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The Many Arguments Against Capitalism

GeoLaureate8
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5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I mentioned in another thread that my Socio-Political Philosophy Professor is anti-Capitalist and gave convincing arguments why, and J_Kenyon request that I present them. (A small bit of these are things I added myself, but it's mostly my Prof's arguments.)

Here it goes:

Arguments Against Capitalism

Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." [1] Because Capitalism's goal is profit, it creates a great hindrance to many things.

- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last. If products lasted a significant amount of time, this would be a detriment to companies who seek to profit from customers who keep coming back and repeatedly buying their perishable products. This leads to the next point below.

- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.

- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable. So actual progress and utility isn't necessarily encouraged. Profit is. We could get rid of gas cars and instead have cheap, green, fuel-efficient, and advanced vehicles, but if it's not profitable, we won't do it (*cough* oil companies *cough*). In fact, there's many suppressed technologies out there that should be available but aren't partly due to Capitalism (and in today's society, partly due to government regulation).

- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit. So long as the search for a cancer cure exists, there will be a need for a cancer research team.

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health, but rather act as a bandaid so that you keep coming back for more to keep purchasing their pharmaceutical products. In fact, there are cases where there are natural remedies which actually heal health problems, but because they're natural, pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and thus won't provide it unless they try to artificially create a chemical which mimics it in order to patent the natural remedy and thus make a profit off of a less efficient product.

- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value. Owners make the majority of the money and do absolutely no real productive work. Because the goal of Capitalism is profit, owners have no incentive not to provide the lowest wages possible and keep the most amount of money for themselves.

- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty. This makes no sense. Money and prices therefore don't accurately represent the available resources. There's an overabundance of food on the planet, yet there are millions of starving babies. In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).

- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship. More capital, more power, and if someone has more power than you, then you have less power. That's just the trade off that inherently exists in the accumulation of power.

- Workers don't own the products of their own labor. If a worker creates a clock, it belongs to the company and is sold by the company for it's own profit. And if the worker wants that clock, they have to spend their own wages on the clock that they built. Yes, they get paid to work, but they get paid pennies compared to the undeserved money that the owners accumulate.

- The mindset that wishes to accumulate wealth is a mental illness. Why? Because the Capitalist wants excess wealth that no longer has a purpose or instrumental value. (Aristotle made this argument.)

- Capitalism turns the means (monetary exchange units) into the end. Instead of seeking money to obtain viable resources, the Capitalist simply seeks to accumulate money. But once you turn the means into the end, then there is no end and the accumulation of wealth is pointless and out of control. (Aristotle made this argument.)

- Basically, if it's profitable to screw you over, Capitalists will do it!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.
Missing argument, how does it do this? Why on earth wouldn't an employer employ more machines and less people if it's cheaper?


- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit
Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, and at the very least low long-term sales.

and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable.
Why wouldn't they be?

We could get rid of gas cars and instead have cheap, green, fuel-efficient, and advanced vehicles
Demonstrate empirically.

but aren't partly due to Capitalism (and in today's society, partly due to government regulation).
Contradiction.


- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit.
They have something called a patent. Also, people still get cancer. If it's a prophylactic, people are still born.

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health, but rather act as a bandaid so that you keep coming back for more to keep purchasing their pharmaceutical products. In fact, there are cases where there are natural remedies which actually heal health problems, but because they're natural, pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and thus won't provide it unless they try to artificially create a chemical which mimics it in order to patent the natural remedy and thus make a profit off of a less efficient product.
Natural remedies are widely available, empirical research doesn't seem to bear out claims that they are generally more effective.


- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value.
Disproven by the fact that the workers haven't abandoned the owner. You see, owners provide something called investment. If that is not rewarded there is no investment, then life sucks for everyone.

- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty.
We do not live in a country where overproduction is a problem. Misaligned production, perhaps. Overproduction is a contradiction.

There's an overabundance of food on the planet, yet there are millions of starving babies.
Correction, there's an underabundance of valuable skills in starving babies.

In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).
Contradiction

- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship.
Treated like a syllogism without being one. It is instead a bare assertion.

- Workers don't own the products of their own labor. If a worker creates a clock, it belongs to the company and is sold by the company for it's own profit
No, if a craftsman creates a clock it belongs to him. If a craftsman becomes an employee, he trades a share in his clocks for the resources the company provides to him.

- The mindset that wishes to accumulate wealth is a mental illness.
Then stop worrying about economics you nutjob.

Why? Because the Capitalist wants excess wealth that no longer has a purpose or instrumental value. (Aristotle made this argument.)
Appeal to authority, as there is no other demonstration of the claim of purposelessness.

- Basically, if it's profitable to screw you over, Capitalists will do it!
And if flapping my arms makes me fly, I'll flap my arms.
And if it's profitable for regulators to be corrupt, they will be.

Trivial and an insufficient basic. :P
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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5/11/2011 4:47:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Nice post Geo.

Most of Raggy's responses relate to short term versus long term profits. Current financial systems encourage a short term view, generating profits quickly earns more interest and money makes more money, so long term investment with big financial outlays on equipment and r&d is less attractive than short term investment on poorly paid employees and existing business models.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

People rarely read reviews, they only listen to commerials and salemen. Why do you think the make-up industry (which you wash down the drain every night)?

As long as the products which breaks quickly is cheap enough, people won't care (Walmart seems to do pretty good with this model).


- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.
Missing argument, how does it do this? Why on earth wouldn't an employer employ more machines and less people if it's cheaper?


- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit
Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, and at the very least low long-term sales.

And they'll gladly pay the lawsuit, since it won't compare to how much they make from cutting costs of safety.


and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable.
Why wouldn't they be?

We could get rid of gas cars and instead have cheap, green, fuel-efficient, and advanced vehicles
Demonstrate empirically.

but aren't partly due to Capitalism (and in today's society, partly due to government regulation).
Contradiction.


- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit.
They have something called a patent. Also, people still get cancer. If it's a prophylactic, people are still born.


- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health, but rather act as a bandaid so that you keep coming back for more to keep purchasing their pharmaceutical products. In fact, there are cases where there are natural remedies which actually heal health problems, but because they're natural, pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and thus won't provide it unless they try to artificially create a chemical which mimics it in order to patent the natural remedy and thus make a profit off of a less efficient product.
Natural remedies are widely available, empirical research doesn't seem to bear out claims that they are generally more effective.


- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value.
Disproven by the fact that the workers haven't abandoned the owner.

Just because workers aren't leaving doesn't mean they aren't being leeched off of. It is better to be ripped off and manipulated than homeless. Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.

You see, owners provide something called investment. If that is not rewarded there is no investment, then life sucks for everyone.

Why can it not be rewarded, and employees treated well?



- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty.
We do not live in a country where overproduction is a problem. Misaligned production, perhaps. Overproduction is a contradiction.

There's an overabundance of food on the planet, yet there are millions of starving babies.
Correction, there's an underabundance of valuable skills in starving babies.

In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).
Contradiction

- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship.
Treated like a syllogism without being one. It is instead a bare assertion.

Capitalism wants competition. Companies that survive in capitalism don't want competition (competition has a nasty habit of cutting into people's profits). So those companies that thrived and gained power because of capitalism are the first to try to stop capitalism (how much lobbying is done by private companies to create rules in their favor while harming others?)



- Workers don't own the products of their own labor. If a worker creates a clock, it belongs to the company and is sold by the company for it's own profit
No, if a craftsman creates a clock it belongs to him. If a craftsman becomes an employee, he trades a share in his clocks for the resources the company provides to him.

"a share" as in 100%.


- The mindset that wishes to accumulate wealth is a mental illness.
Then stop worrying about economics you nutjob.

Why? Because the Capitalist wants excess wealth that no longer has a purpose or instrumental value. (Aristotle made this argument.)
Appeal to authority, as there is no other demonstration of the claim of purposelessness.


- Basically, if it's profitable to screw you over, Capitalists will do it!
And if flapping my arms makes me fly, I'll flap my arms.

No, just hold your arms level and run really fast (more like a plane and less like a bird)

And if it's profitable for regulators to be corrupt, they will be.

And who corrupts them?


Trivial and an insufficient basic. :P
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/11/2011 10:36:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
My main argument against capitalism and the free market, is the faulty belief that people will buy what has the best value, and so the best valued products will naturally rise.

The problem is that people don't know what is best, they buy what they believe is best. So you don't need to create the best product, only make people believe you have the best product (welcome to the world of advertising).

Everything else pretty much stems from that, and from that the goal is profits, not humanity.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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5/11/2011 10:57:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

People rarely read reviews, they only listen to commerials and salemen. Why do you think the make-up industry (which you wash down the drain every night)?
Such customers deserve what they get ^_^.

And they'll gladly pay the lawsuit, since it won't compare to how much they make from cutting costs of safety.
A thing called "punitive damages" was invented to deal with precisely that problem in malicious or reckless conduct.

Just because workers aren't leaving doesn't mean they aren't being leeched off of. It is better to be ripped off and manipulated than homeless.
If the independent powers of the worker are not sufficient to not be homeless, then the workers aren't being leeched off of.

Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.
And to not be a leech, you need only provide a better option than would be available were you not to exist.


You see, owners provide something called investment. If that is not rewarded there is no investment, then life sucks for everyone.

Why can it not be rewarded, and employees treated well?
"Treated well" is not a meaningful standard. Treated according to several meaningful standards, reward is reduced below the level commensurate the investment, and investment in labor is consequently reduced, leaving the employees worse off than before.
Of course, employees are treated to much higher shares of things than they would have been in the past. ^_^.

Capitalism wants competition. Companies that survive in capitalism don't want competition (competition has a nasty habit of cutting into people's profits). So those companies that thrived and gained power because of capitalism are the first to try to stop capitalism (how much lobbying is done by private companies to create rules in their favor while harming others?)
How much such lobbying could be successful without the hiding place of a government that already has anti-capitalist mandates anyway? A lot of that lobbying is, say, for "health and safety" regulations, that just happen to place a huge burden on new entrants to the market.

"a share" as in 100%.
No, that would mean he received no wage.

No, just hold your arms level and run really fast (more like a plane and less like a bird)
If that works, I'll do that instead.

And who corrupts them?
Anyone and everyone, some more successfully than others. Removing the ones more successful at it has worse consequences than removing regulation.

The problem is that people don't know what is best
And regulators are of course presumably not people amirite?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 10:58:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
also as your post was by a person it is self-refuting.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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5/11/2011 11:12:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I mentioned in another thread that my Socio-Political Philosophy Professor is anti-Capitalist and gave convincing arguments why, and J_Kenyon request that I present them. (A small bit of these are things I added myself, but it's mostly my Prof's arguments.)

Here it goes:

Arguments Against Capitalism

Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." [1] Because Capitalism's goal is profit, it creates a great hindrance to many things.

- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last. If products lasted a significant amount of time, this would be a detriment to companies who seek to profit from customers who keep coming back and repeatedly buying their perishable products. This leads to the next point below.

- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.

- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable. So actual progress and utility isn't necessarily encouraged. Profit is. We could get rid of gas cars and instead have cheap, green, fuel-efficient, and advanced vehicles, but if it's not profitable, we won't do it (*cough* oil companies *cough*). In fact, there's many suppressed technologies out there that should be available but aren't partly due to Capitalism (and in today's society, partly due to government regulation).

- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit. So long as the search for a cancer cure exists, there will be a need for a cancer research team.

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health, but rather act as a bandaid so that you keep coming back for more to keep purchasing their pharmaceutical products. In fact, there are cases where there are natural remedies which actually heal health problems, but because they're natural, pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and thus won't provide it unless they try to artificially create a chemical which mimics it in order to patent the natural remedy and thus make a profit off of a less efficient product.

- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value. Owners make the majority of the money and do absolutely no real productive work. Because the goal of Capitalism is profit, owners have no incentive not to provide the lowest wages possible and keep the most amount of money for themselves.

- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty. This makes no sense. Money and prices therefore don't accurately represent the available resources. There's an overabundance of food on the planet, yet there are millions of starving babies. In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).

- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship. More capital, more power, and if someone has more power than you, then you have less power. That's just the trade off that inherently exists in the accumulation of power.

- Workers don't own the products of their own labor. If a worker creates a clock, it belongs to the company and is sold by the company for it's own profit. And if the worker wants that clock, they have to spend their own wages on the clock that they built. Yes, they get paid to work, but they get paid pennies compared to the undeserved money that the owners accumulate.

- The mindset that wishes to accumulate wealth is a mental illness. Why? Because the Capitalist wants excess wealth that no longer has a purpose or instrumental value. (Aristotle made this argument.)

- Capitalism turns the means (monetary exchange units) into the end. Instead of seeking money to obtain viable resources, the Capitalist simply seeks to accumulate money. But once you turn the means into the end, then there is no end and the accumulation of wealth is pointless and out of control. (Aristotle made this argument.)

- Basically, if it's profitable to screw you over, Capitalists will do it!


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

There is very little in here that I haven't harped on to death... Let's see how well you do defending it against the libertarian onslaught.
kfc
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/11/2011 11:21:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 10:57:52 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

People rarely read reviews, they only listen to commerials and salemen. Why do you think the make-up industry (which you wash down the drain every night)?
Such customers deserve what they get ^_^.

If you support fraud, then sure.



And they'll gladly pay the lawsuit, since it won't compare to how much they make from cutting costs of safety.
A thing called "punitive damages" was invented to deal with precisely that problem in malicious or reckless conduct.

Punitive Damages are not capitalist, nor in line with the free market. They are basically no more than a form of a regulation.


Just because workers aren't leaving doesn't mean they aren't being leeched off of. It is better to be ripped off and manipulated than homeless.
If the independent powers of the worker are not sufficient to not be homeless, then the workers aren't being leeched off of.

So anyone that is unable to survive 100% on their own (assuming that is what you meant by independent powers), are still being leech off of, which is most of society.


Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.
And to not be a leech, you need only provide a better option than would be available were you not to exist.


You see, owners provide something called investment. If that is not rewarded there is no investment, then life sucks for everyone.

Why can it not be rewarded, and employees treated well?
"Treated well" is not a meaningful standard. Treated according to several meaningful standards, reward is reduced below the level commensurate the investment, and investment in labor is consequently reduced, leaving the employees worse off than before.

False, treating employees well, yields better employees. Paying fair wages (rather than minimal wages) yields more potential customers and more sales.

Of course, employees are treated to much higher shares of things than they would have been in the past. ^_^.

Interesting, isn't it?



Capitalism wants competition. Companies that survive in capitalism don't want competition (competition has a nasty habit of cutting into people's profits). So those companies that thrived and gained power because of capitalism are the first to try to stop capitalism (how much lobbying is done by private companies to create rules in their favor while harming others?)
How much such lobbying could be successful without the hiding place of a government that already has anti-capitalist mandates anyway? A lot of that lobbying is, say, for "health and safety" regulations, that just happen to place a huge burden on new entrants to the market.

And that is what companies of the free market want. What restraints does the free market have to prevent companies from forming and manipulating governments? It seems that they do nothing to stop it, yet claim it to be bad and not a free market issue.


"a share" as in 100%.
No, that would mean he received no wage.

I thought you were refering to them getting to keep some of their clocks, whcih they could then sell on their own.



No, just hold your arms level and run really fast (more like a plane and less like a bird)
If that works, I'll do that instead.

And who corrupts them?
Anyone and everyone, some more successfully than others. Removing the ones more successful at it has worse consequences than removing regulation.

If you remove the regulations, but not those that created the regulations, what do you think is going to happen? They'll just re-create those regulations. Do you think they'll just say "that was fun while it lasted"?


The problem is that people don't know what is best
And regulators are of course presumably not people amirite?

Equivocation. You know I meant "individuals," you basically agreed to it in the first line by saying that they "deserve what they get."
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Rob1_Billion
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5/11/2011 11:37:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 10:36:16 AM, OreEle wrote:
My main argument against capitalism and the free market, is the faulty belief that people will buy what has the best value, and so the best valued products will naturally rise.

The problem is that people don't know what is best, they buy what they believe is best. So you don't need to create the best product, only make people believe you have the best product (welcome to the world of advertising).

Everything else pretty much stems from that, and from that the goal is profits, not humanity.

It's much worse than you lead on to. People aren't just failing to make the most accurate decision, they are outright buying things that they don't want. The lack of quality in many of our goods and services are a testament to the fact that things are not going well. We have unbelievable numbers of horrible positions of labor, horrible products to use and own, and horriible allocation of resources to what we need. Why should any business anywhere be aiming their strategy towards anything but making the best product possible? Sure, that doesn't mean putting gold trim over everything, but savings should take the form of durability. Savings should be realized in reducing, reusing, and recycling, not in making cheap sh*t.
kfc
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 11:48:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 11:21:28 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:57:52 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

People rarely read reviews, they only listen to commerials and salemen. Why do you think the make-up industry (which you wash down the drain every night)?
Such customers deserve what they get ^_^.

If you support fraud, then sure.
What fraud is the makeup industry committing?




And they'll gladly pay the lawsuit, since it won't compare to how much they make from cutting costs of safety.
A thing called "punitive damages" was invented to deal with precisely that problem in malicious or reckless conduct.

Punitive Damages are not capitalist, nor in line with the free market. They are basically no more than a form of a regulation.
Punitive damages are a penalty for tortious conduct (i.e. initiation of force and fraud), and thus fully compatible with the free market. Regulation by contrast is a penalty without due process for disobeying an arbitrary governmental whim.



Just because workers aren't leaving doesn't mean they aren't being leeched off of. It is better to be ripped off and manipulated than homeless.
If the independent powers of the worker are not sufficient to not be homeless, then the workers aren't being leeched off of.

So anyone that is unable to survive 100% on their own (assuming that is what you meant by independent powers), are still being leech off of, which is most of society.
That's not what I said, in fact it's the opposite. If you can't survive 100% on your own, that is evidence against you being leeched off of. A leech on you is not necessary to your survival, what is necessary to your survival is not a leech on you, ipso facto.

False, treating employees well, yields better employees. Paying fair wages (rather than minimal wages) yields more potential customers and more sales.
In the real world not everyone makes minimum wage. Your statement is sometimes true. It is also sometimes false. Fair doesn't mean anything. Well doesn't mean anything. Your statement here doesn't rebut anything I said. Better employees have to be weighed against higher costs.


Of course, employees are treated to much higher shares of things than they would have been in the past. ^_^.

Interesting, isn't it?
It's known as "Growth."


And that is what companies of the free market want.
No, it is what companies against the free market want.

What restraints does the free market have to prevent companies from forming and manipulating governments?
Violence restrains government. Markets, however, make it clearer just when the governments are manipulated. As I said, it is a lot easier to hide a a subsidy on page 60,000 of the 150th issue of the Federal Register, among other subsidies that people like you support anyway, than it is in a few rules of tort law.

I thought you were refering to them getting to keep some of their clocks, whcih they could then sell on their own.
That arrangement COULD work, but it would be less efficient for both employer and employee than a wage. The employee signed the terms of the deal, in which his share is a fixed wage from the proceeds.

And who corrupts them?
Anyone and everyone, some more successfully than others. Removing the ones more successful at it has worse consequences than removing regulation.

If you remove the regulations, but not those that created the regulations, what do you think is going to happen?
The ones that created the regulations are bureaucrats out of a job.
The ones who lobbied for the regulations don't have the preconditions to hide the regulations among other regulations. A government that doesn't have it in its head that it has the authority to regulate can't be lobbied into using a regulatory tool that it doesn't have-- you need to already have regulations for innocous nanny-state reasons to have the cover and "already have the tools" to enact corrupt regulations.


The problem is that people don't know what is best
And regulators are of course presumably not people amirite?

Equivocation. You know I meant "individuals,"
Regulators aren't individuals?
Is there anyone who isn't an individual?
Is there any brain that isn't individual?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
GeoLaureate8
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5/11/2011 12:16:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@Ragnar

With regards to your posts saying Capitalism + government intervention = contradiction, that is wrong. There is no contradiction, in fact government is conducive to generating profit. And not just government profit, but profit for PRIVATE companies. So there is no contradiction.

Capitalism =/= Free market. If we were talking about Free market, then you might be able to claim contradiction.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 12:18:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:16:08 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@Ragnar

With regards to your posts saying Capitalism + government intervention = contradiction, that is wrong. There is no contradiction, in fact government is conducive to generating profit.
No, it may be conducive to loot. Profit is monetary gain caused by output exceeding input, not by looting.

Capitalism is the ban on initiation of force

Capitalism =/= Free market.
Where are these advocates of capitalism that do not advocate a free market? Keeping the crows away in Marxist annals doesn't count.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Danielle
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5/11/2011 12:19:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Before you can justify capitalism you need to justify private property (not to be confused with personal possessions). An-caps would like you to believe that the justification for private property is self-evident, or cite the homestead principle. However John Locke explains regarding the homestead principle "Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a 'property' in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the state that Nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labor with it, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property."

Right here John Locke gives us a justification for worker ownership of the means of production (not capitalist). What one works to create is theirs. The homesteading principle doesn't say that one has the right to retain resources - only that resources have been transformed once through labor, and those belong to the laborer. After this, the proprietor may transfer ownership, discard, or rent the property with no stipulations on any further labor input. However that's exactly how the State came into fruition. The rise of feudalism meant that laborers could work the "king's" property. The king as the propertarian gained property through accumulation of wealth and power, and the use of such to gain dominion over a land.

There is no space I can occupy without infringing on somebody's property. That means I am indebted to them in some way if they choose, or they can have me removed (or killed, depending on the law). I am completely reliant on others for survival, because I would need to be occupying some space to obtain resources such as food. Proudhon and others have argued that private property necessitates slavery of some kind. Sure one doesn't have to work for or be indebted monetarily to another - just as a slave doesn't have to work for their master. The alternative is death. The idea that there is no coercion in purely capitalist exchanges is pretty silly; it ignores the non-violent kind... even though an argument can be made that private property requires violent coercion of some kind. Private property by its very definition needs to be enforced. That means an-caps want security companies to protect against trespassing - a victimless crime - with a violent response.

In criticizing (or questioning the merits of) capitalism, your professor should start here and then work his way down the list of problems, many of which were mentioned. However I'd be curious to know what his alternative proposition was. I'm sure whatever he/she suggests would be just as problematic :P
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Danielle
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5/11/2011 12:22:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:18:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Where are these advocates of capitalism that do not advocate a free market?

There's oligarchical capitalism, mercantalism, state capitalism, neo-capitalism, socio-capitalism, etc. The U.S. currently employs "crony capitalism" but it's capitalism nonetheless... There is no precise definition of capitalism; at best you can say it refers to privately owned means of production which undoubtedly exists in the United States even if we do not have a laissez faire based system.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 12:23:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The idea that there is no coercion in purely capitalist exchanges is pretty silly; it ignores the non-violent kind
The idea that there is no seafood to be harvested from a desert sand is pretty silly, it ignores the non-aquatic kind of seafood.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 12:25:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:22:09 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 12:18:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Where are these advocates of capitalism that do not advocate a free market?

There's oligarchical capitalism, mercantalism, state capitalism, neo-capitalism, socio-capitalism, etc.
I asked about advocates, not strawman descriptions. Calling mercantilism capitalism is pretty silly, and I've never heard of an advocate of any of those calling what they advocate capitalism.

The U.S. currently employs "crony capitalism" but it's capitalism nonetheless... There is no precise definition of capitalism; at best you can say it refers to privately owned means of production which undoubtedly exists in the United States even if we do not have a laissez faire based system.
If they are treated as privately owend, ipso facto the public's hands are off it. If the public's hands are on it, that contradicts treating it as privately owned.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ore_Ele
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5/11/2011 12:29:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 11:48:52 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 11:21:28 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:57:52 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 2:09:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
Sounds like a good way to miss out on long term profits when people read your reviews.

People rarely read reviews, they only listen to commerials and salemen. Why do you think the make-up industry (which you wash down the drain every night)?
Such customers deserve what they get ^_^.

If you support fraud, then sure.
What fraud is the makeup industry committing?

"lose 10 years!"
"you'll be more attractive then you've ever been!"

in little tiny writting that they pray you don't see "results may vary."





And they'll gladly pay the lawsuit, since it won't compare to how much they make from cutting costs of safety.
A thing called "punitive damages" was invented to deal with precisely that problem in malicious or reckless conduct.

Punitive Damages are not capitalist, nor in line with the free market. They are basically no more than a form of a regulation.
Punitive damages are a penalty for tortious conduct (i.e. initiation of force and fraud), and thus fully compatible with the free market. Regulation by contrast is a penalty without due process for disobeying an arbitrary governmental whim.

No they aren't. Free market justice is that I pay you back any damages I caused you (medical costs, lost wages, property damage, etc). That's not punitive damage. Punitive damages are nothing more than theft of above and beyond the actual damages as a "deterent," and as such, are an initary force, rather than a restorative force.




Just because workers aren't leaving doesn't mean they aren't being leeched off of. It is better to be ripped off and manipulated than homeless.
If the independent powers of the worker are not sufficient to not be homeless, then the workers aren't being leeched off of.

So anyone that is unable to survive 100% on their own (assuming that is what you meant by independent powers), are still being leech off of, which is most of society.
That's not what I said, in fact it's the opposite. If you can't survive 100% on your own, that is evidence against you being leeched off of. A leech on you is not necessary to your survival, what is necessary to your survival is not a leech on you, ipso facto.

Agreed, and since underpaying people is not needed for their survival, it is leeching off of them.



False, treating employees well, yields better employees. Paying fair wages (rather than minimal wages) yields more potential customers and more sales.
In the real world not everyone makes minimum wage. Your statement is sometimes true. It is also sometimes false. Fair doesn't mean anything. Well doesn't mean anything. Your statement here doesn't rebut anything I said. Better employees have to be weighed against higher costs.

I didn't say "minimum wage" I said "minimal wages," there is a difference. "Fair" and "well" do mean things, they may be subjective, but they still have meaning.



Of course, employees are treated to much higher shares of things than they would have been in the past. ^_^.

Interesting, isn't it?
It's known as "Growth."


And that is what companies of the free market want.
No, it is what companies against the free market want.

Every company is against the free market. They only support the free market when it benefits them, and they are against it when it is not benefitial for them.

Free Market supports competition.
Every Company wants to see its competition fail so that they can make more money.


What restraints does the free market have to prevent companies from forming and manipulating governments?
Violence restrains government. Markets, however, make it clearer just when the governments are manipulated. As I said, it is a lot easier to hide a a subsidy on page 60,000 of the 150th issue of the Federal Register, among other subsidies that people like you support anyway, than it is in a few rules of tort law.

Then it looks like our government already has its restraints. If the people don't like it, they can control it with violence, since they choose not to, can we assume that the natural market is accepting the government and regulations?



I thought you were refering to them getting to keep some of their clocks, whcih they could then sell on their own.
That arrangement COULD work, but it would be less efficient for both employer and employee than a wage. The employee signed the terms of the deal, in which his share is a fixed wage from the proceeds.

The employee was coerced. The threat being that they would be homeless if they did not agree to sell their labor at that price.



And who corrupts them?
Anyone and everyone, some more successfully than others. Removing the ones more successful at it has worse consequences than removing regulation.

If you remove the regulations, but not those that created the regulations, what do you think is going to happen?
The ones that created the regulations are bureaucrats out of a job.

That's like saying the people that created the iphone are the Chinese esembling line worker, rather than the designers. Bureaucrats filled the paper work out and shuffled it along, but it is the private companies that created those regulations in their favor.

The ones who lobbied for the regulations don't have the preconditions to hide the regulations among other regulations. A government that doesn't have it in its head that it has the authority to regulate can't be lobbied into using a regulatory tool that it doesn't have-- you need to already have regulations for innocous nanny-state reasons to have the cover and "already have the tools" to enact corrupt regulations.

If the nanny state has to be inplace before regulations are in place, then how did the nanny state come to be? When humans were first starting, they came from nature, where the only laws were the laws of nature, no nanny state, no government, no regulations. From those times, regulations came from nowhere, and so did the government. Taking away regulations and the government, with no limits to prevent them from re-forming, will allow them to reform all over again.



The problem is that people don't know what is best
And regulators are of course presumably not people amirite?

Equivocation. You know I meant "individuals,"
Regulators aren't individuals?
Is there anyone who isn't an individual?
Is there any brain that isn't individual?

You're still ignoring the basic premise, which I'm sure you know what it is.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Danielle
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5/11/2011 12:30:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:23:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The idea that there is no coercion in purely capitalist exchanges is pretty silly; it ignores the non-violent kind
The idea that there is no seafood to be harvested from a desert sand is pretty silly, it ignores the non-aquatic kind of seafood.

There are other types of coercion (see: economic coercion). Nevertheless, this analogy fails because I already explained that the "non violent" agreements capitalists refer to ARE actually violent, insofar as they rely on violence to uphold their alleged property.
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Danielle
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5/11/2011 12:38:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:25:41 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I asked about advocates, not strawman descriptions.

You said, "Where are these advocates of capitalism that do not advocate a free market?" This is fallacious. Right there you're implying that only those who abide by YOUR description of capitalism (free market) are indeed capitalist, whereas I have just explained that capitalism, though it has no precise definition, can be categorized as referring to an economic system in which the means of some production are privately owned. You can call those examples of capitalism strawman descriptions all you want -- but that's because you have no actual argument to that fact, so calling them strawman descriptions is your only (weak and cheap) defense. The advocates you're asking about are therefore those who support THOSE versions of capitalist systems. Do you need a lesson on the etymology of the words capital and capitalism? Because I'd be happy to oblige.

Calling mercantilism capitalism is pretty silly, and I've never heard of an advocate of any of those calling what they advocate capitalism.

That's your opinion and your experience, yet doesn't negate anything I've said.

If they are treated as privately owend, ipso facto the public's hands are off it. If the public's hands are on it, that contradicts treating it as privately owned.

Where in the description of capitalism (try Google? Wiki?) does it say that everything has to privately owned in order to qualify something as capitalism?
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Fabian_CH
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5/11/2011 1:06:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." [1] Because Capitalism's goal is profit, it creates a great hindrance to many things.
That's the old problem of defining capitalism. I rather define it as a system (primarly economic, but not only; anything can be expressed in economic terms, after all) of individual rights and liberties to do anything that doesn't violate another's right to do the same. Your definition does describe capitalism as well, but it's a necessary corollary, not an essential definition, in my view.

Furthermore, profit is only the part of the wealth one creates which one keeps for oneself (similarly, a loss is the part of the wealth one destroys which one pays.) There can't be profit without creating wealth first. I don't see how creating wealth is a hindrance.

- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
That's an unproven assertion. Nothing is built to last forever, the durability is simply a question of quality. Yes, low quality products are built "purposefully", but they are because they're cheaper and more convenient to the producer and consumer.

- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.
I don't follow the reasoning here at all. If it were profitable to automate "many processes", why are they not automated under capitalism? (And furthermore, under what alternative system would they be?)

- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable.
There are no "very helpful products" that aren't profitable. The only reason alleged "revolutionary and very helpful products" aren't profitable is because they're inefficient to make, and thus waste money that could be spent on increasing wealth, i.e. standard of living instead (which is why government feels the need to take money by force to pay for these "revolutionary and very helpful products", on a side note. The problem isn't that people aren't investing in the products, it's that they're not helpful in the first place.)

- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit.
Haha, and if those who are paying for it find out, they'll lose their job, too (or even be sued for fraud; namely for taking money for providing a service they didn't intend to provide.)

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health,
Mllions of lives saved by for-profit health care say otherwise. Again, don't forget that what you're describing is borderline-fraud, just like the "cancer research team"; as far as I know, capitalism doesn't allow for fraud.

- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value.
Let me put it the other way around. Workers leech off of the owners of the equipment they use, because they take money for what the employer's equipment does; they merely guide it, so to speak. That's, of course, an absurd argument. The whole employer-employee relationship is based on the fact that both believe they can profit from it. If they didn't, the relationship wouldn't exist.

- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty.
Define "overproduction" (and, for that matter, define "poverty".)

In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).
Which, you assert, is compatible with capitalism? Remember that government must first take the money from its owner before it can redistribute it.

- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship.
That's correct up to the groundless assertion that this somehow makes those with less "power" slaves.

- Workers don't own the products of their own labor.
Bull. If they don't own "the products of their own labor", then how can they possibly sell it to an employer..? Wages are merely the price of labor, i.e. the price paid for the service provided by the laborer.

- The mindset that wishes to accumulate wealth is a mental illness. Why? Because the Capitalist wants excess wealth that no longer has a purpose or instrumental value. (Aristotle made this argument.)
Prove that. What's "excess wealth"? Can you point to any wealth that has no purpose? Isn't wealth (i.e. standard of living) an end in itself?

- Capitalism turns the means (monetary exchange units) into the end. Instead of seeking money to obtain viable resources, the Capitalist simply seeks to accumulate money. But once you turn the means into the end, then there is no end and the accumulation of wealth is pointless and out of control. (Aristotle made this argument.)
Again, prove that. If it is true that the are people who only want money for no other purpose than having it, nature will take care of them quite rapidly (starvation...)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Fabian_CH
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5/11/2011 1:13:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.
And this they should be reviled, rather than loved for?
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Fabian_CH
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5/11/2011 1:30:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:38:49 PM, Danielle wrote:
You can call those examples of capitalism strawman descriptions all you want -- but that's because you have no actual argument to that fact, so calling them strawman descriptions is your only (weak and cheap) defense.
You are being so silly. The silliness is attacking capitalism as he defines it, then claiming that capitalism is something else. That may well be, but then we'll have to invent a new term, say "asdfism" for what he's advocating. That doesn't change the fact that he's advocating that specific position and if you want to argue with him about the position, you'll have to concede at least its definition.

The argument isn't about the definition of capitalism, it's about the position he calls capitalism.
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Ore_Ele
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5/11/2011 1:55:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:13:42 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.
And this they should be reviled, rather than loved for?

Companies that lie to employees and leech off them should be.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
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5/11/2011 1:56:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:55:33 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:13:42 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/11/2011 10:33:15 AM, OreEle wrote:
Companies only need provide an option better than homelessness.
And this they should be reviled, rather than loved for?

Companies that lie to employees and leech off them should be.

Aswell as companies that do that to customers.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
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5/11/2011 2:46:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:06:38 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." [1] Because Capitalism's goal is profit, it creates a great hindrance to many things.
That's the old problem of defining capitalism. I rather define it as a system (primarly economic, but not only; anything can be expressed in economic terms, after all) of individual rights and liberties to do anything that doesn't violate another's right to do the same. Your definition does describe capitalism as well, but it's a necessary corollary, not an essential definition, in my view.

You just defined libertarianism, not capitalism. You can call it capitalism all you want, but that doesn't make it so.


Furthermore, profit is only the part of the wealth one creates which one keeps for oneself (similarly, a loss is the part of the wealth one destroys which one pays.) There can't be profit without creating wealth first. I don't see how creating wealth is a hindrance.

It isn't, it is what is done to obtain that wealth. CEOs don't create any wealth, the workers do. Shareholders don't create any wealth, the workers do. So you have the people that are not creating the wealth, that end up with the most of it, simply because they have wealth to start with.


- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last.
That's an unproven assertion. Nothing is built to last forever, the durability is simply a question of quality. Yes, low quality products are built "purposefully", but they are because they're cheaper and more convenient to the producer and consumer.

You're speculating on the reasons for why products are built cheap. Different companies may have different reason. Some may do it for the reason you suggested, and some may do it because it boosts sales.

Simple case of a company that makes products that ware out faster so you need more? Cigarettes. They make them burn faster so you smoke more (with a side-effect that they are more likely to cause fires).


- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.
I don't follow the reasoning here at all. If it were profitable to automate "many processes", why are they not automated under capitalism? (And furthermore, under what alternative system would they be?)

- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable.
There are no "very helpful products" that aren't profitable. The only reason alleged "revolutionary and very helpful products" aren't profitable is because they're inefficient to make, and thus waste money that could be spent on increasing wealth, i.e. standard of living instead (which is why government feels the need to take money by force to pay for these "revolutionary and very helpful products", on a side note. The problem isn't that people aren't investing in the products, it's that they're not helpful in the first place.)

- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit.
Haha, and if those who are paying for it find out, they'll lose their job, too (or even be sued for fraud; namely for taking money for providing a service they didn't intend to provide.)

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health,
Mllions of lives saved by for-profit health care say otherwise. Again, don't forget that what you're describing is borderline-fraud, just like the "cancer research team"; as far as I know, capitalism doesn't allow for fraud.

Capitalism allows for lying (which is a form of fraud), as well as stretching the truth, bais reviews, fake reviews, presenting only one side of the argument. (do you think drug companies would put the list of side-effects in commercials if they didn't have to?)


- Owners of companies leech off of the workers who actually create the tangible value.
Let me put it the other way around. Workers leech off of the owners of the equipment they use, because they take money for what the employer's equipment does; they merely guide it, so to speak. That's, of course, an absurd argument. The whole employer-employee relationship is based on the fact that both believe they can profit from it. If they didn't, the relationship wouldn't exist.

The fear of being homeless is as non-coersive as the fear of being put thrown in jail for not paying taxes is non-coersive.

Both rely on the fear of what will happen if they don't comply.


- Profit isn't based on resource needs. We live in a country where overproduction is a problem, yet we have a high rate of poverty.
Define "overproduction" (and, for that matter, define "poverty".)

In fact, our government pays farms to burn their crops to maintain a scarcity to keep food prices high (because the government and Capitalists are working with each other).
Which, you assert, is compatible with capitalism? Remember that government must first take the money from its owner before it can redistribute it.

Yes, capitalists wish to maximise profits. If that means keeping supply low to force price up, then it is.


- Those who accumulate Capital gain power and thus have social influence (control) over how society works, thus creating an authority/slave relationship.
That's correct up to the groundless assertion that this somehow makes those with less "power" slaves.

- Workers don't own the products of their own labor.
Bull. If they don't own "the products of their own labor", then how can they possibly sell it to an employer..? Wages are merely the price of labor, i.e. the price paid for the service provided by the laborer.

But the Laborer doesn't set the price, the price is told to them. The only way for there to be a balance where people can actually negotiate wages with any force, is if they have the realistic option to not work (hold out for something better). Once that option is taken away (i.e. the worker is kept on a paycheck to paycheck rate), the negotiating table is offset and no longer balanced (insert labor unions to offset that imbalance).
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Danielle
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5/11/2011 2:54:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:30:18 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
You are being so silly. The silliness is attacking capitalism as he defines it, then claiming that capitalism is something else.

Please show me where I once attacked capitalism (hint: you won't be able to). I merely said that laissez faire capitalism is not the only kind of capitalism.

That may well be, but then we'll have to invent a new term, say "asdfism" for what he's advocating. That doesn't change the fact that he's advocating that specific position and if you want to argue with him about the position, you'll have to concede at least its definition.

I have known Ragnar for 3 years. I know exactly what he's advocating. I didn't argue with his avocation directly (aside from bringing up the problem of private property, which he ignored) though I could if I wanted to. Instead, I corrected his position that capitalism ONLY refers to laissez faire capitalism.

The argument isn't about the definition of capitalism, it's about the position he calls capitalism.

No kidding.
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J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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5/11/2011 2:55:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 1:56:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I mentioned in another thread that my Socio-Political Philosophy Professor is anti-Capitalist and gave convincing arguments why, and J_Kenyon request that I present them. (A small bit of these are things I added myself, but it's mostly my Prof's arguments.)

Here it goes:

Arguments Against Capitalism

Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." [1] Because Capitalism's goal is profit, it creates a great hindrance to many things.

That's one definition of capitalism. Libertarians define capitalism as a system of negative rights. There is nothing about negative rights that entails every pursuit must be undertaken for profit. There are plenty of non-profit businesses. Within a system of negative rights, you can go live in a voluntary commune with Rob and his pot smoking commie friends.

I think it's more accurate to say "people act on their preferences" or "people seek to maximize their personal utility" rather than "people seek profit." In any case, this observation is totally non-unique to capitalism; it's a universal rule that applies to any system, including socialist systems and political systems.

- Basically, if it's profitable to screw you over, Capitalists will do it!

Again, this is true of any system. If you want to argue that capitalism creates more opportunities to screw people over, then you may have a case.

- Products are purposefully built to make products that don't last. If products lasted a significant amount of time, this would be a detriment to companies who seek to profit from customers who keep coming back and repeatedly buying their perishable products. This leads to the next point below.

That's because there is a demand for it. You almost always have the option of buying something cheap that won't last long, or a more expensive alternative. I can string my tennis racquet with crappy 17L vinyl for $0.05, which will break in about a day, or with a $35 gut/polyester hybrid that will last several weeks. It's a matter of preference.

- Capitalism breeds a demand for more labor rather than efficiency and less labor. We have the production ability to have many processes automated, but because of Capitalism, workers have to do useless, inefficient jobs that could be automated.

This is just...wrong. Lol, it's almost like an upside down Luddite fallacy. Luddites worry that automation will deprive unskilled laborers of work. Not really much to say. If automating tasks is cheaper than paying for unskilled labor, companies will do it.

- People will make intentionally harmful products for profit and will refuse to make revolutionary and very helpful products if they are not profitable.

What are you going to do? Force them to develop technologies that you arbitrarily decide are "good?"

So actual progress and utility isn't necessarily encouraged. Profit is. We could get rid of gas cars and instead have cheap, green, fuel-efficient, and advanced vehicles, but if it's not profitable, we won't do it (*cough* oil companies *cough*).

Lol, if advanced, green, fuel efficient cars can be made cheaply, then it would be a profitable venture and companies would be doing it. You're trying to have your cake and eat it too here. The fact that companies aren't making these cars indicates that they are not profitable.

In fact, there's many suppressed technologies out there that should be available but aren't partly due to Capitalism (and in today's society, partly due to government regulation).

There's your mistake. You're taking your own individual value judgment and universalizing it. What if I don't want a green car? What if I don't want to pay for wind energy because it's too expensive? Some people are willing to pay more for green products; others aren't. The market works to satisfy consumer demand. Just because it doesn't do what you want it to do doesn't mean it's failing.

Free market environmentalism is an issue in and of itself, and one that I've been looking to debate for a while. I figured Danielle might be up for it in the tournament, but then she disappeared :(

- Cancer research teams are discouraged to find a cure for cancer because if they find the cure, they lose their job and their means of income, aka profit. So long as the search for a cancer cure exists, there will be a need for a cancer research team.

You're arbitrarily assuming a conflict of interest exists. Sure, if Company A makes tissues and cough syrup, they aren't going to want to find a cure for the common cold. Company B, however, might. If you want a real life example, horse drawn carriage manufacturers, for obvious reasons, vehemently opposed the development of the automobile. More often than not, big companies will try to use the government to stifle up and coming competition. The business tax is a good example of this.

As for cancers researchers not wanting to put themselves out of a job...companies could just offer a lump sum of cash to whomever finds the cure. Problem solved.

- Pharmaceutical companies seek profit, not your health, and thus don't provide products that actually better your health, but rather act as a bandaid so that you keep coming back for more to keep purchasing their pharmaceutical products. In fact, there are cases where there are natural remedies which actually heal health problems, but because they're natural, pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and thus won't provide it unless they try to artificially create a chemical which mimics it in order to patent the natural remedy and thus make a profit off of a less efficient product.

First of all, most libertarians oppose intellectual property (ie., patents), but I'll engage this point just for the sake of argument.

This is just poor logic. Let's say you have two products, Product A and Product B. They produce identical results. Product A costs a great deal to develop and manufacture, but it is patented, and thus the company that produces it has a monopoly. Product B is the natural alternative. Generally, when you have a monopoly over something, you can charge an exorbitant price, but, and this is crucial, not when other alternatives exist. It doesn't matter if Company A has a monopoly on product A, if a dozen other companies are all selling B at far lower prices, only an idiot would buy A. You could argue that all the companies might conspire not to produce B, but then you're just arguing that capitalism leads to monopolization, which is an entirely different point.

So, ceteris paribus, Product B should win out. The reason it doesn't in today's market place is because of the FDA, which prevents new cures from entering the market on a routine basis. This point really underlines the futility of trying to regulate business. The power players usually just end up "capturing" their regulators and using it to stifle competition. For example, the ban on tobacco product advertisements just helps companies like Marlboro. Everybody has already heard of Marlboro; they don't need to advertise. It's their smaller competitors that need to advertise.
Lionheart
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5/11/2011 2:57:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
CEOs don't create any wealth, the workers do. Shareholders don't create any wealth, the workers do. So you have the people that are not creating the wealth, that end up with the most of it, simply because they have wealth to start with.

This is one of the worst problems in my opinion.

Also.... outsourcing.
"Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power."


- Lionheart -
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/11/2011 3:14:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:38:49 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 5/11/2011 12:25:41 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I asked about advocates, not strawman descriptions.

You said, "Where are these advocates of capitalism that do not advocate a free market?" This is fallacious.
No, if it's fallacious you can name the fallacy.

Right there you're implying that only those who abide by YOUR description of capitalism (free market) are indeed capitalist , whereas I have just explained that capitalism, though it has no precise definition, can be categorized as referring to an economic system in which the means of some production are privately owned.
You're leaving out the fact that I'm asking you to find me someone who calls themself a capitalist advocating one of those. THAT is why they are strawmen. If no self-declared capitalists advocate them, then the only basis we have for calling them capitalism is a bunch of Marxist slur. That's not legitimate, any more than it would be legitimate for me to say "Well, I call genocide communist, therefore communism is about killing the darkies." If I wish to have an even remotely plausible claim of this, I instead need to find a self-declared communist telling us all about how communism means he's in favor of killing the darkies.

Do you need a lesson on the etymology of the words capital and capitalism? Because I'd be happy to oblige.
The etymology is "Marxist slur." It was only later that people used it to describe their own ideology-- which had to do with exchanges in markets.


Calling mercantilism capitalism is pretty silly, and I've never heard of an advocate of any of those calling what they advocate capitalism.

That's your opinion and your experience, yet doesn't negate anything I've said.
It does, UNTIL YOU FIND SUCH AN ADVOCATE. Unlike you, who CLAIM I'm being fallacious without naming the fallacy, I can name your fallacy-- straw man.

Where in the description of capitalism (try Google? Wiki?) does it say that everything has to privately owned in order to qualify something as capitalism?
Irrelevant, my point was that nothing is legally treated as genuinely privately owned. See eminent domain, taxation, etc.
In any case, neither Google nor Wikipedia is an advocate of capitalism. When defining capitalism, the capitalists have primacy. Anything else is straw man. (Name dropping Google and Wikipedia like that is also bordering on both ad authoritatem and argument from intimidation.)

Also, we have the term "mixed economy," why not use that, instead of muddling up a word like Capitalism which is supposed to mean something more substantive? Plus, if the mere existence of some form of private property is sufficient to demonstrate capitalism, and that form can be incomplete, you are claiming that most forms of communism and socialism are capitalist, since most of their advocates insist that some things will be private property.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.