- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist party, UK ) on November 29, 1999 at 15:01:39:

In Reply to: Hey! Watch out for the paint job pal! posted by Frenchy on November 29, 1999 at 12:19:08:

: Then how do you explain the ever increasing numbers of millionaires being created in this country as we speak?

For one thing, inflation. For another, economic growth, as an absolute factor, but there are more poor people than ever before as well now.

:If things were static as you suggest the rich would never become poor and the poor would never become rich (assuming that that is a person's goal, could be any number of things, ie; basketball star, rock star, whatever). The opportunity is there for all, but all cannot be the best.

No, of course they move, but within the scheme of society, its fractional differences, and overall the movement is of little effect.

: What is a 'reserved occupation"?

One with a relatively restricted market, so that the rarer skills can command a higher price.

: Hey, that's pretty good, that's what I am advocating, as long as those with superior abilities receive more than those with inferior ones.

Why should they though? And who is to judge a superior ability? isn't approbrium and teh ability itself its own reward - what reward should tehre be for being a nice guy?

: Well, yes, it may be true that many started much better off, but so what? Many also started much worse off but suceed. That's why the 'Capitialist' (I much prefer the term 'successful', sounds more user friendly) is ever increasing.

The myth of the self-made man assigns the exceptional to the typical.

: 'Theft of the common land'? Progress is built on private ownership. Take a walk through a project sometime, see what lack of pride of ownership does.

Hmm, the villagers of england took pride in owning their land...

: Only because the man in the big house has proved in a concrete way that he is better able to serve his fellow better then the man in the small house. Seems fair to me. Rx for envy; get over it.

But he hasn't - capitalism rewards ownership of property above all else, skill and achievement is irrelevent...

: Wrongo bucko! A highly skilled cleaner gets every dime society thinks he's worth. If the cleaner doesn't think he's getting his fair share, doesn't that only prove what Von Mises is saying? Now if the cleaner (what kind of cleaner did you have in mind, by the way?) were sharp he would do something, add a small service, create an ad campaign, hire other workers to increase his volume, hell, I don't know, something to beat the brains out of the competition.

They may not have teh money to orchestrate such a campaign, and no matter how good they are, they can't beat the imperative for employers to drive wages down.

: Why in the world is that nonsense??? Do you know anyone who would pay the same amount of money for the services of a top rated criminal defense attorney as to an ambulance chaser? Do you know of anyone who would pay the same amount of money for a Modigliani as for a Robert N. Stackelbauser? Would you pay the same amount of money to see a Little Leage baseball game as to see the seventh game of the World Series? C'mon, gimme a break. Some things ain't for crap and others are superior.

I wouldn't pay anyone, I'd abolish the entire wages system.

: Not a very convincing response...

I have a first class honours degree, a Masters with distinction, I'd hardly call myself a failure - better response?

: No, Von Mises is simply saying that many, many men vastly over rate their own skills and abilities. That's fine, they can do that, but those who have need of those skills will see in short order wheather or not the reality and the perception are congruous. If their not, adios.

Or perhaps even 'inferior' skills are *necessary* to keep society running? Someone has to shovel shit.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup