Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 04:51 pm
The government doesn't own the means of production, so this is not socialism, case closed.

NEXT?
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 04:53 pm
@parados,
Oh, cool. You've approached it from a different angle. But, that's not what I was contesting - though I can see how you could think it was. It's not the government's control of the money supply (common vernacular, I thought) that I was referencing. I'm talking about government's control of the production/distribution of revenue or profits through taxation. The discussion of government's control of the money supply is a different subject entirely. But through taxation the government can/does control a substantial portion of the economy.

The government's taxation power is vast (only superseded by commerce power in the US Const.). Depending on the amount of entitlements (and defense and other spending certainly) that said government decides to prioritize heavy taxation is their only way of exerting said control. While in a capitalist - or semi-capitalist - system control will generally not be enough to warrant a claim that government "controls" the economy, this is a question of degrees. You would certainly admit that if there were a 100% taxation rate coupled with a varying subsidy return rate for different groups this could be considered full control, even if the results mirrored what currently happens under US tax law. (e.g. 100% tax but 90% of revenue subsidy if earning $30k or below).

Any thoughts where the line of "control" is?
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:04 pm
@parados,
Quote:
"And" requires that BOTH parts be present for it to be true.
"And" is not the same thing as "or."
If x is red and blue then you can't argue that x is ONLY blue without violating the boolean logic of "and".


Quite true, friend. This is called a formulistic argument that has CLEAR merit in many situations. However, allow me to sprinkle a dash of realistic argument to the formula to illustrate:

Therefore, under your just-made-point: an economy that allowed complete ownership of production, but then took complete control of the administration of distribution would NOT be socialist? Or vis versa.

In application: Government requires all car manufacturers to surrender all dealership licenses to itself as the only authorized distributor. (This hypo could easily include used-car market AND the private party car market, as under your understanding it can only be socialist if the government has ownership AND administration.) Even if you "owned" a used car, you could not sell it to anyone since it's use could be "administered" through regulation. That about right?

Under that logic China is not a socialist system. Since China honors private ownership, production, etc. Not socialist at all that place.

Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:08 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
The government doesn't own the means of production, so this is not socialism, case closed.


Brilliantly put, Setanta. Quite closed you have shown us.

Umm, but in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics farmer collectives owned farm land, the government simply regulated the collectives, and had a deep hand in the administration of all other aspects of society and the economy. But since they didn't OWN + ADMINISTER production there definitely was no socialism. You've closed that question for us.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:09 pm
@Lusatian,
Quote:

Therefore, under your just-made-point: an economy that allowed complete ownership of production, but then took complete control of the administration of distribution would NOT be socialist?

Correct, it would NOT be socialism.

A car is not production. It is a produced item. Your example is calling an apple an orange.

China has moved toward a free market economy. Did you sleep through the last 20 years?
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:11 pm
@Lusatian,
Quote:
Umm, but in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics farmer collectives owned farm land, the government simply regulated the collectives,

now you are ignoring the REST of the definition Lusatian.

collective ownership OR government ownership.
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:17 pm
@parados,
Quote:
A car is not production. It is a produced item. Your example is calling an apple an orange.


Ironically sounding very much like the States' Rights advocates that tried to convince the US Supreme Court to find that child labor could not be considered "commerce" because it dealt with the manufacturing of a product (in your example a car), but not the sale of the finished product. Hammer v. Dagonhart. Argument worked too - interestingly - until the Supreme Court overruled itself and explicitly pointed out that splitting the hair between the manufacturing process and the finished item is a silly, unworkable way of defining an economy. (United States v. Darby).

Likewise, your positing that complete control of distribution would not be "socialist" (even if it were of distribution of every commodity in a market?) is curious.

Quote:
China has moved toward a free market economy. Did you sleep through the last 20 years?


Not even sure if you were serious about this one. You know they still call themselves the Communist Party of China. That Communist party is rather keen on their self-described socialist system of government. I guess all this schooling in the last 20 years was leading me quite astray.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:19 pm
@Lusatian,
See the reply by Parados. I was living the life i have which is not totally engrossed in this site, so he got there before me.
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:20 pm
@parados,
Quote:
collective ownership OR government ownership.


You see, now you added another entity into your definition - collectives. So where is the Socialism - No Socialism line? How "private" would said collectives have to be. There are collectives right here in the US (visit a farmer's market sometime and ask about the word), does that mean that they are arms of the government?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:20 pm
By the way, the fictions of the Soviet Union hardly lend authority to your arguments.
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:23 pm
@Setanta,
If your arguments truly match Parados' you may want to read my responses for some conceptual discrepancies your arguments may suffer from.

Or not. =)
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:26 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
By the way, the fictions of the Soviet Union hardly lend authority to your arguments.


They weren't intended to. They were intended to point out the glaring omission an argument can suffer from if it's too formulistic - It is vulnerable to looking stupid by the clever use of a fiction. A rule that says that the only way A is valid is if there is a strict finding of B+C is rather weak against a setup that has a C+B-in-drag. =)
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:28 pm
@Lusatian,
He didn't add anything. It was from your Dictionary post. Perhaps if you'd read it and understood it, we wouldn't be having the discussion.
The military is a collective, paid for funded on your dime. Socialism?
Police forces, roads, schools, libraries are all dependent on government money, socialism?
Lusatian
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 05:39 pm
@Ceili,
Quote:
The military is a collective, paid for funded on your dime. Socialism?
Police forces, roads, schools, libraries are all dependent on government money, socialism?


Taken individually, each example is a very clear example of socialism. But that's taken individually. If the entire economy only contained police forces then a full control of the police forces by government would be a socialist form of government. But we're not talking about an economy simply reduced to the government services that are obviously provided by government. We're talking about whether a market economy can move towards socialism by falling under government control through taxation. (At least that's what I was getting at before you all began to focus on purely the definition of "socialism" - or in your case - challenging my understanding of the word.)

For the record: I am in full favor of appropriate taxes and tax increases. I just find that a tax increase that is only focused on increasing funds available for wealth transfer is inappropriate. As I addressed in my post near the beginning of this thread: taxes that were tailored to better ends could well be a great idea.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:13 pm
@Lusatian,
Or not, given that you have failed to link what passes for an argument on your part to the definition of socialism which you supplied.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:14 pm
@Lusatian,
Quote:

You see, now you added another entity into your definition - collectives.

I didn't add it. It was in the definition you posted.

You seem to want to use the definition as a club but NOT use it at the same time.

Quote:
does that mean that they are arms of the government?
Again, you ignore the "or/and" to try to finess your argument.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:17 pm
@Lusatian,
Quote:
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Your argument that the legal definition of "commerce" is the same thing as "means of production and distribution of goods" is nothing but a red herring.

You are doing nothing but weaseling definitions to suit your world view. It's intellectually weak.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:19 pm
Wealth transfer is a polemical propaganda term. Taxing anyone for any reason is "wealth transfer." They have wealth, the government transfers it to their own coffers. It doesn't matter if they use for WIC or buying a new aircraft carrier.

Essentially, wealth transfer is a reactionary code phrase--it doesn't really mean anything, but it's a nifty term for whipping up some phony indignation.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:19 pm
@Lusatian,
Quote:
A rule that says that the only way A is valid is if there is a strict finding of B+C is rather weak against a setup that has a C+B-in-drag. =)

Your attempts to dress up reality in drag to make people think it's something it isn't aren't really effective. You keep mixing up definitions and viewpoints and want to pretend they are what they are not.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Feb, 2012 06:22 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Wealth transfer is a polemical propaganda term. Taxing anyone for any reason is "wealth transfer."

Which was pointed out earlier.

All governments have to tax to survive so if wealth transfer is socialism then all governments are socialist.
 

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