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View Full Version : Theory:Capitalism vs. Love/Passion



Abidan
October 3rd, 2005, 11:43 PM
For some time now, I have been very concerned with the way that people are living their lives in the world. Besides all of the bad things that are happening in the world that we have virtually no control over; like the war in Iraq, the religious battle in Israel and Palestine, and the religious battle taking place on our on home soil (no blatant separation between church and state), not to mention starvation and poverty in certain parts of the world, I have a bone to pick with capitalism, and what motivates us.
Anybody who has a job knows that money does not grow on trees. Dollar bills are really just chunks of cotton paper that represent time. Depending on the value of the dollar and the amount you have, one dollar has almost a different worth to everybody depending on their salary/year. In capitalism, the motivator is money, and with out it, you will not eat, be healthy, or have shelter, and don’t even think about popping out a few children unless you’re aiming for welfare. So, it is safe to say that a poor person in this country would be pretty bad off, seeing that he/she cannot pay for anything. I noticed the other day that eating proper meals on a daily basis even effects the performance of your brain during daily tasks. Needless to say, a poor person does not think well, feel well, and has nowhere to rest his head at night. This is also his own fault (in our capitalist system) because he/she has not put fourth the effort to sustain a sufficient income to support his/her self. But, we see this happen all the time. No big deal right?
On the other hand, we have people in prison who are fully capable of holding down a decent job, but they choose to turn to crime. Why would someone do this? Probably because even with a decent education, crime pays a few times higher than a legalized business because there is no government involved, no business license, and no hassle, unless your job goes bad and you wind up dead. There is always the risk factor of getting caught, being killed in a homicide, or getting screwed on your pay cut. The problem is that there are zero prison rehabilitation programs in our prisons, simply because they simply never “belonged” to society. Our prisons now hold 2/3rds of the total incarcerated population, which means 1 out of 143 Americans are being imprisoned. So now we have an actual and even growing population that does not “belong” to our society, yet we hold them here instead of kicking them out of the country. So if you don’t belong, then you don’t deserve to live life on free land at all, and our society states “we won’t teach you to participate in a free world” by not providing rehabilitation services. Further more, people make fun of rich people for living in gated communities, when United States is just one big-gated community for people who have a burning desire to make money in a “free trade” fashion (and don’t get me started on “free trade” because it does not exist in our country). We, the taxpayers, pay for their imprisonment.
Take a step back to get a better view on how capitalism is working for the American people. Our whole economy depends on crud oil when we have alternate usable fuels. We must be impressive and in an educated top-notch percentile to make a comfortable living, or be doomed to work 40-80 hour weeks at the corner Burger Bun Restaurant. In addition, we have to imprison all the people who don’t understand how to cope with this reality.
Here is where capitalism is stretched thin. The point of Capitalism is to have the freedom to pursue happiness. Somewhere in the 21st century, capitalism turned into the right to pursue consumer goods. Our whole goal is to make enough money to buy things we do not need. These things are the bigger, better, faster, and most luxurious items we are motivated for. The problem is, when we are earning more money than we need, we are giving up this time that could have been spent with each other, a loved one or a friend. I also feel that love is subjective. Time spent at work is love detracted from your friends. Just like eating healthy meals can improve your brain performance, the more love we give each other, the happier we are. The happier we are, the more likely it is that we will gravitate to the things that we do best, take those things and make a job out of it so we can contribute to society.
Also, in the process of making an excess amount of money to buy consumer goods, capitalists tend to break or weasel around any law protecting our economy from harmful and unethical business decisions in order to beat the competition. This business concept greatly contributes the climactic and continuously growing divide between the rich and the poor that occurs when there is unbalanced power in the country’s economy and lack of government action to stabilize this disruption. Due to human imperfections like greed and lust, this system is bound to fail as many times as a country authorizes its initiation.

I welcome your questions and comments...

Ibelsd
October 4th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Money is not strictly about the time spent working. It is about the value of one's production. Someone with special skills will earn more because his skills are harder to replace. The freedom of capitalism is that individuals are free to produce and benefit from the things they produce. If you choose to work less/produce less and spend more time with your loved ones, that is ok. Capitalism allows for this choice because you are not beholden to society. No one controls your production. In a communist/socialist society, you don't get to choose how much time to devote to your loved ones.

I also have to question anyone who believes some people earn more than they need. By whose standards? Should we begin to limit income so that each person is able to sustain at a bare mimimum? How would this effect production? Who decides what is needed? Do you need a color television? Do you need a television at all? By all basic standards the only needs man has are to eat, ****, and sleep. Is this how we should guage need? The poorest of people today live as well as the very wealthy lived only several hundreds years ago. This is not true in agragrian societies. In non-industrialized nations, the poor live as meagerly as the poor did several hundred years ago. The technology of the wealthy improves the lives of the poor.

Jamie
October 4th, 2005, 01:28 PM
On the other hand, we have people in prison who are fully capable of holding down a decent job, but they choose to turn to crime. Why would someone do this? Probably because even with a decent education, crime pays a few times higher than a legalized business because there is no government involved, no business license, and no hassle, unless your job goes bad and you wind up dead.

Many people return to crime because that is all they know. There needs to be better rehabilitation services in the prison system.

Abidan
October 4th, 2005, 02:37 PM
Ibelsd-
"If you choose to work less/produce less and spend more time with your loved ones, that is ok."
"In a communist/socialist society, you don't get to choose how much time to devote to your loved ones."

Thanks for your response. I agree it is cool to work more and produce less, but if you are one of these people, you are probably part of an increasing number of people who work full time for minimum wage. As the value of the dollar decreases, as I stated, “Also, in the process of making an excess amount of money to buy consumer goods, capitalists tend to break or weasel around any law protecting our economy from harmful and unethical business decisions in order to beat the competition. This business concept greatly contributes the climactic and continuously growing divide between the rich and the poor.” An example of this business concept is when American companies began constructing factories in countries where labor laws are virtually insufficient to protect laborers. Besides that, the problem is that these American companies are investing American dollars into foreign countries to make profit. In a way, this manipulates our system, and as a result Americans loose labor jobs which would have contributed to the American market economy in the future. It is a business practice fueled by greed.
Aside from all this, the point is that this system doesn't leave sufficient time for families and friends to grow together. Instead, we grow fond of our clothes, and all material that gives us status. We buy consumer good we identify with (even your breakfast cereal) when we really should be identifying to each other, regardless of status or appearance. I believe at this point we are truly incapable of doing this. I believe it is up to mankind.

Jamie-
Thanks for your response. It is true people return to crime because it’s all they know, but the problem is that they turned to it in the first place. Now, our government deems them alien to society, and that is why our government does not fund sufficient rehabilitation services. What is a society that only applies to some people? Shouldn't it apply to everyone? If someone can't follow its rules we don't banish him or her from the country, we lock them up? This all seems so primitive to me. I know there is evil in the world but who is more evil, the sinner, or the sinner who locks him up? Is there no system that requires a poor and criminal population? It seems to me now that a government's constitution is as good as the agenda that fuels it.

Jamie
October 4th, 2005, 03:35 PM
Jamie-
Thanks for your response. It is true people return to crime because it’s all they know, but the problem is that they turned to it in the first place.

Right, and most people who turn to crime aren't really that educated to begin with, and are typically poor.


This all seems so primitive to me.

I don't see how it is primitive. People who are a threat to themselves, and who are threats to others should be locked up until they can learn to behave.


I know there is evil in the world but who is more evil, the sinner, or the sinner who locks him up?

I didn't realize putting someone in jail is sin. :dunno:

Abidan
October 4th, 2005, 03:45 PM
You're missing the point. Everyone is a sinner because we are human, so we do the injustice to ourselves by locking them up vs. rehebilitation (which is not sufficiently provided by our government). The person doing the action of locking-up is not a sinner for that, but for being man. The point is that we're all the same in the end[Death].
Also, most people in prison are educated, at least enough to attain a job for minimum wage. The point here is that you should be alarmed you that 2/3rds of the population dosen't "belong" to society therefore they are locked up. This means a majority of people in this society have failed to contribte positively to it. Do you think it is fault of our system or fault of human evolution?

starcreator
October 4th, 2005, 04:09 PM
The poorest of people today live as well as the very wealthy lived only several hundreds years ago.

This is absolutely false. Are you telling me that the people I see begging on the streets are better off than the royalty of 17th century Britain ;)? Give me a break. The poor benefit little from our technology, or at least much less than we do. Why? Because in order to benefit from it, you need moolah, which poor people - implied by the word poor - have not.

Star

Jamie
October 4th, 2005, 04:14 PM
You're missing the point. Everyone is a sinner because we are human, so we do the injustice to ourselves by locking them up vs. rehebilitation (which is not sufficiently provided by our government).

Rehabilitation can occur in jail. Some people should not be allowed with regular society until issues are worked out. Some can't be rehabilitated, imo, like the more serious sexual offenders (not the 18 year old who has sex with a 16 year old).

The Torah permits punishments for crimes so I do not believe that a person locking someone up is sinning. They might be sinning other ways, but not by locking someone up.


Also, most people in prison are educated, at least enough to attain a job for minimum wage.

Being educated "at least enough to attain a job for minimum wage", isn't what I consider a well educated individual. Can someone really survive off of $5.15/hour? I couldn't imagine.


The point here is that you should be alarmed you that 2/3rds of the population dosen't "belong" to society therefore they are locked up.

I am a Libertarian of course I am alarmed. I don't believe a lot of those individuals should be in jail. They should be stuck with community service and very high fines. Also where are you getting your 2/3 figure from?

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


1,390,906 men and 103,310 women.

So that's 1,494,216. The population of the USA is around 290,000,000.


This means a majority of people in this society have failed to contribte positively to it. Do you think it is fault of our system or fault of human evolution?

Back up your 2/3 claim, it is false, from what I have researched. The fault lays with the criminals and the people who send non violent offenders to jail.

KevinBrowning
October 4th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Capitalism allows people to earn their own money through the free exercise of their God-given talents and abilities. Man has not discovered a more fair or productive system. Communism has utterly failed over and over through history, for the simple fact that most people seek increased power and wealth. So if you are supporting communism here, please explain to me how the Soviet Union, Cambodia, et al have been such desirable systems. If you are not, please explain to me what alternate economic system you are proposing to capitalism.

CliveStaples
October 4th, 2005, 05:41 PM
This is absolutely false. Are you telling me that the people I see begging on the streets are better off than the royalty of 17th century Britain ? Give me a break. The poor benefit little from our technology, or at least much less than we do. Why? Because in order to benefit from it, you need moolah, which poor people - implied by the word poor - have not.

The people who beg in the streets get a government stipend. They also get free--albeit substandard--healthcare. They live longer than 17th century nobles. 50% of the poorest 20% of Americans own their own house. The poorest of the poor in America live better than most people did in the past. They also live better than the European middle class.


Being educated "at least enough to attain a job for minimum wage", isn't what I consider a well educated individual. Can someone really survive off of $5.15/hour? I couldn't imagine.

People can live on minimum wage, unfortunately. If they couldn't, then maybe we could get rid of that absurd regulation.


They should be stuck with community service and very high fines.

Perhaps I am missing some important context, but levying heavy fines on people who are typically poor doesn't seem very practical.


Jamie--you claim to be a libertarian. You also acknowledge that the minimum wage--which is $7.50/hour in my state--doesn't afford people a high enough income to live off of. Would you suggest raising the minimum wage?


Education is important in reducing crime, but there needs to be something beyond that. Many well-educated people commit crimes--embezzlement, fraud, etc.--and are capable of harming more people much worse than an average thief.

Here's something great aboot capitalism: if you want socialism, you can get a group together and fund a socialist party. Capitalism is the best economic system at present for establishing freedom. Economic freedom is one of the most important freedoms. One of the worst things aboot slavery was the fact that people were forced to work without compensation.

Jamie
October 4th, 2005, 06:07 PM
People can live on minimum wage, unfortunately. If they couldn't, then maybe we could get rid of that absurd regulation.

By living you mean getting welfare also?


Jamie--you claim to be a libertarian. You also acknowledge that the minimum wage--which is $7.50/hour in my state--doesn't afford people a high enough income to live off of. Would you suggest raising the minimum wage?

My answer for that is rather lengthy but for a really simple answer no, I believe that corporate welfare, social welfare, and taxes need to be reduced/eliminated (depending on what we are talking about).


Perhaps I am missing some important context, but levying heavy fines on people who are typically poor doesn't seem very practical.

With a proper system I believe it could work. Fines should imo be based off of income guidelines and could be put on payment plans. I also believe people who rob others should pay them back on top of an additional fine for wasting the courts time.


Education is important in reducing crime, but there needs to be something beyond that. Many well-educated people commit crimes--embezzlement, fraud, etc.--and are capable of harming more people much worse than an average thief.

Those people shouldn't be placed in jail. I should clarify and state phsyical harm to someones life. Like someone who kills another, or stabs someone. Not a shoddy businessmen who steals 5 million. Have him pay (attempt in his life time) it back, and fine him.

Putting a poor person in jail isn't going to solve anything. Someone who doesn't get three meals a day, and all of a sudden will doesn't have much incentive to stay out of jail. Money is where it will hurt people the most, in the majority of cases.

Abidan
October 5th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Sorry about the bogus numbers everyone. I will try to be more careful with my sources. The number of people in jail I understood what about one in every 143 people. Anyway, I do not want to talk about particular government systems and which one is the best. This is not a system contest...yet.
KevenBrowning wrote, "Capitalism allows people to earn their own money through the free exercise of their God-given talents and abilities." I fully agree (though not in God, just the concept of God-given talents. Stuff you're born with). I also agree that Capitalism in America has attempted to let this flourish, but in all the wrong ways. Capitalism is not about your "God-given" talents any more. It's about exploiting your talent and time to make more money than you need and attaining status. Respect goes to the man with the dollar, and nobody can really say they are satisfied with general moderation. For example, the trend today is, go to college first before you have a passion if you have the opportunity (i.e. parents pay your way through college). Now we have thousands of teenagers going to college and studying a subject which most likely in no way will relate to their carrier. I agree it is good to have a college level education, but what is a college education without a passion. Sure a college educated person is almost bound to contribute to society, but wouldn't this person be ten times more effective if they had a passion to fuel their productivity. Who will be more productive and contribute more to society, a college level educated person with or without a passion. The person without the passion should have explored life before going to college, while the passionate person may be more valued. This could lead to much college drop outs, but there are many bright people we need in other areas of our economy like labor and trade work. These jobs are now slowly slipping away to our illegal immigrants, and now some Americans are screaming "get these terrorists out of my country!" Not to get too much of subject, we loose each other's love by holding ourselves to these high standards like we have to impress everyone, when really, people love people who love themselves. What really cracks me up is when you see actors on TV telling you to "just be yourself", when these actors are acting in the first place and we have no idea of who they really are. Our whole society is big about being yourself, and then we slap all these rules of status, and people think they know what they want; only it’s what our society wants. Can we really find ourselves without breaking the rules of A system?

Ibelsd
October 5th, 2005, 01:35 PM
This is absolutely false. Are you telling me that the people I see begging on the streets are better off than the royalty of 17th century Britain ;)? Give me a break. The poor benefit little from our technology, or at least much less than we do. Why? Because in order to benefit from it, you need moolah, which poor people - implied by the word poor - have not.

Star

Well, let's look at the people in tenemants. They have running water, toilets, bath regularly, and have laundered clothes. The royalty of the 17th century rarely bathed (why do think perfume was so popular), typically were infested with lice (why do you think they wore wigs), and often didn't have running water. To top it off they lived in large, drafty estates without fans, air conditioners, or heaters. Sewage systems were practically non-existant. Even people in the projects benefit from heaters and sewage systems. So, even really poor, amongst the poorest, have luxuries that the 17th century royalty didn't have. Now, compare the poor to the average peasant of that time period. By comparison, the poor of today live in grandiosity.

Abidan
May 13th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Also, in the process of making an excess amount of money to buy consumer goods, capitalists tend to break or weasel around any law protecting our economy from harmful and unethical business decisions in order to beat the competition. This business concept greatly contributes the climactic and continuously growing divide between the rich and the poor that occurs when there is unbalanced power in the country’s economy and lack of government action to stabilize this disruption. Due to human imperfections like greed and lust, this system is bound to fail as many times as a country authorizes its initiation.

I welcome your questions and comments...

Adam Smith, and the Invisible Hand...

..every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
-Adam Smith

As this great man explains, it is Compassion/Love for things that we do is the exact thing that fuels our capitalist economy better than if/when we try to supplement our economy directly.
I have have come the the conclusion than homeless people lack love for them selves in the first place and that people who submit to acts of criminalism lose their a peace of their soul with each and every crime they commit. Now, what to do with these people is a more difficult question.:hmm: