There's no one to step on/take advantage of anymore?
Capitalism is defined as:
- free-market system: an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit. Doesn't raise any red flags for anyone?
It's also define in Webster's New World Dicionary as:
- an economic system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution, as land, factories, communications, and transportation systems, are privately owned and operated in a relatively competitive environment through the investment of capital to produce profits: it has been characterized by a tendency toward the concentration of wealth, the growth of large corporations, etc. that has led to economic inequality, which has been dealt with usually by increased government action and control.
What happens when the corporations are paying off the government? What happens to the system of checks and balances, then? What happens when right under our noses, companies are becoming monopolies while putting on the facade of them being multiple companies?
The same system that is fueled by greed, the strong desire for more: an overwhelming desire to have more of something such as money than is actually needed, is slowly pushing all of the wealth into the upper class. The poor are becoming poorer, the middle class is disappearing. Everyone's ready to blame the individual, but individuals that don't know what the hell to do are a SYMPTOM of a broken society! Everybody wants to put blame ONLY on the individual. No one is saying that to a certain extent, we all aren't responsible for our decisions. BUT the society is just as responsible.
What's being taught in our schools? How are things being advertised? Why do advertisements work? People are sheep! To say that the herders have no fault over the actions of the sheep is preposterous! Corporations understand the mentality of people. That's what they play on to make more money! If the school systems don't teach the kids how to be smart and vigilant, how to be aware, how to be their own person, how to fight for what they want, and then these same children become parents and teachers, and the children under them aren't being taught, how the hell are they supposed to know?
Any person being honest with themselves has to realize that any system of control only works if there are people who are dumbed down and who don't know any better. Capitalism is the vehicle for just that! You say people can pull themselves up, but ask how good that would be for the companies making billions off of these people? How much do you think they're going to put into making sure people stay dependent and ignorant?
ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS MONEY. Back to that "motivation by profits" bit of the definition. I personally have a problem with that. Why am I not rolling in the dough? Because my conscience won't let me. Saying so doesn't make me a "communist" or a "socialist." I'm just an observer. I could've been quite successful by now or at least much more so than I am. Anybody who thinks there isn't something broken about this economy is either blind or well off and desperately trying to hold onto his riches at the cost of other people. It's easy to place the blame solely on individuals. That way you can sleep at night rolling around in your beds laid with money and comforts on top of the backs of people buying into the lies and reveling in their ignorance. Working like slaves to make you richer and barely getting by. The foods that are better for us are more expensive. Those that are poorer and had no one to teach them how to make good decisions DO continue to make stupid choices. OR they don't put wealth before time now with their families. Or the ones that do, that are working 3-4 jobs to get the bills paid have kids being neglected and are out there on the streets perpetuating the cycle of poverty. And that's exactly how the companies want it, because at the end of the day, no matter what a company's "Mission statement" is nor the product, they are "motivated by profits." Those three words sum up the real problems.
Ignorance is a tool for the greedy. The Catholic Church did it, wayward communists/socialist leaders did it, now corporations and the government are having at it, too!
There's no point is raising the minimum wage, all the prices will just go up because they want to keep that wealth gap. That is the ugly truth.
Why would a motivation of profit raise a red flag? Are you assuming that a profit cannot be had if you don't step on someone or cheat them?
Capitalism works very well between honest, caring people. We all have different strengths and weaknesses; capitalizing (no pun intended) on our strengths will yield a profitable business, allowing our weak areas to run the business will not. We can thus all make a profit without trampling anyone.
Notice, however, that I do NOT say that no one tramples others in their struggle for profit; many do just that, both buying and selling. Doesn't mean it is necessary, just that there are greedy, uncaring and unethical people out there. What else is new?
What about them paying their "fair share?" The real question is this:
Are people too dishonest and blindly-ambitious for trickle-down to work? Sounded good in Theory, but...
I find that smaller companies make money one of two ways; by great employees/service/product and by low price. Of the two the low price is much harder to compete with as you've got things like WalMart out there that specialize in low prices.
I'm also seeing that employees of WalMart and other low price outfits are becoming much more civil and helpful. Will it last past the recession? My guess is no, when the good employees find better work, and then the question becomes "Will the giant corporations take notice when their business falls from lousy employees?"
IMHO the recession has made it very difficult for many good employees to find work commensurate with their abilities and willingness to work. That will end (is ending) and the pendulum will once again swing to become an employees market. I've seen both in the past; we'll see both in the future.
When profits become the sole motivation, what does that lead to? Money. Money's ok. Your scenario is nice, but because of the nature of men, it doesn't work out that way. Greed easily follows that.
"Oh, wow. I'm making a pretty good profit."
"How can I be more efficient?"
"How can I make more of a profit?"
Maybe at one time they were being noble. Taking care of those who worked under them. Then greed comes along.
"Hey, if I fire the old people, I can pay newer people less than what they started with, and make more of a profit."
"Hey, I can cut into their break time! Time is money."
"Whoa, wait now there's competition? Ok, hmmm...what's going to make people buy... Oh wait, I can outsource! Then things get really cheap because I don't have to pay people here in the US!"
Suddenly, it's all about the profit and how to get more. More. More. More. And then this corrupted view flows into different parts of the system. Schools, government, health insurance, etc.
I think all economic systems had good intentions initially. But each had its flaw that led to the masses being at the mercy of those on top. Capitalism, especially in this country, is on its way there. Actually, it's basically already there, but it's getting worse.
Simply put, I disagree. I know there are big corporations out there that operate that way, but I also know there are some out there that value their employees and do what they can for them. I recognize full well that the common viewpoint is the one you push here, but I just do not find it to be the norm. Rather, it is the exception and unless there are other reasons those business usually fail or at least do poorly.
Now I also know that outfits such as WalMart are unfairly accused of such actions; people accuse them of every possible greedy method under the sun of paying their employees less; what those same people do NOT do is look at how much WalMart could pay. It is startlingly little in spite of their huge profits; that's what happens when a company is the size of WalMart.
And finally, I find it almost amusing to glance at the other side of the coin; the side that is taboo to even mention in polite company. And that is just how much damage the overly powerful unions have done to the country - just what the greed of the worker has done to company after company. There is absolutely no difference in big companies mistreating their employees and big strong unions mistreating the hand that feeds them.
We have to be careful not to paint with the broad brush. Jaxon Raine would often mention this.
I agree that unions have become problematic! Just look at the school system! A horrible teacher can keep their job in places with unions because of them, and that happens quite often! It's one thing if a good, inspiring teacher works hard and has people to provide for and is fired for downsizing. It's another thing for a teacher that doesn't want to be there, that's ruining the education and experience for the students, the one that's lazy and doesn't do anything to help the students learn is able to keep her job because teachers have unions in her state.
No one's saying, or I'm not saying that this isn't true! Of course it is. But why did unions have to be started? Because people were losing their jobs for sh*t reasons. So people made a stand to say, "that's not going to be us anymore." But now that system is corrupt. That happens to everything, eventually, because people are greedy and people are only kept accountable for so long.
Also, no one's saying that all businesses fall under this. Especially not small businesses (of course as they become bigger, there will be more room for this to start entering in). But what do they teach you that it's all about in corporate? THE BOTTOM LINE. That is undeniable. That is their main concern because they are driven by profits. Some businesses may consider their employees, but at the end of the day, it's about money and the product. And really it's about the money, because if the product doesn't sell enough, they toss it. IF the workers aren't top notch, they're tossed. No nothing taken into consideration except that somehow money's being lost. The only time you don't see this happening is with businesses that are in it for more than just the money, but this is where we'd disagree because this is the rarity. Any business where there's a product that doesn't sell a lot, but they continue and they have just themselves and maybe a few workers if they can afford it, because they're doing more for the passion and hobby than the money.
But at the end of the day, the people in charge of bigger businesses are more concerned with the welfare of themselves and their own. They're going to make sure that their families live in luxury and without want, and eventually, especially when they become less personally involved, it will really become all about the profits. It doesn't matter who gets fired and that they're just trying to provide for their families. It doesn't matter who's taken advantage of, who's given the run around. None of that matters because they don't have to know these people. Really know them. Sit down with them and look at their bills and their families. And they don't want to. I was watching this documentary that turned my stomach because there were real businessmen discussing how to take advantage of people after having sat down with them and found out their situations. I'll find the name of the documentary and recommend it to you.
You have to understand that even though this may not always apply to small business, big businesses/corporations are the only thing that matter BECAUSE the most people are affected by it. Back to health insurance. People have to pay an arm and a leg for insurance, but if they become terminally ill, the companies don't want to pay for it. Forget it if you're already terminally ill, good luck finding any. Health insurance shouldn't even be a business. But at the end of the day, it's about how much money they can make because the people behind the financial decisions couldn't give a rats ass about the people getting the coverage. They majored in finance and business, not social work. They care about MONEY. That's what they think matters. That's what they're taught matters. People are no longer people, they become tools needed to make a dollar. THAT's the problem with being motivated by profits.
Look at the food industry. I mean what the hell? Food is an industry? That is THE most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Food is a basic necessity for every human being to survive. We're under the illusion that we can grow it and sell it to other people because we own it? LoL, we can "own" food? Look at Monsanto. Do you know who they are? They are the company that basically owns the gmo corn industry. Every time you see an ingredient in processed food that's some derivative of corn, or you buy corn that doesn't say non-GMO, it's 80-90% likely it came from Monsanto. Do you know what's illegal? It's illegal for you to sue Monsanto even if you become ill by one of their products. This video is from 2013, but this bill has been continued,
You can look at every facet of how our nation works, and see how the greed that easily follows capitalistic thinking has corrupted those things that were maybe once good. Capitalism isn't the whole problem. But the greed that it becomes a vehicle for is. Capitalism with MANY, MANY more checks and balances and A LOT more accountability can work.
But ANYTHING can work with the right provisions. I personally I am pro community grown food and small scale specialization, bartering between communities, little government, working for needs (everyone has to help with crops, or people choose how to help with building environment friendly homes and methods of transportation, etc), sharing when a neighboring community is in trouble, no longer pushing the psychological want for excess (and really the need for advertising becomes minimal and limited to not going beyond excess), spending time with our own families (instead of always hiring nannies although we can also collectively watch each others children), spending time with our neighbors, and living healthily. But of course, greed and ego collectively say NO NO NO, absolutely not. I need the next best thing. The bigger thing. The faster thing. The thing that makes things most convenient. I need more things than them. I need to be better than them. I need. Need. NEED. When all of those things are vain wants and these wants are put before the needs of others.
Individualism to a fault is just as bad as collectivism to a fault. We've still yet to reach a healthy middle.
I think part of the problem lies within the corporate concept. When you have ten thousand investors and one person being told to run the company to get them all money the inevitable result is that that is what happens. If you were in charge, and your job (and food on your table) depended on maximizing income, what would YOU do? Overpay the employees, knowing you would be fired and their pay cut? Or maximize income, as you were instructed to do in the job description?
I just don't have an answer for it, as the start up capital for most business is SO huge anymore. One cannot, for instance, make a salable car without billions in capital to start with, and that takes investors. Investors that don't care one whit for your employees, only that they get a return for their investment.
The answer is that the corporations are the problem. That's the whole point. Even if some of these men did care, they are part of a cyclical system that perpetuates the greed and corruption. But it only matters that they "care" if they do something to try and change the system. But because of the very things that you point out, they just perpetuate it. And that's how the system is set up. It's a machine, not an interaction between people.
Actually corporations and their leaders can't care. The only thing they can care about is making money for their shareholders. It's up to governments to regulate things like minimum wage and monopolies as they can't be expected to regulate themselves. If you look at what happened to banks in countries with more governement regulations you'll find that they did fine during the market crash. Even apple produces most of it's products using cheep labour oversees. It does't lower their prices it just raises profit.
My two cents.
So how do we change it, without having to change every human being on the face of the earth? Have government set all wages, prices and contracts between individuals? The cure is worse than the disease!
We don't change it. We let things play out their course.
When we all learn from the school of hard knocks and empathy becomes the norm. I wish.
Yep, some of us are still a bunch of idealistic hippies.
We are doomed, have always been and will always be.
Because we are here to get out of here,
I'm just being cynical today. Of course we should keep trying:) It just gets hard when you try and try and try and no one listens. You can't change people, make them see what you see. Or, then again, maybe you can.
LOL I was serious. We are here to get out of here! I thought this would cheer you up, Janesix!
Oh, I know we'll get out of here. I'm just not sure whether it will be the result of individual effort, or through God (and by that I mean, a natural biological process that I know is in each of us). I'm talking about the kundalini process through which our consciousness awakens.
Yes, but as our great Karma Yoga Avatar has explained… "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few."
Do you suppose the majority will get on board with the awakening of the kundalini force if it takes… gasp… effort and sincere motivation?… I guess so, eventually. It has to start with the individuals who are ahead of their time.
lol.. call me a ditz, but I'm not sure what you mean:)
Please rephrase that, I want to know what you think.
Well, you know that the corporation CEOs and presidents and big wigs are busy making their profits, right? But do they have time to find the true joy of life? Kundalini is awakening the life force within us. But that activity takes knowledge and practice. Right? Who wants to awaken the kundaini force when money and profit and power are to be had? The spiritual benefits of controlling/awakening the inner world are much greater than the benefits of controlling the money and power of the outer world, but who will bother?
Oh, ok, I see now.
NO, I don't think they will if that is the case.
I hate that, but I have to accept it somewhat.
There are people feeling real effects of it now. The environment will be showing the effects of it soon enough. And I'm not even talking about climate change. Think of all the waste and chemicals we keep pumping into the water. I can't imagine how people don't see any repercussions for that down the line as if it's all going to just disappear. But, hey, out of sight out of mind.
Anyway, we can make as many people as aware as we can. We can't force them to become aware, but we can find ways to help them open their eyes somewhat. That's why I always enjoy those truth.org public announcements or the better life foundation "Pass it on" commercials. Some stuff happens on it's own, but most things need some sort of external catalyst. But that's as far as it can go. We can't force people to higher their awareness, so after doing what we can, we let it take its course.
Not at all. There's not much anyone can do except raise awareness, and if they really want to get feisty, they can boycott, protest, etc. But the way the laws are going...
Isn't the question more about greed than capitalism?
Hasn't society asked for more or better products? Who steps up to the plate if there is nothing in it for them? (I am not just thinking monetary) Should we castigate those who are wealthy because they have pandered to those who wish to buy or use their products?
How would you deal with the greed within society? Shoot those you deem to be to greedy? implement a socialist/communist system? Demand that people be happy with what they have?
What people see is the CEO's of these large corporations making $millions in salary and benefits but don't seem to see the mangers, middle managers and workers providing for their families. They manly see the greedy rich shareholders who pocket millions in dividends but don't see the pensioners and pension funds that provide incomes after retirement.
It would be nice to think that we could get rid of greed in the world but I just wouldn't happen. That's why I wont concern myself with what someone else has but will always focus on what I have.
Do you think the trickle-down theory of taxing the wealthy less was a good idea?
"Instead of benefiting the wealthy first, the policy (supply side/trickle down economics) actually benefits the working class first. This may sound impossible -- after all, it's the wealthy who get the tax breaks, not the poor. However, Sowell maintains that because the wealthy make investments in order to make a profit, they spend the money first on expenses of the business venture. (In other words, spending money to make money.) These wealthy investors must pay workers, thus creating jobs, before they can expect to see any profits. Therefore, it's the workers who receive the most immediate relief." Source: Thomas Sowell
http://money.howstuffworks.com/trickle- … omics3.htm
I am not to sure how it works in the US but here in the UK the top 1% of earners pay almost 33% of the tax.
If things were fair shouldn't everybody be taxed at the same rate?
Maybe we should look at how that tax money is spent rather than where it comes from?
Yes. "Fair" means the same amount from every citizen, whether man, woman or child. Rich or poor, black or white, sane or insane.
Unfortunately that pretty obviously isn't going to work. You'll have a hard time collecting much from a newborn, or from most asylum inmates. The poor will die if required to pay their share, leaving insufficient people to run the factories we all want.
So we use a graduated method, basing it on what people can afford to pay but the problem is that the wants of the poor quickly override their ethics and ever more is demanded of anyone with more money than they have.
Who exactly? Do you have names of the greedy and why they are considered greedy? A good check is to let us know and then we can stop buying their products. Then the company/corporation will fold and all the mistreated employees will be spared of miserable under-payed conditions.
Also, exactly who is responsible for allowing monopolies to form when it is illegal? Could it be the person at the top? Lets hold that person accountable the next time we're in the voting booth.
I think "the greedy" is every stockholder in the country, which includes me. They are the owners, they want a profit, they want an income as much as the worker does. Which makes them greedy.
You're right though - we should all refuse to buy stock, ever, as a starting point. Don't want to be one of the greedy bourgeois. And definitely stop buying the products - better to put the employees on the unlimited entitlement programs of the libs than to have them work at what some consider to be too low a wage. Even though they chose the job and agreed to the wage, they should not be allowed to work there.
oh, yes... much better for the self-esteem of these individuals, (who are trapped by those who are greedy enough to build successful, (I shudder at the word,) business empires...) to be released into the wilds of Welfare!
Absolutely. Work is so...so...demeaning, you know!
"While it might be true that some wealthy members of society seek tax breaks for self-serving purposes and might even bribe politicians into voting for these policies, trickle-down economists would consider this irrelevant to the question of whether the theory works for everyone. John F. Kennedy showed his support of the trickle-down economic theory when he said, "a rising tide lifts all boats" -- meaning that a growing economy benefits you whether you're rich or poor [source: Nugent]."
http://money.howstuffworks.com/trickle- … omics3.htm
Does not matter how you look at it, it will never work again. People are too greedy. They want BIG houses smart cars and eat in expensive restaurants. I can remember a time when people were perfectly happy with less. My father had a very high post with a good salary but, he was perfectly happy driving around in his "Volksie" as we called the beetle. Our home was comfortable but perfectly "ordinary"
So, bottom line, people are too greedy so capitalism cannot work as the "motivated by profit" has gone completely out of control
Maybe we should blame High IQ. Many people who know how to get what they want are very intelligent.
Darn smart people.
...what happens to the smart people when there is no one left willing to be to stepped on and taken advantage of, (in the smart people's quest to make money and lots of it?)
1. They offer better employment packages!
( If no one step up to the new plate, it will be because those who (also) need money, didn't know that the jobs would offer more than welfare checks.)
(Note: After people have been unemployed for more than a year these smart people will not hire them because they know work skills diminish through disuse.)
2. They determine to treat new employees with more respect, realizing that without them they will have to look for new hires.
3. They outsource and hire very hungry foreigners thankful for work.
4. They merge with other companies.
5. They sell their company/ies.
6. They file for bankruptcy.
Hendrika, I completely agree. Thanks for sharing.
Into the sea
after the asteroid hits
and our skills are gone...
after the gold rush
LoL, thanks Sooner. I had just finished browsing a forum topic about poor people with the usual, ridiculously ignorant rant and I felt like this forum needed to be made.
There are some sold arguments against capitalism.
One is that it tends to concentrate power. Concentrated power in any form is dangerous.
The other one is that capitalism is incompatible with the ultimate survival of the human species. Just think about it. Capitalism is based on everyone consuming as much as their income allows. Add to this that the population keeps growing, and it's a recipe for pure disaster.
Capitalism is a natural form of free trade. It supplies the demand that is required to obtain a profit. It weans out the weak as the demand dictates what is solvent in obtaining the most for any given profit. Where it goes horribly wrong is when those that want to absorb or abolish competition through the use of government interference and or regulation. We have a group of elites industrialists who wish to buy their way out of accepted practices by increasing profits through avoiding tariffs and taxes on their products coming into the country. This upsets the balance of trade and slowly eliminates the competition they had within the US. Subsequently we are seeing some manufacturing coming back sans the union and wage restrictions on the amount of their profits as they played the foreign labor against us. Pretty good gig if you can make it happen and more assuredly if you can put a congressman or a President in your pocket.
Heres a great plan......make all the people poor and then make 'em dependent on the government for food stamps and free healthcare. Make 'em want to elect wolves in sheep's clothing.
Split the people up into halves and have nots, etc etc etc..
We cannot afford to hate each other.
I assume you're probably being sarcastic. but like I said to wilderness:
"I personally I am pro community grown food and small scale specialization, bartering between communities, little government, working for needs (everyone has to help with crops, or people choose how to help with building environment friendly homes and methods of transportation, etc), sharing when a neighboring community is in trouble, no longer pushing the psychological want for excess (and really the need for advertising becomes minimal and limited to not going beyond excess), spending time with our own families (instead of always hiring nannies although we can also collectively watch each others children), spending time with our neighbors, and living healthily. But of course, greed and ego collectively say NO NO NO, absolutely not. I need the next best thing. The bigger thing. The faster thing. The thing that makes things most convenient. I need more things than them. I need to be better than them. I need. Need. NEED. When all of those things are vain wants and these wants are put before the needs of others."
Who will have the heavy industry instead of farms? Who will make cars, trains and refrigerators? Who will fly the next moon rocket?
And who will supply the banana's? I don't think I've ever lived in a community that grew all of it's food within a 50 mile radius; food production is far too specialized for that. For example, where I am now specializes in sugar beets; sugar beets makes up a large portion of what is grown but cannot provide any real nutrition at all. We have a little grain and some mint. Some potatoes, but that's about it. Where do we get the rest of our food supply, and how do we barter for it? Trade the computer printers manufactured here, or train engines, for carrots?
Who "needs" cars, trains and refrigerators? Who "needs" to fly to the moon?
The point s that we don't need corporate giants to feed us, we don't need Monsanto to dictate to us what we eat and we don't need GM or Ford to dictate to us what we drive.
Sugar beet is a wonderful cheap way of bulking up more essential food whilst detracting from the nutritional value of that adulterated food. There is absolutely no reason outside economics and the quest for even more profit, why that land used for growing sugar beet shouldn't be used for more nutritional crops.
We all nee cars, trains and refrigerators. We all need to fly to the moon (as a nation or species, not individuals).
Monsanto does dictate what you eat, and neither GM nor Ford dictate what we drive.
Of course it can be used for more nutritional crops - but no one will have any sugar if everyone takes that stance. Which is the point - going the way of small, self sufficient communities we will all miss out on a great deal of this we really enjoy. Cell phones, computers, cars, planes and microwaves for a start. Followed by electricity, clean water and heated homes.
Why do we all need cars? I get along fine without one! Why do we all need trains? I haven't been on a train for at least a decade. Granted refrigerators are useful, but we don't need them. Why do we need to fly to the moon (as a nation)?
I don't think you are agreeing with me that Monsanto does dictate what we eat, maybe not yet entirely but one day soon they will. Try building cars in your garage, how will you get type approval?
It wouldn't be any loss to us if we had to cut down on sugar in our diet, no one says we would have to do without it entirely.
Why is food production linked to cell phones and computers?
...why don't we just learn a thing or two from the American indians? In fact, why don't we give the land back to them? Why did we not adapt to them and become like them? 'Cause we are bad evil souls who care nothing for the uncivilized life of nature and natural iving.
Oh never mind, you are British.
I heard the Scots were as uncivilized and brutal as the American !ndians back in the day. Is this true, do you suppose?
Now I see why I'm so wild and crazy, it's my Cherokee and Scottish coming out!
I didn't know the Scots were civilized yet (my wife is of Scottish heritage).
Dunbar, here. And probably an Iroquois in my last life.
I think it's unfortunate that so much of Native American history is lost to us, maybe forever. I love learning about my ancestors and their cultures.
Because if all the people are involved in running inefficient 1 acre farms without modern equipment or chemicals, there will BE no cell phones, computers or the like. No one to make them, no one to finance the infrastructure to make them. And no one with the time to use them, even, with everyone out hoeing the north 40.
So every farm apart from big industrialised farms are inefficient! Bull.
And why do they have to be one acre?
To become self sufficient the estimates say you would need about 2 acres or 89050sq ft. To just grow food for yourself you would need a quarter of an acre.
That's a different argument. I want to know why Wilderness thinks farming can only work if run by giant corporations transporting food over many hundreds of miles.
I used to live adjacent to a farm producing salads. These were transported a hundred or more miles to a packing plant and then back again to appear in local shops.
Because the new modern consumer John doesn't like dirty lettuce or cucumbers that don't come in a plastic packets. They like their carrots and swede peeled and diced into nice little uniformed squares, but most of all they like to pay the lowest price possible.
If you are implying that it is madness that food travels hundreds if not thousands of miles before it hits your table then I would have to agree, although it has given us a variety of differing and interesting food stuffs.
I live in a city John where it is easier to pop to the supermarket to get my veg than it is to take a trip to the country and find farmers who are willing to sell their produce to me. I also grow a few things in the garden but this is dependent on the weather mostly and my ability to a lesser extent. I doubt I could become self sufficient on the small plot of land attached to my house and I dnt think the neighbours would approve if I had a few animals roaming around.
I'm not for one moment advocating self-sufficiency. And there is no reason why produce should not be washed and part prepared at the local level either.
Don't forget that the lowest price costs taxpayers in subsidies to farmers.
I too live in a city and it is as easy to go to a local shop to get my veg, often at a cheaper price than the supermarket, and fresher too.
I think the cost of preparation at local level would be prohibitive and what's the problem with preparing at home?
Subsidies are a problem John I cant deny that but its the politics that cause the greatest problems.
My local grocer sells products from around the world and I sometimes use them for convenience however I can assure you the price is never cheaper than the local ASDA.
Why should prep at the local level cost more than distance prep?
There's nothing wrong with preping at home but you said the consumers no longer wanted to do that.
How many workers at your local ASDA are paid income support by you and I and how many of their workers are totally unpaid being provided by government work placements?
The only local greengrocer to me that is more expensive than the supermarkets is one selling home grown organic produce all covered in muck and knobbly as heck, but always crowded out with customers.
I, too, worked a farm when young. We produced 100 bushel of wheat per acre - far more than what was necessary for the farmer and I.
We also used tractors, diesel fuel, fertilizer, a massive diesel pump and more diesel fuel to get water to the crops. We used harvesting combines and other large machinery.
And this was a small family farm of 500 acres. With a barn full of equipment, and growing enough to feed hundreds of people. Take away the tractor (which is unavailable because everyone is growing food, not making tractors), the fertilizer (unavailable because everyone is growing food, not making fertilizer) and water (unavailable...but you get the idea) and you now have a farm being worked with horses and oxen, producing 10 bushel per acre and just able to feed the farmer.
You say elsewhere that you are not speaking of self sufficiency, but that is what this thread is about - breaking everything up into small communities that must all take care of themselves. Whether it is a "farmer" with a large garden spot or something else, there will be no more massive factories making heavy machinery, chemicals and other needs to have efficient, highly productive farmlands. All that is gone in this scenario, leaving "farmers" able to feed themselves and very little more.
So farming can only be done by corporate giants! Rot.
Why is everybody growing food? As you said yourself one man and a boy could grow enough for hundreds.
You can break every thing down into small communities without practising self sufficiency, without massive government grants and without faceless owners taking almost everything out of the community that produces it.
Farms are perfectly capable of producing their own fertilizer, it is only factory mono-cultures that need massive imports of oil based fertilizers.
No, you didn't read closely enough. A man and a boy coupled with the work and effort of hundreds grew enough to feed hundreds of people. Only with the help from the tractor maker, the fertilizer producer, the oil driller and the refinery people did it happen.
You know this, you understand this, why argue it?
OK - which "small community" will have the factory with 5,000 employees making tractors? And if they don't take all those tractors out of the community, what will they eat? And which one will have the paper mill with another 5,000 employees? The one making sheetrock (do you use that in the UK?)? Which one is responsible for feeding the half million people in the military, protecting the borders?
Yes, tiny five acre farms can make their own fertilizer. Two acres for the cow and three for the crop, with shovels and wheelbarrows to spread it. I understand that some far east rice paddies even use human excrement. You just don't do it on a 500 hundred acre farm growing 100 bushel of wheat to the acre.
No, John - we are far, far beyond any possibility of small self sufficient communities depending on barter. Now, you kill off 90% of the earth's population and it will once more work, albeit without the luxuries we enjoy. The high standard of living is dependent on scale of production and that takes people - lots of people.
But I'm not talking about small self sufficient communities dependent on barter.
I'm talking about human scale farming and manufacturing.
What is a "human" scale farm? One he can do with a pick and shovel? With an ox and plow? Or a barn full of heavy machinery and all that goes with that? There are parts of the country that are very fertile, and 500-1000 acres is about all one man can handle even with the help of machines, though of course those machines have to come from somewhere.
And that's the next problem - where do those things come from? Do you think one man can build and operate a refinery that can produce the fuel needs of a thousand others? Or does it take a refinery of 1000 workers to produce the needs of a million instead?
Because economy of scale is a very real, very important part of manufacturing. It cannot be done in small villages; not and maintain the output we require. And when the manufacturing is done, it must leave the village just as the food does.
I can only repeat that these small scale operations simply cannot produce enough to satisfy the needs of the people. Not today. The industrial revolution, increasing productivity a thousand fold, happened not just because of profit, but because people want, and need, what it can produce for them.
And yet despite the industrial revolution farming continued on a human scale until very, very recently!
Yep - right up to where the population exploded while at the same time people began demanding more out of life; things like cars, phones, electricity, clean water, etc. And at the point when mechanization began to hit the farms. When all that happened the human scale just didn't cut it any more in either farms or factories.
And your point is?
I'm afraid cars, phones, electricity and clean water etc were all well established before the start of industrialised farming-not when mechanisation began to hit farms.
My point is that heavy industrialisation of farming is of no benefit to anybody apart from the shareholders.
Really? The cotton gin was patented in 1794, the first light bulb made nearly 100 years later.
And your "point" has nothing to do with reality; without that heavy mechanization of the farm most of us would not be eating, and that's quite a benefit. A farmer simply cannot go back to the horse drawn plow, no fertilizer/insect control or irrigation and get even a quarter of the yield they do WITH all that nice technology.
You're right. And they probably wouldn't even know HOW to. It would certainly be a huge mess.
Well, many farmers have horses, but to go back, they will have to make a harness and then somehow make a plow a horse can pull. Perhaps cannibalize from the tractor pulled plow as the tractor is now out of fuel.
Have to chop down a tree, too, to get the wood for the plow, and dig some coal and iron ore to make the nails to build the plow. Have to make the ax; an ax is not of great value on the farm and many farmers won't have one.
Then kill a cow and find some tannin to make the leather reins for the horse, although without google he won't know what to DO with that tannin. Not sure how he will saw the tree up into lumber for the plow; I leave that to the imagination. Maybe a bowie knife made in his personal forge.
I'm sorry but it's not a choice between industrialised farming and the horse and plough.
The cotton gin is not an agricultural implement, neither is the light bulb. But that does confirm my point that all those technologies were well in place long before industrialised farming.
And do you really think we'd all starve if farmers stopped building grain mountains?
Hmm. If the cotton gin, separating usable cotton from the "chaff", is not an agricultural implement then neither is a tractor, silo, harvester or anything else used there. You can't more agricultural than picking cotton and includes cleaning it of the trash.
But if you don't like the cotton gin, the first tractor was built in 1868 - still before Edison's first working light bulb. I know the light bulb isn't a farm implement; I am showing that farm mechanization (including the cotton gin) occurred prior to the light bulb.
Corporations are bad?
If corporations are so horrible and greedy, then shouldn't we be celebrating when they decide to close their plants here and move overseas?
The people who bash corporations immediately advocate and provide a favorable, massive stimulus to keep those same corporations solvent when the economy tanks. I find this thinking slightly paradoxical. The Left's thought process is: corporations are bad, government is good, corporations didn't build themselves without government assistance, big corporations are too important and big to fail, and corporations unduly influence government. It seems as if some of these opinions/thoughts seem to conflict.
Frankly, I don't trust the government, and I don't trust corporations. Each has an agenda. The difference is that the corporate agenda is clear, profit. The government's agenda vacillates. Some politicians want power. Others want profit. Others want prestige. Some want to actually do what's best for America. A CEO's intentions are clear; a politician's intentions are mercurial.
LoL, I hope this isn't towards me. If you even read the whole opening post, you'd notice that I said that corporations and government are having at the corruption, too.
"If corporations are so horrible and greedy, then shouldn't we be celebrating when they decide to close their plants here and move overseas?"
Why should I be happy when corrupt corporations try to be greedy and corrupt on other soil? That's pretty selfish.
"The people who bash corporations immediately advocate and provide a favorable, massive stimulus to keep those same corporations solvent when the economy tanks. I find this thinking slightly paradoxical. "
That's not paradoxical, it's hypocritical. Especially if those corporations themselves are corrupt. But people are afraid of change, and many people have certain views without really understanding why. But people would rather their economy stay afloat than let corrupt businesses fail if they have a big hand in "helping" said economy stay afloat.
"Frankly, I don't trust the government, and I don't trust corporations. Each has an agenda. The difference is that the corporate agenda is clear, profit. The government's agenda vacillates. Some politicians want power. Others want profit. Others want prestige. Some want to actually do what's best for America. A CEO's intentions are clear; a politician's intentions are mercurial."
Absolutely. Then we agree. Except CEOs want prestige and power as well, but money/profits are what drives them to continue their antics. The politicians are no different. The only difference is they get voted in.
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