Originally Posted by newbee
Money = power .... therefore capitalism begat "crony capitalism" .... that is, unless you truly believe that the government actually "makes the rules." In the beginning perhaps, capitalism, in it's purest form, was a "good idea"...... and maybe Communism, in it's purest form, (from each, according to his ability, to each, according to his need.) ...was a "good idea". My point is that, greed, which has been, and always will be a part of human nature, (albeit by varying degrees) cannot be ignored when considering a "system" .... and both of these systems have ignored that fact at their peril. Communism may have died first, but there can be little doubt, that without massive change in our collective thinking, capitalism is on the same pathway, and that change has to include everyone, not just the "elite". They will not be ignored much longer. There are a lot more "have nots" than "haves" and someday, if we don't find a way to share, they'll find a way to take it, just like we have seen in other parts of the world where we have watched people fighting for freedom, sometimes by standing in front of a tank.
Not trying to rag on you, but the fact is that you seem to be blaming others (Capitalism without Socialism works great.) is a perfect example of what I'm saying.
An interesting fact is that Canada's "socialistic" government was responsible for not allowing the Canadian banks to follow the lead of the, mainly US banks,( in spite of the powerful lobbying effort on the banks behalf) to relaxing the rules, making it easier for banks to lend more than they previously could .... and by curtailing that power we were spared the mess that the US banking system created.
One last thing, you say that the government "forced" the banks behaviour .... then why was it that not all banks acted in that destructive manner? I say that greed forced that behaviour and "Capitalism without Socialism" only serves the power group. Can that truly be what we want for society at large?
I don't think you understand capitalism, as it does not begat crony capitalism, but corrupt people do. Most companies in the U.S. are small business, but even the larger ones, say Apple, don't force regulations that keep competition out. Bad people + government = crony capitalism.
Let's get some terms correct.
Capitalism is business owned by private parties.
Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials.
Socialism a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. (read government)
Government is [should be] there for oversight to make sure the people don't get abused (with regards to business). Government is great at oversight. However, when that oversight leads to weighing outcomes based off relationships with big business (read lobbies) then you have Crony Capitalism. CC has greed, corruption, and not focus on the 'people'. Socialism exacerbates crony capitalism by its very nature.
In a town, you can also have small business in relationship with local government and thereby creating crony capitalism on the local level. Happens very often.
Banks were not the ones who initiated the relaxed rules unless you think any business wants to do business with much riskier clients? Why would a bank want to loan people mortgages knowing they can't afford them? Some might have planned on selling these portfolios to banks without knowledge of the true value of the loan.
But then would it not be the government's 'oversight' that would make this known and protect the people? Why didn't it? Crony Capitalism allowed bankers and government to work deals. Deals not beneficial to the 'people' in which the government should serve. Not all banks acted the same way as not all are corrupt.
Big Agriculture + Government = regulations that limit small agricultures while allowing big agricultures to thrive. Its lobbying to remove competition. Replace agriculture with pharmaceuticals or banks, or healthcare, or any number of big business that is a crony of the government. Check out the links I posted above, which are just 2 of many.
Apple is a big business that does not lobby the government to eliminate competition. The do for social reasons and for protection from patent theft, but I don't know of any to remove or reduce competition. They probably find it easier to buy the competition, which is a capitalist way of doing business.
Again, capitalism is not bad as it is only the ownership of companies by individuals. However, when you get big enough to have influence with government, that is where the corruptions flourishes. Big is relative to market so in a small town, big could be what you would consider very small.
What we need in this country is the right regulations that opens up free markets to compete fairly, not regulations that limits competition.
Example. In the U.S. it is not legal for health insurance companies to sell policies across State lines, as it is with auto, life, etc. If a company in one State can offer health insurance in another State cheaper, it does not matter. Why? Big Healthcare lobbies government for protections so they can keep their rates high. That is not free market capitalism. That is crony capitalism and now socialism.
Are there bad people that own businesses that steal from people that are not tied to government? Sure, and this is where government should be regulating, having oversight, so that these people are caught as quickly as possible.
Big corporations and environment is another aspect of where government should have oversight, make regulations, but not based off reducing competition, but reducing environmental impact. I'm not a global warming alarmist, but I do believe we should be stewards of what God gave us. Government can help in this protection, but not allowing lobbyist to fund campaigns and create regulations that only benefit them.
I hope you are seeing the difference. Yes, money does equal power, but that does not equal abusive power. Evil people will abuse, where good people won't no matter the money.