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Capitalism eats everything
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besson3c
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Jun 4, 2016, 12:59 PM
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohRiNE8GcHU

Bang on. Socialism is not capitalism's replacement, and it isn't capitalism's enemy. It's what keeps capitalism from eating everything.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jun 4, 2016, 01:18 PM
 
The government checks on Capitalism aren't "socialism", but he's just a comedy show host, what does he care? As long as he gets the lols and applause, he's happy.
"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
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but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 4, 2016, 01:30 PM
 
I think many would label the government checks on capitalism socialism.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jun 4, 2016, 01:42 PM
 
They aren't, but that's how people try to justify larger social programs, these days. "We need them to counter the evil companies!" Well, what happens when the programs grow larger and more corrupt than the corporations they replace? Voting out an established system, that people grow to depend on, is a lot harder than simply choosing to buy a different brand of a product.
"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
OAW
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Jun 4, 2016, 02:30 PM
 
CTP is actually correct here. "Socialism" strictly defined as an economic model involves the "social" as opposed to the "private" ownership of the means of production in a society. We here in the USA have government checks on capitalism. And some erroneously call that "socialism" but it's just not the case.

OAW
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 4, 2016, 02:56 PM
 
Agreed, but I think this rhetoric has poisoned a sense of balance because there are clearly those that would want to privatize as much as possible without acknowledge that Bill Maher is saying here, that capitalism naturally swallows up everything it is allowed to.

Some things it should swallow up. There was a day when telephone companies were very tightly controlled, but now while I think the cell companies should be regulated (and probably significantly more than they are now), they should still be privately owned, there should be competition, and they should be profit driven - at least for now. The national parks (as in Maher's example) and public education? Not so much, IMO (I would throw at least basic health care into this list too, but I digress).

What I haven't decided about yet though is Bernie Sanders. Was his success because of his democratic socialist policies, or in spite of this?
     
OAW
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Jun 4, 2016, 03:28 PM
 
Honestly I didn't look at your video because quite frankly I think Bill Maher can be a real asshole. And more importantly because I am getting ready for my son's high school graduation. But tell me if this is the gist of what he is saying. Capitalism by its very nature if left unchecked will inevitably result in the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Sound about right?

OAW
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 4, 2016, 03:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Honestly I didn't look at your video because quite frankly I think Bill Maher can be a real asshole. And more importantly because I am getting ready for my son's high school graduation. But tell me if this is the gist of what he is saying. Capitalism by its very nature if left unchecked will inevitably result in the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Sound about right?

OAW

Not quite. His premise is not so much about wealth concentrations, but the balance of what we are comfortable with being private vs. public. One of his main launch-off points was talk of privatizing parks.
     
OAW
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Jun 4, 2016, 03:56 PM
 
Gotcha. This weekend is gonna my to me pretty busy for me. I'll see if I can find a moment to check it out and then chime in later.

OAW
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jun 4, 2016, 04:16 PM
 
Government checks on capitalism is not "socialism". It's crony capitalism and it invariably benefits one group at the cost of another, through government compulsion (ie force) as opposed to the free will of individuals to vote with their wallets.

besson, watch this piece of a great interview:
     
el chupacabra
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Jun 5, 2016, 09:29 PM
 
Hawkeys right, the idea of fair government regulation is nice but it's not going to happen. Governmwnt picks sides, the wrong sides based on whose paying them or who can threaten their jobs... Because humans have natural untamable biases which carry over into government but become dumbed down into a mob-mentality ruled idiocracy combined with the influence of greed. The government is more powerful than ever yet regulates the largest corporations less than ever, and the smallest corporations and individuals more than ever.

I still constantly try to look for examples on how Im wrong on this, but js cant seem to find any. I dont think we can just go back to the way society used to be without a hard crash. Societies seem to cycle. People who had it hard in the past were rational and worked hard to build this country. But when they made life easy for the younger generations those young spoiled people have no clue about reality or hard work, because such people dont believe in learning these things from personal experiences. They will/are destroy(ing) society in which case everything will cycle through to a hard working class and all be ok again.
     
OAW
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Jun 7, 2016, 03:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Gotcha. This weekend is gonna my to me pretty busy for me. I'll see if I can find a moment to check it out and then chime in later.

OAW
Ok. I got through my hectic weekend and took a look at Maher's video. I'm going to stick to my original comment in that strictly speaking "Socialism" as an economic model involves the "social" as opposed to the "private" ownership of the means of production in a society. What Maher is advocating is that certain things (e.g. healthcare and national parks) are better served by being in the public sector vs the private sector. And that the former is a check on the latter. I agree. But he (and a lot of other people) erroneously call that "socialism".

That being said, I absolutely believe that there are somethings in society that should NOT be organized around the profit motive. Education. Healthcare. Police/Fire Protection. Military. Public lands. Prisons. Etc. There is no shortage of areas in life that are apt to make a buck in. But in some areas we as a society should be more concerned about the public good as opposed to private interests. Because more often than not when we take care of the former the latter is in a better position to take care of itself. Just my 2 cents ...

OAW
     
el chupacabra
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Jun 8, 2016, 10:05 PM
 
He doesn't know what text book socialism is but whats it matter in a world where almost nobody knows about anything political? I dont see a reason to split hairs over semantics. His point is we are drowning in government influence. Farm subsidies as example, the government has found a number of ways which collectively allow it control an entire industry (as it does many industries) - without even owning the industry, so what difference does it make? It has achieved the same end as com... socialism.

In his national parks example where the government is selling pieces of the parks & "naming rights" to the private sector to pay off the park's debts; He acts like the private sector is the bad guy. The government's the one selling it off... Shouldn't this be an eye opener to the pro government crowd what an absolute failure government generally is? How the hell does a freaking for profit forest........... that collects money... go into debt? It's a forest, it was doing just fine before private sector companies came in, bought the land, & donated it to the government to manage long ago.
     
OAW
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Jun 8, 2016, 10:21 PM
 
Perhaps because Americans don't particularly like to pay for the actual costs it takes to operate them?

OAW
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 9, 2016, 09:06 AM
 
Some things the government should handle for the public good.

When the Grand Canyon loses the rights to call a hotel by the name it's had for centuries because it was recently run by a large hotel corporation, something's wrong.

It is not in the interest of for-profit prisons to rehabilitate prisoners or encourage them to rejoin society, the more prisoners the better, pack em in.

I know libertarians think all roads should be private toll roads... but think of the logistics. It's impractical.
     
el chupacabra
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Jun 9, 2016, 11:19 AM
 
I think people have the conservative half backwards. Conservatives would like to have government provide all these services for them if government was actually willing to do them. It's government whose proven it doesn't want to provide the services. The government has been increasing the percentage of toll roads, and libertarians as well as everyone else have had no say in it. As the government diminishes a number of its services it hasn't diminished our tax bill proportionally. In fact they keep raising taxes for services which they diminish. We're continually charged for services which are provided in poorer and poorer quality so we say, rhetorically, why not just take away the government's responsibility from these altogether; then they wont have an excuse to keep robbing us.

If government can't profit from charging people $30 a pop + gift shop sales, to enter a parking lot and stare at a canyon, I dont see how a case can ever be made in their favor. What kind of management are people thinking gets national parks 11,000,000,000 in debt?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
In his national parks example where the government is selling pieces of the parks & "naming rights" to the private sector to pay off the park's debts; He acts like the private sector is the bad guy. The government's the one selling it off... Shouldn't this be an eye opener to the pro government crowd what an absolute failure government generally is? How the hell does a freaking for profit forest........... that collects money... go into debt? It's a forest, it was doing just fine before private sector companies came in, bought the land, & donated it to the government to manage long ago.

I don't look at it this way.

Big corporation and big government, as things stand today in this country, are basically the same. That is, politicians are either in the process of being brought into a monied power center, or are already there. In both cases, their interests are the same: money/power.

I think the modern Libertarian economic perspective is mostly misguided. This notion of us having complete freedom with more privatization is a myth for many of the reasons Maher cites here: capitalism swallows up stuff.

You know what could make the Libertarian economic perspective work? Putting more power in the hands of decentralized labor unions. The unions have become practically a dirty word because of their own corruption and collusion with monied interests, but anything is only as good as the people involved. There is nothing inherently wrong with labor unions and shifting power this way.

There will always be power centers in the form of money, and our representative democracy is itself an acknowledgement that we will assign power to those that represent us, but I think we have lost sight of just how out-of-hand our current power centers have gotten. The Libertarian economic perspective seems like a way of almost doubling down on this.

I just know that as I write this there is a lot of knee jerk thinking about how government isn't the answer. I have clearly acknowledged, I think, that the current breed of government where there is little to differentiate government from corporate power centers is not the answer. However, if we can find ways to stimulate more diverse representation for your everyday person in some form: whether this is labor unions, public, or private sector, I think there is nothing inherently wrong with the government being a part of this equation so long as they fulfill this criteria.
     
   
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