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Forum Post: Tragedy of the Commons- Why Socialism Won't Work

Posted 9 years ago on April 6, 2012, 7:05 a.m. EST by toonces (-117)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen.




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[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

"Why Socialism Won't Work ?! WTF ?!! Isn't the 'Title' & the subsequent 'Post', a 'non sequitur' really ?!

In truth "In their demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy, WTF do Americans think they know about 'Socialism' ?!" & thus : http://occupywallst.org/forum/in-their-democrazy-demockerycy-wtf-do-americans-th/ ~{:-)

Also "In Defence Of The 'Broad Church of Socialism' against the Ignorant, Prejudiced & Plain Mean Spirited !!!" : http://occupywallst.org/forum/in-defence-of-the-broad-church-of-socialism-from-t/ ~{;-)

'commune bonnum' est 'summum bonnum' et 'per ardua ad astra' ... ~~~ *

[-] 2 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 9 years ago

So right. The tragedy of the commons is one why neither pure capitalism or anarchy can work.

[-] 1 points by childseyes (85) 9 years ago

Perhaps allowing authority to dictate values is the basic flaw with the concept of labels like, "anarchy", "capitalism" used to legitimize themselves rather than logical long term planning and observance of human nature.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

We know that every time socialism has been tried, it has failed. In the process, it reduces the individual freedom. The standard of living will be reduced for everyone to make everyone equally miserable. Socialism fails for the individual.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

So what are you doing with your treasured and much vaunted 'freedom' ?! Anything vaguely useful ?!! Consider, are you displaying the classic inability to discern and differentiate "freedoms" ?!!!

There is the notional, idealistic and abstract "freedom" to do anything we please any time we want to and then there are 'freedoms from' - untreated sickness ; abject want ; poverty ; deprivation ; ignorance ; oppression ; a lonely and miserable old age etc.

Your utterly blinkered, pre-programmed, prejudicial and 'received' views on socialism are hollow and empty and lack any empathy or intellectual rigour. Scandinavians, Northern Europeans, Southern Europeans, Canadians and millions of other people all round the world can very easily show you how your 'assertions' are wrong and misguided (at best), tho' I myself will refrain from doing so - as I know any words will fall on pre-deafened ears.

ad iudicium ...

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

... and they are all turning away because they cannot afford the socialist society. I can discern where freedom is and where it is not. To have government force us to work for others is slavery, and that is exactly what socialism is... Slavery to the government.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

IF you think that the vast majority of the people of Europe "are all turning away because they cannot afford the socialist society" ... then you are severely mistaken - at best or a 'mind-managed and propagandised recipient of pre-programming' at worst !!!

The European 0.01% and their Neo-Liberal Ideological 'austerity assaults' on The European 99% are being actively resisted all over Europe and when you say "cannot afford", people throughout Europe are increasingly realising that the issuance and democratic (remember That Word ?!) control of 'money and it's supply' has to be The Real Matter under consideration from now on as "cannot afford" has to be now answered with "Why Not ?!" & "Who says so ?!!" ...

ad iudicium ...

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Perhaps you have not heard...

Time is running out to rescue the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/project_syndicate/2011/05/can_europe_be_saved.html

Much has been made in recent months of the sovereign crisis facing a number of European countries, collectively referred to as the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain, respectively). http://seekingalpha.com/article/201243-why-the-piigs-crisis-matters

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

IF you somehow believe that what is happening in Ireland & throughout Southern Europe is somehow due to 'a failure of socialism' then you are so wrong that it is simply beyond belief. Your understanding is severely mixed up IF you believe that 'Socialism' rather than Neo-Liberal Economics and Larcenous & Fraudulent Banking Practices are to blame for the situation in much of Europe and The USA.

Re. the recent events in Europe and America, lately the 'Socialism' that there has been is for The Banks whereby Costs, Losses and Risks have been 'socialised' as Profits, Gains and Opportunity have (and continues to be) Privatised.

For example, see if you can get your head around :

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

So in other words banks have recklessly sold investment products that were based in crap...and they knew all along they had all the upside potential...and we of course had all the down-side. I'm new to all this stuff...... but I can follow that. ;-)

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Yes mate. Private Banks made private deals selling fraudulent "innovative financial products" to each other and to others and should have been allowed to go bust throughout The Western World ... however completely, totally and utterly because THEY OWN the politicians, governments and the 'regulators' - all of us (The 99%) got saddled with bailing out the BA$TARD BANK$TER$ and we all paid for it back then with instant and massive bail outs from the public purse (£850 Billion / $1.4 TRILLION in The UK alone) ... And Now Once Again as all over Europe, US and elsewhere we all suffer and strain under Enforced Austerity - as TPTB try to balance their 'Bullshit Books' !!!

The utter f**kin' injustice of it is why OWS came into being !!

Watch "Inside Job" (link below) & much more will be revealed !

fiat justitia ...

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago


[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

They are spending too much money. They spend the money on social programs. Ergo, they are failing because of the money they spend on their social programs.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

It appears that you are inhabiting a bubble of self-reinforcing 'arguments', impervious to rhyme or reason. "Ergo", I recommend that you watch the following award winning documentary film in order to reacquaint yourself with exactly what 'OWS' and this forum are all about.

Good luck with disabusing yourself of your 'received wisdom' Corporate Programming.

multum in parvo ...

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Government is a black hole that just eats money. It is worse than a boat.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

'Enlightenup' and tell us what ever happened to "Government OF The People ; BY The People ; FOR The People" & the concept of "Democracy" ?!!!

Where does all this "money" stuff come from ?!!

Who issues & decides how much of it there is ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

What about Anarchism? Do you see that as a failure towards individuality or a champion of it?

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Failure. You need to have the individual and his property protected by an authority.

[-] 2 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

So an individual is only so valid as his property is vast?

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

No, but the individual cannot expect to have his property protected by those in charge are not free to live their life as they would choose. They would have to constantly stay to guard their possessions or live under a bridge.

[-] 2 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

So if we agree that an individual's worth isn't comprised of his possessions or wealth, then we can both agree that possessions and wealth are something we need to question. Are possessions necessary? Why? What is the origin of possessions? Is it possible to live life without possessions? If you didn't have possessions, then it wouldn't at all be necessary to have someone to "protect" it.

Now, wouldn't it be nicer to live in a society in which you didn't have to worry if someone would steal your possessions? That is what we are talking about when we talk about socialism. After all, in a socialist society, the amount of people who would need to steal to survive would diminish greatly.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 9 years ago

most people do not steal to survive in this society. they steal to have the extras.. most anyone can get free food, a homeless shelter and a voucher for goodwill clothes. there for,, all the stealing is for something other than survival. and in a socialist society it would be no different. because it is human nature to want better and more. which are states of being and therefore never satisfied. socialism would not change human behaviour

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

You are right. People who are under the boot of socialism wind up with no possessions. Everyone is equally miserable.

[-] 2 points by amanofnoimportance (82) from Orlando, FL 9 years ago

What happens when neighbors start sharing power tools around? Carpools to places?

I think the person you are replying to doesn't intend to say we should strip ourselves of all that we could use, but to rebuild our society and community web of interdependency to not hoard that which we might or possibly use in some indefinite time, but often do not, leaving others deficient and wanting.

The self-reliance fad has screwed us up terribly.

[-] 1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Wrong. Human beings were meant to be self reliant. Government winds up making them dependent on others.

[-] 3 points by amanofnoimportance (82) from Orlando, FL 9 years ago

You may say "wrong." You'll readily cite evidence to suit your view, just as I can to suit mine. Both will be "scientific."

Knowing that, I invite you to eschew all local assistance of any kind, favors, lent equipment, all altruism you may unexpectedly gain, inter-dependencies, symbioses, and any semblance of community, goodwill, concern, and all the like. Acquire all because of "just in case!" You must rely on only yourself.

Become the scientist yourself. See if you are right. I need not exchange words and fluff for argument's sake if you only put your stance to the test.

I'll prove nothing to you, and you'll prove nothing to me.

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 9 years ago

People act in communitic ways and capatilistic ways. Both are inherent to human behavior. We tend to share with our group we consider closest to us and if we have extra resources perhaps more especially if it builds goodwill with potential enemies. I forget thenobel laureate who wrote on. This a couple years ago but even communal sharing systems create intricate rules about hoe resources should be used. Non regulated capaitalim is where the idea comes from because profit becomes the motive rather than the community.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Being a part of society does not make one non self reliant. Just because you interact with others does not mean that you do not take care of yourself. What makes you dependent on society is when you take from society what you should be supplying for yourself... Government assistance is being dependent on society. Food stamps, welfare, social security, medicaid, medicare, public housing, most government jobs, are all people milking the societal cow.

[-] 1 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

It's not just government. Civilizations by it's nature makes us reliant on other people. Society is by it's essence a form of "socialism."

The only way to become completely self-reliant is to dismiss yourself entirely from society. Thoreau attempted this to some great effect.

Think about this: you are using the Internet. The Internet was built completely off of taxpayer dollars. Could you imagine a corporation investing money in something like the Internet which years ago was vague, at best ambiguously definable, and would cost billions in investment with no guarantee of return? That is the benefit of a social endeavor, and the Internet is proof.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

The internet was not built completely off taxpayer dollars. A very small network was put in place to serve some universities. Once TCP-IP was invented, anyone could buy a router and a connection and be connected. The internet is not a social endeavor, it is people being reliant upon themselves to purchase the equipment needed to participate, and then adding to the content of the information available.

[-] 1 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Who created the internet. The government. I'm sorry, but you are very wrong. I'm not coming at this with political bias. This is a fact--the Internet was built off of taxpayer money.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 9 years ago

I thought the former vice president Albert Gore created the Internet.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

They may have initially created it, but it was the private sector that built it to the point you and I can connect and have this conversation. This site is not publicly funded.... Errr, then again, knowing the way the obama administration likes to stir up trouble, maybe it is. We have one member admitting to being friends with Francis Fox Piven.

[-] 1 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Don't you see that's the problem? Our tax money funded the creation of the Internet--the CREATION of--without Corporate investment; and now rather than US making a cash payday on this, the corporations have free reign to get rich off of something that not they but WE created without paying us back.

[-] 0 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 9 years ago

Are we talking about communism? Please, you're being confusing.

Anyway, I met some very nice Native Americans on my trip. Their style of communism works very well, with a sort of feudal style democracy hybrid as government. It's not very practical for a large nation state, unless maybe we thought about a lot and I think the feudalism part would be odd to most people.

[-] -1 points by takim (23) 9 years ago

new generations of people that try to implement socialism think "they " can do it better. They cant because socialism is a system that can never succeed.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

I would tend to agree.

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 9 years ago

lol, way to take Econ 101 waaaay too seriously.

This tragedy of the commons is based on the assumption that human beings are inherently greedy pigs who can't work together. That's a very western view.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Nice to hear from one of the greedy pigs. Have a nice day, hog.

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 9 years ago

Hit a nerve I guess.

You know, you could quite easily look at the incredible mess plaguing almost every capitalist country on the planet and conclude it doesn't work either.

In fact, in another 30 years if there is a planet left to inhabit whatever remains of the human race will probably wonder how we thought that a system predicated on infinite exponential growth and driven by pure greed was a viable long term strategy in a world of finite resources.

The solution to the tragedy of the commons is very simple, a major cultural shift (i.e. public education campaign away from consumerism) combined with a government which actively manages resources for the common good. I don't mean socialism, but something other than mindless profiteering.

Instead we let advertisers tell people they need more and more products to fill the voids in their lives, and a government that lets large soulless entities do whatever the hell they want provided they can make a buck.

Take oil for example. Why is it that we have to drain every drop off the planet right-the-fuck-now? There is a finite supply. We don't need cheap plastic junk that just winds up in landfills anyway; and oil gets more valuable as time goes on. So less profit today, means more tomorrow.

Yet we just have to completely screw ourselves and leave nothing for future generations. So capitalism is not immune from the tragedy of the commons; it also leaves nothing behind... it just decides who gets what piece of the pie in the meantime, before its all eaten.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

You were the one who said you were "an inherently greedy pig" like you were proud of the fact.

Government managing resources... What you are talking about is communism. Communism and socialism has be the cause behind more people being exterminated than any other cause. Are you really comfortable with supporting a system that kills people just to make their system work? For the good of society?

[-] 3 points by alexrai (851) 9 years ago

You might want to re-read it, I said "based on the assumption that..."

In any case. No I'm not talking about communism. I think the ideal system is a capitalist system with strict government controls (call them incentives). For example, a 10% fuel tax that is funneled directly into public research for sustainable energy, or renewable energy.

A ban on cheap plastic dollar store junk might be another idea... a big fat tax on unnecessary throw-away product packaging, or throw-away fast food cups (i.e. make people bring their own).

Human beings can't direct an entire economy, but they are intelligent enough to police corporations to ensure they are behaving in a manner consistent with our continued survival (and that of future generations).

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

The tragedy of the commons is not an assumption, it is human nature to not do work without a reward.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 9 years ago

The tragedy of the commons is about how people act out of self-interest. The proposition is that when you have a finite resource without any kind of control, the self-interested decision making will deplete it to nothing.

It's an assumption that people will behave in that way; and they certainly do if they have an egocentric western upbringing where they are more concerned with the immediate accumulation of resources than long term sustainability (i.e. they don't give a shit about others). But that view is cultural, not absolute.

I appreciate the theory is compelling, but as I said consider the oil industry. Its about immediate gratification and profit, when if you step back it would be better to leave some in the ground for future generations. capitalism does not solve the tragedy of the commons, it might delay it a bit, but mostly it just decides who gets a larger piece of the commons. The end result is the same.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

Sorry, but the ' tragedy of the commons' proves capitalism does not work, if anything at all.

In the parable; rich herd owning ranchers are using public lands to graze their herds, and they have only profit as a motive. They therefore grow their herds too large and overgraze the collective lands spoiling them. This is largely what we see today, tar-sands in Alberta, fisheries all over the planet, even water is over exploited for the only force driving the capitalists is profit.

In a more socialist economy, many of the natural resources, grasslands, fisheries, mineral resources, are collectively held by the communities containing them, their exploitation is limited for the future and collective good, their use also profits the community not the private capitalist robber-barons.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Perhaps it is "the public" portion of the equation and not the "capitalist" portion that is the problem. Maybe instead of having "public lands", the "public" should relinquish their hold and allow them to be purchased and used by the private economy. Oil lands should be bought so those with the best technology to produce will be the ones who own and produce from the land to offer the product at the cheapest price. Portions of the Oceans should be sold to fisheries that would have a vested interest in keeping the production at peak.

The problem seems to be when you have the government claiming ownership and trying to meter out what they feel they can keep as their "cut".

[-] 4 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

where is the motive for conserving resources for the future come from under the market system? currently corporations move like locusts from resource to resource depleting it to extinction, why does the majic open market do nothing to keep the greedy in check?

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 9 years ago

Excellent comment.

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

Because the owners of land want to preserve its value. By land being private they're not in a competition to see who can get the most out of it consequences be damned (tragedy of the commons).

BTW, corporations are not free market entities, they are creations of the govt.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

only they don't care if they rune the Niger Delta getting at the oil, that the take well the hell away from there and sell for huge profits,. none of which is returned to the people of Nigeria, however they are left with the spills and eco-disaster left behind.

Where does your market account for this? and so many other things,. . ? ?

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

Seems like I just explained this to you. Protection of property means protecting it from pollution, something govts don't do well as you've pointed out.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

so your market theory just don't work in practice then? what else would explain the results we get?? that is sort of a short coming then,. think I will continue to expose the broken system that is being pushed by a greedy few. thanks.

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

No, the theory that the govt will protect us hasn't worked out in practice. You know the greedy few take control of the govt & mess over the rest of us. You seem to think I'm defending the present system, I'm not. I'm an advocate of free markets not the mixed economy.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

so why will you not answer for the shortfalls of the ideology you are pushing so happily? How does the free market account for anything other than profit? Why pray tell, does the 'free-market'(TM) not have any mechanism to stop over fishing, over logging, sweat-shop factories, and child soldiers?

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

Soldiers usually work for govts or govt wannabes so the free market doesn't have to account for child soldiers:

"The majority of child soldiers are associated with government-backed paramilitaries, armed opposition groups, factional groups and groups based on ethnic or religious identity" http://www.child-soldiers.org/home

Over fishing & over logging happen where there are no property rights. The public forests & the ownerless seas. I think it is the govts that need to account for this too.

Sweat shop factories are a reflection of poverty inherited from the preindustrial (precapitalist) era or today inherited from failed socialist experiments. It is the market that can raise the standard of living to eliminate them.

Please, pitch me another slow one.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

Why, you seem to miss that one entirely?

Where are there any government lands not being exploited by capitalism? They log in the national forests and parks now,. you blame this on who? the corporations doing the logging, or their payed off puppet 'elected' representatives?? In either case, it is the capitalists that are in control of the land, and they are the 0.1% profiting in the short term, while leaving the public that much lessened, sure a few loggers make good money till the trees are down,. whatever.

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

Yes, & it is the govt that makes this happen. Strike the root, not the branches.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Goes to show you how much more ecologically responsible our capitalistic system here is compared to the communist oppressive government of Nigeria. Thank God we don't have their system here... as long as the OWS mob fails to change the institution.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

you know damn well I am talking about western corporations that are raiding resources out of Africa. your 'pure capitalist' heroes BP and exxon-mobil, etc.

[-] 0 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

Where do you get this stuff from? BP & Exxon-Mobil are corporations. They are creations of the govt. They use the govt to benefit themselves at the people's expense. There's no free market there. Quite the opposite, this is the world of govt management of the economy that the progressives created. Ain't working out too well, is it?

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

wow, you live in a bizaro reality. BP has operations in over 80 countries so what country created/controls them? These are sanctioned and aided by some in gov. but they are private enterprise owned and profits taken by individuals protected by a corporate facade.

[-] 2 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

"These are sanctioned and aided by some in gov. " "individuals protected by a corporate facade."

Yes, the govt creates & maintains the corporate facade. No free market here.

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

You do know that our 'government' has been taken over by the 0.1% private capitalists banksters or lackeys there of?

ergo, they are the creators of the form; corporation

The idea around here is we redistribute control of the wealth of the planet as it belongs to all of us, and those in control are abusing the place way too much.., but you can just keep saying that the free market we already have is better than change as that is scary.

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

What free market are you talking about? What we have is a mixed economy. I, like you, oppose this. I just don't want to add more of what caused the problem & call that a solution. In other words, giving the govt more power is only empowering that 0.1% even more.

The solution is to take away the tools the 0.1% use. Let's abolish the IRS, FDA, SEC, FCC, FTC, Fed, USDA, EPA, FAA, FBI, CIA, BATFE, Dept of Ed, FDIC, DEA, NTSB, Dept of Transportation, ad nauseum. Then maybe we'll actually have a free market.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

so we get rid of all the regulations on business,. what is to keep private enterprise from doing even worse abusive operations than we see them undertaking now??

I really do not get your point, if you are in fact attempting to make one? how does this better the situation, from what we have now; regulating agencies that are run by the corporations they are intended to regulate. clearly these agencies are not inhibiting the running of these businesses, the businesses run the agencies. How does a so called 'free market' keep wealthy people from doing terribly destructive things? However, with collective ownership of resources comes a vested interest in protecting the resource. This does not come from private ownership as the 1% keep many houses, and can buy land to exploit into ruin, in an area they never go,. the people that live in the community should have a stronger voice in what happens there, than some random capitalist holding a dubious deed.

[-] 0 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

My point is that the tools used by the elites to mess us over are the regulatory agencies. Take away those tools. The free market protects the "little guy" by subjecting companies to market discipline. The concentration of wealth is lessened by competition. People have more options. Not to mention are wealthier.

BTW, isn't collective ownership what we have now where we see the tragedy of the commons?

[-] 0 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

no and no,. the tragedy of the commons comes from what I have said several times now and you seem unwilling or unable to acknowledge; that when you have 0.1% claiming to own the majority of the property, or wealth, or just plan matter., then they, as now, do not care to conserve anything. they can never use their whole wealth or even see it all at the same time. There is no mechanism in a free market keep people from doing dumb-ass sht. Market discipline? Really? do you have zero grasp of the last 10 years of market history, have you seen any invisible hand, or effects thereof? No you just keep pushing for corporate fudalism as that is the only result of the system you are advocating and we are 90% there now but you some how think that by going 100% free market there will be some magic shift in human nature??

Try http://www.zerohedge.com/ or http://maxkeiser.com/ to stay up on market activities.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

Government needs to REGULATE capitalism or it will eventually hurt us in these five ways, as it is doing, driven by greed. Unfortunately, capitalism has it's agents in the form of the Republicon Cult (they're no longer a legitimate party) to sabotage government's ability to regulate.

NOT PAY TAXES -In order to maximize profits, they always seek to avoid or minimize their taxes.

ELIMINATE COMPETION -In order to maximize profits, they always seek to eliminate or control their competition.

CUT WAGES AND SALARIES - In order to maximize profits, they always seek to reduce their labor costs.

DISREGARD THE ENVIRONMENT - In order to maximize profits, they always seek to avoid all environmental restraints.

SELL DANGEROUS, HARMFUL PRODUCTS - In order to maximize profits, they are tempted to sell dangerous or harmful products.
[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

The corporate interests control the govt. if it is the govt that is supposed to regulate them then you're asking them to regulate themselves. This isn't working. The 1% uses the govt to get over on us. That's why we need to do away with the govt. It is the free market that will protect us from the 4 last things you mention. Not paying taxes is good. We should all be free of such theft.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 9 years ago

Let us take your world view to its logical conclusion. If we get rid of the ability to legislate laws, then only way to get justice is to have a high percent of the nation's wealth, With out it, all my competitors would decimate me. After all, if there are people who will pervert gov't for their selfish purposes now, what do you believe they will do when the gov't no longer exists?

No, to any logical thinking individual, your wet dream of market allocation sounds worst than the status quo. I don't believe you have thought your utopian fantasy all the way through. May I suggest you read the works of philosophers from the past.

To analogize what you suggest, imagine government as a tool, say a car. Now, say that car runs your foot over. Are you going to bite the tire of a car that runs your foot over, kinda like a dumb dog? Or are you going to be intelligent and pull the driver out of the car and beat the living shit out of him for having run your foot over? The choice is yours. You either bite the tire like an idiot, or help put in place laws that make the driver more cautious. But then again, maybe i'm just as pie in the sky loco as you are with your little wet dream.

[-] 2 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

"...if there are people who will pervert gov't for their selfish purposes now, what do you believe they will do when the gov't no longer exists?"

They will no longer have the govt to use to get over on us. They will have to compete in the free market. You're going in circles here. The failure of govt intervention in the market doesn't prove that free markets don't work. Quite the opposite, it proves that govt intervention in the market doesn't work.

BTW, I think you completely discredit yourself when you start advocating violence.

Or did you advocate law? Let's say that in your analogy the guy that ran over your foot is the one that controls the lawmakers. He's going to see to it that the law allows him to run over your foot. Your fantasy of passing just laws comes to naught. That's how govt works in the real world. Let's get rid of it already.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

Let me guess, Ron Paul supporter? Lawn gnomes Unite!!!

Taxes are the price of civilized society. Smell the coffee.

[-] 2 points by darrenlobo (204) 9 years ago

No, I'm an anarchist so I don't support candidates. Maybe you're an RP supporter he advocates taxation. ;-)

Taxes are but organized theft. They are the destroyers of civilized society. It is by having that forced revenue stream that the US dictatorship continues.

"Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, 'What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor."

— St. Augustine, City of God [Circa 420 A.D.]

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

The leadership of those countries are selling the resources to the corporations, the corporations are not "raiding". It is the communist governments that are the problem, not the corporations. Were the governments to adopt a capitalistic society where property ownership and individual freedom was protected, you would see the African continent flourish.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

yes, BP has nothing at all to do with propping up non-democratic regimes anywhere,. . i see. keep pushing what we know has failed, is failing all around us, I am sure eventually you will convince yourself of your dogma.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Government, and government control at the expense of the individual is the problem.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

I just don't see it, give me one example of where your gov. is controlling you at your expense, and how this is fixed by free-markets.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

You have to buy a car that meets government fuel economy standards even though it compromises safety and raises the price of a car.

Government passing laws that keep people from buying incandescent light bulbs under the guise of energy conservation. This has caused the very safe and dependable American incandescent bulb production to be stopped and those jobs sent to China, where the Chinese production is being subsidized by the US taxpayer to make the CFL light bulbs. These lights are loaded with toxins that must be specially cleaned if broken, and even release dioxins when lighted.

Government creates special mixtures of gasoline for different parts of the country and seasons that add significant cost to fuel costs, both transportation and heating.

The government makes you go through all kinds of personal invasions should you want to fly rather than using less intrusive measures that would be more effective wasting both time and money.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

you said government control was THE problem,. none of what you site is any great problem,. we do have a real problem; a 0.1% infestation in the running of our planet, I think this trumps light-bulbs and even ethanol.

TSA screenings are part of the pretend 'war of terror',. that is a fantasy of the right-wing. thank the war-crazed-right for those regulations.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

You asked for examples of governmental control. I gave you four.

I am not sure what a 0.1% infestation in the running of our planet means.

The democrats are in control now, TSA is being run by obama.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

obama is quite far to the right,. he is a war monger, and a corporatist. witness the bankers he has running the monetary/banking system,. same people bush had,. same results. more for themselves less for everyone else.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

china has there own factories

have for a long time

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

CFL's should cost $11 a piece. They are being subsidized by the US taxpayer.

There was four examples. There is no end to how regulation adds costs (figurative control) and literal control to citizens expense

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

cfl ?

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 9 years ago

We're no where near "extinction", Mr. Hyperbole. The greedy are kept in check. Look at the natural gas companies right now. Abandoning gas production in droves because supply is way up. Switching to oil based exploration now because prices are high and supply is lower. To keep prices down, we'll have to keep population from growing. More people mean more houses built, more gas, oil, and water used. The greedy are also resourceful, and not stupid. I'll bet if you check you'll find that Exxon, BP, Total, etc. own a significant stake in alternative energy. They'll win either way the energy debate goes. They'd just like to take full advantage of both of their investments. They will transition when it's time to transition. They don't like going bankrupt and neither should we. They employ millions.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

we need to use the last of the 'cheap energy' to build long term sustainable systems before the price has gone peek. The 0.1% should not get the right to wast all of limited matter for short term private gain! the few working for the few rule the many,. this is what is changing, democracy is coming.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 9 years ago

There are people working on it, jph. Would you agree that there is significant incentive for someone to revolutionize the energy industry? Untold fame and riches if you could invent the one thing that provided cheap, bountiful energy? That alone should give you confidence that it will happen. Everyone wants it to happen faster, including me. But you won't force it. If something is not economical, it is just going to further hurt the poor and middle class. The rich can afford whatever price you want to put on carbon. We are all not going to cook in the next 30 or 40 years from the world heating up. I think what should be "forced" is the research. I wouldn't mind the government spending a few billion dollars on investing in energy research and act as a competitor to big Oil, in order to expedite the discovery of whatever the next energy form is going to be.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

oh please, not the 'free energy' 'devices' again!!! you are clinging to a techno-fix that has not been imagined yet?? No one will need to watch for when this has been done, as cheap energy will just flood the market,. so all claims that are not followed by the flood of cheap energy are bogus, period.

the issue is not that we will be cooked by the heat,. a few degrees changes and whole eco-systems and weather patterns are changed, we get this heavy weather, and eco-collapse. we are a part of a system, we can not exist at all out side of it, and we are killing it faster than almost everything else we do,. are we really just suicidal hair-less monkeys.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 9 years ago

What I'm clinging to is the ingenuity of the human race. People are imagining things all the time, but so far people are not willing to pay the price for the real or imagined future of the world that you envision. I think it is kind of like believing in God, some people won't unless he literally appears before their eyes. Likewise, some people will have to see MUCH more dire evidence that we are killing the planet, etc. Most people still go to the beach or skiing in the mountains and see nice sand and ocean or a nice ski base and just don't believe all the claptrap. Not saying it isn't true but that's the way it is.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

I look at that tools we actually have, and what resources are available to us ,. factoring in 'possible future inventions' in not practical or realistic.

We now have a falling oil supply, they are now destroying the earths crust to get at the last gas (fracking), and species extinction goes on growing,. I think the time of wishful thinking is over, we have to go with the proven tech and work to stabilize the system before it gets too far out of whack.

Luckily the solutions already exist net Search; Permaculture, Degrowth, Relocalize, SlowMoney,. .


[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 9 years ago

This is sort of a straw man. I mean, if we allowed recall elections in every state, would that erode freedom? Visit Colorado, they seem to be doing just fine. If we had more employee owned companies, would that erode freedom? We have thousands of employee owned owned companies in this country, and studies have shown that they're more productive and survive longer compared to their conventional counterparts (even though they provide better benefits). What has the erosion of labor unions really done for this country?

If more rental properties were owned by nonprofits, or we allowed the residents of public housing projects to manage the property themselves, what would happen?

If we enacted (or I should say reenacted) rational financial regulations, what would happen? Well, we already know (because laws like Glass Steagall gave us 70 years of financial stability).

If we actually adhered to our First Amendment what would happen? Short of drum beats in Zuccotti Park and roll your own cigarettes, I think it would be very hard to demonstrate any negative consequences, much less justify the authoritarian crack down that dispersed protesters.

What if we didn't have cameras everywhere, or what if we didn't militarize our police force? Well, those cameras couldn't even detect a bomber in the middle of Times Square, and installing them hasn't noticeably reduced crime at all.

What would happen if instead of spending so much money on war, we spent it on education? Moreover, where would we be if our ancestors didn't challenge authority?

The point is, while we might be somewhat inspired by certain 19th century thinkers (whatever their persuasion), we're much more sophisticated in our thinking than this simplistic socialism/capitalism (false) dichotomy gives us credit for.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

That's why they should not act independently, but collectively, little freedom is the price of survival.

Thank you for helping to point that out.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

America became the jewel of the world with very little regulation. Sicne Progressives have been trying to sculpt a perfectly managed society, we have had problems.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

Got a lot worse after the rich started buying the elections post TV, been going downhill fast since then, what with the super low inheritance tax we have it's like the Monarchy has already returned.

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Post Progressive era.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

true much worst post progressive


[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

There are problems in every economical system. Democratic Socialism would probably work the best. Predatory Capitalism is killing us with Class Warfare. http://www.loveallpeople.org/predatorycapitalism.html


Unregulated profit-seeking corporations harm the public these five ways. We are talking mainly about the larger, publicly-traded, profit-seeking corporations like those whose stocks are traded on the stock exchanges. But the same ideas can apply to any unregulated profit-seeking corporation, even the smaller ones and the private ones.

We recognize that profit-seeking corporations can be a great force for good in the world, creating and providing wonderful goods and services that would be unavailable by any other means. But we also recognize that if they are unregulated, they harm the public these five ways. An unregulated corporation is like a loose elephant in your neighborhood. Who can stop it from trampling over whatever it chooses?

  1. NOT PAY TAXES -In order to maximize profits, they always seek to avoid or minimize their taxes.

  2. ELIMINATE COMPETION -In order to maximize profits, they always seek to eliminate or control their competition.

  3. CUT WAGES AND SALARIES - In order to maximize profits, they always seek to reduce their labor costs.

  4. DISREGARD THE ENVIRONMENT - In order to maximize profits, they always seek to avoid all environmental restraints.

  5. SELL DANGEROUS, HARMFUL PRODUCTS - In order to maximize profits, they are tempted to sell dangerous or harmful products.


We have repeatedly heard over the past decade how “things just happened.”

How “…nobody could have foreseen that.”

Or, how everything came about due to “..unintended consequences.”

Conscious actions have intended consequences.

While at the same time we have repeatedly witnessed how the major perpetrators, culprits and predators go unscathed, facing no consequences for the abominations against the public.

In fact, we have observed them to be unjustly rewarded again and again and again.

Then there are those of us who must hustle endlessly for the next month’s mortgage payment, or rent due, or the next meal, are constantly chided with the admonition that “…we must innovate our way out of this!”

We, Kimosabe????

“We” have innovated endlessly, only to find ourselves bereft of employment while the technology we developed has been transferred, along with our jobs, offshore!

We are scolded with the further mythology of “free trade” and that nebulous and ephemeral “free market” – which always translates to the relocation of factories, production facilities, research and development labs, network operations centers, call centers, etc., to cheaper labor markets, while importing their products and services back by the very same corporate offshorers, at considerably greater profits, and less or no taxation, to benefit them --- while destroying what remains of the tax base --- a perfect recipe for neofeudalism

A concerted design of predatory legislation and predatory jurisprudence (as in colossally corrupt US Supreme Court, and federal circuit court, decisions) over the past thirty to forty years allowed for our present circumstances; legislation which overturned the very laws protecting us from the uber predators.

That legislation and court decisions decriminalized fraud for those at the very uppermost echelon of the economic ladder, while criminalizing virtually everything for the rest of us.

Some of that predatory legislation:

1994: Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Act

1995: Private Securities Litigation Reform Act

1999: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

2000: Commodity Futures Modernization Act

2005: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

As might be expected, many of our legislators are mighty pleased with the legislation they passed, and frequently crow about it whenever they speak before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

(Of course the very first predatory jurisprudence in favor the corporations’ super-rights occurred with the 1886 decision favoring Southern Pacific Railroad.)

Those who cannot remember the past….. [Write misleading posts on OWS Forum to foment divisiveness.]

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

this is good,

If I may recap, are you saying we should work together to make things better for everybody?

[-] 2 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

Absolutely! Teamwork works as called for by the Powell Memo below and the Chambers of Commerce and ALEC have clearly demonstrated to us.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/25-9 http://colorofchange.org/campaign/alec/ http://www.alternet.org/economy/154653/free_ride!_meet_the_companies_that_don%27t_even_pretend_to_pay_taxes?page=entire

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

seems they sort of got it, but every time they keep leaving some of the "every" out of "the body"

if only we could find a way to include everybody....


I got an ideal, maybe we could have elections, and let everybody vote.

Of course they would have to be free and fair, that's the tricky part, we should work on that.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

OR they could just say "Free, Fair, or whatev'..." ala Big Lie!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8300) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

That's IT!!

A FOX survey to decide all issues, it's perfect!

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

I don't see anything wrong with #1 from the standpoint of the corporation. I mean I just spend most of last weekend doing everything possible to minimize the amount of taxes I have to pay and I am pretty sure that 99% of Americans do the exact same thing.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

The sun's real nice, too, until you get a sunburn, skin cancer or blindness! What YOU don't see could fill a library, Moo.

Free Ride! Meet the Companies That Don't Even Pretend to Pay Taxes Need something to kickstart your American Spring protest? Consider that big corporations are happy to take our tax dollars -- while finding new ways to skip out on Uncle Sam. March 22, 2012 |

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

LIKE THIS ARTICLE ? Join our mailing list: Sign up to stay up to date on the latest Economy headlines via email.

Like me, you’re probably knee-deep in receipts and forms right now, getting ready to pay your share in taxes so that our country can function. Meanwhile, many giant corporations are getting a free ride. Fairness is one of our most treasured American values, but “scam and dodge” has become the mantra of our corporations and the pols who protect them.

Big business apologists like to tell us that the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent is too high, and makes companies less “competitive” with foreign firms. Yet we all know that corporations hire legions of wily accountants to find loopholes that often bring their tax rate down to next to nothing.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs paid a laughable 1.1 percent of its income in taxes. That same year, it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an $800 billion bailout, courtesy of you and me. Let’s savor that irony for a moment, as we recall that the bailout is not all we paid for Goldman Sachs to operate its rapacious business, which, as the cynical editors of Bloomberg recently reminded us, apparently has no obligation to serve humanity. We pay for its employees to be educated. We pay for the infrastructure required to facilitate its business. We pay a gargantuan sum in “defense spending” which essentially funnels our tax dollars into protections and path-smoothing that allows Goldman Sachs to operate in, and to penetrate, foreign markets.

Paying 1.1 percent for all this largesse is surely a joke. And an even bigger travesty is that many outsized firms pay nothing at all, as General Electric famously managed to do in 2010, despite showing $10.5 billion in profits. GE is not alone. According to a report from Citizens for Tax Justice, 37 of the biggest American corporations did not pay one red cent in taxes in 2010. Financial services, you’ll be thrilled to know, received the largest share of all federal tax subsidies over the last three years, despite the fact that the size and recklessness of that industry is one of the greatest dangers to our economic well-being.

But increasingly, the biggest punchline of all is a growing breed of firms that are classified as “non-taxable.” That’s right. These firms pay zilch. Nada. Zippo.

(CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/economy/154653/free_ride!_meet_the_companies_that_don%27t_even_pretend_to_pay_taxes?page=entire )

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

Don't blame the corporations, blame Congress. Like I said, everyone tries to minimize their taxes. That includes people and corporations.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Better yet?

Occupy WallStreet!!!

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

The Koch Brothers and Corporate Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and ALEC put those rotten Republicon Congresspersons in office to make those Corporate-Welfare tax laws (hard to believe you didn't know that either). We most certainly MUST blame Corporations for that! Citizens United, too!!

Register and Vote! Register and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!


[-] -3 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

You are forgetting that the past shows us that socialism has failed every time it has been tried.

Capitalism has been the greatest boom for humanity the world has ever seen. Is it any coincidence that the greatest flourish of prosperity and standard of living has occurred when the United States founders insured the rights to property and individual freedom? I think not.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

If I took a dump on a cracker and told you it was delicious, would you eat it??

That's what your reply is like.

Capitalism is evil. But in order for it to be useful, it needs strict policing.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

Just because you say it does not make it so. I have given examples of why capitalism is the most fair economic model we have discovered to this time. You have given no example of a more fair economic method.

Enjoy your cracker.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 9 years ago

America is not a game of King of the Hill, a Casino or a Financial Venture.

Our Founding Fathers were against Kings, Elitists, and Moguls and believed in democracy and equality of political opportunity (at the time just for male citizens), with a priority for the "yeoman farmer" and the "plain folk". They were antagonistic to the supposed aristocratic elitism of merchants and manufacturers and were on the watch for supporters of the dreaded British system of government (Royalists and Loyalists ~ today's Corporatists, aka RepubliCons). Above all, the were devoted to the principles of Republicanism, especially civic duty and opposition to privilege, aristocracy and corruption (a complete reversal from today's neo-facsist Republicanism).

Predator Capitalism is a form of Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism views human culture and human societies as progressing through fierce competition. Provided that policymakers do not take foolish steps to protect the weak, those people and those human achievements that are fittest — most beautiful, noble, wise, creative, virtuous, and so forth — will succeed in a fierce competition, so that, over time, humanity and its accomplishments will continually improve. Late 19th-century dynastic capitalists, especially the American “robber barons,” found this vision profoundly congenial. Their contemporary successors like it for much the same reasons, just as some adolescents discover an inspiring reinforcement of their self-image in the writings of Ayn Rand.

Capitalism (privatization) results in and insidiously pursues capturing the spoils of the many for the selfish and exclusive gain of a few. Socialism (publicization) results in and altruistically strives for the equitable sharing of the spoils for the common good, of a society or nation. Today's largest agents of capitalism, corporations, use both of these economic systems as we saw in the Wall Street heist (See "Heist" and "Inside Job"): they Privatize the profits for themselves, and Socialize the losses for us to pay for. A patently rotten deal and what is wrong with capitalism.

Register and Vote! Register and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 9 years ago

Socialism can and does work. People live collectively on communes all the time, and share the profits. We can have socialism now if we want it.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 9 years ago

That is their choice, it does not work as a form of government.