UnderGround Forums
 

PhilosophyGround >> Origins of Capitalism


9/13/04 10:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 13-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9756

"Machine 1 is the U.S. and capitalism, machine 2 is the rest of the world judged by whatever economic system(their machine)they are using to make widgets."

That is opinion though and that opinion is based on your (sofar) unspoken criteria for success. Some people thinks that  a more equal system is a more succesful system.

"You have to look at that machine compared to others."

I agree. I think the Scandinavian countries have a more succesful system then US.

 

"% of what?"

% from the total amount of people, that is below the povertyline.

 

9/13/04 11:13 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
marck
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 13-Sep-04 11:10 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3615
"That is opinion though and that opinion is based on your (sofar) unspoken criteria for success." I thought I made it clear when I said that those here in this capitalist country who are below OUR poverty line have more wealth than 80% of the world's population. So standard of living is my criteria. "% from the total amount of people, that is below the povertyline." Well that's a very different question. Obviosly I would want the % to be as low as possible without having to redistribute income. But the larger point was that how the gov't defines "poverty" here in the US is outdated and doesn't really reflect what most people think of when they think about "poverty". That's becasue technology, which is largelty the result of a capitalist system, has allowed them to live in conditions that aren't so bad. Capitalism has been good for the poor! In the long run, of course. "I agree. I think the Scandinavian countries have a more succesful system then US." My understanding is that the Uero model, essentially a welfare state, only works well for one generation. After that, it begins to go down hill. And that makes perfect sense to me. I can't see what the motivation is for people to work hard, invent stuff, etc... when the gov't just takes the money away and gives it to less hard working, less innovative people. People won't bust their ass everyday for very long for the "collective good" unless everyone else is. But human nature being what it is, a system like that ceates a "paradise for parasites".
9/14/04 8:22 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
toddseney
9 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 14-Sep-04
Member Since: 11/12/2000
Posts: 3147
Amen
9/14/04 11:07 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 14-Sep-04 11:01 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9761

"So standard of living is my criteria. "

Ok.

"Well that's a very different question."

That was my question all along. Could be the language barrier..

"My understanding is that the Uero model, essentially a welfare state, only works well for one generation. "

we are now in  the third or sometimes even in the fourth.. and we are doing fine.

lets see in more 50 years, you might be right.

"I can't see what the motivation is for people to work hard, invent stuff, etc... when the gov't just takes the money away and gives it to less hard working, less innovative people. "

It´s not black and white like that, The Scandinavian countries systems are build on a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. You can work hard and get rich there too, even if it is sometimes harder of course.

Then on the other hand, we have a more equal society. Using even your standard of living-criteria, with everything you included. Sweden has close to no poverty AT ALL.

That is why I think our system is (everything included) more succesfull.

 

"a system like that ceates a "paradise for parasites". "

well, even though you are generalizing alot, you absolutly have a point. It´s not so bad in the Scandinavian Countries as probably many Americans (who have never been abroad) think, who picture some Communist state alá the old Sovjetunion.

Actually, my critique of the Swedish system is the same as yours, it has some worrying tendencies sometimes, but I think the fear of things going "downhill" (as you said) is way overblown.

Lets see.

9/15/04 2:38 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Savitar
13 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 15-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 8323
"Is there a better system for creating wealth and raising the absolute standard of living for everyone, including the poor? If you look at the stats of "poor" people in the US, it's clear they aren't so bad off if you look at it from an absolute standard. Poor people are fat here. In fact, people right at the poverty line in the US are wealthier than 80% of all people throughout the world." Firstly, economic success is not the only indicator for how we're doing as a people. Pre-war Nazi Germany's economic program was far more "successful" than any we've experienced in the US - by 1936 the xenophobic Nazi's had to bring in workers from Italy and elsewhere abroad to continue arms manufacturing. But alas sacrificing Germany's freedom to a totalitarian regime was not worth the drop in unemployment, was it? It simply is not possible to detach an economics system from the rest of society. When you base your economy around rearmarment, war is only a matter of time. If you base your economy around the consumption of consumer goods, then it comes as no surprise that so many people who have apparently "made it" need prescription anti-depressants to keep from giving up. They will never realize, though, that they were just chasing a ghost the whole time, that someone else told them what would make them happy from the start and they never second-guessed what they were told. The fact is that material things are not what make people happy. And looking around and saying "see, we have the most things!" does not mean we are doing a better job of making ourselves happy than those who work a simple job for modest pay. All of this is going to catch up with us.
9/15/04 3:29 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 15-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9768
Interesting post Savi! Thanks for contributing.
9/16/04 10:15 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9774

"How do you define success?"

we almost don´t have any poor people in our society. even the least fortunate ones have a certain standard of life guaranteed from laws. Anyone over there can study at the University. Everyone has healthcare. All of which I consider to be basic human rights.

Success can be defined differently of course, depending on what goals you want to achieve. But a society that takes care of the weaker ones in that society is a good society imo.

9/16/04 1:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
vermonter
91 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3910
interesting. You believe that is true socially, biologically, what? I fear nature may disagree. -doug-
9/16/04 1:40 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9796

"You believe that is true socially, biologically, what?"

? Could you clarify? This is just my opinion, as I said, I don´t claim that it´s the Truth

"I fear nature may disagree. "

"Nature" as in "human nature" or as in lions and other predators etc?

Do you believe in Social Darwinism?

9/16/04 1:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
vermonter
91 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3912
I beleive in biological darwinism. That's all i'm saying. Survival of the strongest, weakest, and everyone in between is how you view success, yes? I guess i just dont believe in "basic human rights" and that may be what i had issue with. All in all, im not necessarily saying you are "wrong" just that i found your conclusion about why scandanavian societies are more successful then North American, or in particular, U.S. society as a little bizarre. Of course i'm not so sure at this point that things like higher education should be free for all, and of course "free" is an interesting term, since you pay the governments bills. Your society is more on the socialist end of spectrum then ours, whereas the rissians and chinese are moving towards a potentially MORE capitalist society then ours. If i'm reading you right, you are saying that the "basic human rights" ought to be public goods, whereas in the US they are not all public goods, but last i checked the division of public/private goods (unless VERY extreme socialism/capitalism) was not considered a good indication of the success of a society, or even of the general condition of the standard of living by most people. Chances are, standards of living will be highest given a successfull economy, whether education or anything is free or not. Not only that, but public goods are EXTREMELY hard to control and can/do not indicate what people actually want. Just some observations on your comments really, i am far from a socio-political philosopher! Feel free to destroy my points :) -doug-
9/16/04 2:48 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9802

"Chances are, standards of living will be highest given a successfull economy"

I agree.

"whether education or anything is free or not. "

I agree, that nothing is of course "free". someone always pays. But I think higher education shouldn´t be reserved for just some. How can you change your life, if the means for changing your life are so hard to access that only a few can do it?

"Not only that, but public goods are EXTREMELY hard to control and can/do not indicate what people actually want. "

That is a good point.

"Feel free to destroy my points "

No need to destroy anything here. I think we should be able to discuss these things without being smartasses or being mean to eachother.

Who can pretend that they know all the answers to these complex questions? Only the arrogant would.

9/16/04 6:08 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
vermonter
91 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3915
Hopefully i wasn't coming off as a smartass with that comment. I actually meant that my socio-political knowledge is next to non-existant. I feel that as long as your definition of success is that higher education and other things that you call "basic human rights" are public goods, then you are 100% correct in that the scandanavian societies are more successful. I'm just wondering about that definition. The point is, that what is "best" for people is whatever the people want (obviously this excludes things that harm others, like theft and murder), and the best way to know what others want is to privatize goods. This would be too hard for national defense or something similar, but if people "want" higher education enough then they ought to be willing to give up scarce goods in return. I'm not so sure it should be private, although personally, if it were, i wouldnt be in so much debt. -doug-
9/16/04 7:57 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9815

"Hopefully i wasn't coming off as a smartass with that comment."

Oh no, not at all.

 

"I'm just wondering about that definition. "

I think all claims of success, needs to be defined someway. I mean, you can always ask the question: successful in acheiving what?

Succesful in creating a more fair, equal and just society is my definition then. I think to define succes just as economic succes, withouth any other parameters will be misguiding. Many other things are important aswell, just like Savitar pointed out earlier.

"The point is, that what is "best" for people is whatever the people want (obviously this excludes things that harm others, like theft and murder), and the best way to know what others want is to privatize goods. "

 this is a good point, but how can you guarantee the rights (and needs) of the sometimes weaker minorities this way?

"if people "want" higher education enough then they ought to be willing to give up scarce goods in return."

 I don´t think it´s that easy in real life, that you just need to "give something up" to get higher education, *even* if you are intelligent enough.

9/16/04 8:47 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
vermonter
91 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3918
"how can you guarantee the rights (and needs) of the sometimes weaker minorities this way?" I dont really know how to guarantee rights in cases where there is inequality. Theoretically, there is, but i see your point. I def. dont think there should be no public goods, which sort of alleviates that issue a bit. " I don´t think it´s that easy in real life, that you just need to "give something up" to get higher education, *even* if you are intelligent enough." The idea of giving something up to achieve your wants, assuming rationality (you have to), is the foundation of capitalism. Let me use an example. Both myself and my friend jason are the same age, roughly the same level of intelligence, grew up in the same place, etc etc. we are similar in many ways. We were both full time janitors. It is one of my goals, however, to get a phd, whereas he doesnt really care if gets even a bachelors. Now, if school were free to both of us, then we would BOTH go (that's a fact). However, since it isn't, only i (the one who really wants to go) actually quit the job and made the time/money/etc sacrifices of these (scarce) goods because i wanted it more. In your system he would drain the money. He would be what economists call a "free rider" and this is a HUGE problem when the gov't decides what people want. -doug-
9/16/04 9:08 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9823

""Equal opportunity" is a noble goal in my opinion. "

 I agree with that. But, then again, this term "opportunity" probably means different things for different people.

"But life is such that we are not all equal in cognitive and physical attributes."

that´s true, but should that then determine wether you should be able to live a decent life or not? Is it just and fair that someone gets to be poor, just because he wasn´t born with the same cognitive abilities as someone else?

"What is a just society? "

 that is a great question. and hard to answer. What are your suggestions?

 

9/17/04 9:15 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 17-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9824

"maybe some people shouldn't have kids if they can't provide for them. If it's the state's business to take care of them.......the logical conclusion is barring certain people from having kids they can't care of........and that's a road I don't want to travel down. "

 I´m not sure I got this part.

Would you like to stop people from having kids, if they can´t take care of them or not?

9/21/04 3:37 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 21-Sep-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9843

"I mean.......why would you want to bring a child into this world unless you can support it? "

 Maybe they could (or thought that they could) when they were getting the child, but perhaps circumstances changed due to whatever reason that was out of their control, later on.

10/2/04 4:45 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
pneuma
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Oct-04 04:46 PM
Member Since: 08/14/2004
Posts: 703
of Ever-Ever Land I speak sweet morons gather roun' who does not dare to stand or sit may take it lying down down with the human soul and anything else uncanned for everyone carries canopeners in Ever-Ever Land for Ever-Ever Land is a place that's as simple as simple can be and was built that way on purpose by simple people like we down with hell and heaven and all the religious fuss infinity pleased our parents on inch looks good to us and Ever-Ever land is a place that's measured and safe and known where it's lucky to be unlucky and the hitler lies down with the cohn down above all with love and everything perverse or which makes some feel more better when all ought to feel less worse but only sameness is normal in Ever-Ever Land for a bad cigar is a woman but a gland is only a gland --- e.e. cummings
10/2/04 5:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Oct-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14318
Here are the 2c of a leftist econogeek: 1. We don't know really how capitalism works. The transformation countries have shown that. 2. Why some countries are rich and others aren't is a hot and still controversial topic in economics. Most agree that some of the roots are older than capitalism. Some African countries have a lower GDP than ancient Rome. I'm not kidding. 3. Hitlers economic program would have been as succesful If useful stuff would have been done instead of building weapons. One can separated demand side fiscal policies from national Socialism. 4. Even Socialist today concede that any workable system would be very similar to capitalism.
10/2/04 10:02 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
pneuma
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Oct-04
Member Since: 08/14/2004
Posts: 706
"The transformation countries have shown that." By that I assume you to mean eastern europe? Many of those countries have issues, namely a culture of corruption, that have little to do with capitalism or socialism-- although some would argue that soviet style socialism breeds corruption I suppose. "Even Socialist today concede that any workable system would be very similar to capitalism" And I think few would argue that pure, white-hot capitalism works either. It's a matter of finding a sustainable balance where incentives are provided for hard work and risk and companies aren't allowed to run roughshod over the population.
10/4/04 9:14 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Oct-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 10036

US socialist?

please clarify

10/9/04 1:35 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Oct-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14322
"Many of those countries have issues, namely a culture of corruption, that have little to do with capitalism or socialism" Yes, but that´s not enough to account for the output fall.
10/9/04 10:43 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
DonnaTroy
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Oct-04
Member Since: 09/22/2002
Posts: 3666
Corruption is a consequence of dictatorship and abuse of authority, not of an economical system.
11/21/04 5:21 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
marck
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 29-Nov-04 11:50 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4035
"Corruption is a consequence of dictatorship and abuse of authority, not of an economical system." LOL! Doesn't that sort of undermine your whole point with making this thread?
11/22/04 4:47 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Nov-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14491
There are certainly economic influences on corruption. It´s an institutional problem, not a state of mind.

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.