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(Guardian)   Is there a viable alternative to Capitalism?   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Socialism, Capitalism, Democratic socialism, Central bank, Communism, Social democracy, share markets, central banks  
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1192 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Sep 2020 at 8:05 PM (20 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-09-06 4:26:44 PM  
Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?
 
2020-09-06 4:32:20 PM  
lowercase?
 
2020-09-06 4:33:25 PM  
Is capitalism viable?
 
2020-09-06 4:34:09 PM  
communism
 
2020-09-06 4:36:03 PM  

dionysusaur: Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?



This, and that.  The best of both worlds, to really make America livable great again, finally.
 
2020-09-06 4:48:30 PM  

dionysusaur: Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?


Scandanavia: Capitalist when you point out how great they're doing, socialist when you talk about adopting any of their policies.
 
2020-09-06 5:00:38 PM  
There's no strict purely capitalist system in existence.   In a Utopian theory, sure, if you just flat out make up rational human behavior patterns, then most anything could work.

In practice, out among horrible humans, in the real word?  There's no system that will work for all people in all places.  All you can do is try to have some checks and balances, and mix in various ideas, and hopefully find a mechanism that protects people from the worst of us.
 
2020-09-06 5:03:39 PM  
Honest, non-partisan, REGULATED Capitalism, conducted by well-paid career folk* that have REAL, permanent investigatory and PROSECUTORIAL powers, no exceptions, including 'National Security' bullshiat.

The total and complete elimination of functional monopolies, including municipal contracts.

This, combined with real, non-loopholed tax rates for both individuals AND EVERY TYPE OF BUSINESS ENTITY, with the bottom 20% paying nothing at all in taxes (including sales tax).  Proper, stepped rates, where, indeed, billionaires cannot exist.

Oh, and the re-establishment of honest common sense that money IS NOT 'free speech'.

Then, the US might be given re-consideration of being called an actual first-world nation again.

* and if found guilty of taking bribes in their duties; life sentence to gen pop federal prison.
 
2020-09-06 5:12:51 PM  

Ker_Thwap: There's no strict purely capitalist system in existence.   In a Utopian theory, sure, if you just flat out make up rational human behavior patterns, then most anything could work.

In practice, out among horrible humans, in the real word?  There's no system that will work for all people in all places.  All you can do is try to have some checks and balances, and mix in various ideas, and hopefully find a mechanism that protects people from the worst of us.


We're awful about regulation - in that we don't regulate a lot of things that require regulation and regulate some things that ought not be so heavily regulated. 

And some of the biggest fans of "capitalism" are really just business anarchists who don't like having to be honest and open about what they're selling people. (Being against labeling laws, for example, is pretty anti-capitalist.)
 
2020-09-06 5:16:14 PM  
Regulated capitalism's goal = societal progress through healthy competition, rewarding those who excel in said competition
Regulated socialism's goal = All needs are provided without question - no one is forced to be "equal" (or the "more equal than others" that usually results from that), they simply never fear homelessness, starvation, etc.

Combine the two = Everyone has what they need without question, but works and competes for what they want. Everyone is free to find their own path in life, and to aim high, knowing they can fail and fall... but never to a point they'll land on the street. Capitalism is restrained enough to prevent oligarchs, but leaves many paths to wealth for those who pursue it.
This is basically where the Scandinavian model will be once automation finishes removing nearly all menial labor, and UBI kicks in. IMO, with current and near-future tech, it's the way to go - there's no need to end capitalism... but there's no need to run screaming from the big scary "S" word either. Combine them for something better than either on its own.
 
Xai [TotalFark]
2020-09-06 5:39:11 PM  
Honestly I think that capitalism is an important part of any good societal structure, unfortunately few on any side seem to want to attempt to compromise which I believe would be best for everyone.

Capitalism at it's core is personal reward for personal success and essentially everyone wants to believe that they can gain through their own hard work.

Starting with raw capitalism, there are essentially 3 key problems:

1) That the ability to engage in capitalism requires spare income or assets, money that you don't need to spend on essentials. The more people who have this available cash, the more investors/entrepreneurs/inventors etc you'll have so society should be managed so that basic expenses (housing, healthcare, basic transport, staple foods etc) are kept at reasonable prices and that wages are balanced to allow free cash when all these basics are considered.
One of the largest monthly expenses is housing and basic housing is so frequently overlooked. It's no good raising the minimum wage if rent is uncontrolled since landlords will simply raise rents to meet what the new wages can afford.
One simple solution would be to provide worker's housing, very spartan and basic accommodations, small apartments for example, which would not be a right per-se but would have a fixed rent and built to satisfy all demand. The reason this would help is this would provide an anchor point for the local housing market, preventing local prices from becoming too extreme.

2) Inheritance. If you imagine capitalism like a game, you can imagine that your success is down to hard work, but unfortunately it's almost impossible to win if you start off with $10 to your name and the other players start with $10,000,000,000. Large inheritance taxes are essential particularly on large fortunes - capitalism should be about how hard you worked, your success - not the success of people you happen to be related to. If you don't the families who are rich now will, unless truly incompetent, remain rich which actively prevents those less fortunate from getting a chance.
I know someone on here will say that money is infinite so it is fair, but it isn't because of limited resources. Property is the perfect example of this since it's obvious that you can't make more land unless you're dutch - hence if someone has more money than you, they can always outbid you, forcing prices ever higher until only the wealthiest posses the majority of the assets.

3) Infrastructure. The key problem with capitalism from a government standpoint is that infrastructure is built to achieve a return, when from a national standpoint no such return is necessary for it to be a success.
Let's say you built a rail line, it would take vehicles off roads, reduce national fuel consumption which could in turn reduce fuel costs nationwide, decrease travel times and thus increase both productivity and leisure activities - all of this is in addition to local business improvements and fares. Even if the cost is large, as it's a one off only the upkeep and maintenance really need to be considered but so frequently projects are overlooked because they won't be immediately profitable.


TLDR
1) Price controls/subsidies on essential services housing/healthcare/transport so on a minimum wage you can still get by just fine.
2) Big inheritance taxes on any large estate to prevent babies being richer than someone who has worked and saved their entire life.
3) Sufficient tax to pay for infrastructure and societal investment.

If you can get that right capitalism will work.
 
2020-09-06 7:14:04 PM  
Capitalism contains its own demise, because of human nature. It will never ultimately result in anything except fascism, until humankind makes its next great evolutionary step, which will be social and psychological, instead of physical. But of course by then, we will have grown out of capitalism.
 
2020-09-06 7:45:11 PM  

Albert911emt: dionysusaur: Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?


This, and that.  The best of both worlds, to really make America livable great again, finally.


Reduce scarcity, prohibit artificially forced scarcity.

Build robots for the jobs no one wants to do. Build robots to build robots.

Hand over everything to the robots.

Best case scenario, you get Culture, the economy is automated and invisible. Money is useless in the face of abundance.

Second to worse case scenario you get Cylons or Skynet.

Worse case scenario is it just doesn't pan out and we continue on down with capitalism.
 
2020-09-06 8:14:34 PM  

dionysusaur: Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?


That's not really an alternative. 

That's capitalism at its best.  Make sure the people are taken care of, and let the market run free.  I really admire the Scandinavian system because I admire capitalism, not as an alternative to it.

That's as much an alternative to Communism as it is an alternative to Capitalism.
 
2020-09-06 8:21:10 PM  
The death penalty for corporations, including all C level executives.
 
2020-09-06 8:25:13 PM  
Proper capitalism requires regulations.  Anti-capitalists hungering for oligarchy always rail against any regulation, however minor.  Unchecked greed is not capitalism, it's parasitic.
 
2020-09-06 8:29:38 PM  
Ok so what was the Federation in Star Trek???

The shows make it seem like its an authoritarian society where a insanely large military pretty much controls the way things go, builds and maintain all infrastructure.  But they have elections for who is the president or whatever the position is called so its democratic-ish ??
However, everyone works for the betterment of all peoples, races, species, ect. and the closer to the core worlds you get money is bo longer used or even thought of but there were individuals who had a ton of wealth and you could "purchase" entire moons and what not so not really communist and the closer to the wild frontiers you'd better have Gold Pressed Latinum or else.
 
2020-09-06 8:32:46 PM  
No.  And there is really no alternative to globalized container-ship multinational capitalism, either.  There are too many things it does too well.  A llama herder in the most remote village in Bolivia has a cell phone and can trade his llamas for Coca-Cola.

That said, pure capitalism has no check on wealth concentration which eventually makes both capitalism work less well, and eventually leads to guillotines.

We only really committed to the idea of free-floating debt-based money... divorced from shiny metal... only around 50 years ago.  Moving to a money supply where fiat creation happens by a UBI is not much more of a sea change than that was.
 
2020-09-06 8:35:00 PM  
The best approach is to take the best of this, and the best of that.

I have a client that, according to her therapy records, is afraid the Democrats will win. She's afraid of becoming a slave to a socialist government.

She got her $1,200. She got the extra $600 a week in unemployment. She's on Medicaid. She moved into subsidized disabled housing. She is my client because she is applying for Social Security disability.

She has no farking clue that she isn't in the gutter because of socialized programs. No. Farking. Idea.
 
2020-09-06 8:38:11 PM  
In my blueprint, central banks provide every adult with a free bank account

Didn't India have this but it was awful and now most use their phones as back accounts. Pretty sure the famous pic if the teller playing solitaire was the state Bank.
 
2020-09-06 8:41:56 PM  
A mixed economy, but then again every functioning state is some kind of mixed economy, devil's in the details, so looking at it from so far out is kind of bullshiat.
 
2020-09-06 8:45:36 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-09-06 8:47:25 PM  
The article doesn't even get to something that radically changed since Thatcher's hour: IP law basically creates a huge chunk of the economy.  What's different about Imaginary Property is that it doesn't follow any law of supply and demand.  Supply is essentially infinite, demand isn't.

Before you suggest that it isn't as big as I am suggesting, consider how manufactured goods are produced.  The are designed (typically in the West, Japan, or Taiwan) and then built to print in China (sometimes Viet Nam, the Philippines , or similar).  This leads to knockoffs made exactly the same as the original, but nobody is going to pay full price for the counterfeits.  I'm sure you can get a good idea of what the knockoffs cost on alibaba.

Basically the economy consists of real estate, IP, commodities, and services.  Granted, "commodities" isn't a good description of built-to-print goods as the tooling has a non-zero cost that can't be trivially replicated, but "commodities" is a pretty good word for them.

"Commodities" and "services" can and will follow the laws of supply and demand.  Capitalism, in theory, should work.  Regulated capitalism should work in reality, but depends on cluefull and less corrupt regulators (difficult to find in the US revolving door crony-government).

Real estate is a known problem, and even US law doesn't go full Capitalism on it.  I'm sure there are good solutions, but I haven't run across them.  And if you aren't fundamentally changing services and leaving (real) commodities untouched, then real estate can be handled separately.

This leaves IP.  Socialized IP should work (with the IP being free for citizens), but leaves the issue of just who gets paid to make it and what happens to IP made by private persons.  I'm pretty sure that the economy that solves this issue will dominate the economy of the 21st century (with the 22nd by some large nation that copies them.  Think the Netherlands in the 17th century inventing capitalism and the English copying it in the 18th [may be too late on those dates].
 
2020-09-06 8:47:38 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-09-06 8:51:04 PM  

TotallyRealNotFake: Ok so what was the Federation in Star Trek???

The shows make it seem like its an authoritarian society where a insanely large military pretty much controls the way things go, builds and maintain all infrastructure.  But they have elections for who is the president or whatever the position is called so its democratic-ish ??
However, everyone works for the betterment of all peoples, races, species, ect. and the closer to the core worlds you get money is bo longer used or even thought of but there were individuals who had a ton of wealth and you could "purchase" entire moons and what not so not really communist and the closer to the wild frontiers you'd better have Gold Pressed Latinum or else.


Star Trek is vague as hell on what government and economy worked. People that also think Starfleet was the one in controls ignores about every other episode a planet government was road blocking them and Captain Pickle was frustrated because his hands were tied. Starfleet very clearly answered to civilian governments.

Some things we do know about the Federation was that members operated largely independent with Federation being more of interstate commerce regulation. However, we know that the federation could take control of a member planet under a type of martial law and there was no clear exit path once in but there might be.

They never addressed money at all because no one can imagine a capitalism replacement how it worked but wasn't the collectivesism of Marxist systems and everyone was still individuals. We know there are federation credits when DS9 came on because they needed to start showing trade outside the federation but they still never addresses how much an individual got or how it is decided who got a runabout etc. I mean, did you ever see a federation bank?

Next generation replicator tech was basically a cop out to having to address any of this. Here is a magic box that makes anything you need and we have ones so big they can make ships and buildings with industrial sized ones. Now there is no resource contention when we can just take your poop and turn it back into food.
 
2020-09-06 8:51:25 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
KIA
2020-09-06 8:55:11 PM  
Not until scarcity is solved.  Until then the world is one of finite resources and infinite demands.  The distribution thereof is the question: whether it should be accomplished by faceless bureaucrats often hundreds or thousands of miles away, unknowable and unaccountable to you for anything or through a market system.

The market system works.  Every one of you uses it.  I know this because you are online.  You are online because you pay for at least one service provided by someone else or you provide companionship for someone who does.  The market works in relationships too.  It rewards success and punishes failures.  This shifts people into productive paths over time.

Socialism, on the other hand, crushes incentives to excel and all reason to succeed.  If you don't have to worry about food, shelter or medical care, then a shockingly high percentage of people will revert to their basic function of turning perfectly good food into shiat - and nothing more.

Marx and Engels felt that value was created by labor but that is empirically untrue.  Labor *can* create value but value is still situational and based on scarcity and perception.  You can buy a dozen eggs today for less than $2.  In the riots after the elections in November you may not be able to buy an egg for $100 or $1000.  Yet no person laid that egg.  They may have collected it and packaged it and shipped it, but all of that cost a lot more than $2.  The price ultimately has nothing to do with the labor.  It is entirely based on availability and perception.
 
2020-09-06 9:05:38 PM  
What's wrong with capitalism?
It's a great way of making money.
It's not capitalism's fault that greedy, stupid people have attempted to elevate it into some sort of moral/ethical/social system.
Capitalism as a way of making money is great.
Capitalism as a model for running society is horrible.
 
2020-09-06 9:06:50 PM  
I know the authority is allegedly an economics expert, but if there are open markets involved, then it's not "the death of capitalism." It's just a different kind of capitalism.

Also, how does she propose companies raise funds for endeavors that cost more than their current cash reserves? And with the one man/one vote system - a company is likely to have a majority of the voting block made up of the lowest level employees, so we then have a situation where the lowest-skilled and lowest-educated employees have the majority of power to shape company policy. And while I know that some executives aren't great at making shiat happen, I have worked with enough small business owners to know that putting a bottom-rung 'doer' into a management position ends with shiat on fire.
 
2020-09-06 9:10:06 PM  
People are greedy. Socialism fails because despite an altruistic mission statement, corrupt actors infiltrate the system and bend it to their benefit.

Capitalism works because it overtly rewards greed. However, left unchecked, it will consume itself as Marx posited many moons ago.

A well regulated capitalist system is a better option than a socialist system. It is still hard to attain, because the same corruption that perverts supposed "Socialist Democratic Republics" also perverts our regulatory bodies and the very system of check and balances that the founding fathers carefully established. Having a two party system hurts, because the Judicial Branch falls victim to meddling by the Executive and Legislative Branches when both are under the same party banner at the same time. As the ultimate interpreter of Law, the Judicial Branch is most sacred to me.

As of now, it is non-functional. Which is by design.
 
2020-09-06 9:15:58 PM  
"I participated in many debates in pubs, universities and town halls whose stated purpose was to organise resistance to Thatcherism. "

There is something to be said for plain ol' fashioned spleen venting.  Def not safe for work.

The Exploited - Maggie you cunt
Youtube EwnkFlVRCZc
 
2020-09-06 9:35:21 PM  
the correct answer is ...NO.
 
2020-09-06 9:35:52 PM  

Intrepid00: TotallyRealNotFake: Ok so what was the Federation in Star Trek???

The shows make it seem like its an authoritarian society where a insanely large military pretty much controls the way things go, builds and maintain all infrastructure.  But they have elections for who is the president or whatever the position is called so its democratic-ish ??
However, everyone works for the betterment of all peoples, races, species, ect. and the closer to the core worlds you get money is bo longer used or even thought of but there were individuals who had a ton of wealth and you could "purchase" entire moons and what not so not really communist and the closer to the wild frontiers you'd better have Gold Pressed Latinum or else.

Star Trek is vague as hell on what government and economy worked. People that also think Starfleet was the one in controls ignores about every other episode a planet government was road blocking them and Captain Pickle was frustrated because his hands were tied. Starfleet very clearly answered to civilian governments.

Some things we do know about the Federation was that members operated largely independent with Federation being more of interstate commerce regulation. However, we know that the federation could take control of a member planet under a type of martial law and there was no clear exit path once in but there might be.

They never addressed money at all because no one can imagine a capitalism replacement how it worked but wasn't the collectivesism of Marxist systems and everyone was still individuals. We know there are federation credits when DS9 came on because they needed to start showing trade outside the federation but they still never addresses how much an individual got or how it is decided who got a runabout etc. I mean, did you ever see a federation bank?

Next generation replicator tech was basically a cop out to having to address any of this. Here is a magic box that makes anything you need and we have ones so big they can make ships and ...


The Federation is what's known as a 'post-Scarcity' economy. Because anything can be created with the push of a button, all basic needs (food, water, clothing, shelter) can be met for every citizen. The only limitation is energy use to meet those needs, which is solved through various renewable means (mater/anti-mater reactors, fusion reactors, solar collectors). The excess energy generated beyond the basic needs of society are partitioned off into 'energy credits', or more commonly 'credits'. So, everyone's basic needs are met, but there is a surplus 'economy' available for those that want more than the basics.

For example: food. Everyone has equal access to food via a replicator. However, sometimes people want more than just the basics, and would like to indulge in actual cooked meals. So, some citizens open restaurants to provide cooked meals, like Sisko's father. They get paid for this skill via credits from their patrons, which they use to procure 'real', non-replicated, supplies like meat, seafood, vegetables, ect., from farmers, as well as spend those credits on things beyond the basic necessities of life. This is how basic Capitalism can exist in a society that's moved beyond materialistic needs that fuel capitalism.
 
2020-09-06 9:40:24 PM  
Abolish all private property in favor of an expanded concept of personal property. If you want to own something, you need to be making active use of it with your own labor. No more shareholders, no more absentee landlords, no more speculators. From there, everything else can proceed under normal market conditions.
 
2020-09-06 9:42:45 PM  

KIA: Not until scarcity is solved.


We live in a world with artificial scarcity.  There is more than enough food produced each year.  We poorly distribute it.  There are more empty homes in the United States than homeless people.  We choose to maintain a society where people can't have homes without working for it.

Everything that is fashion and popular and expensive for the sake of being posh is artificial scarcity.  That urge for the new hot jeans?  It's that.  The urge for the newest Nintendo?  It's that.  The urge for a new kind of car that you'll have to pay tens of thousands for.  Same thing again.  We will continue to find new products that are expensive and hard to obtain until we decide to stop wanting those things.
 
2020-09-06 9:48:05 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: The best approach is to take the best of this, and the best of that.

I have a client that, according to her therapy records, is afraid the Democrats will win. She's afraid of becoming a slave to a socialist government.

She got her $1,200. She got the extra $600 a week in unemployment. She's on Medicaid. She moved into subsidized disabled housing. She is my client because she is applying for Social Security disability.

She has no farking clue that she isn't in the gutter because of socialized programs. No. Farking. Idea.


Fark user image
 
2020-09-06 9:51:00 PM  

kyleaugustus: KIA: Not until scarcity is solved.

We live in a world with artificial scarcity.  There is more than enough food produced each year.  We poorly distribute it.  There are more empty homes in the United States than homeless people.  We choose to maintain a society where people can't have homes without working for it.

Everything that is fashion and popular and expensive for the sake of being posh is artificial scarcity.  That urge for the new hot jeans?  It's that.  The urge for the newest Nintendo?  It's that.  The urge for a new kind of car that you'll have to pay tens of thousands for.  Same thing again.  We will continue to find new products that are expensive and hard to obtain until we decide to stop wanting those things.


De Beers are world champ hard-core leaders in Artificial Scarcity with their diamonds.
Crazy huge and rare colour diamonds would always be expensive but everyday gem quality diamond for rings and jewelry are common and in no way worth anything near what they're costing.
 
2020-09-06 9:53:20 PM  

TotallyRealNotFake: kyleaugustus: KIA: Not until scarcity is solved.

We live in a world with artificial scarcity.  There is more than enough food produced each year.  We poorly distribute it.  There are more empty homes in the United States than homeless people.  We choose to maintain a society where people can't have homes without working for it.

Everything that is fashion and popular and expensive for the sake of being posh is artificial scarcity.  That urge for the new hot jeans?  It's that.  The urge for the newest Nintendo?  It's that.  The urge for a new kind of car that you'll have to pay tens of thousands for.  Same thing again.  We will continue to find new products that are expensive and hard to obtain until we decide to stop wanting those things.

De Beers are world champ hard-core leaders in Artificial Scarcity with their diamonds.
Crazy huge and rare colour diamonds would always be expensive but everyday gem quality diamond for rings and jewelry are common and in no way worth anything near what they're costing.


Thank you for the additional example :)
 
2020-09-06 10:07:57 PM  
Instead of a different economic system, how about we somehow provide easier access to peoples local federal "representatives". The biggest problem I see is that the only way you gain access to your representatives in both house and senate is with money. Guess who has most of the money? If the masses have easier access and time with their representatives I bet they wouldn't be so insulated from the realities of what the country is going through.

With that said, I have it on good authority the representatives purposely segregate themselves from the masses because they are in it for the money.
 
2020-09-06 10:32:40 PM  

Xai: Honestly I think that capitalism is an important part of any good societal structure, unfortunately few on any side seem to want to attempt to compromise which I believe would be best for everyone.

Capitalism at it's core is personal reward for personal success and essentially everyone wants to believe that they can gain through their own hard work.

Starting with raw capitalism, there are essentially 3 key problems:

1) That the ability to engage in capitalism requires spare income or assets, money that you don't need to spend on essentials. The more people who have this available cash, the more investors/entrepreneurs/inventors etc you'll have so society should be managed so that basic expenses (housing, healthcare, basic transport, staple foods etc) are kept at reasonable prices and that wages are balanced to allow free cash when all these basics are considered.
One of the largest monthly expenses is housing and basic housing is so frequently overlooked. It's no good raising the minimum wage if rent is uncontrolled since landlords will simply raise rents to meet what the new wages can afford.
One simple solution would be to provide worker's housing, very spartan and basic accommodations, small apartments for example, which would not be a right per-se but would have a fixed rent and built to satisfy all demand. The reason this would help is this would provide an anchor point for the local housing market, preventing local prices from becoming too extreme.

2) Inheritance. If you imagine capitalism like a game, you can imagine that your success is down to hard work, but unfortunately it's almost impossible to win if you start off with $10 to your name and the other players start with $10,000,000,000. Large inheritance taxes are essential particularly on large fortunes - capitalism should be about how hard you worked, your success - not the success of people you happen to be related to. If you don't the families who are rich now will, unless truly incompetent, remai ...


I would add the Tragedy of the Commons / Prisoner's Dilemma as a fourth key problem with capitalism.  There are many instances where each individual acting in their own best interest actually produces the worst overall outcome for everyone.
 
2020-09-06 10:33:13 PM  

dionysusaur: Social Democracy?
I mean in the Scandinavian style?


I think it only can work in smaller states. The most populous Scandinavian country is Sweden at 10 million.
 
2020-09-06 10:36:27 PM  
Guess what? Captialism does work - it just takes this little thing called "hard work/Protestant work ethic," which I found out about a dozen years ago is laughed out. However ...

My Dad grew up dirt poor in Arkansas during the Depression, learned how to build a plane in high school, went into the military as an enlisted man and retired as a Lt. Col. (more like laid off when the Vietnam War ended). He became a corporate pilot, never ate out (outside of work) and retired a millionaire.

My wife, who grew up even poorer than my Dad (we're talking living in a trailer without running water in the winter), became the first person in her family to graduate from high school, became a journalist and then was smart enough to get out when it started really dying 10 years ago and became an ESL teacher. He's now making $60,000 and will probably make close to six figures by the time she's retired.

This is all possible, except it's getting harder nowadays EXACTLY because of the government farking up the market by taxing everything under the sun - including the air. And yes, big corporations are partly to blame, because they're in bed with Washington, D.C., and your statehouse, making sure that THEY can afford the taxes and regulations (or even get special breaks for/from them) that your local Mom & Pop can't afford to comply with.
 
2020-09-06 10:36:43 PM  
No.

And Yanis Varoufakis' Most Interesting Man In The World routine is wearing pretty thin. TFA is an extended ad for his latest doorstopper.
 
2020-09-06 10:45:30 PM  

KIA: Socialism, on the other hand, crushes incentives to excel and all reason to succeed.  If you don't have to worry about food, shelter or medical care, then a shockingly high percentage of people will revert to their basic function of turning perfectly good food into shiat - and nothing more.


I think in a post-scarcity economy, people would do labor for social standing, rather than meeting their physical needs.  People are social creatures and actually tend to care quite a lot what other people think of them, and being looked down upon as a freeloader may be significant disincentive on its own.  Certainly today, many people spend significant amounts of their income on things that are designed to be status symbols, and that's true across the spectrum of wealth.
 
2020-09-06 10:47:00 PM  

Stephen_Falken: Capitalism contains its own demise, because of human nature. It will never ultimately result in anything except fascism, until humankind makes its next great evolutionary step, which will be social and psychological, instead of physical. But of course by then, we will have grown out of capitalism.


Ah, yes, because capitalism is so fascist - unlike Stalin's Russia, Moa's China, Castro's Cuba, Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Chavez' Venezuela, etc. Please tell me in your socialist paradise who is going to want to put in all the hours to be a surgeon if they're going to get the same pay as Ms. Gender Studies Barista?
 
2020-09-06 10:59:35 PM  

Catsaregreen: Guess what? Captialism does work 

My Dad - went into the military as an enlisted man and retired as a Lt. Col. 

My wife, - became an ESL teacher. He's now making $60,000 and will probably make close to six figures by the time she's retired.


So, you're saying you're from a whole family of socialist government workers then?
 
2020-09-06 11:02:36 PM  

Fissile: "I participated in many debates in pubs, universities and town halls whose stated purpose was to organise resistance to Thatcherism. "

There is something to be said for plain ol' fashioned spleen venting.  Def not safe for work.

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/EwnkFlVR​CZc]


I remember when Thatcher died, there was a campaign to make 'ding dong the witch is dead' the top song of the week so that the BBC 1 would be obligated to play it.

The song made it to #2 and BBC 1 played a 4 second clip.  It was f*ing hilarious.

It makes me wonder what song will be played when Trump eventually kicks the KFC bucket?

The BBC Trust has rejected a complaint over its decision not to play Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead in full on the Radio One chart show after Lady Thatcher died saying it "was clearly a celebration of a death".

The song, from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, was at the centre of a campaign by opponents of the former prime minister who tried to get it to top the charts after she died.
It eventually reached number two in the charts and the BBC decided to play a short clip along with a report explaining the background of the campaign.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en​t​ertainment/tv/news/bbc-defends-decisio​n-to-ban-ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead-s​ong-after-lady-thatchers-death-8980678​.html
 
2020-09-06 11:07:02 PM  

Catsaregreen: Guess what? Captialism does work - it just takes this little thing called "hard work/Protestant work ethic," which I found out about a dozen years ago is laughed out. However ...

My Dad grew up dirt poor in Arkansas during the Depression, learned how to build a plane in high school, went into the military as an enlisted man and retired as a Lt. Col. (more like laid off when the Vietnam War ended). He became a corporate pilot, never ate out (outside of work) and retired a millionaire.

My wife, who grew up even poorer than my Dad (we're talking living in a trailer without running water in the winter), became the first person in her family to graduate from high school, became a journalist and then was smart enough to get out when it started really dying 10 years ago and became an ESL teacher. He's now making $60,000 and will probably make close to six figures by the time she's retired.

This is all possible, except it's getting harder nowadays EXACTLY because of the government farking up the market by taxing everything under the sun - including the air. And yes, big corporations are partly to blame, because they're in bed with Washington, D.C., and your statehouse, making sure that THEY can afford the taxes and regulations (or even get special breaks for/from them) that your local Mom & Pop can't afford to comply with.


It's getting harder nowadays because blue collar wages have seen no real growth over the last fifty years.  The people who have done better and better in today's economy are the white-collar workers, and there are a ton of barriers to entry into the white-collar world that can't be overcome by determination alone - for starters, most professional jobs these days won't even look at people without college degrees, because there are so many degree holders that it's not even worth interviewing those without.  "How hard you work" is much less of a factor in modern success than "what you know" and often "who you know".

People who are lucky enough to be born into upper-middle-class families start off with greater educational opportunities, go to better schools, and accumulate less or even no debt.  The kinds of skills that will help you succeed in 2020s America are completely different from what you needed in 1930s America.  Today, "lazy and smart" can get you a six figure income pretty reliably, while "hard-working but uneducated" is likely to relegate you to near-minimum-wage.
 
2020-09-06 11:22:04 PM  

Sum Dum Gai: Catsaregreen: Guess what? Captialism does work - it just takes this little thing called "hard work/Protestant work ethic," which I found out about a dozen years ago is laughed out. However ...

My Dad grew up dirt poor in Arkansas during the Depression, learned how to build a plane in high school, went into the military as an enlisted man and retired as a Lt. Col. (more like laid off when the Vietnam War ended). He became a corporate pilot, never ate out (outside of work) and retired a millionaire.

My wife, who grew up even poorer than my Dad (we're talking living in a trailer without running water in the winter), became the first person in her family to graduate from high school, became a journalist and then was smart enough to get out when it started really dying 10 years ago and became an ESL teacher. He's now making $60,000 and will probably make close to six figures by the time she's retired.

This is all possible, except it's getting harder nowadays EXACTLY because of the government farking up the market by taxing everything under the sun - including the air. And yes, big corporations are partly to blame, because they're in bed with Washington, D.C., and your statehouse, making sure that THEY can afford the taxes and regulations (or even get special breaks for/from them) that your local Mom & Pop can't afford to comply with.

It's getting harder nowadays because blue collar wages have seen no real growth over the last fifty years.  The people who have done better and better in today's economy are the white-collar workers, and there are a ton of barriers to entry into the white-collar world that can't be overcome by determination alone - for starters, most professional jobs these days won't even look at people without college degrees, because there are so many degree holders that it's not even worth interviewing those without.  "How hard you work" is much less of a factor in modern success than "what you know" and often "who you know".

People who are lucky enough to be born into upper-middle-class families start off with greater educational opportunities, go to better schools, and accumulate less or even no debt.  The kinds of skills that will help you succeed in 2020s America are completely different from what you needed in 1930s America.  Today, "lazy and smart" can get you a six figure income pretty reliably, while "hard-working but uneducated" is likely to relegate you to near-minimum-wage.


This.

Hard work isn't enough. Without the right combination of choices, connections, and luck, you'll still be poor. You can work your ass off, and still be in poverty. In fact, I'd bet that most rich people don't work as hard as those making minimum wage, and are too soft to last a few weeks working hard.

I agree that hard work should be rewarded. It takes more than that to be successful financially.

The fact is, in industrialised countries, we have the resources to allow everyone to live a decent life. That we don't is because of ideology. That we'd rather have a few people have a slightly higher number that will have no effect on their lifes, instead of preventing a lot of suffering for a lot of people.

I'm not arguing for communism. Hard work, smarts, and innovation should be rewarded. There should be a floor, to avoid needless suffering. So people don't have to do menial labour just to exist. So that no one has to work three part time jobs. There should be greater regard for people who do real work. Work that is needed for society to continue. Our current system is biased in favour of people who have money, but who don't contribute much to society. Excessive wealth concentration has never ended well. We're seeing uprisings and the start of things. A large number of disenfranchised people, with no hope and nothing to lose makes for interesting times. The change will come. How quickly and how much upheaval involved really is yet to be seen.

As for motivation. Most people, if their needs are taken care of, will still work. They'll find something to fill the time, building relationships, doing something creative, or helping the community. It just might not be the drudgery of physical labour.
 
2020-09-07 1:06:34 AM  

Catsaregreen: Guess what? Captialism does work - it just takes this little thing called "hard work/Protestant work ethic," which I found out about a dozen years ago is laughed out. However ...

My Dad grew up dirt poor in Arkansas during the Depression, learned how to build a plane in high school, went into the military as an enlisted man and retired as a Lt. Col. (more like laid off when the Vietnam War ended). He became a corporate pilot, never ate out (outside of work) and retired a millionaire.

My wife, who grew up even poorer than my Dad (we're talking living in a trailer without running water in the winter), became the first person in her family to graduate from high school, became a journalist and then was smart enough to get out when it started really dying 10 years ago and became an ESL teacher. He's now making $60,000 and will probably make close to six figures by the time she's retired.

This is all possible, except it's getting harder nowadays EXACTLY because of the government farking up the market by taxing everything under the sun - including the air. And yes, big corporations are partly to blame, because they're in bed with Washington, D.C., and your statehouse, making sure that THEY can afford the taxes and regulations (or even get special breaks for/from them) that your local Mom & Pop can't afford to comply with.


First of all, I think it's absolutely adorable that you think that your wife earning a median salary with a college degree and that she'll make almost six figures as an ESL teacher (lol) is somehow proof that the system is working. Well, it would be adorable if it weren't so frustratingly stupid that you'll consistently vote against your own self-interests because you just don't know any better.

Here's what I mean: my parents are well into upper middle class (I guess really upper class, but I also free up around people much wealthier than is, and it's all relative. And they started out poor, but not really, which is a whole other story.) My youngest brother got busted with coke and a scale a week after his 18th birthday. My parents paid a very good lawyer which made the charges go away. He has now crashed our otherwise destroyed four cars, all of which get replaced by my parents. He dropped out of college and bummed around for a few years as a low level drug dealer and runner of various stupid get rich quick schemes, and his only employment history is a cashier at a local grocery store, and my parents used their connections to get him a job with a very prominent commercial realty franchise. He now, at the age of 23, making more money than your wife ever will, despite a life that can best be described as "what if someone made a student version of Half Baked with only white people in it, and all the characters were even more incompetent?"

My family will always be higher up the pecking order than yours. And not just a little higher. It's not even close. I can't even imagine living in a world where $60,000 was enough money to care about, let alone get excited over. I paid well more than that in taxes last year, and that was after Trump's idiotic tax cuts which saved me a good chunk of your wife's salary. And all of these policies you support are going to ensure that you will never ever catch up and that I never ever fall to your level. And it's not because of the "taxes and regulations," you goober. It's because all of those tax cuts and deregulations which don't do jack shiat for mom & pops because if taxes and regulatory hurdles are what's keeping a mom and pop from being successful, that mom and pop is run like a dumpster fire and will never turn into shiat anyway - I've started several small businesses, I know what I'm talking about.

And by the way, your dad who "made it all on his own through hard work"? He benefited from the biggest government spending program in the US. If it wasn't for government largesse, he would have still been a dirt farmer. Sure, initiative and hard work help, but your dad turned into a productive never of society thanks to a government program. So cram the "wahhh, big bad government" bullshiat. And take the "look how awesome my family is doing" bullshiat down a notch. You made it into the middle thanks to government help, and now you want to send that to everyone else.
 
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