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billswift comments on Traditional Capitalist Values - Less Wrong

38 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 October 2008 01:07AM

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Comment author: billswift 17 October 2008 09:10:19AM 0 points [-]

Capitalism IS a win-win, at least it would be in the absence of coercion (And coercion is not part of capitalism). And government is the main source of coercion in the modern world. I am of two minds as to whether eliminating government would reduce coercion overall - that is, I do not find "Machinery of Freedom" really convincing.

Comment author: Larks 27 September 2010 03:25:09AM 1 point [-]

"Capitalism IS a win-win"

This is not true, or at least not obveously so. Individual deals in a Capitalist system might be win-win, but the system as a whole doesn't obveously make absolutly everyone better off than they would have been otherwise. For example, I personally would be better off if we had capitalism, but with a massive subsidy for mathematics students.

Comment author: Desrtopa 16 June 2012 03:42:53PM 5 points [-]

Capitalism is win-win assuming no coercion and no negative externalities. In practice, you need some sort of overseer with coercive power to prevent negative externalities (and lots of coercive power to prevent all negative externalities,) so capitalism isn't win-win in any realistic formulation.

Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 26 September 2012 01:19:25PM 0 points [-]

Capitalism isn't airtight against all cases of win-lose or lose-lose in any realistic formulation, but there are many, many real specific cases in which it is win-win.

Comment author: Desrtopa 26 September 2012 03:09:47PM 3 points [-]

Just because it contains specific win-win cases doesn't mean it's win-win in the grand scheme. You can get win-win scenarios in a strict command-and-control economy, even in cases where capitalism performs poorly (it provides better footing against tragedies of the commons, for one,) but that doesn't make it a particularly viable economic model overall.