The idea that capitalism is theft

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  1. profile image0
    promisemposted 6 years ago

    Capitalism is the art of legally stealing money from people who don't have the intelligence, education or experience to realize they are being ripped off until it is too late.

    In other countries, payoffs to politicians is bribery. In the U.S., it is campaign contributions.

    The new GOP health care bill throws 23 million people off health insurance. A person making $26,000 a year gets to pay $16,000 for health insurance so CEOs pocket ever-larger salaries and bonuses. Yeah, that's going to happen.

    Billionaires pay big money to politicians to rewrite laws that benefit themselves. They hire expensive lawyers and accountants to pay lower tax rates than you and me.

    Vladimir Putin's spy agencies and billionaire Libertarians spread propaganda that gets Donald Trump elected. His voters rejoice at the treason and ignore the deceptions.

    Yep, the new America is great.

    1. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, isn't the new America great?

      I have no problem with capitalism basically. The concept provides incentive for people to do and anchieve. It just has to be remembered that it is voracious beast that has to be chained with a leash as to how far it may go.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Not bad.  You do realize, though, that the leash needs to be more than an inch long?  Not 30 feet, but more than an inch?

        1. Credence2 profile image80
          Credence2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

          The problem with conservatives is that you all think ANY imposed restraint is "too much"...You can be damned sure that restraint is necessary at some point, we can agree on that.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image77
            Kathryn L Hillposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            We do agree on what we are taxed. Who agreed to the ACA fines?? Was it put to vote?????

    2. profile image0
      ahorsebackposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      And so  , you do realize that as a  American , you have the right to apply  for employment in other countries with other forms of government and economies  Right ?  .......Better check before you quit your capitalist job ,   socialism  , communism  man not have a position for you in the  jobforce .

      This thread is a WHAAAaaaaaan capitalism bashing thread ?

    3. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Capitalism is the art of buying and selling at mutually agreeable prices.  Stealing only happens when one party does not agree - something that is not a part of capitalism.  I trust you do not need a definition of "steal".

      If 23 million people are losing their ObamaCare insurance that was paid for from tax revenues they aren't losing much.  I know - we had one of those worthless "insurance" plans that did no good at all, except give an excuse for liberals to pat themselves on the back for their "good" work in providing profits to insurance companies.

      Sure wish somebody would, or even could for that matter, provide any proof whatsoever that whatever Russia did actually accomplished anything.  They can't but sure aren't shy about saying it's true anyway!

      1. Marisa Wright profile image90
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        "Stealing only happens when one party does not agree".   True, but it IS part of capitalism.   If everyone in the world was a nice person, capitalism would be a great system of give and take.  But it's not.  The motto of capitalism today seems to be "screw the other guy into the ground".

        If both parties to a deal have equal power, then a mutually agreeable price can be struck.  But if the seller has more power than the buyer, it's likely the buyer won't find the price so "agreeable".  And the more power the seller has, the less happy the buyer is likely to be. 

        If the item is non-essential, then the buyer can walk away. But if it's a basic necessity, he has to pay the price, no choice. 

        Similarly with "mutually agreed wages".   When the employer and employee have equal power, it's fine - but when the employer has more power, the employee has to work for peanuts, or not work at all.

        Capitalism is fiercely competitive and the more power the fat cats get, the more they can throw their weight around, and the less power the average person has. 

        I have no idea what the answer is.

    4. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      promisem, you had me struggling for a moment there... how the hell do I even start to address such an outrageous lead statement.

      I'm thinking, "this guy has to know what that lead-off does for the credibility of his following points..." Then it dawned on me! CLICKBAIT!

      That outrageous opening line was just clickbait to get eyes on the rest of the points in your tirade.

      Whew... I almost clicked the [READ MORE] link.


      1. profile image0
        promisemposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I was just in the mood to provoke some people. Can't a guy have some fun now and then?

        1. GA Anderson profile image90
          GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Well then ... mission accomplished. I thought you were serious.

          You must have been having a real blast by the time you got down to Putin's spy agencies. ;-)


    5. Kathryn L Hill profile image77
      Kathryn L Hillposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Vladimir Putin's spy agencies (which ones?)
      and billionaire Libertarians (who are they?)
      spread propaganda (?) that gets Donald Trump elected. (How?)
      His voters (Conservatives, Republicans, some Independents and some Democrats rejoice at the treason (what treason????)
      and ignore the deceptions. (what deceptions?)

      How come Trump objectors seldom have details or specifics?

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        "How come Trump objectors seldom have details or specifics?"

        Because it's about spin and sensationalism producing emotional responses rather than facts.

      2. Will Apse profile image89
        Will Apseposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Ever thought about googling stuff?

        Here is a little help … p;ie=UTF-8 … bertarians

        You get the idea.

        You cannot complain of ignorance in the information age.

  2. Will Apse profile image89
    Will Apseposted 6 years ago

    Capitalism has its pluses and minuses. At present the minuses probably outweigh the pluses, purely because of the climate change issue. Endangering the entire future of our civilization just so a few Americans can increase their billions is insane.

    And democracy which is designed to force the powerful be more than brutal self-advancers is obviously going through a bad patch.

    I suppose we should be grateful that Trump and his hordes are going to reduce the impact of the US worldwide pretty sharply.

  3. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 6 years ago

    The basics of capitalism have been around since the first time a cave-man traded his club for a   pound of ground beef hamburger ,   --- I will give you this if you will give me that ----. Part and parcel to every economy known to man .     Sure beats the heck out of a socialism where  all of the clubs and all of the ground beef burgers are confiscated by the mayor and "equally distributed " to the masses .    Or someone whips you on the back and says 'hurry up and plant that corn ".

  4. Nathanville profile image93
    Nathanvilleposted 6 years ago

    Capitalism is not theft. 

    Capitalism is an essential part of the economy.  The type and level of political control of capitalism has a profound economic and social effect on the whole of Society.

    Different governments use different economic models as part of their political ideology and as part of their management of the economy; the extent and form to which capitalism plays a role is dependent on the politics of the government in power.

    In classical political economics how capitalism is used and applied in an economy marks the main distinction between ‘Capitalist’ and ‘Socialist’ Governments:-

    •    The classic ‘Capitalist’ model of applied capitalism in a social economy is the principle of ‘From Top Down’.

    •    The classic ‘Socialist’ model of applied capitalism in a social economy is the principle of ‘From Bottom Up’.

    In the former model the attitude is that it’s the businesses that make the money (wealth) and in doing so they will employ more people as they flourish, and that this will filter down through the economy; ultimately taking people off the doll and making everybody better off.

    The latter model is based on the belief that wealthy businesses pass only the minimal share of their profits to their employees (the workers who helped to make that wealth) so it doesn’t have any real positive economic or social impact e.g. by keeping wages low.   This ‘Bottom Up’ model also recognises the fact that the poorest in society have a greater propensity to spend ‘disposable income’, which in turn increases demand and consequently boosts economic growth; ultimately creating greater wealth for businesses who in turn increases employment to meet the greater demand for their goods or services (Supply and Demand); all of which leads to increased tax revenue for the government, more profits for the businesses, and less poverty.

    Which model you believe in ‘Top Down’ or ‘Bottom Up’ depends on your political views.

    A Laissez-faire government would be an extreme form of the ‘top down’ model; while the ‘bottom up’ model would put greater importance on the minimum wage and other social reforms (paid for through taxes).

    In European Politics, all political parties recognise the need for capitalism; including the socialist parties, which is what distinguishes socialism from communism e.g. mixed economy rather than state control.

    The right wing parties in Europe are more disposed to the ‘Top Down’ principle and advocate more in the way of free enterprise, while the left wing parties are more disposed to the ‘Bottom Up’ principle and more inclined to support nationalised industries for essential services e.g. NHS and Network Rail in Britain.  The centralist parties in Europe, such as the Liberals (Democrats), believe in both principles with equal weight (mixed economy).  Both right wing and left wing political parties tend to have more radical political policies, whereas the Liberal Democrat policies are more moderate.

    One other major difference between European and American politics is that Laissez-faire economics carries little favour with right wing political parties in Europe.


    My Political Views:  As some will know, I am a Socialist, the two main socialist parties in England being Labour and Green; with the Green being more left wing than the Labour party.  Although I’m also quite happy supporting the Liberal Democrats because some of their political polices overlap with socialism.


    At school the political and economically oriented exams I passed which contributed towards the qualifications I needed to get a respectable job included ‘British Constitution’ (National Government), and ‘Commerce’ (Local Government). 

    At college, the political and economically oriented qualifications I obtained through study and examination, which helped towards promotion, included Economics, Economic History, Statistics, Business Accounts and Business Law (as part of a two year Business Administration course).

    1. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That was a very succinct and easily understood explanation nathanville. I would have probably used twice the words and still been only half as clear.

      How about your personal opinion, for my personal gain.  On a horizontal scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being USA-style capitalism, and 10 being something like Denmark's model....

      Where would you rate Britain? 

      My American perspective would put you around a 3.5. (I wanted to say 4, but the strength and clout of your financial industries cause me to waffle a bit)

      As a side note, on the scale of nations, I would also say it is only a mixed economy that can be successful. Of course it is up to the nation's citizens to decide on the proper mix for them.


    2. Nathanville profile image93
      Nathanvilleposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      HI GA, your choice of Denmark as a benchmark is very prudent e.g. with international recognition of Denmark being a near perfect model.

      Notwithstanding that any figure I give can only be subjective without a detailed statistical analyses using clearly definable and factually variable key markers.  My first instinct (gut feeling) was to put Britain somewhere in the middle of the scale e.g. between 4 and 6.  Over the years I’ve come to trust my instincts (first reaction) as they tend to be more accurate than if I spend too much time thinking about something without checking the facts (Reality Check). 

      In this respect I considered your example of the strength and clout the UKs financial industries.  I assumed that by ‘clout’ you meant the influence the financial industries have over politicians and Government.  If I’ve understood you correctly, then on this point my opinion is that Britain (like most of Europe) is far more like Denmark than the USA. 

      I base my assumption on my perception that in the USA politicians are in the pockets of big businesses; which in Britain and across Europe is not the case.  The four key elements in the UK to separate politicians and Government from the influence of businesses are:-

      •    Strict laws and limits on political funding.
      •    The Register of Invested Interests in Parliament.
      •    Cross Party Select Committees, and
      •    Government Transparency.

      The first two are policed by the ‘Electoral Commission’; the last item is government policy to publish everything and make it available on the web (except defence and security), and to televise everything they can ‘live’ in Parliament.  Albeit, watching the Parliamentary channel on cable TV is often like watching paint dry. 

      The Select Committees, made up of members from all political parties, and members from the House of Lords, are independent of the Government.  Not only can they question the Government and Government Ministers on specific points, and top civil servants if a Government Department has failed in its duty; but they can (and do) also call CEOs of large private businesses to answer questions in public where a large company has acted irresponsibly against the public interest.

      There is nothing preventing a politician from having an invested interest in a private business, but he or she has to declare that interest in the ‘Register’ so that his or her actions in Parliament can be viewed in context of his or her invested interest (transparency).

      The biggest control is the Electoral Commission.  The Electoral Commission is an ‘Independent’ Government Body, answerable only to Parliament.  There are lots of ‘Independent Government Bodies’ in the UK to act as ‘watch dog’ over a wide range of areas that are in the ‘Public Interest’.  Although initially setup by Government, their strength is that they are only answerable to Parliament (which includes the House of Lords) so that Government cannot have any influence or control over them.

      Not only does the Electoral Commission lay down strict rules and limits on the financial funding of political parties, but also for any election in the UK the Electoral Commission specify strict rules and limits on funding.  For example in the 2015 General Election the Electoral Commission set a limit of £30,700 ($39,308) that each candidate can legally spend on their campaign; and following the election all candidate’s expenditure has to be audited by the Electoral Commission.

      In this respect, following a fraud investigation on the 2015 General Election by the Electoral Commission, it was discovered that the Conservative Party failed to declare £275,813 ($353,153) spending costs in their campaign; and consequently were fined £70,000 ($89,630) for a breach of rules.  The documentation the Electoral Commission had compiled during their own investigation was then passed onto the police who were doing their own criminal investigation into this; albeit, after more than 18 months investigation the police eventually decided not to prosecute.

      The other aspect of the relationship between the Government and Financial Institutions in the UK is the Legislation the Labour Government introduced to control the financial sector following the world-wide financial crisis in 2008.  This Legislation was refined by the Conservative Government, after they came into power, with the introduction of the ‘Financial Services Act 2012’.

      Under the Conservatives ‘Financial Services Act 2012’ three ‘Independent’ bodies were created.  The first two within the Bank of England and the third one ‘independent’ of the Bank of England; with the latter two being overseen by the first.  The three new bodies being:-

      •    Financial Policy Committee (FPC),
      •    Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and
      •    Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

      The FPC (part of the Bank of England) overseas the PRA & FCA, and has responsibility to approve candidates applying for position in financial companies that’s considered to be ‘significant influence functions’ (SIF).  As part of this process the FCA (below) has the right to veto individual candidates e.g. between 2011 and 2013 39 applicants to senior posts in financial institutions had their applications withdrawn.

      The PRA (part of the Bank of England) has the responsibility for supervising the safety and soundness of individual financial companies.

      The FCA (independent of the Bank of England) is tasked with protecting consumers from sharp practices, and making sure workers in the financial services sector comply with rules.


      So in the light of the above (at this point) I would put my arbitrary and subjective score at around ‘6’ on the scale.

      What are select committees and how do they work?

      1. GA Anderson profile image90
        GA Andersonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks nathanville, maybe I should have gone with that first thought of a "4 or 4.5."



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