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Is Capitalism Broken?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by ASU2003, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Statistics show that the vast majority of people who move through these programs are on them temporarily. They use them until they get on their feet and then they move on. They help our economy. They keep families together and they give people hope. People abuse the system, sure. But people abuse ALL the systems, not just the ones that benefit the poor.
     
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  2. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    But! I mean! I saw a receipt where someone bought lobster with an EBT card! Hence, all poor people are parasites leeching off of the selfless productivity of people like Mitt Romney and Jack Welch!
     
  3. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    You make a joke but there are people who seriously think that shit.
     
  4. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I know. It boggles the fucking mind how people like Mitt Romney can be cast as benevolent providers while poor people are generally viewed as parasitic villains.
     
  5. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    So let's draw this all together.

    Capitalism isn't broken. It works as it should work. It does not, of course, operate within a vacuum. Wealth disparity in America is real, and it's great, and it's getting worse.

    The problem, if it isn't capitalism per se, is instead what goes on besides: socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Nanny statism propped up by the wealthy for the benefit of the wealthy keeps the wealthy wealthy. The poor, on the other hand, are expected to be responsible, as individuals, for pulling themselves up by their bootstraps within this beautiful free market system and build wealth for themselves despite economic factors that may be stacked against them.

    The poor shouldn't rely on government handouts (and these handouts are always on the table for cuts and reform, unlike the nanny statism for the rich); after all, it's the government handouts that are keeping them down, just as the government helps keep the rich skyrocketing. This despite the paltry, transient, and challenging nature of such handouts.

    As adverse to socialism as Republicans swear they are, it's amazing how many of them sit prettily within its safe and now well-entrenched confines.

    They wouldn't know a free market environment if it fell out of the sky, landed on their faces, and started to wiggle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
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  6. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    An old member here posted this on her Facebook yesterday, and I felt it was worth sharing here.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Yeah. Things never change.
     
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  8. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Now...for any of you very Right people out there.
    Let me sum up what I'm seeing so far in this thread.

    Most are NOT advocating either Socialism or Communism, but for the most part support Capitalism.

    But are wanting simply, a straight-system.
    Where the Upper rank's rights match the Lower rank's rights...and everything in between.

    This is NOT redistributing or centralizing wealth and power.
    This is simply saying that what is done to one should be done to another. The Law is equal.

    So enjoy your wealth. And growth.
    But don't expect privileges from the government than any other person.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  9. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Location:
    Temasek
    I would agree.

    What is needed is not a centralization of power, nor a complete redistribution of wealth. What is needed is a level playing field with regards to the law and with regards to fair, progressive taxation.

    And Baraka_Guru, points out that the issue isn't with Capitalism but rather with the gaming of the system that is grossly advantageous to the wealthy.
     
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  10. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    No.

    I repeatedly discuss how the "rich" have options and take advantage of the system. Often the rules are skewed in favor of the politically astute, the politically connected and the politically powerful - that is why I prefer a smaller more neutral government. My basic philosophy is simple and fair rules for everyone. I don't want my government picking winners and losers.

    Poor people are often given difficult choices that create strange disincentives. In some cases earning or saving $1 can cost $1 or more in lost benefits - it is a crazy way to do things. We can do better.
    --- merged: Mar 20, 2013 at 4:14 PM ---
    My comment in this regard was secondary - it had no material meaning other to note times have changed.

    I don't use the term "abuse" and never would. If a person qualifies for aid, in my view they do or they don't. If they get cash, I don't care what they do with it. I would change or clarify the law. If a person took "food stamps" and used them to buy something at low cost and sell it at a higher cost and it helped them get off of "food stamps", I am in favor of that. I would just want it all above board. And actually if people came with a plans like that, I would argue that they understand capitalism and are willing and able to participate in the system. I would encourage the hell out of that. I know a guy who worked at USAID (not sure it is the correct acronym) and he worked on giving people in third world countries "micro-loans" - why don't we do that in places like Detroit????

    You are right, I don't understand that. I do understand how to walk away from being taken advantage of.
    --- merged: Mar 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM ---
    I am not subtle and I follow predictable patterns.

    Ace's Guide to Satire -

    When Ace refers to himself in third person, it is going to be satire.
    When Ace uses "..." it is going to be satire.
    When Ace posts a picture, what preceded the picture was satire.
    Baraka, when Ace refers to another poster by name it is satire.
    When Ace says - "I have another one..." Or I've got one it is satire.
    When Ace responds to a silly post with a sillier post, it is satire.
    When Ace tell you it was satire, it was satire even if it was a failed attempt.
    When Ace admits he is an idiot/been put in his place/ or some other condescending descriptor it is satire
    If you ever begin to think Ace is not the arrogant SOB that he truly is, it is satire.

    Perhaps with the guide in hand you can re-read some of my posts and see things in a whole new light.


    In the 90's to the boom bust, the average home size materially increased. People started buying bigger more luxurious houses. there is a reason that started happening, a reason grounded increasing tax rates, mortgage interest subsidies, easy money, and government policy encouraging home ownership - it lead to the market being out of balance. These are government policy issues, not free market issues. If traditional patterns had been maintained the circumstances of the 60's (and earlier) through most of the 80's would have been maintained.

    If you think you have a different explanation of the excessive inflation in housing, let's hear it.

    An odd question. People who owned the capital (including intellectual capital) financially benefited most from the increased value of that capital. As my friend Roach would say, my answer is tautology. I bet you would say I am simplifying a very, very complex issue. And I would say, I guess you are correct, i am a simple minded person...not sure Ace has any thing more to add other than -

    [​IMG]

    Ain't that pretty? Heck no, I like dogs!
    --- merged: Mar 20, 2013 at 4:40 PM ---
    If you folks want to be victim of the system or "the man", it is very true that some things won't change! Those who make a choice not be a victim, get ahead.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2013
  11. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    There is no need. I'm prepared to read the entire Aceventura persona as satire.

    It's the best explanation for all your innumerable convolutions, contradictions, conjectures, and conceits.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  12. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Do so at your own risk, occasionally I post some very profound shit.

    Thanks.

    I thought it was pretty funny. Like I said, I write for my own pleasure. I need to book mark this one and I read it when I need a pick-me-up. Thank you for your contribution. I would not have been possible without you.:)
     
  13. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    If you're referring to the rare stuff of yours I actually like, I suppose I just wish you'd post more of it.

    That's probably true.

    In the arts, they'd call our relationship a double act. My role would be considered that of a comic foil, more specifically that of the "straight man."

    I am Abbott to your Costello; Laurel to your Hardy; Dick Smothers to your Tom Smothers; Jack Lemmon to your Walter Matthau; Hobbes to your Calvin; Will Turner to your Jack Sparrow; Leonard Hofstadter to your Sheldon Cooper; Cousin Larry to your Balki Bartokomous.... (I think you get the point.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    I've never been a victim and I certainly never made a choice to be a victim. There is an essential truth to that pictograph that has correlated with all of civilized mankind, and especially so since the advent of the industrial age. You can make the choice to dangle from a paper moon of sentiment and bootstrap fantasy, if you like. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.
    --- merged: Mar 20, 2013 at 5:57 PM ---
    You know, I try to walk away and not elaborate because I am determined to finish my 'well elder project' tonight, but listen. This idea that the poor are victims and being well-off is a sign of some sort of victory is a big part of the problem. There will always be poor people. There will always be people who will only work so hard and be only what they are, sometimes that's all people want to be. *gasp* And if that's a fruit picker or a fast food worker or a janitor, then so be it. We need those people. Our economy relies on those people. What we need to do is abolish this ignorant and pompous fantasy about everyone being lifted up to victory in the capitalist system and realize that, hey, that guy cleaning the toilet in the stall next to you at Walmart is a contributor and he needs to make a fucking living wage. THAT is what is wrong with the system. All these fucking manufactured pipe dreams that have been handed to us that essentially justify shitting on people because of their choices and/or their abilities... they are nothing but, really, vicious lies to make people feel better about themselves. Pay people enough to live, give them the benefits of contributing to the system that they deserve. And if a multinational megachain raking in billions of dollars in profits every year (for instance) can't do that, then maybe they can't have a chain of gigantic fucking stores that capitalize on selling crap people don't need. Very often the same people who work for them all day for a shit wage - company store, indeed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2013
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  15. I think it was that very astute capitalist Henry Ford who said something to the effect that it was in his best interest to pay his employees enough to buy the products they were producing.
     
  16. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    The mantra of today's conservatives is that government social safety net programs...."foster passivity and sloth" (Romney)... are "the narcotic of dependency (Santorum)..."promote more dependency, not jobs" (Ryan)..."create life sapping dependency" (Palin)...."promote government subsidized idleness, dependency and delinquency" (Bachmann)...

    Or 47% of Americans are freeloaders.
     
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  17. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    I know, it's mind-jarring how conservatives set this up in their minds so that they can pretend that people working a regular job who can't afford to support even a two or three-person family somehow just aren't doing enough and are, in fact, losers and a drain on the system. Even if it were possible who the hell is going to do all the other work if everyone is a frigging successful business executive? It's a ludicrous crock of shit. And, you know, people like me we are the 'dreamers.' Bullshit, I say, I'm not the one living in fairyland.
     
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  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Meanwhile, it represents little more than a paltry compromise to make up for the surplus value generated by the system absorbed wholesale by profits.

    And contrary to what has been implied elsewhere here, there are people who participate in the capitalist system despite not holding any substantial capital. They participate in the system through something most like to call "labour," a crucial yet widely undervalued factor of production responsible for generating wealth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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  19. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    you can see neo-liberal psychosis as an expression of the degradation of labor by (a) an acceleration in the standardization of capitalist production enabled by computing and (b) the disintegration of nation-states as normal-seeming boundaries for capitalist organization.

    these two general factors combine into a situation for working people not unlike the early days of capitalist expansion, which saw a significant rationalization of textile production, the standardization of products and, by extension of tasks which resulted in the interchangability of workers, all made worse by things like the enclosure movement, which drove the creation of a industrial reserve army that placed a continuous downward pressure on wages. except that in the united states, land of the free and all that, it is coupled with intense ideological opposition to worker organization, which was, in actually existing history, the main way working people were able to place brakes on exploitation. but when nation-state boundaries dissolved for any number of reasons, most of which are connected to these tools we use to communicate here turned to other purposes, then, well, all boats were just fucking lifted. i mean look around at the triumph of neo-liberal capitalism. i mean look at actually existing reality, not arbitrary little stories based on incoherent premises, etc.

    you can also see neo-liberalism as an expression of unimaginable levels of blindness--to capitalist reality and/or its actual history, to questions of social cohesion, to questions of ethics, on and on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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  20. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    It really just comes down to maximizing shareholder value and minimizing labour costs. I am loath to hold neoliberals to a standard that considers reality, history, social cohesion ethics, etc., as that would imply they have a moral responsibility beyond their self-illumination through "rational egoism." I think that's too much to ask of them. Don't you?