Tag Archives: socialism

Why Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor?

This article is going viral: Why Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor?

A small annoyance is how the word ‘socialism’ has come to mean so many things, usually depending on the underlying political or economic motives of whoever is using it, that it’s become hard to define. Socialism can mean:

1. Partial or total government ownership and influence of otherwise private firms

2. Worker ownership of the means of production

3. A system of government (social democracy) and or policy characterized by a very large social safety net (welfare state); significant presence of unions

4. Used interchangeably with ‘crony capitalism’ in which the government ‘picks and chooses winners and losers’, and or an economic system or policy that favors the wealthy and or large corporations

The article seems to be alluding to the forth definition.

This passage stood out:

Theirs is cutthroat hyper-capitalism—in which wages are shrinking, median household income continues to drop, workers are fired without warning, two-thirds are living paycheck to paycheck and employees are being classified as “independent contractors” without any labor protections at all.

Yes, as discussed before, for those who don’t have above-average IQs, your life may suck, if it doesn’t already. The past half century, but especially the past decade, has hit these people the hardest, who find themselves stuck in the low-paying service sector or unemployed, the high-paying manufacturing jobs of earlier decades that were doable by people of all IQ levels, long gone.

The problem is a lack of stability. Manufacturing jobs provided generational stability for families and children, but with these jobs gone, people have become more itinerant and atomistic. Construction and energy jobs, although they pay well, are very sensitive to both macro and miro economic conditions, making it hard for workers to settle down. Gig jobs don’t pay well, are demanding, and offer no benefits, unlike salaried jobs–but gig jobs create a lot of economic value–there is no waste, because workers, who are dependent on feedback and referrals, are fully accountable for their success or failure, whereas in corporate america, the cost of individual incompetence and sloth is shared by the entire firm (it’s like those group projects in school, where the smart kids do all the work but everyone gets equal credit).

It’s not so much that all jobs will vanish, but rather the quality of many jobs in terms of pay is declining, as part of the ‘hollowing out of the middle’.

But also, many businesses are struggling. By some estimates, this is this harshest environment ever for small business (except web 2.0 and stuff like that, which is immune). Employees are being squeezed but so too is small business, which is another component of capitalism. Multinationals are thriving because of an abundance of cheap capital (due to low interest rates), allowing them to expand and possibly crowd out smaller businesses. But there other factors for why small business is doing so badly: over the past quarter century, the cost of rent, land, insurance, and advertising has vastly exceeded inflation, but credit has become much more tight to all but the largest and safest of borrowers (the old joke being, to get credit you must first prove you don’t need it). This is part of America’s transition to a deterministic economy (similar to a planned economy) and society.

Related:
The Meritocracy We Don’t Understand

The Daily View: Good Tweets, Socialism, The White Male Die-Off

IQ facts:

High-IQ wins again as Facebook’s valuation crosses $300 billion. But I thought Facebook was supposed to be a bubble and a fad, said the left in 2012.

Over on XenoSystems, a commenter writes:

What concerns me is that post-industrial capitalism seems frustratingly demotic. Even with a fully realized patchwork, if the majority of wealth is held by a minority that favors socialism (or mercantalism, etc.) what prevents them from crushing markets elsewhere. Our major publicly traded companies are prioritizing social justice over profit, and are going to melt whole sectors of the economy as they implode. A majority that values piety over profit and controls the vast majority of the wealth can distort/destroy any market. Heck, look how much damage Soros has done…

Normally I would just reply to the original comment, but this is amusing enough to warrant its inclusion into a blog post.

I guess it depends how you define ‘social justice’. True…too fend off the social justice lawyers, most companies have an employee conduct code that rivals that of Hammurabi, and violators are dismissed with prejudice. But that doesn’t stop the left from complaining about: low wages, outsourcing, profits being too high, taxes…you name it.

Starbucks: wages, fair trade

Facebook: privacy concerns, taxes

Amazon: taxes (dodging state taxes, especially), employee working conditions at warehouses

Apple: wages, taxes (avoiding cash repatriation), working conditions in China, outsourcing

Walmart: wages, displacing ‘mom and pop’ stores

Google: taxes, privacy concerns

Uber: busting cab cartel, not paying drivers enough

Snapchat: fostering narcissistic behavior, valuation is too high according to the left, privacy concerns

Behind any successful company are liberals who have some reason to complain.

There is also a tendency among some to throw words like ‘socialism’ around flippantly. Also ‘socialism’ and ‘multinationalism’ are not interchangeable. While multinational companies do get government contracts, so do many smaller companies, and this in and of itself is not socialism. Socialism means the government has complete control and ownership, which includes ownership of profits, dividends, and equity. That also means socialism is NOT the same as a grant or a loan. The government helping to fund companies like Tesla is not socialism unless they own Tesla, which they obviously don’t. Musk is worth billions, which is his to keep. When the US government took a 75% stake in AIG in 2008, I guess that could technically be called socialism since the government and, to some degree, the tax payers ‘own’ AIG; the common shareholders lost almost everything, but the stock was already close to worthless by then. Same for Freddie Mac and Fannie May, which too were bailed-out, but by then the stock was close to worthless. The US government gets all of Fannie’s and Freddie’s profits, which is why activist shareholders are trying to ‘liberate’ Freddie and Fannie, and I support their efforts being that I am also long some Freddie and Fannie stock in the hope the conservatorship will be relinquished. That is socialism, but this is extremely rare, and maybe only a dozen companies out of tens of thousands were bailed out in such a manner in 2008 and would meet the definition of ‘socialism’. The vast majority of companies on the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones would not qualify as ‘socialist’ ownership. Just tired of all this whining about the slippery slope to socialism when there is very little actual socialism.

This story has been covered to death in the past 24 hours, but It sucks to be a middle-aged white person

My guess the root cause is fulfillment, emptiness. In the past, God filled that role, but the developed world is becoming more secular. Society demands a lot from white men – money and social status – things that are harder to obtain than just being a decent, moral person. Church is easy. You go every week and God gives you salvation, but attendance is falling, people realizing what atheists have suspected all along: it doesn’t work. This is not a knock on religion, but science is supplanting religion. No, salvation cannot be attained by believing in a deity. You have to make a lot of money and be well-known.

And it looks like Roisey has a new Twitter account after the SWJs banned his old one https://twitter.com/ChateauEmissary