Is Capitalism the root of all evil in America?
Is it the cause of drug abuse?
Is it the cause of poverty?
Is it the cause of class distinction?
Is it the cause of racism?
Will it be the cause of the end of the world?
One cause not the sole cause.
Economics will be the better term rather than capitalism.
What is the difference between economics and capitalism in those cases?
What are other causes of evil?
How will/can/could it cause the end of the world?
Economics is broader. Any economic system, whether it is capitalism or not, promote division, the difference is only in degree.
… division of ? equality would be better? what would promote it?
Division into competing groups.
That would be difficult to answer. In truth nothing promotes unity other than groupism and personal acquaintance.
(Edit) Competition / unequal abilities.
unequal abilities are natural. Can we change it?
It's not about abilities, societies progress only if each put the society's interest above ones self interest. In capitalism competition is the higher priority not cooperation and hence promote self interest above societal interest.
Abilities differ but opportunities too. Opportunity is not under the individuals control.
"... societies progress only if each put the society's interest above ones self interest."
Who can live without self-interest?
WHO? The answer is NO ONE!
Even Jesus came with self-interest. He was interested in saving us… it gave him joy to bring God's word… to who?
The most successful businesses are those that
take pride and have joy in helping and serving others.
Service to mankind is another check on greed, blind ambition, love of power and self-glory.
it is a higher joy: serving and helping others.
"Abilities differ but opportunities too. Opportunity is not under the individuals control."
- we do not have equal opportunity… how could that be possible? It is the nature of reality. We can make our own opportunities in a free society, however. Many people are inventing entrepreneurial businesses and are working from home via computer these days.
"In capitalism competition is the higher priority not cooperation and hence promote self interest above societal interest."
- "societal interest" is another impossible ideal. Yes, we care about those we are familiar and naturally unified with: our families and loved ones… home towns…maybe our cities…our country on a patriotic level, outside of that...???? why would we care? How can we care? We have enough to do in looking out for our own! The bible says to earn enough money "to help the poor."- not "in order to help the poor!" Common sense, please!
Having no self interest is different from putting society's above one's and I mean the latter. Helping the society is helping oneself.
Many mafias are doing the same... but that is not actually helping and serving.
....Is Capitalism the root of all evil in America?
I don't think it's the root of anything but to turn a profit in a free open way. Where it goes wrong is when it infects the governing of the people with those who would buy favor to counter any competition.
....Is it the cause of drug abuse?
I don't think it is the cause as people make their own choices according to their proclivities. Is the war against drugs working should be a bigger question. Economic conditions create an atmosphere for some that can't cope and abuse drugs, alcohol and just about anything else.
....Is it the cause of poverty?
Unchecked capitalism in this country has created a growing middle class and poor downturn. The money at the top is becoming more belligerent about how they got there and what should be done. Many there feel that harder work and frugal lifestyles are what gets them ahead. How little they know.
Is it the cause of class distinction?
I don't think so as the lower class people are hesitant to have rules that penalize the rich because in the back of their mind they hope to be rich and do not wish those same rules to apply to them. The rich just want to get richer whether it be on a poor persons back or a rich persons blunder.
....Is it the cause of racism?
I don't know if it is the cause of racism but it certainly helps it along. Much of the poor are in the minorities so there is some correlation of exploitation but not so much cause.
....Will it be the cause of the end of the world?
Substitute greed for capitalism and i will agree.
Capitalism is a political and economic system.
Greed is a human condition.
Greed can raise its ugly head in any political and economic system.
At the basis of the Reagan New Capitalism is the belief that greed is good. When people believe it's okay to get money by any means whatsoever that makes capitalism falter. Hence, billionaires now rig the system to scam everyone and think it's OK.
This is supported in large by many folks believing that poor people are lazy. This idea of saying there's two classes, the rich and the lazy, is behind much of America's problems. That's because people stop believing in American values. And slowly the system is starting to collapse from within for that reason. So the belief in the New Capitalistic system of honoring those who are greedy is indeed one of the root problems of the U.S.'s slide from grace.
One word comes to mind in reading your question, 'absurd', but I will not use it. I would be interested in your reasoning, as to how you use capitalism, as the cause of all these ills?
To prove your assertions, you will have to show that these social problems do not exist in countries where capitalism does not exist. Can you do that?
If Man is to cause the end of the world and we do not have the power to do that at this juncture, it will be do to the arrogance of a god belief or the idiocy of a totalitarian mindset.
Drug abuse is the result of weak minds, the exploitation of those minds in the pursuit of wealth. This is not conducive with the definition of capitalism.
Poverty is the result of a promoted sense of entitlement, the lack of capitalism in the creation of jobs, a weak or failed educational system and the quest of a government to control people.
Class distinction is inherent in all societies and has been around since the dawn of Man.
Racism, too, has existed since one race discovered the other.
If you are looking for a document that promotes the sovereignty of the individual, that holds the individual up above all these things, a document that allows the individual, regardless of race, birth or status the freedom to achieve based on his own merits, I suggest you look at the Bill of Rights. Is Individual Freedom your desired goal or are you seeking the creation of a society that bans the individual and individual achievement for a drone mentality? If it is the drone society that excites you, then Marxism, a theocracy or some other form of totalitarianism are your options.
.....Drug abuse is the result of weak minds, the exploitation of those minds in the pursuit of wealth.
That's a good one.
If you look more closely at my responses, you will see that I lean to the conservative, logical and educated point of view. But no one said one must look closely. I was asking due to another thread where the OP was alluding to capitalism as being the culprit in civilization for the all its ills and the eventual cause of the end of the world. I thought it would be an interesting discussion… because some people really do think this way! Not me… but then, I am a civilized European-decent, anglo-saxon type…And I would believe this way, as I have been indoctrinated and lied to by my kind, (according to him.)
Happy to read it. Now there are two of us. I, don't think the decent has much to do with the appreciation of Individual Freedom and Capitalism, as I know many who are not European who enjoy and respect these concepts.
Capitalism is not an economic system of least traditionally. Capitalism is a component of economic systems and is a process. Emphasis on systems being more than one. It is social, legal, individual, and market. Bare bones basics capitalism means I have a store of corn. That is my capital. When I invest that corn in another person's hog as an agreement of worth for a value I have capitalized on that corn in a marketplace. It's worth to me has increased at the exchange of an agreed value. It occurred socially, in a market no matter how wide or narrow, and it was a legal agreement between two entities (persons).
Is Capitalism the root of all evil in America?
Nope!!! IMHO Evil is either a concept or could be thought of as a force. Evil is not power. Power directs force. Therefore, some power directs evil. Capitalism too is a force as shared above. If the entity of power or with possession of power directs that force - capitalism, with evil (force) intentions, then it is the onus of responsibility of that entity. That is the agency.
Is it the cause of drug abuse?
No! Capitalism is a component of the drug trade. Emphasis on economic trade. Again, capitalism is a force directed by a power. Look to the power and whom or of what possesses that power for the directing evil (a force).
Is it the cause of poverty?
It may contribute to the proliferation of poverty. If I only have two bushels of corn to trade and the hog costs three bushels then I am in poverty regarding gaining the worth of the hog. Simply the land I have produce five bushels of corn, three I need to get through the winter, and two were extra. I still have capital. It is worth a hog to me, but it is not worth a hog to another who possess the hog. There is opportunity of negotiation at an established value. I may have to give up some more capital from the three needed bushels to gain the luxury of the hog.
Is it the cause of class distinction?
Capitalism is not a cause for class distinction as it is a process. As a process it operates or functions within classes as well as across classes. Capital in abundance as wealth could be considered a cause for class distinction.
Is it the cause of racism?
I would have to ponder a bit. However, I have difficulty as how it could. Again, capitalism occurs as a process. Capitalism exists without prejudice. Even the exchange of thought is a process of capitalism. I share the sky is blue. That is worth expressed as a value. Another says the sky is light blue. That is worth expressed as a value. Next, if agreed upon an exchange occurs. I say thank you for sharing that knowledge. An agreed value was met, agreed upon, and exchanged. Both have a changed sense of worth. One receives new knowledge and the other possibly respect and heightened self-esteem.
Will it be the cause of the end of the world?
I have and IMHO an odd view of the adage the end of the word. I tend to think that occurs everyday and every moment. With each death the world ends. And, also, with each birth there is a new world. A matter of perspective. So, the world has already ended countless times leaving whats left - Life.
Interesting questions and answers, Katheryn. My answer is no for all but one, "Class Distinctions".
Some dictionary that first popped up has this as a definition; "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state." ... and that about sums it up. There are extremely few things about capitalism which, when left on its own, are neither good nor bad; it is just a system.
As many before me in this forum have pointed out, all of those bad outcomes you mention are the result of people acting badly; capitalism is just one of the platforms for which they can accomplish their dirty work. Consequently, since those have been addressed, I don't really have anything to add other than Capitalism didn't didn't pull the trigger, People did.
One of the few outcomes of a capitalist system that does have a bad outcome, even when it is working perfectly as it should and with everybody pulling together with no bad actors, is wage and capital inequality. I won't bore you with the details (I am actually working on a dynamic model so I can illustrate this clearly in some future hubs) know that left on its own, wages will become distributed unequally; and the longer time goes on, the greater the divergence between wage incomes become.
The same is true of capital accumulation, although one facet of this is easy to explain. Once there is a divergence in wealth, say one person has a million dollars and the next person dollars has a billion dollars, then, because the billion dollar guy can command a higher interest rate on their money, their pot will grow faster.
Do you recall reading or seeing movies about what society was like in, say, Charles Dicken's time when you had a tiny wealthy class, a small middle (merchant) class, and a huge poor class? That is where we are heading again. That kind of disparity began ending after WW I and officially ended after WW II.
Is that the type of society you want to live in? If so, you are in luck because that is where we are headed.
I'm curious: do you find it superior somehow for people that have done nothing to grow a company/wealth (the "state") to have control over it rather than the person that put the effort into building it? Why - as you pointed out, people pulled the trigger, not capitalism.
I'm also curious as to your apparent requirement that everyone earn the same regardless of value being produced. Do you really feel that way - that there should be no inequity of income, or do you recognize that there should be inequity - that such a thing is right and proper...if you have control over what is "too much" inequity rather than the only two people involved?
Interest rates - in my limited experience (far from borrowing a million dollars), interest rates go down, not up, when borrowing or loaning larger sums. Possibly due to more collateral (although 0% down mortgages give the lie to that), but whatever the reason it seems true. Mortgages cost less (interest rate) than car loans, for example.
From your comment, I guess you haven't figured it out yet, Wilderness, that unfettered, unregulated capitalism leads directly to the collapse of capitalism and the creation of monopolies and oligopolies where free markets are destroyed. That is a fact and is not up for debate. Even Adam Smith thought so.
While a well-regulated capitalist society leads to prosperity for all.
Again, you make things up when you say things like "I'm also curious as to your apparent requirement that everyone earn the same regardless of value being produced. " - I know you won't answer, you never do, but where exactly did I even hint at such a thing??
Wrong interest rates. People who invest lot's of money get higher interest rates than those who invest less.
I know I am repeating myself, but it is a fact that run-a-way capitalism WILL result in a Charles Dickens'-type society. You may find that appealing, I don't.
" I guess you haven't figured it out yet, Wilderness, that unfettered, unregulated capitalism leads directly to the collapse of capitalism and the creation of monopolies and oligopolies where free markets are destroyed."
Oh, I doubt there is a soul on earth that hasn't figured that out. Whether on the top of the pile, in the middle or at the bottom we have all figured it out.
What millions haven't figured out, apparently, is that socialism doesn't work either. Particularly those on the bottom view what others own as theirs to do with as they please, if they can just get the might to take it away from the rightful owners...and they do so at every opportunity. That road leads to an even quicker collapse, but that seems to escape a large percentage of the population. Including you.
As I said, I haven't borrowed or loaned a billion dollars, so don't know if interest rates rise when you do that. I'd be interested in seeing your information on that (I assume you haven't borrowed or loaned a billion dollars either), but keep in mind we're not talking an investment with high risk/high rewards - we're talking interest rates with a near 100% probability of getting your principle plus interest back.
Fair enough: I know I am repeating myself, too, but it is a fact that run-a-way socialism WILL result in the likes of Greece and Venezuela. You may find that appealing, I don't. The only difference is that we don't have run-a-way capitalism, but the socialism bent in the US is approaching that terminology (run-a-way). There isn't a year goes by that we don't increase our charitable giving, sometimes to the tune of a Trillion dollars or more - that's run-a-way to anyone honest enough to actually consider the actions.
And what makes you think "What millions haven't figured out, apparently, is that socialism doesn't work either. "?? Granted, it doesn't work as well as regulated-capitalism, but you have all of Europe, Canada, Australia, and many other countries that experimented with various forms of socialism. Most went on to a better system that incorporated more capitalism, but it is not because socialism didn't work, it just doesn't work as well.
"The only difference is that we don't have run-a-way capitalism" - say that again?? It gets worse every year the Republicans are in control.
"Charitable giving" ??? Who to???
"we're talking interest rates with a near 100% probability of getting your principle plus interest back. " - Actually, we are not. We are just talking about investing in things that give a return on investment.
I refer you to, among others, Thomas Piketty and his "Capital in the 21st Century". You ought to read it and learn a few things.
""Charitable giving" ??? Who to??? "
I assume you know that half our nation not only contributes nothing to the operation of their country, but takes more than they contribute in taxes. Given that, why are you asking the question?
"Actually, we are not. We are just talking about investing in things that give a return on investment."
Then you should not be using the term "interest rate". Something else you know quite well. When you assign meanings to terms that other people do not it makes discussion very difficult.
"I assume you know that half our nation not only contributes nothing to the operation of their country, but takes more than they contribute in taxes. " - Where did you get that hogwash, Mitt Romney? It was a lie then and it is a lie now. Prove your lie.
And next, tell me how that "charity" relates to what was being discussed.
"hen you should not be using the term "interest rate". " - Hmmmm, that is strange. When I put money into a savings account, I get paid an interest rate; right now about 0.5%. On my bonds, I get paid a rate of interest of a little more than 5%. When I buy a $1,000 CD, I can get 2.8% interest. Consequently, it occurs to me you don't know what you are talking about.
I am guessing you won't read Piketty then.
"Prove your lie."
Sorry, Eso, but I take pretty massive offense at this. We all know the number of people getting "entitlements" - charity - from govt. We all know it is no lie, and when you call me a liar for what you know to be true it truly is offensive. And with that offensive statement this discussion comes to an end; when insults is what you have to offer I'm not interested.
You have a good day.
Just because you state "I assume you know that half our nation not only contributes nothing to the operation of their country, ..." as true, it doesn't make it true. If is false (every non-Trump lover knows it is false) and because you know it is not true (and you present no evidence at all for such a sweeping statement, nor can you find any) makes it a lie. Face it, you are just like #TraitorTrump (except for the traitor part).
And to put a finer point on it - PROVE THAT 50% (i'll give +/- 5%) of Americans pay NO -
* Payroll Taxes
* State Taxes
* Property Taxes
* Excise Taxes
* and a hundred other taxes out there that "contributes nothing to the operation of their country,"
PROVE TO everyone that the sum of those taxes over a lifetime don't exceed any public assistance 50% of the people in this country receive over the same lifetime. Ridiculous, and you know it.
The abuse of capitalism is the root of certain aspects of evil in American culture & society. Poverty which results in self-abnegation is the main cause of drug abuse. Class distinction is a non-issue; in all societies, there is some type of class distinction. Racism is the result of power i.e. the dominant race subjugates the subordinate race. Poverty is the result in irresponsibility & the inability to think in the future; the impoverished person is immature, unthinking, & only concerned about immediate pleasures w/o thinking about the future ramifications of his/her actions.
Capitalism is an invention of man. Its rules can be changed. A change in rule will entail a change in its internal logic. For example, the means of creating money. Before money can be created when there is gold to back it up. Today, that is no longer necessary. Money is created by means of an entry in the book of accounts of the one or entity with authority. So it is linked to power. Power can manipulate the rules.
Capitalism can be used for bad or for good.
I believe the human propensity for unchecked greed is the cause of all our woes. Not capitalism. The fact that capitalism can aid the greedy is not the fault of Capitalism! Only UNCHECKED GREED can possibly cause the destruction of the world and cause its demise in many ways. The only check on human nature is the individual himself through conscience or the school of hard knocks.
An old movie called "Ace in the Hole" aired last night here in LA. With Kirk Douglas. He was excellent in this tale about a greedy newspaper man who kept a guy trapped in a mine alive for five days He to wanted string out the story and make his name, fame and fortune through the misfortune of this man. (He really thought the man would make it and had no sympathy for the man's condition… legs crushed under rubble,etc.) Of course, in the end, the man died… and Kirk admitted to murder...feeling really CRUMMY about what he had done.
Tough and not so simple.
Greed; love of money.
Drug abuse is wrong choice of evil…
Poverty- due too many non-productive elements accepting other people hard earned money / laziness preference of lifestyle …
Class-distiction promoted by politicians also racism-- because evil is having much power over righteous citizens- bringing this social system to the end...
An individual starts an institution. The institution affects the individual. The corporation promotes greed when the power, political, economic, and persuasive, it possesses is unlimited. The anti trust laws put a break on the corporation. But corporations have found a way to get back power. Corporation is an invention that has been given a legal personality. It can commit crime but the board members are immune from punishment. Power has made that so. The Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation that controls the economy of the United States, in effect the capitalist world. US Congress was made to give that power to the Fed in the 1930s. The hope is deem that this power can be taken back. Pres. JF Kennedy tried to that triggered his assassination.
I meant "The hope is dim ...." not "The hope is deem...."
An excellent book to read on the Fed is "Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins. It outlines it's inception with Woodrow Wilson and how Presidents have supported the favoritism of installing their own people to perpetuate the group of banks that profit from our debt. The Fed created the recessions and bankrupted the banks in 1929 by exporting billions in gold to Europe necessitating the Great Depression. If you want to see incredible greed at the expense of the countries well being this is a must read. It is on Kindle.
I beg to differ slightly. While the Federal Reserve Act was signed about 8 months after Wilson took office, it hardly started with him. It began as the result of the private TARP created to save the banking system in New York which was collapsing because of the Panic of 1907. J.P. Morgan used his wealth and position to essentially force his peers to create a fund to bail out banks that were failing; they were successful.
Instead of treating Morgan like a hero from preventing yet another depression, Congress and the public had the bejezzus scared out of them when they realized one man (really a small group of men) had that kind of power, power that was bigger than the United States government.
Seeing the writing on the wall, it was Morgan, through intermediaries, who pressured President Theodore Roosevelt to work on the creation of a Federal Reserve System. Over time, this led to the infamous Jekyll Island meeting where the initial framework of the Federal Reserve was worked out between gov't and the banking industry. It was Morgan's hope that it would turn out as many, including some in this forum, think it did; that the private banks (meaning him) would control the system; and Morgan got his wish, which is why so many Jekyll Island myths abound. This was in 1910.
As Congress is wont to do, they then sat on it. It took two more recessions, 1911 and 1913, to finally motivate Congress to get off of their collective butts. In Dec 1913, they passed the Federal Reserve Act. BUT, it wasn't the Federal Reserve Morgan had flitting around in his mind. Congress, in its rare wisdom, kept the controls of the Federal Reserve firmly in government hands run at the top by government employed people. While there is a large private component to the system, there has to be to make it work, they are secondary to the federal governments role in setting policy and direction; the private sector only has an advisory role.
Thought you might want to know the facts.
What does the future look like to me? That is a lot to ask of me, or to look into. But the Trilateralist seem to have ensconced themselves to the seat of pretenders. One of their designs was to weaken Europe, particularly the pound and replace it with the dollar. It was done with the use of WWII. It was not yet over but already Bretton Woods was convened and the dollar was made currency of the world. Gold was the standard but then it limited expansion of the economy because there is not enough gold, or gold is not the monopoly of the West. So the gold standard was replaced with the floating rate controlled by the IMF and World Bank. But woes in the capitalist world have not gone away. Hegemony in world economy does not seem to work. There has to be another economic power. It is like in boxing where there are several world boxing powers, the side of Mayweather and the side of Pacquiao. However, the power of the Fed looks to stay indefinitely like the power of the Catholic church or the Vatican that centuries are counted according to the Gregorian calendar. Unless America implodes like USSR and a new democracy ushers in. Look now, but the Chinese calendar may come around. And a new economic power may emerge, the likes managed by China, Brazil, India, etcetera. A competitor to IMF and World Bank may improve their philosophy and performance.
Greed may eventually decimate human beings from the surface of the earth by the simple consumption of energy and increase of temperature by carbon dioxide. Was it temperature that caused the extinction of the dinosaur? Sudden death may have been mitigated with entente like the SALT I and SALT II. But slow disappearance of humans will come with climate change if there were no drastic change in the source of energy, no emission of carbon dioxide and avoidance of poisoning from radioactive materials.
....Is capitalism the cause of global warming?
1.An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development occurs through the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.
The definition of capitalism seems innocuous enough when put into a simple setting. I think problems arise when those who would profit from it more want to tip the scales to their advantage. I think it spills over into greed and that Is where it all goes horribly wrong. When greed drives the purpose and methods for profits rather than competing with sound business practices and sensible returns on investments short term thinking takes over.
Global warming is happening. The cause's are theories that either you believe them or you don't. Those who are greedy wish it to be understood that the condition is not man made while the rest believe that it is. It is advantageous to the greedy in this scenario so we may never know until the next phase or the one after that. The greedy have a lot of money to perpetuate their beliefs.
I'm not saying global warming is not scientifically true, but to assume that only greedy, wealthy people believe that global warming is false is absurd. Sorry. Plenty of the middle class and poor believe that global warming is not a reality. To assume otherwise is to. . .assume. Further, there are plenty of rich people, some greedy, who believe in global warming. You almost sound like you exclusively blame wealthy people for pollution.
I stand corrected. After reading my response I can understand how you got that impression. What I meant in my comment is that while we are all responsible to some degree there is little progress in accepting it and curbing our behavior as to its implied causes. For instance we still heat with oil while there are alternatives and the oil companies are more than willing to supply as much as we want. The greediness on the oil companies side is predicated by profits while the consumer side is responsible for its demand. Both are guilty but one is profiting immensely from it. Coal and gas consumption follows in the same strain. Next time I will try to slow myself down a little and read what I wrote with a more discerning eye. Thank you
It is more convenient to stratify cause and effect this way:
Physical as in: lightning causes thunder. This can also be called immediate cause and effect because thunder immediately follows lightning.
Another stratification is motive-tool-effect (MTE). This is derived from the the case of murder.
A person has a motive: to acquire profits; a tool: capitalism; effects: profits, social injustice in case acquisition of profits takes advantage of factors like inside trading, monopoly, power, ignorance, naivete, weakness, blind faith. Power is further classified into naked power (point of the gun, dictatorship); executive power (as exercised by those in authority like president, congressman, mayor); persuasive power (by speech, writing); economic power (bribery, access, abundance); priestly power (blind faith, exercised by the religious).
MTE has another application, like: motive: to acquire wealth in excess (greed) - tool: capitalism - effect: excessive wealth. Here, capitalism is not an immediate cause. Capitalism is being used in a bad way.
One way to acquire excessive wealth is production of fuel (by the application of capitalism) that has carbon dioxide as byproduct that results in global warming.
Medicine has another concept: compounding factors (of a disease). For example, heart disease or narrowing of heart artery. Stress produces free radicals. Metabolism produces free radicals. Pollution produces free radicals. Free radicals injure the inside wall of an artery. The body patches it up with collagen, elastin, fibrin, cholesterol and calcium. Their combination results in a mound that grows with more deposition of cholesterol, calcium, and other debris. This mound results in a plaque that partially or completely blocks a coronary artery whose one symptom is angina.
Has capitalism helped or hindered the music industry?
The movie industry?
Both. Capitalism has tremendously helped the movie, entertainment, and music industry. Without capital, there would be no financing of movies and music. Making movies and music costs monies. Besides the labor costs in making the movies, there also promotional and advertising costs. The same with music. It is promotion and advertising via television, radio, magazines, and now the internet which conveys the movie and music to the public who pay their money to see the movie and hear the music.
While capitalism has tremendously helped the entertainment business to flourish. It has also hindered it. There are independent movies and music that does not come to the forefront of fame because they are not considered to be box office hits. Many high calibre movies, television shows, documentaries, and music fall by the wayside because it is not greenlighted by the POWERS THAT BE as it is believed that the public will not like them hence they won't make money. So as a result, many movies and music have to succumb to the lowest common denominator in order to make the most money. That is why there are so many cheap movie remakes of the same genre because that genre generates the most income and business for the movie studio and the music business.
As for the arts, our technical/scientific/business oriented society does not value the arts. The arts is seen as something impractical, even frivilious. That is why so many creative types have it so difficult in this society. This society is not geared nor supportive of the creative type because creativity is not rewarded but hard, cold scientific analysis IS. That explains why so many parents, unless they are enlightened, dissaude their children from going into the entertainment business and instead exhort them to get a "real" job because in the parents' purview, the arts are unsteady, impractical, and the chances of monetary success is one in a million. That is why those in the technical fields, engineering, and other hard sciences earn excellent salaries because our society supports such fields while decrying the more creative fields.
Good question, Kathryn, methinks that YOU should create a new forum thread, asking this question. There will be MANY wonderful answers!
From my spectator's seat this exchange between Wilderness and My Esoteric has taken a predictable and familiar path.
As a guardrail action, allow me to offer my view from the gallery. I think you guys seem to be talking about different aspects of the same thing; contributing to the cost of government.
As I read Wilderness' comment I assume he is referring to Federal and State income taxes, which within a few +/- percentage points his statement is accurate, (true). But, relative to the point of the exchange; contributions to the cost of government operations, My Esoteric's comment, (no assumption required), is also accurate, (true). And I believe his is the real truth because it addresses the whole of the contention - not just one aspect of it.
As it appears to me, the point of both comments is intended to relate to the support of government operations. Which means that I see Wilderness' comment as specifically true, but conceptually false. AKA - untrue.*
*with the caveat that I am not considering the "get more than they pay" parameter.
One last "but."
Backing up a further step; before the "taxes paid" exchange, to the point where the conversation was about the effects of encroaching socialistic actions, I agree with Wilderness that Greece and Venezuela are good examples of a road we should avoid.
Now, shake hands and go to your respective corners. I will ring the bell for round two. ;-)
It is true I refer only to income taxes, and to "entitlements" received cancelling those taxes out. Net income tax paid to the government is lower than net "income" to the individual.
As far as getting more than paid for, if we take that route and include all the other sources of income to govt. (property taxes, excise taxes, car tags, etc.), the result of those taxes is still less that what is paid. Free education, free police and fire support, free roads to drive on, etc. eats that up in nothing flat. The end result is that yes, they pay something to support govt. services, but with the caveat that it is far less than they receive from those services.
Your point is why I offered that caveat. I have not researched that aspect. I don't know which of you is right on that point.
My gut would agree with you, however, I wouldn't pull education, police, etc. into the equation. All citizens get those benefits, so I wouldn't class them with the entitlements perspective of the discussion. I would think that if those types of services were included, then it could probably be said that all citizens get more than their portion of payment supports, which I think distorts the conversation.
Well, those at the top end of the tax charts certainly don't get more than they pay, but the average citizen does. If that weren't true we wouldn't be running a deficit.
But yes - I used "entitlements" in the popular sense of the word; food stamps, WIC, earned income credit, section 8 housing, Obamacare subsidies and all the rest of the ways we subsidize or simply pay for the needs of the poor. Those that pay little to no income tax in any case - those that get more subsidy ("help") than they pay in income taxes.
But again, so what Wilderness? Income taxes (and some pay state income taxes but pay no federal) is only a part of the pie. Why distort the picture (to use GA's word) by not revealing the whole truth?
Also, you must be basing your claim on statistics you have seen rather than conservative talking-heads. What are those statistics?
Wilderness, you are simply going to have to prove that " the result of those taxes is still less that what is paid."
What you are claiming is that the sum total of all taxes paid by the bottom 50% (and again, I give you "or so") of the population in terms of income over the lifetime of those individuals, exceeds, to use your words, "takes more than they contribute in taxes. "
I do note you have redefined what "takes" is. Previously you appeared to limit to what I call public assistance and you call charity. Now you have expanded that to include "Free education, free police and fire support, free roads to drive on, etc" (which are all taxpayer supported, even by those who don't pay income taxes like many wealthy people do not.)
Given that expanded definition, I would wager that even you and most people you know now fall into that category of what you seem to think are ne'er-do-wells. I suspect even I join that group and I am pretty well off. So, given that, wouldn't it be fair to increase your percentage from 50% to about 90%?
Hehe, thank you GA. I also agree that Greece, Venezuela, probably early socialist England, and now maybe Italy are terrible models. I don't even through in the USSR which was socialist in name only but in reality a vile oligarchy. Even in China, which is socialist by decree and which has been having great economic success, you still have two worlds there where only a part of population, just like in capitalism, is enjoying the fruits.
And that last part is very ironic since the goal of socialism, through ownership of the means of distribution and production, intends that there not be much distance between the top and the bottom.
".... you still have two worlds there where only a part of population, just like in capitalism, is enjoying the fruits."
In Capitalism, its every person's choice as to how prosperous they become. If one is not prosperous, he or she has ONLY THEIR OWN SELF TO BLAME.
S E L F !
In Socialism you can blame the government: "Too many taxes, regulation and control for me to thrive."
"In Capitalism, its every person's choice as to how prosperous they become. " - you actually believe that?? It is so not true.
In fact, Capitalism, without regulation, will ultimately take away everybody's choice save for a fortunate few.
We have many regulations in place. We need laws and we have them. For instance, we are not to form monopolies, yet they form. How come?
We need the right sort of regulation. Not too much and not too little.
Capitalism is the FREE market within certain BOUNDARIES.
Two sides of the same coin.
Yes, it is subtle:
Deal with it.
And, Kathryn, I absolutely agree with your last sentence. Unfortunately, people like Trump and his followers don't believe that. If you listen to their rhetoric, virtually every regulation is bad.
"Too many taxes, regulation, and control" is not what defines socialism. It is true of monarchies, oligarchies, democracies as well as capitalist economies and socialist economies.
The only REAL difference between socialism and capitalism is who owns the means to distribution and production - the state or the people. Fundamentally, it is that simple.
Capitalism enables people to reach their human potential if they are responsible & intelligent enough to do so. In the system of capitalism, people can go as far as their intelligence & talent permits, provided that they have the initiative to do so. Where else except in capitalism, a poor person can become a multimillionaire?
"Capitalism enables people to reach their human potential if they are responsible & intelligent enough to do so. " - Is very true. BUT
"Unregulated Capitalism enables people to reach scam other people out of their hard earned money if they are irresponsible & intelligent enough to do so. " is ALSO very True
At issue isn't capitalism. At issue is responsible capitalism and how to reign in the bad actors both on personal and corporate levels.
"Capitalism enables people to reach their human potential if they are responsible & intelligent enough to do so." gmwilliams
"Unregulated Capitalism enables people to scam other people out of their hard earned money if they are irresponsible & intelligent enough to do so." gmwilliams
"At issue isn't capitalism.
At issue is responsible capitalism and how to reign in the bad actors both on personal and corporate levels." My Esoteric
Y E S
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