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Debunking Billionaire Claims of Heroic Capitalism

#21

If you are talking about money, which is a fiction, there is actually no limit to how much fiction ‘exists’ in the world. Therefore, there is always plenty to go around but never enough to satisfy. Fictions can’t make you feel full but they are powerful and, once believed in, set their own rules, which are ironclad unless and until the scales fall away from enough eyes. Ah, but what to replace it with?

#22

Yes .The government’s must take over the creation and lend money straight Into the economy interest free.
End the ownership of banks by wealthy individuals and private cartels .There greed could end us all.

#23

So why do 5% of us own 95% of the world’s resources .
This is no fiction but our chosen reality .
650 children die every hour .Around 8 people hold more wealth than 3.5 billion.Billions have no access to pure safe drinking water or electricity or proper sanitation.
So one of humanity’s sponsoring thoughts is there’s not enough of the stuff of life to go around !!!
It’s a fallacy of course a self created illusion .As there’s always Enough to go around we lack solely the will power to create a whole new system thst works for the highest good of all.
We spend trillions on weapons if war each year .When 10 % of this allocated to where it’s needed most would end why people go to war in the first place .

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#24

There are predatory socialists in capitalist cloths known in economics as political entrepreneurs who solicit the political system for government contracts, grants, subsidies, tax incentives and the taxpayers money. Then there are true free market entrepreneurs, capitalists who provide the things we choose to buy for our own needs and enjoyment, the later using no force but simply meeting the desires of their customers. The former promoting greater and greater levels of taxation and regulation using force to place the taxpayers into greater levels of poverty and despair and redistribute their money into the pockets of the ruling oligarchs. The later are our friends and the former are our enemies yet both may be billionaires.

In a highly capitalist society, if both a poor man and a rich man are productive, they both get richer. It is not a win/lose scenario, for the rich to get richer, the poor do not have to get poorer. The more individuals in a society that produce, the richer the majority will become. It is taxation and political entrepreneurs we mistakenly call capitalists, that has impoverished the majority. Local, States and the Federal Government now costs the taxpayers $7.5 trillion “annually”. How much money do you have in your wallet? That’s because we have over 110 different taxes that we pay either directly or indirectly in our society today. The question I ask is, “how many of you are helping the political entrepreneurs steal the wealth from our majority”.

#26

The ruling class, since the early enactment of our Constitution, has hidden history from the majority. To cover up their corruption of course. They have lied to us so much that I can see why so many people are at great odds. No offense but AOC is poorly educated in economics and that is the opinion of most economists, excluding the ruling classes favorite lackey, Paul Krugman of the NYTs and a few others who continue to spread the lies of the ruling oligarchy.

I wrote the below article and as you will see my title is partially correct. One of the economic principles that people don’t understand is "wealth is “unlimited”. If the rich are getting richer, the poor do not have to get poorer. However, under our current system, they are. Find out why.

The Myth of the Robber Barons

The Myth of the Robber Barons is more about politics then what we were taught. By blaming free market capitalism, they shielded the real Robber Barons who were truly harming the middle and lower classes, from responsibility. Sorry, I had to take out several links due to community guidelines.

Wealth is unlimited, thus, when the rich make more money, someone else doesn’t necessarily have to lose money. It doesn’t have to be a win/lose situation. So, when economists say this, what they are saying is that wealth is based on productivity. The more an individual and society produces the more prosperous that individual and society will be. In 1900, The U.S. was the wealthiest per capita nation in the world and more importantly, we had the wealthiest middle class in the world. Why? We had the most productive middle class in the world and the wealthy were also some of the wealthiest in the world. Poor people and even the rich, from literally all over the world, came here to try to get a piece of that prosperity. Understand that in 1913 the middle class paid no income taxes on their labor and government was small as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The first Federal individual Income tax was the Revenue Tax Act of 1913 and it was only on the very wealthy.

So, When Were Taxes Implemented?

Most of the taxes we pay today have been around for less than half of our country’s history. One of the oldest is the estate tax, which was enacted in 1797 but was then repealed and reinstituted over the years, often in response to the need to finance wars. The modern estate tax was implemented in 1916 and the gift tax came about in 1924. The federal income tax was enacted in 1913, and corporate income taxes were enacted slightly earlier, in 1909. This History of Taxation gives us a pretty good reference as to when some of the Federal and State taxes we have today were placed into effect.

It’s taxation and regulation that makes us all less prosperous and the politician have been trying to cover this up for as long as the government has existed.

So, were there really any Robber Barons? The answer is Yes there were, but it’s the political entrepreneurs, not the free market entrepreneurs that hurt society. Those that manipulate the government to either gain a direct benefit or discourage competition by others. Much of the regulation written today is not to actually regulate business but to regulate competition and the government is very clever at providing it, so that it is not easily observed or understood.

The best examples of political entrepreneurs are government contractors like those in the military industrial complex. But almost every industry has them. Big sugar and Big Tobacco are highly subsidized today as is big pharma. The government may give benefits to them in diffident ways, but our system is full of these manipulations by the government and big business in collusion.

The first major subsidies to industry were the direct Federal subsidies to some of the railroad companies as they were expanding westward. The Republican led Congress started placing high tariffs on southern farm goods in the early 1900s, prior to the Civil War to subsidize the expansion even though some railroad companies were successfully doing it without subsidies. Those companies who used political influence to garner these subsidies are a good example of political entrepreneurs. Abraham Lincoln became famous partly because, he as an Attorney represented these same railroad interests, even having his own railcar to travel on. He and his cronies also land speculated along the routes, knowing in advance where the lines were going to be established. This was discovered purely by accident by a woman writing a book on the history of the railroads, finding the contracts and bill of sales with Lincoln’s name and signatures on them. “In 1859 Abraham Lincoln and a young railroad surveyor, Grenville Dodge, both purchased investment property along the Platte River Valley, speculating that the transcontinental eastern terminus would win government approval at that location. On November 4, 1864, the now President Abraham Lincoln issued his executive approval to Thomas Durant, allowing the Union Pacific Railroad to begin their eastern terminus at Omaha, through the same location where Lincoln and Dodge had cleverly invested in land five years earlier.” [The Capitalist Who Supported Lincoln] What this shows, capitalists are using socialism and government subsidies and/or other unethical practices to profit. Can we even call them capitalists? They are really socialists in capitalist clothing.

As economist Thomas DiLorenzo shows in his books The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked, good old honest Abe was not so honest and the wealthy special interests have gone to considerable lengths to cover it up, as he also shows in his book.

Below is the summary of a book by Burton W. Folsom, who is a professor of history at Hillsdale College in Michigan and senior historian at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. He is a regular columnist for The Freeman and has written articles for The Wall Street Journal and American Spectator, among other publications.

The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America

by [Burton W. Folsom] (Author), [Forrest McDonald] (Foreword)

This is the writeup on the book on the Amazon website.

“The Myth of the Robber Barons describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. The entrepreneurs studied are Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Most historians argue that these men, and others like them, were Robber Barons. The story, however, is more complicated. The author, Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs such as Edward Collins in steamships and in railroads the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad were men who used the power of government to succeed. They tried to gain subsidies, or in some way use government to stop competitors. The market entrepreneurs helped lead to the rise of the U. S. as a major economic power. By 1910, the U. S. dominated the world in oil, steel, and railroads led by Rockefeller, Schwab (and Carnegie), and Hill. The political entrepreneurs, by contrast, were a drain on the taxpayers and a thorn in the side of the market entrepreneurs. Interestingly, the political entrepreneurs often failed without help from the government they could not produce competitive products. The author describes this clash of the market entrepreneurs and the political entrepreneurs. In the Mellon chapter, the author describes how Andrew Mellon an entrepreneur in oil and aluminum became Secretary of Treasury under Coolidge. In office, Mellon was the first American to practice supply-side economics. He supported cuts on income tax rates for all groups. The rate cut on the wealthiest Americans, from 73 percent to 25 percent, freed up investment capital and led to American economic growth during the 1920s. Also, the amount of revenue into the federal treasury increased sharply after-tax rates were cut. The Myth of the Robber Barons has separate chapters on Vanderbilt, Hill, Schwab, Mellon, and the Scrantons. The author also has a conclusion, in which he looks at the textbook bias on the subject of Robber Barons and the rise of the U. S. in the late 1800s. This chapter explores three leading college texts in U. S. history and shows how they misread American history and disparage market entrepreneurs instead of the political entrepreneurs. This book is in its seventh edition, and is widely adopted in college and high school classrooms across the U. S.”

This is quite incriminating to our educational system as an additional source of historical lies and coverups to hide the political entrepreneurs from being exposed. If you think this kind of corruption only started in the 20th century, you obviously aren’t reading the history now being uncovered nor did you know even the publishing companies were all highly controlled for the most part by wealthy special interests, up until recently. The internet and now the ease of self-publishing is allowing authors and historians to exchange information like no other time in history, at very low costs with even the books themselves are getting cheaper and cheaper to buy.

Today we are in a proverbial war of words and the truth will eventually prevail, but it will not be easy to get the true voices heard. The amount of money being confiscated from the American people is almost beyond comprehension through the plethora of taxes and redistribution of wealth policies, so there is a great deal of motivation to cover this up. The true Robber Barons, socialists in capitalist cloths are still at it under the guise of the public good. We have lost the vision of our founding fathers of limited government and the protection of our rights and property. Our government simply takes what they want when they want it, and there is literally no recourse against their actions. Political entrepreneurs, as Burton Folsom brilliantly describes are destroying our once great nation, perhaps now unrepairable.

#27

The problem with communism is it has to be forced. You can’t legislate morality or mandate fairness. True change can only be made in the hearts of men. So no I’m not in favour of a growth in government but a growth in conciousness. People will then do what is naturally right given the law of love and the understanding that oneness is a characteristic of life.
Sharing will become the future for humanity .All benefits going to all people’s naturally. Everyone will want it this way.
The solutions are spiritual and humans can only solve their problems from this space.
Difficult to see humanity surviving without a New Cultural Story guiding our evolutionary path.
Oneness and believing there is enough of everything that we think we need to be happy and understanding we are without need (or at last understanding need is an illusion) is crux in living together in peace and harmony.

#28

Libertarian and conservative credentials don’t play well on this site.

#29

Rand Paul going to Canada for his operation.

#30

I see two responses. I’ll respond too. First thing, Old-c…facebook is not the place to look for conversation on this topic of yours (the person that really needs to hear this is me; so, beantime, facebook is not the place to go looking for volunteers to explain MMT to ya, got that? Hope so).

I’m not stupid, and, given the things I need to do, I’ve spent an immense amount of time trying to get what I know from Hudson and Weisbrot shaped up to summary sayings (or shaped “down”). People don’t have time for things that aren’t summarized. But when I go to Naked Capitalism recently I’m almost ready to give up. When I go there I look for “hooks”…articles for non-experts. Some there claim to be such, but they end up requiring much time [they need to have an anti-complexity feature there like Hudson has his “N is for neoliberal” type thing…how right David Feldman is about “complexity,” HA!]. Moreover, there are some places from which I start that deep-economic-writers don’t ever mention. I love’em, the ones that try, but I think they’d make bad teachers in a high school for instance [in a age of nothing but computer graphics NO ONE is updating Stephen J Rose’s American Economy flowchart]. First place from which I start (on exchange rates) is no-place at all…or it’s so rudimentary it’s not even worth trying to describe. Another place from which I start is that I do understand Treasury should make the money, not private banks; but someone needs to explain to me why every dollar (or new dollar) shouldn’t represent an item of value in the overall economy. A rational future-item would be OK, but not a fracking operation right near some important aquifer–with such a thing you’re negating an item of value in the overall economy with the new item. Another example…weren’t junk bonds created to enable the building of one of Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City? The bank created the bonds but until someone bought the bonds, the money the banks forked over to Trump was created money, right? I know, now you’re asking how can he understand Hudson and Weisbrot if he doesn’t understand these things, right? The answer is some writers can get across some points clearly without constant reference to some hidden oracle-doctrine (which readers should know about already) like neo-Keynesianism. How are we out here supposed to keep track of all the permutations of what Keynes maintained (half of’em that came after the dude sound like they were contradicting the dude)? Which leads me to that perfectly understandable point of Hudson’s finance is not the real economy.

I’m almost tempted to say economic writers should give up, and simply go with policies proceeding from an examination of the lives of workers. How are they working? If they’re working like they’re working at Amazon, then don’t even think about long term impacts…bust down Amazon and give all the shipping to the US Postal Service. Slower, but the imperative to have the purchased item right this minute blocks roads (in addition to driving workers nuts). The problem, though, with this kind of thinking becomes clearer when you look at that natural gas thing in Europe McKibben just wrote about. Something looks less monolithic and more rational at first, but then its role in the whole economy later ends up not thought out enough. Just like Gail Tverberg says BTW re solar and wind tech. That said, I’m not gonna poo pooh a Green New Deal A Future Without Fossil Fuels?

#31

“Even in the four decades since 1981, there’s been no decline in global poverty, Hickel insists. On the contrary, he says if we use a more meaningful poverty measure — $7.40 U.S. a day, rather than the absurdly low $1.90 U.S. a day used by Roser — the number of people living in poverty has dramatically increased, to 4.2 billion today, more than half the world’s population.”

People are delusional who think the poverty and inequality we see around us is the fault of a single politician. It is not nor is it within the ability of any single person to fix. It will take all of us together insisting on the changes that are needed. Step one is to understand how we got here. This article is a beginning.

#32

Its not our fault ;What you memorize you memorialize.
What I mean it’s the cultural story of humans that we have simply passed down .This is just the way life is we were told ? The myths such as ,survival of the fittest,to the Victor go the spoils.Cultural Myths such as these are fallacies. Never been seriously challenged.
Who are we to question our parents and the systems in place . We are taught not to question but to submit to the adults as they know better.

We never questioned or listened to ourselves .Some have ,those that are awakened and they will slowly awaken others .
The Awakening is happening now as the inequality grows every year.Conciousness is rising .
There is another way …

#33

They are heroic up to the limit of the deduction of their “heroism” from their tax returns. Not one penny over.

#34

U.S. media are dazzled by O’Rourke reportedly raising $6 million for his campaign in a short time. Rather than gushing praise, this should set off alarm bells.