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Can we continue that discussion from Will's derailed thread?

This is a discussion on Can we continue that discussion from Will's derailed thread? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Will1, I never said that capitalism didn't work. I'm certainly not a communist either. Instead, I think I'm more capitalist ...

  1. #1
    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Can we continue that discussion from Will's derailed thread?

    Will1, I never said that capitalism didn't work.

    I'm certainly not a communist either.

    Instead, I think I'm more capitalist than you, Will, because I understand that the only way a capitalist economy works is if the spending power is in the hands of the masses and not 1% of the total population.

    The reason why America is in the decline is because capitalism doesn't work when only a small few have the money. Instead, communism works better this way because they can be the ones who provide for everyone.

    Instead, for a successful capitalist society to work, there needs to be a constant flow of money and returning that back to the people is what will save this country.

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    The problem is not a question of capitalism versus socialism or communism. The problem is that every time a financial catastrophe happens, people demand that the government do something about it. The government responds by making new laws, written, at least in part, by the large corporations that caused the problem in the first place, intended to prevent future occurrences of said catastrophe, but with the side effect of adding additional layers of regulation, making it more difficult for new businesses to get into the segment of the market where the catastrophe occurred. The new regulations impose fines for behaviors that the government believes caused the catastrophe, but the large, entrenched businesses don't care about the fines. They continue to do as they please, because they are so big that fines won't slow them down, and in fact, they have created a regulatory environment in which it's virtually impossible for them to be punished, even if they are caught. In fact, in the collapse of 2008, the big banks and corporations were rewarded by the government, in the form of "bailouts," to the tune of $800+ billion. The banks and corporations finance election campaigns for legislators, who return the favor by making laws friendly to the corporations. They make it impossible for anyone to break into an existing market. The only way to start a business, and grow it into a giant "too big to fail" corporation, is to create a market. Microsoft effectively created the PC operating system market. Google effectively created the web search market. Facebook effectively created social media and networking. One thing common to all of these is that they took something that already existed and put massive resources behind it to propel it over the top. No one is going to create another Citibank or General Electric or IBM. Those markets are closed, due to the protections afforded to them by the legislation that they helped to write in closed door meetings. The problem is not a lack of equality. The problem is a lack of freedom. Regular people can't afford to compete, because they can't afford to comply with all the regulations that have been enacted over the years. Regulation is the arch nemesis of freedom. Freedom will put money back in the hands of the "99%." Freedom will save the country and the world. Freedom is the answer.
    Code:
    namespace life
    {
        const bool change = true;
    }

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Oh damn, that's a good post.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Towards the end, Elkvis started to sound like Hegel because he believed that history would end triumphantly with the freest society.
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    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn
    Instead, I think I'm more capitalist than you, Will, because I understand that the only way a capitalist economy works is if the spending power is in the hands of the masses and not 1% of the total population.
    [...]
    Instead, for a successful capitalist society to work, there needs to be a constant flow of money and returning that back to the people is what will save this country.
    That's not how capitalism works! You INVEST money into some venture in hopes of yielding a higher return, that is the basis of capitalism. Yes, this necessarily means that someone in the supply and demand chain makes less as a result, but then again you too share that RISK as well. In capitalism you most certainly CAN make a fortune, but you can also just as easily lose your shirt.

    The difference between a good and a bad capitalist is that the latter seeks out to benefit regardless of the (potentially devastating) consequences. Many capitalists evolve beyond this point though. Besides that, capitalism does have a natural way of balancing out. A successful capitalist becomes so "in the black" that they have money to burn and so they spend, donate, and otherwise stimulate the economy. This is actually something we can all do, in fact. I've always made it a personal point to give at least 10% of my income to others in need, whether it be at the tip jar or on the street corner, regardless of how much I've made that year. Imagine if we all did that, rich and poor!

    Now our family in particular was pretty lucky to have benefited from the Texas oil rush at the turn of the (last) century, but fortunately many turned out to be quite generous and otherwise down-to-earth. Ours have donated libraries, funded the arts, supported environmental programs, and worked to educate others about Texas wildflower ecology, among other things. Have we had our share of greedy, obnoxious capitalists? Of course. But then again you see that kind of behavior everywhere at all levels of society, so there you go.

    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn
    The reason why America is in the decline is because capitalism doesn't work when only a small few have the money. Instead, communism works better this way because they can be the ones who provide for everyone.
    I've known people who lived under communism. Trust me, it isn't what you make it out to be. It was an oppressive, impoverished, and dull time for those people and the only saving grace was the character of their culture to make the best of things. Communism doesn't work for anyone but the dictatorship that rules over it. The people gain practically nothing, living off of little more than rations.
    Last edited by Sebastiani; 08-13-2014 at 04:45 PM.
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    Yes, Texas is the perfect state. Sorry, it's hard to say that with a straight face.

    One micro example doesn't work because looking at the overall picture it clearly doesn't work.

    The difference between you and I is that you think people will willfully do what's good for the species. I think they need to be forced into it. I think it's a very naive view that rich people are the solution. "Don't worry, the rich people will solve it. We all know they're altruistic. How else did they get rich?" This country was built on the back of slavery and oppression and put particular people in very powerful positions solely through legacy.

    This type of attitude is exactly Reaganomics at its finest and it doesn't work.

  7. #7
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn
    Yes, Texas is the perfect state. Sorry, it's hard to say that with a straight face.
    I never implied that it was. Like any other state, it's got it's share of good and bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn
    One micro example doesn't work because looking at the overall picture it clearly doesn't work.
    I'm sorry, are you stuck in line at a soup kitchen somewhere? Are things really so bad for you that you can't afford to do anything? C'mon man, look outside. At least where I'm standing, things look to be on the up-and-up. Clubs are packed, people are hosting parties and barbeque cookouts again, health memberships are on the rise, community programs are active, condos are rising up everywhere...I'd say it's a fairly prosperous time we're living in, all things considered!

    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn
    The difference between you and I is that you think people will willfully do what's good for the species. I think they need to be forced into it. I think it's a very naive view that rich people are the solution. "Don't worry, the rich people will solve it. We all know they're altruistic. How else did they get rich?" This country was built on the back of slavery and oppression and put particular people in very powerful positions solely through legacy. This type of attitude is exactly Reaganomics at its finest and it doesn't work.
    No, I'm saying that WE as a society can solve it. There will always be rich and poor. Even if you made the poor rich, the system would eventually settle back into a dichotomy. Someone will always lose out, others will always stand to amass a good portion of the total wealth, it's inevitable.

    That said, our system DOES need reform. That's undeniable. I'm just saying that it isn't the end of the world. We can work things out, we just need to keep a positive attitude and work hard at it, that's all...
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    I never said get rid of wealth inequality. My point was that poor is supposed to be a livable situation. People can still be poor but no one is in poverty. Hence all my posts about handing some of the money back to the people. I may have been vague about all this though.

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    I'm sorry, are you stuck in line at a soup kitchen somewhere? Are things really so bad for you that you can't afford to do anything? C'mon man, look outside. At least where I'm standing, things look to be on the up-and-up. Clubs are packed, people are hosting parties and barbeque cookouts again, health memberships are on the rise, community programs are active, condos are rising up everywhere...I'd say it's a fairly prosperous time we're living in, all things considered!
    Myself and most of my peers have decent education, our own houses for living, cars to get to work to make that living, food in the pantry, hobbies to keep entertained, etc. Looking at things as a current snapshot, things seem pretty nice.

    If it sounds like I'm agreeing with you, I'm actually not. Sure, nobody I know is "stuck in line at a soup kitchen". We have lots of important things. But most of those things aren't really paid for. We are indentured by debt. Prices for things have increased at a much faster rate than income has increased (even just looking at the past half a century). It's a structured system, ensuring that we will always be milked for "interest" in addition to the nominal costs of things. All it would take is a few months of being out of (professional-paying) work for all that debt to consume someone and leave them with nothing ... except waiting on line at a soup kitchen.

    (I'm not complaining about having to pay interest on loans, mind you - I understand that. It's the artificial inflation of basic necessities in order to keep us in debt that I'm criticizing.)

  10. #10
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I never said get rid of wealth inequality. My point was that poor is supposed to be a livable situation. People can still be poor but no one is in poverty. Hence all my posts about handing some of the money back to the people. I may have been vague about all this though.
    I have an uncle who once lost everything in the telecom business. He spent weeks living out of his car, trying to reestablish his income flow. Never asked for a penny, but he nonetheless made it out okay (he's in real estate now).

    My point is that we are all responsible for ourselves. Most "poor" people I see live a certain way, with their eyes and minds closed to what the world has to offer. Their perspective alone is the main culprit of their disparity. They lack the faith to start over, to seize the day, to find honest profit somewhere. They mull over past grievances and exude helplessness and blame everyone but themselves for their plight. These people can't be helped if they aren't willing to change their fatalistic attitudes.

    Those who are genuinely disadvantaged can usually rely on their communities for help. Social programs abound, you just have to know where to look. That's another nice thing about Texas, by the way. No state has been more ACCOMMODATING to the impoverished, even coming from other states and countries. We'll feed anyone and help them get a job if they are willing. One of our most famous residents (now deceased, bless his soul) was, in fact, homeless and yet always seemed to find support from others (including me), much thanks to his positive attitude.

    As for the self-pitying ne'er-do-wells in that group, which there seem to be plenty of, we as a state have seemingly been martyred to cope with them as well, and we do so with great stoicism. I've seen huge droves of homeless people, from all corners of the globe, right here in the streets of Austin. Yet we as Texans still extend to them the same courtesy and hospitality that we'd afford anyone else. What other state can boast that?!
    Last edited by Sebastiani; 08-13-2014 at 07:05 PM. Reason: emphasis mine
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

  11. #11
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matticus View Post
    Myself and most of my peers have decent education, our own houses for living, cars to get to work to make that living, food in the pantry, hobbies to keep entertained, etc. Looking at things as a current snapshot, things seem pretty nice.

    If it sounds like I'm agreeing with you, I'm actually not. Sure, nobody I know is "stuck in line at a soup kitchen". We have lots of important things. But most of those things aren't really paid for. We are indentured by debt. Prices for things have increased at a much faster rate than income has increased (even just looking at the past half a century). It's a structured system, ensuring that we will always be milked for "interest" in addition to the nominal costs of things. All it would take is a few months of being out of (professional-paying) work for all that debt to consume someone and leave them with nothing ... except waiting on line at a soup kitchen.

    (I'm not complaining about having to pay interest on loans, mind you - I understand that. It's the artificial inflation of basic necessities in order to keep us in debt that I'm criticizing.)
    You know, centuries ago the sort of luxuries that we take for granted would have been considered a royal upgrade, to say the least. I think it's fair to say that we are currently living in the most prosperous time of all history. We now have the basic knowledge to improve our own lives as a species, not to mention all of the comforts and diversions that come along with it.

    As for the never-ending politics, well, that won't change so long as money can be spent to wield influence (never gonna happen). If you really feel that a change is needed then get involved in local council meetings, write your congressman, create a petition, or something. Anything. Just stop complaining about it and be proactive, that's all I'm saying.
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

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    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
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    I don't get how your post had anything to do with what I said, Sebastiani. It read to me as, "I know someone who pulled themselves out of poverty so therefore everyone else can do it and if they can't it's because it's their own fault." Chances are, you're so educated now you can't possibly imagine what it would be like to not be educated so I understand that it'd be hard to understand what it's like to be these people.

    To me what you said just sounds like, "Haven't these people ever thought about getting better jobs?" and it makes it hard to take you seriously as a reasonable voice on this.

    My point was exactly what I said, let's create a society where impoverishment is unheard of. As it stands now, minimum wage isn't serving its intended purpose which is to supply people a livable wage. This is what I mean by the majority of people needing money to stimulate the economy again. Unless we just invent a bunch of money, wealth distribution is a big part of how we solve this.

    I never said there shouldn't be a gradient. There should be for all I care but as it is now, that gradient is far from linear and looks more like a Kronecker delta function.

    Edit : This isn't to say I'm naively clinging to the idea that a higher minimum wage would solve poverty. Instead, I think it should be done in tandem with making it easier to start small businesses. Basically, what Elkvis said in the second post of this topic.
    Last edited by MutantJohn; 08-13-2014 at 08:09 PM.

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    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I don't get how your post had anything to do with what I said, Sebastiani. It read to me as, "I know someone who pulled themselves out of poverty so therefore everyone else can do it and if they can't it's because it's their own fault." Chances are, you're so educated now you can't possibly imagine what it would be like to not be educated so I understand that it'd be hard to understand what it's like to be these people.

    To me what you said just sounds like, "Haven't these people ever thought about getting better jobs?" and it makes it hard to take you seriously as a reasonable voice on this.

    My point was exactly what I said, let's create a society where impoverishment is unheard of. As it stands now, minimum wage isn't serving its intended purpose which is to supply people a livable wage. This is what I mean by the majority of people needing money to stimulate the economy again. Unless we just invent a bunch of money, wealth distribution is a big part of how we solve this.

    I never said there shouldn't be a gradient. There should be for all I care but as it is now, that gradient is far from linear and looks more like a Kronecker delta function.
    Nope, I quit school and ran away from home at the age of fifteen, and thenceforth have been the sole provider for myself. I'm self-built, self-taught, and fully capable of making my own way in this world. It doesn't matter why or how a person falls into poverty, if they don't make the effort nothing will change for the good. Plant a garden. Try to sell a product or service. Promote yourself. The opportunities in life are endless, but you do have to make an effort.
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

  14. #14
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    Nope, I quit school and ran away from home at the age of fifteen ... I'm self-built, self-taught, and fully capable ...
    When you did that it may have been the last era in which it really worked.

    The 15 year olds of today would be well served to go to school while they work at McDonald's after they ran away from home. Not necessarily college either - I think trade schools get a bad rap for no reason.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Our notions of capitalism are too trenched in first world countries, but capitalism has spilled over the third world and even into socialist societies. It is all fine to discuss capitalism in the context of the western world. But if anyone wants to discuss the merits of capitalism over socialism, or socialism over capitalism, one needs to look at the planet as a whole and not be constrained by their little bulb. In the discussion of internet reach, we often forget the rest of the world too. And everyone sees the merits of Adobe's new cloud based sales plan, or the cloud based Office 365. What they forget is that the vast majority of the world doesn't have the infrastructure in place to support this business model.

    Here in Africa where I'm currently on (in Angola, more specifically) free market makes a large portion of the economic system. It has spilled over to the financial system in particular and is kept in check by government regulatory devices not unlike what you will see in western European countries, devices which have more or less successfully prevented Europe from being at the source and center of a worldwide economic and financial crisis. And yet, capitalism in Africa have impoverished the populations, removed most of the free initiative that used to help families create their small business, dislocated jobs, and has helped the creation of large corporations working in a semi-monopolistic model. The economy in most of Africa is perhaps best characterized as Mixed Economy strongly influenced by Crony Capitalism and a huge level of corruption.

    This is a Capitalism that doesn't work. It's no different than the usual cliché of "Socialism doesn't work". The view of non working socialism is capital-centric, born of a more or less successful rich and western countries and takes in no account that most of the areas where socialism was applied included countries with destabilized societies and resource-less. Either economic model is equally good in their ultimate intentions for humanity well-being and is equally susceptible to human greed and corruption. None of these systems "work". And Africa is the place where you can see it happen. Anyone may wish to continue to look at economic models from within the safety of their small bubbles. But you will only be fooling yourselves to think that just because it works in your little corner of the world, it is a working model.

    The ease by which Free Markets spill out over the world is due not to a a working capitalist model, but due to how early unregulated free markets entice the big business and how easy it is for them to then influence governments. The problem with capitalism is the exact same of socialism. Social stratification is the corruptor of any economic model we may wish to implement. What we need is a different social model that removes us, or helps mitigate societies desire for differentiation. We may have evolved our economic models sicne the middle ages. But we have not produce any significant social development since that period.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 08-14-2014 at 03:55 AM.
    Sebastiani likes this.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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