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Jupiter
The rich get richer and poor get poorer and I believe that has always been the case in this capitalist world we inhabit. Is there, can there be,do we need an alternative and if so what is it?
rolleyes.gif
ashfield
Got the fishing rod out early tonight Jupiter tongue.gif
wee davy
There has ALWAYS been an alternative to the worship of Mammon, Joop.

You just can't see it for looking at it.

Click to view attachment

If the 1% collectively spread the wealth about a bit more appropriately (like our Mr Microsoft is doing), then the world would be a far far better place.

(PS I refuse to accept we live in a Capitalist World)

So,... there we go,... gimme a harder wan next time lol wink.gif tongue.gif

(I don't mind being compared to a nice fat Haddie, ash lol)
Jupiter
Wee Davy,thats the second reference you have made to my eyesight recently.I can assure you Im pretty much aware about whats going on.I read here,there and everywhere about whats going wrong with our world and in particular the financial doo which now exists and Ive read all the comments from every Tom Dick and Harry about it ,and thats fine but so far I have never read of anyone coming up with a solution or alternative to the system which now exists.Despite what has happened and all the protests strikes etc I think the status quo will prevail. rolleyes.gif
Thats the reason I posed the question.
Rab-oldname
I'm all for HEDONISM. Click to view attachment
angel
Q Can Capitalism and Socialism co-exist?

This is one of the answers to this question. In " Ask Me Help Desk "

Quoting ETWolverine:

QUOTE
Can they co-exist? I assume you mean within the same system. To my way of thinking, the answer is no. But people and governments keep trying to accomplish it anyway.

The most successful system that I have seen so far that has been able to integrate socialism and capitalism into a single system is in Israel. The kibutzim of Israel are socialist communes in which all members of the commune own everything together. All assets, liabilities, income and expenses are shared equally. However, the kibbutzim exist within a capitalist nation. The kibbutzim produce a product or products (usually a single major product for the commune that most adults are involved with creating) which is then sold in the open market of the Israeli capitalis system.

So in essence, what you have is a socialist entity existing within a capitalist system, and producing and selling something within the capitalist markets.

Does it work? To an extent. Since each kibbutz is self-reliant and separate from every other kibbutz and every other capitalist business in the country, the kibbutz must remain competitive in order to support itself. That eliminates the biggest problem in socialism: lack of competition and motivation. In most socialist entities, the problem is to get everyone to produce to their highest ability when there is no incentive to do so. People are getting paid whether they produce or not, so why bother to produce. But in the Israeli system, the kibbutz must produce and do so successfully, or else it will fail and its members will go hungry. Competition still exists, and so there is motivation to produce. So the biggest problem with socialism is mostly eliminated.

The problem is within the kibbutz... Those who are more productive within the kibbutz eventually get fed up with those in the kibbutz who are less productive, but are getting the same compensation that they are. So they eventually leave the kibbutz and fully join the capitalist system that rewards them based on their efforts. Eventually the kibbutz is left only with those who are either diehard fanatics of the socialist system, or else those who are less productive. Quality and production suffer, and the kibbutz becomes less lucrative. Privledges are cut back as cost cutting measures, the members become dissatisfied and leave the kibbutz, and the kibbutz eventually fails. That is why there are fewer and fewer kibbutzim every year in Israel. Those that are still around are the ones who have become more capitalistic in their model, granting incentives and bonuses for higher quality work or greater production. In other words, they become semi-capitalist, with some socialist leanings rather than true socialists.

So can we call this a true integration of capitalism and socialism? Or is it really capitalism with a few socialist concepts thrown in, such as sharing of burdens, expenses and liabilities? I think it is more of the latter.

Israel, does have a successful and effective government-run healthcare system for those who cannot afford private medicine, and it can be argued that that is a form of integrated socialism and capitalism. But it must be noted that in that case government healthcare is only one choice among many for healthcare. Government-run healthcare is an ALTERNATIVE, and if you don't like that alternative, you can obtain private medicine or get a job in which the employer pays for part or all of your healthcare. So "socialized medicine" in that case is forced to remain competitive with private medicine due to market forces, just like any private medical system must. Given that, the system can really be called a capitalist private medical system with a government run choice that sits alongside all the other private medicine choices. And to be fair, the doctors in the government run healthcare system (called Kupat Cholim) are excellent at their jobs... Because they compete with the private market.

So while many might look at Israel as an example of capitalism and socialism working together, I believe that the system is really a capitalist system with a few socialist concepts thrown in. They tried real socialism and it failed. They tried socialism combined with capitalism, and it failed. So now they have a system that is essentially capitalist with a few government-run or commune-run institutions that must remain competitive in the capitalist marketplace.
benny
Certainly there have always been "haves and have nots", or at least "have lesses", no matter how far we go back in recorded history, but Capitalism on a grand scale only arrived with the Industrial Revolution.

When the Industrial Revolution came along and manufacturing moved from cottage industry status to be the province of huge industrial concerns, Capitalism really took off. These huge industrial concerns made enormous profits and something had to be done with the enormous profits. For the generality of Capitalists, that something was to invest them in making more enormous profits, although a very few enlightened industrialists ploughed some of the money back into creating better conditions for their workforce.

In Western Europe at least, we existed without Capitalism for many centuries, and there is no doubt we could do so again if absolutely necessary - but the price would be one that very few of us would be willing to pay. Most peoples' standard of living would drop catastrophically - even the very poor would become very much poorer - and we would return to living at subsistence level.

On the other hand, the indefinite expansion of the consumer society - on which Capitalism depends for its survival - isn't a likely scenario either. Resources are finite, even if aspirations aren't. To bring everyone in the world up to the present living standards of Western society would require more in the way of raw materials and energy resources than we are capable of supplying at the present time.

So, barring some stunning technological discoveries which would provide us with cheap and abundant energy and materials, it looks as if we'll be stuck with the "haves" and "have nots" for some time to come.

That doesn't mean that the worst excesses of Capitalism can't be avoided, even if it leaves us with no viable alternative to the Capitalist system for the moment.
GG
Maybe if we consider an example of capitalism then we might be able to say whether we think it's a good thing, after all, capitalism is a pretty difficult concept to define. Take the following example from the Guardian last week where they highlighted the growing pay gulf between people at the top and people doing ordinary, everyday jobs:

QUOTE
Richard Cousins, chief executive of the world's largest canteen catering firm Compass Group, employs almost 430,000 staff around the globe, including an army of school dinner ladies. Last year, his pay package was worth 4.4m, including a 1.3m cash bonus. His pay is not out of line with that of his FTSE 100 peers, but the pay gap at Compass is one of the widest to be found anywhere in corporate Britain. With contracts to provide meals for hospitals, prisons, mess tents in Iraq, and school and office canteens, Compass s one of the largest FTSE 100 employers. Staff earn an average salary of 12,480 a year, based on figures from company's annual report – though that includes many part-time workers. On that basis, Cousins' pay deal is worth 350 times that of an average employee at the company.

It's a fairly extreme example, but does anyone think that what Mr Cousins does is worth 350 times the work done by a school dinner lady?

Pay gap widens between rich and poor
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov...ich-poor-widens

GG.
GG
QUOTE (benny @ 29th Nov 2011, 08:54pm) *
... On the other hand, the indefinite expansion of the consumer society - on which Capitalism depends for its survival - isn't a likely scenario either. Resources are finite, even if aspirations aren't. To bring everyone in the world up to the present living standards of Western society would require more in the way of raw materials and energy resources than we are capable of supplying at the present time. ...

I think you mention a very important point here, benny. One which could provide some alternatives, or at least ameliorate the current situation.

Considering the expansion of the consumer society, as you say, that cannot go in forever. I think we need to consider alternatives which could be better: take the huge computer games industry as an example, one of the current bedrocks of the consumer society. Most people I know express concerns about the amount of time children spend playing computer games, isolated and often immersed in a virtual world of violence and mayhem. These children miss opportunities for socialising which previous generations took for granted, missing chances to develop 'people' skills such negotiation, compromise and resilience, all of which which are essential to their future wellbeing.

So, instead of focusing all the attention on selling the latest computer games, educational and social marketing campaigns could promote the value and excitement of real play in restoring a better balance to children's lives. Then children can hone their social skills while also consuming less finite resources, and improving their health, both mental and physical.

It's just one example, but if similar steps were taken across many fronts, then I think we could see a chance for positive change without having to dismantle the whole capitalist system ... just make it work a bit better.

Just a wee thought on a wet and windy winter night!

GG.
GG
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 29th Nov 2011, 08:06pm) *
... Despite what has happened and all the protests strikes etc I think the status quo will prevail. rolleyes.gif
Thats the reason I posed the question.

I think you are probably right, Jupiter ... I don't see any new system on the horizon soon. And if there was who is to say it would be better? Didn't fascism replace capitalism in 1930s Europe?

GG.
Melody
Have we ever wondered why when we face severe weather conditions for instance people pull together? Why people will come out of their houses with cups of tea as they did last year to stranded motorists? In times of adversity when we are all in the same boat human beings will become instantly closer? How many times have we heard people talk about the friendships and real companionship and sharing that went on in the old closes in Glasgow?

Have a read at this book it explains how human beings are far more at peace in themselves when we are all equal:

QUOTE
Read now
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see The Spirit Level (disambiguation).
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

The book argues that there are "pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption". It claims that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries. The book contains graphs that are available online.

In 2010, the authors published responses to questions about their analysis on the Equality Trust website. As of December 2010, the book had sold more than 100,000 copies. It has been translated into 16 languages.
mlconnelly
QUOTE
It's a fairly extreme example, but does anyone think that what Mr Cousins does is worth 350 times the work done by a school dinner lady?

I suppose that depends on what exactly Mr Cousins does but in the grand scheme of things, probably not. Wouldn't it be nice if he was to forego his 1.3m cash bonus and gave to all the hard working dinner ladies instead. I'm sure he wouldn't miss it when he has another 4.4m to fall back on.
Mary smile.gif
GG
QUOTE (Melody @ 16th Dec 2011, 10:22am) *
Read now
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better ...

Agreed, Melody. The Spirit Level is a first-class read. Few books expose the real, underlying problems in society to such rigorous scientific analysis (TSL was based on the findings of hundreds of scientific studies into the root causes of society's problems). The book establishes demonstrably and unequivocally that much of the problems in the UK today are caused by the high (and increasing) levels of unaddressed income inequality across the country.

The book shows how policies designed ostensibly to tackle society's problems are doomed to failure because they are intended to deal only with the effects of inequality, rather than addressing the root cause. In relation to Glasgow, it's a book that shows the narrow-minded short-termism of politicians in the city across much of the political spectrum, and certainly including the policies of all the mainstream parties.

Like another excellent book, Carol Craig's The Tears That Made The Clyde, The Spirit Level is a book which many of Glasgow's politicians prefer to ignore.

GG.
Brygo
The gap in life expectancy has been removed from politics and the public domain in Glasgow, and geographical segregation ensures the wealthy remain sealed off from the poor. That social apartheid is allowed to exist without comment illustrates how class struggle has been redefined in traditional, almost reassuring, terms over the last 30 years. Just as in the 19th century, the wretched poor live alongside the philanthropic rich.
Scotsman
I agree with you Brygo. I have long wondered how this disgraceful situation has come about that a man in Glasgow can die 20 years earlier than a man from a posh place and no politician seems to care!!

Just goes to show that politicians dont care about the ordinary man!!
Jupiter
I dont think there is any big mystery about life expectancy long ,short or otherwise.
Over the years there has been numerous health warnings.Smoke cigs chances you will get cancer.Drink too much alcohol high risks of heart ,liver disease among other serious ailments.Eat too much fatty food chances are its obesity,stokes,diabetes that will get you.Everybody gets the same warning so its up to the individual to make a choice which road they want to take.
TeeHeeHee
Same with stress at work, Joop.
So if you have a bit of spare capital, invest it in a good book and stretch out and relax on the couch with a nice cuppa tea beside you and read "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. I'm sure you'll find it as entertaining as I have just done. biggrin.gif
Jupiter
THH,one of the most relaxing pastimes ever.If you gave me a copy of that book I wouldnt be able to read it for 6 months Ive got that many books lined up.My spare room is more like a library than any thing else.Currently on an Umberto Eco,hard going but superb. rolleyes.gif
Im investing today at Sedgefield,Southall,Thurles et al.
Tommy Kennedy
An ingredient NOT taken into account with to-day’s modern Capitalism is that it’s dependant as never before on the masses having some prosperity to spend on consumer goods.
Just decades ago the masses did not share in ‘New Technology’ – now they do. All that was for the upper/middle classes – now they do. Even into the 60s we had ‘Radio Rentals –into 80s Television rentals, people couldn’t afford to buy. Happy with the essentials of life, felt lucky for a week‘s holiday at Saltcoats or Butlins.
Added to that we have ‘Big retail business’ with over competition putting each other out of business; not specialising. H.M.V. an example; it was there you went for your music, now you get your CD’s everywhere.
Tesco’s will sell you everything –Boots will sell you food and cokes.

Of course big 'Patriotic Tory business' has/doesn't help by outsourcing manufacuturing to cheap labour!
TeeHeeHee
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 22nd Dec 2011, 01:20pm) *
THH ... If you gave me a copy of that book ...

... it would be in German. laugh.gif
Jupiter
TK,Long time no see.Hope things are good and you are enjoying the hols.
wink.gif rolleyes.gif So it all the Tories fault?Ill sleep better tonight after that wee nugget,Tommy!
THH Ive not got the time to read it in english never mind deutsch!
wee davy
QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 21st Dec 2011, 09:13pm) *
Same with stress at work, Joop.
So if you have a bit of spare capital, invest it in a good book and stretch out and relax on the couch with a nice cuppa tea beside you and read "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. I'm sure you'll find it as entertaining as I have just done. biggrin.gif


Dan Brown has helped me cope with hospital confinement, extremely well, in recent years, T.
Kate Mosse (writer) is another you might enjoy, if you like your fiction with a healthy dollop of fact
wink.gif
enrique
Is there an alternitive , well as i pontificate the question through this particular medium , the computer to which probably most of the GG members use over the year, ie where to for my next holiday or i think i will look up the latest car model to mine, or as i have just done, order a box of wine for the christmas dinner, if we look in the mirror , a lot of us will see that we have enjoyed this system, maybe looking for change is showing a wee bit of guilt, i would like to see though the stop to the mps the bankers robbing us of our well earned cash, in my day your local MP in general was in it to try and improve the country, nowadays though once you are elected it seems you have made it , no need to spend your wages , just claim everything on expenses, or if you are in some of the commitees you can close small firms and award the contracts to overseas companies, and then invest your cash into the said companies and make a few bob, easy money dont you think.
Rabbie
Don't know about an alternative, but we could do with some change.
Alex MacPhee
QUOTE (Tommy Kennedy @ 22nd Dec 2011, 04:09pm) *
An ingredient NOT taken into account with to-day’s modern Capitalism is that it’s dependant as never before on the masses having some prosperity to spend on consumer goods.

It's a point that's often overlooked. Over the last fair few years, there's been an increase in employee productivity not matched by an increase in employee earnings, meaning there's a consequential brake on spending, which is bad news for producers and the economy in general.

QUOTE
Tesco’s will sell you everything –Boots will sell you food and cokes.

Quite so. You can get your food in Boots, and a flu jab in Tesco.


wee davy

Click to view attachment
Jupiter
I dont know if it is the case and I will stand corrected but if this is the first time the prison authorities have attached such conditions to a prisoners parole release it is in the words of Willie Rennie,Scottish Liberal Democrat leader "counter to our democratic values"
If so it must be challenged and the person who imposed it must be called to explain.
Sheridan has been convicted sentenced and is entitled to the same conditions as any other prisoner.
Jupiter
Ooops! Above posted in incorrect forum.Sorree!
wee davy
I'll hiv hauf a pint ai whit your drinkin', Joop!
Jupiter
weedavy,my problem is Ive not touched a drop for four years.I used to be sensible. rolleyes.gif
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