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Do all democratic societies become socialist? If not, what prevents a politician from talking to the economic lower 51% and saying "vote me in; we'll tax the top 49% at 90% and redistribute the wealth". What's the actual check/balance preventing this from happening.
for wealth to be meaningful it must have concrete social consequences, those consequences are more focused and flexible than the leverage a democratic voter has available
any classic marxist will tell you that a socialist revolution can never be democratic and must always happen by force for this reason (not advocating this position, just reporting it)
I’d say that if people were economically rational and self interested, they absolutely would vote socialism in. But people generally don’t vote for things that economically benefit themselves, they vote based on emotions manipulated by political debate.
When I look at footage of occupy wallstreet, I can't help but wonder: why hasn't some politician run on the platform of "the 1% is supressing you; elect me and I'll tax them and give it to you" -- seems like an easy way to get lots of votes from ppl outside the 1%
@john (how did you manage to get "john" as a handle? never mind 😉 ) what is the intention of the Euclidean algorithm? what does it want?
Well, Trump also told voters the 1% was oppressing them and he’d fix that… and he did get elected but now we can see fairly clearly that he’s not operating in the best interest of many that voted for him. Part of Sanders’ problem was that he appealed to white male working class Democrats but not to p.o.c. or women, and also that the word “socialism” scares a lot of Americans, even amongst Democrats. Something I’ve never quite understood as a former-Brit and former card-carrying member of the Labour Party 🙂
She appealed to more Democrats than Sanders 🙂 And she appealed to more voters overall than Trump 🙂 But I’ll certainly concede that American politics is badly broken and money plays a large part in that 😞
(I became a U.S. citizen in order to vote, but I’m “Decline To State” / NPP because neither party represents my views…)
people say bernie would have won if not for the corruption / pre-setup of the DNC to ensure a Hillary victory
“people” are wrong IMO (and I was a solid Sanders’ supporter and contributed to his campaign). I would have been shocked if he had won the primary — and I don’t think he would have beaten Trump in the general… but we’ll never know now.
Yeah, this was like the 3rd election in a row where I've not voted for either major party
If the Libertarians didn’t have so many complete loonies in their ranks — and actually had some policies — I could imagine voting for them 🙂
I'd like to see less US taxes, a loose confederation of states; and allowing each state to experiment with it's own taxes / laws (and citizens of the US voting with their feet)
I hear that, I almost voted libertarian until I heard Gary Johnson speak...then I said "nope".
In England, I voted Labour in the general, Liberal Democrat in the local, and Green in the European elections.
@qqq you know we tried that once, right? It lasted 10 years before we were trying to kill eachother
The US has some of the lowest taxes in world so “less US taxes”…? Not sure how the system could even finance basic services at that point.
“voting with their feet” — this discriminates against the poor (amongst others) because not everyone has the luxury and wherewithal to just up and move to a “more civilized” part of the country…
before the constitution we had that ^^. One of the biggest issues was it wasn't powerful enough to fend off enemies (ahem England *ahem).
http://federal-tax-rates.insidegov.com/ <-- us tax rates were as low as 7% before we got into the wars
now that agree on. Every side has it's golden cows. The Left likes education, health care, etc. The right worships military power. There really isn't a good answer until both are taken into account.
@U04V70XH6 : the federal government would be a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-watchman_state ; local states would make ther own decision on welfare, social security, education grants, etc ...
My favorite past-time? Telling my conservative friends that one of the biggest socialist programs in the US the the Military >:)
I once read, not my words, The left = Person A taking Person B's money in order to help Person C (after taking a bit himself as an administrative fee.)
@qqq the problem with that both sides of any issue would not be happy with that setup. The Right would be unhappy that abortion was allowed at all, and the left would want gay marriage legalized in all states.
@U07TDTQNL : right, so you can have one state, say Cali where gay marraige is allowed; and another state, say somewhere in the Bible belt, where abortion was illegal.
right now, liberals and christian fundamentalists are forced to live by the same social norms ; I say -- why not give each their own state/town, where they can live by their own laws
It was, but then you have cross-cutting concerns. I mean this is exactly what led up to the Civil War. States had to come into the US in pairs to not upset the voting balance in congress
As an ex-pat Brit, I find both major parties here to be right-of-center. Democrats have a socially-liberal side but are still a center-right party on the world stage. And of Republicans have moved increasingly to the right on most issues. The irony that it was the Republicans who freed the slaves and the Democrats who wanted to keep them (a policy even the Tories in England at the time knew was no longer tolerable by the populous).
Or what...we going to say "Hey if you want a Silicon Valley startup, you better hope your morals align with A, B, and C"
^^^ Yeah, geography and politics (and economics) have become too deeply entwined now.
I'm fundamentalist Christian. I would move to a Christian state, then, if I had to interact with SV, whilein SV, I would respect the SV norms.
perhaps administrative regions should be virtualised - i.e. not tied to geography
Doesn't make sense, because enforcement of laws becomes completely bonkers. When you have the laws of several different 'virtual administrations' being applied in the same geographic region, that's just asking for higher complexity and conflict between people groups backed by law, instead of mediated by it.
Yeah, I think laws have to be tied to geographic regions. Perferably regions of convex shape.
It seems fundamentally, at the end , we have one of two choices: have a bunch of federal laws that regulate everything, to make sure neither the liberals nor the conservatives are happy. Or, to have separate states; some can have conservative laws, some can have liberal laws, and let them self govern in one nation.
The key thing is to push taxes to the state level, rather than have this huge federal tax. The point being: one state should not have to pay for the policies of another state. state A wants free college for everyone? great! but stateB is not going to fund it.
Yeah, basically, we need to resurrect the people who wrote the constitution, and have them run for office.
Re: The beginning of the discussion - we already have had people voting for people on that kind of promise. It's just been slower and more gradual than Marx thought possible, I expect.
I once heard, "America is the land of future millionaires" -- no one sees themselves as poor, just as not-yet-millionaire-yet. That might also have something to do with it -- though the recent hopelessness may remove that.
That message doesn't sell when politicians are more than happy to offer it for free with winning smiles.
Basically, the way I've heard it described: the former optimism, the perspective of mobility in the American economy, has been washed out by Social Marxism. Since Marxism's original 'have/have-not' didn't sell in America, where everyone knew that you could be mobile, they instead pitched the idea of 'oppressed/oppressors', and sold the idea that someone - the 1%, the fundamentalist Christians, white people, the patriarchy - was preventing you from being mobile.
And for a fascinating look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School#Cultural_Marxism_conspiracy_theory
Apparently that's categorized a 'conspiracy theory' by the generous contributors of Wikipedia. Time to see what the changelog looks like...
Changelog and discussion are about what's expected. This is why Wikipedia for anything touching moral, political, or social boundaries is... at least useless, and at worst extremely distorting.
without federal taxes, rural states would be destitute - the current setup means they receive a lot of extra money from the states with larger cities (and in turn they can afford to keep farming which benefits everyone of course) - farming in the us is socialized currently
Rural state governments would be lowered in budget. The states themselves would not be destitute unless they simply provided nothing of economic value, which is not the case.
Maybe economy shouldn't be subsidized at all. That's federalism propagating itself at that point.
Government should not be in the business of wasting economic value by incentivizing people to produce product that will be wasted.
then you get either starvation, or peasant farmers - the market has never handled this nicely
'The market has never handled this nicely' - no, it handled it nicely. But farmers who wanted to be buoyed over losses were easily sold on being protected from making choices that caused them to suffer from overproduction when prices dipped.
@U1YPTG4UF I’d love to see your example of a free market without cycles of mass starvation
If you're here in clojurians, you understand the benefit of creating systems that are resilient and balancing. Monolith architectures don't work in software, and they don't work in governance.
It worked even better after we removed slave labor. Turns out people work better with financial incentives than in forced labor. 😉
Seriously, though. Read Sowell, and get a picture of Capitalism as it is intended to be, not the marxist straw man others make it to be. What we have now is not capitalism, but crony capitalism: subsidized farming, bailed out car manufacturers, etc. That is what causes the negative effects and lack of mobility you see today.
In practice. See: Hong Kong as the classic primary example at this point in time, and America at prior points in history, basically before progressivism really started to kick in.
If you want examples of centrally planned economies, see: Literally every country that has had widespread poverty, starvation, and suffering due to its attempted application. There has not been one exception, because no one person can understand all optimal choices to be made in all markets, and it is naive in the extreme to believe that anyone could.
Individual autonomous units lead to systems that are self-healing, can fail locally without bringing wider failure, and lead to greater results for the greatest possible number of entities in the system as a whole. Basic understanding of how systems work.
This assumes, of course, that the incentives provided to those autonomous units are correct, or they will make decisions adverse to the rest of the system. Capitalist incentives have been shown by evidence, by reasoning, and by common sense to provide positive incentives, with the moral backing of requiring net effort is provided towards the system as a whole before one can receive benefit.
> if people were economically rational and self interested, they absolutely would vote socialism in. A self-interested, rational people would choose capitalism as it gives them the greatest opportunity to change their position without handing that control over to someone else who will more than likely act in their own self-interest in turn, not yours. As has been proven with generation upon generation of politicians.
As cruel as it sounds to let businesses die, subsidies sometimes offer the wrong incentives. If Gov offered subsidies for single core processors, it would have kept a few chip companies alive, but hindered overall CS progress and overall economy.
As the left is so fond of saying - 'businesses aren't people'. If a business collapses, the people in it move on, and those who took the most risk in that business are the ones who suffer the highest personally, usually the ones who had enough wealth to start it in the first place.
Otherwise, you risk the resources of an economy being used for things that people do not want to buy; that is in essence what such a 'zombie' business would do. Consume resources and not give any beneficial output in return. Hence the warehouses of excess useless goods sitting in centrally planned economies, while citizens suffer for lack of essentials.
I'm pretty vehement in this argument because while Capitalism may not be perfect, it is by far the most functional working economic system known to man so far, and there are countless examples that show the devastation to millions upon millions of people that a centrally planned socialist economy bestows.
Worse yet, these "zombie" companies, being unprofitable on their own; spend all their efforts on politics rather than engineering. The above single-core processor company is NOT going to invest R&D into designing multicore chips; they're going to spend their time and effort lobbying politicians to make some argument about the importance of single core chips, and then get more federal tax dollars to prop up single core chips that no one wants.
should also apply to failing companies
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
From a fundamentalist Christian perspective - death is the saving grace of the curse of sin, preventing us from doing more harm than we could with an endless life.
[EDIT: not sure about which theologian] had a sermon that would agree with you; something to the extend of: if thought raising Children in this world was hard, imagine the evil schemes people accumulated when the average person lived to 900.
Pretty much. Another aspect of Sowell's writings applicable here: Capitalism assumes a constrained vision of humanity, in which we are imperfect, cannot be perfected, and must have some restraining factors to prevent widespread harm. Socialism assumes an unconstrained vision, where people are perfectable and are only held back from achieving their true harmonious potential.
tl;dr - all the ills you blame on capitalism in our current economic situation are actually traceable back to long-standing and growing leftist policies at work in eroding capitalism.
For a long time I thought "the pilgrims / puritans left England to a new land where they can worship God" - "why can't one of the 50 states be a state with Christian rather than liberal vaules" -- then I reailzed, that's what eternity is -- separation of believers from unbelievers.
Capitalism assumes people are lazy, selfish assholes that are rational. Socialism assumes people are saints.
There's a reason freedom to practice religion in general was on tap, not just 'this is a Christian nation' - the latter would just reconstruct the same horrors they'd escaped.
@mobileink wikipedia says it's purpose is "is an efficient method for computing the greatest common divisor (GCD) of two numbers" though I'm sure there are other contexts.
I got the "john" name on clojars too! though that was back in 2009. And there's barely anything on there 🙂
@mobileink : there's 10k ppl in this slack; 26^3 = approx 17k; so if you're jealous, you can get a 3 letter nick 🙂
that it is. what does that have to do with intention? it presumably does not wantto do that - it is not an agent - it just does,,in exactly the same way that the laws of physics "make" bodies behave in certain ways.
wait john, surely you are not saying the euclidean algo exists only in my imagination.
The fact that "it" happens to produce certain behavior is only a classification that you put on that collection of branches
I think programming in clojure actually helped me understand this subjective/objective dichotomy in programming
that's over my head. all i'm saying is that algorithms are independent of us. when the sun burns out and there are no humans around to have intentions, the Euclidean algo will stiil work, just like ints and electrons.
putting an algotithm to work for our purposes is no different than putting the laws of physics to work for us. they are indifferent to our purposes.
What does "work" mean, in that context? 😉 Yeah, I just think all classifications are dependent on a subjective evaluator.
ah, true in it's way, but the catch is this: we are answerable to the way things are. you can believe subjectively that you can survive if i drop a piano on you, but the laws of physics say othwmerwise.