Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SJ-R.COM - Capitalism did its job well, but it’s time for change

I have only one major question about this article: What is his alternative to capitalism?

Would he like there to be central planning of some sort as envisioned by the numerous production boards and agencies created during World War II?

What will he do if people who don't think like him wind up running his alternative system? In fact, what will he do if these central planners should turn out to think that his wants should be lower priority than someone else's wants? I think the writer has mistaken his wants for "needs." He'd much rather start class warfare than offer any real alternatives by name.

It does not appear to me that the author has fully thought out the consequences and possibilities that might occur should an alternative to capitalism be put into place. The writer may consider himself to be "progressive," but he's only putting forward a jealous rant instead of offering an actual idea in there. If he wants socialism and government-enforced equality and equal amounts of misery, he should say so. If he wants better management of tax dollars, he should say so.

Also, I would suggest that you avoid the reader comments. There are a lot of commenters who would rather sling hyperbolic statements around than actually comment on the article. That's about all I can say about the reader comments and still be charitable about it. Comments like the ones usually found in the Journal-Register's reader comments sections make me wonder when the people in my hometown decided to lower their collective skill in grammar.


David Kendall said...

As recent history reveals, Capitalism (at least in its advanced stages) IS "central-planning".

I agree that Meiselman doesn't fully understand a number of things. In particular, capitalism wasn't as much a break from feudalism as it was(is) organized legal "protection" of "exclusive entitlements" FROM feudalism. The wealthy minorities privatized the commons, and made the rest of us their wage-slaves -- and 500-years later, We The Idiots still haven't figgered it out.

But rather than join that heated discussion where apparently nobody has a clue, I have strongly suggested some reading. All of the following materials are available on-line, and they are free:


Dig in.

Weetabix said...

He sounds as if he were dissatisfied with everything in his life and unable to deal with it. Therefore, blame everything & everyone and ask for someone to come up with a fuzzy cocoon to care for him the rest of his life.

Bah. I dislike the evils that unfettered capitalism can create. But all other systems so far have proven themselves worse. Life isn't perfect. You either have to get use to it or become an ill-informed editorialist.

Jason said...

Sorry, David, but the links you've provided go to more calls for centrally-planned economies. It's basically socialism with a smiley face. The "Capitalism 3.0" site is basically calling for a creation of the Commons, but what exactly is that in strictest of terms? How does it help me become a private property owner? Richard Cook's pages are essentially the same thing; we all have to agree to pool our resources. I hate to tell you this, but I really don't like the idea of forced sharing any more than I like the idea of taking something away from them without replacing it with something of equal value. So what will happen then when people like me say "No, you won't take my property?"

There's also the problem of control. If you leave the commons to be decided democratically, what happens when people are convinced to use such things for the detriment of others? If we leave it to a small group of trustees, how do we ensure that said trustees will not seize power and use the commons for their own personal ends? Regardless of what happens, you're still concentrating a lot of power in the hands of the few, and what happens to the people who those few dislike?

What you link to is forced equality. You're basically trying to re-brand socialism. Re-branding socialism is like putting lipstick on a pig. It's a waste of lipstick and makes the pig look worse.

Find something better than socialism.