The fine article from my friend, Bobby Tony
, deserves some observations. In some respects I totally agree. On others I total disagree. Several other need illustrating . . .
Fair is not a tenant of capitalism
/ People will instinctively make value judgment on what is best for their needs.
"FAIR" is a moral judgment in the area of ethics.
The major rule for me is: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Today it is "Do over others BEFORE they can screw you."
Today we are involved in a debate over outsourcing our manufacturing to foreign countries and the fact that most products are not made in America any more.
Many products are made in America where quality counts / many products are made outside because it is cheap and environmental values aren't there. Again, this falls in the MORAL area. If you go to Lowe's and buy a 2X4 stud (I avoid a great joke about studs washing up on Myrtle Beach in respect from the big stud of Atlanta, BT) --- it is a Canadian spruce pine which weighs about 1/4 of a good yellow pine stud. Myrtle Beach is built of such and the first hurricane that strikes there will turn it into the biggest lumber pile on the East Coast.
Here in Eastern NC pine is gold. We used to have mills on every corner providing good employment in production and harvesting. Yellow pine hardens in time to a steel strength. Old heart pine --- which you can't find anymore --- is impervious to termites because it is so hard with age. Soft Canadian Pine is easy to saw with less wasteful band saws. However, they have a 36" size log limit. Virgin pine forests of NC produced long leaf pine for British shipping. A 4-6' girth was common and men would fight over a single piece for the board feet in it. To do sawing on such you must use a big radial saw---that no longer exists.
The big issue here is QUALITY vs. QUANTITY. It takes 60 or more years for a good stand of long leaf pines to grow to maturity. The really big stuff is 100 or more years! HOWEVER the price of a stick built house is high as it was when real pine was used. The person who builds or buys a house built in the last 40 years is getting screwed on quality. Now commercial corporate builders are constructing crap that is disposable. They would be better to use plastic!
People may buy on price the first time but if the quality is not there they will not buy again and they will tell everyone they know not to buy that product.
People have been sucked into a Wal Mart mentality over price. You can't get good service and the cheapest price BOTH. You can buy via Internet and UPS delivery, BUT you can't try on the product to see how it feels and actually fits your body. The negative here is a massive traffic jam of returned goods and extra time to "replace it for free." Many good hometown stores and small towns are now empty when a Walmart opens within 20 miles---and the gas to get there plus the clutter at the cash register makes me hate this "tax-avoiding / low wage / prime example of CORPORATE GREED."
Is the evil pursuit of profit causing all this disruption or is it the increasing ability of individual choice, which forces an increase in efficiency?
BOTH --- Another 2 words for this is GREED and Self-centered.
People will instinctively make value judgment on what is best for their needs.
From Genesis accounts of Creation to today, the great mistakes of life are usually the result of wanting to be God in a Garden he provided to mankind. The tree that tempted Adam and Eve was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It wasn't an apple tree, but man's desire to know as much about good and evil as God --- instead of enjoying what he gave them for free!
Is capitalism fair or is it an abusive business practice?
Capitalism, like Communism, is a theory and not a perfect system. Capitalism, in its ideal sense is fair competition (just like in nature) with the fittest and smartest winning. This New Experiment in Democracy was based on people wanting Freedom and Justice for All. We came here tired of the "die is cast" system of the Old World. That had evolved from warring tribes roaming the land to societies, large and small, where there were laws and moral codes for getting along. As that part of earth developed, it had become a place of RULE and OBEY. The rich secured their wealth with laws of inheritance. Only the eldest SON could legally inherit the family fortune. Land Grants which established a future for sons and daughters of wealth brought the first leaders to America in the South. In the North it was more immigrants without wealth, but an opportunity to find success.
Benjamin Franklin is a prime example. He had a brilliant mind and motivation to get into publishing and writing pamphlets about freedom and the shape of the Nation of his Dreams. Others with such dreams started the Revolution because England wanted to secure their rule and taxes. Colonists didn't like sending tax money to England. The basis of our founding was GREED = take the land from the Native Americans / survey it into plots and towns and states. Make the unbounded lands of America into a map and organized society where we had to start collecting taxes for war with England, Spain, and France to have it all to ourselves. The Indians and slaves hardly got FAIR. The white settlers got rich or got screwed by others who found ways to enslave them to lower wages and less ownership.
A society based on care for our fellow citizens and charity for those in need is a core belief of our heritage.
Once we abrogate that responsibility to the government, we have lost the moral imperative and control of our belief systems. The government cannot give to someone that which is has not taken from another. But an individual or group can willing give based on their own conscience
I would say, SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME on this. Ideally the Christian Ethic of caring for the poor and imprisoned and visiting them as Jesus did, got him killed! He faced down the Pharisees who were the lawyers of his day and getting rich off religion. He whupped ass on the Temple steps for those using the fears and ideals of pilgrims to Jerusalem for their own gain. His harsh words were: "You have turned my Father's house into a den of thieves. Read Matthew 23 in a modern version for his detailed analysis of the Pharisees. . .
Our entire tax system is built around either encouraging some action or discouraging some action
One of the best ways to destroy real Capitalism is "Competition by Tax Code," in my view. If any of us can fill out the forms anymore, they are better than me with a college education. We now have Accountants, Tax Lawyers, and Tax offices just to fill out the blankety-blank forms. On top of that, the IRS much prefers to put the tax burden on employers by withholding and sending it monthly to Uncle Sam.
Anyone who increases his dependents to get more refund is a fool. The IRS pays no interest on the money saved / you are at their mercy when they change the code and your refund suddenly is less. Any small business --- where it is now almost impossible to hire workers as Independent Contractors --- has to hire another person just to do the taxes! It is easy to go to a few employers and get your money than to track down the contractors. One of my friends got into trouble over tax withholding. The lady who came to work with him said, "90% of all small businesses which go under, do so over taxes!"
That is what is happening in NC when our current leaders are "saving us tax money." The average citizen in the last 2 years of such got less back---BECAUSE THE DEDUCTIONS WENT DOWN IN THE SECRET CORNERS OF STATE ROBBERY BY THE PEN OF CHANGED TAX CODE WITHOUT NOTICE . . .Meanwhile, my $50,000 credit for new equipment is GONE / the big boys can still get a big deduction for their new private jet!!!
You should investigate the "Fair Tax". Click here
to read about the Fair Tax
RIGHT ON BOBBY TONY!!! Something's gotta give on the rape of taxpayers in the Middle Class. We sweat for a living and make less each year with more hours necessary to stay even---while the creativity on Welfare shows the poor aren't as stupid as they pretend.
For years, we have advocated that everyone must have a college degree to succeed in life.
The structure of most colleges today is as a business enterprise instead of an educational institution. Their pursuit of overly generous college loan money has created an entire population of debt-ridden graduates who do not have the prospect of ever paying back the loans. I suspect that education was never the purpose of the loan programs but the transfer of money from one group of people (taxpayers) to another group of people (educators) for indoctrinating them into a political belief
I so totally AGREE on this. When we graduated in 1963 I was told "Get all the education you can / work hard / be honest and you will have a secure retirement. Since then it has become "He/she who is the cleverest at scheming and brown-nosing will get to the top. "Just clock in, clock out, ask no questions, steal all the pencils you can to get by at home," seems to be in fashion now. If you are a black female with Affirmative Action, you are the real winner, no matter how dumb and non-productive you might be!
Repetitive jobs that require little skill are prime targets for automation.
It is not an anti-poor or anti-labor attitude that spurs innovation. It is a reality that anything that can be done cheaper and better is going to eventually be done by automation.
Let's move that to the Medical high income field, if you please. Now computers and remote operating abilities with a heart surgeon can get you fixed, even from afar! My brother had Prostate Surgery in recent years. It was done using a computer between the surgeon and the operation site so that minimal damage was done otherwise. Another friend got heart surgery with a stint in Ghana. The cost was $1500---including hospital and surgeon!!!
In this Healthcare area, the costs skyrocket / the machines cost much / the bills are escalating / required "healing hands precision" of the surgeon enabled the equipment salesman to operate as well as the experienced Surgeon as he "learns how to use the machine!"
Meanwhile the nurses are paid less for doing more as well as Aides and other "menial workers" in the elegant and nice hospital where the CEO gets paid a million bucks for making it "look good." In the corners of all major hospitals nowadays lurk germs that have developed immunity to drugs that used to kill them. Their Protocols on germs and cleaning are ignored because "the equipment costs so much."