Own or be Owned ... Every Citizen an Owner!
-The ideology of GREED-
Is there some society that doesn't run on greed?
What is greed?
Individuals running their separate (selfish) interests.
The record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving allot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free enterprise system.
What (who) rewards virtue?
Where in the world do you find these angels that can organize society for us?
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Greed and the World of Chaos
Let's examine more closely the statements made by Milton Friedman 'that there is no alternative way, so far discovered".
On the one hand there is capitalism, an economic system governed by market forces but where economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few who own and control productive capital or whom game it through Wall Street and Banks, which is all to often described as the peoples casino. An illustration of this system is Bill Gates, who without any extra effort, went from $16 billion to over $90 billion - a greater accumulation of assets than those of 50% of the American people combined. Most workers-for-hire have great difficulty meeting their consumer debt, let alone accumulating any income-producing assets. Indeed, "capital breeds capital" but only for those who own most of it.
On the other hand, socialism, in all its forms, is an economic system governed centrally by a political elite, who enjoy even more highly concentrated ownership and economic power (political monopoly). And in practice, socialism doesn't work. The world is full of examples of traditionally state-dominated economies which cannot meet their massive foreign debt obligations or compete effectively in the emerging global marketplace.
Logically, a "third way" would be a free market system which economically empowers all individuals and families through direct and effective ownership of the means of production - the best check against the potential for corruption and abuse. Economic democratization has not yet been tried.
A mistake made by many academics and economists today is to equate democracy and the market system with the top-down, Wall Street capitalist model, with its growing gap of wealth and power between the rich and the poor. That there is excessive corruption under capitalism and socialism, even where governments are democratically elected, should come as no surprise. For "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely"; Lord Acton so warned us years ago about the inherent corruptibility of systems that concentrate power.
Capitalist theorists like Milton Friedman pay no attention to the concentrated ownership of labor-displacing technology or its influence on politics. Marxist theorists do, but conclude that the state should own and regulate all means of production. Keynesians offer a feeble synthesis between these two models of development based on the premise that maldistribution of ownership is acceptable. The so-called "Third Way" of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair follows the Keynesian model of wealth redistribution with one addition caveat; that the state should control the formation of future capital.
As recognized by Bill Greider in Chapter 18 of his book One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, he cited lawyer-economist Louis O. Kelso in 1958, who fathered a real "Just" Third Way. Kelso conceived a comprehensive systems approach to solving the structural problems faced by Russia, Indonesia and many other economies that have become dependent on those who today control money and credit. Kelso's 1958 book with renowned Aristotelian scholar Mortimer J. Adler centered on a profound theory of economic justice and clear vision of the impact of technology on human work, and how modern corporate finance has influenced the quality of work and thus the political and moral life of society.
Most scholars never got past the cover of the first Kelso-Adler book, which was unfortunately entitled The Capitalist Manifesto. Kelso, however, has gained international fame as the inventor of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan or "ESOP," one of the tools he developed to democratize access to money and credit. Remarkably, however, his larger vision and general theory have been trivialized and virtually ignored by academia and the mainstream media. Which should make a people wonder if Milton Friedman missed chapter 5 of that book*. This largely explains why economists cannot understand or solve the problems arising from economic globalization, nor understand or have solutions for its pending meltdown.
Kelso's revolutionary insights helped him to solve an economic enigma: How Say's Law of Markets - rejected both by Marx and Keynes - can achieve sustainable and balanced growth in a modern global economy. His legal background enabled him to see how the structuring of basic laws and institutions creates a system that either concentrates or decentralizes ownership and economic power, that encourages participation by all or which creates barriers to participation. Focusing on the means by which ordinary people could become owners of productive assets and participate as more fully human in the economic process, Kelso provided the systems theory and practical mechanisms, like the ESOP, for implementing expanded 'capital' ownership around the world.
"The system is broken" and all we can do is slap more duct-tape on the foundations of morality. I and others vehemently disagree with Milton Friedman's "Monopolistic Capitalism", and the 'Greed' he so fondly defends. Justice for the common good however, remains a virtue.
posted by Guy C. Stevenson
Capitalistic greed is the driver of a people, but not a just people.
Does Might-always-make right?
by Norman G. Kurland, Michael D. Greaney and Dawn K. Brohawn
Karl Marx, while we disagree with many of his conclusions, should be acknowledged as the most dominant thinker affecting the way political economists think about world poverty and mass powerlessness over the last two centuries. Marx cannot be faulted in his analysis of why a market economy in the modern world contains the seeds of its own destruction, assuming that the ownership of the means of production remained concentrated in too few hands and workers had only their labor to sell in direct competition with labor-displacing technology or with workers willing to work for lower wages. Unfortunately for the world, Marx's post-scarcity paradigm was based on some unrealistic assumptions and consequently his prescriptions increased the powerlessness and economic exploitation of workers in economies following Marx's model of development.
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This article presents a binary economic critique of Milton Friedman's thesis that a competitive, free market, private enterprise, capitalist system is an essential condition for freedom. After identifying deficiencies in Friedman's understanding of private property and economics, this article explains how a market economy based on Friedman's flawed understanding concentrates economic power in a plutocracy, perpetuates chronic underemployment of labor and capital, and suppresses the freedom of most people. It advances a "binary economic approach" to create a more productive and democratic market system characterized by greater, more sustainable, and more widely-distributed prosperity, economic power, and individual freedom than prevails in any existing capitalist economy.
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by Arjun Makhijani
The theory that connects capitalism to freedom has been famously expressed in Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, who has defined the subject for the modern champions of unfettered capitalism. Freedom -- the ability to make choices in personal, religious, economic, social, and political life -- cannot extend to everyone in his view:
Freedom is a tenable objective only for responsible individuals. We do not believe in freedom for madmen or children. The necessity of drawing a line between responsible individuals and others is inescapable, yet it means that there is an essential ambiguity in our ultimate objective of freedom. Paternalism is inescapable for those whom we designate as not responsible.1
Friedman does not tell us specifically to whom the pronoun "we" refers in his phrase "we designate." The issue of who is responsible and who is not and the process by which such a designation can be made surely deserves a treatise, but I will nonetheless take it up briefly here, with the hope that Professor Friedman will engage a conversation about his views. Read more here
CNBC -The Creed of the Common Good