Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Capitalism/Financial Crisis tutorial Part 9

I am now going to explain how the United States diverted from true capitalism, using the housing crisis as the example.

I've explained that true capitalism arose from individual grassroots farmers, who were the majority of humans for most of their history, who provided for themselves their own subsistence needs (food, clothing and shelter) and who sold surplus crops and livestock for cash.

In true capitalism human "progress" is used to ensure that all humans can always obtain plentiful and cheap subsistence needs, and that includes a home, whether an apartment or a house. The devices of capitalism are confined to usage on the "surplus" side of human needs.

This is why God forbids the charging of interest (called usury) in all of the sacred books, to the Jews, to Christians and to Muslims. This is so that profits are not made via the providing of the basic subsistence needs for life. It's not that God doesn't think people should earn profit from financial deals. God is saying that profits should not be made from the providing of basic subsistence needs and that instead, the capitalist motivation is that producers of housing and so forth are giving themselves jobs and a means of income for their families and workforce.

So let's break it down, comparing "before" and "after," with "before" being most of human history. Every person has a God given right to provide their family with food, clothing and shelter. "Jobs" as such did not exist. One's "job" was to grow food, tend herds and build shelters for one's self, for one's family, for one's extended family, and for one's community. You see examples of this in traditional developing nations (though the examples are often sad shacks in impoverished areas, such as Haiti) and also in the USA among the Quaker and similar communities. Quakers provide with their own hands their need for food, shelter and clothing, and they sell their surplus in the markets for cash. Thus Quakers are examples of pure capitalism as it evolved throughout human history. I bet that is a surprise for you to read.

Now, let's look at the "good" "after" before looking at the "bad" after. For a while the United States made the transition from the agricultural society that I've described above to an industry and financial markets based society, which is inevitable and can be done correctly. I'm far from saying that people need to stay "stuck" in "primitive" agricultural "survivalist" scenarios. No, far from it. I am explaining how capitalism was born in those agricultural subsistence/surplus distinctions in economic sectors and how to maintain true capitalism one must maintain those distinctions between subsistence and surplus sectors of the economy.

So the "good" after was the use of human "know how" and development of industry with its concepts and tools to do two things. One is to create "jobs," where one obtains a paycheck in return for productive work. What I mean is that people did not pay paychecks for people to sit around and be "muses" and throw pottery, hold seminars and paint paintings. The concept of a job came from the second development which was "specialization." Instead of everyone having to be a farmer or a carpenter, providing subsistence goods and products to their own family, people specialized in "jobs" in order to "mass produce" subsistence goods and services. Thus, instead of growing food for one's own family and taking the surplus to market to sell for cash, certain people became "professional farmers" who grew food as their "job" to take to the marketplace, the marketplace itself evolving into a series of "jobs" in "stores." Likewise, instead of building one's own home, one was able to buy a home using cash from your "job" that had been built by a professional "home builder."

The United States flourished in this transition. The key to this working is that there must be a job and subsistence product available to virtually everyone. This is because human "development" takes away the freedom of humans to self support. You see people instinctively know that that is a loss on both sides of the political spectrum, actually. You see, for example, the homeless recapture, but under miserable in intolerable conditions, the "staking out of a claim" of land and "building their own home." You also see "survivalists" have that mindset. Humans need and must have a way to sustain themselves that is NOT enslaved to surplus side capitalism and its machinations and tools. This is one of the things that Communists and socialists also instinctively realize, but they totally destroy that object with their fail philosophy that denigrates properly working capitalism. Genuine capitalism would have provided a good job with a good paycheck that allows everyone to obtain entry level good quality housing and other subsistence products. And the United States came very close to understanding this and being on the road to achieving it, but for several problems, which I call the "bad after."

First of all, the United States was hampered by segmentation of its society along racial lines. One cannot have true capitalism if entire segments of the society are denied equal access. So just as the Afro-American population yearned to be part of the American dream of capitalism that I described above (good paying job and access to all of subsistence good quality product, including housing), racist legacy and continuing racist mentality meant that it would not even occur to active "capitalists" to treat entire segments of the citizenry as being part of the great uplifting of capitalism. The urge to capitalism is incredibly strong and Afro Americans managed to achieve quite a bit of it, but hemmed in by the "redlining" not of housing but of racism. For example, they sent their kids to college, but to "black colleges." They worked at jobs, but at "black jobs." They achieved middle class objectives, such as producing many fine teachers, but they were confined, again, to their reduced form of capitalism in their constricted society. The Civil Rights movement did not come about because Afro-Americans wanted abortion, broken families, welfare, and the right to show rear end cracks in music videos. The Civil Rights movement came about because Afro-Americans of that generation fully understood and endorsed the correctness of genuine capitalism, and were desperate to be part of it.

If, back in the 1950's and 1960's, genuine capitalists broke the race barriers and set the example, rather than waiting for the government and society as a whole, the history of the United States would be vastly different today than it has become, sadly. All it would have taken is a few "Donald Trumps" for the middle class, who were color blind, to have changed human social history in the United States. The USA would not be as divided and self destructive as we see that it is now.

The second mistake was the infecting of the "subsistence" side of the capitalist equation with "surplus side" looting and river boat gambling. It's one thing to use usury and financial tools to loot and so forth when one is "money managing" the "surplus side" of the capitalist economy. It was a dire mistake for providers of subsistence product, however, to profit seek like horny dogs within the "subsistence" side of the economy. They destroyed the jobs side of the equation and they used subsistence products to gain wealth rather than to be the modest and moderate means of "making a living" for themselves and their family.

Here's an example. My brother graduated from college in the early 1960's. He married and got a good job. They moved into an apartment that we in the family thought was "fancy" and "upscale," marveling that they could afford it. I don't remember what it cost but it was cheap. Anyone with a decent job could have an easily affordable apartment or rental unit in a home. In fact, that was part of the building boom, because with many jobs many people needed housing to start their family. In a very short amount of time they bought their first house, which I saw being built, as it was new in a housing development. It cost $17,000.

In TRUE capitalism, a new couple starting out should be able to do exactly the same thing as my brother and his wife paying the exact same price, pretty much. Yep, you heard me. Inflation is the death of capitalism and there is no excuse for it. I should be able to walk out of my apartment and get a job that is good and pays sufficient for me to get an apartment at the rate that they paid (certainly less than the $700 I must pay now) and also buy a house near my job for $17,000. For thousands of years humans lived off of the land, providing with their own hands, and paying in gold or silver, whose value was unchanging and never manipulated, when there was a need for cash. "The value of gold" itself did not go "up and down" when true capitalism was developed. Sure, a gold coin could buy different amounts of goods at different locations during different circumstances. But there was no mentality that "as time goes on jobs become scarcer and things become more expensive." That is suicidal insanity, and that's the economy we in the USA, and dragging many along with us, live in in this world today.

Genuine and moral capitalism would have meant that there were always many capitalists who build affordable housing at the same prices it has always been available for AND who provided jobs that pay sufficiently to meet all subsistence needs. The government would not have needed to price fix or manipulate for this to happen: that is the genuine beauty of capitalism as it truly was meant to be, it would have happened just as it started to develop, but was hijacked and polluted before it was established.

It is proof of one of the great scandals that anyone with an education knows that over time, humans know how to provide the same product faster and cheaper, and better quality, than even just a few years before. Thus, baseline good homes should have been consistently available at the same price throughout the past forty years. As time goes by people value add and do things better and faster in the same amount of time, not get more incompetent, greedy and stupid. If a house build in the 1960's sold for $17,000 then obviously that house could have been built even faster, cheaper and with more features for that same $17,000 in 1980 or the year 2000! But Americans brainwashed themselves. They let jobs be destroyed, they allowed greed to infect all segments of society, and they were trained to "expect" "upward mobility" without understanding how that actually takes place. And so we arrived in a society where the mantra, the chant, of both "liberals" and "conservatives" is that people "pay what the market will bear."

Look at the hard lesson you all have learned about how oil prices infiltrate and inflate prices of everything everywhere. In a true capitalist society we would have had a broad secure foundation of many good paying basic jobs whose paycheck would allow the purchase of that $17,000 home or $200 per month apartment. We would have ridden through gas prices more serenely because the subsistence base of the capitalist economy would have been secure. Instead, prices of everything was jacked up over the past thirty years because "surplus" risks were taken with subsistence products in order to fill the pockets of looters. And the looters are not just the banks and hedge fund managers. Everyone bought into the myth of "upward mobility" but built on sand castles and air, by raising expectations, but kicking the foundation of capitalism (the subsistence side being available for all) right out from under the entire country. Your local banker, real estate dealer and everyone else is just as guilty and colluding as anyone else. Everyone has bought into this mutant view of "capitalism" that allows the "markets" to be manipulated, looted, and destructive of the equality of access of benefit to the broad base of people. I could go on and on with numerous examples, but this tires and enrages me so much that I'll leave it here for now. LOL. *sigh*

I think you get my point. Today should have been entirely different than it is now. There should have been a job and a home for every one who wanted and needed one, and it would have been there due to properly running capitalism, untainted by excessive greed and unreality. It really has become a disaster of incredible proportions, not just because of the crumbling of the fake infrastructure and individual financial disasters, but because of the loss of ethics that true capitalism that is moral actually imbues and instills. Much of the depravity and loss of morals and ethics in society comes from the hijacking of genuine moral capitalism, turning it into a mutant "market rules" greed machine, with warts.