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Thread: Socialism

  1. #161
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I guess the difference is, I don't associate these types of oversights with socialism at all. the economic paradigm behind them is completely different to that of socialism.
    But this is exactly what separates a totally free market from a socialist economy. The idea that the people can mandate what is and what isn't an acceptable business practice, this is the heart of it. Call it regulation, call it oversight, the point is that we intervene to prevent abuse.

  2. #162
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_World_As_Will View Post
    I'll re-post this, as you seemed to have missed it, yet continue to ask for 'proof' of the success of social democracy, and I have given you proof.

    Below is the proof, found from a discussion group I'm a part of, the essay along with it's citations seem pretty through. Below is the entire text taken from this discussion forum


    "The Swedish Concept of the Golden Rule: Not Your Everyday Socialism
    Quote Originally Posted by The_World_As_Will View Post
    Swedes enjoy a higher standard of living, an incomparable lack of poverty conditions, and overall social well-being for its citizens, in exchange for a high tax rate that still leaves its citizens well off.
    How is this proof? I said give me an example of a country that has 1) a high quality of living and is 2) not on the brink of financial dispair.... What I got was BLOB of info covering that Sweden IS a social democracy.. how the model functions, theories on why it hasn't been implemented in the US and how it might be. THe ONLY statement in your whole "proof" that touches on quality of living is quoted above. Thats it. Here is some additional info I've dug up on Sweden and other welfare states.

    The Future That Didn't Work
    Among those countries afflicted with the more advanced stages of welfare statism are Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden -- especially Sweden. In the past, Sweden has been held up by some as the model mixed economy -- how to combine a vigorous capitalist industrial base with a lavish social welfare system. It was even touted as "market socialism" -- a future that seemed to work. Not any more. The negative consequences of decades of the heavy welfare state burden can no longer be postponed. The May 24, 1993 issue of FORBES reported on Sweden's welfare state ("The Swedish Disease") -- and the condition it has left that country.

    "The Clinton Administration's liberals who are pushing for more taxes, a bigger welfare state, bigger labor unions, currency devaluation and an industrial policy should take note: The Swedish model is doing abysmally.

    "Sweden's industrial production has plunged 15 percent since 1989. The jobless rate is 12% and rising. The budget deficit accounts for a third of the central government's spending and 13% of the country's GDP (compared with 5% in the U.S.). The currency is sinking even faster than the dollar."

    What is Sweden's problem? "The Swedish model is Sweden's problem," observes Ian Wachtmeister, a former aluminum company executive who heads the recently formed, market-oriented New Democracy Party, and who was elected to the Swedish parliament in 1991.

    "People are sick of the Big Brother-type of state. It's all connected with what's happening in Eastern Europe, because they had 100% socialism and we had 70%," reports Wachtmeister.

    "Sweden's welfare state has all but destroyed the country's work ethic. The absentee rate in Swedish industry reached an astounding 25% several years ago before recent welfare cutbacks encouraged people to work more. Many companies used to overstaff themselves by 25% just to make sure that they had enough workers on the production line."

    When the Swedish welfare system was at its peak a few years ago, the national health care system tended to encourage people to become sick. According to the statistics, Sweden was the sickest society on earth at that time. LIke anything else, when medical care is "free", an increasing number of people find ways to take advantage of it. Sweden's national health care system became a national scandal.

    As Forbes points out, by becoming every Swede's rich grandfather, the state has destroyed most peoples' incentive to save. According to Sweden's current Finance Minister, Anne Wibble, "Most households in our country do not have any private savings, and that means they are not independent of either employers or or politicians."

    Meanwhile, another hangover from Sweden's socialistic welfare binge is that some of the world's highest taxes on capital and income have driven Swedish entrepreneurs to less hostile environments in continental Europe and America. The productive private sector began to shrink at an accelerated rate. Three years ago Swedish banks collapsed, real estate prices plunged fifty percent, and the government's budget deficit exploded. The semi-capitalistic goose that had been laying the golden eggs had finally keeled over. Sweden was in a hell of a mess. A Soviet-style economic collapse was eminent.

    "In 1991 Carl Bildt's conservative coalition was elected to clean up the socialists' mess. Like some ancient hero of Norse legend, Carl Bildt has been swinging a mighty ax to clear away the tangles of the welfare state. Government expenditure has been cut by $11 billion (80 billion kronor, equal to 6% of GDP). Welfare payments have been cut. Inflation has been tamed to an underlying rate of 2%. A voucher system had been introduced in the public school system. Capital gains taxes are 30%. The top marginal tax rates on income are still 50% -- high, but that's a big improvement over the 85% of the recent past."

    But, will it be too little too late to turn Sweden around? Many of Bildt's more ambitious reforms and privatization attempts have been stalled partly by political opposition from the old-line reactionary Social Democrats who held power for so long and brought Sweden to its crisis situation.

    The Forbe's article concludes with the following: "Sweden may or may not recover fully from its socialistic experimentation. But this isn't just a story about Sweden. It's about any country where politicians believe in the infinite ability of the private sector to fund an ambitious social agenda, be it through high taxes, mandates, regulations or other forms of state interventions.

    "The New Democracy Party's Wachtmeister worries that Sweden's experience with market socialism has been lost on many of the liberals in the Clinton Administration. The key lesson, as Sweden is now finding, is that once in place this kind of socialism is very hard to dislodge."

    "Right now I'd rather be in Sweden than in the U.S., because we have seen the problems and are moving away from the welfare state," says Wachtmeister. "On your side, you are moving right into it, and you risk destroying your country."

    Many leftists often point to the "superiority" of Scandinavian "socialism." Leftists often use Denmark and Sweden as their examples, since they are the most successful Scandinavian nations. I already covered this issue in an earlier post, but I feel it is important to rehash this topic and to post a refutation of this leftist fallacy. For this post, we shall define Scandinavian countries as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. Some might dispute whether we should consider Finland and Iceland as Scandinavian, because of cultural differences (Finland) and geographical barriers (Iceland), though we the point of this post is not to argue whether or not these countries are Scandinavian, but to dispute the fact that they are indeed successful socialist states.

    First of all, most leftists will use the USA as the measure of laissez faire capitalism. We all know that this is completely false, so I won't go into detail refuting this casuistry here but I'd like to point several things out: Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, and Australia were all rated as "more free," according to the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom. It would probably be better to compare these Scandinavian nations to Hong Kong or Ireland than to the United states.

    Furthermore, Scandinavian nations are not nearly as socialist as leftists claim they are. Although the United States ranks higher than these nations on the Index of Economic Freedom, Scandinavian nations are more free in several decisive areas. Denmark has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom while having comparable property rights and trade freedom scores to the U.S. Sweden has greater business freedom and freedom from corruption, while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights enforcement, investment freedom, and financial freedom to the United States. Finland has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, and freedom from corruption than the United States, while having comparable property right enforcement, financial freedom, and trade freedom. Norway, the least successful Scandinavian nation, has greater freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable business freedom, trade freedom, and property right enforcement. Iceland has greater business freedom, fiscal freedom, and freedom from corruption, while having comparable trade freedom and property right enforcement. In many ways, Scandinavian countries are more "laissez faire" than the United States.

    http://mises.org/daily/2259
    http://mises.org/daily/2190
    http://mises.org/daily/955
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-603.pdf
    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1020
    http://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily...a-be-our-model
    http://www.cato.org/event.php?eventid=3688
    http://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-...ket-capitalism
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/swede...ls-wealth-tax/
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/sweden-is-a-tax-haven/
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/the-w...uses-sickness/
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/if-th...st-whats-ours/
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v23n3/nordic.pdf
    http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=1830
    http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=1885
    http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=1882
    http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=2668
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-...wedish-welfare
    http://www.timbro.se/bokhandel/pdf/9175665891.pdf
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #163
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    I find it interesting that by following your links you obtain your "proof" from heavily biased free-market philosophical sources.

  4. #164
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Links relate to various discussions and reports done on the failures of Swedens policy.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  5. #165
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    The Ludwig Von Mises Institute? Really?

    At least now I know what I'm arguing with, lol.

  6. #166
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    The Ludwig Von Mises Institute? Really?

    At least now I know what I'm arguing with, lol.
    Look, Marmie Dearest... atleast I can say that I looked at an opposing view on this topic.. which is much more than you can, i believe =) I don't need to look at ANY of your sources to know who I'm arguing with... you don't have any.. and resort to personal attacks instead of idea attacks.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  7. #167
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    But this is exactly what separates a totally free market from a socialist economy.
    No that's what separates a totally free market and totally socialist economy (both theoretical constructs) from a mixed economy. The debate has always been about which should be the predominant economic force and by what degree.

  8. #168
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    No that's what separates a totally free market and totally socialist economy (both theoretical constructs) from a mixed economy. The debate has always been about which should be the predominant economic force and by what degree.
    Exactly. I imagine that proponents of both systems have significantly different ideas about what the precise mix should be.

    Some of us can't even define the ingredients, some of us measure them with different scales, so it makes the process difficult.

  9. #169
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    This is not necessarily true, unless you don't allow people to define their own self interest.

    Our unnaturally large societies (relative to our evolutionary tribal roots) make it difficult, if not impossible, to have an emotional investment in many of the people we deal with. This is a problem for both communism and capitalism.
    bold: true. it's evident you're familiar with village theory

  10. #170
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    But this is exactly what separates a totally free market from a socialist economy. The idea that the people can mandate what is and what isn't an acceptable business practice, this is the heart of it. Call it regulation, call it oversight, the point is that we intervene to prevent abuse.
    intervening to prevent/hault abuse is not the same thing as intervening to take redistribute profits, highly tax or become a player in how the business is operated systematically. putting out laws against releasing harmful pollutants into the air is no different from putting out laws against burglary. I don't see how this is comparable in the least to government run businesses, outrageous taxation or communism.

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