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News Greatest debate in modern history? Socialism(not Stalinism) vs Capitalism

  1. Mar 25, 2010 #1
    The Socialism that has never been aplied good, so it remains as an ideal vs the Capitalist system(almost every economy is a mixd one so there is no true capitalist society). Personally i vote for Socialism, i do this for 2 mayor reasons

    -First as a human being i like the Stoicism and in some way having ideals of a communism society make me happy.

    -Second i live in El Salvador a 3rd wolrd country, gangs, corruption, extreme violence, poverty. Im not poor i am uper middle class, so i have access to internet and some more information. In my country the people is brainwashed by the media and the society is becoming more like dog eat dog. I think everybody should have the oportunity that i have, im happy with that i have (house, health, transportation, education, fun with real friends and free time) I know if im not happy with that nothing will make me happy.

    So what you say people?

    Capitalism or Socialism??
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2010 #2


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    Capitalism for me. I want equality of opportunity, certainly, but not redistribution. I don't like the idea of the government supporting me by taking money from those wealthier than me.
  4. Mar 25, 2010 #3


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    If I could get everyone to do what I wanted them to do, I'd favor socialism. Since people do what they want, I favor capitalism.
  5. Mar 25, 2010 #4
    I like capitalism with socialist elements, more or less the way many capitalist countries are run currently.

    I do not like the idea of a government monopoly on the means of production.
  6. Mar 25, 2010 #5
    I prefer monarchy.

    But if I had to choose I would go with capitalism. I enjoy getting rewarded for my labor.
  7. Mar 27, 2010 #6


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    I'm benevolent, so I would prefer socialism - but only if people want to do what I would want them to do, so I wouldn't have to be a dictator and force them to do it!
    ....on the other hand, if I go with socialism, I can also get rewarded for your labor!
  8. Mar 27, 2010 #7
    I think capitalism meets this aim better than socialism. Capitalism is the sea that raises all tides. Socialism never accomplishes the objective, and frequently causes great harm in the process.
  9. Mar 27, 2010 #8
    Defintetly capitalism . I prefer to interact with people and exchange goods and services with people through voluntary means rather than coercive means.
  10. Mar 27, 2010 #9
    I'd probably want more socialism than we have now but not extreme communism. I think you need a balance of both positive and negative liberty. Having theoretical opportunities is no good if you don't have the means to access them.
  11. Mar 27, 2010 #10
    i live in a S society and i can say to you if that society is run by the goverment then it wont work only in one case if it is a poor one [income a 2$ a day] so yes
    C society is not a good thing either if you have money then you are ok , loved and the country will form its politics to serve you... and eventually will go for war and kill its poor population so you will be able to make more money

    if the it is a citizen society then the most important unit of the country is the citizen and the well being of the majority of its citizens so then "some" Socialism wont Hurt and must be a free information society and work under the Guidelines of wilson Principles
  12. Mar 27, 2010 #11
    So its better a mixed economy?
  13. Mar 27, 2010 #12
    Looks like mixed economy is the way
  14. Mar 27, 2010 #13
    You're making a grave mistake with your assumption that socialism will move the poor and rich to the middle class. I'm sorry, but historically that never has happened.

    Once you take the incentives of hard work out of the equation, then you're left with mediocracy.

    AlexES16, my father and I were born in Honduras (a country adjacent to yours). We were born in poverty. My father came to the US 30 years ago and now owns three homes, several properties, and has saved considerable money in his bank accounts. He accomplished this feat working only as a carpenter. For the first 20 years in the US, he literally worked 70-100 hours a week and was able to own his first home in less than 10 years. He never once was dependent on government hand outs. His greatest asset was the determination of hard work. Now, I'm more than sure that type of hard work is NOT rewarded in countries like Honduras and El Salvador. Sir that is what capitalism is all about.

    In many Central American countries, you have no middle class because of oligopolies that result from corporatism. There exist hardly any free markets in those countries which are one of the main causes for the economies to stagnate. What makes matters worse is the dependency of countries, like Honduras, on organizations like the IMF and World Bank.

    All this centralization that you advocate hasn’t helped the people of Central America. I urge you to research how ENEE(which is government subsidized) has wrecked havoc in economic growth of Honduras. The telecommunications has recently become deregulated, and surprisingly access to telephone services has gotten cheaper and more readily available (the free market at work). However, it still uncertain whether this will continue because government intervention in the form of undisclosed private contracts (not a virtue of the free market) will decrease growth in the particular market.

    Lastly, I urge you to consider one last observation. All the technology and increases in standards of living in the last century where not brought about by socialist societies but rather by capitalist societies. Capitalism gets a bad name because it's misunderstood as corporatism. No other economic system, including socialism, has been as efficient and has the ability to create wealth like capitalism. The ability to have incentives through hard work has been the greatest driving force for prosperity in the last 150 years. It’s what made America such a great nation.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  15. Mar 27, 2010 #14


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    One thing that always confused me about the Us definition of socialism.
    Obviously bailing out airlines and car makers with public money isn't socialism because it benefits rich people while subsidized public transport is socialism because it benefits the poor. The same with public universities.

    But why is it ok that the fire service that cuts you out of a car wreck can be a free public service but if the paramedics that then treat you are free that's socialism?
  16. Mar 27, 2010 #15


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    All are of course examples of socialism.

    Fire service seems to be provided most efficiently by the government. Fires spread easily, so there is benefit to stopping them beyond the value to the property owner; speed is critical, so determining whether the 'fire-fighting fees' had been paid or not is impractical. Similarly with epidemiology: the government funds the CDC.

    Medical care is less-well provided by the government. It's not clear whether it is best provided by employers (largely the present situation), individuals via insurance, individuals directly (possibly with catastrophic insurance), the government, or some combination of these. I prefer individuals directly, with the option to purchase insurance against catastrophic situations (or whatever they desire to buy).

    Company bailouts are yet worse than the government providing medical care, since the moral hazard is higher. Capitalism requires the ability for companies to fail as well as succeed; without this the reward structure is altered and less value is produced.

    Public schooling is less clear. It seems evident that basic schooling 'should' be provided, as children cannot otherwise participate in society. But the benefit of public college (possibly even high school?) is less clear to me.* It seems that much, or even most, of the value of higher education is in signalling. That weakens the argument that it should be provided at subsidy. Also, college graduates are well-placed to earn money and therefore pay back educational loans. Further subsidy would tend to increase total costs: while post-subsidy prices would drop, they would not fall by the amount of the subsidy. But there are societal advantages to a well-educated populace beyond earnings potential, so perhaps some amount of subsidy is desirable in light of that externality.

    * Disclaimer: I graduated from a (well-regarded) public university.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  17. Mar 27, 2010 #16


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    Thats what I would have thought but I don't recall people protesting against fire depts.
    Originally in europe they were socialised because fires from one property could quickly spread in a dense city made of wood and thatch, so it was in everyones interest for everyone to have cover.

    But in a US suburb or on a highway that's not really an issue, if you want fire cover for your office tower you could pay for it just as you did in C17 London.
  18. Mar 27, 2010 #17
    Conservatives were not okay with bailing out any of these. Barack Obama bailed out the auto companies to bail out the unions. The ultra-conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, they're the ones who were against the bailout of the financial system itself.

    Public transport is socialism as well. There was actually an article not too long ago about a new minivan transportation business started in a city. The minivans would drive you wherever you wanted to go. It was a business that had been started by immigrants.

    Well this hit the city's bus business hard, as the busses followed fixed routes. The bus business was subsidized as it was, so the bus union used it's political clout with the city to shut down this minivan business.

    Fire services could be privatized probably, but they also work well as a public service. Fire services are local, not national government.
  19. Mar 27, 2010 #18


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    Of course fire departments in the US started out private. But they are what economists call natural monopolies: it doesn't make sense to have two private fire companies in the same area. If there's just one, it could raise rates 'too high' (that is, to monopoly level rather than a competitive level). So in traditional economic theory, fire companies should be regulated (like utilities) or run by the government.

    Would a libertarian paragon oppose socialized fire coverage? Probably. But even then, there are much more important battles to fight. So it's not surprising that you don't remember hearing people protest against fire departments.
  20. Mar 27, 2010 #19
    Those are social safety nets. I wouldn't consider that socialism. It's not the producing and distributing of goods. It's a service (police, fire, etc.) that's conducive to law, order, justice, and so forth. It's something that's essential to why people form governments. If there were no police or fire, we would have to act as policemen and fireman. It's more efficient to delegate that full-time responsibility to people in society. The same logic could be applied to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. They are functions of government. They are applicable to all but non-specific. I hope I've made my subtle distinctions perspicuous as I'm writing this while I'm about to leave. lol.
  21. Mar 27, 2010 #20


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    Euphemism, anything can be a social safety net.
    Of course government run fire service is socialism. So are the schools. The definition of socialism does not depend on the completely qualitative judgement of how necessary you or I might consider the service. These cases are merely a fairly limited form of socialism, something that for fire protection people tend to tolerate because it is difficult for a market response to avoid monopolies, as pointed out above.

    Consider that the "it's essential" argument could apply to almost anything - the production and delivery of food, of housing, of communications, of energy, of transportation. Indeed, that's exactly where most of the collective minded would like to go: everything except for the entertainment business run by the government, because for them free market capitalism can only really be trusted to sell t-shirts.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
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