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On Profit: Some Questions

Updated on October 17, 2011


This piece of writing has not been pre-planned. I decided to write it when I noticed a comment left by a blogger in response to a comment of mine which asked if there is a possibility for people to move past the economic system which relies on profit. I asked that question because I was curious if people can simply imagine themselves moving into a new socioeconomic system.

The blogger Breakfastpop wrote that: “Wow, what an interesting comment one of your followers made...moving past profit.. I think that perhaps thy have much in common with those people sleeping all over Wall Street.”

I am glad that my comment was at least noticed, even though it seems that it was viewed as a pretty ridiculous suggestion. At least we can discuss things – I do appreciate that.

Another blogger whom I respect but I do not fully agree with is Mr. Wayne. He claimed that:

“As bad as it sounds to some, profit motive is the magic which stimulates the creative of the American mind in such a manner as to provide us with goods and service of a superior nature and allow us, the consuming public, the opportunity for choice in our selection process. That is the beauty of a system awash in capitalism and democracy.”

There is no democracy Mr. Wayne, when only those who are either wealthy or tie themselves in with the wealthy (like President Obama) can get in office. Lobbyists control politicians. As you can see, that is why politicians are giving away bail-outs even though most people are against hand-outs to big corporations. The politicians have been bought-out - what democracy?

I do realize that my thoughts and ideas are very often quite unorthodox. This makes me think of a one-liner I heard not too long ago: “If nobody challenged the status-quo, people would still think the world was flat.” I do think it is important to ask questions. I do not pretend to have the perfect answers or perhaps any answers but I cannot stop myself from asking if there is not indeed another way we can do things.

Humans have been around for thousands and thousands of years. I do not think profit has been around for that long. Thus, we have lived without profit. Logic tells me that if we lived without profit, we can live again without profit. That does not mean we go back to climbing trees. No, in my mind if we lived without profit at one time that means we can create a new system perhaps which does not rely on profit.

I for one do very little work for profit. Most of my meaningful work is for free. The endless hours I put towards writing is done out of love and not for profit. I also work with a volunteer group which helps at risk children. It is also done for free. I only work for profit because I was born in a society which literally forces me to use money. Yet, I do not like money. In my opinion these pieces of paper are not worth the ink on them.

Yes, I am searching for new ideas, for a new system. Why? Because I see a problem in the way business happens. All that matters for many is to make the most amount of profit with the least amount of risk. There is no mention of ethics, morals, or anything of that sort. Profit comes before anything in a capitalistic society. Everyone chases profit at any cost. Everything has a price. In reality though, nothing has a price – things are really price-less.

What is money really good for? Can you eat twenty dollars if you’re hungry? Can you drink a twenty dollar bill if you’re thirsty? Can you put it in your gas-tank to make the car go? Why do people put money first?

Money and thus profit are just symbols. Yet, people kill each other for these symbols. Is that not insanity? To me that is a sign of moral decay. Many of us have no morals left although pretending is still in fashion.

Take banks for example. Banks exist because people chose to deposit money. Now, the money deposited by people in a bank, is used by the bank as lending material in order to make profit. In simple terms, we give money to a bank, sort of like lending until we ask for it back, and they use it as they wish. Yet, we do not get much interest on the money we give to the bank – our savings accounts do not really make us more money but when the tables turn and the bank has to give/lend us money, they rape us with interest fees.

How is that fair? I give the bank my money and I don’t get much back but when they give me money they want a lot more back than what I got to begin with. That is the problem with profit and capitalism: there are no morals, no fairness, and no justice. It is like the law of the jungle: the strongest wins – in business the bully wins ... So, in business being ferocious, cold-hearted and greedy is good, profitable … but what does that do to our societies, to our character? Has anyone asked themselves those questions?

When we are willing to kill the last blue whale for profit; when we are willing to cut-down the whole tropical forest in Brazil and we are willing to invade the land where other people live to take their oil, for profit … what kind of world are we creating? Is this a good path? Do we feel good or righteous?

These are some of my questions and frustrations and they are not only mine. Many people share my feelings and that is why we have begun taking our words to the street. Italy, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Chile, Puerto Rico … and many, many more countries are showing signs that people are beginning to awaken.

We stand united against unfairness, injustice and corruption. We say enough is enough to corporate greed, to profit at any and all costs and we are looking for a new way forward. We are looking for a socioeconomic system where people and this planet are put first, before money and profit. We are peaceful and are open for discussion.

“Occupy Toronto” start this weekend. We will be on the street – join us!

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    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You are very right, Mrs. Diane Trotter. Obama is by no means "wealthy". The very wealthy are the ones who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars. These are people who hold great influence over international affairs.

      Thank You for taking the time to read and comment.

      All the best!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      I find it interesting that you mention "people with money" and Obama. When I think of rich, I don't think of Obama. I think of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, etc. Of course I would be happy to have Obama's money.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hi phdast7,

      Apologies for not getting back to this sooner, I have read through your piece a number of times and to be honest I am not really able to reach a conclusion or maybe I have but I just don't realize?

      Anyway, all of those systems, theories and explanations, all have great merit, even if I don't completely agree or like them all. The one element that is of interest is that there is a dialogue and that is always important to me.

      Another point of great interest is "the hand-drawn conceptual frameworks “left to right” that I use in the classroom".

      Perhaps I envisage something that doesn't exist but I see a pictorial diagram/s, that enable comprehension of the chaos but perhaps that's just my self interest as a visual artist.

      " It would make an interesting hub" I hope this happens because I'm interested but I also understand how busy life can be. Especially when having the responsibility for the education of others, on such important complicated subjects.

      All good stuff in my book, thanks to all, Gareth.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      "Maybe we need to start our own non-for-profit organization then, Mr. Gareth."

      Maybe we do?

      Maybe we are?

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Greenpeace as you say are a large international organisation and manifest themselves in many different forms all over the world. I cannot condemn or condone Greenpeace because of this reason and only know what I know which is not much from 10 years ago.

      Much of my experience is from the behavior of individuals within organisations, perhaps not the organisations themselves but...

      Some housing associations in the UK have profits of over £90 million, pay their top executives between £196,000 and £327,000 at the top end. The salary of the UK prime minister is £142,000 (including £65,000 MP's salary) 2011, who manage the whole country with a turn over of billions.

      Governments and housing associations are public bodies, housing associations are not for profit organisations, who pay no tax as charities. They are also often, if not always funded by public money for many salaries of the workers they employ, who are often care workers being paid some of the lowest wages in the country.

      Care work is difficult, stressful, carried out in unsociable hours and brings a great deal of responsibility with it, yet in the UK these are some of the lowest paid workers. Top housing associations executives are being paid a massive 17.5 times more than a care work getting £18.750 if they are lucky.

      (The truth is all that exists, otherwise it's not true.) - Gareth Pritchard.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Maybe we need to start our own non-for-profit organization then, Mr. Gareth. The concerns You have written about, are not yours alone. I have heard many people say that non-for-profit organizations pay their top executives (for lack of a better word) too much money. I appreciate your opinion regarding pay: "Not for profit organisations should only pay the highest paid worker no more than 3 times the wage of the lowest paid worker". I think that sounds rather fair ...

      I do not know how much people at Greenpeace are paid so, I cannot comment on this but I do know that they have ships on oceans, they have many good-hearted people working for them (I met some myself) and I must admit that they helped the Occupy Movement as well. They supported us in many ways here in Toronto, when we most needed help.

      "Then tell me that I need to get a grip on reality because I tell them a truth they don't want to hear." - That is not the way a conversation should take place. Your concerns should have been responded to in a constructive and transparent manner.

      I have a name too for my future non-for-profit organization ... I am not sure why I created a corporation a couple of years ago ... haha!!! (Maybe so I can say that I am a CEO now - LOL - "The truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde)

      Cheers!

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      I have worked for more than one so called, not for profit organisation and those at the top get paid far too much money, whilst those at the bottom volunteer. I have done more than my fair share of voluntary work also and it's like I said earlier, we live in a capital dictatorship, meaning money rules with an iron fist, it dictates everything.

      Hubpages could also do the same or similar to Squidoo and offer the opportunity for those who don't want to take the money to donate to a charity, which I think says something about Hubpages.

      I have also been involved with Greenpeace but I won't say anything because you like them, ha, ha, I had a good time at Glastonbury.

      Not for profit organisations should only pay the highest paid worker no more than 3 times the wage of the lowest paid worker and treat their volunteers with respect and dignity.

      Instead they pay some of their top employees in excess of a 100 thousand pounds, give them free cars every year, send them on jolly's around the world and don't even consider that they need a volunteer budget for training.

      Then tell me that I need to get a grip on reality because I tell them a truth they don't want to hear.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes, it did feel like I somehow missed your point, Mr. Gareth. Thank You for letting me know. : )

      "I did see the "I don't do shit" the problem is he doesn't know shit" - And the other problem is, that he is not the only one in that situation. Also, such people are often the ones in positions of power and influence. Therefore, what can we really expect in regard to how our societies are set-up and run? Mr. Franchetti would make a great President, wouldn't he? Sort of like Bush the Second, getting the Presidential office because of daddy's connections and money. Lovely.

      In respect to the fact that I refuse to make money from my writing on Hub-pages, I do agree with You that perhaps the money that I could make, can be used in a beneficial manner. I have been thinking about this: what if the people who have not set-up their add-sense accounts, would so so and have all their profits shifted to a non-for-profit organization (i.e. Greenpeace - I like Greenpeace and I donate money to them monthly)? That may work in my mind.

      I apreciate the conversation. Much to think about. Thank You.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Yes you did miss the point but I think it was so cryptic it was not difficult to miss, I won't hold it against you.

      I did see the "I don't do shit" the problem is he doesn't know shit and needed to be served plus hated the fact that in America he was nobody so promoted himself so he could be somebody, which is questionable, because what he really wanted to be was common, without realizing, like I said doesn't know shit...

      "Hub-pages makes a profit. That is fine though - they created the platform on which I write so, if they want to make money - I will not stop them."

      But you will help them and they have already worked out their cut.

      Now if you took that money you could build your own site with it and not be dependent on them or their platform, plus use the money to fund something of more benefit like, for a school in the back of beyond.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Gareth,

      if You saw the "One Percent" documentary then, You can recall the Italian Baron, Cody Franchetti who said: "Ahh ... no, I don't do anything ... I'm just a rich dude ... I don't do shit". If You want to see that part again, fast-forward to minute 44:50.

      Not everyone is working hard for their profit. : )

      I may have misunderstood your comment. My apology if I did.

      "On another note you are still making a profit but not for yourself, in which case what is the point, it serves no purpose because profit is still being made, only you choose not to take anything from it." - The point is to show that I write out of Love and not for money. The point is also to show that even without the money incentive, work can still be done.

      It is difficult to eliminate the myth that without profit there is no incentive for work ...

      You make a good point though, even though I make no profit here, Hub-pages makes a profit. That is fine though - they created the platform on which I write so, if they want to make money - I will not stop them. At the same time, I get the freedom to write exactly as I wish and what I wish to write about.

      Cheers!

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      At the very least Hubpages, Google, and nobody insinuated that you where making a profit, just in case you think I was, I wasn't and I considered that you declared that you don't make anything from these pages, before saying it, not that it makes any difference, only to you.

      On another note you are still making a profit but not for yourself, in which case what is the point, it serves no purpose because profit is still being made, only you choose not to take anything from it.

      In which case put my code into your pages I will take it and at least Hubpages are not getting it, not that their is anything wrong with Hubpages but they have already worked out their cut.

      Indeed, who does profit from all this profit floating around, Will he step in now and say nobody, it is an insult to say that profit is floating around when people work hard to make their profit. Also discounting the guy in the (The One Percent, Video) who stated that God chose him to be rich.

      Thinking a little bit deeper, I am making profit from this page as well because at least one person has visited my pages generating some income through their visit.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      For whom is this page generating profit though? I am not making a penny here ... LOL So, that is one of the questions: who profits from all this profit floating around ...? Not the common man, in my opinion.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hi Nick Hanlon,

      "Of course all this commenting is generating profit btw."

      Even this page and

      "I should write about a true socialist called Lane who set up a socialist colony in Paraguay in the 1890's."

      I sure think you should, it sounds very interesting.

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 5 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Of course all this commenting is generating profit btw.I love it when anti-capitalists like Noam Chomsky,Michael Moore and Rage Against the Machine make bundles of cash and then parade their socialist leanings.I should write about a true socialist called Lane who set up a socialist colony in Paraguay in the 1890's.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      White Wolf - Thank you, you have made my day! :) But no bowing or scraping - that sort of thing would go to my head far too quickly. :)

      Analytical minds are the best, because then you can discuss without anger or pettiness, and clarity as opposed to murkiness emerges, Even when there is no actual agreement on all the issues, all parties to the discussion feel that progress has been made at clearly articulating both the issues and their respective positions.

      I neglected to mention that, but unfortunately, and all too ofter words, language is specifically being used to create fear and confusion or to ridicule and humiliate others so they withdraw from the conversation.

      And on that point, my hat is off to you; you have a phenomenal ability, determination to hang in there, even when some of the discussants are incredibly and deliberately hateful, obtuse, and frustrating. You have more patience than I do and I know that patience is not an accidental gift from the gods, but something that one must commit to and work at.

      The educational system needs to be improved and I do my part as best I can, but I believe that substantive changes must be made at the secondary level. So let us hope. Do find a copy of The Mission. I think you will appreciate it on all sorts of levels. And I will be watching for the future "shorter, focused" essays on profit.

      I just published "The Journey - A Look at Aging - Chapter 12" It has some great music and some great photographs of nature. The writing is not half bad either. :) Although, I only wrote the intro, conclusion, and one mini essay (12). My real responsibility was to compile all the answers into one hub. See what you think. Have a great week and take care until we talk again. :) Theresa

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I would bow down to You right now, if You were here Mrs. Theresa (or as the saying goes: "Hats down!). I love knowledgeable and analytical minds!! Your comment is great food for thought.

      I will have to look for "The Mission" film, sounds interesting (and I love historical films anyway).

      You are so very right about terminology being used lightly and perhaps at times just to instill fear or ridicule. I have had to sit and talk to many people myself and explain how America is not a pure capitalist system to begin with ... then, the fireworks go off!! lol

      I just wish the educational system can be improved - that way, people can start thinking for themselves a little more and listen less to political pundits and corporate controlled media ...

      For now, I have decided to take the idea of profit and discuss it in smaller articles. Or maybe not smaller but at least I will try to keep the focus on specific issues relating to profit.

      It will be fun for sure (if nothing else)!

      Thank You greatly for stopping by. All the very best! : )

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hey Gareth (I am glad you are one of “the others.”) –

      ~~“I rarely use the terms, Marxist or socialist nowadays, they are naughty words aren't they?”

      I end up using them in my history classes, but most of my time is spent trying to overcome the inaccurate Radio and TV sound bite explanations the students have heard and replace them with (1) a theoretical definitions -- what Marx and Engels actually wrote, (2) a real life definition -- what Lenin and the Bolsheviks put into practice, (3) another real-life definition – the ways in which corrupt, brilliant and paranoid Stalin shaped Soviet communism, and (4) Communism as it was implemented in numerous other countries – China, Cambodia, Cuba, Viet Nam, North Korea, and so forth. It’s a lot of work, for me and for the students.

      ~~“Capitalism the appliance of greed not need, the appliance of excess and anti economics.”

      An interesting and brief encapsulation of what often goes wrong in a capitalist system.

      ~~ "No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal." ‘I couldn't say this any better, thanks professor.’

      Glad you liked this. I was pretty pleased with the two sentences myself. ?

      Something I have invested a lot of time on is producing a variety of schematics, frameworks, visuals, not sure what to call them…to help students make sense of the numerous and complicated political systems and governments on the planet.

      They hear the words authoritarianism, fascism, oligarchy, dictatorship, democratic socialism, communism, capitalism, and socialism tossed around and they have no mental framework to help them sort out and understand these terms and systems. Most of them are extremely confused.

      Of course there are numerous ways to evaluate systems, governments, and political parties from “far left” to the “moderate center” to the “far right” --- depending on whether you are looking at ideology, the economic system, the political system, the ruling class, or religion, etc.

      Religion is a great, although complicated example. Catholicism can be found supporting both “rightist” and “leftist” political systems. The hierarchy of the Catholic Chursch – arch-bishops, cardinals, the Pope often align themselves politically with “conservative, right-wing monarchies, regimes.” However, a substantial percentage of rank and file priests support “liberal, left-wing movements and governments (South America) because they identify with and hope to protect the common worker or laborer.

      Both extremes exist within the Catholic Church. There is a great film that documents these two antithetical halves of the Catholic Church. “The Mission” is set in early 1700’s South America and illustrates the power conflicts and negotiations between Colonial Capitalism, the Catholic Church, and the Democratic Socialist society and economy of the native people, the Guarani. It’s also a great film if one knows nothing about politics at all. ?

      I shall have to think about how to transfer the hand-drawn conceptual frameworks “left to right” that I use in the classroom into a format that I could upload to HP. It would make an interesting hub, I think. Thank you for the conversation (WhiteWolf has influenced me), but as I am sure you have noticed, I have been mostly thinking out loud. ? I would enjoy any and all comments.

      Pro - phdast7 - Theresa

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello again Mr. Bmcoll3278,

      thank You for explaining what You meant.

      I fully agree with your statement about: "I think in any system you have to work for what you want". Of course, as my grandmother used to say: "If You don't work - You don't eat". Well, that may sound a little harsh but life was itself harsh in the dictatorial system we lived in.

      With that in mind, we can see how many people lost their life's savings in the last few years. People lost homes or much of the value of their homes ... jobs have vanished and people who went to university and studied are now unemployed with debts which they cannot pay for.

      I have many examples of the unfairness of the system but I am writing a new article about profit and how people view profit, so for now I will just give one example.

      Why is it that a person who is profiting from dividents and capital gains (sitting in a nice comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office, playing with numbers on the computer) is taxed at fifteen percent and a soldier fighting in Afghanistan can get taxed up to thirty or fourty percent? Well, in my opinion it is because the crooks from Wall St. have hijacked much of the political system.

      Whether one is a conservative, democrat, Ron Paul supporter or an independant, I am more or less sure that we can all see that the system is broken and needs fixing.

      At this point, we have to somehow come to an understanding on how fixing should be done.

      I honestly thank You for joining the conversation and I am not all that happy that You got the feel that all Occupiers are lazy kids who want free stuff. I do not personally fit in that category and I lived in my tent downtown for over a month last fall/winter.

      All the best!

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. WillStar, I was born and lived under the Soviet Iron Curtain, of Eastern Europe. You really do not have tell me about people dying or just simply vanishing without a trace. That is because of the lunatic and murderous dictators though.

      And see, this is the main problem. Many people are under the wrong impression about the socio-political system in which they live in. There is no true capitalism here in North America and there was no true socialism or communism in Eastern Europe (or anywhere else for that matter).

      As Mrs. Theresa well pointed-out, corporations in the United States get subsidies - welfare for the rich. So, the United States is certainly not a capitalist country, although some people would like to think it is, or it was ... myths ...

      "I have life to attend to" - Indeed You do and we all do but when the bullets start flying and the tanks rolling down the street, You may think that having a discussion before hand would have been more fruitfull. I already lived through that once and I see what is coming again. It's almost like a deja-vu, in a weird and distorted way.

      Without scholarly debates, we woun't get far in life ... We should listen to the ones who are learned and take notice of past mistakes (history).

      Have a gread day! I am by no means upset, nor do I indulge in Fear because I am of the opinion that it does not help.

    • bmcoll3278 profile image

      bmcoll3278 5 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      Mr.happy.

      It makes me sick because I was on site and seen with my own eyes in denver. Many of the people were just plain lazy spoiled kids who want every thing for free , I think in any system you have to work for what you want. When I see someone complaining about a broken system and big business , wile wearing $200 jeans , talking on a iphone , and not working for what they want it bothers me. I work hard at anything I do be it for money or just to accomplish something. Evan a wild bird has to work to survive and they don't use money. If the system can be improved on then great. But everything free jsut won't work , soneone has to be doing the work to earn it.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey Pro, phdast7, the feelings mutual I am sure and I will let you go with a fondness for more.

      Thanks, Gareth.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Of course socialism/Marxism/whatever has accounted for the deaths of well over 100,000,000 people, but let's ignore all that and pretend that it's all harmless and good fun...until someone orders you to stand in front of a ditch and you hear the rifles being cocked.

      I'll leave you to your 'scholarly' debate. I have life to attend to, and have no time to spare for fools.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for stopping by again Mr. Gareth.

      It is incredible how scary certain terms such as socialism or names such as Karl Marx can be for some people ... I was thinking today that maybe the Red Scare from the 50s has had a serious traumatic effect on many people ... such terms should be just forbidden, I guess ... lol

      "Well if he helps poor people too much it might be a sign." - Haha!! Yes ... feeding bread-crumbs to pigeons in the park might be considered as a socialist act, nowadays.

      All the best! : )

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings again Mr. Rilos,

      I disagree with your statement that: "3 months is long enough to answer anyone, do you not think, because I do?"

      Comments on this piece of writing go back nine months and the debate about how to develop a fair, just and harmonious society for everyone has been going on for much, much longer. Therefore, three months is nothing ... a year is really nothing. I am looking for some ideas that would bring people together and thus, I am in no hurry to start rushing with some egocentric nonsense. Hence, I try to engage people in conversations, whether I agree with them at the beginning or not.

      Now, I want to make sure I understand You properly. Your opinion is that the middle class controls in some way the capitalist system? I am under the impression that the middle class is actually being wiped out. This is happening in Europe as well as in North America. So, the middle class is wiping itself out? ... I am honestly confused.

      On a different note, I agree with what You wrote about Karl Marx.

      Thank You for the conversation. All the best!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Gareth - Nice to meet you and I love your comments-responses...but I am just finishing up six hours at the computer - three hours writing a class lecture and three hours reading and writing on HP and I can hardly see the screen in front of me. I will try for a better response tomorrow. :)

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey Pro, alias ( phdast7 ), ha, ha ©

      "So I would like to know what it means to you, to Mr. Happy, to others when they describe someone as Marxist, socialist, fascist, etc."

      On this subject I would like to say something as one of the others.

      I rarely use the terms, Marxist or socialist nowadays, they are naughty words aren't they? The word fascist I use all the time because that's what we are, self interested dictators, always putting ourselves first, we can't help it because we take on the values of our culture, which is a capital dictatorship, so we are all potential dictators through our cultural values.

      Capitalism the appliance of greed not need, the appliance of excess and anti economics.

      "Carl Marx developed the conflict theory and worked his whole life trying to create a blue print to resolve conflict, for people to live together in harmony." I thinks this as well, Rilos.

      "No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal." I couldn't say this any better, thanks professor.

      "What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?" Well if he helps poor people too much it might be a sign.

      Thanks, Gareth.

    • profile image

      Rilos 5 years ago

      Soldiers! In the name of democracy: let us all unite!

      Come, come, Mr Happy, I have read all your stuff on here and Mr Will Stars and I know how intelligent you both aren’t, so don't try to slash on my back and tell me it's rain.

      3 months is long enough to answer anyone, do you not think, because I do?

      Who runs the capitalist machine, the education system, the American Dream?

      It's not the working classes, they are too busy struggling to have their lives and it's not the upper classes because the have a little bit, want bit more people, do all the work for them, keeping the whole system working for the one percent.

      The middle classes pander to their own needs and the greed of the upper classes, the middle classes make and keep that situation as it is for a little bit more than the poor.

      Hey guess what, they are not needed any more because we have digital dependency and virtual reality.

      If you know anything about Carl Marx you will know that he developed the conflict theory and worked his whole life trying to create a blue print to resolve conflict, for people to live together in harmony.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Well, Mr. WillStar You asked me why I felt compelled to tell You what Obama said ... and that was incorrect. I wrote about what I perceived as partially true from the statement You quoted and I did not try to explain what Obama meant. It is clear You did not understand that part, otherwise You would not have claimed that I was trying to regurgitate Obama's words. Your statement missed the point.

      I am still waiting (and perhaps Mrs. Theresa is as well) for an answer to her question (and mine as well to You) about: "What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?"

      To have a constructive discussion, I am of the opinion that we should be specific with our arguments and comments.

      All the best!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      BTW, Professor, I've written Hubs on both liberty and our Constitution. Perhaps you should read them, so you know who I am.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "But that definition is seldom understood or used in the "scholarly book" manner by anyone outside of a political think tank or academic conference."

      Nevertheless, it's what I mean when I use the term. Perhaps you should ask Obama what he meant, since he said he often sought out "Marxist' professors.

      Mr. Happy

      I understand perfectly well, despite your tendency to infer that your opponents are not up to snuff on topics like this one.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Definition of Marxism is: "n. 1 the theory that human and political motives are at root economic, and that class struggle explains the events of history and will inevitably lead to the overthrow of capitalism".

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      No, that was not a dodge - I'm not playing dodge ball here Mr. WillStar.

      Let's re-read my statement because You clearly misunderstood what I wrote and at this point I will also tell You why You misunderstood what I wrote.

      I wrote that: "So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement". The key words here ARE (this is what You missed because You are so terribly stuck in your line of thought and your fear of the boogie-man, Marx): "there is some truth".

      That is what I wrote about your quote from Obama, which by the way I have not cross-referenced but I trust You, in it being correct. So, I did not say that the quote was superb or divinely righteous or anything - I said that there was some truth in it, from my perspective - we only say things from our perspective, always. Then, I explained the partial truth which I saw reflect from that quote and I gave my reasoning behind it.

      Again, I am not sure if You read any works of Karl Marx but I am of the opinion that if You did, You would refrain from making such silly comments about Obama being comparable to Marx, in terms of how he is running the country or the political and economic system.

      I gave You a link to an article I wrote, in which I did research and found a lot of links between Obama's campaign contributions and Wall St ... or the other corporations. It is laughable to argue that a communist would take money from bankers or the pharmaceutical industry's corporations, as campaign funding. Come on .. do the math ... it does not add-up ...

      Stop giving a bad name to socialists and communists by comparing them to Obama. He's a corporate puppet. Haha!! : )

      Research helps. Cheers!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Will - You are reading things into statement when no "intention" was there. It was an honest question that deserved an honest answer.

      Yes, I am a professor and I am aware of the "scholarly Book" definitions of Marxism. But that definition is seldom understood or used in the "scholarly book" manner by anyone outside of a political think tank or academic conference.

      So I would like to know what it means to you, to Mr. Happy, to others when they describe someone as Marxist, socialist, fascist, etc. If our terms are not clear and exact then we are not debating any substantive issues in the real world. We just circle the issues emotionally using terms that are not defined, much less equivalent.

      No progress can be made and progress does not mean agreement, it simply means fully understanding the other person's position. Clearly defined terms would help advance the conversation toward that goal. I know what Marx wrote about, but there are several varieties of socialism.

      What beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, policy changes do you see that indicate that President Obama is a Marxist?

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "I find many of the terms and comments being used in this discussion confusing."

      Oh, I'm sure you do, Professor!

      ^_*

      A Marxist, for our purposes, is an adherent of Karl Marx and his theories.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Will -

      I find many of the terms and comments being used in this discussion confusing. I am not sure we are on the same page. Sometimes defiing terms can be helpful.

      Would you please define what you mean when you use the word Marxist? Thank you.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "Well, do we not all interpret everything in this Life, Mr. WillStar?"

      That's a dodge. Why did you, Mr. Happy, feel compelled to tell me what Obama meant? Did you think he was not clear? Or did you think I was incapable of understanding simple English?

      Obama has demonstrated time and again that he grew up with Marxists, sought out Marxists, went to a Marxist 'church' with a Marxist preacher, and married a Marxist, so why are we in any way surprised that he would utter a Marxist position on creating a business?

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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Rilos,

      I am not sure who You perceive to be avoiding something but that is fine.

      I am actually quite interested in your statement about: "The middle classes enable/enabled this whole situation and the working classes told them to not get too comfortable because what goes around comes around, so whose sorry now?" - Can You please explain what "situation" exactly did the middle class create and how (reasons)?

      I always welcome new ideas and this idea seems rather new to me.

      Thank You for taking the time to read and comment. Cheers!

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Why do you feel the need to 'interpret' his words?" - Well, do we not all interpret everything in this Life, Mr. WillStar? I would say, that is human nature; we interpret things through our perception. And I think that is actually the problem in terms of coming to an understanding on how profit should work or if it is even necessary in our socio-economic system: we all perceive things differently.

      I certainly do not think Obama is anywhere close to Karl Marx. Obama takes all sorts of money from banks, pharmaceutical industry, etc. I talked about this issue of who's paying his bills before. He is paid-off by lobbyists to do as he is told - he's a puppet. A puppet of bankers though, not of some communists, from who knows where ... Look at the money trail and tell me how he would be considered a communist: https://hubpages.com/business/Fii-pregatit-Be-read...

      You give him way too much credit ... in my opinion.

      And yes, I am still thinking about how we can discuss profit on terms we can all understand.

      All the best!

    • profile image

      Rilos 5 years ago

      WillStarr Stated this 3 months ago.

      "You're making my argument for me. We all strive to do better, and PROFIT from our labor. Most of us also voluntarily perform charitable acts, because that too is part of our nature.

      Perhaps you should define 'profit' so we all know why you think it's so evil."

      Mr. Happy stated this in reply 3 months ago.

      "Yes, very good point Mr. WillStar: I think we need to discuss the meaning of profit. I am in no rush and because I do care about this matter, I am going to take a little time before I answer that last question. I will return as soon as possible.

      `The truth is rarely pure and never simple.` Oscar Wilde

      All the best."

      Now who looks like they are avoiding the subject?

      Just an observation.

      The middle classes enable/enabled this whole situation and the working classes told them to not get too comfortable because what goes around comes around, so whose sorry now?

      Obama is an Alinskyite and one thing you can guarantee from these types of people is nothing will get sorted. They just shift the problem somewhere else and in doing so create more problems, whilst perpetuating the illusion of having resolutions.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement: someone else needs to be involved to make the business work - not just the entrepreneur."

      Except that's not at all what he said:

      “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

      Why do you feel the need to 'interpret' his words? They are clear enough, and they mean that he is in full agreement with Karl Marx.

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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. WillStar, the following quote may sound out of place but it really is not: "It takes two to climb the bed." So, for a business to work it is the same. We need the entrepreneur, the capital (for the buisiness to get off the ground) then, we need the workers to make the business roll and then, we need the consumers (general public) who buy the products and/or services. If any of these parts are disregarded, there is no business.

      So, as much as I do not like Mr. Obama, there is some truth in that statement: someone else needs to be involved to make the business work - not just the entrepreneur. Without the workers, the consumers and so on, the entrepeneur can have all the capital in the world and the best ideas ever and nothing will happen.

      With this in mind, that is why I am of the opinion that the sharing of profits has to be distributed in a more fairer way. How we can find a more just system of distributing wealth, remains to be seen but I am so happy that more and more people are joining this conversation.

      Mrs. Theresa (Phdast7) made some very good points and I just linked a documentary made by the 1% about the one percent. It's by the wealthy about the wealthy - do give it a chance if You have some time. The "kid" who made it is the heir to the pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson, a billionaire himself.

      This is a great documentary in terms of seeingthings from a different perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc&fea...

      I gotta run for now, I got guests but thanks for stoppping by again. Cheers!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Our president agrees with you...he recently proclaimed:

      “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

      That's a big surprise to those who spent all that time, money, energy, and risk building a business (the means of production). Marx said the means of production belongs to the masses, and it looks like Obama agrees with Marx...again.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mrs. Theresa,

      I certainly agree with your statement that: "Many of us are interested and abide by these guidelines, and some of us are not, which is a great loss, because we need as many good minds as possible working on the problems we face in North America." Hence, I am trying to get as many people as possible involved in this conversation.

      I have hardly any patience for many things but when it comes to issues which concern all of us (and I really mean All of Us, world-wide), I have all the time needed and I am willing to wait and go through whatever discussions are necessary. It would greatly help if everyone was well informed on the subject of history and politics as You are but either way, we have to move forward.

      "Admittedly, dictatorial communist regimes in Europe had many problems --- unresolved and unaddressed, they led to great suffering for the populations and eventual regime collapse." - You made a great point here and I cannot stress this enough. I lived in one of those pretend-to-be communist regimes in Eastern Europe and I saw its collapse. Now I am living in a pretend-to-be capitalistic system and I am watching the beginning of its end ... Lovely ... sort of like a deja-vu in many ways.

      As You well mentioned, many people are under the fake impression that in America there is a capitalist system in place. Yet, there isn't. There is welfare for the wealthiest people, in form of grants, subsidies and bail-outs. No, there is no true capitalism in the United States but the myth would have us believe there is.

      And one of the greatest problems is the distribution of wealth and profit. There is no trickling down of wealth - that is yet another myth. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Now, the middle class has been hit hard and so we are soon back to the system of lords and serfs - no in-between ... no middle class.

      What is encouraging though, besides all the people in the streeets world-wide, is that some of the 1% are also waking up. If You have time, take a look at this documentary made by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. It is titled "The One Percent". An amazing documentary in my opinion, made by the one percent about the one percent. He's a smart cookie!

      Here is the link, if You somehow end-up having an hour for such things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc&fea...

      Thank You so much for the visit and for a most insightful comment.

      All the best! : )

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Bmcoll3278,

      may I ask why the Occupy Movement made You sick? As one of the many Occupiers world-wide, I would honestly like to include even those who disagree with the movement, in the conversation about how we can create a better, more efficient and fairer socio-political and economic system. Hence, I asked about your griefs and/or concerns.

      I do think it is important to engage as many people as possible in this discussion.

      I apreciate your comment. Thank You.

    • bmcoll3278 profile image

      bmcoll3278 5 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

      The whole wallstreet movment has made me sick, I can however see that your view comes from a good place,and a good heart. I only wish I new the answer.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      White Wolf - Excellent hub and conversation. I cannot begin to discuss the specifics of this debate nearly as well as you and many others have already done. And it is heartening to see so many reasonable voices calling for much needed changes, incremental and progressive, to protect and benefit the 99% and benefit and stabilize our nation.

      But it is disheartening to see individuals whose opinions never change, who are rabid in their convictions, who never directly answer simple questions and repeatedly spout the same tired rhetoric and slogans, although reality has proved those sound-bite slogans and principles either ineffective, or in many cases downright destructive.

      There are guidelines for proper debate and discussion (and I know you know them and practice tham). When someone ignores questions or statement, tries to change the subject or shift the focus, repeatedly refers others to partisan websites, and makes broad and wild accusations and denunciations..... it is because they have no satisfactory answers or explanations.

      Jumping topics, throwing out red herrings and straw men does not constitute rational thought. Jumping up and down about topic "RST" does not adequately explain the topic under discussion "DEF." These are basic and well-understood principles for people truly interested in reasoned debate and fair discussion. Many of us are interested and abide by these guidelines, and some of us are not, which is a great loss, because we need as many good minds as possible working on the problems we face in North America.

      Problems do not go away by themselves, they get worse, or they multiply and extend into new areas. Admittedly, dictatorial communist regimes in Europe had many problems --- unresolved and unaddressed, they led to great suffering for the populations and eventual regime collapse.

      However, capitalism also has problems which have not been addressed, but rather swept under the rug by those with power and wealth. And we make a huge and fundamental mistake when we equate capitalism with democracy. The two are absolutely not coterminous, one is not equal to the other, one does not produce or guarantee the inviolability of the other.

      In fact the United States is not, never have been a pure democracy, at best America is a democratic republic, where over time, more and more political power has passed into the hands of the financial elite. Our capitalism is not "pure and undiluted" as some would have us believe, either.

      I am always amazed at those who complain about government programs for the poor and scream "socialism," but who express no outrage at welfare for the richest of the rich. How can some who uses Capitalism, as the starting point for all their positions and arguments not be outraged by the enormous “redistribution of wealth” (a wicked socialist/communist concept) our government makes through subsidies to farmers, oil companies, bailouts of banks and a variety of financial institutions, etc.

      I am speechless, well almost…. So benefits to assist working class people are “socialism,” but benefits for the wealthy top 5% are shining examples of “Capitalism.” I think I finally get it (apparently they did not explain capitalism properly to me when I was in school…and I was in school for a very long time).

      CAPITALISM is the system where governments provide enormous benefits and subsidies (money from individual working citizens) to the extremely rich and their businesses and corporations -- so they can make wise decisions, strengthen the American economy, and as the economic tide rises, even the little boats with the not-rich average folks in them will rise as well.

      Such a great story, such a comforting fairy tale. But since the 1960’s “real income” adjusted for inflation, has declined for the great majority of us while corporate profits and the wealth of the top 5% has risen substantially. Permissive, unregulated Capitalism is not our savior, probably not even our friend. Theory can be debated endlessly, but the economic reality is incontrovertible. White Wolf, thank you for this conversation and for the opportunity to participate.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I agree Mr. Aravind: "Education must be given for free."

      I can say many things which were not so nice about growing-up in a dictatorship but the education was very good and free, all the way to the post secondary level (university). So, no matter how poor one was, education was still available.

      I am happy You enjoyed the read. Just some thoughts I had about the way we do business ... there will be another article on profit soon (hopefully lol) ... I have been thinking about it for a while. There are questions to be answered. I owe a couple of answers to Mr. WillStar too.

      Thank You for the visit.

      All the very best!

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      As i read each hub you have written, I only wish in my heart that more people can think this way - expansively with love. My master told me,

      "Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows."

      The emphasis is always on building a harmonious world through love. Even when it comes to education, He says,

      "Education must be given free. Does the eagle charge its fledgling for teaching it to fly? Education must be for life and not for a living."

      Beautiful hub... Enjoyed reading it so much... Recommended it to many too...

      Thank you for this...

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes, very good point Mr. WillStar: I think we need to discuss the meaning of profit. I am in no rush and because I do care about this matter, I am going to take a little time before I answer that last question. I will return as soon as possible.

      `The truth is rarely pure and never simple.` Oscar Wilde

      All the best.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You're making my argument for me. We all strive to do better, and PROFIT from our labor. Most of us also voluntarily perform charitable acts, because that too is part of our nature.

      Perhaps you should define 'profit' so we all know why you think it's so evil.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Please help me understand the point then Mr. WillStar because even subconciously we have the will to live and with that in mind, we strive to live good lives (most of us for the most part). A good life does not revolve around profit ... there is more to life than that - in my mind anyway. Volunteer work is good work and there's no profit there, the work here is for no profit either ... I mentioned this already though. I am starting to feel like a broken record ...

      This chase for profit at any and all cost is ending-up costing us a lot ...

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "your claim that profit "has been around ever since man first decided to better his life", implies that man did not want to imrove his/her life before profit. I think that is absurd. Every animal on this planet tries to improve its life. They take care of each other/help each other (that thing You seem to be so against), they build homes, stash food for winter ... That claim of yours made me laugh ..."

      Then you miss the point.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello Mr. WillStarr,

      your claim that profit "has been around ever since man first decided to better his life", implies that man did not want to imrove his/her life before profit. I think that is absurd. Every animal on this planet tries to improve its life. They take care of each other/help each other (that thing You seem to be so against), they build homes, stash food for winter ... That claim of yours made me laugh ...

      And nothing last forever Mr. WillStar. Have You ever heard that saying? Everything is in motion and if one does not adapt, there is always the choice of failure/extinction.

      Self interest is fine but first of all greed is no longer self-interest. Greed is cancerous and it eats away at its host. And secondly, we are All connected and when one suffers - we All suffer. Happiness is for All or for none and happiness does not depend on profit. We should All learn to understand that.

      Cheers!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

      Yep I can agree on that!

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mikeydcarrol67,

      we can overthrow all the governments we want, that's not the hard part. The difficulty we are having here is to come to an agreement on how our socio-political system would look like after. Sometimes revolutions come full circle and that's no good in my opinion.

      I appreciate your comment. All the best! : )

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "Humans have been around for thousands and thousands of years. I do not think profit has been around for that long."

      It has been around ever since man first decided to better his life, and it will be around no matter how hard anyone tries to eliminate it. It is human nature to work hard and succeed in gaining wealth.

      Without the natural self interest we all have, we would have ceased to survive as a species centuries ago.

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

      I say we just overthrow the governments that we have and start over from scratch. It might be easier.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ""So why did you then quickly change the subject?"

      I didn't."

      Mistaken identity on my part. I was addressing W T Shaw.

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey Mr.Happy, you are welcome and thanks to you too for completing the process.

      "P.S. And You're funny too: "Why are you still reading this?" lol"

      "Nobody wants to do it on there own but worse than that we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others."

      Now I can change that statement to this.

      Nobody wants to do it on their own but better than that, we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others.

      Interdependence, marked by 125,000 years of observational evidence.

      No man is an island.

      Empowerment to us all.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "The oppressed take on the ways of the oppressor and me/we are oppressed." - In my opinion, we are all mirrors for each other Mr. Pritchard. This wolf could have easily shown fangs but I am trying to find a way to work with others in respect to how we run our societies. We are in a bit of trouble at the moment and I am trying to avoid excessive bloodshed. We either All work with one another, or be ready to fight a very ugly fight. That is the way this White Wolf sees the future. And I do see It.

      All the best! May Wakan Tanka guide All our paths. I apollogize to the Universe for our mistakes. Hoka-hey!

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey WillStarr,

      "So why did you then quickly change the subject?"

      I didn't.

      "I got a big problem with socialism for two reasons, its never been practiced and so cannot be evaluated. As for helping, that is being practiced now, if somebody is holding a gun/sword to my head then that is bulling, not slavery.

      Slavery is when I am owned by some one else to do with as they wish or at least, that's my interpretation of it.

      Charity is not something of my own free will, its when I can do something of my own free will but its not that either because that's free will, free WillStarr, perhaps? Ha, Ha!"

      Sarcasm is the lowest form of whit, so I apologize for that but... The oppressed take on the ways of the oppressor and me/we are oppressed.

      Thank you, kindly.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Wise words Mr. Pritchard: "When I do not help others but do for them, I enslave them by making them dependent on me, whether I do it intentionally or not, so that is not education, with all the free will in the world, I can only offer education to empower people. They educate themselves or not, all I can do is offer it or even better, when they ask for it, because they take ownership, becoming involved in there own learning."

      Thank You.

      P.S. And You're funny too: "Why are you still reading this?" lol

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings everyone,

      sorry for not returning quicker, been a busy week-end.

      I am happy Mr. Ghostrider has come by to visit as well. : )

      This conversation is very important. Even though it takes place on the net, in between a low number of people, this conversation is happening between many, many people now (world-wide) because the System as it stands is no longer acceptable. That, I think we can all agree on.

      From your above question Mr WillStar, I am inclined to think that at some point in life you were traumatized by having to help people. You are fully right in saying that charity comes from our "free will". So, do You not have that free will to help?

      I am struggling to understand why You do not like charity? I am willing to help anyone who needs help and to whom I can be of help. Nobody has to get charity from me "at the point of the sword" ... geez, that's not helping if You are doing it because of fear ...

      I help out of love and I wish You can do the same too Mr. WillStar. All the best!

      (Sorry for being rather brief but I gotta run - I will return later.)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You wrote this and I answered it:

      "Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?"

      "When you do it at the point of a sword. That's the difference between charity and socialism. Charity is of our own free will. Socialism is forced."

      So why did you then quickly change the subject?

      Hm?

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Education, what you say effects the way I think, the way I think informs what I say, what I say influences the way you think and what you think informs what you say and on, and on, and on,,,,,,,

      "Gareth - I believe that helping someone equates to slavery in either Atlas Shrugged (depicted as reality) - or in 1984 - but of course I'm more making a statement than a statement of fact". Wesman Todd Shaw (today).

      That's interesting I will need to understand that before I can make comment but it will be an education. Empowerment that's good stuff, thanks.

      I got a big problem with socialism for two reasons, its never been practiced and so cannot be evaluated. As for helping, that is being practiced now, if somebody is holding a gun/sword to my head then that is bulling, not slavery.

      Slavery is when I am owned by some one else to do with as they wish or at least, that's my interpretation of it.

      Charity is not something of my own free will, its when I can do something of my own free will but its not that either because that's free will, free WillStarr, perhaps? Ha, Ha!

      "The problem here is", that is an interesting point, more empowerment, education, education, education, I accept it of my own free will, even though it is something I cannot, not do and so I am a slave to it, I am not at all because no education is neutral, it is tainted with me.

      Education is a hard task master, here's my tainted twist on reality, I have to breath, eat, sleep, keep warm, interact with other human beings, weather I like it or not and nothing is free. When I do not help others but do for them, I enslave them by making them dependent on me, whether I do it intentionally or not, so that is not education, with all the free will in the world, I can only offer education to empower people. They educate themselves or not, all I can do is offer it or even better, when they ask for it, because they take ownership, becoming involved in there own learning.

      Empowerment is about being able to make educated decisions for yourself perhaps?

      Hey, guys, thanks for the help much appreciated, BoGareth.

      Hey is this the day that love dies?

      Long dark days and cold grey sky's.

      Mean old ways of greed filled eyes.

      Hey is this the day, that love dies?

      Hey is this the day, that love dies?

      War on war and we tell lies.

      Ticks became bloated, as the child host cries.

      Hey is this the day, that love dies?

      Hey is this the day, that love dies?

      125,000 years ago we walked out of Africa but of course that's only an opinion based on evidence. A substantial amount of evidence potentially but still only an opinion. Its purely based circumstantial evidence, with no eye witnesses. Does it matter where we come from because for that same amount of time, we haven't moved on very far and we sure as hell ain't doing any of it by ourselves. We are moving in colony's with others, so that means we are all going together. If you are going for that survival of the fittest crap, please remember we have been doing that for the past 125,000 years and its not getting us anywhere.

      Nobody wants to do it on there own but worse than that we aren't able to, we need stimulation, which is what we get externally, we don't know its learning unless we try it out and get it evaluated, as well as evaluate it, which means we need others.

      Why are you still reading this?

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      The problem here is, Will, that when there is great economic disparity - there is also a ton of social violence.

      In fact, the economic disparity in the USA right now in most historical cases has resulted in violent revolution - the reason why this is not so at present here is the (hideously) high number of able bodied men either in prison (world's highest incarceration rate) and at war.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?"

      When you do it at the point of a sword. That's the difference between charity and socialism. Charity is of our own free will. Socialism is forced.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Gareth - I believe that helping someone equates to slavery in either Atlas Shrugged (depicted as reality) - or in 1984 - but of course I'm more making a statement than a statement of fact

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Since when has helping someone been slavery?

      Since when has helping someone for no financial payment been slavery?

      Define slavery?

      Show me where it says that that helping somebody is slavery?

      Show me please?

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Will Starr - that is fine, but still - humanity and society are evolving. Before there were libraries and books - those ideas seemed preposterous too.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "...sort of like comparing an ox cart to a jet air plane."

      I agree, with socialism being the ox cart.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      You are relying upon past models of economics to describe possible future models - sort of like comparing an ox cart to a jet air plane.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "Well the slavery model pre supposes a large number of things that communal economics does NOT pre suppose."

      If profit and capitalism were outlawed, and we were forced to work for the plantation of the state, it would be a distinction without much of a difference

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Well the slavery model pre supposes a large number of things that communal economics does NOT pre suppose.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Whoa! Great point, Fred, and how is that any different from what is proposed here?

    • profile image

      Ghost32 5 years ago

      We already had a system in this country--once--where great numbers of people worked for free. It was called slavery.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      OK, go ahead work for free with my blessings.

      The rest of us will work to better ourselves, so I assume we have your blessings too.

      Right?

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This white wolf is not part of any colony Mr. Pritchard ... nevermind about a hippy colony lol

      I like to dance but there's a limit to dancing too. I don't mind working. : )

      Cheers!

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hi Mr.Happy, I won't be joining the hippy colony today but I have just received my profit in full, without even asking, now how cool is that?

      Thank you kindly, BoGareth.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
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      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Will,

      good to see You again. I suppose what I meant by "we", is: You, I, Mr. Pritchard ... everyone: "we", the people.

      And by "we should", I meant to put-up an opinion/ an offer, in order to debunk who really does not want to work because like I said in my many previous comment, I do a lot of work for free; work and profit are not forever intertwined in my mind and they can certainly work independently, one from another.

      Forget about myself though. I have a great example of great work done for free and if you give me a couple of minutes I can tell You about it.

      Several days ago, I came across Mr. Pritchard's articles. The ones which I have read, focused on drawing. I personally like drawings, paintings and such but I cannot draw if my life depended on it.

      I would perhaps like to learn more about the topic. Thus, I read some of Mr. Pritchard's articles and I can say I learned many things since that is one of the things which he knows how to do (quite well in my opinion), draw.

      Mr. Pritchard did not charge me anything to read his work and learn from it. More so, he took the time for free to respond to my comments in depth - regarding drawing that is.

      So, all that work Mr. Pritchard did was all for free. I don't see him complaining and getting flustered over profit ... I think and if I am wrong he may correct me, that Mr. Richard loves to draw and he loves his work therefore, profit is really non-important. Once one does work with love, everything else follows.

      So, ya ... I was not imposing anything on anyone. I just made a suggestion, a proposition. After all, we have chased profit for thousands of years, perhaps we can give chance to another way.

      All the best Sir!

    • profile image

      Bog 5 years ago

      Cool

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      No response. Didn't think so.

    • profile image

      Bog 5 years ago

      Hey WillStrr, in fact, don't even bother to be specific because just like I have already said, you have been in full Technicolor.

    • profile image

      Bog 5 years ago

      No you be specifc?

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "...you don't clarify anything in the remarks you make..."

      What is not clear to you? Be specific.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Use of words such as "moochers" seems to indicate Ayn Rand brain damage. It is common....oh so common...

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Long dark days and cold grey sky's

      Mean old ways of greed filled eyes

      War on war and we tell lies

      Ticks became bloated as the child host cries

      Hey is this the life we chose, the day that love dies

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey WillStarr, the only arrogance I can see is from you and here on this page in all its Technicolor Glory, for anyone else to see clearly, you don't clarify anything in the remarks you make, even when asked politely, you just make blustering one line attacks.

      You really need to take a good look at how silly you make yourself look and The Frog needs to take a good look at who the moochers really are " I must say it was really hard work, all I had to do was put my hand in my pocket and hand out a bunch of promises." I didn't even have to do the deal, just get some other to do it for me, if that's not mooching what is?

      Just do your feeble best to undermine anything.

      Thanks!!! BoGareth.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      BTW, Mr Happy, if you, as you claim, have no income, who does pay your way? We all have to eat, we all need shelter, and we must wear clothes.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "...we should take away all profit and incentive..."

      What arrogance! Who are you to make such decisions and force them on others?

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Guess what Mr. Happy? There is a distinct difference between being a mooch and working. The OWC movement is now no more than a gang of people who think that those of us who do work for a living need to support everyone else's laziness. Life doesn't work that way and never will. There must always be the producers and then there are the bottom feeders. The feeders can wait for the crumbs of life.

      The Frog

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Pritchard,

      I think your idea is great: we should take away all profit and incentive. I think, that way we can see who really is lazy and useless. People who love their work and want to be helpful to our world, will work for nothing. I do, You do ... there are many, many others who do so.

      Yet, those who never seem to have enough, have made-up this lie about how if there was not profit nobody would work. That is pretty upsetting. I am not a fond of liers and these people lie like newspapers ...

      Thanks so much for your thoughtfull words here. This is certainly a topic close to my heart as well.

      Have a wonderful week-end! : )

    • Gareth Pritchard profile image

      Gareth Pritchard 5 years ago from North Wales

      Hey Mr.Happy, we meet again, on a topic very close to my heart, so close I hardly know where to start but people will work for nothing, you are one example and I am another but lets be honest, when we do get paid, it might as well be for nothing, if you compere it to say Warren Buffet.

      I bought shares last September for a small sum because everybody was running scared, "when the greedy get fearful its time for the fearful to get greedy", Warren Buffet. Those shares are worth 5 times what I paid for them now but if I had been Warren, they would be worth the same, except I would have bought considerably more than I did. I must say it was really hard work, all I had to do was put my hand in my pocket and hand out a bunch of promises. They where only promises, nothing more and now I have five times as many promises in return, if I ever take them.

      Warren Buffet is not as wealthy as you might think in reality because the banks don't have enough of those promises to give him, if he wants to collect them all. The sum total wealth of the whole world is just numbers inside machines and only 5% of that wealth actually exists in real paper promises. If Warren wanted to collect them, he couldn't because they don't have enough of them to be able to pay him, he would have to wait while they got their act together, now that's a fantasy of sum magnitude. Even Warren is not as rich as we might think he is because not only dose he only own promises, they don't have enough of them in circulation to honor their promises, ha, ha.

      And that my friend Mr.Happy is only the tip of a very big iceberg.

      Yes there is a better way, take away incentive, honestly, the one thing that we do weather we like it or not is learn, we don't need incentive because we can't stop ourselves, that's why we can't sleep because we can't stop thinking, even when we do sleep, it still happen's, so there is part of the real answer, education, education, education.

      Make abuse visible.

      Something I am happy to see you are doing, thank you, BoGareth.

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I forgot another really important change that needs to be done Mr. Will: we need proportional representation in terms of our electoral system - or something along those lines. Voting in North America is a joke ...

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello again Mr. Will,

      sorry I could not answer sooner - I've been sleeping in my tent downtown as one of the many people who are part of the "Occupy Toronto" movement. I only leave there on Monday and Thursday when I have volunteer work with "Youth Assisting Youth" and these are the days I swing-by home and check email and such.

      Before I answer your question about how we should better our societies, I want to try to eliminate another myth you firmly believe in. That myth is, that without profit there is no incentive for work, innovation, etc.

      I have mentioned before that I do volunteer work. That gives me no profit. I also put many, many hours in writing here - also no profit - I never hooked-up my ad-sense account, or whatever it's called. If you ever took the time to read my series about the lack of public school buildings for children in Native communities here in Canada, you would have learned that earlier this year (January) I began researching that issue. I traveled to a northern aboriginal community, called Attawapiskat where children lack a public school building. That trip cost me close to two grand because that is a fly-in community, there are no roads that go there. I went there, spoke to teachers, kids, the Chief, etc. I took photographs, notes and so on then, I came back and wrote to politicians, met politicians, wrote several blogs, letters to the Ministry of Health, Education ... All this was done for no money or profit. I don't care about being rewarded - all I want is to see every kid be able to attend school in a decent, safe and healthy environment. I work for zero profit every day, one way or another.

      I know how to live off the land too - that's why I don't really care about money: those colourful pieces of paper which people kill each other for ... rofl - if that's not insanity, I don't know what is ...

      Thus, please stop going around saying that without profit people would not work ... maybe that's true about yourself but I work for no profit quite often (daily basis lol)!

      Now, I will try to answer your question about capitalism.

      You asked me what I would replace it with. I would like to say that I don't care about names much, or labels. I just see things which are terribly wrong with our system now and I think we need significant change(s). So let's number-off a few changes and after you read my options for "changes" to this capitalistic system, you can call it whatever you want. I'm not good with names anyway, I forget them pretty fast usually.

      1. Making lobbying illegal because that's bribery.

      2. Donations to political parties would be limited to a set amount per person - I don't know how much but nowhere-over, say ... twenty bucks per person.

      3. Banks would only be allowed to perform services - no derivatives, gambling with people's money and so on ...

      4. Banks would be nationalized and would not work for profit. Workers at banks would be like any other government worker.

      5. Lending at interest would be illegal and punishable with life imprisonment and hard labor ... or maybe impaling.

      6. Politicians would have the same salaries like teachers for example. They would all have the same salaries too - all across the board from president to senator to congressman and so on. These people call themselves "public servants" - from what I remember, servants don't make much ... that's why they're servants rofl ...

      7. We need the inheritance tax which President Roosevelt spoke about too!

      8. Taxation would be heavy (70-80%) on people making say over a few million a year ... there would be no Warren Buffets clearing fifty mill a year ...

      9. In terms of profit, I would certainly like to see limits. So maybe, we can say that no product could be sold for more than double the price of its production.

      I don't have specifics here really ... I'm just saying: no more Nike shoes made for two dollars in Cambodia by little ten year old kids and sold here in North America for two hundred dollars ...

      I think if you really want to know what I want, I'll put it plainly: I would like to see an end to greed and I would like to see greed punishable ... severely. Thus, I welcome any changes which would focus on eliminating greed.

      I am sure you will be able to find many wrong things with my points but do remember I am just putting-out some ideas ... since you asked. I welcome criticism. I think that we all need to put-in our ideas, discuss them and perhaps eventually come to a consensus.

      I do believe that at this moment we are all quite unhappy with many things: from bail-outs to the people ripping-off the system through welfare or corruption, to government over-spending and so on ...

      I don't know what you want to call a system where compassion, fairness and justice are put before profit and greed. You are more than welcome to give it a name.

      Please do remember that I just threw out some ideas lol - Don't chew-me-up too much.

      Thank you for the conversation Mr. Will - cheers!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The question:

      "Your Hub premise is that capitalism and profits are bad. Let's cut to the chase...tell what plan you have that is better.

      You've avoided answering that question, so out with it...what would you replace capitalism with?"

      The non-answer:

      "Nobody needs another plan to come to the realization that the current American system is abusive to persons that we never see - and even to fellow Americans."

      There is no economic plan that even comes close to the prosperity produced by capitalism, but they don't want to admit it.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Nobody needs another plan to come to the realization that the current American system is abusive to persons that we never see - and even to fellow Americans.

      There's a movement going on, perhaps you've heard of it - it's called "Occupy Wall Street" - and it's focus is rampant greed and the absolute corruption of the current system that is neither "right" nor "left" but is the truth of the mass media paradigm that Mr. Starr embraces - corruption and greed are king, and everyone loses except the few at the top.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Your Hub premise is that capitalism and profits are bad. Let's cut to the chase...tell what plan you have that is better.

      You've avoided answering that question, so out with it...what would you replace capitalism with?

    • Mr. Happy profile image
      Author

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Will, you choose and pick sentences and/or ideas to comment on ... so, please do understand that I am having a little bit of a difficulty trying to respond to your comments. You disregard many, many of my points and arguments.

      Yes, I claimed that inherited wealth is something that is not fair and just. President Roosevelt asked for it (an inheritance tax) too - was he also jealous?

      "I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."

      ""Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

      "There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done." (http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.a...

      What's wrong with these points?

      And you seem to have missed my comment about:

      "There is no democratic system when lobbying/bribing takes place! When politicians are fed money from interest groups, how is the system democratic? Who is lobbying for us, the 99%?"

      And the other one myth I mentioned regarding that: "wealth trickles down", was also somehow missed. After these corporations got all their bail-outs, the CEOs got their hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and the 99% of us get "Austerity Measures". Wow! Look how that wealth is trickling down! rofl ...

      Thanks for stopping by again Mr. Will. Let's have some constructive criticism please.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "What about the myth that hard work results in wealth?"

      Who said that? Your claim was that wealth is inherited, but in most cases, it is the result of hard work, risk taking, and a good idea. There are no guarantees.

      Your jealousy is showing.