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  #101  
Old 04-10-2019, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Um, it was doing pretty well?
You should have read farther into your cite:

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From a European perspective, however, Britain was not keeping pace. Between 1950 and 1970, it was overtaken by most of the countries of the European Common Market in terms of the number of telephones, refrigerators, television sets, cars, and washing machines per 100 of the population.[221] Education grew, but not as fast as in rival nations. By the early 1980s, some 80% to 90% of school leavers in France and West Germany received vocational training, compared with 40% in the United Kingdom. By the mid-1980s, over 80% of pupils in the United States and West Germany and over 90% in Japan stayed in education until the age of eighteen, compared with barely 33% of British pupils.[222] In 1987, only 35% of 16- to 18-year-olds were in full-time education or training, compared with 80% in the United States, 77% in Japan, 69% in France, and 49% in the United Kingdom.[223]
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The problems Britain faced from its competition had more to do with inefficient management and industrial policy than with over-demanding labor:
Bolding mine. Industrial policy - the nationalization of industry, attempts to 'manage' industry through central planning, etc. In other words, exactly what the new breed of socialists want to do now. Nations all around the globe flirted with central management of industry, nationalization, and other big government schemes. Almost all of this was undone in the 1990's as the failures of industrial policy mounted.

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with the decline of Britain's economy during the 1960s, the trade unions began to strike, leading to a complete breakdown with both the Labour Government of Harold Wilson and later with the Conservative Government of Edward Heath (1970–1974). In the early 1970s, the British economy suffered even more as strike action by trade unions, plus the effects of the 1973 oil crisis, led to a three-day week in 1973-74. However, despite a brief period of calm negotiated by the recently re-elected Labour Government of 1974 known as the Social Contract, a breakdown with the unions occurred again in 1978, leading to the Winter of Discontent, and eventually leading to the end of the Labour Government, then being led by James Callaghan, who had succeeded Wilson in 1976.

Unemployment had also risen during this difficult period for the British economy; unemployment reached 1.5 million in 1978 - nearly triple the figure of a decade earlier, with the national rate exceeding 5% for the first time in the postwar era. It had not fallen below 1 million since 1975, and has remained above this level ever since, rarely dropping below 1.5 million.[239]
  #102  
Old 04-10-2019, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Dogs are a social species.

Pretty sure the last 10k years of breeding has been a rules-based system imposed upon by a dominant top-level hierarchical species which, many times, frowns upon the dogs asserting their own emergent organizations by means of unchecked breeding.

The opposite of capitalism, but it seems to have worked for the dogs. But what do I know?
Are you really trying to make the case that human breeding of dogs has been good for the species? How much do you know about dog breeding? We have bred dogs that can barely breathe on their own (bulldogs). Giant breeds have constant skeletal problems and live short lives. Some breeds are much dumber than wild dogs. Genetic diseases in the most popular breeds are common. Collies get Collie Eye. German Shepherds, among other dogs, get hip dysplasia. Some breeds have damaged temperaments and neurotic behavior. Some breeds have been almost ruined by modern breeding practices.

Probably the healthiest, smartest breed is the Border Collie. They also happen to be the breed that is closest to the modern dog's natural ancestors, and border collie owners and associations have taken great steps to keep Border Collies OUT of the AKC (they failed), and Border Collies are one of the few breeds that is judged by its working ability rather than its conformance to a breed standard, precisely to keep them from being damaged or destroyed by modern conformance breeders.

Dogs are a terrible example. Domestic dogs are markedly inferior to their wild cousins in a number of ways.
  #103  
Old 04-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I dont believe a word of what the OP is trying to sell. Us democrats dont use "socialism" incorrectly like the republicans do. And afaik the Dem party is increasing.
What you know is not correct, by my crude numbers. I put Gallup's Party Affiliation numbers into my spreadsheet and applied linear regression to them. Over the long term (since '04), the Republicans delta is -0.038, the Democrats are -0.033 and Others are at +0.058. This puts the forward projection at around R=25%, D=28%, with each experiencing a very shallow decline. The figures are very noisy, though, and these trendlines should not be used to guess where they actually will be in 18 months.
  #104  
Old 04-10-2019, 11:30 PM
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Criminy, Sam, way you talk about "socialism" makes it out to be a cross between gonorrhea and leprosy!
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  #105  
Old 04-11-2019, 04:36 AM
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It's a silly way to talk about socialism that surely makes the GOP spin masters very happy. In reality, American society, just like all first world societies, has many socialist aspects, including services like police, firefighting, food and drug inspections, military health care, roads, and much more. Modern American politicians who describe themselves as socialist generally want to add a few more services, most notably public health care, to this list. They certainly don't have any interest in pursuing the top-down planned economy notion that Sam suggests.
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  #106  
Old 04-11-2019, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
I don't know who that is, but I hope y'all find that candidate.
Y'know what I love about this particular brand of conversation? You never see it on the right. Folk like Oakminster and Sam Stone aren't saying, "Gosh, republicans, if you don't nominate someone who isn't the most dishonest politician ever who instituted a policy of ripping children from their families and shoving them in cages that is rightfully seen as one of the most disgraceful in this country's recent history and whose political sloganeering has become a rallying cry for neonazis across the world... I'll have to vote democrat".

No, for some reason, it's always, "Gosh, democrats, I'd love to vote for you, but if you nominate someone who is a 'socialist' [T/N: someone who supports government social systems proven to be extremely beneficial throughout much of Europe], I'll just have to vote for the guy who has turned our country into an international laughingstock, handed government secrets over to Russia, is unable or unwilling to keep important government positions filled even with the kind of incompetent shitmerchants he would select for such positions, and decided to baselessly dispute the results of an election he won and is currently using his administration to bury a report that may in fact paint him as an actual criminal."

You'll have to excuse me if I couldn't give a wet fart about your opinion on the democratic field if you aren't willing to see what's already brazenly on display as disqualifying and worth fighting against. Or if you didn't back in 2016. Because of "MUH SOCIALISM" or whatever other thought-stopping cliche Fox News pumped into your head.

Meanwhile, y'know what leftists like AOC and Bernie are doing? They're getting people excited. They're taking the people who have been left holding the bag in our system and, like Trump, giving them something to blame - except that while in Trump's case it was "brown people", they've correctly identified that the system is the problem, and needs either major reform or complete overhaul. You wanna tell me that's not viable? The positions are broadly popular. It's the (incredibly dishonest right-wing) branding that people dislike.

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 04-11-2019 at 07:47 AM.
  #107  
Old 04-11-2019, 09:21 AM
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Related: relevant twitter thread.

https://twitter.com/zei_nabq/status/1115987267108184064

It starts with a video of people at a Sarah Palin book signing back in 2009 saying things which are, to be diplomatic, impossibly fucking stupid.

"under those conditions HRC will be called a Marxist socialist radical without fear of losing legitimacy; the answer to that isn't to concede and go farther and farther right, it's to defend left principles and thereby push the spectrum to the left and put a stop to the delusions.

this is the most important task figures like Ilhan Omar, AOC and Bernie face, as it opens up a political space hitherto closed off by billions of dollars of Koch and Mercer money. It has the potential of grounding mainstream politics in some semblance of reality.

and let's face it, if it can't be grounded in reality over the foreseeable future, we're all going to die by the end of the century, because climate change doesn't give af about overton windows."
  #108  
Old 04-11-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
What you know is not correct, by my crude numbers. I put Gallup's Party Affiliation numbers into my spreadsheet and applied linear regression to them.
From Pew on March 14, 2019:
Quote:
Among the public overall, 38% describe themselves as independents, while 31% are Democrats and 26% call themselves Republicans, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2018. These shares have changed only modestly in recent years, but the proportion of independents is higher than it was from 2000-2008, when no more than about a third of the public identified as independents.
[...]
An overwhelming majority of independents (81%) continue to “lean” toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. Among the public overall, 17% are Democratic-leaning independents, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party. Just 7% of Americans decline to lean toward a party, a share that has changed little in recent years.
Both parties are generally stable, maybe losing a bit to "independents" who aren't actually independent most of the time. The calls the OP gets may be sincere, maybe not, but extrapolating them into a broader trend seems to be a mistake.
  #109  
Old 04-11-2019, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet;21585199

No, for some reason, it's always, "Gosh, democrats, I'd love to vote for you, but if you nominate someone who is a 'socialist' [T/N: someone who supports government social systems proven to be extremely beneficial throughout much of Europe
, I'll just have to vote for the guy who has turned our country into an international laughingstock, handed government secrets over to Russia, is unable or unwilling to keep important government positions filled even with the kind of incompetent shitmerchants he would select for such positions, and decided to baselessly dispute the results of an election he won and is currently using his administration to bury a report that may in fact paint him as an actual criminal."

.
Bullshit. Anyone that can actually read and isn't an absolute moron can see that I have never indicated any inclination to vote for Trump. In fact, I have consistently denounced Trump, and voted against him in 2016.
  #110  
Old 04-11-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Bullshit. Anyone that can actually read and isn't an absolute moron can see that I have never indicated any inclination to vote for Trump. In fact, I have consistently denounced Trump, and voted against him in 2016.
...My apologies, I think I mixed you up with someone else whose name started with "O".

Come to think of it, that someone else got banned. Mea culpa.

That said, consider that post directed against Sam Stone.
  #111  
Old 04-11-2019, 11:44 AM
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I'm not American, but I have been consistent in my opinion of Trump - he's an ass. You make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions about your political opponents.
  #112  
Old 04-12-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I'm not American, but I have been consistent in my opinion of Trump - he's an ass. You make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions about your political opponents.
Yeah, we'll be sure to keep that in mind. *cough* CapitalismIsARulesBasedSystem *cough*
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  #113  
Old 04-12-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I'm not American, but I have been consistent in my opinion of Trump - he's an ass. You make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions about your political opponents.
I'm so sorry that I assumed that one of the most rabid free market capitalists on the board is not exactly a republican when everything he's posted indicates he hates the democrats. I'll take this lying down from Oakminister - not from you.

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 04-12-2019 at 11:26 AM.
  #114  
Old 04-12-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I'll take this lying down from Oakminister - not from you.
ummm...dude? I'm straight. Just sayin...
  #115  
Old 04-12-2019, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I'm so sorry that I assumed that one of the most rabid free market capitalists on the board is not exactly a republican when everything he's posted indicates he hates the democrats. I'll take this lying down from Oakminister - not from you.
Civility. It's required. Both this post and your post #106 fail in this regard. Please dial it back going forward.

[/moderating]
  #116  
Old 04-14-2019, 03:48 PM
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Replying out of order.

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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
And as I just said, those higher tax rates had pretty much no effect on revenue. So what's the point?
My only point in that post you quoted is that when you define socialism as some policies of people you decided are socialist, that's a poor definition that can lead to contradictions. One such contradiction is when you claim AOC is a socialist so her policy of raising the marginal tax rate is a socialist policy. Since the US had raised the marginal tax rate for decades and was not considered socialist, that's a contradiction.

On the tangent of whether high marginal tax rates are effective revenue generators. I'm not a proponent of raising the marginal tax rates to obtain tax revenue. Wealthy people don't make their money through income, and wealthy people have the means to get around paying those taxes. Generally, wealthy people make their money through dividends and capital gains. Raising the capital gains rate and taxes on transfers is another tangent. I'm on the fence about raising the marginal tax rate as a token gesture.

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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Properly functioning markets don't have to have the social outcome you want. Markets are not tools for social justice - they are a mechanism for efficiently coordinating the activities of the citizens of a country. This can certainly lead to winners and losers.
If this was the case in isolation, it wouldn't matter who was elected. The markets would function the exact same way regardless of the government's policy. Even in the theoretical models of econ 101, governments play a role in the functioning of markets. With no government intervention at all, businesses would quickly embody the problems you mentioned here:

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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Now, that doesn't mean that the same flaws can't happen in a capitalist economy. Monopolies, crony capitalists, huge corporations that centralize decision-making... all start to take on aspects of central planning, or allow themselves to be manipulated by central planners so long as they personally profit from it. This is why being pro-market is not the same as being pro-business. Businesses can be corrupt or stupid. Businesses are not always right, or moral. But the market is better at regulating economic activity in a complex economy than anything else we have when it's functioning correctly.
In the modern age, governments have played a role in serving as the backstop in creating laws determining how far corporations can go before they're considered to be exploiting the consumer. Corporate regulations, anti-trust laws and tax policy all play a role in determining where that line lies. Depending on who gets elected, those laws can be changed to be more pro-business or more pro-consumer.

Markets don't function in a vacuum. Governments play a role in regulating the markets. What is considered market efficiency takes those government policies into account and can tend toward what you consider "justice" depending on the government policy. And the "winners and losers" can change depending on that governmental policy.

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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
For example, the Democratic Socialists of America believe that the state should nationalize large, capital intensive businesses and forcibly transform smaller businesses into worker collectives. They believe that the inclusion of 'democratic' decision making into the operation of the economy as opposed to the government will be a better idea than free markets. I think they would rapidly destroy the economy, and history is on my side.
Could I get a cite for this? I looked up the DSA website and the wiki on the DSA. There's no mention of the goal to nationalize large businesses. The closest I could find was this:

Quote:
The DSA does not run candidates on its own ballot line in elections, but instead "fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people". These reforms include decreasing the influence of money in politics, empowering ordinary people in workplaces and within the economy and restructuring gender and cultural relationships to be more equitable
and even that gets watered down depending on the candidate. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sweeping legislation that AOC and Bernie Sanders have proposed that would weaken the power of corporations as a whole, not just specific policies in certain situations that would have an indirect effect. Ironically, Elizabeth Warren has a bill out to break up large tech. companies, but she doesn't claim to be a member of DSA.

History can't possibly be on your side in regards to democratic socialism failing because according to the wiki, it has not been instituted in any other country before. However, the theoretical models include countries like Sweden, Canada and France for different aspects of their social policies.

Quote:
Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America", states that "no country has fully instituted democratic socialism". Nonetheless, according to the DSA there are lessons to be learned from "the comprehensive welfare state maintained by the Swedes, from Canada's national healthcare system, France's nationwide childcare program, and Nicaragua's literacy programs".[106] The "tremendous prosperity and relative economic equality" established by the social democratic parties of the countries of Scandinavia and parts of Western Europe are lauded.
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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
And as I said, that's the wrong criterion. EVERY economic system will have winners and losers. There's no such thing as a free lunch. The best true socialist economies have managed is to bring everyone down to a miserable level, rather than bring the poor up to the quality of life enjoyed by the rich.
In an economic sense, there's no free lunch means [wiki]:

Quote:
"To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another."[17] The idea that there is no free lunch at the societal level applies only when all resources are being used completely and appropriately – i.e., when economic efficiency prevails. If not, a 'free lunch' can be had through a more efficient utilization of resources. Or, as Fred Brooks put it, "You can only get something for nothing if you have previously gotten nothing for something." If one individual or group gets something at no cost, somebody else ends up paying for it. If there appears to be no direct cost to any single individual, there is a social cost
It could be argued that the market has not been efficient. Wealth inequality shows that corporations (and the people who have profited most from their power) have gotten a "free lunch" off the backs of workers for a long time. Stagnant wage growth is an indication of how corporations have had a "free lunch" for many years.

It could also be argued that the most efficient market action would be to redistribute the wealth from the "free lunch" the corporations were having back to the workers who got (comparatively) nothing [in wage increases] for their efforts.

The social cost that the working class has been paying for this "free lunch" of the corporations is now evident in the high rates of suicide, the high rates of drug addiction and overdose and the decreasing life expectancy in the US over the last 3 years.

Corporations got something (increased productivity and profits) for nothing (stagnant wage increases). Redistributing that wealth wouldn't be a free lunch. It would be moving the market back to efficiency from a lunch already eaten by the corporations at their workers' expense.

Creating the conditions for wealth to move between the classes obviously means that some people will have less for others to have more. Who is having the "free lunch" is mostly a matter of framing or spin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
The proper answer to unequal market outcomes is not to scrap the market, but to create a safety net to help those who can't make it on their own.
Since you believe that taxing the rich is a socialist policy that would be disastrous, where would the money come from to create the safety net?

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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Dell by himself might not, but add all the millionaires, billionaires, corporate charity and smaller individual charity, and you get quite a sum. In 2009 private charity was about $423 billion dollars. But again, I'm not arguing against a government safety net - just government control of the economy.
Private charity, because it goes toward different causes, in different amounts and at different times, doesn't get concentrated enough to create the government safety net. How would you propose aggregating those private funds in a stable way that would consistently create that government safety net without using a government mandated way to do it?
  #117  
Old 04-14-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Replying out of order.


My only point in that post you quoted is that when you define socialism as some policies of people you decided are socialist, that's a poor definition that can lead to contradictions.
No, I used the definition at the Democratic Socialists of America Web Site, which AOC belongs to.

Quote:
One such contradiction is when you claim AOC is a socialist so her policy of raising the marginal tax rate is a socialist policy.
Where did I say that? I'm perfectly aware that high takes rates are not, by themselves, socialist. Especially when, as in the case of the 1950's and 1960's America you keep bringing up, there are so many loopholes and tax breaks that the average tax paid wasn't much higher than it is now.

Quote:
On the tangent of whether high marginal tax rates are effective revenue generators. I'm not a proponent of raising the marginal tax rates to obtain tax revenue.
Then why do you support it? And if you don't, why are you supporting people who want to raise marginal rates through the roof?

Quote:
Wealthy people don't make their money through income, and wealthy people have the means to get around paying those taxes. Generally, wealthy people make their money through dividends and capital gains. Raising the capital gains rate and taxes on transfers is another tangent. I'm on the fence about raising the marginal tax rate as a token gesture.
So you're willing to risk the economy and take money away from people, not because it will do any good, but as a 'token gesture'? That seems worse to me, as it indicates that a tax hike is more about punishing certain people and not about improving things overall.

Quote:
If this was the case in isolation, it wouldn't matter who was elected. The markets would function the exact same way regardless of the government's policy. Even in the theoretical models of econ 101, governments play a role in the functioning of markets.
No one said they didn't. In fact, I gave you a number of situations in which government regulation can help the market function better. Of course, there are plenty of regulations that can destroy markets, too.

Quote:
With no government intervention at all, businesses would quickly embody the problems you mentioned here:
Since no one is talking about ending all government regulation, you are engaging in the fallacy of the excluded middle. Either everything AOC and the socialists want is sensible and good, or you must believe in no government regulation whatsoever.

Quote:
In the modern age, governments have played a role in serving as the backstop in creating laws determining how far corporations can go before they're considered to be exploiting the consumer. Corporate regulations, anti-trust laws and tax policy all play a role in determining where that line lies. Depending on who gets elected, those laws can be changed to be more pro-business or more pro-consumer.
You seem to think that the choice is between pro-business and pro-consumer. Well, without business, consumers have nothing. Ask Venezuelans.

Quote:
Markets don't function in a vacuum. Governments play a role in regulating the markets. What is considered market efficiency takes those government policies into account and can tend toward what you consider "justice" depending on the government policy. And the "winners and losers" can change depending on that governmental policy.
An obvious point that means nothing without defining just WHAT regulations we are talking about. This is the tiresome shell game so many big government proponents engage in. Since some regulations are good, there will be no criticism of regulatory policy. Anyone who opposes socialism must want no government at all. Since a modicum of regulation is good for the country, a lot more regulation would be better. Or something. It's awfully hard to pin down modern socialists on exactly what they want when debating them.

Quote:
Could I get a cite for this? I looked up the DSA website and the wiki on the DSA. There's no mention of the goal to nationalize large businesses. The closest I could find was this:
You didn't read enough. It's right on their web site. If you don't think they want to nationalize large businesses and expropriate others, you didn't read this, from What is Democraic Socialism? on the DSA's web site under 'About Us':

Quote:
Originally Posted by Democratic Socialists of America
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.
Okay... So what does that mean exactly?

Quote:
Doesn’t socialism mean that the government will own and run everything?

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.
That's EXACTLY what I said - they recognize that the largest firms can't be run as collectives, so those will be nationalized and run by the government. Anything smaller than that will be expropriated and turned over to 'worker collectives'.

This is pretty much exactly what Socialism has always been - top down control of the commanding heights of the economy, coupled with worker collectives for the other stuff.

Can you not see how incredibly radical that is? It's essentially what Lenin promised, and what the Bolsheviks tried to do in the Soviet Union. They took the big industries away from the owners and turned them over to party hacks, and they took the farms away from the owners and turned them into worker collectives. Starvation followed.

This is right there in the DSA's FAQ. They dress it up in 'democratic' language, but it's the same old same old - the workers run all the stuff they can run, while the government runs the rest. Business owners and private capital become a thing of the past.

This is a formula for a level of economic destruction not seen since... Well, since now, in Venezuela. In fact, this is to the left of Venezuela, because they stopped at nationalizing major industries and fixing prices. They never got to the worker collective part before everything went into the dumper.

Quote:
Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sweeping legislation that AOC and Bernie Sanders have proposed that would weaken the power of corporations as a whole, not just specific policies in certain situations that would have an indirect effect.
Did you look at the Green New Deal? AOC sponsored it, Bernie supports it. That's certainly 'sweeping legislation', and it would certainly do massive damage to corporations. It's not my fault that it's so stupid no one takes it seriously.

How about Bernie's 70% tax rate? Wasn't AOC talking about a 90% tax rate? Or was that Elizabeth Warren?

Quote:
Ironically, Elizabeth Warren has a bill out to break up large tech. companies, but she doesn't claim to be a member of DSA.
You don't have to be a member of the DSA to be an economic illiterate, but it helps.

Quote:
History can't possibly be on your side in regards to democratic socialism failing because according to the wiki, it has not been instituted in any other country before. However, the theoretical models include countries like Sweden, Canada and France for different aspects of their social policies.
Again, you are trying to hide what they actually want as just being another variant of Social Democracy. But there is a fundamental difference. Social Democrats just want a stronger safety net, without making radical changes to the capitalist economy. The Democratic Socialists of America want to destroy capitalism and replace it with a combination of state run enterprises and worker collectives.

Social Democracy trades off a certain amount of growth and economic efficiency for a more robust social safety net and a gentler society. All countries have aspects of this, while still maintaining markets and businesses as the means to organize production and distribute consumption.

Democratic Socialism does away with private businesses entirely, and instead replaces them with worker collectives if they are small enough, or government ownership if not. As they themselves say, "To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed"

The DSA is dangerous. Their ideas are ruinous. The fact that some of them are in the U.S. Congress is frightening.

Quote:
It could be argued that the market has not been efficient. Wealth inequality shows that corporations (and the people who have profited most from their power) have gotten a "free lunch" off the backs of workers for a long time. Stagnant wage growth is an indication of how corporations have had a "free lunch" for many years.
First of all, there is not stagnant wage growth. Wages have been increasing for years. Second, unemployment is at record lows. Third, Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty than any other system known, and as formerly socialist/communist societies have moved to capitalism their economies and standards of living have exploded. The word has recently seen a rapid reduction in extreme poverty, entirely due to the spread of capitalism.

Nothing else we have ever tried has had those kinds of results, and it's insane to throw it out for something that you think could theoretically be better but which has failed every time it's been tried.

Quote:
It could also be argued that the most efficient market action would be to redistribute the wealth from the "free lunch" the corporations were having back to the workers who got (comparatively) nothing [in wage increases] for their efforts.
Funny, I'm a worker, as is everyone I know. And they've all got lots of things. I have more things than my parents did, and they had more than their parents. My wages, and those of all the people I know, are higher than the minimum wage. They are set by that evil market system, not the government.

'Workers' currently have it better than at any time in history. They walk around with the world's knowledge in their pockets. They drive the best cars that have ever been on the road - better than anything the richest people could have had 50 years ago. Gordon Gekko's 'privilege' in Wall Street was demonstrated that he could pull out a brick-sized phone and call anyone from the beach. Amazing! Now every 15 year old kid can not just do that, but much more than even billionaires couldn't do 30 years ago.

All of that comes from the dynamic competition of a largely capitalist world.

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The social cost that the working class has been paying for this "free lunch" of the corporations is now evident in the high rates of suicide, the high rates of drug addiction and overdose and the decreasing life expectancy in the US over the last 3 years.
We haven't established that corporations (other than crony capitalist ones) get any sort of 'free lunch'. Or are you about to drag out the stupid socialist labor theory of value?

Quote:
Corporations got something (increased productivity and profits) for nothing (stagnant wage increases).
You DO know that worker productivity is based primarily on capital investment? And that corporations and employees are a mutually beneficial arrangement? If I hire you as an auto worker for $35 per hour, why do you think you make that kind of money? Because of your labor? Nope. If your labor was all that counted, you couldn't make minimum wage. I could give you all the raw materials for a car and all the tools you need, and it would take you decades to build that car.

The reason workers get paid a lot is because each one's work is amplified by the capital investment in the machinery, processes, and division of labor inside a corporation. It is further amplified by corporate management, sales and distribution which gets the products to market. For organizing that and taking on the risk and investing the capital, corporate owners hope to make a better return on their money than they could investing it elsewhere. And the worker benefits by being more productive, and therefore earning more money.

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Redistributing that wealth wouldn't be a free lunch. It would be moving the market back to efficiency from a lunch already eaten by the corporations at their workers' expense.
No, removing that wealth would remove the capital needed to build businesses and invest in the things that actually make workers more productive. You can'pt have capitalism without capital. And for that to work, you have to allow the economy to self-organize so that the capital in the private markets flows to the most efficient uses.

Quote:
Creating the conditions for wealth to move between the classes obviously means that some people will have less for others to have more. Who is having the "free lunch" is mostly a matter of framing or spin.
No, actually it means that the productive class will have less money to invest in production, which means that everyone will be getting less.

Quote:
Since you believe that taxing the rich is a socialist policy that would be disastrous, where would the money come from to create the safety net?
I think progressive taxes are okay to a point. I think a social safety net helps allow a capitalist economy to function, and therefore some taxes to provide one are fine. But I understand that such taxes come at the expense of economic growth, and understand the tradeoff between safety and growth. Therefore, the safety net should be as small as possible consistent with humane care of those left behind, and taxes as low as possible consistent with that safety net.

The key metric for the health of a private economy is not marginal rates, since they are generally nowhere near the effective tax rate. The key metric is the percentage of capital that remains in private hands and therefore can be used in the private economy. The U.S. has consistently been between 14.5% and 21.5% of GDP in federal taxation, regardless of the marginal rate. That seems about the right range to me. Adding in state and local taxes, and about 27% of the U.S GDP is taxed. The Social Democracies like Sweden and Denmark are at about 45%, while the OECD average is 34.2%.

Mainstream debate could be centered around whether the U.S. should move its percentage up by a few points - not the 'wholesale transformation of the entire economy', which is what the Democratic Socialists of America want. They are way out on the fringe.

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Private charity, because it goes toward different causes, in different amounts and at different times, doesn't get concentrated enough to create the government safety net. How would you propose aggregating those private funds in a stable way that would consistently create that government safety net without using a government mandated way to do it?
I'm not saying private charity can replace the entire social safety net. My point was simply that $443 billion dollars in a year is not an insignificant amount of money. It's a serious contribution and shouldn't be downplayed.
  #118  
Old 04-14-2019, 10:23 PM
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You should have read farther into your cite:
You mean, the part of my cite that I then went on to quote again? Yeah, that isn't supporting your argument as much as you imagine it is.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:37 PM
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I'm not saying private charity can replace the entire social safety net. My point was simply that $443 billion dollars in a year is not an insignificant amount of money. It's a serious contribution and shouldn't be downplayed.
Apart from not being able to replace the reach of government services, it should be noted that the ones who are providing charity get to decide to whom they are providing it, where, and largely how. Bill Gates, Dell et al, were not elected but can determine winners and losers on a whim. On the other hand, government programs can be voted upon by the people they service and/or the people who think they are a worthwhile good.

//i\\
  #120  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:37 PM
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Apart from not being able to replace the reach of government services, it should be noted that the ones who are providing charity get to decide to whom they are providing it, where, and largely how. Bill Gates, Dell et al, were not elected but can determine winners and losers on a whim. On the other hand, government programs can be voted upon by the people they service and/or the people who think they are a worthwhile good.

//i\\
This is actually the best thing about billionaires - they provide alternate pathways for aid, research, etc.

Elon Musk felt that reusable rockets were the way to go. NASA disagreed. They abandoned reusability with the DC-X for political reasons, and nothing on their roadmap was going to bring us back there.

Left to NASA and it's big industrial cost-plus corporate partners, we'd be flying rockets once every year or two for a billion dollars per flight, which would likely stick us in low earth or it forever, with maybe a 'flags and footprints' mission or two to the moon or elsewhere, Thanks to a billionaire who didn't have to answer to Congress and its pork-driven members, we now know that reusability works, and it will lower the cost of space by an order of magnitude or more. That is worth far more to the world than a hundred times Musk's own fortune.

Paul Allen invested in breakthrough listen and the Allen Telescope Array, which is doing SETI work a risk-averse congress wouldn't fund. Sergei Brin and others are investing billions into solving diseases related to aging, and aging itself. Branson is investing in space tourism and cheap satellite launch and Bigelow is building inflatable habitats, one of which is on the ISS now.And of course, the whole of Silicon Valley is built on venture capital. Where do you think that capital came from? It came from very wealthy people who didn't have to give 90% of their money to the government.

In terms of foreign aid, governments have been spending billions on aid to Africa with very little to show for it. The Gates foundation has probably done as much for the poor in Africa on a fraction of the budget. But what is really helping Africa and other developing nations isn't foreign aid but the liberalizing of markets and property rights, allowing people to rise up on their own.

Innovation doesn't come from throwing more money at a few people. Innovation comes from many independent people exploring what Stuart Kaufmann calls 'the adjacent possible' - the unexplored areas enabled by the last round of invention. This is the true value of diversity - having many different people with different experiences and backgrounds and knowledge freely going where their ideas take them. That's why capitalist economies innovate so rapidly, and why China is forced to steal the technology its big government research outfits can't figure out.

Another reason you need the rich is as early adopters, to provide a market for technologies that are currently too expensive for the masses. Without Gordon Gekkos to fund the early very expensive days of cell phones, we might never have developed the cheap phones we all use now. Airbags, ABS brakes, stability control... all of these were extremely expensive when they first arrived. Almost all came out of the luxury car market, because only wealthy people could afford $5,000 for ABS. But now everyone has it.

A world in which there are only average people and no wealthy people is a world where all expensive products stop being made, and it's those products that eventually improve the products we all use. A world where every idea has to be approved by a large committee or a government body is a world where innovation stops cold. No matter how much money is thrown around by government to 'stimulate' research.
  #121  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:54 PM
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So, it turns out that all these grasping and greedy gremlins are toiling, night and day, for our benefit! They are our slaves, rather than the other way round! Dumb fucks, we sure outsmarted them!
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  #122  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:32 PM
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It is kind of weird when folks say that what they claim doesn't matter then when you ask how you know they're Socialists, they reply "They say so.".
  #123  
Old 04-15-2019, 11:17 PM
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Innovation doesn't come from throwing more money at a few people.
Sounds like a good argument for having innovation money awarded to many different people with different ideas competing for government research funding, rather than mostly accumulating in the pockets of a tiny elite of megalomaniac multibillionaire entrepreneurs. You can't simultaneously worship at the shrine of that tiny elite and also declare that excessive concentration of wealth in the hands of a few stifles innovation.

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A world where every idea has to be approved by a large committee or a government body is a world where innovation stops cold.
This is just standard libertarian repetition of dogmatic pieties largely untouched by reality. For one thing, nobody's proposing a world where every idea has to be approved by a large committee or a government body, and for another, large committees and government bodies have frequently approved some amazingly innovative ideas.
  #124  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:41 AM
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This is actually the best thing about billionaires - they provide alternate pathways for aid, research, etc.

Elon Musk felt that reusable rockets were the way to go. NASA disagreed. They abandoned reusability with the DC-X for political reasons, and nothing on their roadmap was going to bring us back there.

Left to NASA and it's big industrial cost-plus corporate partners, we'd be flying rockets once every year or two for a billion dollars per flight, which would likely stick us in low earth or it forever, with maybe a 'flags and footprints' mission or two to the moon or elsewhere, Thanks to a billionaire who didn't have to answer to Congress and its pork-driven members, we now know that reusability works, and it will lower the cost of space by an order of magnitude or more. That is worth far more to the world than a hundred times Musk's own fortune.
What you fail to note though in this particular instance, it was because of NASA program that SpaceX could come into being. Also, a lot of the money for ventures by Elon Musk is from the government.Who knows if left to his own devices he would have invested time and effort into his current ventures?

And while the advancement of science is certainly a worthy goal, as well as is deciding to help people in Africa in a way that a particular billionaire thinks is best, it does not address the fact that there were about 15 million people in the US that were food insecure.

There is also no guarantee that they will continue to be charitable, or that others who benefit from the large income inequality that exist will take up their mantle after they are gone.

//i\\

Last edited by icon; 04-16-2019 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Oops, grammar mistake
  #125  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:20 AM
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This is actually the best thing about billionaires - they provide alternate pathways for aid, research, etc.

Elon Musk felt that reusable rockets were the way to go. NASA disagreed. They abandoned reusability with the DC-X for political reasons, and nothing on their roadmap was going to bring us back there.

Left to NASA and it's big industrial cost-plus corporate partners, we'd be flying rockets once every year or two for a billion dollars per flight, which would likely stick us in low earth or it forever, with maybe a 'flags and footprints' mission or two to the moon or elsewhere, Thanks to a billionaire who didn't have to answer to Congress and its pork-driven members, we now know that reusability works, and it will lower the cost of space by an order of magnitude or more. That is worth far more to the world than a hundred times Musk's own fortune.

Paul Allen invested in breakthrough listen and the Allen Telescope Array, which is doing SETI work a risk-averse congress wouldn't fund. Sergei Brin and others are investing billions into solving diseases related to aging, and aging itself. Branson is investing in space tourism and cheap satellite launch and Bigelow is building inflatable habitats, one of which is on the ISS now.And of course, the whole of Silicon Valley is built on venture capital. Where do you think that capital came from? It came from very wealthy people who didn't have to give 90% of their money to the government.

In terms of foreign aid, governments have been spending billions on aid to Africa with very little to show for it. The Gates foundation has probably done as much for the poor in Africa on a fraction of the budget. But what is really helping Africa and other developing nations isn't foreign aid but the liberalizing of markets and property rights, allowing people to rise up on their own.

Innovation doesn't come from throwing more money at a few people. Innovation comes from many independent people exploring what Stuart Kaufmann calls 'the adjacent possible' - the unexplored areas enabled by the last round of invention. This is the true value of diversity - having many different people with different experiences and backgrounds and knowledge freely going where their ideas take them. That's why capitalist economies innovate so rapidly, and why China is forced to steal the technology its big government research outfits can't figure out.

Another reason you need the rich is as early adopters, to provide a market for technologies that are currently too expensive for the masses. Without Gordon Gekkos to fund the early very expensive days of cell phones, we might never have developed the cheap phones we all use now. Airbags, ABS brakes, stability control... all of these were extremely expensive when they first arrived. Almost all came out of the luxury car market, because only wealthy people could afford $5,000 for ABS. But now everyone has it.

A world in which there are only average people and no wealthy people is a world where all expensive products stop being made, and it's those products that eventually improve the products we all use. A world where every idea has to be approved by a large committee or a government body is a world where innovation stops cold. No matter how much money is thrown around by government to 'stimulate' research.
All of that is well and good - the existence of rich people isn't a problem. They can do what they want with the money that they have left over from taxation, and I'm sure they could do good things with that money. Trimming their wealth down from $100 billion in net worth to $50 billion in net worth isn't going to be much of a burden. That's true even if you reduce their wealth down to $25 billion. There comes a point when the money doesn't matter anymore.

Having a system of economic redistribution is necessary to free up more capital so that it is spread throughout the economy more evenly and so that more people can participate in the economic activity. We have 80% of the country living paycheck to paycheck. That limits their financial decision making. That limits their financial freedom, and you could even argue that it limits their personal freedom. If someone is spending a total of 60-70 hours a week either at work or traveling to and from work just to get barely get by, they aren't really all that "free"

We can have billionaires, but they should coexist with a healthier and more vibrant middle class

Last edited by asahi; 04-16-2019 at 06:21 AM.
  #126  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:24 AM
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Yeah this is not relevant. The Republican party gets smaller and smaller. I think people will see the presidential candidate for leadership skills, not so much left right stuff. The president will sign whatever bills the Democratic congress can pass. If the Senate stays Republican in 2020, the fear of "socialism" is ridiculous. They will fix healthcare and it will just be an expanded Obamacare with subsidies. Medicare for all is down the road, maybe 8 years.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:40 AM
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Older democrats are more moderate but the calls you get are likely some kind of astroturfing campaign. Most of the older Dems I've spoken to, and I mean at least 70, tent to be repulsed by the GOP let alone Trump.
  #128  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:43 AM
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So, it turns out that all these grasping and greedy gremlins are toiling, night and day, for our benefit! They are our slaves, rather than the other way round! Dumb fucks, we sure outsmarted them!
The money post of the thread.
  #129  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:48 AM
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Yeah this is not relevant. The Republican party gets smaller and smaller. I think people will see the presidential candidate for leadership skills, not so much left right stuff. The president will sign whatever bills the Democratic congress can pass. If the Senate stays Republican in 2020, the fear of "socialism" is ridiculous. They will fix healthcare and it will just be an expanded Obamacare with subsidies. Medicare for all is down the road, maybe 8 years.
I suspect this is probably where we're headed not because it's the best system but it's the path that's most politically expeditious and feasible. At least some republican governors and legislatures want federal money, and those that don't are, well, rock fucking stupid, and risk turning red states purple as we saw in Louisiana and Kansas. Republicans can only fall on that sword so many times.

Even so, this is not a great system because the healthcare system is still a patchwork and an expensive one at that. It would be better to overhaul the system and implement a full-on national health system that provides public hospitalization and insurance options and allows for private market solutions for those who want to pay for them.
  #130  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:06 AM
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Having a system of economic redistribution is necessary to free up more capital so that it is spread throughout the economy more evenly and so that more people can participate in the economic activity. We have 80% of the country living paycheck to paycheck. That limits their financial decision making. That limits their financial freedom, and you could even argue that it limits their personal freedom. If someone is spending a total of 60-70 hours a week either at work or traveling to and from work just to get barely get by, they aren't really all that "free"
If that 80% number is real, the 80th percentile household is making $130k/y. Which suggests the problem is with their decision making, not their lack of funds. Someone else having more money than me does not limit my freedom. If I want more money, I have the means to aquire it without legislating it away from other people.
  #131  
Old 04-16-2019, 08:44 AM
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This is actually the best thing about billionaires - they provide alternate pathways for aid, research, etc.

Elon Musk felt that reusable rockets were the way to go. NASA disagreed. They abandoned reusability with the DC-X for political reasons, and nothing on their roadmap was going to bring us back there.

Left to NASA and it's big industrial cost-plus corporate partners, we'd be flying rockets once every year or two for a billion dollars per flight, which would likely stick us in low earth or it forever, with maybe a 'flags and footprints' mission or two to the moon or elsewhere, Thanks to a billionaire who didn't have to answer to Congress and its pork-driven members, we now know that reusability works, and it will lower the cost of space by an order of magnitude or more. That is worth far more to the world than a hundred times Musk's own fortune.

Paul Allen invested in breakthrough listen and the Allen Telescope Array, which is doing SETI work a risk-averse congress wouldn't fund. Sergei Brin and others are investing billions into solving diseases related to aging, and aging itself. Branson is investing in space tourism and cheap satellite launch and Bigelow is building inflatable habitats, one of which is on the ISS now.And of course, the whole of Silicon Valley is built on venture capital. Where do you think that capital came from? It came from very wealthy people who didn't have to give 90% of their money to the government.

In terms of foreign aid, governments have been spending billions on aid to Africa with very little to show for it. The Gates foundation has probably done as much for the poor in Africa on a fraction of the budget. But what is really helping Africa and other developing nations isn't foreign aid but the liberalizing of markets and property rights, allowing people to rise up on their own.

Innovation doesn't come from throwing more money at a few people. Innovation comes from many independent people exploring what Stuart Kaufmann calls 'the adjacent possible' - the unexplored areas enabled by the last round of invention. This is the true value of diversity - having many different people with different experiences and backgrounds and knowledge freely going where their ideas take them. That's why capitalist economies innovate so rapidly, and why China is forced to steal the technology its big government research outfits can't figure out.

Another reason you need the rich is as early adopters, to provide a market for technologies that are currently too expensive for the masses. Without Gordon Gekkos to fund the early very expensive days of cell phones, we might never have developed the cheap phones we all use now. Airbags, ABS brakes, stability control... all of these were extremely expensive when they first arrived. Almost all came out of the luxury car market, because only wealthy people could afford $5,000 for ABS. But now everyone has it.

A world in which there are only average people and no wealthy people is a world where all expensive products stop being made, and it's those products that eventually improve the products we all use. A world where every idea has to be approved by a large committee or a government body is a world where innovation stops cold. No matter how much money is thrown around by government to 'stimulate' research.
This whole thing is just faith-based poppycock... I know because I used to argue it... but the emboldened is particularly striking, given as it was written

... on a computer, whose basic template was developed by government funding (British and American) during WW2 and the post-WW2 era
... using a communications network which was first brought into national use by the Kingsbury Commitment of 1913, giving ATT a monopoly on wired communications, these wires to form the backbone of the first commercial and individual access to...
... the Internet, another government-created entity, first consisting of connections between four universities, where, over time, DARPANET became ARPANET became the NSF which then transferred control of the internet to commercial entities in the mid 1990s because of the explosion of individual use of the internet caused by...
... the creation of the WWW by Tim Berners Lee, a government employee working in a government facility (CERN), to do the sort of science only governments seem capable of doing...
... Oh, and let us not forget that the Kingsbury Commitment monopoly + the WW2 investment gave ATT the necessary funds to conduct basic research into such things as the transistor, laser, microwave communications, et al. Money, forced from the consumer, to ATT, by the government, which lead to innovation.

Sam, if I went back and researched your examples, I will easily find tons of government assistance - tax breaks, innovation credits, basic research, more - and I won't even have to make the case that the entire communications network which makes SpaceX function is a creation of the government through war, investment, monopoly creation, and research.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-16-2019 at 08:46 AM.
  #132  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:25 AM
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Since no one is talking about ending all government regulation, you are engaging in the fallacy of the excluded middle.
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A world in which there are only average people and no wealthy people
Well, I suppose not putting both these statements in the same post deserves a tip of the hat....
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  #133  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:59 AM
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This is actually the best thing about billionaires - they provide alternate pathways for aid, research, etc.

Elon Musk felt that reusable rockets were the way to go. NASA disagreed. They abandoned reusability with the DC-X for political reasons, and nothing on their roadmap was going to bring us back there.

Left to NASA and it's big industrial cost-plus corporate partners, we'd be flying rockets once every year or two for a billion dollars per flight, which would likely stick us in low earth or it forever, with maybe a 'flags and footprints' mission or two to the moon or elsewhere, Thanks to a billionaire who didn't have to answer to Congress and its pork-driven members, we now know that reusability works, and it will lower the cost of space by an order of magnitude or more. That is worth far more to the world than a hundred times Musk's own fortune.
SpaceX only exists because of NASA. It was NASA funding that saved them from bankruptcy and a legacy of NASA engineering, research and infrastructure that enabled them to achieve the things they have. I think it's more fair to say that SpaceX is NASA's successful insurance project to circumvent some of the long standing inefficiencies foisted upon them by Congress and a Republican party devoted to feeding a bloated military Aerospace industry within their respective districts.
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  #134  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:05 PM
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Oh, shit, Sam!

Tesla repaying Obama admin loan 5 years early

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Tesla Motors Inc., which received $465 million in U.S. Energy Department loans to develop and build electric cars, will repay the funds five years ahead of schedule in a plan approved by the government.

The carmaker said in its annual report yesterday that the department approved amended terms of the loan agreements that enable it to complete repayment by December 2017. Starting in 2015, the Palo Alto, California-based company will make accelerated payments from excess free cash flow, Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja said in a telephone interview.
So, you've read your Rand, right? I have too, so let's discuss:

Does Elon Musk receiving a government loan... ala Orren Boyle... does that make him a Moocher or a Looter? I've always been a bit confused between the two, and now we have a real-world example... provided by you, thx... to discuss!

Eagerly await your response.

Last edited by JohnT; 04-16-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #135  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:28 PM
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what is the debate here now?
  #136  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:29 PM
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It's alway seemed to me, Sam, that a Looter was a person who would be a Randian Producer, but devoted his energies into getting subsidies, loans, monopoly power, and the like for his (obviously) wasteful, inefficient, non-innovative enterprise.

And a Moocher is someone who just doesn't want to work at all, the lowest of the Randian low. These, I thought, were the "welfare queens" in Rand's America... like the inhabitants of Starkeville, WI, after the Barnes's (IIRC) motor factory closed.

So... by my reading, Musk is a Looter. Agree?
  #137  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:31 PM
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what is the debate here now?
Sam decided to do some faith-based defense of Capitalism over Socialism, we're showing him that the facts do not support this conclusion as readily as he assumes. I decided to bring in Ayn Rand because I've always wondered about this, and feel that Sam might have some insights as to how Musk fits the Randian archetype for evil. Feel free to join in!

Last edited by JohnT; 04-16-2019 at 01:32 PM.
  #138  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:41 PM
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Sam decided to do some faith-based defense of Capitalism over Socialism, we're showing him that the facts do not support this conclusion as readily as he assumes. I decided to bring in Ayn Rand because I've always wondered about this, and feel that Sam might have some insights as to how Musk fits the Randian archetype for evil. Feel free to join in!
I appreciate that, as the Op was pretty bogus, IMHO, but perhaps a new thread?
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:45 PM
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Naw, it's not called a discussion for nothing. A sidebar about capitalism/socialism is, seems to me, pretty on-topic for this one.

The Ayn Rand stuff, however...
  #140  
Old 04-16-2019, 02:43 PM
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I appreciate that, as the Op was pretty bogus, IMHO, but perhaps a new thread?
I am not sure why you would call the OP bogus. The post was about a personal experiences situation that was coloring the poster's perception, though not their enthusiasm. They wanted to know if there was a broader dataset that would reinforce their anecdotal perception, or was this just being blown out of proportion. And, of course, there is the enforced perception that people abandoning the Democratic Party will be reaching for the comforting arms of the Republican Party, because, what else is there, when, really, the No-Party is what is strongest right now.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
I am not sure why you would call the OP bogus. The post was about a personal experiences situation that was coloring the poster's perception, though not their enthusiasm. They wanted to know if there was a broader dataset that would reinforce their anecdotal perception, or was this just being blown out of proportion. ...
I doubt their motives and their claimed personal experience. The Op looked and smelled like astroturfing.

He was asked to substantiate his claims, name the org he worked for etc, and nothing.
  #142  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:19 AM
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Yeah, it's even more bogus than the #WalkAway movement, except that white ppl are, in fact, dumb enough to fall for it.
  #143  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
Someone else having more money than me does not limit my freedom. If I want more money, I have the means to aquire it without legislating it away from other people.
It turns out, though, that that's another pious libertarian dogma that isn't actually true in the real world. A comparatively small group of someone-elses having lots more money than you and the rest of us does in fact significantly limit your freedom, by making government less responsive to the non-wealthy and more vulnerable to capture by elite interests. As this article notes,
Quote:
A vast body of research demonstrates that elected officials are far more responsive to the desires and priorities of the wealthy, for example, than to everybody else. And greater wealth tends to beget even greater wealth through investments, inheritances, and the ability to pay for creative ways to dodge taxes, such as misclassifying income or dumping it in offshore accounts. In other words, allowing so much wealth to be amassed at the very top creates an ever more powerful plutocracy that fights to entrench and maintain its economic privileges.
  #144  
Old 04-18-2019, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
It turns out, though, that that's another pious libertarian dogma that isn't actually true in the real world. A comparatively small group of someone-elses having lots more money than you and the rest of us does in fact significantly limit your freedom, by making government less responsive to the non-wealthy and more vulnerable to capture by elite interests. As this article notes,
A small group of someone-elses only has a small group of votes. If the rest of us vote with them against our own interests, that's our fault.

But even if someone with more money uses it for nefarious purposes, their simply having the money does not harm me.
  #145  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:32 AM
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To quote old Boss Tweed, "I don't care who does the electing, as long as I get to do the nominating."
  #146  
Old 04-19-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm voting for Bernie in the primary, however, whoever wins that has my vote.

Did the same thing with Hillary.
  #147  
Old 04-19-2019, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
A small group of someone-elses only has a small group of votes. If the rest of us vote with them against our own interests, that's our fault.
Again, this idealistic libertarian mantra is simply obscuring the realities of cause and effect, in which having extremely disproportionate amounts of wealth significantly increases the someone-elses' ability to persuade other people to vote against their interests.

This sort of naive delusionality is a hallmark of libertarian thinking. They ignore the very real and predictable negative consequences of the inequities all around them in favor of contemplating the theoretical level playing field that exists only in their own minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken
But even if someone with more money uses it for nefarious purposes, their simply having the money does not harm me.
This likewise shows a tremendously naive willful disregard of reality. The fact is that when a small minority of people have extremely disproportionate amounts of wealth, it is statistically inevitable that some of them will use it to further skew the political system in favor of the wealthy.


I used to have a more naive and laissez-faire view of extreme wealth disparities myself, though from a more liberal standpoint: I opined that as long as the folks at the bottom of the heap were getting adequate resources from tax funding, it didn't matter at all how much money the folks at the top of the heap had left over.

Then I started to encounter analyses of the run-up to the 2008 economic crash, describing how the development of highly risky derivatives and similar financial instruments was largely due to rapidly bloating investment capital desperate for new market options. Money that in the hands of the much larger non-wealthy population would have been funneled mostly into ordinary consumption, thereby growing markets, was instead recycled into speculative offshoots of existing markets responding to demands for places to put excess money.

That is, the fact that wealth was highly concentrated as excess capital in a relatively small number of hands in and of itself led to bad outcomes. Not necessarily because the individual excessively wealthy people were greedy or cruel. Just because they were in control of too much of the money, and so the normal stabilizing deterrents to financial risk failed to restrain them.

Libertarian pious moralities about the intrinsic neutrality of vast wealth inequality are simply delusions. When small elites of fabulously wealthy people have vastly more money than they need, inevitably large chunks of that money are going to wind up working to make the system more destabilized and unfair for the rest of us, even if the elites aren't operating with any deliberately "nefarious" purposes.
  #148  
Old 04-27-2019, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Where did I say that? I'm perfectly aware that high takes rates are not, by themselves, socialist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
If the term 'socialism' bothers you, we don't need the term at all. We can simply identify the policies that the 'socialists' want. For example, 90% tax brackets on the 'rich',
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
No one said they didn't. In fact, I gave you a number of situations in which government regulation can help the market function better.
OK good, we're on the same page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
You seem to think that the choice is between pro-business and pro-consumer. Well, without business, consumers have nothing. Ask Venezuelans.
Without consumers, businesses have nothing. Ask any bankrupt company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
An obvious point that means nothing without defining just WHAT regulations we are talking about. This is the tiresome shell game so many big government proponents engage in. Since some regulations are good, there will be no criticism of regulatory policy. Anyone who opposes socialism must want no government at all. Since a modicum of regulation is good for the country, a lot more regulation would be better. Or something. It's awfully hard to pin down modern socialists on exactly what they want when debating them.
How should it be determined which regulations are good and which are bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
You didn't read enough. It's right on their web site. If you don't think they want to nationalize large businesses and expropriate others, you didn't read this, from What is Democraic Socialism? on the DSA's web site under 'About Us':

Okay... So what does that mean exactly?
I can say what it doesn't mean, based on their website. It doesn't mean the government will run everything. It also doesn't mean that the government will turn into authoritarianism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSA
Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy.
. . .
Socialists have been among the harshest critics of authoritarian Communist states. Just because their bureaucratic elites called them “socialist” did not make it so; they also called their regimes “democratic.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
This is a formula for a level of economic destruction not seen since... Well, since now, in Venezuela. In fact, this is to the left of Venezuela, because they stopped at nationalizing major industries and fixing prices. They never got to the worker collective part before everything went into the dumper.
Here's a thread on the US turning into Venezuela on the Dope from 9/18. That's probably a better place for that discussion.

I did a quick search on whether the US could turn into Venezuela. The only hits that came up were from Fox News. There are a lot of other factors in the Venezuela situation that makes the US too dissimilar to compare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Did you look at the Green New Deal? AOC sponsored it, Bernie supports it. That's certainly 'sweeping legislation', and it would certainly do massive damage to corporations. It's not my fault that it's so stupid no one takes it seriously.
How would the resolution do massive damage to corporations? It's just a roadmap in resolution format that wasn't passed by the Senate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
How about Bernie's 70% tax rate? Wasn't AOC talking about a 90% tax rate? Or was that Elizabeth Warren?
In his Fox News town hall recently, Bernie mentioned a 52% top marginal tax rate that he was pushing in 2016. He didn't seem to be pushing one this campaign. AOC made an off-hand comment about a 70% marginal tax rate that started all the controversy. She wasn't even promoting legislation. I don't know Elizabeth Warren's position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Again, you are trying to hide what they actually want as just being another variant of Social Democracy. But there is a fundamental difference. Social Democrats just want a stronger safety net, without making radical changes to the capitalist economy. The Democratic Socialists of America want to destroy capitalism and replace it with a combination of state run enterprises and worker collectives.

Social Democracy trades off a certain amount of growth and economic efficiency for a more robust social safety net and a gentler society. All countries have aspects of this, while still maintaining markets and businesses as the means to organize production and distribute consumption.

Democratic Socialism does away with private businesses entirely, and instead replaces them with worker collectives if they are small enough, or government ownership if not. As they themselves say, "To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed"

The DSA is dangerous. Their ideas are ruinous. The fact that some of them are in the U.S. Congress is frightening.
You're right that I'm not seeing the difference. Here's a piece of the statement from the wiki on social democracy.

Quote:
Social democracy originated as a political ideology that advocated an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with orthodox Marxism.
Social democracy has evolved and so has democratic socialism as concepts in the current political climate. I do see a piece in the wiki where they try to make a distinction, but in the most notable section there's:

Quote:
Notable social democrats
. . .
Bernie Sanders
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Here's AOC on her take on what it means. She says that she believes in a democratic economy but. . .

AOC: Can You Be A Democratic Socialist And A Capitalist? 'It's Possible' | MTP Daily | MSNBC [youtube]

She explained what she meant by worker cooperatives. She says that workers should have a say in how the corporation they work in should run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
First of all, there is not stagnant wage growth.
In real terms, wages have been stagnant for decades.

Wage Stagnation in Nine Charts from 2015

Fed Chair Powell grilled on stagnant wage growth in tight job market
from Feb 2019

For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades from Pew Research Center August 2018

In U.S., wage growth is being wiped out entirely by inflation
from The Washington Post August 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Funny, I'm a worker, as is everyone I know. And they've all got lots of things. I have more things than my parents did, and they had more than their parents.
Millennials will not be so lucky. If the projections are right, millennials will have less than their parents.

Millennials will be the first generation to earn less than their parents from World Economic Forum July 2016.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
You DO know that worker productivity is based primarily on capital investment? And that corporations and employees are a mutually beneficial arrangement? If I hire you as an auto worker for $35 per hour, why do you think you make that kind of money? Because of your labor? Nope. If your labor was all that counted, you couldn't make minimum wage. I could give you all the raw materials for a car and all the tools you need, and it would take you decades to build that car.

The reason workers get paid a lot is because each one's work is amplified by the capital investment in the machinery, processes, and division of labor inside a corporation. It is further amplified by corporate management, sales and distribution which gets the products to market. For organizing that and taking on the risk and investing the capital, corporate owners hope to make a better return on their money than they could investing it elsewhere. And the worker benefits by being more productive, and therefore earning more money.
That's probably why workers are so expendable that corporations don't have to increase their wages (in real terms) for decades. The workers couldn't do the same on their own, so they have to accept what they're given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
No, removing that wealth would remove the capital needed to build businesses and invest in the things that actually make workers more productive. You can'pt have capitalism without capital. And for that to work, you have to allow the economy to self-organize so that the capital in the private markets flows to the most efficient uses.
If the markets are efficient, what's the explanation for the shrinking middle class? Or is that a result of "too efficient"?

The middle class is shrinking just about everywhere in America
in The Washington Post May 2016

America's incredible shrinking middle class
on CBS News March 2015

Shrinking Middle Class Threatens Global Growth, Stability
in Wall Street Journal April 19, 2019 (this is behind a paywall, but I thought the title and date was appropriate)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I think progressive taxes are okay to a point. I think a social safety net helps allow a capitalist economy to function, and therefore some taxes to provide one are fine. But I understand that such taxes come at the expense of economic growth, and understand the tradeoff between safety and growth. Therefore, the safety net should be as small as possible consistent with humane care of those left behind, and taxes as low as possible consistent with that safety net.
Within that context, the debate about what some people consider to be "humane care" has sometimes left me sad for the future of humanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I'm not saying private charity can replace the entire social safety net. My point was simply that $443 billion dollars in a year is not an insignificant amount of money. It's a serious contribution and shouldn't be downplayed.
It is indeed a significant amount of money. To put that in context, federal SNAP benefits for 2018 were projected to be $672B without Trump's proposed cut to $479B.

If the private charity were aggregated, it could almost fund a whole program like SNAP.
  #149  
Old 04-29-2019, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
A small group of someone-elses only has a small group of votes. If the rest of us vote with them against our own interests, that's our fault.

But even if someone with more money uses it for nefarious purposes, their simply having the money does not harm me.
Who funds the schools and how much? Who decides the curriculum?

What evaluation and critical thinking skills were taught, that people are able to make good and informed decisions?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 04-29-2019 at 07:58 PM.
  #150  
Old 04-29-2019, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Who funds the schools and how much? Who decides the curriculum?

What evaluation and critical thinking skills were taught, that people are able to make good and informed decisions?
Dammit, you just gave me a dark vision of the Republican Wet Dream: publicly funded, privately operated schools, where the government covers the basic cost of your child's education, but, of course, the school operators can offer an upcharge to give your child access to more and better resources.
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