Capitalists in socialist’s clothing

How these people go unnoticed and unaccused is beyond me. Personalities from major television networks decry those who they believe to be “too” wealthy, and bemoan the capitalist economic system because it “rewards greed”, are themselves benefitting from a capitalist structure. They negotiate for high salaries and in return complain about big corporations and their profits all while working for big corporations and reaping big profits from them.

Michael Moore even sued the producers of one of his “documentaries” for what he believed to be profits he was owed. This is a man who openly complains about capitalism yet lives in a huge estate and is worth millions of dollars, all because of capitalism.

It’s one thing to complain, it’s quite another to not hide the hypocrisy and complain.




  1. Just another example of how liberals never live the worldview they profess.

  2. I read an interview in the ’90s with Diane Sawyer. She was talking about making millions as an anchor.

    “We all know we don’t deserve as much as a great teacher or, in my mind, a great plumber.

    Why? Have you had some recent sink or toilet fiasco?

    No, but the gratitude you have when a plumber comes quickly when your toilet is overflowing and they’re supremely talented should be matched with dollars… Given a choice between Baryshnikov and a plumber, I would chose a plumber.”

    She’s right. Her job is being good looking, friendly, and reading well. Basically. Plumbers risk life and limb “to protect the health of the nation” (the plumber’s creed) while employing years of knowledge about exactly how to do that in hundreds of situations that arise. If a news anchor screws up, what’s the worst that could happen? They issue a retraction? If a plumber makes a mistake of even a fraction of degrees (in some cases), people can die from it. I’ve seen it happen.

    Of course, it’s a matter of the market. There are only a handful of Diane Sawyers and there are thousands of plumbers. And no advertiser is looking to pay millions to have their message heard by any plumber’s “audience”. And this is all ok. It’s how things work.

    I just wonder what people like her think is a fair number. What does she deserve to make? What do plumbers deserve?

  3. John,

    A system which “rewards greed” is evil, since rewards greed even by doing evil things.

    For example, capitalists have exploited children (and still do in some places) by greed’s sake.

    Moore doesn’t go against the rich for been rich, but for the means they got rich. For example, the case of the managers of financial enterprises and institutions which got rich by selling toxic assets as valuable while leading their companies to backrupcy.

    I like your comment about “reaping big profits from them”. That’s how a greedy capitalist see employees or asociates: they reap own benefit and they should work, not as slaves since they have maintenance cost and therefore reap profits, but for free or even pay for working.

    • Moore gets rich polluting the minds of young people with the trash he produces. He is guilty of greed, such greed that he is willing to ruin the lives of countless people who follow the teachings of his films.

  4. “For example, capitalists have exploited children (and still do in some places) by greed’s sake.” and the rest of Isu’s comment.

    I think part of the problem is that people slap the word “capitalism” onto anything that results in making money. That displays an ignorance of what capitalism actually is – and it’s a taught ignorance.

    Capitalism means, simply “an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth. ”

    Greed is not part of capitalism. It is part of human nature. Regardless of what system there is, greedy people will find ways to aquire wealth and power at a cost to others. The main difference is that it is far easier for greedy people to take advantage of the various socialist systems (including communism, fascism and the pseudo-capitalism that many mistake for real capitalism).

    Because capitalism relies on freedom and private property, it is far more difficult for people who are greedy to use it to aquire wealth and power. That is why so many pseudo-capitalists try to use government regulation to control who can or can’t provide or aquire goods and services. GE isn’t trying to get governments to regulate incandescent light bulbs out of existance based on capitalism. Quite the opposite. In a capitalist system, GE would either provide what the consumers actually want, or if they really want people to buy curly bulbs because they believe they are better, they would actually sell their products by convincing people of the merits of that product. Forcing people to buy curly bulbs because incandescents are regulated by law and government is the opposite of a free market, which is the only place capitalism can be practiced.

    • Absolutely. Most rich people have gotten rich by helping a lot of people in some way. There’s one guy who has made millions from one invention: the cardboard sleeve you get with your coffee. Is he greedy? Maybe. But he would not be rich if he hadn’t helped a lot of people in a tiny way.

      “Rewards greed”? More than anything, our system rewards people more equally based on our ability to help each other. Plumbers help one customer at a time. Plumbing company owners with ten plumbers can help ten people at a time. But, one guy who plays basketball really well helps millions of people at a time by providing entertainment.

      Capitalism rewards greedy people when they help. It rewards generous people when they help. It rewards sinners and saints, but only if they are helpful in some way.

      And what is greed, anyway? I think we need to think about what the opposite is: generosity. How would we reward generosity with money? Could we? And if we could, wouldn’t the most generous be the richest? And wouldn’t the most greedy be poor? But, then what? Would the greedy complain about a system that rewards generosity unfairly?

      We can’t reward attitudes with money. That’s not what money is for. We can’t even reward someone whose attitude is one of helpfulness! A guy who sits around all day thinking of being helpful isn’t being helpful enough to deserve to be paid. He has to DO something.

  5. Kunoichi

    I know what capitalism is.

    “Greed is not part of capitalism. It is part of human nature.”

    But since humans are part of capitalism system, greed is also part of capitalism system. You are displaying ignorance of group theory.

    And since “private individuals or corporations” control “exchange of wealth” they can do it greedly.

    Freedom and private property helps people with capital to act greedly, since they are “free” to exploit, “free” to abuse, “free” to contaminate and so on.

    Mercury thermometers were banned in my country years ago. According to you, they should be sold freely for “free market”, despite mercury is highly contaminating.

    I like capitalism but not an unregulated one.

    • Isu, your comments are so disjointed, you are barely making any sense at all, and you utterly fail with your rediculous mercury thermometer example. It is really obvious you have NO understanding of what capitalism is, but you seem to have your own definition of it.

      To use your mercury thermometer example, in a free market, they would not have to be banned. Consumers, on learning they are potentially harmful, would demand an alternative and stop buying them. A company would respond to consumer demands and provide what the consumer asks for; it’s a win/win situation.

      To further your example, liquid mercury, which you would have in thermometers, is not actually a danger until you interact directly with it. Mercury vapour, on the other hand, is very dangerous. Guess what has mercury vapour in it? CFL bulbs. If danger to people were the real reason for banning things, there is more reason to ban CFL bulbs than mercury thermometers. What do we have instead? Governments are moving to ban incandescent bulbs (which are being phased out in here in Canada soon; I plan to stock up) while promoting CFL bulbs, sometimes by giving away thousands of them for free, at tax payer expense. CFL bulbs are also known to burst into flame without warning and are not supposed to be used in recessed light fixtures because then they are even *more* likely to burst into flame. They have even been found to emite “dirty” electricity, which can make people sick. They’re supposed to last years, but they don’t, so they’re also ending up in landfills in large numbers, where their mercury vapour is released into the environment. On top of all that, their light is terrible.

      Meanwhile, a superiour bulb is the LED. In a free market, consumers would be able to look at all three and make informed decisions as to which they want to buy, based on their need. Instead, we have governments messing with the free market, regulating incandescents out of existance (even though there’s nothing wrong with them), promoting and subsidizing CFL bulbs (even though they are more dangerous and don’t do the job as well) while LED manufacturers are forced to compete, not against another product, but against government.

      “And since “private individuals or corporations” control “exchange of wealth” they can do it greedly. ”

      In a free market, “exchange of wealth” is made up of voluntary actions between consumer and provider. In a free market, if one gets greedy, the other is free to take their business elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with private individuals or corporations becoming wealthy; it’s an incentive to do better. There are natural consequences to anyone who tries to take advantage of others.

      There’s also nothing wrong with minimal regulation, but it should be limited to such things as fraud and other criminal actions. Excessive regulation and government control kills a healthy economy and harms both the consumer and the producer.

      Here in Canada, we have some rediculous examples of that. It’s only been recently that Western Canadian farmers have been free to sell their own wheat at whatever prices they can get (Eastern Canadian farmers had never fallen under the control of the Wheat Board). We have boards that control the retail price of milk and eggs. Quebec is a huge producer of cheese, yet can’t sell its cheese outside of the province. We actually have more free trade between Canada and the US then we go between Canadian provinces.

      Because of the difference in prices between Canada and the US, there is actually a black market for cheese – even a “cheese mafia” (there’s also a maple syrup mafia). Businesses that use a lot of cheese, such as pizza restaurants, are buying black market cheese smuggled in from the US because government price controls on dairy products makes Canadian sources unaffordable.

      Blech. I’m running on for too long here, and it’s almost 3am. Must stop now. *L*

    • Isu

      If greed is part of human nature and that is what ruins capitalism, then every economic system involving people is evil.

  6. John,

    “If greed is part of human nature and that is what ruins capitalism, then every economic system involving people is evil.”

    Right. The point is making a system where evil means are minimized and common good maximized.

  7. I think you lead a wishful thinking about capitalism far away from reality.
    Capitalism has good points and bad points and you are blind about the seconds.

    • No, I just think you have an image of capitalism that just isn’t representative. I see capitalism as the only economic system which encourages productivity and earning. You view capitalism as sweatshops.

  8. Just my point.
    You only see the good points “encourages productivity and earning” and fail to see the bad points.

  9. One of the best analogies I’ve heard to help me understand capitalism as opposed to other economic systems was understanding the difference between physiology and pathophysiology. Physiology is the field of study that seeks to understand how a living organism’s body ought to function, whereas pathophysiology deals with problems caused in living organisms by disease or injury. I think it would be reasonable to say that even the healthiest of healthy humans still have issues with health and injury, and so “optimal health” is an ideal that can never be reached in the real world. But knowing our own physiology and striving to meet that standard of health, even if we can never meet it, results in longer, healthier, and happier lives. And so, to follow through on the analogy, capitalism is like physiology in that it is how a healthy economy ought to function. Capitalism presupposes certain rules that people engaging in commerce ought to follow if the system is to function properly. Rules like don’t steal and don’t lie are necessary in a capitalistic system in order to ensure that people can trust it. Capitalism doesn’t encourage greed, it neutralizes it by forcing greedy people to think of their customers first. Now, as we all acknowledge, people often can’t be trusted to be honest in their dealings with each other. This is where the pathophysiology part of the analogy enters the picture. An economic system that contains dishonesty is a sick or injured system. But does that mean that we ABANDON capitalism? No, no, no and again no! Capitalism, like physiology, is an idealistic system and so it may never be fully attained in this world. But to the degree that a society strives to meet the standard, the healthier and more prosperous that society will be. To the degree that we depart from that standard, the more that economy will suffer.

  10. paynehollow says:

    Has it crossed your mind that many people who criticize capitalism are, in fact, capitalists? That one can point to a system’s failings while still believing in the system overall?

    I don’t know anything about Moore, but I’d be willing to bet that he’s not a socialist but, indeed, a capitalist.

    If so, does it surprise you that a capitalist believes in parts of capitalism?

    ~Dan Trabue

  11. Dan,

    There is nothing wrong with capitalism that can’t be rightly laid at the feet of human beings. The system is just fine. Not all people who work within the system are. That is not the fault of the system, as those same people would be jerking around in any other system.

  12. Capitalism, like all of economics, is a social system and as such is constantly undergoing revision. At present, there is a major flaw – the system rewards speculators more than it does producers. A certain amount of speculation is necessary as it can be a stabilising influence on prices, but this is predicated on speculators making the correct predictions.
    I’m not familiar with Michael Moore or his work, but do you have to be a communist to point out capitalism’s problems? Have any of you ever benefited from the welfare system, and if so does this mean you can never criticise that system? I’ve written about this phenomenon on my blog – I call it Either-Or disease; the idea that you must be either a this or a that, just because you hold an particular opinion on one issue. You know, if you point out flaws in the welfare system you must hate the poor, or if you bring attention to the potential long-run problems of falling wages and ‘labour discipline’ you are labelled a collectivist.

    • Michael Moore spends an inordinate amount of time attack the “rich” and capitalism rather that the abuse of capitalism. He also attacks every conservative ideology. He is just a typical liberal who cannot live his own philosophical claims.

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