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Prepared
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This article has intrigued me the past couple days:

"Income inequality: Does wider gap between rich and poor threaten capitalism?"

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0...gap-between-rich-and-poor-threaten-capitalism

Turns out that Bill Gross, one of the wealthiest men in America, has been saying alot of the things we observe here, and echoed over on Zerohedge. I won't bother quoting the article fine points because it reflects alot of what I've been saying for years.

But the bottom-line, I wonder, is whether they worry the US will abandon capitalism because wealth has become too skewed, hopelessness too prevalent, and social mobility (Protestant Work Ethic, American Dream, etc.) basically dead. In a nutshell, far too many people are too poor to be capitalists, to know what capitalism means, to trade in capital, etc. At best, they can only trade their labor. At worst, they give up entirely?
 

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If capitalism was working properly, people should be able to become quite that rich.

You cannot tell me there is no other person, in all of America, that could do some billionaires job as well as the said billionaire, and wouldnt be willing to do it for 1/2 the price.

And then 1/2 the price again.

I saw a doco a while ago and it had a little segment that was quite interesting about maximum wage ratio's, ie, how many times the richest person gets paid more than the poorest person within a given company.

It went from something like 5x ages ago (roman times?), to 20x at the start of the industrial revolution, and now its something like thousands of times....
 

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This article has intrigued me the past couple days:

"Income inequality: Does wider gap between rich and poor threaten capitalism?"

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0...gap-between-rich-and-poor-threaten-capitalism

Turns out that Bill Gross, one of the wealthiest men in America, has been saying alot of the things we observe here, and echoed over on Zerohedge. I won't bother quoting the article fine points because it reflects alot of what I've been saying for years.

But the bottom-line, I wonder, is whether they worry the US will abandon capitalism because wealth has become too skewed, hopelessness too prevalent, and social mobility (Protestant Work Ethic, American Dream, etc.) basically dead. In a nutshell, far too many people are too poor to be capitalists, to know what capitalism means, to trade in capital, etc. At best, they can only trade their labor. At worst, they give up entirely?
I don't believe capitalism is dead. I think the studies are flawed because they focus on only those that move from the very bottom quintile to the top quintile or that go from the top to the bottom. Yet many go up from the bottom to the 3rd or 4th quintiles.
 

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Frreeedommm
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If capitalism were working right many of the too big too fails would history today. If it were working right most people would not be overspending on housing which leads to over consuming utilities, over insuring and excessive upkeep and taxes.

If capitalism were working more people would be working. Eliminate minimum wage laws and unemployment benefits and you will see people working. You might need two people or more to pay the bills, but isn't that how the farms worked?

Besides, a large portion of Americans lifestyles are really luxuries. No one needs cell phones, internet, cable tv, flat screens, cigarettes, alcohol, pop, chips, ding dongs, boats, golf, fast foods, eating out, twenty shoes, ten purses, video games, etc. etc. etc..

Capitalism worked just fine before socialist tampered with it.
 

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But the bottom-line, I wonder, is whether they worry the US will abandon capitalism because wealth has become too skewed, hopelessness too prevalent, and social mobility (Protestant Work Ethic, American Dream, etc.) basically dead. In a nutshell, far too many people are too poor to be capitalists, to know what capitalism means, to trade in capital, etc. At best, they can only trade their labor. At worst, they give up entirely?
HONESTLY, this didn't happen all by itself.

Once the gov decided to "tinker" with social engineering, the Great Society, and Safety Nets that came from the gov - instead of the community - it helps nurture this demoralization and disintegration of society and capitalism.
 

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Yeah so it isn't the poor in general that want socialism. Some of the mega wealthy 0.000001% most certainly do and they are selling the idea. Socialism is the only hope they have of saving their asses since they don't wish to stop accumulating wealth or give up what they currently have. I'm not about to try to guess what kind of timeline we're looking at but this should not come as a surprise when we have 1426 people owning 47% of the wealth on the globe. Socialism could be used to prevent accountability and competition and could be used to appease the masses. Pitchfork uprisings are nasty affairs after all. I think Bill Gross is a smart guy and he is certainly successful but that article reads like a red herring to me. Pretty please poor people, don't stop dreaming. We really need more of your output. In the future I think we'll be left with two practical paths - 1) figure it out and get your oligarch style on or 2) become an anarchist and stick it to the system by refusing to participate, i.e., don't buy anything.

On a positive note, I think there will be a great many minimally-moderately wealthy ($5-50 million) that will fight this nonsense when they realize they are being left out and are at risk of losing what they've worked very hard to build.

Do as I say, not as I do, comrade. You go back to scratching in the dirt, I'll go back to my crystal castle by way of my 300' yacht or BBJ.

 

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Income inequality is not the threat to capitalism. It is government that is the threat. Government has become so big and powerful that it now picks the winners and losers instead of the free market. There are so many rules that it is now virtually impossible for small business to survive and thrive. They devote more resources to record keeping, overhead items like accounting/auditing/filing paperwork/tax processing, fear of litigation, fear of product liability, fear of prosecution --- just about everything other than making their product and selling it. Oliarcare is a prime example --- many businesses will have to invest more to comply with the 20K monster than they put into hiring people and priming the pump of success. Sure, capitalism has led to abuses but that is the carrot that has driven so many to do so much --- the prospects of great wealth. Now, government instead of markets determines what to produce, how much to charge, who to hire, what students should learn (socialism?), which businesses (aka friends of the party) deserve tax breaks and subsidies and which deserve to be under the scrutiny of powerful government agencies like the EPA, IRS, FDA, and EEOC to name a few. That is the threat to capitalism and our very way of life and as Oliar said, it is all part of "hope and change". Unfortunately, the end of capitalism will not come from income inequality and government intervention alone. It will come at the hands of voters who have been brainwashed on the notion of equal outcomes vs. equal opportunity. Greed is good. Ignorance is very bad. :D:
 

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Never Give up
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If capitalism was working properly, people should be able to become quite that rich.

You cannot tell me there is no other person, in all of America, that could do some billionaires job as well as the said billionaire, and wouldnt be willing to do it for 1/2 the price.

And then 1/2 the price again.

I saw a doco a while ago and it had a little segment that was quite interesting about maximum wage ratio's, ie, how many times the richest person gets paid more than the poorest person within a given company.

It went from something like 5x ages ago (roman times?), to 20x at the start of the industrial revolution, and now its something like thousands of times....
Sorry if you don't understand business. Some people cant do the job for half price. Why because they are incapable of do the job as well otherwise they would already be there. There is more to most jobs then others think there is.
 

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I am going to say that in a way the gap threatens capitalism, however it wont be the government abandoning it. Karl Marx in his communist manifesto stated that true communism would arise from a nation that is fully capitalist and that has undergone industrialization to the fullest extent. When the income gap widens to the point that everyone other than the holders of physical capital are considered poor. At this point the poor will rise up and overthrow the capital holders and establish a transitional socialist government before giving way to communism. Communism is a no boarders, no money, and non-militaristic state, think Star Trek. There hasn't been a true communist state except maybe Somalia lol. So in response if you think the gap threatens capitalism.....I would say no and yet it could give way to the very thing our military and political leaders fought against up to the 90's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The more prevalent historical interpretation is that FDR (old money from New England) attempted to save capitalism with the Great Society programs, to prevent a genuine Bolshevik revolution here in the US. Not a rhetorical/empty name-calling, but the real deal.

You had a large number of unemployed, disenfranchised and angry WWI veterans living in Hoovervilles, a large number of unemployed young men 18-20's (a dangerous age if you're worried about revolution/unrest) and the general Depression at-large. So they created the CCC and other programs to ship these guys off to remote areas and do hard labor, get some construction, engineering and forestry skills, etc. -- as opposed to simply collecting welfare, being angry, and having quite a bit of time on their hands.

But if you do your reading, the failure of capitalism to provide enough labor then is the reason they came up with these programs -- I believe it's stated quite openly in historical writings of the time if you take the time to look.

We're approaching a similar time now, probably much worse insofar as I can see, since trading labor for income is no longer going to be a viable option for perhaps even the majority of Americans in a decade or two. Automation, robotics, economy of scale, efficiencies, off-shoring, etc. So if you don't have labor, and you can't afford to trade capital, it's game over for capitalism -- for that demographic at least. They have nothing to trade.

Probably "the working man" never should be considered a capitalist in the first place, unless he derived a good percentage of his side wealth through a side-business, investments, etc. But the potential game-changer here is that the percentage of non-capitalists is growing, and we can't sit in denial any longer about it because it could reach a critical mass and end up with revolution, a significant and deliberate restructuring of our economy, or a big collapse that works its way up. We're a consumer-oriented society. If consumerism halts, the damage will work its way upward.

HONESTLY, this didn't happen all by itself.

Once the gov decided to "tinker" with social engineering, the Great Society, and Safety Nets that came from the gov - instead of the community - it helps nurture this demoralization and disintegration of society and capitalism.
 

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But if you do your reading, the failure of capitalism to provide enough labor then is the reason they came up with these programs--
There is no one simple answer to our current predicament. Why weren't there any jobs during the depression? Because the capitalists had gone belly-up in the '29 crash... lost everything; sometimes their lives through suicide.

This was also the era of the communist-socialist labor union movements (see the Armory Show in NYC and Emma Goldman, I think her name was).

This time around: it's because it's too costly to start-up a business; this is where jobs come from. Existing companies can continue to do business, simply hiring to fill openings; they aren't going to take chances growing either -- when it seems at every turn, the gov wants their cut of every nickel & dime and THEN, tries to tell the businesswoman, how to run her business. This girl don't play those games.

Fact is: government debt and the consequent policies to "paper it over" have destroyed capital, once again, in this country. I don't wanna try to predict the outcome... I merely hope to survive it.
 

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If capitalism were working more people would be working. Eliminate minimum wage laws and unemployment benefits and you will see people working. You might need two people or more to pay the bills, but isn't that how the farms worked?
so you're saying more people would be working, but they would be earning less. That really doesn't address the rich/poor gap.
 

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If capitalism was working properly, people should be able to become quite that rich.

You cannot tell me there is no other person, in all of America, that could do some billionaires job as well as the said billionaire, and wouldnt be willing to do it for 1/2 the price.

And then 1/2 the price again.

.
If it is so easy, why are you not a billionaire now?
 

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Compared to the rest of the World the US is a very capitalist country. Of the ten wealthiest nations, we have the highest income disparity. The US is in danger of losing the middle class. The education system is failing allowing for many more dumbazz.es.

If becoming wealthy is so easy, a lot more people would be doing it.
 

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The gap will continue as long as the Government gives enough hand outs for a livable wage to the Entitled crowd...to keep the "why work" mentality fueled.
It used to be called Bread and Circuses. The elite are always trying this as a system hoping to continue themselves in power.

The main difference between the Liberal elite and the Old money elite is the Liberal elite use the poor to further their quest for power and wealth. The Old money elite see the poor as customers for their products and laborers in their factories. They see power is simply what wealth gives them.

Do not believe that either actually cares about the poor or middle class.
 

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Compared to the rest of the World the US is a very capitalist country. Of the ten wealthiest nations, we have the highest income disparity. The US is in danger of losing the middle class. The education system is failing allowing for many more dumbazz.es.

If becoming wealthy is so easy, a lot more people would be doing it.
I think one of the issues is that the US is the most culturally, socially, and ethnically diverse. Many have different values and that impacts how they work, save, plan for the future, etc. No other top 30 country is even remotely as diverse.
 

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Frreeedommm
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so you're saying more people would be working, but they would be earning less. That really doesn't address the rich/poor gap.
The question is whether the gap is threatening capitalism. I have stated that socialism is threatening capitalism.

As to the gap between the rich and poor, it is caused by government policies and corruption.

Whether the gap is a threat to capitalism is irrelevant when you do not have propper capitalism to start with.
 
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