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Subject: Unregulated Greed; a sad state of the human psyche...
fall out    10/6/2008 6:56:31 PM
A lot of these problems now occuring with the global financial and economic system is in part due to too many (affluent) people placing greed and the never ending thirst for fatter profits over prudent investing and regulated and steady asset and profit building. The worst now is that us, as in the humbled taxpayers are now going to pay not just with money in order to bail out these scum but many may also indirectly lose their job/life savings and what happens, how do we fix it? Just pump more money into these areas...and what do you think will happen? Not sure if anyone heard about how much money Richard Fuld (head of the firm) took home from the now failed Lehman Brothers investment firm over the last 8 years? $300m USD since 2000!!! Believe it or not he admitted that during the time he was pleading with congress and the federal treasury for a bail out he also requested another multi-million bonus! Not sure about you guys but to be honest this stuff makes me incredibly angry and sick...these pr(cks take home more money in one bonus than the majority of the world's workers take home in a lifetime of hard work and yet the state generally on the whole leaves them alone, if not encourages them to speculate more investments, etc. Capitalism hey, what a disgusting, disgraceful part of human history...oh how I would love for real socialism/communism to take a firm hold in Australia and around the world. You never know, we might actually then start addressing some real issues such as climate change, global poverty and hunger, gender inbalance in the workforce (and pay), universal healthcare and education. One can dream during this fast turning financial nightmare. FO
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StevoJH       10/6/2008 8:14:47 PM
Hate to be the one to point it out, but if anything the communist system in Russia was even more elitist then the capitalist system.
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gf0012-aust       10/6/2008 9:32:55 PM
having visited a number of communist countries - and former warpac countries I'd say that you have no idea of the impact of communism on the people within those countries.  or, have a look at what socialism did in India during the halcyon days of the cold war.  Germany as a state is still picking up the pieces of dealing with remanants of the old east german inheritance - and apart from the ultra nationalists (who seem to have a small resurgence in Russia) nobody within those countries wants it back.  how many people left and still leave those "old countries" to seek a better life in western europe, the US etc...?  there aren't too many wanting to go to freedom loving countries such as china, russia, north korea and cuba.
  (although cuba does have a sound healthcare system).
IMO you're also simplifying the financial issue by sheeting it home to greedy companies - the onus on education always lies with individuals.  Greed in companies, in individuals is never going to go away.
probably the closest thing to pure communism is north korea - prior to that it was albania.  you're welcome to go there (NK) and see how far small details such as eating, freedom of speech and general survival work compared to more "liberal" systems.

and no offence, but china and russia are far more rapacious and controlling than western models of capitalism.  
communism is and was always a fine thing for the pseudo intelligentsia in a utopic world where even cats and dogs could co-exist.  But theoretical models always fail the test when they go "live".
On the disgraceful part of human history - well if you look at capitalism being triggered by financial models, then you could look at it's birth being at the time of the Knights Templar when they developed the modern banking system.  Since then, what combined cohort of "capitalist" countries in the last 700 years have even remotely reached the 70 years of intra-genocide rates of communism in the two major players. (ie 120+m if you just look at the purges conducted by Stalin/Soviet Union and Mao/China).

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Coota    What are you smoking   10/6/2008 11:17:39 PM
Are you still at uni? Cause it sounds to me like you've been hanging out with the anti-capitalist, anti-imperial, anti-mulesing, anti-washing, long haired, pot smoking brigade. Next thing you'll be telling us you are going to the next G-8 meeting to protest against the evils of Globalisation. Get a grip.
"Capitalism hey, what a disgusting, disgraceful part of human history...oh how I would love for real socialism/communism to take a firm hold in Australia and around the world."
Are you joking man! 
Communism has been shown to be a failure in ALL examples apart from China, and in the case of the PRC they have had to significantly alter their ethos, their approach and the practical application of their ideology to ensure viability. There is a specific reason why every communist nation to date has been an abject failure and it is because of it's inability to provide 'real' improvements in standards of living. Capitalism on the other hand has done this in spades. Yes, there have been problems and YES this latest problem is turning out to be a doozy but to throw the baby out with the bath water as you advocate is nonsense in the extreme.
True, Socialism (in its purest form) has more to offer but as with all things, applying it's principles in the real world is harder said than done (see failure of Communism).
Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of over the top and unrealistic executive bonuses, but as with all things there is a need for moderation when reviewing where things went wrong. Execs should be renumerated based on the 'real' performance of their corporation. What we really need to fix is the wholly unrealistic focus on the short-term. Forget quarter to quarter, we need all players (gov included) to start thinking about medium to long term. In financial market terms this will be a game changing adjustment if it can be achieved. 
 Cheers, Coota 

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jastayme3       10/6/2008 11:29:56 PM
While we are condemning Avarice, shouldn't we be complete and condemn Pride, Anger, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth? I'm sure all those have their contributions to the troubles of the world.

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SCisback       10/7/2008 1:17:09 AM
FO, you are a nutter.
Go take some aspirin, have a lie down, and wake up in the real world.
In the past there was your bleeding heart rebelios naivety, now you have crossed the line to insane.
Move to one of the world fine communist regimes please. It would make us all just that little bit happier.
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gf0012-aust       10/7/2008 3:03:34 AM
FO, just as an aside, I spent a fair bit of time pre and post collapse of the "Iron Curtain" interviewing polish, east german and russian political immigrants entering australia under special visas.  I also spent a lot of time in the late 70's interviewing Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao refugees.  Similarly (and still) they were emotionally "violent:" towards communism and how it had broken the fabric of their old societies.
At the east european/slavic level, not once in the 4 years that I was intermittently involved with these interviews did I ever strike an individual who lamented walking away from communism.  They were homesick (natch) - but they were not ever going to go back.  Some of them I kept in touch with for work reasons - none have ever wanted to go back and none want to see their children exposed to that society as well.  They tend to be vehemently anti-socialist as in their own view (and by experience) it's the thin edge of the wedge.  In fact I'd argue that the majority of these people would be the first to sign up to a citizen militia if we were ever attacked by a communist country - such is their ingrained loathing and fear of communism/socialism polluting an australian way of life.
I interviewed aircraft mechanics, materials scientists, combat aircraft pilots, ex sub-mariners and ballistic techs who on average were better off than the average citizen in their respective countries.  They survived on a pittance and were usually given food and shelter that others in their countries of origin could just dream about.  Their annual salaries (esp the materials scientists) were what most CSIRO and DSTO scientists would make in a fortnight.

It's a bit different when you actually speak to people who live in those systems, or when you've been exposed to the frailties of that system. (Other detail in an australian context is exampled by the Snowy Mountain scheme and it's use of european refugees).
Is capitalism perfect - no, and sometimes not by a longshot - but is it a better alternative to communism (and that includes "focussed socialism as well as "fundamentalist" communism)?  IMO Hell yeah.
 Actual  exposure as opposed to text book exposure is a very different cat.  You need to see it, if not live it, to understand how it's a fragile deck of cards and has never worked beyond the text book.

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AMTP10F       10/7/2008 7:19:33 AM
I'm not going to add more to what others have said re: communism/socalism = epic fail.
Yes, there was plenty of stupidity in the market. Is that the root cause of the problems? No.
The roots of this rest with establishment of Freddy Mac by FDR (who also established that other ticking $70 trillion unfunded time bomb called Social Security) and the Community Reinvestment Act gun being put to the heads of banks by Clinton (and stupidly kept there by Bush in a frankly useless effort to win Latino/African-American votes).
There are some things that government is good at doing. Social engineering isn't one of them.

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the British Lion       10/7/2008 11:44:53 AM
The only people who love communism are the ones who have never had to live with it.
I wonder how many Che Guevara posters Polish students have hanging in their dorm rooms... not many I'd wager.
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jastayme3       10/7/2008 12:30:22 PM

The only people who love communism are the ones who have never had to live with it.


I wonder how many Che Guevara posters Polish students have hanging in their dorm rooms... not many I'd wager.



Well, some might desire something to use as a dartboard...

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warpig       10/7/2008 1:45:43 PM
communism/socalism = epic fail.

That one's a keeper.  :-)
Of course we can add fascism to that list.  Personally, I'd just change it to "collectivism = epic fail" but I fear many would not really get that or make the associations, thus losing its impact.  Yours is clear and effective.  Well said!
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