The Fallacy of the Capitalist Natural Order

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Capitalist purists like to speak of the natural order of supply and demand. Too many workers? Then we don't need to pay you as much. But who decides on how much the boss makes- is there a natural order for that? What determines if the boss/owner makes 100k, 500k, or 10m per year? This is the issue with capitalism. I argue there is no "natural" pre-ordained order, there are only human beings who decide how altruistic or how greedy they will be. The economic system we live under in part puts constraints on the excesses at both ends of the economic spectrum. Conservatives and the Republican Party mean to remove the constraints that exist within our U.S. economic system. This can be readily seen in the corporate board room salaries and in exportation of tens of millions of domestic jobs. This is why you don't want Republican's running the show. However this is not a blanket endorsement of Democrats. In most ways they are inept. I want someone leading the country who is effective and looks out for the well being of the majority, not just the well off. You can have a system that pays for everyone's medical if you want one, if it is a priority, right Canada?
     
  2. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #2
    A: Boards of directors. Usually composed entirely of other CEOs. It's sort of a circle jerk of excessive compensation.

    Also, said CEOs will usually receive a bonus equalling or exceeding the combined salaries of those laid off in the previous year.
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Hence don't believe the ******** you may hear about natural order. ;)
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    The whole McCarthyist Red Scare and even the Cold War has set the US back a good 4 decades in terms of economic thought and social well being. The current Republican Party is made up of puppets with billionaires holding the strings.

    The Founding Fathers would be rolling in their graves to know that the US has been sold to the biggest bidder and the common American is barely worthy to wipe their butts.
     
  5. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I think the biggest problem the US economy is facing is Globalization. We've priced ourselves out of the Global Wage market. Problem is if we completely deregulate things we will only get pulled down to the level of other countries.

    I don't have a ****ing clue what the solution is. Seems like a huge cluster**** that will hopefully stabilize itself over the next 10-20 years. It's gonna hurt like hell but I don't see any way around it.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    We've priced ourselves out of the market because of our stupid health care system. Companies here have to pay benefits to employees, while other countries' companies don't. It's not rocket science. It's our biggest problem. If we don't get health care off the backs of corporations and move to single payer like the rest of the world, we're sunk.
     
  7. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #7
    Globalization is not a threat, it's an eventuality. Yes current western market wages are much higher than Asian and South American manufacturing; putting western manufacturing at a disadvantage. Wage equilibrium is very difficult to achieve globally though, you have to contend with different governments, import/export treaties, and the 'stickiness' of wages (wages go up easy, but there's a fight when lowering them).

    Eventually the real wage of manufacturing will come down in western markets and rise in the cheaper markets... however it seems regulations are more in place to maintain the global status quo rather than moving to a long run equilibrium. ... Which is not capitalist either. :eek:
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #8
    Nope, wage equilibrium is easy, all you have to do is demand it. Tom Clancy had the right idea.

    The problem we have is that we have allowed countries that don't pay a living wage to compete with us. We have allowed us companies to ship our jobs overseas. Simple solution is to equalize wages over the entire planet regardless of currency. If you work 10 hours in Africa, you should be paid an equivelent amount of money as to 10 hours in Asia, the US, anywhere.

    If you do that, then labor competes with labor, not things that are out of their control (like evil dictators, socilism, facism, etc...)
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #9
    What if the equivalent amount, and by this I assume you mean taking things like cost of living and exchange rate into consideration, is still less in absolute monetary value in country X than country Y? For example, if one middle class worker in the US costs the same as 10 middle class workers in Mexico is it not still cheaper to move operations over to Mexico?

    Even if there was only one global currency that everyone used wages would still be fluctuate depending on cost of living.


    Lethal

    EDIT: Oh, and I do agree that all economic '-ism's' (capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.,) are man made constructs and thus don't have a 'natural order' to them. Things like the food chain and physics exist whether or not human beings are around. Capitalism does not.
     
  10. Raid, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #10
    Yeah simple to say, not so simple to implement. I'm going to avoid the purchasing power parity argument in your initial example, because I bet you assume that the global prices of goods would also become standard. However there's a much larger political argument; in a nutshell, if you 'force' a global wage isn't that dictatorial, or communist?

    ^ This also brings up the factor of labour productivity parity... which further muddies the water in trying to reach a global wage equilibrium.
     
  11. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    #11
    I don't believe in capitalism anymore. An economic crisis after only 3 years? It used to be 30. It's always going to end in recessions: if someone makes money, then someone else has to lose money (as you can't create money out of thin air - the only way is to create debt).

    I just wish more people would realize the current system doesn't work, and try to improve it. But it would require a change of mind that is probably unheard of.
     
  12. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    But the Western world (particularly the United States) uses vastly more resources than the rest of the world. If I remember correctly it would require the resources of six planet earths if everyone wanted to live like the average American family.

    We have to face some truths if we wan't to see fairness and balance in a global society.

    Some things to consider:

    -The suburb must die, it is monstrously inefficient for people to live in suburbs and small towns. It requires a ton of energy to heat, cool and provide amenities for every individual residence. And then people need to travel each family ends up having multiple cars which they drive constantly wasting massive amounts of fuel and we end up wasting resources building thousands of vehicles.

    If we want to live efficiently everyone should live in the cities, a-lot more walking and biking and public transportation. The "freedom" of suburbia is totally un-sustainable.

    -Patriotism mus die it's time that people stop being "proud" of being Americans, or Germans, or Spaniards. People are just people no matter where they live if we can stop trying to "beat" each other and "win" the whole damn time than maybe we can get something done.

    National pride is a dumb idea based on the concept that "they" are somehow fundamentally different and inferior to "us".

    -Materialism must die The obsession with always having another toy (Irony of stating this on a mac form) needs to go. Our economy is based on people always wanting more more more. We need to learn to focus much less on material objects (new car, new house, new computer, new phone) because the rate which we produce these things is totally un-sustainable.

    Production needs to be focused on sustainability and recycle ability.

    And of course there are hundreds of other changes big and small we need to make to the global human ethic.

    I'm not exactly hopeful :rolleyes: but we'll see.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    Good luck with all that- not gonna happen any time soon.
     
  14. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Ohhh, crap. Cue the "pie" responses.
     
  15. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #15
    Yea, for real, someone didn't watch fivepoint's favorite video! ;)
     
  16. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Is anyone familiar with the Resource Based Ecomony theory? I know the Zeitgeist films are looked at as complete nonsense but the 2nd and 3rd films actually propose a solution to what the creators consider is our main problem globally is that we have a monetary based society.

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/a-new-social-design/resource-based-economy

    Watch 2 and 3 and try to ignore the CT stuff in them.
    http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/
     
  17. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #17
    They don't need to die, but they do need to be restructured in order to save on fuel costs. Bringing back a true city center, green markets with local produce and telecommuting can help. Fuel costs may be mitigated by more efficient electric cars. Also, I'm not sure what you are basing the assumption that an individual residence is necessarily more expensive to cool than the glass apartment buildings being built in Manhattan(and other cities) which don't have windows that open and heat up like a greenhouse in the summer without constant a/c. Sounds like you're in a bit of an urban bubble.

    I agree that the tea party version of patriotism should go. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with having pride in what your particular society has accomplished. If we are all just loyal to ourselves, we'll never be able to rise up and meet challenges as a society.

    I agree, but I don't think you're going to convince people to stop buying things if we want to maintain even a partial market economy. Besides, the real reason all this production is unsustainable is because the population is too large and increasing every day. Wanna help with escalating production? Don't have kids.
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #18
    We're not really done with the one that began in 2008.

    Too many people are unemployed and too many jobs have been lost to offshoring and technological obsolescence to let us bounce back quickly.

    We actually have labor shortages in many sectors such as engineering, chemistry, biotech and medicine. The problem is that too few of our children can fill those gaps right now and in the next 10 years. We're going to need to bring in educated immigrants to fill those gaps or risk losing even more industries to other countries.

    Some countries have figured out how to make it work. Germany and Sweden (even France really) are all doing ok despite having a currency bogged down by the likes of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland. They carefully manage the destructive elements of capitalism so that people aren't in poverty when an industry disappears.
     
  19. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I live in Virginia and opening a window during the summer is absolutely not an option, thanks to the humidity. When I lived in New Mexico opening a window at night was a good way to cool down but in any humid environment you generally want to keep the windows closed.

    Advantage of apartment buildings:

    -Generally only one wall to the outside (while a house is generally connected to the ground, 4 outside walls and a roof). Greatly decreased surface area means that consistent temperatures are much easier to maintain.
    -Centralized heating a cooling units, a neighborhood has 100's of heat pumps much more difficult to maintain than a single industrial sized heating/cooling unit.

    As for cars, while the electric car is a good thing it is still reliant on battery technology and the initial energy source. Until we develop a clean and functionally infinite source of power the electric car is no magic bullet.

    Local produce is great in theory but it means people getting used to very different eating patterns and they aren't necessarily willing to compromise.


    I don't believe in human isolationism to any degree at all. But I would prefer to see myself as a member of the human race with all of it problems and wonders rather than "an American".

    Patriotism is just a larger form of isolationism, you isolate your self from "other" countries and cultures and imagine that yours is superior (for largely arbitrary reasons).

    Either we learn to live together or were going to die together. Hell we might die any way our planet, solar system, etc. isn't an especially friendly place. So why should we spend our time trying to kill each other when nature is quite happy to do that for us?


    I plan on only having one kid, and yes overpopulation is certainly one of the BIG problems humanity is facing. Global regulation of birth rates and greater human movement could aid this problem (people where people are needed and general birth rate controls.

    I honestly don't think any of this stuff will actually happen though. I think as a whole people are just not evolutionary winners. Were enormously short sighted, frighteningly ignorant, extremely fragile, and extremely clever while often failing to be actually intelligent/wise.

    I think if humanity is too survive (for say the next 10000 years say) it will be thanks to technological advances rather than a change to our global ethics.
     
  20. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #20
    The suburb is in a process of transformation. The exurbs of the last twenty years are history. What we'll now see is many inner ring suburbs become satellite towns. Cities can only get so big before they are ungovernable. I think the reason why Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco always receive such high livability ratings is because they are physically constrained by geography.

    The Slow Food movement came about in part because some hyper national, mostly American fast food movement was almost obliterating some of the most wonderful aspects of regional food. I don't want to live in a Wall-E world. Preserving ethnicity is really important. I'm also not sure that we're ready for a T-Ball world, where everybody gets a trophy regardless of their actual achievement. Should we reward the Greeks financially for destroying their own country? I honestly think that we need to address the Ottoman corruption that created the morally corrupt Greek nation of today. Of course, we should also include the morally bankrupt American bankers who made it all possible...

    As long as there is a national ethos, then nationalism will live on.

    Materialism is in essence human desire. How can you obliterate that?

    Exactly, and this is the point that will shape 21st century economic study. What happens when populations do not grow exponentially? How can economies grow without a constantly increasing birth rate?

    I really look forward to the answer to that question.

    All three countries recognize the value of public/private partnerships and unions in those countries are viewed as positive contributors to society. The US is so far behind.

    Do you not appreciate any form of regionalism? I live in California's snowless central valley but I love to play in snow and I love the rituals that come with it. The steamed up glasses, the smell of wet wool, the warmth of a cup of coffee. frost on the trees, hot soups and stews. I dare say that people from Sweden are also inordinately fond of sandy Spanish beaches, the spiciness of paella and the warming summer sun. Climate dictates national character and behaviour much more than we are willing to admit. You can't change climate any more than you can change the dourness of a northern European. To paraphrase Thomas Church, our character comes from the genius of the place we come from.

    I'm no fan of rampant patriotism, but I love regional character and never want to see it die.
     
  21. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    A specific U.S. political party spouts there is no role for big government. Does anyone here think that party gives a damn about quality domestic jobs? Does anyone here think that large multinational corporations are patriotic? I don't. They will sell out any domestic work force in any country in the name of profits.

    This is what government was designed to do, look out for the well being of its citizens. This is specifically what the Republican Party wants no part of. So when they tell you they care about jobs, they do. They just don't care about your jobs.

    My disclaimer is that I don't really know if the Democrats have what it takes to make the right decisions even if they were in a position to do so.

    Newsweek: America's Workers Get Stiffed Again

    There are two interesting points in this article. It outlines the move of Delphi who used to operate 41 U.S. plants and employed 50000 workers. Today it has 5000 workers in the U.S. and 100000 workers somewhere else.

    So while there are pressures that drive manufacturing jobs overseas the Republican mantra of lower taxes creates jobs is BS when you have corporations actively moving their operations out of the country. I acknowledge there is still the reality of "the cost to make". If U.S. workers or any Western workers have a prayer of regaining manufacturing jobs, we must insist on a level playing field around the world. For example environmental laws.

    The other point in this article is that it takes the government to actively promote policies that are conducive to job creation. Again, to hear the GOPpers spout, the only thing that can be done is lower taxes.

    However:
    There is definitely a role for big government, something Republicans want no part of. John Q Public, are you really going to trust them for the future of your lively hoods?
     
  22. bassfingers macrumors 6502

    bassfingers

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    #22
    American workers just so expensive. Unions have ruined the American economy. Unions are like the kid selling lemonade for $5 dollars a cup who cries about people taking their business next door.
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    You got it wrong buddy. America's dysfunctional health care system has ruined the US economy. Germany is a powerhouse when it comes to exports yet has arguably the strongest unions in the world. Can you explain why it works in Germany but not in the US?
     
  24. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    I remember a discussion in this forum regarding how technology was taking jobs and the term Luddites was mentioned, but I can't locate it so I've revived this thread which is related.

    Great discussion on Morning Joe this morning about how technology is destroying the Middle Class. So the Luddites do have a basis for their fear! In Japan it's called "kudokan" or “empty hall”. The author of an article on the subject said that it was government policies and attitudes that hurt the Middle Class for lack of adequate affordable training programs and being anti-union. Say what you will about unions, but if they function properly, help the worker hang on to their wages and their life style.

    My argument has always been that as a society you just don't let the chips fall as they may, but you work towards a society where the wealth is spread one way or another.

    Now while this is happening a group of conservatives in their simplistic, self serving philosophy say, if you don't like what you are being paid, quit, go out and find a better job as if that is absolutely no problem.
     
  25. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #25

    I don't understand what about this is so difficult to see. We decry the current state of affairs but then don't look the times past where we weren't in our current state and to top that we won't look abroad to nations that aren't in our state.

    It's like we're shooting our selves in the foot and the next guy goes naw man a bit to the left, naw a bit to the right and on and on. Lets just put the gun down.
     

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