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    Let's Just Admit It: Capitalism Doesn't Work

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    Published on Monday, November 13, 2017
    by Common Dreams
    Let’s Just Admit It: Capitalism Doesn’t Work
    “In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.”—Fran Lebowitz
    by John Atcheson

     

    “To comprehend the scope of corporate consolidation, imagine a day in the life of a typical American and ask: How long does it take for her to interact with a market that isn’t nearly monopolized?” (Photo: Jonny White/cc/flickr)

     

    In almost every way you examine it, capitalism – at least the relatively unconstrained, free- market variety practiced here in the US and supported by both parties — has been an abysmal failure. Let’s take a close look some of its worst failings.  But first, it must be admitted that when it comes to exploiting people and the planet for the purpose of generating apparent wealth for the few, it has been a smashing success.  More about that notion of “apparent wealth” in a moment, but now, the specifics.

    The logical end-point of a competitive system is an oligarchic monopoly

    A recent report  by UBS reveals that the global march of economic inequality is accelerating.  The report found that the billionaire’s share of wealth grew by nearly 20 percent last year, reaching a level of disparity not seen since 1905, the gilded age.  Interestingly, the first gilded age followed decades of uber-free market laissez-faire policies, just as today’s gilded age has.

    Not surprising, really. Empirical evidence shows that without constraint, markets will proceed toward a winner-take-all status. In short, monopolies and oligopolies. For example, the United States has had three periods of prolonged laissez-faire economic policies, and each was followed by extreme wealth inequality and the three biggest economic crises in US history, such inequality causes.

    Oh, but the magic of competition makes companies compete for our dollar, so they can’t afford to exploit us, right? Not so much.

    The magic elixir of competition doesn’t work—for the simple reason that there isn’t much competition anymore. Having convinced folks that regulation is bad, the Oligarchy is in the midst of a frenzy of mergers that is giving a few large conglomerates control of many of the major market sectors.

    Derrick Thompson, in a recent article in the Atlantic, lays out some of the grim statistics that illustrate the trend. As Thompson writes,

    To comprehend the scope of corporate consolidation, imagine a day in the life of a typical American and ask: How long does it take for her to interact with a market that isn’t nearly monopolized? She wakes up to browse the Internet, access to which is sold through a local monopoly. She stocks up on food at a superstore such as Walmart, which owns a quarter of the grocery market. If she gets indigestion, she might go to a         pharmacy, likely owned by one of three companies controlling 99 percent of that market. If she’s stressed and wants to relax outside the shadow of an oligopoly, she’ll have to stay away from ebooks, music, and beer; two companies control more than half     of all sales in each of these markets. There is no escape—literally. She can try boarding an airplane, but four corporations control 80 percent of the seats on domestic flights.

    The consolidation of the media is yet another example; just six corporations now control 90 percent of the market. And of course, there’s the inconvenient fact that the “too-big-to-fail” banks that were a major cause of the 2008 Great Recession are now bigger and fewer.

    This concentration of market power translates into lower wages, fewer jobs, and higher prices – exactly the opposite of what the neoclassical economic theory embraced by capitalists tells us will happen when we remove regulatory constraints – and exactly the opposite of what the Republicans’ trickle-down myth says will happen. Or what the neoliberal Democrats tell us, for that matter.

    But it also gives the wealthy control over our political system, and the people have gotten wise to it.  That’s why a little over a quarter of the eligible voters were able to put Trump in power – most of the rest of us are completely turned off by a political system that’s clearly for sale and so, increasingly, many do not show up to vote.

    That control has expressed itself in policies that result in extreme income disparities between the increasingly few haves and the expanding have-nots. Today, just five people have as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people comprising the least wealthy half of the world’s population, and nowhere in the developed world is the problem as acute as it is in America.  The system is rigged, and our belief in capitalism and the power of the magic markets is what allowed that.

    Now, about that “apparent wealth”

    We measure our wealth in currency.  But currency is simply a surrogate for real wealth, which is based on natural capital and labor.  The problem with this is that natural capital is limited, while the amount of currency is limitless.  For example, the value of the derivatives has been estimated to be as high as $1.2 trillion, or nearly 20 times the size of the global GDP.  So what?  Well, since:

    currency is merely a claim made against real wealth, not wealth itself; and
    currency has the capacity to grow infinitely; but
    natural capital, the source of real wealth is finite …

    That means we are creating claims on natural capital that exceeds the planet’s capacity to provide it.  In short, we are essentially creating debt for future generations and calling it wealth creation.

    So-called externalities exceed the size of the global economy

    Economists have long recognized that not all benefits and costs are mediated in the marketplace, and they refer to these as “externalities.” Typically, an externality is imposed on a third party that is not part of a transaction, such as people suffering asthma from pollution.  The way we have dealt with these in the past is to use regulations, taxes, subsidies and property rights to try to internalize externalities – that is, to impose a price on them.  But neoliberals and conservatives have been backing off that approach and the Trump administration is in the midst of a frenzy of regulatory rollbacks that is unprecedented.

    But the costs of this denial are staggering.

    Because what has become obvious in the last few decades is that so-called externalities actually exceed the size of the global economy.  That is, the value of things which we don’t price or exchange in the market but which impose costs on society is much larger than those that we do. For example, a team led by Robert Costanza found that the annual value of just seventeen “ecosystem services” exceeds $142.7 trillion dollars in 2014 dollars. To put that in perspective, the global world product—the total value of all goods and services measured in the market—was only a little over $78 trillion that year. Thus, our entire economic system routinely ignores values that are nearly twice those we measure. That’s one reason Costanza et al. also determined that some $23 trillion worth of “ecosystem services” had been destroyed between 1997 and 2014, and not a single penny of this vast sum was registered in conventional macroeconomic accounting.  Worse, capitalists called this wealth creation.

    Ecosystem services include such things as pollination from bees; flood control from wetlands; incubation of fisheries in coral reefs, among others.  In fact, the maintenance of atmospheric oxygen – a fundamental prerequisite of life – is an “ecosystem service” we don’t price and take for granted.

    The big granddaddy of all externalities is climate change, which would cost future generations as much as $530 trillion dollars if we don’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    And yet conventional economics is totally blind to this staggering amount.  Indeed, the practice of discounting the future, a commonly accepted convention in economic theory, actively discourages the kind of responses needed.

    So there you have it.  We embrace capitalism, a system which leads inevitably to oligopolies, monopolies and obscene income disparities; a system which confuses currency with wealth, encouraging unsustainable consumption of natural capital, the source of real wealth; a system which considers the life-sustaining value of natural systems as “external” to our economic concerns

    To make matters worse, our capitalist belief system relies on an infinitely growing economy in a finite world – a folly of monstrous proportions.  And now, with Trump, Ryan and the rest of the wrecking crew, we are doubling down on the uber-free market system that is, literally, killing us, and the Democrats, as usual, mumble lame protestations, and suggest half-measures, too afraid to take on the Myth of the Magic Markets, or to cross their campaign financiers.

     

    Link: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/13/lets-just-admit-it-capitalism-doesnt-work

     

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    • Enthusiast (10167 posts)
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      1. If the proponents of capitalism had only exercised a bit of restraint.

      Dismantle the fair media, dismantle depression era protections against the excesses of Wall Street, allow unlimited political bribery and that’s all folks. We are fucked.

      Notice how they didn’t pull this shit until there was no longer any Soviet Union. I don’t know the significance to this for sure but it doesn’t look like a coincidence.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide."  Frank Church "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, 1848
      • duckpin (5360 posts)
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        2. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the "invasion" of the Harvard Boys – Sachs

        and other Friedmanites – to sell off people owned and operated industry to the worst elements of Russian society in the name of capitalism, freed  a lot of money and military personnel to exploit other regions of the world. The people of the former Soviet Union, even though it was an autocratic state, had jobs, pensions, and places to live. Under Yeltsin, who squelched the nascent democratization, Russia once again descended into authoritarianism except this time it was bandit capitalism in the driver’s seat and people had their standard of living drastically cut for the benefit of private wealth.

        The problem for monopoly capital today is that Russia under Putin is advancing in world wide authority and the core of monopoly capitalism in Japan, Canada/USA, and NW Europe does not want their influence eroded.

        "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
        • jerry611 (351 posts)
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          11. But Putin I don't really think is doing much good for Russia

          Putin’s intentions is not to bring back the Soviet Union, but what he wants to do is try to regain the economic clout that the Soviet Union once had. In his mind, the Russia today would be better able to maintain and make it successful under a more capitalist environment. He essentially wants a bi-polar world, not one where capitalism is rivaling communism, but one were you have two capitalist powers orbiting each other.

          But Putin seems to be trying too hard to make this happen overnight. And it is sort of counter-productive because he’s trying to do it with authoritarianism and bullying, which is hampering growth. Russia is doing somewhat “OK” economically. But they are not booming, and they are WAY too reliant on energy commodities. They don’t really have any super-rich allies. Yeah, there is China. But the Chinese always seem kind of ‘meh’ when Putin shows up with some evil plan of world domination that always seems to put Moscow in the center. Right now, China doesn’t have a problem with the west economically the way Putin does. Right now, the Chinese are expanding and putting a lot of money into western investments and property. Why would they want to weaken that only to make Moscow stronger? Makes no sense. So who does Russia have left in its sphere? Not much. And that’s why they are desperate to hold on to Ukraine and other FSRs.

          I know the CIA and others view Putin as a major threat. But I really don’t right now. Russia has the GDP of the state of California and half the population of the United States. And this isn’t going to change anytime soon with the way Putin is running things. What he should be doing is putting in place policy that would bring money and people into Russia. He really needs to build up a financial infrastructure and develop a more multi-sector economy. Right now, Russia is a place where anyone with the brain and the means wants to leave. There are more people going out than coming in. That’s always a bad sign.

          • duckpin (5360 posts)
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            13. I certainly did not mean to imply Putin wants a return to the Soviet model and

            I don’t think I did, but if so, it does not reflect my views and I misstated.

            Putin seems all in for authoritarian capitalism and I agree with you that he wants Russia to be at least an equal of the USA as a military power and have the perks that go with that status. It is easier to become a dominant military power than an economic one and Russia has the Soviet experience to fall back on.

            I think the main driver, though not the only one, is that eastern Ukraine is  dominated by the Russians who live there. With the broken promise of NATO not expanding to Russia’s borders, eastern Ukraine is a bit of a buffer.

            As to super-rich allies, Germany and France are putting distance between themselves and the USA and NATO so we may be entering an era of nationalism and Cold War treaties won’t mean as much.

            "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
      • Coldmountaintrail (2997 posts)
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        18. re the USSR: people have been saying the same for decades, and

        in fact, many predicted the same at the time of the breakup of the ussr, while the crowds were cheering.

        (i was one of the oracles)

        meanwhile, many predicted how lovely the world would be with the soviets gone

        peace, freedom, no more war, and no more war spending = utopia

        yet here we are in hell

        but see, they all need ‘the enemy’ — they need it like a drug

        • duckpin (5360 posts)
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          22. B'but the "Peace dividend" – I fugure it'll kick in pretty soon.

          I read about politicians talking about the peace dividend so we know the Big Lie was in force.

          It was time to go all imperialism, all the time.

          "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
          • Coldmountaintrail (2997 posts)
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            24. i remember them talking about it, and it wasn't all that long

            ago – bush 1/clinton admin

            • duckpin (5360 posts)
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              26. Question: What did you spend your "peace dividend on" : )

              It’s all part of the big con, right?

              Cheers and thanks again for the OP’s  and posts.

              "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "
    • mmonk (1820 posts)
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      3. Thanks WillyT.

      ✔️

      • WillyT (10117 posts)
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        15. Anytime mmonk … Anytime…

        :fistbump:

        :hi:

         

    • misanthroptimist (750 posts)
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      4. The fact that externalities exist makes capitalism unworkable

      However, even within its own rules capitalism suffers massive defects. Most of those defects were noted in Wealth of Nations, believe it or not.

      Capitalism is a bit like drug addiction. Capitalists chase increasingly high highs…and then crash to earth. Unlike drug addicts, though, the effects of a crash among capitalists affects others dramatically and involuntarily. Interestingly, these crashes are largely ignored by proponents of capitalism. Again, much like any pusher, only the highs are discussed. That the crashes cause untold suffering among the innocent and that such crashes can be extremely prolonged in the absence of government intervention are ignored.

      Capitalism when it does succeed doesn’t succeed because of its alleged efficiency; it succeeds because the sheer amount of economic activity virtually guarantees that someone, somewhere, will succeed at something. The capitalists then swoop in to invest and take their cut, crowing about the benefits of their system.

      That’s not to say that capitalism is of no benefit. However, a good deal of the progress of the last few hundred years has been incorrectly laid at the feet of capitalism. That progress is better attributed to the Scientific Revolution and the breaking down of class barriers.

      "We watched the tragedy unfold; We did as we were told; We bought and sold; It was the greatest show on Earth; But then it's over" -Roger Waters, Amused to Death
      • mmonk (1820 posts)
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        5. Very good point.

      • Ohio Barbarian (5159 posts)
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        7. Adam Smith had all sorts of warnings about capitalism in his 1776 book that all

        were ignored and all came true. I learned that from reading one of his biggest fans, Karl Marx, who attributed all sorts of things he wrote about to Smith. No Adam Smith, no Karl Marx. How’s that for irony?

        Ignorance is the foundation of tyranny.   
    • daleanime (2483 posts)
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      6. Bookmarked

      When the going gets tough, the tough take care of each other
    • Ohio Barbarian (5159 posts)
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      8. Externalities. Fascinating. And very true.

      Ignorance is the foundation of tyranny.   
    • GZeusH (2197 posts)
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      9. It works for the greedy fuckers.

      Not so well for people into the 6 other deadly sins.

      Policy:  The mistaken notion that bossy people have that they can influence other people's behavior through majority rule.
      • BillZBubb (2804 posts)
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        10. Well put.

        If your greed surpasses your honesty and your humanity, capitalism can be very rewarding.

        DemExit! Don't give the Democrats a dime. Don't identify as a Democrat. Drop Democratic identification below 20%. Only then will they support true progressive policy. Until then, corporate money rules.
      • Coldmountaintrail (2997 posts)
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        19. +++

    • Robert From NC (296 posts)
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      12. I do recognise these problems, However, what is the solution?

      I do think that a lot of the problems that the article mentions can be attributed to unregulated capitalism. However, not even Bernie Sanders wants to completely get rid of capitalism, he has defended the capitalistic mode of production as the best way to produce goods and services, and the so called Social Democratic or Democratic Socialist countries,(which Bernie wants the US to be)which are the wealthiest and have the highest standard of living, are still technically capitalist even though there are major differences separating their economic system from ours. They have not eliminated capitalism, they just have strong unions with collective bargaining rights, progressive taxation, a public pension, universal healthcare and strong public education at all levels, regulations to protect workers, consumers, the environment, and prevent/break up monopolies, and a universal welfare state that provides generous benefits for those who need it. They also most likely spend money on things like roads and infrastructure to stimulate the economy when it needs it(Keynesianism).

       

       

      "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Progressive" "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." George Carlin "Formerly known here as Robert Thomas 85"
      • davidgmills (5667 posts)
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        27. How China is Kicking the World's Ass and Proving Marx Right

        http://www.unz.com/article/how-can-western-capitalism-beat-this/

        Mods:  I realize that the article is from unz.  But there is nothing in this article that is in any way objectionable and it is a very good analysis of what is going on in China.

        The article is called “How Can Western Capitalism Beat This?  It Can’t.”

        The author  goes on to explain that China’s combination of Communism, Socialism and a smidgen of Capitalism is leaving the West in the dust.

        In June, 2017, an instructive meeting took place between California Governor Jerry Brown and Chinese President Xi Jinping. While talking about climate change, the topic of high speed trains (HST) came up. Governor Brown supposedly lamented that his state has not been able to build even one puny HST line, since his governor-father began pushing for it back in the 1950s.

        Why? While China is zeroing in on 30,000km of HST track, more than the rest of the world combined, along with hundreds of architecturally inspiring train stations to serve them, California has 2,000 lawsuits fighting its proposal. Why? Greedy capitalists and their purchased government employees and representatives are fighting each other for the loot, like cannibals in a kill pit of corruption, while selfish citizens are putting their individual interests ahead of the greater good. The latter is called NIMBY, Not in My Backyard.

        Here are some video examples about how China is kicking the rest of the world’s ass in construction and infrastructure.

        How about watching a 57 story building go up in 19 days?

        Or the 10 craziest Engineering Projects in China

        So China now has an infrastructure that has blown past ours. The largest dam in the world for electricity. The fastest computers. The best high speed rail in the world (20,000 miles of it ) with a billion passengers using the system, the best bridges in the world, the longest bridges in the world, the second longest tunnel and the ability to build skyscrapers in the blink of an eye. That doesn’t even address its manufacturing capability.

        And he goes on to point out that this success is not the success of Capitalism but Marxism, Socialism and Communism instead.

        ut most of these Chinese fintech outfits are private sector, so they are capitalist, right?Not when they work in a centrally planned country with no private real estate and the top 100 industrial sectors are fully or majority people owned, including banks and insurance companies. Why is Jack Ma so rich and his company, Alibaba so successful? Because Baba Beijing mapped it all out for him, provided a stable economic system, protected his markets and early on offered subsidies with which he could prosper. Jack Ma is a communist-socialist capitalist (weird, I know). He says things like, Today, making money is very simple. But making sustainable money while being responsible to society and improving the world is very difficult. The last Western capitalists I heard talk like that were the founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and those fake hippies sold out to transnational behemoth Unilever for a cool $326 million in 2000. So much for being responsible to society and improving the world.

        He gives a lot credit to Mao.  Mao killed of the “bourgeois” class in the worst extermination ever — about 75 million people making Hilter and Stalin look like chumps.  But the end result was that the ruling class was demolished. Made the French Revolution look like child’s play.  Anything that smacked of Capitalism was destroyed.  Private property — for one thing.  And most notably the nationalization of all of China’s banks.

        What I think the primary reason for this success, is not that the “bourgeois” was killed off, though that is a certainly a big part of it, is that China has nationalized its banks.  Nationalizing banks gives countries a tremendous advantage over a private banking system.

        Why the tremendous advantage?  A private bank will only lend when it appears to be a good bet that the enterprise will be profitable.  A national bank will also lend when there is something that needs to be done even when it is likely the enterprise would not be profitable.  So a sovereign government that has nationalized its banks can finance lots of things the private banks will not.  In the west, private banks control the entire capitalist system.  Even in Europe, in the so called Democratic Socialist countries, those countries are forced to operate under a private banking system that blocks much of what needs to be done.

        But China has shown that its national banking system will finance things that are needed for the public good or for public infrastructure.  It can severely limit “externalities.” And it and finance its enterprises to go steal the technology from the rest of the world.

        Remember how we have always been told that socialism doesn’t work from an economic point of view?  China has demolished that myth.  And the capitalists can no longer deny it.

        Sanders of course has used the Democratic Socialist countries of Europe as an example of socialism that works.  But to many Americans these countries are not all the successful (reason being is that their success has been hampered severely by the EU’s private banking system).  He might be better off using China as a model of financial success.  It is hard to deny China’s financial success when nearly everything that Americans now own is made in China or made with parts from China.

         

        French Revolution; not secession.
        • Robert From NC (296 posts)
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          28. Nationalizing the banks

          does not make a country socialist, who owns the means of production(factories, farms, natural resources, and businesses) determines the type of economic system.  Also, I thought it was common knowledge that China was no longer communist in the economic sense, that they have adopted capitalistic economic system. In addition, while China’s economy has improved tremendously since making changes to their economy, their economy is still very unequal and working conditions are very bad. The Nordic countries have a higher GDP per capita, median income, standard of living, and more social mobility/economic opportunity than China.

          "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Progressive" "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." George Carlin "Formerly known here as Robert Thomas 85"
          • davidgmills (5667 posts)
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            29. As I understand it, Marx was pretty clear about the need to nationalize banks.

            I had always thought until recently, Marx did not really understand Rothschild’s (attributed to him anyway) comment:  “Let me issue the money and I care not who makes it’s laws.”

            But I seem to have been wrong about that.  Marx did understand that the government needed to control the issuance of money and the banking system.  And without doing so, it is almost impossible to have enterprises where the people own the means of production.  Private banks are going to almost always insist they do not.  And private banks will take liens on everything, which means that owner of property only has equitable title and not legal title.  To actually own something you need both.

            My point about the Nordic countries is that the private banking system of Europe has really held these countries back.  Look at what happened to Sweden with Volvo and Saab.  Both companies are now owned by Chinese companies because they could not get satisfactory financing in the EU.  So both companies lost lots of jobs and the manufacturing is headed to China and jobs are hemorrhaging.

            By the way I just took that thread and started an OP with it.  Maybe we should continue the discussion  there.

            https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/how-china-is-kicking-the-worlds-ass-and-proving-marx-right/

            French Revolution; not secession.
            • Robert From NC (296 posts)
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              33. I will check out that thread,

              but my point was that China is far from being communist, much less socialist, at least in terms of it’s economic system, despite the fact that it’s banking system is owned by the government. The Nordic countries are not perfect, but they are probably in better shape than the rest of the world.

              "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Progressive" "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." George Carlin "Formerly known here as Robert Thomas 85"
      • mmonk (1820 posts)
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        30. Hey Robert, it's me. The problem is today's politics.

        When I was younger, it was recognized that capitalism needed to be taxed and regulated so as to work beneficial to a country and society. Since the Powell memo, it was changed to corporations should have no restraints, just a high stock price and that would take care of everything and tax paid services to the public became a hinderance to prosperity .

        • Robert From NC (296 posts)
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          32. I am arguing that

          we need to at least get back to that time when capitalism needed to be taxed and regulated so as to work for all and be beneficial to a country and society, not the other way around, or better yet, become like the so called democratic socialist or social democratic countries of Europe. However, while those countries do have socialist policies and are governed according to a socialist philosophy, they are technically still capitalist in terms of what kind of economic system they have because the mode of producing goods and services is still under private ownership.

          "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Progressive" "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." George Carlin "Formerly known here as Robert Thomas 85"
    • peacecorps (3901 posts)
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      14. Unfettered "American" capitalism is a disaster. "Scandinavian" ('FDR')capitalism

      has been quite successful.

      • Coldmountaintrail (2997 posts)
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        20. scandinavian capitalism has a dark belly

    • rampart (110 posts)
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      16. this needs a kick

      i’m not sure what the solution is. i like a mom and pop level of free markets, but it does not take mom very long to realize that competing on price is a road to bankruptcy, and that economies of scale allow higher profit margins.

       

      the role of government in capitalism must be significent. the very existance of money, protection from robbery or fraud, standardization of weights and measures etc etc etc etc can only be provided by a sovereign power.

       

       

    • Coldmountaintrail (2997 posts)
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      17. "we are essentially creating debt for future generations…

      “we are essentially creating debt for future generations and calling it wealth creation”

      and so is the global economy generally, apparently, as the same trends are visible nearly everywhere one looks

    • Aldroud (635 posts)
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      21. I disagree

      No other economic system has succeeded in raising more humans out of abject poverty/primitivism.  What we see in successful socialist societies today (Norse countries, although they have their own issues) are a system evolved out of a capitalist system and living off the wealth accumulated during a capitalist phase.  I fully expect the evolution of a post-scarcity economy to lead to a more “communist” economic model, but it won’t get there without the build up of wealth from capitalism.

      • davidgmills (5667 posts)
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        31. See post 27 and 29 about how China is blowing capitalism away

        With its Marxist and Socialist form of government.

        French Revolution; not secession.
        • Aldroud (635 posts)
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          34. I saw them. They're wrong.

          China is not a Marxist nor Socialist form of government any longer.  It’s a command performance capitalist system.  Did we forget about the entire swath of new Chinese billionaires to grace the scene?  Alibaba ring a bell?

          • davidgmills (5667 posts)
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            35. Alibaba, Yeah. Billionaires do not make it a capitalist form of government

            They existed in the Soviet Union.  Nobody ever called the Soviet Union capitalist.

            French Revolution; not secession.
    • joentokyo (642 posts)
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      23. I always wonder why capitalists tout themselves as realists when they obviously

      live in a fantasy fairyland.

      “For what can war, but endless war, still breed?” ~John Milton
    • duckpin (5360 posts)
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      25. Approx. 3 billion people exist, or try to, on $2 per day. Most lack access

      to clean water, electric power, sewer service, and health care. Many are in this state because global monopoly capital has removed them from their land, where they  practiced sustainable agriculture or were engaged in artisan type work or maintained a small business, so that plantations growing export crops for the rich areas of the world to consume could replace them. Before, the people were food secure; now, they are food insecure. Having to move to urban slums to try and eke out a living, women and children suffer disproportionately because in the traditional way of life, women grew a large percentage of the food.  Men try to bring in some money in the casual labor force.

      I disagree with the statement that capitalism is not working. It is working the same as it always did when industrial capitalism first arose in England and  southern Scotland. English officials collected data on how the working class was fed and it showed that tainted bread and tea made up most of the diet. Some were able to eat 2 pounds of bread a day; others got less. Meat from diseased sheep and still born cattle was sold to the working class.

       

      The maintenance of a permanent group of unemployed was also part of capitalism’s model to suppress wages and for almost 200 years it has worked well. Immiseration of large numbers of humanity is a byproduct of capitalism.

      Through all this, wealth has continued to flow to the capitalist class from all over the world and ends up concentrated among the very wealthy few in the core countries of Japan, Canada/USA and NW Europe. Reinvestment of profits in the exploited global south is scant at best.

      "The justness of individual land right is  not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged "