- Capitalism and Alternatives -

...Spoken like an erudite theorist

Posted by: Stuart Gort ( USA ) on September 29, 1999 at 14:08:40:

In Reply to: Spoken like a true believer... posted by Stoller on September 28, 1999 at 12:17:02:

:: Not bad, considering the reliance upon lazy rhymes (such as water----fodder). And speaking of lazy, that seems to be your main point:

So this point is lost in my artistic colorings, I understand. If my prose improves will there be a famous Stoller footnoted rebuttal to the point, which was whether or not a tyrant who threatens our way of life should be stopped with force?

: >Just find you a box or go sponge off your neighbor.
: Just live off the fruits of another man's labor.

:: The argument that Communism makes people lazy is quite the old saw. As old---and discredited---as the idea that people will work best if economic disparity is open to them.

Forgive me for laughing at you, Barry. I'm self employed with 8 employees and I've never worker harder or smarter than I do right now. Remove the prospect of economic disparity and see how fast I bail out of this enterprise. Have you any idea how hard I've worked to arrive here? I assure you sir, my life's example is a microcosm of the basic motivational compontents of capitalism and they serve the general population within this economic system quite well. Take away the prospect of economic disparity and this entire industry will dry up and blow away - and all the employment that went with it.

:: Consider that '[i]n 1990, the incomes of the highest decile of the Soviet population were only four times higher than those of the lowest decile' and that '[b]y the end of 1995, the spread increased to twenty-three times.'(1) Shall we now observe that 'good, old fashioned' incentive has saved the day in Russia? Or shall we consider the fact that most Americans (wage-laborers employed under the Babbage Principle) receive little incentive at all when they go to work (other than privation)? Speaking of incentive, you might like to read up on some Skinner, an expert on incentive systems (Schedules of Reinforcement, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1959), who I highly recommend on the subject.

We shall observe that the corruption that characterized the Soviet Union for its entire existence was unfettered in the chaos which followed its collapse and was amplified in the absence of authority. We shall also observe that the anarchy that exists there now is not attributable to capitalism but to the nearly complete control that organized crime exerts on that society. Your not actually blaming capitalism for the current woes in Russia are you, Barry?

With respect to motivation maybe you should consider this; If a man were to make $6.00 per hour for his entire career and the socialism that exists to the extent that it does today in the U.S. was removed, the government would no longer deduct FICA from the man's paycheck. The government would no longer force his employer to match those funds either. That would be $36.72 per week that was not confiscated from the U.S. citizenry anymore. Now, the S&P index has risen 10.5% on average every year for the last 60 years. This is the financial equivalent of the sun coming up every day or me hitting the ground if I trip. The Vanguard Fund is a mutual fund which tracks the S&P index by investing directly and equally into those stocks which comprise the S&P. This citizen could, instead of allowing a bloated, wasteful, and perhaps insincere government institution to take care of him, put that money into this, the simplest of investments and find himself with $629,160 in 30 years, $1,665,353 in 40, and $4,352,972 in 50. Inflation and taxes will eat into that a bit but inflation and taxes would also drive up his wages. This also assumes that he won't improve his work skills to raise his wages past $6.00 per hour, that he won't invest more wisely than the simplest of mutual funds, and that a dismantling of the nanny state wouldn't also result in a far lower tax burden - the proceeds of which he could invest as well.

There isn't a collectivist example you can give that can hold a candle to that, Barry. Furthermore, what light Skinner may illuminate me with pertaining to the subject of motivations is a candle to the spotlight of my own experience. It amazes me that intellectuals think I should read a book to tell me how or what I think.

Stuart Gort

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