makes their children suffer as such... Wow.... I simply stated that truly we have no illness here, other than the rare cold viruses, and when we do I treat with herbal remedies. Our doc offices and ER's are crowded enough with people that are there for no good reason, viral illnesses being treated wrongly with antibiotic therapy because the patients demand pills, keep returning stating they feel like crap and want something to make them feel better.
Let's take that to the logical (?) conclusion that of course I wouldn't treat a broken leg...

Now, pancreatic cancer. Hmmm.... given the extremely low survival rates of such even with aggressive treatments, the clueless medical field regarding cancer and in particular pancreatic cancer, the pain of surgery, chemo and radiation... I don't really know. That is a tough one.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:34 PM
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There are some great discussions in this thread.

I would tend to side with the ones who believe that we do not live in capitalism. I would say that we live under a system of corporate fascism. I do however believe that pure capitalism will ultimately lead to corporate fascism.

On the one hand, in the late eighteen hundreds in this country while regulation was few and far between, you had the rise of the Rockefellers, the Astors, the Carnegies, and others who created monopolies through unfair trade and competition practices. For example, Rockefeller would routinely move into a new market and sell oil for a loss to drive the smaller local oil producer out of business. Therefore, anti-trust laws and regulations were necessary in order to prevent companies from getting so big that they had the power to crush their competition.

But on the other hand, when you start to create laws and regulations, you create the atmosphere for corrupt law makers (politicians) and regulators. As stated above, the major corporations have reinvented themselves and have embraced laws and regulations to make it harder for the little guy to compete and we now have the very economic environment which was meant to be prevented by the anti-trust laws and regulations.

Ultimately, what is the solution? Capitalism is certainly better than any other economic system. I can't imagine anyone going back to serfdom and feudalism, but because of our corrupt government that is exactly where we find ourselves.

In order to make capitalism work, we would need to rise up as a people, throw out every single sitting politician. and re-write the constitution to do away with the electoral college, impose term limits for every political office, pay for all campaigns out of a general fund so that there will be no fund raising or campaign contributions, and create strict oversight to ensure no back alley deals.

Then, enforce anti-trust laws, break up the megabanks, break up the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, break op the automotive industry and break up the airline industry.

Then, and only then will we have a democratic form of capitalism.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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I wondered how long it would be before someone posted on this topic. I thought it was a well conceived film. THe facts are the facts. I was very interested to be reminded (that is an age thing) that it was Regan that deregulated the banks leading to the current crisis something the right ignores.

Anyway I suppose that those who have not seen the film will write all manner of stuff but I think the film is great.

T



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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You mean Corporatism: A love story?

It's good and all although I find it hilarious that a fat socialist is walking around complaining about Corporatist's, acting as if he is any different.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by finemanm
 



Actually those families had contributed much to American society. The problem arose when they began to get involved on the government level (had more to do with their kin then the patriarchs themselves. And for all the flak that Standard oil gets, they produced oil at a cheap price, through efficient methods. The competition who couldn't produced oil at the same levels because of inefficient handling of scarce resources deserve to have gone out of business. Why save a few at the cost of continuing to use resources in an inefficient and wasteful manner?



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


That was a fairly well-thought-out and comprehensive response.

To boil the basic thrust of my post down, I would argue that it is extreme inequality, rather than capitalism per se, that creates unstable societies.

It sounds like you might agree that the current system is not truly "capitalistic" in the sense you seem to be using the word, or at least not functionally so. So, to keep the ball rolling, I would ask: how would you change the current system to make it more in line with your ideals while at the same time avoiding the extreme inequality that has so often toppled societies in the past?



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by Copernicus

Originally posted by State of Mind
Many people with intelligence don't bother watching Micheal Moore "documentaries" (crap) because they are incredibly biased and one-sided.


No, intelligent people dont disregard things based on their label. They disregard based on its content. So you actually have to watch it to have an opinion about it.

You are welcome to join us.



[edit on 4-8-2010 by Copernicus]



I have seen it. I thought it was utter crap. It's propaganda that presents a skewed version of things. Sure there are SOME truths in it, but mix that with a whole lot of assumptions and outright lies, and its crap. Moore is just trying to cash in like everyone else, and if he has to distort the truth, he will. Anyone who watches his movies and treats them with anything other than curious observation needs to grow a brain and do their own research. Once I discover that someone is a rabid Moore fan, they lose complete credibility in my eyes.



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by State of Mind
 


i dont know...obviously some jobs are more valuable than others. but i think there should be a reasonable min/max that a person can make a year...everyone should make at least 30.000 K a year. and if the most a person can make in a year is a Million are they really gona have a problem with that.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


I'm really interested to hear Jean's reply to the idea that capitalism will not allow monopolies to exist.

There's one thing that drives capitalists, it's greed. If a capitalist believes they'll make more money selling their business to someone than to keep the business, they'll do it. Free market competition be damned, they want the money.

Much like socialism, it will only work if everyone plays the game. We can work for the best of both worlds but we have to be aware of the worst of both worlds.

As far as the film goes, replace the words 'democracy' with 'socialism' and 'capitalism' with 'corporatism/greed' you'll get a better picture of what the film was portraying. However, in the interest of selling an idea to an AMERICAN audience you have to use terms familiar with the audience. Socialism harks to NAZI's and scary commies, while greed is a dirty word from kindergarten and corporatism may be too difficult to quickly connect for the masses.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by links234
 


I haven't abandoned this thread, but Silent Thunders question of what I would do to change the system as it exists today takes a considered response, and I am working on a deadline and don't have much time to post in this site except for short bursts until I meet my deadline. Hang in there, and I will answer you both.



posted on Aug, 8 2010 @ 04:22 AM
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Capitalism is a mode of production. It has evolved through a number of stages. The business community is one of the most powerful lobbies on the planet. The major driver for the development of capitalism is in fact the need to maximise profits. The business lobby has affected our own lives in a way that no social movement has been able to do. It has also corrupted our educational system to the extent that our universities simply churn out those who are acceptable to big business.

We now have reached the level of globalisation where jobs can be exported overnight to more profitable international location. Too bad if you are an American and unemployed..

The film is good and is unique. The question is the need to change it whilst maintaining freedom.

[edit on 8-8-2010 by Tiger5]



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