What an interesting series of incorrect statements. To think that the left is taken seriously by anyone. The high points:
Alceste said "It wasn't socialism that made companies fire so many workers that such a large proportion of the population couldn't afford their mortgages." Interesting how he got cause and effect backwards with this statement. The mortgage crisis happended while we were are very low levels of unemployement. The mortgage crisis was a major contributing factor to the economic downturn, which then caused a rise in the unemployement rate to levels not seen since the Carter administration.
Bashar327 said "And thus ended the ideology of deregulation and laissez-faire economics" which is a perfect example of the Big Lie. Regulatory spending and the amount of regulations vastly increased under the Bush administration. If you want to talk about how Bush protected us from terrorists, that's a different argument. But saying that Bush was a limited government, low regulation President is just plain wrong.
Purple Bobby said "I don't see Capitalism being directly related to competition." One of the primarly components to capitalism is free entry into the market. In other words, if you do something wrong, then a competitor can just crop up and take away your market share.
The comments about trust being essential to capitalism, or to civilization, are directly on point.
(And, yes, it was funny. But a funny strip that also provokes discussion is even better than just a funny strip.)
wahoothedruid can take a flying leap. Of course I found the strip funny, and so did most everybody discussing this, but one has a right to discuss the "problem" as it happens in real world and possible solutions.
OK,OK,OK,OK , From now on before we discuss anything we have to write we thought the strip was either funny or not, so we don't get remonstrated by the likes of a fake online druid who has appointed itself as dispenser of humor moderator.
capitalism is about trust but is also about lying. Why does anyone believe in the value of fiat money? Isn't fiat money a complete crock? You can't exchange it for gold or silver (specie is also a load of crock, when you think of it). Why not call a spade a spade and give up on money and capitalism? Because we'd all be up the creek without a paddle or a canoe and beneath the veneer of civilization, we'd all revert to modern day savagery. No idyllic barter system, it'd be Cormac McCarthy's The Road in no time at all. We have to believe the lies to keep civilization going. That's why everybody freaks when system breaks down, i.e. trust goes out the window and takes a long extended holiday.
I was also bothered by fleem's description - I don't see Capitalism being directly related to competition or being good for competition: capitalism being private ownership of capital, surely this leads to the owners/gatekeepers stifling competition, unfair/unbalanced competition, monopolies, etc.
I agree, I think, Socialism (being state rather than public ownership of capital) give too much power to the state officials, hence leads to corruption, nepotism, and so on.
So what is the middle way?
It seems useful for the state to sponsor big capital projects like road/rail networks, or could competing regional governments agree with their neighbours to build something mutually useful?
Trust is the key, without trust the overheads suck up the profit. I don't know how true this story, I heard, is, but here it is.
"In the continent of Africa, one country was trusted by the others. Business deals were overseen by this country and economic growth was positive. Unfortunately, France invaded this trusted country and the trust was lost. After that, the continent of Africa went it to economic decline."