There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any given wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in the darkness, every movement scrutinised. -George Orwell 1984
Babies with bath-water:
Copyright has its VERY LIMITED place, patents too, though I've never understood allowing the patenting of an idea. If you have an idea for a weed-whacker, you should have to build the thing. But don't lump Capitalism in with these. The way our socioeconomic system is working now isn't capitalism, it's a train wreck. The basics of capitalism keep companies honest and provide the best of everything to the consumer (that's you).
Capitalism - Pure and Simple:
I own a small company, and, as does any business, I have competitors and customers. Each company has the option of offering either a better product/service than its competitor or a cheaper one. Sometimes it's both, but rarely. Each customer then has the option of spending more for better or less for cheaper. At the end of the day, a healty, symbiotic relationship is born, choice is provided and the consumer decides who wins.
Investing used to simply mean that you'd lend money to a company that you thought had merit. The company could then use the extra capital to improve its product or service, gain market share and become more profitable. The reward to the investor was a share in the company?s profit. If a company didn't perform well or was irresponsible, investors wouldn't invest and through genuine Darwinian survival of the fittest, it would die off and be replaced by the more adaptive, responsible, smarter company. The good of this is easy to see.
What Went Wrong:
In the post-modern world, greed has gotten out of hand (by ?greed? I mean the blinding desire for personal gain at the subversion of all morality). What?s the reason? Simple; we, as a society, have abandoned the principles that made us great.
As a country America once held itself, as a whole (if not the individual), to a fairly clear moral code. The gradual departure from a creator-derived morality to the idea of a self-imposed culturally-relative morality has led us to where we teach and live by the latter yet expect treatment by the former.
If the finance major takes a philosophy class and learns that right and wrong have their origin in society and are therefore self-derived and inherently alterable, how dare you hold him to any morality but his own. If, however, morality has its origins in a creator, we're all bound to it and consequences can then be levied.
Capitalism and the American way of life (I say ?American? with a solemn reference to the founding of this nation) could not have developed with a worldview other than the Judea-Christian beliefs in which it was framed. No other religion, no other belief, puts the emphasis on the individual's rights and freedoms. A pantheistic world view could not and has not spawned a society (even with its flaws and closet full of skeletons) as free and respectful of human rights as America.
God save the...
We need, quite simply, to get back to our roots as a nation that believes that morality is NOT something mankind created. The accountability that comes with a creator-derived morality is the only way a society as free as ours can survive. This cannot be done from Washington; morality cannot be legislated. It must be taught. It must be taught at home, in school, at the workplace. When this happens the result is a society where welfare isn?t necessary because divine-inspiration, not legislation, compels the wealthy to generosity and the capable to productivity.
Maybe it's subtle, but I think there is a difference. "Leaking" classified documents for the plain and simple fact that they are classified is wrong. It's not far removed from gossip at a hair salon. Releasing classified documents that are found to prove a cover-up or other form of illegal activity that would have otherwise gone unpunished would be "whistle blowing" and could have a motive based in morality.
I own a home theater / electronics sales and installation company. We focus on the high-end and fortunately have the market here in east-central NJ to support it. But my walk-in and mid-level business has begun shrinking. I don't sell Vizio or Maxcent or any of the other crap that the Price Clubs sell, and like the article says, people if they do decide they'll spend, are spending less.
There is however a caveat, the people who are benefiting from this economic climate, namely commodities traders etc. are spending HUGE. My high-end+ business has grown significantly, we have done more large scale work than ever this year.
Just like the gap between the impoverished and the wealthy gets bigger every day, so does the difference in their toys...