Can we have a future, with capitalism?

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, February 25th, 2019 - 192 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

I’ll come clean. I am a capitalist. I’ve started two businesses, one not so successful, due to injuries and health issues at an inconvenient stage. Though we did OK in the end. Another which shows all the signs of a healthy infant. I don’t expect we will make a fortune, but it will make, enough. Currently I work for a multinational.

It is one of life’s irony’s that someone like me, an advocate for the mixed economy, Democratic Socialist, model that has proven the most successful economic system, to date, is considered any way, radical.

 

No one has yet found a better system for allocation of day to day resources, within a community, than a market capitalist system.

You see potential customers for your market garden or building skills, you invest in training as a builder, buy a set of tools, or in a plot of land and seeds. If you do it well, you make a good living, but how much profit you can make is limited, by the fact there are many other small builders and market gardeners, and your potential customers can see who grows the best vegetables, or builds houses that stay up. At this level a “free market” works fine. The economy is pretty much in a steady state, as is the use of natural resources.

 

As soon as you grow the community larger, than one where everyone knows the skills and honesty of the other members, you need ways of ensuring those with market power do not accumulate too much of the communities wealth. Basically that real contributors to the community don’t lose out to cheats, resulting in the breakdown of the system

 

No capitalist society has succeeded without a healthy dose of co-operation, common infrastructure, goods and services and regulation, “socialism”. Countries that are, “successful” by all our normal measures, have an economy balanced between private and State. The most successful have high progressive taxation, and a State share of the economy, around 50 to 60%. Ours is down to 28%, and it shows.

 

Without the rule of law, healthy and educated  workers, public infrastructure and regulation of the “cheats” if you like, we cannot have a successful business, and wider economy.

Private provision of mass ‘public’ goods has proven to be incredibly inefficient, and wasteful. like our power companies.

 

It suits Bill Gates, and others, to attribute human advancement to capitalism, a self justification for having extorted extreme wealth.

Others attribute advances to human co-operation in developing infrastructure and services, laws, and sharing wealth and advancement, which capitalism can never deliver.

 

Both are correct.

 

The USA’s post war advancement was due  to high taxes, socialist redistribution, a high quality public education system, State sponsored research and innovation, public infrastructure spending, anti trust laws, banking regulation and a large middle class.

All were needed to make capitalism work.

The concentration of wealth and power with late stage, insufficiently regulated, monopoly  capitalism, and the winding back of social infrastructure and redistribution, is causing the USA’s decline.

 

In our example of small community capitalism above, people pretty much get out what they put in. The market limits how much they can take as profit. A “steady state economy, without growth, is possible.

You are buying yourself a job, if you like.

 

In a truly free market, an impossibility of course, where there is perfect information and competition, there cannot, of course, be any profit. “Free” marketeers/”free traders”, don’t want a “free market”, they simply want one distorted in their favour.

Any business knows, that to make a profit you have to distort the market in some way. Convince people you are better than your competitors, get Government to legislate in your favour, or give you subsidies or public goods, or use monopoly or oligopoly power, to eliminate competition and keep wages low. Your profit is always someone else’s loss.

 

Capitalism requires “growth” to function?

The motivation behind capitalists’ is profit. Getting out more than you put in. Why start a business and take that risk, if you are going to make the same amount as you would as an employee.

However most people do make less than they put in, so that others can profit.

Many functioning businesses don’t make a real profit. Including most of our essential small businesses. They make enough.  Small builders make a good living. But you could hardly say they take out more than they put in. The degree of competition precludes that. Building material suppliers, however, make huge profits in New Zealand, because they are a duopoly. Big box stores, and banks, are extremely effective, in removing wealth from communities.

 

In a finite world, the exponential growth required to make increasing  profits, and pay interest, is not possible.

 

Capitalism is cannibalising, the human and natural environment, it needs to survive.

 

The concentration of wealth and power insufficiently regulated capitalism, and excessive profit taking, has caused, now works against the survival of human civilisation. With the wealthy opposing any attempts to limit the damage.

192 comments on “Can we have a future, with capitalism?”

  1. Gosman 1

    How exactly are you impacted by the fact that Bill Gates is amazingly wealthy?

    How has he stopped you accumulating wealth?

    • soddenleaf 1.1

      yes. locking up Windows and driving profits from the monopoly, and given the wealth was create due to public taxation, the internet, microprocessors, even software patentsheld back innovation…

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Are you arguing that we’d have even more innovation and wealth without Windows?

        • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.1

          Very likely – it was an inferior copy of Claris (which was probably a copy of something else).

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1

            Very likely? That to me suggest you don’t know. The fact is we’ve had probably the greatest technological leap forward in human history over the past 30 years much of it driven by the products and services provided by Microsoft such as Windows. If Microsoft was deliberately restricting innovation it hasn’t been doing a very good job of that.

            • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re looking in the wrong place for innovation. Microsoft, like most large companies, wasn’t using innovation as a competitive strategy when it made the sad copy of Claris called Windows. Microsoft’s innovation was DOS; that made them their money , and gave them the market share they used to stifle competition thereafter.

              • Gosman

                You are one of these people who seems to think that because they have stumbled on to an interesting fact (in this case that Windows was based on another operating system at the start) it suddenly means that they have a handle on the entire area this involves. In short you are overestimating your knowledge in this area.

                • Stuart Munro

                  You seem to imagine that your narrowness of vision entitles you to make encyclopedic statements when in fact the paucity of your knowledge exposes you at every turn.

                  To put it simply, you are so poorly informed that you mistook Microsoft for an innovative company, but it seems, too egotistical to learn from the experience.

                  As for your “Very likely? That to me suggest you don’t know. ”

                  Since that is not what happened of course we’ll never know – I’m not about to adopt your godlike level of hubris and state hypotheticals categorically.

                  • Gosman

                    You seem to think that because Microsoft has used other technologies and ideas in the past as a basis for their own this means it is not an innovative business nor that it’s ideas have transformed how we do things for the better. That is plainly ridiculous notion. Thomas Edison based many of his patents on existing ideas or inventions. That does not mean we didn’t benefit enormously from what he did do.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You chose a pretty invidious comparison – Tesla benefitted us much more than Edison, who, like Gates, was entirely self-serving.

                      Microsoft is not an innovative business because it is a slow follower, not an innovator. Because it developed market dominance from its DOS monopoly it was able to delay the introduction of windows-like software until some years after it was widespread elsewhere.

                      Monopolies always act against consumer interests and Microsoft is no exception – it maintains artificial price levels and stifles innovation – that’s its business model.

                      Someone who professes to know as much about economics as you ought to be cognizant of the negative features of monopolies.

                    • Gosman

                      Tesla failed to commercialise his inventions effectively. In that way he didn’t benefit us much at all. Edison on the other hand was brilliant at turning ideas in to a commercial reality.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Oh – it seems you’re as ignorant of Tesla as you are of Gates.

                      Tesla gave us AC, without which most of our electrical development would never had happened. Edison did his best to ruin Tesla because he knew that next to him he was a hack.

                    • Gosman

                      You missed my point. I stated Tesla was not very good at commercialising his inventions and in THAT way he did not benefit us much at all. I am sure his ideas and inventions have provided some other person with benefits though.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Tesla benefitted us plenty.

                      We would not have benefited more had Tesla commercialized his innovations more – commerce as often slows and delays technological adoption as it advances it. But if Edison had been more collegial Tesla might have survived to gift us with rather more.

                    • mikesh

                      Stuart is right. Tesla, in partnership with a chap called Westinghouse, was the one who moved the electricity supply industry forward. Edison was too wedded to a system of supply based on DC. Westinghouse was the businessman who commercialized Tesla’s ideas.

                    • Gosman

                      Are you stating that someone commercialised someone else’s work and we all benefited as a result mikesh?

                      If so, then thanks for reiterating my point.

                    • SHG

                      Microsoft is not an innovative business because it is a slow follower, not an innovator. Because it developed market dominance from its DOS monopoly it was able to delay the introduction of windows-like software until some years after it was widespread elsewhere.

                      there’s this computer called the mac

                      it’s from a pretty underground little company

                      you probably haven’t heard of it

            • Simbit 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Gatesy is a rent seeker, pure and simple.

          • Infused 1.1.1.1.2

            If there was a better product or would win. That simple in IT

            • KJT 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Not so.

              Microsoft bought out the competition in phones and replaced it with an inferior product.

              Not the only time.

              US firms compete by removing competition or tying them up in lawsuits.

              Not by innovating.

          • Macro 1.1.1.1.3

            Actually Gates bought the right to an inferior operating system devised in a hurry by Tim Patterson to test the then new Intel 8086 chip . He called it QDOS “Quick and Dirty Operating System”. Gates sexed it up a bit, and on sold it to IBM who labelled it MS.DOS. His achievement wasn’t actually in the development of the system but in the marketing.
            https://www.businessinsider.com.au/history-of-dos-2011-7?r=US&IR=T#the-story-of-dos-begins-with-tim-paterson-1

        • soddenleaf 1.1.1.2

          Microsoft were, are, driven by profit. Are you arguing they didn’t use their market dominance? Against shareholder interests! Really, first time in history. Even if they were so sainted, their still suffer from the priesthood paradox, that any dogmatic self centered body of knowledge, would invariable favor those in the priesthood. While those locked into their vision were hampered… …its just unbelievable that an initial position would they could do no harm, did no harm. The mere fact of their dominance was harmful to any open society.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.2.1

            Increasing profit is generally in the interests of Shareholders.

            • soddenleaf 1.1.1.2.1.1

              ..And.. not necessarily in the interests of consumers or software developers. Anyway we live in a open society, closed source by its very nature sucks out the oxygen of progress.

    • One Two 1.2

      You’re not a serious commentator, Gosman…

      And the article is about an ideology made up of systems which emables those such as Gates, to amass unecessary fortunes…

      Gates is a symptom of the problem…

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        I am arguing that the idea that because Bill Gates is fabulously wealthy that somehow impacts YOU is a false belief. Bill Gates wealth has limited impact on you either positively or negatively.

        • One Two 1.2.1.1

          What is the purpose of your position?

          How does it map into the premise of the article?

          How does your position on Gates add any value to the discussion?

          • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1

            Bill Gates wealth was being used as an example of how Capitalism is failing. It is at the core of the argument that is being made. If Bill Gates wealth is bnot an issue then Capitalism is not causing the issues the author of the post thinks it is causing.

            • One Two 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Gosman your limited capacity for cogent thinking is on display once again…

              If your view is so narrow that you can’t fit ‘gates’ into the articles wider narrative…

              Well…I would not be surprised…

              The article is spot on!

              Now answer my questions before you ask any more yourself…or dont respond…

              • Gosman

                I asnwered your question about where Bill gates fits in to the discussion. If you have a problem with my answer then discuss that.

        • Siobhan 1.2.1.2

          “Gates says he pays his personal taxes. Great. But he made all that money from Microsoft which, like other tax-avoiding technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, uses sophisticated systems to shift paper profits around the planet and evade the designs of governments. Indeed, so extreme are its methods the company was used as a case study in a Senate investigation into US corporate tax avoidance, which found one example of offshoring profits through a tiny Puerto Rico office alone saved it $4m a day in taxes.

          Moving earnings through low corporation tax countries such as Ireland, Luxembourg and Singapore means the company saved itself, according to one estimate, almost £3bn annually in tax. A Harvard law professor pointed out that Microsoft’s divisions in three low-tax nations employed fewer than 2,000 people, but supposedly recorded about £9.4bn of pre-tax profit in 2011 – more than the 88,000 employees working in all its other global divisions.”

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/06/bill-gates-preaches-fighting-poverty-hypocrite-microsoft-tax

          Bill Gates tax avoidance policies at Microsoft have a direct impact on the American people. Take one small example..that $4m a day tax saving and put that in to Health Care.

          https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/microsoft-transfers-ownership-its-nz-business-bermuda-ck-204010

          • Gosman 1.2.1.2.1

            What happens with the profits that Microsoft makes as result of avoiding taxes?

            • Michael 1.2.1.2.1.1

              What do you think happens with them?

              • Gosman

                They get paid out to the owners of the Shares who then pay tax on it.

                  • Gosman

                    What do you mean “Yeah right”? That is how it goes. If you own Shares in a company and that company makes a profit then you usually receive a dividend payment that counts towards your income which you have to pay tax on. The only time you wouldn’t do this is if the company decides to retain the profit for some reason. They can’t do this forever though and also the share price normally goes up as a result and therefore the owners pay tax on the increased value where they sell shares. What part of that do you not understand?

                    • Sam

                      It’s calculated as capital gains which is why options trading is the game to play in north America. Shares are only taxable if you sell them. Even my little girls know this.

                    • Gosman

                      Yeah, when the capital gain is turned in to cash and becomes income it is taxed. That is exactly what I stated.

                    • KJT

                      You do know about all the games played by shareholders in big firms, don’t you?

                      Ever heard of the Cayman Islands?

                      Not to mention all the carve outs the US oligarchy use to avoid taxes.

                    • Gosman

                      If you have evidence Bill Gates is using tax havens to reduce his tax liability then present it. He claims he pays all his tax though.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… that article accepts he DOES pay his fair share of income tax.

                    • Sam

                      Jeezus, you’re really thrashing the standard like an adolescent boy thrashes the porn hub.

                      Ok so there’s two basic models of international taxation that you need to pay attention too.

                      1. The worldwide model in which it doesn’t matter where the money is made its taxed. So if a company did business in both the US and another country all of its profits would be taxed. However to alleviate the burden of double taxation, the US would issue corporate tax credits would off set the additional burden.

                      2. The territorial model is where you only tax the profits made in country of origin. In this model which is found in most countries you only tax the revenue in your country. Under this model if a foreign company did business in the US, only the US operations would be taxed.

                      The US Tax Policy is a blended model. The US will tax all the earnings of US based corporations no matter where they get the revenue from. However if they do have “earnings” that were subject to double taxation, they will offset tax credits to alleviate the loss. However the US will NOT tax the earnings of a US Corporation wholly owned foreign subsidiary, but if the subsidiary brings the money into the US, then the money will be taxed as income.

                      Off course trump changes the calculus so it helps it you can do tax free hand. Also find it extremely funny you would go to a foreign owned newspaper for an opinion on another countries tax system.

                    • KJT

                      Sophistry.

                      What little is left to pay after fiddling his company tax, you mean.

                    • Gosman

                      You miss the whole point. It doesn’t matter if the company tax is being fiddled. The increased profits will eventually get taxed as income when it is distributed to the owners of the company. Bill Gates is not avoiding paying his income tax.

                    • Sam

                      Not if you privatise taxes through philanthropy and foundations. I mean how many times do you need to be told that trickle down economics, that gratifying rich people’s nut sacks doesn’t improve the majorities living standards.

                    • KJT

                      What point do you have.

                      The point is millions, if not billions, are being removed from local economies, by multinationals like MS, and their owners.

                      With millions, and Microsoft case billions, untaxed.

                      They are not taxed when it is distributed to the owners of the shares. Because the big shareholders tax domicile is a tax haven.

                      Even fools, like you, know how that works.

                      Why the fuck do you think the asset strippers and dodgy finance company owners, from New Zealand in the 80’s, moved to Ireland. Because the climate was better?

                      Which is why the bridges in the USA are collapsing, and public education cannot afford teachers.

                      But. According to you , that does not cost a country, anything!

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t know how else to let you know this but I’ll try using an example.

                      Imagine if Microsoft made 1 Billion dollars of Profit last year (I know it is on the low side but for the purposes of this example it should suffice).

                      If they weren’t clever they would pay company tax on that amount of say 25%. However they utilise complex tax arrangements and manage to reduce the tax to say 10%. This means the Government receives 100 million rather than 250 million. and the profit after tax that they made goes up from 750 million to 900 million.

                      They decide to pay out this profit to their shareholders. Bill Gates say owns 40% of the company. He therefore receives 360 million dollars from the profit.

                      The top tax rate in the US is 37% on income above $500,000. 360,000,000 minus 500,000 is 359,500,000. 37% of 359,500,000 is 133,015,000. So just from Bill Gates income alone the government has received almost as much tax as they lost as a result of Microsoft avoiding taxes.

                      If the other shareholders are based in the same country and pay personal taxes like Bill Gates then the government will receive more from taxes as a result (given the fact that the top rate of income tax is usually higher than the company tax rate).

                    • KJT

                      You don’t need to instruct me about company taxes.

                      I know perfectly well how it works.

                      You never heard of the Cayman islands, obviously.

                      Or the many many ways multinationals, and their shareholders. reduce and hide tax. Most of them are legal. The result of the wealthy owning the Government.

                      Or the companies negotiating for a big reduction in tax, on their profits, so they can bring them back to the USA and distribute them. To shareholders that have many legal ways to pay little tax.

                      1.6 trillion, apparently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companies_of_the_United_States_with_untaxed_profits

                      Confirming my, point, which you are trying to wriggle around, that the control by monopoly capitalism, is destroying Democracy, the environment, and the future of humanity.

                    • Gosman

                      Bill Gates doesn’t avoid personal taxes. That is not in dispute. You are arguing the fact Microsoft does somehow impacts the overall tax take. I have shown you why that is not the case in regard to Bill Gates.

        • KJT 1.2.1.3

          OK. I will go there.

          Bill Gates personally adds to his wealth, from New Zealand by selling products. With inflated additions to the price, rent, for “intellectual property” most of which were developed by his staff, and the US State, not him!

          Removing money from our community. Which could have gone to NZ businesses, and local communities.

          Innovation in IT, is stifled by MS patents, also removing money.

          Then MS buys up and removes potential competition, further stifling innovation.

          Personally to me. MS, bought out and closed down the best cell phone operating system, at the time. Losing me a lot of time and money replacing it.

          At the same time he contributes no taxes, or benefit to New Zealand, other than a standardized operating system, which was originally enabled by US Government research, and endless repairs of half baked products, which we pay for..

          • Gosman 1.2.1.3.1

            Your understanding of economics is very limited from that analysis. Microsoft does not force NZ individuals or firms to use their software or services (Despite what some people think). People are voluntarily deciding to use the software because they see it provides a benefit to them. If a NZ firm could provide a similar or better product and service then they would likely be doing so. The fact they aren’t suggests Microsoft does it better. NZ is not losing money. the individual or firm deciding to purchase the Microsoft product or service is using their money in the best way they see fit. It is no different to a Chinese individual or company deciding to purchase milk powder from NZ. Do you think that is harming China?

    • roy cartland 1.3

      It extracts the attention of large sectors of society to cater to utterly pointless things like superyachts, private jets, boudoir tapestry advisers not to mention loan restructures and tax avoiders. Effort that could be better spent on, I dunno, things that are useful to more than just one rich-o.

  2. Ad 2

    I can’t think of a single non-capitalist country that didn’t cannibalise humans and human rights. You must face up to that if you start trying to decouple human flourishing from some form of free-flowing trade (whether you call that a kind of capitalism or not is up to you).

    But wait: Cuba!

    Cuba of course is the ideological heart of Venezuela, having propped their previous ruler up for ages.

    Cuba has now even had the temerity to propose a new Constitution.
    After 70 years it is daring to impose terms limits on the president.

    It’s also proposing to recognise a right to own private property again for the first time since the 1959 revolution.

    It also contains references to markets and foreign investments.
    And, wait for it, you might now even get a right to legal representation upon arrest.
    The new Constitution names the Communist Party the “supreme political force of state and society”.

    And of course opposition parties are still banned.
    And no chance of free media to debate it either.
    And it sure ain’t a place to be gay.

    The draft constitution went out last year, and it will of course pass – because this is no country to voice dissent against official directives.

    Maybe some on the hard left still think all of the above is worth sacrificing in order to have a total alternative away from capitalism.

    Personally I prefer to vote, comment on alternative blogs, dissent, be represented in court, join whatever political group I want, and otherwise have the right to tell the state to fuck off out of my life.

    What this alternative to capitalism did was cannibalise the souls of people, force them in to mediocrity, and rule over them with total autocracy.

    And then of course there’s the Cuban environment. Deforested, though struggling back – just like many capitalist countries. The managers of Cuba’s large state farms thought mainly about production – with only slightly better results than Soviet Russia in the 1950s. Even the increasing use of pesticides since 1959 was still listed in the mid-1980s as one of the achievements of the Cuban revolution.

    And there was still a current that saw agro-ecology as driven by the sentimental nostalgia of urban intellectuals for a picturesque past that they had never been burdened with. Communism didn’t cause a better approach to ecology and the environment – but its global collapse helped.

    Still, if you want an alternative to capitalism that is a bit further out than a firm version of social democracy, well, Cuba Libre.

    • KJT 2.1

      Why did I know we would get shouts of Cuba, or Venezuela.

      Even though I never mentioned imposing any form of totalitarianism.

      Or even communism.

      70% of Venezuala’s economy is private. More than the USA. Hardly socialist.

      My preference as you may have seen if you actually read the post, is a steady state, mostly free, market, democratically regulated so that capitalists are good citizens.

      Currently we are ruled by corporations and their owners. How is that better than Democracy?

      Whether that can be made compatible with a functioning environment, remains to be seen.

      Certainly the present concentration, of power and wealth, is incompatible with a human future.

      A viable alternative will not look like Cuba. I suspect it will look more like NZ in the 60’s.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        You failed to mention any alternative system at all, so you got what you failed to do.

        You need to have a good hard look at the amount of agency you have in your life before you bemoan being ruled by corporations. Have a chat with Robert Guyton any given Sunday and you get some idea. Left melancholy is boring. Stop being borning.

        Do you have any idea what we did to the environment in New Zealand in the 1960s?

        Or to gays, women, Maori?

        Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

        • One Two 2.1.1.1

          Ad, your comment has too many fallacies to bother addressing them all..

          Except to say that your wild deflections, are unsubstantiated…which is the purpose of defelection…

          And you’ve completely missed the tone of the article…

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        The concept of steady state is incompatible with a market economy.

    • soddenleaf 2.2

      human will always concentrate power in people they trust, all nations whether left or right, will inevitably fall to elites. It’s when those elites believe in something bigger… The US used to be a such a nation, now it’s bile and monied politics..

      That’s what’s wrong with the neolib national party, its not about dealing to the unproductive incentives of the tax system, the way small companies sell out to hand on to their kids a windfall investment opportunity rather than growing medium to large firms, its the risk premium that banks take becuase we are over exposed to a property collapse, over exposed to money sloshing around due to owners not having CGT obligations, its the swagger of farmers who are paying a 0% CGT while their competitir aren’t. Have the debate Mr Bridges stop your rhetorical bile.

  3. Gosman 3

    Again with this idea that we live on a planet where resources are somehow disappearing. That is simply not the case. USABLE and USEFUL resources are scarce but they have ALWAYS been scarce. That is what has constricted human development throughout history. We aren’t running out of resources though.

    • KJT 3.1

      “We aren’t running out of resources though”.

      Your most stupid statement yet.

      Just a planet.

      • Wayne 3.1.1

        KJT,

        Good post generally.

        But on your comment to Gosman, you know perfectly well that he does not mean what you have stated.

        What he means is the relative ability to extract resources or substitute resources. For instance copper is scarce, always has been, but we are able to always economically mine it. The reason being that newer technologies enable lower grade ores to be economically processed. On present technologies all minerals that are extracted only ever come from ores where they are concentrated.

        If we had enormous amounts of energy, we would be able to extract the minerals from just about all rocks where they are present in low concentrations. In practical terms the amount of minerals would be unlimited, though obviously they are limited (at least at present) by the fact they all come from planet Earth.

        When the fusion power “power in power out” equation is technically resolved we basically will have unlimited power, at least unlimited in the sense that the power source is virtually unlimited. I suspect the generating plants will be enormously expensive and complex so that will be the limiting factor on the amount of fusion power that can be generated.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Also the resources that we “use” does not generally disappear (although some of it does change form). We have approximately the same amount of it than we did before we used it. The question is whether we are able to reuse it or convert the output back in to a usable form.

          • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1.1.1

            Rubbish, literally. We turn good resources into plastic crap and new copies of old crap every year/season/whim. Then we dump it. We transform the natural world to rubbish.

            We fill the land and oceans with the shit.

            Radioactive waste. Mining, farming… Hell, we can’t even hold onto dirt.

            Blathering on some nonsense about the laws of matter doesn’t matter when it’s all BS. Most everything we use changes form and is then wasted.

            Never mind. The balancing is due, all those environmental and social costs you ‘movers and shakers’ ignored: gonna move ya, gonna shake ya.

        • KJT 3.1.1.2

          You and Gosman, seem to be oblivious to, or choose to ignore, the resource limit we have reached, right now.

          An atmosphere at a temperature which can sustain humanity.

          Business as usual, is not a viable option.

          Neither is simply loading as much as possible of the costs, on the people with lower incomes, which seems to be the Neo-liberal default setting.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.2.1

            Noone I can see here is arguing that business as usual should be the approach taken. The argument is overCapitalism however you aren’t even arguing for any radical change there it seems given your comment about Japan.

    • mac1 3.2

      Hmmm, bit difficult locating moa feathers for my ceremonial gear, my incipient dodo collection is just that- incipient- and my supply of Tyrian purple has dried up for my imperial robes. (Emperor Mac1)

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        You are being very myopic on how you view resources. Moa feathers have dried up but feathers have not nor have the compounds that make up feathers. That is not even going in to alternatives to Moa feathers that have been developed (many of which are much better than the original).

        • Sam 3.2.1.1

          Always new you are a nutter. There will always be something that is limited in resource. If consumer products are somehow unlimited, then valuables will become time, celebrities, possession of large-scale assets, human servants/employees, etc.

          If you simply mean consumer products (ranging from food to technology and so on) becoming widely available to all, probably replicators and again, nutter.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.1

            No, I never stated anything about consumer products becoming widely available to all (via a replicator or any other means). I’m not sure why you think I have.

            • Sam 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, just feathers and popicocks and other embarrassing shit. See why the mods like having you around.

              • Gosman

                I didn’t bring Feathers in to the debate. Take up your concern with Mac1

                • Sam

                  You literally stated that “Moa feathers have dried up but feathers have not nor have the compounds that make up feathers.” Then you claim this magic process has zip nothing to do with consumerism and industrialisation and now you don’t won’t to talk feathers. Just take the L gooie.

                  • Gosman

                    I did not bring up Moa feathers. Mac1 did. You seem to have an issue with this being discussed. Discuss your concerns with Mac1. My point was the fact that we don’t have Moa feathers anymore does not impact using resources to do similar things that we did with Moa feathers.

                    • Sam

                      Yup, that’s why you are in fact a nutter with a humongous invisible L next to your handle where ever you go.

                      Look, I get that you have to look all brainy in front of potential religious converts by denying climate and fossil fuels are in fact engineering a climate catastrophe. I get it. I just want you to read and understand that the vast majority of people who read your stupid comments think you are damaged in the head.

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve never argued against the consequences of AGW. You are making stuff up about me.

                    • Sam

                      You have no argument about feathers, about commercialism, you have no argument about industrialisation, you have no argument about capitalism. Now you claim not to be against AGW, great. Now concede.

                    • mac1

                      I did not bring up moa feathers. You can’t get them let alone try to ingest them, Have you tried to eat feathers? That’s why you bring them up.

                      I am told, though, that salmon are fed on ground chicken, feathers and all. They then add dyes to the otherwise grey salmon meat to make it a nice pink! Yum!

                      “• Farmed salmon are fed pellets made out of fish oil and smaller fish, ground-up chicken feathers, poultry litter (yes, that’s poop), genetically modified yeast, soybeans and chicken fat.”

                      I am not a vegan or vegetarian. I just, before researching and writing this, bought 300 gms of lovely pink salmon slices to be served on toast triangles with horseradish sauce.

                      Hmmm

              • Incognito

                That’s ironic coming from you, Sam. How many days has it been since your parole?

                • Sam

                  Was under the impression the most annoying mod in all of mod history handed me a permanent ban. It’s all pretty intriguing if not manipulative. Could just be a glitch.

                  • Incognito

                    Whether it’s a ‘glitch’ depends on you mostly, I have a feeling. It’s not my place to explain; way above my pay grade …

                    • Sam

                      Still feeling this really strong meh trying to get out. People over my lifetime who are on less than $72k, or even less, often try and tell me what to do. Quiet amusing really.

                  • Incognito

                    Reading between the lines is obviously not your strongest point. Let me give you a hint: advice.

                    What you do with it is entirely up to you, e.g. you could take it to heart and use it wisely or ignore it and face the consequences.

                    Bye for now.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.3

      We aren’t running out of resources though.” – Gosman.

      Ah Gosman, you brilliant sizzling sausage, humanity’s little problem solver.

      With that single statement you’ve ‘fixed’ the problem of insufficient resources.

      Now, what’s your fix for global warming – we literally can’t wait.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    The underlying ideology of Capitalism is one of extraction, so by extension there is no long term future for the ideology of Capitalism, well not if we really want a clean healthy planet for the future that is…but then the other big problem with capitalism is that it also extracts and then rewards many of the worst parts of human nature,
    As one of it main proponents admitted this is not a good thing…
    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a House committee that the banking and housing crisis is a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami.” When asked if his ideology pushed him to make bad decisions, Greenspan said he found a “flaw” in his governing ideology that has led him to re-examine his thinking.

  5. One Two 5

    Solid article, KJT…

    Well written…

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    “Capitalism is cannibalising, the human and natural environment, it needs to survive.”

    Yup. Your purist level capitalists aren’t much smarter than a jar of fruit flies – they expand beyond the resource base instead of investing in growing it.

    We see that pretty graphically in fisheries – a resource pyramid ultimately founded on algae. Human impacts on snapper and large crayfish have left kina unpredated. The kina in turn have browsed away the macrocystis canopy, and presumably most of the smaller algae too, creating the kina barrens that extend from most of our coasts now.

    Any plans to reforest macrocystis? It’s the fastest growing carbon soak around after all. Industry hasn’t even considered it. They’ll wait for the govt to do it, all the while pretending, while producing 1% of the returns and employment of a well-managed fishery, that they are the ‘professionals’, and that any step in the direction of sustainability is bad crazy.

  7. No one has yet found a better system for allocation of day to day resources, within a community, than a market capitalist system….which is why in 2019, in a wealthy, environmentally blessed, politically stable country like NZ we have whole families living in spare bedrooms and couch surfing, and old women living in vans and emptying their colostomy bags in public toilets…

    • indiana 7.1

      I don’t think your examples provide enough evidence that capitalism is the issue. It seems that the governments ability to deploy the welfare programs is failing or the people who need access to the welfare programs are failing to get to them.

      • Siobhan 7.1.1

        Ah, so Capitalism is fine its the Government and the poor who are at fault?. You’d think the spokesmen and fanboys for Capitalism, the Banks, the Employers Groups, the Capitalist Think Tanks would be on to that, telling the Government to be bigger and bolder in their Welfare programs.

        • Gosman 7.1.1.1

          You assume they haven’t been doing that. Many “Capitalist” think tanks have advocated for better welfare models.

          https://nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/reports/welfare-work-and-wellbeing-from-benefits-to-better-lives/

          • KJT 7.1.1.1.1

            Except the ex business round table thinks welfare is the problem, not poverty.

            An obvious fallacy.

            Typical of ACTiod thinking, however.

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Incorrect. You obviously didn’t read that paper.

              • KJT

                “ur system has passively fostered a self-perpetuating cycle of misery and benefit dependency. Around 15% of our children come to the authorities’ attention for abuse or neglect concerns by age 18.

                The evidence is stark. Benefit-dependent parents are producing benefit-dependent children. Nearly threequarters of those on a benefit by age 25 had a parent on a benefit.

                Early entry to the benefits system foreshadows long-term benefit dependence. It also indicates likely child abuse, neglect and youth justice issues. Teenage beneficiaries tend to be long-term beneficiaries. At 30 June 2016 those with this history accounted for 75% of the future fiscal cost of working age benefits. That represents 75% of $76 billion”.

                The assumption made above is that welfare makes for welfare dependency. A common right wing fallacy.
                Parents in poverty, produce children in poverty.

                Which wasn’t the case when I was young. My parents had buggerall money. None of my family are poor, now. Because welfare and social benefits were adequate, for families to pull themselves out, before the 80’s.

          • Siobhan 7.1.1.1.2

            But we don’t want more welfare…I don’t want more Accommodation allowances paid to prop up ‘The Market’ of housing/rentals. Or insulation subsidies to prop up other businesses (landlords) that are not fit for purpose.

            And I don’t want more welfare in the form of Family Tax Credits to compensate for low wages demanded by corporate and business requirements for Profit.

            And I don’t want more Welfare money put into vital services like Rape Crisis etc so they can be taken over by foreign Corporate interests.

            Using ‘Welfare’ for profit..of course they want ‘better’ models…dealing with the poor and disabled..its a growth industry.

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/05/company-profits-welfare-payments-society

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I didn’t realise that only YOUR prescription for welfare reform were valid.

              • KJT

                The Neo-liberal cut welfare to the bone, to force people into exploitative low wage Mcjobs, has so obviously failed, that I wonder how even, the ex business round table, has the cheek to keep proposing it.

                The only way to get people out of poverty is to pay them more. Worked for me!

                • Gosman

                  Except no person proposing neoliberal economic policies have EVER advocated that as a policy prescription. This is merely YOUR biased take on it. It would be like a right leaning person classifying a CGT as “Tax the rich till they bleed”.

                  • KJT

                    What Neo-liberals do, and what they say they do, are two different things.
                    That is how they get re-elected.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It also means their opinions on mixed economies aren’t particularly useful to the discussion.

                      Things like the fraudulent academies that were exploiting students and in fact gaming our immigration system for profit require government intervention. But the real solution to them should be cultural rather than legal, as is the case with most for-profit scams. That’s not to say we may not throw the book at such abusers, but the intention is not to play cops and robbers with them, but that education providers are indeed that, and not scoundrels selling fake qualifications and an end run around the visa system.

                  • solkta

                    You must be too young to remember the mother of all bitches, Jenny Shipley.

              • Siobhan

                Oh that’s so classic Gosman..I had originally posted my comment using the phrase “We don’t”…but then I thought to myself, some nob like Gosman will come on and say “Don’t say ‘we'”…. note to self…don’t try and second guess one’s betters…

            • KJT 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Yes. That is ‘welfare’ for everyone, but the poor.

              A feature of Neo-Liberalism.

              Then they wonder why “welfare” is not working?

              • Siobhan

                Much as I too like to blame the neo liberals for our current predicament..Its been this way since the birth of Capitalism. ‘Welfare’ is just another policy designed to serve the interests of the few. To quote Chomsky quoting Adam Smith..

                “So, yes, in that sense capitalism actually works to undermine democracy. But what has just been described — that is, the vicious cycle of concentration of power and wealth — is so traditional that it is even described by Adam Smith in 1776. He says in his famous Wealth of Nations that, in England, the people who own society, in his days the merchants and the manufacturers, are “the principal architects of policy.” And they make sure that their interests are very well cared for, however grievous the impact of the policies they advocate and implement through government is on the people of England or others.”

                • KJT

                  From WW2, right up until the 80’s in New Zealand, we had an effective State housing system as well as education, health care and an adequate welfare backstop for all.

                  Poverty was almost non existent when was growing up, and it was possible for kids from poor homes to get into training and good jobs.

                  This system wasn’t broken enough for the neo-Liberals to burgle.

                  So they had to fix that fault.

    • KJT 7.2

      I identified the problem in the post.

      Not enough socialism in our current mix.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Good article KJT,

    Capitalism only succeeds when others are made economic slaves to the ideology that they will only succeed to become rich when the capitalist establishment succeeds.

    They always use the hackneyed terms like the term “trickle down” theory, and that is the one they falsely use in their folly.

    Capitalism = wholesale exploitation.

    • Gosman 8.1

      Who uses terms like “trickle down” ? The main people I know who do this is left wingers attacking Capitalism.

      Most right wingers I know use empirical data to back up their view that Capitalism benefits the greatest number of people compared to other systems.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        Gosman speaks rubbish,

        Capitalism caused the the 1929 depressions and all recessions we have suffered right though our history and also the 2008 GFC through rorting and extortion.

        Read your history, and don’t forget to buy your new glasses as you miss reading other posts properly.

        You quoted me referring to ‘Socialists’ when i did nothing of the sort I referred to ‘Global’.

        At 4.3 see there.

        Open mike 25/02/2019

        I will accept your apology.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Why did you post anything about Globalists on a post about Venezuela?

          • cleangreen 8.1.1.1.1

            Gosman

            You are just avoiding the issue here.

            The problem you have is that you only talk rubbish and nothing of value to us all.

            Find another hobby,

            Capitalist forever you are for sure.

            • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              No, you attempted to derail my comment about Venezuela by bringing in an irrelevant point about global debt levels. You also seem to be doing something similar here. The real question is why do you want to do that?

              • left_forward

                Haha, that’s a good one Gos.
                I guess your synapses have already made room for more shit and discarded all memory of your ‘trickle-down’ attempted derailment BS at the beginning of the thread.
                Why are you doing any of this, what’s more to the question?

      • KJT 8.1.2

        Only if it is mixed with socialism.

        Pure capitalist countries, are the most miserable on earth.

      • KJT 8.1.3

        Gosman.

        A hell of a lot of the reaction, including your own, to taxing wealth with a CGT, proves that ” trickle down” is alive and well in the right wing DNA

        • Gosman 8.1.3.1

          What is my reaction to the proposed CGT ? I don’t believe I’ve made much comment about it.

          • Sam 8.1.3.1.1

            In truth, no one really cares about how you react, gooie. I like trolling you, I really do, but I like the truth even more. And the truth is private ownership isn’t going anywhere in New Zealand while the treaty is in place.

            • Gosman 8.1.3.1.1.1

              If KJT didn’t care why did they reference my opinion on the topic?

              • Sam

                If? There is no way for me to prove that, and kind of stupid for you to try and get me to prove that. Really stupid.

                • Gosman

                  Apparently you DO know what everyone thinks here because this is what you posted “In truth, no one really cares about how you react…”. If you seemingly know how everyone thinks you should be able to answer my question specifically about KJT. Unless you now admit you don’t know how everyone thinks and are just making it up.

                  • Sam

                    Let’s say that you make a claim about laughing by posting a laughing emoji. How on earth am I meant to prove that you actually laughed out loud. It’s total nonsense. You, gooie, are total nonsense. Now concede.

          • KJT 8.1.3.1.2

            Several.

            Not lots.

            Was it Shadracks turn?

      • KJT 8.1.4

        Empirical data shows a mix of socialist and capitalist policies work.

        Pure, Capitalism, has been even less successful, than totalitarian communism.

        • Gosman 8.1.4.1

          What example of pure Capitalism are you offering up? I hope you don’t try the intellectually lazy option of Somalia.

          • KJT 8.1.4.1.1

            Honduras. Haiti. West Virginia. Post Soviet Russia.
            Iraq.

            No doubt you will counter with “the intellectually lazy option” of Venezuela.
            Soon to be a concrete example of right wing dictatorship, increasing poverty and corruption. Just like the other 80 odd countries where the USA has bought “Democracy”.

            • Gosman 8.1.4.1.1.1

              None of those countries are examples of pure Capitalism. Every one of them has quite major State involvement in the economy.

              • KJT

                More Sophistry.

                Close to “pure” capitalism when the roads only get mended if someone does it for coins from passing drivers.

                The State, in Russia, is a bunch of unregulated thieves. The libertarian dream.

                • Gosman

                  That isn’t pure capitalism. That is only YOUR definition of it. Do you want me to tie Socialism to what happened in Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1990?

                  • KJT

                    About as pure as you can get.

                    I know a few Russians.

                    The ones that live in Russia, reckon at least you got paid, fed and housed, under the Soviets. You had to keep your mouth shut or you got incarcerated. That hasn’t changed. The number of people in poverty, has.
                    Government by corporate crooks.

                    The point is, the closer a country gets towards “pure” capitalism the more of a disaster it becomes.

                    Democratic socialist countries are doing fine, until they get the Neo-Liberal religion..

                    • Gosman

                      Having a corrupt government is not pure capitalism. In fact reducing the influence of government BECAUSE it inclines to corruption is pure capitalism.

                    • Sam

                      That’s not what the Father of capitalism, Adam Smith said about capitalism. Reckoned classical liberals otherwise known as conservitives where dead set against concentrations of corporate power because they viewed it as a return to feudalism. This coming from the guy who brought about capitalism.

                    • KJT

                      Nothing to do with reducing the influence of Democracy, in Government, because it interferes with corporate, corruption. Eh, Gossy?

                    • KJT

                      “Pure”capitalists love Government.

                      So long as they do what they are told.

                      Hence the enthusiast support of the Nazi’s, from US industrialists.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Short answer is no, humanity and the planet do not have a future with capitalism.

    The extreme moneybags will never curtail their activities voluntarily, or learn to share with others.

    The ‘tendency for the rate of profit to fall over time’ as described by Marx and Engels, means a constant chasing of “growth”, ramping up of exploitation, increased corporate concentration and monopolisation, and finance capital shifting digital funds around.

    NZ has thousands of small businesses in hock to Finance Capital aka banks, the operators petit bourgeois “be your own boss” fantasies are another political obstacle in this country to removing the 30 year neo liberal experiment, that sees 50% of New Zealanders owning just 2% of the wealth with little or no assets and savings.

    Political change will come, necessitated by AI and the end of full time paid work for many–but can it possibly come in time to save our only home?

  10. Mark 10

    There is a future for the free market that is truly free in the way that one may go to a farmers market and get the best deal for eggs and tomatoes.
    And like anything good, it has to be regulated for the benefit of all of society.

    You would never get a Central Committee having complete control over economic flow and relationships coming up with an iPhone or my Huawei p20 Pro (a flippin fantastic phone). But these two products also demonstrate the drawbacks of the market —the tendency towards monopolisation. But monopolisation can be good thing in some respects, for example consistent industry standards. Microsoft is a case in point. Imagine if the designer of say, an engineering finite element software package had to design for multitude of different platforms, instead of just one (many will just simply ignore the mac operating system)

    Not sure what the solution is, but presidents as early as Roosevelt (the first one) and Wilson struggled with this problem – instead of our lives being governed by a central committee they are governed by corporations and big pharma (the latter is going to be of increasing daily relevance to thousands of sick New Zealanders).

    We all need to revisit Marx and read him carefully for the solutions. And perhaps look to the example of China (and I’m being completely serious).

    • Michael 10.1

      I don’t think Marx is the answer – at least, not without substantial revision and modification. Marx was a man of his time and place, both of which have passed (like him). Instead, there are a number of later progressive thinkers (not all within the Marxist tradition, although some of them are) proposing a range of possible alternatives to neoliberal dogma. Some of these ideas will be good, others bad, but no one, anywhere, can deliver utopia, including Uncle Karl and his progeny. The yearning for utopian solutions (“the best is the enemy of the good”) is a clear pathway to loss and suffering. It is also the antithesis of freedom and liberty (goals to which lefties, like me, should pay more attention).

      • Sam 10.1.1

        China’s one party communist government is the most powerful non-western state and even there economy is dependant on every one else running capitalist democracies so they have client states with which to trade resources and feed 1.5 billion people. So currently there is no natural force against capitalism and it’s unlikely to materialise until the “Great Modern Age Collapse” like the Great Bronze Age Collapse before.

        • Mark 10.1.1.1

          Capitalism is part of the answer and a necessary stage towards the evolution of a socialist society. For its time capitalism was a progressive force, in mobilising industry and developing technology. The vibrant and energetic capitalist countries imperialised the world bringing great suffering, but also progress, both technological and social. Slavery was abolished and also in many cases feudalism. That was a positive thing – after all who would want a return of footbinding or Sati? But there was also gross exploitation of foreign peoples that continues today and at home the means production are concentrated in the hands of a few. Nevertheless the enormous profits brought about by the exploitation of the rest of the world enabled the Western capitalists to buy off their own workers and provide them with a relatively comfortable standard of living. With the independence and then rise of non-Western countries, particularly China, and to a lesser extent India, a huge pool of poor people was opened up to compete with the privileged working class in the West. But nonetheless it allowed these countries to bootstrap their industry and means of production and has enabled the economic centre to shift towards the east. The next step is for countries like China to return to socialism and use this wealth to benefit all (which they have by all measures been quite successful in).

          • Sam 10.1.1.1.1

            Two things that in aware of that’s driving the rise of Chinese power. 1) Indonesian moves to get the bomb back in the 90’s sent China into a defence industry expansion. 2) Himalayan glacial melt, once gone 100s of millions of Chinese lose ability to irrigate agricultural land and drinking water. One is gone and stopped being a threat while unrestrained industrialisation continues to be a threat against the continued existence of humanity. Definitely state power faces anhihalation but as individuals to survive the crushing limits of population decline has to be limited to 2000 people just to maintain genetic diversity. I mean with all the wonders of the western world we’d have to be pretty low on the IQ scale to allow the population to dip below 2000.

        • KJT 10.1.1.2

          It seems to me, given recent events, that the “Western Capitalist States” are dependent on China.

          Watch New Zealand and the UK, backtracking frantically, because China is sneezing.

          • Sam 10.1.1.2.1

            Idk. China has a policy to lift the last 100 million Chinese above the poverty line so there’s still a shit ton of growth and they’ve got a whole bunch of Middle East and African sea ports to do it. Besides, who doesn’t want to be apart of raising a hundred million people above the poverty line. It’s just weird not being able to celebrate that.

  11. rata 11

    I am certain this Labour Government
    is going to be the best Government ever.

    • Michael 11.1

      I wish I was.

    • cleangreen 11.2

      Yes rata and Mark,

      we hope Labour can save us as we cannot sustain ‘Capitalism’ any more as they caused the depressions and recessions and the 2008 GFC.

      So now we have the most indebted Global economic crash about to hit us all we had better plan for our way out of it and your point is clear labour will need to install measures so we can start a new path forward using another way like ‘the new deal’ of our past leaders put in place before.

      A man came to NZ and said “I don’t want to see New Zealanders become tenants in their own land” then he opened the country up to sell it; he was a liar and he was our last elected prime minister; – his name was John Key.

    • indiana 11.3

      Best? Or the government that increases the cost of living the greatest?

  12. NZJester 12

    When it comes to the Free Market capitalists say they want, on paper, it looks like a great system. The problem is it is far to open without regulation to manipulation and has been manipulated all the time by those with money.
    (In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and by consumers. In a free market the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, or by other authority.)
    The problem is that a lot of so-called capitalits are actually against the free market by getting governments to put in rules in their favor to allow them to grab more of the profits. Workers joining together, for instance, to form Unions to advocate for worker’s safety and getting a fair share of the profits is the free market putting in some bargaining balance for the workers. But all the time you see a lot of big businesses using their money to try and break the unions so that they can force wages and work safety down to grab a bigger share of the profits for themselves.
    Another problem too is that in making their money a lot of the time no thought is given to the environment or health of those around their business. In some third world countries where businesses have the governments in their pocket through bribery, they have polluted the environment at will and had those imprisoned or killed for trying to speak out against them because it will damage their profits if people knew.

  13. Adrian Thornton 13

    Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism…

    I don’t think anyone has said this about capitalism…here is a great interview with the author on Behind the News.
    [audio src="http://shout.lbo-talk.org/lbo/RadioArchive/2018/18_11_29.mp3" /]

    In fact capitalism seems to pervert human sex and sexuality by of course commodifying it…just like everything beautiful it touches capitalism will eventually poison and eventually destroy it…just look at the art world today.

  14. adam 14

    Capitalism or Liberalism as it is otherwise known, is just an ideology to justify sociopathy.

  15. Byd0nz 15

    A world without money,
    A simple idea,
    Can you understand the context,
    Please let me hear.

    A world without money means, that mankind will finally come to the realization that every living thing has the same thing in common, Earth. Our common interest is the planet on which we stand.
    Given we all are classed as humans, and are all relying on the well being of the planet for our very existence.
    The planet becomes the main focus in the way we live and work. A complete change of mind-set that would leap mankind forward to a an intelligent and just future in a world free of the division of money. All life be it plant, insect or animal be of an equal footing, this means No poverty, no hunger and No economies. No war,all of that,at last, becomes the past
    No products to be made that harms the environment. Strict short and long term research.
    Quality engineered products
    Scientific planning to avoid wasting resources.
    To keep the planet healthy will require substantial manpower which means most people will be employed to that end.
    Every human would receive the needs required for a comfortable healthy life. This includes leisure time and activities of their choosing, clubs of every hue will be supplied with the necessary equipment needed for such activities.For this people would be required to work at their best in whatever field their abilities are suited.
    Technology would leap forward in all fields to the benefit of mankind and our planet.
    A world without money, a mindset of togetherness, A world order committed to the well-being and benefit of all living things.
    Money as it is and has been, does not make resources, does not invent or make things, people make things, invent things, solve problems, make technology that can benefit life of all. Money or the lack of it causes all the problems faced by the world today. For any sum of money banked or invested by anyone, means, they don’t need that money but other people are and have died from starvation or any of the multitude of problems that the lack of money brings.
    Surely the human race will finally figure it out and make that monumental leap forward to a beautiful world, a world without money.
    The question, or quandary then, is,
    What state will the Planet be in when it happens

  16. Pat 16

    “The motivation behind capitalists’ is profit. Getting out more than you put in. Why start a business and take that risk, if you are going to make the same amount as you would as an employee.”

    Although you have specified “capitalists” there are other reasons to start a business, possibly one of them is your own…you may wish to work in a particular field, you see a lack in the market or you may have no alternative….not every business is started with the intention of becoming wealthy, indeed many are started for a lifestyle choice….but there is much to agree with in your post, particularly the impact of large markets where it is difficult to ‘know’ those with whom you trade and their motivations.

    • Pat 17.1

      will have a look…another thought…although most NZ business people would probably self describe as “capitalist’ the reality is they are not necessarily….if your business requires your personal labour to succeed then id submit you are not operating a “capitalist’ model….and most NZ businesses are small/medium enterprises that require the owners active input…or labour

      The sniff test could be does your business make you money while you sleep?

  17. David Mac 18

    I want to be at the helm of the outcomes in my life. In our modern world it seems to me that the best way to chase that result is to have something worth buying and look for a customer.

    I don’t think ‘So what steps are you taking to overcome your poverty?’ should be a rude question. It should be a question that prompts an answer with windows we can reach into and assist.

  18. RedLogix 19

    KJT

    In general the OP is a reasonable overview; I don’t have any quibble with most of it’s points.

    In summary, the most successful models so far blend the wealth generating power of capitalism and the wealth distributing power of socialism. The trick is maintaining the balance.

    The 20th century marxist disasters clearly inform us what happens when the balance is tilted excessively towards collectivist authoritarianism; diminishing, erasing even, the individual and the role of private property. Marx formulated his ideas in a narrow slice of history, the opening decades of the First Industrial Revolution, and as a consequence his diagnosis was limited. It’s my view that if the he was writing in modern times; with the benefit of hindsight on the past 200 years, his proposals may well have been a lot different.

    Emboldened by the fall of the Soviet Union the neo-liberal revolution of the 80’s broke the Western social balance in the other direction, toward unconstrained capitalism, exploitation of the commons, and libertarian excesses. In the past 40 years we have seen much of the gains generated by the Second Industrial Revolution captured by a small elite.

    Let me be clear on this; neither of these extremes has been a success, nor in the long run is either obviously sustainable. Each in their own way abuse both human dignity and the planet we all depend on. Yet of the 200 odd nations on earth, barely 20 to 30 have achieved this precarious balance between these extremes. It is as if the desirable equilibrium is both difficult to reach, and may well be prone to instability in the long run.

    This tension between the collectivist impulse and the sovereignty of the individual may derive from two fundamental aspects of human nature; the left is motivated by empathy for the downtrodden and weak, while the right responds to notions of just reward for effort and adjudication of the law. One is primarily linked to compassion, the other justice.

    Rolling these ideas together I’m persuaded that as a species we have are exhausting the possibilities of social models glued together on these two impulses alone. It’s as if we need to reach for a third dimension to both unleash our potential and instantiate the sustainability we so lamentably lack at present.

    • Sans Cle 19.1

      Hi KJT. I’m interested to push your thoughts a bit further.
      What would Marx be writing about, if he were alive today?
      Are neo-Marxists writing about redistribution, rather than overhaul of the system?
      Where does the “Occupy” movement sit, in relation to contemporary Marxian discourse? And what in your opinion are examples of neo-Marxian responses to capitalism?

      • KJT 19.1.1

        Marx, was, of course responding to the issues of his time.

        I suspect he would be horrified with the Soviet corruption of his ideas.

        Many useful points from reading Marx however.

        The tendency of the rate of return for capitalism, profit, towards zero and the ever increasing repression by the ruling capitalist class, to keep their greater share, is just one that reflects later events.

        Adam Smith and more recently, Ha Joon Chang, have a different take on capitalism.
        Ha Joon Changs ideas reflect empirical reality more closely, than any of the Chicago schools delusions.

        Adam Smith on paying workers fairly, and taxing rent seekers and landowners, rather than workers and entrepreneurship, conflicts with the modern view, of those who cannot be bothered to read, that he was a free market fanatic.

        Ha Joon Chang, on how the West become prosperous, then rigged the system so the global South couldn’t follow, is informative. Especially now that China has done a home run around the USA, using much the same techniques that succeeded in enriching the US.

        Your questions, I’m sorry, will take more thought than I have time for.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 19.2

      RL, I admire your optimism, but don’t share it. Reaching for “a third dimension” to “unleash our potential” should polish most of us off a bit faster, which might be a mercy in the end.

      Humanity will continue to find new ways to ‘grow’, until it can grow no more – it’s what we’ve always done, and it has propelled us to previously unimaginable heights.

      BUT. IT. JUST. CAN’T. GO. ON.

  19. This link in todays NYT.

    And very relevant it is for todays world.

    Because, it seems to be the feeling in so many countries now for the young people.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/world/europe/britain-austerity-socialism.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  20. greywarshark 21

    Jordan Peterson mouthing off again with his own peculiar brand of doctrine delivered without a pause for doubt, because there isn’t any. How come this man is a go to person of how everything is, was and will be?

    He poisons the idea of women’s advances saying that men are held back by them and disses small communities as only a place for drop-outs that would degenerate into nihilism and suicide. No thought for little artisan villages that coud be halfway self-sufficient and make specialist goods to sell for the other half. The only thing for the small isolated community with single mothers and alcoholics in one breath; is to go to the city where there are opportunities. I wonder if there is room for another Jordan Peterson type or has he established a monopoly on fatuous talking heads.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/383212/small-isolated-fragmented-communities-not-viable-psychologist

    • RedLogix 21.1

      I think you’ve overreaching a bit. In my experience Peterson is more correct than not, small isolated fragments of communities do indeed struggle over the long run. The nearest example to NZ was Tasmania where up until about the 70’s numerous, small and isolated communities did indeed degenerate in a number of ways, exactly as Peterson describes.

      The key word here is isolation … as in the sense of boundaries. Boundaries are both necessary to both define and protect a community, but also must have a selective porosity to enable the exchange of people, genes and ideas. Even the smallest biological unit, the cell operates in much the same way. Even your little artisan villages that coud be halfway self-sufficient and make specialist goods to sell for the other half is predicated in this idea …

      The romantic, hippy ideal of the self-sustaining community turned out to be a complete failure wherever it was tried. In the long run they all depended on linkages to the wider world.

      • Sam 21.1.1

        So the average rural wage, as you will well know real logic, is about $21k. Highest earning rural job is dairy and it shouldn’t be controversial to say dairy is over intensified so no growth there. The Government and Tourism NZ have a tourism strategy, yknon the clean green ads. But the average wage for a rural tourist job is about $19k so the more tourism we do, the poorer we get.

        Just to maintain the average wage we’d have to get into manufacturing or tech companies and that requires coordination with education providers, local and central government and business.

        I’d tune into Peterson if he’s going on about psycho analytics and stuff. As for economics Peterson has as much experience at economics Kiwi style than any other armchair analyst.

        • RedLogix 21.1.1.1

          I don’t trust the linked article all that much, most journo’s have proven flakey and selective interpreters of Peterson indeed.

          But given what is there I’m assuming he’s speaking to the youth suicide rate in our small communities like Kawerau for instance. (I lived there for seven years so I have some sense of the place.) Peterson grew up in an even more isolated town on the northern most edge of the Alberta prairies, and has spoken of his close personal connection with an Indigenous Canadian community, so he’s likely to have some first-hand awareness of this topic.

          Australia has an even worse problem in it’s more isolated communities; a double whammy of Aboriginal cultural alienation and social isolation sees some communities grappling with suicide clusters that have almost become normalised.

          I would imagine he was speaking to the pathologies of these places rather than their economics ….

          • Sam 21.1.1.1.1

            The people you speak of are conquered over multiple generations. Of course they are going to be pathological. You can’t really point to conquered people and say look, they’re eating rodents and signal that as a correlation. So if centralised control is relaxed then they’ll go back to what they where doing before people get conquered. Can make the same argument for The African Assembly. Reason the African Assembly leap frogs the EU in global GDP rankings is because Africa is regulatory liberal so business can do a lot more in Africa than Europe.

            Y’know and if you want a high suicide rate then you could probably copy NZ rural policy sets with strong police presence pushing people off of productive land and giving chinamen water rights. It doesn’t take a freaking genius.

      • McFlock 21.1.2

        That’s a powerful amount of extrapolation from the term “rural and isolated”.

        Hell, if we tack in error bars, I’d be moderately surprised if NZ had a demonstrable urban/rural divide in suicide rates. You could use DHBs as a pretty good proxy.

        But There’s a clear gradient in suicide rates by deprivation, and lesser (but serious) disparities iby ethnicity. But “viability” is easier to write off than “equity”.

        • RedLogix 21.1.2.1

          The problem lies with the linked RNZ article; it omits the context of the question that had been put to Peterson. We can only assume it was framed around the question of youth suicide and events like this:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5569093/Lessons-in-Kawerau-suicides-experts

          • McFlock 21.1.2.1.1

            Why must we assume anything?

          • McFlock 21.1.2.1.2

            But to bring it around to the topic of the post, the idea of “viability” of small communities is applicable only under capitalism. As soon as we provide services to rural communities according to their need, rather than ignoring them or (at best) providing resources based on “per capita” formulas with little practical recognition of either the needs brought about by geography or the value these communities add to our nation, its appeal and its character, chances are any extant urban/rural inequity will disappear.

          • Sam 21.1.2.1.3

            Still fancy me a bit of Jordan Peterson every now and then. Thing is, I come from a fatherless background, also that the egalitarian background I grew up in, in a state house with a single mother, having that safety net helped me as well and 90% of state house kids are all left. So when I hear Peterson go on about Marxist ideology and the perils of the egalitarian lifestyle I’m like fuck this Peterson, who the hell does he think he is.

        • KJT 21.1.2.2

          Rural and urban suicide rates in New Zealand are similar.

      • WeTheBleeple 21.1.3

        You got some wise cells running round in that grey matter, that’s for sure.

        I envisage we can be of the global community via the internet, and extremely local re: food, clothing shelter. So our basic needs are never again at the whim of foreign markets, but we have the exchanges necessary for evolution/adaptation to a changing world, and trade in goods not locally produced.

        The capitalist ‘competition’ has led to division in every field. The alternative is monopoly of a field. Both are highly problematic. We spend resources on advertising executives, pamphlets, billboards, psychology…. instead of a damn fine product.

        Capitalism is the shiny wrapper hiding nasty competitive extractive wasteful industries.

        Primary production is a function of sunlight.

        Why is my comment awaiting moderation? I’m not a stranger here.

  21. Jenny - How to get there? 22

    Scientific American weighs in on the matter:

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/revolt-against-the-rich/

    …..Rising inequality leads to a “vicious spiral,” Stiglitz contends, that subverts democracy. Economic inequality “translates into political inequality, which leads to rules that favor the wealthy, which in turn reinforces economic inequality.” Stiglitz recommends countering inequality with campaign-finance reform, cheaper education and, yes, higher taxes on the rich.

    In The Atlantic, economics writer Derek Thompson rejects the claim that raising taxes on the wealthy will stifle economy-fueling innovation. New York City and San Francisco, which have two of the highest income-tax rates in the U.S., are “hubs of innovation.” Countries with higher tax rates than the U.S. also have higher rates of entrepreneurship.

    Conservatives contend that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk deserve their riches, because they created products that improve our lives and spur economic growth. The government, in contrast, wastes tax dollars. Actually, economist Mariana Mazzucato points out in Harvard Business Review, government-funded research underpins the modern tech boom.

    The Internet and ”nearly all the technologies in the iPhone (including GPS, Siri, and touchscreen)” stemmed from federal research, Mazzucato says. “And in the energy sector, solar, nuclear, wind, and even shale gas were primed by public finance. Elon Musk’s three companies Solar City, Tesla, and Space X have received over $4.9 billion in public support.”

    Making the case for higher taxes, New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo writes that “technology is creating a world where a few billionaires control an unprecedented share of global wealth.” Extreme wealth “buys political power, it silences dissent, it serves primarily to perpetuate ever-greater wealth, often unrelated to any reciprocal social good.”…..

  22. patricia bremner 23

    Capitalism is basically about building up capital.
    In NZ we gave them free rein. We allowed capitalists to amass capital and we taxed everything but that. Now we are discussing taxing capital..woohoo!! The sky might fall.

    Can we survive without capitalism? Yes if we live like Tibetan monks.
    That is the antithesis. Some where between is possibly a more acceptable state.

    No society has legislated greed out of their system. This is a social decision people make for themselves based on moral concepts or religious positions.
    Basically humans every where tell stories of great greed and great selflessness because they understand they are the opposite sides of the same coin.

    If we are successful and have capital, we fight the notion of greed as we know we have more because someone else has less. Those with less know it is not fair, as do many who are well off, so they start charities and place a plaster on their conscience and the blemish of poverty.

    Many have been lifted out of poverty by capitalism so it is said. Could there be a better way, probably, but it is too late to completely change, so modifying is our best current hope in the face of climate change. IMO

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New digital service to make business easy
    A new digital platform aims to make it easier for small businesses to access services from multiple government agencies, leaving them more time to focus on their own priorities. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash ...
    52 mins ago
  • Million-dollar start to gun collection events
    Million-dollar start to gun collection events  Police Minister Stuart Nash says a solid start has been made to the gun buyback and amnesty after the first weekend of community collection events. “Gun owners will walk away with more than ...
    1 day ago
  • Praise after first firearms collection event
    Police Minister Stuart Nash has praised Police and gun owners after the first firearms collection event saw a busy turnout at Riccarton Racecourse in Christchurch. “Police officers and staff have put a tremendous effort into planning and logistics for the ...
    1 day ago
  • New Police constables deployed to regions
    Seventy-eight new Police constables are heading out to the regions following today’s graduation of a new recruit wing from the Royal New Zealand Police College. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the record high number of new Police officers being recruited, ...
    1 week ago