Category Archives: Capitalism

More Marxists Against the Alt Left

Well, against my Alt Left anyway.

This is from Lost Generation, a reddit purportedly about the economic troubles of the Millennial Generation, but which seems to be populated mostly by Marxists for some odd reason.

All of the usual charges that get leveled against me by the Hard Left types are here: I’m a racist, sexist, fascist, crypto-Nazi Alt Right guy masquerading as being on the Left. What’s ridiculous is that I hate all of these people and have never felt at home at any of their websites. I am usually appalled by their racism, sexism, fascism, Nazism, etc. and I really cannot stand most Alt Right sites for similar reasons.

There is just about no one I hate as much as fascists, and I’ve never found a racist website where I felt at home and was not bothered by their hard racism. I also hate Nazis. And one of the main reasons that I hate the Manosphere so much is  because it is so misogynistic and sexist. In other words, I cannot stand sexist Manosphere sites. They’re awful and it’s their misogyny that I hate so much. I love women, I don’t hate them.

All of the attacks on me and my ideology are italicized.

Here’s the critique:

digdog303: Why isn’t there any alt-left?

Get_Erkt: I saw some dudes using that, but they seem keen to ignore everything we’ve learned in the past 100 years about how patriarchy and white supremacy/ imperialism are more effective impediments to revolution than police repression. Like they’re mad they might have to stop macking on comrades or share the spot light with others, and they think socialism means having a PS4 pro and $4K TV.

SayingStuffOnReddit: Ugh, exactly this.

I found this guy’s WordPress blog the other day, first one I’ve seen that was an “Alt Left” blog. He regularly bans people for very petty things, and it’s always race-related. He’s always hurling racially or religiously charged insults at people who say the slightest thing that makes HIM uncomfortable, and he always points out how someone is “ARAB” or a “JEW” even if there is zero evidence of them being that, it’s like “Hey, I think you look like you’re from X, so I’m going to call you a name associated with that area of the world.”

It was fucking ridiculous. Very little discussion of actual socialist theory and a whole lot of whining about “SJWs” and “feminism” while not really putting forth anything that really distances his views from a typical Alt-Righter.

For a self proclaimed Leftist (he had pictured of Stalin and Lenin, for example) it is pretty disgusting to see this kind of crap being spread as “valid” forms of agitprop for “socialism.”

Dude identified as a “race realist” and basically spews Nazi propaganda 50% less of the time than an actual fascist would.

I mean, I hate being called a brocialist, because I’m not one, but I’ve had people irresponsibly throw this at me when I’ve tried to critique Identity Politics and such in good faith. This guy, however, totally fits the bill and totally showed me why the term exists and is used as an insult to begin with.
They want “liberation,” but just none of that icky stuff that has to do with race, gender, or anything outside of class.

It is truly strange and something I cannot remotely relate to. I can only imagine that his “activist” group (if he even has that) is just a bunch of angry White dudes, which, in spite of me being a White male, I simply can’t get down with.

I live in a predominantly Black area, and this kind of shit would never fly in public, it is the product of upper-middle class White folks playing the role of revolutionary from their gated-in communities in the ‘burbs.

I hate sounding so condescending too, because I know it isn’t helping, but sometimes people really do need to meet you half way, and this guy is one of them; he’d do better to just shut up and read a book than spew more of this incoherent “Alt Left” bullshit.

pikapizza: The double-edged sword of the Internet is that it gives any idiot or socially-marginalized weirdo a voice. Embracing the ‘brocialist’ smear (anyone to the left of Hillary = hates women and likes the KKK) because you found one such idiot or socially- marginalized weirdo is not the way to go.

SayingStuffOnReddit: I don’t embrace it as a smear, I was just saying that I now understand why people might so easily sling it around when people like that guy are basically fascists appropriating left-wing aesthetics and terminology.

pikapizza: People using that epithet aren’t thinking of this guy. The whole ‘class politics = racist and sexist’ meme only got traction because millions of young Americans weren’t doing what they were told and started voting for the evil brocialist Bernie instead of the devout feminist and anti-racist progressive Hillary.

They have in mind the 22 year-old college student who has the disgusting, privileged audacity to think economic justice might be more important than smashing the patriarchy, and insults like this are their way of telling him to fuck off, that left-wing politics are not for him, and to go vote for Trump.

SayingStuffOnReddit: I know what you’re talking about, but I’ve seen it used in many other forms than the one you just mention. I was citing one instance.

And tbf “smashing the patriarchy” and “economic justice” have to go hand in hand. I don’t see them as at odds with one another, that’s all I was saying. Hillary supporters obviously can’t make the connection there, and doubly so for the right wing. People like Robert Lindsay see them as “polar opposites” which really just shows his lack of understanding of what actual feminists (the socialist ones, at least) believe. Instead, he lambastes caricatures of what feminism actually is or just takes pot shots at random individual actors without grappling with any real ideas.

He and his ilk spend more time talking about what a woman decided to wear to a “Slut Walk” than what her views are on “patriarchy,” how she might define it, and why she came to such an event in the first place. In a way, he doesn’t “dismantle” feminist critiques of society; he inevitably proves their legitimacy.

pikapizza: But they clearly don’t go hand in hand. We’ve just witnessed an election where the self-described feminist and standard bearer for progressive Identity Politics in the US was also a multimillionaire, staunch neoliberal and hardline imperialist who openly spoke for the interests of business and the very wealthy. Her campaign overtly used gender politics to dismiss economic justice as a sideshow issue (if not a sneaky cover for the Left’s closet racism and sexism) and smear any criticism from her left as veiled misogyny.

This is the new political reality. Thinking you can ignore it and keep on pandering to identitarianism with ‘oh, that’s not MY kind of feminism!’ or whatever is quite stupid.

SayingStuffOnReddit: Dude whatever i’m not gonna argue with you about the importance of gender and race and its relationship to class.

There’re books that talk about the significance of these, even when people try to insist class is some kind of “be-all” “end-all.”

If your idea of progressivism is “don’t talk about gender or race,” and you essentially equate any discussion of gender or race as “Identitarianism” then you’re just driving away people.

I feel like we’re talking about two different things, and you seem to be insisting that I’m promoting some kind of neoliberal Identity Politics. That’s not the same as taking an intersectional approach where we acknowledge that class is the key unifier of all oppressed identities.

Furthermore, Hillary isn’t nor has she ever been the “standard bearer” for progressive anything.

That is catering to and propagating neoliberal media narratives and ultimately capital interests.

There’s many different angles one can discuss gender and race, which I’m completely fine with so long as they’re rooted in anti-capitalist critiques.

Get_Erkt: Brosocialism existed before Sanders but referred to men who didn’t care about women’s issues, like whether we ought to discipline or expel men who preyed on women from socialist organizations. There were several high profile cases of rape cover-ups in Leftist organizations recently, but marginalizing women and relegating them to “women’s work” was something even the Panthers and Soviets were guilty of.

Patriarchy was the first form of economic class and exploitation, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it. Our organizations aren’t dating services, and comrades are held to a professional, disciplined standard of behavior in our personal interaction, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it.

The people who used Clinton’s gender as a lasso or whip against opponents were cynical opportunists. Clinton is no friend of women or anyone. But the Left has to struggle against internal sexism and racism nonetheless because we are products of a racist, sexist society and understanding the struggle revolving around class is only the first step to liberation. Patriarchy and White supremacy/settlerism/imperialism are manifestations of class across physical human characteristics.

pikapizza: Brocialism has been around for awhile, sure, but it’s never had that sort of narrow definition. It’s always been an ideological pejorative for any left-wing politics critical of or hostile to Identity Politics (you can be a woman and be a brocialist). So it was very much consistent and predictable that it was picked up by the Hillary campaign. The ruling class’ embrace of ‘Leftist’ Identitarian ideology and politics in support of imperialist policy, state repression, curtailing civil freedoms, divide-and-conquer political strategies et al. has been ongoing for many years.

And Clinton’s Identity Politics were only cynical opportunism if you’re still clinging to shitty and delusional assessment of Identity Politics that hasn’t moved past the 1960’s where racial and gender politics are still radical and revolutionary and haven’t been thoroughly integrated into modern bourgeois ideology and the daily functioning of big business and liberal bourgeois democracies.

It’s based on this completely unfounded premise that there is some secret and intrinsic connection between Identity Politics and the Left when the plain reality is that these are basically right-wing, anti-Marxist conceptions that dovetail perfectly with neoliberal politics and ideology. A right-wing multimillionaire shill for Wall Street like Hillary becoming the standard bearer for Identity Politics isn’t an aberration or a ploy, it’s a perfectly logical outcome.

SayingStuffOnReddit: There is an Alt Left, but it’s basically a bunch of “left” wingers in denial of their White Nationalism. They claim to be separate from the Alt Right, but it’s all propaganda that any well read socialist can point out.

An easy one is they have a distaste for “Cultural Marxism” in common with Alt-Righters.

Yet nobody seems to want to admit that “Cultural Marxism” is just a nice dog whistle for actual Nazi propaganda that was used during WWII.

It’s just that back then, it was called “Cultural Bolshevism“.

It’s funny how much this phenomenon has in common with the modern Alt-Right as well. Any symbols representing the authorities of the current prevailing order, if disrespected through art or expression bring shame and derision from the Alt-Right types, yet these are the people who are supposed to be the “revolutionaries” and “rebels” of the current time.

You’d think a bunch of revolutionaries would be more interested in disrespecting and subverting authority than supporting (let alone protecting) it.

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservatism, Democrats, Economics, Fascism, Gender Studies, Left, Marxism, Nazism, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Revolution, Sane Pro-Woman, Socialism, US Politics, Useless Western Left, White Nationalism, Whites

The “Jews Help Fund the Bolshevik Revolution” Canard

From the comments:

While it’s true that wealthy interests from America and Western Europe helped fund the Russian Revolution, this was not the BOLSHEVIK Revolution. True, Bolsheviks fought in the initial revolution to overthrow the Czar (the February Revolution), but after that the (Pro-Western) Provisional Government was set up (which is what the wealthy interests such as Jacob Schiff wanted), so the Bolsheviks initiated a second revolution (the October Revolution) against the Provisional Government.

Western forces from 21 different nations then invaded Russia to protect the Provisional Government but ultimately failed (to the Bolsheviks’ credit). If the Western elites wanted the Bolsheviks in power, why would they support such an invasion of Russia? Again, they funded the February Revolution to get rid of the Czar and open up Russia’s resources to Western capitalists, but the October (Bolshevik) Revolution was not at all part of the plan.

I always wondered about this odd charge which seemed so nonsensical to me. Why would very rich Jews want to fund a Communist revolution which was going to do away with most of their wealth? It never made any sense. Nevertheless, this has always been a favorite of rightwing antisemites, including Nazi types. This ties into the whole “Jews are Communists” thing which was one of the main reasons that Hitler wanted to kill them in first place. He was fighting a war against “Jewish Communism” remember?

The canard continues long past WW2, when Jews are charged with being behind every Communist movement that arose on Earth, including the Chinese one I suppose. “Jews are Communists”, “Jews push Communism”, “Jews push Leftism”, and “Jews are behind the Western Left.” It goes on and on. According to the Nazi types, this is one of the main reasons why Jews need to be killed – because they were and are behind Leftism in the West which is seen as corrosive.

\This Jewish-sponsored Leftism is purportedly a plot to destroy the White race in various ways, including by subverting the traditional institutions of the West and therefore undermining out moral culture and causing the decline of our civilization. This is what is behind the whole Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism Theory, which I find a bit silly, though I would like to look  into it a lot deeper. A bunch of Jews screaming “conspiracy theory” and “It’s a lie – an anti-Semitic!” just doesn’t cut it for me as it does for most people. If it’s a big lie, how about proving it?

Now we have the answer to the riddle. The Jews only funded the initial revolution to get rid of the Czar because they hated the Royals so much. And this was not a Communist revolution in any way, shape or form. It was a democratic revolution, and it had some progressive and even socialist elements about it, but this government did not want to seize private property or anything like that. Another one of the reasons behind it of course was the desire of these very rich Jews to open up Russia’s resources to these capitalists so they could make money off of them.

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How Trump-Era Trade Policy Threatens to Send up the Prices You See on Store Shelves

Here.

Fine with me!

Actually, I think it is a hollow argument. Remember those Nike and other fancy sneakers you used to buy for $70-80? Well some dirtball who was head of Nike was manufacturing those shoes in Indonesia for $7 a shoe. Furthermore, he paid his workers so little that many Nike workers in that land were suffering from malnutrition because they didn’t even have enough food to eat. Import them for $7, sell them for $70. Quite a profit margin for the head of Nike.

I always wondered about how outrageous that was until I went to buy shoes recently. The same sneakers that I had always paid $75 for were now available for $30. I assume they still cost $7 to make in wherever. It’s just that Joe Shoe Company is now making $23 profit instead of $67 profit. I think that’s basically what’s going to happen when we put tariffs on this stuff. They are probably already totally ripping us on most of this stuff anyway, so I figure with the tariffs, they will just make $300% profit instead of $1,000% profit. Oh no, they’ll have to raise prices! Bull.

Anyway I would be perfectly happy to pay higher prices for some stuff, which I doubt are even economically justified. Price competition seems so vicious in retail nowadays that I gather that if tariffs make Joe Ripoff Capitalist feel he has to raise his prices probably for no good reason, I assume that there will be all sorts of cut-rate guys out there just waiting to undercut him. I doubt if it is economically justified in most cases.

And if it means I buy less from China, that’s fine with me. Every single item I have ever bought made in China has been a complete piece of garbage. That includes two floor lamps that each cost me $100. They both lasted a couple of years before they broke. Back in the 1970’s, you bought a lamp and it lasted forever. There was no such thing as “the lamp broke and we had to buy a new one.” It never happened. I do not believe we ever replaced one lamp in my parental home. And I believe my mother still has a lamp that she got from her mother, no doubt purchased sometime between 1920 and 1935. Here it is 80-90 years later, and the damned thing still works. I doubt if it has broken one time. This junk coming out of China must be built with planned obsolescence in mind. I am sure of it.

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Filed under Asia, Capitalism, China, Economics, Government, Neoliberalism, Politics, Regional, Republicans, US Politics, USA

Class War in Capitalist Economies: A Brief Primer

Erik: Well we are talking about right and left wing labels. I wouldn’t call him an economic conservative. Isn’t being against free trade a left wing worker thing? Either which way I’m not so much making an argument for or against Trump, but I’ll say just as I said before; he’s a nationalist, yes?

(Wall, immigration, America first blah blah blah) and he supports increasing national sovereignty by not being part of insidious trade agreements like TPP or NAFTA. It’s not necessarily “conservative” but a mixture now, hence the need for new labels? I mention this because these were the two big policies he ran on in opposition to Obama to get elected. Meanwhile I would label Obama a globalist internationalist because of his support of open borders and immigration along with supporting TPP and other multilateral trade and defense initiatives. Guess workers don’t like that right now, as they all flocked to Trump.

Yeah but workers didn’t flock to Trump. That is one of the big lies. The bottom two quintiles of the population or people making under $40K/year heavily supported Hillary. People making under $40K/year? There’s your working class right there. And probably your White working class too. The White working class did not massively flock to Trump. That’s one of the big lies

The top three quintiles or people making over $40K heavily favored Trump. So Trump won with people who had money and the more money they had, the more they voted for Trump. I was reading on the Atlantic where they were talking to people for and against Trump and everyone writing in saying they voted Trump were people who had money and seemed to be sitting pretty. There was one White who was probably Top 40% and an Hispanic Cuban who was probably top 20%. The lines that both of them kept reiterating was, “I see myself as someone making good money and Trump is good for moneyed people like us. And we don’t like Hillary supporters because those are all blue collars, poor and low income people.”

That free trade stuff is outside of left and right. You see both Trump on the far right and Sanders on the Hard Left were pushing nationalist economics and opposition to globalism and free trade. That goes to show you that the nationalist economics versus global economics and the pro and against free traders is pretty much outside of Left and Right ideology because you have folks all over the spectrum on both sides of each issue. You could boil it down to nationalists versus internationalists, but that is outside of Right and Left too.

Trump is not rightwing? Are you kidding? He’s an extreme reactionary, one of the worst in the whole party. Look at who he is appointing his Cabinet. One thing they have in common is the Republican motto: “Everything for the rich, not one nickel for anybody else.”

He’s a class warrior. He is trying to mass transfer money and goods from the working classes and middle classes to the rich and the corporations.

Man you guys are ignorant. I am going to have to do a post on what an extreme rightwing nutcase Trump is.

Being against free trade is the only good thing about him. That’s neither left nor right. Both the left and the right are gung-ho on free trade. It gives massive benefits to the top 10% of the country and everyone loses money and loses out hard, but when it comes to free trade, both parties, the left and the right of US politic, are down with everything for the rich and fuck everybody else.

That because the US left is only for the rich and upper middle class. The US “Left” is just a bunch of groovy, socially liberal upper middle class suit and tie types on both coasts. On economics they may as well be Republicans. Those “liberal” upper middle class Democrats work for their class interests too. Their project is mass transfer of wealth from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. I guess with the Republicans it is mass transfer from the bottom 95-98% to the top 2-5%.

I mean you have to be making $125-300K before Republican policies benefit you. With the democrats, I guess they are a little bit different. I suppose once you start making $75K before Democratic policies try to help you. But I would say that they are both working against lower half the population and for sure the lower $60% of the population. Under both Democrats and Republicans, everyone making under $50-60K is getting royally screwed. They are both promoting class warfare policies of transfer of wealth and goods from the everyone making under $60K to people making more than $60K or maybe the line is $75K, who knows?

That TPP was going to help only the top 10% of the US population. That’s people making over $90K/year. So the TPP was mass transfer of wealth from everyone making below $90K to everyone making above $90K.

News flash. People tend to vote and govern in their class interests. Once people get a lot of money, it’s generally class warfare of transferring wealth from less moneyed people to more moneyed people. This sort of class war over divving up resources is is often going on in many capitalist economies. The only thing that stops it is some sort of socialism or social democracy.

But with socialism or social democracy, the rich will always rule the country and the rich always pursue policies “Everything for us and nothing for anybody else. And with no socialism barrier the rich and the upper middle classes are free to pursues class war which is nothing more than wars over how to divvy up existing resources. People don’t just make money off growth in a capitalist economy. A lot of the money and goods acquired in a capitalist economy involves various classes either taking money from classes below them and transferring it up or transferring money from classes above them and transferring it down. I can’t believe that people don’t know these basics about how capitalism works.

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Why Mao Is Still a Hero to So Many Chinese

As for your Central Planning, it led to famine, but of course Russians are basically white so the argument against Communism is universal.

Do you know how many famines China had before Mao or how often they occurred?

“Central planning” didn’t cause those famines. They did the transition to collectivized agriculture too fast and the whole thing was such a mess there was a famine for a few years. And in the USSR, a lot of the famine was due to wheat rust epidemic. Also the kulaks set their fields on fire of harvested the crops and piled them in their fields until they got rained on so they got moldy. Also the kulaks killed 50% of the livestock in the several years before the famine. So they destroyed a lot of their crops on purpose and they killed half the livestock in the country. You wonder why there was a famine?

Do you realize that even during the Great Leap in 1958-1961, the death rate in China was still lower than it was in 1949?

The death rate in China collapsed under Mao. Sure, he killed some people, but he saved way more.

Failure of central planning to feed people? China and India were at the same place in 1949. That’s how screwed up China was before Mao. It was as bad as India! Can you imagine? If it wouldn’t have been for Mao, China would be like India right now? India?! Can you visualize that?

After Mao, the malnutrition rate in China is 7%.
After Indian capitalism, the malnutrition rate in India is 51%.

If you wonder why so many Chinese still revere Mao, it’s because of things like that. Chinese people are not idiots.

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Filed under Agricutlure, Asia, Asian, Capitalism, China, Chinese, Death, Economics, Government, Health, History, India, Left, Livestock Production, Maoism, Marxism, Nutrition, Regional, Socialism, South Asia, USSR

The Gains and Legacy of Maoism and the State Role in the Chinese Economy Today

TRASH: Central Planning has done no favors for the Chinese economy and that is why everyone was making The Great Leap Forward to British Hong Kong or eating their children during the famine. Mao was both an idiot and a sadistic tyrant.

True enough that China has found a form of government binding Soviet-blood Manchurian Eurasians, Uighur Turks and Tibet people into a large infrastructure.

Han Chinese seem to have born the brunt of their leaders incompetent Central Planning, Great Leaps Forward, intellectual purges during the Blue Kite horrors etc.

Do you have any idea what China was like before Mao took over? Believe me, it was way, way, way worse that it was under Mao.

Really? Mao set a world record by doubling life expectancy in in the shortest period of time. Life expectancy was doubled from 32 in 1949 to 65 in 1980. A world record! Think how many lives Mao saved! Sure he killed some people, but he saved so many other lives. This is why so many people who lived under Mao revere him to this very day, though it is admitted that he made mistakes.

Industrial production grew at about 10% per year under Mao. Agricultural production exploded under Mao. Medical care was dramatically expanded to where it served the whole population. There were vast expansions in education and after Mao, every Chinese could go to school. There was a massive expansion in housing under Mao and few Chinese lived in slums anymore. Life in countryside improved dramatically under Mao.

The state still plays a huge role in the economy and to some extent the economic progress of the nation is indeed planned or guided by the state. But the same is done in Japan and South Korea.

You realize that all land in China is owned by the state?

Do you have any idea how much money the Chinese state spends at various levels on public projects of all kinds?

Do you realize that the #2 maker of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state firm?

You realize that all Chinese publically owned firms are officially owned by their workers. This was something that Mao put in and the “reformers” have not been able to get rid of it. The more money the firm makes, the larger the workers’ paycheks are.

You realize that 45% of the economy is still publicly owned, right? The difference is now much of that is owned by municipalities and those cities actually compete against each other. Also state firms are run to make a profit, but the profit goes to the state where it is plowed right back to the people in all sorts of ways.

Even the market is under pretty serious control of the state. Private firms need to go along with the project or risk being shut down and confiscated. Much of the massive Chinese development in China is done by state firms. Many Chinese state firms now compete globally against capitalist enterprises, so it’s sink or swim. Many pro-capitalist rightwingers in the US have been complaining about having to compete with Chinese state firms because they are shored up by the Chinese state so therefore this is somehow unfair competition.

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The Libertarian “Crony Capitalism” Nonsense

Shooter: “All capitalism is crony capitalism, always and forever.” – Well, did WordPress come about because of socialism? Aren’t most of the things you talk about, even the medium you’re on, came about from capitalism?

All civilizations have to have some form of economies to raise capital. No matter how socialist you get, there’ll still be capitalism in there. USSR was not fully Communist but was socialism with state capitalism. Making money is just what nations do. I don’t see how GDP and other forms of wealth are inherently crony capitalism. Sorry, but you don’t get me on this one.

Any normal capitalist country, leaving out various forms of actual socialism and Communism, will generally speaking have an unbelievable amount of crony capitalism.

According to Libertardians, the whole problem with their glorious capitalist system is the fact that government is involved in it. Once the government is involved in the capitalist economy in any way, shape or form, apparently we have some form of “crony capitalism,” whatever the Hell that is. I say that because I have no idea what it is that this term is even referring to. According to Libertardians, if you completely eliminate the state from the picture, then and only then do you have real true capitalism. Anytime you still have a state in the picture somehow, the system is not actually real true pure capitalism. This is some sort of a joke. Their crazy “pure capitalism” has probably never existed, does not exist now and no doubt will not exist in the forseeable future.

If crony capitalism means corruption, well of course capitalism generates corruption. It generates a phenomenal amount of corruption. It does this because the nature of capitalism is to cause a lot of corruption. The corruption is built right in to the system. It’s not a bug. It’s actually a feature! And the more capitalism you have in a country, the more corruption. Countries that went neoliberal and privatized everything typically saw tidal waves of corruption exploding very quickly. They also saw huge organized crime syndicates pop up almost overnight.

Corruption is generally seen at the state level. If it’s in business, it’s called something else. Corrupt officials are usually just stealing from the coffers of the state and sticking the money in their own pocket. How does state corruption help business? It doesn’t do much of anything to business. So how is state corruption crony capitalism?

Fraud is also ubiquitous in capitalism, and the more capitalism you have, the more fraud you have. In fact, fraud, ripoffs, stealing and cheating is so huge of a problem in most capitalist countries that the state typically has to set aside a lot of law enforcement resources to keep a handle on this situation at all. How is the state going after crooked businesses for fraud crony capitalism? That’s not helping business, it’s putting them clean out of business.

They make all sorts of stupid examples of this crony capitalism such as:

The government picks winners and losers in various industries. Of course the government does not pick winners and losers in industries. The market does that.

Companies go to the government and have the government make legislation to help them and hamper all of their competition, resulting in monopolies. This is laughable. The government never does this, ever! Monopolies result because the natural tendency of capitalism is towards monopoly, and illegal monopoly at that.

Businesses go to the government and pay them off so the government will do the businesses all sorts of favors. Actually, the only favors the government does for any of these businesses is in refusing to regulate them! So they are paying the government not to do things. Someone needs to tell me how keeping the government from regulating your industry is crony capitalism.

The government sets minimum wage laws which affect business. Sure, but they usually affect business in a bad way, or at least Libertardians think so, as they oppose any minimum wage. How is the government limiting profits by imposing minimum wages crony capitalism? The state’s not helping the businesses – it’s hindering them.

Universities pick only one vendor, limiting competition. An example given was that a university offered only the local DSL company to students for broadband. Supposedly allowing cable too would allow competition, but as cable and DSL don’t compete anyway, I don’t see how this would help competition. Universities hire vendors for all sorts of things, and I assume for most stuff, they choose a single vendor and go with them. Why buy your textbooks from 50 different companies? Why buy your food from 20 different food companies? And why not pay one company for Internet rather than two companies? It’s so much easier to go with just one vendor. Incidentally most branches of the government do this exact thing.

Government places barriers to entry in industries, vastly reducing competition. Laughable. Apparently this means this zoning laws, business licenses, liquor licenses and whatnot. For instance, we have some corner markets here where I buy my food. No doubt those lots were zoned Business. But to get into that industry, you are going to need a lot of capital. The local store is being sold, and it goes for $1 million. Local gas stations also go for $1 million. That’s the price that the market set for them. The government did not set that price. The market did.

I guess Libertardians would like to get rid of all zoning laws so everyone and his uncle could open their own little “corner markets” on the sidewalks or right here in my apartment complex. That’s not going to work. You need to buy a license, and if they want to sell booze, they need a liquor license. You can’t have everyone opening up a “corner market” out of their apartment. It’s nuts. There would be so much abuse, it’s incredible.

In my town I assure you there is no shortage of corner markets. There is nearly one on every major corner if you include the gas station marts. There are plenty of drug stores in this town. Plenty of supermarkets. Lots of auto repair joints. Plenty of car dealerships. Taco shops and carnicerias everywhere. A number of pizza joints. A small number of nice small restaurants. A number of insurance companies which apparently compete with each other. A small number of bars. A number of different competing banks, including a credit union that gives better customer service than any of them. There are a few different chain auto parts stores in town.

All of these businesses compete on price, service, goods available, quality of product or work, and all sorts of things. The competition is apparently quite ferocious everywhere you would expect it to be. Even the car repair joints seem to compete on price, which is amazing (the Mexicans are cheaper, but they do not do as good of a job).

There is no industry or business in this town that does not have enough players, lacks competition, or needs a lot of new players in the market. There are no monopolies or cases where a business is the only one of its type in town. I don’t understand why we need a ton of new competition. What for? The market’s full up as is. There’s not a lot of room for new players in town, and everyone is competing like maniacs as it is.

Neither business licenses, food inspections, liquor licenses, the cost of purchase of store (set by market and not by state), taxes, nor any of these things are acting as any sort of barrier to entry to business in my city. I might add also that this city is very rightwing and has probably set things up to be as business-friendly as possible. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it does lower the barriers to entry even more.

I have nothing against WordPress. It is actually possible to be a halfway decent capitalist company, and they seem to be doing that. But they eliminated their tech support, which I thought was pretty shitty.

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Filed under Capitalism, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Government, Higher Education, Law, Left, Libertarianism, Marxism, Neoliberalism, Organized Crime, Political Science, Scams, Socialism

No, DSL and Cable Companies Do Not Compete

EPGAH: And no, the cost of providing WiFi access is nonzero, otherwise you would open up your router, turn off the password, right? WiFi is also slower than hardwire by at least a factor of 10. Hell, that’s the whole idea of MAC Addresses.

Plus, the more people on one access point, the slower it is for everyone. Think of a congested highway – maybe China’s week-long traffic-jam if it helps? – vs. having a country road all to yourself.

Most importantly, at some point, it connects into the Internet by an actual hardwire, and that line has to be paid for, even if it doesn’t have to be maintained.

DSL and Cable fight each other, speed vs. price (Cable is faster, DSL is cheaper) except on university grounds, where AT&T (DSL) is given a LEGAL monopoly. People who can afford it go T1 or even T3 if they have more money than brains, and give the slowpokes on Cable and DSL the Finger.

Satellite IS a natural monopoly, because no one in their right minds would accept speeds just over dial-up if they had ANY other option! BUT if you are THAT far out in the sticks, you have no other viable option. It’s that or dial-up. Or you can pay some ridiculous 5-figure sum to get Cable or DSL to extend their service a quarter mile. This is not hypothetical, I was actually IN such a situation a few years back.

Full Disclosure: I have Cable, 50 mbps. I like my speed and I would not appreciate a bunch of freeloaders slowing it down for me. And no, I would not trust an “If You Like Your Speed, You Can Keep Your Speed” slogan.

I am not sure why universities would give access to a single provider, but universities usually do this with everything. They buy their hamburgers from one source. Hell, they buy just about everything from a single source. Anyway, is there any evidence that the DSL company is charging the students more due to its monopoly? At any rate, it might be interesting to see what the university’s argument for allowing a single provider is. They probably just think it’s simpler that way since they have single providers for most everything, as it’s obviously simpler.

What difference would it make if wi-fi costs money? The cities are trying to offer it for free to their residents (to be paid out of the city’s funds), and the competition-hating Republicans flipped and passed laws banning cities from offering wi-fi to their citizens, as it was thought to be serious competition for the legislator-whores’ beloved DSL and cable johns.

DSL and cable absolutely do not compete on price, service or anything. They each have a monopoly and there is no competition at all. They both offer a total shit product with total shit service for an insanely excessive price. Fact is that in countries where the state is running it the speeds are vastly higher than ours, so much higher it is not even funny.

If you opened up DSL to competition, yeah you would see some real competition. I remember back when we had dial-up, we had the wildest competition. They were all competing on price, service, everything! It was a consumer paradise!

Neither DSL, cable or satellite compete with each other in any way, shape or form. They all offer ridiculously slow speeds, awful customer service and a preposterously overpriced product, and none of them are competing with each other!

Let’s see if DSL and cable companies compete on customer service. Obviously they do not compete at all because the DSL and cable companies are routinely rated the worst in the country at customer service. They are also routinely rated the worst companies in the land. Not coincidentally, they come out last in both surveys because they each have monopolies, one in DSL and the other in cable. When you have a monopoly, you don’t have to have good customer service because the better your customer service is, the more it costs you and the less profits you make.

Really the only reason that any business offers good customer service is because they have to! Most if not all businesses would love to treat all their customers like complete crap because you make more money that way.

The only reason businesses are decent to customers at all is because they have to be due to competition! If you treat your customers like crap, your customers will start migrating over to your competitor to do business with them. I punish a few local businesses that way for treating me like crap. Not coincidentally, every business ever punished that way by me was run by someone from the Indian subcontinent – one by Pakistanis and two by Punjabis. Monopolists generally offer horrific customer service because people have nowhere else to go. And the worse you treat your customers, the more money you make, as good customer service costs money and cuts into profits.

I suppose the state could just buy out the phone lines, cable lines or satellites (though the satellites are probably state owned anyway) and then allow whoever wants to to utilize them to compete for cable, DSL or satellite. I suppose if they wanted to offer faster speeds, maybe they could rent out more of the pipe. I am trying to think of how we could do this. It’s long been known that our Internet service and cellphone services are both complete shit mostly due to the fact that they are privately run.

However, there is now quite a bit of competition in cell service opening up. I’m not sure how that is happening. I believe that the big providers are renting out some of their product as sort of franchisees. Anyway it seems to be working. It seems like there is a lot of competition in cellphone service now.

However, for some time, there were only a few providers, and as with cable, DSL and satellite above, they had agreed not to compete. All of the cellphone companies were offering diabolical contracts, ridiculous pricing and utter shit service – they had all agreed to provide a shit product for a ridiculously high price. Non-compete agreements are extremely common in capitalism. They probably ought to be illegal, but the anti-competition loving capitalists love these agreements as much as they love price-fixing. At some point, the non-compete agreements seem to have broken down, and now they are competing a lot.

Personally I find that the fact that each cell network built its own set of cell towers to be one the stupidest “accomplishments” of modern US capitalism. So we have four or five different cell phone tower networks where we only need one! Retarded! There should only be one cellphone tower network, and it ought to be either regulated by the state or owned by the state and rented/leased out to private companies to compete over public lines. I very much like the idea of the state owning the backbones of industries and then leasing/renting out space to private companies to use them to compete.

The problem is that the people often get ripped off. We own the airwaves, but we auction them off for pennies on the dollar to crooked media companies which we have allowed to concentrate to the point where all of our news comes from six different billionaire networks who all say the same thing. Sort of like Pravda or People’s Daily under Communism. One source of news, and it has one party line. I honestly feel that our modern monopolized, billionaire-owned news is not much better than the media under Communism. We get about the same diversity of views in either.

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Filed under Capitalism, Capitalists, Economics, Government, Journalism, Law, Local, Politics, Republicans, Scum, US Politics

Rejoinders to Some Critiques of Obamacare

Shooter: I disagree. Obama had to cheat in order to get it passed.

That was the only way to get it through.

Shooter:  That sounds like a form of cronyism and crony capitalism to me.

All capitalism is crony capitalism, always and forever. That’s the nature of capitalism, and the capitalists love it that way. Read Marx, or read anyone, even Adam Smith. The Libertarian dream can never happen because it’s not possible.

Shooter: But Obama also forced people to buy it or else they’d be fined or jailed. Not really a solution, and the blame game to Republicans kinda dismisses the matter.

Had to be done. That was the only way to make it work. Otherwise you remove all the young healthy people, and any insurance program crashes if you remove the good actors.

What do you suggest instead?

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Filed under Capitalism, Democrats, Economics, Health, Law, Libertarianism, Obama, Political Science, Politics, US Politics

Some Basic Guaranteed Rights in the US: Health Care, Food and a Phone

If course health care is a right. That goes without saying. And it’s not true that health care is always horrible in 3rd World places that now offer Health Care Tourism. Cuba has been offering that lately. You can go to Cuba, and for an affordable price, they will do about anything you want, and it will be excellent medicine. Their medicine is top notch in terms of how well trained they are, etc. The rightwingers say you get what you pay for in health care. But this is not true either. Health care in Canada and Europe is cheap to free, and the quality is top notch. They even live longer than we do.

People absolutely have a right to food. This is obvious. We already do this to some extent anyway. There is a lot of free food handed out, and a lot of it is handed out by the government.

I think a phone is a right, a basic human right. Everyone has a right to a phone. We already do this. Phones are free to the poor.

How about some more? Is Internet access a human right? I suppose it isn’t. I’m not sure if everyone deserves an Internet, probably not. I do not have a problem with people not having it due to not affording it. Everyone has it on their cell phones anyway.

However the Net is artificially expensive, and the service is unnaturally horrible because there is little or no competition in the market. I would like to see the cable and DSL markets opened up to capitalist competition.

The only thing worse than capitalism is monopoly capitalism. It’s odd that 100% of rightwingers support monopoly capitalism despite the fact that it is not really capitalist at all, as there is no competition.

I will say that the competition factor is the one really great thing about capitalism. You get a lot of players in any industry, and they will compete to see who treats customers better, who stocks more stuff they want, who is nicer, or who has better customer service. They will also compete on price and even on quality. If you get a hell of a lot of competition, they will even compete on workers’ wages and benefits! I love it! Competition is great, but there’s nothing a capitalist hates more than competition. They all wish to be monopolists.

 

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Filed under Canada, Capitalism, Caribbean, Conservatism, Cuba, Economics, Europe, Government, Health, Labor, Latin America, North America, Nutrition, Political Science, Regional, USA