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Old 04-20-2010, 09:13 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf View Post
Seems a bit naive. Neither capitalism nor socialism really have anything to do with the common good. Socialism puts the "burden" of charity on govt (and ultimately the private sector via heavy taxation), whilst capitalism largely leaves it to individuals to decide. I'd say that the way both are practiced currently could be more or less described as such: capitalism is about equality of opportunity and socialism about equality (NOT quality, mind you) of outcome. This is even more pronounced in "communist" nations, where everyone that's not important (pretty much entire populations) has crappy quality of life. I'm thinking it's equally selfish of one to expect govt to pick up the tab for your miserable existence and does nothing to foster personal responsibility.
Socialism has everything to do with the common good - that's rather the point. The only thing that usually prevents it from operating as perhaps people would like is the manner in which it is implemented, which is where the problems of quality you talk about come in - perhaps naivety on the left's part, but there should be room for idealism in this world. Incidentally, this is not always the case anyway; just look at the Nordic countries such as Sweden, where they have very high taxation and fantastic welfare and, not coincidentally as far as i'm concenerned, a much higher quality of life than in America. which is not to say it is totally left-leaning, just that there is both freedom in the private sector (for better or worse) and good government provision. When i was in America i found the suburban areas despicably monotonous and chain-run - the influence of capitalism.

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Because, in a nutshell it is the taking, by force, of money from people who've earned it and then giving it to those who haven't. It's slavery.
that is one of the most ludicrous comparisions i have ever heard. slavery? really?

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Originally Posted by Evil Q View Post
They go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned. Conformists are far easier to deceive, oppress and enslave. It is easier to convince conformists that they aren't really slaves when, in fact, they are.
i can't understand how you equate left-leaning society with conformity - in my experience the right encourages conformity to a far greater extent through all this corporate 'team-building' ethos etc., not to mention the focus on equipping children for jobs rather than thinking - one of the few things i agree with Marxists on.

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Why not? I know that it's become clichéd and perhaps even unfashionable, but I wasn't aware that it had become a dirty word.
because Freedom as a world does not make sense unless you define the freedom from whom and to do what. absolute freedom seems to me to be perfect selfishness.
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Originally Posted by Evil Q View Post
No. I'm well aware of the need for the rule of law. The problem is that the law has been corrupted to the point that we are now under the rule of an oligarchy of sorts, which is precisely what the founding fathers wanted to avoid when they wrote the constitution and its amendments.
i assume by 'we' you mean America? i'm british so i'll take your word for it but i can accept that point. Oligarchies are very much more symptomatic of capitalist, money-driven societies (hence the name) than socialist societies.
Explained above, and, yes, I'm very cynical, especially in certain situations. Who isn't at my age?[/QUOTE]
too much so perhaps.
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When and where has it ever managed to do that? I'm fairly certain that socialism sacrifices individual freedom on the altar of "the common good".
as i said above, freedom is not this holy grail of human life we should all aspir to at any cost - sacrifices should be made if we don't want to end up lonely, parasitic leeches as the higher-ups in capitalist businesses seem to be.
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I'm sure that's what you've been taught. It is my belief that a system designed around the way people actually are here in reality is going to work better than a system that forces people to conform to an ideal and destroys the people who can't or won't. Or at least it will as long as the government doesn't try to sabotage it for its own ends. Yes, people should give more, but they should be encouraged to do so voluntarily, and not at gunpoint. Voluntary altruism is charity. Involuntary altruism is slavery. I'd rather live in a society that gives me a choice, be it charitable or selfish.
your idea of voluntary charity seems incompatible with your view that we all need freedom and shouldn't give unless we hamper that persons ability to think for themselves, and also the fact that people are by their nature are too selfish too anyway. you seem to advocating a 'survival of the fittest' sort of thing. humans formed society for a reason - because we are not a collection of disparate individuals fighting for our lives, a viewpoint that seems unnecessarily cynical and pessimistic. for the record i do not believe in communism or the far ends of socialism but i do believe that for all our sakes it pays to be left-leaning as opposed to a '**** everyone else' view. capitalism seems to be an excuse for people to act on their misanthropic tendencies which is not going to help anyone.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Salzella View Post
Socialism has everything to do with the common good - that's rather the point. The only thing that usually prevents it from operating as perhaps people would like is the manner in which it is implemented, which is where the problems of quality you talk about come in - perhaps naivety on the left's part, but there should be room for idealism in this world. Incidentally, this is not always the case anyway; just look at the Nordic countries such as Sweden, where they have very high taxation and fantastic welfare and, not coincidentally as far as i'm concenerned, a much higher quality of life than in America. which is not to say it is totally left-leaning, just that there is both freedom in the private sector (for better or worse) and good government provision. When i was in America i found the suburban areas despicably monotonous and chain-run - the influence of capitalism.
No, the rhetoric of socialism has everything to do with claims of looking out for the common good. But then, how loosely is "common good" defined? I've been to several countries as well and can't say that I've been impressed enough with any of them to want to leave America and settle there. Some very interesting places to visit, but as the saying goes, I wouldn't want to live there. Guess we'll have to chalk up our differences to our own enculturations.


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Old 04-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Salzella View Post
just look at the Nordic countries such as Sweden, where they have very high taxation and fantastic welfare and, not coincidentally as far as i'm concenerned, a much higher quality of life than in America
Well, that's your opinion, though I very much doubt that that is truly the case.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
When i was in America i found the suburban areas despicably monotonous and chain-run - the influence of capitalism.
Once again, that's your opinion; not fact. I'm not too fond of "vinyl villages" myself, but they exist for the sake of convenience for people who don't want to reside in apartments but still want to live close to their workplace. Is that "the influence of capitalism" that you refer to?
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Originally Posted by Salzella
that is one of the most ludicrous comparisions i have ever heard. slavery? really?
Yes. Really. Take away all of the legality and political sugar-coating and slavery is precisely what you're left with.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
i can't understand how you equate left-leaning society with conformity - in my experience the right encourages conformity to a far greater extent through all this corporate 'team-building' ethos etc., not to mention the focus on equipping children for jobs rather than thinking - one of the few things i agree with Marxists on.
Aren't children supposed to be equipped for jobs so that they can actually provide for themselves when they reach adulthood? I disagree that conformity is a result of capitalism, but you know, you're right. Schoolchildren in left-leaning societies are indeed encouraged to think, and it comes as no surprise that it happens to be precisely what you think.

Unfortunately, the teacher's union in my country is extremely left-leaning and conformity forms the basis of their curriculum. I know because I've been through it.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
because Freedom as a world does not make sense unless you define the freedom from whom and to do what. absolute freedom seems to me to be perfect selfishness.
I've read that argument countless times and my answer to it is this:
Should people be selfish? No, but they should still have the freedom to be selfish if they want to be. Taking away that choice is tyrannical.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
i assume by 'we' you mean America?
Yes.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
i'm british so i'll take your word for it but i can accept that point.
Well, that explains a lot regarding your point of view. How about a little allegory from your own country's history? I give you the R100 verses the R101.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
Oligarchies are very much more symptomatic of capitalist, money-driven societies (hence the name) than socialist societies.
In the strictest sense of the term you are correct, but I was referring to a new aristocracy in my country made up of members of the government who are, incidentally, wealthy, powerful and firmly entrenched because the voters are usually restricted to choosing between one faction of this aristocracy or the other.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
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Originally Posted by Evil Q
Explained above, and, yes, I'm very cynical, especially in certain situations. Who isn't at my age?
too much so perhaps.
See if you're still of the same opinion in a decade or so.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
as i said above, freedom is not this holy grail of human life we should all aspir to at any cost
Fundamental disagreement, here. In my opinion, freedom is just about the only thing worth living for. Without it there is no hope for the future.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
- sacrifices should be made
This statement, or one very similar to it, is spoken several times by the antagonists in Atlas Shrugged in an effort to justify destroying the nation's economy. Scary. If "sacrifices must be made" for the good of society, then feel free to make them yourself. Go ahead; knock yourself out. But if you try to force me to do it against my will you're in for a world of hurt because that would constitute an act of war as far as I'm concerned.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
if we don't want to end up lonely, parasitic leeches as the higher-ups in capitalist businesses seem to be.
Are you referring to the people who provide everyone else with jobs? Do you think that a nation's only employer should be its government? Employers are only "parasitic leeches" if their business practices are unscrupulous, and, yes, I believe that there should laws in place to prevent such practices, but not to the extent that has the government strictly controlling everything.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
your idea of voluntary charity seems incompatible with your view that we all need freedom and shouldn't give unless we hamper that persons ability to think for themselves, and also the fact that people are by their nature are too selfish too anyway.
I never said that people shouldn't give; only that they should not be forced to give. It's the basic principle of forcing people to be charitable that I have a problem with, not the charity itself.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
you seem to advocating a 'survival of the fittest' sort of thing. humans formed society for a reason - because we are not a collection of disparate individuals fighting for our lives, a viewpoint that seems unnecessarily cynical and pessimistic.
Or merely realistic.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
for the record i do not believe in communism or the far ends of socialism
You honestly could've fooled me.
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Originally Posted by Salzella
but i do believe that for all our sakes it pays to be left-leaning as opposed to a '**** everyone else' view.
How can a society be called "free" if no one is allowed to possess any point of view that is deemed to be "bad" or politically incorrect?
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Originally Posted by Salzella
capitalism seems to be an excuse for people to act on their misanthropic tendencies which is not going to help anyone.
I'd rather be labeled a misanthrope than a pod-person. And I'm going to go as far as to say that, after everything that our marvelous society has taken from me by force in the first half of my life, I am of the opinion that, as far as the second half is concerned, I don't owe society jack ****. If that's "selfish" and "misanthropic", then so be it; I can live with that. If you don't like it, well, that's just too bad. At least for now, I am still afforded the freedom to hold any opinion that I want to; so I'm going to.


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Last edited by Q; 04-20-2010 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #44
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Socialism has everything to do with the common good - that's rather the point. The only thing that usually prevents it from operating as perhaps people would like is the manner in which it is implemented,
By the human element itself. It is and always will be botched as a result of human nature. Just like capitalism. Just because it is government doesn't necessarily mean it's any more in the right (correct, ethical, moral--what we associate with good and in many cases common good).

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which is where the problems of quality you talk about come in - perhaps naivety on the left's part, but there should be room for idealism in this world.
There already is room for idealism in freedom of speech. That's why we debate and discuss.

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which is not to say it is totally left-leaning, just that there is both freedom in the private sector (for better or worse) and good government provision.
And then you have other places where people could give a flip because they'll be paid no matter what anyways, if they only just meet some minimum standard (hardly a mindset to accomplish quality).

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because Freedom as a world does not make sense unless you define the freedom from whom and to do what. absolute freedom seems to me to be perfect selfishness.
To you, maybe. To me it implies responsibility as it should, as should it with any remotely reasonable person.

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Oligarchies are very much more symptomatic of capitalist, money-driven societies (hence the name) than socialist societies.
Oligopolies that control markets are symptomatic of capitalism. It does not have any political control.
Oligarchy is where Government works with companies which are more or less (often less because of its clout--making money for the government) regulated. This is so with public and unionized companies.

Socialism is not communism so it must be... selectively capitalist. It's where government controls, owns, runs, or is in some major way is a part of the market. Considering how public and unionized companies tend to get coddled much more than private companies (which is a liberal leaning capitalist model), I would say oligarchy is symptomatic of socialism. That doesn't necessarily make it any more for the common good. Sure that's debatable but in these instances you get practically an invite for terribly over-designed regulation which always ends in red tape bureaucracy that hampers effectiveness of voting or directly doing much of anything.

Then you also have government jobs which are by definition not competitive--which I'm still trying to figure out how they will revitalize the economy simply because it's "providing jobs for people".

Maybe this is a different view than others here but socialism can be capitalist: a company for profits is a company for profits regardless if it's private or public. So now the government is the C.E.O. and the rule maker.


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Old 04-22-2010, 12:00 AM   #45
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capitalism is about equality of opportunity
At what times did this ever happened? I can't recall it ever off papers and theories on the system's functionality, with little to no relation to realiy. Empirical evidence (and we just need to open our eyes at any shantyhouse out there, unless it's properly hidden as governments often make an effort to do) has shown that equality of opportunity (and luck) in nonexistent.

How can anybody argue with a straight face that someone who during his or her whole childhood barely has enough to feed on is in equal starting ground as another kid pampered from birth and given every basic need satisfied? And considering that capitalism requires permanent misery for some unlucky populational stripe, crushing chances are that our Joe/Jane Doe from the first example isn't going to be someone living on at least decent human condition.

And, well, I didn't even name countries and places in which the "less-favored" consists in way more than half the population.


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Old 04-22-2010, 01:03 AM   #46
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At what times did this ever happened? I can't recall it ever off papers and theories on the system's functionality, with little to no relation to realiy. Empirical evidence (and we just need to open our eyes at any shantyhouse out there, unless it's properly hidden as governments often make an effort to do) has shown that equality of opportunity (and luck) in nonexistent.

How can anybody argue with a straight face that someone who during his or her whole childhood barely has enough to feed on is in equal starting ground as another kid pampered from birth and given every basic need satisfied? And considering that capitalism requires permanent misery for some unlucky populational stripe, crushing chances are that our Joe/Jane Doe from the first example isn't going to be someone living on at least decent human condition.

And, well, I didn't even name countries and places in which the "less-favored" consists in way more than half the population.
No offense, but you're conflating outcome w/opportunity. I'm merely speaking of the fact that in the capitalist system a poor person has as much a chance as someone born in a rich family to attempt to succeed on his own merits...if he seizes or recognizes the opportunity before him. It does not mean that he will BE as successful, just that if he applies himself he has the chance to do it. But let's be honest, most people don't have enough drive and/or ambition (and yes, sometimes not even the talent) to succeed. Many people would rather have the govt give them a check and other goodies so they can focus on their own entertainment. World is full of people throughout history that rose above their circumstances. It's also full of trust fund morons that probably couldn't balance their own check book. But, like any economic system, capitalism and socialism's "successes" depend on a wider variety of circumstances than just whther your check comes from the private or public sectors. What does socialism do when it can no longer afford the level of goodies promised to it's populations? A declining birthrate in Europe, and lackluster productivity, coupled with a burgeoning debt due to socialism's promise of cradle to grave benefits will make for an interesting case study. Even America faces a burgeoning crisis brought on by too many promises of govt support and not enough revenue to pay for them.


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Old 05-11-2010, 09:06 AM   #47
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I never cease to be taken aback by the American cultural tendency to interpret socialism as collectivism and capitalism and libertarianism.

socialism is just subsidy. Switzerland is a parliamentary democracy practising socialist economics, the degree of subsidy varies between parties and terms.

the Australian Labor Party is nationalist-socialist (a formal member of socialist international, but where the Nazi Party was autocracy the ALP are closest to Menshevism by policy, so are closer to communism than nazism despite inferrence of concise labelling).

France runs basically on Menshevism.

The CIS which is most of Eastern Europe (chased back into the hands of the Kremlin by US foreign policy in the last twenty years), were of course Bolshevik during USSR but soviets (unions/workers councils) still hold a lot of power I guess you could sort of call them default Menshevists with overtones of extreme corruption atm.

Republicans are basically Nationalists, despite their capitalist economic policy their right wingers have more in common with Nazism than say parliamentarianism, whilst their leftists have more in common with Stalinism.

And capitalism as any kind of governing authority by and of itself is nothing more than purist corruption. It is libertine, not libertarian. Whilst socialism again as a governing authority by and of itself is nothing more than totalitarianism, subjugation is not really a welfare state.

The mistake being continually made is politically unaware individuals assuming there is only one way to intellectually define the world around us (the "correct" way), and that governing bodies are economic institutions. This is not the case. The same words mean completely different things to an American, a Frenchman or a Russian, and these differences directly alter economics where one is given political authority over another.


The only thing "socialism" or subsidy is going to do to the USA is make your evil and cruel health and welfare systems more human and more humane, and perhaps eventually it might even shift your social culturing towards less "live and let die" greedy, selfish and entitled attitudes.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with governing, just economics.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #48
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I never cease to be taken aback by the American cultural tendency to interpret socialism as collectivism and capitalism and libertarianism.

socialism is just subsidy. Switzerland is a parliamentary democracy practising socialist economics, the degree of subsidy varies between parties and terms.

the Australian Labor Party is nationalist-socialist (a formal member of socialist international, but where the Nazi Party was autocracy the ALP are closest to Menshevism by policy, so are closer to communism than nazism despite inferrence of concise labelling).

France runs basically on Menshevism.

The CIS which is most of Eastern Europe (chased back into the hands of the Kremlin by US foreign policy in the last twenty years), were of course Bolshevik during USSR but soviets (unions/workers councils) still hold a lot of power I guess you could sort of call them default Menshevists with overtones of extreme corruption atm.

Republicans are basically Nationalists, despite their capitalist economic policy their right wingers have more in common with Nazism than say parliamentarianism, whilst their leftists have more in common with Stalinism.

And capitalism as any kind of governing authority by and of itself is nothing more than purist corruption. It is libertine, not libertarian. Whilst socialism again as a governing authority by and of itself is nothing more than totalitarianism, subjugation is not really a welfare state.

The mistake being continually made is politically unaware individuals assuming there is only one way to intellectually define the world around us (the "correct" way), and that governing bodies are economic institutions. This is not the case. The same words mean completely different things to an American, a Frenchman or a Russian, and these differences directly alter economics where one is given political authority over another.


The only thing "socialism" or subsidy is going to do to the USA is make your evil and cruel health and welfare systems more human and more humane, and perhaps eventually it might even shift your social culturing towards less "live and let die" greedy, selfish and entitled attitudes.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with governing, just economics.
Finally, I find someone who I agree with 100%.


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Old 05-13-2010, 07:59 PM   #49
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The only thing "socialism" or subsidy is going to do to the USA is make your evil and cruel health and welfare systems more human and more humane, and perhaps eventually it might even shift your social culturing towards less "live and let die" greedy, selfish and entitled attitudes.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with governing, just economics.
Like Greece, Spain and the UK. All of their economic systems are based on the socialism structure and look where they are financially with their "humane" health care systems.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:28 AM   #50
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Like Greece, Spain and the UK. All of their economic systems are based on the socialism structure and look where they are financially with their "humane" health care systems.
Not true, this is again the product of Americanism in political definement. You're calling subsidy and "socialism" interchangeable terms again, which is the age old "Reds under the Bed" Cold War paranoia.

They are industrial economies under parliamentary government. Socialism is a clean sweep of capitalist economy in legislative terms, a paradigm shift.

Even when we have the ALP in federal parliament Australia remains a "democratic monarchy," it doesn't suddenly switch to a socialist republic. This is because federal parliament trumps individual parties as a legislative body, pride of place secured by the Australian Constitution. We frequently have a socialist party in power yet remain a capitalist nation by strict definition.

Spain has a fascist history and greece has socialist tendencies, however their economies remain industrial (ours was once colonial). If anything their financial woes are more an example of capitalist failing than they are of socialist failing.

France uses an institutional socialist economy, so does Switzerland and Finland. Those are the strict west European examples of socialism, they haven't done too badly at all, France did better in the last thirty years than most of western Europe combined, maintaining a similar standard of living with much greater defence spending.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:45 AM   #51
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No matter what term you wish to use, socialist or statist or something else, the subsidizing of the Greek population by it's govt has been a big source of Greece's problems. At some point they, the govt, are no longer going to be able to do so and then the people revolt b/c their sense of entitlement has been offended. It's difficult to generate wealth when the govt is robbing peter to pay paul so it can get perpetually reelected. Frankly, it's merely a conceit to claim that "socializing" America's health and welfare system will make it somehow more humane or human. It just shilfts control from an arguably impersonal private sector to an unaccountable public one.


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Old 05-14-2010, 08:12 AM   #52
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...the subsidizing of the Greek population by it's govt has been a big source of Greece's problems.
It would be customary to qualify the statement (evidentiary procedure), then point out how that extrapolates the generalised claim.

For example, let me toss out, "No subsidy had nothing to do with it. It was corruption."

You might also explain why Australian economy isn't in third world nation status when we subsidise flagrantly. Medicare, I don't pay for any mandatory medical care, not a cent. I pay a yearly levy in taxes, a few hundred bucks I never notice. You know how much I pay for $100 medication, 5 bucks. Welfare, if I'm unemployed I get benefits...forever. If I'm invalid, elderly, disabled, pension. Must be paying ridiculous taxes? Got a payslip right here. Taxable $677, Nett $633. Y'know how much my tax return was last year? $1200.

Dude, trust me, subsidy is working. Really, really well. You guys, yanks, you've got some serious brain related troubles in your government offices over there.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:44 AM   #53
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You guys, yanks, you've got some serious brain related troubles in your government offices over there.
Australia population: 21 M
US population 300 M

Australia military budget:Appx $15B US
US military budget: Appx $540B US

Australian medical budget: Couldn't find hard numbers
US Medical budget :$394.5B US Medicare + $276.4B US Medicaid (HOLY CRAP!!! We actually DID spend more on healthcare than military and this was under Bush)

Now seems to me that we just aren't getting our money's worth out of medicare and medicaid. I blame it on the numbers of supervisors and administrators. The efficiency of Medicare and Medicaid is sorely lacking. Currently we are spending around 750B US on Medicare and Medicaid. That does not include the 700B we also spend on social security, or the 570 in other mandatory expenses(including Welfare). Now, I'm no financial genius, but you'd think that the TRILLION PLUS we spend on medicare, medicaid and SS would get us a bit more than health care for a few people. It seems that we should expect more bang for our buck.

Heck with JUST medicare and medicaid, if we take that money and put it aside solely for funding medical needs, the entire population of the US would have 2500 extra for medical expenses PER YEAR. NOW, that population number includes people that can afford better insurance(appx 70% of the population) so we're left with around 10k per person per year.... average health care cost per person? around $7500

edit: please don't beat me up too much over the numbers, I just did quick searches.


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Old 05-14-2010, 12:58 PM   #54
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No matter what term you wish to use, socialist or statist or something else, the subsidizing of the Greek population by it's govt has been a big source of Greece's problems. At some point they, the govt, are no longer going to be able to do so and then the people revolt b/c their sense of entitlement has been offended.
Oh come on. The problem with Greece is not that it is socialist (it's not), it's that it's poorly run, and in Europe you could look at several more socialist examples, although we're still talking only in comparision to America and it's bizarre fear of anything even slightly red, that are in fact propping up Greece, to varying extents. The Nordic countries for example. And in any case the recent troubles are not in fact down entirely to the government.

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At some point they, the govt, are no longer going to be able to do so and then the people revolt b/c their sense of entitlement has been offended. It's difficult to generate wealth when the govt is robbing peter to pay paul so it can get perpetually reelected.
That is a series of pretty extraordinary assumptions. Firstly, I can't see it being true that a people under a government that has some sort of welfare protection is more likely to revolt than one where the government does nothing. Secondly, the protests in Greece are largely down not to the government, but due to the financial speculators who made the market panic by downgrading the bonds, and I find it sickening that a small clique of suits in Wall street can panic a massive insitution such as the EU, not to mention the organisations that it is connected to, just because they get a bit jittery about payments, which let's not forget was not a problem before the economy tanked...

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Frankly, it's merely a conceit to claim that "socializing" America's health and welfare system will make it somehow more humane or human. It just shilfts control from an arguably impersonal private sector to an unaccountable public one.
No, it's not. Capitalist healthcare is, by definition, not human; it is faceless, it is corporate, it is regulated. That seems to be a large part of the appeal of the whole system for some. Also, a public body is, again by definition, accountable. That is largely the point of it being associated with government and it is why the NHS in the UK is accountable, and part of the reason we value it so much, even though it is bloated and inefficient, is because we can look across the Atlantic and see how much worse off we could be.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:35 PM   #55
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No, it's not. Capitalist healthcare is, by definition, not human; it is faceless, it is corporate, it is regulated. That seems to be a large part of the appeal of the whole system for some. Also, a public body is, again by definition, accountable. That is largely the point of it being associated with government and it is why the NHS in the UK is accountable, and part of the reason we value it so much, even though it is bloated and inefficient, is because we can look across the Atlantic and see how much worse off we could be.
Sorry, but for all your talk of assumptions, you forget the key problem with government run healthcare is it depends on the government. In the US that relies on the US government. Ask yourself this: Would you trust your healthcare in the hands of either party? If you would trust the Dems to do it, would you trust the Republicans to take care of you properly? Is it too far removed to think that a future US administration(or rather congress) might add in a requirement of government service to have access to this healthcare. Some requirement that military service is required?

Keep in mind persons in the military have experienced a type of government run healthcare. Look at the VA and it's bloated inefficient and pretty dismal treatment of patients(in many areas). When I was in the service, they pretty well prescribed whatever the drug of the month was to everyone. We used to joke about how they would give prescription strength Tylenol for everything. Viral infection? Tylenol. Pneumonia? Tylenol. Broken leg? Tylenol. Necrotizong Faciitis? Tylenol. (Though I hear they use Vicodin now)


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #56
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Assuming that nationalised healthcare will be bad because it's 'run by the government' is the biggest and daftest assumption you could make, and could well end up a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm guessing from the quote in your signature you don't view governments with a fantasic amount of good faith. Well, fine. However, I would trust the government to do it because Governments have a mandate to govern, ie. provide the best possible service to people in the areas in which it holds power, and in a country as large, rich and (apparently) willing as the US of A then I would think it a pretty good bet that the healthcare would be of good quality. Private companies have no such mandate and their interests are beyond regulation, and as such it's slick and faceless, but overall a) not universal which we already know and b) largely unconcerned with the extent to which it gets people better beyond the impact that it has on their (considerable no doubt) pay packets. I know which of the two I would rather have looking after me.

Also, conflating public healthcare with military healthcare is daft because they are two completely seperate institutions and furthermore I'm guessing that the former is going to be a hell of a lot better funded and run than the latter.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #57
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Assuming that nationalised healthcare will be bad because it's 'run by the government' is the biggest and daftest assumption you could make, and could well end up a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm guessing from the quote in your signature you don't view governments with a fantasic amount of good faith. Well, fine. However, I would trust the government to do it because Governments have a mandate to govern, ie. provide the best possible service to people in the areas in which it holds power, and in a country as large, rich and (apparently) willing as the US of A then I would think it a pretty good bet that the healthcare would be of good quality. Private companies have no such mandate and their interests are beyond regulation, and as such it's slick and faceless, but overall a) not universal which we already know and b) largely unconcerned with the extent to which it gets people better beyond the impact that it has on their (considerable no doubt) pay packets. I know which of the two I would rather have looking after me.

Also, conflating public healthcare with military healthcare is daft because they are two completely seperate institutions and furthermore I'm guessing that the former is going to be a hell of a lot better funded and run than the latter.
My quote is from one of the founding fathers of this country. It just so happens that HE didn't trust the government either.

As for whether ANY government can do it: Well I'm sure one can. I just don't have faith in the US government to run anything all that well. Look at all the waste fraud and abuse ALREADY in the system. Now we add a huge bureaucracy to that. and we'll end up with VA healthcare(not military healthcare) which getting them to reverse a "no" decision just about requires an act of congress.

Again, I point out that even if you trust THIS administration with your health, ask yourself if you would trust say... the Bush administration with your health.


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:53 PM   #58
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Oh come on. The problem with Greece is not that it is socialist (it's not), it's that it's poorly run, and in Europe you could look at several more socialist examples, although we're still talking only in comparision to America and it's bizarre fear of anything even slightly red, that are in fact propping up Greece, to varying extents. The Nordic countries for example. And in any case the recent troubles are not in fact down entirely to the government.
Slightly red? You mean like Social Security, welfare and Medicaid....all of which have existed in America for several decades already and don't appear in any real danger of going away, other than by potential insolvency? As to who's to blame in Greece, are you absolving govt of any responsibility or is this another one of those anti-capitalist argumants you're making? I never said Greece's problem was ENTIRELY the govt anyway. But you have to admit they were promising subsidy levels that were economically unsustainable.

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That is a series of pretty extraordinary assumptions. Firstly, I can't see it being true that a people under a government that has some sort of welfare protection is more likely to revolt than one where the government does nothing.
Nice strawman. Not making comparisons between two seperate systems. Greece is under significant financial strain and the people who've gotten used to being heavily subsidized now face austerity measures and are being egged on by communists and other malcontents to riot in the streets. The Germans are even being villified for not wanting to subsidize Greek irresponsibility.

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Secondly, the protests in Greece are largely down not to the government, but due to the financial speculators who made the market panic by downgrading the bonds, and I find it sickening that a small clique of suits in Wall street can panic a massive insitution such as the EU, not to mention the organisations that it is connected to, just because they get a bit jittery about payments, which let's not forget was not a problem before the economy tanked...
The protests in Greece are mostly about the fact that they will now have to make hard choices and not get by on someone else's dime. Whether they scapegoat Wall Street or their own govt's incompetence is irrelevant. They only want their subsidies and don't care who has to finance it. And when economies are "good" and everyone can make their payments, no one worries. When people start defaulting, then it becomes an issue. Basic logic.

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No, it's not. Capitalist healthcare is, by definition, not human; it is faceless, it is corporate, it is regulated. That seems to be a large part of the appeal of the whole system for some. Also, a public body is, again by definition, accountable. That is largely the point of it being associated with government and it is why the NHS in the UK is accountable, and part of the reason we value it so much, even though it is bloated and inefficient, is because we can look across the Atlantic and see how much worse off we could be.
Socialst healthcare is no less faceless than capitalist healthcare. It is also regulated, usually by the very entity that provides it in the first place. No, a public body that is a faceless bureaucracy is no more accountable in the end than a private corporation. Except in cases where a govt allows for a virtual monopoly, regionally or nationally, corporations are also accountable in the end. Both to the govt itself and to the shifting sands of popular opinion. Seeing as how I've never experienced the horrors of "capitalist healthcare" that many across the pond seem to think exist (and I've gone periods of years w/o health insurance), I can say I'm glad I'm not stuck (yet?) w/ "socialist healthcare".

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Also, conflating public healthcare with military healthcare is daft because they are two completely seperate institutions and furthermore I'm guessing that the former is going to be a hell of a lot better funded and run than the latter.
Can I interest you in a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.

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You might also explain why Australian economy isn't in third world nation status when we subsidise flagrantly. Medicare, I don't pay for any mandatory medical care, not a cent. I pay a yearly levy in taxes, a few hundred bucks I never notice. You know how much I pay for $100 medication, 5 bucks. Welfare, if I'm unemployed I get benefits...forever. If I'm invalid, elderly, disabled, pension. Must be paying ridiculous taxes? Got a payslip right here. Taxable $677, Nett $633. Y'know how much my tax return was last year? $1200.

Dude, trust me, subsidy is working. Really, really well. You guys, yanks, you've got some serious brain related troubles in your government offices over there.
Subsidy is always great when someone else is carrying the freight.


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And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman

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Old 06-16-2010, 11:13 PM   #59
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Ayn Rand, one of my favorite writers, was one of the most pro-capitalist authors I've ever had the privilege of reading. I believe that she would be against so-called "corporate welfare" as well as welfare for individual people.

If capitalism involves competition among businesses, especially businesses which offer the same type of good or service, then why are some of them given government money? Shouldn't the free market be the sole decider of whether a given business can "compete" or not? Why should I, as a taxpayer, fund corporate subsidies? I may be ignorant, but this doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:25 AM   #60
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No, I wouldn't say ignorant. If the market is to decide, then there should be no subsidies for business. Otherwise you've basically only got crony capitalism. However, neither should there be public subsidies for individuals (barring the legitimately sick or incapacitated) or at least not w/o strict strings attached. Just like w/the service, if the govt is footing your bill, it gets to call the shots about what you'll need to do to qualify and where you may have to go as well.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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