Bigger government?

Instead of growing the political class, make the case for capitalism

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Normally an entertainer’s oddball political views should probably be ignored. But comedian Russell Brand’s recent anti-capitalism rant on British television is so toxic to young malleable minds that it must be answered.

Brand suggested a socialistic revolution is necessary because capitalism and Western societies are “creating an underclass. We are exploiting poor people all over the world and the genuine, legitimate problems of the people are not being addressed by the political class.”

Brand, acknowledging he’s never voted in any election, says it’s because of his “absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit from the political class ...”

So his solution? Give the political class even more power, through the private-property-grabbing power of socialism – a “socialist egalitarian system based on a massive redistribution of wealth.”

The problem, other than his unique logic, is that he speaks for many today – and might end up influencing others tomorrow.

The scary thing is, he has a more-than-willing audience ready to believe the worst of free markets, private property and individual liberty: Polls show that Americans, egged on by the media, take a dim view of the corporations that provide the jobs, utilize the natural resources and churn out the products that have made life so much healthier, lengthier and comfortable than in centuries past.

First off, capitalism isn’t creating an underclass – it has gorged the upper classes and, for the first time in human history, created a middle class. As Whole Foods CEO John Mackey points out, prior to capitalism, illiteracy was about 90 percent, life expectancy was about 30 years and annual income was in the hundreds.

Contrary to the tunnel vision espoused by folks of Mr. Brand’s ilk, capitalism didn’t create an underclass – it produced something to contrast it with, which is a thriving middle class.

The same middle class that pays the freight at movie theaters and pads comedians’ pockets.

We agree with him that politicians can be self-serving and fail their constituents. But what sense does it make to suppose that giving the ruling class even more power – to oversee a “massive redistribution of wealth,” for instance – would make them any more ethical or efficient, or would leave their subjects any better off?

And if he thinks capitalism is immoral, he should really try socialism or communism. Many millions of people have. The results speak for themselves.

Or they should, anyway. The truth is, there are enough uninitiated young folks out there who just might buy the Russell Brand of snake oil that it’s now urgent that the capitalists make the case for capitalism.

“In category after category, business has lifted humanity up,” Mackey has said.

Those who understand that need to make it their business to spread the word.

Comments (40)

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deestafford
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deestafford 11/03/13 - 12:48 am
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0

Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty and improved

the standard of living beyond any that pre-capitalism people could have even imagined. As a matter of fact, our "poor" people in this country live better than the middle class here did in the 40's and 50's.

Entertainers are gullible and clueless because they are in a bubble maintained by hanger-ons. If they had to make a living outside of what they are doing they would starve.

The reason the elite and the statists keep thinking socialism and its cousins fascism and communism didn't work is because those trying it in the past were not as smart as they are. It would have been great if only they "right" people were running it and they are the "right" people.

We will always have at least a third of the population who is too ignorant and/or stupid, as well as lazy and useless, to be willing to take personal responsibility for themselves and their families. It's a shame their vote counts as much as the producers who get up every morning, work hard all day, and pay the taxes to support the gorging fatso called the federal government and the moochers it has created.

myfather15
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myfather15 11/03/13 - 06:47 am
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He doesn't like or trust the political class in this Country?

Maybe Mr. Brand trusts communist/fascist dictators better. Oooh, I guess Mousilini, Stalin, Lennon and Hitler were soooooo honest and compassionate!!! What about the likes of Assad, Ahmadinejad, Morsi, Hussein? Were they the type leaders you can trust?

These idiots want to replace one system of governance with another system that has, given time; failed miserably every time!! Not only that, but socialism/communism creates a larger poor class! Because the corrupt government leaders get to decide where the vast majority of the wealth goes!!!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/03/13 - 07:11 am
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Union-Government Ownership of Corporations

Deestafford and I were having this discussion under a business article the other day. Russell Brand openly says what most liberals are not quite as candid about. The ultimate goal of liberals is union ownership of corporations just as nationalized health care is. Chrysler and GM now have a large percentage of union ownership fostered by this administration and that’s the model they want to grow.

So examine socialist societies where such a practice was prevalent. They became seriously unproductive with workers making ever dwindling wages as the products decreased in number and quality. But the government still MADE workers show up and work at their industries. They were not allowed to leave to find a better job as happens in a supply and demand system.

Government owned food chains from the farms to the stores were so inefficient lines formed to buy a loaf of bread. When government and union owned corporations arrive you will have a job, but you may not like it, the product they turn out or the cost to buy one.

KasparHauser
306
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KasparHauser 11/03/13 - 07:27 am
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0

Yeah, right...

Unpublished

And, if Russel Brand were dressed up in a Chickenhawk John Wayne or "Bedtime for Bonzo" Reagan costume the AC Nameless Editorial Staff would be lining up all their explanations for why he was correct, and why it's just people who don't clap for Tinkerbell who don't believe so.

Must be terrible to have your color and greyscale vision removed to get an AC staff gig, so you can't see Reality (and, especially don't have to see that unGawdly LGBT flag) and understand Real Life is not Ideology but a synthesis of GOOD, PRACTICAL ideas, not just the ones you BELIEVE in. Brand had some cogent observations which need to be addressed, but the AC staff are allergic to making things better because it's much more comforting to live in a Never-Existed Past, and it sells more papers to their customers who are in their second childhood and have only false memories of how good their first one was to keep them company.

Of course, 'synthesis' is also part of the Dialectic, and the AC Nameless Editorial Staff probably breaks out in hives when they read or hear it because, well, you know, it's just so EVIL and Kommunist!

CobaltGeorge
138668
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CobaltGeorge 11/03/13 - 07:43 am
5
1

deestafford, myfather15, RM

What more can be said, you have covered this topic completely. Well done.

scoobynews
3697
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scoobynews 11/03/13 - 07:59 am
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Never cared for Brand.

Now I know why. I will never spend a dime of my money to watch any movie he is in no matter how minor a character he plays. He is an idiot.

deestafford
18262
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deestafford 11/03/13 - 08:19 am
5
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My life must be dull and unfulfilled

because I never heard of him until I saw the clip of his ignorant rant. If that's what passes for entertainment nowadays, let me go watch paint dry instead.

Bizkit
21901
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Bizkit 11/03/13 - 08:55 am
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Russel Brand is just touting

Russel Brand is just touting cliche's he's heard. The man is mess because a terrible upbringing, psychological issues, and drug abuse. He isn't even educated-he was kicked out of school. Why would anyone put any credence to such a total wreck of a human being. The irony is he belittles a system he rode the coat tails for success in his career on TV and latter film. He is just ignorant-period. Oh that leaves room for denial. He is an idiot. There that covers it.

Bizkit
21901
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Bizkit 11/03/13 - 08:56 am
5
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When the communist and

When the communist and progressives wake up to post like Godoy, Bod, etc. we can listen to their agreement with Brand.

justthefacts
17992
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justthefacts 11/03/13 - 09:16 am
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Biz

Correct. We have several contributors on here that are in complete lockstep with Brand's sick view.

deestafford
18262
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deestafford 11/03/13 - 09:37 am
3
0

People like him could benefit from taking the Hillsdale

free online course on economics being offered currently. The latest session was on profit and how it operates in the market place and its benefits if made. Greed is also discussed. Their courses are divided into 10 sessions of one each week which one can watch at their leisure. If interested go to www.hillsdale.edu and sign up. They also offer two courses on The Constitution and two on American History.

ymnbde
7498
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ymnbde 11/03/13 - 09:49 am
4
0

we should each empower our own inner McCarthy

they've all been given a script
and if they want their jobs, they better read it
just like it was written
puppets on a million dollar string
they live in a "people" zoo
and lecture their visitors
on how the real world should be
we let a small influential command in Washington control the education
of every poor kid in the country
school choice is the educational equivalent of capitalism
and what we have now is the educational equivalent of socialism
the rich kids get school choice
the poor kids get big government indoctrination
and a life of ignorance and government dependence

faithson
4601
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faithson 11/03/13 - 10:31 am
0
5

unbridled capitalism is the problem

America has given capitalism a bad name around the world. There is nothing wrong with profit, just it's unbridled accumulation in the hands of so few. The banking crisis of '08 is a prime example. what I find interesting is that so many look at capitalism as a sort of 'religion' with all the inherit 'dogma' that goes along with it. No stepping back and taking a good look at what's good and bad about the 'philosophy', the Hillsdale courses referred to above being a prime example of a one sided discussion.

deestafford
18262
Points
deestafford 11/03/13 - 10:56 am
3
0

Faith

What is a better system? Can you give a historical example of a system that has done more to further welfare of people than free market capitalism? If as you say "unbridled" and "what's good and bad"...who determines the criteria for each of these terms? Some central group of planners who are smarter than the rest of the population? Who decides when someone has made too much profit and is greedy? Who decides how the rich spend their money?

harley_52
19524
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harley_52 11/03/13 - 11:05 am
2
0
Bizkit
21901
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Bizkit 11/03/13 - 11:05 am
3
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Yeah a real bad name-that's

Yeah a real bad name-that's why China has state-capitalism and is a growing super power. Russia the same. Most communist nations are now adopting capitalism-because it is SO BAD. Capitalism and socialism go very well together as it does democracy.

ymnbde
7498
Points
ymnbde 11/03/13 - 11:09 am
5
0

shackled capitalism is the problem

America has given capitalism a good name around the world. There is nothing wrong with government, just it's unbridled power in the hands of so few. The banking crisis of '08 is a prime example, because government altered the risk/reward relationship between lenders and borrowers that existed for hundreds of years. what I find interesting is that so many look at government as a sort of 'religion' with all the inherit 'dogma' that goes along with it. No stepping back and taking a good look at what's good and bad about the 'philosophy', the Hillsdale courses referred to above being a prime example of a reality based discussion.

dichotomy
26635
Points
dichotomy 11/03/13 - 11:10 am
4
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Capitalism (unbridled or not)

Capitalism (unbridled or not) is the ONLY thing that works. The Soviet Union found that out. So did the Chinese. The British have figured out that Socialist economics didn't work and they are now discovering that socialist health care does not work.....along with the Canadians. No system is perfect, but capitalism is the only economic system that works. As for the 1% problem, I have no problem with that as long as MOST people have jobs that provide a good life.....and capitalism here continues to provide that even while being strangled by the current socialist regime. The people who REALLY control all of the money are the ones that get up and go to work everyday and the rest.....well they curse the 1% and sit around waiting for the next government handout and scheming about how to elect someone that will give it to them.

But if and when they win the fight and everybody gets on the government dole, the 1% will still be there deciding how much to reduce the handouts because nobody is working. WE ARE HALF OF THE WAY THERE NOW and we have already killed our health care system which will now die a slow death over the next few years.

I like it a lot better with the 1% are in charge of a CAPITALIST system.

deestafford
18262
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deestafford 11/03/13 - 11:28 am
4
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ymnbde

Excellent, excellent turn about.

I wish people would look at how the wealthy such as Carnegie, Rockefeller (the original not the ones of today who feel ashamed of their ancestor but still live off the fortune he created), Ford and the like changed the world and increased the standard of living for millions and millions. As a matter of fact, Carnegie loaned the federal government money when it was in a big financial bind.

The sad thing about all of those listed above is how their decedents didn't have the same entrepreneurial spirit and drive as the original models. I guess it just goes to show what happens when someone else takes care of your needs and you don't have to drive and work hard. Of course, the drive and hard work of the originals was partly motivated by taking care of the welfare of the future family members so they would not have to struggle.

harley_52
19524
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harley_52 11/03/13 - 11:30 am
4
0

A Very Unusal Thread...

...in here.

The Editorial itself is very good, as is usually the case, but the comments are ALL excellent. That's unusual. Usually there are a few grossly inaccurate, fiendishly misguided, pro-communist/socialist, big government posters willing to enter the fray to extol the virtues of Economic systems that ALWAYS Fail. Not, so far, today.....

Crickets....

faithson
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faithson 11/03/13 - 12:19 pm
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5

some reasonable critics found on Wikipedia

Inefficiency and waste
Some opponents criticize capitalism's perceived inefficiency. They note a shift from pre-industrial reuse and thriftiness before capitalism to a consumer-based economy that pushes "ready-made" materials.[31] It is argued that a sanitation industry arose under capitalism that deemed trash valueless; a significant break from the past when much "waste" was used and reused almost indefinitely.[31] In the process, critics say, capitalism has created a profit driven system based on selling as many products as possible.[32] Critics relate the "ready-made" trend to a growing garbage problem in which 4.5 pounds of trash are generated per person each day (compared to 2.7 pounds in 1960).[33] Anti-capitalist groups with an emphasis on conservation include eco-socialists and social ecologists.
Planned obsolescence has also been criticized as a wasteful practice under capitalism. By designing products to wear out faster than need be, new consumption is generated.[31] This would benefit corporations by increasing sales, while at the same time generating excessive waste. A well-known example is the charge that Apple designed its iPod to fail after 18 months.[34] Critics view planned obsolescence as wasteful and an inefficient use of resources.[35]

harley_52
19524
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harley_52 11/03/13 - 12:27 pm
4
0

"Some opponents criticize capitalism's perceived inefficiency. "

Of course they do.

"Some opponents" of everything criticize the other side.

If you want to discuss "inefficiency" take an honest look at other Economic systems, particularly socialism/communism where there is nothing to encourage, or compel efficiency, even in the use of human capital.

Technology is a driver of efficiency. Capitalism is a driver of technology. Efficiency drives profit. The system thrives on the improvement of efficiency.

Critics who claim otherwise either don't understand what they're talking about, or have a political agenda that overwhelms their intellect.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 11/03/13 - 12:30 pm
1
3

reasonable pro's on capitalism

Many theorists and policymakers in predominantly capitalist nations have emphasized capitalism's ability to promote economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), capacity utilization or standard of living. This argument was central, for example, to Adam Smith's advocacy of letting a free market control production and price, and allocate resources. Many theorists have noted that this increase in global GDP over time coincides with the emergence of the modern worlProponents argue that increasing GDP (per capita) is empirically shown to bring about improved standards of living, such as better availability of food, housing, clothing, and health care.[108] The decrease in the number of hours worked per week and the decreased participation of children and the elderly in the workforce have been attributed to capitalism.[109][110]
Proponents also believe that a capitalist economy offers far more opportunities for individuals to raise their income through new professions or business ventures than do other economic forms. To their thinking, this potential is much greater than in either traditional feudal or tribal societies or in socialist societies.d capitalist system.[105][106]

dahreese
4609
Points
dahreese 11/03/13 - 12:52 pm
1
4

I didn’t know whether to

Unpublished

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – at you fellows echoing one another and patting one another on the back.

The goal of capitalism is to get all you can and to heck with the guy who doesn’t get anything. Once you get him down, keep your foot on his neck and keep him there. Capitalism has no room for charity.

But, can anything better be expected from those who believe that a ‘free market’ is for real.

dahreese
4609
Points
dahreese 11/03/13 - 12:52 pm
0
4

I didn’t know whether to

Unpublished

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – at you fellows echoing one another and patting one another on the back.

The goal of capitalism is to get all you can and to heck with the guy who doesn’t get anything. Once you get him down, keep your foot on his neck and keep him there. Capitalism has no room for charity.

But, can anything better be expected from those who believe that a ‘free market’ is for real.

grouse
1582
Points
grouse 11/03/13 - 12:58 pm
0
0

Government mandates and

Unpublished

Government mandates and regulations have lifted people out of poverty and illiteracy. The factory owners and the sweatshops were more than happy to employ children and have them and the adults work long hours...

harley_52
19524
Points
harley_52 11/03/13 - 01:09 pm
3
0

"Capitalism has no room for charity."

Say what?

Wake up and smell the roses.

Corporations profit by being charitable. It helps their reputation. Reputation is vital to attract both top notch employees and paying customers. Corporations have every incentive to be charitable and they are.

Individuals with money can (and do) use some of that money to charitably improve the lot of the poor, the victims of natural disasters, and the downtrodden. The USA is the most charitable nation on earth. We are even charitable to nations who hate us. We are charitable in spite of the federal government's efforts to thwart such generosity by taxing the bejesus out of the citizenry.

Capitalism promotes charity. Communism/socialism demand charity be paid to the ruling class who decide between keeping it themselves, or distributing it to the needy. If you want to see how that works out, investigate how well our Foreign Aid dollars and goods actually make their way to the needy. Investigate how government assistance money was spent for Katrina, or other natural disasters.

dahreese
4609
Points
dahreese 11/03/13 - 01:18 pm
0
4

Corporations write off their

Unpublished

Corporations write off their "charity."

harley_52
19524
Points
harley_52 11/03/13 - 01:26 pm
3
0

"Corporations write off their "charity.""

...do you comprehend the meaning of that statement?

Does that make it evil?

Does that make the recipients of such charity less enriched?

Is society better off encouraging charity than discouraging it?

Are you suggesting we should amend the tax laws to disallow them to "write it off?"

If we did, would they stop giving? Why? Would it still improve their reputation?

How does the "write off" of charity affect profit margins?

dahreese
4609
Points
dahreese 11/03/13 - 01:26 pm
0
4

Federal Reserve Program Is

Unpublished

Federal Reserve Program Is Socialism For The Rich ... - Firedoglake
firedoglake.com/2013/.../federal-reserve-program-is-socialism-for-the-ri...

So much for capitalism....and the ‘free market.’

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