Blog‎ > ‎Economics‎ > ‎

The problem with Capitalism

posted Apr 3, 2011, 3:29 AM by Jaco Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:18 AM by Jake Vosloo ]
Capitalism is inherently more complex than communism. While communism is perforce a monolithic structure, centrally managed and as simple as possible, capitalism is based on a few simple ideas that allow so much freedom that pretty much anything can happen (and usually does). Explaining it therefore requires us to start at base principles and work outwards, exploring the ramifications as we go.

Michael Moore’s new film "Capitalism: A Love Story" exposes capitalism for what it is: a system based on the ruthless exploitation of the many by the few, who shamelessly loot people’s lifelong savings, the public treasury, and kick millions out of their homes. By the end of the film, capitalism stands roundly condemned.

The problem with capitalism is very simple: when things are looking up, its great. When they're not, its always the people at the top, the ones who are responsible for setting policy and reap the huge salaries, perks and bonuses that get off scott free wih their golden parachutes and multi-million dollar payouts. Everybody else gets to suck hind tit-- which is to say they get nothing.

The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists

Scattered across the globe are examples of gangster capitalism where a small number of rich and powerful people control the economy and the state. This system flourishes in Russia and Afghanistan. Lest Americans feel superior, it's also found in West Virginia, where large coal companies control the government in order to operate horrific strip mines without regard for the environmental consequences.

In a capitalist system the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The vices of greed, selfishness, and lust for material possessions, produce an advantage in capitalism - in general terms, the more voracious you are, then the more rich and powerful you will become. The greedy take control of everything, and most people become pawns in their power games. The problem with capitalism is not the freedom or otherwise of the markets, but rather it is a problem equally inherent in communism and socialism - the lack of virtue in humanity itself. It is corruption, now more endemic than ever in the human race, that dooms us to suffering and self imposed misery. If we all looked out for each other, instead of looking out for ourselves, and if we all understood that, as spiritual beings, we are all one, then we would all understand the value of virtue. If I hurt my fellow man in order to help myself, then in fact I hurt myself also. If we, as a race, are not honest and caring and loving and giving, then we suffer, and we destroy, ultimately, everything we touch. This is the big lesson for us in the current destruction of our old "civilization". We have brought it on ourselves through false values. We have been like a plague of locusts, intent only on feeding ourselves right now, at the expense of having any food left for tomorrow.

Michael Eisner appears twice in the table of the 25 largest compensation packages paid in a single year. In 1993 he took home $203 million. In 1998, $575.6 million. That money was taken, directly, from company shareholders. But the loss, viewed on a larger scale, is a loss to the community of people who believe in the capitalist free-market system. Because extortions of that size tell us, really, that the market system is not working — in respect of executive remuneration. What is going on is phony. It is shoddy, it is contemptible, and it is philosophically blasphemous. Why does capitalism tolerate such institutional embarrassments? The answer has to be that embarrassment simply isn't being felt. Consider excruciating, but apparently tolerable, incidentals. "William F. Buckley"