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Muda69

The Case for Capitalism

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https://reason.com/2019/06/19/the-case-for-capitalism/#comments

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Presidential candidates and the media keep telling people "it's immoral" that a few rich people have so much more money than everyone else.

They talk as if it doesn't matter what the rich did to get the money. Instead, the fact that they are rich is itself immoral.

Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute says this is lunacy. "They want to condemn the people that actually have moved civilization forward," Brook complains. "People who improved the standard of living for everybody on the planet."

Everybody? How is that possible? Isn't there a certain amount of money in the world, so that when rich people grab a lot there's less for everyone else?

No. Because wealth can be created.

But for thousands of years, that barely happened.

"We basically made about $2 a day for 100,000 years—in other words, we could eat what we farmed," recounts Brook. "Then (250 years ago) something amazing happened."

That "amazing" thing was capitalism.

For the first time, ordinary people were allowed to profit from private property. Specialization of labor created efficiency that let people produce more with less. Then they traded to get more. That created wealth.

"Two-hundred and fifty years ago, we suddenly discovered the value of individual freedom," says Brook in my new video. "The value of leaving individuals free to think, to innovate, to produce without asking for permission, without getting the state to sign off on it—and we call that the Industrial Revolution."

But ever since, politicians have complained about the profits. In the movie based on Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, state officials demand that steel magnate Hank Rearden justify his wealth.

"I do not owe you an answer, but I could tell you in a hundred ways," replies Rearden. "Thousands of jobs, billions in revenue, fueling our economy despite your efforts."

Rearden was very right. Capitalism created new wealth.

"We got much, much, much richer, it's hard to imagine," explains Brook. "We got electricity, running water, things we all take for granted today but we didn't have 150 years ago. And yes, some people complain about inequality, but everybody got richer. Even the poor got richer."

Much richer. That's the key point.

Capitalism's critics imply that rich industrialists "took" money from others—as if the world's wealth is one pie. If Amazon founder Jeff Bezos takes a big piece, then the rest of us have less.

But that's not how life works. Bezos got rich by baking thousands of new pies. He created new wealth.

Capitalism creates wealth because under capitalism, unlike socialism, transactions are voluntary.

We see this every time we buy something.

At the coffee shop, I give a clerk a dollar and she hands me coffee. Then there's a weird double "thank you!" moment: We both say "thank you." Why?

Because both of us felt we were better off.

Under capitalism, we both must like the deal, or the transaction doesn't happen. She wanted my dollar more than the coffee; I wanted the coffee more than the dollar. It's win-win.

The only way to get rich under capitalism (unless you cheat) is to serve your customers well.

We live with that kind of winning every day in capitalist countries, and it's made almost everyone better off.

Since the Industrial Revolution, recounts Brook, "We have more than doubled our life expectancy. We have dramatically increased the quality of our life, and we are wealthier than anybody could have imagined."

Today's "democratic" socialists say government must aid the poor and sick because capitalists will only help themselves. But Brook points out, "the weak and poor under capitalism have done better than in any other system!"

Very true.

Capitalism, he concludes, "is a fantastic system that is fundamentally moral because it allows individuals to pursue their own happiness. Your pursuit of your own well-being—a virtue in and of itself—also helps the world be a better world."

Agreed.  

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

"the weak and poor under capitalism have done better than in any other system!"

Here is the challenge though; convince those people they are ok, or that things are not as bad as they seem.

To maybe counter the claim though; this is a comparison among Western countries.

https://www.prb.org/povertyintheunitedstatesandotherwesterncountries/

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36 minutes ago, Irishman said:

Here is the challenge though; convince those people they are ok, or that things are not as bad as they seem.

To maybe counter the claim though; this is a comparison among Western countries.

https://www.prb.org/povertyintheunitedstatesandotherwesterncountries/

Or show them the people in the other countries where things are a whole lot worse than they have it.

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1 hour ago, Irishman said:

Here is the challenge though; convince those people they are ok, or that things are not as bad as they seem.

To maybe counter the claim though; this is a comparison among Western countries.

https://www.prb.org/povertyintheunitedstatesandotherwesterncountries/

Currently the median income in the US is 59K and some change. According to the chart linked 10% of our population is living in deep poverty that is defined as less than 40% of the national median income, 23,6ish. Or roughly an $11 buck an hour job. You can probably survive in rural Indiana on that income but you're going to be in a lot of trouble in a metro area or on the coasts. 

My salary is above the median income, yet I still spend time doing other stuff to make additional money. I like toys, I spend money on stupid stuff at times. My point being while I don't necessarily have two or three jobs, I do stuff for pay in my spare time to earn more money. I'm responsible, I show up when I'm suppose  to, I do what I'm suppose to, I don't require supervision, I am at times required to handle fairly large sums of money, and it all makes it where it's suppose to. 

When our kids were younger, my wife and I both worked 2nd jobs to provide for our family. In many cases our kids had, and we went without. This is the problem as I see it in today's world, people aren't willing to take responsibility for themselves and their families. It's easier to blame the system, the government, the man, whatever for your lack of success.  

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29 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

@DanteEstonia I continually get the "kill me now" tick from you, what is it that's so offensive about my post? Is it the working for what you want or the responsibility thing?

It’s your serf-like attitude.

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8 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

Also, @Impartial_Observer, taking to you makes me want to stick a pistol in my mouth.

Makes me want to drink a tall, frosty mug of Negra Modelo. 

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15 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

It’s your serf-like attitude.

black-kettle.jpg?resize=283,219&ssl=1

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On 6/19/2019 at 2:35 PM, Impartial_Observer said:

Currently the median income in the US is 59K and some change. According to the chart linked 10% of our population is living in deep poverty that is defined as less than 40% of the national median income, 23,6ish. Or roughly an $11 buck an hour job. You can probably survive in rural Indiana on that income but you're going to be in a lot of trouble in a metro area or on the coasts. 

My salary is above the median income, yet I still spend time doing other stuff to make additional money. I like toys, I spend money on stupid stuff at times. My point being while I don't necessarily have two or three jobs, I do stuff for pay in my spare time to earn more money. I'm responsible, I show up when I'm suppose  to, I do what I'm suppose to, I don't require supervision, I am at times required to handle fairly large sums of money, and it all makes it where it's suppose to. 

When our kids were younger, my wife and I both worked 2nd jobs to provide for our family. In many cases our kids had, and we went without. This is the problem as I see it in today's world, people aren't willing to take responsibility for themselves and their families. It's easier to blame the system, the government, the man, whatever for your lack of success.  

Oh I get it, trust me. I am just trying to get people to understand what the predominant mindset is in this day and age. It is a tough argument to sell to someone making less than $40,000 a year though, when we see how many corporations that paid zero dollars in taxes?? As I have stated on previous threads, Walmart is seeing record profits, but a large number of employees are having to get assistance to make ends meet. That is just one example. The typical response has been, don’t like it? Get a better job. But how many industries are we seeing record shortages? Senator Bray told me that 51% of Indiana employers went with unfilled positions last year...and that excluded school districts. There is a problem that we have to wake up to in this country. Socialism is sen as a viable alternative to what we are seeing now. I don’t like it either, but many employers, especially large ones like Amazon, WalMart, and IBM, to name a few, better wake up, or change is a comin, as they say. We all know here, as crazy as she sounds, AOC has a LOT of support. And I have said this since 2015; had Bernie been allowed to win the nomination, he would have defeated Trump. Not a fan, but those are two facts that cannot be ignored, or brushed aside. 

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5 minutes ago, Irishman said:

Oh I get it, trust me. I am just trying to get people to understand what the predominant mindset is in this day and age. It is a tough argument to sell to someone making less than $40,000 a year though, when we see how many corporations that paid zero dollars in taxes?? As I have stated on previous threads, Walmart is seeing record profits, but a large number of employees are having to get assistance to make ends meet. That is just one example. The typical response has been, don’t like it? Get a better job. But how many industries are we seeing record shortages? Senator Bray told me that 51% of Indiana employers went with unfilled positions last year...and that excluded school districts. There is a problem that we have to wake up to in this country. Socialism is sen as a viable alternative to what we are seeing now. I don’t like it either, but many employers, especially large ones like Amazon, WalMart, and IBM, to name a few, better wake up, or change is a comin, as they say. We all know here, as crazy as she sounds, AOC has a LOT of support. And I have said this since 2015; had Bernie been allowed to win the nomination, he would have defeated Trump. Not a fan, but those are two facts that cannot be ignored, or brushed aside. 

I understand the argument. However, AOC is now a congressman, Bernie Sanders has been in congress for nearly 30 years, Joe Biden save the last two years has been in the federal level of government for almost 45 years, the whole lot of them that are railing against corporate taxes are the ones who created the system by which these corporations don't pay taxes. It's the system they built. And now they want to bitch because corporations don't pay any taxes. They're all long on soundbites for the folks, but they're short on actions to back it up. Case in point AOC just this week with her concentration camp vid. She's a member of congress, perhaps she could point us to the legislation she's drafted to solve the problem at the border? 

The bottom line is R and D alike have no interest in solving any problems. Look at the posts on this forum, it's ping pong. More to your point I think we've reached a point in our society where the perception is, I'll vote for you based on the promise of what you'll give me. That's a scary proposition in my opinion. 

 

 

 

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On 6/20/2019 at 4:18 PM, Impartial_Observer said:

I understand the argument. However, AOC is now a congressman, Bernie Sanders has been in congress for nearly 30 years, Joe Biden save the last two years has been in the federal level of government for almost 45 years, the whole lot of them that are railing against corporate taxes are the ones who created the system by which these corporations don't pay taxes. It's the system they built. And now they want to bitch because corporations don't pay any taxes. They're all long on soundbites for the folks, but they're short on actions to back it up. Case in point AOC just this week with her concentration camp vid. She's a member of congress, perhaps she could point us to the legislation she's drafted to solve the problem at the border? 

The bottom line is R and D alike have no interest in solving any problems. Look at the posts on this forum, it's ping pong. More to your point I think we've reached a point in our society where the perception is, I'll vote for you based on the promise of what you'll give me. That's a scary proposition in my opinion. 

 

 

 

Well, perhaps folks in the past were better at wrapping their motivations in loftier-sounding words, but don't you think that most folks, from the dawn of whenever "voting" became a meaningful thing, have cast their votes based on their own self-interests? People convince themselves that they aren't just voting of out self(ish)-interest, but because what's good for them is for the "greater good".

I guess I don't see Americans voting based on their perceived self-interest -- or politicians pandering to that impulse --  as a particularly new thing.  

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On 6/20/2019 at 4:18 PM, Impartial_Observer said:

The bottom line is R and D alike have no interest in solving any problems. Look at the posts on this forum, it's ping pong. More to your point I think we've reached a point in our society where the perception is, I'll vote for you based on the promise of what you'll give me. That's a scary proposition in my opinion. 

Comment of the year so far.

 

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