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06/03/2012

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Terry Bennett

Thank you, Dr. Becker. Whatever its imperfections, capitalism is necessarily senior to communism. If there were no capitalism, there would be no rich people to tax, and communist idealism - by which I mean the impulse to make things better by taking things from some people and giving them to other people - would not arise at all.

Some collective action is appropriate: national defense is surely a better approach than individual defense. However, this fundamental anger at individuals who produce more than they consume, and thus become rich, is so obviously flawed that its manipulation by certain politicians who should know better can only be explained as offensive pandering.

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Tim Worstall

Re China.

My favourite example is from Angus Maddison's figures. In 1978 (the real start of the change) the country's GDP per capita was the same as the UK's in 1600 AD. By 2010 it was the same as the UK's in 1948.

350 years of economic development packed into 32 years.

NEH

When we talk "CAPITALISM" are we talking Capitalism with a Capital "C" or capitalism with a lowercase "c". It all comes down to the harmonizing of interests. "Financial/Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural and Societal". No Harmonization, Capital "C", Harmonized, lower case "c".

As for the "China" example, Instead of classifying it as a "Capitalist" system I would prefer to see it classified as a "Statist" economy covered over with a veneer of "capitalism" all controlled by the Communist State. They have learned their lessons well. Something we could do well to relearn...

TANSTAAFL

The conceit that government can orchestrate a "harmonizing of interests" runs contrary to the principle of economic liberty on which America was founded. And Hayek, too.

ezra abrams

your opening is a straw herring.
It is not just the awful econ situation that has galvanized the left; it is
a) the lack of any prosecution of the wealthy. The poor and middle class have paid - in foreclosures (which affect neighbors) broken homes, divorces suicides etc
and the wealthy ? poor things, they had to down grade from a Bentley to a Mercedes S class
As you know, not one - not one- banker or wall street exec under crimminal indictment.
b) the bizarre logic of the right wing extremists, like Bachmann, calling for the EPA to be shut down. I suppose, I could list a long list of similar things.

But enough of this silly theory; in a country (ours) where kids go to bed hungry, while the VCs get low tax rates via carried interest exemption, the idea that we are attacking the capitialists is silly; it is they, like a cancer, that are attacking us.

surely you know of the ratio of worker/ceo pay, from Mitt Romney (who didn't create any jobs - he used financial shenanigans to destroy jobs and recreate them at min wage, pocketing the diff) back to his father, what a change.

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But enough of this silly theory; in a country (ours) where kids go to bed hungry, while the VCs get low tax rates via carried interest exemption, the idea that we are attacking the capitialists is silly; it is they, like a cancer, that are attacking us.

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Give yourself set goals, one year, two years, five years, and maybe you was born as well as others, through hard work, often can change the fate of 70%. Broken falls can only make friends and cowardice.

NEH

affl, Before passing off a euphemism for "Anarcho-capitalism ("Economic Liberty")as a two second sound bite on the history of American Political Economy, may I suggest you peruse and study closely the following:

First Secretary of the U.S. Treasurey to the U.S. Congress:
"First Report on Public Credit"
"Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports"
"Second Report on Public Credit"
"Report on the Establishment of a Mint"
"Report on Manufactures"

American Political Philosopher Raymond:
"Elements of Constitutional Law"
"Thoughts on Political Economy"
"Elements of Political Economy"

Theorists on the American School of Political Economy, Matthew and Henry Carey:
"Essays on Political Economy"
"The Harmony of Interests"
"And others"

German Political Economist List's responses to A.Smith:
"The National System of Political Economy"
"And others"

That's the problem with "Free Speech", every uneducated buffon is allowed their two seconds on the "Soap Box". No matter what kind of poison comes out of their mouths... ;)

Ben

"The result was a several fold increase in per capita income that raised the incomes of the poor by about as large a percentage as the incomes of the upper middle class and even the rich."

Evidence?

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Very insightful. A nice different perspective.

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Oliver Holloway

The root problem with America's competitive capitalism is that currently it's not all that competitive. Is it reasonable to consider the possibility that progressive redistribution can keep competition high and fair, thus ensuring the benefits of capitalism for all participants? As an example, consider that every major sports leagues implements progressive redistribution so as to keep the competition high and the product ever-improving.

Steve Beebe

What might be equally instructive about the China example is to look at the degree of government orchestration of the growth and exercise of competitive private enterprise. China's success was not from an unfettered approach to capitalism such as advocated by Greenspan et al, but a managed approach.

If we weren't so proud, we could perhaps learn something.

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China is one very good example you’ve stated. Many struggling countries can learn much from China’s experience.But there are countless factors at work in every development effort which differ from country to country, so what may have worked for China may not work for other countries.But Isuppose certain aspects of it could, and would work entirely if adjusted to specific countries’ current situation and needs.

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I have drawn a parallel with globalization in the Indian context and traditional hierarchies here - http://treadthemiddlepath.blogspot.in/2012/06/globalisation-and-traditional.html.

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