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Capitalism; Broken but necessary(?)

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Synxervious Male
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  #1 Old 04-12-2012 Lightbulb Capitalism; Broken but necessary(?)

IMO, capitalism is broken, but necessary.

Broken:

Keynes might have said that unemployment was the central problem, reducible by government action to smooth the business cycle. Monetarists would have said that inflation is the central problem, citing need to control the money supply - Austrian economists like Hayek and Schumpeter would have believed that the individualistic spirit of the times would result in efficient firms destroying inefficient ones, making the case for no government action - They correctly predicted the fall of communism when they said that it would be impossible for a government to coordinate all the individual decisions necessary to run an efficient centrally-planned economy.

And then crash went the Berlin Wall, and the world figuratively flipped the bird at the Cold War, and communist philosophy.

As much as I am for the tranche of personal freedoms associated with living in a free society, something about Marx's views stood out to me -
Marx was of the opinion that any nation-state that abided by a system of capitalism and liberal democracy would eventually fall from a world in which asserting freedom was possible, reduced from a polity of voices vying in the free world for dominance into a small collection of powerful elites, corporations pining for profit, subsuming one another in a relentless journey toward the end of civilization, leaving behind only the strong, leaving behind the dead -

This is the price of freedom - Power law distribution incomes, elite education. Inequality by the day, inequality by the night... And what an apt description of the modern world, I thought - Nostradamus could have been Marx's underachieving younger brother, for all I knew.

Necessary:

Fiat money. Property rights. Individual liberty to buy and sell - They're not things that you give up wholesale. As Keynes famously said - "In the long run, we are all dead."

As we live in the present, buying our iPod touches, being the consumers that we've always been, it constantly appears that capitalism is the best choice to many of us - Possibly the only choice. Many people, including myself, have resigned ourselves to this reality not so much because it's a sad thing, but rather because we know that we can make something out of it for ourselves, because for a large portion of us at present, we know that inequality doesn't affect us TOO MUCH, nor do we have to escape from the grips of a poverty cycle.

What can we do - Should anything change? An entirely new system? Reforms to the current paradigm? I'm interested to hear your arguments.

Last edited by Synxervious; 04-12-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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alic3-1derland Female
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  #2 Old 06-12-2012 Default Re: Capitalism; Broken but necessary(?)

I believe in Marxism, that capitalism bears the seed of its downfall, and eventually develops into communism/socialism. Many rejected the idea of communism probably because of the collapse of USSR in 1991. But who can be absolute that Karl Marx was wrong? Look around us, uprisings, demonstrations against corrupted government, unequal distribution of opportunities. Capitalism is broken, most of the time the richer ones get richer and the poorer ones poorer. When the situation becomes contrasting, who can be certain that capitalism would still be deemed the best choice?
Some of the economic aspects of capitalism should be adopted, eg. privatization of certain industries, price mechanism to act as incentives... But state controls are equally necessary in some degrees. In order to prevent the downfall of capitalism, it is vital for the authorities to take in considerations the morality of capitalism, by means of equal distribution - hence effectively curb uprisings. This can be done through honest management - no corruption. People who pay taxes get back what they paid for, owners of firms pay more to the workers employed if they earned extra (profit maximization still, but give back a portion to those who deserves)...
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youngyew Male
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  #3 Old 06-12-2012 Default Re: Capitalism; Broken but necessary(?)

Capitalism works by its inherent incentives that "the talented and the hardworking ones will be rewarded", so society in general achieves greater prosperity as everyone strives towards this end. Marxism is an ideal that is bereft of such incentives, so while one may claim that the ugly disparity between the haves and the have nots would be narrowed, the society on the whole would be worse off as people lack the same amount of drive.
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