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Old October 1 2012, 04:03 PM   #16
horatio83
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I am a big fan of the way they do things in Germany and I think we could learn a lot from them.
Not really. Of course the welfare state is better in Europe but the US has historically always been far more open to moderating the business cycle (you had FDR and the New Deal, we had Brüningian austerity and then Hitler) and Obama's stimulus, despite being far too small, was still larger than anything that happened on this side of the big pond. German anti-Keynesianism wreaks havoc in Europe, leading to two-digit unemployment rates and youth unemployment rates (right when the babyboomer generation is retiring) between 10% and 50%.

Smoothing the business cycle and fighting unemployment is the first duty, caring about people who are out of work the second. Why? Because the first issue is crystal clear, there is nothing bad about ensuring a high employment rate via increasing public demand during recessions. Yet the second does contains some trade-offs, unemployment insurance, universal health care and so on do decrease work incentives.

You want to help people escape the vicious cycles of unemployment, loss of self-esteem, depression and so on but any help has positive and negative effects so it is better to prevent unemployment in the first place. I think more and more that a decent constitution should contain the right to work.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:07 PM   #17
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I am a big fan of the way they do things in Germany and I think we could learn a lot from them.
Not really. Of course the welfare state is better in Europe but the US has historically always been far more open to moderating the business cycle and Obama's stimulus, despite being far too small, was still larger than anything that happened on this side of the big pond. German anti-Keynesianism wreaks havoc in Europe, leading to two-digit unemployment rates and youth unemployment rates (right when the babyboomer generation is retiring) between 10% and 50%.

Smoothing the business cycle and fighting unemployment is the first duty, caring about people who are out of work the second. Why? Because the first issue is crystal clear, there is nothing bad about ensuring a high employment rate via increasing public demand during recessions. Yet the second does contains some trade-offs, unemployment insurance, universal health care and so on do decrease work incentives.

You want to help people escape the vicious cycles of unemployment, loss of self-esteem, depression and so on but any help has positive and negative effects so it is better to fight unemployment in the first place.
Why can't you fight both at the same time? You shave a couple percentage points of the unemployment rate through Keynesian stimulus, that's great, but at the same time you've left the remaining unemployed to drown in misery. Long-term unemployment, as it currently exists in the US, is not something people recover from easily--if they recover at all. We should do whatever is possible to soften that blow while at the same time encouraging hiring.

It sounds like you are saying the government can't multitask. Why not?
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Old October 1 2012, 04:14 PM   #18
RandyS
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Of course it could. The real question then becomes "replaced with what?"

One option is the barter system, but that has problems of it's own.

Another one is people suddenly giving out of the goodness of their hearts, but I wouldn't plan on THAT happening all at once anytime soon. There's no such thing as something for nothing.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:14 PM   #19
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

RandyS wrote: View Post
Of course it could. The real question then becomes "replaced with what?"

One option is the barter system, but that has problems of it's own.

Another one is people suddenly giving out of the goodness of their hearts, but I wouldn't plan on THAT happening all at once anytime soon. There's no such thing as something for nothing.
Neither of those options are going to happen, nor should they.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:26 PM   #20
horatio83
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Why can't you fight both at the same time? You shave a couple percentage points of the unemployment rate through Keynesian stimulus, that's great, but at the same time you've left the remaining unemployed to drown in misery. Long-term unemployment, as it currently exists in the US, is not something people recover from easily--if they recover at all. We should do whatever is possible to soften that blow while at the same time encouraging hiring.

It sounds like you are saying the government can't multitask. Why not?
Gee, I am one of the guys on the left who is for stuff like basic income so I am not opposed in any way to the welfare state. We have overdone it a bit in Europe in the past but you guys are certainly in dire need of more and not less welfare.

All I am trying to say is that social security destroys work incentives whereas expansive monetary and fiscal policy are relatively unproblematic unless you drive up inflation expectations or don't reduce your public debt in the boom. The forme issues is also ideologically hotly debated whereas the latter is more of a technical macroeconomic issue. Sure, the stimulus has also been pissed upon by the right and there are the lunatic zero-inflation libertarians but precisely because it is about fairly technical stuff it is not as ideologically mined as a more concrete issue like food stamps.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:33 PM   #21
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Why can't you fight both at the same time? You shave a couple percentage points of the unemployment rate through Keynesian stimulus, that's great, but at the same time you've left the remaining unemployed to drown in misery. Long-term unemployment, as it currently exists in the US, is not something people recover from easily--if they recover at all. We should do whatever is possible to soften that blow while at the same time encouraging hiring.

It sounds like you are saying the government can't multitask. Why not?
Gee, I am one of the guys on the left who is for stuff like basic income so I am not opposed in any way to the welfare state. We have overdone it a bit in Europe in the past but you guys are certainly in dire need of more and not less welfare.

All I am trying to say is that social security destroys work incentives whereas expansive monetary and fiscal policy are relatively unproblematic unless you drive up inflation expectations or don't reduce your public debt in the boom. The forme issues is also ideologically hotly debated whereas the latter is more of a technical macroeconomic issue. Sure, the stimulus has also been pissed upon by the right and there are the lunatic zero-inflation libertarians but precisely because it is about fairly technical stuff it is not as ideologically mined as a more concrete issue like food stamps.
I know you're not opposed to the welfare state, and perhaps it has been overdone in Europe. I'm just saying what we have in the US is pretty damn pathetic--unless you are a senior, then it is just somewhat less pathetic.

Unfortunately, here in the US our political options for "economic stimulus" are limited to tax cuts and, um, spending cuts. Yep, that's pretty much it. Republicans have sold the lie that Obama's stimulus was an expensive failure, so that sort of thing is off the table for the foreseeable future. You can imagine my frustration.
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Old October 1 2012, 04:53 PM   #22
horatio83
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Yep, the right is winning the ideological battle while the left was unable to pressure the centrist president into doing the right thing. It is not like Roosevelt did what he did because he had balls of steel, he was pressured by the public into doing the right thing. The job of a democratic citizen is not to vote the best man into office. Most leaders are mediocre at beast. The job of a democratic citizen is rather to force the powers that be to do the best thing. You could call it the Nixon factor, a staunch anti-liberal who was forced to implement liberal policies.
In the first half of the last century it took long until the pressure from the streets had an impact. It won't happen faster today. As a friend of mine once remarked, we are not going onto the streets because we are too well-off. While protests like Occupy got rid of this identity politics nonsense (of course I am for the struggle of women, LGBT folks, ethnic minorities and so on but the major battleground has to be the economic one) and were a sign that the Old Left might reemerge it were mainly middle class people who went onto the streets. It also takes the underclass, an underclass which is rightly disillusioned by this arrogant middle-class Third Way type of centre-left we currently have. Or to say it with Crhis Hedges, "they [Harvard academia] liked the poor, but didn't like the smell of the poor."
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Old October 1 2012, 08:35 PM   #23
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

stj wrote: View Post
Capitalism can't be reformed. Every partial stabilization within a single country is undermined by changes in world economy. Capitalism as a world system cannot be made into a true global polity withou creating a global empire because capitalists rely on their national state to defend their property, which means repress the workers. The clash of nations advancing their bourgeoisie's interests is called "war." Between this murderous imperative and capitalism's inability to either regulate population or to rationalize its ecological interventions, the continued triumph of capitalism will lead to new forms of barbarism.

Also, China is heading both for a major economic collapse and a ferocious civil war that will kill millions. No doubt this will be regarded as a small, small price to pay. Anti-Communists have always regarded the deaths of millions in their crusade with great self-satisfaction.


Communists. And they wonder why they can't be taken seriously.
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Old October 1 2012, 11:32 PM   #24
horatio83
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

I am not a communist but this post neatly reveals the problem of most forms of anti-communism: its marriage with anti-intellectualism.
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Old October 2 2012, 12:36 AM   #25
marksound
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Is there anything in the future that could replace Capitalism?
No.

Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Profit potential motivates people to build and grow. Competition prods entrpreneurs to stay one step ahead.

Everything we have in the modern world was built either directly or indirectly through competition in the marketplace.

There is no better system ever conceived by humans.
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Old October 2 2012, 12:43 AM   #26
iguana_tonante
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Profit potential motivates people to build and grow. Competition prods entrpreneurs to stay one step ahead.

Everything we have in the modern world was built either directly or indirectly through competition in the marketplace.

There is no better system ever conceived by humans.
Slavish devotion to a single ideological worldview is rarely healthy, and usual counterproductive, because it stiffens innovation and suppresses entrepreneurship through the elimination of competitive forces.

A capitalist, especially a capitalist, should know that.

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Last edited by iguana_tonante; October 2 2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old October 2 2012, 12:56 AM   #27
E-DUB
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

China, regardless of what it says on the label, can no longer be regarded as a communist state. It's marriage of state and corporate interests qualifies it as "Fascist".
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Old October 2 2012, 01:46 AM   #28
marksound
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Profit potential motivates people to build and grow. Competition prods entrpreneurs to stay one step ahead.

Everything we have in the modern world was built either directly or indirectly through competition in the marketplace.

There is no better system ever conceived by humans.
Slavish devotion to a single ideological worldview is rarely healthy, and usual counterproductive, because it stiffens innovation and suppresses entrepreneurship through the elimination of competitive forces.

A capitalist, especially a capitalist, should know that.

Yeah, ok. Trying to build up your post count?
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Old October 2 2012, 02:10 AM   #29
EmoBorg
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

E-DUB wrote: View Post
China, regardless of what it says on the label, can no longer be regarded as a communist state. It's marriage of state and corporate interests qualifies it as "Fascist".
i agree with you on that. China practices state capitalism nowdays. It is a marriage of businesses and government. In order for the chinese communist party to stay in power, it will stroke the flames of nationalism. Mixing state capitalism with Chinese nationalism will result in a Fascist type of government in China soon.
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Old October 2 2012, 02:13 AM   #30
iguana_tonante
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Re: Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Profit potential motivates people to build and grow. Competition prods entrpreneurs to stay one step ahead.

Everything we have in the modern world was built either directly or indirectly through competition in the marketplace.

There is no better system ever conceived by humans.
Slavish devotion to a single ideological worldview is rarely healthy, and usual counterproductive, because it stiffens innovation and suppresses entrepreneurship through the elimination of competitive forces.

A capitalist, especially a capitalist, should know that.

Yeah, ok. Trying to build up your post count?
Just pointing out the obvious logical fallacy in your post. I post enough crap on this board to ever worry about my post count.

On the other hand, maybe you should think things through instead of getting snippy when you get called on your sloppy and ideologically-blinded reasoning.
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