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Old December 11 2012, 03:49 PM   #20
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

gturner wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
It's a foregone conclusion that governments can -- and in some cases MUST -- influence markets, and the reverse is also true. But there is still the trend among capitalists to prefer the market to have more influence over the government than the reverse, and where this has been easy to accomplish -- in central and south america, for example, where the capitalist class controlled considerably more wealth than the governments of those countries -- the result has been consistently disastrous.
Central and South America weren't capitalist (by our example), as they had a ruling class or ownership class which excluded the vast majority of people from membership. They're closest to French merchantilism under the old monarchy.
Technically that's an oligarchy, but even if you're correct I don't see mercantilism (or oligarchy) and capitalism as being mutually exclusive. One is sort of the evil cousin of the other, sort of like socialism and communism.

Don't confuse capitalism with stock markets. American capitalism is the result of letting everyone buy, sell, and own land, businesses, or products, which are rights not recognized (or overly regulated and restricted, such as making peasants spend twenty years bribing officials to get a deed to your own house and a license to hire people to sew buttons on shirts) throughout much of the non-Western world.
Neither are they GUARANTEED in the West. The difference is we have an "investor class" that controls most of the money and has the incredibly odd ability to use that money to buy MORE money and increase their power without actually DOING anything. Remember, monopolies of various types are also common features in capitalism.

The reason socialism never systematically fails is because it is never systematically implemented. At their cores -- where they relate to one another, at least -- capitalism is an economy controlled by private investors while socialism is an economy controlled by the public. The fundamental difference between them is where the money comes from: in pure socialism, all investments are made collectively through the the delegation of tax dollars, while in pure capitalism all investments are made voluntarily and individually.
Under socialism you replace 300 million very engaged brains with a mere hundreds of brains, which is why it always fails.
Read on the rest of my post, actually, where I said essentially the same thing. At its purest form, Socialism SHOULD involve the collective engagement of the entire population, sharing both their money and their knowledge and experience in keeping the economy running smoothly. The reality is that there's no practical way to coordinate that many people without turning all of them into full-time politicians, so socialists wind up sharing their money without actually sharing any control of what happens to it.

It's an information problem, and no government can collectively process all the information of free people conducting transactions on an hourly basis.
Total agreement. Socialism is the perfect system for a perfect world, which is why it never actually works.

Purely as a matter of political efficiency and economic growth. Iraq was a rich country under Saddam. Miserable and terrified, sure, but they did experience fairly steady growth and prosperity until they got their asses kicked in the Gulf War.
Iraq was a very poor country, dependent on oil revenues handed out by the government
And it had a fuckton of oil revenues to hand out. And even with the Baath party's unmitigated greed and the Jaba-the-Hut lifestyle of Saddam's family, they still refrained from imposing a centrally planned economy and allowed Iraq to be maintain an otherwise totally free market.

Don't get me wrong, the Baathists controlled Iraq with an iron fist, socially and politically. They did not as tightly control the MARKET, however, because there simply wasn't a need. They were getting all their bribes, so they were happy; the Boss was getting his tribute, so he was happy. The Sunni oligarchs were up to their armpits in oil revenues, and the shiites were wallowing in poverty where they belonged. As far as they were concerned, the market was doing just fine.

We've all seen the pictures. It was a third-world socialist hell-hole with a dysfunctional infrastructure, intermittent electricity and non-existent sanitation.
There was nothing socialist about it, and the breakdown of its infrastructure was an immediate consequence of war ( in particular, the thumping they got in the first Gulf War). The decade-long conflict with Iran didn't do them any favors either, but that at least would have been recoverable... IF Saddam had convinced that Bush Administration to look the other way on Kuwait.

When we invaded, the people there talked about how they remained frozen in the 1970's, as if the world slowed to a stop as Saddam and the Arab socialist Bathists took power.
Yes, THAT was what they talked about. The awful anti-growth socialism of the Baath party.
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