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  1. #241
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    But you know, the impetus to end slavery in the US came out of deeply religious elements of highly industrialized, highly capitalistic New England. You can't pin the credit for that on communism, or even socialism.
    You're right that you can't directly credit that to communism or socialism, because the impetus to end slavery started long before the Communist Manifesto was written. Philosophically though the abolishment of slavery was a Socialist action. Big government stepped in and gave rights to the workers even though it hurt business. A pure laissez-fair philosophy is that the government shouldn't ever interfere in market activity (including abolishing slavery).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus
    The mean rises but not the median? That's simply not true. There are many industries you can look at to see examples of this, such as consumer electronics. Big screen televisions, once a luxury, are now affordable for people at almost any income level. Food...do I even need to explain how cheap, abundant food benefits everyone, not just the rich? Technological advances benefit everyone, even the poorest in a society.

    You'll have to provide practical examples, with statistics, if you want to make that last statement stick.
    You are proving my original point exactly. While the US is overall Capitalistic it is by no means a pure laissez-fair system. My original point is that the best system is somewhere between pure Capitalism and pure Socialism. All of the economic and technological progress you've mentioned here happened with things like labor unions, minimum wage laws, antitrust laws, and social security in place.

    If you want to show that laissez-fair system benefits the most people, then you need to show that the average person in the US had the highest relative standard of living between the Civil War and T. Roosevelt. However history shows us that the average American has been most prosperous since WWII. Since WWII we've had a blend of Capitalism with some Socialistic ideas mixed in, and since then we have mostly just been refining what the right balance of the two is.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby
    In short, they are asymmetrical in terms of value (capitalism is superior in this regard), but both are inferior in the extreme.
    Yep, this is my point exactly. Both are horrible in the extreme. The best system is somewhere in between, although I agree it leans more on the Capitalistic side.
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  2. #242
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Philosophically though the abolishment of slavery was a Socialist action. Big government stepped in and gave rights to the workers even though it hurt business. A pure laissez-fair philosophy is that the government shouldn't ever interfere in market activity (including abolishing slavery).
    No, the protection of individual rights and the freedom to exchange labor for material benefits through contracts is based on classical liberal principles concerning the purpose of government. Government-enforced worker's rights (beyond those established by contract) would be based on socialist principles, but the abolishment of slavery is not a primarily socialist action.

    Edit: I realize you are talking about capitalism rather than classical liberalism in general, but the former is based on liberalnormative foundations as well as efficiency concerns. Besides, slavery is detrimental to the overall economy.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 11-26-2008 at 10:51 PM. Reason: self-evident

  3. #243
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    If what you say is true, capitalism is failing, then the solution is simple. We must abolish free markets.
    No, but it is at least, capitalism, as it is being practiced, that is failing.
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  4. #244
    Senior Member Fiver's Avatar
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    As it is being practiced it is stumbling. To say failing is to overstate the case.

    However, it is extremely difficult to untangle positive government interference from negative. For example, many can convincingly attribute a large portion of the current credit crisis to the strong arming by regulators for banks to make home loans where they never should have been made. As another example, some argue that the fall of Lehman Bros. was directly related to "mark to market."

    If we agree (Libertarians aside) that somewhat tempered capitalism is the right approach, the issue then becomes in what ways to tweak capitalism. The biggest issue I have with tweaking capitalism is that once you make that change it becomes politically irreversible whether it was a crap idea or not.

    BTW, capitalism thrives not just on cheap labor as socialist say, but on innovation (but not of the crzy financial intstrument kind, maybe!). In my opinion, this is the biggest reason for capitalism flailing in the US.
    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
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  5. #245
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiver View Post
    BTW, capitalism thrives not just on cheap labor as socialist say, but on innovation (but not of the crzy financial intstrument kind, maybe!). In my opinion, this is the biggest reason for capitalism flailing in the US.
    I would say that capitalism grows due to the incentives that owning production offers people. It's a rush to the bottom, in terms of "make more all the time, and because there are others making more, make even more!", but due to constraints on production, 'innovation' happens to make more. That improves all of our lives.

    The problem with incentives is that they work. And the innovations are only controlled by "do they get me more money". That makes them dangerous and why 'capitalism' needs to be regulated. Even libertarians do that, although they take a moral stance - laws against theft and the like. Without the controls over "what gets me money", everyone loses.

    Capitalism will always be "regulated" to some degree, even if only to make it feasible to exist (ie: laws that allow private ownership, which is backed by government, which is backed by taxes of some type). And there will always be controls over what can be traded, if only for security reasons/etc.

    After all that, you have the social issues - like roads and so forth. IMO, the US makes the mistake of channeling social money to private organizations instead of to social purposes. I don't think the US capitalism is failing, exactly, it was just under-regulated and over-stimulated (ie: money did not go to stabilize, it went to "heat up"), and the fallout from that is very high growth... and very high losses.

    It'll take some time to work out, but it should... the question is if our standard of living will fall horribly far before it does. It's like saying that we can survive natural disasters without disaster planning... we can, but not terribly well.

  6. #246
    Senior Member Fiver's Avatar
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    And the worst case is when the over-regulation causes over-stimulation? LOL
    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    Fiver is correct, it is freeing to not have to impress someone, to be accepted for who you really are.

  7. #247
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiver View Post
    And the worst case is when the over-regulation causes over-stimulation? LOL
    No... I don't know about worst, but what I'm referring to is the direct transfer of money into an unregulated economy. That is, the government prints money and essentially hands it to companies. Those companies heat up the economy, and when it contracts, because the money wasn't spent on stabilizing the economy (ie: government systems), the net result is a higher up and down.

    The two sides come down to "stop feeding the system with government money to avoid the ups and downs" and "regulate the economy to avoid the ups and down". Instead the US tends to "feed the system with money that should be regulating the economy", as a strange outcome between the two camps.

  8. #248
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    here's what we should've done instead of the bailout: let those companies go down with thier overpriced securities (soup of the soup of the soup), then have the Federal govt. get into the bussiness of banking and credit default insurance(they could've just declared all AIG employees to be federal govt. employees after firing the CEO and anyone else rich enough to go unemployed indefinately) Then they could subsidize all the smaller banks that were not trading mortgage securities and were still perfectly successfull during the financial collapse.

    ah, that was a nice fantasy.

    Y'know, it was not uncommon for the governemnts that presided over the Asian "economic miracles" to nationalize industries that would not be seen as 'natural monopolies', or to set up state owned enterprises just to have them compete with corporations for some particular industry.

  9. #249
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    and yet when Evo Morales nationalizes the oil industry in Bolivia, all the right-wingos are prepared to come out of the woodwork and chide him for his supposed lack of economic sense.

  10. #250
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    here's what we should've done instead of the bailout: let those companies go down with thier overpriced securities (soup of the soup of the soup), then have the Federal govt. get into the bussiness of banking and credit default insurance(they could've just declared all AIG employees to be federal govt. employees after firing the CEO and anyone else rich enough to go unemployed indefinately) Then they could subsidize all the smaller banks that were not trading mortgage securities and were still perfectly successfull during the financial collapse.
    They did such a good job with Amtrak, why not?
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