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Forum Post: Capitalism has severe boom-to-bust swings

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 13, 2011, 11:47 p.m. EST by FriendlyObserverA (610)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Capitalism is a very unstable economic system.

136 Comments

136 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 10 years ago

You can take a wild guess how I feel about it from my ID.

Modest Capitalism, stable. Good for society in general.

Unbridled, winner take all, blood thirsty capitalism, only stable until you shrink the middle class. Good for the rich. Bad for society in general.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

i think you can make a case for some sort of grassroots capitalism for non essential items - this piece from chomsky might interest you - "Aristotle also made the point that if you have, in a perfect democracy, a small number of very rich people and a large number of very poor people, the poor will use their democratic rights to take property away from the rich. Aristotle regarded that as unjust, and proposed two possible solutions: reducing poverty (which is what he recommended) or reducing democracy.

James Madison, who was no fool, noted the same problem, but unlike Aristotle, he aimed to reduce democracy rather than poverty. He believed that the primary goal of government is "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." As his colleague John Jay was fond of putting it, "The people who own the country ought to govern it."

Madison feared that a growing part of the population, suffering from the serious inequities of the society, would "secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of [life's] blessings." If they had democratic power, there'd be a danger they'd do something more than sigh. He discussed this quite explicitly at the Constitutional Convention, expressing his concern that the poor majority would use its power to bring about what we would now call land reform.

So he designed a system that made sure democracy couldn't function. He placed power in the hands of the "more capable set of men," those who hold "the wealth of the nation." Other citizens were to be marginalized and factionalized in various ways, which have taken a variety of forms over the years: fractured political constituencies, barriers against unified working-class action and cooperation, exploitation of ethnic and racial conflicts, etc.

(To be fair, Madison was precapitalist and his "more capable set of men" were supposed to be "enlightened statesmen" and "benevolent philosophers," not investors and corporate executives trying to maximize their own wealth regardless of the effect that has on other people. When Alexander Hamilton and his followers began to turn the US into a capitalist state, Madison was pretty appalled. In my opinion, he'd be an anticapitalist if he were alive today -- as would Jefferson and Adam Smith.)

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 10 years ago

So he designed a system that made sure democracy couldn't function

That's because democracy bankrupts itself. People use the power of the vote to buy themselves free stuff until the government is spending more money than it has, and goes bankrupt. (Like we're seeing right now in the Greece, Italy, and other EU states.)

And yes Jefferson was anti-corporation (but not anti-capitalist). It's why he said the 10th amendment of the Constitution is the most important sentence... it prevents centralization of power in the hands of a few.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

well thanks you for exposing yourself as anti democratic - i think that is admirable. if more people had the courage to say what they think we would have a more honest and easier debate. we could debate your feeling about democracy but i see no point. i wonder why you did not mention sweden or norway - they have the biggest welfare systems. just so you know i am a capitalist - don't believe in the system too much (some sort of grassroots capitalist system for non essential items maybe - like tennis lessons - i teach tennis for a living - for the last 40 years - the only skill i have!) - i have my own small business and we own 3 other small llcs - one doing solar const - one owning a building (landlord!)so i am not completely against making money or working hard - the huge disparity in wealth cannot be justified in my opinion - just saying.....

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

flip, you have an interesting point .. Madison , the architect of the Constitution, definitely limited the voice of the majority .. one vote in 4 years .. yikes ..

Let me ask you a question. before the revolution , there was some form of standing government amongst the colonies .. and they had some say .. although the declaration states their words were going unheard by George the 3rd. so these members of parliament were to some affect barons still under the power of the king .. and my question , when the revolution ended .. the power from the king was won by these barons .. and they immediately drew up a new constitution .. giving themselves great power to continue with their pursuit of power and wealth .. but also giving the people a small slice in matters .. is it possible we traded one king for a bunch of just as greedy kings ..?they did keep the tax system .. but now they no longer had to share with england.. so times seemed great .. in the early years and everyone thought how wonderful the world had become .. with such wealth and prosperity .. and the land was young with plenty of space to grow .. but now we have hit the otherside and our system no longer holds up to the standards we would like to have..

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

read howard zinn on the post revolutionary period ("peoples history of the united states"). there is another book - i think called "the first american revolution" which is really good about how farmers took power but you are right - we had one ruling class take power from another. the french revolution was different - "the age of revolution" by hobsbawm tells that story. it was not so good for many people. zinn is the best - here he is -"In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. But then came Lexington and Concord, and the revolution became violent, and it was run not by the farmers but by the Founding Fathers. The farmers were rather poor; the Founding Fathers were rather rich.

Who actually gained from that victory over England? It’s very important to ask about any policy, and especially about war: Who gained what? And it’s very important to notice differences among the various parts of the population. That’s one thing were not accustomed to in this country because we don’t think in class terms. We think, “Oh, we all have the same interests.” For instance, we think that we all had the same interests in independence from England. We did not have all the same interests.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 10 years ago

the Founding Fathers were rather rich.

Most of the Founders who signed the Declaration died penniless. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the only ones who were really "wealthy". The rest ~one thousand including Thomas Jefferson had massive debts. After he died the bankers took ALL of his property and left nothing for his children.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

the fact that they screwed themselves financially through greed or stupidity does not change one word that howard said - but having said that - thanks for the info - i am rarely moved by tales of ruling class stumbles though

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

thank you flip

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

no problem - keep in touch - lots of good people writing out there - i have spent 40 yrs looking for them

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 10 years ago

voice of the majority .. one vote in 4 years .. yikes ..

My god you're dumb.

The vote happens every 2 years. And it's not just one vote, but multiple votes across multiple levels (national, state, and local). And as originally designed the representatives were our neighbors. (! rep for every 20,000 persons) so they could be directly influenced and instructed how to vote by the People.

AND Madison was the guy who wrote the Bill of Rights... a document that ensures power remains with the Demos (the people). It doesn't get any more democratic than that.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

you are off base here - get the facts straight - no bill of rights until it was forced on the ruling class by the people - voting - well you know the story - 3/5, white men of property etc. emma goldman turned out to be accurate when she said "if voting could change anything it would be illegal!" - as we can see today the will of the people has been subverted - madison's construction proved to be very effective over time even though the changes forced on the rulers (popular vote for senators etc) seemed to make it more democratic. it has not. there is a reason the ruling class maintains it hold on society - they have had lots of practice and can hire lots of smart quislings

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 (O.S. March 5) – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817) and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United States Bill of Rights

[-] 2 points by Arditum (37) 10 years ago

There's no such thing as modest capitalism. The poverty level was even worse in the past. '29 a hundred times worse than today for example. You people have to realize times change. You can't remove the extended culture of corruption that exists in our capitalism with a few reforms. As soon as the protests are over they will just find other ways to fuck over the 99%. It's been like that since the start. A new system is needed where the filthy rich just can't exist. Because they shouldn't exist.

http://rdwolff.com/content/occupy-production

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 10 years ago

I understand what you say as a whole. There is no Capitalist system today anywhere in the world that is modest. But it was much more modest 40 years ago. By that I mean the profits for big business were more reasonable. The pay scale was much more narrow. The rich weren't anywhere near as rich as they are today. The middle class held the greatest share of wealth, the income of the lowest 20% was increasing more (as a percentage) than any other group. The masses weren't so obsessed with getting rich. You were never stuck at the retail counter behind some greedy fool buying 20 state lottery tickets.

You're right. There is no Capitalist system today that is modest. But there was once.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

they just keep taking a bigger piece of the pie .. and there seems to be nothing we can do about it .. it's their pie. and they have first take

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

All profits should be funneled back to the government/people . to hell with the elite .

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 10 years ago

The reason capitalism has had "severe" swings is because of the Central private bank known as the Fed (since 1913). First they provide low interest loans to create a boom and generate good times..... which inflates the economic bubble hyper-high. And then the crash comes and it's inevitably much much worse. (Big bubbles == big crashes.)

If the central bank stopped trying to create massive bubbles, we'd still have recessions but they would be small and quick. Not massive Fed-induced 10 or 20-year-long depressions.

.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 10 years ago

Are you really going to sit there and claim that record high concentration of wealth in America just before the Great Depression and 2nd highest concentration of wealth in America just before the Great Recession are purely coincidence?

You're mistaking the top layers of the issue for the fundamental flaw. The strength and stability of the economy will always be determined by the strength of the middle class. Everything else is secondary.

[-] 3 points by demcapitalist (977) 10 years ago

Webster definition : an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market Does that sound like the American banking system to you? because it doesn't sound like it to me. I think it would be a great thing for America if wall street returned to anything like the Websters definition instead of the taxpayer and fed funded welfare system they now use.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 10 years ago

and ? what's your point? do you think you can tame the business cycle?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

my point ? ..simply stating an observation..

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 10 years ago

The Revolution has a new theme song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L-GOHa5-YQ

http://occupywallst.org/forum/in-the-name-of-allah/

The Revolution starts here!

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

As opposed to...?

Define capitalism if you are going to say something about it, otherwise there is miscommunication.

The free market is capitalism without any state intervention creating incentives and disincentives. That is not what we have. We have mixed capitalism with a lot of state intervention. State intervention has created the environment for corporations' limited liability. Corporations as they do would not exist in a free market, because the risks they take would not be backed by government welfare when they backfire. All the banks of the 2008 financial collapse would have disappeared in bankruptcy for making such stupid business decisions.

Government creates unstable economic systems by creating perverse incentives and disincentives with its favoritism of protections and regulations. If you didn't have to be liable for your mistakes, then you would act like a corporation or politician too.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

perhaps thats why the government bailed out the banks .. they felt responsible and thus liable for their mistake .. just a thought .. although I do not see interest rates dropping a mistake .. I seen that as a act of kindness towrds those needing loans .. unfortunately .. this flooded the markets ..and the greedy investors took advantage of the situation ..robbing the economy with record breaking profits .. so I think I would be pointing at the greedy other side of this story and not the ones trying to help.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 10 years ago

The banks own the government. The banks hold all the governments' money. The government is riddled with bankers. You are an idiot.

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

Where you are confused is that the government does not have any money of its own, so the idea that the banks have the governments' money doesn't make any sense.

The government can create money only through force, ie indebting taxpayers. The government does not have money of its own. The government steals the public's money. The government is a club of individuals that hypocritically do not have to uphold contracts.

The banking cartel would not exist without government protectionism and enforcement. Cartels, which are greedy, cannot exist without violence of the state. If the Federal Reserve System did not have a monopoly over regulating the money supply, how would banks force their greed upon people?

The Federal Reserve System is not private. To be part of the club, a member bank HAS TO pay in 6% (if I remember the number right). A national bank HAS TO be a member. The Federal Open Market Committee, which determines the federal funds rate, is made up of the Federal Reserve Board, which are seven members appointed by the US President and confirmed by Congress, and the other five members are the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and four other rotating member presidents from the eleven other Federal Reserve main banks. The rules of the system were instituted and altered by Congress.

If you want more info, let me know.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 10 years ago

I'm not at all confused. Taxes fund government. Government puts that money in the hands of private banks. Federal Reserve banks get GUARANTEED interest of 4% on the money and use it to back their global gambling schemes.

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

You're proving my point about GOVERNMENT. The government steals money from the public and with its centralized bank creates money that only members of the banking cartel get first, when the purchasing power of the money is highest before inflation. Government is at the heart of it. By government I mean violence against the will of or understanding of the people involved.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 10 years ago

The real problem is unlimited corporate-financial power that controls government. Get rid of that and government is ours.

If you think you can run for office without corproate financing, or keep a seat in government without spending 50-70% of your time fund-raising, you are deluded.

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

Maybe government officials wanted to help people buy houses. Their intentions are not very important though. The actions by the government through monetary policy, ie interest rates, created an environment which created an incentive that no one could resist.

The problem really is not so much that government made the wrong decisions. Or that people were greedy. FYI, people are greedy, and when they can get away with something, they do.

The problem is that government is a losing proposition. No central bank is as wise as the free market. The central bank, ie Federal Reserve System, was created to smooth out the ups and downs of the economy. Whether the people who created and defend the system believe that or not, the facts show otherwise. The Great Depression and Great Recession all follow the institution of the Federal Reserve System. That is a terrible track record for smoothing out the economy.

One centralized entity should not be allowed to determine the price of money (ie the interest rates and money supply). There should be as many currencies as people want to create that compete with Federal Reserve Notes. Everyone knows that diversity is vital for biological systems. Nature is the model of the free market. Did pretty well in engineering humans. The same decentralized concept of allowing competition and cooperation to arise spontaneously without arbitrary political rules is vital to human well being.

My belief is that greed is much better than violence. Everyone wants more than they deserve or is possible. That's fine. Using coercion to get one's way actually limits what one can get, otherwise cooperation would not have developed in evolution. Violence is slowly on its way out. Mind you very slowly. Still, every little act people do to reduce the amount of violence in their interactions, the faster a more peaceful and prosperous world arrives.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

I would be advocating a single world wide currency .. based on human labour and the hourly time clock. I call it "the hour-coin" one hours work earns one hour-coin , worldwide.. with out prejudice .. of course this is a different discussion ..

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

That is fine if you want to propose that system, and people want to voluntarily join you. What matters though is this: if I want to pursue a different system, will you allow me the freedom to pursue what I want?

If not, your system is tyrannical. You cannot assume to be wise enough to know what is best for every individual, ie all individuals.

I don't know if you know the problems of centralized planning, but this is where your thinking is leading. Centralized planning leads to problems calculating the price of goods and services.

In your model, where is the incentive to improve production? You still have the problem of determining when someone has done an hour of work and another has not. Otherwise, I could spend an hour making one loaf of bread and earn the same pay as someone who bakes ten loaves. If you centrally determine that 10 loaves is the minimum quota per hour to be paid, then what is the incentive to do better? If you decide that one loaf is worth 1 unit and 10 loaves is worth 10 units, then guess what happens? People have an incentive to bake more than there is demand for. How will you calculate the demand for bread? How will you determine how much bread each person deserves?

The truth is that the free market where individuals decide what the value of goods and services is leads to the most prosperity. Centralized planning always creates problems of incentives and disincentives that perversely affect supply and demand.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

well with efficiency experts in place watching and fine tuning the sytem ..and with prices calculated collectively .. if you are making one loaf and someone else is makin ten.. you will probably be designated to a position better suited to your talents / interests ..

it is a system of fairness and equality .. how successful it will be depends entirely on the people involved .. I have no control over that .. if everyone sits on their ass and refuses to work for fear they may be working harder than the next perso n .. so be it .. than nothing gets done .. no food , no clothing , no shelter .. the world falls a part .. at least this is what you see happening .. myself , I see somewhat of a different outcome .. one not so bleak .. I see someone getting up doing a days work ..and I see others following this lead .. and soon everyone will be at their best..

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

Do you want this system for your relationships in life? For your romantic partner? For your friends? You want experts to decide who is good for you?

Why should goods and services be different?

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 10 years ago

More globalization ... your are clueless.

[-] 1 points by voluntaryist (5) 10 years ago

How much globalization should there be? Which centralized power would be wise enough to determine what is best for all individuals?

I hear your good intentions. Now can you answer these questions? Would you like for your freedom of movement to be determined by others?

Consider this too: what would happen if there were no political boundaries and individuals could travel to wherever they wanted? What happens to the trade of goods and services now? I predict a much more equitable world with much more opportunity. That sounds like globalization to me. However, I don't mean one world government. I mean no coercive government anywhere. Only governments one wants to join voluntarily.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 10 years ago

the booms and busts are caused by inflation, and inflation is caused by printing More cheap money. Cheap money is simply the money the fed has already printed which is not backed by anything physical (debt-money) ...Its just 1's & 0's... (the money issued is -already- debt, now add interest)

booms and busts are just expansions of the money supply... followed by a contraction of money supply, as the banks stop lending.

You have to understand the market cycle to understand how the booms and busts are created. The fed creates booms and busts by keeping interest rates way too low... (too low to lend for a profit, as a banker ....and so low that its a risk to park money in over-leveraged banks long-term, at such low interest rates that you lose purchasing power due to inflation in the long run, as a customer) ...and printing cheap money, which eventually forces the market to correct itself.

But they wont even let the market correct itself. Instead they prop everything up by printing more and more cheap money. (backed by nothing physical) This is debt-money (because its not real) and it dilutes the purchasing power of the dollar. Like watering down a bottle of vodka. dilution. inflating the money supply. creating the bubble. quantitative easing. fiat. 1's and 0's.

Eventually though, like the laws of physics, the correction in the market must come. and when it does, not all the printing in the world will be able to make an ass hairs difference on in the real world.

As for the bust cycles, and REAL volatility... we haven't seen anything yet, even with all the violent swings we already see. When the bailout/hopium/quantative-easing/anesthesia wears off we are going to wake up in the middle open heart surgery, and the volatility will become much much more chaotic everytime they quantitatively-ease and inject more baseless 1'2 and 0's into the money supply.

The inevitable correction which must come is going to be made worse if we issue more and more debt-money

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

the supply and demand theory .. proves the more money there is the higher the prices go .. it's similiar to the rat in the wheel " metaphor .. what we need to do is prevent prices from going up if we want civilization to better itself ..

I fully understand your comment .. how money causes inflation .. but my point is .. the money created out of low interest rates were to help borrowers achieve their needs .. but when you only have control over one side of the equation .. and not the other .. in this case the price goes up as soon as a buyer enters the market .. we need a control mechanism to prevent inflation of prices .. this is looking at how the money is spent where you are looking at where it is coming from .. does this make sense to you ?

of course to put a CAP on capitalism profits .. is like CRUCIFICATION of the holy one .. but really it is just correcting a flaw in the system .. it would work .. it would improve the overall function of capitalism.

thanks for listening

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 10 years ago

Good to meet you!

the prices go up because it takes more dollars to buy things. Why.

because the dollar's purchasing power is going down, ithe dollar is being devalued through dilution, or cheap-money printing so it takes more of those dollars to make those purchases. Why.

Because they are printing money, expanding the money supply of dollars around the world. Inflation is an indicator of that. Thats what inflation -is- ...and when its not actually backed by any physical sort of assets, its only 1's and 0's.

Its like peeing in a half emptied bottle of booze so that the bottle is still full. But then you notice that it takes more to get you drunk than it did before. (and it even tastes bad too) Thats because you filled the bottle full of fluidity that wasn't backed up with actual alcohol... the bottle filling up was 'inflation.' and the inflation was caused by Cheap quantitative-peeing... lol

but then you also have to consider that Ben Bernanke admitted that inflation is actually a tax, too. So that throws another whole dimension into the illusion (a tax imposed on you by an institution that is not accountable to you, a tax by people you cannot vote in or out, which is why -congress- was given the power to issue currency, in the constitution.)

-In my opinion- the congress simply outsourced their responsibilities to an insulated unaccountable institution, rather than have the burden of imposing taxes openly on the people to pay for washingtons unfunded mandates themselves, and be held responsible for the debt by the people

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

hold on hold on .. you're not looking at this from the right perspective.

first all that money that is borrowed needs to be replaced /paid back. and as for purchasing power money would stay strong if there was a CAP on profits .. not this "run away inflation .. it is the seller that causes the inflation not the buyer .. with a profit CAP the buyers standard of living would go up because his dollar would go further .. thats a good thing from the buyers perspective .. what perspective are you looking at this from ?

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 10 years ago

yes the borrowed money must be replaced/paid back. But it was borrowed at interest, which means that there is always more debt created than money. Which means it cant be paid back there's not enough of it. Which means that we have to print more, so the money supply expands or inflates (printing) but its backed by nothing remember? So naturally the purchasing power of the dollar gets diluted. When dilution (printing at interest, because its a loan) happens, it takes more money to buy stuff. (Or get drunk on that bottle of booze) because the purchasing power of dollars gets diluted, through quantitative peeing not backed by alcohol content. Thats when the contraction happens. You cant get drunk off it anymore.

Its the fed creating the booms and busts. expansions of the money 'supply' (inflating the money supply) followed by the contractions in the 'value' of the money we are diluting.

Bottoms up

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

well I agree the interest rate does cause a certain amount of inflation , but surely it does not cause the boom to bust scenario .. that is caused by sudden extremely high profits .. and than gone is the money..

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 10 years ago

The instability comes from the govt's intervention, especially the Federal Reserve.

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 10 years ago

unstable, yes, but the boom-to-bust swings don't have to be severe. it's probable that attempts to eliminate them make them severe.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

it is also probable that the same response to a recurring problem is not the right response ... we need to CAP profits .. to prevent this sort of thing from happening again ..

[-] 1 points by kerbauer (74) 10 years ago

I agree! I think it would be a good idea to put a limit on what one person or corporation can hoard. Here is a thought... If you go over that limit, that money can still be yours, but you have to use it to lend out.

Some of the problem here is the selfish act of hoarding. We need to have a reasonable cap on how much money one can hoard. It is useless to everybody if one human being is keeping billions of dollars packed away while it is now impossible to get a loan to start up your own business.

If you were forced to lend out some of your obscene profits, money could flow back into places where it has dried up. I'm not saying you have to give the overage money away, but you would have to loan it out and not just hoard it.

We need to look at wealth in a reasonable way and truly ask ourselves how much money does one person really need in this world?!?!

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

I would like to think a CAP would leave the money in the hands of the poor where it is needed most .. and not let the rich take it all through unseen investment schemes and the like ..

thanks

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Communism is stable economic poverty

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

compare russia and brazil in 1915 and then again in 1980 - i don't think you theory holds up in this case

[-] 0 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

I don't know, the USSR, China under Mao, Eatern Europe, North Korea, Somalia, Vietnam, and Cambodia all seemed pretty poor under their communist rule.

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 10 years ago

None of it was Communism.

classless, moneyless, stateless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production.

Were they:

  • Moneyless? NO!
  • Classless? NO!
  • Stateless? NO!
  • Common ownership of the means of production? Partially!
[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

That's because they were in the socialist transition period. Communism is not anarchism where these things are abolishes over night. Under socialism, these things are kept but eventually whither away as they become obsolete and then you have communist utopia.

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 10 years ago

Karl Marx did not have Internet and his transition plan is outdated.

I can agree that big authoritarian government tends to get corrupted. Direct democracy on the other hand can't get corrupted no matter if it's small or big.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Also agree

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

agreed, but you did not respond to what i said - check it out. vietnam was bombed back to the stone age so not sure that is fair - same with cambodia. somalia and china - very poor countries in 1915 (as compared to usa, britian, or sweden) so also not sure that is the comparison you might want. soviet union and eastern europe - how about looking at them in 1980 and comparing them to brazil or bolivia or honduras or haiti - all nice capitalist countries with help from the good old us of a - seems to me that the eastern europeans lived better that the haitians - what do you think?

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

But there was no huge loss of life in those countries and now Brazil is becoming an economic power house.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

really - you need to do a bit of reading on the subject - and not just the usual capitalist press - huge numbers of deaths from all sorts of causes compared to eastern europe - as to brazil becoming a power house - first let's ask why (huge resources at a time when the price of commodities is through the roof for one) and i have another question - would you rather be some one in the bottom 50% in brazil or poland today (forget 1980 - there is no doubt then)?? where do you get your info??

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Really? 30 million in the Soviet Union because of Stalin's five year plans, 55 million dead because of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Neither of those counting WWII, that's a substantial amount of lives lost, and many Latin American countries were living under oppressive authoritarian dictatorships, which tended to be leftist, and that is not a free-market if the people arn't free. And to answer your question, Brazil because there is more growth with more job opportunities that could raise my standard of living.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

as i said you should do some reading here - also you are mixing apples and oranges - authoritarian gov't can be capitalist - they are political systems and economic systems - nazi germany was capitalist mostly. the authoritarian gov't of s a were not leftist - more like nazi regimes. more reading for you! as to where you might live - i doubt it - go there then tell me! here is chomsky on deaths in china and india - Noam Chomsky, for example, writes that Amartya Sen in the early 1980s estimated the excess of mortality in India over China due to the latter's "relatively equitable distribution of medical resources" at close to 4 million a year. Chomsky therefore argues that, "suppos[ing] we now apply the methodology of the Black Book and its reviewers" to India, "the democratic capitalist 'experiment' has caused more deaths than in the entire history of ... Communism everywhere since 1917: over 100 million deaths by 1979, and tens of millions more since, in India alone."[18]

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

There is a difference between capitalism and fascism. One is an economic system based around FREE-TRADE, which doesn't go hand in hand with authoritarian regimes, the other is an ideology based around devotion to the state and extreme nationalism, or in the Nazi's case, extreme racism. They are very different, I know people like to think fascism=capitalism, but really fascism=authoritarian corporatocracy while communism=authoritarian elitism. The only true system is democratic capitalism=freedom. Authoritarian governments suppress ALL types freedom (civil, pollitical, and economic).

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

you can have your own definition of course, but you are mixing political systems and economic systems - you can have a communist democracy or a capitalist dictatorship - here is what came up on the internet - cap·i·tal·ism/ˈkapətlˌizəm/ Noun:
An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. - now to chomsky's point!

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Chomsky is a linguist, not a political thinker. He likes to write about these things but he's a scientist, and facts are facts; millions died in these hard line communist country. Now, what I'm saying about communism is that it is inherently authoritarian while true capitalism is the only economic system for a true democracy.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

those are your opinions and not accepted definitions - so fine - have your own little story if you want about "true capitalism" - as to chomsky either you didn't read what he said or you are confused - make a counter point about capitalist india or stop writing to me - your opinion about chomsky is stupid so you can keep that to yourself also - are you a political thinker - what are your qualifications? if you can make comments on these matters so can those that are much more informed than you!

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Sorry, I guess you're right that was out of line for me. I just don't like Chomsky, he ruined the connection between the scientific and political community and now our planet is doomed to die partly because of him.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

so his views are a small minority but most scientists associate with him - makes sense to you??i guess you did not want a response but you have lost your mind - when is the last time you have read him in the ny times - 1970 - and which pols does he have an influence on?? few know his name. i don't think any of this can be supported by facts but most people on this site seem to think that what they say is enough. what you said is gibberish but you could try to respond to what he is saying - to point out where it is incorrect but i doubt you can so don't bother - this point - Well, it just seems that he tries to represent the whole scientific community and his views are a small minority in said community, but his outspoken anarchist views means most associate scientists with him. is such nonsense - he does not claim to speak for anyone - if you ever listened to him you would know at least that. secondly since he is an anarchist scientists associate with him - you are nuts!

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

wow - i think you have to explain that one a bit more

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 10 years ago

Well, it just seems that he tries to represent the whole scientific community and his views are a small minority in said community, but his outspoken anarchist views means most associate scientists with him. Look at the talks in Durban, increasingly, politicians refuse to listen to the people that know the situation the best, but Chomsky is having thesr politicians ignore science and some scientists now even believe they should never again be involved in politics because of him. His outspoken views have made the experts who could save our planet frightened to speak out because they could lose their respect in the community. That's why I don't like Noam Chomsky.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

and tens of millions were killed, so no other voices or idea's were allowed

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

We are not against capitalists, only bank executives and the like.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

True , capitalism with profit regulation would balance the system and provide stability and fairness.

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

Absoluely. The sheer greed of some people has gotten out of hand. The Occupy Movement is actually blowing off some steam. We intend to get the greedy ones and put them in prison though.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

and would be a disincentive to progress and advancement.....I guess you guys think that the things that move society forward just happen, haphazardly.....

Profit is what drives men to create and build.....again referenced by the historical, and recent, fall of profit-free societies....the problem is NOT profit, it's government intervention and lack of participation, contribution, and effort....

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

profit may drive men to create and build, but it is the poor man who does the actual work. so don't worry about how things will get done ..

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

no, the "poor" in this country don't do much work at all.....they get subsidy and support, to the tune of well over a trillion dollars a year...

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

the poor man on subsidy is still less of a burden on the middleman than the rich mans greed.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

really?....over a trillion dollars in federal spending per year says different

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

the top 1% holds 40 % of wealth .. that speaks louder .. with greater burden

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

because the practice sound financial skills......most weren't born with it...

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 10 years ago

when a foreign bank the "fed" controls it to their stock market advantage, yes it is. When properly regulated it runs better than any other ism. The gov needs to do its job correctly then it is just fine system. beats communism by a mile.

[-] 1 points by Arditum (37) 10 years ago

It seems people in America can only think about two two things at once. Two economic systems, two political parties... but as there is will, a fairer system can be devised that exceeds both communism and capitalism. If that wasn't true there wouldn't be hope for humanity anyway.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 10 years ago

The IOU system is better than what we have. Everyone writes their own IOU and you trade them. My IOU might read will furnish 12 brown eggs to the holder of this note before (add date) this date. that would be a piece of paper with VALUE. Unlike Federal reserve notes. Which rely on everyone else accepting them, (as they print them like play money) can you trade them for gold? yes but it is hard.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

Only when there is central planning. The booms and busts are all planned.

There is nothing that ordinary americans have done differently to deserve this recession. It was from central planning. And central planning is not capitalism. Its fascism.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

are you thinking about the central planning done by the bankers or governments - and which ones - the panic of 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1901, 1907 or did you have something else in mind?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

the current one

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

and the others don't count - how does your idea stand up to history - you got some explaining to do don't you think? were those planned?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

I wasnt around then, and I know how history writes itself, so theres really no point into diving into them.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

yes - the winners write history- what you have here is called a religious argument - don't bother me with the facts - i have my beloved idea and nothing will change my mind - not a well thought out position unless you are talking religion. seems to me you have a very tough case to make so that is why it is better to just give up. think your tea party david icke thoughts but keep them to yourself - or defend them

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

Well why dont you explain your beliefs then, wise ass? Let me guess- Im not worth your time.

And this is exactly whats wrong with the country- a bunch of attacking jack asses who only want to fight.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

I wasnt around then, and I know how history writes itself, so theres really no point into diving into them. - this is your idea of a debate - well sorry i hurt your feelings sonny boy - i posted my point - can you make yours or was that it? pretty obvious no? the country has financial panics from day one - boom and bust all the time - the one constant - capitalism - keynes fixed it somewhat but the rich couldn't stand it - read history - jackass - please no!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

Keynes is about saving money in good times too, something most forget.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

correct

[-] 0 points by REALamerican (241) 10 years ago

Actually Capitalism is what put America on top. Over regulation, misregulation, and greedy politicians all seeking to twist the system for themselves has caused a weird middle class vacuum. See middle class is essential for capitalism to work properly... aka NOT how it is working now. we need to put everything back to the way it was when our system was AMAZING. problem solved

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

we need to put everything back to the way it was when our system was AMAZING. problem solved -- and when was that - 1880 or 1965 or do you have something else in mind

[-] 0 points by REALamerican (241) 10 years ago

I mean the good times: economy booming, people respecting each other. I don't understand why people want to change things in the opposite direction of known success.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

ok, so when was that - your good times - 1880 or 1965 and why - i am not sure you know our history well but fill me in on what you are thinking - I mean the good times: economy booming, people respecting each other. when was that?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

All the profits should be funneled to the goverenment so they can than be distributed back to the people ..

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

not sure i agree here - all profits - even from the mom and pop grocery?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

well the point I was making was to let the government have the profits .. so they can redistribute the wealth. The elite are not redistributing enough .. because of their"no obligation " policy.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

i understand and agree to some extent - i don't really believe much in private charity for the same reason - bill gates should not decide where his billions should go but the democratic process should. so i doubt we disagree on the basic issue but what you said is a bit over the top don't you think?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

yes and no . the government has a history of spending everything they have, and that is great for the economy. they never save a penny.. and in this style of economics saving money is detrimental .. thats the main reason the elite are crippling our economy because they are not spending their profits .. have a nice day

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

not sure i agree here - clinton had a surplus so there goes your spending everything point. if you read james galbraith you will find that when the gov't runs a surplus that means it is taking money out of the economy - you are confusing gov't with business or household fnance - gov't is not the same. as to the elites again you are not thinking clearly - if they spent all their profits on luxury items it would not be good for the masses - the fact that the elite have that much money is the problem. you could make a case for some income inequality but not what we have today

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

he may of had a surplus .. but where did it go? Surplus usually doesn't last long .. and when you think of how a budget is forecast on future tax collection , it is difficult to be exact .. with clinton the economy was better than they had thought it would be and thus a surplus . but interesting come back .. I don't think anyone would say the governemnt saves money .. compared to the elite .. they are polar opposites .. of course they both take from the middle..? but one gives back to the middle freely while the other hoards.

definitly the rich have too much money ..and its been my argument all along to cap profits and prevent that much money from reaching the top.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

so we agree mostly as i said before - now the question is how! it would be nice to get to a point where we have driven the rich back so far we disagree

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

the question is how ..

well , it will certainly not happen unless we make it happen . through out history there have been rich and poor. the rich are definitly not going to "wield the sword of our salvation" [ taken from sinclair novel ].

This will be a fight to the finish .. no other way ?

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

Wow...you are out of your mind.....

you think 15+ trillion in debt is a good thing, and saving money is detrimental?

Your idea's are detrimental....WOW!

[-] 0 points by D7ame2Uv (116) 10 years ago

Capitalist economies are generally quite stable without the issuance of fake money.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

like which ones?

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 10 years ago

We were doing just fine before the government started to regulate EVERYTHING.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

can you give me a time frame - the 1880's or the 1960's

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 10 years ago

1850's on up when progressives came out of the woodworks

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

and how do you account for the panics of 1857, 1873, 1893, 1901 and 1907 - doesn't sound like things working well to me - look at the causes of the populist movement and it doesn't seem like everything is fine - why did the progressives come out of the woodwork?

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 10 years ago

That is exactly what I was saying. It was an expression. Progressives were people that wanted the government to regulate things and they just started to appear in force at the same time. Thus the government started to regulate.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

i am having trouble making sense out of your comments but ok - this -We were doing just fine before the government started to regulate EVERYTHING. - does not seem to square with what you just said. i would be helpful to think clearly and express yourself clearly

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 10 years ago

The progressives advocated for stronger regulations and they appeared on the scene in the latter part of the 1800's. The government started to regulate around the same time.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 10 years ago

this - We were doing just fine before the government started to regulate EVERYTHING. - makes it sound like you are against regulation

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 10 years ago

I am. I though that was clear.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 10 years ago

And whose other system is stable?

[-] 1 points by Arditum (37) 10 years ago

A system where being filthy rich is illegal.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 10 years ago

But what is filthy rich. On another thread I asked how much is enough and was told $500,000. would you agree with that?

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

sure there are cycles...just like the growth of a natural organism, but the severe cycles are caused by the interference of government...Like the Great Depression and the Recession of 2008....both infused huge sums of money into a weak economy, while attempting at the same time to control the markets...and both failed...it took WW2 to end the effects of the great depression.....hopefully it won't take the same to end this one..

The recession of 2001, as a result of the Enron and DoCom Bubbles the losses to the overall system exceeded those of 2008..but were distributed differently, and the government response was not to constrict the markets, or launder money through government before allowing the private sector to use it....hence, the 8+ million jobs created from 2004-2007, increase in GDP, and the INCREASE in net revenue to the treasury, with larger shares being paid by the wealthiest americans (which you say you want, but not when the benefit too, I guess...I guess you want more taxes as punishment)

2004-2007 was the largest period of growth in our nations history...

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

but you are missing a very important point, the intentions of the government was to help the economy and eleviate the pressure on the poor . and at the same time not take awa yfree market capitalism. you see the first two steps would have worked if he [the government] would have placed a cap on profits .. because now all the money infused into the economy went straight to the banker at the top of the pile ... where we wait for that money to trickle down into society at the bankers [elite] whim.. we have become servants to the masters. and the masters are very greedy, controlling sociopaths.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

Perhaps you have become a servant, but this is still a country where hard work and determination get you ahead....not for people who quit before they begin, or make a lot of excuses, which, it appears, is what you are...and definitely what OWS is...

[-] 1 points by HarryCrew07 (433) 10 years ago

hard work and determination may get you ahead. But really, hard work and determination can also leave you broken and penniless. Such is life

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

the hard working galley slave gets an extra slice of bread says the master. owning the ship

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

I think Lincoln said it best..in 1861:

there is not of necessity any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States a few years back in their lives were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

perhaps in Lincolns time that were true .. but he also abolished slavery , a practice that went on for nearly 300 years ..

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

300 years? The Egyptians had slaves, the Babylonians, and long before that...and still today in the same area's where African Slaves were sold to slave merchants the practice continues......

As for working toward goals and improving your life, it's as true today, as ever...you might want to look at the successes of today..they are no different, the Forbes 400 is 2/3's self-made....no inheritance or special favor....just hard work, foresight, intelligence and determination....

When you believe it's not true...it becomes not true...for you

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

Lincoln wasnt talking about fortune 500 .. he could not have imagined such wealth .. he was talking one farmer at a time scenario .. none the less our problems today are our problems not his ..

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

I think you don't know what you're talking about...Cornelius Vanderbilt preceded Lincoln...and was worth...in modern equivalence 161 billion..John Astor was worth 116 billion in today's terms in 1848.....so, you are wrong, again

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

well I stand corrected .. yes the problems of inequality definitly existed in Lincolns time and beyond .. hell the revolution was about inequality .. kinda .. but the point I was trying to make was .. today we are faced with correcting this inequality .. and lincolns example .. of one employee does not solve the problem ..

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

but LIncoln's words were not about an employee, they were about self-directed men...

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

still doesn't solve inequality ..

Do you think Lincoln would be opposed to SS ?

or the human rights we have today that were not back than ?

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 10 years ago

again....the same "rights" exist today

and YES, I think Lincoln would be opposed the the social welfare state of today....

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

I disagree . Social Security has improved tremendously since Lincolns time ..