Capitalism is Opposed to Human Happiness Debate, Volume 2
I don't care how many new york times articles you hot link, you are making a statement that runs contrary to a great body of economic work. Now I myself am in disagreement with much of what passes for economics, so I certainly do not consider the work of technocrats a sacred cow, but if you are going to make an economic contention, surely it would not be defended with the callow observations of the news media?
There are three type of lies my friend, and I suspect you tell them all.
Red Barn wrote:
That's the part that seems to be getting garbled here.
I just quoted a part of the OP that I thought was key verbatim, I don't see where I garbled it.
Red Barn wrote:
I have no idea what you are talking about. According to Wikipedia, "Socialists advocate a method of compensation based on individual merit or the amount of labour one contributes to society". If I'm contributing labor to some entity/group/society and that entity compensates me, that's by definition employment. If the entity defines a "method of compensation", that's setting wages.
But the fact remains that numbers - as reported by non-ideological bodies like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance - show that real wages have not risen for thirty years, while productivity has risen dramatically. This is not a matter of opinion, but of demonstrable, measurable fact.
Now, you are certainly entitled to your interpretation of that fact - as is everybody else. So the New York Times might put forward a Keynesian solution, the Marxist Prof. might put forward a Marxian analysis, and a legitimate Conservative might put forward some other explanation of his own. That's what debate is all about.
But the point here is that the central fact remains, regardless of explanatory opinions. So, in my view, any argument that fails to address this point is discounted right off the bat.
Do I make myself sufficiently clear?
No. Socialism requires that workers own the means of production. "Owners" do not receive "wages."
For example: if one guy owns a business and employs ten other guys, he is operating a Capitalist enterprise, regardless of what the ten guys are paid. But if eleven guys operate a business and share profits and losses equally, then they are operating as a Socialist collective.
So its really not about who gets stuff, its about who owns stuff.
There's a number of reasonable ways to explain the rising productivity. For one thing women work much more often now (because they have to), for another many people are taking second and third jobs (because they have to), another NAFTA equates to what is basically slavery (when it doesn't equate to mass murder and systemic rape of Mexican nationals), for another industry has seen fit to automate quite a bit at the same time reducing and discarding benefits, often leading to retired people working (because they have to), there's also the matter of prison industries (basically white-collar work camps). So as the value of the dollar is being squeezed with a vice and the price of living rises at the same time benefits vanish and capital has gone global and destroyed labor. All the while the war on drugs is systematically imprisoning numbers of poor people (paid for by tax moneys) that put the soviet union's "prison nation" to shame by reducing public defender fund at the same time funneling profits from police efforts back into more police efforts... jeez I'm out of breath... Ok so I want to ask, is this capitalism? A lot of people on that side call it that while filling their pockets with public funds.
Red Barn wrote:
Of course they do - if they contribute labor and get paid for it. For example, I'm a shareholder and also receive a salary. You simply don't understand the difference between dividends and wages. If they are "compensated for contributing labor", that's a wage, regardless of whether they are also owners. Owners get compensated for contributing capital, employees for contributing labor, and the two groups can overlap.