The Problem With Socialism

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Accountable
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Ahso!;1340749 wrote: Nobody can say everyone who does not achieve financial success (whatever that is) is incapable of it, thats you putting words into the mouths of other posters and I think its at least in large part inaccurate.It's true I was putting words in his mouth. I did it purposely to provoke thought.

Ahso! wrote: I think it boils down to your assumption that everyone wants to achieve financial success.Now who's inserting words? :yh_wink

You & I have trod this ground before.



Ahso! wrote: We do know many people don't achieve financial success. Some may be incapable; some may not be driven; some may not be allured by it; some may not be indoctrinated in capitalism well enough, but the bottom line is you assume all should. Perhaps the answer is to cap success somehow so we avoid the pitfall of a handful of people having most of the power? I don't assume such. I also don't assume that those who do want to achieve financial success automatically become responsible for paying the way for those who do not.

Ahso! wrote: The other question you need to answer is: Are there enough resources (money - land - food) available for everyone to achieve equal success if everyone was equally motivated, capable and schooled in capitalism? The answer to that question in my judgment is a resounding "NO!". So I come to the conclusion that equality in a capitalistic society is an illusion.I like your "if you wanted to chew gum you should have brought enough for the whole class" approach to macro-economics. :wah:

Ahso! wrote: Is a more socialist system able to reward people exactly equal? Probably not, but at least it provides the essentials for survival, and thats all most of the people want. The system we have does that.

Ahso! wrote: I believe a more cooperative type of society would achieve greater participation by a larger number of individuals and be more peaceful than this system we Americans are presently living.You might be right.
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Post by koan »

I think I'm more likely to appreciate the altruistic socialism than the practical one. My really, really big problem with current socialist parties is that they try to do it half assed and we end up with problems like: a single mother can stay at home on mother's allowance and make $900/month or she can go to work and make about a $500 more (if not trained in a profession) but pay most of the extra money for child care. So she makes almost no more money and gives up raising her children on her own. 2nd example, a child is kept from spending more time with their father (usual 2ndary parent) because the mother wants to assure she gets full child support and social benefits from being the primary caregiver.
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Bryn Mawr;1340844 wrote: Totally disagree - the totalitarianism that some early attempts at socialism descended into maybe but it is not intrinsic to socialism which, in its basic form, tries to give each member of society an equal bite at the surplus.

PS, totally agree with the first two sentences.


I'm glad we at least agree on the premise :p

I suppose the latter statement does require a lot of examples and should be proved. I'll have to think out why I see it that way.

As a counterpoint to your 'gov't can affect the ability of individuals to make a success of their lives', Ontarians elected the socialist NDP in the early 90s, making a Bob Rae the premiere. He injected massive bucks into the economy to spend our way out of recession. It accumulated such a public deficit that he created his 'legendary' Rae Days in which all public sector employees were forced to take unpaid days off work to try and reduce the public bill. Unfortunately, those families had bills to pay and were not overpayed politicians so, lots of families with less to spend on that newly injected economy. It was an utter failure that Ontario is still recovering from.
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koan;1340904 wrote: I'm glad we at least agree on the premise :p

I suppose the latter statement does require a lot of examples and should be proved. I'll have to think out why I see it that way.

As a counterpoint to your 'gov't can affect the ability of individuals to make a success of their lives', Ontarians elected the socialist NDP in the early 90s, making a Bob Rae the premiere. He injected massive bucks into the economy to spend our way out of recession. It accumulated such a public deficit that he created his 'legendary' Rae Days in which all public sector employees were forced to take unpaid days off work to try and reduce the public bill. Unfortunately, those families had bills to pay and were not overpayed politicians so, lots of families with less to spend on that newly injected economy. It was an utter failure that Ontario is still recovering from.


Most governments around the world, regardless of their stripe, tried to buy their way our of this latest recession - that's current economic theory for you and not specifically socialism.
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koan;1340762 wrote: I'm going to throw these aspects into the ring:

1) Is socialism based on considering people essentially good and caring or is it structured to prevent people who are not good and caring from abusing others? Does it matter whether people are "good" or "evil" for it to work?Socialism seems to be the natural way people behave in small groups. I think Yaaarg mentioned something similar. When the groups become larger and some want to dictate to others, that's when there are problems.

recovering conservative;1340815 wrote: [QUOTE=koan]2) What kind of people want to be in charge of a country? Want the authority and power?

Personally, I'd not be pleased with the responsibility. The same kind of people that want to hold political office now -- narcissists! Whether they are on the left or the right, nice people or bastards, people who are attracted to political office, generally have high needs for attention -- and that constant attention of having reporters and journalists wanting to talk to them and take their pictures, is intoxicating to some people.
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koan;1339867 wrote: Was just thinking about how being against private property seems to be socialist and that is part of why I have trouble discussing politics in terms of right and left.

My opposition to Socialist political systems is that if everything belongs to everyone equally then it can't belong to one body in the form of government or it interferes with freedom of no ownership. Governments are leviathans that take on a body. With a socialist government no one owns anything because the government owns it all. I believe no own should own anything because no one owns it.


koan;1340759 wrote: There have been quite a few people who have named Private Property as the root of social evil and a quite a few different ideas of how to eliminate it, I'm more interested in Stateless solutions. It will take me a day or two to put together a broad spectrum to look at pluses and minuses to each idea. All of these philosophies would be challenged by the sheer amount of property that exists already. What the heck would happen to high rises if no one owned them?


Ahso!;1340763 wrote: I don't thinks owning a high-rise is the problem, its the land they're sitting on. If the land remained publicly owned then any use of it would be a lease with the public. This is the source of my anger at Bill Clinton and congress for the the Telecommunication Act of 1996. Had the airwaves which were public domain remained such, Cell Phone companies would have had to lease them, they in turn sell the cell service to the public and then they pay a portion of that for leasing the airwaves. That money generated for the public good could have gone to universal health care as well as other needed public services. But no, these corporate ass-kissing politicians auctioned off the airwaves to corporations who then in turn lease them to other companies who offer cell services. That maybe what also happened in Canada and the UK for all I know.I think the rub here is that Koan is talking public vs gov't, while Ahso seems to say that the government is the public. Am I accurate?
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yaaarrrgg;1340783 wrote: [QUOTE=Ahso!;1340773][QUOTE=yaaarrrgg;1340770]That's an interesting point... I like the idea of a public lease. I also wonder if they should also be required to pay for damages as well. Sometimes private companies will cause havok on the land then close up shop and the cost of cleanup falls to the public sector. Right now, our city is spending millions to get lead out of soil in areas where old smelting plants used to be. These are large areas where people now live.A security deposit could be collected for damages and restoring the property to its original condition like building owners do now when they lease or rent an apartment, house or commercial space. Also, certain area's could be zoned for particular industries like it is now. Not much would have to change from the present other than figuring out how to transfer the land. Buying it would of course be the best way of doing that.[/QUOTE]That's a great idea.[/QUOTE]Wouldn't such an requirement prove onerous? Having to come up with a huge cleanup deposit before even getting a business off the ground would probably shut out smaller entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget, leaving only the fat cats with enough capital to play the game. We would still have the same problem we have now.
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Bryn Mawr;1340840 wrote: The question is about disparity in pay, not about pay within a single company.

Where the "high earners" in a country have an earning power orders of magnitude above that of the "low earners" it leads to social injustice and disorder.Are you sure it's the gap and not the spending power? Meaning, if we were to somehow magically take every human in America making less than, say, $35K (that's homeless up to $35,000 wage-earners), and increase their income to $41K (roughly the current US average income), leaving the uber-rich alone, that we would see no change in social injustice and disorder? The gap would changed so little as to be insignificant.
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Bryn Mawr;1340848 wrote: [QUOTE=Accountable;1340655]Yes, I am against official government-sanctioned bigotry. I disagree that I have fellow citizens who are unable to succeed on their own. I see daily with my own eyes the damage this soft bigotry of lowered expectations causes. Perfectly healthy, intelligent people convinced that their efforts will come to naught, so they don't even try. And there are plenty at the ready with sympathetic nods and comforting euphemisms, telling them that their plight is hopeless, and aren't they lucky that the government is here to protect you against the cruel, cruel world.

It's sickening.So you do not see that the actions of government can affect the ability of individuals to make a success of their lives?Of course see that, in a negative sense more easily than a positive one, as your examples clearly demonstrate. That's not the point. When the gov't officially designates a particular group as unable to succeed without its benevolent assistance, it never, ever, has positive results.



Bryn Mawr;1340848 wrote: Might I give you a couple of examples - forgive me if they are from this side of the pond but that's all I know.

In 1984 the Conservative Government had a set to with the leader of the Miners Union - he wished to use the political leverage of the membership to further his personal agenda, they wanted to break the power of the unions across the board.

The resultant strike was one of the most destructive in British history and led to the Government closing down the entire coal mining industry and offshoring production. Given that entire regions were dependant of mining for their survival the social costs were enormous.

Now, if you were a shopkeeper in a mining town and were thrown onto the dole because your customers could no longer buy your products because a political argument had cost them their jobs, would you feel that your expectations had been lowered and your ability to succeed on your own had been taken out of your control?So government meddling screws things up, and rather than castigating them and insisting they stay out of the way, you praise them for reaching even deeper to micromanage individual lives? The government caused this problem! They threw the shopkeeper onto the dole. How is that helping??

Bryn Mawr;1340848 wrote: Going back a few years to when commercialism was rampant in this country. Large areas of the country were owned by large landowners but rented out to smallholders to farm. A change in the taxation system meant that it became more profitable to sell wool that to grow produce and the landowners promptly evicted their tenants in order to enclose the land to herd sheep.

As one of the tens of thousands of evicted tenants, would you feel that you would be able to succeed on your own or would you, without any more resources that the clothes on your back, feel that your plight was hopeless?

Given that you would not expect the government to protect you against the cruel, cruel, world could you suggest what your strategy would be to make good?The gov't changed the taxation system that started the whole problem. In this instance, THE GOVERNMENT IS THE CRUEL, CRUEL WORLD THEY WERE "PROTECTING" THE TENANTS AGAINST!

Sorry for the caps, but you presented these examples of positive gov't involvement??!?
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Accountable;1340958 wrote: Wouldn't such an requirement prove onerous? Having to come up with a huge cleanup deposit before even getting a business off the ground would probably shut out smaller entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget, leaving only the fat cats with enough capital to play the game. We would still have the same problem we have now.Explain to me how it would be any different than now. I think you're arguing just to argue at this point.

Thats capitalism for ya. If one can't afford a business then perhaps they're trying to start the "wrong" business. Either that or find investors or apply for a loan from a private lender. Innovate - right?
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Accountable;1340956 wrote: I think the rub here is that Koan is talking public vs gov't, while Ahso seems to say that the government is the public. Am I accurate?Yes. The government - local, state and federal would represent the public interest and of course would be run by it's citizens.
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Ahso!;1340977 wrote: Explain to me how it would be any different than now. I think you're arguing just to argue at this point.

Thats capitalism for ya. If one can't afford a business then perhaps they're trying to start the "wrong" business. Either that or find investors or apply for a loan from a private lender. Innovate - right?


Yeah... if they can't afford to clean up their own mess, they probably shouldn't be making it. I'd be fine with speading out a security deposit out over time, so long as they are funding a cleanup fund at a faster rate than they are destroying the land.
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Accountable;1340956 wrote: I think the rub here is that Koan is talking public vs gov't, while Ahso seems to say that the government is the public. Am I accurate?
yes!

I believe you nailed it :D

This is my friday so I'll be back with time to research and think out my replies better.
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Accountable;1340959 wrote: Are you sure it's the gap and not the spending power? Meaning, if we were to somehow magically take every human in America making less than, say, $35K (that's homeless up to $35,000 wage-earners), and increase their income to $41K (roughly the current US average income), leaving the uber-rich alone, that we would see no change in social injustice and disorder? The gap would changed so little as to be insignificant.


What would you say that the poverty line is in the US? And what percentage of the US population would you say lives below that line?

Yes, by ensuring that everyone within the population is above the poverty line you would see a change in social injustice and disorder.

By reducing the income gap to a manageable level you would see another change in social injustice and disorder - two different issues and two different measures of social inequality, both of which are used. The low income creates the poverty and suffering but the high income gap creates the poverty gap that keeps them there.

Put it this way, between 1979 and 2005 the income of the top 1% increased by 176% whilst the income of the bottom 20% increased by 6%. .

The latest figures that I can find show that 14.4%, one in seven, Americans live below the poverty line with 6.5% existing at less than half that level.

Such figures are unsustainable and inevitably lead to an unstable society.
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Accountable;1340963 wrote: Of course see that, in a negative sense more easily than a positive one, as your examples clearly demonstrate. That's not the point. When the gov't officially designates a particular group as unable to succeed without its benevolent assistance, it never, ever, has positive results.



So government meddling screws things up, and rather than castigating them and insisting they stay out of the way, you praise them for reaching even deeper to micromanage individual lives? The government caused this problem! They threw the shopkeeper onto the dole. How is that helping??

The gov't changed the taxation system that started the whole problem. In this instance, THE GOVERNMENT IS THE CRUEL, CRUEL WORLD THEY WERE "PROTECTING" THE TENANTS AGAINST!

Sorry for the caps, but you presented these examples of positive gov't involvement??!?


They were not examples of positive government involvement but of situations not of the making of an individual that can force him into a poverty trap from which it is not possible for him to escape without assistance.

As for your analysis of the examples, you were not around during the miners strike to see cause and effect so your conclusion is very superficial. In the second example I totally agree with you but not for the reasons you give. At the time of the enclosures the government of the day consisted of the large landowners who profited from evicting the tenants and no-one protected the tenants against them - most died of disease or starvation so no, nothing there of positive government involvement.
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Ahso!;1340977 wrote: Explain to me how it would be any different than now. I think you're arguing just to argue at this point.I'm truly not. It just seems like the idea isn't any different than now, as you said. We so often try to improve things and end up simply floundering and many times make them worse.

The main ... okay, one of the main ... problems I have with big corporations now is that they pay politicians to increase red tape, rather than decrease it. It makes the politician look tough on big business and hardly impacts established major corporations at all (they just hire another lawyer), but throws more and more obstacles in the way of any potential competition. New business can't get a foothold.

When I read your suggestion my cynical imagination saw the stereotype CEO rubbing his hands in glee.
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Bryn Mawr;1341028 wrote: What would you say that the poverty line is in the US? And what percentage of the US population would you say lives below that line?

Yes, by ensuring that everyone within the population is above the poverty line you would see a change in social injustice and disorder.

By reducing the income gap to a manageable level you would see another change in social injustice and disorder - two different issues and two different measures of social inequality, both of which are used. The low income creates the poverty and suffering but the high income gap creates the poverty gap that keeps them there.

Put it this way, between 1979 and 2005 the income of the top 1% increased by 176% whilst the income of the bottom 20% increased by 6%. .

The latest figures that I can find show that 14.4%, one in seven, Americans live below the poverty line with 6.5% existing at less than half that level.

Such figures are unsustainable and inevitably lead to an unstable society.
Sorry, I don't see, and therefore can't agree, that one is the cause of the other. We have the richest poor people in the world, with cars, houses, and cable TV. Rich people suddenly dropped down to below $250K per year to suit Obama's call to tax the rich. The poverty line is an arbitrary one that moves with political winds. It's like the definition for obesity. They changed it a few years ago, then started screaming that we have more fat people than at any time in history.
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Accountable;1341084 wrote: I'm truly not. It just seems like the idea isn't any different than now, as you said. We so often try to improve things and end up simply floundering and many times make them worse.

The main ... okay, one of the main ... problems I have with big corporations now is that they pay politicians to increase red tape, rather than decrease it. It makes the politician look tough on big business and hardly impacts established major corporations at all (they just hire another lawyer), but throws more and more obstacles in the way of any potential competition. New business can't get a foothold.

When I read your suggestion my cynical imagination saw the stereotype CEO rubbing his hands in glee.If land, airways, waterway an so forth remained public domain corporation had to lease from the public instead of owning them, that alone would hold corporations in check because their reach could only be so long.

Nothing else would have to change except there would be not as much need for taxes.

Even if we did make the changes I suggest the real problem would still continue to be ignored, and that is the problem of Exponential Growth. Ignoring that is the true looming problem. The growth and demand on resources must cease someplace.

Information - Exponential growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A very important 9 minute video - YouTube - The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See (part 1 of 8)
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I fully expect that if there were handouts to bring all incomes above poverty line the cost of housing would increase to make them poor again.
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koan;1341093 wrote: I fully expect that if there were handouts to bring all incomes above poverty line the cost of housing would increase to make them poor again.You're right because thats how banks make their money, by people remaining in debt. i don't know about Canada, but here in the U.S. wages have become nearly stagnant so workers continue to be perpetual borrowers even for the bare essentials. The reason is due to more businesses and corporations being heavily invested in banks themselves, maintaining low wages increases their stock portfolios. And again, the only way to continue that charade is to keep wages below inflation and stock growth percentages. Its become quite perverse.

The money supply and value of the dollar needs to remain limited and constant and that in turn would stop this spiraling growth from getting any more out of control and would stop these bubbles from forming. But thats common sense and we don't do common sense in economics.

Maintaining this delusional bullshit promise of our children living better than their parents did feeds all this. It needs to stop.
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...which is why I wonder why people think socialist parties will help anyone. They'll just run up the bill.
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koan;1341111 wrote: ...which is why I wonder why people think socialist parties will help anyone. They'll just run up the bill.How and why?
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Post by koan »

recovering conservative;1340720 wrote: Essentially, there really is no such thing as socialism any more! It's just a fake issue for rightwingers to demagogue and push their agenda.


So why bother being anti-conservative? Why not go all out and be anti-government?

I only vote conservative because at least they're honest about what they are: A business. If the government has to exist it might as well conduct itself in a manner consistent with what it is.
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koan;1341113 wrote: So why bother being anti-conservative? Why not go all out and be anti-government?

I only vote conservative because at least they're honest about what they are: A business. If the government has to exist it might as well conduct itself in a manner consistent with what it is.A business? Thats how government would behave under my scenario, but thats not nearly an accurate description of what my government is. What my government is is a facilitator of corporations that uses its military as corporate muscle; delivers government assets to the private sector; and invents rules that usurp the publics authority and good plus strengthen corporate rights. thats not running government as a business, thats called raping its people.
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Post by koan »

A government is concerned with one main thing: getting re-elected. Conservatives don't plan on getting votes because they're nice. That makes me trust them more with my money.
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Don't get me wrong, I think government as an entity is a crock of ****.
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koan;1341116 wrote: A government is concerned with one main thing: getting re-elected. Conservatives don't plan on getting votes because they're nice. That makes me trust them more with my money.I don't understand this statement, but I'll leave you to concentrate on my previous 'how and why' request above.
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Post by koan »

Ahso!;1341118 wrote: I don't understand this statement, but I'll leave you to concentrate on my previous 'how and why' request above.


All governments are stuck with the facts on the ground. They have big ideals and then, if they get into power, they find out things are more complicated. There are no simple solutions. For every change they make there are echo consequences. The socialist parties make promises to improve general welfare so they have to follow through at least in part... but the money isn't there unless they can take it from other areas and they can't. So they run up a bill. The social structures that currently exist are flawed and can't be fixed by injection. They are built on foundations with cracks the size of Divine's ass.

If we pull out of military funding jobs are lost. If we take money from somewhere else jobs are lost. No matter where we try to shift things jobs are lost and every political party has friends who helped them win who want to be paid off.

Have I answered yet? It's entirely possible I'm missing which how and why you meant.
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koan;1341120 wrote: All governments are stuck with the facts on the ground. They have big ideals and then, if they get into power, they find out things are more complicated. There are no simple solutions. For every change they make there are echo consequences. The socialist parties make promises to improve general welfare so they have to follow through at least in part... but the money isn't there unless they can take it from other areas and they can't. So they run up a bill. The social structures that currently exist are flawed and can't be fixed by injection. They are built on foundations with cracks the size of Divine's ass.

If we pull out of military funding jobs are lost. If we take money from somewhere else jobs are lost. No matter where we try to shift things jobs are lost and every political party has friends who helped them win who want to be paid off.

Have I answered yet? It's entirely possible I'm missing which how and why you meant.I can see we are both speaking from our own national perspectives. I'm not familiar with the Canadian political structure but your Country's problems sound similar to ours.

I would maintain that the solutions are actually much more simplistic than we've been convinced of. Its in the interest of certain entities for us to think otherwise. Our current situation is a product of maintaining the beast itself and there are just enough contented minded people to keep it that way.

If you like what you see in America and want more of that for yourself, think conservative.
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Post by koan »

I was part of a mini government. I ran for executive in a union. I decided to participate because we were overthrowing an evil ruler and the person running for president didn't even want to be president, he just wanted to make sure no one with an agenda won the election. We had to talk him into it.

We won. I watched a very socialist hippie turn into a corporate monster in the course of a year... not because he wasn't a true socialist but because he got a taste of power.

Since then, I've come to realise that government functions in much the same way. It doesn't matter why they get in, it turns them into something else. I'm much more comfortable when they don't pretend they are there to help everyone else.



Aside from that... the socialist parties that have gotten power in Canada have royally ****ed up the economy.
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Post by Ahso! »

koan;1341124 wrote: I was part of a mini government. I ran for executive in a union. I decided to participate because we were overthrowing an evil ruler and the person running for president didn't even want to be president, he just wanted to make sure no one with an agenda won the election. We had to talk him into it.

We won. I watched a very socialist hippie turn into a corporate monster in the course of a year... not because he wasn't a true socialist but because he got a taste of power.Again, I'm not Canadian but my first thought is: okay, whats the background of this individual? If the education system in Canada is anything like it is in the U.S. then of course power will be a craving either overtly or not. We may have developed an internal idea of what we visualize but we're fed competition, the need to perform and the ideals of winning at all costs from our authorities. Its a reasonable attitude to expect in those circumstances.

koan;1341124 wrote: Since then, I've come to realise that government functions in much the same way. It doesn't matter why they get in, it turns them into something else. I'm much more comfortable when they don't pretend they are there to help everyone else.Agreed. However, there are a few individuals that can make it through with minimal damage done to their psyche, but they get identified early and their political aspirations die by the hands of others in most cases.



koan;1341124 wrote: Aside from that... the socialist parties that have gotten power in Canada have royally ****ed up the economy.Of course they did, their philosophy is contrary to the system they've been elected to serve. Its a terrible mistake to think that any capitalistic system can be run with a purely socialist mindset. The answer is to change the system though, not become angry at those with good intentions.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”

Voltaire



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Be the wave that I am and then

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Post by koan »

That's where we both agree and disagree, I think.

I'm confronting socialism within the capitalist framework that North America was built upon. I'm all with the "down with the system" talk but the thread is about voting for the available choices.
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Post by Ahso! »

I maintain that there are no choices.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”

Voltaire



I have only one thing to do and that's

Be the wave that I am and then

Sink back into the ocean

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Post by koan »

I think there is. I think you can vote for the "pure" system that will eventually consume itself with no interference or you can bang your head against a walmart trying to get people to give up the system that gives them comfort.

People won't give up Walmart so I stopped banging my head against it. It started to hurt. :p
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Post by Accountable »

koan;1341093 wrote: I fully expect that if there were handouts to bring all incomes above poverty line the cost of housing would increase to make them poor again.Yup. Either that or they'll simply change the definition of poverty again and moan that even the most base creature can't be expected to survive without high-speed internet!



koan;1341138 wrote: I think there is. I think you can vote for the "pure" system that will eventually consume itself with no interference or you can bang your head against a walmart trying to get people to give up the system that gives them comfort.Again, we're on the same page here.
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Post by gmc »

Accountable;1340518 wrote: Oh okay. That clarifies it. I've heard many people refer to socialism, or at least social awareness, as a societal evolution.


Marx saw communism as the natural evolution of a capitalism society as the workers became more aware of their condition and power they would demand change there would be revolution, a period of dictatorship by the proletariat those who instigated the revolution followed by communism. It was a utopian fantasy that was never going to work, an educated workforce saw straight through to the obvious flaw that you would only be swopping one set of masters for another. The communist party never got to affiliate with the labour party. You arguments between revolutionary socialists or communists and democratic socialists right through the whole latter part of the 19th and in to the 20th centuries. Now revolutionary socialists are like hen's teeth in the UK.

Anarchism is another utopian fantasy that was never going to work, not helped by the communists exterminating them whenever they could.

Capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive. Many of the elements we would now recognise as socialist are present in the wealth of nations by adam smith - supposed progenitor of capitalism. At the heart of it all is agriculture and industry. If you look at what Adam Smith originally proposed it was a free market economy but with structures in place to prevent the tendency for monopolies and cartels to be formed which would be detrimental economy as a whole. Laissez faire capitalism is much loved by the right but it is not proper capitalism they just want a free hand to do what they like. Companies like Microsoft that deliberately tries to destroy competitors rather than compete are anti-capitalist. he also advocated a high wage economy, the better paid the workers the better for the economy because they increased demand apart from the blatantly obvious fact that paying people starvation wages was not a good thing to do. A low wage economy may help the bottom line in the short term as will shifting production abroad to cut costs, in the long run it destroys your economy. If you think that is something people didn't realise at the time go back and look at what was being said about reagan and thatcher's economic policies. I still hate Thatcher by the way. Tony blair was even worse though.

He also advocated free education ( bear in mind he was living in a country with compulsory education up to primary level and anyone could attend university as lectures were paid at the lecture by the attendees) and access to further education and also the education of women (which put him rather ahead of his time). Government took care of those thing it was not sensible for the private sector to deal with - like roads, toll roads were killing commerce at the time. I suppose the 21st century equivalent would be cable, putting that in private hands restricts access to new entrants and keeps costs artificially high. It's killing the US economy at the moment. Some things are just too important allow companies to profiteer selling it. He would have probably advocated universal healthcare as well as the health of the workforce is crucial to the country.

You don't have a capitalist economy in the states what you have is corporatism, or state socialism. It never works. Things are done for the benefit of power groupings within a government to the detriment of everybody else.

Financial services are not there to run the economy they are there to service it. Monetarism will I think go down in history as one of the stupidest ideas in history.

How many have actually read things like the communist manifesto, the wealth of nations or looked at the debates surrounding these issues at the time of the second world war? It's just the debate seems to be centred around the idea you can have one or the other but not both. In europe the left won the basic argument, we have social democratic parties as the norm although the to and fro argument still goes on. In seems in the states the word socialist in a sentence stops the conversation yet when you break it down to basic principles most people actually agree with a lot of it. I actually find threads like this with americans quite alien, the basic knowledge base and attitudes are really strange.

It's an old old debate.

Theodore Roosevelt, The New Nationalism—August 31, 1910

Now, this means that our government, national and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. That is one of our tasks to-day. Every special interest is entitled to justice - full, fair, and complete - and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, and I most dislike and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protections to property, and we must make that promise good But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being.

There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.


I would put it to you that the problem with socialism is that while you can have too much of it that is not nearly as bad as having too little.
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Post by yaaarrrgg »

koan;1341124 wrote: I was part of a mini government. I ran for executive in a union. I decided to participate because we were overthrowing an evil ruler and the person running for president didn't even want to be president, he just wanted to make sure no one with an agenda won the election. We had to talk him into it.

We won. I watched a very socialist hippie turn into a corporate monster in the course of a year... not because he wasn't a true socialist but because he got a taste of power.

Since then, I've come to realise that government functions in much the same way. It doesn't matter why they get in, it turns them into something else. I'm much more comfortable when they don't pretend they are there to help everyone else.



Aside from that... the socialist parties that have gotten power in Canada have royally ****ed up the economy.


Any kind of power heirarchy is lilkely to produce a conflict of interest. As long as there's a consolidation of power, it's not going to be a workable type of socialism.

A better route than a union, IMO, would be to make workers partial owners in the companies they work for (at the same level as shareholders). Then rather than wages. or fighting about raises, they can take a direct percentage of profits. Work harder, they get a raise in direct virtue of working harder. If the company sells, they get a chunk of that too. But more importantly, it give the workers a partial but direct vote in how the company is run. If everyone thinks Joe-Bob needs to get a smaller or larger slice of the pie, they can decide that together. It works out a bit better than having Joe-Bob decide he needs to give himself a raise at the expense of everyone else :)
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

Accountable;1341085 wrote: Sorry, I don't see, and therefore can't agree, that one is the cause of the other. We have the richest poor people in the world, with cars, houses, and cable TV. Rich people suddenly dropped down to below $250K per year to suit Obama's call to tax the rich. The poverty line is an arbitrary one that moves with political winds. It's like the definition for obesity. They changed it a few years ago, then started screaming that we have more fat people than at any time in history.


Certainly the poverty line moves but, unless you are very different from us, not arbitrarily.

Do you accept that there are certain basics that a person needs in order to live as a human rather than exist like an animal - like a roof over his head, clothes on his back and food in his stomach?

Do you further accept that the provision of those basics costs money?

The poverty line is a straight expression of the minimum cost of obtaining those basics and it will vary with real world costs - it should definitely not be set directly by the government of the country concerned.

Do not see the relevance of the rich being able to manipulate their declared income - the problem of the poor is that they have no income to manipulate.

BTW, one of the reasons why the US show up so badly in the obesity stakes is they you're one of the few countries to keep accurate and verifiable records.
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

koan;1341120 wrote: All governments are stuck with the facts on the ground. They have big ideals and then, if they get into power, they find out things are more complicated. There are no simple solutions. For every change they make there are echo consequences. The socialist parties make promises to improve general welfare so they have to follow through at least in part... but the money isn't there unless they can take it from other areas and they can't. So they run up a bill. The social structures that currently exist are flawed and can't be fixed by injection. They are built on foundations with cracks the size of Divine's ass.

If we pull out of military funding jobs are lost. If we take money from somewhere else jobs are lost. No matter where we try to shift things jobs are lost and every political party has friends who helped them win who want to be paid off.

Have I answered yet? It's entirely possible I'm missing which how and why you meant.


If the US pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan then the billions they'd save each year would more than pay for the major infrastructure improvements that are needed and would employ more people than would be lost from the armaments industry and the armed forces combined, be for the benefit of the country and keep much more of the money spent within the US economy.

Fix the cracks in the foundations of the country and the cracks in the foundations of the society will fix themselves.

(that, and get rid of the political lobbyists who bleed the country dry).
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Post by koan »

Bryn Mawr;1341207 wrote: If the US pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan then the billions they'd save each year would more than pay for the major infrastructure improvements that are needed and would employ more people than would be lost from the armaments industry and the armed forces combined, be for the benefit of the country and keep much more of the money spent within the US economy.

Fix the cracks in the foundations of the country and the cracks in the foundations of the society will fix themselves.

(that, and get rid of the political lobbyists who bleed the country dry).


I was referring to Canada's normal level of military spending and not specific to the 'right now' of it. The statement was in relation to normal military spending when there is no war going on.

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq is most definitely a money pit along with being immoral but it's not the type of normal spending I was referring to.

eta: argh. when I get a cup of coffee I'll be able to write properly... perhaps have normal vision... normal trains of thoughts... normal... coffee
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Post by recovering conservative »

Ahso!;1341089 wrote: If land, airways, waterway an so forth remained public domain corporation had to lease from the public instead of owning them, that alone would hold corporations in check because their reach could only be so long.

Nothing else would have to change except there would be not as much need for taxes.
That would be a start, since the corporations have been given public resources to exploit that belong to everyone! They certainly do not pay for the carbon and other gases they release into the atmosphere! They only pay (sometimes, if they don't control the politicians) if they spill oil or coal-slurry in the immediate vicinity and are forced to pay a small fraction of the damage they've done to the surrounding land and water resources. If so-called cheap sources of energy had to pay the catastrophic costs that will be associated with driving atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial 280 ppm to the present near 400 ppm, we would have got off the oil bandwagon years ago.

Even if we did make the changes I suggest the real problem would still continue to be ignored, and that is the problem of Exponential Growth. Ignoring that is the true looming problem. The growth and demand on resources must cease someplace.

Information - Exponential growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A very important 9 minute video - YouTube - The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See (part 1 of 8)
I just got around to watching Prof. Bartlett's seminar, and the scariest part is that this lecture was given almost 15 years ago! Since then, nothing has changed except that we are further down that road to the kind of catastrophe that Malthus predicted would happen centuries ago. Population and economic exploitation are both still growing exponentially -- and he notes that understanding climate impact means considering more than population numbers -- so the average American represents less than 5% of the global pop., but uses 25% of the world's energy supplies (I just learned recently that this number should be increased to somewhere between 30 and 35% because the energy usage of the entire U.S. military operations aren't factored in: CF72 / Militarism and Climate Change ). But, in the last few years we are just starting to recognize the challenge presented by large third world countries like China and India going through a rapid industrialization and providing the cars and all of the other consumer products that western consumers have. This is the solution according to free market libertarians -- having an unmanaged and unregulated exploitation of the world's resources for the sake of personal wants and greed! And what it is leading to, is accelerating our pace towards hitting those ecological tipping points where positive feedback loops caused past catastrophes and extinctions.....which is how most of that stored sunlight underground that we are burning up, got there in the first place! How ironic -- maybe millions of years from now, some future species of reptiles or mammals will be digging up and using our and other plant and animal remains for their energy boom of the distant future.....and hopefully for their sake, they will be less greedy, and more forward-looking than the human species is at the present!

Anyway, I forget which segment it was, but Bartlett mentioned in his examination of Hubbert's Peak Oil predictions, that there are bumps on the way up to peak oil, and there would likewise be bumps on the way down. One of the great unreported news stories today is that we are already bumping our way down Hubberts Peak right now. The bumps on the way down are being created by the doubling down of the oil companies, to extract every last drop of oil from the Earth. The problem is that as they have to dig further down into the rock layers under the oceans, and extract oil from the foul tar sands bitumen in Alberta. This oil is expensive financially, as well as economically. In a recent lecture by Jeff Rubin and Andrew Nikiforuk, they discuss how the costs of tar sands oil and deep sea oil are already preventing the next economic recovery. Simply put, every time the demand for oil goes up, more and more of this expensive oil has to be added to the supply chain, and the prices for fuel, fertilizer, plastics etc. go up.....and then the economy stalls out and goes back into recession. Jeff Rubin predicts that in less than 10 years, the growing dependence on this expensive supply of oil will be the achilles heel of our present nightmare of globalization. In a world of expensive oil, distance costs money. It will start becoming cheaper by comparison, to produce both food and consumer products locally, instead of importing everything from countries that have people working for 10 or 20 cents an hour under Dickensian conditions. If there is a silver lining to our present crisis, it's that the wheels are falling off the gangster capitalist system that is destroying the environment and our quality of life. Big Ideas (Audio) Jeff Rubin and Andrew Nikiforuk on the future of oil note: it's the sixth podcast down the list.

Posted: Sat, 02 Oct 2010 06:00:00 EST

As a sidenote to any U.S. rightwingers joining the Republican call to completely defund NPR, this is why you need a real public television and public radio network! Virtually every other country has one that is not dependent on corporate funding to provide education programming and news that is not biased in favour of powerful business interests.

Looking at the big picture of political theory, The Problem With Socialism pales in comparison to the alternatives offered by libertarians, anarchists and other nuanced right wing theorists, who offer nothing except to let nature take its course. If we lived on an empty world with lots of resources to exploit, maybe we could afford the kind of libertarian, libertine way of life that some here advocate.....but we can't! Capitalism needs to be restricted by its impact on the environment, and it's going to take a worldwide effort....some form of world government in order to enact an effective system of carbon taxation. The alternatives of just allowing personal and corporate greed to drive our exploitation will just be the final nail in the coffin. The world is already undergoing a mass extinction of plant and animal species due to human actions; at the end of this century, when global mean temperature is somewhere between 4 and 8 degrees higher than present, the survivors may be soon to join the list of extinct species.......have a nice day :)
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Post by Accountable »

"The Problem With Socialism pales in comparison" is the closest thing to a positive statement you made for what (I assume) you advocate. All the rest was demonization and emotive, inflammatory, fear-mongering rhetoric. Don't you have anything nice to say about Socialism? Are you able to say it without lashing out at those who disagree?
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Post by koan »

A little comic relief:



Townships are corporations, RC. So if you're against corporate power...

I was trying to find out if the provincial and federal levels incorporate or not but it's so far undetermined.
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Post by recovering conservative »

Accountable;1341345 wrote: "The Problem With Socialism pales in comparison" is the closest thing to a positive statement you made for what (I assume) you advocate. All the rest was demonization and emotive, inflammatory, fear-mongering rhetoric. Don't you have anything nice to say about Socialism? Are you able to say it without lashing out at those who disagree?


Maybe you should have watched the video's Ahso linked! You call it demonization, emotive, fear-mongering, inflammatory.....is there more, or did you run out of adverbs? You think this is being alarmist because you are totally oblivious to the impacts that climate change, peak oil, and overpopulation are already having on economics.

This debate about which is better: socialism or capitalism is esoteric nonsense, because the kind of unregulated capitalism that you advocate cannot be practiced any longer. Like it or not, there is not going to be an economic recovery regardless of who forms the government -- Republican, Democrat, Tea Party...whatever -- the cost of oil, and the costs we are starting to feel from environmental degradation, are going to short-circuit any attempt to grow the economy in any meaningful way.

So, that makes me a socialist by default, because there is no sane alternative! The problems with socialism have been mostly related to the difficulty to motivate large groups of people to behave altruistically, instead of selfishly. But, we have big problems now that are worldwide, and cannot be solved without organization and cooperation. That's what we should be promoting, instead of encouraging the libertarian attitude of social darwinism.
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Post by gmc »

koan;1341376 wrote: A little comic relief:



Townships are corporations, RC. So if you're against corporate power...

I was trying to find out if the provincial and federal levels incorporate or not but it's so far undetermined.


I'm sorry but the British are just so much better at taking the **** out of politicians.

YouTube - U.K. Election.

There really is a raving monster loony party in the UK by the way. Don't get many votes but you never know what then future holds.

posted by recovering conservative

Maybe you should have watched the video's Ahso linked! You call it demonization, emotive, fear-mongering, inflammatory.....is there more, or did you run out of adverbs? You think this is being alarmist because you are totally oblivious to the impacts that climate change, peak oil, and overpopulation are already having on economics.

This debate about which is better: socialism or capitalism is esoteric nonsense, because the kind of unregulated capitalism that you advocate cannot be practiced any longer. Like it or not, there is not going to be an economic recovery regardless of who forms the government -- Republican, Democrat, Tea Party...whatever -- the cost of oil, and the costs we are starting to feel from environmental degradation, are going to short-circuit any attempt to grow the economy in any meaningful way.

So, that makes me a socialist by default, because there is no sane alternative! The problems with socialism have been mostly related to the difficulty to motivate large groups of people to behave altruistically, instead of selfishly. But, we have big problems now that are worldwide, and cannot be solved without organization and cooperation. That's what we should be promoting, instead of encouraging the libertarian attitude of social darwinism.






Cheer up the rest of the world will get on with things while the united states does it's own thing. In a way you are about fifty to seventy five years behind europe and china in the left right debate. Your fascists weren't defeated like they were in europe they morphed in to something else and kept their power base intact. The language of debate seems to have been stifled with words like socialist, communist and liberal all lumped together as if they mean the same thing and shouldn't be talked about in public. Or so it seems to me but I can't claim to be in a position to make an accurate assessment. Do you learn about socialism at school? It's so much a part of our history you can't study it without coming across it in one form especially when you get to the impact of industrialisation and the growth of cities and an urban working class and the political reforms that resulted from it. The growth of the labour party (used to be socialist don't you know now the public school brigade have got control) Red clydeside and the general strike etc etc, all fine left wing working class movements. Revolutionary socialism is as dead as the dodo but democratic socialism is alive and well. The debate is not socialism or capitalsim but rather how do you meld the two for the best way forward. That's a discussion americans seem unable to have without labels beimng spat at each other. Libertarianism is also passe anarchism dies out in the thirties and was a middle class intellectual movement doomed to failure anyway. Bit like hippies, you can only drop out if you have money behind you evrynody else needs to work for a living and no god fearing socialist will put up with scroungers. I do mean god fearing, the roots of socialism lie in the enlightemment and the protestant reformation. Your declaration of independence owes much to those early socialists the levellers, the wording almost paraphrases the agreement of the people written in 1649. The apparent atheism of socialism is because the church was part of the establishment used to maintain the status quo. It's like everything else in politics, if you can't counter an argument pick on something else to focus on and change the discussion to somethimng else. Politicians are good at it.

People can be motivated to behave altruistically they just have to be pissed off at the establishment enough to smack it down. We introduced universal healthcare on the back of overwhelming support for it, any parrtyb that doesn't support the concept or looks like they might change it doesn't get elected. Maggie Thatcher was unpopular because she was seen as uncaring, it cost her her job. When Obama got elected it looked as if finally, the american peple were getting grip on the right wing nutters running the place, that's why his election was welcomed around the world, what an anti-climax that was. The next election will be interesting, will you vote for unemployment and being thrown out your homes or for more caring politivians who want social reform?

I wouldn't actually call myself a socialist, I'm left wing about some things and right wing about others, just like most people it depends what you are talkng about. You don't have left wing politicians in the states, they just seem to be right wing and more to the right. Supporting universal healthcare in the UK is the middle ground in politics, privatising it is right wing nutcase territory.
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Post by Accountable »

recovering conservative;1341391 wrote: [QUOTE=Accountable;1341345]Don't you have anything nice to say about Socialism? Are you able to say it without lashing out at those who disagree?Maybe you should have watched the video's Ahso linked!Did you make it? Well done then! :yh_clap

recovering conservative wrote: You call it demonization, emotive, fear-mongering, inflammatory.....is there more, or did you run out of adverbs?It was one noun and three adjectives, and I chose three because three looks good in a sentence. It has a certain rhythm, don't you think?

recovering conservative wrote: This debate about which is better: socialism or capitalism is esoteric nonsense, because the kind of unregulated capitalism that you advocate cannot be practiced any longer.The kind of capitalism that I advocate hasn't been practiced yet, so far as I'm aware.

recovering conservative wrote: Like it or not, there is not going to be an economic recovery regardless of who forms the government -- Republican, Democrat, Tea Party...whatever -- the cost of oil, and the costs we are starting to feel from environmental degradation, are going to short-circuit any attempt to grow the economy in any meaningful way. I agree and disagree. There will be economic recovery, but it will be slowed by government interference regardless of who forms the government -- Republican, Democrat, Tea Party...whatever -- because by default anyone that runs for a government position thinks that government can solve economic problems with legislation. They only muck things up and waste good capital, slowing market recovery by making it too unstable for investors to predict the best ways to invest.

recovering conservative wrote: we have big problems now that are worldwide, and cannot be solved without organization and cooperation. They can absolutely be solved without organization and cooperation. The result won't remotely resemble what we had globally before the Bush's excuse to throw a trillion to his buddies (with Obama following suit), but do we really want to return to that?
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Post by yaaarrrgg »

Accountable;1341404 wrote:

The kind of capitalism that I advocate hasn't been practiced yet, so far as I'm aware.




That's the difficulty I have understanding libertarian thought. I can understand if someone points to another country or social interaction and says "that's a good idea that can be used here." My thought process is along the lines: "more like this (pointing to one country), less like this (pointing to another)." Overall, I don't care about labels, I just don't want to live in Liberia. Governments that don't do anything don't foster an environment I'd want to live in.
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Post by recovering conservative »

Accountable;1341404 wrote: Did you make it? Well done then! :yh_clap

It was one noun and three adjectives, and I chose three because three looks good in a sentence. It has a certain rhythm, don't you think?

The kind of capitalism that I advocate hasn't been practiced yet, so far as I'm aware.
And yet, the fact that not only socialism, but what used to be referred to as "social democracy" -- regulated capitalism for common benefit, cannot be practiced any longer because of the worldwide dominance of globalism and neo-liberal banking and finance, completely falls on deaf ears!

Aside from the believers in Homeopathy, I'm not aware of many people who believe consuming more of the poison that's causing their illness, will actually cure them; but that seems to be the logic of all the nuanced versions of rightwing economics! Over the last 30 years, the government policies of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and most of the World, have been increasingly tailored to suit the wishes of multinational corporations.

When "Free Trade" was first advanced as a cure-all of the World's economic problems, there was skepticism from both the right and the left. The left knew it would be a threat to the ability of unions to organize workers, and maintain wage standards; the right knew that Globalization would reduce national sovereignty and give more control to international governing bodies that do the bidding of the major banks and other corporations. But, right from the start, every politician and political party that made it a cause to fight Free Trade -- in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and elsewhere, either backed down or was proven to be a liar! No matter who we voted for, we have just kept moving steadily down the road to the state we are in right now.

Like I said previously, the only silver lining of the looming problem of being left with costly, dirty oil, is that cheap transportation for products is about to be kneecapped by a doubling or tripling of oil prices in the next five to ten years. This may be the biggest reason why the oil companies are pushing so hard against any and every policy that might restrict hard-to-get oil -- they want to maximize their profit margins, and every other major player that benefits from the present system knows that all of the money they have invested in Outsourcing is now at risk. You may get a chance to see the practice of whatever local capitalism you believe in, and likewise, it will actually be possible for nations to put a stop to outsourcing jobs and being dictated to by the Oligarchs who have created the international system. It will also be the one thing that puts the brakes on the always growing U.S. Military budgets! With fewer trade routes to protect, and fewer governments to intimidate to follow the dictates of foreign-based manufacturers, that giant albatross will be cut down to size a bit!

But, of course, the downside to the direction we are heading in is that there may be less oil being used, but accessing it creates more greenhouse gases than the easy oil that we're running out of. How will the powerful oil industry be stopped, and alternative sources of energy for smaller, local economies be established without international cooperation? I don't see this happening by some natural, evolutionary libertarian process that will just magically sort everything out. And the fact that this planet only has one atmosphere, that requires an international solution to protect -- is one reason why almost all of the libertarian thinkers have bought into so called "climate change skepticism" that the oil and coal companies have been financing for the last ten or 15 years!

The nativist-thinkers need to look beyond their neighbourhoods, and their national borders, and start to realize that we're all living on one planet, no matter which country we call home. Expanding our horizons to this degree is difficult for most people to grasp, and it's been even more difficult over the last 20 years or so, because of the various movements that do not want to consider the rest of the world.



I agree and disagree. There will be economic recovery, but it will be slowed by government interference regardless of who forms the government -- Republican, Democrat, Tea Party...whatever -- because by default anyone that runs for a government position thinks that government can solve economic problems with legislation. They only muck things up and waste good capital, slowing market recovery by making it too unstable for investors to predict the best ways to invest.
And that's why you should have watched those videos! I've seen others follow the theme that Prof. Bartlett was trying to make, and what it all boils down to is that we are living in a finite world, with finite resources, but we have an economic system that depends on continuous, exponential growth. The two are incompatible no matter how you look at it! What I learned from Bartlett's presentation is just how rapidly those forces that are set in place by constant, exponential increases create a crisis. Once we're in danger, it's usually too late to stop the looming disaster. This has been the case when civilizations collapsed in the past, and it's likely to happen again. The problem is that this will be a worldwide collapse that is already accompanied by ecological disasters in the Global South -- that we in North America have been almost totally oblivious to.....thanks to what passes for a news media here. The CIA has been monitoring the threats posed by sharp spikes in oil, consequent rapid increases in food cost; famine; water shortages and droughts; and they are trying to get the ear of the politicians that we can expect mass migrations of refugees, wars, more terrorist attacks, and other consequences that are difficult to predict. An old Chinese curse says something like:'may you live in interesting times;' seems like the interesting times are just beginning!

They can absolutely be solved without organization and cooperation. The result won't remotely resemble what we had globally before the Bush's excuse to throw a trillion to his buddies (with Obama following suit), but do we really want to return to that?
Or they could be solved by total chaos and mass extinction! I'd hate to be all gloom and doom, but that's the course we are plotting right now.
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Accountable
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The Problem With Socialism

Post by Accountable »

Accountable;1341404 wrote: [QUOTE=recovering conservative;1341391]... the kind of unregulated capitalism that you advocate cannot be practiced any longer. The kind of capitalism that I advocate hasn't been practiced yet, so far as I'm aware.


yaaarrrgg;1341434 wrote: That's the difficulty I have understanding libertarian thought. I can understand if someone points to another country or social interaction and says "that's a good idea that can be used here." My thought process is along the lines: "more like this (pointing to one country), less like this (pointing to another)." Overall, I don't care about labels, I just don't want to live in Liberia. Governments that don't do anything don't foster an environment I'd want to live in.*sigh* Then stop trying to understand libertarian thought when you converse with me and start trying to understand me without that filter! I do believe we've known each other for years now, off and on. I know that several times I have advocated laws to keep honest people honest. That is the proper function of government - the proper function of government, Yarg, is not doing nothing. I don't know anyone, even someone that claims to be extreme libertarian, that wants a government that does nothing. If you do, then have this conversation with them.

If you're interested in a conversation with me:

I believe the US federal government has duties and responsibilities distinct and separate from those of the state & local governments. Part of that is regulating interstate and international trade, but such regulation must be kept to that minimum of keeping honest people honest - truth in advertising & contracting, cleanliness of processes ... things that happen behind the scenes, where an otherwise honest businessman might be tempted to cut corners.

Where legislators overstep, imo, is when they pass nonsensical regulation or licensing procedures that set up red tape barriers to new ventures and smaller business, preventing them from becoming viable threats to more established businesses. They also overstep when they use taxpayer dollars to guarantee against loss, encouraging businesses to take risks they would not otherwise take. Likewise when they recognize a corporation as having certain rights as if it were a human and citizen.

So you see, the capitalism I advocate is not unregulated capitalism. The "capitalism" of the type RC says "cannot be practiced any longer" is neither unregulated nor the type I advocate.
recovering conservative
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The Problem With Socialism

Post by recovering conservative »

Accountable;1341556 wrote: *sigh* Then stop trying to understand libertarian thought when you converse with me and start trying to understand me without that filter! I do believe we've known each other for years now, off and on. I know that several times I have advocated laws to keep honest people honest. That is the proper function of government - the proper function of government, Yarg, is not doing nothing. I don't know anyone, even someone that claims to be extreme libertarian, that wants a government that does nothing. If you do, then have this conversation with them.

If you're interested in a conversation with me:

I believe the US federal government has duties and responsibilities distinct and separate from those of the state & local governments. of keeping honest people honest - truth in advertising & contracting, cleanliness of processes ... things that happen behind the scenes, where an otherwise honest businessman might be tempted to cut corners.
Okay, let's pause here! It seems to me, that the big reason you are continually complaining about being misunderstood and having words put in your mouth, is because you are short on specifics, when you talk about subjects like government regulation.....in the previous paragraph, no specifics! I gave a specific example -- the original Free Trade Agreement....which NAFTA quickly followed on the heels of. Now, when the FTA was a federal election issue up here, I was more than a little conflicted about what to believe. At the time I was working for a company that management admitted, would close within 3 years if the deal was ratified. But, I was young and promised a job with another company that was primarily a U.S. supplier, and expecting to cash in. Since that time, it seems to me that the promises have been long forgotten, while an international system that has suppressed wages and living standards for most people, and allowed a small powerful elite to enrich themselves. So where do you stand on specific issues, not political theory? When you say:"Part of that is regulating interstate and international trade, but such regulation must be kept to that minimum" how much regulating are you talking about? Would you have scrapped the free trade agreements? Or does keeping them to a minimum, mean you support the policies of deregulation, that have allowed commercial and personal banking to merge, and an entire industry of unregulated capital markets, such as insuring investments with Credit Default Swaps, to flourish without any government oversight?

Where legislators overstep, imo, is when they pass nonsensical regulation or licensing procedures that set up red tape barriers to new ventures and smaller business, preventing them from becoming viable threats to more established businesses. They also overstep when they use taxpayer dollars to guarantee against loss, encouraging businesses to take risks they would not otherwise take. Likewise when they recognize a corporation as having certain rights as if it were a human and citizen.


And what is red tape and nonsense regulation? Were the Massey Mine Disaster and the BP - Global Horizon blowout in the Gulf, caused by too much regulation? Or was this and the everyday examples of unsafe products and working conditions, a sign that private industry is too free from regulation, and needs some real government oversight by regulators who aren't intimidated or bought off by the corporations?

So you see, the capitalism I advocate is not unregulated capitalism. The "capitalism" of the type RC says "cannot be practiced any longer" is neither unregulated nor the type I advocate.
I would like to add the qualifier on the present system of neo-liberalism, that it will still be a powerful force in the near future, but high oil prices will reduce trade and cut into their present ability to force virtually every nation to follow their banking and trade policies.

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