Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ruthless Capitalism

Discontents
Summer Fundraiser 2012, Day Five

Well, here we are at Day Five of our Summer Fundraiser.

And just as I was about to say how time flies when you’re having fun and go on to describe how this came to be themed (is that a verb?) as the Summer of Our Discontents, I got hit with a mud pie.

Tip jarAnd it wasn’t any Mississippi Mud Pie either. More like sour mincemeat with greasy generalizations glazing a most unpalatable dish. (Yes, I know that’s harsh, but this is catharsis, man. A way to exorcise the pain of the comment. So there.)

Until I read Anon’s comment, I had great plans for this edition. In fact, I was half done with my screed, “The Prince of Lies” and the purported “niggerization” of our presidential campaign rhetoric by the eeevil Romney. I was on a roll, I tell you, even pulling in Dinesh D’Souza’s sad tale of helping Obama’s brother with his child’s hospital bill… Yeah, that Obama, the one with his “fairness” doctrine that permits him to let his own family molder in neglect. Shameful.

But never mind; that rant will have to wait now because I didn’t stick to business, and allowed myself to read a few comments… until I got to the comment. It was yet another screed by that busy bee, Anonymous. However, this time A’s essential wrongness was indigestible. I couldn’t simply scrape those lumps off my mind and return to dissecting the MMSM coverage of the man from Wherever.

When you read the comment in toto, you may wonder at my indignation. Poor Anon! Sometimes just being in the wrong place at the wrong time — rather like those deer who sometimes try to occupy the same exact space my car happens to be traversing — can cause unwonted suffering. Here’s the thing: I am sick unto death (to coin a phrase) of non-Americans dissecting us and finding fault. It’s bad enough when the Un-Americans show up; though they’re usually so foul-mouthed you don’t see them get through. But today’s comment plucked my final nerve; that camel’s back will never be the same.

In other words, Enough already! I grew to loathe those ugly Americans’ remarks when they’d show up on the Baron’s essays on Big Peace and say relentlessly, “Europe’s done, stick a fork in it”. It got so that I didn’t mind when he ceased posting there.

But I am unutterably tired of Europeans who don’t know one whit more about us and yet feel qualified to pontificate just the same. Not only punting, but providing jejune “solutions” so they don’t have to twist their hands anxiously anymore… Lord, spare us.

[And while You’re at it, a well-aimed boot up the backside of the BBC would be real fine, too.]

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Anon said:

Here in Europe we have always viewed America as tending towards extremes. Most British — and Europeans in general — believe in a mixed economy and would welcome the renationalisation of our railways. When an American stands up and demands total free enterprise then we tend to shudder as it implies ruthless capitalism, no workers’ rights etc

Even though we are Christian, we find the American brand of fundamentalist Christianity with its refusal to believe that evolution could have taken place once God had set the whole thing in motion, as rather stomach-churning.

However, we are now in a dilemma. Faced with an American president and his foreign secretary who are either closet muslims or muslim sympathisers then we have no choice but to hope that the Republicans reverse the islamification of America and restore Christianity to the heart of the nation even if it is a form of Christianity that we find difficulty with. Perhaps the same is true of Putin and Holy Russia. We deplore the jailing of the members of Pussy Riot but we want Christianity in Russia to withstand the onslaught of Islam.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! You face a “dilemma”?? How about us poor sods who have to make our way through this… this swamp of unknowing??

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Here in Europe we have always viewed America as tending towards extremes.

Is this a royal ‘we’ or do you speak for all Europeans? I find Europe pretty “extreme” myself. No death penalty is quite extreme for a mass murderer of innocent children. You just can’t have a moral middle ground, can you? A place where some crimes whose nature is so evil as to be considered beyond human ken that their perpetrators forfeit their own right to life? What does this “humane” inhumanity say to the victims and their families? To me, it says, “sorry, but your suffering doesn’t measure up to our boundless tolerance”. That’s morally disgusting. Just as there are some things worth dying for, there are others worth execution. Any less devalues life itself.

Most British — and Europeans in general — believe in a mixed economy and would welcome the renationalisation of our railways.

Bully for y’all. Whatever a mixed economy is, if it includes Greece you can keep it.

Since you live in a tiny country; it might work —the nationalization of your railroads, I mean. As an aside, though, I’ve read enough complaints on British fora about litter bin tyrannies and arrogant electric utility executives to be impressed with government-run anything in your country or anywhere else. It seems to make people callous.

This place is way too big to accommodate an efficient, user-friendly nationalized railroad. The one we have is semi-nationalized. That is, it’s corrupt, feather-bedded, subsidized, and the employees steal it blind. The infrastructure is outmoded. No one cares because no one has to care to keep their jobs. The people in charge are free from scrutiny and accountability. That’s simply how nationalized systems work. But go for it.

I’d love to see some attention paid to regional bus systems here. We already have the road infrastructure and it is potentially capable of being restored at a far cheaper level than building or modernizing track. The rails are fine for coal, though.

In intensely urban areas government transportation works, but again, it’s corrupt, over-unionized and a last choice for many users. Alternative modes of urban travel — e.g., small fleets of vans that serve specific areas — are regulated to death, often before they ever get the first passenger. Regulated literally to death — as in driven out of existence on purpose. They cannot survive in the places that need them most due to the obstacles of red tape, corrupt apathetic bureaucracies with their Byzantine regulatory powers, and the demands that they unionize their few workers. So instead, human ingenuity being what it is, there’s a black market in such methods of mass transit. Lone operators who move fast and learn to dodge the government mafia. They’re meeting a need the government refuses to meet, the same way the illegal cats in the bodegas keep the mouse population from taking over. In a reality-based government, small grocers would get a tax break for keeping cats.

Unions are job-killers here and everyone knows it. They exist to fund the luxuries to which union leaders have accustomed themselves; that’s how the dues of the rank-and-file are employed. Give chained union workers the chance to leave those unions whilst retaining their jobs and they do, in droves.

Public sector unions have ruined teaching and eroded what was once a robust work ethic. They cost municipalities grotesque sums and their benefits and pensions are literally bankrupting towns and cities.

For example, as costs have gone up, the quality of teachers has gone down. Sure, there are many good, dedicated teachers who work in spite of the union burdens and obstacles. But the stupidities of politically correct “zero tolerance”, incompetent and mediocre staff, plus the heavy burden of administrative positions (needed to process governmental paperwork and oversee diversity compliance) are choking these systems. The children lose; the sadists and the comfortably incompetent thrive. The good teachers simply persist.

We’re fortunate here though: at least some of us have the choice of taking our children out of government schools in order to insure their academic and social and cultural literacy. Not everyone has that choice: the poor, in particular, are ill-used by these time-servers. And many of those in charge are sadists: I’ve seen the brutality with my own eyes, had it admitted to me by employees in the system.

I like independent schools, answerable to the parents and to their boards of directors. After all, who else really cares deeply enough to make the place run well? There are already plenty of regulations in place to make such schools safe and workable. The small rural school our son attended even had bus service at regional pick-up points. And parents are so desperate for decent educations for their kids they are willing to have small children spend more than an hour each way on the bus to get it. These weren’t rich folk, either. For the most part they were middle and lower-middle class parents who were willing to sacrifice mightily to avoid the brutal public school system.

When an American stands up and demands total free enterprise then we tend to shudder as it implies ruthless capitalism, no workers’ rights etc .

What, did you get caught in an Occupy zone? Poor baby.

You mean when an “American stands up and demands, etc” you infer a perceived meaning and impose your own bloody definition on “total” and “free enterprise”, right? First, define “free enterprise” — then explain what this term means in its totality since I’ve never seen it in operation. Those are beanbag words: we toss them around for a while; when everyone gets tired they go home until the next game of “Ain’t It Awful”. Spare us.

And what is “ruthless capitalism” for heaven’s sake? Do you mean the crony capitalism currently cemented in place throughout the West? Surely you don’t believe the City of London escaped this criminal enterprise, do you? How do you think Soros was able to screw the Bank of England to the wall, taking pensioners’ savings with him? Nor did France escape his clutches, either. And he may be an American citizen but he’s Hungarian-born and bred and a purely native product of Europe if ever there was one. But he couldn’t ever have worked in a vacuum without the cooperation of your political and financial criminal class.

But now you’ve surpassed America, haven’t you? Now you have an even more criminal and corrupt and unaccountable European Union of your very own. Your political class lied to you, shoved that “Constitution” offal down your throats and off they rode to Brussels to grab some of the pork being doled out: real democracy at work. So where’s your Tea Party, mate?

Oh wait. What do you mean by “no workers’ rights”? Where on God’s green world do you get your information about work and workers in this country? Of course they have “rights”; employers have rights, too. And they both have obligations. This kind of talk is demagoguery. It’s socialist sloganeering, ignoring the truth and investing in fear. I suggest you do some reading on the morality of free enterprise. You could begin with the Acton Institute, which publishes books and pamphlets on the subject. Just go to the Home Page and begin reading their essays.

Or get some of their materials. Here’s a good place to start:

Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy

Here’s another one: a bit out of date, but the best explanation of both basic economics and the realities of U.S. political maneuvering you’ll find:

The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski

That book is twenty years old now, but it’s still worth your time. Wanniski wrote it in his prime, his intellectual juices flowing. Later, he went haywire, finding Louis Farrakhan a fine fellow, but that was afterwards; that sad detour took nothing away from his agile ability to explain sane economic policy. We just don’t get to see it in operation, that’s the problem. I was much heartened to read that Paul Ryan likes Wanniski. Back before blogs were much in evidence, I was reading JW’s online Lessons in Economics. Eventually Mr. Wanniski and I corresponded about music — e.g., why Gershwin was so consummately an urban composer.

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And from your socialist generalizations, you make the jump to what you think is American religion:

Even though we are Christian, we find the American brand of fundamentalist Christianity with its refusal to believe that evolution could have taken place once God had set the whole thing in motion, as rather stomach-churning.

You really believe that’s the sum of Christian belief in America?? Seriously??

Bless your heart.

How about you take a tablespoon of Pepto Bismol and when your gorge has settled, we can discuss the realities. Again, I have to wonder where you get your information about our religious beliefs. It’s true; we’re more spiritually-oriented than Europeans are, generally speaking, and those beliefs run the gamut from sublime to silly.

We don’t have anything near the numbers of cathedrals that y’all acquired over a millennium, but then again, even our cathedrals are living places where people attend services and consider those places to be “our churches” rather than our monuments. There are some historical edifices not used but kept in good repair — mostly Anglican relics in areas long since turned to less formal rituals. And some churches get sold and converted to nightclubs or whatever. But religious practices here are lively and varied. From congregations like those snake-handlers in the Appalachian mountains all the way over to the dogma-free Unitarian churches raising money for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Again, to get a grip on reality, try some bibliotherapy. You could begin with a history of religion in America’s earliest beginnings.

Even then, it was quite varied. Here in the Commonwealth we had the Church of Virginia, a mini-me Church of England which sent its episcopal candidates back to England for investiture for several generations. By the time our notions of the firm separation of church from state had been established, it was the Anglican Church — as opposed to the Methodists, Baptists, etc. And the historically black American Methodist Episcopal Church, the AME. But we’ve got Quakers, Congregationalists (these are left from the Puritans in New England), and the Mennonites, the Brethren, various Lutheran synods, the Church of God, the Four Square Church, the Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, etc. The Mormons have a separate and bloody history, but they finally assimilated without losing their center. And now even more of the various Middle East refugee ancient Christian churches are arriving. Oh, and the Korean Church… etc. et al, et ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Oh dear, speaking of the Korean Church, I just read that Sun Myung Moon is dying.

The synagogue in America is also alive and well. Jews have been here since the Dutch allowed them to land in New Amsterdam after they were turned away from English-held harbors. But then again, anti-Semitism came along with that very English “new city on a hill” imagery so dear to the Puritans. It would be the New Jerusalem, a Jerusalem conveniently Jew-free, of course.

Somewhere you can find a facsimile of the letter President George Washington wrote to a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island. We were fortunate to have him — and at most, ol’ George was a respectful agnostic.

Religion in America has been a life-long interest of mine. It is, as they say on Facebook, “complicated”. On the one hand, I’m a product of a particularly lively moment of late mid-twentieth century American Roman Catholicism, while concomitantly being a first-generation American and also part of a minority religious ghetto in a majority Baptist area in the South. Sometimes it was more participant observation than real immersion. Yes, I’ve met snake-handlers — they threw rocks at the nuns — but I don’t personally know any Bible literalists myself. I’m sure there are right many here in our area but our paths don’t cross.

I knew Canuck Catholics in New England; they didn’t assimilate until they’d been here six or seven generations. Then they assimilated and imploded — mostly gone now, as are all the other ethnic churches. Maybe the Portuguese still survive on Cape Ann?. The French Cajun Catholic church in Louisiana is probably livelier — and far more racially integrated for that matter. Especially considering their convert Catholic Indian governor, Bobby Jindal.

If you want a good look at early American Protestant church history google the Three (some say Four) Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries. If memory serves, Wikipedia does a good job on the subject with lots of references. I could point you to some books, but it’s too varied a subject to narrow easily. Sure, you can find critiques of those six-day creationists, but the signal to noise ratio on that is eventually boring and as misleading as the aggressive atheists who want you to know that reason and rationality are winning and victory is just around the corner for their particular dogma.

The most interesting book I’ve read on religion lately is one by Spengler:

How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)

In the final analysis Mr. Goldman thinks America and Israel might survive as cultures because of their religious belief system(s) — e.g., be fruitful and multiply for starters. I still can’t decide whether I agree with him. It’s tempting, but doing so seems to be a kind of special pleading. On the other hand, I don’t have to decide any of this. My job is simply to stay on the path in front of me, lighting it as best I can and leave the worrying to those who will follow.

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Finally our commenter wrings his/her hands anxiously before throwing Putin into the mix. These jumps are startling:

However, we are now in a dilemma. Faced with an American president and his foreign secretary who are either closet muslims or muslim sympathisers then we have no choice but to hope that the Republicans reverse the islamification of America and restore Christianity to the heart of the nation even if it is a form of Christianity that we find difficulty with. Perhaps the same is true of Putin and Holy Russia. We deplore the jailing of the members of Pussy Riot but we want Christianity in Russia to withstand the onslaught of Islam.

I don’t know how to let you down easy, gentle reader. Frankly, this isn’t thinking at all. The creationists make your stomach churn but you’re able to hold any number of contradictory ideas in your head at the same time without falling down in a dizzy faint.

Your dilemma is not our President or his Secretary Clinton. They are our problem. Your dilemma is being caught in the clutches of Magic Bullet Thinking. This is similar to the notion some folks on the other end of the political spectrum had in 2008: that the Magic Negro was going to give everyone a house, an income, a car to replace their junker, and for good measure he would cure global warming.

I’m sorry to break the news, but your hopes are… hopeless. Faiths do not get “restored” unless they’re going on display in a museum..

Here’s a likely scenario if Romney and Ryan pull this off. Note that their expressed concerns are largely domestic so far:

  • A partial clawback of the monster mash, ObamaCare, especially the cynical emptying out of Medicare to pay for it.
  • Some badly needed reform of Medicare. With a great deal of luck regarding House and Senate elections, they may finally get a means-tested system. America is not Europe, never will be. Means-testing is not perfect, but it’s fairer than what we have now.
  • Opening a conversation about simplifying the tax code. It’s an unholy mess and it’s encouraging rich Americans to move out.
  • The reset on Russia may be a toughening up and restoration of some testosterone in that relationship. What Putin does with his Orthodox Church — and that church does belong to the state (proving as did the state-owned churches in Europe it ain’t no way to run a religious enterprise) is his business. He’s busy shoring up his energy supplies and keeping the West in turmoil.
  • If they restore anything, it had better be the walls of security against Russia that Obama so stupidly knocked over in Eastern Europe. What a betrayal!
  • Yes, booting as many Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators out of government positions would be great… but not likely. It’s going to be hard enough for Romney to push back against the “Mormon question”, never mind those Muslims. If he works on restoring some sanity to the military, perhaps. But neither of these men has military experience and our soldiers’ suicide rate is up — will the former worsen the latter? As long as they make getting out of the sandbox a priority, probably not. Will their lack of experience hurt them here? I don’t think so. They couldn’t be worse than what we’re dealing with now and I’ll bet there will be less grandstanding and fewer security leaks for ego boosting purposes.
  • Reassuring Israel without making Iran anymore insane than it already is. So don’t expect to see much overt posturing in that department.
  • Many Americans — the ones paying attention — are far more worried about an Iranian EMP event over our globe. Google the term Electromagnetic Pulse. It means an instant restoration all right: returned to the 18th century with our huge dependent populations far too fragile to survive 18th century conditions for very long. Those who pray are doing so about this situation. The rest are waiting with bated breath to see if these two are any better than the last two when it comes to remedies. In terms of survival, such considerations are a MUST.

By the way, if you think Russia was ever HOLY Russia… ah, forget it. Go back to wringing your hands and watching the telly. Until it goes black anyway.

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A good fundraising day, indeed. We’re within shouting distance of where we should be and I have some new addresses for people I couldn’t reach before.

Donors came from far and wide, and some from just over the mountain:

Stateside: Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia

Near Abroad: Canada

Far Abroad: Australia, British Virgin Islands, Slovakia, and the UK

We remain, as ever, grateful.


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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

ChristianInfidel says:

Wow. Fascinating discourse. All the way through I was going back and forth in my mind, trying to decide whether this was the Baron or Dymphna writing. I love your vocabularies; you enrich mine, and you enrich my mind, too. I'm praying for you.

Erom Nodd said...

"Even though we are Christian, we find the American brand of fundamentalist Christianity with its refusal to believe that evolution could have taken place once God had set the whole thing in motion, as rather stomach-churning."

And it is precisely this rejection of biblical Christianity, in favor of a secularized one, that has rendered Europe weak and susceptible to Muslim invasion.

So go ahead, Anon, keep preaching it. You've already cut your throats, don't expect us to cut ours.

Anonymous said...



The European children lost down many paths if only there was a Google mobile app. - G*d Positioning System maybe.

Try handing out a British National Party (BNP)leaflet to the free-market consumers, cover your face to protect your identity at a demo or discard the drone uniform to be the ultra-libertarian in the fashion of Stephen Gough (the Naked Rambler) in the U.K. then you will witness the hypocrisy of the Pussy Riot anti-Russian propaganda saga.

The progressives vision of the free-market is surely hell on Earth and to some European eyes the capitalists delivering that very hell are predominantly from the other side of the Atlantic with their European patsy politicians and the military might of the U.S. at their disposal.

Jolie Rouge

Dymphna said...

@E.Nodd--

And it is precisely this rejection of biblical Christianity, in favor of a secularized one, that has rendered Europe weak and susceptible to Muslim invasion.

Anon's version was a caricature. The eventual dissolution of belief in Europe had far more to do with the power of the state over individual lives and the ceaseless antagonism between/among those in power jostling for position.

America is headed there and I hope we're not too far gone to change direction.

Heikki Polojärvi said...

An interesting essay indeed.

I mostly agree with you but, as I have an annoying tendency to always say the other point of view, even if I agree on the first one.

Socialism can work. Peronally I consider the legacy Marx left behind a pile of ideological nuclear waste, but that doesn't mean it couldn't ever work. For example:

The finnish school system is a socialistic one. It's controlled by the state, the curriculum is defined by the ministry of education and the funding comes from the public budget. And it works. The teacher's abilities vary somewhat, but on the average the school system produces well educated citizens. I've visited the school my son goes to, and was very satisfied. The ratings speak for themselves.

The finnish health care system is socialistic. Yes, there is a lot of criticism about the quality of the care given, but mostly it aswers to the needs of the people quite well. The cost to the people is below that paid, on the average, by americans for their own health care. There are also private hospitals for those being able to pay for the treatment. So, in a way, the socialist system provides a competitor for the private sector, thereby lowering prices for the consumer's advantage.

There are more examples, but they all are isolated ones, therefore not evidence of the socialistic system in general. I'd say socialism is like fire in the stove. It gives you warmth and comfort, as long as you keep the stove in good condition and keep a close watch on it. Else you will eventually have trouble.

I hate capitalism. Yes, I hate it. But if I'd have to choose between the two economical systems, socialistic and capitalistic, I'd choose the capitalistic because I hate the socialistic one even more. The problems with socialism are inefficiency and corruption. The problems with capitalism are efficiency and corruption. I'll return to that later. If there was an economic system I'd love it would be one there everything I need falls from the heaven, and I'd not need to do anything I don't like. But since atm there is no such system I'll settle with capitalism for the time being.

(tbc)

Heikki Polojärvi said...

An interesting essay indeed.

I mostly agree with you but, as I have an annoying tendency to always say the other point of view, even if I agree on the first one.

Socialism can work. Peronally I consider the legacy Marx left behind a pile of ideological nuclear waste, but that doesn't mean it couldn't ever work. For example:

The finnish school system is a socialistic one. It's controlled by the state, the curriculum is defined by the ministry of education and the funding comes from the public budget. And it works. The teacher's abilities vary somewhat, but on the average the school system produces well educated citizens. I've visited the school my son goes to, and was very satisfied. The ratings speak for themselves.

The finnish health care system is socialistic. Yes, there is a lot of criticism about the quality of the care given, but mostly it aswers to the needs of the people quite well. The cost to the people is below that paid, on the average, by americans for their own health care. There are also private hospitals for those being able to pay for the treatment. So, in a way, the socialist system provides a competitor for the private sector, thereby lowering prices for the consumer's advantage.

There are more examples, but they all are isolated ones, therefore not evidence of the socialistic system in general. I'd say socialism is like fire in the stove. It gives you warmth and comfort, as long as you keep the stove in good condition and keep a close watch on it. Else you will eventually have trouble.

I hate capitalism. Yes, I hate it. But if I'd have to choose between the two economical systems, socialistic and capitalistic, I'd choose the capitalistic because I hate the socialistic one even more. The problems with socialism are inefficiency and corruption. The problems with capitalism are efficiency and corruption. I'll return to that later. If there was an economic system I'd love it would be one there everything I need falls from the heaven, and I'd not need to do anything I don't like. But since atm there is no such system I'll settle with capitalism for the time being.

(tbc)

heponen said...

The reason behind my attitude i that, regardless of capitalism being the least bad economical system, it has an inherent flaw. My theory is based on the following thesis:
-money is power.
-money has no inherent moral values. If money supports moral value, it does so only when it's profitable.
-money tends to pile up, because with more capital you get more profit, and therefore more power.

This all is fine up to the point when there is enough money piled in few enough hands it will threaten the basis of the western way of life, that is, democracy.

Have you ever heard the farewell speech of the late U.S. president D.Eisenhower? He warned the people of the U.S. about the military-industrial complex. During the history the industry supporting the U.S. army, and the industry supporting it, has grown to enormous proportions. It has been necessary, and a good thing, to preserve the western way of life both in Europe and in the U.S. (some sceptic might mention that the U.S. involvement in the fight for freedom was not entirely altruistic, because if the U.S. had not intervened the bad guys would have been knocking on the U.S. gates. But let's ignore the sceptics) During the cold war there was the arms race, also necessary, the vietnam war, may be seen as necessary, [as you mentioned the magic bullet, the J.F.K murder was, in my opinion, a product of the same complex]I'm not sure. Anyway, for more than half a century the M-I complex has grown.As long as the cold war lasted this industry was thriving, but as the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed there were no enemies left to justify such a large military force and -development.

So, there were two wars, astronomically expensive,assisted by a massive wave of propaganda, and utterly useless for the american people. Funded with foreign debt that the american taxpayer, and his children, and perhap grandchildren, are going to pay. And where did this money go? Into whose pockets? Depending on the method of calculation about 2-4 trillion dollars during these wars alone. Take a look at the development of U.S. foreign debt during the Bush era. Worst of all, the american taxpayer is going to pay a nice interest for the debt. And into whose pockets does the interest go?

Could not the american security been bought cheaper?

The drawbacks of capitalism are as bad as that of socialism unless they are given due consideration. The purpose of a nation is to give the people the minimum circumstances necessary to have a chance to make it in their lives, thereby benefiting the whole society.

To end up with, do i recommend the finnish socialist solutions for the U.S? No. Finland is culturally, historically as well as for her size, so different from the U.S. that the same solutions propably would not work there. So, I hereby grant all U.S. citizens the freedom to think out their own solutions.

(Someone might say the U.S. citizens already had this right, but it's always nice to be given something for free, isn't it? [I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from the U.S: jeepers, Heikki gave us the fredom to decide for ourselves, I was worried for a moment]. You can send compensations for this right, voluntary of course, to the following account: What? No, I don't think it's possible to do that by myself.. Huh? And certainly not with my mother, what a strange idea!)

P.S. in Greece the problem began with easy loans guaranteed by the stable euro. The socialist government took advantage of this, giving the greek people socialistic benefits in return of votes. Fortunately this could never happen in.. argh! Never mind. Somehow you have gathered the disadvantages of both systems.

Anonymous said...

Here in the U.S. we practice Socialized Capitalism. Not Capitalism. This is where the state protects large crooked business entities like Goldman-Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, etc. At tax payer expense.

Basically if you're rich and politically connected the government will bail you out or protect you from jail if you are involved in crooked dealings like John Corzine. Or launder hundreds of billions of dollars of drug money and get a slap on the wrist.

It's great to be a banker in the U.S.

But never, ever think the U.S. is capitalistic system. It's not. If you got the gold you can make the rules here.

You New said...

"Capitalism" was Marx's way of trying to make money sound dirty. He invented the term, folks. It's the smartest thing he ever did to try to fulfill his desire for power, which he never lived to experience.

It's time to stop being a dupe for the social-communists. You don't have to use their terms, like social-ism and capital-ism, neither of which are meaningful or accurate.

The correct terms are "free market economy" and "freedom of speech" versus totalitarian overlords. It's one or the other.

There is no such thing as "capitalism". Nobody worships or looks to money for wisdom. There is Buddhism or Taoim though, which I recommend.

The Marxist polarity of SOCIALism versus MONEYism has worked well for them, and we have been their dupes. Humorously, there is no such a thing as this vague entity called a "social" either.

To hide behind the word "social", then to try to advance your PERSONAL agenda, this is evil. People who hold themselves as social saviours are merely using the naive to grab power.

In terms of viability, GOV seems to quote Lao Tsu, who has kindly given us the scoop on this: A government can't be heavy handed, or or it simply will be a failure.

But don't tell that to the people who bow to the vaporous "social" gods, where bigger fairness is always better fairness, where cultural society is quickly "transformed", more accurately, disestablished, the slippery slope ever slicker.

And if money is sin (as Karl seems to have convinced so many, ie. capital-ism), then human beings, human-ism, must be the salvation. But which ones, please? Oh, you?

When you hear the word "fair", they are slicing your pants for your wallet.

Socialists are the ultimate cut-throat capital-ists; they figured out the way to get the most money by doing the least amount of work! Zero, if possible. And the money comes from those evil "capitalists", so it's okay to steal! Capitalists!

"You didn't build that!" Now gimme yer money, loser!

Europeans are in disbelief to find that Americans with low income get free healthcare, even tens of millions of illegal immigrants. Time to stop trusting you media.

Dymphna said...

Spot-on, anon:

Here in the U.S. we practice Socialized Capitalism. Not Capitalism. This is where the state protects large crooked business entities like Goldman-Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, etc. At tax payer expense.

And we have now been chained to a huge unsustainable debt by these thieves.

David Stockman has a book listed with a publish date for next March!

The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupted Free Markets and Democracy

-----------------

Try this one instead. It's an easier read, though it does only focus on Obama's part in this:

Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies

I got the free sample for second book by downloading the Kindle application to my netbook. It doesn't require a Kindle device:

Kindle application

Malkin's book looks to be well-sourced.

Stockman's will be the more scholarly of the two, but I don't have any info re his reading style. MM writes clearly - no doubt about where she stands on the corruption and crony capitalism in the current administration. I hope she gives some comparisons, though, because this has been going on for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Who owns what is important, more important is its goal. Does running a railway to make money necessarily mean running a railway to benefit the nation's well being?

IW

Dymphna said...

The finnish school system is a socialistic one. It's controlled by the state, the curriculum is defined by the ministry of education and the funding comes from the public budget. And it works.

Yes, with a largely homogeneous population, one that is smaller than our Commonwealth of Virginia, I would imagine this system could work quite well.

However, I'll amend your statement to explain the differences for the US:

The United States' school system is a socialistic one. It's controlled by the state, the curriculum is defined by the Department of Education and the funding comes from the public budget. And it does NOT work anymore.

It's socialist cronyism, is our education system. And it fails to teach far too many children how to read, write, calculate, or reason. However, it has succeeded in inculcating "self-esteem" - a vaporous notion with no underlying foundation of competency.

The system is top-heavy with education theory and organization management types. It's not one-size fits all, though: the underclass is on a separate track from the middle class kids, and by high school, the kids no longer "mix" - the educated kids live in their own universe. Separate buses, separate lunch times, etc.
They never even see one another, which is just as well since their costumes are quite dissimilar.

The toxic mix of public sector unionized teachers, intimidating administrators, and bullying runts run amuck makes those places hell on earth.

NYC spent $3 million on an educational "system" that works. The kids placed in that program zoomed ahead, no mattr their home environment. But the "study" is over and the kids are back in the swamp.

Here's an excellent primer for EVERY American - see how much you know:

Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

When our son was about ten, he used the child's version until it was in tatters. Now there is an updated version:

The New First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Your Child Needs to Know

At the time we were home schooling. As every homeschooler knows, that doesn't take much time in a day. So when the Baron, house dad extraordinaire, had to run errands or attend meeting, our son brought along this book every single where they went.

I think it opened up so many worlds to him that he bounded ahead in areas we had no idea he was exploring: he became an excellent amateur birder at a young age, his history factoids gradually grew into an expanded body of knowledge - especially the history of war and of the role aviation played.

We didn't teach him those subjects: our "core" subjects were the foundation from which he could explore his own interests. And while we were both interested in poetry (you didn't get any choice when the Baron was in school in England), we made the mistake of assuming it was an area we'd wait on till he was older. But he began memorizing WWI poets for fun...and was soon writing his own sonnets.

Children are naturally curious and if you direct that urge to KNOW, it can lead in amazing directions.

The Chinese are like Islam in that they take from Western innovation and culture the things they think make for a superior understanding. Thus, when they discovered that music lessons improved intelligence in mathematical areas...10,000 pianos bloomed. Same with some aspects of the Catholic rituals and beliefs: they made for a more robust culture.

The state-run churches are NOT in communion with ROme. Home churches are clandestine.

No, Islam didn't borrow the same things. Which makes every serious bettor put their money on China.

Heikki Polojärvi said...

I love a good conversation. These give new opinions and viewpoints, new things to think about :)

Anonymous said...

Blimey!! I didn't mean to cause such a kerfuffle but was talking about commonly held perceptions about America here in Britain. If they were misperceptions then I apologise. I still think it is correct that most British and Europeans in general prefer a mixed economy but that does not make them socialists, otherwise they would want a return to 100% nationalisation. However, in Britain we are pretty sick of the fact that nationalised continental utility companies can buy up our privatised ones and screw us. Had ours remained nationalised then it could not happen.

The abolition of the old grammar schools, which served several generations of the less well-off poor, by the socialists has meant that people have had to pay to get their children a decent education.

As regards Christianity, the point I was making was that it has indeed become weak and ineffectual in Europe and has fallen victim to the Marxists' avowed intention of emptying the churches. We need a more muscular Christianity in Europe to combat both the Marxists and the Muslims and if it has to be fundamentalist then so be it. Some of us assume that the Christian majority in America is now fundamentalist and creationist and creationists we cannot be. But obviously I was probably wrong there, too.

I am certainly not a socialist but do believe the vulnerable need protection from globalizing forces. I am sure we agree on that.

We are all engaged in fighting international socialism and globalizing capitalism and preserving European Christian Civilisation from the attacks of the mad - Marxists - and the immensely greedy plutocratic globalizers. They both believe in a borderless world which needs must will lead to the eradication of the European race, European culture and civilisation.

I hope that I have gone some way towards damage limitation. I never intended to cause such offence!! Please let me know if I still need further re-educating.