18.3.05

Puolustuspuheenvuoro

Oli aikoimukseni kirjoittaa tänäänkin uusi "postaus", mutta innostuinkin kirjoittamaan niin pitkän vastauksen Nation Statesin keskustelupalstalla, että kirjoituskiintiöni meni tältä päivältä umpeen.
Tässä alkuperäinen viesti. Vastaukseni, jonka pitäisi olla lukukelpoinen myös ilman alkuperäistä tekstiä, käy ainakin englannin harjoitustehtävästä: etsi kaikki virheet ja kerro montako löysit!

On Capitalism

First, I'd like to apologize beforehand for any possible grammatical and spelling errors, for you see, english isn't my mother tongue.

If a small bunch of people hogged all the capital for themselves, they wouldn't be able to generate much more wealth, for there would be no one to buy the products of their companies. Sure, the rich can buy lots of stuff... but, for example, one man needs only so many toilets. Or do you believe, that after these people had hogged almost all the wealth (currently) available, they'd lose interest in obtaining more of it? Then why are Bill Gates, Donald Trump etc. still "in the business"?

"Immense poverty will certainly lead to an uprising." Don't you think that before this happens, the rich realize that it's in their best interest to give enough to charity to keep to poor from sinking to abject poverty? That be a lot cheaper than to invest into an army of bodyguards, walls, security cameras, traps and soforth...

Still about your example: if the majority became poor relatively fast, the demand on everything would sink, which would drive the prices further up, which would cause workers to demand higher wages, which would drive prices up, which would further diminish demand... in short: hyperinflation, companies out of business, mass unemployment, worst depression ever. The savings of the rich would lose their value, and their stocks would be worth less than the paper they're printed upon...

I say you make a common error in your thoughts about capitalism. I quote: "If you redistributed everyone's wealth equally in a capitalist country, within a matter of weeks, there'd be the haves and have-nots." Ah, but capitalism isn't about redistributing wealth, it's about generating more wealth altogether. When the rich want money they're bound the benefit others too with their investing. Investing in companies means more jobs (not necessarily in _that_ company, but for example, in the company from which the new printing machine was ordered). New jobs would mean increased purchasing power, which would mean better revenues for the companies the rich own, which would further increase the rich people's ability to go on investing and generating more wealth... The whole economy benefits from rich people's the desire to get more. This is why "the poor" in, say, Britain have tvs.

Furthermore, you speak of some sort of anarchocapitalism, in which just about everything is a-ok. Complete freedom is just as bad as the lack of it, as in the common paradox: we need laws in order to be free. "The invisible hand" often lacks foresight, for example: SUVs are still "hot", even though their net value in, say, 5 years is next to nothing because by then, a barrel of oil costs someting like $65 (present day money). What's more, SUVs make a hefty contribution to the soaring gas prices. This is why nations should discourage buying large vehicles by taxing oil. This doesn't stop, but slows down, the rise of the price of the oil, which in turn helps to prevent inflation.

On Democracy

"If a country is more than 50% white but almost 100% of their politicians are white (because majority almost always wins) --", I don't know about your country, but at least here, the party that gets most votes, doesn't take the whole parliament (Finland has a polyparty system). True, it will have the majority of the seats, but that's why we have rules to prevent the major party from singlehandedly driving through all its agendas (an issue needs to get 2/3 of the votes, before it's accepted).

"But the candidates voted into office are not fully representative of the entire population, but rather, they are fully representative of the majority of the population that voted for them." so they appeal to the majority, and drive polices that benefit the majority. The majority's victory may be some minority's defeat, but it is impossible for any regime to fulfill everyone's desires, for they are often in conflict with each other. Anyhow, this 2/3-of- the-votes-to-pass-rule would pretty much guard the minorities from too discriminating decisions, because in such a situation the other political party/parties would pretty much vote in unison against the majority. And I have never seen in a democratic election a party that got over 66% of all votes.

" -- politicians who are favored by the majority, like high school jocks, cheerleaders, or any popular people in high school --", I claim that the majority resides inbetween jocks and geeks. The can only be so many popular kids. I mean, they wouldn't be popular if they weren't something special now would they?

" --voting, whether direct or indirect, creates a ruling class." A ruling class would mean continuity, same party and same people in power over and over again... power passed on to relatives or close friends. Or do you claim that those in th e opposite ends of the political spectrum are actually part of the same ruling class? That even tough they battle in public, they actually just want one of them to rule?

In democracy, those who wish to get power or stay in power need to appeal to the public in every election. If the party that won runs the country very badly, or does so for many consecutive terms (and there is a formidable opponent), it's highly unlikely for the party to win again. It isn't all about putting up a good show near the elections, for people tend to remember the bad things over the good.

I hope my reply is even remotely coherent (getting more difficult towards the end, for I'm not accustomed to writing such a long texts). If you reply, I ask you to do so via e-mail: ddomander[at]kotikone[dot]fi (surely you can post your reply to the forum too...). And... I hope you don't get offended by this reply, for it wasn't my intent to insult your intelligence at any point.

Best regards
D. Domander


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