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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 14 Jun '09 20:39
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/201935?GT1=43002

    A few years from now, strange as it may sound, we might all find that we are hungry for more capitalism, not less. An economic crisis slows growth, and when countries need growth, they turn to markets. After the Mexican and East Asian currency crises—which were far more painful in those countries than the current downturn has been in America—we saw the pace of market-oriented reform speed up. If, in the years ahead, the American consumer remains reluctant to spend, if federal and state governments groan under their debt loads, if government-owned companies remain expensive burdens, then private-sector activity will become the only path to create jobs. The simple truth is that with all its flaws, capitalism remains the most productive economic engine we have yet invented. Like Churchill's line about democracy, it is the worst of all economic systems, except for the others. Its chief vindication today has come halfway across the world, in countries like China and India, which have been able to grow and pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty by supporting markets and free trade. Last month India held elections during the worst of this crisis. Its powerful left-wing parties campaigned against liberalization and got their worst drubbing at the polls in 40 years.
  2. 14 Jun '09 20:41
    How do you define a degree of capitalism?
  3. 15 Jun '09 00:06
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    The simple truth is that with all its flaws, capitalism remains the most productive economic engine we have yet invented.
    I don't see why we have to have this either / or mentality. Capitalism is a wonderful system for generating wealth. The vast majority of countries in the world now operate according to a broadly capitalist economic system, and most of them are gradually getting richer.

    But capitalism has the flaw that it doesn't evenly distribute wealth. Millions of people are lifted out of poverty, but millions of others are left in it. The resulting inequality leads to social unrest, crime, high rates of anxiety and depression, etc, etc.

    However, when we look to the Nordic countries, we find the solution. We use the free market to generate wealth. And then we use government intervention to ensure its equitable distribution. Result: more or less the highest life expectancies and lowest infant mortality rates on the planet, low crime rates, good mental and physical health outcomes, general social cohesion and individual well-being. Thanks to all that's best about capitalism and all that's best about government action. Problem solved.
  4. 15 Jun '09 00:31
    Capitalism is evil and corrupt.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    15 Jun '09 00:45
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    However, when we look to the Nordic countries, we find the solution. We use the free market to generate wealth. And then we use government intervention to ensure its equitable distribution. Result: more or less the highest life expectancies and lowest infant mortality rates on the planet, low crime rates, good mental and physical health outcomes, general s ...[text shortened]... all that's best about capitalism and all that's best about government action. Problem solved.
    Yup; and all you need is to combine all that with a homogeneous population, abundant natural resources and underpopulated lands and everyone in the World can enjoy the same.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    15 Jun '09 00:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Yup; and all you need is to combine all that with a homogeneous population, abundant natural resources and underpopulated lands and everyone in the World can enjoy the same.
    The U.S. has abundant resources and underpoplulated lands. So that just leaves your 'homogeneous population' point. So can I take it what you are politely alluding to is capitalism providing a mechanism for heterogenous "kinds' of people to exploit each other, with a veneer of respectability provided by the ideology?
  7. 15 Jun '09 06:06
    Originally posted by sh76
    Yup; and all you need is to combine all that with a homogeneous population, abundant natural resources and underpopulated lands and everyone in the World can enjoy the same.
    For once I agree with FMF... (it's so rare!)
    homogenous population is not a factor for economic growth, that is a shameful, baseless argument!
  8. 15 Jun '09 06:08
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I don't see why we have to have this either / or mentality. Capitalism is a wonderful system for generating wealth. The vast majority of countries in the world now operate according to a broadly capitalist economic system, and most of them are gradually getting richer.

    But capitalism has the flaw that it doesn't evenly distribute wealth. Millions of peo ...[text shortened]... ll that's best about capitalism and all that's best about government action. Problem solved.
    Scandinavian countries themselves are backing away from some of their generous pension programs. I would argue that such programs are all too socialist and unsustainable!
  9. 15 Jun '09 06:33
    Originally posted by sh76
    Yup; and all you need is to combine all that with a homogeneous population, abundant natural resources and underpopulated lands and everyone in the World can enjoy the same.
    Sorry sh76, none of those points are supported.

    Countries like Ecuador are dirt poor despite their abundant natural resources as are many AFrican and Asian countries.

    Homogenous populations haven't helped mongolia very much. How do you explain that the most heterogenous population of all, the US which has mixed every nation in the world is the riches? Natural resources are often a resource curse, see dutch disease. Underpopulated lands are found in Bolivia, Mongolia, former soviet republics many of which are dirt poor.

    In fact, densely populated countries often grow very quickly, look at japan and hong kong as well as western europe!

    this particular post calls for a downgrade to sh06.
  10. 15 Jun '09 06:35
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    How do you define a degree of capitalism?
    well, let's start with the extremes, as in not this:


    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=asiB1jRS68ks

    “We have aluminum and paper, why can’t we make that material here?” Chavez said today during his weekly “Alo Presidente” program on state television. “What are patents? That’s universal knowledge. We don’t have to be subject to capitalist laws.”
    The Venezuelan leader also said the government will seize cardboard companies that refuse to supply packaging to state-run food companies.
  11. 15 Jun '09 11:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Capitalism is evil and corrupt.
    Substitute the word people for the word capitalism and I think you may have an epiphany of sorts The question then becomes, what system works for those who are corrupt?
  12. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    15 Jun '09 12:00
    Originally posted by whodey
    Substitute the word people for the word capitalism and I think you may have an epiphany of sorts The question then becomes, what system works for those who are corrupt?
    Corporatism. Which is what all the champions of "capitalism" here seem to think is "capitalism" and "democracy. But it's actually Corporatism - a rival system of economic and political organization to democracy. I'd suggest that Corporatism is a system that works very well for those who are corrupt, whether it be "capitalist" Corporatism or "socialist" Corporatism.
  13. 15 Jun '09 13:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    Scandinavian countries themselves are backing away from some of their generous pension programs. I would argue that such programs are all too socialist and unsustainable!
    It's true that pension systems are in crisis in most of the developed world, mainly because there are more pensioners than there once were. Which is, in itself, a tribute to the success of the social democratic state, enabling its citizens to live longer, on average, than anyone in recorded history (by contrast, average life expectancy in the more nakedly capitalist US is lower than that in Jordan, and only a little higher than that in Libya, Cuba and Ecuador!).

    Obviously, though, the pension system could be sustained - through a combination of raising the retirement age, reducing the pension slightly (pensions in Western Europe are generous) and, if necessary, higher taxation. Although these policies would no doubt be unpopular, they would sustain the basic function of the system through the crisis. Which is probably going to be a temporary one - birth rates in most of Western Europe are now beginning to rise again.
  14. 15 Jun '09 13:07
    Originally posted by sh76
    Yup; and all you need is to combine all that with a homogeneous population, abundant natural resources and underpopulated lands and everyone in the World can enjoy the same.
    As everyone else has pointed out, that point is nonsense. The population of Scandinavia isn't very homogeneous anymore; natural resources don't guarantee wealth; and I'm not even sure that Sweden or Norway are underpopulated, given that much of their geographical extent in inhospitable.
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    15 Jun '09 13:18
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    this particular post calls for a downgrade to sh06.
    You want to make me 70 years older?