What happened to value production and voluntary trade of value for value?
Reader comment on: How Goldman Backed Moore's 'Capitalism' Movie
Submitted by Leslie G Harper (United States), Nov 19, 2009 15:35
In Michael Moore's movie, the attempts to define capitalism entirely missed the point that capitalism doesn't consist of lining one's pockets with money by any legal or illegal means. It isn't owning stock. It isn't getting or making a loan to start a business. Capitalism is free trade of value for value. A capitalist country has to allow producers and traders freedom to trade. It also has to protect them by laws and a justice system from fraud, scams, chicanery, extortion and the like as well as from breach of contract. It has to keep them from damaging unrelated parties in their production activities (so a producer doesn't gain wealth at the expense of unrelated third parties). But most importantly, values have to be produced.
Capitalism is not about money. At the bottom of the chain goods or services have to be produced - either original value, or "value added" - to be consumed later. These values are then traded by choice by the owners, for values they want more than those they've got. Getting what you want more than whatever you give in trade is what creates profit. That's capitalism. Anyone who gains wealth by appropriating other people's values, but without producing values or trading values, is NOT a capitalist. Capitalism is about goods and services, i.e., value.
I enjoyed Moore's movie, though, because it did point up a lot of people masquerading as capitalists who engage in various forms of fraud, scams, chicanery, damage to unrelated parties, and legalized extortion to line their pockets. What's the point of amassing the biggest pile of ill-begotten fiat money, if that's all you can say you do?
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