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Thread: Socialism

  1. #91
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    "Those rich people don’t need all that money. They don’t pay their fair share of taxes. And a lot of good can be done if all that money is taken away from those people, who don’t need it anyway, and is given to other less fortunate people so that they can have better opportunities to advance their lives.


    The above paragraph seems to be the essence of liberal economic thought. I realize that many liberals these days object to the notion that what they really want is socialism. However, arguing nomenclature is of no substance. Therefore, I’m just going to say that the philosophy described above falls under the umbrella of socialism, and just call it that.

    We can argue fairness all day long, but for now I want to tell you what happens when socialism or whatever you wish to call it, is deployed in an attempt to correct the perceived economic (or “social”) injustices of the world.

    Many people who support socialism, do so because they want a fair, poverty free world, with justice for all. Therefore, if you support socialism, i.e. wealth redistribution and a large government that deploys a heavy set of social programs to achieve all that, I would just like to let you know of the following:

    The socialist methods deployed to supposedly achieve a better world unleash an AVALANCHE of negative side effects that utterly dwarfs any of their original intentions, and brings more poverty, more inequality, more injustice, less prosperity, and more misery. This is because those methods go against an essence of human nature that cannot be changed even by people with the best of intentions.
    My response to this, which can be taken as a response to the entire post as well, is that you have a lot of explaining to do in regards to the rest of the first world. Either nations such as Germany, France, and Sweden are miserable places to live with failed economies, or they are not socialist enough by your definition to be suffering serious consequences yet, which would be strange since by your definition they are all vastly further toward the socialist end than the USA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Yes, socialism exacerbates the very problems it claims to solve.
    Funny, that's what I think the Laissez-faire dogma does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Disagree? Then read on!

    Unintended Consequences of Socialist Policies

    There are several reasons why socialism, and specifically wealth redistribution by means of taxing the rich, does not work. All of these reasons stem from one important fact of life:

    People have a strong desire to do whatever is in their own perceived self interest!
    Karl Marx essentially invented conflict theory. So even the godfather of leftism was working on the idea that people are greedy and self-serving. Class consciousness was not so much an act of altruism as a realization that all people of the same class had a shared interest and thus benefited themselves by acting in concert, or that was the hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    The following are detrimental unintended consequences of socialism that stem from the above fact and undermine everything socialism is meant to accomplish:

    Much of the money that goes to the government ends up being wasted, resulting in ineffective government programs, and less wealth for EVERYBODY. Learn more.
    Last I checked there are still sewers, roads, and police officers here. Some of the money may be wasted, but it still accomplishes more than would be if it were also simply left in the hands of non-obligated super-rich people. Wasteful service is better than no service at all. That being said, you don't have any figures on you. I always felt that government waste, while a reality, is grossly exaggerated by the free market types.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Many are tempted to assume that money collected by the government goes to help the poor and downtrodden. However, much of that money ends up in the hands of the rich and politically connected, those who have the most resources and ability to lobby for it. Learn more
    Some of certainly does even in a country as corrupt as this one. A problem with this point, however, is that absence of the government wouldn't fix this at all. It would actually just leave all of the money in the hands of the rich. At least what I'm proposing might take some of it. Even in the most extraordinarily inefficient circumstances, let's say 5% gets to the point and the rest goes to the wealthy. That's 5% more than we'd get if I just left it all with the wealthy in the first place. IT doesn't make sense to say "the government didn't do what it was supposed to, so let's have no entity attempting that task at all". If the problem is that the job wasn't done, removing any institution to carry it out only guarantees the problem with continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Socialism concentrates money and power in the hands of the government. When government grows, the greedy and corrupt don’t go away. Conversely, they now have a more powerful tool in their hands, the government itself. Learn more
    I'm not sure a bunch of super-wealthy people completely unbeholden to any public authority is actually weaker than one that can potentially bribe that authority. Basically, with government there's a chance it does it's job and maintains fairness and there's a chance it succumbs to corruption (this depends on various circumstances). At least there are two possibilities there. No government involvement is pretty much a guarantee that corruption will reign. No choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    The richer you are, the easier it is for you to avoid increasing taxation and leave the bill to the middle class. Learn more.
    This is sadly true. Tax laws really need to be tightened up to reduce this sort of thing. More powerful regulators can help, too. Unfortunately we have already poisoned the well quite a bit, but when you can start off on the right foot, this sort of thing is just all the more reason you should try to prevent the emergence of an outrageously wealthy class of people in the first place. It becomes all too easy for them to manipulate what would regulate them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    A soak-the-rich, high tax strategy inhibits the economy. And who is hurt the most by a slow economy? Not the rich! Learn more
    How? Have proof? Did you know that from 1940 to 1963 the income tax rate on the top bracket in the US never got lower than 80%? At it's highest it was 91%. This of course spanned over one of the most prosperous times in American history. In general, that example side, if you read the history and you won't find a useful trend between taxes and the speed of the economy. Indeed, a number of other nations in the world also cast doubt onto this claim that taxes will fuck up the economy.

    Are you going to cite the laffer curve or something? That thing is so over-rated. Seriously, the amount the economy would lose in circulated money as a result of the reduced spending on the part of the top income bracket is no where remotely close to the amount that would be gained in revenue if they were taxed 80%. And unless the tax level is 100% is isn't going to remove the incentive to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    The transfer of earned wealth that socialist policies mandate are a detriment to entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are driven by the potential for material rewards. If we take away or reduce the material rewards, we’ll have less innovation. Less innovation means less of all the cool, useful, and life-saving stuff we all love. Learn more
    First of all, if there isn't a strict cap on the amount of money a person can earn, and so long as the progression of taxation does not out-pace the increase in income, there will always be a material incentive to take more income in. Also take note that if a semi-socialist system is in place it can create supportive environment that allows one to branch our more and take greater risks, which are both useful to entrepreneurial activity.

    Secondly, commerce has an exaggerated historical role in innovation. Between people who invented for the hell of it or out of necessity (many who were not wealthy), and inventions that emerged as the result of government initiative, you have the lion's share of major innovations in human history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    High taxes and government regulations make it more difficult to start and grow a business, thereby leaving much greater opportunities for those who are already rich and have the resources to overcome those difficulties.Learn more
    This is way too vague to necessarily be accurate. For example, if taxes are progressive they weigh against the already wealthy far more than the new and modestly financed. If regulation is anti-predatory, anti-monopolistic, or anti-collusive, that regulation actually favors small businesses by protecting them. The statement above can be true or false depending entirely on the nature of the taxes or the regulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Social programs create more demand and need for those very programs in a self perpetuating cycle because given government handouts, people come to expect and rely on them. And therefore, you can never spend enough, because the more you do, the greater the need to do so becomes. Learn more
    In the absence of social programs, you have a lot of people in too poor a living conditions to ever hope to amount to something positive for the economy. An unhealthy, frequently homeless, uneducated, and chronically insecure work force is not what you want.

    And when a benefit to the economy appears to take place in the absence of these things it notably affects almost solely a wealthy minority, and not the unwealthy majority, meaning most people have no reason to give a crap about the supposed economic success taking place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Social programs are a disincentive to work and act responsibly. After all, if some or all of your needs are taken care of, and if someone else picks up the tab whenever something goes wrong, why would you worry about such minor details as work ethic, productivity, financial responsibility and family obligations? Consequently, when productivity takes a downturn, leading to a shrinking economy, guess who suffers… everybody! Oh and as always, the rich suffer the least. Learn more
    This is plain and simply bullshit. Have you been in poverty? Have you even been around it? A person that feels content to live on social spending is an odd being, and the kind of being that will be no more useful even if you don't give them any money. Most people, however, will continue to work because most people are not satisfied with what social spending gives them and also because the ability to provide for oneself is strongly attached to our sense of dignity and lack of work has been show repeatedly to cause depression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    A combination of the above points causes a vicious cycle of decreasing revenues and increasing demand for social spending that results in a socialist government running out of money and having ‘no choice’ but to perpetuated tax increases to every level of society, rich and poor. Learn more
    So, do you have an exact date for the collapse of every country in the first world? Anyhow, since all of the above points are dubious for one reason or another, that takes care of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Because of the avalanche of problems socialist policies cause, no amount of social spending and taxation will ever overcome the problems it is supposedly set out to solve.

    The Road to Poverty, Inequality, and Injustice
    Most of what you say from here is just a rehashing of the above. One thing I will add from what's written here is that you do understand that a progressive tax just taxes rich people more, right? The lower and middle class are still taxed. It's not all resting on the shoulder of the wealthy. And it isn't all resting on income tax. And it isn't all resting on taxes in general because expects that there will still be a productive market economy. You say there won't be one, but you don't have good explanations for why. And you speculations can neither account for modern day Scandinavia nor mid-20th century America. Your doom and gloom has never come to pass. On the the other hand, a nation as laissez-fair as the one you apparently want has, to my knowledge, not existed on earth, certainly not since the industrial revolution at any rate (unless you count Somalia or the like, as always, but then, are they even reached by the industrial revolution? ).

    And I'm going to be the first to admit that because this was ad hoc and because I am tired that my counter to your post was sub-par. It wasn't even that good. Good enough to raise points on how you're wrong, but still not very good. My point being that there is some really good material that extensively discusses your mistakes. But of all the stuff you could be directed to you, I just advise you to read the work of Mancur Olson. It may really learn you something about human behavior in a social context.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #92
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    Huxley, that is the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest private schools are better than public schools. Here they are notoriously worse than public schools academically and socially. And our public schools are good. I do think that public schools do fall short of what they could and should be doing, but not because they are public institutions. They could just be organized better, especially in the face of 21st century technology. I believe the divide between the school system (created based on culture that existed several generations ago) and 21st century culture (where you really can teach and educate yourself relatively well relatively easily) is responsible for a lot of issues right now. Poor organization is responsible for many other things, and a lack of funding for more I'm sure. But making it private would not really solve this (which is why public education is so popular everywhere, even when it is arguably ineffective). I suspect the idea of schools failing is more true in the states, with standardized testing and no child left behind. I can't think of any reason why public school systems could not be spectacular at not just educating kids but actually fitting the needs of individual students rather than treating them like a herd to systematically test. But I suppose this may be a separate topic altogether...
    Your right.. I don't know anything about Canadas public vs. private education.. I can only speak for the US. The only thing that I DO know about Canada.. is that my good friends aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was on a 6 month waiting list, and died 2 months before her surgery date. =/ How do you feel about the healthcare over there?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #93
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Public education is actually a huge FAIL. Have you seen comparisons on public education and private?
    Does it not occur to you that if there was only private education, a huge number of people would get no education at all or pay bottom dollar for education poorer than what's at public schools?

    EDIT: This little conundrum here is a great example of the kind of things you are failing to account for.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #94
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioINTP View Post
    Is this true? Interesting if so. Is it not up to the nation to make corporations legal? Is there a capitalist nation where this is so?

    I posted something about the original intent of corporations in another thread as being public trusts for risky major work projects like the Panama Canal.

    I would agree they should be illegal in the business world. Antisocial in behaviour.
    there was. America before the federal reserve act of 1913

  5. #95
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Does it not occur to you that if there was only private education, a huge number of people would get no education at all or pay bottom dollar for education poorer than what's at public schools?
    I don't necessarily disagree with public schools being in existence (although I may once I study it further), but I feel there needs to be greater incentive to create more private schools at lower costs with more competitive curriculum. lower cost private schools would allow many more children the opportunity to have a much higher level of education

  6. #96
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Your right.. I don't know anything about Canadas public vs. private education.. I can only speak for the US. The only thing that I DO know about Canada.. is that my good friends aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was on a 6 month waiting list, and died 2 months before her surgery date. =/ How do you feel about the healthcare over there?
    Canadians fucking love their healthcare. It is so much better than not having any health care at all, which is a reality for tens of millions of US citizens.

  7. #97
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Canadians fucking love their healthcare. It is so much better than not having any health care at all, which is a reality for tens of millions of US citizens.
    Tens of millions of US citizens... that qualify for medicare, medicaide, and will ALWAYS receive treatment in emergency situations. HMMMM. I'm sorry, I missed something though.. are YOU a Canadian? How bout we let people that have experience with it speak? lol.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

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    Senior Member Perch420's Avatar
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    I am an authoritarian socialist in that I believe that the best way to increase the standard of living in a society is to maximize equality of opportunity for all. Meaning that "poverty", which is defined as being poor to the point that it interferes with a person's ability to do certain things like get an education, be well-fed or well-rested, etc, should be eliminated at all costs, because the damage to society of one Einstein dying in poverty, or any person really, not being able to contribute to the workforce even if they are capable and willing to, is far more than a CEO being taxed an extra .01%.

    I am an authoritarian in that I believe people are too short-sighted and unintelligent to understand that this is the most optimal way to organize society; therefore, all political power will be in control of a small group of people, headed by one person with ultimate authority and with good intentions towards the human race. There is a significant danger of corruption and abuse of power when so much is in control by so few, but it is far better than the worthless Republicanism we have, where ANY suggestion to improve society in ANY way is immediately struck down by nauseating self-serving scumbags supported by their inbred constituents.

    I am also a strong believer in eugenics, hawkish foreign policy when it comes to overthrowing dictatorships and governments that kill or oppress their people, one world government, the death penalty, anti-multiculturalism when it comes to things like female circumcision and Sharia law (I don't care if you celebrate Hannukha or wear a turban), state atheism and suppression of religion, or at least government-sponsored programs to educate the masses of the stupidity of religious fate, and other things considered "totalitarian" by today's standards. I am also a social progressive; I believe in the complete legalization of all drugs, gay marriage, the right to bear arms, etc, and in general would prefer it if the government would not involve itself in people's private lives.

  9. #99
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    I don't think socialism is ideal, but it's not as destructive as some make it out to be. It can work, but it's by nature not as efficient as free markets. People as a whole know what's better for themselves than an individual holding a political office.


    Edit: I see I've stepped into a hornets' nest and I'm not really in the mood to argue about this particular subject, so I think I'll let myself out.
    You lose.

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  10. #100
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Tens of millions of US citizens... that qualify for medicare, medicaide, and will ALWAYS receive treatment in emergency situations. HMMMM. I'm sorry, I missed something though.. are YOU a Canadian? How bout we let people that have experience with it speak? lol.
    But if we were like the other first world countries we'd be able to cover everyone with a program that offers basic care for free and manage to spend less on health care as a percentage of the GDP than we currently do. Isn't that spiffy?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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