- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on March 31, 1999 at 18:18:43:

In Reply to: poppycack! posted by Gee on March 31, 1999 at 17:43:08:

: We as individuals are responsible for wealth. Thats what ive been saying. The individual. The other fellow does not start out owing me whatever wealth he may create, win in a lottery or get from his dear great aunt.

Considering that all wealth creation is necessarilly a social act, a collective effort, we are collectively responsible for what happens with that wealth.

: It equals extra choices, extra goodies. Money doesnt cause coercive acts - it creates opportunities. If a rich man pays hit men is the money to blame? No wonder many 'egalitarians' are also agianst freedom in self defence (ie guns).

Yes, but if a man has a million dollars he has a million choices, if a woman has 1 dollar, she has one choice. the money allowed the rich man to hire hitmen, that the poor could not hire- the rich have all the power. Actually a lot of leftist want to arm the working class, but usually they mean collective, militias and the like (like spain). I just want to stop people being able to make my choices for me.

I love the way Laissez Faire folk (I refuse, after years of describing myself as libertarian left to call these poeple libertarians, since they are antything but) wave 'choice' around as a magic word, thinking somehow 'choice' explains all, and is automatically superior to freedom, democracy and equality.

: Defined as.....?

Being able to decide what I want to do with my life, my work, decide how to live with my fellows, rather than be a slave to someone else.

: I dont think you mean potential. You cant cap a mans potential becuase of one thing or another (except death!), I think you mean the degrees of likely difficulty in achieving such dont you? The equal start proposition.

No, I mean potential, I couldn't go out now and get a house with a fifty hectare garden, a very rich man could, I lack potential. And equality of start proposition is also a necessity.

: The geniuses who invented lightbulbs, railways, medicines (eg Edison) and those who knew how to organise the production and distribution of such things (eg Carnegie)? Or the mass of people (me included) who may never have created railroads and medicines alone, might never have 'suddenly' conceived of them, but can gain sufficient skill to work for a company that does.

What about the vast armies of techies, inventors who don't own the copyright, because their employer does, they get a wage, and we see teh difference- them as owned the property earned off the property, them as are waged only get the same as the rest of us- one man cannot make a million pounds. Even Eddison required other peopel to make his money for him.

:I recognise the warts (old boys networks, inheritors, incompetent politickers) but dont damn the creative process that leads to these things - nor who the real "set the ball rolling" wealth creators are.

The wealth creators are the workers. The power of wealth is entirely negative- we cannot begin to make things without their permission.

If Eddison had been waged he would have had enough money to live comfortably, and create ideas for his employer, who would have got very very rich.

: Compare the millions in S Korea, Singapore etc who do have vastly increased life expectancy and less deaths per 1000 etc according to UN figures. Even faltering Mexico figures.

I suspect that figures for Idonesia or the Phillipines aren't as good, you're pointing to rich countries there

: Its always been about risk. Better to risk an increase in wealth than to stand still

Tell that to most investors- they want security.

: The motor industry crisis is because people are not buying all the cars that get produced - the income they could be buying cars with is going elsewhere, and making growth industries elsewhere (in electronic goods, holidays etc).

Erm, no, its becausse more cars are being made than can be sold, the market is swamped with the buggers, plus wage freeze, economic uncertainty, etc. Dampen consumer demand.

: Squeeze the economic balloon in one spot and another expands. Serious bad news for carplant employees, but not a global cataclysm.

No, because if teh car industry goes down, then the steel industry goes with it, many more manufacturing jobs go down the wanny, banks call in debts, investors get nervous, the economy slows until the markets empty out once more.

: Competition and increasingly open communications and knowledge technology has squeezed profit margins. I thought you'd like that - less 'pocket lining' as % of invested capital.

Well, no, because it slows growth, the usual way out is to cut back on wages as far as possible (but this cuts overall demand, and thus slows the economy further) or to have a war....(US military spending off-sets the declining rate of profit through giving high-tech goods free of charge to manufacturers.)

The economy doesn't collapse, but it slows down severly (after all, car production is wealth production, hollidays are just wealth redistribution) and unless some new way to produce is found, the economy will stagnate.

: The people I mentioned earlier as pioneers plus other workers (which includes "improve upon" researchers, innovative managers (if you can find them) etc).

They get wages, perhaps the odd bonus, but the fruits of their labour goes to their employer.

: However I agree that a billionaires son, or worse in England some Fuedal land owners great great grandson could use wealth to buy a company and sit back. If thats a bad thing its a moral judgment/opinion of the person. The poor company janitor still gets the $10, he still doesnt loose.

Well, its bad also in that for no readilly apparent reason these people have more power, sorry, choice, than the rest of us.

: Involving the 'horrors' of political freedom!

Horrific for some I'm sure...

Follow Ups:

  • Quackle! Samuel Day Fassbinder Citizens for Mustard Greens USA April 05 1999 (0)
  • and pop! Gee si March 31 1999 (3)
    • Hmmm, crispy... Red Deathy Socialist Party UK April 01 1999 (2)
      • ...nutty! Gee si April 05 1999 (1)
        • Nuts! Red Deathy Socialist Party UK April 06 1999 (0)

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