Capitalism is not about supply and demand according to a billionaire.
That’s quite a statement. Not to say it is wrong, but it is quite a statement.
This billionaire, Nick Hanauer, also believes a nation’s economy cannot grow without a strong Middle Class.
According to him, supply and demand are not the foundation of an economy – but rather, human innovation and the ability to reduce our ‘problems’ in society.
The question that came to my mind was: what are these ‘problems’ he speaks of?
I believe we have to separate problems into three categories: individual & collective, and a combination of the two: IC.
The individual (who believes it or knows it) respects prosperity as the sum of individual innovation and poverty as individual failure.
The collectivist respects prosperity as the sum of sharing resources.
The moderate respects prosperity as the sum of sharing resources in order to correct fallacies in human choice and to maintain a state of social equilibrium that permits individuals to compete and feel fulfilled.
Here is an excerpt from the article highlighting the author’s emphasis on the importance of a thriving middle class:
So middle out economics is essentially a 21st century way of understanding how an economy works – not as this linear mechanistic system — but as an ecosystem, with the same kinds of feedback loops. The fundamental law of capitalism is if workers don’t have any money, businesses don’t have any customers; that prosperity in a capitalist economy is a consequence of a circle of feedback loops between customers and businesses, which means that a thriving middle class isn’t a consequence of prosperity. A thriving middle class is the source of prosperity in capitalist economies, which is why a policy focused on the middle class is and has always been the thing that drives prosperity and growth — not pouring money into rich people, which simply makes rich people richer.
The first question that pops into my mind is – don’t people want to get ‘out’ of the Middle Class?
Perhaps not everybody – the argument here is that some people are content living average-income lives as long as their minimum requirements are met.
For me, personally, I thrive on my ambition to be financially fulfilled as much as spiritually fulfilled…in the mind of a conservative; whose primary focus is money (and not perhaps fulfilling his spirit; expressing himself), this Middle-Out Economics theory would seem nothing short of communism – an attempt to keep individuals where they are at in an economy.
In the eyes of the heroic libertarian, there is always a conspiracy against the individual, his enterprise, his intellectual property, and his ambitions in life to achieve success and fortune.
Perhaps the source of this paranoia is the potential for human beings to desire ‘vanity’ – that is, to desire to be regarded as exceptional beyond standard human capacity to such an extent that freedom and happiness are only awarded to those exclusive human beings.
At the end of the day, in a functional democracy – human necessities are met; but unfortunately, capitalism does not serve these means. Just as communism concentrates wealth at the top preventing individuals from obtaining a level of freedom; so to does fundamentalist capitalism.
So it goes to show that Mr. Hanauer is not far off in his critique of the dogmatic model of capitalist economics. A mixed economy, or a Middle-Out Economy, as he calls it, respects individual ambition, competition, as well as the dignity of human beings by assuring them of healthcare, housing, and a decent wage.
Wages are largely determined by supply and demand with minor interference from public factors; and the assumption in capitalism is the man who strives can create his own wealth. But this assumption is grounded in a human fear: there aren’t enough resources for all of humanity to live ideal lives; some human beings prefer to be slaves to power and economy-control; originality will be compromised.
Why must we rely on money to survive? This system has convinced us that it is the only rational one – that capitalism and supply and demand and the exchange of currency is the natural mode of human affairs; scarcity, that is, is the reason why capitalism is necessary. The USSR told us that the lies and shortcomings of capitalism vindicate the necessity for communism as its replacement.
But why is it always one or the other? Why must we worship concepts? DEMOCRACY. COMMUNISM. CAPITALISM. These are not my gods. These are the gods of the extremists; the fundamentalists; the hypocrites; the power-grabbers; the usurpers of freedom; the IMPERIALISTS.
In the East, they don’t believe in God. In the West; they believe they are God.
Somewhere in the Middle (the Middle East), are those who trust in the Infinite. The Infinite the God which we worship; permitting us to take from concepts like capitalism and communism without becoming hostage to any one of them entirely – allowing for a mixed economy so to speak.
So what does that say about the course of history as taught in the East and West? What does that mean about the twentieth century narratives? How have the East and West successfully torn apart the Middle East? How have they used these extremities to divide individuals all across the world? How have they been able to secure their empire at the expense of a moderate individualist-collectivist hybrid sovereignty?
The enemy is imperialism and its symbols and gods are evident. Its enemy is the golden rule – the straight path – the anomaly – the infinite. Instead of a mixed economy, and a national boundary – these guys want ISMS and expansion.
They succeeded in the Middle East by creating a new version of Islam which can be more appropriately labeled as wahhabism, salafism, etc. and by introducing self-idolatry and paranoia into our societies. The establishment of a zionist state in 1948 only furthered this objective by further implanting a power-house of fundamentalism, religious exclusivity and imperialism in the center of the Middle East, crashing any hopes for sovereignty, independence and prosperity for the Middle Eastern people.
Who are the victims? All the moderate secularists, liberals, and moderate monotheists who are struggling to secure their peace.
How does this translate into our tangible reality? The House of Saud and Israel as well as every other monarchy in the Middle East have allied themselves together with every brand of islamism and zionism and have secured a support system with the West (US, UK & EU) as well as the East (Russia, India & China).
There are two forces at war: imperialism (hubris) and sovereignty (equality). Choose your side.
Political debate is the biggest business in America.
Everything is business in America – I guess that’s the beauty of it – but as with every business – there are competitors, and I ain’t here tryna’ monopolize but damn do I have an argument that might put yall fundamentalists OUT OF BUSINESS! I mean, wouldn’t you rather be a business man of good conscious that makes money off being honest and ethical than one of lies and facades used to mislead people because you don’t have it in your heart to be humble? HUH SARAH PALIN HUH!?
haha…pardon my professionalism. HEY THIS IS A BLOG OKAY! I was disenfranchised from the official system so I hadda turn to the underworld and this southern colloquial to get by in the business of the land of big business.
I love debating – proving points. I guess that’s not a good thing. I just love the study of social science and debating is just another way of indulging in a good old conversation – you don’t have to be angry, just learn the G code and you will know exactly how to maneuver through. Okay now I’m selling my secrets. Bah, they can’t be learned. You either got it or you don’t. We’re all determined beings bro. Mahara-ji.
So, to all my libertarians, socialists, atheists, anarchists. Bring it. Let’s get some artistic debate on.
I believe the UAE is a grand example of why capitalism needs to slow its role when trying to convince the world it should be ‘unfettered’ – let me rephrase that. I believe blah blah blah is an example of why we need to distinguish between capitalism and pseudo-capitalism.
I decided to reword it once I went through it all one more time before posting it. I love capitalism. Well, I love truth, and I am not going to hold the truth hostage to my stupid opinion – so instead of devoting my energy to touting something that might be wrong, fundamentalistic, or incomplete, I am going to devote my energy to trying to distinguish between what I think is right, and what I think is wrong, and eventually leaving it up to you to decide. I mean, I am definitely putting in my two cents – I am human after all.
Among the pictures in the below link – one especially caught my eye – the caption that is. Caption reads: Tea Party would not be pleased. Why?
89% of Dubai is made of immigrants – yes the west’s favorite scapegoat when venerating the wonders of capitalism. 71% of those immigrants are Asian – probably illegally there – exploited under inhuman work conditions – these guys are slaves people…
You think these immigrants have any human rights guarantees?
You see, I think the problem is that people here in the West like to worship a pseudo-capitalism that – in a more professional, perhaps academic, setting – would likely be labeled anarcho-capitalism, where even the most basic tenets of capitalism and individual rights are ignored for the sake of serving some arbitrary, usually tyrannical, goal, like dominating an entire region on earth in the Middle East. And this pseudo-capitalism is to these anarcho-capitalist libertarians what chairman Mao might have been to the ‘commies’.
Remember folks, God came before capitalism – believe it or not.
But here in the West any criticism of capitalism is immediately assumed to be un-american, communistic, or atheistic – none of which I think is accurate – in fact the only thing un-american is the absence of free thought, discourse and debate on pressing issues such as these – ones that affect Americans and non-Americans alike.
Instead of hurling labels like socialist and islamist around – let’s carefully dissect the accusations so that we may distinguish between true and frue.
LINK TO REFERENCED ARTICLE
Mind-boggling the audacity these guys have. I am starting to believe that they are in fact the descendants of the Third Reich – as extreme as that might sound. Likening Obama to an ape is not racist according to the Right – but then again neither was the death of Trayvon Martin.
It’s like these guys, their cohorts – and their constituents – are completely blind to the incidents of the last decade, and the escapades of former president George Bush. Why are Republicans so keen on attacking the left for its propaganda but are quick to dismiss right-wing propaganda aimed at justifying war abroad?
Both former presidents Eisenhower and Carter warned about the influence of institutions like the military-industrial complex on american politics (home and abroad) – Kennedy warned us about the dangers of zionism and imperialism (no wonder he was killed). Putin is a Nazi for annexing Crimea but Bush is hailed as a saint for ‘saving’/colonizing/plundering/raping/destabilizing’ Iraq.
The party of double standards, you seem to be, dear GOP. With the likes of characters like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Ted Cruz (and the extended family which includes the Limbaughs, Palins, Glenn Becks, O’Reillys) – the Republican party is advertising itself on a platform of fundamentalism, dogma and conflict. Honestly the aim of all governments in the modern world should be to preserve human dignity and diversity – and all the media in America (the West really) seems to be portraying the Republican method as the savior of all mankind – yet, this method has only brought war, famine, crime, and instability to the international community.
The Right wants to fan the flames of paranoia and ego – blaming communist Russia and China for everything – even two decades after being crippled to death by Reaganomics. They want us to believe every leader in the world is a tyrant and that the West will save all men from tyrants to the proliferation of fundamentalistic democracy (yes, the same method that ushered in the victory of Hamas over Fatah in Palestine and the Muslim Brotherhood over liberal movements in Egypt).
So it seems to me like all this talk of spreading democracy and human rights is – in the words of Joe Biden – complete malarkey. Not to say that democracy is nonsense – on the contrary – but I think the method is all wrong, especially because it is designed to do anything but institute genuine democratic foundations wherever they are exported. I believe all these paranoias were carefully designed, orchestrated by a solid group of individuals seeking to usurp mankind and rob us all of our rights. That force is the anti-human – the above-human. I’d call it imperialism. It has no nation – no people. It is a religion – dominance. Theft and dominance. It isn’t capitalism because even capitalism is just in certain aspects. Imperialism – or, anarcho-capitalism as Noam Chomsky might call it, is entirely distinct, keen on fueling strife, instability and serving few individuals at the expense of many. In a perfect world, which we may someday attain once these brute forces are recognized, exposed and eliminated, we’d have a united nations that preserves the dignity, sovereignty, and autonomy of all nation-states by encouraging systems of mixed economies, preserving individual rights as well as ensuring collective prosperity.
Why does Mexico, which is supposed to be a democracy, run a STATE-owned oil company known as Pemex? Does this not violate Western traditions of free markets and liberalism?
Ah, I get it. In this case, state-socialism in foreign nations is beneficial to the West. Pick and choose, you know?
Despite repeated attempts to portray itself as such, the conservative ideology is not representative of the opinions of people of faith. This distinction, between conservatives and believers, must be made clear, in my opinion, as its ambiguity is part of the reason why Republicans garner American votes — the misconception that being a believer in God or subscribing to a faith suggests that one’s ideology is conservative, or laissez-faire.
Having faith does not mean you are or have to be conservative, neither socially nor fiscally.
Furthermore, I believe it is important to establish the distinction between why I understand as anarcho-capitalism and free-market capitalism. The former, to my understanding, permits abuses of human rights, civil liberties and economic inequalities, whereas the latter allows for forward mobility, protection of private property, and economic development.
Contrary to what we’ve been fed by conservative politicians, lobbyists, religious groups and mere culture and history, capitalism does not have one definition. In former president George W. Bush’s days, words like capitalism, democracy, religion, God, and christianity were hurled around to appeal to the masses, with the underlying intention of seizing power from foreigners and securing economic interests.
My question to is, what does capitalism mean to you? What do all these words mean to you? Obviously, they mean something different to everybody.
Ain’t that something?