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Why do so many Americans want socialism (and support Bernie Sanders' Idealism)?

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 10:26 am
I see many people, upper middle class included, support the idealism proposed by Bernie Sanders. Why do people actually believe that these idealism will materialize at all?

The idea of equality isn't new. It goes back all the way to Plato's era, during which he proposed intellectual aristocracy in which wise people will rule based on knowledge, goodness, and fairness (Aristotle's Republic, which was presumably Plato's idea). Throughout history there has been instances, although didn't last, of peasant revolts that forces the immediate government (feudal lords) to reform. The most recent, that impacted the entire world, is Karl Marx's Manifesto of Communist Party in which he suggested that proletarian dictatorship is an inevitable outcome (much like today's we are the 99% argument). There are other similar ideas such as Utopianism in which an abundant amount of resources results in the complete satisfaction of all inhabitants.

However, history has proven that those ideas sounds great in literature or as subject of debate. Inequality is a fact of life that can never been eliminated simply due to different belief system, education, background or simply life choices. To force equality is the same as forcing one's life choices upon another, which will ultimately oppress one (or several) class(s) of people. For instance, if I value leisure as the foremost important, I'd be willing to sacrifice 3 units pay to earn one additional unit of leisure (traditional utility theory on indifference curve). However, another person who puts more emphasis on his standard of living would choose to sacrifice 3 unit of leisure go to school, get a good education and earn 5 units more income. In the end, the person who chose leisure could protest and proclaim that society isn't fair, but ultimately it is he who chose his life style but grew envious to those who earns more money. And to force a $15 wage makes even less sense since a walk to Sam's Club, Walmart, Target, and etc made me realize that most jobs today are being replaced by machines. Remember those nice people who hand you a sample or food and ask you to buy it? Well, they are disappearing. Yesterday a machine asked me if I'd like a sample, and spit out a sample when I pressed "yes". What these people don't realize is that there will be consequences of higher minimal wage. Either 1/2 will be replaced by machines, or that general cost of goods will rise, wiping out pretty much all their additional income.

Some may say that the lower middle class is the predominant class that supports socialism. What they don't realize is that once in effect, better welfare gives incentive to people to pursue the aforementioned high leisure / low work (education) route, simply because incremental income are taxed heavily so I have less incentive to pursue it. As a result, more people will share the "pie". In the end there's no guarantee they will get more. A smart way to go about it is to ensure that the number of people who has a claim the pie doesn't grow, so that they can get more as the economy grows. What's also interesting is that those people are consequently also supporters of immigration policy relaxation. This open doors to potential further reduction to their share (again, more people claims the pie). So in either case, rich or poor, they have no incentive to support idealism proposed by liberals. Why do they still do it?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 4,480 • Replies: 155

 
mark noble
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 10:43 am
@Angelgz2,
Because they are terrified of becoming equal.
Plato, Jung, Rand... etc set out a/an perfect society - Whereas 'labour' equates to prosperity for the whole.
'Labour' does not appeal to this degenerate mindset, never will. and thus fruits none but the diligent.
Show me a good man (pure of spirit) and the world will celebrate as he is Nailed to a pole for all to see.

Only that which arises from the most dire of catastrophes can understand the direness (New word) of their 'precatastrophic' ventures.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  10  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 10:53 am
@Angelgz2,
Because we have had socialism in America for more than 100 years and it works really really well.

- Most Americans go to public schools that are run by the government and paid with taxes. This socialized education has kept our economy strong, given us a solid middle class, and our science is second to none.

- We have a socialist army that is run by the government and protect all citizens.

- We have socialist Interstate highways that are an important part of our economic strength. These highways are paid for by the government and open to everyone.

- We rely on the government socialism to keep our water and food safe, and to respond to health crisis. These efforts are paid for by taxes and work for everyone.

- We have big scientific programs that are run by the government. Socialism put a man on the moon and developed the internet.

- We have a social security program and a medicare program. We haven't had the problem of large numbers of old people dying of hunger in over a century.

Not many of us want a pure socialist system. And a pure capitalist system would be Hell (actually I am sure that Hell is a pure capitalist system.)

But when it comes to reasonable socialism that involves making an investment in things like education, health, economy or safety. I think that most Americans support that.

parados
 
  5  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 01:22 pm
@Angelgz2,
There are several things wrong with your premise.

The idealism proposed by Sanders is not that all persons are equal and paid equally even if they don't work equally. Rather it is that we help those on the lower end because they are starting with a disadvantage often through no fault of their own.

Quote:
What these people don't realize is that there will be consequences of higher minimal wage. Either 1/2 will be replaced by machines, or that general cost of goods will rise, wiping out pretty much all their additional income.
Except the real world experience doesn't show that to be true at all. Raising the minimum wage has never resulted in a loss in jobs inversely proportional to the increase. The latest economic studies based on the increases from one state to the state next door are showing the opposite is true. Increasing the minimum wage has actually helped the economy where the increase occurred. The increase in cost has not been enough to wipe out the increase on the lower income levels. I would suggest that the middle class has done better when the minimum wage is higher relative to poverty and median income.

Machines make people more productive. When some jobs are eliminated, it always tends to create new jobs. This has been true for centuries.

Quote:
What they don't realize is that once in effect, better welfare gives incentive to people to pursue the aforementioned high leisure / low work (education) route, simply because incremental income are taxed heavily so I have less incentive to pursue it.
There is so much wrong with that statement. First of all, money is not the only incentive for people to work. Once a certain income is achieved additional income becomes a status symbol, not a living requirement. Many people do work because they love the work they do or because it gives their life purpose. Some of those people are doing low paying jobs they enjoy and wish they made more money. Others are highly compensated for work they would continue to do even if they were paid a less. They may just enjoy the work and the high compensation is a secondary benefit.

People on welfare do not achieve a high leisure/low work lifestyle. Poverty takes a lot of time and energy and is very stressful.

The idea that progressive taxation is a disincentive has never proven to be true in the real world. Most people that make that argument have no real idea of how progressive taxation works. If you move to the next tax bracket, all your income under that is not taxed at the higher rate. Only the new income is taxed at the higher rate. There is always a point where the monetary reward for increased work is no longer worth it but taxation plays very little in that equation. It has more to do with leisure and work burnout than taxation. We can certainly discuss your argument that increased taxation is a disincentive if you wish.

Quote:
So in either case, rich or poor, they have no incentive to support idealism proposed by liberals. Why do they still do it?

There are many reasons, both moral and financial, for both the rich and poor to support a welfare state.
We shouldn't let people starve. We shouldn't punish children for the acts of their parents. It reduces crime. It creates more tax payers. It increases economic growth. It creates more consumers thus making more profit for businesses.

One of the latest ideas that seems to have some major economic support behind it is that every single person is given a stipend from the government on which to live. It is a minimum amount. It takes away much of the stress of poverty so those people on the lower end of the spectrum can be more productive and not spend so much time just trying to subsist day to day.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income
parados
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 01:56 pm
@parados,
I linked to the wrong income system in my previous post.
I was referring to basic income not guaranteed minimum income.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

This is an instance of it being considered in the real world.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/10/19/swiss_government_giveaway_2_800_a_month_for_all_citizens.html

Finland is actually planning to start experimenting with it.
http://qz.com/566702/finland-plans-to-give-every-citizen-a-basic-income-of-800-euros-a-month/
RABEL222
 
  4  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 02:25 pm
@parados,
U S socialism is better than unrestrained capitalism which we seem to be trending too under republican governments. Under our capitalist system today the top 10% of the earning population owns 74.3% of the nations wealth.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 06:15 pm
@RABEL222,
It's true that wealth is moving upwards towards the already wealthy, and the middle class struggles to survive. I'm not sure what the solutions are, because even a college education is no longer what it use to promise during my time.
The dynamics now going on is terrible; older workers are staying on the job, and new graduates can't find jobs.
Donald Trump says he's going to make America great again, and bring back jobs - all while he offshore his jobs to China and Mexico.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 09:00 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote max:
Quote:
Because we have had socialism in America for more than 100 years and it works really really well.

- Most Americans go to public schools that are run by the government and paid with taxes. This socialized education has kept our economy strong, given us a solid middle class, and our science is second to none.

- We have a socialist army that is run by the government and protect all citizens.

- We have socialist Interstate highways that are an important part of our economic strength. These highways are paid for by the government and open to everyone......


Bill Maher on Socialism
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  5  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2016 10:56 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I generally agree with the gist of why you're getting at, but let's ease back on the hyperbole.

The middle class isn't struggling to SURVIVE! They may be struggling to pay for college, or healthcare, or a second car, or day care, or a 65in TV, but they are not struggling to survive.

And unemployment is at 5%. Could it be better, sure, but it's not horrible either.

Dial it back a bit
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 05:46 am
@Angelgz2,
Angelgz2 wrote:
Why do so many Americans want socialism (and support Bernie Sanders' Idealism)?

21st century America will be run primarily by Republicans in the mode of Donald Trump. The Democrats are adapting to their future role as powerless outsiders by embracing wacko extremism.

Just as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama only managed to get elected by adopting some of the positions of Reagan-era conservatism, in the future Democrats will only manage to get elected by adopting some of the positions of Trump-era conservatism. But that won't happen for a good long while. Mr. Trump and his conservative successors will have a solid hold on the White House for the next 20 years.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 08:58 pm
@Angelgz2,
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 09:00 pm
@Angelgz2,
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 09:44 pm
@parados,
Good on ya, parados. Educate people like Angelgz2 about the realities of our politics and economics.
As you have said, "raising the minimum wage has never resulted in a loss in jobs inversely proportional to the increase." Too many people listen to Trump, and believe what he says. They need to do a fact check on him.
San Francisco is a good case in point. They raised their minimum wage, and their unemployment is one of the lowest.
Even if employment had dropped based on the increase in the minimum wage, it means workers are earning more to live a little better. As with all skill levels, there will always be people who cannot find jobs. Look what happened to college graduates who could not find jobs after graduation. That had nothing to do with the anticipated salary level after graduation. It did stymie salary increases, because employers knew they could hire people at lower wage rates.
The biggest problem for college graduates now is that they have loans to pay without the prospect of finding a job.
http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/05/millennial-college-graduates-young-educated-jobless-335821.html
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  8  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 11:53 pm
Hi.
I'm here from Canada..
Here are a few reasons I enjoy living in a socialist country.
Free health care, garbage pick up, policing, street lights, paved roads, schools, cable, libraries, public transportation, bridges, ferries, mail delivery, parks, campgrounds, baseball diamonds, hockey rinks, outdoor theaters, fire fighters, public radio, public housing, medicine, fireworks, school sports teams, school books and supplies, music classes, art classes, city festivals, trees, English as a second language courses, unemployment insurance, vaccines, pensions, sidewalks, science funding, scenic lookouts, planetariums, animal land bridges, animal control, animal rescue, a functioning judicial system, flowers, ambulances, 911, hospitals, painted lines on roads, public spaces, cemeteries, dog parks, swimming pools, medical aid, sewers, water, gas, jails, universities, employment grants, space programs, the military, weather alerts, mosquito control, lifeguards, search and rescue, veteran services, symphonies, public beaches, student loans, maternity benefits, psychiatric programs, youth programs, kindergarten, senior programs, farm grants, small business grants, women's clinics, disability programs, education grants, welcome signs, airports, docks, roundabouts, scientists, parking lots, trails, ice breakers, navy ships, air force jets, CBC, a government buildings, skating rinks, soccer fields, public art, skateboard parks, swing sets, sandboxes, public toilets, crises lines, national parks, historical site preservation, archives, emergency response, disaster relief, signage, garbage cans, water fountains, electricity, buoys, protected areas and waterways, park wardens, industry grants, innovation grants, gymnasiums, refugee placement, immigrant programs, food inspectors, coroners, janitors, landscapers, planners, mayors, ambassadors, stable government, summer programs for kids/teens, art galleries, museums, RCMP horses, the Snowbirds, parades, hospices, air traffic control, airport security, rat patrol, border control, weed control and pothole repair. These are some of the benefits of living in a socialist country, in no particular order. Hope this helps.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 07:31 am
@Ceili,
"Free"?
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 08:20 am
@mark noble,
Free as in "free of charge to the person using it". It's a common term.
mark noble
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 08:34 am
@Blickers,
'free' of substance, material, cost - to anything or anyone, whatsoever?
Consider your response, please...
Everything costs something to something AND everything.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 08:47 am
@mark noble,
What you posted is a cliche. When a famous rock group decides to hold a free concert, of course people setting up the equipment, handling the sound and or lighting, and manning the security, (if any), are going to be paid by somebody. But since the attendees of the concert are not being charged, it is termed by everyone a "free concert".
mark noble
 
  0  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 09:02 am
@Blickers,
It's not a cliche.
It's an empirical derivative.
Everything has a cost.
Ceili
 
  4  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 09:15 am
I wrote all that and you fixate on one word. Fascinating.
I pay no health care premiums except the portion that comes out of general tax revenues. Health insurance is part of my contract with my employer and for some services, I pay a tax deductible fee. However, my annual health care costs have for my entire life most likely been less than what you'd pay in one month. This would include cough syrup, band aids, polysporin or allergy meds yada yada.
That includes the years I had children, mind you I also enjoyed several months of maternity benefits, so I think I actually came out ahead in the end.

 

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