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Democratic Socialism Works & People Are Happy About It!

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posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Hello ATS,

In response to this thread,

Forbes: The World's Happiest Places I have decided to create this thread about Social Democracy and how, according to many polls, publications and people in general works.


Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions simply refer to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one.[2] Often, this definition is invoked to distinguish democratic socialism from communism, as in Donald Busky's Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey[3], Jim Tomlinson's Democratic Socialism and Economic Policy: The Attlee Years, 1945-1951, Norman Thomas Democratic Socialism: a new appraisal or Roy Hattersley's Choose Freedom: The Future of Democratic Socialism.

But for those who use the term in this way, the scope of the term "socialism" itself can be very vague, and include forms of socialism compatible with capitalism. For example, Robert M. Page, a Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, writes about "transformative democratic socialism" to refer to the politics of the Clement Attlee government (a strong welfare state, fiscal redistribution, some nationalisation) and "revisionist democratic socialism", as developed by Anthony Crosland and Harold Wilson.


Source

All of the countries listed in that report have either a Socialist Democracy or some form of Socialism incorporated into the government.

These countries produce citizens that are well educated, healthy and above all else, happy with what their government is doing in the overall scheme of things.

A lot of people like to call out Socialism for being evil and the enemy of democracy, I find this to be a complete fabrication.

IMO a social democracy is the best way for a country to as a hybrid model. We've seen what Capitalism does if left unchecked, we've seen what Socialism and Communism does when left unchecked.

Any of these single word forms of government either ends up as an Oligarchy or Republic without representation.

In Canada specifically we have a Socialist Democracy, our party systems, Liberal, Conservative and NDP all lean towards these.

NDP would be the most however.


New Democrats today advocate, among other things

Gender equality and equal rights for gays, lesbians, and minorities
Improve environmental protection
National water safety standards
Increasing corporate taxes[2]
Reducing poverty in Canada[3]
Human rights protection
Expanded high-quality public transport
Expanded public health care including dental and prescription drug coverage
Social assistance policies that reflects citizens' needs and assist their re-entry to the work force
Abolishing the Senate of Canada and ensuring more proportional representation[4]
Workers' rights including raising the minimum wage to at least keep up with the cost of living
Aboriginal treaty, land, and constitutional rights
A foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid instead of offensive military action
Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
One wing is focused on ending the Canadian War on Drugs and legalizing recreational drugs[5]


Source


What are your thoughts ATS?

Is Social Democracy the way of the future? Or just a passing fad, soon to be replaced by Libertarianism or Pure Capitalism as we see in the US?

~Keeper

[edit on 4/7/2010 by tothetenthpower]

[edit on 4/7/2010 by tothetenthpower]




posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 04:29 PM
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a social republic is, in my opinion, the end point for the nation and world as a whole. The only real question is, how much socialism is required to get that perfect balance between happiness, welfare, and innovation.

Too much socialism creates a innovative void, too little creates heavy wealth disparity and innovative short sightedness.

People need security, people want to drive for perks. I personally believe government exists to do a few things
1) to protect us from people whom wish to drop big bombs on our cities
2) to help the average citizen have the basics so that a epic fall from grace will not result in death or inability to crawl back up
3) a few key large programs that help create infrustructure for new technologies...(aka, road networks, space exploration, etc)...things otherwise completely non profitable to create by any, but the effect will enhance tons of new business and commerce for all.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
a social republic is, in my opinion, the end point for the nation and world as a whole. The only real question is, how much socialism is required to get that perfect balance between happiness, welfare, and innovation.

Too much socialism creates a innovative void, too little creates heavy wealth disparity and innovative short sightedness.

People need security, people want to drive for perks. I personally believe government exists to do a few things
1) to protect us from people whom wish to drop big bombs on our cities
2) to help the average citizen have the basics so that a epic fall from grace will not result in death or inability to crawl back up
3) a few key large programs that help create infrustructure for new technologies...(aka, road networks, space exploration, etc)...things otherwise completely non profitable to create by any, but the effect will enhance tons of new business and commerce for all.



I agree there must be a balance and it is hard to maintain in such a system, but I find it works far better and is much easier to achieve than doing so in a Republic or Communist state.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


There is one thing that makes capitalism and communism very close.

Capitalism, in its most pure form, advocates a very small nearly non-existent state for its existence. People are individual and they voluntarily choose what they do or don't do.

Communism, in its most pure form, advocates no state for its existence. People are collective together and there are almost no voluntary actions.

Then you have Social democracy/Democratic socialism which espouses a semi large state that does just enough to create a level playing field for economic growth, entrepenurship, and competitiveness which comes from capitalism. Then it offers the labor organization, minimum standard of living, and equalizing of opportunity which comes from communism. Then it combines the two which requires a large government to create capitalism and communism together.

That's exactly what Socialism is, it is the mixing of Communism and Capitalism to form a strong 'Mixed Market economy'. Then you have Democratic socialism which adds the democratic principles of both capitalism and communism. So it is like creating the best of both worlds.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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I think it's common knowledge in the developed world that democratic socialism is the best thing we've come up with as a people to date. It's really only within the borders of America that socialism is a bad word. It's unfortunate that Americans are so subservient to the narrow views of a few powerful politicians, but honestly I stopped caring sometime during their last election. The only opinions you'll probably end up seeing here, are Americans, and then everyone else lol



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Well said Misoir, thanks for your input.

I agree it does provide the best of both worlds. That is not to say it's without fault. Any system will have flaws. Human ones.

Vigilance of the population is required in order to keep the system fair and balanced.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by ZombieOctopus
 


Good points.

I thought as well that there would be many Americans coming into this thread and attempting to show the downside of this system or just bashing it with straw man arguments, however this doesn't seem to be the case.

I do expect a little bit of debate on the issue and certainly welcome anybody to post their thoughts, either pro or con.

This is a conversation after all.

Thanks for your input
.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
reply to post by ZombieOctopus
 


Good points.

I thought as well that there would be many Americans coming into this thread and attempting to show the downside of this system or just bashing it with straw man arguments, however this doesn't seem to be the case.

I do expect a little bit of debate on the issue and certainly welcome anybody to post their thoughts, either pro or con.

This is a conversation after all.

Thanks for your input
.

~Keeper


Well then here is your first.

It is always a trade off. I for one do not believe in trading freedom for security and that includes the government provided economic security. I don't want to limit my freedom of speech based on some bullsh!t hate speech law. So really, laws against "offending" people? Your freekin crazy if you accept that. How about the UK and others where you have no right to self defense? Some thugs break into your house and your not allowed to shoot them? Hey brainchildren, if there is no consequence why not do it?

Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech
www.nytimes.com...

Look up Brigitte Bardot in France.

“I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts,”

jonathanturley.org...
That is HATE speech, well to others that is a simple freeking opinion and probably an opinion many share.... but she is prosecuted.


Keep your Social Democracy. Why it is so damned important to the world to turn America into that still astounds me other than "Now your as screwed as us" mentality.

Like pets in a cage... they are fed and well cared for, all of their needs are met and they are HAPPY..... but you can damn well bet that animal would rather be free.




[edit on 7-4-2010 by infolurker]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by infolurker
 


Ok, well I wasn't attempting to say that America should turn into a Social Democracy, I think you all could do just fine in at what your doing so long as you remove your government and replace it with people who actually care.

As for freedom of speech, I have that in Canada. Self defense? I have that in Canada.

There is nobody in this country attempting to change the laws for another poeple. The UK has that problem with it's Muslim community, put that is the UK's fault for not putting their foot down.

My country, because of it's Social Democracy has kept it's nose clean of most conflicts around the world and has not had to "bully" it's way into economic freedom and progress.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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The difference between real socialism and communism is one just hasn’t had their guns taken yet.
I can see how people who like being dependent and need the handouts like the idea of socialism. And even good hard working people are now needing help as this all get worse and will get even harder on all of us.
But I’m an a hard working person driven by success, and that means all my hard work will be taken from me and given to those who don’t have the drive I do.
I don’t like how forums even here are infiltrated by gov stooges to promote this crap!



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by Steve8511
The difference between real socialism and communism is one just hasn’t had their guns taken yet.
I can see how people who like being dependent and need the handouts like the idea of socialism. And even good hard working people are now needing help as this all get worse and will get even harder on all of us.
But I’m an a hard working person driven by success, and that means all my hard work will be taken from me and given to those who don’t have the drive I do.
I don’t like how forums even here are infiltrated by gov stooges to promote this crap!


Stooge eh?

I don't have any of my success taken from me and given to others. I make far MORE than I think ANY person should make to live comfortably, which I why I give 30% of my earnings to charity or non-profit groups in my community and abroad.

Success is a state of mind. Not how much is in your wallet.

You will never find happiness chasing the illusive dollar. We are all humans, and well all have a responsibility to help each other out.

Selfish human behaviour is what got us into this whole mess in the first place.

~Keeper

[edit on 4/7/2010 by tothetenthpower]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by infolurker
 


How did you get the idea that, "What's going to stop them from commiting a crime?" Well maybe I can't understand figures, maybe you can explain to me how certain countries that have lower murder rates somehow have more murders.

Intentional Homicide Rate per 100,000 citizens

USA..... 5.40
Canada..... 1.83
UK..... 2.03
France..... 1.59
Germany..... 0.88
Denmark..... 0.88
Norway..... 0.71
Spain..... 1.20
Netherlands..... 0.91
Australia..... 1.20

en.wikipedia.org...

it appears that the 'Socialist' countries are actually safer than America. But how could that be? Wouldn't that completely destroy your pitiful argument?



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:51 PM
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Sure, in theory a Socialsitic Democracy/Democratic Socialism sounds perfect - nearly utopian. But, part of the problem is that it is a theory that rarely functions theoretically when it meets reality. Communism, in it's purest form, would be a utopian society as well. But we have seen exactly where leaves it's people. The notion of Democratic Socialism is too new to evaluate in hind-sight, but I fear I see exactly where it is headed.

First of all, I put ZERO stock in magazine lists!
I only need to look at the daily and weekly news coming from these "happy" countries to see that "happiness" may be a pure mirage, or nefariously, a ploy. Some of these countries enjoy chronically high unemployment rates. Others have crime problems. And still others are inundated with cameras, "manners" laws and constant surveillance.

As one member has already pointed out, trading freedom for a little security is ALWAYS a bad idea. I think the people of Venezeula and Cuba may even have some opinions on the matter. The point is that what starts out with the best of intentions runs an inherent risk of "Scope creep" into infringing upon individual rights in order to attempt to satisfy small minority groups.

Another inportant point to consider is that each of these systems are built upon fiat currency, feature fractional reserve banking and the entire social welfare system is a ponzi scheme. None have proven to remain sustainable for the long term. Nearly every one of those systems are struggling to pay for medicinal care for its citizens, many more are considering cuts in care.

I suppose if a country could find the perfect balance of military spending, social welfare and taxation then it could work. But again, we've seen how private interests tend to bastardize that process - especially when you are a country as large as the United States with dozens of other countries counting on it for its security - which probably enables them to sort of support their current democratic socialism to begin with.

Just some thoughts on the matter...



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 



See that is your free will and choice to do so……and people like me believe in that it is a good idea. Right up to the point that the Gov takes and gives to whatever they see fit against my will!!!!!!
Please think.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


I agree that trading freedom for security is something bad, however it depends what your idea of security is.

IF you have to remove basic human rights in order to protect society, that is wrong, however, if you are just making security protocols, screenings and protections to PROTECT your populace, then I dont' see the problem.

As you pointed out though, human error and greed usually influence the system in a negative way, but I don't think that will ever change.

We have to work with what we have and as stated above, a vigilant, informed and educated populace is required to keep things in check.

As for the banking system well, that's a whole other thread and I agree that it's really the crux of all of our issues.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by Steve8511
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 



See that is your free will and choice to do so……and people like me believe in that it is a good idea. Right up to the point that the Gov takes and gives to whatever they see fit against my will!!!!!!
Please think.


The way to keep the government from doing so is a STRONG willed populace not willing to put up with a government that acts this way.

It's the fault of the people for not standing up and demanding a better system, that's just the logical conclusion.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


You just don't get it do you? Democratic Socialism has already been established and working in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and NZ for decades now. Some countries it hs failed others it has succeeded and the intention of Social democracy is not Communism and they make that perfectly clear. Why would we want to ask Venezuela and Cuba since they don't have what we are referring to? Social democracy, and I will say it again, has no intention of ever leading to communism or state control.

Look at the Nordic nations, Sweden has refused to spy on its citizens and is currently being threatened by the EU to keep file of their citizens internet history, which they are refusing to do. Denmark and Netherlands have some of the worlds lowest unemployment rates, and most of Western Europe, Canada, AU, NZ have a far less crime problem than the USA. The only real infringement on civil liberties is certain restrictions on free speach and a surveillance state which is not nearly as bad as that of the USA.

As for your opinion on debt, balanced budget, and unsustainablity just look at the Nordics. They have some of the lowest public debt and most balanced trade and government budget.

Why do you believe democratic socialist countries are relying on the US for protection? That is pretty ignorant. Maybe you have forgotten that most of those countries don't have many enemies and the ones that do have nukes. If you have no enemies then who's going to mess with you? The USA is the reason Europe needs defense, because they stay in NATO and are forced to police the world and stand with the USA as we make enemies.

I am just advising you to look at the most succesfull form of social democracy, the Nordics.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Wow! The system has been in effect for several WHOLE DECADES!!!
Well, I guess that just proves EVERYTHING then!


Come back and talk to me about it when it's been working for a few CENTURIES!!!

Edited to add: The Nordics are the exception, not the rule. Their population is a mere FRACTION of the United States

[edit on 7-4-2010 by kozmo]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:53 PM
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Let's just take the most succesfull Democratic Socialist countries.

Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Finland

then compare that to the USA.

Public debt

Denmark: 38.1%
Finland: 46.6%
Netherlands: 62.2%
Norway: 60.2%
Sweden: 43.2%

USA: 52.9%

Government Budget

Denmark: +$14,400,000,000
Finland: +$11,500,000,000
Netherlands: +$9,700,000,000
Norway: +$86,700,000,000
Sweden: +$11,900,000,000

USA: -$455,000,000,000

External debt

*Note: Many of these countries debts are mostly due to rebuilding from WW2, and mismanagement of economy before economic reforms in 1990's*

Denmark: 242.30%
Finland: 143.95%
Netherlands: 62.3%
Norway: 190.23%
Sweden: 176.72%

USA: 94%

Trade Account Balance

Denmark: +1.70%
Finland: +6.08%
Netherlands: +7.96%
Norway: +25.73%
Sweden: +11.35%

USA: -5.33%

Tax Revenue

Denmark: 50.0%
Finland: 43.6%
Netherlands: 39.5%
Norway: 43.6%
Sweden: 49.7%

USA: 28.2%

Press Freedom

0= Absolute freedom, 115= No freedom

Denmark: 0.00
Finland: 0.00
Netherlands: 1.00
Norway: 0.00
Sweden: 0.00

USA: 4.00

Corruption

10= No corruption, 1 = Absolute corruption

Denmark: 9.3
Finland: 8.9
Netherlands: 8.9
Norway: 8.6
Sweden: 9.2

USA: 7.5

Failed States Index

115 = Failed State, 0 = Absolute stability

Denmark: 23.2
Finland: 19.2
Netherlands: 27.0
Norway: 18.3
Sweden: 20.6

USA: 34.0

Democracy Index

10.00 = Most Democracy, 0.00 = No Democracy

Denmark: 9.52
Finland: 9.25
Netherlands: 9.53
Norway: 9.68
Sweden: 9.88

USA: 8.22

Privacy

5.0 = Consistently upholds human rights standards, 1.1 = Endemic Surveillance Societies

Denmark: 2.0
Finland: 2.5
Netherlands: 2.1
Norway: 2.1
Sweden: 2.1

USA: 1.5

Property Rights

10.0= Absolute property rights, 0.0= No property rights

Denmark: 8.3
Finland: 8.6
Netherlands: 8.3
Norway: 8.3
Sweden: 8.2

USA: 7.5

Ease of Business

*Rank only*

Denmark: #6
Finland: #16
Netherlands: #30
Norway: #10
Sweden: #18

USA: #4

Intentional Homicide Rate

*Per 100,000 citizens*

Denmark: 0.88
Finland: 2.17
Netherlands: 0.91
Norway: 0.71
Sweden: N/A

USA: 5.40

Global Competetiveness

Higher = Better

Denmark: 5.46
Finland: 5.43
Netherlands: 5.32
Norway: 5.17
Sweden: 5.51

USA: 5.59

Human Poverty Index

Denmark: 8.2%
Finland: 8.1%
Netherlands: 8.1%
Norway: 6.8%
Sweden: 6.3%

USA: 15.4%

Unemployment Rate

Denmark: 4.2% - Mar. 2010
Finland: 8.5% - Nov. 2009
Netherlands: 3.6% - Sep. 2009
Norway: 3.3% - Sep. 2009
Sweden: 8.0% - Nov. 2009

USA: 9.7% - Jan. 2010

Employment Rate

Denmark: 77%
Finland: 70%
Netherlands: 75%
Norway: 78%
Sweden: 76%

USA: 72%

Income Inequality

0 = Absolutely equal, 100 = All wealth belongs to one person

Denmark: 24.7
Finland: 26.9
Netherlands: 30.9
Norway: 25.8
Sweden: 25.0

USA: 40.8

Life Expectancy

Denmark: 78.3
Finland: 79.3
Netherlands: 79.8
Norway: 80.2
Sweden: 80.9

USA: 78.2

I hope you like the facts I have posted.

en.wikipedia.org...
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[edit on 4/7/10 by Misoir]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Please don't assume that a statistical variation in the murder rate is any sort of meaningful indicator as to how safe a society is. Certain folks use the same statistics to demonize guns, like watching the water meter to see how fast your car is going. Sure we have more fatality because of the use of weapons, but I've seen proportionately more street level violence in several European countries first hand. I would definitely by that voilence is more deadly in America, but not necessarily more prevalent. Just my 2c.

gj





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