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Old December 23 2012, 04:37 PM   #68
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

gturner wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post

Under capitalism, we call those farm hands or employees. Our farmers overwhelmingly own their own land...
And therefore own the business to which that land belongs (which is to say, it is THEIR business and THEIR land).

That's all just a complicated way of saying "private ownership."
If you want to complicate it that way...
Point taken, but it's not THAT complicated. We have this odd 21st century notion that "corporations are people." In the economic environment where socialism evolved it was more common to think of people as corporations. That is, in fact, the underlying premise behind the institution of marriage: not so much a union of people, but the joining of franchises involving the exchange of property to signify unified cooperation between two families.

I don't quite understand what you mean. In capitalism, the government owns very little actual production, traditionally a small national amory and some locks and dams. If it got bought out, that's all the buyer would own.
In addition to the things he ALREADY owned, which is the point.

Imagine a Frankenstein's monster of corporations and hedge funds -- groups of monopolies who have already cornered the market in their respective industries and between them control 95% of their country's wealth -- all joining together to from a megacorporation called "OCP" (movie buffs get the reference). OCP, which already owns everything else in America, decides to buy out the entire Federal government; BEFORE they bought the government, they essentially owned the means of production already, and now they control both the government AND the means of production. For all intents and purposes, OCP is the government AND OCP is the industry.

The implication here is that a the same kind of things that happen under socialism will also happen in capitalism if the means of production are consolidated into the hands of a very powerful corporation. The only thing that checks that power is a government, and the moment that a corporation operating within a country becomes more powerful than the government, economic bedlam is the direct result (and no, market forces DO NOT check the monopolistic pressures of capitalism; this is the specific reason why antitrust laws were created in the first place).

Which means socialism has the same basic failure mode as capitalism: a very small number of people control the means of production, and those who actually do the production are unable to make any sort of living off their own labor.

Even corporations know that no single organization can competently manage too many different endeavors in too many fields, and that they have to stay focused on their core competency or smaller, more specialized firms will eat them alive.
Buyout artists and big banks don't have this problem. A billionaire with a keen understanding of banking practices can manage to purchase a dizzying number of disparate corporations and assert ownership over every single one of them without doing anything drastic to their core competencies. Picture if, say, Bank of America managed to buy Walmart, Newscorps, Nestle and AT&T all on the same day. They wouldn't have to do anything much except to start paying themselvs dividends from those companies, asserting control only gradually while delegating control of those companies to the people who otherwise already ran them.
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