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fat assets

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by writing irish, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    No, it's not a link to a junk-in-her-trunk website.


    "The richest 2 percent of adults in the world own more than half the world's wealth, according to a new study released by the Helsinki-based World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University."
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    But if you suggest that's not right you will get shouted down for engaging in "class warfare" as if there's something wrong with it. The growing gulf between rich and poor is a discussion we need to have, and not just in our country, either.
  3. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Class warfare is perfectly acceptable in this country as long as (a) it's the rich beating up on the poor and (b) the word "class" is not mentioned. Because we don't have economic classes here in the USA.
  4. JR

    JR Active Member

    And you still believe in Santa, right? :)
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The data in that story suggests the obvious: that out of all the economic models that are being tried worldwide, ours' is producing the most prosperity for the most people. According to whatever measure they used, the average American's wealth amounted to $144,000 in assets. Besides the U.S., only Canada, Western Europe, Japan and Israel showed average personal wealth of more than $50,000. So, the natural conclusion would be that democracies with open and free markets (capitalism) produce the most prosperous countries.

    By the way, it's amazing how the U.S. has this comfortable middle class that is the envy of most of the world--which the guy down low in the story acknowledged (how many countries have large numbers of immigrants trying to get in here?)--when the economic classes are so pronounced and the rich are constantly beating up on everyone else.
  6. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    News flash: capitalism exists in poor countries, too.
  7. JR

    JR Active Member

    What seems obvious is that more and more wealth is being concentrated in the hands of a few. That is a direct threat to the North American middle class whose numbers are shrinking more and more every year.

    And globalization, another fancy term for corporate hegemony, has increased the gap between poor and wealthy countries.

    It's not a question of capitalism versus other economic models. It's making capitalism work for everyone.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Name a country with a history of free election and open and free markets that is not among the countries with the highest per capita standard of living. Name a few, please.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Correct. Our brand of capitalism, as it has evolved under decades of influence by the rich and powerful, heavily favors the rich and powerful.
  10. JR

    JR Active Member

    Isn't this the third debate in a month we've had with Ragu over "capitalism"?

    And I keep saying: there hasn't been, there isn't now and there will never be "free and open markets" under any economic system, including capitalism. It's fantasyland.
  11. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    I'm not talking about free elections. You can have capitalism without having political democracy. It happens all the time.

    All of Latin America, with the obvious exception of Cuba and the arguable exception of Venezuela, has capitalism. The overwhelming majority of African nations have capitalism. The majority of nations in the Middle East. Much of Asia. Ecomomic disaster areas with capitalism: Indonesia, Haiti, Nepal, Bangaldesh, Myanmar, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, El Salvador, Belize, Dominican Republic, Surinam, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, Mali...do I need to list the majority of third world nations?

    I know you'll say these countries aren't "really" capitalist since there's some degree of regulation to those economies. Of course, the US, Israel and Western Europe also have regulations...perhaps more regulations than in some of those third-world backwaters where the multinationals run rampant.

    That's fine. Go ahead, say the above countries aren't truly capitalist because they don't fit your definition. There are also socialists who refer to economies like China and North Korea as "state capitalism," meaning that it's not socialism because the workers don't control industry. Instead, the state takes the place of the capitalist and extracts wealth from the workers in the same way that private interests do under normal capitalism. You can define terms forever and ever...getting farther away from reality the whole while.

    And now I've broken my rule about not debating economics with libertarians. I'm going to lunch. Merry Christmas to all, including the apologists for plutocracy!
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I'm with you on this. The U.S. is too heavily regulated, and there is way too much corruption that fouls things up. But it's also the closest thing in the world to the ideal, and not surprisingly, it affords the best standard of living in the world.
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