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Thread: Why I Am Not a Capitalist

  1. #81
    xerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    The Fraser Institute publishes its own economic freedom index.

    https://www.fraserinstitute.org/stud...-annual-report



    And here we have the same conclusion, despite the Fraser Institute not being "an extreme right wing American think tank funded by the Koch brothers".

    The study uses similar, though not identical criteria and reaches similar conclusions. Again, to get back to the point: Scandinavian countries are all considered in the "most free" category. I'm not quite sure what more evidence you could want anyways, different sources point to similar conclusions about the degree of economic freedom in Scandinavia, consider you may have assumptions that are outdated or just not substantiated.
    The Fraser Institute allegedly received $750,000 from the Cock brothers.

    https://vancouversun.com/news/politi...cked-democracy
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/koch-br...arty-1.3466477
    Capitalism is the belief that the rich don't work hard when they don't earn enough, and that the poor don't work hard when they earn too much.

  2. #82
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    Tbh I don't think there is anything wrong with Koch brothers funding and I don't think that the Fraser or the Heritage indexes are propaganda. Heritage's index is a joint effort with the The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper similar to The Economist, I think labelling their work propaganda is a stretch.

    This is your argument:

    The fact is that aggregating different variables under a single index obscures much more than it clarifies. Even if Sweden does score higher on some variables related to the ease of doing business, giving it a higher rank on some fantasy ladder of "capitalism" does nothing to clarify the far more nuanced situation.

    The only thing these indices are useful for is propaganda; they allow someone to pull a bait and switch by using a successful country's rank to proselytize adherence to a vague ideological disposition. It is kept vague in order to promote a basket of reforms without room for distinctions.
    If I understand correctly you label these indices propaganda because they rank countries according to a value judgement (economic freedom), but so do indices measuring freedom of press and civil liberties in various countries. Are those indices propaganda too? By your reasoning they should be, as they rank countries according criteria and do so in order to promote reforms in those countries.

    Anyways, I am not trying to change your mind either, I don't get why these indices are worthless, yes they promote reforms but is that such a bad thing, especially since evidence indicates that the reforms they promote also lead to better economic conditions, just as promoting freedom of press leads to better journalism.
    Last edited by Avebury; 08-11-2018 at 07:06 PM.

  3. #83
    poetic evil
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    There were many systems of whatever about money and production. Most of those systems have died. The capitalism we have today is not the same as 20 years ago. It's not the same in X and Y countries. And blah.

    The thing is the systems does not make much better or worse. Merely different.
    When it first happens, it's all new and shiny and wow and great and blah...
    Some people deperish in every system from day one. Others thrive. Most see ups and downs. It's a beautiful new thing of a dream that comes true/could come true. The american dream...
    Then people get used to the system and it's not that great anymore. Not that bad either. It compares better to [past], [other systems]. It's comfortable still, the dream is still there, a bit blurrier.
    There can happen a "Make america great again!" kind of phase, that contains a lot of disagreement between "enough stagnation" and "enough fixing what's not broken". It's charming to watch... but who is right? Not my turf, mate.
    After it gets old and stagnant, people see how much better X system would be, and so move and make the system shift along with them. Or just move as anything would be better than that, an action in the kind of beheading the king. A sort of revolution, the sense of advancement, the thrill of novelty.
    Then hello, new system all new and shiny and wow and great and blah... : D
    The time each system lives depends on many factors and is not relevant here.
    Sometimes, a revolution is lead by someone or a group, others it happens quietly.

    Of course, no system we have used has been exactly the same, it is not a circle, but a sort of wave, an eb and flow of more or less similar.
    People can shift the system, other people have done it in the past. Where will it go next? DOOM! jk.
    That's where it gets truly interesting...
    I'm stopping here nonetheless. ♡
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    Tbh I don't think there is anything wrong with Koch brothers funding and I don't think that the Fraser or the Heritage indexes are propaganda. Heritage's index is a joint effort with the The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper similar to The Economist, I think labelling their work propaganda is a stretch.

    If I understand correctly you label these indices propaganda because they rank countries according to a value judgement (economic freedom), but so do indices measuring freedom of press and civil liberties in various countries. Are those indices propaganda too? By your reasoning they should be, as they rank countries according criteria and do so in order to promote reforms in those countries.

    Anyways, I am not trying to change your mind either, I don't get why these indices are worthless, yes they promote reforms but is that such a bad thing, especially since evidence indicates that the reforms they promote also lead to better economic conditions, just as promoting freedom of press leads to better journalism.
    They're propaganda because they make blanket assertions. These aggregate indices gloss over the fact that the most successful countries, while market-oriented, aren't market-oriented in crucial ways.

    The way they define "economic freedom" is also somewhat disingenuous, to put it mildly. Pro-business governments can legislate policies, advertised as increasing economic freedom, that work against the free market.

    Intellectual property is one such example of a government-enforced monopoly. When the government gives pharmaceutical companies a drug patent, it prevents other manufacturers from selling a similar "generic" version of the drug for a fraction of the price, yet the Koch's freedom index classifies this sort of racketeering as market-oriented. Perversely, a free market solution that can reduce inequality is reclassified as anti-free market.

    Could it be that the Kochs are using this index to foster their own interests to the detriment of others, including other investors? Could they have an interest in exporting their feudalistic system of rent-seeking on monopolies to other countries? These questions are rhetorical.
    Last edited by xerx; 08-12-2018 at 05:12 AM.
    Capitalism is the belief that the rich don't work hard when they don't earn enough, and that the poor don't work hard when they earn too much.

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