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Author Topic: Capitalism Is Evil!  (Read 19739 times) Average Rating: 0
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augustin717
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« Reply #360 on: December 15, 2010, 01:18:23 PM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #361 on: December 15, 2010, 04:00:55 PM »

You are welcomed to your opinion but all of the experts agree that not saving the banks would have sent this country to kingdom come. I'm actually with you on this but I wouldn't be literally willing to bet the house on it. I wish I could call your bluff right now. Cool
And who are these "ex-spurts"?
Bernanke, Head of the Federal reserve is the countries foremost authority on the study of the great depression.

Bernanke might be an authority on the great depression, but in our current market system, the man is a hack......

As far as printing money goes, the Federal Government doesn't actually print any money.... The Federal Reserve prints the money and they are a completely independent entity. I think enough economists learned the lessons of Brazil to prevent us from going too far down the printed money trail.

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......

The reason that capitalism in the US doesn't work is because the government has to intervene rather than let the market correct itself normally.

-Nick

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......


Or not

How's the Steel Industry doing in the USA these days?


Why is the steal industry in the toilet in the USA? Because when there was competition from international competitors to supply steel, the US decided to put barriers in place to prevent foreign steel from being put in the market place. They basically insulated US steel to ensure that it could not be supplanted by foreign steel.

What does this mean? That there is no incentive for US Steel companies to become more efficient, to cut out waste and offer a better product at a cheaper price that would've kept them competitive in international markets. As a result when the barrier to entry is removed, US steel providers have no chance to compete with the better foreign steel companies. Therefore US companies are put out of business by the more efficient foreign steel companies.

Its an example of the market at work and what happens when government intervenes... to the detriment of US companies in the long term.

Are you another person who didn't take basic economics?

-Nick

You missed the point entirely. Once a giant industry is gone, it usually does not come back. It is the height of naivety to think if GM were allowed to fail someone else would simply take their place. The jobs would be gone. The skills lost and the infrastructure lost.  You cant just start a major car company. "Paging John Delorian. Paging John Delorian"  Nor can you start up another American Steel Industry now that it has been lost, for whatever reason it was lot.

Now it's true that the need will be filled. It will be filled outside the USA which by your dog eat dog economics would be in a semi-permanent depression. Good work.

Flint Michigan or Ground Zero?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35qBD6Fh88&feature=related

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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #362 on: December 16, 2010, 01:30:35 AM »

I just came upon this very relevant bit of wisdom from St. John Chrysostom in one of our political discussions. Though I would be in violation of forum policy to quote the post containing this quote, since the post itself is on the Private Forum, I don't see any reason why I can't make a direct quote of Chrysostom's material in this post. It seems to have been posted a number of times to a number of different locations throughout the Web, so I guess that makes this OK.

From On Living Simply, Sermon 63:
"Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold form the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm. Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first—and then they will joyfully share their wealth."


DISCLAIMER: Despite where I first saw this post, this is not meant to introduce political discussion to this thread. Again, let us please keep our focus here on merely the economics of capitalism and save our politics for the Politics board. Thank you.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 01:32:52 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #363 on: December 16, 2010, 09:47:20 AM »

You are welcomed to your opinion but all of the experts agree that not saving the banks would have sent this country to kingdom come. I'm actually with you on this but I wouldn't be literally willing to bet the house on it. I wish I could call your bluff right now. Cool
And who are these "ex-spurts"?
Bernanke, Head of the Federal reserve is the countries foremost authority on the study of the great depression.

Bernanke might be an authority on the great depression, but in our current market system, the man is a hack......

As far as printing money goes, the Federal Government doesn't actually print any money.... The Federal Reserve prints the money and they are a completely independent entity. I think enough economists learned the lessons of Brazil to prevent us from going too far down the printed money trail.

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......

The reason that capitalism in the US doesn't work is because the government has to intervene rather than let the market correct itself normally.

-Nick

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......


Or not

How's the Steel Industry doing in the USA these days?


Why is the steal industry in the toilet in the USA? Because when there was competition from international competitors to supply steel, the US decided to put barriers in place to prevent foreign steel from being put in the market place. They basically insulated US steel to ensure that it could not be supplanted by foreign steel.

What does this mean? That there is no incentive for US Steel companies to become more efficient, to cut out waste and offer a better product at a cheaper price that would've kept them competitive in international markets. As a result when the barrier to entry is removed, US steel providers have no chance to compete with the better foreign steel companies. Therefore US companies are put out of business by the more efficient foreign steel companies.

Its an example of the market at work and what happens when government intervenes... to the detriment of US companies in the long term.

Are you another person who didn't take basic economics?

-Nick

You missed the point entirely. Once a giant industry is gone, it usually does not come back. It is the height of naivety to think if GM were allowed to fail someone else would simply take their place. The jobs would be gone. The skills lost and the infrastructure lost.  You cant just start a major car company. "Paging John Delorian. Paging John Delorian"  Nor can you start up another American Steel Industry now that it has been lost, for whatever reason it was lot.

Now it's true that the need will be filled. It will be filled outside the USA which by your dog eat dog economics would be in a semi-permanent depression. Good work.

Flint Michigan or Ground Zero?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35qBD6Fh88&feature=related


I'm having trouble understanding how you and others are arguing that big businesses are the cause of everything wrong in society but yet when we prove economically that it would be better for them to fall, people like you are the first ones to jump on the band wagon and say we need them to survive. Do you not see the logical fallacy here?

Lets look at more statistics shall we?   http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

Chrysler, Ford, and GM make up 44.6% of the market with GM making up 19.3% of that.

That means all other US car companies combined make up 55.4% of the market plus or minus (accounting for Luxury brands (i.e. Saab) not being included in the manufacturer (i.e. General Motors) totals.)

Losing the company that has 19.3% of the share merely means that the other companies will increase production to make up for the gap in the market and thereby gain market share. Its not that the fall of the industry leader causes a gap in the market, rather it allows smaller companies to get a bigger portion of the share of the market.

Let me illustrate a likely scenario if GM went out of business:

If GM goes out of business you have X number of laborers who are now out of work. Seeing an opportunity to take over this market share that GM formerly held, all of the remaining auto manufacturers start competing for the business. This means they will have to increase their capacity for vehicle production. Which means..... wait for it..... they will have to hire additional workers to cover this increase in production. So now all of the laborers who were laid off and have experience are hired by the competing auto manufacturers to work in the same job they were but for a different company. At the end of the day all you've lost is a brand and some crappy cars that perform horribly when stacked against competitors.
(Note I'm only talking about the demise of GMs auto business not their financing arm)

In getting back to your post, why would we want to start another steel industry in the US? If we can get our steel cheaper and at the same or greater quality, we are coming out ahead in the long run. The US steel industry went out of business because they didn't know how to be competitive in the market place. If they would've improved themselves and met their competition they might still be around today.  

Basically what I'm pointing out is that you can't look at an industry as being solely US based when it comes to a commodity like steel. You need to look at the international market as well.

-Nick
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 09:47:54 AM by admiralnick » Logged

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« Reply #364 on: December 16, 2010, 09:50:29 AM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick
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« Reply #365 on: December 16, 2010, 10:18:36 AM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #366 on: December 16, 2010, 11:01:12 AM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
And yet you don't have the education to recognize how much of a fallacy the appeal to the unnamed masses is in a logical argument. I've noticed that you do this a lot. How are you able to come up with such a number as 20-30% anyway? And if the number is confined only to your county (as opposed to the whole country), why should we care about your made-up statistics?
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« Reply #367 on: December 16, 2010, 12:01:05 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?
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« Reply #368 on: December 16, 2010, 12:17:16 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick
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« Reply #369 on: December 16, 2010, 01:45:41 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?

It's about economic theory and the effects changes or variations in the theory have on markets. Everything else we've discussed can be described as a consequence of this.
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« Reply #370 on: December 16, 2010, 01:54:30 PM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

They're a form of education, some more rigorous than others, but they each have specific applications and thus have value within their respective fields. In the academic world, I wouldn't put them on par with Mathematics, Physics, or Biology...but they have their uses in the business world. Now, I know quite a bit about the Roman Empire, at all its stages, but I think we can safely file that knowledge under useless trivia, kinda like knowing where the world's largest ball of twine (there are actually several cities that claim this 'accomplishment' and arguments can get quite heated between them)...might be fun or interesting, to some people, but not particularly useful in either an Academic or business sense.

But if we want to talk about 'Real' education, that pretty much limits the list to mathematical, scientific, and engineering research (not your B.S. in Engineering) fields. It disqualified business degrees (but not economics), but also disqualifies classics, liberal arts, fine arts, and other such degrees that are absolutely useless to everyone.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 01:54:56 PM by GiC » Logged

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« Reply #371 on: December 16, 2010, 02:43:43 PM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
And yet you don't have the education to recognize how much of a fallacy the appeal to the unnamed masses is in a logical argument. I've noticed that you do this a lot. How are you able to come up with such a number as 20-30% anyway? And if the number is confined only to your county (as opposed to the whole country), why should we care about your made-up statistics?
Financially speaking, the county I reside in is the country. Actually the very city I'm in.  laugh When I stated my "DEALINGS" that should have qualified my statement as a personal experiences. Which doesn't carry a statistic. But if you are looking for statistics about literacy. Here is one for ya.  http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/education/16literacy.html
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« Reply #372 on: December 16, 2010, 03:33:39 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?

It's about economic theory and the effects changes or variations in the theory have on markets. Everything else we've discussed can be described as a consequence of this.


The thing some of the recent posters need to understand is that the failure of businesses is just as essential to the functioning of a healthy economy as the great successes are. All resources are scarce and they all have alternative uses. There are no exceptions to this. Failed businesses weed out the inefficient consumers of scarce resources, allowing the efficient ones to succeed. That in turn stretches those scarce resources as far as possible increasing everyone's prosperity and standard of living.

I often wonder how people think the United States became the economic powerhouse we are. Is it because we are smarter or harder working than the rest of the world? No it's not. It's because our economic system for most of our history has facilitated the most efficient use of scarce resources and then, it allowed people to keep the fruits of whatever talent/labor they invest in it. It really is economics 101.
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« Reply #373 on: December 16, 2010, 03:48:29 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?

It's about economic theory and the effects changes or variations in the theory have on markets. Everything else we've discussed can be described as a consequence of this.


The thing some of the recent posters need to understand is that the failure of businesses is just as essential to the functioning of a healthy economy as the great successes are. All resources are scarce and they all have alternative uses. There are no exceptions to this. Failed businesses weed out the inefficient consumers of scarce resources, allowing the efficient ones to succeed. That in turn stretches those scarce resources as far as possible increasing everyone's prosperity and standard of living.

I often wonder how people think the United States became the economic powerhouse we are. Is it because we are smarter or harder working than the rest of the world? No it's not. It's because our economic system for most of our history has facilitated the most efficient use of scarce resources and then, it allowed people to keep the fruits of whatever talent/labor they invest in it. It really is economics 101.

I agree, it's pretty simple stuff. I think the thing that confuses people is that the market is not a organized and consistent thing, there are ups and downs, successes and failures, and people are tempted to try and keep the successes and eliminate the failure...but, as you said, the success depends on the failure. If you eliminate failure you seriously hamper success and innovation and the entire economy suffers. Over the long run a capitalist system will improve standards of living for everyone, even the poor today enjoy luxuries that would have been unimaginable a couple hundred years ago, but we must resist the temptation to 'fix' the market every time it tries to naturally correcting itself.
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« Reply #374 on: December 16, 2010, 04:12:54 PM »

  Sounds familiar. Wink

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        launch of the Titanic, May 31, 1911
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« Reply #375 on: December 16, 2010, 04:41:59 PM »

You are welcomed to your opinion but all of the experts agree that not saving the banks would have sent this country to kingdom come. I'm actually with you on this but I wouldn't be literally willing to bet the house on it. I wish I could call your bluff right now. Cool
And who are these "ex-spurts"?
Bernanke, Head of the Federal reserve is the countries foremost authority on the study of the great depression.

Bernanke might be an authority on the great depression, but in our current market system, the man is a hack......

As far as printing money goes, the Federal Government doesn't actually print any money.... The Federal Reserve prints the money and they are a completely independent entity. I think enough economists learned the lessons of Brazil to prevent us from going too far down the printed money trail.

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......

The reason that capitalism in the US doesn't work is because the government has to intervene rather than let the market correct itself normally.

-Nick

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......


Or not

How's the Steel Industry doing in the USA these days?


Why is the steal industry in the toilet in the USA? Because when there was competition from international competitors to supply steel, the US decided to put barriers in place to prevent foreign steel from being put in the market place. They basically insulated US steel to ensure that it could not be supplanted by foreign steel.

What does this mean? That there is no incentive for US Steel companies to become more efficient, to cut out waste and offer a better product at a cheaper price that would've kept them competitive in international markets. As a result when the barrier to entry is removed, US steel providers have no chance to compete with the better foreign steel companies. Therefore US companies are put out of business by the more efficient foreign steel companies.

Its an example of the market at work and what happens when government intervenes... to the detriment of US companies in the long term.

Are you another person who didn't take basic economics?

-Nick

You missed the point entirely. Once a giant industry is gone, it usually does not come back. It is the height of naivety to think if GM were allowed to fail someone else would simply take their place. The jobs would be gone. The skills lost and the infrastructure lost.  You cant just start a major car company. "Paging John Delorian. Paging John Delorian"  Nor can you start up another American Steel Industry now that it has been lost, for whatever reason it was lot.

Now it's true that the need will be filled. It will be filled outside the USA which by your dog eat dog economics would be in a semi-permanent depression. Good work.

Flint Michigan or Ground Zero?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35qBD6Fh88&feature=related


I'm having trouble understanding how you and others are arguing that big businesses are the cause of everything wrong in society but yet when we prove economically that it would be better for them to fall, people like you are the first ones to jump on the band wagon and say we need them to survive. Do you not see the logical fallacy here?

Lets look at more statistics shall we?   http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

Chrysler, Ford, and GM make up 44.6% of the market with GM making up 19.3% of that.

That means all other US car companies combined make up 55.4% of the market plus or minus (accounting for Luxury brands (i.e. Saab) not being included in the manufacturer (i.e. General Motors) totals.)

Losing the company that has 19.3% of the share merely means that the other companies will increase production to make up for the gap in the market and thereby gain market share. Its not that the fall of the industry leader causes a gap in the market, rather it allows smaller companies to get a bigger portion of the share of the market.

Let me illustrate a likely scenario if GM went out of business:

If GM goes out of business you have X number of laborers who are now out of work. Seeing an opportunity to take over this market share that GM formerly held, all of the remaining auto manufacturers start competing for the business. This means they will have to increase their capacity for vehicle production. Which means..... wait for it..... they will have to hire additional workers to cover this increase in production. So now all of the laborers who were laid off and have experience are hired by the competing auto manufacturers to work in the same job they were but for a different company. At the end of the day all you've lost is a brand and some crappy cars that perform horribly when stacked against competitors.
(Note I'm only talking about the demise of GMs auto business not their financing arm)

In getting back to your post, why would we want to start another steel industry in the US? If we can get our steel cheaper and at the same or greater quality, we are coming out ahead in the long run. The US steel industry went out of business because they didn't know how to be competitive in the market place. If they would've improved themselves and met their competition they might still be around today.  

Basically what I'm pointing out is that you can't look at an industry as being solely US based when it comes to a commodity like steel. You need to look at the international market as well.

-Nick

You dont understand because you have miss stated the argument. No one, not me anyway has said the "Everything" wrong in our society is caused by Big Business.

I think Socilaism is the answer to many problems. I would Socialize health Care for one example. With that said, I am even more against a dog eat dog mindset that would bar Government intervention to prop up companies like GM and just let it fail, causing untold damage to the economy and displacing millions of people.

I understand that Capitalism is now a Global system. I would then suggest that Workers have more in common across national Boundaries with each other then they do with home grown Capitalists. Yet, Mexican Workers are pitted against America Workers as if they are our enemy.   

Whats good for the Goose.... etc
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« Reply #376 on: December 16, 2010, 05:01:25 PM »

You are welcomed to your opinion but all of the experts agree that not saving the banks would have sent this country to kingdom come. I'm actually with you on this but I wouldn't be literally willing to bet the house on it. I wish I could call your bluff right now. Cool
And who are these "ex-spurts"?
Bernanke, Head of the Federal reserve is the countries foremost authority on the study of the great depression.

Bernanke might be an authority on the great depression, but in our current market system, the man is a hack......

As far as printing money goes, the Federal Government doesn't actually print any money.... The Federal Reserve prints the money and they are a completely independent entity. I think enough economists learned the lessons of Brazil to prevent us from going too far down the printed money trail.

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......

The reason that capitalism in the US doesn't work is because the government has to intervene rather than let the market correct itself normally.

-Nick

I agree with GiC entirely on these points. The best thing that could've happened would have been to let the banks fail and to let GM and Chrysler fall. Its funny that Ford was in a similar situation yet survived without government money. If GM and Chrysler fell, we would simply see other competitors take their place. If large banks fall, we would see other competitors take their place......


Or not

How's the Steel Industry doing in the USA these days?


Why is the steal industry in the toilet in the USA? Because when there was competition from international competitors to supply steel, the US decided to put barriers in place to prevent foreign steel from being put in the market place. They basically insulated US steel to ensure that it could not be supplanted by foreign steel.

What does this mean? That there is no incentive for US Steel companies to become more efficient, to cut out waste and offer a better product at a cheaper price that would've kept them competitive in international markets. As a result when the barrier to entry is removed, US steel providers have no chance to compete with the better foreign steel companies. Therefore US companies are put out of business by the more efficient foreign steel companies.

Its an example of the market at work and what happens when government intervenes... to the detriment of US companies in the long term.

Are you another person who didn't take basic economics?

-Nick

You missed the point entirely. Once a giant industry is gone, it usually does not come back. It is the height of naivety to think if GM were allowed to fail someone else would simply take their place. The jobs would be gone. The skills lost and the infrastructure lost.  You cant just start a major car company. "Paging John Delorian. Paging John Delorian"  Nor can you start up another American Steel Industry now that it has been lost, for whatever reason it was lot.

Now it's true that the need will be filled. It will be filled outside the USA which by your dog eat dog economics would be in a semi-permanent depression. Good work.

Flint Michigan or Ground Zero?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35qBD6Fh88&feature=related


I'm having trouble understanding how you and others are arguing that big businesses are the cause of everything wrong in society but yet when we prove economically that it would be better for them to fall, people like you are the first ones to jump on the band wagon and say we need them to survive. Do you not see the logical fallacy here?

Lets look at more statistics shall we?   http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

Chrysler, Ford, and GM make up 44.6% of the market with GM making up 19.3% of that.

That means all other US car companies combined make up 55.4% of the market plus or minus (accounting for Luxury brands (i.e. Saab) not being included in the manufacturer (i.e. General Motors) totals.)

Losing the company that has 19.3% of the share merely means that the other companies will increase production to make up for the gap in the market and thereby gain market share. Its not that the fall of the industry leader causes a gap in the market, rather it allows smaller companies to get a bigger portion of the share of the market.

Let me illustrate a likely scenario if GM went out of business:

If GM goes out of business you have X number of laborers who are now out of work. Seeing an opportunity to take over this market share that GM formerly held, all of the remaining auto manufacturers start competing for the business. This means they will have to increase their capacity for vehicle production. Which means..... wait for it..... they will have to hire additional workers to cover this increase in production. So now all of the laborers who were laid off and have experience are hired by the competing auto manufacturers to work in the same job they were but for a different company. At the end of the day all you've lost is a brand and some crappy cars that perform horribly when stacked against competitors.
(Note I'm only talking about the demise of GMs auto business not their financing arm)

In getting back to your post, why would we want to start another steel industry in the US? If we can get our steel cheaper and at the same or greater quality, we are coming out ahead in the long run. The US steel industry went out of business because they didn't know how to be competitive in the market place. If they would've improved themselves and met their competition they might still be around today.  

Basically what I'm pointing out is that you can't look at an industry as being solely US based when it comes to a commodity like steel. You need to look at the international market as well.

-Nick

You dont understand because you have miss stated the argument. No one, not me anyway has said the "Everything" wrong in our society is caused by Big Business.

I think Socilaism is the answer to many problems. I would Socialize health Care for one example. With that said, I am even more against a dog eat dog mindset that would bar Government intervention to prop up companies like GM and just let it fail, causing untold damage to the economy and displacing millions of people.

I understand that Capitalism is now a Global system. I would then suggest that Workers have more in common across national Boundaries with each other then they do with home grown Capitalists. Yet, Mexican Workers are pitted against America Workers as if they are our enemy.   

Whats good for the Goose.... etc

You're the only one viewing them as the 'enemy'. Many of us are arguing that everyone should have the right to compete in markets, that economic policies which favor American workers at the expense Mexican or Chinese workers are wrong. Not only is it wrong because it denies opportunities of growth and development to developing nations, it's also wrong because by undermining the capitalist economic system, everyone, both in developing and post-industrialized countries, will ultimately be hurt by diminished economic growth.
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« Reply #377 on: December 16, 2010, 07:31:12 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?
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« Reply #378 on: December 16, 2010, 07:39:01 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.
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« Reply #379 on: December 16, 2010, 08:00:18 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 08:15:41 PM by Hermogenes » Logged
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« Reply #380 on: December 17, 2010, 03:04:20 AM »

  Sounds familiar. Wink

  "Not even God himself could sink this ship."
        -- Employee of the White Star Line, at the
        launch of the Titanic, May 31, 1911
SWYP? Huh
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« Reply #381 on: December 17, 2010, 10:57:13 AM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.



You aren't even talking about capitalism anymore.... You're talking about the hybrid system in place in the US today...... I also don't see what your anecdotal evidence adds to the conversation.

-Nick
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« Reply #382 on: December 17, 2010, 12:06:24 PM »

 Sounds familiar. Wink

  "Not even God himself could sink this ship."
        -- Employee of the White Star Line, at the
        launch of the Titanic, May 31, 1911
SWYP? Huh

I'll have to ask my daughter what that means I'm not up to speed on your lingo. Could you spell that out.

Edit: Got it. So what's your point. Point is that GIC stated that the markets correct themselves without intervention. I stated that the titanic was built to handle an iceberg. Wink
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 12:13:46 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

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« Reply #383 on: December 17, 2010, 01:08:51 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.



You aren't even talking about capitalism anymore.... You're talking about the hybrid system in place in the US today...... I also don't see what your anecdotal evidence adds to the conversation.

-Nick

The point of my anecdote was that while capitalists may be decent people, the system is built to reward profit at the expense of all else. My mistake cost regular people at least tens of billions of dollars. That ought to have meant something, especially as it was a very poor country. Didn't matter because it wasn't our bottom line.
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« Reply #384 on: December 17, 2010, 01:16:35 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.



You aren't even talking about capitalism anymore.... You're talking about the hybrid system in place in the US today...... I also don't see what your anecdotal evidence adds to the conversation.

-Nick

The point of my anecdote was that while capitalists may be decent people, the system is built to reward profit at the expense of all else. My mistake cost regular people at least tens of billions of dollars. That ought to have meant something, especially as it was a very poor country. Didn't matter because it wasn't our bottom line.

I don't quite agree, the system is built to allow people to obtain wealth while staying in the bounds of human nature. Your error is not a direct result of capitalism. Eventually the market would have corrected itself for your error if left to its own standing. Pure capitalism in and of itself is not an evil system. How can a system that is evil give people in the lowest strata of life a chance[/i] to move into a higher strata of life merely by hard work, education, and perseverance?

-nick
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« Reply #385 on: December 17, 2010, 01:31:01 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.



You aren't even talking about capitalism anymore.... You're talking about the hybrid system in place in the US today...... I also don't see what your anecdotal evidence adds to the conversation.

-Nick

The point of my anecdote was that while capitalists may be decent people, the system is built to reward profit at the expense of all else. My mistake cost regular people at least tens of billions of dollars. That ought to have meant something, especially as it was a very poor country. Didn't matter because it wasn't our bottom line.

I don't quite agree, the system is built to allow people to obtain wealth while staying in the bounds of human nature. Your error is not a direct result of capitalism. Eventually the market would have corrected itself for your error if left to its own standing. Pure capitalism in and of itself is not an evil system. How can a system that is evil give people in the lowest strata of life a chance[/i] to move into a higher strata of life merely by hard work, education, and perseverance?

-nick

Maybe if I were more of a theoretician I'd see it as you do. That's not meant as a slight, please. I mean only that the system doesn't, in fact, work as it might if it were "pure." What I'm really talking about, I suppose, is plain temptation and greed. A capitalist may be a moral person, as much as a socialist or anyone else. Remember the two brothers in Dickens' Nicholas Nickelby, or Mr. Pickwick? Wealthy entrepreneurs who positively delighted in using their wealth for good, preferably anonymously.
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« Reply #386 on: December 17, 2010, 01:38:49 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh
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« Reply #387 on: December 17, 2010, 01:56:36 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.
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« Reply #388 on: December 17, 2010, 02:24:29 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

I'm curious, specifically, what changes do you propose to improve the system? We've been arguing abstract principles but what do you actually think needs to be done? What policies need changed? Are we talking about increasing minimum wage, mandating benefits, protectionism, nationalization of industry, state factories? What exactly?

Quote
Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.

It was closer to pure capitalism, though things like government land-grants and land-grabs for the railroad companies clearly don't fall in the scope of capitalism.

Rockefeller's Standard Oil is a good example of a purely capitalist venture, but I disagree with the trust-buster's view of the company. The reality is that Standard Oil allowed the oil industry in the US to mature and started price wars that reduced the cost of not only oil but also freight. To encourage market penetration, it wasn't uncommon for products to even be sold below cost in more rural areas. Ultimately, the consumer benefited from the capitalist activities of Rockefeller and an industry was born.

Most of the negative working conditions associated with the 19th century, however, were not merely the result of capitalism. If one thinks working conditions in state factories in the USSR or China were any better, they're fooling themselves. Working conditions were a result of the primitive state of industry and the economy. Most factories in those days were sweat shops, but most factories in any developing nation are sweat shops, regardless of the economic system. Manual factory labor is difficult and usually carries a fairly small profit margin, to improve productivity and working conditions you need considerable investment in manufacturing technology, technology that simply didn't exist in the 19th century and is cost-prohibitive in many developing nations today. In fact, it was ultimately capitalist motivated investment in manufacturing technology that allowed working conditions to improve, that has allowed the more dangerous and labor intensive jobs to be performed by robots instead of humans, that has allowed factor workers to move beyond being mere laborers to being skilled technicians... ultimately more productive while doing less actual work and, thus, better working conditions and better pay.
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« Reply #389 on: December 17, 2010, 02:45:48 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

I'm curious, specifically, what changes do you propose to improve the system? We've been arguing abstract principles but what do you actually think needs to be done? What policies need changed? Are we talking about increasing minimum wage, mandating benefits, protectionism, nationalization of industry, state factories? What exactly?

Quote
Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.

It was closer to pure capitalism, though things like government land-grants and land-grabs for the railroad companies clearly don't fall in the scope of capitalism.

Rockefeller's Standard Oil is a good example of a purely capitalist venture, but I disagree with the trust-buster's view of the company. The reality is that Standard Oil allowed the oil industry in the US to mature and started price wars that reduced the cost of not only oil but also freight. To encourage market penetration, it wasn't uncommon for products to even be sold below cost in more rural areas. Ultimately, the consumer benefited from the capitalist activities of Rockefeller and an industry was born.

Most of the negative working conditions associated with the 19th century, however, were not merely the result of capitalism. If one thinks working conditions in state factories in the USSR or China were any better, they're fooling themselves. Working conditions were a result of the primitive state of industry and the economy. Most factories in those days were sweat shops, but most factories in any developing nation are sweat shops, regardless of the economic system. Manual factory labor is difficult and usually carries a fairly small profit margin, to improve productivity and working conditions you need considerable investment in manufacturing technology, technology that simply didn't exist in the 19th century and is cost-prohibitive in many developing nations today. In fact, it was ultimately capitalist motivated investment in manufacturing technology that allowed working conditions to improve, that has allowed the more dangerous and labor intensive jobs to be performed by robots instead of humans, that has allowed factor workers to move beyond being mere laborers to being skilled technicians... ultimately more productive while doing less actual work and, thus, better working conditions and better pay.

I think the complain about the Rockefeller brothers is that they ended up controlling pretty close to the entire market. Selling below cost had the effect of putting smaller producers out of business. Once those producers went under, the cost went up.

One thing among many that I don't understand is why people who support capitalism oppose trade unions. Unions seem to me like a perfectly natural manifestation of capitalist thinking. If what I have to sell is my labor, I want to ensure I get the highest price for it. As a single individual, I am in a poor bargaining position against a Carnegie, Ford, or Rockefeller. But as a collective, I am in a much stronger position. If it's morally acceptable to dump goods below cost to put competitors out of business, then surely it's moral to use collective bargaining tactics, including the strike, to get the best deal possible out of management. Especially when management was more than willing to employ violence, bribery, extortion, and other predatory practices to keep wages low.
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« Reply #390 on: December 17, 2010, 03:50:00 PM »

Is this about investment tips or morality?


Neither. This is about the economic system known as capitalism and why it is or is not evil.

-Nick

So it is about morality, which was the point of my question. Discussions about cyclical stocks and supply/demand don't really address the issue, do they?

Actually, they're essential to the discussion. If one doesn't understand the laws of economics and the consequences of economic actions, they're hardly in a place to offer an opinion on the matter. For without this knowledge (and often even with, it's not a simple system) the most best of intentioned change could lead to terrible results. For example, if a country decided to just print extra money and give everyone a million dollars...it should be clear that even this act of giving to the poor is evil because the inevitable result would be hyperinflation making that million dollars worthless and wiping out existing wealth causing widespread devastation.

Even the most apparently benevolent act can be a evil if it has negative unintended consequences. Economics teaches how to provide basic predictions of these consequences and thus the ability to determine if an act, regardless of the intention, will end up being good or bad. In the world of economics, right and wrong are not things that are easy to know before hand; often, the 'morality' of an act can often only be clearly seen years later.

This is well said. It assumes that the capitalist in question is as concerned about these matters as you are. My experience on Wall Street is that hardly anyone is. This doesn't mean they are all evil people. They are not. But the system rewards profit and those who earn profit. How that profit comes about or at whose expense is not much discussed. I think you'd agree that in most firms, it simply doesn't matter. Are we compliant? I.e., within the strict letter of the law? That is the most I have ever heard considered. I'm sure I hardly need mention that legal and ethical are far from congruent concepts, unless one is Socrates. Or Christ.

I once made a decision that blew up the foreign exchange of a medium-sized country. I received a pretty sharp slap on the wrist (several, in fact), but that was all, even though I am sure my mistake cost many, many people quite a lot of money by my standards. Why wasn't I fired? It wasn't a very big market or a very big client. At the end of the year, I was promoted on schedule and given a generous raise. Another day in paradise.



You aren't even talking about capitalism anymore.... You're talking about the hybrid system in place in the US today...... I also don't see what your anecdotal evidence adds to the conversation.

-Nick

The point of my anecdote was that while capitalists may be decent people, the system is built to reward profit at the expense of all else. My mistake cost regular people at least tens of billions of dollars. That ought to have meant something, especially as it was a very poor country. Didn't matter because it wasn't our bottom line.

I don't quite agree, the system is built to allow people to obtain wealth while staying in the bounds of human nature. Your error is not a direct result of capitalism. Eventually the market would have corrected itself for your error if left to its own standing. Pure capitalism in and of itself is not an evil system. How can a system that is evil give people in the lowest strata of life a chance[/i] to move into a higher strata of life merely by hard work, education, and perseverance?

-nick

Maybe if I were more of a theoretician I'd see it as you do. That's not meant as a slight, please. I mean only that the system doesn't, in fact, work as it might if it were "pure." What I'm really talking about, I suppose, is plain temptation and greed. A capitalist may be a moral person, as much as a socialist or anyone else. Remember the two brothers in Dickens' Nicholas Nickelby, or Mr. Pickwick? Wealthy entrepreneurs who positively delighted in using their wealth for good, preferably anonymously.

I have already admitted that the system in place in the US is merely a perversion of a true capitalist system, but it certainly beats a socialist/welfare state system any day of the week. Human nature is not in any way conducive to a socialist/welfare state system. Humans thrive when given incentive, in a welfare state there is no incentive. People are still people and they will still at the end of the day figure out how to get ahead in any system. What we don't want to see is for the people who have already gotten ahead to get snapped back so that others can be given something for nothing.

-Nick
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« Reply #391 on: December 17, 2010, 04:00:31 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

I'm curious, specifically, what changes do you propose to improve the system? We've been arguing abstract principles but what do you actually think needs to be done? What policies need changed? Are we talking about increasing minimum wage, mandating benefits, protectionism, nationalization of industry, state factories? What exactly?

Quote
Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.

It was closer to pure capitalism, though things like government land-grants and land-grabs for the railroad companies clearly don't fall in the scope of capitalism.

Rockefeller's Standard Oil is a good example of a purely capitalist venture, but I disagree with the trust-buster's view of the company. The reality is that Standard Oil allowed the oil industry in the US to mature and started price wars that reduced the cost of not only oil but also freight. To encourage market penetration, it wasn't uncommon for products to even be sold below cost in more rural areas. Ultimately, the consumer benefited from the capitalist activities of Rockefeller and an industry was born.

Most of the negative working conditions associated with the 19th century, however, were not merely the result of capitalism. If one thinks working conditions in state factories in the USSR or China were any better, they're fooling themselves. Working conditions were a result of the primitive state of industry and the economy. Most factories in those days were sweat shops, but most factories in any developing nation are sweat shops, regardless of the economic system. Manual factory labor is difficult and usually carries a fairly small profit margin, to improve productivity and working conditions you need considerable investment in manufacturing technology, technology that simply didn't exist in the 19th century and is cost-prohibitive in many developing nations today. In fact, it was ultimately capitalist motivated investment in manufacturing technology that allowed working conditions to improve, that has allowed the more dangerous and labor intensive jobs to be performed by robots instead of humans, that has allowed factor workers to move beyond being mere laborers to being skilled technicians... ultimately more productive while doing less actual work and, thus, better working conditions and better pay.

I think the complain about the Rockefeller brothers is that they ended up controlling pretty close to the entire market. Selling below cost had the effect of putting smaller producers out of business. Once those producers went under, the cost went up.

One thing among many that I don't understand is why people who support capitalism oppose trade unions. Unions seem to me like a perfectly natural manifestation of capitalist thinking. If what I have to sell is my labor, I want to ensure I get the highest price for it. As a single individual, I am in a poor bargaining position against a Carnegie, Ford, or Rockefeller. But as a collective, I am in a much stronger position. If it's morally acceptable to dump goods below cost to put competitors out of business, then surely it's moral to use collective bargaining tactics, including the strike, to get the best deal possible out of management. Especially when management was more than willing to employ violence, bribery, extortion, and other predatory practices to keep wages low.

Trade unions are instrumental in creating things like minimum wages (which are no better than government intervention), causing the price of labor to soar (why should a person doing a menial task on an assembly line receive $75.00/hr plus benefits and a defined contribution plan when they offer nothing to society that any person couldn't offer). They also generally take money from the employees and use it to support politicians, launder money for the mob, etc. etc.

If you can find it, watch the movie called F.I.S.T. (F.I.S.T. is a 1978 movie directed by Norman Jewison and starring Sylvester Stallone. In this film, Stallone plays a Cleveland warehouse worker named Johnny Kovak who becomes involved in the labor union leadership of the fictional "Federation of Inter State Truckers", and finds that he must sacrifice his principles as he moves up through the union and attempts to expand its influence. The movie is loosely based on the Teamsters union and their former President Jimmy Hoffa.)

Basically trade unions are an interference in the labor market causing the same problems as government intervention. Also, labor unions have the nasty side effect of getting very upset when their jobs go to people who are willing to do them for less (which would be the natural order of a capitalist market anyway).

-Nick
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« Reply #392 on: December 17, 2010, 04:16:53 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

I'm curious, specifically, what changes do you propose to improve the system? We've been arguing abstract principles but what do you actually think needs to be done? What policies need changed? Are we talking about increasing minimum wage, mandating benefits, protectionism, nationalization of industry, state factories? What exactly?

Quote
Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.

It was closer to pure capitalism, though things like government land-grants and land-grabs for the railroad companies clearly don't fall in the scope of capitalism.

Rockefeller's Standard Oil is a good example of a purely capitalist venture, but I disagree with the trust-buster's view of the company. The reality is that Standard Oil allowed the oil industry in the US to mature and started price wars that reduced the cost of not only oil but also freight. To encourage market penetration, it wasn't uncommon for products to even be sold below cost in more rural areas. Ultimately, the consumer benefited from the capitalist activities of Rockefeller and an industry was born.

Most of the negative working conditions associated with the 19th century, however, were not merely the result of capitalism. If one thinks working conditions in state factories in the USSR or China were any better, they're fooling themselves. Working conditions were a result of the primitive state of industry and the economy. Most factories in those days were sweat shops, but most factories in any developing nation are sweat shops, regardless of the economic system. Manual factory labor is difficult and usually carries a fairly small profit margin, to improve productivity and working conditions you need considerable investment in manufacturing technology, technology that simply didn't exist in the 19th century and is cost-prohibitive in many developing nations today. In fact, it was ultimately capitalist motivated investment in manufacturing technology that allowed working conditions to improve, that has allowed the more dangerous and labor intensive jobs to be performed by robots instead of humans, that has allowed factor workers to move beyond being mere laborers to being skilled technicians... ultimately more productive while doing less actual work and, thus, better working conditions and better pay.

I think the complain about the Rockefeller brothers is that they ended up controlling pretty close to the entire market. Selling below cost had the effect of putting smaller producers out of business. Once those producers went under, the cost went up.

One thing among many that I don't understand is why people who support capitalism oppose trade unions. Unions seem to me like a perfectly natural manifestation of capitalist thinking. If what I have to sell is my labor, I want to ensure I get the highest price for it. As a single individual, I am in a poor bargaining position against a Carnegie, Ford, or Rockefeller. But as a collective, I am in a much stronger position. If it's morally acceptable to dump goods below cost to put competitors out of business, then surely it's moral to use collective bargaining tactics, including the strike, to get the best deal possible out of management. Especially when management was more than willing to employ violence, bribery, extortion, and other predatory practices to keep wages low.

Trade unions are instrumental in creating things like minimum wages (which are no better than government intervention), causing the price of labor to soar (why should a person doing a menial task on an assembly line receive $75.00/hr plus benefits and a defined contribution plan when they offer nothing to society that any person couldn't offer). They also generally take money from the employees and use it to support politicians, launder money for the mob, etc. etc.

If you can find it, watch the movie called F.I.S.T. (F.I.S.T. is a 1978 movie directed by Norman Jewison and starring Sylvester Stallone. In this film, Stallone plays a Cleveland warehouse worker named Johnny Kovak who becomes involved in the labor union leadership of the fictional "Federation of Inter State Truckers", and finds that he must sacrifice his principles as he moves up through the union and attempts to expand its influence. The movie is loosely based on the Teamsters union and their former President Jimmy Hoffa.)

Basically trade unions are an interference in the labor market causing the same problems as government intervention. Also, labor unions have the nasty side effect of getting very upset when their jobs go to people who are willing to do them for less (which would be the natural order of a capitalist market anyway).

-Nick

I was a member of the Teamsters for several years when younger and then of a number of musicians unions, plus UFT. Say what you will, in every shop I worked the employer tried to screw me, and in every case the union protected me and got what had been promised me. as long as management cares so little about labor, I have no qualms about labor playing the same kind of hard ball back.

And I have never made anything like $75/hr. on an assembly line, despite having worked on several. Trade unions aren't perfect. I know all the worst that can be said of them, and I know much of it is true. I also know they even the odds between powerful management and powerless workers. Would it be better if they were unnecessary? Of course. But management has only itself to blame for exploitive practices in the first place. I wish all workers were represented by collective bargaining units.

And I wish every American worker could have the experience of being inside a European society for a few years, benefitting from the social welfare systems so many here decry. I think many, many more Americans would clamor for something similar if they'd ever lived it first-hand. And it doesn't stifle creativity or competition. France and Germany have strong, growing economies, to pick two--in many ways with sounder fundamentals than ours. They aren't pure socialist or pure capitalist. They're hybrids.Bu the average citizen has better job security, longer life expectancy, the rates of infant mortality and illiteracy are lower. By almost every metric relating to quality of life, they do better than we do. Which I'm sure someone here will blame on government intervention. Ever since Reagan, if there's a problem in society, the solution always seems to be less government and more tax cuts.
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« Reply #393 on: December 17, 2010, 04:21:30 PM »

I think we all agree that if all the active participants in capitalism were all of moral character. That the system wouldn't be evil. Now, I will have to nudge you on the shoulder to wake up from that dream. laugh

I am awake, at least from that dream. I always used to say the main problem with communism is that it only worked if everyone was perfect, or at least tried to be. One could probably say the same thing about capitalism.

Perhaps I'd be more optimistic about capitalism if my career path hadn't exposed me to the extreme disparity of the distribution of wealth. I know the prevailing view here is that a person who is failing can always remedy their own situation by ingenuity, hard work, education, willingness to change...But in my daily work I see plenty of people who are trying hard to do all those things and are intelligent to boot. For every one who succeeds at pulling himself up by his bootstraps (when's the last time you actually saw boot straps?), there are a hundred who are trying just as hard and with just as much ingenuity--and failing. The deck is stacked against them. In our impure system of capitalism, the house always wins. That may not be how it's supposed to work; it may represent a corrupt version of capitalism; but it is how our system does work, if that can be called working.

I'm curious, specifically, what changes do you propose to improve the system? We've been arguing abstract principles but what do you actually think needs to be done? What policies need changed? Are we talking about increasing minimum wage, mandating benefits, protectionism, nationalization of industry, state factories? What exactly?

Quote
Now, here's another question. The 19th century was a time of completely unregulated markets--the era of the robber baron. Would that be the model for pure capitalism? I want the true believer's view.

It was closer to pure capitalism, though things like government land-grants and land-grabs for the railroad companies clearly don't fall in the scope of capitalism.

Rockefeller's Standard Oil is a good example of a purely capitalist venture, but I disagree with the trust-buster's view of the company. The reality is that Standard Oil allowed the oil industry in the US to mature and started price wars that reduced the cost of not only oil but also freight. To encourage market penetration, it wasn't uncommon for products to even be sold below cost in more rural areas. Ultimately, the consumer benefited from the capitalist activities of Rockefeller and an industry was born.

Most of the negative working conditions associated with the 19th century, however, were not merely the result of capitalism. If one thinks working conditions in state factories in the USSR or China were any better, they're fooling themselves. Working conditions were a result of the primitive state of industry and the economy. Most factories in those days were sweat shops, but most factories in any developing nation are sweat shops, regardless of the economic system. Manual factory labor is difficult and usually carries a fairly small profit margin, to improve productivity and working conditions you need considerable investment in manufacturing technology, technology that simply didn't exist in the 19th century and is cost-prohibitive in many developing nations today. In fact, it was ultimately capitalist motivated investment in manufacturing technology that allowed working conditions to improve, that has allowed the more dangerous and labor intensive jobs to be performed by robots instead of humans, that has allowed factor workers to move beyond being mere laborers to being skilled technicians... ultimately more productive while doing less actual work and, thus, better working conditions and better pay.

I think the complain about the Rockefeller brothers is that they ended up controlling pretty close to the entire market. Selling below cost had the effect of putting smaller producers out of business. Once those producers went under, the cost went up.

Standard Oil didn't really have to sell below cost to drive out competitors. In fact, Rockefeller rarely drove competitors out of business, his preferred method was to open his books to them, show them they were in a hopeless situation, then offer to buy them out for a usually rather generous sum, often giving the senior management of the larger competitors he bought out upper level management positions in his own company. That's not to say that there weren't people who he drove out of business, but it was the exception, not the rule. But he could do that even without selling below cost because he had vertically integrated his company and could ship oil at rates low enough that other companies couldn't compete.

Selling below cost was usually used by Standard Oil as a method of market penetration, often in markets where there was no competition and no one was purchasing oil, by selling it below cost he could build up demand and create new markets. After demand was established, they'd certainly raise rates above cost.

But there's no evidence that Rockefeller ever engaged in price-gouging. The only real complaint was that he sold the product so cheap to consumers, no one else could compete with his prices. If he had raised his prices, competition would have once again become viable and the ensuing price war would have driven prices back down.

Quote
One thing among many that I don't understand is why people who support capitalism oppose trade unions. Unions seem to me like a perfectly natural manifestation of capitalist thinking. If what I have to sell is my labor, I want to ensure I get the highest price for it. As a single individual, I am in a poor bargaining position against a Carnegie, Ford, or Rockefeller. But as a collective, I am in a much stronger position. If it's morally acceptable to dump goods below cost to put competitors out of business, then surely it's moral to use collective bargaining tactics, including the strike, to get the best deal possible out of management. Especially when management was more than willing to employ violence, bribery, extortion, and other predatory practices to keep wages low.

I have nothing against trade unions, what I do oppose are laws protecting striking workers (not talking about laws protecting them from violence and extortion, those are obviously good, I'm talking about laws that protect them from being dismissed). If workers want to strike and they have enough specialized skills to make their replacement untenable, they should be allowed to and it is a strong bargaining position. Of course, if they're unskilled and the company can easily replace them, nothing should stop the company from firing them all.
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« Reply #394 on: December 17, 2010, 05:13:26 PM »



I have nothing against trade unions, what I do oppose are laws protecting striking workers (not talking about laws protecting them from violence and extortion, those are obviously good, I'm talking about laws that protect them from being dismissed). If workers want to strike and they have enough specialized skills to make their replacement untenable, they should be allowed to and it is a strong bargaining position. Of course, if they're unskilled and the company can easily replace them, nothing should stop the company from firing them all.

The difference is unions negotiate with contracts. Making it impossible for an employer to fire them all. If the employer doesn't breech the contrast and the employee does what he is asked than things usually go in harmony. Breech of contract by employers usually end up in law suits. No matter how unskilled a employee is he has the power to combat capitalistic motivated employers who would use his handicap as a weapon against him.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #395 on: December 17, 2010, 05:18:43 PM »



I have nothing against trade unions, what I do oppose are laws protecting striking workers (not talking about laws protecting them from violence and extortion, those are obviously good, I'm talking about laws that protect them from being dismissed). If workers want to strike and they have enough specialized skills to make their replacement untenable, they should be allowed to and it is a strong bargaining position. Of course, if they're unskilled and the company can easily replace them, nothing should stop the company from firing them all.

The difference is unions negotiate with contracts. Making it impossible for an employer to fire them all. If the employer doesn't breech the contrast and the employee does what he is asked than things usually go in harmony. Breech of contract by employers usually end up in law suits. No matter how unskilled a employee is he has the power to combat capitalistic motivated employers who would use his handicap as a weapon against him.

It is quite possible to fire ineffective workers in union shops. I've done it. There are safeguards, which I feel are entirely appropriate. But you don't have to keep someone who isn't doing the job. The union doesn't want that any more than management. It undercuts their integrity as suppliers of quality workers.
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« Reply #396 on: December 17, 2010, 05:26:34 PM »



I have nothing against trade unions, what I do oppose are laws protecting striking workers (not talking about laws protecting them from violence and extortion, those are obviously good, I'm talking about laws that protect them from being dismissed). If workers want to strike and they have enough specialized skills to make their replacement untenable, they should be allowed to and it is a strong bargaining position. Of course, if they're unskilled and the company can easily replace them, nothing should stop the company from firing them all.

The difference is unions negotiate with contracts. Making it impossible for an employer to fire them all. If the employer doesn't breech the contrast and the employee does what he is asked than things usually go in harmony. Breech of contract by employers usually end up in law suits. No matter how unskilled a employee is he has the power to combat capitalistic motivated employers who would use his handicap as a weapon against him.

Many such contracts were imposed with government interference and/or regulation. These should be voided and a new a negotiation process can occur, if agreed upon by both the workers and the employer. If the employer decides to sign such a contract of his own free will, then fine. However, he shouldn't be required to. The market should decide who has the advantage, if the employer has all the means of production and the laborers are unskilled or low skill, they probably shouldn't expect that good of a deal. If, however, the workforce is highly skilled and specialized, they should be free to use that to their advantage and demand higher wages. There should be competition in labor just like in every other market.
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« Reply #397 on: December 17, 2010, 05:39:18 PM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
And yet you don't have the education to recognize how much of a fallacy the appeal to the unnamed masses is in a logical argument. I've noticed that you do this a lot. How are you able to come up with such a number as 20-30% anyway? And if the number is confined only to your county (as opposed to the whole country), why should we care about your made-up statistics?

You do know that 84.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, don't you?   Wink

I have to agree with Demetrios a bit in that it is not the degree that makes someone skilled.  I have also known a good number of people w/o degrees that were very proficient at what they did and plenty of people with degrees that are educated, but their degree doesn't really count for much in the real world (I am an example of this).  GiC commented on this a few threads ago.  I see the importance in a degree is that is trains you to be trainable.  A liberal arts degree makes you take classes in numerous subjects so you have to adapt to different things to succeed.  I majored in Roman History, Minored in Russian and now I barely remember Russian and Roman history really doesn't do you a lot of good in designing hydronic systems (unless your customer wants to build an aqueduct).
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« Reply #398 on: December 17, 2010, 05:49:51 PM »

Post moved to Politics: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,31928.msg508537.html#msg508537
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« Reply #399 on: December 17, 2010, 05:52:38 PM »



You do know that 84.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, don't you?   Wink

I have to agree with Demetrios a bit in that it is not the degree that makes someone skilled.  I have also known a good number of people w/o degrees that were very proficient at what they did and plenty of people with degrees that are educated, but their degree doesn't really count for much in the real world (I am an example of this).  GiC commented on this a few threads ago.  I see the importance in a degree is that is trains you to be trainable.  A liberal arts degree makes you take classes in numerous subjects so you have to adapt to different things to succeed.  I majored in Roman History, Minored in Russian and now I barely remember Russian and Roman history really doesn't do you a lot of good in designing hydronic systems (unless your customer wants to build an aqueduct).
[/quote]

But only 22.7% of people makeup these statistics. Mostly people between the ages of 19 and 33.

I relate to your experience with skill vs. education. I was a professional classical musician for many years. a good conservatory background helps you understand what your reading and hearing,but the first year in the profession is probably more of an education than all the other experience that went before. Later, I reached a fairly senior level in a profession for which I had no training whatsoever. I seemed to have a knack for it. People who are quick studies and self-motivating usually have a better chance of landing a decent job, all other things being equal. Like being 60 years old is not a plus if you're looking for a job, just to mention one example.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 05:57:29 PM by Hermogenes » Logged
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« Reply #400 on: December 17, 2010, 05:57:33 PM »



I have nothing against trade unions, what I do oppose are laws protecting striking workers (not talking about laws protecting them from violence and extortion, those are obviously good, I'm talking about laws that protect them from being dismissed). If workers want to strike and they have enough specialized skills to make their replacement untenable, they should be allowed to and it is a strong bargaining position. Of course, if they're unskilled and the company can easily replace them, nothing should stop the company from firing them all.

The difference is unions negotiate with contracts. Making it impossible for an employer to fire them all. If the employer doesn't breech the contrast and the employee does what he is asked than things usually go in harmony. Breech of contract by employers usually end up in law suits. No matter how unskilled a employee is he has the power to combat capitalistic motivated employers who would use his handicap as a weapon against him.

Many such contracts were imposed with government interference and/or regulation. These should be voided and a new a negotiation process can occur, if agreed upon by both the workers and the employer. If the employer decides to sign such a contract of his own free will, then fine. However, he shouldn't be required to. The market should decide who has the advantage, if the employer has all the means of production and the laborers are unskilled or low skill, they probably shouldn't expect that good of a deal. If, however, the workforce is highly skilled and specialized, they should be free to use that to their advantage and demand higher wages. There should be competition in labor just like in every other market.

 The government doesn't get involved unless the company is prospering from government funds such as public works projects or supplying the government with it's good. I assume you are referring to prevailing wage contracts that if broken would lead the employer to disqualify from bidding and sometimes ending up in federal prison. laugh
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 06:16:47 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #401 on: December 17, 2010, 06:23:38 PM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
And yet you don't have the education to recognize how much of a fallacy the appeal to the unnamed masses is in a logical argument. I've noticed that you do this a lot. How are you able to come up with such a number as 20-30% anyway? And if the number is confined only to your county (as opposed to the whole country), why should we care about your made-up statistics?

You do know that 84.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, don't you?   Wink

I have to agree with Demetrios a bit in that it is not the degree that makes someone skilled.  I have also known a good number of people w/o degrees that were very proficient at what they did and plenty of people with degrees that are educated, but their degree doesn't really count for much in the real world (I am an example of this).  GiC commented on this a few threads ago.  I see the importance in a degree is that is trains you to be trainable.  A liberal arts degree makes you take classes in numerous subjects so you have to adapt to different things to succeed.  I majored in Roman History, Minored in Russian and now I barely remember Russian and Roman history really doesn't do you a lot of good in designing hydronic systems (unless your customer wants to build an aqueduct).

Well said. Could you imagine allowing a surgeon operate on you fresh out of school. I place odds on you living. LOL
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #402 on: December 20, 2010, 10:46:07 AM »

I could f####g care less what they do, I have no desire to be one of them (not that I had a chance, anyways), it only ticks me off occasionally, when having, for instance, to work on Xmas day just like any normal day, and especially having to endure all those idiotic plastic smiles and wishes of "Merry Christmas" from them.



Forbidden profanity replaced with something more appropriate... Do be aware that the veiled F-bomb is being considered, too.  -PtA



Boo Hoo, I'm crying for you. Roll Eyes You don't like the fact that you have no skills and a crappy job, so you want the government to give you a hand out. I have a more productive suggestion for you: GET A BETTER JOB!
I actually have more skills than many of the people I'm working for. The problem is that their skills-paperwork, mainly law- are overpaid, while mine, fixing and up-keeping their apartments is underpaid.
I'm not even talking about the  utter lack of general culture of those people, like leading university graduates having never heard of the Byzantine Empire, for one or total ignorance of geography. I'm not that unpleasant of a fellow in person and we talk sometimes.
I do not consider business degrees, communications, PR, HR as being real education. Plenty of those people own such a degree that pays way to much for what it's worth.

So are you telling me that my accounting and tax degrees are not real education? I'm confused if you are because they both require a lot of skill.....

-Nick

A degree on the wall doesn't automatically imply that the person holding it is proficient. You have to remember that collage is a big business and the more they could push through the system the more revenue they earn. They are also capitalists. laugh I have dealt with numerous people in my dealing over the years and only about 20% to 30% of professionals in this county actually give credibility to the degree they hold.
And yet you don't have the education to recognize how much of a fallacy the appeal to the unnamed masses is in a logical argument. I've noticed that you do this a lot. How are you able to come up with such a number as 20-30% anyway? And if the number is confined only to your county (as opposed to the whole country), why should we care about your made-up statistics?

You do know that 84.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, don't you?   Wink

I have to agree with Demetrios a bit in that it is not the degree that makes someone skilled.  I have also known a good number of people w/o degrees that were very proficient at what they did and plenty of people with degrees that are educated, but their degree doesn't really count for much in the real world (I am an example of this).  GiC commented on this a few threads ago.  I see the importance in a degree is that is trains you to be trainable.  A liberal arts degree makes you take classes in numerous subjects so you have to adapt to different things to succeed.  I majored in Roman History, Minored in Russian and now I barely remember Russian and Roman history really doesn't do you a lot of good in designing hydronic systems (unless your customer wants to build an aqueduct).

Well said. Could you imagine allowing a surgeon operate on you fresh out of school. I place odds on you living. LOL

I can, its called residency..........

-Nick
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« Reply #403 on: December 20, 2010, 12:35:15 PM »

I'm not following you? A first year resident is still an intern. They have a medical degree, but do not poses a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. Is that who you would like to operate on you?
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #404 on: December 20, 2010, 12:39:30 PM »

I'm not following you? A first year resident is still an intern. They have a medical degree, but do not poses a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. Is that who you would like to operate on you?

I think he's saying they do perform procedures, albeit supervised.
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