American debtors must find a new capitalism - Opinion
"Historically, America will not budge when it comes to protecting its right to capitalism."
-America won't budge? What about the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890? What about The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914? How about the Robinson-Patman Act, or the Hart-Scoss-Rodino act? The FTC was setup in 1914, to do what you ask? To regulate trade. It seems that the government has only
stifled the true genius of this system, which is unregulated trade.
"An increasing number of Americans are in debt, especially students. Financial aid is being cut while tuition is rising, leading to record numbers of students in debt, a large amount of which is credit card debt."
-What do you think the cure is for this? For the government to hand out money to everyone? To socialize
the education system? Nothing in life is free; your primary education falls under that. As Thomas Sowell once said "There is no such thing as beneifts without cost." Some questions you may want to ask yourself, instead, are: "Why is tuition rising?", "What can I do to achieve more scholarships?", "Why am I completely ignorant of how the economy functions?", etc.
"At the same time, the government has actively catered to the credit card companies and made it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy. This leaves credit card companies reaping profits while the people elected to represent citizens' interests sell off their rights. How is that for taxation without representation?"
-This is exactly what I meant by "baseless nonsense" that I added into my banner. When the facts arise that prove credit card companies are in some deeply entrenched conspiracy with the government, come talk to me. Even with that said, if the government is making it harder for people to declare bankruptcy, how are the credit card companies reaping the benefits? With bankruptcy, the government pays off the credit cards full debt (which is generally thousands of dollars); but if the person doesn't declare bankruptcy, the debtors will usually just pay the minimum payment. Now if you were in charge of the credit card company, would you rather the government pay you thousands of dollars directly, or have some dead-beat pay you a minimum payment of $25.72 monthly? With that said, why would the government, because
of the credit card companies, make it harder to declare bankruptcy, when it benefits the credit card companies more? You also said that: "This leaves credit card companies reaping profits while the people elected to represent citizens' interests sell off their rights."
What rights? The right
to bankruptcy? Apparently you have this "right" to others money, just because the government labeled it as acceptable. You only have the right to what you earn, and as far as I can tell, it doesn't include my respect. On another note, how is what
for taxation without representation? As far as I can tell, that sentence is completely irrelevant to this entire topic.
"Most of these individuals would hardly say they are "free," as they are trapped in paying off credit card bills and the like. Suddenly, paying the rent or buying groceries becomes so hard that goals the individual meant to pursue are no longer feasible."
-...What? Please tell me how they aren't free? If you look at the situation, they are free when it comes to using the credit card (i.e. paying with money that doesn't belong to them), but aren't free when it comes to paying for the money that they contractually agreed to pay? Something sounds a miss...They were also free to choose a better job that they know would bring in a higher salary. They were also free to do better in school, to guarantee themselves scholarships and grants. Freedom doesn't sound like the issue here; the issue is based around self-responsibility, or lack-there-of.
"Yet after the attacks of Sept. 11, President George W. Bush famously announced in an address to Congress that if citizens want to help the United States prevail, they should go shopping."
-You don't have to use credit cards when you shop.
"Another increasing problem is that many individual corporations now own every aspect of a product's path to a consumer. They no longer only make a product and sell it to a wholesaler; they now also have the means to hype the product on media outlets they own and sell the product in its own stores. This concept of vertical integration means a corporation makes more profit and can more effectively corner a market and freeze the competition even more."
-As my friend David Radford said in response to this section of the article: "I don't see how a corporation making more profit is a bad thing since those are passed down in the form of savings to the customer and pay to the worker. I don't understand how vertical integration can lead to "corner a market and freeze the competition even more." It sounds like a baseless assertion. It also benefits the stockholders as well. I especially can't see how they can corner a market if they want to burden themselves with the administrative costs of owning a means of production when they could just pay someone a smaller amount to produce it for them, also companies that choose to own their means of production at a higher cost will fall before companies that choose to go for cheaper productive means. His assertion has no ground to stand on whatsoever."
"Ironically, vertical integration is also one character trait of communist regimes, the key difference being that in a capitalist model, the company is privately owned. In effect, capitalism is even worse than a communist setting as the private company has no duty to the common good, only a duty to its shareholders."
-Capitalism is worse than communism? Why don't we stack the innocent dead and compare the numbers to the death of innocents in America? Maybe then you will be able to see what a complete failure communism is, but judging by what you said, I seriously doubt it. "Capitalism is bad"; how? Capitalism thrives on the freedom of the individual to make their future as prosperous as they deserve. Communism is a means to enslave an entire nation. America is (somewhat) capitalist, and we are the most productive nation in the world; now compare our success to the U.S.S.R, China, Cuba, North Korea; anywhere else communism took hold. Tell me that all the jobs, products, and dreams America produces are irrelevant. The only dream(s) that the slaves under communist rule can imagine are getting out from under their collective enslavement. I dare you to name only one country that thrived (thrives
) through communism. You can't and you never will be able to. If a private company wants to stay in business, then this "common good" (which by the way is completely arbitrary; I'm going to assume you mean low prices, etc.) which you speak of, must be upheld. I doubt wal-mart would lower its prices because the shareholder's request it; they lower the prices to increase their customer base, thus earning more in accordance.
"Capitalism, or rather Americans' understanding of it, will therefore have to change, as the way it exists in today is unsustainable. While nobody would argue that the model should be abandoned altogether, America needs to re-evaluate how it allows capitalism to control its citizens' lives before the country creates a new way of feudalism in which corporations take the role of nobility or landowners of the past."
-What? Capitalism doesn't control the people; the people control capitalism through the economy. What the consumer buyers regulates the economy. How much they (the consumers) buy of a certain product regulates the economy. Capitalism wouldn't exist if people didn't. It doesn't control our lives at all, in fact, a life founded around the capitalistic system is better for all; I can only hope that one day you, and all the people who take the same stand towards the greatest economic achievement that has ever existed, will come to realize what a favorable and just system capitalism really is. You said that "Capitalism, or rather Americans' understanding of it, will therefore have to change, as the way it exists in today is unsustainable."
I'd agree with you, but in the wrong manner. I know that capitalism is the best system when unchained, to run free of government regulation, while you apparently believe we should come up with a new model completely. It should be changed only by letting it run free, as intended.
-From what I can tell, this idea of "new capitalism" is nothing more than socialism. I hate to break the news to you, but it doesn't work. I like to refer to it as "watered-down communism"; let's face it, not everyone is equal. The government is not here to support people that don't feel like supporting themselves, period.