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why crony capitalism isn't capitalism

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by RedPaddy, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. RedPaddy

    RedPaddy New Member

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    (Humor) Klavan on why crony capitalism isn’t capitalism « Sister Toldjah

    One of the occasional frustrations I experience happens when I discuss economics and the economy with liberal friends. When I praise capitalism and free markets, they point to corrupt practices by business and its government allies as proof that capitalism can’t work, and that we need more government regulation to make the system “more fair.” (“Fair” must be the new “F-word.”) When I counter that the problem is government intervention and that the picking of winners and losers is what creates the cronyism, they just roll their eyes in pity at my lack of understanding and we go on to the next topic....

    KLAVAN: Picking Losers, Why Cronyism Isn't Capitalism - YouTube
     
  2. kermit

    kermit Legend

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    Having worked in business for over a decade and having a degree in business administration I will you that free market capitalism is a unicorn (talked about and understood, but never existed). If I own a business I'm not insterested in the free market, I'm interested in gaining market share and driving my competition out of business. To that end business leaders will use whatever tools they have at their disposal; that includes bribing politician for special favors then that's what happens.

    So to say that crony capitalism isn't capitalism is cannard as crony capitalism is one of the results when business leaders are given too much reign.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  3. RedPaddy

    RedPaddy New Member

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    why am I not surprised that illegal activities are sometimes excused by members of certain groups?
     
  4. kermit

    kermit Legend

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    I didn't exuse illegal activity, rather I said illegal activity is one of the results of the free market.

    I should expand on that. The end result of bribing politicians is for business leaders to change what is and is not legal for them to do. For example, we had a case a few years ago in my area in which a developer wanted to buy some land. He was unable to reach an agreement with the landowner. Shortly afterward, the land was seized by public domain for a projected that then got cancelled. The developer then bought the land for a fraction of is value. While it was never proven that he bribed local politicians it's pretty much accepted as fact locally (the proposed project was ridiculous on it's face). The end result is that he was legally able to buy the land. IRCC, the prososed project was a river park, but the problem with that is this land is up a 50 ft cliff from the river.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    On point with the analysis. When things are really "free" without any restriction, there's a world of mess that is also open and always comes alive.

    Buisnesses left to themselves never give people options---and will eventually lead to corruption. The Founding Fathers were very much in favor of others who had economic wisdom....with folks like Adam Smith being used as reference for some of their concepts...yet even Adam Smith, when talking about Capitalism, made this plain when he noted how there was a need for governement to intervene to a point to ensure balance...but not to get too involved where things are thrown off. "The Hesitant Hand: Taming Self-Interest" is an excellent read on the issue, as it discusses Smith's views when it comes to self-preservation and the realities of how Smith was not necessarily for government intervention to the extreme while also examing the reality of how government does have a role in coming in to lessen the bad results done by self-interested behavior.

    When it comes to the many discussions on "The Wealth of Nations" and Smith's views on "The Invisible Hand", his view was that interference of government in business and economic affairs should be minimal. For I understand that Smith made clear that unrestrained greed is in no way beneficial to a nation--though his principles were taken out of context/used wrongly by others. I realize that he advocated markets with more freedom than were available in mid-18th century, alongside criticizing the regulation/interferences of legislators. Laizze-Faire politics is not something that was foreign to Smith. Even though he did not invent the term "Laissez Faire", he was very much familiar with it/supported the concept in "The Wealth of Nations in 1776"..especially when it came to his advocating a free enterprise system established in private ownership and not hindered by governmental bureaucracy. The principle of the "invisible hand" is what the essence of Laissez Faire is about (i.e. "market economics," "free enterprise", "free competition" , etc). And when the term's used today, it's the case that his critique of government intervention in the economy is often taken by others to the extreme in saying the MARKET is never to be tampered with by government.

    There's a tendency, IMHO, for things to always get out of hand when there's not enough true vigilance occurring and others. And with all of the demonization toward things focusing on government regulation (which is a part of what many camps in socialism teach), it seems odd that there's resistance when many for capitalism/not having centralized government often advocated the need for such rather than throwing out terminology like "socialism" or "communist" and other things as an issue.

    In speaking of government duty Adam Smith said, "erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works which may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society." & "are of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals." Adam Smith recognized certain industries do not have nature which a market is the best way of allocating the resources. Thus, he indicated that there are places other than property rights and national protection for a government to be involved.

    Indeed, without government there is anarchy---but too much government and its oppressive. The people self-governing themselves without any kind of restraint is JUST as damaging as only a select group of people in power determining the shots...or a governement so big it cannot do anything in time. Nonetheless, limited governement with checks and balances did not mean the government held the states accountable when it came to rules/regulations federally that affected ALL of them.

    Limited socialistic policies are benefical…..and it has never been the case that absolute capitalism without interference by government in some sort of capacity has been beneficial. In example, if capitalism based on competition means “mutual beneficial cooperation”, I must square with what occured in our nation when the Slave Trade was going on and innocent men/women and children were all seperated from one another/abused while companies were competing with one another on who could sell a slave at a better price—all the while those benefiting from the profits claiming how good the “American Dream was” and how capitalism was good for the sake of the nation” (as hey, slaves were needed for the economy of the South and other means).

    States did things differently and all cooperated with one another…including on the issue of the Middle Passage/Different Trading Ship Unions and how they all worked together due to the reality that the cash crop of Tobbaco was using up the soil in the SOuth and Cotton became the new cash crop afterward–though it required work and therefore the states got into the buisness. And from there, as there was no protection, things go messy…..from the man at the docks who gets to compete with the man next door at setting the prices for how much it costs for boats to land….to the man transporting the slaves…to the man in charge of AUCTIONING the slaves, to the people who chose to buy/use the slaves in their homes/plantations…to the men paid due to their services for “training the slaves/breaking their wills” through any means necessary…and of course, for those who owned slaves, one can recall the slaves being sent into the market places to buy things for their masters/the plantation and for those not slaves they could rejoice at the benefits of “capitalism” and how “free” things were (as slaves weren’t really considered real people of value who needed to be taken care of).

    The laws prevented many from speaking out against slavery since it was a buisness—with it later taking h Government Involvement to make a difference (which thankfully was used to begin the ending of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln). But at some point, people had to realize that the government not being involved to stop the process was very much damaging. The same with other issues in which people sell things in our nation which have DAMAGED many and all of them claiming capitalism/the right to “make a buck”—whether with the Pornagraphy Industry in the U.S , Human Trafficking, Prostitution, or with Ciggarettes/Drugs or even other things that’d be moreso found within the Black Market and Criminal Activities.

    One can quickly think back to 1930′s and the Development of Organized Crime and how profit/competition fueled things from greed to extortion to embezzelment and a host of other means….including making a profit at any cost. Some of it often seemed necessary for others who felt that many buisnesses wouldn't hire others and essentially left them with "Black Market" options to go with (if remembering folks like Bumby Johnson, more shared here/here ). The same dynamics with what often occurs whenever they’re “Mom & Pops” stores that’re owned by many in the working poor class and larger corporations come in and run their mega-stores, effectively driving out smaller buisnesses and causing harm on others—sometimes resulting in revolts and acts of violence…and hence, why there were laws made by government to ensure that monopolies would not occur. And the list goes on. Capitalism relies on absolute freedom, otherwise it becomes regulated.

    A “free market” has no restrictions. Once restrictions of any kind are imposed, it is a “regulated market”, not a “free” one. In a truly FREE market, with no restrictions enforced, accumulation of wealth is the name of the game. That means I can accumulate wealth in the cheapest, easiest way possible. If I can sell child porno and make money, it is OK. Or I can sell addictive drugs. If it I want a new Lexus, and it costs $50,000 to buy one, but I find someone who will steal one for me for $5,000, then it makes sense for me to pay someone $5,000 to steal one for me. A lot of “free market” advocates will say that a true “free market” also protects the rights of ownership.

    So how does that happen? Through some form of GOVERNMENT. And who defines rights of ownership? Well, whomever it is, they must get the GOVERNMENT that is going to enforce the rights of ownership to agree with them on what the rights of ownership actually are, so that they can enforce those rights.

    And how will they enforce these rights? Through whatever means necessary, up to and including physical violence and coercion. Add into the mix that since in a capitalist economy MONEY is the measure of wealth, one can see where the entities with the most money can determine what the government believes “the rights of ownership” actually are. They can then basically use the government to enforce their own version of “the rights of ownership” while violating someone else’s idea of the “right of ownership”.

    IMHO, capitalism only works because it exists in a larger framework of socialist government intervention. If I could find a person who is able to steal the milk and sell it to me for 50 cents instead of $3, that’s the cheaper way to go. However, the reason that there are no people stealing milk is because the government intervenes and says, “No, no, there will be no stealing, because we consider that to be a violation of ownership, and we will make this battle not between the would-be thief and the vendor, but the would-be thief and all of society, and we will punish such thieves with societally imposed criminal charges and corporal punishment.”

    And the reason that such a government exists is because people all pool their money in the form of taxes and pay it to the government so the government will provide this service for them collectively. So, when people often discuss capitalism, IMHO they often seem to be talking about capitalism blended with socialism, not pure unadulterated capitalism. In pure capitalism, with no influence from socialism, there would be no government involved. So, if I could find a way to steal the milk, it would be cheaper than paying the $3. Or, if someone else could steal the milk and sell it to me for $2 then I’m better off paying that person. So “capitalism” is worthless if it’s not blended with socialism, at least a little bit to have a government that enforces certain aspects of “mutual cooperation”.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing the info. Capitalism can be corrupted just as with any other system:)


    Thankfully, not all Capitalists are for the ideology that comes with Croney Capitalism.


    Majora Carter has done an excellent job of noting that:

     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  7. RedPaddy

    RedPaddy New Member

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    OP seems to be accurate.

     
  8. TemperateSeaIsland

    TemperateSeaIsland Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi

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    It doesn't need to be illegal bribing either, a friend of mine works for a company that's trying to make inroads into the US market but their main rivals over there are lobbying hard to ban the import of their product because "it's a threat to national interest" due it having applications in military tech.
     
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Without having restrictions of some sort, what you eventually have is a lot of mess...and there are many ways of seeing that today. ..especially when seeing how people are still making money and the money they're making is often comoing out of the black market, including a lot of the darker things no one wants to talk on. Human trafficking, sexual immorality (pornagraphy ), drugs/narcotics dealers, and smuggling being one of them...




    There are good concepts in capitalism as there are in other socio-economic systems such as socialism, and most people realize it takes a blend of tools and techniques from each to form an efficient, productive society.

    That said, there needs to be consistency in examining what has happened when capitalism without restraint has been allowed to prosper. I’m reminded of the work of Eric Williams in his book entitled “Capitalism & slavery“….an amazing read discussing how “slavery was not born of racism: rather racism was the consequence of slavery.” Williams outlined the shifts from enslavement of the local Indian populations, to the use of white convict or indentured labour to black slavery. In Williams’ words, the origin of black slavery lay with economic, not racial motives…believing that “It had to do not with the colour of the labourer, but the cheapness of the labour.”



    For other good reads on the issue,
    [​IMG]







    According to Williams, Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams’s study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution was to many a refutation of traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He demonstrated in rather convincing ways that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. And many other scholars have adopted the same mentality.

    For more on Williams’ work, one can go here or here.
     
  10. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Junior Member

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    I guess the real-world question is, could "pure" capitalism not skewed by government intervention really even exist?

    Pure, laissez-faire free market capitalism does not exist and probably never can. As long as there is a capitalist system there will be capitalists buying politicians and votes that pad their bottom line, put competitors at a disadvantage and allow them to jerk customers and employees around. That's why capitalism in practice is so flawed even when capitalism in its theoretical pure free-market form sounds good. And this is why capitalism must be regulated to a reasonable degree, particularly to limit the ability to engage in "crony capitalism" or "corporatism". Unfortunately the folks who make these rules benefit from all the money these corporate interests contribute to them (thanks, Citizens United), so we won't see any reforms any time soon.
     
  11. Illuminaughty

    Illuminaughty Drift and Doubt

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    Unregulated Capitalism naturally evolves into crony capitalism. The far right understanding of "true capitalism" is utopian and will never exist. The rich will simply use their power and wealth to bring about the cronyism if there are not strong regulations and safe guards to prevent it. Such safe guards are inevitably interpreted as "socialism" and rejected by the adherents of right wing "true capitalism".
     
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    :thumbsup:

    Combining a completely unregulated market with democracy is simply a way to hand control of the country over to the plutocrats. Once they get their people in they will just remake the government, it's size, scope, etc.. to their own liking. When too much money finds it's way into the hands of a small group of people they will find a way to pervert the system and abuse it while telling everyone else that people need to "play fair" and using language that seems concerned for "freedom" when the truth is that it's political bait-and-switch to give themselves a cover for how they don't even play fairly by the system. For money is power...and too much money in too few hands is a natural recipe for disaster.

    It's one of the reasons why many have often noted that the U.S has never truly had anything remotely close to a truly "free market" ..as the people who are plutocrats have been present in the founding of America since Day 1.

    Many things were often done in the name of "freedom/democracy" (translation: people went against the ideologies of those in control of the levels of freeom that other ruling elites were comfortable with ). Noam Chomsky actually did some good review on the issue of how often people have the wrong concept of freedom with "free markets" and how much of it is never truly free.

    America Is Not A Democracy - Noam Chomsky




    Noam Chomsky: "Free Markets?" - YouTube

    Noam Chomsky - Free Market Fantasies - Capitalism In The Real ...
     
  13. Illuminaughty

    Illuminaughty Drift and Doubt

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    Exactly.
     
  14. kermit

    kermit Legend

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    Mostly, but it also says this:

    By saying this the OP shows a lack of understanding about interconnectedness of the free market and crony capitalism. Crony capitalism can only be eliminated in a properly regulated market. Too much or too little regulation both kill competition and lean to crony capitalism.
     
  15. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Junior Member

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    A truly "free market" is a theoretical construct that leads to contradicting itself.

    Think about it. In a free market with NO government intervention, some businesses could grow so big, so strong, so dominant, that it can easily crush its competition, whether buying them out, using predatory pricing or other size-and-wealth advantages that their smaller competition can't compete with. Companies could collude openly to destroy competition, too. No one would even TRY to create a competitor because it would be obviously doomed to fail.

    And at that point you no longer *have* a free market with competition -- You have a monopoly which is no longer subject to market forces. This is why there was such a push in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to rein in trusts and monopolies. They are poison to free markets, and ironically they can result from a market that is "too free".

    Better to have a 90% "free" market which limits corporate power, dominance and "cronyism" than have a theoretical 100% free market which will inevitably turn into monopoly and/or plutocracy -- the antithesis of a "free market". And IMO, we'd be a lot better off if we didn't scream about the other 10% being "socialism", which is becoming the new McCarthyism.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  16. kermit

    kermit Legend

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    One of the few placed is the world that has a truly unregulated market in Somalia (strange that free market capitalist also seem to ignore them). In Somalia, cronyism and corruption are so rampant that the military and police are essentially on the payroll of the most powerful business leaders and are used to literally kill competition.

    I once heard it stated that in Somalia that bribery and murder are mainstream business practices because in the absense of a government they aren't illegal.
     
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    If people were inherently inclined to help others out and good, then unregulated capitalism would not be something to do. However, human nature shows otherwise EVERY time and has done so throughout history. This is why what often has been done in the name of "free market" and sharing has simply been a matter of plutocrats gaining more control over things as time progresses..

    And the issue impacts all on a small level since many of the resources we use daily are freely thrown on the backs of others to deal with when it comes to waste-----or when it comes to using resources from other places to make the products we use all the time here in the U.S. ...and not many catch that. The U.S is obligated to stop talking about the ways Americans work hard to better their future and yet we often import much of our waste to other nations as if it's their responsibility to handle our junk....with the benefit of "market demand" being what causes a lot of problems.






    For another practical example, What you speak of is a part of a much larger and global issue going on when it comes to the ways wages are utilized around the world and cheap labor is done without proper compensation.​

    I worked at Caribou Coffee for some time and got to see that reality first hand. Grew up getting used to the taste of coffee and coming to like it (even though I use alot of sweets in it). However, although I enjoy it and have worked at a Coffee shop (Caribou) for some time, I must say that it is a bit disturbing to see how addictive it can become.​

    To consider the many ways that something that is a drug has become so accepted made me a bit unsettled. Moreover, it was a bit bothersome seeing the many ways in which coffee has been utilized to do ALOT of damage globally when it comes to many of the dangerous things done in trading/growing it. ​


    There was an excellent book I was able to read years ago entitled "Every Day Justice" that really helped me to see some of the ways coffee can be just as damaging as cocaine.....as seen here.​




    [​IMG]
    To see how many farmers don't get paid fairly and how many have literally been damaged with the amount of coffee they've been forced to produce was shocking---and yet we in the U.S have no problem drinking our coffee as if it didn't mean anything. Fair Trade coffee is what I'd prefer nowadays that I realize how many aren't really given their due... ​








    Additionally, many coffee farmers have often had to switch from farming coffee beans to the cocoa trade (from which cocaine derives) and have been forced into the drug trade since they were not paid fairly for their work....and anyone familar with the drug trade economy is already aware of how much destruction has arisen from that.​



    Thankfully, other organizations are seeking to address this...and it's one of the reasons why I was glad for working at Caribou since their "Rainforest Alliance" program does alot of work on the matter.​



    As much as I love a good cup of coffee/brew, I have to to keep in mind how much the drink seems to be serving to do much evil all around the world.​



    For a good documentary on the matter, one can go online and look up the documentary entitled Black Gold. ​











    And for further reference:​



    For another example, in reading the book "Everyday Justice", I was surprised to see the demands we often put on produce/veggies creates conditions even in the U.S akin to what one would expect in the days of SLAVERY/plantations. In 2010, I went with my best bud to Florida..and its still shocking to consider how many tomato farms limit others to slave-like conditions, with no fair wages and inhumane treatement of workers when it comes to chemicals they have to work with without protection to produce the tomatoes we enjoy. The US government has repeatedly uncovered slavery rings among farms in Florida, and in 2008, five farm owners were prosecuted for beating tomato harvesters ...with many cases of sexual harrassment on the women, who were migrant workers and forced into silence.​






    Taco Bell, which is one of the leading industries demanding tomatoes, was implicated in many cases for their working with these same farms---knowingly allowing it to continue as long as they got their produce on time. It was exposed recently..and only of late have they begun to try addressing the problem. But for many, if you tell them about it, what's the response? No one cares really​




    Because when people want a "free market" to get whatever product they're after at a cheap price/low expense, the ends justify the means...​


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    For more info, one can go online and look up an article under the name of the following:​




    . After coming back from a Mission trip to Michigan last July and working at the migrant farms there...seeing how many are abandoned and people often complaining on "government being too big" don't care about the ways government ALLOWS them to benefit from corrupt markets if they get products they want at any cost.....I'm sorry, but that makes me SICK.



    In free markets, nothing is ever truly free...​
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    The whole country is sick. Profit for me, "by any means necessary" has been mistaken for patriotism...and people don't even recognize who the real enemies are. One more reason why I often note that the type of country we live in is a plutocracy where patriotism is romatic for the working poor/lower and middle class while in reality your loyalty is rewarded as far as those with the money approve. It's always will be about the money, no matter where you go...





    [​IMG]

    For more on the issue:




    Democracy Science Capitalism is definately one of the best places to go for more info on the issue, as it concerns the plutocracy we live in and how it often sets the boundaries for how much can really be done in the nation....

    And this has been going on for a LONG Time (decades in the making since the mid 1900s). Essentially, all you're seeing is a mini form of black market politics at work and trying to gain legitimacy in the larger organizations /look good and have plausible denial when it comes to being suspected...much like front companies are via organized crime syndicates when nice establishments to provide for the community (i.e. grocery store, toy shop, bakery, etc) are often used to do shady dealings for the people higher up-----and those who are supposed to go after them don't do anything because of the resources that indirectly or directly come their way...causing them to look the other way if they see things. And when the smaller groups are doing the same, the cry for shutting down injustice is raised..... and people are punished while not staying true to the principle they've violated because their hands are in the Cookie jar as well.

    Some good resources for study:
    Regardless of whether you're Republican or Democrat, the reality as it seems is that there's lack of real liberty present in all sides whenever greed is present due to human nature/sin. Both sides want to have control, one side being for BIG Government running things and the other side being for BIG Buisness/Corporations running things....and in both cases, people fund it on the sides for the sake of keeping control. In the words of Frances Moore Lappe, “To save the democracy we thought we had, we must take democracy to where it’s never been"......
     
  19. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Excellent points. For me, when I think on the issue of "free" markets and how they've often played out, what comes to mind immediately is that historical practice has not always been beneficial to others who sought to address it.

    There's the ways many blacks were treated by the government and why they often don't trust the government. If you've ever heard of something known as "Black Wallstreet", you'll understand what I'm saying. In 1908 the Greenwood Heights community in Tulsa, Oklahoma was established. It was known as “the Negro Wallstreet” and was comparable in affluence to Beverly Hills today. About 15,000 African-Americans lived in this neighbourhood. The Greenwood business district boasted around 600 African-American owned, successful businesses including modest two-seat barber shops to family-run grocery stores. It was one of the most concentrated African-American business communities in America. BlackWallStreet was amongst the most successful BLACK-Owned buisnesses in history in the early 1900s... something which gave much competition amongst other buisness...but was later torn down in white mob violence over a miscommunication. When resources were asked for and help, calls were ignored...just as occurred before (if investigating the case of Rosewood Massecure where another prosperous black community was wiped out).

    Many realized that the calls for trusting in government only went so far when there were others in the government favoring businesses that would benefit from allowing a Negro business to be wiped out....and that no matter how much they grew prosperous in their own market (especially when it came to keeping money in the community/doing businesses amongst one another rather than doing things on the terms of other white businesses who didn't want to play fair--more here and here), their market would not be treated properly so long as there was bias in the overall markets by people who used the government to enforce the avoidance of respecting property rights. For the government would come in to aid you if you were a group it happened to favor for its own reasons----but apart from that, there was no need to expect real support.

    And that goes especially for others who were wanting the government to help by respecting its rights to property enforcement and not taking over their buisness to "protect it" or leaving them alone when they needed help while bending over backward to help other buisnesses who had their hands deep pocket.

    It's one of the reasons many blacks were advocating for Segregation/Becoming Seperatists at one point (Malcom X and Marcus Garvey amongst the greatest voices), as they realized the ways government often had NO interest in helping the black community unless things were done on the terms of the government---and many became fearful of the ways many blacks were becoming either militant or outright rejecting of what government could offer. Some became fearful of blacks who throughout the early 1900s decided to support more of a communist mindset since they were treated well/invited over many times to those areas.....and the government consistently came against share-croppers coming together/forming unions or communal groups (more shared here and here)..
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  20. abdAlSalam

    abdAlSalam Bearded Marxist

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    Furthermore, isn't the "free hand" of the market something that Adam Smith mentioned only in passing?
     
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