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Thread: It just occurred to me (spin-off from healthcare)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by soapandwater
    There are socialist OR communist (as they're not the same thing).
    They are so close they can hear each other breathing...



    Quote Originally Posted by soapandwater
    but interestingly, the Internet is not owned by the United States.
    right....and your point?


    My point is simply that many of you who are hostile towards capitalism are the same people who benefit from it all day long.

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  3. #22
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    In an effort to find some common ground, perhaps we can all agree that capitolism does have strengths and weaknesses? A google of "Capitalism Flaws" led me to this articulate page, which I shall reproduce here:

    STRENGTHS OF CAPITALISM:

    1. Lower Cost Products
    The strive to create an acceptable product at an affordable price to compete with other service providers/manufacturers helps to keep the cost of products low. "Today the world obtains commodities of excellent quality at prices which even the preceding generation would have deemed incredible. In the commercial world...the poor enjoy what the rich could not before afford." (Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth, 1889.)

    2. Material Accumulation
    There is a kind of personal empowerment which comes from material accumulation. Even the meagerly paid wage-worker is proud of his dented car or old house. He worked for those things, paid for them out of his own pocket and doesn't owe anyone anything for these things. No one has a claim on these things and their control or destruction is totally based upon his decision.
    On a related note, the amount of wealth which we are able to accumulate from our efforts gives us a measure of accomplishment. Many people use wealth as a measure of their success by comparing their material wealth with those around them.
    "The price which society pays for the law of competition...is great; but the advantages of this law are also greater still than its cost - for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train." (Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth, 1889.)

    3. Variety
    Because of the nature of competition, any person with an entrepreneurial spirit can make minor modifications to a product and market it as something new. That's why we have a dozen different brands of toilet paper whereas socialist-based economies only have one.

    4. Better Distribution (When Profitable)
    Capitalism is controlled by supply and demand - where there is a strong demand for something, the product will make it there. You won't find any long lines waiting for bread in a capitalist society. In a socialist-based economy, a strong demand for a product in a certain area does not have the same motivational impact on suppliers because there is no profit-factor.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FLAWS OF CAPITALISM:

    1. Waste, Waste, Waste
    Let me give you two examples that just "make my blood boil". Texans periodically get to see flames shooting into the sky near oil drills. This is the natural gas being wasted, all of that potential fuel being discarded like garbage because it is too costly to refine and distribute to make a decent profit.
    And of course we are all familiar with farms forced to leave food in the fields to rot because overproduction would decrease their profits. When we are in a world with masses dying from starvation, such a sight should enrage any caring person.

    2. Hinderance to True Advancement
    I have two words for you...light bulbs. Did you know that a light bulb has been invented that very rarely needs replaced. And did you know the owner of the patent is also a manufacturer of light bulbs. Don't expect these bulbs to ever show up in the market.
    And if there were a car that never needed replacing or repairing...do you honestly think it would be produced in a capitalist society? There would be no profit in it, even though it would advance mankind tremendously. And what about the car that runs on power-cells? This car is an electric car that runs on hydrogen and its only pollutant is water. No fossil fuels required. You can be assured that this project has the full support of the oil industry :).
    And if there were precious resources on the moon, we'd have a base there by now. The point is, there is a negative side to the profit factor.

    3. Environmental Destruction
    I want you to ask yourself why we are not using recycled paper. There is a greater supply of post-consummer paper than there is demand for slightly more expensive recycled paper. Because recycled paper is difficult to mass produce, it is more expensive to produce because each unit has to share a higher percentage of the fixed costs of production. So, instead of doing what is ecologically prudent, we continue to ravage our forests and send our post-consummer resources to the landfill to take up room that could be used for true wastes.
    And what about air and water pollution? If pollution-controls did not adversely affect profits, we know that industries would automatically comply. I do not wish to present manufacturers as the "spawn of Satan", but the bottom line is that protecting the environment is a liability in a capitalist-like system.
    Environmental issues are just one example of how a capitalist-like market can force us to make the wrong choices.

    4. A Society of Wage Slaves
    To keep prices low, and to compete, management must prey upon labor, keeping wages low, automating jobs out of existence, and exporting jobs to other nations which still have slave-wage labor. This leads to poor products from disgruntled labor who realize that management only cares about their output, not their humanity. I realize that corporations have to do such things to "stay in business" in a capitalist-like society, but that still does not justify the human costs.
    People deserve more from a full-time job than just the necessities of survival. And, in many places in America, even having a full-time job does not guarantee the essentials. Some homeless people DO have jobs, but one cannot survive on a single, minimum-wage job.
    A person who makes the effort to contribute to a society should be truly rewarded for that effort. Every worker should have a certain percentage of their wages that can be considered "expendible". They should also have the time to do things they want to do; people who "live for the weekend" are only enjoying 2/7 of their life. If we were to efficiently allocate our labor resources, there would be no need for people to spend so much of their life working/preparing for work.

    5. Growing Inequality in Income/Wealth
    "Between 1978 and 1987, the poorest fifth of American families became 8% poorer, and the richest fifth became 13% richer. That means the poorest fifth now have less than 5% of the nation's income, while the richest fifth have more than 40%...The American economy now exhibits a wider gap between rich and poor than it has at any other time since World War II." (Reich, Robert B. "Why The Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor Poorer", The New Republic, May 1, 1989.)
    Reich gives a convincing argument that the reason for the vanishing middle class is because of economic changes...we are now living in a global economy. US workers now must compete with workers from "developing countries" who are willing to work for very little pay. Another way of saying this, is that the culprit is a capitalist economy.
    Of course, there is nothing wrong with being economically rewarded for hard work or service, and very few want an equal distribution of wealth. The problem is, how many of those in the top fifth honestly earned their money? Those who sit around playing with money all day, producing nothing of value, and yet becoming richer is not the idea behind reward for labor and innovation.
    Just what is the true gap between the value of someone's efforts? Is there EVER a situation where someone should earn in a day what it takes someone else a year to earn? Is there truly that much of a gap in the value of the services the two hypothetical people provide?

    6. Wealthy Have More Political Power
    Ross Perot is single-handedly trying to form a third political party.
    "At least a third of all senators are millionaires...More than 50 House members are millionaires." (Davidson, Roger H. and Walter J. Oleszek. Congress and Its Members. 1994. p 122.)
    For several thousand dollars, you can have lunch with the leaders of one of the political parties and "rub elbows" with the representatives.
    Any questions?
    If we can agree that these strengths and weaknesses of capitolism exist, perhaps we can agree to disagree on the relative importance of them? For example, I value the environment far more than choice in TP, and equality in political power as of key importance over everything, so I see the disadvantages of capitolism as really significant things that (hopefully) can be addressed with public policy and government intervention, but I certainly do not expect everyone (and certainly not halfnhalf) to agree with me!

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfnhalf
    My point is simply that many of you who are hostile towards capitalism are the same people who benefit from it all day long.
    ... and many women who oppose abortion rights benefit from the pro-choice feminist movement by having access to birth control and an abortion should they ever choose to have one. I may benefit from a conservative government tax cut, but overall I would still prefer to live in a society that reinvested that tax cut into better education programs, and I would even more prefer to live in a society that taxed corporate agencies for the environmental damage they cause.

    Again, I don't think anyone is here is saying there are no advantages to capitalism - most people are simply saying that capitalism creates serious problems (as indicated in my previous post) and that these problems ought to be addresed/resolved in order to have a sustainable society.

  5. #24
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    Thanks, Delqc - I knew I could count on you for a thoughtful post (meant sincerely).

    Of course capitalism isn't perfect - nothing is, but I choose it over anything else at this time. And - to bring it back to my main point - Get Crafty is a wonderful example of Capitalism done right.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfnhalf
    My point is simply that many of you who are hostile towards capitalism are the same people who benefit from it all day long.
    And are disadvantaged by it all day long as well. It's a very flawed system.

    Personally I don't choose to label myself capitalist/socialist/whatever because I don't think the ideal political/social system has been designed yet.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfnhalf
    My point is simply that many of you who are hostile towards capitalism are the same people who benefit from it all day long.
    This has got to be the funniest shit ever. I'm getting flashbacks to my college days where the Young Republican Club thought they were hot stuff for tearing down Radical Student Union's posters.

    What was that good ole Will said? Oh yeah...

    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

    --Sir Winston Churchill.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by crystaleternity
    Personally I don't choose to label myself capitalist/socialist/whatever because I don't think the ideal political/social system has been designed yet.
    You're right - it hasn't. We are stuck with the flawed stuff to choose from. So I chose....we'll see what the future holds.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina-Trilobyte
    This has got to be the funniest shit ever. I'm getting flashbacks to my college days where the Young Republican Club thought they were hot stuff for tearing down Radical Student Union's posters.
    And the Liberal students really showed them by smoking pot, making bad grades, and moving back in with their parents!

    Put down the bongs, people!

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina-Trilobyte
    What was that good ole Will said? Oh yeah...

    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

    --Sir Winston Churchill.
    He was so wise - glad you looked him up. I bet you can relate to that quote just as much as I can :)

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfnhalf
    And the Liberal students really showed them by smoking pot, making bad grades, and moving back in with their parents!

    Put down the bongs, people!
    Ah yes.

    A sterling argument like that lets us know what sort of individual we're dealing with. Crass, close-minded and interested in whining about the Eeeeevil Libeeerals being the cause of all problems up to and including static cling.

    Drat, and I thought we had a genuine dissenting voice. Instead we have a shil. Still, just think how we give meaning to her life by giving her something to complain about to her friends. "I was on this LIBERAL message board and I SHOWED them!"

    Nope, just looked like an immature ass. Kinda cute, but hardly worth swatting.

    Do make sure to get the details correct when you call into your local rubbish talk radio host for your thirty seconds of fame. Maybe you could record a copy and post it? I'd love to see it.

    You seem to want the attention so provided you remain entertaining you will get it.

    C'mon, little doggie. Jump. Then turn around. Speak. That a GOOD doggie.


 
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