Socialism: Maybe not such a bad idea?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Anarcho Union, May 12, 2011.

  1. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    So in your head, capitalism = zero taxation?

    So please, enlighten me. Who the FUCK prints the money that capitalists trade, if there is no centralised govt paid for via taxation? Just how does your little capitalist ideal hang together with no intellectual property rights, no copyright, no legal enforcement of contracts?
     
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  3. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Why is that mine?

    Again, why are you levelling that at me?

    Blowing people?
     
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  5. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    About the most interesting thing about this thread is just how undereducated and intellectually-deficient some of the people are here. Besides the OP, two others display the worst thinking skills I've ever encountered.

    To the OP: Have you ever even bothered to look around you and see how things work in the real world - as opposed to in your childish idealistic mind? Here's an *excellent* example of what I'm talking about: Do you even know that anarchy is *exactly* what they have in Somalia? And how is that working out for them, eh?
     
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  7. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Yup, I totally agree.
     
  8. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Yes indeedy! I would post something more pithy but it seems everyone has summed it all up already.
     
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Indeed.

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    In my government class the term we learned to describe an agency that has essentially come under the influence of the industry it regulates is "captured".

    It occurs to me our entire government is somewhat of a captured agency at this point.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  10. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Actually it has been for a long time its just more noticeable now. No need for discretion after the government has coined the term 'too big to fail', in short telling the american people that wall street is of paramount importance no matter what they do.
     
  11. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    I have been a capitalist/ socialist for quite a few years now and have long wanted private industry out of healthcare and education and I mean higher education as well. People that are wealthy will still have the exclusive colleges and healthcare that they think they desrve even if we did socialize both of these institutions. So why not? Some things should not profit driven because imo these are basic rights especially at our level of development!
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I would agree except for two things. First, it's not a matter of "deserve", it's actually a matter of "can afford." When I can afford first class treatment (which I can), why should I put up with going through a bureaucratic boondogle - not to evem mention the delays - to get second or third class treatment??

    Second, when you get right down to it, there's actually no such thing as "basic rights." That's the same type of thinking that led to all the "entitlement" programs. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is about all there is to basics - the rest you have to work for. And some work MUCH harder than others and therefore can afford more.
     
  13. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    2 things most of those who afford more don't really work harder. some may work more hours but harder not so much. secondly Life you have a right to life. implied is the right not to have that right harmed which means to most health care. and the modern society that enabled you to make your money by "working harder" is based on what you call entitlements.
     
  14. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    bingo. the wealthy aren't where they are because they are more capable but because they were lucky and had connections. for every wealthy person who claims they got where they by their own merit there are probably 20-25 people out there who could what they did as good or better if they had the same advantages
     
  15. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    no it wouldn't anarchy would increase the power of the economicly powerful.
     
  16. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    Yes the wealthy deserve it because they can afford it and many times they can afford it because it was given to them by their parents , grandparents or great grandparents so yes they um deserve the best that capitalism has to offer! Talk abou entitlements! Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is just lofty hot air, the second bill of rights proposed by FDR was material not just idealistic jingoism!
     
  17. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    If you are 16, then you probably don't even remember the boom years clearly.

    In any event, how are you defining "socialism"? Can you point to any socialist countries where you believe that life is (or was) better. Certainly the dysfunction that was the USSR (which was socialist, not really communist) is not something you'd remember, but that still couldn't possibly be your model.

    The problem with socialism is that it depends on top down planning. The government controls assets and it decides how you may use them. The government is made up (ideally) of well-meaning and caring people who take their job seriously...but it's a "top down" structure.

    What's the problem with that?

    Well, we've learned that the collective intelligence of a group (A) exists separately from the intelligence of individual members of that group (and is measurable) and (B) is not at all correlated with the intelligence of the individuals in the group. The latter point is to say that neither the average intelligence of the members of a group, nor the intelligence of the smartest members of a group influence the collective intelligence of the group as a whole.

    That means, in part, that putting the smartest guy in charge does not mean that you will get the smartest decisions, and that is even assuming he can process all of the relevant information needed to make a given decision. Most of the time *no one* processes all of the relevant information. We only pursue information to the point where the expected cost of obtaining the information exceeds the benefits of doing so. That fact generally means that better and more thorough information is gathered at the "micro" level rather than the "macro" level. (The counter-balance to that is that at the micro level we have difficulty weighing competing needs of others equally with our own, but there is no doubt that our information regarding our own needs is superior to that of planners off in the distant government capital.)

    The advantage of central planning, then, is the ability to prioritize assets among competing uses...but how do you determine what use is "superior?" You need to set up some criteria by which you measure the utility of competing uses, and gather information on how well different asset allocations meet those criteria. That information would be best gathered at the local level, and much of that cannot be filtered up to the decision- makers (or, it can, but the decision-makers can only process so much of it and so necessarily are not interested in gathering all the information available at the local level — in other words, gathering and processing reports is costly so some of the information is simply left behind at that local level).

    If the ultimate goal is maximizing the satisfaction of the people under you...well information on what makes people feel satisfied is a tricky thing. It is especially easy to come by at the local level (it's usually but not always pretty easy for you to determine what makes you personally happy), and especially hard to transfer a full accounting of that information to others. (Economists call this people's "utility".)

    Central planning works best if the goal is unrelated to local concerns or individuals. If the goal is to maximize national defense, for example, that is something central planners can do easily.

    Problem, though, if you lose focus on generating satisfaction for people, they will produce less, and it while it's easy to pursue more "national" projects and policies in the short run, in the long run a loss of production can make even that difficult. The converse is also true, that when production is geared towards generating greater satisfaction and happiness for the citizens, the citizens will engage in more and greater production.

    Decentralized systems overcome many of these problems. First, individuals gather better and more complete information on the problems they face directly. Second, they can apply individual intelligence to their own problems, rather than relying on collective intelligence, which gives smarter people the ability to implement better solutions (which is superior only if you believe that smarter people are entitled to be better off in a meritocratic way). Third, because of the first point and human egoism, people are likely to focus heavily on maximizing their own personal satisfaction and to be relatively better at doing that than a central planner would be.

    The downside to a decentralized system, of course, is that getting national projects done is more difficult, and that includes this like "making sure the poor and unfortunate members of society have their needs met." Decentralized systems are also prone to the emergence of systemic problems without having the ability to correct on a systemwide basis.

    In the west we use hybrid systems, that are largely decentralized with a relatively small and carefully controlled central planning element. That's as true of France and Sweden as it is the U.S. The Soviets were a system more tilted towards central planning, but even China has been moving away from that model.

    Even with the best possible system of information gathering and processing possible, I doubt a decision-maker in Washington will ever have the ability to determine what will maximize an individual's utility as well as that individual could, so it seems as though local information will always be superior in that area.
     
  18. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Having state healthcare doesn't rule out private medicine. I have both here in the UK. My partner needed a couple of procedures and is covered on my policy. One procedure could be taken care of by the private policy, but the second was a bit specialist and they just do not have the equipment, so we had to use the NHS.

    Both were accomplished fairly quickly, despite the differences in care systems.

    I've used both private and NHS systems, depending on which was more appropriate. I find it to be a fairly comprehensive blend of socialism and capitalism

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  19. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Why should anybody have to get second or third-class treatment?

    Especially since, in the US, we spend MORE on healthcare per capita than a lot of other western countries...yet get a lot less?

    Better yet, why should people be faced with the choice of death or going into debt?

    I gambled on that one once by hitting my inhaler about 50 times and passing out I was turning blue...I came to later a bit more able to breathe-I could walk.
    My Mom's friend didn't want to go to the hospital for her sky-high blood-sugar b/c she didn't want more debt. Uninsured, unemployed.
    Three days later, they found her body at her house.

    I stress out a lot when I think about government budget cuts-ATM I use county care...if I can't afford asthma meds, I'm in deep crap.
     
  20. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    you are labouring under the false assumption that universal healthcare systems are bureaucratic for the recipient.
    on the NHS if I want to see a doctor I phone the surgery and and get seen the same day - no forms - no waiting - no co-pay - no drug or prescription charges - no waiting for my insurance company to confirm that I am covered.

    please point to the bureacratic boondoggle in the above.
     
  21. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Very true,... indeed, we are so socialist, we'll scoop anybody off the floor, whisk them away in an ambulance, and fix them up, for free, no questions asked.. Tourists from other nations, without travel insurance included.
     
  22. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    IF your system works exactly as you've described, then I'm happy for you.

    However, that's NOTHING like the one the U.S. congress twisted together out of bits and pieces of bubblegum and matchsticks. Had they taken the SMART approach and actually studied what was working (and HOW it was working) in other countries, they could have done considerably better for much less cost.
     
  23. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    But this is exactly what she Quinnsong is saying, that you will still be able to afford your 'first class treatment'. Even in Denmark which has universal health care they STILL have private insurance for those who desire to pay for it and you don't hear them complaining about the system. You wouldn't have to go through a 'bureaucratic boondogle'. By the way I've used the health care system in Denmark and there was no papers and no waiting. I was just treated and released without paying a dime so I don't know what you mean by the 'bureaucratic boodoogle' which is what you get with insurance companies who are all into their paper work.

    Basic rights are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? How does anyone manage that if they're ill and cannot afford to maintain their health? Not to mention those who have lost work or lost their homes and discover a lack of social services. From what you posted it would seem that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is really an entitlement for those who can afford it and not a 'right'. Societies create their basic rights period and if Americans had decided that health care was a basic right it would become one.
     

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