Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is Capitalism Dead?

I seriously asked myself this question today.

I thought George Soros made an interesting comparison between our fiasco and the demise of the Soviet Union:

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.

Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.

"We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

My Take:

I think that our focus needs to move away from "saving the financial system". Folks the system is dead. You can't revive a patient that has flatlined.

Everyday I sit here and watch the government attempt to juggle 10 balls with 2 arms. Each day another ball is added as another major industry or bank announces that they will fail if they don't get a government bailout. Its only a matter of time before the government drops a ball as it continues to try and juggle this house of cards. If you have ever tried to juggle you know what happens after that.

I think Soros makes a great comparison here. Communism and Capitalism are polar opposites of one another but they both share the same fatal flaw: When either system is taken to the extreme they are doomed for failure.

The total failure of our economic system is what happens when Capitalism goes too far. Just look at the distribution of wealth in this nation. The top 10% own the majority of our country's assets. Personally I find this to be both disgusting and embarrassing. It also tells you we took it way too far.

You know, when you think about it: Is there really that big a difference between Communism and Capitalism? When either system is taken to the extreme the end result is the same. The rich and powerful end up with the majority of the assets. The only difference here is the rich and powerful in Communism are the politicians whereas in Capitalism its the bankers.

Bottom Line:

I have always believed that you should try and live your life in moderation. Too much of anything can destroy you. Unfortunately, as a nation we are learning this lesson with "capitalism" the hard way.

The system will never be the same folks. Personally, I now want to puke when I hear the word "capitalism". I am sure many of you now share the same view after watching your personal wealth get destroyed by a bunch of fraudsters who took capitalism too far.

I find the whole thing to be so ironic because all of my life I had always believed that capitalism was the greatest thing since sliced bread because that's what I was told growing up. Boy oh boy was that a mistake.

As far as I am concerned, today's form of capitalism can kiss my behind.

The sooner this country lets this house of cards fall the better. The end result is now inevitable. The sooner our leaders recognize this the better off we will all be in the long term because I believe we are a very creative and resilient nation. I know that we are smart enough to learn from our mistakes and come up with a solid solution.

Hopefully, when this is all said and done, the world will have learned that Capitalism in its worst form can be as evil as Communism at its worst.

I think a highly regulated moderate version of capitalism is the perfect formula for success.

The days of excesses and bubbles need to go by the wayside.


Anonymous said...

I have always believed that highly regulated captialism is the true middle way, and the only way to stable economic growth.

However, you mention regulation of captialism and the ill-educated sheeple, and their manipulators, call you a socialist.

The sheeple will never wake up to the fact that their manipulators have played them for fools...

teddy bear said...

Jeff, first of all, this is not capitalism ;)

teddy bear said...

"Highly regulated captialism" is a logical contradiction ;)

Minton Mckarkquey said...

"In Democracy, man exploits man; in Communism, it's the other way round."

Joe said...

"Highly regulated captialism" is a logical contradiction.

No. It's the only logical conclusion. Unregulatd captalism means unpoliced markets, thus allowing for massive fraud, embezzlement, etc.

Avl Guy said...

Humans are sloppy creatures borne of a chaotic bio-evolutionary system and possessing chaotic (using the science definition, not the colloquial definition) qualities. We have a propensity to create/generate chaotic systems that always seek equilibriums that lack permanence. Its analogous to GLOBAL weather that forever reacts to temperature & air pressure changes across the globe, 24/7, and never achieves any lasting stability overall over the very long-term, but can offer the semblance of peace & stability for certain locations over a very short term. Why? Because the constituent parts of a weather system, air and water molecules, are highly reactive to heat (sun) and respond by forming rain, storms, ice, heat waves, etc.

Humans are the constituents of human systems and we are highly reactive to our biology: greed, lust, desire, envy, imagination, creativity, aggression. Our brain chemistry was partially built with selective-amnesia circuit-breakers that also allow us to mistake lulls in reactivity for permanence in our economic or political systems.

Our cultures have propensities to fill our childhood heads with fairytales of Santa, Cinderella, Easter bunnies, & tooth fairies, etc. This hard-wires us to later become adults craving our own adult fairytales (myths like capitalism is efficient and rewards hard work, markets are self-regulating, real estate only goes up) and demand these tales be true. Like a child abrubtly realizing her parents lied for years about Santa Claus, we react poorly when a cherished beloved myth is rudely snatched away.

How about we simply be grateful that we white-collar folks in the USA just enjoyed a 25-yr cycle of financial and political stability. After all, these last 25 peaceful years were never ‘promised’ to us, despite whatever myths we choose to believe.

teddy bear said...

"Free to choose" Milton Friedman p.286-287

"In our opinion the Socialist party was the most influential political
party in the United States in the first decades of the twentieth
century. Because it had no hope of electoral success on a
national level (it did elect a few local officials, notably in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin), it could afford to be a party of principle.
The Democrats and Republicans could not. They had to be parties
of expediency and compromise, in order to hold together widely
disparate factions and interests. They had to avoid "extremism,"
keep to the middle ground. They were not exactly Tweedledum
and Tweedledee—but close to it. Nonetheless, in the course of
time both major parties adopted the position of the Socialist party.
The Socialist party never received more than 6 percent of the
popular vote for President (in 1912 for Eugene Debs). It got less
than 1 percent in 1928 and only 2 percent in 1932 (for Norman
Thomas). Yet almost every economic plank in its 1928 presidential
platform has by now been enacted into law. The relevant
planks are reproduced in Appendix A." [p.311]

once again (like during Great Depression) this is not a crisis, this is just a consequence :D

P.S. let's do not call socialists/thieves ... capitalists :D

there is no such concept like bailout in capitalism, let bad companies go bankrupt, do not steal taxpayer money

why companies are lead by almighty managers instead of owners?

and last but not least ...

"Democracy is the road to socialism." Karl Marx
"Democracy is indispensable to socialism." Vladimir Lenin
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth." Vladimir Lenin

btw, democracy is a totalitarian system where majority forces its will on minority ;)

two stupid guys have more power than one clever man ;)


Jeff said...

Great debate everyone

There are many differences between the two.

"Capitalism" is interpreted by people in many different ways.

The one thing I do know is this form of unregulated capitalism sucks and brings out the worst in people.

THe problem is power and greed can destroy either one. Without regulation the system eventually crashes and falls apart.

Moff Tarkin said...

The last nail in real capitalism's coffin was the Federal Reserve Act. Everything since then has been centralized pseudo-capitalism. Never forget that the root cause of all these economic booms and bust is faux money.

teddy bear said...

Let's relate to classic ...
Publius Tacitus or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56–ca. 117), Roman orator, lawyer, and senator. He is considered one of antiquity's greatest historians.

He said: "The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." please, remember that ;)


why do you need more regulation while you do not obey even constitution?
do you need SEC v2.0 ??? you have one and despite that Madoff case (and others) has happened

people are not ideal, they are not angels, it is OBVIOUS, so we cannot build IDEAL system on EARTH, but 'yes we can' (:D) build better one or worse ;)

capitalism is free, self-regulated market, enterpreneurs should be greedy, thanks to that they are strongly motivated to build wealth but they should take the consequences of good and bad decisions, for thieves and other bad people you have court, do not mix these two things

this power (in democracy) is in fact called bureaucracy, group of parasites who do not want to work and they like taxpayer's money for nothing (what is more in fact they disturb the others)

on the other hand,
is not excessive regulation first of all tool of power for really greedy people? ;)


Just listen to Ron Paul (he repeats veeery often, one, veeery important word: CONSTITUTION i.e. the basis of any LAW, the root of LAW hierarchy)

or this guy

"Keyes: Stop Obama or U.S. will cease to exist"


cycle of forms of government (better->worse) ;)
monarchy (autocracy)->aristocracy->plutocracy->democracy->ochlocracy->tyranny (if dictator is good he announces himself KING and cycle repeats) :D

thanks GOD monarchy is the longest period in human history ;)

"democratic state of law" is a CONTRADICTION ;)

btw, in democracy this is "normal" situation that there exist acts contradictory with e.g. constitution ;)

I recommend also
and especially his two books:
"Democracy in America"
"The Old Regime and the Revolution"

you will understand MUCH MORE ;)

P.S. Houston, you have a serious problem (in fact the rest of the world too - with only few exceptions) :DDD



Appendix A. from "Free to choose"

have a nice reading ;)

teddy bear said...

@Moff Tarkin

I agree,

... acts for NINJA, rates manipulation, money printing, bailouts etc. ;)


jeff said...


Great links. Thanks for sharing.

We need to find that perfect balance between regulation and a system that allows our economy to prosper.

We will most likely go too far on the regulation in reaction to this but maybe its needed because the corruption runs so deep.

Lets hope once things are cleaned up we can then find the perfect balance.