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Capitalism vs. Statism

What is the best economic/social system?  

53 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the best economic/social system?

    • Anarchy
      10
    • Capitalism
      8
    • Communism
      2
    • Mixed-Economy (elements of capitalism and statism)
      23
    • Socialism
      10


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I'm worried that the world is sinking into statism, especially with election of Obama and his socialist policies. (Not a republican: just pointing that out)

 

Statism is any theory that some men have the power to rule over and initiate force on other men. So, any theory but capitalism in the poll is statism, or at least some elements of statism.

 

I say that if you love life, reason and mankind, and you believe reality is objective, you have no choice but to pick capitalism. Capitalism is the only system where initiating force is banned from all human relationships and all property is privately owned. The only organization that is legally allowed to use force is the government and they can only use it in retaliation. (e.g. punishing murders since they initiated force against other men by killing them. Remember: the initiation of force is banned, even by the government!)

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What makes people think large corporations will be more efficient than state bureaucracy? Both are human institutions, subject to human flaws in communication, organization, and execution. The biggest difference between the two is that one of them is run for profit, the goal being the consumer's wallet. The other is run for the benefit of the person, with democratically elected officials at the top.

 

That said, for most institutions, the market system has proven the most efficient in the long run. State run organizations with no competitors are just as bad as corporate monopolies. A pure capitalist society will fall economically just as hard as the old-school USSR system would have, had it continued the way it did during the Stalin years. The government needs to set limitations to keep cost-of-entrance to the market low, and market share spread through many firms.

 

The government's purpose also needs to include regulation of corporations on lower levels. Wage minimums and safety minimums and the like. America, at one point, was essentially purely capitalist state in the early 1900s. That wasn't going to well, for sure. There is a reason Upton Sinclair was awarded so highly for his novel The Jungle. His writings do not exaggerate any aspect of the situation; President Roosevelt visited the meat packing boroughs after reading his novel, and started some major changes afterward.

 

From the Reagon years toward now, there has been a frightening trend of deregulation. Hell, just a couple weeks ago a drug company in Minnesota was granted monopoly on an injection-contraceptive drug. Before, it was priced from $10-40, and after being granted a monopoly, the firm rose the price to over $10,000. I'm counting the days until the government figures out how to reverse the situation. (I won't even touch on the environment, and Reagon's famous quote "Trees produce more pollution than cars" except for this single sentence, just so I can get a snide anti-Reagon remark in)

 

So how capitalist do we go? We can't go to the extreme right and expect simple "supply and demand" sort things out. Too far to the left, and you see the failure of the Soviet Union. We know that for most industries, the market system proves the most efficient, although inherently evil, as greed and profit are the ultimate goals. In theory, the government system is purely beneficial in democratic societies.

 

The best system is the mixed economy, a la many European countries. Public healthcare systems are undoubtedly better off run by the people. The European countries with public systems look down on America as a backwards country. Their healthcare costs a small fraction of ours (Imagine not paying a cent for an unconscious ambulance ride that costs $1,100 in the US), is just as good for 99% of issues (the "line waiting" business is right-wing bullshit, btw. If you're having a seizure, you're getting to the ER ASAP. If you have a compound fracture, you're not going to be told to sit around for a couple days. If you have a problem that you need to talk to your doctor about, you just schedule an appointment like Americans do now). What would be best is a public system combined with the market insurance system, a la some European countries. Private corporations compete with the public, and if they can offer better coverage for less, than fucking go for it.

 

 

Tl:DR: Mixed Economy. Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, etc. Their people live the longest, healthiest lives, and are ranked on the top of nearly all other countries on general happiness of the public. Highest standard of living, cheapest healthcare, high marks on freedom of the press (America isn't on the top, sorry to burst your bubbles. JULIAN ASSANGE), and high education marks. They make America look like hicktown.

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Honestly, anarchy is the best form of government, but can never exist. Someone will form a group and try to be a dictator, or president, or something else along those lines...

 

Second best would be a form of dictatorship in which the dictator is chosen specifically because of his/her unwillingness to rule... Essentially the dictator would only be there to form a defense force if someone else tries to take over.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I voted for Anarchy...but.... it'll never happen

 

 

Anarchy might be the best way to go.

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are we talking laissez faire capitalism or controlled economy capitalism?

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What makes people think large corporations will be more efficient than state bureaucracy? Both are human institutions, subject to human flaws in communication, organization, and execution. The biggest difference between the two is that one of them is run for profit, the goal being the consumer's wallet. The other is run for the benefit of the person, with democratically elected officials at the top.

 

What's wrong with profit motive?

 

When you say benefit to the person, what benefit? And to whom? By whom? Who decides what that benefit is? What gives them the right to decide what that benefit is and initiate force against the citizens to get the fruits of their labor?

 

That said, for most institutions, the market system has proven the most efficient in the long run. State run organizations with no competitors are just as bad as corporate monopolies.

 

Now, by corporate monopoly, I assume you mean a business that's so successful in the free market i.e. it's able to provide better goods to more people at better qualities at lower prices, that its competitors can't compete. What's wrong with that and how is it bad?

 

A pure capitalist society will fall economically just as hard as the old-school USSR system would have, had it continued the way it did during the Stalin years. The government needs to set limitations to keep cost-of-entrance to the market low, and market share spread through many firms.

 

Why would it fail? Keep in mind, throughout history, there has been no pure capitalist system. I mean pure lassiez-faire capitalism. During the Stalin years, USA was a mixed-economy. Are you saying that would fail?

 

The government needs to set...market share spread through many firms.

 

"Market share" belongs to the few individuals who's time and effort is the reason why it's there. It's private property. Why does the government have the right to tell them how to use their own property?

 

The government needs to...keep cost-of-entrance to the market low. The government's purpose also needs to include regulation of corporations on lower levels. Wage minimums and safety minimums and the like.

 

This does not work. You can't be advocating two completely opposing ideas. Cost-of-entrance can't be low while also mandating wage minimums and safety minimums. Safety standards and minimum wages are expensive. So much for your low cost-of-entrance.

 

Remember FDR's raise of the minimum wage to fight the depression? He just made things worse! Smaller businesses couldn't continue to run; workers became too expensive.

 

I agree that it should be assumed that a workplace won't kill a worker who doesn't know the risks. That's why if a person is harmed in the workplace, they should be able to take legal action against their employer. Therefore, it's up to the employer to make sure it's safe. But it's not up to the government to decide what's safe and what's not. It's arbitrary manipulation of private property.

 

Hell, just a couple weeks ago a drug company in Minnesota was granted monopoly on an injection-contraceptive drug.

 

I assume by "granted" you mean government subsidies and the government made it illegal to compete against this company. If this is the case, then that's a problem with mixed-economy and government intervention in the free market, not capitalism.

 

We know that for most industries, the market system proves the most efficient, although inherently evil, as greed and profit are the ultimate goals.

 

So greed and profit motive is inherently evil. Why is that exactly? Why is the desire to be prosperous and successful using the power of your mind "evil"? If evil is that which is detrimental to man, making money to sustain your life and flourish cannot possibly be considered evil.

 

The opposite of greed and profit motive is altruism and loss motive. Altruism is the theory that the purpose of your life is to sustain other lives at the cost of your own. I consider this to be one of the greatest evils. It is also insane to think that it's a virtue to feed another life but a vice to feed your own.

 

Loss motive is just stupid and nihilistic. Also, it's anti-life.

 

The best system is the mixed economy, a la many European countries. Public healthcare systems are undoubtedly better off run by the people. The European countries with public systems look down on America as a backwards country. Their healthcare costs a small fraction of ours (Imagine not paying a cent for an unconscious ambulance ride that costs $1,100 in the US), is just as good for 99% of issues (the "line waiting" business is right-wing bullshit, btw. If you're having a seizure, you're getting to the ER ASAP. If you have a compound fracture, you're not going to be told to sit around for a couple days. If you have a problem that you need to talk to your doctor about, you just schedule an appointment like Americans do now). What would be best is a public system combined with the market insurance system, a la some European countries. Private corporations compete with the public, and if they can offer better coverage for less, than fucking go for it.

 

Yeah, but at what cost? All these "public" offices are run by the government. The government does not produce anything; their only form of income is taking it from their citizens. Are you advocating robbing one man to pay for the unearned benefit of another? Why do you think you're entitled to someone else's hard earned money?

 

The wait time is bad. My dad is a doctor in Canada and he says the waiting rooms are packed. One of his colleagues went to the United States for some routine test, just so she wouldn't have to wait four months.

 

are we talking laissez faire capitalism or controlled economy capitalism?

 

There's no such thing as the latter. That's what you called socialism or communism, depending on the degree and structure.

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Implying that monopolies are in anyway efficient
Does not understand micoecononomics, how in monopolies marginal revenue is always less than the demand curve
Implying that cost of entrance is low in an economy run by monopolies
Implying that FDR made the depression worse. I don't even
Implying that it is easy for injured workers to sue their employers/Implying that employment contracts don't exist

I'm outta here, man. I don't even

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All of my responses will be in this color so I don't have to edit all this to be able to hit the specific points.

 

That said, for most institutions, the market system has proven the most efficient in the long run. State run organizations with no competitors are just as bad as corporate monopolies.

 

Now, by corporate monopoly, I assume you mean a business that's so successful in the free market i.e. it's able to provide better goods to more people at better qualities at lower prices, that its competitors can't compete. What's wrong with that and how is it bad?

 

I don't think he's talking about a competitive edge. A monopoly means it is the ONLY company producing a product, allowing them to set any price they want. (like the example he later gave of that pharmaceutical company raising the price of a product from $40 to $10000)

 

A competitive edge is the absolute best thing that can happen for a product as far as the consumer is concerned, and the worst as far as any competing company is concerned. It usually pushes competitors out of the market, and can sometimes cause monopolies (bad) which in turn raises consumer prices immensely if it is unregulated.

 

The government needs to set...market share spread through many firms.

 

"Market share" belongs to the few individuals who's time and effort is the reason why it's there. It's private property. Why does the government have the right to tell them how to use their own property?

 

I have a gun, should I be able to use it to kill everyone who annoys me? That's where that reasoning falls apart. The government is only supposed to protect it's people from injustice, and do nothing else. Of course, that never happens for long with all these assholes that inevitably get in charge...

 

The government needs to...keep cost-of-entrance to the market low. The government's purpose also needs to include regulation of corporations on lower levels. Wage minimums and safety minimums and the like.

 

This does not work. You can't be advocating two completely opposing ideas. Cost-of-entrance can't be low while also mandating wage minimums and safety minimums. Safety standards and minimum wages are expensive. So much for your low cost-of-entrance.

 

Remember FDR's raise of the minimum wage to fight the depression? He just made things worse! Smaller businesses couldn't continue to run; workers became too expensive.

 

Low cost of entrance into the market can easily be made to reduce minimum wage restrictions, and benefits requirements for small businesses. It's when every corporation/business of every size has the exact same requirements that government regulation fails in it's efforts.

 

I agree that it should be assumed that a workplace won't kill a worker who doesn't know the risks. That's why if a person is harmed in the workplace, they should be able to take legal action against their employer. Therefore, it's up to the employer to make sure it's safe. But it's not up to the government to decide what's safe and what's not. It's arbitrary manipulation of private property.

 

Who do you think should determine the definition of "safe"? Government is the only place legal action can take place, government is the only force that can regulate safe practices, and government is the only one that can make it all come out entirely in your favor.

 

Hell, just a couple weeks ago a drug company in Minnesota was granted monopoly on an injection-contraceptive drug.

 

I assume by "granted" you mean government subsidies and the government made it illegal to compete against this company. If this is the case, then that's a problem with mixed-economy and government intervention in the free market, not capitalism.

 

"Granted" generally means "allowed". It just means they were not fined or regulated.

 

We know that for most industries, the market system proves the most efficient, although inherently evil, as greed and profit are the ultimate goals.

 

So greed and profit motive is inherently evil. Why is that exactly? Why is the desire to be prosperous and successful using the power of your mind "evil"? If evil is that which is detrimental to man, making money to sustain your life and flourish cannot possibly be considered evil.

 

The opposite of greed and profit motive is altruism and loss motive. Altruism is the theory that the purpose of your life is to sustain other lives at the cost of your own. I consider this to be one of the greatest evils. It is also insane to think that it's a virtue to feed another life but a vice to feed your own.

 

Loss motive is just stupid and nihilistic. Also, it's anti-life.

 

Greed is not "to get enough resources to survive/survive comfortably", it is however "to get as much resources as possible without regard for others". Lack of regard for others is about as evil as it gets for humans.

 

The best system is the mixed economy, a la many European countries. Public healthcare systems are undoubtedly better off run by the people. The European countries with public systems look down on America as a backwards country. Their healthcare costs a small fraction of ours (Imagine not paying a cent for an unconscious ambulance ride that costs $1,100 in the US), is just as good for 99% of issues (the "line waiting" business is right-wing bullshit, btw. If you're having a seizure, you're getting to the ER ASAP. If you have a compound fracture, you're not going to be told to sit around for a couple days. If you have a problem that you need to talk to your doctor about, you just schedule an appointment like Americans do now). What would be best is a public system combined with the market insurance system, a la some European countries. Private corporations compete with the public, and if they can offer better coverage for less, than fucking go for it.

 

Yeah, but at what cost? All these "public" offices are run by the government. The government does not produce anything; their only form of income is taking it from their citizens. Are you advocating robbing one man to pay for the unearned benefit of another? Why do you think you're entitled to someone else's hard earned money?

 

The wait time is bad. My dad is a doctor in Canada and he says the waiting rooms are packed. One of his colleagues went to the United States for some routine test, just so she wouldn't have to wait four months.

 

I agree with you on this one. Private healthcare/insurance has always been the best way.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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mixed all the way. Anarchy is impossible, and mixed is more stable then straight capitalism

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There's no such thing as the latter. That's what you called socialism or communism, depending on the degree and structure.

by controlled economy capitalism I mean mixed economy. Capitalist ideals, but rather than free market there are limitations set in place to try and deter monopolizing.

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Yo, in case you were wondering, the corporation responsible for the $10,000 price hike is KV Pharmaceuticals. There is now a senator pursuing them, a democrat for Ohio, with the ultimate goal of reversing the situation. Google it up, read all about it.

 

 

 

Peace out.

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Sorry for breaking you brain Waldo; come back when you get it fixed.

 

Here's a parting thought: If you don't like the company making their prices so high, why don't you just not buy from them and buy contraceptives that are cheaper? Condoms are pretty cheap and easy to get nowadays, I hear. Just because you can't afford the new contraceptive, does not mean that you have the right to tell them how to price it. You do not have a right to the product they produced. A democrat is pursuing them? Why am I not surprised that a member from one of the more statist parties are pursuing them? You know, the same party that passed that socialistic health care bill? When you say a democrat from Ohio is stopping them, that's not helping your case. I'm still confused about when you say "granted monopoly"; the only way a government can "grant" a monopoly is if they subsidize a company, or outlaw its competitors, but you said they did neither. Oh well. See you later.

 

Also, for the record, please don't put quote blocks around things I didn't say and then imply I said them; putting words in my mouth offends me and doesn't paint you in the best light.

 

I don't think he's talking about a competitive edge. A monopoly means it is the ONLY company producing a product, allowing them to set any price they want. (like the example he later gave of that pharmaceutical company raising the price of a product from $40 to $10000)

 

A competitive edge is the absolute best thing that can happen for a product as far as the consumer is concerned, and the worst as far as any competing company is concerned. It usually pushes competitors out of the market, and can sometimes cause monopolies (bad) which in turn raises consumer prices immensely if it is unregulated.

 

Right. Here in Toronto, the monopolistic power company is called "Toronto Hydro" and recently, they just released a pamphlet saying how the price of electricity will be very expensive during certain times and at others, electricity would be dirt cheap.

 

If us Torontonians were fed up with this, we would normally go to another power company to get a more reasonable plan, but we can't because the government outlawed all Toronto Hydro's competition. That is bad for competition and the free market.

 

Sometimes, a company will get so successful, that they'll drive all their top competitors out of business. In this case, it's still possible to compete with this company; if the "monopoly" drives their prices as high as they want, people will go to the smaller company since people would rather pay less for things.

 

A harmful monopoly like you described and like I described two paragraphs earlier can only be created by the government giving it subsidies, or outlawing all its competition.

 

I have a gun, should I be able to use it to kill everyone who annoys me? That's where that reasoning falls apart. The government is only supposed to protect it's people from injustice, and do nothing else. Of course, that never happens for long with all these assholes that inevitably get in charge...

 

I agree with what you say the purpose of the government is, but the fact that you made that analogy makes me think I didn't make myself clear enough:

 

Capitalism is a system where the initiation of force is banned; rights can only be violated from the initiation of force, like in your analogy. That's why murdering someone is illegal; you're depriving them through the initiation of force, the right to life. In capitalism, you're allowed to do anything you want as long as you don't violate anyone's rights. The property situation I described is an abuse of government power. What I meant to say is that if I have property, the government should not be allowed to tell me how I use it if I'm not using it to violate anyone's rights.

 

Who do you think should determine the definition of "safe"? Government is the only place legal action can take place, government is the only force that can regulate safe practices, and government is the only one that can make it all come out entirely in your favor.

 

Do you know what liability is? If I get hurt because of someone's else's negligence, they have to pay me in damages. "Safe" means that the employer makes sure they weren't negligent in anything i.e. nothing they did will hurt their worker.

 

Of course only the government can take legal actions; did I say anything to the contrary?

 

If my "regulate safe practices" you mean "make workplace codes in what the government believes is a safe workplace and shut down any company that does not comply", then no, it's not the government's job to do that. The government is supposed to protect rights; it's not up to them to decide if a workplace is safe or not. If you feel your workplace is not safe, take it up with your employer or go work for someone who does have a safe workplace. If not and you decide to continue working and you get hurt, you can sue your employer for negligence since it was his fault you got hurt.

 

"Greed is not "to get enough resources to survive/survive comfortably", it is however "to get as much resources as possible without regard for others". Lack of regard for others is about as evil as it gets for humans."

 

What do you mean by "without regard for others?" Do you mean to say that the attitude, "I'm going to rob this bank; I don't care how many people I'm hurting" is bad? If so, then I agree with you, and that would be illegal under capitalism.

 

Do you mean "My company is so successful; we provide so many products to so many people at such low prices and we're making so much money that my inferior competitor can't compete and has to close down and find another, usually lower-paying job." is evil? Then no, there's nothing evil in being successful. The inferior competitor does not have the right to compete with me. That's another thing about capitalism: it doesn't support and condone mediocrity.

 

If the government made me stop producing so much, make me make my prices so that the inferior business man can compete, take away the money that I earned "for public good", all in the name of "justice", they would be initiating force against me. THAT is true evil.

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I tend to agree with Heinlein that the "best" form of government is actually a Benevolent Tyranny.

 

The problem lies mostly in finding a benevolent tyrant. I would tend to nominate myself. I don't know anybody better.

 

I don't believe that you can successfully ban the initiation of force, because people are jerks.

 

And really, that's the problem with ALL these idealistic societies. They work GREAT, so long as everybody follows the rules.

 

But hello, Humans. When has this ever happened in our long history? I don't see that changing any time soon. Get back to me once we've all become programmable droids.

He just kept talking and talking in one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic...

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I tend to agree with Heinlein that the "best" form of government is actually a Benevolent Tyranny.

 

The problem lies mostly in finding a benevolent tyrant. I would tend to nominate myself. I don't know anybody better.

I believe I mentioned something similar earlier as being my preference too... We could co-rule and keep each other in check.

 

I don't believe that you can successfully ban the initiation of force, because people are jerks.

Yup.

 

And really, that's the problem with ALL these idealistic societies. They work GREAT, so long as everybody follows the rules.

 

But hello, Humans. When has this ever happened in our long history? I don't see that changing any time soon. Get back to me once we've all become programmable droids.

I'll get to work on those self-programing nanites shall I?

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I tend to agree with Heinlein that the "best" form of government is actually a Benevolent Tyranny.

 

A contradiction in terms.

 

I don't believe that you can successfully ban the initiation of force, because people are jerks.

 

People will initiate force granted, so the best we can do is retaliate against it. This is what I'm advocating.

 

But hello, Humans. When has this ever happened in our long history? I don't see that changing any time soon. Get back to me once we've all become programmable droids.

 

19th century USA was the most capitalist society in history and also no major wars took place with them. All major wars were statist countries battling for resources.

 

...except the Civil War, but that's different. The south was trying to secede to form a statist society.

 

I believe I mentioned something similar earlier as being my preference too... We could co-rule and keep each other in check.

 

That's not even tyranny; that's anarchy.

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I believe I mentioned something similar earlier as being my preference too... We could co-rule and keep each other in check.

 

That's not even tyranny; that's anarchy.

It's never anarchy if someone is in charge. You need to look up the definition of anarchy.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I tend to agree with Heinlein that the "best" form of government is actually a Benevolent Tyranny.

 

A contradiction in terms.

 

Not really. Though I should have used "Dictatorship" since "tyranny" carries too many negative connotations. Most good families are benevolent dictatorships. (Or maybe co-dictatorships.)

 

The problem, as I said, is finiding a Dictator (and note I'm using the OLD meaning of "Dictator.") who actually has the best interests of the citizenry at heart, and who is wise enough to lead, or wise enough to choose advisers to guide him in decision making in the areas in which he is not knowledgeable enough to lead on his own.

 

The best leaders, it is said, are those who surround themselves with advisers who are smarter than they are.

 

There have been good Dictators in the past. Lucius Quinctius Cincinattus is generally considertd the greatest. He was so well-regarded that many of the US's founders formed an organization named after him. George Washington was its first President.

 

Though I think I would need a little longer than Cincinattus did.

He just kept talking and talking in one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic...

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