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Paul Farrell On The 10 "Doomsday Trends" Set To Destroy America

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Tue, 04/19/2011 - 09:24 | 1183489 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

BS - capitalism does not inherently assume fraud, lying, theft and corruption; dont indict a system for failure of individuals

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 09:32 | 1183503 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Backwards thinking.  I commend you for noticing that something is wrong, but the failure is not where you think it is.  

Capitalism IS individuals, that is the "system".  What we have is not capitalism, and you can not blame the failings of our fascist system on capitalism, a concept that has been undermined since 1913, and which has been totally absent for most intents and purposes since 2008.  

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 09:34 | 1183520 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

There has NEVER been true capitalism in any country at any point in human history. It has always been corrupted by the oligarchs. That can also be said about capitalism's supposed archenemy -- communism. Any kind of "ism" is nothing more than an ideological smokescreen for the financial elites to use to their own advantage against the rest of the country's populace.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 09:43 | 1183541 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

The CEO of JP Morgan, one of the big beneficiaries of the bailouts, received in his total compensation 843 times the median household income of the United States.

Dimon’s total compensation jumped nearly 1,500 percent to $20.8 million in 2010 from $1.3 million a year earlier, based on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s compensation formula, a regulatory filing showed.

Dimon did even better in terms of the value of money and shares actually received: his salary, bonus and stock and options from grants made largely in previous years that were actually exercised in 2010 were worth around $42 million.

By way of comparison, real median U.S. household income was just $49,777 in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

http://www.mybudget360.com/banks-gone-wild-jp-morgan-ceo-makes-843-times...

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 09:54 | 1183571 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Hey what did u expect: they have the best Congress and White house money can buy.

 

Ps--This has all already been covered by Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:03 | 1183618 tmosley
tmosley's picture

So?  THat doesn't excuse calling real, literal fascism "capitalism".

I'm not making a "no true free markets" argument, I am admonishing people for twisting the meanings of words.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:29 | 1183762 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

most of the posters here cant read.  they play ZH like a video game

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:11 | 1184018 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

some of them cant write propurly either

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:43 | 1184468 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

I feel ya.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:30 | 1184097 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Perfect competition should theoretically impose normalized profits on any particular market...  what capitalism and economists in general ignore or, at the very least, fail to appreciate is the degree to which rational actors will behave to avoid the normalization of profit.  I contend that we simply wear different economic dresses, none of which fit perfectly nor are particularly flattering...  and, in periodic fits of rage, we decide to burn a particular dress and only wear another...  until it wears out its welcome the same...

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:05 | 1183639 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

What crap.

 

The 'goal' of capitalism is for each individual to 'accumulate capital' - hence the name. It's a little foolish to complain about this happening when it's the aim of the game!

This is where so many people get confused, you don't like the result of the game - but it is inevitable. It's also inevitable that when people are successful and accumulate capital - the result is they can use that capital privilege to help them accumulate more - with decreasing effort and ingenuity.

 

The existance of the oligarths is because of capitalism - not in spite of it. Any idea of successful capitalists being 'replaced by younger and fitter versions' is quite frankly free market fantasy.

 

This is one of the many reasons that capitalism is doomed. It promotes earnings without effort - it actually takes the most productive people from society and allows them to be un-productive.

In the early days even Warren Buffet had to 'work' for his money - now his success is measured by his ability to make a fortune by doing very little (his stake in Goldman being a classic, once he invested there were plenty of fools to follow him in - ensuring the survival of (fuck) Goldman Sachs.

 

Anyone who runs a small business is all to aware of how large corporations can use their capital position to take profits from you without being innovative or even trying very hard. As advertising alters people's perceptions of value, need and moulds the consumer into a imperfect participant - this is usually out of reach of the small business.

 

Most people realise globalisation and corporatism don't work - but you aren't going to stop it now. All the free market theories are failed - and it's not because of Government interference - if you look through history the market problems existed first and the Government interference was a reaction to that problem. This is why I don't believe regulation will EVER solve the problem.

 

Capitalism is inherently unstable and contradictory. Systems built on contradictions have weaknesses - and a crisis every decade (and a big one every 70 years or so) will continue as long as we persist with this system.

 

Most people agree that less (or rather no) Government is the ultimate goal (socialists, communists, Libertarians, anarchists avan free marketeers) - the only disagreement is how to get there.

 

Handing it over to the private sector will not work if the private sector is in fact a small number of corporations. The ability to make private sector ownership fair only comes with egalitarian wealth.

 

your claim there has never been 'true capitalism' is untrue - in Victorian Britain there was almost no state - there were workhouses for the unemployed and even children had to earn their keep.

 

The result was social deprivation - to the point where Phillanthropy was born from the guilt of the poverty, but as this was unreliable - the state was required to step in.

Why? - because without making provision for the poor they tended to riot a lot - making running a business impossible - or at least hugely costly.

 

liek most capitalists you live in a bubble, blowing bubbles. You cannot see the long term consequences of your choice to remove the support the bottom rung needs - and how those choices will eventually cost you far more.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:39 | 1183828 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Your thinking is so backwards I can't even begin to address it.

I will leave it at this--you constantly warp definitions, and by doing so, you fail to see the truth, and instead build a comfortable pseudo-reality for yourself.  By claiming that capitalism, a system where by definition people deal with each other without violence, causes violence, you pervert your entire worldview.  

Until you fix this fundamental failing, you will never be able to speak intelligently on the subject.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:52 | 1183889 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

My thinking is backward - or it just undermines all your beliefs?

Maybe you need to read a little bit more history before you start making the same old mistakes as your forefathers did.

We have had free market capitalism - it failed - but now you want to go back to it because 'it will be different this time' - yeah right, where have I heard that one before?

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:16 | 1184033 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Once again, you are using the wrong definitions.  We have had fascism.  You keep claiming these are the same thing, but they aren't.

You seem unable to think logically.  Makes sense that you would then take the "feel good" route of Marxism.  Too bad those guys killed more than a hundred million people with their "non-greed" philosophy over the last hundred years.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:51 | 1184197 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

not that you care but you lost that arguement.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:50 | 1184531 tmosley
tmosley's picture

lolwat?

How, EXACTLY, did I "lose" the "argument" by asking the child to define the words he was using incorrectly?

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:51 | 1184540 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Not really, he won it without pointing out the obvious fallacies.

 

Government came after Capitalism, LOL! Not that is a winning comment /sarc.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:16 | 1184291 TrafficNotHere
TrafficNotHere's picture

Thumbs up

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:46 | 1184508 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Here is the the bottom line-

Clinging to (your) definition of a word (capitalism) doesn't help you express your ideas in competitive way.  You're all like 'blah blah capitism means this not that blah blah.'

1. Your current model of reality doesn't fit all of the facts.

2. It has been destroyed.

3. You need to put the pieces back together, once you do, you'll have a better model of reality that fits the facts better.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:29 | 1184757 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

OK, then let's just say the better model of reality doesn't include free markets. The current model is where government allows and encourages fraud, and backstops greed, and eliminates fear of market retribution for the biggest players. The government is interfering to such an extent that capital is unnaturally, inorganically being forced up to the 'top', like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed. This may or may not be a 'consequence' of capitalism, but it is not capitalism itself, because the movement of capital is distorted by government (i.e., the use of force to subvert markets). Capitalism ceases to be capitalism once the government steps beyond its bounds.

But nevermind the word 'capitalism'. The problems can be described without using that word, or any other laden 'ism'. We can stick with basic concepts like 'who is allowed the initiation of the use of force', 'do the current laws support or infringe individual rights and freedoms', and (more specifically) 'why is government force involved in maintaining a monopoly on the control of currency'.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:42 | 1185338 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

I keep hearing everyone talk about these mythical "Free Market" things.I have always wondered where these might exist or have existed.

Where are they in reality? I'm not talking about academic BS modeling and Liberatarian holier-than-thou pontifications and the usual web bulletin board rhetoric.

WHEN have they ever existed (in a modern industrial society).

I know it's really popular to blame the evil guvmint for corrupting everything. However, if you spend a little time looking, most of those laws that governments enact were done so at the behest of businesses trying to close markets, or protect their markets, or shutting down entry into their market, etc... So, in many ways, the guvmint is really just an extension of businesses. Even with all of the licesnsing and other regulations many businesses must deal with and right-wing radio bitches about daily, it's highly likely people in those businesses set up those laws and regulations as barriers to entry.

I know the Founding Fathers are near untouchables for any criticism whatsoever, but for all their blather about freedom and liberty, etc... they really did a good job of giving themselves freedom and liberty, and protecting their interests. However, if you were a woman or a black man in the South or decisded to not be a land owner, your freedoms really didn't matter. So, this whole system was really set up to protect the freedoms and interests of businessmen...which is pretty much the agenda of both our political parties. It's just feudalism evolved a little.

The concepts of Capitalism and Free Markets have become religious in nature. Just as Christians cannot talk critically about Jesus, neither can true-believers of Capitalism and those mythical Free Markets.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:39 | 1184453 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

You are so right! Socialism rules! Give up freedom so that our betters can guide us through life without a care or creative thought. Why look at the pure capitalism we have today with a government declaring prices in medicine through Medicare, the Gem that is Social Security, and who took control of GM?  Rank free market capitalists like Cass Sunstein and Obama.  When I think great societies I think the UK! What a wonder, how many Americans go over there to truly be free? Thankfully, they do not come here. Why, not even Dutch Dairy Farmers would want to come here.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:50 | 1184535 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

What specific freedom(s) are you giving up?

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:58 | 1184877 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

The freedom to choose which currency to use as 'legal tender', free markets, the freedom to keep the money I earn, the freedom to acquire and own property outright, the freedom to not participate in paying for unconstitutional government spending (wars and unsustainable welfare programs, for example)...etc etc. (not to mention the innumerable social infringements which are justified in the name of the 'greater good'.)

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 14:30 | 1184999 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

So.. the freedom to exclude yourself from the group once you've taken what you perceive to be yours, the freedom to behave like a child and 'take your ball and go home' when things don't go your way.

Wed, 04/20/2011 - 05:31 | 1187226 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

All freedoms come at a cost to others freedoms - only the ideological free market theorist can believe that they live in a bubble and that when they talk about 'freedom' they are doing so from their own narrow self interested point of view.

 

This is why most western people canot see the link between their demands for cheap oil, their demands for cheap goods - which come under the banner of 'I should have the right and the choice to buy these things at the cheapest possible price' - and the oppression in the Middle East and the slave labour in China.

 

It's a divorced logic - and when those oppressed people in the middle east find their democracy - suddenly the west will be moaning about the impact on their 'freedom' as they can no longer afford to drive where they want (as it will be unaffordable)

Freedom of movement within your nation is something held dearly by the west - I wonder how they will feel when their freedoms are curtailed by 'realistic fuels prices'.

America will be hit hardest - it's a big country.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:10 | 1184263 Cow
Cow's picture

+100 for tmosley

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:43 | 1184467 Badabing
Badabing's picture

capitalism is not a crime Fraud is

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:57 | 1183918 FLIP THAT BOND
FLIP THAT BOND's picture

Yes, The 'goal' of capitalism is for each individual to 'accumulate capital'.  When it's done through the government, though, you can call it what you may, but it's no longer capitalism, it's "something else".  Right now we have the "something else", not capitalism, so don't confuse yourself. 

And how in the world do most socialists and communists think that less or no government is the goal when it's based on having common ownership of the means of production and allocation of resources which means people need to get together to plan and control the system, which I think is called "government"?

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:06 | 1183989 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...if you had read Marx then you would know that the dictatorship of the proletariate is merely a stage on the way to the government 'withering away' as it is no longer needed.

 

...but you would need to read a little bit more to know that - you're confusing Marxism with Stalinism. A common problem amongst those who get their definitions from Sesame street.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:31 | 1184378 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You idiot. Marxism is the political and economic manifestation of nihilism-- the total negation of the individual. The individual ceases to be under Marxism, and is defined completely by his relationship to the State.

The idea of the government "withering away" under Marxism is absolutely absurd. It is a complete contradiction in itself. Marxism is the complete triumph of the State over the individual. That is the exact opposite of "withering away".

You Marxist fucknuts really crack me up. Either the logical part of your brains don't work (i.e. you are a "useful idiot") or you are a demon straight from hell. Hopefully for you, it's the former.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:49 | 1184511 Holodomor2012
Holodomor2012's picture

Not only that, but Marxism does nothing to address the root cause of the exponential growth cycle created by usury.  Marxists hide their usury behind a central bank, just like the USSA.

 

This is why the big Jews of NY funded the Bolshevik revolution. 

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:55 | 1184574 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I'm pretty sure Karl (as in Karl Marx) did not define it that way.  Karl said that communism occurs when the workers own the means of production.  That can occur with or without a state and even in a theocracy.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:05 | 1184620 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Don't be fooled-- obfuscation and misdirection were the tools of Marx' evil trade. Look through the nonsense and boil it down to its essence, and you'll see that Marxism is nihilism, the total negation of the individual.

Look at the idea of the "workers owning the means of production" and really think about what collective ownership means-- it is the negation of the individual in favor of the collective. Scale that all the way up and you are left holding a bag full of nothing.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:17 | 1184688 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Blah Blah Blah.

You cannot simply reduce Marxism to nihilism and extrapolate from there.  You can make that argument about any individual in any system.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:07 | 1185143 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Wrong. The actions of individuals are central to the free market system, in fact, free markets cannot work unless individuals take responsibility and make decisions independently, and accept the full consequences.

Under Marxism, everything is defined in terms of the collective-- collective decisions, collective consequences. Individuals on their own are meaningless.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:48 | 1185365 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

In fact, free markets DONT work because (not all) individuals WON'T take responsibility for their decisions.  Fixed that for you.  Those that don't take responsibility get rewarded if they can get away with it.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 18:53 | 1186019 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

In a collectivist system, the individual, while his ownership is watered down, can cast a vote for the decision, giving him some say and an identity.  In politics, this is known as a democratic system.  Ownership of the means of production clearly does not imply nihlism.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:12 | 1185155 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Wrong. The actions of individuals are central to the free market system, in fact, free markets cannot work unless individuals take responsibility and make decisions independently, and accept the full consequences.

Under Marxism, everything is defined in terms of the collective-- collective decisions, collective consequences. Individuals on their own are meaningless.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:22 | 1185210 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

You rock, dude. It's why the theoretical marxism always ends up as the theoretically different Stalinism. It is a false distinction. Marxism always ends up as a party backed dictatorship...everywhere, always, no exceptions for the reason you stated. Well, done.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:47 | 1184828 Klaus Daimler
Klaus Daimler's picture

Funny.

You completely ignore the his point: namely that you are applying the term 'capitalism' to an incorrect definition.

Then... You ridicule him for applying a term to an incorrect definition.

Kettle, meet pot.

This was, I believe, TMos' point to you above - that you are applying the term 'capitalism' to a number of phenomena that are 'not capitalism'.

The fact that you've not addressed this, either to say, "Why yes, this is capitalism" (which would then lead naturally to a dialogue investigating the differences in your definitions, and likely common ground), or, "Oh - well that's not what I meant", leads one to believe that you're disingenuous.

Your assertions that the current state is a natural outgrowth of capitalism (defined as "a condition where property owners manage their property for profit in competitive conditions"), is patently false.  The diatribe you posted above, decrying the rich tilting the tables in their favor violates the "in competitive conditions" portion of the definition.  In that case, it's not capitalism - it doesn't meet the definition.

One could just as easily (and validly) state that the current state of affairs in our economy are all rooted in failures of Marxism (by simply misdefining the term, as you've done above).

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:25 | 1184058 mdwagner
mdwagner's picture

Free markets fail because government does not protect property rights.  Government should be the police of the free market, not complicit in theft and removal of free markets by allowing and encouraging monopolies - like giving big corporations unfair advantage over small business because of overly complex regulations and tax laws.  Or by just handing them trilions of dollars while letting small businesses fail.  Or by guaranteeing that they cannot fail by putting risk on the backs of taxpayers while letting them keep the rewards.

 

The main problem when defining 'isms' is that the level of corruption is not measured when declaring something better than something else. 

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:13 | 1184288 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

"Government should be the police of the free market"

 

Total contradiction. Things which are 'free' do not require 'police'

Why do so many people try to argue both points at the same time?

 

"We should have freedom" - fair enough

"others freedom should not impact me , or my freedom" - whoops, someone has to give up their freedom.

 

This is the problem with individualism.

 

"Free markets fail because government does not protect property rights."

 

By that very statement you bring on the end of the free market - I'm not blaming you for saying it, but you cannot have a free market in which laws are required to esnure the running of that market (laws are merely regulation after all)

All roads lead to where we are now.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:42 | 1184472 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Government provides the referee. Its called the court system.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 12:59 | 1184580 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

The wealthy(er) capitalist owns the court.  None of this occurs in a vacuum.

Wed, 04/20/2011 - 05:50 | 1187237 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

It's amazing isn't it? - the only way to justify a contradictory system is to be contradictory.

 

Free markets need policing (immediately they are not free - theory failed)

Individualism is paramount but nothing has ever been produced by an individual - other than on a very small scale. (i.e. collectivisation of production is the source of Capitalist profit)

Freedom to choose is absolute but others freedoms cannot impact my own.

 

These are the contradictions captialists use to justify their contradictory system - which is why it continues to fail.

 

It's the same contradictory argument used to attack the bank bailouts - I'm not saying this was right or wrong, but it was neccessary - the alternative being total economic chaos.....which no free market thinker will admit.

In their 'bubble' they think that Lehmans could have failed, then AIG, then Freddie and Fanny...etc. and the effect of these failures would have been to pull down bigger banks like Goldman, JPM etc.

Are there any free market theorists out there who are so deluded as to suggest Warren would have backed Goldman with his cash if he didn't already know the banks were going to be saved by the Governments? - Come on, be realistic.

It's easy to suggest that the free market dictates failure would have been the correct thing to do - but there weren't many voicing that opinion in the middle of the crisis in 2008. You see self interest ensures that even free market capitalists don't like to lose their savings under Caveat Emptour.

 

...it's just contradiction after contradiction...

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:22 | 1184067 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I officially brand your post as an unfounded rant. You feel things but do not reason them out. Personally, I would like to ban the word "capitalism" as it has become a word without meaning. In fact, it seems to mean anything any write wants it to mean. In the case of those favoring large powerful states it tends to be synonomous with greed, avarice, cheating, lieing, manipulating, etc. This makes sense because Karl Marx invented the term. However, it is an economic, not moral term. 

I think I would replace it with the term "voluntary trade". At its core that is all it is. It starts with, "I will give you two fish for six bananas." and works it's way up to "I will sell you an income stream based on AAA mortgage notes." You may or may not want to do it and you set the terms of any trade voluntarily. You learn from experience and you set up trading rules and modify them as you need to...without government interference.

This type of true capitalism-voluntary trade does not exist anywhere with significant alterations and limits by government. Several other posters have gotten this exactly right. As we get closer to true volutary exchange we will do better and be freer. Contrary to the statists, deception and swindles will decrease, not increase. It does not remove all vice from the human spirit but it does limit the damage.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:56 | 1184215 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

you can not redefine things just because you want to

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 13:51 | 1184838 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

How odd that's exactly what humans do everyday. Redefine the meaning behind the wods they use.

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:24 | 1185237 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I do NOT redefine it. I am accusing others of redefining it. It happens so often that I want to use a different phrase that more accurately represents the economic truth.

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