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Capitalism and Human Rights

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ViennaSausage Posted: Thu, Mar 26 2009 1:59 AM

Thoughts on the following question:

"If unfettered capitalism is so immensely productive and efficient, shouldn't it be a relatively minor expense to provide for the human rights of everyone on earth?"

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Solomon replied on Thu, Mar 26 2009 2:02 AM

Define 'human rights'.

Diminishing Marginal Utility - IT'S THE LAW!

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Why?

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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what

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Good to know I wasn't alone in being "stumped" by the question.

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I am having a forum debate over Free Market Capitalism.

Without any other followup questions, my first impulse is to respond: "Yes, free market capitalism in the conext of a free society will provide for the human rights of life, liberty, and right to private property."

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banned replied on Thu, Mar 26 2009 3:18 AM

ViennaSausage:
"If unfettered capitalism is so immensely productive and efficient, shouldn't it be a relatively minor expense to provide for the human rights of everyone on earth?"

minor expense according to whom?

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ViennaSausage:

I am having a forum debate over Free Market Capitalism.

Without any other followup questions, my first impulse is to respond: "Yes, free market capitalism in the conext of a free society will provide for the human rights of life, liberty, and right to private property."

Well there you go.

They probably are talking about things like public education and welfare - but then, for those you need taxes, and then your capitalism isn't so unfettered anymore. So yeah, the question is nonsensical.

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DougM replied on Thu, Mar 26 2009 8:11 AM

Capitalism evolves naturally in political climates in which human rights, such as life, liberty, and property, are respected. It serves to promote human rights by providing examples of the material prosperity that results from respect for human rights. It also provides the wealth that allows people to make contributions to human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International.

Efforts by the governments of capitalist countries to go beyond this are actually counter-productive to human rights. The shipments of grain to the Soviet Union in the 1960's and 1970's freed up the resources of the Soviet government to supresss human rights and build up offensive weapons.

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evelyn replied on Sat, Mar 28 2009 12:53 AM

It may be a relatively minor expense, but where is it stated that anyone is obligated to care for anyone else?  This day in age we see parents who do not care for their own children, and vice versa. 

My wages come from my labor and it's up to me to decide how I want to spend or invest my wages.  Don't get me wrong, I do donate and give at my discretion to those I choose and I like doing it, but how can anyone make someone else give up their property (which a wage from their labor is)?  Besides the government, of course, with coersion.  It might be a minor expense, but how is it my responsibility?  Simply because I'm working I'm responsible to care for others who aren't working, for whatever reason?  That's punishment for being productive, which is what we live in now. 

For me, I just don't like it when it sounds as if people assume that if you're productive and making money you'll just give it to those who need help.  Because how is that different from thinking, well, if something happens the government will help me?  Well, if something happens, all these people with money will help me.  Maybe, maybe not, but don't assume others will take care of you in this world, government or private individuals. 

And is it a human's right to depend upon another person?  Or is it the right of a human to be depended upon?  I may believe I have the right to depend upon another, but they have no obligation to support me.  And it's not my human right to have others depend upon me for my labor and production to support their survival. 

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