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Thread: Young People and Capitalism

  1. #1
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    Young People and Capitalism

    I saw a poll today claiming that a near-majority of young Americans disapproved of capitalism. Leaving aside for the moment the design of the poll or the degree to which young people understand what “capitalism” means, I found that troubling. It made me feel like something of a dinosaur, comparing my view of the world to theirs.

    I approve whole-heartedly of capitalism (recognizing its imperfections) both in theory and personal practice. The world works best when people compete, even if I sometimes lose.

    I’m more suspicious of what government can do to me than I am confident in what government might do for me. I’m more grateful for what I have than I am resentful of what other people haven’t given me.

    I feel buffeted by large impersonal forces, but not necessarily helpless.

    I think good people can have bad ideas. That doesn’t make them my enemies.

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    Capitalism is a tool - and whatever can be used can be abused. Especially when capitalism leverages government. The devil in the details is how capitalism is being done, and I think that's where much of the disapproval comes from. I also think painting it with a single brush really doesn't portray an accurate picture.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I saw a poll today claiming that a near-majority of young Americans disapproved of capitalism. Leaving aside for the moment the design of the poll or the degree to which young people understand what “capitalism” means, I found that troubling. It made me feel like something of a dinosaur, comparing my view of the world to theirs.

    I approve whole-heartedly of capitalism (recognizing its imperfections) both in theory and personal practice. The world works best when people compete, even if I sometimes lose.

    I’m more suspicious of what government can do to me than I am confident in what government might do for me. I’m more grateful for what I have than I am resentful of what other people haven’t given me.

    I feel buffeted by large impersonal forces, but not necessarily helpless.

    I think good people can have bad ideas. That doesn’t make them my enemies.
    You used the word "compete". That single word is the most offensive word to the near-majority of which that poll speaks. They believe the world would be a wonderful love fest of mutually shared assets were it not for the evils of "capitalism." As evidenced by their riotous protests.....the not-near-majority are willing to commit violence and use force to prove they are right. The will have to learn to "compete" more effectively to get their way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    You used the word "compete". That single word is the most offensive word to the near-majority of which that poll speaks. They believe the world would be a wonderful love fest of mutually shared assets were it not for the evils of "capitalism." As evidenced by their riotous protests.....the not-near-majority are willing to commit violence and use force to prove they are right. The will have to learn to "compete" more effectively to get their way.
    Because everyone should get participation trophies.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I am old and won't be around decades longer, and then people will run the world the way they wish to run it. So be it. Dinosaurs die out, that is ok, someone/something comes along to take their place.

    It will be fine. They will be fine.

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    What does one even compete for in any real sense. (alright someone might answer women).

    I mean one could compete for any number of things in one's own head, to eat the most green leafy vegetables or something, but the rest of the world really doesn't care. For jobs, in theory yes, in reality they will interview a handful of people and hire or not hire for a job based on reasons you'll never ultimately know. The only jobs with very clear cut competition seem to be things like civil service (if they are basing it on exams - so there is an objective ranking there at least among those they choose among) and well maybe being the next American Idol.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    What does one even compete for in any real sense.
    Life.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    I really think it's meant to be competition between companies and thus talk about "participation trophies" is pretty silly (I mean the imagery is pretty hard to imagine - "and this businesses gets a participation trophy". Although I guess those Too Big To Fail banks did get their participation trophies afterall come to think of it).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Life.
    I suspect the chances of winning big or losing big (dying in a gutter maybe) there are so improbable as for this not to be much of a way to occupy one's spare time.

    And people will then seek real (not entirely fictitious) ways to occupy their thoughts and time (that's a real need there, things to think about and try to do), even if it's competing on eating the most leafy greens ... or even if it's something non-competitive.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Societies do better when there is a big middle class. When too many people are poor and most of the wealth is at the top 1% that is when there starts to be unrest, etc

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