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The problem with capitalism

The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 11:38:13 AM
Quote
Farmers who go to the auctions seeking to produce food — or maybe plant more acres — are on equal footing with companies seeking water for fracking, Northern Water spokesman Brian Werner said.

“If you have a beneficial use for the water, then you can bid for that water,” Werner said. “We see the beneficial use of the water as a positive for the economy of the whole region. Fracking is one of those uses. Our uses of water have evolved over 150 years.”

http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/04/05/458478/frackers-outbid-farmers-for-water-in-colorado-drought/?mobile=nc

Monetary value replaces practical value.

Some say the system will correct itself; then again, like socialism, it's based on a single concept and not very flexible.

Enlightened monarchic leadership is preferable.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 12:30:08 PM
all of life becomes commodified with capitalism.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 12:59:27 PM
so what do we do instead
but i'm not sure if i can tinkle in front of a crowd.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 01:14:33 PM
Capitalism seems to work fine if the government heavily regulates it, actually. People bitch about it, but history would seem to suggest that it's correct.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 01:19:29 PM
when in history did this work best
but i'm not sure if i can tinkle in front of a crowd.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 01:22:49 PM
Before the government decided to deregulate the economy before the Great Depression it was working fine. After the depression when the government kept its hand on it and made sure nothing stupid happened, capitalism worked just fine. Then they decide to deregulate AGAIN because apparently politicians don't know how to into history and then we got the "Great Recession" of 2008, as they called it.

I mean, it might not be a morally correct system or anything, but it at least works stable enough if the government isn't comprised of idiots at the time who decide to take their hands off of it for it to fail and then slowly but surely bring itself back up.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 02:19:17 PM
"Actually capital works well" - "Work well" needs to be better quantified.

Capitalism can work well at building personal profit. Maybe that works well in a nation of narcissistic individuals. Your primary motivation is to make money. This is at the expense of natural resources, individual health, national health, other people's wealth.

"Well the government can organize it" - this fails because in a capitalist system the public officials primary motivation is also personal gain. There are exceptions, but in general this sets up a system that basically means "make as much money as you can without blatantly hurting too many people or angering so many it cuts into profit"

Why is McDonalds legal? Why is pornography so prevalent? Why is Hollywood so stupid? Why is science corrupt? Why is our health care system a piece of shit?

The primary incentive for everyone is personal profit, at the expense of others. There is no cohesive societal glue except for an occasional bout of mutual fear over a new foreign enemy. New York doesn't give a fuck about you. LA doesn't give a fuck about you. Even your doctor and neighbors probably don't give a fuck about you. These people only tolerate you for the hope of making a buck off you. The "mass of people" are viewed upon like a lot of farm animals (but even more demeaning, many small farmers actually care about their animals) - and this applies the same to Communism. Medicaid / Social Security / Welfare / Foodstamps / etc don't exist in because the system cares, but because such systems have walled off a segment of the population to a specific voter bloc, plus it helps keep the natives calm so business can continue as usual (plus there's money to be made if you know how! EBT forces tax payers to subsidized Coca-Cola, Walmart & JP Morgan even if they don't want to shop there!).

If you're not aware of this fact, you're just one of the "suckers born every minute"

You may be able to hold up your own moral code and actually care about your community, but you need to be aware that the above takes primary precedent and your ways are nothing but an anomaly.
I don't know about you guys, but I love my under-120s. They're so cute and funny. Just yesterday one stole my GPS unit and another one took a dump in my yard. Ha ha, they're such cards.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 09, 2012, 03:15:44 PM
The problem here is defining beneficial use in anthropocentric, utilitarian terms in order to get the proposal popularly accepted. The unstated goal is to grab a slice of the commons in the pursuit of self interest. The commons is not limited to human society or its needs. Human society and needs are not a closed independent system.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793


Re: The problem with capitalism
April 10, 2012, 08:24:33 AM
Alternately, simple inertia. 

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 10, 2012, 09:20:03 AM
Quote
Farmers who go to the auctions seeking to produce food — or maybe plant more acres — are on equal footing with companies seeking water for fracking, Northern Water spokesman Brian Werner said.


Equal footing? As if. The entire raison d'etre of the WTO/G8/G20 summits is to carve up natural resources between national corporations. It is direct lobbying of world powers.
Farmers have no direct influence at these summits and are sidelined in favour of BP, Monsanto, Bechtel et al. Suggesting there is an even footing in an open-market bid process between Jimbob the Farmhand and Haliburton is like saying a child has a 50% chance of beating Mike Tyson at boxing, simply because he is one of two competitors...


Re: The problem with capitalism
April 10, 2012, 09:23:26 AM
Good points.

Capitalism is perpetually unpopular, and yet it persists. Why? Because the known alternatives are even worse.

I would argue that we are not living in a capitalist system.

Capitalist systems operate through the movement of privately-held liquid assets (capital). The most basic liquid asset is money. You cannot have capitalism without capital. You cannot have capital without accrued wealth (savings). There are no savings on any bank balance sheet that have not been negated a hundred times over by debt.
No capital = no capitalism.

 

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 11, 2012, 04:02:39 PM
That's a very good point.  Perhaps we could be said to be living in some inverse-capitalism, a system based on the distinct lack of capital while still trying desperately to pretend that there is a real basis for wealth?

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 12, 2012, 09:52:10 AM
That's a very good point.  Perhaps we could be said to be living in some inverse-capitalism, a system based on the distinct lack of capital while still trying desperately to pretend that there is a real basis for wealth?

That's probably the best way to approach it, in order to keep a healthy mind and discard the falsities.
As you say, it is inverted rather than collapsed, because production and trade has not collapsed. In fact, we a re approaching super-abundance.

Example:
‣The EU will pay farmers huge sums of cash to NOT grow any produce.
‣They do this to artificially maintain scarcity.
‣Artificial scarcity keeps prices fixed (politically correct vocabulary calls it: "stable") and maintains profit margins.
‣Artificial scarcity streamlines distribution systems as it prevents stockpiles.
‣Artificial scarcity avoids awkward questions such as "if production has become so efficient, why do we still pay high prices for our food?" and "If you are just going to store all that food until it rots away, shouldn't we donate it to impoverished nations instead?" etc.
‣Price fixing is a crime.
‣...Unless it is endorsed by a representative from a G20 member state.

Re: The problem with capitalism
April 12, 2012, 12:18:44 PM
Quote
Farmers who go to the auctions seeking to produce food — or maybe plant more acres — are on equal footing with companies seeking water for fracking, Northern Water spokesman Brian Werner said.


Equal footing? As if. The entire raison d'etre of the WTO/G8/G20 summits is to carve up natural resources between national corporations. It is direct lobbying of world powers.
Farmers have no direct influence at these summits and are sidelined in favour of BP, Monsanto, Bechtel et al. Suggesting there is an even footing in an open-market bid process between Jimbob the Farmhand and Haliburton is like saying a child has a 50% chance of beating Mike Tyson at boxing, simply because he is one of two competitors...

Equal footing in that $5 buys the same amount of water no matter who it comes from.

Water is a public utility...