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Forum Post: A Case for Capitalism

Posted 4 months ago on March 22, 2014, 10:31 p.m. EST by friedmanmises (-78)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I personally do not agree with you. Maybe I'm wrong, but I need to know what key points I'm missing.

In capitalism, one person's decision cannot affect another person unless the affected person agreed to it (ideally). Yet you blame the rich "1%" for your problems. In socialism, which is what many occupiers seem to want, they actually could cause you problems, because they could exaggerate their need or choose to produce less, which would lead to wealth being redistributed from you to them. In capitalism, only your decisions affect you. For example, if you are in debt to a bank, it is not the bank's fault, but yours because you agreed to it. If someone is richer than you, they did not take money from you.

At any time in capitalism, you can choose to try to make people's lives better. You can start a business, create jobs, and sell a product. It's called free trade. You gain money from the people who buy your product, they gain your product (a mutually beneficial trade). You gain help in making the product from your employees, your employees gain a salary. Everybody wins. All actions are voluntary. If a trade is unfair to one person, he/she won't agree to it. This ensures all trades are fair. Whoever helps society the most is paid the most.

it's a system that encourages these kinds of trades, and rewards good decisions. In socialism, regardless of your good (or bad) decisions, you are given the same salary or wealth. This is unfair by itself. Along with that, it encourages bad decisions and punishes good ones, leading to a society were every one makes bad choices and doesn't contribute, except for a few hard-working people who are not enough. I think capitalism is better, because it rewards hard work and good decisions, and other people can't affect you. If I make a bad product in capitalism, no one buys it, and only I pay the consequences. If I make a good product, I will be rewarded, and the people who buy it will be, too. In socialism, if I make a bad product, the person who made a good product will have their earnings transferred to me. I will not learn from my mistake, nor will he be rewarded for his success. Capitalism would give him a reason to continue helping other people and me a reason to make a better product.

America, although now moving away from capitalism, has been the most successful nation in the world. Although there is not necessarily equality in the nation, it is not fair to say that the poor have been hurt. What the poor live with today is far better than what even the rich lived with before capitalism.

Think about it. Was Steve Jobs greedy? Was Henry Ford greedy? If yes, than their greed has helped society. If no, than their selflessness has been rewarded by society. This is why I love capitalism.

Even if you feel socialism is better, I think you should keep capitalism in America, so people like me can enjoy it, and move to one of the many countries where socialism has been implemented. I don't think it's fair to force your ideas on others.

Do you agree with everything I've said in this post? Please let me know, why or why not?

219 Comments

219 Comments


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[-] 7 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 4 months ago

We've been doing capitalism for more than two hundred years. Serious deregulation [re]started with Nixon. The closer we get to the free market ideal the worse the economy is for the vast majority of us.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

But I guess that means, since I'm still trying to talk common sense to a conservative, that I'm insane.

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Well, we have been doing capitalism for more than two hundred years. We also have increased that standard of living for everyone (including the poor) more in the last two hundred years. That sounds like it's working to me.

Deregulation really got serious with Reagan. Initially, there was a large stock market crash, and a recession. Unlike the policies of Hoover and FDR after the 1929 crash, and unlike the policies of Bush and Obama in today's recession, Reagan did nothing. The economy then recovered and boomed.

It was over regulation in an attempt to achieve "affordable housing" that led to the recession, not deregulation. Look it up, Thomas Sowell, an economist at Standford, wrote a whole book on it.

"Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Like, Socialism?

The system that's failed in almost every country it's been tried in, except maybe Sweden? Supporting that is insanity. Capitalism has always worked (yes, I know Einstein's political views. That's irrelevant.)

[-] 4 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 3 months ago

Reaganomics: An economic slogan for the policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy (and especially for real estate) while increasing the Social Security tax on employees. (See Tax Shift and Laffer Curve). The effect was to quadruple the public debt during the Reagan-Bush administration, 1981-92. In addition to tax cuts, Reaganomics dismantled environmental regulations and deregulated industry in general, producing a stock-market and real estate boom that was the precursor to the economic bubble of the 1990s. See Chicago School and Asset-Price Inflation.

http://michael-hudson.com/tag/the-insiders-economic-dictionary/

I copied the above from another member's post. http://occupywallst.org/forum/michael-hudson-economics-dictionary-excerpt-4614/

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

nice job here

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[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

you don't care - remember?

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

The debt during Reagan's administration was from stockpiling nuclear arms to win the cold war.

What's more likely, that deregulation from thirty years ago caused a housing bubble today, or that a push for affordable housing in the 90's and early 2000's caused it?

I mentioned a whole book on it written by an economist. Thomas Sowell talks about it on youtube, too, if you want to look it up. I don't really understand your source, or what it's trying to say… could you explain it?

If deregulation caused the crashes, then why did our economy prosper for well over 100 years (before 1929) with almost no regulations at all? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmzZ8lCLhlk

[-] -3 points by JGriff99mph (507) 3 months ago

Interest rates were the major key to the market explosion and then the implosion. People who want to blame Reagan or Clinton, or Ive even heard some blame Carter, are simply being fed a horseshit story.

Interest rates, ZIRP, artificial bubble. To acknowledge this would mean that the msm is admitting what a huge role the Fed plays in our economy.

[+] -6 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

Yes, good point. This is why I favor less government intervention.

[-] 4 points by wickerman (157) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

The Fed is a privately owned for profit company unless I am mistaken, not a government agency. So it's manipulation of the economy is a capitalistic manipulation by a corporation rather than a manipulation by the government.

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

wow are you uninformed. first of all will you reply to my earlier comment disputing your history of capitalism. it took me some time to destroy your points so I would like a response. as to Sweden- it is a capitalist country - who do you think owns Volvo - "the people!" they have a broad social welfare system but that is very different. do you know the definition of capitalism? this is a headline for the economist (that capitalist rag!) - "The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism, says Adrian Wooldridge" - look it up if you like. you are mostly incorrect also with this thought (I use the term loosely) - "Well, we have been doing capitalism for more than two hundred years. We also have increased that standard of living for everyone (including the poor) more in the last two hundred years. That sounds like it's working to me". - you should say the u.s. and the developed world has increased it's standard of living - it part by stealing the wealth of the third world! how well is capitalist Haiti doing? the past two hundred years have seen an increase in wealth and standard of living largely because of fossil fuels - not capitalism. take a look at the ussr and brazil in 1950 and then again in 1985 - which system increased it standard of living for the vast majority. now DO NOT take my statement as an endorsement of stalin or the soviet unions form of government. it is simply a demonstration that you have not been educated properly

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

That's very interesting about Sweden. I guess I was misinformed.

Haiti isn't doing well because of the political trauma. We haven't been "stealing" their resources. In fact, we refused to trade with them for a long time, which hurt their economy terribly. It did not hurt ours, because we didn't grow rich stealing from them. Their economy is dependent on us buying their products.

I can't find any data online about USSR vs Brazil standard of living, other than modern day. And today, Brazil's economy and its standard of living is a lot higher than Russia's, which has only recently begun capitalism.

I don't see how fossil fuels are responsible. Sure, they helped, but Russia has more oil than a lot of countries. That didn't mean their economy and living standards did better than ours.

And what system would you propose, anyway?

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

a barrel of oil will do the work of 12 men working for one year. do you understand what that means for our wealth. it is a perfect fuel - easily transported and stored. the machines that it fuels are responsible, in large part, for our wealth. just imagine our economy if we had to move goods by horse and wagon still. first we burned wood then coal the oil. i can go on with that but I doubt it is needed. as to Haiti - read some of the history - I can find it if you like - here is a quote from my favorite radical Chomsky - "The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.” - as to brazil and the soviet union I would think it is common knowledge. in 1917 both countries were dirt poor third world backwaters with a small wealthy elite and starving populations. fast forward to 1986 (when I traveled to the soviet union) and what do you see. one of the worlds super powers - lots of problems, of course but everyone had a place to live and plenty of food. all of this while under attack by the most developed countries in the world - note the invasion of 1918 by the u.s. and britian etc. brazil on the other hand had all the benefits of u.s. "aid" and the best minds from the "Chicago school of economics." so what does brazil look like in 1986 - a third world backwater with a small elite and a large starving population - here is something about the "Brazilian miracle" -Noam Chomsky has been critical of the coup, as well as his perception of Gordon's role in it. At an address delivered at Harvard University on March 19, 1985, he stated:

So, in one case, Brazil, the most important Latin American country, there has been what was called an "economic miracle" in the last couple of decades, ever since we destroyed Brazilian democracy by supporting a military coup in 1964. The support for the coup was initiated by Kennedy but finally carried to a conclusion by Johnson. [Four hours after the coup, and before its ultimate effects were able to be seen][14] Kennedy's ambassador, Lincoln Gordon, [called it] "the single most decisive victory for freedom in the mid-twentieth century." We installed the first really major national security state, Nazi-like state, in Latin America, with high-technology torture and so on. Gordon called it "totally democratic," "the best government Brazil ever had."... Well, there was an economic miracle and there was an increase in the GNP. There was also an increase in suffering for much of the population

[-] 7 points by agkaiser (1321) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

“The free market theory predicts that deregulation and tax cuts for the rich and their corporations will result in jobs for us. But that hasn't happened. The [delusional] theory has only worked for their profit. It's failed to produce income for the rest of us: about ninety percent of the people. So Wall St investors, CEOs and their middle class ministers are doing from great to fair but their money isn't going into job creation. What's happening? Where's the money?!

“The corporations are sitting of $2 trillion that they won't reinvest. [written two years ago - agk] Much more is going into financing government and consumer debt. Why won't they use it to stimulate the American economy by doing the free market thing? Investment in finance pays big returns but not many jobs are created. They should know we're tapped out. That's why there's no demand. “It's the profit from cutting costs, by investing in China and laying us off or paying us less, that's forced us into debt over our heads. Instead of creating jobs that might have increased demand and allowed the economy to grow, they have loaned out the Chinese profits and tax savings and made more money, while most of us are out of work or underpaid. The overcompensated CEOs know another round isn't happening because we and our government are saturated with debt. So they'll just sit on it or move it to offshore banks, when they don't move their entire government contract built operation to the Mideast like Halliburton to Dubai. Now there's clear cut case of take the money and run.

“No one will think of taxing it to recoup the many trillions that were pumped into the Wall St Ponzi to hopefully create more debt and cover the losses of speculators in the debt that the 'manufacturers' who're sitting on the cash forced us in to in order to make that profit by selling us the products they wouldn't pay us to make because there's not enough cash to be made that way. No, the idiots, the 'best and brightest' morons, just wonder what went wrong with their perpetual motion of money machine. And their politicians blame it on teachers, cops, autoworkers, welfare and unions. That is: they blame the rape of the economy by their owners on the victims who just want to live without molestation.”

from: "How Does That Work"

https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] 5 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

yep - but it can't last this is a bubble and they are going to crash and burn alongside the rest of us - this boat will sink captain!! she wasn't designed to stay afloat and there are only enough lifeboats on board for a very very small amount of people - and we're going to grab onto those and pull them in when they try to get back to shore ... and that about spans my use of metaphors and cliches for the evening

[-] 3 points by JEM (13) from Plainsboro Township, NJ 3 months ago

You guys don't have your facts straight. Free market theory says nothing about deregulation and tax cuts resulting in jobs. "Trickle down economics" states this and was invented by the Republican party. Trickle down is not even a theory, just a political catch phrase.

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Wouldn't a better solution be (for an individual) to use the deregulation to their advantage and start their own business? Get a loan from the bank, start a business with ease, make profits, and then payback the loan. Rather than sit around and wait for the 1% to create jobs, why not create the jobs yourself? Also, if investing on Wall Street is a scheme to get rich without doing any real work, why doesn't everybody invest on Wall Street? You could just (again) get a loan from the bank to start out. In reality, buying and selling on Wall Street is a way for a) people to multiply the money they earn to help save for retirement and b) a way for businesses and banks to raise money to invest in things like the new business you got a loan for in the first paragraph. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTLwANVtnkA This video is not up to date, and it may not reflect today's crisis, but it does address some of your points.

[-] 3 points by wickerman (157) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

The problem with that statement is that deregulation has made it more difficult to start a small business. It seems that deregulation only helped the large already established companies. It helped them to eliminate competition.

The problem with capitalism is that it favors the guy who starts first, or inherits a prestarted business. It equates wealth with power, and that power is then used to further concentrate wealth and to prevent others from getting started.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

The basis of capitalism is exploitation. Those who hold wealth or "capital" always have an upper hand. So, if you really want to be fair and implement a truly "free market" capitalist system as is spelled out under the Austrian model, then everyone must enter that system with absolutely equal wealth, with absolutely the same opportunity. So, ask the wealthy if they'd be willing to do that, share the wealth equally with everyone and then start the race. They'll say no. You know why? Because capitalism is based on exploitation and they know full well that they have a head start. It is very very difficult to overcome the setback of low or no capital. Yes, it happens occasionally and Americans love to focus on "success" stories. But, capitalism does not work, it simply does not work without exploitation. It must exploit labor in order to create profit. This is why capitalism is a failed economic system. It does not work for the benefit of the masses. It only works for the benefit of the few.

And, as far as Steve Jobs is concerned. His products were and still are extremely over priced. By overpricing a naive public he made huge profits worth more than the U.S. government. There should be laws against that because a single person is weak at the hands of a monopoly just like one worker is weak at the hands of a large employer.

To sum up: Capitalism is economic tyranny.

[-] 1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

If things were to be started evenly, from scratch, the majority of the uber rich and well off would get smashed by the average hard working guy who is smart with their money, can avoid the consumeristic urges.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

Very well said. Most people that are wealthy are so because of opportunity given to them. Very rarely did they really work from scratch for it, hence the "Horatio Alger myth."

The rich love for the masses to cling to that myth, though, hoping, wishing, and feeling inadequate for not "making" it because it keeps them feeling guilty and ashamed and, therefore, quiet.

The reality is that 300 million of us can't all be entrepreneurs and millionaires. Workers, in fact, are the backbone of any economy. I say let's make sure that workers get paid wages that represent their fair share of the profits that they create!

[-] -2 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

Good point that everyone cannot be a business owner. But I dont think its because they cant hack it, I think its because they dont want to do it. Which isn't necessarily bad.

I guy told me once "I work for Vince and not myself because I value my time".. that stuck with me. 21 outta 28 small businesses are single guys like me. Its intense. Personally I wouldnt have it any other way, but I don't expect everyone to be as nuts as I am :)

That being said though, we need to come to realization that we need to step our games up. Its why I think the coop model is so practical. Its doable, and it gets people out from under the thumb and into action. And its perfect for those who dont have access to a lot of capital- thats the main benefit.

Good old fashioned team work.

Speaking of capital and people having it:

I always get a kick outta people who claim with capital gains taxes that "its already been taxed once".. Like, who cares? If anything, it should be taxed more because its just moving computer digits around.

Any business owner could make the insane "Its already been taxed once" bullshit line. Even just basic consumerism, your paycheck is taxed so why pay sales tax with what you buy with it then?

So much nonsense.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

Right, it is not because they, themselves, can't hack it, it's actually because the system can't hack it. I mean how could 300 million businesses be supported? If every single one of us was an entrepreneur we'd be back to a subsistence economy where everyone really did work for themselves by producing just enough to support just themselves.

Workers should be valued and respected. They are a necessity and yes, many people like working for other people. It can be a great thing. And, I love the idea of coops as well, where workers are workers but also with ownership spread out over all of the workers giving people more meaning and fulfillment. And, frankly, the profits are not hoarded with the few in a cooperative, they are spread out among the many. A beautiful thing.

[-] -1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

That is an interesting point about the system being part of the problem. Certainly 300 million businesses would be madness. What is the level of businesses, community wise, do you think communities could sustain? Percentage wise. Maybe 1/2?

I try to empower people as much as possible when I'm working. Everyone to know as much about everything as humanely possible. I do stuff on people's whiteboards and then they want to erase it. I'm like No! Let everyone see it. Let the employees see it and the customers too. Why not? Let them in. Get feedback.

When people get empowered its incredible. Some just need a shot. Some can't get out of their own way regardless (drink their money away, go buy a new tv instead of tuning up the car, etc).

One thing I would love to see- that the Dept of Education will never do- is a total revamp of home ec. Its a canceled class for the most part. But imagine teaching kids how does money work, how to save, how to organize your life, heres what college is going to do to your finances, etc etc etc. How to basically not get caught up in all the bullshit.

When I talk to people about the consumerist economy, and the pressures, and the dumb decisions we make with our money- lots of time because we think its makes us better people when in fact it does nothing- many have never really given it any real thought.

And keep in mind Im a marketing person talking about this. There is nothing wrong with people buying toys, vacations, etc, as long as they are financially able to. Savings, a plan, etc.

Right now its tax season and all of those refunds are going to be gone soon, with probably more than half going to materialistic things as opposed to creating a platform for the future.

You can give someone who is bad with money tons of it. It will be gone in no time. That needs to be addressed or all the taxes in the world wont matter.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

I totally agree that economics needs to be taught much better than it is. It is a crisis in the U.S. that kids do not understand economics on a micro nor a macro level.

One thing to remember, in my opinion, is that if we all lived within our means our standard of living would be very low, much much lower than it is right now. Debt is how we maintain our standard of living. It's pathetic, but true. Only people with capital who can exploit workers can manage to acquire wealth and not be in debt. This is a real crisis of an economic system that is failing the masses, imho.

Cooperatives give, maybe less riches to each person, but more spread out riches. Maybe nobody gets filthy rich, but everyone has enough. I think that is what we need. We need the masses to have enough to live a decent life. Some of the hardest working people are the poorest people in this country. They should be able to provide for the basics without worrying on a daily basis.

I'm not for solving any of these problems through taxation. I'm for solving these problems by controlling profit. It doesn't have to be equally spread out to work, it just has to ensure that everyone has enough and that labor is valued in a humane way.

[+] -8 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Yes, I agree, and that is the problem with government plans like welfare. People who aren't responsible with money are given free money. There is no motivation for him to start saving and being responsible. If he does start saving his money, suddenly the free money from the government stops. Welfare has hurt the poor more than it has helped them. The percentage of the population on welfare has continually increased.

Now, I don't think all people on welfare are lazy, irresponsible bums. I think that welfare has created a dependency that the people using it don't realize. I don't think it is their fault. I agree with you that we need to teach people personal responsibility so they can succeed. For example, you're supposed to have like six months of pay saved in the bank. If you lose your job, you live off of the six months of pay in the bank until you find a new job. Today, however, people don't do that. They spend all their money and live lives that they can just barely afford. Then, when they lose their job, they lose everything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlsHNzp5SoM

[-] 4 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 months ago

stop making excuses to steal their property

[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

personal responsibility should start with those at the top of the food chain. to say what you just did about those who are starving is ignorant and demeaning. yes there are lazy and irresponsible people on welfare - there is even fraud. but travel the country - take a look at the poverty in the cities and rural America. I have friends who work 70 hr weeks and cannot keep their head above water. you seem somewhat open minded - take a look - take a look at the waste and fraud and abuse at the top. come on! you have been misled about economic theory and history. any new thoughts on the history of economic development?

[+] -6 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

I still don't see any evidence that this idea of a "Horatio Alger myth" I explained exactly how anyone can become successful. Plus, there is tons of evidence that people have "social mobility"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti5oDnk__1M

Liberty= you have the freedom to do stuff

Bank loans= these give you the means to start your own business

Merit based employment= I already explained to you the value-of-job-equals-salary thing. Plus, employers give higher salaries to people who work harder, because they know it will encourage everybody to work harder.

Capitalism ≠ economic tyranny (that's a "is not equal to sign if your computer can't read it")

Capitalism = economic anarchy

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

"If you thought paying tens of thousands of dollars for a college education guaranteed a high-paying job, think again.

About 260,000 people who had a college or professional degree made at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

"Some 58% of the jobs created during the recent economic recovery have been low-wage positions like retail and food prep workers, according to a 2012 NELP report. These low-wage jobs had a median hourly wage of $13.83 or less."

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/31/news/economy/minimum-wage-college-graduates/index.html?iid=HP_River

You live in a fantasy world. Economic mobility in America is at a halt.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

we want intelligence to be means to property

but property is the means to property

sort of a western ideal of mind over matter

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Intelligence, hard work and responsibility are means to success.

[-] 4 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 months ago

property is means to property

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

This is going nowhere

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 3 months ago

Exactly. Making money off money is pointless.

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[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

When you get out of college, it's expected that you earn a low income. No one starts earning great money immediately after taking a job. You're supposed to gain experience, and then you can be paid more later.

These statistics only deal with new jobs, and in one year of time. The statistics in the video deal with everyone, over the course of a sufficient period of time. If you think you can own a house and two cars and make great salary just a year after graduating, you are the one living in a fantasy world.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 3 months ago

"The only jobs that we're growing are low-wage jobs, and at the same time, wages across occupations, especially in low-wage jobs, are declining..."

When you got out of college 30 years ago you could expect to find a job that paid decently, that had health and dental insurance, a pension AND a 401k, life insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation, paid sick days, and maybe even a Flexible Spending account. Today, ha! Good luck with that!

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

Who was president 30 years ago?

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Well, I've offered my solution on how to fix it. I would love to hear yours.

[+] -6 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

I disagree. I think the "average hard working guy who is smart with their money" is a great thing, and these kinds of people live fulfilling, satisfying lives. I think most of the rich are people who are rich are also smart. You can't just stay rich off inheritance. They have to actually make money. Now, having money does make it easier to make more money, but it is still very difficult. You have to make smart decisions about where to invest it, and other stuff (other stuff is an advanced economic term). If investing was easy, anyone could simply borrow money from the bank, invest it for profit, and then pay off the loan and pocket whatever's left. Now, anyone clan do this (and they do!), it's just that investing is hard and very risky. Many who people work and earn a salary invest in the stock market on the side to help save for retirement. This "Average hard working guy" is disappearing, however. He is being replaced by "average lazy guy who is not smart with money, can't avoid consumeristic urges, lives above his means, blames others for his problems". This guy is the kind of guy who buys a house he can't afford, the bank takes it away from him when he can't pay his mortgage, and then he blames the banks and says that they tricked him into buying the house because they're greedy (even though the banks lost money).

[-] -1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

There is a huge difference between placing money vs making something of yourself.

You can't borrow enough to pay off the interest and also have enough interest from the investment, if that is your starting goal. On an average of 10% return, you still need to pay off 5% at best to the bank, meaning you have to borrow one million to make $50k a year. Then its taxed too.

Let me know when you find a bank willing to finance that deal. "Hey Im Bob and i want 1mill to mess around the stock market. My only asset is a house that underwater! Pay me.,,,

Dont see it happening. If you banker does that, please forward me the contact info!

Some of the very wealthy have tremendous skill and work ethic, and would be back to that level in no time flat. Many others are simply placing money and would be totally lost.

I'd put the percentage at about 50/50 from what Ive seen over the years.

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

You're right, some people are born rich, and some people get lucky or simply ride the talent coaster. However, I think that anyone who is poor can become successful, if not rich, through his own decisions. Most people use their savings over time to invest, not just loans.

Also, I did find a bank that has invested to failing companies and people. They've invested in corporations like Evergreen Solar, General Motors and Solyndra, and are giving small amounts to people who don't have jobs or money saved. Here's their website:

http://www.usa.gov

[-] -2 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

You are mistaken. The basis of capitalism is not exploitation. The idea of exploitation rests on the idea of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work. There is only one way to treat someone unfairly, that is by physical force (also by its variants like fraud and the threat of physical force). And there is only one way to institutionalize its initiation, that is by corrupting government.

Capitalism rests on the idea of freedom, an idea forgotten by people. Freedom is a negative concept. It refers to an absence, specifically, freedom refers to the absence of initiated physical force. We haven't experienced capitalism. Instead, we're experiencing its antithesis and on the scale of freedom versus slavery, we are enslaved.

So, the logical question to ask the wealthy is not whether they'd be willing to share their wealth equally; the question is whether the wealthy want to live in a society where initiated force is banished from human relationships. Some of the wealthy would; but for the corrupt among them, we know their answer already.

There is only one basic political question to ask. Do you want to live in a society where the initiation of force is banned from your relationships with others? Your life depends on the answer. The corrupt don't want freedom unless it is the 'freedom' to take w/o earning. The corrupt are ruling society and they're getting away with it because most people accept their notion of 'freedom', i.e., it is right to "start a fight", to take what you want by force and to enshrine theft as law.

We don't have capitalism because we don't have freedom. But, if you want a truly free market, then everyone must enter into their relationships with absolute freedom and demand a government limited to protecting it by punishing its opposite.

In your post below, you point out the "Horatio Alger myth". The more basic point is that hard work and freedom is what life requires. That is what the corrupt never want to draw attention to. Instead, they want the masses to believe that it is simply a matter of hard work. That's the myth that they propagate. "You can make it if you try" is their deflection. What the corrupt don't want the masses to realize is that they can make it, if left free!

Just look at what they've done to you when you say, "Capitalism is economic tyranny." You have conflated in your mind the notions that freedom is tyranny and you accept that. The truth that the corrupt want you to fail to see is the difference between freedom and slavery. They are succeeding.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 3 months ago

Freedom does not exist where there is economic tyranny. The inequities and exploitation of capitalism perpetuate economic tyranny.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

So true that "freedom does not exist where there is economic tyranny". Whether the social systems perpetuating tyranny stem from the king, a majority, or g, there can be no freedom. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness requires it. Before it was killed, fledgling capitalism was the only system that most fully protected freedom of all by protecting individual freedom but both don't exist today.

As you continuously use the term, capitalism instead of statism, you are distancing yourself from identifying the cause of woe in the societies of the world over. Statism is the age-old notion that the state should control economic and social policy to some degree. And Statists don't have to be government bureaucrats because plenty of them exist in all walks of life outside government.

Would you be better served by the ideas of individual freedom versus slavery and where on that scale a society is today?

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 3 months ago

Statism? Surely, you mean corporatism? Please don't conflate the two. The problems we have today are not due to the state, they are due to the control of the state by corporations.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (157) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

You are correct, 100%. However I think that the average American would disagree. There in lies one of our biggest hurdles in overcoming this situation. People see only what intrudes into their lives. They see the instrument rather than the controller of that instrument. They see the state infecting their lives, not the corporation that is controlling the state. It will be hard to get people to see the hand behind the whip, but that is what must be done.

[-] 8 points by beautifulworld (19202) 2 months ago

That's why we're all here. This is the crux of the matter, exactly. Is the government the problem? Or, is the government in the hands of corporations the problem? Of course it is the latter.

The more things are privatized, the more pain will be felt. I'm just hoping that it doesn't get to the point that it's too late. The funny thing is, most Americans love their social programs and when questioned, have collectivist or socialist tendencies in their beliefs. They've just been brainwashed into this crazy anti-government, materialist, individualist fantasy. Turkeys voting for Thanksgiving.

[-] 2 points by wickerman (157) from Cleveland, AR 2 months ago

My thoughts exactly, everyone hates socialism, but when you talk to them they all support many socialist doctrines. The word itself is vilified.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

Exactly. Well said. The dirty word is really "corporatism" but there's been years of brainwashing and conditioning in our society to make it one of materialism and consumption, sadly.

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

People care way too much about how much stuff they have and about how much other people have relative to themselves. Money is the root of all evil.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

And, then, they worship the corporations and the wealthy people that own the corporations for bringing them all the crap that they accumulate, which, ironically, in the end, really owns them.

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

Poverty is noble. At least when it's voluntary. People should seek to simplify their lives.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

The thing to remember is that there is enough wealth in this country, and in the world, to lift all humans out of poverty. The most noble thing is to share so that this can happen.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1127) 1 month ago

The only problem with that is who decides how to distribute it.

Without an informed public- which is why education is always #1, and Im not talking about college, Im talking about raising kids and elementary experiences- is number one.

Everyday we vote with our wallets. Every day. Every. single. day.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

You don't have to "decide" how to distribute wealth. You distribute it to everyone, fairly and morally.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Yep - to rethink current practice and work in cooperation for the health of ALL.

[-] -3 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

What if I don't agree with you?

[-] 0 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

It noble to force people to do things if they don't want to do these things? Would poverty be illegal in your system. Would it bad to be poor, even if it was voluntary?

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

In my system everyone would have enough to live a decent life. If someone wanted to live like a monk, of course they could, but they wouldn't be forced to because the greedy grubber bullies of the world would not be allowed to hoard all the money.

[-] -3 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 1 month ago

So in your utopia I wouldn't be forced to have a job?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 month ago

You could probably survive on the Basic Income Guarantee that my utopia would provide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/swiss-consider-welfare-overhaul-guaranteed-minimum-income/

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

don't think you understand what you are saying. you mention different tyrannies but fail to mention the corporation as one of them. did you forget that possibility. as to fledgling capitalism - what exactly do you mean? what era are we talking about here. 1600's - 1700's - the era of the slave trade and the extermination of the native population of the Americas? that fledgling capitalistic era? I am not sure how statists can exist outside of government - "all walks of life." unless you are using the anarchist distinction between the state and the government. even then I don't see how it makes sense - please explain. the question that is most relevant is which entity is more responsive to democratic control - the state or a corporation. for sure in an authoritarian state there is no democratic control but a state can be democratic. a corporation cannot - I assume here we are not talking about worker owned entities. even then there can be internal democracy but society at large has no control - unless through the state - that is why the rulers of our corporate society hate the state. it is the only system of power that can control them.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

Also in your reply, you said, "the question that is most relevant is which entity is more responsive to democratic control"? I disagree with you on that because there is a more basic political question to ask, which is this. What conditions in society must be present for an individual to sustain and further his life?

[-] 3 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

ok, so can we get to real world situations here. the condition we are talking about is freedom - right? freedom from control by others over work and life - that is why we are on an anarchist forum no? here is noam on anarchy -

Noam Chomsky: Well, anarchism is, in my view, basically a kind of tendency in human thought which shows up in different forms in different circumstances, and has some leading characteristics. Primarily it is a tendency that is suspicious and skeptical of domination, authority, and hierarchy. It seeks structures of hierarchy and domination in human life over the whole range, extending from, say, patriarchal families to, say, imperial systems, and it asks whether those systems are justified. It assumes that the burden of proof for anyone in a position of power and authority lies on them. Their authority is not self-justifying. They have to give a reason for it, a justification. And if they can’t justify that authority and power and control, which is the usual case, then the authority ought to be dismantled and replaced by something more free and just. And, as I understand it, anarchy is just that tendency. It takes different forms at different times.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

Well bully for Chomsky. But he's missing the point. The fact is that either you're free or your not; freedom is not a tendency; it is an absolute. If the tribal chiefs initiate physical force or threaten it against a tribal member, then the tribesman isn't free. The same holds true for the actions of any emperor. Such actions aren't in the province of reason but Chomsky says "They have to give a reason for it, a justification." What is he talking about? Reason excludes such action and as such there is no way to justify it. The chief and the emperor are relying not on reason but force, plain and simple.

The chief and the emperor didn't want their subjects to recognize that a rational individual has the authority, not them, and it is self-justifying, i.e., the individual is (not should be but is) sovereign. But that doesn't imply anarchy. The choice isn't no government or some form of statism.

"... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." The Founders were the first intellectuals in history to say, fuck the chief! We're going to start something entirely new. We're going to recognize the rights of man by his nature and (try to) figure out a form of government that protects those rights. Instead of anarchy, we could (and should) be picking up where they left off.

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

first of all can you answer my points about exploitation inherent in capitalism and the authoritarian nature of the corporation? in straight forward language - is that too much too ask? now does a parent have authority over a 5 yr old child. can you not imagine legitimate authority. do you obey a stop sign? you have some reading to do - don't pretend to know too much about these things when it is clear you have not thought it through. here is a bit on your beloved founding fathers and the "chiefs" (you might do some reading about Indians societies) - "Franklin and the Iroquois Foundations of the Constitution

By Cynthia Feathers and Susan Feathers | In 1744, envoys from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia met in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with delegates, or sachems, of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Indians. During the discussions, the Iroquois leader Canassatego advocated the federal union of the American colonies, exhorting the colonists:

Our wise forefathers established a union and amity between the [original] Five Nations. This has made us formidable. This has given us great weight and authority with our neighboring Nations. We are a powerful Confederacy and by your observing the same methods our wise forefathers have taken you will acquire much strength and power; therefore, whatever befalls you, do not fall out with one another.

When an Indian interpreter and old friend of Benjamin Franklin’s brought him the official transcript of the proceedings, Franklin immediately published the account.

Seven years later, he wrote a letter to James Parker, his New York City printing partner, on the importance of gaining and preserving the friendship of the Iroquois Indians. Arguing for a union of the colonies, he mused:

It would be a very strange Thing, if six Nations of Ignorant Savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union, and be able to execute it in such a Manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies, to whom it is more necessary, and must be more advantageous; and who cannot be supposed to want an equal Understanding of their Interests.

Despite his use of the phrase Ignorant Savages, evidence shows that Franklin had a healthy respect for the Iroquois, and his language seems intended not as an insult to the Six Nations but as a backhanded slap at the colonists—who, in Franklin’s opinion, could learn a lot from the Iroquois about political unity. In an essay four decades later expressing unabashed admiration for the Iroquois, Franklin wrote: “Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the Perfection of Civility; they think the same of theirs.”

The Iroquois Confederacy had been a functioning democracy for centuries by Franklin’s day. Sometime between 1000 and 1450, the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca Nations came together to become the Iroquois Confederacy, and in the early 18th century they were joined by the Tuscaroras. Referred to as the Six Nations by the English, and the Iroquois by the French, the Confederacy called themselves the Haudenosaunee, or “People Building a Long House.” ot imagine legitimate authority. do you obey a stop sign? you have some reading to do - don't pretend to know too much about these things when it is clear you have not thought it through. here is a bit on your beloved founding fathers and the "chiefs" (you might do some reading about Indians societies) -

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

flip. JP Morgan and many of his Directors in his Corporations are historical examples of people who influenced government bureaucrats. Some of them actually held political office of prominence. All together, they created the Banksters' Bank, making sure that it was protected by law. (For details of their machinations, you can read Rothbard's, "The Origins of the Federal Reserve".) I choose them as fundamental examples of "statists from all walks of life" because many of them were not in government. (All of them worked to persuade the opinions of people to consider their system of banking.) But all of them knew that without the force of government, they would never be able to put this over.

I also chose this example because, in any civilized society, people's means of exchange is ubiquitous throughout their society; the common means of exchange, the society's form of money, affects everyone. In their corrupting money, they corrupted society. They could only make it stick by getting the government to agree to it.

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

you are right - it is called by some the state corporate nexus. adam smith railed against merchants and so did Madison. but that is not the point seems to me. corporations are authoritarian institutions - I assume you do not want o go back to the days of the company town where everything was controlled by the corporation. here is Chomsky on tools and tyrants -

"Smith described the merchants and manufacturers of England as dangerous people whose commitment was to delude and deceive the public for their own interests and to shape public policy so it’ll serve their interests.

Some years later, by the 1790s, Madison was having second thoughts and began to be concerned that stockjobbers, what we call financial markets, which barely existed at the time, … would sooner or later become what he called the tools and tyrants of government. They’ll be so powerful that they’ll be able to control the government, and they’ll also be used by powerful states as tools. If Madison showed up now, he would be appalled, I presume, to see that that’s just what happened.

[Financial markets] are now the tools and tyrants of governments, and they’re not just individuals and stockjobbers. They’re massive, tyrannical entities, which were given the rights of [individual people] a century ago [and] were in more recent years given First Amendment rights. Madison and Jefferson would be absolutely appalled by that, as would anyone from that period.

[-] 0 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 3 months ago

Whether acted out by one individual against another or by "massive, tyrannical entities", no one has the "right" to enslave another. These entities and the governments that support them aren't right and were not given the rights of individuals. Instead, they chose to act wrong, plain and simple, and by their actions, they gave up their rights. They are criminals. The right remains on the side of their victims and so too does justice.

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

I have no idea what you are trying to say here- first of all they were given the rights of individuals by the courts - not by legislation. let's get the facts straight - you seem to be saying nothing here. this was your point a while back - " The basis of capitalism is not exploitation. The idea of exploitation rests on the idea of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work. There is only one way to treat someone unfairly, that is by physical force" - sorry but that is incorrect. people are forced every day to endure terrible conditions in order to feed their families. read the history of capitalism and the acts of enclosure. how people were driven into factories by the state corporate nexus. so this was our other disagreement - you said " Whether the social systems perpetuating tyranny stem from the king, a majority, or g, there can be no freedom." - I pointed out that you forgot corporations. now I don't see how you have explained anything in what you have written to me. we seem to agree that your "fledgling capitalism" was a nice fairy tale so now can we get to the rest of it! capitalism (and the engine of modern capitalism - the corporation) is a system of exploitation - sorry but we need to call a spade a spade.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 2 months ago

flip. When you asked, "first of all can you answer my points about exploitation inherent in capitalism and the authoritarian nature of the corporation? " were you referring to your reply (just above) or to some other?

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 2 months ago

I was referring to this statement by you- it was at the beginning of this discussion(as I said a while back) -"The basis of capitalism is not exploitation. The idea of exploitation rests on the idea of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work. There is only one way to treat someone unfairly, that is by physical force" as you can see I disagree but now maybe you can reread my comment

[-] 2 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 2 months ago

flip. I re-read your comment as in "people are forced every day to endure terrible conditions in order to feed their families. read the history of capitalism and the acts of enclosure. how people were driven into factories by the state corporate nexus. so this was our other disagreement ". To your point, the nexus of state and landed aristocrats took aim at landed peasants and through their machinations forced those peasants off the peasants' land. I've always commented that whether acted out by one individual against another, or in these cases by Parliament in collusion with aristocrats, no one has the "right" to enslave another.

Is it a "fairy tale" to believe that an individual's choices and actions should be to remain alive and prosper? Or rather is it a conviction in the form of an absolute that an individual should do so? Is the right to one's life an imaginary fantasy or a moral certitude? Does such a right require anyone's permission or is it inherent in the nature of man?

You had asked me the following question about authority, "can you not imagine legitimate authority. do you obey a stop sign? " The answer is sure I can imagine legitimate authority (and I do stop at stop signs). But my answer is on much deeper level. It deals with precedence. What takes precedence? Who has the supreme consideration over which nothing takes precedence? The answer is an individual's own life is supreme (regardless of who acknowledges it), and this right inheres to the individual and as such can not be alienated from the individual. The social history of the world (whether capitalist, socialist, monarchist, theist, etc) is a history dominated by "legitimate authorities" who chose to ignore or never to recognize the moral sovereignty of the individual. I am working to change that.

I had asked you, "What conditions in society must be present for an individual to sustain and further his life?" You answered me by saying, "ok, so can we get to real world situations here. the condition we are talking about is freedom - right? freedom from control by others over work and life "

I am asking you what does your "freedom from control by others over work and life" refer to? Aren't you making a hash out of the idea of freedom? I think that you are because you are blurring its meaning and by doing so encouraging its opposite. Instead, I am saying that what's more fundamental, what explains the idea clearly is the absence of initiated physical force. In society, freedom means banning the initiation of physical force from all human relationships.

Reconstitute a society on that principle and hold it up as a significant social more and therefore a legal standard. Use the standard as a comparison against any lobbyist's proposed legislation and most of their proposals die in the lobby. Use the standard as a comparison against any legislature's laws or regulations, then most of their laws and regs won't even get out of their sub-committees. (I am still referring to the one standard- the banning of initiated physical force from all human relationships in a society.) Use this standard as a comparison to any judge's ruling and most corrupt judges will be gone before the next round of appointments or the next election. Use it as a comparison to the actions of any executor of the law, then real justice will be served and only the honest ones will have any chance at a political career.

To you, this sounds like a fairy tale. But I think otherwise; this is what I am fighting for because it is true and as such, it is a real world solution to any real world situation. My great grandfather used to lament, "You kids aren't nearly as giving as members of my generation. Why is that?" I'd always reply, "Because our generation has many, many more wolves to fight off." The banishment of initiated physical force as a social and legal standard serves the people because it is a smack down of cronyism, special interests and corrupt politicians. Because it's a simple yard-stick, it can help people clearly see through the tricks of high-sounding legislation; no one in the private or public realm could fool people like they do (and have been doing) today. The standard kills imperialism, bankster money, corporatism and taxation. More importantly, everyone could enjoy the first honest, moral and political society ever in history. With it, each individual will finally live free and with this freedom instituted into the fabric of society, the individual will finally have the safety to pursue his own happiness.

[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 2 months ago

Well that is a long answer that did not really address the point. I was not question utopia but your incorrect thought about exploitation and physical force.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 2 months ago

flip. We're running out of indentations for replying to each other. I've pasted your latest reply up here in order to extend the thread.

In your latest reply you said to me: "You claim there is only one way to treat someone unfairly and that is by physical force. Are you standing by those words? Hard to imagine that you would but can you give me a yes or no answer to that?"

Flip. My reply to your question is No. Physical force is not the only way to treat someone unfairly.

[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 2 months ago

ok, thanks - we agree. I imagine we agree on many tings but what started this whole thing was your seemingly whole hearted defense of capitalism. now I am a capitalist - I work for myself (for more than 40 yrs now) and employed others - very grassroots capitalism. I think there is something to be said for that type but the system we now call capitalism is disgusting and must be stopped. I do not think it can or should be overthrown tomorrow but we must move away from the "means of production" in private hands and even production for profit - it should be production for use. what do you think of that?

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 2 months ago

flip. My point, is that I am questioning your idea of freedom. You described it as "freedom from control by others over work and life", a description that is so overly broad that it is meaningless. I properly characterized it as the absence of initiated physical force.

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 2 months ago

You claim there is only one way to treat someone unfairly and that is by physical force. Are you standing by those words? Hard to imagine that you would but can you give me a yes or no answer to that?

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

You say the state is better than the corporation because it uses democratic control. You misunderstand. I don't favor democratic control. I don't favor control of any kind. You say that corporations have too much power, and we need the state to limit its power. This is only partially true. Yes, corporations are powerful. However, the state is only a tool for power. Through protectionism and regulatory capture, the corporation uses the state to become more monopolistic. It is only through the state that the corporation becomes powerful. Reduce the power of the state, and the corporation will lose power. This is the way to individual liberty. I explain this a bit better in a comment below, http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-case-for-capitalism/#comment-1026359

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

the idea is a simple one - a state can possibly be under democratic control. not always of course - as ours proves. a corporation is by it's nature authoritarian - top down control. you do not live in the real world it seems. you can see your idea of reduced power of the state in the way the states in the u.s. compete to give money to corporations to get them to locate in their locality. only the federal govt can control these totalitarian systems of power. should I explain this in more detail - should not be necessary but I can do it.

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

"the states in the u.s. compete to give money to corporations"

Exactly! When the government gets involved in businesses, that's when they become powerful (whether it's state or federal government)

[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

I don't think you understand how the world works - have I said that before? boeing says to the state of Washington - "if you do not give us more tax breaks we will move our factory to tn" or some such state with right to work laws etc. Volvo says to Sweden - we can get workers cheaper in Russia - give us something to stay. do you not read the papers. so in your world what should the state of Washington do in this situation - how should they stay uninvolved? read this and let me know what you think -from (who else) Chomsky Q: Could you tell us in detail how the corporation became so powerful?

How it became so powerful? Well, we know it very well. There were enormous market failures, market disasters in the late 19th century. There was a brief experiment, a very brief experiment, with something more or less like capitalism, not really but partially, really free markets, and it was such a total catastrophe that business called it off because it couldn’t survive, and there were moves in the late 19th century to overcome these radical market failures and they led to various forms of concentration of capital: trusts, cartels, and others, and the one that emerged was the corporation in its modern form.

And the corporations were granted rights by the courts. I mean, I know the Anglo-American history fairly well – but I think it’s pretty much the same elsewhere, so I’ll keep to that one – in the Anglo-American system the courts, not the legislators, gave the corporate entities extraordinary rights. They gave them the rights of persons, meaning they have the right of freedom of speech, they can propagandize freely, advertise, they run elections and so on, and they have the protection from inspection by the state authorities which means that just as the police technically can’t go into your apartment and read your papers, the public can’t find out what’s going on inside these totalitarian entities. They’re mostly unaccountable to the public. Of course they are not real persons, they are immortal, they are collectivist legal entities. In fact they are very similar to other organizational forms we know and are one of the forms of totalitarianism that developed in the 20th century. The others were destroyed, these still exist, and later they were required by law to be what we would call pathological in the case of real human beings.

So they are required legally to maximize power and profit no matter what effect that has on anyone else. They are required to externalize costs, so if they can get the public or future generations to pay their costs, they are required to do that. It would be illegal for corporate executives to do anything else.

By now, in what are called trade agreements, which have nothing much to do with trade, corporations are granted rights that go way beyond the rights of persons. They are granted the right of what’s called “national treatment.” Persons don’t have that right. Like if a Mexican comes to New York, he can’t claim national treatment, but if General Motors goes to Mexico, it can claim national treatment. In fact corporations can even sue states, which you and I can’t do.

So they’re granted rights way beyond persons. They are immortal, they are extraordinarily powerful, they are pathological by legal requirement, and that’s the contemporary form of totalitarianism. They are not truly competitive, they are linked to one another. So Siemens and IBM and Toshiba carry out joint projects. They rely heavily on state power; the dynamism of the modern economy comes mostly out of the state sector, inot the private sector. Almost every aspect of what’s called the “New Economy” is developed and designed at public cost and public risk: computers, electronics generally, telecommunications, the internet, lasers, whatever…

Take radio. Radio was designed by the US Navy. Mass production, modern mass production was developed in armories. If you go back to a century ago, the major problems of electrical and mechanical engineering had to do with how to place a huge gun on a moving platform, namely a ship, designing it to be able to hit a moving object, another ship, so naval gunnery. That was the most advanced problem in metallurgy, electrical and mechanical engineering, and so on. England and Germany put huge efforts into it, the United States less so. Out of associated innovations comes the automotive industry, and so on and so forth. In fact, it’s very hard to find anything in the economy that doesn’t rely critically on the state sector.

After the Second World War this took a qualitative leap upward, particularly in the United States, and while Alan Greenspan and others make speeches about “entrepreneurial initiative” and “consumer choice,” and things you learn about in graduate school, and so on, this has almost no resemblance to the actual working economy. In fact a striking example of all this which we see very clearly at MIT, a main technological scientific university, is a recent shift in funding. When I got to MIT 50 years ago, it was Pentagon funded, almost one hundred percent. That stayed true until about 1970. Since then, however, Pentagon funding has been declining and funding from the National Institute of Health and the other so called health-related national institutes has gone up.

The reason is obvious to everybody except maybe some highly theoretical economists. The reason is that the cutting edge of the economy in the fifties and the sixties was electronics-based, so therefore it made sense for the public to pay for it under the pretext of defense. By now the cutting edge of the economy is becoming biology-based. Biotechnology, genetic engineering and so on, and pharmaceuticals, so it makes sense for the public to pay for that and to take the risks for it under the pretext of, you know, finding a cure for cancer or something. Actually what’s happening is just developing the infrastructure and insights for the biological-based private industries of the future. They are happy to let the public pay the costs and take the risks, and then transfer the results to private corporations to make the profits. From the point of view of corporate elites it is a perfect system, this interaction between state and private power. There’s plenty of other interactions as well. For example, the Pentagon isn’t just for developing the economy, it’s also for making sure that the world follows corporate friendly rules. So the linkages are quite complex.

Q: I would like to come back to the nature of the corporations. My question is could there be a difference between a German-based multinational corporation and Anglo-American based corporation. Why I’m asking this is because the Deutsche Bank announced their intention to fire 6.000 people next year, very shortly after they announced an annual profit of over 2.5 billion dollars, and they were bitterly condemned over the whole political spectrum in Germany. It was said that they couldn’t call themselves “German” any more. They were also accused of a lack of social responsibility. My question is if there is such a concept possible as socially responsible corporations?

It’s kind of like the notion of benevolent dictatorship. I mean, it’s possible and it’s better to have a benevolent dictatorship than a ruthless dictatorship. If you have to have a dictator, it’s better to have a sort of nice person who gives candies to poor children, but nevertheless it’s a dictatorship. So yes, you can have a socially responsible corporation in the sense that the public will compel them to carry out some humane activities.

Actually this is built in into Anglo-American law, as well, so we see that corporations are required by judicial decision, law, to maximize power and profit, but they are also at least permitted to carry out humanitarian actions, particularly if the television cameras are around, that is, and if it’s purely hypocritical. So if a drug company wants to give out drugs in poor neighborhoods, that’s fine as long as it’s for public-relations purposes that can be claimed to add to profits. That is to maximize their profits, they can do a little good, too.

Furthermore the courts have gone so far as to urge corporations to carry out humanitarian activities, or else, and now I’m quoting, “an aroused public” may discover what their real nature is and move to undermine their rights and privileges. So in order to prevent “an aroused public” from developing, it’s a good idea to project a benign and benevolent image. I think the same is true of political dictatorships and kings and so on and so forth. So you can have socially responsible corporations, and they are better than brutal and murderous ones, exactly as in the case of other kinds of totalitarianism, and the public can affect that, but the real problem is not that, it’s the unaccountable concentration of private power. Yes, it could be more or less benevolent under public pressure.

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

have you been reading hayek? how about this as a brief history of the rise of your beloved system of freedom (that would be capitalism)- please pay close attention to the part about the acts of enclosure..........from the spunk library (plenty of editing here to make the point briefly - if you would like the more complete version let me know) -......." Capitalism was born from state intervention and, in the words of Kropotkin, "the State . . . and capitalism . . . developed side by side, mutually supporting and re-enforcing each other." [Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 181] ..................

capitalism existed "with growing significance in the mixed economy of the West from the fourteenth century up to the seventeenth" but that it "literally exploded into being in Europe, particularly England, during the eighteenth and especially nineteenth centuries." ............-- capitalism was born not from economic forces but from the political actions of the social elites which its usury enriched. Unlike artisan (simple commodity) production, wage labour generates inequalities and wealth for the few and so will be selected, protected and encouraged by those who control the state in their own economic and social interests........................

The rising economic power of the proto-capitalists conflicted with that of the feudal lords, which meant that the former required help to consolidate their position. That aid came in the form of the monarchical state. With the force of absolutism behind it, capital could start the process of increasing its power and influence by expanding the "market" through state action.

As far as the absolutist state was concerned, it "was dependent upon the help of these new economic forces, and vice versa. . . ."The absolutist state, whose coffers the expansion of commerce filled. . ., at first furthered the plans of commercial capital. Its armies and fleets. . . contributed to the expansion of industrial production because they demanded a number of things for whose large-scale production the shops of small tradesmen were no longer adapted. Thus gradually arose the so-called manufactures, the forerunners of the later large industries." [Op. Cit., p. 117-8]

Some of the most important state actions from the standpoint of early industry were the so-called Enclosure Acts, by which the "commons" -- the free farmland shared communally by the peasants in most rural villages -- was "enclosed" or incorporated into the estates of various landlords as private property (see section F.8.3). This ensured a pool of landless workers who had no option but to sell their labour to capitalists. Indeed, the widespread independence caused by the possession of the majority of households of land caused the rising class of merchants to complain "that men who should work as wage-labourers cling to the soil, and in the naughtiness of their hearts prefer independence as squatters to employment by a master." [R.H Tawney, cited by Allan Elgar in The Apostles of Greed, p. 12]

In addition, other forms of state aid ensured that capitalist firms got a head start, so ensuring their dominance over other forms of work (such as co-operatives). A major way of creating a pool of resources that could be used for investment was the use of mercantilist policies which used protectionist measures to enrich capitalists and landlords at the expense of consumers and their workers. For example, one of most common complaints of early capitalists was that workers could not turn up to work regularly. Once they had worked a few days, they disappeared as they had earned enough money to live on. With higher prices for food, caused by protectionist measures, workers had to work longer and harder and so became accustomed to factory labour. In addition, mercantilism allowed native industry to develop by barring foreign competition and so allowed industrialists to reap excess profits which they could then use to increase their investments...................... Such intervention ensured that income was transferred from workers to capitalists. Under state protection, America industrialised by forcing the consumer to enrich the capitalists and increase their capital stock. "According to one study, of the tariff had been removed in the 1830s 'about half the industrial sector of New England would have been bankrupted' . . . the tariff became a near-permanent political institution representing government assistance to manufacturing. It kept price levels from being driven down by foreign competition and thereby shifted the distribution of income in favour of owners of industrial property to the disadvantage of workers and customers." [Richard B. Du Boff, Accumulation and Power, p. 56]

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

Okay, most of the "feudal lords" stuff is from Europe. I'm talking about America.

Now, I'm opposed to tariffs and protectionist policies. I think businesses should have to compete more. But I don't think that interventionist policies were responsible for all of our wealth and prosperity. Look at Hong Kong (again). They were a colony, like Haiti. They have the freest economy in the world, and they're doing great. There was no protectionism or feudalism involved there.

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

as I said previously - you do not live in the real world. you need to read economic history. take a look at every developed country. they all used protection of nascent industry to develop. the british did it by smashing the more advanced industry in india and egypt - we did it as did japan, Australia, south korea - should I go on?

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

I see…. you make a good point. So do you think that protectionism is necessary, or could we have been fine without it? If it is needed, do you think protectionism is necessary to maintain a successful capitalist system, or do you think it is needed only to begin a system, which can support itself after awhile?

We trade a lot with China, India, Japan, and other countries yet all these economies are growing. You mentioned that in the past, these countries used tariffs and government intervention to build their economies. But are these still used today? We certainly don't try to limit our trade with China. Is protectionism a temporary tool, or is it a permanent and necessary part of our economy?

[-] 3 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

you could not have read what I sent you - as I said I think you need to read economic history and you will not get it from ludwig or Milton. read the small piece by Chomsky and we can start an interesting discussion

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Yes, we will never have true equality of opportunity. However, the opportunity in this country is tremendous. If some one is truly responsible, hard working and talented, they can go from poor to rich. Low capital is not a setback, because you can borrow capital from banks. That's the whole point of them. It is not rare to move up or down in class. The 1%, according to studies, is the most dynamic group there is. The people in it this year may or may not be in it next year (look it up). It is not only about workers being exploited. Workers can always start their own small businesses. America has the most new businesses started per day in the world. And still, people work voluntarily. Also, workers aren't really the backbone of Capitalism. The inventor, the business owner, or whoever is making the most money should be. They have to make difficult decisions, who to sell to, how to sell it, how to make it, when, where, blablabla. It's a difficult job, and not everybody can do it. What does the "exploited" worker do? They move a machine back and forth. Anyone can do that. Which job is really the backbone? JGriff99mph said he's a business owner, and he said it's intense. He said someone told him "I work Vince and not myself because I value my time". That's usually the case. The capital to be an entrepreneur is in the bank, waiting to be loaned out. Most people are happy just working at the easier job. I think people like JGriff99mph who choose the harder job should be rewarded. Besides, most factory jobs today are either in other countries or done by robots. Today, most workers work at "white collar" jobs, which are highly paid jobs of the mind, and "blue collar" jobs, which are skilled jobs that are also highly paid. If the public is naive to buy Apple products, that is the public's fault. Personally, I think the price is fine. If people are willing to pay a high price for something, it must have a high value. If some one makes something of high value (and I mean design), they should be rewarded with more money. If designing super-valuable products was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is difficult, and the better the product is that is designed, the more money the designer deserves. And the more money the customer pays him, too.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

"Low capital is not a setback, because you can borrow capital from banks." LOL. Sure you can. They love for people to go into more debt.

And, most small businesses fail. And, the Horatio Alger story, well it's a myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Alger_myth

Workers create profit. It is through the exploitation of "capital," which the capitalist already has, and the "labor" from workers that the he/she extracts profit. No workers = no profits.

"If people are willing to pay a high price for something, it must have a high value. If some one makes something of high value (and I mean design), they should be rewarded with more money." That is so absolutely silly. I would like to see labels on all products that tell me a. how much capital or equipment was factored in production, b. how much labor was paid in the production, c. how much was spent on advertising, and d. how much stinking profit went to the greedy bastard selling that product for so much money.

Advertising, and the brainwashing of the American people, is a huge part of all of this. The religion of consumerism. We are all, to some extent victims of an economic system that has poisoned our minds.

A very good documentary that outlines the brainwashing of the American people in terms of consumerism and materialism is "The Century of the Self." Watch it and you won't see an ad or commercial the same way ever again.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

And, ask any parent today who has more than one kid of how much Apple products hurt their personal finances. It is a big deal how they have monopolized computers, phones and music with the enormous prices they charge. It's just sick how Americans go along with all of this and all while wages have declined for 40 years. I say they should stick their fancy products up their ass.

[-] 0 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

Thanks for sharing that video; I found it very interesting.

I can certainly understand how the argument of personal responsibility can apply to students who assume huge debts. They understand that an education is very valuable, but they chose to go for the expensive option that they couldn't really afford. Bailing them out puts a burden on tax payers who never had an opportunity to contribute to that decision or say who the decision maker should be.

However, I don't think that the argument can be applied universally. For example, look at people who paid into a pension fund for decades and then saw the fund collapse because it had been mismanaged. The individuals may have chosen to pay into that fund instead of using the money to start their own business or simply keep it hidden under their bed. Now, they're a bum on the street. Is society to blame? In this case, I would say yes because society elected the governments who mismanaged the laws and regulations which governed the various sectors that contributed to the collapse of the pension fund (whether it's the fund managers themselves or the companies in whom they invested).

Basically, I agree with the content of the video in certain contexts, but not every context.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

there is no fucking tax payer stooge

it's all property and patents

[-] 1 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

I don't understand what you mean, Matt. What's a "tax payer stooge" and what's all property and patents?

[-] -1 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

It's ok, none of his comments make sense.

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Seriously??? Apple is not responsible for parent's personal finances. PARENTS are responsible for parent's personal finances.

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Ok, first of all, enough with the "evil banks". If you go bankrupt and can't payoff your debt, the banks LOSE the money you promised to pay them. It is not in their interest to bankrupt you. If you're in debt, do not blame the banks for YOUR decision to take out a loan.

Workers do not create profit. The harder a job is, the less people there are able to do it (or are willing to do it, or are willing to take the time to learn how to do it). The less people able to do the job, the more a CEO will pay the worker. If it's operating a factory machine, the salary will be less. A CEO can hire anybody to do that. If it's fixing a complicated component with in the factory machine, the salary will be more. Not everyone is willing to acquire those skills. It is hard to find workers like that, so the CEO will pay them more. The CEO knows that if he doesn't pay him enough, the worker will go to a different company that pays higher. Because there are fewer of these workers, the worker goes to the highest bidder. The harder the job, the less workers. The less workers, the higher the pay. Therefore, the harder the job, the higher the pay. Labour is a service. Employment is not exploitation. It is a voluntary act of trade. Labour is traded for a salary.

The CEO is paid the most because he has the hardest job (What I call a CEO is what you call a capitalist). If his job was easy, everyone would do it. You say that only he can do his job, because he inherits capital, but this is not true. You can get capital from a bank. That's what investing is! Investing capital into some one or something in hopes they'll use it to make more money, and pay you back plus interest. Anyone with a good credit score (another thing that is your responsibility) can get money to be a CEO. The hard part is building and running a company. They deserve the most, because their job is the hardest. If the job was easy, everyone would do it.

Profits come from the CEO's initiative and creativity. From his responsible choices. Henry Ford invented the automobile. If a worker left Henry Ford and went to work on stagecoaches, his salary would not significantly change. The amount of work he was doing would not significantly change. If profit comes from the worker's labor, then Henry Ford should make about the same profit as the CEO of the stagecoach company. Of course, we know Henry Ford makes way more profits than the stagecoach guy. Profits come from the creativity of the CEO. Without labor, Henry Ford would have a hard time making cars, yes. But he would still be able to do it. Any one can work at simple labor. Henry Ford by himself would make a reasonable living selling handcrafted automobiles. At the same time, without Henry Ford, no one would have invented the automobile, no one would have taken the initiative to build the company. The worker wouldn't know what to build. He would be unemployed. People wouldn't be able to get cars. So, who is the real exploited one? Henry Ford supported the worker. The worker supported Henry Ford, although not as much. It is fair trade. Who does the economy need more? Who is really standing on whose shoulders?

This Horatio Alger myth. A wikipedia page with a Michael Moore quote is not evidence that people aren't in control of their lives. This page describes the belief that through hard work and responsibility, any one can be successful in life, if not rich.It than says it is a myth. It gives no evidence. It talks about how the myth affects people's attitudes, but doesn't mention how it is a myth. Tell me, under what circumstances is an individual unable to be successful? I believe that where you are born does not define who you are. I believe you choose who you are, and your actions determine it. There are no times when someone is not in control of themselves, as long as there is freedom!!!!!

By the way, Apple is not a monopoly. It competes with other smartphone companies and other computer companies. Do you think Windows would have developed a tablet if the iPad was never made? What about all the Samsung phones?

I didn't watch the documentaries (come on, the videos I post are like six minutes. I don't have time to watch a four hour documentary!), but I know what they'll be about. Subliminal messaging, blablabla. Regardless of what is advertised, before buying a product, responsible people research it. Parents should be responsible and not buy Apple products if they can't afford them. Just listen to yourself! You are accusing Apple of hurting people financially by selling expensive products! That's the equivalent of someone with peanut allergies who is well aware of it buying peanuts and then blaming the peanut man!

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

You are forgetting that an economic system exists to serve the people and not vice versa. Our civilization is made up of human beings. Human beings need to be able to live decently and function in the world. Their quality of life, like all living beings, matters.

If the economic system is failing the masses by providing crappy jobs that do not pay enough money for living, breathing human beings to live on (except by going into debt) then that system is an abject failure. The system needs to reevaluate how it pays workers.

I won't even address what you say about workers not wanting to work hard and CEO's and how their ideas create profit. It's nonsense. Exploitation creates profit and the better a company is at extraction, the more profit it makes, but it has nothing to do with how hard workers are willing to work. Workers in the U.S. are the most productive on earth. They are also the most advertised to and brainwashed into consumerism.

Capitalism cares only about profit, not human beings. Profit for the few creates debt for the rest. This is why it is a failed system. And, consumerism is our religion. There is a whole psychology behind getting Americans to want stuff and then making them go into debt to get it. The basis of all of this is a profound problem with the ethos of this country as our ethos has been hijacked by the greedy. It's time to get it back!

What is important to us as a people? Why are we here? What do we want for our children? Stuff? Money? Or, satisfying relationships? Economic sustainability over materialism? Fulfilling work? Free time to be with loved ones and explore hobbies?

Surely there is plenty of money to go around here. No one needs to be struggling to survive. We can end the alienation that so many feel from this failed capitalistic system.

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[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

"I won't even address what you say about workers not wanting to work hard and CEO's and how their ideas create profit. It's nonsense." If it were nonsense, it would be easy to address! I didn't say workers don't want to work hard. I said they don't want to work AS hard as another job. That's not a bad thing. They still get paid, and they still work hard.

You say people get debt so they can buy things that they don't really need. So, having the government give them money will somehow make them not buy things they don't need?

How about we let people do what they want with their lives, and if they waste money on useless things, they should pay the consequences of irresponsibility. If that were to happen, they would realize that they shouldn't buy things that they can't afford, and eventually they would learn to be responsible with their money.

Under socialism (which I'm pretty sure is what you would like), when people spent their money irresponsibly, the people who didn't waste their money (responsible people) would have to pay. First off, it is morally wrong to make people who make good decisions pay for those who make bad decisions. Secondly, if you give people money for being irresponsible and take away money for being responsible, everyone will decide to be irresponsible, which is not good for a nation's economy.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (19202) 4 months ago

You lack an understanding of the structural problems of this economy. No matter how hard a person works, or wants to work, no matter how skilled they are, nor how educated, nor how wonderful a person they may be, there are NOT ENOUGH good jobs that pay a living wage to go around. Get it? People are FORCED into those crappy jobs. They do not take those jobs by choice because they are lazy and unskilled. They take those jobs because they have to EAT.

We have no room in this country for elitism and unwarranted superiority such as what you spew. We need to make sure every American can live a decent life and it's going to take a new economic system or at a minimum a new way of valuing labor in a humane way, by putting people over profit.

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[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

You know, you could provide some evidence. I have shown plenty of evidence of social mobility, and tons of good reasons. Simply you insisting that they are forced into jobs means nothing.

I have already explained how the best way to increase the number of jobs (and the wages of workers) is to increase the number of businesses. Unions and regulations are killing jobs. But still, educated and skilled people do have good jobs. I've shown proof of this.

You have to use logic to explain exactly how the things you're describing happen, show hypothetical examples of when it could happen, and then show good evidence that it does happen.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 3 months ago

There is a limit to how many businesses an economy can support. Not everyone can run a business simply because if everyone were running a business, each businessperson would de facto have one customer, himself. He would only need to produce enough for himself and he'd have no one else to sell anything to. When everyone had their own business, it was called a subsistence economy. It worked well. I suppose we could go back to that. Simplicity. Nice.

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

There has never been any time in the history of America (that's 200 years, and most of it was laissez faire) where we have had too many businesses.

There aren't a lot of people who are willing to put the work in to start and run their own business. If we ever do get into a situation where we have too many businesses, then you can use this argument.

Look at Hong Kong. They have a ton of businesses, and their economy seems to be doing alright. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqh0zXSd4vc

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (19202) 3 months ago

Everyone simply cannot go out and run a business. If every employee left working for someone else to start a business, they'd have no customers, they'd only be able to produce enough for themselves. And, quit talking about workers as if they are lazy. They are the backbone of this nation.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

people respond to money

have a double plus day

[-] 0 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

Regarding the 'evil banks', I agree with you that people should be held accountable for their own decisions. Also, it is a fact that if loans don't repaid, it's bad for banks.

However, the rules by which banks operate have changed over time. When I was a student, there's no way a bank would lend tens of thousands of dollars to someone who wanted to pay for college. It was too risky. And if you wanted to buy a house, you'd have to get to know your bank manager pretty well so that you could borrow an amount that was 2-4 times your annual income.

Thanks to deregulation, banks were able to make loans to anyone for any amount and then sell the risky loans to securities firms who then packaged them as exotic financial products which they sold to investors (including pension funds). Because the banks bore less of the risk burden, they weren't very vigilant about whom they lent money to. Combine that with the fact that they're allowed to create money out of thin air every time then lend money, and they had every incentive to convince people that borrowing more than they could afford was a good idea. This is really where the 'evil banks' thing comes from.

What you said about labour being traded for a salary is true and I agree with everything you said - in the context of a developing country. In developed countries, businesses now use factories in less costly countries, such as China. In China, many factory workers change job every year because they're offered more money elsewhere or because a factory opened in their hometown and they don't need to live so far away from their families. In the West, factory workers will accept less pay and worse working conditions (longer hours, etc.) if the labour supply exceeds the demand to fill jobs locally. When this happens, people complain about workers being exploited.

I write a human rights blog which has a special focus on human trafficking and severe labour exploitation. When I lived in Japan, I met with lawyers and NGOs who explained how cheap labourers were imported to do factory and farming jobs that Japanese workers refused to do because the conditions were too poor. These workers are often paid below minimum wage and overworked. I interviewed one lawyer who represented the family of a Chinese man who was worked to death (in court, she won the case).

As for CEO's having the hardest job, I'll have to disagree with you there. I have 8 or 9 years experience as a managing director (i.e. a member of the board of directors who performs the duties of a CEO) and I know many, many CEOs personally. It can be a stressful job when the economy is doing badly and it's difficult to drum up business, and not everyone has the skills to perform well in the role.

However, some of the dumbest people I've ever met have been CEOs who succeeded because they didn't have the intelligence to weigh up the risks of what they were doing. They got lucky and then hired people who were far more talented and were capable of managing subsequent risks and giving good advice. The main job of a good CEO is to delegate. Some of them are leaders, but it's the board of directors who really lead a company.

By the way, it was perfectly normal for more than half of my staff to earn more than me. They were creative and hard working, so they deserved to share in the wealth which they created. Any company that relies on it's CEO as the only source of innovation and creativity is a bad company, which is why there are so few of them.

The Horatio Alger myth - my understanding was that the evidence of becoming more prosperous because of assistance from a kind old wealthy person was being called a myth. In other words, I thought that they were saying that rags to riches stories which involve the intervention of a wealthy person are highly unlikely. You are absolutely correct that anyone has the potential to increase their prosperity - especially in countries like the U.S.

And as you like short videos, here's one that lasts 5 minutes which you may like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBFpbVpq6Q

[-] 3 points by JEM (13) from Plainsboro Township, NJ 3 months ago

I agree - most CEO's are pretty stupid. And don't just take our word for it, Carl Icahn states that as well in his interview in the Time article. If you believe they have the hardest job, you've been snowed by the capitalist propaganda machine.

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[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

On the labor thing: you said it's exploitation " if the labour supply exceeds the demand to fill jobs locally"

This is somewhat true. This is why I don't like regulation. I would like more businesses, to the point where they would literally have to fight over workers.

"However, some of the dumbest people I've ever met have been CEOs… They got lucky and then hired people who were far more talented and were capable of managing subsequent risks and giving good advice." But if they're so dumb, why did they get promoted to CEO? And if they hire other people to do stuff, doesn't that create a high demand for the "other people", leading to them getting high salaries?

"By the way, it was perfectly normal for more than half of my staff to earn more than me. They were creative and hard working, so they deserved to share in the wealth which they created. Any company that relies on it's CEO as the only source of innovation and creativity is a bad company, which is why there are so few of them." Oh, ok. So what I said is true.

As for the video… pretty interesting, I didn't know that banks could create money. I looked it up for a better explanation, and from what I found is it like this:

Bob puts $10 in the bank. Joe gets a loan for $8. It used to be, if Bob came back, the bank could only give him back $2, until Joe paid back his loan. Today, Bob can get his $10 back, which technically means the bank created the $8 loan for Joe out of thin air. However, when Joe does pay it back, the money disappears. Unfortunately, as the video says, banks can decide whether they want to lend to Joe or Bill or whoever.

I would say this: To make the banks more carful with whom they lend to? Stop bailing them out! if they make a risky loan, they should go bankrupt if it fails. I think that would encourage bankers to make smart, responsible loans. I mean, we never had any of these problems until the great depression, and that's when we started regulating more.

You said banks sold high risk investments to others. This is a problem, but honestly, I think regulation will make it worse. With regulation, banks will find some way around the rules to continue selling high risk investments, but people will expect a safe, regulated economy and buy into it. If we deregulated, we could (hopefully) make people learn to make responsible decisions, so the banks wouldn't be able to sell high risk investments (because no one would buy them), and they wouldn't loan money to people who couldn't pay it back.

[-] 2 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

I like balanced regulation. Too much regulation means that the conditions may exist for public sector monopolies (such as telecoms or utilities) which makes it difficult/impossible for other, more innovative players to enter the market. Too little regulation means that the conditions may exist for private sector monopolies (think back to the oil, steel and railroad monopolies of the 1800's). Balanced regulation means that anyone can enter the market and have a genuine shot at prosperity.

The Dumb CEOs I mentioned weren't promoted - they were founders of the companies.

You're right that regulation increased after the great depression. That was in response to the unbalanced, under-regulated nature of the economy. The problems today began in the 1970s and became much worse under the deregulation of Regan and Clinton.

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Well, the problems today were caused mostly by government pressuring banks to provide "affordable housing". This is what encouraged them to go after high risk investments.

But yes, it is good when the government breaks up monopolies. I wouldn't advocate repealing the Sherman anti-trust laws.

Usually though (like you said), monopolies are caused by governments. Here is Milton Friedman talking about this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLBzfFGFQU

And as for the dumb CEOs, good for them for creating jobs and increasing competition with their new company, right?

[-] 1 points by Penston (80) 3 months ago

I've don't have a problem with CEOs being dumb if they aren't being exploitative. Indeed, they create jobs and increase competition in the market.

Have you read about the history of money creation in the U.S.? In 1750, Benjamin Franklin visited England and asked why there was such poverty in the country. He was told that the problem was that there were too many workers. He said that there was no unemployment in the colonies and explained why...

Banknotes (colonial script) were issued by the government such that there was enough to keep the economy running without any inflation. They didn't have to pay any interest on the money that was created and there was no debt. When the banks in England heard of this, they demanded that the practice be stopped.

The first law regulating Colonial money was passed by the British Parliament 1751, then expanded by a more restrictive law in 1763. According to Benjamin Franklin, the streets were full of beggars within one year of the colonial script being banned. This is because there was half as much money circulating in the economy and it was loaned into existence (at interest). This is why the colonies fought the Revolutionary War.

Following passage of The Federal Reserve Act in 1913, bankers (Paul Warburg, etc.) conspired with others in the US Congress to ratify the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution after which Congress deemed it necessary to levy personal income tax on American citizens. The legislation was required since the US government could no longer print money to finance it's operations due to the controlling forces of the international banking cartel.

If the U.S. were to return to the old system of having the government spend money into existence, they could abolish income tax and still have over 30 times the current budget for public spending, all without causing inflation! That wouldn't benefit the top bankers, which is why this system has been suppressed. It almost came back in the 1930's (look up the Chicago Plan).

So, I don't think it's fair to say that the problems today were caused mostly by government pressuring banks to provide affordable housing. The banks are legally allowed to create money out of thin air by simply lending money to people, so that was their incentive.

A debt money system never provides money to pay interest, so the banks ultimately acquire all the People's property by foreclosure, as Thomas Jefferson said they would.

http://www.peoplesmandate.iinet.net.au/debt_free_money_in_america.html

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[-] 5 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

we have socialism in fact Corporate Communism... think about something for me ok? . you realize that the majority of us have stepped onto a monopoly board that was already owned and every time you pass go someone collects a fee and takes a little piece of what you make and that the illusion of earning is just that - a big fat illusion? all you really do is rent your ability to exist in this system - "rent and lease forever" is the reality of this It was already gone before you earned it and gave it back away at least for those of us who weren't born with wealth or to those who own the board..Banks have amortization rates that at the end of the loan equal 100 percent of what you originally paid...business loans? Car and home loans? - now who determines those rates? A private "federal" bank... now think about it - who determines your fico score? - oh yes the banks. Now how do you earn credit to live in society? Oh well you go to college... see the banks like to start you off in debt so their corporate crony investors even the small ones who like to emulate them have now made it a job requirement there is no more job training also it keeps you obligated to keep working to keep on paying that debt it's a nice motivator so you don't get any funny ideas of your own about being able to start something of your own or live any other way... but by the time you're done paying for your corporate cable, your corporate gas, your corporate insurance, and corporate utilities, and corporate groceries - that are all owned by pretty much the same conglomerates and rich guys ... you find you don't have enough cash to actually own anything - so you go out and ask the bank to purchase a payment so you can subsist in order to get to said job... you run this treadmill until you want to die and scream and curse the world... and all the while you dream big - you motivate yourself to keep going ... and then some little rich puke who had parents that rent out apartments at rates higher than most people's mortgage - walks by and pretty much tells you what a moron and idiot you are as you watch him skate by and brag about achieving all his dreams without even breaking a sweat egotistically yammering on about his ingenuity and how he branched out on his own in the world and bit off a piece of that American pie by beginning his own business or by buying up rental properties. You realize that rent is a sham, banks are a sham, you're only living to survive and all that hope you had begins to shrivel up and you suddenly and all at once get very tired and very angry and you take to the street with a sign and an idea that all the money you pay to government for taxes gets divied up between all the people willing to step on everyone else to snap it up - and then you watch as they take advantage and they call you stupid too - because you must be weak to keep running on that treadmill for so long instead of smashing someone else in the face to "take what is yours" because the message is - "hard work is for suckers"... and so you have no choice to keep running, and running, and paying into the collective pool of rich guys who sit in the wagon. The cost of your life is determined by those banks... how much you're willing to sell out or lick their balls to get up there with them determines you I guess... So friend if you're not in bed with the Corporate Commies (you know all those people who partner with the Chinese government to have their products made nice and cheap by Chinese slaves) then I will tell you to - Keep pulling sucker and that is about as far as you will get - mush!!! Unless you're one of us ..even though our legs are tired - our hearts have been beating strong and we've been building up our muscles and our stamina - Occupy isn't going anywhere!!! I can tell you because I know I'm not, I can tell you how I feel - I can tell you what I know...

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Well, I'm not sure I understand.

Don't say the rich don't pay taxes. The top 1% pays 37% of the taxes, while the bottom 50% pays 2%. Also, don't think that people can't start their own businesses. America has the most businesses started per day in the world. Also, we have tons of opportunity for people to be successful.

On your arguments:

"we have socialism in fact Corporate Communism...the majority of us have stepped onto a monopoly board that was already owned" I hate corporatism and government-caused monopolies just as much as you do. The best solution? Restore the Constitution.

"parents that rent out apartments at rates higher than most people's mortgage" If anyone did this, no one would rent the apartments.

"obligated to keep working to keep on paying that debt it's a nice motivator so you don't get any funny ideas of your own about being able to start something of your own or live any other way" Why would debt keep you at one job? If you have an opportunity to make more money at another job or your own business, then debt is a motivator to start something of your own or live any other way.

"hard work is for suckers... and so you have no choice to keep running, and running, and paying into the collective pool of rich guys who sit in the wagon" Can you explain how exactly rich people are lazy and being supported by the poor?

The rich who start their own businesses, improve our lives in exchange for money, and employ lots of people? If you think that's easy, you haven't thought your ideas through. Do you think it's people who inherit everything? Corporations are owned by groups of stockholders. They elect the board of directors. They choose based on who could best run the company, because they couldn't just agree on picking a family to inherit it.

Your main problem is that your arguments are based on emotion. This is more of a poem than a logical explanation. You consistently use metaphors like "running on a treadmill" and "smashing someone else in the face to take what is yours" but don't explain what they mean. Please elaborate on exactly how our system is unfair, and give specific examples.

[-] 3 points by JEM (13) from Plainsboro Township, NJ 3 months ago

The problem is you are not doing the math. If 1% own 90% of the wealth, they should pay 90% of the taxes. Your statement just proves they are freeloaders who don't pay their fair share. If they only pay 37%, then they are causing the rest of us to pay more than our fair share and/or they are the cause of our deficits.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

ahhhrgha - sure on the books they pay taxes before loopholes and off shoring and capital gains rates - please watch the film We're Not Broke because you have your facts wrong.

As far as landlords and rent - People rent apartments because the federal government pays section 8 to supplement those rates that rich landlords like to charge and the rest of them struggle and work 3 jobs to survive and are barely able to pay it...tell me how a landlord does any hard work other than collect a check each month - how does renting property add innovation or ideas to society? In fact if they weren't out-bidding most of us on cheaper housing we wouldn't have to pay those rates (I was outbid multiple times by landlords) I have a house now and pay half the rate of the average rental in my area...your problem is that you don't know how to think outside of your own experience or the going propaganda - I can't explain something to someone who has never had to start from scratch in this particular economy - what it is like ... and you don't have enough feeling to put yourself in our shoes maybe you need to let go of the empirical possibilities of step A leading to step B leading to all kinds of logical possibilities - because the realities and the odds and the variables that can intercede to prevent progress are much much different and virtually uncountable. The odds of upward mobility should not be odds like winning the lottery nor based on the success of ones parents (as there are and statistics back this up) but should be based on work ethic and desire and follow through.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120907/upward-mobility-based-mostly-parental-wealth-new-study-suggests

Currently monopolies are joining forces to with government to create red tape to prevent small business owners from being able to compete or even start in the market...prevention of entrepreneurship has been shown to be the one common denominator in all third world nations. You also need to rent from a landlord to have a location to start your business - or you need banks to give you capital to buy - if you aren't starting out with your own family capital it's not really likely unless you have some vc technology idea that is so remarkable that you will succeed from your parents basement...not everyone is technologically inclined - is that to say they should not be able to own a business? If they do by some miracle beat the odds and get started they still have to contend with raising rents and then monopolies stealing their niche. So yes working for someone else someone who uses you for all they can and then downsizes every 5 years when you begin to make too much money? How's that in an economy with outsourcing, downsizing...gone to China (even office work like accounts payable?) It's all stagnated payrates for like 15 years in fact made them go down and now you have hundreds of people competing for one job while hundreds more are being laid off and their mortgages are forclosing and there is just more and more ways of fucking the worker? Take Net Neutrality - corporations are foaming at the mouth to get rid of it so they can take ownership of the online market and charge greater and greater RENT to online retailers and small businesses - the sad reality is they will not be able to pay that rent and will fold. Maybe hard work is for suckers - or maybe we just need to overthrow our government and bring back REGULATION and stop OUTSOURCING? Some really smart occupiers had a quote recently... growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell

http://werenotbrokemovie.com/

real estate for ransom

oh and just in case you are some rich little lazy puke who is siphoning off of me to write a paper and getting me to to your work for you just like all rich little lazy pukes - I hope you develop your own brain someday - sadly lazy cheats and liars usually never change - they go on to become landlords and entrepreneurs who like to tell you how smart they are for getting others to think for them while paying their local politicians to do them favors.

Also what is CAPITALISM ? Is it a system where a group of multinational conglomerates not even headquartered in the USA can give unlimited campaign funds to their politician of choice and then go on to lobby for their own causes above the voice of the American people? Is that a free market? Are they even citizens? I hear quite a few Rich Americans are even renouncing their citizenship altogether to avoid paying any taxes what so ever... and yet through their boards they are allowed to influence the outcome of our elections and laws? Hell yeah let's bring back Capitalism - I'm all fucking for it - because it's not Capitalism we have.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

fuck upward mobility

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

yeah fuck it - let's spiral down and take the government with us - I've had it and one can't reason with sociopaths ...they love the idea of power and at heart they are the most lazy parasites among us... they get us to dance like puppets while they convince us to keep trying to defend ourselves ... we just need to go on the attack - I'm done defending our stance interesting that about four percent of people own more than fifty percent of the world's wealth and that about 4 percent of people are sociopaths with no capability of feeling anything.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

upward mobility excuse to explain why some get more than others

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

"Currently monopolies are joining forces to with government to create red tape to prevent small business owners from being able to compete or even start in the market"

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TRUE THAT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I blame Wickard v. Filburn for that (a supreme court case that basically said our constitution doesn't matter because the government likes power)

"let's bring back Capitalism - I'm all %@#ing for it - because it's not Capitalism we have." I agree. We should restore the constitution!

[-] 4 points by agkaiser (1321) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

from Susan Webber's blog:

These Charts Show What is Wrong With American Capitalism Posted on March 24, 2014 by Yves Smith

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/03/charts-show-wrong-american-capitalism.html

(Susan Webber, the founder and CEO of Aurora Investments, writes as Yves Smith.

Fools of Friedman think we can all be rich investors and own our own businesses and that the perpetual motion of money will sustain life on the Planet Earth.

another excerpt from "How Does That Work:"

In a hypothetical casino card game the house takes 5% of every pot. If 10% of the money at the table is on average played on each hand, then the house takes 0.5% of the money in the game on each rake. After 200 hands, 100% of the money that is on average at the table has been taken by the house. The only way the game may continue is to have new money come to it. The winners, of course, smell the new blood and even anticipate it greedily. And the biggest winner over a time is always the house. Until the free market ideologues took over, the biggest difference between a casino bank and finance was that the gaming house took a bigger cut of the handle.

https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

All right, what your saying is that rich people are investing in the stock market and are not making productive investments. What you're saying makes sense, and it does render most of my article useless. I must say, you are the first person that got me to actually stop and think about my answer. You actually have a good point, and good evidence. BUT…

  1. Just as a matter of principle, we need to stop blaming others for our problems. The rich do not have a duty to create jobs. They are not obligated to take care of us. That's our job. Each individual is responsible for himself/herself. We are not entitled to other people's help just by being born. Liberty means freedom from coercion (being forced to do something). I will remind you, we have the right to the PURSUIT of happiness, not happiness itself.

  2. Wall Street is not a "rich people only market". Anyone can invest in the stock market. You may say that the poor can't, because they don't have any money to start with. That is what banks are for. You borrow money, make money on the stock market, and use part of it to pay back your loan. If Wall Street is a place where lazy rich people get easy money, why can't everybody do it? In fact, one of the biggest benefits of the stock market is that ordinary people can use it to save up for their retirement. And they do!

  3. The articles suggested that there is a law of conservation of wealth. That there is only x amount of dollars out there, and when one person gets a dollar, another person loses a dollar. This is not true. It's the oldest myth in the book. But perhaps the article was talking specifically about the stock market. That every time an investor makes a dollar, another investor loses a dollar. If that were the case, then half of the corporations trading stocks on the market would be losing money, and would be motivated to instead go back to investing in new products, better jobs, blablabla.

  4. The articles say that it was the 1980's deregulation and lifting that began all this investing in the stock market. They say that the consequences of that will finally be felt today. The articles certainly present good evidence that the 80's was the beginning of corporate investing. However, they forget that the stock market has been around since the seventeen hundreds. Between the writing of the constitution and the Great Depression, America had a very deregulated, laissez faire capitalism (WAY more deregulated than the 80's). During this time, the technology available and the standard of living increased more than it had in all of history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmzZ8lCLhlk That's over one hundred years of deregulation and the stock market, and nothing bad happened. Yes, there was a stock market crash followed by a recession, but it would have been fine had it not been for the government making it a depression. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgyQsIGLt_w

  5. The biggest point I have to make is about small businesses. There are many entrepreneurs that start their own business every day. America has the most small businesses started per day in the world. A business can be started by anyone, with a simple loan from the bank. It's a very difficult life, but it is one of the most rewarding ways to make money. And with small businesses, everything I said in my post comes back into play. It's funny how being able to start a small business is literally the one argument that destroys all anti-capitalists. If we had more businesses, we would have more competition (weakening the "evil" rich, forcing them to innovate), and we would also have more employment. What if we had so many businesses that there weren't enough workers to be hired? There would be very little unemployment, and wages would be huge.

If the rich on Wall Street are really just headed toward failure, then you should leave them alone and let them head toward failure. If they won't innovate and make new products, if they won't create jobs, then that's too bad for them. They'll lose all of their customers to the new businesses that do. Building our own businesses is better solution than protesting them. And besides, the rich 1% thing is really a myth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti5oDnk__1M

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

The point is we want to witness the death of Wallstreet... we want a system where we are not forced to rely on monopolies or wallstreet for survival or jobs - the fact is wall street and monopolies through their unlimited finds are creating a system of forced reliance by fixing /aka REGULATING the markets so they are no alternatives for surviving they have drowned out self-reliance in this nation - you must go to the god-fathers of wall street to beg for a job (or a loan to get into the system) - if you try to get around them they will send their thugs to go and break your legs (politicians are WS's thugs) - Wall street and multinational conglomerates have grown too large - they are too big and we want to see them fail. If we have to feel the initial wrip of the band-aid so be it ... we have to pull the candle away from our skin before the burn can begin to heal. Bring back the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker and give Wall Mart and their big box ilk the boot. Americans are capable of self reliance, we just need these thieves to stop pillaging all the supplies and resources and hording them away from the rest of society. Noone needs yachts and palatial palaces to live a happy life - it's just gone beyond what is fair or normal in a society - Wall Street is creating it's own island that's fine but they can't be a part of our community any longer they can't be a part of our nation. Exile them. If they want to steal from Main Street - then they don't belong having any interaction with our nation whatso-ever they are stealing from the commons and then selling it back to us for private gain. Wall Street is not the back bone of this nation workers are the backbone - and you know what creates jobs? Consumers Consumers are your workers... and so you know who the real job creators are - workers!!! and you know who needs workers - people who need workers so they can sell their products to consumers.. Propaganda has turned this all around - wallstreet doesn't create jobs wallstreet needs workers. only now that they have begun using Chinese slaves ... they still need consumers to buy their stuff (guess what if they don't have workers, they no longer have consumers) they are shooting themselves in the longterm foot (have fun with your quarterly gains because you're going to lose it all during the great crash of hmmm 2015? I can't see it going much longer than that.

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

well, i've explained already how profits don't come from workers in reply to beautifulworld. And as for the government thing, yes, Wallstreet does use the government.

"I do not believe it's proper to put the situation as industrialists vs. government. On the contrary, one of the reasons I'm in favor of less government is because when you have more government, industrialists take it over and the two together form a coalition against the ordinary worker and the ordinary consumer. I think business is a wonderful institution provided it has to face competition in the market place and it can't get away with something except by producing a better product at a lower cost." -Milton Friedman

Other than government intervention, how do rich people "thieves... pillaging all the supplies and resources and hording them away from the rest of society. "?

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2240) 3 months ago

A. they sell our government for a bribe...(name one broke person in Congress) B. They sell our resources for a price (opening up Yellowstone to private oil profiteers, give companies like Monsanto subsidies to buy up the entire industry see film The Future of Food if you have questions on that)
go to war for profit taking our soldiers lives in exchange for private corporate gain (Our soldiers are a resource)

I just don't think you're thinking large enough ....you're thinking of your own personal issues with government. I think we don't necessarily need less government - we need a less corrupt government. And when you say less government - you confuse me - when you're managing the wealth of an entire nation then I how can you narrow that down... if you have two accountants one might squeel on the other for embezzling but when you have one they have all the power and you'd never know. So sure we need government to manage it. Do you really want to see America turn into a country like India with no safety nets or workers rights and a poor population that starves in the street... literally elderly starving in the street. I suggest you visit it if you have the money to travel maybe it will open your eyes to a country that doesn't share its resources but hordes them and only gives access to the elite classes. Is that what you suggest?

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Well, less corrupt government would be nice, and I think that the best way to reduce corruption would be to reduce government's power. So often, government regulations cause more harm than good. They often benefit special interests. They rarely do anything to help the people they're supposed to help. The best way to get rid of these is not to reform them, but to just plain get rid of them.

"No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: 'But what would you replace it with?' When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?" - Thomas Sowell.

As for India, it has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Why is there so much poverty there? One, they have a huge population. Two, only recently have they taken a free market approach. " Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991 forced the nation to liberalise its economy;[212] since then it has slowly moved towards a free-market system[213][214] by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment inflows.[215] India's recent economic model is largely capitalist.[214] India has been a member of WTO since 1 January 1995.[216]" -Wikipedia

Now that they have switched, poverty is going down. "Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007,[213] India has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century.[220] Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030" -Also wikipedia

So in India, Capitalism is solving the problems that government created with regulations and socialism.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand your accountant metaphor.

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1321) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 months ago

"The articles suggested that there is a law of conservation of wealth. That there is only x amount of dollars out there, and when one person gets a dollar, another person loses a dollar."

Money is not wealth. Money represents wealth in trade. An infinite amount of money may be created by banks as they loan it by entering numbers in their ledgers. But like any perpetual motion machine, such childish exercises in stupidity must fail in the end. The reason. Wealth is very finite material goods and land. Money is not wealth!

Read "How Does That Work" at: https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Hey, there is not a law of conservation of wealth. example:

Suppose I have some silicon, glass and plastic. It's probably not worth much. What if I invent the iPhone and build it? Now I took something worth not that much and made something great with it. An iPhone is worth more than its materials. Where did that wealth come from (No, Karl, it's not labor)? My brilliance in inventing the iPhone.

Suppose I make an app for the iPhone. I make Angry Birds by typing in some lines of computer code. I just created some wealth (angry birds) out of nothing (except for time and energy). The wealth came from my brilliance in designing the game. Is that a finite resource?

What about food? We've been farming for a really long time now, and yet the food supply keeps growing and growing. With new machines and better methods, we make tons of food each year (we really need better global charities. We make, using our awesome capitalist system, more than enough to feed the whole world. Other countries are poorer and have tons of people starving. They don't have free market capitalism. Of course, charity is another great thing that people in a capitalist system do). There is no law of conservation of wealth. Even if we do run out of some resources, we will, motivated by earning a profit (and not by coercion from the government), find some way to produce products using only inexhaustible resources, or recycle resources.

Books, music, movies, and other creative arts will never run out. If I write a good book, where did that wealth come from? A good book is worth more than paper and… whatever they use on the cover of books. In fact, in today's digital age we're storing and distributing these products at the cost of virtually no resources.

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 months ago

You ignore that 1% of the population controls 34% of the wealth and, therefore, controls not only the information outlets, but the political system as well. That is called an oligarchy.

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

This is a sad event, but a rare one. This sort of thing happens in all systems, and isn't tied to Capitalism at all. This is a legal issue. The law is supposed to protect people from things like this. Economically speaking, they shouldn't be able to affect you. If they do, it's because they broke the law, giving you the right to sue them for compensation (although that system definitely needs reform).

I would elaborate, but I just had this conversation with Shooz down below, which you can read.

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

I already said that the government should intervene if actions affect people who didn't agree to it.

As for the economic meltdown, how is that rich people's fault?

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[-] -2 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Okay, the Goldman Sachs thing? That's fraud. It's illegal. I already addressed that.

On the Angelo Mozilo thing- he chose to invest in people who couldn't pay back their money. He had to face the consequences of losing that money, because they were his choices. On the flip side, the people who chose to buy a house he/she couldn't afford, it's the same thing. They made a bad choice, they pay the consequences.

It's the same with AIG. All of the people making deals with AIG did so voluntarily. AIG made its deals voluntarily. They make the choices, they pay the consequences.

Everybody else? Maybe minor consequence, but mostly none.

Until the government bailed them out, putting the responsibility on tax payers. The government shouldn't interfere. It makes some pay for the consequences others.

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[-] -1 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

An incentive is a motivator for doing something, like a reward. For example, Steve Jobs had the incentive to make the iPhone better, because then more people would buy it. I'm not sure what you meant by "government incentive." Did you mean intervention, investment, regulation maybe? If anything, the government incentives thing is a good case for less government involvement.

Although there are ballooning interest rates on loans, the person taking out the loan is fully aware (or should be, it is their responsibility) of what the conditions are. If they choose to take out this type of loan, it is their responsibility to judge whether or not they will be able to pay for it in 3-5 years.

Perhaps when you say "government incentives," you are referring to the pressure and regulations that the government put on banks to provide "affordable housing." The government wanted all people of all incomes to own houses, and its regulations pushed banks to lend out riskier loans. If that's the case, then yes, this is part of what caused the crisis. But the solution isn't more government, it's less. If these policies weren't enacted, the housing crisis wouldn't have occurred.

But you're right, I am a bit idealistic. Utopian socialism is a much more realistic approach. History shows Socialism has never failed.

[-] 3 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 4 months ago

Rand and Reagan may have been fools but Friedman was also a cynical SOB!

[+] -6 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

<GASP!> How dare you!

Rand (I'm guessing you mean Ayn Rand) was a psychopath with some really good ideas, not a fool.

Reagan was one of our nations greatest presidents. He fixed our economy after Barack Obama <ahem> -excuse me, Jimmy Carter wrecked it (Those two have such similar policies, I always get them confused). He defeated Russia in the cold war, after Obama's wimpy—excuse me Carter's wimpy foreign policy (I did it again!). How on earth was he a fool?

Milton Friedman was not cynical! Cynical means you think everyone in the world is selfish. Friedman believed that… alright, fine. But still, he was a pretty smart guy.

[-] 6 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 4 months ago

I think your foolishly narrow definition of cynical exposes your ignorance in general. In that you're like the libertarian morons you admire so much. Also like them, you confuse kindness and honety with weakness. Quaking submission to the corporate owners is beyond weak. It's cowardly.

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Cynical- believing that people are motivated by self-interest; -from the dictionary

I don't think kindness and honesty is weak. As a conservative libertarian, I love kindness and honesty. Not only is dishonesty wrong, I also think it should be illegal in the form of fraud. I don't believe in tricking people or lying to them.

I like kindness. Fact: Those who don't want the government to reduce inequality give more to charity. http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/castingstones/2008/04/conservatives-give-more-to-cha.html We don't hate poor people. We're just smart enough to know Capitalism has historically helped the poor more than any other economic system.

[-] 4 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 4 months ago

Look up pejorative definition or usage. Then trace the etymology of cynic. But that's trivial.

The study you need to undertake is how many economic units can have ten times the average wealth - that's wealth not money - if all the rest have zero net worth. Remember: debt is someone else's money and negative wealth to the debtor.

How do investors make compound interest on their investments, what does that do to the money supply and how does it concentrate wealth?

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

They invest in people who create wealth. Back to the example of the iPhone:

I have the idea for the iPhone, but I can't get enough money to buy silicon and plastic. I go to an investor, and say that I have a brilliant idea, and if I just had some money, I could build a huge business. If the investor thinks it's a good idea, he'll agree to give me money, allowing me to buy the materials I need to build an iPhone.

I have negative x dollars, and I have x dollars that the bank gave me. This adds up to zero. I still have zero total dollars, but I can use the x dollars to make more.

After I make the iPhone, I pay them back, plus interest, using the profits I make. They get interest, I get profits, consumers get iPhones. Everybody wins!

[-] 2 points by schmoot (65) from Kerrville, TX 4 months ago

We've been doing that for more than two hundred years. Serious deregulation started with Nixon. The closer we get to your ideal the worse the economy is for the vast majority of us.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

But I guess that means that trying to talk common sense to a conservative is proof that I'm insane.

[+] -5 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Well, we have been doing capitalism for more than two hundred years. We also have increased that standard of living for everyone (including the poor) more in the last two hundred years. That sounds like it's working to me. Deregulation really got serious with Reagan. Initially, there was a large stock market crash, and a recession. Unlike the policies of Hoover and FDR after the 1929 crash, and unlike the policies of Bush and Obama in today's recession, Reagan did nothing. The economy then recovered and boomed. It was over regulation in an attempt to achieve "affordable housing" that led to the recession, not deregulation. Look it up, Thomas Sowell, an economist at Standford, wrote a whole book on it. "Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Like, Socialism? The system that's failed in almost every country it's been tried in, except maybe Sweden? Supporting that is insanity. Capitalism has always worked (yes, I know Einstein's political views. That's irrelevant.)

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

ahh one so against regulation but who is for it as long as it benefits himself - this is total hypocrisy... when WS is done paying politicians to regulate and fix the markets to their own benefit... please let me know... also please let me know when they stop pillaging the public coffers and tax money for their own personal gain (um I guess you call that welfare) ? What Wall Street deregulates for themselves actually in its own way regulates the rest of America who can not afford to compete with their 8 armed multi-national conglomerate octopus machine - when they are done trampling us we have no recourse. Your ability to swing your arms should stop at my face. That is what regulation is for but in wall streets terms deregulation means they can swing their fist into my face which now handicaps my ability to fend off those 8 arms and thereby in effect REGULATES me

[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Once again, this is a metaphor.

I don't know what you mean by Wall Street punching people in the face. I understand why you would want to prevent a negative action against someone else like a punch in the face with regulation, but I don't know what you mean specifically.

[-] 5 points by elf3 (2240) 4 months ago

your ability to swing your fists ends at my face - then we have rule of law to regulate you from punching me in the face (the same should hold true for corporations in example poisoning my water supply or monopolizing markets etc.) This isn't a metaphor - it's reality - we need regulation aka laws to prevent others from trampling our rights - only problem is WS feels that though they have rights of people that they should not have to follow the laws of the people - they have a double standard and are separate and unequal from us as they have more rights than us which include swinging their fists into our collective faces and also want to get rid of law as well as when they do break law pay fines as opposed to jail time to pay for their crimes. When WS murders someone - they don't get charged with murder...can't put a board in jail. Well we can - but they never do also they never call it murder they call it the cost of doing business - or a calculated risk and deem it accidental.

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises (-78) 3 months ago

Stock investors do not physically go to people's houses and punch people in the face. It's a metaphor.

Of course, some thing like poisoning the water supply is bad. But we do regulate that already, and more regulation won't make it any better.

And I've certainly never seen a business murder anyone before.

Most often, regulation is a tool to cause monopolies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLBzfFGFQU

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 months ago

"Do you agree with everything I've said in this post?"

No, I don't.

"why not?"

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/

[-] 2 points by JEM (13) from Plainsboro Township, NJ 3 months ago

You make a case for capitalism, Okay. You imply that you do not like socialism, Okay. But now I’m confused by your final statement that you would like to keep capitalism in America. We don’t have capitalism in America - we have a system of socialism for the rich. No one after 2008 can say we have a capitalist system here in America. You state - “In socialism, regardless of your good (or bad) decisions, you are given the same salary or wealth.” Leading up to 2008, the financial sector made very bad decisions and were allowed to keep their same salary/wealth through the bailout paid for by the people of this country. Capitalism REQUIRED those companies to go bankrupt (how many would have actually gone under we’ll never know), yet that never happened.

If you want capitalism, are you proposing we bring it back (implying that we had a true system of capitalism at some point in our history)? And if so, how do you propose we do that?

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises1 (-42) 3 months ago

Just because we bailed out some banks does not mean we've gotten rid of capitalism.

But no, it is unfair that taxpayers have to pay for other people's decisions. I don't think it's good when the government intervenes. The investors that went bankrupt shouldn't have received a bail out.

Until the great depression, we did have very little government intervention in the economy.

[-] 1 points by TheRoot (94) from New York, NY 2 months ago

My reply to flip is below but I've pasted it here. Thoughts?

REFERRING TO: flip. I re-read your comment as in "people are forced every day to endure terrible conditions in order to feed their families. read the history of capitalism and the acts of enclosure. how people were driven into factories by the state corporate nexus. so this was our other disagreement ". To your point, the nexus of state and landed aristocrats took aim at landed peasants and through their machinations forced those peasants off the peasants' land. I've always commented that whether acted out by one individual against another, or in these cases by Parliament in collusion with aristocrats, no one has the "right" to enslave another.

Is it a "fairy tale" to believe that an individual's choices and actions should be to remain alive and prosper? Or rather is it a conviction in the form of an absolute that an individual should do so? Is the right to one's life an imaginary fantasy or a moral certitude? Does such a right require anyone's permission or is it inherent in the nature of man?

You had asked me the following question about authority, "can you not imagine legitimate authority. do you obey a stop sign? " The answer is sure, I can imagine legitimate authority (and I do stop at stop signs). But my answer is on a much deeper level. It deals with precedence. What takes precedence? Who has the supreme consideration over which nothing takes precedence? The answer is an individual's own life is supreme (regardless of who acknowledges it), and this right inheres to the individual and as such can not be alienated from the individual. The social history of the world (whether capitalist, socialist, monarchist, theist, etc) is a history dominated by "legitimate authorities" who chose to ignore or never to recognize the moral sovereignty of the individual. I am working to change that.

I had asked you, "What conditions in society must be present for an individual to sustain and further his life?" You answered me by saying, "ok, so can we get to real world situations here. the condition we are talking about is freedom - right? freedom from control by others over work and life " I am asking you what does your "freedom from control by others over work and life" refer to? Aren't you making a hash out of the idea of freedom? I think that you are because you are blurring its meaning and by doing so encouraging its opposite. Instead, I am saying that what's more fundamental, what explains the idea clearly is the absence of initiated physical force. In society, freedom means banning the initiation of physical force from all human relationships.

Reconstitute a society on that principle and hold it up as a significant social more and therefore a legal standard. Use the standard as a comparison against any lobbyist's proposed legislation and most of their proposals die in the lobby. Use the standard as a comparison against any legislature's laws or regulations, then most of their laws and regs won't even get out of their sub-committees. (I am still referring to the one standard- the banning of initiated physical force from all human relationships in a society.) Use this standard as a comparison to any judge's ruling and most corrupt judges will be gone before the next round of appointments or the next election. Use it as a comparison to the actions of any executor of the law, then real justice will be served and only the honest ones will have any chance at a political career.

To you, this sounds like a fairy tale. But I think otherwise; this is what I am fighting for because it is true and as such, it is a real world solution to any real world situation. My great, grandfather used to lament, "You kids aren't nearly as giving as members of my generation. Why is that?" I'd always reply, "Because our generation has many, many more wolves to fight off." The banishment of initiated physical force as a social and legal standard serves the people because it is a smack down of cronyism, special interests and corrupt politicians. Because it's a simple yard-stick, it can help people clearly see through the tricks of high-sounding legislation; no one in the private or public realm could fool people like they do (and have been doing) today. The standard kills imperialism, bankster money, corporatism and taxation. More importantly, everyone could enjoy the first honest, moral and political society ever in history. With it, each individual will finally live free and with this freedom instituted into the fabric of society, the individual will finally have the safety to pursue his own happiness.

[-] 1 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

Discussing whether capitalism is good or bad is the wrong conversation. What matters is what lies beneath - the rules and regulations with which capitalism, socialism, etc. are navigated.

I strongly recommend reading a book called Why Nations Fail. It explains that capitalism in an environment where everyone has the right to seek prosperity has, historically speaking, worked in favour of the masses. It also explains that capitalism in an environment where only a few have those rights (such as environments where monopolies are allowed to exist) results in oligarchies.

If you get rid of capitalism and replace it with something else, you'll still have the same underlying problems. Fix the root problems (i.e. laws and regulations) and capitalism (or socialism, etc.) will work for the benefit of the 100%.

[-] -2 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Agreed.

I say we should restore the Constitution and overturn dumb cases like Wickard v. Filburn

I'll have to take a look at this book sometime.

[-] 1 points by Penston (80) 4 months ago

One of the authors gave a couple of talks which are on You Tube. Look up James Robinson or Why Nations Fail and you should be able to find them.

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[-] -3 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Sorry about the formatting. I typed it on word so I wouldn't lose it. So, about W. Virginia- This was a mistake made by a company. It was an accident. Accidents will happen regardless of whether you use Capitalism or something else. Anything that can affect others (like a river) is regulated by the government. Under normal circumstances, this doesn't happen. Besides, although a lot of people went without water for days and people got sick, no one died, or lost their home or their job. The company responsible was hurt the most. This was a failure to comply with the law. It was technically illegal and not pertaining to capitalism. What OWS seems to be saying is that Wall Street and the 1% caused everyone to be poor. I don't see how this is true. Unless you break the law, which is what happened in Charleston, the statement I made (one person cannot affect another person) holds true. There will always be crime. If I am murdered, it's not my fault. But this has nothing to do with the economic system. I've never seen Dick Cheney debate before, by the way. I'll try my best to reformat it.

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[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down. You're right, and I agree with you. This was the company's responsibility, and the members should be held liable. They were irresponsible with their decisions, and should pay the consequences.

"Booth Goodwin, United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia commenced a formal "investigation into the circumstances surrounding the release."[4][13] Goodwin stated that a "negligent release of this kind could be a criminal violation."[16] On January 10, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper announced plans to request that the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board investigate the incident.[21] CSB officials were in the process of reviewing information about the spill and planned to make a decision to deploy to the Charleston area by January 11.[21] On January 11, CSB officials announced they were to arrive in Charleston on January 13 to begin their investigation.[22] The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also opened its own investigation of the incident.[14] … As of January 10, the day following the chemical spill from Freedom Industries' Charleston facility, at least eight lawsuits had been filed against the chemical company.[36] The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Charleston area businesses forced to close during the resulting state of emergency and on behalf of all West Virginia American Water customers.[36] The plaintiffs have asked to be granted class action status and are seeking punitive damages and compensation for lost profits during the state of emergency.[36] A further lawsuit was filed against Freedom Industries and West Virginia American Water on January 10 by a patient whose kidney transplant was cancelled due to the water outage.[16] By January 13, a Kanawha County judge had granted a temporary restraining order against Freedom Industries, and the number of lawsuits filed in the Kanawha County Circuit Court had risen to 19.[26][37] On January 17, 2014, Freedom Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy"

-from Wikipedia

So, as you can see, they were held legally liable. They failed to abide by the law, and because of it, they lost their company. It went bankrupt. That's a big deal. So they are being held responsible.

Incarceration? That's too much. No one died. No one was permanently hurt. They didn't intentionally violate the law, they simply didn't take enough preventative measures. They didn't steal, kill, or commit fraud. They violated small regulation. Had an individual done this, the consequences would have been the same. But in the end, yes, they failed to abide by law, and they should be held responsible and pay for damages, which they did. I'm saying, why are you guys blaming Capitalism for everything? This kind of thing would happen just as much, if not more, under any other system.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

Whoa, whoa, whoa indeed.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/how-a-toxic-leak-made-one-town-the-subjects-of-a-live-human-experiment-20140327

https://occupywallst.org/forum/another-day-another-poisoned-river/

https://occupywallst.org/forum/watching-the-ice-disappear/

They should be stripped of every dime they have and thrown in a "privatized" prison, serving them the water and food they've poisoned.

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[+] -6 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

I know you're troubled by these things, but throwing people in prison isn't going to solve anything.

I've already made my points. Simply pointing out more times it has happened doesn't dismantle them.

On the second one: same points I made on the first. (plus, I seriously doubt the credibility of this source. It says coal ashes have lead, arsenic, mercury and uranium in them. Coal is made up of carbon from old dead life forms. It forms ashes when the carbon reacts with the oxygen in the air (burning). That some how makes mercury, lead and radioactive uranium???)

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

OK, so you don't mind poisoned water and don't think those that poisoned it should go to jail, and their ( better than human)corporations, should be allowed to continue on their merry way.

I say bullshit. They should go to jail.

Now as to coal ash. You gotta be kidding?

http://igs.indiana.edu/Coal/Chemical.cfm

http://mineral.eng.usm.my/web%20halaman%20mineral/Components%20of%20coal%20ash.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash

Meawhile, the results are about to poison our entire Planet.

http://nsidc.org/greenland-today/

I didn't think even you were that dumb....and so it goes.

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[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

Puppets and bots and libe(R)topian lies have done their damage.

It sure wasn't for lack of effort on my part. There's only so much I can do.

[-] 1 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

Yes the libertopians have done their damage, as have the neoCON-DEMS and their supporting lackeys on here.

Obamas Far Right Foreign Policy

https://occupywallst.org/forum/obamas-far-right-foreign-policy/

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

When he stops by, I'll talk to him about it

Until then?

I just have the libe(R)tarians who frequent this place and they are bunch of habitual liars, whose aim has always been to take this place down by way of the teabagg(R) forum disruption method.

Are you one of them?

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[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

Still name dropping?

Still lying about me?

Yep.

All of your posts in here. This pro capitalism thread, are attacks on me.

So I would have to assume that you are pro capitalism.

And your troll buddies ( or their puppets and bots) are eating it up and voting you up.

Proud of yourself?

Who's name are you going to drop now?

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[-] 2 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

I think I get your drift....no matter how silly I think it to to be. Can I extrapolate from your comment that, 'Only by being a card-carrying DNC totn' Democrat can I hope to be a good Occupier. And If I choose to make this move.....I will somehow no longer be an "habitual liar". Gee that is tempting shooz, but I think I'll pass.

There are many people who are trying to co-opt Occupy into the Democratic Party using similar methods. YOU are not one of them, are you shooz?!?!......well R U?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

card burning

we should have a party to burn republican and democrat cards

[-] -1 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

That sounds like a great idea Matt.

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[-] 1 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

I get it Ziondog..unless we all strive to be neocon Democrats and are willing to settle for the same old shit......we then must be "lying libertarian scumbags"

BTW, I caught the exchange between you and shooz the other day where you were apologetic to him. How telling ....& how humiliating that should have been for you. There goes your rep...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

and secret ballot

and limited voting

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[-] 0 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

Replying here. You find it ...I can't be bothered, but when I read it... I thought to myself, 'what a servile little twerp you are.' lol

And that combined with your vulgar mouth just proves your lack of character and that you are a low-life.

I'm not perfect by any means, but I would never prostitute myself the way you do on here. This is all you have left.... isn't it?

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

all i ever had

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[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 4 months ago

It's right here:

https://occupywallst.org/forum/a-case-for-capitalism/#comment-1026738

Apparently he can't remember from one day to the next.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

You extrapolate poorly.

In answer to your question, no.

Now if you would be so kind as to stop playing the teabagg(R) game and prove your accusation, or shut the fuck up.....

This site was co-opted by shit headed libe(R)tarians a long time ago.

[-] 3 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

ok, I have two polite questions - could you please tell me what lies I have spread about you. could you please tell me what nonsense you feel I am writing. please?

[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

Exactly that comment.

Now if you would be so kind as to address the OP's Gish Gallop, instead of supporting it?

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[-] 2 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

time to knock off the nonsense shooz. you are not helping here. are you trying to move the occupy agenda forward or towards mainstream politics - that would be the two party system. you have removed my comments for no reason. you have banned my wife - again for no reason and refuse to respond to VERY polite questions from her as to why. just to remind you - she is an elected member of the Monmouth county democratic party. not everyone who challenges Obama or the democratic party is a libertarian republican. remember what it says at the bottom of the page - this site is brought to you by various radicals at the Occupy Solidarity Network - you are not behaving like you know what that means. time to move in a better direction.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

Knock off the nonsense?

You first..........:)

Oh and could you please stop lying about me, based on your own assumptions and self loathing?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

You have yet to help flip.

So fuck your accusations too.

I've posted stuff from all over the Occupy network and you watched as I was voted down.

I'm not in the mood for your troll supporting shit today.

So shove it!

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

still waiting the answer to my two (polite) questions - now I have a third - in case you forgot here are the first two - could you please tell me what lies I have spread about you. could you please tell me what nonsense you feel I am writing. please .........now the third - why did you remove the response from vergilmaro - I read his response and there was absolutely nothing in it that was in anyway offensive. it is time for you to read the rules - or just step down. play by the rules. you are not above them.

[-] -3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

That's another one.

Nonsense.

Still nothing on the capitalist and his Gish Galloping?

Nope. Just more attempts at character assassination

[-] 1 points by seneca (53) 3 months ago

Replying here. The trouble with having a well-deserved reputation for a history of deception like you do on here is that....well nobody tends to believe you anymore. lololol

Keep trying though 'cause it is entertaining... Gee it may be time to go back to some good old gobbledygook or perhaps some foreign tongues...eh?

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

I'll make good on it fucker.

I'm sick of your lying, issue free bullshit anyway.

Fuck off, pretender. I don't know who's puppet you are, and I don't care.

[-] 1 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

that is your response? extremely weak - especially since you are tasked with making this site run well. you need to be the most respectful and responsible member of this site. do you disagree with that point? I do not vote for anything here and consider it childish. twinkle and stinkle - I wonder how howard zinn would view your hurt feelings because of a few stinlkes. shooz - we need to try to make this site better. you need to be the one to turn it around. I do not know all of the hurts you have suffered but time to shrug them off. talk of trolls is also childish. do you understand what occupy is supposed to stand for and those who did the really hard work to get us to this point. should I list some of them and have you think about what they might say here. they faced prison and death - not stinkles!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

So now YOU are every troll all rolled into one?

Really, that's about all you've ever supported here, are the trolls. Name dropping is bullshit and you know it.

Watch in horror as they instantly vote your bullshit up.

all the while ignoring actual issues.

Just like every other troll that's passed through here.

What hurts, is that you think you got all down pat.

You got nothing but monkey shit to toss around.

So that's what you do and trolls and you love that shit.

[-] 1 points by seneca (53) 3 months ago

Yes everyone understands that you have set up this screwey little dichotomy up in your little mind. Anyone who is not a neocon Democrat like yourself...which would have to include the many good Occupiers who work hard to make this a better World...well they are liars & libeRtarians. Did I get that right? I reckon I did.

You've been doing this long enough on here shooz that most people have your number and know your deceptive ways.

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[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

Who's everyone?

All your puppets?

Like al of those assholes before you.

You can't prove what you say, because there is no proof available.

So you just lie your ass off, like every other fucked up troll that's ever posted here.

You're the liar!

You're the deception.

Shove your teabagg(R) shit back up your ass where it belongs.

LIAR!!

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[-] 0 points by seneca (53) 3 months ago

It wasn't the libeRtarians who ruined this site shooz. Rather...it was the neocon Democrats who were led by you & your vulgar accomplices. If you could not successfully co-opt this forum, having it become virtually ineffective was second best.

On a side note, you are so full of sh.. it's gotta be coming out of your ears.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 3 months ago

No.

You are......

You still extrapolate poorly, but you lie like a libe(R)tarian rug.

[-] 0 points by flip (6401) 3 months ago

shooz, I am going to leave this for now. I don't know what is going on here but you are upset and we will not get anywhere. I don't know exactly what you mean when you call me a troll but whatever it is I am not that! bringing up those who paved the way for us is not in anyway bullshit. and grow up about the voting nonsense. post things that those here consider worthy instead of worrying about how many votes you get. that is how true anarchist function. now how about telling my wife why she cannot post anything on the site. that is unconscionable!

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[-] 0 points by 4truthbetold (15) from New York, NY 4 months ago

I always thought the dems were our most dangerous enemy. Conservative Republicans can't convince Occupiers to join their ranks, but weak Occupiers (those who think change can still happen using conventional politics) might be convinced if they believe Obama is left-wing enough for their taste. (Obviously, most of us know Obama really is a right-winger. We just have to look at the Monsanto Act and how he handled the Snowden and NSA cases.) I really never understood why some Occupiers were scared of a right-wing invasion. Do they really believe right-wingers might change the minds of many Occupiers?

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 4 months ago

the President clearly indicates you simply have not been paying attention.

it talks a lot

why does no one pay attention ?

[-] 1 points by seneca (53) 4 months ago

You hit the nail on the head with that comment.

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[-] -3 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

I agree.

The Republicans - or any other pet names they have- already has their little tea partiers, the Democrats -again, insert juvenile pet name- is what needs something. Problem for them is, after shipping all the jobs out and giving Wall St all the perks while regulating the shit out of the rest of us....

Kinda hard to sidle up to labor and say "hey buddy, lets hang out"

Edit: I will say it is funny though, seems how many of the core organizers of OWS- in NYC or any other town- were anarchists, to watch the Dems thinking this was their moment in the sun.

Sorry Dems, you had your moment in 08. Your first line of duty you chose was to extend the Bush tax cuts. Its been a downward spiral since then.

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[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

I knew that. I just wanted to excite some trolls..........:)

While waiting for Greenland to melt.

They'll still be hollering about "free markets", while they look for their life preservers.

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[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

Who knows?

What I do know, is they(OR IT) have habitually ignored, or bitched about ANY link I've posted to actual Occupy issues.

Every single time.

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[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

I got things to do today too, but I'll give it a try.

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[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

For instance, in spite of those that claim to be in the UK, I have to post stuff like this.

http://www.occupy.com/article/alternative-candidate-could-bez-happy-mondays-be-hit-british-parliament

While they pretend to know what's going on here in the US.

Fat chance.

I have NO confidence in them any more.

[-] -1 points by 4truthbetold (15) from New York, NY 4 months ago

Come on mate. We can't keep blaming others. We have to move past the denial stage an blame ourselves. We got think. Why did Occupy lose so much people? It ain't because of bots, puppets, and libe(r)topians. Nothing stops us from protesting in the streets. If we lost numbers, it's because we didn't make demands, we didn't make actions to change the world. We just protested. We made people aware, but once people are aware what next? People have stuff to do. They can't just keep talking about Occupy and protesting if it doesn't bring real change. Look at the people in Zuccotti. You think they would still be there if the cops had not kicked them out? They would have stayed a bit longer, but people can't camp out forever. There comes a time when people get bored and move on. It happens to all protest movements. If Occupy isn't the same now as it was back in Nov 2011 it sure ain't because of bots, puppets, and Libe(t)topians. There ain't no bots and puppets in the streets. The activity on this site is the same on all other Occupy fronts. It slowed down everywhere mate. That is a fact, jack. The best thing we can do it get out of denial and figure out what we could do differently. How can we bring about change? What's the next step? Do you know? I don't.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 4 months ago

Around here?

I'm the one who gets blamed, mate.

as far as libe(R)topians?

Over the years I've provided reams of proof against them. they just continually deny those truths.

[-] -1 points by 4truthbetold (15) from New York, NY 4 months ago

Not just this one. Not only here. Discussion is down on all Occupy sites. Nothing is like it was back in Nov 2011, not even Occupy in the streets. Some say Occupy is dead man. I say we are sleeping. Resting to have more energy in the future. Like a hibernating dragon! Rise up and breathe fire!

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[-] -1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

capitalism vs corporatism vs socialism.

Everyone has a different view of where we currently are. Some on the left say this is unhinged capitalism, others on the right says the nation is fulll fledged socialism. Others think its a perverse blend of the two.

Regardless of where we currently are, something is wrong with us the people. There is very little effort to participate in the system.

Corruption is rampant, and until the level of corruption is dealt with, the system does not matter. They can all go to hell in a handbasket if the populace decides they don't want to be involved.

Its also a reason why I am such a proponent for decentralization. When people do get involved, it needs to be tangible. They need to see their work in action, their progress, and their results.

Attempting to do something and then sending it 1k miles away to a bureaucrat central, tends to destroy motivation. Its now out of sight, out of mind.

People have a problem throwing their money into a bottemless pit, especially when they see the people around that pit printing their own money anyways. But I really don't think people have a problem pitching in on a community basis for basics such as utilities or even hospital upgrades. Which would be socialism at some level.

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

The problem is that this kind of capitalism which subverts democracy amounts to monopoly. The problem with monopoly is that it survives by catering to self-interest. And not only that, capitalism isn't just competition, it's also a race which amounts to shortcuts for profit that sacrifice the integrity of our livelihood. Like GMOs for example. The same people who were screaming that we just don't understand the science are now admitting that, "yeah it's all for profit," since reports of malaffects are coming out.

"Whoever helps society the most is paid the most." Or whoever scams the most.

After giving socialism a lot of consideration lately, it seems pretty obvious that it's not the answer either. But think about it, both are the complete extremes in opposite directions, total democracy versus no democracy, and if there's one thing that always kills the natural world it's the extremes. Nature already knows the secret to Ying and Yang is balance, and I don't think this is any different.

We want things to meet the needs of society, not profit. So not having total private ownership or even total public ownership makes sense. For example public sector utility companies haven't traditionally been successful because they also end up seeing an opportunity for revenue (and decide that's more important). It just might be that having an alternative form regulating the other is a necessary balance.

How does democratic regulation of economic necessities sound?

[-] -2 points by JGriff99mph (507) 4 months ago

The fact that the major regulatory agencies arent democratically elected, but hundreds of useless politicians are, is quite telling.

[-] -1 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

How do you think democracy could really be implemented? Something like citizens being able to vote on every action? What if the best thing to do is something nobody wants to do? Abuse of power comes at no surpise but there's also something good about having people in charge of certain things.

I suppose that was the whole idea behind voting on the people in charge, to have both.

What if citizens just had more power to hire and fire? We are technically the boss of the government. In this kind of situation that things are so bad and the needs of society are clearly not met, we could just roll heads, right? Having a boss like that is usualy enough reason to take your responsibility seriously.

That wouldn't solve the big money monopoly issue though, or could it?

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Actually, regulation causes monopolies. The constitution allows the Federal Government to "regulate interstate commerce", which the founding fathers intended to prevent states from trying to put tariffs on shipments. However, our power-hungry tyrannical government, in the 1930's, decided that a man in one state on his own farm growing his own wheat for his own consumption without ever involving anyone else at all somehow falls under the definition of interstate commerce. Ever since then, every big corporation has sent lobbyists to congress with sob stories on how desperately we need regulations. For example, H&R Block wants the Federal government to require that everyone who does taxes has to have a license. They said they wanted to prevent people getting ripped off by unlicensed tax people. However, there wasn't a significant number of angry customers pushing for the license. The real reason H&R Block wanted the regulations was to prevent small businesses from stealing customers. Obtaining the license is easy for H&R Block, but not for small businesses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLBzfFGFQU

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Maybe regulation is the wrong word because it seems to be loaded with assumptions of political language. I'm just going on "a rule prescribed by authority." But the keyword was democracy.

So let's say there was some democracy to establish things like a ban for GMOs (considering they cause health problems, and are in fact cross polinating). Public safety standards that actually give a damn because they're championed by the people.

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Well, I hope by democracy, you mean republic. A democracy is where the people vote on everything. A republic is where people vote on other people to vote on everything. Three problems with direct democracy:

  1. Unless you live in a small community, it takes too much time to vote on everything. People don't have the time to do everything a government does.

  2. People are not always experienced with law and government. They haven't held small positions in the government before, or been to law school. Corporations would still use lobbyists, and convince people that regulation is need to protect people when it really is to help corporations.

  3. The main issue: A direct democracy quickly becomes a majority rule. It becomes a tyranny of 51% of the people doing whatever they want with 49% of the people.

A republic still represents the people. People vote on congressmen to choose the laws. This is a better system.

It also happens to be the system we use today.

With the GMO thing- If they are truly dangerous, it is the responsibility of the consumer to not buy them. If people want to buy something bad for them, they should be able to. It is the consumer's responsibility to research and be well-informed about products.

Suppose for a second GMOs were not bad for you. This is just an example, I'm not saying whether or not they are bad. Just suppose they were not bad for you.

What if a new, small company had recently started using GMOs, and was gaining tons of customers because of their better food. A big food company is losing a lot of its customers to the new company. In a competitive free market, the big food company would have to start using GMOs, which would be better for both their company and their consumers (remember we're pretending that GMOs are good). If people could regulate with democracy, the big food company would spread rumors about how GMO's are bad, so the people will outlaw them. Even if 48% of the people know GMOs are actually good, they will still be outlawed. Now, you just put a small company out of business, outlawed a good piece of technology, and strengthened a monopolistic company. On top of that, the people who knew GMOs were good can't get them.

If they weren't illegal, 52% of people still wouldn't buy them, but their decision only affects them. Eventually, they would be fully accepted.

Now, GMOs may actually be a bad thing. But if some one does or does not want to buy them, that is up to them and them alone. It's important to research products, and then decide for yourself whether or not you want to buy them.

Government should intervene when people are being affected by something they did not agree to. For example, companies shouldn't be able to (as in an above comment) dump toxic chemicals into a public river.

[-] -3 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

Didn't you read the comment that you've been responding to? Capitalism is not the answer, and neither is totalitarian democracy. That leaves us with needing to figure out some kind of modular balance between private and public.

As an example, yeah people should choose. Unfortunately they don't have to label anything with GMOs, so we can't choose (because they know people will avoid them). It's totally evil.

But GMOs are being proven to cause health problems, and they are in fact being inflicted upon us as a careless experiment. Being an experiment is merely a fact after the actual purpose of profit.

They tried to tell people there's no danger of cross pollination, but guess what, it's cross pollinating. That means this genetic monstrosity of haphazard science is infecting the rest of the food that Nature had given us, and there will be no escaping the consequences of that. Pardon my French, but fuck that. The universe creates something so complex we can only barely understand it, and we're going to spoil all of it with artificial perversion.

[+] -4 points by friedmanmises (-78) 4 months ago

Ok, I see. I thought you were saying GMOs were unhealthy to eat. You meant, GMOs cross pollinate with nature outside of the company's private property, harming everybody. Like I said before, "Government should intervene when people are being affected by something they did not agree to."

So, the government should regulate things like this. But why is Capitalism a bad system? "it's also a race which amounts to shortcuts for profit that sacrifice the integrity of our livelihood." If the shortcuts are in the quality of products, no one will buy them. If it affects everybody, then the government will regulate it. Of course, the government has to make sure that there is enough evidence that the regulation is necessary. Too often, the government passes something that sounds good, when it turns out it was never really needed. If GMOs really do negatively affect the environment, the government will regulate it. Eventually the evidence will become to strong to ignore.

Also, companies that mislabel their products are committing fraud. Like I said, it's important to research products before buying them. If you research, you'll see what companies do. If they hide it, it would be fraud.

[-] -2 points by bullfrogma (448) 4 months ago

That's the whole point, the government is only doing what big money wants, and big money only wants to make money. Other countries banned it. The only reason we haven't is because of that corruption.

The argument against capitalism is huge, and it's all over this forum. Sorry but I'm not going to get into all the fine detail when it's already so prevalent. Check it out and choose to listen or not. It's a race and the monopoly has already won. There's nothing to retain a level of sustainability about it.

With that said, Capitalism is a word that seems to be loaded slightly differently for everyone. Just because a system of pure freedom to exploit doesn't work, doesn't have to mean that something similar couldn't work if there was a way to actually find balance. That balance would have to be an agreement of people, like any constitution, one way or another it would have to be born from democracy.

And i was saying that GMOs are unhealthy. But they refuse to pass that law to label them, so they're not even giving us a means to have a choice. We have no choice. That's what I'm saying.

Cross pollinating is even worse though because it's going to permanently infect everything with this bullshit, haphazard science. The analogue nature of Nature is not something to impulsively mess with.