Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why Capitalism and Money Work

Before we even begin the debate, I think it's pertinent to understand that Capitalism didn't even have a name until people such as Karl Marx tried to criticize it. It is a natural law, comparable to gravity, which is why Adam Smith called it the "System of Natural Liberty". You don't hate liberty, do you? Capitalism can't be disabled or outlawed and neither can gravity. Trashing this natural law is as nonsensical as complaining about the speed of light. A true progressive would study this phenomina and use it like a tool to build a better society (I respect many opinions on the role of government concerning this application- I'm not arguing for unrestricted capitalism here). The world is not flat, and the free market plays a vital role in allowing for our society to be so complex. We don't have to make our own soap anymore thanks to capitalism. You could if you wanted to, but Irish Spring is just fine for me.

The idea of free trade on any scale of economy is as old as society itself. A farmer would trade food for tools, and a blacksmith might trade tools lumber or medicine, etc. Bartering is excellent free trade, but nothing promotes liberty like the endless flexibility of currency. Not everybody is a blacksmith, farmer, or a miller, so bartering is limited by the relative value of their goods to customers. Currency allows a coal miner to buy a Megadeth T-shirt from California.

Currency is simply a means of settling a debt between people. The US government devalues our currency by spending more than they collect, which causes the same damage as counterfiet currency. The problem is not currency, and the problem is not capitalism. The problem is irresponsible makers of policy with no respect for the natural system we call Capitalism.

Our stock market is legalized gambling, to be sure. Stock prices are set at around 20-25 times the earnings of the companies they represent. They are extremely overpriced, but historically this works well enough for people to trust their life's funds for retirement to. Even being so overpriced, I know that the returns from stocks and bonds will be far beyond what the Federal Government will ever return. Do you honestly think those clowns in Washington care about our retirement? They'll be long dead by then, after living a life of wealth and influence from the money they steal from our paychecks.

Furthermore, if you want to "take the power back", save your money and buy stock in these giant corporations that everybody loves to talk shit about. When you buy stock, YOU OWN THE COMPANY! It's difficult to own significant portions of super-huge companies like GM, but some people do. If people would stop buying stupid bullshit like new cars and expensive clothes and instead focus resources on buying back the companies that we feel are on the wrong track, then the "people" would have a voice, and would have "taken the power back".

You can take control of our corporate culture, but it will require the sacrifice of the MTV lifestyle. People that buy things on credit cards are signing themselves up for slavery. Who do you think pays for those skyscrapers in New York with "Chase" and "Citibank" at the top? Fact: the borrower is servant to the lender. Buy stock, and they are your servant. Buy stupid bullshit to impress people that you don't know on credit cards, and they own you. Credit card companies have so much power to buy off politicians, and it IS OUR FAULT. We give them that much power because we owe them too much money (collectively). We don't have power, we "have it now", and we'll spend our lives trying to pay it back.

It's so easy to bitch and moan about how rich some people are when we're doing nothing with our checkbooks and votes to take it back. Those people at the top are not stupid, and they know how to get you to keep paying them money so you'll never get traction for upward mobility if you choose. Capitalism is like gravity, we have to understand how it works and use it better if we hope to overcome. As for me, I'll learn as much as I can about our markets instead of complaining about why we can't fly. A war on Capitalism is just as laughable as a war on terror, drugs, gravity, and procrastination.


Lefty Metalhead said...

Capitalism does work. However, its application by greedy corporations is what fucks it up!

BlackLabelAxe said...

Agreed. Another thing that fucks it is politicians who hook up the tax code until a few at the top are making out with most of the money.

Our Constitution says that we have a right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Besides the protection of those ideals, our government has no purpose. A corporation that corners the market and terrorizes the competition deprives some of an ability to make a living, which is why we have anti-trust laws. A corporation who steals an idea from an individual has stolen his ability to create wealth from his own invention, which is why we have patent laws.

Basically, we have a government to make sure that everybody has a right to "get theirs" through fair competition. Some corporations can be likened to a sprinter who punches out his competitors at the starting block.

Of course we'll differ on the specific role and interpretation of government function in the marketplace, I just wanted to point out that to say that Capitalism doesn't work is as regressive and nonsensical as Islam. It's like threatening Gallileo or Nicholas Copernicus with excommunication for challenging our understanding of science.

Ann Coulters bastard son said...

Capitalism does work, and I love the fact that a coal miner can buy a Megadeath t-shirt, but just like our highway's and byway's we need rules. Speed limits and stop signs. Rules that stop people from getting creamed. Regulations. I love safe food and clean beer and I don't like shit in the meat. I couldn't get those without some regulations. And there's one party out there tearing down those regulations.

Tony said...

I don't think Adam Smith had any idea that we would have an economy based on lies and run by a private bank that stole our gold. IMHO.

Tony said...

Also, think of it like this. Sure, this whole economy we have is functional TODAY, but what if the market crashes. What back up plans are in place? When you base your whole economic system on monopoly money, what happens when the bottom falls out? Capitalism only works when the currency represents something real, something tangible. It used to in this country, but right now, if our money goes belly up, it will be worth less than toilet paper because it has no link to a tangible currency (gold, silver, etc). Our coins are so alloyed that they aren't gonna be worth much for scrap metal either.

BlackLabelAxe said...

When an economy crashes, only goods and services are of value.

Micro-economy example:

After the tsunami in Indonesia, people opened their wallets to help them out. Think about the people that just had their whole world and most of their friends and family washed out to sea- do you think they'd want $1,000,000? How about 100 pounds of 24k gold? How about a bottle of water and a meal, and medical supplies to bandage wounds?

This is why I get fucking infuriated when asshole Europeans talk about how much money they gave and then say we didn't give enough. What the fuck was their money good for during the recovery?

How about our Navy and its helicopters that delivered supplies and evacuated the wounded, or our ships that protected them from looters and brought food and supplies in mind-blowing bulk? My point is that only actual goods and services matter at all in failed economy.

Gold, money, and money backed by gold are all worth nothing in a real collossal failure of economy, but goods and services keep their value. Eventually, once goods and services begin to be traded rapidly again, gold or money can again be used as a means for keeping up with debts, regardless of what it represents.

The only reason why you work for money is because you know that you can exchange those dollars for goods and services that you want. You don't know how much gold is in a dollar, and it doesn't matter anyways. Money is just an agreement, and so long as it is sufficiently scarce, its value can be agreed upon in a sale. Example: I think a bottle of Coca-Cola is worth about $1. The merchant at the counter recognizes my dollar as a fair trade because he knows that his merchants and personal bank will take it, so it never mattered how much gold that piece of paper was worth.

Yes, I agree with you that the Federal government is not supporting the scarcity of US Dollars, but neither are counterfieters, and neither of those has to do with a doomsday scenario.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Oh, and Adam Smith argued that eventually a gold standard would become impossible once the scale of the economy had exceeded the value of all the world's gold combined.

Gold is just a piece of metal, and money is just a piece of paper. The agreement between buyer and seller is ultimately the only thing that matters.