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  • Socialism

    Some context:

    Originally posted by Razcsak View Post
    In your idealized island environment, yes. Essentially, you have a very small community with nigh-unlimited resources. That doesn't exist in the real world. (Actually, your initial economy on that island is ultimately socialist. Without money, it certainly can't be capitalist.)

    Well, except the person who already has the money to hire people to take your brilliant idea and adapt it for their own. Or the person who has the money to buy your idea for relatively cheap (since you're starving, at this point) and sell it for their own increased profit. Or, hell, the person who simply has a hold on the economy and can freeze you out.

    Your theory-capitalism sounds as lovely as theory-communism, where everyone has everything and everyone is happy. Unfortunately, as people are prone to point out, theory-communism doesn't exist. The Soviet Union did was the closest any government came and it did, in fact, fall. Likewise, the closest we came to theory-capitalism, did we see a utopia of personal wealth? Absolutely not. Historical precedent overrides your theory, in my opinion. Capitalism leads to monopolies, not innovation.

    Cingular: Nobody is advocating for a conversion to an entirely socialized state! (And you're arguing against a strawman socialist society anyhow.) At best, we're saying why pure capitalism doesn't work and pressing for a socialized system of medicine, as aptly described by El_Gringo_Grande.
    So if capitalism is bad, why have it at all? And if letting the government make resource allocation decisions is so good, why not let it make all resource allocation decisions?
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Socialism

    Originally posted by Razcsak View Post
    Capitalism leads to monopolies, not innovation.
    That's a really crazy statement.
    I am from Latvia. My grandparents owned a lucrative food processing plant. 1941 the communists took over the country. They came into my grandfathers plant with guns and said you are working for us now and this company belongs to the USSR. Every business suddenly became a monopoly under the USSR brand, there was no more competition. My grandfather continued running that company for pennies a day with a gun to his back. And no matter how hard he worked there was no chance he was going to make any more money. Why work hard and create if you can't make any more cashola. My grandfather innovated by leaving as soon as he could and started giving driving lessons for cash and my grandmother opened an ice cream stand. He made more money under the table being CEO of a one man driving school then he did as CEO of a large company.

    I have a severe dislike for anything communist. At the end of the day communism led to things not getting done the correct way. Mass inefficiency, mass negligence, etc. I blame the soviet government for that. They took away the peoples spirit to do right. Anyone can see todays health care system in this country is not working properly. Isn't letting it fall into ruin in the name of capitalism and money the same as letting it fall to malaise and inefficiency? We need to find a balance.
    Last edited by Hambergler; 05-17-2008, 04:06 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Socialism

      Well, I think capitalism does lead to monopolies, eventually, but of course it also leads to innovation, in order to beat out competitors.

      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
      So if capitalism is bad, why have it at all? And if letting the government make resource allocation decisions is so good, why not let it make all resource allocation decisions?
      We have capitalism because it's better than everything else. And it depends on the resources, like doctors (one could call them a resource) should be spread out among a population, but you have to let the economy grow by letting people sell their goods where there's the highest demand for them.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Socialism

        A monopoly can only exist if you artificially create a "barrier to entry" to keep new competition from entering the market, or if you can consistently keep your price lower than any possible competition. A monopoly that meets the latter requirement can hardly be considered a problem. And barriers to entry generally require government intervention to establish them, so that's not capitalism any more.
        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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        • #5
          Re: Socialism

          Well, take a licensing deal. EA got one with the NFL, if I remember, and that allowed only EA to make NFL games, blocking other game companies. There's many instances of "barriers" without gov't intervention.

          And socialism isn't really the gov't getting into people's business, that's communism. Socialism is where everyone is equal, just in practise, one person is more equal than the rest, and the resources are spread out amongst the people evenly.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Socialism

            The trick with captialism and monopoly is that a monopoly is not evil as long as there is no barrier to entry by a competitor. That is, if the monopoly provides the best product and they still compete with the invisible threat of a start-up entering if the monopoly does not maintain the best product or attempts to price beyond the market's value of the product, there is no problem with the monopoly.

            Some things are natural monopolies. Competition in the sewage service market doesn't work because it is impractical to have eight companies running pipes through a neighborhood. This is not an issue with captialisim being 'wrong,' merely an impractical fit. Fortunately, a local republican (lower-case 'r') government is sufficient to manage natural monopolies.

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            • #7
              Re: Socialism

              Originally posted by brain21 View Post
              Well, take a licensing deal. EA got one with the NFL, if I remember, and that allowed only EA to make NFL games, blocking other game companies. There's many instances of "barriers" without gov't intervention.
              There is absolutely no reason why another company cannot make a game in which adults play football. However, if you want to use the NFL name and logo, the NFL team names and logos, and the players' names to make money, then you had better have their permission.

              This isn't a "barrier", unless you think it should be fine for everyone to cash in on others' brands and images. Suppose a porn company decided to plaster Angelina Jolie's name and likeness on all their box covers. It might help sales for them, but Ms. Jolie would not have control over the use of her name and image. For the record, I fully support the idea of her in a porn movie.

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              • #8
                Re: Socialism

                Lee, that's what I meant (first paragraph, anyways). Imo, it's a barrier, not a great one, but a barrier none the less. People love brand names, and will gladly buy into them.

                Also, I second the motion of Jolie in a porn movie.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Socialism

                  Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                  Some context:



                  So if capitalism is bad, why have it at all? And if letting the government make resource allocation decisions is so good, why not let it make all resource allocation decisions?
                  Because not all capitalism is bad. Too much capitalism is. Likewise, letting the government allocate every resource, as people very ably point out, leads to economic and technological stagnation.

                  Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
                  The trick with captialism and monopoly is that a monopoly is not evil as long as there is no barrier to entry by a competitor.
                  Right, but when does that ever happen without government intervention?
                  I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Socialism

                    All the time? IBM had an effective monopoly on the business computer industry until they didn't. The big 3 had an effective monopoly on the US auto industry until they didn't. Do I need to continue?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Socialism

                      In the interest of bringing Dirtboy into this thread, I vote against Jolie and nominate Jessica Alba instead. (Although I'm thinking Jennifer Garner would be best.)

                      What is "too much capitalism"?

                      I prefer the term "free market", though, since for me the issue is one of liberty, not investment. I don't care whether someone can pile up their capital. I just want producers to have full say over what they produce. Whether they are employers or employees.

                      Socialism refers to the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community.[1] This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by collective ownership of the means of production, goals which have been attributed to, and claimed by, a number of political parties and governments throughout history, due to this, socialism has been identified with communism mainly because the distribution of wealth is controlled as a whole and not individually.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
                      http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9109587

                      Post if you have a better definition, so we're not arguing definitions but organizational principles.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Socialism

                        Alright, but are you all basically requiring me to defend socialism? I can, if you'd like, as an exercise, but I am not morally opposed to capitalism or automatically in favor of socialist systems. Personally, I favor capitalist economies with some sectors (most notably health care) controlled via socialist methods. However, that point has been missed by almost every poster in the previous thread except Kerostasis. Every one of you has jumped in with an attack on socialism itself, which was not what I was in favor of. I am not sure how many times I can say that. Further, attacking socialism does not attack socialized health care. All the calls of "stagnation" and so forth have no bearing on socialized medicine within a fundamentally capitalist economy. I mean, the military is fundamentally a socialist system within a capitalist economy. Its paid for by taxes, regulated entirely by the government, and not subject to market forces at all. How is that any different from a health care system paid for entirely by taxes, regulated by the government, and not subject to market forces? Hell, that's even more socialist than I want, since the removal of all market forces would be something I don't especially want to see.

                        So, lets be clear. Are we debating the merits of socialized health care, or socialism? Because if its socialism, be aware that any defense of it on my part is purely an academic exercise for my own enjoyment. Many of your points about socialism are correct (though, again, you conflate it far too heavily with communism)
                        I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Socialism

                          All I read was Jessica Alba...you leave her out of this discussion.
                          "Dirtboy is super awesome, and chicks dig him too!"- Everyone



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                          • #14
                            Re: Socialism

                            Hey Dirtboy! How's Vegas stack up to n. Iraq? Do you feel more or less safe?

                            Glad to see you're stateside. For the record, either Alba's probably hotter, but Jolie seems a little crazy in that good way, you know?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Socialism

                              Except Alba has this "I'm too good for you" vibe. Garner, OTOH, has a "I'll beat the crap out of you first, and then you can have your way with me" vibe.
                              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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