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Joined: 11/3/2005
Msg: 27
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CapitalismPage 2 of 14    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Now that I watched two men I do not particularly care for as far as most of their ideas go perhaps you will give mine a look as well. I am well aware of Friedman and Reaganomics etc. While Reagan came across as a likable sort and I believe he may have meant well. His administrations policies were quite destructive. They set the stage for the globalization and all of it's destructive effects. Not to mention the sheer number of coups and massacres in Latin America under these nuts as well as a great many whom preceded him, whom pretended to care so much about freedom. If that was true why did they make so many coups on democratically elected governments to put in through violent coup backed by our country some of the worst right wing dictatorships this hemisphere has seen? (Eg: VINICIO CEREZO, ROBERTO SUAZO CORDOVA, GENERAL EFRAIN RIOS MONTT, GENERAL MANUEL NORIEGA, to name a few..

On with the discussion of capitalism. I want to bring attention to a free book written by an economist named Dean Baker. The book is titled aptly The Conservative Nanny State. How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.

I will share a couple chapters here but, put the link so you can visit his site and read it yourself. Again free book. ENJOY!

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Chapter 1 — Doctors and Dishwashers: How the Nanny State Creates Good Jobs for Those at the Top

The first chapter deals with the most basic issue, how the nanny state ensures that doctors and other highly educated professionals are in short supply, and that the supply of less-skilled workers is relatively plentiful. A big part of this story is trade. The conservative nanny state makes it easy to import goods as a way to replace much of the work done by workers in manufacturing, such as autoworkers, steel workers, and textile workers. Twenty-five years ago, manufacturing was an important source of middle class jobs for workers without college degrees, typically offering health care and pension benefits, in addition to a middle class wage. If goods produced by workers in developing countries (who typically earn only a small fraction of the wages of U.S. workers) can be imported, then the demand for the manufacturing workers in the United States will be reduced, placing downward pressure on the wages and compensation not only of manufacturing workers, but of workers without college degrees in general.

Immigration is another part of the story. The conservative nanny state allows many less-skilled workers into the country to fill jobs at lower wages than employers would be forced to pay the native born population. While allowing immigrant workers into the country can be seen as part of the free market, like allowing imported goods into the country, this is only half of the picture. The conservative nanny state puts on strict controls to limit the extent to which doctors, lawyers, economists, journalists, and other highly paid professionals must face foreign competition. These restrictions take a variety of forms, which will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 1, but the key point is that not everyone’s labor is placed in international competition. Those at the top of the wage ladder get to enjoy protected labor markets. This both raises their wages and means that everyone else must pay more money for their services.

The conservative nanny state also involves itself in other ways to ensure that highly skilled workers are paid well, and the rest of us pay the taxes in the form of higher prices for the goods and services they produce. For example, licensing requirements, like admission to the bar for lawyers, often are designed more to restrict supply than to ensure quality for consumers.

On the other side, the conservative nanny state beats up on less skilled workers when they push too hard to restrict their supply in the same way. One way the nanny state hampers efforts by less-skilled workers to push up their wages is by outlawing many types of union activity. For example, secondary strikes are illegal. This means that one group of workers can’t stage a strike in support of a second group of workers (e.g. truck drivers can’t refuse to deliver food to a restaurant where the workers are on strike). In the case of a secondary strike, the conservative nanny state will fine or even imprison workers for being too aggressive in pushing for higher wages. Apparently, employers are too weak to be able to bargain with workers without help from the government.

Of course, this is all supposed to happen behind the scenes, no one is supposed to notice these forms of government intervention. The conservatives want the public to believe that the differences in pay between doctors and dishwashers result from nothing other than the natural workings of the market..........

<div class="quote">
Chapter 6 — The Rigged Legal Deck: Takings and Torts (The Nanny State Only Gives)

In a market economy, people are supposed to be able to freely contract as they choose. This raises the question of why so many conservatives want the government to ban certain types of contracts. Specifically, “tort reform” laws at both the state and national level limit the type of contingency fees that clients could arrange to pay their attorneys. These laws restrict the percentage of a legal settlement that can be paid to a lawyer and impose other restrictions on the type of contracts that people can sign with lawyers, if they want to sue a corporation.

These restrictions can make a difference in the public’s ability to sue large corporations, because many clients do not have money to pay a lawyer in advance. They instead must pay them following any settlement, if they win one. Since there is often a great deal of risk in legal suits (it is difficult to know how a judge or jury will rule), and corporations can make suits extremely costly by filing many motions, the contingent fee (which depends on winning the case) that a lawyer requests may be fairly large.

Libertarians would not object to large contingent fees — if clients don’t want to pay them, then they can look for another lawyer. However, the conservatives have promoted caps on contingency fees ostensibly as a way of protecting clients. In reality, such caps are an infringement on individuals’ right to freely contract. In a market economy, the government should not be determining which contracts are acceptable for people to sign. But conservatives want the nanny state to make it more difficult to collect damages from big corporations, so they have no problem with this form of governmental intervention in the market.

In recent years, many conservatives have expressed concern about governmental “takings” in which regulations or zoning restrictions (often for environmental purposes) lower the value of a person’s property. They have argued that property owners should be compensated for any takings.

There are two important problems with this argument. First, there is a basic asymmetry; the government takes actions all the time. Some of its actions may lower property values, but others raise values. For example, creating a park increases the value of the property near the park. Similarly, building a highway that makes it easier to commute to a major city increases the value of land that can be sold for suburban development. The government doesn’t get compensated by private landowners when it increases the value of their land, therefore the payments would be entirely one-sided if the government was forced to compensate landowners when it reduced the value of their property. Of course, this is exactly the sort of nanny state that conservatives want — it only gives them handouts, it never takes anything away.

The second problem with the “takings” argument is that a policy that allows property owners to be compensated every time the government does something to reduce the value of their property would flood the courts with lawsuits. Can someone sue if the government opens an airport ten miles away, shuts a school, or allows a sports stadium to be built in the area? A reasonable conservative argument is that intelligent property owners understand that there is a risk that the government will take actions that will affect the value of property. In principle, this risk is built into the price of the property. If property owners are too dumb to understand the risk when they purchase property, why should the nanny state come to their rescue?

In fact, the traditional legal theory on takings, espoused most clearly by Richard Posner, a conservative legal scholar, is that the government should compensate property owners only in extreme cases where the government’s actions amount to a near-total taking of the value of the property (e.g. building a hazardous waste dump on nearby property). This minimizes the role for government, and encourages property owners to be mindful of potential risks before they buy property.

My point for posting this is two fold. First gives a chance for people to read the work but, I think this is incredibly important to the debate at hand because it shows that our supposed capitalist system and the party whom likes to call any social programs "evil socialism" when they give money to those in poverty or in the lowest sectors of of economy but, have no problem with the long laundry list of government interventions when the money goes the other direction as it most often does.

I find this hypocrisy quite interesting. I believe both conservative and progressives want government intervention the difference is the conservative party wants the money to flow from bottom up and the progressives want to use this to make a safety net to try to lessen the effects poverty imposed by the system.. So the money of course will have to go in the other direction.
Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 28
Posted: 9/3/2009 6:35:59 AM

oh NOOO! Swamp is on top 2% bracket !!!!!

Sigh. The top 1 percent tax bracket is a personal income of merely $300K a year. If you live in or near major meto areas (NYC, LA, SF, DC), a nice house will cost a million or more. It depends on where you live as to whether that $300K a year makes you "wealthy".

In rural Georgia, sure that's a lot of money. In NYC, not so much.
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 29
Posted: 9/3/2009 6:30:27 PM
Certain industries need to have more taxation such as oil industry to reduce monopoly, while green industries need to get taxed less.

Doing that is an act of discrimination.

Why not tax the green companies more? Oh that would hit Al Gore and his carbon credit company and his monopoly.

Or better yet. No company taxes at all.

Then all social programs would fail. Wake up. If it was not for Capitalism and free enterprise. There would be no social safety net.
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 30
Posted: 10/2/2009 1:52:38 PM
Personal opinion

Capitalism is like a mirror that exposes you for what you are, good or bad.

If you have a sheep like mentality than capitalism will expose it. If you have initiative and are willing to learn then you rise to the top. If you are lazy then you sink to the bottom. If you consume without looking at what you consume then don't be surprised when you get sick or hurt.

If you are lazy and uninformed then odds are you hate capitalism.
Joined: 11/3/2005
Msg: 31
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Posted: 10/2/2009 2:04:59 PM
interesting opinion but, it does not make any sense. I know a great deal of people whom work on farms harder than anyone in wall street ever worked in their lives but, they are still poor as dirt. They are not lazy at all. In fact most wall street friends of mine where some of the laziest **stards I knew. Not to mention some of my uber rich friends who never worked a day in their lives, get fat, drunk, and other things we wont mention every day.

being lazy or working hard has nothing to do with it at all.

Me thinks you uninformed if you think it does.
Joined: 4/1/2006
Msg: 33
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Posted: 10/4/2009 12:57:33 AM
"All animals are equal...some animals are more equal than others..."

Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 34
Posted: 10/4/2009 7:27:14 AM
I agree that there are plenty of people who work hard and never earn much money, but if you have the desire to work hard and an entrepreneurial spirit you can build a successful business with little or no capital. As a matter of fact I built all of mine with no capital.

But years before I started working for myself, I worked for various companies. In one of them there was this Salvadoran man who cleaned the offices at night. He got the job by showing up at our door and asking for work. He underbid the company that had our cleaning contract at the time, and so he got the job when the other company's contract ran out.

I'd see this man in my office every night, and during the daytime he worked at Circuit City at his other full-time job -- even though he had a wife and kids. After the first six months or a year, he hired other people to work for him at the cleaning business, some of who worked at my offices and some at other offices where he'd gotten new contracts.

He and his workers always did a GREAT job cleaning the offices. So the company's references were impeccable.

It wasn't long before his company had employees, vehicles, trucks and lots of clients. All the time that my Salvadoran friend was cleaning offices he boned up on how to run a business in the "free time" he had. And once he gave up his day job at Circuit City he invested the money he'd earned towards business classes at the local community college.

Today this man has several businesses, is a multimillionaire -- and still provides quality services at a good price to all of his clients.

So the moral of the story is that if you are willing to work hard, learn your trade, and learn how to properly run a business you can succeed . . . and you don't need any capital to do it.
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 36
Posted: 10/4/2009 9:04:17 PM

Way to dismiss an argument without remotely addressing its substance.

Sorry, I didn't see any substance.

I threw the Sarah Palin/ George Bush comment in as an afterthought to an argument I made about the emotional response that many Americans tend to have to the idea of socialism--a response grown from a successful rhetorical/propaganda campaign that has linked it (socialism), in the popular imagination, to totalitarianism and "godlessness."

I suppose my response to this is, "so?" It's no secret that Americans are, largely, unthinking sheep. Do you have some greater point here? If your goal is to defend socialism you'll have to do better than a half-assed attempt at Poisoning the Well.
Joined: 6/25/2007
Msg: 37
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Posted: 10/5/2009 9:41:35 AM
I don't know what the Salvadoran man did at Circuit City, nor how much he made there (Circuit City is now bankrupt and apparently his cleaning business is thriving...)
I sense there is an underlying theme here, directed at Hispanics and Asians especially, that the immigrants somehow have an unfair advantage in that they have been abused by cruel dictators in their homelands, therefore know how to be obsequious, put their noses to the grindstone while we privileged Americans scream about human rights and what we are entitled to. It goes hand in glove with how low-paid Hispanics somehow have terrific credit ratings, after all they live 20 to a house and eat rice and beans. something us self-respecting Americans feel we are above.
Unless he is a general from some previously ousted regime who smuggled his country's riches out and waited for them to be forwarded from his offshore bank, his capital came from saving money, borrowing judiciously and repaying in a timely fashion. During that time his family probably had to live below their means which they were willing to do...his wife didn't need Calvin Klein fashions, his kids didn't need to go to private schools and have the latest i-phones (although their dad could have bought them at a discount working for an electronics retailer.) Sounds like he practiced sound personal financial management...although I don't know this for a fact. This kind of judgment is available to everyone. You can even be born here and practice it.
Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 38
Posted: 10/5/2009 2:36:04 PM

You assume every good tradesman or laborer is capable and has multiple talents....

He didn't have any talents to start with, just a desire to make a better living for his family. In the beginning, his wife also worked side by side with him cleaning offices. However, there is a wealth of information out there and he wisely decided to learn how to run a small business. Anyone with normal intelligence can learn how to do that.

Not every tradesman can learn how to manage a business, a very different skill. One marketable the other just a commodity...

It's not that hard, and if you get to be a bigger business you hire professionals. If you know how to network with other business owners you also pick their brains, and find out who has good attorneys, accountants, etc. It's the same thing I did over the years going from a small single company sole-proprietorship to a corporation.

I have several stories of mechanics and welders that failed.... Great tradesman unable to manage a business...... or personnel and customers...

Willingness to work has little to do with a marketable skill.....

On the contrary, it has A LOT to do with it. Try being lazy, and see how far your business will go.

Um. No, he accumulated enough capital to turn his small cleaning service into a lucrative business. What do you think he paid his employees and bought his trucks with? Fairy Dust?

No, he paid his employees with the money he earned from his new clients. If you are a single employee you can only clean so many offices. If you have employees, you can clean more offices, and therefore make more money. You don't need capital, since almost all employees don't get paid until after they do the work. In the meantime, you've been paid for the work by your client.

Sure later on you will have capital, but you can certainly start out without it. By the time he was buying trucks, etc. he HAD capital, however this has nothing to do with how he STARTED his company.

I started my first business without capital so I know it can be done. I actually did set aside funds to start the business, but I never wound up having to use it because the money started coming in right away. Plus, I've always been judicious in spending money.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 40
Posted: 10/6/2009 5:58:28 AM

He didn't have any talents to start with

I don't see it that way. I believe everyone has certain inherent talents to a degree. The question is whether the person has discovered it and desires to develop it. I mean, it would be ridiculous to say that anyone could learn to play guitar to the level of Eddie Van Halen with enough motivation and dedication.

The mega success stories of capitalism are like the mega success stories of diet programs: "Results not typical."

In any case, a person should not have to have the desire to make millions just to live in moderate financial security. One does not have to travel too far in the world to see the shrinking middle class.
Joined: 7/20/2008
Msg: 41
Posted: 10/6/2009 6:37:27 AM
IMO capitalism is simply a means to provide people with the opportunity to improve their socioeconomic position relative to others. Hard work and perseverence will typically result in an improvement but seldom a mega success. It better ensures us against a caste system.

What can't happen is a set of government laws that enable the transfer of wealth over a period of time from the poorest folks to the wealthiest folks... and that's what we've had for the last 28 years... today, 3% of TOTAL U.S. wealth has been transferred from the lowest 20% of the population to the top 5% of the population. The most wealthy are not as motivated to improve their position as poorer folks. If we want to stimulate the economy, near the opposite has to happen... if we ultimately want to be a French or Indian class system, we should continue with the GOP... where trickle down really means trickle on.
Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 42
Posted: 10/6/2009 6:52:07 AM
^ ^ ^ ^ And how does that happen, pray tell? The poorest people in the United States pay NO TAXES, in fact, the lower 50 percent of all wage earners only pay 3 percent of the tax. So how could they be transferring wealth to the wealthy?

Rather, the poorest folks are a drain on taxpayer dollars. They are the ones on Medicaid, whose children get SCHIP, WIC, school lunch programs, etc.

The last thing in the world I want to be is France, or worse, the UK, with socialized medicine. In the UK everyone who can afford it buys a private health care policy so they don't have to rely on the NHS.

We could use some reform in health care, but not government health care, and I think the way we run our economy otherwise is just fine.
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 44
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Posted: 10/6/2009 9:17:11 AM

Rather, the poorest folks are a drain on taxpayer dollars. They are the ones on Medicaid, whose children get SCHIP, WIC, school lunch programs, etc.

First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
First Collector: I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
Ebenezer: Why?
First Collector: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer: Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector: You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer: [firmly, but calmly] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector: Many can't go there.
Second Collector: And some would rather die.

Joined: 3/31/2008
Msg: 45
Posted: 10/6/2009 2:07:57 PM

Anyway, SOME people who can afford to buy private insurance in the UK do. But not EVERYONE who can afford to does. In fact, MOST who can afford to DON'T. So don't post B***shit just because it supports your POV.

Eleven percent of people in the UK have private insurance. I seriously doubt that the rest could afford to have it. Living there is hugely expensive and the standard of living is way below what it is here (as it is in Canada).

And according to the World Health Organization the healthcare system in France is the best in the world. Where do we rank? 37th!

WHO hasn't ranked health care systems since the year 2000. Further, WHO weighted things like "universality" high on its list. So a system that wasn't universal wasn't going to get ranked high regardless of how good the health care is.

But your true feelings are clear. The poor are a drain. Great. How about we just send them off to an island, wall them in, and leave them to starve?

Um no, but my REPLY was to a statement that asserted the poor transfer wealth to the rich. My question was how does that occur when the rich pay all of the taxes? Obviously there is no transfer of wealth. Leave the hyperbole at home. Your purse will weigh much less. I'm not snotty to anyone, and I don't expect anyone to be snotty to me.
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 46
Posted: 10/6/2009 2:26:34 PM
Yes Nomadic

Hard workers rise to the top..but not all. Tell many lazy people, as a percentage, rise and how many hard workers do the same, as a percentage.

There are stats to support this. Look it up for yourself. The more wealthy you are, the more hours you work on average. We can all pick a hundred individual examples to contradict each others arguments. This is one of the oldest tactics in the book. There are exceptions to every rule and if you focus on just them then you will get a different picture. If you buy into that form of argument then odds are you are one of the sheep and will be forever manipulated by charismatics.

No not all hard workers rise. What I left out is that Capitalism also does not reward the ignorant , even if they work hard.
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 47
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Posted: 10/6/2009 4:40:19 PM

No not all hard workers rise. What I left out is that Capitalism also does not reward the ignorant , even if they work hard.

Let me see if I interpreted your comment above correctly you said that a hard worker who is not rich is ignorant? Correct me if I am wrong.
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 49
Posted: 10/7/2009 12:10:09 AM
Odds are yes. Look it up.
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 50
Posted: 10/7/2009 12:11:43 AM
I forgot a caveat Earlz

define your standard of ignorance.
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