• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Democracy?

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
After some rather disheartening discussions on these forums, I feel I must ask the question: does anybody care that economic democracy in America is almost gone? Does anyone care that the richest 1% in America control 40% of the nation's wealth, and the next richest 9% control an additional third of the nation's wealth (that's 10% of the country controlling roughly 73% of the wealth of the USA)? Does anyone care that the rising bull market is making us further polarized? For example, from 1996 to 2000, 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation. Does anyone care that a CEO in America's average salary is 425 times greater than that of his average worker? Basically, is everyone fine with inequality being at its highest since the 1920s?

*All stats taken from One Market Under God by Thomas Frank*
 

Dark Gypsy Curse

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2005
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
anomaly said:
After some rather disheartening discussions on these forums, I feel I must ask the question: does anybody care that economic democracy in America is almost gone? Does anyone care that the richest 1% in America control 40% of the nation's wealth, and the next richest 9% control an additional third of the nation's wealth (that's 10% of the country controlling roughly 73% of the wealth of the USA)? Does anyone care that the rising bull market is making us further polarized? For example, from 1996 to 2000, 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation. Does anyone care that a CEO in America's average salary is 425 times greater than that of his average worker? Basically, is everyone fine with inequality being at its highest since the 1920s?

*All stats taken from One Market Under God by Thomas Frank*

Good Point. I guess no one cares about all those important things you said. All the government cares about is the mess they got themselves into.

The war in the middle east.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Dark Gypsy Curse said:
Good Point. I guess no one cares about all those important things you said. All the government cares about is the mess they got themselves into.

The war in the middle east.
To me, the scary thing is that, in the election of '04, more people voted for 'moral issues' than for economic ones. Abortions, gay marriage etc. have no effect on most people's lives, but economics effect everyone, and American economics arguably effect the entire world.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
For example, from 1996 to 2000, 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation.
I've already debated the rest with you, but I've seen you use this "statistic" several times so far, and I can't take it anymore.

Do you know the reason why 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation?

Because the wealthiest 10% in the nation own at least 86% of the nation's stock.

That doesn't mean that the rich took advantage of anything, or manipulated the market unfairly. All it means is that more rich people own stock than poor people, which is an already known fact.

If you were trying to use that statement to claim that the stock market doesn't matter, because all the growth goes to the rich, look at the flipside.

"Just as the wealthiest disproportionately enjoyed the boom, the pain has also been concentrated among them. Fed economists, lacking survey data for 2002, estimated the average household's net worth stood at $341,300 on Oct. 4 last year, roughly when the stock market hit a five year low, a 14% decline from 2001. But the median household's net worth, they estimate, declined just 6% in the same period, to $80,700. 'Stock ownership is still highly skewed towards upper-income households,' said Dean Maki, an economist at Putnam investments and former Fed researcher. 'So the boom and the bust are also going to be highly skewed, and those affect the average more than the median. The median household isn't terribly exposed to the stock market.'"
So when the market went down, the rich were hurt, but the middle class and poor were barely affected. So it's two sides of the same coin.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
To me, the scary thing is that, in the election of '04, more people voted for 'moral issues' than for economic ones. Abortions, gay marriage etc. have no effect on most people's lives, but economics effect everyone, and American economics arguably effect the entire world.
Also a misconception.

If you look at the breakdown of why people voted the way they did, the question was organized in such a way that moral values would be more likely to come out on top.

When analyzing data from the 2004 exit polls, it is important not to make broad assumptions. Although the media has attached itself to the idea that moral values were the single most important issue in this year’s election, there are several reasons to doubt this assertion. Although 22% of the electorate claimed that “moral issues” were their most important campaign issue, 19% chose “terrorism” and 15% chose “war in Iraq.” In exit polls in previous elections, both of these topics would have likely fallen under the heading “world affairs” or “foreign policy,” giving that topic 34% of the vote. If this were the case, “moral issues” would be the second most important issue, followed closely by the economy with 20% of the vote. Interestingly enough, although those who picked “terrorism” supported President Bush by a wide margin and those who picked “war in Iraq” supported Senator Kerry by a wide margin, when these two topics are combined, the 34% of the country who would have picked “world affairs” as their most important topic gave their vote to President Bush by a margin of 59 – 40 (Ponnuru). This is almost exactly the same percentage of the country that trusted President Bush to handle terrorism, 58 – 40, which is identical to the percentage that did not trust Senator Kerry. No matter how the numbers are tallied, there is a significant disparity in the trust given to the two candidates in regards to America’s safety. In an election where 34% of the electorate names that as their most important issue, the candidate with the lead in that area gains a nearly insurmountable advantage.
Go look at the 2004 Election Results survey by cnn and you'll see what I mean.
 

Toby

New member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Outside of DC
I keep hearing the 2004 exit poll data go back and forth. I think you are right that there is bias to all of this information. I believe that most voters made their decisions on a compilation of issues - moral, economic, etc. Like that quote proves, its mostly semantics any way.
 

myshkin

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
110
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
anomaly said:
After some rather disheartening discussions on these forums, I feel I must ask the question: does anybody care that economic democracy in America is almost gone? Does anyone care that the richest 1% in America control 40% of the nation's wealth, and the next richest 9% control an additional third of the nation's wealth (that's 10% of the country controlling roughly 73% of the wealth of the USA)? Does anyone care that the rising bull market is making us further polarized? For example, from 1996 to 2000, 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation. Does anyone care that a CEO in America's average salary is 425 times greater than that of his average worker? Basically, is everyone fine with inequality being at its highest since the 1920s?

*All stats taken from One Market Under God by Thomas Frank*
Actually I don't care very much how much CEOs make or how much others earn, save or accumulate.
I am concerned that those who have accumulated so much more can buy more democracy by purchasing FREE SPEECH.
Not many janitors can make campaign contributions in amounts sufficient to get access to their PUBLIC SERVANTS.
You have the stats. Turnout was high so it is possible though unlikely that the winner got more votes than the people who voted NO CONFIDENCE and stayed home.
I am concerned that the government has through reckless tax cuts driven up our fiscal deficit and national debt and then turn around and use the same 'crisis' scare tactic that launch launched the war on terror.

I'm concerned that as we go further into debt our government takes our money and uses it to produce propaganda disguised as news and use it against our interests as is we are the enemy. I'm concerned that they put journalist on the government payroll at our expense to push propaganda against our interests as if we are the enemy. I am concerned when deceived by my government who hires ringers to toss softball questionsso they can avoid any real questions.

If there policies and practices are any good why don't they explain them instead of going to such lengths to decieve us. I'm disgusted with 'Clear Skies" programs that allow more pollution.

In the last election 70-75% of those who voted for the incumbent BELIEVED that we had found wmd in Iraq. 70-75% of those who voted for the incumbent believed that the Saddam Hussein regime had a working relationship with Osam bin Laden.

What good is democracy when the government goes to the lengths that it does to control your beliefs.
The same people who will now spread democracy around the oil producing world with the barrel of a gun.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
I've already debated the rest with you, but I've seen you use this "statistic" several times so far, and I can't take it anymore.

Do you know the reason why 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation?

Because the wealthiest 10% in the nation own at least 86% of the nation's stock.

That doesn't mean that the rich took advantage of anything, or manipulated the market unfairly. All it means is that more rich people own stock than poor people, which is an already known fact.

If you were trying to use that statement to claim that the stock market doesn't matter, because all the growth goes to the rich, look at the flipside.



So when the market went down, the rich were hurt, but the middle class and poor were barely affected. So it's two sides of the same coin.
Interesting point. And you're right, and that's exactly why I include the stat. The simple fact is, even though more and more Americans have money invested in mutual funds, that the rich have more money in the market. It follows that the bull market will increase the already wide gap between rich and poor, so despite all the talk of 'economic democracy of the market' during the 90s, in fact, the reverse was happening. I wasn't trying to demonize the rich, and I should point out that I never do. Capitalism is designed in such a way that a minority must reap in its benefits, while the majority do not reap in much of anything in benefits. One can hardly blame those who are lucky enough or skilled enough to become richer (depending on how you look at it there). I'll be clear here: the system is corrupt, not the people.
 
Last edited:

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
Also a misconception.

If you look at the breakdown of why people voted the way they did, the question was organized in such a way that moral values would be more likely to come out on top.



Go look at the 2004 Election Results survey by cnn and you'll see what I mean.
My bad. Stupid media! But it is still disheartening that more people voted for 'moral issues' than for the economy, even after a decade and a half of rising inequality.

While I'm thinking about it, another interesting fact is that taxes on the rich have decreased gradually since the '50s (obviously Bush's tax cuts will not reverse this trend).
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
My bad. Stupid media! But it is still disheartening that more people voted for 'moral issues' than for the economy, even after a decade and a half of rising inequality.

While I'm thinking about it, another interesting fact is that taxes on the rich have decreased gradually since the '50s (obviously Bush's tax cuts will not reverse this trend).
That's exactly my point. More people did NOT vote for moral values than the economy. When you say economy, some think the stock market, some think jobs, some think taxes. If you combine those factors, then 25% of the electorate picked "economy" as their number one factor, as opposed to 22% for moral values.

And as for the decrease in the taxes on the rich. It's not a secret, in fact many candidates ran on that platform. Taxes on the rich used to break 90%. Do you honestly think anyone should pay 90% of their income in taxes?
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
That's exactly my point. More people did NOT vote for moral values than the economy. When you say economy, some think the stock market, some think jobs, some think taxes. If you combine those factors, then 25% of the electorate picked "economy" as their number one factor, as opposed to 22% for moral values.

And as for the decrease in the taxes on the rich. It's not a secret, in fact many candidates ran on that platform. Taxes on the rich used to break 90%. Do you honestly think anyone should pay 90% of their income in taxes?
No, but I do feel that 28% is far too large a break for the rich, especially when their salaries continue to grow, quite rapidly, in fact. I do not know the point it should be at, but I do think that 28% is too low (actually, 28% was the rate before the Bush tax cuts, I don't know wehat the rate is now, but it's obviously even lower). Considering the fact that SS is a regressive tax, and income taxes are regressing, I would say the taxes on the rich should start going the other way; we should progress, not regress.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
No, but I do feel that 28% is far too large a break for the rich, especially when their salaries continue to grow, quite rapidly, in fact. I do not know the point it should be at, but I do think that 28% is too low (actually, 28% was the rate before the Bush tax cuts, I don't know wehat the rate is now, but it's obviously even lower). Considering the fact that SS is a regressive tax, and income taxes are regressing, I would say the taxes on the rich should start going the other way; we should progress, not regress.
What are you talking about, 28%?

28% is what people making 70,000 a year make.

It's 35% for federal alone for the richest.

Add 12% local and state taxes onto that for NYC residents like me.

Add 6.5% for Social Security that we pay.

Add 6.5% for Social Security that our employer pays, because that comes out of our paycheck too.

Add that up, and you get 60%

Definately more than 28%, and utterly ridiculous.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
What are you talking about, 28%?

28% is what people making 70,000 a year make.

It's 35% for federal alone for the richest.

Add 12% local and state taxes onto that for NYC residents like me.

Add 6.5% for Social Security that we pay.

Add 6.5% for Social Security that our employer pays, because that comes out of our paycheck too.

Add that up, and you get 60%

Definately more than 28%, and utterly ridiculous.
Tried to fix that last night, as before the Bush tax cuts the rich were taxed at a rate of 37% for income taxes (the comp I'm forced to use, as mine is down, froze). May I correct you, though, as you forget that SS has a tax cap of 90,000, so the rate is not 6.5% for the very rich. Rather, it is usually something around 2-3% and for multi-millionaires, its 1% or lower. We can see that, since the '50s, income taxes on the very rich have been cut in half, at least, as the very rich pay a total of around 50% in taxes (except for those unfortunates making under $90,000). The only thing I can see from this is that the SS tax cap should either be removed or it should be raised.

But NYU, you never answered the question of this thread: do you care about the rising inequality?
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
Tried to fix that last night, as before the Bush tax cuts the rich were taxed at a rate of 37% for income taxes (the comp I'm forced to use, as mine is down, froze). May I correct you, though, as you forget that SS has a tax cap of 90,000, so the rate is not 6.5% for the very rich. Rather, it is usually something around 2-3% and for multi-millionaires, its 1% or lower. We can see that, since the '50s, income taxes on the very rich have been cut in half, at least, as the very rich pay a total of around 50% in taxes (except for those unfortunates making under $90,000). The only thing I can see from this is that the SS tax cap should either be removed or it should be raised.

But NYU, you never answered the question of this thread: do you care about the rising inequality?
So you will concede that the tax rate for the rich is 50%? That's ridiculous.

I can't believe that our society has developed so that having half of what you earn is taken from you is acceptable.

You're right that it was a decrease from 1950, when it was even more foolish.

And to answer your question, no, I'm not worried about the inequality, because it's such a small population that it doesn't matter.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
Tried to fix that last night, as before the Bush tax cuts the rich were taxed at a rate of 37% for income taxes (the comp I'm forced to use, as mine is down, froze). May I correct you, though, as you forget that SS has a tax cap of 90,000, so the rate is not 6.5% for the very rich. Rather, it is usually something around 2-3% and for multi-millionaires, its 1% or lower. We can see that, since the '50s, income taxes on the very rich have been cut in half, at least, as the very rich pay a total of around 50% in taxes (except for those unfortunates making under $90,000). The only thing I can see from this is that the SS tax cap should either be removed or it should be raised.

But NYU, you never answered the question of this thread: do you care about the rising inequality?
So you will concede that the tax rate for the rich is 50%? That's ridiculous.

I can't believe that our society has developed so that having half of what you earn is taken from you is acceptable.

You're right that it was a decrease from 1950, when it was even more foolish.

And to answer your question, no, I'm not worried about the inequality, because it's such a small population that it doesn't matter.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
So you will concede that the tax rate for the rich is 50%? That's ridiculous.

I can't believe that our society has developed so that having half of what you earn is taken from you is acceptable.

You're right that it was a decrease from 1950, when it was even more foolish.

And to answer your question, no, I'm not worried about the inequality, because it's such a small population that it doesn't matter.
I will concede that total taxes for the rich in NY are around 50% (is your state tax higher or lower than normal?). But, even if one is making, say, $100,000, this means one will have atleast $50,000 to freely spend. This is still more than the average or median US salary before taxes! Do I think they should be taxed more highly? Perhaps a bit, but, personally, I'd like to see some cuts in the budget. I say eliminate all social programs that don't show to be helping society after ten years, and replace them (I suppose that's not actually a cut, but rather, more efficient spending). But mainly, I really would like to see the 'defense' (it seems to be 'offense' these days) lowered a bit. We spend more than any other industrial country on defense (and we have been doing that for years), and yet if there's ever a change in the budget, it's increased spending on defense. Oddly enough, the same people who insist on spending this huge amount are also the ones who claim to be 'conservatives' (this I call neo-conservatism).

What exactly do you mean when you say "it's such a small population that it doesn't matter"? You do realize that US labor is weak, with worker wages being reduced or being stagnant throughout the '90s, and also the government turning their back on organized labor. I am very concerned that we are seeing the end of economic democracy in the USA, with a smaller and smaller population controlling the majority of wealth. Do you not find this concentrated, vast economic power the least bit disturbing? The effects of it in the US are proof enough of the dangers of economic tyranny, but in the global south, the effects of rampant American inequality and resulting economic tyranny are even more profound. If you're interested in doing some reading about the effects on the greater part of the world, I have an article I've posted once before on this forum, and could go get it, if you so wish.
 

Kenneth T. Cornelius

Active member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
255
Reaction score
4
anomaly said:
After some rather disheartening discussions on these forums, I feel I must ask the question: does anybody care that economic democracy in America is almost gone? Does anyone care that the richest 1% in America control 40% of the nation's wealth, and the next richest 9% control an additional third of the nation's wealth (that's 10% of the country controlling roughly 73% of the wealth of the USA)? Does anyone care that the rising bull market is making us further polarized? For example, from 1996 to 2000, 86% of the stock market's advances went to the wealthiest 10% in the nation. Does anyone care that a CEO in America's average salary is 425 times greater than that of his average worker? Basically, is everyone fine with inequality being at its highest since the 1920s?

*All stats taken from One Market Under God by Thomas Frank*
What this all boils down to is that the very rich now absolutely control America. What passes for political debate these days is trivia. I personally would be just as happy not being expected to worry about somebody else's version of a sky pixie, whether somebody decides on an abortion, whether some guy lives with his boy friend, or any of the other teddibly, teddibly important issues we are so concerned with. Far better we be fixated on them, than on whether power plants be required to clean up their emissions or coal companies be prevented from despoiling the landscape.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
I will concede that total taxes for the rich in NY are around 50% (is your state tax higher or lower than normal?). But, even if one is making, say, $100,000, this means one will have atleast $50,000 to freely spend. This is still more than the average or median US salary before taxes! Do I think they should be taxed more highly? Perhaps a bit, but, personally, I'd like to see some cuts in the budget. I say eliminate all social programs that don't show to be helping society after ten years, and replace them (I suppose that's not actually a cut, but rather, more efficient spending). But mainly, I really would like to see the 'defense' (it seems to be 'offense' these days) lowered a bit. We spend more than any other industrial country on defense (and we have been doing that for years), and yet if there's ever a change in the budget, it's increased spending on defense. Oddly enough, the same people who insist on spending this huge amount are also the ones who claim to be 'conservatives' (this I call neo-conservatism).

What exactly do you mean when you say "it's such a small population that it doesn't matter"? You do realize that US labor is weak, with worker wages being reduced or being stagnant throughout the '90s, and also the government turning their back on organized labor. I am very concerned that we are seeing the end of economic democracy in the USA, with a smaller and smaller population controlling the majority of wealth. Do you not find this concentrated, vast economic power the least bit disturbing? The effects of it in the US are proof enough of the dangers of economic tyranny, but in the global south, the effects of rampant American inequality and resulting economic tyranny are even more profound. If you're interested in doing some reading about the effects on the greater part of the world, I have an article I've posted once before on this forum, and could go get it, if you so wish.

I missed this message earlier, you bring up some good points.

Here's the problem that I have though:

If a person making 100,000 a year is only getting 50,000 (Not mentioning the 9.75% sales tax in my county, which makes it effectively 45,000), that is ridiculous.

Imagine that that same person, instead of working a fulltime job, works 20 hours a week, and only makes 50,000. That is taxed at a 25% rate, so they take home 37,500 (minus SS and state taxes). That is a negative incentive, punishing the person for working full time instead of half time. How would you feel if at your job, instead of getting time and a half for overtime, people got .75 time? It would NEVER work, because negative incentives like this stifle productivity and growth.

Our defense budget is so high because we are called upon to be the policemen of the world, and fund Nato, the un, etc... Also, where do you think that defense spending goes? To american defense companies, who emply workers, pay taxes, increase GDP, etc. It's a diminishing rate of returns, but a small one.

My point about the small population is that if the 100 richest people in the US were half as rich as they are now, it would have almost no effect. If they were twice as rich, same. 100/ 300000000 is a miniscule number.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
My point about the small population is that if the 100 richest people in the US were half as rich as they are now, it would have almost no effect. If they were twice as rich, same. 100/ 300000000 is a miniscule number.
This is why I believe capitalism has done all the good it can do. It is time to advance (onto socialism). I do realize you do not see it this way, but I must ask, why are you so opposed to helping so many people?
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
This is why I believe capitalism has done all the good it can do. It is time to advance (onto socialism). I do realize you do not see it this way, but I must ask, why are you so opposed to helping so many people?
Questions such as this make me ill. I cannot stand it when any interest group phrases a question so as to imply that by not supporting their policies, they hate freedom/want to kill Iraqis/oppose helping people.

The reason I am opposed to it? Because I, along with the vast majority of economists, believe that socialism is completely untenable and unjust. The chances of convincing the world, (or me) that the way to promote growth is to completely subvert the economic system that is the basis for the global economy is absolutely zero.

To continue the same method of questioning: I do realize you do not see this subversion as a bad thing, but why are you so opposed to interracial marriage?
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
Questions such as this make me ill. I cannot stand it when any interest group phrases a question so as to imply that by not supporting their policies, they hate freedom/want to kill Iraqis/oppose helping people.

The reason I am opposed to it? Because I, along with the vast majority of economists, believe that socialism is completely untenable and unjust. The chances of convincing the world, (or me) that the way to promote growth is to completely subvert the economic system that is the basis for the global economy is absolutely zero.

To continue the same method of questioning: I do realize you do not see this subversion as a bad thing, but why are you so opposed to interracial marriage?
A centralized economy will provide (as it hisorically has) moderate growth, certaily atleast comparable to that of capitalism. The only difference is that rather than maintaining the liquidity of capital, it can be controlled by a central government (which is controlled by a majority of people through democracy). To say that socialism is 'untenable' is really not true, and to say it is 'unjust' is a lie. To me, a system that allows the richest 1% to control 40% of the wealth is unjust. I believe that the major factor keeping socialism and anti-capitalism at bay is simply ignorance of both. Some well educated people, hoping to maintain their power and riches, have actually claimed that the 'people' were represented at the '99 protests in Seattle by the WTO inside, rather than by protestors outside. If you ask a random American to name one characteristic of socialism, chances are they'll say dictatorship.

Also, don't think of socialism as 'promoting growth', rather, it is controlling where that growth goes. Under capitalism, growth is uncontrolled, and so any so called growth is only felt by the richest in any nation. Socialism will help the vast majority in this world, and you know this.

Lastly, I apologize for such a question, that makes some readers 'ill'.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
To say that socialism is 'untenable' is really not true, and to say it is 'unjust' is a lie.
Any system that incentivizes lethargy is unjust and any system that stifles creativity and growth is untenable.

I offer, off the top of my head, the example of google. Google, a ubiquitus product that has served to improve the quality of life of every one of us, is in existence solely because a group of rich people chose to give smart, poor people with an idea, their backing. They became richer off of it, and the public was given a great gift without cost.


Also, don't think of socialism as 'promoting growth', rather, it is controlling where that growth goes. Under capitalism, growth is uncontrolled, and so any so called growth is only felt by the richest in any nation. Socialism will help the vast majority in this world, and you know this.
No, I don't "know" this. Most of the people in this country/world have their jobs as a part of a corporation that was founded by the investement of rich people in a person with an idea.

Lastly, I apologize for such a question, that makes some readers 'ill'.
I just can't stand questions along the line of "So when did you stop beating your wife." A question that provides an answer is no question.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
Any system that incentivizes lethargy is unjust and any system that stifles creativity and growth is untenable.

I offer, off the top of my head, the example of google. Google, a ubiquitus product that has served to improve the quality of life of every one of us, is in existence solely because a group of rich people chose to give smart, poor people with an idea, their backing. They became richer off of it, and the public was given a great gift without cost.
How does socialism 'stifle creativity'? It would seem to me that providing redistribution (capital) to the needy would spark futher growth and creativity and invention etc. It reduces the effect life chances currently have so as to provide a more level playing field, allowing those who are truly skilled to benefit greatly. I don't know where you're getting this idea from, but it simply doesn't make sense (unless you still think that under socialism, the carpenter would make an equal wage as a doctor; you do realize that equal wages under socialism is just a myth?). Incentives lethargy? Not neccesarily. You must understand that 95% of those on welfare do not want to be there. Having an unlimited welfare system for the needy is hardly 'rewarding lethargy', as you so kindly put it. Welfare is a safety net for those who fail. Please understand that socialism is controlled capitalism, that is, the rules and principles of competition still aplly, even in the job market. Some will inevitably fail, some will be fired etc. (hopefully less thanks to stronger unions...). Welfare could greatly reduce poverty, perhaps even eliminate it.




NYU said:
No, I don't "know" this. Most of the people in this country/world have their jobs as a part of a corporation that was founded by the investement of rich people in a person with an idea.
Most people also, in this world, are, to use the US standard, deeply in poverty. With the industrial revolution and the ever advancing of technology, many old jobs have been replaced by machines. What has happened, atleast in richer countries, is labor being replaced with machines. The line worker is no longer needed. Now, you may reply with the foolish "but someone has to run the machine and fix it etc.". Even this will lead to far fewer jobs being needed. It is silly to think that corporations, the new gods of the free market, have improved the lives of many. I can run through my usual list, but apparently that does no good on such a will as yours. The simple fact and general trend throughout this world is that capitalism, unleashed from government, leads to greater suffering. The only argument for capitalism is that capitalism helps those 'who deserve it'. I'm sorry, but 'capitalism has helped everyone's life' is no argument; it is not true.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
anomaly said:
How does socialism 'stifle creativity'? It would seem to me that providing redistribution (capital) to the needy would spark futher growth and creativity and invention etc. It reduces the effect life chances currently have so as to provide a more level playing field, allowing those who are truly skilled to benefit greatly. I don't know where you're getting this idea from, but it simply doesn't make sense (unless you still think that under socialism, the carpenter would make an equal wage as a doctor; you do realize that equal wages under socialism is just a myth?). Incentives lethargy? Not neccesarily. You must understand that 95% of those on welfare do not want to be there. Having an unlimited welfare system for the needy is hardly 'rewarding lethargy', as you so kindly put it. Welfare is a safety net for those who fail. Please understand that socialism is controlled capitalism, that is, the rules and principles of competition still aplly, even in the job market. Some will inevitably fail, some will be fired etc. (hopefully less thanks to stronger unions...). Welfare could greatly reduce poverty, perhaps even eliminate it.
It's really very intuitive.

Say I'm a genius inventor. If I work 80 hours a week and come up with an amazing new product in a capitalist society, I'm rewarded with 100,000 and the rights to keep making more money off it. If I come up with that product in a socialist society, I make nowhere near 100,000.

Thus, I'm less likely to be willing to put in that 80 hour week. Whenever you remove the risks for someone, you increase lethargy.

If we lived in a complete welfare state, I wouldn't do a damn thing other than play xbox and have sex all day.

Most people also, in this world, are, to use the US standard, deeply in poverty. With the industrial revolution and the ever advancing of technology, many old jobs have been replaced by machines. What has happened, atleast in richer countries, is labor being replaced with machines. The line worker is no longer needed. Now, you may reply with the foolish "but someone has to run the machine and fix it etc.". Even this will lead to far fewer jobs being needed. It is silly to think that corporations, the new gods of the free market, have improved the lives of many. I can run through my usual list, but apparently that does no good on such a will as yours. The simple fact and general trend throughout this world is that capitalism, unleashed from government, leads to greater suffering. The only argument for capitalism is that capitalism helps those 'who deserve it'. I'm sorry, but 'capitalism has helped everyone's life' is no argument; it is not true.
Most people in the US, a capitalist society, to use the world standard, are exceedingly rich. Most people in socialist countries, to use the word standard, are poor.

The whole point of technological advances is that you DONT need the line worker. You're sounding like the person who hated new telephones because they eliminated the need for switchboard operaters. Technology is always a good thing. How can you say capitalism, unleashed from govt, leads to greater suffering, when the poorest 1% here in the US would be the richest 1% in other countries?
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
RightatNYU said:
It's really very intuitive.

Say I'm a genius inventor. If I work 80 hours a week and come up with an amazing new product in a capitalist society, I'm rewarded with 100,000 and the rights to keep making more money off it. If I come up with that product in a socialist society, I make nowhere near 100,000.

Thus, I'm less likely to be willing to put in that 80 hour week. Whenever you remove the risks for someone, you increase lethargy.

If we lived in a complete welfare state, I wouldn't do a damn thing other than play xbox and have sex all day.
I think your confusing your 'isms' here. Under socialism, we would see simply greatly controlled capitalism. This means that people would still likely make very near, if not exactly what they currently make. The difference is the prominence of redistributive programs. Taxes would go up, for the rich especially, and yes, growth would be slightly lower. But, on the flipside, which you probably won't get to in this little response, is that the control over that growth would be greatly increased. In capitalism, we can plainly see that great growth favors the rich. In socialism, with government control of industry, and with a government run by the people (democracy), growth will favor the working classes. And, going back to growth, do not overestimate what I have said, because history will tell you that any centralized economy will produce ample growth to sustain the economy.



NYU said:
Most people in the US, a capitalist society, to use the world standard, are exceedingly rich. Most people in socialist countries, to use the word standard, are poor.

The whole point of technological advances is that you DONT need the line worker. You're sounding like the person who hated new telephones because they eliminated the need for switchboard operaters. Technology is always a good thing. How can you say capitalism, unleashed from govt, leads to greater suffering, when the poorest 1% here in the US would be the richest 1% in other countries?
Is the US a strictly capitalist society? Hardly. Government regulation still exists. I'd say the living standards are so high in the US because of that regulation. In China, India, Argentina, and other places where government regulation is hard to find, the quality of life drops. Thus, worldwide, we see a general trend that the more influence a the more democratic the government, and the more regulated the economy, the better the quality of life. You obviously look at things from a very tiny, US viewpoint. Internationally, capitalism causes more suffering than benefit. If you don't believe me, why not go south of the border, and see how those workers upon whom our economy depends live.
 
Top Bottom