Is a move toward European style Socialism really bad?

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posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 02:15 PM
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Many of the pundits who do not like President Obama have resorted to calling him and his policies socialism. The idea is to state that any Democratic idea is communistic and not American. There was a two-part piece on "The Daily Show" where Wyatt Cenac went to Sweden:

www.thedailyshow.com...

After seeing that program, I was thinking if the approach Europe takes to the economy is as bad as the conservatives make it out to be. Universal free healthcare, ten week paid vacations, free education, and an inexpensive public transportation system. The top tax rate is a whopping 60%, but one can see where the money goes.

Our banking system has failed because of massive deregulation that allowed them to merge with riskier investment firms. We have millions of people with no form of health care coverage. Pensions and social security are at an all time low. I could go on and on with all the economic problems facing the country.

While the capitalistic system is the one stated to be truly American, it also is one of the worst when it comes to working class people. I am not opposed to the free market or Mom & Pop type businesses, but the global corporations are now making up all the rules. If anyone tries to equalize anything, they are labeled socialists or communists.

Some socialist ideas the US already has in place:

1. Social Security (for the elderly)
2. Medicaid and Medicare (for the elderly and wards of the state)
3. Food Stamp programs (assistance for low income families)
4. Disability Compensation (for those unable to work)
5. Unemployment Insurance (for those out of work, usually 13 weeks long)
6. FDIC (bank accounts insured up to $250,000 each)
7. FDA, FCC, FAA and other regulatory agencies

If socialism is terrible, do the ones who advocate total capitalism oppose any or all of the above?

What the US needs:

1. Universal Free Health Care
2. Universal Free Education
3. Nationalizing of the banking system
4. Affordable Public Transportation
5. Free broadband service from the communities that want to offer it.
6. Training programs for veterans coming back and for people who have been laid off (many areas offer these, but they vary in quality and quantity).

I will have more ideas on what to offer, but for those who are opposed to any form of socialism, please add what should be done to help the needy and the economy.




posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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No the shift would be that bad, I actually believe socialism is the way of the future. The problems would only come from our incompetent government. BEcause lets face it our government pretty much ruins anything it get its hands on so we would have to plan the shift extensively way before we become anything like the socialist countries in Europe.

They know what they are doing because they've been able to remain open minded and innovative when it comes to running their countries. America is still pretty closed minded unfortunately and that could lead to major roadblocks on our way to socialism.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by caballero
 


I agree with you that many government agencies are rife with incompetent workers. I also do not like all the red tape and bureaucracy involved with the government.

One of the reasons I put this idea forward was hearing how terrible the system of socialism is. I just do not see capitalism being for the common man. The barter system worked, but now you have people working in factories instead of small shops. The worker based system has changed, and only the wealthy industrialists were getting the fruits of capitalism.

The way some are talking, they want to go back to the era of robber barons. That would mean monopolies and control by a few families. While the families still control most of the corporations and banks out there, at least the little guy has a chance with the regulations that are supposed to be against monopolies.

It is time to look at the system we have now and change it for the better. Adding some regulations so the banking industries do not gamble away people's pensions is one idea. I also think it is high time to nationalize the banks and health care system. We are the wealthiest nation in the world, and yet we do not take care of our citizens.

If there are other ways to address the problems, I would love to hear them.



posted on May, 25 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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I think the first thing we would have to do is to start taking all the waste of space agencies out of the picture. I have been reading some essays that the Author of brave new world, Aldous Huxley, wrote and he seems to know the perfect way to improve society. One of the issues he brings up is the problem of over organization. These alphabet soup agencies (or whatever their nickname is) are a perfect example of what he was talking about.

Organization to the point that you have to go through numerous steps to get anything done. Its almost more worth it to not change anything at all because theres too much clutter involved with it all. thats basically how are system is built up nowdays, because I can apply the epidemic of over organization to every facet of our society. Education, we cant fire bad teachers because of unions making the steps to fire bad teachers overly complicated. Theres even been cases of teachers being accused of having "relations" with students and keeping there job for another couple of years before they got fired for the accusation.

Healthcare, insurance is so overly complicated and extremely unfair. It seems that only the rich can afford to be healthy in this country. Definately get rid of all insurance companies all they do is muck everything up to the point of gross ineffeciency.
I would say over organization is one of the key problems that leak into many other problems, if we want to fix the symptoms we have to fix the source.
and these are just a few overly simplified examples if I were to go into detail it would take forever to get to the end of it. Too many problems to list.



posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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I must point out that much of Europe has been in a long process of decentralization of power. Germany, for example, has been dismantling its centralized power by lowering taxes, deregulating the market and privatizing government run companies. The whole of Eastern Europe is contracting the welfare state that arose from Soviet control.



1. Universal Free Health Care 2. Universal Free Education 3. Nationalizing of the banking system 4. Affordable Public Transportation 5. Free broadband service from the communities that want to offer it. 6. Training programs for veterans coming back and for people who have been laid off (many areas offer these, but they vary in quality and quantity).


Free is a misnomer. The money comes from somewhere. I propose a system where if one wants a service or utility, one pays for it directly, and if one does not want it, is not forced to pay it. This would greatly decrease waste and mismanagement because the service providers will be encouraged to maximize quality and lower costs to receive more consumers.



I will have more ideas on what to offer, but for those who are opposed to any form of socialism, please add what should be done to help the needy and the economy.


“Unless a good deed is voluntary, it has no moral significance.” -Everett Martin

The needy can exist on the donations of giving people like yourself and I. Without the burden of taxes, one would have more money and be able to afford contributing to the needy if they so choose. This would also reduce waste. Not only from the black hole of government but private charities will reduce waste as well. The charities will need to rely on the kindness of people who see their service as a noble and worthy chance to give. Charities will need to be efficient and effective, and charities will grow to meet the needs of the people and fill the void government had.

Also the system of generations of welfare recipients will collapse. It will no longer be a crutch for people who can walk on their own.



posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by DINSTAAR
 


I appreciate your response to this, DINSTAAR. I do know they have higher taxes in Europe, but they also see the results of that system.

I also wonder if it is a good idea to privatize such areas in government. The profit becomes the bottom line and soon services are cut and done away with altogether.

I also do not see charity doing all the work. Donations will drop if the donors do not get a tax incentive to donate. This country maybe very charitable, but health care and disability payments may be to much for the private sector to handle.



posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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I really don't know what system will ever truly work. We have seen the communist system fall in the USSR, but there was wide spread corruption in it. Capitalism is also relatively new, and it has just as many flaws. It seems the people are screwed no matter what system they get. There will always be an elite who control everything. Robber Barons had a field day before Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft started to regulate the economy and stop them from gaining monopolies. True capitalists do not believe in competition, as we see in all the mergers that fave taken place.

I also do not have much sympathy for the wealthy. Most of them earned their money the hard way: They inherited it.

Maybe we should go back to the pioneer days when a town could sustain itself. A blacksmith, a general store, farms and ranches, and others who provided goods.

Barter is the oldest system in the world, but the population is too large for that system. Or is it? India and many regions around the world still engage in that old system.

Whatever the solution is, capitalism is not the answer anymore.



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 




I also wonder if it is a good idea to privatize such areas in government. The profit becomes the bottom line and soon services are cut and done away with altogether.


This is counter-intuitive with free market principles.
Let's look at shoes. The production of shoes has been, pretty much, in the control of the private sector. Every year shoes get better, and cheaper. This is undeniable. You can buy shoes better than the best tennis shoe in 1980 for $10 at a discount store where in 1980 you would pay out the butt.

If a market system isn't held back by government intervention, the cheapest, best product wins. A good modern example is the tech market.



Whatever the solution is, capitalism is not the answer anymore.


Anymore? Never was...
You can call the economy of the USA a mixed economy, a state-capitalist economy, a corporatist economy, and a protectionist economy but it was never a pure capitalist free market.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by DINSTAAR
 


I don't want the private sector to take over my health care that is provided by the VA. It is an excellently run service that has been steadily improving.

There is no worry for profit, so they put the needs of the patient first.

I am not saying making everything government run, however, pure capitalism has fostered nothing but greed and made the gap between the haves and the havenots much wider now more than ever.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by DINSTAAR

Anymore? Never was...
You can call the economy of the USA a mixed economy, a state-capitalist economy, a corporatist economy, and a protectionist economy but it was never a pure capitalist free market.


The US was a pure capitalist market in the 19th Century up until Teddy Roosevelt took office in 1901 and took on the Robber Barons.

Those Robber Barons made sure to have monopolies and virtually everything, from oil to the railroads. They would control the prices at their whim.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 




There is no worry for profit, so they put the needs of the patient first.


Profit is a better motivation than power. Political power sought by bureaucrats and politicians is backed up by the biggest monopoly we have, the government and their use of violence to subjugate us. This is more dangerous than profit seekers.



I am not saying making everything government run, however, pure capitalism has fostered nothing but greed and made the gap between the haves and the havenots much wider now more than ever.


'pure capitalism' is not what causes this. State-capitalism or Corporatism (where profit seekers utilize the governments power to subjugate us) has, in fact, done this. Corporatism is a term Mussolini used to describe Fascism and it best describes our economic system for a century or more.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by DINSTAAR
 


So you want to go back to the days of the robber barons, where "pure capitalism" reigned? Or worse, to usher in a time when the "captains of industry" have an even freer reign in creating monopolies to squeeze out their competitors, and have no government regulations to protect workers or the environment?

You want unregulated factories spewing out poisons into the environment as they do now in China and India? It's cheaper to do that than to have pollution controls, and they might cramp the style (and worse, the profits) of the factory owners.

Did you ever read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle?" Would you like to go back there, to the days when there was no FDA to insure purity in the food supply? And where factory workers who were injured or became disabled just starved, along with their children? Or where children as young as six worked ten hours a day in sweatshops just to help their families put food on the table? (No laws, of course, to limit the age at which a child could work).

These are just a few of the features of the "paradise" of total free market capitalism.

I'm not a total socialist. I think the U.S. economy is one of the strongest in the world and that is due in large part to capitalism. Actually, socialism is an economic system wherein the state owns the means of production, and I lean in favor of having the workers themselves own the means of production which, technically, is (gasp) communism.

But I'm just a partial socialist/communist. I think capitalism is okay as long as there are regulations and retraints on it to prevent runaway greed and corruption. That means a strong central government that is responsive to the people being governed.

I don't, like Reaganites, believe that governments can't solve problems, but rather are the problem.

There are many things, like social security and medicare, and yes, universal health care, that government can definitely do better than the private sector ever would.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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These are just a few of the features of the "paradise" of total free market capitalism.


There is nothing Utopian about free markets. The only naive people who believe in utopia are socialists and their like. What a brave new world of collectivism.

Also, I had to read "The Jungle" in high school. Interesting read. The governments passage of the pure food act was just a reaction to the public outcry. Outcry exists to change the situation without a state imposing an eternally intrusive government body.



So you want to go back to the days of the robber barons... You want unregulated factories spewing out poisons...


No. Those are all examples of state-capitalism and a mixed economies.

Also, the government is the biggest monopoly in existence, and it exists because we have given up on being free. Governments, because they are uncontrolled, power hungry, bringers of destruction, can do whatever they want. They create nukes, designed, specifically, to kill millions of people. They are the biggest polluters. They wage wars of all kinds and lead to the destruction of people all over the world. All this while waving at the public and promising false hopes and 'change'.



But I'm just a partial socialist/communist. I think capitalism is okay as long as there are regulations and retraints on it to prevent runaway greed and corruption. That means a strong central government that is responsive to the people being governed.


The people being governed need to look at the world and realize that they are not powerless. America, for too long, has relied on its master government to change the world. Every four years we plead with politicians and government to make it better only to be sold short. It's time, instead of begging our masters for help, to help ourselves. We need to realize that politicians on both sides just step all over us, while throwing us some scraps every now and again. I feel like America is those stupid hyenas in The Lion King that don't realize they can help themselves and rely on that corrupt Lion for help.

Innovation and freedom are the only effective ways to combat corruption in the private and public sector. That's change I can believe in. Taking power from the free market and giving it to the biggest, most dangerous monopoly is no way to fight monopolies.



There are many things, like social security and medicare, and yes, universal health care, that government can definitely do better than the private sector ever would.


They have been doing such a good job with SS and Medicare so far, right? These programs were supposed to pay for themselves (and did for a while) but then now we are looking at tens of trillions of dollars worth of unpayable entitlements in the near future.





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