EppsNet Archive: Capitalism

Not every problem someone has with his girlfriend is necessarily due to the capitalist mode of production. — Herbert Marcuse

Who Will Be America’s America?

And do not forget that nearly all of the countless 20th-century innovations and industries that made the rest of the developed world so efficient and comfortable came from America, and it wasn’t a coincidence. As long as Europe had America taking risks, investing ambitiously, and yes, being “inequal,” it had the luxury of benefiting from the results without making the same sacrifices. Who will be America’s America? — Garry Kasparov Read more →

Talking About the Benefits of Socialism is a Capitalist Luxury

Americans talking about the benefits of Socialism is a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism. — Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 1, 2016 Read more →

‘I Am a Marxist’ Says Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama identified himself as a Marxist on Tuesday while addressing capitalism, discrimination and violence at a lecture on world peace in Kolkata, India. This is not the first time that the 14th Dalai Lama has spoken about his political leaning – in 2011 he said: “I consider myself a Marxist…but not a Leninist” when speaking at a conference in Minneapolis . . . The Tibetan spiritual leader partly blamed capitalism for inequality and said he regarded Marxism as the answer: “In capitalist countries, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In Marxism, there is emphasis on equal distribution,” he said. — Newsweek Hello, Dalai? An emphasis on equal distribution is not the same thing as equal distribution. In practice, there never seems to be equal distribution, because whoever gets to be in charge of actually distributing the goodies equally acquires a dictatorial level of… Read more →

A Spectacularly Bad Job of Rigging the System

If you nevertheless believe that the capitalists have been busily rigging the system in their own interest, you’ve got to admit they’ve done a spectacularly bad job of it. How else to explain the quintuple taxation of capital income, where you can invest a dollar that was taxed the day you earned it, then pay corporate income taxes, dividend taxes, capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes on the income it throws off? Surely any concern that the rich are calling the policy shots should melt away in the face of actual policy. — Steven Landsburg Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Angela Davis

I still believe that capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine. — Angela Davis Alternatives to capitalism have resulted in shortages, famine, mass murder and societal collapse (cf., Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Venezuela … I could go on and on but I think we both get the point). Can anyone list a few capitalist countries where this has occurred? If not, what does the word “dangerous” mean in this context? Angela Davis is now 70 years old. Can anyone list a few well-known Angela Davis-style radicals who lived a long life in any of the aforementioned countries? Read more →

Regulating Markets

The arguments for regulation of the market for goods and the regulation of the market for ideas are essentially the same, except that they’re perhaps stronger in the area of ideas if you assume consumer ignorance. It’s easier for people to discover that they have a bad can of peaches than it is for them to discover that they have a bad idea. — Ronald Coase Read more →

Twitter: 2010-09-12

RT @NikkiGlaser: Tell me I'm not the only one who has to get drunk to look at my checking account. # RT @eddiepepitone: Capitalism's last ad- "Since the nuclear devastation we are slashing prices! Everything Must Go!" # Read more →

Pursuing the One True Good

Most of us believe in our hearts that there is only one good and that ideally everyone should pursue it. In a perfect centrally planned socialist state everyone is part of a hierarchy pursuing the same end. If that end is the one true good, that society will be perfect in a sense in which a capitalist society, where everyone pursues his own differing and imperfect perception of the good, cannot be. Since most socialists imagine a socialist government to be controlled by people very like themselves, they imagine that it will pursue the true good—the one that they, imperfectly, perceive. That is surely better than a chaotic system in which all sorts of people other than the socialists perceive all sorts of other goods and waste valuable resources chasing them. People who dream about a socialist society rarely consider the possibility that some of those other people may succeed… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on the Financial Meltdown

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — If anyone could emerge from the AIG bonus debacle looking good, it could be New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. — “NY’s Cuomo wins praise for pursuing AIG on bailout” Cuomo. KWOH-moh. Italian, I suppose. I have no personal animosity toward Mr. Cuomo, but despite his favorable write-ups in the press, he is certainly no hero in these matters. Americans have short memories. Even members of the press — or “the media,” as you now call them — who should provide context and perspective, have short memories. Set the Wayback Machine to 1995. Bill Clinton is president and Henry Cisneros, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, institutes a requirement that 42 percent of the mortgages financed by government-sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serve low- and moderate-income families. Things only got worse under Cisneros’ successor, Andrew Cuomo: Cuomo raised that number to 50… Read more →

Failure is an Orphan

For centuries, historians have debated whether history is propelled by Great Men (and Women), human forces of nature who bend events and systems to their will, or by vast impersonal forces (communism, capitalism, globalization) that render even the most powerful of us a mere reed basket floating in a massive river. There’s no session on the subject at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But at least with regard to finance and business, the consensus seems to be clear: Success is the work of Great Men and Great Women, while failure can be pinned on the system. — Daniel Gross, “Why the world’s economic leaders blame the catastrophe on the system instead of themselves” Read more →