The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

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JamesR
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The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by JamesR »

Rising inequality and growing political instability are the direct result of decades of bad economic theory.

The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward

I know there's a couple of strong supporters of the Chicago/Austrian schools of thought in here. Hopefully this video opens your eyes a bit.

Side note: if you're wondering what neoliberal economics/capitalism means, straight from wikipedia:
Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James M. Buchanan, along with politicians and policy-makers such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan.

IlliniDave
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by IlliniDave »

I don't really have issue with any of his new rules, although to me none of them seem "new". My Megacorp has been preaching all the same things for 20 years (it seems mostly like a lullaby to sooth the minions and keep them from growing restless).

It's a pretty flat straw man of "neoliberal economics" he argues against, and I don't recall him even giving a name of paper or scientist so that one could follow up on the science he alludes to.

The question at the end seemed awkward, and the answer was maybe a case of proving too much. Rather than leading by example he wants use his financial power to construct narratives (what does that even mean?) and force others to practice the idea(l)s he supports. Yes, we're quite a cooperative bunch, aren't we. ;)

Who in his vision gets to be the gardener?

ETA: Forgot to mention I do agree that curbing wealth inequality is something it would be in our best interest to do. And I don't know if the two are related (I suspect so), but the idea that became popular in the 1980s/90s to tie executive compensation to stock price was a bad one and should be undone. The "narrative" was that it would cause management's interests to coincide with investors' interests, but the implementation seems more geared to short-term/trader interests (extract value quickly).

Campitor
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Campitor »

Watching the video didn't change my mind about Austrian economics. He painted with a very broad brush a group of individuals as if they 1- don't provide any value; 2- are all rapacious, 3- they don't care about their workers. He also assumes that the richer have gotten richer only by weighting the economic system in their favor - for those of us who believe in Austrian Economics, this is called crony capitalism and one of our primary objections to government interventions in the market. The government should be a referee ensuring everyone is obeying the rules equally.


Many of the wealthy have gotten richer by providing value to consumers. Cell phones are ubiquitous. They are ubiquitous because they are cheap to own. A cell phone provides services in a single device that once required a multitude of individual machines: Camera, scanner, GPS, calculator, wireless communication, texting, paging, etc. This has saved consumers lots of money and given them access to new services which used to be unaffordable, and this only 1 example. And I agree that cooperation is better than competition but there are limits. If every company cooperated, you would get monopolies. Healthy - let me repeat that, healthy competition is one of the levers that incentives innovation and raises the standard of living.

And while I agree that inclusion is necessary - it provides access to human capital which is a primary ingredient to wealth and success, there are limits to how much inclusion a system can tolerate before it start to negatively impact workers especially in the lower rungs of the economic strata. While it's bad to let people drown by not filling lifeboats to capacity, it's equally bad to let people drown by filling lifeboats past their safety limits. And when the wealth of billionaires is calculated, it includes liquid and non-liquid forms of capital. Sure Jeff Bezos is worth hundreds of billions but only if he sold every building, server, office equipment, property, and patent associated with Amazon. And those assets don't exist in a vacuum - every one of those assets requires paying a human to maintain and operate.

What people have a hard time accepting is that there will always be wealth inequality because humans are different, make different choices, and are exposed to different circumstances that can't be replicated. Even a family unit, where it can be assumed everyone has been exposed to the same general circumstances and economic starting point, has vastly different outcomes because of the myriad of unique choices made by each family member that is furthered transmogrified by the circumstances in which those choices are made.

Government run economies or economies with too much regulation have always performed poorly as evidenced repeatedly in history. And while wages may have stagnated (there are economist who disagree based on facts) the price of employment has not. All the benefits given to employees is an expense to the company - that doesn't get factored into the wage stagnation argument. Total compensation should be part of the equation but then that would undermine the wage stagnation theory. I could go on and on. I award this Ted Talk 2 rasberries.

Chris
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Chris »

This was interesting; thanks for sharing.

I took some notes as I was watching...

Stagnant wages
1. Inflation has been low, meaning that buying power hasn't been eroded as quickly.
2. Wages are earnings per hour; it doesn't account for the rest of compensation. For example, the ACA mandates employer-paid health insurance for many workers, which is a form of compensation that is not a part of wages. It's also a part that has been increasing faster than inflation. If I received my health insurance benefit as cash instead, that would have been a $5k pay bump in 2016, and a $7k pay bump in 2018. That's a lot.

The Seattle restaurant industry boomed when restaurant worker wages increased. Unemployment decreased. This is because the people who work at restaurants can now afford to eat at restaurants.
Is there any evidence that it is the restaurant workers making up a significant portion of the new patrons? Or is it just that Seattle is booming generally (increasing population of high-paid workers) that caused the restaurant industry to boom? Also unemployment decreased nationally, not just in Seattle.

The price of something is always equal to its value
Not at all. The seller values a good less than the buyer does and the buyer values their cash less than the seller does. Where these two cross is the price. The market is created because each side gains value (in their own perception) when the transaction happens. The buyer's value of the good is higher than the price, otherwise they wouldn't buy.

People are not paid what they're worth; they're paid what they negotiate
True. Figuring out how to effectively pay employees is one of the hardest jobs as a business owner. It's also difficult for the worker, since their contribution to the business is often unclear, unless they're in a position like sales.

Humans are self-interested, logical economic machines
This is how econ textbooks are written. They're also written to explain economics, not to explain humans as a whole. Individual economic self interest does produce some amazing results, giving us low-cost, high-quality goods that would be difficult to attain through central planning. But econ textbooks aren't a prescription on how to be happy, just how to efficiently allocate resources. And it's done the latter, pulling a billion people out of poverty in the last generation. Are Chinese former peasants happier now, owning more stuff? I don't know, but that's not the problem economics is trying to solve.

As we grow more prosperous, we need more cooperation and social interaction to produce the things needed for a modern economy
True. But I'm unsure why he feels that the rules need to be changed to accommodate this. If an evil corporation allocates money away from workers, the workers who produce the Next Big Thing won't be at that company, the company will suffer, and the CEO won't get his bonus. There's a reason why all the brains of Bell Labs and IBM Research ended up at Google.

The Global Financial Crisis is an example of free markets run amok
The GFC is the result of privatized gains and socialized loses. It's the problem of the monetary and fiscal system, not the economic system. It very much represents a "tended market" and not a free market. If it was free, the risk takers would have been handed their just deserts.

Riggerjack
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Riggerjack »

Wow, that was a lot of unjustified self righteousness compacted into just a few minutes. No room for details, and lots of pauses for applause. TED is moving along as expected... I remember when they pushed new ideas, but I guess everyone runs into hard limits, eventually.

Not that he is wrong, merely dumbing down the message to something easily understood by the audience. If your understanding of economics matches the strawman, I'm sure it was an inspirational video. But if that's the case, there isn't much to talk about. Some base level of knowledge is necessary to talk about these things, and what I find amazing about people is our propensity to think that complex systems can be described at an actionable level, in layman's terms, with no invested time or effort. I call this the "thinkpiece fallacy". The idea that a few pages of journalism, or a TED talk gives one enough knowledge to understand an issue, when really, those formats are selling the feeling of being informed, not information.

Yes, Seattle raised our minimum wage, and employment went up. So we can just forget all those silly economic laws, right? Sure. Now try that in Little Rock. But I want a video of the TED talk about the riots and displaced families that result...

The details he omitted:
Employment went up, during the longest time period between recessions in US history.
Employment went up, while Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft were expanding locally.
Employment went up, and average wages went up. Just not as much as the cost of living. And anyone who didn't rise with the tide, sunk or washed away. This just resulted in exporting the working poor from the Seattle metro area and importing specialists to serve the megacorporations. I don't think this is a bad thing, but it might be worth considering...

Odd, how the policies he wants to buy, tend to create the income inequality he claims to oppose, and have benefited him so much. That's probably just a coincidence. :roll:

JamesR
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by JamesR »

IlliniDave wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:47 am
The question at the end seemed awkward, and the answer was maybe a case of proving too much. Rather than leading by example he wants use his financial power to construct narratives (what does that even mean?) and force others to practice the idea(l)s he supports. Yes, we're quite a cooperative bunch, aren't we. ;)
It made me think a bit of what Anand Giridharadas spoke about the wealthy using philanthrophy to protect their interests. (But I was giving the benefit of the doubt) Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World


@Chris
The price of something is always equal to its value
There's definitely a common thought - "Oh this guy made X amount of dollars, so he must've provided X amount of value to the 'market'", which is something that probably shouldn't be taken to be true. Especially when:

People are not paid what they're worth; they're paid what they negotiate
Beyond negotiation, it's also kind of about power. So someone isn't working harder or smarter, but they happen to be more powerful, so they are able to command a higher salary. So basically not a meritocracy at all..

Humans are self-interested, logical economic machines
Economists know this is no longer true anymore, but that's still a fairly recent update in the last 5-10 years. I imagine the old models and styles of thinking assuming this are in the process of getting overthrow.


Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:10 am
Odd, how the policies he wants to buy, tend to create the income inequality he claims to oppose, and have benefited him so much. That's probably just a coincidence. :roll:
Could you expand on that? Which policies & how would that create income inequality?

JamesR
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by JamesR »

Campitor wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:17 am
for those of us who believe in Austrian Economics, this is called crony capitalism and one of our primary objections to government interventions in the market. The government should be a referee ensuring everyone is obeying the rules equally.
I'll agree about government being a referee, and I mean I love the idea of minarchism. But realistically there's always going to be some form of government intervention. The question is what set of models, ideas, philosophy are these interventions based on. Currently it's based on "neo-liberalism" or crony capitalism, but could it we bring it back in line? There's other things going on too like the notion of the corporation itself, should a corporation even have personhood, should there even be limited liability, should CEOs be legally beholden to shareholders to seek profit and maximize growth? I'm not sure what your stance is there, it seems strange to not mention the corporation in this discussion.
Campitor wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:17 am
Many of the wealthy have gotten richer by providing value to consumers.
...

What people have a hard time accepting is that there will always be wealth inequality
That's a pretty simplistic model, it doesn't necessarily justify anything in particular. There's a fair amount of evidence that success is somewhat luck based as well, and there's a "winner take all" phenomenon that occurs that ultimately doesn't really correspond to value.

If you look at the chart in this article https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... althy.html you can see how the tax rates have changed dramatically for the 1%, from the 1950's/1960's to now. And arguably there was a healthier economy back in the day, compared to now.
Campitor wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:17 am
Government run economies or economies with too much regulation have always performed poorly as evidenced repeatedly in history.
This sounds like a very american or libertarian notion, is it actually even true? What if you have two governments with the same amount of regulations but different types of regulation, and one performs better than the other?
How do you measure performance? Is economic performance the most important metric here? When you look at some of the nordic countries, can they be considered to have performed "poorly" ?


BTW, when Nick in the video speaks of cooperation I was giving him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't talking about abolishing healthy competition outright.

I'm all for a very lassez faire true capitalism situation that doesn't have a crazy limited liability thing going on, doesn't necessarily have crazy financial engineering going on, and a tax on the absolute winner take all 1%ers to redistribute to the rest. I generally am of the notion that governments should be a bit simpler in structure, they shouldn't be creating cottage industries like the tax income industry, etc. Basically something that would make a liberal libertarian happy.

But on the other hand, politics is all about power, and making backroom deals etc, so it's pretty hard to end up with a minimal government.

TopHatFox
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by TopHatFox »

It sounded like he was just repeating democrat talking points. I can’t help but think that he was paid to say this stuff, or alternatively, he may be running for office soon and these ideas sell well.

shemp
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by shemp »

Oligarchy is the only stable system given current weapons technology, and so oligarchy is were we are heading. Plutocracy, meritocracy, hereditary aristocracy, etc are just different forms of oligarchy, meaning rule of the few. Taxing the rich, in other words, is not going to change things substantially.

Military technology is important because it determines whether revolt by the masses is possible. When the only weapons are pointed sticks, stones, and similar crude weapons that anyone can build, then the only stable system is democracy (among fighting age males, at least), implying food and other economic goods are distributed more or less equally. When prevailing military technology is something difficult to produce (aircraft, nuclear weapons, electronics, biological and chemical weapons, etc), then oligarchy follows, and the elite eats better than the masses (so to speak, since nowadays food is only a small part of the economy). Tyranny, or rule of one person, is never stable, regardless of military technology, though it can occur.

It is pretty obvious that all countries are currently oligarchies of some sort and the prevailing tendency is towards further concentration of power. Oligarchy doesn't have to be plutocracy, meaning based on wealth. You could have a system where everyone is paid the same and has the same wealth but the elite have special privileges and benefits, to speak nothing of powers, that are not included in their income or wealth numbers. Government is currently sort of like this. Higher ranking officials do currently get higher pay, but disparities are small compared to private industry. Easy to imagine a system where President gets same lowly pay check as a janitor, but President gets "free" room and board at the white house while janitor lives in a shack somewhere and lives on a diet of thin gruel. Money is just a bunch of numbers and means nothing until you consider the surrounding socio-politico-economic system.

It ultimately makes little difference whether there is a private sector or everything is government owned as in communism. There is always an elite in charge. If prevailing military technology makes revolt of the masses impossible, then the elite will eventually become corrupt, concentrate power excessively, grind the masses into nothingness, and otherwise behave abusively. This continues until technology evolves or something else happens to make revolt of the masses possible again. (Internal power struggles among the elite can occur in the meantime.)

Defenders of capitalism mostly strike me as toadies who preach what they preach because they think somebody powerful might be listening and they want to get in the good graces of these powerful somebodies. Eventually, their toadyism becomes second nature and they are no longer hypocrites but actually believe the propaganda they spout. Opponents of capitalism the same way, just a different set of powerful people to ingratiate themselves with. Toadies always say what those in charge want to hear.

Some argue that military technology is on the cusp of yet another revolution that will give power back to the masses, because individuals will soon be able to build and deploy drones loaded with biological and chemical weapons, which can easily be created in home laboratories. I disagree, because the number of people with training to do this is limited plus those people would need to order supplies, so the central authority could easily track these people. Surveillance technology is actually the most important military technology today (at least regarding revolts by the masses) and the one where the masses have least hope of competing.

Another factor is that, in the past, the elite could not simply exterminate revolting masses because these masses were needed to do all the manual labor. Or they were needed as cannon fodder to defend against external threats. Whereas unskilled or low skilled humans nowadays are not nearly as valuable as in the past, so extermination is now a viable option if they dare to revolt. Maybe the current elite are nice enough not to consider the extermination option. However, as noted previously, oligarchies eventually become corrupt and abuse their power. Thus I wouldn't count on their niceness enduring forever.

JamesR
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by JamesR »

@shemp

I definitely see that technology can potentially make oligarchy more feasible, making it somewhat easier for the few to threaten the many. But how do you explain that we had oligarchy before (feudalism) in European countries and then those countries moved away from that towards democracy?

Defenders and opposers of capitalism are all toadies? This sounds confusing. Why do you think this?

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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by jacob »

@JamesR - It's a balance between offense and defense. Guns made it easy for anyone to cheaply threaten the few knights who were previously counting on a lot of concentrated capital in the form of expensive armor, horses, and years of training. The longbow and the crossbow can also penetrate armor, but the longbow required years of training and crossbows do require some manufacturing plus arrows/bolts are not as deadly as bullets.

Going back further, the way Romans could build an empire was due to coordination. If everybody has access to weapons, coordination wins. It's hard to spontaneously organize [an organized] group of more than 50-100 people, so someone who can put up a legion has the advantage. In the modern surveillance state where everybody also has access to more or less the same weapons, but not the same surveillance, information wins. Dangerous individuals are "eliminated" before they become a group ... or alternatively manipulated into harmless distractions.

Riggerjack
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Riggerjack »

Could you expand on that? Which policies & how would that create income inequality?
Yes. But it's going to take a few pages to outline the prerequisites to understand. I'm well outside of the overton window in my thoughts, so there is much explaining to do. It's going to take a while to get that out, and too much to apply in this thread. I'll come back and link to it, when I write it. Apologies in the meantime, it's unfair to start a criticism without the gumption to back it up, and right now, all my gumption is otherwise occupied.
The price of something is always equal to its value... Humans are self-interested, logical economic machines
Seriously, has anyone ever met anyone who actually believes this? It's a simplification, a part of a set of assumptions so that models can be produced. All models are wrong, some models are useful. Pointing out that assumptions for a model may be inaccurate is valid criticism. Assuming people using those models believe in the accuracy of the assumptions, is to miss the whole point.

This is white belt thinking. It's greater than typical member of the public thinking, in that at least it has some basis in the subject, but it is far from even knowing how much there is to understand.

But realistically there's always going to be some form of government intervention. The question is what set of models, ideas, philosophy are these interventions based on. Currently it's based on "neo-liberalism" or crony capitalism, but could it we bring it back in line? There's other things going on too like the notion of the corporation itself, should a corporation even have personhood, should there even be limited liability, should CEOs be legally beholden to shareholders to seek profit and maximize growth? I'm not sure what your stance is there, it seems strange to not mention the corporation in this discussion.
Yes! This is where I believe the answers are. But I don't believe that the rules need to change, or that we need new systems. I believe most people's economic/systemic/governmental complaints with the world as we see it, can be resolved using existing laws and market systems. We just need to use them more efficiently, and I'm crazy enough to think I know how to make that transition. I just haven't been able to get it down on paper.

I'm all for a very lassez faire true capitalism situation that doesn't have a crazy limited liability thing going on, doesn't necessarily have crazy financial engineering going on, and a tax on the absolute winner take all 1%ers to redistribute to the rest. I generally am of the notion that governments should be a bit simpler in structure, they shouldn't be creating cottage industries like the tax income industry, etc. Basically something that would make a liberal libertarian happy.

But on the other hand, politics is all about power, and making backroom deals etc, so it's pretty hard to end up with a minimal government.
I sorta agree. I believe we are in the habit of charging the government with problems we don't want to deal with, personally, and don't like the existing solutions. Then, we forget about them. Never bothering to understand how the problem is being addressed, or what the fallout is. At this point, we tend to complain about the "unintended consequences", as though they are somehow completely new problems that need solutions, rather than going back to the reason we are facing these "unintended consequences". Perhaps, better solutions will give us preferable consequences. I just don't believe better solutions can be found at the same sources we have been using to create our current predicaments.

We can't solve these problems with the same level of thinking that created the problems.
This sounds like a very american or libertarian notion, is it actually even true?
And herein lies the problem. Everything I have read about economics (as opposed to everything I have read in economics, ie, journalism vs academic papers, theory and books) is a lie. Pretty bold statement, I know.

Several years back, Felix and I went 12 rounds over the stagnating wage claim. It's here somewhere. IIRC, the conclusion I came to, as we dug through the data, was the same numbers could be used to justify:

Average wages have stagnated for X years!

Or

The median worker has experienced economic growth to an all time high, and maintained that pinnacle of achievement for decades as below median workers have been experiencing massive growth to catch up.

Same data. Which is true? Both. Each is just a simplification. Claiming one is true, and the other is false, can't really be done with the data we have. It's just narrative.

Most people lose interest, before even looking at the data. That's why the NYT, (or Atlantic Monthly, Christian Science Monitor, New Yorker, The Nation) is still in business. People like to feel informed more than they like to be informed.

I agree with most of what shemp said, but I just consider these to be influencing, rather than determining factors.

Defenders and opposers of capitalism are all toadies?
Yup. See what I said above about narrative.
But how do you explain that we had oligarchy before (feudalism) in European countries and then those countries moved away from that towards democracy?
Firearms are democratic, in that a commoner (of whatever society we are discussing) can be trained to use them quickly, whereas a sword takes many years of practice. Now compare the outcome of 3 novices with swords against an expert with a sword, vs 3 novices with a firearm, vs an expert with a firearm. Swords support higher hierarchy (professionals have a greater suppression effect), firearms support a lower hierarchy.

Much of this has been discussed here before.

JamesR
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by JamesR »

Good points about the firearm being the great neutralizer. I forgot to take that into account.

Nice writeup @riggerjack. I'm definitely not surprised this stuff has come up in other threads before, I've seen a bit of it. :D

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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by nikolaj »

Seems to me like he just sells a dream to the masses. He claims that people are not responsible for their own financial situation, instead blaming neo-liberal economics. But the same wealth distribution has existed throughout history in all countries. It is not a feature of economic models, but simply a feature of civilization. It seems that economic models can mainly affect growth and who captures the wealth, not the distribution.

He then claims that the solution is to regulate wages, regulate markets and have centralized governing. But how is this any different from communism? And why would this lead to a more even wealth distribution, when you centralize all power to the government.

As a last note, all his arguments are appeals to authority. He appeals to his own authority as a rich man, and to "super advanced and respected research". There are never any technical explanations of anything.

The only truth to find in this video is "might makes right", as demonstrated by the fact that he could use his wealth to enforce a minimum wage law.

Campitor
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Campitor »

JamesR wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:25 pm
... realistically there's always going to be some form of government intervention. The question is what set of models, ideas, philosophy are these interventions based on. Currently it's based on "neo-liberalism" or crony capitalism, but could it we bring it back in line?
Only through government intervention can a company gain unfair political and regulatory advantages. Government via its monopoly of power is free to dispense all kinds of advantages to corporations, businesses, and individuals. Therefore the only means to eliminate crony capitalism is by removing the government's ability to do so but we've already crossed the Rubicon on that one.
There's other things going on too like the notion of the corporation itself, should a corporation even have personhood, should there even be limited liability, should CEOs be legally beholden to shareholders to seek profit and maximize growth? I'm not sure what your stance is there, it seems strange to not mention the corporation in this discussion.
I've struggled with this idea for a long time but at the end I've concluded that stripping corporations of personhood would only give government even more license to meddle with the economy. Politicians would micromanage entire sectors of industry turning this country into a de facto communist economy which I can't condone.
That's a pretty simplistic model, it doesn't necessarily justify anything in particular. There's a fair amount of evidence that success is somewhat luck based as well, and there's a "winner take all" phenomenon that occurs that ultimately doesn't really correspond to value.
Outliers exist everywhere: schools, sports, labor, physical appearance, intelligence, politics, etc. An outlier's magnitude of success is derived from their exceptional abilities or appearance, the environment in which these exceptional abilities manifest within, and the outlier's desire or ability to take advantage of available opportunities which may or may not be constrained by forces outside of their control.

The economic model of capitalism, the least harmful of existing economic systems in my firm opinion, is the best system for producing multiple vectors of opportunity. The degree that these opportunities are utilized varies according to individual abilities and circumstances. Not everyone wants to expend the same level of energy and effort that is required to be a financial outlier like <insert billionaire political punching bag here>. Not everyone has the ability to become <insert billionaire political punching bag here>, and if they do, perhaps they may be constrained by circumstances beyond their control such as trying to become Jeff Bezos while living in backwoods Appalachia or in the middle of Meth country.

Government intervention cannot correct for the above. No amount of government intervention can guarantee success at the individual level because we all have different desires and abilities.
If you look at the chart in this article https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... althy.html you can see how the tax rates have changed dramatically for the 1%, from the 1950's/1960's to now. And arguably there was a healthier economy back in the day, compared to now.
You can't cherry pick tax rates to explain away the economic circumstances of the 50's and 60s. Maybe American industrial capacity being unravaged by WW2 helped boost the economy in the decades that followed? Or maybe all the wars (Korea, Vietnam, Cold War) pumping billions into the military industrial complex helped?

This sounds like a very american or libertarian notion, is it actually even true? What if you have two governments with the same amount of regulations but different types of regulation, and one performs better than the other?
How do you measure performance? Is economic performance the most important metric here? When you look at some of the nordic countries, can they be considered to have performed "poorly" ?
The only important question, in regards to economic success, are we living better today than in previous decades? We can now afford a plethora of goods and services that were previously enjoyed only by the wealthy. I say we're doing pretty good in this regard.

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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Campitor wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:44 am
Only through government intervention can a company gain unfair political and regulatory advantages. Government via its monopoly of power is free to dispense all kinds of advantages to corporations, businesses, and individuals. Therefore the only means to eliminate crony capitalism is by removing the government's ability to do so but we've already crossed the Rubicon on that one.
That isn't the only source of crony capitalism, there are plenty of examples where monopolies occur naturally and are then exploited to the detriment of their customers. The big technology companies are an example of that, until recently they took little interest in politics and politicians took little interest in them. Yet they grew to dominate their individual domains.

I suspect your libertarian utopia is as unachievable as the socialist utopia you seem to be railing against.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

There was a guest post on Epsilon Theory regarding the importance of localization in the face of globalization and totalitarianism.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/guest-pos ... -the-pack/
Riggerjack wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:26 am
We now have the tech to allow for smaller, more efficient, better coordinated systems. But we choose to pretend the two choices are a centralized capitalist system, or a centralized socialist system. Like there's a lot of difference... :roll:

Campitor
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Campitor »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:03 am
That isn't the only source of crony capitalism, there are plenty of examples where monopolies occur naturally and are then exploited to the detriment of their customers. The big technology companies are an example of that, until recently they took little interest in politics and politicians took little interest in them. Yet they grew to dominate their individual domains.

I suspect your libertarian utopia is as unachievable as the socialist utopia you seem to be railing against.
  1. I don't believe in Utopias. Humans are imperfect and will remain imperfect for the foreseeable future therefore Utopian societies are not possible.
  2. I never said the monopolies are only made possible by government. But only government can grant political and regulatory favoritism or did I miss the constitutional amendment that granted private companies the power to pass federal regulations?
Time for some Google-Fu - kiaiii!!! : https://mises.org/wire/many-ways-govern ... monopolies.

The U.S. “health care cost crisis” started in 1965. The government increased demand with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid while restricting the supply of doctors and hospitals. Health care prices responded at twice the rate of inflation. These inflated costs have also increased the cost of clinical trials needed by the drug industry. Since 1984, the drug industry has increased their profit margins to among the highest of all industries by successfully lobbying for overly-generous intellectual property rights (on top of patents).

Politicians likely support these policies in part because they make financial donations and other contributions to their election campaigns. They make excuses for their interventions favoring monopolies by alleging market imperfections or failures that may or may not exist. However, they often declare market failures without much evidence or even analysis.

As science historian James Burke said: “You can only know where you're going if you know where you've been.” Capitalism has always been unfairly blamed for market failures, monopolies and economic problems. For more than three centuries, most of America has aimlessly suffered through disguised, evolving and perverse forms of authoritarian economies created with government policies favoring monopolies and ineffective regulation: mercantilism before 1900, then socialism until the 1970s, and corporatism since.

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Ego
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Ego »

JamesR wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:43 pm
It made me think a bit of what Anand Giridharadas spoke about the wealthy using philanthrophy to protect their interests. (But I was giving the benefit of the doubt) Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
That was really good. His idea that win-win solutions are the root cause of many of these problems was interesting. I had never thought about it that way.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward [TED talk]

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Good interview with Dan Oliver that helps articulate the role of central banking and how it undermines true capitalism to create large corporate entities that have no regard for the people.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VDihjFxQFQg

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