kvs wrote:Europe even before the EU was basically an admission that laissez-faire capitalism is a non-starter. A mixed model is required. Just
like the public good is served by building roads and running the judicial system, it is served by free education and health care.
Americans have wallowed in their Kalvinist nonsense of God loving the rich and not the poor (from an era when the rich were 0.1% of the
population and 99% were poor). But even laissez-faire America developed corporate welfare. This created a trickle down effect that
has maintained a middle class. But the current PC spasm is destroying the country. Identity politics leftism is not sane and
you can see how it could care less about the economy. Child genital mutilation is way more important to these freaks than any
worker's wages and employment conditions. That's just white male patriarchy, so who cares....
But pure socialism or communism does not have long term viability. It does not address human psychology and it therefore fails. We
live in a perverse reality when it comes to human society. If people get without effort, then they develop and entitlement syndrome
and become rabid welfare bums. But when they are exposed to conditions where they have to earn what they get, they are exposed
to abuse through wealth stratification. So we have two nasty and opposing poles towards which the dynamical system called society
gets attracted and the ideal is an unstable orbit in phase space that avoids both of these attractors.
People are also afflicted with contrarian-think. If their current conditions suck, then they idealize the alternative. So in the disfunctional
socialist limit they pine for capitalism and in the disfunctional capitalist limit they pine for socialism. Striving for a complex balance of
policies instead of drinking simplistic koolaid is not a characteristic of humanity. And relegating this balancing to politicians is a non-starter
since politicians are crooks.
I totally agree with you KVS; a balanced point of view about economics is the best. I personally can't stand libertarians here in the USA with their utopian ideals about perfect markets.
Building a community of libertarians is like building a house out of pudding.
Libertarian individualism and community are almost perfect opposites. Libertarians are the least capable most inappropriate people on Earth for forming a community.
Community requires a cooperative/synergistic (whole > sum of parts) mindset, altruistic morals, a willingness to sacrifice and goodwill toward others.
Out of any group of libertarians, there are maybe 1 in 100 who are self-regulating enough to make functional members of a decent community. The rest will simply work the edges and arbitrage the goodwill of others until they are kicked out or the community fails entirely.
Almost every decent libertarian has already leveled up to some kind of Third Position authoritarianism. When you realize that what you hate isn’t “government,” but rather “government by people who hate you,” you see how impractical and anti-human libertarian individualism really is and you will never look at it the same way again.
I would like to make a few relevant observations.
1.In practice, most economies are mixed. During the darkest days of the post ww2 soviet union, there were incentives for those who worked hard in a particular field, and a barter economy. Even in the glory days of American free market capitalism of the late 19th century and early 20th century, there was a certain amount of government interference, and even the gold standard was never in practice what it was on paper. The difference between capitalism and communism may depend largely on who is doing the labeling, and what axe they have to grind.
2. “Capitalism” has become a near-religion to many. People have been convinced that “the market” can do no wrong and that the accumulation of money and power, as long as it is done through the market, is ok or even good. the fact of the matter is that almost any system is open to exploitation. Even in a truly free market, it is possible, in fact inevitable, that some greedy and crafty actors will find ways to exploit others and amass undue fortune for themselves on the backs of those who actually produce.
3. The driving force of the free market is supposed to be competition. “go out and start your own business” sounds great. In some cases it might be a viable option. In other areas, it is so much silliness. In many industries, the barriers to entry are simply too high. One does not go out and start one’s own airline the way one can go door to door and start one’s own lawn service, or lemonade stand. Any developed economy must have a certain level of organization and coordination that necessitates the dreaded words… government oversight.
4. many of our zealous “capitalist” fanatics would consider mixed model not capitalism at all. People have to get out of the mental rut that ALL government is bad. Those who value freedom and truth must understand that nature abhors a vacuum, and limited, accountable government that works to restrain the worst abuses of the wealthy is the best real world solution.
5. The question of capitalism vs socialism reminds me of the debate of democracy vs monarchy: who are the voters, and who is the monarch? the answer makes all the difference in the world. Is the problem so much our system? or that it is run by hostile elites who are intentionally killing the host?
This is a good essay here: https://www.masongaffney.org/workpapers/WP070%20Unearned%20Income%20as%20a%20Barrier%20to%20Free%20Enterprise.pdf