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Myrtonos

Are you really a capitalist?

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Myrtonos

A real capitalist believes that a voluntary transaction between two parties gains both parties wealth. If one is rich enough, those who make an expensive product will be enriched by selling it. The rich can get richer without the poor getting poorer.

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Asgardian

I am just one man who thinks going through life attaching labels to yourself like "capitalist" are overrated and pointless.

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blacktiger911

i buy i car. which pays the paycheck of the people who assemble the car. the people who mine the materials to make the wiring for the car and the people who make the equipment to mine the ore and the people who make the equipment to make the equipment and so on.

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MrGrey

It really depends of what does the word "capitalist" means for the individual answering the question.  Many free-market advocates label themselves as capitalists.  But so did the long gone directors of the Dutch India Trading company.   Personally I would prefer a system where pursuing the accumulation of money wasn't the main goal.  Mainly because most people out there pay money for things that should have no value.  Like... for example, something most people would probably agree:  a plushy of a poop emoji.  

Capitalism makes rich men of those who dare to sell overpriced poop emoji plushies.  But if someone invents a recipe on how to make a remedy for cancer using nothing but cheap/common household items, that person would never receive a dime and die poor.   Heck he might even get sued by the manufacturers of said common household items for using their products without authorization... maybe even get fines by the US Food and Drugs Administration for not paying them before publishing the remedy.

 

idk, maybe im just cranky and pessimistic atm

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Dr-David-Banner

" Personally I would prefer a system where pursuing the accumulation of money wasn't the main goal."

You're right. This is now a big problem. I think it's also a huge mistake.

I have some pretty good books on communism written by Russian academics during the Gorbachev era. At that time, communism started to come under strong attack. The absolute peak of communism was under Stalin and Stalin planned to eradicate capitalism totally. That means no value fixed to products either in direct exchange or through currency. Stalin also used State terror to frighten the masses to work on the basis of targets. Factories were given production targets and people could be accused of sabotage if the production level didn't meet the targets. So, often people had to cheat and rush work.

When I went to Russia just after Gorbachev was displaced and the USSR fell apart, I found Russia was in a huge mess. No food in the provinces. Imported German chocolate. You had to queue about 40 minutes to buy bread, cheese or milk. The shop staff wore white gowns and had no real interest in the job as they had no personal motivation. Shops didn't have names like "Bill's Burger Bar" but just the term "Products". The Russian people too were not happy as they had realised their country had fallen far behind and that, in many ways, they'd been conned by the promises of Communism. At some point, the elite communists of the country in Gorbachev's team finally realised the system was un-reformable. There was mafia, black market, shit wages for academics and scientists, prostitutes and racketeers.

Today some academics blame it all on Stalin. They claim he went too far and strayed from the original ideas of Marx and Lenin.

The irony is, something similar may also be happening to capitalism. The same mess is gradually building up to the point where the whole edifice is likely to collapse. It's the same inertia as seen under communism. Making money and profit the whole basis of a society is doomed to fail. It values only accumulation of money and in many cases puts racketeers and dodgy bankers as the ideal to aspire to. I went to an Asda store last week and saw the same thing I'd witnessed under communism in Russia. Staff sitting around talking and clueless customers trying to figure out how to use automated till service.

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MrGrey

Following on the problem on people loosing the motivation to work...

  I've listened to the rhetoric that says without capitalism, people will loose their motivation to work.  Mainly because there's no money to be gained by it.  But the way I see it is that over time, capitalism is bound to create a system where a very selected few become very rich and control everyone else.  Once that happens, the very few rich people become everybody's employer and with enough momentum, they gain the power to force people to work for almost nothing.  Which in turn creates the same exact situation of loosing work motivation, because you make no money out of it.

  I have never met a single person who is happy, exited and motivated to get up and go do a part time shift at Walmart.  They do it because  they have to eat.  But they are fully aware their jobs will never pay for a house, a reliable car, decent medical care or their kid's college education.  

 Some argue that getting a better job to earn more money is the motivation.  But a better job where?  The shoe store, the florist, the bakery, the clothing store, the hardware store, the electronics store... all of them closed because the mega-store drove them out of business.  Not to mention that many of the so called "better jobs" are being outsourced overseas to where-ever it's cheaper, in order to make better profits, to keep pursuing accumulation of money for the rich.

  Seems to me like there is an endless cycle of systems that create rich classes, who control too much, until the system crashes, reboots and starts again.

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Dr-David-Banner

I think I came to my own conclusion not too long ago that Gorbachev was pivotal. Gorbachev had realised communism in the USSR was leading to stagnation and wanted to reform it. The idea was to reform only. However, as events outran himself and his team, communism collapsed totally. This led from one extreme to another where suddenly all countries began to believe capitalism was the only way. And yet capitalism is plain failing. There needed to simply be a system that worked - period.
Communism in the USSR did have a lot of initial flaws. Much of it was kind of cult based (as in North Korea). I mean, it's one thing to hope to elevate the working classes and another to class them as a superior class while persecuting the bourgeoisie. Of course, the Russians did come to understand the system couldn't be easily reformed.

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Myrtonos

Note, a capitalist is defined as someone who believes in net gains in wealth from voluntary transactions. The richer the customer(s), the more their chosen vendor(s) can sell to those customers and so the more that/those vendor(s) can be enriched.

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Max000
On 2/14/2018 at 1:12 AM, Myrtonos said:

A real capitalist believes that a voluntary transaction between two parties gains both parties wealth. If one is rich enough, those who make an expensive product will be enriched by selling it. The rich can get richer without the poor getting poorer.

No, I believe that the rich will always get richer, and the poor will always get poorer. It's like the game of Monopoly. One person wins, and everyone else loses. To make it worse, capitalism undermines democracy. Because the wealthy can buy political power, and basically become dictators. It's probably the single worst system that has ever been invented. I see no future for it. 

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Myrtonos

According to Adam Smith that won't happen if profits are used to increase productivity.

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