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Old 04-17-2009, 01:03 PM   #21
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You are stubbornly assuming that socialism vs capitalism is an all or nothing affair. Why? You also fail to mention ANY downsides to capitalism (especially hypothetical pure capitalism), despite the fact that there certainly are some. So far no one has argued that there aren't serious drawbacks to pure socialism. Since it's impossible in practice to implement pure forms of either, pretending they are mutually exclusive is simplistic. That is a generous characterization.

I do not think automation will lead to the end of capitalism, merely a change in the nature of the consumer economy. Since I don't assume competitive and cooperative modes are mutually exclusive there are an infinite number of possibilities. I won't chime in in case others want to put forth some ideas for what might come then.

One thing that is interesting is the manner in which the consumer economy has evolved. Initially, you could make money easily by raising people's standard of living. Even most luxury goods often contributed indirectly through R&D advances. As the technological low hanging fruit was picked coming up with new ways to significantly improve the standard of living became progressively harder. Additionally, once enough of the world's population became comparatively wealthy, it became easier and easier to make money selling relatively useless items to them than by helping to raise the standard of living of the still relatively poor segment of the world population. Thus the efficiency (in terms of resource consumption, labor, and pollution) of the consumer economy overall in advancing both technology and the standard of living has declined with time. What to do about it is another interesting question.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilian View Post
...but Marx always talked about a society peacefully transitioning naturally from capitalism to socialism to communism.
this quote is DIRECTLY related to the initial post(thread starter). some even trace the prez to his teachings.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #23
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Some trace the prez to Hitler.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:02 PM   #24
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Although the facts in this email might be total BS, we do know for sure that the slippery slope towards socialism is irreversible and done one step at a time (though new or modified entitlement programs). Government dependency is a bad thing (unless you thought the USSR was a success).

-BC
Perhaps you think you know that because you have not studied our history from the time that FDR left office! Seems to me that conservatives have been whining about the socialism of The New Deal for decades and handily destroying every shred of good it brought with it by crippling it.

Irreversible my butt! Social Security has been gutted, bridges are falling into disrepair if not to the ground, and the privately run power companies are fleecing their customers for every penny they can get when projects brought to you by the WPA are still actually running strong and providing energy at a far lower cost. But we can't have government competing with the private sector apparently, so good job FREE MARKET!!!

Get over it. Aspects of socialism that provide for the community as a whole are an essential part of making a free market work! Without socialized roads, fire, and police protection, the free market would be further dominated by monopolies and opportunistic landlords with exclusive control to market access.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snax View Post
Perhaps you think you know that because you have not studied our history from the time that FDR left office! Seems to me that conservatives have been whining about the socialism of The New Deal for decades and handily destroying every shred of good it brought with it by crippling it.

Irreversible my butt! Social Security has been gutted, bridges are falling into disrepair if not to the ground, and the privately run power companies are fleecing their customers for every penny they can get when projects brought to you by the WPA are still actually running strong and providing energy at a far lower cost. But we can't have government competing with the private sector apparently, so good job FREE MARKET!!!

Get over it. Aspects of socialism that provide for the community as a whole are an essential part of making a free market work! Without socialized roads, fire, and police protection, the free market would be further dominated by monopolies and opportunistic landlords with exclusive control to market access.
Sounds like the opposite of a John Stossel report.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:25 PM   #26
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Fixed it for you . . .
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:54 AM   #27
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Snax,

i'll grant you that, tho the actual date preceded 2008. the republicants began their demise when they started to get away from fundamental conservatism.

Reagan believed most Americans were conservative in beliefs, not necessarily party. is it still true? uncertain. but, take away california, new york, and govt dependant people...

when i first registered to vote(my parents were republicans), i realized most people conformed to 1 of 2 parties. i've always been a self thinker, not allowing anyone to dictate my views or decisions.

so, i studied both parties(and others), and decided to register independant. both parties have views(agendas) of merit, but i truly believe that IF the USA is going to survive as a prosperous nation, conservatism will lead the way.

that said, the greed aspect of capitalism must be addressed. fundamentally tho, capitalism MUST reign over socialism!
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:35 AM   #28
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Sounds like the opposite of a John Stossel report.
LOL!

And yes, BTG, I agree that capitalism should be the dominating force, however it has been looking like the extremists proclaiming the superiority of a society without socialism of any sort are everywhere these days. We should be able to achieve a balance that works, and the current system is far too weighted toward the haves - at the peril of the have-nots.

I heard about a recent twin study where the aspect of education and IQ were clearly correlated to wealth (and one could surmise opportunity and aptitude from that). Essentially it boiled down to a study of twins who were adopted out to different families. The study compared the adult IQs of those adopted both to poor families vs. one to a poor family and one to a wealthy family vs. both to wealthy families. The finding was that twins who were both adopted out to the same level of wealth had an insiginifcant variance in their IQs, but those who were split between wealthy and poor had a significant difference in IQ with the advantage always going to the wealthier one. Further, the variance in adopted twins to non-genetically related siblings in the poorer families was smaller because they were all essentially being held back.

That is just one factor in tipping balance away from the poorer twin from having the chance to get a leg up in society - and completely ignores the position each would start out in financially as well. Who is going to get ahead faster? That's pretty much a no-brainer and one of the reasons a top quality socialized educational system is the foundation for giving every person the same chance at success. The current system makes it nearly impossible for those coming out of poverty to get anywhere without facing huge debt on student loans that cannot be waived by bankruptcy later on.

That's just one example of how socialism can drastically improve opportunity for everybody. I could come up with more, but it doesn't really address the true issue here that many conservatives DO NOT want everybody to have equal opportunity. Many understand that power is something that is not easily gained, and that giving up the possibility of attaining power to others reduces their own. It's a selfish mindset - based out of survival instinct. Philosophically, we could argue for or against that mindset until we all die, but the bottom line is that if we all held that mindset, it would be one VERY ugly world for everybody but the most wealthy in our society.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:08 AM   #29
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Here's another, possibly less contentious, one.

Private enterprise is much better at short term refinement than long term development owing to the greater risks involved and capital required. Even once a research advance is made, there is still a lot of development and marketing to be done before a sale-able product can begin to recoup any of the investment. For example, the standard of proof needed to justify the risk of development is greater than that required for academic publication. Also, since much basic research often is not itself patentable, the need for secrecy often keeps the privately made discoveries from being widely distributed, slowing progress. That seems like a good role for government: to incentivize basic research so that it is more attractive to private industry and then to widely distribute the results to encourage application.

There are a great many ways this could be done, and since my point was only to demonstrate a valid role for a centrally directed effort, I won't try get into the specifics of any one possible system. That said, I want to illustrate how the details can vary from the socialist stereotype model. Rather than government labs filled with government employees, or even officials picking winners and losers as far as which specific research labs to fund, I'd personally rather see a well developed prize system rather like the one offered for a method to determine longitude, but for more abstract lower level key discoveries as well (not just high level goals). Practical end results can pay for themselves; it's the intermediary goals that are the sticking points. Privately offered prizes are generally far too small to make the research alone worthwhile, a goal in and of itself.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:54 AM   #30
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good post Snax, but allow me to interject...

the vast majority of millionaires do not have a college education and did not have the "opportunities" that the wealthy enjoy in early life. in fact, the slow road to wealth creates character and appreciation albeit a hard road. which brings my next point...

our current system is difficult, NOT "nearly impossible" in terms of achieving success/wealth. and, we are moving in a direction that encourages govt dependance, by companies and individuals. and yet, it punishes the hard working and responsible.

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?...

i chose not to seek a luxurious lifestyle because those types of occupations require long hours and stress(doctors and lawyers for example). i don't want material wealth that badly. so, i carry on, the slow and deliberate road to wealth achieved over MANY years. if i were single w/ no kids, i could live a VERY comfortable lifestyle, but i love and wanted kids.

we are inadvertantly(i hope it is anyway) bringing down the quality of work and life by pushing for socialist type legislation. yes, it serves a purpose(socialism), but it should be a very minute part of our civilization.

if you think i'm wrong, wait and see...

i'm sure Rome never thought it would fall. and morally, among other things, we are going down the same road. but, it's not too late(i hope), we can vote to take back what the founding fathers intended us to be.
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