Can Biden Govern?

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  • Peter McKillop
    replied
    Originally posted by Neil Frarey View Post

    Not about Capitalism nor Greed ... is it Pargat?

    True colors! More about your empty effin words on yet another effin forum.

    You're all the same hustle.

    When (if) ya grow some balls ... we'll talk about ya Greed vs ya Growth.

    Woohoo?

    lol



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    FB_IMG_1607443475867.jpg

    Leave a comment:


  • Pargat Perrer
    replied
    Originally posted by Garland Best View Post
    The issue of course is unrestrained capitalism. When the accumulation of wealth becomes a goal in itself instead of a means to an end, then it is no longer a positive force. And I believe that THAT is the type of capitalism you are arguing against, and that is where your view of greed comes from. Ok, I am in on the thought that people like the Koch brothers and Donald Trump are examples of the evils of unrestrained capitalism. I believe that Facebook and Google are destroying our local newspapers and this needs to be halted. Uber severely harmed the taxi business, leaving drivers barely making a subsistence living. So don't get me wrong. These are all examples of greed in play as they accumulate wealth by harming others. But in moderation capitalism is a positive force and is not necessarily powered by greed. But without some sense of empathy you will fail as a capitalist.

    PS: In case it isn't obvious, I ascribe to the believe that nearly all things in life are good, as long as they are done in moderation. Of course the issue there is what level is moderation.

    Most of what you've written is pretty much boilerplate stuff and I don't have any major issues with it. Please do remember that I haven't said all greed is bad or all capitalism is bad, a couple of other posters tried to paint me with that brush. And also, I stressed that unrestrained capitalism, whether bad or not (and I would agree it is morally bad), is necessary for this physical world in which we live, and so trying to eradicate greed is a pure fantasy.

    It isn't my concern to try and change anyone's behaviour. You mentioned your renting out of a condominium, and said that that wasn't greedy. Well, I don't know because I don't know the particulars. You just said it pays a small amount and that you like your tenant. What would really be vital to know is this: if you had the opportunity to rent that apartment out to someone at double the rent, the person(s) were lined up and willing to pay and you weren't constrained by rent controls, would you kick out your tenant and rent to the new one at twice the price? Many landlords would, but you may be different.

    I have watched the TV show Shark Tank, and one thing that is glaringly obvious is that these businesspeople on that show, both the established ones (the "sharks") and the wannabe ones, are trying to create a product or service for which the costs are minimal and the price they charge is maximal. In fact, I remember once someone had something that was pennies to produce and they were able to charge $50 U.S. in price because of demand, and Mark Cuban laughed and said "You're killing it, man!" That is the essential goal of every true capitalist.

    So it isn't just about being empathetic and knowing what people want, it's about reducing expenses and charging the maximum price that the market will bear. All those small businesspeople you mentioned -- hair salon, art store, magazine stand -- aren't going into business unless they have calculated they can make a profit. Meeting the needs and desires is one thing, making a profit is the true motive. Almost no one starts a business to break even, even if they would be meeting a need. So the TRUE DRIVE of a capitalist is the profit motive.

    Whether this transcends to greed is a matter of degree. I think what it amounts to in the vast majority of cases is this: if the capitalist can find an avenue to greed, he or she is going to take that avenue. Very few people can turn away from an opportunity to be, as Mark Cuban said, "killing it!".

    And this is part of the human nature and part of why it is pure fantasy to try and pursue some sort of heaven on Earth. But still, we do want to have SOME regulation in order that we don't descend into utter chaos. Without regulations today, we would be seeing major oil spills, major nuclear power plant disasters, major food poisoning outbreaks, major chemical plant fires, etc etc nearly every day.

    The perfect balance of regulations is not easy to find, too many and a legitimate business can be stifled and a need can go unmet. So it is an art form to balance it all. Maybe all we need to agree on is that the extremes of little to no regulations and of exorbitant regulations are both not the way to go.

    Finally I'll repeat what was my major point about greed: if humanity is to make any progress to a more moral and humane society, greed CANNOT be permitted in politics nor in medicine. And then I added mental health and long term care as well.

    And since this is supposed to be a political thread, and Bob A. was proposing some other political ism, my contribution to this thread was and is to say we must make politics non-profitable to the major politicians. In some Native American tribes, you had chiefs, but the real decisions that affected the whole tribe were made by.... the grandmothers. No one cared more about the tribe's future than the grandmothers.

    Also Garland, I totally agree with you about moderation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter McKillop
    replied
    Originally posted by Dilip Panjwani View Post

    Right, it is not a person's capitalism, but his character that makes him good or bad...
    A person's character is reflected in his business decisions and therefore the two (a person's capitalism* and his/her character) are not mutually exclusive when it comes to assessing goodness or badness.

    * not 100% sure what you mean by a person's capitalism

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter McKillop
    replied
    Originally posted by Garland Best View Post
    Ya might want to read this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerz...h=983cc7b67aae

    Although this one is probably more in line with Peter, given his reading history. https://www.theatlantic.com/business...s-idea/360265/
    Hi Garland. Thank you for all the links, including the ones for Yes (Prime) Minister (loved that show!). I had a tough time with the Zitelmann article. His definition of empathy seems to be: the ability to understand and share the needs and feelings of another for the purpose of exploiting them for personal or corporate profit. I understand what Zitelmann is getting at but he needs a word other than empathy, a word that in my experience has always been associated with the 'higher' qualities of a human being; not a word that I've ever seen associated with business information gathering for profit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dilip Panjwani
    replied
    Originally posted by Peter McKillop View Post

    Henry Ford may have been a brilliant industrialist but he was also a racist asshole. Gates on the other hand seems to be a decent person. It disturbs me seeing his name in the same sentence as Ford's, as if the two were somehow equivalent.
    Right, it is not a person's capitalism, but his character that makes him good or bad...

    Leave a comment:


  • Peter McKillop
    replied
    Originally posted by Dilip Panjwani View Post

    Would you say the same for Henry Ford or Bill Gates?
    Henry Ford may have been a brilliant industrialist but he was also a racist asshole. Gates on the other hand seems to be a decent person. It disturbs me seeing his name in the same sentence as Ford's, as if the two were somehow equivalent.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dilip Panjwani
    replied
    Originally posted by Garland Best View Post
    Ok, I am in on the thought that people like the Koch brothers and Donald Trump are examples of the evils of unrestrained capitalism.
    Would you say the same for Henry Ford or Bill Gates?

    Leave a comment:


  • Garland Best
    replied
    The issue of course is unrestrained capitalism. When the accumulation of wealth becomes a goal in itself instead of a means to an end, then it is no longer a positive force. And I believe that THAT is the type of capitalism you are arguing against, and that is where your view of greed comes from. Ok, I am in on the thought that people like the Koch brothers and Donald Trump are examples of the evils of unrestrained capitalism. I believe that Facebook and Google are destroying our local newspapers and this needs to be halted. Uber severely harmed the taxi business, leaving drivers barely making a subsistence living. So don't get me wrong. These are all examples of greed in play as they accumulate wealth by harming others. But in moderation capitalism is a positive force and is not necessarily powered by greed. But without some sense of empathy you will fail as a capitalist.

    PS: In case it isn't obvious, I ascribe to the believe that nearly all things in life are good, as long as they are done in moderation. Of course the issue there is what level is moderation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Garland Best
    replied
    Let's next look at the word capitalist.

    "1. a person who has capital especially invested in business".

    That's pretty broad. The owner of the convenience store on your street fits that definition. So does the owner of a hair-salon, an art store, a magazine stand, practically any business on main street. Most of these people would probably not consider themselves greedy based on the definition you provided. They just want to earn a living. And if the business turns out to be successful, so they expand to a bigger building, or open a second store, is that in itself bad? The owner is doing better, buys a cottage for the summer, or gets a nicer house. Is he being greedy? I think every parent wants their child to have a better life than they had, even if their life was in itself pretty good.

    When my mother-in-law passed away, rather than sell her condominium, my wife and I decided to keep it and rent it. It pays a small amount, not enough to live on, and eventually we plan to sell our house and take ownership of the apartment. So I am a capitalist. But I don't think I am greedy in doing this. And I get along great with my tenant. So none of these small-scale capitalists would probably consider themselves greedy. But I'm willing to bet that they would all say that one reason they are successful is that they identified something someone wanted.

    (to be completed).

    Leave a comment:


  • Garland Best
    replied
    Originally posted by Pargat Perrer View Post
    I would then be interested to hear what you think on what I wrote about empathy and greed. Do you think empathy is in fact the true driver of the majority of capitalists? It can't be proven either way, but it can be inferred by the fact that the majority of Capitalists, once they start making gads of money, prefer to acquire things they don't need such as multimillion dollar homes rather than give their excess back to society. Remember, I am not using Dilip Panjwani's definition of greed, but the Merriam-Webster definition which speaks of wealth beyond what is needed.
    Ok, let's see how this goes. First we have to be careful with definitions, as we should not confuse "empathy" with "sympathy" or "compassion". Let's go to Merriam-Webster, since you seem to favor it.

    "1. The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner".

    So in the case of a capitalist, this means someone who could look at a product or service, and correctly understand that someone would want that product/service. I can argue that to be a successful capitalist, one definitely needs this as a skill. Someone who is merely greedy should not be able to succeed without this sense of empathy, because without it they cannot identify what products will sell. You mentioned the inventors of pet rocks and the Rubik's cube at one point. The persons who identified them as being marketable definitely met this definition of empathy, in they they could look at these items and could correctly identify that a person would want these things. They could recognize those feelings. As a personal note, I myself spent hours playing with a Rubik's cube and consider the few dollars spent on them well spent.

    (to be continued).

    Leave a comment:


  • Dilip Panjwani
    replied
    A good overview, Erik!

    Originally posted by Erik Malmsten View Post

    Capitalism evolves into monopolies and oligarchies.
    I would say it degenerates into monopolies and oligarchies.
    This happens because regulations often stifle competition by smaller companies....and if we want to prevent some capitalists from becoming 'super-human', we would need to ensure that smaller players can effectively compete.... and the lesser the prohibitive regulations, the more likely that the benefits of capitalism will flow to all hard-working and industrious people...

    Leave a comment:


  • Erik Malmsten
    replied
    Do any of us earn bank interest or have an RRSP? Ever sold anything at a garage sale? Then you have been a Capitalist, albeit not our main source of income. Just as we are a diverse group of people, there is a diverse group of capitalists.

    Capitalism is about investing capital to make a profit. It usually requires hiring workers to make a product or provide a service, and the investors makes a profit on top of that labour. That isn't necessarily evil or greedy. Some employers produce quality products, share their profits with their employees, participate in community charities, and give customers a product that works well and lasts a long time (but usually too expensive for the poor to buy). But they will have competition from somebody selling something cheaper by paying their employees a poverty wage. Ruthless capitalists can put other capitalists out of business.

    Capitalism isn't some fixed, solid structure. Capital flows to wherever it can make the most profit. Every decade sees the collapse of old businesses and the creation of new businesses. Capital adjusts. Coke/Pepsi had declining sales so bought out milk, juice, and hit gold selling bottled water. New ideas need capital to grow and, hence, most small companies get bought out by big companies with big capital.

    Capitalism evolves into monopolies and oligarchies. Capitalism can create chaos, sometimes a wave of destruction as money-losing factories are closed down, destroying small towns' economies. Or factory/mine waste poisoning the local population, destroying a source of workers. Or a product injuring/killing customers. Governments often put in programs for people to soften the blows of capitalist excesses. But big corporations also use government welfare/ tariffs to cling on to life as their sector declines.

    In this discussion it has been noted that centralized government bureaucracies have been faceless and uncaring to people. Likewise for large corporations whose head office is far away. But, in my experience, large companies often have educational and medical benefits for its employees that small companies can't afford.

    "It's always about the money, all of the time." - Kevin O'Leary
    Last edited by Erik Malmsten; Tuesday, 19th January, 2021, 06:32 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pargat Perrer
    replied
    Originally posted by Garland Best View Post
    Okay, apparently informal speech is a no-no. So much for my attempts to be light and casual. Noted. My response was intended for both you and Peter, so I did not feel the need to quote anyone.
    If you start a response with either "Ya" or "You" then you should make it clear who you are meaning. And there's informal speech... and then there's ridiculous speech. Don't lower yourself to Neil Frarey's level.


    Originally posted by Garland Best View Post
    Sorry, I thought that since the topic was brought up, it was OK to bring up alternative viewpoints for discussion. I did not express any opinion on your morality and whether you had a moral problem. And I also posted more than one link on the topic, with different views on the topic. Can we attempt to be more objective before posting? Thanks very much.
    Fine, I will apologize also for assuming that you were taking on the viewpoint of the first article's author. It did seem that way, because even the second article was talking about greed being good, so it appeared to me the two articles had commonality that you approved of. But I suppose I assumed too much, sorry about that.
    So consider my statement about soothing your soul to be directed at the author of the first article rather than at yourself.

    I would then be interested to hear what you think on what I wrote about empathy and greed. Do you think empathy is in fact the true driver of the majority of capitalists? It can't be proven either way, but it can be inferred by the fact that the majority of Capitalists, once they start making gads of money, prefer to acquire things they don't need such as multimillion dollar homes rather than give their excess back to society. Remember, I am not using Dilip Panjwani's definition of greed, but the Merriam-Webster definition which speaks of wealth beyond what is needed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pargat Perrer
    replied
    Originally posted by Neil Frarey View Post
    Not about Capitalism nor Greed ... is it Pargat?

    True colors! More about your empty effin words on yet another effin forum.

    You're all the same hustle.

    When (if) ya grow some balls ... we'll talk about ya Greed vs ya Growth.

    Woohoo?

    lol
    .
    lol indeed. YOU are the one who trolled me. In post 51 of this thread, you quoted a few Bible verses out of context and then said "You have NO IDEA of what you're saying, Pargat".

    What goes around comes around.

    Leave a comment:


  • Garland Best
    replied
    Originally posted by Peter McKillop View Post

    It might be fun to classify jobs by listing them from most despicable ( "n" ) to least despicable. I'll start:
    • n : politicians
    • n - 1 : human traffickers
    • n - 2 : lawyers
    • n - 3 : international arms dealers
    • n - 4 : used car salespeople
    • ......
    Anyone wish to add to the list?
    There are politicians and there are civil servants.

    Recently I have been watching "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" again. Hilarious and spot on accurate. I highly recommend it. You can find it at https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7w8u8r

    With regards to this topic about morality, this specific passage seem appropriate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIYfiRyPi3o&t=7s

    Leave a comment:

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