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paulkienitz's Journal
paulkienitz's Journal
April 28, 2015


There's all kinds of other disingenuous lumping-togethering that gets done when someone wants to defend stuff they do... democracy = the two party system, free enterprise = deregulation, liberty = not paying taxes, and weirdest of all, capitalism is Christian.

April 28, 2015

a distinction that Wall Street doesn't want us to make

We usually hear the terms "entrepreneurship", "free enterprise", and "capitalism" lumped together as if they're all the same thing. But they aren't. They are three separate things.

Entrepreneurship is when you start a small business and hope it can expand beyond mere self-employment. Free enterprise is open competition without barriers or protections. And capitalism... that's when an investor or speculator takes ownership of other people's productivity, in exchange for cash they may or may not actually have.

Why do these three always get conflated? Because capitalists want what they do to seem as valuable and legitimate and necessary as entrepreneurship and free enterprise are. Because they want you to think they're job creators -- a description which is valid for entrepreneurs. Because they want us to see their games as being about freedom and openness, instead of as a narrowing of power and privilege.

Don't buy it. We respect free enterprise and entrepreneurship, but that doesn't mean we have to respect Wall Street's version of capitalism. It's not at all the same thing.

April 27, 2015

We've been undervaluing inflation for decades

Consumer goods made by machines get cheaper. Real wages drop but you can still afford to fill your house with junk. You don't see how much earning power you've really lost until you try to buy something that can't be made by a robot or a third-world laborer, such as an education or a house or a hospital stay. Wages aren't just stagnant, they've been driven downward by a huge distance. They hide this fact by basing the inflation index on consumer prices for cars and TVs and stuff, which cost far less than they used to because it takes far fewer person-hours to make each unit than used to be needed.

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,288

About paulkienitz

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

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