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Old 11-11-2003, 02:58 PM   #1
Eits0
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Post Grand Socialism - thread


With all this discussion between "nazi"-Americans and "communist"-Europe it would be great if we all together just sit down and discuss our systems strenghts and weakneses, hmmm-kay? I've seen so much flaming on this subject from both sides, that I can't take it anymore.
Europeans most likely know what modern capitalism is, what are it's strenghts and weakneses, because they live in that system too.
Then again Yankees occasionally don't have a clue about modern socialdemocratic system. Some do, maybe most.

Let me list some +/- about socialdemocracy I live in:
+ mostly free healthcare
+ no homeless people or beggars
+ high level of education, for free.
+ "workprotectionlaw" -> no tipping in restaurant
+ no-one is left out of society (unemployed, elderly, handicapped...)
+ you see what you pay to your country everyday
+ getting pennyless is hard
- high & progressive taxation
- starting new business is difficult
- getting rich is hard

Some other things:
- there are only 2 things people are forced to: school (elementary + junior high) & army (only men)
- government doesn't own enterprises (except some with majority of stocks)
- living in socialdemocratic country is not same thing as being backwards

Then someone else can explain, maybe?
And +/- from USA wanted too!

Happy arguing!
 
Old 11-11-2003, 03:37 PM   #2
schatoor
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here is a similar thread. I posted all my ideas in there. I'm to tried to repeat them so I won't.
 
Old 11-11-2003, 06:19 PM   #3
Kurt M. Weber
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Re: Grand Socialism - thread

Quote:
Originally posted by Eits0

Let me list some +/- about socialdemocracy I live in:

+ mostly free healthcare
Meaning that Peter is robbed to pay Paul...can never be justified.
Quote:
+ no homeless people or beggars
Again, only because what rightfully belongs one person is taken from him with no consent necessary and given to another person simply because he "needs" it.
Quote:
+ high level of education, for free.
Same.
Quote:
+ "workprotectionlaw" -> no tipping in restaurant
So government gets to decide whether or not you tip, instead of social custom and the individual involved? Hardly sounds right.
Quote:
+ no-one is left out of society (unemployed, elderly, handicapped...)
What do you mean by that? People are required to associate with others even if they don't want to? Or something else?
Quote:
+ you see what you pay to your country everyday
Except you could probably pay for the same thing yourself and get a lot higher quality.
Quote:
+ getting pennyless is hard
Meaning that individuals are shielded from the consequences of their stupid decisions...which is just wrong.[/QUOTE]

EDIT: There was a bold tag I forgot to close...

Last edited by Kurt M. Weber; 11-11-2003 at 06:20 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2003, 10:12 PM   #4
Cruxus
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Here are some pros and contras for American-style capitalism (whether it is a pro or contra depends on your perspective):

- If you're one of those entrepreneurial wannabees who thinks everyone will buy a cooler that talks when you open it or something equally useless, it's easy enough to start your own business and lose your life savings and whatever money you begged out of friends and family.

- If you have the right connections, you too can become a highly overpaid CEO. Remember to screw over employees before you retire.

- As is only proper in a free-market society, you can even buy politicians and laws if you have enough money. Just remember: The preferred term is "campaign contributions."

- Instead of getting information from state-run sources, you can get information from the media conglomerates, who, remember, buy the government through campaign contributions and lobbying. Because this is an entirely "free press," you don't have to worry about such things as a bias towards defending the status quo and the sleazier practices of big business.

- Compared to people in the rest of the world, even if you're poor, you're still relatively well off. If it comes down to it, you'll probably never starve unless you refuse charity and welfare.

- Those physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves are no longer usually locked away in an attic or in a confinement chamber.

- As an employee and consumer (by the way, I hate this word; it makes me think of pigs lined up at a trough to consume whatever the farmer throws down), you do have some legal protections from the whims of corporations nowadays.
 
Old 11-12-2003, 02:04 AM   #5
Azmeen
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This is specifically for Mr Webber,

You are in my ignore list not because I disagree with your beliefs, but because you are of the opinion that only your beliefs are the single right path to economic, social, and judicial bliss. And after a while, your one-sided yapping can get irritating. However, as you can see, every once in a while, I would read some of your comments, and most of the time I regret doing so.

Your understanding of capitalism is that it is every person for himself, and if you have to do favours for others even if it is for the overall good of the community, this is a drawback for the "giver", and that the "receiver" is lazy or a freeloader.

In one of your other comments regarding socialism, you mentioned that the system will encourage people to be lazy and expecting to be spoonfed all their lives, and that such society is weak. Well, as they say, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. What you say is true, but it doesn't only apply to socialism, it applies to all political belief. The only difference is what's causing the weakness.

Considering your age (I do read profiles), I'd be inclined to think that perhaps you have not seen more of the outside world, and perhaps that you might be trapped in some conditioned mindset to think in a certain way... But this is merely my opinion. However, I do believe that opinions can change.

However, I would just like to give a friendly advice to you:

"Disagree all you want with someone, but don't belittle something that you yourself don't fully understand."
 
Old 11-12-2003, 05:02 AM   #6
davholla
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Mostly free healthcare can be justified if it is the cheapest and most effective system (lets not get into a debate as to whether it is).
Also by giving others free vacines I am protecting my children before they are old enough to be vacinated. Was smallpox eliminating by only providing vacines to those who can pay for it ? Or was it by charity and nothing to with the US goverment ?

I'd imagine very few Americans object to paying taxes for defence and law order and complaining that those who do not pay taxes benefit just as much as those who pay taxes.
 
Old 11-12-2003, 08:52 AM   #7
Eits0
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Quote:
Same.
Not exactly the same...
as far as I know, there is different kind of schools in USA: those that are free, those that are also free but of better quality and those that cost huge sums of money, called elite schools. Then again, as far as I know or have understood, going to university requires much money if you try to get in good one. Or then you need to join army for some time to get stipend, or then you need hellova good grades to have similar stipend that can pay your studies? correct me if I were wrong.
 
Old 11-12-2003, 01:46 PM   #8
Cruxus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eits0
Not exactly the same...
as far as I know, there is different kind of schools in USA: those that are free, those that are also free but of better quality and those that cost huge sums of money, called elite schools. Then again, as far as I know or have understood, going to university requires much money if you try to get in good one. Or then you need to join army for some time to get stipend, or then you need hellova good grades to have similar stipend that can pay your studies? correct me if I were wrong.
First of all, students who earned very good grades in high school (a perfect 4.0 GPA maybe), did plenty of community service, participated in sports and extracurricular activities have access to the best scholarships and universities (Ivy League like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc. and other top universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, etc.) in the United States. Unfortunately, through most of my time in high school, I was somewhat embittered so I did not want to do any community service. Now I regret that and not participating more in extracurricular activities.

Anyway, every year, university students can fill out the FICA (or whatever it is) to request federal student aid in the form of student loans and grants. The FICA considers parents' income, the student's assets, the student's race, and other factors: For example, because I was white and from a middle-income household, I could only get a student loan, which I ended up not accepting--for this year.

Attending college puts most students and their families massively in debt, but that seems how it's supposed to be. Next year, I will have to find a way to pay for more of my college tuition (and I'm going to a relatively inexpensive state university) because I have a sibling whi will also be going to college next year. I just hope I'll get a well-paying job right out of college so I can pay down whatever debts I accumulate.

It would be really nice if the United States took a more European approach to university education, but I doubt it'll happen.
 
Old 11-13-2003, 05:12 AM   #9
titanium_geek
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Australia is what they call a social democracy moving towards a more capitalistic society.
Thanks to the social part, I was able to get an operation for free for a condition that probably would have killed me if I had just let it go, or at least handicapped me severely. True, there was a waiting list for the operation, but my family doesn't have insurance and the free health care was a real blessing.
(and the only difference was that the food was a little different for the insured)

we don't even have to serve in the military.

I'm for socialism.
What if Mr. Rich (who needs a second swiming pool anyway?) has preyed on Mr. Citizen, and Mr. Citizen gets benefits from the govt. What if the govt./population feel that their second pool is going to some lazy freeloader? what happens to Mr. Citizen?
I have lived for most of my life in a corrupt demorcacy. (Bolivia. The one on the news a while back, it still has travel warnings) The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and then decide to revolt. Doesn't work.

My only hope is that the american views on education don't filter through to the rest of the world, because, contrary to popular belief, USA is not on the top of the ladder of education.

I think the fear of americans of socialism comes from the cold war when communism was the big enemy. (umm, they're different, ok?)

titanium_geek
 
Old 11-13-2003, 07:43 AM   #10
zaphod111
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In response to Kurt Weber


The 'rightful ownership' is disputed.

For many communists, socialists, neosocialists etc.... the problem of ownership requires retrospection. Retrospective consideration of how modern societies began to form in the way back when (thousands of years).

We all kind of understand the hunter gatherer within and most, including myself, beautify the idea of roaming the open landscapes in search of satisfaction.

After some roaming some groups probably happened upon land that was an 'oasis' a relative paradise in its ability to sustain the life force. Those groups likely settled and exploited the resources available to them. Perhaps after a while other groups arrived. The group became stronger and structured beginning to believe it 'owned' the resources that it happened upon.

Yet more groups arrive but they are not so welcome to the resources that the ancestors have asserted ownership of: they will graft for their food, they will do as instructed they will become compliant and GRATEFUL.


I think that all of us need to be aware that living in a sophisticated overcrowded world where the modern oasis is saturated is perhaps a mistake of nature. We have the abilities to consider alternatives to the now
and the owners have the ability to share the resources that they claim to own (birthright). If they choose not to share they have chosen an act that continues to deny newcomers of their rightful share in the ownership of the common resource.



I can explain it many, many different ways.

Think of Native Americans and all of USA's recent history: already the resources are claimed by a few original 'settlers'. Do you truly believe that the family of those settlers have a significant right to exploit newcomers?
 
Old 11-13-2003, 06:33 PM   #11
Dhimani
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Having government control over a significant portion of the GNP is never a good idea, at least here in America. Look what the federal government did with Social Security. Back in 1913, the United States government set up a "retirement" plan for its citizenry, promising that 100% of the funds paid in would be used to pay benefits out to people who reached retirement age. The problems with this idea are many. First, there were individuals that reaped the full benefit of this program not having to pay into it hardly at all. The funds were never allocated to a specific person's "account". Second, it was expanded later to include health care for senior citizens, first without any extra taxes, but then as costs rose, the Medicare taxes were separated out and taken out of people's paychecks as supplemental taxes without the Social Security tax diminishing by the same amount. Translation: government just took a bigger bite out of people's paychecks without any additional return. Third, it has been now estimated that the Social Security program will be bankrupt by 2040 because of politicians' inability to keep their hands out of it. It seems that the original "promise" has been forgotten. Also, as with every government program, there is so much waste involved that it's amazing that Social Security has lasted this long. I fear that if the US government got their hands in health care, the same thing would happen to it--quality going way down and cost going way up. A similar thing is now happening with our public schools. By and large, we are failing in our task to educate our children, while the cost of that inferior education continues to skyrocket. The blame squarely lies on the inefficiency of the government. In areas where private "charter" schools are started, it's been evident that the total cost of the education therein is about 30-60% of the public schools, with far better quality of education. For these reasons, I believe that Socialism is not the answer. People should be given tax breaks and other incentives to provide for their own health care, education, and retirement. It is more cost-effective and it gives the people something else that is very important to cost-control: choice. I don't think that people should be "thrown out in the cold." Clearly, though, the government monopoly is not working and needs to be re-thought.
 
Old 11-14-2003, 09:41 AM   #12
Mossie
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and for those who can't afford health care, education and retirement? I.e: those who are forced to work 2 jobs, and still pay out all of their salaries just to make it from paycheck to paycheck without being thrown out in the streets. Remember, a capitalist system is built on the backs of these people. For a few people to live comfortably in such a system, the system requires many people working at severly depressed wages. Contrary to popular belief, every poor person is not lazy, and indeed the majority of service industry workers are forced to work overtime, or multiple jobs just to survive. Even if we assume that we could highly educated every member of society, and somehow force every person to work to fullest extent of their potential every single day of their lives, there would still be a majority of people working in underpaid, low skilled jobs, because their are only a small number of highly paid positions availible in the market.
A free market, capatilist system, only works with very low paid, labourers working long hours to be able to put out products at affordable prices. Therefore, no matter how one spins it, we are stuck with poverty and a large lower class.
So do we just throw these unfortunates to the wolves when something goes wrong? One bout with cancer, can quickly run out the insurance of even an upper middle income wage earner, and leave a family in financial ruin without some kind of affordable medicare. Do we blame the family for not having enough income to by unlimited coverage?? or should they just any family member stupid enough to get sick with any illness which is too costly to treat? I know, it's their fault they got sick, so we'll through out into the streets right... As for the educational system, a funded education system at least lends the hope that one's children can receive a decent education, and get the skills needed to get on in this world. There is obviously alot wrong with the Canadian educational system, and I can't say much about the American system, but what I've heard is that it isn't pretty. Work needs to be done to improve them, but cutting them out in favor of pure private education, is simply stupid! I myself, am not exactly poor. I work as a Computer Systems Engineer in a local company in Ottawa, and make well above the average wage(at least in the upper 30% of wage earners in Canada). I have 3 children, 1 in the public education system, and 2 in daycare. I've been extremely lucky to be able to get my son into one of the best schools in Ottawa (even though it is public). I looked at private schools, and honestly, with my mortgage, my car payments, the childcare costs, food, etc.... I simply don't have the money. The thought of what it's going to cost to get my children through college is depressing, almost enough to make me move to Norway and try for citizenship (I've seriously considered it). I pay through an educational fund for each of them, but even with that, it's going to be tough the way the universities are pushing their tuitions costs up and up every year (500% increase in tuition in Ontario over the last 10 years). So if a person in my financial position can barely manage to get my children a decent education, what of people in slightly worse financial positions. I'm relatively certain that %70 of the Canadian population are not all lazy bums, and therefore don't deserve an education, so that doesn't really wash. Do we limit a higher education to only the top %5 to %10 of the population? Dosen't that pretty much limit our overall ability to innovate, and further push even more money into the hands of the elite?

Personally, I'm not into free rides, but a social safety net is a necessary part of any "civilized" country, only my opinion of course. There may be problems with how the current social system is implemented, but that's only an indication that work needs to be done to fix what's wrong, not to throw out the whole thing, and hurl %70 of our population into poverty and misery because they weren't the one's lucky enough to get into the top %30.
 
Old 11-14-2003, 11:04 AM   #13
Dhimani
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The crux of my position is that we NOT "throw people out in the cold," rather we find a way to privatize some of the areas the government has their hands in. We would STILL have to pay for it as a society, but wouldn't you rather competition be involved so that the people get the most for their money rather than just an ever-increasing bureaucracy reaching further into our wallets with no accountability as to the quality of the product?
 
Old 11-14-2003, 12:13 PM   #14
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Well I'm not sure if competition is necessarily the best means to determine eligibility for assisstance, but yes I agree on the point that the ever increasing beaurocracy needs to be better controlled. Optimizing the existing net and removing the beaurocratic bloat would work wonders towards increases any of the social program's bang for it's buck. Undoubtably, as well, there needs, I believe anyway, to be some means of ensuring accountability in the system, and enforcing the system against misuse (both for the people using the system, and the beaurocrats running it).
 
Old 11-14-2003, 04:57 PM   #15
Dhimani
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I don't believe that competition is the way to determine eligibility, but once an individual is "eligible", there should be other avenues, rather than government alone. Take education, for example. In a few states here in the US, parents are issued "vouchers", which are essentially tax credits, if they wish to send their children to another school, public or private. The parents are still paying for their children's education, but at least they get to choose which option is more cost-effective. Of course the National Education Association completely opposes this, and the real question is why. One would think that they would have the children's best interest at heart. It seems though that the only thing they care about is making sure that the teachers they represent get their annual salary increases, regardless of whether or not they are actually educating the children. In my home state of Oregon, there is currently a budget "crisis" and legislators are dealing with it by cutting essential services, instead of trimming the fat off of non-essential ones, hoping that the voters will relent and pass tax increases so the politicians can keep spending like mad. Oregon ranks 42nd out of 50 states in terms of population, while ranking 8th out of 50 in government spending per capita......it doesn't make sense does it? Does the State of Oregon really need a social-services worker in the Portland area that is fluent in "Klingon" (you know, the adversaries of the Federation in the original "Star Trek" tv series)? When the article appeared in our local newspaper that the state was hiring someone to speak Klingon, because they said they needed ALL languages represented, I just about fell out of my chair! If the State of Oregon can waste money like this, they don't need more, and I suspect other areas of government are just as bad.
 
  


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