Daily Digest

Daily Digest 4/3 - GS Doubles Blankfein's Pay Package, The Crisis Of Capitalism, Unlearned Lessons from Chernobyl, Fukushima

Sunday, April 3, 2011, 10:57 AM
  • More than 1.5 million 'lose out' on universal state pension
  • Goldman Sachs Almost Doubles Blankfein Pay Package to $19 Million for 2010
  • David Harvey's Crisis of Capitalism, Animated
  • Chart of the Week: Stocks Are Overvalued
  • Mauldin: The Plight of the Working Class
  • Takashi Uesugi: The Interview
  • Unlearned lessons from Chernobyl and Fukushima

Our 'What Should I Do?' guide has steps to cook, see & stay warm in times of power outage

Economy

More than 1.5 million 'lose out' on universal state pension (pinecarr)

The losers will be in for a nasty shock when they find out that they have less state pension to look forward to in the future but they are going to have to keep on paying the same amount of National Insurance.

The introduction of a universal state pension is part of the Government’s overhaul of Britain’s retirement system, which include the end of the default retirement age from next week.

Goldman Sachs Almost Doubles Blankfein Pay Package to $19 Million for 2010 (pinecarr)

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, boosted Blankfein’s compensation for a year in which earnings dropped 38 percent and the stock price was little changed. The amount falls in the middle ground between 2008, when Blankfein, 56, and six other senior officers got no bonuses, and the record-setting $67.9 million award he received for 2007.

David Harvey's Crisis of Capitalism, Animated (Claire H.)

In an entertaining and simple animation, David Harvey illustrates one way in which Capitalism has brought us to our current financial crisis.

Chart of the Week: Stocks Are Overvalued (Joe M.)

You won't hear anything about it from the mainstream financial media or the Federal Reserve, but this chart is screaming "stocks are extremely overvalued." Please visit dshort.com's excellent overview Market Valuation: The Message from the Q Ratio for additional charts of the Q Ratio, a measure of stock market valuation.

Mauldin: The Plight of the Working Class (JRB)

We are certainly not keeping up with inflation. The chart below shows real median household income since 1967. It is published in May of each year by the Census Bureau, so we don’t have the data for 2010, but it will not be good. Real median income, when the new data comes out, if I read the chart right, will not have grown for almost 14 years.

Takashi Uesugi: The Interview (guardia)

One of the most influential members of this group of dissenters is Takashi Uesugi, a former New York Times journalist and, in an earlier incarnation, aide to Liberal Democratic Party bigwig Kunio Hatoyama. The author of books including The Collapse of Journalism, Uesugi is a vociferous critic of Japan's 'Kisha Club' system – a network of exclusive press clubs that, he says, nurtures excessively close relationships between reporters and the organisations they are supposed to cover.

Environment

Unlearned lessons from Chernobyl and Fukushima (guardia)

After Reactor No. 4 blew up at Chernobyl power station on April 26, 1986, the resulting disaster took two years and 650,000 people to clean up. Except it will never really be cleaned up. Nuclear fallout and waste can be moved and sequestered, but not deactivated. Even today the meltdown at Chernobyl leaks radiation through cracks in the vast "sarcophagus" of steel and concrete that was intended to seal it. The whole area around it is still deeply, if unevenly, contaminated.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

63 Comments

batkinso's picture
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"Inside Job" Available Free Online

The 2011 Oscar winning "Inside Job" that documents how Wall Street operates is available free online at http://www.archive.org/details/InsideJob2010.  Well worth the time to watch.  Be sure to share with your networks.

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David Harvey is a very confused man

I wanted to interrupt his presentation every 5 seconds and scream bullshit!!! He makes one new fantastic and completely incorrect assumption every time he twitches his marker. His solutions are all prepared looking for a problem to match them. I have discovered I have a gut reaction to leftist thinking, I simply cannot even listen without wanting to have a drink and calm down. How many asinine assumptions can one let slide before pulling ones hair out?

Clever on the surface but only if you have completely suspended disbelief.

Inside Job was good. I only hope Matt Damon was listening while he read. He may be salvageable yet.

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batkinso wrote:The 2011
batkinso wrote:

The 2011 Oscar winning "Inside Job" that documents how Wall Street operates is available free online at http://www.archive.org/details/InsideJob2010.  Well worth the time to watch.  Be sure to share with your networks.

Link doesn't work, but the documentary is great.  Must watch.

Doug

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Why are we seeing so many socialist articles in daily digest?

I have enjoyed the CM Daily Digest for a long time but lately I am seeing a lot of articles that blame our current problems on capitalism and unequal distribution of wealth.  This really disturbs me.  If we list the problems that we face in the future such as debt, insolvent governments, debased currency, the end of cheap energy, and others, then you see that big government is at the heart of most of these problems.  Before someone points this out I will say that collusion between industry and big government is a real problem and we need to end this.  In my mind socialism and Marxism fail every time because human nature will not allow us to work at full capacity unless we can keep a majority of the fruits of our labor.  Capitalism can be cruel so we have a safety net and some income redistribution in the form of a progressive tax.  Still capitalism is more efficient and will always produce more wealth than socialism or Marxism. 

My question is has this website been taken over by socialist?  Are the moderators who select stories like The Crisis of Capitalism proposing socialist solutions to our problems or just using this website to push a socialist agenda?  Is Chris Martenson pushing a socialist agenda?  If you are then please be open about it.  Seeing pro-socialist stories listed in the Daily Digest every few days is really starting to bother me.  How about some libertarian, small government, or local government instead of federal government stories if you want to keep things rounded and balanced.  I just wanted to point out that running stories like the Crisis of Capitalism is turning off some of your readers.  If this is intentionally becoming a socialist site then that is fine but please be open about it so I will know what your agenda is.

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Inside Job (2010) A Must Watch!

You had best be quick, because I figure You Tube will take this film down within a day ...

Wikipedia Review

Inside Job is a 2010 documentary film about the financial crisis of 2007-2010 directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010. The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011.

Ferguson has described the film as being about "the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption."In five parts the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the 2008 financial crisis. Inside Job was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research and explanation of complex material.

~ VF ~

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Hi KenI don't believe The

Hi Ken

I don't believe The Crisis of Capitalism is about capitalism as being at the root of the problems but rather there are aspect of capiltalism (as there are with any system) that can be corrupted and bring the whole thing crashing down thus the name  "The CRISIS of Capitalism". I think he is suggesting an open dialog about its pit falls. Just because he quotes Marx doesn't make him a Marxist. He even states that he doesn't have the solutions but states we need to acknowledge the dangers inherent in capiltalism.

in regards to "unequal distribution of wealth"  I would say the concern is for the unfair or out right theft of money from those who earned it to those who stole it through illegal means from bailouts to the intentional devaluation of the dollar and your savings.

BTW the Daily Digest consists of articles submitted by readers. Anyone can submit an article they find interesting.

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Ken325: It's Not Socialist, It's Obvious
ken325 wrote:

I have enjoyed the CM Daily Digest for a long time but lately I am seeing a lot of articles that blame our current problems on capitalism and unequal distribution of wealth.  This really disturbs me.  If we list the problems that we face in the future such as debt, insolvent governments, debased currency, the end of cheap energy, and others, then you see that big government is at the heart of most of these problems.  Before someone points this out I will say that collusion between industry and big government is a real problem and we need to end this.  In my mind socialism and Marxism fail every time because human nature will not allow us to work at full capacity unless we can keep a majority of the fruits of our labor.

Actually, Ken325, I think you're not looking at it objectively. Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism all are inherently vulnerable to the truth of human nature: those in power will seek to increase and consolidate their hold on power. All these systems have an "end game" and that end game is control and power by a few until the majority can't stand it anymore and upheaval and chaos occurs.

Just as countries that say they are Socialist or Communist inevitably turn out to be ruled by the few, so also is it with Capitalism. We saw the end game of Socialism and Communism when the old Soviet Russia fell. We are seeing the end game of Capitalism (or rather, crony/facist Capitalism) in America today.

The accumulation of wealth works well so long as there's lots of wealth available. Unfortunately, we are a growing human population facing a finite planet's limited resources.

Just ask anyone who has played the game of Monopoly. At first everyone is happy to start playing and dreams of great riches. Everyone lands on property and buys it up. However, at the end, there's only one winner.

The same can be said for America. First there were Frontier days when everything was up for grabs (sorry Indians). But soon rangelands became enclosed, homesteads were staked out... and now what you see is corporate farms buying up independent farmers or meat processors hiring contractors who go into debt, and corporations now buying U.S. Congressmen to continue massive farm and ethanol subsidies that were intended to help small farmers.

Big government IS at the heart of this. So is big business. Together. The end game of Capitalism (same with Socialism or Communism) is that big powerful human interests use their wealth and resources to protect and grow their wealth and resources. They bend and twist laws to their advantage, and use legal frameworks and legally sanctioned violence (police, soldiers, etc.) to enforce their interests. The corporate crap that has been happening across the world has been brazen, but will become even more so in the next 5 to 10 years.

ken325 wrote:

Capitalism can be cruel so we have a safety net and some income redistribution in the form of a progressive tax.

I am glad you stated that Capitalism can be cruel. However, as you may know, there are extremists further to the right than you (and I already think of you as someone who is a moderate conservative), to whom talk of "safety nets" and "some income distribution in the form of a progressive tax" would be damned as Socialism, and they would argue vehemently against you! So be careful out there or you might be accused of hypocrisy! :-)

However, I believe that Capitalism is not so much cruel as it is blind. It is a fact of life that those who accumulate resources and power will use their resources and power to make the rules better suited to themselves regardless of how it affects others. The result is that, in an era of dwindling resources, the squeeze gets even harder. We don't personally see the people in Third World countries earning $2 per day to pick flowers or coffee or cocoa beans to send to us, so maybe it isn't as obvious. But it's happening.

(For example, I just watched a documentary "Blue Gold: World Water Wars". Very interesting. Regardless of what one thinks may be the slant of that documentary, the truth is, we ARE running out of fresh water for agriculture and for drinking in this world. Based purely on water availability alone, we India, China and Australia will see dwindling crop production. India and China will have to import even more grain, while Australia will export less. This has caused government overthrow, and will become even worse within about 5 years. Under such condition, would it be considered right for one corporation or only one group of people to own all the water rights in a local area populated by many people? Makes you wonder, doesn't it?)

Sadly, our safety net is probably a little too generous. You can use food stamps to buy soda sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (I bet Coca-Cola and Pepsi would fight it if we tried to change that), potato chips, Twinkies - and when you get sick from all that sugar and oil and starch, you get taken care of at hospitals at public expense, too. Personally, I'd rather see able-bodied people on welfare doing physical exercises such as city landscaping and trash pick-up in the mornings, attending classes on financial education, healthy cooking, and childcare in the afternoons, then searching for jobs on-line, at job fairs, or working at skill-building internships in the evenings.

Sadly, we won't be able to provide that safety net in the future (we already can't afford it). And as we are seeing already, our government willingly spends much, much more trying to provide a safety net for banks and corporations than for people. I am sure that will continue to be the case in the future.

Poet

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Libya

 

 This video reminds me of those Peter Schiff interviews in 07.... especially the complacent worldview of the interviewer.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClGCS4OeqVM&feature=feedlik

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plato1965 wrote:    This
plato1965 wrote:

 

 This video reminds me of those Peter Schiff interviews in 07.... especially the complacent worldview of the interviewer.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClGCS4OeqVM&feature=feedlik

LoL

Someone got the 'news' tarts ire up.

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Inside Job link corrected
batkinso wrote:

The 2011 Oscar winning "Inside Job" that documents how Wall Street operates is available free online at http://www.archive.org/details/InsideJob2010.  Well worth the time to watch.  Be sure to share with your networks.

 

Remove the ending period. It should be:

http://www.archive.org/details/InsideJob2010

Or, at the www.archive.org site, you can search for the title "Inside Job"

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I enjoy seeing articles from

I enjoy seeing articles from all the different schools of thought out there.  I don't feel CM is getting "more socialist" - perhaps because I'm not subscribing to any sort of "ism" these days the way I used to in the past.  I feel that Marxists have interesting things to say.  This doesn't mean I want to live in a marxist society (I absolutely do not - good luck making it work) or that I agree with their specific solutions to given problems, but their criticisms of mainstream capitalist thought are worth listening to, I think.

Sometimes the folks who subscribe to "isms" tend to isolate markets from government, but that's not how things work.  Money is power.  When a great deal of money accumulates, it exercises an inordinate amount of power over government.  In the past, it was industrialists - Big Oil, Big Steel, etc.  Now it's Big Banking.  The best investment the TBTF banks made in recent times were all of its campaign contributions to influence legislation on both the "left" and the "right".  ROI on the few billion they spent is incalculable - all that bailout money that flowed their way, the lack of prosecution for fraud, the evisceration of any attempts to renew glass-steagall, and the return of massive bonuses are the payout.  Money well spent for sure, especially if you're a TBTF bank executive.

Why do you think the regional Fed presidents are against money printing?  Their constituents (the regional and local banks - the ones who can't participate in Casino Capitalism) are being screwed, while the TBTF banks are raking it in, because the playing field is not level.

 

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Re:It's Not Socialist, It's Obvious

those in power will seek to increase and consolidate their hold on power.

So what is the solution?  Do you want a big powerful government to confiscate wealth and distribute it to the less productive members of society?  That is a formula that has failed over and over.  First of all we live in a global society where money can be moved to someplace safer if the government threatens to confiscate it. Rich people are smart and will move money and jobs to a place where their money is safe.  High taxes and confiscation of wealth will fail, and will destroy the economy faster than anything.  Along the way we give up our rights to our property and our freedom.

My solution is personal responsibility, local government not federal government, and limit federal government power as was originally done in the constitution with enumerated powers.  My main reason for wanting a limited government is I am afraid we will see the rise of a “strong man” such as Hitler or Napoleon after an economic crisis.  This is not the time to push for big government solutions.  You want to use the efficiency of capitalism with a small socialist safety net.  That is the solution that has worked in the past. 

I already think of you as someone who is a moderate conservative

Your right, my conservative friends see me as a liberal because of my views on mass transit, energy conservation, the environment, reducing military obligations around the world, and new urbanism.  My liberal friends see me as a arch-conservative because of my views on the 2nd amendment, limited government, and personal responsibility.  Right now I dislike both parties but I am more opposed to the party racking up 1.3 trillion dollar deficits and consolidating power in the executive branch.

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In Mauldin's article in

In Mauldin's article in today's DD, the Real Median Household Income chart is interesting and scary.  Income adjusted for inflation is basically leveled off to the level it was 14 years ago. 

More details here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

I assume household income has actually declined significantly if the true inflation rate is used rather than offical government numbers. 

Other factors for reduced income could be reduction in the number of wage earners in a hosuehold (fewer married couples) and increasing concentration of wealth in the top percentiles.

Whatever the reasons, the chart reflects my personal income experience the last 20 years.

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Socialism and other isms.

Socialism certainly has failed in America where company and big bank profits are privitised and the losses are socialised.

I see no isms other than survivalism.

If you pull your hair out over these quaint old fasioned isms then you are going to go bald for nothing.

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Woodman wrote: In Mauldin's
Woodman wrote:

In Mauldin's article in today's DD, the Real Median Household Income chart is interesting and scary.  Income adjusted for inflation is basically leveled off to the level it was 14 years ago. 

More details here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

I assume household income has actually declined significantly if the true inflation rate is used rather than offical government numbers. 

Other factors for reduced income could be reduction in the number of wage earners in a hosuehold (fewer married couples) and increasing concentration of wealth in the top percentiles.

Whatever the reasons, the chart reflects my personal income experience the last 20 years.

What evidence is there that it has truly leveled off and isn't continuing to slide? We would all be very fortunate if income has leveled off to the level of fourteen years ago. My fear is that it's only the eye of the hurricane. Watch out for the backside.

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The delicate art form of the Katana.

Hi Vanity fox.

This is a good doco. 

However, I find my concentration interupted by visions the Katana leaving the head perched upon the neck, completely detached.

A beautiful art form, don't you think?

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ken325 wrote: This is not
ken325 wrote:

This is not the time to push for big government solutions.  You want to use the efficiency of capitalism with a small socialist safety net.  That is the solution that has worked in the past. 

The situations of the past are not the same as the present. We know now, or are discovering painfully now,  that we don't live in an infinate planet with infinate resources.

Look at the one billion starving people globally, the millions on food stamps today in the U.S., and you will see that there is no "efficiency of capitalism". And any "socialist safety net" is quickly dimantled by capitalism.The only truth today is that industrial capitalism, or supposed free markets, equally distributes pain and suffering to all but the elites. 

There is no combination of capitalism and a "small socialist safety net" that can work, because the very fundamentals of capitalism and the monetary system (profit motive, competition, self-interest, etc.) are unsustainable.

 

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ken325 wrote: This is not
ken325 wrote:

This is not the time to push for big government solutions.  You want to use the efficiency of capitalism with a small socialist safety net.  That is the solution that has worked in the past. 

The situations of the past are not the same as the present. We know now, or are discovering painfully now,  that we don't live in an infinate planet with infinate resources.

Look at the one billion starving people globally, the millions on food stamps today in the U.S., and you will see that there is no "efficiency of capitalism". And any "socialist safety net" is quickly dimantled by capitalism.The only truth today is that industrial capitalism, or supposed free markets, equally distributes pain and suffering to all but the elites. 

There is no combination of capitalism and a small socialist safety net that can work, because the very fundamentals of capitalism and the monetary system (profit motive, competition, self-interest, etc.) are unsustainable.

 

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Isms....
ken325 wrote:

Your right, my conservative friends see me as a liberal because of my views on mass transit, energy conservation, the environment, reducing military obligations around the world, and new urbanism.  My liberal friends see me as a arch-conservative because of my views on the 2nd amendment, limited government, and personal responsibility.  Right now I dislike both parties but I am more opposed to the party racking up 1.3 trillion dollar deficits and consolidating power in the executive branch.

Hmm, you sound somewhat Libertarian.  I'm pretty sure I'm the one who Poet said might call you a hypocrite. WinkAnyway, yes, there are the Marxist and Socialist's at the site.  I have found it effective to simply click the ignore user button and try not to get drawn into futile conversations (no Poet - you are not on that list). I find that it helps me to do productive things rather than spending time trying to convince them of the error of their ways. Cool  I encourage them to do the same....

I find most people agree the current system is incredibly broken.  The prime difference is you have those that say it's broken because capitalism is broken and they look at the existing situation as a result of capitalism.  I happen to believe that the current system is broken because of the socialist aspects of our government.  Centrally managed monetary system, massive entitlement spending (SS, Medicare, Medicaid), and war?  Exactly how are those capitalistic?  All of those only occur when you have a government willing to take money from some citizens and redistribute it to others.  Without the monetary system manipulation I highly doubt we would have the war issues since directly taxing citizens to pay for the effort would quickly be denounced, however, with a printing press you can nicely hide the impact for years.

I believe you are right in that the system will come to an end in the not too distant future, and I too worry that we will turn to more government or an individual as the solution rather than back to individual freedom and smaller distributed government.  The only thing that gives me solace is that large centrally managed system take lots of resources and as we know from the Crash Course, that is one thing likely to be in short supply.  It means any attempt to centrally manage will most likely be short lived.

Anyway, as someone pointed out, submit articles to [email protected] that you feel are worth sharing.  Or simply head over to sites like Lew Rockwell, or Campaign for Liberty for a daily dose of Libertarianism to balance out your day.

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two points

1.  It has been my observation for the last 40 years or so that so-called Marxist critiques are very good at explaining the failures in other isms and very bad at coming up with viable alternatives.

2.  Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

Doug

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Re: two points
Doug wrote:

1.  It has been my observation for the last 40 years or so that so-called Marxist critiques are very good at explaining the failures in other isms and very bad at coming up with viable alternatives.

2.  Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

Doug

Just my 2 cents, but keep an eye on Japan. We may get answer to that question sooner than we may think... We're already starting to see anti-consumerism propaganda and they have started to evaluate quotas for electricity consumption (along with fines if we go over the limits at the end of the month). All in all, a pretty interesting "Petri dish" alright..

Samuel

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Nuns question Goldman Sachs bosses $$ worth

"Nuns ask Goldman Sachs bosses whether they're really worth $69.5m"

at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8425222/Nuns-ask-Goldman-Sachs-bosses-whether-theyre-really-worth-69.5m.html#

Goldman Sachs is facing a call from four leading orders of catholic nuns to review whether the pay awarded to chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and other top executives is excessive.

You just can't make this stuff up...

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guardia wrote: Doug
guardia wrote:
Doug wrote:

1.  It has been my observation for the last 40 years or so that so-called Marxist critiques are very good at explaining the failures in other isms and very bad at coming up with viable alternatives.

2.  Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

Doug

Just my 2 cents, but keep an eye on Japan. We may get answer to that question sooner than we may think... We're already starting to see anti-consumerism propaganda and they have started to evaluate quotas for electricity consumption (along with fines if we go over the limits at the end of the month). All in all, a pretty interesting "Petri dish" alright..

Samuel

Having quotas and forcing people to use or not use resources does not sound like Capitalism ot me so I don't think this would answer the question that was posed.

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Growth

I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth

 

Growth can continue indefinitly. 

Just as soon as we go off-planet.

If we don't then we are yeast in a bottle.

We have to abandon Common Sense.

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Albert Einstein

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Capitalism without growth

Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth. I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy. Can the two co-exist?

I was about to dismiss this but then I thought about it and it is a good question. When you talk to socialist you often hear about dividing the pie in a way that is fairer. When you talk to capitalist they point out that the solution is to make more pie rather than divide what is left and in that way everyone gets more. So if we go into a situation where growth is limited by a lack of resources then what happens? I am not sure, but again capitalism is more efficient. Look at the situation with the farmers in Zimbabwe. The government redistributes land to give more of it to native people and food production falls off a cliff because the new farmers do not know how to manage the farms properly. I think with limited resources you need to focus on managing what you have more efficiently. We probably need to focus on making sure that things are priced accurately so that market forces will force the needed efficiency. For example, the one new tax that I would support at this time is a gas tax. Cheap gas promotes wasteful use of this limited resource. Higher prices would force efficiency through market forces and promote alternative energy. This use of market forces to manage limited resources will be far more efficient than a socialist redistribution of the remaining resources.  Using a tax to promote effeciency is sort of socialist, but I want the redistribution to be based on effecinecy, not fairness.  Redistributing based on fairness gives the government the power to control resources and that is too much power if we want to keep our liberty and freedom.

 Rhare said -Hmm, you sound somewhat Libertarian.

 . Yes, I lean libertarian and I really liked your post. I agree with just about everything you said.

 

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Does capitalism require growth?
Doug wrote:

Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

I don't believe that capitalism requires growth.  Capitalism will result in competition for scarce resources with the viable, sustainable, and most productive eventually winning out (at least in the majority of cases).  The only difference I see is that up to this point, we have had enough resources that many could be successful and an investor faced less risk than they will in the future.  It means that those who invest (time or money) will have to be much more careful in the future and many will lose, particularly early on while it takes people time to figure out the world has changed - I guess thats just competition among investors as well.  I look to all the current building still going on in the real estate market as a good example. Why do you believe capitalism requires growth?

I also agree with Ken C, Japan is far from capitalistic.  Any country with a manipulated fiat currency at the root of their system is not capitalism, in fact Japan appears to have many of the same social programs found in the US, except that they spend even a large percentage on "social protection", definitely not a capitalistic characteristic.

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aydantwofires
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Response to Doug's - two points

2.  Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

It is my limited observation of historical data that prior to the acquisiton cheap energy in the form of oil, the human population was growing at a very slow rate.  Thus, from a "generational" perspective we had a roughly zero population growth.  We had enough resources to support the popluation.  We had a "relatively" stable currency in the form of gold and silver, and economies were able to grow.  Economies and living standards grew but it was largely as a result of technological advancements rather than monetary expansion. 

Capitalism existed, but as we can see from looking at examples such as the British East India company, there has always been profit via exploitation in a capitalist system.  It is my viewpoint that such exploitation is predominatly based upon the flawed perception that man is both moral and rational and not an inherent facit of capitalism itself.  As someone else has already mentioned maximized productivity cannot exist in a system where freedom to profit from ones own labors is removed.  In todays economic arena, the only candidate that really fits that bill is capitalism.

I think that the problem we now face, is not so much can Capitalism survive without growth, but rather can humanity survive at our current rate of raw material consumption?  There are so many aspects of our geopolitical world economy showing signs that we have already exceeded the world's carrying capacity for humanity - rapid loss of freshwater supply, diminishing low cost energy resources, rapid loss of aerable soil, increases in all greenhouse gasses (not just carbon), larg-scale starvation (WHO estimates as many as 3 billion people currently are starving), low birth rates in industrialized countries, etc. 

This is all leading to some breakdown.  Why?  I believe it is because our "socialist" safety nets have removed the "mild" negative feedback responses that keep our world ecosystem (of which we humans are a dominant feature) in balance.  At some point the negative feedback responses will become so strong that they overpower our ability to mitigate them and we will have no choice but to re-structure our social systems.  The question I am concerned with is - can we as humans respond rationally and take precautionary steps now to self regulate, or will we continue in self delusion until we are forced to respond in a crisis setting?  We have all seen how well that works, and I believe this would be the worst thing that could ever happen to the world's middle class.

In my opinion, just like when parents must break up a fight between children that cannot share their toys and are forced to "re-allocate" the toys in a manner that is fair (often removing the prized toys from the equation altogether), unless we as a people can force our leaders to acknowledge and debate the real questions that we as a species are now facing, we will most likely end up being forced into global socialism not because it is the best system, but rather because it is the one which will allow for the survival of the human race.  Or at least, that will be the way that they will "spin" it to play on our psychological need for survival over comfort.

So to answer your question directly - yes, capitalism can survive in a no-growth economy, if we have a stable currency and adequate resources.  However, since we have neither of these, I believe the answer to your underlying question is - no capitalism will not survive, at least not beyond the next 10-25 years.  Not with our current level of self delusion, consumption and rampant individual and social immorality. 

However, I am hopeful that we will engineer ourselves out of this mess.  I'm just pessimistic right now that we have the time to do so.

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Survival of the fitest - man is no different
aydantwofires wrote:

We had a "relatively" stable currency in the form of gold and silver, and economies were able to grow.  Economies and living standards grew but it was largely as a result of technological advancements rather than monetary expansion.

I think you hit on the main issue, but then you continue to call what we have capitalism?  What we have had for the last 100 years is definitely not capitalism, how can it be when a key signal in capitalism (cost of capital) is routinely manipulated to cause behaviors that would not naturally occur?  I believe what we have is some form of central planning (not really socialism, Marxism, others) masquerading as capitalism.  Our current currency has allowed government to grow out of control by promising that which can not be delivered in the long run via obfuscation of the true costs.

aydantwofires wrote:

It is my viewpoint that such exploitation is predominately based upon the flawed perception that man is both moral and rational and not an inherent facit of capitalism itself.

I agree.  Any system that doesn't assume man behaves just like any other animal competing for resources will fail.  In general I believe you have to assume any individual will act to improve their life even at the expense of others.   Any centrally planned system will amplify this effect by giving power to few over many.  While you may have select individuals who will perform selflessly, that is not the natural trend and overtime such systems become corrupt.

 

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Correcting years of manipulation with more manipulation?
ken325 wrote:

We probably need to focus on making sure that things are priced accurately so that market forces will force the needed efficiency. For example, the one new tax that I would support at this time is a gas tax. Cheap gas promotes wasteful use of this limited resource.

This is one area where I believe what we see now is the result of decades of manipulation.  How do you correct that?  I'm really loathed to try and correct a bad situation caused by manipulation with more manipulation.  However, as you point out in this case we were set on a trajectory early on and are quickly running at a brick wall. The question is do we let society hit the brick wall and then correct or try to correct before the collision?  I really worry that simply adding a gas tax has unintended consequences?  How will the tax be used?  To fund alternative energy?  Who gets to pick where that money is funneled and will it result in the best choice being made? 

I would much rather we allow competing currencies and see if that corrects some of malinvestments.  I think this is a "predicament" and not a "problem".  So perhaps managing the outcome is the best we can do and hope those in power make at least a reasonable choice.  I'm not holdig my breath.

For those who want proof of poor results from government meddling, look no farther than our solar installation.  It is a monument to government interference, since I don't believe it could be justified without massive subsidies?  Is using other peoples taxes and energy costs to subsidize my energy consumption really a good thing?  Keep in mind the incentives that are readily visible in the solar market to the end consumer are only a portion of the total subsidies.  You have tax breaks given to manufacturers, government grants to research groups, ...

Another example?  How about the use of taxpayer funds to help me buy new electric vehicles?  Is that a good use of funds?  Is it encouraging the wrong behavior?  Should society be using resources to help me buy an electric vehicle or instead should I be forced to walk or bicycle?  How about the Corn Ethanol debacle?  Was that a good use of taxpayer funds?

Not sure the cure here isn't worse than the disease....

 

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Vanityfox451
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Rhare, You Make Me Laugh!!!
Rhare wrote:

Anyway, yes, there are the Marxist and Socialist's at the site. I have found it effective to simply click the ignore user button and try not to get drawn into futile conversations.

Rhare,

You've just answered a question for me that has bugged me for an entire week now. On a thread that you made, Darbikrash not only answered you, but called you out, An answer from you now is seriously overdue, but as I see, you chose to press the "Ignore User" button and pretend he wasn't there!!!

The "Ignore User" button is a bloody stupid idea on this site in my opinion if it can allow people like you to continue writing the same old - same old without learning anything new that would not only benefit your extremely thick skinned and fixed way of thinking, but could well help others while you go through the process. The truth be told, Darbikrash is neither a Marxist or a Socialist, and neither am I. We're just two I can count on at this site among many, that choose to look at different aspects of how the world works, and ask others to be open minded enough to see the difference between questioning ideologies, and living them.

Now, this is the post that requires your attention : -

How To Explain To Friends The Current Economic Situation ~ Post #25

... but I sense you've most likely pushed the "Ignore User" button on me too, which will prove what a futile waste of my time writing this post to you was for me, or anyone else, while you burrow your head deep in the sand while dropping more and more people here out of context, act out of malice to anything new, staying stuck in the rut of your own making ...

~ VF ~

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Vanityfox451
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Inside Job (2010) A Must Watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Arthur Robey wrote:

Hi Vanity fox.

This is a good doco. 

However, I find my concentration interupted by visions the Katana leaving the head perched upon the neck, completely detached.

A beautiful art form, don't you think?

Hi Arthur,

Isn't it stunning what the artistry of a Uchigatana can do!!!

As a compliment to the film above, my hat goes off to Catherine Austin Fitts with this excellent interview that has recently done the rounds at cm.com : -

Where is the outrage!!!

~ VF ~

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Vanity Of The Fox

VF

Seriously, if someone wants to ignore you, that's their business. The "Ignore" button feature is the same thing that people do in real life regarding who or what sources of media they talk to or chose to ignore, whether for good or ill. If there were no such feature, I'm sure Rhare (if he were ignoring you) and others would just scroll past your (admittedly long) writings and posts. Or, some may just decide to leave the community altogether. (I'd rather those people stay and put others on Ignore, rather than leave.)

Unfortunately, the very fact that you have insulted someone else in this community with your "bury head in the sand" reference just reduces the credibility you have built up with your numerous contributions, and detracts from the case that you shouldn't be on ignore, doesn't it?

Look, I feel what you have to contribute is really important. We need all viewpoints here, but yours is especially needed because you come out of left field (pun intended) to the point of view of many of the people here.

However, it alsio means you gotta work harder at getting your viewpoints accepted, through building concensus, laying out your case and directly addressing what people are saying with your own words, respectfully, and bring up reasoned, clear, concise critiques that point out the issues you have with what they're saying (but never your issues with them as people).

Some may never change their minds, but hopefully, enough will that you may gain allies - and friends among those who may not agree with you or like you at all, but respect what you're saying.

Ken235 and Rhare, etc., I did read what you wrote, I haven't had a chance to respond.

Poet

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Doug wrote: Someone on this

Doug wrote:

Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.

You don't see the word "brusquely" used much any more. Nice to see it here. I'm still searching for a way to work "verily" into a conversation. Smile

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Prithee, Verily
Johnny Oxygen wrote:

Doug wrote:

Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.

You don't see the word "brusquely" used much any more. Nice to see it here. I'm still searching for a way to work "verily" into a conversation. Smile

Verily, we should make haste and retreat to Victorian age vernacular since various economies themselves will beat a hasty retreat to antepetroleum sources of phlogiston, namely coal.

Poet

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Johnny Oxygen
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LoL @ "antepetroleum sources

LoL @ "antepetroleum sources of phlogiston"

I concur...verily

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Ignored users = sanity....
VanityFox451 wrote:

On a thread that you made, Darbikrash not only answered you, but called you out, An answer from you now is seriously overdue, but as I see, you chose to press the "Ignore User" button and pretend he wasn't there!!!

Yes, that's exactly what I did.  Why? Because I feel you and Darbikrash are not here to discuss but rather "call out" users.  It's appears to be a game of antagonization.  So, yes, I choose not to play.  You can call it sticking my head in the sand, I call it maintaining my sanity and to avoid continuous futile posts.

Actually, the post to which you refer was one of the ones that resulted in me changing my up until that point reluctance to use the Ignore User button.  In that post he claims I kept changing figures.  In an early post I apparently had used a figure of $100T for unfunded liabilities, then I used $144 in that article.  It was pointed out that I had misread the figure as it was an estimate for 2015 and the actual number was $114 - so I changed it in the rework of the article since it was incorrect.  The difference from $100T to $114T, probably a difference in 1-2 years at most or slightly different manners of calculating it.

However, the main point which Darbikrash complete failed to notice as he was too busy picking at the post, was that the total amount that the media was up in arms about over GE was $14B, and that wasn't the tax that was the amount to be taxed (at 35% it would be about $5B).  A tiny drop in the bucket of overwhelming debt by the US government.  The term penny wise pound foolish comes to mind, however in this case it would be pennywise 330 pounds foolish  ($1.65T deficit versus $5B tax income from GE).

Vanityfox451 wrote:

while you burrow your head deep in the sand while dropping more and more people here out of context, act out of malice to anything new,

Hmm, and you wonder why there are a few people who I've decided just aren't worth the pain - so friendly....  Here's news for you, your right to speak does not mean a right to be heard.

Vanityfox451 wrote:

staying stuck in the rut of your own making ...

Pot, Kettle, Black!

And in case you were wondering, yes, your are still Ignored, I just happen to see the reference Poet made so I was curious.  Now, back to productive things and I won't be offended at all if you choose to push the Ignore button for me.

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Ignore Politics Button?

I think we need an "Ignore Politics" button.

 

 

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Political Bias and the Death of cm.com ...

Rhare,

Far far indeed from pushing the ignore button on you, I choose to read every post on every thread that you write, making an educated decision on what I read by fleshing out on the information within it as to it being factual or not. As in the vast difference between a corporation paying 19% tax, or an individual paying 35% tax, I do not see these issues as paltry, or neither here nor there.

General Electric for example - not only subsidized by the American public, but a reduction in taxation down to near 0%, with billions of dollars in pay out from Corporation captured government so as to continue raping and destroying small industry in America – to outsource its business interests to foreign countries, shattering US employment and community while being paid to do so, seems to me to be more than a trifle doesn't it not?

The speciality to your supposed stance and debate falls so short in the context of morality, I suggest the objective, along with those who choose to defend it with you are what - created by God to test my faith in him???

Cornered is cornered, and I will not take this discussion to weather the image that it is but a difference of a few dollar crumbs scattered into the four winds, since such vastly disproportionate amounts cater for the reasons why people are actually dying right now from the consequences of it, right around the world, and every corner of it, because of its insidious tenticular ulterior market advantage.

How was your thread possibly placed front and centre to express a way of helping to explain how friends and family were being screwed over anyway, if the whole game plan layed out appeared as a way to state a political preferential bias on a site that has been howling for the last three years that it is bipartisan is anybodies guess.

I'll tell you what I see from my perspective Rhare. I see a great many more children with unhappy faces from having severe financially troubled parents with short tempers. I see people who still think they're houses are worth £200,000, when in actuality the value of their houses are nearer to £170,000, because the mortgage system is indeed a global one, and pathological banking and corporate interests have reduced the English pound down by 15% of equity and more since this debacle began, as a form of stealth tax.

I see men with weekly earnings struggling to cope with the fact that their £300 now has only £255 of purchasing power than just 18 months ago. The screw is being tightened on what he can afford, because his water bill has escalated by 8% this past year against a 15% drop in earning power. Gas and electricity are up 9% and 3% respectively. Food is up yet another12% over this past year. Finally, over the past 22 months, petrol prices have risen a penny a month. A gallon of petrol here costs the equivalent of $10 in the US. With 30% of houses now built in suburbs over this past 40 years, with long pipes and cables to power them from greater distances, the people that live within them require cars to commute for work. These people haven't a leg to stand on but to pay up to this dire and formidable squeeze, or lose their jobs.

How about health? The public health care system is yet again under attack by Milton Friedman style Chicago boys, trying to place more and more stringent Neo-Conservative restraints upon it to the point where it sinks and collapses under privatisation, and yet you still back the stinking envelope that structures selling off from underneath people what they have strived and worked hard to provide for their families for three generations? Still strive to state that human necessity can be spun into a profit rather than given at cost? Water privatised. Gas privatised. Electricity privatised. Education privatised. Prisons privatised. Rail travel privatised. Look at the US train system, equal in standards to that of Bulgaria's, and you believe that private interest is still the direction to go from here?

I tell you, Capitalism is dead! What is happening here against the backdrop of Peak Oil isn't a new fangled twisted approach to what people think Capitalism is, hiding the true reflection of what Capitalism was over a hundred years ago - this is the real and true Capitalism. It is in the process of killing any and all human advancement, not nurturing it. It has no place left to grow, and is now in the process of eating everything up, right down to the last bacteria in the Petri dish, and you appear to still wish to defend it?

I do not, nor will I ever advocate the US centric identity with Socialism. Nor will I ever take on the US bias toward Marxism, since neither of those ideologies are fully understood by many people who have lived within the confines of its shores. Not more than a handful have actually read, or to my understanding, comprehend the literature about such subjects, that they can fully grasp the opposite end of the spectrum and therefore understand why the bias of Capitalism is so destructive in the wake of the catastrophe that has submerged the globe these past years. What is, as can be seen, in and of itself, only the very beginning toll of the outcome of the next years ahead.

Bias and propaganda are the mainstay of most every media in your country, specifically to keep you under the weight of the political paradigm you're being crushed by. There is only one way in which clarification and comprehension is possible, and that can only be acquired by looking at the fullest and broadest picture of events ahead, present and past, from the clearest viewpoint possible, so as to come to viable conclusions that have sound foundation.

You may say that by use of antagonistic tactic on the part of Darbikrash and I, we are at fault and therefore worthy of exemption. Yet in an alternate reality, one that I stand for, you are my antagoniser. I am trying my hardest to defend the open nature of this forum from being reduced to a right-wing tool of conversion, such as the Republican party masquerading with “altruistic” intent with The Tea Party Movement.

Think, are your motives sound? I don't believe so, and I call you on it …

 ~ VF ~

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trwiley
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Doug wrote: 2.  Someone on
Doug wrote:

2.  Someone on this site once brusquely dismissed a question I posed having to do with whether an underlying requirement of Capitalism is eternal growth.  I have yet to hear a plausible explanation on how Capitalism can survive without growth and would like to hear a discussion of that point, as one of the tenets of this site is that we have to transition to a no-growth economy.  Can the two co-exist?

Doug

Capitalism can't survive without growth. Read this report:

Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism

"The report concludes that since capitalist growth cannot be stopped, or even slowed, and since the market-driven growth is driving us toward collapse, ecological economists should abandon the fantasy of a steady-state capitalism and get on with the project figuring out what a post–capitalist economic democracy could look like."

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ken325
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Sugestion on the Ignore user issue

I read this forum frequently but I do not post a lot here. I am active on several forums and you and can only spend so much time typing responses. I do have a suggestion. It would be good to have a way of rating peoples post. Either a thumbs up or down or some way of marking an exceptional post. My current favorite forum is the Survival Podcast forum where you have a Karma system to note users who frequently post useful information.

My original comment was that I am starting to feel uncomfortable at this forum because of the high number of post that are critical of capitalism, or are written by people who see Marxism or socialism as the solution to our problems. If we could rate these posts then the form moderators would see that they are looking at a vocal minority, and they could dial back on the number of articles in the daily digest that are written from a socialist prospective. I am a big fan of Chris Martensons Crash course and I have recommended it to a lot of my friends. I think that he was smart to avoid suggesting political solutions and instead suggested focusing on personal solutions. I see big government solutions, the revolutionaries on the left, and the anarchist as a major threat in the unstable times that are coming. I also see that we have very little power to change the system. The only thing that we can do is educate people as to the problems that we face and make adjustments to our personal situation.

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More Knowledge Means More Tools
ken325 wrote:

My original comment was that I am starting to feel uncomfortable at this forum because of the high number of post that are critical of capitalism, or are written by people who see Marxism or socialism as the solution to our problems.

I would say that we need to look at the various criticisms of capitalism in order to see how best to change or reform capitalism for the better. Certainly NO regulation is just as bad as TOO MUCH regulation. Personally, I'm uncomfortable seeing people still pushing NO regulation or depending on the kindness of strangers to police themselves when profit is their motive. I also see the heavy hand of government crushing innovation or the freedom of small entrepreneurs in the economy. We need to find a balance.

That many of the major critiques of the current system are written by Socialists or Marxists is unfortunate, but sadly, we don't see the mainstream media actually critiquing Capitalism. Everything presented to us is still viewed from within the lens of Capitalism. Being outside looking in is sometimes helpful.

My answer to the question you posed earlier about what the solution is to our economic problems caused by the collusion of Big Business and Big Government... is that I don't have a solution. But the most important thing we CAN do while searching for a solution is to stay open-minded, including to alternate viewpoints and perceptions and arguments we don't agree with. It's hard for one side to gain too much power or too much of an influence over people's perceptions if there are other viewpoints and powers to keep that one side in check. Freedom of speech and dissemation is very important. It isn't just about allowing new ideas to sprout, it's also about keeping existing ideas and powers in check.

So I encourage you to either ignore the articles that you consider to be "Socialist or Marxist". Or, better yet, read them with a grain of salt, looking only at the criticisms (which usually have some validity to them) and not at the solutions offered. But let's not try to advocate preventing articles that you ideologically disagree from being brought to the attention of  this community. In these difficult times, the more knowledge we have at hand, the more tools we will have available to deal with problems.

Poet

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trwiley
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Solution to our problems
ken325 wrote:

My original comment was that I am starting to feel uncomfortable at this forum because of the high number of post that are critical of capitalism, or are written by people who see Marxism or socialism as the solution to our problems.

Ken325, you are right to be skeptical and uncomfortable. It is actually a healthy initial response to feel uncomfortable about new concepts, especially as they may challenge our deepest held values and ideals. It is an even healthier response to try an understand why we feel uncomfortable, and not to turn away from the new concepts, especially in our current times, as they may indeed hold keys. Based on our sometimes dark past, it is only natural to feer socialism. I would propose that the future we have in front of us is even more scary if we don't make some fundamental changes, namely to our current monetary paradigm. 

Actually, I don't see either capitalism or socialism or any other "izm" as the solution to our problems. These are all based on our current monetary system, which is fundamentally flawed. It is based on perpetual growth. And, as the report I linked to discusses, even so-called steady state or slow growth economies won't work. So what else is there?

ken325 wrote:

I think that he was smart to avoid suggesting political solutions and instead suggested focusing on personal solutions. I see big government solutions, the revolutionaries on the left, and the anarchist as a major threat in the unstable times that are coming. I also see that we have very little power to change the system.

I am interested in is post-political solutions that go beyond left and right, free markets versus socialism. And the true threat is not the leftists, but the certain Mad Max world that's coming if we don't change our paradigms. That scares the hell out of me, and all the preparation in the world won't make that a pleasant world to live in.

And we actually do have power to change the systems. Our money-based system is nothing more than a social consctruct, an agreement that we have made amongst ourselves. But if it's a social construct, then it can be changed, by us.

ken325 wrote:

The only thing that we can do is educate people as to the problems that we face and make adjustments to our personal situation.

If we only educate people to the problems, without offering any solutions, only preparation, than we are trying to motivate from a place of fear. This isn't nearly as powerful and enduring as motivating with hope and a vision for a better world. And respectfully, I don't think we can only "make adjustments to our personal situation". Our problems are global in nature and can't be solved by nationalistic or individual preparations.

Believe it or not, fear it or not, there are more and more people who are seeing that it's time to move beyond money. I just came across this:

An Introduction to The Free World Charter

"The Free World Charter is a document that proposes an advanced alternative society that uses no money, is free, fair, and sustainable.

It is neither political nor religious. It is simply sense, science and survival.

This is our world and we can choose a better society now if we want it."

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rhare
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Your joking, right?
trwiley wrote:

Believe it or not, fear it or not, there are more and more people who are seeing that it's time to move beyond money. I just came across this:

An Introduction to The Free World Charter

"The Free World Charter is a document that proposes an advanced alternative society that uses no money, is free, fair, and sustainable.

It is neither political nor religious. It is simply sense, science and survival.

This is our world and we can choose a better society now if we want it."

HAHAHHAHAHAHAH.  You did post that as a joke right.  Let's examine just a few quotes from this soon to be starving person:

Just about everything we produce for ourselves is produced by machines or computers....Technology has completely freed us from hard labor.  We don't need people to produce the things we consume, then it follows that producing these things is a very easy thing to do.  If producing things is easy then their is not reason not produce these things for everybody, not just the ones who can pay.

Out planet has plenty of resources to provide for everyone, the only thing we are short of is money, so why not just make everything free.

Completely delusional.  We can build bigger and better, no contraints.  No resource limitations - plenty of food, water, energy, technology for everyone! Did you actually watch the Crash Course? 

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Johnny Oxygen
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My original comment was that

My original comment was that I am starting to feel uncomfortable at this forum because of the high number of post that are critical of capitalism, or are written by people who see Marxism or socialism as the solution to our problems. If we could rate these posts then the form moderators would see that they are looking at a vocal minority, and they could dial back on the number of articles in the daily digest that are written from a socialist prospective.

Ewwwww...that statement makes me feel uncomfortable...comrade.

I don't want to reduce my understanding of anything by just listening to like minded people.

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rhare wrote: trwiley
rhare wrote:
trwiley wrote:

Believe it or not, fear it or not, there are more and more people who are seeing that it's time to move beyond money. I just came across this:

An Introduction to The Free World Charter

"The Free World Charter is a document that proposes an advanced alternative society that uses no money, is free, fair, and sustainable.

It is neither political nor religious. It is simply sense, science and survival.

This is our world and we can choose a better society now if we want it."

HAHAHHAHAHAHAH.  You did post that as a joke right.  Let's examine just a few quotes from this soon to be starving person:

Just about everything we produce for ourselves is produced by machines or computers....Technology has completely freed us from hard labor.  We don't need people to produce the things we consume, then it follows that producing these things is a very easy thing to do.  If producing things is easy then their is not reason not produce these things for everybody, not just the ones who can pay.

Out planet has plenty of resources to provide for everyone, the only thing we are short of is money, so why not just make everything free.

Completely delusional.  We can build bigger and better, no contraints.  No resource limitations - plenty of food, water, energy, technology for everyone! Did you actually watch the Crash Course? 

 

I give you credit for following the link. Just with the small part that was posted I smiled to myself and quietly said, "next post."

C.

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
What is capitalism?

I have been thinking of a way to address Ken325's post:

I have enjoyed the CM Daily Digest for a long time but lately I am seeing a lot of articles that blame our current problems on capitalism and unequal distribution of wealth.  This really disturbs me.  If we list the problems that we face in the future such as debt, insolvent governments, debased currency, the end of cheap energy, and others, then you see that big government is at the heart of most of these problems.  Before someone points this out I will say that collusion between industry and big government is a real problem and we need to end this.  In my mind socialism and Marxism fail every time because human nature will not allow us to work at full capacity unless we can keep a majority of the fruits of our labor.  Capitalism can be cruel so we have a safety net and some income redistribution in the form of a progressive tax.  Still capitalism is more efficient and will always produce more wealth than socialism or Marxism. 

My question is has this website been taken over by socialist?  Are the moderators who select stories like The Crisis of Capitalism proposing socialist solutions to our problems or just using this website to push a socialist agenda?  Is Chris Martenson pushing a socialist agenda?  If you are then please be open about it.  Seeing pro-socialist stories listed in the Daily Digest every few days is really starting to bother me.  How about some libertarian, small government, or local government instead of federal government stories if you want to keep things rounded and balanced.  I just wanted to point out that running stories like the Crisis of Capitalism is turning off some of your readers.  If this is intentionally becoming a socialist site then that is fine but please be open about it so I will know what your agenda is.

 

I thought, what does the good-book say about capitalism, (no, not that one, the dictionary) and I came up with this:

Merriam-Webster says:

Definition of CAPITALISM

: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

 

We have not had anything near this definition of capitalism in the U.S. for quite some time. Unfortunatly, our society is or has already become more of an Oligarchy.

Definition of OLIGARCHY

1: government by the few

2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control

3: an organization under oligarchic control

Examples of OLIGARCHY

1. Their nation is an oligarchy.

2. An oligarchy rules their nation.

3. The corporation is ruled by oligarchy.

And, yes there are the "ism" folks here. Know how you can tell? By their Birkenstocks! Sorry, I just had to.

What we have lost here in the U.S. is adherence to the golden rule. The original one, not the funny ones.

To stay secular, it is really true, everything we needed to know, we learned in Kindergarten!!! However, that is not the world in which we live.

C.

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
RNcarl wrote: To stay
RNcarl wrote:

To stay secular, it is really true, everything we needed to know, we learned in Kindergarten!!! However, that is not the world in which we live.

C.

Robert Fulghum for President?

trwiley's picture
trwiley
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2009
Posts: 78
rhare wrote: No resource
rhare wrote:

No resource limitations - plenty of food, water, energy, technology for everyone! Did you actually watch the Crash Course? 

Yes I did watch the whole Crash Course, and I agree 100% with all of it...in this paradigm. In the current monetary paradigm we are running out of resources and the shit will hit the fan. I work for a company that owns significant water rights and they are trying to figure out how to monetize it (aka, profit off of it). They hope that water scarcity gets worse so they can make a killing. Our monetary system is set up to profit off of probems, not solve them. Not only does capitalism feed off of scarcity, it actually helps to create scarcity, either real or preceived.

That for me (and I'm sure for others) was the biggest mind shift, to see that if we fundamentally transform our monetary paradigm, we shift from resource scarcity to resource abundance. If you go deeper in your exploration you will see that we have more than enough food to feed everyone, that overpopulation is not a problem, and that we can create a world that works for everyone, not just a small fraction of us.

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Human Nature
trwiley wrote:

...if we fundamentally transform our monetary paradigm, we shift from resource scarcity to resource abundance. If you go deeper in your exploration you will see that we have more than enough food to feed everyone, that overpopulation is not a problem, and that we can create a world that works for everyone, not just a small fraction of us.

Yes, there actually is enough food for everyone's needs, not enough for everyone's wants.

Unfortunately, I don't think human nature will allow us to fundamentally transform our monetary paradigm for such lofty goals as to meet everyone's needs. If we were able to do that, the world would also be able to limit ourselves to zero population growth, too. We'd probably have world peace, too.

So we gotta do what we can to prepare for the worst. I don't really trust in government or big business or the powers of this world. They all get subverted by human nature.

Poet

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote: RNcarl
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
RNcarl wrote:

To stay secular, it is really true, everything we needed to know, we learned in Kindergarten!!! However, that is not the world in which we live.

C.

Robert Fulghum for President?

Exactly, except he needs to also have the motto, "speak softly and carry a big stick!"

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