Has Capitalism destroyed human compassion?

Melancholy of loss

"We are hurtling into an uncertain future," said my favourite author, Orphan Pamuk, the Turkey's Nobel laureate,
"We are hurtling into an uncertain future," said my favourite author, Orphan Pamuk, the Turkey's Nobel laureate,
 who has brought his fictional museum from his latest novel 'Museum of Innocence' to life.
who has brought his fictional museum from his latest novel 'Museum of Innocence' to life.
This is Istanbul's first city museum, it covers daily life from 1950 to 2000.
This is Istanbul's first city museum, it covers daily life from 1950 to 2000.
In the main protagonist's lifetime, Istanbul has swelled from 1.5 million inhabitants to 15 millions.
In the main protagonist's lifetime, Istanbul has swelled from 1.5 million inhabitants to 15 millions.
Gone are sleepy willages on the Bosporus. Tall glass skycrapers dominate where wolves roamed.
Gone are sleepy willages on the Bosporus. Tall glass skycrapers dominate where wolves roamed.
The book charts special moments in Turkey's modernization as the city's elite, desperate to not be 'Eastern' and backward struggle with...
The book charts special moments in Turkey's modernization as the city's elite, desperate to not be 'Eastern' and backward struggle with...
Parisian fashion, premarital sex and alcohol. The house is full of everyday objects from a particular period. There is an atmosphere.
Parisian fashion, premarital sex and alcohol. The house is full of everyday objects from a particular period. There is an atmosphere.
You walk around the rooms and you feel an unspoken anxiety about forever struggling to be something else - more modern, more Western...
You walk around the rooms and you feel an unspoken anxiety about forever struggling to be something else - more modern, more Western...
and the secret fear that whatever we are, it just isn't good enough. A Turkish museum shows us our lives as they really are.
and the secret fear that whatever we are, it just isn't good enough. A Turkish museum shows us our lives as they really are.
Why not dedicate a museum to what might seem shameful, to a longing to come clean, to admit to very human imperfection and pain?
Why not dedicate a museum to what might seem shameful, to a longing to come clean, to admit to very human imperfection and pain?
There is a Turkish word for this melancholy of loss, HUZUN, a term first used to evoke the ache of man's loneliness.
There is a Turkish word for this melancholy of loss, HUZUN, a term first used to evoke the ache of man's loneliness.
In the 8 years Turkish prime minister Erdogan has been in power, Turkey's per capita GDP has grown nearly threefold and the lives of ordinary Turks improved dramatically.
In the 8 years Turkish prime minister Erdogan has been in power, Turkey's per capita GDP has grown nearly threefold and the lives of ordinary Turks improved dramatically.
And yet, that lump-in-throat feeling you get on your first night in a foreign bed, that ache of man's loneliness is more prevalent than ever before.
And yet, that lump-in-throat feeling you get on your first night in a foreign bed, that ache of man's loneliness is more prevalent than ever before.
Orphan Pamuk's story is an ode to human fragility, its HUZUN is universal and widely experienced everywhere in our modern world.
Orphan Pamuk's story is an ode to human fragility, its HUZUN is universal and widely experienced everywhere in our modern world.
The West may have lost the luxury of time. Countries may have to liberalize immigration policies to expand their working population and offset the burden of aging.
The West may have lost the luxury of time. Countries may have to liberalize immigration policies to expand their working population and offset the burden of aging.
We need growth to make the world sustainable, but what we need the most is what French call 'solidarite' - mutual sacrifice for the common good.
We need growth to make the world sustainable, but what we need the most is what French call 'solidarite' - mutual sacrifice for the common good.
What has happened to the entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to excel? People have to be encouraged to take their future into their hands.
What has happened to the entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to excel? People have to be encouraged to take their future into their hands.
With debt ballooning, inverstors in panic, policy-makers working on thougher choices that ever before in allocating tax receipts,
With debt ballooning, inverstors in panic, policy-makers working on thougher choices that ever before in allocating tax receipts,
 the question we have to ask: "Will they fund health care benefits, hire more teachers or buy more tanks?"
the question we have to ask: "Will they fund health care benefits, hire more teachers or buy more tanks?"

IN AN AGE OF TRANSFORMATION

more connected

as a world

we ever have been

in a 24/7

information drill.

Whatever happens

here

has an impact

immediately

all around

the world,

no safety barriers

no time to react,

technology

takes us on a ride

in a fast train

rushing

at a speed of light.



Governments

still play it safe,

chuffing along

on an old fashioned

steam train,

organized

as they were

in 1912.



Institutions

are the same

as they were

in 1950,

and companies

are operating

the way

they did

at the start

of the century.



We all rush

to hop on

that new-age train,

but the question is,

what set of values

we should leave behind

and which ones to take.



Some people

think about

cohesion,

growth

and greater equity.

Others

look for

more

innovation

and more productivity.

New industrialists

wish for new growth

without destroying

environment

while doing so...



Looking around

the crowded platform,

we realize

how important

is

the human factor

and its capability.

Is 20th century capitalism

failing

21st century society?

When even the haves

and the have-mores

can't agree.



Pushing each other

to get in

we don't even feel

ashamed,

having lost

our moral compass

living

in the world

of greatest

inequity

going backwards

on equailty.



Corporation

and greed

is on top of our list,

not innovation,

sustainability

and reform.



Many hubbers

answering this question

pointed out

great virtues

of capitalist society,

and I have to agree,

being the one,

leaving communism behind

so I can dream big

and live free.

Many people

are wealthier

than they ever were before

but we haven't solved

the problem

of economic disparity.


Reason,

values,

morals,

human knowledge

and people's collective unhappiness

are what bring about change.

People are critical

and the government reacts

by being progressive

moving for reforms

or being repressive.


Finishing my university in Russia,

I often question

the Putin's choice.

A great dose

of economic

stability

corruption

abuse of power

have emerged

in this new capitalist state.


In our capitalist dreamland

of America

people are selected by cosmetics

not substance.

Americans have come to feel

that politics is not going to change anything.

'Gone with the Wind'

an unrelenting tale

of how honour

gives in to greed.

Many Americans

suddenly realize,

wake-up calls in life

often come too late

or not at all....



In the more established democracies,

just like my new homeland,

Australia is,

people doubt major parties,

recoiling at their number games.

Australia is far away

from everyone,

but in today's world

we are more connected

than we ever have been,

Australians have grown cynical,

some of us have settled

for being disconnected.



In newly emerging capitalist states,

just like my old homeland

in Eastern Europe is,

people are tired of ballot ringing

and vote buying

and schoolteachers not being paid.



The loss of connection

with each other,

with the natural world

is the source of our apathy.

You can buy so much,

and yet

the most important things in life

are never for sale.



More by this Author


Comments 204 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Outstanding piece. You raise good and valid questions. In my opinion that system works best that takes seriously two incontrovertable realities: the capacity of man to achieve great things when given the freedom to do so and the capacity we have to do horrible things. Capitalism offers the former while the latter is inhibited by the fact that bad people compete against each other and thus limit each other's influence. Communism/Socialism attempts to control the bad in us by state authority, but squelches the good by robbing us of freedom and opportunity. The problem is the the state is populated by bad people, and what is there to push back against it?


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

So many people have lost the ability to put themselves in another's shoes...empathy is sadly lacking.


maxoxam41 profile image

maxoxam41 4 years ago from USA

As you noticed it in both economical models capitalism and communism, you have a huge discrepancy between the poor and the rich. With different ideologies, economies end up with the same result crashing and ostracizing people.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your valuable comments, maybe we have to come up with something else...what about 'capitalism with human face'?

You have your point there, maxoxam41, but I would still defend capitalism against communism, living in both systems for a long time, now...it gives you something valuable when running properly: oportunity:)


wetbaknproud profile image

wetbaknproud 4 years ago from new jersey

i have great faith in peoples, in the end we always move forward,the capitalism that comes out from this world economic crisis will be better just as the socialism that came after the fall of the berlin wall is better


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber for your input, although there is no more socialism after the fall of the Berlin Wall...they are all capitalist countries now:)...or at least they try to be ...with corruption still thriving, unfortunatelly, one of those is my home country, so I know:)


wetbaknproud profile image

wetbaknproud 4 years ago from new jersey

Here I have to disagree, socialism is alive and well and thriving,Brasil has had a socialist president for almost a decade, so has chile, Argentina has had a president that is in the leftist side of the peronista political party ,bolivia and ecuador have leftist presidents ,i'll skip venezuela because i think that regime has authoritarian tendencies that were prevalent in the old age of socialism,but in europe the socialist party has governed in spain for most of the past decades and although they lost the past election they are still one of two major parties,france has just elected a socialist president, and in italy the socialist party is the single largest political party,i think what has forever died is the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat, except for some anachronic , examples like china, north korea , cuba ,in my country of Uruguay we've freely elected a socialist president for three consecutive five year terms in democratic elections. and socialist ideology is what will ultimately save capitalism infusing it with altruistic and humanizing qualities .


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

wetbaknproud, your outline of socialism's current status was enlightening, and encouraging. May I request a Hub devoted to fleshing it out, with relevant links to URLs for further research?

:) Please?


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Very good hub. In my 76 years, my thoughts have changed several times. I've always been a liberal, tending to favor a more socialist approach to society. Since the 1980's, our great middle class has ceased to exist and we now have some 95 % of the countries wealth concentrated in the top 3 % of the population. To call wealthy billionaires "job creators" is ridiculous as this wealth does not "trickle down" to the poorest among us. It's nearly impossible for a low income entrepreneur to get started when much of our manufacturing and industry has been outsourced to other countries. Yet, I also know that the profit motive is what creates wealth. Communism, with the government controlling the means of production does not work, has never worked, and can never work. So, we must walk between these two evils. I agree with wetbaknproud's statement above. I also have faith in the people.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I thought of 'Man's inhumanity towards Man' often times reterring to Holocaust kind of times during the history of mankind. On a more local levee, I think of the fires in Colorado which are 10 miles from my doorstep. I've seen the accounts on the news and heard the other accounts on the radio and paper of people who, "There but for the Grace of God, go I" pitch in and help a community.

This confirms that man can do many things if they come together. I don't think in a socialist society where more is done for them, that this would happen as much. Capitalism is free enterprise and what is more freeing than giving to others in need. Like the poster before me concluded, "I also have faith in the people."

That is the only statement about the above post with which I agree. Another, "It's nearly impossible for a low income entrepreneur to get started when much of our manufacturing and industry has been outsourced to other countries." has only been necessary because we have failed miserably to reform our tax code so this doesn't need to happen. I don't think businesses want to outsource to India where the reps speak such garble English, but they HAVE to to stay financially afloat.

We're intelligent beings, and reforming the tax code, so that one of the biggest companies in this land (GE) no longer gets away with paying $0.00 in taxes-is a step. Don't blame this problem on entrepreneurship. It is the problem of needed tax reform.


Majadez profile image

Majadez 4 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi.

I thought I'd tell you that I think your piece is beautiful. I looked up Pamuk too and he's now on my list of authors to read.

I've heard it said that capitalism might not be perfect but it's the best system we have available right now. Perhaps that is true in that it limits the way in which citizens can be manipulated, although it still occurs. It is time, however, to develop a new system. A system that is human and one in which we don't have to trade our time, happiness and values for "survival". New ideas and systems are always available but I think that more than anything, people fear change. It is a risk involving the belief that things could get worse rather than better. So, we collectively play it safe rather than act...

Thanks for sharing your view.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Like you say, "capitalism might not be perfect" but the alternatives leave something to be desired. With the exception of 27 (28?) times our Constitution has existed for well over 200 years. I'm hard pressed to think of another wywtem that's lasted longer with less turmoil. Changes? Yes, Turmoil? A few times. Let's be careful NOT to throw the 'baby out with the bathwater' and toss one of the best systems of government the world has known because it 'seems' that the grass may be greener on the other side.!"


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

A successful country has a number of aspects that are in balance. Business and Society are two of them. It seems to me the role of government is to keep these in balance. Unfortunately it seems that Business regularly captures Government, with parks and priceless heritage demolished to make way for multi story car parks for example, and this gives rise to complaints not about the quality of government but about Capitalism, more precisely corporate capitalism.

Add to that the over representation of sociopaths in higher management and the adulation of the ruthless businessman, who differs from the ruthless gangster only in their methods and one can see why capitalism and compassion are so often mutually exclusive.

This all leads to the cynicism that pervades the world today. But I regard that as a step forward for uncritical respect for authority is the royal road to dictatorship.


Barnsey profile image

Barnsey 4 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

Wow, what an amazing work of art you have put together. I am in awe, I truly am. I am a writer but you are clearly much more than that. You deserve best answer hands down!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

Beata, I who wears rose-colored glassed refuse to let capitalism change the way I think and live. Yes, I have to succumb to a point in order to pay my bills. But I refuse to let govenment dictate the way I govern my life.

I'm sure you now know America is no longer the land of the free. Without getting myself in legal trouble, the much disuputed Health Care Act, will be the demise of hard working Americans, and the wealth of illegal immigrants, and those Americans who prefer to live off the govenment. Shamefully, the aforementioned have more freedom in the USA than those of us who where born here, or those who proudly studied hard to become citizens.

Capitalism, socialism, commumism are all supressive. The proponents speak a pretty word, but how would they speak when put in the shoes in which they are forcing those of us who have true intentions and want to make a good life for ourselves and our families?

This hub as come on the cusp of an uproar in America. I expect you'll receive many, many comments; mostly of distain to what's going on in our world today.


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Very interesting and well written hub..basically what I perceive is the old adage.." the world is going to HELL ina handbasket"...pretty much sums it up...I think we would all be surprised if we new the real truth....and this has been coming since the new wave started around 1970's....


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I agree here with Beata and kj, "yes, Mildred, the world is going to hell in a hand basket.' But to me that only prompts the question of "are we all maximizing our efforts to prevent it?" We can analyze all day long and argue about whose analysis is right and whose analysis is wrong, but at the end of the day, "WHAT HAVE WE ACCOMPLISHED?"

IMHO, citizens of a country that is headed in the wrong direction (and by the sounds of posts, most people think this is the case) need to be DOING something about it. Not complaining about it. What good does that do? The time for complaining WAS in the 60s. The time for writing legislators, not voting the bums out who we think won't further the agenda of the US of A, is fleeting.

Some of us may have already become involved in a cause greater than their self-interest., greater than themselves. But if we haven't, there's no better time to start than now. Let's all say that we tried, or DIED TRYING. If to no one else, we owe it to ourselves!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

They tried to solve the problem of overpopulation in the 19th Century through the industrial revolution. The immediate result was a downturn in common human feeling toward the common worker. The industrial revolution, however, was only a stopgap. It didn't really solve the problem but made it so that Western society could continue but at a faster pace. No, Capitalism hasn't destroyed human compassion but sticking with holy books that have their origins in a much less populated Bronze Age have done so. Today I cannot look with compassion upon the boat people migrants coming to Australia because it has been going on for over fifty years. In my youth I could have compassion for them and other migrants coming in but, now that I see it is a continuous river, the compassion has gone. I feel nothing for those who drown because their boats are too flimsy. I would regain a sense of compassion if I knew the countries sending these people were doing their best to reign in their populations but I know that they are just happy to dump them onto Australia and other Western nations. We in the West have come to control our own population. The same can be said for the Japanese, the Chinese and the South Koreans. How can I really have compassion for the holdouts that will destroy my planet and ruin my country? It is impossible.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

This is a very beautiful poem, and I do think that in many places capitalism has destroyed human compassion. Just look at the homelessness and unemployment rates in so many western countries. Voted up and sharing!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I respectfully disagree w/ your view of capitalism and free enterprise. Both allow anyone w/ the determination to get ahead, get educated, find a job, grow a business and do well. Many of today's most wealthy businessmen and leaders came out of poverty w/ nothing but a will to succeed. Socialism makes people weaker and communism creates mediocrity and encourages hopelessness. There is an old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." If a person, given government programs to get ahead, can't get off welfare then it's no longer a matter of inequality. It's an example of lack of motivation. If a person who is gainfully employed spends all of his money supporting an unrealistic lifestyle instead of saving for life's downturns, it is poor judgement and poor money management, NOT inequality.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Cat on a soapbox,

"Socialism makes people weaker and communism creates mediocrity and encourages hopelessness." I so agree with your comparison between socialism and capitalism. While not everyone in a capitalist society DOES succeed, more have that ability than do in a socialite society. YOU NAILED IT. I have a disability and rely on the state for help, but I don't like being on the 'dole.' Very few in the disability community do for the reasons you cited.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

teamrn,

Thank you! I have no problem w/ truly disabled people receiving assistance. I've had to take it myself following surgery during rehab.. There are some people though who "work the system" just because they can. At what point will those of us who keep the funds going just plain get tired of enabling the lazy and dishonest?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Sorry, dear 'wetbaknproud', there was a little misunderstanding between us, you mention the 'Berlin Wall' that was the start of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT THE EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, not about the whole world.

I am very aware that socialism is still apparent around the world, although it changes its form more to capitalism especially in China:)

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your lively debate and great knowledgeable comments, see a lot of passion for this particular question, I just tried to answer from my point of view and experience:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

At what point? Good question because I'm on the other side of the fence. But, in years past, before Social Security Disability was made law, people managed, people survived. Whether it was due to the kindness of other church members or the community, they survived.

Nowadays, to survive is really difficult due to the expense of life. Even if I sold half of the things in my house (things I don't need), that wouldn't cover the astronomical costs or health insurance, groceries or the mortgage. I'd love to figure out a way that we could teach people (ACTUALLY WHERE THEY WOULDN'T NEED TO BE TAUGHT), self-reliance.

The fact that SO MANY think that the government is there to provide for their social needs is appalling, the nanny state. The government is there to provide for domestic and foreign policy needs, but not to legislate social concerns and that is half of what they do.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear uninvited writer from the first post: I so totally agree. But is it that they lack the ABILITY to put themselves into another's shoes? Or, is it that they lack the CAPACITY to o so? Are they so wrapped up in the 'me-mostest-bestest' world and wrapped up in their own little corners that they don't SEE that others exist and others need them?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Dear teamrn, I have lived in a communist state the most of my life and because of my father (being the dissident) and I have been harshly persecuted. Now I live in a capitalist state and love the freedom and opportunity it gives me. As a concerned citizen I care the state it is and how it could be improved, if possible...And although I have read all your valuable answers, the main question is still not answered:

Has Capitalism destroyed human compassion?

So I ask again: ...with debt ballooning, inverstors in panic, policy-makers working on thougher choices that ever before in allocating tax receipts,the question we have to ask: "Will they fund health care benefits, hire more teachers or buy more tanks?"

As you know, the health and education system is in a bad state but there is always enough money to spend on new weapons....and conclicts errupt continuously all around the world...is there something more we need to add?


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Capitalism hasn't destroyed compassion, but the higher taxes forced upon us for government socialist welfare programs and pensions is chipping away at it. Why be a compassionate giver when you've played by the rules and still see your hard- earned retirement savings draining away at an unsustainable rate. Not all of us have the luxury of Union pensions.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

The majority of Govt. spending for 2012 has been allotted for healthcare, pensions, education and THEN defense.

check it out: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/united_states_...


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

When government takes care of the disinfranchised by heavily taxing the rest of us for welfare programs, it tends to discourage charitable giving. and breeds resentment.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear Beata, the Federal government has no business, IMHO, being involved in education at all. That is a function that is best left to the states.

I feel the same about healthcare. The federal government was NEVER granted that power in the Constitution and by default, that power was granted to the states, if they so choose to deal with it.

Health care is one of the drivers of our federal debt and because of that, I see a conflict of interest to putting healthcare on the Federal stage..

Just like 'cat on a soapbox' says, "When government takes care of the disinfranchised by heavily taxing the rest of us for welfare programs, it tends to discourage charitable giving. and breeds resentment." It breeds resentment.

I think that if you take healthcare OFF the Federal agenda and off the national stage, the resentment would not be bred, or if it still was bred, it would exists AT A MUCH SMALLER LEVEL.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

In Australia we have a mixture of Socialism and Capitalism. If you want your kids to get a good education then you have to pay for it otherwise the government schools will do their best. You will get better hospital care if you can afford it otherwise you will be admitted to hospital if you are really sick and you will be treated well but don't expect a private room. We have Medicare in Australia and it is worth having. Having it so that all children get at least so,me kind of an education is also deemed important. All up, it is not a perfect world but these facts haven't really changed in 50 years.

There is compassion for the poor but it can ever only go so far in any society.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Great input, guys, thanks for all your valuable comments, learnt a lot from you all...I am very happy that I live in Australia, Rod, I also believe it is one of the best place one can live right now:)


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

You asked for a simple answer to the question, Has Capitalism destroyed human compassion? The chain of answers has turned into a contest of strong opinions about the role of government, taxation, and health care. It's never ending and no one wins.

Human compassion is and always will be with us, regardless of the political system. Capitalism has not destroyed it. One who has not walked in the shoes, or worked closely with, the poor, disabled, or mentally challenged is less likely to understand their needs or why they can't succeed without help. Greed and lack of understanding hinder human compassion.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Love your answer, Jack, thank you so much, I think you understood where I was heading, I have been working with disabled children and disadvantaged families for most of my life, it is easier to appreciate any system when you are healthy, young and at the top of the social ladder....but I also acknowledge how much is there to learn from different people from all around the world, if nothing else at least it helps me to understand how they think and feel about those disadvantaged....


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I agree that compassion is w/ the individual. I am a big believer in philanthropy and community service and have also been doing it for over 40 years. The problem now is that fewer people are available for volunteer work because they are out looking for paying jobs to make ends meet. I wouldn't call the average person greedy but rather protective of his hard-earned wages and fearful of the the future w/ the increased costs of living. The bills from an unexpected illness or the loss of a job can make a person homeless in short order- esp. if you are over 50.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Mehmet, HOW does capitalism oppress? I'm curious, not argumentative? I'm poor in a capitalist society, yet I don't feel oppressed. I believe oppression is often in the mind; but is often brewed in socialist states.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Beatastasak

In many ways technology has made life easier in other ways it has failed miserably because decisions are made based on greed and the almighty dollar.


pramodgokhale profile image

pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

Hi Beatastasak

Really piece for thought and clear picture of failed system.Think tank can show wrong going and doing but can not offer product and tool to rectification.

Human greed is a factor and survival of the fittest a Jungle law is in coming. Global consensus is a first step to stem the rot.

Thank you


shara63 profile image

shara63 4 years ago from Delhi

Commonalty between capitalism and Communism is Goods or Materials/Money.....only difference between the two is, for one goods are held in the Corporate or private ownership while for the other goods are held in common....but the fact is that both emphasise on this common element that is 'Materialism' and in the race of seeking their goals that is just for the false show, both of them ignore & omit the Values in life....and this is the main cause of the deficit in human compassion over the world....its really really sad!

very gud hub & voted up!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is very well done! You have hit on a few truths here prevalent in our society such as the defeated spirit in seeking entrepreneurial methods of self-sustaining life. Our present day life has left many hopeless and they are leaning towards the government to supply their needs.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Great hub, but I think it's too soon to give up on human beings. It seems that certain forms of government are more likely to cause the 'dumbing down' of people. But, the more government stays out of peoples lives, unnecessary involvement, the more people are free to be themselves and their humanity is able to shine through, unshackled!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers, few individuals do not count for whole humanity, but I still think the current financial crisis teaches us a lesson or two if we are ready to listen. To make my point more clear this time, I include the answer of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on the question: "Why do you think no bankers have been prosecuted over the current financial crisis?"

His answer wraps it nicely and I think it also clearly answers my question about capitalism and compassion: "In the years before the crisis, laws were passed that made it possible for people to do within the law a lot of bad things. Many of the abusive practices with credit cards, predatory lending, were clearly IMMORAL. They went beyond the point of DECENCY, but they didn't go beyond what was legal."

Now I ask you all, if the bankers were compassionate would they do such bad things?


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Excellent presentation, I specially loved how you used effective pictures to further explain the scribe. I use the same format and it is wonderful to see you write on an important topic as this.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Fabulous poem, great food for thought and I agree. I myself quit teaching last month, because I was tired of the overwork, overstress and being underpaid. At least if I'm going to be underpaid, I can work at home and make my own schedule. :) One problem with capitalism is that it relies on an ever-expanding economy and there are only so many resources to be plundered. I wonder about our future. Your hub has sparked such lovely debate. :)


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

@cat on a soapbox: "There are some people though who 'work the system' just because they can. At what point will those of us who keep the funds going just plain get tired of enabling the lazy and dishonest?"

I acknowledge that there are too many on the lowest-income end of the scale who have figured out how to outsmart a system too lazy to police itself. But your statement above applies with equal force to the highest income segment of the population as well. "Too big to fail" = socialized corporatism. Talk about working the system? How about the ones who created the system!? No one works it better than the ones who hold so much wealth that they can buy candidates who will ignore their corruption all the way to the bank-- and re-election, purchase legislation which locks the flow of wealth into a one-way channel: upwards, out of the pockets of the middle classes. The pittance that the poorest classes squeeze from a system turning a blind eye toward them simply disappears in comparison to the embarrassment of wealth being accumulated (but not earned) through corrupt, system-gaming channels by the top few percent.

The other eye of justice is blind, too.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Jim, your supposition implies that ALL wealth is ill-gotten, when that isn't the case. In fact, almost all the wealthy have earned their money; sure there are the Paris Hilton's of this world who were born into wealth, but are you saying we ought to take her wealth to level the playing field? Or George Soros wealth? That's proven not to be effective The Robin Hood tax of robbing from the rich? The trouble with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people's money....

I don't want Paris' Hilton's or George Soros' money; I want to know that the money that I have came from the fruits of my labors. Any other way would cheapen the $$ I do receive.

Oh, I know we've all fantasized about the PCH sweepstakes or about having billions at our disposal, but those who would want to change their lifestyle are few in number. We just want to be left a lot in peace.

Robbing from the top few percent wouldn't touch our financial crisis. It might make a few people FEEL BETTE; but pilfering the wealthy to solve the financial problems we face, will only drive the businesses they own off-shore; and with that, their employees. ENTER, INCREASED unemployment rates.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Keep commenting and keep exploring this question from all those different corners, there is nothing else a hubber can ask for...knowing that my hub became a springboard for such a lively and explorative debate:)


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

An excellent read. I believe, like you, much of society has lost its moral compass...we may have to continue to feel the pain until we realize money and having things are not the answer to our woes; compassion and extending a helping hand to help another will enrich our lives. I think our form of capitalism has run amuck.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

A well said and thoughtful hub, Beata.

Up, Interesting, and shared with followers.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Jim,

I can't disagree that the system is being worked by both ends of the economic spectrum; however, this does not put the blame on capitalism. I'll agree w/ the comments of teamrn. Much good has come from capitalism through philantropy, innovation and productivity, and stimulation of the economy. We should each have the freedom to make and control our own money! Ideally, one should earn it honestly, save and invest it wisely, spend it sensibly, share it in ways PERSONALLY CHOSEN, and find peace in knowing that the management of it will provide for the familys' future. To those of us who opt to live within our means, the flaunting of designer labels and the bloated lifestyles glorified on TV and in the media are just sickening! What a waste when that money could be put to better use! Nevertheless, a fair government will NEVER be able to control the behavior of the people. Deceit would exist under any form of rule either at the top or within the ranks of its people. That's why children need to be taught to have good morals and self-control. Capitalism is NOT the problem.


Barnsey profile image

Barnsey 4 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

Well said, Cat on a Soapbox! While I agree with your last statement I can tell you that many parents lost control of their children due to the threat of Government intervention ie - Dyfus. I have no children of my own but everyone I know does and they claim that because it has become socially unacceptable to correct their children in the same manner as we were when we were children they are at a loss at the moment their child reaches puberty. These are middle class families and they admit they can only guide their children but controlling them went out with the social worker.

I find this sad. I also disagree with child abuse but sometimes a kid just needs his or her but whooped. If you cant do that you are taking fear out of the factor, respect will soon follow when the kid finds out there is little you can do without getting in trouble. I believe this is yet another example of the government interfering and making things worse than they were.

That being said while basic capitalism is not the problem, extreme capitalism on the part of the wealthy is clearly at least partially to blame. While some of us live simpler lives and live within our means others simply must have more and these folks are who makes it hard for the rest of us to survive becuase they are constantly driving up the cost of living. Even worse these are the same people who become rampant tight wads when the economy goes in the tank! So desperate to retain their advantage over society they could care less what happens as long as they dont have to get their hands dirty. Unions are also partially responsible for driving up the costs of living and while I think they are no more than socialist organizations protecting everyday citizens from extreme capitalism, they have their own money grubbing policies that should be reviled.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Barnsey,

Thank you! I come from the "spanking generation" before Dr. Spock changed his tune, and it didn't damage me; however. there are many better ways to instill good morals and self-control w/o physical punishment. Parents need to be teachers and disciplinarians not "best friends" until children reach adulthood, and children should NOT be automatically entitled to things. They should earn their privileges through responsible behavior.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

As a teacher and a parent I have to disagree, to make my point clear, please give a thought to this statement: '$2.1 trillion-worldwide proceeds generated by criminality according to the U.N. making crime one fo the world's tomp 20 economies'.

Nor parents nor teachers teach children how to earn the easy money without honest work, how to best cheat the system and avoid being caught. They learnt it naturally by observing the practices widely used in our system. Their modern heroes are people who make big bucks by cheating.

The system we live in is designed for the fittest and the ones who know how to bent the rules to their advantage...disadvantaged are those who don't have enough money to pay their way out, who don't know any influential people to help them out...the ones who don't want to or don't know how to cheat the system...


Barnsey profile image

Barnsey 4 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

Oh yeah, Capitalism is and has ever been Who you know, not What you know! We all know that and have heard our parents say it since childhood. It has finally caught up to us, this elitist behavior is the separation of classes, the slowing of growth and the shining example of the hypocrisy practiced by wealthy, bigshot employers...I am talking to you multimillion dollar corporations!


shara63 profile image

shara63 4 years ago from Delhi

this is what i wanted to say in my answer above....in upbringing of children, Moral teaching by parents and later on by teachers through practicing by self and through academic curriculums shud be an essential part, and that will definitely help to inculcate morals & ethics in children , that will make them a better & responsible citizen...then no capitalism or communism can effect upon human compassion!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Beata, I understand your viewpoint and agree that children are definitely influenced by role models who appear to make easy money. This explains why ghetto kids would rather sell drugs or get involved in organized crime than break the cycle by going to college and working the way up to success. There have ALWAYS been cheaters who wish to take the lazy way on the backs of others. My mother used to say to me, "just because others do it is no excuse for you!" If a person has strong morals and values self-honesty, he will stay above the fray. Teach your kids to value honesty and one another, not to worship material things as a substitute for love.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

@teamrn You inferred (unfairly) that I think that all wealth is ill-gotten. I did not say that, neither do I believe it. I did however assert that the greed which is allowed to flourish at the top of our economy (due to lax enforcement) is much more damaging to the economy than the greed which is allowed to flourish at lower levels (again due to lax enforcement). Witness the repeal of Glass-Steagall, lobbied against for decades by the banking industry which it was meant to regulate.

As soon as the regulators could no longer enforce the separation between consumer banking and wall street gambling with middle class American Dream money (mortgages, retirement savings), the greed of the wealthiest classes was unleashed. The middle and poorer classes cannot be culpable for a global economic crisis in which they did not participate. They did, however, suffer the most for the sins of their own banks.

Did the supposedly free market correct itself, or regulate itself, as promised by fans of capitalism? On the contrary, the biggest redistribution of wealth ever recorded occurred, and it all went in one direction: up.

The middle and lower classes were hurting the most from this capitalist greed orgy. And in true reverse Robin Hood fashion, it was their tax dollars, and those of their children for many generations to come, which were handed over to the financial institutions, to seemingly reward them for accomplishing the largest wealth-grab in history.

In the wake of this terrible track record, you'll forgive me for being suspicious of those who demonize socialism out of one side of their mouths, while benefiting from the most immoral kind of corporate welfare socialism, with utter impunity.

So I'll keep quiet while those with the most to lose cheer for the very system that just screwed them over.


RodniGalloway profile image

RodniGalloway 4 years ago from Summerville, SC

well put. In many instances, I must say I can agree. It's nice to see that other people feel the same way.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I find greed deplorable on any level whether it's corporate, union, or individual. I am not a proponent of deregulation and rue the day that Glass-Steagall was repealed by Pres. Clinton. I am also in support of reducing the tax havens for the mega-millionaires and global corporations; however, I have a problem when ALL of the blame is put at the feet of Corporate America and blamed on capitalism.

Some things to think about:

Do individual choices not play into the housing fiasco? Doesn't getting a home w/ little or no money down send up a red flag? These choices have contributed to the devaluation of ALL homes due to increased foreclosures.

Why is Europe struggling against bankruptcy with a tax rate near 50%?

Is it because of corporate greed, bailouts, or high military spending?

Would it surprise you to see that both private and public sector LaborUnions buy as many or more politicians as corporations? How do Labor Unions benefit the average consumer?

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

How does business grow? Would you be in a business if you weren't interested in making a profit?


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear Cat, I am a proponent of deregulation to the extent that deregulation can have oversight. About the tax havens, NO ONE should have access to tax havens, rich or not rich.

I do agree with you that individual choices play into the housing crisis. People should take a little responsibility and READ THE FINE PRINT and determine if they can afford the monthly payments. Maybe not everyone realizes the concept of being "house poor," but being able to make the payments or not being able to make the payments isn't a tough one.

If blame has to be assessed, I guess I'd fault a few realtors and mortgage lenders who promote the idea that it was a God-given right to own a home. It's a right ONLY IF PEOPLE CAN AFFORD IT. Actually ANYONE who promotes that idea, especially Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, Owning a home is said to be the ultimate American dream, NOT THE ULTIMATE RIGHT!

"Why is Europe struggling against bankruptcy with a tax rate near 50%?" As Margaret Thatcher says, they're finally starting "to run out of other people's money/"


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Jim Miles, I had a lengthy reply to you, then computer crashed this response will be much shorter. You seem to associate an over supply of money with that EVIL CAPITALISM, or at least a robust economy with the evils of capitalism. Capitalism was one of the main drivers of our economy for up to 236 years.

In the past 20 years when this was brewing, i didn't hear complaints. Not until now and I've got to say that I'm curious.

Assured by the regulatory commission that all was fine, President Bush and to an extent, President Clinton didn't investigate that the housing market was fine and banking was stable. In retrospect, we all know it WASN'T. Was that the fault of capitalism? To me, it's as obvious as the nose on my face that it is (and I don't like to use this word) the fault of whatever/whomever assured the powers that be that all was FINE, when something was REAL ROTTEN in Denmark.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I would like to just add....debate is good, but words can kill as well, use them with care:)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I am very happy that you came and join in the discussion, dear Mehmet, I am also non native English speaker, so I am very happy that there are more people just like me...my native language is Slovak but I have been also studying in Russia, Russian language and culture long time back:)

It was just a joke to lighten up the heating debate, sometimes we need to make the mood little bit uplifting for all us, the world politics are sad enough and the last thing I want to get my fellow hubbers to get upset or too angry for the things we have very little chance to change:)

Thank you again, Mehmet and hope you stop by on my hubs again in future, will wait for my fellow non-native English speaker, don't want to be here all alone:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear Mehmet, I don't think that all that capitalism 'touches' becomes evil. Although I'm not for extreme regulation that is now in place, I am for oversight, so that that basic human greed, does not overtake. People are intelligent and thee is no reason for them not to know what they can and cannot afford-or find out.

I would also like to see more personal responsibility taken, so that with capitalism, we don't see another housing bust. For example, too many homeowners were told that it was their RIGHT to own a home, (despite not being able to make the payments). The personal responsibility should be built into every person: "it may be great to own a home,it may be my RIGHT, it's the American way: BUT CAN I AFFORD THE PAYMENTS." That's the dialog that needs to happen.

I don't see the housing industry-CAPITALISM at fault here. I see that Americans chose to believe people who said they could afford a home-rather than their common sense which, had they chosen to listen to it, would have told them that they CAN'T afford the payments, therefore: they can't afford a home. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Ummm...... Most people were able to afford the payments until the recession broke. Then they lost jobs and ran into problems. Those who were borderline may have been persuaded by predatory lending practices and excess optimism.

Unless everyone is psychic then I do not think it fair to blame people for not foreseeing the future.

After all even the professionals missed the recession coming. Unless it was planned all along


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Alex,

My point exactly! This is why people should always build savings for a rainy day. A minumum of 10% of all money earned should go towards savings. There will always be dips in the economy as well as unexpecetd personal issues that require large chunks of money. If a person is living from paycheck to paycheck, even w/ mediocre savings, buying a house would be unwise.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

Am I misinterperting, or has this discussion gotten off the original question? The question is, "has capitalism destroyed human compassion". I perceive this hub as questioning whether or not our values and morals have been affected. Look beyond the political words and look into the souls of each and every person affected by today's political environment. So, what do you think?


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Good point, bravewarrior. Has Capitalism destroyed human compassion?

My answer is: This was a system which was designed to produce the fastest possible economic growth, NO MATTER WHAT. In its purest social darwinist form (zero government regulation), that NO MATTER WHAT had much worse consequences than it does now that socialist principles have been allowed in to balance it.

Pure Capitalism produces fast economic growth, with no interest in:

* whether fast growth is good for society

* the health or well being of employees

* the environmental impact of business

* any moral values whatsoever

Legally, when U.S. States grant articles of incorporation, they require businesses to be concerned with one thing only: maximizing profits for the benefit of the shareholders. Compassion in any form is neither necessary or beneficial to the profitability of a business. Compassion (whether for employees, nature and the environment, society) is an expense to be avoided as much as possible.

Take the industry which SHOULD be the most compassionate for example: the insurers of U.S. citizen's health. Because a capitalist society decided to commodify healthcare, the American healthcare delivery system has a profit-driven insurance industry wedged between patients and doctors. Profitability of a health insurance provider depends on DENYING and MINIMIZING as many claims as possible, as well as raising the premium costs as much as they can. American families WITH health insurance go bankrupt trying to pay their share of health costs, as this sleaziest of all capitalist inventions fights with zero compassion to pay as little of their share as possible. Industry insider whistle-blowers have already outed these practices, so these facts are out there, no hyperbole or conjecture needed.

Obamacare is a gift to the insurance industry, because it mandates the purchase of health insurance, instead of eliminating this bloodsucking middleman dictating to both doctors and patients what kind and amount of care will be provided, based wholly on profits.

Before Obamacare, it was legal for an insurance company to deny care just because a patient was sick before enrolling with them, and to deny payment after some arbitrary "lifetime limit" had been reached. If healthcare providers and patients had their way, the U.S. would already have a single-payer system eliminating the insurance racketeers, since the idea was first float in the 1940s, and significantly raised again in the 1990s. But there is so much (literal) blood money to be made, insurance industry lobbyists will always have more cash to stuff in their candidate's campaigns, and thus have always prevented any health reform which threatens their bottom line.

Learn more about single-payer at http://pnhp.org


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

HelloJimMiles,

I can't argue with your examples because they are true; however, I can present the OTHER side of the coin which are those companies that uphold the first priority as serving people rather than making the most money. The long-range goal would still be to make a profit so that the company could grow and better serve people whether its own employees or its customer base. These companies value loyalty.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/30/can-c...

I still stand by my original answer: Capitalism has brought out the worst in those with poor ethics and allowed those with good ethics to succeed and help the world. NO, capitalism has not destroyed compassion.

http://www.amazon.com/Compassionate-Capitalism-Cor...


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Alex, I'm not asking people to be clairvoyant. Heck, we thought we could afford our humble mortgage and didn't buy a large home because we didn't want to be house poor. Then my husband lost his job and was unemployed for 18 months. Not buying a home that was more than we could afford was a good thing, as we didn't loose our home.

All I'm saying is USE A LITTLE COMMON SENSE. We were blessed with a brain to think for ourselves, but have gotten too used to people thinking for us. 2 people ought to do a little thinking and consider the variables before they purchase a 5,000 square feet home and need to start making mortgage payments. What would happen if a job were lost, how long could they afford that home on one salary, are there adequate savings? Reasonable questions that don't require any crystal ball or ouigi board.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I grant you all that there are flaws in capitalism; funny thing is, there are flaws in EVERY system. Does that justify throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Heck no. It does justify prosecuting to the full extent of the law, the people who take advantage or or milk the system. Capitalism allows me to chose where to work, in what field, how much money to keep of what I make. It allows me CHOICE.

Get rid of the Bernie Madoffs who take advantage of other's money is what we ought to be doing. We ought to be stiffer on the Ken Mays (Enron?), but like I said, pulling the plug, stifling entrepreneurship which comes with capitalism is the worst thing that we could do. Do you really think that socialist societies are without greed?


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Capitalism is not a monolithic or simple concept. Corporate capitalism runs the risk of business capturing the state and decisions being made in favour of businesses with captive markets not society as a whole. This seems to have happened in the USA and in the UK with the finance industry.

I do not think people are angry with capitalism per se but with this imbalance in governance which needs to be redressed.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Love how you wrapped it up 'bravewarrior', thank you for all your never-ending and so interesting discussion...keep it up:) As always the truth is somewhere in the middle:)


Amethystraven profile image

Amethystraven 4 years ago from California

Awesome hub! I agree. What is important is the planet we live on, and the naturally sustainable things offered. Coexisting with the planet and all of the creatures on it are way more important than making millions of synthetic products with a short shelf life that go straight to the landfill. Human compassion has not been lost to all of us, just to most of the 1% that run the huge corporations that make this madness go around. If capitalization has to be around, then why can't the focus of it be on what's healthy instead of what's hurtful?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, my fellow hubbers, I also think it is the best to focus what is healthy and good, but just sometimes the things, that are not so pleasant and you decide to ignore will come to bite you back...so I would say something I repeat my children as we live in bush surrounded by snake:

'do not be afraid but be aware':)


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Great advive, Beata Stasak. Thank you for your hub that led to this lively discussion! :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

You have really said a lot here. I guess things in Australia are about the same as they are here in the U.S. We all wonder what his going to happen in this world and all the economies struggling to survive. Why we haven't changed out economic approach in the 21st century is beyond me. I don't think we have the right kind of leadership to make the changes we so desperately need to make. And, I just don't think anyone knows quite what to do - so we keep on doing the same old thing. Your poem is a cry to the world for change - I hope someday we can before it all crashes! This is so well done and well written and so interesting coming from your perspecptive of coming from Russia and living in Australia. You have experienced many things the rest of us have not. What a powerful poem and I hope the world listens to your words!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago from Central Illinois , USA

This is wow! Thank you Beata Stasak.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your kind words and the most of all for your time you spent reading and responding to my writing, there is nothing more any hubber can ask for:)

You are right, we need change and the change will come...because the change has already started in every one of us...we are changing the way how we perceive the world....


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

"Capitalism Unmasked," a new series of articles releasing through alternet.org, will provide further study to anyone curious about Beata's topic:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/156140/profiting_f...


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Jim, there's no doubt that capitalism brings out greed, but no more so than any other system. I think the question ought to be, with other systems, isn't there the same amount of greed? That greed leads to coveting and in systems like marxism and socialism, where everyone has the same, greed quickly turns into acting upon that emotion,; ergo, Greece, where in a capitalist society, there is a buffer.

That's not excusing the greed, but I'd rather that p eople who work for their money and were in the right place at the right time, be rewarded for that good fortune. Considering that the CBO determined that increasing taxes on the wealthy would only raise $89 Billion a year and the government manages to spend that $89B in less than a few weeks, I'll take my chances with the evils of capitalism!.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Jim and teamrn for keeping up my question in people's mind:)

It looks like it is the topic that is not fading from hubber's mind and heart.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Beata, the topic is not fading, because it's an 'evergreen' topic, well=written about and the responses in discussion have been responsible, well-thought out responses with little political mud-slining. WE should go to DC and WE'D set the town straight, as I've no doubt that whatever policy we could come up with, would be superior to the polity making ability in DC.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

You're welcome, Beata! It is a topic deserving of much more attention than it receives in the popular media sources.

Speaking of which, great solutions worthy of DC's attention are found in this podcast:

http://www.bestoftheleftpodcast.com/622-your-pluto...


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear Beata, I just saw your comment on having lived in a communist state and now so loving the freedoms. There ought to be more you's, as the direction the decision-making in this country is going is robbing us of more and more freedoms. We ought to take a closer look.

Yes, we want a capitalist system, but how do we keep the greed out of it? Do we legislate it out, regulate it out, rely on human GOOD. We've seen what can happen when we rely on human good. The Bernie Madoffs and Ken Lays emerge. A few bad apples slip through, but lately it seems that more than one or two have slipped through.

But if we regulate the greed out, we stand to strangle capitalism with so many regulations.

I don't know what the answer is, but regulating the greed out isn't the answer!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

See your point, teamrn, the country I live in now is overregulated already and also believe, too many regulations take away people's responsibility for their own actions. Regulating the greed is not the answer, but enouraging the greed is not the way out either:)

Thanks Jim, very useful link:)

Thank you my fellow hubbers for your great commitment to this topic:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Greed, unfortunately is part of human nature. I think if we build in to our system, severe penalties for greed, thereby discouraging it, we'll be better off than we are with tons of regulations which suit to help no one and stifle entrepreneurship, the very thing upon which this country thrives and has thrived since it's 'institution.'


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I agree teamrn, maybe this is the way out:)...I am for severe penalties for greedy and instead of prison term they should be punished by doing 'voluntary unpaid work' for the rest of their life on top of their paid work, just like some of us do:)


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Hmm......

What is greed?? Individual??? corporate ( i.e increasing shareholder value) When does the desire to make a bit more money turn into greed?? No one, as far as I know considers Warren Buffet or George Soros as "greedy". No one considers Bill Gates as greedy. No one calls Wal-Mart greedy.

In the case of banks (and corporations generally )they have a duty to maximise shareholder return. They have no duty to balance that against the interests of other stakeholders: customers, workers, management, the community, the country etc.....

Since commercial society is competitive there is always a pressure to sail close to the wind and take a bit more risk to get an edge over the rest. Maybe this is laziness, maybe just a lack of creativity (though it was creativity gave us sub-prime mortgages), but the pressure is there.

Sticking with banks rather than the general case, I see a lot of calls recently for bankers who take excessive risk to be jailed. While that would not make me unhappy, I do not want to see the bankers become scapegoats letting regulators and politicians off the hook.

As an analogy suppose there were a spate of burglaries. The burglars (bankers) should be dealt with. But if it is found the police (regulators) were going easy on, if not collaborating with the burglars, the errant police should be disciplined. If it then turned out that the police were acting under political pressures ( from??? ) then those applying the pressure should be punished.

I recall reading that in the 19th century the New Yourk Gangs were under political protection and when they got too unruly the leaders were called in by local politicians and told to clean up their act or the protection would be withdrawn and the politicians would let the police deal with the gangs. I am not sure anything has changed since then.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Greed is an abstract concept; it cannot be quantified, therefore it cannot be measured, therefore it cannot be made illegal or be punished. Greed is a motivation of behavior.

Behaviors, on the other hand, are objectively measurable, and are subject to accountability laws. Laws that hold commercial enterprises accountable for their public behavior are called regulations.

The "free" in the terms "free market capitalism" and "free enterprise system" refers to freedom from the control of government, and to other kinds of freedoms. The only way government can exercise control over anything is by regulating it, i.e., passing laws against commercial behavior not in the public interest. So, the "free" is shorthand for "free of government regulation."

The bad old days of capitalism gave us enslaved Africans working without pay on American soil. When enough Americans decided it wasn't in the nation's best interest to permit the existence of the slavery institution, it regulated it out of existence. We eventually did the same with Jim Crow and other institutionalized racism. The people spoke through their government. They "spoke truth to power," and regulations brought freedom.

The bad new days of capitalism gave us Congress after Congress and President after President dismantling the regulatory system which historically protected the freedoms enjoyed by the American public. The majority of American citizens no longer have the attention of their representatives, and the formerly free press has been muzzled and tamed by their parent companies. Corporations, granted legal personhood immediately after the Civil War, claim the right to be represented through their lobbyists and huge campaign donations (money which they claim is protected "free speech;" see Citizens United).

It doesn't make sense to me to keep sounding the alarm against the straw men, socialism and communism; those ideologies have no support by this nation's power brokers. Those who wield the most control over our economy, whether on Wall Street, in the board rooms of Big Business and Industry, or in the conservative special interest groups like the NRA, Focus on the Family, AARP, the Chamber of Commerce-- they all speak with almost perfect unanimity on the topic of these ideologies. They all advocate against regulations, against big government, against taxes.

Public regulation of private business is the tried and true protection against the greedy behavior inherent in capitalism. Since the free market capitalists are in power now, and have no intention of surrendering their supremacy, what Americans should be screaming out to their government for is more and better regulations, fully enforced.

Anyone not representing power brokers high up on the economic food chain who speaks out against regulation has been duped into speaking against their own best interest. But there are plenty of them! They even have their own astroturf political association now, thanks to the Koch Brothers: The Tea Party.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Those who speak against government regulations should be asked if they wish to abolish the regulations that prevent companies selling meat from cows with cancer, if they wish to abolish the regulations that prevent supermarkets selling dangerous goods to children, or if they wish to abolish the regulations that make workers in a restaurants wash their hands before and after handling food.

If they say no, ask them why they are not hypocrites. Then ask what they mean by regulation. With a bit of effort you should see them squirm


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Great inputs, my fellow hubbers, a lot of 'food for thought', thank you:)


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Jim, for your link:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Alex, Having regulations in place that make sense is one thing. But having regulations in place because one person out of 200,000 abused a system is a totally different ball game.

Just because I'm only for the regulations that MAKE SENSE IN A PARTICULAR industry, and not in another, does not make me a hippo crate. The regulation that requires a restaurant worker to wash his hands while handling food MAKES COMMON SENSE.

But you put that regulation in another industry, (let's say the roofing or construction industry). They need other regulations.

There's a regulation and a law that requires you and I to have driver's licenses to drive on public roads. But it does not make sense to have a regulation that to drive on PRIVATE PROPERTY one must have a license. Just to drive a golf cart on one's own property? WHERE'S THE COMMON SENSE IN THAT?


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

I agree with you. SENSIBLE regulations make sense. Some, like the rule that meant, in the UK, that a plumber could not smoke, on his own, in his own van, are stupid.

However most of the people want regulation removed do not seem to see this. I like to take things to extreme to see where the limits of disagreement lie.

The banks want regulation removed. Removal of regulation so far brought us the recession. And the taxpayer paid for that.

When someone talks about removing regulations ask what is in it for them.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I know that regulations that are targeted towards an industry might be laborious, but your example of the plumber not smoking in his own van. The federal government needs to stay out of that one. PERIOD.

To use the same example, if the owner of the company employing the plumber, makes a regulation about no smoking ON THE JOB and the plumber feels that it is infringing on his personal rights (someone dictating your behavior), I think you'd be surprised at the number of people who know the difference between a meaningless regulation (enacted just because it's pork) and regulation that should have ben put into place years ago; just to avert the housing crisis.

In this duty, the House Oversight Committee (or whichever committee) assured the President that the lenders were secure-THEY WEREN'T. But, because they were told this, Congress and the PresenrpassudentSo a bunch of new regulations were placed to regulate the regulators

As a result, it is extremely difficult to GET a mortange loans and the banks are hesitant to led.lending market has become so tight with an

overabundance,

Yes, the taxpayers paid for the under regulation of the banking industry. Let me get this straight, the OBVIOUS SOLUTION IS TO PENALIZE THE TAXPAYER- YET AGAI? Say, you didn' t mean it.

I see one of those "fool me once shame on you,' but "fool me twice, shame on me!" The American people are a little too smart to fall for the 'regulations should have been in place, so let's regulate the banks until they die and we can't get a small business loan...

Got to say, Alex, there are a lot of things that you say that are RIGHT ON THE MONEY, but this isn't one of them, IMHO. Annie


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

I am very glad to have found this hub. "The important things in life are never for sale .. you are so right. Voted Up!


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

teamrn; I fail to see where I said or implied "OBVIOUS SOLUTION IS TO PENALIZE THE TAXPAYER- YET AGAI?"


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Laurinzo for stopping by, as you, a discussion about this interesting topic still goes on:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Alex, it was in this statement, "The banks want regulation removed. Removal of regulation so far brought us the recession. And the taxpayer paid for that."

I interpreted that to mean that to mean that if the taxpayer paid for the bank bailout (which they did), that the enactment of more regulations in another arena is going to do the same and I understood you to say that you didn't disagree with more regulations, therefore more taxpayer pain.

If that wasn't your intent, I'm sorry.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Understood. What I am saying is that the regulations that were removed were designed to prevent exactly the recession that followed: the Glass-Steagal (spelling??) act for instance. From the bank view point the obvious answer is for the taxpayer to pay, not more regulation. I do not see how adding regulations for example to prevent a bank raiding its retail arms in order to cover losses in its investment arm will add to more taxpayer pain.

As always it depends on where you draw the line between sensible and needless regulations. When a banker or businessman say remove regulations they see a profit if the regulation goes, but that is not necessarily in the interests of cociety or the nation.

I read somewhere that rather than more regulations we need to be able to penalise organisations for violating professional standards, since regulations encourage people to look for loopholes.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

A robust, toothy regulated environment is only part of the picture of a healthy democratic economy. Loophole-free tax practices are another key element. The following demonstrates this other way that compassion can and should be part of our society's equation: It is cruel to put the largest burden of taxation on those who need more of their paycheck for survival, while those who profit from the labor of the burdened classes pay no taxes, and even get refunds! Even more cruel, is when the un-taxed publicly complain of high taxes, imagining that no one notices their gall and their greed.

If I was advising these brazen robber barons, I would remind them of history's lessons. "Let them eat cake" is always followed up by the guillotine; it’s dangerous to tempt the exploited to revolt!

"Corporations Receiving Millions In Tax Refunds Complain About High Taxes In America"

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/07/21/corporatio...


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Jim:

"Loophole-free tax practices are another key element. "

The simpler the system the fewer the loopholes. Tax systems are all too complicated.

To counter your argument: should not those who take substantial risk and become rich, get a better reward that those who take a nominally secure low paid job and minimal risk?

However I argue almost nobody at the top of a corporation takes what I call a big risk


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Exactly, Alex; where's the risk in our rigged-for-the-richest, TBTF economy? It's all on the middle class, actually. They have the most to lose.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Well yes, but from the point of view Government there are a lot of people too poor to tax heavily and even if you took 90% from the rich there are very few rich people ( as a percentage of the population) while there are enough middle class people earning enough to tax.

There is an "interesting" pair of arguments the UK conservatives used to deploy

(1) If you take money away from the poor it motivates them to work harder

(conversely if you give money to the poor they will work less hard)

(2) If you give money to the rich they will work harder.

No one ever said where is the crossing point.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I like Condi Rice's sentiment about the American dialog, "'I'm doing poorly because you're doing well. That has never been the American narrative...."

If the wealthy were taxed as proposed, we'd raise enough to fund the government for about EIGHT days! By then, if not sooner, their assets would be hidden so tightly offshore. Think if something else Debbie for we know of your off-shore accounts, too.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Obviously any estimate of matching tax revenues to expenditures depends on the tax RATE. The rates have plummeted over the past decades, while the imperialist war machine offers the defense industries permanent boondoggle status.

Shut down the 737 military bases which exist outside our borders, retrofit defense manufacturing into a new age of American heavy industry, and return tax rates on the highest earners to Eisenhower-era levels.

Go to single payer government insured health care, which would cause small business to explosively grow and expand, reducing unemployment to nothing.

Close all tax loopholes, stop subsidies of the oil and coal industries, and now you can afford current expenditures.


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 4 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

dear Beata,

The poet is the silent legislator of the world, the silence within the soul as the words form. You threw the stone into the deep pool and the ripples of comment are travelling out - when the stone hits the bed of the pool ah what then?! More poetry? Yes please.

The energy for change is gathering in the hearts of etherlinked web writers hungry for political debate. It's incredible, but I asked a simple question on HubPages - I asked: In this 21st century are the privileged too greedy? I suggested that those who avoid tax - or put their money in a Swiss Bank - businesses and extremely wealthy individuals are acting immorally. More should be done to distribute billions of dollars to children anywhere in the world who die needlessly.

I had not seen this hub on capitalism and compassion but like you

there were hundreds of comments flying in! Transformative. Seems like there's something stirring- but what's the essence of the discontent. I'm not sure yet I sense it has to do with materialism and the inequalities that are rife in every system employed no matter which country.

We are now blind to greed and have forgotten how to say enough is enough. Many become angry when you suggest that they have too much! But with the power of the internet and global socialising things should start to change.

The one great thing is - there'll always be poetry to quench our thirsts.

Thank you so much for the words and images.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

chef-de-jour:

I think may would say that people who arrange their affairs to avoid tax are indeed acting immorally.

Being perverse I wonder whether someone who legally avoids a large amount of tax then uses some, perhaps most of the savings, to help the poor is acting immorally, or whether it is more moral to pay the extra tax to a government that for example, then uses it to fabricate excuses for, and to fund, an illegal war.

One thing is sure. If the government gets the money the money will not be used "to distribute billions of dollars to children anywhere in the world who die needlessly."

If these people put their money into tax havens it is at least less likely to cause damage than if war crazy glory crazy governments get it.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Hmmmmm. Are individuals who shelter their money in offshore accounts acting morally? That's not for me to decide, but I really believe that as long as tax law ALLOWS it, people from both sides of the ailse will do it. IIt's not limited to Mitt Romney; Nancy Pelosi, Debbis WS are 'guilty' also,

But, that's beside the point. We reed a revision of the tax code. Then they're always the conundrum or should the wealthy pay a higher rate I think the wealthy have earned the right to keep the money that they've made.

Studies have shown that increasing the tax on the wealthy, would garner enough money to fund the government for about EIGHT days. Then we'd be back to square one, but the wealthy wouldn't have their cushion, so unemployment would be increased Annie


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Raising the tax rate is not a conundrum, @teamrn. It is the more effective one of the only two ways to sustain safe levels of governance over a growing economy. The other way is to cut spending.

I want to call your bluff on this meme you've mentioned more than once now, regarding the Cato Institute researcher who claimed Obama only wants to fund the government for eight days. I cannot find any evidence for the truth of this beyond that it is one more falsehood being manufactured by the billion dollar campaign machines. It doesn't have any basis in fact, that I can find. Prove it, or stop mentioning it as if it was fact.

Even if it were true (that Obama isn't raising taxes high enough to cover costs), well there's an obvious two part solution to that, isn't there?


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I'm a firm believer in cutting spending. I really don't see what raising taxes can do; a good 40+% pay no taxes, the middle class can't be taxed much more, and that leaves the wealthy. Thing is, raising taxes on them would only fund the government for @ 8 days.

I'm not aware of a Cato Institute researcher who said that President Obama wants to fund the government for 8 days. I think that was mis-interpreted. I believe it was the CBO that said that raising taxes on the wealthy would only fund the government for a few days.

After the wealthy have funded the government for a show period of time, guess what? We're back to debt, no more money from the wealthy who may have moved their business off shore (I mean, if my taxes were raised to the proposed level, I'd move off shore so fast, it would make your head spin.!)

So much for keeping jobs here instead of India. But I never said that I have a memo from someone at the Cato Institute. Methinks you might have me confused with someone else. An interesting article from research done at the Cato Institute, http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/balanced-budge... although from 2011 it is a good discussion of some accurate facts.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

The fellow from the Cato Institue whom I THINK you may be referring to is named Richard Rahn-or there is some connection to him and the article.

Again, I don't know about an OBVIOUS two-part solution. If it were so obvious a way to solve what is a AHUGE problem. I'd kind of be interested in why it hasn't been implemented/


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, chef-de-jour for your kind words, as you see the hub debate on this matter is never ending and it is good thing. As you suggested, maybe I have stirred 'something at the deep bottom of the cosciousness of our times' with my poetic input and now I leave to the experts to find the way out:)


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hey beata! How do you like this poem! @teamrn, too!

In this country of ours, so proud, strong and free,

We did things and made things the whole world could see.

But times, they have changed, now we needn't get dirty,

Since Wall Street makes things so many find purty.

It's all different now, thanks to the bankers' ascendance,

Inventing new-paper contraptions, 'fore I finish this sentence!

We'll package and bundle and wager and bet,

What's good for the Street will be good for you yet!

And if things should go wrong and our faces turn pale,

Our most favorite part is, we're too big to fail!

Now cabbies and pickers will pick up the slack,

Your taxes will bring the bankers right back . . .

. . . To the top where we keep spreading good news

Of deregulation and our free-market views!

We know what we're doing, just stop with the rules!

With our proven track record, see, regulation's for fools!

Now we're buying both sides, to do our good bidding.

That whole Democracy thing, surely you're kidding!

With money our speech, the whole world's our play . . .

. . . to make sure we win either way.

http://www.markfiore.com/political-cartoons/watch-...


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Your point, being? Jim?


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

It's just poetry, teamrn. It makes its own point.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

You made your point, Jim:) Good luck with your poetry endeavours:)


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Thank you, Beata, but I would never steal credit for a poem that wasn't my own; I found that one on a website, and it made me think of you and your politically poignant poetry! But I am a closet poet, I'll admit... ;)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Jim, I feel honoured:) I think it is time for a poet Jim get out of the closet:)


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 4 years ago from Worcester

I enjoyed this Hub. Madee a lot of good points. Voted interesting and up.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Bill and as you see from the endless responses a lot of hubbers chipped in with many, many great ideas:) I just asked some questions, that I believe many of us ask...but the right answers ellude us so far:)


Caleb DRC profile image

Caleb DRC 4 years ago

Good to meet you, Beata Stasak.

I view successful capitalism to be founded upon a general concept of compassion. Successful businesses are based on its leaders and employees asking two questions: How can I improve the quality of our product or service for our customers? How can I reduce the cost of our product or service for our customers? Capitalists serve society, and the better the service, the more successful they are, and the ones who have this attitude in their heart as well as their heads will remain in business. I know there is a verse in the Bible that essentially says, The greatest among you will be the greatest servant.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Beautifully said, Caleb, very wise advice as well, now we just follow your path that will lead us to the 'compassionate capitalism', the question that remains to be asked: "Is it possible to achieve with us, ordinary human beings, that many of us still tend to reach for opportunity when rises and grab the most we can while we can without looking left or right and the least in the eyes of their fellows who just have missed out....


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

If you want to bring the Bible into it Caleb, (and I do!), examine how often God condemns greed and exploitation. Compare the history of capitalism. Note sinful nature of humans. In other words, it's not that simple. Wish it was, but it's not.


stanwshura profile image

stanwshura 4 years ago

I *like* the way you write!

I LOVE the way you think.


Garifalia 4 years ago

Are you sure you're living in Australia? Reading the poem I felt it was describing Greece. I so agree with what you say---in the name of technology and a cheap wokforce all ethics and morals have been lost. Not by us the simple folk, but by those who rule the world. More riches for them, more poverty (in ALL respects) for us. Your poem encompasses many aspects of the subject is a concise simple way. Great work.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your positive and encouraging responses, I live in Australia although I have been born in Europe and the most of my family still lives there, so you can say 'I am with one leg here and other leg still there', but problems I have mentioned are not tight to one country...we live in a borderless and multinational world for better and for worse...


Gamerelated profile image

Gamerelated 4 years ago from California

Hello Beata Stasak, as an Economics major in college. I found myself thinking about economic inequality a lot. Your writing is deep and resonates with people. I am new to HubPages and everything that I have written so far has been about technology, but I would like to write pieces like this one day. Something that relates to people on a deeper level. Good work on this Hub.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Sounds like you might be worth following, Gamerelated...


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Very honoured that I have inspired you, Gamerelated, I am sure you will write beautiful articles full of your deep knowledge on the subject as well as honesty and empathy:) Start straight away, you already have two eager readers to follow you: Jim and me:)


Green Bard profile image

Green Bard 4 years ago from Tenerife

Voted up and awesome for this thought-provoking hub!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, 'Green Bard' for stopping by and happy your visit was worthwhile:)


sradie profile image

sradie 4 years ago from Palm Coast FL

Provocative. Thoughtfully done. For me personally, all the changes brought about by our now well-connected world, only provide me with better tools and greater access to pursue my passions for living a Godly life and reaching out to the world around me. These things don't change my character only the ways available to me to respond to our world's many challenges. Governments cannot grapple successfully with these issues of morality, compassion and ethics. They are personal choices, each of them. Governments act collectively and that is why, in America, our founding fathers sought to establish a 'limited government' representative of the culture of America. As government has continually gained more power and authority, the will of the people has fallen to the will of government which is corrupt, unethical and really messes up attempts to legislate morality. Governments have too much power everywhere. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Love your summary, sradie, for me it sounds like conclusion, summing up all the points we discussed so far on this topic. Thank you so much, very well said and very, very true:) Thank you for finding time to stop by and leaving such valuable input, greatly appreciated...B


sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 4 years ago from Western Washington

I have lived in America all of my life, so I can say from experience that many Capitalists, I included, can be compassionate. If not, there would not be foodbanks and shelters all around me, within a 35-mile radius. My local grocery stores always set up food drives, where folks that are shopping there can contribute canned goods for those much less fortunate. Even in line to pay for my merchandise, store management-the grocery chains, have now teamed up with charities to have their cashiers ask us if we would like to donate a dollar for this, that or the other.

Capitalism does not destroy compassion. Unbridled greed does.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Share, THAT IS SOOOOO TRUE. So, let's not destroy Capitalism; lets protect against the unbridled greed that on rare occasion, ives capitalism a bad name. This is where NECESSARY regulation comes to mind. But, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear fellow hubbers for your valuable inputs, my son has just travelled for few months (backpacking) through USA and he has met so many, many great people....at the end of the day, people make capitalism what it is or it can be...we just have to watch those people on the top do not spin 'capitalism' all around to the dark side, we don't want to see:)


LupitaRonquillo profile image

LupitaRonquillo 3 years ago from Colorado

I really liked what you had to say on capitalism, very insightful and thought provoking! A vote up on this hub and a new follower for you :D


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much, Lupita, happy to have a new follower and even happier you appreaciate my little thoughts:) All the best with your hubbing and looking forward to hear from you again:)


Emanate Presence profile image

Emanate Presence 3 years ago from the Head to the Heart

Hi Beata,

Your writing does a good work by stirring up questions for consideration and contemplation. I go for the view that it is never too late, there is always a way into a 'brighter future' when individuals take the steps in themselves. Speculation, worries, bitterness, resignation, are all things for the individual to consciously shed to make room for higher qualities such as compassion, confidence, courage and participation. A question to ask ourselves as writers is, "Does my writing contribute to the direction I would choose for the world, if all were possible?" Just keep writing!


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

The ultimate capitalist, Mitt Romney=the man with so much compassion. Need I say more?


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Yeah, so much compassion, he only managed to buy a little less than half the popular vote! Compassion for Chinese jobs? Military-industrial complex jobs? Compassion for those in his own upper class, who don't worry about suffering through natural disasters or recessions? Y U so Funny, TeamRN?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for the pouring of your hearts, this is very sensitive topic, it looks like the discussion is starting again...:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim Miles, what does compassion have to do with money? The man has compassion for Chinese jobs and the workers, but not for those who manipulate currency AT THE PRICE OF THE CHINESE WORKER. He wants there to be military joe.

What has captitalism and compassion have to do with the hurricaine victim; the hurricaine surely knows know class barrier, it strikes all.

As long as you're slinging mud, what about Mr. Obama who shows up for a photo op with Chris Christie and then heads back to campaigning instead of rolling up his sleeves and directing FEMA to do their jobs or heads will roll? How long has it been and people are still without power?


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, says WHAT all? That Romney staffers were inconvenienced? So were a lot of people. That Romney's presidential bid doesn't end with his walking off the stage; that there's more to do? I know I'm not daft.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon

Hello Beata. I've finally made it over to your hubs. This is an interesting subject and has obviously opened the proverbial can of worms.

Of course capitalism is in conflict with compassion. It is a system which capitalizes inherently on selfishness and greed. Every system has its flaws and it is our responsibility to keep the flaws in check. Capitalism without a moral fabric, like all systems, will destroy our underlying humanity. Capitalism which imposes a moral fabric as its foundation will flourish, create capital and concurrently care for the disadvantage. Unemcumbered by moral good, capitalism will follow the promises of greed to the end and we will wake to find that we are morally bankrupt. A people surrounded with everything but character.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

WHAT?? Capitalism is in conflict with compassion??? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? Nothing could be further from the truth and I'd love to know what your EXAMPLE is, a SPECIFIC example where a capitalist was less than compassionate. I mean really specific, because it sounds like a platitude, a talking point that has gotten of hand.

"Capitalism without a moral fabric, like all systems, will destroy our underlying humanity. " How does capitalism lack a moral fabric, and how will it destroy humanity? How is it "unencumbered by moral good"?

How will capitalism leave people devoid of moral character? I've thought I heard it all!


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 3 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

I spend a lot of time contemplating the disconnection in our society. Too many people truly are stuck on surface ideals, whether it be materialistic or programming beliefs; focusing on what people should be rather than appreciating each other for who they truly are.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

That is so true, that many have lost site of the real raison d'être. But, for purposes of the discussion of compassion and capitalism, I don't really see where it fits in. Had you meant to comment on another thread or am I obtuse?


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon

teamrn

I will preface my comment by apologizing for employing debate on the hub of another, however such hostility directed at a simple opinion warrants some measure of response. I suspect it is indicative of something more deeply seeded, however, for civilities sake I will restrain myself from succumbing to the temptation of such ploy.

Capitalism: An economic system based on private ownership which in turn allows an individual to pursue the profit of his individual labor and investment.

Greed: An avid desire for individual wealth and gain.

Compassion: The feeling of distress or pity for the suffering of another usually including the desire to alleviate it.

Obviously, an avid desire for personal wealth and gain is an intrinsic character of capitalism. Without it we would lack the incentive necessary to succeed. The opportunity inherent in free enterprise affords each of us more reward than any and every other economic system in the world. Its mantra is individualism as in individual enterprise and individual ownership and individual reward. There is nothing wrong with individual labor for individual gain, but, it is certainly more concerned with self interest than the interest of others. As a capitalist I suffer the same malady, however, I stand guard to prevent its victory over my character.

The concern of compassion lies in the welfare of others as opposed to the self interest of the individual. There is obvious inherent conflict between the goals of both. As capitalist, being aware of such conflict enables us to be at guard, to be alert to the pursuit of personal gain at any expense. The mark of a great people lies in its concern for others less advantaged.

Examples of capitalism shedding its moral fabric.

1)The recent corruption employed by Wall Street to fleece millions of Americans of their investment. The product of capitalism unencumbered by moral constraint.

2)The unrestrained and runaway escalation of health care cost on average Americans. The product of unencumbered capitalism by moral restraint.

3)Finally one from history already documented if the above you excuse as matters of opinion. The conspiracy of JP Morgan, David Rockefeller and Carnegie to purchase a presidency in order to prevent anti trust legislation. Profit at any means in the name of capitalism is as corrupt as the devices employed by Socialism and Communism. The nobility of Capitalism is found in the underlying moral character which is suppose to create fair play and concern for those less fortunate not in spite of them.

I never said Capitalism lacks a moral fabric; I said without one, we would lose our underlying humanity. We have inumerable examples of corupt business and corporate practices levied upon all people, in the name of capitalism. Wearing blinders to our own faults and dificientcies does not rid us of our ill. Facing them and examining them, leads us to correct the inequities that would raise their banner above a sleeping people. Compassion is the moral compass of a great people. In capitalism it has one advantage; it has the opportunity to blossom. Capitalism guided by a moral good is a near perfect system. Without it, it is as miserable and faulty as any other.


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 3 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

I apologize if my comment seemed off track. Really it was related to your article. I sort of commented on some of the small statements within the article rather than the article as a whole. My comment referred to being sucked into capitalism that does take on more surface or superficial ideals; such as the cosmetic or materialistic matters over substance and apathy for our individual characteristics and our environment.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Dear my fellow hubbers, I highly value all your intelligent and so various inputs depending on your experience, knowledge and also your personal beliefs and I am fully open to any great discussion and don't worry Mary it always relates, one way or another...it makes me very proud to know that one of my reflections keep receiving a variety of valuable and informative responses, however I strongly believe we are all open minded and respectful of different points of view...they all teach us a lesson or two...happy arb you managed to come back and explain your worthy comment more fully:) All the best with your hubbing and discussing:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

arb, before I read your comments, I can only say that my response was incredulity at 'OF COURSE CAPITALISM IS IN CONFLICT WITH COMPASSION" How, one makes that leap, I'll never know; but now I'm off to read your response. But, I'm still reeling at the assumption that small business owners are up to their eyeballs and have ZERO compassion and only greed to succeed ("it's a dog eat dog world and I'll trample on you if you prevent me from succeeding").

Back. Capitalists like those you mentioned, David Rockefeller, Carnegie etc abused the capitalistic system, so yes, capitalism needs some regulation. But to say, "Of course capitalism is in conflict with compassion."says to me that there are VERY FEW (if any) people who believe in capitalism who have a moral compass and all are like Carnegie.

"Obviously, an avid desire for personal wealth and gain is an intrinsic character of capitalism" How do you infer this statement from the definitions. 'Obviously' is a word packed with subtleties. What is so OBVIOUS TO YOU isn't that way to me. How does 'an avid desire for personal wealth=an intrinsic character,,,,"

A desire to make money is an intrinsic desire, but 'Obviously?' Pure, unbridled capitalism can result in greed, but 99.999% of capitalists only have a desire to make ends meet. Most capitalists leave greediness at the door; ESPECIALLY if they see need.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon

Teamrn,

We are in "obvious" disagreement. I have been in business for myself for over 15 years. I know all of my competitors. I have occupied management positions in both small and large companies for the other 30 years. I have, without exception, never encountered a capitalist, who simply wanted to make ends meet. I have never worked for a company that simply wanted to make ends meet and I haven't a single competitor who simply wants to make ends meet. We want to make as much as we possibly can. Companies want to exceed last quarters expectation, not merely meet them. The purpose of capitalism is to create profit and wealth for the individual or its investors. Profit. That is our aim and we want to keep as much of it as possible. If you can not see that this is the intrinsic nature of capitalism then I have nothing left to offer in response to your questions. Honesty begs more from capitalist than simply defending our way of life, it begs from us a good look at how we are doing business. Too often we find when doing so, that greed has claimed too much from us. If you doubt such a supposition, simply check the IRS statistics for how many of us lie or cheat on our tax returns.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

" The purpose of capitalism is to create profit and wealth for the individual or its investors."

Oh, I am NOT in disagreement with that statement AT ALL. However, I a NOT in agreement that capitalists will trample anything that gets in their way of MAKING THAT PROFIT.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim Miles,

You quoted an article above which EXPLAINS IT ALL? Sorry I didn't get around to reading it until today.

However, maybe I missed something, but I don't know how the 'cancellation of credit cards' has anything to do with capitalism and compassion or lack thereof.

What does it explain? Only that a news outlet reported information from a liberal news outlet that Mr. Romney's campaign folded and cancelled their credit cards.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Arb, I've been haunted by your statement that when the businessman has more expenditures (aka taxes) he JUST passes the costs on to the customer. I think you said, that's what they always do. I've been haunted by it ever since you made that statement.

Well, my husband's boss ( I think I also mentioned) owns the business, is not able to pass the costs on to the customer, so if his taxes go up, he takes it out of his employee's hides (less commission or NO JOB!).

This isn't a one in a million case (that rare needle in the haystack); this is real, the backbone of our economy is being crippled. Most American businesses aren't IBMs or businesses that offer bennies or profit sharing; all they offer is jobs and maybe a $10 gift certificate towards a turkey at Thanksgiving, yet they make more than $250K. Increased taxes takes away those jobs.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon

teamrn

Never made that statement! I would agree with you that cost can not always be passed forward. I believe the solution to our tax problems is a simple flat tax, paid by 100% of workers without any write offs. Expenditures are out of control and the small business is always bearing the brunt of the problem. 47% of us don't pay any taxes and that is a problem. almost half of us can't afford health insurance and that is a problem. Capitalism has the means to solve these problems. There are cheats at both ends of the spectrum. The poor used the system to survive. The rich use the syetem to increase wealth. The middle class gets squeezed from both. It isn't capitalism which is the problem. It is the abuse within the system. My only point was that it is difficult to feel compassion when you know both sides are squeezing you. But, we must find a way to see clearly in the midst of the madness or, we will simply become angry people who have lost their heart. My business is down 60% from 4 years ago. My health care cost are up and my cost of doing business is up. Entitlements did not create my change of fortune. Wall street and a corupt real estate market did. There are thieves in every system and they do not discriminate between the rich and poor. The banks have stolen more from us than the poor have ever thought of. That does not mean that entitlements should not be scrutinized, but, lets not burden them with all the fault. Most of them are also suffering from a dismal economy.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Arb, "" The purpose of capitalism is to create profit and wealth for the individual or its investors."

I know that earlier on I agreed with that statement but I'm not so sure, why I did! That's not the purpose of capitalism. Capitalism is without a purpose; rather it is a SYSTEM. The creation of profit and wealth are 'side effects' of the systems at work. Now, UNBRIDELED Capitalism, UNBRIDELED anything are the seeds of no good, but this country was foundedd on the principles of free engerprise in that if you 'make' it, it's yours t keep until you GIVE it away, not to hold on to for dear life before the government takes it ANYWAY.

Capitalism is an economic system where there is investment in or ownership of any means off production or distribution. This is done by private individuals or corporations. THEN comes the profit. The profit is not the sole MO.

Actually some capitalists DO have as their sole MO or initial priority the amassing of great wealth and could give a damn of about the consumer, but that's FAR from the whole lot of capitalists.

THere are bad apples in the socialist economic model and baaaaaad apples in the communits model; Capitalism does not have the market cornered on bad-apples or creating them.

Capitalism is not to blame for the failures or greed of the individuals who are assigned to protect consumers; just like you can't blame the entitlement system for your change of fortune. If blame is to be assigned (and I'm ot a finger pointer) it should be placed at the people who were meant to oversee the capitalists on Wall Street and the people assigned to oversee Medicare and other entitlements.

The humans on WS and the humans who take advantage of entitlements are only doing what HUMAN NATURE allowes them. Even the people who take advantage of loopholes in tax law; because they CAN, they will try to get away with it.

What do you mean by 'capitalism has the means to solve problems' Capitalism is a system, and systems don't solve problems with intent.

You do say "That does not mean that entitlements should not be scrutinized, but, lets not burden them with all the fault.". But why then, do you burden CAPITALISM with all the fault. We agree on more than we disagree, but our differences stem fromm the fact that I feel that EVERYONE has a horse in the race and you feel that capitalism is that dirty evil horse.

"My health care cost are up and my cost of doing business is up." This is a statement that is likely to be agreed by anyone. Why is it, what are the precise things that capitalism does that increase your costs; when they champion business?

I know we're not to put HTML on the forums, so I'll try got the to you. Probably by e-mail. It's a comparison pf the different forms of government and a commentary on all and how they work or don't work (because of nature) together. I'll e-mail them to you.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

I think Beata's poem still speaks most effectively to my point of view on this. The heart of it, for me:

". . . having lost

our moral compass

living

in the world

of greatest

inequity

going backwards

on equality.

Corporation

and greed

is on top of our list,

not innovation,

sustainability

and reform.

Many hubbers

answering this question

pointed out

great virtues

of capitalist society,

and I have to agree,

being the one,

leaving communism behind

so I can dream big

and live free.

Many people

are wealthier

than they ever were before

but we haven't solved

the problem

of economic disparity.

Reason,

values,

morals,

human knowledge

and people's collective unhappiness

are what bring about change.

People are critical

and the government reacts

by being progressive

moving for reforms

or being repressive."

People, Beata implies, are the ones who bring about positive change to their societies by voicing their criticism to their leaders in government. If you value (as I do) fair play and equality of opportunity on the economic playing field, then your only hope (as the history of capitalism has shown so far) is a strong partner in the form of a responsive group of leaders in government.

In my opinion, recent conservative trends (since Reagan, basically) in the U.S. government have dismantled most of the fair play legislation built by liberals from the 1930s to the 1970s. What they haven't dismantled, they've neutralized; what they haven't neutralized, they defunded and gutted. And they're going after what remains.

The greatest gift the U.S. could give its small business and middle class is a nationalized health insurance (i.e. single-payer system, similar to the UK, Canada, and most Western European countries). We can all remain cheerleaders for capitalism, because the single greatest burden on the small business personnel budget suddenly dissolves as it is diffused into a tax burden every single citizen (rich, middle, and poor) should fairly share, taxed progressively. Small businesses and even large ones would have no more Obamacare excuses for cutting wages, hours, or their labor force.

And the work force would be infinitely more healthy and productive.

But that gift will not come as long as Uncle Sam remains the loyal employee of Big Business, instead of being his own boss!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, Jim, I am honoured that my words speak your mind, I prefer to use poetic language to speak my mind:) Your explanation is spot on:) B


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, this is a reconstruction of a previous post that is lost in cyberspace or on my desktop.

The greatest gift the US could give small business is to provide a single payer system? That same US government that can barely tie it's own shoes? The single greatest gift this government could give me is to stay the heck out of my life except where the Constitution gives it the authority to step in.

I am quite used to scenarios that play out, "my doc thinks that for the best treatment for my condition, I need drug x, test y and further treatment z: and receiving the same.

Under a single payer system, I'd get the government's substitute for x y, and z. Mediocrity; and Americans don't settle for mediocrity. Why do you think people come from other countries to receive American innovative care?

We are n't the most EFFICIENT-so let's fix that! But, don't throw the best system in the world, despite it's dismal rating by the WHO, out (this is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.)

Now, I know according to the WHO, America ranks 37th amongst developed nations-but NOT IN IT'S QUALITY OF CARE. We have one of the finest systems, but it needs tweaking, major tweaking. But not the kind of tweaking that would result with a single payer system.

Having worked in the health care professions for more than 20 years, there is more abuse and waste in health care than you can shake a stick at. We are a beacon for people in other countries to get their health care here.

I've heard first hand horror stories from individuals from UK and Canada. Sure, free care is great when you're dealing with the sniffles; but when you've got a bizarre disorder, you want innovative treatment for that bizarre disorder and you don't want to be hamstrung because you need to wait for 3 months for your MRI. Or the MRI machines are so old that they don't give state of the art results. (That's mediocrity; is that what you'd want for your family, friends.)

That old saying, "you get what you pay for." comes to mind. You pay nothing (that you see) and you don't get a whole lot that is worth it. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and start from scotch. We all know the system is horribly broken. Lets transform the system and save the parts that work, throw out the parts that don't work.

Uncle Sam is to be the employee of YOU, ME AND EVERY OTHER CITIZEN, not the other way around. On what basis do you state the the "work force would be infinitely more healthy an productive"? Thre's a You Tube video )"A short Course in Brain Surgery. I can't give the ling on her, but it's by StuartBrowning. Watch and THEN say the things you said.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

teamrn, I'll let my hub on Single Payer answer your comment: http://hubpages.com/health/Single-Payer-Healthcare...


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Also, this recent article exposes Obamacare for the great gift it was to the private health insurance industry. Liz Fowler, the person who actually drafted the legislation for Sen. Max Baucus, came to that job from Wellpoint (huge health ins. company). Now that her gift to her old industry is secure, she's heading into her job with Big Pharma, the other major industry which benefits from the US healthcare industry remaining in the hands of businesses which value their profits more than your health.

Quote from the last paragraph:

"This is precisely the behavior which, quite rationally, makes the citizenry so jaded about Washington. It's what ensures that the interests of the same permanent power factions are served regardless of election outcomes. It's what makes a complete mockery out claims of democracy. And it's what demonstrates that corporatism and oligarchy are the dominant forms of government in the US"


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Sorry, just one more link, then I'll hush! This is a daily-updated page of links to stories in the news and healthcare blogs on the ongoing efforts of physicians in the US to get us converted to the kind of national healthcare program which I mentioned above would be a godsend to American small business, and the economy in general, and vastly improve healthcare delivery.

I include this for anyone, but especially for the doubters like teamrn who feel there's no empirical evidence or mainstream support for a single-payer health system. The truth of it is that it is in the best interest of Big Pharma and private health insurance companies that this evidence remains out of the daily news. Have you watched any of the network national news broadcasts on TV lately? More than half of the commercial breaks are for the latest products Big Pharma is currently attempting to create a need for in the hapless Americans who haven't yet figured out how to advocate for themselves regarding their own health.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/articles-of-interest


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

It is great to see so many informative links and passionate opinions up here, here in Australia we have 'Medicare' the state health fund that benefits all according to their needs and level of income. It works pretty smoothly and people are happy with it (rich, poor and also those in between just like me). It give us peace of mind, to all of us to know that no one will die on a street or will be refused medication or treatment, just because they can not afford it...yes, capitalist system is based on free market but it doesn't mean we let it to rule us and bring us back to 'economical jungle with just one rule: kill or you will be killed'.

The capitalist system is just a a basic social and economical framework, that has worked, most of the time for us, so long, but it is also dynamic and changeable...we can not blame the system we have created to help us to grow for our misfortunes, we have to just modify it again, and again so it will still serve us the best:)


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

That's it Beata; we can not blame the system we have created to help us to grow for our misfortunes, we have to just modify it again, and again so it will still serve us the best:)

Maybe the capitalist model of the 1930s is no more for us; it's better to bring it into the 21st century and 'up to date.' We can do that without completely throwing out capitalism and embracing another economic paradigm, completely. We don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater (I use that a lot, don't I?) , but we should cherry pick what works for US-all Americans, not just those Americans in the ruling political power; because this is a decision that will be with us for years to come.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, ""This is precisely the behavior which, quite rationally, makes the citizenry so jaded about Washington. It's what ensures that the interests of the same permanent power factions are served regardless of election outcomes. It's what makes a complete mockery out claims of democracy. And it's what demonstrates that corporatism and oligarchy are the dominant forms of government in the US"" What was that for?

It's nice for Ms. Fowler that after her years at Wellpoint, she's being promoted up the corporate ladder, but I only see the meaning of including that tidbit as to indicate that BECAUSE OF CAPITALISM she has a place to go.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Agree with you, 'teamrn' and love your passion:) I have been also the one leaving happily the idealistically unfunctional communist system behind and embracing the democratic capitalist system in Australia with all my heart and soul:) Maybe with the great debate and even greatest passion just like yours ...we fill be able to re-shape and modernise it to better serve our needs:)


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Found some helpful, clear, well-written and hopeful resources.

First one is http://econ4.org/ -- a gathering of university economics professors who have committed to pursuing a more ethical, compassionate model of capitalism. Best part of their site is the short video presentations which succinctly make their case without the usual documentary film melodrama and gloom+doom crap.

Also, this year-old article (which mentions econ4) in the Chronicle of Higher Education remains fresh for its deeper insights into the discontent with "same old same old Capitalism" which is growing among both teachers and students at the university level. This is the sector of society most likely to affect change, since graduates with PhD's in economics go on to advise both politicians and corporate governing boards. While propaganda mills like the Republican party and its media outlets (Fox News, right-wing talk radio, Rupert Murdoch publications) keep their death-grip on the same old Capitalism and keep broadcasting their outmoded mentality to and through their loyal followers, the majority of the world is leaving them behind in order to fix the many systems they left broken.

Happy holidays, everyone!


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/opinion/sunday/k...

TeamRN, I'm a bit confused at your confusion. I'm trying my best to simplify my side of the discussion. My overall point remains that pure capitalism has a flaw, which is that money in great quantities is inherently a corrupting influence. Money tends to pool into the hands of the most greedy, unless some barrier to that flow is in place. Government is often tasked with being that barrier.

In U.S. history, the time when the biggest barriers were erected was the time of FDR's New Deal, his successor's (Truman's) Fair Deal, Eisenhower's continuation of the previous programs (highest tax rates ever on the biggest earners, and the last compassionate conservative in American politics), and the JFK/LBJ Great Society extensions of the "Deals." Nixon, Ford, and Carter largely maintained that status quo.

Since the "Reagan Revolution," corporations have morphed into powers which rival that of governments. In our case, politicians of both parties have shown that they are no match for corporate lobbyists. There isn't much hope for change in the political arena until the general population becomes aware of and active for it. The present generation has proven to be the least aware, and the least active, comparatively speaking, thanks to our addiction to consumption and entertainments. Econ4 as I mentioned above represents hope for a future change, but it must start with the teachers of economics at the university level, since the Reagan Revolution also began there, as did many previous economic ideologies which influenced world economies.

The article linked above, on Big Chem lobbying the U.S. Congress to suppress public knowledge of cancer-causing agents, is offered up as ANOTHER example for you. Please connect the dots between corporate greed, government lobbyists, harm to the public and their institutions, and the banner of "Free Market Capitalism" under which it all takes place.

Happy holidays,

Jim


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, When you said this, "While propaganda mills like the Republican party and its media outlets (Fox News, right-wing talk radio, Rupert Murdoch publications) keep their death-" you had to have been expecting a response from the right. Well, you've got it!.

Are you saying that MSNBC is NOT a propaganda mill? That Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow do not speak with forked tongues? Bill O'Reilly and the other evening show that begin with him are OPINION shows and they'll be the first to say so.

What is the tangible propaganda that you mention? Oh, that's right, coming out on Benghazi WHEN IT HAPPENED was such propaganda, ABC, SAT ON THE STORY. (Again, why?) Even Jake Tapper indicated that ABC had been sitting on it and he works for them-for a while longer.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Instead of responding to what I did say, you're responding to something I did not say. I agree that MSNBC works for the left, they openly admit that, anyway; no big news there. And you appeal to a rapidly aging non-story, Benghazi, which serves as Fox's Crisis-de-jure currently. You give yourself away as one of the loyal Fox masses! :)

Still waiting for a response to the actual content of my message to you.

Regards,

Jim


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

TO Jim Miles, "Government is often tasked with being that barrier." Jim, what I'm saying is that when government is 'tasked with being that barrier' it can and often does take that power too seriously and implements rules and regs that drive entrepreneurs to drink, and some out of business.

Consider the children who want to have a lemonade stand. A typical thing for a very young entrepreneur. But, given mega dollars in permits that they children have to obtain to rul their stand legally, they don't complete a chilehood ritual, that Saturday afternoon lemonade stand!

Thank you, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. Their bill, while implementing safeguards for the people, also went so far as to stifle the free markets, the well of initiative. That furthers the 'why bother to do it on my own when the government will do it for me?

Quite frankly, I'd rather do what I can, on my own and if/when I can't THEN, and only THEN, should the government intervene and ONLY IF I qualify for their help. Several different ideas about the role of government, but I don't believe that it's there to spoon feed us from cradle to grave.

If we're fleeced by a predator, we usually didn't do our homework. There are extreme occasions, where the Bernie Madoff's and Ken Lays slip though. So, we learn how we could have prevented that major snafu and put in place regulations that could have stopped IT AND ONLY IT. Not stifle the free-market.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Mostly-unregulated free markets produce an economy which is ever-more consolidated into the hands of the biggest corporations. What is needed isn't a minor tweak of a little more regulation here, a little less there. What is needed is more lemonade stands, and fewer Seven-Elevens, Wal-Marts, and Starbucks'. More local, local, local, less global, global, global. I am sure we could agree on that. But... How to arrive at such a goal?

If your solution is less governing (regulating, policing, enforcing, punishing crime) of the businesses, you've just handed the advantage to the already-big, the already-winning businesses. That is the exact opposite of fairness, or a level playing field. Which is the legacy of Reaganomics and the proven-failure of his Trickle-down Economics.

Speaking of which, the Dodd-Frank law is aimed at regulating the rampant misbehavior of the banksters and wall street robber-barons. That sector of finance and investment was one of the first ones which conservatives targeted when they dismantled government barriers to the accumulation of wealth. It really doesn't have any impact on startups, entrepreneurship, small business, or lemonade stands. Romney claimed that loudly during the campaign, but it has since been soundly debunked.

There are exemptions built in to protect small banks. It's not really hurting big banks, either. "[The] return on equity is up for the big banks by 24% since the passage of Dodd-Frank. But in the same time, the ROE of small banks has soared 223%." (Cnn online).

That being said, if there are problems with Dodd-Frank, I wouldn't be surprised, given that the dominant ideology among both Dems and Repubs is that when corporate money talks, and especially when it yells, all law-makers must tremble and obey. Or, as happened in '08-09, when the heads of the Too-Big-To-Failures jetted in to their hearing in D.C., they whined that the free market was about to throw them into bankruptcy, and the legislators handed them a bunch of money (yours and mine, and our descendants for the foreseeable future).

Again, my point is that a law here or a regulation there won't make any real change as long as the larger system remains. The idea that an economy must have inherent unfairness and inequality in order to produce ever-growing prosperity (i.e. American Capitalism) has had its day, and has proven to be a failure at providing stability or prosperity.

We need a new economics.

Watch this: https://vimeo.com/softbox/econ4-introduction

And this: http://youtu.be/b6rAgHcuYtE


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

BTW, I had more links built in to the paragraphs, especially the one about small banks, but Hubpages destroyed them. I'll attempt again here (that 5 minute editing rule is a tyrant!). If they don't work, blame Hubpages!

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66178.ht...

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/10/04/obama-ro...


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, I had every intention of responding to your point, but I was interrupted. So, I'll answer in this post. But, I can't neglect something that you DID say, so I'll start from the top, " rapidly aging non-story, Benghazi, "

Since when is Benghazi a non-story? What could be rapidly again about a story that wasn't told and that is indicative of the culture behind it? Was there a 'cover up?' I'm not going to judge, but all I can say is that people died and there still aren't anwers. Understandably so, but at least be man enough to say it, WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO THE BOTTOM OF IT, BUT YOU'LL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN WE KNOW. These parents and children, husbands and wives, still wonder what their presidential admistration was up to and why it had to happen. Drone flew over, so they had to have an order. From whom and why did they fly. Someone knew, and isn't talking from where I sit.

And to give Susan Rice incomplete info and ask her (without knowing) to convince a nation of what happened, was unconscionable.

Now, on to what you said and my response. I think the crux is in this statement, "There isn't much hope for change in the political arena until the general population becomes aware of and active for it." My feeling is that if we say, 'there isn't much hope for change in the political arena....' it's the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Let's make it our point to educate the generations who don't know, who may not listen to the news, read the paper, watch anything but sit-coms on the tube. Lets EDUCATE them as to the facts, rather than saying they're incapable of learning enough to be considered aware of the facts and thinking people. They don't need to take econ4 to know what balances and what doesn't. Intelligent, they are, but victims, yes. Victims of the dumbing down of America, by our digesting food FOR them. Lead them to econ 101 and forget requiring econ4 to know that you can't spend more than you take in; and then expect that your household budget will be balanced.

They've so tuned out politics, because it's been a while since we've had a politician who doesn't try to dazzle them with the complexities of econ4; that would alienate made.


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago

I believe that Capitalism is Anti-Americanism. They both can't co-exist much longer, Capitalism has brought and sold America. Federal, state and local governments have allowed the privatization of all public services including schools, roads and bridges, and Prisons. The control of ALL goods and service is the goal of Capitalism and the Enemy of Capitalism is government controls and regulations. The people are powerless against all the money in the world and will have to pay the piper.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

"The control of ALL goods and service is the goal of Capitalism " WHAT?

Capitalism is not doesn't have feelings or goals or plans. If there is a problem with Capitalism or ANY form of economic system, it is with the HUMANS involved.

So, which do we chose, human greed that can be regulated in the private sector, or the human greed which ISN'T regulated in the federal government? (as evidenced by the scandals in the GSA and elsewhere), "They DESERVE their raises." For siting in a bathtub with bubbles and wine?

However, the same HUMANS exist in numerous position in the federal government. An example is the not too long ago exposed corruption in the GSA or aspersions cast higher up.

The problem is human greed and that is inherent in HUMANS, and humans exist en masse and unbridled in the Federal government. That's a laugh, "The control of ALL goods and service is the goal of Capitalism."


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago

teamrn, I didn't mean to turn on your tickle box. Capitalisms like all "isms" including conservativism, liberalism, and racism are based on ideas. They are not human. Human greed and lack of compassion is encouraged to be great at Capitalism'" We wrestle not against fresh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high places". Unregulated capitalism can cause the fall of America.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

I agree with you that UNREGULATED Capitalism can caused the downfall of America; I just feel that an UNREGULATED Federal government can cause it more easily, because the Federal government has more levels of intervention and regulation in which that greed can step in.

In the same token, too much regulation can stymie the heck out of just about anything.


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago

The constitution regulates the federal government and state's rights advocates keep the federal government regulated. States control and regulate its own laws and policies on guns, marriages, and the welfare of their people etc. Every State depend on the federal government for monies to support the quality of life of it's citizens. These days like no other days in the history of the federal government tax revenues ( The life blood of the federal government) has been denied President Obama. The continued attempt to defund the President has caused the American people to loose jobs and need food stamps. This has caused America to stumble but not fall. Capitalist recieved capital from federal policies designed to support and protect Capitalism from stumbling and falling.


Annie 3 years ago

Junko, I had a humongously long reply to you answer which must have gotten lost in cyberspace and I'm sickened because it was that good! So, I'll try to reconstruct.

Just thinking out loud here, it seems to me that the comment you made was that the Republicans weren't funding the President. That only begs the question, WHY aren't the republicans funding the President, or better yet, WHY isn't the President being funded from both Democrats and Republicans? Honest and good question begs and honest and just as good an answer.

One reason is that we have an archaic tax code that allows the CEO of one of the countries largest corporations, GE, not pay a DIME in taxes in 2011. How does the president reward Jeffrey Immelt for turning out the union vote of his company for him? Why this tax scofflaw was made the head of the President's job council! How's that for a laugh, but it wasn't reported on network news, MSNBC or CNN.

Well, it didn't start with this president or the president before him. President's have been waging this battle to wrestle funds from the hands of the pursestring holders for time memorial.

But, we'll go back 5o years. Is there some reason that the president isn't capable of convincing the people in BOTH sides of the aisle that he needs money.

His money is no more being held hostage than you or me. First of all, it is NOT his money, it is my money, it is your money and your neighbor's. You mention tax revenues as the life blood of the federal government as if that is from whence all goodness flows.

That's where IDEOLOGY steps in. That is the ideology of Democrats. Dems are always for spending to solve a problem, so when Republicans whose ideology is NOT to spend that money (unless they see it is necessary) don't give them that money, Republicans are called obstructionist.

Little do most Dems know that Harry Reid hasn't allowed a major budget or appropriations bill to come to the table? Little known fact. It's not because he weighs their merits and they don't pass the test. Do you know why?

Many Dems in his caucus are up for reelection and if they don't have a record to stand on that reflects 100% party platform and Democratic ideals, their constituents won't reelect them and HARRY might not have his majority anymore. It takes two to tango and Harry just isn't cutting the rug, lately.

Oh, the defunding of the government results in loss of jobs; defunding off the government may result in the decrease in salaries of UNION jobs, but most jobs in this country are not union. The defunding of the Federal government has not been the cause of loss of private sector jobs.

It is the many regulations placed on business that causes job loss, it is raising taxes on job creators that causes job loss, It is not the defunding of the Federal government that caused my husband to be without his private sector job for 19 months.

Probably the biggest hinderance to our having a thriving economy is NOT examining entitlement spending, one of the largest drivers of our debt and deficit and the comfort with which the President has with deficit spending. Well, money doesn't grow on trees; the Fed can print money until the cows come home and we'll continue to put the debt and deficit on the backs of our great grandkids.

Republicans are not going to work every day thinking, "How can I thwart the President today?" though it looks that way. If our President commanded respect and the administration showed anything but loathing for the other party, something might get done.

But the President is supposed to be above petty politicking and is supposed to be able to drop it all at the door, roll up his sleeves, require that everyone else roll up theirs too, and SOLVE a problem? Problem can't be solved in time to catch the flight for Hawaii? Do what is EXPECTED of you: stay until the JOB IS DONE. Where I come from, if you don't stay until your job is done, you can expect that pink slip. Last I knew, our President put his pants on one leg at a time, though he showed what he's really made of EARLY and the off mic moment with Dimitri Medvev should have sealed the deal and petrified ANYONE except a Marxist of 4 more years of this goon.

Did you hear THAT on network, MSNBC or CNN? There are two sides to every story. There are talking points and deeper are the facts. Annie


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago

Annie, if the republicans defund the President they would take away his credit card and ability to get tax revenues to run his Government. Thats what I was saying. You're barking up the wrong tree, but I understand you, no harm no foul. join hubpages. junko


Annie/teamrns 3 years ago

Why isn't passing spending bills a form of 'defunding the President?' I don't see why I'm barking up the wrong tree and I don't know why you tell me to join H ubPages when I've been a member for a few years.


junko profile image

junko 3 years ago

Oh annie is the other you, o'k you fooled me...


chip1775 profile image

chip1775 3 years ago from Atlanta

Personally, I don't believe there is a true capitalist model today. I don't think the United States has been a true capitalist society for more than a hundred years. With the gradual emergence and dominance of socialist policy, the U.S. has been a hybrid for some time now and has obviously suffered from it. Can socialism work here? I don't believe it can, but that is up for debate. What is obvious is that both socialism and capitalism cannot coexist. It has to be one or the other, for sure.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you chip for your insightful comment, there is no black and white model any more in use...everything somehow emerges with time to different tones of grey....


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

"Noam Chomsky: Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?" http://rdd.me/kk2idwy3 via @readability

chip1775 wonders whether "there is a true capitalist model today." His answer reminds me of that offered by the economics textbooks I used to teach from (mandated by curriculum standards): No, US Economy is a hybrid of socialism and capitalism.

That is an oversimplification which serves well the wealthiest 1%, who, not surprisingly, take a great interest in the academic discipline of economics and exert great pressure to see that the subject is taught from the bias which best serves them.

Noam Chomsky's article above is able to point you in the right direction, if you are willing to see more than the bias given you by your teachers, and by corporately-owned media and political parties and politicians (which is just about all of them, in each category).

Regards,

-Jim


chip1775 profile image

chip1775 3 years ago from Atlanta

Jim, I'm always amused by those on the left and the right who spew their dogma and cry over the bias of educators and media. What's even more laughable is that you point me to an article on a website that is openly known for its bias as some sort of proof. The majority of that article is based on opinion. Your polar opposite would argue that education is slanted toward promotion of policies that inhibit global warming. But I'm used to hearing that argument. Liberals picked up the global warming flag long ago and have used it to abuse economic liberty for a very long time. Capitalism is not the enemy of the environment any more than socialism. They are merely a system of governing a country's economy. Both can be either harmful or can promote environment depending on the attitudes and ethics of individual citizens.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

chip1775,

My point is: "the attitudes and ethics of individual citizens" change under the influence of systems (economic, political, religious) which they inherit. Education allows each new generation to reevaluate our society, and choose whether to improve our systems or just leave them alone. I choose to move the discussion toward improving it, which makes me a progressive, probably.

When you measure the promise of capitalism against its actual historical progress in the United States, it needs to be given the proverbial pink slip. Its resume & references were obviously inflated to the extreme. Adam Smith made us believe that an Invisible Hand would magically guide all participants in the free market to the best possible outcome for all involved. He lied! That invisible hand is more like a pickpocket's than some benign, divine mathematician's. It's not the hand of God, it's the hand of Greed.

A society duped into allowing a principle as violent and corrupting as Greed to be their basis of interacting with each other gets what they asked for: a proper fleecing by the wealthiest among them.

Apologists for the Greed system (providing those who don't need it with free PR) nowadays blame capitalism's failures on the measures adopted by previous generations to slap back that pickpocketing hand. Just get rid of those nefarious socialist measures which cripple the Invisible Hand, and the rising tide will raise all boats, they claim. (Never mind the facts about how expensive those big ol boats are, leaving so many treading water, and losing strength fast).

It's not the safety net's fault that people fall; they are walking the tight rope assigned to them by a system inherently corrupt and riddled with logical contradictions. Go ahead, get ride of the safety nets of socialist policies, but not before you replace the tight rope with a four lane highway! Ah, but that's a little too much opportunity for their comfort; too much equality is the worst enemy of the Survival of the Wealthiest system.

Capitalism promises that everyone will benefit from free market activity. History demonstrates that what has always applied to the dynamic of the wealthy ruling (rule-making) classes vs the poorer working classes also applies when all of them drink the capitalist's koolaid. Namely, that the rich remain on top by putting their own interests above that of all other classes; that poorer classes have two choices regarding their upward mobility: 1) sacrifice it so those already on top of the wealth ladder get to remain up top, or 2) take an axe to the ladder and chop everyone down to the ground.

But those up top abhor the idea of level playing fields. That's why they got everyone to create a new kind of do-nothing royal class, the "successful capitalist." The way they've duped the working classes, drowning in sink-or-swim wages, into becoming their loudest cheerleaders even as their Capitalist Invisible Hand is robbing them of any real chance to experience economic freedom... That's the most disgusting part of the whole charade.

Capitalism looks so good on paper. In theory, it might work for a small society of truly equal peers who all knew and respected one another. At the global international scale of modern capitalism, however, the tactics of those who control the vast majority of the wealth (which they increasingly use simply to accumulate more of it) are much too sophisticated for those without the means or the opportunity to compete fairly.

And just like the US military has learned to Never Fight Fair, never entering a battle without stacking the odds overwhelmingly in favor of victory, those whose families are already overwhelmingly financially successful have asymmetrically powerful measures to remain right where they are -- on top of the world.

A personal note: to me, this discussion is of little practical utility, like fiddling while Rome burns. But I enjoy fiddling, and remain quite content with the little I have. I don't envy the wealthy their lifetime of warfare against the popular forces clamoring for equality of opportunity, level battle fields, and those expensive safety nets. I'm a pacifist in the class war. What makes me speak up is when people write, speak, vote, and spend against their own well-being, playing right into the tactics of people who do not have their welfare in mind. I do not blame those who inherited a toxic and harmful system for doing what that system demands of them. I blame the system! And I try to do my part to advocate for alternative systems, or at least to guard our necessary freedom to create and discuss improvements to the system we inherited. Too many adopt a tone which tends to shut out discussion of alternatives, as if we have a moral obligation to any particular economic system. (We don't!).


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

chip1775,

By the way, I disagree that the article to which I pointed you is mostly opinion. Noam Chomsky is well-known for backing up his arguments from commonly available sources of factual data, not simply making assertions. That particular article is heavily laced with references to readily verifiable facts published in books and journal articles. Do you have an issue with Chomsky's facts? Did you check them? Or do you have an issue with the conclusions he reaches based on those facts? If so, on what basis do you feel your conclusions are superior to his? Do you have additional factual evidence to point us to?

And I did not offer it to anyone as "some sort of proof." I repeat what I said in that comment: authors like Chomsky can "point you in the right direction, if you are willing to see more than the bias given you by your teachers, and by corporately-owned media and political parties and politicians (which is just about all of them, in each category)."

The bias is acknowledged, but crying "bias" doesn't invalidate an argument. Debate, indeed, is an openly biased, rule-based competition between biases. I really don't see any relevance to the claim of "bias." Of course it's biased! The most blind person is the one constantly pretending that the (fictional) centrist position is somehow inherently "balanced," or "reliable," or "correct."

I am glad you read the article, but would appreciate your reactions to the facts he points up, instead of your dismissal of the whole based on an irrelevant charge of bias. It's too easy to retreat from ideas in fear that they are somehow automatically wrong simply because they are susceptible to being the polar opposite of other ideas.


chip1775 profile image

chip1775 3 years ago from Atlanta

Well, atleast you weren't condescending and rude this time. That's a start I guess. I did not make a comment on this hub to descend into an argument so I'll keep this short. You first need to make up your mind about bias. You used "bias" as a reason to discredit economic textbooks (That is an oversimplification which serves well the wealthiest 1%, who, not surprisingly, take a great interest in the academic discipline of economics and exert great pressure to see that the subject is taught from the bias which best serves them.) and then proceed to use bias as your counterargument. I only pointed out bias because "you" mentioned it. I do, however, agree that our "debate" is a waste of time. Your position rests on the belief that wealth is only gained by the exploitation of others. I don't believe that and nothing I have seen in my own experiences has suggested that that is true. In fact, I am surrounded by evidence to the contrary of that belief. I grew up poor, so I know enough about it to know that peoples attitudes and actions are what keep them poor. They don't need anyone holding them down, they do that on their own.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

chip1775,

Thanks for that reply. When you originally posted here, saying, "Can socialism work here? I don't believe it can, but that is up for debate. What is obvious is that both socialism and capitalism cannot coexist. It has to be one or the other, for sure," I took your phrase "up for debate" too literally, perhaps. I enjoy advancing discussion through the use of academic-style argumentation (e.g., debate). Which for me is very different from what you mentioned lately-- descending "into an argument." I guess I feel like you got what you asked for; politics and economics are always lively subjects, especially online. But I appreciate your attitude about civility.

Bias is not bad, it's just another indicator of ideology. As someone who promotes democratic ideals, equality, and other such liberal ideology, I not only acknowledge my bias (the first step to thinking clearly about ideology and values), I insist that we all keep bias out on the table, where we all can see it. Otherwise, we're all just bluffing and cheating each other out of an opportunity to progress in our opinions.

My reason for discrediting economics teaching as found in high schools and probably colleges, too, is because they represent the interests of a group (those at the top of the wealth ladder) whose prosperity depends upon impressionable young minds adopting their bias as if it were the only logical choice, as if there were no viable alternatives. You reflected this elite bias yourself in your OP: "Can socialism work here? I don't believe it can..." That sentence neatly summarizes the thesis of economics teaching with the elitist bias. The rest of your sentence-- "that is up for debate"-- never enters high school economics teaching, or right-wing political rhetoric (or much of the sermonizing done from the politically active religious right). We are NOT allowed to debate whether anything but capitalism is the right ideology for us, within the very birthplace of political thinking, namely, the classrooms of high school and college students.

There was a time when that debate was allowed, but it was brief, and was quickly corrected by the elites in power. I was attempting to point out that self-serving manipulation of consent, that top-down manufacturing of "public opinion" which I witnessed occurring in my own teaching experiences. Those are the facts on the ground, as I found them. Bias can and is manipulated by those in power in such a way as to deaden debate over the ideas that the elites would like to control. When you control the debate, you control the whole national conversation. I am not okay with the stifling of debate, and it seems that you are not either.

You have not found enough evidence of wealth gained by the exploitation of others to see my point, and you admit that. It doesn't mean that the evidence isn't out there. If you're interested in evidence, here's another couple articles by my favorite commentator on the topic, Noam Chomsky:

"Chomsky: Corporations and the Richest Americans Viscerally Oppose Common Good" http://rdd.me/enl0rdgy via @readability

"Chomsky: The Corporate Assault on Public Education" http://rdd.me/7pplcclh via @readability


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, You chose to improve upon our system. which is your right and that right is guaranteed by the Constitution. But the Constitution has an established way to change it LEGALLY.

It seems funny to me that THAT system that guarantees you that right, is the very system you want to change ILLEGALLY. It has stood the test of time for more than 200 years, and there have been few challenges (amendments) in those TWO HUNDRED + years.

That's more than many nations have existed under the same Constitution. Why? They attempted to 'tweak' and 'fine-tune' their Constitution. If you want to play around with the Constitution, I'd suggest you're in the wrong place and suggest you go where they do that on a regular basis, sometimes by force.

Our Constitution is open for INTERPRETATION (the SOLE job of the SCOTUS though many progressives don't understand INTERPRET-I suspect deeply that you do) and there is a clause in the Constitution for revision.

The clause for revision/amending it, shows that it (Constitution) may be amended, is tremendously hard to do for a reason; our framers saw that on occasion we'd desire to play around with it, to make changes, fine tune an tweak (as you suggest) but they wanted to make it difficult.

Si, unless you chose to go through the process of making changes legally, don't make them though the back door as progressives have been attempting for years.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Back door?


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Back door=When progressive aren't able to meet their desires/get what they way the accepted and legal way (like amending the Constitution) or voting in the Senate, they get what they want by supporting recess appointments, continuing resolutions, Harry Reid-ty;e of blocking progress and intimidation-to name a few (intimidating and scaring the heck out of seniors).

Something other than the accepted, legal practice, is often called a 'back door' approach. I ought to add progressive judges of the SCOTUS legislating from the bench and the progressive candidates scaring women into thinking that every GOP POTUS would end their right to an abortion.


JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

None of those methods you listed are either illegal, or used any more by progressives than by conservatives.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 3 years ago from Chicago

Jim, I submit, "a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong [in this case, illegal], gives it a SUPERFICIAL appearance of being right..." (Thomas Paine, Common Sense). So, they're NOT BLATANTLY illegal, but that doesn't make them right.

Yes, both SIDES are guilty, but that doesn't mean that we can't strive for and achieve, that which is REALLY correct. We have to stop this finger-pointing, stop, stop, stop it, or Americans will lose the liberty they have , and our legally elected POTUS will get what he wants, a house divided amongst itself.

These are ONLY examples, not meant to cast aspersions. We can either use these Hub Pages to work together and solve a problem-or we can use them to further put a wedge in us and divide by "he said-she said..."- a rather immature way of doing things and NEVER known to solve a problem.

How many times has this administration resorted to recess appointments (when the legislature IS in session) of 'czars' or entered Continuing Resolutions ad nauseum as budgets? The Continuing Resolution ITSELF is not illegal, but to use continuing CRs as a method of governing is incorrect use of this legal Constitutional provision.

The SCOTUS is to INTERPRET the Constitution, not to legislate from the bench and make NEW LAW. Yes, attempts at judicial activism have always been with us, but that's a moot point and just because they're tolerated, it does not make them right.

For xample, Johnny is always right. One day, Johnny decides to jump off of a bridge. Because Johnny is always right, does that make your jumping of a bridge, right?


gags3480 profile image

gags3480 3 years ago from Kanpur, India

Nice hub.

Voted up & shred.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber and all the best:)...B

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working