Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: Many claim to be Pro-Capitalist, but when asked what they know of economics , they respond,"very little."

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 4, 2011, 6:47 p.m. EST by FriendlyObserverA (610)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

How can someone advocate something they have truly very little understanding of ?

Is this a result of Brainwashing ?



Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

Capitalism in a nutshell

  1. I have an idea for a great product
  2. I have no collateral so the banks will not lend me money
  3. I sell shares of stock to people willing to risk their money
  4. My idea fails and the investors lose their money. I owe them nothing
  5. My idea succeeds and we all make money!

Crony Capitalism in a nutshell

  1. I have an idea that really sucks.
  2. I have friends in high places in D.C.
  3. My friends in D.C. give me Capital
  4. My company fails because it was a bad idea.
  5. The tax payers pay the bill.
[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

Capitalism in a nutshell:

1) I have an idea for a great product

2) I have no collateral so the banks will not lend me money

3) I sell shares of stock to people willing to risk their money

4) My idea fails and the investors lose their money. I owe them nothing

5) My idea succeeds and we all make money!

The current system in a nutshell:

1) My product has become really successful; I want to get bigger and make more of it.

2) I start buying out everyone else in the business I'm in.

3) I start buying out as much of my supply chain as I can get my hands on.

4) Now that I'm completely integrated I start cutting costs left and right, so some of my ops go overseas (lower worker salaries, among other things) and I start cutting corners on my domestic ops.

5) I start hanging around DC and send people to hang around the legislature in the states I run my company out of.

6) I buy myself a few officials here and there and whaddya know; I'm now taking in a cool ten million a year in subsidies to do what I've already been doing.

7) Some little punk wants to move in on my market, but without the supply chain that I already own he's just going to flop anyway and his failure is explained away as the market in action.

8) People start to bitch about asthma in the towns by my plants and dead fish start washing up on the riverbanks after high rains. The EPA wants to know what the hell is going on.

9) I find myself a pet Libertarian and bankroll his candidacy for Congress. All of a sudden the EPA is so busy trying to explain why it deserves to exist that it can't bother me anymore.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

wow, you are one misguided young man.

My definition:

I make t-shirts. I sell them for what people are willing to buy them at.


[-] 1 points by MalCalder (70) from San Francisco, CA 12 years ago

Sorry, but it's not capitalism just because it's a business involving monetary market transactions.

And even if you were to re-describe your t-shirt business explicitly in the context of a capitalist system, the description wouldn't be of capitalism unless it were a description of the system itself, and not just your business.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Ok, so clarify how my t-shirt business fits into your different economic models...

Cant? Shocking.

[-] 1 points by MalCalder (70) from San Francisco, CA 12 years ago

Your attitude suggests that you're not serious, so I'll not waste my time on a serious response. Goodbye.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Great way to escape, taking the "moral high ground".

You should run for office.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

Yes, That is a simple definition it is true but it does not include investment.

It is private capital investment that enables you to go from selling your t-shirts out of the back of your van to being a multimillion dollar t-shirt company like "life is good"

Investing in ownership via stock is an important part of capitalism.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

It is, but the vast majority of businesses in the USA are not publicly owned. Many of the major ones arent either.

Its a market driven system. If Im on time, and my work is good, I get to charge a higher price than the other guy cutting your grass.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

A company does not have to be public to sell stock. Every company that incorporates declares an amount of stock, even if you are a one man private corporation that sells landscaping services.

We sold shares of our company to private equity firm so we could buy equipment. We chose to do this because we did not have the collateral to get a large enough loan and we preferred not having the debt payments.

Capital investment and the concept of stock is an important part of the capitalist system.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Good point. Who determines the value of the stocks you sold? How many did you sell.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

In fact some companies give stock options to their employees annually. They longer you stay the more of the company you own. It is a great way to encourage loyalty.

[-] 1 points by Steve15 (385) 12 years ago

Fascism in a nutshell When that capitalist becomes so successful he controls the government changes the laws that oppose him and impose laws that oppress the taxpayers and his competition. Thank you for the now complete American capitalist analysis.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

both examples were bad ideas that made you money ..

can you compare the big THREE . socialism , communism and capitalism .. I know you can .. if anyone can you can !

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

Well that would be a long post but I will attempt an abbreviated comparison. When comparing capitalism to socialism and communism the key difference is private vs state ownership.

Under a socialist system the means of production and distribution of goods and services is owned and controlled by the state. Under capitalism these are handled by the private sector. To communists socialism is a step on the road to communism. Under a communism the actual goods are owned in common. There has never been a communist system on this planet.

[-] 1 points by TheEvilFuckaire (208) 12 years ago

Hey Joe what if the state and corporations merge and have control of production and distribution of goods. The corporations may be "private" but when they own the state they become the state. That is fascism our current system. And by the way the Natives were happy communists before whites showed up.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 12 years ago

Ah Fascism...

As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power.

Fascism controls indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalizes property explicitly, fascism does so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”

To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation.

Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

well thankyou very much ..

I like the idea of communism .. where the goods are owned by the common .. and therefore the profits would be shared amongst the common ..I would think .. where as socialism the state has the profit .. and capitalism the private owner [aka monarch ] owns the profits and goods ..

it's a big blurry mess really .. the truth has been so distorted .. and people misled ..

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

It must be, I don't think most people advocating popular economic policies would even know how to properly draw a supply curve if you put a graph in front of their nose.... and probably not even if you helped them out by labeling it P/Q.

People seem to just know that communism is bad, and since there is a communist/capitalist dichotomy with nothing in the middle... well the obvious conclusion is that capitalism is good... plus, nobody wants that big bad government boogyman stealing from the few people who might be in a position to put them to work, what if those people move to China or Somalia instead? Then we're hooped.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

But yet .. go to a communist country and they will say Capitalism is bad .. we are both brainwashed to some degree .. do we really know what communism means ? and how it compares to capitalism .. and for that matter do we really understand capitalism..

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

I think no to both, I mean most people seem to think Communism is the same thing as Socialism... completely ignoring China.

I once learned in my psychology class that if you repeat something often enough it comes true, and it actually seems to work so well its frightening. Soon everyone will think Syria caused 9/11 and the Economy was awesome under GWB.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

and the Capitalists with all their wealth repeatedly claimed capitalism is great .. and the whole nation began to chant .. " capitalism is great " .. it's a movement in itself .. thanks for the comment

[-] -1 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Government steals from me and I'm a(gasp) evil, exploiting,harnessing slaveowner that runs a small business and (double gasp almost fainting) tries to MaAKE A EVIL PROFIT!! I'm sure you people would love to burn me as an evil capitalist. While I agree that a lot of pro capitalists really don't understand it. Well, you Marxist trash don't understand it either.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

Marxist trash, lol.

Here is a hint, as Q increases P goes down... so it has a [ ... ] slope?

Don't worry, I don't want to burn you. I just would appreciate if you would figure out a way to share some of your success with your fellow human beings.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

And I couldn't be doing that as an evil business owner now could I?

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

I dunno, you tell me?

I can only look at the facts, people like the Koch brothers have more money than any human being could reasonably need in 10 lifetimes... and they spend millions trying to screw up the system so its easier to make more.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

The vast majority of employers in this country are small business. Before you people start bashing business and capitalism you might want to know that many of us business people are not millionaires running the government exploiting the worker blah blah more Marxist garbage. Yes many large corporations need their political influence reined in. Many changes are needed to make our country better. But bashing all business is wrong. Unless you marxists really do want to destroy the kulaks.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

I'm not a marxist, or against small business.

If your making a middle class salary running a business, then I don't think you're the target of OWS.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Ah but it all goes together. And if how much profit I make has to be limited to be a "good guy" who is going to determine the "acceptable to the People" amount?

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

You tell me, how much money do you honestly need to make each year before you would be content? 1 Million, 500 Million?

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

In the vast majority of small business those numbers mean nothing. We are not huge corporations. How much? What percentage is acceptable to your kind?

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

Well to my kind, I'm be more than happy with 100K rolling in. In fact, I would have a great deal of difficulty finding things to spend that much on. Million a year, I don't even know what I would do with it.

I certainly wouldn't be complaining about tiny tax hikes if my bank account was already bloated with millions of dollars.

If we have to stick with Capitalism, I'm all for a system based on lots of small businesses. Allowing corporations to get as large and powerful as they have is a mistake.

[-] 2 points by exmachina (94) 12 years ago

Of necessity, all societies must become more frugal, preferably at the cost of the financiers.

Here, Australian public enterprise took on its own special quality of pragmatic enthusiasm from the marriage of ideological reluctance and economic necessity that arose from appreciation of the effectiveness of convict public works, the inadequacy of private capital resources, and the challenge of a harsh physical environment. Government business enterprises, statutory authorities, and a much more socialist society are essential, for both efficiency and fairness. A lesson the US mindset will have to learn.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

yes the american mindset .. does seem to be their handicap.. it may bring them down in the end .. unless they can let go of old beliefs and embrace new ideas .. which seems they have great difficulty with.

[-] 1 points by humanprogress (55) 12 years ago

it doesn't take an economist to figure that we're in a hole and those who know about economics and have control over it are using it against the majority.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

But really only half are in a hole. For every dollar in debt is a dollar in someones pocket.

[-] 1 points by Truthcipher (62) 12 years ago

Prerequisites of ideal capitalism:

1) Perfect Competition 2) Perfect Information 3) Perfect Mobility 4) Firms Maximize Profit 5) Consumers Maximize Utility 6) No externalities in production 7) No externalities in consumption 8) Tastes are exogenous

I would argue that ideally speaking, this would be the best economic system available. The problem, we do not live in ideal but in reality. Think about what type of society would actually be needed to approach ideal capitalism.

1) Strong anti-monopoly laws 2) Complete unfettered access to the internet by every human 3) No Nations, Citizenship or Local Regulation 4) This actually is what our current capitalism already does well (1 out of 8 yeah) 5) Everyone needs to be educated concerning how to manage money 6) Strong environmental laws with strict enforcement. If a companies production negatively affects any person they need to be responsible for it. 7) For scarce resources there would need to be limits sets to how much one can consume of something. 8) Severe limits on marketing. Things are bought for their use value, not prestige value.

But to your original point.

Capitalism = Private ownership over the means of production. Socialism = Private ownership of private goods mixed with state control of social goods (i.e. health care + higher educatio) Communism = State control over all means of production.

I think most people here are against centralized power and so against communism because it advocates for a large government. I think most people here are for socialism as it allows for free enterprise while protecting health care and education as a right not a commodity.

I think most would support capitalism if it actually operated according to the ideal listed above. The frustration seems to be that capitalism operates like communism today in that strong centralized power structures (large multi-national corporations) control everything with the help of the state.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

how does this model of ideal capitalism benefit the poor working man at the bottom who will always be there .. if not joe than his brother bob .. capitalism exists by slaving it's employees .. I can not see how you missed this ? and if you can what provisions in this model would benefit the man at the bottom ?

[-] 1 points by Truthcipher (62) 12 years ago

I think you are right, that is something that would need to be addressed. I guess this is a limited ideal pertaining to business operation.

But to your point, those who wish to work a 40 hour week would need to be given access to a job with a living wage.

[-] 1 points by blazefire (947) 12 years ago

I think there are essentially only really 2 problems with capitalism. And otherwise I think it is brilliant. No, I'm not an economist, so, I'm afraid my response, through no fault of my own, lacks a certain insight, however, I have a voice, so I will use it.

  1. Profit is not simply a measure of benefit to community.

  2. The social classes.

Now I'm just a common man, but it seems to me that those 2 points have ramifications, that are worth clamouring about. And, I will also add here that whilst it is true that occupy started off in response to American taxation issues, it has spread much further, further than simple national tax issues, further even than American economics, or even economics, or America itself. This movement discusses everything from economics to permaculture and everything in between, and on a global platform. Is it therefore relevant for me to understand economic science, to be a supporter, or to talk of it?

Btw... here are some others who would really like a say!


And, thnx for supporting... WOOOT! Occupy everything!!!!!

[-] 1 points by VeniVidiVici (14) 12 years ago

Please help us petition the White House to stop Obama from imposing harsh economic sanctions against a promising young African nation whose innocence has been vindicated by Wikileaks. Your signature can really save the lives of 5 million people. Thank you.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

how about production for use and not for profit

[-] 1 points by theCheat (85) 12 years ago

Please do not reproduce as we do not need any more morons in this world.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

you must be very bright - having a good day? nothing better to do - no friends - wonder why?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Ha I know right. Like that wont sap the human spirit

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

a perfect example of incoherency misleading and deception ..designed to alter ones mind.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

very simple idea - can't comprehend it - sorry. profits make the world go around? i guess you must be an economist - the dismal science!

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

profits sink the world into plunder .. not go around

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 12 years ago

agreed, although some profit can be good - should not usually be private profit - a co op that produces profit can buy new machines etc to improve the work place. so what is the problem with production for use?


[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Love and kindness should be simple to understand, no? Yet, we have to advocate for it all the time.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

as simple as it may be , there are an increasing number of divorce .. people are not catching on .. wonder why that is

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

values. love and kindness are values. some people place more value on other things like status and money. It's all about values. this whole movement is about values.

[-] 0 points by RMD2theteeth (11) 12 years ago

This is the pot calling the kettle black right here. You occupiers are the single most economically illiterate bunch of jack-legged whiners outside of Washington D.C. Heck, you guys probably think capital is heterogeneous. You clearly have only the vaguest notions of how wealth is created, something akin to the origin myths of a cargo cult, yet you clamor for its destruction.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

wealth is created by harnessing hard working individuals and finding ways to profit from their "fruits of labor"

[-] 1 points by RMD2theteeth (11) 12 years ago

I rest my case based on the superficiality of that response.What of the nature of capital? Heterogeneous or homogenous?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

rest your case than .. I do not rest mine.. Capitalism is hardly understood by the very many who advocate it.. in fact by the very people in harness will fight to defend it. completely brainwashed and misled .. by none other than people like yourself who speak of wealth with disengenuous intent

[-] -1 points by chestRockwell (-4) 12 years ago

It's kind of like OWS people talking about Wall Street, very little understanding.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

ows is like the ouija board game, where the ouija moves across the board pointing to specific loactions trying to tell us something.

with ows .. they have a grievence with the inequality of wealth distribution ..and they are pointing us to wall street

[-] -1 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Many here are pro Marxist and obviously have no idea what that entails.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

enlighten us ..

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Try reading some of the posts on this site. Educate yourself.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

well off hand , I am aware Karl Marx was intent on improving the human condition by removing the power of the capitalist elite.

[-] -1 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Your point?

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 12 years ago

I will take it .. the point !