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Keystone Pipeline is Kaputs

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  • #31
    I understand Enbridge's obligation to its shareholders. What is much less rational is the idea of a narrow portfolio in any given 401k. Why in the world should I care if a single company in my 401k goes down the toilet? Especially because it blew a giant hole in a local economy due to negligence on its part?

    It is a good thing that capitalism exists. It is a bad thing that so many supporters of capitalism do not wish for negligent executives to pay a heavy price for their negligence. Perpetuating bad business practices only damages others trying to do business. Protecting poor business practice also restricts opportunities for competent business and technical staff to be promoted to positions they deserve.

    Those who lend this type of support to capitalism are destroying it, not protecting it.

    מה מכילות החדשות?

    • #32
      Originally posted by radcentr View Post
      I understand Enbridge's obligation to its shareholders. What is much less rational is the idea of a narrow portfolio in any given 401k. Why in the world should I care if a single company in my 401k goes down the toilet? Especially because it blew a giant hole in a local economy due to negligence on its part?

      That kind of diluted responsibility is exactly how corporations get away with these sorts of things. If the owners don't care, no matter how big or small, nothing will change.
      Originally posted by radcentr View Post
      It is a good thing that capitalism exists. It is a bad thing that so many supporters of capitalism do not wish for negligent executives to pay a heavy price for their negligence. Perpetuating bad business practices only damages others trying to do business. Protecting poor business practice also restricts opportunities for competent business and technical staff to be promoted to positions they deserve.

      Those who lend this type of support to capitalism are destroying it, not protecting it.
      Don't think that I am attacking capitalism. Capitalism is a tool, a methodology, that works wonders when... it would be easy to say used appropriately, but really it just needs to be used, by everyone.

      There is a disconnect between capitalistic principals and everyday people, they think because they are not a business person that capitalism doesn't apply. they become passive participants in the economy. They have a job, they go to the store to buy what they need and want, but they don't create anything themselves. They create what their employer asks of them, and receive a wage, but the employer reaps the lion share of the proceeds because they risked the energy and resources to design the product and accumulate the tools needed to create it en mass, providing the employee with a job. And as the producer, they should reap the lions share of the proceeds. The trouble is that it doesn't seem to cross the mind of the consumer that they can do the same thing. They can buy things not merely for necessary consumption, but to produce things for themselves in the future, reducing their costs in the future. It's not easy, it takes time and energy that is in short supply after a hard day of external employment. And realistically speaking it might take more than one person, or more than one generation, in a household working together in concert to pull it off, making proactive choices and sacrifices, but it works, better than any other system under heaven.

      We have to figure out where the disconnect happened in order to fix it. Was it urbanization, the abandonment of the homestead and the economic freedom it provides, for factory jobs? Was it the technological and educational trends that led to a high level of labor specialization? Was it the sexual revolution, the expansion and dilution of the workforce, and continuing dissolution of the family? A combination of all three?

      In any event, what really ails capitalism is a shortage of self-identified capitalist.

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      • #33
        Oh yeah there really is such a massive shortage of capitalists who are willing to do anything for a quick buck and screw the little guy.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
          Oh yeah there really is such a massive shortage of capitalists who are willing to do anything for a quick buck and screw the little guy.
          There is a shortage of good capitalists, non-profit business owners, and small business owners who actively purge the bad actors (big and small). Commodore failed to mention that defect in the system. ...Or that their partners in purging bad business are conscientious customers and government officials who prosecute, impose fines and bankruptcy court to control bad actors. The "capitalism is the finest system in the world" phrase betrays the blind spot of the neoliberal and modern US conservative: Good capitalism doesn't exist in a vacuum, and it depends on laws and regulations to continue into the long term. If capitalists didn't have laws and regs that all had to follow, they would invent them along with a neutral party to enforce them. At least, the rational capitalists would do that.

          Commodore's small business observation (everyone should exercise some form of capitalism) is getting close, and I'd agree with some of his reasons for the demise of capitalism. Labor is too specialized, better integrated families would cut down on costs (real and intangible), and urbanization is much too dominant. But his definition of capitalist is at odds with almost all others in the working classes. I believe most of us define "capitalist" as the obsessed business person who raises capital and intends to grow his business into at least a small empire (around 500 employees), if not an international corporation. Most of us don't relate to that definition; we would rather become a millionaire by winning the lottery. Does that mean we are lazy, or worse yet, socialists? No. It only means we are not going to risk working 60 hours/week, knowing it is probable that our first effort will fail. Or we are less extroverted and connected to the business world. Or we are less creative regarding services and products that might be in demand. Persistence, connections and creativity have to combine with at least a little luck to make Big Capitalism work.
          That's why most rational people -including lefties- don't criticize good capitalists. We criticize uncontrolled capitalism, or the belief that capitalism will control it's own excess. Capitalists alone are no more capable of controlling other capitalists who behave badly, than I am capable of controlling my neighbor down the street. IOW, we can influence each other on some issues, but I have to rely on the law to stop my neighbor if he decides he is going to run a meth lab. Business and individuals alike in the Kalamazoo river area had to rely on the gov't. to pressure the sludge pipeline company to clean up the mess.

          Certainly there is a shortage of people going into business, but it isn't limited to either a socialist or capitalist definition of "business". People want to conduct their own particular business, that ranges from subsistence (farming), small-only (selling artwork out of their barbershop), to non-profit (cooperative grocery). Then we have a range of capitalism, from medium to large business which will actually employ larger numbers of people, until the owner figures out how to replace his human workers with automation.

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          • #35
            Of course the reason this was blocked has nothing to do with the fact that mega Democratic donors, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are heavily invested in the railroad system, which is hugely benefiting from the pipeline on rails business. Nope, definitely not that.

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            • #36
              So now you care about the huge sums of money in US politics?
              Both sides in US politics have been bought, how else do you think they are going to raise the projected $5 Billion for this election cycle?

              That sort of cash for an election should appal you all and should lead to questions being asked but they won't be and you guys see nothing wrong with it.

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              • #37
                Of course it would be wonderful if elections were publicly financed, so candidates who stuck to government business would be able to compete as easily as the guys in the back pockets of any given billionaire.

                If Buffet were that powerful, he would be able to make his politicians nibble away at all the other pipelines in the US, to rebuild a railroad empire rivaling that of Vanderbuilt. As it is, we are stuck with speculating which party of sell-outs was able to push the agenda of their corporate masters. Pipeline Emperors vs. Railroad Barons. I'm hoping the Renewable Energy Puppet masters pull their strings soon, so we can change out the old-school evil-doers.

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