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Thread: Why I Am Not a Capitalist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    You can't really threaten to quit unless you're one of the rare few who are indisposable. In the vast majority of situations, the corporate employer has absolute control. There is no independence when your employer can just hire another desperate human being and work them like a dog.

    Politicians don't listen to anyone but lobbyists.
    This kind of defeatist attitude isn't very helpful. It's the main reason major corporations and politicians are able to act with impunity in the first place. You have to unionise and fight (hard) for your rights.


    If people want to spend their money on beer and weed, that's up to them. I don't think advertizing is so advanced that it can mind zap people into buying things when they have urgent health issues instead. If they do that, they probably don't care much about their health. Some people might be that susceptible to advertizing, but I don't think most are.
    I'll admit that it's a bit pompous to lecture people about what to do with their money. Being somewhat sympathetic to (left wing) anarchism myself, I'm also tempted to give people the benefit of the doubt that they'll automatically do what's in their long-term collective interest. But I'm also afraid (hopefully it's an irrational fear) of what might happen if they don't. A sick and uneducated population is easier to persuade than a vibrant one; it can be persuaded to give up its rights, including the right to have UBI.

    I'm afraid of a scenario where enough momentum is built for literally everything to be privatised. I don't want to live under a Libertarian system where life is dominated by corporate allegiances and market transactions, and where there is no possibility of appealing to impartial public authorities.

    One thing that a Capitalist culture is good at is corroding "sacred" institutions and replacing them with consumer-driven ones. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; the meritocratic thrust of Capitalism was instrumental in breaking up the dominance of the ossified hereditary aristocracy. Religion is another example of something that - once it lost hard political power - has gone from being the singular authority over social relations and the forms of spirituality to just another consumer choice in the "market" of ideas. Once again, this may or may not be a bad thing depending on your attitude towards religion. I personally draw the line at preserving the authority of citizen-oriented (not consumer-oriented) institutions.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    One thing that a Capitalist culture is good at is corroding "sacred" institutions and replacing them with consumer-driven ones.
    This is the exact reason I oppose capitalism. "Brave New World" is the end result of capitalism.
    What people don't realize is that our liberal democratic society is inherently anti-democratic (thus why the majority of the media uses "populist" as a slur). It is controlled not by the people, but by oligarchs who desire complete mental and physical control over the masses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobus View Post
    This is the exact reason I oppose capitalism. "Brave New World" is the end result of capitalism.
    What people don't realize is that our liberal democratic society is inherently anti-democratic (thus why the majority of the media uses "populist" as a slur). It is controlled not by the people, but by oligarchs who desire complete mental and physical control over the masses.
    Oh yeah. I've read that book twice now. I should have thought to mention it. It's interesting how capitalism can result in a totalitarian society. Most people think of capitalism as entwined with freedom and a free society, at least in older generations. Younger people are turning away from capitalism. Maybe we will not have to worship Ford after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobus View Post
    This is the exact reason I oppose capitalism. "Brave New World" is the end result of capitalism.
    What people don't realize is that our liberal democratic society is inherently anti-democratic (thus why the majority of the media uses "populist" as a slur). It is controlled not by the people, but by oligarchs who desire complete mental and physical control over the masses.
    Is equality even possible?

    I say it's not, but, there are varying levels of inequality. Every human society has had inequality. Just in varying degrees.

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    People speak of capitalism like it is this philosophy that is installed, instead of naturally arises. The US is far more socialist than it is capitalist. We pretty much have printed money ad infinitum. Money is not special. All money does is makes it easier to exchange goods and services. Instead of trading a loaf of bread for a piano(which isn't an equal trade at all) we have money to make the process of exchange easier. Often greed gets blame for things that the government actually causes. The excess greed is often the result of the conditions in which the government sets up. The government comes in, subsidizes certain markets, the prices go up artificially, and then subsequently falls as imbalance is unsustainable. When the markets falls, the liberals come out and start blaming greed and Wall Street. The truth is, there's are fundamental issues in the particular markets that are usually so blatantly obvious and natural, that if the average person just took a moment to look at it, they'd realize they they are being conned into believing in something that actually caused the problem.
    price-rent-cr.jpg

    I mean look at that price spike, do you really think that is occurring due to a natural process of just greed. I mean it surely had nothing to do with the concurrent new policies that led to government back mortgages and fed policy with lower interest rates /sarcasm.

    They've kept the interest rates at near zero percent for like 10 years. That is not capitalism, it is the fundamental basis of Keynesianism which leads to cronyism. The world economy has hit the point of no return. The US will fall and everything else will fall right along with it. The government keeps touting its big GDP numbers, but prices are going up at the same time. You're looking at a very similar pattern to what happened in the 70's with stagflation except it's going to be 100 times worse. The GDP was going up in the 70s as well along with the price. The GDP tapered off and the prices stayed up. Crazy thing is, the entire world followed our exact strategy cause they thought what we were doing was working. It's going to lead to a global economic collapse.
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    can you go into more detail as to how and why the US and thus the global economy is definitely going to collapse in the relatively near future. also what do we mean by collapse, like great depression collapse or "the road" collapse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
    can you go into more detail as to how and why the US and thus the global economy is definitely going to collapse in the relatively near future. also what do we mean by collapse, like great depression collapse or "the road" collapse
    The world has given into trying to solve all of us problems through the "tools" of central banking. They've all kept the interest rates artificially low for an incredibly long period of time, as well as had sizeable infusions of quantitative easing. This created a boom, just like what proceeded the original financial crisis. Before the financial crisis the interest rates were low for a prolonged period of time. Instead of letting things correct themselves, we just re-blew the same bubble economy. The world economy pretty much followed suit with what we did. When times got worse, instead of letting things correct themselves... they lowered the interest rates and printed gobs of money. Also, the entire world economy is tied to the US dollar... that when it falls, nothing is going to be left standing.
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    are you saying the interest rates aren't high enough to cover the risk the loans are taking on, thus eventually they won't get paid back? because that seems to really just be saying people won't be able to produce sufficient value in the future, which is really just saying "we're doomed" but the real question is: why won't they be able to produce value sufficient to support a future economy? the interest rates thing is just the surface mechanism its only calibrated to encourage people to try. yes there entails a gamble on people innovating, but at the same time to suggest it either will definitely fail or definitely succeed seems to beg the question on that point. the truth is we don't really know, but the US is predicated on the basic assumption that its worth trying. on a long enough timeline of course we're all doomed, so then the question becomes why not try

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    austrian economics is a quasi-religious cult.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    Is equality even possible?

    I say it's not, but, there are varying levels of inequality. Every human society has had inequality. Just in varying degrees.
    I've never claimed to desire equality. Hierarchy is natural and essential for maintaining order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    austrian economics is a quasi-religious cult.
    Only time will make you realize how wrong you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobus View Post
    I've never claimed to desire equality. Hierarchy is natural and essential for maintaining order.
    It's true you didn't mention equality.

    But you said something about liberal democracy not truly belonging to the people, "to the people" is usually an egalitarian slogan, it's kind of implied in such a slogan even if not said?

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    austrian economics is a quasi-religious cult.
    A cult is a religion which has not been able to impose itself on society, in this case the mainstream "religion" is Keynsian economics, which admittedly has more appeal to politicians for a reason. You have to admit that if you're a politician, policies which say "laissez faire" during times of economic crisis don't hold the promise of you getting releected, regardless of what's actualy good for the economy in the long run.

    I'm not an adherent to any school of economics but I admit that certain schools have more appeal to political power than others, a policy that favors long term economic health, even if that means a lack of results short term, is not likely to be popular among voters, especially in a country that holds elections every few years.

    You should read some of Bastiat's critique of political economics, especially in ce qu'on voit et qu'on ne voit pas (what is seen and what is not seen), it does make you question the sanity of a politicized economy which cares more about the growth of the state than the health of the economy.
    Last edited by Avebury; 06-25-2018 at 10:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitta View Post
    People speak of capitalism like it is this philosophy that is installed, instead of naturally arises. The US is far more socialist than it is capitalist. We pretty much have printed money ad infinitum. Money is not special. All money does is makes it easier to exchange goods and services. Instead of trading a loaf of bread for a piano(which isn't an equal trade at all) we have money to make the process of exchange easier. Often greed gets blame for things that the government actually causes. The excess greed is often the result of the conditions in which the government sets up. The government comes in, subsidizes certain markets, the prices go up artificially, and then subsequently falls as imbalance is unsustainable. When the markets falls, the liberals come out and start blaming greed and Wall Street. The truth is, there's are fundamental issues in the particular markets that are usually so blatantly obvious and natural, that if the average person just took a moment to look at it, they'd realize they they are being conned into believing in something that actually caused the problem.
    price-rent-cr.jpg

    I mean look at that price spike, do you really think that is occurring due to a natural process of just greed. I mean it surely had nothing to do with the concurrent new policies that led to government back mortgages and fed policy with lower interest rates /sarcasm.

    They've kept the interest rates at near zero percent for like 10 years. That is not capitalism, it is the fundamental basis of Keynesianism which leads to cronyism. The world economy has hit the point of no return. The US will fall and everything else will fall right along with it. The government keeps touting its big GDP numbers, but prices are going up at the same time. You're looking at a very similar pattern to what happened in the 70's with stagflation except it's going to be 100 times worse. The GDP was going up in the 70s as well along with the price. The GDP tapered off and the prices stayed up. Crazy thing is, the entire world followed our exact strategy cause they thought what we were doing was working. It's going to lead to a global economic collapse.
    The system of the United States is neither a fully capitalist state nor a socialist state. It's a state in which a few huge corporations and oligarchs rule.

    Your logic seems plausible until you realize that the capitalism you proclaim eventually gives rise to powerful people who subvert the government to their own ends inevitably. Capitalists often like to say capitalism is good for you, and it is, until one guy gets all the money and changes the rules so that he can't be displaced once he has won the game. That's basically what happened in the USA. Then a bunch of brainwashed people come along and say capitalism will save us, but they don't realize that capitalism is what got them where they are in the first place.

    There is one thing I think is self-evident though: real wealth is created as the result of human effort using the resources of nature. I don't think anyone will deny that.
    "There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky." --HB

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    Essentially what I'm saying is that most who support capitalism these days think socialism subverted capitalism. Never mind the fact that socialism isn't present in the real world. Socialist societies are still ruled by powerful people. But the capitalism fans never realize that it was the capitalists themselves who destroyed capitalism.... And so they keep supporting their own bondage.
    "There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky." --HB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitta View Post
    Only time will make you realize how wrong you are.
    It won't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    You should read some of Bastiat's critique of political economics, especially in ce qu'on voit et qu'on ne voit pas (what is seen and what is not seen), it does make you question the sanity of a politicized economy which cares more about the growth of the state than the health of the economy.
    I've read it before. If the implication of this supposed summarisation is that taxation is equal to wealth destruction, then you're proving my point about being in a cult.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    I've read it before. If the implication of this supposed summarisation is that taxation is equal to wealth destruction, then you're proving my point about being in a cult.
    Touché.

    Anyways, the implication is that public spending is not a form of wealth creation, not that taxation is a form of wealth destruction. It doesn't destroy, Bastiat says, but neither does it create.

    Anyways, I'm not even saying it's my opinion. I'm no economist but I find reading different perspectives and taking them into considertion a better approach than automatically telling people they are in a cult, hint hint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    Touché.

    Anyways, the implication is that public spending is not a form of wealth creation, not that taxation is a form of wealth destruction. It doesn't destroy, Bastiat says, but neither does it create.

    Anyways, I'm not even saying it's my opinion. I'm no economist but I find reading different perspectives and taking them into considertion a better approach than automatically telling people they are in a cult, hint hint.
    For someone with such a careful, considerate respect for open-ended inquiry, you were certainly confident in boldly claiming that state growth is hurtful to the economy.



    the implication is that public spending is not a form of wealth creation, not that taxation is a form of wealth destruction.
    It depends what that money is spent on. States can (and do) own productive industries (even some ostensibly laissez faire poster boys like Singapore, which majority-owns the highly successful Singapore airlines). Redistributing wealth to the lower & middle classes is a subsidy to industries that actually produce things, which is a better use for it than letting the wealthy drive up the prices of asset bubbles / real estate / other speculative bullshit.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    austrian economics is a quasi-religious cult.

    It is at this point, but I'd also argue that, like in our pagan polytheistic past, pretty much every ideology is. Each "god" had its own "cult" as it were. That's of the greater "ancap" cult that's allied and related to other cults. People who were farmers prayed to fertility gods but they also prayed to "gods" related in some other direct fashion (e.g. it wouldn't hurt to *also* pray to a god of fortune/finance if you had just taken out a bigger loan than normal to buy out a portion of your neighbors farmland for yourself right?)


    It's a perspective most people of the modern era find hard to grasp as all major modern religions are monotheistic in some form or another. Hell, I'm a diehard aspiring trad pre-VII Catholic but I can still get it. In a polytheistic society you worship the "gods" relevant to you and at base I can't argue against that. Bankers worship the gods of bankers. Farmers worship farm-related gods... It's the division of labor in the "divine" sense of the term. How very Capitalist of them .

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    For someone with such a careful, considerate respect for open-ended inquiry, you were certainly confident in boldly claiming that state growth is hurtful to the economy.
    That's a strange thing to say given how I phrased what I said.

    I don't think saying "it makes you question..." equates to making bold claims.

    Also, making claims and being open minded are not contradictory. Just because I believe something now doesn't mean you can't present a case to change my mind, partially if not entirely. You've made some claims yourself, do you consider that you are not open minded, or does the position one takes determine what is dogmatic and what is open minded, not the attitude one has towards arriving at the truth?

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    There is a natural order to things. Things are always regressing to the mean. Even in a pure free market economy, recession happen. There is this idea in society today that pricing going up is somehow a good thing. If things are becoming easier to produce, and your economy is growing, then why should they become more expensive. It makes absolutely no sense. A growing economy should become cheaper, not more expensive. If you look at the tech industry(televisions, computers, mobile phones) prices have steadily declined... and tech currently is one of the most thriving markets. We have this propensity to want to prevent recessions from occurring due to government spending. It's just politicians looking for temporary solutions to more permanent problems. During recessions market mobility is at it's highest. The economy needs to have regular small recessions in order to prevent the erosion of the middle class from occurring. It removes wasteful mal-investments and allows those at the bottom to make their move to the top. Keynesianism essentially locks everything into place even though the corporations within a Keynesian economy are highly inefficient. Then they sell the average everyday Joe on some bullshit about wealth redistribution. The wealthy want wealth redistribution. It is like a battery recharger for their investments. The money gets redistributed(or the interest rates are lowered which finances a debt based economy), the money goes to those at the lower tier. The poor have no savings, so what do they do? They spend it on what they need to survive. They don't have the capital to invest. It goes right back to the top... Jenganomics... taking money from the middle and upper middle class and funneling it to the top of the pyramid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    That's a strange thing to say given how I phrased what I said.

    I don't think saying "it makes you question..." equates to making bold claims.

    Also, making claims and being open minded are not contradictory. Just because I believe something now doesn't mean you can't present a case to change my mind, partially if not entirely. You've made some claims yourself, do you consider that you are not open minded, or does the position one takes determine what is dogmatic and what is open minded, not the attitude one has towards arriving at the truth?
    Your wording rather forcefully suggested a dichotomy between state size and economic health. I would have been a little more diplomatic had I known that your real thinking was more wavering and circumspect.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Your wording rather forcefully suggested a dichotomy between state size and economic health. I would have been a little more diplomatic had I known that your real thinking was more wavering and circumspect.
    Haha, it's cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    Essentially what I'm saying is that most who support capitalism these days think socialism subverted capitalism. Never mind the fact that socialism isn't present in the real world. Socialist societies are still ruled by powerful people. But the capitalism fans never realize that it was the capitalists themselves who destroyed capitalism.... And so they keep supporting their own bondage.
    This is a dumb argument. Not trying to offend by stating this, but it's terribly misguided. All political systems are capable of being subverted by powerful people. You think a powerful leader couldn't take over a communist economy, a mixed economy, a socialist economy, etc. History is littered with these scenarios. It's not fair to blame capitalism for this when it seems as every system ever created by man has had this same problem. I'm sure Stalin made Lenin roll in his grave. Quite frankly I'm not sure if I believe anything can truly work. Free markets may always be doomed to the interference from lobbying influences that want to create centralized spending/subsidies. The constitution was created with the idea in mind to keep the government from trampling on individuals rights, and yet they still trampled on the individuals rights. So maybe it will never work. Or perhaps the populace as a whole needs to suffer in order to learn from its mistakes. One thing I'm certain of is that socialism and communism don't work. They both have the worst track record out of all political ideologies. I mean when socialists want to convince people to their side they point to places that aren't socialist as evidence for socialism working like the Scandinavian regions. These countries actually have markets that are much freer than the that of the US.

    The current political climate in the US is like a dieter that has gotten off his/her diet and has started picking up weight. So instead of getting back on the healthy diet, they start doing lines of meth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitta View Post
    There is a natural order to things. Things are always regressing to the mean. Even in a pure free market economy, recession happen. There is this idea in society today that pricing going up is somehow a good thing. If things are becoming easier to produce, and your economy is growing, then why should they become more expensive. It makes absolutely no sense. A growing economy should become cheaper, not more expensive. If you look at the tech industry(televisions, computers, mobile phones) prices have steadily declined... and tech currently is one of the most thriving markets. We have this propensity to want to prevent recessions from occurring due to government spending. It's just politicians looking for temporary solutions to more permanent problems. During recessions market mobility is at it's highest. The economy needs to have regular small recessions in order to prevent the erosion of the middle class from occurring. It removes wasteful mal-investments and allows those at the bottom to make their move to the top. Keynesianism essentially locks everything into place even though the corporations within a Keynesian economy are highly inefficient. Then they sell the average everyday Joe on some bullshit about wealth redistribution. The wealthy want wealth redistribution. It is like a battery recharger for their investments. The money gets redistributed(or the interest rates are lowered which finances a debt based economy), the money goes to those at the lower tier. The poor have no savings, so what do they do? They spend it on what they need to survive. They don't have the capital to invest. It goes right back to the top... Jenganomics... taking money from the middle and upper middle class and funneling it to the top of the pyramid.
    Its funny because the rich must think that "off with their heads" is something left farback in history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timber View Post
    Its funny because the rich must think that "off with their heads" is something left farback in history.
    They haven't been reminded in a while.
    "There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky." --HB

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    Quote Originally Posted by timber View Post
    Its funny because the rich must think that "off with their heads" is something left farback in history.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    They haven't been reminded in a while.
    I think they know. They pick their scapegoats and deflect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitta View Post
    This is a dumb argument. Not trying to offend by stating this, but it's terribly misguided. All political systems are capable of being subverted by powerful people. You think a powerful leader couldn't take over a communist economy, a mixed economy, a socialist economy, etc. History is littered with these scenarios. It's not fair to blame capitalism for this when it seems as every system ever created by man has had this same problem. I'm sure Stalin made Lenin roll in his grave. Quite frankly I'm not sure if I believe anything can truly work. Free markets may always be doomed to the interference from lobbying influences that want to create centralized spending/subsidies. The constitution was created with the idea in mind to keep the government from trampling on individuals rights, and yet they still trampled on the individuals rights. So maybe it will never work. Or perhaps the populace as a whole needs to suffer in order to learn from its mistakes. One thing I'm certain of is that socialism and communism don't work. They both have the worst track record out of all political ideologies. I mean when socialists want to convince people to their side they point to places that aren't socialist as evidence for socialism working like the Scandinavian regions. These countries actually have markets that are much freer than the that of the US.

    The current political climate in the US is like a dieter that has gotten off his/her diet and has started picking up weight. So instead of getting back on the healthy diet, they start doing lines of meth.
    Like I said originally, the solution is neither capitalism nor socialism. People act like these are the only two options in existence lol.

    It's like their brains have frozen up into this false dilemma. Talk about mental bondage.
    "There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky." --HB

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    Quote Originally Posted by inumbra View Post
    I think they know. They pick their scapegoats and deflect.
    Harder to do in a modern e-net society. Civility is a thin veneer. Ive already began drifting away from modernity and feel some some adjustement, perfectly situated for if and when this all goes sour.

    Its kinda sad though, this slow crawl to the bttm and the rise of the ultra rich. Makes you feel like just a serf, maybe less so where I live because the people that live here, have a pretty direct impact on their lives and life situations (in a perfect world if they so choose), but as I get older it really does feel as though the cards are stacked against you by the system itself.

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    My parttime job is a job I love and the lifestyle I love and for a man I love, but I get the short end of the stick even with him and its not fair but the world moves for love.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    Like I said originally, the solution is neither capitalism nor socialism. People act like these are the only two options in existence lol.

    It's like their brains have frozen up into this false dilemma. Talk about mental bondage.
    No I'm not acting like those two are the only options in existence. You can believe in socialism. You can believe in capitalism. You can believe in mixed economies. You can believe in more full on communism. These are general ideas of political philosophy and don't completely sum up many people's discrete ideas in politics. The issue I have with what you said is you stated that capitalism results in those with money stealing power, and I'm saying that I've yet to see a political philosophy where people in power or important positions can't steal power. The constitution was created to prevent that exact thing(though we kind of trampled on it). There are a ton of solutions to this that people have come up with over the years, heck I've ever seen anarchists who think that the solution is built from having a stateless society. I'm fine with that, but nothing has really completely prevented it. The idea that there is something in human history that hasn't experienced this problem is just flawed and tbh freer markets are the ones that have experienced it the least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitta View Post
    like the Scandinavian regions. These countries actually have markets that are much freer than the that of the US.
    Don't be retarded.
    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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    The concerns raised by the OP were very much there in Adam Smith's time.



    The video raises four objections people have to capitalism. Smith recognized these concerns as valid but his solutions to them may surprise.

    The four concerns raised in the video:

    1) Work becoming meaningless
    2) Luxury/excess wealth
    3) How to get the rich to become beneficial to the rest of society
    4) The problem of companies producing garbage product

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Don't be retarded.
    https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

    Iceland is ranked 11th in the Economic Freedom Index, according to the Heritage Foundation, Denmark 12, Sweden 15, all ahead of the United States (18). Norway (23), Germany (25) and Finland (26) are all not far behind the USA. I don't think the statement is as retarded as one might assume, but we usually think of Northern European countries as high regulation and high spending, but evidence indicates otherwise.

    Conversely, "capitalist" countries such as Saudi Arabia (98), Russia (107) China (110) are considered "mostly unfree" economies despite being supposedly such big capitalists.

    While there is a definition of capitalism that all people can agree on, there are different forms of capitalism, and so different people might imagine different things when imagining a capitalist society.

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    I'm a capitalist because its the lesser of two evils to me.... although now that I think about it, it does feel wrong that there should only be those two binary choices. ie being ruled over by asshole businessmen, or being ruled over by asshole people in the high ranking of government. I'm a capitalist only because being ruled over by an asshole businessman is the lesser of two evils for me, although both are evil.

    If I was forced to save trump over comey, I'd save trump- but I'd rather sadistically watch them both drown while I cutely smile off into a new world with a better system for all. But its too idealistic to be no system at all, there's too many logical types in the world for that or something. Burn all systems and start a revolution yeaaah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

    Iceland is ranked 11th in the Economic Freedom Index, according to the Heritage Foundation, Denmark 12, Sweden 15, all ahead of the United States (18). Norway (23), Germany (25) and Finland (26) are all not far behind the USA. I don't think the statement is as retarded as one might assume, but we usually think of Northern European countries as high regulation and high spending, but evidence indicates otherwise.

    Conversely, "capitalist" countries such as Saudi Arabia (98), Russia (107) China (110) are considered "mostly unfree" economies despite being supposedly such big capitalists.

    While there is a definition of capitalism that all people can agree on, there are different forms of capitalism, and so different people might imagine different things when imagining a capitalist society.

    Literally anybody can publish these indices using any criteria they want. The publisher of the study (The Heritage Foundation) is an extreme right wing American think tank funded by the Koch brothers; it has a pretty biased agenda.

    I see that the index lists Singapore as #2. Here are some facts not normally covered when think tanks and so-called news outlets pretend that Singapore is a laissez faire economy:

    > all land in Singapore is owned by the government.
    > 85% of housing is supplied by the government.
    > over 20% of GDP is produced by government-owned enterprises (like Singapore airlines).


    It also publishes reports that are critical of climate change and climate science. There is no polite way to put this, but climate change "skepticism" is tinfoil hat conspiracy theory stuff.
    Last edited by xerx; 08-10-2018 at 02:20 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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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Literally anybody can publish these indices using any criteria they want.
    Of course they need have criteria in the first place before creating an index like this. It's better than just randomly saying "I think this country is free, but I have no evidence so I'm going to rely on popular superstition". Now, you can question their criteria, like in your Signapore example, but I think an index like this is better than nothing. Tbh, I feel they did a god job; the criteria is clear and based on research.

    The publisher of the study (The Heritage Foundation) is an extreme right wing American think tank funded by the Koch brothers; it has a pretty biased agenda.
    And yet they could still be right. That's the problem with an ad hominem attack, it proves nothing about the arguments or information being given by the person or group in question.

    I personally don't agree with everything they support either, in terms of policy, but I don't see a reason why they would publish an index like this with bias either. And like I said, even if it is published with bias, that isn't the point. Pretty much any public policy think tank is going to be bias as bias in inherent in policy making. theHF is no exception there, that doesn't make their work worthless imo.

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    The Fraser Institute publishes its own economic freedom index.

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

    Hong Kong and Singapore, once again, occupy the top two positions.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avebury View Post
    Of course they need have criteria in the first place before creating an index like this. It's better than just randomly saying "I think this country is free, but I have no evidence so I'm going to rely on popular superstition". Now, you can question their criteria, like in your Signapore example, but I think an index like this is better than nothing. Tbh, I feel they did a god job; the criteria is clear and based on research.
    What gave you the impression that I was relying on popular stereotypes? I think I'm reasonably well read about the topic for a layperson who's never been to Sweden. I already knew that the country has been undergoing massive pro-market reforms over the past few decades.

    One of my absolute favourite publications is the British magazine The Economist, which does excellent journalism while taking a critical stance that is highly supportive of free markets. Ideologically and editorially, it is very much a champion of classical liberalism. In an article specifically addressing the Sweden question, the author summarises the ongoing deregulation and massive overhauls to Sweden's welfare state. He includes the following disclaimer:

    But the danger is vastly reduced by Sweden’s all-enveloping public services. Although government spending has shrunk in recent years, the Swedish state is still large (51% of GDP last year), and it spends much more than Anglo-Saxon countries do on everything from early-childhood education to job search and training. According to the OECD, more than 70% of the children of the poorest fifth of Swedes are in state-financed child-care and education schemes, compared with fewer than 30% in America.
    I don't know the figure off-hand, but I don't think America's government sector is remotely equal to half its economy. Swedes still pay high taxes, and there is still massive wealth distribution in spite of all the cuts to services. Unions are also much stronger in Sweden than they are in America.

    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.


    I personally don't agree with everything they support either, in terms of policy, but I don't see a reason why they would publish an index like this with bias either. And like I said, even if it is published with bias, that isn't the point. Pretty much any public policy think tank is going to be bias as bias in inherent in policy making. theHF is no exception there, that doesn't make their work worthless imo.
    They could easily have deeply held convictions while presenting the facts completely and thoroughly, like The Economist magazine does. That's what makes a proper journalist different from a propagandist.


    And yet they could still be right. That's the problem with an ad hominem attack, it proves nothing about the arguments or information being given by the person or group in question.
    I was being blunt, not using ad hominems against HF.

    I'm obviously not being very diplomatic, but I don't hate anybody, and I'm not trying or expecting to change anyone's mind.
    Last edited by xerx; 08-11-2018 at 06:39 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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