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Sigmetnow

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If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: January 04, 2015, 02:40:11 AM »
Economists, scientists, and even the current Pope, and Catholic Bishops from every continent, are calling for an end to capitalism.  They see this new paradigm as positive, not destructive.  Eminently doable.  And already underway.

Worried about the shit hitting the fan on climate change and other major crises? Good. Because those crises prove that we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the world.
...
Far from being all doom and gloom, continuing global economic fragility is symptomatic of a fundamental shift in the very nature of civilization itself. The new era of slow growth and austerity has emerged because the biosphere is forcing us to adapt to the consequences of breaching environmental limits.
...
This fundamental shift has also brought about significant changes that offer profound opportunities for systemic transformation that could benefit humanity and the planet. These five interlinked revolutions in information, food, energy, finance and ethics are opening up opportunities for communities to co-create new ways of being that work for everyone. This year we could discover that the very disruption of capitalism itself is part of a major tipping point in the transition to a new post-industrial, post-capitalist paradigm.

THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION...

The world is currently, quite clearly, at the dawn of a huge technological revolution in information that has already in the space of a few years transformed the way we do things, and is pitched to trigger ongoing changes in coming decades.

THE ENERGY REVOLUTION...

Seba told me that conventional EROIE calculations are potentially misleading because they ignore critical costs and externalities, especially in land and water usage, waste and pollution. Applying the concept of Energy Payback Time (EPBT) to photovoltaic (PV) solar panels—where EPBT is how long it takes to produce the same quantity of energy that was used to create and install the panels—Seba notes that recent thin film technologies will pay back this energy in around just one year. After that point, effectively, energy is generated for free. If a thin film panel produces energy for 25 years, then its EROIE is 25. “This is far higher than the published results for most forms of energy today, including oil, gas, wind, and nuclear,” Seba said....

THE FOOD REVOLUTION...

With global food prices at record levels in the context of these challenges, combined with the pressures of climate-induced extreme weather, volatile oil prices, and speculation by investors, the incentive to develop greater resilience in locally accessible food production is also growing....

THE FINANCE REVOLUTION...

The information, food and energy revolutions are being facilitated by a burgeoning revolution in finance. Once again, the emerging trend is for new models that give greater power to the crowd, and undermine the authority and legitimacy—and even necessity—of the traditional, centralized banking infrastructure....

THE ETHICAL REVOLUTION...

The old and new paradigms can be clearly related to two quite different value systems. The first paradigm, which is currently in decline, is that of egoism, crude materialism, and selfish consumerism....

In contrast, a value system associated with the emerging paradigm is also supremely commensurate with what most of us recognize as ‘good’: love, justice, compassion, generosity. This has the revolutionary implication that ethics, often viewed as ‘subjective’, in fact have a perfectly objective and utilitarian function in the fundamental evolutionary goal of species survival. In some sense, ethics provide us a value-driven benchmark to recognize the flaws in the old paradigm, and glimpse the opportunities for better social forms.

The model that is fast developing and disrupting this paradigm from within, is one premised on open access to information; distributed and effectively free, clean energy; local, community and democratic ownership over planetary resources; and a form of prosperity and well-being that is ultimately decoupled from the imperative for endless material accumulation.

http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-end-of-endless-growth-part-2
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 02:41:17 AM »
You are not just a consumer. You are a citizen of this Earth and your responsibility is not private but public, not individual but social. If you are a resident of a country that is a major carbon emitter, as is nearly everyone in the English-speaking world, you are part of the system, and nothing less than systemic change will save us.

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/27/rebecca_solnit_the_age_of_capitalism_is_over_partner/ 


Catholic Bishops from every continent denounce fossil fuel use and capitalism, "which is a human creation."

Striking a similar note to Naomi Klein’s recent book, “This Changes Everything,” the bishops’ statement also argued that global capitalism and its economic systems, as currently designed, are incompatible with long-term ecological sustainability: “The main responsibility for this situation lies with the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation. In viewing objectively the destructive effects of a financial and economic order based on the primacy of the market and profit, which has failed to put the human being and the common good at the heart of the economy, one must recognize the systemic failures of this order and the need for a new financial and economic order.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/11/3602596/bishops-end-fossil-fuels/ 


In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.

“The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.

“The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing     

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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 02:43:28 AM »
It's not just the super-wealthy who vote with their money these days. 

Equity crowdfunding will be huge: CEO
In fact, the demand for crowdfunding, whether it be for projects or for financing start-ups, is becoming so mainstream that it will define the decade, he said.

"It's a really exciting industry, the 80's was all about desktop computing, the 90's was all about online commerce, and the early 2000's was all about social networking," Rubin said. "And this decade will go down as the decade of funding by the time it's over."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101693940   

Solar-roadway backers set crowdfunding record
http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-roadways-tops-1-5-million-sets-indiegogo-record/

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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 10:42:33 AM »
Like I've replied to crandles on the global economics-thread, maybe it's not capitalism that needs to be replaced, just this version of it: The free market fundamentalist capitalism that strives for endless growth, maximum profits by externalizing the costs to public health and the environment.

I believe an important aspect of this system is the absolute need for everything to be without limits: profit, possession, power. Which is why I find your last few links about crowdfunding so interesting.

The argument is that by limiting profits and possession, capitalism will no longer be capitalism. But crowdfunding shows that it's still possible to generate capital for investments, but the capital belongs to much more people than just the (super-)wealthy. This means that much more people benefit from it.

It almost feels like a crossover between capitalism and communism. It also feels much more democratic.

It would work even better if there was a cap on the amount someone can earn and possess. This cap would have to be culturally accepted, of course, which is a problem right now due to decades of conditioning.
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crandles

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 12:54:06 PM »

My problems can't be fully fixed if those aspects of this version of capitalism (the limitlessness) aren't fixed.

Fair enough if we have different views.


I want a capitalism where the government sees an important role for itself in internalising the externalities where these are or are likely to become problems. This is the standard economics answer when externalities like carbon pollution is a problem. 'Crony capitalism' should also be seen as an abhorrent crime.


While vast and growing difference in wealth vs poverty is not desirable, I see adverse effects in trying to reduce them. That doesn't mean do nothing but the benefits and adverse effects have to be considered for each possible remedy to see if it is sensible rather than assuming the goal of reducing inequity is more important than any possible adverse effect which seems the implication of a ban on further inequality.

I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

The wealth distribution problem seems a separate problem to climate change issues to me. In fact if there was some magic solution to wealth distribution so that wealth was spread more evenly, wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?


wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 03:14:08 PM »
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

But yeah, redistribution alone is not adequate, but I would say it is necessary.

The larger issue with the collapse of societies, not just capitalist ones, is that elites get more and more separated from the lives of others and from the consequences of their decisions and lifestyles, while at the same time obtaining ever more total control of those decisions.

Even if GW were not in the picture, the dynamic of ever richer elites having ever more power (and wealth is, of course, power) would pretty much inevitably lead to collapse, based on the dynamic of pretty much every civilization that has gone before.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

crandles

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 03:51:24 PM »
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

Of course the richest are consumers but their propensity to spend their wealth is less than that of poorer people.

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 04:31:23 PM »
And what do they do with the rest of it?

Invest.

Invest in what?

Oh, mining, factories, transportation, merchandising...all the things that accelerate GW and the general transformation of the natural world into persistent toxins.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 06:37:09 PM »

My problems can't be fully fixed if those aspects of this version of capitalism (the limitlessness) aren't fixed.

Fair enough if we have different views.


I want a capitalism where the government sees an important role for itself in internalising the externalities where these are or are likely to become problems. This is the standard economics answer when externalities like carbon pollution is a problem. 'Crony capitalism' should also be seen as an abhorrent crime.


While vast and growing difference in wealth vs poverty is not desirable, I see adverse effects in trying to reduce them. That doesn't mean do nothing but the benefits and adverse effects have to be considered for each possible remedy to see if it is sensible rather than assuming the goal of reducing inequity is more important than any possible adverse effect which seems the implication of a ban on further inequality.

I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

The wealth distribution problem seems a separate problem to climate change issues to me. In fact if there was some magic solution to wealth distribution so that wealth was spread more evenly, wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?

Crandles

Is it not true that if we look at the history of capitalism it is fair to say that it did not exist in any form (many would argue not at all) before the rise of the industrial revolution?  Which was in turn driven by the increasing per capita energy available? 

If one digs into the structure of capitalism and how it functions it seems pretty apparent that it simply cannot function without constant growth and continuing access to vast amounts of cheap energy.  The growth of the capitalist economic practices and access to vast amounts of cheap energy is exactly what has driven us into our current predicament.

You speak in mythological terms when you repeat the standard memes of capitalist ideology.  But, setting aside that they have been a major factor in our so badly exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity and are a large contributor to furthering climate change in defiance of common sense, why not examine a few of these myths to see how true they really are.

Does capitalism really make for better quality of life?  I think the answer is no and here are some of the reasons why.

First and foremost is that most of what we think of as a better quality of life is really the effects of our consumption of resources and the biota of the Earth in quantities far beyond its carrying capacity.  I too can live like a king if I steal from the future.  But it does not mean the system I use to do that is admirable, just, moral, or actually works.

Capitalism cannot be sustainable as it requires growth in order to function.  We live in a finite world and we must stop growing.

As others have and would point out.  Capitalism counts success not in invention, or respect but in accumulation of wealth.  In a finite world this eventually leads to vast wealth for a few and almost nothing for the rest.  That this is happening has been masked by the process of consuming resources far beyond the globes carrying capacity and accessing millions of years of stored solar energy.  Many think their quality of life was improved but they do not understand what it means to the future for them to live the way they do.  It also leads to collapse when the growth causes the natural systems to fail due to overuse. Or the climate to be changed. 

The wealth disparity of today is far in excess of any other time in history.  True social stability is not possible when so few have so much and the rest have little.  It is worth noting that the modern man living in the capitalist system works much harder and longer hours on a yearly basis than the common man has at any other time in history.  At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England the budding capitalists were having such difficulties getting people to work for them that they used their power to change English law on use of common land in order to destroy the economic basis for the vast majority who made their living from the land.  This forced the largely rural population, which lived close to sustainably, off the land and into factories where our revered capitalists forced them to work 16 hour days 6 days a week and their children to work 10-12 hours a day.  Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.  Thus we created the wage slave who had no choice but to work this way to survive.  And we revere the economic system and the men who drove it?  Is this sane?

Here in America we have this huge myth of the American Dream.  That we are all equal and that anyone can succeed if they work hard.  Upward social mobility. But the reality of such is far from this story and always has been. Before the rise of the economy due to exploitation of fossil fuels it was actually very rare even in America for someone to rise far above the station of their birth. For a time, when growth was most rampant, it did become more common.  But this was due to the growth rate creating such demand that it created an opening for many from the working and middle class to move up the ladder.  But this growth painted a false picture of what was going on.  In today's America it is once again very unusual for someone to rise far above their original station in life just like in the past. Our top universities are chock full of the scion of parents already stationed high in life.  Only a select few reach these places via ability and qualifications anymore (and it was never very high in any case). The rich ensure that their children are given the most resources and the best places in the system.  Endless numbers of studies have born this out.  But we have this mythology that people rise to the top and change the world and become fabulously wealthy.  If you examine the backgrounds of most who make this apparent leap and become icons of the system you find almost none who actually fit the myth.  But it sells so well.    Social mobility in the US according to figures has plummeted over the last 30 years.  Wealth disparity is killing us and I cannot see any national or social benefits to having it continue to increase.  Contrary to your implication the wealthy consume vastly more per capita than the common person does.  It is a mistake to confuse the percentage of ones income used in consumption with the absolute total.  In the future there will be no more meaningful social mobility to come for anyone as what is coming is a dramatic reduction in lifestyles and consumption as we revert to systems much closer to sustainable levels.   We have no choice in this as it is just going to happen.  If you burn the candle from both ends you get a brighter flame - but only for a time.  Our time is drawing to a close.

For everyone ( or even large numbers of people) to accumulate great wealth requires that such wealth be accumulated from somewhere. Our revered capitalist systems have used their power to take much of that wealth from their "colonies" and have systematically stripped the 3rd world for it.  Access to fossil fuels has allowed us to mask all sorts of problems which are now coming home to roost in the guise of climate change and a destroyed nature.   Growth will stop because the laws of physics and nature will not allow it to continue. 

Capitalism is a dead man walking.  The necessary parameters for its existence will not be present in due course and it will fade away.

As SH indicated above, of all the forms of economic philosophy ever thought up by far the worst is almost certainly capitalism.  It is a suicidal system in the long run.   In the short it can be great for the winners, but ask the 3rd world it has raped over the last 150 years how much they have benefited from it.  Ask our descendants how much they appreciate us living large at their expense.

I often point out to my fellow citizens in these types of discussions that the programming we have all had about the evils of socialism, communism (and I have to point out how and why socialism and communism are not the same thing as that is what most Americans are taught) and anarchism are completely inaccurate from a historical basis.  The philosophical constructs of socialism, communism and anarchism were largely thought up in response to the perceived evils of capitalism. Most of those evils do exist in practice.

If one looks at various economic systems it would seem to be hard not to come to the conclusion that free market capitalism is the worst that has ever been implemented on a wide scale.  It is wise to note when one says that that there has never been a country run via true communist or socialist principals so please do not bring up the Soviet Union as an example of communism or the countries of Europe as examples of socialism.  One was just a dictatorship which killed off the real communists in the early years and the others were merely versions of capitalism with some slightly  different social constructions.  And as we know there has never been a country operated under anarchist principals.

But the bottom line is capitalism will cease to exist in the not too distant future.  When growth via what ever means are possible stops, it stops.  We will revert to other economic forms used in the past

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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crandles

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 07:59:27 PM »

Is it not true that if we look at the history of capitalism it is fair to say that it did not exist in any form (many would argue not at all) before the rise of the industrial revolution?  Which was in turn driven by the increasing per capita energy available? 


So are you saying you would prefer the industrial revolution not to have happened? Is that the cause of climate change problems now or would it have been preferable for industrial revolution to have happened and a carbon tax implemented 25 years ago when it was clear that the externalities of fossil fuel burning were going to become a problem?

If one digs into the structure of capitalism and how it functions it seems pretty apparent that it simply cannot function without constant growth and continuing access to vast amounts of cheap energy.  The growth of the capitalist economic practices and access to vast amounts of cheap energy is exactly what has driven us into our current predicament.

I have seen people assert things like 'cannot function without constant growth' but I haven't found much in the way of evidence that I accept. Maybe I am just blinkered into not believing it or am not looking hard enough.


our so badly exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity

Have we? Where is the evidence that we cannot grow GWP more in sustainable directions when there are suitable taxes/fines discouraging unsustainable activities?


Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.

Really? I would suggest farmers work long hours.

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 08:53:03 PM »
Here is one alternative scenario.

Every adult receives a monthly income.  Enough to live on, modestly but not poorly.  (This presupposes universal health care is in place.)  It would take the place of patchwork social programs such as Social Security/Disability, Food Stamps, utility bill assistance, etc. in the U.S.

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/11/rather_than_savage_cuts_switzerland_considers_star_trek_economics/

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/opinion/wheeler-minimum-income/

Everyone receives the benefit, regardless of other wealth or income.  So you do not need to work if you do not want to.  If you do work, it's more likely it will be a job you like to do, so one side affect is that global quality of work should improve.  Distasteful jobs could end up having the best benefits, in order to attract workers.

If you don't want to work, what will you do?  Study, volunteer, participate in the arts, tend to your garden, care for the grandchildren.  Or, nothing at all.  You choose your lifestyle, and you choose where your money goes.

To limit over-consumption, particularly by those with more wealth, there are curbs on the amount of material goods you may purchase. Beyond that limit, you may save your income, spend it on sustainable services, or pass it to your heirs.  Or, you may give it away; for example: crowd-funding.

This scenario would make it easier to shut down carbon-intensive industries that claim that Providing Jobs is more important than the Environment.  And if consumer curbs were in place, people would have to think more long-term about their purchases:  Do I really want this, if it means I can't get something else?  Will it last?  Will the return on investment happen if given more time?
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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 10:00:23 PM »
I think I would suggest that ensuring social mobility through success is possible may well be more important than wealth redistribution.

I'm not talking about wealth distribution per se. This would mean that everyone gets a more fair piece of the pie, but you know what the problem is? The pie is too big. This is not just about the super-wealthy 1% vs  the rest. It's also about the super-wealthy 1% + the rest vs nature.

I'm talking about setting limits to things like possession, capital, material goods. Can you please explain why such a limit would hamper social mobility? I think it's easier to argue the opposite (see what JimD writes about the rich and powerful ensuring their offspring gets the best positions, regardless of talent or merit).

Is it possible that you immediately feel a knee-jerk reaction coming up when it is suggested that there should be a limit to anything? I mean, isn't consumer culture teaching us every day of our lives that only the sky is the limit? Wouldn't it be horrible if you could only own 100 million dollars, but no more? My God, it feels like dying. Well, that's your conditioning talkin'.  ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2015, 04:57:11 PM »
Who would be better at redistributing wealth:  the government, or individuals?
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-03/piketty-says-gates-loves-his-book-while-disagreeing-on-tax-plan.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2015, 05:44:24 PM »
The New Patron of the Arts Is You
Micro-celebrity and self-funding alone probably can't sustain an artistic middle class community. But Patreon's $10 million milestone and Kickstarter's almost $1.5 billion in pledges are evidence of a promising new infrastructure that helps artists make a living in the era of free content.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-02/omg-the-new-patron-of-the-arts-is-you.html
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JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 06:25:41 PM »

So are you saying you would prefer the industrial revolution not to have happened? Is that the cause of climate change problems now or would it have been preferable for industrial revolution to have happened and a carbon tax implemented 25 years ago when it was clear that the externalities of fossil fuel burning were going to become a problem?

The industrial revolution could not have been stopped and no one at the time had any understanding of the eventual downsides.  Hard to lay blame of climate change on them even though our industrial civilization is responsible for it.  Kind of water under the bridge. 

We can look back on what occurred and see where we are going to end up and easily, however, come to the conclusion that on balance the final cost accounting of the industrial revolution will be a net negative.  It is going to be the prime cause of catastrophic collapse. 

Should we have done more sooner?  There is no point in such a question.  Not taking action when we knew better is one of the great weaknesses of human nature.  Unfortunately we are still arguing about taking immediate action ... or waiting decades still.  Nothing on that front has changed.

I have seen people assert things like 'cannot function without constant growth' but I haven't found much in the way of evidence that I accept. Maybe I am just blinkered into not believing it or am not looking hard enough.

Hmm..well I don't know what part of the evidence is causing you issues so it is hard to address them.  I am pretty sure if you dig into the subject deeper you will come to the same conclusion - there is always good discussion to be had on the subject. Others may jump in here and comment in a helpful way also.  One fact that I have focused on is that in our current system there is not one central bank in the world that does not have an inflation target in place that is lower than 2%.  In other words, they do not believe their capitalist economies can function without constant growth.   One does not have to read much to get a feel for how deeply economists fear zero growth and even more deflation.  I take it we are probably near a consensus that we must convert to sustainable economic systems (like we were pretty close to prior to the advent of fossil fuel use) as wee go forward in time. I see no aspect of capitalism which is compatible with sustainable systems.   

The carrying capacity issue.

Have we? Where is the evidence that we cannot grow GWP more in sustainable directions when there are suitable taxes/fines discouraging unsustainable activities?

I must be frank here and start out by saying your statement is deeply wrong.  There are many scientific studies available on the subject and even the most optimistic come to the conclusion we are well past the global carrying capacity.  I have dug into many of them and studied this off and on since the publication of the original Limits to Growth work in the 1970's.  A middle of the road number would be that we are using 3 times the resources of the globes carrying capacity and it may be as high as 5.  And let us not forget that our consumption, environmental degradation and climate change all contribute to lowering the global. carrying capacity.  What population of humans can the globe support sustainably.  A very hard number to quantify as everyone uses different criteria.  Before the advent of technology the number was clearly not above 1 billion and if one eliminates irrigation systems less than that. 

But your idea of legislating and taxing unsustainable activities means that you would have to tax out of existence almost all of modern civilization.  No more cement, no more steel, no more cars, no more electricity, no more military, no more computers and the list is endless.  There is simply nothing sustainable in modern civilization.  It is not just carbon emissions it is the use of resources at greater than a sustainable rate.  Loss of top soil, deforestation, over fishing, extinction of other species.

What we MUST do is dramatically reduce our footprint on this globe.  I have no illusions that we will ever get to a truly sustainable civilization.  But there is a very big difference between being able to maintain for 50 years and 100,000 years.  If we are going to be smart we should be shooting for the later and not the former.  If we reduce our footprint sufficiently it buys us time to rebuild and regrow and, hopefully, do a better job next time.  This time was a huge failure.  We have fallen on our face many times as a species so one more is no big deal unless we fail to leave ourselve sthe option to rebuild due to stupidity.  Unlike the others we have survived in the past this collapse is a global one and we do not have all the unexploited territory to move on to nor the huge boost from fossil fuels next time.


Before this time the typical rural dweller worked well under 8 hours a day.

Really? I would suggest farmers work long hours.

No there is also a lot of work which has been done in the area of how much work subsistence farmers did.  Studies, research and direct observation of those still farming this way come up with numbers like 4-6 hrs a day with long periods in the off season where there is almost no work done at all.  Planting and harvesting are the busy times.  Modern farmers work extreme hours (I used to be a farmer and I worked 12-14 hours a day 7 days a week from mid-Feb to Thanksgiving.  But this was not the norm before we switched to capitalist forms of production.  I was trying to grow food for hundreds not myself and my family.  As soon as you have to grow extra to be able to buy things you are on a cycle that will eventually consume all of your time.  The amount of time we civilized people work a day is the highest it has been throughout history.  Of course that will change when all us working types are replaced by robots :) 

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2015, 05:28:22 AM »
(duplicate; please delete)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 06:37:37 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2015, 05:32:48 AM »

Apologies if this has already been linked:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28358-something-that-changed-my-perspective-karl-polanyi-s-the-great-transformation

One of the take-away lines:

the market economy isn’t a beautiful self-correcting machine, as neoclassical economists would have you believe. It instead voraciously consumes the society and natural environment in which it sits unless it is curbed.


And, at the end:

we seem to have the veneer of democracy while in fact moving strongly in the direction of an authoritarian business-state combine, an improved version of Mussolini-style corporatism.

Even though it seems unlikely that this system will unravel, the dissolution of a much more successful-looking world order was simply inconceivable in the summer of 1914.

Highly-integrated cross-border market systems are more fragile than they seem, and we are stressing this one in far more ways than was the case a century ago.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 06:23:50 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2015, 05:19:28 PM »
The new economy will include a lot of sharing.
Toyota has announced that it will allow its competitors to use any and all of its 5,680 patents for hydrogen fuel cell cars, a move the company hopes will jump-start the widespread commercial production of cars powered by zero-emission hydrogen gas.
...
If the move sounds familiar, that’s because it is very similar to what famously innovative electric car company Tesla Motors did this summer. In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would let its competitors use its patents under what Bloomberg Businessweek called “open-source-inspired agenda” at Tesla. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” Musk said at the time.

The reason both Toyota and Tesla would want competitors to use their technology is simple: without more production of these low-emission cars, there is little incentive to create the expensive infrastructure needed to make them mainstream. Electric cars need recharging stations; hydrogen cars need hydrogen gas filling stations. Without that infrastructure, it is unlikely that either electric or hydrogen cars would be able to compete with the massive gas-powered vehicle market.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/06/3608292/toyota-hydrogen-fuel-cell-patents-for-everybody/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2015, 06:08:44 PM »
As well as reducing waste, sharing increases the subset of people who have access to nice things.
http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-channel/sharing-economy-seen-growing-379342403636
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 06:42:27 PM »
"Collectively, the poor have enormous purchasing power."

... Porter has been less interested in how companies can get a leg-up on their rivals and more concerned with improving the planet. His theory is called "shared value," and it says that companies can and should solve social problems—and they can make money doing it. He believes that companies are entering a third phase in their relationship with society. The first was about philanthropy, where business donates money to causes. The second was about "corporate social responsibility," or minimizing their social or environmental harm. The third is about solutions: actual products and services with a social purpose.

"The ultimate impact businesses can have is through the business itself," he says in an interview. "There are huge unmet needs in the world today. The question now is how to get capitalism to operate at its best because capitalism is fundamentally the best way to meet needs. If you can meet needs at a profit, you can scale."

www.fastcoexist.com/3039695/never-mind-corporate-responsibility-companies-can-solve-actual-social-problems
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 07:08:31 PM »
Would more women in higher positions make a difference?

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Foundation (IMF):
(CNN)"When there is a very difficult situation, women are called in to do the work. To sort out the mess."

Christine Lagarde is the woman who has been tasked to do just that. She has led the IMF since 2011 amidst the organization being in the center of scandal; regarding its former managing director as well as a global economic crisis.
...
"It's a common trait of women, to be concerned about the collective success more than about their individual visibility respectability and success."

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/06/business/christine-lagarde-leading-through-crisis/index.html
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johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:58:57 PM »
Wili  Abandoning the evoluton of society to market forces leaves us only the game theory option of societal developement, best illustrated by the social insects and their models which have all evolved in a moral vacuum, at least from a human perspective. Although you could make a case that every civilisation has tended towards that model, [a central sociopathic despot who breeds as much as possible surrounded by a pampered elite protected by an amoral police/armed force from a multitude propogadised/intimidated (as opposed to pheremoned) into acting against their own best interests]   With nsa all pervading surveilance,  in-vitro fertilisation, msm propoganda, prospects for a succesful transition to that model have never been better[?]
Crandles, perpetual growth is demanded by the way money is created. All of our money is created as debt, either when the gov. signs off on a bond or when an individual signs off on a loan, when that happens the 'bank' creates a 'credit' in the appropriate account this is 'money' which didn't exist before. No money is created to pay the interest, so individuals have to compete for the money for both that and to repay their debt, and often the way this happens is by borrowing more, in past times to invest in more production, but more commonly now to buy [speculate] in to scarce resources whose increase in value will exceed interest charges. Of course every new entrant to the economy has also to borrow to participate.  Although inevitably there will never be enough money for everyone to pay their debts or interest and consequently periodic crashes must occur where the less astute/ connected see their wealth/debt written off, all their own fault?
The gov. just recycles the debt always borrowing to pay off interest and principle. This seems fair enough until you consider the relative cost of the gov. creating it's own money. Lets say the gov. orders 1M in notes, from the printers, of 100,50,20and 10 denomination at a ratio of 2,4,20 and 20. and they cost about .10 each to print so total cost is 4,600. Now instead it asks a bank for the same 1M of credit cost is 1m + [say]2% so in the first year 20,000 and every year after that too. Leading to http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/ (present interest charges £68Bpa iirc) makes you wonder if gov.even has the power to create it's own money.
Since a fiat currency is no more than a token commonly believed in and accepted  for value in trade and tax, perhaps issuing the money as debt to all citizens equally at a subsistence+ level (from the citizens fiat bank) would be the most democratic way to introduce it into circulation, apart from spending it on essential infrastructure projects that have to be centrally planned. To prevent endless inflation you'd need some taxation say 20% of turnover for corporations and on earnings above subsistence+ level and a 2% transaction tax, an inflation +2% tax on all wealth/ assets for corporations, but only on that above the average for citizens and interest at 5% on a citizens debt, plus the added bonus of no need for crashes.
As good a place as any to start
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/03/what-is-modern-monetary-theory-or-mmt.html
" And, as hard as this is for non-economists to believe, the models which these ‘mainstream’ economists make do not even try to account for money, banking or debt. This is one big reason why virtually all members of the economics profession failed to see the housing bubble and were then blind-sided by both the 2008 financial collapse and the grinding, on-going Eurozone crisis which has followed in its wake. And the current group-think among ‘mainstream’ economists is yet another case where failure is no obstacle to continued funding – or continued failure. The absence of any sort of professional, intellectual or academic accountability will be a theme here."
Some economists did foresee the crash and are worth reading http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/07/15/no-one-saw-this-coming-balderdash/ i follow Hudson, Keen , Roubini and Schiff and mmt generally, as time permits.
So that's yes to capitalism, but not as we know it, lower key, more creative destruction, no growth imperative, and more egalitarian.

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2015, 08:07:03 PM »
Thanks, john. I knew most of that, but it's nice to see it so clearly articulated. And I liked your ant analogy. It reminded me of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFg21x2sj-M
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2015, 10:24:59 PM »
wow!

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 05:32:32 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCkCVFI3934#t=824

 Rethinking Economics in the Age of Climate Change

The economics section starts at about minute 19.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2015, 07:17:44 PM »
Etsy's IPO Is a Direct Challenge to Wall Street's Beliefs
Will investors embrace a company that says it cares about more than the bottom line?

Etsy's initial public offering is about to question Wall Street's conscience: Will investors embrace a company that wants to do good while it does well?

For three years, Etsy has been what's called a certified B Corporation—a distinction given to companies that pass demanding standards of benefiting the community, environment, employees, consumers, and suppliers. At Etsy, this includes giving all employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time every year, paying employees more than 40 percent above the local living wage, and covering 80 percent of workers' health insurance premiums, according to the company's 2013 Values & Impact Annual Report.

In Etsy’s pursuit of investors—and a $1.8 billion valuation— the company's values are central to the pitch. It is asking future stockholders to be OK with a management team that refuses to squeeze every penny of profit out of its 1.4 million active sellers or sacrifices community benefits to slash costs.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-02/etsy-s-ipo-is-a-direct-challenge-to-wall-street-s-beliefs

"Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods."   https://www.etsy.com
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2015, 05:02:19 PM »
One U.S. Company’s New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year
Mr. Price’s small, privately owned company is by no means a bellwether, but his unusual proposal does speak to an economic issue that has captured national attention: The disparity between the soaring pay of chief executives and that of their employees.

The United States has one of the world’s largest pay gaps, with chief executives earning nearly 300 times what the average worker makes, according to some economists’ estimates. That is much higher than the 20-to-1 ratio recommended by Gilded Age magnates like J. Pierpont Morgan and the 20th century management visionary Peter Drucker.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/business/owner-of-gravity-payments-a-credit-card-processor-is-setting-a-new-minimum-wage-70000-a-year.html
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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2015, 07:09:19 PM »
I enjoy watching Noam Chomsky speak. Coincidentally I came across this video on Youtube today:

Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy

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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2015, 01:51:14 AM »
Rich neighbors refused to let George Lucas enlarge his movie studio, so he’s building affordable housing there, instead.
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/04/18/rich-neighbors-refused-to-let-george-lucas-build-studio-so-hes-building-affordable-housing-instead/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2015, 12:24:27 AM »
New York Mayor Champions Economic Justice in Sustainability Plan

OneNYC is the most ambitious strategy in the nation to link the fight against income inequality with climate action and may inspire officials in other municipalities to follow.
...
Besides the income equality component, the other major addition is a new plan to reduce New York City's landfill waste to zero by 2030 through aggressive composting and recycling programs. Cutting New York's waste will also help the city reach its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, known as 80x50, which de Blasio announced in September.

The target will require drastic reductions in greenhouse gases from buildings, which account for 75 percent of the city's emissions. The de Blasio administration also said it will expand development of renewable energy sources and will cut energy consumption at wastewater treatment plants to reach the 80x50 goal.

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/24042015/new-york-mayor-champions-economic-justice-sustainability-plan
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2015, 02:18:22 AM »
Video: Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, speaks at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.  Topics include GDP, inequality, green business, and climate change.  April 29, 2015.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=di-aimmdiDA
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2015, 07:39:54 PM »
Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Career
If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.

http://time.com/3843445/exercising-higher-priority-business/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2015, 07:28:47 PM »
Re-thinking capitalism in the U.S.:  Uber workers are not quite employees, not quite independent contractors.
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-11/all-hail-uber
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anotheramethyst

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2015, 08:24:35 AM »
while there has never been a true communist market, there HAS been one solid example of q purely free, capitalist market.  it's called the black market.  that's the only market in the world that operates without regulation or oversight.  WHY would anyone want to model an economic system on that? 

also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.  the problems we face are deeply ingrained in the system.  as individuals we can value ideals more than material objects, but as long as our system is based on monetary value and accumulation,  greed will continue to drive society as a whole.  we need to change our value systems AND our means of sharing resources.  i imagine this happening as families and communities pool resources and operate as a unit within the system.  each can become a bubble where "all of this belongs to all of us" and everything is shared, but trade outside the bubble is normal.  if that's a viable alternative, more people will join each resource pool.  i don't know if it can work.  but that's how i picture it.  and when i'm imagining a future that didn't have a fiery human-caused apocalypse, i picture a future where everyone is provided with basic needs and social standing comes from creativity and contributing to culture, but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all.  i thonk status alone would motivate people to contribute to society.  money serves as a proxy for status right now anyway. 

now ask me if i think this will actually happen...... lol

crandles

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2015, 02:27:36 PM »
also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.

Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?







Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2015, 02:34:24 PM »
Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

It becomes a bad habit as soon as it breaches the limit of necessity + a bit.

So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

That depends on the standard of living. If someone is hoarding 10 billion dollars in assets, whereas 10 million would  be more than enough for one family (3 generations at least), that should be prohibited. Because that 10 billion is paid for by other people and by the environment.

It all boils down to the question: how much does a person need. Not an awful lot, even if advertisements try to make us believe otherwise.

The cap needs to be put in capital.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2015, 03:31:54 PM »
how much does a person need. Not an awful lot

But I need this forum ... and my wife says that's asking a lot!
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anotheramethyst

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2015, 09:01:37 PM »
also, wealth accumulation has been a bad habit of homo sapiens ever since it was possible to store wealth, with the rise of agriculture and the cultivation of grain.

Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

but there is no ability to accumulate wealth at all
So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

when you're storing excess grain as a way to control the food supply of other people not related to you, it's a problem.  this thread is about alternatives to capitalism, by the way.  if you like capitalism, that's great.  maybe you can find an "is capitalism good or bad?" forum.  this thread is about other alternatives to capitalism.

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2015, 10:46:14 PM »
"wouldn't this result in an increase in consumer spending?"

The richest aren't consumers?

Of course the richest are consumers but their propensity to spend their wealth is less than that of poorer people.

Well that depends on how you look at it right?  A poor person tends to spend near or even more than 100% of their income as that is necessary to survive and provide for their family.

A rich person with 10,000 times the wealth of that poor person might spend 10-20% of theirs.  But that results in a very different kind of spending (much more wasteful) and of a whole different magnitude.  Plus they 'invest' their excess into vehicles which are designed to return to them 'rents'  from those same poor people. 

Capitalism. 

BTW:  Free markets and capitalism do not have to exist together.  It is quite possible to have a free market and not have capitalism.  It is the capital accumulation part that breaks down eventually in a finite world.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2015, 04:44:41 PM »
Storing grain to avoid famine if there is one year with bad weather causing crop failure is a bad habit???? What about coping with 2 years with bad weather? What about 3? When does it become a bad habit? Surely there is some level at which it is good?

It becomes a bad habit as soon as it breaches the limit of necessity + a bit.

So someone who wants to save up for a more comfortable retirement and is willing to forego some current spending to have that higher level of spending later is prohibited from doing so? Sounds rather dictatorial, don't you think?

That depends on the standard of living. If someone is hoarding 10 billion dollars in assets, whereas 10 million would  be more than enough for one family (3 generations at least), that should be prohibited. Because that 10 billion is paid for by other people and by the environment.

It all boils down to the question: how much does a person need. Not an awful lot, even if advertisements try to make us believe otherwise.

The cap needs to be put in capital.

Saving for a rainy day (or as insurance against extreme weather  ;) ) is a must for any economic system, and certainly a beneficial idea on an individual level, as well.  I also agree that after a certain point it crosses over into "hoarding" territory, necessitating redistribution.

But what if you are hoarding lots of something nobody wants? 
Or something potentially causing a risk to yourself or others?  Like uranium.  Or cats.  :)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2015, 05:34:15 PM »
Redistribution of wealth....

CBS "Sunday Morning" TV show raises enough money from viewers to dig a well and supply water to many Navajo Nation families who live without running water.
https://www.facebook.com/CBSSunday/photos/a.10150237448611337.357140.121317881336/10153631720041337/
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wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2015, 06:33:15 PM »
I'm guessing that not much if any of those donations came from the top 1% much less the top .001%. That's the wealth that really needs to be 'redistributed.'

This is just proof that those with little money are much more willing to help those with less, than are those with lots of money.

This is well documented for a long time. IIRC, there was a book on it way back in the early '90s, something like "Charity Begins at Home."

Ah, yes. Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/Charity-Begins-Home-Generosity-Philanthropic/dp/0465009611
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2015, 06:58:08 PM »
Yes.  The Sunday Morning effort was more an example of a "sharing economy" -- although they did receive "inquiries from corporations interested in helping."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharing_economy
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anotheramethyst

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2015, 08:43:57 PM »
here's an option for transitioning away from capitalism:  employee owned businesses.  i've actually seen 2 success stories here.  in spring grove, il, scot forge is widely reputed as the best place to work.  all their workers are well paid and many retire in their 30's and 40's.  it's an employee owned steel factory.

in the rio grand valley, tx, vtci is the local phone coop.  it pays back all profits to its customers as dividends, which the customers LOVE!  it also creates a strong incentive to invest in the business, so the company laid miles of fiber optic cable throughout this tiny rural area in south texas in the late 1990's.  even now, their internet and phone plans are higher quality than what's available in chicago, il, AND they still paid dividends to all their customers every year (on a 4 year delay, the only complaint).

richard wolff has a lot to say on the subject, here's an interview.  you can also find his videos on youtube.
http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism

Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2015, 10:31:26 PM »
AA, I once read a very interesting and inspiring book by a Brazilian businessman called Ricardo Semler about just that.
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icefisher

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2015, 11:34:01 PM »
What Neven said goes for me too!! 

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2015, 02:00:12 AM »
If you have been following the U.S. presidential candidate races (my sympathies, if so ::) ), you may have heard about Bernie Sanders, the self-described socialist senator from Vermont.  He has some very reasonable ideas about reforming the U.S. economy.

Agenda for America
12 Steps Forward
http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/

Bernie Sanders questions morality of US economy
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/26/bernie-sanders-questions-morality-of-us-economy.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

TerryM

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2015, 02:55:30 PM »
here's an option for transitioning away from capitalism:  employee owned businesses.  i've actually seen 2 success stories here.  in spring grove, il, scot forge is widely reputed as the best place to work.  all their workers are well paid and many retire in their 30's and 40's.  it's an employee owned steel factory.

in the rio grand valley, tx, vtci is the local phone coop.  it pays back all profits to its customers as dividends, which the customers LOVE!  it also creates a strong incentive to invest in the business, so the company laid miles of fiber optic cable throughout this tiny rural area in south texas in the late 1990's.  even now, their internet and phone plans are higher quality than what's available in chicago, il, AND they still paid dividends to all their customers every year (on a 4 year delay, the only complaint).

richard wolff has a lot to say on the subject, here's an interview.  you can also find his videos on youtube.
http://www.rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism



In Riverside Ca., and I'm sure many other municipalities, the municipally owned water and electrical service provide utilities to the residents with no profit or dividends being paid to anyone. Plus governments can borrow at much lower rates should a cash influx be needed.
Privatization is the enemy
Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2015, 08:12:45 PM »
Bernie Sanders Takes Aim At 'Greedy' Koch Brothers
"For the life of me, I will never understand how a family like the Koch brothers, worth $85 billion, apparently think that's not enough money."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-koch-brothers_55d9ca6ee4b0a40aa3ab3642
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.