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Thread: What is the best mix of Capitalism and Socialism?

  1. #1 What is the best mix of Capitalism and Socialism? 
    Time Lord
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    I constantly hear economists suggesting that the best economic result would be a mix of the two great paradigms (Capitalism and Communism/Socialism), and this view is reinforced by experience looking at a country like China, which has experienced a lot of economic growth. However, I haven't seen a lot of discourse happening over what mix, exactly, we should be pursuing.


    My personal view on the matter is that natural resources should be socialized. (Everyone should own the same amount of land, oil, or other domestic resources), but that labor intensive production should be treated fully by capitalism. (That way you only get as much human labor out of the system as what you put in.) Of course, this view has limitations. It wouldn't easily account for things like military spending or situations involving distribution of education and health care.

    I'm curious what other people's notions are. What is a good mix? If we just randomly pick elements of both and throw them together, I don't think that will be as productive as if we target specific things. There must be some basis that can be used in choosing to keep and what to discard between the two systems.


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  3. #2  
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    Capitalism vs Socialism

    Noun: capitalism 'ka-pi-tu,li-zum

    An economic system based on private ownership of capital
    - capitalist economy

    Noun: socialism 'sow-shu,li-zum

    A political theory advocating state ownership of industry
    An economic system based on state ownership of capital
    - socialist economy
    http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=Socialism


    However, I haven't seen a lot of discourse happening over what mix, exactly, we should be pursuing.
    kojax; In understanding the very premise of Socialism, is "State Ownership" or any bridge from "Free Market" Capitalism to Socialism by definition is a road to State ownership.

    In the US, it was decided (agreed to) by the Individual and Sovereign States, that Government was to provide only what those States agreed to, in it's forming of a Government under a Constitution. Said another way the Individual via that persons State held power over whatever the Central Government proposed to the written limits.

    In turn it's up to the States (the individuals in that State) to determine ownership of property of any kind, especially natural resources and those that will invest in the development of them, even if this might be a National or International concern.

    My personal view on the matter is that natural resources should be socialized. (Everyone should own the same amount of land, oil, or other domestic resources), but that labor intensive production should be treated fully by capitalism.
    I'm not sure your even serious, since that's not basically possible. If you mean the Government owns these things, setting price controls and distribution of these items, simply said that's Communism and to date, has never worked for any society.

    Noun: communism 'kóm-yu,ni-zum

    A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership
    A political theory favouring collectivism in a classless society
    I'm curious what other people's notions are. What is a good mix?
    Again, not possible; Where I feel only what was designed to be a Federal Duty or a State Duty is the limit of socialism, you feel much differently. Today in the US, we already have a dependency class of people, whom sincerely believe, the FEDERAL Government should in fact confiscate from any wealth to provide for them and this class is growing daily, fed from the desire of some to create Socialism and the power over those individuals.

    There must be some basis that can be used in choosing to keep and what to discard between the two systems.
    Well for over 100 years, in the US and for most the industrialized World, the "basis" to what "is kept or discarded", should be pretty obvious. However defined, movements within Communism, Socialism, Progressivism or Liberalism have been trying to trash Capitalism in favor of their agenda, in the presumed interest of the collective. The desired wish, being in control of a World Society where equality is the balance of wealth between all humans, of course not including the ruling authority.


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    There are two possibilities: Communism or reverting progress.

    The main problem of capitalism is it can't deal with abundance, only with scarcity. With ever increasing automatization capitalism will fail. It's already happening and it can get only worse. Less and less work is needed, unemployment is rising.
    This is another problem - work is handled like just another good, but laws of supply and demand do not apply for it. The cheaper it is, the higher its supply is and vice versa. That's why there is demand for cheap illegal workers on one side while pays of some sportsmen, CEOs, etc. are rising to astronomical numbers. So at least minimal wage laws are necessary, support for less working hours is a very good idea.

    Simply:
    1. In capitalism, people are economically punished for not working.
    2: When there is no more work to do, 1. is a problem.
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    The main problem of capitalism is it can't deal with abundance, only with scarcity. With ever increasing automatization capitalism will fail. It's already happening and it can get only worse. Less and less work is needed, unemployment is rising.
    Twit; Increasing automation, otherwise know as productivity is what Capitalism is all about. What takes maybe 10,000 operators (Nationwide) for communication systems, would not even be possible (not enough people) without the automation and productivity of today.

    What's happening in the US today labor wise and I suspect in Europe, is cost of automation verses cost for additional laborers. Long range cost per employee, for what ever reason can easily justify the building of some machine to automatically handle, does not need medical care, retire, the involved paperwork or all that's involved. To solve this problem, Business has simply moved to where those cost are substantially less. Apple Computer, even though non-union (for the most part) produces nearly all there product in China/Taiwan/India, as do many International Firms. Apple employs 600-800,000 people in China alone, nobody I know of currently produces all their electronics in the US today(hand produced).

    The cheaper it is, the higher its supply is and vice versa. That's why there is demand for cheap illegal workers on one side while pays of some sportsmen, CEOs, etc. are rising to astronomical numbers.
    CEO's for the most part, don't make that much in actual wages, most of what your reading about are performance pay, commission or stock option. Of the 60k Listed Corporations (Stock Markets), maybe 100 make more than a million US $/year, most of them the owners and CEO's.

    Admittedly, cheap labor can drive some business, but it's pretty rare. In the US Corporate Farming gets the biggest rap, but actually contracts out migrant and legal farm workers. That is if they have a 1000 acre field, needed to be chopped (weeded) or harvested, generally includes packaging at the same time, they will offer what's competitive to both getting a contractor and making the harvest worth harvesting. Piece work, also legal or contract labor, legal are other ways to keep from employing people and the responsibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33

    Twit; Increasing automation, otherwise know as productivity is what Capitalism is all about.
    Of course. But it is also its doom. What if productivity rises so much, that 10 workers can produce all needs of 1000 people? What will those remaining 990 people do? How will they get their living?
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    Twit; We have many International Companies, stationed in one Country or another that employ virtually no people in that Country. Google for instance, worldwide has 21,000 employees servicing probable in excess of 2 Billion people, many from or in Countries with no employees, on the other hand Wal Mart is in fewer Counties yet employs well over a million folks. Then as mentioned, people in many places produce products used primarily outside their own Country. These and another thousand of examples are what makes the Capitalist System work.

    Of course. But it is also its doom. What if productivity rises so much, that 10 workers can produce all needs of 1000 people? What will those remaining 990 people do? How will they get their living?
    Ideally, Capitalism works best under two principles; An available market and/or additional markets. That is a the producer adds new products to an increasing society size or expands their business to places they don't exist.

    Look at productivity more as efficiency and few Companies are all that efficient in the their beginning or are the products/services produced. Currently both the US and most of Europe are in large part 'service based' economies, Canada and Australia, Mining/Manufacturing, each then contributing the that over all economy.

    It's not likely in at least the next thousand years, possibly much longer that efficiency in all areas of Capitalism, will become labor free, there are just too many variables involved and needs and want's of the public are always changing. For instance, not everybody is comfortable working for others, some will always being trying to carve out their own niche (entrepreneurs), others might be the investors for them (can produce a living) and more just satisfied working for others, for the security envisioned.
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    I have no idea why you think it answers my question.
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    In understanding the very premise of Socialism, is "State Ownership" or any bridge from "Free Market" Capitalism to Socialism by definition is a road to State ownership.
    Probably, there is a serious confusion between common ownership and government (state) ownership. Most of (Western) dictionaries define Socialism as a system which is based on common property. Common not necessarly means state.Common property, in my understanding, is rather cooperative property, when every worker has right of vote,workers are able to elect their own boss and have primary participation in division of enterprise profits. Government property is not usually common.There is another name for a systems which is based solely on government property - a State Capitalism. In Soviet Union cooperatives where officially permitted in 1988 (though under many conditions).

    The greatest problem in coexistance of different property forms is a possibility that they might start physically suppresing each other.
    In this case a nation may need to make a choise.
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    @jackson33

    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    I'm curious what other people's notions are. What is a good mix?
    Again, not possible; Where I feel only what was designed to be a Federal Duty or a State Duty is the limit of socialism, you feel much differently. Today in the US, we already have a dependency class of people, whom sincerely believe, the FEDERAL Government should in fact confiscate from any wealth to provide for them and this class is growing daily, fed from the desire of some to create Socialism and the power over those individuals.
    I think what kojax is referrring to by "mix" is a mix of some of the defining features of Socialism and Capitalism. If you take these concepts in their purest conception, then they are mutually incompatible and hence a "mix" is not possible. If a "mix" is not possible, then from where have the terms "mixed economy", "market socialism" and "guild socialism" emerged?

    Socialism, like many other political and economic systems, comes in many forms. I think what kojax is talking about here is socialism in the economic - how much centralisation of means of production should be employed. Indeed a "mix" has been discussed, 2 of which stand out for me.

    1) Market Socialism - This form of socialism involves the use of the market for some commodities as an overall mechanism of coordination and regulation. It has as its main economic premise, a socio-economic system that is made of "automous worker co-operatives", each selling its products on the open market

    2) Mixed Economy - Markets remain, but redistibutive tacation and social welfare are employed to bring greater equality in terms of income and wealth. Hence public and privately owned enterprises exist.

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    Market Socialism - This form of socialism involves the use of the market for some commodities
    Markets exist virtually under any social system.Even in Soviet Union most of low quality commodities were sold on ``market`` for money.People in Soviets had at least some small choise, goods of what factory make to purchase. In that sence there was some limited competition between factories.So term ``market socialism`` is not quite descriptive.I think there could be rather such thing in theory as Democratic Socialism.
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    @ Stanley514

    When I described the term "market socialism", it was not my own terminology. I was referring to a strand of Socialism based on neoclassical economic theory, advocated by the economist Oscar Lange. In my opinion, Market/Walrasian Socialism is a better defined term than "Democratic Socialism" because it outlines the amount of centralisation involved in the economy and gives more detail into the economic features of such a political system. "Democratic Socialism" has far more varying definitions i.e. Socialism with democratic characteristics. Basically, they are the same.

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  13. #12  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33

    My personal view on the matter is that natural resources should be socialized. (Everyone should own the same amount of land, oil, or other domestic resources), but that labor intensive production should be treated fully by capitalism.
    I'm not sure your even serious, since that's not basically possible. If you mean the Government owns these things, setting price controls and distribution of these items, simply said that's Communism and to date, has never worked for any society.
    Nor has it ever been attempted in the way I described, where all natural resources were government owned, and all labor resources were privately owned. All fully communist systems to date have focused on the government owning all the labor too. That was a big mistake. Labor should never be government owned. (Still "rented" in the sense of hiring people to perform essential government tasks, however.)

    Private industry is better at coordinating workers' efforts, but abysmally poor at regulating the consumption of natural resources. (Given the option, they would eat it all up in one day, like a cloud of locusts.)


    There must be some basis that can be used in choosing to keep and what to discard between the two systems.
    Well for over 100 years, in the US and for most the industrialized World, the "basis" to what "is kept or discarded", should be pretty obvious. However defined, movements within Communism, Socialism, Progressivism or Liberalism have been trying to trash Capitalism in favor of their agenda, in the presumed interest of the collective. The desired wish, being in control of a World Society where equality is the balance of wealth between all humans, of course not including the ruling authority.

    You can't simplify the economy into a simple "us and them" argument. Neither of the "us" groups would be right if the other weren't stalling them. They just like to think they would be. Saying "Everything would work out if we always got our way." is a classic argument to ignorance, since nobody ever quite gets their way.

    Is it all the liberals fault that we deregulated the banks and they then precipitated a crash by breaking up home loans and selling them to third parties in ways that had previously been illegal?


    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    There are two possibilities: Communism or reverting progress.

    The main problem of capitalism is it can't deal with abundance, only with scarcity. With ever increasing automatization capitalism will fail. It's already happening and it can get only worse. Less and less work is needed, unemployment is rising.
    This is another problem - work is handled like just another good, but laws of supply and demand do not apply for it. The cheaper it is, the higher its supply is and vice versa. That's why there is demand for cheap illegal workers on one side while pays of some sportsmen, CEOs, etc. are rising to astronomical numbers. So at least minimal wage laws are necessary, support for less working hours is a very good idea.

    Simply:
    1. In capitalism, people are economically punished for not working.
    2: When there is no more work to do, 1. is a problem.
    I think the problem with Adam Smith's model is that workers are treated like businesses. In situations where economy of scale motivates a monopoly or oligopoly, all the other businesses except the winners go under. That's all well and good for a business, but if you apply the same concept to human beings then it would mean they physically die of starvation.

    To the degree that a business can survive merely by switching markets, or re-tooling to produce something else, so also human beings can survive that way, but a realistic analysis of history shows that this is rarely possible to achieve in the necessary time frames (and the markets they want to enter are usually overcrowded to begin with). Most businesses just collapse.
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