posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 02:16 AM
The problem here is that people are repeatedly confusing two very different elements of the socialist political structure. Social welfare for all its
citizenry is the primary overarching societal goal for such a government.
The most important objective of the socialist agenda is of establishing global human well being. Because they hold this objective in such high regard,
they will obviously go out of their way to pursue this to its maximum limitations. When they find they can't possibly regulate every single system
intended to benefit the well being of the individual, they believe that economic intervention is the only other alternative. Apparently spreading
welfare isn't enough, and so things such as the redistribution of wealth as a means of pursuing social welfare is introduced.
It's just that because socialists put this evidently unattainable goal of perfect human well being at the very top of their platform, they tend to
lose sight of the bigger picture, which in fact is necessary to produce a wealthy, healthy society. Capitalists, on the other hand, tend to promote
the freedom of the marketplace, an unrestricted entity, free of control by a central authority. Capitalists promote greater individual participation,
and by extension greater responsibility, in the exchange and purchase of financial assets and interests. And so there's probably good reason for the
anti-Capitalist sentiment, and that is because it fosters greed, corruption and embezzlement, when totally unregulated, due to the nature of an
individual wanting to protect his own interests in the face of bankruptcy, as opposed to respecting some higher moral code of market consequence. Any
failed system in a command economy is left to rot because there are no other alternatives. You don't have human ingenuity to correct for these
failures. You just have one dumbfounded central authority wondering why it is the economy is falling apart so quickly and completely.
There are more problems with our system today than pure capitalist, or pure socialist leanings. One problem is that politicians have a vested interest
in maintaining their established positions, especially in the context of safeguarding a position for the party (fear of losing their position to the
running party), and they feel any downturn in the economy may be misrepresented as a direct result of their insufficiency to account to their
constituents, and because many fear losing office, they provide legal support to these businesses from their seat in Washington in return for campaign
contributions. This messes things up a bit. Under the table deals. This obviously can't happen in a completely regulated, command economy, where the
government is solely responsible for the economic output of a business. Somehow this notion that "Big Brother" has your back makes us believe we are
free from the corruption and exploitation of the public business and its interests. In a socialist state you gain accountability (as there are few if
any private stakeholders) but at the massively irresponsible cost of severely diminished efficiency. You can't possibly produce at the maximum level
of output that a country's resources should allow for when you artificially restrict the very resources available to employ. Such a system just
can't be managed by so few decision makers. When there's no scarcity, there's very low productivity.
Sand Castle analogy (Just made this up so it's not fleshed out)
A socialist Command economy is like a giant in a sand box. It's going to displace a lot of sand, probably dumping a lot of it out of the box itself,
and in time becomes incapable of building that sand castle that it should have been able to with all the available resources. Its fingers are too
large so it can't really do anything in particular with any positive effect. In fact, when constructing the towers they are usually crushed by the
weight of the fingers, and the abject lack of concern of his other limbs, which happen to be flailing off, lead to other problems.
Conversely, Capitalism is a large team of kids in that same sand box. When the sand castle is being managed on a significantly smaller scale (this
ensures the maximum employment of all available resources), with specialized jobs and with individuals' private interests at stake, you'll create
one fantastic sand castle. The tower builder would probably get upset if you impose yourself on his area of work. If it crumbles he's kicked out the
sand box, as the manager demands absolute perfect efficiency in order to complete the sand castle in time for dinner. The realization of the
consequences of one's actions are felt by everyone in the system, not just the person at fault. New regulations are created to establish efficiency,
and the rest of the workers are now weary of their own future actions, so as to not repeat the same mistake. Those that fail also suffer the
consequences. They are not assisted. They learn from their mistakes, join another team of sand builders, or spend their time pursuing another
The main things to get out of this:
1) There is a fundamental difference between social intervention in the economy, and pursuing social welfare in areas such as health care and
education. The latter doesn't have nearly as many negative affects on society as a whole. In fact, it has been proven to be effective in countries
such as Canada, the UK, and Australia. However such systems might not be entirely congruent with the many conceited political and cultural aspects of
America at the moment, and so might fail for some fairly extraneous reasons.
2) The notion that human well being should be placed above all else obscures the vision of this highly idealized system, especially when the Economics
of a country is subject to a political agenda, and not a purely objective decision making process, not to mention the self regulated and automatic
free market system.
[edit on 5-11-2008 by cognoscente]
[edit on 5-11-2008 by cognoscente]