We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The problem for those of us who believe that capitalism offers the best chance we have for leading meaningful and worthwhile lives is that in this debate, the devil has always had the best tunes to play. Capitalism lacks romantic appeal. It does not set the pulse racing in the way that opposing ideologies like socialism, fascism, or environmentalism can. It does not stir the blood, for it identifies no dragons to slay. It offers no grand vision for the future, for in an open market system the future is shaped not by the imposition of utopian blueprints, but by billions of individuals pursuing their own preferences. Capitalism can justifiably boast that it is excellent at delivering the goods, but this fails to impress in countries like Australia that have come to take affluence for granted.
By perpetually raising productivity, capitalism has not only driven down poverty rates and raised life expectancy, it has also released much of humanity from the crushing burden of physical labour, freeing us to pursue ‘higher’ objectives instead. What Clive Hamilton airily dismisses as a ‘growth fetish’ has resulted in one hour of work today delivering twenty-five times more value than it did in 1850. This has freed huge chunks of our time for leisure, art, sport, learning, and other ‘soul-enriching’ pursuits. Despite all the exaggerated talk of an ‘imbalance’ between work and family life, the average Australian today spends a much greater proportion of his or her lifetime free of work than they would had they belonged to any previous generation in history.
There is another sense, too, in which capitalism has freed individuals so they can pursue worthwhile lives, and that lies in its record of undermining tyrannies and dictatorships. As examples like Pinochet’s Chile and Putin’s Russia vividly demonstrate, a free economy does not guarantee a democratic polity or a society governed by the rule of law. But as Milton Friedman once pointed out, these latter conditions are never found in the absence of a free economy.(12) Historically, it was capitalism that delivered humanity from the ‘soul-destroying’ weight of feudalism. Later, it freed millions from the dead hand of totalitarian socialism. While capitalism may not be a sufficient condition of human freedom, it is almost certainly a necessary one.
Somebody please notify the management that the US isn't a capitalist nation.
Capitalism does not tax it's population at all levels to the 60% level, nor was capitalism ever meant as a guanantor of outcomes, only opportunities. Thus what we labor under is a benign form of socialism that is simply a mechanism to guarnatee the above and redistribute the earnings of the successful to the unsuccessful.
This continual trumpeting of "capitalism" in the US gives capitalism a bad name internationally and is a bigotry perpetuated on the American public.
A long-time bull throws in the towel
Dan Sullivan's model stock portfolio is now 100% in cash
ANNANDALE, Va. (MarketWatch) -- Stock market bulls lost an important ally on Wednesday: Dan Sullivan is now convinced that we are in a major bear market.
Sullivan is editor of two newsletters, The Chartist and The Chartist Mutual Fund Letter. Sullivan has been publishing the first of these since the late 1960s, nearly 40 years ago . Very few others have been continuously editing an advisory newsletter for any where close to that long a period.
Sullivan, therefore, has seen lots of different kinds of market environments, which is why we should place more than the usual weight on what his intuition tells him. And right now, as he said in an interview Thursday afternoon, his "gut feeling" is that we're in a bear market that we will need to let "run its course.
That's Sullivan's way of saying that the decline he now expects is not likely to be a small one, either in terms of duration or magnitude of losses.
As recently as the publication date of the last issue of Sullivan's newsletter, which was in early January, he was still bullish on the stock market's primary trend. What changed in the interim?
Sullivan mentioned two major factors. The first is technical: In recent days, all of the major market averages convincingly broke below their August lows.
The second is the breakdown of the industry groups that were previously leading the market. Sullivan believes that each bull market is dominated by groups with exceptional relative strength, and that the bull market's end is often signaled when those groups lose that strength. As recently as early January, Sullivan had argued that these market leaders were still bucking the downdraft. He says that they are doing so no longer.
As a result, Sullivan has liquidated his two model stock portfolios and gone completely to cash. The last time he was in an all-cash position was in early April 2003, nearly five years ago.