- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I have serious doubts about Andor and Summers.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on August 05, 1999 at 10:54:26:

In Reply to: State-capitalist... posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on August 03, 1999 at 18:53:11:

: : Don: The "state capitalist" system never turned a profit,

: SDF: Which Andor and Summers show is irrelevant to the efficiency of businesses -- state capitalist businesses often didn't turn a profit because they were there to benefit consumers. By contrast, today's eastern European economy exists solely for the benefit of a tiny coterie of plutocrats, if we are to believe Andor and Summers.

Don: Most state run factories in the USSR provided little benifit to consumers, at least when compared to capitalist factories in the West.

: : and couldn't even support itself.

: SDF: Today's eastern Europe can't support itself either. Why the double standard?

Don: The Commies had fifty years to sort things out in eastern Europe.

: : Don: The mismanagement of the communist past continues to haunt Eastern Europe . . .

: SDF: Now it's capitalist mismanagement.

Don: Not in Russia. State run factories do not capitalism make . . .

: : Don: I agree it takes a while to get a healthy market working. I tend to think that "cold turkey" is the best way to get off of socialism . .

: SDF: This is where Andor and Summers would disagree with you. And they have several bookfuls of evidence to support their argument. Where is your evidence?

Don: Based upon your posts, I have serious doubts about Andor and Summers. I haven't read their book, perhaps I should reserve judgement. Since you have their book, please post a summery of one of their better arguments, and we can see how it holds up . . .

: : : As Andor and Summers point out, with reference to procapitalist research, marketization in no way indicates superior economic performance. The authors point to the on-again, off-again successes of the (not thoroughly marketized) Japanese and German economies as counterevidence. They further argue that

it is true that privatized firms are often more profitable than when under public ownership. This does not however imply that public firms have been mismanaged. It is more commonly the case that public firms simply have lower regulated profits, to the benefit of consumers.
p. 89

: : Don: Hmm. The post office raises the cost of stamps, and then you have to go buy 1 cent stamps in order to use the 32 cent ones you bought just before the price raise. Can you imagine a private company that treats it's customers that way?

: SDF: 1) Yes. 2) This is your only argument?

Don: 1) Example? 2) No, I just thought it was an interesting point. What private company sells a service and then increases the price of the service (to those who already bought the service)?

: SDF:

: "Don: Your castle has no foundation.
: SDF: More out-of-hand dismissal
: Don:...you then used in an ad-hominism (sic) argument."

: Whose ad-hominem was that?

Don: "Your castle has no foundation" was not an ad-hominism attack. Your use of the term "Market Maoism" was an ad-hominism, which was based upon (at best) a thin parallel. The thin parallel was your foundation, your castle the term "Market Maoism". Perhaps I exaggerated: I should have said "almost no foundation".

: BTW, there's plenty of evidence here...

Don: No, just the same old ad-hominism . . .

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