Forum Post: difference between Capitalism and Casino Capitalism
Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 7, 2011, 11:13 a.m. EST by cannuck
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I was fortunate enough to stumble onto a story from a link that led me to this site - for which I hope I and all will be eternally grateful.
In reading through the pages of comments and posts, I can see the search for a common theme, and I believe I can give that to you (and the world). What is very, very wrong-headed would be ending "capitalism" (which, for the sake of this discussion, let me define as "employing private capital for the purpose of creating wealth". What is VITAL to the discussion is appreciating the difference between creating wealth and redistributing wealth. Creating wealth happens when you add value to a resource or deliver a service essential to support adding value (my definition which anyone is quite welcome to use).
Wall Street today (and in the past to varying degrees) does very, very little capital placement, but is focused - AND HAS FOCUSED THE ECONOMY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD - on redistributing wealth without the inconvenience of creating one penny of added value. Time for another definitive term: "CASINO CAPITALISM".
In its endless worship of greed for the sake of greed, Wall Street "invents" vale ("market value") of equities (note, it does NOT and can not appear as a calculation on a balance sheet, just a note) by trading equities back and forth - shifting money between winners and losers (and skimming a fair chunk of change for themselves). Trading equities amounts to nothing more than betting on which way a stock (whose "investment" was placed long, long before in the actual company) will go when the advice given by the very same Wall Street analysts prods it to move. To that end, they invent scam after scam (derivatives, for example, which are just a bet on a bet) to hype the ridiculous activity to scam even more money from suckers. The end result - AND THIS IS THE PUNCH LINE - is that Casino Capitalism gives Wall Street full access to the cash for wealth redistribution scams that Main Street (the real capitalists) need for investment in businesses that add value and create wealth.
So what should the rallying cry be? "SAVE CAPITALISM FROM CASINO CAPITALISTS".
Keep focusing on the ultra-left (remember, Marxist socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried) and you play into the hands of the Uniparty that will keep us all bickering about "left" this and "right" that policy and nobody will get to the real issues.
We have a chance here to do what partisan politics and rule-by-special-interest will NEVER do: open the public's eyes to what is really happening in the economies of the world.
As a Marxist, I would agree with certain sentiments in this post and disagree with others.
I think we can all agree (regardless of whether "saving capitalism" is a desirable outcome) that the people and powers who are in charge now (i.e., Wall Street) are nothing short of thieves. They are robbing us blind and mocking us while they do it. It is true that this is not a left-right issue; this is a right-wrong issue.
I also agree that for this event to have mass appeal, those of us who are "anti-capitalist" will have to accept that we are at the margins- and only by uniting with "pro-capitalists" who also recognize this outright thievery will we ever make an impact.
That said, I would point out that what is presented in this country as left-right is actually meaningless. Real leftism does exist, but the Capitalists have succeeded so completely in suppressing it that even people who should be championing its causes dismiss it as irrelevant.
So, I say: lets start by uniting in the common cause of "taking out the trash." Then, when the oppressed can finally speak openly and freely about where to go from there, there will be plenty of time for me to convince you that Capitalism is the problem, and eliminating it is the only solution ;-) Solidarity! Western Slope Marxist
This protest is not about ending capitalism (although capitalism is, to me, reprehensible, in any degree - owning things is not more valuable than doing work. Work is the only thing which adds value to this world). This protest is about ending corruption, which is what has engendered the casino capitalism you describe. Corruption repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, corruption allows high-frequency trading, corruption got banks off the hook for risk they willingly undertook in worthless mortgages, corruption is what makes the SEC an agent of Wall Street and not its regulator. We demand an end to corruption now, the rest we will take care of later. ;)
Casino capitalism is the natural consequence of monopoly capitalism. As wealth concentrates it looks for more power and more wealth and it will take over any "democracy" for its own use. Only a system of "economic and political democracy" can be just and fair save the planet.
"SAVE CAPITALISM FROM CASINO CAPITALISTS" is a fine sentiment but it does not describe or even imply any specific action to be taken. I think the rallying cry MUST describe, or at least imply specific actions that can be objectively observed and measured. For example, "eliminate private funding of election campaigns" describes an outcome and implies a set of actions that can be taken and objectively observed to determine whether the objective is being met.