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  #51  
Old 06-03-2019, 02:53 PM
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It's a choice between capitalism for the many and capitalism for the few.
  #52  
Old 06-03-2019, 05:57 PM
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I wouldn't bother trying to make that case, but you do you...if you want to try and explain to folks that this or that is like socialism, or has it's roots in socialism, well, there is nothing wrong with that. I think you'll mainly be talking to a lot of folks looking at you blankly or not seeing the point, and I doubt any of it will make socialism seem 'less scary' as, well, actual socialism is a bit scary and pretty worthless as an actual system. Me, I'd focus on the stuff you actually want to do, and not worry about labels or where it's roots came from, but that's just me.
I get in arguments with people about public school. They are against the very idea of them, because they view it as socialism.

Pointing out what is already socialism in their lives will only turn them against it.

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Great! I haven't heard this before and I love this idea.
So, iiandyiiii's Lime Socialism it is.
  #53  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:04 PM
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I think some of you haven't paid attention to what the socialists actually want, It's not just social democracy - it's real socialism.

For example, the Democratic Socialists of America, of which AOC, Rashida Tlaib and others are members, have this right on their page:

Quote:
What is Democratic Socialism?
We believe that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.
And what does that mean?

Quote:
We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.

Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.
So... Democratic Socialists believe that Capitalism should go away, and that the economy should be organized into worker collectives (er, 'co-ops'), except for the largest industries which should instead be nationalized and run by the government.

I'm not sure how this is any different than what was promised in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, or other socialist hell-holes. They all promised socialism with democratic aspects. They all nationalized heavy industry and turned small and medium enterprises over to 'the workers'. The only 'innovation' they offer is that they claim to not want central control, but distributed control by collectives, co-ops, and other 'Democratic' methods. Of course, they make exceptions for large industries, which would be centrally managed.

This is not Swedish style social democracy. This is real socialism.

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Private corporations seem to be a permanent fixture in the US, so why work towards socialism?
In the short term we can’t eliminate private corporations, but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment.
(italics mine)

So, they would like to eliminate private corporations, but until they achieve that they'll just use taxes and regulations to force them to do what they want, until they can find a way to get rid of them entirely. This is called centralized industrial policy, and it's an aspect of real socialism. It's also failed every time we've tried it.

Again, this is not some fringe on the Democratic side. There are at least three people in Congress who are members of this group, and the 'Green New Deal' is shot through with their ideas. And almost every major Democratic candidate has signed on to it.
  #54  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:19 PM
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I went to their website and read the above quotes in context, and it sounds like you are misrepresenting what their goals are. For example, why did you not choose to quote this part, which entirely discredits what you are pretending that they believe in:

"Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods."

Sounds to me like they believe in a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Sounds pretty good to me. I might disagree with them regarding the correct mixture of the two, but I have little doubt that a mixture is the correct way to go, and these folks seem more sensible than the capitalism supporters on Foxnews who scream "socialism" and appear to have no idea what it means.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:50 PM
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I went to their website and read the above quotes in context, and it sounds like you are misrepresenting what their goals are. For example, why did you not choose to quote this part, which entirely discredits what you are pretending that they believe in:

"Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods."

Sounds to me like they believe in a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Sounds pretty good to me. I might disagree with them regarding the correct mixture of the two, but I have little doubt that a mixture is the correct way to go, and these folks seem more sensible than the capitalism supporters on Foxnews who scream "socialism" and appear to have no idea what it means.
So socialism for housing, mass transit, utilities, etc. and capitalism for Doritos and sneakers? What could go wrong? Look at California now to see what happens when government is overly pandering with regards to development. You have medieval conditions complete with open street sewers and bubonic plague in major cities.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:21 AM
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So socialism for housing, mass transit, utilities, etc. and capitalism for Doritos and sneakers? What could go wrong? Look at California now to see what happens when government is overly pandering with regards to development. You have medieval conditions complete with open street sewers and bubonic plague in major cities.
Are you... on something? Or, are you simply confused? You're attacking one of the world's most prosperous polities* by virtually all metrics and trying to characterize it as some kind of third world country.

Where are you getting your views from? 'Cause I've got to say, I live in what is comparatively a ghetto in southern California, and none of your claims exist even in the poorest areas, except perhaps in your head.

*Also a land area comparable to Japan, with a GDP that dwarfs most countries.

Edit 2:
No, you've entered the land of extreme fantasy...
https://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/index.html
5 cases in 2017 in ALL OF THE UNITED STATES.

Last edited by etasyde; 06-04-2019 at 12:25 AM.
  #57  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:32 AM
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Are you... on something? Or, are you simply confused? You're attacking one of the world's most prosperous polities* by virtually all metrics and trying to characterize it as some kind of third world country.

Where are you getting your views from? 'Cause I've got to say, I live in what is comparatively a ghetto in southern California, and none of your claims exist even in the poorest areas, except perhaps in your head.

*Also a land area comparable to Japan, with a GDP that dwarfs most countries.

Edit 2:
No, you've entered the land of extreme fantasy...
https://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/index.html
5 cases in 2017 in ALL OF THE UNITED STATES.
You do realize that inflated prices are a good portion of that GDP? And no I wouldn’t say 3rd world. But giant homeless camps and human feces everywhere in a major city is a damn embarrassment. Regardless of the aggregate sum of transactions for overpriced hamburgers and overpriced houses in CA.

Good thing Silicon Valley is so good at apps. Here’s a poop map. https://sf.curbed.com/2019/4/23/1851...forbes-dpw-dog

Last edited by octopus; 06-04-2019 at 12:34 AM.
  #58  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:51 AM
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You do realize that inflated prices are a good portion of that GDP? And no I wouldn’t say 3rd world.
"Inflated prices?" Look, man, whatever you're having I want some. Outside of real estate (which for any sane person suggests demand greater than supply, or in simple english more people wanting to move in than to leave), what are you claiming is significantly overpriced in California as compared to the rest of the country? With sources, mind you.

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But giant homeless camps and human feces everywhere in a major city is a damn embarrassment. Regardless of the aggregate sum of transactions for overpriced hamburgers and overpriced houses in CA.
Homelessness is a problem because supply exceeds demands, and rather than allow for the obvious solution (build more houses), people are more concerned with preserving their property value (that is, the scarcity of homes) rather than allowing for a socialist solution like state funded housing.

In short, insufficient socialism is causing the problem you're whinging about. At least learn about the issues before you go ranting about them.

(For those who are interested: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-...203-story.html)

Quote:
Good thing Silicon Valley is so good at apps. Here’s a poop map. https://sf.curbed.com/2019/4/23/1851...forbes-dpw-dog
That's a cute map of dog poop (do you even READ your own sources?). Now be a good boy and provide a comparable, nationwide study to actually back up your claim that this is somehow unique to California. Mind you, you've covered one City with an inordinately high population density due to terrain constrictions. Do make sure your sources demonstrate the impact of terrain.

Can't? Then get out of fantasy land and stop trying to create a ludicrous story out of absolute nonsense, or at least pass whatever your smoking so we can all have some.
  #59  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:00 AM
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"Inflated prices?" Look, man, whatever you're having I want some. Outside of real estate (which for any sane person suggests demand greater than supply, or in simple english more people wanting to move in than to leave), what are you claiming is significantly overpriced in California as compared to the rest of the country? With sources, mind you.

Homelessness is a problem because supply exceeds demands, and rather than allow for the obvious solution (build more houses), people are more concerned with preserving their property value (that is, the scarcity of homes) rather than allowing for a socialist solution like state funded housing.

In short, insufficient socialism is causing the problem you're whinging about. At least learn about the issues before you go ranting about them.

(For those who are interested: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-...203-story.html)

That's a cute map of dog poop (do you even READ your own sources?). Now be a good boy and provide a comparable, nationwide study to actually back up your claim that this is somehow unique to California. Mind you, you've covered one City with an inordinately high population density due to terrain constrictions. Do make sure your sources demonstrate the impact of terrain.

Can't? Then get out of fantasy land and stop trying to create a ludicrous story out of absolute nonsense, or at least pass whatever your smoking so we can all have some.
Yeah, this thread is about socialism and someone brought up socialism with regards to housing. The state of California which has allowed supply to lag far behind demand for political reasons is an example of why you don’t want corrupt or self serving politicians in control of critical markets.

All your personals insults aside, you have to admit that with the massive amount of land and money California has they shouldn’t be leading the nation in homelessness. Build some damn houses. You don’t even need socialized houses. You just need to start building. The DeBeers model of wealth creation is fine for luxury goods but it’s shameful applied to houses.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:19 AM
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Yeah, this thread is about socialism and someone brought up socialism with regards to housing. The state of California which has allowed supply to lag far behind demand for political reasons is an example of why you don’t want corrupt or self serving politicians in control of critical markets

Dude... The politicians are not in control of the housing markets. The local homeowners must vote on every project, and they are only interested in preserving the scarcity of the market so as to protect their personal interests (property values). The system was designed to prevent socialism. Here, let me quote the article for you:

Quote:
The California Real Estate Assn., the forerunner of today’s California Assn. of Realtors, came up with a ballot initiative later that year to combat the Eureka decision and require a public vote before public housing could be built.

Realtors argued that residents should be able to weigh in on such a project because it could create taxpayer debt.

But the campaign, which coincided with the start of the Korean War, was about more than giving voters a say. In the Realtors’ internal newsletter, Charles B. Shattuck, the organization’s legislative committee chairman, wrote that public housing threatened capitalism.
Quote:
All your personals insults aside,
These are not personal insults. I am genuinely confused by the way you take facts and make claims that are completely opposite to them. I don't want to accuse you of being intentionally disingenuous, so I can only ask if you're impaired at the moment. It happens, we all have a post or two when we weren't on our A-game. I also don't want to assume you're just being lazy - you appear to have done some research, but then your own link questions its veracity (yeah, scroll past the first 2 paragraphs and it talks about how most of those "hits" are just dog poop).

So in the spirit of fun (and a tongue-in-cheek reference to our marijuana legalization) I repeatedly asked if you were on something.

Quote:
you have to admit that with the massive amount of land and money California has they shouldn’t be leading the nation in homelessness. Build some damn houses.
Can't. The capitalists are preventing it, with the stated reason being the defense of capitalism. You're right, houses need to be built! And the state wants to. But the capitalists already rigged the system in their favor and have absolutely no reason to let those houses be built.

Quote:
You don’t even need socialized houses. You just need to start building. The DeBeers model of wealth creation is fine for luxury goods but it’s shameful applied to houses.
Can't. Capitalism says no.

Last edited by etasyde; 06-04-2019 at 01:19 AM.
  #61  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:17 AM
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It's not popular to denounce socialism at the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco.
Hickenlooper booed in San Francisco for denouncing socialism

"There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate
Economist Thomas Piketty wrote a paper about this in 2018, though the Democrats paid no attention"
Salon

video
of Hickenlooper and John Delaney getting booed at the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco on The Rational National (Progressive youtube channel)
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:07 AM
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I think the point we all understand is that this is not necessarily an epistemic debate; we have to make arguments in very basic and common sense terms. There's old footage of Huey Long using the analogy of inviting 100 people to a barbecue and having one man taking the grub that was meant for everyone else. We need to use that kind of language - basic illustrations of fundamental fairness that everyone can understand.

It is not fair, it is not right, it is not even really capitalist to have a handful of people taking the fruits of production. What good is an 15-20 trillion dollar GDP if the top 1% take more than half of the profits?
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:36 AM
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I've occasionally turned over the question of terminology in the British context, bearing in mind the Thatcherite shift in (assumed) general attitudes and concepts.

What might work here, rather than "private" vs. "public", is "community" vs. "commercial", on the argument that, for some activities and services, the moral imperative is the common good rather than individual profit (and even more so, rent-seeking or asset-stripping). The question then is, what things are sufficiently different in kind to be "services" rather than "products".
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:32 AM
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It is not fair, it is not right, it is not even really capitalist to have a handful of people taking the fruits of production. What good is an 15-20 trillion dollar GDP if the top 1% take more than half of the profits?
The thing here is that as I see it, the left/Democrat/etc... side wants the workers to have their cake and eat it too.

If a worker is being paid to perform his job faithfully and well, regardless of the company's profit and loss, it seems a bit extreme for him to also expect a cut of the profits if there are any, without also absorbing a cut of the losses if there are any.

Basically the thinking seems to be "Hey capitalist owner, if the company's losing money, that's YOUR problem- pay us our wages!" when things are bad, and "Hey capitalist owner, pay us more because we added that value and you're taking it all!" when things are good.

I'm not saying profit sharing is a bad thing necessarily, but it shouldn't be an expectation of all businesses.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:35 AM
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If a worker is being paid to perform his job faithfully and well, regardless of the company's profit and loss, it seems a bit extreme for him to also expect a cut of the profits if there are any, without also absorbing a cut of the losses if there are any.
As it is, they already "absorb" parts of the losses, in the form of layoffs and wage/benefit cuts.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:49 AM
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It's a choice between capitalism for the many and capitalism for the few.
Yes argue for expansion of capitalism and see how well you do in the Dem party. Ask Hickenlooper.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:53 AM
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The thing here is that as I see it, the left/Democrat/etc... side wants the workers to have their cake and eat it too.

If a worker is being paid to perform his job faithfully and well, regardless of the company's profit and loss, it seems a bit extreme for him to also expect a cut of the profits if there are any, without also absorbing a cut of the losses if there are any.

Basically the thinking seems to be "Hey capitalist owner, if the company's losing money, that's YOUR problem- pay us our wages!" when things are bad, and "Hey capitalist owner, pay us more because we added that value and you're taking it all!" when things are good.

I'm not saying profit sharing is a bad thing necessarily, but it shouldn't be an expectation of all businesses.
The profit sharing should really come in the form of fairer taxation of the wealthy. It's the tax structure that enables so much of the corruption an inequality in our society. Just making the rich pay more and then putting that money back into the public sector would be a huge step forward. We could upgrade infrastructure that way, pay higher salaries for teachers, hire more civil servants, etc, all of which would give the broader economy a stronger backbone.

Moving in the direction of European style socialized capitalism is probably one step too far for a majority of Americans, and I'm not entirely sold on the idea myself. Medicare for all would sell, IMO - I'd vote for that, and it's hardly Overton Window stuff as we already have the system and bureaucracy in place. But $15-20 minimum wages and free college just seems to be a bit of a stretch.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:58 AM
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Part of the problem with a term like "Democratic Socialist" is that people don't properly see it as a two-word noun, but rather as an adjective-noun pairing. And said confusion is compounded given that many of the advocates for "Democratic Socialism", albeit not its most prominent one, are members of the Democratic party so people think that such folk are just Socialists that are Democrats too. Way to wreck the brand, guys. And it gets really hard, if not impossible, to correct such misperceptions when you have people actively engaged in reinforcing them.

Here's a wild idea. Instead of engaging in hair-splitting nomenclature analysis, just tell us what you're for and tell folks to call it "Fred" for all you care.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:00 AM
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As it is, they already "absorb" parts of the losses, in the form of layoffs and wage/benefit cuts.
They absorb it even more when they get public benefits slashed in order to pay for billionaire tax cuts, or billionaire handouts once the banks torch the economy.

I'll point out again that between 2007 and 2013, the mean net worth of the bottom 50% in this country went from $30,000 to about $11,000. That's 1/2 of the country's working age population going from having something in the bank for a rainy day to severe economic distress -- that's half of us, or it was in 2013.

The corporate persons are the ones who engaged in speculative investing or simply got over-leveraged are the ones who got bailed out. But if you were one of the millions of poor saps working for any of these firms or even working for a company that regularly dealt with them, you were shit outta luck.

Willfarnaby, that's not how capitalism is even remotely supposed to work.

Last edited by asahi; 06-04-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:03 AM
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Part of the problem with a term like "Democratic Socialist" is that people don't properly see it as a two-word noun, but rather as an adjective-noun pairing. And said confusion is compounded given that many of the advocates for "Democratic Socialism", albeit not its most prominent one, are members of the Democratic party so people think that such folk are just Socialists that are Democrats too. Way to wreck the brand, guys. And it gets really hard, if not impossible, to correct such misperceptions when you have people actively engaged in reinforcing them.

Here's a wild idea. Instead of engaging in hair-splitting nomenclature analysis, just tell us what you're for and tell folks to call it "Fred" for all you care.
They definitely need some help with branding. Democratic socialism just seems cringe-worthy, and no matter how audacious and bold Democrats might think they are right now, that type of branding is going to get a lot more attention and it's going to sound a lot scarier as we get closer to the election.

Talking about massive change and actually getting voters to knowingly vote for something that promises to be a major disruption in their lives are two totally different things.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:06 AM
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They absorb it even more when they get public benefits slashed in order to pay for billionaire tax cuts, or billionaire handouts once the banks torch the economy.

I'll point out again that between 2007 and 2013, the mean net worth of the bottom 50% in this country went from $30,000 to about $11,000. That's 1/2 of the country's working age population going from having something in the bank for a rainy day to severe economic distress -- that's half of us, or it was in 2013.

The corporate persons are the ones who engaged in speculative investing or simply got over-leveraged are the ones who got bailed out. But if you were one of the millions of poor saps working for any of these firms or even working for a company that regularly dealt with them, you were shit outta luck.

Willfarnaby, that's not how capitalism is even remotely supposed to work.
Yes that’s how democratic socialism works.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:14 AM
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So... Democratic Socialists believe that Capitalism should go away, and that the economy should be organized into worker collectives (er, 'co-ops'), except for the largest industries which should instead be nationalized and run by the government.

I'm not sure how this is any different than what was promised in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, or other socialist hell-holes. They all promised socialism with democratic aspects. They all nationalized heavy industry and turned small and medium enterprises over to 'the workers'. The only 'innovation' they offer is that they claim to not want central control, but distributed control by collectives, co-ops, and other 'Democratic' methods. Of course, they make exceptions for large industries, which would be centrally managed.

This is not Swedish style social democracy. This is real socialism.

Again, this is not some fringe on the Democratic side. There are at least three people in Congress who are members of this group, and the 'Green New Deal' is shot through with their ideas. And almost every major Democratic candidate has signed on to it.
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Sounds to me like they believe in a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Sounds pretty good to me. I might disagree with them regarding the correct mixture of the two, but I have little doubt that a mixture is the correct way to go, and these folks seem more sensible than the capitalism supporters on Foxnews who scream "socialism" and appear to have no idea what it means.
The problem for those of us who would like to see Fox News removed from power is that all the quotes Sam notes can be easily weaponized against Democratic nominees and proposals, while Lurker's argument (while true) is more nuanced and therefore a much tougher sell.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:30 AM
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A line I use sometimes is that instead of "Democratic Socialism", we should just bring back "Democratic Capitalism".
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:01 PM
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<clip>
Here's a wild idea. Instead of engaging in hair-splitting nomenclature analysis, just tell us what you're for and tell folks to call it "Fred" for all you care.
Hey! I'm already doing business as Fred!
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:22 PM
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Part of the problem with a term like "Democratic Socialist" is that people don't properly see it as a two-word noun, but rather as an adjective-noun pairing. And said confusion is compounded given that many of the advocates for "Democratic Socialism", albeit not its most prominent one, are members of the Democratic party so people think that such folk are just Socialists that are Democrats too. Way to wreck the brand, guys. And it gets really hard, if not impossible, to correct such misperceptions when you have people actively engaged in reinforcing them.

Here's a wild idea. Instead of engaging in hair-splitting nomenclature analysis, just tell us what you're for and tell folks to call it "Fred" for all you care.
The did tell us in pretty detailed fashion in the above website, which got selectively quoted so as to misrepresent it.

I'm an odd proponent for socialism. I'm starting up a drug company based on my own invention right now. I expect to be personally compensated if this is successful. I also recognize that my invention is based on innumerable previous inventions and scientific discoveries which I had nothing to do with. They came from people whose socialist educations were funded by taxpayers. They came from people whose socialist commutes were on taxpayer funded infrastructure. Whose safety was ensured by policemen and firemen and was paid for by taxpayers. Whose country is defended by a taxpayer funded military. On the day I was born I inherited all of this, through no hard work of my own, and so did you.

The taxes I will pay are not a penalty on my success, they are a repayment of a debt for everything that I received in order to be a "success" and to ensure that someone else can do the same thing in the future. I want my share for what I add to that, and I want to pay back the debt that I owe the country. If that means I'm partially a socialist and partially a capitalist, that's fine by me. If that means I'm "Fred", I'm cool with that too.

We could have a genuine debate about his, as Obama tried to, but what we ended up with was a ridiculous GOP "you didn't build that" night of their convention. So, yeah, one side is laying out what they actually want, and calling it "Fred" and the other side is just dishonestly yelling "Fred means Democrats are Marxists and are coming for your small business".
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:44 PM
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So, wanted to post this YouTube video from America Uncensored that talks about socialism and the Nordic model as it's kind of relevant to the OP, as well as relevant to demonstrating that when people talk about 'socialism' they basically want it to mean what they THINK it means, not what it actually means. Which is fine, but the problem is that if everyone is using the same term to mean different things then it's kind of hard to figure out what the hell everyone actually means when they are using it. I don't think the OP's plan to rehabilitate the term is going to work very well, though according to the video the number of people who want to give 'socialism' a try (meaning social programs, and not actual socialism) in the US is now 4 in 10. Of course, what we actually get if we elect real socialists might come as a bit of a shock to the Bernie bros crowd if we are actually using different definitions.
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  #77  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:55 PM
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On the day I was born I inherited all of this, through no hard work of my own, and so did you.

The taxes I will pay are not a penalty on my success, they are a repayment of a debt for everything that I received in order to be a "success" and to ensure that someone else can do the same thing in the future. I want my share for what I add to that, and I want to pay back the debt that I owe the country. If that means I'm partially a socialist and partially a capitalist, that's fine by me.
(snipped)

Just wanted to say this is a great distillation of how liberal policies actually align with the entrepreneurial spirit -- as opposed to the mantra from the right that liberalism is anti-capitalist.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:06 PM
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So socialism for housing, mass transit, utilities, etc. and capitalism for Doritos and sneakers? What could go wrong? Look at California now to see what happens when government is overly pandering with regards to development. You have medieval conditions complete with open street sewers and bubonic plague in major cities.
Since you've returned to this thread, I take it you're ignoring my questions to you? I tried to explain my position and asked you questions in good faith, after you dropped that seemingly misleading statistic in this thread. I'm hoping you can clarify what you meant.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:16 PM
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Since you've returned to this thread, I take it you're ignoring my questions to you? I tried to explain my position and asked you questions in good faith, after you dropped that seemingly misleading statistic in this thread. I'm hoping you can clarify what you meant.
You think absolute dollars spent is misleading. I don’t. There’s not much more to say about it. Look at military power. Does it make sense to talk about aircraft carrier/capita? No. Absolute numbers determine power.

Point is, if all government spending is so-called socialism, which I think is a silly argument to begin with, then might as well look at all government spending. It’s perfectly fine for you to disagree.

Last edited by octopus; 06-04-2019 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me! I disagree, but I'll drop this hijack.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:21 PM
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We could have a genuine debate about his, as Obama tried to, but what we ended up with was a ridiculous GOP "you didn't build that" night of their convention. So, yeah, one side is laying out what they actually want, and calling it "Fred" and the other side is just dishonestly yelling "Fred means Democrats are Marxists and are coming for your small business".
Haha. That story didn't age well. The cast of characters - Reince Preibus, Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, all talking about personal hard work leading to success. It sounds like a skit on SNL, several people who are now cast aside by Trump's White House, if not before. All of their "hard work" didn't lead them to higher power in their chosen career path. A fickle leader can derail all their efforts.

ISTM that the myth of meritocracy as an absolute is losing power, albeit slowly. I did a quick search, and both sides are exposing it, so I don't see it as a left/right thing necessarily. It has to do with the haves and the have-nots, but not uniformly.

"The Myth of American Meritocracy" The American Conservative (from 2012)

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Power corrupts and an extreme concentration of power even more so, especially when that concentration of power is endlessly praised and glorified by the major media and the prominent intellectuals which together constitute such an important element of that power. But as time goes by and more and more Americans notice that they are poorer and more indebted than they have ever been before, the blandishments of such propaganda machinery will eventually lose effectiveness, much as did the similar propaganda organs of the decaying Soviet state.
"Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color
A new study finds that believing society is fair can lead disadvantaged adolescents to act out and engage in risky behavior."
The Atlantic

"The Myth of Meritocracy in Trump's America | Opinion" Newsweek

Young people are seeing it first because they're dealing with the educational system that these articles are using as an example. Those are some of the people looking for change. That's why many young people are supporting programs with the socialist label.
  #82  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:32 PM
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That's why many young people are supporting programs with the socialist label.
That and the simple fact that the economy has changed so much most of them will never have a job that comes with healthcare and they know it.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:59 AM
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I went to their website and read the above quotes in context, and it sounds like you are misrepresenting what their goals are. For example, why did you not choose to quote this part, which entirely discredits what you are pretending that they believe in:

"Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods."
It actually doesn't. First, they say right in that quote that 'Democratic Planning' will be used for mass transit, housing, and energy. That's nationalization and central planning. Which is what I said - they want to nationalize and centrally plan large industries, and turn the smaller ones over to the 'workers'.

As for their handwaving about 'market mechanisms', you can't have a market without capitalism. And this is the essence of why central planning always fails - absent the marketplace and people bidding prices, the information about relative supply and demand does not even exist. And you can't bid on a product unless you have to actually make a choice between it and all the other things you could buy with your money. The people bidding prices need to have skin in the game.

In a world of nationalized major industry and smaller industry taken away from the owners and given to the 'workers' to run collectively, the market cannot function. Venture capital won't exist (it's doomed anyway if you want to tax the rich 70-90% of their income). And everyone is getting a universal income and free education and free healthcare. And we can pay for it all and have everything we want and there will be no consequences for radically restructuring the economy along arbitrary political lines rather than the complex emergent system it is now.

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Sounds to me like they believe in a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Sounds pretty good to me.
Venezuela is also a mixture of socialism and capitalism. So is China. There's a big difference between a country that is primarily centrally managed and controlled but which allows tiny areas of capitalist activity, and one that is primarily capitalist with a few interventions in a few places.

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I might disagree with them regarding the correct mixture of the two, but I have little doubt that a mixture is the correct way to go, and these folks seem more sensible than the capitalism supporters on Foxnews who scream "socialism" and appear to have no idea what it means.
I suspect that 90% of the people on both sides don't know what socialism means. Apparently including a few people in this thread.

If you are nationalizing industry and forcibly collectivizing businesses, you are not just engaging in socialism, you are engaging in a radical form of it. And it WILL destroy the economy, in proportion to how much of it is actually implemented.

In addition, even if it somehow sorta worked, what you're doing is making EVERYTHING political. If I have to lobby voters in my worker collective to get things done, or appeal to some local housing collective if I want to buy a home, that's my personal notion of hell. Why anyone would want to turn the world into a bureaucracy is beyond me.

Ask citizens of the old Soviet Union what that was like. The tyranny of the dull gray bureaucracy. Apparachiks and commisars everywhere. Having to stand in line for approval for a thousand things we just take for granted. That's where socialism leads when its inevitable failures to coordinate the economy leads to increasing bureaucratic control.
  #84  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:04 AM
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Haha.

...

John Boehner,

...

All of their "hard work" didn't lead them to higher power in their chosen career path.
Maybe one of them.

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FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER AND MARIJUANA FOE JOHN BOEHNER SET TO MAKE MILLIONS FROM CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

Last edited by k9bfriender; 06-05-2019 at 02:05 AM.
  #85  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:57 AM
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It actually doesn't. First, they say right in that quote that 'Democratic Planning' will be used for mass transit, housing, and energy. That's nationalization and central planning. Which is what I said - they want to nationalize and centrally plan large industries, and turn the smaller ones over to the 'workers'.
Why are you interpreting what they say to mean what you want it to mean in order to make an argument rather than just arguing against what they are actually saying?

"Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods."

Says right there that they don't want to nationalize or centrally plan large industries. So, why argue that they do want to nationalize and centrally plan large industries? That sentence says that market forces (capitalism) should determine the demand, and we should democratically vote on shaping (not completely taking over mind you, but shaping) how those large social investments work best for everyone.

In other words, is there a need for a mass transit system here? Let's let the market determine that. What should it look like to benefit everyone as much as possible? Well, let's vote on that because all of us should have a say in it. Sounds about right to me.

Like I said, I may quibble with the relative ratio of socialism/capitalism with these guys, but nobody in their right mind thinks that this ratio is either 0 or 1. Your version of what they are advocating, which puts that ratio at 1, indeed sounds horrid but fortunately nobody here is actually advocating for that.
  #86  
Old 06-05-2019, 08:19 AM
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Venezuela is also a mixture of socialism and capitalism. So is China.
So is Sweden. So is Germany. So is Japan. So is Canada, and America. Obviously, it depends on the nature and specifics of the mix. My argument in this thread is that the socialistic elements of these wealthy countries should be highlighted to reduce the "fear factor" for socialism, because when done well, it can be a positive characteristic in wealthy, mixed-economy countries.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:44 AM
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So is Sweden. So is Germany. So is Japan. So is Canada, and America. Obviously, it depends on the nature and specifics of the mix. My argument in this thread is that the socialistic elements of these wealthy countries should be highlighted to reduce the "fear factor" for socialism, because when done well, it can be a positive characteristic in wealthy, mixed-economy countries.
The argument that the decisions that affect all of us being made democratically is scary, but that decisions being made by the descendants of people who made a lot of money in previous generations makes sense is odd.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:00 AM
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So is Sweden. So is Germany. So is Japan. So is Canada, and America. Obviously, it depends on the nature and specifics of the mix. My argument in this thread is that the socialistic elements of these wealthy countries should be highlighted to reduce the "fear factor" for socialism, because when done well, it can be a positive characteristic in wealthy, mixed-economy countries.
And the amount of the mix. China is rated at 60%+ socialism (and this being political AND economic socialism), Venezuela at 70%+. Sweden is something like 20%...and they are one of the highest. And mostly it's a few economic socialist policies still hanging out along with a few small political aspects. The other countries you listed there are less, including the US. That's the thing. What you and seemingly most think of as 'socialism' are socialist type PROGRAMS, but they don't make a country socialist. I seriously doubt that you or most others who think they want socialism actually want REAL socialism, i.e. command economies, price controls, collective property and state ownership of the means of production or all of the lovely political aspects that the people of China and Venezuela enjoy. What you ACTUALLY want are things like universal healthcare and larger social services, maybe with a touch of the socialist boot wrt getting your way with climate change measures forced on the public.

So, instead of trying to change the definition and history of socialism to mean what you want, you should just repackage what you are asking for on it's own terms. Because, frankly, you really, really don't want actual socialism. Bernie doesn't either. Cortez might, but I think that's because she is young and doesn't really believe all of the historical data showing what a rotten system it was. She also probably doesn't realize that the countries she wants to model the US pretty much abandoned the majority of the vestiges of socialism as she wants it back in the 70's and 80's.
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  #89  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:15 AM
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Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.
One of the difficulties is that mass transit means your car, housing means your house, and energy means all your consumer goods.

Maybe the whole economy shouldn't be planned, but a huge swathe of it will be.

Another difficulty is Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist, has talked about how there are too many different kinds of deodorants and sneakers. Deodorants and sneakers are consumer goods.

The first law of ecology is "you can't do just one thing". Saying "we are just going to take over energy, mass transit, and housing" means, by necessity, they are going to take over a lot more.

Regards,
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:26 AM
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The first law of ecology is "you can't do just one thing". Saying "we are just going to take over energy, mass transit, and housing" means, by necessity, they are going to take over a lot more.



Well thank goodness they aren’t proposing taking over energy, mass transit and housing then, huh?
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:30 AM
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And the amount of the mix. China is rated at 60%+ socialism (and this being political AND economic socialism), Venezuela at 70%+. Sweden is something like 20%...and they are one of the highest. And mostly it's a few economic socialist policies still hanging out along with a few small political aspects. The other countries you listed there are less, including the US. That's the thing. What you and seemingly most think of as 'socialism' are socialist type PROGRAMS, but they don't make a country socialist. I seriously doubt that you or most others who think they want socialism actually want REAL socialism, i.e. command economies, price controls, collective property and state ownership of the means of production or all of the lovely political aspects that the people of China and Venezuela enjoy. What you ACTUALLY want are things like universal healthcare and larger social services, maybe with a touch of the socialist boot wrt getting your way with climate change measures forced on the public.

So, instead of trying to change the definition and history of socialism to mean what you want, you should just repackage what you are asking for on it's own terms. Because, frankly, you really, really don't want actual socialism. Bernie doesn't either. Cortez might, but I think that's because she is young and doesn't really believe all of the historical data showing what a rotten system it was. She also probably doesn't realize that the countries she wants to model the US pretty much abandoned the majority of the vestiges of socialism as she wants it back in the 70's and 80's.
Your rhetorical tactics might work too, but IMO they're less likely to be effective than mine. But we're just talking about the best way to convince people -- disagreement on that is fine and no big deal.

I'm curious where you got your % numbers for different countries. Not that I necessarily disagree, I just haven't seen it laid out like that before and I'd like to see the source.
  #92  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:37 AM
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Your rhetorical tactics might work too, but IMO they're less likely to be effective than mine. But we're just talking about the best way to convince people -- disagreement on that is fine and no big deal.

I'm curious where you got your % numbers for different countries. Not that I necessarily disagree, I just haven't seen it laid out like that before and I'd like to see the source.
I used it in a different thread on a similar topic. I'll see if I can find that old thread and relink it. Basically, it rates country's by the percentage of socialism they actually use, either economic or political and gives a percentage. Sweden was one of the higher ones as I recalled it...higher ones of the western nations that is...and it was pretty low. This always seems to surprise both conservatives and progressives/liberals, who assume the Nordic countries or Europeans in general use a lot of socialism, because, again, there seems to be a lot of confusion between socialism and social programs...on both sides. Did you watch the video I linked to up thread? It goes into some of that. Might be boring for you if you don't like discussion type videos, but I think the guest speaker does a good job of laying this all out a lot better than I can.
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  #93  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:39 AM
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I used it in a different thread on a similar topic. I'll see if I can find that old thread and relink it. Basically, it rates country's by the percentage of socialism they actually use, either economic or political and gives a percentage. Sweden was one of the higher ones as I recalled it...higher ones of the western nations that is...and it was pretty low. This always seems to surprise both conservatives and progressives/liberals, who assume the Nordic countries or Europeans in general use a lot of socialism, because, again, there seems to be a lot of confusion between socialism and social programs...on both sides. Did you watch the video I linked to up thread? It goes into some of that. Might be boring for you if you don't like discussion type videos, but I think the guest speaker does a good job of laying this all out a lot better than I can.
Can't watch videos right now, but I'll look at your link when you find it. Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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From a purely marketing/branding standpoint, just having a prominent group out there called "Democratic Socialists" is pure poison, a huge gift to the GOP. It couples one of their target audience's biggest fears with the name of their biggest competitor.

Imagine if there were a prominent right-wing group -- with members sitting in Congress and running for President -- called "Republican Fascists."
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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Well, I did a quick search and I couldn't find the thread. I know it was on socialism and I was in it, but I'm drawing a blank. I found a blog someone else posted that has a top 10 list, but it's not the one I was talking about, but I'll post that here just for drill.

I did some Googling though and found this article that kind of sums up my own stance on this issue. I think it cuts to the heart of the issue, which is that ignorance of what is or isn't socialism seems pretty bad on both sides. Anyway, some quotes from the article:

Quote:
As the American left embraces a platform that continues to look more and more like a socialist’s dream, it is common for those on the right to counter with the example of Venezuela as the nightmare of socialism in reality. A common response from the left is that socialism (or democratic socialism) works just fine in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. It is certainly true that Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark are notable economic successes. What is false is that these countries are particularly socialist.

The myth of Nordic socialism is partially created by a confusion between socialism, meaning government exerting control or ownership of businesses, and the welfare state in the form of government-provided social safety net programs. However, the left’s embrace of socialism is not merely a case of redefining a word. Simply look at the long-running affinity of leftists with socialist dictators in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for proof many on the left long for real socialism.
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To the extent that the left wants to point to an example of successful socialism, not just generous welfare states, the Nordic countries are actually a poor case to cite. Regardless of the perception, in reality the Nordic countries practice mostly free market economics paired with high taxes exchanged for generous government entitlement programs.


First, it is worth noting that the Nordic counties were economic successes before they built their welfare states. Those productive economies, generating good incomes for their workers, allowed the governments to raise the tax revenue needed to pay for the social benefits. It was not the government benefits that created wealth, but wealth that allowed the luxury of such generous government programs.
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Second, as evidence of the lack of government interference in business affairs, there is the fact that none of these countries have minimum wage laws. Unions are reasonably powerful in many industries and negotiate contracts, but the government does nothing to ensure any particular outcome from those negotiations. Workers are paid what they are worth, not based on government’s perception of what is fair.
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A third example of Nordic commitment to free markets can be found in Sweden which has complete school choice. The government provides families with vouchers for each child. These vouchers can be used to attend regular public schools, government-run charter schools, or private, for-profit schools. Clearly, the use of government funds to pay for private, for-profit schools is the opposite of socialism.
Quote:
What we find, however, is the Nordic countries rank quite high on this index of economic freedom. In fact, while Hong Kong and Singapore top the list and the U.S. ranks 12th, we can find the Nordic countries in quite respectable rankings. Denmark ranks 15, Finland 17, Norway 25, and Sweden 27. In terms of numerical scores, Sweden is only 5% lower than the U.S. For further comparison, South Korea and Japan, both considered fairly pro-free market, rank 32 and 39, respectively.
Quote:
Socialism can take the form of government controlling or interfering with free markets, nationalizing industries, and subsidizing favored ones (green energy, anyone?). The Nordic countries don’t actually do much of those things. Yes, they offer government-paid healthcare, in some cases tuition-free university educations, and rather generous social safety nets, all financed with high taxes. However, it is possible to do these things without interfering in the private sector more than required. It is allowing businesses to be productive that produces the high corporate and personal incomes that support the tax collections making the government benefits feasible. The Nordic countries are smart enough not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg
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  #96  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:54 AM
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Well thank goodness they aren’t proposing taking over energy, mass transit and housing then, huh?
Right, right - they aren't taking them over, they are just democratically planning them. Like other socialistic organizations, such as the (as per the OP) military.

"We're not taking over - we are just telling you what to do." Imagine how reassured I feel.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:15 AM
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Right, right - they aren't taking them over, they are just democratically planning them. Like other socialistic organizations, such as the (as per the OP) military.

"We're not taking over - we are just telling you what to do." Imagine how reassured I feel.

Regards,
Shodan
If the govt "takes over" mass transit (as it already pretty much does in most places), how does that effect your car?

If the govt "takes over" providing housing to the needy(like HUD, for example, both national and local levels.), how does that effect your house?

The govt already heavily regulates the energy industries, how's that socialism working out for you?


In the end, it doesn't matter what it is called socialism, communism, democratic socialism, or Fred. It involves giving people things that others think that they do not deserve, and they will always come up with excuses and rationalizations for their opposition to that. There is no reason to try to convince some with different terminologies, as they are opposed to the very idea it stands for.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:07 PM
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It actually doesn't. First, they say right in that quote that 'Democratic Planning' will be used for mass transit, housing, and energy. That's nationalization and central planning. Which is what I said - they want to nationalize and centrally plan large industries, and turn the smaller ones over to the 'workers'.

As for their handwaving about 'market mechanisms', you can't have a market without capitalism. And this is the essence of why central planning always fails - absent the marketplace and people bidding prices, the information about relative supply and demand does not even exist. And you can't bid on a product unless you have to actually make a choice between it and all the other things you could buy with your money. The people bidding prices need to have skin in the game.

In a world of nationalized major industry and smaller industry taken away from the owners and given to the 'workers' to run collectively, the market cannot function. Venture capital won't exist (it's doomed anyway if you want to tax the rich 70-90% of their income). And everyone is getting a universal income and free education and free healthcare. And we can pay for it all and have everything we want and there will be no consequences for radically restructuring the economy along arbitrary political lines rather than the complex emergent system it is now.



Venezuela is also a mixture of socialism and capitalism. So is China. There's a big difference between a country that is primarily centrally managed and controlled but which allows tiny areas of capitalist activity, and one that is primarily capitalist with a few interventions in a few places.



I suspect that 90% of the people on both sides don't know what socialism means. Apparently including a few people in this thread.

If you are nationalizing industry and forcibly collectivizing businesses, you are not just engaging in socialism, you are engaging in a radical form of it. And it WILL destroy the economy, in proportion to how much of it is actually implemented.

In addition, even if it somehow sorta worked, what you're doing is making EVERYTHING political. If I have to lobby voters in my worker collective to get things done, or appeal to some local housing collective if I want to buy a home, that's my personal notion of hell. Why anyone would want to turn the world into a bureaucracy is beyond me.

Ask citizens of the old Soviet Union what that was like. The tyranny of the dull gray bureaucracy. Apparachiks and commisars everywhere. Having to stand in line for approval for a thousand things we just take for granted. That's where socialism leads when its inevitable failures to coordinate the economy leads to increasing bureaucratic control.
Good points and also raises an interesting question. How is it that forced collectivization be it called “radical” socialism or communism is not 1/100th as toxic as fascism? Especially with the historical body count associated with both of these systems of government. My guess would have to be that there is an ideological affinity for collectivism among academia and such that sugar coats the present and historical realities of that system.
  #99  
Old 06-05-2019, 01:08 PM
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Good points and also raises an interesting question. How is it that forced collectivization be it called “radical” socialism or communism is not 1/100th as toxic as fascism? Especially with the historical body count associated with both of these systems of government. My guess would have to be that there is an ideological affinity for collectivism among academia and such that sugar coats the present and historical realities of that system.
Who says it's not "as toxic as fascism"? I hear my conservative acquaintances deriding liberals as communists just as often as I heary my liberal acquaintances deriding conservatives as fascists.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:15 PM
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Right, right - they aren't taking them over, they are just democratically planning them. Like other socialistic organizations, such as the (as per the OP) military.

"We're not taking over - we are just telling you what to do." Imagine how reassured I feel.

Regards,
Shodan
Democratically means we are telling us what to do. Sounds a lot better to me than the current system where the small number of progeny who inherit these companies tell us what to do.
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