Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?  (Read 167401 times)

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #250 on: May 11, 2018, 10:13:05 PM »
I see no good option other than governments owning the 'means'. 

Perhaps very heavy taxes on the owners of the 'means' and using the tax money to create a universal basic income.

This is not something that could be done overnight, nor would it be needed overnight.  A gradual process that might play out over a few decades as we have larger and large amounts of unneeded labor.

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #251 on: May 12, 2018, 07:28:14 PM »
Graeber on bullshit jobs in the groves of academe:

"In the contemporary corporation, the accumulation of the equivalent of feudal retainers often becomes the main principle of organization. "

"I spent two years of my life making up work for myself and for other people."

"A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting. They might establish free schools where they could teach anyone who wished to learn. Universities would not become extinct. They would retain many strategic advantages. But they would be forced to de-bullshitize very rapidly."

Read all about it:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Are-You-in-a-BS-Job-In/243318?key=17K21y7n_SjUZ04t4-9d7tInUaJwcLDdV_QpNsCZfqsG3f961B4gZ2-LQanQQNUSTHpDSl9ZMUdlWmNRZTZzX0g4eTAydXgwRTRPc0R2WG1RZDdqcWx0SnlZZw

sidd


Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #252 on: May 12, 2018, 07:40:31 PM »
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6002
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #253 on: May 12, 2018, 09:12:44 PM »
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.
Few cultures still have a need for people that excel at throwing spears, but it's hard to find a University without javelin tossers. ::)
Terry

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #254 on: May 12, 2018, 10:05:22 PM »
The new statesman republished a 1934 interview of Stalin but H.G.Wells. Whatever his other errors and shortcomings, Stalin saw very clearly why Roosevelt's reforms would ultimately fail. It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today.

"The aim which the Americans are pursuing arose out of the economic troubles, out of the economic crisis. The Americans want to rid themselves of the crisis on the basis of private capitalist activity, without changing the economic basis. They are trying to reduce to a minimum the ruin, the losses caused by the existing economic system ... Thus, at best, it will be a matter, not of the reorganisation of society, not of abolishing the old social system which gives rise to anarchy and crises, but of restricting certain of its excesses. Subjectively, perhaps, these Americans think they are reorganising society; objectively, however, they are preserving the present basis of society. That is why, objectively, there will be no reorganisation of society."

"as soon as Roosevelt, or any other captain in the contemporary bourgeois world, proceeds to undertake something serious against the foundation of capitalism, he will inevitably suffer utter defeat. The banks, the industries, the large enterprises, the large farms are not in Roosevelt’s hands. All these are private property. The railroads, the mercantile fleet, all these belong to private owners. And, finally, the army of skilled workers, the engineers, the technicians, these too are not at Roosevelt’s command, they are at the command of the private owners; they all work for the private owners ...   The capitalist State does not deal much with economy in the strict sense of the word; the latter is not in the hands of the State. On the contrary, the State is in the hands of capitalist economy.

" I have some experience in fighting for Socialism, and this experience tells me that if Roosevelt makes a real attempt to satisfy the interests of the proletarian class at the expense of the capitalist class, the latter will put another President in his place. The capitalists will say: Presidents come and Presidents go, but we go on for ever; if this or that President does not protect our interests, we shall find another. What can the President oppose to the will of the capitalist class?  "

"  can we lose sight of the fact that in order to transform the world it is necessary to have political power? "

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/04/h-g-wells-it-seems-me-i-am-more-left-you-mr-stalin

sidd






sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #255 on: May 12, 2018, 10:13:11 PM »
A careful look at the Luddites and what they represented:

"The assaults on machines were not simply about “blindly resisting machinery,” rather the Luddites chose the sites of their ire based on how the new machines were being set to action in those particular factories. The Luddites picked their targets carefully as they waged their campaign, the frames they targeted for breaking were those that belonged to employers who had used these new machines as an excuse to lower worker’s wages,[8] and this was a trend seen across the areas where the Luddites rose .[9]"

"Yet, it would be unwise to suggest that the Luddites actions met with no success. By the time that Luddism died down the actions of this “army of redressers” had succeeded in convincing many of the factory owners to pay better wages; "

"First, the Luddites did not indiscriminately attack “all machines,” but directed their outrage at certain machines, in certain factories, being used in certain ways. Second, the Luddites were a popular movement in their time and their end came not due to “inevitable technological progress” but due to the deployment of soldiers and the introduction of harsh legislation. Third, the tactic of “machine breaking” though it is often associated with the Luddites is not exclusive to them: history is filled with examples of workers purposely breaking their machines as a way of resisting not against machinery (as such) but the broader economic system. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is that which is bound up in Hobsbawm’s evocative phrase “collective bargaining by riot” a term that suggests that the best way to think of the Luddites is as forerunners of the labor movement; as workers they had no protections (a point confirmed for them when parliament refused to protect their craft) and so they quite literally took matters into their own hands."

"the Luddites wanted to be able to feed their children, they didn’t want to be driven into poverty, and they thought those things were more important than the factory owners becoming wealthier and more powerful."

"It’s ridiculous to suggest they were opposed to “progress” because the ideologies hung on that term today were unknown in that time; but if we must keep with the language of “progress” it’s not that the Luddites opposed it, they just thought they should get to benefit as well. As the historian David Noble commented, “the Luddites were perhaps the last people in the West to perceive technology in the present tense and to act upon that perception.”[14] That which makes the Luddites so strange, so radical, and so dangerous is not that they wanted everyone to go back to living in caves (they didn’t want that), but that they thought that those who would be impacted by a new technology deserved a voice in how it was being deployed."

" ...  we would be well advised to accept some Luddite skepticism about the values embodied in new technologies ... The Luddites remind us that there are people behind these technologies, those people have their own values, those values get built into the technological systems they’re building – and those values aren’t necessarily the same as our values. Moreover, the Luddites remind us that we too are actors."

" “Current developments in the information age suggest an increase in power by those who already had a great deal of power, an enhanced centralization of control by those already prepared for control, an augmentation of wealth by the already wealthy.”[17] At risk of being crass, the more religiously someone sings the praises of “technological progress” the further they and their family live from an e-waste dump. "

"The Luddites were not “anti-technology.” They were skilled craft workers who believed that the new machinery being deployed by factory owners would impoverish, disempower, and immiserate them. They were right. They didn’t want “zero technology,” they wanted to feed their families. If they had their way we wouldn’t be living in a world with “no technology,” we’d be living in a world where communities have a say in the technological decisions that will impact them."

Read the whole thing.

https://librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/why-the-luddites-matter/

There is another article in the links, also rather good:

https://librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/what-technology-do-we-really-need-a-critique-of-the-2016-personal-democracy-forum/

It contains a quote from one of my favorite authors:

“It must always be stressed that our civilization is one of means…the means determine the ends, by assigning us ends that can be attained and eliminating those considered unrealistic because our means do not correspond to them. At the same time, the means corrupt the ends. We live at the opposite end of the formula that ‘the ends justify the means.’ We should understand that our enormous present means shape the ends we pursue.” (Ellul, TPI, 238) " --- Jacques Ellul, "The Political Illusion"

sidd

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #256 on: May 12, 2018, 10:30:15 PM »
Quote
A likely result of universal guaranteed income would be the rapid defection of a large number of academics from their university positions to intellectual circles where they would once again be able to argue about ideas and research things they actually find interesting

Why?  Our robotic overlords would have already fully researched all ideas.
Few cultures still have a need for people that excel at throwing spears, but it's hard to find a University without javelin tossers. ::)
Terry

Perhaps in the future individuals will toss javelins for applause, olive wreaths, and personal satisfaction.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #257 on: May 12, 2018, 10:47:07 PM »
Quote
The new statesman republished a 1934 interview of Stalin but H.G.Wells. Whatever his other errors and shortcomings, Stalin saw very clearly why Roosevelt's reforms would ultimately fail. It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today.


Let's review Roosevelt's reforms.

The US Social Security System was created during his presidency and it's still going strong.  The Republican party has attempted to kill Social Security since its inception but they are now admitting that they cannot.

FDR established a national minimum wage though the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Still there.

FDR took the first Federal action to prohibit employment discrimination.  It's still a work in progress (the Lily Ledbetter Act was passed under Obama) but things have progressed since FDR kicked it into gear.

FDR  helped create the FDIC which was established through the 1933 Banking Act.  Still the controlling financial agency in the US.

FDR played a major role in the creation of the United Nations.  An imperfect, but still operational organization.

FDR also pulled the US out of the Great Depression and led the US and world into winning World War II. 

Does anyone have a list of FDR's accomplishments that "capitalists" have caused to fail?

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #258 on: May 12, 2018, 10:52:34 PM »
Quote
"The aim which the Americans are pursuing arose out of the economic troubles, out of the economic crisis. The Americans want to rid themselves of the crisis on the basis of private capitalist activity, without changing the economic basis. They are trying to reduce to a minimum the ruin, the losses caused by the existing economic system ... Thus, at best, it will be a matter, not of the reorganisation of society, not of abolishing the old social system which gives rise to anarchy and crises, but of restricting certain of its excesses.

Capitalism is strong.  Very, very strong.  In order to prevent the greedy from grabbing too much capitalism must be constrained. 

Socialism, which Stalin was promoting, has failed over and over.  The only places where large scale socialism has been attempted force has to be used to keep capitalism from breaking out and taking over. 

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #259 on: May 12, 2018, 10:58:28 PM »
Quote
"The Luddites were not “anti-technology.”

Correct.  But that is of only historical interest.  The term Luddite now means those opposed to technological advances.

It's like "The Ugly American" now means Americans going abroad and acting badly.  The original ugly American was a wonderful, culturally aware person who dedicated his time to making life better for those who didn't have a technological background.  He just happened to not have a pretty face.

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #260 on: May 12, 2018, 11:39:29 PM »
Stalin and Wells were speaking of internal reform in the USA so i leave the UN out.

Social Security was meant to provide for citizens in old age. Has it done so ? What was the last time one could retire on the proceeds of Social Security alone ?

FHA, Glass Steagal, Fannie and Freddie are in ruins. Bankers rule.

Minimium wage is vastly outpaced by inflation.

Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also.

Roosevelt reneged on reform in his second term resulting in economic downturn. What then rescued the economy was WWII.

Annd most of all, the USA is still ruled by corrupt oligarchy.

"Socialism, which Stalin was promoting"

I differ. Whatever Stalin was promoting by 1934, was not, in my view, Socialism. Recall, the trials had begun by then, Trotsky was in exile.

sidd

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6002
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 899
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #261 on: May 12, 2018, 11:53:05 PM »
^ Bear in mind that this was a 1934 Stalin speaking of a 1934 Roosevelt's accomplishments.
Terry

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #262 on: May 13, 2018, 12:41:46 AM »
Stalin and Wells were speaking of internal reform in the USA so i leave the UN out.

Social Security was meant to provide for citizens in old age. Has it done so ? What was the last time one could retire on the proceeds of Social Security alone ?

FHA, Glass Steagal, Fannie and Freddie are in ruins. Bankers rule.

Minimium wage is vastly outpaced by inflation.

Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also.

Roosevelt reneged on reform in his second term resulting in economic downturn. What then rescued the economy was WWII.

Annd most of all, the USA is still ruled by corrupt oligarchy.

"Socialism, which Stalin was promoting"

I differ. Whatever Stalin was promoting by 1934, was not, in my view, Socialism. Recall, the trials had begun by then, Trotsky was in exile.

sidd

sidd, you claimed via other people's words that " It took the capitalists the better part of a century, perhaps longer than Stalin might have imagined, but we now see the ruin of most of Roosevelt's ideas today."

Roosevelt's ideas are in no way ruined. 

Social Security was never meant to be a 100% funder of retirement. 

The FHA, Freddie and Fanny are operational.  Not destroyed.

Glass Steagall was somewhat dialed back.  That seems to not be a good idea and will likely be readdressed once Democrats have control over legislation and administration once more.

Is everything hunky-dory?  Of course not.  Republicans do what they can to benefit the greedy.  Democrats do what they can to move things more in favor of the vast majority of Americans.

"Discrimination is rampant. The shocking rate of incarceration and police execution of minorities is not reflected in income and wealth statistics also"

You apparently know little about how our society functioned 20 and 40 years ago.   

Perfect will probably never be achieved.  But if you think FDR did not make massive changes to the United States then you have a vast lack of knowledge about what the US was like prior to FDR.  And the rise of labor unions.

The greedy will always try to get a larger piece of the pie than they deserve.  That's how greed works.  The non-greedy will continually have to find ways to push back against the greedy.

Once Trump is gone we'll have to repair the ACAPP, Obamacare and the Consumer Protection Agency.  We'll have to reinstate regulations that Trump has reversed, perhaps creating new legislation to make it harder for the next greed-elected president to walk things backwards.

Progress is not a series of large jumps to perfection.  It's a stagger of a couple of steps forward, a step backwards, and another move forward.  But if you step back and look at the larger picture you'll see that progress proceeds in a ratchet like manner over time.  The good stuff gets preserved.  We haven't returned to slavery.  We haven't taken the vote away from women and minorities.  We haven't eliminated healthcare for the most needy.  We haven't eliminated the minimum wage.  Once programs that benefit most people are implemented they tend to stay in place.  The forces of greed atttempt to eliminate or trim them back.  A decade later those efforts have generally been overridden and the programs are stronger than they were.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #263 on: May 13, 2018, 12:50:22 AM »
^ Bear in mind that this was a 1934 Stalin speaking of a 1934 Roosevelt's accomplishments.
Terry

FDR started in January 1933.  There wasn't a lot in the way of permanent programs started up during his first year. 

The CCC was not intended to be permanent but a way to give some of the many people out of work due to the Great Depression  an income.

The Agricultural Adjustment Administration was established to stabilize farm prices in order to protect farmers during the Depression.  IIRC the AAA was folded into the Department of Agriculture.

The National Industry Recovery Act was another short term action designed to help pull the US out of the Depression.

The TVA is still going strong.

Stalin was smoking crack.

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #264 on: May 13, 2018, 07:07:33 AM »
Clearly Mr. Wallace and I see things differently.

In my view:

Glass Steagall is gutted, and it's weak shadow, Dodd-Frank is being gutted.

Since the 1970s, say fifty years ago, wages and benefits have stagnated for the working classes as opposed to the rentiers in the USA.

Gilens and Page have documented that legislation is passed almost exclusively in the interests of the moneyed class.

I note that regarding the relative income positioning of minorities 20 years ago, i have posted a link in the Economic Inequality thread, which argues that improvement is illusory.

I think that if you asked Mr. Roosevelt today of his vision had lasted, his answer would be interesting.

sidd


Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #265 on: May 13, 2018, 07:32:35 AM »
Quote
Glass Steagall is gutted, and it's weak shadow, Dodd-Frank is being gutted.

One step back.  It happens.  Once Democrats get back in power we'll likely see that step recovered and another step forward. 

Quote
Since the 1970s, say fifty years ago, wages and benefits have stagnated for the working classes as opposed to the rentiers in the USA.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed.  The new tax legislation has made the problem even worse.  The downslide of the middle class started with Reagan and his "trickle down on you" economics.  It's something that we have to reverse.

Quote
I think that if you asked Mr. Roosevelt today of his vision had lasted, his answer would be interesting.

We've made a lot of progress since FDR's day.  I doubt he would be able to imagine minorities holding major elected offices such as governors, senators and president.  I imagine his pince-nez would have fallen off his face when he beheld the number of high positions filled by women.

Remember, FDR died long before the legal end of segregation.  He was born less than 20 years after the end of slavery.

FDR also died well before the 'golden age' of the US middle class.  The middle class and working class live much, much better than in Roosevelt's day.  I suspect he'd see economic progress from his perspective and declare it a good thing.

Might I ask how old you are Sidd?  I'll be 74 in a few days.  I grew up in the segregated South and in a 'certainly not affluent' community.  We might have a different perspective in terms of what has been gained and what has been lost.


sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #266 on: May 13, 2018, 08:26:58 AM »
Let us say i have seen some six decades now. And I hang with a lot poor people, and many nonwhite, and many of both are racists and have other horrible traits. I know some rich people as well, and my observation is that compassion drops as you grow richer.

Some of all these i count as friends, including the one with the horrible traits.

I have knocked around  a dozen countries or so over my life. The USA is indeed a strange and terrible land.

Let me tell you when it really came home to me.

About ten years ago, in a horrible winter, hauling a load, come over a rise, black ice, start goin sideways, but controlled, outta corner of my eye, see a car off the road, halfway up the embankment, looks kinda familiar. See flashers comin the other way, so we keep going, someone's called it in.

About a half mile down the road, pedestrian flags us down. Guy we know. Hops in, he was driving the car.  His shoulder looks funny, got some bloodstains going, so we pull over, gonna call the paramedics. He sez, no fucking way, if he gets picked up by the ambulance he got to pay for the ride, more than he can afford. We go, ok, we'll take you to the hospital, three valleys away. No, he sez, i can't afford that either, take me home, i'm good.

So we do. But i call his dad, older guy, let him know, we just dropped his son off, he's beat up.

Next day, I hear the guy is dead.

Running from the cops is one thing. Running from an ambulance becoz you can't pay is quite another.

And i hear that a lot in these days with ACA as well. Most of these guys in the back hollers and woods cant afford an ambulance ride. Or medical care. They dont file taxes, make too little for the IRS to bother,  so they weren't hit by the insurance mandate penalty, but they dont have insurance either.

And they run away from ambulances. If they can.

sidd
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 08:40:01 AM by sidd »

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #267 on: May 13, 2018, 08:58:49 AM »
In 1965 Medicare was initiated as part of FDR's Social Security Act of 1935.

Initially Medicare only required that states provide Medicaid to children, pregnant women, parents of dependent children, individuals with disabilities, and qualifying people over age 65.

Under Obama states were allowed expanded Medicaid programs to cover almost all adults (even those without children) whose incomes are up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  Some ahole governors blocked expansion but many people like you describe are now covered.

The only place the folks you describe should be running to is the polls.  They need to elect some people who serve them and not the Koch brothers. 

Of if they live in a covered state then they need to sign up for insurance that won't cost them a penny.  In fact, if they can't get Medicaid then they should be able to get "Obamacare" coverage.  Still won't cost them anything.  I knew someone with a limited income who got basic coverage for $1/month.

We're working our way towards a system that covers everyone.  But it's more of that two steps forward and one step back stuff.  We'll have to undo the Trump damage and then move the ball further downfield.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #268 on: May 13, 2018, 09:24:42 AM »
BTW, I'm pretty sure that one of the changes made by the ACAPP (Obamacare) was that all health insurance policies now have to cover ambulance rides.

On this page you can find a list of the states which have not expanded Medicaid coverage.

https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/the-coverage-gap-uninsured-poor-adults-in-states-that-do-not-expand-medicaid/

Elections are coming up.  People should get to the polls and vote in their own self-interest, not to make the obscenely wealthy even richer.


Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7778
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1143
  • Likes Given: 537
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #269 on: May 13, 2018, 11:20:48 AM »
I think that what Stalin was getting at, was that despite Roosevelt's lofty ideals, he wouldn't succeed, because capitalism is inherently flawed/corrupt.

And he had that from Karl Marx, of course.

Coincidentally, there was an interesting interview on the Jimmy Dore Show about just this subject last week (it's worth watching it from the start, but here's the part that ties into this discussion):

https://youtu.be/qT1JAzhywfA?t=234

I agree with sidd that we are seeing these inherent flaws clearer than ever, and that no, the 'Democrats' are not going to fix them, because they're part of the corruption (they were the death knell of Roosevelt's policies, after all). It can only become worse, unless some very serious systemic changes are made, starting with ditching the moral and physical aberration that is neoclassical economics, and ending with a cap on how much any individual person can own.

Maybe the problem isn't capitalism per se, bit it's definitely a problem when the capital is owned by a very small number of people. And that's what we see. It was inevitable, and in this Stalin may very well have been right.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:26:43 AM by Neven »
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

etienne

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1129
    • View Profile
    • About energy
  • Liked: 188
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #270 on: May 13, 2018, 12:38:12 PM »
Well Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin. No problem with Marx, but Stalin was a monster. If we want to change the world, I prefer Martin Luther King Junior or Gandhi. If Gaza could continue without violence like it did the last Fridays, they would probably get more success than with the Intifada technique. A crazy man that makes a nice speach makes propagada, always look at the fruits to see if the guy is good or bad.

I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue. My Grand-Father used to say about food "a little bit of everything, but without excess", I believe that this is also valid for the way the world works. We need public companies, we need private companies, we need social security... but I don't understand why a french company takes care of Luxembourgish trashes and of public transportations in the Netherlands, why a US company has hospitals in Switzerland and homes for elderly people in Luxembourg, why a Swiss company makes cheese in the US ... ok for technological products, but not for everyday businesses.

Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7778
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1143
  • Likes Given: 537
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #271 on: May 13, 2018, 01:29:55 PM »
I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue.

The question in this case: Is this problem inherent to capitalism? Does it always lead to this? And if it is indeed inherent to capitalism, will it still be capitalism when we take this problem away? Is it enough to put the capital in many more hands?

You can argue that Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin, but maybe this also means that capitalism was much more efficient at burning up resources and this in turn is the main reason we are now faced with huge global problems, AGW being the most prominent.

Anyway, this stuff is complex, and I think that automation and AI are not going to make it simpler. But maybe it's a way out. Much of it is psychological anyway.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Alexander555

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1297
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #272 on: May 13, 2018, 01:32:45 PM »
"Once Trump is gone" , what a joke. It's pretty clear that corruption is everywhere. Than you have 2 options. Or the army steps in and clears everything. Or organisations  like the kartels use this situation to put all these corrupt people with their backs against the wall. And than they step in. And the 2th option is probably going on for already a long time. For them this is a paradise, corrupt people. Because they can not open their month anymore. The US is going to look much faster like Venezuela than many people realise.

Alexander555

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1297
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #273 on: May 13, 2018, 01:58:17 PM »
Last year we had a case in court. 3 pharmaceutical companies sold for a couple 100 millions a year basic ingredients to pharmaceutical companies in Mexico. But these Mexican companies were kartel owned. They used these basis chemical stuff to make drugs. The question was, did these European companies knew that they were from the kartels. They have been buying your regular economy for already a long time. With a revenue of hundreds of bilions a year you can buy many things, and corrupt plenty people. And still these anti-Trump protesters think Trump is the problem.

etienne

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1129
    • View Profile
    • About energy
  • Liked: 188
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #274 on: May 13, 2018, 02:45:22 PM »
I agree with Neven that capitalism is not the problem, but the sharing of revenues is the issue.

The question in this case: Is this problem inherent to capitalism? Does it always lead to this? And if it is indeed inherent to capitalism, will it still be capitalism when we take this problem away? Is it enough to put the capital in many more hands?

You can argue that Roosevelt did a better job than Stalin, but maybe this also means that capitalism was much more efficient at burning up resources and this in turn is the main reason we are now faced with huge global problems, AGW being the most prominent.

Anyway, this stuff is complex, and I think that automation and AI are not going to make it simpler. But maybe it's a way out. Much of it is psychological anyway.

What about Tschernobyl ? I wouldn't compare ecological achievements of capitalism and communism. I don't think that one model would have saved us, both  believe in growth above the limits.

Neven

  • Administrator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7778
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 1143
  • Likes Given: 537
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #275 on: May 13, 2018, 03:40:41 PM »
What about Tschernobyl ? I wouldn't compare ecological achievements of capitalism and communism. I don't think that one model would have saved us, both  believe in growth above the limits.

You started the comparison, and maybe I shouldn't have replied, as it wasn't what the discussion was all about. But I absolutely agree with you that both models have been flawed so far in that they both had growth as its end, instead of it being a means to an end.

Now, I can see a situation where communism/socialism ends in a steady state situation with no more growth because everyone has been provided for, but would such a thing even be possible with capitalism? Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Alexander555

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1297
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #276 on: May 13, 2018, 04:18:41 PM »
Globalisation is a problem. It creates the same problem as these criminal organisations. You have 2 companies, one lives from the activety  it's doing. The other one has a 2th source of income. They are both competitors, but the 2th one can not go bankrupted. At least not in reality. But he will destroy the one that is doing everything in a fair way. Or he has to become a criminal himself. These globalists are doing the same. They import people and it has always to do with costs. So the people that are not importing people, they will go bankrupted. Or they have to do the same. And that's how you turn all the good boys into bad boys. And they can print money to counter it a little. But it want help. It just pushes more money into the hands of these criminals.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #277 on: May 13, 2018, 05:51:28 PM »
Quote
I think that what Stalin was getting at, was that despite Roosevelt's lofty ideals, he wouldn't succeed, because capitalism is inherently flawed/corrupt.

And he had that from Karl Marx, of course.

Capitalism is what it is.  The problem is that capitalism is very "strong" and must be restrained or we will end up with a monopoly where one, or a very small number of people, own everything.


Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #278 on: May 13, 2018, 06:05:20 PM »
Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Socialist countries also strive for endless growth.  They just have a hard time pulling it off.

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.

Look at Musk's achievements.  He would not have been able to step in and turn Tesla into what it is or to fund SpaceX and Boring had he not had a lot of capital at his disposal.  Musk didn't need to spend his time looking for funding, he had the capital and put it to work. 

We blame capitalism for things that would happen under socialism as well.  (Perhaps somewhat slower.)  Socialist countries pollute, they use unsustainable inputs, they grow.  The difference is that under capitalism individuals can earn more by working harder and thinking harder.  This leads to more effort and faster progress and growth.

 


Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #279 on: May 13, 2018, 06:19:36 PM »
Quote
Globalisation is a problem. It creates the same problem as these criminal organisations.

Globalism is not the problem.  Lack of adequate regulation in some countries is the problem.  Globalism is how we achieve world peace.  If countries economies are adequately interlaced then economic interests will work to solve problems that might lead to conflict.  Companies do not want their supply streams and markets disrupted. 

Like it or not, big business is how we cut our carbon footprints.  It will take large companies doing big projects to transform our grids from fossil fuel to renewable energy source.

Big business is how we achieve world peace.  Lots of business across national borders means a natural resistance to conflict and puts individuals into contact with "them" so that we learn that "them" are pretty much like us and nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, some of "them" are nice people and make good friends.

Capitalism is how we make progress quickly reducing our GHG problem.  Create conditions where there is money to be made by building solar and wind farms, installing storage, selling EVs, etc.  Folks who want to make money will swarm to do that stuff.

But we have to realize that the possibility of profits will cause some of us to do things we don't want done.  We have to regulate what people do.  We have to regulate against pollution, using non-sustainable materials, treating employees and customers badly, and the other things we don't want happening.

Alexander555

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1297
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #280 on: May 13, 2018, 06:20:44 PM »
Capitalism strong ? They would all be bankrupted without printing money day and night.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #281 on: May 13, 2018, 08:11:41 PM »
Capitalism strong ? They would all be bankrupted without printing money day and night.

Capitalism and fiscal policy are not the same thing. 

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #282 on: May 13, 2018, 08:38:58 PM »
"Big business is how we achieve world peace"

Currently, big business is doing very well out of war:

"Total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016"

https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2018/global-military-spending-remains-high-17-trillion

Heres a list of the top 10 merchants of death, sales in US$

Finnmeccanica, sales 10 billion, United Technologies 12 billion, Airbus 16 billion, General Dynamics 19 billion, Northrop Grumman 20 billion, Raytheon 22 billion, BAE 27 billion, Boeing 31 billion, Lockheed Martin 35 billion

BAE, Airbus and Finnmeccanica are the only non US companies in there.

http://news.bitofnews.com/the-9-most-powerful-weapons-manufacturers-in-the-world/

wikipedia has a similar list for 2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#List_of_major_weapon_manufacturers

Their business is war, and business is good.

sidd


zizek

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 54
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #283 on: May 13, 2018, 09:23:40 PM »

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.


And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #284 on: May 13, 2018, 09:29:28 PM »
Quote
Currently, big business is doing very well out of war:

Some individual companies do well selling war stuff.  Overall war has meant a net loss for business starting with WWI (perhaps earlier, I'm forgetting the last net profit war).

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #285 on: May 13, 2018, 09:35:32 PM »
Quote
Who said capitalism does not require growth??

Where is the proof that capitalism requires growth?  Are you confusing correlation and causation?

One could live in an isolated village that isn't growing or trading outside the village.  And one might own an extra house which they rent out, using the rental income to purchase their food and other supplies.

That is capitalism in a non-growing economy.

Ogg could have let Dugg use his really good sharp stick to hunt an antelope in exchange for a portion of the meat.  More capitalism without growth.


zizek

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 54
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #286 on: May 13, 2018, 10:01:22 PM »
Quote
Who said capitalism does not require growth??

Where is the proof that capitalism requires growth?  Are you confusing correlation and causation?

uhhhh? what? literally every orthodox capitalist will describe constant grown as a requirement for a healthy economy. The proof is uhhhhhh the last three hundred years of capitalist economy and every academic discussing economics during these times. The business cycle. recessions. depressions. What more "proof" do you neeed? does god need to come down and explain it to you through a prophet?


One could live in an isolated village that isn't growing or trading outside the village.  And one might own an extra house which they rent out, using the rental income to purchase their food and other supplies.

That is capitalism in a non-growing economy.

Ogg could have let Dugg use his really good sharp stick to hunt an antelope in exchange for a portion of the meat.  More capitalism without growth.

Bob, this has to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. Are you seriously comparing global capitalism to..... an isolated village. that, for some reason, has decided to develop a capitalist system, and seek rent.  But the awful comparison doesn't even work, because the village still requires growth to sustain its economics system. If it was capitalist, the rent-seeker would need to accumulate resources (or capital), so there must be a surplus of resources from the villager to pay that rent.  Otherwise, if the rent-seeker isn't accumulating resources, and simply trading his home for resources, that would be an equitable transaction..... also known as.......... COMMUNISM 8)

The irony of your example is historically isolated communities were very egalitarian. It wasn't until agriculture advances allowed for surplus food stocks, which then was accumulated by priests and lords.  Which lead to feudalism and capitalism etc.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/14/early-men-women-equal-scientists

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #287 on: May 13, 2018, 10:05:54 PM »
Re: Capitalism and Growth

There is support for capitalism without growth in models by Daly and others. In this article, Smith argues they are wrong:

"I will argue that Herman Daly, Tim Jackson, Andrew Simms and the rest of the anti-growth school of ecological economists are right that we need a new macro economic model that allows us to thrive without endless consumption. But they are mistaken to think that this can be a capitalist economic model."

Briefly: his argument is the laws of competition in the marketplace compels corporations to grow or die. 

"I maintain that the growth imperative is a virtual a law of nature, built into any conceivable capitalism"

He gives an example of stasis under capitalism:

"Since the fall of 2008, when the world economy suddenly ground to a halt, we've been treated to a preview of what a no-growth "stasis" economy would look like under capitalism. It's not a pretty sight: capital destruction, mass unemployment, devastated communities, growing poverty, foreclosures, homelessness and environmental considerations shunted aside in the all-out effort to restore growth. That is "stasis" under capitalism."

He attacks Daly's ideas:

"in Daly's model of a steady-state capitalism - the government's role is to set an upper limit on throughput consumption only and then get out of the way, leaving the market "alone" and in charge, why would the market act any differently than it does right now? "

A point he could have made but did not, was that corporates would treat the purchase and sale of legislators as any other market, resulting in regulatory capture and the state becoming an instrument of the largest capitalists. In short an oligarchy, as Stalin among many others foresaw.

Smith brings up Jevon's paradox:

"But Jevons lived, and we live, under capitalism, and, in this system, cheaper inputs give producers only greater incentive to "grow the market" by selling more product at lower prices to more consumers, and thus to push sales and profits still higher. So, ironically, the very capitalist efficiency and market organization of production that Daly celebrates just brings on the growth and further environmental destruction he so dreads."

Apparently Daly responded that he was not necessarily speaking of a capitalist economy:

" When this article first appeared in Real-World Economics Review No. 53, Professor Daly wrote a reply in issue 54 insisting that he was talking about a “steady-state economy” not a steady-state capitalist economy. I rejoined in issue 55 and explained why, in my view, he could only be talking about a capitalist economy. "

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21215-beyond-growth-or-beyond-capitalism

In the large i think the issue is not capitalism as it is preached, but capitalism as it is practised here and now. And I think Smith is correct, in that cpitalism as it is  presently consituted in the West is incapable of dealing with stasis. Perhap a utopian capitalism might do so, but we do not live in utopia.

Even if you do not agree, i recommend reading the article carefully. It is quite legible and well sourced and defines the issue with clarity.

sidd
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 10:12:24 PM by sidd »

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #288 on: May 13, 2018, 10:14:38 PM »
Thank you for saving me the typing, Mr. Zizek:

"Otherwise, if the rent-seeker isn't accumulating resources, and simply trading his home for resources, that would be an equitable transaction..... also known as.......... COMMUNISM "

sidd

Alexander555

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1297
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #289 on: May 13, 2018, 10:20:01 PM »
I think it's more that a debt economy needs constant growth. Because normaly you have to pay it back. And that means that somebody gets less money on his account.

zizek

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 54
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #290 on: May 13, 2018, 10:33:37 PM »
Thank you for bringing up Daly. I read a little bit of his work a while back and was repulsed by his conclusion.  I always thought Daly's work is a window into the future of post-denialism climate change rhetoric. Once climate change becomes impossible to deny, capitalists will adopt his language to protect themselves from climate change inspired economic upheaval:
"no, capitalism is fine, we just have to tweak it to be sustainable. It will work, we promise"

I haven't read Smith yet, thanks for posting it. 

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1836
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 394
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #291 on: May 13, 2018, 10:51:51 PM »

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.

And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.

Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Nowhere, at no time, has a lack of economic growth imperiled the existence of these elements.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.

zizek

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 54
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #292 on: May 13, 2018, 11:04:42 PM »

Quote
Is endless growth not a core feature of capitalism?

Capitalism does not require growth.  Capitalism allows for faster growth.
What? :o

Who said capitalism does not require growth?? Did Adam Smith make that claim? Do Keynesian economists make that claim? Do Austrian economists make that claim? Are any capitalists making that claim? No. You will not find any capitalists making that claim
Are critics of capitalism making that claim? Of course not, since capitalism's endless growth is a main critique by leftists scholars. There is mountains and mountains of literature describing in excruciating detail the problems of capitalism & growth. I'm not sure how you missed hundreds of prominent academics discussing this problem for decades, but, well, here we are.

How could you come to such an ahistorical conclusion? Did you forget about recessions and depressions? You know, those times where the economy slows down and a bunch of people lose their jobs & homes. Except for the wealthy who seem to actually benefit from these downturn.  Is that how forgot about recessions and depressions? You were too busy buying cheap property and collecting rent to notice why thousands of people are living on the street?


Bob, you have been so wrong about so many things.  I wish I wasn't knee deep in school so I could unpack everything you've said in this thread.

Watch this, it's only 8 minutes, but does a wonderful job explaining neoliberalism.

And read
https://www.amazon.ca/This-Changes-Everything-Capitalism-Climate/dp/0307401995
This will provide you with a nice introduction to capitalism & climate change.

You have a long way to go. but this should be a good start.

Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Nowhere, at no time, has a lack of economic growth imperiled the existence of these elements.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist.
:o :o :o :o :o :o

how does this keep on happening on this forum. It's like economics is fair game for making shit up. How many times do I have to say this:

THERE ARE NO ORTHODOX CAPITALIST SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT, NOR ARE THERE ANY CAPITALIST CRITIQUES THAT SUGGEST PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATIONS OF CAPITALISM DO NOT REQUIRE GROWTH. GROWTH IS FUNDAMENTAL TO CAPITALISM.


it's like I'm taking crazy pills here.

sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #293 on: May 13, 2018, 11:07:45 PM »
"Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here. 

But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 11:17:15 PM by sidd »

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1836
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 394
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #294 on: May 13, 2018, 11:17:51 PM »
"Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here. But more empirically, can anyone point to an existing capitalist economy that does not grow ? Is there even a single example of such a beast ?

sidd

Blindingly obvious examples.  Plenty.  Japan's "lost decade" for one.  A decade of near-zero GDP growth, with minimal inflation, nearly full employment, and high standard of living.

The example of the US Great Depression is illustrative as well.  Strongly negative GDP growth.  While suffering was immense, the basic institutions of capitalism didn't change, and weren't threatened.

Capitalism simply doesn't require economic growth to persist.  That's no theory, it's empirical fact.

PS:  Another blindingly obvious example, Somalia.  Failed government, massive civil disturbance, famines, civil war.  And still, banking goes on:
http://www.centralbank.gov.so/banks.html


sidd

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5764
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #295 on: May 13, 2018, 11:24:34 PM »
Thanks for the Japan example, but i note it is grew before and after, so all that example proves is that periods of stasis are possible. I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

And  I would argue that the Great Depression threatened capitalism, and the changes Roosevelt made,  and WWII saved it.

I was modifying my comment when you replied, so i restate:

"I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here.  "

sidd

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1836
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 394
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #296 on: May 13, 2018, 11:27:55 PM »
"Capitalism, as an institutional structure, simply does not require growth to persist.
Recessions and depressions never stopped the basic elements of capitalism.  Symbolic money, and borrowing and lending for interest are the crux of it.  Add property rights and rights to collect rent.  Also add limited liability corporations.  These, together, constitute a capitalist system.

Capitalism does not require growth to persist."

I see no mention of a competitive market here, which is the basis of Smith's argument. So I do not see a refutation of Smith's arguments here.   

True, I did not specify a competitive market explicitly.  But where do you see borrowing and lending at interest outside of a competitive market for borrowing and lending?  Where do you see rent on property without a competitive market for renting property?  Where do you see limited liability corporations that do not operate in some kind of competitive market?  It's inherent in these structures.

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1836
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 394
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #297 on: May 13, 2018, 11:31:42 PM »
Thanks for the Japan example, but i note it is grew before and after, so all that example proves is that periods of stasis are possible. I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

Japan never really exited its lost decade.  A percent or so of GDP growth is nothing to point at as vindication. 

A decade and more of negligible growth, with zero evidence of strain on capitalistic structures of the economy, and you insist on more proof that zero growth is feasible in capitalism?  I think you're straining credulity.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #298 on: May 13, 2018, 11:49:24 PM »
Here is a definition of capitalism from Wiki which closely matches my definition.

Quote
Capitalism is an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

My definition differs slightly in that I view an individual's time and labor as capital.  It's something which others might value and be willing pay or exchange something in order to use.

Ogg had a sharp stick.  Private property.  He entered into a voluntary exchange with Dugg in which he allowed Dugg to use his property in exchange for the fruits of Dugg's labor.

Perhaps Zebb also had a sharp stick or a really good throwing rock.  In that event there could be a competitive market in which two people offered use of their possessions for a share of the kill.  One tool might be better but the other owner might ask for a smaller portion.

Capitalism, baby.  No growth required. 

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #299 on: May 13, 2018, 11:54:35 PM »
Quote
I was asking for an example of a capitalist economy static in size from beginning to end of it's tenure.

What would it matter if you found one or not?  If a capitalist economy fails was it not capitalistic?

What if a socialist economy grows?  Does that make it capitalistic?

I think capitalism and growth get confounded because capitalistic systems are so powerful and generally create growth whereas socialistic systems stagnate due to the lack of individual incentives.