- Capitalism and Alternatives -

So that ordinary people can get a loan

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( EFZ, MA, USA ) on April 15, 1999 at 11:08:52:

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

: OK, fine, let the factory workers and farmers run it.

'OK fine'? Capitalist countries have fought against such ideas since their very inception.

: But don't come crying to the planners when you don't get any food or products.

1) Eventually we will have no planners, that's what worker self-management means. Burkina Faso, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, etc. provide some instructive examples.

2) there is no evidence that collectively run farms would be less efficient at producing food. India's food productivity went up in the decades following independence, in spite of (or perhaps because of?) land reform. Even the US has on occasion defended land reform, so I really wouldn't try and defend the estate / cash crop mode of production, it puts you in some very bad company. (Salvadoran death squads, Pakistani slaveholders, etc.)

:The people that own places worked very hard to get them,

Hahahahaha! so i suppose the workers who slave away in the hot sun aren';t working hard, while the landowners are breaking their backs in air-conditioned comfort. tell you what, why don't you try a stint as a grape picker in california and then tell me if it's an easy, jerk-off job. There is no justifianble reason why the bourgeois elite should jhave sole ownership of the emans of production, exacting a profit while contributing nothing to the production of the good.

: and the government stealing it and dividing it up IS theft.

Loaded terms, i could just as well say that the capitalist stealling a portion of the workers' labor, in teh form of profit, is commiting an act of theft. In fact, I think i will. Property is tehft, but some forms of property ownership are mroe unjust and unfair than others, e.g. capitalism.

: 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?

Um, I don't follow this argiument. So I'll just elaborate my point. When banks were nationalized in india the reason was to make credit accessible to poor people who would never be granted loans by a profit-owning bank. these people were bad credit risks, they were so poor it would take them a long, long time to pay back a loan. So no banker interested in profit would bother ending to them. The government, on the other hand, is not interested in amking a profit, and can therefore be counted on to do the right thing. basically, teh government has altruistic motives, while a profit-seeking individual will ahve selfish motives, therefore it si very unlikely taht a profit-seeker will do the right thing.

: And mines, the people that are mining it for profit will mine it well, as if they don't they will not survive.

Excuse me, do you havbe any idea what mineworkers' lives are like? the peopel who work in mines don't own a stake in teh mine and they never will, unless they can do so as part of a public collective. usually they face a live of poverty, illness, and dispersed family ties. Private mining interests have created such a hell on earth everywhere across the globe taht teh government must step in to make sure these absues never happen again.

:However, when the government is mining, they don't depend on that mine, thus doing a poor job.

No, they still want to extract the quantity of cobalt, copper, etc. that the nation needs, but they are not going to step on teh workers' rights to do so, as a capitalist would.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup