Can capitalism survive?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
Capitalism has the flaw that it doesn't last forever without being 'reset'. It has happened time and again throughout history. You start with a group on the same level and eventually over time the gap between the top and bottom become so huge that there is no way to fix it, which is the situation we have now. Capitalism isn't a perfect system and it can't be as long as people use possession as a means to determine self worth.

Gene Roddenberry had a lot to say on capitalism and you can see it in star trek where he envisioned a future where man didn't put material wealth as the indicator of success. The tv and movies don't show much about it but read some of his writings, he had some insights on how to set up a more perfect world.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
106
Moving those jobs overseas to take advantage of lower wages and lax regulations kept their products cheap but removed those jobs from our economy. Now we reap what we sow.

Now we get to reap higher taxes to pay for more people on welfare.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
A
If the products were made in the USA, yes they'd cost more than they do now. But then we'd also have less families relying on minimum wage service sector jobs. Or worse, government assistance/handouts


The companies couldn't have done it without the public helping them do it. Years ago in the late 1980's stores would display 'made in the USA' signs everywhere, Walmart was a big one for doing it. The problem is some companies started to go to China for products and were undercutting the prices. The consumer response wasn't one of ' but its not made here' , it was one of 'it costs less and I don't care who makes it' . When stores started causing the closing of factories in the USA, people replied ' they can sell it cheaper they just don't want to ' or 'I buy from whomever is cheapest' . Now they have reaped what they sowed.

I still check for made in the USA on everything I buy, if it is foreign and I don't have to have it, I don't buy it. What I do may not make any difference but at least I know that what I paid went to help a family here .
 

WHAMPOM

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2006
7,628
183
106
Capitalism, although wholly uncool amongst the oh-so-hip circles, is flourishing in an unlikely place - China. The question I've been pondering the last few years as we gallop to socialism/communism will China in the next 20 years be the beacon for capitalism?

MY! You make so much $cents! Lead paint on toys, poison in baby food and suicide nets are such a great indicator of the coming CAPITALISM to be found in China. Invest in suicide nets now!
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
352
126

He's asking at what point does your concern over profit make you greedy?

A good way to quantify that is probably what percentage of your wealth is held in stocks (an investment vehicle aimed at taking advantage of profits). If it is over x%, then you are greedy.

Conversely for hoarding, you can say, what percentage of your wealth is tied up in assets that remove money from circulation, land, gold, etc. If it is over x%, then you are hoarding. We do discourage hoarding though with property taxes, eventually if you don't produce anything you will be forced to give your property back to the government.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
106
They wouldn't be on welfare if there were more manufacturing jobs for them to fill.

Funny how that works out.

Manufacturing jobs that supported the middle class for centuries are shipped offshore, middle class starts to shrink.
 

Ausm

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
25,215
14
81
He's asking at what point does your concern over profit make you greedy?

A good way to quantify that is probably what percentage of your wealth is held in stocks (an investment vehicle aimed at taking advantage of profits). If it is over x%, then you are greedy.

Conversely for hoarding, you can say, what percentage of your wealth is tied up in assets that remove money from circulation, land, gold, etc. If it is over x%, then you are hoarding. We do discourage hoarding though with property taxes, eventually if you don't produce anything you will be forced to give your property back to the government.

Why would it matter? The greed in Capitalism I worry about is how the banking industry brought our Financial system to it's knees exploiting deregulation and incompetent people who were suppose to police these things.
 

alien42

Lifer
Nov 28, 2004
12,654
3,051
136
I think the days of making an honest living are behind us. Instead of everyone being able to earn an honest days wage, companies look to squeeze, cheat, lie, con,,,, every penny they can.

oh come on, get real, nothing has changed.

i suggest you read 'The Jungle'.

capitalism can't exist without greed.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
The version of capitalism that can't survive is the version of people like ky54 here. The people who feel that attempts to reign in the destructive version of capitalism that caused a massive worldwide economic collapse is itself socialism. Those people that view that any limitations on capitalism to protect the people, is communism. Capitalism can survive, if the people who don't understand the slightest thing about socialism stop throwing the word around like they do.

Basically ky54, I'm telling you that a view like yours does far more detrimental to capitalism than this boogie man of socialism you incorrectly perceive.

Part of the problem we have here IS socialism. The wrong kind. We take from everyone and give to the corporations. That's not capitalism, it corporatism, mercantilism... call it what you will. But we definitely have a distorted, perverted form of capitalism here in the US.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
Part of the problem we have here IS socialism. The wrong kind. We take from everyone and give to the corporations. That's not capitalism, it corporatism, mercantilism... call it what you will. But we definitely have a distorted, perverted form of capitalism here in the US.

Corporations are a dirty word to me. It stands for make all the money you can and who cares who it hurts. If you limited every corporation to no more than 500 employees it would do wonders for the world. It is much harder to fire a worker or make decisions that effect those workers if you actually know the workers and who they are.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Capitalism has the flaw that it doesn't last forever without being 'reset'. It has happened time and again throughout history. You start with a group on the same level and eventually over time the gap between the top and bottom become so huge that there is no way to fix it, which is the situation we have now. Capitalism isn't a perfect system and it can't be as long as people use possession as a means to determine self worth.

Gene Roddenberry had a lot to say on capitalism and you can see it in star trek where he envisioned a future where man didn't put material wealth as the indicator of success. The tv and movies don't show much about it but read some of his writings, he had some insights on how to set up a more perfect world.

That would be a great future that I would welcome. All we need to do is discover infinite free energy and perfect matter<->energy conversion. ;)
 

theevilsharpie

Platinum Member
Nov 2, 2009
2,322
14
81
Part of the problem we have here IS socialism. The wrong kind. We take from everyone and give to the corporations. That's not capitalism, it corporatism, mercantilism... call it what you will. But we definitely have a distorted, perverted form of capitalism here in the US.

Our current capitalist system has turned into government-sponsered crony capitalism out of necessity. If capitalism solely rewarding merit, it would've died with the Great Depression.
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
352
126
Corporations are a dirty word to me. It stands for make all the money you can and who cares who it hurts. If you limited every corporation to no more than 500 employees it would do wonders for the world. It is much harder to fire a worker or make decisions that effect those workers if you actually know the workers and who they are.

Maybe capitalism is a dirty word for you. Self interest also. The only thing wrong with corporations is that government allows them to shape laws and regulations and policy to further their interests.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
106
capitalism can't exist without greed.

I think capitalism can exist without greed.

Greed is the great destroyer, it lays waste to everything in its path. It is the destroyer of jobs, of families, and of lives.

Regardless of what you have been taught, greed is bad.

i suggest you read 'The Jungle'.

I suggest you watch the movie Germinal
 
Last edited:

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
352
126
Our current capitalist system has turned into government-sponsered crony capitalism out of necessity. If capitalism solely rewarding merit, it would've died with the Great Depression.

I offer a slight correction to the statement in bold. If we allowed capitalism to work, we would have left the great depression a completely different nation than before. The great depression would have simply been a correction to bad investments and allocations of capital. It wouldn't be that capitalism failed, it actually could have been an instance where capitalism worked.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
Maybe capitalism is a dirty word for you. Self interest also. The only thing wrong with corporations is that government allows them to shape laws and regulations and policy to further their interests.

Capitalism can work but not with greed. Greed will always find a way to bypass any protection you place on it. Government is not the answer because governments can be bought. Self interest I despise, it is something that should be frowned upon when it is placed above all else. Self interest is what animals have in the wild, they have no care if the other animals eat , only if they do.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
106
Self interest is what animals have in the wild, they have no care if the other animals eat , only if they do.

If society was like a bee hive, we would be a lot better off. Each person working for the good of the whole.

Instead of working together to improve our overall standard of living, we are like dogs that fight over every scarp of meat.
 

theevilsharpie

Platinum Member
Nov 2, 2009
2,322
14
81
I offer a slight correction to the statement in bold. If we allowed capitalism to work, we would have left the great depression a completely different nation than before. The great depression would have simply been a correction to bad investments and allocations of capital. It wouldn't be that capitalism failed, it actually could have been an instance where capitalism worked.

There were other nations in the world that attempted to let capitalism work during the great depression, even after it became obvious that it wasn't. Many of these nations fell to communism.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,010
1
76
At what point did we become so altruistic towards the Chinese worker and not the American worker? What about the skilled labor and middle class of the American economy?

If the products were made in the USA, yes they'd cost more than they do now. But then we'd also have less families relying on minimum wage service sector jobs. Or worse, government assistance/handouts. The average household income level would be higher and people could afford the higher price of such items. But in their rush to satisfy investors, companies have taken out the legs of the American economy. Moving those jobs overseas to take advantage of lower wages and lax regulations kept their products cheap but removed those jobs from our economy. Now we reap what we sow.

I'm not trying to be altruistic towards Chinese workers by buying cheap iPads any more than Chinese workers are trying to be altruistic towards Americans by producing iPads for a low wage. I simply like paying less money for the products I buy, any Chinese workers like making higher wages for the productivity level they possess.

This is basic, day 1, minute 1 econ 101 folks. The kind of stuff you should have learned in a middle school civics class.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,010
1
76
No, they would not cost thousands more. Apple would just have to make a few billion dollars less in profits.

Really? Are you willing to buy stocks which are guaranteed to produce no growth and no profit? How is Apple supposed to produce 20 billion ipads without any investor dollars to pay for the raw materials, labor, factories, and machines to build them in the first place? Are you really this naiive? Or are you just the best troller I've ever seen? If so, golfclap.
 
Last edited:

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,010
1
76
If society was like a bee hive, we would be a lot better off. Each person working for the good of the whole.

But of course, there has to be a queen bee to oversee all of the drones. And obviously the queen bee is entitled to all the luxuries of life, because it's a tough job to be the queen. And you're the one that gets to be the queen, because you're so much smarter than the rest of us, of course.

Have I got it right?
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Our current capitalist system has turned into government-sponsered crony capitalism out of necessity. If capitalism solely rewarding merit, it would've died with the Great Depression.

And maybe from that death something better would have resulted. Instead we find ourselves imploding today.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
If society was like a bee hive, we would be a lot better off. Each person working for the good of the whole.

Instead of working together to improve our overall standard of living, we are like dogs that fight over every scarp of meat.

Are you going to force people to work for the common good? What about those who choose not to work but still want to reap the rewards?

You don't have any new ideas, they've all been tried before, and they consistently fail on a large enough scale. If you want to live on a kibbutz go for it. But you can't get hundreds of millions of people to all work together. It will never happen. The best you can hope for is non-destructive self-interest.