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Socialism -- a pathway to disaster

Discussion in 'Elections' started by KenS, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Let's work on fixing it rather than shrug as our fellow Amerlcans are either driven into debt or into the grave.
     
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  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Sure, I'm happy to entertain the idea of single payer as a solution, but I don't see it yet.
     
  3. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    Then, pick a few and tell us about them.
     
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member
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    Cognitive bias. Probably confirmation bias
     
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  5. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    I'm so glad I don't live in America, because having to listen to Trump habitually misrepresent the political beliefs of his opponents would seriously do my head in and then some.

    The vast majority of countries in Western Europe, the most socioeconomically developed region in the developed world, have had an openly socialist (or at the very least social democratic) party in power within living memory - for the most part, at some point in the last two decades.

    Some of these nations have been governed by many socialist administrations, whilst Portugal not only has a socialist-led leftist government in power right now under Antónia Costa (called the Partido Socialista "Socialist Party" conveniently enough!) but even enshrines 'socialism' in its constitution, as the fundamental orientation of the Portuguese Republic ('Preamble', 1976, last reviewed 1989):


    Constitution of the Republic of Portugal, 1976 - Wikisource, the free online library


    The Constituent Assembly affirms the decision of the Portuguese people to defend the national independence, to guarantee the fundamental rights of citizens, to establish the basic principles of democracy, to ensure the rule of democratic law and make way for a socialist society, in respect of the will of the Portuguese people, with a view to building a freer, more just and more fraternal country.

    Democratic market socialism / social democracy has not been a 'disaster' for Portugal or reduced her civil society to economic penury and bankruptcy. On the contrary, it has high growth - above the average for the eurozone - as a result of budgetary reforms introduced by its socialist government, which involved a reversal of the fiscal austerity and public spending cuts imposed by the preceding centre-right administration (in the aftermath of the sovereign debt crisis) and thereby "proving that by putting more money in people’s pockets it could lift growth":


    Portugal: a European path out of austerity?


    The economy has rebounded since the centre-left government reversed post-crisis budget cuts

    Europe is still struggling to find a label for the new brand of socialism that has lifted Portugal’s fortunes over the past three and a half years. António Costa, the prime minister who gained office by forging a surprising partnership between the moderate and hard left, simply calls it “turning the page on austerity”. One of the few successful centre-left politicians in Europe, Mr Costa is on course for re-election this year, having presided over an economic turnround that has restored confidence to Portugal, a country that the European debt crisis brought to its knees. Unemployment has halved to 6.7 per cent and the budget deficit could be eliminated this year for the first time in over 40 years.

    Public spending has stayed under control, unit labour costs have been reduced, hence they have been able to attract more foreign direct investment and increase their exports,” says Ivan Scalfarotto, a former Italian trade minister and centre-left MP. “Costa, also, is a good communicator: he stressed the idea that ‘sacrifice was over’ and has been effective at keeping his leftwing coalition together.”

    In Brussels, Mário Centeno, Mr Costa’s finance minister, stands at the centre of EU economic policymaking as president of the eurogroup of finance ministers.


    Portugal’s Socialist miracle offers lessons for a divided Spain


    Against the odds, Costa built a three-way alliance with the Left Bloc (BE) and the Communist Party, whose parliamentary support allowed him to form a minority government.

    Disparagingly dubbed the “geringonça” (or “contraption”) by the right, the leftist partnership proceeded to introduce a swathe of progressive policies. It raised pensions and the minimum wage, while cutting university fees and public transport costs.

    “We were able to do all this while reducing the deficit and the debt, so we sort of managed something that many considered impossible,” says João Galamba, a Socialist member of parliament and junior minister, speaking in the party headquarters. As it became apparent that this leftist experiment was working, the significance of the word geringonça shifted.


    Last October, the Portuguese Socialists became the largest party in their parliament, with a renewed and larger mandate:

    Portugal election: Socialists retain power with increased share of the vote

    It might do the United States the world of good to enjoy a little bit of the same and finally move past its 'binary' electoral choice between two fundamentally right-wing options: the draconian casino capitalism of the Republicans on the one hand and the more moderate (but hardly leftist in European terms) fiscal centrism of mainstream Democrats like Biden, on the other.

    I'm not hopeful this will happen (given my pessimism with respect to the American electorate and the unrepresentative 'college' system, my money is still on Trump to win a second term) but my fingers remain crossed.
     
    #45 Vouthon, Feb 26, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  6. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    "The new deal" was a plethora of tax funded programs thrown at the wall hoping to end the depression. It didn't work, and some economist credit it for a longer depression.

    What ended the depression was WW2.

    The new deal violated some constitutional restraints, was used by FDR as a political tool to buy political influence, and was rife with waste.

    It was a case of "something must be done, do something" rather than a coherent policy with specific well thought out goals.
     
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  7. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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  8. The Ragin Pagan

    The Ragin Pagan A.K.A. The Kilted Heathen

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    "A pathway to disaster"

    Tell that to literally all of Europe.
     
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  9. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    Actually the overwhelming majority of historians and economist consider the New Deal as being a success and a game changer in economical policies. While some of its policies were undoubtly failures and it's direct impact is certainly lesser than what the American Left might imagine it did lessen the impact of the depression and several policies born under the New Deal are still operating today like Social Security. Officially, the Great Depression ended in 1936 when the US GDP was back to it's pre-crisis level though unemployment was still lagging behind, but rising. In other words, the US was no longer in depression or recession at that point, but fell back into recession the following year after FDR attempted an early return to a balanced budget by making cut-backs on some programs and raising taxes.

    Be careful with this argument because what WW2 did was force the US government to increase even more it's spending and its control of the economical and manufactural production of the country. It basically forced the government to be even more interventionist, tax even more, ration and accumulate larger debt than the New Deal did. It basically used the same "playbook", but dialed it even more; using emergency power to allow even more radical measures. WW2 ending the Great Depression is basically a solid proof that heavy intervention of the government in the economy at all levels is a good recepe to put an end to a depression and stimulate economical growth.

    This is actually a fairly good critique of the New Deal which was indeed rife with sometimes poorly executed plans and strategy, but at that point the situation was so bad that the government was literally exploring "uncharted" territory. A more "refined New Deal" economical order was put into place and provided decades of economical prosperity.
     
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  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    In Australia, quite a while back, Doctors worked out of their homes, don't know how much they made then but in UK doctors average less than $100,000 a year, In the US, a little less than $400,000.

    Nurses in the UK make less than $30K. In the US a nurse can make up to $100K. Doctors here claim they have a high cost for malpractice insurance.

    So we have the ACA. Many doctors/hospitals will not treat you if you're on the ACA. You might have insurance, doesn't mean you get treated.

    I suspect the government would have to heavily regulate the medical industry to get it to work. A lot less incentive for a person to become a doctor in the first place.
     
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  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Venezuela and Cuba do not represent socialism. They are very extreme examples. Actually Scandenavian countries represent socialism.

    The lack of uniform medical care in the USA is archaic and evil.
     
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  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, with a more or less regulated capitalism. Many of them have a party that can be identified as social democrats who are in and out off power. Bernie's policies are modeled after those social democrats, not after socialists like Cuba or the USSR. Not seeing that (or seeing and lying about it) results in wrong assessments.
    Fearing Bernie because he's a socialist rests on a false premise. He's a social democrat.
     
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  13. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Why do you have an incapable government? Don't you elect yours?
     
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  14. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Nope. They see right through your lies.
     
  15. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    The New Deal was a mess, but capitalism was utterly discredited by the financial and economic collapse. The Great Depression remains a defining moment in American and world history.

    There was simply NO politically viable alternative but to reform capitalism. Roosevelt was elected in 1932 on a platform of fiscal restraint. But the level of discontent and instability meant that they couldn’t wait for the market to “self-correct”. They had to try something or else America would go the way of virtually all European countries in the 1920’s and 1930’s and become fascist or communist. We take for granted that history played out the way it did, but it could have so easily been different.



    Whatever the failures and limitations of the New Deal, it is a political reality that starving, desperate people don’t wait. They will sacrifice freedom for bread. Its that simple. Americans could have waited for a recovery but as John Maynard Keynes put it: “In the long-run, we are all dead.”
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Regurgitating right wing propaganda since 2010
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    Capitalism is highly regulated in Ameristan too, arguably on par with
    Denmark (an oft cited "socialist" country). Several asian & British former
    colonies (eg, Canuckistan) are less "socialist" than are we Yankees.
    Where we differ is in social welfare programs.

    The label "socialist" is used as an epithet by the right, & as adulation
    by the left. The definitions used by each side have become (for both)
    "government function" & "society I admire"...depending upon context.
     
    #56 Revoltingest, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  17. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    Do you think the US embargo on Cuba begun in 1962 may have had something to do with that ?
     
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  18. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    Stay civil. There’s no need to bring the truth into it.
     
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  19. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    The "blindness" actually comes from those who ruled those countries before revolutionaries violently took over the country. Instead of making reasonable reforms when they had the chance to do so, they chose to engage in their corruption and stubbornly cling to power until a bunch of angry revolutionaries were standing on their doorstep.
     
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  20. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member
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    Having spoken to those who live and lived in Cuba... no.

    Monies were exported in the form of military involvement to destabilize countries, production of agriculture was not for the people (and it could have been) but rather just venues to get more money to invest in military involvement, etc. There were plentiful amount of cows... it just wasn't going to get to the shelves or allowed to be eaten personally because of the military directive. (Unless you were in a place of authority)

    Just to give an example of the control... our associate pastor went there, took notes on living conditions and what people were allowed to eat, left his notebook in the hotel and when he went back to it, those pages were torn out of his notebook.
     
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