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

 
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 09:25 am
@Ceili,
Someone pays - You just reap the dividends.
Less in/more out.
I understand and apply no fault or blame.
My conscience is clear.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 11:38 am
"Free" in the economic context means "free of charge" to the user or attendee. We're not going to change the language to accommodate people making a trite point.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 11:44 am
@Blickers,
Who's 'we' ('We're')?
And 'Free' means 'Free'.
No Cost (Of any kind) incurred.

My approach is purely philosophical, btw.
It causes issues to those who don't know this.

I'll bow out.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 11:58 am
@mark noble,
Well aware of the concept. It has been in use for many years by conservatives opposing various social programs. The thing is, it is a reference most effectively used sparingly, which unfortunately it is not. Saying that something is free meaning "free of charge" to the user is part of the English language. Everybody knows that somewhere down the line somebody is paying for most things, (some things do come free).
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 12:15 pm
@Blickers,
The only thing 'free' is the air we breathe. And that's getting polluted.
RABEL222
 
  4  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 03:29 pm
@mark noble,
Quote:
It's not a cliche.
It's an empirical derivative.
Everything has a cost.


Everyone seems to know the meaning of what Blickers is saying but you. What I wonder does that say about you and your so called arguement?
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 03:53 pm
To me the most remarkable aspect of the evident popularity of Bernie's expressed ideas is the dismal record such policies have delivered over the last century wherever they were applied to a substantial degree. Socialism in the Soviet Union collapsed due to its own internal contradictions with respect to economics and human nature. " We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" was the weary cynical joke of Russians in closing decades of that unlamented empire. The poverty of Cuba, the collapse of economic activity in post colonial Socialist Africa, the ongoing tragic comedy in Venezuela where socialism has yielded a 50% drop in their production of petroleum and the collapse of nearly all other economic activity ... all demonstrate that when everything is "free" very little is produced. Everyone becomes poor and loses their economic freedom in the process, while those who govern have power and relative prosperity. A decade ago Brazil was enjoying unprecedented economic growth. Now after a decade of moderately socialist (and corrupt) government that is all over: corruption; low economic growth and the unraveling of government programs are the order of the day.

I suspect that a great deal of Bernie's popularity arose from a general disquiet with things as they are now, and distaste for the preselected Democrat alternative
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 04:01 pm
@georgeob1,
Simply because capitalism has not worked for the majority in the US.
Quote:
About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.May 11, 2016
Are you in the US middle class? Try our income calculator | Pew ...
www.pewresearch.org/fact.../are-you-in-the-american-middle-class/


As most of know, the income of middle class families have been stagnant for several decades, and many believe most of the wealth is being transferred to the already rich.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-middle-class-has-lost-nearly-30-of-wealth-2015-12-09
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 04:13 pm
@cicerone imposter,
How does that compare with the socialist examples I cited?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 04:22 pm
@georgeob1,
I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Plz be patient; my senility gets worse every year.
georgeob1
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 04:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The statistics you quoted above are presumably accurate but still an incomplete description of the economic state of Americans. Consider what comparable statistics would be in Venezuela, Cuba, Braxil, or what they were in the nations oif the formet Soviet Socialist empire.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 04:47 pm
@georgeob1,
Cuba? The average income in Cuba is $20/month. I have been to Cuba several times, and have seen the living conditions for most Cubans.

On one of my visits with my buddy from Mexico, we had a party in a park. I was asked to donate $20 for a party. There were many people we didn't know who joined us. They roasted a whole pig, with some sides of rice, beans, some veggies, and unlimited bottles of rum. It paid for the whole party.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 06:02 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote cicerone imposter:
Quote:
The only thing 'free' is the air we breathe. And that's getting polluted.

Not necessarily. If you pay money for a course to lose weight, you'll probably also live longer. You paid to lose weight, you get longer life for free.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 06:09 pm
@Blickers,
You have just stated a contradiction:
You paid to lose weight, you get longer life for free.


It should read: "If you lose weight, you may get longer life."
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 06:28 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Okay, you paid to lose weight, you get the increased chance of longer life for free.

How's that?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 06:30 pm
@Blickers,
I'm close to my appropriate weight now, so I get to live longer. However, I have several health issues that will impact my longevity. I'm doing well only because of my wife.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2016 06:35 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Guess that's why married men live longer generally.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 12:01 am
@Blickers,
I fail to understand how you can so blithely dismiss mark noble's point...and simultaneously lay claim to intellectual honesty.

If someone wants to say they get services for "free" in a socialist society, that's fine and dandy, but it is only true to the extent that they do not receive a direct bill for such services or are not required to lay out cash before the services are rendered.

It certainly doesn't mean that they do not indirectly pay for these services.

The exception would be the destitute who contribute nothing monetarily to the society that provides them with what amounts to institutional charity. Currently the fortunate and productive outnumber the destitute. Should that change, the system will be gross stressed.

Where I live, our town provides weekly garbage pick up, "free of charge," but I would be ignorant if I didn't know that this service is funded by the taxes, I and my neighbors pay to the town government. That I don't receive a monthly bill from the town that is specifically and solely related to "garbage pick-up" obviously doesn't mean that I'm not paying for it, but if you want to call this a "free" service, knock yourself out.

It is this very charade, though, that makes socialism attractive to many. For all I know there may even be some fools who have moved to my town because they learned it provides "free" services like "free" garbage pick-up.

It is very important for people to understand that these services aren't free of cost, even if not a single penny of that cost is borne by them. Using the term "free" isn't a problem if the people using it understand that it is more a term of convenience than an accurate description.

Everyone in Canada isn't getting all of the services our Canadian member described without contributing some of their wealth to make them available. There aren't enough enlightened billionaires in the North who are willing to pay the cost of these services for 99% of their fellow Canadians and if the money is being coerced from them (it isn't) they won't be living and doing business in Canada for long.

If the government controlled the production of all goods and services in Canada so that it could 1) Distribute the nation's wealth and resources as it saw fit and 2) Sold some of the goods and services to other nations and their citizens in order to increase the wealth it intended to distribute, it would be true socialism. Or you could call it communism or anything else you like. The terminology doesn't really matter, it's the degree to which wealth and resources within a society are controlled and distributed by the State.

Under a system where the State controls all wealth and resources and the production and distribution of goods and services, I suppose everyone could say they are getting all sorts of things for "free" because they aren't charged directly for them and they don't have personal wealth of which a portion can be given or taken to help finance the whole thing. However in such societies they are still "paying" for what they receive through their labor, their creativity and their ingenuity. This is only sustainable if everyone truly accepts the notion that everyone must give all they have to give and take only what they need, AND everyone agrees on the means to determine what each individual needs, AND the system doesn't play favorites or allow slacking.

These requirements have repeatedly proven impossible to realize and the economic engine inevitably fails in which case the political system fails as well or injects its economic engine with a heavy dose of capitalism to keep itself in place and running.

There are numerous hybrid systems including that of "Communist" China, but they are subject to the same perils as the pure form.

A free market is a self-organizing system, it doesn't require constant attention from a central group of "experts" to keep it running. It may, at times, need intervention from the government to keep it truly free, but there is a huge difference between the government protecting an economic engine from being hijacked, and being the economic engine.

When people meddle with self-organizing systems the results are seldom good, and it's ironic that "environmentalists" who seem to not only understand this as it applies to an ecology, but often resist any human intervention at all, tend to be in favor of a high degree of central control of the economy.

No system is perfect, but with capitalism we, largely, don't have to worry whether or not the citizenry is altruistic. Self-interest fuels and ultimately regulates capitalism. As long as you play by the rules, and the rules are not so myriad and complex as to render the market anything but free, it works just fine to be self-interested.

On the other hand socialism requires altruistic selflessness. In order for it to be sustainable not only must those who benefit from the excess production of others not become greedy and/or lazy, those responsible for the excess production must be willing and content with working for "the greater good."

I'm betting on self-interest over altruism and when it comes to economics, history has shown that's where the smart money should be played.


Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 12:35 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
On the other hand socialism requires altruistic selflessness. In order for it to be sustainable not only must those who benefit from the excess production of others not become greedy and/or lazy, those responsible for the excess production must be willing and content with working for "the greater good."
I've never had the experience to live under Socialism (I live in a "social and federal sate" according to our constitution), so I really could only respond from hear-say (by those who lived e.g. in the GDR or other of those "Socialistic" countries).

It didn't work there.

Using tautology "altruistic selflessness", Finn, do you mean that living in Socialism needs more than just selflessness?
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 08:56 am
@Walter Hinteler,
It means Finn wants to join the perennial parade of pests who want to latch onto a common word meaning "free of charge" as an opportunity to launch into a long harangue about nothing being really free, (which by the way is incorrect).
0 Replies
 
 

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