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We don't need Socialism, we need Democracy!

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posted on May, 27 2010 @ 05:55 PM
I have recently come across a model of economics that uses the shared ownership of Socialism with the private ownership of Capitalism. As of late we have a seen a vast amount of wealth being either pushed up or pushed down through income redistribution, we have corporations that unethically exploit people and make massive profits from their hard work while not even paying them enough to purchase what they make. In my opinion, and the opinion of probably most of the people in the world, that is simply wrong.

I still support the economic idea of supply and demand which is a fantastic economic model that is run by markets, not selected a governing body. It is also free from the select few who wish the profit off of other people’s work and allows workers to democratically run corporations and truly earn their own living. If you work harder and you are more productive, you make more money; if you don’t need a full time job and only some work, that’s perfectly fine too.

Instead of Communism that does not recognize individuality and thinks of people in a collective manor, Economic Democracy allows people to be individual without being forced servitude to an economic hierarchy that monopolizes the economy in their favor by exploiting workers." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Economic democracy

Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests an expansion of decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders. While there is no single definition or approach, all theories and real-world examples of economic democracy are based on a core set of fundamental assumptions.

Proponents generally agree that modern economic conditions tend to hinder or prevent society from earning enough income to purchase its output production. Centralized corporate monopoly of common resources typically forces conditions of artificial scarcity upon the greater majority, resulting in socio-economic imbalances that restrict workers from access to economic opportunity and diminish consumer purchasing power.[1][2]

As either a component of larger socioeconomic ideologies or as a stand-alone theory, economic democracy promotes universal access to common resources that are typically privatized by corporate capitalism or centralized by state socialism. Assuming full political rights cannot be won without full economic rights,[3] economic democracy suggests alternative models and reform agendas for solving problems of economic instability and deficiency of effective demand. As an alternative model, both market and non-market theories of economic democracy have been proposed. As a reform agenda, supporting theories and real-world examples include democratic cooperatives, fair trade, social credit, and the regionalization of food production and currency.

According to proponents of economic democracy, the most basic economic problem is that modern society does not earn enough income to purchase its output production. While balanced mixed economies have existed briefly throughout history, most analysts agree that command economies tend to dominate, listing contemporary expressions of capitalism as an extreme example, not an exception to the rule. As common resources are monopolized by imperial centers of wealth and power, conditions of scarcity are imposed artificially upon the greater majority, resulting in large-scale socio-economic imbalance.[2]

In any economic system, "wealth" includes all material things produced by labor for the satisfaction of human desires and having exchange value. Land and labor are generally considered the two most essential factors in producing wealth. Land includes all natural opportunities and forces. Labor includes all human exertion. Capital includes the portion of wealth devoted to producing more wealth.

While the income of any individual might include proceeds from any combination of these three sources—land, labor, and capital are generally considered mutually exclusive factors in economic models of the production and distribution of wealth. According to Henry George, "People seek to satisfy their desires with the least exertion".[1] Human beings interact with nature to produce goods and services (products) that other human beings need or desire. The laws and customs that govern the relationships among these entities constitute the economic structure of a given society.

In his book, After Capitalism, David Schweickart suggests, "The structure of a capitalist society consists of three basic components:

The bulk of the means of production are privately owned, either directly or by corporations that are themselves owned by private individuals.
Products are exchanged in a "market;" that is to say, goods and services are bought and sold at prices determined for the most part by competition and not by some governmental pricing authority. Individual enterprises compete with one another in providing goods and services to consumers, each enterprise trying to make a profit. This competition is the primary determinant of prices.
Most of the people who work for pay in this society work for other people, who own the means of production. Most working people are "wage labourers."[4]
While supply and demand are generally accepted as market functions for establishing price, the present financial price system is not self-liquidating.[5] Corporate firms typically endeavor to 1) minimize the cost of production and 2) increase sales, in order to 3) maximize shareholder value. But when consumers cannot buy all the goods being produced, "investor confidence" tends to decline, triggering declines in both production and employment. According to many analysts, such economic instability stems from a central contradiction: Wages are both a cost of production and an essential source of effective demand (needs or desires backed with purchasing power). Moreover, "those who produce the goods and services of society are paid less than their productive contribution".

[edit on 5/27/10 by Misoir]

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 05:57 PM

Generally considered the forceful extension of a nation's authority by territorial gain or by the establishment of economic and/or political dominance over other nations, some view imperialism as an advanced stage of capitalism. The merging of banks and industrial cartels give rise to finance capital, which is then exported (rather than goods) in pursuit of greater profits than the home market can offer. Political and financial power is divided amongst international monopolist firms and European states, colonizing large parts of the world in support of their businesses.[19]

On a global scale, wealthy developed nations tend to impede or prohibit the economic and technological advancement of weaker developing countries through the military force, martial law, and inequitable practices of trade that typically characterize colonialism. Rhetorically termed by some as a "tragedy of the commons", "survival of the fittest", or "might makes right", proponents of Economic Democracy generally attribute such economic crises to the imbalances imposed by corporate imperialism.[3]

In his book, Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle for the 21st Century, J.W. Smith examines the economic basis for the history of imperial civilization. Just as cities in the Middle Ages monopolized the means of production by conquering and controlling the sources of raw materials and countryside markets, Smith claims that contemporary centers of capital now control our present world through private monopoly of public resources sometimes known as "the commons". Through inequalities of trade, developing countries are overcharged for import of manufactured goods and underpaid for raw material exports, as wealth is siphoned from the periphery of empire and hoarded at the imperial-centers-of-capital:

"Over eight-hundred years ago the powerful of the city-states of Europe learned to control the resources and markets of the countryside by raiding and destroying others’ primitive industrial capital, thus openly monopolizing that capital and establishing and maintaining extreme inequality of pay. This low pay siphoned the wealth of the countryside to the imperial-centers-of-capital. The powerful had learned to plunder-by-trade and have been refining those skills ever since".
Like other financial empires in history, Smith claims the contemporary model forms alliances necessary to develop and control wealth, as peripheral nations remain impoverished providers of cheap resources for the imperial-centers-of-capital.[3] Belloc estimated that, during the British Enclosures, "perhaps half of the whole population was proletarian", while roughly the other "half" owned and controlled the means of production. Now, under modern Capitalism, J.W. Smith claims fewer than 500 people possess more wealth than half of the earth’s population, as the wealth of 1/2 of 1-percent of the United States population roughly equal that of the lower 90-percent.

According to many analysts, the United States has maintained some measure of stability by economically dominating of the rest of the world as a means of filling the gap between production consumption. Beginning with massive loans to European combatants during World War I, and continuing through the lend-lease program of World War II, U.S. domination of trade reached its peak through economic recovery measures following those wars. Though forming the basis for U.S. prosperity during the 1950s and 1960s, U.S trade domination was exhausted by the mid-1970s, when the United States implemented a policy known as dollar hegemony, intended to stabilize the economy.[15]

With a consistently negative trade balance over the decades since, some suggest the United States has compensated for the gap between purchasing power and prices with a wide variety of debt in all sectors of the economy. In this process, many analysts claim that dollar hegemony has flooded the world with U.S. currency, loans, or debt instruments to support U.S. fiscal and trade deficits, pay for extraordinary levels of U.S. resource utilization, induce foreign governments to purchase U.S. armaments, ensure the allegiance of foreign governing elites, and maintain foreign economies in subservience through World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund trade and lending policies.[2]

At the domestic level, inequities maintained by corporate imperialism tend to result in the large-scale debt, unemployment, and poverty characteristics of economic recession and depression. According to Jack Rasmus, author of The War At Home and The Trillion Dollar Income Shift, income inequality in contemporary America is an increasing relative share of income for corporations and the wealthiest 1-percent of households while shares of that income stagnate and decline for 80-percent of the United States workforce. After rising steadily for three decades after World War II, the standard of living for most American workers has sharply declined between the mid-1970s to the present. Rasmus likens the widening income gap in contemporary American society to the decade leading up to the Great Depression, estimating "well over $1-trillion in income is transferred annually from the roughly 90-million working class families in America to corporations and the wealthiest non-working class households. While a hundred new billionaires were created since 2001, real weekly earnings for 100 million workers are less in 2007 than in 1980 when Ronald Reagan took office".

According to Rasmus and other analysts, this "quarter century pay freeze", imposed by rapidly increasing control of wealth by the very rich, has resulted in innumerable negative externalities:[20]

"For the first time since the U.S. government began to collect the data in 1947, wages and salaries no longer constitute more than half of total national income. In contrast, corporate profits are at their highest levels since World War II, having risen double digits every quarter in the last three and a half years alone and 21.3% in the most recent year, 2005, according to Dow-Jones 'Market Watch'. Corporate profit margins are higher than they have been in more than half a century, according to Merrill Lynch economist, David Rosenberg. After tax profits are now equal to 8.5% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product -- that's more than a trillion dollars -- and the highest since the end of World War II in 1945."[20]
1% of all U.S. households now receive between 19%-21.5% of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States, up from 8% in 1980. This same 1% also hold more than 35% of all assets and wealth of the nation — about $17 trillion. They own 51% of all stocks and 70% of all bonds, own homes worth $3 million and have a net worth of $6 million. According to a 2006 report by the Boston Consulting Group, the number of millionaires in the U.S. rose from 6 to 7.5 million since 2000, and one hundred new billionaires were created since 2001.[20]

In contrast, the bottom 50% of all U.S. households, nearly 60 million families, own only 2.5% of the nation's total assets and wealth. Real wages of 100 million workers are less today than they were in 1980. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, college educated workers’ real wages have stagnated, growing less than a half of one percent a year from 1979 through 2005 and actually declining in 2004-05. Median households ($31,000 to $41,000 per year) have experienced a 5.9% income decline over the past five years. Below the median, thirty-seven million households now live below the U.S. government’s official poverty level, and sixteen million of them earn less than $9,800 for a family of four.

According to David Schweickart, Economic Democracy is a market economy, at least insofar as the allocation of consumer and capital goods is concerned. Firms buy raw materials and machinery from other firms and sell their products to other enterprises or consumers. "Prices are largely unregulated except by supply and demand, although in some cases price controls or price supports might be in order -- as they are deemed in order in most real-world forms of capitalism."[4]

Without a price mechanism sensitive to supply and demand, it is extremely difficult for a producer or planner to know what and how much to produce, and which production and marketing methods are the most efficient. It is also extremely difficult in the absence of a market to design a set of incentives that will motivate producers to be both efficient and innovative. Market competition resolves these problems, to a significant if incomplete degree, in a non-authoritarian, non-bureaucratic fashion.

In Schweikart's view, centralized planning is inherently flawed, and schemes for decentralized non-market planning are unworkable. As theory predicts and the historical record confirms, central planning is both inefficient and conducive to an authoritarian concentration of power. This is one of the great lessons to be drawn from the Soviet experience.

Since enterprises in Economic Democracy buy and sell on the market, they strive to make a profit. However, the "profit" in a worker-run firm is not the same as capitalist profit. It is calculated differently. In a market economy firms, whether capitalist or worker-self-managed, strive to maximize the difference between total sales and total costs. But for a capitalist firm, labor is counted as a cost. For a worker-run enterprise it is not. In Economic Democracy labor is not another "factor of production" technically on par with land and capital. Labor is the residual claimant. Workers get all that remains, once non-labor costs, including depreciation set asides and the capital assets tax, have been paid.[4]...........


posted on May, 27 2010 @ 05:57 PM

Because of the way workplaces and the investment mechanism are structured, Schweickart's model aims to facilitate fair trade, not free trade, between nations. Under Economic Democracy, there would be virtually no cross-border capital flows. Enterprises themselves will not relocate abroad, since they are democratically controlled by their own workers. Finance capital will also stay mostly at home, since funds for investment are publicly generated and are mandated by law to be reinvested domestically. "Capital doesn't flow into the country, either, since there are no stocks nor corporate bonds nor businesses to buy. The capital assets of the country are collectively owned -- and hence not for sale."

Aditional Links:

[edit on 5/27/10 by Misoir]

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 06:07 PM
The Title is wrong. We DO NOT need democracy.. The founding fathers were strongly against democracy. Democracy only crept into this country because of the Corporate business way of thinking.. it was Never meant for US.

We are a Republic.. Not a democracy.. But you never hear that anymore because of corporate owned government officials like say Obama, who got millions of campaign funds from PB.. the Oil Spill Experts.

Democracy is bad because it amounts to Mob Rule. That's No Way to run a country.. but that's what the corporations have made the USA into.. shaped in their image.

Now in a true Republic Gov would never have the chance to outgrow the wants of the people and become this large impersonal tyrant that it has become.

No.. Democracy won't do US any good either.. in fact.. it has ruined us since the early 1900's when it started gaining a foothold into our Republic.

oh.. btw.. i'm speaking of America as an American.

[edit on 27-5-2010 by JohnPhoenix]

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 06:23 PM
reply to post by JohnPhoenix

Did you not read what I posted? If you have read it then I don't understand why you are so off topic, and if you didn't read it then I must ask why you even replied.

I did not say a democracy in the terms of how to run our countries government, but a democratic workplace where all people are even and there is no dictator taking your capital and leaving you with a salary he/she sees fit. You earn what you make and you keep it, PERIOD. You don't have some employer taking it from you.

Why do most people hate taxes but love being a slave to a boss? Don't you know that is basically just a huge tax on your income, and instead of doing things to help the company they use your money to make themselves rich while you stay poor.

IMO, that is not freedom whether it be a democracy or a republic, that is slavery and dictatorship.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by Misoir

Your right. I didn't read it. I looked at it and said.. that's way too long. I assumed the body of your post would reflect exactly what the title says.


That being said, yeah.. I agree with you. I can understand a little tax, but we give over 1/4 of what we make to the IRS, so they can in turn give most of it to England. It's a little known fact.. we are still paying for borrowing tons of money from them over 2 centuries ago.

Aside from the the IRS really has no legal recourse to ta us.. it's very unconstitutional.. study its history to see where it came from and how it got this way.. it will surprise you.

[edit on 27-5-2010 by JohnPhoenix]

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 06:40 PM
"As I will not be a master, as I will not be a slave. That is my idea of Democracy."

-- Abe Lincoln

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 06:58 PM
If you were familiar with anything but Mainstream Western propaganda on the subject of socialism you would realize that socialism equals more democracy.

A great example of a socialist type policy would be Neighboorhood Watch. In a true socialist society there would still be police to handle things like murder and bank robberies and organized crime, but if you got pulled over for speeding in front of your house it would be by your neighbor. Stuff like this probably wouldn't happen since in a socialist society you'd be meeting with your neighbors anyway, maybe bi-weekly, to talk about things like whether your local streets need maintenence.

It's true the government would have more reach and power in a socialist system.

The trick is that the individual citizen has to take a larger role in the government as it gains power. Career politicians and civil servants would disappear since everyone would be taking short turns doing these types of things, ensuring that it gets done in everybody's best interest. After all you're not gonna use your power to screw your neighbor over if he's gonna be the one holding the post next month right?

A perfect socialist society would be one where you get a direct vote in everything that affects you.

The closest thing the world has ever seen to true socialism is the direct democracy in Ancient Greece.

It would a really difficult thing for a society of 6 billion to achieve since it would require everyone of them to have good critical thinking and analysis skills, something a lot of college graduates don't even have.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 07:00 PM
With today's technology we should be able to mass produce goods at a rate that meets natural demand n small companies where there is no huge corporate bureaucracy sucking up all the profit.

Industry could be spread out a great deal more evenly, so that we aren't stuck into these suburban prisons that force us to drive long distances regularly, having to pay for increased transportation costs and home costs, work longer and longer hours, with less and less free time.

With today's technology, we should be working less and enjoying life more, spending more time raising our families, and living healthy lives.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 07:05 PM
reply to post by thedarklingthrush

If we weren't so busy running the rat maze, that corporate controlled America has created for us, far more people would participate in local government. This is exactly what the wealthy elites do not want.

We have far too many police, far too many laws, and far too many people in prison. The media works to keep us paranoid that the guy next door will do terrible things to us and our children, so that nobody talks to each other.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 07:11 PM
reply to post by thedarklingthrush

Just to inform you, I am still a Democratic Socialist. I just don't support a socialist economy, I support a market economy and democratic working conditions. I still support Socialist policies such as regulation, strong welfare, and equality.

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 08:15 PM
reply to post by Misoir

California is probably the best example of capitalistic welfare, and it failed. The trend is now to ax that system and move back to social welfare (unless corporates stop the movement).

For basic necessities, the social system is the best. Beyond that, people should have their freedom of choice in government.

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