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Creative Destruction
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Creative destruction is a term originally derived from Marxist economic theory which refers to the linked processes of the accumulation and annihilation of wealth under capitalism. These processes were first described in The Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels, 1848) and were expanded in Marx’s Grundrisse (1857) and "Volume IV" (1863) of Das Kapital.

At its most basic, "creative destruction" (German: schöpferische Zerstörung) describes the way in which capitalist economic development arises out of the destruction of some prior economic order, and this is largely the sense implied by the German Marxist sociologist Werner Sombart who has been credited with the first use of these terms in his work Krieg und Kapitalismus ("War and Capitalism", 1913).

In the earlier work of Marx, however, the idea of creative destruction or annihilation (German: Vernichtung) implies not only that capitalism destroys and reconfigures previous economic orders, but also that it must ceaselessly devalue existing wealth (whether through war, dereliction, or regular and periodic economic crises) in order to clear the ground for the creation of new wealth.

From the 1950s onwards, the term "creative destruction", sometimes known as "Schumpeter’s gale", has become more readily identified with the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter, who adapted and popularized it as a theory of economic innovation. In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), he developed the concept out of a careful reading of Marx’s thought, arguing that the creative-destructive forces unleashed by capitalism would eventually lead to its demise as a system.

Despite this, the term subsequently gained popularity within neoliberal or free-market economics as a description of processes such as downsizing in order to increase the efficiency and dynamism of a company.

Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the gospel of ‘creative destruction’
Mitt Romney’s rivals this week intensified their attacks over business failures that happened on his watch at the investment firm Bain Capital. But even the successes touted by Romney’s campaign involved some painful decisions and layoffs. Both the successes and the failures reveal the candidate’s faith in “creative destruction,” the notion that the new must relentlessly replace the old so that companies and the economy can become more efficient.

The concept is gospel to many businesspeople. But its intersection with politics has created what may be a recurring line of attack against Romney’s record.

Romney’s approach is visible in the three big Bain investments he trumpets in his official biography as evidence that he knows how to create jobs. The companies — Staples, Sports Authority and Domino’s Pizza — are well-known consumer brands, and the campaign has gone so far as to say that Romney helped create 100,000 jobs through his work related to those businesses.

But like Romney’s work on all the businesses Bain invested in, the primary goal with these companies wasn’t job creation but making them more profitable and valuable. This meant embracing aspects of capitalism that have unsettled some Americans: laying off workers when necessary, expanding overseas to chase profits and paying top executives significantly more than employees on lower rungs.

The rise of Staples is in fact a textbook example of “creative destruction.” Staples became a runaway business success in the 1980s and 1990s because it offered companies a smarter way of purchasing supplies, saving them money. As Staples grew, smaller stationery stores were shuttered. These losses are not counted in Romney’s jobs figure.

“Creative destruction” has been widely invoked again since Newt Gingrich began attacking Mitt Romney’s record at the private-equity firm, Bain Capital. Of course, the term is a perennial favorite with business writers. But in response to Gingrich’s attacks, Romney and his allies have insisted that Bain exemplifies “creative destruction,” the closely-linked glory and pain of unfettered capitalism.

“Creative destruction,” the concept, however, carries a more mixed message than many of Romney’s defenders may think. In fact, it points to deep problems that face conservatives whenever they argue that ordinary people should look past the ugly and brutal side of economic life. The phrase was first used by the Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter, in his 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. It referred to a phenomenon Schumpeter had been writing about for decades, a process bound up with entrepreneurship and innovation.

Entrepreneurs, Schumpeter argued, were no ordinary businesspeople. Entrepreneurs were visionaries, great leaders who introduced the world to new products, new production methods, and new ways of selling. Think of the pioneers of power looms, railroads, or even big-box retailing. And in bringing these things into being – here’s the key – they destroyed firms and devastated people wedded to old ways.

So the first problem is that the term by Schumpeter’s definition doesn’t really apply that well to much of what firms like Bain do. Private equity firms buy undervalued businesses and break them up or try to return them to profitability before selling them for a quick gain. “Creative destruction,” by contrast, has more to do with Mark Zuckerberg than Mitt Romney, more to do with how e-readers knocked Borders out of business than shrewd financiers flipping underperforming companies.

Even when private equity firms fulfill their highest expectations for profit-maximizing, they can look more like creative destruction’s clean-up crew than its agents. And that’s not all. Often, the real money-making in private equity doesn’t even result from cleaning up, just controlling the financial spigots. For example, Bain caused a medical company it had acquired to borrow hundreds of millions to buy it out of half its stake, for an eightfold return to Bain. The heavily-indebted company went bankrupt.

. . . Romney uses the term repeatedly in his book, No Apology. He may not realize that for Schumpeter, the idea of “creative destruction” was steeped in a kind of hero-worship that goes over poorly in a democracy. In economic life as in politics, Schumpeter saw elites – not consumers or citizens – as the drivers, the instigators. Typical citizens, he wrote, were “incapable of action other than a stampede.” And consumers were “so amenable to the influence of advertising” that producers could dictate to them, rather than respond to their desires.

The attraction of “creative destruction” for Schumpeter always had much less to do with ordinary people’s needs, and far more to do with the towering will-power and deeds of the great. Entrepreneurs weren’t admirable because they displayed common virtues. They didn’t just act from a common desire for material gain. Like medieval lords or Homer’s Achilles, entrepreneurs acted from “the will to found a private kingdom,” “the will to conquer, the impulse to fight, to prove oneself superior to others.”

. . . Some conservatives recognize the wider problem, understand that now, especially, may not be the time to emphasize “creative destruction.” William Kristol, who a decade ago wrote with David Brooks that “there aren’t many concepts as beloved by conservatives” now chastises his colleagues for defending Romney by deploying it. What’s changed in the last ten years? Most people’s experience of the economy, that’s what. And this brings us to the final problem with “creative destruction.”

For the term’s use in the wake of the financial crisis is certainly tinged with a deep and unmistakable irony. Credit default swaps and no-money-down mortgages were “creative,” yes. They may count as “innovations” in a narrow sense of clever ideas, something new, perhaps the most important new things in the economy of the young millennium. But from a social standpoint, everyone knows they were destructive novelties that tanked housing markets and stoked unemployment. In 2007, it would seem, creativity and destruction parted ways more decisively than ever before, and at least since then have been experienced very differently in different parts of the economy.

Author John Medearis teaches political theory at the University of California, Riverside and has written two books on Joseph Schumpeter.

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There are literally thousands of horse racing systems on the market. Some probably date back to the Roman chariot races while others are modern state of the art programs that use technology and science to try to divine each horses chances of hitting the finish line first. While some systems claim that they will automatically make a profit, others simply state they will help you to be a better handicapper.

When someone tries to sell you something guaranteed to make money, let’s face it, that claim sounds a little fantastic. There is a good reason for that. Obviously, if you have a horse racing system that automatically picks winners and makes a profit with no work involved, then why would anyone sell it? It would be like selling the goose that laid the golden egg.

If you are looking for a good horse racing system, here are some things to consider before you buy. First of all, the choice of a system should be based on what you want to achieve. Do you want to be able to rate each horse in a race and then find value in the win pool, or are you looking to put together exotic bets that pay a long term profit.

Another thing to consider is how much time and effort you want to put into a system. Some systems are quite involved and you will have to input a lot of information and then sort through it to make decisions. Others supposedly take care of the decision making process for you and all you have to do is pick a track and a day and the system does the rest, once again, buyer beware.

The one thing any system should have that is absolutely essential, is a money back guarantee. When I say a money back guarantee, I mean a no questions asked, get your full purchase price back. There are some that say they are guaranteed, but when you read the fine print you find the guarantee requires a lengthy trial of the system and you must provide records of all your bets.

You know if a system, or any product for that matter, has a real money back guarantee, it must be good and you really don’t have anything to lose.

The most consistent horse racing systems have to have the basics and a handicapper must understand the basics. I have been around horse racing for 50 years including as an owner. Without the basics the rest is not going to do any good. If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth.

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