Is Today's Capitalism Different From Our Grandfather's Capitalism

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  1. GA Anderson profile image91
    GA Andersonposted 9 months ago

    Peterstreep posted a thought about today's capitalism being different, (and the implication was that it is more dangerous), than the capitalism of the early 20th Century.
    Here is what he said:


    On the basics, I disagree, I think it is the same game, just with different players and boundaries. But in a consideration of degrees, and with the evolution of Global financial markets, I think there are differences in societal impact.

    I think a totally free market is too Darwinian for our evolved, (speaking as an American), society, but I also think a too regulated semi-free market, (as in Democratic Socialism), is too stifling.  Of course, that has been our political struggle since Theodore Roosevelt's time.

    Where to draw the line for our society as we, (meaning each of us), want it to be.

    Obviously, most know my leanings, (I consider myself a Conservative, but for the labels sticklers, I actually fall into the Classic Liberalism basket), what are yours?

    GA

    1. Ken Burgess profile image89
      Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      Much of the turmoil we see today in the world is attributable to two major forces...

      The drive of International bodies to create a One World government based on Socialism (see the CCP for what it would look like on a global scale).

      And the drive (greed) of International corporations.

      International bodies (UN, WB, IMF, IBA/IIB) have no loyalties to Sovereign Nations, and no particular preference for Freedom & Liberty of the Individual.

      International corporations care about the bottom line, profits.  They want cheap labor, they want cheap materials, and they want control over the politicians so they can get cheap labor and cheap materials.

      Without the Capitalist System however... humanity will stagnate and eventually fail, like all predominantly Socialist systems do.

      Without the system we have had, there would be no Elon Musk... no Tesla, no Space X.  There would be no Amazon and Jeff Bezos, there would have been no Steve Jobs and Apple.

      If those with the best ideas and best products are not rewarded, we will never see the level of advances and growth we enjoy today.

      The Capitalist system rewards those who create our latest EVs and latest cell phones and latest medical breakthrough.  And that in turn ensures the best and brightest are motivated to continue to advance humanity forward... progress.

      Its a crappy system... and the International bodies and corporations are growing in power to the point where they are jeopardizing civilization itself... but there is no alternative that has worked nearly as well, or benefited nearly as many.

      1. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        I agree that Capitalism is the best system found so far, and it is the one system that has elevated the prosperity of people and nations.

        When I say that I don't think Capitalism has changed it is the basic concept that I am speaking about. Capitalism is simply a system of risk and reward. It was that way in Standard Oil's time and it is that way now in the time of Space X.

        However, I do think the operation of Capitalism in today's societies has changed—in the magnitude of its power of influence. Such as the Global aspects you mention.

        I think life is the same game, one of risk and reward. That's why Capitalism works so well, it matches our nature.

        GA

      2. crankalicious profile image95
        crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Ken, I really do enjoy a lot of your stuff and agree with much of it. I'm just so disappointed when you veer off into your QAnon inspired conspiracy theories.

        I'm not sure I fear a global economy as much as you or the idea of America helping other nations grow their economies and general global free trade, but given how much China manipulates and controls a lot of the global economy, I do agree that we aren't operating in a fair system right now.

        And it's strange how you decry greedy corporations. Their power to change everything on a whim is a little scary.

        1. Ken Burgess profile image89
          Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          I don't know what QAnon really is, I waste no time on it, it is less relevant in my life than NPR, which I haven't listened to in years,

          I wouldn't say I "fear" the topics I brought up, I recognize that we will switch over to a digital currency system like China has, switch to a Social Credit system like China has, and when there is a greater Internationally recognized authority that is higher than our Federal Government, it will come at the expense of freedoms and liberties we take for granted today.

          Recognizing what is to come, is not the same as fearing it.

          1. crankalicious profile image95
            crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Ken,

            You seem to throw in the occasional comment about pedophilia. QAnon believes there's a giant child sex-trafficking ring run by Satan worshippers. They also are the purveyors of the Deep State that exists to bring down President Trump. The cabal is formed by Democrats, people in Hollywood, and others.

            1. Ken Burgess profile image89
              Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              I would put it into another perspective.

              The Democrats have become the party of the Rich, Elites, and Revolutionaries.

              The Hollywood stars, the Athletes, the media... the lion's share of them are all Democrats, and push the agenda.

              The Democrats are no longer the Party of the working class, they denounce the police, they push division, racism, sexism, every chance they get.

              Pedophiles are another issue all together... but it certainly is that there are some "Progressive" groups pushing for its normalcy in our society.

              It certainly doesn't surprise me there is some group out there pushing such an extremist viewpoint that you attribute to QAnon... no more surprising than CNN spending years creating a story about how Trump is a Russian puppet and Putin is pulling his strings.

              1. crankalicious profile image95
                crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                I haven't seen anything about progressive groups trying to legitimize pedophilia. Usually, that's a dog whistle for anti-gay propaganda.

                However, we do know for sure that QAnon supporters are winning races in GOP districts and that QAnon is not quite that fringe anymore.

                I think the CNN point is relevant. Our news media, in an effort to get viewers (not unlike some of the arguments in this forum) goes to extremes. They try to rile up their viewership, like people in the forum try to rile up each other by making polarizing points.

                It always seemed the issue with CNN was providing the evidence that the Russia investigation was legitimate and not a hoax. The argument ended up being between legitimate and hoax, which was a win for Trump. So CNN went to the extreme to try to pull the argument toward the middle. Didn't work.

                1. Ken Burgess profile image89
                  Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                  There is a vast difference between your perceptions and my own.

                  You say there was something between legitimate and hoax with CNN's reporting, I see CNN's reporting as suspect propaganda, all the time, there was nothing legitimate about Russiagate, every charge against Trump was fabricated.

                  The only ones who were colluding with the Russians and Ukrainians were the Clintons and Bidens, of which there has been plenty of evidence, from Uranium One to Burisma.

                  Same for pedophilia, Clinton and Epstein, a prime example of where there is plenty of evidence, it has nothing to do with it being a 'dog whistle' for anything else.

                  Denying that these issues are legitimate and trying to claim they tie me to some extremist group to me its a sign of lack of sincerity and an effort to slander not just the topic, but the person bringing it up.

                  I imagine most who read these posts see through it as well as I do.

                  1. crankalicious profile image95
                    crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                    I'm not trying to tie you to anything, but your statements mirror what we see from QAnon and what our own FBI has said is Russian propaganda. The legitimacy of the Russia investigation has been proved by a Congressional bi-partisan commission. If I'm tying you to something, then you are doing the same by saying I am providing false information to support a hoax and am part of a conspiracy.

                    And surely you've seen the pictures of Trump and Epstein? I absolutely hope Ghislaine Maxwell coughs up all her secrets. And if Clinton is implicated, he should be put in prison. Anyone who knew what Epstein was doing should be put in prison forever. Hopefully, that statement is pretty clear on my feeling about pedophilia. I don't care whether Democrats or Republicans were involved.

                    The issue here that's concerning is that, like many people, we have completely opposite views on a subject and are both consulting totally different news sources. Among the many that I have consulted are CNN, The Washington Post, The Hill, Politico, NPR, and The Washington Examiner, and The New York Times. Those, along with the FBI and Congress. I feel like I'm on pretty solid ground.

                    That you are repeating what, as others have pointed out, is Russian propaganda, has to be addressed. The original story about Biden and Burisma was put out by Russia.

                    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/08 … usion.html

                    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/mostl … forts-role

                    Among the things the report details is Paul Manafort's direct work with a Russian intelligence agent.

                    How is that a hoax? If Obama was working secretly with Russian intelligence, would that not be grounds for impeachment? Does Russia have our best interests at heart? What about Russian interference in the 2016 elections? I mean, this seems to be so ho-hum to many people. If it's a hoax, it's a vast conspiracy that reaches every level of government and society and involves a large number of news organizations.

                    I don't think your sources are remotely reliable. You don't trust mine. How do we as Americans get out of this? We clearly need some kind of source most of us can believe is accurate or I think our Democracy will come to an end.

                    I really am trying to discuss ideas, Ken. You're clearly a smart guy with a really interesting background. I hear the Republican stoking fear at their convention that if Democrats take over, it's the end of the Republic. I certainly fear the opposite.

                    This takes me back to the days of George W. Bush and Dems calling him a Nazi. How do we get out of these extremes and start discussing issues instead of politics? When the discussion devolves into politics, it seems almost worthless from any angle.

                    Sharlee and I were discussing bankruptcy and our tolerance for how much state control of failure we're willing to accept. To me, what's clear from that discussion is that if we discuss ideas, we can advance as citizens and as a society. If we discuss politics, we all seem to lose.

                  2. Credence2 profile image81
                    Credence2posted 9 months agoin reply to this

                    Its funny, Ken

                    When Trump was ask about Qanon and their extremist kooky beliefs, he said that they were all ok as they supported him.

                    So, he and his party are the ones to look to in regards to the best interests of the nation? When I listen to the scare tactics used to associate Democrats with protests featuring Bonnie and Clyde McClosky representing a overall conservative phobia in regards to both race and social class, what kind of message is this? These two were allowed to speak, taking up valuable time? Given such a prominent place, what were they suppose to represent regarding Trump and the attitude of the GOP?

                    GOP scares the scoccer mom with an idea that low income housing are to be built in their neighborhoods.

                    Several dog-whistles that can be heard by people if you listen carefully.

                    Their theme is beware of the attacking hoard, threatening the established order, be it fair and just or not. Western Civilization is made to appear as synonymous with white supremacy, but is preferred to be race and ethnic neutral and to define the struggle in these terms.

                    Their bigotry and xenophobia is lumped under the title "Socialism".

                    I will take the opinions of a more culturally and ethnic diverse group of people over one fixated on the paranoid fears of just one group.

    2. CHRIS57 profile image61
      CHRIS57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

      I suggest you read the "Communist Manifest" from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It is a small booklet, comprised of 2 parts. Part 1 is a thorough economic and social analysis of the capitalist society in the 19th century. Part 2 is the political part, you can skip that.

      For part 1: If you replace steam engines of 1850 by lets say artificial intelligence of 2020, if you replace steel production of the 19th century with industrial robot output of the 2000s, essentially nothing has changed. The analysis was as valid in 1850 as it is in 2020.

      What has changed is the economic basics. 100 years ago much more effort was needed to manufacture something. Probably more than 30% of the economy was used to produce. 75% were service. Today technical progress has reduced the product sector to less than 15%, giving 85% to service. So production is more prone to be monopolized. Already happening as only few economies are left to be the factories of the world.

      And in our globally connected world it is easier to trade production than to trade service. It simply doesn´t make sense to order a sizzling pizza baked in Milwaukee, if you live in Paris, France. However you can order a barrel of beer and have it shipped. Beer is product, pizza making is service (if not deep frozen in the supermarket).

      Even in the middle ages there was betting on the future of resource markets (how good or bad next years grain harvest would be). We have a different level today but no real change.  Actually companies like Uber reflect this betting game.

      Marx and Engels concluded that capitalism is always in crisis. I would say: capitalism is like a car race on a gravel road. You do best if you keep the car unstable, have wheels spinning. There is much power needed and people on the sidelines may get hurt by debree. The socialist way is like a paved road. Relaxed driving. Only problem is: you can´t make offroad shortcuts, which are sometimes necessary for progress.

      1. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        We seem to agree that the basics of Capitalism haven't changed Chris57.

        I like your paved road vs. gravel road analogy, but instead of thinking of it as a difference between having the opportunity of "shortcuts," I would describe as the difference between having the opportunity of choices. I think our human nature requires us to have the opportunity of choice to be happy in life.

        That same analogy might also work to describe a well-mixed system—capitalism with some socialist aspects; a main paved road with unlimited gravel road off-shoots. When any particular off-shoot becomes heavily traveled it will end up getting paved and becoming an artery of the main paved road.

        And rather than "sometimes necessary" I think they are always necessary. Change is life.

        GA

      2. Ken Burgess profile image89
        Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Actually if you read that, you will realize how short sighted Marx was, as well as limited in his understanding of how economics truly work.

        When he wrote that, he thought mankind's advancement had reached his pinnacle, and what he advocated for ensured there would be stagnation, not advancement.

        Follow Marx's ideas, and you never see AI or Robots, because there will be no systemic push of incentives and competition for anyone to bother creating them.

        Entrepreneurial Capitalism transformed America, and it transformed China, that is the power of a merit and reward based system.  You can't achieve a great civilization without it.

        Socialism without Entrepreneurial Capitalism and competition ensures a civilization's demise.  Always.

        1. GA Anderson profile image91
          GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          "Entrepreneurial Capitalism transformed America, and it transformed China, that is the power of a merit and reward based system.  You can't achieve a great civilization without it.

          Socialism without Entrepreneurial Capitalism and competition ensures a civilization's demise.  Always."


          yeah, but I said it first  . . . ;-)

          GA

        2. CHRIS57 profile image61
          CHRIS57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Whoever writes about AI or robots today to measure the state of development will probably be belittled in 50 years, when other future indicators will be more appropriate.
          Does not mean that Marx analytical works are wrong "Histomat" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_materialism or "Dialectical Mat" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectical_materialism
          On the contrary, these analytics are a good toolbox to understand what is happening today.

          The controversy about Marx and Engels is IMHO not on their diagnostics, but on the cure, they prescribed.

          To return to the topic "Capitalism". Basic definition is: The means for work, the tools to create value add are in private hands. These means are not owned by workers, employees. So workers can not participate in the value add (productivity) as a whole, but only to the portion that was bargained to be the salary.
          By this definition not much has changed over decades and centuries. Always look at the added value that is created and who benefits. Brush off the paint (AI, steam engines..) and it is always the same story.
          In central Europe in past 3 centuries craftsmen (masons, bricklayers, carpenters...) owned their own tools (hammers, ..) for their work. Masters  organised work for the craftsmen and added their own tools (workshops) to create value add. What is different to companies like Uber, who also don´t own part of the value add chain (cars, drivers) but do the organising.

          For most of my life i am a capitalist in the true sense of the definition. I have people work for me, while i supply the means, the workshop, the infrastructure, the organisation. I benefit from the whole value add chain, while employees only get salary.

          Yet, to understand the system, to know how to run a business, to predict how markets will behave, what structural changes will occur, where begins entrepreneurship and where it ends with exploitation, until this very day i cherish the analytical works of Marx and Engels.

          1. Ken Burgess profile image89
            Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Perhaps deliberately so, perhaps they understood well enough, that what they prescribed as solutions would actually be more akin to slavery for all except a small minority of the chosen elite/ruling class.

            There are those who can lead, and those who cannot, there are those with the intellectual capacity to handle a variety of demands and complete a complex amount of transactions or tasks, and those that can barely be counted on to fill out a form correctly.

            There are those who will work hard all day long without complaint, and those that will work hard all day long to avoid working.

            Their beliefs put into action, in Russia, in China, as examples, brought about the deaths of tens of millions of people, and eventually led to stagnation and starvation.

            China was revived and its people have thrived, during the last 30 years due to acceptance of the Capitalist system.

            Its not perfect, but its the best system out of all of them, if you believe technological, standard of living, medical advances to be important.

    3. peterstreep profile image82
      peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      Thank you for posting thins GA, as the comment was off-topic where it was posted.
      What I wanted to say is not to think directly along the lines of capitalism vs socialism. Both systems don't work as pure ideology. Nothing works as pure ideology. And I'm allergic to those pure ideologies as they are dangerous.
      China can't be seen as a socialist country. And to be honest I don't know if such a country exists. Cuba was boycotted so badly that you can not say if it worked or not as the economy and society were sabotaged from the outside.
      Chili was under Pinochet a country with a free market and an example to Milton Friedman. I don't think we want that kind of capitalism.
      To me the biggest problem of capitalism today is the thought that a country needs growth to evolve.
      The growth of making products, selling them, dispose of them, making them again and selling them. This with producing them as cheaply as possible and selling them with as much profit as possible. In other words, using slave labor and child labour in Africa to produce your chocolate bar. To give an example. The same for making clothes and what al not.
      And so the growth mentality of capitalism is eating resources at an alarming rate creating the huge problem of the Climate Crisis we face.
      Rainforests are cut down in sizes of countries to grow crops for the cattle that we eat. The oceans have floating plastic islands nowadays!!
      We have huge problems today and that's why I think we have to rethink the way capitalism works today. Not with solutions of Marx and Engels, as they focus on labour and the market. But with solutions focused on resources and work and living space. And how our relationship is with the environment.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        "And so the growth mentality of capitalism is eating resources at an alarming rate creating the huge problem of the Climate Crisis we face."

        Is the root of this in capitalism or in greed?  Greed for what we don't have, but want to have?

        I see this as more of a cultural thing than capitalism, for whether capitalism or socialism (even the textbook socialism of govt. owned businesses), the people still want more than they have an demand that they get it.  As a result they still demand low prices (and the devil with whoever is producing it) because they can have more that way.

        Short sighted and destructive, yes, but that doesn't come from the form of economy - it comes directly from the desire for more than we currently have.

        1. peterstreep profile image82
          peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Ah greed. Yes that's one important factor.
          Is the root of this in capitalism or in greed?  Greed for what we don't have, but want to have?
          I think you answered it. It is a grait motivator and a core threat of capitalism.
          The whole market place is to let you buy new stuff. All the ads are there for you to want something. The new iPhone, the new trousers, the new app. It is a mentality highly pushed and supported by capitalism.
          Products are made to break, so you will buy new ones. Lightbulbs used to last for decades. Now they last for hours. (as the package proudly tells you)
          The capitalism of today is a monster. It literally destroys the earth.
          That's why I think we have to rethink capitalism. As there are alternatives. Like a capitalistic system that is not based on eternal growth but for instance on sustainability.
          One such a model is becoming more popular, the doughnut model.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            "I think you answered it. It is a grait motivator and a core threat of capitalism."

            The point was that it was a great motivator for ANY economic or political system.  Socialism, capitalism, dictatorship - whatever, the greed for more than we have is a great motivator.  Consider that Islam has been fighting greed (greed of women to be educated, to drive, to walk free) and it isn't even an economic OR governmental system. 

            One can also point out that it is greed that produces more, new, products for humanity, AND that they become available more readily under capitalism.  Whether brand new CAT scanner technology, a better phone system or most anything else, capitalism will spread it to people faster than socialism, for the incentive to earn more money is a great motivator for many people.  A positive, then, to greed.

            As far as built in deterioration - I have never seen, in 70 years, a lightbulb that would last for decades under reasonable usage. I grew up with incandescent bulbs and they were seldom good for even one year, never decades.  I HAVE seen cars (nearly all of them) that have gone from an expected lifespan of 100,000 miles to double that. 

            I have also seen many things that are NOT being built to last.  A household freezer used to be good for 10+ years; now they MIGHT make a decade.  I am using a window style air conditioner that was purchased and put into service in about 1965; try THAT with a modern one.

            But again, to blame it on capitalism is unfair.  It comes from greed, the desire to sell more products...AND from the shortsighted greed of consumers that look at only the price tag and noting else.

            1. peterstreep profile image82
              peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              (greed of women to be educated, to drive, to walk free)
              That's a sentence I do not understand. As I don't think greed has anything to do with it. Power to control women yes, not greed.
              It is easier to find examples under capitalism of greed then under socialism or other isms. Because greed is a great motivator to buy things. So capitalism benefits by greediness. Socialism less so.
              The story of the long-lasting lightbulb versus the modern short-lived one is an example of cartel contracts. And a classic example of why it's better when things break and thrown away for consumerism then things that last a long time.
              https://www.newyorker.com/business/curr … lt-to-last

              I do not think to blame capitalism is unfair. Capitalism simply should not be worshiped as a great system that is untouchable and infallible.
              To go back to the core of the thread: Is capitalism of today different than the capitalism of 70 years ago? I think, yes. I think it went out of control with companies that can buy entire countries. Apples Market Capital was in 2019 bigger than the GPD of the Netherlands!! Bigger then from Indonesia or Mexico! Great for Apple you could say, it surely is. But is there anybody who is controlling Mega companies like Apple, Google, Facebook. Like we vote for a government that in the end organizes the law and structure of a country. Who is voting for what Apple and Google is doing? The shareholders? Don't think so. Still, such big companies are part of our lives too. They shape the world but without anybody voting for the direction the world is going to. This may sound philosophical but capitalism is a huge concept that not only touches money but also how a society is organized.
              That's why you can blame capitalism for the climate breakdown. You can blame it the huge division between super-rich and poor - "8 men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam" -

              I think it is something to think about.
              Not that I have a direct answer, but I think it's not bad to be critical.

      2. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        No worries Peterstreep, I didn't take your comment as a Capitalism vs. Socialism thought. To be clear, this statement matches my own thoughts:

        "Nothing works as pure ideology. And I'm allergic to those pure ideologies as they are dangerous."

        But . . . we begin to part ways in the rest of your comment. I firmly believe that without growth—whether as an individual or a nation—stagnation begins, and with stagnation comes regression. So, I think a nation must have growth to evolve. Growth is not a bad thing.

        Your "slave labor" thought is a good illustration of the need for a regulated Free Market. I am only a semi-Darwinian, so I believe a beneficial Free Market will require some regulation, but I also believe that regulation should be as little as possible. So I could accept market regulation that prohibits the use of slave and child labor but not regulation that prohibits manufacturing in Africa.

        You closed with a thought I can heartily agree with:

        "Not with solutions of Marx and Engels, as they focus on labour and the market. But with solutions focused on resources and work and living space. And how our relationship is with the environment."

        Now, all we have to do is find the balance between what's required to achieve those solutions and still maintain a Free Market. Easy Peasy.

        GA

      3. Castlepaloma profile image74
        Castlepalomaposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Peterstreep and Nathan ville, I am mostly a fan of you two as we think much alike. I am not in the viscious circle of politics or religion. I have faith in the people's Gross national product of happiness. Mostly to do about our health and what we can forget.

        Forget wars, the greedy corporation and allow A- holes to be A-holes. I stepped up to happiness in Nova Scotia Canada and winters in Latin America. Keep it up you two, I'll take notes.

        1. peterstreep profile image82
          peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Same to you Castlepaloma, always good to hear read your input and point of view.
          Yes, I think it's not a bad idea to put the Gross National Product of Happiness. (GNPH) into the mix when restructuring capitalism. As many tend to speak only about profit and loss, but never look at the consequences of the free market capitalsim.

          1. Castlepaloma profile image74
            Castlepalomaposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Many don't know the difference between corporation-ISM and capitalism, not a fan of nationism or isms. I am for cooperation and free trade making no harm as the only rule.

    4. Miebakagh57 profile image50
      Miebakagh57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

      My perspective focus on  Africa, a "happy state of paradise." Here capitalise is shared equally on equal contribution.       Then, enter for example, Her Majesty the Queen. Capitalise and creed become friends.    Seriously, if an individual can not contribute the equal or fair share, it turns up from the nuclear family. This place a check and balace system. No one is super rich or super poor.                    The British introduction of the Bible and Plough Policy, and later the Gun Boat  Diplomacy create instability into the balance.         From 1900 forest products with forced labor sent to. Britain, for products like margarine, and others, and laler export to the same Africa to exploit the people further.                 I prefer the old over the modern, though many advantages hold good of the later.

    5. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      I was taught about the rules of supply and demand as a child.
      However I've come to see that oftentimes they really don't apply. For example there have been instances where when the demand for oil dropped but the price remained high due to investor speculation in the market or because oil producers (chose) to cut back on production.

      Being able to "manipulate" the supply isn't pure capitalism in my opinion.
      The same is true with government subsidies paid out to tip the scales.
      In addition the fed raises/cuts interest rates to manipulate the economy.

      Last but not least in the past most businesses that were launched made products and employed people in their own country. Most of the huge companies today are "service industries" or marketing tools.

      For example Amazon is nothing more than a eCommerce site and order fulfillment center, Facebook and other social media sites earn their money from (sponsored advertisers) hoping to have their ads clicked on.

      Some individuals actually earn money for being "influencers" because they have millions of followers on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram.
      Companies will pay them for being seen using their product online.
      Others have made money from creating apps/games for cell phones.

      Software and search engines which make finding information faster or even sites like Yelp which simply is a forum site for consumers to post reviews on other businesses and their services is the new capitalism.

      The "Gig economy" such as Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and DoorDash essentially create jobs whereby individuals use their own car as taxis and delivery services and do not receive any of the traditional benefits associated with traditional jobs such as sick time/holiday pay/vacation. Essentially they are "contractors" and not actual employees.
      The business is basically a "matchmaking service" for consumers.

      We see a similar business model with digital publications and websites which solicit writers to provide the content for little or no pay and the site charges advertisers based upon number of monthly visitors or clicks the writers of the articles generate by "sharing it" on their social media sites.

      Older manufacturing companies seek to cut cost by building plants in foreign countries. Today's capitalism is more tied to stock market performance than creating jobs or benefiting the masses in some way.

      These are not the traditional brick and mortar type of businesses that were once associated with capitalism in past eras.

      On the bright side there are more millionaires and billionaires than ever before and they're younger too!

      1. Nathanville profile image95
        Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Interesting you should mention Uber.  Uber is having a tough time in the UK: 

        •    Uber have been fighting a five year legal battle in the UK over the issue of whether Uber drivers are employees; which reached the Supreme Court last month. 

        •    And simultaneously Uber was fighting a three year legal battle in London, against TfL (Transport for London) who has consistently refused to grant Uber a licence to operate in London on the grounds that Uber are not "fit and proper" as a licence holder.

        In the former, Uber was originally taken to an Employment Tribunal by Uber drivers back in 2015 under the ‘Employment Rights Act of 1996’ on the grounds that their drivers are employees.  In the UK the Employment Tribunals is a Free Government Service run by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), an ‘Independent Government’ Department, and their services are FREE to all.

        Uber lost their case in the Employment Tribunal, and have constantly lost in every Appeal Court since; currently the case is being considered by the Supreme Court.  If Uber loses then in the UK they will have to give all their drivers’ full employees’ rights under UK law e.g. six weeks paid holiday a year (vacation), minimum legal wage, paternity and maternity paid leave for expectant mothers and fathers etc.

        ACAS (Government Department) in the UK:  https://youtu.be/1fOsYkxr-UI

        As regards the latter, the TfL (Transport for London) is a Local Government Department in London, responsible for integrating all of London’s public transport, and owns and operates parts of it e.g. the London trains and buses etc.  Albeit taxis in London (the Black Cabs) are private (self-employed), but to operate in London Taxi drivers have to be licenced by the TfL (who have strict Regulations on Standards).  TfL refused Uber a licence to operate in London back in 2017 on the grounds that they are not “fit and proper" as a licence holder; which Uber Appealed, but Uber lost on all its Appeal in the Courts, and lost their final Appeal in February of this year. 

        Although London Taxi Drivers are self-employed:  To become a London Taxi Driver you have to pass a stringent test called ‘The Knowledge’, as explained in the video below:-

        Cracking London’s Legendary Taxi Test:  https://youtu.be/sU4W36_5oiM

        TfL (Transport for London), a Local Government Department:  https://youtu.be/J-_JpmFDeBo

      2. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        I understand, (I think), your perspective dashingscorpio, but I have to disagree. In all the instances you noted you seem to be defining a product as a physical manufactured "thing."

        Facebook, Google, and Amazon are all offering products. Theirs just aren't physical. Their products are still examples of capitalistic trade—an exchange of value, (money), for something, (physical product or service).

        My perspective is that Facebook's service of access is no less a product than Standard Oil's kerosene was.

        I think your examples are still examples of supply and demand.

        GA

    6. crankalicious profile image95
      crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      Of course today's capitalism is different. And the difference is pretty simple: the amount of regulation by government.

      And much of our political battles are over whether it's enough regulation or too much.

      1. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Nope. The degree of regulation is secondary to the question of whether the operation of Capitalism is different.

        Of course, you are right about a change in the regulation of capitalism now vs. our grandfather's day, but the capitalistic concept is still the same.

        I can also agree that the magnitude of capitalism's societal impact has changed, (ie. globalism and the orders of magnitude in monetary values in the financial markets), but the concepts of capitalism are still the same.

        On your last aspect, you are right; that idea of the degree of regulation is exactly the argument that is the root of our poltical differences.

        GA

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Overall, I think you're right; capitalism has remained capitalism.  With one, rather major, exception - it used to be that people could hope, and perhaps expect, to find a company and make a lifelong career out of it.

          Those days are gone; there is no corporate loyalty to employees, only concern with the bottom line.  And as a result (I don't think I'm putting the cart before the horse here) there is no loyalty of employees for employers, either.  Only what is necessary to keep a job...until a better one is found.

          1. GA Anderson profile image91
            GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Well, for the reasons you mentioned, and others. I have changed my mind. Capitalism as a concept hasn't changed, but, with the changes in regulation and the added power of the global market, I think I must consider that capitalism, as we experience it, has changed from our grandfather's time.

            I thought of football as an analogy. Consider the game in our grandfather's time when the only real rules were the out of bounds and number of players on the field. Then consider today's football when there are so many rules that a misplaced arm or foot in a tackle is a broken rule.

            The game is still football; with end zones and passing and kicking, but it is a very different game than our grandfathers watched. I think the changes in capitalism's free market is the same. It is certainly experienced as a different game.

            GA

            1. Ken Burgess profile image89
              Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              Well, perhaps it has been more like the past than we think, but as you say, technology and the speed of transactions, and centralized banking has changed it vastly, much in the way football has been changed.

              Within the last hundred years, with the growth of Central Banking and especially with President Wilson's capitulation and creation of the Federal Reserve (Private Central Bank which profits the richest people on earth) and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service which can tax or ruin any citizen) we have seen the growing inability of people to fully control their lives or their resources.

              2008 was a good example, like a heard of sheep being brought in to be fleeced, tens of millions lost their homes, lost their retirement funds, lost their businesses.  The Banks only got richer for it.

              The same is in the process of occurring now, those that don't recognize it, those that don't have the ability to shift their assets and protect themselves, those who don't understand how to maintain a budget or how debt works, will all be fleeced, starting in earnest as soon as this election is over.

              The problem we have now... and it is a BIG problem... is that they have been able to entwine racism into this 'fleecing'.

              Instead of Americans wanting to hold all the corrupt DC politicians (and the banks) accountable for ruining their lives, they have been brainwashed into taking sides... either blame Trump and the Republicans (whites) who are so evil they need to be destroyed... or defend yourself and your property from these extremist Democrats and BLM, Antifa groups that are trying to burn it all down.

              It is critical to understand, that those that have chosen the "Progressive Left", are intent on this country's destruction as we know it... intent on destroying anyone who opposes them, be they black or white, rich or poor.

              There hasn't been this dangerous a divide, and unwillingness to compromise, since the Civil War.

              I give you the author of the book "How to be an Antiracist" a book that is becoming akin to the bible for those siding with this "movement":

              If the book has a core thesis, it is that this war on racism allows for no neutral parties and no ceasefires.

              For the author Ibram X. Kendi, “there is no such thing as a not-racist idea,” only “racist ideas and antiracist ideas.”

              This outlook extends to policy. “Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity,” Kendi proclaims.

              Given the hypothetical example of a capital-gains tax cut. Most of us think of the capital-gains tax, if we think about it at all, as a policy that is neutral as regards questions of race or racism.

              But given that blacks are underrepresented among stockowners, Kindi when asked, would it be racist to support a capital-gains tax cut?

              “Yes,” Kendi answered, without hesitation. And in case you planned on escaping the charge of racism by remaining agnostic on the capital-gains tax, that won’t work either, because Kendi defines a racist as anyone who supports “a racist policy through their actions or inaction.”

              Pay attention to that, because it is something espoused over and over again in his book, and in his speeches,

              If you are not actively anti-racist... you are a racist.  If you are not a SJW fighting the fight, you are the enemy.  There is no neutral... there is no compromise.

              This is the stance of the Democratic Party, this is what they meant when they said over and over again, speaker after speaker during their 3 day DNC extravaganza that "we must continue the fight" and ""carry on the fight".

              1. Credence2 profile image81
                Credence2posted 9 months agoin reply to this

                "Instead of Americans wanting to hold all the corrupt DC politicians (and the banks) accountable for ruining their lives, they have been brainwashed into taking sides... either blame Trump and the Republicans (whites) who are so evil they need to be destroyed... or defend yourself and your property from these extremist Democrats and BLM, Antifa groups that are trying to burn it all down."

                In reality, the truth lies somewhere in the middle of the extremes. I can't speak for others when I get specific about my views. Which "side" is more likely to actually reduce the influence of money and privilege in our system? Which side has consistently resisted campaign finance reform to minimize the influence of money in the political process? It is the conservatives that have tended to want to let corrupt banks and banking practices off the hook. The candidates that I have supported wanted to lower the boom, and dispense with all the mumbo jumbo. Because of this and other things I remain suspicious of Biden and Democratic Party establishment and, of course, the (GOP) Regressive Right to even a greater extent as it would be against their charter to even consider such ideas. So, whose side am I on?

                I am "progressive left", I never said anything about Revolution our destruction of the country, but I do support change and reform. Is that so radical to support change in the current system, on a continued and all deliberate evolutionary pattern over the status quo?

                This inability to compromise to so great an extent started with the GOP and their resistance to Obama to a man. Yes, we are in trouble.

                Hitler wrote Mein Kamph, so a lot of people have written books. The fact that they have does not necessarily makes its contents credible.

                You are taking an alarmist attitude about a book. Leftists taking over America? poppycock.

                A race neutral stance is by definition not a racist stance.

                The capital gains tax cut is not racist, but can be still considered an injustice from a social economic standpoint.

                When you support racist actions as did "Karen" in Central Park. By action or inaction, it is possible to be an accessory to racist policies and actions.

                In this culture and environment, conscious effort is needed to avoid an attitude and concept so deeply etched in the American psyche. Whether you are aware of it or not, many of you exist in that universe. In opposition to the author of this book, my point is that not ALL actions can be categorized as having racial overtones. If I am fired by my employer for not doing my job well, that is not necessarily racist, it's business.

                As I said, I am Progressive Left and do not agree with all of Kendi's ideas. Kendi  leaves no room or possible alternatives for those that are truly innocent and desire to see things approve and consciously work toward it. The reality and the greater prevalence of race neutrality is given short shrift by the author.

                No one is talking about a second Civil War, Ken. The status quo and your advocacy of it is pretty secure and that seems to be the main theme of both political parties to my great dismay. The powers that be are not in the game to lose, they will ultimately control the extent at which the "boat" may be rocked. The fact that I end up with a Joe Biden in the face of so much "radical left" activity and ideas attests to that.

    7. Credence2 profile image81
      Credence2posted 9 months agoin reply to this

      capitalism, I agree, it is the same game. Today, there a few more protections from its excesses today than there were during the guilded age of the Rockefellers and Carnegies....

      But the tools and methods that has come through technology today has more than made up for what we might have considered a form of restraint against excesses.

      But when it is all weighed out, considering their influence and control of how our government is run, today's Capitalism is worse.

  2. Nathanville profile image95
    Nathanvilleposted 9 months ago

    I can only speak from a European/British perspective; as the mentality of the American Society is far more ‘materialistic’ than in Europe.

    In Britain, since the transformation of the Conservative Party from the Tory Party in 1834 very little of substance in 'capitalism' has changed.

    The basic fundamental economic and social principles of the British Conservative Party today is very much what it was almost 200 years ago; basically as follows:-

    British Conservative philosophy is based on the Principle of ‘Top Down’ economics e.g. the concept of “look after the employer, and the employer will look after the employee”.

    What has changed in Britain has been the progression towards ‘Socialism’.

    In Britain, Liberalism (The Liberal Party) evolved from the old Whig Party between 1852 and 1859.  Liberalism being a tempered form of Capitalism that pays more attention to the Social needs of the less wealthy.

    However, in 1900 the Trade Unions formed the Labour Party, as a Socialist Party that follows the Principle of ‘Bottom Up’ economics e.g. “Look after the employee, and they will help the employer to make wealth”.  The Labour Party didn’t come to power (with a majority Government) in the UK until 1945; and ever since has have had a major impact on the Political, Economic and Social aspects of British Society e.g. the formation of the NHS and Welfare State in 1948.

    Dan Snow's History of the UK Labour Party https://youtu.be/_3A_nChO1G8

    Dan Snow's History of the UK Conservatives Party https://youtu.be/U3fi-IhelrY

    John Cleese's party political broadcast for the UK Liberal Democrats - April 1997 https://youtu.be/9gv4Abt3sZU

    1. GA Anderson profile image91
      GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      I think you nailed it Nathanville; Americans are more materialistic and Europeans are more accepting of socialist concepts.

      GA

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure that Americans are more materialistic than Europeans.

        Much of American "materialism" is expressed in "big boy toys" - giant RV's, 4,000 sq ft homes, huge SUV's, etc. - things that are impractical and very expensive in most of Europe.

        But do Europeans demand the same high end cell phones?  A computer(s) in every home?  Fine dining out on the town?  Beautiful, high speed, rail - something America does not have?  All of these things seem "materialistic" to me...just not in the same fashion that Americans do it, because what Americans buy is not reasonable there.

        1. GA Anderson profile image91
          GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Obviously the point of "more materialistic" can only be one of opinion.

          I stand by mine, even if it is only supported by perception. I think several of your examples fail to meet the mark of the point; high-speed rail, fine dining? They don't seem to fit the context of the materialism of this discussion.

          Now, if Europeans have the same $800 Logo sneakers or "big boy toy" markets as we do then you might have a point. Maybe a European voice will chime in.

          GA

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Absolutely it is opinion.  And only an opinion from one that has spent years in both places (preferably at the same time) can carry much weight.

            High speed rail, fine dining?  Is there a real difference between that and materialism?  Both require expenditures for nothing more than a desire for fine things.

            The sneakers would be a test, but the "big boy toys" aren't, for the reasons I gave.  They simply are not reasonable in much of Europe.  Large RV's, for instance, could hardly navigate the narrow roads of Britain and there are few campgrounds that could handle them.  Where do you operate an ATV in France?  Downtown Paris or in somebody's grape orchard?  And then there's the cost of fuel...

            1. crankalicious profile image95
              crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              I would say capitalism has produced our materialism. We're very much a consumer culture. It's definitely not organic.

            2. GA Anderson profile image91
              GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              yeah, yeah, yeah. But I still disagree that high-speed rail and fine dining fit the context of the "materialistic" aspect of this discussion.

              As for the large RV's in Britain, I immediately got a mental image of a, (although not really an RV), monster truck commanding an entire British roadway as it forced the rest of traffic to scramble out of the way. ;-)

              And an ATV in Paris, (or an orchard), would be a blast. Just picture one roaring in and out of traffic, on and off the sidewalks, with cafe patrons spilling their espresso in their laps, or blasting between the rows of grapevines as pickers scrambled to get out of the way. Yep, sign me up for that one. I would give it a go in a heartbeat.

              GA

              1. Nathanville profile image95
                Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                Yeah, this was our experience when we met an oncoming bus while on holiday in Cornwall a few years ago.....

                When Car Meets Oncoming Bus on a Narrow Cornish Road  https://youtu.be/k3NrXr7WqYY

                1. Miebakagh57 profile image50
                  Miebakagh57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

                  All these essential personal gadgets, eating out alone or with family, the sleek trains, sounds wonderful.

                  1. Nathanville profile image95
                    Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                    Yeah, they have their pros & cons; and as wilderness surmises, there’s too much emphases on material possessions these days.  Certainly they can make life more comfortable; but when on holiday nothing beats ‘peace and quiet’ e.g. just sunbathing on the beach all day listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the sand.

              2. Nathanville profile image95
                Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                This short (3 minute) video, which I published just today, may also be relevant to your comments GA?

                Marginalisation of Bristol Cars:  https://youtu.be/eQnkDjAS_dw

          2. Nathanville profile image95
            Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            Good point GA.  Obviously the ‘Fashion Industry’ in the UK is big business, just like anywhere else in the world; but ‘designer’s clothes’ (and shoes) is a niche market e.g. in the whole of my life I’ve never paid more than £5 ($7) for a pair of shoes.

            However, on your question, this video below may give you your answer on British attitudes towards buying clothes and shoes e.g. most Brits are satisfied in buying their clothes from Marks & Spencers (who sell inexpensive but smart clothing), or similar Retail Stores. 

            COME SHOPPING WITH ME IN M&S (Marks & Spencers):  https://youtu.be/3HhWdBRDasw

        2. Nathanville profile image95
          Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          I didn’t say Europeans are not materialistic, I said Americans are more materialistic than Europeans; I think GA was right when he said “Europeans are more accepting of socialist concepts.

          Yes America has a reputation of everything being ‘Over Sized’; to add to your list are clothes dryers.  In the UK we have combo ‘Washer/Dryers’ that are installed in the kitchen, and which doesn’t need an air vent.

          Regarding Europeans demands for the items referenced in your last paragraph; with respect to the UK:-

          #1:    Mobile Phones (American word cell phone):  These days over 99% of the British population have ‘Smart Phones’ because it is considered an essential part of modern life; even to the point that ‘welfare benefit’ is theoretically set at a level to make it affordable for the socially disadvantaged to have their own smart phones.

          We know a number of people on ‘benefit’ (lower classes), and every single one we know has a ‘smart phone’.  In fact, currently, due to the ‘Government Restrictions’ imposed in the UK to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s impossible to eat out in a restaurant or drink in a pub (bar) without a smart phone (or contactless credit card) because you can only use ‘contactless’ payment in such places.

          Ironically, although we are classified ‘lower middle class’, neither I, my wife, nor my son have ‘smart phones’; we’ve all independently chosen to stick with the old ‘brick’ mobile phones, that doesn’t allow apps e.g. contactless payment.  And we prefer the old ‘basic’ phone technology because in our view a phone is for making phone call only e.g. we are not interested in all the fancy gadgets on a smart phone (that’s our personal choice).

          #2:    Computers:   It might surprise you to know that not every British home has a computer; they are not considered as important as one might think!  Out of all the people we know, apart from ourselves, only two other people actually have a decent computer; my brother, and a close family friend.  Everyone else we know either have old low speck computers (often over 10 years old), a cheap laptop or just use their smart phone for emails and web.  It’s not just a question of price, just as often it’s simply because they’re not interested in anything fancy e.g. they can get all they want from their ‘smart phone’.

          Again, my family buck the British trend e.g. we’ve got a high end computer in our home-office, our son has high end computer equipment in his bedroom/office, and we have a high-end laptop for use in our living room.

          However, computers are considered essential for ‘university’ these days, so in the UK it’s relatively easy to get a Government Grant to buy a computer if you’re going to university e.g. Government Grant was how we got our first computer back in the mid 1990’s (when my wife went to university as a mature student), and Government Grant was how our son got his first computer when he went to university about 10 years ago.

          #3:    Fine dining out on the town:  Yes, wining and dining is (in normal times) quite popular in Britain; albeit I wouldn’t call it materialism, but leisure.  Albeit, the restaurants in the UK that are popular are not the expensive ones, but the cheap ones e.g. where you can get a three course meal (with drinks) and ‘all you can eat’ salad for about £20 ($26) each; such as the ‘Harvesters’, or a ‘pub lunch’ with drink for anything from about $10 each.

          Traditional British Pub Food https://youtu.be/ClQAKesK7pY

          Again, the prime factor isn’t cost; it’s just that you can get just as much ‘good quality’ food and a good service in a cheap restaurant as you can in a ‘posh’ restaurant; and be more relaxed because you are not worrying about your Ps & Qs.

          Traditionally, I would take my wife out for a meal for special occasions e.g. birthdays; and we like to occasionally eat out as a family when on holiday.

          After being shut by the Government on the 23rd March (as part of the lockdown) Restaurants and pubs (bars) reopened again in England on 4th July (‘Super Saturday’); and as an economic drive to help the leisure industry recover; currently (until the end of August) the Government is paying £10 ($13) per person, under the slogan “Eat Out to Help Out” for anyone who eat out in a restaurant from Mondays to Wednesday.  Not surprisingly, the generous offer by the Government hasn’t been that popular with the British Public because Brits (including us) are still apprehensive about socialising in enclosed spaces because of the risks of catching Covid-19.

          #4:    Trains:  I wouldn’t say they were all necessarily beautiful; albeit the modern ones are quite sleek.  Also, I wouldn’t classify trains as materialism, as they are an integral and essential part of the integrated ‘Public Transport’ system in the UK.  Most of the rail network in the UK isn’t as fast as on mainland Europe, but they are a lot faster than American trains, and certainly the network is far more vast than in the USA. 

          The rail network across Britain was first laid by the Victorians almost 200 years ago.  Although a substantial part of it was decommissioned by the Conservative Government in the mid 1960’s (Beaching Report), the Conservative Government has reinvested heavily in the rail network (infrastructure) since 2010 to bring it back to its former glory of the Victorian era.

          One of several recent Conservative Government rail projects in the UK being the ‘Hydrogen Train’ (Renewable Energy); which is rather cool.  A technology first developed in China (R&D), with Germany being the first country in the world to commercially use Hydrogen Trains, and (last year) the UK being the 2nd country in the world to start using hydrogen trains.

          UK's first (Renewable Energy) Hydrogen train: https://youtu.be/geATz4pdCSg

          ADDITIONAL
          The concept of ‘Make do and Mend’ is now deeply engrained into the Brits psyche; from the 2nd world war e.g. we Brits love DIY, recycling, upcycling and repurposing etc., which is why during the lockdown in the UK from 23rd March to 4th July DIY stores were classified by the Government as ‘An Essential Service’ and therefore remained opened, along with food stores and off-licences (Liquor stores in the USA); while all other retail was forced to close during the lockdown.

          The main reasons Brits enjoy recycling, upcycling and repurposing, in order of importance, are generally:-
          1.    Rewarding e.g. personal achievement, satisfaction, being creative etc.
          2.    Helps the Environment, and
          3.    Saves money.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            I absolutely agree that Europeans are more socialist inclined than Americans.  No question there.

            Clothes dryers:  Given that what you describe is available (it is in the US), AND that the cost is more than separate, large units, AND that it takes nearly double the time to wash several loads, AND that there is plenty of room for separate units, which is more "materialistic"?  The larger, separate units for less cost and are quicker or the smaller unit?  Things like this are a reflection more of culture and population density than anything else, I think.

            Phones: I was asking, not whether everyone has a cell phone (or smart phone), but whether the popularity of high end phones is similar in Europe as it is in the US.  Do people give up a perfectly good phone that satisfies their needs to get the latest and greatest?  This, to me, becomes "materialism" far more than ownership of a phone does.

            Trains: passenger train use in the US has never caught on, mostly I think because of the vast distances.  When it is cheaper and far quicker to fly than to take a train the choice is rather obvious.  But beyond that, is it "materialism" to demand a high speed train to go a few hundred miles, saving an hour, or is it actually valuable and necessary? 

            Dining: I was more asking about the proliferation of restaurants (or pubs in the UK) and their use than anything.  Americans eat out, and there are, seems to me, huge numbers of places to do it, but it also seems that Europeans (specifically Brits) eat out several times a week and that isn't what Americans do.  Americans will grab a "fast food" hamburger, perhaps, a couple of times to save time and effort, but a sit-down restaurant is limited to once a month or so for most of us (or less).  On top of that I shudder at your prices; my last restaurant was a buffet (all you can eat) that was priced at $15.  Not only all you can eat salad, but all you can eat of a dozen or more main courses.  I like seafood: a huge platter of shrimp, fish, scallops and lobster costs less than your all you can eat salad bar with a 3 course meal.  At your prices I would take the wife out for our anniversary and that's about it!

            But the question/point was whether Europeans are as materialistic as Americans.  While Americans tend to purchase physically large things (houses, cars, toys) that really stand out, I was asking if Europeans do it with physically smaller items that are just not as obvious.  High end clothing, high end dining, jewelry, etc.  Is the personal service industry, from a pedicure to lawn cutting services, as popular there.  It's not so much what is purchased, for I lump most luxury items, whether service or physical, into the same category of "materialism".  When speaking of culture or economic paths, does it matter so much whether it is yacht or the latest cell phone?  Environmentally it might (would, in most cases, I think) but not economically or culturally.

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image50
              Miebakagh57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

              Wilderness, your analysis is well noted. Thank you.

            2. Nathanville profile image95
              Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

              In answer to your specific points:-

              PHONES: 
              I guess the popularity of ‘high end’ phones is similar in Europe as in the USA.  I haven’t researched any stats in this area; but I haven’t seen anything to suggest otherwise.

              When it comes to people who “give up a perfectly good phone that satisfies their needs to get the latest and greatest”, one worldwide study conducted last year suggests that 10% of mobile phone (cell phone) users do.  The full results of that study into why people upgrade was:-

              •    32% = Phone wasn’t working as well as before.
              •    23% = Phone was broken, damaged or lost.
              •    18% = Phone was outdated.
              •    10% = Wanted the hot new model.
              •    5% = Upgraded on Contract.
              •    5% = Disliked the previous phone.
              •    7% = other reasons.

              How often people replace their phones these days; one survey in 2018, which seems to be in line with other reports suggests:-

              •    USA:  On average, people wait 24.7 months before upgrading their phone.

              •    In France, Germany, Italy and Spain:  the average was between 23.4 & 26.2 months.

              •    UK:  The average was 27.7 months.

              So I get the impression that it’s only a tenth of people who upgrade because they want the hottest and latest model (materialism); and that there doesn’t seem to be much difference in that worldwide.

              TRAINS:
              In the UK, and across Europe, it’s not materialism; trains are an essential, and integrated part of the ‘Public Transport’ system e.g. unlike Americans, Europeans use trains far more than they fly.

              For example:

              •    In the USA air accounts for 12% of passenger transport use; trains less than 1%.

              •    In the UK trains accounts for 10% of passenger transport use; air for only 1%.

              In the UK trains are not just for leisure travel they also play a major role in getting people to and from work daily.  Therefore time is of the essence e.g.  spending less time getting to and from work is a practical desire.  Also, when using the trains for holiday, holidaymakers are using it as a means of transport to get from A to B, and if a fast train means they can get to their holiday destination quicker, then that is desirable. 

              For example, I can get from Bristol, England to Paris, France or Brussels, Belgium by train in just a few hours, which makes it a viable option for a long weekend holiday trip to Paris, or Belgium by train; no need to drive; and actually just as quick as air when you take into the account the time and effort of getting to and from airports e.g. Bristol trains run from the city centre, planes don’t.

              Eurostar Celebrating 20th anniversary (1994–2014) London to Paris by High Speed Passenger Train:  https://youtu.be/zfmaOznjJms

              DINING:
              Pubs (bars) and Brits are synonymous; we Brits love our beer just as much as the French love their wine.   Any where In Britian (even in the smallest villages) you will always find a choice of pubs to choose from e.g. within a ten minute walk from where I live we have the option of 20 pubs to choose from.

              Yes people going out every night to drink socially in their local pub is part of the British culture; just as much as ‘pub crawls’ are.  The British Film “The World’s End” (2013) portrays the British pub culture quite well!  In the UK the legal drinking ages are:-

              •    18 to buy and drink in public.
              •    16 in public if with a meal, and if bought by someone over 18.
              •    From the age of 5 at home.

              As regards restaurants:  Yes in the UK also, as with the USA, a lot of people do buy fast foods, if they don’t have the time to cook at home, or can’t be bothered to cook, not just the McDonalds, but also the famous Traditional ‘BRITISH’ ‘Fish & Chip’ shops.  Due to a quirk in the British Law, fast food places like McDonalds can open on a Sunday in England, but a British Fish & Chip shop cannot!

              As regards dining out:  In the UK, its not several times a week, as you surmised; it is only for special occasions and holidays; so it is only a few times a year.  However, when we dine out Europeans don’t rush, we do take our time and make an occasion of it. 

              To a European, dining out is something to be savoured, at a leisurely and relaxed pace (a Social Occasion).  So typically a meal out in a restaurant will last TWO Hours.  But I wouldn’t call that materialism, I would call that ‘leisure’.

              As regards prices; McDonalds, last time I checked with my correspondent in New York, was around the same price in the USA and UK.  There are ‘pub restaurants’ in the UK, such as Weatherspoon's, where you can get a drink and meal for less than $7; and ‘Full English Breakfast’ in most any café, restaurant or pub is generally less than $7.  There’s also the posh restaurants (which we always avoid, because they are too up market for the likes of us) where a typical meal will be in excess of $80 per person.  But the sort of places we frequent  are priced, as I previously quoted.  Cafes are cheaper than restaurants, so if we are looking for a quick meal at lunch time while on holiday then we be more inclined to use a café e.g. in a café for a quick lunch while on holiday it would be about $13 each for something like omelette and chips with beans, and a drink; and we wouldn’t rush (about an hour), as we would want to enjoy the meal. 

              As regards your last point:-
              To Quote “I was asking if Europeans do it with physically smaller items that are just not as obvious.  High end clothing, high end dining, jewellery, etc.  Is the personal service industry, from a pedicure to lawn cutting services, as popular there.”

              High end seems to be the emphasis of your question.  In that respect I would say no, Europeans generally don’t look at the high end of the market.  A small percentage of people do obviously.  But a high percentage of people tend to go for the cheapest, with little regard to quality; something which I think too many people do, and something I never advise people to do.  When people ask my advice, for most things, I tend to try to encourage them to spend more than they want, and buy mid-range. 

              My personal preference for most things tends to be mid-range e.g. weighing up quality and price and buying something that’s good value for money, and that goes for my DIY tools and ‘white goods’ as much as anything else. 

              However, the areas where I will almost invariably buy the ‘high-end’ are when it comes to computers and TV equipment; and that’s not because of materialism, its because they are items that are an integral part of our daily lives and as such, we want the best performance they can offer.

              I don’t know if that’s any closer to answering your question?

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the countries here, given that neither of us has actually experienced the other counry.

                Phones - about the same.

                Trains - There are good reasons the US doesn't use trains as much as Europe, and particularly Britain, the #1 reason probably being time and distance.  When we can save a day's travel by going air vs train the choice is clear.

                But high speed rail vs slower trains, in Europe, is what I meant to address.  When it saves an hour or two for a "long" (European "long, not US "long") trip and the population opts for expensive high speed rail it becomes, in my mind, "materialism".  It seems equivalent to buy a Rolls Royce when a Chevy will do just fine.

                Pubs - when I visited we nearly always ate in pubs, and that was what I intended there, not a social drinking hour.  It sounds as if you feel the two societies spend the same amount of time "eating out" at nicer (but not "posh") places.  From a cultural (not environmental) viewpoint, though, I'm equating your "leisure" to "materialism"; either one means buying what is not needed simply because you want it.

                Agree on some high end items; when I bought my current computer it was definitely "high end"; that was under the theory that in the fast changing world of electronics it will be useful for twice as long as a cheaper model.  Not so much last and operate longer, but be useful as the requirements change (more memory required, for example).  Most other things I purchase at the "middle" level; neither cheapest or highest luxury.  Although I AM learning to appreciate the small luxuries in cars; keyless ignition and entry, built in GPS, seat warmers, etc.

                1. Nathanville profile image95
                  Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                  RAIL:
                  In the UK 11% of workers get to work using the train; so speed is vital and not a luxury:  Hence, not materialism e.g. ‘time is money’. 

                  Also, unless it’s the ‘Orient Express’ or a steam train, train passengers are not using the trains for leisure or as a luxury, they are using trains to efficiently and quickly get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ e.g. travelling to get to work or to their holiday destination; so again ‘time is of the essence’:  Hence not materialism but a means of transport.

                  So High Speed Passenger Trains are essential in Europe, as practical and efficient means of transport (not a luxury) and therefore isn’t materialism.

                  I did see the Orient Express once, when it was stationed in Bristol Temple Meads, but I’ve never been tempted to journey on it e.g. to rich (snobby) for my taste.  However, we do make a point of travelling on steam trains whenever we can, but that’s for historic, nostalgic, reasons; not materialism.

                  PUBS:
                  Reference your quote “I'm equating your "leisure" to "materialism"; either one means buying what is not needed simply because you want it.”

                  That’s where we have a differing viewpoint.  To me, dining out is a leisure activity, and a social event, and not materialism.  Spending two hours having a leisurely meal in a restaurant, to us (Europeans) is part of the fabric of the European social way of life e.g. Leisure Time, not a ‘status symbol’.

                  The best analogy I can think of is:-

                  A:    Privately owning a Rembrandt because you appreciate the art is personal pleasure, and not materialism.

                  B:    Privately owning a Rembrandt because you can (wealthy enough to buy one), and bragging about it to your friends (and everyone else) is a ‘Status Symbol’, and is materialism.

                  C:    Privately owning a Rembrandt, but loaning it to an art gallery, so that everyone else can appreciate the art, isn’t materialism, its art.

                  So in these discussions, there is a fine line between what materialism is, and what falls into other facets e.g. pleasure, consumerism etc., and sometimes the lines are blurred and may overlap.  And to some extent a matter of personal judgement; in this respect I think Chris makes a lot of valid points in his comments.

                  On reflection, I feel that a lot of what we are talking about falls more neatly into consumerism than materialism; albeit the two can overlap.  And like materialism, in excess, consumerism can also be a bad thing! e.g. the commercialisation of Christmas is disliked by a small number of our personal friends.

              2. peterstreep profile image82
                peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                Nice percentages. But to be honest Nathan. From my perspective, the UK is an incredible consumeristic country. Compared to other European countries the UK is closest to the US.
                If I walk in Londen I see a SubWay here, a Starbucks there, a Burger KIing on the other side, just opposite the Apple store....
                I want to cross the street and I'm almost run over by a red Porsche.
                The UK. Or let's say London, is capitalism and consumerism big time. If I compare it with other European capitals it is the one that is most Americanized. Maybe you don't see it anymore but I only have to look at the buildings and cars and shops in London to know that it is a city that thrives on consumerism. More then any other European city I know.

                And about the trains. When I go to London or Amsterdam I do not go by train. I take the plane from Valencia. The train is far too expensive.

                1. Nathanville profile image95
                  Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                  To start with peterstreep, you are talking London; not the UK. 

                  •    London is one of the main ‘Financial Centres’ of the world, and a major tourist attraction, and therefore is very much commercialised.

                  All the shops you mention (except for Apple) are fast food outlets.  Food and drink, whether they be fast food (junk food), restaurants, cafes or pubs, are all part of the tourist/leisure industry which you will find in any country in the world. 

                  London attracts 280 million day trippers a year, 27.8 million Brits who stay overnight in London as domestic tourists each year, and 21.7 million international tourists from around the world; making it one of the world’s most visited cities in the world.  Therefore, of course London is going to have lots of shops, including food shops.

                  In contrast the UK as a whole only attracts 40.9 foreign visitors (tourists); so it isn’t so commercialised e.g. whenever we go on holiday in Britain we always seek out all the non-commercialised places; of which there are plenty in Bristol and across the UK.  For a couple of examples:-

                  •    Our day trip to Ashton Court Estate, Bristol last week.  Ashton Court Estate is a Mansion House built in 1663 and Estate of 850 acres (340 hectares) of woods and open grassland (with deer park), which is open to the public every day of the year, and is Free entry (just a modest parking fee if you’re not disabled).

                  •    The New Forest, in South East England, which is a major tourist attraction, and FREE.

                  •    St Ives Estate, West Yorkshire, 500 acres of Country Park open to the public, large areas of woodlands and open spaces; free entry, and free parking.

                  •    Aysgarth falls, North Yorkshire (another major tourist attraction); again free access, and free parking.

                  Nature Reserve at St Ives Country Estate in West Yorkshire, England https://youtu.be/25u0rgB7jMo

                  Aysgarth Falls, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, England https://youtu.be/w5_H5Og2ytc

                  Road Trip to Ashton Court Estate, Bristol https://youtu.be/o2fQ1ZWsF_c

                  Furthermore, you are talking about the tourist areas of London.  If you lived in London e.g. we have friends and relatives who live in London, then you get a different perspective.  For example, next time you’re in London I suggest you make a point of visiting the famous ‘Portobello Road’ as portrayed in the famous 1971 film ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’. 

                  The Bristol equivalent of Portobello Road is ‘Stokes Croft’ in Bristol (just off the city centre), which is 2 miles of local shops; not very commercialised, but like Portobello Road in London you can find almost anything you want (if you look).  In 2011 Tesco Supermarket (a chain store/commercial food shop) sparked riots in Stokes Croft’ when they attempted to muscle in and open a store in the street; something the local residents did not want.

                  Bristol Stokes Croft Riot https://youtu.be/hkCvka1uwuo

                  Finally, I’ve never flown in a commercial plane, but I do frequently use the trains.  FYI 10% of the British Public uses the trains daily to get to and from work; only 1% of the British public fly.  When we go on holiday across mainland Europe, most predominantly southern France and Belgium, we never fly, we always drive.

                  Yes, trains are currently expensive in the UK, thanks to Margaret Thatcher.  She privatised the trains in the late 1980s using the excuse that competition would keep fairs down; but of course that was a lie, as instead of pricing falling, they sky rocketed so that profits could be creamed off for the shareholders. 

                  However, it’s only a matter of time before that changes because opinion polls show that 66% of the British public want the trains to be nationalised again, and renationalising the trains is at the top of Labour’s agenda; once they get back into power.

                  1. peterstreep profile image82
                    peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

                    Nathan I know that London is different than the countryside of the UK. But whatever the reason, tourism, financial hub, London is incredibly materialistic. Amsterdam and Barcelona are touristic too, but have a far less capitalistic look and feel. (Yes, I know they are a bit smaller..)
                    My wife is from London (Rayners Lane),  And I try to avoid Bricklane or Trafalgar Square if I'm there visiting friends.
                    I would have been there in October as I'm participating with an artist group I'm a member of in an exhibition in London But as with the quarantine I can't be there in person. Next year there will be a followup of the exhibition in the same place. In the A.P.T. (Deptford.) Hope to be there then. If you're on Instagram you can follow our artistic process. @ground_work_apt
                    I think I mentioned it before. But if you look at the BBC programs. How many programs are not centered around money? Cash in the Attic, Antique Roadshow, Bargain Hunt, etc.Off the top of my head. (Not that I watch them...I can't receive the beeb here anymore) And there are much more.
                    Sure the BBC has other programs too.(My wife loves Gardeners World and we watch it on YouTube regularly.)  But I think it tells something.
                    Same when I was talking about the chains like Starbucks. By accident it was food "restaurants", I could also have said Boots, C&A, H&M etc.
                    It's about the huge commercial and materialistic feel London has.
                    The UK is simply closer to the US then the rest of Europe if you want it or not. If were it only for the historical ties. But I must say that the Netherlands is not far behind...
                    You can always find a positive point. And I think that's the way to go, but the reality is still that we live in an incredible commercial and materialistic world, a disposable society..
                    The question is. How to change the capitalism we have today that created companies that can buy countries. Into a world that is a more environment-friendly system.
                    I like to visit Bristol, the farthest west from Londo I've been was Reading. So perhaps I will get there in the end.

                    Yes, the privatization of the trains was one of such stupid ideas. The Netherlands was happy to follow. Including the post as well, service went down the drain and the working conditions too.
                    Some things should simply not fall in commercial hands. I hope the NHS and the Spanish Health Care system won't, but it's a tough fight.

            3. CHRIS57 profile image61
              CHRIS57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

              wilderness, Arthur,
              i am not sure if i can contribute to this discussion about differences between Europe and the US. But let me throw this in:
              I noticed that the display of wealth is handled very differently in Europe. If you have money, you simply don´t say and don´t show in Europe.

              Besides practical matters like narrow roads it is this social preconditioning that drives putting Europeans into the box " more socialist" and the Americans into "more materialistic".

              Being materialistic is often associated with consumer behavior. And consumer behavior is conditioned by the upper 5 to 10% income people. What they buy with their excess cash is what all others want to have. Only - they can´t afford it and so the next conditioning trap is layed out: Make things cheap and affordable, and with lower quality.
              People buy cheap stuff, that breaks every 3 years. People brag about having something new all the time. In reality they buy expensive. A no name washing machine may last 5 years, a "Miele" will do it for a lifetime. No name is half price, but a what "total cost of ownership". Bragging and display of something new is materialistic, isn´t it?
              ....
              When do you go on your next Cruise ship travel? You have not been to South America? You should go, delicious buffet on board. Did i invite you on my new yacht? It is located in Antibes, only few kilometers from Monaco. The yacht is fully automatic, crew only 5 people on board.
              ...
              Don´t take last words too serious. I only want to show how superficial all this materialistic stuff is. "Casino Royal" or "Slumdog Millionaire"

          2. GA Anderson profile image91
            GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            I liked your comment Nathanville, and I agreed with most of it.

            GA

    2. peterstreep profile image82
      peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      ..British Conservative philosophy is based on the Principle of ‘Top Down’ economics e.g. the concept of “look after the employer, and the employer will look after the employee”...
      That's more or less what Henry Ford said., I pay my employers a wage so they can buy a Ford. This may be true in 1920, it is certainly not true today. The UK is famous for its 0 hour contracts. That has nothing to do with "old-fashioned" capitalism let alone socialism. It's close to exploitation.
      In my opinion, the UK's capitalism is closer to the US capitalism than any other European country. Compare London with any other European Capital and you see the difference in commerce.
      As Wilderness said. Every gadget, Ipjone, watch, clothing, cars, computers are there. London is buzzing with Maserati's and iBook pro's with a latte in Starbucks. A millionaire place, thanks to the capitalistic embrace and close political and historical connection with the US.
      Haven't said a word about Magret Thacher yet....
      I think you are a bit optimistic about Britain, Nathan.

      1. Nathanville profile image95
        Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

        Nope, I am not optimistic about Britain.  Britain is a split personality politically e.g. Conservatives vs Labour.  The Conservative philosophy is ‘Top Down’ economics; and that’s why I think it ‘sucks’.  Because we know that the principle of ‘look after the employer and the employer will look after the employee’ advocated by the Conservatives means in practice that the employer will try to screw over the employee e.g. zero hour contracts.  That’s why Labour prefers the ‘Bottom up’ approach to economics.

        However, if you lived in the UK you would know that ‘zero hour contracts’ only applies to a small percentage of the British work force (2.5%); the other 97.5% of the British work force are fully protected by the stringent employment protection Acts, not dissimilar to the employment laws across Europe e.g.

        •    6 weeks paid leave per year from the moment you start your new job,

        •    Maximum average working week of 48 hours for all employees, except the NHS

        •    Up to 39 weeks paid maternity leave for mothers (the decision on how much paid leave to take is the mother’s choice),

        •    2 weeks paid paternity leave for the father, or up to 37 paid parental leave for the father if the mother opts to give the father some of her maternity leave e.g. by law the mother must take at least 2 weeks maternity leave.

        *       Also, every employees Legal Right in the UK to legally request 'Flexible Working', including 'Home Working' from their employer.  In 2019 5.1% of the British work force were working from home full time, and including people working from home part time it was 14% of the British work force e.g. I worked from home 3 days a week for the last five years in the civil service, until I took early retirement.

        Creating a flexible working culture at John Lewis Partnership (Retail Shop) and Ford UK: https://youtu.be/2Qs0EL6JWD0

        None of the above: of which Americans enjoy.

        And of course, in the UK, once you’ve worked for your employer for more than 2 years it’s almost impossible  to get the sack; unlike the USA where employers can ‘hire & fire’ their employees on a whim.

        That’s why I am a ‘Socialist’ and why I support Labour, because Capitalism is designed to benefit the wealthy, not the working class; whereas Labour (Socialism) puts the interests of the working class at the core of their social and economic policies e.g. the Legal National Minimum Wage introduced by Labour in 1999.

        1. peterstreep profile image82
          peterstreepposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Sorry to get back to you so late. Lot of things to do..
          I didn't know about the percentage of 0-hour contracts. It was just an example. I hope the UK is not going that way and the percentage is becoming bigger.
          But now the UK is out of the EU, chances are that it will...(sad smiley)
          Yes, the Trickle-down economics has utterly failed.
          But to me, it's not even the division in poor and extremely rich that makes me sad. I'm fine with millionaires.
          What makes me sad is the disposable society that is created by the capitalistic system. Everything you buy is meant to be thrown away, consumed.
          The disrespect for the environment and the earth makes me sad. As this part of capitalism is literally destroying the world and feeding a climate catastrophe.
          That's why I think we should start rethinking about the capitalism of today as it does not work. And I think we should think in the lines of a society that is closer to nature. Build from there and new jobs and professions will come. And with these jobs you can structure how the jobs and payments are done.
          In other words. environmentalism first, socialism second. Together with a capitalistic system that is not based on growth but on sustainability.

          1. Nathanville profile image95
            Nathanvilleposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            No probs peterstreep, I’ve been rather busy too (as always)…..

            In fact the percentage of zero hour contracts in the UK could dramatically drop soon e.g. about half of the 2.5% are Uber Drivers; and just last month (after a five year legal battle) the case to determine whether Uber Drivers are employees or not reached the Supreme Court.  If Uber loses (as it’s done at each Appeal over the past five years) then Uber will have to treat Uber drivers just like any other employee in the UK e.g. legal minimum national wage, six weeks paid annual leave, paid maternity, paternity and parental leave etc.

            Uber has already been banned from London, under a separate (three year legal battle in the courts) bought against them by TfL (Transport for London).  Transport for London being the London’s Local Government Department responsible for overseeing and running the ‘integrated’ public transport system in London.

            The UK doesn’t actually leave the EU until the 31st December this year (Transition Period), so there’s not much the Conservative Government can do just yet to change things; and besides Boris (Prime Minister) has currently got his hands full keeping the pandemic under control in the UK.

            However, even when we do leave the EU next year, if it’s without a Trading Deal, which is looking increasingly likely, then Boris will also have his hands full for the next few years trying to mitigate the looming economic and social cliff edge!!!!  So he’s not going to have much time to think about employment legislation.

            Beside, because any suggestion to dismantle the employment protection laws was not in the Conservative’s Election Manifesto last year; any attempt by Boris to dismantle the laws would be blocked by the House of Lords.

            Under the British Constitution, for Boris to make such changes in the employment laws he would need to publish his intensions in their ‘Election Manifesto’ and win the General Election.

            The crunch time will come in four years’ time e.g. the next General Election:-

            •    If in 2024 the Conservatives win a comfortable majority, then yes, Boris will be in a strong position to start dismantling the employment protection law, if (and only if) they are proposals in the Conservative’s Election Manifesto.

            •    If in 2024 the Conservatives win a slim majority, then Boris will have a tough time getting Legislation through Parliament because the ‘soft left’ Conservative MPs in his party will resist measures that are too radical; and the House of Lords will give him a tough time to.

            •    If in 2024 it’s a hung parliament with the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power, then the Liberal Democrats will only work with any Political Party that agrees to seeking re-joining the EU, which rules out the Conservatives.

            •    If in 2024 Labour wins the General Election, then they will be seeking to protect the employment protection laws; making it difficult for future Conservatives Governments from dismantling it.

            So for the next few years it will be an uncertain future.

            ENVIRONMENTAL
            At least as regards your second point; the future for the UK is brighter.

            In the past 10 years the British Conservative (Capitalist) Government has been surprisingly very committed to Green Policies.  Largely because although we only have one elected Green MP in Parliament, she makes her voice loud and clear, so the topic of ‘Green’ and ‘Environmental’ issues are always high on the agenda in Parliament e.g. any Parliamentary Select Committees where environmental issues are relevant; which helps to boost public awareness and public support.

            Consequently over the past 10 years the British Conservative Government has been fully committed to the Paris Agreement, even to the extent of passing strict Regulations to make fracking in the UK commercially unviable.  So the only Company in the UK that was trying to frack on commercial bases has now gone bankrupt.

            Under the Conservatives in the last ten years, burning coal for energy has dropped from over 30% to less than 2%, with the last coal fire power station due to shut down in 2025. 

            Under the Conservatives in the last ten years, Renewable Energy has gone from about 14% of our total energy to over half now, and is set to be 100% by 2050.

            Under the Conservatives, Legislation has been passed to ban all fossil fuel cars in the UK by 2035.

            Under the Conservatives over the past 10 years, there’s been a massive investment of the electrification of the railways to phase out diesel (fossil fuel) trains in preference for electric (Renewable Energy) trains, and last year Britain was the 2nd country in the world to start using hydrogen (Renewable Energy) trains; Germany being the 1st country to do so.

            Knowing how unpredictable Boris can be, and knowing that Boris would most likely become the next Prime Minister, just before she stepped down from office as the British Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May rushed Legislation through Parliament that makes it a ‘legal requirement’ (by law) that Britain becomes net carbon neutral by 2050 (the only country in the world to pass such legislation). 

            The Legislation passed through Parliament with no opposition because it’s an ideology supported by the Opposition Socialist Parties, and fully supported by the House of Lords.

            The effect is that because it’s Law, it ties Boris’s hands into staying committed to Green issues, whether he likes it or not.  The only way he could undo the Legislation passed by Theresa May would be to put his intentions in the next General Election Manifesto, and win the next General Election.

            UK Law to be net zero emissions by 2050: https://youtu.be/hj7v8e1uLyE

  3. Live to Learn profile image78
    Live to Learnposted 9 months ago

    I don't see the basic principles as different. I see the problems associated with capitalism today as a failure to react to the specific problems attributable to globalization, large corporations lobbying for laws that are,in many ways, detrimental to the little guy and the thing that I find the most maddening is corporations who have leadership far removed from the factories and workers, with no real consideration for, or loyalty to, the forces that are responsible for doing the work that contributes directly to the success of the company.

    Any system in place will eventually result in a small group at the top and the vast majority at the bottom. But, if the top of any system ignores the needs and desires of the bottom long enough it will produce disastrous results. It's past the time capitalism should look at the long term picture and move to more equitably operate.

    I heard 3 billionaires made 53 billion in one week recently. That doesn't sit well in an environment where the vast majority can either not make ends meet or are one paycheck away from bankruptcy.

    1. GA Anderson profile image91
      GA Andersonposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      "It's past the time capitalism should look at the long term picture and move to more equitably operate."

      I agree Live to Learn. With our technological and knowleged-based advances, and with the evolution of global markets as dominant forces, our system has become too bottom-line focused. Too shortsighted.

      But I don't have a problem with those 3 billionaires as long as they played by the rules.

      GA

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image50
        Miebakagh57posted 9 months agoin reply to this

        3 billioners makes 53 billions in a week? What rules can or do they play with? Is any one not curious?                   However, that's not my problem.

    2. crankalicious profile image95
      crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      So how do you make that happen? Isn't the argument right now between having government step in and try to regulate it or just having the free market make those determinations?

      What does play by the rules mean? In a true capitalist, free market system, what seems to be encouraged is a cutthroat mentality. Get ahead at all costs. Make as much money as possible.

      It's funny that reading a lot of this, I would agree with Ken, Live to Learn, and GA, yet we disagree on so much else, it seems.

      I think if we stay away from American politics and discuss ideas, we have much more productive discussions.

  4. GA Anderson profile image91
    GA Andersonposted 9 months ago

    I am having second thoughts on this one. I think I was thinking too narrowly regarding the question of whether capitalism has changed.

    I still think the game is the same; an exchange of value, (money), for something valued, ( a product or service). But, Live to Learns thought about the difference in market regulation is right, and caused me to come back to this one.

    I still think the game is the same, but how it is played is definitely different. So yes, I suppose I do have to think that capitalism—as we experience it, has changed. Back to you Peterstreep. (before I change my mind again. ;-) )

    GA

    1. Ken Burgess profile image89
      Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      I think the excesses of Capitalism, have swung back and forth, similar to the way the political pendulum has swung in this country.



      There have been times in the past where the very richest businessmen had immense control over politics and politicians.

      I would say we are living in a time where there is so much corporate wealth and even the wealth of foreign nations involved in our politicas now, it is as bad as it has ever been.

      Trump for all his faults, has done more to reign in this imbalance than anyone in decades has done.  Doing away with TPP, renegotiating NAFTA, contesting China's favored status, protecting America's intellectual properties, these are efforts that will prolong America's place on top of the economic food-chain for a while longer.

      Trump was elected in large part because people had enough, politics in DC have been so corrupt for so long, it hadn't mattered if the Democrats or the Republicans had total control of DC... We the People continued to get the shaft, while businesses fled to China, or Canada, or Mexico.

      They passed new laws making it illegal for elderly citizens to take a bus to Canada to have their prescriptions filled for cheap.  That was costing Big Pharma profits.

      They rescinded Glass-Steagall which ultimately cost tens of millions of Americans their savings and/or their homes.

      Then they passed the ACA, written by the Insurance companies, and when it went into effect the Pharma and Insurance companies reaped the rewards, while hard working Americans paid the price for higher Insurance with deductibles that made it next to worthless to have.

      Our politicians have been selling out Americans.  And the people when finally offered another option, an outsider that called out the corruption, they took it.

      For four years the "Establishment", with the help of CNN and the NYTimes and others has worked to destroy him, to convince Americans that everything wrong in their lives and in the world is a direct result of Trump.

      Trump closes borders with China he's a xenophobe, the WHO condemns his actions, three months later he didn't act quickly enough and isn't doing enough.

      Trump is no angel, but he is not one of them.  By their efforts alone they continuously expose their own corruption, investigations into Trump based on lies they created.  Impeachment efforts based on nonsense.

      What are the Democrats running on other than "our work is not done" and Trump.  Americans are not going to support Open Borders, Police Defunding efforts, higher taxes for "free stuff".

      These things may sell to the American people maybe in another 10 years... after another generation or two has been programmed to believe in a Global society rather than an American one, and technology has moved to the point where a Social Credit system is as strong here as it is in China, but the nation is not there yet.

      Nor do I think the Democrats right now are doing anything for the betterment of the citizens of this country, I see this as a power grab, an effort for the old-guard and the most corrupt in DC to regain control.

      1. Credence2 profile image81
        Credence2posted 9 months agoin reply to this

        "There have been times in the past where the very richest businessmen had immense control over politics and politicians."

        This was true, but today the powers that be make sure that there are no Teddy Roosevelts' around to challenge them. Much like the threat represented by either Warren or SAnders who would have. The GOP, since they have always been in bed with the oligarchs, could not begin to offer such candidates. They would be totally ideologically inconsistent with who the Republicans actually are and whose interests they actually support.

        As always, I question your narrative of events and who you say the culprits are. Despite your claim of corruption from Democrats, I see as much or more from the GOP

        1. Ken Burgess profile image89
          Ken Burgessposted 9 months agoin reply to this

          Trump is a Teddy Roosevelt, I realize you don't see it that way, and probably never will.

          Teddy Roosevelt was a rich privileged egotistical arrogant individual with grandiose self perception... much like Trump.

          Trump is a disruptor. First he disrupted the Republican Party,... the RNC didn't want him as the nominee, and many Republicans in DC even now don't want him as President. 

          And the Democrats certainly don't want him, of the two parties they have been the more corrupt and more traitorous to the people, they had gone from champions of the working class to their biggest enemy in just a few short years.

          You have too much bias Credence, and you may have plenty of right to have it, based on experience... but you will never be able to clearly see what is going on, objectively, because of it.

          In the 60s racial discrimination was severe, but those with courage were able to stand up, have their voices heard, and make the politicians take note... and make changes for the betterment of all.

          Look around at what is going on now... this isn't about systemic racism that is keeping people down based on the color of their skin. 

          These politicians, and the revolutionary extremists they support, are stoking the fires of racism for their own benefit...

          What should be, if anything, a protest against the elites in DC and the corrupt politicians who have been there for decades selling out Americans, and about class inequity.

          Has instead become about hating people based on race, and destroying the police... the very people we rely on for what law & order we have.

          This is being pushed by Hollywood stars and athletes the likes of Lebron James, who has been worth hundreds of millions of dollars since he was 18... the audacity of this man to lecture on the inequities of the system or to fearmonger against the police is disturbing.

          While these millionaires and billionaires preach to us about how unequal the system is, and how awful the police are... they are safe in their mansions as the poor neighborhoods are burned to the ground, businesses are ruined, and lives are lost.

          The elites in DC fear Trump (and the people who put him there) enough to make false accusation after false accusation in an effort to destroy him, they have used every political trick, investigation to impeachment to ruin him.

          And their allies in the media, have assaulted Trump nonstop for 4 years, every thing he has done bad they have magnified it, and anything good he has done they try to make it sound as bad as possible.

          As bad as Trump may be, the powers intent on destroying him, the powers supporting these endless riots (at the expense of many small businesses and lives being destroyed) and the ones stoking the flames of racial divide are the true enemies... of all of us, regardless of race.

          1. Credence2 profile image81
            Credence2posted 9 months agoin reply to this

            As for Teddy Roosevelt, you are right, I don't. To compare a man like Donald Trump to a man of character and courage like Theodore Roosevelt is more than erroneous, it is almost whimsical.

            I am satisfied as to Democrats in governance as compared with Republicans.

            The thing about you is what about your "rightwing" bias? I have seen more than just a little in our communication. What makes you believe that your sources and perspectives are infallible? Just as you can't see the back of your head, what you consider objective is well tainted by your own preconceptions of matters and events.

            Ken, the fires of racism have always been here, they do not need to be stoked. They have been much like a cauldron waiting to boil over under any number of a variety of triggers. Put out the fire instead of being so being so concerned about controlling it.

            We do not want to always have to "pull teeth" to achieve movement in the correct direction.

            Even Biden said that he was not for the dissolution of police forces and why Republicans continue to repeat this lie is beyond me. I want reform of the police departments in major metropolitan areas and specific changes in SOP which I had mentioned before.

            The millionaires and billionaires have a vested interests in maintaining the status quo. They are not the ones that feature the structural inequity of the system as they are the ones that benefit most from it and like Bloomberg and Trump, as well, would not willingly give up their advantage.

            Trump, his mouth and persona are his biggest enemies. No one else could have managed to earn the ire of so many in so short a time. His performance appraisal can only be described as considerably than fully successful.

          2. crankalicious profile image95
            crankaliciousposted 9 months agoin reply to this

            This is an interesting quote:

            "In the 60s racial discrimination was severe, but those with courage were able to stand up, have their voices heard, and make the politicians take note... and make changes for the betterment of all."

            Like who? Martin Luther King? Malcolm X?

            Hmmm, what happened to those guys?

 
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