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Communism and Capitalism: True Opposites?

Jokodo

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I almost want to start a thread on dialectical and historical materialism, but so much of the theory comes from Stalin that I doubt anybody here would take it seriously, even though it says what everybody claims to support. Namely, that nature is constantly changing, always resolving internal contradictions between opposing forces, nothing occurs in isolation from everything else, human beings are subject to natural laws, and the universe is knowable through observation. All of Marxism-Leninism is predicated on these basic principles, but critics of communism generally have never read anything written by a communist, so they seem to think pointing these things out is somehow news to us.

Go ahead!
 

steve_bank

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It's also simplistic because it assumes that there's an economic model called 'capitalism' with an intentional origin, that's separable from human nature. IOW, that humans had anything to do with 'capitalism's'arrival, and the global economy not instead being an emergent property of how we organize ourselves.

'capitalism is to make a profit'?

To be alive is to acquire resources for one's own survival and reproduction. Yes we're a social species and community has become a part of that, but 'profit', or more simply, acquisition of needed goods for survival is inherent in what it means to be alive.

You can try to improve the model, but you can't extract human nature from it. And the model isn't 'capitalism', it's people solving problems for material gain, which has been central to every way of life in history.

Good summary... well said. :slowclap:

Capitalism isn't an invented economic system but simply a name given to how independent people naturally live when not having an alternate lifestyle forced on them by some authority.

This old chestnut again. It's truly a shame the kind of thoughtless nonsense that gets accepted and regurgitated by otherwise smart people.

Profit, by definition, is a surplus over and above what is required for survival, over and above even the survival surplus that is put aside for hard times in the future. Profit has no meaning outside of capitalism, which is the only system in which resources are owned not to use them for survival, but to generate wealth by charging others to use them for survival. It arose in a specific period in a particular region of the world, despite literally tens of thousands of years of human existence (during which we are forced to assume "an alternate lifestyle" must have been brutally imposed on the entire species until sometime in the last 500 years). This is public knowledge in any history curriculum, even the bourgeois version of events.

However, Rousseau gets pretty close to the truth when he says the global economy is an emergent property of how we organize ourselves, and not an intentional artifact. This concept is, in fact, at the center of Marx's philosophy of dialectical materialism.

Good post. Most do not seem to grasp that the govt only has a limited control of the economy. It runs itself and evolves in the search for profit.. What was codified in COTUS was the right to keep and do what you will with profit along with right to inyectual as well as physical property.

The Star Trek Farengi are a reflection of our system. Profit and self interest above all else.
 

steve_bank

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I almost want to start a thread on dialectical and historical materialism, but so much of the theory comes from Stalin that I doubt anybody here would take it seriously, even though it says what everybody claims to support. Namely, that nature is constantly changing, always resolving internal contradictions between opposing forces, nothing occurs in isolation from everything else, human beings are subject to natural laws, and the universe is knowable through observation. All of Marxism-Leninism is predicated on these basic principles, but critics of communism generally have never read anything written by a communist, so they seem to think pointing these things out is somehow news to us.

Go ahead and start it. I only know basics about Marx. I will learn something.
 

skepticalbip

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... snip ...

The Star Trek Farengi are a reflection of our system. Profit and self interest above all else.
No more so than the Star Trek Borg being a reflection of any communist system. Both would be a reductio ad absurdum of how people view the two economic systems.
 

steve_bank

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... snip ...

The Star Trek Farengi are a reflection of our system. Profit and self interest above all else.
No more so than the Star Trek Borg being a reflection of any communist system. Both would be a reductio ad absurdum of how people view the two economic systems.

Rick Berman said in an interview the Farengi were developed as symbolic of capitalism. The19th early 20th century Yankee traders and the Yankee Clipper a fast sail powered cargo ship roaming in search of profit.

Don't know about the Borg.
 

skepticalbip

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... snip ...

The Star Trek Farengi are a reflection of our system. Profit and self interest above all else.
No more so than the Star Trek Borg being a reflection of any communist system. Both would be a reductio ad absurdum of how people view the two economic systems.

Rick Berman said in an interview the Farengi were developed as symbolic of capitalism. The19th early 20th century Yankee traders and the Yankee Clipper a fast sail powered cargo ship roaming in search of profit.

Don't know about the Borg.

Exactly... As I said, "Both would be a reductio ad absurdum of how people view the two economic systems." The Farengi is Rick Berman's exaggerated view of capitalism. The Borg are an exaggerated view of communism.

ETA:
Both the Borg and ideal communism is:
... everyone working together for a common cause.
... no personal property, only communal property.
... no effort for personal benefit, only communal effort for the common benefit.
... The ultimate goal is "achieving perfection".
 
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steve_bank

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The image of the Farengi wasb19th century capitalism. Privately owned fast cargo ships, Yankee Clippers', roaming the seas and seaport's looking for opportunistic profit to be made. Captain and crew share in profit after the ship owner. Primarily from New England around South America and up to the Northwest.

As to the Borg I do not see a connection to communism. There were wide ranges of communist implantations. In Soviet communism there were individuals. There was music, literature, and art.
 

skepticalbip

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The image of the Farengi wasb19th century capitalism. Privately owned fast cargo ships, Yankee Clippers', roaming the seas and seaport's looking for opportunistic profit to be made. Captain and crew share in profit after the ship owner. Primarily from New England around South America and up to the Northwest.

As to the Borg I do not see a connection to communism. There were wide ranges of communist implantations. In Soviet communism there were individuals. There was music, literature, and art.
Do you really not understand reductio ad absurdum?

Yes, the clipper ships traded which means both those who the tea was purchased from on one end benefited and those on the other end who bought the tea benefited because they were able to enjoy something they wanted. Also those men on the ship benefited for their time and labor. It wasn't about cheating for profit like the Farengi are portrayed. Do you seriously have a problem with the producers of the tea benefiting for their labor, those providing the transport of the tea benefiting from their labor, and those enjoying drinking tea paying both of them what all consider a fair price?

And, of course, the Borg is extreme exaggeration of communist countries just as the portrayal of the Farengi was an extreme exaggeration.
 
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steve_bank

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The ST Ferengi is metaphor by literary design not reduction to the absurd. Reduction to the absurd means carrying an argument to extreme absurd ends. Beyond reason and logic.

Are we playing ping pong or tennis? Metaphorically speaking.

Conservatives use reductio ad absurdum to argue gun control and national health through a chain of reasoning leads to communist dictatorship.

Your argument invoking reductio as absurdum is itself resectio as absurdum.

You are making a false analogy between the Ferengi and Bog as both being equal metaphor.

Ferengi are cleary metaphor for 18th century capitalism. It was stated by the producer.

How is Borg metaphor to communism both theoretical social science and past implementations?
 

steve_bank

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^ ^ ^
You should have read a little deeper. Reductio ad absurdum is an argument technique but it is also a literary technique, especially in satire, and in literature and cinema to create a villain or despicable character.

Support your thesis that Borg is representative of communism. What aspects? Baxk to the question of what communism is. If one aspect of communism common owmership of production with no profit concept a communist systm coud be democratic.

There was a democratic faction in the Russian Revolution. Lenin realized abrupt change would be problematic and had favored a transition period. The Vanguard was supposed to usher in yet to be communist state. As the story goes Stalin got wind of or intercept a letter from Lenin who was dieing and took action to subvert the democrats and take power.

NK, Vietnam, Cuba, Soviet Union, and Maoist China were communist in name but were personality cult dictatorships.

Russia was Marxist Leninist and China was Maoist.

To me Borg represented totalitarianism in general. It also represented the modern western worker who today is born and bred to be a consumer bot and plug into the economic collective.

Are you gamiliar with Russum’s Universal Robots written at the dawn of industrialization and humans doing drone mass assembly work? Workers at the Ford production lines developed psychologicl problems from the drone like repitive work/,

I see Borg more as metaphor for modern society as a whole, which is slipping into rigid collectiviism of thout and authoteruanism. Young people born an bred to think alike, consume and be as effivient as possible to make things cheaplu. It is the mofrtn drone’s programming to work as hard and effivient as possible, all in the pursuit iof profit for others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum's Universal Robots).[1] The English phrase "Rossum's Universal Robots" has been used as a subtitle.[2] It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.[3]
R.U.R. quickly became influential after its publication.[4][5][6] By 1923, it had been translated into thirty languages.[4][7]
The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), from synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term: they are living flesh and blood creatures rather than machinery and are closer to the modern idea of androids or replicants. They may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but a robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race. Čapek later took a different approach to the same theme in War with the Newts, in which non-humans become a servant class in human society.[8]
R.U.R. is dark but not without hope, and was successful in its time in Europe and North America.[9]

ct I[edit]
Helena, the daughter of the president of a major industrial power, arrives at the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots. She meets Domin, the General Manager of R.U.R., who tells her the history of the company:
In 1920, a man named Rossum came to the island to study marine biology, and in 1932 he accidentally discovered a chemical that behaved exactly like protoplasm, except that it did not mind being knocked around. Rossum attempted to make a dog and a man, but failed. His nephew came to see him, and the two argued non-stop, largely because Old Rossum only wanted to create animals to prove that not only was God unnecessary but that there was no God at all, and Young Rossum only wanted to make himself rich. Eventually, Young Rossum locked his uncle in a laboratory to play with his monsters and mutants, while Young Rossum built factories and cranked out Robots by the thousands. By the time the play takes place – around the year 2000[11] – Robots are cheap and available all over the world. They have become absolutely necessary because they allow products to be made at a fifth the previous cost.
Helena meets Fabry, Dr. Gall, Alquist, Busman, and Hallemeier, and reveals she is a representative of the League of Humanity, a human rights organization that wishes to "free" the Robots. The managers of the factory find this a ridiculous proposition, since they see Robots as appliances. Helena requests that the Robots be paid so that they can buy things they like, but the Robots do not like anything. Helena is eventually convinced that the League of Humanity is a waste of money, but continues to argue on the fact that robots should still have a "soul". Later, Domin confesses that he loves Helena and forces her into an engagement.
 

steve_bank

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As I understand it a dialectic is or can be two opposing forces grinding out a new synthesis.

Communism vs capitalism.
 

PyramidHead

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As I understand it a dialectic is or can be two opposing forces grinding out a new synthesis.

Communism vs capitalism.

That was Hegel's contribution, but Marx was only Hegelian in that limited sense. Hegel was also an idealist, which Marx most definitely was not.

Briefly, dialectical materialism has two components. The "dialectical" part means:

1. Nothing can be explained in isolation, but only through its relationship to multiple other phenomena
2. Nothing is static or unchanging, but always in motion or transition from one state to another
3. Quantitative changes accumulate slowly over time and become observed as sudden quantitative changes
4. Conflict is inherent in nature and and drives quantitative (and qualitative) change

The "materialism" part should be familiar to anyone on this forum:

1. The world and everything in it, including humans, is made of matter that obeys laws
2. Reality is objective and separate from our ideas about it
3. It is possible to know about the world and how it works through observation

Historical materialism is just the above method applied to the study of history. All of this stands in opposition to metaphysical or formal idealism, which explains history by appealing to abstract ideas, Great Men, simplified and often racist conceptions of large numbers of individual people, and nebulous concepts like 'human nature'. The historical materialist view would instead look at the material conditions underlying historical events, and take into account the circumstances that surrounded major events in total, not just the public pronouncements of whoever was in power at the time.
 

Bomb#20

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When one customer wants something and another one needs it, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want. But under capitalism (or any market economy for that matter), the priority goes to whoever has the money to pay for it.
When one customer wants an egg every day for the next several years and another customer needs a whole dinner today, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want, and kill the chicken. A sane and compassionate society is led by creationists who know that chickens appear by magic and will always be available if only society proves itself worthy of chickens by being sufficiently sane and compassionate.
 

Fentoine Lum

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1. What the hell are Capitalism and Communism? Do they exist in tangible, quantitative reality or are they categorical constructs whose purpose is primarily discursive? Is all of this Marx's fault for offering a compelling model for talking about economies?
If we ignore how people misuse the terms:

... Capitalism is an economic system in which individuals own and control businesses (means of production according to Marx).

... Socialism is an economic system in which all businesses (means of production according to Marx) are owned and controlled by the government.

... Communism is Marx's wet dream where socialism evolves into a system where government dissolves and vanishes leaving all means of production to be shared by the people communally with no private ownership and no controlling government.

I'm not sure you've read Marx at all. And the US does not pursue capitalism, but something more along the lines of:

Privatized gains versus socialized losses for the Wall Street bankster class
Internalized profit versus externalized risk and expense for the "job creator" class
Socialism for the aristocracy versus laissez-faire capitalism or the masses

And in the real world Soviet Style communism and american style capitalism are but divergent paths toward the same ultimate destination wherein an entitled self serving cabal of oligarchs concentrate societal wealth for the benefit of their own class to the detriment of the society as a whole.
 

Jokodo

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When one customer wants something and another one needs it, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want. But under capitalism (or any market economy for that matter), the priority goes to whoever has the money to pay for it.
When one customer wants an egg every day for the next several years and another customer needs a whole dinner today, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want, and kill the chicken. A sane and compassionate society is led by creationists who know that chickens appear by magic and will always be available if only society proves itself worthy of chickens by being sufficiently sane and compassionate.

Your analogy is apt for attempts to implement communism without the background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels.

If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue. There are sections in the Communist Manifesto that count among the most powerful expressions of admiration for capitalism's achievements ever written. *

The argument of communists isn't that capitalism was a bad idea (that would be if anything an anarchist argument; it is in fact quite alien to communism in that it is a very idealist notion: no communist who has read and even partially understood his Marx would dream of claiming someone woke up one day thinking "that's how we should do it"). The argument is that it has outlived its usefulness. It's an argument that can be made, there are certainly areas where the logic of capitalism is hurting productivity at the social level. A company that's researching a new line of product for years only to be beaten to it by a competitor by two weeks has wasted many man years of productive work without any societal good to show for it. Even if patents don't get in the way and both companies get to market their product, the research effort had been duplicated with little extra gain.

Capitalism aims for little waste - at the individual level, and it's pretty amazing at that. To a degree, however, it's inherently wasteful from the collective perspective. And that's before we talk about its habit of externalising costs.

To stick with your analogy, in capitalism, if there are two farmers, only the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, the other is legally obliged to throw his into the sea (even if there's interest in more eggs).

* "[The bourgeoisie, i.e. capitalism] has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades." - https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm#007
 
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Harry Bosch

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1. What the hell are Capitalism and Communism? Do they exist in tangible, quantitative reality or are they categorical constructs whose purpose is primarily discursive? Is all of this Marx's fault for offering a compelling model for talking about economies?
If we ignore how people misuse the terms:

... Capitalism is an economic system in which individuals own and control businesses (means of production according to Marx).

... Socialism is an economic system in which all businesses (means of production according to Marx) are owned and controlled by the government.

... Communism is Marx's wet dream where socialism evolves into a system where government dissolves and vanishes leaving all means of production to be shared by the people communally with no private ownership and no controlling government.

I'm not sure you've read Marx at all. And the US does not pursue capitalism, but something more along the lines of:

Privatized gains versus socialized losses for the Wall Street bankster class
Internalized profit versus externalized risk and expense for the "job creator" class
Socialism for the aristocracy versus laissez-faire capitalism or the masses

And in the real world Soviet Style communism and american style capitalism are but divergent paths toward the same ultimate destination wherein an entitled self serving cabal of oligarchs concentrate societal wealth for the benefit of their own class to the detriment of the society as a whole.

I'd like to try to unpack your statement a little to try to understand what you are saying. How are losses for Wall Street bankers socialized? Are you talking about TARP? Tarp was quazi-equity loans that were paid by with interest. Don't quote me, but I believe that the interest charged was 5%.

Secondly, how is risk and expense "externalized" for the job creator class? I'm really excited about this answer because I'm an entrepreneur. I'd love to hear how I can externalize my risk and expense.
 

Bomb#20

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When one customer wants something and another one needs it, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want. But under capitalism (or any market economy for that matter), the priority goes to whoever has the money to pay for it.
When one customer wants an egg every day for the next several years and another customer needs a whole dinner today, a sane and compassionate society would prioritize the need over the want, and kill the chicken. A sane and compassionate society is led by creationists who know that chickens appear by magic and will always be available if only society proves itself worthy of chickens by being sufficiently sane and compassionate.

Your analogy is apt for attempts to implement communism without the background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels.

If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.
A sane and compassionate society would wait until the chicken has gotten really, really good at laying eggs before killing her.

There are sections in the Communist Manifesto that count among the most powerful expressions of admiration for capitalism's achievements ever written. *
Sergeant Marx just wants to go on record that he's recommending Officer Hen for a posthumous Medal of Merit.

To stick with your analogy, in capitalism, if there are two farmers, only the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, the other is legally obliged to throw his into the sea (even if there's interest in more eggs).
It's not the one who gets to market first; it's the one who invents the chicken first. Oh, wait a sec., correct me if I'm wrong, but don't chickens predate capitalism by more than the duration of a patent?

You can't patent a business model.
 

Fentoine Lum

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I'm not sure you've read Marx at all. And the US does not pursue capitalism, but something more along the lines of:

Privatized gains versus socialized losses for the Wall Street bankster class
Internalized profit versus externalized risk and expense for the "job creator" class
Socialism for the aristocracy versus laissez-faire capitalism or the masses

And in the real world Soviet Style communism and american style capitalism are but divergent paths toward the same ultimate destination wherein an entitled self serving cabal of oligarchs concentrate societal wealth for the benefit of their own class to the detriment of the society as a whole.

I'd like to try to unpack your statement a little to try to understand what you are saying. How are losses for Wall Street bankers socialized? Are you talking about TARP? Tarp was quazi-equity loans that were paid by with interest. Don't quote me, but I believe that the interest charged was 5%.

Secondly, how is risk and expense "externalized" for the job creator class? I'm really excited about this answer because I'm an entrepreneur. I'd love to hear how I can externalize my risk and expense.

a) See your bailouts

b) Ask anyone; Jeff Bezos, WalMart, Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers, hell ask Don, he's bragged about it

The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses
https://www.cato.org/publications/p...w-federal-government-subsidizes-us-businesses

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/
 

skepticalbip

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If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.
A sane and compassionate society would wait until the chicken has gotten really, really good at laying eggs before killing her.
.
That has been the strategy so far. Example: Venezuela waited for the chicken to get really good at producing (the best in South America) before killing her. Venezuela lived fat and happy for a couple years on the carcass but finally ate the last of it. The following years, there was nothing to eat and they are confused as to why no one raised another chicken they could feast on.
 

Fentoine Lum

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If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.
A sane and compassionate society would wait until the chicken has gotten really, really good at laying eggs before killing her.
.
That has been the strategy so far. Example: Venezuela waited for the chicken to get really good at producing (the best in South America) before killing her. Venezuela lived fat and happy for a couple years on the carcass but finally ate the last of it. Now they are confused as to why no one raised another chicken they could feast on.

Bullshit, the US killed Venezuela's chicken and we just tried to get in there and disrupt that nation again by imposing a "leader" we chose. On accounta we're all about fweedumb and democracy-n-shit.
 

skepticalbip

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i've yet to run into a Marxist collectivist that understands that wealth is something that is continually created and consumed, not something that just exists and can be continually divided and distributed forever. They seem to believe that wealth just is and that capitalists "grab more than their share" rather than them creating it.
 

Harry Bosch

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I'm not sure you've read Marx at all. And the US does not pursue capitalism, but something more along the lines of:

Privatized gains versus socialized losses for the Wall Street bankster class
Internalized profit versus externalized risk and expense for the "job creator" class
Socialism for the aristocracy versus laissez-faire capitalism or the masses

And in the real world Soviet Style communism and american style capitalism are but divergent paths toward the same ultimate destination wherein an entitled self serving cabal of oligarchs concentrate societal wealth for the benefit of their own class to the detriment of the society as a whole.

I'd like to try to unpack your statement a little to try to understand what you are saying. How are losses for Wall Street bankers socialized? Are you talking about TARP? Tarp was quazi-equity loans that were paid by with interest. Don't quote me, but I believe that the interest charged was 5%.

Secondly, how is risk and expense "externalized" for the job creator class? I'm really excited about this answer because I'm an entrepreneur. I'd love to hear how I can externalize my risk and expense.

a) See your bailouts

b) Ask anyone; Jeff Bezos, WalMart, Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers, hell ask Don, he's bragged about it

The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses
https://www.cato.org/publications/p...w-federal-government-subsidizes-us-businesses

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

I would like to debate you. You raised some interesting topics. But I'm not going to debate links or the author of the links. They can't debate me back. Why don't you read the links, educate yourself, and debate with me? I did read your first link. Their first issue: how the federal government subsidies from tax payers: The EXIM bank. Exim bank isn't a subsidy! It's a simple government program, paid by manufacturers, to help manufactures export. I'm actually getting ready to use the program. Here's how it works: I manufacture a medical device. I mostly sell to distributors who sell them to hospitals. when a company sells a product to a buyer, the buyer usually wants to buy it on credit. Distributors generally ask for terms. The general terms are 30 days. This means that the distributor has 30 days to pay me back. This is a burden on me because I don't get paid for 30 days. But I still need to make payroll and other expenses. Companies generally use a line of credit from a bank to finance the timing difference for me to meet payroll while waiting for the receivable. But the only way that a bank can finance this line of credit is if the company (me) can offer collateral. The collateral is the receivable. If I don't pay the bank back, the bank can direct my customer (the distributor) to send the money directly to the bank. IOW, the bank can take a legal lien on the receivable. The courts allow this.

However, if I want to sell to a distributor in France, there is no court that would recognize my bank having a lien on the receivable. Therefore, on their own, banks exclude foreign receivables to be collateral for a loan. The XM bank is a government run program that offers insurance for the foreign receivable. It gives the bank the legal standing to allow the foreign receivable to be used as collateral. The cost varies. The program that I'm going to use costs about 1.75% of the foreign receivable. But I pay that. The public doesn't. In fact, the XM bank is one of the few government programs that makes a profit. The fees that it collects more than pays for it's employees expenses and all losses.

I know that conservatives hate anything government related. But it simply equalizes foreign receivables with domestic receivables. If you eliminated it, there would be far fewer exports. The only person who wins in that is our foreign competition.
 

Fentoine Lum

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i've yet to run into a Marxist collectivist that understands that wealth is something that is continually created and consumed, not something that just exists and can be continually divided and distributed forever. They seem to believe that wealth just is and that capitalists "grab more than their share" rather than them creating it.

This might slide past a 3rd grader, but not past Mother Nature, watch.
 

Fentoine Lum

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a) See your bailouts

b) Ask anyone; Jeff Bezos, WalMart, Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers, hell ask Don, he's bragged about it

The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses
https://www.cato.org/publications/p...w-federal-government-subsidizes-us-businesses

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

I would like to debate you. You raised some interesting topics. But I'm not going to debate links or the author of the links. They can't debate me back. Why don't you read the links, educate yourself, and debate with me? I did read your first link. Their first issue: how the federal government subsidies from tax payers: The EXIM bank. Exim bank isn't a subsidy! It's a simple government program, paid by manufacturers, to help manufactures export. I'm actually getting ready to use the program. Here's how it works: I manufacture a medical device. I mostly sell to distributors who sell them to hospitals. when a company sells a product to a buyer, the buyer usually wants to buy it on credit. Distributors generally ask for terms. The general terms are 30 days. This means that the distributor has 30 days to pay me back. This is a burden on me because I don't get paid for 30 days. But I still need to make payroll and other expenses. Companies generally use a line of credit from a bank to finance the timing difference for me to meet payroll while waiting for the receivable. But the only way that a bank can finance this line of credit is if the company (me) can offer collateral. The collateral is the receivable. If I don't pay the bank back, the bank can direct my customer (the distributor) to send the money directly to the bank. IOW, the bank can take a legal lien on the receivable. The courts allow this.

However, if I want to sell to a distributor in France, there is no court that would recognize my bank having a lien on the receivable. Therefore, on their own, banks exclude foreign receivables to be collateral for a loan. The XM bank is a government run program that offers insurance for the foreign receivable. It gives the bank the legal standing to allow the foreign receivable to be used as collateral. The cost varies. The program that I'm going to use costs about 1.75% of the foreign receivable. But I pay that. The public doesn't. In fact, the XM bank is one of the few government programs that makes a profit. The fees that it collects more than pays for it's employees expenses and all losses.

I know that conservatives hate anything government related. But it simply equalizes foreign receivables with domestic receivables. If you eliminated it, there would be far fewer exports. The only person who wins in that is our foreign competition.

Debate you? But first I must "educate" myself in a manner you deem appropriate.

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/
 

Harry Bosch

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a) See your bailouts

b) Ask anyone; Jeff Bezos, WalMart, Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers, hell ask Don, he's bragged about it

The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses
https://www.cato.org/publications/p...w-federal-government-subsidizes-us-businesses

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

I would like to debate you. You raised some interesting topics. But I'm not going to debate links or the author of the links. They can't debate me back. Why don't you read the links, educate yourself, and debate with me? I did read your first link. Their first issue: how the federal government subsidies from tax payers: The EXIM bank. Exim bank isn't a subsidy! It's a simple government program, paid by manufacturers, to help manufactures export. I'm actually getting ready to use the program. Here's how it works: I manufacture a medical device. I mostly sell to distributors who sell them to hospitals. when a company sells a product to a buyer, the buyer usually wants to buy it on credit. Distributors generally ask for terms. The general terms are 30 days. This means that the distributor has 30 days to pay me back. This is a burden on me because I don't get paid for 30 days. But I still need to make payroll and other expenses. Companies generally use a line of credit from a bank to finance the timing difference for me to meet payroll while waiting for the receivable. But the only way that a bank can finance this line of credit is if the company (me) can offer collateral. The collateral is the receivable. If I don't pay the bank back, the bank can direct my customer (the distributor) to send the money directly to the bank. IOW, the bank can take a legal lien on the receivable. The courts allow this.

However, if I want to sell to a distributor in France, there is no court that would recognize my bank having a lien on the receivable. Therefore, on their own, banks exclude foreign receivables to be collateral for a loan. The XM bank is a government run program that offers insurance for the foreign receivable. It gives the bank the legal standing to allow the foreign receivable to be used as collateral. The cost varies. The program that I'm going to use costs about 1.75% of the foreign receivable. But I pay that. The public doesn't. In fact, the XM bank is one of the few government programs that makes a profit. The fees that it collects more than pays for it's employees expenses and all losses.

I know that conservatives hate anything government related. But it simply equalizes foreign receivables with domestic receivables. If you eliminated it, there would be far fewer exports. The only person who wins in that is our foreign competition.

Debate you? But first I must "educate" myself in a manner you deem appropriate.

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

Again, I'm willing to have a discussion with you. But I'm not going to bother reading links. I don't have time for it. I'm willing to read a link that supports an assertion that you have. But I'm not going to read a link because you can't make your own arguments.
 

Fentoine Lum

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Debate you? But first I must "educate" myself in a manner you deem appropriate.

10 Corporations Receiving Massive Public Subsidies From Taxpayers
https://www.mic.com/articles/85101/10-corporations-receiving-massive-public-subsidies-from-taxpayers

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxana...-outrage-over-corporate-welfare/#21a97a9e27dd

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
https://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-vs-social-welfare/

Again, I'm willing to have a discussion with you. But I'm not going to bother reading links. I don't have time for it. I'm willing to read a link that supports an assertion that you have. But I'm not going to read a link because you can't make your own arguments.

Sure, whatever.
 

Jokodo

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i've yet to run into a Marxist collectivist that understands that wealth is something that is continually created and consumed, not something that just exists and can be continually divided and distributed forever. They seem to believe that wealth just is and that capitalists "grab more than their share" rather than them creating it.

That's not what any Marxist ever believed. But whatever floats your boat.
 

Jokodo

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Your analogy is apt for attempts to implement communism without the background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels.

If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.
A sane and compassionate society would wait until the chicken has gotten really, really good at laying eggs before killing her.

There are sections in the Communist Manifesto that count among the most powerful expressions of admiration for capitalism's achievements ever written. *
Sergeant Marx just wants to go on record that he's recommending Officer Hen for a posthumous Medal of Merit.

To stick with your analogy, in capitalism, if there are two farmers, only the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, the other is legally obliged to throw his into the sea (even if there's interest in more eggs).
It's not the one who gets to market first; it's the one who invents the chicken first. Oh, wait a sec., correct me if I'm wrong, but don't chickens predate capitalism by more than the duration of a patent?

You can't patent a business model.

Not a single word on the inherent inefficiencies if capitalism.
 

Fentoine Lum

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i've yet to run into a Marxist collectivist that understands that wealth is something that is continually created and consumed, not something that just exists and can be continually divided and distributed forever. They seem to believe that wealth just is and that capitalists "grab more than their share" rather than them creating it.

That's not what any Marxist ever believed. But whatever floats your boat.

"Marxist" and "commie" are just what some folks go to in Pavlovian fashion any time anyone questions or points out the weakness of unfettered capitalism. It's reflexive emotional diarrhea.
 

fromderinside

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So now that the name calling is about exhausted how about discussing the topic.

Stating point: Difference Between Capitalism and Communism https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-capitalism-and-communism.html#ComparisonChart

Comparison Chart

BASIS FOR COMPARISONCAPITALISMCOMMUNISM
MeaningCapitalism is an economic system in which the trade and industry of the economy is owned and controlled by private individuals, to make profit. It is commonly modified by social compacts of citizens in which it is used. Communism refers to an economic and social system in which country's trade and industry are controlled by the community and the share of each individual relies in part on his ability and needs.
BasisPrinciple of Individual Rights within confines of socal system it existsPrinciple of community Every person's Rights
PromotesClass DistinctionEgalitarian Society
System of GovernmentDemocracy Economic systems can, as China demonstrates be Communist run.Toletarian Marx also had theory of social formation which would lead to people rather than systems in control
Government interferenceNo or negligible except in social democratic states which include most nations in EUHigh. Not actually. Government owns everything so those run companies have clear guiding policy.
Wealth DistributionEvery individual has to work for himself to create wealth.Wealth is distributed as per needs and ability. from each to each
Factors of productionPrivately-owned except where military sets the rules of the gameState-owned
Preference toIndividual freedom for those with moneySociety
MarketFree and Competitive and regulated and monitoredState-controlled
ProfitBelongs to the private individual only. except when owner works with unions or finds sharing results in higher stability and income Shared by all the people of economy with adjustments for those considered most important
italics are modifications required for more reasonable comparison and accuracy.

the above is probably good enough for reasonable discussion of the two 'socio-economic systems with which we are most familiar.

Remember a starving potential employee is not a willing worker.
 

steve_bank

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Investment and profit as a system goes back to the earliest civilizations, along with trade. The Mediterranean was busy. The Silk Road and other land routes.

We are a plutocracy not an oligarchy. What is new is that there is general upward mobility from the bottom to the top. The idea of a meritocracy which of course is part myth and part reality. Bill Clinton I believe would have been called 'trailer trash' growing up. Collin Powel is the son of immigrants. Andy Grove a cofounder of Intel a Hungarian immigrant.


Most everyone gets a chance at an education. In pure capitalism one succeeds or fails. You fail you loose everything. Keynes wrote that pure capitalism would work. Eventually population would balance in accordance with supply and demand. But it would be a long period of misery.

I have heard it said the USA is more in line with Marx than anything else. Since the founding we have been in a constant state of change and opposing forces resulting in change. Through how people choose to spend money in the end the people determine which way the economy goes.

Patents specifically protects intellectual property. The govt saves as a central bank. We are capitalists, but not pure capitalism which like communism is an ideal. Ideal systems require ideal humans which do not exist. This is why people who think by radically changing our system it will somehow become more ideal are in a fantasy. Marist Leninism and Maoism failed. Both tried to impose a theoretically just system. Russia ended up as an oligarchy and is in decline. China evolved into a mixed economy and limied autonomy within the system and is thriving.

All systems are based on people.
 

Bomb#20

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To stick with your analogy, in capitalism, if there are two farmers, only the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, the other is legally obliged to throw his into the sea (even if there's interest in more eggs).
It's not the one who gets to market first; it's the one who invents the chicken first. Oh, wait a sec., correct me if I'm wrong, but don't chickens predate capitalism by more than the duration of a patent?

You can't patent a business model.

Not a single word on the inherent inefficiencies if capitalism.
Sure there is -- see above. Throwing eggs into the sea is not an inherent inefficiency of capitalism. In capitalism, if there are two farmers, the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, and so does the other -- even if there isn't interest in more eggs, so he has to compete for the first farmer's customers.

You appear to have been assuming my comment about killing the chicken was an analogy for technological progress. Not so. It was both a straight-up non-analogical refutation of PyramidHead's proposed moral principle, and also an analogy for the entire economy. It isn't just inventors that PyramidHead's proposal torpedoes. He torpedoes chicken farmers, along with every other producer who was caused to bring something into existence by the expectation of benefiting from doing so. He proposes to get rid of the reason something exists, and expects that it will exist anyway. That's creationism.

You wrote:

If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.​

No, Marx is pretty explicit that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where he imagines this is no longer an issue. There is no level of productivity where this is no longer an issue. The "background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels" that Marx proposes to seize and build upon might go away when Marxists make people's reasons to achieve that background go away.

The argument is that it has outlived its usefulness. It's an argument that can be made, there are certainly areas where the logic of capitalism is hurting productivity at the social level. A company that's researching a new line of product for years only to be beaten to it by a competitor by two weeks has wasted many man years of productive work without any societal good to show for it.
But patents are not intrinsic to capitalism -- they're just a little piece of mercantilism that got retained when the bulk of mercantilism was being flushed, because people figured pure capitalism would have some problems and retaining patents was a better way to alleviate one of those problems than any then-feasible alternative. Maybe there's a better alternative now. A patent is after all just an unconventional type of tax, so maybe invention should be financed with conventional taxes instead of government-enforced monopoly profits. Whatever. You're making a tail-wagging-the-dog argument. Patents just aren't an important enough aspect of capitalism to base an outlived-its-usefulness argument on.

Even if patents don't get in the way and both companies get to market their product, the research effort had been duplicated with little extra gain.

Capitalism aims for little waste - at the individual level, and it's pretty amazing at that. To a degree, however, it's inherently wasteful from the collective perspective.
That's "Corn flakes are fine. What a waste to have thirty kinds of breakfast cereal." thinking. Competition is what causes multiple choices, and quality, and coverage of niche markets, and high probability of success, and all manner of good things. Redundancy is a small price to pay for those benefits.

And that's before we talk about its habit of externalising costs.
So show us a socialist government that didn't externalize costs. At least when a capitalist externalizes costs you can sue and get a hearing in an impartial court. Get rid of the capitalists and the cost externalizing will be done by the government. When you sue you'll make your case to a judge owned by the externalizer.
 

Jokodo

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Not a single word on the inherent inefficiencies if capitalism.
Sure there is -- see above. Throwing eggs into the sea is not an inherent inefficiency of capitalism. In capitalism, if there are two farmers, the one who gets to the market first gets to sell his eggs, and so does the other -- even if there isn't interest in more eggs, so he has to compete for the first farmer's customers.

You appear to have been assuming my comment about killing the chicken was an analogy for technological progress. Not so. It was both a straight-up non-analogical refutation of PyramidHead's proposed moral principle, and also an analogy for the entire economy. It isn't just inventors that PyramidHead's proposal torpedoes. He torpedoes chicken farmers, along with every other producer who was caused to bring something into existence by the expectation of benefiting from doing so. He proposes to get rid of the reason something exists, and expects that it will exist anyway. That's creationism.

Your argument assumes an economics of scarcity, where meeting everyone's need is an unsurmountable challenge that can only be met by eating away at the existing capital. This is not the 18th century. If the need someone requiring dinner tonight can be met without sacrificing a chicken expected to lay 100s of eggs in its remaining days, it breaks down.

You're also pretending there's only two things that can happen with every widget produced, with every dollar earnt: if it doesn't go too meet the consumption needs (of the poorest), it goes to increasing productivity. This is obviously false - pointing out any inefficiency in capitalism is enough to make this point.

You wrote:

If you read anything from Marx, you'd know that he's pretty explicit about the notion that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where this is no longer an issue.​

No, Marx is pretty explicit that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where he imagines this is no longer an issue. There is no level of productivity where this is no longer an issue. The "background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels" that Marx proposes to seize and build upon might go away when Marxists make people's reasons to achieve that background go away.

There is no reason to think it will, unless you base your reasoning on the false assumption of a dichotomy between immediate consumption and re-investment that translates directly to productivity gains at a societal level. To the extent that there are inefficiencies inherent in capitalist economy, the share of consumption can be increased without eating away at maintaining and increasing productivity.

The argument is that it has outlived its usefulness. It's an argument that can be made, there are certainly areas where the logic of capitalism is hurting productivity at the social level. A company that's researching a new line of product for years only to be beaten to it by a competitor by two weeks has wasted many man years of productive work without any societal good to show for it.
But patents are not intrinsic to capitalism -- they're just a little piece of mercantilism that got retained when the bulk of mercantilism was being flushed, because people figured pure capitalism would have some problems and retaining patents was a better way to alleviate one of those problems than any then-feasible alternative. Maybe there's a better alternative now. A patent is after all just an unconventional type of tax, so maybe invention should be financed with conventional taxes instead of government-enforced monopoly profits. Whatever. You're making a tail-wagging-the-dog argument. Patents just aren't an important enough aspect of capitalism to base an outlived-its-usefulness argument on.

Fair enough. I don't however see you or many other proponents of free market capitalism go around arguing that intellectual property should be done away with and product-ready research should be publicly funded.

Even if patents don't get in the way and both companies get to market their product, the research effort had been duplicated with little extra gain.

Capitalism aims for little waste - at the individual level, and it's pretty amazing at that. To a degree, however, it's inherently wasteful from the collective perspective.
That's "Corn flakes are fine. What a waste to have thirty kinds of breakfast cereal." thinking.

Not at all. If one company does all the research to optimize the production of plain corn-flakes, while another does all it needs for sugar-coated corn-flakes and another for corn flakes coated in hazelnut crumbles, having each develop their product and the entire production pipeline from scratch is still a significant waste of resources.

Competition is what causes multiple choices, and quality, and coverage of niche markets, and high probability of success, and all manner of good things.

Indeed, to a degree. I am not aware that I claimed otherwise. Though whether it is the only thing that can cause those things remains an open question.

Redundancy is a small price to pay for those benefits.

That appears to be an empirical question the answer to which is situation dependent. Claiming that it will always be a net positive sounds every bit as religious as denying that competition has beneficial effects.
 
Last edited:

PyramidHead

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So now that the name calling is about exhausted how about discussing the topic.

Stating point: Difference Between Capitalism and Communism https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-capitalism-and-communism.html#ComparisonChart

Comparison Chart

BASIS FOR COMPARISONCAPITALISMCOMMUNISM
MeaningCapitalism is an economic system in which the trade and industry of the economy is owned and controlled by private individuals, to make profit. It is commonly modified by social compacts of citizens in which it is used. Communism refers to an economic and social system in which country's trade and industry are controlled by the community and the share of each individual relies in part on his ability and needs.
BasisPrinciple of Individual Rights within confines of socal system it existsPrinciple of community Every person's Rights
PromotesClass DistinctionEgalitarian Society
System of GovernmentDemocracy Economic systems can, as China demonstrates be Communist run.Toletarian Marx also had theory of social formation which would lead to people rather than systems in control
Government interferenceNo or negligible except in social democratic states which include most nations in EUHigh. Not actually. Government owns everything so those run companies have clear guiding policy.
Wealth DistributionEvery individual has to work for himself to create wealth.Wealth is distributed as per needs and ability. from each to each
Factors of productionPrivately-owned except where military sets the rules of the gameState-owned
Preference toIndividual freedom for those with moneySociety
MarketFree and Competitive and regulated and monitoredState-controlled
ProfitBelongs to the private individual only. except when owner works with unions or finds sharing results in higher stability and income Shared by all the people of economy with adjustments for those considered most important
italics are modifications required for more reasonable comparison and accuracy.

the above is probably good enough for reasonable discussion of the two 'socio-economic systems with which we are most familiar.

Remember a starving potential employee is not a willing worker.

Defining communism in a multilayered analysis table without a single mention of the working class, gotta love bourgeoisie revisionism.
 

Fentoine Lum

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So now that the name calling is about exhausted how about discussing the topic.

Stating point: Difference Between Capitalism and Communism https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-capitalism-and-communism.html#ComparisonChart

Comparison Chart

BASIS FOR COMPARISONCAPITALISMCOMMUNISM
MeaningCapitalism is an economic system in which the trade and industry of the economy is owned and controlled by private individuals, to make profit. It is commonly modified by social compacts of citizens in which it is used. Communism refers to an economic and social system in which country's trade and industry are controlled by the community and the share of each individual relies in part on his ability and needs.
BasisPrinciple of Individual Rights within confines of socal system it existsPrinciple of community Every person's Rights
PromotesClass DistinctionEgalitarian Society
System of GovernmentDemocracy Economic systems can, as China demonstrates be Communist run.Toletarian Marx also had theory of social formation which would lead to people rather than systems in control
Government interferenceNo or negligible except in social democratic states which include most nations in EUHigh. Not actually. Government owns everything so those run companies have clear guiding policy.
Wealth DistributionEvery individual has to work for himself to create wealth.Wealth is distributed as per needs and ability. from each to each
Factors of productionPrivately-owned except where military sets the rules of the gameState-owned
Preference toIndividual freedom for those with moneySociety
MarketFree and Competitive and regulated and monitoredState-controlled
ProfitBelongs to the private individual only. except when owner works with unions or finds sharing results in higher stability and income Shared by all the people of economy with adjustments for those considered most important
italics are modifications required for more reasonable comparison and accuracy.

the above is probably good enough for reasonable discussion of the two 'socio-economic systems with which we are most familiar.

Remember a starving potential employee is not a willing worker.

Defining communism in a multilayered analysis table without a single mention of the working class, gotta love bourgeoisie revisionism.

Capitalism is an economic system in which the trade and industry of the economy is owned and controlled by private individuals, to make profit. It is commonly modified by social compacts of citizens in which it is used.

In america, capitalism is an economic and political system in which the trade and industry of the economy is owned and controlled by private individuals who band together in think tanks, corrupt lobbying cabals which draft legislation, and on corporate boards of directors, to make ever increasing profit margins over time to redistribute and concentrate societal wealth in utter disregard for the effects upon society as a whole.
 

Bomb#20

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Rationalism
Your argument assumes an economics of scarcity, where meeting everyone's need is an unsurmountable challenge that can only be met by eating away at the existing capital. This is not the 18th century. If the need someone requiring dinner tonight can be met without sacrificing a chicken expected to lay 100s of eggs in its remaining days, it breaks down.
If you're proposing that there are so many chickens now that the guy can have eggs for dinner, so we won't kill any chickens -- we'll just confiscate a few eggs from the chicken owners instead of whole chickens -- then you aren't talking about what PyramidHead was talking about. It wasn't having no social safety net that he called insane and uncompassionate, but a market economy. But the market economy is itself existing capital. It's a major component of the social machinery that brings 100s of eggs into existence. Sacrificing that capital is not an avoidable consequence of trying to implement PH's theory three centuries too early. It's not a bug to be fixed. It's a feature. His whole point is that he's demanding that we sacrifice a piece of machinery expected to lay trillions of eggs in its remaining days.

In any event, your argument presupposes that "meeting everyone's need" is a fixed goalpost to be reached. That's not how it works. "Need" is a moving target -- consult any of the "living wage" threads for proof. Leftists are ideologically opposed to inequality (at least when it's their outgroups living better than their ingroups). They define a person to "need" something based on whether it offends their sensibilities to see him without it when someone else has it; the more the other has, the more it offends them. Check out the "Favorite Economic Charts" thread -- you'll see poster after poster putting up charts that show ordinary Americans' lives are getting better as if those charts proved America is broken, because somebody else's life is getting better faster. Theirs is not a hunger for "meeting needs" that can ever be satiated.

Moreover, even if we could agree on an objective standard for "need", an economics of scarcity is an inevitability. Meeting everyone's actual need is an insurmountable challenge -- it cannot be met with 21st century technology, whether by eating away at the existing capital or by any other means, except maybe nuclear winter. The problem is that people get sick and die. And no matter what heroic means we put into giving a dying man some extra time on earth, we could always have been even more heroic, sacrificed even more of our other wants to his need, and given him a little longer. As long as there are sick people who could live longer there will always be unmet needs to be prioritized over other people's wants. Need is practically unlimited.

You're also pretending there's only two things that can happen with every widget produced, with every dollar earnt: if it doesn't go too meet the consumption needs (of the poorest), it goes to increasing productivity. This is obviously false - pointing out any inefficiency in capitalism is enough to make this point.
Huh? Where did I suggest anything of the sort? I didn't say the chicken farmer would use all his income to make more chickens. Maybe the chicken farmer is going to use some of his earnings to go on vacation. So what? The point is if he isn't going to be allowed to send the egg to the guy who has the money to pay for it, then he won't have a reason to raise the chicken in the first place.

No, Marx is pretty explicit that communism only becomes thinkable after capitalism has raised productivity to a level where he imagines this is no longer an issue. There is no level of productivity where this is no longer an issue. The "background of a society where capitalism has raised productivity to hitherto unimaginable levels" that Marx proposes to seize and build upon might go away when Marxists make people's reasons to achieve that background go away.

There is no reason to think it will, unless you base your reasoning on the false assumption of a dichotomy between immediate consumption and re-investment that translates directly to productivity gains at a societal level.
Where are you getting that? There are all sorts of reasons to think it will. For instance, there's the fact that productive enterprise doesn't just run itself without the participants having an incentive to keep it running. There's the fact that a productive economy isn't a steady state but an ever-changing environment, so to maintain production the components have to be continuously modified to adapt to new circumstances. There's the fact that the folks trying to make other people's reasons to achieve that background go away keep giving indications that they have no bloody clue whatsoever as to how current production methods work, and can reasonably be expected to act on that ignorance in the event that they are given the authority to make changes. And then of course there's the common experience of mankind as to what actually happened when societies shot their capitalists.

To the extent that there are inefficiencies inherent in capitalist economy, the share of consumption can be increased without eating away at maintaining and increasing productivity.
And this sort of thinking is called "dialectical materialism", is it? Assuming the way some theory models production is correct, that theory implies that somewhere in the solution space there exists a point of greater efficiency than the currently known optimum. Therefore if we abandon the optimization process that arrived at the currently known optimum, then "there is no reason to think" whatever new point we jump to won't be that theoretically existing point of greater efficiency? Please. You're expressing pure unadulterated idealism. If you're a materialist, exhibit a material mechanism that will cause the hitherto unimaginable level of productivity to continue to be maintained or increased after people's previous reasons for maintaining and increasing it go away. The "Have political commissars tell the workers to improve efficiency" method doesn't work. Judging by the engineers from the USSR I've worked with, what they mostly optimized for was covering their asses.

But patents are not intrinsic to capitalism -- they're just a little piece of mercantilism that got retained when the bulk of mercantilism was being flushed, because people figured pure capitalism would have some problems and retaining patents was a better way to alleviate one of those problems than any then-feasible alternative. Maybe there's a better alternative now. A patent is after all just an unconventional type of tax, so maybe invention should be financed with conventional taxes instead of government-enforced monopoly profits. Whatever. You're making a tail-wagging-the-dog argument. Patents just aren't an important enough aspect of capitalism to base an outlived-its-usefulness argument on.

Fair enough. I don't however see you or many other proponents of free market capitalism go around arguing that intellectual property should be done away with and product-ready research should be publicly funded.
Hey, no worries -- there's no reason you should have read every post I've ever made. But yes, I've argued on this forum that there's no such thing as intellectual property. It's an 18th-century French concept with no precedent in English Common Law. What there are are copyrights and patents, which each have their own independent statutory history. The original purpose of copyrights was press censorship; later they were adapted as a mechanism to enrich publishers, and used that way for a hundred years before anyone thought of enriching authors with them. "Letters patent" on the other hand were straight-up mercantilism, crown-granted monopolies unrelated to invention, intended to enrich the King.

The Constitution makes it clear that patents and copyrights are not property in the U.S. -- they're "unilateral contracts", just like a lost-dog reward poster, between the federal government and inventors/authors. As the government offers firemen money, confiscated from the public, in exchange for putting out fires, it offers inventors and authors the public's common-law right-to-imitate, confiscated from the public, in exchange for inventing and writing books. Then the inventors and authors make a living by selling little bits of the public's confiscated right-to-imitate back to the public.

That's not a condemnation, just a realist description of what's going on. The point is, product-ready research is already publicly funded. So whether that's done by the government taking away money and giving it to inventors, or by taking away something else and giving it to inventors, is a mere technical detail. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and I expect the optimal system is "some of each". Either way, this perspective makes it clear that patents are an inessential aspect of capitalism, that time limits on them are an essential aspect of their legality, that copyrights last far too long, and that Congress's repeated retroactive extension of copyright terms is unconstitutional. And that's not just me playing lawyer on the web -- John Paul Stevens said the same thing.

That's "Corn flakes are fine. What a waste to have thirty kinds of breakfast cereal." thinking.

Not at all. If one company does all the research to optimize the production of plain corn-flakes, while another does all it needs for sugar-coated corn-flakes and another for corn flakes coated in hazelnut crumbles, having each develop their product and the entire production pipeline from scratch is still a significant waste of resources.
Well, sure, if we assume that somebody in a position to make the call would have picked one development team up front, known in advance they would succeed, redeployed the other teams, promised the first team's results to the other producers, and persuaded the selected team to do their best work on the same aggressive schedule without either the hope of winning or the fear of losing to motivate them. Otherwise the resources weren't wasted; they were simply expended to get results other people value more than you do.

Competition is what causes multiple choices, and quality, and coverage of niche markets, and high probability of success, and all manner of good things.

Indeed, to a degree. I am not aware that I claimed otherwise. Though whether it is the only thing that can cause those things remains an open question.
See above. Exhibit a material mechanism that will cause those things without competition.

Redundancy is a small price to pay for those benefits.

That appears to be an empirical question the answer to which is situation dependent. Claiming that it will always be a net positive sounds every bit as religious as denying that competition has beneficial effects.
I don't think I claimed it always will. There are all manner of products for which we've decided competition isn't a net positive and chosen not to produce them competitively. The electric power grid is an obvious example. You're the one who said capitalism is "inherently wasteful from the collective perspective". That sounds like you making an always claim, not me.
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Joined
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Basic Beliefs
secular-skeptic
We have the means through modern agriculture and manufacturing to provide basic needs for all.

Walk through a supermarket and compare shelf space for basic foods and for junk food like candy, pizza, ice creme, chips and the like.

In the short post war period we have developed an obesity problem across the socioeconomic strata. Historically staggering. Wide spread ailments usually associated with the idle rich.

The question going forward will be how to adjust the system to provide basic needs at the bottom with headroom.

Even a communist system will have economics, allocation of resources and compensation. Do fireman who risk their lives get more? Free markets and supply and demand set compensation and production in the current system and clearly leads to inequities.

There is more junk food calories than basic nutrition in stores because people choose that with spending. Our politicians on the conservative side proclaim we are the greatest in the world and our economy is booming.

Yet there are kids who go to school hungry. Lots of job creation but not enough jobs that pay living wages.

Capitalism, socialism, and communism it comes doen to a moral question. What is the purpose of a society?

Are we just advanced chimps ruthlessly competing in an economic jungle or do we collectively provide for the common good.

I believe COTUS says govt is to provide for the common good.

I think we are being held back by the 19th century myth of the independent American who achieves on his own owing nothing to society.
 
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