An Update For My Blogging Friends

As usual I am among the last to notice, but I finally did notice. Wally, a popular Christian blogger had not been posting much. Here, in his post, he explains.

So why the reblog? Well, I wanted to congratulate Wally. Sounds like he has had a welcome distraction. I hope it turns out well for him.

In addition, Wally’s post is timely. It has merit as a good explanation of how Capitalism works in practice. Given what our presidential election has been about, that makes it worth considering.

This election is a competition between two distinctly different world views. Capitalism on one side. Crony Capitalism on the other.

On one side we have Donald Trump. He is not a Conservative, but his campaign does show considerable respect for our traditions as a constitutional republic. Those traditions include a Capitalist economic system.

On the other side we have Hillary Clinton, who promises more of what Barack Hussein Obama has done. In practice the Democrats promote a fiendish economic system. We call it Crony Capitalism. Instead of merit, Crony Capitalism is about political connections. Over time — if not opposed — the Democrats will create a command economy, and political connections will be the only thing that matters.

Truth in Palmyra

Hello Blog World!!! I have not fallen off of the planet at all; I have just been strolling very close to the edge. Maybe you have noticed, and maybe you have not; I haven’t written a lick in weeks, and have commented very little. I have managed to keep up pretty well on my reading, which has been very gratifying.

I just wanted to kind of update my friends on things. It all started about 4 weeks ago, right after I finished a regular(long) work week. My boss, our manager, suddenly transferred to another office in the northern part of the state. Since I was his backup for days off and such, I was suddenly him by default. It is now 36 days later of straight working, and I am still….it. So for 36 days I have been running out of the house around 530 each morning and returning around…

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14 thoughts on “An Update For My Blogging Friends

  1. It’s nice to hear from Wally again, isn’t it?

    Good tie to capitalism,Tom. I live in the midst of the cronies and it can be real tough trying to make a living here. Lot’s of regulations, delays, restrictions, and it’s not what you know, but who you know. Ironically that kind of cronyism is not good for the poor or the working class.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The fact that a man must deny his well being simply to advance in a meaningful was is precisely what is wrong with Capitalism i.e. it is solely focused on the monetary output that a worker can provide. While this is lauded by the laizze fair as some virtue and impetus to work hard, it is a product of the culture of death and exactly what Marx was talking about.

    You see, when the worker is reduced, as Wally himself admits, to a mere money relation–your worth is directly comparable to the amount of capital you can produce–then it is easy for the worker to see his employer as an oppressor, keeping wages that he believes are justly his. Socialism exacerbates this dichotomy that Capitalism creates. Capitalism is a system based on the gaining of capital, both by the worker and the employer. Necessarily, since the only real relation between them is monetary, the two sides inevitably duke it out. This is where Socialism thrives: where the mutual greed and envy of worker and employer increase.

    If you do not believe this is true, then you are denying fundamentals of human nature and what Capitalism is based on: the attaining of evermore Capital. Both sides want to increase their Capital; either side can only increase their capital by taking from the other i.e. the employer extracting labor for less money from the worker and the employee extracting more money for less labor. This struggle is implicit in Capitalism and will remain in it so long as capital is the object of the system and the subsequent relationships.

    As such, Socialism will always rear its ugly head so long as Capitalism and its reduction of human beings into capital–yes, there is a term called “human capital,” which treats human beings as mere numbers on a spreadsheet–and will always work against it. In the end, both systems thrive on envy and greed between worker and employer. Both seek to exploit the baser inclinations of human nature in order to turn a profit. They are systems fraught with vice because they have their foundations on vices. Both dehumanize the human person, forcing him into relations and definitions that are unnatural to him.

    All this story proves is that Capitalism is a system by which worker and employer are in a constant struggle that will be exploited by Socialism to make their case for a different type of struggle. The solution is to base your economic systems of something other than struggling and fighting.

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    1. @Stephen

      You criticize, but you have not offered an alternative.

      Is Capitalism perfect? No. We just don’t have a better idea.

      To maximize our income, the Capitalist system requires that we balance the needs of others against our own. Capitalism allows each of us decide for our self what we will do for others and what we will do for our self. Socialism dictates that decision “for us”.

      If we make a product, then it has to be something our customers want. If we work for someone else (and everyone does), then we have to spend some of our time and efforts pleasing someone besides our self. Ironically, even though Capitalism is supposed to be all about selfishness, what Capitalism requires of us sounds an awful lot like what Jesus said about the greatest among us being our servant. Of course, Marx was not a worshiper of Jesus.

      What messes up Capitalism is an absence of ethics. In a Christian society where people regard their labor as a form of worship, Capitalism works well. Instead of trying to fool people into giving them money, Christians want an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Remember what the Bible says. Money is not evil. The love of money is evil.

      In a Christian society, Capitalism merely provides an efficient means for rewarding work that needs to be done. Using the law of supply and demand, Capitalism establishes priorities based upon customer needs. Socialism, on the other hand, establishes priorities base upon political considerations. So in addition to being immoral (We do not have a right to exploit other people (make them work against their will) to satisfy our own ends.), Socialism is highly inefficient.

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      1. Haven’t I? “The solution is to base your economic systems of something other than struggling and fighting.” I think that sums up the alternative quite well and i know I have spoken about it before.

        “To maximize our income, the Capitalist system requires that we balance the needs of others against our own.” In other words, to try and exploit people as much as they will allow or tolerate. The above story is indicative of that.

        “Capitalism allows each of us decide for our self what we will do for others and what we will do for our self.” Capitalism, in practice, places all the decisions in the hands of those who hold capital, especially and almost exclusively those with the MOST capital. Those persons are, of course, the larger corporations and the wealthy elite. It is through Capitalism that the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. Socialism does nothing to fix this problem; it merely gives it explicit government approval. Increasingly, the consumer has become more and more irrelevant. From ISPs to cars to even dishsoap, you choice as a consumer is slowly becoming more and more monopolized by a few large companies. Your decision to by A Brand or B Brand matters about as much as whether or not they have lobster at the next board meeting. The fact of the matter is that the consumer cannot stand up against the large corporation. Not against McDonald’s, Burger King, or whoever. Because for every crusading consumer, there are about five that don’t care or are suckered by marketing.

        You see, these companies don’t need to make a product people like; they just have to make you think you like it. In 2014 for example, the American people consumed about 5 pounds of pumpkin per capita. Ten years ago, such consumption would have been insane. Then came the PSL: the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Now, because a large corporation was successful in marketing and branding what is arguably just cinnamon and nutmeg in some espresso and milk, if you own a mom and pop coffee shop and DON’T have a PSL starting in October, you may as well shutter your business. Yes, even small businesses are prevented from making decisions outside the corporate mandates. If Starbucks comes out with a type of coffee, you better follow suit or see your customers feed upon an objectively inferior product–Starbucks has been found to have some of the worst and most expensive coffee but still ends up being lucrative–because THAT is how Capitalism REALLY works. A large corporation comes out with a product that the ever consuming masses get obsessed with and then we are each eating our weight in pumpkin.

        “If we work for someone else (and everyone does), then we have to spend some of our time and efforts pleasing someone besides our self.” It’s call pandering and yes, Jesus was against it. Nice spin though.

        “What messes up Capitalism is an absence of ethics.” Is this where you go Max Weber on me because I have plenty to say about how the “Protestant Ethic” actually debases human nature and creates the perfect climate for Marxism.

        “In a Christian society where people regard their labor as a form of worship, Capitalism works well.” Labor is not a form of worship. If it were, it would not be prohibited on the Sabbath. Labor is a consequence of concupiscence and the Fall of Man. We demand fair wages as Christians not because work itself is good, but because man’s work is for his very survival and thriving. To cheat a man of his wages is not to steal his work, but to steal his bread. Another way to look at it is that, if the man had land and tools of his own, he could provide for himself. Since he does not have land, he must sell the labor he would otherwise have brought forth provisions in order to get those provisions. If he did have that land and he did cultivate those provisions, could it be just to take a portion of them? THAT is why failing to give just wages is wrong. It doesn’t steal the work; it steals the product of work i.e. sustenance.

        “In a Christian society, Capitalism merely provides an efficient means for rewarding work that needs to be done.” In any society, Capitalism tries to pit one person’s selfishness against another’s.

        “Using the law of supply and demand, Capitalism establishes priorities based upon customer needs.” Actually, the growing trend is to establish priorities based on CREATING consumer needs, rather than filling them. You make WAAAY more money that way. Consider the Ugg boot or the PSL. Neither were actually needed. but both became necessities through clever branding and marketing. If you really want to look at some sneaky Capitalism, check out the wedding industry.

        “Socialism, on the other hand, establishes priorities base upon political considerations.” Which is somehow better than Capitalism that lobbies governments to establishes political considerations and therefore priorities? Consider NAFTA. Despite the facts, it has been the go to stooge in an ongoing battle between political and corporate interests. Between Bernie’s socialism and Trump’s repeating a 2008 mailer from the Obama campaign–yes, his NAFTA points came straight from this: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/more-nafta-nonsense/–the trade deal benefited consumers by allowing industries to go to other countries and thus have goods produced cheaper. And since we know that there was a net gain jobs after an initial loss–http://www.factcheck.org/2008/07/naftas-impact-on-employment/–the US actually won out. But it has become a contentious issue nonetheless, except to the corporations and investors. They became immensely wealthy after NAFTA and stand to gain more under TPP. If these corporations wanted to fill needs rather than pockets, wouldn’t they try to move back to America? It is not in their interest to keep American workers, even if they weren’t unionized. They have found it is better to exploit foreign labor the best they can–China’s industrial slavery is GREAT for the consumer, right?–because why should their bottom line suffer when people in other countries can?

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        1. @Stephen

          As near as I can tell what you want is largely what Liberal Democrats want. You just want your Socialism to conform to what you think are the teachings of the Catholic Church.

          Capitalism is the best system, but no system of government and no economic system works any better than the ability of the People to make it work. So long as we keep demanding that the government give us things, our politicians will buy our votes with “other people’s money”. That will result in cronyism, and well connected people will use the government to favor their business interests and eliminate competition. That allows wealth to abnormally concentrate.

          Just look at the record over the last several decades, particularly the most recent years. In effect, our propensity to make other people give us their things undermines Capitalism and promotes Socialism.

          With respect to NAFTA, I don’t have much to say. I don’t like overly complex trade agreements. It is next to impossible to objectively evaluate the effect of a trade agreement on the economy. And the more complex the agreement, the harder it is likely to be. When a trade agreement is 2,000, how as a voter am I suppose to make sense of it?

          Do I like Trump’s stance on trade agreements. Yes and no. Yes, I would like to simplify the darn things, but he has not actually promised that. No, I don’t think trade agreements are the source of our economic woes. Our government is just too expensive. It is a drag on our economy.

          H. Clinton, however, is not going to improve the trade agreements, and she is just going make the government more costly and less efficient. So there is no point in voting for her.

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        2. “As near as I can tell what you want is largely what Liberal Democrats want.” Seeing as one of the foundations of my philosophy is a rejection of Liberalism, that is epistemologically impossible.

          “You just want your Socialism to conform to what you think are the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Seeing as what I KNOW the Catholic Church teaches–implicitly, you just questioned whether I knew the religion I profess or that you know it better than I–is incompatible with Socialism, this is patently false. What is true is that you have a penchant for calling whatever does not conform to the established laissez le faire Liberalism orthodoxy you ascribe to Socialism whether it is Socialist or not. In fact, I have seen you condemn things diametrically opposed and specifically designed to combat Socialism as Socialism. In other words, I don’t think the problem is me.

          “Capitalism is the best system, but no system of government and no economic system works any better than the ability of the People to make it work.” Well, that is a matter of opinion. The fact remains that Capitalism, at its very core, requires men to exploit one another in order to make a living. You have not addressed that fact and instead merely claimed it to be the best system and said people need to be virtuous. It fails to address the fact that Capitalism only really works when people are not virtuous. The maxim “nice guys finish last” is not just a result of sin; it is a core principle of Capitalism.

          “That will result in cronyism, and well connected people will use the government to favor their business interests and eliminate competition.” Cronyism is a natural result of the above problem of Capitalism. If you are trying to beat out your competition, then you are going to use every means at your disposal, right? An athlete does not run slower so that others can compete with him. He uses everything he can. In the same way, companies lobby the government to enact laws that favor them. That is just how it works. This is an issue that goes back to even the very beginnings of industrialization. The new Republican party under Lincoln imposed heavy tariffs so that the South would a) essentially pay war reparations and b) satisfy the appetites of the industrialists in the north who now had a monopoly processed goods going to the South. And those industrialists lobbied Congress like the large landowners in the South lobbied Congress before the Civil War to keep slavery. As long as there has been government in America, Capitalists have been using the government to further their business interests. It is just part of the game.

          “I don’t like overly complex trade agreements.” Then I guess you dislike all trade agreements. They are necessarily complex because they have many moving parts.

          “When a trade agreement is 2,000, how as a voter am I suppose to make sense of it?” More evidence that direct, popular involvement in federal issues is insane. “The Phantom Public” by Walter Lippman would be a good read for you.

          “Yes, I would like to simplify the darn things…” Impossible,

          “Our government is just too expensive. It is a drag on our economy.” Actually, the price of government weighed against the benefits it yields actually makes it rather cheap. Yes, there are some things we can and should do differently, but gutting is not nearly as effective as reforming and restructuring.

          “So there is no point in voting for her.” Hence why I am voting for neither.

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  3. @Stephen

    Either Trump or Clinton will win. That is just the way it is, and neither of us have the power to change that.

    Do I think we need to stop our government from giving big companies and big government institutions like public schools, colleges, and universities advantages over their small competitors? Yes. The smaller companies are the more personal they are. When we know people, we find it easier to care about them. If we believe in Jesus’ teachings, we usually find it easier to serve people we know.

    Morality is something we practice at an individual level. Institutions, the larger being the worst, tend to be impersonal. Then our customers can be names on a list or just a number. Hence large corporations tend to be amoral and profit driven.

    Socialism in the form of large government institutions is just as impersonal, but the motivation is different. The ambitious seek power instead of money.

    That said, we don’t have the right to just arbitrarily take what belongs to someone else. People actually do have property rights, and justice requires us to recognize and protect those rights.

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