Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

""brutal capitalism" is both more efficient and more compassionate in the long run"

I'm not sure about that. I've watched a lot of scuffles in capitalist markets eliminate most of the competition to turn into lock-in via strong brands, control of territory, copyrights, or patents. The lock-in typically lands on a few companies that become an oligopoly of sorts. These are most noticeable in telecoms, operating systems, big chains of any kind, and so on. Once they form, they barely compete with each other. They mostly screw customers and employees over in common ways to maintain high margins. Internally, they usually form rigid hierarchies that push control more than innovation with the evidence showing they're driven by politics more than performance. If they pay a lot of advertising money, the media will also misrepresent their incompetence taking about how they're in a competitive market, struggling, or so on. Quite a few years on my resume was in one of those companies on Fortune 100 with general public none the wiser.

That doesn't even get into all the horrors of capitalism which stim from its incentives and operating environment. These companies systematically mislead people to get talent in the door, demand as much from them as possible, do as little for them as possible, do as much as possible for their controllers, discard them whenever opportune regardless of promises made, externalize as many bad things as possible, and pay bribes to lawmakers to make their evils legal. I don't have to imagine whether that was more compassionate in the long run: we're well into more messed up stuff than I can count that comes directly from financial incentives and moral apathy.

If you want to see some of that, the documentary The Corporation has a nice collection of anecdotes. I'd especially cite the examples of media suppression, taking water from Bolivians, and sweatshops. Author uploaded it in pieces on YouTube for free. I'll post first one followed by those clips.





Hell, let's add one for parents everywhere who suffer to this day due to the invention of marketing aimed at making kids nag them.


Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact