http://gamingtrend.com
August 29, 2014, 10:49:41 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ready? Go! Debate what Socialism really is.  (Read 3238 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Knightshade Dragon
Administrator
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 21054



View Profile WWW
« on: October 25, 2008, 04:19:37 PM »

Since everyone is eager to call Barack Obama a Socialist, I figured we'd better get to discussing that - since he will likely be our next President.

Here are a few of the random thoughts that are running through my post-op sedated brain:

Redistribution of wealth is a key tenant of Socialism.  Didn't we just do that to the tune of 700 billion dollars?  Bush sure seemed excited to get that blank check signed.  That make him a Socialist?

Another tenant of Socialism is state or government control of industry - didn't we just buy a bunch of banks? 

Isn't another name for redistribution of wealth taxes?  Wouldn't that make our economy socialist in nature since Income Taxes were introduced?


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I support Socialism, I'm just saying that the label is being pulled out pretty quick and for no good reason.  John McCain has said this in the past:
Quote
So, look, here’s what I really believe, that when you are — reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. … And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they’re the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.
(cite with video: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/10/22/mccain-2000-tax-cuts/)

Of course, he also did say this:
Quote
"Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid."


I think this whole Socialist label is a big smoke screen. 

Logged

Ron Burke
EiC, Director of Gaming Trend
Gamertag:
Gaming Trend
PS3 Tag: GamingTrend
Eduardo X
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2681



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 04:51:03 PM »

There are aspects of the US that are socialist. For example, welfare, libraries, and Medicaid.
It pretty much ends there.
Giving $700 billion to banks is not really socialist so much as it is... I don't think stupid is the word... fascist? That's a hard way to put it, as it isn't a totalitarian move by any means, but with a government like ours that is more about making sure capitalism, specifically the US brand of capitalism, prospers around the world, a government that will even go to war to protect a corporations interests, this move of pumping money into failing banks and corporations is nothing new, even though it is technically nationalization of the banks.
Socialism for one group of people (or in this case, corporations) is not really socialism. A good example of this is Israel, founded as a socialist state for the benefit of Jews who'd been so oppressed and exploited for so long, but not extending the benefits of socialism to those already living there.
Logged

PSN ID: EduardoX
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 05:00:04 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on October 25, 2008, 04:19:37 PM

I think this whole Socialist label is a big smoke screen.

Bingo!

The word "socialist" is the modern American version of "communist". It's a word that most people don't really know the meaning of, but which is used to degrade other people's opinions and form a common "enemy" to fight against. I'd bet you money that if you asked a statistically significant part of the US population what a socialist is, less than 25% of the answers would be anywhere close to correct.

Here in Norway, socialism isn't a cussword since the concept is very much a part of everyone's lives. And the best part about it? Most of us love it! There's this safety net around your life that makes sure that unless you do something REALLY stupid, the worst that can happen with you is that your life will suck for a while. You won't ever end up in a situation where you can't afford to feed your family or pay your rent. There's a system in place that makes sure everyone can get the basic necessities of life even in the worst of situations. Of course, this is just a small part of the big picture. Socialism creeps into our lives everywhere, from our free healthcare (that works very well, thank you very much) to our taxes (which are very high compared to what you're used to, but which few of us even consider complaining about) and our businesses (if you try to start a business, you have the option of letting the government take the risk and protect you from losing everything you own if you fail. You have to follow certain rules, but it certainly encourages entrepreneuring).

The truth is, socialism has both good sides and bad sides. For people who detest government control in any way, shape or form, I can see why it looks bad. For some (the most successful among us), it presents pretty much only downsides. To those who aren't at the top of the ladder, it presents plenty of benefits. It can even work alongside capitalism as long as both systems are built to work with each other (like in Norway).
Logged
Eduardo X
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2681



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »

I think the difference between a socialist Norway and, for example, a socialist Cuba is that Cuba sees it as a progression toward communism, whereas Norway sees it as the end point. Am I wrong?

And yes, throwing around the word socialist in this election is an absurd smokescreen.
Logged

PSN ID: EduardoX
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2008, 05:09:08 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 25, 2008, 05:06:18 PM

I think the difference between a socialist Norway and, for example, a socialist Cuba is that Cuba sees it as a progression toward communism, whereas Norway sees it as the end point. Am I wrong?

I guess you could say that. I haven't really thought about it, which seems to reinforce your point.
Logged
cheeba
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2046


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2008, 05:39:41 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 05:00:04 PM

Socialism creeps into our lives everywhere, from our free healthcare (that works very well, thank you very much) to our taxes (which are very high compared to what you're used to, but which few of us even consider complaining about) and our businesses (if you try to start a business, you have the option of letting the government take the risk and protect you from losing everything you own if you fail. You have to follow certain rules, but it certainly encourages entrepreneuring).
Many would argue that the socialism in Scandinavia has led to complacency and a lack of innovation and competitiveness. Why try to become a millionaire when it's all going to get taxed and your life won't be much different from the guy who just coasts by on the system?

It has certainly caused a bit of an immigration problem. Imagine the immigration problem the United States would have, heh. If you start a business here in the US you are also free from personal risk, btw. When you hear of people losing everything it's because they put up their own houses or whatever for investment into their business.
Logged
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2008, 06:33:00 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 25, 2008, 05:39:41 PM

Many would argue that the socialism in Scandinavia has led to complacency and a lack of innovation and competitiveness. Why try to become a millionaire when it's all going to get taxed and your life won't be much different from the guy who just coasts by on the system?

I've heard this argument before, and it's never made sense to me. Generally, the argument is presented by those who already have a lot of money and who have lost a bit of their perspective on things, but I don't think that applies to you.

It's true that taxes increase along with your salary, but your tax rate has a roof (not sure what, but it's probably around 50% or perhaps slightly less. Dunno) which isn't too far away from what "normal" people pay, and it's still a percentage of what you earn. A person who earns $50000 a year in Norway would perhaps be taxed 35%, which means that he'd have $32500 left afterwards (which again goes a longer way than in the US since we get several things for free that you'd have to pay for). Someone who earns double that might be taxed, say, 40%. That means he'd be left with $60000, still almost double what the first guy earns. I assure you, these two people would be able to lead very different lifestyles from each other.

Sure, those with high incomes are taxed higher flat sums, but so what? A salary increase is a salary increase after taxes as well, no matter your tax rate.
Logged
Alefroth
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 683



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2008, 07:28:50 PM »

Haven't we been redistributing wealth to the super-rich for a while now?

Ale
Logged
cheeba
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2046


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 07:36:49 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 06:33:00 PM

I've heard this argument before, and it's never made sense to me. Generally, the argument is presented by those who already have a lot of money and who have lost a bit of their perspective on things, but I don't think that applies to you.
No, I don't exactly have a lot of money, true. My opinion mostly comes from reading quite a bit about Sweden. I have a very good Swedish friend and I even considered moving there for a while. It's my understanding that at least in Swedish culture (I figured this applies to Scandinavia in general), extreme wealth is not appropriate. They go so far as to teach the children that they are not special, but rather they are a piece of the whole.

And due to the taxes and this culture, most wealthy Swedish people become wealthy American people very quickly.

I'll look it up here soon when I have more time (sorry, due to it being Saturday I don't have much time to research here.)
Logged
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 07:44:04 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 25, 2008, 07:36:49 PM

No, I don't exactly have a lot of money, true. My opinion mostly comes from reading quite a bit about Sweden. I have a very good Swedish friend and I even considered moving there for a while. It's my understanding that at least in Swedish culture (I figured this applies to Scandinavia in general), extreme wealth is not appropriate. They go so far as to teach the children that they are not special, but rather they are a piece of the whole.

And due to the taxes and this culture, most wealthy Swedish people become wealthy American people very quickly.

I'll look it up here soon when I have more time (sorry, due to it being Saturday I don't have much time to research here.)

What you're referring to is in Norwegian called "janteloven" and is an unfortunate attitude that we've been trying hard to get rid of for many years, with varied success. It has become better, but there's still a little way to go. The core aspect of it is that you shouldn't think you're better than others, because that's frowned upon. Still, our newspapers write about the guys who gain economic success as if they were celebrities, and only those guys who turn out to be real assholes are generally disliked.

There are a few rich people who move their wealth out of the country. These are the assholes I referred to above. They go all "boohoo, the government takes all my money" when that is clearly not true (see my post above). Then they are surprised when people give them flak for their whining, and end up leaving. Their loss. Norway is one of the world's richest countries compared to its population, so it's not like we have any problems with our wealth around here. We don't even have any national debt.

As I also mentioned above, those who are wealthy and well-off won't benefit much from a socialistic regime. That is a natural consequence of the system, and might encourage some of the wealthiest to pack their bags and leave. Historically however, this has never been a problem, and it only comes up in isolated cases.
Logged
gellar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 8974


I'm a dolphin!


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 07:49:16 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 06:33:00 PM

Quote from: cheeba on October 25, 2008, 05:39:41 PM

Many would argue that the socialism in Scandinavia has led to complacency and a lack of innovation and competitiveness. Why try to become a millionaire when it's all going to get taxed and your life won't be much different from the guy who just coasts by on the system?

I've heard this argument before, and it's never made sense to me. Generally, the argument is presented by those who already have a lot of money and who have lost a bit of their perspective on things, but I don't think that applies to you.

There are a large number of academic studies, both theoretical and practical, that discuss the nature of Innovation in socialist environments.  Generally speaking, it's agreed that the motivation to innovate goes down considerably in societies that do not reward it.  Also, the number of Expats goes up dramatically as generally the innovative folks flee to places where they are rewarded better.  I agree with your point though, this tends to be more of a factor for the wealthy (or potentially wealthy).


Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 06:33:00 PM

It's true that taxes increase along with your salary, but your tax rate has a roof (not sure what, but it's probably around 50% or perhaps slightly less. Dunno) which isn't too far away from what "normal" people pay, and it's still a percentage of what you earn. A person who earns $50000 a year in Norway would perhaps be taxed 35%, which means that he'd have $32500 left afterwards (which again goes a longer way than in the US since we get several things for free that you'd have to pay for). Someone who earns double that might be taxed, say, 40%. That means he'd be left with $60000, still almost double what the first guy earns. I assure you, these two people would be able to lead very different lifestyles from each other.

Sure, those with high incomes are taxed higher flat sums, but so what? A salary increase is a salary increase after taxes as well, no matter your tax rate.

The argument is that things simply cost more in Norway.  You look at the Big Mac Index (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac_Index) and various others... it's simply absurdly high.  I know culturally Norwegians do not believe it is, but the simple facts show that goods cost more there.

Bottom line is: both Capitalism and Socialism have distinct costs.  Arguments can be made on both sides as to which is better, and largely the sides of those arguments are chosen by ones socio-economic status.  Someone who has lower ability to earn large sums of money will obviously be drawn to the idea of Socialism, while someone who already has large sums of money will of course choose Capitalism.

Personally, I believe Gov should only take control of things when absolutely necessary and I'll just go ahead and pay for the things I need in life, kthx.

gellar
Logged
gellar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 8974


I'm a dolphin!


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 07:50:32 PM »

Quote from: Alefroth on October 25, 2008, 07:28:50 PM

Haven't we been redistributing wealth to the super-rich for a while now?

Ale

Nice!

gellar
Logged
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 08:53:36 PM »

Quote from: gellar on October 25, 2008, 07:49:16 PM

There are a large number of academic studies, both theoretical and practical, that discuss the nature of Innovation in socialist environments.  Generally speaking, it's agreed that the motivation to innovate goes down considerably in societies that do not reward it.

But innovation IS rewarded. As I said before, increased salary is increased salary no matter your tax rate. In almost all cases, doubled base income means as good as double income after taxes as well. It's just that the rich tend to focus on how much taxes cost them instead of how much they're left with. This is greed, which of course is the basis of capitalism. What I'm saying is that it's not only greed, it's pretty pointless greed considering the reward is just as big if only people wouldn't get hung up in the amount of money you'd theoretically have before tax.

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 06:33:00 PM

The argument is that things simply cost more in Norway.  You look at the Big Mac Index (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac_Index) and various others... it's simply absurdly high.  I know culturally Norwegians do not believe it is, but the simple facts show that goods cost more there.

We believe it and we know it. I've said as much myself many times in #gonegold. If you look at our capital city, Oslo, its prices seen from a tourist's viewpoint are possibly the highest in the world. The rest of the country isn't as bad, but it's still close. Compared to our buying power however, the actual price of a Big Mac is comparable to what you'd pay in the US (well, not really. Hamburgers are a bit unusual in that respect. I'm just using the Big Mac as a generic example here). The fact is, most Norwegians earn quite a bit more money than our American counterparts. Even poor people over here are pretty well off compared to poor Americans. There are different indexes that consider this, including the research on living conditions done annually by the UN. It's not for nothing that Norway has been at the top of that list for several years now. smile

Norwegians doing much of their shopping online are even better off these days, considering the high price for Norwegian Kroner and the low price of US Dollars. Stuff bought with USD is nearly half their regular price right now for us (and vice-versa. If an American purchases something in Norway, he's paying nearly double). The last few weeks have seen a drop in the NOK value though, so we'll see how long that lasts.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 08:55:43 PM by TiLT » Logged
Doopri
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2853


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 09:54:16 PM »

i do want to say something about redistribution of wealth

nearly ALL of the venerable founding fathers of modern economics (the guys whos work is now taught in textbooks - not the classical economists but the ones like alfred marshall and keynes) said capitalism depended on some parity of income for it to function property.  pricing, distribution and consumer needs could not be adequately provided for (the promises of capitalism) without this.  did they call for full on redistribution? no maybe not exactly - but a much more equal distribution of wealth than what we now see isnt just a tenet of socialism - it is necessary for capitalism to function as weve all been promised it would

and i would somewhat disagree about capitalism promoting innovation - many of our technological advances come from socialized military research.  modern capitalism has trouble innovating because the fully capitalist industries operate so closely to the margins they dont have the capability to invest in r&d - monopolies however do - which is why many of the research intensive industries are allowed to function as monopolies, or at least very close to them (pharmaceuticals come to mind).  although people can occasionally see innovation coming from "outside" and destroying an established industry - but i personally feel this will happen much less frequently - even now innovation occurs most often when an established (generally monopolistic) firm branches out into new areas.  ive always thought capitalism nails production, and its very good at producing many many "little" things - but for something long term, that is heavily research intensive and high risk it has problems with innovation.  even the firms with monopolistic pricing power have trouble going outside their "comfort zone" of risk, and especially for anything that stretches beyond "medium term" - and these guys are usually flush the cash needed to innovate (as an example of this - check out how much money the oil industry spends on alternative energy research... and then look at what they spend on oil and gas exploration or take as profits)

*ridiculously long rant off smile*
Logged
gellar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 8974


I'm a dolphin!


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 10:12:54 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 08:53:36 PM

Quote from: gellar on October 25, 2008, 07:49:16 PM

There are a large number of academic studies, both theoretical and practical, that discuss the nature of Innovation in socialist environments.  Generally speaking, it's agreed that the motivation to innovate goes down considerably in societies that do not reward it.

But innovation IS rewarded. As I said before, increased salary is increased salary no matter your tax rate. In almost all cases, doubled base income means as good as double income after taxes as well. It's just that the rich tend to focus on how much taxes cost them instead of how much they're left with. This is greed, which of course is the basis of capitalism. What I'm saying is that it's not only greed, it's pretty pointless greed considering the reward is just as big if only people wouldn't get hung up in the amount of money you'd theoretically have before tax.

I should rephrase.  Innovation is always rewarded, you are correct.  It's just that socialist structures reward them less than capitalist structures.  You are absolutely correct in that it is definitely greed that causes these individuals to leave the socialist country.  Problem is, that greed will always exist, particularly in those who believe they deserve it.

The part, I think, that you are missing:  It's not so much about how much I pay in taxes as it is how much I use what they are paying for.  As a reasonably well off, single, unmarried male - they taxes I pay as an American net me very little relative even to the average American who might be married with children.  Even if we had Universal Healthcare, I'd still choose not to use it.  I can afford better.

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 08:53:36 PM

Quote from: gellar on October 25, 2008, 07:49:16 PM

The argument is that things simply cost more in Norway.  You look at the Big Mac Index (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac_Index) and various others... it's simply absurdly high.  I know culturally Norwegians do not believe it is, but the simple facts show that goods cost more there.

We believe it and we know it. I've said as much myself many times in #gonegold. If you look at our capital city, Oslo, its prices seen from a tourist's viewpoint are possibly the highest in the world. The rest of the country isn't as bad, but it's still close. Compared to our buying power however, the actual price of a Big Mac is comparable to what you'd pay in the US (well, not really. Hamburgers are a bit unusual in that respect. I'm just using the Big Mac as a generic example here). The fact is, most Norwegians earn quite a bit more money than our American counterparts. Even poor people over here are pretty well off compared to poor Americans. There are different indexes that consider this, including the research on living conditions done annually by the UN. It's not for nothing that Norway has been at the top of that list for several years now. smile

Really?  http://www.payscale.com/research/NO/Country=Norway/Salary vs http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Salary

I don't disagree that for an average person, the standard of living must be quite higher.  However, you do not have more money.  That simply just isn't true.  Cost of Living is an entirely different study than Standard of Living.

Quote from: TiLT on October 25, 2008, 08:53:36 PM

Norwegians doing much of their shopping online are even better off these days, considering the high price for Norwegian Kroner and the low price of US Dollars. Stuff bought with USD is nearly half their regular price right now for us (and vice-versa. If an American purchases something in Norway, he's paying nearly double). The last few weeks have seen a drop in the NOK value though, so we'll see how long that lasts.

Yeah well, that's everyone in Europe.  Comparing buying power relative to the USD is just a sad exercise for us Americans slywink

gellar
Logged
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2008, 08:23:57 AM »

Quote from: gellar on October 25, 2008, 10:12:54 PM

I should rephrase.  Innovation is always rewarded, you are correct.  It's just that socialist structures reward them less than capitalist structures.  You are absolutely correct in that it is definitely greed that causes these individuals to leave the socialist country.  Problem is, that greed will always exist, particularly in those who believe they deserve it.

The part, I think, that you are missing:  It's not so much about how much I pay in taxes as it is how much I use what they are paying for.  As a reasonably well off, single, unmarried male - they taxes I pay as an American net me very little relative even to the average American who might be married with children.  Even if we had Universal Healthcare, I'd still choose not to use it.  I can afford better.

Fair enough. I agree.

Quote
Yeah well, that's everyone in Europe.  Comparing buying power relative to the USD is just a sad exercise for us Americans slywink

True, but even more so for Norwegians. NOK has seen a massive growth over the last few years compared to almost all other currencies, making it a favourite for traders. Sucks for the Norwegian companies that export goods though.

As a side note, I should point out that I'm not advocating socialism for any country in this thread. I have no idea if what works in Norway would work in America (after a reasonable transitional period). I'm just talking about how things work here.
Logged
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3388



View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2008, 06:08:27 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 25, 2008, 04:51:03 PM

There are aspects of the US that are socialist. For example, welfare, libraries, and Medicaid.

Add the minimum wage and assorted worker-protection laws that grew from the labor movement...and Social Security, of course. The US embraced socialism during the New Deal partially to deflect the inroads that communism was making in response to the Great Depression. Had FDR not "softened" capitalism, the US might very well have undergone its own communist revolution.
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2008, 03:55:20 PM »

Unfortunately, Senator Obama is not a "socialist" in any reasonable meaning of the word.   I say unfortunately because the few socialist systems that we've set up in the US enjoy wide support among Americans, and because there's quite a few self-described socialists that we should all be proud of.

As Ironrod points out, this scare tactic is very old.  Reagan claimed that Medicare (which enjoys the support of more than 75% of Americans) would lead us into totalitarianism.  Hoover said that Social Security'd be a step towards communism.  Just as in those cases, it's a ridiculous overstatement, and at odds with how Americans actually feel.  A 2007 Pew poll demonstrates that we're nearly all "socialists" by hard-right conservative metrics - 69% of Americans believe that the Feds should "take care of people who can't take care of themselves," and 66% believe that government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes.  People also realize that there is an inequity in the tax burden - in an April Gallup poll, 63% of respondents felt that upper-income people pay too little.

There's a nice piece in the recent New Yorker that shows the hypocrisy of McCain's current attacks:

Quote
Obama added casually, “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” McCain and Palin have been quoting this remark ever since, offering it as prima-facie evidence of Obama’s unsuitability for office. Of course, all taxes are redistributive, in that they redistribute private resources for public purposes. But the federal income tax is (downwardly) redistributive as a matter of principle: however slightly, it softens the inequalities that are inevitable in a market economy, and it reflects the belief that the wealthy have a proportionately greater stake in the material aspects of the social order and, therefore, should give that order proportionately more material support. McCain himself probably shares this belief, and there was a time when he was willing to say so. During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:

Young woman: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .
McCain: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

Taxes are obviously and invariably redistributive, and clearly necessary.  Most taxes are regressive, so it's instructive to see that McCain once supported the idea of progressive taxation (until Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth beat him down after the 2000 election).  McCain was right; wealthy people can afford more.
Logged
Laner
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4692


Badassfully


View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM »

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.
Logged
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2008, 03:40:58 AM »

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

You're right - man, people like these guys should just get a job!  It's all so much clearer now that I've read your analysis.
Logged
Farscry
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4002



View Profile
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2008, 03:29:15 PM »

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is capitalism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Fixed that for ya.

Actually, a TRUE fix would be to replace "socialism" with "human nature". EVERY economic system has greed as its basis. Why? Because greed is the fundamental nature of humanity.
Logged

Purge - You have unlocked an Achievement!
You are now of the rank reprobate
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2008, 03:38:02 PM »

Quote from: Farscry on October 30, 2008, 03:29:15 PM

EVERY economic system has greed as its basis. Why? Because greed is the fundamental nature of humanity.

I'd make the case that it's "self interest" rather than greed, as we're all programmed at the genetic level to replicate our DNA, and what better way to attract a qualified mate than a beach house in Malibu?
Logged
Rowdy
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 722


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM »

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.
Logged
Glycerine
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 608


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2008, 04:54:27 PM »

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Bullshit, plain and simple.

glyc
Logged

Eduardo X
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2681



View Profile
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2008, 05:40:14 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.
My biggest issue with socialism is that, while I agree that the government should work to take care of it's citizens, I don't trust it, be it the U.S. government or any government, to do so.
The nonprofit model in the US is a better way to ensure a variety of people can decide how best to take care of folks, but the way the entire sector is tied to money, as well as the government restrictions and rules put in place keep it from becoming too useful.
Logged

PSN ID: EduardoX
brettmcd
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1355


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2008, 05:52:21 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.

More compassionate and moral?!?!?    I dont think the person who is bring punished for being sucessful so others can live off of his or her hard work would agree with you on that one.
Logged
cheeba
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2046


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2008, 06:15:04 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.
I disagree with that. I see nothing compassionate or moral about stifling human nature. Rather, I see what many religions attempt to accomplish: imposing their will onto others.

Life is a race. Unfortunately, not everyone starts that race at the same starting point. Socialism's answer to that problem is to ensure that everyone ends the race at the same time, no matter where your starting point or the speed you run. That's not morality or compassion; that's intellectual laziness.
Logged
Doopri
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2853


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2008, 07:02:28 PM »

if life is a race i better start drinking more, smoking more and doing drugs before all you people beat me to the finish!
Logged
Rowdy
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 722


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2008, 07:22:24 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 05:52:21 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.

More compassionate and moral?!?!?    I dont think the person who is bring punished for being sucessful so others can live off of his or her hard work would agree with you on that one.

Rhetoric and bombast, Brett.  No one is being 'punished', and as others have pointed out even in pure socialist economies innovators and enterprising individuals are able to live better lifestyles than those who try to leech off the system.  Paying 40% tax on a $100,000 salary is still a hell of a lot better than collecting $1000 a month of welfare, especially when I don't need to include things like medical care, etc. out of that $100,000.
Logged
Rowdy
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 722


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2008, 07:24:10 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 30, 2008, 06:15:04 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.
I disagree with that. I see nothing compassionate or moral about stifling human nature. Rather, I see what many religions attempt to accomplish: imposing their will onto others.

Life is a race. Unfortunately, not everyone starts that race at the same starting point. Socialism's answer to that problem is to ensure that everyone ends the race at the same time, no matter where your starting point or the speed you run. That's not morality or compassion; that's intellectual laziness.

False, Socialism isn't about equality at all costs.  Do some research - look into the economies of socialist states and tell me that everyone lives the same life, regardless of how hard they work or what their skills are.  FUD.
Logged
cheeba
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2046


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2008, 09:01:46 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 07:24:10 PM

False, Socialism isn't about equality at all costs.
Depends on which socialist you ask. For some it's just the nationalization of industry. For others, socialism means true egalitarianism and the only way to do that is by giving everyone equal ownership in, well, everything.
Quote
Do some research - look into the economies of socialist states and tell me that everyone lives the same life, regardless of how hard they work or what their skills are.  FUD.
I'd be happy to. Could you please point out a truly socialist state?
Logged
TiLT
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 6457


Preaching to the choir


View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2008, 09:57:20 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 30, 2008, 09:01:46 PM

I'd be happy to. Could you please point out a truly socialist state?

You don't HAVE to be an ass about everything you write in this forum, you know. Most of us try not to be.

AFAIK, there are no "truly" socialist states. There are normal socialist states though. Take Norway for example. Being in the unique position of being able to support the national budget with oil money, socialism is easier to apply than in most countries (presumably). If you tell me everyone has the same quality of life over here, I'll personally fly over to wherever you live and kick you in the nuts.  icon_razz

Your main problem is that you're confusing socialism with communism (imagine that, considering my first post in this thread). You should heed Rowdy's recommendation and do some research on socialism before you draw too many false conclusions.
Logged
brettmcd
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1355


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2008, 10:04:25 PM »

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 07:22:24 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 05:52:21 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.

More compassionate and moral?!?!?    I dont think the person who is bring punished for being sucessful so others can live off of his or her hard work would agree with you on that one.

Rhetoric and bombast, Brett.  No one is being 'punished', and as others have pointed out even in pure socialist economies innovators and enterprising individuals are able to live better lifestyles than those who try to leech off the system.  Paying 40% tax on a $100,000 salary is still a hell of a lot better than collecting $1000 a month of welfare, especially when I don't need to include things like medical care, etc. out of that $100,000.

Wrong, people are punished for being sucessful, you make more money and you get the privilege of paying in a higher percentage of your income as well as just a higher dollar amount.    That is most certainly a punishment for working ones ass off to make a better life for yourself.    Sorry if I dont want to work hard 50 hours a week so someone can abuse the welfare system to live at home off my hard work.
Logged
Eduardo X
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2681



View Profile
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2008, 10:06:54 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 30, 2008, 09:01:46 PM

Depends on which socialist you ask. For some it's just the nationalization of industry. For others, socialism means true egalitarianism and the only way to do that is by giving everyone equal ownership in, well, everything.
As TilT points out, you're confusing socialism with communism. For communists, socialism is a step toward communism. Communism would be that true egalitarianism.
Logged

PSN ID: EduardoX
gellar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 8974


I'm a dolphin!


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2008, 11:36:27 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 10:04:25 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 07:22:24 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 05:52:21 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.

More compassionate and moral?!?!?    I dont think the person who is bring punished for being sucessful so others can live off of his or her hard work would agree with you on that one.

Rhetoric and bombast, Brett.  No one is being 'punished', and as others have pointed out even in pure socialist economies innovators and enterprising individuals are able to live better lifestyles than those who try to leech off the system.  Paying 40% tax on a $100,000 salary is still a hell of a lot better than collecting $1000 a month of welfare, especially when I don't need to include things like medical care, etc. out of that $100,000.

Wrong, people are punished for being sucessful, you make more money and you get the privilege of paying in a higher percentage of your income as well as just a higher dollar amount.    That is most certainly a punishment for working ones ass off to make a better life for yourself.    Sorry if I dont want to work hard 50 hours a week so someone can abuse the welfare system to live at home off my hard work.

So based on that argument, the current US marginal tax system is socialist?

gellar
Logged
cheeba
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2046


View Profile
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2008, 11:41:56 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 30, 2008, 09:57:20 PM

You don't HAVE to be an ass about everything you write in this forum, you know. Most of us try not to be.
It's a legitimate question. As for your trying not to be, considering you've now insulted me without me ever insulting you, I think you may need to try a bit harder there, champ.
Quote
AFAIK, there are no "truly" socialist states. There are normal socialist states though.
Of course there are no truly socialist states. What is a "normal" socialist state?
Quote
Take Norway for example. Being in the unique position of being able to support the national budget with oil money, socialism is easier to apply than in most countries (presumably). If you tell me everyone has the same quality of life over here, I'll personally fly over to wherever you live and kick you in the nuts.  icon_razz
More socialist = more egalitarian outcomes. Would you argue this? Norway is not truly socialist and therefore you of course don't have the same quality of life over there. Your outcomes, however, are much more equal than the outcomes of those in the US, no?
Quote
Your main problem is that you're confusing socialism with communism (imagine that, considering my first post in this thread). You should heed Rowdy's recommendation and do some research on socialism before you draw too many false conclusions.
No, I'm not confusing anything here. I just need to fix my phrase a little: As I said, "For others, socialism means true egalitarianism and the only way to do that is by giving everyone equal ownership in, well, everything." The phrase should read, "For others, socialism is a means to true egalitarianism, blah blah blah." For some, socialism is just a stepping stone.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 11:46:19 PM by cheeba » Logged
brettmcd
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1355


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2008, 11:42:20 PM »

Quote from: gellar on October 30, 2008, 11:36:27 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 10:04:25 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 07:22:24 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on October 30, 2008, 05:52:21 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on October 30, 2008, 04:04:20 PM

Quote from: Laner on October 28, 2008, 03:30:57 AM

What is socialism?  Envy, plain and simple.

Because an economic system based on greed, which is the very bedrock of capitalism, is a morally superior system?  Give me a break.  The purpose of socialism is to place LIMITS on the ability of the individual to exploit others.  It ensures that government actually takes care of it's citizens, which is a noble and to me ideal goal.  Some blend of socialism and capitalism, where individuals are encouraged to innovate and are rewarded appropriately, but where those who fall through the cracks aren't left to die, would seem the obvious ideal to me.

Many Americans have this funny idea that socialism = communism and is evil.  I don't know if that's a hold out from MacCarthism or what.  Socialism is a vastly more compassionate and moral method of government than pure Capitalism is.  Absolutely it can be taken too far.  It is not Communism, nor is it a political system.  It's simply another way of looking at economics that believes 'every man for himself' isn't the best way to do things.

More compassionate and moral?!?!?    I dont think the person who is bring punished for being sucessful so others can live off of his or her hard work would agree with you on that one.

Rhetoric and bombast, Brett.  No one is being 'punished', and as others have pointed out even in pure socialist economies innovators and enterprising individuals are able to live better lifestyles than those who try to leech off the system.  Paying 40% tax on a $100,000 salary is still a hell of a lot better than collecting $1000 a month of welfare, especially when I don't need to include things like medical care, etc. out of that $100,000.

Wrong, people are punished for being sucessful, you make more money and you get the privilege of paying in a higher percentage of your income as well as just a higher dollar amount.    That is most certainly a punishment for working ones ass off to make a better life for yourself.    Sorry if I dont want to work hard 50 hours a week so someone can abuse the welfare system to live at home off my hard work.

So based on that argument, the current US marginal tax system is socialist?

gellar

Yes, very much of what the us does currently with socialist spending and out tax polices which are basically redistribution of wealth is socialist in nature, has been for many years.     The tax policy I would vastly prefer is a straight flat no deduction tax system, everyone pays the same % of their income.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.187 seconds with 97 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.06s, 2q)