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Old December 13 2012, 06:30 AM   #25
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

gturner wrote: View Post
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....
So now socialism is what happens when capitalists deny other people their property rights?

I know far too many people who started out with nothing, founding major companies.
With all due respect, no you don't. You know people who very cleverly and successfully used the resources they had to start major companies. Even people who use their home equity or family and friends to gain startup capital are doing the very same thing, borrowing money from banks or acquaintances using their own property or good will as collateral. It's the cost of doing business, and you can't GO into business without something solid to back you up.

In an oligarchy, you do this by sucking up to the local land barons and influential families and convincing them to give you a chance to use the resources you have, or to provide you with resources to run a business. This is little different from a man going to a bank and asking for a small business loan, or going to the government and asking for an SBA grant. That's the rules of the game: you have to pay to play. The only difference between an oligarchy and a knowledge economy is WHO you have to pay to get into the game and what sort of payment is acceptable.

This contrasts with socialism, where it doesn't matter in any way shape or form who you pay, but who you KNOW, and who you're connected to. You can buy influence in socialism, but in that case the influence is worth a lot more than the money.

And if one of them owned ten quadrillion dollars in Ferengi cattle futures, this would affect you how?
If I chose to invest in Ferengi cattle futures myself, then my return on that investment largely depends on the actions of that single investor. Simply owning a few of those shares doesn't entitle me to any amount of influence or control over the process and it doesn't empower me to build on that investment; I'm at the mercy of the investor class who actually makes those kinds of decisions.

To be blunt, just because your grandmother gives you twenty dollars to start a lemonade stand doesn't make her a venture capitalist.

You don't need billions to start a business. Most people start small.
My family started with a couple thousand dollars and some donated equipment. We've now been in business continuously for thirty years and are bigger than we've ever been. Since then, my mother and my sister have gone on to start four successful businesses and we're looking at starting a new one in the near future.

We are NOT members of the investor class. We do not have the kind of economic power to realistically engage in venture capitalism. This is so, because while you don't need millions to start a business, you do need millions to BUY ONE OUTRIGHT, or even to buy a meaningful portion of one.

In other words:
You don't need millions to by Apple stock...
... unless you intend to buy enough stock to eventually sell it off and use the revenues from that sale to, say, start an electronics retail store to sell apple products.

In America, you don't need to impress anyone to start a business.
Of course not. Just to STAY in business for more than a week.

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.]
Why should that surprise you? The ownership class in Latin America doesn't need anyone's permission either.

They starved out villages as policy.
They also bombed and nerve gassed them, for much the same reasons. I'm not really seeing the socialism in that.

That's not gangster capitalism, that's socialism.
Then I suppose Al Capone was one of the greatest luminaries of American socialism.

The problem socialists have is that every time they see an example of socialism in action, with its predictable results, they claim its capitalism.
Conversely, there's a huge number of Americans who have such a vague conception of what socialism actually is that they tend to describe it as "anything that is bad for people/business owners/the economy."

The key feature to understand here is that Arab Socialism is not and has never been all that sophisticated, nor are its imperatives all that far reaching. It really just boils down to

- Drill lots of oil
- Spend oil revenues on ourselves
- Drill more oil

Even the eternally business-friendly Dubai adheres to the basic tenants of Arab Socialism.

Our military coordinators are quite adept at running businesses.
Except that they did such a piss poor job in managing Iraq's reconstruction, I might agree. It's worth pointing out that being an effective bureaucrat and being an effective problem solver are NOT AT ALL the same thing, and running a business requires a lot more of the latter than the former.

In case you didn't notice, the military not only engages in very detailed business contracts all the time, they even audit the contractors.
So let's recap. According to you:

Extortion is actually socialism
Oligarchy is actually socialism
Poor people are investors
The military is a business

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.
Nazi Germany -- like Syria and Libya -- was fascist, not socialist; those are two entirely different things.
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