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#304813 - 01/03/18 04:52 AM Capitalism
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1967
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The United States has, as a basis, Capitalism. We live in a "Capitalist" society. Its just the way it is. I have, however, come to the conclusion that our system of Capitalism is badly broken. There are other capitalistic societies that work. Most of northern Europe, for instance, are Capitalistic yet they actually function. Ours, however, does not. I think the problem is kinda simple - greed, just pure greed. Our Capitalism has little or no honor, no responsibility for how business deals with society, and the tenants seem to ignore humans and is more like a machine. Business (corporate or private) has one goal, to show a profit. That profit is for either increasing the size and power of the business, or to be distributed to those who own the business. There is absolutely no concern for society, employees, etc. - NOTHING!

That's it, that's our capitalism, and its concern is to make sure that business has profit, anything that might effect profit negatively, is wrong and must not be. This includes stuff like taxes, poor people, any and all entitlements, all regulations, and any other services not directly paid for by the recipients, and that's it, that's all there is. If we can't fix it we are, I fear, kinda doomed.

If we can't figure out how we add some humanity to our 'capitalism' we are doomed...............

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#304817 - 01/03/18 11:25 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7626
Loc: North San Diego County
Just remember that without government regulations some baby oil company would be making their product out of real human babies, if it maximized their profit. In fact, they would have an obligation to do it!

That may be an exaggeration, but it shows a basic truth. Without government checks on corporations, they will do whatever makes the most profit for their shareholders even if it hurts somebody. Trump says: "No regulation, let businesses be free." But "free" business will hurt or kill real actual people and their family or friends will come after the people who made those decisions and kill them.

Getting rid of regulations is deadly. I guess Trump's rich supporters will find out when their 401Ks are stolen and their portfolios are sunk by fraud.

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#304820 - 01/03/18 03:43 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 826
I do not think we can have a humane capitalist system while trying to mantain an inhumane empire. So much of our economy runs on our empire. So much of our worldview is thru the lens of empire.
There are noises about the empire failing. It's the fall that may allow for something else to happen but a lot of people may get hurt during this period of decay.


A good take on our imperial state

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#304825 - 01/03/18 07:53 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1967
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
You are BOTH right! Thank you! I was beginning to wonder if I was moving to the dark side <g> I think the whole lot boils down to our particular brand of Capitalism. O believe that capitalism is the answer if its humane and takes responsibility. (I am also very good at wishful thinking!)

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#304828 - 01/03/18 09:48 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15969
Two points I have to make:

First, I'm sorry, but that whole "Imperial America" storyline is built upon a pile of misdirection (the nicest word I can think of). The fundamental premise is hogwash, and from that come fuzzy rationalizations. Let me start with definitions:

Imperialism is a very specific term, and it consists of "an action that involves a country (usually an empire or a kingdom) extending its power by the acquisition of territories. It may also include the exploitation of these territories, an action that is linked to colonialism. Colonialism is generally regarded as an expression of imperialism." Wikipedia.

Now, there was a period, at the turn of the 20th Century, when the United States joined the European powers in attempting an imperialistic expansion - the Spanish-American War. (One can accurately make the same argument about the "Manifest Destiny" period.) That was 1898, by the way. There are vestiges of that history that exist today (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, etc.), but that is NOT what these writers are talking about. It is about as relevant as saying that the United States still practices slavery. We're still dealing with the history of slavery, which must be acknowledged, but it hasn't been legal for 150 years. Similarly, we're still dealing with a history of expansionism, but we haven't practiced it for over a century (the Panama Canal was the last vestige I can identify).

Japan, Germany, and China engaged in imperialist expansion in the 1930-50s, and the Soviet Union as well. Russia today is engaging in imperialist practices, as is China in the South China Sea. That is considerably different than what the United States is doing, and deliberately blurring those lines kills rational discussion. The contours of the United States have not changed in over a century.

Instead, some elements in the United States want to engage in hegemony: "In International relations theory, hegemony denotes a situation of (i) great material asymmetry in favour of one state, who has (ii) enough military power to systematically defeat any potential contester in the system, (iii) controls the access to raw materials, natural resources, capital and markets, (iv) has competitive advantages in the production of value added goods, (v) generates an accepted ideology reflecting this status quo; and (vi) is functionally differentiated from other states in the system, being expected to provide certain public goods such as security, or commercial and financial stability." Again, Wikipedia.

Russia, the EU, China, and some other countries are similarly trying to divide up the globe into hegemonic territories (spheres of influence). The U.S., by this definition, is the greatest of the Hegemon, as the Dollar is the de facto international currency, and US culture dominates around the world. The EU is seeking to spread its influence and the use of the Euro.

These definitions are important and deliberately misusing them irks me no end. There is no such thing as "cultural imperialism" or "monetary imperialism" - those are loaded, ideological terms that have nothing to do with the way the world actually works.

Secondly, pretending that the United States doesn't face significant risks in the world is fantasyland. There is a reason the United States posts military forces around the world - because the threats are global in nature. The United States has, historically, provided stability around the globe. The EU would not exist, and many countries would no longer be independent if the United States had not been involved. Have we made mistakes? God, yes. Have we sometimes engaged in military adventurism? Uh huh. But, that is not imperialism. Period. End of statement.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#304829 - 01/03/18 10:25 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
Ujest Shurly Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/16
Posts: 302
Loc: Sterling Heights, MI, USA
Hear! hear!
_________________________
Vote 2018

Life is like a PB&J sandwich
The older you get, the moldery and crustier you get.

Now, get off my grass!

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#304832 - 01/03/18 10:53 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 349
'
A beautifully constructed argument, NWP, but vitiated by the fact that modern Imperialism is quite different from the forms it took before the Second World War.

Economic warfare is the dominant form of warfare today, and neo-colonialism differs in many ways from the colonalism of the past.

Importantly, many states and many factions can struggle for advantage in the same neo-colony: the Russians do not "own" Syria, and the Americans do not "own" Iraq and Afghanistan.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#304835 - 01/04/18 01:48 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 826
No big suprise that I agree with Matthew on this hegemony vs. Imperialism symantics. If our flag isn't flying over their courthouse but we executed a covert (Allende, Mosaddegh) or an overt regime change (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, panama, Grenada) and sub out the administration of the state to our governments client state what is the difference? How is it different? Aren't the results the same for the interests being served wether our flag is flying over the capitols or not? How bout we call it hegemiperialism or Imperialgemony? The results look the same to me.
Then the question has to be asked who's interest is being served? Clearly not the majority of the citizenry within our countries boundaries. Our corporate interests? Our democratic interests?


Edited by chunkstyle (01/04/18 02:14 AM)

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#304839 - 01/04/18 02:44 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7626
Loc: North San Diego County
Imperialism versus hegemony, what difference does it make? A helluva difference to the citizens of that country! Imperial Spain dominated, plundered, and enslaved other countries for centuries. After WW II the US occupied Japan and Germany for a few years and gave them working democratic governments. Try telling Japanese or German citizens there's no difference.

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#304840 - 01/04/18 02:51 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7626
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
{I} believe that capitalism is the answer if its humane and takes responsibility


No, by it's very nature it can't be. The conflict between government regulation and capitalism has to involve potential deadly force or it doesn't work. CEOs have to fear public humiliation, imprisonment, and even execution if they make decisions that make money and hurt or kill people.

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#304842 - 01/04/18 03:30 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: pondering_it_all]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 826
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Imperialism versus hegemony, what difference does it make? A helluva difference to the citizens of that country! Imperial Spain dominated, plundered, and enslaved other countries for centuries. After WW II the US occupied Japan and Germany for a few years and gave them working democratic governments. Try telling Japanese or German citizens there's no difference.


Kindly turn your attention to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Chili, El Salvadore, you get the picture. I guess it's not been centuries so there's that point. I doubt the citizens of these places would take comfort knowing they got them a hegemony problem and not your much worse imperial problem.


Edited by chunkstyle (01/04/18 03:31 AM)

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#304850 - 01/04/18 03:04 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 826
The old question of wether capitalism serves society or society serve capitalism has been answered in a number of ways.
The ability to contract between a corporate entity and individual is almost impossible with 'unilateral modification' clauses in most any service we subscribe to.
Forced arbitration clauses denying a citizens right to trial.
Tax exemptions for corporations.
Ability to headquarter yourself to a Caribbean island postal box address or English Channel Island zip code and avoid any taxes.
Incarcerating people for money in the For Profit Prisons. Pay politicians to enact laws to keep the steady stream of bodies from school to jail unabated. Non-violent drug offenders being the most profitable to jail.
Contracting with large corporation to use prison labor (our internal colonizing)

There is much agreement between the left and right on these issues and many more.
'Take our country back' has its roots in these unfair constructs of our current corporate state.
If we have any chance of putting society before profits we must make common cause and get over the partisan political traps to divide the citizenry.
Start by reforming campaign finance. There's something we can all agree on!


Edited by chunkstyle (01/04/18 03:27 PM)

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#304852 - 01/04/18 04:03 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: chunkstyle]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15969
I happen to love tapioca. It is made from cassava root. But, to be edible, it must be properly prepared, or it can kill you. It contains cyanide. Capitalism is like cassava. It naturally contains a deadly poison. It has to be properly prepared, or it can kill you. Used in very small doses, under proper supervision, capitalism is literally like any other chemical additive - many are harmless or even beneficial, but they can become addictive and deadly. We have a capitalism problem and we need an intervention.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#304865 - 01/04/18 08:22 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1967
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I suspect that the unmitigated greed of, apparently, most capitalists need serious regulation. Its also pretty well agreed that what sends capitalism off the rails is known. The problem is putting regulations in place that can control the more base activities and making them stick. I can remember when the financial regulations were put into place by the congress whilst, at the same time, there were Democratic congressmen virtually running stock operations out of their offices. Basically there is a genuine history of what happens when the Right takes over gov - their greed takes over and the economy tanks. The only Republican administration that actually staved off such was Reagan and he did it by raising taxes (the right forgets that St. Reagan actually did this). What they have been doing, under Trump, is going to be responsible for serious problems. I can only hope that the Left can stop their silly, get together, and win this year. If, however, they do not I suspect getting out of the market until after the resulting crash might be wise.

Its also been a mystery, to me, why the Left can't mention the history of Republicans and their magic with the economy. The Dems have a much better history, when it comes to debt, finance, etc.) yet they never toot their own horn and never mention the utter failure of the Republicans.

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#304872 - 01/04/18 09:41 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7626
Loc: North San Diego County
I wouldn't jump out of the market yet. This tax holiday could pay off very well for people who own stocks of companies with a lot of foreign profit they repatriate. The time to run away from the market is in November. Even if Trump is replaced, the Republicans with their tax bill are in control until 2019.

The Republicans will try to leave the Democrats a flaming bag of dog poop with a nail in it. That's what they always do.

Meanwhile: Companies with lots of foreign profit they can bring back
name profit dividend
pfizer 96% 3.74
cisco 38% 3.01
merck 37% 3.39
ge 32% 2.70
apple 29% 1.47
citigroup 28% 1.70
pepsico 28% 2.37


Edited by pondering_it_all (01/04/18 09:43 PM)

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#304920 - 01/06/18 07:09 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 826
The problem with markets is they are based on a fallacy of perpetual growth. There are nosocial constraints except governments. I think we are witnessing the dismantling of government. It's been boughten.
The other constraint is material. Again, the mythology is that market forces will adapt to provide. History has examples otherwise.
Another warning to the world

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