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What is capitalism, when did it start, or is it natural?

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Saw a college chick that was a big proponent of "smashing capitalism" and installing a marxist/communist system. It got me thinking why do people hate capitalism? First thing that's interesting is that people don't know what capitalism is. Discuss what it is, as it seems to be hotly debated on its beginning, etc.

  1. To start, the Wikipedia page is wrong on the definition of capitalism. It describes it through the lens of Marxism and calls it an economic system.
  2. Capitalism more so resembles a social system based on individual rights.
  3. The economic system under capitalism that advocates for private industry and production, would be the free market economy. Adam Smith described capitalism using the emergence of the division of labor:
Wealth of Nations:

Every man thus lives by exchanging, or becomes in some measure a merchant, and the society itself grows to be what is properly a commercial society.

  1. The people who understand the practicality of life, know they must develop some ability to produce something that may lead to a valuable and exchangeable surplus that can be traded on the market.
  2. Capitalism is social and natural while the economic system must be reflected in the private and individual institutions that allow for the free exchange of goods.

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Comments (510)

Nov 29, 2017

Marxism as it was written was supposed to be the final sustainable iteration of a thriving Capitalistic society. In that sense, they're right that it's never been attempted correctly. The philosophy was a response to oligarchy - a state under which people were understandably dissatisfied. The thing is that it was written by an angsty, privileged, self-important young adult with no practical life experience. It failed to take into account basic human incentive structure. Marxism can never work in humans. Democracy rests on the premise that the majority is right, which is also incorrect.

I like Capitalism. Intelligence creates wealth which creates influence... it's a lot more above the table than most other places.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Nov 29, 2017

I agree. Perhaps some of the chagrin from folks stems from i) misunderstanding of marxist theory and ii) the misunderstanding of capitalism's intent.

My belief was that capitalism unfettered would likely lead to the same path as socialism/communism unfettered. On one end of the spectrum you will have a scenario where a select few folks have a centralized amount of substantial wealth, and are charged of creating products/services that are consumed by folks. However, if it's an ultimate race to the bottom to the extent that folks can't afford to consume, then it becomes a bit of a cannibalizing incident (wholly theoretical, however). OTOH, socialism unfettered really only works as long as others are gregarious in the sentiment that there is a cap on where they can aspire to, as well satisfaction garnered from societal utility broadly rather than individual utility. The second that someone wants to aspire higher, or is dissatisfied of a free rider incident, the infrastructure likely crumbles.

I like capitalism very much, as it allows for opportunities and upward social mobility the likes of which no society in the past was able to accomplish. While there are certainly cases of folks living in poverty, it's not unlike others living under different forms of economic regimes. I suspect much of the dismay from many come from seeing a greater spotlight on global issues and the perception of systemic conflict (a large part due to social media, which tends to emphasize sensationalized events while minimizing commonplace happenings in my view), while misdirecting it's root cause.

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Nov 30, 2017
alpha_q:

My belief was that capitalism unfettered would likely lead to the same path as socialism/communism unfettered. On one end of the spectrum you will have a scenario where a select few folks have a centralized amount of substantial wealth, and are charged of creating products/services that are consumed by folks. However, if it's an ultimate race to the bottom to the extent that folks can't afford to consume, then it becomes a bit of a cannibalizing incident (wholly theoretical, however).

This is a very noteworthy point. Capitalism does seem to advocate for the accumulation of wealth by a very small minority of the population. The Marxists view capitalism as being a system that allow what they call "capitalists" to control the means of production. The basis and cause of oppression today is by the wealthy "capitalists" from a Marxist's point of view.

It's important to understand this because it's easy to see why this point is made and widely believed. You can see that this does seem to be the case. And it is easy to understand why capitalism becomes such a strong sense of frustration.

I don't know what ways this phenomenon of wealth accumulation and control can be reduced or eliminated. One interesting thought I had is that government and regulation creates a framework for stronger capital accumulation. Regulation acts as a limiting force on how production develops. Take land rights, as an example, only after a permit and sometimes with the requirement that a certain high barrier of investment is agreed on, can someone develop a piece of land. That means not everyone can produce off land.

But, I think if capitalism is going to survive, some form of mechanism needs to be created to increase competition and minimize the affects that large capital accumulation has on market dynamics, if that's possible. Otherwise, people will constantly feel suppressed, separating their identity away from "the capitalists".

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Nov 30, 2017
alpha_q:

On one end of the spectrum you will have a scenario where a select few folks have a centralized amount of substantial wealth, and are charged of creating products/services that are consumed by folks. However, if it's an ultimate race to the bottom to the extent that folks can't afford to consume, then it becomes a bit of a cannibalizing incident (wholly theoretical, however).

Totally disagree with this statement and it is in of itself a mis-characterization of capitalism. Sure, you have the Warren Buffets of the world with extreme wealth but capitalism does not beat everyone into the ground but instead creates a pretty healthy middle class.

Take a drive through any suburb in the U.S. as an example. We're not all living in shanty huts while Carl Icahn and Warren Buffet count stacks of cash.

I think that you're falling into the popular trap of wanting to present balanced views as to not offend anyone too much. Some views are right and some are wrong. Socialism and Capitalism do not lead to the same place.

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Dec 4, 2017

Its controversial as fuck and people bring up WWII, North Korea etc but I think now days democracy is overrated.

RIP LEHMAN
RIP MONACOMONKEY
RIP THEACCOUNTING MAJOR

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Nov 29, 2017

What's the alternative to our Democratic Republic though? A council of benevolent multidisciplinary geniusus would be rad. But they would need to truly be gods not to eventually get into it with each other and polarize the public.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Best Response
Nov 29, 2017

Saw a college chick that was a big proponent of "smashing capitalism" and installing a marxist/communist system. It got me thinking why do people hate capitalism? First thing that's interesting is that people don't know what capitalism is. Discuss what it is, as it seems to be hotly debated on its beginning, etc.

The point you made, that people don't understand capitalism, is at the heart of the issue. People like the college student you observed have not taken the time or made the effort to sufficiently understand why capitalism came about and why it is arguably the greatest concept to have been created and implemented by mankind.

The virtues of capitalism can be explained in a way that should make today's anti-capitalists take pause and reevaluate their position towards it. Think about how and why capitalism came about (speaking in general terms - there will be exceptions to what follows). For thousands of years the world's largest civilizations were ruled by monarchies who controlled wealth along with the top castes of people. The poor working class had limited rights and essentially no wealth. As we fast forward through human history it isn't until the time of feudalism that capitalism's early seeds begin to take root. Once the working poor gained legal status such as having private property rights, they finally were granted the ability to accumulate wealth. At that point the working poor had an incentive to specialize in a specific trade so that they could earn profit from their skills. This evolved to become the specialization of labor, which then branched and evolved to create the system of capitalism that we know today. Explaining all of this has been done in volumes of books, but I believe this is the gist of the evolution (the main point being that most humans finally had the right to own property and reap what they sow). Tying this back to the first point I made, today's anti-capitalists fail to understand that capitalism was sought after and essentially built by the working class. As OP stated, capitalism is inherently tied to freedom and democracy. To that point, was it not the working classes who started the French Revolution and similar revolts around the world in an attempt to gain equal social status and economic freedom? The kings and queens of Europe certainly did not encourage this upheaval of centuries of economic and social status-quo. In summary, it was the very people who today's anti-capitalists are trying to protect were the ones who catalyzed capitalism in the first place!

When I speak to anti-capitalists and anti-Wall Street people today, or read their articles and blogs, I've noticed that they don't understand that capitalism has increased the standard of living for all people. I'm reminded of one of Margaret Thatcher's most famous quotes; "What the honorable member is saying is that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich". Yes, there is inequality inherent in capitalism. But overall, everyone's level of wealth has been increased by capitalism and everyone has an opportunity to improve their lot in life. This is not so in communist economies, and is the reason why communism is a horrible philosophy and method for improving the lives of the poor. To illustrate just one example, take the most vilified aspect of capitalism today..."Wall Street". Anti-capitalists see investment banks as evil institutions that steal money from the poor. But if we explained that it is access to the capital markets that allows America's middle-class to have a 401(k), a home, cars, etc...then anti-capitalists would understand that despite the occasional acts of greed and theft that occur in our financial system, it is impossible to have the living standards that we do today without the healthy functioning of the capital markets (which Wall Street facilitates).

A lot of the hatred for capitalism could be done away with if we only educated people better about its merits.

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Nov 29, 2017

This was very well written, thank you! It definitely put into perspective the history I had been taught in grade school. I certainly wasn't encouraged to reflect on history in this sort of angle while I was in school, this totally would have gone over my head.

Nov 29, 2017

I love how you quoted your Screen Name's namesake. :)

Nov 29, 2017

The free flow of capital is the back bone to a free and open democracy. I also love when people assert that money is the root of all evil......like you really want to go skin a beaver to trade pelt for your next meal??

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

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Nov 29, 2017

Why do people hate capitalism? Simply because they can not compete and are at least rational enough to choose a system where their ability to compete is not necessary. However that is where their rationality ends, they align themselves with a system that has zero use for people who have below average ability to compete. Now why do the smart people support this system? Simple, they see it as an easy way to gain more power.

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Nov 29, 2017

One bit about Capitalism that trips me up is the environmental shit. I'm pretty Libertarian-leaning until it comes to the environment, at which point I go full Lefty. I don't even know that regulation is the answer, but there was just a 30-car pileup in Mumbai because of pollution and I won't buy ginger from China at the grocery store. And I don't want to have to wait for China to stop polluting because not enough dicks like me won't buy their shitty ginger root. But at the same time, they grew and shipped a 3-lb bag of a perishable goods thousands of miles across the world and want to sell it to me for 99 cents. So that's sort of nifty as well...

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Nov 29, 2017

I believe externalities are a commonly cited problem with capitalism. Seems to be one of the few legitimate criticism with the system and shows a need for some type of controls.

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Dec 4, 2017

Thats when market based policies come in handy I think

RIP LEHMAN
RIP MONACOMONKEY
RIP THEACCOUNTING MAJOR

Nov 29, 2017

The worst environmental offender, China, is mercantilist--I'm not sure China is, strictly speaking, a capitalist country (although I can see both sides of the argument). In fact, looking around the world, the most polluted and filthy countries are either explicitly not capitalist or they are emerging economies where capitalism is relatively new (and I'm not talking about the fake pollutant, CO2).

Nov 29, 2017

Them and South Korea are Croney Capitalist success stories. Except for the bits about baby girls stuffed in sewer pipes and mass disappearances of old people every year... shit like that

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Nov 29, 2017

No regulation is the answer. Let people sue the fuck out of companies for damaging land. Those who put their faith in regulation are saying that pollution is fine to a certain level. Also regulation comes with lock outs and other obstacles to recourse. Why not let companies do what they want but make them responsible for what they do? That seems like a damn quick way to solve the problem.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Nov 29, 2017

Would you get rid of eminent domain then?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Nov 29, 2017

I would get rid of eminent domain for private industry. The government can still use it for actual society benefit things such as roads.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Nov 29, 2017

I agree that part of the reason hate capitalism is because they don't understand it, but a bigger reason that is connected to misunderstanding is that what most people see as capitalism is cronyism, and view capitalism as the cause for the 2008 crash.

Nov 29, 2017
Stay.Hungry:

I agree that part of the reason hate capitalism is because they don't understand it, but a bigger reason that is connected to misunderstanding is that what most people see as capitalism is cronyism, and view capitalism as the cause for the 2008 crash.

Well let's not get ahead of ourselves, it was certainly part of the problem lol.

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Nov 29, 2017

No it wasn't. Capitalism is not and has never caused a financial crash. Considering that capitalism doesn't really exist in its pure form anywhere, it sure as hell gets blamed for just about everything.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Nov 29, 2017

People hate responsibility, effort and results all three attributed to Capitalism.

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Dec 4, 2017

so true

RIP LEHMAN
RIP MONACOMONKEY
RIP THEACCOUNTING MAJOR

Nov 29, 2017

Capitalism started at the end of the Middle Ages when skilled laborers and craftsmen in Europe started gaining more bargaining power and began forming guilds and companies. But it really didn't take off until credit became more easily available to common folks and joint-stock companies were invented in the 1600s (the English invented the modern public corporation and the Dutch invented the stock market).

After all, what better way for a government or company to raise capital for its empire than by issuing debt?

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Nov 29, 2017

Correct, and the Italians invented modern banking, and the French were the earliest adopters of modern finance, which was created by a Scotsman (John Law). The modern world really did emerge in institutions created in the last 500 years or so.

Nov 29, 2017

Markets naturally occur. Specialization, trade, free association all occur naturally.

Forced equality, redistribution and centralization are not natural things, yet humans keep trying.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Nov 29, 2017

lmao

Nov 30, 2017

On the whole I support capitalism but I don't think it should be exempt from serious criticism. As I see it, the focal flaw of capitalism as a system is that it generates and then imposes external costs on society, and in some cases, these externalities can be quite grave. Because free-markets and non-interventionism lay at the heart of capitalism any sort of intercession, whether preemptive or reactive, to address these externalities becomes a gross violation of the system itself-- essentially it lacks an effective moderating force and rejects any form of exogenous intervention.

Just to outline a few of the foremost negative "externalities":

Income Inequality: Income inequality is not categorically a bad thing, but there is surely an optimal level for society. I would contend that its best represented by a Laffer curve type function. However, left unchecked income inequality begets more income inequality and initiates a positive feedback loop. If you look at U.S. history, overwhelming outside forces were required to reset the system periodically, such as WWII. Income inequality is now reaching pre WWII highs.

Asymmetric Power and Influence: Concentration of wealth also leads to a concentration of power. In turn this creates a system with less equal opportunity and a political process that increasingly favors the powerful. Research has shown that the political opinion and preference of those in the bottom 90% have literally zero impact upon public policy.

Climate/Ecological Impact: Deforestation, pollution, resource depletion, ect are all severe ecological externalities that require strong economic incentives or regulatory insistence to combat.

These are just a few quick examples. The insinuation here is not that capitalism is inherently bad or that these issues do not exist in other economic systems. The point is that unrestricted capitalism, without sensible guardrails, can erode and cannibalize the society it relies on. Not necessarily to the degree portended by Marx, but enough to warrant legitimate attention.

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Nov 30, 2017

Please explain income inequality. How does income inequality beget more income inequality e.g.the rich get richer?

I think 1800s capitalism is different than whatever we have now, and I contend that the central bank created in the early 1900s has had a huge negative effect on "pure" capitalism. Also our social security and New Deal programs were implemented to the detriment of future generations.

Nov 30, 2017

Sure, its largely due to a preponderance of advantages that accumulate and accompany wealth. These include education, asset composition and investment income, political influence, and lower implicit and explicit rates of discount. Inversely, there are factors that disproportionately affect the poor, automation, de-unionization, globalization, and the shareholder revolution.

The relationship between income and education is as strong as you'd expect. However, the cost of secondary education has outpaced virtually any other good. Additionally, those in the top 40% on average tend to spend 4x on education what those in the bottom 60% spend.

The top 20% own 92% of America's share of stocks. In the last 20 years the DOW has quadrupled while real median wages have barely budged. The runaway affects of this should be obvious. Investment income, which is very concentrated, has eroded labor income-- see shareholder revolution.

In fact, because of the stagnation in wages the majority of purchasing power of U.S. households is afforded by debt and debt only. Recent studies have shown that debt among U.S. households is rising 60% faster than wages. This is another dynamic that perpetuates income-inequality.

Automation and globalization are topics that have been beaten to death so I won't belabor them but they disproportionately affect the poor and enrich executives and shareholders.

EDIT: Look no further than the Tax reform bill getting rammed through as I write this. We just had 8 years of monetary stimulus in the form of ZIRP and QE that disproportionately benefited large corporations who used their access to cheap capital to buyback stocks and drive asset prices up versus capex, wages, innovation, ect.

Today we are witnessing stock markets at all time highs, record profit margins, record cash balances, record share buybacks, record executive compensation, and record levels of household debt. Yet despite the soaring heights of the markets, corporate profits, and executive pay we are going to pass a debt-fueled tax reform whose focal point is lowering corporate tax rates. Again, it goes back to asymmetric power and influence on public policy. Corporations have been using the near-free capital available to them to buy back stock over the last 8 years, which enriches the top 20%, but more specifically the top 10%.

The additional capital made available via tax reform will be no different. This is how income inequality begets more income inequality.

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Nov 30, 2017

The lack of originality and ingenuity is appalling from Washington to Wall Street and industry. I believe Trump was supposed to shake up Washington but has not done anything except the tried and failed deficit ballooning tax cut. At least Obama did his progressive thing with some style.

Nov 29, 2017
Schreckstoff:

Today we are witnessing stock markets at all time highs, record profit margins, record cash balances, record share buybacks, record executive compensation, and record levels of household debt. Yet despite the soaring heights of the markets, corporate profits, and executive pay we are going to pass a debt-fueled tax reform whose focal point is lowering corporate tax rates.

Isn't this tax bill being passed through reconciliation? And doesn't that mean that it will be certified as at least deficit neutral?

Regardless, your premise seems to be that the rich corporations are demanding these corporate tax cuts, so they are being delivered. Talk about assuming the worst motivations of your political foes. I've been following this general corporate tax rate debate for 10+ years, and it has always been about economic principle. People like me would even argue that the corporate income tax rate should be 0% (in fact, I do argue that).

Nov 30, 2017

The tax bill is being passed through reconciliation which means it must conform to the Byrd Rule. The section of concern in the Byrd Rule for the GOP is that the bill cannot add to the deficit outside of the 10 year window.

The joint committee on taxation released an analysis last night that concluded even with economic growth factored in, the bill will add approximately a trillion dollars to the deficit over the next ten years. This merits concern, but does not violate the Byrd Rule as its within the 10-year window.

Its still uncertain, as the bill has continued to be written and amended behind close doors, but it's anticipated that in order to satisfy the Byrd Rule the majority of tax cuts will sunset after 10 years (similar to the Bush tax cuts), with the corporate tax cuts remaining permanent. At least that appears to be the stated preference, but the bill will not take its final form for quite some time.

I'm not assuming malevolence, I just don't see a cogent economic argument for debt-fueled tax cuts, after 8 years of monetary stimulus, at this point in the business cycle. Everyone has principles, but they should never be held and imposed with a mindset of consequences be damned.

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Nov 29, 2017
Schreckstoff:

The tax bill is being passed through reconciliation which means it must conform to the Byrd Rule. The section of concern in the Byrd Rule for the GOP is that the bill cannot add to the deficit outside of the 10 year window.

The joint committee on taxation released an analysis last night that concluded even with economic growth factored in, the bill will add approximately a trillion dollars to the deficit over the next ten years. This merits concern, but does not violate the Byrd Rule as its within the 10-year window.

Its still uncertain, as the bill has continued to be written and amended behind close doors, but it's anticipated that in order to satisfy the Byrd Rule the majority of tax cuts will sunset after 10 years (similar to the Bush tax cuts), with the corporate tax cuts remaining permanent. At least that appears to be the stated preference, but the bill will not take its final form for quite some time.

Solid points.

Schreckstoff:

I'm not assuming malevolence, I just don't see a cogent economic argument for debt-fueled tax cuts, after 8 years of monetary stimulus, at this point in the business cycle. Everyone has principles, but they should never be held and imposed with a mindset of consequences be damned.

We are celebrating--jubilantly--3.3% quarterly GDP growth. The cogent economic argument is that the wealth of the nation and the living standard of Americans is wildly different with 2.00% annual growth over 50 years vs 3.00%. In other words, Americans will be much wealthier and living much better lives in the long run if we can achieve higher growth. Over a short time period it's sort of an academic argument; over a half century, it's night-and-day (quick Excel indicates that 50 years of 3% vs 2% growth indicates America is almost 63% wealthier with higher growth).

Nov 30, 2017

I don't disagree with any of the above; it's purely a math problem with a clear right and wrong answer. But the simplicity that makes it attractive also makes it a poor representation of reality and the complexities that govern it.

In reality, the distribution of that growth rate matters. The average American is probably unaware of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, or what their quarterly or annual report says, but they do know what's in their bank account and what their W-2 says. If the average American is locked out of the majority of gains attained by that 3% growth rate, as they have been from the 1980s onward, then it's of no solace to them. The economy is not an impersonal, aggregate metric to the majority of Americans.

What's best for the economy, a 3% growth rate of a 2% growth rate is the wrong question. A better question is what's better for society, a 3% growth rate with intensifying income inequality, or a 2% growth rate with a slightly more equitable distribution. Perhaps, it's a false dichotomy but it's a step closer towards reality and the trade-offs that exist. The economy cannot be treated purely as a monolith whose best interests always square with the best interests of society. There has to be some degree of Rawl's veil of ignorance when conducting any sort of sovereign decision-making. Otherwise you quickly arrive at absurd conclusions, like a 5% annual growth rate where all the gains are concentrated across the top .0001% is optimal because it grows the economy the fastest.

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Nov 29, 2017
Schreckstoff:

In reality, the distribution of that growth rate matters. The average American is probably unaware of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, or what their quarterly or annual report says, but they do know what's in their bank account and what their W-2 says. If the average American is locked out of the majority of gains attained by that 3% growth rate, as they have been from the 1980s onward, then it's of no solace to them. The economy is not an impersonal, aggregate metric to the majority of Americans.

But the average American has a much higher standard of living in 2017 than in 1987, and that's largely because of private investment. The wealthiest may have benefited the most in terms of wealth, but I'd argue that middle class Americans have better things today than billionaires in the 1980s. Even expensive cars from 1987 are laughably bad compared to today's production models. My Audi S3 would embarrass the nicest cars of 1987.

Schreckstoff:

What's best for the economy, a 3% growth rate of a 2% growth rate is the wrong question. A better question is what's better for society, a 3% growth rate with intensifying income inequality, or a 2% growth rate with a slightly more equitable distribution. Perhaps, it's a false dichotomy but it's a step closer towards reality and the trade-offs that exist.

I'd argue that high economic growth is an unqualified good for society since the wealthy (at least in America) don't operate in a bubble.

Nov 30, 2017

Just came across this article:
https://austrian.economicblogs.org/stockman/2017/stockman-debt-taxes-growth-gop-job/
It's a pretty thorough deconstruction of the tax reform bill by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan. It's acerbic and strongly disapproving of the bill but levies some pretty insightful criticisms. Worth a read regardless of how you feel.

Nov 29, 2017
Schreckstoff:

Just came across this article:
https://austrian.economicblogs.org/stockman/2017/stockman-debt-taxes-growth-gop-job/
It's a pretty thorough deconstruction of the tax reform bill by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan. It's acerbic and strongly disapproving of the bill but levies some pretty insightful criticisms. Worth a read regardless of how you feel.

I mean, I agree with what he's saying, but literally every bad part of the tax bill can be indirectly (or directly) associated with the fact that Democrats so oppose a corporate income tax reduction that the only way to get the tax cut through is via reconciliation, which requires all kinds of fiscal gymnastics. I agree that most of this tax bill is utterly asinine, but that's the price we have to pay to realize corporate income tax reform with socialists controlling 48 senate seats (I love how Ted Cruz asked Dem Senator Maria Cantwell what she thought the difference was between socialists and Democrats, and she couldn't answer).

Nov 29, 2017

External costs? Every system has costs...what is this "serious critique" that one must level that will fix this? That's how this universe works...we aren't god, there are always trade offs. Capitalism is the best because, once again, it's how the universe naturally works.

And really, I mean true free markets. Not the crony, centralized, mostly quasi-socialist system we now have in place. Critiquing "capitalism" based on the current state of Western economies is not useful or relevant, might as well rate Ferrari as a company based off the performance of Lamborghini road cars.

Clearly you have no idea how a free market actually functions - the market is the moderating force. Incentives are the moderating force...that's literally the point. How do you suppose it should be done instead? The way it's been trending over the last 200 years, and failing?

Are you arguing another world war is preferably to income inequality?

Concentration of power is by nature not capitalism or free markets. We have such an incredible concentration of power right now precisely because we've slowly eroded our freedoms and liberties in order to gain some of the so-called "necessary moderating forces" that you claim are so vital to a healthy society.

The US leads the way in generally keeping a clean environment. This insane, ridiculous assumption that naturally all free markets want to destroy the environment has no basis in reality, fact or really anything other than childish, nonsensical drivel that comes from extreme far-left ideologue talking points.

I get what you may think the problem is, but I really must ask you to think about how exactly we got to the point we are now...we have nothing like unrestricted capitalism, and we haven't almost as soon as we signed the constitution into place.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Nov 30, 2017

Take a deep breath.

The criticism is not that external costs exist. It's that the system shuns any attempt to moderate those externalities from any force outside of the system itself. This can slow or suppress response times in addressing or removing said externalities, especially when they are the source of a competitive advantage.

The invisible hand was conceived when the world economy was largely mercantilist and even prior to the industrial revolution. It's efficacy as a moderating force in a global economy where corporations comprise 69 of the top 100 world economies is inadequate at best. Unless you think you can dismantle or reset the current state of the world economy then your fetishizing of pure capitalism is just a theoretical wet dream. Transnational corporations have enough scale, capital, and clout now to command the system that you contend would moderate them.

PeterMullersKeyboard:

Capitalism is the best because, once again, it's how the universe naturally works.

Capitalism is an immutable law of the universe? Again, capitalism relies on a sovereign authority recognizing and enforcing private property laws. This, in and of itself, is already a violation of the state of nature and requires the assistance of an entity outside of capitalism-- the state. I think I get your point, but the statement was to grandiose and clumsily stated to let be.

PeterMullersKeyboard:

Are you arguing another world war is preferably to income inequality?

This is an absurd and pointless form of argumentation. It's a baseless straw-man with no substantiation with regards to either A.) the intent of my argument or B.) the logic behind the presented dichotomy.

PeterMullersKeyboard:

This insane, ridiculous assumption that naturally all free markets want to destroy the environment has no basis in reality, fact or really anything other than childish, nonsensical drivel that comes from extreme far-left ideologue talking points.

This is not the assumption, it's just a useful strawman for you to rebuke. Again, there is no assumed malevolence towards nature or anyone or anything else, it's just corporations optimizing their outcome within the existing incentive structure. The actual argument is that in some cases, the organic incentive structure of the system itself is either not strong enough, or too short-term focused, to protect long-term collective public interests-- such as deforestation, soil depletion, oceanic pollution, ect.

PeterMullersKeyboard:

I get what you may think the problem is, but I really must ask you to think about how exactly we got to the point we are now...we have nothing like unrestricted capitalism, and we haven't almost as soon as we signed the constitution into place.

My critique was of capitalism through the lens of the 21st century economy. Pure capitalism is merely a thought exercise, as is pure socialism, or pure anything anything at this point. Perhaps, "pure capitalism" is as impeccable and self-sustaining as you contend, but it also exists in a vacuum and arguing about its sanctity does little to advance the current state of economic affairs.

    • 3
Nov 29, 2017

The only one writing multi-page-length responses is you, I suggest you do the breathing.

Regulation is how we got here...gov't trying to pick winners and losers, as well as trying to "protect" people from themselves is how we got here. Our current crony system has nothing to do with free markets nor is it a natural outgrowth from such a state.

I'm not going to respond to this post any further until you can explain to me how ownership of property violates natural law...that's one of the most insane, ridiculous statements I've ever seen made on this forum.

You bring up a lot of things that are non-issues, those are also straw men. Please, defend your absurd notion that private property is unnatural. Then perhaps I can make some sort of response. The rest is just hand-wringing and nonsense.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

    • 1
    • 3
Dec 1, 2017

Capitalism is simply a system of free exchange rooted in private property. It represents the mechanisms that naturally emerge from the ownership of one's productive effort and the ability to exchange with other productive parties. The ownership component creates the incentives required to stimulate production (i.e., your ability to generate and retain the return/loss). The exchange component creates the mechanism required to direct production (i.e., the price mechanism).

To put it another way, capitalism is a cooperative system where strangers produce for strangers. It's why/how, as an example, Croatian blue-fin tuna fisherman supply Japanese consumers without even knowing them. People liken markets to democracy but, in fact, markets are far superior to democratic political systems. If you want a yellow tie, for example, you can purchase a yellow tie. You do not need permission from 51% of the public.

Marxism/communism is not an alternative system. It's simply the destruction of social institutions that have emerged organically over time. It destroys them but it does not replace them. When you read Marxian literature (real Marxian literature, not the shit that e-socialists post on huff post comments board), you'll notice that it's just a critique of capitalism. This is why all socialist/communist systems necessarily degenerate to state-run/crony capitalism.

    • 4
Dec 1, 2017

"Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering, and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man."

Dec 1, 2017

Capitalism is not "social and natural" - it is grounded in hard-won institutions which are legalistic in nature. Think of the Magna Carta, or the first joint venture companies in mercantile Europe. It is about private property, plain and simple - private property that is harnessed to generate privately held profit. In contrast to tribal, feudal, or communist/some socialist formulations of the economy, capitalism rests upon the notion that private rights to property and transactions involving those properties must be held sacrosanct and protected from violation by mutual covenants that are enforced by the Leviathan. In many ways, this makes for a great system.

The reason people are mad, however, is because there are many permutations of capitalism in society, not all of which serve people well from a utilitarian perspective (i.e. the greatest good for the greatest number), or an ethical one. Unfettered free market capitalism tends to lend itself to a system of haves and have-nots - and if you have a sacrosanct right to own only meager posessions, like the displaced agrarians of the industrial era, then the concept loses a bit of its shine.

There's also crony capitalism where private property exists, but the channels of transacting with your property are calcified and exclusionary, and the Leviathan may protect the covenants of its cronies better than those of the non-cronies.

A number of atrocities have also been committed and justified in the name of acquiring private property and profit - colonialism, slavery, war, etc.

Further, a system which holds private property and the individual rights of its owners above all else may neglect to address issues like the tragedy of the commons and other collective action problems. Just because you own a factory that pollutes, do you have the right to churn out noxious gas to the detriment of your fellow man?

I think it is naive to discuss a world without the notion of private property - it just seems ludicrous to me that a system without this concept could function in a way that imparts maximum benefit to its members. What I think is more reasonable to discuss is the ways in which private property may sometimes need to be regulated in order to avoid some of the harms discussed above.

Nov 29, 2017

It's true that private property is a key function of modern capitalism. I think Esuric's point about capitalism being natural is that functioning trade markets have always sprouted up throughout history--trade between humans is natural. Take Venezuela, for example--a despicable socialist tyranny. There is a vibrant black market for virtually everything--this market operates under the natural laws of supply and demand and the innate idea of private property (that what I trade to you is mine and I have the right to give it up or not for that which you posses).

Dec 1, 2017

What I meant my "natural" is that, whenever you have property you "naturally" get exchange, which "naturally" creates the system we call "capitalism." It's an if-then logical progression. I didn't mean to imply a seamless social process.

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Dec 1, 2017

To clarify - my contention against the notion of "natural" is aimed at the OP. I think Esuric's comments, and his use of the word "natural" are spot on. The free market, and other forms of relatively free exchange are the logical result of institutionalized private property.

I was just not clear on what OP meant by "Capitalism is social and natural while the economic system must be reflected in the private and individual institutions that allow for the free exchange of goods", but from what I can gather, I think he mistakenly characterizes how capitalism came about.

Institutions do not follow from capitalism in the first place - capitalism follows from institutions in the first place. Capitalism is not merely the exchange of goods - a barter system achieves that. It is the socially sanctioned and contractually enshrined notion that what you produce or acquire is yours, and not the tithe of your church, your lord, your tribe, or any other paternalistic ruler. On this point, I think the three of us are in agreement.

Nov 30, 2017
Fugue:

To clarify - my contention against the notion of "natural" is aimed at the OP. I think Esuric's comments, and his use of the word "natural" are spot on. The free market, and other forms of relatively free exchange are the logical result of institutionalized private property.

I was just not clear on what OP meant by "Capitalism is social and natural while the economic system must be reflected in the private and individual institutions that allow for the free exchange of goods", but from what I can gather, I think he mistakenly characterizes how capitalism came about.

Institutions do not follow from capitalism in the first place - capitalism follows from institutions in the first place. Capitalism is not merely the exchange of goods - a barter system achieves that. It is the socially sanctioned and contractually enshrined notion that what you produce or acquire is yours, and not the tithe of your church, your lord, your tribe, or any other paternalistic ruler. On this point, I think the three of us are in agreement.

I'm delineating between capitalism and the "free market" in that quote. I said that I don't believe capitalism at its core is an economic system, but rather it is a social system. The ideology tries to explain the way social beings act through their production specializations and when making markets.

The free market is an economic system to codify these actions and promote fairness, justice, security, etc. I think there is a confusion; capitalism is at the top of hierarchy and explains social actors, while economic systems are subjected to the social ideology.

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Nov 29, 2017

Ah yes, more regulation - that's worked so well, hasn't it?

Some of you really need to spend some time in the real world.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

    • 4
Dec 1, 2017

...Thanks bud. Maybe you could disclose your position in the real world so that we can all benefit from your worldly knowledge, and how it applies in this debate? No? Then sit down and be quiet with this BS.

I'm a conservative and generally think that the government does a poor job with regulations. I think Dodd Frank and Basel II/III are great examples of regulation run amok, because rather than limiting credit risk, regulations are increasing it by crowing large lenders out of the middle and lower market.

Nonetheless, if you cannot understand why there needs to be a regulatory response to resolve collective action problems like climate change, you are most likely being an ignorant mouthpiece for the brand of conservatism that is on its way out the door in today's world.

Next semester, I suggest you register for a Game Theory class and start out by learning about the prisoner's dilemma. That should set you on your way to eventually having the requisite knowledge for engaging in this conversation.

Some other regulator-driven stuff that OP has probably concluded hasn't "worked so well", in his unique experience as a participant in "the real world":

  • The Securities Exchange Commission, created by regulators to facilitate transparency in the markets.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank, created by politicians to stabilize aspects of the economy
  • Credit rating agencies, whose judgments as to creditworthiness are mandated by regulators as part of a legitimate offering.
  • The busting of trusts in the early 20th century, to avoid a host of problems arising from monopoly
  • Sarbanes-Oxley, which was devised to hold executives accountable for financial chicanery that they ordered or sanctioned after WorldCom and Enron

The list goes on...

Nov 29, 2017

Oh man, he's mad now.

So all you have is climate change? That's it?

You've made a lot of incorrect assumptions, haven't offered much in terms of actual, concrete arguments. If you have anything interesting to say, please feel free to do so...otherwise this strange role play you're trying to engage in where I'm your student or some such is rather uninteresting to me.

Learn some humility, little guy. It'll serve you well in life.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

    • 3
Dec 1, 2017

Hush. I added more examples because I knew you would be a prick and demand them. Read again and get back to me.

Nov 29, 2017

Incredible, asking you to support your argument is "being a dick" ? How old are you? You must be one of those people that needs a safe space every time someone you don't like comes to your campus and interrupts your women's art history studies.

You've just listed a bunch of organizations that have failed in doing what they set out to do, I have no idea how the hell you think this is an argument of any sort.

Sarbanes-Oxley clearly didn't work. Credit rating agencies clearly didn't work. The federal reserve clearly hasn't worked. The SEC is the least effective but is only necessary because now we have giant, all-powerful financial institutions that are practically arms of the government now. If that wasn't the case, we wouldn't need them.

Have any more arguments to make? Or just more posts where you get off on speaking to strangers like some sort of strange, rape-y uncle? I must say I have little interest in that.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

    • 1
Dec 1, 2017

Troll better, guy. Or if this is serious, I beg of you, go to a meeting for a debate club. Good day to you.

Nov 29, 2017

So, no argument, no response. If your only answer to critiques of your non-argument is "troll better" - I feel sorry for you. I sure hope you don't work in the industry, you might have a rough go at it.

Have a nice day. And keep tossing that MS, I love seeing these notifications.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Dec 2, 2017

My experience is that people who hate capitalism don't really hate "regular" capitalism, but crony capitalism. And that's understandable.

How politicians can be bought (through lobbying) for pennies, relatively speaking, is disgusting. Or entities masquerading as capitalist free-market supporters, while pocketing politicians for special treatment, essentially making competition almost impossible (looking at you, telecom).

Next time you speak with anti-capitalist people, try to find out what they really hate.

Dec 2, 2017

Human existence is built upon oppression and taking advantage of others.
Capitalism, by definition, is pillared by those two actions. (which is totally fine)
So yes, it is human nature.

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Nov 29, 2017

I don't think you understand at all how capitalism works or what it means...there is no "oppression" and "exploitation of others" in a voluntary free market - which is the long way of saying "capitalism"

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Dec 2, 2017

This is the most naive, ignorant, and downright childish response on the forum.

Go ask a factory worker if they wake up at 5am voluntarily.
I'd guess most of them have no choice, as they are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

A simple way to prove this is to see how many lottery jackpot winners return to their minimal wage (or close to it) job afterwards.

Don't be so asinine. Let's call a spade a spade.

And let me add, there is nothing wrong with oppression or exploitation.
But there's a huge problem with denying said fact.

Nov 29, 2017

Your comments on this website are generally quite strange and nonsensical, I don't really have any thoughts on your opinions about what I typed.

I will restate, as you seem to have trouble reading: Your definition of capitalism is wrong. We do not currently have anything like real capitalism in the West anymore. Please re-assess your (poorly informed) beliefs and try again.

Or perhaps spend less time tripping over your own loquaciousness, you might learn something. You're not the only one here who knows how to use the English language, I assure you.

No one is forced to work in a factory starting at 5 am. You seem very much like one of those people that's never actually been in a tough spot in life before. You certainly write as if.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Dec 1, 2017

Actually, capitalism was the result of agrarians in Europe, in the latter half of the last millennium, finally gaining the ability to self-determine their economic existence. Finally being able to buy and sell goods for profit. Finally being able to lease land, etc. from their lords, not in some feudal patronage relationship, but in a contractual, legalistic one.

Capitalism is precisely the opposite of how you characterize it. It is based upon mutual, self-determined agreements, and respect of those agreements by entities who previously took whatever they wanted from their destitute subjects.

Next time you feel like taking this misanthropic view towards the status quo, remember what preceded it:

  1. Mercantilism - essentially plundering and murdering indigenous populations for the sake of the king's pocketbook.
  2. Feudalism - i.e., growing up and dying on the same plot of land as your father, grandfather, great grandfather, and so on, for no other reason than your lordship has the favor of the current monarchy.
  3. Papal rule - i.e. the pope and his cronies building lavish cathedrals in the Vatican using the proceeds of indulgences that they sold you - you know, those little pieces of paper that will totally get you into heaven in exchange for your meager earnings.
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Dec 7, 2017

This is silly.

Dec 7, 2017

let's see how many big words we can use to try to trick people into believing we're actually making a point and not just talking clutter!

Dec 7, 2017

But if you look at the stats, those poverty stricken nations are the ones that don't have freedom - they have a ruling elite. Their governments are the ones in control, and the people can't do anything to get out from it. To have a socialist society, there has to be an entity in control, which is a very powerful position to be in. In general, power corrupts

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking.aspx Check out the Heritage Foundation's Country Freedom rankings. I know, it's probably a biased source, but if you can find a different source for info such as this, I'd be interested to see it.

Dec 7, 2017

I think you'll find the quality of life/standard of living in the lower classes of capitalistic (or near capitalistic) nations to be much higher on average than the rest of the globe; you know, once you get your head out of your own ass.

Rate of innovation, notably in the life sciences, too, will be higher.

Dec 7, 2017

Too long, didn't read. But I do agree with your point that greed is good!

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Dec 7, 2017

I'm not even going to read this, but I will bet the ranch that it's complete rubbish.

Dec 7, 2017

Who has time to read this, let alone write it?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Dec 7, 2017

Seriously, way too long. And you are wrong about Smith. I read Wealth of Nations in high school (for fun, btw) and not once in the book did he say that 'greed was good' or any variant of it. Smith's point is that individuals should act in their rational best self-interest. Greed is an emotion. Nothing about it is rational. All Smith was advocating is that free individuals need to make choices based on rational contemplation, not because they are forced to engage in transactions against the state. The whole book is an argument against mercantilism, and has nothing to do with Gordon Gekko.

Dec 7, 2017

get outta here you pinko commie bastard

Dec 7, 2017

For what its worth you are correct that capitalism is a total shit system but if you aren't going to suggest an alternative and you are going to just trash capitalism then you might as well be an anarchist.

Also, alot of your reasons for why capitalism is a shit system are completely off base.

Back to the barter system

Dec 7, 2017

I think we do need creative destruction, recessions are like diarrhea, they're unpleasant but they help get rid of bad things, in the body it is germs, in the economy it's bad companies. Capitalism is the best system extant as it relies on voluntary exchanges and there is no element of coercion in it. We need to go back to a small government.

  • SpencerMakesBank
  •  Dec 7, 2017
futurectdoc:

I think we do need creative destruction, recessions are like diarrhea, they're unpleasant but they help get rid of bad things, in the body it is germs, in the economy it's bad companies. Capitalism is the best system extant as it relies on voluntary exchanges and there is no element of coercion in it. We need to go back to a small government.

Or bad banks... oh wait.

  • gnicholas
  •  Dec 7, 2017

Capitalism obviously is not dead, anyone telling you otherwise is using hyperbole to advance a political point or agenda.

Dec 7, 2017

Capitalism isn't dead: the reality just isn't as perfect as the philisophical abstraction and that bothers some people. There are reactionaries who freak out when any rules are imposed, but the reality is that capitalism is unstable sometimes, and political leaders aren't simply going to let a country collapse because a few business morons gambled wrong. If anything, capitalism is spreading across the globe......

Dec 7, 2017

One of the most polluted cities in America is Los Angeles; the city with some of the worst class tensions and greatest economic inequality is San Francisco; the big city with among the worst gun crime is Chicago; the city with some of the highest rents in the world is NYC.

See a connection?

Dec 7, 2017

No? Is this some sort of look they are all run by liberals thing?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

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Dec 7, 2017
happypantsmcgee:

No? Is this some sort of look they are all run by liberals thing?

No, it's not about the liberals. It's about how LA is full of environmentalists, San Fran has been the central location for social justice and equality movement, Chicago has some of the most focus on gun crime and NYC is obsessed with affordable housing and rent control. Just think it's funny that these places are failing miserably at the areas that they focus most on.

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Dec 7, 2017

You need to quantify more. I see only a pattern of cherry picking anecdotal cases to support your usual assertation that conservative GOP politics are the solution to everything from AIDS to insomnia. Actually read the post, think a bit more, and then get back to me.

Dec 7, 2017

You forgot Detroit.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Dec 7, 2017

Little off topic so I apologize but I saw Dallas Fed President Fisher speak a couple months ago about how Texas is just killing it and why he sees that continuing. Some quotes loosely assembled from memory,
- "Some of my Co-Workers joke with me that Texas added the most minimum wage jobs, to which my reply is YES along with the most jobs in every pay grade."
- When pressed as to why that was, "We do not have the best social services here in Texas and we don't need them, people come here to work." Interesting tid bit, the majority of aliens moving to Texas are from California.

Dec 7, 2017

The Nordic economic model seems to work very well. Denmark is the biggest social welfare state and has the lowest income inequality and people in Denmark tend to me the happiest in the world. They also have the highest minimum wage in the world.

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/02/we...

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=...

http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#/page/indexes/glo...

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21570...

Maybe Karl Marx wasn't so off in saying capitalism doesn't work and it would crumble on its own.

    • 4
Dec 7, 2017

Did you just compare a 'country' of 300 million. Do you know the cost of living in Denmark? The tax rate? Or do you just say OMG this place is amazing and look at everything through that lense without taking one moment or iota of intellect to actually understand what the fuck you are talking about. Denmark doesnt even pay for its own national defense.

IP will be here soon and he and I can get into this debate again.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017

The greatest social experiment with communism in history was the USSR, and while it took 70 years, it failed. America has been a capitalist society since inception, and it has yet to fail. Basic economic principles will always win out in the long term. Pushing for equal opportunity will always trump pushing for equal outcomes, as the latter tends to only make everyone equally miserable in the end.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017

The future of America and the world involves increased welfare and essentially paying people to not work. While this might seem like a rejoice for liberal America, it will be the door opening event for eugenics and other population control measures.

See, I don't give a shit if someone has 10 kids. I mean sucks to be them, but whatever. When I have large amounts of left side bell curve people reproducing and being provided for from my wages, that is when I start caring. You cannot have paternalism and freedom, just doesn't work. So as more adults become wards of the state, so will the state start acting more and more like their parents.

Look at our medical system for a moment. Many of the most costly and expensive drags on the system are 100% caused by lack of control or poor choices. If everyone quit smoking and reduced what they ate, combined with modest physical activity, you'd see health care costs plummet.

Right now I don't care what people do because smokers and fat people pay higher premiums, higher co-pays, etc. Once I have to subsidize them I will 100% demand a seat at the table.

Maybe this is what is best since these people act like children. I will happily fork over more from my paycheck to placate these people, but do not think you will enjoy the same level of choice and freedom as a tax payer when you are dependent on someone else.

Dec 7, 2017

To do:
- Register as Democrat (before ANY public political action)
- Make a shit ton of money
- Harvard JD/MBA
- Seek power position
- Become President
- Run moderate for 4 years, assure Republicans take the House and Senate in second term
- Demolish every welfare, immigration protection, and minority program
- Sit back and watch as the Republicans secure the White House for decades

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Dec 7, 2017
TNA:

See, I don't give a shit if someone has 10 kids. I mean sucks to be them, but whatever.

That is the definition of a biological success.

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Dec 7, 2017

I don't think he read the articles he posted. The Economist article was pretty good (as The Economist usually is) and it was hardly some cheerleader for socialism or the increased welfare state.

Dec 7, 2017

Societies naturally trend towards increased governance: the Congressmen demand more power, the people demand more largesse and the bureaucrats demand more jobs. I see no compelling reason to believe that the US will head in any different a direction than did the host of crumbled governments by which it was preceded.

A previous poster heralded Nordic countries for their supposed contemporaneous happiness, satisfaction and prosperity. Yet, these are simply countries that landed in their bed of governmental benevolence more gracefully: they were made wealthy by way of capitalism long ago, trended - as all countries do - towards bureaucratic bloat, and have thankfully maintained order among their overwhelmingly homogeneous populace. The hoi polloi of America diversity will not succumb to the same order, as we have seen.

Of course it is possible for the USA to continue operating as a bureaucratic state! The US possesses such unparalleled and globally significant wealth that redistribution can continue ad nauseam. In time, however, we will be succeeded by the freer economies that form in our stead. We're already seeing this in Singapore and Hong Kong, whose material wealth accumulated with mind-boggling rapidity.

In a global economy where financial assets are so freely transferable and so easily mobilized, wealth will flow to those areas that most liberate it from restriction.

It should be no surprise, then, that neither the Nordic countries nor any other country has ever meaningfully improved the standard of living of its average citizen without free enterprise and largely free trade. This is an inescapable truth of economics. That, as it seems, the "have-nots" cannot accept a reality in which they are less wealthy than their peers (even if they are, by virtue of capitalism, wealthier than 99% of the world's population) is irrelevant.

If we cannot accept the maxim of free markets and instead focus on something as vacuous as "income inequality" (which, in practice, is the world's wealthiest 1% of citizens complaining about the success of the world's wealthiest 0.01% of citizens), then we are surely doomed to repeat history.

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Dec 7, 2017

Capitalism works, but requires mobility of labor.

There is a job shortage in North Dakota, with positions starting at over 6 figures for driving a truck full of sand to fracking wells. Wind turbine technicion jobs in Oklahoma start at 60k for cleaning debris from turbines.

I know these are only anecdotal, but i think it illustrates the issue that many people would rather stay in the city, collect their welfare/unemployment and complain about the haves, rather than improve their own situation through hard work. Without socialistic "safety nets" the choice would be work or starve, and labor would be allocated more efficiently.

Just my two cents.

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017

Maybe they should just switch to Bing. Problem solved.

Dec 7, 2017

The ironic thing about the recent rise in income inequality is that as of late, it has been substantially increased by the Fed's actions. Wealthy people own assets- financial, real estate, luxury goods- and the monetary policy of the last 5 years has done nothing but push those assets up in value. So, the leftist, liberal, equality for all government is just as much to blame for the current dichotomy seen in our economy as any other faction.

To clarify, the biggest issue is still what has been pointed out in above posts that as long as a safety net(welfare programs) exists, there is no incentive for the public to take any responsibility and produce, and we will continue to see an incredibly flawed, entitlement mentality. But, I just wanted to point out the irony of the current office holder's policy that is supposedly taking the side of the disadvantaged and little guy, but in reality, they(the fed and Obama administration) are only making the rich richer. Way to go poor people.

Dec 7, 2017
Dec 7, 2017

Did you really just post this?

Excerpt from other "Top Article" on that site:
(In regards to Obama senior military advisors)
"The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.
Those who will not are being removed."
-Dr. Jim Garrow

Quick Google (the irony huh?) of this guy reveals an article where he hypothesizes that Obama planned on carrying out nuclear attacks on the US this past fall.

Dec 7, 2017

NYC, Chicago, LA, all great cities. They can fuck up big, but people will still want to live there. Placed like Detroit have a smaller margin of error. That is why liberal policies in the above mentioned cities can go on for an extended period of time and placed like Detroit get nuked.

And by liberal I mean higher tax, pro-union/labor (pensions, wages), negative/neutral on business and high crime (unless deterred). The cities that fail also tend to be formed industrial cities with large amounts of lower educated and impoverished people clustered together.

So cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc. These cities can live or die based on choices they make.Pittsburgh diversified into Meds & Eds and is doing ok. Cleveland is struggling. Philly is ebb and flow. Detroit is hurting bad.

Liberalism depends on other peoples money. Like it or not, pensions and welfare are paid by tax revenue or borrowing. If your city doesn't have a draw to keep people and you keep the benefits up you will have to borrow. In the near term that is fine, but eventually you will be fucked. Simple math.

Dec 7, 2017
TNA:

And by liberal I mean higher tax, pro-union/labor (pensions, wages), negative/neutral on business and high crime (unless deterred).

High crime is a "liberal" policy?

Dec 7, 2017
Going Concern:
TNA:

And by liberal I mean higher tax, pro-union/labor (pensions, wages), negative/neutral on business and high crime (unless deterred).

High crime is a "liberal" policy?

No, it isn't a policy, but Republicans tend to be more police state. I mean stop and frisk, for all of its Constitutional issues, fights crime. It is also most likely prejudiced, but it works.

What I mean is Liberals tend to be "softer" on crime. See Chicago's tough gun control, but out of control violence. Or Philadelphia being sued and "stopping" stop and frisk. Also see NYC and the recently elected mayor's stance on it. Probably because lower income, minority voters pull the Dem level and proactive police policies also target them the most.

Dec 7, 2017

My only point was that the harder these people push for income equality, or gun control, affordable housing, or clean air it seems that they get the opposite. I find it ironic that San Francisco is the front line in the war of classes.

Dec 7, 2017
DCDepository:

My only point was that the harder these people push for income equality, or gun control, affordable housing, or clean air it seems that they get the opposite. I find it ironic that San Francisco is the front line in the war of classes.

Agree. I mean I take joy in seeing SF go through this.

Dec 7, 2017
TNA:
DCDepository:

My only point was that the harder these people push for income equality, or gun control, affordable housing, or clean air it seems that they get the opposite. I find it ironic that San Francisco is the front line in the war of classes.

Agree. I mean I take joy in seeing SF go through this.

As a native San Franciscan who is strongly pro-Google on this issue, so do I.

Dec 7, 2017

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Dec 7, 2017

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Dec 7, 2017
Black Knight:

I just came across some very interesting research. Apparently people's perception of income inequality is greatly exaggerated. Any idea how we can profit off of companies pumping the income inequality brand? It seems to be taking off... I always wanted to profit off of things like this.

Here's the research in case anyone's interested: www (dot) sciencedaily (dot) com/releases/2013/12/131216080504 (dot) htm

Just curious, why did you feel the need to replace each "." with "(dot)?"

Dec 7, 2017

already answered

Dec 7, 2017

Lol got it, didn't know there was that restriction. I usually see the "(dot)" with email addresses, so I was confused.

Dec 7, 2017
UFOinsider:

Mind you, this article isn't written by some hack leftist blogger from their mom's basement. None other than Henry Blodgett decided to commit the following to writing:

"the larger issue -- increasing inequality -- is not going away. And yesterday's protest in San Francisco is likely only one of many that we will see over the coming years."

Carl Icahn, Warren Buffet, Bill Gross, and a slew of other obviously capitalist folks are saying about the same.

UFO, I enjoyed your post and tend to appreciate anything that shines a light on the fact that we live in a mix-market society, but I really have to call-out your point on Buffet bro. Warren Buffet is in no sense of the word a capitalist, not anymore at least. When you have the government straight up handing you money in back room deals involving bailed out banks, you're pretty far into the realm of corporatism (or crony-capitalism). Add to that the entire existence of the Buffet Rule and calling him capitalist becomes downright fucking offensive.

Also, Blodgett isn't a leftist hack but he is a well-known Keynesian+egalitarian proponent, so in many peoples' eyes (mine included) it's sort of a wash.

Dec 7, 2017

it's Buffett

Dec 7, 2017
45c345:

it's Buffett

Fail. Good catch, to think I tried to start a blog about the dude too: http://awkwardstudentsmeetwarrenbuffett.tumblr.com/

Dec 7, 2017

lol that's great

Dec 7, 2017

Liberals have destroyed every city they've ever run. Thank goodness Rudy and Bloomberg managed to rescue NYC from becoming the next Detroit. With Deblasio though, NYC will revert back to its pre-Rudy state of urban decay.

    • 2
Dec 7, 2017

US Government: Vote for Trump then America will have the best cows ever!

Dec 7, 2017

I get tired of reading ZeroHedge. Shit is depressing and the claims are empirically weak.

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017
VALuation:

I get tired of reading ZeroHedge. Shit is depressing and the claims are empirically weak.

Not to mention t's the worst looking website this side of 2002

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017

interesting article sure, but if you're a long term bear/pessimist (like I believe ZH to be), you'll wind up broke and paranoid. stay positive kiddies

    • 1
Dec 7, 2017

Domain Name: ZEROHEDGE.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1536976477_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.easydns.com
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Admin Name: Georgi Hristozov
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Tech Name: Georgi Hristozov
Tech Organization: ABC Media Ltd
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Name Server: DNS3.EASYDNS.ORG
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DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
ZH is from a bored bulgarian dude named Georgi Hristozov that noticed US traffic is 1-tier and is good for monetization

    • 4
Dec 7, 2017

I'm not a massive fan of ZH either, but it's difficult to counter the message in that article. Who actually thinks the U.S. is a paragon of economic freedom anymore?

Dec 7, 2017

Definitely true. I just think alot of the ZH articles are propaganda pushing with a conspiracy-theorist flavoring. Not wrong in the message though. America is in need of a fundamental change in almost every aspect.

Dec 7, 2017

I tend to believe that it was an over abundant faith in pure capitalism that got us into this current state. Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism but I have to agree with Marx that unchecked capitalism is a dangerous thing for the overall stability/longevity of a well functioning market.

For example, I think that the ever widening gap between the wealthy and the impoverished is a major issue that needs to be addressed. I don't believe that a well functioning economy has 1% of the population representing a vast majority of the tax revenue, but that is were we are now. There are systematic changes that need to be made, it shouldn't happen over night.

Take it for all it's worth.

Dec 7, 2017
Aliazz:

I tend to believe that it was an over abundant faith in pure capitalism that got us into this current state. Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism but I have to agree with Marx that unchecked capitalism is a dangerous thing for the overall stability/longevity of a well functioning market.

For example, I think that the ever widening gap between the wealthy and the impoverished is a major issue that needs to be addressed. I don't believe that a well functioning economy has 1% of the population representing a vast majority of the tax revenue, but that is were we are now. There are systematic changes that need to be made, it shouldn't happen over night.

The top 1% of the country earns 19% of the $$ but pays 40% in taxes. Let me say that again. 40% of ALL taxes, meaning the other 99% only pay 60%. Capitalism works because it is a natural extention of peoples incentives and drives.

People are motivated primarily by two things: Survival instinct, and self-interest, in that order. The only problem with capitalism is that corruption happens if left unregulated. But we are so far from unregulated. Capitalism works, let the private sector decide if it needs to spend more, not the fuckin government inflating our dollars. Anyway, I gotta book to finish...

Dec 7, 2017
MoneyKingdom:

The top 1% of the country earns 19% of the $$ but pays 40% in taxes. Let me say that again. 40% of ALL taxes, meaning the other 99% only pay 60%. Capitalism works because it is a natural extension of peoples incentives and drives.

People are motivated primarily by two things: Survival instinct, and self-interest, in that order. The only problem with capitalism is that corruption happens if left unregulated. But we are so far from unregulated. Capitalism works, let the private sector decide if it needs to spend more, not the fuckin government inflating our dollars. Anyway, I gotta book to finish...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Capitalism works because it is a natural extension of people's incentives and drives.

Dec 7, 2017
Aliazz:

I tend to believe that it was an over abundant faith in pure capitalism that got us into this current state. Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism but I have to agree with Marx that unchecked capitalism is a dangerous thing for the overall stability/longevity of a well functioning market.

The fact is, the U.S. has never been purely capitalist, therefore there is no evidence that the current crisis can be blamed on "capitalism". It can be blamed on welfare capitalism, state capitalism, but not pure capitalism. Businesses, Wall Street, the entire economy as we know it is built on and have to maneuver around a foundation of artificial, economically unsound government incentives and disincentives which are backed by the rule of law. Therefore, none of the symptoms of our economic house of cards can be blamed on "pure capitalism".

However, though I believe we would all be better off with a mature, totally free capitalist system, I understand that this is the system we are stuck with for now whether we like it or not and we have to perform maintenance on this system via some Fed measures to make it the best it can be, to reduce economic suffering and appease public psychology.

I have faith that as technology develops and robotics, materials science, nanotech, biotech, and computers all exponentially progress in the coming decades that this will change. These advances should improve education, manufacturing, operations, basically every aspect of society. This will eliminate many of the baseline worries that leftists and liberals have, such as poverty, environmental destruction, etc because everyone and everything will be 'buoyed' by an increasingly effective base of technology. This will also cause people to become more logical and rational and thus government's role in the economy will shrink because people will be better educated and rational players in the market and thus will warrant less government teat.

Merely extrapolating here, in an optimistic way.

Dec 7, 2017
Putz:

The fact is, the U.S. has never been purely capitalist, therefore there is no evidence that the current crisis can be blamed on "capitalism". It can be blamed on welfare capitalism, state capitalism, but not pure capitalism. Businesses, Wall Street, the entire economy as we know it is built on and have to maneuver around a foundation of artificial, economically unsound government incentives and disincentives which are backed by the rule of law. Therefore, none of the symptoms of our economic house of cards can be blamed on "pure capitalism".

However, though I believe we would all be better off with a mature, totally free capitalist system, I understand that this is the system we are stuck with for now whether we like it or not and we have to perform maintenance on this system via some Fed measures to make it the best it can be, to reduce economic suffering and appease public psychology.

I agree that the government messed with incentives, interest rates, taxes and a hundred other things they shouldn't have, conspiring to lead us to the problem we have today, and I certainly agree we have never tried pure capitalism, but that doesn't mean that pure capitalism is the answer. I think that it is important to recognize that 1) the economic ideal of perfectly rational decision makers is a far cry from reality. I mean, have you seen the bottom 99%? They may not deserve government handouts, but it is tough to guide them and prevent them hurting themselves and us without a little expense. 2) Perfect capitalism would imply complete anarchy, which was tried tens of thousands of years ago. Didn't do very well. Well the government should not stick its nose where it doesn't belong, it is important to have a government that can use the threat of superior violence to ensure that all market participants are playing by a consistent set of rules, and every transaction does not become a prisoner's dilemma in to which elaborate self-enforcing default protection mechanisms must be inserted.

Dec 7, 2017
drexelalum11:
Putz:

The fact is, the U.S. has never been purely capitalist, therefore there is no evidence that the current crisis can be blamed on "capitalism". It can be blamed on welfare capitalism, state capitalism, but not pure capitalism. Businesses, Wall Street, the entire economy as we know it is built on and have to maneuver around a foundation of artificial, economically unsound government incentives and disincentives which are backed by the rule of law. Therefore, none of the symptoms of our economic house of cards can be blamed on "pure capitalism".

However, though I believe we would all be better off with a mature, totally free capitalist system, I understand that this is the system we are stuck with for now whether we like it or not and we have to perform maintenance on this system via some Fed measures to make it the best it can be, to reduce economic suffering and appease public psychology.

I agree that the government messed with incentives, interest rates, taxes and a hundred other things they shouldn't have, conspiring to lead us to the problem we have today, and I certainly agree we have never tried pure capitalism, but that doesn't mean that pure capitalism is the answer. I think that it is important to recognize that 1) the economic ideal of perfectly rational decision makers is a far cry from reality. I mean, have you seen the bottom 99%? They may not deserve government handouts, but it is tough to guide them and prevent them hurting themselves and us without a little expense. 2) Perfect capitalism would imply complete anarchy, which was tried tens of thousands of years ago. Didn't do very well. Well the government should not stick its nose where it doesn't belong, it is important to have a government that can use the threat of superior violence to ensure that all market participants are playing by a consistent set of rules, and every transaction does not become a prisoner's dilemma in to which elaborate self-enforcing default protection mechanisms must be inserted.

drexelalum:

Perfect capitalism doesn't have to imply anarchy. A government that has a monopoly on the use of force, and whose main role is to enforce contracts and property rights is just about all it takes to keep things running efficiently.

Also, although I agree that this bubble and bust was caused to a certain extent by government intervention, it was also caused by people simply being stupid. Individuals shouldn't have given or taken mortgages that they couldn't afford. Among other problems (a negative national savings rate will drive any economy into a recession eventually).

The fact is, regardless of government mis-incentives, there will always be bubbles and busts. But the less the government intervenes the smaller these will be, and the freer the economy will be to recover from them.

Dec 7, 2017

Off topic, but I've read that the movie version of Atlas Shrugged finally has a green light and they're casting now.

I've heard Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts bandied about for the role of Dagny Taggart. Neither one gets me too excited. Especially if AJ gets the nod, they'll probably try to pull a Hollywood stunt like casting Brad Pitt as John Galt just to generate "buzz".

Any thoughts? Is this a movie that even can/should be made?

Dec 7, 2017

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been quoted as saying that they are fans of Atlas Shrugged, which is why they signed on so quickly. Other than that they haven't really voiced political opinions so I trust them because they are decent actors.

Hopefully Hollywood producing and directing will resist the urge to twist or the message. I've only seen corporations and capitalists portrayed as villains in Hollywood and though it has made for a few good movies such as Michael Clayton, I tire of it.

This is totally irrelevant but that reminds me, the Tucker Max movie "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" is showing wide release in a few months and in his book he is quite critical of liberals and socialists, despite the contents being completely irrelevant to politics.

Dec 7, 2017

I think we need move forward and stop blaming capitalism for this crisis. Thank you for posting this. 71% of Americans have confidence in Obama to fix the economy.

Dec 7, 2017

sounds like 71% of the country has no idea what they're talking about then.

Dec 7, 2017

I'd rather see them cast an actress who is both hot and brainy for the role of Dagny. My top pick would be Natalie Portman. Geena Davis could have pulled it off ten years ago, but she's a little long in the tooth now.

Oh, and ST2008:

71% of Americans have confidence in Obama to fix the economy.

That should scare the SHIT out of anyone with half a brain. I would love to be proved dead wrong and find out that you actually CAN spend your way out of debt. But if 71% of a country that is so easily distracted by sideshow trickery believes it, I feel pretty safe in the assumption that it just ain't so.

Dec 7, 2017
Edmundo Braverman:

71% of Americans have confidence in Obama to fix the economy.

That should scare the SHIT out of anyone with half a brain. I would love to be proved dead wrong and find out that you actually CAN spend your way out of debt. But if 71% of a country that is so easily distracted by sideshow trickery believes it, I feel pretty safe in the assumption that it just ain't so.

Obama reminds me of a dude who walks in to a bar, realizes he doesn't belong, and is scared to act normal for even one second lest they see him for the fake he is.

Dec 7, 2017

Say what you will about GW, but at least the man had principles that he stuck to. The idiot in the oval office today just goes along with whatever the populist heard has to say. He has no spine.

Dec 7, 2017
MDR:

Say what you will about GW, but at least the man had principles that he stuck to. The idiot in the oval office today just goes along with whatever the populist heard has to say. He has no spine.

I am waiting for the day that the mainstream media actually calls Obama out for his lengthy list of lies and half-truths. This guys is without a doubt the worst politician I have ever seen, but I suppose that only matters if the media outlets cared about how he can't seem to tell the truth about anything.

At any rate, I am going to call BS on that 71%. Seriously, if only 29% of this country doesn't have faith in Obama and "his" policies than I could practically name just about all of that 29% from my circle of friends alone.

On a lighter note, Charles Barkley was on Jay Leno last week and he mentioned how upset he was that so many Americans and politicians are already hoping that Obama will fail and that we/they should be fair and give him a chance. Question. Where was Bush's chance? The liberal left and mainstream media crucified Bush for 8 years, starting with day one.

This country could use a little less hypocrisy and a little more responsibility.

Regards.

Dec 7, 2017
cphbravo96:

On a lighter note, Charles Barkley was on Jay Leno last week and he mentioned how upset he was that so many Americans and politicians are already hoping that Obama will fail and that we/they should be fair and give him a chance. Question. Where was Bush's chance? The liberal left and mainstream media crucified Bush for 8 years, starting with day one.

This country could use a little less hypocrisy and a little more responsibility.

Would only say that Bush had a chance, 9/11. Certainly not the silver platter Obama has been handed, but if you argue with a liberal, that will be their answer. Followed by some bullshit about how you can't compare the two

Dec 7, 2017
MDR:

Say what you will about GW, but at least the man had principles that he stuck to. The idiot in the oval office today just goes along with whatever the populist heard has to say. He has no spine.

Principles of G.W. Bush:

1.) Against nationbuilding ---> Iraq War

2.) Hunt down and kill Bin Ladin, make those responsible for 9/11 pay -----> Iraq War and failure in Afghanistan

3.) Capitalist virtues ---> Financial Bailout

Oh yeah, he stuck to his principles. Get the fuck out of here.

Dec 7, 2017
TheKing:
MDR:

Say what you will about GW, but at least the man had principles that he stuck to. The idiot in the oval office today just goes along with whatever the populist heard has to say. He has no spine.

Principles of G.W. Bush:

1.) Against nationbuilding ---> Iraq War

2.) Hunt down and kill Bin Ladin, make those responsible for 9/11 pay -----> Iraq War and failure in Afghanistan

3.) Capitalist virtues ---> Financial Bailout

Oh yeah, he stuck to his principles. Get the fuck out of here.

Perfect example of an Obama supporter. In the face of any criticism, blame it on bush (taking one out of Obama's book, good one). Absolutely no real arguments here, just liberal rantings that make as much sense as that drugged up 4th grader after the dentist on youtube.

When I first read your nonsensical diatribe, I assumed it came as the result of a string of all-nighters. If that were the case, your entirely unwarranted hostility would have been fine with me (we've all had those days). But since you wrote that at 2 pm, I'm just going to assume you're an angry liberal who cries at night because those nasty right-wingers don't agree with his precious obama. It's ok for people not to agree with your view (no matter how stupid it is), now watch this drive.

Dec 7, 2017
MDR:
TheKing:
MDR:

Say what you will about GW, but at least the man had principles that he stuck to. The idiot in the oval office today just goes along with whatever the populist heard has to say. He has no spine.

Principles of G.W. Bush:

1.) Against nationbuilding ---> Iraq War

2.) Hunt down and kill Bin Ladin, make those responsible for 9/11 pay -----> Iraq War and failure in Afghanistan

3.) Capitalist virtues ---> Financial Bailout

Oh yeah, he stuck to his principles. Get the fuck out of here.

Perfect example of an Obama supporter. In the face of any criticism, blame it on bush (taking one out of Obama's book, good one). Absolutely no real arguments here, just liberal rantings that make as much sense as that drugged up 4th grader after the dentist on youtube.

When I first read your nonsensical diatribe, I assumed it came as the result of a string of all-nighters. If that were the case, your entirely unwarranted hostility would have been fine with me (we've all had those days). But since you wrote that at 2 pm, I'm just going to assume you're an angry liberal who cries at night because those nasty right-wingers don't agree with his precious obama. It's ok for people not to agree with your view (no matter how stupid it is), now watch this drive.

You brought up Bush and his ability to "stick to his principles," you faggot coward bitch. It's sycophants like you that ruin any sort of actual dialogue about politics.

Faggot.

Dec 7, 2017
TheKing:
MDR:

Perfect example of an Obama supporter. In the face of any criticism, blame it on bush (taking one out of Obama's book, good one). Absolutely no real arguments here, just liberal rantings that make as much sense as that drugged up 4th grader after the dentist on youtube.

When I first read your nonsensical diatribe, I assumed it came as the result of a string of all-nighters. If that were the case, your entirely unwarranted hostility would have been fine with me (we've all had those days). But since you wrote that at 2 pm, I'm just going to assume you're an angry liberal who cries at night because those nasty right-wingers don't agree with his precious obama. It's ok for people not to agree with your view (no matter how stupid it is), now watch this drive.

You brought up Bush and his ability to "stick to his principles," you faggot coward bitch. It's sycophants like you that ruin any sort of actual dialogue about politics.

Faggot.

MDR is right, GWB may have been a shitty president, but he didn't try to rewrite the rules and he was honest about what he was. Obama is a crooked Chicago pol/socialist masquerading as the second coming of the messiah.

Dec 7, 2017
TheKing:

you faggot coward bitch. It's sycophants like you that ruin any sort of actual dialogue about politics.

Faggot.

Yeah, actual dialogue is written all over your posts. Someone clearly hates their job. Just quit man, or at least take your aggression out on a prosie.

Dec 7, 2017
MDR:
TheKing:

you faggot coward bitch. It's sycophants like you that ruin any sort of actual dialogue about politics.

Faggot.

Yeah, actual dialogue is written all over your posts. Someone clearly hates their job. Just quit man, or at least take your aggression out on a prosie.

You have to be a total fucking idiot to say that Bush stuck by his principles. If retroactively changing the reason we went to war in Iraq from month to month is sticking by your principles, then Bush is unmatched.

You probably wrote in Schiavo for prez.

Dec 7, 2017
TheKing:

You probably wrote in Schiavo for prez.

I almost shot beer out my nose when I read that.

Dec 7, 2017

Tradinganalyst I agree. Though I myself am more in favor of Libertarianism (small government) than Anarcho-capitalism (market fulfilling all government roles).

Drexelalum, I agree - the current state of education and society is woefully irrational. I meant a theoretical alternate reality and "mature free market" as in it had a few generations to develop and such. I ended with the technology note because I feel that education will eventually improve enough to ensure more rationality among the populace to the point where a smaller government, libertarian society is feasible.

Dec 7, 2017
Putz:

Tradinganalyst I agree. Though I myself am more in favor of Libertarianism (small government) than Anarcho-capitalism (market fulfilling all government roles).

Drexelalum, I agree - the current state of education and society is woefully irrational. I meant a theoretical alternate reality and "mature free market" as in it had a few generations to develop and such. I ended with the technology note because I feel that education will eventually improve enough to ensure more rationality among the populace to the point where a smaller government, libertarian society is feasible.

Not sure how the lazy will feel about the technology continuing to take over their jobs...

It would be one thing if "education" was synonomous with developing "thought," but a couple hundred g's on parties and powerpoint regurgitation isn't doing much to improve that a whole lot

Dec 7, 2017
Emerging Alpha:
Putz:

Tradinganalyst I agree. Though I myself am more in favor of Libertarianism (small government) than Anarcho-capitalism (market fulfilling all government roles).

Drexelalum, I agree - the current state of education and society is woefully irrational. I meant a theoretical alternate reality and "mature free market" as in it had a few generations to develop and such. I ended with the technology note because I feel that education will eventually improve enough to ensure more rationality among the populace to the point where a smaller government, libertarian society is feasible.

Not sure how the lazy will feel about the technology continuing to take over their jobs...

It would be one thing if "education" was synonomous with developing "thought," but a couple hundred g's on parties and powerpoint regurgitation isn't doing much to improve that a whole lot

I meant that theoretically if technology and engineering advances to a point where direct brain interfacing is possible, then people will be able to learn things much more rapidly and better using computers, which would be kind of like downloading software. Even with less sophisticated means, such as virtual reality or whatnot as long as we have good human tutors and teachers, technology can bring them to every other person on earth. Perhaps unskilled labor, blue-collar labor, even some white collar labor will become obsolete but as long as education elevates people's minds faster than jobs are made obsolete then we are OK.

But yeah, I agree, we are far from that point and are obviously failing right now. Even today, basic courses in fiscal responsibility in primary education would help.

Dec 7, 2017
Putz:

I meant that theoretically if technology and engineering advances to a point where direct brain interfacing is possible, then people will be able to learn things much more rapidly and better using computers, which would be kind of like downloading software. Even with less sophisticated means, such as virtual reality or whatnot as long as we have good human tutors and teachers, technology can bring them to every other person on earth. Perhaps unskilled labor, blue-collar labor, even some white collar labor will become obsolete but as long as education elevates people's minds faster than jobs are made obsolete then we are OK.

But yeah, I agree, we are far from that point and are obviously failing right now. Even today, basic courses in fiscal responsibility in primary education would help.

Dude, this made me laugh out loud. If we reach the point where people are using direct brain interfacing, AI will be a reality, and we'll either a) all be dead or b) not working at all.

For purposes of this discussion, lets try to assume that direct brain interfacing is NOT relevant

Dec 7, 2017
drexelalum11:

Dude, this made me laugh out loud. If we reach the point where people are using direct brain interfacing, AI will be a reality, and we'll either a) all be dead or b) not working at all.

For purposes of this discussion, lets try to assume that direct brain interfacing is NOT relevant

I like where this is going. It sounds like with Direct Brain Interfacing I can drink all day and not lose any productivity. Count me in.

Dec 7, 2017
drexelalum11][quote=Putz:

I meant that theoretically if technology and engineering advances to a point where direct brain interfacing is possible, then people will be able to learn things much more rapidly and better using computers, which would be kind of like downloading software. Even with less sophisticated means, such as virtual reality or whatnot as long as we have good human tutors and teachers, technology can bring them to every other person on earth. Perhaps unskilled labor, blue-collar labor, even some white collar labor will become obsolete but as long as education elevates people's minds faster than jobs are made obsolete then we are OK.

Enter the Matrix

Maybe I should drag around a toilet to show people that I AM THE SHIT.

Dec 7, 2017

do you guys know what Keynesian economics is? it's worked before..

Dec 7, 2017

Heh, just thought I'd put that out there. But hey, if there is direct brain interfacing I'm sure we'd still "work". Even if you make physical scarcity obsolete, there will still be a scarcity of ideas and value.

Totally irrelevant to the thread, I know, but I felt like the thread was going to die soon anyways and wanted to keep the conversation going/bump it up.

Dec 7, 2017

2 words.....

GINI COEFFICIENT

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Dec 7, 2017
trade4size:

GINI COEFFICIENT

I just laughed out loud. Thanks trade4size.

On that note, anyone else notice England has gone the way of a 50% marginal tax rate? Anyone else terrified it will happen here?

Dec 7, 2017
drexelalum11:
cphbravo96:

On a lighter note, Charles Barkley was on Jay Leno last week and he mentioned how upset he was that so many Americans and politicians are already hoping that Obama will fail and that we/they should be fair and give him a chance. Question. Where was Bush's chance? The liberal left and mainstream media crucified Bush for 8 years, starting with day one.

This country could use a little less hypocrisy and a little more responsibility.

Would only say that Bush had a chance, 9/11. Certainly not the silver platter Obama has been handed, but if you argue with a liberal, that will be their answer. Followed by some bullshit about how you can't compare the two

Those of you who excoriate Obama while dreaming of the good old days of GWB ought to think about what you're really saying. Though Bush may have professed to believe in small government and free markets, he actually tremendously increased government spending. To a large extent this was from committing to two wars, but other programs, such as No Child Left Behind, also stand out in my mind. And to the free markets, his steel tariff was a despicable piece of targeted populist pandering.

Now, don't take this the wrong way and read this as an endorsement of Obama. On the foreign policy front I think he's an improvement, and ending torture, stem cell bans, etc are all good. His stimulus package and budget, on the other hand, are complete garbage. I don't think he could have accomplished any less with our money if he'd tried.

Dec 7, 2017
tradinganalyst:
drexelalum11:
cphbravo96:

On a lighter note, Charles Barkley was on Jay Leno last week and he mentioned how upset he was that so many Americans and politicians are already hoping that Obama will fail and that we/they should be fair and give him a chance. Question. Where was Bush's chance? The liberal left and mainstream media crucified Bush for 8 years, starting with day one.

This country could use a little less hypocrisy and a little more responsibility.

Would only say that Bush had a chance, 9/11. Certainly not the silver platter Obama has been handed, but if you argue with a liberal, that will be their answer. Followed by some bullshit about how you can't compare the two

Those of you who excoriate Obama while dreaming of the good old days of GWB ought to think about what you're really saying. Though Bush may have professed to believe in small government and free markets, he actually tremendously increased government spending. To a large extent this was from committing to two wars, but other programs, such as No Child Left Behind, also stand out in my mind. And to the free markets, his steel tariff was a despicable piece of targeted populist pandering.

Now, don't take this the wrong way and read this as an endorsement of Obama. On the foreign policy front I think he's an improvement, and ending torture, stem cell bans, etc are all good. His stimulus package and budget, on the other hand, are complete garbage. I don't think he could have accomplished any less with our money if he'd tried.

Don't take my quote to mean that I think the days of GWB were great by any means - he was by no means perfect himself. I don't think it's really either man's "fault," they are both pretty mediocre, but the common people are generally going to get what they deserve. Unfortunately, we have to bear the brunt of that as well.

Dec 7, 2017
drexelalum11:

Don't take my quote to mean that I think the days of GWB were great by any means - he was by no means perfect himself. I don't think it's really either man's "fault," they are both pretty mediocre, but the common people are generally going to get what they deserve. Unfortunately, we have to bear the brunt of that as well.

Exactly. It's sad that people with their eyes closed are going to get what they deserve. But it also really sucks that people with their eyes open also have to pay. But this is why voting doesn't really matter. We had two candidates that would have been forced either way to give into socialist policies such as the bailout. Oh well I guess. I'm just keeping my eyes open for the best place to move to maximize my freedom.

Dec 7, 2017
DaniNo:

Exactly. It's sad that people with their eyes closed are going to get what they deserve. But it also really sucks that people with their eyes open also have to pay. But this is why voting doesn't really matter. We had two candidates that would have been forced either way to give into socialist policies such as the bailout. Oh well I guess. I'm just keeping my eyes open for the best place to move to maximize my freedom.

Amen brother. I was thinking that might be England for a while, but they've pretty well demonstrated their dedication to socialism.

Dec 7, 2017

Where was Bush's chance? The liberal left and mainstream media crucified Bush for 8 years, starting with day one.

Bush was extremely popular throughough late 2001 and most of 2002 after 9/11 (>90% approval ratings), so he definitely had a chance. He used most of that goodwill towards the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions. I don't remember the media really turning against him until late 2004 during election season.

Dec 7, 2017

especially if they say nothing

Dec 7, 2017
yesman:

especially if they say nothing

Dec 7, 2017

The fact is that GWB stuck to what he believed in no matter what anyone said. He said that he wanted people to get better, more affordable healthcare and passed Medicare Part D- the biggest expansion of federal welfare spending since the Great Society. He also said he wanted to better education and passed NCLB- another great expansion of government size and power. All together GWB did what he wanted and stuck to his principles- just not always very good ones.

Republican Presidents>2% of Democrat Presidents>GWB>98% of Democrat Presidents>Obama

So what do you do?
-I work for an investment banking firm.
Oh okay; you are like my brother, he works for Edward Jones.
-No, a college degree is required in my profession

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Dec 7, 2017

Republican Presidents<<98% of Democrat Presidents<<<<<<< B. Hussien Obama

Dec 7, 2017
ST2008:

Republican Presidents<<98% of Democrat Presidents<<<<<<< B. Hussien Obama

Do less than symbols work the same as double negatives?

Dec 7, 2017

According to always trustworthy and unbiased wikipedia (copy pasted below), ST2008's appalling usage of less than signs is totally fine by academic standards (total BS in my opinion):

An additional use of the notation is to show that one quantity is much greater than another, normally by several orders of magnitude.

* The notation a ? b means that a is much less than b.
* The notation a ? b means that a is much greater than b.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_than

Dec 7, 2017

Liking someone because of their race is just as bad as disliking them because of their race.

Dec 7, 2017