Mudcat Café message #959722 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #959722
Posted By: Sam L
27-May-03 - 09:40 AM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?

Anyway John H, you do say that liberals believe that an economy is a limited pie, based on money, despite pains not to say it outright. Nevertheless, if you completely remove it from your theory, you have no theory of the difference between liberals and conservatives on economics. And since you say that liberals "understand" that economies are based on productivity, but conservatives "believe" it more, the crux is that it's a truth that liberals understand less perfectly than conservatives. Dude.

You don't delve into what you mean, exactly, by "productivity" because, I speculate, you mean truly "productive" behaviors, which the market reliably rewards. Whether you mean this or not, and I really don't know what exactly you mean by it, it's mistaken, in fact, and not really a matter of opinion. There are enough cases of such egregious behaviors, that the market rewarded, below all standards of decency, which were legal at the time, that it needn't be debated.

   Also, you speak of a the potential for a "nations" economy to grow. As a liberal I'd say that's boundless potential, as long as there are other nations to support that particular nation's growth. Sometimes it is not profitable to dig gold out of the ground--unless you could get really super-cheap labor. Because of infrastructures and culture and many things, even a very worthwhile invention often can't make it to or on the market on the basis of it's merit alone, it takes a boost from somewhere. From government, as in the case of nuclear power (which has not yet proved genuinely productive) or not, as in the case of many alternatives.

   A perpetual motion machine always keeps wanting that boost. And it has to come from somewhere. In the early days of American capitalism there was certainly a work ethic, vision, and creativity, and I love that stuff, but however out of bounds it may be to say it, however incendiary, there was also a more primitive means of gaining capitol and resources. But, went the rationale, those guys weren't even in the game. On average people work more than they ever did. The economy may well have unlimited potential, but there are still 24 hours in a day.

I'm afraid I think my theory explains more, with much less dodging and weaving, whereas your theory can only develop more and more baroque semi-elipses, backtracking, culicues--like those maps of the stars with the earth at the center of it all. Capitolism certainly does propose economic life as a competetive game, at heart, and the more fully you believe in it, the more you may tend, or risk believing that economic life really is a game. Oppressed and exploited people are sore losers. Just keep it in mind for a while, and see if it doesn't explain a lot of substance and also the tone of debates on many issues.

So as much as I appreciate the trouble you take to sort this out, I think the split does betray your slant, a bit, and slanting differently, I respectfully disagree.