CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1998
Re "Crooked Capitalism," your Sept. 20-23 series on post-Soviet corruption: Contrary to what your writers believe, Russia is not a "capitalist" country. The mere absence of Communist controls does not equal capitalism. The essence of capitalism is the complete separation of the government and economics, based on the principle that the purpose of government is the protection of individual rights. In Russia, the government still runs the economy and has the power and purse strings that allow for massive corruption.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1988
The letters in the April 26 issue impel me to write. Each writer hit out at Martin and Kathleen Feldstein's column against increasing the minimum wages. History shows from the birth of capitalism it did not work for people. Adam Smith's book "Wealth of Nations," published in 1776, showed that labor was "the source of all value" but he could not figure why, the more wealth the workers produced "the poorer the workers become." It was Karl Marx who discovered in 1844 the reason why the workers become poorer, the more they produce.
March 16, 2012 |
The good news is that $2.15 billion of Goldman Sachs' market value was wiped out by a disillusioned executive's very public parting shot at the investment bank's greed and selfish cynicism. The bad news is it will probably be a temporary loss and will do little to change the ethical climate at Goldman Sachs or in the larger world of Wall Street. Pirates are a hard bunch to reform. Greg Smith is the 33-year-old, London-based head of Goldman Sachs' overseas equity derivatives business who quit his job just minutes before his explosive Op-Ed article appeared in Wednesday's New York Times.
May 16, 2013 |
South Korean provocateur Kim Ki-duk's new film "Pieta," about a cold, wraith-like loan-shark enforcer in a poverty-stricken village, is expectedly gruesome in some of its details. But it's the explicitness about capitalism's emotional wreckage that gives this micro-budgeted drama a gut-punch heft. Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin, working a thousand-yard stare) slaps, breaks, tortures and cripples the desperate small-time machinists of cramped, industrial Cheonggyecheon who owe his boss money.
November 26, 2013 |
Here's a denunciation of the financial system and income inequality that people all over the world will find hard to overlook, or ignore. Its author is Pope Francis, and the text is from his apostolic exhortation published this week , which addresses in part what he calls "a socioeconomic system...unjust at its root. " Selections from paragraphs 53-60. No further commentary required: "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality.
March 25, 1990
Although Calendar isn't the best forum to debate capitalism, Russell Dvonch's March 18 letter defending greed demands a response. The reason capitalism is theft has to do with "surplus value"--the difference between the selling price and the cost of equipment, materials, marketing and labor. All down the line, "profit" is really the result of unpaid labor that creates additional goods without commensurate additional cost. The capitalist claims this profit by virtue of his capital alone, which in most cases is the result of economic, racial and social inheritance, not hard work.
August 16, 1990 |
It takes money to make money. Money makes the world go 'round. One thing's sure and nothing's surer: The rich get richer and the poor get . . . Life in the global marketplace is filled with such enduring truisms. That's why American industry gets the jitters when economists warn of an impending "capital crunch" as Eastern Europe seeks mega-billions to rebuild itself. And U.S. business gets the heebie-jeebies when it looks at Japan's tsunami of capital spending.
September 15, 1985
I got a natural high reading Dennis McDougal's interview with Mike Mitchell ("First Live Aid, and Then--the World," Sept. 8), chief-orchestrator of the Live-Aid telecast. And to his question, "What's wrong with earning a living while promoting social justice?," I reply: Nothing! Full-speed ahead! People like Mitchell give capitalism a good name. We need more propounders of the philosophy that profit does not necessitate exploitation; that, in fact, one can make money while benefiting humankind.
June 11, 2008
Re "Leftist thinking left off the syllabus," Column One, June 6 Bravo for an enlightening story on Guatemala's Francisco Marroquin University. I'm particularly glad that The Times allowed the university's founder, Manuel Francisco Ayau Cordon, to rebut the socialist canard that teaching free-market economic analysis is a way of perpetuating the wealth and power of the business class. The consistent laissez-faire policy he advocates would benefit poor people greatly and would be detrimental to those who obtain their wealth through government subsidies, monopoly grants and so on. That's just as true in the U.S. as in Guatemala, by the way. George Leef Raleigh, N.C. The writer is director of research at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.