Register to reply

Can Capitalism continue?

by Jim Kata
Tags: capitalism, continue
Share this thread:
Jim Kata
#55
Nov19-12, 10:56 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Capitalism maybe extremely capable at adaption, but it seems terrible at planning ahead. I just look at this global warming debacle. The fossil fuel industry will not respond until it is probably too late and the modern world we know is destroyed. The short term profit motive which drives corporate capitalism around the world is completely unsustainable, as far as its wasteful use of non renewable resources, and it seems that it will only change if absolutely forced to. As long as the profit motive is the driving force behind it, I don't see the system changing. If the system does not become more sustainable in its use of resources and stewardship of the environment, I think the human species maybe in trouble.

The pessimistic side of me says this is the way it is and just don't have children and hope you die before things get too bad.

The optimistic side hopes the system can be changed into a more sustainable one.
enosis_
#56
Nov19-12, 11:20 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
Capitalism maybe extremely capable at adaption, but it seems terrible at planning ahead. I just look at this global warming debacle. The fossil fuel industry will not respond until it is probably too late and the modern world we know is destroyed. The short term profit motive which drives corporate capitalism around the world is completely unsustainable, as far as its wasteful use of non renewable resources, and it seems that it will only change if absolutely forced to. As long as the profit motive is the driving force behind it, I don't see the system changing. If the system does not become more sustainable in its use of resources and stewardship of the environment, I think the human species maybe in trouble.

The pessimistic side of me says this is the way it is and just don't have children and hope you die before things get too bad.

The optimistic side hopes the system can be changed into a more sustainable one.
Aren't you confusing progress with Capitalism?
Jim Kata
#57
Nov20-12, 11:01 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
Aren't you confusing progress with Capitalism?
I'm not sure what you mean by progress? If the extinction of the human race is progress, then I guess so.
enosis_
#58
Nov20-12, 11:14 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by progress? If the extinction of the human race is progress, then I guess so.
The industrial revolution, indoor plumbing and heat, mechanized farming, and motorized transportation all seem to be progress - the cost is not necessarily "the extinction of the human race" - is it?
Jim Kata
#59
Nov20-12, 11:38 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
The industrial revolution, indoor plumbing and heat, mechanized farming, and motorized transportation all seem to be progress - the cost is not necessarily "the extinction of the human race" - is it?
What is ignored by this analysis is that the exponential progress the human race has made since the industrial revolution has been due to an exponential depletion of natural resources. When the resources that have made this progress possible are expended the progress will halt. I do not know the affects global warming or massive habitat destruction will ultimately have, but I don't imagine they will be good. The current global economic system doesn't seem to be planning for these effects and it may prove impossible to reverse these effects. I do not see unfettered capitalism as a system well built for dealing with issues such as proper stewardship of the environment.
enosis_
#60
Nov21-12, 06:03 AM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
What is ignored by this analysis is that the exponential progress the human race has made since the industrial revolution has been due to an exponential depletion of natural resources. When the resources that have made this progress possible are expended the progress will halt. I do not know the affects global warming or massive habitat destruction will ultimately have, but I don't imagine they will be good. The current global economic system doesn't seem to be planning for these effects and it may prove impossible to reverse these effects. I do not see unfettered capitalism as a system well built for dealing with issues such as proper stewardship of the environment.
I find your use of the words "unfettered capitalism" interesting. I don't think this system exists anywhere except in textbooks - the real world has regulations. The exception to this statement could be in a communist system - where environmental regulations might be considered counter-productive?
nitsuj
#61
Nov21-12, 05:47 PM
P: 1,097
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
.... due to an exponential depletion of natural resources. When the resources that have made this progress possible are expended the progress will halt.
I am curious what natural resources are being depleted. All I can think of is stuff we burn, so oil, gas & coal.

That stuff has been around for a long time and has little to do with progress and everything to do with producing "work".

How can you view the depletion of those natural resources as a bad thing?

Kinda rhetorical question considering your comment "The fossil fuel industry will not respond until it is probably too late and the modern world we know is destroyed."
Jim Kata
#62
Nov21-12, 07:27 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Quote Quote by nitsuj View Post
I am curious what natural resources are being depleted. All I can think of is stuff we burn, so oil, gas & coal.

That stuff has been around for a long time and has little to do with progress and everything to do with producing "work".

How can you view the depletion of those natural resources as a bad thing?

Kinda rhetorical question considering your comment "The fossil fuel industry will not respond until it is probably too late and the modern world we know is destroyed."
Well, there are many resources such as helium and rare earth metals used and high tech manufacturing processes, but more worrying is the collapse of fisheries, forestries, disappearing fresh water supplies, and the vanishing of arable land for food production, to name a few. You think fossil fuels have nothing to do with progress? Do you need power to run a manufacturing plant? Do you need fuel to ship these manufactured goods to market? Where does the majority of this power come from? Can an economy function without access to a cheap abundant energy source? If you're not sure, look at Iran and the oil sanctions they are under.

I may have speculated too much on the effects a 4 degree centigrade raise in the average earth's temperature will have, but I don't think I'm the only one who is uncomfortable with the thought of living through the hottest period the earth has been during human existence.
enosis_
#63
Nov21-12, 07:45 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
Well, there are many resources such as helium and rare earth metals used and high tech manufacturing processes, but more worrying is the collapse of fisheries, forestries, disappearing fresh water supplies, and the vanishing of arable land for food production, to name a few. You think fossil fuels have nothing to do with progress? Do you need power to run a manufacturing plant? Do you need fuel to ship these manufactured goods to market? Where does the majority of this power come from? Can an economy function without access to a cheap abundant energy source? If you're not sure, look at Iran and the oil sanctions they are under.

I may have speculated too much on the effects a 4 degree centigrade raise in the average earth's temperature will have, but I don't think I'm the only one who is uncomfortable with the thought of living through the hottest period the earth has been during human existence.
Can you please explain how ending capitalism would change anything you've described - please be specific?
Jim Kata
#64
Nov21-12, 08:31 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
Can you please explain how ending capitalism would change anything you've described - please be specific?
I won't be presumptuous enough to claim to have the answer, but I will say that the short term profit motive exasperates many of these problems. To your previous question about regulation, I will say that the short term profit motive incentivises companies to try and skirt, through outsourcing to less regulated countries, or lobby against many of the regulations that maybe required to try and mitigate environmental destruction, such as the Kyoto protocol, because it affects their profits. The good news is there are people thinking about these problems such as environmental economist, steady staters, and so on. I created this post as question not a proselytization, but too many people here believe the evangel of the current economic system to propose alternatives.
Jim Kata
#65
Nov21-12, 08:36 PM
Jim Kata's Avatar
P: 233
Since you wanted policy suggestions, I will give you one, put caps on greenhouse emissions for all major industrial countries including the United States and China.
enosis_
#66
Nov22-12, 10:31 AM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Jim Kata View Post
I heard a report that says that the earth may have passed its carrying capacity. Which means the life systems of this planet are now in decline and can no longer sustain themselves. I read that 30% of the great barrier reef has disappeared over the last thirty years.

My question is can capitalism work as a zero to minimal growth, sustainable system, or is growth required for the capitalist system to work? The assumption that a country like the United States or any country can have 3% GDP growth till the end of time is foolish since we are living in a world in which resources are more and more scarce and areas for the expansion of markets are becoming more and more rare.

What are some sustainable economic models?
This was your original post and topic of the thread.
enosis_
#67
Nov22-12, 10:33 AM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Why don't we refocus?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism

"Definition of CAPITALISM

: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market"
enosis_
#68
Nov22-12, 09:13 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
To go back to the OP - why can't Capitalism survive with less than 3% GDP growth?
ImaLooser
#69
Nov23-12, 11:39 PM
P: 570
Quote Quote by enosis_ View Post
To go back to the OP - why can't Capitalism survive with less than 3% GDP growth?
The 3% GDP growth is so embedded in the USA that its like an eleventh commandment. If somehow the US turned socialist or anarchist or communist or whateverist tomorrow I don't see why the 3% thing would change. It would remain a basic assumption.

It seems to me that socialist governments are just as interested in growth as capitalist ones.

If someday in the future it was decided that 1% or 0% or -3% growth was better, then that would be the new goal. The means of production could remain in private hands. I don't see what capitalism has to do with it.
enosis_
#70
Nov24-12, 08:51 AM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
I agree ImaLooser - Capitalism and private property rights can exist with less than 3% growth. My point was the US hasn't had 3% growth for several years - achieved in only 2 Quarters since 2008.

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/unit...tes/gdp-growth
Gliese123
#71
Dec30-12, 01:03 PM
P: 141
If think Capitalism can and can not continue. What I mean by the terms that it might can is that environmental friendly industries such as renewable and sustainable technologies and power sources that can be profitable. Although the profit for dirty industry, food, cars and other certain traditional industries can't just grow and grow. It's like you said. We can't gain more profit and it's on a decline. But what also might keep the profits grow among big businesses around the planet is the replacement from older devices and products to newer, cleaner and better ones. Thus the population grows, I don't know if that compensates it to a present state anyway..
But I hope to see a big profit for environmental friendly companies in the future. And engagement from both governments of Earth and its population in the ways of environmental friendly terms.
enosis_
#72
Dec30-12, 02:38 PM
enosis_'s Avatar
P: 120
Quote Quote by Gliese123 View Post
If think Capitalism can and can not continue. What I mean by the terms that it might can is that environmental friendly industries such as renewable and sustainable technologies and power sources that can be profitable. Although the profit for dirty industry, food, cars and other certain traditional industries can't just grow and grow. It's like you said. We can't gain more profit and it's on a decline. But what also might keep the profits grow among big businesses around the planet is the replacement from older devices and products to newer, cleaner and better ones. Thus the population grows, I don't know if that compensates it to a present state anyway..
But I hope to see a big profit for environmental friendly companies in the future. And engagement from both governments of Earth and its population in the ways of environmental friendly terms.
Companies that thrived making buggy whips were replaced by manufacturers of carburators - out with the old and in with the new. Capitalism allows for this evolution.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Crisis of Capitalism Current Events 4
The weakness of capitalism Current Events 18
Capitalism and Statism Current Events 84
Capitalist unemployment Current Events 68
The end of capitalism as we know it? Current Events 69