censorship, now capitalism



L. Bird pkeets at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 23 01:01:55 CDT 2004


>>which to me is built on the freedom of choice by consumers, not
>freedom of choice to control the market. Who's freedom should be protected?

>There is no freedom to "control the market" under capitalism...there is
only the freedom to try.  And no company has ever actually accomplished
this except by the explicit help of the government making it ILLEGAL to
compete (e.g., AT&T prior to the breakup, or the Post Office now).
Under capitalism, the only market share a company can acquire is that
which it earns by the choice of its customers.

Well, no.  There are other means.  Notice Walmart's strategy, which is to 
move into a community with low prices that drive local stores out of 
business.  Once the mom and pop business have failed, then they raise their 
prices.  I believe Microsoft was busted for its contracts that required 
buyers of its software to use Explorer.

I think you guys may be confusing Capitalism with a Free Market Economy.  
Capitalism refers to the use of wealth to produce more wealth.  Capital 
includes factories, operating budget, machinery and sometimes workers that 
represent the owner's investment in a business.  It has nothing to do with 
how goods are offered for market, or what benefits workers have.  There is 
no problem in a Capitalist economy with the government awarding monopoly 
status, subsidies, or even sole source contracts.  This is considered 
beneficial to the continued existence of valuable businesses.

A Free Market Economy, on the other hand, uses consumer choice to allocate 
resources.  Characteristics include private owership of property, free 
competition, prices set by supply and demand, and profit as an incentive to 
business.

I notice that some folks on TV also confuse Democracy with Capitalism.


>>Capitalism, by definition, refers to the owners of businesses who supply 
>>the capital for start-up and operation.

>Depends on where you go for your definition.  It also means the system
under which the right to property, for both employers and employees, is
held inviolate.  (I'm sure you're aware that employees have plenty of
property too.)

Maybe you're using a casual definition, but I'm getting mine from Economics. 
  There is a big difference between Capitalism and a Free Market Economy.


>>In its pure, unregulated form, this means that both workers and consumers 
>>should beware.

>Not at all.  In a pure, unregulated form, a system is available under
which both employers and employees can trade to their mutual benefit.
In an impure, regulated version each operate in an adversarial
relationship based on getting the government to hold one hostage to the
other.

Free Market Economy.  Under Capitalism, the rich get richer and the poor get 
poorer because the owners of capital are not required to share.  It is to 
their benefit to have a large number of the poor seeking work.  Notice how 
manufacturing has moved out of the US and into Asia?  Labor is organized 
here, and it's protected by unions that insist on a share of the pie.  
Capitalism prefers sweat shops.


>>Monopoly is the natural tendency of any segment of business, as larger 
>>corporations buy up smaller ones and run others out of business to 
>>eliminate competition.

>The only way they can do that under capitalism is by offering a product
that the most customers freely choose.  In practice, no company ever
actually cornered a market without government protection, which lead to
revisionists claiming that *groups* of companies rather than
individuals controlled the market.

This is a Free Market Economy you're describing.  Under Capitalism, the rich 
owners of capital make private deals with their buddies in the government 
for a bigger share of pork contracts.


>The alleged "evils of capitalism" are not some sort of self-evident
truism. Government is the problem, masquerading as the solution --
e.g., instituting huge (60%) tariffs on imported goods in 1929, then
blaming the resultant epic crash known as the Depression on "the
excesses of capitalism".  Readers interested in learning more should
see _Antitrust: The Case for Repeal_ by Dominick Armentano, and
_Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal_ by Ayn Rand.

I don't know anything about Armentano, but Rand is an Objectivist (reason, 
individualism, freedom, and achievement) rather than an Economist.  Have a 
look at Adam Smith, David Recardo and Karl Marx.

Besides that, here's an interesting reference about the new "Gangster 
Capitalism" that has emerged in recent years.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=13&ItemID=1549


keets

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