Carpe Diem

Quotation of the day: Capitalism has lifted humanity out of the dirt and is greatest value creator in history of the world

Capitalism is the greatest creation humanity has done for social cooperation. It has lifted humanity out of the dirt. In statistics we discovered when we were researching the book, about 200 years ago when capitalism was created, 85% of the people alive lived on $1 a day. Today, that number is 16%. Still too high, but capitalism is wiping out poverty across the world. 200 years ago illiteracy rates were 90%. Today, they are down to about 14%. 200 years ago the average lifespan was 30. Today it is 68 across the world, 78 in the States, and almost 82 in Japan. This is due to business. This is due to capitalism. And it doesn’t get credit for it. Most of the time, business is portrayed by its enemies as selfish and greedy and exploitative, yet it’s the greatest value creator in the world.”

~John Mackey, co-author of the new book “Conscious Capitalism”

70 thoughts on “Quotation of the day: Capitalism has lifted humanity out of the dirt and is greatest value creator in history of the world

  1. Capitalism results in employing fewer inputs to produce more output, which raises profits and lowers prices. So, there are more resources and capital for other economic activities, to allow the economy to expand.

    Government has a role, e.g. smoothing-out business cycles and setting reasonable standards. However, it has taken on the role of creating massive inefficiencies and destroying capital.

  2. I think that there are far more important parts of the book that should be quoted. John Mackey makes it clear that one enemy of capitalism is the regulations that business leaders favour to limit competition. This ‘crony capitalism’ is noted by consumers and those on the left and allows the spread of misinformation about free markets, which is what we should be really talking about.

    My problem with Mackey is that he does not take the logic far enough. In a truly free market the only way for capitalists to get rich is to give consumers what they want at the prices that they want. There is no external judgment of virtue that needs to be applied because consumer actions are voluntary. That said, it is refreshing to get a book from a CEO who gets it fro a change. Most CEOs and their presstitute cheerleaders are against the free market and have no interest in having consumer choices determine winners and losers. They are mercantilists who cloak themselves in deceptive language and hope that the people listening will not pay too much attention or think about what they hear.

    • Most objectors to capitalism live in a fantasy world where self-interest is abolished, but all the material products of that self-interest keep on coming.
      If we didn’t keep score and have outsized rewards for the winners, I imagine people would still play football, but the level of play would deteriorate substantially.

      • Most objectors to capitalism live in a fantasy world where self-interest is abolished, but all the material products of that self-interest keep on coming.

        That is one of the mysteries; why is it that socialists on the right and left keep ignoring the fact that self-interest cannot be eliminated in human society? Were the commissars selfless in their actions? How about the individuals who criticise the free markets for rewarding the greedy and selfish? Do they not see that they are just as greedy as just as selfless as their fellow man or woman?

        If we didn’t keep score and have outsized rewards for the winners, I imagine people would still play football, but the level of play would deteriorate substantially.

        I think that South Park had an episode about that.

  3. with respect to the idea that capitalism needs govt and/or CAN work better with the RIGHT KIND of govt…

    what role does public education have with respect to the most advanced countries that practice less fettered capitalism?

    how about public roads ?

    are there any good examples of higher functional capitalistic countries that do not have govt involved in things like schools and roads?

    • what role does public education have with respect to the most advanced countries that practice less fettered capitalism?

      To indoctrinate children on the evils of the private sector and the need to submit to the government.

      how about public roads ?

      What about them? Are you delusionally suggesting that if the government didn’t build them no one else would?

      are there any good examples of higher functional capitalistic countries that do not have govt involved in things like schools and roads?

      You surely are aware of just how stupid this is right? Two hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries that didn’t have slavery. Four hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries not run by nobility.

      Pull your fucking head out of your stupid ass, Larry, and stop asking irrelevant questions (and yes, it’s irrelevant). The reason we know it’s irrelevant is that all advanced countries became advanced during periods of relatively LOW involvement of government. And true to the standard progression of countries, once this occurred the parasites (you) came out in force to use the police state to line their own pockets, all while using the language “it’s for the children” or “it promotes the general welfare”.

      And as you know, but still deny because you don’t like the evidence I supplied to you before, literacy rates were actually higher two hundred years ago, before government’s monopoly on primary education, that today.

      • why do you pinheads turn into blubbering 5-years olds when dealing with things you disagree with Ken?

        there’s a thread here with you boys. if someone says something you disagree with – you revert to a cursing 5year old.

        very intelligent guy.

        by the way – we’re not in a nobility age looking to the future or slavery looking to the future – we USED to have private only schools and roads and we EVOLVED to countries that now have them.

        Are you implying that we’re going to evolve BACK?

        try to answer the question as if you had more intelligence than a 5year old cursing.

        • by the way – we’re not in a nobility age looking to the future or slavery looking to the future – we USED to have private only schools and roads and we EVOLVED to countries that now have them.

          Are you implying that we’re going to evolve BACK?

          Zing!

          No surprise there.

          • re: ” Are you implying that we’re going to evolve BACK?”

            Zing!

            No surprise there.”

            really? we’re going BACK?

            which countries have gone back or are headed back?

            can you name an example of other things where we evolved in one direction then went back?

            Now. I”m NOT talking about some far fetched libertarian wet dream… i’m talking about real mainstream changes.

            you’rd really be okay with all roads going back into the hands of private owners who charge whatever tolls the market will bear?

            no public education at all .. if kids go to school, their parents pay or they don’t go?

          • really? we’re going BACK?

            Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing!

            You – have – Missed – The – Point of Ken’s comment and you continue to miss it.

            which countries have gone back or are headed back?

            can you name an example of other things where we evolved in one direction then went back?

            Now. I”m NOT talking about some far fetched libertarian wet dream… i’m talking about real mainstream changes.

            Pure irrelevant nonsense. Ask someone to read Ken’s comment to you and explain it to you.

            you’rd really be okay with all roads going back into the hands of private owners who charge whatever tolls the market will bear?

            Absolutely! If you understood economics you would understand why.

            no public education at all .. if kids go to school, their parents pay or they don’t go?

            That’s correct. You have no idea what a great education system would result.

            If everyone thinks it’s important, as most of us do, that shouldn’t be a problem. If they don’t, who the hell are you to force them to do so? Do you know what’s best for other people?

          • so Libertarianism today is about going back to an earlier time and place, right?

            and when I ask for examples of it or countries moving that way… it’s an “irrelevant” question and I have to be “explained” to ?

            ummm….. do ya’ll understand how representative govt works and how going back would mean convincing a good number of people who currently are not?

            what’s the game plan to go back? how will it happen?

          • so Libertarianism today is about going back to an earlier time and place, right?

            Amazing. You have missed an important point in Ken’s comment and you don’t even know what it is, or you dishonestly pretend to not know what it is, and continue to prattle on about stuff that’s not even under discussion.

          • well TELL ME ROn.. perhaps you did see something that I did not.. spill it guy… why do you play these silly games boy?

          • well TELL ME ROn.. perhaps you did see something that I did not.. spill it guy… why do you play these silly games boy?

            Silly games? I’m asking you to figure something out for yourself rather than being handed the answer. Very teacher-like, don’t you think?

            OK, Larry, I’ll do it this time, but I suspect you will reject it as you usually reject things that don’t fit your narrative.

            Your question: “ are there any good examples of higher functional capitalistic countries that do not have govt involved in things like schools and roads?

            Ken’s response: “You surely are aware of just how stupid this is right? Two hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries that didn’t have slavery. Four hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries not run by nobility.

            What that means, Larry, is that just because there are no shining examples of something doesn’t mean that something better than what we now consider normal isn’t possible.

            His point is that you could have asked the same question 200 years ago to claim that slavery is acceptable and what most people want because there were no good examples of developed countries without slaves.

            His point is that 400 years ago you could have asked the same question to claim that government by monarchs and nobility is acceptable and what most people want because there were no good examples of developed countries not ruled by the nobility.

            It’s an incorrect framing of the question, and too narrow in scope. You can’t use it to try to support your point of view. It’s known as an appeal to custom and is a fallacious argument.

          • I’m asking you to figure something out for yourself rather than being handed the answer. Very teacher-like, don’t you think?

            ha ha ha.. nope.. you’re running away

            OK, Larry, I’ll do it this time, but I suspect you will reject it as you usually reject things that don’t fit your narrative.

            wait… wait.. do I not understand or do I DISAGREE?

            Your question: “ are there any good examples of higher functional capitalistic countries that do not have govt involved in things like schools and roads?”

            Ken’s response: “You surely are aware of just how stupid this is right? Two hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries that didn’t have slavery. Four hundred years ago, you would have been asking for examples of advanced countries not run by nobility.”

            What that means, Larry, is that just because there are no shining examples of something doesn’t mean that something better than what we now consider normal isn’t possible.

            this is your “teaching” answer?

            “His point is that you could have asked the same question 200 years ago to claim that slavery is acceptable and what most people want because there were no good examples of developed countries without slaves.”

            but we are NOT going BACK to slavery guy.

            “His point is that 400 years ago you could have asked the same question to claim that government by monarchs and nobility is acceptable and what most people want because there were no good examples of developed countries not ruled by the nobility.

            It’s an incorrect framing of the question, and too narrow in scope. You can’t use it to try to support your point of view. It’s known as an appeal to custom and is a fallacious argument.”

            nope. Because 400 years ago.. we went forward and changed and now you and Ken are saying we’re headed back to what we were 400 years ago and my simple question is – are there examples of other countries starting out one way 400 years ago, evolving to “too much govt”, then turning around and going back?

            but you think because I disagree that I need “explaining to’?

            geeze

          • OK, Larry, I’ll do it this time, but I suspect you will reject it as you usually reject things that don’t fit your narrative.

            Q.E.D.

          • The *point*, Larry, is that hundreds of years ago people couldn’t imagine a successful large country not ruled by nobility or without slavery because none existed at that time. Now YOU can’t imagine a successful large country without big central government because none exist at this time.

          • re: “The *point*, Larry, is that hundreds of years ago people couldn’t imagine a successful large country not ruled by nobility or without slavery because none existed at that time. Now YOU can’t imagine a successful large country without big central government because none exist at this time.”

            of course but we did evolve forward and now you’re talking about going back.

            I BUY your principles and your sentiment but I doubt that there is any real movement beyond a few folks like you to go back. We got big govt because although all of us think it’s too big, there is a piece of it that grew that we support.

            when you add up all the different pieces you’ve got what you’ve got and going back means people giving up their pieces.

            how many want to go back by taking other people’s pieces but preserving their own? It’s sorta like closing tax-loopholes – …… for the other guy.

      • Pull your fucking head out of your stupid ass, Larry, and stop asking irrelevant questions (and yes, it’s irrelevant).

        I think that you are asking too much of our friend. He is mentally and morally challenged and does not understand that any intervention anywhere in the system produces a (usually unintended) distortion in the social structure. Even though he understands at some level that we can understand the wealth that exists in any country simply by looking at the degree of meddling with property rights he still wants a pure example of a society that does not interfere at any level or one that interferes at all levels. As such he ensures that his faith based narrative will not be challenged by logic and facts and he can pretend that a make believe world where men are selfless and all knowing angels is possible.

        • re: ” Pull your fucking head out of your stupid ass, Larry, and stop asking irrelevant questions (and yes, it’s irrelevant).”

          re: ” I think that you are asking too much of our friend. He is mentally and morally challenged and does not understand that any intervention anywhere in the system produces a (usually unintended) distortion in the social structure. ”

          I’d say that since virtually every single F’ing country on the face of the planet either has or wants public education that it is you boys that have issues.

          It’s kinda comical to live in the delusional worlds ya’ll live in and throw stones at those who live in the real world but that seems to be your deal.

          The fact that you speak like 5-years olds using words like “F’ing” is even more comical.

          in your worlds – “logic” means essentially denying the real world the way it is and railing against it as if doing so will change it.

          it’s pretty inane to believe in a world that does not exist but fervently believe it will – some day. Now that’s an example of real logic, eh?

          I do not pretend the world is what it should be in your view or mine but I do accept the reality of the way it really is.

          you boys, OTOH, insist the real world is wrong and cannot exist. It’s totally loony tunes.

          • I’d say that since virtually every single F’ing country on the face of the planet either has or wants public education that it is you boys that have issues.

            Many countries have the funding go with the kids and provide choice for parents. The US is far to the left of those countries. (That includes the Dutch, Swedes, etc.) And our argument is the same. When you meddle with the economy, as funding public education does you get distortions that make the country poorer than it would otherwise be. That argument is still true and is always true, a fact that is lost on you socialists on the left and on the right.

            It’s kinda comical to live in the delusional worlds ya’ll live in and throw stones at those who live in the real world but that seems to be your deal.

            Throwing stones? Hardly. I am simply pointing out that the ‘real world’ of socialism is not working as well as you thought that it would. You have schools that cannot teach students, post offices that cannot deliver mail effectively and efficiently, roads and bridges that are falling apart and use up huge amounts of capital, pension plans that are not funded, and a currency that is falling apart. I would say that our chronicling of reality are pretty good.

            The fact that you speak like 5-years olds using words like “F’ing” is even more comical.

            Do I?

            in your worlds – “logic” means essentially denying the real world the way it is and railing against it as if doing so will change it.

            No. It means logic. And that logic tells us that the meddling that you support only creates distortions and make people poorer. Frankly, while I care I lose little sleep when people who should know better ignore reality and wind up getting what they deserve. I am actually thinking about a short book on the topic.

            it’s pretty inane to believe in a world that does not exist but fervently believe it will – some day. Now that’s an example of real logic, eh?

            You are confused as usual. I only see what we have and point out why it is not working. I point out how it could work a lot better but you reject ideas because you believe that government planners are smarter and better than people making their own decisions. I do not expect any better from you because you have shown to be unable to learn very much or to think very clearly.

            I do not pretend the world is what it should be in your view or mine but I do accept the reality of the way it really is.

            I think that the evidence says otherwise. You still pretend that IOUs in trust funds are meaningful and not an issue because all government trust funds are equally broke. You still deny the damage that public eduction is doing and are relatively unconcerned about the massive unfunded liabilities that your grandchildren will be asked to pay off. You are delusional because you think that nothing is wrong and that things will continue as they are for quite some time and that you can escape the consequences of reality not being what you think it is.

          • “Many countries have the funding go with the kids and provide choice for parents. The US is far to the left of those countries. (That includes the Dutch, Swedes, etc.) And our argument is the same. When you meddle with the economy, as funding public education does you get distortions that make the country poorer than it would otherwise be. That argument is still true and is always true, a fact that is lost on you socialists on the left and on the right.”

            all the OCED countries have public funding of education and all of them do better than us on core academics.

            “Throwing stones? Hardly. I am simply pointing out that the ‘real world’ of socialism is not working as well as you thought that it would.”

            no.. not when you preface it with “pull your F’ing head out of your ass” and you disassociated yourself with the plain realities in front of you

            “You have schools that cannot teach students, post offices that cannot deliver mail effectively and efficiently, roads and bridges that are falling apart and use up huge amounts of capital, pension plans that are not funded, and a currency that is falling apart. I would say that our chronicling of reality are pretty good.”

            yeah. yeah. yeah.. are you saying no one gets an education and no ones gets mail and none of the bridges are intact and useable… or that people are not getting their pensions or money does not spend?

            Nope. but that’s the world you live in. It’s not the one most live in.

            The fact that you speak like 5-years olds using words like “F’ing” is even more comical.

            Do I?

            do you never speak like Ken ?

            “No. It means logic. And that logic tells us that the meddling that you support only creates distortions and make people poorer. Frankly, while I care I lose little sleep when people who should know better ignore reality and wind up getting what they deserve. I am actually thinking about a short book on the topic.”

            your logic does not comport with the real world all around you.

            “You are confused as usual. I only see what we have and point out why it is not working. I point out how it could work a lot better but you reject ideas because you believe that government planners are smarter and better than people making their own decisions. I do not expect any better from you because you have shown to be unable to learn very much or to think very clearly.”

            you do point out how, in your view, it could work better, but you deny how it works right now. You say you do not expect better because i have “not learned” ?

            ha ha ha.. It don’t take no “learning’ nimrod to look at the other OCED countries and see what the realities are verses your views.

            “I think that the evidence says otherwise. You still pretend that IOUs in trust funds are meaningful and not an issue because all government trust funds are equally broke.”

            I do not pretend at all. I point out to you that FICA provides 865 billion dollars annually no matter what the trust funds do while you ignore that and concentrate on the trust funds – as if they are not just as legitimate a debt as public debt is or that if the govt reneged on the trust funds that it would not cause panic with the public treasury notes.

            you originally did not understand the trust funds you thought they only applied to SS but then you got helped to get smarter but you still think that money from the gas tax or military pensions that go into trust funds are gone – because you simply reject the idea that the govt spends revenues as the come in and pays them back later – yes with debt – but had they not borrowed them in the first place, they’d still have the same amount of debt – just more private debt.

            “You still deny the damage that public eduction is doing ”
            no. I point out to you that all OCED countries have public education and do well with it and the problems we have are not the fact the education is public but other issues.

            “and are relatively unconcerned about the massive unfunded liabilities that your grandchildren will be asked to pay off.”

            nope again. I point out that you cherry-pick what unfunded liabilities you worry about and ignore the ones you don’t. I also point out to you that a program that by law cannot pay out more in benefits than it takes in – in revenues – cannot have unfunded liabilities but then you change the definition of it to suit your narrative.

            that’s wrong as well as dishonest.

            ” You are delusional because you think that nothing is wrong and that things will continue as they are for quite some time and that you can escape the consequences of reality not being what you think it is.”

            I’m not delusional at all. I recognize the issues but I insist that the truth about them be used and I deal with the actual realities not theories like you do.

            you’re are welcome to your theories but when you deny the current realities – you become the one who is delusional.

            accept the realities guy even if you don’t like them. You can never advance if you live in a pretend world.

          • all the OCED countries have public funding of education and all of them do better than us on core academics.

            That has to do with less meddling. Whenever you have more choice you get better results. So why are you for removing choices again?

            nope again. I point out that you cherry-pick what unfunded liabilities you worry about and ignore the ones you don’t. I also point out to you that a program that by law cannot pay out more in benefits than it takes in – in revenues – cannot have unfunded liabilities but then you change the definition of it to suit your narrative.

            You are in denial. I do not cherry pick anything. And the definitions are standard. You just fail to apply them because you have your own definitions that come from government changes of those standards. Accountants know what unfunded liabilities and trust funds are. The fact that the government has redefined a few words does not change the reality. To be a bit crude, you can call your uncle auntie but he will still have a package.

            I’m not delusional at all. I recognize the issues but I insist that the truth about them be used and I deal with the actual realities not theories like you do.

            Sorry Larry but you have never recognised the reality. If you had you would not hold the positions that you are defending so vigorously.

          • all the OCED countries have public funding of education and all of them do better than us on core academics.

            That has to do with less meddling. Whenever you have more choice you get better results. So why are you for removing choices again?

            simply not true. Most OCED countries have national curriculum and national standards and that’s why they do so well on PISA.

            You are in denial. I do not cherry pick anything. And the definitions are standard. ”

            nope.. you cannot say that SS has an unfunded liability if the program by law cannot run a deficit.

            and you do cherry pick because you ignore the other unfunded liabilities for military pensions and the like when you talk about Medicare – and you ignore the fact that the military retirees go on medicare and SS as well.

            You just fail to apply them because you have your own definitions that come from government changes of those standards. Accountants know what unfunded liabilities and trust funds are. The fact that the government has redefined a few words does not change the reality. To be a bit crude, you can call your uncle auntie but he will still have a package.

            you have unfunded liabilities for all of govt retirees. where is that number? SS does not have unfunded liabilities because, by law, they must reduce payouts if FICA cannot cover them.

            you simply deny this but it’s the truth.

            “Sorry Larry but you have never recognised the reality. If you had you would not hold the positions that you are defending so vigorously.”

            my positions deal with the facts and the realities not ideology and theories.

            It’s fine to talk about unfunded liabilities as long as you do tell the truth and you do include all things that are effected.

            It’s not find to deny the facts and ignore all the things that are affected which includes a ton of non-govt corporations (who are bailed out by the govt) as well as states as well.

            Virtually ALL organizations – pubic and private have unfunded liability issues and you know it.

          • simply not true. Most OCED countries have national curriculum and national standards and that’s why they do so well on PISA.

            In most OECD countries parents have a choice because the funding goes with the student, not the school. Choice matters Larry. That fact is lost on top down types like you.

    • Larry says: “are there any good examples of higher functional capitalistic countries that do not have govt involved in things like schools and roads?”

      When government gets too involved, you have people paying very high prices for education, and then there are no jobs or they’re working in low-paying jobs.

      Also, the private sector may be able to build and maintain roads much better and cheaper.

  4. Perhaps, when a country becomes wealthy enough, the people want a military by government to protect that wealth.

    However, over time, government convinces people they need more and more goods & services from government. So, people vote for them, regardless of opportunity costs.

    Ultimately, the country becomes Greece.

    • re: ” However, over time, government convinces people they need more and more goods & services from government. So, people vote for them, regardless of opportunity costs.

      Ultimately, the country becomes Greece.”

      is this the inevitable outcome for all countries no matter what?

    • Perhaps, when a country becomes wealthy enough, the people want a military by government to protect that wealth.

      Since when does the military protect wealth? In the US military related expenditures consume almost as much revenue as comes in from income taxes. That is theft, not protection.

      • “Since when does the military protect wealth?”

        Security and prosperity are mutually reinforcing. The rise of Colombia since 2003 is a perfect example.

        • Security and prosperity are mutually reinforcing. The rise of Colombia since 2003 is a perfect example.

          You do not need the military to protect your property. In the case of the US it spends almost as much for military related activities as it gets as income tax revenue. That is not wealth protection. It is wealth destruction.

          • actually – the basic premise that one of the few things that the govt should be doing – national defense/security is the very thing that enables a centralized govt and in an elected represented government, people who believe in the value of a centralized govt to provide something they want/need – “defense”… sooner or later decide that since there already is a centralized govt that provides for “needs”… that they’ll think up more needs for the centralized govt to provide.

            so you can blame the US Constitution for allowing the creation of a centralized govt to “provide for the defense” AND having that govt an elected representative govt that can be changed according to what a majority of voters want.

            so blame the forefathers for setting up a fatally flawed system.

            ;-)

          • I have news for you Larry. Invading other countries has nothing to do with national security. Spending a trillion dollars on military related activity does not protect your wealth. It destroys it by hindering capital formation that creates wealth.

          • so you can blame the US Constitution for allowing the creation of a centralized govt to “provide for the defense” AND having that govt an elected representative govt that can be changed according to what a majority of voters want.

            You are closer to an accurate assessment here than you usually get. Good work.

            the Constitution was originally a compact among the 13 sovereign states, and could only be changed by a supermajority of states, not by popular vote.

            Keep in mind that only 9 of the original 13 states ratified the Constitution initially, and 3 of the 4 who joined later, did so only on the condition that states were free to secede at any time.

            The basic flaw is giving someone or some group or some agency a monopoly on the service you ask it to provide, and a monopoly on the use of force.

            As you can see, there is no way to effectively limit such a government.

          • As you can see, there is no way to effectively limit such a government.

            I have never had as much regard for the Constitution as many people on my side of the argument because I have moved to a position that has the Articles of Confederation as far more superior to it. The Constitution was a coup by the Federalists when Jefferson was in France and some of the original founders were at home because they never thought that a coup could come so soon or were convinced that the flaws would be corrected in the future. They never were and the grab for power showed up very early in the game.

          • “You do not need the military to protect your property.”

            You do if terrorists are inside your security zone. Again, Colombia.

          • You do if terrorists are inside your security zone. Again, Colombia.

            Did you live in Columbia now or are you talking about the American military? And let us note that even in Columbia there was no need of a military intervention. The violence could have been ended if the government stopped its war against drug exporters and minor issues could have been handled by the police instead.

            But we are not debating Columbia. We are debating the US instead. Most of your spending has nothing to do with the defense of your own nation. You have bases and troops stationed in Japan, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Guam, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Bulgaria, Italy, Kuwait, Djibouti, Bahrain, UAE, Greenland, etc. They are there to project power abroad, not to protect your wealth at home. And when the bill comes in every year you see that military related expenses come very close to the total income tax revenues that come from the productive class that pays income taxes.

        • I have never had as much regard for the Constitution as many people on my side of the argument because I have moved to a position that has the Articles of Confederation as far more superior to it. The Constitution was a coup by the Federalists when Jefferson was in France and some of the original founders were at home because they never thought that a coup could come so soon or were convinced that the flaws would be corrected in the future. They never were and the grab for power showed up very early in the game.

          I agree. As soon as a monopoly on public services is granted, and guaranteed payment is assured, the troubles begin. The only possible way to control government is by allowing competition and reserving the right to fire those who don’t perform to your satisfaction. In other words, a market in government.

          With the articles of Confederation the states held the purse strings, so the central government could only act as an agent of the states, as intended.

          And no, Larry, I don’t mean firing politicians in the voting booth. You may believe that voting is something special and that you have tremendous power, but you don’t. You are offered a choice of criminal thug A or criminal thug B. Those in power have made your the real choices for before you go to the polling place and get that “I voted” sticker you can display proudly. Don’t be fooled by the bread and circuses.

  5. Larry says: “all the OCED countries have public funding of education and all of them do better than us on core academics.”

    It should be noted, Western European countries have many Middle Eastern students, who are much better students, in general, than U.S. Hispanic and Black students.

    And yet, Western Europe is way behind the U.S. in the Information and Biotech Revolutions. I suspect, the top 50% in America are the best in the world by far.

      • Asians may be better students than U.S. Hispanics and Blacks too.

        How do U.S. Hispanic and Black students score on “core academics?”

        • re: ” How do U.S. Hispanic and Black students score on “core academics?””

          in US standardized tests, generally lower.

          I’m not sure if PISA breaks out the data by race/culture but if you look at the PISA results you’ll see countries that top us are European and Asian – not South American or African so you may have a valid point.

    • @peaktrader, re: OCED immigrant demographics.

      might want to read this:

      Lessons from PISA for the United States

      Chapter 2, page 30 and environs:

      http://www.oecd.org/pisa/46623978.pdf

      and page 231: ” Some contend that the value of educational comparisons for the United States is limited because the United States is unique among the family of nations. However, the analysis in Chapter 2 makes it clear that the United States is not unique, at least not demographically or socio-economically”

      so back to the thread title about Capitalism helping people.

      It should be clear that the countries where capitalism excels are by and large OCED countries and that OCED countries provide public education – as well as substantial safety nets.

      In other words – there is a high degree of correlation between the countries that have the best capitalism and the countries that provide public education and for that matter universal health care and social security type retirements.

      A list of the top countries for capitalism that do NOT provide public education and UHC would be an interesting list ….

      • Larry says: “A list of the top countries for capitalism that do NOT provide public education and UHC would be an interesting list.”

        The causality is capitalism allows bigger government, including public education and health care.

        Bigger government reduces or replaces capitalism.

        It can become a vicious cycle, until a country becomes Greece.

        • @peak

          re: ” The causality is capitalism allows bigger government, including public education and health care.”

          does the word “allow” mean 100% inevitable?

          if it does – then what exactly are people advocating for if it does not exist and will not exist as long as there is capitalism?

          Peak – I do try honestly to follow the logic here by those who want less govt or no govt and/or more libertarian or all libertarian economic systems….

          but it appears that elected, representative governance will in every case, inevitably lead to more govt, public education, and UHC.

          I keep looking for counter examples, even mild ones or newly forming ones but I find almost none …

          yet.. we advocate for exactly that – to basically roll back the things that elective governance seemingly inevitably bring….

          very paradoxical.

          • Almost everyone knows they need some government.

            That’s enough for government to begin increasing its power.

            Ultimately, when civilizations, empires, countries, or societies fail from government overexpansion, the cycle begins again.

          • re: ” Ultimately, when civilizations, empires, countries, or societies fail from government overexpansion, the cycle begins again”

            okay. fair enough. Are there any modern-day examples of that cycle?

          • okay. fair enough. Are there any modern-day examples of that cycle?

            England is the perfect example. It went from a wealthy nation where hard money and individual liberty increased the standard of living to an failed socialist empire in which the government meddles in personal lives as few could have imagined.

          • does the word “allow” mean 100% inevitable?

            Of course it doesn’t, and no one has made that claim. Do you understand what a strawman argument is?

            It’s your willingness to stoop to such cheap fallacious tricks that earns you so much scorn and ridicule at this blog.

          • Ron – STFU fool. I did ask a serious question.

            if govt is said to inevitably grow and become something more than ideal – I DID ASK the question as to how that process could be different AND I DID ASK are there any modern day examples of it actually playing out differently OR shrinking back to a better size/function.

            practical questions guy.. why is it that your only answers are ideological theory?

            what about the real world we do live in right now?

            HOW are you going to go back if govts are elected and the those who elect don’t want to go back?

            how do you do that? Peak thinks it happens when the country crashes and burns… any modern examples?

            don’t count Greece.. show me countries that have already crashed and come back to be more like the govt you want….

            got any?

          • okay. fair enough. Are there any modern-day examples of that cycle?

            Yes. the US in it’s 240 year history is a perfect example. Beginning as a confederation of sovereign states, and then a constitutional republic with checks and balances of power between branches of federal government and between federal and state governments, it suffered slowly expanding government in the 19th century, and an era of increasing prosperity and standard of living in the late 19th century and early 20th century – due to capitalism and relatively free markets – greater than any other time or place in all of human history.

            They very prosperity and increased wealth allowed for the ever greater growth of government as that wealth became an ever more attractive prize for those who wished to acquire it through political means rather than through economic means.

            In the early 20th century Progressive forces began working tirelessly to destroy the limits on government power imposed by the Constitution until we have the ever growing monstrosity of today.

            The balance of power between branches of government has been effectively destroyed, as has the power of states as a balance to the power of federal government.

            Today, with federal government spending almost twice its revenue, the end is in sight. As a smart lady once said “Eventually you run out of other peoples money.” At some point the bloated behemoth can’t be supported and it will topple.

            Many, if not most, developed countries are currently somewhere along this same path to eventual collapse, with Greece being one clear, cautionary example of what the future holds.

            Your error is in putting the cart before the horse and believing that government allows capitalism and creates prosperity, when in reality it’s the other way around.

          • re: ” Today, with federal government spending almost twice its revenue, the end is in sight. As a smart lady once said “Eventually you run out of other peoples money.” At some point the bloated behemoth can’t be supported and it will topple.

            Many, if not most, developed countries are currently somewhere along this same path to eventual collapse, with Greece being one clear, cautionary example of what the future holds.

            Your error is in putting the cart before the horse and believing that government allows capitalism and creates prosperity, when in reality it’s the other way around.”

            well no. I’m from Missouri. Show me.

            has any modern govt …”re-set” according to what you and others have predicted/expect?

            I say no.. but I would listen to claimed examples.

          • Ron – STFU fool. I did ask a serious question.

            Just sayin’, Larry.

            Your muddled thinking and ignorance isn’t my problem. It’s just an annoyance to folks here who would like to have an adult conversation about economic matters but instead have to constantly skip over your irrelevant drivel.

          • well no. I’m from Missouri. Show me.

            Educate yourself, dumbass. I didn’t take you to raise.

          • f govt is said to inevitably grow and become something more than ideal – I DID ASK the question as to how that process could be different

            The process can only be different when you understand that liberty is a good thing, and that capitalism and free markets are good things that lead to prosperity, and that government is the opposite of liberty, and the opposite of capitalism and free markets, and therefore a bad thing.

            The more government you have the less liberty you have and the less capitalism and free markets you have, therefore the less prosperity you have.

            Rather than asking government to take positive action to regulate things and control things and limit individual freedom and choices, you must ask instead that government reduce its influence in every way.

            Government will inevitably grow as long as people like you ask for more of it, and as long as people can influence political decisions in their own favor at the expense of others.

            The solution is to reduce the power of government and thereby make it less attractive to people who wish to use political power for their own gains.

            The reason poor countries don’t have massive governments is that they can’t afford them. It is the very prosperity and increased wealth of developed countries that allows government to grow, but eventually it will kill the host, or the host will sneeze and expel the obnoxious parasite.

          • re: ” he process can only be different when you understand that liberty is a good thing, and that capitalism and free markets are good things that lead to prosperity, and that government is the opposite of liberty, and the opposite of capitalism and free markets, and therefore a bad thing.”

            does not matter what I understand.

            What matters is HOW you intend to reverse what you say is bad… and your only plan seems to be to curse the darkness….

          • Ron,

            “They very prosperity and increased wealth allowed for the ever greater growth of government as that wealth became an ever more attractive prize for those who wished to acquire it through political means rather than through economic means.”

            Man, Schumpeter really hit the nail on the head, didn’t he?

          • Man, Schumpeter really hit the nail on the head, didn’t he?

            Yup, it seems so. Too bad so many people think government is their friend.

          • What matters is HOW you intend to reverse what you say is bad… and your only plan seems to be to curse the darkness….

            The darkness in this case being the abysmal, willful ignorance of people like you.

            I don’t see it reversing, Larry, I see it collapsing into chaos.

          • re; ‘ I don’t see it reversing, Larry, I see it collapsing into chaos”

            maybe …. but we probably have a ways to go. How long did it take Rome to collapse into chaos?

          • Great question, Larry. When did Rome begin depreciating its fiat currency and monetizing its debt in order to spend twice the amount collected in taxes?

            When did Rome have more voters depending in productive voters…oh wait! Voters? What’s a voter?

          • “maybe …. but we probably have a ways to go.”

            yeah, probably around 2-4 yrs. Sooner or later, a welfare check won’t go out. Or government assistance will be so devalued it won’t buy much. Then the riots begin.

    • And yet, Western Europe is way behind the U.S. in the Information and Biotech Revolutions. I suspect, the top 50% in America are the best in the world by far.

      It is not the blacks and Hispanics. It is the schools. And if you looked at the Information and Biotech Revolutions you see a massive number of immigrants responsible for it. American students prefer to take communications courses to engineering and math. The foreigners know better.

          • The U.S. is in decline. However, other major countries, e.g. in Western Europe and Japan are in even worse decline.

            China is on the rise. However, it’s rising much slower than people believe. I stated before:

            What China does best is corruption, crony capitalism, misallocate resources, cause negative externalities, prevent creativity, create inefficiency, and export much of its GDP.

            And, an aging population will also catch-up to China, except China’s masses will be much poorer by then compared to Western Europe or Japan.

          • “It is the recent immigrants who are essential for the high tech industries that are so important for the American economy.”

            The skilled immigrants. Most illegal immigrants don’t even have a high school degree.

          • The skilled immigrants. Most illegal immigrants don’t even have a high school degree.

            That is true. The illegal immigrants are the people doing the work that Americans refuse to do because it is too hard and does not pay as much as welfare. They are the ones that keep the agricultural sector going by picking fruit, looking after fields, etc. But the legal immigrants are the backbone of the American high tech sector. They have been the ones who have formed companies, headed research, and made breakthroughs that have made the sector as successful as it has been. Look at the people with PhDs in mathematics and the hard sciences and you find a disproportionate amount of Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Indians.

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