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The New Reality of Capitalism

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posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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Just searching the net and am reminded constantly of how screwed we all in the face of today's economic conditions.

Here in the US, the republican platform is taking hold of our economy and is really destroying what made America great. I would venture to guess that most of us do not own businesses and are workers. In the last 30 years, workers here in the US have taken a huge beating. We had protections/safety nets that preserved wealth for the middle class and most people could find an honest paying job.

Most of what our parents took for granted is a dream for my generation (I am 37 years old). Today, the new motto is "be thankful you have a job." This is an employer's dream as it is the motto to exploit a desperate workforce.

Now, the new paradigm of being employed here in the US is to work in a warehouse, with unreasonable expectations, fetching widgets just purchased on Amazon.com in 105 degrees heat, and getting paid just barely over minimum wage. All for what.....so that the stock prices of Walmart and Amazon.com go up and some fat cat raking in billions of dollars. Who cares about the stock price of these companies when you have no 401K or IRA to invest in when you are making $9 per hour and can barely afford to pay for gas to drive to work.

I implore the staunchest of republicans to take a 15 hour flight to China and see the work conditions out there. All you have to do is spend a day in Shanghai or Guangzhou and see the working conditions in those cities. Then ask yourself the question of whether you are willing to work in such a situation.

We shouldn't have that type of living standards here in the US, but unfortunately that is where we are headed. The disparity between rich and poor is becoming greater by the day. Unfortunately for those that support the stripping of rights and wages from workers, you too will have to sleep in your own bed as well and live in the reality that you are helping to create.




posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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A need for survival led to the village.

Religion dominated the last 6500 years

Capitalism the last 100+

Globalization and universal realization of connected eco-systemic realities is the next epoch and the first step is a shift in understanding that value is not equal to economics.

Nations are a legacy reality as the world populous realizes there is only one planet that we share.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by SeekingAlpha
 


I agree wholeheartedly my friend, I worked at a lumbermill for a while back in 2005. I made about 900 buck every two weeks which was enough to get by, but never really get ahead you know? I remember the plant made a billion dollars profit the first year I worked there. They gave all the employees these nice little key chains that said "One Billion Dollars!" on them. I would look at the blisters on my hands and then look at that keychain and it made me sick so I threw it away. I started surveying and made good money doing that because I was good at it but since last year with the cancer all I get is a little disability check. It seems like you cant take a damn breath in this world without someone wanting you to pay them for something.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by zroth
 


Very true zroth. We too have our own eco-system and the balance of that system is seriously strained right now by one side of the equation.

We do need a balanced economic eco-system. Without it, you cannot have the consumerism that this country relies on to build wealth for the elite. That's just simple facts. If I am making $9 per hour and barely able to pay for the necessities in life, how the hell am I going to buy the latest smart phone that cost $600 and go out to dinner with my friends at $20 to watch the Avengers at $10.

I am not try to use the above example of someone trying to live a lavish lifestyle, but am using the example as someone who is spending to keep the money flowing in our economy.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by SeekingAlpha
 


dood

Republicans & Democrats
are one in the same ....

get off the 2 party bandwagon


oh and by the way
the "American Dream"
is now a myth



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by SeekingAlpha
 
There is a lesson to be learned. Why won't you people stop carping about how workers are treated and stop being "workers"? Being a worker sucks. Why work at 8-15 dollars/hour when you can do the exact same stuff as a self employed person but bill out at 40-50 dollars/hour?



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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What do you prescribe Alpha??? You seem to be implying (unless I'm misunderstanding) that communism would be better, to level the income disparity......

While I agree things should be fixed, and perhaps it would probably be fairest to put a provision in the constitution to safeguard against the unlimited acquisition of property/wealth which created this income gap, but I'm wary of putting a ceiling to how much a person is allowed to acquire...

In order to best offset against this corporate greediness, we should definitely make changes. Perhaps the one suggested would be most realistic, but another part of me hopes that a growth in moral standards will encourage a greater dissemination of the wealth; that the rich would be willing to incur some financial loss for the sake of the masses.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


You're dreaming. The motivating factor, especially when someone already has a crapload of money, is more money! The driving factor of most businesses is profit. If your bottom line is better off by having, say, two employees doing the work of four, why would you hire four? I think it's funny when people expect businesses under a capitalist model to "do the right thing." When has any business done the right thing when it negativly affects their profit margin? These pillars of American business could give a crap about it's workers. I mean think about it, a guy who sits on the 50th floor of an air conditioned building basically going to a meeting to say yes or no to ideas he didn't even think up, gets hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if not millions, while the guy that breaks his back in an overheated factory making the product are paid just enough to survive.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 




a growth in moral standards will encourage a greater dissemination of the wealth


A problem with this is how people determine their own values and priorities. If your main priority is wealth, you will override other values like fairness, equity and empathy in your decisions. This has been clearly shown in many studies that rate a persons morality with their wealth. The more wealthy you are, the less morality you have in general. Poor people are poor because they are more likely to share what they have, while rich people are more concerned about holding and gaining even more, it is how they become rich. There are always exceptions when studying human nature, but the general trends are very clear.

With things like corporate deregulation and many conflicts of interest culturally being solved by money, the moral standard is very much on the decline and does need a good kick in the ass if the standard of living is to return to the state it use to be. Considering just how bad the public is getting lied to and deceived, hope is nice but without action such things are unattainable. The only real significant change I can see working is to reinvestigate 9/11, clean out the rot and and start with a clean slate. Everyone does need a good reality check.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Why does this happen here? Communism. One extreme to the other. Why can't we re-establish a system where there is some parity? Some concern for the country as a whole? Why does it need to be every man for him/herself? Despite what the Rep/Dem model WANTS you to believe, we are all in this together. We're one country, one team. If the people at the top even remotely thought that way we wouldn't be in the crap we're in. Look at the native american way of living. Take what you need, prosper but you have a responsibility to the tribe and to mother earth.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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Here's a thought:

If you don't have enough money, logout of ATS and spend your time more productively instead of whining about how your life isn't the way you want it because thousands of years of civilization hasn't evolved the way you'd like it to be in time for your arrival.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by DarkKnight76
 





You're dreaming. The motivating factor, especially when someone already has a crapload of money, is more money! The driving factor of most businesses is profit. If your bottom line is better off by having, say, two employees doing the work of four, why would you hire four? I think it's funny when people expect businesses under a capitalist model to "do the right thing."


You know, there's no rule saying you can only be either/or. One can have an ego, and also act selflessly; one can seek a living for himself, make money, but within reason. The only problem with capitalism is not the system, but the individual. Communism would be just as abused, as it HAS historically been, with an elite class above the worker class that essentially acts in the same way as any other oligarchy.

To fix society you must fix the INDIVIDUAL; the state is not a real thing - it is an abstract concept that only takes on dimensionality in direct proportion, morally, to the people who make it up.

At least in a capitalist society, we can have virtues like charity and generosity; in a communist society, what would motivate the growth of such spiritual qualities? They wouldn't be. In a sense, a communist society is a dehumanized society; it's a society devoid of the element which encourages self transcendence. It's a society without moral challenges. It's like the social version of moral relativism; the spiritual philosophy which seeks to live 'beyond the ego' also dehumanizes and depreciates the beauty in overcoming human vices.

Socialism is God awful and every part of my being rages against the placid and petrifying influence it would exert on the human spirit.

What we can and should hope for is a society with a greater appreciation for all the goods we have. A reflective society takes seriously it's obligations, not simply to each other, but to God, who has bestowed on man the responsibility of living righteously.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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I come from Canada, and have been living in Guangzhou, China for almost a year now and I have some interesting perspectives on the matter...

1- Wealth and the pursuit of wealth is slavery, you are rewarded with scraps and rank for obedience and isolated and scorned if you try to think for yourself. In Canada, I have a lot of jobless friends who are all very intellegent, capable people with good moral values and strong belief in intangible value such as friendship, kindness and so on. In Canada, I see more and more people moving in this direction because let's face it; when sh!t goes down (and there is a good possibility it will), the people who were only your friends because they had something to gain from it will not be there like your real friends and family who care about your well-being as a person. In China, no one expects sh!t to go down, and almost everyone sees you as a competitor in some regards... Sure there are some great amazing people who are starting to wake up from this dreamstate, but you gotta dig through a lot of dirt to find them. People don't care if you're hurting, they will still screw you over to get a leg up economically, and they'll do it with a smile, pretending all the while to be your "friend". Having money is a relatively new thing to the Chinese public, so it is still in the novelty phase, and everybody is very concerned about trying to appear wealthier than the next because it is this attitude that will gain them more "friends" who are only friends because they have something to gain from your "friendship". People in China do not seem to really understand that having friends like that only leads to problems when times get tough.

2- People who have power will always try to supress the advancement of those who do not. This has been going on since the beginning of history and probably well before that too. In just about every country, you will see that once people start moving up through the system, they will do everything they can to resist competition. A manager will be very hesitant to promote others to management positions because that in turn creates more competition for them... This behaviour does not help towards advancement, in fact it is hindering it. In North America, you see corporations constantly buying out or overpowering their small competitors, which hinders both the economy as well as technological, scientific and sociological advancement. In China, the average salary for a worker is actually lower than the minimum salary. There are many people who will cling to a job paying them 2000rmb per month (just over 300$) because their lives depend on it. Knowing this, large local businesses and government owned businesses take advantage by all offering the same amount. Government owned businesses will pay a little bit more (about 4000rmb per month) and will also demand greater requirements of applicants because they want to have the most control over business in the country, and they know they can get people working much harder with very little sleep for that much. The top managers in companies who earn their positions through resourcefulness and helpful contacts will make about 10000rmb per month, and they will be expected to be extremely professional and have an unwavering loyalty to their companies. My uncle was born in Guangzhou, is 50 years old, speaks excellent english, is highly educated and has worked many different jobs constantly moving up to better positions, and he is now earning 10000rmb per month. Most people can only dream to ever achieve this kind of position in society. Now enter a foreigner with a bachelor's degree and an english teaching certificate (like me) who has very little experience in teaching, let alone teaching english, and I can get a job that pays me 13000rmb per month instantly. I don't need to be super professional or insanely loyal, I just need to be able to show up to work and teach my native language to a group of kids. Some of my friends were awestruck when I told them this. Anyways, back to my point... Because of the extremely difficult levels of competition among locals, Chinese people must work so hard for very little (if any) reward, and they have to kiss ass whenever opportunity arises. This decreases efficiency because most Chinese workers are always trying to do something without having much time to think about what they are doing. Furthermore, there is the added pressure from the government to keep up appearances, but there is a lack of understanding as to why these appearances must be kept up. It's a wierd thing, it's like stepping back in time 100 years culturally and socially, but they have all the modern things we have today. It's no wonder that people act so uncivilized in the metro stations and when driving. In one day, you could spot at least 5 vehicles running red lights, and some of them are even buses.

I will revisit this topic to add more about this stuff.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by SeekingAlpha
Just searching the net and am reminded constantly of how screwed we all in the face of today's economic conditions.


The world was screwed long before today's economic conditions came along.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by theMat
 


Very good post. My dad is an American and decided to open up a few hamburger joints in China about ten years ago, been there to visit many times, and can 100% vouch for what you said.

My dad told me a mind blowing realization last time I visited him. He owns a condo (most people don't have houses in China). We were walking to his condo when he said, "you know what's crazy about this country, it would take an average laborer here about 3 life times for him to save enough money to buy an average condo in China."

Think about that for a second. There is a huge population there that fits this mold and many of these people will never see the light of day and will never get a head no matter how hard or smart they work.

Of course we are not there. But the greedy, power hungry fools of this country are putting the pieces together to take us there. Last I heard the average american just lost 40% of their net wealth in the last 5 years. Another decade of greed and corruption and we'll be no better than Mexico or China.

For those that think, working for yourself is a better alternative than an employee. Let me put this out there for you. As societal wealth evaporates, so will your's. If you are let's say a plumber that can make $200 of a fix job today, I will guarantee to you that as our country losses more money, in the next 10 years, you will not be able to charge that amount for the same work. Why? because people cannot afford a $200 fix and you will have to do the work for $50-100 because that will be the going rate to do basic plumbing work because that is what people can afford. Think about that for a second. Nobody is immune the the consequences of greed gone wild in this country.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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I WILL EXPLOIT YOU!



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 





You know, there's no rule saying you can only be either/or. One can have an ego, and also act selflessly; one can seek a living for himself, make money, but within reason.


While I agree with most of your sentiments in your post, and I suppose it might only come across as quibbling, there is not a species on the planet that is even capable of acting "selflessly". The word is itself is a misnomer, and horridly abused just as the word selfish.

In order to act "selflessly" one would have to act without regard for themselves. There's another word for that type of behavior and its called sacrifice. Sacrifice is by its very nature is giving up something of a higher value in exchange for something of a lesser value. Logically, and practically such an exchange is foolish. The notion of selfless is an extension of the ridiculously defined "selfish".

Selfish is generally defined as being a chief concern for ones own interest, especially with disregard for others. This is a contradiction, unless we want to take hermits and misanthropes and hold them up as superior examples of people who hold a chief concern for their own interest and the rest of us...well, act "selflessly", then there is a gross contradiction with the definition. In all practicality there are no contradictions and when we are confronted with what appears to be a contradiction all we need to do is reexamine the premise to expose the fraud of the contradiction.

We, as humans, are a social beast. We depend upon each other to maximize our survival. Because of this, when it comes to anyone of our individual best interest, if we are to have a chief concern for that best interest, then regard for others is a damn good idea. Selfish is better defined as simply a chief concern for ones interest without any qualifiers. Tragically, this is not how it is defined, and so the word has become a pejorative to castigate people who do show a chief concern for their own interest which, let's face it, is pro-survival. If we are not going to hold a chief concern for our own interest, who the hell will? The selfless?



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by SeekingAlpha
 


I can totally see that too. Most people in China live month to month, having to pay for rented apartments, food, transportation and also upholding a particular social status required of them by their peers. It really is sad, but unfortunately that's what happened after the "great leap forward" so miserably failed. It's funny because during regular times, Guangzhou is crowded with millions of people everywhere you go, but then when you get to Chinese New Year, the city becomes deserted and cold. Most of the people living here come from other smaller towns and cities but can only find a "good" job here in the big city, thus they leave the city to be with their families on CNY. You can clearly see that many of the people in this city are commoners who have no idea how to behave in a civilized manner, and instead of using tax money to educate and develop the smaller towns and cities, they focus on the big cities to funnel money and resources into Beijing (a sad dying city that is the epitomy of authoritarianism). They use the tax money to build bigger roads so they can keep their tanks moving further and securing a wider perimeter, as well as making sure that their propaganda machine is working obediently and swiftly while the rest of the country becomes polluted and plundered, leaving the poor working class Chinese to their sad little subservient dooms. People who value freedom and opportunity to succeed are then told to accept the way their lives are and stop dreaming because change cannot happen, sadly by their own family and friends.

I see a lot of parallels between China and the emerging US authoritarian system. Unfortunately for the Chinese, they have never known the wonderful United States of old or any system remotely resembling it. Even many Chinese people who study abroad in developed countries end up moving back to China because the opportunities elsewhere are dwindling more than at home, where they can always find a secure job paying 3000rmb per month. Americans are lucky that they have at least had the opportunity to see a better system than the Chinese have. Before the communist revolution, China was robbed and cheated by the West, and before that they were just too inward looking and people were either slaves to wealthy and entitled warlords, or they were common farmers... looks like things didn't really "change" that much.

Sadly, many Chinese people cannot survive without resorting to criminal activity, but because the consequences for outright theft are so brutal and frightening, the criminal class has figured out more subtle ways of going about their business, for instance cheating people out of their money or intimidation tactics like extortion or loan sharking. I have heard many stories and have been warned of many different scams. I also have a connection to a commoner girl who was so blinded by the glamourous idea of quick money that she resorted to high-stakes gambling using money she borrowed from loan sharks, and when she couldn't pay the money back, she was threatened with having her throat slit. Poor girl didn't know that in the real world, there is no such thing as fast money, and any temptation of it only leads to being cheated. She will probably end up being whored out by the loan sharks to repay her debt, and maybe she will learn her lesson, but there are MANY stories just like this. I've also seen some of the most gruesomely mangled people I've ever seen in my life (factory workers who were not given proper training or safety equipment). I always see guys with no faces, people whose bones were so horribly crushed that they are permanently deformed, a guy who is like 2 feet tall because his spine is so misshapen. These people are forced to beg for money on the streets because they can't work anymore, and when they WERE working, they weren't earning enough to save anything for the situations they eventually found themselves in.

Almost all the sad and horrible things I see in this country, I can directly point the blame towards the installment of centralized banking. These people would not be in this position if they were just left to be farmers or simple service slaves. In this country, you have no rights, and if you cannot do better than everyone else, you're going to end up like everyone else, but at least if you can feed yourself and provide for your own needs, you don't have to put yourself in dangerous and desperate situations where you can get killed or permanently disabled. I mean, sure... many people have a better life now than before, but at what cost, really?

These are all things Americans need to think about, because one day, it might be them, and they are still at the point where they can reverse the tide if enough of them stand up for their constitutional rights (of which are non-existent in a place like China).



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by UltimateSkeptic1
Here's a thought:

If you don't have enough money, logout of ATS and spend your time more productively instead of whining about how your life isn't the way you want it because thousands of years of civilization hasn't evolved the way you'd like it to be in time for your arrival.


It is like saying. Since people do a stupid thing (work for crap) we should to more of it to get ahead and contribute more to something that is clearly screwed up. Jump of a bridge more times looking for gold in the stream and you might be luckier finding the gold that is not there?

I understand responsability but I also understand parasitism that some people do. I work as a technical consultant and have worked for a small firm where the person in the top do nothing for the money he gets just because he had money bying the firm. They cannot afford increase in wages they say while infaltion goes up and I have to pay 10% of my salary in goverment parking tickets that was payed for before. When you are at the same place for 5 years and the company in between just is a parasite then there is something wrong with the system and the companies do not want single contractors because it is decided in boardrooms in another country.

Administrative managers are sometimes the stupidest people when it comes to efficiancy and sometimes do changes that make things less efficiant just to show they are doing something. Save a penny on one side is a good idea to loose a hundred dollars on the other side that is not their budget. You gotta love it. But then It was the energy buisness and they can set the prices like they want and still can achive extreme profits without being efficiant at all. Capitalism do not work when the company can influence the market around them. Just a game of monopoly where one guy wins all in the end.



posted on Jun, 23 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by UltimateSkeptic1
Here's a thought:

If you don't have enough money, logout of ATS and spend your time more productively instead of whining about how your life isn't the way you want it because thousands of years of civilization hasn't evolved the way you'd like it to be in time for your arrival.


This is a typical opinion of many on the right, it must be the individuals fault and not a obviously flawed system.

Are you a Fox News viewer, because they are some of the most ill informed people out there.

The middle class has almost been destroyed since Reagan was elected in 1980.

The divide between the haves and have nots is increasing every year, and we the average Joe Knows It!!

Walmart is making billions of dollars yet the average worker needs food stamps to survive.

Are you not aware the game is rigged to support the wealthy and not the average worker?

Current Republican state governments continue the assault on whats left of the middle class.



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