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Old December 13 2012, 05:31 PM   #28
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

gturner wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
So now socialism is what happens when capitalists deny other people their property rights?
Yes, for the people denied property rights it largely is.
And here I realize that you, like most Americans, don't actually know what socialism is.

Oh, you can go into business with nothing to back you up, and Mexicans and poor people do it all the time.
I suppose that's true at face value, so I reiterate: you cannot go into a SUCCESSFUL business with nothing to back you up. You can, of course, start a small business in your basement that doesn't do anything and doesn't have any revenue and continues to exist on paper for ten years after you forgot you created it. That isn't what we're talking about, though, is it?

It does if she's successful at it.
No, it does if your grandmother is an asshole and advances that $20 against at fifteen point royalty and then takes you to court when you don't pay up. Otherwise, that's just philanthropy, or more broadly, being helpful.

But you never know when you're going to see an opportunity, just like the fired engineers who bought FKI for about $10 million with a bank loan.
I rest my case.

But most of the activity in our economy remains at a much smaller scale, and it is (or was), profitable. You seem to be focused on the ultra-rich...
Quite the opposite, I'm very well aware that we have a consumer-based economy where the most relevant activity occurs in the bottom 90% of all income brackets. The thing is, this constitutes an economic oligarchy where the much larger share of the nation's resources aren't participating in the economy and are instead being held in trust by what is essentially an American oligarchy. It's no different from the business class and land barons of Latin America, and isn't fundamentally different even from the feudal serfdoms of medieval Europe. The key distinction is that FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE, western capitalism has featured far greater mobility between classes, yet there still exists a perpetual labor class that for the most part never climbs much higher than it already is.

The ability to start a lemonade stand on a street corner DOES NOT put you in the same class as the oligarchs, even if your lemonade stand is a successful one. Access to that higher rung necessarily means charming your way into the oligarchy, either by courting them as business partners, or by courting them as CUSTOMERS, and even that only gains you access, not membership.

Their taco vendors will spend as much time and analysis picking a location on the sidewalk as Yum brands uses to site a new KFC or Taco Bell, observing traffic patterns, meeting with other vendors to discuss options and how they'll carve up territories, gaging customer traffic, flow rates, and other factors. They do all this even though legally none of them can run a food cart.
Hate to break this to you, but "Really strict and annoying business regulation" isn't the definition of socialism either.

And that's the issue. Latin America has an ownership class, whereas in the US anyone can own almost anything - legally. Latin America was structured by very rich families intent on keeping the peasants as peasant thinking there was a natural, top-down order to society
I take it you don't remember the Jim Crow era?

More to the point, it's not ILLEGAL to own things in Latin American countries. It's HARD to own things, because the ownership class creates all kinds of artificial/procedural hurdles to making those kinds of acquisitions. Which, again, is the same thing that happens in America, and is perfectly surmountable by someone who is willing to jump over all those hurdles.

Washington ended up in a series of lawsuits trying to throw some penniless nobodies off land he'd claimed, and he got nowhere at it. He won the case, so they just walked off his property, rendering it even more worthless than it was before. The capitalist rule system we have wasn't introduced by the "investor class", it was invented by dirt-poor settlers who imposed it on the investor class.
That's funny, because history records the United States inherited its existing capitalist structure from the 18th century British Empire; the Revolutionary War was effectively a dispute between America's increasingly self-sufficient ownership class and their counterparts back in England. I also seem to recall that for most of America's history you couldn't even VOTE unless you were a white male landowner, and until the 1860s in many parts of this country it was illegal for black people to own books.

If all of that is indicative of socialism, when exactly did America become capitalist?

They can't stick their money in a bank because it will get reported and possibly seized, claimed as drug income or some other nonsense because they don't run a legal business because they don't have a business license (which they can't get), so they can be prosecuted for proving they run a real business.
At least they aren't being arrested and sold into de facto slavery because they can't prove that they have jobs.

Again, this is capitalism at its finest. The wealthy ownership class has created rules to limit competition and, in theory, allow THEMSELVES to remain dominant and profitable. It doesn't become socialism unless those rules were imposed on behalf of the people themselves; in this case, as you say, they were enacted to preserve the advantage of the ownership class, not the peasants.

If the street vendors want to ease the restrictions on business licenses, they ought to just spend millions of dollars (which they don't have) lobbying the legislature (who doesn't care about them) to change those rules (which they won't). They have the same opportunity we do, they're just less inclined to use it.

Yes, he was.

Did you ever think that maybe they have a vague idea because "socialism" is such a vague idea, encompassing everything from Nazism, Communism, and Fascism (whose end states were socialism) to Baptist church picnics?
No, because socialism ISN'T a vague idea. It's a very specific type of socioeconomic policy with very specific and generally positive implications pretty much everywhere.

EXCEPT America, where socialism is apparently defined as "a relative lack of capitalism" and is no vague and nebulous that even mobsters and picnics can be described as socialists.

Yep, that's pretty much it. Socialism cannot work without extortion
Actually, socialism cannot work without DEMOCRACY. A really strong, agile, robust and responsive democracy. That is considerably harder to implement than socialism, which is why socialism doesn't work.

Capitalism is simple. If you make it, you own it, unless you were paid to make it for someone else.
Considering that covers 90% of what gets made in the United States, that's a pretty huge "unless." The statement is actually better read "If you make it, your employer owns it, unless you weren't paid to make it for someone else."

Socialism is equally simple.
Socialism is many things, but it is NOT simple. The entire rest of your post is just rhetoric and underscores the fact that you have no idea what socialism actually is.
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