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Old December 12 2012, 07:53 AM   #23
Location: Kentucky
Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
All that really demonstrates is that capitalism produces better outcomes for the general population when more of the population is allowed to participate on equal terms. That tends to happen when the population -- through some means or another -- manages to arrange a shift in the existing power structure to allow greater access to the market than before; that access eventually closes again once the new power structure settles into place, which is EXACTLY what happened in England. Capitalism definitely benefits the public interest when the public is enabled to participate in it, but capitalism itself doesn't include this as a feature.
Which would mean that... the rich are living under capitalism and doing well, and the peasants are living under socialism and their lives suck, becaue they aren't allowed to own personal property that's worth much, or have to seek permission to do anything, like going to a government agency and begging for a business license.

More to the point: the market appears to be VERY free to those well connected landowners and oligarchs who have all the economic opportunity laid out in front of them. Much the way the American economy appears to be free to anyone who makes more than $20,000 a year.
Well, we're madly trying to reduce the freedom of the American economy so poor people are poorer than they were, which is going quite well because poverty is hitting record levels. This reduces their access to capital to start a business, and most small businesses in the US start with personal capital from home equity, personal savings, family, and friends.

I know far too many people who started out with nothing, founding major companies. Just today I was at one such company started by a close friend, and he'd had a huge amount of high end electronics donated, still in its ROHS compliant packages (reels of advanced audio chips, microprocessors, connectors, and such). As it turned out, the equipment was donated from the bankruptcy of a major smart-house component firm that spun off from Square-D years ago, and its major shareholder and chief was one of my college friends who I still co-own a sailboat with. I had no idea he was running a big company, because when last I talked to him he was a cog at Square-D.

We are all the investor class.
No, we are not.

Actually, about 55% of Americans own stock, and most of those that do keep it as personal investment (e.g. 401(k) or similar long-term retirement/emergency funds).

More importantly, 2% of all Americans own about 90% of the equity in publically traded companies, which they use for actual market activity.
And if one of them owned ten quadrillion dollars in Ferengi cattle futures, this would affect you how?

So no, we are NOT all the investor class. The investor class are those who have the economic power to actively engaged in venture capitalism if they so chose. Those who lack that capital are in the position of seeking the support and cooperation of those that do, as they would under most circumstances be unable to raise that capital themselves.
You don't need billions to start a business. Most people start small. You don't need millions to by Apple stock.

At the end of the day, the only real difference between the latin American oligarchies and western capitalism is what kind of people you have to impress if you want to start your own business.
In America, you don't need to impress anyone to start a business. People from Latin America come here to start businesses, and do, often on the same day they walk off the plane. We have about 25 million businesses in the US, so it can't be that hard to start one, and that's not even counting farms, which are businesses.

In contrast, in much of the third world you have to bribe people in over a dozen ministries to start most small businesses, in a process that can stretch out for decades (Hernando De Soto documented the process quite thoroughly). This evening, after I left the electronics bonanza, I went home with my friend, and his wife announced that she was incorporating and starting a new business this week, having been fired last week by the new CEO who just took over her old company. She doesn't even need her husband's permission to start a new company, much less some bureaucrat's or stock mogul's.

The baathists ENGAGED in food distribution, again using those enormous oil subsidies as part of a wellfare state. They did not CONTROL it the way the Soviet system did, not even close.
They starved out villages as policy. Did the villagers wander over to a neighboring village and buy food? No, they couldn't.

Who otherwise didn't care who did what as long as they got their weekly bribes on time. That's, again, the gangster-capitalism of the Saddam regime, but the average Iraqi was still free to start his own business if he just played ball.
That's not gangster capitalism, that's socialism. That's why the Iraqis called it socialism, and why the thugs had to pay dues to the Iraqi Ba'athist Socialist Party. The problem socialists have is that every time they see an example of socialism in action, with its predictable results, they claim its capitalism. We actually have a frequent communist poster here who still claims that Stalinism is actually uber-capitalism.

Trying to teach Iraqis how to conduct business after decades of state control drove our military coordinators nuts.
Yes, because MILITARY COORDINATORS are exactly who you would send to teach people how to run a business.
Our military coordinators are quite adept at running businesses. One of my closest military enlisted friends could sign off on intelligence contracts up to about $15 million before she had to pass it on up. One proposal she slammed down was a contractor trying to lease a building for intelligence, and she laid out all the business rules that would violate. In case you didn't notice, the military not only engages in very detailed business contracts all the time, they even audit the contractors. Part of the legacy of the military/industrial complex Eisenhower warned about is that the military is full of people who are sharp as tacks at the industrial side, and by gosh they know their purchases, leases, contracts, production orders, and billing.

The country was close kin to Libya and Syria, also socialist states.
Libya and Syria are "socialist" inasmuch as Kim Kardashian is an opera singer.
Libya was as socialist as socialists get. A few years before Quadaffi fell Michael Totten wrote a long series of articles about his visit there. Syria is likewise socialist. Both were modeled somewhat on Nazi Germany, which was socialist. You can look into their economic policies, which are socialist, or you could note that no non-socialist country would ever in a million years put "socialist" in the name of their country or the ruling party, which is almost as much a giveaway as using "People's Republic" anywhere in the name.
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