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Old 12-08-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,970 posts, read 9,681,267 times
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Capitalism is the most important invention of Mankind since the dawn of history.

Capitalism, a system of allocation of capital to its highest value uses, has raised more people out of poverty than any other mechanism developed by mankind. Capitalism has led to more well-being than any other force yet devised.

Profit is a measure of effective value-add to society: the more profit, the more value add. It is because of the profit motive that businesses focus on adding more value to society. Thus, via the profit motive, the private sector allocates scarce capital to its highest value-add so that everyone is better off.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:07 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
27,026 posts, read 58,660,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Capitalism is the most important invention of Mankind since the dawn of history.
Meh. Where it has found success the far more critical component is the RULE OF LAW
that allows all parties to function within a known set of standards and expectations.
Most social democracies and many socialist systems also have that and do quite well for all.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,850 posts, read 1,287,160 times
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This isn't an argument against capitalism, per se. It's especially not an argument against controlled capitalism, which may be the only economic system humans can maintain for the long stretch without considerable social evolution. (There certainly aren't a lot of successful counterexamples, not of any significant scale and not for more than about a generation if more than a decade.)

But any argument that "capitalism is good, therefore unlimited, rampant, predatory 'free market' capitalism is gooder" is reductive nonsense.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,970 posts, read 9,681,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Meh. Where it has found success the far more critical component is the RULE OF LAW
There are many prerequisites, including a well developed concept of property rights and courts to enforce them.

At the end of the day, Capitalism is the most powerful force for good yet devised.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:37 AM
 
5,296 posts, read 2,407,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbiz1 View Post
"When the left and right speak of capitalism today, they are telling stories about an imaginary state. The unbridled, competitive free markets that the right cherishes donít exist today. The left attacks the grotesque capitalism we see today, as if that were the true manifestation of the essence of capitalism rather than the distorted version it has become."
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...talism-exposed
The article is spot on the money.
We do not have capitalism in this country.

Quote:
Online news sites helpfully explained what had happened with headlines like, ďAirlines Can Treat You Like Garbage Because They Are an Oligopoly.Ē Once investors started focusing on Unitedís dominant market position, the stock price in fact went up.

The analysts were right. The American skies have gone from an open market with many competing airlines to a cozy oligopoly with four major airlines.
Vice President Wallace said it best years ago:


They claim to be super-patriots but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection." VP Wallace on Fascism 1944
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:02 AM
 
2,321 posts, read 1,460,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
This isn't an argument against capitalism, per se. It's especially not an argument against controlled capitalism, which may be the only economic system humans can maintain for the long stretch without considerable social evolution. (There certainly aren't a lot of successful counterexamples, not of any significant scale and not for more than about a generation if more than a decade.)

But any argument that "capitalism is good, therefore unlimited, rampant, predatory 'free market' capitalism is gooder" is reductive nonsense.
Literally no one suggests that totally unregulated capitalism is the best choice. And, that’s not even close to what we have in America.

But you’ve yet to articulate why charging someone to take a nap only if they want to is predatory. Also, property rights matter. If I’m the owner of a space...and I choose to rent out that space in increments for people who have chosen to pay me for the right to do so, who are you to say that’s wrong?

And again, do you have an issue being charged for bottled water or vending machine/street cart food?
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,850 posts, read 1,287,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J746NEW View Post
We do not have capitalism in this country.
We do not have some idealized, limited, play-fair form of capitalism, no. But otherwise this notion is just dicking around with semantics: we have a fairly pure form of capitalism that is allowed to run rampant until its leash is yanked. Then the good doggie finds another way to get what it wants. Yank, run, yank, run... and the leash has all but been dropped in the current administration.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,850 posts, read 1,287,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
Literally no one suggests that totally unregulated capitalism is the best choice. And, thatís not even close to what we have in America.
What we have is pretty far from the Econ 101 notion of a self-balancing, limited form - you know, the one that fits in a pretty (colored) (3D, these days) diagram on about page 125. And there are multiple levels of viewpoint: to focus on the accounting and regulation as the whole is to pretty much miss the bigger picture. Economics almost never, ever asks, "Why?" but is intensely concerned with the mechanics of how the system is working/works/should work. Fascinating stuff, as it goes, but not terribly relevant to consumer reality except that it drives impersonal and inhuman practices - and smugly justifies them. The meticulousness of the accounting and statistics is presented as justification that the theories are correct... until they're not and are blithely rewritten to support the desired conclusions.

If it isn't clear, my viewpoint begins with "Why?" and pretty much pushes the mechanics aside. I'm concerned more with what might be seen as the driver's behavior (and its effect on the passengers) than, say, the endless complexity of the fluid flows in the transmission. That micro-detail seems to absorb most attention in the field, both practice and journalism, and misdirect some of the most important discussions in favor of almost meaningless technical arguments. If the numbers add up, the discussion is done... and that's about where I pick up the thread.

Quote:
But youíve yet to articulate why charging someone to take a nap only if they want to is predatory. Also, property rights matter. If Iím the owner of a space...and I choose to rent out that space in increments for people who have chosen to pay me for the right to do so, who are you to say thatís wrong?
In a pure economic discussion, there's no argument here. You've got an asset that people can be made to pay for. Do the math, check the accounting, pay those awful taxes and we're done.

Well, you're done, and most who "discuss economics" are, too. I'm just getting started.

A disclaimer: This limited venue tends to compress exchanges, and it's a bit too easy to go from a general statement (our economic system is fundamentally predatory) to an absurdist example (selling naps is predatory). I see selling naps to grownup mall rats as a symptom of the problem: possibly close to benign in itself, but something that would be an instant fail and fodder for late-night humor had we not been conditioned, as a society, into the notion that everything (including being allowed to close our eyes for a few minutes) must perforce be a monetized event.

And from that seed of paying for a nap, you can build upwards to the structure where individuals and families are nothing more than economic batteries, expending their lives and days and time and labor simply to maximize the income that can be scraped off of them in increasingly predatory ways.

That's a sick system. A fundamentally sick system. And it's been so slowly woven into modern life and so deeply rationalized and touted as some kind of bedrock reality that you - make that I - practically have to kick someone in the head to get them to see past the razzle-dazzle. But it's damned pleasant to see awareness rise from the murky illusion when I do.

Quote:
And again, do you have an issue being charged for bottled water or vending machine/street cart food?
These are not equivalent things, but the short answer is no. I have many, many issues with bottled water that is sold at premium prices because it is intensively marketed as "better" or whatever, especially if it originates more than about 100 miles from where it's consumed. Prepared food is a different kettle of halal - not without issues, but not nearly the same thing as something that's available for free like drinking water.

And again, if it's not clear, this is hardly a new line of thinking for me; I have simply found the newish term hypercapitalism to be a splendid and needed description of the problem.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:15 PM
 
2,321 posts, read 1,460,188 times
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Blah blah blah. Spare me the we’re all stuck in economics 101 and you’re on some next level understanding.

So it’s not the nap you care about...it’s the symptoms of people being used like a battery...ok. I mean, at the end of the day, selling your labor is selling the most personal and valuable thing you have; your time. As Erin brocovich said during her famous “bonus rant” in her film, what could be more personal than time away from my kids? Does the idea of labor being used by business to eek out profit upset you too?

The economy has all kinds of things for sale to (potentially)deal with the stress from work. YogA. Alcohol? Junk food? Do these things all upset your sensibilities? Is that weekly massage to cope with stress a sinister statement about how an employer uses its people?

I don’t see how selling water or vending machine food is any different from selling a nap. Those are also basic human needs just like sleep..but you’ll pay a premium for it if it’s at a time and place that’s limited. That doesn’t mean you have to do it.

And it’s not like selling naps would be applicable anywhere. It would only be in the highest pace metros where space is at the highest premium. I’ve traveled for business. I would have paid for a nap. Why not?

You’ve also offered no actual solution of how to tell people what they can do with their personal property. There’s a willing buyer and a willing seller. It’s not illegal or a moral issue imo, so what’s your solution? Who gets to set the rules, if not the two arms length partners in the transaction? You?
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,850 posts, read 1,287,160 times
Reputation: 5381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
Blah blah blah. Spare me the we’re all stuck in economics 101 and you’re on some next level understanding.
You've nailed it, there.

The rest of your post is as conventional, basic economic thought as it's possible to state, without the slightest hint of being able to think outside that tiny concrete box. You don't even seem to catch the irony. You were that very earnest student in the front row, weren't you?

Q.E.D.
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