My Texts in Capitalism Debate

Hmmm… People like Bezos produce goods and services that make all of our lives vastly better. Even our Airbnb host friend takes rundown buildings and converts them into gorgeous vacation destinations.

I oppose unearned privilege – including gifts and inheritances like Trump’s, or favoritism given through federal contracting or affirmative action type programs giving certain genders or races special extra rights. Let people earn what they are willing to work for. An ideal government would be a meritocracy.

Special treatment for certain races is discrimination and will lead to backlash – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/joe-biden-racial-justice-economy-plan.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

I think we should have open borders, public voting, and allow for a simple process for anyone to gain citizenship. I agree it is unfair that smart people born in a country be trapped there.

I think there’s a reasonable argument for musk as a socialist. He had all the money and power he could ever want, but threw it all away to spend the next twenty years grinding away working on climate change and space exploration. That seems like it was entirely motivated through love of the rest of humanity? If he was after money, he could have stayed on PayPal and crushed every other US bank.

I think the point of any system should be to motivate the most people to do the most work. I would never have done all the work I have done in a purely socialist system and I think most others who work hard would not be motivated either. Capitalism is imperfect but it’s the best we humans have come up with.

I am always open to hearing evidence to the contrary. Be careful about just saying your idea is the best and thinking everyone should just agree because anyone says so.

What is your system that will work so much better than capitalism? How will you motivate people to produce?

Perhaps you support free market economics but would like better redistribution via high taxes and universal basic income?

I think the core point of disagreement we have is on the question of motivation. You believe it is intrinsic, I think it is mostly a function of the system you are in. In every system I have been in where I was not directly rewarded for working hard, I was very lazy. Only a system that directly ties work to rewards motivates me. I have seen very similar behavior in my employees. If I just give a salary, they do the minimum to not be fired. If I pay based on performance, they work 100x harder and smarter than under a salary.

And as A said … This should not be luxury. It should be uncomfortable, but livable. Probably a higher amount of money should go to those under 18 with extra protections like public schools and free lunches.

Not full time gamers… This is live in a plywood 8*8 box and have food and grass clothes level. Maybe $300 a month or something. Very helpful to those starving in Africa, but it keeps motivation for everyone else to work hard to improve their standard of living.

J is right that if we started with $300 a month, people would likely clamor for more. Over time, people would vote in politicians to give it to them until eventually the system bankrupted itself. You would need this to be set in stone in a global constitution.

Our core difference A is that you believe people are intrinsically motivated and even if you took everything they worked for they would still work. I have not seen that to be the case with myself or with just about anyone I have worked with. You need to give people most of the rewards of their work to maximize work output.

A sounds like we are completely on the same page with a poverty level, but not starvation level, UBI.

One concern – we have housed people in exactly what we are describing before. Public housing projects. Did these work? Or no?

Actually seems like those did accomplish their purpose. Before public housing, some Americans starved to death. Now none do. No wants to live there, so people are motivated to work hard to get out.

A and I seem to agree. I guess either I am now a socialist with my UBI entitlement or Andy is a capitalist… “If you want more than the absolute minimum, go out and build it yourself”.

A – are you sure this hasn’t worked well here? Look at Buffett advocating for higher and more fair taxes, Gates giving pledge signed by dozens of billionaires. Look at the fact that America pretty much solved starvation and minimum Ubi type benefits here (public housing projects). Why not extend this model to the globe and replace dictators and pure socialist systems with this?

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.