Saturday, September 21, 2013

Debating Capitalism - Redefining Outdated Terms

Johann Wagener 9-21-13

Fortunately for us there are people who are still able to think outside the box and pose some interesting questions about how our economy operates. For most of us there is a consensus that capitalism works better than communism. Even the second largest economy (China) which happens to be communist, would agree.
So, now that that's settled it's time we look a little closer as what runs this capitalistic economic engine.

Given the grotesquely skewed distribution of our wealth it looks a lot like what some call "crony capitalism," where the few (1%) hoard about 45% or more while the many (99%) have to scratch for what's left.

If we compare ourselves to our neighbors up north (Canada) and a few other European countries who also practice capitalism it's obvious that there are better and more equitable ways to mange the wealth under a capitalistic system. I refer to it as "collective capitalism" where the bulk of the wealth is distributed among the many but in a hierarchical system that still allows the few to accumulate more but with limits. One way to do that is to tax those at the top more than those in the middle and below. Or, for those who just can't tolerate big government, they could establish a graduated system in which those at the top could not take more that a certain percentage of what those at the bottom receives. Let's say a 100 to 1 formula so that for every $100 the person at the top made, the person(s) on the bottom could not make less than $1.00. That way some of us would be driving Bentley s and other Toyota's, but we would all have a car.

That would require that those at the top stop perpetuating the myth that if the minimum wage were to be pegged to inflation (which would make it $22.00 an hr. today) prices would have to skyrocket to support it. NOT TRUE! What would happen is "profits" would go down. The rich would have to settle for being a little less rich and my guess is that a lot of them would not even notice.

So maybe it's time for that talk.....................................

Debating Capitalism - Redefining Outdated Terms

The reasons are many. Capitalism no longer "delivers the goods" to most Americans. With consumer debt already high, more borrowing can no longer postpone hard times. The "American Dream" slips farther out of reach. As Cold War memories recede, labels like socialism or communism no longer stifle debate. Destroyed cities like Detroit; students with unsustainable debts; declining wages, benefits and job security; and millions unemployed or foreclosed - to them, the usual rationalizations of capitalism seem hollow and ridiculous.