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Socialism / Social Democracy

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Denmark -- how prosperity and social welfare can go together. https://t.co/ywdzOunegs #NYT-Krugman


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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"When people with diabetes ration their insulin because of rising costs, and some of them die, that’s a consequence of the distribution of property rights that exists in our society." #rdchat

 

When Will Capitalism Answer for Its Crimes?

People aren't turning to socialism because they're naive. They're turning to socialism because they know we don't have to live in misery.

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/capitalism-socialism-khmer-rouge-cambodia-china-famine-friedersdorf/

 

 

Capitalism: "How come no one is buying our stuff??"

Workers: "You need to pay higher wages so people can afford it."

Capitalism: "But we'll go out of business paying higher wages!"

Workers: "You'll go out of business if no one buys your sh!t."

Capitalism: "How?"

 

 

 

Jeff Bezos is worth $125 billion.

Median pay at @amazon is $28,000

10% of Amazon workers are on food stamps.

What Are Capitalists Thinking?

 

 

What Are Capitalists Thinking?

If they’re worried about what’s driving the growing appeal of socialism, they need to look in the mirror.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/opinion/what-are-capitalists-thinking.html


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

The alternative is to demonize the system's proponents.  I would rather discuss ideas than people.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

The alternative is to demonize the system's proponents.  I would rather discuss ideas than people.

 

Ideas are people, my friend.

 

-Mitt Romney

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Absurd to me the way people villainize capitalism to begin with. No economic system in history has ever led to an improved quality of life for such vast swaths of population as capitalism.

 

Can it run amok? Absolutely.

 

Does it need regulations? Damn straight.

 

But to assert that moving away from capitalism will lead to long term prosperity is reared by almost zero quantifiable evidence. Denmark - capitalist. Norway - Capitalist. Sweden - Capitalist.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

Only if there was no alternative to math or science.


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Absurd to me the way people villainize capitalism to begin with. No economic system in history has ever led to an improved quality of life for such vast swaths of population as capitalism.

 

Can it run amok? Absolutely.

 

Does it need regulations? Damn straight.

 

But to assert that moving away from capitalism will lead to long term prosperity is reared by almost zero quantifiable evidence. Denmark - capitalist. Norway - Capitalist. Sweden - Capitalist.

 

Bravo, sir.  Bravo! 

 

Regulation done right is the bulkhead that keeps the river of capitalism within its banks.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

Only if there was no alternative to math or science.

 

But there is no worthwhile alternative to capitalism. Every time socialism has been tried it has been a failure. Yet there are fools out there that want to keep going down that path.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

Only if there was no alternative to math or science.

 

But there is no worthwhile alternative to capitalism. Every time socialism has been tried it has been a failure. Yet there are fools out there that want to keep going down that path.

 

Capitalism works well if efficiency is your goal.  For normal goods and services, this is a perfect model.  Capitalism requires a welfare state and regulation to remain viable. 

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

Only if there was no alternative to math or science.

 

But there is no worthwhile alternative to capitalism. Every time socialism has been tried it has been a failure. Yet there are fools out there that want to keep going down that path.

 

This is not remotely true.  Every time capitalism has failed, socialism has been used to bail it out.  Even before it was called socialism.  The current mixture of the two is the only way capitalism can work.

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^ I have a real hard time assigning a personality to Capitalism. It's a system. Making an economic system out to be the villain is as pointless as demonizing math or science.

 

Only if there was no alternative to math or science.

 

But there is no worthwhile alternative to capitalism. Every time socialism has been tried it has been a failure. Yet there are fools out there that want to keep going down that path.

 

This is not remotely true.  Every time capitalism has failed, socialism has been used to bail it out.  Even before it was called socialism.  The current mixture of the two is the only way capitalism can work.

 

Again, capital injections are not socialism. Wealth sharing programs have socialist elements, but they are not socialism.

 

So, please - find me a country where socialism thrives. Again, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, et al are all capitalist countries that allow for private enterprise while implementing programs with socialist elements. They are NOT socialist countries.

 

Beyond the mere utopian idea of socialism - I agree, there is utility to social programs. Though, I believe they're better implemented at the state level.

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I'm advocating for a mixture.  Find me a purely capitalist country!  There isn't one.  I could just as easily say the nordic countries "aren't capitalist" but that's not quite true either, because the fact is they use both.  And China's not really communist, they just like saying the word.  There are no examples to back a claim that socialism always fails.  Socialism is all around us and it's working just fine.  So is capitalism.  Neither provides an exclusive answer to the world's problems.

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Beyond the mere utopian idea of socialism - I agree, there is utility to social programs. Though, I believe they're better implemented at the state level.

 

Socialism can also work privately. Some people are wholly content living in communes. I'm actually surprised more people don't do this.

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I'm advocating for a mixture.  Find me a purely capitalist country!  There isn't one.  I could just as easily say the nordic countries "aren't capitalist" but that's not quite true either, because the fact is they use both.  And China's not really communist, they just like saying the word.  There are no examples to back a claim that socialism always fails.  Socialism is all around us and it's working just fine.  So is capitalism.  Neither provides an exclusive answer to the world's problems.

 

Fair. Though, I happen to think the right "potion" is about 75/25 80/20 capitalist to socialist. I respect that you may disagree with that and you may have good reason to, as well.

 

Herein lies our problem. And allow me to paint with a broad brush:

 

I think about 70% of Ocasio-Cortez / Bernie Sanders supporters think capitalism is inherently evil and needs to be supplanted. That's why there is such a need for pushback on some of these ideas. The very ideas that brought our ancestors here for upward mobilization.

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I'm advocating for a mixture.  Find me a purely capitalist country!  There isn't one.  I could just as easily say the nordic countries "aren't capitalist" but that's not quite true either, because the fact is they use both.  And China's not really communist, they just like saying the word.  There are no examples to back a claim that socialism always fails.  Socialism is all around us and it's working just fine.  So is capitalism.  Neither provides an exclusive answer to the world's problems.

 

Fair. Though, I happen to think the right "potion" is about 75/25 80/20 capitalist to socialist.

 

 

For that ratio to work our government needs to become drastically more efficient at managing programs.

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I do know this, Bernie supporters are tired of hearing similar exaggerations about socialism (see above).  When capitalism adherents claim it is the only way forward, and only in its purest form, they should expect some pushback because that's ridiculous.  And when they're ready to get off the high horse and talk about a sensible combination of ideas, we're ready for that too.

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Funny that we never need balanced budgets for tax cuts...

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Funny that we never need balanced budgets for tax cuts...

 

I actually think President Clinton made balancing the budget look so easy that it took away much of the stigma of running a "temporary" deficit.

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Of course.  And there are two sides to any balance sheet.  The first thing I would look at is unearned wealth, since we all agree that earning is important.

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Of course.  And there are two sides to any balance sheet.  The first thing I would look at is unearned wealth, since we all agree that earning is important.

 

God, this is suchhhh a double edged sword.

 

On one hand, yeah, I'd love to see every Don Jr. actually have to create their own way...

 

On the other I have a very real problem with the seizure of any personal property, especially when it is the wish of the decedent to pass that property on to someone else.

 

With that, would transfers upon death to 501c3s also be taxed?

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^There's nothing more important than work*

 

*which is why we're going to tax it at a higher rate than every other from of acquiring wealth.

 

I'd personally like to see the top 5% of individuals taxed more. I know, not a very Conservative view of me. But, I think the additional revenue from the most wealthy Americans would be huge. I'm not even opposed to a temporary tax hike across the board if it helps reduce the deficit. WHICH NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYMORE.

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^I was very clumsily implying that we should instead raise taxes on non-employment income, like cap gains, dividends, and inheritance, so we aren't implicitly penalizing employment as a source of wealth accretion.

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I'd be more than happy to pay more taxes to reduce the debt.  I make a good salary and actually care for my country as well as the future of my children.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Funny that we never need balanced budgets for tax cuts...

 

Or wars.


Very Stable Genius

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Funny that we never need balanced budgets for tax cuts...

 

Or wars.

 

I think you guys are doing the inverse of the what-aboutism we all complain about.

 

Yeah, 80% of cons have turn their brains off and shown themselves to be shills re: fiscal responsibility. I agree.

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Of course.  And there are two sides to any balance sheet.  The first thing I would look at is unearned wealth, since we all agree that earning is important.

 

People need to get off the unearned wealth. Yes, there are a few trust babies out there but the majority of people have to make it on their own. Unlike the lies that crazy Bernie likes to spew, it is not a rigged system. Yes, it is a fact that some people are born into certain privileges that allow them to succeed in different ways however, given that everyone is an individual and carves their own path, there is no possible way for everyone to start at the exact same spot in life. Privilege exists it is it ok. It is important to understand it but you don't use it as a crutch.

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^There's nothing more important than work*

 

*which is why we're going to tax it at a higher rate than every other from of acquiring wealth.

 

I'd personally like to see the top 5% of individuals taxed more. I know, not a very Conservative view of me. But, I think the additional revenue from the most wealthy Americans would be huge. I'm not even opposed to a temporary tax hike across the board if it helps reduce the deficit. WHICH NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYMORE.

 

I don't think people no matter how much they earn should pay over 50% of their income in taxes. It creates a disincentive to work. The cry of the crazy Bernie crowd is that we need to tax wealth and investment income because that is how the rich "game" the system. While it is true, that investment income is the key to building wealth, it is also the key to growing the economy and creating long term sustainable growth. You cannot discourage private investment and it should be tax advantaged because it is already risky enough. As someone who has built a small business, nobody pays attention when you start re-investing all your profits into a business despite paying taxes at ordinary income on them. They don't see how you struggle to pay tax at the beginning in order to keep money in the business. They only see the end product and think that you cheated to get there, when in fact they could have done the same thing if they chose in many cases.

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^For any sizable amount of socialism to work at scale, we have to be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to a  balanced budget.

 

Of course.  And there are two sides to any balance sheet.  The first thing I would look at is unearned wealth, since we all agree that earning is important.

 

People need to get off the unearned wealth. Yes, there are a few trust babies out there but the majority of people have to make it on their own. Unlike the lies that crazy Bernie likes to spew, it is not a rigged system. Yes, it is a fact that some people are born into certain privileges that allow them to succeed in different ways however, given that everyone is an individual and carves their own path, there is no possible way for everyone to start at the exact same spot in life. Privilege exists it is it ok. It is important to understand it but you don't use it as a crutch.

 

Exactly my point-- people need to get off the unearned wealth and stop using privilege as a crutch.  They need to make their own way, with their own bootstraps.  They deserve a chance to struggle because struggle is so ennobling.  How can we deny them that opportunity?

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^There's nothing more important than work*

 

*which is why we're going to tax it at a higher rate than every other from of acquiring wealth.

 

I'd personally like to see the top 5% of individuals taxed more. I know, not a very Conservative view of me. But, I think the additional revenue from the most wealthy Americans would be huge. I'm not even opposed to a temporary tax hike across the board if it helps reduce the deficit. WHICH NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYMORE.

 

I don't think people no matter how much they earn should pay over 50% of their income in taxes. It creates a disincentive to work. The cry of the crazy Bernie crowd is that we need to tax wealth and investment income because that is how the rich "game" the system. While it is true, that investment income is the key to building wealth, it is also the key to growing the economy and creating long term sustainable growth. You cannot discourage private investment and it should be tax advantaged because it is already risky enough. As someone who has built a small business, nobody pays attention when you start re-investing all your profits into a business despite paying taxes at ordinary income on them. They don't see how you struggle to pay tax at the beginning in order to keep money in the business. They only see the end product and think that you cheated to get there, when in fact they could have done the same thing if they chose in many cases.

 

Yeah, And a 3-4% increase would take the top earners to about 42

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^There's nothing more important than work*

 

*which is why we're going to tax it at a higher rate than every other from of acquiring wealth.

 

I'd personally like to see the top 5% of individuals taxed more. I know, not a very Conservative view of me. But, I think the additional revenue from the most wealthy Americans would be huge. I'm not even opposed to a temporary tax hike across the board if it helps reduce the deficit. WHICH NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYMORE.

 

I don't think people no matter how much they earn should pay over 50% of their income in taxes. It creates a disincentive to work. The cry of the crazy Bernie crowd is that we need to tax wealth and investment income because that is how the rich "game" the system. While it is true, that investment income is the key to building wealth, it is also the key to growing the economy and creating long term sustainable growth. You cannot discourage private investment and it should be tax advantaged because it is already risky enough. As someone who has built a small business, nobody pays attention when you start re-investing all your profits into a business despite paying taxes at ordinary income on them. They don't see how you struggle to pay tax at the beginning in order to keep money in the business. They only see the end product and think that you cheated to get there, when in fact they could have done the same thing if they chose in many cases.

 

Yeah, And a 3-4% increase would take the top earners to about 42

 

And only 42 on income above 450K, so you couldn't possibly be paying more than 50%. If we ever did implement higher tax brackets you would have to be earning an extraordinarily large income to hit 50%.  Not to mention, you would never go red by making more money since we do use a bracketed system and there's no bracket >100%.  The point being, there would always be incentive to make more money. 

 

As far as paying taxes on money being re-invested into the company, I'm pretty sure there are laws that allow it to not be reflected in taxable income.  It's how a lot of the big companies avoid huge tax bills while they're growing.  But I'm not a CPA, so could be missing nuance.

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1) there are a lot of people paying over 50% of their income in tax. Yes, the Federal rate is not that high but when you factor in state taxes, property taxes, local muni/city taxes. When you add it all up, it can be over 50% in some munis like NY or CT.

 

2) to your point about paying taxes on money reinvested in the company, you do not have an understanding on how the system works.  First 70% of all corporations are S corps and do not pay taxes at the corporate level (it is why you hear the misleading stat from those on the left that 70% of corporations do not pay income taxes). Therefore, all profit you earn on a company like this go to your individual ordinary income. If your company earns $50k, you are taxed on that $50k. Now you want to reinvest that money into a new building or location  for your business to grow it so you put that down to build out another location. You have already paid taxes on your income of $50k but you need to reinvest it to expand the business. YOu do not get to deduct much of this cost of expansion because it is capitalized and needs to be depreciated. There is also the fact that you need to hold back some for unrelated expenses and to smooth out blips in sales. So you see, it is not as straight forward as earning an hourly wage and why the tax code rewards people for taking a risk on their investment.

 

As for big companies, without going into much complexity, there are numerous reasons why they are not paying taxes in some years. Take a company like Amazon for example. A quick example is Amazon. There were many years where Amazon lost a lot of money, However, they could not deduct these losses because they had nothing to offset them against. It would be unfair to Amazon when you have a large company like GE who can offset their losses on a startup venture against the gains they may have on their Aircraft Engine division. Therefore, Amazon is allowed to carry those losses forward and then take portions of them in years where they have gains. This is very reasonable and very fair.

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A friend of mine posted this which puts Socialism into better words than I could ever do:

 

 

Here is what is fundamentally evil about socialism: it REQUIRES that the labor of some be stolen for the benefit of others, and even worse, that those from whom it is stolen conform in thought and word to the idea that this theft is a social good, or suffer consequences and punishments.

 

Explaining away this horrendous evil (and it is an evil, and we know this because none of us EVER want OUR stuff stolen) by saying, "But you should WANT to give back, and help those who are less fortunate, and the fact that we assist you in doing what you already should be doing by collecting and distributing what you should willingly give, by force, if necessary, should be welcomed as a convenience!" represents a total blindness to the fact that when you give some the power to bully everyone else into "giving", all you do is create a new privileged class. Only instead of this group having to create value in order to become rich and influential, it just has to stay in power, where it can steal or not steal, give favors or mete out punishments, and choose the winners and losers by deciding who (other than them) gets the bulk of the stolen booty.

 

Socialism doesn't equalize people. It just puts the power to decide who's "more equal than others" into the hands of a different set of bullies.

 

We need to fight the idea that it's a social good to force conformity of thought, to steal what someone else worked for, to control the language with which ideas are discussed, to use the force of government to "make" people be "better people" at every turn. EVERY time it pops up, not matter what lie it's clothed in, or whose side proposes it, it's horribly, sinfully wrong.

 

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^ Well she is a strong libertarian, however, I would not argue that you extrapolate it out to that level. 

 

Ultimately, it is about liberty. It is one thing to pay taxes to support public services and national interests but when they come to the redistribution policies it is essentially saying that a few "wise" people in power can tell you what to do with your money and if they don't like how you use it, they can punish you for it, and it is solely at their will at the time regardless of any fairness.

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^ Well she is a strong libertarian, however, I would not argue that you extrapolate it out to that level. 

 

Ultimately, it is about liberty. It is one thing to pay taxes to support public services and national interests but when they come to the redistribution policies it is essentially saying that a few "wise" people in power can tell you what to do with your money and if they don't like how you use it, they can punish you for it, and it is solely at their will at the time regardless of any fairness.

 

All taxes are redistributive in nature.

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^ not completely, taxes go to fund the common good that cant be handled on an individual level.

 

Roads, police, military spending, schools, hospital spending, Schools, etc. are used for the benefit of rich and poor and taxes help efficiently fund those.

 

 

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