Proof That Capitalism Has Failed

Capitalism has failed

I originally got the idea for this graph from an email sent to me by a friend. I later learned that the graph came from Erick Brockway's blog. He had plotted the S&P 500 but I decided that GDP per capita was more meaningful and that data was available over a longer time period. During that time period there have been 3 periods where the nation actually went backwards for a while, and we're coming out of one of those right now.

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  • I thought you were going to have something in point, such as how real estate agents in the eastern block got good commissions selling flats in the high rise concrete cities.

  • The chart needs no comment. Well done.

  • The top 1% controls 42% of the nation's wealth.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I hear numbers like this thrown around all the time and I have no idea what the point is. What does it mean to "control" wealth? Why is this a problem?

    The top 1% make 18% of the income and pay almost 39% of the income taxes so they are paying more than their fair share of keeping this country afloat.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    And how many people do they feed, clothe and subsidize homes for? How many government agencies do they pay the budget for? How many bridges and roads do they build? How many students do they educate? All because THEIR taxes pay for these things. How many people do they employ because of their hard work? How many gadgets, consumer goods, services, medicines, technological breakthroughs and lives have they saved because they had incentive to be innovative and use their ingenuity for the good of all? Our country actually has people who are overweight, have a government subsidized home, are fed for free, are educated for 12 years for free, can go to any ER and never be turned down for being sick or injured, have a subsidized cell phone, almost all have a television, in some states a free car (Massachusetts) and have a paycheck coming to them on the first of every month from the government and are considered poor. Its amazing how many people call capitalism "evil" yet continue to purchase cell phones, computers, cars, clothes, food, gasoline, take prescriptions and enjoy television and radio. Did I miss anyone? Is there anybody in the world that capitalism hasn't helped at one point or another in the last 110 years? How many products that benefit humanity have come out of countries whose economy is state controlled since 1900? The Yugo maybe.Capitalism has made the world we live in possible. Without capitalism it would be impossible for us to give our children a better life than we had.

  • In reply to Michael Dixon:

    For a long hard answer to your questions, try reading Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. You can also read After Shock for some real eye opening.

    Sometimes we fail to look at our country through the eyes of others. I often hear people who are totally puzzled by why we, Americans, are so unpopular around the world. Believe me, there are too many reasons on which to comment. This is not to say that other parts of the world aren't worse. In fact, our government worked very hard to make sure they were worse.

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    In reply to Danie:

    Danie, can you possibly be as IGNORANT as you sound?? Do you actually believe something just because you READ it? The world is FULL of BS written by dolts with agendas. Those capable of independent thought can usually research the material and learn the truth of the subject.....you obviously don't have that ability!

  • In reply to Dick Clark:

    The fact that you resort to insults instead of intelligent thought is sufficient information for most thinking people to disregard your comments. I think, so therefore I will disregard.

  • It certainly isn't a problem for the top 1%. We have now the biggest gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us since before the Great Depression.. They pay more taxes than the bottom 150 million Americans because they have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. That's not so hard to understand, is it?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Seriously, can you be more specific. What does it mean for someone to "control" wealth? And be specific about the exact problem with inequality. If I make $30,000 this year and you make $50,000 and then next year I make $35,000 and you make $70,000 what's the problem? We're both better off.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Oh...and it's not as simple as they make more therefore they pay more. What's apparently hard to understand is that they pay disproportionately more - 18% vs. 39%. Meanwhile 47% of the country pays no income tax. Now that's F_ed up.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    What's your point "Aquinas"? You want to sit on your ass and have that 1% send you checks every month to "even the playing field"? St. Thomas wasn't a Socialist (FYI)!

  • With all due respect, this is an oversimplification of a complex issue.

    1) It takes one metric, GDP, and uses it to justify the overall strength of an economy. It's sort of like taking someone's temperature and declaring them healthy in every way.
    2) It's a prime example of the either/or fallacy when it comes to logic. That is, if you aren't 100% in favor of this current capitalist structure, then you are by default, a communist. That's nonsense.
    3) It takes no account of background. What was leading up to the decreases and increases in the graph? What was the environment leading up to the stock market crash? What factors led to it's subsequent recovery?

    This only works for people who will take the graph at face value and are looking to justify their existing beliefs, but it fails to hold up under the most basic scrutiny.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not saying it's the end-all/be-all but it's a pretty good measure. What else would you include?

    The graph is intended to make an extreme point much like the extreme point being made by those that claim capitalism is a failure. It's sort of like democracy - the worst economic structure except for all the alternatives.

    As for the rise and fall of the graph...most people who follow these things know what caused those changes.

    Make a more specific point.

  • In reply to Gary Lucido:

    I'm only asking for good science. That's my only point. Convince me as if I'm somebody who has an open mind -- which, I am.

    If your intention was to rile some people up and get a pat on the back from others, then I suppose that works, but for others, like myself, this graph doesn't prove anything at all.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Convince you of what?

    My only intention was to point out the stupidity of declaring capitalism a failure. When you listen to these Occupy people it's pretty clear that they have never taken an economics class.

    In the long run we have progressed. We produce, therefore consume in the long run, way more per person today than we did 50 years ago. On average productivity grows at like 3%. The average person enjoys a much higher standard of living than they did 50 years ago.

  • In reply to Gary Lucido:

    I've taken a few economics courses. And although I am not part of the occupy movement, it doesn't seem to me like they are not arguing that there's been no economic growth or that the standard of living has dropped in the past 50 years.

    It seems to me that it's more about the widening disparity of wealth and the disproportionate percentage increase in wages.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    meant to say "it doesn't seem to me like they are arguing that there's been no economic growth or that the standard of living has dropped in the past 50 years."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, you hear them claim that capitalism has failed quite often. But there is also this vague discomfort with a widening disparity of wealth. It's not at all clear to me why that is a problem: 1) As long as the standard of living keeps going up who cares? Life is not fair. 2) It's not clear what their solution is to this so called problem. 3) They assume that the disparity is the result of some kind of manipulation of the system, which they offer no proof of.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Nothing more dangerous than someone with "a little knowledge" (as in "I've taken a few economics courses"). Your arrogance is incredible. You make no point of your own yet demand others CONVINCE YOU! No one here OWES YOU anything. If you don't believe in our Government, the country's economic system or just have a crappy attitude, Take it to Cuba, or China or Venezuela......they'll all LOVE ignoring you.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree 100% that you can be against certain aspects of the current system without being a socialist. For example, IF (Its a bif "if", I know) there were no politicians willing to take money (bribes) in return for granting tax breaks to certain industries then there would be no reason at all to protest these companies.So in my opinion the Occupiers are protesting the wrong people!!!! They should be in DC protesting the pols who make this situation even possible.

  • In some ways this is a protest against D.C. One of the basic tenents is the corporate control of politicians because of the large amounts of money poured in by corporations and the influence thus gained.

  • yea, you're only a few decades late. time to find a new career or maybe an original story to write.

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