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I hate capitalism, I love...

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I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Russell » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:30 am

I see so much hate for capitalism yet I don't see any examples of a better system. I was just in Bulgaria and was watching some of the old propaganda for the implementation of communism. It looked great, all the people working together to build a better Bulgaria. All the farming fencing being ripped down to make just one farm to feed all the people. Naturally, we all know what happened. Even on a smaller scale I had a personal tour guide whilst in Israel, he lived on the kibbutz and being a high earner he said he wasn't willing to give his earnings as it encouraged freeloading.

So my question to the anti-capitalists is very simple, show me an example of a successful non-capitalism country or even group?
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby shootist » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:35 am

It depends upon what you mean by successful. To some people, if the entire population is equally on the verge of poverty then that is successful. It says so on the tin. Shame nobody can afford a bloody tin opener though.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Voldemort » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:39 pm

Having a binary view is too simplistic – there are positives and negatives of both types of social economic models.

A “hybrid” which sits between the controlled economy of Marxist regimes and unchecked capitalism at the other end of the spectrum has worked well in the Nordic countries – in fact I believe it’s called the Nordic model and has contributed to some of the highest living standards and lowest income disparities in the world.

I think it might have challenges when applied to an aging population but a version of this could certainly work if the population, (like the Scandinavians) agreed to substantially higher levels of taxation.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Russell » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:02 pm

I've looked into the Nordic countries previously and it appeared to me that they can get away with higher taxation because they have industries based on their natural resources.

So why doesn't socialism/communism work? The theory is great...
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby shootist » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:56 pm

Russell wrote:I've looked into the Nordic countries previously and it appeared to me that they can get away with higher taxation because they have industries based on their natural resources.

So why doesn't socialism/communism work? The theory is great...


Because people are arseholes, generally. By this I mean people en masse. Individuals run the full spectrum from saints to serial killers. But while both the cream and the scum rise to the top, the scum seem to make it there first, more often than not. I'm an atheist for the simple reason that if I believed there is a God then I would believe He was one evil SOB. By and large I prefer to think it's people that are the evil ones. Evil people I can cope with. An evil God would be a real PITA.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:03 am

shootist wrote:I'm an atheist for the simple reason that if I believed there is a God then I would believe He was one evil SOB...

The arguments are persuasive on that count, but I am open to the possibility that he simply is not as powerful as the church paint him to be.

But back on topic, Capitalism is not the problem.
Consider perhaps Henry Ford, Titus Salt and George Cadbury: were they not capitalists? They all owned massively successful factories so I don't see how they were not, but they recognised the benefits of a well paid, healthy and happy workforce.
Have those benefits disappeared in the modern world? I don't believe they have, but the main means of making money have become so far divorced from reality that actual productivity is largely irrelevant.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Voldemort » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:50 am

Russell wrote:get away with higher taxation because they have industries based on their natural resources

What does higher taxation have to do with natural resources? The opposite is in fact true; countries with rich natural resources are far less dependent on taxation revenue and typically have amongst the lowest personal taxation in the world.

You'll find that the services sector accounts for c. 75% of all people employed in the Nordics - broadly similar to the UK.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Voldemort » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:25 pm

Hairyloon wrote:But back on topic, Capitalism is not the problem.
Consider perhaps Henry Ford, Titus Salt and George Cadbury: were they not capitalists? They all owned massively successful factories so I don't see how they were not, but they recognised the benefits of a well paid, healthy and happy workforce.
Have those benefits disappeared in the modern world? I don't believe they have, but the main means of making money have become so far divorced from reality that actual productivity is largely irrelevant.

Unchecked capitalism is a problem. Things are fine when industry is local and shareholders are happy with sustained revenue rather than year-on-year growth.

Emerging economies around the world have decimated most types of manufacturing and industrial businesses in the West. At the same time the shareholder composition of most of these businesses has shifted towards large global investment funds - which by their very nature will drive management to deliver ever increasing returns at all costs.

Typically this involves asset stripping, redundancies, wage freezing, and reduction in capital expenditure; we’re witnessing this underinvestment in many of our privately owned public services and the gradual degradation of national infrastructure such as rail stock, water supply, energy etc.
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Re: I hate capitalism, I love...

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:32 pm

Voldemort wrote:At the same time the shareholder composition of most of these businesses has shifted towards large global investment funds - which by their very nature will drive management to deliver ever increasing returns at all costs...


This is one of the fundamental problems IMO: it has removed the human element from the decision making process. If the shareholders are human then they may consider other factors beyond simply the pursuit of profit; but if the shareholders are investment companies, then they are driven entirely by the Love of Money.
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