This supposed to be a capitalist/free market society in the good ol' USofA, right? In theory, yes, but there are some dirty little secrets about our system and society that you may not be aware of. My buddy David 2 shows you the secrets YOU weren't supposed to know in this week's BRUTALLY HONEST commentary: http://brutallyhonestcolumn.blogspot.com/2014/07/week-of-07282014.html
As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome, either here or on David's page.
I think so too Freethinker. And yet gas prices can vary from state to state. Example: I live in St. Louis city but help care for my mom, who lives on the Illinois side of the STL area (I grew up on the Illinois side as well). Gas prices on the Missouri side (depending on where you are) can be as much as 20 cents cheaper than on the Illinois side (again, depending on where you live). The reason: Gas taxes in Illinois are much higher than in Missouri. City gas prices tend to be higher than in the suburbs in Missouri, though, and even in the area I grew up in, gas prices in more urban areas tend to be a bit higher than in rural areas.
David sumed that up pretty well. I'm a Libertarian myself but their beliefs are often so much misunderstood. Dumb people ask me what it is that I'm "liberal" about? (Am I a Liberaltarian?) Others tell me their political beliefs are too varied and therefore you don't know what they stand for. Maybe they could be like Republicons and rattle it all off like a trained parrot. The best you get here is that Democrats have more receptive minds.
Not long ago I was in touch with a woman by e-mail. Political views was not the subject, but she concluded that I was a Democrat very quickly. Surprise! I'm just a little more to the left.
My own politics tend to be a mix of Libertarian and Green; I'm a social Libertarian (which means I support same-sex marriage, for instance) but a fiscal Green (I support single-payer healthcare, for example). I also support third parties and promoted the third-party debates two years ago. Some don't get it though; a guy who defriended me on Facebook told me, in response to me saying folks like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode (the Constitution Party candidate), et.al., were people that SHOULD be looked at seriously if you wanted REAL change instead of the corporate-controlled Republocrats/Demonicans, told me that my politics "fucking suck".
This from a guy who bragged that he blocked CNN and MSNBC on his cable and ONLY watches Fox News. Perfect example of a guy, sadly, who David says "Follows The Script".
Fox news doesn't have a clue. This was very apparent when they were speachless as Obama was re-elected.They just looked dumbfounded. Me, I watch news from all over the world but Fox news is not one of them.
So do I, as much as possible. BBC, CBC, ABC (Australia) for instance. I do watch the local channels for local information and read the local paper, though it's largely free of substance anymore. Try telling that to the usual gang who comment on the stories though. You can almost set you watch by them.
Capitalism will fail because it is designed to fail. The elements create booms and busts, an economy that creates a gap of wealth between rich and poor. Individuals work to make goods and services and the owners of wealth sell these for a profit, however, they do not share the profits with those who produce. This factor creates a basic plan to increase wealth and increase poverty. A class system emerges, a struggle ensues, violence evolves and the cycle continues like a merry-go-round. It pulls energy, money, time, effort, creativity out of those who produce for the benefit of those who own capital. I can't think of a better way to squelch entrepreneurial activity.
No, you cannot thrust libertarianism on a nation of people without adequate training and preparation. Our education system is designed to teach obedience to authority, without questions and without critical thinking. It also teaches there are some who are to dominate and some who are to submit. It is the producers of goods and services who are to submit. They are propagandized to think they have a responsibility to follow orders. Those who dominate feel they are entitled to the goods and services produced by others without question or resistance.
Neither can one thrust oligarchy on a population without preparation.
There is no such thing as a "free market". All markets have unlevel playing fields, created by those who own capital, and who buy politicians. Subsidies, tariffs, land management, access to water at a cost, all play a part in the creation of a so called free market.
There are more people in the world who make things than there is demand. Therefore, there is an excess of labor. Capital can exploit that excess and pay lower wages and make demands on workers that is not in the interest of workers and in the very best interest of owners of capital. Working conditions can be allowed in a "free market" economy without benefit to the workers. Unsafe, dangerous working conditions cost workers health, money resources and lives. Owners of capital benefit by not investing in safe working conditions or adequate health insurance.
Capitalism supports gigantic farming operations, single crops, loss of diversity and puts moms and pops off the farms because they can't compete, both in purchasing seeds and chemicals, but in selling food stuff. Many farmers have been replaced by huge conglomerates.
Capitalism sup[ports gigantic retail operations, putting mom and pop out of business.
Capitalism enables buying politicians who write laws allowing taking production offshore to get workers for less money, have fewer regulations, and less accountability for their production safety. It also allows, legally, taking money to places to avoid paying taxes. Capitalists use our highways, regulatory systems of street lights and signals, they use buildings and facilities and pass the costs onto wage-workers. They benefit by the production laws and by the money management laws.
A small business has to carry the load of big business and its exploitation of all systems.
Of course "capitalism actually works against the concept of a free market system". It exploits the notion and manipulates the elements. Both capitalism and free markets need to be replaced with a notion that the Earth has finite resources and is in a delicate balance with living things on it. With religion pumping out babies as fast as they can persuade gullible people to produce more population, and with economic principles that looks at profit as the reason for existence, we will end life as we know it.
An individual born in the deserts of the world without access to water and soils for farming, fall vulnerable to disease and starvation and drought. An individual born in the slums of Calcutta without access to jobs and productive enterprise, fall vulnerable to a different set of life-threatening systems. An individual born along the once mighty rivers of the U.S. may not have rights to enough water to exist.
All these individuals, and others, face a life of hunger, thirst, disease and powerlessness.
As a liberal progressive, I stand for the rights of an individual for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laws, corporations, politicians, exploiters, manipulators and those who would dominate create the kind of world I do not want to live in and that will fight until my last breath. Family planning must become a sacrament. Those who own labor must have the right to organize for better, safer, humane working conditions in order to balance power of those who own capital. Profit resides in those who produce the goods and services.
Perhaps a cooperative venture will work, such as described by Richard Wolff.
"Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve.
"One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers directing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy."
If you start screaming "socialism" I will know you have been infected by the political virus. There is a cure for that, you know, it is called thinking critically.
Yes, Freethinker31, that is exactly what is happening. It won't change until and unless the people wake up and take a stand in their own self-interest. Thanks for your kind remarks. People who know me are getting sick of my rants, I am sure, however, I see no changes taking place. New boss, same as old boss.
Yes we are, I'm afraid. I said something like this 10 years ago on a blog I had and some joker said that I was a loser, among other lovely things.
I'm almost afraid it's going to take people taking to the streets before people notice how bad it is, and if that happens, it's going to get bad. Occupy, was just the tip of the iceberg, IMHO.
Thing of it is, people who start screaming "socialism" wouldn't know what it really is if it knocked them over the head.
I'm the opposite of a libertairan, but he's spot on.
As much as supporters of the “free market” hate it, they unfortunately have to accept that at some point there needs to be some restraint put on capitalism in order to keep real choice in the marketplace.