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Thread: The Ugly Side of Capitalists

  1. #1 The Ugly Side of Capitalists 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Regular members will know I rarely start a thread. They may also have noted that I traditionally object to people who post links with no real comment, or point for discussion. I am doing that now. I think the BBC item speaks for itself.

    BBC News - Wall Street lords laugh over bailout during black-tie gala

    IceWendigo will say, with justification, "I told you so".


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Regular members will know I rarely start a thread. They may also have noted that I traditionally object to people who post links with no real comment, or point for discussion. I am doing that now. I think the BBC item speaks for itself.
    BBC News - Wall Street lords laugh over bailout during black-tie gala
    IceWendigo will say, with justification, "I told you so".
    If I had got way with such a massive scam (I am referring to the bankers) then I would probably be celebrating too.


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    What, exactly, do you find so scandalous? That they were making jokes about Hillary? That they were laughing? The cross-dressing? What?

    The bailout wasn't capitalism, either. It's government cronyism.
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    I agree. We should eat the rich.
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  6. #5  
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    Capitalism comes in many flavors and the way it's practiced in the US is very flawed. Capitalism is an effective means to create a robust economy, but it needs controls and limits placed on it to prevent the boom and bust cycles that take place in this country. It doesn't take a great deal of trouble to get the average citizen all charged up about making some easy quick cash. Get people worked up then make borrowing money very easy and your setting up the economy for a big fall.

    Most of the US members here on this forum know what I'm talking about, because we are old enough to have lived through a couple of the boom & bust cycles. We know how it feels going up and coming down. The bailout did nothing to solve the problem and it will happen again.

    The trouble is, now the boom & bust cycle will affect the rest of the world and the next big one could be the end of the US as we know it now. The rest of the world just will not put up with it and will find another economy to follow.
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  7. #6  
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    OH, that gala wasn't showing their bad side at all.
    It was showing their good side.

    Anyhow, when I see stories like this I am reminded about how newspapers reported they were acting in the 1930s.
    The only difference is they try to hide their excesses a bit more now instead of openly bragging about them like they did back then.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 19th, 2014 at 10:07 PM.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I agree. We should eat the rich.
    They would leave a bad taste in my mouth.
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  9. #8  
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    "Capitalism is an effective means to create a robust economy"
    Yes, making bombs, devastaing cities, then rebuilding them, making land mines and then the prosthesis for the limbs blown off, gas guzzling engines that requires oil from the other side of the planet eventually carried in gaz guzzling trucks that use oil to carry oil and requires oil changes and oil filters, making razors that you throw in the garbage, prison industrial complex, its all good for the economy in a monetary system.
    (one of my favorite speech by a US official)



    "it needs controls and limits placed on it"
    Yes the elite decide since they have the money and the power. So thats like saying The fox being in charge of the henhouse is a great system, as long as the foxes place controls and limits on themselves, and dont cheat, and dont decide to change back the rules when the dust settles. It took both a Great Depression and for part of the Elite to be scared that the American people would revolt in a for/by/of the people revolution for the elites to enact the banking act of 1933(or thereabout) and eventually arrive at a socialist-ish capitalism (with very high taxes on the rich and laws against child labor, limits on banking conflicts of interests, etc) which apparently worked in the 50-60, but being the Elite they removed the threat of a people's revolution completely brainwashed the population senseless, and then gradually dismantled the controls that had been enacted in 1933 when their predecessors were scared and placed "controls and limits". (sure its an oversimplified view, but its to get a point across as usual)


    In a monetary system (in addition to the various other flaws and aberrations) people with the most money have more power to change the rules and brainwash(foundation, media, spin, etc) the masses (that usually believe anything the government and media says). You can only push it off for a time before the corruption, collusion, conflicts of interests and propaganda returns. The regulations are needed, like you need to throw water by the buckets out of the boat when theres a gaping hole in the hull beneath the water in the lower decks, but the "controls" fail to address the core flaws of the system, hence the return to a hey lets put control (hey, jee-wiz, we removed buckets o water last time, but look, theres still water? the solution is to throw buckets of water out like we did last time).


    Monetary system is great from an antiquity/feudal age perspective, like stone tools were great for stone age cave men, but stone tools as great as they are are not the best tools ever for the rest of time and eternity, its the same with the Bombs-r-GDP monetary system, its time to move on upgrade to a new system, and throw hierarchy and secrecy out the window too while were at it.
    Last edited by icewendigo; February 19th, 2014 at 10:29 PM.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Capitalism is an effective means to create a robust economy"
    Yes, making bombs, devastaing cities, then rebuilding them, making land mines and then the prosthesis for the limbs blown off, gas guzzling engines that requires oil from the other side of the planet eventually carried in gaz guzzling trucks that use oil to carry oil and requires oil changes and oil filters, making razors that you throw in the garbage, prison industrial complex, its all good for the economy in a monetary system.
    So is curing and preventing disease, growing food, building roads, caring for premature babies, building houses, developing airbags and seatbelts etc.

    All capitalism can do is make an economy work. It's a system without inherent morality; all it does is allow prosperity. Like any other tool, how it is used determines whether or not it is a force for good or evil.
    Yes the elite decide since they have the money and the power. So thats like saying The fox being in charge of the henhouse is a great system, as long as the foxes place controls and limits on themselves, and dont cheat, and dont decide to change back the rules when the dust settles.
    One big difference is that in our system the foxes and the hens both get to vote. We use the government (a government we elect) to decide what limits to place on capitalism. That's why there are laws against monopolies, fraud, theft, price fixing etc.

    Of course it doesn't always work well for a myriad of reasons. But the very fact that antitrust laws have been passed means it is possible to control our economy and channel it in directions we want it to go. Are we willing to take the time to make sure that happens? Often no, people can't be bothered; they'd rather get a cheap HD television and a six pack than deal with job outsourcing and the problems with a service-based economy in a system where the gap between rich and poor grows all the time.

    Monetary system is great from an antiquity/feudal age perspective, like stone tools were great for stone age cave men, but stone tools as great as they are are not the best tools ever for the rest of time and eternity, its the same with the Bombs-r-GDP monetary system, its time to move on upgrade to a new system, and throw hierarchy and secrecy out the window too while were at it.
    Capitalism is far from a great system. It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
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  12. #11  
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    The monopolist classes have always had the power. It turns into this no matter what the system is called.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    You may note that I very carefully titled the thread The Ugly Side of Capitalists, not The Ugly Side of Capitalism. Unlike some people (absolutely not a dig at you Halliday), I do not confuse a system with the individuals who might abuse that system.

    Good as the system is, it clearly also has massive weaknesses. I am optimistic we shall eventually find a way of overcoming these. In the meantime incidents such as this will continue to appall a segment of humanity, be ignored by others and supported by still others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    You may note that I very carefully titled the thread The Ugly Side of Capitalists, not The Ugly Side of Capitalism. Unlike some people (absolutely not a dig at you Halliday), I do not confuse a system with the individuals who might abuse that system.

    Good as the system is, it clearly also has massive weaknesses. I am optimistic we shall eventually find a way of overcoming these. In the meantime incidents such as this will continue to appall a segment of humanity, be ignored by others and supported by still others.
    Incidents such as what? All we know so far is that a person who doesn't like rich people infiltrated a party, and came out with what is probably a highly biased interpretation of what happened. Then a lot of people who don't like rich people reacted to it like a bunch of Pavlov's dogs. You still haven't explained what the scandal is. What is it that set you off?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    You may note that I very carefully titled the thread The Ugly Side of Capitalists, not The Ugly Side of Capitalism. Unlike some people (absolutely not a dig at you Halliday), I do not confuse a system with the individuals who might abuse that system.

    Good as the system is, it clearly also has massive weaknesses. I am optimistic we shall eventually find a way of overcoming these. In the meantime incidents such as this will continue to appall a segment of humanity, be ignored by others and supported by still others.
    Incidents such as what? All we know so far is that a person who doesn't like rich people infiltrated a party, and came out with what is probably a highly biased interpretation of what happened. Then a lot of people who don't like rich people reacted to it like a bunch of Pavlov's dogs. You still haven't explained what the scandal is. What is it that set you off?
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    The rich reveling while the poor suffer is neither new nor a product of capitalism. Build my monuments, fight my wars, let them eat cake. This is humanity displaying simple avarice and envy. We'd all, of course, like to think we'd be the noble rich.If you don't like what you see, rise up and rebel like we've always done when we've had enough of these people. Just keep in mind that if you are victorious, history suggests you will simply fill the vacant niche.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What is it that set you off?
    It will be best for the continued smooth operation of the forum if I decline to answer your question, or any that may subsequently follow on this topic. Watching two dogs fighting in the street over a bone may be entertaining for some, but I think one thing we can agree on is that it lacks decorum.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Capitalism is an effective means to create a robust economy"
    Yes, making bombs, devastaing cities, then rebuilding them, making land mines and then the prosthesis for the limbs blown off, gas guzzling engines that requires oil from the other side of the planet eventually carried in gaz guzzling trucks that use oil to carry oil and requires oil changes and oil filters, making razors that you throw in the garbage, prison industrial complex, its all good for the economy in a monetary system.
    (one of my favorite speech by a US official)



    "it needs controls and limits placed on it"
    Yes the elite decide since they have the money and the power. So thats like saying The fox being in charge of the henhouse is a great system, as long as the foxes place controls and limits on themselves, and dont cheat, and dont decide to change back the rules when the dust settles. It took both a Great Depression and for part of the Elite to be scared that the American people would revolt in a for/by/of the people revolution for the elites to enact the banking act of 1933(or thereabout) and eventually arrive at a socialist-ish capitalism (with very high taxes on the rich and laws against child labor, limits on banking conflicts of interests, etc) which apparently worked in the 50-60, but being the Elite they removed the threat of a people's revolution completely brainwashed the population senseless, and then gradually dismantled the controls that had been enacted in 1933 when their predecessors were scared and placed "controls and limits". (sure its an oversimplified view, but its to get a point across as usual)


    In a monetary system (in addition to the various other flaws and aberrations) people with the most money have more power to change the rules and brainwash(foundation, media, spin, etc) the masses (that usually believe anything the government and media says). You can only push it off for a time before the corruption, collusion, conflicts of interests and propaganda returns. The regulations are needed, like you need to throw water by the buckets out of the boat when theres a gaping hole in the hull beneath the water in the lower decks, but the "controls" fail to address the core flaws of the system, hence the return to a hey lets put control (hey, jee-wiz, we removed buckets o water last time, but look, theres still water? the solution is to throw buckets of water out like we did last time).


    Monetary system is great from an antiquity/feudal age perspective, like stone tools were great for stone age cave men, but stone tools as great as they are are not the best tools ever for the rest of time and eternity, its the same with the Bombs-r-GDP monetary system, its time to move on upgrade to a new system, and throw hierarchy and secrecy out the window too while were at it.
    Yes let's all become communists, because that worked out so great in the 20th century.... Obviously i'm not defending their actions but i've noticed a trend, people are quick to criticise but are slow to make any serious recommendations, while they sit in their armchairs complaining about how oppressed they are with their freedom of speech to criticise..
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    You may note that I very carefully titled the thread The Ugly Side of Capitalists, not The Ugly Side of Capitalism. Unlike some people (absolutely not a dig at you Halliday), I do not confuse a system with the individuals who might abuse that system.

    Good as the system is, it clearly also has massive weaknesses. I am optimistic we shall eventually find a way of overcoming these. In the meantime incidents such as this will continue to appall a segment of humanity, be ignored by others and supported by still others.
    I have to admit I did read the title of your thread as "The Ugly Side of Capitalism".
    I tend to agree with your statement "good as the system is, it clearly has massive weaknesses" altho' I would probably not use the word "massive".
    Anyway 2.25 to 2.50 cheers for capitalism from me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Yes let's all become communists, because that worked out so great in the 20th century.... Obviously i'm not defending their actions but i've noticed a trend, people are quick to criticise but are slow to make any serious recommendations, while they sit in their armchairs complaining about how oppressed they are with their freedom of speech to criticise..
    Communism has never actually been tried. Marx thought communism would be a state where money was not required as a medium of exchange any more.
    It was a completely unworkable idea. Pure Utopianism.
    Capitalism as imagined by Adam Smith has never really been tried either because it would require a true "Free Market" and that is something that has never existed and never will.

    So, so far as how well either economic system works they are about tied.

    Capitalism seems to be a bit more accurate of a model of how people actually behave though.

    If you are looking at China the predominant economic theory is neither Communist or Capitalist but a blend of them with a heavy dose of Malthusianism thrown on top of it.
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    Yes let's all become communists, because that worked out so great in the 20th century
    Ah yes, the ~anything not capitalist is automatically the USSR hierarchy/money/secrecy totalitarian regime~ false dichotomy (the ~when all you have is a hammer all problems look like nails~ syndrome). YEs, Transition to something other than a stone age? Bonze-what? What we have known other than the stone tools are the bare hands, therefore all other technology than stones must be labelled as bare hands, and since bare hands are worst than stone tools, therefore it is impossible to achieve any other technology than a stick with a stone for the rest of eternity, and since no one has flown human flight is also impossible forever regardless if new technology, understanding methods and techniques available we will stay in the stone age for ever. Arrggg!


    quick to criticise but are slow to make any serious recommendations
    ~Yes, how can you not provide me the detailed blueprint to an entire civilisation upgrade based on new ways of applying existing technology to create new functions with metals that are yet to be extracted, when you can criticise the fact that the stick and stone aint that great? Its almost as if criticising something you see, is easier than coming up with recommendation to change humanity, etc....~

    Your criticism about being quick to criticise and being slow to make serious recommendations, is quite valid, (unlike the communism false dichotomy which imo is not), but it should not be surprising, its much easier to state the obvious "hey theres water in the lower decks and the ship is sinking" than to dive and find the breach and find the required tools and materials and go back and then fix it.
    In fact its one of my criticism of the Venus Project / RBE groups that a functional prototype that can be tested (to see if it flys or crashes) MUST be designed tested and improved(like the Wright Brothers' airplane prototypes), but I do so with moderation/modesty because by criticizing them for not coming up with serious detailed prototype of a new organisation of human activity, I am also armchair criticising without contributing to the development of an alternative, like if someone says hey the ship is sinking and Id say "Ok let me sit on my ass, and tell you 'you ought not to criticise the ship or point out the flaws but find a solution instead, so now you do that while I sit right here"


    "Pure Utopianism. "
    Note that a simple camp fire, was "pure utopianism" before primitive humans discovered the techniques to make camp fires, and human flight was a beyond impossible pipe dream utopian fantasy before humans made it happen, going to the moon was Pure Utopianism before Jules Verne wrote a story about going to the moon and even then it was a fanciful utopian sci-fi. The people that made each "Utopian" development did not subscribe to the ubiquitous "Common sense" view that it was Pure Utopianism they had the ability to see that new techniques/materials/understanding could be assembled/organised/structured in new ways that made new functions never seen before possible, while the majority of the population either did not know of new information/possibilities or could not imagine that various iterations of arrangements/trials/prototype could achieve the result.
    Last edited by icewendigo; February 20th, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Yes let's all become communists, because that worked out so great in the 20th century.... Obviously i'm not defending their actions but i've noticed a trend, people are quick to criticise but are slow to make any serious recommendations, while they sit in their armchairs complaining about how oppressed they are with their freedom of speech to criticise..
    Communism has never actually been tried. Marx thought communism would be a state where money was not required as a medium of exchange any more.
    It was a completely unworkable idea. Pure Utopianism.
    Capitalism as imagined by Adam Smith has never really been tried either because it would require a true "Free Market" and that is something that has never existed and never will.

    So, so far as how well either economic system works they are about tied.

    Capitalism seems to be a bit more accurate of a model of how people actually behave though.

    If you are looking at China the predominant economic theory is neither Communist or Capitalist but a blend of them with a heavy dose of Malthusianism thrown on top of it.
    Don't give me that bullcrap, i've already been through this with Harold. I've read Marx myself and while it certainly isn't orthodox it is ludicrous, embarrasing even to claim that communism has never been tried. The labour theory of value doesn't work, centrally planned economies, believe it or not do not work. Capitalism exists, there is a difference between capitalism and laissez faire, in fact it's about the same as Marxism and Leninism, the one of them is the reality and the other is a pipe dream.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Yes let's all become communists, because that worked out so great in the 20th century
    Ah yes, the ~anything not capitalist is automatically the USSR hierarchy/money/secrecy totalitarian regime~ false dichotomy (the ~when all you have is a hammer all problems look like nails~ syndrome). YEs, Transition to something other than a stone age? Bonze-what? What we have known other than the stone tools are the bare hands, therefore all other technology than stones must be labelled as bare hands, and since bare hands are worst than stone tools, therefore it is impossible to achieve any other technology than a stick with a stone for the rest of eternity, and since no one has flown human flight is also impossible forever regardless if new technology, understanding methods and techniques available we will stay in the stone age for ever. Arrggg!


    quick to criticise but are slow to make any serious recommendations
    ~Yes, how can you not provide me the detailed blueprint to an entire civilisation upgrade based on new ways of applying existing technology to create new functions with metals that are yet to be extracted, when you can criticise the fact that the stick and stone aint that great? Its almost as if criticising something you see, is easier than coming up with recommendation to change humanity, etc....~

    Your criticism about being quick to criticise and being slow to make serious recommendations, is quite valid, (unlike the communism false dichotomy which imo is not), but it should not be surprising, its much easier to state the obvious "hey theres water in the lower decks and the ship is sinking" than to dive and find the breach and find the required tools and materials and go back and then fix it.
    In fact its one of my criticism of the Venus Project / RBE groups that a functional prototype that can be tested (to see if it flys or crashes) and improved(like the Wright Brothers' airplane prototypes), but I do so with moderation/modesty because by criticizing them for not coming up with serious detailed prototype of a new organisation of human activity, I am also armchair criticising without contributing to the development of an alternative, like if someone says hey the ship is sinking and Id say "Ok let me sit on my ass, and tell you 'you ought not to criticise the ship or point out the flaws but find a solution instead, so now you do that while I sit right here"


    "Pure Utopianism. "
    Note that a simple camp fire, was "pure utopianism" before humans discovered the techniques to make camp fires, and human flight was a beyond impossible pipe dream utopian fantasy before humans made it happen, going to the moon was Pure Utopianism before Jules Verne wrote a story about going to the moon and even then it was a fanciful utopian sci-fi. The people that made each "Utopian" development did not subscribe to the ubiquitous "Common sense" view that it was Pure Utopianism they had the ability to see that new techniques/materials/understanding could be assembled/organised/structured in new ways that made new functions never seen before possible, while the majority of the population either did not know of new information/possibilities or could not imagine that various iterations of arrangements/trials/prototype could achieve the result.
    This is just a lot of populist nonsense, note how you don't actually provide any alternatives just cite examples from the past that are completely irrelevant. No not anything that is not capitalism is a dictatorship, socialism and capitalism can (and do) coexist perfectly fine, there have been no valid alternatives (apart from corporate fascism??) that actually function.
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    This is just a lot of populist nonsense


    " no valid alternatives (apart from corporate fascism??) that actually function"

    1- The main point you may have missed is that its not because something has not yet existed that it never will.
    2- You may also have skipped the Anarachy-ish society that existed in Spain before it was militarily defeated by the Fascist supported Fascist. This society model was able to function against significant odds.
    Of course they didnt have P2P networks, open source development methods, distributed networks, hydroponic techniques, 3d printers, and did not have the information/science we have today, so its not about saying that that was the exact solution, but just an alternate one worth examining for ideas.
    (pointing to a military defeat as invalidating the model, is like Dr Zeeus in planet of the apes crushing the paper plane to prevent showing it can glide and thereby pretending to invalidate the claim it can glide)
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    Most of western Europe and japan used to be mixed economies. On the surface capitalist, but the state intervened heavily to manage the economy. So the real choice is not capitalism or communism, there is a middle way. I think a mixed economy is the best way to do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So, so far as how well either economic system works they are about tied.
    I'd say based on history, imperfect versions of capitalism work significantly better than imperfect versions of communism. That doesn't speak to how the "ideal" systems would perform - but in my experience any attempt at doing a "pure" system (pure democracy, pure capitalism, pure communism, pure meritocracy) are bound to fail.

    Here in the US the successes we've had has been due to a blend of capitalism (most of our economy) socialism (roads, the FAA, the FCC etc) and communism (public land, national parks etc.) It's this blending that has made the best use of each of the individual systems.
    If you are looking at China the predominant economic theory is neither Communist or Capitalist but a blend of them with a heavy dose of Malthusianism thrown on top of it.
    Agreed. And again China's strength is they combine the best of both systems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    Most of western Europe and japan used to be mixed economies. On the surface capitalist, but the state intervened heavily to manage the economy. So the real choice is not capitalism or communism, there is a middle way. I think a mixed economy is the best way to do it.
    There's a misconception that "pure" capitalism is a no-state system. State intervention is crucial for capitalist systems since it provides legislation, protection, etc while it provides the necessary superstructure for the unhindered and normal reproduction of the system. Without states, capitalism would collapse in a a few days.

    We are discussing here about "free" market or mixed market which completely different than capitalism vs state intervention. The latter, imo, does not exist. As far as I understand, the question is not about more or less legislation but about what kind of legislation do we want.

    As far as it concerns communism, it's a hugely misunderstood concept. Most people think of it as a bureaucratic, authoritarian, stiff system that overwhelms man's nature, bla bla bla... Unfortunately, propaganda pays off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Not much there to get one's knickers in a twist over. Meanwhile, the socialists are shooting protesters in the street, jailing dissidents, and generally ruining the economy in Venezuela, and nobody seems to get too excited about that.
    Venezuela beauty queen shot dead amid protests and political turmoil | MyFOX8.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So, so far as how well either economic system works they are about tied.
    I'd say based on history, imperfect versions of capitalism work significantly better than imperfect versions of communism. That doesn't speak to how the "ideal" systems would perform - but in my experience any attempt at doing a "pure" system (pure democracy, pure capitalism, pure communism, pure meritocracy) are bound to fail.

    Here in the US the successes we've had has been due to a blend of capitalism (most of our economy) socialism (roads, the FAA, the FCC etc) and communism (public land, national parks etc.) It's this blending that has made the best use of each of the individual systems.
    If you are looking at China the predominant economic theory is neither Communist or Capitalist but a blend of them with a heavy dose of Malthusianism thrown on top of it.
    Agreed. And again China's strength is they combine the best of both systems.
    Chinese communist party has nothing to do with communism. It acts as a huge investment agency which directs public investment in highly profitable and strategic sectors and as a result, high private investments follow up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Not much there to get one's knickers in a twist over. Meanwhile, the socialists are shooting protesters in the street, jailing dissidents, and generally ruining the economy in Venezuela, and nobody seems to get too excited about that.
    Venezuela beauty queen shot dead amid protests and political turmoil | MyFOX8.com
    It's easy to reproach socialists for what happens in Venezuela. I wouldn't be surprised if I learned that the whole civil conflict is motivated by the US or by some US monopolies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Not much there to get one's knickers in a twist over. Meanwhile, the socialists are shooting protesters in the street, jailing dissidents, and generally ruining the economy in Venezuela, and nobody seems to get too excited about that.
    Venezuela beauty queen shot dead amid protests and political turmoil | MyFOX8.com
    You can rely on Fux News to find the T&A angle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Not much there to get one's knickers in a twist over. Meanwhile, the socialists are shooting protesters in the street, jailing dissidents, and generally ruining the economy in Venezuela, and nobody seems to get too excited about that.
    Venezuela beauty queen shot dead amid protests and political turmoil | MyFOX8.com
    Well, this thread is about ugly capitalists in the business section.

    Not sure what Venezuelan socialists have to do with anything? There are lots of bad things going on, like the riots in Bosnia, or my president being too much of a moron to recognise a typo and correct it in the nation's address he is reading for the first time live on television: Jacob Zuma 8.200 in 2011 - YouTube

    It doesn't follow that the way these people are behaving is somehow less atrocious because there are worse things in the world. Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    The ever growing class divide and the apathy and inaction on the part of some of the wealthy would be my guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The bailout wasn't capitalism, either. It's government cronyism.
    Incredibly good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    You may note that I very carefully titled the thread The Ugly Side of Capitalists, not The Ugly Side of Capitalism. Unlike some people (absolutely not a dig at you Halliday), I do not confuse a system with the individuals who might abuse that system.

    Good as the system is, it clearly also has massive weaknesses. I am optimistic we shall eventually find a way of overcoming these. In the meantime incidents such as this will continue to appall a segment of humanity, be ignored by others and supported by still others.
    And good clarification. Capitalists naturally love free money. Free money is not supposed to be available in a capitalist economic system, so naturally when you give a capitalist free money, it motivates them to behave badly instead of properly.

    It's kind of like when you transport an invasive species on the bottom of your boat, from one pond to another. Throws the whole ecosystem out of whack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    The ever growing class divide and the apathy and inaction on the part of some of the wealthy would be my guess.
    So, just a general complaint about the people who were at the party, not specifically anything that happened there?
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    Paying very large salaries and benefits to the captains of industry is something I have zero problem with. Inspiring, innovative individuals who manage a course for an organisation that produces benefits for customers, employees and shareholders alike are entitled to a reward proportionate to the benefits they bring.

    The same can not be said of a bunch of psychopathic, parasitic wankers who prey upon entrepreneur and man-in-the-street alike. The deaths and misery that resulted from the 2008 collapse saw little in the way of justice dispensed against the perpetrators, some of whom, or their ilk, were present at that 'party'. Anyone who fails to be disturbed by that should check their paperwork to see if they are still entitled to be members of humanity.
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    John, I thought it was Capitalist that created capitalism. On the good side, there will always be those who are good and bad for any system. However, if we have an imbalance, the results will show up and they can either be good, or bad.
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    I am going to look at this thread from what I have been reading and understanding, that most are not satisfied with the present system. yet I am not able to detect any indication from anyone that the system is working perfectly, and there is nothing in view to even remotely change it.

    The reason I say this is that the masses are not aware of what the system was designed to do. If they did, no body in their right mind would chose such a system that was against them. The other side of this equation is the understanding of power. If you cannot understand the exchange of dollars for power, then you cannot understand what you are calling Capitalism.

    When wealth reaches a certain horizontal size, it begins to grow exponentially, and becomes a solid mass. Anything can be planted in that mass, it works like soil. the system is bound to protect itself, it cannot let outside influences be aware of it's inner workings, or it will be destroyed. Whenever we build groups of anything, it is the support it gets that keeps it alive.

    Just to say the system is working perfectly for the few, that may not be so for the many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    John, I thought it was Capitalist that created capitalism. On the good side, there will always be those who are good and bad for any system. However, if we have an imbalance, the results will show up and they can either be good, or bad.
    It's ironic, but I think this is the opposite of what happens.

    Non-capitalists frame the system, implement the necessary laws, and then sit back and let capitalists attempt to find weaknesses in it as they seek profits wherever they are to be found.

    It's a lot like how the referees in a sports league are not necessarily players themselves. Their job is to make sure the basketball players aren't fouling each other. The basketball players, on the other hand, will be looking to see how far they can push the boundaries on those rules, because their goal is simply to win the game. They're not stopping to think "gee.... if I hit this guy in the face, will that be a good precedent for me to set for later games?". It's the referees' job to think about that.

    The worst thing that can happen is for the players to gain control over the referees. Then it's all over. The game won't be fun to watch for much longer after that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Paying very large salaries and benefits to the captains of industry is something I have zero problem with. Inspiring, innovative individuals who manage a course for an organisation that produces benefits for customers, employees and shareholders alike are entitled to a reward proportionate to the benefits they bring.

    The same can not be said of a bunch of psychopathic, parasitic wankers who prey upon entrepreneur and man-in-the-street alike. The deaths and misery that resulted from the 2008 collapse saw little in the way of justice dispensed against the perpetrators, some of whom, or their ilk, were present at that 'party'. Anyone who fails to be disturbed by that should check their paperwork to see if they are still entitled to be members of humanity.
    I see. So the people at the party were 'ilk' and that's what you objected to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    John, I thought it was Capitalist that created capitalism.
    Bankers are middlemen who have usurped the system. Adam Smith would die of apoplexy were he alive to witness this travesty of his ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    John, I thought it was Capitalist that created capitalism.
    Bankers are middlemen who have usurped the system. Adam Smith would die of apoplexy were he alive to witness this travesty of his ideas.
    Adam Smith was very specific and very careful to warn against letting bankers have control over the wealth of a country.
    Yeah, I read Wealth of Nations too.
    Smith was not really talking about capitalism in the sense we are using the word, but about trade.

    The real theory of Capitalism taught in economics is almost entirely from Marx, Das Kapital.
    His Communist Manifesto was an entirely different work.
    But we must never admit that, because Marx = class war = struggle = revolution = Communism etc etc and these are all considered evils by the moneyed classes.
    So Marx has to be reduced to a cartoon villian and any use of his works must be denied.

    However:
    I wish I could say I gave Marx a fair reading, but I really only skimmed it.
    Most of what he was talking about in Kapital was already familiar to me from the regular textbooks on economics.

    And in my very personal opinion.
    The Manifesto was really just his dream for an ideal world based on his odd religious concepts.
    He viewed Communism as the natural and early state of man, kind of like an economics Garden of Eden.
    He thought we had fallen out of Communism much like Adam and Eve had fallen out of Grace and that the struggle for Communism was like a sruggle to return back to Grace, back to innocence, back to the Garden as it were.
    Like I said before, Marx's idea of Communism was completely Utopian and completely unworkable.
    Once through the Manifesto was more than enough.

    Edit: I said, "Smith was not really talking about capitalism in the sense we are using the word, but about trade. " and I should clarify that a little.
    Adam Smith did talk about industrialism, specialization of labour, profits, and about rents and interest, but his main reason for the work was to argue for opening up trade to other countries more than what was allowed at the time.
    The Modern talk about Free Trade and Free Market Capitalism probably would have made his head spin because he thought the benefit of trade should somehow benefit the country also. That is why his book was the Wealth of Nations instead of The Wealth of Corporations.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 21st, 2014 at 12:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    The ever growing class divide and the apathy and inaction on the part of some of the wealthy would be my guess.
    So, just a general complaint about the people who were at the party, not specifically anything that happened there?
    I read it as more of an exemplification of the class divide issue as a whole. This was just a particularly infuriating demonstration for those who are struggling financially.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    For us it's great. For developing nations it's not so great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I am going to look at this thread from what I have been reading and understanding, that most are not satisfied with the present system. yet I am not able to detect any indication from anyone that the system is working perfectly
    Mostly true. It's not perfect and can be improved.

    and there is nothing in view to even remotely change it.
    There's a lot we could do to change it. The trick is not getting a lot of unintended consequences from seemingly benign changes. Thus we have to be very careful in our attempts to fix the problems with the system.

    The reason I say this is that the masses are not aware of what the system was designed to do. If they did, no body in their right mind would chose such a system that was against them.
    It's worked well for me and most of the people I know. It definitely doesn't work for everyone; no system does.
    When wealth reaches a certain horizontal size, it begins to grow exponentially, and becomes a solid mass. Anything can be planted in that mass, it works like soil. the system is bound to protect itself, it cannot let outside influences be aware of it's inner workings, or it will be destroyed.
    That's partly true. But it is equally true of the system that the rich have to protect their wealth. It is true of the system the poor have to protect their benefits. It is true of the minorities that use their minority status to gain advantage. It is true of the majority that use their power-of-numbers to protect _their_ advantages. It is true of the unions that use the power they have to protect themselves. Etc etc. In other words, it is a characteristic of the self-interest of groups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Bankers are middlemen who have usurped the system. Adam Smith would die of apoplexy were he alive to witness this travesty of his ideas.
    Bankers should be the financial grease that keep the wheels turning - in that maturity risk has to be born by some entity in the economy and any entity that does so is by definition a bank.
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Agreed. And again China's strength is they combine the best of both systems.
    Yes, if by "best" you mean you favor heavy restrictions on freedom of speech, censorship of the internet, and lots of environmental pollution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    Did you not read the report? Do you think the journalist was lying?

    You watch fictitious depictions of corrupt governments, crooked cops, scaly businessmen and huge conspiracies and think: "Yes, it's fake, but there must be a small element of those institutions that really do those things, but it can't widespread.", and then you see this kind of a disgusting display of indifferent callousness, of a self-aggrandising, bigoted, self-serving, self-appointed "elite" that fancy themselves as way above the people they are supposed to serve and it involve a very large portion of the people in a specific sector. Does that not grind your gears, even a little bit? Don't you think these people have anything to be ashamed about?

    Why do you think they are so desperate to keep it quiet? That display right there is one huge part of what is wrong with humanity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    Did you not read the report? Do you think the journalist was lying?
    I read it. I don't think he was lying. I just didn't see anything to be concerned about.
    You watch fictitious depictions of corrupt governments, crooked cops, scaly businessmen and huge conspiracies and think: "Yes, it's fake, but there must be a small element of those institutions that really do those things, but it can't widespread.", and then you see this kind of a disgusting display of indifferent callousness, of a self-aggrandising, bigoted, self-serving, self-appointed "elite" that fancy themselves as way above the people they are supposed to serve and it involve a very large portion of the people in a specific sector. Does that not grind your gears, even a little bit? Don't you think these people have anything to be ashamed about?
    Nope. I've seen more ostentatious displays of decadence in presidential state dinners. I've heard worse taste jokes told about Republicans on MSNBC, Saturday Night Live, and David Letterman. And that's only what they say in public. Who knows what goes on at private parties.
    Why do you think they are so desperate to keep it quiet? That display right there is one huge part of what is wrong with humanity.
    The haters are easily aroused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    For us it's great. For developing nations it's not so great.
    Are you talking about the relationship between the Western (capitalist) world and the Third World or are you saying that capitalism is not the best model for the economies of the developing nations.
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    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.

    I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about.

    How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Nope. I've seen more ostentatious displays of decadence in presidential state dinners. I've heard worse taste jokes told about Republicans on MSNBC, Saturday Night Live, and David Letterman. And that's only what they say in public. Who knows what goes on at private parties.
    So you DO understand the outrage, you just happen to root for the winning team this time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats. I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about. How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
    Easily clarified, Kalster. Post a video of a group of urban blacks celebrating not paying taxes or laughing about entitlement and mocking the rich for paying for their food stamps and you'll get an equivalent reaction from Harold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.

    I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about.
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
    No, what is happening is that I am not pre-judging the people at the party and you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_rat View Post
    Bankers should be the financial grease that keep the wheels turning - in that maturity risk has to be born by some entity in the economy and any entity that does so is by definition a bank.
    That sounds good, but in the end the people facing the risk are the general population no matter what type of regulation is in place.
    Banks do not use their own money and under the fiat money and fractional reserves system over 90% of the money is simply imaginary.
    How money is created in modern economic systems is a real mindblower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    It is merely the least bad of all the systems we've tried so far.
    For sure capitalism has its bad points, but the system also has many positive features and, as you say, combined with liberal democracy it is, by far, the best economic and political system we have tried.
    For us it's great. For developing nations it's not so great.
    Are you talking about the relationship between the Western (capitalist) world and the Third World or are you saying that capitalism is not the best model for the economies of the developing nations.
    The former. I don't deny capitalism has a good side, I am just reluctant attribute why it has worked for us to its good side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.

    I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about.
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
    No, what is happening is that I am not pre-judging the people at the party and you are.
    "This disposition to admire, and almost to worship , the rich and powerful, and to despise , or , at least neglect persons of poor and mean conditions, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments."

    - Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.

    I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about.
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    I wasn't blaming them. I am saying they were involved. The outrage is directed at their attitude towards it. That part is out in the open now for everyone to see.

    How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
    No, what is happening is that I am not pre-judging the people at the party and you are.
    There is no pre-judging. I am basing my outrage on direct documentation of their behaviour, behaviour you oddly seem fine with.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    The outrage is directed at their attitude towards it. That part is out in the open now for everyone to see.
    What do you think their attitude was? Everybody makes jokes about the business they are in. With jokes, sometimes you have to be there, and not have it interpreted for you by somebody who is obviously biased. Maybe you think they should all wear hair shirts and never crack another joke.
    There is no pre-judging. I am basing my outrage on direct documentation of their behaviour, behaviour you oddly seem fine with.
    Which specific part of their behavior do you think shows nonchalance about the economic crisis?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    See LIBOR fixing scandal, Euribor fixing scandal, Gold Spot fixing scandal, Goldman Sax Abacus CDO scandal etc etc etc
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_rat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    See LIBOR fixing scandal, Euribor fixing scandal, Gold Spot fixing scandal, Goldman Sax Abacus CDO scandal etc etc etc
    Did these scandals involve members of Beta Kappa Alpha, and were those members at the party? Has anybody been convicted? Or are we going to tar all Wall Street bankers with the same brush?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    This isn't about Republicans vs Democrats.

    I don't care who those people support (I don't even know), just that they are what they are. And like I said, sure there are all sorts of things to be upset about all over, but here you have a group of people representing a large portion of their sector involved in a world wide economic crisis that cost lives and suffering and they are behind closed doors laughing about it and acting like pricks. They are in sharp focus at the moment, among an unending torrent of things to get upset about.
    You are blaming these people for the world wide economic crisis, without any shred of evidence that they did anything wrong. You don't even know them.
    How can you be so nonchalant about it or rather, why can't you understand where our outrage is coming from? I can understand getting desensitised, but that isn't what is happening here, is it?
    No, what is happening is that I am not pre-judging the people at the party and you are.
    "This disposition to admire, and almost to worship , the rich and powerful, and to despise , or , at least neglect persons of poor and mean conditions, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments."

    - Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments
    Are we going to stop being selective and view this objectively? I've read TMS and extracts of the Wealth of Nations and it's quite clear he prefers government intervention in certain circumstances, he is not however a deluded ideologue and knows quite clearly there are natural distinctions that exist for its own good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post

    Are we going to stop being selective and view this objectively? I've read TMS and extracts of the Wealth of Nations and it's quite clear he prefers government intervention in certain circumstances, he is not however a deluded ideologue and knows quite clearly there are natural distinctions that exist for its own good.
    I agree. Your emphasis marks are well placed, although if I had thought of bolding the text I probably would have selected, "at the same time," instead.

    Smith and the others of his time didn't publish articles for peer reviewed magazines. When they published it was great huge brick-like books with a depth and breadth almost unimaginable today. TMS alone is about 300 pages of fine print. Brief clips and excerpts from their texts often lose meaning because of that.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 21st, 2014 at 10:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Your lack of concern is frankly baffling.
    What did you think I should be concerned about?
    Did you not read the report? Do you think the journalist was lying?

    You watch fictitious depictions of corrupt governments, crooked cops, scaly businessmen and huge conspiracies and think: "Yes, it's fake, but there must be a small element of those institutions that really do those things, but it can't widespread.", and then you see this kind of a disgusting display of indifferent callousness, of a self-aggrandising, bigoted, self-serving, self-appointed "elite" that fancy themselves as way above the people they are supposed to serve and it involve a very large portion of the people in a specific sector. Does that not grind your gears, even a little bit? Don't you think these people have anything to be ashamed about?

    Why do you think they are so desperate to keep it quiet? That display right there is one huge part of what is wrong with humanity.
    Kalster, I am not sure these people are ashamed but rather proud. I think if you, or people in general could grasp the contempt some of these bankers respond to people on whose backs they climbed on to reach the heights they are at the moment, we all would never believe it.

    I think what is wrong with humanity is how we treat each other. If we could get a glimpse of our interactions with one another, we might be able to tell the greedy few, how we want things to go.
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    There is a small point here most people are missing. It is the annual Kappa Beta Phi club meeting.

    It is like a frat club for college kids that never really grew up even though they are old men now.
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    Here's a quick video on understanding how economics work.

    Newstopia explains the Reserve Bank - YouTube
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    I think the most important part of the free market (missed so far here) is the 'free' part.
    The real difference between a free market and a planned economy is that if people want to make a commune or resource based economy etc. in a free market nobody minds - live how you want to, if it's not my business I can't complain, objections only occur when you try to steal from people who don't live life the same way. In a planned economy (socialism, communism, state controlled capitalism (the US right now) etc.) trading on your own terms is prohibited, even if it hurt no-one.

    What's wrong with living in mutual disagreement, co-operating when we like but not trying to conquer each other?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    I think the most important part of the free market (missed so far here) is the 'free' part.
    The real difference between a free market and a planned economy is that if people want to make a commune or resource based economy etc. in a free market nobody minds - live how you want to, if it's not my business I can't complain, objections only occur when you try to steal from people who don't live life the same way. In a planned economy (socialism, communism, state controlled capitalism (the US right now) etc.) trading on your own terms is prohibited, even if it hurt no-one.

    What's wrong with living in mutual disagreement, co-operating when we like but not trying to conquer each other?
    Humans just can't live that way, otherwise nothing is wrong with it.
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    when you try to steal from people
    who is stealing? can you elaborate?

    trading on your own terms is prohibited
    I can trade a spiderman comic book for a hulk comic book, how is that prohibited?


    "What's wrong with living in mutual disagreement, co-operating when we like but not trying to conquer each other?"
    Theres nothing wrong (other than potential free loading on the indirect benefits from social civilization infrastructure/maintenance without paying for it, along with the tendency to seek toll/rent/domination/collusion/cornering/conflicts of interest/abuse of situation), but It sounds as if you might not be considering political implications, In the sense that economics arent occurring in a vacuum but there are political and governance implications outside of markets that for practical purposes must be organized in a given fashion within a given space. A problematic aspect imo is not so much that a group are organized to achieve planned goals of civilization (which could be in the form of a state or not), the problematic aspect is the state's gargantuan scale(across a continent) and scope, hierarchic nature, along with the secrecy and monopoly on money creation.
    Last edited by icewendigo; March 12th, 2014 at 08:28 PM.
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    The Manifesto was really just his dream for an ideal world based on his odd religious concepts.
    He viewed Communism as the natural and early state of man, kind of like an economics Garden of Eden.
    He thought we had fallen out of Communism much like Adam and Eve had fallen out of Grace and that the struggle for Communism was like a sruggle to return back to Grace, back to innocence, back to the Garden as it were.
    Like I said before, Marx's idea of Communism was completely Utopian and completely unworkable.
    Once through the Manifesto was more than enough.
    It's also totally a product of that 19th century mindset that history and "human development" was a process leading somewhere. If you put Marx into perspective with all the philosophers and social commentators and theorists of his time and leading up to his time you can see it clearly. They all accepted, if they didn't personally advance, the idea that humanity once lived in some form of "'Golden Age" which we lost, a secular version of the garden of Eden. See Rousseau and a couple of his mates for that. Marx saw capitalism as an inevitable stage in our history and that capitalism's collapse was also entirely inevitable. When that happened, we were to have a workers' revolution and nobody would own anything except as part of the larger wonderful mystical union of a united society. And we'd all live happily ever after.

    Some people maintain that the communist revolutions in Russia and China weren't really Marxist because they weren't industrial workers revolting against capitalists but merely a large scale, very large scale, peasants' revolt that became civil wars. Well, that's sort of true. But the whole Marxist concept was a fairly standard 19th century utopianism that just happened to strike a chord with a whole lot of people. These people had genuine grievances. They were impoverished by serfdom and genuinely suffering under the heel of their incompetent, inbred, authoritarian, violent and vile governments. (Please. Nobody surely is going to say there was anything admirable or worthy about the csarist regime. Please.)
    Then, surprise, surprise, one government supplants another and all the cultural baggage of the former regime reasserts itself within less than a decade. They just use the language of worldwide revolution instead of the old-fashioned expansion of empire / god-given rights of monarchs/ emperors. Just the same nasty package in not very glamorous wrappings.

    As for "once through the Manifesto". I read the lot. And all of Engel and lots of Hegel and that 19th century German stuff and a goodly smattering of the general philosophical literature related to Marx's writings and the commentary on Marx's writings. Tedious doesn't begin to cover it - but I was editing beloved's thesis so I had to do it. I can only be thankful that he was focused on the philosophy rather than the politics or the history, otherwise I might have blown a brain gasket.
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    Thanks Adelady. It is hard to find a comment when I basically agree with everything you said.
    I suppose the only thing I might quibble about is to point out it was not just in the 19th century and goes back much farther.
    However since you mentioned Rousseau I guess you are aware of that point already.
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    However since you mentioned Rousseau I guess you are aware of that point already.
    All too tediously aware. If I hadn't learned it through the bibliography for this thesis, that stuff also got a good, thorough airing in feminist theory.
    I just wish that "scholarly" didn't mean forever rehashing old ideas. People should just be able to say, lots of well-intentioned but silly people wrote lots of silly stuff about this silly idea ... and then get on with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Humans just can't live that way, otherwise nothing is wrong with it.
    Sure we can; see eg Milton Friedman's Pencil Speech

    The bonds of mutually beneficial trade are strong. I can imagine living right next to a massive commune on one side, a resource economy (an entire economy that runs on charity) on another, a mixed socialist system on another etc. I might easily get into an argument about economics every time I meet a person from any of those, but I wouldn't start one. Firstly, it's none of my business how other people choose to live - discussions on the internet are a good bit of fun and sometimes even educational but in real life it gets old fast and nobody wants to come to blows or bullets. Secondly, I don't want to piss them off because I get oil from the commune that I need for my factory, the resource economists have the cheapest iron ore around, etc.

    The most important market is not in goods or services but ideas. A free market is just a system wherein people have the most freedom over what economic and social decisions they make for themselves - communism can easily exist in a free market, it's only not free if you don't have a choice about whether you join it. The socialists can have whatever taxes they like amongst willing participants, I'll only call them out on it if they try to force someone to pay for something they don't want.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    A problematic aspect imo is not so much that a group are organized to achieve planned goals of civilization (which could be in the form of a state or not), the problematic aspect is the state's gargantuan scale(across a continent) and scope, hierarchic nature, along with the secrecy and monopoly on money creation.
    This is just it; libertarians don't want to use political force to make everyone capitalists, we're just fighting for the right to be left alone to live the way we want (without hurting anyone else).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Humans just can't live that way, otherwise nothing is wrong with it.
    Sure we can; see eg Milton Friedman's Pencil Speech

    The bonds of mutually beneficial trade are strong. I can imagine living right next to a massive commune on one side, a resource economy (an entire economy that runs on charity) on another, a mixed socialist system on another etc. I might easily get into an argument about economics every time I meet a person from any of those, but I wouldn't start one. Firstly, it's none of my business how other people choose to live - discussions on the internet are a good bit of fun and sometimes even educational but in real life it gets old fast and nobody wants to come to blows or bullets. Secondly, I don't want to piss them off because I get oil from the commune that I need for my factory, the resource economists have the cheapest iron ore around, etc.

    The most important market is not in goods or services but ideas. A free market is just a system wherein people have the most freedom over what economic and social decisions they make for themselves - communism can easily exist in a free market, it's only not free if you don't have a choice about whether you join it. The socialists can have whatever taxes they like amongst willing participants, I'll only call them out on it if they try to force someone to pay for something they don't want.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    A problematic aspect imo is not so much that a group are organized to achieve planned goals of civilization (which could be in the form of a state or not), the problematic aspect is the state's gargantuan scale(across a continent) and scope, hierarchic nature, along with the secrecy and monopoly on money creation.
    This is just it; libertarians don't want to use political force to make everyone capitalists, we're just fighting for the right to be left alone to live the way we want (without hurting anyone else).
    Laissez-faire has never worked and is one of the reasons the quality of life in the Victorian era sucked so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Humans just can't live that way, otherwise nothing is wrong with it.
    Sure we can; see eg Milton Friedman's Pencil Speech
    <sarcasm>Oh yea. Milton Friedman..... Now i'm convinced </sarcasm>
    Friedman was a wonderful man, i'm glad i never meat him

    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    The bonds of mutually beneficial trade are strong. I can imagine living right next to a massive commune on one side, a resource economy (an entire economy that runs on charity) on another, a mixed socialist system on another etc. I might easily get into an argument about economics every time I meet a person from any of those, but I wouldn't start one. Firstly, it's none of my business how other people choose to live - discussions on the internet are a good bit of fun and sometimes even educational but in real life it gets old fast and nobody wants to come to blows or bullets. Secondly, I don't want to piss them off because I get oil from the commune that I need for my factory, the resource economists have the cheapest iron ore around, etc.

    The most important market is not in goods or services but ideas. A free market is just a system wherein people have the most freedom over what economic and social decisions they make for themselves - communism can easily exist in a free market, it's only not free if you don't have a choice about whether you join it. The socialists can have whatever taxes they like amongst willing participants, I'll only call them out on it if they try to force someone to pay for something they don't want.
    Bonds of mutual interest are the strongest. Not trade.

    True freedom doesn't exist, never existed, and never will exist. We are always slaves to something.

    If you were really living next to a massive commune. There economies of scale would wipe you out in no time. Then you'll have the "freedom" to join it or live in the street.

    Ideas by them selves are worthless. What matters in the real world is power. People are just very conservative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    A problematic aspect imo is not so much that a group are organized to achieve planned goals of civilization (which could be in the form of a state or not), the problematic aspect is the state's gargantuan scale(across a continent) and scope, hierarchic nature, along with the secrecy and monopoly on money creation.
    This is just it; libertarians don't want to use political force to make everyone capitalists, we're just fighting for the right to be left alone to live the way we want (without hurting anyone else).
    @ icewendigo
    This is why federalism was invented. They are several implementations of federalism. The American system is a particularly poor implementation. I'm anticipating that everybody extrapolates from just the American system. You can't make a statistic with just one point. You should be looking at other examples. For example Germany and Switzerland are functioning beater.

    @ coconut sundue
    You know what? Maybe we should do what you say. Then living standards will collapse to such a degree, that people will be left with the "freedom" of joining a commune or dieing in the street from hunger.


    People start trying new systems, only if they are personally very uncomfortable and have no other choice. Quantifying a threshold of "uncomfort", i would say official unemployment approaching 30%. That send Hitler to power and started WWII. As we speak unemployment approaches these levels in some European countries, with youth unemployment at over 50% . In others poverty is on the rise despite an officially lower unemployment. The crisis is not over yet, after what? 6 year already?
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    This is why federalism was invented.
    Federalism has a way of starting with a good intentions bottom up structure of voluntary participants/member-organisation/states and of turning into a top down hierarchy that ends up imposing decisions on members, using its resources to expand its powers, pushing the envelope of its jurisdiction, and eventually redefining the de facto nature of the federation into a hierarchy. I believed that Switzerland's federation was less worse but I will put looking into it on my to do list

    ( I am very suspicious of anything with the label Federal ~Welcome to the Federal Restaurant. Dont mind the lock, now that you are in theres no getting out, yes we changed our menu from what was posted outside to a bitter one and our prices are higher too since we pay for sergeant McBasher , but theres nothing you can do about it, its not like you can go to another restaurant with a menu you prefer, we decide what the conditions for you to leave the premises are, and we decide that you dont meet these conditions, step away from the door or else sergeant McBasher which we pay with your money will bash you with a club you paid. Now that you paid handsomely for our lavish lifestyle and McBasher while you thought you had paid for a pricey fillet Mignon, here I am "giving" you the "federal" crackers out of the goodness of the Federal entity, you ought to be grateful that we are so gracious in "giving" you "federal" restaurant crackers as a charity to your undeserving person. You better behave or else we will no longer "give" you crackers, so if you want to eat you better stay in line and not make trouble ~)
    Last edited by icewendigo; March 18th, 2014 at 11:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    Bonds of mutual interest are the strongest. Not trade.
    Don't they often coincide? Besides, isn't trade what gives people the most to lose from killing each other? (discounting mutually assured destruction)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    True freedom doesn't exist, never existed, and never will exist. We are always slaves to something.

    If you were really living next to a massive commune. There economies of scale would wipe you out in no time. Then you'll have the "freedom" to join it or live in the street.
    Please be specific what you mean with "economies of scale". If this is to imply that the vast majority of people would join the commune and the few hundred capitalists would lack vital skills and fall apart I venture this is not the case. Consider the Republican Party in the US. Whatever their social views their proponents are definitely for capitalism over communism. Since there are well over a hundred million voters for this party, the world definitely has enough capitalists to make a society with (in reality many more I think).

    If you mean to tell me that central economic planning is vastly more efficient than the market for allocating resources, well, I know of no historical evidence that supports this notion. It's overwhelmingly the opposite in fact. Take any two comparable countries that picked diverging paths ( largely free market capitalism vs communism) and the difference after a few decades is staggering. Even for countries where the communist one started with more natural resources and a stronger industry - North Korea vs South Korea, Taiwan vs Ghana etc.
    In the case of communist China vs Hong Kong, it was quite close to my current interpretation of your statement (apologies if this wasn't what you meant); the vast majority of the people involved were in China together with all the natural resources and existing industry whereas Hong Kong was tiny, barely populated and with almost no natural resources. Fast forward twenty years and people were risking their lives to move from China into free market Hong Kong.

    I'd be very interested to know if you can meet Milton Friedman's challenge (whether or not you like the man) of finding a like for like comparison where the less free country did better in any useful sense; civil liberties, prosperity, environmentalism etc.

    But whatever, this is just our differences in opinion about economics, the real issue (and the one I least understand your problem with) I address below.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    @ coconut sundue
    You know what? Maybe we should do what you say. Then living standards will collapse to such a degree, that people will be left with the "freedom" of joining a commune or dieing in the street from hunger.
    "If we let you make the wrong decision you'll just die on the streets of hunger, that'll teach you!"
    Why can't it be my decision to choose which risks I take or don't take?
    What's so scary about people who think differently to you doing their own thing a long way away so long as they don't harm you? Besides, doing what I say in this case means taking control of your life and living how you want within the constraints of reality and not violating other people's liberty or property.

    I like that we have different political ideas actually. It's in my interest to have a wide variety of people around for when some have political ideas that work better than mine - if it does turn out that a real free market doesn't work (you've not given any evidence to support this notion) it benefits me to see other people whose systems do work and try to either join them if they let me or attempt to emulate their ideas with the other outcasts. Likewise, if the situation were reversed and your commune ended in people starving on the streets with next to no healthcare and abysmal living standards (which has never happened to communism before. Honest. Except for every time it's been tried nationally) I'd have no problem with taking you in if I had the resources spare or the jobs available if I had control over anything significant. Looking back historically at the prosperity and rate of growth available for the people in nearly free markets, the outlook for available resources looks pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    People start trying new systems, only if they are personally very uncomfortable and have no other choice. Quantifying a threshold of "uncomfort", i would say official unemployment approaching 30%. That send Hitler to power and started WWII. As we speak unemployment approaches these levels in some European countries, with youth unemployment at over 50% . In others poverty is on the rise despite an officially lower unemployment. The crisis is not over yet, after what? 6 year already?
    Equating all serious political dissent with Nazism is particularly unfair. There are actual communes that exist today after all at least in the US where unemployment is much less than 30%. How many small free market towns are there in North Korea or (since that's an extreme example) were there in communist China or Russia?

    It turns out the real difference between libertarians and the current mainstream communists (thankfully not all are militant) is that libertarians are fine with letting communists exist as well as talking and trading with them.
    Last edited by Coconut_Sundae; March 18th, 2014 at 08:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The bailout wasn't capitalism, either. It's government cronyism.
    Huh?

    Crony capitalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gerald P. O'Driscoll, former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, stated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became examples of crony capitalism. Government backing let Fannie and Freddie dominate mortgage underwriting. "The politicians created the mortgage giants, which then returned some of the profits to the pols - sometimes directly, as campaign funds; sometimes as "contributions" to favored constituents.
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    Too tasteless, too stringy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I agree. We should eat the rich.
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    Goddamned right.
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    The monopolist classes have always had the power. It turns into this no matter what the system is called.
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  81. #80  
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Too tasteless, too stringy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I agree. We should eat the rich.
    Please don't hold it against me if I win the Mega Millions Lottery.
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    I won't. You won't, either. But I hope you do. I don't envy anybody. It's one of the seven deadly sins. I forget the others.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Too tasteless, too stringy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I agree. We should eat the rich.
    Please don't hold it against me if I win the Mega Millions Lottery.
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    The ugly side of capitalists ? Let's see....I'm gonna' say all six sides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurieag View Post
    Huh?
    I think there's a lot of confusion about what capitalism actually is. The whole point of money is to act as a medium for trade - representing the value of goods using some rare commodity allows people to forgo obtaining what they want from the people they trade with. If you can sell to one person but buy from another the possibilities are immense and wholly under appreciated by most people today. Using money, the farmer can make himself a car, the mechanic can write the music he likes most and build the machines that can play it to him, the musician can produce food etc.
    That's all money was invented for, nothing more and nothing less. Adam Smith never used the word capitalism anyway, he called this arrangement "a system of natural liberty" but this is what is meant when the free market people talk about capitalism.
    When the government takes your money and gives it to corporatists to buy bombs to kill foreigners and prisons to torture them in, no trade has taken place. You didn't agree to a transfer of funds and you had no say in how they were spent.
    Stealing isn't capitalism just because it involves money. In fact, private property is essential to capitalism so theft is strongly prohibited it's communism that runs on theft."Crony capitalism" is a misnomer therefor; corporate authoritarianism is probably closer to the mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    The ugly side of capitalists ? Let's see....I'm gonna' say all six sides.
    As far as "the ugly side of capitalists", other than misnomers and cheap remarks I've not seen a genuine criticism of actual free market capitalism so far much less six.
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    @ Coconut_Sundae

    Power is power. It doesn't matter if its government or private. Why Libertarians think that private power is somehow beater. What exactly can you do faced with a big company of 300.000 employees? Or faced with a billionaire? If anything, private power is much more abusive then public power.

    That somehow people will self organize is a myth. People are just passive and wait to be laid. They start reacting only if they are personally hurt. When you have a bunch of people, its very hard to get them to agree on much, let alone actually doing something concrete. This is why who ever has power can do what the hell he wants, he doesn't need to convince, he can just do it. In countries of millions, were you would need to coordinate millions, its almost impossible to organize them. If this was possible, people would have done it already, but they didn't.

    I completely lost faith in democracy, direct or representative. Its just propaganda from the smooth talkers that try to get elected. The electorate is just incompetent and stupid. We live in a democracy now, it doesn't look like an utopia to me. Personally i think the perfect system, would be a clone monarchy. The monarch would be succeeded by his clone. Its just a matter of time until the competent genotype make it to the position. Only that, will finally solve our problems.

    True freedom is impossible. We are always slaves to something.

    Not so long ago, most of Europe and japan weren't capitalists, they were mixed economies. On the surface it looked capitalistic, but the government had a heavy influence in the economy. The governments managed the economy. Things started going to hell, when the ideology that the free market will self regulate was put in practice.

    In Japan, there was the arrangement, that the government gave cheap loans to big companies, and in return they hired people for life. In most of Europe i think the state purely and simply owned certain important companies and certain monopolies. The whole economy was dependent on the state controlled part. The economic statistics weren't as impressive as today, but the economy was sustainable in the longterm, not like the ponzit system we have now.

    We'll go back to a mixed economy, because we have no choice. The current crisis is systemic, not just an accident. The current problems just keep pilling up until the governments will have no other choice.

    I meant that people are very conservative until they start to be in pain. Only then they bother to change the system. I meant that in normal circumstances people would have never bother with something new, like hitler.
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    Power is money. I don't understand practically any of this; ending with hitler.
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    Croney capitalism, you named one. Who cares whether Smith said "capitalism" ? There is a lot of confusion about capitalism. But I'm afraid much of it's in your head. Nothing in your post suggests you know anything about economic matters. Corporate greed and special interest money unleashed by the Supreme Court doesn't help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurieag View Post
    Huh?
    I think there's a lot of confusion about what capitalism actually is. The whole point of money is to act as a medium for trade - representing the value of goods using some rare commodity allows people to forgo obtaining what they want from the people they trade with. If you can sell to one person but buy from another the possibilities are immense and wholly under appreciated by most people today. Using money, the farmer can make himself a car, the mechanic can write the music he likes most and build the machines that can play it to him, the musician can produce food etc.
    That's all money was invented for, nothing more and nothing less. Adam Smith never used the word capitalism anyway, he called this arrangement "a system of natural liberty" but this is what is meant when the free market people talk about capitalism.
    When the government takes your money and gives it to corporatists to buy bombs to kill foreigners and prisons to torture them in, no trade has taken place. You didn't agree to a transfer of funds and you had no say in how they were spent.
    Stealing isn't capitalism just because it involves money. In fact, private property is essential to capitalism so theft is strongly prohibited it's communism that runs on theft."Crony capitalism" is a misnomer therefor; corporate authoritarianism is probably closer to the mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    The ugly side of capitalists ? Let's see....I'm gonna' say all six sides.
    As far as "the ugly side of capitalists", other than misnomers and cheap remarks I've not seen a genuine criticism of actual free market capitalism so far much less six.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Croney capitalism, you named one. Who cares whether Smith said "capitalism" ? There is a lot of confusion about capitalism. But I'm afraid much of it's in your head. Nothing in your post suggests you know anything about economic matters. Corporate greed and special interest money unleashed by the Supreme Court doesn't help.
    Seriously?

    Coconut makes an excellent post with an well recognized source for historical context and that's the best you can come up with?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Sundae View Post
    As far as "the ugly side of capitalists", other than misnomers and cheap remarks I've not seen a genuine criticism of actual free market capitalism so far much less six.
    The way capitalism is practiced in the US, does have many downsides. One of which is the blur between legitimate business and criminal enterprises. An example is when what appears to be a legitimate business that employs thousands of people and sells a product that's very beneficial to society at the cost of polluting the environment which they try to keep hidden from the public. They are knowingly putting our population and environment at risk for the sake of making more money. That's capitalism in need of government regulation and people to enforce those regulations. Almost every major industry we have would cause harm in the name of making profits. Without a very strong regulatory system overseeing the capitalistic activities of the people and corporations we would all have very much poorer lives and be at a much greater risk than we already are. Even so, the regulations we have are not enough or don't get enforced equally.

    Also the economic system we have established, lends itself to the boom and bust cycles that economically harm hundreds of millions of people and if that's not bad enough, they have not been able to control inflation which indirectly steals from everybody, but really hurts people on a fixed income usually after they've worked hard all their lives an then retired.

    One more example, the last property bust. I was just amazed at how many average hard working people screwed themselves trying to get in on the action and make some easy money. Then it turned out that it was more like a very large pyramid game and couldn't sustain itself. At the time it was happening, I knew what was coming and so did most of the people I knew. But the general greed was a very strong feeling in just about all of us. So we were willing to gamble that we could get in and out before the bust came. But as always, most of the population was left holding the bag and feeling somewhat guilty about the greed they felt.

    I call that out of control capitalism and it rarely turns out good for the majority of the people.
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    @ umbradiago

    For the majority of your post, please see my signature.

    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    Corporate greed and special interest money
    These I will address as part of my response for Bad Robot's post (below) which poses them in greater detail.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    The way capitalism is practiced in the US, does have many downsides. One of which is the blur between legitimate business and criminal enterprises. An example is when what appears to be a legitimate business that employs thousands of people and sells a product that's very beneficial to society at the cost of polluting the environment which they try to keep hidden from the public.
    The question of pollution is very serious but again I think it stems more from government intervention than a free market (which we don't have).

    To begin, I should say that most libertarians don't want a totally free market, just one with very simple and transparent regulations that go something like the following:
    1) You can't force people/threaten people into trading with you or being a part of your trade (which means nobody can sell slaves or assassinations or things like this).
    2) Everyone has property rights over their bodies and possessions.
    3) You can't lie to get people to buy from you (fraud), which is effectively stealing and prohibited by rule 2.

    In which case, in a free market dumping waste into a steam is dealt with through property rights - someone owns the stream so they take you to court if you damage it. Further, the pollution of your own property destroys its value and so there is profit to be made from increases in efficiency and waste management. This article (link) puts forward this position and counters the idea that taxation is the right solution (in any form, much less the form it takes today). There are also plenty of books (eg Anderson (link)) that compare how public protection of eg forests measures up to private ownership in real life (had some good tables but I can't find it online). Besides this, despite what we are told on the news, it seems like the vast majority of people (link) are considerate, well intentioned and do care about helping others and helping the environment; if you leave them to their own devices, particularly with their own property, they surprise you in a good way.

    I may not have to hand any actual figures for how a real free market compares to public ownership in the West, but the idea that Communism does better on the economic front has been thoroughly discredited (link) - Soviet Communism has done horrific environmental damage to the environment and the other communist countries didn't do much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Also the economic system we have established, lends itself to the boom and bust cycles that economically harm hundreds of millions of people and if that's not bad enough, they have not been able to control inflation which indirectly steals from everybody, but really hurts people on a fixed income usually after they've worked hard all their lives an then retired.
    With you on both counts, especially the unfairness of the inflation tax. Both are the product of government meddling or not doing its only legitimate job; the economic crisis happened because of massive inflation in the form of low interest rates and the failure of regulators to force banks to tell people how little of their money was actually real (which is fraud and is punished as stealing in a free market). I cite eg the Cato Institute's interpretation (link), which is pretty good for going through the common counterarguments to this position.

    If people want to use fiat money and believe the risks are outweighed by the benefit, the free market holds no prejudice against them and they are welcome to it. Just don't have legal tender laws that stop the rest of us using gold or Bitcoin etc. There's something wrong with a society that can put young people in jail for possessing cannabis but refuses to prosecute for fraud people who gained enormously from the bailouts levied on the taxpayers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    One more example, the last property bust. I was just amazed at how many average hard working people screwed themselves trying to get in on the action and make some easy money. Then it turned out that it was more like a very large pyramid game and couldn't sustain itself. At the time it was happening, I knew what was coming and so did most of the people I knew. But the general greed was a very strong feeling in just about all of us. So we were willing to gamble that we could get in and out before the bust came. But as always, most of the population was left holding the bag and feeling somewhat guilty about the greed they felt.
    This was intertwined with the economic crisis. Actually, the housing situation has made me at least a little more sympathetic towards the banks; the intention of giving out risky mortgages and the creation of "toxic assets" (i.e. giving poor people a chance to move into better neighborhoods and receive a better standard of living) was good and they thought they would be able to survive the increased number of mortgages that fell through. If they'd explained what they were doing to their customers (both the people with the accounts and the mortgage applicants) and there were no laws or regulations preventing those who disagreed with fiat money from using their own money in their own banks without penalty then I'd have no problem with what the banks tried to do; they had an idea and it turned out not to work. that happens sometimes. Trades should be voluntary and honest, beyond that I advocate as few restrictions as possible (hopefully zero).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I call that out of control capitalism and it rarely turns out good for the majority of the people.
    I sincerely wish to find a place to live and work where I can have real capitalism, not cronyism or socialism or any other authoritarian mess. Where I live (the UK), it's better than many places but still hopelessly lost with 'capitalism' amongst the majority of people synonymous with stealing and government control. Worse, we're being swallowed up by a massive authoritarian entity (the EU) to dictate our laws to us from hundreds of miles away and force us onto an even worse brand of fiat money.

    To end my post, this video summarises everything I want from a politician;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw0wKOpA1UQ
    Last edited by Coconut_Sundae; April 5th, 2014 at 05:58 AM.
    Long live the Hierarchy of Disagreement (link). I try my best to be at least in one of the top 3 ranks.
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    Over 2.1 Trillion dollars in profit from American corporations is held in foreign banks, avoiding payment on taxes which should be owed the IRS and the American Treasury Dept. This bother anyone ? Anyone, here, I mean.
    No ? Ok, that's what I thought.
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