- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on April 05, 1999 at 16:15:22:

In Reply to: Hmmm, crispy... posted by Red Deathy on April 01, 1999 at 18:44:22:

: But who put in more effort, or whose task was more necessary? And we are both responsible for the end product table.

If legs are very difficult and few people can make them then whilst legs need the flat bits, legs are potentially rarer, and leg makers more valuable (in crude terms if loads of flatbit makers died it wouldnt matter too much, its easy to do).

: No, but if that millionaire keeps on buying banana then I can't have any, or banan production is stepped up, at teh expennse of, say, medicines.

Remember its not zero sum, its quite likely that medicine money and banana money can increase simoultaniously.

: They may well be blameless for what has happened in the past, but they till have responsibility now fo what happens because they own the and.

And their responsibility is? why?

: No, potential means now, potentially I have the future potential to be a millionaire, and have a potentuial to buy that bug house, but now I lack that potential.

So did Carnegie etc.

: It doesn't diminish their role, but the difference is that they do not create wealth on their own, and that their mode of getting more wealth is through ownership of an idea, not through their work.

The idea is their work

: Ands such self made men, such eddisons, are a fantasy from the past now, now corporate pattents are the norm...

I think the edisons arent so unique, more poeple can be inventors (standing on the backs of giants and all that) because more people were inventors. A person who invents something whilst under a contract which says "whilst your here you ideas are ours" should leave (and do, if they are confident).

: You're mistiaking the act of labour (inventing) with the act of owning (Fords factories)

Ford's idea on the lines, his ownership didnt create the idea.

, and niether could impliment their ideas without capital, which had to be borrowed from someone with Wealth (permission).

I see nothing wrogn with that. If you have an idea that others dont see the value of then people wont let you use their property, it would be the same in money-less socialism. Imagine a fellow walking into the town hall and saying "ive invented a new anti grav unit, and i'll need all the towns metals and electronics to make it". He would receive the same skepticism as received from the bank manager, the process is the same.

: But not all do- what about techies in Labs, what about Graham Bell's lab assistent?

Was he the instigator, or did he just adapt someone elses ideas to make little improvements? Just being a techie isnt enough to be that creative force, being an edison is.

: BUt this security is at aodds with your espirit d'adventure that you espouse, no-one really likes market flucuations, no one likes businesses failing, and its precisely this that means that people will try and prop up established firms, and that makes self made men such a rare feature of capitalism.

That people tend toward conservatism is probably good, lest people constantly throw good money after bad ideas. An idea has to prove itself to gain sufficient merit for the risk.

: Yes, it goes up, after each slump we find that the low point is higher than the previous low point, the growth rate is ever upwards, but the immediate effects of such a crisis in terms of workers lives can be devestating.

Indeed, for car workers, or steel workers - whilst electronics workers do well, or leisure workers. Thats the dynamism of it. There is no realistic way of creating everlasting stability, hence the practical necessity of (and I hate to say it) "taking the wider view".

: Investing in machinery is a diminishing return, but freezing wages, or a general trend downwards can seriously kill demand in the short term. Sacking worker is also a popular move in such circumstanes, try and do the same job with less workers. Even if investment cylces speed up, that just means more chaos in workers' lives. And of coure, the big joke is, that they are getting sacked for working too had and well....

Its not easy to work, it *never* was, especially in pre industrial world. The trend has been toward greater output per working person. This can make a person feel less important as a % of the output, but in general the lifestyle (in measurements like longevity, technologies widely available etc) has been getting better.

: Which, again, is a relatively rare instance.

There are scores of such people at both companies, not all ideas are worthy.

: how mmuch do you value other people, or how much you are callously going to shrug you shoulders, and say 'thats life, if a saint and a sinner fall from a plane, they'll both hit the floor at the same time.'

It is because I value people that I want to see Janitors with the extra $10 and the benefits of goods he could never hope to create himself available for simple money.

Follow Ups:

  • Nuts! Red Deathy Socialist Party UK April 06 1999 (0)

The Debating Room Post a Followup