This country is great and capitalism is why - make your case

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In an attempt to head off the massive derail in the DNC emerging-rift thread, I think we probably need to have a place for this conversation to happen.

The backstory: cheeba made an offhand assertion that capitalism is what made this country great.

cheeba[/url]]The left has been extremely successful going after youth. If they don't understand that capitalism is what made this country great, then I am worried.

Jonman asked for cheeba to make that argument.

Jonman[/url]]

cheeba wrote:

And there's the problem. The left has been extremely successful going after youth. If they don't understand that capitalism is what made this country great, then I am worried.

Citation needed.

Firstly a citation that shows that this country is "great", then another one that shows that it's because of capitalism.

Which is to say, if you believe your own rhetoric, then you should be worried. Because your underlying hypothesis, that it's the self-evident truth that America is great thanks to capitalism is seriously, seriously flawed.

This was the response.

cheeba[/url]]Are you seriously questioning whether the country that invented the internet, that put a man on the moon (famously beating socialists, none of which have been capable of performing this feat, over 40 years now since we did it), is great? Or that it was capitalism behind what are most of mankind's greatest inventions? The assembly line? The Wright brothers? Edison?

Folks have already pointed out that the space race and the internet are somewhat problematic examples of capitalism making this country great, to say nothing of Orville Wright's views on the role a profit motive played in his most-famous invention.

But, since the topic won't die gracefully, and is swamping a thread that I feel had the potential for interesting conversation, I'm creating this topic.

Folks who feel that capitalism made this country great, this thread is for you.

Let's define terms. First, what is a great country - most economically powerful? Militarily? Technologically? (There seemed also to be some hinting that "freedom" was a useful metric - if you feel that's the case, please also define what you mean by freedom, as it applies to your argument).

Next up, what is "capitalism" as it applies to this discussion? Unregulated free markets? Any economic system providing for private ownership? Does the existence of investment tools like stock exchanges play a role?

Then, make the case for why capitalism made this country great. Please show your work - simply enumerating achievements isn't really sufficient for showing a causal relationship here.

Of note: cheeba never specified in the other thread, but given the achievements he listed, I feel safe assuming that "this country" is the United States, for the purposes of our discussion. I'll look to him for correction if that assumption is off-base.

Also: I'd like to plead for us all to make room for dissenting opinions and reasonable debate. As long as people are attempting to engage in good faith, they deserve our patience and willingness to hear out their arguments.

Questions:
- Does any capitalist country that did not do the same things as the United States fail at being great or just fail at being capitalist?
- Can any invention that might be considered great but that predates modern capitalism and / or the United States count towards Cheeba's assertion? For example: writing, the printing press, naval navigation, the polio vaccine, irrigation for farming, etc.

The polio vaccine, being developed in the 1950s, neither predates the US nor modern capitalism..

Tanglebones wrote:

The polio vaccine, being developed in the 1950s, neither predates the US nor modern capitalism..

You are absolutely correct. I should have listed it separately under things that might have been done for a public good rather than just for capitalistic reasons.

I think it also needs to be shown that capitalistic enterprises are willing to expend large amounts of money, working together on a long term project that will not realistically result in any profit.

mudbunny wrote:

I think it also needs to be shown that capitalistic enterprises are willing to expend large amounts of money, working together on a long term project that will not realistically result in any profit.

That's probably tangential to the conversation here, unless the examples chosen to support the "this country is great and capitalism is why" position stray into this area.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
mudbunny wrote:

I think it also needs to be shown that capitalistic enterprises are willing to expend large amounts of money, working together on a long term project that will not realistically result in any profit.

That's probably tangential to the conversation here, unless the examples chosen to support the "this country is great and capitalism is why" position stray into this area.

Given that in the derail, comments about how it was the government that did things like the space race were rebutted with "because private corporations make money that the government then takes", I feel that it might fit well into the discussion.

mudbunny wrote:

Given that in the derail, comments about how it was the government that did things like the space race were rebutted with "because private corporations make money that the government then takes", I feel that it might fit well into the discussion.

Sure - just trying to give the "this country is great and capitalism is why" folks a clean slate here. If they opt to double down on topics like the moon landing being what makes this country great (after defining terms and showing a causal relationship), I think that your point becomes extremely germane.

He really used the founding of the internet, which was essentially funded through government (ie. taxpayer funded, ie. socialism) monies, as an example of capitalism? Also putting a man on the moon, which was a result of NASA which was funded by taxpayers (ie. socialism)?

America is great because it didn't try and use an ass backwards fully planned economy. Sounds more right IMO and even then is really simplifying a very complex outcome.

Going to ignore the ranking of 'great' because for some of us non Americans your not actually #1 defacto greatness and maybe not even top 5.

jowner wrote:

America is great because it didn't try and use an ass backwards fully planned economy. Sounds more right IMO and even then is really simplifying a very complex outcome.

Going to ignore the ranking of 'great' because for some of us non Americans your not actually #1 defacto greatness and maybe not even top 5.

Well, to be fair, "great" doesn't mean "the greatest". While people can debate if this country is great or not, I think "the greatest country in the world!" is something everyone can agree is just too subjective.

I'm struggling with whether or not to answer the questions posted here, because much of this stuff seems like basic knowledge to me and I don't understand why it is not to others. The space program, for instance - why do people here not seem to realize that we don't get to the moon without IBM? We don't get to the moon without Boeing. We don't get there without Rocketdyne or North American Aviation. We don't get to the moon without something like 750 different private contractors and their private goods.

Was it funded by taxes? Yep! Are taxes socialism and not capitalism? Nope. Government and taxes have a role in capitalism.

As for the internet, I don't see how anyone who went to a university can not see that capitalism is inextricably part of higher education. For example, take a look at the University of Michigan solar car, which, I believe, is the most successful program of its kind in the US:
IMAGE(http://www.annarbor.com/assets_c/2012/07/Screen%20shot%202012-07-15%20at%201.10.01%20PM-thumb-375x249-117117.png)
What do you see all over the side of that car?

Our universities receive public funding, of course, but look at the difference between our universities and the world's. We are among the most capitalist nations on the earth and, according to this list, we have 15 of the top 20 universities in the world. That is not a coincidence.

As for the other stuff...
What is a great country? To me, it's one that does great things. Great = exceeding average, not necessarily good. The atomic bomb was a great thing. The US is not the only great country.
What is capitalism? I'm comfortable with Wikipedia's page on it.
Why capitalism made this country great. Helps to look at some of the great things:
Entertainment. Just about every genre of music out there right now is an American invention. Much (if not all) of it came from adopting music from minorities, repackaging and marketing it. The movie industry is an American invention.
Economy. Should go without saying. The world's economy is based on the US dollar.
Might. World War II is perhaps the greatest of American achievements (not an entirely American achievement, of course). We don't win the war without our manufacturers.
Inventions - easier just to google American inventions. Nearly all of them happened because of the American economy, including the Wright Brothers.
Freedom - I don't want to get in a bitch fest about this, but obviously American speech and religious freedoms are great things. Are they due to capitalism? Well they're more in concert with capitalism - they feed each other.

I could go on and on, but may as well end there and allow for the nitpicks. Please note that because I've said something doesn't mean I'm not saying something else. Because I've said America is a great country doesn't mean I'm saying other countries aren't great. Because I'm saying Americans have a great amount of freedom doesn't mean I'm saying other countries aren't free.

nevermind

cheeba wrote:

I'm struggling with whether or not to answer the questions posted here, because much of this stuff seems like basic knowledge to me and I don't understand why it is not to others. The space program, for instance - why do people here not seem to realize that we don't get to the moon without IBM? We don't get to the moon without Boeing. We don't get there without Rocketdyne or North American Aviation. We don't get to the moon without something like 750 different private contractors and their private goods.

Was it funded by taxes? Yep! Are taxes socialism and not capitalism? Nope. Government and taxes have a role in capitalism.

And IBM jumped from having 6,000 employees and $20 million in revenues in 1935 to 20,000 employees and $140 million in revenues in 1945 almost entirely because of the US government. 1936 was the beginning of very rapid growth for IBM because the company's machines were needed to track the employment status of tens of millions of Americans because of the Social Security Act.

Boeing nearly went bankrupt after all its government contracts for building training aircraft dried up after WWI. It was only another government contract for 600 planes for US Army in the early 20s that saved them. By the mid-20s, Boeing's biggest business was government contracts for delivering mail via the air. And when the law changed, preventing companies from both building planes and delivering mail, Boeing focused on building planes: some for the very fledgling airline industry and a lot more for the US military. And when WWII hit, Boeing was the 12th largest recipient of government contracts.

Rocketdyne's entire existence was sucking at Uncle Sam's teat. It began as a special project of North American Aviation to test captured German V-2 rockets and develop the SM-64 Navaho cruise missiles. That program was cancelled in favor of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Rocketdyne went on to develop the engines for the Thor, Delta, and Atlas missiles. Technically, there was no civilian demand for any of Rocketdyne's products and it was only the US government that kept that company's doors open.

North American Aviation got its start as a holding company of airlines and aviation companies. The same law that impacted Boeing forced NAA to actually become a manufacturer of aircraft and so it did: making training aircraft for the US military. During WWII NAA was the 11th largest recipient of government contracts. Its post-war revenues came almost entirely from selling fighters to the military, mainly the Sabre, before it became the chief contractor for the the Apollo command module.

So rather than the idea that these were all vital companies selling much desired products to hungry consumers that nonetheless deigned to help the government with the space program, they were mostly companies whose entire success was based on decades of receiving government contracts, most importantly a nearly unlimited spigot of cash during WWII and the early Cold War years.

And the other 750 contractors were likely very similar: companies who developed and sold technologies that Uncle Sam wanted, technologies that wouldn't have been developed in remotely the same time frame if they solely relied on market demand.

cheeba wrote:

As for the internet, I don't see how anyone who went to a university can not see that capitalism is inextricably part of higher education.

...

Our universities receive public funding, of course, but look at the difference between our universities and the world's. We are among the most capitalist nations on the earth and, according to this list, we have 15 of the top 20 universities in the world. That is not a coincidence.

You've actually provided no evidence that America having some of the top universities in the world is somehow related to capitalism, short of saying so.

Let's just look at the #1 university on that list: Caltech. While it was founded as a vocational school by a businessman, it changed into a purely basic research focused university. And it most definitely wasn't funded by corporations. That's because capitalism really won't let corporations invest in basic research. There's just no ROI that can be measured in 90-day increments.

What turned Caltech into Caltech was Uncle Sam through the National Research Council (which was part of the National Academies of Science). Uncle Sam realized it needed engineers and scientists to help win the war against the Kaiser and Caltech was one of the universities that got funding. And that federal funding exploded during and after WWII and so did Caltech size and scientific reputation.

cheeba wrote:

The atomic bomb was a great thing.

Entirely funded and run by the US government. It's amazing what you can accomplish with the modern day equivalent of $30 billion.

cheeba wrote:

Entertainment. Just about every genre of music out there right now is an American invention. Much (if not all) of it came from adopting music from minorities, repackaging and marketing it. The movie industry is an American invention.

You're mistakenly conflating ideas here, cheeba. Americans didn't create different genres of music because of capitalism. They created music because, well, they wanted to create music. It's popular because it's good and that has very little, if anything, to do with capitalism.

And the movie industry wasn't an American invention. Film and move cameras were actually invented in Europe. Movies became an iconic American industry largely because Europe was too busy fighting WWI and WWI to make films.

cheeba wrote:

Economy. Should go without saying. The world's economy is based on the US dollar.

And at one point the world's economy was based on Spanish pieces of eight. Then it was British pound sterling.

Greenbacks only became the world's currency in 1994 thanks to the Bretton Woods Conference, which also created the IMF. It was a no brainer in 1944 to pick the US dollar because it was pretty much the only member state present whose economy wasn't in shambles because of the war.

And, at some point in the future, the renminbi is going to become the global currency because China's economy will dwarf everyone else's.

cheeba wrote:

Might. World War II is perhaps the greatest of American achievements (not an entirely American achievement, of course). We don't win the war without our manufacturers.

We won the war by writing practically blank government check. You really don't seem to understand how much the war effort expanded American industry. The war demand didn't simply pick up the manufacturing slack that existed from the Great Depression, it required companies to build new factories because the demand far outstripped capacity.

But the ability of American industry to meet that demand wasn't a uniquely American or capitalistic accomplishment.

cheeba wrote:

Inventions - easier just to google American inventions. Nearly all of them happened because of the American economy, including the Wright Brothers.

This is both an extremely sloppy argument as well as one that is just patently false, especially for the Wright Brothers. The Wright Brothers did not invent the airplane because of the American economy or because they're was such a pent up demand for the airplane. They invented the airplane because it was a scientific challenge for man to fly.

Once they built an airplane, they looked to sell their invention and the only buyer was the US military.

OG_slinger wrote:

So rather than the idea that these were all vital companies selling much desired products to hungry consumers that nonetheless deigned to help the government with the space program, they were mostly companies whose entire success was based on decades of receiving government contracts, most importantly a nearly unlimited spigot of cash during WWII and the early Cold War years.

Great! Now we get to play what I said and what I didn't say. I didn't say anything about these companies selling much desired products to hungry consumers. I didn't say these companies didn't benefit from government contracts. I did say government has a role in capitalism, so I don't know why you're arguing that government had a role in these companies.

OG_slinger wrote:

That's because capitalism really won't let corporations invest in basic research. There's just no ROI that can be measured in 90-day increments.

That is so wrong. Did you not see all the corporate stickers on the solar car? What's more, Ford Motors has an R&D budget of something like $8 billion. That buys you an awful lot of basic research.

OG_slinger wrote:

You're mistakenly conflating ideas here, cheeba. Americans didn't create different genres of music because of capitalism. They created music because, well, they wanted to create music. It's popular because it's good and that has very little, if anything, to do with capitalism.

I didn't say Americans created genres of music because of capitalism. The capitalism was in the adopting and marketing and bringing it to the masses.

OG_slinger wrote:

And the movie industry wasn't an American invention. Film and move cameras were actually invented in Europe. Movies became an iconic American industry largely because Europe was too busy fighting WWI and WWI to make films.

Film and movie cameras are not "the movie industry."

OG_slinger wrote:

We won the war by writing practically blank government check. You really don't seem to understand how much the war effort expanded American industry.... But the ability of American industry to meet that demand wasn't a uniquely American or capitalistic accomplishment.

The manufacturing power of the United States was unrivaled. Americans won the war because factories were easily retooled, because the private market was able to adapt far better than any other country's.

OG_slinger wrote:

They invented the airplane because it was a scientific challenge for man to fly.

A scientific challenge that was apparently not available in any other nation. No doubt their investments and the money they made had nothing to do with it either, right?

Not that i care much about the discussion but i wonder whether communism is Zee Best because of the first satellite in space, human spaceflight, AK-47, masers, carbon nanotubes, tokamak, ICBMs, nuclear icebreakers, 3D holography, first space rover, space station, unmanned resupply spacecraft, BAM, space-based radio telescope, Tetris, scramjet, and whatnot.

I just think you guys are assigning too much weight to the economic ideology. The causality is shaky at best.

As I have said a number of times it's been the gradual change from stakeholder capitalism to shareholder capitalism, where long-term growth and actual ownership in a company has been superseded by the desire for quick, short-term profits. This type of capitalism in my opinion is doing more harm than good for the U.S.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/29/fail...

MacBrave wrote:

As I have said a number of times it's been the gradual change from stakeholder capitalism to shareholder capitalism, where long-term growth and actual ownership in a company has been superseded by the desire for quick, short-term profits. This type of capitalism in my opinion is doing more harm than good for the U.S.

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/29/fail...

Precisely.

It is telling that the great achievements commonly associated with American Capitalism are generally associated to historical periods in which the government had MUCH larger roles to play in the direction of the economy and industry.

cheeba wrote:

Might. World War II is perhaps the greatest of American achievements (not an entirely American achievement, of course). We don't win the war without our manufacturers.

You know who won WWII? The Russians.

cheeba wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

We won the war by writing practically blank government check. You really don't seem to understand how much the war effort expanded American industry.... But the ability of American industry to meet that demand wasn't a uniquely American or capitalistic accomplishment.

The manufacturing power of the United States was unrivaled. Americans won the war because factories were easily retooled, because the private market was able to adapt far better than any other country's.

OG_slinger wrote:

They invented the airplane because it was a scientific challenge for man to fly.

A scientific challenge that was apparently not available in any other nation. No doubt their investments and the money they made had nothing to do with it either, right?

The manufacturing power of the United States was unrivaled, in large part, because of the pool of then-industrialized nations, we were fortunate enough to not have our industrial base firebombed into rubble. I'm not sure that capitalism gets credit for geography here.

It seemed pretty clear from Orville's interview in the other thread that the Wright Brothers would have poured their efforts into developing the airplane regardless of profit motive, though you were correct to point out that access to capital made that achievement more attainable. Of course, capitalism isn't the only way aspiring inventors can gain access to capital (as evidenced by DARPA, the NSF, and other similar government agencies around the world).

Most wrote:

I just think you guys are assigning too much weight to the economic ideology. The causality is shaky at best.

I'd hoped that asking for defining terms as a first step would steer things towards a more rigorous discussion, but I agree that (so far) it's all a bit hand-wavy and hoo-rah. :-\

cheeba wrote:

I'm struggling with whether or not to answer the questions posted here, because much of this stuff seems like basic knowledge to me and I don't understand why it is not to others. The space program, for instance - why do people here not seem to realize that we don't get to the moon without IBM? We don't get to the moon without Boeing. We don't get there without Rocketdyne or North American Aviation. We don't get to the moon without something like 750 different private contractors and their private goods.

Was it funded by taxes? Yep! Are taxes socialism and not capitalism? Nope. Government and taxes have a role in capitalism.

As for the internet, I don't see how anyone who went to a university can not see that capitalism is inextricably part of higher education. For example, take a look at the University of Michigan solar car, which, I believe, is the most successful program of its kind in the US:
IMAGE(http://www.annarbor.com/assets_c/2012/07/Screen%20shot%202012-07-15%20at%201.10.01%20PM-thumb-375x249-117117.png)
What do you see all over the side of that car?

Our universities receive public funding, of course, but look at the difference between our universities and the world's. We are among the most capitalist nations on the earth and, according to this list, we have 15 of the top 20 universities in the world. That is not a coincidence.

As for the other stuff...
What is a great country? To me, it's one that does great things. Great = exceeding average, not necessarily good. The atomic bomb was a great thing. The US is not the only great country.
What is capitalism? I'm comfortable with Wikipedia's page on it.
Why capitalism made this country great. Helps to look at some of the great things:
Entertainment. Just about every genre of music out there right now is an American invention. Much (if not all) of it came from adopting music from minorities, repackaging and marketing it. The movie industry is an American invention.
Economy. Should go without saying. The world's economy is based on the US dollar.
Might. World War II is perhaps the greatest of American achievements (not an entirely American achievement, of course). We don't win the war without our manufacturers.
Inventions - easier just to google American inventions. Nearly all of them happened because of the American economy, including the Wright Brothers.
Freedom - I don't want to get in a bitch fest about this, but obviously American speech and religious freedoms are great things. Are they due to capitalism? Well they're more in concert with capitalism - they feed each other.

I could go on and on, but may as well end there and allow for the nitpicks. Please note that because I've said something doesn't mean I'm not saying something else. Because I've said America is a great country doesn't mean I'm saying other countries aren't great. Because I'm saying Americans have a great amount of freedom doesn't mean I'm saying other countries aren't free.

Cheeba, I think the problem you're running into here is that you established a dichotomy earlier - Capitalism makes this country great. Socialism can/will make this country not-great. Then you go on to establish that you believe lots of people here and "youth" are socialist because they don't embrace capitalism. Most of your earlier examples of achievements above represent a symbiosis between government and capital interests. That symbiosis allows freedom to profit, with the expectation that profit will bear fruit in the social good. This has occurred in the past via the government distributing portions of wealth generated with the mandate that it be used to improve the nation in a way that hopefully benefits the population at large.

Capitalism is stronger than ever now, with corporate taxes low, capital gains taxes low, and a generally lax attitude towards preventing wealth from directly influencing policy. What a lot of people here believe (represented by MacBrave's stakeholder vs shareholder concept) is that modern US capitalism is breaking away from that symbiosis and is no longer a positive force in this country as value has been redefined in a way that benefits only a few rather than the many, and it is eroding the social consciousness that government could previously mobilize to do great things. I think they have plenty of ammunition in that regard. In spite of our vast national wealth we have some of the worst primary educational systems in the world, the worst infrastructure and the most financially draining healthcare system in the developed world. Once upon a time government was able to leverage capitalism to create a national highway system that was unrivalled anywhere; now we can't get a single bridge fixed before it collapses. The desire to rein in that change is not Socialism with a capital S. People are tired of the old drumbeat of how trickle down economics will benefit everyone, how low corporate taxes will lead to jobs, how less regulation means better competition and more opportunity for everyone. They've been watching that experiment fail for 30 years and are getting pretty pissed off about it.

Indeed; I think the majority of examples of things that have made the US and Europe great stem from balancing capitalism as our primary economic model with socialized measures to benefit the greater good.

Economics and mmo's share that in common: hybrids are OP.

cheeba wrote:

A scientific challenge that was apparently not available in any other nation. No doubt their investments and the money they made had nothing to do with it either, right?

Except a guy in New Zealand flew a plane around the same time (Richard Pearse). And in both France and Denmark, similar experiments in flight produced success, just a few years after the Wright Brothers. There was even discussion of a flight in Norway before the Wright brothers, but no one thought it was important enough to definitively report it. So the scientific challenge was definitely available in other nations (even France, the 'Socialist' capital of the West).

cheeba wrote:

Great! Now we get to play what I said and what I didn't say. I didn't say anything about these companies selling much desired products to hungry consumers. I didn't say these companies didn't benefit from government contracts. I did say government has a role in capitalism, so I don't know why you're arguing that government had a role in these companies.

No, this is what happens when you make a sloppy argument.

You explicitly said that the space program happened because of all those great "private contractors and their private goods." Private goods, by definition, are much desired products sold to hungry consumers.

However, several of the examples you provided were companies who didn't make any private goods. They made things for the government. They made public goods. And the fact that those companies existed and were the size they were for the space program was pretty much solely because Uncle Sam paid them insane amounts of money during WWII and the Cold War.

And you're sloppy argument comes in again with your statement that "government has a role in capitalism." According to the wiki page you said you were perfectly happy with, the role of government in capitalism isn't to bankroll entire companies, it's to regulate things.

cheeba wrote:

That is so wrong. Did you not see all the corporate stickers on the solar car? What's more, Ford Motors has an R&D budget of something like $8 billion. That buys you an awful lot of basic research.

Had you bothered to actually do some actual research about the solar car program you'd know that all those corporate stickers were worth $1.2 million. That's the entire budget for the program. Oh, yeah. It's organized as a 501(c), meaning the program's 300 corporate sponsors can write off their average donation of $4,000. That's because they view it as a promotional tool, not an actual research program.

And you really need to learn what basic research means and how it differs from R&D.

That $5 billion Ford spends? Oh, yeah. It's $5 billion, not $8 billion. It slashed the sh*t out of its R&D budget way back in 2009. That's to develop new cars that it's going to be manufacturing and selling within a year or so, not to sponsor the University of Michigan Solar Car team in the hopes it's going to corner the solar car market.

cheeba wrote:

I didn't say Americans created genres of music because of capitalism. The capitalism was in the adopting and marketing and bringing it to the masses.

Music is one of those entertainment genres where things are always changing and evolving. Capitalism simply tries to extract money from music trends that are already popular. It plays effectively no role in the creation of the product--the music.

cheeba wrote:

Film and movie cameras are not "the movie industry."

Oh, I'm sorry. Considering you've repeatedly made claims that capitalistic America invented practically everything worth inventing, I just thought I'd point out to you that the things that lead to the movie industry weren't American inventions.

And pointing out that film and movie cameras aren't "the movie industry" doesn't negate my point that the only reason why the American movie industry became dominate was because everyone else was too busy fighting wars to make movies. That's called lucky circumstances, not a triumph of America and capitalism.

cheeba wrote:

The manufacturing power of the United States was unrivaled. Americans won the war because factories were easily retooled, because the private market was able to adapt far better than any other country's.

You really do have a high school level of understanding when it comes to the history of this country.

Our factories were able to produce much more than the factories of other countries because ours were the only ones that weren't being bombed on a regular basis or starved for raw materials. Our factories also didn't have to cope with vital portions our national transportation infrastructure repeatedly blown up.

It's also terribly funny that you continue to claim that capitalism was the reason we were able to manufacture so much during the war when we actually had a command economy throughout the war. A command economy is the most extensive and pervasive form of planned economy, just about the exact opposite of free market capitalism.

The government directly controlled virtually everything about our economy during the war. The Office of Price Administration slapped price controls on most products and rationed a wide range of consumer goods. The War Production Board directed all wartime production and was the sole arbiter of what factory built what (and how much) and who got what raw materials and resources (price controlled, of course). Manpower was handled in much the same manner, with the War Manpower Commission determining how many and which people were allocated to agriculture, industry, or fighting.

cheeba wrote:

A scientific challenge that was apparently not available in any other nation. No doubt their investments and the money they made had nothing to do with it either, right?

Reading even the Wiki post on the history of aviation would show you that a sh*tload of people were chasing the idea of flight and that America was kinda late to the game. Hell, we didn't even discover the basics of aerodynamic theory. That was a Brit. And he managed to build and fly an unpowered plane more than 50 years before the Wright Brothers.

There were several other inventors--both European and American--who managed to fly a manned, powered plane within a few years of the Wright Brothers. Such is the nature of scientific discovery. It's not driven by capitalism or whether or not someone was in America.

Hell, there's a very good chance that the Wright Brothers weren't even the first to make a powered and manned flight. That likely was Gustave Whitehead, a German immigrant who worked at a toy company and just tinkered with planes in his spare time.

OG_slinger wrote:

Hell, there's a very good chance that the Wright Brothers weren't even the first to make a powered and manned flight. That likely was Gustave Whitehead, a German immigrant who worked at a toy company and just tinkered with planes in his spare time.

Not to pick nits but the Whitehead thing is heavily disputed.

Edited for the article I was originaly looking for.

What does capitalism need to succeed? Strong government and the rule of law... It's all inter-related, what we call the "free market" *requires* a framework which many would, in other contexts, describe as "not free". Capitalism does not stand alone.

Farscry wrote:

Indeed; I think the majority of examples of things that have made the US and Europe great stem from balancing capitalism as our primary economic model with socialized measures to benefit the greater good.

Economics and mmo's share that in common: hybrids are OP. ;)

Yuck! You got chocolate in my peanut butter!

imbiginjapan wrote:

Not to pick nits but the Whitehead thing is heavily disputed.

Edited for the article I was originaly looking for.

The publisher of all things aviation, Jane's, was perfectly OK with saying Whitehead was the man.

Of course regardless of who it was, it still doesn't change the fact that powered and manned flight most certainly didn't depend on capitalism or being in America as cheeba has asserted.

farley3k wrote:
Farscry wrote:

Indeed; I think the majority of examples of things that have made the US and Europe great stem from balancing capitalism as our primary economic model with socialized measures to benefit the greater good.

Economics and mmo's share that in common: hybrids are OP. ;)

Yuck! You got chocolate in my peanut butter!

Officer Reese's! No!

OG_slinger wrote:
imbiginjapan wrote:

Not to pick nits but the Whitehead thing is heavily disputed.

Edited for the article I was originaly looking for.

The publisher of all things aviation, Jane's, was perfectly OK with saying Whitehead was the man.

Of course regardless of who it was, it still doesn't change the fact that powered and manned flight most certainly didn't depend on capitalism or being in America as cheeba has asserted.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but that's not really what cheeba said. Cheeba said capitalism made America great and said the Wright brothers were great (due to capitalism). Other countries also working on powered and manned flight doesn't negate any aspects of that. Even if someone else did it first, the Wright brothers were still great.

Note: I don't agree with his argument, but that's going down the wrong rabbit hole if you're trying to disprove him.

cheeba wrote:

What do you see all over the side of that car?

Ok just to be clear the fact that a company sponsors one of the teams like the solar car team does NOT mean they give significant money to the school. It means they gave something like a couple thousand worth of supplies etc. for that specific club. And it isn't typically in the interest of science. It's advertising.

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