[FoRK] Re: The advantages of capitalism

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Mon Jun 13 07:55:11 PDT 2005

Russell Turpin wrote:

> Stephen D. Williams:
>> I certainly want more of a meritocracy then a socialist system; i.e. 
>> those who have extra skills and those who actually produce should get 
>> paid much more than those who don't.
Sorry, I suppose I wasn't clear.  I view capitalism as a decentralized 
chaotic meritocracy.  Nothing is guarunteed, except possibly the 
tendancy for net merit at the consumer to be rewarded (notwithstanding 
illegal monopolies).  I'm fine with that and believe it is probably the 
only workable system.  Perhaps you thought I was refering to a 
centralized strict meritocracy?

> A meritocratic system would have much the same
> problems of socialism, to wit, the burden of making
> sure that reward corresponds to merit, and the
> gumming effect of interfering with the capitalist
> ecology. Despite its chaos, and despite the fact
> that it sometimes rewards the lucky and punishes
> the productive, capitalism has two large benefits.
> First and foremost, it's better than any other
> system known at providing consumer benefit.
> Second and related, capitalism at its essence is
> a genetic algorithm that evolves successful
> business processes.
> At this point in time, I think it would be a
> catastrophe for any nation to switch to an
> economic system that doesn't have capitalism
> as its base. I think the attempt to create a
> system that tries to reward merit would be
> just as disastrous as state socialism.
>> (France to some extent?)
> Huh? I haven't heard that capitalism is that
> much less chaotic in France. Yeah, they protect
> their agriculture. They find merit in vintners
> and farmers. But that's pretty small potatos
> overall, right?

I recently met a shop owner who has his shop near Nice.  He was from 
Mauritia or something and was struggling with all of the 
socialist-leaning laws in France that affect all employers and 
especially small companies.  He mentioned ownership liability issues, 
guarunteed wages, and some other things that would be totally foreign to 
the US in their style and effect.  I had a different Dutch friend who 
long ago explained to me the overbearing social support benefits which 
sounded unsustainable.  In a fuzzy way, I'm referring to the large, by 
US standards, overbearing social weight that businesses must endure.


swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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