Capitalism

It's a Wonderful Life (With Capitalism)

|

Here's a new video from The Fund for American Studies.

The group's writeup:

Oct 17, 2012 by 

Ever wonder what life would be like without capitalism? Join The Fund for American Studies on a journey to an alternate universe—one where capitalism no longer exists. You may find it's not quite what you expected. For more information, visit http://www.LifeWithoutCapitalism.org.

Credits:

Presented by The Fund for American Studies
Starring John Crowley and Steve Andrus
Also Starring Erin Brett and Seth Goldin
Written and Produced by Steve Andrus

NEXT: 46 Percent of Californians Have Seriously Considered Leaving the Golden State

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. First! And I already know life without capitalism – I’m an American.

    1. You’re an idiot. But we repeat ourselves.

      1. Tony Tony Tony…

        The proper format of that argument is: [Insert group here] are idiot. But I repeat myself.

        Forgive me father, for I have sinned: I fed the troll.

  2. I’m confused… the video from 1:39 is how I live now…

  3. Without capitalism, everything is free and no one has to work, right?

    1. Well, if there were any of it, it’d be free…

    2. With capitalism nothing is government-subsidized and everyone’s basic needs are met, right? If not, fuck it, because it’s not good enough.

      1. And without capitalism even FEWER people’s basic needs are met. Everyone wins! Except for almost everyone.

        1. I think some terms need seriously to be defined.

          1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 7:24PM |#
            “I think some terms need seriously to be defined.”
            Shithead, definitions wouldn’t help you.

            1. Tony always brings you out of the woodwork…

  4. By the definition of capitalism here (zero regulations and zero taxes) it has never existed anyway.

    1. Palin’s Buttplug| 10.29.12 @ 6:27PM |#
      “By the definition of capitalism here (zero regulations and zero taxes) it has never existed anyway.”
      Dipshit, I knew you couldn’t read. Now it’s obvious you can’t see or hear, either.

      1. OK, dumbass. At what tax rate does capitalism become socialism?

        1. What does that even mean? You cannot talk about capitalism and socialism as if they exist apart from the people who act on those beliefs.

        2. Our government could easily fullfill its Constitutional duties without an income tax. The fact that we have one is a sign that it’s doing too much. Capitalism ceases to exist when its used as a cash cow to fund an ever increasing welfare and police state.

          1. OK, any income tax makes us socialist via its implicit wealth redistribution.

            Fine – that is all I was looking for – to the dumbasses that the question was too complicated for.

            I don’t agree. Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production.

            But thanks for answering.

            1. It’s not the income tax that makes us socialist, it’s what it’s used to fund, which is a regulatory, welfare, and police state that has continuously grown over the past 50 years.

            2. Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production.

              Gee, shrike where did you get that from? The founder of capitalism right?

              1. Sounds kind of Marxie to me.

        3. Socialism versus capitalism has nothing whatsoever to do with the tax rates.

          1. I agree. Its about private property ownership.

            But in WingnutLand if you raise tax rates to pay for prior government spending it is “socialism”.

            Example – Bush creates Medicare Part D and he is a capitalist. Obama wants to pay for Bush spending and he is a socialist.

            It is easy.

            1. Has anyone claimed Bush is a capitalist, even himself?

              1. All Republicans do.

                Granted, they are the most ignorant life form on Earth.

                1. Palin’s Buttplug| 10.29.12 @ 7:41PM |#
                  “Granted, they are the most ignorant life form on Earth.”
                  Not quite. You and the typical dem has them beat all hollow.

                  1. Shriek is projecting, again.

                    Possibly the stupidest human being on the planet calls other people stupid?! Fucking hilarious!

            2. I’m curious, what do you think taxes are if not the transfer of private property to public property?

              1. So the US became a socialist country sometime around 1920 after the first income taxes were levied.

                Fine. Believe that if you wish to.

                1. Why does it have to be a binary option?

                  There are different degrees of socialism, and the implementation of the income tax was the beginning of our shift towards a socialistic government. How else do you define the theft of property from one group of citizens for the benefit of others?

                  1. Then all governments are, to some degree, socialist, because all governments rely, to some degree, on taxes.

                    1. Re: The Derider,

                      Then all governments are, to some degree, socialist, because all governments rely, to some degree, on taxes.

                      Give the man a cigar!

                      He’s got it! By Jove, I think he’s go it!

                2. Palin’s Buttplug| 10.29.12 @ 8:39PM |#
                  “So the US became a socialist country sometime around 1920 after the first income taxes were levied.”

                  Ignoring your inability to deal with anything other than a strawman, you’re an uneducated oaf:
                  “In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law.”
                  http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html

                  1. That’s right, war is a socialist activity.

        4. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

          OK, dumbass. At what tax rate does capitalism become socialism?

          Capitalism does not become socialism. If what you mean is at which tax rate does the government become a criminal enterprise, the answer is: tax rate higher than 0 = thieving.

    2. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

      By the definition of capitalism here (zero regulations and zero taxes) it has never existed anyway.

      Where’s “here”?

      Capitalism has always existed where capital goods (savings) are used to produce other goods. What you mean is anarcho-capitalism. Which means, you’re wrong again, Dr. Equivocator.

  5. What’s up with the fancy mattress in the socialist reality? We never had anything close to that in Soviet Union.

    This is a standard soviet bad

    http://img.go2load.com/photo/0…..ad.com.jpg

    you can put some mattress filled with fibers of some sort and that is it

    1. That’s in Chernobyl. AKA, Trolling.

      1. yeah cuz before the melt down every knows state workers at nuke plants got all the good stuff.

        The rest of the Soviet Union never got beds that fancy.

        1. You get it.

          The State takes from the numerous poor, give the aggregate to the small rich. The poor, having no “right” to defense or their own property, stay poor.

  6. Nice job of using the cops from Half-Life in the video.

  7. Hey, wait a minute, without capitalism how is there even a youtube to post that video? I smell a rat.

    Anyway, it’s not really fair to slam the guy. He was only protesting to get into that Zooey Deschanel knockoff’s pants.

    1. See, this is where I’m an optimist and you’re a pessimist.

      You see her and think a Zooey downgrade. I see her and think, “She’s like Tina Fey, but hot.”

      1. Where did FoE say “downgrade”? He merely said “knockoff”, which is FoE-speak for “cheap whore”.

        (He’s a total misogynist.)

        1. I’ll take the off-brand.

          1. Yeah, but that’s because you’re cheap, Paul.

      2. I always thought Katy Perry was the knock-off. Or maybe vice versa.

        1. Katy Perry does not look especially good without makeup. Be forewarned.

  8. The video misses so many points. Rather than portray a Randian dystopia, why not at least mention WHY it’s a dystopia. For example, you don’t have your nice iPhone because the lack of profits removes the financial incentives to innovate to the degree that we’re used to. We wouldn’t have smart phones we would have (at most) big clunky black cellphone bricks. There would still be innovation, but it would occur (anemically) where the government chose to direct funds. So we might have faster CPUs but we would still be using clunky Motif-like (at best) user interfaces. If we wanted wifi connectivity we would be coupling our cellphone bricks to acoustic coupler modems with rubber bands.

    The lefties are right that without profits there would still be innovation, but without profits they would not be the same innovations we would expect. Hobbyists would still invent new and exciting things, but with no incentive to commercialize them for broader use, and no incentives for private business to seek them out. Businesses would innovate, but it was be internal innovation to reduce internal non-monetary costs. There might be more than one breakfast cereal manufacturer, but there would be no incentives to differentiate or improve their products. Put raisins in with the flakes? Why take the risk with a new product if there will be no reward? So just keep producing the same old product and selling it at the government approved price.

    1. On the other hand government has provided funding for much of the basic scientific research underpinning the technology in such trinkets, and a whole lot else. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that government should be participating in any significant way in the marketplace except as a consumer to facilitate certain goals on behalf of the people. Sometimes’s that’s necessary, as profit motive just doesn’t take care of everything. Such as basic research.

      1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 7:28PM |#
        ‘On the other hand government has STOLEN funding for much of the basic scientific research underpinning the technology in such trinkets,..’
        FIFY, shithead.

      2. And of course you give credit to the government for that, rather than the people who actually payed for it.

        1. I’m fine with giving credit to taxpayers, though surely the bureaucrats who did all the research and funding of research deserve some.

          1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 11:16PM |#
            “I’m fine with giving credit to taxpayers, though surely the bureaucrats who did all the research and funding of research deserve some.”
            The bureaucrats did none, shithead.

      3. On the other hand government has provided funding for much of the basic scientific research underpinning the technology in such trinkets

        Like what?

        LCD’s? nope

        Computer processors? nope

        lithium-ion batteries? nope

        cell phones? Nope

        Internet? nope

        Programming languages? nope

        iOS/andoid operating systems? nope

        GUI interface? Nope

        what part Tony?

        1. Atom bombs? yup

          1. Private and university labs would have developed fission technology peacefully without the Manhattan Project.

            1. Sure. I just don’t think they’d have built atomic weapons because there would be no demand….except from governments.

        2. Programming languages? nope

          Don’t forget ADA! Where would we be today without ADA?!?!?

        3. ENIAC ( /??ni.?k/; Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer)[1][2] was the first electronic general-purpose computer. It was Turing-complete, digital, and capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems.[3]
          ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory.

          Try harder.

          1. Hey joe, fuck off harder, you pathetic pussy.

          2. Three people from the three U.S. companies solved three fundamental problems that hindered the production of integrated circuits. Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments patented the principle of integration, created the first prototype ICs and commercialized them. Kurt Legovets of Sprague Electric Company invented a way to electrically isolate components on a semiconductor crystal. Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor invented a way to connect the IC components (aluminium metallization) and proposed an improved version of insulation based on the planar technology by Jean Hoerni. On September 27, 1960, using the ideas of Noyce and Hoerni, a group of Jay Last at Fairchild Semiconductor created the first operational semiconductor IC. Texas Instruments, which held the patent for the Kilby’s invention, started a patent war, which was settled in 1966 by the agreement on cross-licensing.

            1. Yes, the biggest government subsidy for research and development is the patent system.

              1. Move those goalposts joe

              2. Re: The Derider,

                Yes, the biggest government subsidy for research and development is the patent system.

                Hmm, no, it is not. Patents actually hinder research and development by gumming up the works. The really really cool stuff happens when people are free to experiment and tinker from other people’s ideas. The patent system is socialism at work with the bad results to show.

                1. OldMexican claiming profit isn’t a prime motivator in capitalism.

                  1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 11:18PM |#
                    “OldMexican claiming profit isn’t a prime motivator in capitalism.”
                    Shithead, you should try to address the comment rather than invent a strawman.
                    But then, you’d have to be an intelligent being to do so. Shithead.

                2. Patents actually hinder research and development by gumming up the works.

                  Protecting property rights is not ‘gummming up the works’. If it were there’d be way more innovation in China than America.

            2. By joe’s logic, if I buy a car, I developed it and made it possible.

          3. Also:

            How is a calculator designed “designed to calculate artillery firing tables” a general purpose computer?

            also this:

            Atanasoff and Clifford Berry’s computer work was not widely known until it was rediscovered in the 1960s, amidst conflicting claims about the first instance of an electronic computer. At that time, the ENIAC was considered to be the first computer in the modern sense, but in 1973 a U.S. District Court invalidated the ENIAC patent and concluded that the ENIAC inventors had derived the subject matter of the electronic digital computer from Atanasoff

          4. Re: The Derider,

            ENIAC

            Because otherwise, boys and girls, we would not have computers today! NOBODY, except the U.S. Army (apparently), thought about creating electronic computers!

            Oh, and transistors! Yes, transistors, which made it possible to create increasingly smaller and more efficient computers and the information technology era and…

            Oh, wait…

            Try harder, Joe.

          5. It’s good of you to point out what government sponsored innovation produces, better ways to kill people.

      4. Although I disagree with many of the anarchists here that there are appropriate areas for government funding of basic research, the example of the internet and much of computer technology is not among them.

        Government may have provided some of the funding via DARPA for some of this stuff, but the idea that because the government did it then ONLY government could have done it is a logical fallacy. Private industry was very interested in developing this technology, and would have done so without DARPA. In fact, it wasn’t until the government got out of the way that the internet exploded beyond its initial confines of government and government funded universities.

        It was the capitalism that took the technology beyond its rudimentary beginnings. Even as a liberal you have to admit there’s a place for capitalism. Only the most brainwashed progressive thinks the government could have done it all.

        1. I think capitalism and the profit motive are great forces for innovation.

          But when potential profit is low, or research costs are high, government investment can spur progress that would have occurred far more slowly in the private sector.

          A good example is spaceflight. Government has created a situation where private companies can now realize profits by building and launching spacecraft. This may have occurred on its own, but at what point in the future?

          1. Quite possibly the past, if there hadn’t been the meme that the government was going to colonize space.

            Additionally, I would argue that the Outer Space Treaty put a damper on both private and public exploration by effectively eliminating the profit potential.

            1. Oh such bullshit. The development of the space program was premised largely on geopolitical hysterics. Even that has paid off in spades.

              Libertarians love to think there’s so much mystery to the world, only to be discovered by the process of people making individual trades. So much can certainly be accomplished if only the resources are mobilized. Government can be thought of as the agent of massive resource mobilization. Want to do something big or long-term productive that isn’t necessarily short-term profitable? That’s why government exists.

              1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 11:22PM |#
                “Oh such bullshit. The development of the space program was premised largely on geopolitical hysterics. Even that has paid off in spades”

                Cite, shithead. You mean those folks who died when the O-rings failed?

          2. NASA actually blocked efforts by private interests to get into space transportation.

            Also, the availability of government contracts made supplying government with components more profitable and less risky than going into space themselves.

            Government precluded private space transport, it did not enable it.

          3. The Derider| 10.29.12 @ 9:50PM |#
            “But when potential profit is low, or research costs are high, government investment can spur progress that would have occurred far more slowly in the private sector.”

            Yes, deidiot, if there is no gain to be found, government can waste stolen money on all sorts of things. See Solyndra for example, deidiot.

        2. Government may have provided some of the funding via DARPA

          Lots of networks predate DARPA.

          also you know….the fucking telegraph.

          Or do you think when in 1950s movies when they said the news came off “the wire” they were talking about faeries?

      5. Re: Tony,

        On the other hand government has provided funding for much of the basic scientific research underpinning the technology in such trinkets

        This is demonstrably false. It’s a myth.

        I don’t think anyone’s arguing that government should be participating in any significant way in the marketplace except as a consumer to facilitate certain goals on behalf of the people.

        Since the government produces nothing to trade, then its role as a “consumer” is arguable as well.

        1. Entities who don’t produce things to trade can’t consume?

          1. T o n y| 10.29.12 @ 11:29PM |#
            “Entities who don’t produce things to trade can’t consume?”
            Oh, they certainly can! I’d say you, shithead, are a prime example of an entity producing nothing and still consuming.

  9. I wonder if innovation would have occurred in the Soviet Union at the same pace if there were no capitalistic enemies to compete with (and copy some ideas from).

    I’ve read that central statistical bureau was getting wall street journal to get keep an eye on commodity prices.

    Without capitalistic countries around, economic calculation problem would be much more difficult to deal with

    1. Harald| 10.29.12 @ 7:29PM |#
      “I wonder if innovation would have occurred in the Soviet Union at the same pace if there were no capitalistic enemies to compete with (and copy some ideas from).”
      Not sure there was “innovation” in the USSR, other than developments in mass murder and faking statistics.
      What else got rewarded?

      1. The East Germans were very innovative in how they developed their automobile.
        I recommend the doc “Car for a Dollar”.

    2. Sputnik would like a word.

      1. So would Lysenko, you stupid midget fuck. Fuck off and die already, scum.

      2. That really helped the Soviet people. A lot.

      3. The Derider| 10.29.12 @ 9:51PM |#
        “Sputnik would like a word.”
        It certainly would. Unfortunately, it went ‘beep, beep, beep.’, deridiot.

  10. That makes a lot of sense dude.

    http://www.is-anon.tk

  11. Why does this video even need to be made? Roll out a documentary of the USSR with commentary by some refugees.

    1. BigT| 10.29.12 @ 7:44PM |#
      “Why does this video even need to be made?”
      Uh, see shithead above; that’s the reason.

  12. There are people conversing with Tony as if it were a real thing.
    Bizarre.

    1. I just can’t figure out what else it would be. And it’s great practice at creating airtight arguments.

  13. Last week had eureka moment while reading T o n y rants about the private sector failing the poor. I was giving blood – the Red Cross bus was at my job. Every drop of blood a patient receives was GIVEN.

    1. and yet there’s always a shortage of blood.

      1. But never a shortage of blood plasma. Want to know why? Because you get paid for giving plasma!

  14. I’ve never seen people argue so much over so little substance.
    Definitional arguments are boring. We all know what socialism “means” and what capitalism “means.”
    Is Sweden by those definitions completely “socialist”? No. Is America by those definitions completely “capitalist”? No. The definitions do NOT concern tax rates. At all, really.
    But fuckdicks like Palin’s Cornhole Stuffer love to muddy the water when the argument is itself muddy. Of course, there are degrees of capitalistic purity, and socialist purity. The argument put forth by the video — and by libertarians and others in droves over decades — is about the DEGREE to which socialist impulses and policies have been enacted in society and their impact on economic and political freedom.
    That is the measure. And Obama (not to mention Republicans as well) is surely, slowly and methodically moving America into a socialist direction.

    1. In other words, it’s OK to answer “sort of.” Get used to it. That’s how the world operates.

  15. Here is why definitional arguments suck.
    You can live in the most heavily regulated country ever — where government mandates the circumference of drinking straws and the viscosity of shampoo — with a 90 percent flat-tax rate, with all the money going to welfare and infrastructure, and still be a “capitalist” nation.

    1. Free – less free – not free. The problem is with government intervention and control, regardless of the ism.

      1. *bing*!!!!

      2. Pro Lib FTW.

          1. Makes you a freak in today’s climate. And I love to let my freak flag fly. On my erect penis. At rush hour. With school buses driving by.

            1. You have a future in politics.

  16. We all agree this “superstorm” is climate change, right?
    This proves the Rethuglicans need to be stopped.

    1. @McCainBlogette: So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow republicans?

      @sfmnemonic: Global warming, rising oceans — always a laff riot, eh, Mitt? http://t.co/pNxNwADd

      Some dissent:

      @AnthonyCumia: RT @JuddApatow Hurricane Sandy Raises Questions About Climate Change http://t.co/Iz8oj0kb
      -If you’re posting this seriously, please die

  17. WOLVERINES!

    Sorry, Red Dawn is on.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.