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  1. #41
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    "You earn what you deserve" is a common phrase used to defend (american) capitalism and free market. It sounds all good and fair. If you want to be rich, all you need to do is work hard. If you are lazy, you won't get that much money. All those lazy ass walmarters ought to get what they get, meanwhile as all those busy working wall streeters do all the heavy lifting. Except when they don't. People who are good at generating money are good at generating money. That's the talent they are lending to their country. If a society values money generating skills more than values skills such as teaching, nursing and servicing, it really will trump those skills. It's like a evolution of human skillset.

    Also, for free market to work (in a humane way), there would need to be (near) zero social inheritance. That would mean that your family name would not give you any leverage (by prestige or wealth). If my family's broken, how can I afford to go to Oxford? If I have to work all day at minimum wage, how do I have time and energy to develop my enterprise? If all my savings go to a medicine, how am I free to pursue my own business? If my family's wealthy, none of those are a problem and I can dedicate all my time an energy on building my own carreer, and still be able to fail without severe consequences. According to wikipedia, Social Inheritance is stronger in UK and US than it's in nordic countries. That's a bad thing.

    Also, look at all those (falsily) happy communist states ahead of US! World Happiness Report - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Also, look at all those (falsily) happy communist states ahead of US! World Happiness Report - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Wow even the nanny state's in the top 10.

  3. #43
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    The 2002 International Social Survey Programme found that Americans are 46% likelier than the French to be "completely satisfied" with their jobs; 52% more likely than the Germans, 42% more likely than the British, and 190% more likely than the Spanish. Wonder what's going on in Spain these days.

    Job satisfaction doesn't necessarily mean happier people but job satisfaction is an important component of one's happiness.
    Happy planet index says that these countries have better experienced well being than USA:

    Denmark
    Canada
    Norway
    Venezuela
    Switzerland
    Sweden
    Netherlands
    Israel
    Finland
    Australia
    Costa Rica
    Panama
    Austria
    Ireland
    New Zealand

    The data | Happy Planet Index

    There are other similar indexes and they all give somewhat similar results, eu socialist countries at the top of the list and USA not(though USA is not too far from behind, but thats most likely due to lunatic patriotism and so many being really wealthy etc, but the wealth isnt properly distributed).
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  4. #44
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    "You earn what you deserve"
    Thats just some bullshit said by people who have the money. In reality, money goes where there already is money. Except if you tax rich people and give money to some like in eu socialist setting, then there can be a bit better balance.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  5. #45
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic View Post
    Sigh another capitalism vs socialism argument, that fundamentally misses the point that free market capitalism does not actually exist anywhere least of all in the US. Wasn't it Gore Vidal, one of the US's own social commentators and card carrying member of the rich, who stated that America practices capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich? Yes it was.

    Those in society controlling assets are subsidised in most western capitalist countries through tax breaks, business incentives and often government grants in order to set up businesses or economic activity in targeted locations. Don't even get me started on interest groups, lobbyists and who makes donations to campaign funds. Most companies pay a lot less tax in % terms than individuals owing to the vast number of tax write offs they receive under corporations tax law. We don't have free market capitalism as a working model anywhere in the world. It is capitalism manipulated by governments to enact specific government policies. Whatever they may be.

    Don't get me wrong, I believe in capitalism, but it does not operate as a free market environment in the way most people assume it does. There are hundreds upon hundreds of documentaries detailing the less visible aspects of how western societies run and the different way individuals are treated for tax purposes based upon the assets they control. Even that stupid book Rich Dad/Poor Dad by R Kiyosaki is testament to how advantageous it is to be an asset owner rather than an employee. The #1 benefit is paying less or almost no tax. A tax subsidy is not the product of a free market economy. The only place you'll witness a free market economy is in something like a farmers market.

    What we do have in the affluent capitalist economies is the opportunity for upward social mobility, which is often not present in other types of economies. But there are plenty of ills to the way things are presently run for which we are yet to create effective solutions. The big problem with pure capitalism is that it is very poor at taking into account the social costs of certain activities. Commercial activity does not care about things like the environment for example because the social cost of that does not come into the profit equation and nor can it be easily calculated.

    At this point I don't even think talking about socialism/capitalism dichotomies is even useful. We don't have pure versions of either model in the world alive today. What we have is a spectrum of money making activities weighed against social activities. A blend of the two that plays out slightly differently in every country.

    You can't hold up something that doesn't exist and say there! See it works.
    Well done!

    All but that last sentence: not because we *do* have capitalism in the U.S. (we don't), but because some mistakes are much closer to the right answer than others.
    And because ... well, at least up until the last 20-30 years, at least, the United States has had, and pursued, and implemented a number of features which created the opportunity for the creation of wealth.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  6. #46
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Thats just some bullshit said by people who have the money. In reality, money goes where there already is money. Except if you tax rich people and give money to some like in eu socialist setting, then there can be a bit better balance.
    In a slightly different vein, this also applies to those who attended Ivy League schools in the U.S.--

    https://theamericanscholar.org/the-d...ite-education/

    The piece talks about the infinite 'breaks' and 'consideration' given to students at Ivy League schools, where deadlines and rules are constantly bent;
    whereas people going to (say) flagship state universities, will often lose grades for missing deadlines, even for events beyond their control.

    The attitude carries on after University, where connected people from the 'right' institutions have doors opened to them because of their connections,
    but they think it is solely due to their own personal charisma and genius.

    It's a good read.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  7. #47
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Even here in Finland, where education is free from 1st grade to doctor's degree, people still think they have achieved their fortunes by themselves and argue that they should not need to pay so much taxes.

    Another thing free market fails is environment issues. Even though people currently give some value to 'Green', it's still far from sufficient. Most of the people do not understand or care about global issues until it's too late. Ebola wasn't bad until it threatened the US and europe. We don't care about child labor in China as long as our smart phones and sneakers are cheap. Free market was created for world with unlimited resource and sustainability. We are quickly running out both with our world and free market/capitalism can't do a thing about it.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla
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  8. #48
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic
    Sigh another capitalism vs socialism argument, that fundamentally misses the point that free market capitalism does not actually exist anywhere least of all in the US.
    There isn't perfection, but there is a continuum and those nations that line up closer towards the economic freedom end (no minimum wage, fewer regulations, fewer government subsidies, lower taxes) tend to do much better than nations that are least free like North Korea and Venezuela.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    "You earn what you deserve" is a common phrase used to defend (american) capitalism and free market.
    You earn what your skillset demands is more accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    If you want to be rich, all you need to do is work hard. If you are lazy, you won't get that much money. All those lazy ass walmarters ought to get what they get, meanwhile as all those busy working wall streeters do all the heavy lifting.
    Working hard is just one element. The migrant farmer who picks tomatoes works hard but he's not going to get rich because his skillset doesn't demand much money. On the other hand, if he works hard and saves money, there is a good chance that his children will be better off if they get a good education and the economy is thriving.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    People who are good at generating money are good at generating money. That's the talent they are lending to their country.
    Yes, but it's probably a bell shaped distribution and most people are probably just average at generating money. The doctors, carpenters, plumbers, and entrepreneurs who do get rich aren't merely good at generating money; they have worked hard to acquire a skillset that demands higher salaries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    Also, for free market to work (in a humane way), there would need to be (near) zero social inheritance. That would mean that your family name would not give you any leverage (by prestige or wealth).
    I would argue that equality isn't the goal but rather more opportunity. Those who focus on equality tend to create conditions that actually reduce opportunities for people who are struggling the most. The equality crowd destroys wealth for everyone when they attempt to level the playing field by seizing assets; they're destroying small family owned farms and thousands of other family run businesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    If my family's broken, how can I afford to go to Oxford?
    Why do you need to go to Oxford? Studies show that a peer group of like intelligence and ability makes the same money no matter where they went to college.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba
    If I have to work all day at minimum wage, how do I have time and energy to develop my enterprise?
    In the US, only 14% of the work force makes minimum wage. This is entry level work for teenagers and immigrants. Minimum wage jobs are where people learn valuable job skills like showing up on time and working hard. If you are stuck in a minimum wage job, you've probably made some poor choices in life.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP
    Happy planet index says that these countries have better experienced well being than USA:

    Denmark
    Canada
    Norway
    Venezuela
    Switzerland
    Sweden
    Netherlands
    Israel
    Finland
    Australia
    Costa Rica
    Panama
    Austria
    Ireland
    New Zealand
    I see that some of these nations are ranked higher on the Index of Economic Freedom than the U.S. (like Canada and New Zealand) and that is why they are happier. I'm highly skeptical of Venezuela though (when was the study done?); that country is a mess today and don't even have enough toilet paper and many other items these days.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  9. #49
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Even here in Finland, where education is free from 1st grade to doctor's degree, people still think they have achieved their fortunes by themselves and argue that they should not need to pay so much taxes.

    Another thing free market fails is environment issues. Even though people currently give some value to 'Green', it's still far from sufficient. Most of the people do not understand or care about global issues until it's too late. Ebola wasn't bad until it threatened the US and europe. We don't care about child labor in China as long as our smart phones and sneakers are cheap. Free market was created for world with unlimited resource and sustainability. We are quickly running out both with our world and free market/capitalism can't do a thing about it.
    Try reading up on the pollution in the Marxist countries: P.J. O'Rourke in his All The Troubles in the World talks about pollution in Czechoslovakia; at the time of his writing, there were some 900 chemical dumps which were considered dangerous; to properly seal *one* of them, would cost some 15 billion crowns; the entire annual budget for the government was 360 billion crowns. The conclusion is "...if the Czechs spent all of their tax dollars on nothing but dump repair, they could have the worst of the problem under control in just thirty-seven and a half years." Elsewhere in the essay, O'Rourke quotes the Ministry of the Environment for Czechoslovakia that in one of the cities with the worst air pollution, Teplice, 13.6 years are cut from the average lifespan.

    Or, you can look at Jim Jubak from MSN Money, who quotes the Chinese Minister for Environmental Planning as saying that some 400,000 people in China *DIE* from air pollution each year. (Source: http://faculty.apec.umn.edu/wgartner...ion_JJubak.pdf)

    ...returning to O'Rourke, you might contrast this with the United States, where the Council of Economic Advisors pointed out that one rule governing wood preservatives is estimated to "prevent a single occurrence of cancer every 2.9 million years at a cost of five trillion dollars per life saved."

    Oh, and just for kicks. The EPA was started under the NIXON administration...
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  10. #50
    Senior Member Studmuffin23's Avatar
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    This goes back to a debate between Aristotle and Plato.

    The argument essentially boils down to eternal principles vs. practical convenience.

    Plato believed that abstract moral values were the only stabilizing force in human societies. If they break down, so does everything else. (This concept would be echoed by Karl Marx centuries later).

    Aristotle, by contrast, believed that pragmatic efficiency was the only stabilizing force in human societies. If one course of action offers a practical advantage, go for it. It's an extremely utilitarian way of thinking.

    Aristotle's approach can be identified with free-market capitalism, as well as political progressivism.

    Plato's approach can be identified with socialism (and other principle-based concepts such as anarchism, monarchy, etc. )

    Typically, Aristotle's camp is more successful within political reality, whereas Platonic experiments have failed miserably time after time. However, it is my humble opinion that governments cannot take Plato's side because human political institutions are inherently Aristotelian; they're focused on creating a happy environment for their citizens, as opposed to reforming the morals of their citizens.

    The Platonic ideal seems to be a more natural fit in the leave-the-world brand of religion. Quakers, Christian/Buddhist monks, and other spiritual-seekers have implemented his approach pretty well within their communities.

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