The fundamental problem with capitalism (as described by Bo Burnham

Author: secularmerlin ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 104
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    love is being the owner of the company that makes rape whistles
    And even though you started the company with good intentions trying to reduce the rate of rape, now you don't want to reduce it at all cause if the rape rate declines then you'll see an equal decline in whistle sales
    Without rapists, who's gonna buy your whistles?

  • Lemming
    Lemming avatar
    Debates: 2
    Forum posts: 466
    2
    2
    3
    Lemming avatar
    Lemming
    --> @secularmerlin
    Sure, a company wanting to make profit can cause trouble to society.
    Whether with your whistle example,
    Or the car companies in America, General Motors streetcar conspiracy.
    Though I thought the scope of the railway's efforts were bigger, and the reason America doesn't have railroads all about it, as some older countries in the world, seems I was mistaken. Still it shows a company interested in profit more than society, but then people often see their profit as societies interest.
    The light bulb,
    Cell phones.

    Though I still read about all these conspiracies with a bit of salt. I'm often wary of becoming some conspiracy nut.

  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @Lemming
    The problem with the idea of a coverup is that the lack if evidence is supposed to be the evidence so a coverup is indistinguishable from not a coverup.

    Anyway this isn't about conspiracy theory it is about the mechanisms of capitalism subverting good intentions in the name of profit. I'm not pointing t pl some real world whistle company. 






  • Lemming
    Lemming avatar
    Debates: 2
    Forum posts: 466
    2
    2
    3
    Lemming avatar
    Lemming
    --> @secularmerlin
    How would you 'avoid the problem of capitalism?
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @Lemming
    I'm not sure you can "fix" capitalism. 

  • Lemming
    Lemming avatar
    Debates: 2
    Forum posts: 466
    2
    2
    3
    Lemming avatar
    Lemming
    --> @secularmerlin
    An understanding of possessions, gain, loss.
    Seems pretty ingrained in humans, people.

    There 'have been societies that placed merchants in lower class/caste/esteem.

    Have been authorities in countries that legalized against monopolies, and legalized toward worker unions.

    Still, influential people and powers seem to arise in most systems of government.
    Oligarchs in Russia, China.
    Ceo's in America.
    Military leaders in Nazi Germany.

    Best method would just be encouraging of ethical and moral 'good amongst people low and high, I'd think. And regulations to restrain greed.
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @Lemming
    Best method would just be encouraging of ethical and moral 'good amongst people low and high, I'd think. And regulations to restrain greed.
    Perhaps you do not understand the thought experiment proposed by Mr. Burnham. As the CEO of a company that makes rape whistles you started with one goal but the financial reality is that accomplishing the goal will ruin you financially and all of your employees will be out of a job. In other words you are now in a position of being punished if you do happen to accomplish your original goal. Capitalism at it's most basic only rewards profits.

    Regulations to restrain greed are a temporary stop gap at best. Greed will then be ever vigilant for ways to circumvent or repeal these regulations.

    The only real way to effect change in a capitalist system is to monetize selling less of your product as it becomes less necessary. What regulation do you propose be put in place? Shall we subsidize rape whistle companies commensurate with the losses they experience as their product accomplishes the end they originally set put to achieve? Do we do this with every conceivable enterprise? How do we subsidize everything? Where would the money come from? Capitalism is not equipped to prioritize human welfare.
  • Lemming
    Lemming avatar
    Debates: 2
    Forum posts: 466
    2
    2
    3
    Lemming avatar
    Lemming
    --> @secularmerlin
    Perhaps you do not understand the thought experiment proposed by Mr. Burnham. As the CEO of a company that makes rape whistles you started with one goal but the financial reality is that accomplishing the goal will ruin you financially and all of your employees will be out of a job. In other words you are now in a position of being punished if you do happen to accomplish your original goal. Capitalism at it's most basic only rewards profits.

    Many financial pursuits are finite, rather than repeatable pursuits.
    This is not bad, simply fact.

    Regulations to restrain greed are a temporary stop gap at best. Greed will then be ever vigilant for ways to circumvent or repeal these regulations.
    Good and evil forever in a push and pull, fact of life.

    The only real way to effect change in a capitalist system is to monetize selling less of your product as it becomes less necessary. What regulation do you propose be put in place? Shall we subsidize rape whistle companies commensurate with the losses they experience as their product accomplishes the end they originally set put to achieve? Do we do this with every conceivable enterprise? How do we subsidize everything? Where would the money come from? Capitalism is not equipped to prioritize human welfare.
    Regarding rape whistles, government simply prevents Monopoly from being held by 'one interest.
    And pursues regulation that combats the existence of rape in society.
    People don't mind others pursuit of profit, but there are limits. If a company advocated for more rape, just so they can sell whistles, society ought be hostile towards that company that encourages a social ill for it's own profits.

    I'm sure some people would like a number of products such as drugs to be 'completely unregulated, sellable even to children.
    But people 'have regulations to prevent that.
    Have regulations to prevent even certain drugs being glamorized in children ads.
    Can be a balancing act, but societies manage.
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @Lemming
    Many financial pursuits are finite, rather than repeatable pursuits.
    This is not bad, simply fact.
    Good and bad are subjective terms that only have meaning when we have a frame of reference for them. The capitalist frame of reference is profit. Anything that limits profits is therefore "bad" within the capitalist framework. Any argument t pl the contrary is coming from a different frame of refer. 
    If a company advocated for more rape, just so they can sell whistles, society ought be hostile towards that company that encourages a social ill for it's own profits.
    If a company (openly) advocated for more rape, just so they can sell whistles, society might be hostile towards that company that encourages a social ill for it's own profits and that could effect the companies profits. that means attempting to humanize (or at least put on a show of humanizing) their buisness model. That is not the same as saying that the CEO of the company actually wants (for financial reasons) to prevent or even reduce rape. The initial goal (preventing rape) is counter to the corporate goal (profit) and so for the corporate entity to continue the original goal is by necessity somewhat subverted. Look at companies that produce medicine and energy for real world examples. Energy and medicine definitely improve human welfare but excessive energy production/consumption is bad for the environment and healthcare profits less from a healthy population. In neither of these fields has human welfare been prioritized over profit.

    All organisms are expansionist, resource greedy and self preferential. Humans are no exception. It is therefore not surprising that we behave in amazingly short sited and self destructive (as a species) ways.

    In short the problem with capitalism is that it is a system which is especially permissive of being expansionist, resource greedy and self preferential. 
  • Lemming
    Lemming avatar
    Debates: 2
    Forum posts: 466
    2
    2
    3
    Lemming avatar
    Lemming
    --> @secularmerlin
    Many financial pursuits are finite, rather than repeatable pursuits.
    This is not bad, simply fact.
    Good and bad are subjective terms that only have meaning when we have a frame of reference for them. The capitalist frame of reference is profit. Anything that limits profits is therefore "bad" within the capitalist framework. Any argument t pl the contrary is coming from a different frame of refer. 

    'Companies and some individuals 'do tend to make profits the be all, end all, of their pursuits I suppose.
    The guiding framework that they operate.

    In short the problem with capitalism is that it is a system which is especially permissive of being expansionist, resource greedy and self preferential. 
    Fits humans well then.
    Still, it get's regulated in some form eventually.
    Whether by policy or revolution.
    Nature of society and man to function for a time, then fall apart.
    Rise and fall of nations and all.


    Side note, cigarettes 'obviously harmful.
    I enjoyed the books Runaway Jury and the Rainmaker by John Grisham

  • zedvictor4
    zedvictor4 avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 3,943
    3
    3
    3
    zedvictor4 avatar
    zedvictor4
    --> @secularmerlin
    Just rebrand the whistles.....Covid whistles for example.....If someone coughs, blow like fuck, could be the slogan.... BOGOF.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Debates: 9
    Forum posts: 4,154
    3
    4
    10
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Discipulus_Didicit
    Without rapists, who's gonna buy your whistles?
    Sports referees.

    But then COVID hits and there are no more sports.

    So you found a new company to cure COVID.

    Not to sell the cure, but to reopen sports and sell more whistles.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 57
    Forum posts: 2,385
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @secularmerlin
    The failure of capitalism is not that people with no vision cannot remain in business when their product is no longer popular or needed, but that people like you do not have the vision to see beyond the failure to recognize innovation; the engine that drives capitalism. Just imagine if everyone who manufactured buggy whips just went out of business in disappointment that no one needed their product to start an automobile engine because they did not recognize the opportunity to re-fit their factory to manufacture an ignition system. The beauty of capitalism is the invention of innovation, the essence of which socialism has never understood. And that is why it ALWAYS fails. Show me a socialist system that has endured longer than 100 years. [Hint: there isn't one.] Further disappointing, the average socialist system lasts about 40 years before crumbling in the face of a system that has never defined what you bought from Oba'a; that there is a finite money supply. "There comes a time when you have made enough money." Who says? Him? the guy who never ran a business? Like Marx, by the way? Some mentor. No, he was, is, and will always be dead wrong. The only limitation is the belief that the money supply is finite. Argue for your limitations; they're yours.
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @fauxlaw
    I am not talking about one product I am talking about the natural consequences of capitalism to subvert human welfare in the name of profit. If for example automobiles were shown to be environmentally irresponsible to own and the automotive companies just went about producing and selling as many as possible for as long as possible anyway with no thought of future generations. If that were to happen, you know hypothetically, that might show the same problem. 

    I am not advocating for socialism or Marxism or any other isms by the way only pointing out the problems of capitalism and how it can be used to short circuit our survival instincts by tying those instincts artificially to the movements of little pieces of paper which are at there most basic actually divorced from our survival. 

  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 57
    Forum posts: 2,385
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @secularmerlin
    only pointing out the problems of capitalism
    Yes, but I'd suggest being careful about using Bo Burnham as your frontman. As Burnham said in response to a series of podcasts by Pete Holmes, another comedian, who expressed fear that Burnham, "always makes me feel like a fraud," Burnham replied, characteristically, "Oh, that's not true. My show is a complete fraud." Then you take him seriously at your peril. I'm not saying capitalism is perfect, but I am saying that it is the best economic system to feature the individual rather than the collective. The best individual will allow that his successful capitalism will always keep in mind the benefit he can be to the collective. Thereby, capitalism, as a construct of civilization, is a construct that allows an individual to do his best, but remember that he is not in it alone. It allows for generosity without limiting his own potential because it is the only system that has the approach that the money supply is not limited by a ceiling. Not every capitalist feels that way, and, I'll admit, that is a problem, but the problem is not due to the idea of capitalism, but only how some approach it.
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @fauxlaw
    Yes, but I'd suggest being careful about using Bo Burnham as your frontman. As Burnham said in response to a series of podcasts by Pete Holmes, another comedian, who expressed fear that Burnham, "always makes me feel like a fraud," Burnham replied, characteristically, "Oh, that's not true. My show is a complete fraud." Then you take him seriously at your peril. 
    Reverse argument from authority. The source of the argument is unimportant as long as the argument is sound. All arguments either stand or fall on their own merits. 

    I'm not saying capitalism is perfect, but I am saying that it is the best economic system to feature the individual rather than the collective. The best individual will allow that his successful capitalism will always keep in mind the benefit he can be to the collective. Thereby, capitalism, as a construct of civilization, is a construct that allows an individual to do his best, but remember that he is not in it alone. It allows for generosity without limiting his own potential because it is the only system that has the approach that the money supply is not limited by a ceiling. Not every capitalist feels that way, and, I'll admit, that is a problem, but the problem is not due to the idea of capitalism, but only how some approach it.
    Immaterial. I am not presenting any alternative system nor asking you to do so only pointing out legitimate problems with capitalism. As for a limit to generosity I'm not sure if I am impressed by a life spent in accumulation of profit for profit sake followed by one flashy and impressive philanthropic gesture after becoming socially advantaged. I remain unconvinced that this provides a net gain for the disadvantaged or that it would not be better for society (though less of an ego boost and more of a cost to the individual) to consistently behave charitably in small ways throughout one's life. Especially and this part is important, if your lifestyle consumes enough resources that it is actively contributing to the state which maintains the disadvantaged you are making your large gesture towards.

  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 57
    Forum posts: 2,385
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @secularmerlin
    one flashy and impressive philanthropic gesture
    Not my model. Personally, my entire adult life has been a model of earning money,. making my money work for me, and donating a percentage of it to charity, over and over again. Currently, 22% of my annual income is donated, and I increase the percentage as my increase grows. But I not only give a fish; I teach to fish. And, no. My donation is not to the state, which is a poor processor of random funds. I give to direct, private industry charities. The government does not know how to, and should not be the middleman of charitable donation. Stop depending on it. It's not their job. Show me where it is mandated to them.
  • secularmerlin
    secularmerlin avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 6,251
    3
    3
    3
    secularmerlin avatar
    secularmerlin
    --> @fauxlaw
    I applaud your charity efforts. You are not the personal target of my criticism. 
  • RationalMadman
    RationalMadman avatar
    Debates: 318
    Forum posts: 9,670
    10
    10
    11
    RationalMadman avatar
    RationalMadman
    --> @fauxlaw
    It's not their job. Show me where it is mandated to them.
    So, we should trust the private sector which revolves around profit and competition... To provide better than the government that needs to satisfy its citizens in order to remain in power (or it can rule in a tyrannical manner if you meant you wanted that).
  • SirAnonymous
    SirAnonymous avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 3,193
    3
    7
    10
    SirAnonymous avatar
    SirAnonymous
    --> @secularmerlin
    Reverse argument from authority.
    I think the term you're looking for is the genetic fallacy.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 57
    Forum posts: 2,385
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @RationalMadman
    Good questions, RM. But, yes, I think if the private sector were to left to its profiteering and competition because the givernment got out of the welfare business [that is not what Madison meant by "the general welfare," by the way] to be more charitable than they are now, the system would work very well. Corporate America is already more charitable than you imagine, but figures if there's a givernment [I am misspelling on purpose] doing it, their contribution is not necessary to extend. It's actually the way it used to be done.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,892
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @fauxlaw
    Corporate America is already more charitable than you imagine, but figures if there's a givernment [I am misspelling on purpose] doing it, their contribution is not necessary to extend. It's actually the way it used to be done.
    And that worked out swimmingly,

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,892
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @RationalMadman
    So, we should trust the private sector which revolves around profit and competition... To provide better than the government that needs to satisfy its citizens in order to remain in power...
    I always find it hilarious when people say, "the government should run like a business".

    Because that always works,

    The business geniuses who built a multi-billion dollar entertainment complex in 2019,

    Wirecard, the most innovative tech company on the planet,
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,892
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @secularmerlin
    love is being the owner of the company that makes rape whistles
    And even though you started the company with good intentions trying to reduce the rate of rape, now you don't want to reduce it at all cause if the rape rate declines then you'll see an equal decline in whistle sales
    Without rapists, who's gonna buy your whistles?
    I call this, "the policeman's dilemma".

    The police vow to "fight crime" and if they succeed, crime falls and police budgets are gutted.

    They are motivated to not put themselves out of a job.

    All organizations (organisms) are naturally self-protecting.

    If the national anti-cancer research laboratory could choose between "treating cancer symptoms" and "curing cancer", they'd naturally be inclined to the former and against the latter (based on an unfettered profit motive).

    It might even work in their favor to promote (or downplay the dangers of) activities and or products that are likely risk-factors for cancer.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,892
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @Lemming
    Though I still read about all these conspiracies with a bit of salt. I'm often wary of becoming some conspiracy nut.
    THORIUM REACTORS,