Zero Sum

Sitting back and thinking dark thoughts is one of my least favorite pastimes. Unfortunately, it has also been one that has been occurring frequently of late. My latest little tidbit is the idea that maybe the rot that is being exposed now goes deeper than just some crooks skimming as hard as they can.

Maybe it is time to look at the core of our culture. No, I am not talking about Democracy, the Constitution, or Christianity but rather, the true core, Capitalism.

The trouble that I see with capitalism is that it truly appears to be structured on the same basic principles as a perpetual motion machine. You take a clear set of finite inputs, run them through the magic capitalism machine and at the end you have more than what you started with.

But from what I can see in the real world, it is nothing but a shell game run by rigged rules and dependent on the free flow of oil to keep it going.

The real darkness of my thoughts is that what the hell do we use to take its place?


treesong said…
I've been pondering the same thing.

And sometimes I find myself thinking maybe I won't e alive to see it.
Stephanie in AR said…
In the past I read two things about capitalism. First, we have never seen true capitalism - if there are rules about *fair* or running the business then it isn't true capitalism. Second, we wouldn't like true capitalism. The true stuff is very much the strongest/smartest survive.

The first is true enough but I am not certain about the second The writer pictured the days of the barons who worked the employees hard for little money. Didn't the barons use laws to their advantage? (#1) If there weren't any backroom deals or gov. protection wouldn't workers just refuse to work for the guy who treated them poorly? Also pictured were starving families in the streets (same baron timeframe). Would it really be so?

Just my own thoughts.
Mayberry said…
I think a free market society is where it's at, and will most likely take hold again post-TEOTWAWKI. People free to trade as they wish, kinda like the way things were here in the beginning. You are right, pure capitalism is evil....
Shy Wolf said…
When Capitalism is gone, we'll be in Survivalism. Hopefully it works better for most of us than Capitalism did.
Relevelerr said…
The beginning and end to your questions is the first rule of economics: There is no free lunch.

What has lately been called free markets and capitalism were both violations of that rule. Ultimately, the no free lunch rule always reasserts itself in the same way you can only ignore gravity as long as you haven't hit the ground.

The free market is ultimately free of anything we can say about it that violates the free lunch rule. The allocation of resources demands optimization, and sometimes the return to an optimized condition can be a mean regression.

The free market is something you don't have to have faith in for the long run any more than you need faith in gravity. It is not optional over the long run, and smacks down appearances to the contrary in the short run.

Capitalism is planting a seed of corn and doing what it takes to harvest a whole ear. It has organic natural limits. If you plant one seed, but expect a hundred plants, you can't call that capitalism, but that's what's happened. Why not reclaim reality? It's just sittin there waiting.