The Axis of Socialism?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Carcano, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

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    Except if there's corruption, which considering that this is a goverment for human beings there always is. The problem with socialism is that it breaks down completely with corruption, where capitalism can continue to thrive even under corruption.
     
  2. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I don't take a stand on eating such things as I see merit in the different viewpoints.

    I'm not heavily opposed to that most basic implementation of capitalism, either, and I agree with your thought on present socialism.

    Another understanding of capitalism includes the exploitation, and that is the type that really bothers me.

    Due to the way it exists in the USA, I think regulations should be stiffened, especially regarding large income disparities.

    Nonetheless, I still dream of a day when when the main compensation for work is satisfaction for a job well done as well as being able to more than cover the necessities of life. That system wouldn't include people owning a lot of wealth. However, I see it requiring a lot more progress in thinking and civilization before people will practice sufficient ethics to make it work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  3. Billy T Please use Sugar Cane Alcohol Fuel Staff Member

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    To some extent that is the way it is in Scandinavian countries. My first wife was Norwegian. Her dentist only worked four months each year, as more than that made him pay about 3/4 of his marginal income in taxes. He preferred less income and two month vacations four times a year.

    In general working at least 11 month per year for your economic necessities, makes for a lot more production of product and services than just going to work when you feel like it as that day it is the most enjoyable thing you can do. That makes everyone live better MATERIALLY, for much less. With this cost of necessities saving, typical Joe American can afford to take his kids to Disney land at least twice before they are off to college.

    We are not yet in the robotic era where all the unpleasant jobs are done by robots. Many would quit their job in a NY minute, if they won the big prize in the lottery. For them “Take this job and shove it.” (except I need it to pay the bills, etc.) is the rule.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  4. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Is it exploitation when the federal government takes 50% of your income...half your working year, as it is in Sweden?

    Thats worse than a medieval serf.
     
  5. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    On a historical note, May Day as an international worker's day has its origins in Chicago circa 1886.

    Amazingly, it was not the unions, but ANARCHISTS who headed the agitation for an 8 hour work day.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_affair

    "In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy, although the prosecution conceded none of the defendants had thrown the bomb. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison.

    The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers. The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark on March 25, 1992, and a public sculpture was dedicated at the site in 2004."
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  6. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I dunno. If the services that the government supplies are good, it could be okay. Even if one had double income because of no government taxes, it could be pretty bad out there if there were no roads, law enforcement, independent research, food quality monitoring, and a guardian of general public safety. Waste happens in the private sector, too, and not just in the government. The competitive system is intrinsically wasteful from all the failures, business and personal.

    It's not so much the system that is the problem right now, it's mainly that there are more workers in the world than there are decent jobs that they could do with the resources that are available on the planet. It reminds me of how there has been recent talk of mining asteroids. Also, the economic trouble that the rulers see, mainly those in the private sector, tends to make them more insecure, fueling their greed. I would like to see a lot more intellectual and ethical growth in the world.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  7. Billy T Please use Sugar Cane Alcohol Fuel Staff Member

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    I´m neither a socialist nor an “Anne Rand capitalist,” more of a pragmatist. Some jobs are best done by private organizations in competition with each other and others by the government.

    For example, Fed Ex, UPS, etc all make profits and pay taxes, but the US post office needs more funds from Congress AGAIN this year.

    In contrast, US has a private “for profit” medical system, which attracts many med student who want to get rich and few who don´t care about money (if their basic necessities would be met working on salary in the socialized health care system of their country). They mainly want to help the sick, etc. Thus medical costs in the US are about 2,5 times higher than in UK or Europe and yet US system gives two years (or even three) LESS life expectancy. Also doctors there are going to get the same salary if the see only 20 instead of 30 patients in a day so take the time to diagnose more accurately. The test they order are for the patient´s benefit, not to protect themselves from subsequent malpractice suits.

    Furthermore, each US doctor keeps his patient´s paper medical records in filing cabinet (until it is full and he can trash some from patients he has not seen for 3 or 4 years) so when a new disease starts to spread, like AIDs, it takes four or five years in the US before its cause understood and how to control its spread. If AID had started in London, instead of San Francisco, the behavioral cause would have been recognized in a few months of routine computer data processing of the centralized medical records. Perhaps AIDs would have been first controlled and then eliminated from the Earth and not be the current global epidemic it is.

    SUMMARY keep what works – delivers better services at lower cost. Abandon all your Republican or Democratic ideological beliefs about this. (E.g get or keep a public health service, not the US´s “for profit” medical system) and discard government supported systems that are a tax burden and provide inferior or not any better service than private organizations do. (E.g. close the US post office but regulate the private companies so that at least one must provide pick up and deliver in small cities at the same price as in the big cities, etc.)

    Brazil, in many ways, is now better run than the US is especially the well regulated banks and stock market. For example the telephones are all private now and competitive but must provide public phones on posts every few city blocks and phone service must be available in small towns. It seems that 90% of the people walking on the sidewalk have a cell phone glued to their ears. Wireless has killed the natural monopoly of telephone wire to your house. Brazil has three times smaller debt to GDP ratio than the US and $355 billion dollars in reserves.

    With the ten year old Bolsa Familia program most of the previously poor are now in the tax paying lower middle class and their kids are getting 18 years of education instead of working in field with father after third grade. Our very very intelligent maid quit school after third grade – all a woman needed back them. An inadequately educated population is Brazil´s main problem – it has almost everything else a modern state needs in abundance. (energy, fresh water, fertile land, every sort of mineral and gem stone, forests, etc. – only lacks a good rail system so has too many trucks on the roads.)

    When I first came to Brazil, the corrupt president Collor was being removed from office. It was inspiring to see streets full of people with faces painted with yellow and green stripes protesting for his removal and not just the young. I read in the local papers what were some of the things he had as assets with no justification as to how he got them honestly. One listed asset item I could not understand was: “11 lines of telephone”

    Back then the only government ran the telephone system. If you wanted a phone, you put your name on a list and four or five years later you would get a phone (if no one had bribed the agents to replace your name with theirs on the list.) So many people did sign up for phones and after half dozen years or so, they had many phones lines for sale. If you bought some one´s existing phone line, you could get it transferred to your home in a few months (by private contractor). Collor had about 9 line of telephone for sale and would get more than the equivalent of $1,500 or even $2000 for each.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    So what is the AXIS of Socialism?

    What are the core principles around which it revolves?

    First and foremost it is universal suffrage...or voting rights for all adult citizens.

    We have to ask...if western nations had universal suffrage in the 1800s would violent socialist revolutions have ever happened???

    The answer is no...let's look at the example of England.

    In 1432 The King decreed that all male owners of property worth at least 40 shillings could vote in local districts. Thats about 2lbs of silver....a small percentage of the citizenry.

    In 1832 Voting rights were extended to male renters of property of a certain value. This allowed at least 1 in 6 adult males to vote.

    In 1867 Voting rights were extended to all male householders.

    And in 1884 this was equally applied to the countryside. A whopping 40% of the male population were still denied!

    Is it any wonder that there was exploitation of the poor by the wealthy, with their exclusive influence over parliament?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  9. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    The second core principle of Socialism is public ownership of bank deposits.

    In the US there are 5.5 trillion dollars of bank deposits.
    Who owns this money and the colossal power of its investment potential?

    Its not the depositors...you and me...its the private commercial bank that owns it.

    The depositors cannot tell the bank what they can and cannot do with their money.

    But they can if their money is deposited with a credit union. When you become a member you also become a stockholder and part owner who can attend and vote in policy meetings.

    Would there have been violent socialist revolutions of the 1900s if all banking institutions were credit unions? The answer is no...because the majority of the citizenry would have had the majority of the nation's investment capital under their control.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_union
     
  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    We dont find out what works without failures. But you are right...most corporations established fail within a few years. Perhaps theres an easier way of determining viability.

    Many things could be considered WASTE...all the production that goes into religion for example, or gambling casinos, or cosmetics.

    Some might argue that religion IS a form of gambling, where winners and loses are determined by picking the RIGHT deity to worship...a kind of metaphysical roulette!

    If you think humans are just biological machines then aesthetics too is a waste.

    Look at your dining table...most of its cost went into making it look good...as opposed to its functionality for holding up cups and saucers.

    A strictly functional table would just be a piece of plywood with four square cut legs.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  11. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I've thought about things like those a lot, like how religion has wasted huge amounts of resources and human effort.

    We could benefit from a god that could actually give advice on whether undertakings like business ventures were going to turn out well or were a good idea in the first place--either that, or some really smart scientific types better than the Chinese central planners who could direct all the details of the economy.

    I tend toward only the practical and nonaesthetic. A table for me is whatever has a usable flat surface that can support things. The closest thing I have to tables are workbenches against the walls.

    With the MLM businesses that have focused so much on cosmetics, one might wonder if they actually have been considered a fountain of youth.

    I've been lamenting how people operate based just on what little practical stuff they know. It's related to the idea of how religious minister might do an exorcism on someone who has epilepsy. Particularly, I'm bugged by the city council pinning the city's hopes for the economic future on a streetcar, a casino, and a park. It seems they lack a deep level of knowledge and understanding about what it takes to really make peoples' lives better in a world of depleting natural resources.
     
  12. Jeeves Registered Senior Member

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    It depends for its existence on increase. Indefinite growth - in a plant, in a city, in an economy, in anything at all, is impossible. Therefore capitalism relies for its existence on maintaining an illusion... much like religion and the military. That makes CEOs, prelates and generals natural allies, leaving the rest of us natural prey.
     
  13. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Most of the calls for GROWTH come from government...because its one of few ways to get out of unsustainable debt.

    In other words, the public sector NEEDS the private sector to grow, so it can extract more tax revenue to pay down its reckless deficit spending.

    And this is only time corporations absolutely positively have to grow...to get out of debt. Otherwise, they only have to 'break even' to survive.

    My credit union has a policy of requiring a small profit so it can expand and build more outlets....even though technically its a not-for-profit organization.
     
  14. Jeeves Registered Senior Member

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    To whom is government - the so-called public sector - in debt? From whom do governments borrow and to whom do they award the most lucrative contracts, all paid by tax revenues?

    In other words the private sector NEEDS government to keep making it richer, to protect its income, shelters, exemptions and assets.

    They never get out of debt. All capitalist enterprises are based on investment - which is another word for lending: you invest with the expectation of of more money: dividends or interest.
    A wholly owned company could do that, could remain stable, even if the owners earned a very comfortable salary, so long as they had no shareholders to answer to. Modern corporations don't operate that way.

    Growth is not, in itself, bad: every organism has a period of growth; once it reaches maturity, it remains the same size for some time; at senility, it begins to shrink, then it dies.
    What's bad in capitalism is that it requires unlimited growth. And when capitalist control governments (Thought you had me fooled by the division of public and private sectors? Phshah!) they both need to keep growing until the substrate is all used up. Like cancer cells.
     
  15. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    Growth of any economy regardless of its political orientation is limited by availability of energy and natural resources.

    We will run out of resources long before running out of energy...which nature provides in more abundance than we can access. Energy is also used to re-cycle resources.

    And even then, we will still have private production and exchanges.
    A corporation doesnt die without growth...nor do non-profit organizations.
     
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    Currently, US politicians are not required to have an education in science or economics. The Chinese probably have higher academic standards.

    But what you describe has happened to some extent in past history with Sumptuary laws.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumptuary_law

    "Sumptuary laws are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc."
     
  17. Jeeves Registered Senior Member

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    Carcano
    In 1800, that was probably still true. In a global speculative economy - that is, where money lives in computers and travels at the speed of internet transaction - wealth has very little to do with resources, production or any society's standard of living.

    That's all true and would be a useful base line to reconnect with. Once the economy of debt has collapsed, maybe people will.

    Of course. So?

    A corporation, without growth, fails to generate profit for its investors. Investment - all investment - is a pyramid scheme: it has to keep growing to keep making a profit for the shareholders to keep up the price of stock to keep investors coming to keep growing to make profit to keep paying dividends to attract investors... (They really are not people, you know. They have no sense or reasoning capability, and cannot die.)

    A non-profit organization operates on an entirely different principle, and for a different purpose. It needs to grow until it's large enough to do whatever it was established to do; needs to shrink when the need for its services decreases; needs to be stable when it is able to fulfill its function.
     
  18. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    The Japanese stock market is down more than 70% from its 1990 high...and yet the capitalist economy has not died. A large percentage of corporations dont even offer public shares...441 of the largest privately owned US companies had revenues of 1.8 trillion and employed 6.2 million people in 2008.

    [​IMG]

    Investment is a pyramid scheme when OLD investors can only by paid off with NEW investors. This doesnt last forever...and obviously doesnt represent the majority of successful firms in the long term.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  19. elte Valued Senior Member

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    The sumptuary laws were a bad idea because they tried to control demand by regulating consumption. I was thinking more of controlling demand by guiding supply by first educating the public so that they will ask for the things that matter.

    At least if the suppliers are going to influence the public, nevertheless, they should be more altruistic. It's crazy to see advertisements for 600hp Mustangs these days. It's been 30 years and we're once again just starting to address the problem of automotive gas guzzlers, and that is just some of us, apparently.
     
  20. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    Putting limits on horsepower would be a modern version of a sumptuary law...because big rumbling supercharged engines are to men what cosmetics and jewellery are to women. Its an artificial compensation for what is naturally lacking.

    Its amazing that someone will spend thousands extra on a muscle car, and then buy a house clad in vinyl siding. Why not buy a decent brick or stucco house and get a Prius instead.

    The money saved on gas and the purchase price can be used to invest in a homestead your children will be proud to inherit.
     

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