- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Final Comments

Posted by: Asarualim on May 26, 1999 at 19:08:14:

In Reply to: so do I posted by Gee on May 24, 1999 at 13:00:04:

: : That's correct, the cure the government provides is little more tahna way to protect the large money centered banks.

: Which are virtually owned by any government who owns the mint and decides on interest rates etc. Its protecting themselves. To wrote off debts would cost the government nothing except a political leveraging tool, it would cost the citizerns an enormous amount spread out in money devaluations (via inflation) and taxes.

No. The government does not own the money centered banks. The government does not determine who they loan to, where their profits go, who is hires who, how management runs the place, etc. The government merely sets monetary policy which directly impacts the banks.

The government could write off debts if it wanted to although it would be kind of silly to just do it arbitraily with a flick of teh legislative wrist. Our international credit would be ruined, business confidence would be hurt, banks would be ruined... its just to messy. The government could refinance the debt and monertize it by pumping up the moeny supply and provoking inflation. Also, inflation is not such a bad thing; it whetens the animal spirits of business men and acts as a progresive tax angainst te rich owners of capital in favor of everyone else who desire to place these idle assets into productive use.

: : Yeah the IMF and the World bank are mere tools: tools of multinationals, money centered banks, and rich bond holders. If the third world had some controll over their governing boards there could be a real possibility that these organizations could help developing nations.

: More to the point if money was lent to private individual organisations in the third world then those in receipt would have planned out repayments against gains, a politician seems unable to do this and third world countries governments have wasted much of their debt on fruitless pursuits.

: :.... amrket is either unwilling to provide or will provide a socially inadequate amount.

: There is no unwillingness for businesses to offer so called 'public goods' the charge has always been that such would be 'unfair' - and politicians have lept upon it so as to control more and more (especially education - where state decides whats to be put into young minds and how)

Public goods are narrowly defined as those goods and services that do not come under the principle of exclusion: one consumer can not be prevented from benefiting even if he declines from paying. Public roads are a classic example; you can't prevent people who haven't paid for them from using them.

However, if we define public goods more broadly as including goods and servces that fall under the principle of exclusion but do produce positive externalities to those not consuming the good or srvice. A classic example of this would be innoculations: the more people who recieve shots for a disease te more the public is protected from that disease. In fact, an indvidual may refuse to be innoculated yet will still benefit from its protective effects since everyone else in society is.

Therefore, in the case of roads and other narrowly defined public goods private interests are incapable of providing these goods and service since it is impossible to package, segregate, and exclude nonpurchasers from deriving any benefits. However, in the case of broadly defined publc goods, the market can provide these goods because they fall under the principle of exclusion but the free market fails to produce enough since there are free loader in the system. If those freeloaders also paid for the benefits they recived then the demand for such a good or service would be correspondingly greater and thus the production of the good or would be corresspondingly greater.

Don't believe me? It's simple econ 101; you can find a similiar discussion about externalities in any begginers text book.

: : You missed my point. Government exists before property. You can do whatever you desire within the rules of the system created by the government. However, you can not break those rules. For example, I can't sell children or buy human organs;

: Yet would you feel that a government that rules children to be property is as legitimate? Probably not ans the reason is that we have defined property as that which you got by trading value for value not life for life. If it were but a legal concept and no more then any variation would have to be equally valid.

It doesn't matter if i think its legitimate or not; the government still has all the guns and power and hence childeren would still be traded. Slavery existed in America prior to the emancipation proclamation; blacks were considerd to be chattel and were carried for, bought, sold, or otherwise accomodated in a similiar manner. Were blacks really property? Yes they were; there was a market with all its accompanying regualtions for blacks. Thankfully, leaglaity is not the end all of existence, ethics provides a sufficent corpus of thought to critique law. Hence law tells us what property is and defines it as such, but ethics tells us whether it should be property, whether it should be that kind of legal construct. In any case, property remains a legal construct.

Besides YOU may define property as value for value but I don't think our government does. But here s an interesting little thought does life have value, and if it does could it be exchanged? Isn't all labor a function of your life, so that when you place your labor on the market your really trading your life away for something else? intersting isn't it?

: : Could you provide a direct quote and an explication please?

: For instance, amendement 13 states that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." contradicts amend 16 "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
: Being levied an income tax whether you like it or not is having to work a portion of your life at the behest of others, like a slave.

True you are working part of your life for the government but doesn't the government give you something back in return? Please do not say that the government never provided you with anything at all. Besides, the graduated income tax is the fairest way to aportion taxes; those most able to pay and tose who have recieved the graetst benfit from civil society should pay the most taxes.

: : For example GM would not be the company it is today if the federal interstate transit system was not created.

: A private road system may have stimulated car buying even more! What im saying here is that just because something happened a certain way - it doesn means it was *necessary* for business, or 'good' for free trade.


: : I agree whole heartedly. The problem is what should one do about it?

: Stop the government from having power to favor or disfavor these groups, a pressure group would look silly rushing up govt to compalin about this or that issue to be told "what? we just run the police, courts and army - why are you asking us - its a private matter!"

Should we allow capitalism with all its abuses return to our countyry and sacr its beauty? Shakll we allow the gilded age of American capitalism to return with all its inequality, oppression, disease ridden, and social evils abound? At the very lest big government must counter the influence of big business and big labor, but I, as do many other, have a more holistic view of government. Government provides a useful tool for creating the good life that the private sector is unable and incapable of providing. The problem is not big government, that's here to stay, but big government for whom? Multinational corporations and the rich or the middle class and the poor?

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