- Capitalism and Alternatives -

We capitalists are just plain folks...

Posted by: bill on April 14, 1999 at 10:26:37:

In Reply to: Why should banks be public property? posted by R. Jenkins on April 13, 1999 at 11:17:48:

The people that own places worked very hard to get them, and the government stealing it and dividing it up IS theft. Why should banks be public property? Can't someone working for a profit give you a better interest rate for your savings than the government can? And mines, the people that are mining it for profit will mine it well, as if they don't they will not survive. However, when the government is mining, they don't depend on that mine, thus doing a poor job.


These sorts of sentiments get a lot of play. "The people that own places worked very hard to get them" "…people that are mining it for profit will mine it very well…" are statements that need some examination.

First of all, the "hard" work is not by itself a justification. A bank robber may work very hard in the planning and execution of the project. A group of investors may work very hard in lining up lobbyists to push through mineral rights claims on indigenous lands, hire lawyers to work around environmental impact reviews, etc. Ultimately the real dirty work will be performed by a vast majority of workers who are NOT mining it for Profit, but for Subsistence, having NO say in the matter of profit distribution.

The justification for "Protection of property rights" assumes that the little craft worker, producing his/her articles of exchange for property accumulation, is categorically equivalent to the modern capitalist achieving wealth (sometimes in staggeringly vast amounts) through market manipulations and financial instruments. The ultimate result is the guarantee that a majority of the workforce dedicated to the particular project will have just enough to live on without creating conditions that might foster collective action (unions) that could carve into "the hard earned property" of the CEO.

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