Originally posted by GeorgiaGirl
At no time in HISTORY has a country has so much prosperity as the United States of America in recent decades. YES, even today, with the economic
struggles we are facing.
Prosperity for who, based on what standards?
Here is a snippet from www.econlib.org..., which talks about what has happened:
Despite these constraints, which worked sporadically and unpredictably, the benefits of capitalism were widely diffused. Luxuries quickly were
transformed into necessities. At first, the luxuries were cheap cotton clothes, fresh meat, and white bread; then sewing machines, bicycles, sporting
goods, and musical instruments; then automobiles, washing machines, clothes dryers, and refrigerators; then telephones, radios, televisions, air
conditioners, and freezers; and most recently, TiVos, digital cameras, DVD players, and cell phones.”
Oh, I see. You're one of those people who thinks ownership of a color TV means you're not poor, aren't you?
well, fact is, you can't eat a color TV. You can't use a bicycle for paying the bills. A tennis raquet will not educate your children. A DVD player
will not improve your health.
"Things" and "gadgets" are not an accurate measure of prosperity. Health, security, and well-being are. And thanks to people like you who parade
around saying that because someone has shoes they must not be poor, measures to provide these core measures of prosperity are failing and dying.
Yes, we have more video game consoles; we also have a higher infant mortality rate than we have i nthe last 50 years. Sure, we have many more cars on
the road, but we also have an educational standard that makes Cameroon look appealing. And yes, we have plenty of little doodad phones, but 14 million
Americans are without a job and nearly 100 million Americans have no access to any sort of health care. These are not the marks of a "prosperous
nation," they're marks of a nation being colonized as a place to dump surplus merchandise..
The problem isn't Capitalism. The problem is the something-for-nothing mentality. Also, the idea that we are all "slaves" because of
Capitalism. Give me a break. WHEN in HISTORY have people NOT had to WORK to meet their basic needs?????
From the moment someone came up with the notion of "interest rates" and a debt-based economy. do you understand how our system works at all? I
imagine that like most Americans, you understand that labor and production are the core sources for wealth - thus the "work hard, get payoff"
rhetoric. well. it doesn't actually work
that way, because the way the system is set up, labor and production are drastically undervalued in
order to secure profits for the investor class. They then do exactly what it says on the tin - invest. if ewnough of them invest, the market "looks
good" and the value of hte investment increases - effectively making money out of thin air.
The system is constructed in such a way to continually degrade the productive value of the worker, in order to depress wages, thereby securing an
ever-increasing debt that is required for the entire scheme of credit to actually work. That is, you are being exploited so that someone else higher
on the pyramid has more money for less effort.
Also, the idea that we are all so altruistic that we would do what we LOVE for free. Come on, now, seriously???? I love my job, but I would
NOT do it for free. I'd be a stay at home mom if I wasn't paid for my job. Or would stay at home moms be outlawed?
it's my firm belief that stay-at-home parents should be economically compensated for their efforts in raising younger members of our society. Sure,
that macaroni-and-construction paper doodiddle is charming, but it'd be nice to have the actual value of the service represented in cash
nevertheless, don't you think?
It's called FREEDOM, people.
Buzzwords in all-caps won't help make your position any less wrong. Debt and poverty are not freedom. They are in fact a form of oppression.
The problem with our system is that we are not currently practicing pure Capitalism. Even my 13 year old can grasp these concepts.
Actually, we are, in fact, practicing pure capitalism. Please don't confuse capitalism and market theory, the two are actually quite different. This
is a pretty common obfuscation / confusion that gets made.
There will ALWAYS be people with more wealth than others. Always. If we redistributed every asset in America and started over from scratch
with a level playing field, some people would squander their assets and others would re-amass wealth.
well, how about we give this a shot? The big change would be the "level playing field." While we're at it we could add a few other changes here and
there, like removing the reliance on debt and the obsession with eternal growth. if possible it would be a positive to strip from our culture the
notion that "things" equal "prosperity." Judge on real value, not the hyperinflation and debt-spiral standards of our current sydstem that
requires exponential consumption to break even.
“Capitalism,” a term of disparagement coined by socialists in the mid-nineteenth century, is a misnomer for “economic
individualism,” which Adam Smith earlier called “the obvious and simple system of natural liberty” (Wealth of Nations). Economic
individualism’s basic premise is that the pursuit of self-interest and the right to own private property are morally defensible and legally
legitimate. Its major corollary is that the state exists to protect individual rights. Subject to certain restrictions, individuals (alone or with
others) are free to decide where to invest, what to produce or sell, and what prices to charge. There is no natural limit to the range of their
efforts in terms of assets, sales, and profits; or the number of customers, employees, and investors; or whether they operate in local, regional,
national, or international markets.
Again, capitalism and market theory are different things. Think of it this way. Market theory is basically saying "markets work this way" while
things like socialism, communism, capitalism, etx, are all different efforts to figure out why the market works that way amd how to get the best
results from it.
It's also entirely possible that market theory is flawed; we've been updating Darwin's work in the last hundred years, but Smith apparently gets to
go unchallenged for three hundred. Go figure.
Every one of you who thinks that we could do better in a different system is seriously naive. I would love for you to name an example of a
system that has worked out better for everyone within the system. Go ahead.....crickets....
...Should I go on?
Of course, as I've pointed out, my standards are slightly different from yours; I hold that "benefit" is defined by human well-being and
sustainability of the society's lifestyle. You apparently adhere to the circular argument that the system that lets you have more stuff is best
because it lets you have more stuff and is therefore best.
If we could go back to a nation that followed the Constitution and had a limited Federal government, with fewer handouts, more emphasis on
personal responsibility, and less meddling by the politicians, we would all be better off.
If we had fewer numbskulls who cited Adam Smith and the constitution while clearly never having read either, instead using them both as personal
self-gratification tools, like some sort of pseudo-intellectual RealDoll, we'd be better-off.
Adam Smith would be abjectly horrified by the crap people like you peg onto his name. And the constitution blatantly allows the government to collect
taxes to spend for the welfare of the entire population.
Oddly what the constitution doesn't
allow for is definition of corporate personhood, unilateral executive decisions on the subject of war, and
so much else that I often see supported by people who scream about welfare so loudly.