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Spinoff from "Evils of Capitalism"


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#1 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:38 PM

Moderation note: the first posts of this thread originally appeared in the Strange Claims forum thread “Evils of capitalism”. They were moved because they aren’t (yet) strange.

Funny, I thought this was supposed to be a science forum, requiring a certain amount of fact to back up assertions.

The Evils of Capitalism

Capitalism is just as evil as some religions. These are 'self serving' individuals that are responsible for the following:

They pollute the air and waters to create health problems.

They are destructive to the Natural environments and forests

They corrupt governments with their use of influence dollars.

They lower the workers to the status of ‘robots’ and as a commodity.

They have no manners or morals because they will use child factories, slave labor and do business with dictators or communists.


Tell me why it is wrong to be "self-serving." Enlightened self-interest is a moral basis for human interaction. Pollution and environmental degradation are not only had from the capitalist. Some of the greatest polluters on the planet are in third-world countries, including that paragon of "non-self-serving" communist China. Corrupting governments is not a capitalist tenet or offence, it is one looter having a meeting of the minds with another looter. True capitalists understand the nature of their work force, and do not treat them as robots...however, labor is a commodity in one sense of the word. It is convenient to consider it such when calculating assets.

Child and slave labor is no part of true capitalism, once again it is looters under the guise of capitalism. So if you hate capitalism, how is it then an evil that they do business with communists?

#2 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:41 PM

They are 'tax rebels' and evaders of taxes whenever they can.


Perhaps you have mistaken avoiding taxes for evading taxes. Even if you haven't, the problem with human beings trying to avoid taxation is really a problem of the tax code, not the human being. Taxes are a necessary evil in the best of worlds, but when the taxes become onerous, they must be avoided. Remember that famous incident in Boston at the beginning of the USA?

#3 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:43 PM

Even though they have huge unneeded surplus incomes, they will resort to dishonest bookkeeping, insider trading, manipulate stock prices if they can through various schemes, use company funds for personal use and any other such illegal tactics.


Who are you to decide what is a "huge unneeded surplus income?" Do you have the intelligence and ability to manage the entire world and decide who gets what? As to dishonest bookkeeping, etc., once again these are looter tactics and not capitalist tools. In fact, these are far more rampant in non-capitalist societies, including dictatorships and communist countries. Russia is now commonly held to be a kleptocracy.

#4 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:47 PM

They believe in maximizing profits to use those dollars to buy out the competitors, create mergers, downsizing the labor force to burden the rest of the workers and buy up the news outlets to censor any critics of their tactics. All these schemes cut jobs.


This is an interesting slant on what you see occuring. Would you legislate that businesses can only grow to a certain size? What size? If you want to mandate that jobs be protected, why not go back to pre-industrial days and plow with a mule, build cars one at a time by skilled craftsmen and coachmakers, etc? You are mistaking efficiency with evil. The company that does what it does better, faster, and at lower cost than its competitors deserves to succeed and grow. The one that cannot or will not compete must certainly die.

#5 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:49 PM

They are unconstitutional (US) because they are ‘self serving’ and only represent themselves. The kings, emperors, dictators, religious leaders and various criminals plus all other individuals that do exactly the same things of serving themselves belong in the same category. They are the predators amongst humanity.
Exceptions would be the small farmers and business people.


Please quote the section of the U.S. Constitution that insists that we serve others instead of ourselves. And why would small farmers and business people be exceptions? I really would like to hear your reasoning on this one. It seems that you appreciate a deed done on a small scale but find it evil or immoral on a larger scale. How do you reconcile that?

#6 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:52 PM

An example of their greed is the 'new world order' that they have bribed pur US governments to serve their needs. This organization can now demand unrestricted access to any member nations markets without restrictions or be taken to the 'world court' and fined for these marketing restrictions.


So is it restrictions or without restrictions? I'd sure like some documentation on what you are trying to say. Any organization that attempts to appropriate the force of law to quell competition ( and some have done it and are doing it, there is no doubt) has shown themselves not to be capitalist.

Of course there are exceptions to the above. There are some good honest capitalists that treat the workers with the respect that they deserve. But these individuals are rare in our society.


Faint praise indeed. Can you name one or two corporations or individuals whom you would hold up as "good honest capitalists?"

#7 bonsaikc

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:59 PM

Only the workers create the REAL TANGIBLE WEALTH (RTW) that all persons buy and make use of like the houses, automobiles, clothing, food and any other such needs.
They also create the capitalist goodies like skyscrapers, mansions, buildings for business and their personal serving staffs.
The workers also build the government sponsored bridges, roads, hydroelectric dams, and staff the police departments, fire departments, water and sewage maintenance and any other such services.


Here's your greatest fallacy. While the workers assemble the widgets to the doohickies, or lay the brick, or pour the concrete, or weld the steel, do you really believe they are creating the wealth?

Suppose I wish to replace my gravel driveway with a concrete one. It's a fairly simple job but sizable, with about 75 feet of straightaway and a large circular portion. So I hire a contractor to pour my driveway. The result of this is an increase in my wealth, even though I have paid the contractor. Why? Because the value of my home has increased.

So I ask you, who created that wealth? I maintain it was be, because without my decision to build, it would never have been built. The contractor is merely an employee hired to put my design into place. Any one of a great number of contractors would have sufficed.

Or was it the laborer employed by the contractor who created the wealth? Strong backs can be had anywhere, and with about a day's training, any human being could learn the concrete laborer's job well enough to lay that concrete down so the finisher could do his job.

No, wealth can only be created by the mind. Every skyscraper that every steelworker or cement mason is proud to say they built, was conceived and executed because of a human idea.

#8 CraigD

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 04:12 PM

Funny, I thought this was supposed to be a science forum, requiring a certain amount of fact to back up assertions.

You thought correctly, bonsaikc.

However, except when the content is very illegal or offensive (hate speech, uncouth language, etc), appear to violate copyrights, or are spam, posts at hypography aren’t deleted or edited by our moderations. Generally, the worst that can happen in the case of posts like Mike C’s is the posts being moved to the strange claims forum (which was done with the posts), the poster receiving negative reputation from other members (which the red boxes beside his name indicate has happened quite a lot), the poster receive infractions from moderators (of which a visit to Mike’s public profile will show he’s received many), and, if none of these correct the behavior, temporary and ultimate permanent suspensions of the poster’s posting privileges (Mike’s had some of the former, but not risen to the level of requiring the latter).

Here's your greatest fallacy. While the workers assemble the widgets to the doohickies, or lay the brick, or pour the concrete, or weld the steel, do you really believe they are creating the wealth?

Suppose I wish to replace my gravel driveway with a concrete one. It's a fairly simple job but sizable, with about 75 feet of straightaway and a large circular portion. So I hire a contractor to pour my driveway. The result of this is an increase in my wealth, even though I have paid the contractor. Why? Because the value of my home has increased.

So I ask you, who created that wealth? I maintain it was be, because without my decision to build, it would never have been built. ..

A classical interpretation of Capitalism would agree with you somewhat, I think, but also credit the owner of the capital goods – the quarry, trap rock, cement factory, truck that delivered the concrete, forms for poring it, etc. - needed for the work. If your property is mortgaged, the lender could be credited with providing you some of your means of production, so also part of the created wealth.

Where I think classical capitalism and the common perception of many people diverge, is in the scenario above with the role of the property owner is replaced by a property manager, and the property owner, and an absentee landlord who had little or no role in the design, labor, or decision to do the work, yet owns a large share of the means of doing it – the property itself. In that case, only the landlord and the owners of the capital goods required for the work are credited with wealth creation, while many people would perceive the wealth-creating role of the person recast as the property manager to remain the same.

Bonsaikc also rather glosses over the role of skilled labor in the work, noting that helpers and laborers require little training, but barely mentioning the role of the finisher, and not mentioning at all that of the supervisor/foreman. These player’s actions can have a significant impact on the quality, and hence the value, of the work. If a person’s actions can subtract value from a made thing, it’s difficult for me to accept reasoning that concluded that their actions cannot also be said to add value, or wealth.