Socialism vs Capitalism

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aictos, 18 Jan 2020.

  1. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    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?
     
  2. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Surely we can raise the level of debate a bit?
     
  3. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    I'm allowed to be silly sometimes.
     
  4. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

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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?

    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?

    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.

    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?
     
  5. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    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?
     
  6. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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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.
     
  7. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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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]
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  8. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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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!
     
  9. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    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.
     
  10. 433N

    433N Member

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    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).

    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 ?
     
  11. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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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?
     
  12. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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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?

    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.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  13. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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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).
     
  14. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    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.

    Correlation is not causation
     
  15. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    In your opinion then, why do these countries consistently rank highly in quality of life indexes?
     
  16. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  17. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Nothing does. No manifesto from any party, no speech from any MP or PM, nothing *proves* that things will be better.
    It's called the greater good.
    What was originally proposed was a number of possible ideas to reduce inequality.
     
  18. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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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?
     
  19. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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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.
     
  20. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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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.
     
  21. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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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?
     
  22. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    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!
     
  23. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Nordic countries as a whole - https://www.financialexpress.com/ec...pier-dont-believe-us-heres-the-proof/1101148/
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  24. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Sweden - https://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11380356/swedish-taxes-love
     
  25. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Denmark - https://www.usnews.com/news/best-co...-20/why-danes-happily-pay-high-rates-of-taxes
     
  26. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    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.
     
  27. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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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.

    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.
     
  28. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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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?
     
  29. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Where did I ever say that it should? You seemed to suggest that's what it would be used for.
    Indeed they should. But that makes those that inherit a fortune no different to those that never work for other reasons.
     
  30. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    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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