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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-me-worry? dept.

Some time ago we discussed negative interest rates here on Soylent News. At that time there was some discussion of deflation and why it is such a mixed bag for consumers, companies, and countries.

The Economist has an article that explains deflation rather succinctly.

It turns out that deflation is bad because we are all so burdened with Debt. Not only personal debt, but corporate debt, and national debts. You end up paying debts with money that is more and more dear as time goes on.

Deflation poses several risks, some well-understood, one not. One familiar danger is that consumers will put off spending in the expectation that things will get even cheaper, further muting demand. Likewise, if prices fall across an economy but wages do not, then firms’ margins will be squeezed and employment will stagnate or decline. (Neither of these dangers is yet visible; indeed, America and Britain are seeing strong employment growth.) A third, well-known risk is debt deflation: debts become more onerous because the amount that is owed does not fall, even as earnings do. This is a big worry in the euro zone, where many banks are already stuffed with dud loans.

But in addition, all tools of Monetary Policy become useless.

The least-understood danger is also the most serious, because it is already here. Deflation makes it harder to loosen monetary policy. All of which means that policymakers risk having precious little room for manoeuvre when the next recession hits.

While some have been eager to see monetary policy reigned in, we did see the effects of this during the height of the recent depression, (which some claim we are still suffering from).

The US Federal Reserve had run out points it could cut when lending money to large banks. There were periods in 2010 where the Fed was lending money to banks at Zero Interest Rate. The link explains a number of serious risks with this policy.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by aristarchus on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:47AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:47AM (#147708) Journal

    First off, I am not an expert in monetary policy, and only mildly competent in economics.

    But it seems to me that the speculative nature of inflation allows for the manipulation of markets by the central banks.
    Deflation does not. And I have to wonder, why is this a bad thing? Greece may be leading the way once again, as it did before the Fiscally conservative Romans took over.

    Real economies are based on productive capability, that is certain. But that capability is only tenuously connected to monetary and capital markets. Why should those of us with no real capital moan about how we are not making returns that allow compound interest to make us millionaires in a couple of years, a la Reagan? Was not true then, is not true now.

    Debt. I am not going to pay off my debt. Ever I am just going to let it ride until my creditors are all dead. Debt, inflation, money, these are all illusions, rather crude attempts to measure actual human value, or productivity. The problem with interest is that it actually produces no productivity, it only produces debt, and once the return on capital reaches zero, capitalists have no control over the means of production? Wait, did some Marxism just come out of my mouth? Well, at least it is not a White Horse for when the Constitution Hangs by a Thread. Could be a badger. I like a bull market with badgers. Makes things interesting.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:31PM

    The difference here is under capitalism, the more you contribute to society the more you have. Under marxism the more you contribute to society, the more is taken from you by force.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:39PM

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:39PM (#147746) Journal
      Not quite [theguardian.com] (makes and interesting albeit long reading)
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Offtopic) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:52PM

        Entirely founded on a mistaken premise though. Capitalism is not what caused Europe's, and Greece in particular's, woes. Socialism is. Doubt me? Show me one, any single one, nation throughout the entire history of the world that has had a socialist system (it need not be called such, just work by those means) for 100 years and prospered under it. For a contrary example, every single example of long term growth throughout history had capitalism at its core.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:14PM (#147775)

          had capitalism at its core

          I'm pretty sure every single example of long term growth had war at it's core.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:28PM

            Yeah, no. I'll give you a chance to rethink that before I rip into it though. War has been with us all throughout history but it does not drive sustained economic growth, it can only temporarily prop up a failing nation.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:23PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:23PM (#147778) Journal

          I think your diagnosis is incorrect. What do you mean by socialist? And why do you pick 100 years as the magic length of time? Europe has not had 100 years of peace since the Pax Romana.

          A particular variety of capitalism caused the woes: unbridled capitalism. (And speaking of "unbridled", editors, in this case the word you want is "rein", not "reign".) Capitalism is all about competition. But for it to work, it has to be mostly fair competition. We want it as fair as we can make it. When there are no referees, or the referees have all been bought, there's nothing to stop the powerful from taking unfair advantage. Or from engaging in damaging competition. We don't want rivals destroying each others' products or murdering the others' employees or customers. Imagine if a retail store tried to gain an advantage by blowing up a bridge just as its competitor's truck was crossing. In the month it takes to repair the bridge, the entire city suffers traffic congestion from its absence. Everyone lives a little more nervously, wondering what bridge will be blown up next. We have laws and enforcement against that kind of crap. Without that, they certainly won't restrain themselves, and may feel they have no choice but to do what everyone else can do. Ultimately, a few successful ones grow into monopolies. (The only good rival is a dead rival?) I hope no explanation is needed of why that's bad for everyone. Too big to fail, yes? Damaged us all.

          Speaking of Greece, do you understand what is really happening there? It has little to do with capitalism or socialism. It's austerity. Misguided, wrongheaded austerity. Some have ulterior motives for pushing austerity. Creditors want the debt owed to them to be more valuable, and so are opposed to inflation. Deflation is bad, but that's what they want. Rather than generate wealth, they seem bent on taking what existing wealth Greece still has.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:59PM

            Just an arbitrary number that's long enough to show long-term growth as opposed to the short-term prosperity that can be shown by any number of unsustainable things. Pick any number you like that fits that bill.

            Unbridled? Yes that would be bad but we haven't had anything approaching it in a long time. What we have had lately is essentially socialism. Over 60% of our spending each year goes to wealth redistribution, so very much socialism. Our corporate taxes are the highest in the developed world, so again, socialism. Collusion between enterprise and the state to stifle competition, so very much socialism as it has been practiced if not as in its ideal form. Like it or not, we have been socialists rather than capitalists since FDR's New Deal.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:08PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:08PM (#147786)

              Over 60% of our spending each year goes to wealth redistribution, so very much socialism.

              I'm pretty sure redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich (corporate subsidies) doesn't count as socialism.

              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:14PM

                Check again, slappy. That is 60% of all taxes going to the poor from the rich. Feel free to check my math. The actual percentage is 62 or 63 of what we spend and something in the neighborhood of 75% of what we actually take in in taxes.

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:33PM

                  by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday February 21 2015, @06:33PM (#147835) Journal

                  That's the central problem with Republicans these days. Can't be bothered with facts, won't agree on what the facts are.

                  The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, you say? Nominally, perhaps. In reality, no. Corporations get so many tax breaks that the effective tax rate is one of the lowest in the world. They pay a max of 35% before tax breaks. What they really pay, after tax breaks, is 12.1%. A few corporations have sometimes managed a negative tax rate, taking in more money in subsidies than they pay out in taxes.

                  One argument I've heard is that the rich pay more than their fair share in income tax. The poor pay practically no income tax It's a disingenuous argument. The key word is "income". Before anyone starts muttering about mooching and the 47%, look at all taxes paid, most especially sales tax, not just income tax.

                  Those wealth redistribution numbers are also cooked.

                  However, I would prefer to approach the inequality problem from the other end. Middle class wages have been stagnant since the 1970s. Meanwhile, executives receive absurd levels of compensation. What can be done about this? Strengthen the board's desire and ability to say no to golden parachutes for one thing. Prosecute and imprison the perpetrators of the fraud that caused the financial collapse in 2008. Why has this not been done? There are many other little steps that can and should be taken to level the playing field.

                  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:16PM

                    Why would you assume I'm a Republican? I've nothing but disdain for their anti-capitalist and oppressive goals the same as I have nothing but disdain for the anti-capitalistic and oppressive goals of the Democrats. Both parties are misguided at best and scum at worst, the Democrats are just somewhat worse in my opinion for their socialist leanings. Corruption is preferable to insanity.

                    However, I would prefer to approach the inequality problem from the other end. Middle class wages have been stagnant since the 1970s.

                    A) Inequality is only a problem if you are covetous. I prefer to only feel entitled to what I have earned.
                    B) Bullshit. There is no sane math that bears that out.

                    Meanwhile, executives receive absurd levels of compensation. What can be done about this? Strengthen the board's desire and ability to say no to golden parachutes for one thing. Prosecute and imprison the perpetrators of the fraud that caused the financial collapse in 2008. Why has this not been done? There are many other little steps that can and should be taken to level the playing field.

                    Personally, I see those as problems as well but in the case of executive compensation that is the business of the board and the investors, not mine. If they want to throw insane amounts of money at someone undeserving, let them and let them fall because of it. As for the rest, I'm right there with you.

                    Except for the playing field. When you feel the universe doesn't give two shits about you, smile; that's it being utterly fair.

                    Those wealth redistribution numbers are also cooked.

                    Bullshit. That is basic, first grade math to tally up yourself, which is exactly what I did. Check the federal budget [usgovernmentspending.com] yourself if you don't believe me. Healthcare: 27%, Age and Disability Pensions: 26%, Welfare: 10%. 27%+26%+10%=63% of spending. I even left out education which is very much "progressive" in its taxation form because it's debatable.

                    --
                    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 1) by speederaser on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:32AM

              by speederaser (4049) on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:32AM (#147948)

              What we have had lately is essentially socialism

              Lately? How old are you? Social Security [wikipedia.org] has been around since 1935. Besides, a social safety net is not "socialism". "Socialism [wikipedia.org] is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production...".

              Our corporate taxes are the highest in the developed world, so again, socialism.

              Our corporate tax rates [taxpolicycenter.org] are at about the lowest they've been since the 1940's. As others have pointed out, the effective rate is dramatically lower, less than 15%. Go back and read the Wikipedia article on socialism - corporate tax rates have nothing to do with whether a country is socialist or not.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:52PM

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:52PM (#147749) Journal

      The difference here is under capitalism, the more you contribute to society the more you have.

      Oh, fuck off, don't regurgitate the stupidity you've been fed with; digest and shit it the way nature intended when it gave you a brain. How much that HFT is contributing to society? What about these banksters too big to fail?
      If this was true, the middle class in US would still be strong instead of being almost extinct.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2, Troll) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @12:58PM

        That you dislike the fringe cases where a few game the system is your problem. It harms you not at all, it is simple envy on your part that you don't get to do the same.

        As for the middle class, what makes you think the US has anything like capitalism? We are second place in spending on social programs as a percent of GDP on the entire planet. We routinely sell favors and protection to businesses specifically so they will not have to compete. That is not capitalism.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:26PM

          by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:26PM (#147755) Journal

          That you dislike the fringe cases where a few game the system is your problem.

          Fringe cases you say... too bad those fringe cases control the entire American society: if they get in trouble, the society must jump through hoops to save their ass and take a hit on their pocket; if they make profits, tax avoidance is a moral duty, n'est pas?

          As for the middle class, what makes you think the US has anything like capitalism?

          Yeah, I know... true Scotsman and all that. By this measure, neither USSR had anything like communism.
          If you truly want to go this way, I'll say that both pure communism and pure capitalism are both utopia that won't ever function in their pure form. So, stop whinging, get over it: we are going to live this life the way it falls on us, forget the angelic purity of social philosophies.

          We are second place in spending on social programs as a percent of GDP on the entire planet.

          Really now... are you? I'm afraid 2014 stats show US on 25th place (of 34 considered) expenditure in social and welfare as percent of GDP [oecd.org].

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:33PM

            Fringe cases you say... too bad those fringe cases control the entire American society: if they get in trouble, the society must jump through hoops to save their ass and take a hit on their pocket; if they make profits, tax avoidance is a moral duty, n'est pas?

            Hell no we don't have to, and absolutely shouldn't. Failure is an essential part of the capitalism I would like to see us living under again.

            true Scotsman and all that.

            True Scotsman my ass. Again, we are second in the world [theregister.co.uk] in social spending as a percent of GDP, first if you want to go straight dollars. We have all the corruption and protection the former soviets had as well. Face it, we are socialist and that is precisely why we are failing.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @02:10PM

              by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @02:10PM (#147764) Journal

              Hell no we don't have to, and absolutely shouldn't. Failure is an essential part of the capitalism I would like to see us living under again.

              Not going to happen. The pure capitalism as you'd like it would have absolute respect for private property. That's both pure capitalism and communism problem: both of them can't coexist with appropriation by force or cheating. For the time being, humanity is too close to apes, so you'll have theft and you'll have wars, you'll need both police and army. Which... require the socialization of cost, someone/something that will need to manage it, thus have power over it, something which in time will be corrupted by this power.
              You get it now why pure capitalism is as utopian as pure communism?

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @02:26PM

                I never said pure. I'd settle for something resembling capitalism in a good light. What we currently have resembles the former Soviet Union more closely than the US when it could pass for capitalistic though.

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:05PM

                  by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:05PM (#147772) Journal

                  I'd settle for something resembling capitalism in a good light.

                  Where do you draw the line between the good and the bad light? (you know, you'll need that line, just to make sure you aren't chasing an utopia)

                  the US when it could pass for capitalistic

                  When was that? (it also depends on the position of that line I mentioned above)
                  I remember stories (maybe for you is history, for me not being American is just-story; as such I may not know/remember it well enough, my apologies) - with the choice of republic and representative democracy motivated by the avoidance of the "mob rule". Do I remember correctly? If so, just from the beginning as a nation, you had the idea of "the elite know better than the mob" Even if that "elite" can be theoretically changed over time, practically, you reached a political duopoly (vague traces of competition, in spite of the appearances); who exactly makes it up to the "elite" level doesn't matter, the respect for the rights/individual citizens is all time low (NSA, militarized police, etc) no matter who's winning the election

                  What do you expect in regards with the individual property when the respect for the citizens is low?

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @03:34PM

                    Right about where we were after Teddy Roosevelt did his trust busting, personally. You'd probably think I'd be opposed to that but no, trusts lead to a lack of competition and competition is absolutely required for capitalism to thrive. Teddy, I dug. Franklin, not so much. His New Deal was pure, unvarnished socialism.

                    --
                    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23 2015, @07:54AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23 2015, @07:54AM (#148337)

                      Teddy, I dug. Franklin, not so much. His New Deal was pure, unvarnished socialism.

                      So, by your own standard, a majority of US people wanted to stablish socialism in the USA. How's that 'democracy' thing you say you have going on?

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by shortscreen on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:27PM

              by shortscreen (2252) on Saturday February 21 2015, @07:27PM (#147860) Journal

              In the article you linked they are counting private insurance as social spending. By that logic I'm surprised they didn't count the entire military as well, then we would be the undisputed king of social spending (a.k.a. corporate welfare)

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:12PM (#147788)

          That is not capitalism.

          Crony capitalism is still capitalism, and its the only form of capitalism that exists in the real world. Claiming otherwise is stating that capitalism is more of a religion for you than anything, believing dogma and putting faith over of facts.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Fauxlosopher on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:31PM

          by Fauxlosopher (4804) on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:31PM (#147881) Journal

          It is broadly illegal to place into the market an order that one does not intend to execute

          HFT involves fraud and frontrunning. Fraud, because orders are placed into the system that the owner does not intend to execute. Front-running, because HFT outfits spend a fortune to set their gear physically closer to exchanges' computers so their money-making orders can beat traditionally-placed orders to the punch to take advantage of the price information sussed out by their fraudulent bulk "trades".

          Markets are a zero-sum game. For every winner, there is a loser. The money HFT outfits are raking in is coming out of someone else's pocket. Do you have a 401k account? Perhaps your parents have a pension? Those are the people who are losing to HFTs' winnings.

          More commentary by someone heavily involved on this topic for years: http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/karl-denninger/hft-still-dancing-around-the-issue [financialsense.com]

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:06PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:06PM (#148085) Journal

            HFT involves fraud and frontrunning.

            Actually, no it doesn't. It involves high frequency trading, hence the name.

            Fraud, because orders are placed into the system that the owner does not intend to execute.

            But the owner will honor those orders, if they do execute. So not fraud. If a greasy spoon has a challenge that they'll give you a 96 ounce steak for free, if you eat it all, they expect most such people will not be able to finish the challenge. That doesn't mean the challenge is fraudulent as long as they do provide the meal for free in the rare cases where someone does complete the conditions of the challenge.

            Front-running, because HFT outfits spend a fortune to set their gear physically closer to exchanges' computers so their money-making orders can beat traditionally-placed orders to the punch to take advantage of the price information sussed out by their fraudulent bulk "trades".

            Merely being first to take advantage of new information, knowledge of the market, or of traders on the market is not front running. It has a specific meaning [wikipedia.org].

            Front running is the illegal practice of a stockbroker executing orders on a security for its own account while taking advantage of advance knowledge of pending orders from its customers.

            Markets are a zero-sum game. For every winner, there is a loser. The money HFT outfits are raking in is coming out of someone else's pocket. Do you have a 401k account? Perhaps your parents have a pension? Those are the people who are losing to HFTs' winnings.

            Markets are by their nature a positive-sum game. Every trade is or was willingly agreed to by the participants. Even forced trades are due to contracts that the trader agreed to earlier.

            If your pension or 401k account is losing measurable money to HFT then they're trading wrong. It's too bad you can't tell from looking at the prospectus that your fund managers have such problems, but that's not the fault of HFT.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Justin Case on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:04PM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:04PM (#147754) Journal

        > What about these banksters too big to fail?

        Not capitalism. Government intervention, the exact thing free market people despise. The banksters absolutely should have failed, and failed so hard the pain would reverberate for a century and nobody would ever come close to considering such a stupid stunt again.

        Instead what we got is the taxpayer-backed guarantee that "you gamble, you win, you keep; you lose, everyone else pays". So of course they're going to keep gambling.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:28PM

          by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:28PM (#147756) Journal

          Not capitalism.

          You'll never get a pure capitalism, the same way you'll never get a pure communism.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Justin Case on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:43PM

            by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday February 21 2015, @01:43PM (#147760) Journal

            >> (big bailouts) Not capitalism.
            > You'll never get a pure capitalism

            Well that's kinda like saying murder is not pure pacifism. Indeed, it is the polar opposite. Huge government bailouts -- huge government anything -- is what we've been fighting so hard against since forever. But the socialists in whatever-today's-disguise-is think central control can still work if we can only find an honest controller. How's that search coming along BTW?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:04PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 21 2015, @09:04PM (#147892) Journal

            You'll never get a pure capitalism

            Enlighten us on why using public funds to socialize risk is anywhere near pure capitalism.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:20PM

              by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:20PM (#147909) Journal

              Enlighten us on why using public funds to socialize risk is anywhere near pure capitalism.

              ??? Please rephrase ('cause I can't remember to have said that "using public funds to socialize risk is anywhere near pure capitalism").

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:02AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:02AM (#148013) Journal
                Here's the full chain:

                [c0lo]What about these banksters too big to fail?

                [Justin Case]Not capitalism.

                [c0lo]You'll never get a pure capitalism, the same way you'll never get a pure communism.

                [khallow]Enlighten us on why using public funds to socialize risk is anywhere near pure capitalism.

                "Too big to fail" means using public funds to bail out banks when they take really bad risks and fail. That's not even remotely close to pure capitalism.

                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:27AM

                  by c0lo (156) on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:27AM (#148018) Journal

                  I didn't say it's pure capitalism. I only underlined that it happened in a country which proud itself to be closest to capitalism (certainly closer than the "socialist Europe" or Australia).
                  If this was possible, it means even the most capitalistic country doesn't run a pure capitalism, an evidence that supports the idea that pure capitalism is an utopia (thus we better get use with the idea and play the best we can the cards dealt to us by life).

                  Elsewhere [soylentnews.org], my argumentation on why pure capitalism is as utopic as communism.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:52PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:52PM (#148097) Journal

                    I didn't say it's pure capitalism.

                    You implied the US economic system was close. Now, you merely say it is "closest". One does not merely bring up "pure capitalism".

                    If this was possible, it means even the most capitalistic country doesn't run a pure capitalism, an evidence that supports the idea that pure capitalism is an utopia (thus we better get use with the idea and play the best we can the cards dealt to us by life).

                    If anyone paid attention to evidence or reason at the nation level, we wouldn't have too big to fail either through socialist fixes such as higher reserve requirements (which I understand is a thing Australia did) or through capitalist fixes such as let them burn (which was part of the Iceland solution).

                    Elsewhere, my argumentation on why pure capitalism is as utopic as communism.

                    Socialization of some costs does not preclude private ownership of capital. Socialization of risk is the problem here and that is just not a capitalist feature.

                    And make arguments not argumentations! The fluffy baby seals will thank you.

                    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday February 22 2015, @09:43PM

                      by c0lo (156) on Sunday February 22 2015, @09:43PM (#148222) Journal

                      Elsewhere, my argumentation on why pure capitalism is as utopic as communism.

                      Socialization of some costs does not preclude private ownership of capital. Socialization of risk is the problem here and that is just not a capitalist feature.

                      Not being a native English speaker, I want to be sure I got you right in regards with "just not a capitalist feature" ("just not" vs "not just") what exactly do you mean:

                      1. "just not" - not admissible in capitalism (i.e. incompatible with capitalism)
                      2. "not just" - not specific to capitalism but not in (full) contradiction with capitalism either (i.e. socialization of - at least some types of - risks may be allowed in capitalism)

                      If 2, then I rest my case: socialization of some risks is allowed by capitalism and my argument flows as linked in my prev post.

                      If 1, does capitalism preclude the existence of an army as a countermeasure against the risk of attack by force?
                      If positive (the army existence is allowed), since socialization of risk is not allowed, should there be a private army (or many armies)?

                      (thanks for the correction in argument/argumentation. The French language - from whom argument/argumentation was borrowed - have the "chain of arguments" as a valid meaning for the "argumentation"; I see English admits only the "act or process" meaning, not also the result of it)

                      --
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 23 2015, @08:56AM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 23 2015, @08:56AM (#148343) Journal
                        I meant meaning 1. Sure, group-based assumption of risk, such as can be found in some sorts of escrow-based insurance (post a bond with a reliable third party against a certain harmful event happening) or charities, can be present in capitalism. But notice I did not specify the type of risk that was being so distributed. Distributing arbitrary risk to others via government or public policy mechanisms merely because you are particularly large, valuable, and/or politically connected is not capitalist.
                        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday February 23 2015, @10:25AM

                          by c0lo (156) on Monday February 23 2015, @10:25AM (#148355) Journal

                          Sure, group-based assumption of risk, such as can be found in some sorts of escrow-based insurance (post a bond with a reliable third party against a certain harmful event happening) or charities, can be present in capitalism. But notice I did not specify the type of risk that was being so distributed.

                          Actually, I did specify the type of risk: force/military attack by a factor external to the society.
                          What strategy do you propose a capitalist society should take against this risk:

                          1. ignore it; humans are rational and war doesn't benefit anyone (the risk incidence is minimal)
                          2. ignore it: a capitalist society is so efficient no attacker can destroy or steal at the rate the goods are created (the risk impact is minimal)
                          3. socialize the cost of maintaining a collective defensive structure - army or militia+central command (reactive risk prevention)
                          4. socialize the cost of eliminating the risk factor - e.g. preemptive attacks (proactive risk prevention)
                          5. let the individuals deal themselves, is not the society job to protect them. At most, establish an insurance fund to deal with the effects of risk manifestation - insurance against the effect of war (risk mitigation)
                          6. other, please specify
                          --
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 23 2015, @11:10AM

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 23 2015, @11:10AM (#148367) Journal

                            Actually, I did specify the type of risk: force/military attack by a factor external to the society.

                            And that has nothing to do with too big to fail, the subject of this subthread.

                            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday February 23 2015, @11:20AM

                              by c0lo (156) on Monday February 23 2015, @11:20AM (#148374) Journal
                              Mmmm... I see... well, let's narrow down the topic of "risk socialization in capitalism" to "too big to fail".
                              The discussion with its plethora of arguments between the next two dots ..
                              --
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 23 2015, @11:40AM

                                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 23 2015, @11:40AM (#148382) Journal
                                Ok, maybe we'll discuss this next time.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darkfeline on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:15PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:15PM (#147908) Homepage

      >TheMightyBuzzard
      I really need to get around to making that filtering script.

      >The difference here is under capitalism, the more you contribute to society the more you have. Under marxism the more you contribute to society, the more is taken from you by force.
      "The difference here is under capitalism, the more sociopathic you are the more you have. Under marxism the more you contribute to society, the more happiness you get back as a kind-hearted individual." There, fixed it for you.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 21 2015, @10:33PM

        Yeah, you are utterly not worth arguing with if you honestly believe taking from individuals by force what they have earned by their own sweat and giving it to lazyass slackers is a good thing. There is no sane way of incorporating that viewpoint in a rational mind. Seek help.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22 2015, @02:38AM (#147960)

          Yeah, you are utterly not worth arguing with if you honestly believe taking from individuals by force what they have earned by their own sweat and giving it to lazyass slackers is a good thing. There is no sane way of incorporating that viewpoint in a rational mind.

          If that money, given to "lazyass slackers", actually improves my lot - by virtue of essentially improving the quality of life of all members of my society, then you're damn right I think it's a good thing.
          I'm certainly happier to be living in heavily-taxed, expensive, "socialist" Norway (which has had increasing prosperity for over 100 years, tyvm), than any rich-get-richer, me-and-mine, dog-eat-dog, capitalist "utopia", you might care to throw out.

      • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:24AM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:24AM (#147943) Journal

        > Under marxism the more you contribute to society, the more happiness you get back as a kind-hearted individual." There, fixed it for you.

        Say, are the meds bestowing ignorant bliss on everyone there in the asylum? Because back here in the real world being kind-hearted will motivate about 3 people, and the rest will take a vacation, stuff themselves with free food, play video games, and drink vodka until the Socialist dream collapses as it always does.

        I worked for it, I earned it, and those of you who think you can just take it are plain and simple thieves. And yes I'd deal with you as I'd deal with any thief given the opportunity.

    • (Score: 2) by nishi.b on Sunday February 22 2015, @12:34AM

      by nishi.b (4243) on Sunday February 22 2015, @12:34AM (#147933)

      Do you have any idea what those words means ?
      Capitalism means that the means of production (the capital i.e. the factories, machines...) are owned by private individuals, and that they can make a profit WITHOUT WORKING just because they own what is necessary for others to work.

      Communism is when those means of production belong to everyone, because Marx thought that no one should earn anything without working, just by being rich. On the path to communism (where there is no central state as everyone is equal), to offset the inequalities between humans, there is a state that uses its collective power to reduce the inequalities by owning the capital.

      It is possible to imagine a free-market communism : the assets of companies would belong to the state, but there would still be a competition between those companies on a free market.

      Regarding contribution to society, I still believe that the garbage man contributes more to society than a communication specialist hired by the tobacco industry. Yet on the job market one earns a lot less than the other...

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:23AM

        You seem to be under the delusion that all work is created equal. It is not. The man who causes a factory to be built through expenditure of his own effort and stored effort(capital) has done far more for society than those who work a menial job in said factory. And he deserves recompense and even profit for his work and his risk. Any argument to the contrary is simply greed and envy, pure and simple.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by nishi.b on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:49AM

          by nishi.b (4243) on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:49AM (#147993)

          And how is this relevant to our world where most rich people just inherited their money ? About the risk, again, you take the mythical american dream vision of the entrepeneur that while working earns enough to launch his own company and takes a personal risk if his company fails. But is that really the world we live in ? This scenario is a small part of the reality, but the idea of risk is still funny when you talk about professional investors. Who won when Goldmann Sachs was making billions ? Who lost when they lost billions ? I didn't see traders or bank executives losing their house, or being forced to live in the street. But that is what happened to the menial worker in the factory. So who is bearing the risk ?

        • (Score: 1) by K_benzoate on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:15AM

          by K_benzoate (5036) on Sunday February 22 2015, @07:15AM (#148016)

          This might be true if we reset each generation with a blank Monopoly board and distributed the funds equally before starting the game. That is not, and never has been, the reality in which we live. Even then, many people will rise and fall based purely on lucky accidents of history, and not merit. I got an immediate and unearned headstart because my parents worked hard with what they were born into. They got an immediate and unearned headstart because they were extremely lucky with the land they found themselves in possession of through no effort of their own; because their great-(...)-grand parents came here from Europe and murdered all the people who were already living there.

          Striking a balance between the brutalizing regimes of pure communism and pure capitalism should be the project of our civilization. A maximizing of human flourishing will not be found at either extreme. There are assuredly many mutually exclusive ways to succeed, but these are certainly dwarfed by the number of ways to fail. This entire human project we call society is an effort to navigate the infinitely complex landscape that lies between those poles, and at present we have drifted right of centre.

          --
          Climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 22 2015, @03:06PM

            Wah, wah, wah, my parents aren't rich! Poor baby. Welcome to the vast majority of people. Those parents who are rich have every right to do with their money as they please though, that includes passing their advantages on to their children, exactly the same as you are entitled to do.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:30AM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Sunday February 22 2015, @01:30AM (#147946) Journal

        > they can make a profit WITHOUT WORKING just because they own what is necessary for others to work.

        Obviously you've never invested, because if you had, you'd know that doing it successfully is a lot of work.

        You seem to think The Rich just landed in a spaceship one day complete with their billions of dollars, champagne, yachts, and phat ass girls. I guess nobody ever anywhere worked to earn the money that provided them a little extra to invest.

        Oh, and when I do invest in your employer, I provide them a loan they can use to hire numbskulls like you, on the expectation that you'll do something useful so your employer can pay me back. You're welcome. And get back to work, slacker!

        • (Score: 2) by nishi.b on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:40AM

          by nishi.b (4243) on Sunday February 22 2015, @04:40AM (#147991)

          First, this was Marx's opinion, not mine. The ones who produce are not the ones owning the mines, the land, or the machines, but the workers.
          Second, you don't invest in my employer, as I am working in a domain where most investers don't go, but the state goes : long-term medical research.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 23 2015, @09:18AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 23 2015, @09:18AM (#148346) Journal

            First, this was Marx's opinion, not mine.

            Please next time state it as such and not your own. I read the same phrase and I had the same impression as the grandparent post that it was your opinion.

            Second, you don't invest in my employer, as I am working in a domain where most investers don't go, but the state goes : long-term medical research.

            Sounds like there's a possibility that no one invests in your employer then. Investment implies an expectation, reasonable or not, of greater return than what was put in. When the state puts money in, there often is no such expectation even when claimed otherwise.

  • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Sunday February 22 2015, @08:46AM

    by davester666 (155) on Sunday February 22 2015, @08:46AM (#148039)

    Clearly, the only solution is to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, so they will invest in everyone's future.

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Sunday February 22 2015, @08:56AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday February 22 2015, @08:56AM (#148043) Journal

      Clearly! Enough, as Saint Ronald Reagan hisself said, of the failed policies of the past!