atheism and communism - Capitalism and Christianity

godisgoneonhoneymoon
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atheism and communism - Capitalism and Christianity

Yesterday I was talking with some friends from different places and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

The first two may seem close to each other. But i was surprised by latter two. I dont know why would someone think that inorder to be a good christian, you have to faith in market capitalism too.

what you all say about?


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godisgoneonhoneymoon

godisgoneonhoneymoon wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some friends from different places and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

The first two may seem close to each other. But i was surprised by latter two. I dont know why would someone think that inorder to be a good christian, you have to faith in market capitalism too.

what you all say about?

Economic systems have very little to do with either atheism or Christianity.  Very really atheism does not represent a particular world-view, it is only what it is.  There is no dogma.  There is no prescription that atheism entails except a disbelief in god.  It is not possible to derive an socioeconomic system from atheism.  I'm not certain about Christianity; the faith is full of dogma, so there's probably some way to interpret an economic system from the fluff that stuffs the bible.

 

 

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Christainity has its

Christainity has its followers on both the left and right (as does atheism). It's unlikely Marx himself was even an atheist (he didnt like religion)

In my opinion if jesus existed minus the supernatural bits and the nasty bits was probably a bit of a socialist (I'm British so that isnt a bad word)


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 Atheism doesn't lead

 Atheism doesn't lead logically to any political system.  Hell, it doesn't logically lead to anything.  Do you know basic syllogistic logic?  If so, this should make the point very clearly:

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

See?  No conclusion to be reached because we have only one premise.  Without some observation about the world, no conclusion can be attempted, much less justified.  Any conclusion someone claims to be drawing from atheism is in fact a conclusion drawn from atheism and something else.

As I read the bible, I can justify capitalism or socialism or communism.  That's the problem with it.  You can make it say whatever you want.  So... in an ironic twist, Christianity can be used to justify everything, and atheism cannot be used to justify anything.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I'd argue that if you look

I'd argue that if you look at what capitalism and communism have in common, it would be a strong focus on material wealth. Strength lies in industry, and in hard work, and freedom lies in having enough material wealth to survive. Both communism and capitalism seem to me to value those tenets.

The message of Christ, that one should give up one's material wealth, and that it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven, than for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, seems to be rather counter to materialism, in my view. It doesn't value anything that is "of this world". I mean, Jesus even bids his followers give up their family and friends, so not even valuing relationships that are "of this world".

That message seems to have a disdain for everything that is material: money, luxuries, and even things that are natural: sex, and food that isn't dry bread and water.

But even so, all people are human beings, and Christian rarely, if ever, manage to have true disdain for everything that is "of this world", I mean, they still drive cars, and watch TV, and live in big houses, and they don't give up their family and friends to go live in a convent to eat dry bread and drink water for the rest of their lives. And also, they fuck as much as the rest of us, just look at teen-pregnancy rates in abstinence only areas. At best (or worst?) they just feel more ashamed about it than the rest of us. They don't do it any less.

So since they are normal human beings, they'll inevitably interpret their dogmas to fit their world view. Like Hamby says, Christianity can fit whatever you need it to fit.

However, when Christ bids you to give up your material wealth, it is usually with the expectation that you give it to the poor, so if you had to make that fit a specific financial system I'd definately call it socialist.

"If you have wealth to give up, give it to those that have none"... Sounds pretty socialist to me...

So American Conservative Rightwing Christians are slightly more hypocritical in my view than your average, run-of-the-mill, vanilla Christian.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Jesus despised the seeking

Jesus despised the seeking of personal worldly riches and endorsed obedience to secular non-democratic emperors - "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s". His views would not appear to favour capitalism or democracy. Bad luck America!

As for Communism, seems to me Marx's slogan "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is far more consistent with Christian ideals than raw competition for resources.

So I would say that Chritianity's ideal earthly society would have much more in common with the ideals (not necessarily the actual practices) of Communism that that of a capitalist democracy.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Let's see here:

Let's see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_socialism

And here is a Christian despairing that one of the 20th century's best free market proponents, Milton Friedman, does not believe in god: http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=736

We have Friedman on our side, we win.

Hell, we even have Mises. He was an pure agnostic or perhaps a weak atheist who liked to criticize atheists (he used 'atheism' to mean strong atheism or gnostic atheism) and theists. I'm counting that as being on our side since he was not a religious man and refused to recognize the existence of any god.

I suppose you could also bring up Ayn Rand to your friends, but she was not an economist. And Objectivists are crazy people who make her look bad.

I suppose you should ask your friends to name one prominent free market economist from the 20th century who was religious. Since they specifically say that Christianity=Capitalism, tell them to name a single prominent Christian free market economist. I remember thinking a while back how funny it is that some conservatives like to bash non-religious people even though it was agnostics and atheists that made modern conservative economics.

If I had to think up a reading list for someone to read to understand modern free market economics (neoliberalism), I don't think there would be any theist authors on the list.

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Protestant christianity, and

Protestant christianity, and in particular Lutheranism (but not necessarily all t brands of Calvinism) is very strongly associated with free market capitalism in America.

Ever heard of the "Protestant Work Ethic?" The idea was that through both faith and works (in Luther's case), people could get to heaven, and that laziness was a grave sin ("Idle hands are the devil's workshop&quotEye-wink. Protestant communities would stress that people would make their own livings, start their own buisinesses, accumulate property, and give to charity.

However, this has much more to do with the English, Dutch, and German economic systems at the time of colonization. In isolated areas of southern Germany, France, and Switzerland, Calvinist and Lutheran communities formed socialistic or even communistic societies.

Atheism is only associated with communism because the USSR was so strongly anti-religious, as is Communist China, Cuba and Vietnam.

However, you cannot derive communism from atheism, only atheism from communism (and in particular, Karl Marx).


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I don't think that

I don't think that Christianity logically leads to capitalism.  I think people just associate the U.S's religious right wing with coorporate greed.  The rich 1% use the common's religion to keep themselves rich and powerful.  If anything, I think Christianity, at least by the gospels would lead to some rather twisted anti materialism.  Really, this issue just looks like playing with steriotypes.  All religious people are self riteous right wing capitalist, and all atheists are left wing bisexual socialists.

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what? all atheists are not bisexual!

I have to say that all atheists being bisexuals is not very true statement. May be the ratio of such atheists is abit higher in the states. but its not the same outside.

Religion makes me suffer everyday!


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These people you talked to

These people you talked to weren't from the U.S.?  I wonder how many people thought of communism when they heard of atheism (or vice versa) before the First Red Scare.


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Jormungander wrote:I suppose

Jormungander wrote:

I suppose you could also bring up Ayn Rand to your friends, but she was not an economist. And Objectivists are crazy people who make her look bad.

I think that Ayn Rand did a fine job of making Ayn Rand look bad, but that's just my opinion.

-Triften


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While I agree that logically

While I agree that logically there is no connection between capitalism and Christianity, there are a LOT of conservative Christians who have this weird worldview that goes like this:

 

Christianity, capitalism and democracy are all GOOD.  We believe in god and that means that we are GOOD and therefore only Christians are really capitalists who believe in democracy.  And so we are responsible for the good in the world, and only conservatives are Real Americans!

 

Conversely:

 

Atheism, communism and socialism are all BAD.  Atheists don't believe in god, and so they are bad, so they MUST be communists and socialist too!  Liberals are of course all closet commies and are responsible for the bad in the world, and they are NOT real Americans.

 

Yes, I know this is an incredibly stupid worldview, but I have been slumming lately on a christian blog (Verum Serum), and, if these guys are representative of the religious right, there are clearly a large number of fundies who group these ideologies together in their minds.

 

Note the false duality inherent in this worldview.  It ignores that there are any other religious views besides christianity, that there are any other economic systems besides capitalism and communism, and that there are any other political systems besides democracy and socialism.  This particular discussion included all kinds or rants about the "nanny state" and governement incompetence.  

 

What was interesting though is how many times I get to be the last word on these sorts of arguements.  While I strive to be civil, there are many people on that thread who simply refuse to respond to me.  I believe it's because they can't reason worth crap - so they avoid me.  I'm sure none of them would admit this though. 


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godisgoneonhoneymoon

godisgoneonhoneymoon wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some friends from different places and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

The first two may seem close to each other. But i was surprised by latter two. I dont know why would someone think that inorder to be a good christian, you have to faith in market capitalism too.

what you all say about?

Socialism and atheism have nothing in common. Same goes for religion and capitalism. All we are seeing is a link brought about through recent histories propoganda. If Stalin were a capitalist, they'd have picked something else to hate about the Russians oh so passionately.

I suppose I shouldn't deny a link so quickly, but I just can't see anything that holds them together. Capitalism is more linked to the way life evolved than it is any religious ideas. Wolves and deer use capitalism. But they don't worship gods, to my knowledge anyway. In order for atheism to have meaning, theism must exist. But theism isn't linked to economics.

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it is true for India!

Atleast it is true in India. Most of the atheists are left leening people. Communalism is a major issue here. Communal riots erupt periodically after some years. Almost all major political parties use communalism to further their interests. All these parties adhere capitalistic policies, particularly globlization. Only Left parties who oppose globlization, oppose communalism.

 


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Nikolaj wrote: However,

Nikolaj wrote:

 

However, when Christ bids you to give up your material wealth, it is usually with the expectation that you give it to the poor, so if you had to make that fit a specific financial system I'd definately call it socialist.

"If you have wealth to give up, give it to those that have none"... Sounds pretty socialist to me...

No, the socialist view of things is "If you have any wealth, government will forcible take it from you". There is nothing about voluntarily "giving" in the socialist agenda. Although, one could claim Christianity is like socialism except the punishment for not "giving" is hell, whereas the socialist punishment for not "giving" is prison.

Nikolaj wrote:

So American Conservative Rightwing Christians are slightly more hypocritical in my view than your average, run-of-the-mill, vanilla Christian.

There is an irrational view of socialist/communists that productivity can be taxed at whatever rate to take care of the social needs of low productive citizens. That the government has an unlimited ability to spend on welfare. Government is the solution to all problems

For every action there is a reaction. So as a reaction to this leftist economic view, you have right wing unregulated capitalism that says never do anything to fix the economic disparity problems of the lower class. God is the solution to all problems.

So were stuck with irrationality on the right and left when it comes to economic policy. We can't have an economic system that is based on scientific studies of what works and is sustainable.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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godisgoneonhoneymoon

godisgoneonhoneymoon wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some friends from different places and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

The first two may seem close to each other. But i was surprised by latter two. I dont know why would someone think that inorder to be a good christian, you have to faith in market capitalism too.

what you all say about?

A 40 year long nuclear cold war with mass propoganda can instill such opinions in people, regardless of the fictional basis for them.

Edit:

Oops. Didn't realize this was old and I'd posted in it before.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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EXC wrote:No, the socialist

EXC wrote:

No, the socialist view of things is "If you have any wealth, government will forcible take it from you". There is nothing about voluntarily "giving" in the socialist agenda. Although, one could claim Christianity is like socialism except the punishment for not "giving" is hell, whereas the socialist punishment for not "giving" is prison.

One cannot be permitted to take if one is unwilling to give in a socialist society. It is not that the government will take from you, it will simply stop giving to you. It may expell or imprison you, if you continue to fail to contribute whilst receiving benefits that you are not entitled to since you aren't contributing, but then a capitalist society would do the same. Theft is theft.

EXC wrote:

There is an irrational view of socialist/communists that productivity can be taxed at whatever rate to take care of the social needs of low productive citizens. That the government has an unlimited ability to spend on welfare. Government is the solution to all problems

What is a low productive citizen anyway? It may surprise you to know that without the cleaning staff, a factory will shut down within a week. A restaurant within a day. The factory and restaurant can do without half their workers or even a manager in some cases for a few days; but they cannot do without a cleaner. Yet the cleaning staff is generally the lowest pay scale, the most disgusting work, and the most inflexible hours. That is horrific inequality.

The rest is a strawman.

EXC wrote:
For every action there is a reaction. So as a reaction to this leftist economic view, you have right wing unregulated capitalism that says never do anything to fix the economic disparity problems of the lower class. God is the solution to all problems.

So were stuck with irrationality on the right and left when it comes to economic policy. We can't have an economic system that is based on scientific studies of what works and is sustainable.

Democratic Socialism is not irrational. Smiling

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Vastet wrote:One cannot be

Vastet wrote:

One cannot be permitted to take if one is unwilling to give in a socialist society. It is not that the government will take from you, it will simply stop giving to you. It may expell or imprison you, if you continue to fail to contribute whilst receiving benefits that you are not entitled to since you aren't contributing, but then a capitalist society would do the same. Theft is theft.

The amount of give and take needs to be nearly equal for all individuals over the course of a lifetime. I've yet to see a socialist system that does not permit people to take advantage of the system and take way more than they give. Socialism will fail unless you come up with a way to prevent generation after generation from continually taking way more than they give.

I agree there is greedy rich, but then there is greedy poor that will take more than they ever give in a welfare state and pass their ways onto the next generation in greater numbers.

Vastet wrote:

What is a low productive citizen anyway? It may surprise you to know that without the cleaning staff, a factory will shut down within a week. A restaurant within a day. The factory and restaurant can do without half their workers or even a manager in some cases for a few days; but they cannot do without a cleaner. Yet the cleaning staff is generally the lowest pay scale, the most disgusting work, and the most inflexible hours. That is horrific inequality.

News flash: Life is not fair. Government can't get rid of diseases by making a law againt it. Nor can it make poverty go away just by making a law against it. A rational process must be followed in both cases.

Economist measure productivity in terms of the value of the labor, not by how hard or disgusting the work may be. Your car will not run without spark plugs. But does that mean that spark plug producers should form a monopoly and charge $10,000 per spark plug? There are laws about supply and demand for labor. If you subsidize an oversupply of unskilled labor, you will have more unskilled labor. You can't base an economy on what people feel is fair. It must be based on what works.

Vastet wrote:

The rest is a strawman.

Well then, Obama and his socialist economic team must believe in strawmen. How else can they justify the unlimited socialist spending they are doing?

Vastet wrote:

Democratic Socialism is not irrational. Smiling

Then we should see a welfare state working and sustainable somewhere in the world. The people that subsidize the welfare state through their hard work will eventually get tired of subsidizing the Nadaya Sulemans of the world and the government goes bankrupt.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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godisgoneonhoneymoon

godisgoneonhoneymoon wrote:

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

What's interesting is that in The book of Acts, the first Christian church was communist in that everyone shared everything they owned with the whole group. God even punished a couple with death that horded some of their wealth from the whole group.

Atheists generally subscribe to Darwin's 'Survival of the Fittest' theory, which seems similar to laissez-faire capitalism.

How things got reverersed???

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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The morons who argue

The morons who argue Christainity=Capitalism crap have no clue what the Age Of Enlightenment and the subsiquent Revolution in America, did in rebeling against religious rule.

First off, "Capitalism" exists IN EVERY COUNTRY! To "Capitalize" merely means to take advantage of. In the oil rich middle east the theocratic dictatorships, where the wealth is concentrated and the civilians have little freedom, that central power capitalizes off the sale of oil. In China, the state Captitalizes of the labor of the workers.

What we have in western secular society is an OPEN MARKET, with private business ownership and private property, vs a closed and strictly controled form of Capitalism.

SECONDLY, the Age of Enlightenment saught secularism as a replacement to authoritarian rule. It saught advise and consent, and reason over absolute power.

Name me one Abrhamic god that is willing to allow others to compete with him(metaphorically speaking if we go by the theist's model).

So the same problem with Capitalism being controled by a theocracy is the same as Captitalism being controled by the state. No open market based on an authoritarian rule.

Christians did not invent Capitalism, nor is it a form of government. All humans take advantage of a situtation. The ETHICS in doing such is being mistaken for a label such as party, nation or religion.

Labels don't make you automatically ethical. Both the Muslim poppi grower in Afganistan and the Marketing CEO of McDonnalds are out to make a buck at the expense of your health.  Ethics are the degree a given society is willing to do things.

HOWEVER, In America, we have much more of an open market to counter and compete without blindly following something for mere tradition or religion.

I doubt these people you have debated with know very much at all about what the founders said in rebeling against pulpit politics. And I doubt they even understand how important secularism is to them.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:One

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

One cannot be permitted to take if one is unwilling to give in a socialist society. It is not that the government will take from you, it will simply stop giving to you. It may expell or imprison you, if you continue to fail to contribute whilst receiving benefits that you are not entitled to since you aren't contributing, but then a capitalist society would do the same. Theft is theft.

The amount of give and take needs to be nearly equal for all individuals over the course of a lifetime. I've yet to see a socialist system that does not permit people to take advantage of the system and take way more than they give. Socialism will fail unless you come up with a way to prevent generation after generation from continually taking way more than they give.

That you have not seen one does not mean that one cannot exist.

EXC wrote:

I agree there is greedy rich, but then there is greedy poor that will take more than they ever give in a welfare state and pass their ways onto the next generation in greater numbers.

I think you're looking at classic versions of communism, not an orderly democratic socialism. Rich and poor would not exist. And they could not take more than they give.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

What is a low productive citizen anyway? It may surprise you to know that without the cleaning staff, a factory will shut down within a week. A restaurant within a day. The factory and restaurant can do without half their workers or even a manager in some cases for a few days; but they cannot do without a cleaner. Yet the cleaning staff is generally the lowest pay scale, the most disgusting work, and the most inflexible hours. That is horrific inequality.

News flash: Life is not fair. Government can't get rid of diseases by making a law againt it. Nor can it make poverty go away just by making a law against it. A rational process must be followed in both cases.

And socialist democracy is a rational process that can restore equilibrium to the economy.

EXC wrote:

Economist measure productivity in terms of the value of the labor, not by how hard or disgusting the work may be.

Which was exactly my point. Without the cleaning staff, you have no productivity. I ask you again to define a low productive worker in this light.

EXC wrote:
 Your car will not run without spark plugs.

Spark plugs will not be manufactured without a cleaning staff.

EXC wrote:
 But does that mean that spark plug producers should form a monopoly and charge $10,000 per spark plug? There are laws about supply and demand for labor. If you subsidize an oversupply of unskilled labor, you will have more unskilled labor. You can't base an economy on what people feel is fair. It must be based on what works.

I'm not talking about people's feelings, I'm talking about a rational approach to the economy. Something that is not currently happening. Anywhere. Your response is a strawman. You make invalid assumptions about the education system in such a political climate, and therefore there is nothing to respond to. A socialist democracy would be served best by having as much skilled labour available as possible. A capitalist democracy depends on there being a lower class of stupid people to do the drudge work. And that those people outnumber the skilled class. A foolish tactic that has helped to lead us into a position where people disbelieve in evolution, amongst other things.

EXC wrote:
 

Vastet wrote:

The rest is a strawman.

Well then, Obama and his socialist economic team must believe in strawmen. How else can they justify the unlimited socialist spending they are doing?

Obama is not creating a socialist state. He's expanding on the socialism within a capitalist state. Which I cannot say will go particularly well, but I can't say it won't either.

EXC wrote:

Then we should see a welfare state working and sustainable somewhere in the world.

So we should see blue people in every city, because people can have blue skin. And we should see a toaster orbitting around Sol, because a toaster could orbit around Sol.

EXC wrote:
 The people that subsidize the welfare state through their hard work will eventually get tired of subsidizing the Nadaya Sulemans of the world and the government goes bankrupt.

It's just like arguing evolution with a theist. Strawman after strawman after strawman.

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I find it rather weird that

I find it rather weird that people are contrasting ideologies (mostly communism and socialism) with a form of government (mostly democracy). The latter is means of implementing the former and contrasting them to each other is like contrasting the content of cargo containers to trains, trucks or other means of transporting said cargo containers with contents.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Democratic Socialism is not irrational. Smiling

Then we should see a welfare state working and sustainable somewhere in the world.

I am living in one (Sweden), it has worked for more than half a century and show no signs of breaking down in the foreseeable future.

 


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Vastet wrote:That you have

Vastet wrote:

That you have not seen one does not mean that one cannot exist.

I've yet to see a perpetual motion machine either. I don't believe one can exist because it would violate basic laws of how the universe operates. Essential socialism is a perpetual motion machine, where you can theoretically get high productivity out of some people, while giving them little reward in return.

A welfare state violates the laws for biological systems. Lions that are successful hunters don't share their booty equally with all the other lions. Otherwise such a species would be replaced by a more successful predator.

The success of an ant colony does not depend on how hard the ants work but on how successful they are at getting what the colony needs.

If you stop giving lot's of food and water to the cows that produce a lot of milk, they'll stop producing milk. But socialists see the cow as a magic milk machine, it should produce the same no matter how little you give it.

We need to see a plan of how the system would not collapse from people taking more than they give. I've yet to see one.

Vastet wrote:

Rich and poor would not exist. And they could not take more than they give.

How exactly is that going to be prevented? How is anyone motivated toward excellence and innovation in their education or career in such a system?

Vastet wrote:

Spark plugs will not be manufactured without a cleaning staff.

Nor will they be manufactured without someone investing money and developing technical and business skills. Unfortunately these people won't do their part unless they are paid well for it. It may not seem fair, but that's the way it is.

Vastet wrote:

You make invalid assumptions about the education system in such a political climate, and therefore there is nothing to respond to.

What assumptions have I made that are in error? If I'm wrong or illogical in my thinking, I'd like to know exactly why.

Vastet wrote:

A socialist democracy would be served best by having as much skilled labour available as possible. A capitalist democracy depends on there being a lower class of stupid people to do the drudge work.

 

And how exactly do you motivate people to become skilled laborers if you tax them at high rates for their skilled labor and then give welfare to unskilled labor, so that their is no motivation to get ahead?

Vastet wrote:

It's just like arguing evolution with a theist. Strawman after strawman after strawman.

Tell me what strawman I am creating. Otherwise you are creating a strawman.

Socialism has pretty much come to mean 'supporting the welfare state'. Unlimited benefits to anyone that has a 'need' without conditions. Taking from people the wealth they produce and giving it to those in need. If this is not your position, I think you'd be better off not using the word 'socialist' to describe your position since this is what they all seem to believe.

You need to define a new term and state exactly what you believe is the best policy and tell us why the results would be good and not result in economic collapse.

I do have sympathy for you, I tried to define exactly my position here, but I was assumed to be in line with Republicans because I think it's insane to tax the most wealth producing citizens at obscene levels. I never used the word Republican to describe myself.

So then define what exactly you mean by 'social democracy' so I won't make any false assumptions?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC, sorry, but you're going

EXC, sorry, but you're going to have to wait until tomorrow for a response. I just had it all typed out and it fucked up with an error. I'm not typing it all out again tonight, I'll do it tomorrow at work.

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godisgoneonhoneymoon

godisgoneonhoneymoon wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some friends from different places and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were insisting that atheism and communism are the same and Capitalism and Christianity are the same.

The first two may seem close to each other. But i was surprised by latter two. I dont know why would someone think that inorder to be a good christian, you have to faith in market capitalism too.

what you all say about?

No offense, but most of your friends are stupid.

Hambydammit wrote:

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

3. Profit.

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spike.barnett wrote:1. There

spike.barnett wrote:

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

3. Profit.

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

3. Profit.

4. God wanted you to profit.

5. Therefore, God exists.


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Balkoth wrote:spike.barnett

Balkoth wrote:

spike.barnett wrote:

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

3. Profit.

1. There is no god.

2. Therefore ?????

3. Profit.

4. God wanted you to profit.

5. Therefore, God exists.

Are you certain you want to start this again?

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I read your whole post

I read your whole post before responding, and therefore left out a few quotes since they would be covered elsewhere. If you think I didn't address something, please let me know.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

That you have not seen one does not mean that one cannot exist.

I've yet to see a perpetual motion machine either.


That is not an argument.


EXC wrote:
I don't believe one can exist because it would violate basic laws of how the universe operates.

Socialism does not violate physical laws. It is incapable of even being compared with them.

EXC wrote:
where you can theoretically get high productivity out of some people, while giving them little reward in return.

The socialism I'm talking about seeks to get the most productivity out of the most people it can.
 

EXC wrote:
A welfare state violates the laws for biological systems. Lions that are successful hunters don't share their booty equally with all the other lions. Otherwise such a species would be replaced by a more successful predator.

Lions don't have a fraction of our communication abilities, let alone our cultures and intellect. Adding to this their physical domination based "society", if one can call it that...It is an invalid comparison.
EXC wrote:

The success of an ant colony does not depend on how hard the ants work but on how successful they are at getting what the colony needs.

How ironic that you be the one to bring in ants, when they are the perfect example of socialism working perfectly in nature. For a longer time than mammals have existed.

There is a difference between ants and us though, obviously. They use a monarchy based socialism, while I am proposing a democratic one.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Rich and poor would not exist. And they could not take more than they give.

How exactly is that going to be prevented? How is anyone motivated toward excellence and innovation in their education or career in such a system?


Keeping a modicum of capitalism within the socialist framework. Similar to how a social net exists within the capitalist framework we use today. There would simply be a balancing of wages. Not an extreme balance, where everyone makes exactly the same no matter what they do, but a balance where the bottom line is much higher than it is, and the highest line is much lower than it is.
EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Spark plugs will not be manufactured without a cleaning staff.

Nor will they be manufactured without someone investing money and developing technical and business skills. Unfortunately these people won't do their part unless they are paid well for it. It may not seem fair, but that's the way it is.


The government will invest to produce these.


EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

A socialist democracy would be served best by having as much skilled labour available as possible. A capitalist democracy depends on there being a lower class of stupid people to do the drudge work.

 

And how exactly do you motivate people to become skilled laborers if you tax them at high rates for their skilled labor and then give welfare to unskilled labor, so that their is no motivation to get ahead?


Education is free. The government recognizes that a skilled workforce is superior to an unskilled workforce, in so many ways one could write a book about it. Therefore the government invests in the education of its citizens. Unlike today, where the majority are convinced or connived into accepting low wages, low education, and crap jobs so the very top of the capitalist machine can keep rolling over them.


EXC wrote:

Socialism has pretty much come to mean 'supporting the welfare state'. Unlimited benefits to anyone that has a 'need' without conditions. Taking from people the wealth they produce and giving it to those in need. If this is not your position, I think you'd be better off not using the word 'socialist' to describe your position since this is what they all seem to believe.
 You need to define a new term and state exactly what you believe is the best policy and tell us why the results would be good and not result in economic collapse.

I do have sympathy for you, I tried to define exactly my position here, but I was assumed to be in line with Republicans because I think it's insane to tax the most wealth producing citizens at obscene levels. I never used the word Republican to describe myself.

So then define what exactly you mean by 'social democracy' so I won't make any false assumptions?

 


Fuck those assholes. First I try communism, and find it's beyond repair thanks to the cold war. Now you tell me I can't use socialism either. Vastetism? But then I confuse an economic policy with myself and a character in a novel I'm writing. Sigh. You tell me a word.
My vision of Democratic Socialism, in extreme brief:

-The government owns all property and assets.
-The people owns the government.
-Party system is abolished. People can run if they want to, and have demonstrated their capability in various fields of education. This would be something I'd only get into further if I actually thought there was a chance of a Democratic Socialism existing in my lifetime.
-Education is free, even at the university level.
-Studies in multiple fields encouraged, to increase diversity of skill, intellect, and education within the population.
-Failure to keep up with studies in a field will require a change of fields, to ensure unqualified people do not rise the ladder of a particular field.
-Management is earned on merit, and completion of familiarity with all fields the manager will oversee.
-Merit is the driving force of motivation. Sure if all you want is a roof and food you just do your regular shifts. If you want a big screen tv instead of the small one you've got, donate a few extra hours here and there = Bigger paycheque. Hence, motivation.
-Time is the driving currency that a worker trades for money. To an extent that's how it works today, though this would be the removal of salary based wages completely.

I could continue, but I'm not sure where I'd stop. So I'll leave it for now.

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Vastet wrote:How ironic that

Vastet wrote:

How ironic that you be the one to bring in ants, when they are the perfect example of socialism working perfectly in nature.

Social insects have nothing to do with socialism. They don't have an economy, so they are not comparable to socialist states. That is as ridiculous as me saying that they are the perfect example of capitalism in nature. They form corporations (hives) that compete with one another for natural resources. They make risky investments (some workers and a new queen leave to form a new hive) in an attempt to start up new corporations. They have no central over site that enforces rules onto all hives.  Sounds like ants follow laissez-faire capitalism to me.

But in all seriousness: they don't have an economy and they are all mindlessly responding to each others' chemical signals; so they aren't socialist or capitalist.

 

Vastet wrote:

There is a difference between ants and us though, obviously. They use a monarchy based socialism, while I am proposing a democratic one.

No, they don't. Ants do not have a monarchy. "Queen ant" is just the name for the egg layer ant. She is not in charge and she is not in any sense a 'queen' of the colony. We should have named 'queen ants' something like 'breeder ants' or 'egg layer ants.'

 

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Spark plugs will not be manufactured without a cleaning staff.

Nor will they be manufactured without someone investing money and developing technical and business skills. Unfortunately these people won't do their part unless they are paid well for it. It may not seem fair, but that's the way it is.


The government will invest to produce these.

There is a scary thought: turning over investment and production of new companies to the government. Goodbye private entrepreneurship, hello government investment bureaucracy. Please, don't tell me you actually would want the government to be the source of funding for start-up companies in the future.

 

Vastet wrote:

There would simply be a balancing of wages. Not an extreme balance, where everyone makes exactly the same no matter what they do, but a balance where the bottom line is much higher than it is, and the highest line is much lower than it is.

So a pretty high (relative to now) minimum wage and a rather low (relative to now) maximum wage is what you are advocating. Wouldn't that encourage high income earners to flee your country and take their capital with them? This sounds like a hypothetical country that would suffer from capital flight as rich people decide to move to freindier states. Unless, of course, you seize all of their possessions when they flee and force capital to be stuck in your country. But at that point, I would have to say that you are advocating for some kind of horrible government that literally steals all of someone's possessions if they try and flee for a better life.

 

Vastet wrote:

the majority are convinced or connived into accepting low wages, low education, and crap jobs so the very top of the capitalist machine can keep rolling over them.

That's a funny joke Vastet. Having a more highly educated work force would only help the capitalists at the top of the economic machine. They aren't conspiring to keep us dumb and uneducated. They are wishing that more of us would get educations. There is a reason for private grants. It is a business investment that pays off. A stupid uneducated workforce is a bad work force. And the people on top know it. That statement of yours is nothing short of a conspiracy theory.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Vastet

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

How ironic that you be the one to bring in ants, when they are the perfect example of socialism working perfectly in nature.

Social insects have nothing to do with socialism. They don't have an economy, so they are not comparable to socialist states. That is as ridiculous as me saying that they are the perfect example of capitalism in nature. They form corporations (hives) that compete with one another for natural resources. They make risky investments (some workers and a new queen leave to form a new hive) in an attempt to start up new corporations. They have no central over site that enforces rules onto all hives.  Sounds like ants follow laissez-faire capitalism to me.

But in all seriousness: they don't have an economy and they are all mindlessly responding to each others' chemical signals; so they aren't socialist or capitalist.

I think this is debateable, but it's another topic, and I don't see any need to spread out into other topics.

 

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

There is a difference between ants and us though, obviously. They use a monarchy based socialism, while I am proposing a democratic one.

No, they don't. Ants do not have a monarchy. "Queen ant" is just the name for the egg layer ant. She is not in charge and she is not in any sense a 'queen' of the colony. We should have named 'queen ants' something like 'breeder ants' or 'egg layer ants.'

I was referring not to "queen" ants, but the fact that every ant has a clear and defined role to play, and that none of them choose that role, they are born into it.

Regardless, as above, that's another discussion.

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

The government will invest to produce these.

There is a scary thought: turning over investment and production of new companies to the government.

Yeah, because private investors are so intelligent. Not.

Jormungander wrote:
Goodbye private entrepreneurship, hello government investment bureaucracy.

Not even close. There would be plenty of opportunity to start a business. It would work similarly as it does today. Though instead of asking a bank for a loan, you're asking the government.

Jormungander wrote:
 Please, don't tell me you actually would want the government to be the source of funding for start-up companies in the future.

Yes I would.

Jormungander wrote:
 

Vastet wrote:

There would simply be a balancing of wages. Not an extreme balance, where everyone makes exactly the same no matter what they do, but a balance where the bottom line is much higher than it is, and the highest line is much lower than it is.

So a pretty high (relative to now) minimum wage and a rather low (relative to now) maximum wage is what you are advocating. Wouldn't that encourage high income earners to flee your country and take their capital with them?

The most successful approach to this scheme would be a semi-decentralized globalized government, where such isn't even a concern.

The specifics of the details of dealing with competing capitalist nations get pretty sticky. Suffice to say they would not have the option to do so except under specific circumstances, such as they had already worked enough to have paid for their education as an example of a factor. I'm not going to get into it beyond that as I see no point in discussing it. The reason for this is that I don't see a method of implementation that is acceptable in todays circumstances. As I'd have to project into the future to go further into the details of this question, there isn't currently a  complete answer.

Jormungander wrote:
 This sounds like a hypothetical country that would suffer from capital flight as rich people decide to move to freindier states. Unless, of course, you seize all of their possessions when they flee and force capital to be stuck in your country. But at that point, I would have to say that you are advocating for some kind of horrible government that literally steals all of someone's possessions if they try and flee for a better life.

Change is always hard. Accept it, move on. We're going to be seeing a lot of bigger and more negatively impactful changes than this if our species is to survive the next few hundred years.

Once the initial changeover had been accomplished, there would be no need for a repeat. Consider it a one time start up cost. Where the majority profits, and an insignificant minority loses their excess assets of luxury.

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

the majority are convinced or connived into accepting low wages, low education, and crap jobs so the very top of the capitalist machine can keep rolling over them.

That's a funny joke Vastet. Having a more highly educated work force would only help the capitalists at the top of the economic machine.

No it wouldn't. It would mean you have less people willing to pick up garbage, work in fast food, and clean offices. To name the tip of the iceberg. Why? because all of those jobs are minimum wage, struggling to pay rent let alone for food. Whereas in socialism these jobs provide more than enough to live and eat and even provide a few luxuries every now and then.

Jormungander wrote:
 They aren't conspiring to keep us dumb and uneducated. They are wishing that more of us would get educations. There is a reason for private grants. It is a business investment that pays off. A stupid uneducated workforce is a bad work force. And the people on top know it. That statement of yours is nothing short of a conspiracy theory.

I'm not proposing a conspiracy theory, I'm simply removing the veil from capitalism. Conspiracies require intent to conspire. Such is not the case here. It's the way it works. Without a relatively uneducated lower class workforce, you have no productivity, because all the lowest rung jobs are not sought after. If capitalists today truly desired an educated workforce, grants would be a lot more common than the current practice of only awarding to those who scored massive scores on a SAT or other test. Minimum wage would be higher, and it wouldn't have been the government who set it. In fact, the government would be embarrassed that its law for minimum wage was underneath the minimum companies actually paid to their workers.

Instead it is the government who gives out the most grants and scholarships. It is the government who enforces minimum wage so that the capitalists don't lower wages even further beyond the poverty line so their green line is even greener.

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Jormungander wrote:They have

Jormungander wrote:

They have no central over site that enforces rules onto all hives.  Sounds like ants follow laissez-faire capitalism to me.

The have the laws of nature that cause them to do what is necessary to survive. Their economy is do what is necessary to survive. So they've adapted how they operate to do this. This is what humans should do, it is not capitalism or socialism.

Jormungander wrote:
But in all seriousness: they don't have an economy and they are all mindlessly responding to each others' chemical signals; so they aren't socialist or capitalist.

 

The nuerons in ones brain does the same thing. Yet somehow the combination of all those neurons leads to one being a capicalist or socialist.


 

Vastet wrote:

The government will invest to produce these.

In other words give money to people to build and run the factory. But you have to give them a lot of money to do this and you need to pick the best people to do this. These people will get rich which violates your rule about no rich and poor.

Vastet wrote:

There would simply be a balancing of wages. Not an extreme balance, where everyone makes exactly the same no matter what they do, but a balance where the bottom line is much higher than it is, and the highest line is much lower than it is.

Then you'll just exacerbate the labor shortages in certain fields like nursing, energy, engineering, accounting, etc.. Everyone will become a music, art or physical education major or they just won't get any education since there is no advantage.

We have that now with graduated income tax system. It has done nothing to change the gap between rich and poor.

Vastet wrote:

the majority are convinced or connived into accepting low wages, low education, and crap jobs so the very top of the capitalist machine can keep rolling over them.

Or they grew up in a dysfunctional home and school system. Or they just liked to party and do drugs instead of study. Or they didn't have the mental capacity to develop skills in high wage fields. Or they think all rich people are assholes and they didn't want to be like them.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Vastet wrote:My vision of

Vastet wrote:

My vision of Democratic Socialism, in extreme brief:

-The government owns all property and assets.

Welcome to 1984. Government must spy on every human activity and torture people who violate the rules. Plus you completely demotivate people to innovate and work hard if they and their children can't get ahead.


-The people owns the government.

In theory they do now. But it's human nature to get ahead so politicians put their own interests first. How do you fix this problem?


-Party system is abolished. People can run if they want to, and have demonstrated their capability in various fields of education. This would be something I'd only get into further if I actually thought there was a chance of a Democratic Socialism existing in my lifetime.

So no freedom of thought. So how does corruption and problems in the government get corrected if no one is allowed to oppose the government?


-Education is free, even at the university level.

Nothing but students studying music, art, sports or whatever they like. Never getting a difficult job cause you can stay in school forever.


-Studies in multiple fields encouraged, to increase diversity of skill, intellect, and education within the population.

Encouraged how? We can't have rich or poor remember.


-Failure to keep up with studies in a field will require a change of fields, to ensure unqualified people do not rise the ladder of a particular field.

So just fail at what is difficult so you can study something easy that you enjoy. You make pretty much the same money.


-Management is earned on merit, and completion of familiarity with all fields the manager will oversee.

Then you'll have rich people?


-Merit is the driving force of motivation. Sure if all you want is a roof and food you just do your regular shifts. If you want a big screen tv instead of the small one you've got, donate a few extra hours here and there = Bigger paycheque. Hence, motivation.
 

Then you'll have poor people? Cause some people are OK with living in cardboard box and eating garbage if they don't have to have a boss.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:The

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

The government will invest to produce these.

In other words give money to people to build and run the factory. But you have to give them a lot of money to do this and you need to pick the best people to do this. These people will get rich which violates your rule about no rich and poor.

Not exactly. People EARN the right to run them by gaining an education and by demonstrating capability. They don't get rich because they are not in charge of the cash flow. It's like a well run military. A sergeant given control of a munitions factory doesn't become rich off of the sales of the factory, he just runs the factory. View the workforce in a similar light to a military and you'll have a better idea of the basis of my ideas.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

There would simply be a balancing of wages. Not an extreme balance, where everyone makes exactly the same no matter what they do, but a balance where the bottom line is much higher than it is, and the highest line is much lower than it is.

Then you'll just exacerbate the labor shortages in certain fields like nursing, energy, engineering, accounting, etc.. Everyone will become a music, art or physical education major or they just won't get any education since there is no advantage.

That doesn't even make any sense. You'd have to demonstrate capability in those fields to be able to go anywhere. And most people are not great singers or artists or gymnasts, despite what they might personally think.

Worse for your argument is that the culture would reflect the needs of the time. If doctors are in shortage, and projected to remain in a shortage, than children are slightly more encouraged to follow the medical industry than say engineering. It is looked upon more favourably than other positions, and perhaps there would be an extra motivating factor for attempting to alleviate stress on the system. As I've mentioned previously, people would be encouraged to develope skills in multiple fields to reduce the very problem you allude to.

EXC wrote:

We have that now with graduated income tax system. It has done nothing to change the gap between rich and poor.

Income taxes is hardly an effective strategy to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. You just piss off both sides when all of their paycheque's are reduced.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

the majority are convinced or connived into accepting low wages, low education, and crap jobs so the very top of the capitalist machine can keep rolling over them.

Or they grew up in a dysfunctional home and school system. Or they just liked to party and do drugs instead of study. Or they didn't have the mental capacity to develop skills in high wage fields. Or they think all rich people are assholes and they didn't want to be like them.

Some people are indeed there for those reasons, I admit. But there are also the ones that I've mentioned.

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Vastet wrote:Not exactly.

Vastet wrote:

Not exactly. People EARN the right to run them by gaining an education and by demonstrating capability.

Why bother? I can just be the janitor an make the same as the chief engineer. 

Vastet wrote:

They don't get rich because they are not in charge of the cash flow. It's like a well run military. A sergeant given control of a munitions factory doesn't become rich off of the sales of the factory, he just runs the factory. View the workforce in a similar light to a military and you'll have a better idea of the basis of my ideas.

In a well run military, the generals make more money, get more glory, yet make little sacrifice. The soldiers work their ass off, risk their lives for little in return. They have no freedoms or comforts of living. The politicians and the capitalist defense contractors get rich. Hardly sounds like social fairness to me.

Also you can't force people to be creative and innovative by putting a gun to their heads to make them work with no reward in return. A well run factory requires innovative, inventive people not mindless robots that only follow orders. The military is only good at killing and destroying not creating.

Vastet wrote:

That doesn't even make any sense. You'd have to demonstrate capability in those fields to be able to go anywhere. And most people are not great singers or artists or gymnasts, despite what they might personally think.

So Big Brother takes all 3 year olds and gives them an aptitude test. You will be forced to study whatever the test say you have talent for. Then a government beauracratic deciedes what your kid will study in line with the needs of the economy. Basically we have no freedom to choose our carrer and children are wards of the state economy.

Vastet wrote:

 than children are slightly more encouraged to follow the medical industry than say engineering.

Encouraged with what? Remember we can't have salary gaps between different groups of people. And if you have a massive labor shortage as we do now with nursing, how can the encouragement only be 'slight'?

Vastet wrote:

Income taxes is hardly an effective strategy to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. You just piss off both sides when all of their paycheque's are reduced.

Low wage people are quite happy not to pay high income tax rates.

It amounts to the same thing if you have wage controls.

Vastet wrote:

Some people are indeed there for those reasons, I admit. But there are also the ones that I've mentioned.

OK. Well if there are some people that can be helped by socialist programs, let's see the plan. So far all you've proposed is wealth redistribution to destroy motivation, innovation and hard work. Everyone will live in extreme poverty with constant shortages goods under your system.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:Not

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Not exactly. People EARN the right to run them by gaining an education and by demonstrating capability.

Why bother? I can just be the janitor an make the same as the chief engineer. 

Not exactly the same. Your level of experience, education, and work imparted would all be direct impactors on your income. And before you or someone else asks, yes someone could work at a level below their capability and retain the wages they are entitled to if society needs extra bodies in one level of the workplace over another. The whole point is flexibility and efficiency.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

They don't get rich because they are not in charge of the cash flow. It's like a well run military. A sergeant given control of a munitions factory doesn't become rich off of the sales of the factory, he just runs the factory. View the workforce in a similar light to a military and you'll have a better idea of the basis of my ideas.

In a well run military, the generals make more money, get more glory, yet make little sacrifice. The soldiers work their ass off, risk their lives for little in return. They have no freedoms or comforts of living. The politicians and the capitalist defense contractors get rich. Hardly sounds like social fairness to me.

Now put a socialist democracy in charge of the military, and you've got what I'm talking about. The politicians and the generals may still get more credit for certain activities than the average joe, but they've earned such status with time and education, as well as participation. As far as the money goes, they'll get the benefits they've earned, and no more.

EXC wrote:

Also you can't force people to be creative and innovative by putting a gun to their heads to make them work with no reward in return. A well run factory requires innovative, inventive people not mindless robots that only follow orders. The military is only good at killing and destroying not creating.

The military makes an active effort to destroy such notions in its recruits in favour of people who will follow orders unquestioningly. The system I am referring to would not.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

That doesn't even make any sense. You'd have to demonstrate capability in those fields to be able to go anywhere. And most people are not great singers or artists or gymnasts, despite what they might personally think.

So Big Brother takes all 3 year olds and gives them an aptitude test. You will be forced to study whatever the test say you have talent for. Then a government beauracratic deciedes what your kid will study in line with the needs of the economy. Basically we have no freedom to choose our carrer and children are wards of the state economy.

No, therein is the reasoning behind multiple fields. You may be assigned one or two fields that you have demonstrated an aptitude for, but you can still choose others for yourself. Only gross negligence or proof of failure to understand the concepts of a field would bar you from participation within it.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

 than children are slightly more encouraged to follow the medical industry than say engineering.

Encouraged with what?

Psychology, for one thing. Actual benefits for another.

EXC wrote:
  Remember we can't have salary gaps between different groups of people.

Remember that I am not proposing an entirely equal payscale for all workers. Merely a restructured one that addresses gross imbalances in todays economic policies.

EXC wrote:
  And if you have a massive labor shortage as we do now with nursing, how can the encouragement only be 'slight'?

If it is extensive, then everyone goes over, and other fields are left destitute.

The fact of the matter is that I would anticipate shortages and surplusses in almost every field, always. There would be a constant flow of excess and shortage that was sought to be used as efficiently as possible. The diversification of the education system and the workforce is the tool I would utilize to control this. The key would be to keep shortages from becoming critical, and excesses from becoming wasteful. With a properly diversified populace, the difficulty of achieving such a state is negligible.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Income taxes is hardly an effective strategy to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. You just piss off both sides when all of their paycheque's are reduced.

Low wage people are quite happy not to pay high income tax rates.

It amounts to the same thing if you have wage controls.

As I am currently working in the tax industry, I can tell you that low wage people are NOT quite happy to have to pay taxes. The rate they are taxed at doesn't even matter to most of them. The average person has no idea what the tax rates even are. They're just pissed that they get taxed in the first place.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Some people are indeed there for those reasons, I admit. But there are also the ones that I've mentioned.

OK. Well if there are some people that can be helped by socialist programs, let's see the plan. So far all you've proposed is wealth redistribution to destroy motivation, innovation and hard work. Everyone will live in extreme poverty with constant shortages goods under your system.

 

You have failed to show that wealth redistribution as I am proposing it would destroy motivation, innovation, and hard work. So I have nothing to respond to with this point.

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Vastet wrote:Not exactly the

Vastet wrote:

Not exactly the same. Your level of experience, education, and work imparted would all be direct impactors on your income. And before you or someone else asks, yes someone could work at a level below their capability and retain the wages they are entitled to if society needs extra bodies in one level of the workplace over another. The whole point is flexibility and efficiency.

The free market already does that based on the laws of supply and demand. The problem with the free market is that there is a time delay between when there is a labor shortage and when workers can be trained in that field. This is a problem of the education system in that it needs to anticipate shortages and adapt. There is no need to mandate wages in the economy because all it would do is make the shortages/surpluses worse.

Vastet wrote:

The military makes an active effort to destroy such notions in its recruits in favour of people who will follow orders unquestioningly. The system I am referring to would not.

In the military you only follow orders from the top. If someone came up with a better way to make spark plugs, they couldn't get funding for their idea, they couldn't get an investor to take a chance on their idea. They would receive no reward for doing the hard work of invention. So we're all stuck with crappy technology.

Vastet wrote:

No, therein is the reasoning behind multiple fields. You may be assigned one or two fields that you have demonstrated an aptitude for, but you can still choose others for yourself. Only gross negligence or proof of failure to understand the concepts of a field would bar you from participation within it.

So we can all just study and work in whatever career we want and basically get the same as everyone else. Won't everyone just be a musician or some such career to get chicks?

Vastet wrote:

Psychology, for one thing. Actual benefits for another.

Lie to the kids and hope they believe you. The free market give benefits already.

Vastet wrote:

Remember that I am not proposing an entirely equal payscale for all workers. Merely a restructured one that addresses gross imbalances in todays economic policies.

The problem is not the free market. It is poor education, exploitation of natural resources for person profit, fraud in the lending, investment and insurance businesses, overpopulation, dysfunctional families and corrupt politicians. You need policies that solve these problems, not policies that will only worsen supply/demand problems in the market.

Vastet wrote:

If it is extensive, then everyone goes over, and other fields are left destitute.

So basically let the free market decide what wages should be.

Vastet wrote:

As I am currently working in the tax industry, I can tell you that low wage people are NOT quite happy to have to pay taxes. The rate they are taxed at doesn't even matter to most of them. The average person has no idea what the tax rates even are. They're just pissed that they get taxed in the first place.

In the USA, low income people pay almost nothing in income taxes. No one is happy about any taxes. We need to switch to a pay a you go system where you pay for the government benefits received. Not subsidising people to continue working in low wage jobs and punishing success.

So tell me who is overpaid and under taxed? Why and what would happen if they had most of their wealth confiscated?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:Not

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Not exactly the same. Your level of experience, education, and work imparted would all be direct impactors on your income. And before you or someone else asks, yes someone could work at a level below their capability and retain the wages they are entitled to if society needs extra bodies in one level of the workplace over another. The whole point is flexibility and efficiency.

The free market already does that based on the laws of supply and demand. The problem with the free market is that there is a time delay between when there is a labor shortage and when workers can be trained in that field. This is a problem of the education system in that it needs to anticipate shortages and adapt. There is no need to mandate wages in the economy because all it would do is make the shortages/surpluses worse.

The free market does do that, which is why I incorporated a version of it. What the free market does not do is protect those at the bottom from those at the top. Nor does it anticipate shortages or surplusses very well. Nor can it do anything about them when they happen. This society could.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

The military makes an active effort to destroy such notions in its recruits in favour of people who will follow orders unquestioningly. The system I am referring to would not.

In the military you only follow orders from the top. If someone came up with a better way to make spark plugs, they couldn't get funding for their idea, they couldn't get an investor to take a chance on their idea. They would receive no reward for doing the hard work of invention. So we're all stuck with crappy technology.

Which isn't a problem here. The ordered structure of a military with the freedom and inspiration of a democratic society.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

No, therein is the reasoning behind multiple fields. You may be assigned one or two fields that you have demonstrated an aptitude for, but you can still choose others for yourself. Only gross negligence or proof of failure to understand the concepts of a field would bar you from participation within it.

So we can all just study and work in whatever career we want and basically get the same as everyone else. Won't everyone just be a musician or some such career to get chicks?

How much fun are you having when your competitor just got a new set of drums because he was participating in genetic research as well, and he's got a crowd of hotties around him while you've got noone?

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Psychology, for one thing. Actual benefits for another.

Lie to the kids and hope they believe you. The free market give benefits already.

What lie? It's a lie to tell a kid that we need doctors? Sure...
The free markets benefits are outweighed by its cons. This takes the benefits of the free market and eliminates the cons.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Remember that I am not proposing an entirely equal payscale for all workers. Merely a restructured one that addresses gross imbalances in todays economic policies.

The problem is not the free market. It is poor education, exploitation of natural resources for person profit, fraud in the lending, investment and insurance businesses, overpopulation, dysfunctional families and corrupt politicians. You need policies that solve these problems, not policies that will only worsen supply/demand problems in the market.

All of these problems are the result of the free market. Education costs an arm and a leg because of the free market. Exploitation of natural resources for personal gain because of the free market. Corrupt politicians because of the free market.

You are describing problems with capitalism that socialism will solve. You aren't describing problems in socialism that need to be overcome.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

If it is extensive, then everyone goes over, and other fields are left destitute.

So basically let the free market decide what wages should be.

A restricted market. But I think you're starting to get it. Kind of. I'm not looking to abolish capitalism completely, it is far too useful. I'm looking to reverse the polarity of the markets we use. From primarily capitalist with a modicum of socialism to primarily socialist with a modicum of capitalism. 

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

As I am currently working in the tax industry, I can tell you that low wage people are NOT quite happy to have to pay taxes. The rate they are taxed at doesn't even matter to most of them. The average person has no idea what the tax rates even are. They're just pissed that they get taxed in the first place.

In the USA, low income people pay almost nothing in income taxes.

You mean the people below the poverty line pay almost no taxes. NOT low income people. People below the poverty line are people who are one step shy of living on the streets, probablty in a slum. Or they already are on the streets.

EXC wrote:
  No one is happy about any taxes. We need to switch to a pay a you go system where you pay for the government benefits received. Not subsidising people to continue working in low wage jobs and punishing success.

And how are you going to determine that with a free market? People are free to fudge numbers all over the place and there is no appointed watch dogs to make sure it's all on the level.

And if you haven't gotten by now that this system rewards success, I fear I'm wasting my time explaining it to you.

EXC wrote:

So tell me who is overpaid and under taxed?

I am not going to go into minute detail work when this is merely a concept. I could spend the rest of my life discussing this with you on the detail level, and accomplish nothing. While theists continue to go merrily bye wasting our resources and time.

You give me a nations population willing to listen to and implement my ideas, and I'll bother going into minute details. Otherwise it's something we'll figure out for ourselves when the time comes. If it does.

EXC wrote:

Why and what would happen if they had most of their wealth confiscated?

Same as above. As it's not about to happen, it's not a concern to be dealt with. I'll not project into the future to make assumptions.

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Vastet wrote:The free market

Vastet wrote:

The free market does do that, which is why I incorporated a version of it. What the free market does not do is protect those at the bottom from those at the top. Nor does it anticipate shortages or surplusses very well. Nor can it do anything about them when they happen. This society could.

So basically you're admitting we can't get away from the laws of supply and demand? I'll agree government could do some long term planing for shortages/surpluses. But all the socialist programs I've seen(minimum wage, price controls, welfare, income tax) do nothing but make the imbalances worse.

Vastet wrote:

Which isn't a problem here. The ordered structure of a military with the freedom and inspiration of a democratic society.

The two are completely incompatible. There's a reason soldier don't get to vote if they want to go into battle.

Vastet wrote:

How much fun are you having when your competitor just got a new set of drums because he was participating in genetic research as well, and he's got a crowd of hotties around him while you've got noone?

Unfortunately, science isn't sexy. And you want to take away the financial reward for being in this field of study. So why bother?

Vastet wrote:

What lie? It's a lie to tell a kid that we need doctors? Sure...

That doesn't work with kids. You gotta show them the money.


Vastet wrote:

All of these problems are the result of the free market. Education costs an arm and a leg because of the free market. Exploitation of natural resources for personal gain because of the free market. Corrupt politicians because of the free market.

We've never had free market principles at work in the education system. Our education system is an example of failed socialism. Where bad schools and teachers never go bankrupt to be replaced by more effective ones.

Socialism is not going to take away people's desire to make money. If you take away work and investment as a means to get rich, you will have even more corruption. The Soviet Union basically became a mafia state because there were no legal means of becoming wealthy.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:The

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

The free market does do that, which is why I incorporated a version of it. What the free market does not do is protect those at the bottom from those at the top. Nor does it anticipate shortages or surplusses very well. Nor can it do anything about them when they happen. This society could.

So basically you're admitting we can't get away from the laws of supply and demand?

I never tried to say we can get away from supply and demand, just that it can be subjected to a measure of control. Maybe if we somehow found infinite resources we could, but I haven't seen or heard of anyone designing a molecular organizor(ie: replicator from star trek) yet. Of course, even such a miracle technology would only do so much. Nothing is infinite.

EXC wrote:
 I'll agree government could do some long term planing for shortages/surpluses. But all the socialist programs I've seen(minimum wage, price controls, welfare, income tax) do nothing but make the imbalances worse.

Many of the people I've seen who are socialists concentrate on the bottom of the pile. I look at the whole thing. Maximum wage, land, policing, government, military, etc. The problems generated by focusing on a segment can be fixed by looking at the larger picture. Or smaller parts of different areas of the bigger picture. But now I'm being vague.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Which isn't a problem here. The ordered structure of a military with the freedom and inspiration of a democratic society.

The two are completely incompatible. There's a reason soldier don't get to vote if they want to go into battle.

They are not incompatible. A soldier is an inaccurate reference to use, as I'm not talking about a society where everyone is a soldier ready to go into battle. 

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

How much fun are you having when your competitor just got a new set of drums because he was participating in genetic research as well, and he's got a crowd of hotties around him while you've got noone?

Unfortunately, science isn't sexy.

That's your opinion, it is not a fact.

EXC wrote:
 And you want to take away the financial reward for being in this field of study. So why bother?

I've told you multiple times that there is a financial reward for broadening your horizons. What is it going to take to get that in your head? I'm just going to go back to simply quoting strawmen as opposed to expanding on why if this continues.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

What lie? It's a lie to tell a kid that we need doctors? Sure...

That doesn't work with kids. You gotta show them the money.

So you're not a psychologist.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

All of these problems are the result of the free market. Education costs an arm and a leg because of the free market. Exploitation of natural resources for personal gain because of the free market. Corrupt politicians because of the free market.

We've never had free market principles at work in the education system. Our education system is an example of failed socialism. Where bad schools and teachers never go bankrupt to be replaced by more effective ones.

 

That is the most ridiculous thing you've said in this thread. The education system has been rooted in capitalism since the dawn of history. There have always been private schools for the rich, with better resources tools and materials then is available to the majority. And thats just for up to grade 12. Then it gets hardcore, where you can't proceed at all unless you have the money to.

EXC wrote:

Socialism is not going to take away people's desire to make money. If you take away work and investment as a means to get rich, you will have even more corruption. The Soviet Union basically became a mafia state because there were no legal means of becoming wealthy.

Strawman.

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Vastet wrote:That is the

Vastet wrote:

That is the most ridiculous thing you've said in this thread. The education system has been rooted in capitalism since the dawn of history. There have always been private schools for the rich, with better resources tools and materials then is available to the majority. And thats just for up to grade 12.

You aren't making sense Vastet. Our school system is in no way based on market principles or capitalism. A vast majority of students go to government run schools that are funded by taxpayers. The worst schools in the US never have to fear being shut down because of their incompetence and they never have to fear outside competition shutting them down. Thanks to the fact that very, very few people go to (or can even afford to go to) private schools, our public schools get to be as shitty as they want to be with no adverse consequences to the school itself. I wish schools were run on market principles. I wish that students could take their government school funding with them to any public or private school that they wanted to. Then the market would force schools to perform. But, of course, teachers unions hate the idea of school vouchers. If they were exposed to competition they know that they would have to change how they teach. So instead we have people with no school choice who can not select which public school they go to and can not take their per-student school funding from the government and spend it on private school. Where on earth do you see market principles or capitalism in all this?

That fact that the rich get to flee our broken education system does not mean that education is rooted in capitalism. That just means that only the rich can afford to pay for schooling through taxes and then separately pay for schooling through their own money. The fact that things are set up that way is the government's fault, not capitalism's or the market's fault.

 

Vastet wrote:

Then it gets hardcore, where you can't proceed at all unless you have the money to.

At my university a vast majority of the students get financial aid from the government. The government will either give them free money to spend on college, or it will give them delayed interest/low interest loans. That is just an untrue statement that you typed. I personally know too many poor people in college to accept that statement.

 

Vastet wrote:

So you're not a psychologist.

Where did you get your degree in psychology from? If you are going to be this way then step up and tell us about your education in psychology. If EXC not being a psychologist negates the value of his opinion on this matter, then you not being a psychologist also means that your opinion holds no value on this matter.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Vastet

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

That is the most ridiculous thing you've said in this thread. The education system has been rooted in capitalism since the dawn of history. There have always been private schools for the rich, with better resources tools and materials then is available to the majority. And thats just for up to grade 12.

You aren't making sense Vastet. Our school system is in no way based on market principles or capitalism. A vast majority of students go to government run schools that are funded by taxpayers. The worst schools in the US never have to fear being shut down because of their incompetence and they never have to fear outside competition shutting them down. Thanks to the fact that very, very few people go to (or can even afford to go to) private schools, our public schools get to be as shitty as they want to be with no adverse consequences to the school itself. I wish schools were run on market principles. I wish that students could take their government school funding with them to any public or private school that they wanted to. Then the market would force schools to perform. But, of course, teachers unions hate the idea of school vouchers. If they were exposed to competition they know that they would have to change how they teach. So instead we have people with no school choice who can not select which public school they go to and can not take their per-student school funding from the government and spend it on private school. Where on earth do you see market principles or capitalism in all this?

The public school system is in these straights for the very reason that the rich do not participate in it beyond paying their taxes. For the very reason that their kids aren't subjected to these conditions, so they have no reason to intervene. It is not "public" schooling at all, it is "poor" schooling. In a literal sense as well as an ironic one.

Jormungander wrote:

That fact that the rich get to flee our broken education system does not mean that education is rooted in capitalism. That just means that only the rich can afford to pay for schooling through taxes and then separately pay for schooling through their own money. The fact that things are set up that way is the government's fault, not capitalism's or the market's fault.

It is in the very fact that the rich CAN flee the system that proves it is rooted in capitalism. It is the very act of doing so that has made the public system so much worse than its competitors in private education.

Once you break a socialist system within a capitalist nation by introducing a capitalist alternative, the socialist system will invariably grow weaker as the rich pool their resources into facilities for the rich. Money and resources are invariably removed from the socialist system to provide for the capitalist system, constantly devaluing the socialist system, and constantly adding to the rich/poor gap as a result of the consequences.

A purely socialist run system with socialist competition would not face this resource drain.

Jormungander wrote:
 

Vastet wrote:

Then it gets hardcore, where you can't proceed at all unless you have the money to.

At my university a vast majority of the students get financial aid from the government. The government will either give them free money to spend on college, or it will give them delayed interest/low interest loans. That is just an untrue statement that you typed. I personally know too many poor people in college to accept that statement.

And I know too many poor people who tried to get a loan and were not accepted to allow your assertion to ring true. Only honour role students get free money like scholarships.

And if you think government loans are so easy to deal with then I wonder if you really know anyone who has one and fits the definition of poor. I know quite a few people who do, and they will be paying them back for at least 10-20 years, living on the edge of poverty in the process, where one mistep puts them on the street. Meaning they have no flexibility at all in job procurement and very little in their personal lives. Both contributing factors to an unhappy lifestyle of debt procurement. They need a high paying job so they can pay back the loan as well as pay rent and buy food, let alone other day to day costs of living.

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

So you're not a psychologist.

Where did you get your degree in psychology from? If you are going to be this way then step up and tell us about your education in psychology. If EXC not being a psychologist negates the value of his opinion on this matter, then you not being a psychologist also means that your opinion holds no value on this matter.

St. Lawrence College. Canada. Ontario. Brockville.

Editted to remove an unwarranted smartass comment based in frustration.

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