- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I'm discombobulated (sp?) or [sic]

Posted by: David ( USA ) on March 04, 19100 at 12:29:25:

In Reply to: I'm Astonished posted by Hank on March 03, 19100 at 11:19:19:

: Dave: I don't quite understand what you are saying. It does not matter if they disrespect it so long as they have no power to affect it. For instance, if I own a logging company and I own the land which I use for logging, I can pursue any policy that I so choose, regardless of whether the people condone it or not. As the sole proprieter of that land, I can do with it as I please within the constraints of the law.

: Hank: Have you ever seen a strip mine?


Hank: Have you ever heard of Union Carbide in India?


Hank: By your logic, we should just turn over the oceans to private corporations and that would solve the over-fishing problem.

Dave: No, what I am saying is that in a world in which we have corporations fishing, it is better have the waters that they fish in owned by them rather than held in trust. My reasoning for this is that if a company owns the region it will make sure that there is enough fish left to reproduce and insure a continuing business for the following year. A responsible company looking for longterm growth and stability will do this and not overfish one year in order to have phenomenal profits.

Hank: What about the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Are you telling me that wouldn't have happened if Exxon had owned Prince William Sound? Are you telling me that if the companies had OWNED the community of Love Canal, then that environmental disaster wouldn't have happened.

Dave: This is a completely different situation. In the Exxon Valdez situation, it was a spill incurred during transit of the oil, not in over extraction. I believe that Exxon is responsible for cleaning up the oil and if it pursued a policy of safer shipping barge regulations, it could have avoided that disaster. Secondly, I do not even see how an oil company would figure into this discussion as oil is a non-renewable resource (at least in the short term -- long term being a few million years)and once the oil is gone it is gone.
Now, I am vaguely familiar with the Love Canal incident, and correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was caused by the improper disposal of hazardous waste products in a region in or around the Love Canal area.

: Lark: -The 'fly by night' out fits that you describe that are interested in turning a short term profit are the ones that prosper the most under capitalism, it's about competition and you dont win competitions by planning longterm and taking heavy immediate losses.

: Hank: Right on, Lark!

: Dave: Not necessarily. Here is an example: Amazon.Com went public more than a year ago (maybe longer) and the chairman immediately made the statement that shareholders would see some of the heaviest losses ever. The price of the shares still sky rocketed because investors were valuing it by its potential, not by how much its bottom line was. And, a few weeks ago, Amazon.Com actually turned a profit for the first time. As a result of its purposely taking losses in order to stay competitive with the larger chains like Barnes and Noble and Borders, it is now worth something on the order of twice their combined net worth.

: Hank: Dave, need I remind you that amazon.com is a company that sells BOOKS and VIDEOS over the Internet? Why don't you talk about companies that have some relevance to natural resources, such as Exxon, Shell, Phelps Dodge, Archer-Daniels Midland. You are not thinking here, Dave, rather you're merely demonstrating your ALLEGIANCE TO DOCTRINE and the CLASS INTO WHICH YOU WERE BORN!

Dave: Alright Hank, I will get out some examples of responsible companies that deal with natural resources, I will just have to do some research. I can think of a few companies, I will just have to check up on them and make sure they are still responsible.

Hank: (BTW, here I'd like to insert some !!!!! and some !!!! and some foul-filth with more foul-filth and a few insults-to-your-intelligence-with illusions-to-physical-violence and more foul-filth with more !!!!)

Dave: (BTW, right here I would like to say that it is important to keep well hydrated. Check your urine, make sure it is a light color. And remember, drive safely. OF course you could always be eco-friendly and take your bike).

: Lark: -You believe that companies have some interest in perserving the environment, they dont, it is all resources, the logic of capitalism is that:

: Dave: PLease do not confuse capitalists with capitalist companies.

: Hank: WHAT? (More foul, more filth, mixed with ridicule of the most cutting variety.)

Dave: (Have I mentioned I can make my pectorals bounce up and down on their own?)

Hank: What if I were to say "don't confuse communists with communist countries"? You'd roll over laughing, wouldn't you?

Dave: Wait a minute! I thought there hasn't been a true communist country yet! Socialist one as well, for that matter! Besides, there seem to be soooo many types of communists and socialists out there that I just lump them all into one category.

: Dave: Many capitalists are all for not polluting and keeping the environment clean, however capitalist companies are beholden to their stock holders to turn a profit and are run by a board of directors who may or may not look after the environment.

: Hank: Exactly, Dave. I 'll bet your Dad is a capitalist and he's a nice guy. But that doesn't matter--there are plenty of capitalist Dads (and some Moms) out there who are nice people who do care. IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER! IT'S THE SYSTEM which is by nature exploitive!

Dave: Well, that's a rather grim view of things. Personally, I agree that things are not what they could be now, however, I am an optimist. I believe that things will get better. We have made great progress over the last seventy years, and things are just starting to speed up.

: Lark: 1. The capitalist knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

: Hank: Right on again, Lark! But since Dave took offense to this comment, I'll re-write it to make it more precise. "Good capitalists, when acting as capitalists know the price of nothing and the value of nothing."

Dave: I disagree, it is the value we find in things that drives us on. Whether it be a physicaly value (in the case of a commodity) or a...umm....ethereal value in the case of the pride you get from doing a good job or from the feeling of success.

Hank: The same holds true for capitalists. They go sailing, contribute to charities, some even help in soup-kitchens for the homeless. some even contribute to the Sierra Club and the Audobon Society. But AS CAPITALISTS THEY ARE BEHOLDEN TO MAKING THEIR COMPANIES TURN A PROFIT.

Yes, we are beholden to our companies just as we are beholden to our families to provide. Most of all though, we are beholden to our egos. We need to feel like we are successful and we need to feel of value.
In fact, those last two things apply to everybody, communists and capitalists alike. To quote my commie uncle, "The best social program is a job." That is, people need to feel like they are contributing to something greater and they need the feeling of accomplishment.

Dave: And Socialists are a bunch of greasy self-impoverished whiners who constantly clammor for more government freebies. Now that we have the misinformed rhetoric out of the way, lets continue.

: Hank: This isn't true. I'm a Socialist, and I'm a greasy, self-impoverished whiner who constantly clamors for A WORKER'S STATE. It's the spittin' clean, self-important LIBERALS who clamor for government freebies.

: And if you want to talk about hand-outs, you shouldn't forget to mention the from-some-angles clean, from-some-angles- greasy CAPITALISTS who get government freebies via BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN CORPORATE WELFARE!

You know, two months ago I won first place for a paper I wrote on why we should eliminate corporate welfare and instead provide incentives for companies through the elimination of income taxes. In two weeks I am going to the state competition in Detroit. If I win there, I am off Minneapolis for the national competition.

: (More foul, more filth, more name-calling. Ridicule of the highest cunningness and personal attacks of the lowest form)

Dave: (Insert witty comment here)

: Lark: Capitalism thinks it is possible to infinitely grow the economy on exhaustable finite resources.

: Dave: I heard an excellent description of the worlds resources. Yes they are finite, just like one inch is a finite distance. However, the amount of points you can put in an inch is infinite, similarly, the amount of uses that you can use your resources for knows no bounds. When fossil fuels become horribly depleted, we will find something else. Who knows, perhaps we will be manufacturing synthetic fossil fuels.

: Hank: Here again you're demonstrating your faith in the official doctrine. But you're not thinking straight, because points and inches are abstractions. How about this: My shopping bag is finite, but the amount of Big Macs I can put in it is infinite. Does that make many sense?

Dave: Aha! What is the physical description of a big mac? Does it have a definite size? Perhaps you could shrink it to an infinitessimally (damn I butchered that word!) small size.

Hank: And, about alternative fuel sources. Much solar technology already exists, but capitalism is what is standing in the way of more government funding and wider public use.

You know, I was listening to NPR today and there was a discussion on the current problems with OPEC and how all the Americans who bought SUVs are crying for blood. In Bill Clinton's proposed budget there is money being granted for the exploration of new energy resources. It is called something like "Strategic Energy planning" or something.

: : --
: : McSpotlight: [sic] - Latin for 'thus' - it means 'I'm quoting this from a text word-for-word exactly as it appears'

: Dave:Yeah, it is used by editors when copying something that they are not sure is used correctly or spelled correctly.

: Hank: Writers shouldn't use "sic" to refer to something that they have written. The common form is (sp?) and this is informal.

Dave: Sorry, I've gotten hooked on it during my editorship on my school newspaper.

Hank: One thing I like about the Internet, though, is the unspoken rule that people don't comment upon other people's grammar and spelling. Unless there's a greevous misstake that enterferes with comprehenson, mistakes are just ignored. I know I wouldn't want my posts subjected to careful scrutiny.

Dave: I agree. I have trouble writing informally, I often end up sounding either curt or like a foreigner.

Hank: On the other hand, Dave, with the reasoning you showed in this "Capitalist Morality" post, you would be lucky if the others here were to concentrate on its mechanics.

Dave: Maybe I should start interspersing pictures throughout my posts to distract people.

Hank: Dave, please put your fine mind in service of real human progress. We need guys like you, but you're on the wrong side.

Sorry Hank, I guess I am just too heavily indoctrinated. I will continue to practice my ideas of reciprocal altruism, however, for me to be the most effective in changing society for the better, I am going to have to be a ruthless capitalist. Money is power.

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