Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two Americas

A friend of mine post this article about how there are two Americas.  Here are some of my thoughts on it.

David Simon said, "that notion that capital is the metric, that profit is the metric by which we're going to measure the health of our society is one of the fundamental mistakes of the last 30 years."

I agree with this. We must get past the singularity of profit. I really like this phrase, "capitalism is the least worst system available to us — until Zion can be achieved".  I found this phrase here.  I like how Geoff compares capitalism to economic systems.

So, let’s consider again:  capitalism is a bad system, but which system is better?  Certainly the 20th century has shown us that the alternatives — Communism, fascism, authoritarianism, monarchy — do not provide people more freedom.  In fact, the greater economic control over a society, the less freedom for individuals.  And there is a crucial point — no matter how much tyrants try to stamp out capitalist activity, it always exists.  Some of the best capitalists in the world are free marketeers in Cuba, who make money on the margins of the Communist system.

Simon also said, "Labour doesn't get to win all its arguments, capital doesn't get to. But it's in the tension, it's in the actual fight between the two, that capitalism actually becomes functional"

Separation of Powers is one of the founding principles of the Constitution. We must prevent the accumulation of power by anyone be them capitalists in an oligarchy or socialists in government.  James Madison said
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
We need to set up our economic systems to have the same tension that should be in our government.

David Simon again, "I'm utterly committed to the idea that capitalism has to be the way we generate mass wealth in the coming century. That argument's over. But the idea that it's not going to be married to a social compact" The compact has to be voluntary. It should not be enforced by the law, but by volunteerism and contract. I like the way Joseph Smith implemented capitalism with a social compact.
Joseph accepted the economy of private property and individual enterprise. Even under the consecration of properties, individual stewards operated independently in a market economy, though they were obligated to return their "surplus" to the bishop
But capitalism never ruled Nauvoo as it did Chicago, a city that in 1844 was the same size as Nauvoo. The original name of the Nauvoo site, Commerce, was dropped after the Saints arrived. Rather than promising entrepreneurs great wealth, Joseph asked that "money be brought here to pay the poor for manufacturing." Profits were secondary to creating jobs.
(Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Lyman Bushman, 2005, pages 502 and 503, view online)
"capitalism is the least worst system available to us — until Zion can be achieved"  Zion means that we are of one heart.  I would never sever my arm just because it caused me some pain.  I would care for it and help it heal.  So it should be with our community.  We must seek to uplift each other and to become self sufficient.

See also Free Will Offering vs Charity from Tax

No comments: