What's your thoughts/opions on capitalism and the "free market"???

  1. Debate Time ! ! !

    Keep it civil!!

    Just wondering, though. What's your thoughts on the concepts of capitalism and "free market"???

    I most certainly have my opinion, but I'll hold off until this thread gets going. . . if it gets going.

    But just for starters:

    I'm totally into Entrepreneuralship! Owning a small business (it's an S Corporation, actually. . . which means nothing more that I own stock in a business that currently has no market value. . . but a lot of "EMOTIONAL VALUE". . . which is worth $0.00 in real money. . . ) I hope to . . . someday. . . make some money. It would be cool to make enough money so that at least my wife or myself can quit our current full-time job and concentrate our energies on "the business". This is actually a long term goal of ours! So. . . my moto is: "Long Live Enterpreneuralship!"

    With regards to the concept of "Free Market". . . let's just say that I believe that this term is an oxymoron.

    How's that for starters? Like I said, I'll continue as tthe discussions and debates on this thread evolves (hopefully).

    Let the debate begin. . . .

    Cheers!

    Ted

    P. S. Just for clarification. . . this topic has NOTHING to do with "War/Terrorism". I only posted this topic here because, in my mind, this part of the bulletin board has become the unofficial debating forum. . . or at least it should be. . . . or at least there should be a debating forum. . . .

    Debate nicely, now!

    Cheers!
    Last edit by Ted on Dec 10, '02
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   LasVegasRN
    You potstirrer, you! :chuckle

    Good question! I'll have to think on this after lunch.
  4. by   Stargazer
    Well, economics IS political--and I don't think of this as the debate forum, because we debate in Off-Topic, Nursing Activism and General Nursing Discussion, too. But I do think of this as the Politics forum, so I think it goes very well here.

    "For starters", Ted,( ) this
    With regards to the concept of "Free Market". . . let's just say that I believe that this term is an oxymoron.
    is pretty cryptic, and I'd like to see you explain that a bit.

    I don't have any problem with capitalism as a system; but I do agree that I would like to see more support (tax breaks, etc.) given to small businesses rather than large corporations where the CEO alone is pulling a 7-figure annual bonus. We were just talking about globalization and homogeneity on another thread. I don't have anything against Starbucks, McDonalds, or Barnes & Noble--they've created and marketed a product that a large number of people clearly want-- but I would like to maintain other consumer options in some form that is NOT Giant Chain Store or Giant Chain Restaurant or Ubiquitous Food Franchise.

    Maybe I'm just biased because my parents have owned a little Mom-and-Pop business for over 20 years--but I like to see small business owners have a fair shot in the marketplace.
  5. by   Ted
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Well, economics IS political--and I don't think of this as the debate forum, because we debate in Off-Topic, Nursing Activism and General Nursing Discussion, too. But I do think of this as the Politics forum, so I think it goes very well here.
    Yea, I know. . . but I like to keep the "Off topic" forum a happy place to visit. Sometimes these debates get way out of hand. I'm not a trained debater, but I know when people get too personal and sometimes even obnoxious with thier debates. . . I know because I've fallen down that trap myself!

    Learning how to debate Appropriately is a skill that could and probably should be fostered here at "Allnurses.com". I would love to see a forum just on fine-tuning the art of "Debate".

    With regards to my comment about the "Free Market" being an oxymoron. It was meant to be cryptic. I'll further explain myself as this sharing of opinions . . . hopefully to be an engaging and respectful debate. . . carries on! Right now, I'm just happy to be starting this topic!

    Cheers!

    Ted
    Last edit by Ted on Dec 10, '02
  6. by   Ted
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    I don't have any problem with capitalism as a system; but I do agree that I would like to see more support (tax breaks, etc.) given to small businesses rather than large corporations where the CEO alone is pulling a 7-figure annual bonus. We were just talking about globalization and homogeneity on another thread. I don't have anything against Starbucks, McDonalds, or Barnes & Noble--they've created and marketed a product that a large number of people clearly want-- but I would like to maintain other consumer options in some form that is NOT Giant Chain Store or Giant Chain Restaurant or Ubiquitous Food Franchise.

    Maybe I'm just biased because my parents have owned a little Mom-and-Pop business for over 20 years--but I like to see small business owners have a fair shot in the marketplace.
    Yep! I agree with you! Heaven knows that I frequent McDonalds enough!

    However, it's sad to see so many "mom and pop" stores go out of business because of the large-corporations, though. For example, several years ago a Walmart store opened up in the area. Since that time, one can see the many small business around this area go out of business. These were small "mom and pop" stores the sold jewelary (sp?), clothing, and one store which sold sporting goods. (Interestingly, though, a HUGE number of antique shops sprang up in the vacant "mom and pop" stores!) I am not an economic and/or political expert. However, there is something extremely unfair where one "Big Business" store can put so many small stores out of business simply because they have the financial clout of purchasing large amount of goods for less money, the political clout to have the ears of the lawmakers, and the legal clout to hire well-paid lawyers to help keep their "Large Corporation" in business. I don't have an answer. But I do have a question: How can the playing field be more leveled so that small businesses can compete with stores like Walmart?

    Let the discussion continue. . .


    Ted
    Last edit by Ted on Dec 10, '02
  7. by   donmurray
    The logical ultimate of a free market is one supra-national corporation which owns everything. I do not see this as a good thing. Regulation is vital to prevent monopoly control. In the UK we have a monopolies commission, but why is there only one?
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    I think, in order to compete, the small businesses must have something that huge stores do not.

    For instance, it may be a unique item or service that simply doesn't translate well to overseas mass-production. And for that, people have to be willing to shell out a few extra bucks.

    Kinda like designer clothes. Walmart will never put Saks outta business.
  9. by   Ted
    Originally posted by donmurray
    The logical ultimate of a free market is one supra-national corporation which owns everything. I do not see this as a good thing. Regulation is vital to prevent monopoly control. In the UK we have a monopolies commission, but why is there only one?
    What's the function of the "Monopolies Commission" in your country?

    I'm starting with this one question. . . more may follow once I read your resonse.


    Ted
  10. by   LasVegasRN
    Lord knows I want to support the Mom & Pop stores. But when I can pay 89 cents for some plumbers tape at Home Depot, and it costs $1.95 at the Mom & Pop plumbing store.. well....
  11. by   Ted
    Originally posted by Sleepyeyes
    I think, in order to compete, the small businesses must have something that huge stores do not.

    For instance, it may be a unique item or service that simply doesn't translate well to overseas mass-production. And for that, people have to be willing to shell out a few extra bucks.

    Kinda like designer clothes. Walmart will never put Saks outta business.
    One or two of the stores that were put out of business in my area (probably) as a result of Walmart were "mom and pop" owned electronic appliance stores. Although they provided a more "family" service, they just couldn't compete with Walmart. It's hard to have a unique item in an electronic appliance store. The "mom and pop" appliance stores were just selling the radios, the televisions, the toasters, the vacuum cleaners. . . they weren't manufacturing them. Walmart can purchase these types of items in great quantity for much less money which, sadly, the "mom and pop" appliance store owners could not.

    Even Saks have the advantage of producing their products in mass quantities through cheap labor (manufactured in China, and who knows where. . .) It's tough for even the "mom and pop" clothing stores to compete even with Saks, if they're manufactoring they're own clothes.

    Again, I don't have a solution to this frustrating situation (at least frustrating to the out of business "mom and pop" stores). Just questions. . . Is it fair that the bigger companies have this type of advantage? How can the playing field be leveled so that these "mom and pop" stores. . . these true enterpreneurs. . . can have a decent chance to flurish?

    Ted
  12. by   Q.
    I agree with Stargazer. Very well said.
  13. by   OzNurse69
    Ok, thinking on my feet here, but here goes...

    I believe that there is currently no such thing as a free market economy that I can come up with, anywhere in the world. Every democracy has its own form of tariffs & subsidies, and you will always be able to find someone who disagrees with them. Countries, states, and even local governments, are constantly offering "deals" to corporations for relocating head offices, setting up businesses etc, that the mum & dad shops will never be able to take advantage of because they can't give the long-term committments that the bigger companies can.

    I think the idea of a free market economy is a bit like true communism - great in theory, but we'll probably never know how it works in practice, because it has never & will never happen. Human nature dictates that even if the world were set up like that, within a very short space of time (less than 24 hr) the balance would have been disrupted, & people would continue on their merry track of handouts & tax breaks.

    On-farm subsidies are a classic example. My parents have a grain/sheep farm, & even though they don't officially receive any benefits from the govt, they are still entitled to tax breaks for their fuel, etc. However every time you hear an Australian govt representative whinging about US farm subsidies, it is always prefaced by the comment that "we don't do that here". Australia may not subsidise its farmers to the same degree that the US does, and they may cover it up a little better (!), but it still occurs. So as long as you have govts denying the fact that they are upsetting the balance of the "free market economy", it will never be able to exist.

    Clear as mud??........
  14. by   Sleepyeyes
    ok...granted, mom & pops can't compete if they're selling manufactured items.

    Beyond that...there are other goods and services that they can sell that can make a living.

    for instance.....walmart doesn't deliver, and despite my repeated encouragement, does not have a drive-thru window for basic necessities....

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