What is the purpose of Capitalism?

Posted by: logtroll

What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/20/20 11:09 PM

I think it is nothing more than a rickety and largely delusional ideology whose purpose is to shield and balm the nascent consciences of the greedy from shame.
Posted by: CPWILL

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 01:07 AM

Capitalism isn't an end in and of itself - but the freedom that is part of it is. Capitalism as a method of economic organization leaves individuals freest and best equipped to pursue their own desires, and, that, in and of itself, is a good. Additionally, it causes us without coercion to turn our natural self-regard towards the task of serving others.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 01:26 AM

Originally Posted By: CPWILL
Capitalism isn't an end in and of itself - but the freedom that is part of it is. Capitalism as a method of economic organization leaves individuals freest and best equipped to pursue their own desires, and, that, in and of itself, is a good. Additionally, it causes us without coercion to turn our natural self-regard towards the task of serving others.

Capitalism worked so well during the six weeks the country was shuttered. How's the restaurant industry fairing in capitalism today? Airline industry? Theater complex industry? LOL
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 03:15 AM

Is there an ethical component to your Capitalist ideology?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 03:25 AM

Maybe there’s a moral code?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 03:26 AM

What was Jesus’ take on it?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 03:39 AM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
I think it is nothing more than a rickety and largely delusional ideology whose purpose is to shield and balm the nascent consciences of the greedy from shame.

Maybe it’s a system for claiming that everything good that’s connected with money is Capitalism, and everything that’s not good isn’t?
Posted by: Irked

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 05:23 AM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: logtroll
I think it is nothing more than a rickety and largely delusional ideology whose purpose is to shield and balm the nascent consciences of the greedy from shame.

Maybe it’s a system for claiming that everything good that’s connected with money is Capitalism, and everything that’s not good isn’t?


Bingo!

That and an excuse for greed.
Posted by: Ken Condon

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 05:43 AM

Seattle now

This indeed is what is happening in Seattle now. If you don’t agree you have not been paying attention.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 01:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Irked
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: logtroll
I think it is nothing more than a rickety and largely delusional ideology whose purpose is to shield and balm the nascent consciences of the greedy from shame.

Maybe it’s a system for claiming that everything good that’s connected with money is Capitalism, and everything that’s not good isn’t?


Bingo!

That and an excuse for greed.

You mean like not testifying before Congress with knowledge of shady actions by POTUS Donald Trump and instead making everyone wait to pay for that information via the release of a book?

coffee
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 05:10 PM

Once again we roll around to the topic of capitalism and its devastating impact on humanity.

Never in the history of man have so many had so much.

And never in the history of man have so many had so little.

And never have all those who have so much cared less for those who have little.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 05:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken Condon

Libertarians are good with the effects of capitalism. Hmm
Posted by: CPWILL

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
Is there an ethical component to your Capitalist ideology?


Indeed.

There are, generally speaking, two modern ways to organize the economics of a society in such a way as to attempt to influence people to serve and look out for the interests of others:

1. You can try to mandate it through coercion and violence. Socialism invested a lot of effort in this, punishing economic traitors, imposing work and production mandates with penalties for failure against individuals, facilities, and sectors. This approach works to an extent, and, you can achieve amazing progress sometimes with the right amount of terror and violence. Keeping that hyped up generally isn't sustainable, however, and, the model suffers in the long run as each individual contributes only the minimum necessary to avoid punishment.

or

2. You can link the well-being and interests of others to the well-being and interests of the individual. This is Capitalism's position and, in capitalism, the system rewards you to the extent that you serve others. As individuals can generally be relied upon to seek their own interests, this alignment means that they seek others well-being and interests in order to achieve their own. Because each individual and group of individuals is constantly seeking to serve others better for their own self-interest, you get constant innovation and growth in our ability to serve others (which means corresponding sustained economic growth and exponentially improving wealth and living conditions).


I think option 2 is by far morally superior. You don't need Gulags, you don't need to liquidate the Kulaks as a class, and you don't need to attempt to impose terror across an entire population in order to get them to work to other's benefit. Instead, they do it themselves of their own volition, they do it to the extent and in the manner that they wish to, and they do so more and better.

Capitalism's ethical component comes from the fact that it represents the decision to give over the decision to take, the decision to serve over the decision to terrorize, and the ability to produce sustainable growth in living conditions over the inability to do so.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 09:11 PM


1. You can try to mandate it through coercion and violence. Capitalism invested a lot of effort in this, white-skinned humans punishing black humans for not producing enough or demanding their freedom. This approach works to an extent, and, you can achieve amazing progress sometimes with the right amount of terror and violence. Keeping that hyped up generally isn't sustainable, however, and, the model suffers in the long run as free individuals let up on the necks of those producing only the minimum necessary to avoid punishment.

There I fixed the paragraph for you. smile

Capitalism's unethical component comes from the fact that it represents the decision to greedily take more than it gives in penance to its worker, and to keep the inability to produce sustainable wage growth for living conditions over the long-run.

Fixed that paragraph too.

You...are...welcome. smile
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 11:22 PM

Originally Posted By: CPWILL
There are, generally speaking, two modern ways to organize the economics of a society in such a way as to attempt to influence people to serve and look out for the interests of others:

You presented a couple of possible theories of organization, but I don't think Capitalism is organized in any way in reality. I don't even think that any rational form of Capitalism is dominant in our chaotic economic system. And I really don't see that any form of ethical bounds are in play. Free will, choice, etc., are the property of them with the capital. That's how it's currently "organized".
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/21/20 11:23 PM



Another example of the immortality of capitalism: Wage theft through misclassifying employees as independent contractors and denying workers the overtime pay they are due.

Shall I post more examples? smile
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/22/20 12:56 AM

I am coming to think that most peoples' concept of what defines Capitalism is, "Anything that makes money".

That's not much to work with. After all, money is just a tool for facilitating complex exchanges of goods and services between humans. Barter is also an excellent tool for that, but its usefulness is limited to more or less direct trades, and it's hard to tax.

What it isn't, is an economic system.
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/22/20 04:53 PM

Good grief.

Capitalism is when everything is privately owned.

Socialism is where everything is owned collectively by those same private individuals and controlled by their duly elected representatives.

Neither capitalism nor socialism "does" anything.
Posted by: jgw

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/22/20 06:39 PM

Well, not exactly. Most of the time they tend to work together to produce what we actually are fairly happy with. The problem always boils down to one side going a bit too far. The disaster is when both sides go to far.

With both sides working together the product is something both sides can work and live with. Sometimes with enthusiasm. I believe that this is what the founders wanted. The trick is to elect those that can do that. The problem that many of those stand for election are lying.
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/22/20 06:49 PM

Quote:
A few days ago, temperatures within the Arctic Circle topped 100 degrees, shattering records. With so many unprecedented crises facing this nation and the world, we must never lose sight of the biggest existential threat facing the planet: climate change.Bernie Sanders


So show me where runaway socialism has created this.


I think it's runaway capitalism.
Posted by: jgw

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/22/20 07:11 PM

I think is almost everything and almost everybody..... I am also convinced that it ain't never gonna get fixed until we get fixed and I am not holding my breath on that one.
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/23/20 05:43 PM

Well, yeah.

During the entire history of civilization that has been the case.

We've reached a point though where the very planet we live on will soon be un-inhabitable because of this.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/23/20 07:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
We've reached a point though where the very planet we live on will soon be un-inhabitable because of this.

Yabbut, we never had it so good (while it lasted...).

Maybe Capitalism is a "party 'til you drop" economic system?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/24/20 11:20 AM

Dutch donut economics
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/26/20 12:43 PM

Is Wall Street Capitalism in action?
Posted by: Irked

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/26/20 08:19 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll


Maybe Capitalism is a "party 'til you drop" economic system?


Maybe? Unbridled capitalism is exactly that: Come in and exploit a place for its resources, either human or natural. Do everything as cheaply as possible in order to maximize return on capital. If that means starvation wages, unsafe work conditions or dumping pollutants straight into the water supply and air, then that’s what needs to happen. Once the operation is in danger of no longer being profitable: sell what you can to a mark; then bankrupt the company after being sure that nothing’s left but liabilities; find a new thing to exploit; rinse; repeat.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/27/20 11:27 AM

Quote:
U.S. capitalism survived because it found a solution to the basic problem of its instability, its business cycles. Since capitalism never could end cyclical downturns and their awful effects, its survival required making those effects somehow socially tolerable. Systemic racism survived in the post-Civil War United States partly because it helped to achieve that tolerability. Capitalism provided conditions for the reproduction of systemic racism, and vice versa.

Every four to seven years, on average, capitalism produces a downturn (“recession,” “depression,” “bust,” “crash”—many words for a problem so regularly repeated)...

...U.S. capitalism solved its instability problem by making cyclical downturns afflict chiefly a minority subpart of the whole working class. It positioned that minority to bear the brunt of each cycle and suffer its damages disproportionally. That minority was repeatedly drawn into and then thrown out of jobs as the cycle dictated. Any savings it might accumulate when working would be lost when unemployed. Repeated firings precluded such a minority from enjoying the benefits of job longevity (seniority, promotion, household stability, etc.). Poverty, disrupted households and families, unaffordable housing, education, and medical care would haunt such a minority. It would become capitalism’s “business cycle shock-absorber”—the last hired, first fired—across the four-to-seven year average duration of its cycles.

- Alternet.org

Capitalism throws minorities out of the economic lifeboat at the first sign of a troubled economy. Makes sense as to why CPWILL supports capitalism so much. coffee
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/27/20 03:40 PM

The purpose of capitalism is to insure a return on investment.

The capitalists are those who have capital to invest.

Quote:
In Das Kapital (1867), Marx proposes that the motivating force of capitalism is in the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the ultimate source of surplus value.


That's it in a nutshell.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 06/29/20 04:52 AM


With States reshutting-down different parts of the economy, I found this story interesting: How Capitalism Must Change to Survive the Pandemic:

Quote:
Then came Covid-19. Our ill-prepared country’s primary response has been social isolation, with devastating economic consequences that hit working families hardest. In the last four weeks, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment. The pillars of America’s economy are made of sand.

And, once again, large-scale government assistance is on the way. The hope is that massive fiscal transfers to support lost income and prevent widespread household and business failures will buy enough time for science to rid us of a modern-day plague.

Just as I pointed out to a very dense and very, very wrong Right-winger, it wasn't capitalism that go us through the six week economic shutdown - it was socialism. Then again, when are right-wingers ever correct about anything, anyway? coffee
Posted by: jgw

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/04/20 05:31 PM

I find it interesting that those against capitalism always seem to refer to that as 'unbridled' (and similiar words) when referring to Capitalism. The simple fact is that ALL political systems, if not controlled, run rampant and are harmful. Communism is a good example of that and also pure Socialism. They ALL need to be regulated and controlled. We all know that! Its not the systems its US! The Northern Europeans, for instance, understand that and to regulate and control and socialists actually point to those bastions of Capitalism as excellent examples of socialism that works!

The problem with the my way or the highway crowd is that they seem to continue to ignore those facts, and examples of how it should be done. None of these are perfection but, when they work together, and are regulated and controlled, good things can happen. Those that believe that success, for one or the other, is possible are, as far as I am concerned, and history proves, only happens when thoughtful regulation and controls are in place and functioning.

Just saying........
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/04/20 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: jgw
I find it interesting that those against capitalism always seem to refer to that as 'unbridled' (and similiar words) when referring to Capitalism.

My comments on Capitalism are all in response to the "free markets" ideology. I find that none of the systems, as you noted, are anything like pure - never have been and never will be. They are limited intellectual attempts to simplify the extreme complexity of human actions and interactions.
Posted by: CPWILL

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
A few days ago, temperatures within the Arctic Circle topped 100 degrees, shattering records. With so many unprecedented crises facing this nation and the world, we must never lose sight of the biggest existential threat facing the planet: climate change.Bernie Sanders


So show me where runaway socialism has created this.


I think it's runaway capitalism.


You want to compare the environmental records of capitalist v socialist countries?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 01:24 AM

Hahahaha! Do you think anyone here is making a case for the classic "Socialist" failures?

Do you think such a reductionist comparison excuses the fact that Capitalism externalizes as many costs as it can get away with?

Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 01:27 AM

I was maybe 14 years old the first time I heard Joni Mitchell - it was on a tinny Japanese transistor radio in a pickup camper out with my folks - camping on a logging road next to a clearcut. I was deeply affected by it...
Posted by: jgw

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 06:55 PM

Climate change is the result of the WORLD not giving a damn. There are no sides to what is happening now and trying to blame one group simply does not work. EVERYBODY has had a hand in this one from individuals to groups. I suspect I could claim that there is not a single person, on this site, which has not, at one time or another contributed to the coming disaster.

I read someplace that with the advent of the 100 degrees in the arctic that its likely that the seas will rise 3 feet in the next 10 years. Its interesting. That will destroy beaches, waterfront, entire cities and, yet, there is not, as far as I can tell, a worldwide consensus to fix the problem. I also think that is really not even a possibility anymore. Instead we will have to learn how to live with it and even that has no consensus or, in many cases, even concern.

In other words, our world is blundering into a disaster. There are some concerned and the rest have a different view which goes something like; "So what?"

Another instance which gives me the opportunity to wish us ALL good luck!
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By: CPWILL
You want to compare the environmental records of capitalist v socialist countries?

You mean capitalistic countries who were forced into environmental controls until loser dickwad Donald Trump came along versus dictatorial "socialist" countries like China?

Hmm
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/05/20 08:48 PM

Quote:
You want to compare the environmental records of capitalist v socialist countries?


So, since it's the socialist model that every modern socialist uses these days, let's look at the Scandinavian model of today rather than the failed "socialist" dictatorships of the past. How are they doing environmentally?

You want to show me how our current model is sustainable? How unfettered capitalism is going to solve all the problems that unfettered capitalism has caused?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/08/20 12:59 PM

I'm trying to decide if it was an act of Socialism, or Capitalism, when Joe Shapiro took Donald Trump's SAT's for him?
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/08/20 09:06 PM

Well, capitalism for sure for Shapiro. He never did it for free.
Socialism in the sense that everybody gets to go to college. But I think socialism would have been better served if they sent Trump to trade school. He probably could have mastered landscape work like running lawn mowers and raking.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/09/20 06:13 AM

Here's some brilliant capitalists: Father And Sons Charged

Quote:
Four Florida men are facing federal charges for allegedly refusing a court order to stop selling a toxic bleach solution called “Miracle Mineral Solution,” or MMS, as a drinkable preventative, treatment and cure for COVID-19.

Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, all of Bradenton, were charged Wednesday in Miami with conspiracy and criminal contempt in the manufacture and sale of a mixture that prosecutors said has been linked to illnesses and death.


I beet they use the "President suggested it" defense in court.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/09/20 05:26 PM



Quote:
Four Florida men...


Flori-duh again?!? #BecauseFlorida smile
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/09/20 11:23 PM

This whole Capitalism thing is delusional. It's not an economic system in reality, it's a fragment of a very complex system of human interactions that only applies to things that can be bought and sold.

The definition of "capital" is essentially "money", though it can apply to other tangible assets. And money is a tool that works pretty well (unless unethical corruptors are in the mix) for facilitating the exchange of goods and services during indirect and/or asymmetric transactions. For instance, if I'm a shoemaker and I want to buy some bread, but the baker doesn't want any shoes at the moment, money is a handy surrogate that the baker can accept and use to pay the rent, or buy some wheat, or whatever. Money is more adaptable for transactions than barter is.

But to reduce all values to money is mindless. That is what is wrong with Capitalism as an "economic system", and viewing markets as some kind of wise guiding hand. It's like asking a shovel for advice.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/10/20 12:38 AM

There is actually such a thing as non-monetary capital. For example, loyalty, social position, elected leadership, hereditary leadership, moral leadership, and so on may serve the place now occupied mostly by money: Any of these things can supply the ability to get something larger than one man's labor accomplished.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/15/20 01:16 PM

Excellent article on the historical relationship between Socialism and Capitalism

Quote:
In America, socialism is hardly something alien, or foreign — it’s a tool to attract, support, and subsidize capitalism, and so, perfectly logically, when capitalism goes broke, Americans quickly turn off the tap of socialism, too. So the very communities that once subsidized capitalism with generous public investment are often abandoned and forgotten. Flint. Scranton. The Rust Belt — all these were once places where socialism was used to prop up capitalism, but when capitalism went broke, or went offshore, people were abandoned by both socialism and capitalism.
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/15/20 05:49 PM

No...no....and no. Uh...just no.

This authors' concept of socialism seems to be that anything the government does is socialism...that aint the case at all.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/15/20 09:39 PM

Governmentalism?

Whatever it is, it ain't Capitalism.
Posted by: Irked

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/15/20 11:57 PM

However capitalism decides to distribute a portion of their profits to the proles supplying the human capital side of the equation is a form of socialism. Being forward thinking, they normally choose to distribute a huge chunk to purposely cumbersome entities called governments where they can use their control to direct those funds in a way that best promotes their bottom line.

Any interference in this equation, like majority rule, are fiercely suppressed.
Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/16/20 02:31 AM

Quote:
Governmentalism?


Let's just call a spade a spade here and label it fascism.

Seems like today might be Woody's birthday...

Posted by: Greger

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/16/20 03:11 AM

Quote:
However capitalism decides to distribute a portion of their profits to the proles supplying the human capital side of the equation is a form of socialism. Being forward thinking, they normally choose to distribute a huge chunk to purposely cumbersome entities called governments where they can use their control to direct those funds in a way that best promotes their bottom line.


That's pretty profound.
Posted by: Irked

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/19/20 04:55 PM

This seems appropriate to post here.

Originally Posted By: Paul Krugman
no rational discussion of economics says that free markets, left to themselves, can solve the problem of “externalities”

Yet many conservatives seem unable or unwilling to grasp this simple point. And they seem equally unwilling to grasp a related point — that there are some things that must be supplied through public policy rather than individual initiative.


NYT
Posted by: logtroll

Re: What is the purpose of Capitalism? - 07/24/20 12:07 PM

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either. -Robert Graves, poet and novelist (24 Jul 1895-1985)