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cassowary
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by cassowary » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:36 pm
neverfail wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:21 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:20 pm

Then say that. Referring to "capitalism" doing things is meaningless, and it's not an exercise in semantics to point that out. Doubly so in that monied interests manipulating the state is corporatism, not laissez-faire capitalism.
Manipulating the state in competition with other monied interests for the sake of windfall profits strikes me as quite a capitalist kind of activity.
I'm sure it does, because, as expected, you're making up a definition for the word to fit your preconceived notions.
Steve is right. Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets. So the less the politicians interfere with the economy, the more capitalist it becomes.
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neverfail
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by neverfail » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am

cassowary wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:36 pm
neverfail wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:21 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:20 pm

Then say that. Referring to "capitalism" doing things is meaningless, and it's not an exercise in semantics to point that out. Doubly so in that monied interests manipulating the state is corporatism, not laissez-faire capitalism.
Manipulating the state in competition with other monied interests for the sake of windfall profits strikes me as quite a capitalist kind of activity.
I'm sure it does, because, as expected, you're making up a definition for the word to fit your preconceived notions.
Steve is right. Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets. So the less the politicians interfere with the economy, the more capitalist it becomes.
No! With capitalism the profit motive is paramount. If it is easier or more lucrative to make pots of money by manipulating politics than to go the hard years of competing in the market well, as I see it doing it that way is well on the cards.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by SteveFoerster » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:23 am

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am
cassowary wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:36 pm
neverfail wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:21 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:20 pm

Then say that. Referring to "capitalism" doing things is meaningless, and it's not an exercise in semantics to point that out. Doubly so in that monied interests manipulating the state is corporatism, not laissez-faire capitalism.
Manipulating the state in competition with other monied interests for the sake of windfall profits strikes me as quite a capitalist kind of activity.
I'm sure it does, because, as expected, you're making up a definition for the word to fit your preconceived notions.
Steve is right. Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets. So the less the politicians interfere with the economy, the more capitalist it becomes.
No! With capitalism the profit motive is paramount.
Again, you're making that up to fit your preconceived notions. The point of capitalism is that things are privately held. The state control required for the sort of cronyism or corporatism that you're describing isn't the definition of capitalism, it's a deviation from it, and it cannot happen without a strong state.
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am
If it is easier or more lucrative to make pots of money by manipulating politics than to go the hard years of competing in the market well, as I see it doing it that way is well on the cards.
There are a lot of corporate executives who behave that way, and they are as damaging to a market system just as surely as their governmental partners in crime are. But capitalism is a free market, not that.

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neverfail
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by neverfail » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:56 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am
No! With capitalism the profit motive is paramount.
SteveFoerster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:23 am
Again, you're making that up to fit your preconceived notions. The point of capitalism is that things are privately held. The state control required for the sort of cronyism or corporatism that you're describing isn't the definition of capitalism, it's a deviation from it, and it cannot happen without a strong state.
No, I am not! I also reject your earlier definition of what constitutes a corporate state.

A strong state is one that has the integrity to discipline the private sector and not allow itself to become the victim of its machinations.

The classic corporate state entities were respectively Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Fascist Italy on which I believe the former was originally modelled. In both the government told the capitalists what to do: in the case of the USA the opposite seems to be true.

To call the USA a corporate state I would submit is both contradictory and misleading. A new word not yet coined ought to be added to our English language vocabulary to adequately define how the USA functions.
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am
If it is easier or more lucrative to make pots of money by manipulating politics than to go the hard years of competing in the market well, as I see it doing it that way is well on the cards.
SteveFoerster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:23 am
There are a lot of corporate executives who behave that way, and they are as damaging to a market system just as surely as their governmental partners in crime are. But capitalism is a free market, not that.
Please do not blame the errant corporate executives as they are only taking advantage of an ill structured system of government that allows, even invites, such external policy manipulation by interested parties.

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Re: the lazy capitalists' road to fortune.

Post by neverfail » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:13 pm

cassowary wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm
Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets.
I humbly submit that it means nothing of the sort. Capitalism in practice is both opportunistic and highly adaptable. If it is given no choice it will operate in a system of free markets - but will not unerringly enjoy the experience. Everyone likes the sort of competition that benefits themselves but hates the sort of competition that threatens their own viability.

A speculative builder (for example) loves competition from suppliers and sub-contractors; it usual helps keep his own costs down. Yet the same spec builders would just as passionately hate competition from other spec builders selling the same product in the same market as himself. Quite apart from the effect of the competition forcing him to sell his constructions at a lower price than he would have originally hoped for; in a situation of oversupply, especially at a time the economy is plunging into recession, the losses can potentially drive our spec builder into bankruptcy.

Conversely (on a more corporate business plane), if the opportunity permits to gain windfall profits by manipulating government policy in a way that creates beneficial (to himself) oligopolist and even monopoly situations, why not seize the opportunity with both hands?

After all, it must be the private dream of every budding capitalist to one day enjoy a cozy monopoly that he can exploit at his leisure. In the meantime (sigh :cry: ) he must put up with all of that irksome, tiresome free market competition with a fixed grin on his face.

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Sertorio
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Re: the lazy capitalists' road to fortune.

Post by Sertorio » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:25 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:13 pm
cassowary wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm
Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets.
I humbly submit that it means nothing of the sort. Capitalism in practice is both opportunistic and highly adaptable. If it is given no choice it will operate in a system of free markets - but will not unerringly enjoy the experience. Everyone likes the sort of competition that benefits themselves but hates the sort of competition that threatens their own viability.

A speculative builder (for example) loves competition from suppliers and sub-contractors; it usual helps keep his own costs down. Yet the same spec builders would just as passionately hate competition from other spec builders selling the same product in the same market as himself. Quite apart from the effect of the competition forcing him to sell his constructions at a lower price than he would have originally hoped for; in a situation of oversupply, especially at a time the economy is plunging into recession, the losses can potentially drive our spec builder into bankruptcy.

Conversely (on a more corporate business plane), if the opportunity permits to gain windfall profits by manipulating government policy in a way that creates beneficial (to himself) oligopolist and even monopoly situations, why not seize the opportunity with both hands?

After all, it must be the private dream of every budding capitalist to one day enjoy a cozy monopoly that he can exploit at his leisure. In the meantime (sigh :cry: ) he must put up with all of that irksome, tiresome free market competition with a fixed grin on his face.
Exactly! And no matter what one thinks of Marx, he had already said very much the same thing 150 years ago...

neverfail
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Re: the lazy capitalists' road to fortune.

Post by neverfail » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:05 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:25 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:13 pm
cassowary wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:43 pm
Allowing monied interests to manipulate the politicians is not capitalism. Capitalism means free markets.
I humbly submit that it means nothing of the sort. Capitalism in practice is both opportunistic and highly adaptable. If it is given no choice it will operate in a system of free markets - but will not unerringly enjoy the experience. Everyone likes the sort of competition that benefits themselves but hates the sort of competition that threatens their own viability.

A speculative builder (for example) loves competition from suppliers and sub-contractors; it usual helps keep his own costs down. Yet the same spec builders would just as passionately hate competition from other spec builders selling the same product in the same market as himself. Quite apart from the effect of the competition forcing him to sell his constructions at a lower price than he would have originally hoped for; in a situation of oversupply, especially at a time the economy is plunging into recession, the losses can potentially drive our spec builder into bankruptcy.

Conversely (on a more corporate business plane), if the opportunity permits to gain windfall profits by manipulating government policy in a way that creates beneficial (to himself) oligopolist and even monopoly situations, why not seize the opportunity with both hands?

After all, it must be the private dream of every budding capitalist to one day enjoy a cozy monopoly that he can exploit at his leisure. In the meantime (sigh :cry: ) he must put up with all of that irksome, tiresome free market competition with a fixed grin on his face.
Exactly! And no matter what one thinks of Marx, he had already said very much the same thing 150 years ago...
Marx reminds me of the sort of GP (physician) who is uncanny in his ability to diagnose a patient's ailment accurately and well but always fumbles in prescribing a suitable remedy.

But don't let that permit you to miss the point that I have been trying to make all along. Today's challenge is not to overthrow capitalism but to ensure that society at large reaps maximum benefit from it (and not just "the chosen few" :D positioned to reap all of the rewards if allowed free reign to do so ).

I also contend that the US structure of government, so open to manipulation by those elements in society least in need of government assistance, is ill designed to bring that about.

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cassowary
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by cassowary » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:36 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:56 pm

A strong state is one that has the integrity to discipline the private sector and not allow itself to become the victim of its machinations.
Oh no, Neverfail. You got that backwards as usual. A strong state is more likely to engender corruption. Businessmen are at the mercy of the politicians and have no choice but to bribe them - in order to survive.

In another thread, I pointed out that the capitalist dictator Pinochet only took $18 million in bribes. Hugo Chavez was worth $2 billion when he died. That's because businessmen did not need to bribe Pinochet to make money. In the case of Chavez, he controlled nearly every aspect of the economy. Concentrated power is dangerous. It invites corruption and a slide towards dictatorship.

The slide started when Venezuela was a democracy. The voters got conned by a Socialist politician promising them Other People's Money. That's what my book is warning against.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

If $18 million is all Pinochet took, I forgive him because he deserved it for a well earned comfortable retirement. Look at what he achieved. He restored prosperity and democracy. He saved Chile from becoming another Cuba or Venezuela.
The Imp :D

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Milo
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by Milo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:13 am

cassowary wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:36 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:56 pm

A strong state is one that has the integrity to discipline the private sector and not allow itself to become the victim of its machinations.
Oh no, Neverfail. You got that backwards as usual. A strong state is more likely to engender corruption. Businessmen are at the mercy of the politicians and have no choice but to bribe them - in order to survive.

In another thread, I pointed out that the capitalist dictator Pinochet only took $18 million in bribes. Hugo Chavez was worth $2 billion when he died. That's because businessmen did not need to bribe Pinochet to make money. In the case of Chavez, he controlled nearly every aspect of the economy. Concentrated power is dangerous. It invites corruption and a slide towards dictatorship.

The slide started when Venezuela was a democracy. The voters got conned by a Socialist politician promising them Other People's Money. That's what my book is warning against.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

If $18 million is all Pinochet took, I forgive him because he deserved it for a well earned comfortable retirement. Look at what he achieved. He restored prosperity and democracy. He saved Chile from becoming another Cuba or Venezuela.
Cass you have clearly never studied the state properly. Take a quick look at Hobbes, then Machaivelli, then Locke; and then we can revisit this strange and naive worldview of yours.

neverfail
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Re: we have been there already cass.

Post by neverfail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:47 am

cassowary wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:36 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:56 pm

A strong state is one that has the integrity to discipline the private sector and not allow itself to become the victim of its machinations.
Oh no, Neverfail. You got that backwards as usual. A strong state is more likely to engender corruption. Businessmen are at the mercy of the politicians and have no choice but to bribe them - in order to survive.
By a "strong state" I assume (among other things) a state reasonably free from corruption. If no one powerful in government is willing to accept bribes (regardless of whether it is because the penalties of getting caught are dire or because the crowd in government are men and women of high integrity with the best interests of the nation at heart, I do not care) then nobody will be foolish enough to try and pay them bribes. Furthermore, trying to bribe public officials is a choice (presumably to solicit some service from a public official that this latter should by rights deliver for free as a matter of public duty - as in my and all other advanced countries) and is not something businessmen are compelled to do but a matter of choice by them. I do not know how it is in your corner of the world but down here attempting to bribe a public official is a criminal offence for which you can serve jail time if found guilty.

I stated "a strong state": NOT a repressive state with a regime that operates outside the rule of law (can you tell the difference?) - detrimental to the best interests of private enterprise. Of course in my "strong state" has rule of law that protects the interests of private entrepreneurs like everyone else.

I mean, cassowary: all of the above comes to me as a matter of course and I presume my readers would understand this almost instinctively. But you always seem to jump to the conclusion that a strong state must be the enemy of private enterprise. Why?
......................................................................................

I have a kitchen garden in my back yard. I grow fresh herbs and vegetables in it. Before planting I fertilise the soil. During dry spells (which are frequent down here) I use the garden hose to water the growing plants so they do not lack moisture. Periodically, I have to dig weeds out - for weeds consume nutriments and moisture in the soil that the plants need and if weed growth becomes too prodigious then they choke out the vegetable plants and herbs.

By doing all this I "discipline" my garden to produce fresh vegetables and herbs instead of an overgrowth of noxious weeds.

So when I talk about the state having a duty to "discipline" the private enterprise sector, I mean something akin to that only on a much bigger scale. I mean, I mean - it goes without saying!

The thing that amazes me repeatedly, dear friend, is that I I still have to spell that out to you as if to a child in kindergarten.

You are, after all, supposed to have had the benefit of a Western higher education.

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