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Author Topic: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?  (Read 57986 times)

johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #700 on: July 13, 2018, 10:04:03 AM »
Pretty much in the same vein as above, https://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly18/USA-3rd-world7-18.html This illustrates the state that all 'mature' political bodies, ungoverned by an overiding ethical framework achieve, before collapse. They all resemble the hierarchical set up that social insects have gamed, it's not a good fit for primates. With the insidious penetration of digital oversight I'm not at all sure that the complete breakdown, with all the social chaos that implies, will be any worse than the clearly unplanned, but totally necessary to maintain the status quo, accelerating tyranny ahead.

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #701 on: August 12, 2018, 05:51:46 PM »
This Bloomberg author is worried.

Americans Own Less Stuff, and That’s Reason to Be Nervous
What happens when a nation built on the concept of individual property ownership starts to give that up?
Quote
Some social problems are blatantly obvious in daily life, while others are longer-term, more corrosive and perhaps mostly invisible. Lately I’ve been worrying about a problem of the latter kind: the erosion of personal ownership and what that will mean for our loyalties to traditional American concepts of capitalism and private property.

The main culprits for the change are software and the internet. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle and other methods of online reading have revolutionized how Americans consume text. Fifteen years ago, people typically owned the books and magazines they were reading. Much less so now. If you look at the fine print, it turns out that you do not own the books on your Kindle. Amazon.com Inc. does.

I do not consider this much of a practical problem. Although Amazon could obliterate the books on my Kindle, this has happened only in a very small number of cases, typically involving account abuse. Still, this licensing of e-books, instead of stacking books on a shelf, has altered our psychological sense of how we connect to what we read – it is no longer truly “ours.”

The change in our relationship with physical objects does not stop there. We used to buy DVDs or video cassettes; now viewers stream movies or TV shows with Netflix. Even the company’s disc-mailing service is falling out of favor. Music lovers used to buy compact discs; now Spotify and YouTube are more commonly used to hear our favorite tunes.

The great American teenage dream used to be to own your own car. That is dwindling in favor of urban living, greater reliance on mass transit, cycling, walking and, of course, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Each of these changes is beneficial, yet I worry that Americans are, slowly but surely, losing their connection to the idea of private ownership. The nation was based on the notion that property ownership gives individuals a stake in the system. It set Americans apart from feudal peasants, taught us how property rights and incentives operate, and was a kind of training for future entrepreneurship. Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?

We’re hardly at a point where American property has been abolished, but I am still nervous that we are finding ownership to be so inconvenient. The notion of “possessive individualism” is sometimes mocked, but in fact it is a significant source of autonomy and initiative. Perhaps we are becoming more communal and caring in positive ways, but it also seems to be more conformist and to generate fewer empire builders and entrepreneurs.

What about your iPhone, that all-essential life device? Surely you own that? Well, sort of. When Apple Inc. decides to change the operating software, sooner or later you have to go along with what they have selected. Gmail is due to change its overall look and functionality, maybe for the better, but again eventually this choice will not be yours either: It’s Google’s. The very economics of software encourage standardization, and changes over time, so de facto you rent much of what you use rather than owning it. I typed the draft of this column using Microsoft Word, and sooner or later my contract to use it will expire and I will have to renew.

Imagine the “internet of things” penetrating our homes more and more, through services like Amazon’s Alexa. We’ll have ovens and thermostats that  you set with your voice, and a toilet and bathroom that periodically give you the equivalent of a medical check-up. Yes, you will still own the title to your physical house, but most of the value in that home you will in essence rent from outside companies or, in the case of municipal utilities, the government.

As for that iPhone, it is already clear that you do not have a full legal right to repair it, and indeed more and more devices are sold to consumers without giving them corresponding rights to fix or alter those goods and services. John Deere tractors are sold to farmers with plenty of software, and farmers have to hack into the tractor if they wish to fix it themselves. There is now a small but burgeoning “right to repair” political movement.

Does that sound like something our largely agrarian Founding Fathers might have been happy about? The libertarian political theorist might tell you that arrangement is simply freedom of contract in action. But the more commonsensical, broad libertarian intuitions of the American public encapsulate a more brutish and direct sense that some things we simply own and hold the rights to.

Those are intuitions which are growing increasingly disconnected from reality, and no one knows what lies on the other side of this social experiment.
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-08-12/american-ownership-society-is-changing-thanks-to-technology
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #702 on: August 12, 2018, 10:29:10 PM »
"Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?"

That sentence tells you all about the author right there.

sidd

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #703 on: August 13, 2018, 01:39:57 AM »
"Do we not, as parents, often give our children pets or other valuable possessions to teach them basic lessons of life and stewardship?"

That sentence tells you all about the author right there.

sidd

Of course, Bloomberg opinions are very likely to espouse conspicuous consumption — it’s why they exist.  But I was heartened by the examples of where we are moving away from accumulating physical things. 

I recall the story of a family preparing to evacuate their home due to wildfire.  The teenager said, “I’m ready.  I have my phone.  Everything I need is in the cloud.”
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #704 on: August 20, 2018, 08:07:17 AM »
Banksy on Capitalism, image attached.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #705 on: August 20, 2018, 10:43:50 AM »
One can argue that things are SO Bad and the time so short that nothing short of a streamlined militaristic structure will do... Think of it in reverse... If there was only one survival spaceship or Mars outpost to get away to, would we really be arguing about what BRAND of moon buggy to buy?... How to 'OUTCLASS' the jones' with a more showy hut??  Probably far better examples of how we'd really seek a very streamlined system when everything is at stake but the only choice these days is what works best, how to make it better and be thankful we have it when we need it... Only the general concept of the military or NASA or the command on a maritime ship embodies the degree of efficiency needed.  One could ask how do people at the Antarctic outpost decide what to do... isn't it also a structured streamlined system?  You get the same dam bed everyone else has, do your critical work and be happy for what time you have to share with each other. PERIOD... Oh and btw... healthcare and education are also free in the military so its also a system with more benefits than silly/meaninglyess choices!

TerryM

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #706 on: August 20, 2018, 11:38:24 AM »

sidd
That may win the Chart of the Decade award!!!
Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #707 on: September 09, 2018, 03:40:56 PM »
Redistribution of wealth.

Giving Pledge signed by Bill Gates, Elon Musk may reach $600 billion
Quote
• At least 175 people committed to donating a majority of their fortunes through the Giving Pledge, which could be worth as much as $600 billion by 2022, according to a Wealth-X report.
• The pledge has drawn some criticism because it allows donors to name their own charities in their wills.
• Education was the top philanthropic cause in 2017, with about 62% of billionaires donating at least part of their fortunes to higher education funding, scholarships and more....
https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-elon-musk-giving-pledge-may-reach-600-billion-2018-7
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #708 on: September 16, 2018, 08:06:25 PM »
Taibbi at Rolling Stone on lessons unlearned from the crisis of a decade ago:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/financial-crisis-ten-year-anniversary-723798/

sidd

GoSouthYoungins

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #709 on: September 16, 2018, 08:36:18 PM »
nothing wrong with capitalism. we just have to make sure we are accounting for externalities like pollution. capitalism is just the absence of restrictions by authorities. free individuals interacting as they choose is called capitalism. having a free monetary system would be crucial as well.
big time oops

Lurk

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #710 on: September 17, 2018, 04:59:48 AM »

Oh boy. another neoliberal fanatical believer?

nothing wrong with capitalism.


False

Quote
we just have to make sure we are accounting for externalities like pollution.


False

Quote
capitalism is just the absence of restrictions by authorities.

False
Quote
free individuals interacting as they choose is called capitalism.

False
Quote
having a free monetary system would be crucial as well.


Irrelevant so basically false.

Excellent - a perfect score on the True Believer Quotient
"All lies and jest still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
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