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Is PROFIT an un-natural man made phenomenon?

  1. Aug 1, 2004 #1
    Hello. Through my pondering I have evolved intellectually to conclude that the concept of profit or net gain is not a natural phenomenon, by virtue of our virtual closed system of earth. I know that earth is not a perfect closed system in that energy enters and escapes in a constant cycle emanating from energy from the sun. However, for all intents and purposes, the system is closed.

    The first law of thermodynamics states that one can never get more energy out than the total energy put in. Not only that, but the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) says that all energy degrades over time. Consequently, not only can you not get in return back the amount of energy put in, one will always get back less and less over time.

    Given these laws of that govern all things of matter and energy, which includes humans and our economic systems, the concept of profit or net gain to the total system is a fallacy. In reality, for every get in nature there must be a give. Nature has its own system of accounting that forces a debit for every credit in its closed system or virtual closed system. Thus, profit only comes by shifting the resultant of expended energy or matter from one entity to another unequally or by shifting the trade off to the future while the benefit is reaped in the present.

    In human relationships, when one entity gets more out of the relationship than what that individual put in, it is called being used in dating. However, in economics it is done all the time and the result is called profit, which does not carry the same immoral overtones as does being used. Of course since people voluntarily enter into most of these relationships, the practice is not looked down upon. Also, the concept of value obfuscates the unequal expenditure and transfer of energy.

    If one takes a factory worker building GM cars in China vs. a factory worker building GM cars in Detroit, assuming that they are both performing the same duties and energy expenditure, the concept of value and supply and demand allows for radically different pay. Of course, the goal of GM is to profit, which means that their workers or consumer of their product (or both) must not be allowed to receive pay or price commiserate with their effort or true cost. This is why products must be sold above cost to make a profit. Thus, profit comes by skimming off of workers pay or via overcharging consumers. However, since workers and consumers and free to choose to be workers and consumers, this is considered legal and acceptable.

    In conclusion, I see profiting as tantamount to sinning. Equal exchanges does not produce profiting. Profit only comes from unequal exchanges. Thus, I see capitalism as being a very sinful system, because it is driven by the profit motive. THat is not to suggest that capitalism is not the most productive and motivating economic system thus far, because it certainly is. That is not to say that I do not personally benefit from capitalism, either, because I most certainly do. However, those facts should not prevent an honest analysis of the truth about capitalism, personal benefits notwithstanding...it is a system of seesaw economics where extrem poverty is the debit to humanity from the credit of creating extrem wealth.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2004
  2. jcsd
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