Socialism vs Capitalism

FelixtheCat

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There is a massive section of the working population who will never earn enough to be able to put in to a pension, such that it will cover their needs in old age, especially as life expectancy is increasing.
If you've spent your working life on a till, or in a call centre, or in a delivery van, or in a warehouse, or in a care home, or cleaning, you're very unlikely to be have been able to put something aside,especially if you took time out from working to raise a family.
They've worked every bit as hard as the train driver, the teacher, the surgeon, the architect, the computer engineer, the sales rep, but they won't have that luxury. What should they do?
Why should we pay for teachers or warehouse staff when they clearly didn't have the get-up-and-go attitude to be born into a wealthy family, and then compounded that mistake by not working hard enough?
 
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SteveP29

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Corbyn was caught in a paradox.

He understood that the EU provides a constant source of cheap labour undermining the pay and conditions of the local populace.
Surely he wasn't encouraging the use of labour being paid under the minimum wage by employers (breaking the law) and certainly not promoting working on the black market either, was he?

A teacher told his class that the results of the exam they are about to take will be averaged out with the average Grade being giving to everyone.

The students Who had worked and studied hard were annoyed at this , where as the students who had not done any studying were over the moon.
As expected students who had applied themselves got A’s and B’s with the ones who had done nothing getting F’s and G’s giving a average Grade of C awarded to all students.
Naturally the students who had put in the effort were completely disheartened and annoyed where as the ones who had done nothing were over the moon.

The teacher told the class there will be another exam next week, told them the subject to revise and again a average grade will be awarded to every student.

The students who had revised hard , disheartened and annoyed only put in 50% of revision time compared to the previous exam , naturally the ones who had done none last time and had been rewarded for it again done nothing.

Exam day came , students who done some revision got C’s and D’s again F’s and G’s were awarded to the others , giving everyone an average Grade of D.

Once again the teacher informed the class there will be another exam the following week, again with the same rules.

The students who had revised in the previous exams were now fed up with all their hard work being diluted by the ones who done nothing decided to do no revision, ended up the class being awarded the Grade of F.

And so the cycle continued.
But people are still putting in the effort and earning massive wages, (some are still being parachuted into fantastic paying jobs by luck of birth or connections too).
Your analogy suggests that as those who study and get disillusioned will get worse exam results and therefore won't make it to the top, but that's clearly not happening, so the analogy doesn't reflect reality, does it?

Ssh, charities and paternalism are bad and everything must be provided by the state.
And because charities have to exist, they can't all be run on fresh air, so yes, they pay salaries and rents and utilities and VAT, but the consensus in the general public is that every penny donated should be given to those the charity seeks to help, so where do we draw the line? does the state pick up where charity should be or should charity pick up for the state's deficiencies? Either way, it seems there'd be certain sections of society who'd cry foul.

Depends how one defines survive though.

I know someone who works as bar staff on minimum wage, and has essentially done that since leaving school.

His income provides enough for food and rent - and I’m not thinking London rent here. But the flip side of the coin is in reality much of his income disappears on things like interest payments (for purchases made in the past on credit), alcohol, fags and pub gambling machines, plus the odd fixed penalty notice for littering thrown in. He doesn’t use food banks, just doesn’t eat much.

To what extent should the taxpayer bail out people who have made or continue to make bad decisions or lifestyle choices?
So are you suggesting that those who earn minimum wage should just get up on a morning, go to work, shop for food, eat and go to bed and aren't allowed any sort of interest or hobby in case it costs them money they haven't got?
 

bramling

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So are you suggesting that those who earn minimum wage should just get up on a morning, go to work, shop for food, eat and go to bed and aren't allowed any sort of interest or hobby in case it costs them money they haven't got?
Essentially, yes. It isn't the responsibility of the taxpayer to fund niceties. What the taxpayer should perhaps do is fund the *opportunity* for people to be able to make money to fund niceties, which is already does through education and the like.

Realistically if people are provided with enough money to be able to carve out an existence with niceties on top then a subset of people will take that without working, which simply isn't sustainable. Likewise make a minimum wage too high and employers simply won't be able to pay for it, and workers would be laid off - which is generally seen as a worse outcome.

One way to raise wages is of course to reduce the supply of labour or increase the demand for labour. The former has arguably moved in the wrong direction thanks to the EU's freedom of movement policy and Britain's subscription to it.

I agree there possibly should be a cultural change in attitudes towards low-wage occupations, but how many people would be happy paying extra for their pint?
 

EM2

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I agree there possibly should be a cultural change in attitudes towards low-wage occupations, but how many people would be happy paying extra for their pint?
Scandinavians seem very happy to pay high prices for goods (especially alcohol) and also enjoy very good standards of living. There is no reason why similar outlooks couldn't work here.
 

TrafficEng

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Scandinavians seem very happy to pay high prices for goods (especially alcohol) and also enjoy very good standards of living. There is no reason why similar outlooks couldn't work here.
So find some like-minded people, start the 'Scandinavian outlook' party, campaign on a manifesto of increasing prices* (especially on alcohol) and if you get elected we'll know you are right in your belief that such policies would work here. Personally, I think the absence of such a party already suggests this isn't likely to be a worthwhile venture.

*Presumably prices would be increased as a result of higher taxes and wages, rather than increasing profit for companies?

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bramling

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So find some like-minded people, start the 'Scandinavian outlook' party, campaign on a manifesto of increasing prices* (especially on alcohol) and if you get elected we'll know you are right in your belief that such policies would work here. Personally, I think the absence of such a party already suggests this isn't likely to be a worthwhile venture.

*Presumably prices would be increased as a result of higher taxes and wages, rather than increased profit for companies?
To be fair, a tax on excess profits would probably be reasonably popular with the electorate. It might not however be so popular if large corporations decide they no longer want to bother with the UK and people are laid off in consequence!
 

TrafficEng

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To be fair, a tax on excess profits would probably be reasonably popular with the electorate. It might not however be so popular if large corporations decide they no longer want to bother with the UK and people are laid off in consequence!
Argh! Post now edited.

What I meant was the increased prices being to the benefit of 'worthy' causes such as employees rather than prices being increased to line the pockets of companies and their shareholders. It needs to be clear the manifesto is a socialist one, not one that benefits the capitalists.
 

433N

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What the taxpayer should perhaps do is fund the *opportunity* for people to be able to make money to fund niceties, which is already does through education and the like.
I quite agree. All education and training should be free, including subsistence grants - unfortunately, I seem to be out of touch with the zeitgeist which seems to be not to fund it and import skills (and then, bizarrely, vote in a way to stop immigration).

It might not however be so popular if large corporations decide they no longer want to bother with the UK and people are laid off in consequence!
If there is a need for the products and/or services that those corporations provide, then according to market economics, other providers will emerge who will compete to provide those products and/or services. The competition will likely lead to benefits for the consumer (as per Adam Smith) rather than having larger corporations acting to destroy competition, create effective monopolies (and then having the brassneck to try to dodge tax). A return to capitalism ?
 

EM2

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So find some like-minded people, start the 'Scandinavian outlook' party, campaign on a manifesto of increasing prices* (especially on alcohol) and if you get elected we'll know you are right in your belief that such policies would work here. Personally, I think the absence of such a party already suggests this isn't likely to be a worthwhile venture.

*Presumably prices would be increased as a result of higher taxes and wages, rather than increasing profit for companies?

[Edit in red]
But it isn't just about increasing prices. It's about increased taxes that pay for a better standard of living.
It's surely no coincidence that these countries regularly feature as having the best standard of living, the best standard of education, the happiest population, alongside high tax takes and high prices?
 

bramling

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But it isn't just about increasing prices. It's about increased taxes that pay for a better standard of living.
It's surely no coincidence that these countries regularly feature as having the best standard of living, the best standard of education, the happiest population, alongside high tax takes and high prices?
How do you convince people that the extra tax pays for a better standard of living for them, as opposed to subsidising a better standard of living *for others*? Likewise how do you convince people that the state is in a better position than them to judge how to best spend their money to enhance their standard of living?

You might just about be able to make a case for increased tax hypothecated towards certain public services (for example the NHS), but beyond that I can’t see it catching on. It’s also worth remembering that Britain’s high population verses constricted landmass makes it very costly to provide certain forms of infrastructure, not least transport.

All this in a country where spending on welfare is already high, a fact many people already are, to put it diplomatically, rather cold towards.
 
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EM2

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How do you convince people that the extra tax pays for a better standard of living for them, as opposed to subsidising a better standard of living *for others*? Likewise how do you convince people that the state is in a better position than them to judge how to best spend their money to enhance their standard of living?
By showing them the evidence?
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland ALL rank above the UK in the OECD Better Life Index (the UK is 14th).
 

Meerkat

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Surely he wasn't encouraging the use of labour being paid under the minimum wage by employers (breaking the law) and certainly not promoting working on the black market either, was he?
Bringing in lots of cheap Labour drags more wages down to the minimum wage. The locals then get outcompeted because minimum wage means more to a Romanian, and that young single Romanian will be able and willing to work harder and more flexibly than a local parent trying to raise a family.

By showing them the evidence?
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland ALL rank above the UK in the OECD Better Life Index (the UK is 14th).
Correlation is not causation
 

bramling

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By showing them the evidence?
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland ALL rank above the UK in the OECD Better Life Index (the UK is 14th).
But this doesn’t prove to people that a similar setup here would provide benefits *to them*. Likewise it doesn’t answer the question of why people should subsidise spending for the discretionary benefit of others.

In any case, high spending on public services might be welcomed. But that isn’t what was originally being proposed on here - which was higher payments to those on low wages, and also presumably people not in work at all through both choice and circumstances.

Also remember that many people on higher salaries subject themselves to costs in order to achieve them - for example a long and tiring commute, or financial risks. Plenty of people choose to trade a high wage in return for an easier life, for example a quick walk to work in the local pub, or whatever. Again, why should someone who rises at 0500 in the morning and subjects themselves to a stressful and tiring commute every day for 40 years subsidise someone who has opted to pursue a different lifestyle choice?
 
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EM2

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But this doesn’t prove to people that a similar setup here would provide benefits *to them*.
Nothing does. No manifesto from any party, no speech from any MP or PM, nothing *proves* that things will be better.
Likewise it doesn’t answer the question of why people should subsidise spending for the discretionary benefit of others.
It's called the greater good.
In any case, high spending on public services might be welcomed. But that isn’t what was originally being proposed on here - which was higher payments to those on low wages, and also presumably people not in work at all through both choice and circumstances.
What was originally proposed was a number of possible ideas to reduce inequality.
 

EM2

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What greater good is there in redistributing other people’s hard-earned income to subsidise, say, a new 60 inch 3D television for someone who doesn’t work?
Because, as a very simple example, it gives that person enjoyment, especially important if they live alone. That could reduce their reliance on alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs, or their likelihood to suffer mental ill-health.
 

bramling

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Because, as a very simple example, it gives that person enjoyment, especially important if they live alone. That could reduce their reliance on alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs, or their likelihood to suffer mental ill-health.
And so encouraging people to take without making any effort to give. If everyone adopted that attitude then the world would certainly not be a good place.
 

EM2

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And so encouraging people to take without making any effort to give. If everyone adopted that attitude then the world would certainly not be a good place.
There are many people in this country that take without giving. Many of them have inherited massive wealth simply because of who their parents are.
If you feel that 'taking without giving' is a bad thing, do you feel the same about child benefit, unemployment benefit, or old age pensions? The winter fuel payment, the free bus pass?
 

Meerkat

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In your opinion then, why do these countries consistently rank highly in quality of life indexes?
I don’t need to answer, you need to prove it’s because of high tax and spend by the governments.
Maybe they are less crowded, have better scenery, and more outdoor sports.
Maybe it correlates to historic ethnic ‘pureness’ - i don’t know if it does correlate or but if it did would you accept that as the cause so easily?
Maybe its their more relaxed attitudes to sex!
 

EM2

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Nordic countries as a whole - https://www.financialexpress.com/ec...pier-dont-believe-us-heres-the-proof/1101148/
World Happiness Report 2018: The happiness report for the year 2018 is out, and what’s common between the people of happiest nations is that they pay higher taxes. The top three nations on World’s Happiness Index 2018 are Finland, Norway and Denmark, and they are among the highest tax paying nations in the world — with tax rates high as 60%.

And the relationship between happiness and tax rate is not purely coincidental but correlated. Eminent social-scientist Benjamin Radcliff has drawn a parallel between happiness and tax rates, saying that “higher levels of taxation suggest higher levels of satisfaction with life”, and hence more happiness.

And there are other social scientists too who contend the same. The research on ‘happiness economic’ conclude on two important points: Both progressive tax and higher tax are indeed related to the happiness of people. Three social scientists in a research paper named ‘Progressive Taxation and the Subjective Well-Being of Nations’ examined whether progressive taxation is associated with increased levels of subjective well-being.

And what they found was that nation with more-progressive taxation evaluated their lives as closer to the best possible life and reported having more positive and less negative daily experiences than did respondents living in a nation with less-progressive taxation.

Finally, they concluded that that the association between more-progressive taxation and higher levels of subjective well-being was mediated by citizens’ satisfaction with public goods, such as education and public transportation.

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University recently told CBS that happiness is also about creating stronger social foundations, social trust, and healthy lives, which can come from a county’s citizens paying a higher tax.

In short: Due to higher tax paid by citizens, the government is able to provide social benefits, universal healthcare and education, better infrastructure and higher employment rates among others, thus making them happier.
 
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EM2

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Sweden - https://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11380356/swedish-taxes-love
It seems that Americans would rather have inaccessibility to public places and crumbling infrastructure than pay more in taxes, right? After all, every American seems to know that taxes in Sweden are high and that they want nothing to do with high.

My wife and I have been dividing our time between jobs in Sweden and Wisconsin for the past dozen years, and I'm here to tell you that taxes in Sweden are not that high. To my surprise, I found that there are lots of things to love about the Swedish tax system. Swedish taxes are easy to pay, rational, and efficient. Best of all, rather than take away opportunities, Swedish taxes expand them.
...
If we value freedom, those of us who drive cars should pay higher gas taxes so that those who are old, infirm, too poor to have a car, or want to reduce their environmental impact can have fast and efficient bus and train service. Besides the moral issue of providing freedom of choice, there is a great economic value. If we had bus and train service to Madison, the value of all of the real estate in Lodi would shoot up, and our crumbling downtown would have a shot at a future.

The 33 million Americans who are still not covered by health insurance don't have much choice when they get sick, unless you think, "Your money or your life?" is a choice. Paradoxically it turns out the bloated, heavily lobbied, privatized US system spends more tax money ($4,437) per person than Sweden's socialized health care ($3,184).

This is due to Swedish efficiency rather than poor service. I do get to choose my doctor, have high-quality care a short walk from my home, same-day appointments and short waits when I walk in unannounced. And one day my physician himself phoned to tell me I had left my gloves in his office — it was my choice to walk back and get them.

I am not burdened by Swedish taxes. In fact, paying more allows me to increase my quality of life in a big way. That's why I believe that if we all paid higher taxes with less pain in the collection, more of us would be granted the American version of freedom we have been promised.
 

EM2

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Denmark - https://www.usnews.com/news/best-co...-20/why-danes-happily-pay-high-rates-of-taxes
The reason behind the high level of support for the welfare state in Denmark is the awareness of the fact that the welfare model turns our collective wealth into well-being. We are not paying taxes. We are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life.

The key to understanding the high levels of happiness in Denmark is the welfare model's ability to reduce risks, uncertainties and anxieties among its citizens and prevent extreme unhappiness.

The Danish welfare model provides opportunities for its citizens to pursue their happiness from advanced starting positions disregarding economic, social, gendered or cultural backgrounds. Let me give you some examples.

Education is free and even at university level, there is no tuition fee. Meanwhile, every Danish student receives around $900 per month from the state. This means I won't have to worry about how to finance my kid's education. It will be their talents and dreams that shape the path of their careers, not the size of my wallet.
...
Happiness is becoming a core concern for the people who pass the laws shaping the circumstances of our lives.

In recent years, happiness, well-being and quality of life have made a powerful imprint on policy-making. The United Nations passed a resolution inviting countries to start measuring the happiness of their populations. Similarly, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development now includes life satisfaction as a parameter for the development of the member countries, and OECD Secretary General Ángel Gurría declares that "Improving the quality of our lives should be the ultimate target of public policies."

These ambitions reflect the growing awareness among people, politicians and scientists that economic progress is no longer a satisfactory indicator for the progress of a society.

Despite economic growth, I see massive economic anxiety. I see countries such as the United States and South Korea having achieved tremendous growth in the past decades, but failing to convert wealth into well-being for the people.

Denmark is by no means a perfect utopia, and the country faces challenges and issues like any other country. But I do believe Denmark can be a source of inspiration in how countries can increase quality of life.
 

AlterEgo

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By showing them the evidence?
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland ALL rank above the UK in the OECD Better Life Index (the UK is 14th).
People don’t care for evidence. Haven’t you been paying attention for the last few years?

People generally make political decisions based on ideation and feeling rather than looking at OECD statistics.
 

bramling

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There are many people in this country that take without giving. Many of them have inherited massive wealth simply because of who their parents are.
If you feel that 'taking without giving' is a bad thing, do you feel the same about child benefit, unemployment benefit, or old age pensions? The winter fuel payment, the free bus pass?
Something like unemployment benefit is a safety net to stop people starving, and to give people a helping hand towards finding a new job. It’s not intended to facilitate people purchasing luxury goods like high-spec TVs.

As for inheritance, why ever should someone save to give their earnings to someone else’s offspring? I’ve never understood why people have such a chip on the shoulder about this. Every parent should want the best for their children.
 

Meerkat

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Those quotes seem to be correlation and assumption, not proof of causation.
I wonder what the relative levels of trust in government are in those countries.
Before you can convince people to pay higher taxes for more public goods you have to make them trust the government to spend it well. Did the Nordic countries waste so much money on nationalised industries?
 

EM2

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Something like unemployment benefit is a safety net to stop people starving, and to give people a helping hand towards finding a new job. It’s not intended to facilitate people purchasing luxury goods like high-spec TVs.
Where did I ever say that it should? You seemed to suggest that's what it would be used for.
As for inheritance, why ever should someone save to give their earnings to someone else’s offspring? I’ve never understood why people have such a chip on the shoulder about this. Every parent should want the best for their children.
Indeed they should. But that makes those that inherit a fortune no different to those that never work for other reasons.
 

Meerkat

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As for inheritance, why ever should someone save to give their earnings to someone else’s offspring? I’ve never understood why people have such a chip on the shoulder about this. Every parent should want the best for their children.
Then spend money on their upbringing.
Inheritance causes inequality in wealth, opportunities, housing, careers.
I would rather have low income taxes and massive inheritance tax. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s all that possible.
 

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