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Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 13
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Good Thing Obama Is Saving CapitalismPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)
I actually don't understand the people who claim capitalism fosters only short term thought. It's simply not true, demonstrably so.

Companies like GM, Ford, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, IBM, etc... They sell products in huge volume, while at the same time spending millions in researching technology to create products that they won't see a dime from for several years. GM has been working on the Volt for the better part of a decade. The Boeing 747 took nearly a decade to get from planning to takeoff. Solid state hard drives have been in development for years. IBM has been working on next-generation, post-silicon processor materials that may not even ever come to fruition, and if they do it won't be until 2015ish, but it is the type of research investment that has been driving our economy for over a century.

Ford remained more competitive than did GM and Chrysler because they took the long view of financial planning since the turn of the century, leaving them more secure in a crashing economy despite a terrible sales environment plaguing every manufacturer. We see in every industry companies planning way ahead and being rewarded for it.

Hell, even less high-tech companies like Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, and other bicycle companies spend their R&D constantly developing lighter, stiffer, and faster products that won't come to fruition for a long time.

Christ, you can look at a damned whiskey bottle and know that the company who created it wasn't thinking of just 3 months down the road. My own liquor cabinet is an example of distilleries planning years ahead of time to develop high quality products to stay competitive in the market.

Right now, the system is being run by the capitalistic equivalent of 5 year olds with no concept of delayed gratification.

This just isn't true, unfortunately you have the advantage of being able to define "the system" as being whatever you want to talk about, which leaves you somewhat free to cherry-pick bad examples. But "the system", our economy, is certainly not represented by a few hedge fund managers, even if the sum of them may have an effect on our economy.
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 14
Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 11/15/2010 2:32:27 PM
I don't believe capitalism fosters short term thinking. I do however believe that the way the market works now, does.

Right now, the officers of any public company have a fiduciary responsibility to look after the interests of the share holders. I have no problem with that, and frankly, a lot of terrible things have been done when they don't look to ensure the share holders' best interests.

The problem is, that this responsibility has been defined very narrowly. The woman who founded The Body Shop built a thriving multi-national retail empire, based on principles of ethical sourcing. She was convinced to take the company public, and all the principles that built customer loyalty were thrown out the window. She sold all her shares in disgust. Since then, judging by local evidence, it seems that Body Shop has seen shrinking market share. The founder kept controlling interest, wanted to maintain her founding principles, but was forced out since her policies didn't provide the quickest buck.

It also drives me nuts that an arbitrage firm can buy a thriving company, then saddle it with the debt incurred to buy it. That's a huge part of the supposed decline of print media, as an example. The Chicago Sun Times was making money in its day to day operations, but not enough to cover the debt charges piled on it by the people who bought it.
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 15
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Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 11/15/2010 4:45:31 PM
Since then, judging by local evidence, it seems that Body Shop has seen shrinking market share.

This implies that the market DOES work in such a way that it fosters long term thinking.

Publicly listed companies with quarterly shareholder profit announcements manage to plan long-term on a regular basis, as exemplified by the companies I listed. Intel seems to be doing fine, so do Google and Apple, two of the most valuable stocks on the market.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 16
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Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 11/18/2010 5:40:32 PM
Count I:
"And keep in mind that the so-called Republican led bailouts were supported by a majority of Democrats and opposed by a majority of Republicans." Please go back and look. The bail outs started while the Republicans still controlled BOTH houses of congress, as well as the Presidency. If a majority of Republicans had opposed them, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH CONGRESS.
And you didn't read what I said about Capitalism. I did NOT say that Capitalism runs on the notion that businessmen are fair-minded, I said that REPUBLICANS behave as though THEY BELIEVED that NO regulations are needed, because THEY think businesses will behave logically and fairly. I said specifically that I AGREE with you, that CAPITALISM HAS NO HEART. I know full well that there are thousands of regulations. The reason WHY there are thousands of them, is BECAUSE businessmen have done things that were detrimental to many people, as well as to the industries they were in, as well as to the marketplace itself. Simple example: when possible, large companies tried to completely control an industry or function. That is called a MONOPOLY, and monopolies were REGULATED away, BECAUSE they DESTROYED the ability of the market to "self-regulate."
I will add to what I said about the "free-market" advocates I have seen: they THINK that the market will self regulate exactly as you describe: "A businessman makes a better and/or cheaper product not because he's altrustic, but because he wants to grab a bigger share of the market. There's a subtle interplay of greed and fear in the market that keeps businesses in line. " The trouble is, that anyone who actually LOOKS will find that throughout history, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. When a business becomes powerful enough, the leaders have tended to be VERY human, and instead of INNOVATING to stay in the lead, they have instead used their power to QUASH COMPETITION, often as not with direct violence.
We are in agreement that artificial government regulations are sometimes not well conceived, not well described, and sometimes make a mess of things. However, the "subtle interplay of greed and fear in the market that keeps businesses in line" that you cite has repeatedly been shown throughout history to be a fantasy. In the real world, greed leads businessmen to lie, cheat, steal, and sabotage the competition. They will try to isolate segments of a given market, and establish localized monopolies, so that they DON'T have to do anything to improve, or even be responsible for the quality or value of their product. That is WHY there are so many government regulations: for every regulation, there was a REAL incidence of businesses doing something that CAUSED the authorities to step in. The government certainly did a bad job of regulating things on many occasions, bit to say that ALL or even MOST government regulations are a "poor substitute for the checks and balances in the free market" ignores the FACT that the regulations, however badly executed, were enacted BECAUSE the free market FAILED to regulate itself.
Joined: 4/25/2012
Msg: 19
Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 7/19/2012 11:34:37 AM
Yes, Obama IS saving capitalism, just not in America.
Joined: 4/25/2012
Msg: 20
Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 7/25/2012 8:46:03 AM
Excerpted from the Washington Examiner, July 12, 2012

"Before he died, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly told President Obama to adopt more business-friendly policies, because "regulations and unnecessary costs" had made it difficult to build factories in the United States. If he didn't change course, Jobs warned, "You're headed for a one-term presidency."

Jobs' words resonate now as the campaigns of Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, lob accusations of "outsourcing" back and forth. Obama claims Romney was a "pioneer in outsourcing jobs" because Romney's old private equity firm, Bain Capital, invested in some companies that created jobs in foreign countries. Romney claims Obama is the "outsourcer in chief" because billions in economic stimulus dollars went to foreign companies.

Both of these charges miss the bigger question: Whose policies make it easier for all businesses to create jobs here in America? Whose policies make it more profitable for companies to move operations elsewhere? On these questions, Obama has a clear record -- and it isn't good."

Steve Jobs was considered one of the brightest and hardest working entrepreneurs of all time. Do you believe him?

"The World Economic Forum has also downgraded the Obama economy. Its annual Global Competitiveness Index surveys more than 14,000 business leaders in 142 economies and ranks them on 12 "pillars of competitiveness." When Obama became president, the United States ranked 2nd. Now we rank 5th. The GCI explains the Obama era decline in terms of increased government debt and concerns over "the government's ability to maintain arms-length relationships with the private sector." The survey also notes that "n comparison with last year, policymaking is assessed as less transparent ... and regulation as more burdensome. ..."

So the U.S. WAS 2nd in competitiveness, now 5th. Does that matter?

"The World Bank recently began publishing an annual "Doing Business Report" that ranks 183 national economies on 10 economic factors. As recently as 2008, the World Bank ranked the United States the fourth best country in the world in which to start a new business. Today, the U.S. has fallen to 13th place."

Again, moving downward in the best place to start a business. Down, down, down.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 21
Good Thing Obama Is Saving Capitalism
Posted: 7/25/2012 10:53:15 AM
The good news is that the US is pretty consistently in the top five for ease of doing business. It is currently number 4 behind Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.
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