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Discussion Starter #1
In the interest of fairness for all...

It sure is really nice to hear all these stories about how people just need to 'work hard' and they will be rich and happy too as long as the govt. stays out of the way. I could be mistaken but I dont think capitalism works if everyone is a rich millionaire. The least you can do is be honest and admit that most people need to suffer at the bottom for the plan to work.


"The laws of capitalism, which are blind and are invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller — whether or not it is true — about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clearly.... It is a contest among wolves. One can win only at the cost of the failure of others."
 

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American Capitalism has Failed and Needs to be Replaced



"America has now moved into a form of capitalist evolution called Corporate Capitalism. Under this configuration the basic elements of free-market and private ownership remain, but the system is dominated by hierarchical, highly bureaucratic corporations that are fixated on narrow self-interests for profits with little or no concern for the best interests of the nation, society or workers. And therein is the problem."
 

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American Capitalism has Failed and Needs to be Replaced



"America has now moved into a form of capitalist evolution called Corporate Capitalism. Under this configuration the basic elements of free-market and private ownership remain, but the system is dominated by hierarchical, highly bureaucratic corporations that are fixated on narrow self-interests for profits with little or no concern for the best interests of the nation, society or workers. And therein is the problem."
Capitalism to me means a shot for everyone. Everyone has a shot at success *if* they put in the time and effort. That will vary greatly on the individual. Some will have an easier time attaining success. Some will be practically born into it. Others will struggle their entire lives just to get a small taste of it and every scenario in between.

Can anyone point somewhere where it states that success should be guaranteed to all, regardless of effort or ability? At least in the U.S. I don't know of any law or document that states: "Lifetime success in your endeavors is guaranteed, irrespective of performance, solely based on the fact that you're both human, and American".

Did I miss it?

Capitalism hasn't failed, Capitalism is what made our country what it is. A rag-tag bunch of misfits that created their own nation, fought amongst ourselves and then got it together and prospered as a nation. Now we're meant to feel guilty for it. Guilty for succeeding. :huh:

People like to point to corporate greed in the capitalistic society as if corporations themselves invented and patented the greed concept. Public unions aren't greedy? Pension reform isn't needed? Healthcare benefit costs aren't spiraling out of control? Colleges and Universities aren't greedy with ever increasing tuition hikes, passed onto students as debt they'll carry for the next 5-15 years?

I don't think greed is unique to corporations, that's my point. Nor do I think that "taking advantage of the little guy" is unique to corporations. And when you say "corporations" the term is so vague and all-encompassing it seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Apple is a corporation, how are their labor practices in Asia? Improving much? Oh sure, when there's a 20/20 special on them or pressure from hippies, but I don't think giving folks 0.18 a day instead of 0.12 is really the best they can do. Not when their shares are selling for North of $600 each. Or that they were named the richest corporation in the world. Or that their products, however slick, are overpriced.

Anyway, that's my opinion, Capitalism is not perfect. It has issues. I would rather that system, with its flaws, over any other for myself and for the U.S.
 

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"America has now moved into a form of capitalist evolution called Crony Capitalism. Under this configuration the basic elements of free-market and private ownership remain, but the system is dominated by bureaucrats and politicians that are fixated on the narrow self-interests of power, status and wealth with little or no concern for the best interests of the nation, society or workers. And therein is the problem."
Fixed that for you... ;)
 

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Ok, so what do you suggest?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Capitalism to me means a shot for everyone. Everyone has a shot at success *if* they put in the time and effort. That will vary greatly on the individual. Some will have an easier time attaining success. Some will be practically born into it. Others will struggle their entire lives just to get a small taste of it and every scenario in between.

Can anyone point somewhere where it states that success should be guaranteed to all, regardless of effort or ability? At least in the U.S. I don't know of any law or document that states: "Lifetime success in your endeavors is guaranteed, irrespective of performance, solely based on the fact that you're both human, and American".

Did I miss it?

Capitalism hasn't failed, Capitalism is what made our country what it is. A rag-tag bunch of misfits that created their own nation, fought amongst ourselves and then got it together and prospered as a nation. Now we're meant to feel guilty for it. Guilty for succeeding. :huh:

People like to point to corporate greed in the capitalistic society as if corporations themselves invented and patented the greed concept. Public unions aren't greedy? Pension reform isn't needed? Healthcare benefit costs aren't spiraling out of control? Colleges and Universities aren't greedy with ever increasing tuition hikes, passed onto students as debt they'll carry for the next 5-15 years?

I don't think greed is unique to corporations, that's my point. Nor do I think that "taking advantage of the little guy" is unique to corporations. And when you say "corporations" the term is so vague and all-encompassing it seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Apple is a corporation, how are their labor practices in Asia? Improving much? Oh sure, when there's a 20/20 special on them or pressure from hippies, but I don't think giving folks 0.18 a day instead of 0.12 is really the best they can do. Not when their shares are selling for North of $600 each. Or that they were named the richest corporation in the world. Or that their products, however slick, are overpriced.

Anyway, that's my opinion, Capitalism is not perfect. It has issues. I would rather that system, with its flaws, over any other for myself and for the U.S.
Can you define this 'success' that everyone has a shot at? I would agree that not everyone should be guaranteed any level of 'success' - the world needs it's janitors. What people really need to focus on, instead of this all or nothing mentality that is so prevalent today, is what degree of income inequality is actually good for everyone. For example, is it better overall if 99% of wealth is concentrated in less than 1% of the population?
 

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It's very disorienting to see people on a site like one that is a community of Lotus afficionados, when some of those folks seem to try to make a case against capitalism.

Hypothesis: without capitalism, there would be no Lotus Elise, Exige, Evora.

There would likely be no iPad or iPhone.

There most certainly would be no internet as we know it.

There would be no big screen, plasma TV's.

No NFL, certainly no fantasy league football.

No Indy car races or ALMS races in Baltimore this weekend.

For all its flaws, I don't know of a preferrable alternative.
 

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These are almost as important as healthcare, food, and shelter, transportation. I can imagine a life without my Exige, I wouldn't want to imagine a life without my sister any mother, both of whom have been helped by medicare and medicaid.

While capitalism is great, large corporations have twisted it so there is no equal opportunity, nor does hard work = success anymore. There are great flaws.


It's very disorienting to see people on a site like one that is a community of Lotus afficionados, when some of those folks seem to try to make a case against capitalism.

Hypothesis: without capitalism, there would be no Lotus Elise, Exige, Evora.

There would likely be no iPad or iPhone.

There most certainly would be no internet as we know it.

There would be no big screen, plasma TV's.

No NFL, certainly no fantasy league football.

No Indy car races or ALMS races in Baltimore this weekend.

For all its flaws, I don't know of a preferrable alternative.
 

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Can you define this 'success' that everyone has a shot at? I would agree that not everyone should be guaranteed any level of 'success' - the world needs it's janitors. What people really need to focus on, instead of this all or nothing mentality that is so prevalent today, is what degree of income inequality is actually good for everyone. For example, is it better overall if 99% of wealth is concentrated in less than 1% of the population?
Define 'wealth'
 

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These are almost as important as healthcare, food, and shelter, transportation. I can imagine a life without my Exige, I wouldn't want to imagine a life without my sister any mother, both of whom have been helped by medicare and medicaid.

While capitalism is great, large corporations have twisted it so there is no equal opportunity, nor does hard work = success anymore. There are great flaws.
Hard work is the most overrated and overvalued aspect of 'success' ever.

Hard work is a given. The Polish ladies who clean my house work every two weeks very hard. You know what they are? Hard working house cleaners. Their job isn't unique or particularly strategic.

EVERY successful person works hard. What is more important is a) having a skill in a field that CAN make you a lot of money and b) being F**KING BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.

For example, every quarterback in the NFL works hard and is in shape. Why are some Aaron Rodgers and some Colt McCoy? Because Aaron Rodgers is BETTER. The both work hard, but one has a better aptitude and use of his training and skills vs the other - as such, he'll enjoy significantly more and extended financial reward for that unique value he provides.

Just curious - how have large corporations 'twisted' it? On the contrary, large corporations go out of their way to ensure opportunity. Sure, it might not be board level positions, but....
 

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Not saying we need something different, just that capitalism is a flawed system also.
Agreed - no system is perfect nor will it ever be.

As for your cartoon, I have no idea what it, or you, is trying to say.
 

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Hello? Crony and phony capitalism are big governments creation.

Real Capitalism means you make your own way. If you're a loser you are guaranteed to fail. It's called consequences. Last time I checked, successful people work a lot harder than dependent losers. Poor people by large are poor because of their life choices. Most of those in the army with me were poor as heck, with equal pay. Something doesn't add up!

The opponents of capitalism have created the environment for the evil side of capitalism to grow and thrive.

I built a lot of wealth with a low paying job. I am sick and tired of the mentality that rich people keep us down. I could prosper on ANY job, even minimum wage. And I believe I have already proven this to be true.

Capitalism + a strong rule of law.

"The world needs ditch diggers too"
 

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Hello? Crony and phony capitalism are big governments creation.

Real Capitalism means you make your own way. If you're a loser you are guaranteed to fail. It's called consequences. Last time I checked, successful people work a lot harder than dependent losers. Poor people by large are poor because of their life choices. Most of those in the army with me were poor as heck, with equal pay. Something doesn't add up!

The opponents of capitalism have created the environment for the evil side of capitalism to grow and thrive.

I built a lot of wealth with a low paying job. I am sick and tired of the mentality that rich people keep us down. I could prosper on ANY job, even minimum wage. And I believe I have already proven this to be true.

Capitalism + a strong rule of law.

"The world needs ditch diggers too"
Yes, they work harder, but they are BETTER. We always hear that 'so, that rich guy thinks he's better than me?'

Yes, he is. He's much better. :)

I'm in technology sales. There are always guys who are 200% of quota and guys who are 50% of their number and on the brink of getting canned. The both, on paper, do the same things and both 'work hard'

One guy is better. Much better. The best.

That's the way it works and I love that.
 

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Can you define this 'success' that everyone has a shot at? I would agree that not everyone should be guaranteed any level of 'success' - the world needs it's janitors. What people really need to focus on, instead of this all or nothing mentality that is so prevalent today, is what degree of income inequality is actually good for everyone. For example, is it better overall if 99% of wealth is concentrated in less than 1% of the population?
Success depends on the individual's definition, does it not? If I define "success" as sitting on my ass collecting government welfare checks and foodstamps, I've succeeded right? At least in the scope of my own personal definition I have. But to me, that notion of "success" is repugnant. I think *most* sane individuals would *not* define that as success and agree that generally speaking, success is the fruit of hardwork. Sitting on your butt watching Springer is *not* hardwork. Expecting government handouts, demanding them even, is NOT hardwork. Whether you're a janitor, housekeeper, gardener, doctor, lawyer, astronaut, you should remain gainfully employed and *able* to contribute to your own happiness and society overall by working, improving, inventing. Doing what it takes to EARN your own slice of the pie.

In a broad sense, I define success as: the opportunity (not the guarantee) that if I put in my time and work hard and continually expand my skillset that the things I want in life will be attainable. Whether that's fiscal wealth, fancy cars, more time to spend with family, vacations with the wife, etc. Whether material or not, the things that I *want* out of life are attainable if I put in the work to get them. That to me is success.

And from my view, the U.S. is bogged down with Victim mentality and an obscene sense of entitlement from almost every angle.

Mr. Corporation, no, you are not *entitled* to record breaking profits quarter after quarter. You're going to have to innovate and compete. You're not going to get to litigate your way to the winner's circle. You're going to have to provide a product that people want at a price that they are willing to pay for it. And when a couple of pimply faced geeks decide to take your business on from their parents' garage, you're going to have to compete with them and their ideas to excel and continue to make money.

Mr. Joe 12-Pack, no, you are not *entitled* to sit on your ass day after day, week after week sucking up tax-payer resources because it's *easy* or because you are *entitled* to do so. The world and the government owe you nothing. Society isn't indebted to you because of the color of your skin, or because Johnny Fatcat down the street drives a nicer car, has a nicer house or was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. You're going to have to compete with *everyone* out there for a job. You're going to have to get off your ass and learn some life-worthy skills or a trade. You may not be the best at it, you may not even succeed, but the point is that you TRY to improve your station in life. You don't go begging for, and expecting, government handouts ad nauseum.

Mrs. Public Union, no, you are not *entitled* to game your pension system so you make 150% of your last annual salary at the cost of the rest of the tax-payers. You had a reasonable expectation for a pension when you started working and that reasonable expectation was a set amount of money per year after retirement. If you bought into the notion that it was OK to rig the game and cash out after 20+ years making 50-80% more than you were *ever* going to get after working that amount of time you're mistaken. Like the people that bought houses without reading the fine print. When the bank deposits money in your account accidentally, you don't get to walk away and say "oh well, it's your mistake, I'm keeping the cash!!! hahahaha I *beat* the system".
 

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These are almost as important as healthcare, food, and shelter, transportation. I can imagine a life without my Exige, I wouldn't want to imagine a life without my sister any mother, both of whom have been helped by medicare and medicaid.

While capitalism is great, large corporations have twisted it so there is no equal opportunity, nor does hard work = success anymore. There are great flaws.
Can you cite for me a 'non-capitalist' current society that has satisfactory levels of free and equal access to health care, food, shelter and transportation? (shades of Maslow). Sometimes people cite Sweden...ok...but Sweden can only make their system work because they have a 57% or so tax rate on EVERYONE. Rich, poor, middle class. EVERYBODY has skin in the game. Everyone.

BTW...to my knowledge there IS no purely capitalist society in the world today. PLENTY of our current systems have been socialized. The trick is to find the right balance.

The fact is, though, that well functioning capitalism is self sustaining. It produces wealth, which allows more wealth to be produced. People get their bowels in an uproar when the wealth produced is not distributed evenly.

"Equality" simply isn't a condition of the human species, no matter how much we may wish it to be.

Show of hands: How many of you worked in a restaurant some time in your youth? Or know people who did, or maybe have kids who did or do? For those that did...and I did...do you remember how, with good intentions, you and your co-workers would agree to pool your tips and then split it evenly each night? Remember? I do. How long did THAT last? Oh, along about the second or third night the folks who pulled in the most tips find themselves going home each night with less money than they pulled in...and they see the others who didn't work as hard taking home more than they pulled. That kind of system simply does not last. If it's forced, the higher producers simply ratchet back the effort because they see nothing to be gained by putting in more effort.

Government programs, which often are what people are talking about relative to socialism, produce nothing. They must draw resources to provide the programs from a source external to itself. By itself, it cannot be self sustaining. For socialism to provide any kind of support BEYOND mere sustanance, it MUST have as a funding source some type of capitalist endeavor. Otherwise it cannot be sustained.

The fact is the standard of living in the US for 'the poor,' while certainly not anything one would aspire to, is leap years ahead of where it was just 20 years ago. The poor DO have access to health care, food, shelter and if in cities, subsidized transportation. Saw on the news last night that the government spends $1.25 BILLION a year on a program so that the poor can have cell phones with very high number of available monthly limits. The program originally started, at predictably much lower cost, so that the poor could be connected to health and emergency services through LAND lines..but as with most social programs it exploded into something quite other than what was intended.

For 10 years I ran welfare to work programs in my state, in 10 different jursidictions. I saw first hand, FIRST HAND the fraud and abuse in the AFDC, Food Stamp and other programs. The amount of money being flushed down the toilet in those programs is staggaring.

In one county's Department of Social Service, I had two social workers there tell me they didn't want to work too hard on the welfare to work program because it would put them out of a job. I heard similar things from workers at other Departments of Social Services and State Unemployment offices.

You hear people say that generational welfare is a 'myth.' Yeah? I had a client who was a 26 year old grandmother...her 13 year old daughter had just given birth...by a 54 year old man. Many, many of our clients truly worked the welfare system, through child birth as a way of making a living.

As Margaret Thatcher said: "The problem with socialism is sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money."

Wealthy people generally don't get that way by making bad financial decisions. The 'wealthy 1%' (who already pay 38% of all federal income taxes collected) I think you would find would be more than willing to pay more in taxes if they knew the funds taken from them would actually put to good fiscal use. But when the see the irresponsible handling of taxpayers money, it's simply a bad financial decision.

The current administration has, at various times, invoked the need for the rich to pay their fair share to pay to raise the debt limit, to pay for student loans, to pay for the Affordable Health Care Act, to pay for more teachers jobs, to pay to save Social Security, to pay to save Medicare, to pay for mortgage foreclosure programs. In other words, to pay for EVERYTHING!

But if you listent to what is said, there is no substantive talk about actually paying off our children's and grandchildren's debts with the added revenue from 'the rich.' No, this adminsitration only talks of more spending...not less debt.

The discussion about the 'millionaires not paying their fair share' is a ruse. President Obama is on record saying that the rise in taxes is to not be limited to the uber wealthy, but to couples making $250K or more annually. The IRS says that 60% of all tax returns at that level and above come from small businesses, where all sides agree the jobs needed to get us out of this mess must come from.

Don't like capitalism? It is jobs created by capitalism that will get us out of this mess, if we can get out at all. NOT jobs created by government.

Civil Discussion: Do you suppose President Obama instructs his accountant to use the short form, or to use every legal means to minimize his tax liability?
 

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Things work best with a combination of capitalism and socialism. The car you buy ought to be a product of capitalism. The roads you drive it on should be taken care of by socialism
 

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Things work best with a combination of capitalism and socialism. The car you buy ought to be a product of capitalism. The roads you drive it on should be taken care of by socialism
I get your point, and generally agree with it, but I don't know that the the roads are a product of socialism, per se. But maybe it is.

BUT...those roads are paved by capitalists being paid by the government.
 

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Can you cite for me a 'non-capitalist' current society that has satisfactory levels of free and equal access to health care, food, shelter and transportation? (shades of Maslow). Sometimes people cite Sweden...ok...but Sweden can only make their system work because they have a 57% or so tax rate on EVERYONE. Rich, poor, middle class. EVERYBODY has skin in the game. Everyone.

BTW...to my knowledge there IS no purely capitalist society in the world today. PLENTY of our current systems have been socialized. The trick is to find the right balance.

The fact is, though, that well functioning capitalism is self sustaining. It produces wealth, which allows more wealth to be produced. People get their bowels in an uproar when the wealth produced is not distributed evenly.

"Equality" simply isn't a condition of the human species, no matter how much we may wish it to be.

Show of hands: How many of you worked in a restaurant some time in your youth? Or know people who did, or maybe have kids who did or do? For those that did...and I did...do you remember how, with good intentions, you and your co-workers would agree to pool your tips and then split it evenly each night? Remember? I do. How long did THAT last? Oh, along about the second or third night the folks who pulled in the most tips find themselves going home each night with less money than they pulled in...and they see the others who didn't work as hard taking home more than they pulled. That kind of system simply does not last. If it's forced, the higher producers simply ratchet back the effort because they see nothing to be gained by putting in more effort.

Government programs, which often are what people are talking about relative to socialism, produce nothing. They must draw resources to provide the programs from a source external to itself. By itself, it cannot be self sustaining. For socialism to provide any kind of support BEYOND mere sustanance, it MUST have as a funding source some type of capitalist endeavor. Otherwise it cannot be sustained.

The fact is the standard of living in the US for 'the poor,' while certainly not anything one would aspire to, is leap years ahead of where it was just 20 years ago. The poor DO have access to health care, food, shelter and if in cities, subsidized transportation. Saw on the news last night that the government spends $1.25 BILLION a year on a program so that the poor can have cell phones with very high number of available monthly limits. The program originally started, at predictably much lower cost, so that the poor could be connected to health and emergency services through LAND lines..but as with most social programs it exploded into something quite other than what was intended.

For 10 years I ran welfare to work programs in my state, in 10 different jursidictions. I saw first hand, FIRST HAND the fraud and abuse in the AFDC, Food Stamp and other programs. The amount of money being flushed down the toilet in those programs is staggaring.

In one county's Department of Social Service, I had two social workers there tell me they didn't want to work too hard on the welfare to work program because it would put them out of a job. I heard similar things from workers at other Departments of Social Services and State Unemployment offices.

You hear people say that generational welfare is a 'myth.' Yeah? I had a client who was a 26 year old grandmother...her 13 year old daughter had just given birth...by a 54 year old man. Many, many of our clients truly worked the welfare system, through child birth as a way of making a living.

As Margaret Thatcher said: "The problem with socialism is sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money."

Wealthy people generally don't get that way by making bad financial decisions. The 'wealthy 1%' (who already pay 38% of all federal income taxes collected) I think you would find would be more than willing to pay more in taxes if they knew the funds taken from them would actually put to good fiscal use. But when the see the irresponsible handling of taxpayers money, it's simply a bad financial decision.

The current administration has, at various times, invoked the need for the rich to pay their fair share to pay to raise the debt limit, to pay for student loans, to pay for the Affordable Health Care Act, to pay for more teachers jobs, to pay to save Social Security, to pay to save Medicare, to pay for mortgage foreclosure programs. In other words, to pay for EVERYTHING!

But if you listent to what is said, there is no substantive talk about actually paying off our children's and grandchildren's debts with the added revenue from 'the rich.' No, this adminsitration only talks of more spending...not less debt.

The discussion about the 'millionaires not paying their fair share' is a ruse. President Obama is on record saying that the rise in taxes is to not be limited to the uber wealthy, but to couples making $250K or more annually. The IRS says that 60% of all tax returns at that level and above come from small businesses, where all sides agree the jobs needed to get us out of this mess must come from.

Don't like capitalism? It is jobs created by capitalism that will get us out of this mess, if we can get out at all. NOT jobs created by government.

Civil Discussion: Do you suppose President Obama instructs his accountant to use the short form, or to use every legal means to minimize his tax liability?

Wealthy people generally don't get that way by making bad financial decisions. The 'wealthy 1%' (who already pay 38% of all federal income taxes collected) I think you would find would be more than willing to pay more in taxes if they knew the funds taken from them would actually put to good fiscal use. But when the see the irresponsible handling of taxpayers money, it's simply a bad financial decision.

This is a GREAT point. People love to trot out Buffett - Warren, not Jimmy - as the stalwart of taxes, etc. We all know that a) Berkshire Hathaway owes tons in back taxes and b) Buffett has not voluntarily written a check to the government. What IS interesting is that he's given TONS of money to charities, specifically the William and Melinda Gates Foundation. Funny, as one of the savviest money men of our time, he is effectively dictating that PRIVATE enterprise will do more good and better and more efficiently spend the funds versus the GOVERNMENT.

Oh, and liberals love Buffett but hate Romney (from his evil Bain Capital days). Little do they know that Berkshire and Bain are BOTH private equity firms and are effectively competitors.
 

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Hard work is a given. The Polish ladies who clean my house work every two weeks very hard. You know what they are? Hard working house cleaners. Their job isn't unique or particularly strategic.

EVERY successful person works hard. What is more important is a) having a skill in a field that CAN make you a lot of money and b) being F**KING BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.
One of my old friends parents emigrated to this country and managed too get jobs as janitors. After years of hard work, they owned a janitor company and had contracts to clean many businesses and houses, and a very large number of employees.
They managed to put 6 kids through college. They started with nothing and and worked hard and built a very good life. That's what the hard work gets you.
 
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