- Capitalism and Alternatives -

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Posted by: Gee ( si ) on July 26, 1999 at 17:54:45:

In Reply to: Crash test Gees. posted by Red Deathy on July 23, 1999 at 18:48:13:

Thats odd Deathy! I was going to answer your 'mmmm' post with 'crash test deathies'. We must be totality-ising no? teehee!

: How about trying again with water? Even though they must keep their prices low enough to keep custom, its stil a monopoly, and still one they are gaining heavilly from.

Water is a much better example than travel. But the price of your 'monopoly' tap providor must still compete with the alternatives of bottled water, water-reservoir with big truck service (it happens, costs ofcourse), recycling units, sneaky pipelines from competitors and 'voting with your feet' - leaving the area with water costs as a factor etc. Like the travel - it means that a dominant water providor does not have a monopoly in the true sense, but can charge up to the costs of alternatives / ability to pay. In general this results in fairly low water rates.

: I think it was the threat of revolution from below put a stop to it, though the Feudal class did try and ally with the Proles, it being more socially aware (ideology wise) than the middle class.

I think successive wars played a strong part in growing the government level of interference (wasnt it Pit who started 1% income tax as a short term aid to war?) but I would accept that interference did come about in the same way that a business in a mafiosi area can be intimidated into paying for a protection racket (ie business owners have to accept legislation so as to avoid them 'sending the boys round' pretty much on the same basis practically and morally, with the 'feudal class' in the role of mafia boss manipulating proles as 'the boys')

: How long would microsoft last without claening staff?

Answer 1: Much longer than without programmers
Answer 2: longer than it takes to sign up however many *willing* short term, low pay, part time/ odd hours poeple who *want* to do that kind of work in order to improve their situation and dont have extensive skills to offer in return.

having said that - some cleaners are well paid due to having specific skills around equipment etc.

: Since we have riches in the world, a bowl of rice a day (dead Kennedies, (Holliday in Cambodia', am I right?)is patently poor.

(dead kennedies - at a time like this - ooh you'll upset the liberal elite in America!). The point was that without objective standards for poverty then a cambodian compared to a cambodian is not poor. Hence relativism is not a good guide.

: I think teh Hopal factor and teh proof against Free-market law, and the problem of money have been presented and un-rebutted.

I dont think the Bhopal factor proves nothing about the free market. Its a leap to say that this situation would happen the same way in a free market, rather than a heavily regulated mixed economy. The 'problem' with money isnt a problem in principle (money as credit against something of actual value), but it definately is nowadays (money as credit against the promise of govt to meet its value (or not) by robbing whatever value is needed at the time).

: I'm a partisan, I'm not here to make your points for you, of course I am selective.

Out of interest would you use an argument on a more ignorant person which you know to be weak. Ie, I might 'get away' with some piffle paffle comparing capitalism to sports (first past the post an all that) and that might be enough to gain agreement - but I wouldnt because its a weak argument and falls down on inspection, says nothing about the principle of liberty etc etc.

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