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Old 03-12-2010, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,612,521 times
Reputation: 3351

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I had the privilege of watching "Capitalism - A Love Story" the other night, which was a real eye-opener to say the least.

This film got me to thinking about how the modern American "capitalistic" system has strayed away from basic moral values. This was plainly obvious in the movie's depiction of the 700-billion dollar bailout of "too big to fail" banks and other financial institutions over the protests of the American electorate.

But I'm not here to discuss the film (no hating on Michael Moore in this thread, please. ). Instead, I would like to bring to the debate table the juxtaposition of the capitalistic system and basic moral values that's shared among the majority of us.

In the world of business, the owner / manager / CEO has one goal in mind: To make money. If it's all "legal", it's all well and good, right? After all, it's the American way, to do business as one pleases. But what about the environmental, social and economic costs of doing business? "Externalizing costs," as they put it. The very idea of being a capitalist is producing the most for the least amount of money spent. It's hardly ever the TRUE cost of doing business - as some of these costs invariably get passed along to someone else.

The Wal-Mart example is a good one to look at - By paying sub-standard wages and too little in the way of health insurance, a good number of their employees have to rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs (food stamps, etc). Simply put, my taxes and yours go towards to supporting the cost of Wal-Mart doing business. Is this moral? I think not. Is it capitalistic? Of course it is. Wal-Mart is after all known as America's great success story. Wal-Mart is capitalistic through and through, but they sure aren't a moral institution.

And I could spend all day pointing out the legion of corporate wrong-doings, corporations being unethical in more ways then we can count, not to mention the most blatant incident of "cost externalization," the Great Bail-Out Scam of 2008. (And yes, it was a scam. There ain't a soul on God's green Earth that will convince me otherwise). But what I would like to do in this thread is to have a debate on how this country could reconcile our capitalistic system with the general moral value system most of us share in this country. And I'd like to explore ways how this country could get away from Big Corp Government and move back towards the idealistic ideas of our Founding Fathers, while preserving the modern principles of taking care of the elderly and other people in need, such as our Social Security and Medicare programs that are cherished by liberal and conservatives alike.

As for my personal beliefs, I do think capitalism, at least as it's practiced today, is an utter failure. Unless some big changes take place soon, this country is economically doomed. Our jobs have been shipped overseas to save money, our industry has been exported to the other side of the world to boost corporate earnings, and our best and brightest are shunted into financial services to devise new and inventive ways of hoovering up money casino-style, knowing full well that the American taxpayer is standing by to socialize their bad bets. I just find it very difficult to be optimistic about our current capitalistic model going forward from the year 2010. Not that I'm advocating socialism (ohhh, such a dreadful word to say, huh? ) or anything, but I just don't think this country can progress with the way we allow business, big business in particular, to run roughshod over people's basic needs and desires.

Any and all opinions on this topic are highly welcome and appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:35 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,173,513 times
Reputation: 3889
First of all, nobody should take any Michael Moore film as anything more than it is: Bad comedy.

That said, ANY economic form/structure has the potential for both incredible good and incredible evil. Capitalism can be very moral, or extremely immoral - just like any other system.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: South Jordan, Utah
6,801 posts, read 7,368,182 times
Reputation: 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
I had the privilege of watching "Capitalism - A Love Story" the other night, which was a real eye-opener to say the least.

This film got me to thinking about how the modern American "capitalistic" system has strayed away from basic moral values. This was plainly obvious in the movie's depiction of the 700-billion dollar bailout of "too big to fail" banks and other financial institutions over the protests of the American electorate.

But I'm not here to discuss the film (no hating on Michael Moore in this thread, please. ). Instead, I would like to bring to the debate table the juxtaposition of the capitalistic system and basic moral values that's shared among the majority of us.

In the world of business, the owner / manager / CEO has one goal in mind: To make money. If it's all "legal", it's all well and good, right? After all, it's the American way, to do business as one pleases. But what about the environmental, social and economic costs of doing business? "Externalizing costs," as they put it. The very idea of being a capitalist is producing the most for the least amount of money spent. It's hardly ever the TRUE cost of doing business - as some of these costs invariably get passed along to someone else.

The Wal-Mart example is a good one to look at - By paying sub-standard wages and too little in the way of health insurance, a good number of their employees have to rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs (food stamps, etc). Simply put, my taxes and yours go towards to supporting the cost of Wal-Mart doing business. Is this moral? I think not. Is it capitalistic? Of course it is. Wal-Mart is after all known as America's great success story. Wal-Mart is capitalistic through and through, but they sure aren't a moral institution.

And I could spend all day pointing out the legion of corporate wrong-doings, corporations being unethical in more ways then we can count, not to mention the most blatant incident of "cost externalization," the Great Bail-Out Scam of 2008. (And yes, it was a scam. There ain't a soul on God's green Earth that will convince me otherwise). But what I would like to do in this thread is to have a debate on how this country could reconcile our capitalistic system with the general moral value system most of us share in this country. And I'd like to explore ways how this country could get away from Big Corp Government and move back towards the idealistic ideas of our Founding Fathers, while preserving the modern principles of taking care of the elderly and other people in need, such as our Social Security and Medicare programs that are cherished by liberal and conservatives alike.

As for my personal beliefs, I do think capitalism, at least as it's practiced today, is an utter failure. Unless some big changes take place soon, this country is economically doomed. Our jobs have been shipped overseas to save money, our industry has been exported to the other side of the world to boost corporate earnings, and our best and brightest are shunted into financial services to devise new and inventive ways of hoovering up money casino-style, knowing full well that the American taxpayer is standing by to socialize their bad bets. I just find it very difficult to be optimistic about our current capitalistic model going forward from the year 2010. Not that I'm advocating socialism (ohhh, such a dreadful word to say, huh? ) or anything, but I just don't think this country can progress with the way we allow business, big business in particular, to run roughshod over people's basic needs and desires.

Any and all opinions on this topic are highly welcome and appreciated.
Most of what Moore focused on was not capitalism. I just read the following article last night, good timing!

Capitalism: a brilliantly confused story
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor, 19 October 2009

What is capitalism? It is the free market. It is private enterprise. It is a label for the economies of the world. It is the mixed economy, government plus market. It is the practice and doctrine of governmental interventionism. It is the exploitation of labor by the big owners of capital. It is the source of our economic problems. All of these have been used to describe capitalism.


And that's the problem; the term capitalism has no specific meaning, and has had contradictory meanings. Consider the following propositions:
1. The U.S. economic system is capitalism.
2. The U.S. economy has social problems such as poverty and unemployment.
3. Therefore, capitalism causes such social problems.
Continued here. When will Michael Moore nail land speculators?
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:18 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
Reputation: 18050
Sure but its all the people not teh system. Socialism and communism are know for there high bribery rates societies because its just a way of life really to get anythng done. Ask anybody that has workled in china or russia.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,612,521 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
First of all, nobody should take any Michael Moore film as anything more than it is: Bad comedy.

That said, ANY economic form/structure has the potential for both incredible good and incredible evil. Capitalism can be very moral, or extremely immoral - just like any other system.
While there is some humor in "Capitalism," it brought forth some very good points, IMO.

As for this system capable of being either moral or immoral, how to reverse the current trend towards immorality in Corporate America? More laws? Uber-sized taxes on the rich like they used to in the 40's through the 70's?

Or how about more people living like this? : Altruism - What Is It?

Not a "system" per sec, but people treating each other in a kinder, caring way instead of "making a fast buck, to hell with the consequences." When our current system falls down, as I'm sure it will, perhaps we'll have a chance to live in a more altruist society. I certainly hope that this will be the case.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Location: South Jordan, Utah
6,801 posts, read 7,368,182 times
Reputation: 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
While there is some humor in "Capitalism," it brought forth some very good points, IMO.

As for this system capable of being either moral or immoral, how to reverse the current trend towards immorality in Corporate America? More laws? Uber-sized taxes on the rich like they used to in the 40's through the 70's?

Or how about more people living like this? : Altruism - What Is It?

Not a "system" per sec, but people treating each other in a kinder, caring way instead of "making a fast buck, to hell with the consequences." When our current system falls down, as I'm sure it will, perhaps we'll have a chance to live in a more altruist society. I certainly hope that this will be the case.
We just need a few fundamental changes that would bring about an even playing field. More laws and taxes won't do it, they just rig the game more the favor of the elite.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:01 PM
 
2,318 posts, read 1,549,102 times
Reputation: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
While there is some humor in "Capitalism," it brought forth some very good points, IMO.

As for this system capable of being either moral or immoral, how to reverse the current trend towards immorality in Corporate America? More laws? Uber-sized taxes on the rich like they used to in the 40's through the 70's?

Or how about more people living like this? : Altruism - What Is It?

Not a "system" per sec, but people treating each other in a kinder, caring way instead of "making a fast buck, to hell with the consequences." When our current system falls down, as I'm sure it will, perhaps we'll have a chance to live in a more altruist society. I certainly hope that this will be the case.

Peter Pan already tried it and it failed !
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:58 PM
 
140 posts, read 401,125 times
Reputation: 244
I still believe that money is the root of all evil. Capitalism to me is based on a lust for money and greed and I'm not a religious fanatic. Money is necessary for the things of life but it does seem that capitalism is only concerned with profit and not about doing what is right for human beings.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,752,019 times
Reputation: 10164
Capitalism is ammoral. It's funny to see the social conservatives who like what they consider traditional values allied with economic conservatives who are destroying those very values.

Example---the use of sex to sell products, something social conservatives decry. But who are the people who put those half naked Victoria Secret strumpets on TV? Why Capitalists of course.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: South Jordan, Utah
6,801 posts, read 7,368,182 times
Reputation: 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaDominadora View Post
I still believe that money is the root of all evil. Capitalism to me is based on a lust for money and greed and I'm not a religious fanatic. Money is necessary for the things of life but it does seem that capitalism is only concerned with profit and not about doing what is right for human beings.
Capitalism is just using capital as the basis of creating something, it is not based on anything. Some people use and abuse the system and twist it for thier own gain but it is not the fault of the capital. Without it we would not have much.
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