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Is this a Fair Statement About Capitalism?

  1. My Esoteric profile image89
    My Esotericposted 2 years ago

    It just occurred to me, and I wanted to record it before it slipped away again, that there are two types of Capitalism; Theoretical and Practical (Duh!)  What I also noticed is that the endless debates about capitalism between the Right and the Left go on and on, into infinity without each side defining which they are talking about. 

    Now, IMO, Theoretical Capitalism exists if and only if ALL of the players in the market, production, distribution, and financing "play by the rules", i.e. greed is kept to normal levels which competition and long-term planning tends to mitigate.  Minus some intrinsic problems with wage and capital inequalities that are part and parcel of capitalism, this system would work very well. This is the model that I think the Right conceives of when talking about capitalism.

    Practical Capitalism, on the other hand, takes the restriction on Greed off and lets people and corporations act as they normally do in the real world.  In this case, capitalism is self-destructive and has proven to be so in every case where excess Greed is left to work its malodorous rot resulting in economic chaos, dead lakes and rivers, disappearing species and cityscapes, child labor, etc.  This is what the Left understands capitalism to be, if excess Greed is not regulated.

    Who is right?

    1. JayeWisdom profile image94
      JayeWisdomposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Since the U.S. federal government now seems to be responding to demands of corporate America rather than needs of American citizens and, indeed, needs of the country, my opinion is that GREED has taken hold and is running the show.  When a national government agency such as the FDA ignores its mandate to act for the well-being of American citizens and, instead, acts (or doesn't act, in too many instances) to ensure big corporations such as Monsanto don't lose their obscene profits while allowing them to poison people...capitalism and corruption appear to go hand in hand.

      As you so eloquently phrased it, the 'malodorous rot' of Greed is running rampant.

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        You noticed :-)

    2. MizBejabbers profile image90
      MizBejabbersposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Theoretical capitalism sounds ideal, and in an ideal world probably would be the most humane and practical form of economic system that could exist. I used to hear people say that theoretical communism would be ideal, but they didn't take into consideration the differences in people because some people would be truly happy with their lot in life, while others would be bored to death or feeling like they should have a larger share because they were working a more difficult job or picking up somebody else's slack..
      I think it works the same with with capitalism. Since people are not equal as far as intelligence, ability, integrity, honesty, etc., there have to be some safeguards on capitalism. If not, society could revert to the days of serfdom, indentured servitude, or even slavery, for people to survive.

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I just read that Karl Marx was very upset with the way Communism developed in Russia; it wasn't supposed to work that way.  Communism, in his view, had to be the result of the workers throwing off capitalism.  As a consequence, he saw the communist society populated more by the middle class and not an uprising of the poverty stricken.  He basically predicted that if Communism develop from the poor, then human nature would turn it into a totalitarian type gov't that ended up looking an awful lot like the Stalinist period.

    3. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The problem is we sometimes expect corporations to 'play by the rules' when we don't give them rules to play by. A responsible government will tell corporations what they are and are not allowed to do. Think of corporations are psychopathic people, all they desire is money, with no care given to people or the environment. So, they need rules. They have to be told what the minimum wage is. They have to be told that they can't hurt the environment or people.

    4. cjhunsinger profile image70
      cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      What would you replace capitalism with and can you demonstrate that such a system is free of corruption and greed?
      Capitalism is not a political system. It is an economic system and in America is predicated on individual freedom and limited government. This is a contradiction to what America is today, however. The founding principles of America are contained within the Bill of Rights, essentially the freedom to achieve and there can be no individual achievement without the economic philosophy of capitalism.
      The greed that you so vividly point to has little to do with capitalism, but rather to a corrupt and greedy politician.
      There is no question that capitalism has its faults, as many can  be pointed to. The opposing philosophy of socialism however, as history so vividly demonstrates, is a philosophy of incompetence and corruption with no accomplishments, no enhancements to the human condition and certainly no improvement in the standards of living.
      I would be interested in reading how you would build a society minus individual freedom, the right to achieve, as an individual and capitalism.

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I don't understand how you can make that claim as there has never been a purely socialist country, ever. Any country that has tried socialism has had it warped by the influence of the capitalists.

        My country, the UK, did have a mixed economy with things like public utilities and transport owned by the people. Privatisation has seen a huge increase in cost with a matching increase in inefficiency and worsening of the human condition.

        1. cjhunsinger profile image70
          cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          There has never been a purely capitalistic country. England's government like most others is populated with incompetent and corrupt politicians, who are the epitome of greed. Please show me how this would not be the case in a purely socialistic society. American capitalism set the stage for all the great accomplishments the world has ever seen through the philosophy of individual freedom. Could such be the claim of a socialistic society?
          Provide, if you will, a scenario of a truly socialist society where such achievements would have been brought to the average person? If you can afford a car, just for starters, you might want to thank Henry Ford, an American of parents born in Somerset England.
          Please, define if you will your definition of socialism, if that is what you herald.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            "If you can afford a car"

            You are thinking in capitalist terms.

            The UK government had become infested with incompetent and corrupt politicians precisely because the capitalists have won. There was a time when that was not so, when a politician would resign for telling a minor untruth to the house, now they refuse to resign when caught in major transgressions.

            I'm not even going to argue with your claim that all the great accomplishments are American in origin. it is so patently absurd that it is not worth the effort.

            1. cjhunsinger profile image70
              cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Your comprehension skills seem to be lacking. I did not say all great achievements came out of America, I said America set the stage. There is a difference.
              Please provide that time of great honesty in Britain that you speak of. I would love to research it, as I am not familiar with it. Britain, today is primarily populated, politically, with socialists.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                "Britain is primarily populated politically with socialists!"

                An absolutely absurd statement that could only be made by somebody totally ignorant of foreign affairs.
                Would you care to back that with some facts?

                There was never a time of great honesty, there was however integrity, when politicians who were caught out fell on their metaphorical swords. They no longer do that.

                1. Silverspeeder profile image61
                  Silverspeederposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  British government is populated by self serving individuals who profess to be for the British worker but continues to import millions of foreign workers.
                  British government is populated by self serving individuals who profess to champion British business but buy foreign products and services at every opportunity.
                  British government is populated by self serving individuals that profess to in favour of equality but who treat almost every section of society and every region of the UK differently.
                  British government is populated by self serving individuals who profess to be conservative or liberal or socially aware but who have forgotten what those things actually mean.
                  British government is populated by a political elite who pay lip service to the ideologies of the parties they represent just to gain power, money and prestige with the added advantage of sometimes receiving fantastic privileges also.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Yup, that just about sums it up. I could expand that but to no real purpose.
                    There is not one smidgeon of socialism in all that.

            2. My Esoteric profile image89
              My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              OK, John, you may not, but I will.  While I am quite proud of all the America has accomplished in such a short span a time, I am not so arrogant to think that 1) capitalism is at the root of all that we have accomplished, it isn't or 2) that "American capitalism set the stage for all the great accomplishments the world has ever seen through the philosophy of individual freedom"

              As an original example of point number 2, the "inventors" of capitalism, as it were, was the English; this set the stage for the Industrial Age.  People from the newly minted United States travelled to England desperately trying to steal the processes of mechanization that fueled the English industrial machine.  The English government and industrialists tried just as hard to stop us from doing it ... we won.  Nevertheless, it was English capitalism that set the stage for the Industrial Revolution

              As a thought experiment for point number 1, let's suppose at the time that Thomas Edison invented his light bulb that America was a purely capitalistic economy where the means of production and distribution were in private hands and England was a purely socialistic economy where the public, via the State, owned the means of production and distribution.  Then let me ask these two questions:

              1.  Assuming Edison lived in New Jersey at the time he invented the light bulb, what is it about the American capitalist system that played a role in his ability to do that and then bring it to market?
              2. Assuming Edison lived in Kent, England at the time he invented the light bulb, what is it about the English socialist system that played a role in preventing his ability to do that and then bringing it to market?

              My answer to both of those questions is ... nothing.  In both cases Edison would have invented his light bulb, in both cases it would have been brought to market, and in both cases Edison would have profited from his invention.  The difference would be in the degree of profit.  There is nothing about socialism to prevent Edison from inventing and, as far as I know, nothing about socialism to prevent Edison from earning money from his invention.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thank you!
                It makes a pleasant change to meet somebody who views things through common sense rather than blind prejudice.

          2. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Why do you limit this statement to politicians? "England's government like most others is populated with incompetent and corrupt politicians, who are the epitome of greed." Just brief daily reviews of news outlets clearly demonstrate corporate management contains an order of magnitude more of the incompetent and corrupt; especially the corrupt.

            The thing about representative government whether it be of the English kind or the American kind, when its law making body is populated by people of opposing, but not extreme views, who are willing to compromise, regardless of their individual coruptness (most aren't that incompetent, otherwise they wouldn't be there) tend to pass laws that are good for the nation.  It is only when you get a predominance of one viewpoint or another in that body, or when the extremes gain power do you see bad decisions emerge more often than not.

            1. cjhunsinger profile image70
              cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              In today's world of the corporation I don't know that I can fully disagree, as it is becoming more and more difficult to separate corporation from government and there is a political name for this too.
              The rest of your point is well made and I cannot disagree, as much as I would like to. As far as a democracy goes Hitler was elected by one. Perhaps, it is the greed of the voter in thinking that they can vote themselves money that is the primary corrupter.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Hitler was elected as a result of Germany's terror at the thought of a socialist government being elected.

                1. cjhunsinger profile image70
                  cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  John

                  And what had the people thought of that socialist government?  I had to research some material that I had put away, but I think it speaks to your point. I eventually out had to pull it out of Wikipedia.
                  "Today our left-wing politicians in particular are constantly insisting that their craven-hearted and obsequious foreign policy necessarily results from the disarmament of Germany, whereas the truth is that this is the policy of traitors  But the politicians of the Right deserve exactly the same reproach. It was through their miserable cowardice that those ruffians of Jews who came into power in 1918 were able to rob the nation of its arms."
                  Although Hitler demonstrated a hatred of Marxist Socialism he also felt that capitalism's only value was to serve him, as dictator. This is not capitalism and does not fit into the definition of Hitlers goal of a totalitarian state. He came to power by promising everybody everything, much as our Barack Obama and in similar ways orchestrated his campaign in much the same way that Hitler did. He appealed to peoples greed of having something that was not theirs or that they did not earn. Hitler also used the great resentment the German people carried for the Jew. Perhaps, there was some justification. In any case your statement is a great over simplification  and could have used more depth.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Indeed it could have used more depth but when you're fighting against the wind. . .
                    You quite correctly point out that Hitler wasn't a capitalist, that does not mean that he must have been a socialist.. He was in fact an unelected totalitarian dictator who, as you rightly point out, got to power by lying and deceit, not to forget a good dose of murder.

              2. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                "Perhaps, it is the greed of the voter in thinking that they can vote themselves money that is the primary corrupter."

                I think you're absolutely right here.

                "For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”
                Robert A Heinlein

                1. cjhunsinger profile image70
                  cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
                  Ben Franklin would agree, as well.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    If the truth were told, people do not vote themselves money. It is pressed upon them in exchange for their acquiescence in their subjugation..

                  2. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Yep.  Same concept, different words.

        2. Dr Billy Kidd profile image91
          Dr Billy Kiddposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It's amazing how many Americans think that Great Britain has a socialist government.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Indeed it is amazing, until you consider how little Americans understand the concept of socialism.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              As no government/country is either truly capitalistic OR socialistic it becomes a matter of degree.  Compared to the US, the UK is a socialist nation; compared to the UK the US is capitalism even though it has strong aspects of socialism.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Actually, although I don't agree that the US is anything like socialist, it is now a little to the left of the UK.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Interesting.  But do you mean your left or mine: my left is the one promoting all the giveaway programs and the nanny state.  The right promotes free enterprise and only minimal safety net. 

                  Hard to believe that with all the social programs and giveaways that the UK is (my) right compared to the US.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    And what social programs and giveaways would they be?

    5. mio cid profile image66
      mio cidposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Capitalism without Socialism and vice versa are not only undesirable but end up failing as history has shown repeatedly

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I know what what you mean @Mio, and I agree with your point, but the terms you use actually are on opposite ends of the economic spectrum.

        Capitalism is simply the private ownership of the means of production and distribution

        Socialism is simply the public ownership of the means of production and distribution

        The two are related because unregulated capitalism will follow two courses (if it remains unregulated). One is totalitarianism as the few wealthy/powerful that emerge from unregulated capitalism take over the political system and the other is, as Marx predicted, capitalism devolves into socialism to stop then inevitable huge inequality that WILL develop from unregulated capitalism.

        What I think you mean is capitalism needs to be regulated such that greed is mitigated and a modicum of empathy is instilled in the those who run the capitalist system on the one side and for those who want to provide everything for everybody need an economic system that will generate the capital that will help approach the goal of providing at least the basic rights all human beings have.

        1. mio cid profile image66
          mio cidposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          What I mean is  that during the politically nefarious years in the 1970's all the dictatorships sponsored by the U.S government implemented an economic system  which was promoted by Milton Friedman and the school of Chicago as it is known in the southern hemisphere,in that scenario anything that resembled to have any socialist influence was banned,outlawed.After a couple of decades of trying the same  expecting to obtain a different result, all those economies collapsed and were replaced for more balanced systems.On the other hand we have seen how the socialist countries haven't even been able to provide the most basic needs to their populations because the artificial way in which they try to propel economic growth simply doesn't do it.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            What socialist countries?

            1. mio cid profile image66
              mio cidposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              All of them those that still exist and those that either disappeared or became cesspools of corruption such as Russia.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Avoiding the fact that Russia was communist (or state capitalist) you avoid my question, which socialist countries?

  2. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 2 years ago

    I would point out that the greed isn't just on the part of companies and businesses.  Every time I look at what it cost to buy a home, a car, a loaf of bread, etc. 60 years ago, it always comes up less now in terms of hours worked for the average person.

    A large part of the problem is greed of the consumer, too - the never ending desire for more.  Bigger homes, better cars, more entertainment, etc., but for the same cost.  There is no doubt whatsoever that the average American has increased their standard of living since, say, the 1950's but the demand is always for more.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      And that consumer greed is what, in this case, the real estate market played on.  Greed exists everywhere and at all times, that is a given.  What controls greed is the internal Super Ego as well as external laws and regulations.  The difference, however, between the consumer and the provider is power and control. 

      The consumer can simply want bigger and better but have no way to collectively organize themselves to either force (through lack of alternatives of an inelastic product) or trick/mislead/entice through massive advertising campaigns/etc providers to give them what they want.  Providers, on the other hand, do have that power and, when allowed to, through lack of regulation (most providers only have an Id and no Super Ego), they will exercise that capability to not just increase, but to bloat their bottom line.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        One of the problems, I think, concerns those "bloated" bottom lines.  When companies grow large (think WalMart or GM) somehow the public has become convinced that their profit should remain static.  That the truly massive amounts of capital needed to build all those stores/factories should not return any profit, that after a certain point (undefined) more profits are no longer reasonable.

        This is, of course, a fallacy.  When we want to look at profits, they should be considered in light of sales or investment needed, not just a blank number shoved out there while complaining it is too much.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          My concern is not with the level of profit achieved. If it is achieved by straightforward trading well and good.
          I am more concerned with profits being boosted by eroding workers rights and working conditions.
          I am also concerned about dirty tricks used to fool the purchasers like displaying one price on the shelves and charging another, higher, price at the check out.

          If a company does not treat its employees with respect why should we think it will treat its customers with respect?

  3. WiccanSage profile image96
    WiccanSageposted 2 years ago

    I'm not worried about people's greed. People can be as greedy as they  want. That's their right. Frankly I'll always take a greedy person who works hard and is productive over a generous person who is complacent and lazy.

    Fair laws should be in place to protect people when necessary (child labor, contracts, etc.) and people who break laws should be punished. I believe regulation should be as minimal as necessary, but penalties should be harsh.

    Greed is not the problem-- people shouldn't be judged by their feelings or motives (or those we project on them) but by their actions. And as long as they're following laws, then I got no beef with them.

    Just because someone is rich and successful does not make them automatically greedy. And just because someone is poor and unsuccessful doesn't mean they aren't greedy (after all, wouldn't someone who doesn't work but freeloads what he can get off others sound pretty greedy?).

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      There is greed, @WiccanSage, and then there is Greed.  Simple greed, when defined as wanting more in order to improve ones life, but not at the sake of another, is a good type of greed.  But Greed, simply because I want more and more and I will get it any way I can regardless of who gets hurt, is a bad kind a greed.  The laws and regulations, which are mostly in the financial realm, are to control the latter type of greed.

      That is what happened that allowed the 2008 recession to happen; all of the controls on greed that were put in place after the Great Depression had been removed between 1980 and 2004; the major ones being the separation of banking institutions from investment institutions, requirements for what was required to secure mortgages and loans (ability to repay both at the individual and corporate level), transparency of financial transactions, and a host of other similar things.  Also, with the advent of non-banking institutions making mortgages and similar loans, no controls were put in place to prevent greed from running rampant, which it did, and ultimately destroying people's and nation's lives.

      Further, lack of regulations coupled with excess greed to increase the bottom line led directly to the smog that led to the San Gabriel Mountains disappearing right in front of my eyes in the 1950s, the killing of Lake Erie, the fires on the Ohio River, the deforestation of America (not to mention the currently disappearing Amazon forest), KNOWINGLY selling poison in the form of cigarettes, ... there are thousands upon thousands of other examples of corporations putting the bottom line and their personal profit ahead of the health of you and the world.

      That is the bad form of GREED.

  4. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    The fading and greying in truly describing what is a socialist or capitalist economy is ever more evident in todays world .  Now most governments and their economies are far more apt to be a mixture of each  or all forms of government based economies  , show me a socialist government and  I'll tell you how it's subsidized by another more powerful economy in the world , here in America  we are a capitalist country morphing into  a socially based society , a tug of war if you will  , between those who understand the power ,- good or bad- ,of true capitalism .And that part of the same culture that believes in "spreading the wealth " to them , especially without earning any part of it !   No country in the world  today can claim one pure form  of  economic description .

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I find it interesting how people confuse social programs with socialism; they really aren't the same.  To the Right, the word social seems to mean welfare (but not with the meaning as the one used in the US Constitution). lazy, parasite. handouts and other such perjoratives. In fact, they are dead wrong.

      There are four types of philosophies that underlie how governments interface with the citizens who contract with them (meaning I am not talking about monarchies, dictatorships, or their surrogates.)  The first division are those governments whose citizens primarily want the government to maintain a class based social structure and those where their directive is to insure individual-focused liberty.  The latter form is further divided into what one professor I listened to as minimal-state liberals and active-state liberals.  The former government's split between those dominated by socialists and the other by conservatives.  Notice, capitalism is not mentioned anywhere there however it is part and parcel of both liberal forms and most conservative forms of governments.  In practice, it also appears to some degree in socialistic political environments.

      "Every one" of those four forms believe in the government supporting social programs to one degree or another.  Socialism and active-state liberalism, however, believe it is the governments duty to ensure basic needs of its citizens are met and must take an active role in preventing the powerful from denying rights to the less powerful.  Conservatives have one branch that feels, to a degree, the same as it relates to treating the lower class fairly.  Obviously, socialist have gone so far as to construct their economic system to support these goals ... which active-state liberals do not do; they simply regulate capitalism so that it is more equitable to all rather than just the wealthy.

      Minimal-state liberals, on the other hand, do believe in individual liberty but do not believe the government should be anyway involved in making sure the common Welfare clause in the Constitution's Preamble is met.  The only responsibility the gov't has is protecting the citizens from external threats and keeping the peace.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        "The only responsibility the gov't has is protecting the citizens from external threats and keeping the peace."

        But that IS the "common welfare".  Cell phones, individual housing, recreational drugs, even food and health care falls under "individual welfare".  Not the common welfare of the nation.

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          And exactly where do you draw your conclusion from regarding your definition for general Welfare?  Benjamin Franklin, for one, would disagree with you as he worked very hard, and successfully, to get the State of Pennsylvania to pay for paving the streets of Philadelphia for the sole purpose of making life more tolerable for the city dwellers.

          If "general Welfare" meant "common defense" (notice one was capitalized, the other not) why bother inserting "general Welfare" in at all?  No, since "provide for the common defense" was already there, then the framers had to have something else in mind for the clause, "promote the general Welfare"; it must mean something entirely different, don't you think?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            And yet...it is pretty well recognized that without the interstate highway system the country would not be what it is today.  Pavement (or it's equivalent) is good for all, not just an individual. 

            I get my interpretation from the word "general".  It does not say "individual", it does not even say "family" or any other limitation.  It says "general"; what helps ALL, not an individual.  Indeed the idea of the giveaways we now find desirable, the interminable entitlements we hand out to every other person, would make those writers turn over in their grave.  The concept of a nanny state was NOT what was intended when the constitution was written, and "general welfare" was never intended to be an excuse to feed off others' labors.

            1. My Esoteric profile image89
              My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              But paved roads are ONLY for those people who drive, they aren't for those who can't or are too young, therefore even that doesn't fit your definition of "general".  But if you insist that it does, then I insist that the food stamp program does as well.  Why? because food stamps is a general program for anybody, not just a specified person or specified family who doesn't make enough money to feed themselves properly.  If you have a car and a license to drive it, you qualify to drive on the Interstate.  If you don't earn enough money to feed yourself, you qualify for food stamps; I don't see the difference for both are designed to benefit the general Welfare of the nation.

              Further, like the Interstate highway system, having several million of your population that are malnourished is a cold national security issue for all sorts of reasons from poor learning achievement to societal instability; it also speaks volumes as to the moral and ethical standards of a people, or lack thereof.  I want to live in a country who takes care of their people, not screws them by disinterest.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Don't be silly; the food on your table was not brought to your house by the stork; it came on roads.  Paved ones.  Everything in your house was brought to you on roads.  Heck, your house was transported on roads.

                But I'm interested in this food stamp program for everyone; can you be more specific on how I can get free food from Uncle Sam while earning a good wage?  Oh wait - I see you went on and limited it to individuals in specific cases.  That there are a lot of them does not mean it serves the country in general; it is still of value to specific individuals and ONLY those individuals may benefit. 

                If you wish to live in a country that takes care of it's citizens then you should be looking to keep more of your hard earned cash instead of having it taken by force and given to those that will not do more than the minimum to support themselves, and often far less than that.  "Taking care" of someone doesn't mean reducing what little they have to support non-productive citizens that COULD be productive if only they would.

                1. My Esoteric profile image89
                  My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  If you don't have a license to drive, stay off the highway, what's the difference?  The highway is not available to everybody therefore the government should not have paid for it according to you for it was a give-a-way to those who drive.

                  1. My Esoteric profile image89
                    My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Also, doesn't this " "... to support non-productive citizens that COULD be productive if only they would.
                    " imply ALL citizens can be productive?  That there is no scenario where they can't be?

            2. My Esoteric profile image89
              My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              As to "feeding off of others labors", a sentiment carried by Thomas Jefferson who nevertheless wouldn't let a sick slave die simply because he was unable to work, your categorical contempt for people in need is interesting indeed.  Taken in context with the rest of what you say, here is the picture I draw of the society you prefer to live in.

              Everybody needs to find a job, whether they are available or not.  If, for some odd reason, they can't (in that there is no job available to them within say 1000 miles) and begin starving to death on the streets, then it is up to friends and family or charitable organizations to take care of them.  If all refuse to help, then they simply die in your world because it isn't the governments responsibility to help these people live, the ones that made a contract with the government to protect them. 

              But, you might say, there is always somebody will help.  Maybe, in good times.  So, let's have a depression where there is 30% unemployment and all local social support systems are swamped (like they are during every good recession and depression).  No problem, because those who can't survive in in your social Darwinist world will simply parish leaving only the strong to carry on. 

              Do I have that right?  Or is there a place in those scenarios where you will let government step in and help?

              Another takeaway, like with @Silverspeeder, it seems that you would oppose any social support system that allows even one case of abuse; if it does, you will point it out and want that system shut down because it obviously breeds slackers.  That is what your words imply to me.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Yes, everyone needs to find a job, but time is of major concern.  So called "job hunters" that are out of work for years simply aren't looking (or unwilling to take what is out there).  And yes, they can walk the streets and starve.

                On the other hand I would give more than we do to the sick one that temporarily can't work.  I find it a travesty that we ignore those temporarily in need, demanding that they reduce themselves to abject poverty before we'll do anything.

  5. ahorseback profile image52
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    Today EVERYONE on the left  loves to hate the man who can take capitalism and build upon his own ability to become rich and powerful within that system  and based upon his [her ]  entrepreneurial  ability , becoming incredibly rich !  What exactly is wrong with that , that  man;s capability  is what created todays practical capitalism ! Yes , .....there are those who can only enter this system at the "minimum wage level  and grow if possible , but that doesn't mean that the successful man is evil !

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Evil is a very strong word.
      Wrong is not necessarily evil but it's not right either.
      And your statement is wrong, I am on the left but I hate no man.

    2. gmwilliams profile image86
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      A multillion percent in agreement.

    3. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I think it disingenuous that a statement has merit when there are so many mitigating circumstances to counter it. Capitalism can be a good motivator for people to earn something on their own and the freedom to do so is paramount to it happening. More and more we are finding that the costs and time it takes to just survive in the economy takes away those opportunities. We have witnessed the evolution of the greatest transfer of wealth to take place in the history of the world. The baby boomers are taking control of the purse strings and the dissimilar wealth is strangling the middle class to maintain. While man's capability is still creating practical capitalism the opportunities are dwindling to those with an edge. The edge is to the power of the elite to squash competition and the means to buy government favor in doing so. So capitalism is great until it fails to provide across the board. Entrepreneurial ability and cute ideas are still out there but the gap is widening for those who think they can still gain as in the past.



      The perennial conviction that those who work hard and play by the rules will be rewarded with a more comfortable present and a stronger future for their children faces assault from just about every direction. That great enemy of democratic capitalism, economic inequality, is real and growing.

      Jon Meacham


      http://s2.hubimg.com/u/11838807.png

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        "dissimilar wealth is strangling the middle class to maintain."

        When I look at middle class life style and standard of living from when I was a child compared to now...well, there is just no comparison.  I don't see much struggle "to maintain" - rather the problem is that comsumer greed demands ever more for less effort.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          But that's capitalism for you isn't it? It requires more and more people to want more and more to feed the machine.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Why more people?  And aren't the people themselves the "machine" you talk of?

            But while I don't know about it being capitalism, it IS people - we all want more than we have.  Blame evolution, I guess.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              No, the capitalist system is designed to make people want more. It encourages greed deliberately.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                And when all the people want is free for the taking it doesn't encourage greed.  Of course not!

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Tell me where  can get a free car, a free Rolex, a free TV, free designer clothes!

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Move to the US and apply for EIC.  When it comes in, buy what you want.  If it costs more than $5,000 you'll have to save it up for several years.

              2. jgshorebird profile image84
                jgshorebirdposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                John -

                What do you think about that Stephan Molyneux chap?

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I'm not familiar with the man but a quick search suggests that on balance I don't like what he supports.
                  Anarcho-capitalism and abolition of government would make things infinitely worse, not better.

                  1. jgshorebird profile image84
                    jgshorebirdposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Agreed. However, sometimes one learns a lot from such people.  His explanations, especially as it applies to large companies and banks absorbing the first rounds of fiat monies injected by the governments, is not far off the mark.  It sort of follows along with your concerns about how (like the guy you are debating herein) multinational companies keep the lower classes in ever deteriorating conditions - as a result of "Practical Capitalism" or as some put it, "Soft Fascism".

              3. My Esoteric profile image89
                My Esotericposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                The "capitalist system" isn't designed at all, it simply exists when people are allowed to 1) own private property and 2) allowed to buy and sell on the open market.  It is the socialist economic system which works counter to human nature; the state must force humans to act in a way that is counter to how they would when left to their own devices.

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Do you really believe that?
                  Do you really think that we got to this stage through greed and selfishness?

          2. rhamson profile image77
            rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I don't know if it is capitalism but I know consumerism is the fuel that drives the capitalism machine. People wanting more stuff is a human trait. The old saying more is never enough rings true today as much as it ever has. Capitalism exploits a need or requirement and there is nothing wrong with that. Where it goes horribly wrong is when it becomes a greedy obsession on both the consumer and supplier ends. Quality, safety and supply all seem to take a back seat to discretion. Our concept of capitalism seems to accept the dog eat dog world of letting the competition eat its own. So what if they survive as long as the best deal is the outcome. Unfortunately in a global economy we are competing with the lowest denominator when it comes to quality of life standards and when they win we tend to fail.

 
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