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Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism
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Ken Miller

Locale: Colorado
Tough group on 10/24/2013 21:15:24 MDT Print View

You west coast guys are a tough bunch, but then again everybody thinks alike when they are surrounded by like thinkers.

I have always wondered how liberals so bent on critical thinking and diversity are so intolerant of differing opinions. Those who have differing views are vilified, stereotyped and demeaned.

It's so much like group think, pass the wine and cheese.

Any rate continue to blame whom ever you dislike, take responsibility for nothing and feel good about no results.

Peace out, I am heading for the mountains.

But fear the water, it is everywhere!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Huge leap on 10/24/2013 21:21:23 MDT Print View

Bye Ken. So many on the best coast were from someplace else where their values were formed. Douches are everywhere. Even in CO.

I've got messed up relatives in Golden.

Edited by kthompson on 10/24/2013 21:22:11 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 21:38:54 MDT Print View

"Do you have some? What are they? Discuss."

I'd like an economic system where cans of chili are used as currency, houses are defunct school buses parked off grid in the Cascades (next closest bus is no closer than 5 miles), and I'm paid 100 cans of chili per week to write manifestos.

I think this response just put me on the no fly list.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 21:40:43 MDT Print View

"An economy that needs to be stimulated; a population that is encouraged to consume goods whether they need them or not, whether they can afford the goods or not a solid economy to me."

I won't disagree with that

I'm just saying that if the government creates money out of thin air and pays people to do things, unemployment will go down, the GDP number will increase, etc. That's how they define stimulation of the economy. People that now have jobs will be happy at least in the short run. Businesses that sell stuff to them will be happy.

But then eventually the government has to pay it back which depresses the economy. All that extra money that was created will cause inflation, so the government has to tax people and then cancel out some of the money that was created out of thin air.

Keynes - deficit in bad economy and surplus in good economy - lessen depressions and boom periods.

And I'm including the Federal Reserve with the government.

It's not obvious to me what would happen if people bought half as much and kept it twice as long. It seems like it would be a good thing - conserve resources, produce less polution. But if people started buying half as much, all the businesses would sell half as much so they'de make half as much, they'de have to lay off half of their people. It would be catastophic for the economy. If you wanted to do this you would have to do it very carefully. Maybe find something useful for businesses and people to do rather than making all that un-necesary crap.

My cars are 1996 and 2000. I have never borrowed any money to speak of except for houses. I agree with you personally - I don't buy things that I don't need and can't afford and when I see people that do this I don't understand.

(of course the crack about the real economists was sort of a joke - forgot the sarcasm font)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 21:44:19 MDT Print View

I don't even consider capitalism to be an economic system. Capitalism, in it's pure form is the voluntary exchange of goods and services. Individuals make a conscious decision to purchase those goods or services if it benefits them. It is the natural state of an economy without government control. There is nothing inherently evil or good about it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 22:12:01 MDT Print View

"There is nothing inherently evil or good about it."

For sure

But, without government control, the natural state is for individuals to start cheating each other. Creating monopolies. Spending most of their energy figuring out how to drive the other guy out of business so that if he has no competitors he can raise prices. Spending most of their energy doing marketing to get people to buy their product.

Like how Rockefeller monopolized oil, Carnegie monopolized steel, etc. (and Bill Gates monoplized PC software)

Or Jesse Livermore. He would spread rumours that a company was going out of business. People would panic, sell the stock, price would go down. Livermore bought a bunch of stock cheap. Then he spread rumours the company was going great, everyone would buy like crazy and the price would go up, Livermore would sell and became wealthy. Read "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator".

The right amount of government regulation will be better for a democracy.

Or maybe with government regulation you get corruption and in the end things will be worse? Too complicated to figure out just thinking about it. Seems like the right amount of government regulation is best.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 22:18:33 MDT Print View

"Capitalism, in it's pure form is the voluntary exchange of goods and services."

If only the world was pure and all exchanges were voluntary.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/24/2013 23:19:49 MDT Print View

WARNING: Just opinions... no answers...

As most everyone knows - there is neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism / communism in society. So why so much argument pro vs. con regarding capitalism or socialism? False choice, no?

Some folks who don't like the idea of government mandated health care slap the label "socialist medicine" and condemn it outright - but would defend their Medicare benefits tooth and nail! Go figure...

IMHO, while there can never be a perfect system for any society of millions... it seems a system that can take care of the most is some blend of both capitalism and socialism - which is in fact what most of the world's economic systems are... the difference being one of degrees. So why do so many look at this as some sort of black / white issue?

The question (to me) is how to blend a system that will take care of those who are truly unable to care for themselves - and how to provide TEMPORARY care for those who can work but are still looking for work - all without taking away the work ethic - meaning allowing for real suffering for those who can work but won't?

Dave Stoller
Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism" on 10/24/2013 23:25:54 MDT Print View

"Capitalism is what people do".

Sharing is what some other people do."

Capitalism and sharing are mutually exclusive? I consider myself a proud capitalist and I'm all about sharing, ask anyone. Less enamored of coercion though.

"The most strident Lefties I know are fervent capitalists in their personal lives."

Just as the most strident Righties are fervent socialists when it comes to their families, loved ones, churches, temples, or any other small-scale social structure."

I'm trying to understand this comment and give you the benefit of the doubt that it's not just snark. Are you saying that "sharing" among families and churches etc. is a right-wing thing and somehow less legitimate than "sharing" laundered through a central government? I personally know many strident "Righties" who have travelled great distances at great expense to help people with whom they have no connection whatsoever.

Where do they fall in your worldview?

Is a large-scale social structure better than a small-scale one? I don't think so. Simply looking at world history of the 20th century ought to dispel that notion.

Dave Stoller
"Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism" on 10/24/2013 23:31:26 MDT Print View

"Actually it has a lot in common with the old Soviet system. In both, the shortage is divided among the peasants."

Umm, what?

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/25/2013 01:00:16 MDT Print View

"Me and all the real economists"

Hahaha. Nice one, but absolutely false. And yes, this is coming from an "economist". At least according to my business card.....

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/25/2013 07:36:42 MDT Print View

"Me and all the real economists"

Hahaha. Nice one, but absolutely false. And yes, this is coming from an "economist". At least according to my business card.....

Somewhat tongue in cheek : )

Don't all of the Federal Reserve people believe that a deficit and manipulating the money supply in general affect the economy? Including Greenspan who is a hard core Libertarian? Those are a pretty good collection of economists.

There's a lot of disagreement about how much to do or whether it's a good thing or not.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism on 10/25/2013 09:55:05 MDT Print View

Dave, it's pretty basic:
Capitalism is based on private control of means of production and property.
Socialism is based on shared (socialized) means of production and property.

Sharing and capitalism are not mutually exclusive but capitalism is, by definition, primarily about the individual rights and private ownership.

Think about the difference between private land vs. nationalized, public lands. One is based on protecting the individual (who may or may not choose to share their land), while the other is structured entirely around the idea of sharing for the common good.

My main issue is with bullshit blanket statements alluding to one system or the other somehow being the "natural state of mankind".

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Tribes, the natural state. on 10/25/2013 12:50:31 MDT Print View

"Malcolm Gladwell expanded on this conclusion sociologically in his book, The Tipping Point where one of his types - Connectors - were successful due to their larger than average number of close friendships and capacity for maintaining them which tie otherwise unconnected social groups together. According to these studies, then, "tribalism" is in some sense an inescapable fact of human neurology, simply because many human brains are not adapted to working with large populations. Once a person's limit for connection is reached, the human brain must resort to some combination of hierarchical schemes, stereotypes, and other simplified models in order to understand so many people."

"What are the nature and the causes of modern tribalism? Philosophically, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. It is a logical consequence of modern philosophy. If men accept the notion that reason is not valid, what is to guide them and how are they to live?

Obviously, they will seek to join some group—any group—which claims the ability to lead them and to provide some sort of knowledge acquired by some sort of unspecified means. If men accept the notion that the individual is helpless, intellectually and morally, that he has no mind and no rights, that he is nothing, but the group is all, and his only moral significance lies in selfless service to the group—they will be pulled obediently to join a group. But which group? Well, if you believe that you have no mind and no moral value, you cannot have the confidence to make choices—so the only thing for you to do is to join an unchosen group, the group into which you were born, the group to which you were predestined to belong by the sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient power of your body chemistry.

This, of course, is racism. But if your group is small enough, it will not be called “racism”: it will be called “ethnicity.”"

Edited by oware on 10/25/2013 12:55:30 MDT.

Dave Stoller
"Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism" on 10/25/2013 13:47:31 MDT Print View

It is pretty basic.

"Socialism is based on shared (socialized) means of production and property."

In reality shared ownership means State control. Can you provide an example where that's not true?

Your National Parks example is a good one. We may share ownership but the State can lock us out when they choose to do so, as we've seen.

I never said that capitalism is the "natural state of mankind". I said that it is what people do. When I negotiate my employment agreement that's capitalism. When I sell a car on Craigslist that's capitalism. When my wife and I go out to dinner that's capitalism. Shoot, even choosing the restaurant is a similar transaction.

Look at kids in elementary school swapping lunch items, that's capitalism. It might take a whole apple to get just one cookie. But they work it out. As opposed to being told that an apple is worth two cookies.

Capitalism is what we do. The other "'isms" are political systems.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
if you really wonder on 10/25/2013 16:23:22 MDT Print View

"I have always wondered how liberals so bent on critical thinking and diversity are so intolerant of differing opinions."

You kind of have the answer in your question. Notice how you without saying it mixed up two different things? "critical thinking and diversity" and "differing opinions".

That is quite revealing. An opinion or a belief is just an opinion or belief, and has nothing to do with critical thinking. Anyone can have an opinion or belief, and they do, we all do, but not everyone engages in critical thinking. Critical thinking requires reasoning skills, data, premises that correspond to reality, in an empirically verifiable way, and an ability/willingness to engage in that process, ie, the exact opposite of current neo-con type 'conservatives', who tend to operate almost purely on the basis of belief, faith, and bias confirmed opinions. If we are having a rational discussion and you demonstrate to me that I am wrong, either because my data is wrong, incomplete, or insufficient, or that my reasoning is wrong, and can show where and how that happened, then I will change my view. That is what critical thinking is, and it's why it's not a 'belief or opinion'. If, on the other hand, facts are selected only when they confirm beliefs or opinions, and are rejected when they don't, that is not critical thinking, that's not a discussion, and it's why you see this gulf. Stop rejecting facts and science and you will magically see the doors of dialogue open to you.

If you start babbling beliefs and opinions to me when I'm trying to have an intelligent conversation with you, and insist I respect these opinion no matter how materially or empirically wrong they are, that's absurd, yet that is what nonsense like 'intelligent design' wants you to do. There's a lot of room for intelligent discussion and disagreement, when it is rational,l but not when it's some ridiculous far right religious extremist nonsense, for example, that's not critical thinking engaging, that's just belief and dogma insisting it be taken at the same level of facts and scientific data, or whatever. So don't confuse those two things, we can share with each other what we believe, our opinions, like on sports talk shows, or we can have an intelligent discussion based on facts, data, and critical thinking, but we can't have one side doing one and the other not.

Just the use of the term 'liberals' to describe anyone left of far right itself is revealing, I'm certainly not a liberal, and have very little respect for the so called 'liberal' world, since unsustainable world views are just as silly when labelled rightwing as when labeled 'liberal', both are unsustainable and earth destroying in the end, one is just worse than the other, but not a lot worse.

So if you really want to start to understand this stuff, first of all, stop using the labels you get from the right wing media industry, and start looking at the actual reality, the actual patterns of beliefs, if opposition to government spending is the key, you certainly will not find that on the right, they just want different spending done, handed off to different, generally corporate groups like Blackstone, Military contractors, and so on.

The key to doing critical thinking is simple: have you searched out the best available data generated by the best most reliable sources? If not, why not? Or do you prefer to repeat the blather fox news spreads, like re global warming?

There's nothing at all wrong with conservative views that are actually conservative by the way, they just aren't very common in today's USA, the current crop of ignorance loving far righters certainly don't use critical thinking as their primary tools, but sane 'conseratives' like John Dean make really good sense and are quite rational, they simply have different beliefs than I do for example, but they are rational, but they do not hold the power at this point in our history.

For example, there's a lot of debate within climate change science, and it's a good debate, like, are the models far too conservative, or are they accurate (answer shown time after time: too conservative), will we hit tipping points in 20 years, 40, 80? What happens when we hit it? What happens when global oil production goes into permanent decline, off its current plateau it's been undulating around on since 2008? There's a lot of ways to handle these things, but neither our center right democratic party or far right pulled republican party are doing a single thing to actually deal with the situation so who really cares what their followers think in the first place to be honest.

If I, for example, met a serious libertarian who also was seriously opposed to any power consolidation that would destroy 'free markets' (which have never ever existed anywhere, and serve as a simple fiction to be used to promote various wealth/power consolidation activities as far as I can see), such as large scale corporations, with the same exact vehemence they used against the government, which is the only thing that protects us from that extreme, I'd have no problems with our differences since they wouldn't matter.

Justin: Capitalism is a technical term, it means generating capital using capital, as opposed to generating wealth based on land and food production, which was the earlier model. Market exchanges are not specific to capitalism. Markets are great when operated by individuals, but fail as soon as any entity grows large enough to negatively impact the actual free trade and exchange by individuals because of its excessive power/influence, ie, if one big company can buy more cheaply, and sell at a loss to drive you out of business, which happens all the time, you don't have a free market, and pretending you do is absurd because it's not there, it's a fiction at that point, words only. Capitalism means the accumulation and lending of capital, at interest, and is based on the premise of eternal growth, required to pay off debt/interest, and an externalization of costs disguised as 'profit', but that's a more subtle point that is harder to grasp. Markets, when free and operated by individuals, work really well, as long as they do not externalize their costs, ie, pollution, waste, ecosystem destruction, etc.

Party on, usually I ignore these threads since I'm not a 'liberal' and I'm not a 'conservative', I just don't like non sustainable human social systems, and I like all sustainable ones, however they have evolved over millenia in the past, what works works.

Edited by hhope on 10/25/2013 16:41:24 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Opinions on economic systems that are not global neoliberal capitalism" on 10/25/2013 17:38:04 MDT Print View

"Umm, what?"

What is 100% - 1%?

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: on 10/26/2013 07:33:32 MDT Print View thoughts on alternatives then. Ok.