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Has Capitalism destroyed human compassion?

Updated on June 19, 2013

Melancholy of loss

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

IN AN AGE OF TRANSFORMATION

more connected

as a world

we ever have been

in a 24/7

information drill.

Whatever happens

here

has an impact

immediately

all around

the world,

no safety barriers

no time to react,

technology

takes us on a ride

in a fast train

rushing

at a speed of light.



Governments

still play it safe,

chuffing along

on an old fashioned

steam train,

organized

as they were

in 1912.



Institutions

are the same

as they were

in 1950,

and companies

are operating

the way

they did

at the start

of the century.



We all rush

to hop on

that new-age train,

but the question is,

what set of values

we should leave behind

and which ones to take.



Some people

think about

cohesion,

growth

and greater equity.

Others

look for

more

innovation

and more productivity.

New industrialists

wish for new growth

without destroying

environment

while doing so...



Looking around

the crowded platform,

we realize

how important

is

the human factor

and its capability.

Is 20th century capitalism

failing

21st century society?

When even the haves

and the have-mores

can't agree.



Pushing each other

to get in

we don't even feel

ashamed,

having lost

our moral compass

living

in the world

of greatest

inequity

going backwards

on equailty.



Corporation

and greed

is on top of our list,

not innovation,

sustainability

and reform.



Many hubbers

answering this question

pointed out

great virtues

of capitalist society,

and I have to agree,

being the one,

leaving communism behind

so I can dream big

and live free.

Many people

are wealthier

than they ever were before

but we haven't solved

the problem

of economic disparity.


Reason,

values,

morals,

human knowledge

and people's collective unhappiness

are what bring about change.

People are critical

and the government reacts

by being progressive

moving for reforms

or being repressive.


Finishing my university in Russia,

I often question

the Putin's choice.

A great dose

of economic

stability

corruption

abuse of power

have emerged

in this new capitalist state.


In our capitalist dreamland

of America

people are selected by cosmetics

not substance.

Americans have come to feel

that politics is not going to change anything.

'Gone with the Wind'

an unrelenting tale

of how honour

gives in to greed.

Many Americans

suddenly realize,

wake-up calls in life

often come too late

or not at all....



In the more established democracies,

just like my new homeland,

Australia is,

people doubt major parties,

recoiling at their number games.

Australia is far away

from everyone,

but in today's world

we are more connected

than we ever have been,

Australians have grown cynical,

some of us have settled

for being disconnected.



In newly emerging capitalist states,

just like my old homeland

in Eastern Europe is,

people are tired of ballot ringing

and vote buying

and schoolteachers not being paid.



The loss of connection

with each other,

with the natural world

is the source of our apathy.

You can buy so much,

and yet

the most important things in life

are never for sale.



Comments

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    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • gags3480 profile image

      GAGANPREET SINGH BHATIA 4 years ago from Kanpur, India

      Nice hub.

      Voted up & shred.

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Back door?

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      chip1775,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • chip1775 profile image

      Brett Wood 4 years ago from Atlanta

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      chip1775,

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      chip1775,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • chip1775 profile image

      Brett Wood 4 years ago from Atlanta

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

      Regards,

      -Jim

    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • chip1775 profile image

      Brett Wood 4 years ago from Atlanta

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

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Annie/teamrns 4 years ago

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

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Annie 4 years ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

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

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

      We need a new economics.

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

      Regards,

      Jim

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

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

      Happy holidays,

      Jim

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

      Happy holidays, everyone!

    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

      Quote from the last paragraph:

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

      ". . . having lost

      our moral compass

      living

      in the world

      of greatest

      inequity

      going backwards

      on equality.

      Corporation

      and greed

      is on top of our list,

      not innovation,

      sustainability

      and reform.

      Many hubbers

      answering this question

      pointed out

      great virtues

      of capitalist society,

      and I have to agree,

      being the one,

      leaving communism behind

      so I can dream big

      and live free.

      Many people

      are wealthier

      than they ever were before

      but we haven't solved

      the problem

      of economic disparity.

      Reason,

      values,

      morals,

      human knowledge

      and people's collective unhappiness

      are what bring about change.

      People are critical

      and the government reacts

      by being progressive

      moving for reforms

      or being repressive."

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

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

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

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

      teamrn

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

      Jim Miles,

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

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

      Teamrn,

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
      Author

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

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

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

      teamrn

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

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

      Greed: An avid desire for individual wealth and gain.

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

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

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

      Examples of capitalism shedding its moral fabric.

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

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

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

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

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      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

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

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      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

    • arb profile image

      arb 4 years ago from oregon

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

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

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      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      Jim Miles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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      Gary R. Smith 4 years ago from the Head to the Heart

      Hi Beata,

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

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      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      LupitaRonquillo 4 years ago

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

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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

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

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      sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

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

      Capitalism does not destroy compassion. Unbridled greed does.

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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      sradie 5 years ago from Palm Coast FL

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • Green Bard profile image

      Steve Andrews 5 years ago from Tenerife

      Voted up and awesome for this thought-provoking hub!

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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • Gamerelated profile image

      Gamerelated 5 years ago from California

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

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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      Garifalia 5 years ago

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

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      stanwshura 5 years ago

      I *like* the way you write!

      I LOVE the way you think.

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 5 years ago

      Good to meet you, Beata Stasak.

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

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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      billd01603 5 years ago from Worcester

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

      Your point, being? Jim?

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

      Since Wall Street makes things so many find purty.

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

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

      We'll package and bundle and wager and bet,

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

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

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

      Now cabbies and pickers will pick up the slack,

      Your taxes will bring the bankers right back . . .

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

      Of deregulation and our free-market views!

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

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

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

      That whole Democracy thing, surely you're kidding!

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

      . . . to make sure we win either way.

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

    • Beata Stasak profile image
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      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

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

    • JimMiles profile image

      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

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

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

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

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      chef-de-jour:

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

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

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

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

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      dear Beata,

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Thank you so much for the words and images.

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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

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

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

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

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 5 years ago from Chicago

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

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

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

      No one ever said where is the crossing point.

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      Jim Miles 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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