If “capitalism as it is practiced now is a recipe for extinction,” then why has Capitalism taken us from less than 500 million under Feudal systems to over 7Billion today? That is the opposite of extinction.
I understand what you are saying, but much of what you believe to be true is not true. What you call ‘stable village-based agriculture economies’ is what most people would describe as subsistence farming in grinding poverty. People walk hundreds of miles to escape these ‘stable village-based agriculture economies’ to get a job in the city. Soon they have an apartment, a motor scooter and a big-screen TV, and are sending money home to their parents. I have Chinese friends who came here decades ago: at the time their friends were jealous that they were escaping to the West, where they would soon be rich by Chinese standards. When they go home now, those same friends are living in large suburban homes and driving Mercedes luxury cars: I think you under-estimate the massive increase in Chinese wealth over the last 20 years.
Back to Capitalism: “price fixing and hoarding” are illegal and “glutting the market” will make prices fall until the market is not glutted any more. If you read my piece about the role of Government, it is to police the market to keep it free and competitive. Capitalism has no ethical rules but people do, and companies that break the rules should be prosecuted, so we actually agree here.
Bill Gates is a great person to “tout the wonders of capitalism.” He created an empire from nothing and was the richest man in the world until he started to give it all away to the poorest people in the world. He runs his foundation like a business, ensuring that the money spent is spent wisely and efficiently so that the maximum number of lives are saved or bettered by his billions.
Did you read his letter? It is inspirational. Follow the link and read about his three myths that do harm in the world. I think you will be impressed.
“And the rich get richer far faster lately than do the poor, that’s the point.” That’s my point too. As long as the poor are getting richer, why should we worry that the rich are getting even richer?
“Oh and those folks you are touting as paying 60% of the taxes hold 70% of the wealth, thank you very much. They should pay more. Much more.” Why??? If you tax them any more they will move to the Bahamas and you will get nothing more from them, ever. Socialists always kill the Goose that lays the golden eggs.
“They don’t work that much harder to get 20 to 100 times more than the average Joe.” Of course they don’t work 100 times harder than the average Joe, but they earn more because they work smarter, they negotiate better deals, and they risk losing their money in order to earn higher yields: in doing so they create jobs for other people, too. When I retire I will have paid off my own home and have three investment properties. The rent from one of these will pay the tax on the rental income and I’ll live off the rent from the other two. I tell you this to illustrate the principle of passive income. I also have a superannuation account I have been saving 19% of my base salary into for the last 12 years. It earned $45,000 for me last year. Passive income again. There is almost no relationship between working harder and your income. I worked very hard for a pittance putting myself through university, but each job I have had since then has in general paid more for less work than the one before it. That is only natural: why would I leave a job for one that was harder and paid less?
You get paid based on either the value of your work, or on the value of the resources you manage: The CEO of Microsoft earns more that the manager of the local restaurant because his level of responsibility is higher.
“we should all be enjoying the vast wealth of this country not primarily the uber wealthy.” Why do you think that? “Fairness?” “Equality of outcome?”
How would you organise it? The Rich are not going to let you steal their property without a fight, so I’m guessing Revolution, bloody and ruthless. Up against the wall with the rich and we’ll steal all their stuff. Obviously we’ll share it all equally except for those who organised the Revolution: obviously they deserve more because they worked harder nationalising everything for the greater good.
Later….”Why have the wheels fallen off the economy? No-one’s working and the shelves are empty in the shops…”
Good luck with that. I’m sticking with tried and true Capitalism, plus philanthropy to address the issues of poverty, starvation and disease.
Read the link below. Read it right through, then tell me what you think.