idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
So you've been told. Strange that you put more weight in the scary story of what might happen than the bad things you know are happening. And liberals think that Conservatives act on faith instead of reason!
That MIGHT happen? It HAS happen. It's one of the most defining features of the 19th and 20th centuries.
I disagree. There were some abuses very early on (19th century), but those as much had to do with government corruption in business as the problems we're seeing today. In the 20th century, the defining feature was the amazing leap and bound improvements in quality of life resulting directly from the massive growth of private capitalistic industries and the wealth those industries created. Those things happened as a natural evolution of free market capitalism and modern industrialism and not because of communist/socialist movements.
Karl Marx didn't write his works because he imagined that people could be taken advantage of--he worked because he SAW people getting taken advantage of EVERYWHERE.
Sure. And he assumed that condition would not change and would in fact get worse over time. He was wrong. Karl Marx did not understand that modern industrialism breaks the thousands of years old zero-sum nature of economics. And it's not unreasonable for him to have missed it. That rule had been the case for the entire history of human economic endeavors. For one person to get rich, someone else had to be poor.
He failed to see that the industrial revolution changed all of that. When he wrote his books, it was too early in that revolution to see clearly where it would lead. He saw the rich getting richer, assumed this would result in the poor getting poorer (because he applied a zero-sum assumption), projected the results going forward, and predicted disaster. He completely missed that even as the rich got relatively richer, they did so by massively increasing the availability and decreasing the cost of products and services. The net result is that the average working class person today enjoys a standard of living that is greater than the richest people in Marx's day.
He can be forgiven for not seeing what was happening. What's shocking is that so many people today still continue to make the same mistake
. Despite over a century of incredibly strong evidence showing just how wrong Marx was, they still cling to his theories. They attempt to apply zero-sum assumptions to modern economies long long after it's become abundantly obvious that they can't possibly be correct. They drive modern liberal social theory as well. And those theories, and the movements they inspire, require that the same flawed economic assumptions must be true. So, in a massive case of cart-before-horse logic, they act as though they are, and teach people that they are, and wave signs which assumes that they are, all the while ignoring the fact that those things simply are not true
Is there anyone who can honestly and objectively argue that when big businesses make lots of money that this results in a decrease in economic fortunes among the poor and working classes? If this were true, then why did a bunch of people lose their jobs when big businesses lost money a few years ago? Shouldn't the poor and working class folks have gained by this? And even if you don't accept that the corollary must be true, aren't the Occupy folks operating on exactly that assumption? They believe that the way to improve their own lives is to tear down the rich. Clearly, that can't possibly work. No one actually believes this, do they?
Yet, this is the message of the Occupiers. Hurt the rich and help the poor. But it doesn't work. You hurt the rich and you make more people poor. That's it.