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Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) 1 year, 3 months ago

Poll: Which economic system is better: Capitalism or Social Democracy? (33 votes)

Capitalism 39%
Social Democracy 61%
#52 Posted by Bogey (934 posts) - - Show Bio

Libertarians know that Capitalism is far better.

#53 Edited by thespideyguy (2645 posts) - - Show Bio

@edamame: What our the u.s.'s problems?

#54 Edited by Illuminatus (9495 posts) - - Show Bio

@edamame said:

@illuminatus: Sorry for the late reply. I was just wondering if you could kindly give your thoughts on the following. No need to get argumentative. I am taking a neutral stance here. Just wondering what your perspectives are:

So, I am just curious what your thoughts were on America's socioeconomic problems, such as having a very large income/wealth inequality gap, having a credit card and student loan debt of almost one trillion dollars, high crime statistics, relatively large homeless population, having at least forty million Americans uninsured for health care, not having strict apartment rent control laws (as they have in most parts of Northern and Western Europe), etc. Also, with regards to comparing the lifestyles: why is it that Europeans have "better" worker benefits, overall higher standards of living, weeks of paid vacation, "living wages", shorter work hours (also higher overall productivity levels than in the United States), etc.?

Should anything be done with these issues? Does it really matter?

@lykopis said:

TL;DR

.... If I may ask, what does this stand for? :)

The new layout has been designed by either fools or people who didn't realize that the old layout made arguing each point individually much easier, so I'm going to just address them step by step instead of in pieces.

Some of these questions/points are fairly obvious and anyone with a decent internet connection and a rudimentary understanding of finance and economics could give you an answer to, so I'm just going to be brief.

Wealth/inequality—It's always existed in the United States. The ultimate Keynesian/redistributionist fallacy and lapse in logic is that this is something new to the US and something we need to rabble about in the press and take up as a cause to fight against. The United States was built originally by wealth landowners and prominent tradesmen and merchants, so in effect, it was built by those dreaded '1%' the Huffington Post bloggers and hypocritical socialists on MSNBC like to rant about for all the sweet, juicy ratings. Of course, an overreaching federal government has been cutting taxes for the wealthy and essentially supplying them, via their investments, companies, tax credits, etc. with cheap cash and an easy way to finance everything. The problem is the government, essentially, not the greedy rich people who pay a stark majority of the income taxes in this country. Obama's plans to suck them dry will prove paltry in the long run.

For the record, members of my family have been/currently are in the top 1%, and almost all lie within the top 5-7%. Just because we make sound investments, don't live beyond our means, haven't taken anything from the government (except for the odd, perplexingly profitable contract or position working in tandem with federal agencies) and don't like to have our purchasing power robbed of us for the "greater good" does not make us evil.

Credit cards—Low interest rates and government subsidies for cheap credit to moronic and fiscally retarded people is a hell of a thing.

Student loan debt—The implicit guarantee of federal funds to help you with your student loan debts so that you can get a PHD in Reunification Studies in East Asia and end up working at Starbucks is also a fascinating new trend in the field of economics. When the federal government says "Hey, sure we'll foot the bill!" the universities realize that they are able to charge inflated retail prices for their goods and services, thus upping the overall cost and transferring billions (now hitting a trillion!) to confetti-filled student loan funds. This new debt bubble is going to be interesting to see implode on itself.

Student debt in of itself isn't bad, although I would never recommend taking on anything exceeding $10,000, mainly because accrued interest rates are going to bite you in the ass, and if you can't find a position within five years making at least $75-90K, then you're screwed. Also, don't be surprised if you don't major in something useful and end up working a job far below your educational merits. STEM, MBA's, PoliSci, healthcare, law (although depending on your focus, you might end up in insurmountable amounts of debt), etc. will always be useful. Pick one.

High crime—Crime has been steadily declining over the last century, particularly after the US government repealed Prohibition. Even gun violence, when you compare it to where it has been, has actually gone down.

Homeless population—Name a country that doesn't have one. This is a nation of 320 million people, so the notion that it is something to be combatted is naive and reminiscent of all those destructive policies enacted under Johnson's 'Great Society' phase. We'll see the fiscal ramifications of the 'War on Poverty', 'War on Homelessness', and 'War on Things People Don't Have But Really Want So We Need To Take Your Wealth To Give It To Them'. Unfunded liabilities? You spelled 'ticking time bomb' wrong.

Healthcare—Some people aren't fiscally responsible and would be risky for health insurance. It's that simple. If you want to see a relapse of the housing crash with all those foreclosures from government subsidized housing, try and subsidize healthcare for everyone, and when the insurance companies start to go under after being forced to insure people who are likely to die, this whole 'healthcare for everyone' argument will be laughed at. Do you think the gangbanger in St. Louis or Los Angeles who walks around with a gun in his waist and picking fights everyday should have health insurance? No, simply because he is a bad investment and prone to injury and/or death.

Rent control laws—No idea. Why do they work in Europe?

All those things European workers have—How well have all these benefits to people worked out in the economies of Europe? Really, I don't see why someone deserves more paid vacation leave. If you want to go on vacation, finance it yourself or work out a deal with your employers. This strange collusion between industry and State in Europe is coming to it's destructive end right before our eyes, so why anyone points to Europe and says "We need to be more like them!" is beyond my understanding. Europe is not the US. The US is not Europe. Policies put in place over there are not applicable here, and the same goes for policies put in place here being emulated over there.

#55 Posted by Illuminatus (9495 posts) - - Show Bio

@edamame: What our the u.s.'s problems?

Hindered free markets and incompetent leadership, as well as the incessantly consuming majority of society.

#56 Posted by TotalBalance (724 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: I would say lack of properly enforced regulation, over-consumption, rampant materialism and large scale job loss to cheaper areas of the world are big ones, on top of the government needing to get its fiscal situation in shape.

#57 Posted by Illuminatus (9495 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: I would say lack of properly enforced regulation, over-consumption, rampant materialism and large scale job loss to cheaper areas of the world are big ones, on top of the government needing to get its fiscal situation in shape.

'Regulation' has so many connotations in the US economy it's baffling. There have been numerous studies and papers done which show that forms of government regulations are actually what attributed to the last meltdown in 2007-2008. There needs to be a complete overhaul of regulations, basic rules and conditions need to be set, and the government needs to get out.

Overconsumption is an understated problem in today's society, and stems from this myth that boosting aggregate demand and forcing people to constantly consume is the best way to run the economy. Again, the federal government needs to knock it off, and we need a 4 or 5% (at the very least) increase in savings and investments as a whole of the economy. Of course, this will be relatively boring, but it will build a more fiscally sound consumer class. The UK could seriously learn from that as well.

Outsourcing is coming to an end and/or constantly shifting to new areas. As the Chinese and Indian markets for cheap labor dry up, Indonesia, Ukraine, Vietnam, etc. will be next. Also, as high tech positions start to fill the void, only rich countries are going to be able to compete.

It's a spending problem. Trying to take any more private capital from the economy is not going to help us.

#58 Edited by TotalBalance (724 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: I wouldn't say the west is going to do so well, people who used to come here for a good education and a job are now coming just for the education and then moving back to their home country for high end jobs, it is only a matter of time until they no longer even come here for the education.

I don't think it is the Keynesian philosophers who have the most interest in keeping people spending, corporate America demands more spending for more growth and would be the first to try and stop people from stopping spending.

#60 Edited by NorrinBoltagonPrime21 (5504 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: your analysis makes me want to have you as the president

#61 Posted by Illuminatus (9495 posts) - - Show Bio

@norrinboltagonprime21: If I ever ran for president, I would probably not take out huge PAC's for campaign fundraising, and would just finance it myself with my own credit. Of course, I'll probably never be elected that way....

#62 Edited by NorrinBoltagonPrime21 (5504 posts) - - Show Bio

@illuminatus: even the way you'd wish to get elected reminds me of the founding fathers and how they got elected, which is a good thing. There needs to be more people like you in the us government

#63 Edited by VercingetorixTheGreat (2823 posts) - - Show Bio

@edamame said:

@illuminatus: Sorry for the late reply. I was just wondering if you could kindly give your thoughts on the following. No need to get argumentative. I am taking a neutral stance here. Just wondering what your perspectives are:

So, I am just curious what your thoughts were on America's socioeconomic problems, such as having a very large income/wealth inequality gap, having a credit card and student loan debt of almost one trillion dollars, high crime statistics, relatively large homeless population, having at least forty million Americans uninsured for health care, not having strict apartment rent control laws (as they have in most parts of Northern and Western Europe), etc. Also, with regards to comparing the lifestyles: why is it that Europeans have "better" worker benefits, overall higher standards of living, weeks of paid vacation, "living wages", shorter work hours (also higher overall productivity levels than in the United States), etc.?

Should anything be done with these issues? Does it really matter?

@lykopis said:

TL;DR

.... If I may ask, what does this stand for? :)

The new layout has been designed by either fools or people who didn't realize that the old layout made arguing each point individually much easier, so I'm going to just address them step by step instead of in pieces.

Some of these questions/points are fairly obvious and anyone with a decent internet connection and a rudimentary understanding of finance and economics could give you an answer to, so I'm just going to be brief.

Wealth/inequality—It's always existed in the United States. The ultimate Keynesian/redistributionist fallacy and lapse in logic is that this is something new to the US and something we need to rabble about in the press and take up as a cause to fight against. The United States was built originally by wealth landowners and prominent tradesmen and merchants, so in effect, it was built by those dreaded '1%' the Huffington Post bloggers and hypocritical socialists on MSNBC like to rant about for all the sweet, juicy ratings. Of course, an overreaching federal government has been cutting taxes for the wealthy and essentially supplying them, via their investments, companies, tax credits, etc. with cheap cash and an easy way to finance everything. The problem is the government, essentially, not the greedy rich people who pay a stark majority of the income taxes in this country. Obama's plans to suck them dry will prove paltry in the long run.

For the record, members of my family have been/currently are in the top 1%, and almost all lie within the top 5-7%. Just because we make sound investments, don't live beyond our means, haven't taken anything from the government (except for the odd, perplexingly profitable contract or position working in tandem with federal agencies) and don't like to have our purchasing power robbed of us for the "greater good" does not make us evil.

Credit cards—Low interest rates and government subsidies for cheap credit to moronic and fiscally retarded people is a hell of a thing.

Student loan debt—The implicit guarantee of federal funds to help you with your student loan debts so that you can get a PHD in Reunification Studies in East Asia and end up working at Starbucks is also a fascinating new trend in the field of economics. When the federal government says "Hey, sure we'll foot the bill!" the universities realize that they are able to charge inflated retail prices for their goods and services, thus upping the overall cost and transferring billions (now hitting a trillion!) to confetti-filled student loan funds. This new debt bubble is going to be interesting to see implode on itself.

Student debt in of itself isn't bad, although I would never recommend taking on anything exceeding $10,000, mainly because accrued interest rates are going to bite you in the ass, and if you can't find a position within five years making at least $75-90K, then you're screwed. Also, don't be surprised if you don't major in something useful and end up working a job far below your educational merits. STEM, MBA's, PoliSci, healthcare, law (although depending on your focus, you might end up in insurmountable amounts of debt), etc. will always be useful. Pick one.

High crime—Crime has been steadily declining over the last century, particularly after the US government repealed Prohibition. Even gun violence, when you compare it to where it has been, has actually gone down.

Homeless population—Name a country that doesn't have one. This is a nation of 320 million people, so the notion that it is something to be combatted is naive and reminiscent of all those destructive policies enacted under Johnson's 'Great Society' phase. We'll see the fiscal ramifications of the 'War on Poverty', 'War on Homelessness', and 'War on Things People Don't Have But Really Want So We Need To Take Your Wealth To Give It To Them'. Unfunded liabilities? You spelled 'ticking time bomb' wrong.

Healthcare—Some people aren't fiscally responsible and would be risky for health insurance. It's that simple. If you want to see a relapse of the housing crash with all those foreclosures from government subsidized housing, try and subsidize healthcare for everyone, and when the insurance companies start to go under after being forced to insure people who are likely to die, this whole 'healthcare for everyone' argument will be laughed at. Do you think the gangbanger in St. Louis or Los Angeles who walks around with a gun in his waist and picking fights everyday should have health insurance? No, simply because he is a bad investment and prone to injury and/or death.

Rent control laws—No idea. Why do they work in Europe?

All those things European workers have—How well have all these benefits to people worked out in the economies of Europe? Really, I don't see why someone deserves more paid vacation leave. If you want to go on vacation, finance it yourself or work out a deal with your employers. This strange collusion between industry and State in Europe is coming to it's destructive end right before our eyes, so why anyone points to Europe and says "We need to be more like them!" is beyond my understanding. Europe is not the US. The US is not Europe. Policies put in place over there are not applicable here, and the same goes for policies put in place here being emulated over there.

Good solid post. Are you for more of a Laissez-fairre policy?

#64 Edited by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@edamame said:

@lykopis said:

TL;DR

.... If I may ask, what does this stand for? :)

TL;DR stands for Too Long; Didn't Read

It's used by some who feel they have come across a post that has "so much verbosity and semantical rhetoric, so little substance."

It's usually a response to a post not in line with your own views and outside of some friendly ribbing I would consider it slightly rude in its attempt to undermine a poster's contribution to a topic.

:)

Cool thread, really enjoying the conversation it's generated.