Very nice encapsulation of our situation today. The strip is very funny; we must laugh at our own fallacies or go crazy. The growing of our own food is quite possibly just what we will be doing in the very near future.
I would agree with wahoothedruid, it is hilarious. As a matter of fact reading Dilbert reminds me to laugh... a lot! Besides being funny this particular strip did reveal a very important fact. How can you do business when no one is truthful? I imagine it can be done, it just takes the fun out of it and doesn't let you sleep well at night. Lying, and even half truths are lies, need to be nipped in the bud at ALL levels of business, government, even our personal relationships. But this will not happen as long as we believe our own welfare is all that matters. And we will always place ourselves above the next guy unless some One changes the way we think and we start depending on Him to meet all of our needs. Sorry about being so serious wahoothedruid.
Yes capitalism has its problems. But the alternatives never survive in their intended form. For example, socialism quickly transforms to corpocracy, because socialism replaces competition with govt power, where corporations that gain power in govt can easily kill the corporations that don't have power in govt.
There are many forms of govt based on the assumption that mankind is generally compassionate. And those forms of govt would work well if that were the case--including dictatorships, socialism, and communism.
However, mankind is NOT generally compassionate. He is generally greedy and power hungry. Thus we need a form of government that naturally spreads power to those most contributing to the general welfare. That's another way of saying that competition should be defended and promoted. Likewise a society that does anything that stifles competition in political and economic markets, will become less healthy. For example, you stifle political competition by moving state sovereignty to the federal govt (so that there is no longer competition among states to please the people and keep them in the state, paying taxes).
One of the main reasons the U.S. is in economic distress, is that the U.S. embraced several non-competitive practices over the last few decades. FDR used a lame excuse to make it illegal for private citizens to own gold (for the sole purpose of selling that gold to foreigners). See here: http://tiny.cc/BqsOK . Then Nixon gave us our current fiat monetary system, opening the door to rampant counterfeiting by the govt for the benefit of corporations.
Yes, when the govt prints money to give to corporations, or to pay interest, it is no different than those corporations and lenders counterfeiting massive amounts of $100 dollar bills. It is EXACTLY the same process. All that need be done is to give the people some lame excuse about it "helping" society. And, of course, the people will swallow it.
Additionally, unlike free market-ism, once socialism gains a foothold it will grow like a cancer. That's why its so important to shun even minor forms of socialism--because they might easily get out of control.
Are you people serious? Do you all live on Geek Island? Put you slide rules and pocket protectors down for a minute. This is a comic strip, and you all are debating the leasing of a machine? I want you all to go back and re-read the comic strip very slowly so it won't hurt any of you and when you get to the end, just go.."ha, ha, ha" Try it, you might like it.
Dilbert's problem is not real, as long as the machine breaks less often than once per lease payment, and the switching costs are small. If the vendor fails, then they just stop paying, either immediately or when the machine breaks. I know which one my money's on :-)