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Eat the Rich

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Secret Chief, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    Scandinavian countries are doing well, and they certainly have more freedom than most capitalist countries if you include financial freedom from, say, getting bankrupted by unforeseen medical costs.
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Are they trapped by a system, or by their own lack of drive.
    I'm thinking of one friend who was homeless & living off of
    discarded food in trash cans. Thru hard work, he became
    a building contractor.
    Too many people blame others for their own sloth & lack
    of imagination or skill.
    College isn't necessary for success. And too many kids
    go into debt to get degrees that are of no use to anyone,
    eg, film studies, women's studies, diversity studies.
    We can have free or cheap health care without ditching capitalism.
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    ...capitalist countries.
     
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  4. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it funny how right wingers argue that the Scandinavian countries are not socialist but when someone proposes to implement some of the same policies they cry "that's socialist!"?
     
  5. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    It depends. I knew some guys who applied at a trucking company, which offered to pay for them to go to truck driving school as long as they made a commitment to work for them. Of course, I've heard from some truckers that truck driving is not the glamorous career as it would appear from the outside, so I guess everything has a downside.
     
  6. Debater Slayer

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    Not entirely: they're social democracies, so they combine elements of capitalism with socialism.

    The tax rates in Norway or Denmark would drive a lot of American capitalists up the wall, but they're an essential element of what makes Scandinavian countries have robust social security and health care.

    I'm not in favor of big-state communism or abolition of private ownership, and I think capitalism has some useful aspects. But capitalism in the style and scale seen in the U.S., where mega-corporations and exploitative billionaires have too much power and political influence, is anathema to freedom and financial security of most individuals who aren't Jeff Bezos.
     
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  7. Rival

    Rival Dex Me Gart
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    I don't think those things are entirely socialist though. I find it's usually US folks who do this. I think that one can happily have a mixed economy, which is essentially how the Nordic countries and many if not all European countries and even the US work to a degree. I would always argue in favour of the NHS, provided we also still allow private healthcare. I would argue for the welfare net, provided it doesn't incentivise people to stay in that condition. These are positions held by Thatcher, the well-known not-socialist. The argument is much more nuanced, hence my saying at the start of this thread there are different concepts and implementations of capitalism. My main issue is that countries that actively call themselves socialist and aim for socialism have been whole failures.
     
    #67 Rival, Sep 20, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  8. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    One anecdote doesn't erase decades of systemic exploitation and self-perpetuating poverty. Imagine someone in your friend's situation but with a family to care for or urgent health issues to treat--or any other factors that contribute to more poverty and less available time for education.

    It would be nice if Cinderella stories were always a reality, but sometimes real-world situations are a lot more complex and less pleasant than those.

    The arts and social sciences have been crucial to civilization, especially during the Renaissance. I wouldn't call them "of no use to anyone."

    And certain college degrees--such as ones in engineering or medicine--make financial success much easier on average, but even if we overlook that, there's still the issue that formal education in and of itself can be unattainable under certain circumstances imposed on an individual by factors outside their control.

    Not the kind of capitalism that lets insurance companies exploit their clients and lowers taxes on billionaires while increasing them on the middle class.
     
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    They tend to not focus on taxing the rich.
    In the US we tend to tax the rich because we want someone else to make the sacrifice.
    I don't mind higher taxes, I don't really trust the US government though as it seems more concerned about itself than its citizens.
     
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  10. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I guess we can all be called socialists and capitalists at the same time. What differs is where we are on the gradient. I propose to call anyone arguing for more social justice (in their environment) a socialist and those being content with the system or even want to cut social security a capitalist.
    The more I think about that idea, the more I like it. I could call @Revoltingest a socialist and he would have to agree :)
     
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  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Yes, like higher taxes for the middle class and consumption taxes. That's because they want someone else to pay.
    Also if the US government was a little more open and honest, they might get more support.
     
    #71 Nakosis, Sep 20, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  12. Debater Slayer

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    The U.S. tends to tax the rich so that someone else makes the sacrifice? That certainly doesn't seem to be the case when we look at people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk with their overworking and underpaying of their employees or other billionaires who freely engage in political lobbying.

    Even among capitalist countries, the U.S. is one of the worst and most abusive examples: anti-environmental, lacking a livable minimum wage for the most part, lacking free/universal health care, having extremely expensive college education, interventionist in order to maintain its hold on resources (e.g., oil), and politically corrupted by corporations and billionaires. If that's an example of "true" capitalism in action, it seems to me it's an argument against it, not for.
     
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  13. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Can't watch a video at present, but I have nothing against learning something for the sake of learning. But I also recognize that it's not for everyone. Society at large seems to value tradespeople and technicians over true scholars.

    Heck, when it comes to some skills, it doesn't seem to be a priority at all - such as language skills. 150 years ago, an illiterate person could still find a job, but now, a lot of employers insist on workers being able to read and write - and even do basic math skills. These are skills they should be willing to pay for, yet they still think of it as "entry level" and "unskilled."
     
  14. Debater Slayer

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    Do you think Einstein, Bohr, Schrodinger, Planck, et al. foresaw the Digital Revolution, GPS, and the other practical applications of their research when they spent years learning about particles, spacetime, and subatomic interactions? It seems pretty clear to me that a lot of their research could be classified as "learning for the sake of learning," and we can all see how practically useful that turned out to be.
     
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  15. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Capitalism has nothing to do with people controlling their own wealth. It is a system that is defined by who has control of commercial production. And under capitalism, that control is almost entirely in the hands of the capital investor. And since the sole goal of the capital investor is to gain a maximum return on the capital invested, and all commercial production decisions are being made relative t that goal, capitalism becomes antagonistic of every and all other interests related to commercial production. It pits the capital investor's desire for maximum profit against the needs of labor, the consumer, the community, government, and the environment. And as the capital investor gains more and more wealth and power, he uses it to subvert the needs and desires of all these other entities. Thus, capitalism becomes toxic to the society within which it exists.

    The solution is obvious: and that is to find and implement systemic mechanisms that will enable all those involved in and effected by commercial production and consumption to share in the control of how that commercial production is achieved, and to what purpose, and to share in the profits it generates. This is generally a socialist ideology and will almost certainly involve systemic government regulation. Which is why the current 'kings of capitalism' work so hard, and spend so much money on demonizing both socialism and government regulation.
     
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  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    That's our (US) government. I don't understand why people want to give it more power in its current state.
    Our politicians have all of the power to fix these things. Not the corporations. How many trillions is the government spending now? How much have they fixed?

    Taxing the rich to solve our problems is a red herring so we keep voting in the same people to run the government.
     
  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    When you can finally admit to what socialism actually is, get back to me.
     
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Capitalism is nothing more than systematized greed. It gives sole control of business enterprise to the capital investor who's singular goal is to maximize the profit returned on the capital he's invests. Placing everyone else involved, and their needs and desires, in antipathy with the capitalist prime directive. Which is why the society in which capitalism is operating must then resort to the power of government to protect itself from this fundamentally toxic economic system.
     
  19. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    That's bad capitalism. Good capitalism supports the economy with fair wages/compensation. The richer the labor force the more product it will be able to afford that is produced. It is in a companies own interest to make sure its employees are fairly compensated.
     
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  20. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    They can't maximize profit if no one can afford it. One becomes wealthy by giving people what they want at an affordable price.
     
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