By Adam Richardson
Note: It’s Sunday so this is just a quick note on the news and a re-dedication of our mission statement
We are not alarmists here at Q Wealth, but sometimes there is alarming news to report! Our mission is to provide you with the best information, tools, and service to live the best life possible.
So when I woke up to headlines about a bill Congress passed this week that will make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace, I had to fight the temptation to write a heated reply.
I would remind everyone of the “frog in boiling water” analogy, bring up the eerie prescience of George Orwell, and lament the utter demise of personal privacy that thousands of government controlled drones patrolling the skies would inevitably bring about.
But you don’t need that from us, not now. You can read (or avoid!) the news yourself. You need us to stay on mission and bring you solutions, and that is what we will do.
I’ll leave you on a bright note, reminding you that there are plenty of “people like us” out there that see opportunity where others see lack (they have a great time doing it as well!).
Towards that end here is one of the best things I read all week…
“What is capitalism?” – A seeming simple question that when asked to any passerby on the street is not likely to receive an accurate answer. In fact, it is likely to receive a terribly misguided answer!
Our friends, the inimitable Doug Casey and Mark Wallace of the excellent site CapitalistExploits.com, recently had a conversation on “The Virtues of Capitalism” that I enjoyed so much I had to share it with you.
An excerpt from their conversation:
Mark: Capitalism is oft-misunderstood. I’ve heard you say that most people tend to mis-use words because they don’t truly know what they mean. I agree, and per the subject matter I want to discuss today, I’m convinced the majority have NO idea how to define capitalism. As evidence to this I refer readers to Peter Schiff’s YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahMGoB01qiA) wherein he went to the Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC to defend the 1% and see if those protesting really understood what capitalism was.
I don’t know if he just happened to pick the dumbest of the lot, but in general the lack of any coherent understanding of what capitalism TRULY is was shocking. So that everyone reading this is clear, can you define “capitalism” for us?
Doug: If someone can’t define a word precisely, then they actually don’t know what they’re talking about. Imprecise language leads to sloppy thinking. Which inevitably leads to pointless and unresolvable arguments.
But, yes, Peter here is somewhat reminiscent of Jay Leno in one of his “Jay Walking” skits, where he approaches normal looking people and asks them questions like “Who did we fight in the Revolutionary War?”, and gets answers like “The Germans?”. But what do you expect from people who have nothing better to do than hang out in parks and whine?
Of course capitalism got a bad rap from the very start partly because—most people don’t know this—the word was actually coined by Karl Marx. However, the fact is we don’t have capitalism, and never have. Capitalism might be defined as an unrestricted free market, one where—to use Marx’s quite correct distinction—both consumer goods and capital goods are both privately owned and privately controlled.
What almost everybody calls capitalism is actually fascism, a system where both consumer and capital goods are privately owned, but they are strictly regulated and controlled. This is a huge distinction. In socialism—which is now quite rare—capital goods, the means of production, are state owned. In communism, absolutely everything is state-owned. In any event, all the evils attributed to capitalism today are do to state intervention in the economy—regulations, monopolies, subsidies, preferences, taxes, licensing, currency inflation. In a genuine capitalist society you’d have none of these things.
Read the rest on the Capitalist Exploits site.
9 thoughts on “Q News: What is Capitalism? + Don’t Look Up! Drones Over the US.”
GREED is the factor in Q, nothing in life will keep standing, untill greed put it’s fangs and claws into it.
So you define anything.
Just explain how you keep greed out of your pot.
Only then will I entertain your position.
I wrote you privately to try and understand what you mean by this but haven’t heard from you. I will not delete comments that are unfavorable to the blog – I believe in everyone having their say – but I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Maybe this is just an angry esoteric spam?
Whatever capitalism is it is an economic system that is no longer working. The vast majority of the population has been and is being screwed under this system, and the people who run it better think about how long they can get away with exploiting so many,
Thanks for posting.
That is an interesting take…the words we use here are a bit slippery.
To quote Doug Casey, ” the fact is we don’t have capitalism, and never have. Capitalism might be defined as an unrestricted free market, one where—to use Marx’s quite correct distinction—both consumer goods and capital goods are both privately owned and privately controlled.
What almost everybody calls capitalism is actually fascism, a system where both consumer and capital goods are privately owned, but they are strictly regulated and controlled. This is a huge distinction. In socialism—which is now quite rare—capital goods, the means of production, are state owned. In communism, absolutely everything is state-owned. In any event, all the evils attributed to capitalism today are do to state intervention in the economy—regulations, monopolies, subsidies, preferences, taxes, licensing, currency inflation. In a genuine capitalist society you’d have none of these things.”
Whatever you are calling Capitalism (and I’m not picking on you, everyone does it) is certainly NOT really capitalism. It’s some gross mutant that big business and big government have interbred and spawned. I do agree that this system is terrible for most people, I do not agree that this system is called capitalism.
Are the markets of vendors in mid east (where persons negotiate price/sell everything from food to jewelry to clothes to spices, etc….from their own 'kiosks', carts, venues, etc…Capitalism? Un-taxed/unregulated?
Hi Serle, Great question – though I've been lost in the souks of Marrakesh and Istanbul a few times, I can't claim any knowledge as to how they are regulated. Also there are such a wide variety and mix of countries involved that certainly there is no cohesive answer.
I would call this a free market.
A little digging shows just what you would expect (especially if you've seen it in action!) that there is little regulation (or a least that the existing regulations are flouted with little consequence) and it is a great example of a free market. There is a fairly low barrier to entry for businesses to set up their trade. There are lots of choices and varying price points from many vendors offering similar products…the winning combination of quality and price wins. This benefits the consumer every bit as much as the seller.
Thanks for bringing this up.
I guess we need to come up with a new name for capitalism…even proponents of its true essence (Casey, et al.) don't really seem to love the word. Notice how it stirs the emotions on this forum? People can't see past the history and the baggage.
The more watered down it gets, the worse it gets. That's why some may see the idea as a failure, and call for change. But when we ask for change, we should be careful what we wish for.
Carry on, Q.
Thanks for coming by Mathias.
A lot of words we use here could be changed.
When we say "capitalism" we mean "Free Market" – which is a much more pure word…but we still use capitalism most of the time to flaunt the fact that anti free marketers can't control the word. We could also easily say "International" but again, we prefer the word "Offshore" – simply because there is nothing wrong with it and we will not let the word be controlled by people who don't understand the real meaning.
Ahhhhh, words are fun.
It's true, though, semantics and definitions control the debate… even when they are inaccurate. Look at the parlance used in the US to demonize things and actions these days. It's disturbing.