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

cheeba wrote:
boogle wrote:

Just try dude. Try to make a cogent point without claiming that something is beyond explanation or back pedaling on a claim.

It's not beyond explanation. I already explained it by pointing to Wikipedia's explanation. If you guys don't like Wikipedia's explanation of capitalism, that's your problem.

Cool so state capitalism is capitalism then? Good. That makes china capitalist by definition, implying it is not in the set non-capitalist countries, therefore cannot be used as an example there in.

Cheeba you also aren't addressing capitalist countries that underperform other countries that use different models or that in some cases other models perform as well as capitalist countries.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/...

Within the top 15 on this list (to just pick an arbitrary starting point) there are a variety of economic models pursued by the State. All of which suggests the basic idea is not as simple as you continue to suggest.

This was threatening to turn into an interesting discussion, but I see we've gone back to the fun game of "Try to make someone who's proven he just wants to play semantics all day stick to one actual definition." I have no idea what you folks are hoping to do.

boogle wrote:

Cool so state capitalism is capitalism then? Good. That makes china capitalist by definition, implying it is not in the set non-capitalist countries, therefore cannot be used as an example there in.

Wow, scoring points is super important to you huh?

I called China an odd one. You're arguing semantics. Gradation exists.

definition of semantics wrote:

the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.

Yes I am, as it concerns logic, and therefore clearly stating a point.
Forgive me for trying to establish definitions and positions and engage in thought provoking debate instead of calling my opponents pedants and middleschoolers interchangeably.

cheeba wrote:

Note that these descriptions are hyper simplified and, as such, are horribly incomplete and inadequate.

Then how do you expect to convince anyone that the good things you praise and enshrine as holy to the spirit of America have anything to do with Capitalism at all?

Capitalism is a lot like Democracy or Justice. If it's applied without thinking it will cause nothing but trouble. Capitalism that lets the unknown, unseen, unfortunate starve is just as flawed as Justice that destroys a life to avenge another. A system with unfettered 'Capitalism' will feed itself to the ambitious until there is nothing left except Ivory towers.

Rahmen wrote:

Cheeba you also aren't addressing capitalist countries that underperform other countries that use different models or that in some cases other models perform as well as capitalist countries.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/...

Within the top 15 on this list (to just pick an arbitrary starting point) there are a variety of economic models pursued by the State. All of which suggests the basic idea is not as simple as you continue to suggest.

I was wondering when that would get linked, heh. The problem with that comparison is it's looking at major economies vs. minor economies. None of those above the US in that list are in the G20. We have cities with more population than Norway. Luxembourg wouldn't even be a top 20 market in the US.

And if there's anything you should get out of my arguments here is that this stuff is not "simple". The basis of this thread is subjective and complex.

cheeba wrote:

China is especially a great example in this thread because it helps to prove my point that private ownership and free markets are better than social ownership with the intent to equalize outcomes.

Actually, it's not. But that's because the point of this thread isn't "private ownership and free markets are better than social ownership with the intent to equalize outcomes." The point of this thread is to discuss your claim that America is great and the reason for its greatness is capitalism.

That makes Maq's question, the one you ignored, even more appropo. If your argument is true--that capitalism causes country greatness--then just about every country on the planet would be great because they all practice some form of capitalism.

Since that's not true, there must be other variables at work. It could be that country greatness requires a special variant of capitalism, which makes Dimmerswitch's repeated requests for you to define America's special brand of capitalism even more relevant. It could also be that capitalism isn't what make America--or any country--great, meaning your original assertion was at best overly simplistic and, at worst, flat out wrong.

cheeba wrote:
Rahmen wrote:

Cheeba you also aren't addressing capitalist countries that underperform other countries that use different models or that in some cases other models perform as well as capitalist countries.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/...

Within the top 15 on this list (to just pick an arbitrary starting point) there are a variety of economic models pursued by the State. All of which suggests the basic idea is not as simple as you continue to suggest.

I was wondering when that would get linked, heh. The problem with that comparison is it's looking at major economies vs. minor economies. None of those above the US in that list are in the G20. We have cities with more population than Norway. Luxembourg wouldn't even be a top 20 market in the US.

And if there's anything you should get out of my arguments here is that this stuff is not "simple". The basis of this thread is subjective and complex.

so your real argument is that because we're bigger in the US, all other countries except China which is apparently excluded for a different reason, are irrelevant which implies that your real argument is this country is great because... we're bigger.

Capitalism and socialism are not incompatible, nor are they directly opposed. Stock ownership is socialist. So is insurance of all kinds, residential and food and purchasing coops, membership stores like Costco, homeowners associations and many other things we take for granted. Heck, even Henry Ford pegged health care as something that employers *should* provide, because healthy employees work harder and more consistently for their companies.

But the interesting thing about this is that socialism, itself, is essentially a transitional state to communism. That is, if the government is not actively working to put *everything* into a system of social (ie, community) control, then even if some of the things your government does are also done by socialist states, your government is not socialist. We don't have a socialist state, even though we have some socialist features in our nation.

The obvious problem here is that there's about half of the population who believes that policies that are socialist mean that the government is trying to install a pre-communist state, when in fact, the sorts of socialism we practice in the US largely came about due to concern for employee welfare from companies that felt responsible for their workers.

In other words, the socialist aspects of American society and policies largely grew out of capitalism. Setting the two as opposites ignores the fact that they aren't really even competing, in the US. No one in power has proposed that we move to a socialist *government* system since the 1930's, and with good reason - that's when it first became obvious what was going on in the Soviet Union, and the whole idea lost traction in a few years.

Unfortunately, the idea failed to die in the minds of Republicans, and so they act as if there opponents are all 1920's Comintern agents.

Rezzy wrote:

Capitalism is a lot like Democracy or Justice.

Hehe, justice is a good example of what I'm saying is problematic about definitions. One of my last philosophy classes spent nearly the entire semester on justice and what it is. If people here wanted me to define justice I would point them to the 560 pages of Rawls' Theory of Justice :).

Rahmen wrote:

so your real argument is that because we're bigger in the US, all other countries except China which is apparently excluded for a different reason, are irrelevant which implies that your real argument is this country is great because... we're bigger.

Sorry in advance for the condescension, but you do realize there's 20 nations in the G20 right?

I think, Cheeba, that I would be a lot happier if you told us what *context* you're using the term "capitalism" in. You're kind of leaving it open. Do you mean capitalism as envisioned by Adam Smith, or Lew Rockwell? Do you mean it in the political sense like John Birch, or Barry Goldwater, or Franklin Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan or John Adams? Does it mean "the system in which the rich abuse the rest of the population" or "the system in which the poor have upwards mobility and equality of opportunity to better themselves"?

By refusing to even pick a context, you're making the initial post vague enough that everyone is trying to figure out what you meant by it... Especially because "capitalism is the greatest economic system in the world" is associated with jingoism in the US.

cheeba wrote:
Rahmen wrote:

so your real argument is that because we're bigger in the US, all other countries except China which is apparently excluded for a different reason, are irrelevant which implies that your real argument is this country is great because... we're bigger.

Sorry in advance for the condescension, but you do realize there's 20 nations in the G20 right?

Of which the US is the largest, therefore his counterpoint holds as the assertion that the US is the largest (using GDP which you have previously used as a measure of national size) holds.

cheeba is an adorable scamp.

Puckish Rogue!

cheeba wrote:

Hehe, justice is a good example of what I'm saying is problematic about definitions.

And yet it is extremely simple to define Justice in America. We have millions of court cases, we have an exhaustive record of how our system defines what 'Justice' means to the American people and a clear trail of how that definition has evolved through time. We have that same evidence available to us for Capitalism, and none of it seems to point to any facts that Capitalism, above all other factors in American society, is the defining source of our greatness... Unless, and this is the core of what everyone here seems to be struggling to make clear to you, there is a way to define or encapsulate a specific subset of Capitalism that survives the dilution with all the other aspects that must be included to keep being 'great.' THAT'S what we want. Not a Correct or Textbook definition, but the definition that led you, an intelligent human being, to make that claim without reservation.

I think what cheeba actually meant (particularly if you start at :47):

Podunk wrote:

Puckish Rogue!

Don't ruin that joke for me, Podunk.

Rezzy wrote:

And yet it is extremely simple to define Justice in America.

Nuh uh. Trayvon Martin case - was that justice? I would argue it was the right verdict but I would not argue that it was justice.

We have that same evidence available to us for Capitalism, and none of it seems to point to any facts that Capitalism, above all other factors in American society, is the defining source of our greatness.

Sure we do. We have great things invented in the search of wealth - Thomas Edison as well as the already mentioned assembly line. The search for personal wealth has created the best conditions for innovation. These conditions are not as ideal in nations with more concern for equal outcomes and social ownership. Because of the search for personal wealth and our government taking advantage of that (taxes), our country has tremendous wealth and ability to organize and fund (nearly everything with significant help from private contractors) great feats such as the moon landing.

Now, I don't know I'd say that capitalism is the defining source of our greatness. I'd say it's the defining driver. I guess that's semantics, but the distinction is that I wouldn't say capitalism made Thomas Edison great. I would say capitalism allowed Thomas Edison the opportunity to be great and provided him the incentive to become great. He may have been great in a less capitalist nation, but the numbers (of innovators) and results show that America is particularly adept at fostering innovation and greatness.

cheeba wrote:

America is particularly adept at fostering innovation and greatness.

F*ck yeah!

cheeba wrote:
Rezzy wrote:

And yet it is extremely simple to define Justice in America.

Nuh uh. Trayvon Martin case - was that justice? I would argue it was the right verdict but I would not argue that it was justice.

So, there are 2 definitions? There's legal/illegal and right/wrong and you were able to determine where that case fits into both definitions. Easy game.

Thomas Edison electrocuted other people's pets.

cheeba wrote:

Now, I don't know I'd say that capitalism is the defining source of our greatness.

cheeba wrote:

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.

Jayhawker wrote:
cheeba wrote:

America is particularly adept at fostering innovation and greatness.

F*ck yeah!

I would vote for that song to replace the national anthem.

SixteenBlue wrote:

So, there are 2 definitions? There's legal/illegal and right/wrong and you were able to determine where that case fits into both definitions. Easy game.

The process of determining right/wrong is complex :P.

Seth wrote:

Thomas Edison electrocuted other people's pets. :(

That elephant deserved it.

Seth wrote:

Thomas Edison electrocuted other people's pets. :(

F*ck yeah!

(I'm just going with Jayhawker on this)

oh... I want to contribute to the conversation too...

*massive oversimplification* *semantics* *exceptional-ism*

Did I win?

OG_slinger wrote:
cheeba wrote:

Now, I don't know I'd say that capitalism is the defining source of our greatness.

cheeba wrote:

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.

Yes, and if you ask me to expound on my opinion then I provide more nuance. I don't understand why that's not allowed here.

Bloo Driver wrote:
Seth wrote:

Thomas Edison electrocuted other people's pets. :(

F*ck yeah!

(I'm just going with Jayhawker on this)

realityhack wrote:

oh... I want to contribute to the conversation too...

*massive oversimplification* *semantics* *exceptional-ism*

Did I win?

Hey guys, I have an idea! How about you just whine and bitch in every thread I'm in and add absolutely nothing to the conversation! Extra points if you insult me or call for me to be banned while still adding nothing!
IMAGE(http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/047/e/2/dr__horrible__sarcasm___d_by_shazammize-d5v5oen.jpg)

Um... actually that wasn't posted exclusively at you Cheeba, more about the entire topic.
I do appreciate the double sarcastic reaction to sarcasm though. It did make me grin.