Capitalism (2)

Edited from my 3/2 Facebook post

I was trained in econ, finance and business, and I lean towards economic conservatism. However: if there were no government regulation, we’d have to take every burglar to court for redress, every fraudulent business, every adulterated or dangerously mislabeled meds manufacturer, every cheat, crook and swindler … the courts would be swamped, but only with claimants able to pay for the mushrooming army of litigating attorneys.

The system we have now needs reform, but it’s still cheaper, more impartially administered, and accessible. Everybody supports the government, but few can afford redress through the courts every time we’re wronged or harmed. Think about that for a while.

I don’t understand how political “conservatives” rant and rail against “repressive government over-regulation” of corporations and businesses, as if you can’t just go and dig up the Grand Canyon looking for uranium and minerals, or manufacture a drug that kills people, — yet they press for more and more regulation controlling how you and I can pray, marry, make love, read a book, go to the movies, or vote.

Meanwhile, the 1% get richer, and the rest of us get poorer. I can certainly understand why the Swedes and Norwegians love their robust, healthy, happy “socialist” economies. I can understand how they’re happy with the economic, social and standard of health and living conditions for all. We can certainly understand how barbaric early laws sanctioned between business and worker gave rise to experiments with socialism. They became popular, and we’re starting to live in thoseĀ  desperate times too..

I could successfully argue that the capitalist system of economics could work better, but we don’t have that now, and really never did. The notion that you and I need to live under one enforced system of common laws proscribing violations of the rights of others, but that businesses don’t, is truly insane.

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Good show, America, what’s happening to us?

Recommended reading, from Bill Moyers:

Study: Politically Engaged Liberals and Conservatives Don’t Want to Be Neighbors

Me: Well now, there we have it, don’t we?

We invite our neighbors belonging to the “other” Party over for drinks and BBQ, and we smile sweetly and thank them ever SO much for coming, just as if they were “real” human beings. And then we trot down to the polls and vote to expropriate their property, curb their speech, deny them civil rights and liberties, jail them on trumped-up charges in Soviet-style courts, steal their privacy, and then we scratch our heads and wonder why we all demonize each other. Good show, America, what’s happening to us?

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Who’s To Blame?

Mini-ed (from my recent Huffington Post comment):

The collapse was a two-decade bipartisan collaborative effort in partnership with private enterprise. The root of the collapse of the economy and average family wealth also goes, causally but perhaps coincidentally, back to 1992, the year to which family net worth was reset. That was also the year the real estate bubble really started to take off. We all said, “this can’t last.” Remember?

On paper, homeowners were worth more. Republicans and Democrats alike clapped and cheered. Relaxed and ultimately crazy lending requirements fueled a genuine American Tulip Mania. The whole economy became dependent on future growth for today’s prosperity. ARM’s, derivative speculation and toxic assets were the icing on the cake.

The $1.3 trillion war debt would certainly have helped our recovery effort. Once again, a divided America supported that effort on both sides of the aisle.

It’s time to stop the finger-pointing, roll up our shirtsleeves, and work together to fix this thing. That may require political compromise, something we used to be good at. The only thing that’s stopping us is ourselves.

 

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“Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent?”

“Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals?” Short commentary on the dangers of oversimplifying the oversimplifiers.

See: Huffington: Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

Looking at the archive photo of the racist Klansmen, the article is provocative, interesting, even mildly amusing. But I think this study begs the point. The study’s lead author did acknowledge that “less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal ‘simplifying ideologies’ as well as conservative ones.” For every conservative who’s stuck in the rut of social Darwinism, we can also find some other liberal who sounds like a broken record. I think the real point is that (1) thinking isn’t the exclusive domain of hi-IQ types, and (2) embracing ideological principles is never an acceptable substitute for doing our own thinking.

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