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Author Topic: Capitalism Is Evil!  (Read 20160 times) Average Rating: 0
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augustin717
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« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2010, 12:57:02 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.
So, for how many people to whom their employers won't give any healthcare do you cover the costs thereof. Or your church for that matter?
These are rhetorical questions, only meant to show the idiocy of your (Christian/Antiochian libertarian, I guess) statement.
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« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2010, 01:03:38 PM »

The Old Testament society was certainly not laissez-faire. God's people were commanded (=forced) to share their wealth (Lev. 19:9, Deut. 24:19-22).

Do you really want to appeal to OT economics? Leviticus 25:44-46, Ex. 21:20-21

Sure, why not? At least they let their slaves go after so many years! I don't believe American slavery ever practiced the year of Jubilee! America believed and practiced perpetual slavery.

American slavery saw us as nothing more than farm machinery. They worked us hard until the wheels fell off! And once we were of no value we were discarded and replaced.

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« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2010, 01:39:41 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

That's not True.... In the beginning stages a Capitalist Economy has dynamic growth, lots of competition. Marx and even Lenin acknowledged this and saw Capitalism as a natural economic step.

But after awhile, the Free Market is not so Free anymore. As stronger competitors winnow out the less strong,  fewer and fewer choices are available.

And a competitor can "Win" in the Market without necessarily having the best product.  For example, a company with lots of Capital on hand can dump their product onto the Market at well below the price it takes to manufacture it. The public chooses the lowest price. Compeitiors are driven out becuse the cant stay in business at the artificially low price.. After all their competitors are killed off, they then raise prices to whatever they want and perhaps even corner the Market.

Access to Capital is what runs Capitalism. The value of Labor is very secondary and is driven to the lowest levels possible without causing social upheaval. At the mature stage of Capitalism, workers cant start a railroad because they don't have access to the enormous amounts of Capital required at late stage Capitalism. Fewer and fewer people make the economic decisions.  Eventually the system collapses as we have seen several times, The Capitalist then start a War and gin up industry again.

The best system is a mixed one. Labor has real political power ( A Labor Party for example) and the Capitalists are kept on a leash but the Free market continues. Social needs that are not profitable for the Capitalists to invest in are run socially, like Health Care.
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« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2010, 02:05:45 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

Nonetheless, Israelites were not free to not share their wealth with the poor.
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« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2010, 02:55:50 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

That's not True.... In the beginning stages a Capitalist Economy has dynamic growth, lots of competition. Marx and even Lenin acknowledged this and saw Capitalism as a natural economic step.

But after awhile, the Free Market is not so Free anymore. As stronger competitors winnow out the less strong,  fewer and fewer choices are available.

And a competitor can "Win" in the Market without necessarily having the best product.  For example, a company with lots of Capital on hand can dump their product onto the Market at well below the price it takes to manufacture it. The public chooses the lowest price. Compeitiors are driven out becuse the cant stay in business at the artificially low price.. After all their competitors are killed off, they then raise prices to whatever they want and perhaps even corner the Market.

Access to Capital is what runs Capitalism. The value of Labor is very secondary and is driven to the lowest levels possible without causing social upheaval. At the mature stage of Capitalism, workers cant start a railroad because they don't have access to the enormous amounts of Capital required at late stage Capitalism. Fewer and fewer people make the economic decisions.  Eventually the system collapses as we have seen several times, The Capitalist then start a War and gin up industry again.

The best system is a mixed one. Labor has real political power ( A Labor Party for example) and the Capitalists are kept on a leash but the Free market continues. Social needs that are not profitable for the Capitalists to invest in are run socially, like Health Care.

Of course, having the benefit of over 150 more years of economic observation than Marx, we have learned that there is another factor he failed to fully appreciate: Innovation. Many of the powerful corporations of the 19th century have come and gone, a few from anti-trust legislation, but far more fell to market forces. And new corporations have come onto the scene, corporations that rival and surpass these old corporations, largely related to computers and technology. If you look around I think you're also seeing the demise of traditional airplane manufacturers who are too large and too cumbersome to convert quickly enough to the state of the art in aerospace technology. And only time will tell if large oil companies can will be able to compete with energy upstart companies as the laws of supply and demand begin to inevitably push up commodity rates for fossil fuels.

You don't have to have more capital than the big players to compete in the modern economy, or even to bring them down. You just need to have better ideas (and better marketing doesn't hurt).
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« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2010, 02:57:56 PM »

ISTM that neither 'laissez-faire' capitalism nor Utopian socialism presents an ideal worthy of a Christian society. Do not our Lord's own teachings speak to BOTH our responsibility to use that which has been given to us wisely and to care for our brothers and sisters? Both the social-Darwinists and the collectivists seem to miss the mark.

Agree.  The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.
I'm not sure why this discussion always boils down to an either/or discussion in which you have to support a crypto-fascist corporatist-exploitative capitalist machine OR the bastard oppressive Soviet-style state-sponsored communism. But it always seems to. Perhaps it is the times.
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« Reply #51 on: November 29, 2010, 02:58:33 PM »

Let's all just be distributists. Smiley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism
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« Reply #52 on: November 29, 2010, 03:11:58 PM »

Let's all just be distributists. Smiley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism

I'm willing to give it a go.
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« Reply #53 on: November 29, 2010, 03:18:36 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

Whatever you want to call it, a system where one person has millions or billions and another person starves can't be just. I know the people with the millions usually refer to it as "personal freedom" and push the myth that we all have the same opportunities to succeed or fail, and that it is therefore no business of society as a whole--and certainly not of government--to look after the one who's starving. Am I my brother's keeper? No. Plain and simple.

The fly in that particular ointment is that Our Lord chose to be born in a stable, not a palace, and spent His earthly life in humble poverty. Nowhere does he extol the virtues of a free market economy. It is a common refrain in our national debate that free markets equal political freedom, but all one has to do is look at the People's Republic of China to see that this is plainly not true in all cases. The challenge of the Sermon on the Mount is the extent to which I am willing to make economic injutice my personal responsibility. The people we hear singing the "Land of the Brave Home of the Free, My Country 'Tis of Thee" chorus answer the challenge by saying it is not their responsibility at all. It's their own fault if people are poor. The Bible tells us so.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #54 on: November 29, 2010, 04:39:45 PM »

To say "Capitalism is evil" is akin to saying "Christianity is evil." They are both ignorant and illogical statements that may be more reflective of emotions that thoughts.
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« Reply #55 on: November 29, 2010, 04:48:13 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.
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« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2010, 05:13:56 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
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« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2010, 05:26:30 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.
No, I don't supposed He'd support that.

Where do I think Our Lord would be more likely to be found: working in a homeless shelter or at an investment bank? Riding a bus or signing a lease for a new Mercedes? Buying a suit at Emporio Armani or looking through the racks at Goodwill?

The church speaks of what it sometimes calls "the preferrential option for the poor." It's not impossible for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle--with God, all things are possible. But it is very, very, very difficult. At least, according to Our Lord.
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« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2010, 05:46:44 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 

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« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2010, 06:07:39 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".


Hssssss! Charity! Hsssss! Giving of one's own free conscience!
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« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2010, 06:08:35 PM »

 
[/quote]
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 [/quote]

I'm afraid I don't understand this.
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« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2010, 07:07:35 PM »

Quote

As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 

I'm afraid I don't understand this.
[/quote][/quote]
It's noting but a ploy and a trick of the rich to leave the care of the poor to individual/Christian/Church charity. But that is what both aoi and touchstone defend.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 07:08:16 PM by augustin717 » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2010, 07:10:51 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".


Hssssss! Charity! Hsssss! Giving of one's own free conscience!
The poor should not be seen as almost inanimate receptacles of our magnanimity or means through which our Christian charitable disposition shines through.
That's the problem with this approach.
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« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2010, 07:12:46 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

That's not True.... In the beginning stages a Capitalist Economy has dynamic growth, lots of competition. Marx and even Lenin acknowledged this and saw Capitalism as a natural economic step.

But after awhile, the Free Market is not so Free anymore. As stronger competitors winnow out the less strong,  fewer and fewer choices are available.

And a competitor can "Win" in the Market without necessarily having the best product.  For example, a company with lots of Capital on hand can dump their product onto the Market at well below the price it takes to manufacture it. The public chooses the lowest price. Compeitiors are driven out becuse the cant stay in business at the artificially low price.. After all their competitors are killed off, they then raise prices to whatever they want and perhaps even corner the Market.

Access to Capital is what runs Capitalism. The value of Labor is very secondary and is driven to the lowest levels possible without causing social upheaval. At the mature stage of Capitalism, workers cant start a railroad because they don't have access to the enormous amounts of Capital required at late stage Capitalism. Fewer and fewer people make the economic decisions.  Eventually the system collapses as we have seen several times, The Capitalist then start a War and gin up industry again.

The best system is a mixed one. Labor has real political power ( A Labor Party for example) and the Capitalists are kept on a leash but the Free market continues. Social needs that are not profitable for the Capitalists to invest in are run socially, like Health Care.

Of course, having the benefit of over 150 more years of economic observation than Marx, we have learned that there is another factor he failed to fully appreciate: Innovation. Many of the powerful corporations of the 19th century have come and gone, a few from anti-trust legislation, but far more fell to market forces. And new corporations have come onto the scene, corporations that rival and surpass these old corporations, largely related to computers and technology. If you look around I think you're also seeing the demise of traditional airplane manufacturers who are too large and too cumbersome to convert quickly enough to the state of the art in aerospace technology. And only time will tell if large oil companies can will be able to compete with energy upstart companies as the laws of supply and demand begin to inevitably push up commodity rates for fossil fuels.

You don't have to have more capital than the big players to compete in the modern economy, or even to bring them down. You just need to have better ideas (and better marketing doesn't hurt).

I think they understood Capitalism is dynamic and part of that vitality is innovation. But as access to Capital shrinks and shrinks, the players get fewer. Boeing will not be put our of business by people with $1.98 in the bank. They will be defeated by other Capitalists. Then, we lose the capacity to make large aircraft. The skills and infrastructure go away and are hard to get back once killed off.
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« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2010, 07:29:54 PM »

Quote

As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 

I'm afraid I don't understand this.
[/quote]
It's noting but a ploy and a trick of the rich to leave the care of the poor to individual/Christian/Church charity. But that is what both aoi and touchstone defend.
[/quote]

Oh, I see.
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« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2010, 07:35:56 PM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".


Hssssss! Charity! Hsssss! Giving of one's own free conscience!
The poor should not be seen as almost inanimate receptacles of our magnanimity or means through which our Christian charitable disposition shines through.
That's the problem with this approach.

Right... Just like selling all your belongings and giving it to the poor is an example of showing "our magnanimity or means through which our Christian charitable disposition shines through".

Giving freely can only be done through pride. That's why socialism is better. You don't have a say, so you can't be prideful! /sarcasm

You have a trend. You're big on making caricatures of the west and inserting (or projecting) emotions and intent where there is none.
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« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2010, 07:46:50 PM »

Ok, for example, most of the poor won't have any health care plan no matter how charitable Christians would be. But when you take into account that many aren't or that for many charity is giving some old clothes to Salvation Army, you get the picture.
How many Anglo-Catholics do you know that sold everything they had and distributed to the poor?
As for the Orthodox, I don't know any.
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« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2010, 07:53:46 PM »

Ok, for example, most of the poor won't have any health care plan no matter how charitable Christians would be. But when you take into account that many aren't or that for many charity is giving some old clothes to Salvation Army, you get the picture.

They are mutually exclusive. Healthcare has nothing to do with it. Even with a nation healthcare plan, people will still be charitable.

How many Anglo-Catholics do you know that sold everything they had and distributed to the poor?

They're called monks.

BTW, it's a reference to the Bible.

Quote
Mark 10:21 
And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
38   

Luke 12:33 
Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth.

Luke 18:22   
Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: Yet one thing is wanting to thee: sell all whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.   

Deuteronomy 14:25 
Thou shalt sell them all, and turn them into money, and shalt carry it in thy hand, and shalt go to the place which the Lord shall choose:

Weird!

As for the Orthodox, I don't know any.

They're called monks.
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« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2010, 08:01:44 PM »

Let's live it to the monks, as a conclusion!
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« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2010, 08:04:16 PM »

Let's live it to the monks, as a conclusion!

huh?
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« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2010, 08:06:57 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.
And a competitor can "Win" in the Market without necessarily having the best product.  For example, a company with lots of Capital on hand can dump their product onto the Market at well below the price it takes to manufacture it. The public chooses the lowest price. Compeitiors are driven out becuse the cant stay in business at the artificially low price.. After all their competitors are killed off, they then raise prices to whatever they want and perhaps even corner the Market.

What you fail to acknowledge is that pricing is not all that drives people to purchase one product over another.  For instance, there are many types of mp3/mp4 players other than the Zune and IPod that and that cost substantially less than an IPod, and yet the IPod still has a very large portion of the market.  Another example would be soda.  A bottle of Coca-Cola costs less than a bottle of Jones' Soda, yet I buy Jones' Soda when I can find it - even though I could buy more if I bought Coke for the same price, or buy more Coke for a lower price.

When you talk about a company being able to offer its product at a price lower than production costs, you completely ignore the fact that price is not the only factor.  Another factor is quality.  A third major factor is branding.  Furthermore, many similar products can differ in what to many people would be small ways, but yet to others are big issues.  For instance, I know at least a few people who refuse to buy any soda not made with sugar - even though this is more expensive - because it offers a different taste.  If price was the only factor (as you seem to suggest), then the only restaurants in the U.S. would be ones like McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.

I would also say to people who talk about how we need to give money to the poor and what not, how is it charitable to take my money or my uncle's money, or my neighbor's money and give it to a third party?  Isn't charity something you freely choose to give?  Yes God tells us to give charity to the poor - but when did the State become God?

I will also say - just for the record - that I am not upper-class.  I am lower middle class or upper lower class.  However, despite the fact that I would be one of the people (seemingly) benefiting from redistribution of wealth, that does not stop me from seeing right from wrong.
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« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2010, 08:30:42 PM »

Balderdash! There is no such thing as 'capitalism'. That's a stupid concept Marx invented. Everyone else knows it as 'personal freedom'. Just because some people abuse their freedom and take advantage of other people is no reason to consider freedom to be evil. God Himself has given us that freedom. Use it to the greater glory of God.

That's not True.... In the beginning stages a Capitalist Economy has dynamic growth, lots of competition. Marx and even Lenin acknowledged this and saw Capitalism as a natural economic step.

But after awhile, the Free Market is not so Free anymore. As stronger competitors winnow out the less strong,  fewer and fewer choices are available.

And a competitor can "Win" in the Market without necessarily having the best product.  For example, a company with lots of Capital on hand can dump their product onto the Market at well below the price it takes to manufacture it. The public chooses the lowest price. Compeitiors are driven out becuse the cant stay in business at the artificially low price.. After all their competitors are killed off, they then raise prices to whatever they want and perhaps even corner the Market.

Access to Capital is what runs Capitalism. The value of Labor is very secondary and is driven to the lowest levels possible without causing social upheaval. At the mature stage of Capitalism, workers cant start a railroad because they don't have access to the enormous amounts of Capital required at late stage Capitalism. Fewer and fewer people make the economic decisions.  Eventually the system collapses as we have seen several times, The Capitalist then start a War and gin up industry again.

The best system is a mixed one. Labor has real political power ( A Labor Party for example) and the Capitalists are kept on a leash but the Free market continues. Social needs that are not profitable for the Capitalists to invest in are run socially, like Health Care.

Of course, having the benefit of over 150 more years of economic observation than Marx, we have learned that there is another factor he failed to fully appreciate: Innovation. Many of the powerful corporations of the 19th century have come and gone, a few from anti-trust legislation, but far more fell to market forces. And new corporations have come onto the scene, corporations that rival and surpass these old corporations, largely related to computers and technology. If you look around I think you're also seeing the demise of traditional airplane manufacturers who are too large and too cumbersome to convert quickly enough to the state of the art in aerospace technology. And only time will tell if large oil companies can will be able to compete with energy upstart companies as the laws of supply and demand begin to inevitably push up commodity rates for fossil fuels.

You don't have to have more capital than the big players to compete in the modern economy, or even to bring them down. You just need to have better ideas (and better marketing doesn't hurt).

I think they understood Capitalism is dynamic and part of that vitality is innovation. But as access to Capital shrinks and shrinks, the players get fewer. Boeing will not be put our of business by people with $1.98 in the bank. They will be defeated by other Capitalists. Then, we lose the capacity to make large aircraft. The skills and infrastructure go away and are hard to get back once killed off.

You might not unseat Boeing on your own with $1.98 in the bank, but if you come up with good enough designs and can market it well enough, you can get the venture capital you need to start a business that may unseat Boeing...with no more than $1.98 in your account.

However, with $1.98 in your account, a computer and an internet connection (which I'm guessing most people on the forum have); you can conceivably unseat Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc. Keeping in mind that most of these companies were started by people who dropped out of college and didn't have much more than that in their bank accounts (though the Google founders did finish college, I think they're the only ones of the above companies' founders).

There's money...as in billions...to be made by someone with a good insight into the market and some rudimentary skills, the knowledge to learn which can all be freely found online. If you can't figure out and run with an idea, you have no one to blame but yourself. And while I may not have come up with an idea, and had the ambition to pursue it, that would let me start a company like that, that's no one's fault buy my own.

It's not the lack of capital, it's not being 'disadvantaged', and it's not anyone else's fault that I haven't started a multi-billion dollar company. It is solely a result of my own lack of creativity and ambition...as is the case for everyone in this country who complains about these things yet have not achieved them.
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« Reply #72 on: November 29, 2010, 08:56:02 PM »

Let's live it to the monks, as a conclusion!

Or maybe the Theotokos?

"For he hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden ...
"He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
"He hath put down the mighty from their seats and hath exalted the humble and meek.
"He hath filled the poor with good things, an the rich he hath sent empty away..."
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« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2010, 10:53:05 PM »

Quote from: GiC
It's not the lack of capital, it's not being 'disadvantaged', and it's not anyone else's fault that I haven't started a multi-billion dollar company. It is solely a result of my own lack of creativity and ambition...as is the case for everyone in this country who complains about these things yet have not achieved them.

So, how is it mathematically possible for 'everyone in this country' to 'start a multi-billion dollar company'? Did the currency collapse when I wasn't looking?

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2010, 11:03:42 PM »

I would also say to people who talk about how we need to give money to the poor and what not, how is it charitable to take my money or my uncle's money, or my neighbor's money and give it to a third party?  Isn't charity something you freely choose to give?  Yes God tells us to give charity to the poor - but when did the State become God?

The Israelites in the Old Testament were FORCED, COMPELLED to take their wealth and to give some of it to a "third party" (orphans, widows, the poor). They did not have any choice of their own, to do it or not to do it. And their state WAS God (or, at least, their state was a means by which God talked to them).
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« Reply #75 on: November 29, 2010, 11:07:26 PM »

Quote from: GiC
It's not the lack of capital, it's not being 'disadvantaged', and it's not anyone else's fault that I haven't started a multi-billion dollar company. It is solely a result of my own lack of creativity and ambition...as is the case for everyone in this country who complains about these things yet have not achieved them.

So, how is it mathematically possible for 'everyone in this country' to 'start a multi-billion dollar company'? Did the currency collapse when I wasn't looking?

 Roll Eyes

Inflation. Wink

But, seriously, since the growth of an industry creates capital, you need not take from another to create wealth...people can profit by growing the economy, not only by taking market share away from other segments. With that said, the logistics of growing the economy that fast make it highly implausible (until the development of programmable nano-robotic manufacturing methods, at least), but while every individual may not be able to achieve this, any individual can. And there is more than enough room for the economy to grow for every individual, if they can come up with good and innovative ideas, to at least make enough to live a comfortable life with all their needs and many of their desires for luxuries met.
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« Reply #76 on: November 29, 2010, 11:43:49 PM »

...while every individual may not be able to achieve this, any individual can.
This appears to be contradictory. Because there is only so much money in circulation, why would there not be an upper limit to the number of people who could have a worth of several billion dollars?
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« Reply #77 on: November 29, 2010, 11:52:53 PM »

...while every individual may not be able to achieve this, any individual can.
This appears to be contradictory. Because there is only so much money in circulation, why would there not be an upper limit to the number of people who could have a worth of several billion dollars?

WOW! Really? I don't even know where to begin...

But I guess I should start by asking if you know what 'money' is and how it's created (and/or destroyed).
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« Reply #78 on: November 30, 2010, 12:25:17 AM »

I would also say to people who talk about how we need to give money to the poor and what not, how is it charitable to take my money or my uncle's money, or my neighbor's money and give it to a third party?  Isn't charity something you freely choose to give?  Yes God tells us to give charity to the poor - but when did the State become God?

The Israelites in the Old Testament were FORCED, COMPELLED to take their wealth and to give some of it to a "third party" (orphans, widows, the poor). They did not have any choice of their own, to do it or not to do it. And their state WAS God (or, at least, their state was a means by which God talked to them).


First of all, where can you show me that men came around and took money from individuals in ancient Israel and then distributed it to the needy?  (Here I am speaking of the time of the Judges, not under the monarchy)

Secondly, if that did not happen, then no one was forced too - even if every single person did.

Thirdly, is ancient Israel really the best example of perfection you can come up with?  Weren't the ancient Israelites the same people who started worshiping a golden calf while Moses was on the mountain speaking to God?  Aren't they the same people who, despite warnings, wanted a King simply because everyone else had a King?  Aren't they the same people who multiple times were forced into exile because of sin?  If I am right about those things, why do you assume that just because they did it everyone should?

Fourthly, why does whether ancient Israel was ruled by God and God literally took the money from the people to give to the poor at all relevant to whether or not the governments of TODAY are God?  Really, when did the State become GOD?
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« Reply #79 on: November 30, 2010, 02:41:00 AM »

...while every individual may not be able to achieve this, any individual can.
This appears to be contradictory. Because there is only so much money in circulation, why would there not be an upper limit to the number of people who could have a worth of several billion dollars?

WOW! Really? I don't even know where to begin...

But I guess I should start by asking if you know what 'money' is and how it's created (and/or destroyed).

Some people don't like the possibility of failure.
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« Reply #80 on: November 30, 2010, 05:10:01 AM »

...while every individual may not be able to achieve this, any individual can.
This appears to be contradictory. Because there is only so much money in circulation, why would there not be an upper limit to the number of people who could have a worth of several billion dollars?

WOW! Really? I don't even know where to begin...

But I guess I should start by asking if you know what 'money' is and how it's created (and/or destroyed).
What matters for the point is that there is an upper limit to the amount of money and wealth available. There is a numerical limitation to the amount of money in circulation. Therefore, it is not possible for any individual to achieve wealth of several billion dollars, because after a certain number of people achieve that amount, no one else would be able to achieve it. In other words, what you suggest is mathematically impossible under the present financial conditions. I don;t see any huge change in the amount of money in circulation which would enable your suggestion to be realised by everyone. 
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« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2010, 08:58:55 AM »

Quote

It's not the lack of capital, it's not being 'disadvantaged', and it's not anyone else's fault that I haven't started a multi-billion dollar company. It is solely a result of my own lack of creativity and ambition...as is the case for everyone in this country who complains about these things yet have not achieved them.

This kind of arrogant ignorance always makes me want to damn the ghost of Ronald Reagan. Next time an old lady trying to make ends meet on $800 a month walks into my office I'll be sure to advise her to think more entrepreneurially.
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« Reply #82 on: November 30, 2010, 10:25:02 AM »

Quote

It's not the lack of capital, it's not being 'disadvantaged', and it's not anyone else's fault that I haven't started a multi-billion dollar company. It is solely a result of my own lack of creativity and ambition...as is the case for everyone in this country who complains about these things yet have not achieved them.

This kind of arrogant ignorance always makes me want to damn the ghost of Ronald Reagan. Next time an old lady trying to make ends meet on $800 a month walks into my office I'll be sure to advise her to think more entrepreneurially.

His point is that the limitations for a poor man to become rich is non-existent except for luck and personal ambition.

Poor exist in all economic systems, let's not be blind to that.
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« Reply #83 on: November 30, 2010, 10:49:37 AM »

Has anyone here heard of Marinaleda?
Quote
Marinaleda is a town and municipio of the province of Seville, Andalusia, Spain. The town is a Communist farming cooperative, of 2,700 people. In 2008 its population was 2,708 people. Its surface is 25 km², with a density of 109,11hab/km².

Marinaleda represents a local exception of the housing crisis currently happening in Spain and due to speculation. Marinaleda was also in the national news as soon as it became known that one could buy a house for 15 euros per month, providing that one would build their own house.

The local government of Marinaleda expropriated thousands of square meters of land, now communal propriety, aiming to find land to build new houses. Then it called upon the national and regional Governments to gain funding for the construction.

This is the programme:

-the expropriated land is given free of charge to the self-builder
-through an agreement with the regional Government and the so-called P.E.R. (Plan de Empleo Rural), the self-builder can buy construction materials
-professional builders are available for the construction, still free of charge
-the architect' design is also free; self-builders are involved in the design process
-all the self-builders finally meet in a consultation to work out the monthly payment to achieve ownership. The last houses have been built and bought at a cost of 2.550 pesetas per month (approximately 15€ per month).

"They all thought that the market was God, who made everything work with his invisible hand. Before, it was a mortal sin to talk about the government having a role in the economy. Now, we see we have to put the economy at the service of man."
— Mayor Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, May 2009 remarks about Spain’s real estate bust and rampant unemployment


It's small and it's not flawless, but it's still something that shows that there is another perspective to this money-driven world, if people decide to work together for the good of all.
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« Reply #84 on: November 30, 2010, 10:57:53 AM »

Poor oppessed people exist and have existed in all systems. Ilegitimaly wealthy people have existed in every system.

A class of people who are not extremely poor nor extremely powerful yet count with a significant freedom for self-determination in society exists *only* in Western Christian democratic capitalist societies and in other countries to the measure that . And that's how life is.

As bad as the American crisis is and as bad as unemployment is, in other systems autocratic rulers would feel free to exterminate the excessive number of people or simply let them defenseless in face of barbaric invasions which, eventually, would also diminish the population. I hear people are having breakdowns because they have to smaller houses, are selling their cars. In places where the situation are really bad, when this happens, you go to the streets or worse.... What prevents *this* kind of tragedy is not a centralized government nor socialistoid measures. It's the overall freedom that still remains.

As for the old lady who makes $800 a month, a lot of old ladies down here in Brazil make ends meet with less than the local minimum wage which is R$540 or around U$320. To have something more, they weave, and do work that is appropriate to their physical conditions and age. Working for a living is not a burden, it's an honour. I'd rather have a country with enough capitalism and economic freedom that would have allowed them to save enough money for a calmer retirement than what we have today, a welfare state that prevents people from saving for themselves by taking taxes on the promises of services that are intrinsically impossible to be delivered.

St Paul *clearly* says that widows and orphans, if they can't work for themselves, should be supported by their family and not by the community. That it is a shame and a sin to try to "push" those in need onto the community. Only those who do not have absolutely anyone are the responsibility of society.
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« Reply #85 on: November 30, 2010, 11:08:00 AM »

Secondly, if that did not happen (special people did not take parts of harvest. --H.), then no one was forced too - even if every single person did.

Well, I am sure there were overseers who were responsible for making sure the people lived according to the Torah. If the people did not do what the Torah commanded them to do, they were simply stoned to death.

is ancient Israel really the best example of perfection you can come up with?

Of course no. I am just arguing against those who say that forceful re-distribution of wealth is something invented by evil Communists etc. It was practiced in ancient Israel and it is documented in the Bible as a commandment (not something optional). Just like the Torah says, "thou shalt not steal - I am the LORD," or, "thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother - I am the LORD," exactly the same way it says, "thou shalt give part of thy harvest to the orphan and the needy - I am the LORD." No difference...
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« Reply #86 on: November 30, 2010, 11:14:28 AM »

By the way, the 'evil capitalist' is the icon used by Christ to explain the good use of the gifts of God:

Quote
For {the kingdom of heaven is} as a man travelling into a far country, {who} called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. {talents: a talent is one hundred and eighty seven pounds ten shillings}

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made {them} other five talents.

And likewise he that {had received} two, he also gained other two.

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

His lord said unto him, Well done, {thou} good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, {there} thou hast {that is} thine.

His lord answered and said unto him, {Thou} wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and {then} at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give {it} unto him which hath ten talents.

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

St. Mat. 25:14-30

So, not only profit can be an icon of making good use of the gifts of God (of which material wealth is but one), but the willing refusal to put whatever gift to increase (even material wealth!) is a sin.  And Jesus even goes beyond that. It would have been better to have lended the money to the exchangers, the speculators of those day, than not to use it. So, if you don't know how to invest, it's better to gain a bit less and share it with professional investors and thus participate in the general construction of social well-being, than not to use it out of spiritual pride (notice the reason why the bad servant refused to participate in the market: the wrath of God, the very same reason used by today's religious anti-capitalists).

Not to mention that old first socialist, Judas:

Quote
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's {son}, which should betray him,

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

St. John 12:3-8

The whole progressist-socialist agenda is there condemned: take the luxuries from the rich in name of giving to the poor and the prompt revelation that those who do so say it not because of any real concern for the poor, but because they are thieves and betrayers of Jesus, even if they speak in name of His teachings. So much for "sharing wealth" invitations from those who will control the purse with the collected money.
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« Reply #87 on: November 30, 2010, 11:19:42 AM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 



Well, of course it was not the extreme right wing that introduced the federal income tax (implemented through a constitutional amendment by the way), Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, welfare payments, etc. What the Right is now doing is to push back against what it conceives to be an overly ambitious and Socialist agenda (even though the current system has many "socialist" features).

I pray for the day that you Augustin will be able to discard whatever weird filters that you use and be able to participate in discussions reasonably.
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« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2010, 11:31:17 AM »

And since we mentioned commandments to share with the poor, here is St. Paul on the issue:

Honour widows that are widows indeed.
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. {piety: or, kindness}

1 Timothy 5:3,4

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. {house: or, kindred}

1 Timothy 5:8

So deal with it. *Any* who does not provide for his own has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. That to the point that a widow in need should be taken care of by her relatives *first* and only in case there is no relative, by the community.

So, what welfare systems create is governmental campaigns to lead entire classes of people to deny the faith (not provide for their own).

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« Reply #89 on: November 30, 2010, 11:33:20 AM »

If I had to guess, I'd never see Jesus being in support of a system where a rich guy will get richer and a poor one poorer, without the first doing anything to support the latter.

Me neither. However, the rich guy in your example, assuming that he lives in a capitalist environment, is not capitalism and indeed does not define capitalism. To look at it from another perspective, I don't think that Jesus would encourage His followers to "steal" the rich man's funds to give to the poor.

Capitalism was defined by Adam Smith, Scottish moral philosopher, whose work, Wealth of Nations, has withstood the test of time and competing theories. Indeed, Karl Marx himself maintained that a nation must go through the stage of capitalism before attempting socialism, let alone communism. Even though Adam Smith believed in the invisible hand of the market to determine optimal costs and prices, he is said to have also advised capitalists to be good Christian men, lest (a) their own morality suffer and (b) some inevitably deleterious effects of the impersonal market operations are not ameliorated by Christian positive actions. Indeed, historically nations undertook interventions in the market to (a) break up monopolies and (b) assure that there are safety nets for the poor. Thus, the accumulation of power in fewer and fewer individuals and the corresponding deepening of the misery of the masses postulated by Marx have not happened in capitalist societies.
As for the "safety nets for the poor", from what I see, the extreme right-winger orthodox of America won't have anything but do-gooder "Christian charity".
You don't believe me, read "aoiusa" and "touchstone".
 



Well, of course it was not the extreme right wing that introduced the federal income tax (implemented through a constitutional amendment by the way), Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, welfare payments, etc. What the Right is now doing is to push back against what it conceives to be an overly ambitious and Socialist agenda (even though the current system has many "socialist" features).

I pray for the day that you Augustin will be able to discard whatever weird filters that you use and be able to participate in discussions reasonably.

Again, the US is a "Mixed Economy". It's Capitalistic, but it has government control to limit the individuals from gaining to much power. At least, that's how it's supposed to work. "Conservatives" don't want any more government input than this. Else you get the artificial build up and then breakdown of our current situation.
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