Capitalism Could Kill All Life On Earth

Are we going to let capitalism destroy life on Earth? According to 99% of climate scientists – we’ll know by the end of the century.

Scientists have agreed for three decades about what is causing atmospheric temperatures to rise – humans are burning Earth’s carbon resources to fuel economic activity. But even before we knew what was causing the temperature to rise – scientists warned about the dire global impacts of a two degree increase in atmospheric temperatures.

Earth’s climate has been basically stable for hundreds of thousands of years. But that changed during the industrial revolution - when Great Britain realized the potential of coal-powered steam engines. Soon continental Europe and America followed suit.

And over 150 years later – coal, oil, and natural gas dominate the global politics and economics: wars are fought over oil; communities are destroyed for coal; and increasingly scarce water supplies are poisoned by natural gas extraction.

The Earth has already warmed about one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels –which means we have to change our energy system completely before the Earth warms another degree in order to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. Is it possible?

Scientists say “Yes!” – BUT it will require us to take bold and immediate steps towards a completely renewable energy system. The technology exists – the shortfall is in investment.

According to the IMF – oil companies get 5.3 trillion dollars in subsidies worldwide per year. And the oil companies pay only a portion – if any – of the environmental costs of ripping fossil fuels from the ground and burning the CO2 into the atmosphere.

In other words, every living human being and government are paying for coal, oil, and gas companies to profit from the destruction our planet. And that’s not a market failure – that’s how the market was set up. Capitalism as we know it isn’t the solution – it’s the problem.

In a report in “Nature Climate Change” – scientists point out that we can keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius – if every country takes bold and immediate action to deploy current clean energy and limit the use of fossil fuels. The biggest failure in our system is that there is no price on carbon. Burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon into our atmosphere has very real costs that corporations aren’t paying for – costs that are being kicked down the road for future generations.

In America, we’ve let the fossil fuel industry become so profitable that it relentlessly funds campaigns and lobbies to keep oil subsidies in place and weaken environmental regulations - all at the expense of our communities and our planet.

Our current oligarchs claim that renewable power isn’t efficient or cheap enough to be competitive or to reliably replace fossil fuels – but that’s just not true. Solar, wind, and wave technology are all ready to be deployed at large scales – and Denmark, Germany, the UK and China, among others, are doing it right now.

Our transportation system is ready for renewables – solar roadways in the Netherlands are proving more effective than expected – and over two dozen models of electric cars are now out on the market.

Our households are ready for renewables: LED lightbulbs and high efficiency appliances mean that households use less energy – and affordable rooftop solar means that households can meet a lot their own energy needs.

We can make renewables competitive if we just cut subsidies to oil and coal companies and enforce our clean air and clean water regulations – but that means getting money out of politics so that legislation is written in the interest of communities and the planet - instead of corporations.

Capitalism is great at creating profits and products – but it doesn’t care about environmental justice. Capitalism doesn’t care whether we restore our forests and soils so that the planet can begin to reabsorb the carbon we’ve dumped into the atmosphere. Capitalism doesn’t care whether streams are poisoned or if the air is noxious – it doesn’t care if a river burns because of pollution – and it doesn’t care if another technology is ‘cleaner’ - unless the ‘dirty’ option becomes unprofitable.

That’s why we need both more regulation of the fossil fuel industry - and public investments into clean energy like solar and wind. Capitalism is to make money - but a government like our republic is put into place to protect the people from those whose quest for money harms society. We cannot replace democratic government with capitalism – and climate change proves this.

In fact - climate change challenges capitalism at its very root – is an economy really growing when all the costs are dumped on society while a handful of corporations and billionaires take all the profits? Science says that we can keep global temperatures from rising another half degree – but it can’t be left to a private sector that makes its profits from leaving the costs to everybody else.

It’s time for a New Green Deal – we need to stop directly and indirectly subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and we need to invest in a large-scale deployment of current clean energy technologies – one that will create permanent, sustainable jobs, and protect the Earth for future generations.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

I think it should be called Green "New Deal"

Dirtman 2's picture
Dirtman 2 9 years 3 weeks ago

I agree with many of the points and corporate degradation of the environment has gone on for a long time but with new environmental laws some has been limited and removed. Among the many good points are also some exaggerations were made. Through the industrial revolution the greatest wealth for society was created with America being the richest nation in the world with a large middle class. They have benefited through jobs provided by companies that were using or producing the carbon energy. The key to changing from a worldwide use of carbon based energy is to allow free enterprise with governmental controls to transition from carbon to renewable energy over a period of time. We also have to be concerned about a government "out of control" as much environmental damage was done constructing dams on beautiful rivers throughout the West. Many with limited value. Whatever steps are taken must not destroy the American economy which not only is good for Americans but the world.

awkword-o's picture
awkword-o 9 years 3 weeks ago

"Capitalism Could Kill All Life On Earth?" No, HUMANS WILL kill all life on earth; that is the only thing we are truly successful at. America could've picked any other economic system, or a combination of, and we would've ended up with the same result because of the human factor. And if the scientific community believes all humans on earth will suddenly ban together to stop climate change, they haven't ever studied human behavior before! The demise of our planet and all living beings within it will ultimately be blamed on America, because we are the dumbest AND most stubborn bunch of people on earth. Half the country still believes that Jeebus will fix everything once we trash this hotel room, and they also believe that the Lord invented capitalism for America; just listen to them talk about our "terrible, socialist" Obamacare.

KaraGirl's picture
KaraGirl 9 years 3 weeks ago

I think that dirtman 2 has some valid points, but Im sure thom would agree that, by and large the stage of the industrial revolution in which burning fossil fuels to help better the economy and not just the middle class but every class aside from the super rich is over, and has been for a long time. We have now moved into a dark phase where their is a complete disreguard, buy carbon burning for profit corporations, for not only the environment in which we all live, but the general overall health of we the people that live in this said environment. We now live in an era where big oil and coal and natural gas corps. Would rather lie about the environment, and lie to us citizens about the health risks of pollution and global warming so that they can turn a higher profit, rather than invest in cleaner air. We now live in a world where the bottom line is more important than pollution and our national Parks, more important than protecting endangered species, more important than our planets rain forests, more important than keeping our oceans pollution free. More important than keeping our air clean, more important than keeping our working class coal miners safe, more important than installing safty measures on our off shore oil rigs to make sure that if an accident happens oil doesn't just shoot out of the bottom of the ocean to contaminate hundreds of millions of gallons of sea water and leave "underwater oil plumes" that are miles long and hundreds if not thousands of feet high in the gulf of Mexico to float around freely and kill our underwater foodsources at will, and at an alarming rate. Killing the Fido plankton to, one of the cornerstones of life and nutrition as we know it in the ocean and on the face of the earth. Did I mention that it's bad for the f****n air we breath. What about the pollution that companies are allowed to dump into our streams, as long as they arnt a certain size, that of which being anything large enough to put an industrial water craft on. So rivers like the Mississippi are out, the Colorado, and Arkansas, but all the smaller streams and rivers that lead into them are not protected.

I could go on and on. Being a native coloradoin, I've worked with environment Colorado and other political nonprofit organizations to combat this social and economic evil that has our country in it's grips. We need to Take our country and frankly our world back. This is not a joke, this is not something that can be put off. Prifitization over human well-being is now the standard by which corporations like Exxon and shell, BP and Xcel energy just to name a few, live by. My biggest question at this point is, what the hell is wrong with these people, when it all comes crashing down, when the temperature gets to high globally, and mother nature takes over and wipes us out, or what happens when all the life in the sea starts to die and thus not provide us a healthy foodsource, when breathing our air becomes the equivalent of smoking a pack or more of cigarettes a day, just like Mexico city, which buy the way has been that way for a very long time now, and Im sure lots more places around the world are to, when???? When are they going to realise that they live hear to?? That in the end profit won't matter. In the end when it's all dark, when their is nothing left, when even they are doomed in their little underground pods that they think will sustain them. When?? When are they finally gonna realize they were wrong? When are they going to finally say; Im sorry........

wwws56a's picture
wwws56a 9 years 3 weeks ago

It is really sad to see what is happening to our world, and the saddest thing is we are blase about what has been told to us again and again. I guess humanity wasn't meant to inherit the world, we were put here to move it along to the next step in it's evolution to a planet where wild storms, high water levels, higher temperatures insuring that insects and plant and animal life moves into territories unaccoustomed to them. This is happening already with the spread of insects killing many types of trees as the trees have no defences against them.

How many of us will be able to afford to protect ourselves against this onslaught from Mother Nature? For awhile the monied will be able to lift their homes build ever higher walls to protect against man and beast, but it will all end badly for us.

If we continue to ignore the warnings we deserve what we get, I won't live long enough to see what we will have wrought, but our Grand Children surely will.

What a legacy to leave them, the destruction of our world just so that the richest of us can have it all for a bit longer.

We really are stupid, have you ever warned a child that if they do this or that, due to you having life experience, they can be hurt, only to see your warning ignored and exactly what you knew would happen, happened?

Change that previous paragraph from child to, you and I, and the one doing the warning to, scientific community.

Mad Maxx here we come, God I hope we wake up from this horrible dream.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 9 years 3 weeks ago

Capitalism by its very nature must consume. Be it built in obsolescence, manipulating "demand" by creating "want" or "desire" through adverstising and marketing or causing social upheavels and wars to force open markets or to acquire certain assets that cannot be acquired otherwise. Capitalism doesn't see beyond its immediate satisfaction. That's always left to the future to deal with. Nevertheless, once it is unable to consume, it will die in spasms.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Humans have made it through a million years, so there is some hope.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 3 weeks ago

"Many powerful people don't want peace because they live off war"...Pope Francis

Many powerful people don't want life on earth for future generations because they simply can't control themselves.

Thom says it well..... "but a government like our republic is put in place to protect the people from those whose quest for money harms society."

PFNELKAK 9 years 3 weeks ago

c-8; human history - a million? hardly, no documentation. all guesswork. Last 6000 years has been all documented with facts. But only 6000 years and look what we've done to this planet.
karagirl; excellent insight. Unfortunately, with greed and power controlling the human mind, a healthy earth and a peaceful mind will not be seen again till JESUS returns for those who want HIS kind of life and world.

Progressive Democratic Workers's picture
Progressive Dem... 9 years 3 weeks ago

Hello Professor Hartmann,

I like your POV except you refer to "US" and "WE", and not to Occupy's 1% vs 99%.

It's important, because Progressives cannot change society alone. I am trying to

unite Progressives with Labor Unions (15 million members). Our Mobilization Against the Vietnam War was 3 million beating on the Pentagon's windows. With Labor's backing, Progressives can achieve our most cherished goals. But Progressives look down their college noses at Labor. That must change. But I am starting a new

radio stationdevoted to Labor

Legend 9 years 3 weeks ago

We are at the stage where we are dealing with Congressmen bringing snowballs into Congress to prove there is no climate change. 1100 people die from heat in India, in the Spring. Texas is flooded but they are worried about Obama declaring Marshall Law and taking their guns away. Maybe when Rush Limbaughs Palm Beach island is underwater they will think about it.

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 9 years 3 weeks ago

I have been saying this for years. The only way that the Oil & Gas companies will stop is when it is no longer profitable for them.

We are increasing our alternative energy every year and every year we burn more fossil fuels.

We are energy greedy.

The disasters will continue, but hey, ask any capitalist and they will tell you.

Disasters are good for the economy!!

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 9 years 3 weeks ago

Well, Dirtman 2 you say, 'whatever steps are taken must not destroy the American economy.......' to parphrase 'whatever we do, let's not destroy the very thing that is destroying us.' I don't get your logic. Do you?

KaraGirl's picture
KaraGirl 9 years 3 weeks ago

I think that at this point we have our hands tied somewhat. We can't just get rid of capitalism. It's to ingrained into our society at this point. And their are differing degrees of capitalism. Mom and pop shops shouldn't be a target for our ier, but rather corporate capitalism. I've felt for a long time that corporate capitalism can and is becoming an enemy of democracy, but we are fools if we think we can just target it and do away with it. The better method of attack in my mind would be to manipulate it. Make it work for we the people instead of we the board of directors.

First and foremost we the people need to stand up all across this country and vote down, or pressure our elected officials to vote down citizens united. Their is no sane place in our society for a corporate entity to have the same rights as we the people. That must be paramount. As to how to effect the environment and pollution, which should again be at the top of any sane list of problems we the people are dealing with, we need to institute a carbon tax across the board to any and every carbon burning for profit corporation everywhere. If you make it non profitable to make money off of polluting our environment, the carbon burning corporations will look to renewable energy as their means of survival. Thus hopefully solving the global emergency that global warming is. As to what to do after that to combat corporate capitalism, for now I'll leave that to you much more educated people, but atleast if we can do this we will have started to make a better world for our children and our children's children.

One step at a time guys, but positive progression always works better than forced oppression!! Expecially when we the poor are going up against they the rich and socialpathic powerful. :-)

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 3 weeks ago

karagirl, the oil companies could have diversified into renewables a long time ago. I don't think they'll be that smart.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 3 weeks ago

I'm with Naomi Klein... Choose; Capitalism or the planet...

KaraGirl's picture
KaraGirl 9 years 3 weeks ago

Your right they could have deversified a long time ago, but the profit margin wasn't there, so they didn't. That's the sad fact. And that's why implementing a carbon tax is really our only hope!! :-( your not wrong.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Loren -- What is wrong with the economic/political structures of the Scandinavian countries? I think it is relevant to note that after the crash of 2008. the CEO of IKEA was the wealthiest person in the world.

Karagirl -- What does a mom and pop store have to do with capitalism?

I have often said here that all we need are the policies of the New Deal and the Great Society (without the war). They were so good that the "billionaires" became terrified. They clamored to the ideas of the "Powell Doctrine".

I think the number one step is

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 3 weeks ago

Chuckle8--Don't have time for a long discussion now as I have errands to run -- to hobble, actually -- but I'll be back later.

Meanwhile let me leave you with an Audrey Lorde quote that explains why "move to amend" is nothing more than another exercise in futility, tolerated -- even encouraged -- by the Ruling Class because it distracts us from the fact we have been already been reduced to the powerlessness of slaves.

(The forcible imposition of Fast Track, opposed by at least 75 percent of the electorate, will prove our powerlessness beyond dispute -- no doubt the reason for the joint military/federalized police mobilization "exercises" running concurrently with the controversy.)

What Lorde said is therefore a perfect description of our present circumstances.: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 3 weeks ago

Loren Bliss: As you already know, Citizens United provides the Fascists with ability to utterly control the message at election time. That message is comprised of economic falsehoods intended to motivate citizens to vote against their own economic best interests. The question is, how does the economic truth overcome the big money lies? .....I believe Senator Sanders is well armed with the economic truth, and his message will be far reaching despite the big money media weapon of mass economic deception. In other words I believe old fashion word of mouth, and social media may very well shock the billionaires and their corpse media at election time. I for one don't feel powerless, never have...and as Thom says, "despair is not an option! " or something like that.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

Reply to #10: Hi Loren! I was hoping you would see this post of Thom's. It immediately brought you to mind.

By the way, my hubby and I just ordered our Bernie Sanders tee shirts! I encourage the rest of you Bernie supporters to do likewise.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Loren -- I like the words (poetry?) you use so much that I find it uncomfortable to disagree with you.

However, I cannot resist. How did FDR and the Scandinavian countries overcome the evil components of capitalism?

I like the description that the Economic Policy Institute gave of FDR's policies. I am proud of my little "poetry" to describe it. FDR found that magical path between Marx and Mussolini.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 3 weeks ago

Alas, chuckle8, what you imagine happened did in fact not happen at all. Neither FDR nor the Scandanavian countries EVER overcame capitalism.

All they did was manage, temporarily (and only because the Ruling Class was terrtified by the prospect of worldwide Communist revolution), to ameliorate capitalism's savagery just enough to make its tyrannosauric evil palatable to the masses.

In the long run, FDR failed completely. His "New Deal" has been destroyed beyond any rational hope of restoration.

Indeed, U.S. society has been reorganized to ensure no New-Deal-type program will ever again arise to threaten the One Percent's profiteering.

This reorganization is total and therefore permanent. Its physical manifestation is the methodical eradication of community. Intellectually it is the reduction of the U.S. to Moron Nation. Emotionally it is the imposition of manifest fears of additional loss to perpetuate the 99 Percent's embrace of the Ayn Rand cult of moral imbecility.

In short it is Nazism -- Germany's "master race" and U.S. "exceptionalism" are conceptual twins -- dressed in new clothing by Madison Avenue's diabolical powers of psychological manuipulation.

Here in the U.S., the process is complete. The vaunted experiment in representative democracy is slain, never to be revived.

In the Scandanavian democracies, the capitalist onslaught, disguised as "austerity," has just begun -- and already the capitalists are winning.

There is no "magical path." Ultimately there is only socialism or capitalism -- with our need to choose one or the other intensifying as our planet sickens and our overlords become ever more like the vengeful god they emulate.

The question is no longer which sort of world we want.

It is instead in which sort of world our endangered species is most likely to survive.

Will our species survive in the world of today, all of us reduced to ever-more-deadly poverty and ever-more enslaved by the inconceivably powerful, inconceivably wealthy One Percent?

Or does our species' survival require a world in which the looming hardships of terminal climate change and the shrinking assets of our planetary wealth are shared equally amongst us all?

The answer is obvious. If we are to survive, our ethos of greed and selfishness must be replaced by the ethos of communism: from each according to ability, to each according to need.

Failing that, our species is dead, our planet rendered uninhabitable by life as we know it.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Loren B -- How serious is the austerity in the Scandinavian countries? I heard one country tried it, and it was reversed by the people.

I used the wrong word for the "magical" path. It seems to be the best path so far in the 7000 years of western civilization. I agree that it was fraught with peril. However, I think the policies it tested are the best policies to follow.

As I said before, the fight between capitalism (greed) and socialism (caring) has been going on for 200,000 years (corrected from 1 million years). It has been much worse than it is now e.g. the dark ages. It took the plague to escape from that. Maybe global warming will be our plague. A much better solution is to fight for Bernie.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 3 weeks ago

Where we differ, chuckle8 -- and it is an irreconcilable difference -- is in our understanding of what history indicates is possible.

Based on what I have witnessed during a journalism career that began in 1956 and lingers on even now via my blog, I know the enitre U.S. system to be irremediably corrupt at every level, local, state and federal. This was not always so, but what began as episodal corruption has metastasized into the defining charactertistic of governance anywhere in this nation or its imperial possessions.

In this context, to believe in reform is to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. A system so corrupted cannot be reformed. The imperial U.S. has become the global, governmental form of organized crime, and it can only be dealt with accordingly.

Neither can capitalism be detoxified. Capitalism is the serial-murderer mentality expressed as economics and politics, and even when caged (as the Scandanavian countries surely attempted), its inertial momentum will always be toward Nazism.

As to the Dark Ages, never forget that despite the wretchedness of life in post-Roman Europe, it was in some ways not as dark as we imagine. For example the Roman Catholic Church enforced an absolute prohibition against interest on loans (for which see ) A result of this ban was the meager (albeit relatively stable) economy that characterized Europe until the Protestant Reformation, which in fact spawned capitalism and employed Protestant dogma to rationalize its malevolence. See for example Max Weber, The Protestasnt Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

Manifest evil -- and that is precisely what capitalism is -- cannot be made less evil. To imagine otherwise is to imagine Ted Bundy could have been -- by the plunking of some cosmic twanger -- transformed into a saint. It was the failure of the New Deal's proponents to understand this fact that resulted in their defeat and our subjugation.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Loren -- What you are describing is the eternal struggle between the billionaires and the rest of us. What I am suggesting is that we use the best tools available to help our side. The New Deal and the Great Society revealed to our side some very useful tools.

My view is that for the 7000 years of western civilization the "billionaires" have been the winners in 6500 of those years. I suggest we use the history of the other 500 years to improve our chances.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 2 weeks ago

Clearly Mr. Hartmann has at last realized that capitalism is literally the enemy of all life on earth -- that if we are to survive, capitalism must be recognized as the cancer it is and removed accordingly.

Many of us already know this as the ultimate, pivotal truth of this the darkest most hopeless era in all the 200,000 years of our species' experience.

Verily then we are challenged by three questions: (1)- how are the capitalists to be overthrown? (2)- how is capitalist governance to be eliminated? (3)-what eradication measures will ensure capitalism is never again able to threaten our rights to life and liberty?

However, if we are to find effective answers to these terminal questions. we must first recognize the absolute evil at the core of capitalism. Stripped of its seductive rhetoric, capitalism is in fact the ultimate malevolence of infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue -- literally the conscious rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever set forth.

Once we have acknowledged that fact and its terrifying corollary -- that our Earth is now ruled by moral imbeciles whose sole purpose is fulfillment of their own serial-killer fantasies of limitless wealth and power -- then at last we will have positioned ourselves to rationally evolve the answers to the above questions.

And these answers -- or rather their effectiveness -- will then determine whether our species lives or dies.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 2 weeks ago

Chuckle8: Argue as you will, nothing changes the ugly truth that all our previous efforts to liberate ourselves from capitalism have failed. Period. End of sentence.

In this context, suggesting the New Deal could again become a vehicle of liberation makes about as much sense as suggesting a horsewhip could be used to re-start a stalled automobile.

"The best tools available" -- including the electoral process that enabled the New Deal -- are all nullified by hopeless corruption. The fact of the matter -- I say again FACT -- is the U.S. experiment in representative democracy is dead. Its fatal weakness was its failure to recognize that without economic democracy, political democracy is meaningless.

Thus we are imprisoned by circumstances from which there is no apparent exit.

That's why, if we are to liberate ourselves from capitalism, we must first acknowledge the bitter truth of our abject powerlessness.

Only then -- when we have at last set aside our selfish, self-pampering Norman Vincent Peal conformity and its attendant opiate of PollyAnna optimism -- will we be sufficiently grounded in reality to (perhaps) begin to evolve an effective response to the present crisis.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

Loren B -- It seems among the first steps would be to have some notion of an economic system to replace "capitalism".

If by capitalism one means use other,s (e.g. Goldman Sachs) capital to grow the wealth of the nation, then I suggest raising the capital requirements for investing to above 50%. In Greece before the euro that number seemed more like 95%. They were doing fine in their society. However, they were looked down upon by Europe, including themselves, because their airport was aged, they did not have many interstate freeways, etc. -- c8

If by capitalism one means using the marketplace to determine the distribution of limited resources, I would like to know the alternative before I abandoned the marketplace of supply and demand.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 2 weeks ago

Wake up, chuckle8: forget all the deceptive definitions you learned elsewhere. Capitalism reduced to its essence is infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue -- the deliberate rejection of every humanitarian precept our species ever set forth. Capitalism is therefore manifest moral imbecility -- the mindset of the serial killer expressed in economic terms. That is why it cannot be reformed. As to the distribution of our (increasingly scarce) resources, nothing says it better than this: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need."

KaraGirl's picture
KaraGirl 9 years 2 weeks ago

Loren bliss, hi it's karagirl,

I Love what you say, and I must admit that while I have some good points on the generalization on how to fix things, I fear that now we are delveing into the realm of educated -OK how do we fix this shit - and I concede that Im not as smart as the rest of you. I've only just started blogging, and I've only just started in the last year to actively participate in canvasing campaigns like environment Colorado, and Colorado fair share, so though Im no stranger to the political differences of Democrats and Republicans, I find that the real solution to -fix- all of our problems gets more and more complicated the farther in-depth we look. In my mind the more we look at it, their are good things as well as bad with, socialism, communisum, and republic democracy. You notice that I leave out facisom, of course their is nothing in my mind that is good that comes from it.

However with regard to the other three. Is their any way that we can Take the good of those three and weed out the bad, and combine that good into a new cohesive new system that will work for us all?? That is my question.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 2 weeks ago

I've often thought that the existence of non-dividend stock should be outlawed. It's not ownership of the company; it's a collectors' item, a baseball card. It has value only if you can convince some other schmuck to buy it from you. If companies had to let the little people have a say in the running of the company with their stock, they wouldn't issue it so freely, and we wouldn't have had this 401(k) craze that lets the financial sector steal our retirement funds so easily.

We'll always need some method of investment to create new enterprises, so lending and dividend stock are okay by me.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 2 weeks ago

Oh yeah, it would also prevent the market rigging via stock buy-backs (which Thom has recently talked about) that gives the illusion of a good economy.

Vicki B.'s picture
Vicki B. 9 years 2 weeks ago

Check out the 26th annual renewable Energy Fair coming up in Central Wisconsin near Steven's Point on June19-2. Info at Some 15-20,000 people are expected for the three day weekend, Amy Goodman is keynote speaker on Saturday. Tickets are moderately priced - only $35 for the whole weekend. Camping available. Free classes, lots of info and networking, family friendly. Please spread the word!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

Loren B -- You certainly know more about this than I do. I thought the russian revolution did exactly what you want. However, they had no plan in place to replace capitalism; consequently, they got Stalin.

To repeat myself, in 7000 years of western civilization there was one set of economic policies that exceeded any other. Those policies were those of the New Deal and the Great Society. They were so good they scared the U.S. Chamber of Commerce s@#*less. Why wouldn't we want to go back to those policies?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 2 weeks ago

chuckle8, you seem to be confused on the difference between economy and government. The USSR replaced feudalism with socialism (there was no capitalist stage). Stalin's tyranny has nothing to do with it.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 2 weeks ago

mathboy -- If you think the economy is different than the government, I think you have been reading too many dictionaries. Thom's words are something like the government writes the rules of the market place.

It seems to me feudalism is the ultimate capitalism. Loren B was proposing getting rid of capitalism first without a detailed plan for what comes after. I thought the Russian revolution was a perfect example of that.

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