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Author Topic: Why do people in USA fear socialism so much?  (Read 32338 times)
Harvey
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December 08, 2011, 09:42:08 PM
 #261

Why does it have to be all or nothing? What's with this fetish for "slippery slope" argumentation? OP claims to prefer some socialism to pure capitalism. Which I interpret as a mix. I think that's the right way. How much of each component should be re-evaluated often and changed according to needs of the people, in a democratic fashion.

Socialism entails planning. That includes planning of your career, your life and maybe even your spouse - Plato's pretty idea of an ideal state. Hayek made a pretty good point that "some socialism" is not stable. Only bad thing, some egocentric, individualistic, freedom loving people don't like their life planned by commitees - to the point that they actively resist. So society must educate them. With force, if need be. And dispose of them if they can't be cured. If many like you don't see that slippery slope to totalitarianism, we'll just slide down again.

But then, why not? Why not risking to sacrifice another couple hundred million on the altar of socialism? Possibly socialism doesn't go bad in all instances. Swedish socialism didn't, but Swedish socialism wasn't/isn't complete yet. But from what I hear, the Swedes are well on their way to their own totalitarian nightmare now. Let's see what a socialist Feminism gonna look like in the real world.


Where are the death camps in Sweden, Norway, Denmark then? Or are there no individualistic, freedom loving people there? Do you actually believe that all Finns have their lives planned by a committee? That the German state selects the spouse for them? Are you insane?

Unchecked, anything will go bad. That goes for socialism as well as capitalism.
What's the totalitarian nightmare Swedes have to look forward to? I must not have kept up with current events.

Excessive taxation. Public monopolies over choice.

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JA37
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December 08, 2011, 09:45:43 PM
 #262

You can't have a mix of socialism and capitalism. You can either have autonomous freedom or a lack of it.

Yes. Black or white. No shades of grey exists.
In this case, yes. You can't have a mix of freedom and tyranny. You can provide the illusion of freedom though, if that meets your definition of grey.

Welcome to the real world where all you have is the illusion of freedom then.
The same would be true in your anarco-capitalistic society where you would have to subject to the tyranny and force of whatever master that happen to hold your current contract.

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December 08, 2011, 09:48:26 PM
 #263

You can't have a mix of socialism and capitalism. You can either have autonomous freedom or a lack of it.

Yes. Black or white. No shades of grey exists.
In this case, yes. You can't have a mix of freedom and tyranny. You can provide the illusion of freedom though, if that meets your definition of grey.

Welcome to the real world where all you have is the illusion of freedom then.
The same would be true in your anarco-capitalistic society where you would have to subject to the tyranny and force of whatever master that happen to hold your current contract.

Anarcho-capitalism allots for alienable rights?

@HarveyAlpha (https://twitter.com/#!/HarveyAlpha) | It would be foolish to assert that there is no power above mine. Only the attitude that I take toward it will be quite another than that of the religious age: I shall be the enemy of every higher power.
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December 08, 2011, 09:48:44 PM
 #264

Excessive taxation. Public monopolies over choice.

Last time I checked the government in Sweden were right wing, lowering taxes and disbanding monopolies to the best of their ability. But perhaps you know something I don't.

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December 08, 2011, 09:50:42 PM
 #265

Excessive taxation. Public monopolies over choice.

Last time I checked the government in Sweden were right wing, lowering taxes and disbanding monopolies to the best of their ability. But perhaps you know something I don't.
One example:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systembolaget

@HarveyAlpha (https://twitter.com/#!/HarveyAlpha) | It would be foolish to assert that there is no power above mine. Only the attitude that I take toward it will be quite another than that of the religious age: I shall be the enemy of every higher power.
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December 08, 2011, 09:58:51 PM
 #266

Excessive taxation. Public monopolies over choice.

Last time I checked the government in Sweden were right wing, lowering taxes and disbanding monopolies to the best of their ability. But perhaps you know something I don't.
One example:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systembolaget

"The European Union is meanwhile ratcheting up the pressure on Sweden to open up its monopolies.

Sweden has already had to give up its import monopoly, enabling restaurants and companies to import alcohol through other suppliers than Systembolaget, and in May 2005, the European Court of Justice ruled that the pharmaceutical retail monopoly violated EU law."


The pharmaceutical retail monopoly has been disbanded since that was written.

I'm not saying that there aren't monopolies in Sweden. I'm questioning the direction that was outlined. "Looking forward to ... monopolies over choice" where the actual situation is quite the opposite.


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December 08, 2011, 09:59:49 PM
 #267

You can't have a mix of socialism and capitalism. You can either have autonomous freedom or a lack of it.

Yes. Black or white. No shades of grey exists.
In this case, yes. You can't have a mix of freedom and tyranny. You can provide the illusion of freedom though, if that meets your definition of grey.

Welcome to the real world where all you have is the illusion of freedom then.
The same would be true in your anarco-capitalistic society where you would have to subject to the tyranny and force of whatever master that happen to hold your current contract.

Anarcho-capitalism allots for alienable rights?

I have no idea what that means or what you're trying to say.

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December 09, 2011, 03:13:30 AM
 #268

What does it mean that Germany has "one of the best working economies in Europe"? I.e what metrics are you using?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Germany
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,797895,00.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/business/economy/08leonhardt.html
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/german-economy-strengthens-amid-europes-gloom/article2255727/

Feel free to read it yourself. Germany, despite being a socialistic nightmare with lazy citizens and zero innovation, actually does quite well. There are challenges ahead, but that's true for every single country on the planet, one way or another.

Ok...did you even read these? In essence, they all seem go against your narrative.

Also "socialistic nightmare with lazy citizens and zero innovation" is a straw man. Is that directed towards me?

Third, according to different sources income inequality and poverty rates (the fundamental bad stuff) have been on the rise in germany:
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/25/41525346.pdf

I have no idea how the stats get played with in Europe, so I can't tell what is true or not easily.

I am not against socialism. You should really just explain to me why you think it is working out so well for Germany and not other European countries rather than just linking me to what some journalista wrote up.
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December 09, 2011, 07:44:44 AM
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Ok...did you even read these? In essence, they all seem go against your narrative.

Also "socialistic nightmare with lazy citizens and zero innovation" is a straw man. Is that directed towards me?

Third, according to different sources income inequality and poverty rates (the fundamental bad stuff) have been on the rise in germany:
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/25/41525346.pdf

I have no idea how the stats get played with in Europe, so I can't tell what is true or not easily.

I am not against socialism. You should really just explain to me why you think it is working out so well for Germany and not other European countries rather than just linking me to what some journalista wrote up.

I read them. They say that Germany is doing quite well.

I don't recall who claimed that the socialism creates nothing but lazy people who don't innovate. Someone did. I brought up Germany as a socialistic country that's the opposite of what the poster claimed.

Yes, I'm sure inequality and poverty goes up right now. Germany has a right wing government if I'm not mistaken. They tend to want to lower taxes and remove benefits, which in turn will increase poverty and widen gaps.

My point is that people here tend to blame socialism for everything bad and praise capitalism for anything good. I don't think that's true, and I brought up Germany as an example of a socialistic country with high taxes and a big welfare state that goes against that. Nordic countries are the same.
I think you need to look elsewhere for the reasons, and not simply blame any one ideology.

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December 09, 2011, 08:00:06 AM
 #270


Where are the death camps in Sweden, Norway, Denmark then? Or are there no individualistic, freedom loving people there? Do you actually believe that all Finns have their lives planned by a committee? That the German state selects the spouse for them? Are you insane?


Before calling me insane you should try to understand what I was writing. OK, let me repeat:

Possibly socialism doesn't go bad in all instances. Swedish socialism didn't, but Swedish socialism wasn't/isn't complete yet. But from what I hear, the Swedes are well on their way to their own totalitarian nightmare now. Let's see what a socialist Feminism gonna look like in the real world.


I said, the Swedes (miraculously) managed to avoid getting dragged down the full path a really long time by now. No idea how they could defy Hayek's rule so long, because I believe Hayek's rule does apply in general. Because I am quite confident in Hayek's rule, I doubt that this can last much longer. So I wagered a guess as to what the likely Swedish flavor of socialism might become.

As for Germany (and the Euro zone in general): Sexual preferences is currently not a target of legislation here. But if you look how quickly and silently that little bit of democracy we have is eroded right now - for better planning, of course - it's scary. Even more scary is that many here agree that power is transferred from elected parliaments to technocrat committees in Brussels. The banks are no longer companies, they are "system relevant", forming a sort of "financial governmental complex" with the ECB and the EU commission. Just remember when Papandreou wanted to ask the people about his proposed legislation. The answer from Brussels was decisive:

"You cannot possibly let the people decide about things that will affect their lives for the next decade. Step aside you stupid idiot and make room for someone who understands what needs to be done."


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December 09, 2011, 08:42:49 AM
 #271

I said, the Swedes (miraculously) managed to avoid getting dragged down the full path a really long time by now. No idea how they could defy Hayek's rule so long, because I believe Hayek's rule does apply in general. Because I am quite confident in Hayek's rule, I doubt that this can last much longer. So I wagered a guess as to what the likely Swedish flavor of socialism might become.
im seeing a brainwashed zombie, who do you think is your master? Hayek?
i have not yet begun to quote Josef Stalin!

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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December 09, 2011, 08:45:39 AM
 #272

Stalin would say something like: We need to free the workers from the evil capitalist who exploit their resources.

please don't begin to thrust other peoples minds too much, thrust your own. make up your own mind, instead of just taking someone else's!

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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December 09, 2011, 01:19:56 PM
 #273

Stalin would say something like: We need to free the workers from the evil capitalist who exploit their resources.

please don't begin to thrust other peoples minds too much, thrust your own. make up your own mind, instead of just taking someone else's!

Agreed. Hitler also promised a workers revolution. He did succeed in inspiring high levels of productivity, but he destroyed their civilization with hate. They became highly creative and could have allowed their civilization to flourish, but without freedom of thought to adapt, all civilizations will fall to barbarism.

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December 09, 2011, 01:55:16 PM
 #274

Ok...did you even read these? In essence, they all seem go against your narrative.

Also "socialistic nightmare with lazy citizens and zero innovation" is a straw man. Is that directed towards me?

Third, according to different sources income inequality and poverty rates (the fundamental bad stuff) have been on the rise in germany:
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/25/41525346.pdf

I have no idea how the stats get played with in Europe, so I can't tell what is true or not easily.

I am not against socialism. You should really just explain to me why you think it is working out so well for Germany and not other European countries rather than just linking me to what some journalista wrote up.

I read them. They say that Germany is doing quite well.

I don't recall who claimed that the socialism creates nothing but lazy people who don't innovate. Someone did. I brought up Germany as a socialistic country that's the opposite of what the poster claimed.

Yes, I'm sure inequality and poverty goes up right now. Germany has a right wing government if I'm not mistaken. They tend to want to lower taxes and remove benefits, which in turn will increase poverty and widen gaps.

My point is that people here tend to blame socialism for everything bad and praise capitalism for anything good. I don't think that's true, and I brought up Germany as an example of a socialistic country with high taxes and a big welfare state that goes against that. Nordic countries are the same.
I think you need to look elsewhere for the reasons, and not simply blame any one ideology.

They say Germany is doing quite well for now because they have a strong manufacturing industry and exports have gone up due to the drama of the PIIGS dragging down the value of the euro. This is expected to end shortly (e.g. germany currently has an "export bubble" that is being pumped by the European central banks). I think you need to look elsewhere for the reasons, and not simply attribute their success to socialist policies. There are other factors at play.
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December 09, 2011, 01:57:14 PM
 #275

I think there are cycles with socialism and capitalism that go like this:

1. free market country raises from nothing and becomes very wealthy society based on hard work and inovation (example USA 100 years ago, asian countries today).
2. hard working generation dies and their children inherit the wealth. They don't have to work as hard anymore so they start to think more about social engeenering and how to redistribute the wealth.
3. they create big government with a lot of wealth redistribution. People get a feeling that money falls from the sky, don't want to work anymore, and society doesn't produce almost anything. It's all about redistributing money and financial machinations. (USA today, EU yesterday)
4. This goes on until country runs out of money and goes bankrupt. (EU today) Then people have to start producing and inovating again if they want to survive. They go back to point 1 (but only when they are forced to. Why work when everybody can collect social security here in EU).

I lived in one of the european eastern countries, and believe me, this shit doesn't work. Everybody has a job, but nobody works. Everybody is millionaire, but everybody steals. Everybody has money, but the stores are empty (nobody works, they just go to work, remember). If you want to buy shoes, there are just one available. The government produced, and they fall apart after one month. You will see for yourself, USA is becoming exactly what I escaped. Nobody wants to work anymore, let's just collect government benefits. Until you wake up bankrupt one day.

And Germany is not socialist country, what are you people talking about?

If you look closely at the european countries you can see that the ones with the socialist governmants are already bankrupt: Greece, Spain, Portugal. The exception is Italy, where you have right wing government. On the other side you have right wing governments in countries like Germany and France, that are saving the PIIGS (mostly socialists).

Also take a look at eastern and western germany after WW2. They were the same country, the same people. Then they split it into west and east. The west becomes capitalist and the east becomes socialist country. After a few decades, the west is rich, and the east is having food shortages. Perfect example.

And another more recent one. Slovenia vs. Slovakia. Slovenia was years ahead of Slovakia, but they have had socialist government for 20 years now. Slovakia made some right-wing reforms, like uniform tax rate, privatization of government owned compaies. Today the difference between these two countries is very small, and I expect Slovakia to surpass Slovenia in the near future.
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December 09, 2011, 02:49:41 PM
 #276


And Germany is not socialist country, what are you people talking about?

If you look closely at the european countries you can see that the ones with the socialist governmants are already bankrupt: Greece, Spain, Portugal. The exception is Italy, where you have right wing government. On the other side you have right wing governments in countries like Germany and France, that are saving the PIIGS (mostly socialists).

Also take a look at eastern and western germany after WW2. They were the same country, the same people. Then they split it into west and east. The west becomes capitalist and the east becomes socialist country. After a few decades, the west is rich, and the east is having food shortages. Perfect example.

And another more recent one. Slovenia vs. Slovakia. Slovenia was years ahead of Slovakia, but they have had socialist government for 20 years now. Slovakia made some right-wing reforms, like uniform tax rate, privatization of government owned compaies. Today the difference between these two countries is very small, and I expect Slovakia to surpass Slovenia in the near future.

Agreed. Germany is a mix between socialism and capitalism. Something I think is a good thing.

What about Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Germany? While some of them have a right wing government, all are far to the left of the US. Yes, Greece, Spain and Portugal are bankrupt. Italy isn't far from it and will probably go the same way. It has little to to with ideology and much to do with corruption.

Socialism isn't the problem in Europe, and Capitalism isn't the problem in the US. Corruption, nepotism, etc are the real problems. Nothing is as bad to an economy as corruption.


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December 09, 2011, 02:55:37 PM
 #277

Agreed, then the question is: which type of society lends itself to more corruption?
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December 09, 2011, 02:56:43 PM
 #278


They say Germany is doing quite well for now because they have a strong manufacturing industry and exports have gone up due to the drama of the PIIGS dragging down the value of the euro. This is expected to end shortly (e.g. germany currently has an "export bubble" that is being pumped by the European central banks). I think you need to look elsewhere for the reasons, and not simply attribute their success to socialist policies. There are other factors at play.

Right! And not only that: PPL in PIIGS have been moving their money to Germany since 2 years to make sure they will not lose out in case their country goes back to their old currency. Even more so since Switzerland locked the CHF to < EUR1.20 and threatens to impose negative interest on foreigners. Also, young professionals move to Germany from PIIGS, adding to the work force and tax payers. If the current boom keeps going for a little longer, Germany might even solve it's demographic problem on the cost of PIIGS.

As you say, all this has nothing to do with socialism, the erosion of civil rights and centralizing power in Brussels.

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December 09, 2011, 02:59:26 PM
 #279

Agreed, then the question is: which type of society lends itself to more corruption?

I don't know. Do you? Corruption seems to be abundant everywhere.

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December 09, 2011, 03:09:12 PM
 #280

I think dictatorships/monarchies tend to be the most corrupt. How do people attempt to measure corruption? I am sure at least one sociologist has tried.
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