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    Capitalist.
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    Libertarian; fiscally conservative(so, capitalist) and socially liberal.

    I suppose previously I was more to the left on economic issues, and I suppose in a practical context outside of an ideal society I can see why more economically left policies serve to the greater benefit of society.

    On pretty much every social issue(i.e drug legalisation, prostitution, gay marriage[don't even see what marriage has to do with the government or why it still exists etc.]) I'm far-left.

    EMZ.
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    simple question i'm sure. Are you a poverty creator or a wealth creator?

    I'm a capitalist. A real liberal not like the crap namby pamby imitations we have today who mistook liberalism for populism. IMO socialists are outright idiots and almost always peasants.


    The question of whether capitalism is overall, a better system than socialism, is a ship that has already sailed. Compare North Korea to South Korea. Or East Germany to West Germany. Or Taiwan, to pre-reform mainland China. Or cubans who live in Havana to cubans who live 90 miles away, in Miami.

    Of course, Franklin Roosevelt saw that capitalism needed a dose of socialism mixed in at times.
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    The service that 'makes the most money' is precisely the service that people are willing to pay for (i.e. the best service available among alternatives). The process of competition ensures that companies, constantly competing for customers, must aim to provide better services than their rivals. The profit/loss system rewards those companies who are efficient in satisfying consumer needs, and punishes those which are inefficient at doing so. Companies make large profits by providing better services at cheaper prices than their competitors (in the absence of government intervention).
    That's not true. If there are two companies who make tables, for example, the company that makes aesthetically pleasing models which actually are quite flimsy and break once a year will make more money than the company who make tables that will last much longer, because customers must repeatedly buy more tables from the other company. This is one example of how profit does not drive companies to make the best product, but the product that will make them the most money.
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    (Original post by Danibaldi)
    That's not true. If there are two companies who make tables, for example, the company that makes aesthetically pleasing models which actually are quite flimsy and break once a year will make more money than the company who make tables that will last much longer, because customers must repeatedly buy more tables from the other company. This is one example of how profit does not drive companies to make the best product, but the product that will make them the most money.
    Not exactly.

    Firstly, if the tables did break once a year, then the customers can complain against the company and ruin their image/reputation. This will stop customers buying the faulty tables and shop somewhere else. This is a beauty of capitalism (esp. free markets) whereby the customers have a lot of power in the system. Also, to avoid their reputations being ruined and to avoid losing customers, the company will have to construct tables that last longer but are also aesthetically pleasing.

    Secondly, the customers (to some extent) got what they paid for. They wanted an aesthetically pleasing table in their homes and the company made no guarantee that the tables will last as long as some would like.

    Lastly, because of the nature of competition between companies in free markets, the second company that made longer-lasting tables can find ways to make their tables more aesthetically pleasing in the most efficient way possible and gain more customers while the other company loses more customers after the discoveries of their tables breaking more times than necessary.
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    (Original post by Mysteries)
    I disagree. The rich business owners have the means to protect their property. The "police" is itself privatised (i.e. they are hired thugs with guns). They have completely deregulated markets etc...

    The end result is even more extreme division between rich and poor than we see in developed countries.
    Most advocates of capitalism do not want a privatized police force you dummy.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    Most advocates of capitalism do not want a privatized police force you dummy.
    And why not? I though that the competitiveness of capitalism was supposed to lower prices, increase productivity and gives consumers more choices. According to capitalists anyway...
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    My ideals are very very socialist. Unfortunately I am forced to vote Labour due to hating the Tories and our stupid voting system.
    I worry that I'm a communist sometimes =/
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    (Original post by Cable)
    Not exactly.

    Firstly, if the tables did break once a year, then the customers can complain against the company and ruin their image/reputation. This will stop customers buying the faulty tables and shop somewhere else. This is a beauty of capitalism (esp. free markets) whereby the customers have a lot of power in the system. Also, to avoid their reputations being ruined and to avoid losing customers, the company will have to construct tables that last longer but are also aesthetically pleasing.

    Secondly, the customers (to some extent) got what they paid for. They wanted an aesthetically pleasing table in their homes and the company made no guarantee that the tables will last as long as some would like.

    Lastly, because of the nature of competition between companies in free markets, the second company that made longer-lasting tables can find ways to make their tables more aesthetically pleasing in the most efficient way possible and gain more customers while the other company loses more customers after the discoveries of their tables breaking more times than necessary.
    I think your second point nullifies your first. The customers did get what they paid for so they can't complain, so there is no incentive to make a better product. And the other company's incentive would be to make a more a more aesthetic model, not a model that is the best that anybody could make.

    I think a better example is airlines. At the moment they're more interested in making flights as cheap as possible, to get the most customers and the most profit. However, or the good of society, they should be trying to cut carbon emissions while still providing a cheap service, but as there is no financial incentive to do that, it's not what they're putting their attention towards.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    Most advocates of capitalism do not want a privatized police force you dummy.
    In which case you're not a capitalist, but a supporter of a mixed economy(like everyone else)
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    In which case you're not a capitalist, but a supporter of a mixed economy(like everyone else)
    It makes him a minarchist, which is a pragmatic capitalist.
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    In which case you're not a capitalist, but a supporter of a mixed economy(like everyone else)
    You are arguing that capitalism = anarchy. Which is not true.

    I am not an anarchist, although I can certainly see the appeal of an anarco-capitalist system. I think the evidence of history is pretty compelling. The state when well restrained through a constitution and a democracy is quite good at protecting private property.

    The role of government is to protect the individual. To protect their life, liberty and the product of those, their property. This means the government can raise an army to protect individuals. Create laws and enforce them through the police force and the courts.

    I am an individualist rather than a capitalist. Capitalism is just a system. Individualism is an ideology. And a capitalist system is the only system consistent with individualism.
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    (Original post by Danibaldi)
    I think a better example is airlines. At the moment they're more interested in making flights as cheap as possible, to get the most customers and the most profit. However, or the good of society, they should be trying to cut carbon emissions while still providing a cheap service, but as there is no financial incentive to do that, it's not what they're putting their attention towards.
    You have changed your position from

    Firms do not serve consumers. Which has been refuted.

    To

    Firms do not serve society. This can certainly be true. Or to put it more accurately. Firms do not serve the interests of third parties, or individuals not involved in trade.
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    (Original post by Keckers)
    It makes him a minarchist, which is a pragmatic capitalist.
    Any form of pragmatism means slightly mixed economy though.


    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    You are arguing that capitalism = anarchy. Which is not true.

    I am not an anarchist, although I can certainly see the appeal of an anarco-capitalist system. I think the evidence of history is pretty compelling. The state when well restrained through a constitution and a democracy is quite good at protecting private property.

    The role of government is to protect the individual. To protect their life, liberty and the product of those, their property. This means the government can raise an army to protect individuals. Create laws and enforce them through the police force and the courts.

    I am an individualist rather than a capitalist. Capitalism is just a system. Individualism is an ideology. And a capitalist system is the only system consistent with individualism.
    Surely a state means taxes though, and taxes go against capitalism.
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    Surely a state means taxes though, and taxes go against capitalism.
    Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production. An economy in which the state which intervenes heavily with punitive taxes and lots of regulation is still a capitalist economy.
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    Surely a state means taxes though, and taxes go against capitalism.
    Taxes don't go against capitalism, but bailouts do. Ironically most capitalists were for the bailouts. Hypocrites much?
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    (Original post by floridadad55)
    The question of whether capitalism is overall, a better system than socialism, is a ship that has already sailed. Compare North Korea to South Korea. Or East Germany to West Germany. Or Taiwan, to pre-reform mainland China. Or cubans who live in Havana to cubans who live 90 miles away, in Miami.
    Wow, definitely not a fallacy debunked 15 million times......
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    (Original post by Mysteries)
    Taxes don't go against capitalism, but bailouts do. Ironically most capitalists were for the bailouts. Hypocrites much?
    Some of the worst socialists are business men. These are people who will laud up the free market in an intellectual debate but when it comes to actually operating in the free market, they would prefer the state give them some help.

    It is a miracle the free market is taken seriously when it has so many enemies. There is nobody personally in favour of it for themselves. I certainly want help from the state for my firm. The only thing that gives the free market any credence is that it is so dammed efficienct.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    A critique is not the same as an alternative proposal. There are lots of critiques but they don't provide an alternative source of value. They claim (though as I said, they often talk past the theory) to provide an alternative way of working out what the value is, but never an alternative to where the value comes from.
    The other source of value proposed is the subjectivity of value. If you'd have read it you'd know this.

    To summarise a few responses;
    - Confusion of labour and labour-power (though they later appear to change their tune on this when it suits them).
    - Of course labour can be both a measure of value and have value.
    - That the worker sells and the capitalist buys labour power does not mean that the worker is not exploited.
    All depending on your definitions of "labour" and "exploitation". Really, the stuff I quoted deals with this.

    And basically the rest, typically of a Mises Institute writing, simply consists of proclaiming Marx to be wrong and them to be correct, without explanation of why.
    Aside from the fact that the book was not actually written or published by the Mises Institute (just republished by it), don't type something unless it's actually relevant to the discussion. I'd suggest reading works like Human Action before dismissing the entire Mises Institute, with all its shortcomings, as drivel or somehow more biased than your own pro-Marx sources.

    Seen it. Talking past mostly, with a few strawmen thrown in for good measure.
    You obviously didn't read it properly. The so-called "exploitation" of the workers is accurately described as a balance between the desire of the capitalist to take more risks to reap a larger investment in the future, as opposed to the workers' shorter time-preferences and their desire to see more goods in the present.

    And why are they scarce? Because they take so much labour and energy to produce. We have not exhausted the world's diamond mines, have we? There are still more to be dug up. As Marx said, if diamonds could be mass produced (i.e. not require much labour), they'd be worth less than bricks.
    He was wrong; you are wrong. There is a finite amount of diamonds in the world, it's not as if you will magically create more by labouring day and night over some coal.

    And this falls down quite easily. You could pick plenty of pairings where the less abundant of the two is by far the cheaper.
    And you know that the marginal theory of value is not to be taken on its own as a definition of value.

    This would not indicate that workers are not exploited, in fact it would reflect Marx's analysis of the cost of labour-power - the amount it costs to keep the labourer working, i.e. what Marx described as one of capitalism's contradictions.

    Also, there's the obvious problem that workers aren't paid in advance, they're paid periodically and their wages and job security are subject to their employer's fortunes.
    You've yet to explain why these are problems, or what you actually mean by "exploitation". There is no "actual value" of a product. Value is not ontologically contingent, it is dependent upon individuals' own subjective feelings. The exploitation of wages theory only makes sense in the context of the labour theory of value, and the labour theory of value is an arbitrary way of defining value, and has no support beyond other theories such as marginal utility. Marx had an arbitrary obsession with labour.
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    (Original post by Rhadamanthus)
    The other source of value proposed is the subjectivity of value. If you'd have read it you'd know this.
    That's not a source of value, but a proposal of how to evaluate and measure value (and one that doesn't contradict the LTV). What produces the value?


    All depending on your definitions of "labour" and "exploitation". Really, the stuff I quoted deals with this.
    Labour is what it sounds like - the work a worker does in the production process. Exploitation is that workers are necessarily not paid the full return on what they produce in capitalism - i.e. surplus value.

    Aside from the fact that the book was not actually written or published by the Mises Institute (just republished by it), don't type something unless it's actually relevant to the discussion. I'd suggest reading works like Human Action before dismissing the entire Mises Institute, with all its shortcomings, as drivel or somehow more biased than your own pro-Marx sources.
    Whether the Mises Institute is right or wrong is a different discussion, but I read their articles and works on their site quite often, and content often comes second to empty rhetoric in it, and the stuff you posted followed that theme. It was just a comment, take it however you want. If you don't think it's relevant, fine, don't take any notice.


    You obviously didn't read it properly. The so-called "exploitation" of the workers is accurately described as a balance between the desire of the capitalist to take more risks to reap a larger investment in the future, as opposed to the workers' shorter time-preferences and their desire to see more goods in the present.
    And this doesn't make it not exploitation. Rather, it confirms it. Capitalists generally (not all the time, of course) have the money to have a longer 'time-preference', workers do not. As for 'risk', does the worker not take a risk? Taking job A means not taking job B, and job B might turn out better in the long run. The worker's conditions are tied to the fortunes of the business.



    He was wrong; you are wrong. There is a finite amount of diamonds in the world, it's not as if you will magically create more by labouring day and night over some coal.
    True, but have we exhausted this finite amount? No, so how can we talk about absolute scarcity as the root cause? There is a scarcity, yes, but because it requires so much effort to mine the diamonds.


    Value is not ontologically contingent, it is dependent upon individuals' own subjective feelings.
    Subjectivity does not determine the value, but whether an individual will pay it or not. Subjectivity determines whether something has a use-value for an individual. If it doesn't, or if the potential utility is judged to be worth less than the cost, the individual won't buy it, therefore no exchange occurs and the product has no exchange value (not yet, at least).

    The exploitation of wages theory only makes sense in the context of the labour theory of value
    As mentioned above, there is no alternative source of value other than labour.

    and the labour theory of value is an arbitrary way of defining value, and has no support beyond other theories such as marginal utility. Marx had an arbitrary obsession with labour.
    What's arbitrary about it? It's based on the common sense analysis that people will not buy things if they could produce them themselves at what they would judge to be a lower cost, and so products' exchange value and price will tend towards the cost (not just monetary cost) of their production. And all production, ultimately, is done by labour.
 
 
 
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