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Profit Motive Might Be The Problem?

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posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 03:06 PM
Is there a Way to by pass Ann Rand's Objectivism in regards to the driving FORCE behind our economic system.
Is there an alternative that could be taught to people as a way to steer humanity into a way of life NOT based on,,, "What will I Get Out of IT?" type thinking.
Is there an altruistic measure we can take at this point in history to move ourselves out of petty wars and conflicts about resources, to make it clear WE ARE ALL IN THIS SINKING SHIP,, We had best learn to WORK together to get ourselves out of this situation.
I believe our teaching that message, given in ATLAS SHRUGGED, that civilization would collapse without profit motive to push us to success IS FALSE.
so what is profit motive?
Since, I could not say it as needed, I quote good ol' WIKI on the definition of what PROFIT MOTIVE means.

The profit motive is the concept in economics that refers to individuals being provided incentive to relinquish something (e.g. capital, expertise, labour) for deployment to a productive purpose. If humans are rational and self-interested (see Homo economicus), then they should only divert some of their personal resource toward production for others in society (i.e. invest) if there is some payback for their self-sacrifice and risk. If there was no profit motive then the rational actor would merely conserve their resource for personal use and no investment would occur. The concept of profit motive was first raised by Adam Smith to explain why rational actors should invest their personal resources and why they needed to be provided a rent for use of that capital. Adam Smith also explained why the profit motive was an intrinsic enabler of the efficient utilisation of an economy's resources toward society's overall benefit. Economies that are utilising their economic resource for maximum sustainable societal benefit need to be both profit efficient and productivity efficient (including labour efficiency, resource efficiency and sustainability). The profit motive must be sufficiently high to incentivise owners of capital to deploy their capital, but not so high as to extract too much rent from the productive capacity of the economy. The theory proposed now by most modern economists is that a major goal of an economy is the maximization of growth and therefore profit (see Milton Friedman). This being the key difference between classical economists like Smith and modern economists. As a result, some argue that profit has been elevated from being merely a key plank in optimising societal benefit (the goal of classical economists), to becoming the sole purpose of economies

My question is,


No need to vomit about Communism, socialism etc... I would rather think outside the box here,, and maybe base it on Altruism.

Can Altruism be Taught is the second part of my question.

Will see if anyone responds before I say much more except, I believe a society could be based on these Virtues, instead of what might be our Weak Link for human nature,,, '
"What do I get out of it?"

Thoughts ATS

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 03:44 PM
The major problem is that western societies follow capitalism. There is a set amount of money in circulation which means you can make profit by taking away the money from others. You put your money in the bank and get a certain interest on it which you gain because the banks invest the money in order to make profit, in other words by funelling some of the money in circulation to them. How come this has worked for so many years? Well I guess after a while they just print some more money but it will end up at big corporations and banks again. Same kind of thinking is followed on an individual level as you have suggested.

As long as we have capitalism we cannot have altruism.

If everyone did something useful in society (some type of work for free) and only consumed what he really needed (acceptable quantity of food and drinks, one house, electricity, water, heating etc. which would be provided for free) then we wouldnt even need to have money and everyone would be taken care of. This might be possible in 1000 years.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 03:44 PM
Wow, a thread that's actually worth something.Thank you. As far as an alternative to profit pathology there has to be a better way. I don't necessarily know the best course, but what's going on is obviously unacceptable. Anyone who refuses to see it, or thinks it's OK has absolutely no regard for other humans or the environment. I think at the least there should be some kind of cap on profit. What level that cap should be at I'm not really sure. You don't want to infringe on civil liberties, but then again when you have a few thousand billionaires (in some cases trillionaires) meanwhile millions live in poverty around the globe you have some serious issues that need to be addressed.You don't want to strip human competitiveness, but it may be a good idea to curtail it somewhat if that competitiveness becomes a detriment to a large portion of the population and the environment.What you have is a small group of people with more wealth than they could ever feasibly use. So the question is, when is enough enough? The rationalization of "I built this" only goes so far when in fact most of the labor needed to create that vast wealth came off of the backs of the individuals who live in this state of poverty. As far as the concept of Altruism. It sounds nice and flowery, but the fact of the matter is that most humans couldn't care less about fellow human beings and the environment. Even a powerful concept of religion has failed in this regard. A large part of the most horrible acts committed were done so in the name of religion.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 03:46 PM
I will keep my response short and sweet:

To boldly go where no man/women has gone before

Scientific discovery and exploration is what i hope our future holds for our global motivations.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 04:08 PM
A friend of mine and I would argue all the time of what holds humanity back. He would say Religion and I say Greed.

I still think Greed is the problem too!

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 04:30 PM
Profit generally involves risk, often financial ruin or sacrifice of family life.
Why take the risk when others won't but want to share in the profit?

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by MDDoxs

Thanks to everyone who responded,, am liking the things said so far,

MDDoxs,, That was one of the answers I was waiting to hear,, glad it came early.
We Have to motivate our industry to take us to the next level,, (WITHOUT WAR IN SPACE) and lets as a species AIM FOR THE STARS

this could be the cornerstone that could revive and stimulate the economies of the world,, and would be easy to impliment as we stand right now,,,

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 08:58 PM
I could go on and on, and name drop countless theologians, but when it comes down to it, scarcity is the problem to this entire thing. A long time ago, somebody privatized a life-sustaining resource, and it caused the abandonment of inherent human nature. We have been forced into a pact of slavery, known as a social contract, and it we who provide credibility to this unjust system by individual adherence to the "de facto's" mandated laws.
To rationalize this "natural lottery", based upon the reality that there is disparity of wealth, they created "heaven" as we know it today, as a means of idealized compensation for this worldly injustice.
In truth, there is enough food to feed the world, technologically we are capable of limitless energy and one step further, nobody has to suffer. Ever.
Unfourtunately none of this can come to pass, unless the institutions which shaped this unjust world are gone. Listen, I'm all about fighting the good fight, and being the change I want to see, but when it truly comes down to it, take comfort in the fact that you know the truth. I know people will argue, we don't have destroy ourselves to achieve this, but understand that the only way to stabilize this system is through conquest. We don't have to do anything, because World War 3 is going to happen regardless of what we say.
After enough people have died for nothing, change can come. Please read about, Nietzsche's Ubermensch if you want the answers you're looking for.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 09:23 PM
Unless we change the nature of man, it will not happen.

I do not mind helping people... I do not mind helping people that help themselves. I see no reason to continue helping people that will not help themselves.

Do we actually expect farmers to work 10-12-14-16 hour days to feed people for no profit... no gain?

Do we expect a person to run a business... set up the shop at 6am... schedule the day... manage payroll... miss a kid's ballgame because of a late delivery... pay all those taxes... put more of their own money into buying new equipment... try to innovate... for no profit?

Who pays for all of the goodwill? Where do these subsidies come from?

If given the opportunity to work and improve their situation... how many people in "need" would pursue that opportunity?

If you make a pitcher of lemonade and it costs 25cents a cup to make and you sell it for 50cents a cup... you made a profit.

Making that profit is not the problem... what we do with that profit is the problem. Do we keep it all? Do we keep a portion and give some to charity? Do we give it all to charity?

The problem with corporations is not the profit... These days it seems that too many keep all the profits.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 11:20 PM
reply to post by nickendres

I concur. I totally understand what you say. Sad, but most likely true.

posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by EarthCitizen23

I would not mind paying you just enough wage to sustain you if that's all *you* negotiate for. But I bet you wouldn't have it, with all your time studying your craft and mastering it, I just bet you'd want to be rewarded handsomely for your services or product, and it's your time, and your ideas, and your hard work.. Again, money doesn't come with greed nor virtue.. Right now big dogs have effed up some transactions that's affected all, but I get that. But there are companies out there still creating beautiful transactions where both parties are happy. btw.. If you negotiate your worth with proof, I would also be glad to pay you your worth.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 07:55 PM

Originally posted by Nite_wing
Profit generally involves risk, often financial ruin or sacrifice of family life.
Why take the risk when others won't but want to share in the profit?

Maybe everyone is not exactly seeing my point, and understandable, given we ALL have been programmed to behave and believe as so many are stating here.

Did you ever help a friend move? Now that is something that most of us agree is a hard work,, and there are plenty of businesses that make money doing just that,, moving you.
If you helped a friend,, did you expect to be paid anything more than a few beers,, or a drink or two after all was said and done?
Why would anyone work so hard,, at such a task without pay? Maybe because we care? Love the person? Sympathize with the ordeal of moving. Or they helped you move once before in college and you have to ''repay'' them to ease your conscious? All Legit reasons to help,, with not much expected in return most of the time.

I am really talking about Profit Motive,, not profits themselves,, and it is understandable that so many would throw out the Lazy Bums,, who don't want to do anything. I know some myself.
The issue really with the Lazy 'Bums" is that NO ONE,, Not even themselves have found what would really turn their 'Bliss" on as Joseph Campbell was fond of saying.
To Follow Ones Bliss.
For example,, one of the persons I know who is a 'so called lazy bum',, really is talented with plants,, creates bonsai, and of course we can say,,, well why doesn't he follow through and sell them,, instead of bumming from family and friends? Mainly because that part of it doesn't interest him,, and he surrounds himself with Enablers.

I can Envision a time, where a NEW TYPE OF PROFESSION is created to handle this kind of situation.
A CREATIVE, comes around,, works with ''the bum'' to help them with the creative process that is their BLISS,, and does what they love,, which is get those Bonsai to the right people who will cherish them, There could be a whole industry that is about placement of 'lazy bums' into something that for Their Souls,, is really following their bliss.
Anyway,, just one idea,, and sure I know there will be plenty of poo poo on this,, but we Have to think Outside the BOX,, not within the confines that are strangling the world now,, but something Visionary.
Is it that hard to believe in Visionaries any longer,, are we that deep in the Abyss?

So,, the next thing I am sure,, is who will do the dirty jobs,,, well believe it or not,, there are people out there who would,, and if Society was structured differently around this type of Civilization,, MORE MIGHT than you think. Especially if Maslov Needs were automatically taken care of by Society as a whole.
Our Technology and science advancements could allow for all of humanity to live within the space of something the size of England if we wanted,, then the rest of the world would be Amusement park and Natural grounds to enjoy.

Maybe everyone has forgotten Bucky Fuller. Look up the Buckminster!! And specifically CRITICAL PATH his great book from the 1970's that if it had been used as a model,, might have given us a more Unified Planet.

Anyway,, everyone is lodged in a mindset that really needs to be improved upon,, even if it never attains my Ideal,, I would like to think humans are more creative than I am seeing at the moment,, mainly because of Greed and Profit Motive.

Thanks for all the responses,, they are all good,, and I will try to address as many as possible.

edit on 10/12/2012 by EarthCitizen23 because: spelling

posted on Oct, 13 2012 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by EarthCitizen23

What you are referring to are "life hours."
An employer pays an employee for a certain amount of life hours per week. That employee is willing to give a certain amount of life hours for that pay. They are giving up part of their life for money. Money represents the life hours spent in obtaining it. It is a barter system. The employer gave up part of his life (hours) to build his business. The amount of money he accumulated represents the hours of his life spent achieving that money. Now he is employing people who are willing to give up hours of their life in exchange for pay. That pay then goes for food, cars, etc., that somebody else spent their life hours building or growing. Those who spend are spending part of their life hours. They are spending they pay they received for a certain portion of their life. If one doesn't work, then they are asking someone else to give up part of their life when the recipient is not willing to spend the hours of their life in exchange. It is not about money, it is about life.

edit on 13-10-2012 by Nite_wing because: I was spending life hours writing this dumb thing.

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