The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist?

Posted by: NW Ponderer

The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 11:36 AM

The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? (Vox). Again, a lengthy, but readable, discussion of a big idea. It's really the difference between Ocasio-Cortez' and Elizabeth Warren's visions of liberalism.

We've had several threads about new economic thinking and how broken capitalism is. This encapsulates many of them.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 04:31 PM

Pearstein's statement of their being no working class political movement in his opening argument kinda lost me. He's arguing from a standpoint of what he wants to believe is our history and curent situation and not what was/is. How can you take a guy serious after that?
I think capitalism is already in a transformational state and will conclude with totalitarianism (as it seems to nearly be). It already blankets the earth and technology seems to be accelerating it's transition and dominance. At the same time the contradictions keep piling up and can't be resolved. Just look at the amount of debt issuance since 2008 for households, commercial, student, etc.. Exciting times to be sure.
Trying to take away guy's like Pearstein's worldview and far more powerful people's worldview will be met with vicious response. That has got to be the greatest challenge more so than redistributing wealth. It upsets the 'natural order and the internal belief systems of ruling classes and hell hath no fury like an elitist exposed. Brazil may show us what happens here. Jack London's 'Iron Heel' dealt with this. The outcome to that response will seal our fate and I don't know if there is a recognition of these dangerous counterforces.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 04:57 PM

Quote:
Is America’s future capitalist or socialist?


The answer to this pointless and polite debate is simple...yes.
Both are right. And both are equally wrong. There is an in-between that governments have been evolving towards for a long time. But it doesn't even have a name...compromise between the two is so unimaginable and difficult that it doesn't even have a name.

Are capitalism and socialism defined as right and left? Is centrism the perfect solution? Or is it just the battlefield where the two sides clash? Is there a Third Way? Where both money and people can be equally served by government.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 07:01 PM

I wish you'd all read the article.... I didn't agree with either of them, actually, but the lines are being drawn. Is there a role for capitalism in a socialist world? Is there a role for government in a capitalist world? I agree that both can be true, and are. It is in the balance.

I don't believe that either economic socialism or capitalism are, in and of themselves, workable systems. Obviously, both have been tried to one extent or another and both have failed spectacularly. But from those failures, lessons can be learned. That is where I think the discussion between Perlstein and Sunkara can be informative - because both are wrong, but in different ways. Both came to the discussion with preconceived notions that colored their arguments, but each provided kernels of truth that we can expound upon here.

That is why I started this thread, to create more of a framework for discussion. Let's go back to Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Warren. Do either have a vision of how to proceed in our fractious society? Are those visions mature enough to provide a roadmap? Are the forces they inspire able to be controlled? Are their visions sufficiently different?
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 09:13 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Obviously, both have been tried to one extent or another and both have failed spectacularly. But from those failures, lessons can be learned.


The lesson I learned a long long time ago is that purity is poison.
Purity in genetics results in profound birth defects, but it is also poisonous to art, literature, music, even politics and religion...and yes, economics.

Our present day form of capitalism is an exercise in the fundamentalist addiction to purity.

Purity leads to nothing more than purity oaths and an ever narrowing circle which ultimately ends in a circular firing squad.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/08/19 09:14 PM

I guess I am confused about what this is all about. I read the article and it spent a lot of time explaining who was what kinda like the "who is on first" thing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg). When its all said and done it boils down to kinda simple things, regardless of obvious confusion, folks are unhappy, they are unhappy with the other side, they are unhappy with their side, something is not good, etc. This is what happens when each side just cannot bring themselves to talk to the other side. The capitalist 'knows' that the socialist wants everything he/she has and the socialist 'knows' that the capitalist wants to destroy everything because we all know every capitalist is incredibly guilty.

Basically, everybody is simply wrong and a functional system is made up of both sides, talking to one another, and doing the best thing for everybody. The problem with our system is that neither side is actually talking to the other. If you watch as much as a half hour of tv you will hear a talking head talking about talking to the other side. Its a common meme these days. Its also that which we all know as 'blather'. Nobody is questioning, for instance, that capitalism is responsible for raising huge populations from need, starvation, destitution, etc. On the other hand 'socialism' (citizens agreeing that some things should be the responsibility of everybody. Some of these things are law enforcement, education, healthcare, wars, etc) For a very long time both sides have been able to work with the other side. Now, however, instead of working with the other side the solution seems to be to hate the other side and have nothing to do with them. Both sides agree with talking to the other side but it just doesn't happen. Instead we have something like "talking at the other side" and listening not a wit.

As an interesting aside I guess I should also mention that the sides themselves have decided to move their goalposts which is not helpful. The Dems, for instance, want to war with each other about their stuff and the Republicans apparently would like to 'discuss' their own goalposts but seem to have been taken over by a beloved leader incapable of just about anything but blather making sure that no real discussions even take place.

I am old. I can, for instance, remember when somebody who owned a company that had employees rarely, if ever, made more than 2 times what his employees made. Now, it seems, its dandy to make more than 100 times what an employee makes. I consider this to be a bad thing and an incredible display of bad manners as well as pure greed. I can also remember when unions had the interests of its members as its first thought. Then the unions decided to get into bed with the mafia and take member money to build casinos in Las Vegas and this was the tip of the iceburg. The main reason, for instance, that the Dems were unable to pass legislation to force them that put up political ads to put their names on said ads, was because the Unions did't want that to happen. There is an American Airplane manufacturer which has a work force, for instance, that liked to go on strike during hunting season. My point is that both sides decided to go waaaaaaaay too far! The reason for that is that they stopped talking to one another and so there was/is, no mitigation!

Basically, there used to be standards and propriety. That has now been replaced with greed, personal power, and a general feeling that getting whatever you can, anyway you can, is the best way. I remember, once, that I had an employee who needed a raise. I explained that I couldn't give him one because that would mean everybody would have to get one and that would put me out of business. He replied that he understood that but still needed the raise. My solution was to get him a better paying job some place else. His attitude, however, is remembered. I have always wondered, if there was no better job would he have engendered a strike which would have killed the business? How could anybody believe that would have been a solution to anything?

These problems, I think, are just examples of poor judgment, on all sides. Until folks can sit down and work it out its just gonna get worse and worse and, in the end, historically speaking, the solution always seems to be blood on the streets ending with all the bad things we used to blame on the 3rd world. I am not even convinced that has been, and will continue to be, just the way things are.

The United States has had a pretty good run at things but, unless stuff changes, its gonna all go the way of other national failures. When you throw in stuff like climate change one can only wonder. As previously stated I am old so its unlikely I will bear witness to the coming disaster but I am convinced its pretty much on the way!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/09/19 02:21 AM

Socializing capitalism should be done.
It's what's being proposed by Labor in the U.K.
It's what's been practiced at Spain's Mondragon for decades.
North Dakota has a 100 year old state owned bank.
Italy has about a third of its GDP being produced they cooperatives.
Governments owning means of production is not, as far as I know, socialism. It's state capitalism.
Democratizing the means of production is, as far as I know, socialism.
It also means wages and salaries and the sharing of profits gets decided democratically instead of a dozen or do people in a board room.
I've been impressed with Corbyn's labor proposals. It looks like a real evolution of capitalism whereas all we keep getting is the same old swindles.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/10/19 03:52 PM

Don't you hate it when the democratic party quashes inclusive populism from Sanders and now Cortez just to leave the stage to Right wing populism....

Tucker moves the conversation to the right while the neolibs punch left...

I heard from someone that the hard right is good at identifying problems and hypocrisies but their diagnosis for what's causing it is usually wrong. I would agree with that sentiment and add that centrist Dems don't want to even admit that anything could be wrong. Especially when it's a democrat badged administration...
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/10/19 08:17 PM

Chunk;
I continue to wonder and you continue to bash the Democrats. We have TWO political parties. Third parties have been tried and failed but, normally, ruined any chance the party the third split from for winning ANYTHING. Seems to me that you, and them that buy all your arguments, are well on their way to yet another 3rd party which also means we will get to have the exquisite experience of another 4 more years of the Jackass (and a possible very real takeover by the right (I know, there is no right or left).

The only possible thing that may stand in your way is the indictment of the Jackass. I really hope that happens, for ALL of us!

I also sincerely hope that your 3rd party effort fail miserably - just saying...........
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 02:55 AM

The populist movement primaried both political parties while running under a common agenda. It was so successful that new rules were imposed by both parties for their respective primaries to preclude this grass roots intrusion from ever hapenning again.
Politics today has been a choice between Pepsi and Coke. Neither being all that much different from one another with the exception that the right has embraced populism for some time now, while the center right party has morphed into a professional class political party.
I've stated more than once, JGW, that the political observation of facism being a rising populist movement that is denied a left alternative is a correct one, to my mind. The article I linked to is another clear example of the right speaking to middle class concerns whereas the center right has not. Not nearly enough and not for a long while.
You may be content with the Democratic parties direction and record if achievement but I'm not. I'm not interested in lame lesser if two evils choices and party loyalty tests. That's not politics and has been proven to be incompetent and ineffectual. I don't believe in giving the Democratic Party a free pass from critique. Any system that gets a free pass rots from the head down. If it can't reform itsrlf and prove its legitimacy to a majority of voters by no other means than 'not being the other party' then we are in trouble.
Oh wait.....
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 01:24 PM

Honestly, this debate is more about wether or not we become neoliberal fascists or democratic socialist.
Clearly, neoliberal fascism is in the lead.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 02:33 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
That is why I started this thread, to create more of a framework for discussion. Let's go back to Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Warren. Do either have a vision of how to proceed in our fractious society? Are those visions mature enough to provide a roadmap? Are the forces they inspire able to be controlled? Are their visions sufficiently different?

Both Perlstein and Sunkara eventually hit on the fundamental need for people to have to be in a position of "shared sacrifice" before either system really works. Both NWP and Greger implied that neither system actually exists in any pure intellectual form - I agree. I think that a debate between "capitalism" and "socialism" is therefore impossible and a distraction.

A more useful approach might be to first recognize that the problems are cultural. How possible is cultural change? How much of culture is born of intrinsic human nature? How much is taught? Of course, the 30' hardened concrete wall that is a barrier to changing a culture is a serious problem. It is a problem when people have 'freedom' (free market capitalism), and it it a problem when people are 'regulated' (dictatorial socialism).

The only possibility that I see, and it is a slim possibility, is for more enlightened people to figure out how to set the stage for the masses to choose to be more cooperative/collaborative as the obvious, natural, and right best option.

Now that I have sufficiently identified the opportunity, I would appreciate it if you all would get going on a plan for implementation... cool

The Green New Deal could be a platform for implementation, but it needs to be very cleverly used.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 04:22 PM

Ummmm....

What culture?
You mean consumer culture? Because that's almost entirely what I see now in the country. What culture isn't being created by corporations and the industrial entertainment complex?

Not to be argumentative over your point Logs but if I'm accurately describing culture as a manufactured corporate enterprise thru mass media then your talking about changing what is arguably one of the power centers in American society.

I'm not convinced that are more 'enlightened' elites can make a case without addressing peoples material concerns. The Democrats won't and the republicans are going full on despotism.

Whereas the left.....
Well, I vote for replacing 'The Internationale' with Jarvis Cocker's more appropriate 2007 single for winning hearts and minds



"Beware the artists, they mix with all classes of society and are therefore more dangerous"
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 04:24 PM

I completely agree, jgw, with your last post. Neither of the protagonists were even close to "right" in their analysis, in my view. They spent so much time defining labels for themselves and others, and really missing the obvious. For example, our Constitution is obviously designed with both "socialist" (e.g., general welfare) and "capitalist" (various freedoms "From" and preserving property), or at least "libertarian" elements. Paying attention to that, and the balance of powers within the document, would go a long way toward solving our problems.

Neither the Senate nor the White House are representing "The people's" interests. The House I am more hopeful of, with some, if not a substantial number, of Republican Representatives willing to do their jobs. Tactics may be more important, right now, than positions, although there are some policy issues that need to be immediately addressed in a multi-partisan fashion, like immigration and economic/tax reform. As pessimistic as I am, I have a glimmer of hope that the debacle of the shutdown might concentrate the minds of legislators to do their jobs. Impeachment may be the next major hurdle to restoring sanity to government, although the pollution of the judiciary may obviate much of that sanity, e.g., the Texas ACA ruling. We have to take responsibility, as citizens, for the mess we've allowed politics to get us into.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 06:51 PM

There is, I think, a major flaw in the question (capitalist or socialist?). Our system is a bit of most. We have publicly funded Police and Firemen, for instance. I have yet to hear ANYBODY suggesting that Police get privatized. One of the southern states, for get which, actually tried to privatize their fire department but after houses catching fire and lighting up others they put a quick stop to that one. There are also things like Libraries that are also socialized along with education. When the voters, and gov, get lazy and these socializations go south the privatizers come out of the woodwork. My own view is that, in most cases, privatization is little more than an opportunity of the greedy (schools have, pretty much proven that one).

The problem is the interface between public and gov. Gov isn't doing its job so its the duty of the voters to get somebody who can actually function. The problem, of course, falls back of the voting public when they screw up. I have not yet noticed anybody actually standing up and stating the simple fact that voters DO SCREW UP, let alone trying to explain how and why. Don't change the simple fact that they do.

I am told that our schools, these days, don't spend a lot of time on "social studies". I even find the title strange "social studies", huh? "social"? Anyway, again, kids need to learn how gov works and it should be a major part of what they learn because they are the voters of the future and, right now, we seem to be producing voters that haven't a clue how it all works. I would actually be pretty interesting. I would really be interested in a school district that forced "social studies" in a big way. Betcha there would be a lot of the ignorant voting parents howling about that one! <G>

Anyway, there are government services that function properly. The VA, for instance, can provide healthcare for approximately 30% of what the retail cost it. (them asking for medicare for all would do much better with VA Healthcare for all) The VA, however, screwed up in some of their hospitals and rather than fix the problem the problem got worse as gov decided to fix it without a real clue (gov sometimes does this). Then the Republicans came in and tried to privatize (and significantly increase the cost without increasing competence). The VA is currently suffering under all this and its getting more screwed up by the day. I have been going to the VA for something close to almost 70 years and have never had a problem until very recently. There have been small irritations and, when I told somebody I found them taken care of. I have a friend who is a doctor working at the VA as a "hospitaler" (hopefully that is his right designation, if not, sorry). His job is to make sure stuff is functioning properly and he has stories to tell. On the other hand I had an employee who got a tattoo. It got infected and the next thing he knew his immune system failed. He was in the local hospital, completely wired up across from the nurses station. In the middle of the night he got up, out of bed, walked out of the hospital dragging wires (I was told this by a witness) and NOBODY even bothered to do anything (the nurse's station, it turned out, was dutifully manned by a sleeping nurse. He went home and hung himself. The point is that all institutions sometimes fail.

I have been in several hospitals, owned and operated by the state (UK, Canada, etc), I got good service and survived.

Anyway, I think I have moved off the topic, my apologies (sometimes I get a bit carried away with the my admiration of my own voice).
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/11/19 07:29 PM

Quote:
sometimes I get a bit carried away


LOL yes, those walls of text can be a bit intimidating. I type pretty fast and I can string words together pretty well and I can go on and on if I choose. But it dawned on me that my point is often lost to the reiteration of well known facts and complaints so I try to mostly keep it short and sweet these days.

When I read your(always interesting) posts there is usually something that catches my eye and makes me say "Whoa, pard'ner something is amiss with this thought."
This time around it's this...

Quote:
The problem is the interface between public and gov. Gov isn't doing its job so its the duty of the voters to get somebody who can actually function. The problem, of course, falls back of the voting public when they screw up. I have not yet noticed anybody actually standing up and stating the simple fact that voters DO SCREW UP, let alone trying to explain how and why. Don't change the simple fact that they do.


Half of the voters in America believe that voters screwed up when they elected Obama.

Half of the voters in America believe that voters screwed up when they elected Trump.

There's your problem right there.



Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/12/19 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Ummmm.... What culture?

What culture, indeed. I think I am trying to identify and understand the problem in order to be able to consider solutions. We might say that the problem is consumer culture - or it might be tribalism - or it might be any combination of a thousand things. But that approach is identifying the symptoms of the problem and not its root.

As I wondered above, is the root some defect of human nature? Is it learned? A combination of both? We need to understand what it is.

My instinctual approach is to try and manifest forms of possible solutions rather than intellectually formulate them. I don't have much faith in conceptual solutions that prescribe cultural change.

Is revolution a viable option for achieving cultural change? I think it is and has often been manifested, but it is generally a very rough tool and seldom seems to have a well-reasoned and sustainable future outcome. The American Revolution appears to have been a better example of cultural change by fighting - the Civil War was a far worse example (many of the core issues remain unresolved). It is notable that the AR had a carefully stated Declaration, which named issues and desired conditions - the GND movement appears to be following that example.

Another example given in the article is when a deeply shared cause results in people working more cooperatively (warring against other tribes) with "shared sacrifice" becoming a top cultural value. That term lit me up, wondering why "shared benefits" couldn't be as effective a motivator as shared sacrifice.

You mentioned a few intentional examples of people working cooperatively, the Mondragon Coop as one, where the objective was shared benefits instead of shared sacrifice. Two of my life inspirations are the Civilian Conservation Corps and WPA, and Roycroft. I think we are getting warmer...

The GND has potential if it figures out how to manifest its values in solid and pragmatic works, around which policy and culture can develop. If it languishes primarily in the intellectual and disputed world of broad concepts and policy, it will not go far or solve any problems. Change will be more substantial if people desire it in a positive way.

The enlightened leaders (did I say 'elite'?) need to be living the reformed culture, not just talking about it. And anyone who does this will be a leader.

Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/13/19 11:13 PM

You are probably right. I do, however, believe that the American voting public is a lazy, ignorant, bunch of self serving loons, for the most part. Its been said, any number of times, that the elected class actually mirrors them that elected them and I believe that.

If that is true then the incredible incompetence, of our elected, simply reflects them that voted them into office. Its probably, pretty much, simply the way it is. We should also remember that any voter turnout, over 50% is considered a huge landslide and, it would seem, rarely happens. The very fact that there are them that don't vote simple adds fuel to my thought. Someplace I posted a story about a school district that didn't vote and their schools were a genuine mess. The real problem was the not voting but the folks running the schools were blamed. I watched them on TV (the administrators) and they were close to tears over the state of their schools - didn't change a damned thing. Parents were simply too busy to vote in the interest of their own children. I would expand that to question their ability to actually vote in their own best interest and tend to believe that they are more ignorant than mislead.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/13/19 11:33 PM

I remember watching on TV somebody who was not from the United States but had just had the profession of being a Lobbyist to him. He was absolutely amazed. His response was, "do you mean to tell me that the United States as legislated bribery? He was absolutely stunned. He was right. This has been going on for a very long time. As long as the elected class stays with the rules they can get very, very rich. When they don't they REALLY get stomped on - by their own!

The very fact that everybody knows what a lobbyist does, and how much money they distribute (if you don't I would suggest https://www.opensecrets.org/). The fact that its been going on for a very, very long time yet nobody seems to do a damn thing about it. One would think that somebody would but, nope, not going to happen.

My point is that bribery is something we all hate yet we have, for literally years, let it continue under whatever you want to call it. The current phrase, I think, is 'contribution'. Oh, then there are the rules about "campaign funds". Just part of the dressing but as simple as that is some just can't abide sticking with the rules that help them with bribery and keep them all out of jail.

My real point is that we are all whining and beating our chests and weeping over the evils of our system and, at the same time, ignore an abuse that is just staring us right in the eye. Other nations have dealt with this. They put controls in place to control the amounts of money as well as how much they can spend. In America its a bit different. Regular folk are restricted to giving small amounts. Them that are rich can spend, literally, billions. This is right up front! Read all about it! There are even those who tried to do something about it, John McCain comes to mind. Don' make no difference.

If we can't deal with basic stuff how in the world do we expect we can deal with somebody like Jackass who has broken every rule, lies virtually all the time, is a sexual predator, and a genuine human jackass. I would humbly suggest that the simple fact is that the American Voting public just does not give a damn and neither do those they elect to a job that can make them rich. Then, of course, we expect them to behave better. Simple question - why?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/14/19 12:20 AM

Quote:
Simple question - why?


Simple answer - politics.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/14/19 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
Simple question - why?


Simple answer - politics.


Simple simple answer - class struggle

It's foundational by the loud silence. Occasionally you get a figure that makes a career of talking about it. Some, like Hedges, Moore, Sacco, Taibbi have been reporting on this issue for the last few decades. Most have been controversial like Sinclair Lewis, Dickens, Jack London, Daumier, Kley

Found this conversation between Hedges and LeDuff. Fascinating listening to these two old Times Reporters.

The deindustrialization of AmeriKa
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/14/19 05:10 PM

What has politics ever been but class struggle?
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/14/19 10:52 PM

I tend to blame widespread, societal greed and a really good example of how politicians have, basically, standardized, legalized and otherwise, colored the whole thing and, apparently, they all agreed, both sides, to get it done. If they can do this one would think they could actually get the government open to do business?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
What has politics ever been but class struggle?


It's entertainment now. Trump just understood it better than everyone else.

Latest conversation between Hedges and LeDuff

A good listen. Reminds me of a few starts and stripes reporters that actually went to the front lines and reported on what they saw. That was a different age and a different society than today's but listening to these two men echo an era of speaking truth to power.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 07:32 PM

Quote:
It's entertainment now.


It's always been entertainment.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 10:41 PM

No.
It was not.
Sometimes it's been very serious. Sometimes it's meant the difference between eating or not. Working or not. Voting or not. Etc
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 11:07 PM

Bread and circuses.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 11:14 PM

slavery, suffragette, labor rights
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/15/19 11:16 PM

War and famine.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/16/19 01:37 AM

Wait......
Are we still talking about politics always being entertainment? Because war and famine threw me.
Or is this some of that weird centrist mental ju jitsu stuff. You know... The world is flat, The end of History kind of stuff that was on a best seller list somewhere? There's nothing new under the sun or this, too, shall pass?

Anywho.
As I watch the threat of popular ideas promoted by a new crop of leftists and the media cranking up to smother their ideas their has been a new embrace of critiquing capitalism on the far right. This is a serious developement as the Centrist ridden Democratic Party have staked their careers on capitalism and are hostile to any critique coming from the left. And why wouldn't they. Fat and giggly on a decades long run of political patronage while helping to strip down and sell off the public space and trusts to privateers. It's a gravey train that put a lot of boats in slips and vacays in beautiful places.
If and when an economic downturn kicks out the very shakey remaining supports to a majority of angry Americans who do you think will have a better political position?
The party of 'Nothing to see here, everything's just great' or 'Your leaders have sold you out for a pot of gold!' ?
I'm guessing it will go social nationalist should centrist retain their death grip on the party and smother populist ideas with broad public support. Plenty of historical precedent on this political dynamic.
Nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 12:33 AM

Quote:
we still talking about politics always being entertainment?


Politics is always a lot of things. I think I started with class struggle. It is always, and always has been, a struggle between the rich and the poor.
The rich have money and power...the poor outnumber them. This struggle has gone on since the dawn of time.

And it has always been entertainment. From the great orators of history to the Yellow Journalism of the 1890s, to the sensationalist radio shows of the 1930s to FOX News.

Quote:
I'm guessing it will go social nationalist


Nazi? I'm guessing you're off your rocker.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 04:44 AM

Well nazis were one form of fascism. Italians another. Japan too.
Now we are getting ours.
If the left manages to gain more support the Petite bourgeoisie always move to the authoritarian/fascist side. When there's a serious threat to the 'socially liberal fiscally conservative' types they go to where there interest are aligned. They will side with the authoritarian ultranationalist.
They like the idea of an idea but, when you get down to it, it's self interest at its core and their material interests aren't that much different from what fascist want. At least it's not threatened in any material way.
When Weimar Germany was collapsing and the socialists rose in popularity the Petite bourgeoisie threw in with the national socialist.
You saw the same recently in Brazil.

We've already got economic fascism calling the shots in this country with both political parties serving its interests very handsomely while doing very little for the citizenry.
If socialist ideas make more headway with the public watch the reaction from the Libs.
They'll go fascist as they did in Brazil. They always do. They will here too if pressed.

If Sanders enters the 2020 race and mounts an even greater challenge to the Democratic Party I could easily see a split within the party with the centrists siding with the hard right from a real socialist challenge as just one scenario.

Maybe off the rails speculating but hey.... Trump...
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 06:39 AM

Quote:
If Sanders enters the 2020 race and mounts an even greater challenge to the Democratic Party I could easily see a split within the party with the centrists siding with the hard right from a real socialist challenge as just one scenario.


It does't make any difference: If Sanders runs again, win or not, I think the Republicans win the Presidency again. Maybe not Trump, and certainly not Pence, but some other GOP knuckle-dragger. This is exactly why Democrats in his home state are begging him NOT to run.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 11:34 AM

It's no shock to find Vermont has Neoliberals PIA.
If Sanders somehow wins the primary you gunna vote for him or are you going to sit it out with the rest of the 'adults in the room'?
I think for many, sanders is a rubber hits the road moment to all their political posturing. He's the equivalent of a put up or shut up moment for all the platitudes of phoney support Neoliberals say they have to progress.
And they resent it
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Simple simple answer - class struggle
That's not a simple answer, it's simplistic. Politics is much more complicated than the dialectic Marx imagined. There are many classes, many interests, and none of them are pure - either self-interested or altruistic. As Greger said, "Politics is always a lot of things."

Too often, here, and in other discussions, people tend to take the simplistic way out - especially with labels. For anything you disagree with, it is "neoliberal"; for Ma Republican it is just plain "liberal". There is no amelioration, compromise, or subtlety. And it is not just y'all. The media, the parties, pundits, everywhere, people want to simplify things to "us" - the good guys - vs. "them" - whatever "us" is agin'. That's the basis for nationalism, racism, xenophobia, the "Wall", Republicans, Democrats, progressives, PETA, vegans, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I don't think that way (although, being human, of course I react that way).

Trump got elected (sort of), but it wasn't just "deplorables" that elected him (even Hillary didn't claim that). There were, I suppose, some decent (if misguided) people who joined that cabal. Virtually none of them were pure Trumpists, but enough of them had enough "reasons" that 60+ million or so probably cast votes that way, holding their nose or enthusiastically.

And that is why I started this thread, because neither position in "the Debate" was even close to right, but followed the same old, same old pigeonholing process that all such debates begin and end with. I have some very strong (mostly "progressive") views, but they are ameliorated by practicalities. I believe in environmentally stringent requirements - to combat climate change and so much more, but I like my creature comforts and recognize that others do as well. I want the things years of labor and privation have allowed me to accumulate, but worry about those that have less, or are hindered in attaining the same, so I believe and support "social justice" campaigns. I passionately believe Black Lives Matter, but also understand that we need police to "serve and protect" - those are not mutually exclusive sentiments. Corporations lift billions from poverty, but suppress them at the same time. Governments have a responsibility to everyone they serve, but they have economic, logistical, and even moral limitations. I spent three decades in uniform to protect the rights of people that I detest, and would do it again, in spite of them. I like guns, and understand others that do, but I'm all for gun restrictions that are practical, moral, and reasonable. I revere the Constitution, but I also appreciate its glaring defects and those of the aspirants who created it.

Anyone who limits their imagination to a dichotomy is missing a lot of the puzzle.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/17/19 07:43 PM

"That's not a simple answer, it's simplistic." - So isn't "politics is a lot of things". If you could you reduce it to a simple sentence, the closest I've heard is either

Who's interests are being served?
or
Politics is the struggle over resources.

Both are simple but say a lot. 'Politics is a lot of things' could be replaced with 'carpet scraps are a lot of things'.

Classical liberalism, neoliberalism, conservatism, paleoconservatism are all terms referencing ideology. Do you consider my use of the word "Neoliberalism" incorrect NWP?

If so, how?

I don't use the term lightly and have tried to understand the ideology to spot it's reference points in conversations here as elsewhere. Here is one of the better articles that have tussled with what is Neoliberalism that I have read recently:

"People throw the term around loosely, as they do with “fascism,” with the same confounding results. Imagine living under fascism or communism, or earlier, classical liberalism, and not being allowed to acknowledge that particular frame of reference to understand economic and social issues. Imagine living under Stalin and never using the communist framework but focusing only on personality clashes between his lieutenants, or likewise for Hitler or Mussolini or Mao or Franco and their ideological systems! But this curious silence, this looking away from ideology, is exactly what has been happening for almost thirty years, since neoliberalism, already under way since the early 1970s, got turbocharged by the Democratic party under the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and Bill Clinton.[1]We live under an ideology that has not been widely named or defined."

What is Neoliberalism?

Neoliberalism is like syphilis. It presents itself in many ways and is a master of disguises to go undetected. One of it's strengths is it's weird refusal to be acknowledged at all. Not a bad hat trick but, thankfully, there are history books written and people old enough to not buy into it's immaculately conceived deceit.

It's a con and most folks know they're being ripped off. It blunts progress, for a fee from the interest it serves, by managing the lowering of expectations of the citizenry.





Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/18/19 12:18 AM

Neoliberalism.

An insult used to denigrate anyone who isn't a card carrying socialist.

Quote:
Do you consider my use of the word "Neoliberalism" incorrect

That's like some white ass idiot asking a bunch of black guys if he's using the N word incorrectly....!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/18/19 01:53 AM

That's one way to look at it Gregor.
If I use it to describe a political ideology that someone's selling as 'progressive' (whatever that may mean to them) but it smells like neoliberal market oriented consensus speak then I will call it for what it is.
I'm not sure what the racial slur comparison is trying to say cept I'm a dolt about the use of a word that displays my ignorance?
You think neoliberalism is an insult and not an ideology?
I've been unfair in my using it as NWP implied and your affirming?
Back it up. Call me out if I'm getting it wrong and why.





Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/18/19 02:03 AM

Quote:
If Sanders somehow wins the primary

Absolutely, I would vote for the winner of the Democratic primary. Because above all else I don't want to let the Republicans drive us right into the ground to benefit a few rich guys.

I just don't want to see another fiasco like 2016.

I suspect even the most neo of Democrats would vote for him as well, just to prevent Republican mischief. Remember, even a full blown Socialist President would have to enforce laws passed by a pretty centrist mixed-bag of Democrats in Congress. Socialist Paradise is not going to happen by one Socialist in the White House.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/18/19 02:27 AM

I'm not sure what socialist paradise is.
I'll settle for a raise in the minimum wage, medicare for all, an end to the war on drugs/mass incarceration, minority voter disenfranchisement, a green new deal for starters.

All of this will be fought by neoliberalism as I understand it.

In a way the coming elections will be about supporting real progress or supporting the idea of supporting real progress within the democratic party.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/19/19 05:55 PM

Quote:
I'll settle for a raise in the minimum wage, medicare for all, an end to the war on drugs/mass incarceration, minority voter disenfranchisement, a green new deal for starters.

Democrats, on Jan. 16, introduced the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2024. After 2024, the bill would index the minimum wage to median wage growth.
Democrats have also taken up sweeping anti-corruption measures aimed at many things but including expanded voter rights.

Medicare For All is in the conversation, marijuana legalization is inevitable which will lead to improvements in the "war on drugs, and certainly fewer incarcerations.

The Green New Deal is a brand new concept, but it's a popular catch phrase and Democrats are already probing around the edges of it.

So did you want your list of demands met immediately? That's how Donald Trump negotiates.

Quote:
All of this will be fought by neoliberalism as I understand it.


I really don't know who these "neoliberals" are but as I understand it all these things are being fought by Republicans. Democrats in general are supportive of them so I'm pretty sure your war against democrats is somewhat misdirected.
Quote:
Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism[1] is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism.[2]:7[3] Those ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade[4] and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society.[12] These market-based ideas and the policies they inspired constitute a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted from 1945 to 1980.[13][14]


Yeah, that pretty much defines Republicans.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 05:40 PM

A bump in half a decade? Imagine the sound of solitary sarcastic hand clapping.
What will $15 be worth in 5 years? Centrists Dems-lowering expectations since 1972.
Green new deal, medicare for all, legal weed, fight for 15. These are all external pressures outside of the centrist aligned democratic party, not from within. Credit where credits due.

I've watched for decades the steady erosion of the public space, labor wages, consumer rights, etc, etc I no longer listen to the slow rollers and the incessant capitulation to corporate interests. I don't think I'm alone in this.

I can't help you with your lack of understanding with the neoliberal project within the democratic party. Plenty of information out there by respected reporters and political observers. I've posted links out to well documented articles on the subject. You might start with the Powell Memo

Neoliberalism describes the first and second terms of every Administration and Centrist 'Third Way' senate/congressional democrat since Carter. There has been no left alternative voice in decades and, until recently, only a small but vocal emergent left offering a real alternative to the "there's no other way" neoliberal political consensus of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 05:56 PM

Nice follow on article out today AOC winding up the Mandarins
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Nice follow on article out today AOC winding up the Mandarins


Be happy then, because everything you're claiming wasn't happening in the party, IS HAPPENING.
And I predicted that it just might while you were being the biggest pessimist I've ever seen.
Believe in it and it just might come to pass that the Democratic Party will get knocked over and rebuilt again as a true LIBERAL party.

It won't happen unless we try.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 08:45 PM

Quote:
I don't think I'm alone in this.


No, you're not. But the socialist left simply hasn't got the votes to make the sweeping changes you demand. Or start the revolution you want.

I've tried to make it clear that I want exactly the same things you want. And I want them to happen overnight.
I even know about the problems within the Democratic Party. No matter how many times you repeat them to me I will still know about them. Repeat them again and I will continue to know about them. Which is to say...all those walls of text you link to to get your point across? I already know.

And I agree. deadhorse

But when I look into my cracked crystal ball I don't see things changing at the pace that you and I and almost everybody else wants to see. I am ever so slightly optimistic there may be some small improvements in the near future.

I am equally aware that untold misery, suffering, and likely extinction of our species will be the result if we ultimately fail to reign in capitalism and the greed of our corporate overlords.

That crack in my crystal ball is where the future diverges. On one side of the crack I see only rats and cockroaches. It's not so far away and tends to blur whatever future might await us if we survive.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 09:09 PM

"I really don't know who these "neoliberals" are but as I understand it all these things are being fought by Republicans. Democrats in general are supportive of them so I'm pretty sure your war against democrats is somewhat misdirected."

Sorry, I thought you were suggesting that the neoliberal camp is in the republican party only. My mistake. I also thought you were suggesting a lack of understanding of our current political consensus of the last 30 years by the use of the world 'Neoliberalism'.

No, the war is in the democratic party where it belongs. Jumping up and down and pointing out republican behavior is ignoring the chronic problems within the Democratic party and helps to distract us from those issues. Posting here does nothing really except as an exercise in organizing thoughts. Nuff Said.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 10:47 PM

My own personal war is against Republicans. I hope to see the party relegated to the dustbin of history within my lifetime. I lost everything in The Great Recession and I blame it entirely on Republicans. You can jump up and down and scream neoliberals all you want...every time something really sh*tty happens...It's the Republicans.

2020 is important to me in more ways than one. The next president will likely be my last and I'll be able to die happy if it's a Democrat and progressive changes are underway.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/21/19 11:09 PM

It was a neoliberal Democrat that repealed Glass Steagall.
Just thought you should know lest you vote for one in 2020.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/22/19 12:20 AM

Nobody I would consider a neoliberal will be on the ticket in 2020.
Laissez-faire economics is not as popular in the Democratic Party as I think you would like to imagine.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/22/19 03:13 AM

"History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups are more immoral than individuals."

The party is what it is. Some get it some don't.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/22/19 06:53 PM

My suspicion is that there are going to be several spoilers in 2020. Its already starting and the guy who owns Starbucks is planning an independent run and, I suspect, we will see several semi-dems doing the same thing. Their goal is not to win the election but see if they can't corner a bit of the exposure for their cause.

If this happens it just won't make any difference.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/22/19 07:47 PM

Can you explain why it won't make any difference JGW?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/22/19 11:55 PM

Quote:
the guy who owns Starbucks is planning an independent run
I've heard Kanye West might run too. But that's all posturing and bullsh*t.

We're gonna have a pretty big field of candidates at first but it'll get whittled down fast. Billionaire CEOs aren't generally known to throw money away at lost causes. It's one of the reasons they don't like paying taxes.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/23/19 08:28 PM

Coupla mayors signing up now too....

Democrats are going to start looking foolish when the number of candidates gets into the hundreds.

It's probably going to present a problem for the DNC who would rather stick to the regular formula.(the one where our corporate overlords™ tell them who the candidates should be)

Our Corporate Overlords™...My boogeyman.

You'll blame Neoliberals, Chunks.

We might as well call them the Illuminati.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/23/19 09:08 PM

If there are spoilers from the left they will split the Democratic vote. I also suspect that there will probably be them from the far left that think their candidacy is more important than anything else.

Because spoilers from the left (I know, there is no left) will make sure that the Dems will not win. If that is the case then we got Jackass for another 4 years, Unless, of course, he is got rid of. Even then, the Republicans will put up somebody else with the same wet dreams.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/23/19 11:27 PM

Spoilers? You mean "third party" candidates labeling themselves as Democratic Socialists or something?

They have a proven draw of something like .05% of the vote. Democrats can weather that storm. More likely there will be more Millenial Progressives elected to the house in 2020, some of whom will be Democratic Socialists rather than Democrats. Democrats have a much better chance of taking the Senate in 2020 too and you can bet some genuine progressives are going to be running for the available slots.

If Democrats can't field a candidate able to handle third party votes and easily defeat a weakened and unpopular Trump then they simply don't deserve to win the presidency.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/23/19 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Spoilers? You mean "third party" candidates labeling themselves as Democratic Socialists or something?

They have a proven draw of something like .05% of the vote. Democrats can weather that storm. More likely there will be more Millenial Progressives elected to the house in 2020, some of whom will be Democratic Socialists rather than Democrats. Democrats have a much better chance of taking the Senate in 2020 too and you can bet some genuine progressives are going to be running for the available slots.

If Democrats can't field a candidate able to handle third party votes and easily defeat a weakened and unpopular Trump then they simply don't deserve to win the presidency.


but.. but..
Russia!
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 12:07 AM

2016 was a fluke. Nobody but nobody saw it coming.

If US voters decide that racism and bigotry, nationalism, white supremacy, antisemitism, homophobia and the destruction of democratic principles are the most important policies for the US Government to pursue then probably we are doomed. As a nation, as a civilization, and as a species.

We gave them the rope, they hung themselves. Now it's time for Democrats to start cleaning up the mess again.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 01:34 AM

The difference is, once Bernie got blown out of the primary, a lot of liberals like myself heeded his advice and reluctantly pulled the HRC lever in the POTUS elections.

Today, it looks as if the RNC is intent on CANCELING the 2020 primaries altogether.

RAW STORY

You know, seeing as how that rotten little homunculus Steven Miller has been poisoning every single compromise offer to reopen the government and end the shutdown, and seeing as how he appears to now be the only adviser who still has Trump's ear, is it possible that Steven Miller might also be the driving force behind pushing the RNC up against the wall and demanding total fealty by canceling the 2020 primaries?

Don't forget, one of his first acts of office was to intone that "the powers of the President shall not be questioned".



I mean, that comment, coming as it did from that dead-eyed sophomoric little toady, even eclipsed Karl Rove's heel clicking by a mile:



Quote:
"We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors, and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."


My point is, a lot of conservatives will refuse to vote for Trump now that this stunt got pulled. Some inventive conservatives will run as third party, and they will siphon off enough votes to cause Trump to be utterly destroyed.

Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 02:15 AM

So long as the center right avoids comprehending the anger out here and continues with it's constant ridiculing and shaming over the misdirected targeting of that anger they will struggle for relevancy more and more.
You want to support the party that supports the idea of people supporting a position, by all means do so and remain a spent political force of legitimacy that the corporate oriented Democratic Party represents.
The more it continues hectoring for loyalty oaths and purity promises while actively denying a left option the more they will alienate their traditional base. They can't win it with lanyard people and those that want to identify with lanyard people alone.
The left has real, direct tangible ideas that aren't couched with plausible deniability after the elections are over.
It was so much easier to bicker over gay marriage or women serving in the armed services with the hard right. So much harder to demand a 70% marginal tax on billionaires so that we might fund the public space and the possibility of organized human existence in the face of environmental collapse, etc.. It didn't costs the people who bought their congressional seats anything.
But hey, I digress.
America.... It's already great!


Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 03:14 AM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
So long as the center right avoids --- SNIP


Excuse me, I don't think I even know what you're referring to anymore when you say "Center Right" because that's supposed to connect to today's "RINO's" who were booted out by the GOP.

But with you, it might mean "Democrats" because you've Humpty Dumpty'ed the term to mean whatever you want it to mean.

But I could be wrong wink
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 03:43 AM

The neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party Jeff.
Known as 'third way' democrats under Bill Clinton or 'new labour' under Blair. A realignment of the Democratic Party with a more accommodating position towards corporate interests while moving away from its historic labor base.
C'mon Jeff. Don't act coy about the last thirty years of political consensus.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 05:16 AM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
The neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party Jeff.
Known as 'third way' democrats under Bill Clinton or 'new labour' under Blair. A realignment of the Democratic Party with a more accommodating position towards corporate interests while moving away from its historic labor base.
C'mon Jeff. Don't act coy about the last thirty years of political consensus.



You have to stop trying to put me in some kind of box, it won't work, and if I wanted to do that to you, I'd say that you're not much different than Glenn Greenwald, "a holier than thou "left libertarian" who hates actual liberals more than he hates fascists, by maintaining a disdain for party politics and the U.S. government in general, so that he can appear to be "neutral" by throwing everyone under the bus."

But I don't.

Ignore the slow steady progress being hammered into the Democratic Party by figures like AOC and others at your own expense.
It's no skin off my back, and when the next elections come around, be sure to vote against Democrats so that your vote can be siphoned off to help the fascist theocrats and crypto-nazis.

I doubt they will thank you for it, though.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 12:15 PM

Jeff,
I could care less what you want to believe of the Democratic Party or how thin your knowledge of its political orientation goes. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other over its 40 year trajectory from Carter to Clinton.
If your fine with it great! Follow your bliss pal.
I'm not. It's been moving right for decades now.
Ocasio won in spite if the democratic political machine. I enjoyed that. She represents the direction the party should be going in. That direction is a much different direction than it has been going in for the above mentioned 40 years. That direction is going to be fought against by the DCCC, DSCC, Emily's list, etc..
Well documented undermining of Cortez style progressive candidates being fought by these groups in favor of rebadged republicans.
No why should that be Jeff? What is it about the rebadged republicans that the democratic parties campaign committees would prefer over a more progressive candidate?
Again, I don't really care if your unable to grasp what has been described as a 'corporate coup d'état' of the Democratic Party.
Just don't demand loyalty oaths from those that disagree with the parties corporate orientation and don't have a problem criticizing it for it.
Sides, aren't you upset with AOC? I thought you only liked properly badged democrats with the party seal of approval...
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Jeff,
I could care less what you want to believe of the Democratic Party or how thin your knowledge of its political orientation goes. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other over its 40 year trajectory from Carter to Clinton.


You wouldn't have to. Just convince me that you're aware of the fact that a great emesis of traditional or moderate Republicans also has been happening in the last three major election cycles, spurred on by an effort that all started with a billion dollar gift that spawned a little astroturf outfit known as The Tea Party...



...And continuing on with the latest peristaltic ejections that have now culminated in the growing realization that President Donald Trump, and ONLY President Donald Trump, IS now THE party formerly known as The Republican Party.
Somewhere in all that steaming vomitus lies the emacerated corpses of former Republicans, who were traditionally thought of by a label known as "Center Right".

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

If your fine with it great! Follow your bliss pal.


There you go again, trying almost in desperate fashion, to control my messaging. Do you NEED me to be fine with it? Would it help you to look like you're making some kind of point if I pretended to be fine with it?

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

I'm not. It's been moving right for decades now.
Ocasio won in spite if the democratic political machine. I enjoyed that. She represents the direction the party should be going in. That direction is a much different direction than it has been going in for the above mentioned 40 years.


Yes, why yes it is, and the Democratic Party is slowly starting to realize that AOC has brought them a gift, a very rare gift. AOC terrifies the living daylights out of Trump and his Trumpista Party.
They don't whether to scratch their ass or wind their wristwatches because the twin dragons of AOC on one end of the spectrum and Nancy Pelosi on the other offer zero relief for them.
They can't get any kind of a deal from either library lion now guarding the House. They can't even hold their Nuremburg Rally
COUGH COUGH!!! errrr...State of the Union speech in there anymore.

tonbricks

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

That direction is going to be fought against by the DCCC, DSCC, Emily's list, etc..
Well documented undermining of Cortez style progressive candidates being fought by these groups in favor of rebadged republicans.
No why should that be Jeff? What is it about the rebadged republicans that the democratic parties campaign committees would prefer over a more progressive candidate?


Oh well, anyway...Emily's List and the establishment struggled a bit, kind of like the spoiled housecat who rubs your leg and then meows in protest when you pick her up. They're coming to the realization that the new breed of progressive liberals will actually attract something they desperately need, new voters. Those voters already flexed their muscle a couple of months ago and they're going to do it again in 2020, and the establishment is beginning to realize that they can no more stop this transformation than even John McCain could stop the Tea Party, whose current living exponents pissed on his grave when he died.

So again, just for clarification, just getting back to those emacerated RINO's for a moment...they weren't Center Right?
What were they then? I mean, we KNOW that there are a bunch of crypto-fascists and theocrats who form the bulk of the Trumpista Party, so they're clearly not Center Right.
What would you call their dearly departed RINO's, if not Center Right
?

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

Again, I don't really care if your unable to grasp what has been described as a 'corporate coup d'état' of the Democratic Party.
Just don't demand loyalty oaths from those that disagree with the parties corporate orientation and don't have a problem criticizing it for it.
Sides, aren't you upset with AOC? I thought you only liked properly badged democrats with the party seal of approval...


Properly badged? You say AOC ain't totin' credentials?
Hmmm, that's funny...

Quote:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez standing
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Joe Crowley
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - born October 13, 1989, also known by the initialis "AOC", is an American politician and activist.
A member of the Democratic Party, she has been the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district since January 3, 2019.


You sure about that?

Have a great morning, Chunk.
I hope that you get over your "logjam", or constipation, or whatever it is you call that thing that forces you to throw everyone under the bus because they aren't...what was it we were supposed to be doing for you again?? (...seems like a "loyalty oath"...to YOU!)
I'd like to think that at some point, you might eventually come to the realization that while your accusations about Democratic Party mission creep carry enormous validity, the formerly glacial retreat toward neoliberalism hasn't just begun to slow, it's apparently reversing itself.

It might be imperceptible to you, but perhaps that is because you're too busy lashing out at other liberals and furiously trying to do your Paul Winchell act on them.


Take your hand outta my ass.
That's not just a suggestion. You do YOU, I'll do me, thanks.
Crikey, and I thought we were buddies.
I guess you're the personification of the kind of people in my sig line.
Leon Russell sure got you pinned, didn't he?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 04:23 PM

Republicans- "hard" or "ultra Right"- Tea party, Orban, Bolsenaro, Lega party, Le Penn's National Front, etc...

Center Right- Neoliberal 'Third Way' democrats,Blair's New Labour, Schroeder's Christian Democratic Party, Macron's La Republican, etc

Left- DSA (Bernie Sanders, Ocasio Cortez), Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party, Podemas, Obrador, Etc...


It's not labels that separates them but their interests. I vote my interests and tune out phony made up party loyalty rules of politics. All the clucking about how it's incumbent on the left to support political positions they are opposed to. Voting for Neoliberalism basically.

If there's no left alternative I will be skipping it and letting the Ultraright or center right oriented parties battle it out among themselves.

I keep reading how there's a rule of being duty bound to vote for blue no matter who. If the party keeps sidelining leftists, leftists aren't duty bound to go pull the trigger for a center right Candidate. That's on the party to mobilize their base. That's politics.

Agree with it or don't. I don't care. Honest
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 04:37 PM

You know Jeff,
Posting is stupid and it's really little more than faux empowerment. It's not helpful pointing out party contradictions to people who would rather save it for the 'opposition' party.

Blue no matter who 2020! Enjoy yourselves agreeing with one another....

Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
Republicans- "hard" or "ultra Right"- Tea party, Orban, Bolsenaro, Lega party, Le Penn's National Front, etc...



So you've left out Trumpistas entirely or you've made them one and the same with the remaining ordinary Republicans...???

"How can you be so obtuse, is it deliberate?"




Are Trumpistas and ordinary pre-Trump Republicans and Never Trumpers all the same to you?

Really? Seriously?
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 05:46 PM

And you still have to stop trying to put your hand up my ass, that's non-negotiable.
I don't even let Karen go in there.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/24/19 11:44 PM

Quote:
Blue no matter who 2020! Enjoy yourselves agreeing with one another....


Well yeah, for the most part we're a bunch of Democrats here so we'll likely be voting for whoever happens to win the nomination.
We might not particularly like it but we will.

Is there someone else you'd rather we voted for?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/25/19 02:40 PM

How about a little substance? Elizabeth Warren plans to propose a "wealth tax" (NBC); AOC Proposes 70% tax rate... Dang, those Dems sure are a conservative bunch.

I think both of these proposals are moving fiscal policy to sound footing. Moreover, neither are likely to hurt, but rather would stimulate, the economy, as would a real boost in the corporate tax rate - even conservative economists think the current rate is too low, and it has actually harmed the economy.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/25/19 09:41 PM

Hillary Clinton proposed higher taxes for the wealthy too. It didn't go down that well with the voters last time. It's a lot easier to run on tax cuts than increases.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/31/19 07:07 PM

I got extremely mad about Bloomberg's and Schultz's BS, calling Medicare for all "unaffordable" and "un-American", because it demonstrated that they are either stupid (unlikely), or dishonest (probable). Here's a good explanation as to why: The media is badly botching the Medicare-for-all debate. (WaPo, subscription).

Let me start with an obvious observation: Bloomberg and Schultz are both billionaires. Billionaires are not like us. But Schultz started life poor. He certainly knows better. Or, maybe, money causes myopia. Schultz calls himself "self-made". That's a clue. It automatically ignores all of the circumstances that assisted his success.

But more importantly, to be successful in business one should be aware of the ecosystem in which one's business exists. Here's why their basic argument is stupid. And I mean STUPID: The majority of the countries in which they do business have universal healthcare. If they were "bankrupt", how are they doing business there? If they are bankrupt, how are they kicking our collective butt in health care outcomes and costs?
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/31/19 08:21 PM

I always go back to the Constitution. What contract did I tacitly sign? It says, "promote the general welfare". The Founders did not define what they meant, but certainly we can use common sense to derive some reasonable conclusion as to what they envisioned.

Does the highway system, starting with the National Highway in 1814, promote the general welfare? Yep on many levels. So the question should not be what is viable or not but what do Americans expect from their government? If the majority expect nothing but a highway system, then so be it, but I suspect when the electorate is apprised of the many ways government can assist them i.e. promoting the general welfare, then they would be more attentive to a variety of plans.

Once the electorate knows what it wants, then we can talk about how we pay for it. I think it is clear SS and Medicare promote the general welfare. Would it be such a large leap to expand coverage for all citizens?

As you say, NWP, many countries have universal coverage and Germany has had it since 1888 and they have a variety of systems to ensure their citizens have coverage. The people making claims we can't afford it or that it is unAmerican are misinformed or disingenuous.

Have the debate!

aside:: should government not fulfill its obligation, I believe the Constitution tacitly implies the contract is null and void and should be dissolved.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/31/19 08:53 PM

Last time Democrats had control, 2008-2010, the first thing on the agenda was healthcare. It was a massive struggle to get the ACA passed and we did it without a single Republican vote.

It cost Democrats control of the house, then the Senate, then the Presidency and the supreme court.

ten years later we have gained back the House and are guardedly optimistic about the 2020 elections.

Republicans have fumed over it the whole time.

Hillary Clinton tried it back in the day too, when Bill was president. She was a marked woman from that day forward.

I'm not gonna say that history predicts the future but...

History Predicts The Future!
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 01/31/19 09:21 PM

Quote:
I always go back to the Constitution.

That's pretty sound path to take.

It was written by capitalists. Who didn't want to pay taxes.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/01/19 12:22 AM

and yet these same writers and thinkers left open the possibility of a strong central government which could provide the glue for a disparate set of independent states which could actually provide services citizens wanted, which would fulfill their contractual obligation.

we would not be here today if not for compromises made in hope that those who rejected the concept would some day be persuaded a democratic government would be a good thing worth the sacrifices made by those who believed.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/01/19 05:02 PM

I don't think they could ever have imagined what the future would bring.
But the point is...our Constitution makes no allowances for socialist rule. It was written by and for wealthy landowners and whenever "people" are mentioned it is wealthy white male "people" it talks about. With one tiny reminder not to be too cruel to the rest of the population.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/01/19 06:19 PM

such a cynic

The Constitution makes no reference to any economic systems.

Quote:
It was written by and for wealthy landowners

While it is true James Madison was a landowner of some substance, there were many attorneys and judges, as well as businessmen. On the other hand did you want say one of my 13 ancestors to be a writer, contributor? My ancestors were all poor and mostly uneducated farmers. I would rather have an educated person write such an important document rather than my ancestors.

The question is, do you want one unified country or 13 separate countries in NA? If it doesn't matter, then sure, you could say it was written by wealthy folks for wealthy folks, but remember, these guys had to make a many compromises to get to the point the Founders would agree on a document to present to the various colonies. Looking into the rear view mirror of history one could say why didn't they do this or that which is widely accepted today. The heat in Philadelphia in the summer can be stifling. I wonder what the temperature was in that small room in Independence Hall, packed with representatives debating these very questions and modern criticisms. It amazes me that they could come to a compromise document, especially considering the modern divide between liberals and conservatives. It would be impossible to write such a document today.

If you appoint me Master of the Universe, the world you envision would probably come to fruition, otherwise, I will continue to uphold the faulty document we have for guidance in the immediate future.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/01/19 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: rporter314
It amazes me that they could come to a compromise document, especially considering the modern divide between liberals and conservatives. It would be impossible to write such a document today.
Amazing, indeed. I think that the fundamental reason they were able to make the compromises necessary to create the document that endures today is that they approached the task in a good faith belief that everyone had a similar goal. They didn't agree, and some of those disagreements became very nasty (even fatal). If we can reengender that sense of common purpose, even in this fractious environment, I think progress, in the spirit of the Constitution, can still prevail.

The Constitution is an agnostic document. It sets forth parameters, processes, and aspirations, but it doesn't dictate conclusions - economically or ecumenically. The men who drafted it believed in the power and merit of reason. Would that that condition were to prevail today!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/02/19 03:24 AM




...
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/05/19 08:18 PM

Y'know...? We wouldn't be looking at having to tax the sh*t out of them if they would willingly pay a living wage to workers. Philanthropy is bullsh*t. Just another way to avoid paying taxes.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/05/19 08:49 PM

I suspect very few billionaires are involved with their lowest level workers pay rates. People working for minimum wage are mostly working in franchised fast food places and such. The people determining their pay rate are far from millionaires much less billionaires. Typically, they are manager/owners who may have one tier of assistant managers above the lowest paid workers. The amount they pay their lowest paid people comes right out of their bottom line and thus their income. Any of them could decide to pay their workers more, if they want less.

In a larger corporations, there are managers who have an incentive to show their labor costs as low as possible to please higher management. There is a whole game theory area about how much to pay people versus turnover costs. The CEO hardly ever gets involved, unless they want to push a particular agenda for political or PR reasons.

So I think a 72% top rate on incomes over $10 million may be something that is workable. Bring back the estate tax, too, on estates over $10 million. 72% would be fine for that too. Nobody's kids need more than $10 million to start something productive. Over that just enables stuff like Trump's daddy leaving him 100's of millions to squander on idiotic vanity projects.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/06/19 10:59 PM

The massive wealth of the billionaire class and their multinational interests is a juggernaut out of control. Of course they don't control anything besides meetings with other billionaire's. They don't even buy their own private jets. But that money just keeps making more money and sucking the life out of the real world economy.

They have the power to take control. But as you can see from the Shultz fiasco, none of them really has clue how the real world works anymore.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/07/19 12:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
The massive wealth of the billionaire class and their multinational interests is a juggernaut out of control. Of course they don't control anything besides meetings with other billionaire's. They don't even buy their own private jets. But that money just keeps making more money and sucking the life out of the real world economy.

They have the power to take control. But as you can see from the Shultz fiasco, none of them really has clue how the real world works anymore.



I think market world controls a great deal now as state power and public spaces have been outsourced or sold off. Faster under Republican control, slow walked under democratic control.
I agree that it does suck the life out of the economy and cause impoverishment for many.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/07/19 03:03 PM

I suspect all of this discussion will eventually be relegated to a discussion of whether the future of mankind can survive under current economic models. The fundamental tacit assumption of capitalism has been there are infinite resources. What was not foreseen is the rapid automation of the workforce without a commensurate increase in replacement jobs.

The reader can devise their own arguments on resources, but the reality is we live in a finite space. One could argue there are or will be replacement jobs displaced from automation, but I ask based on the surety AI will eventually automate the automation.

The question will become which economic system will guarantee the survival of mankind and the ancillary question is anyone interested in the survival of mankind?
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/07/19 06:45 PM

Automation is the real sleeper. I suspect the homeless problem is part of that one. I was watching channel 5, out of Seattle, the other night. They showed two automated cameras moving around. I expect this means that the tv stations no longer need people to control not only cameras but booms, etc. Just another class of jobs going away. Then mix in HUD by Jackass. Raising rents on the poor because "they should also have a job" - I think that includes folks like a 95 year old woman with nothing but minimum Social Security. I live in a place called Port Angeles. I have been told that the local high school has a large population of homeless kids as well (not on drugs, just have no place to sleep, along with mother and father.

Its going to continue and its going to be a LOT worse before somebody figures it out. I read an article about Finland being able to move all of their homeless into places and off the streets. In America, of course, we can't afford something like that with all the wars, tax giveaways, etc.

There is also the simple fact that we, and our gov, simply don't have the capacity for planning ahead. Before anybody starts to seriously work on this one there will be blood on the streets <sigh>
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/09/19 01:58 AM

Originally Posted By: jgw
Automation is the real sleeper. I suspect the homeless problem is part of that one. I was watching channel 5, out of Seattle, the other night. They showed two automated cameras moving around. I expect this means that the tv stations no longer need people to control not only cameras but booms, etc.


Studio camera automation is almost twenty years old now.
It's basically the province of news programming at the local level because they need the humans for news coverage out there in the world.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/09/19 03:40 PM

I read a story on a study (how's that for convenience) that predicts the loss of 50 million jobs to automation by 2030, assuming current trends hold. Between that and population trends the idea of "employment" will be vastly changed well within our lifetimes. The divergence between employment and compensation will continue to grow. One of the absolute requirements will be a "reconceptualization" of taxation (along the lines of Warren's AND Ocasio-Cortez's plans) to ensure government funding of essential functions - which will expand. The Green New Deal, or something like it, is our future, if we expect to survive. Some kind of universal income is also likely, rather than the expectation of a "guaranteed job".

That's neither a utopian nor dystopian prediction. It's just the rational extrapolation of current trends. We can either plan for it and provide some modicum of control, or be carried along by its currents. So, we have a choice. Hopefully, Trump and the current Congress will be the "old guard" in government thinking. The biggest impediment is likely to be the courts.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/10/19 05:27 AM

I think birthright ownership goes down a bit easier than UBI: Just like every citizen of Alaska "owns" some of the oil in the ground, and gets a royalty check every year, we could just say every American citizen "owns" a certain percentage of every corporation doing business in the US. Their monthly checks are not "free government money for being lazy" but rather dividend checks. (Republicans LOVE dividend checks but hate taxpayer money going to lazy bums.) That "ownership" could be held in trust (kind of like Social Security) so you can never sell it. It just supplies income every month for life. It stops when you die, so no fair leaving it to anybody.

Since it's based on GDP, it is also inflation-proof. For businesses, it's just part of the cost of doing business and affects all their competitors equally. We can add tariffs on items manufactured outside the US that go into the dividend fund.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/10/19 06:07 PM

That could certainly work. But I think we'll choose extinction over equitable plans for the future.
The way things look, the choice isn't really capitalist vs socialist...

it's socialist vs survival. At this point the entire population of the world is struggling to support the lifestyles of the rich and famous. We do without what we need so that they can have more than they will ever need.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/10/19 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger


it's socialist vs survival. At this point the entire population of the world is struggling to support the lifestyles of the rich and famous. We do without what we need so that they can have more than they will ever need.


Well that's worthy of framing!
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 06:28 PM

I've always been on the side of socialism. But I believe in evolution not revolution. Given enough time and enough democracy we will eventually get there. A bit of a snag has arisen though with the threat of global warming...we may achieve extinction before we achieve a socialist Utopia.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 07:38 PM

I wonder, all these claims of socialism, is the discussion is really about socialism or social responsibility, ie. stuff like police, firemen, libraries, public schools, health care, etc. (stuff that necessity and responsibility defines for gov to function in a modern world).

Real socialism, as defined all over the place, is when gov owns all means of production. This would mean, for instance, that stuff like rare earths, oil, coal, wind farms, construction, farms, etc. would be owned by the government and not individual or corporate entities. This 'socialism' has been tried several times and has failed everytime. So, I expect, you are not really claiming to be socialist but something entirely different?

Just wondering.................
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 07:59 PM

That version of "real" socialism has always failed because the central planning of all economic activity is too complex. The management of all those details breaks down and you end up with queues for food, waits for services (or non-existence for some services), black markets, gangsters, corruption, etc. The invisible hand of the free market is a real thing, and it handles that complexity by itself automatically. Planning is distributed to every producer of goods or services, and every consumer.

It's actually a classical math problem: The number of economic interactions goes up exponentially as you add actors. Beyond a family or a tiny village it just gets out of hand. There is no escaping reality. Even our supercomputers are not up to managing all the economic activity of a US or USSR. So to avoid the horrors of raw capitalism, we end up with a mixed system. Capitalism drives most economic activity and government keeps capitalism from killing us to make soylent green. It isn't that we like the mixed system: Neither capitalism nor socialism work on their own.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 09:30 PM

socialism, as I understand it, is about democratizing capitalism. Instead of a very small minority of boards of directors (often criminals) making all the decisions for War, water and all things necessary for a quality of life you open it up for everyone to decide.

"The invisible hand is real..." -you've topped yourself PIA!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: jgw
I wonder, all these claims of socialism, is the discussion is really about socialism or social responsibility, ie. stuff like police, firemen, libraries, public schools, health care, etc. (stuff that necessity and responsibility defines for gov to function in a modern world).

Real socialism, as defined all over the place, is when gov owns all means of production. This would mean, for instance, that stuff like rare earths, oil, coal, wind farms, construction, farms, etc. would be owned by the government and not individual or corporate entities. This 'socialism' has been tried several times and has failed everytime. So, I expect, you are not really claiming to be socialist but something entirely different?

Just wondering.................


"Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and workers' self-management of the means of production[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[13] with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms."- Wikipedia
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/11/19 11:28 PM

I have never run across anyone who would prefer to exchange their electric co-op (if they are lucky enough to have one) for a privately owned utility.

I sprung that one on a Regressive blog a few days ago, from the point of reference of the private utility having a regulation on the books prohibiting neighborhood microgrids, and a few of the more ideologically rigid bragged and crowed all over the place about how they belonged to a co-op.

I didn't actually have the heart to tell them that their co-op is a classic socialist construct, even down to the "government" (the people) owning the means of production. They would have just denied it, anyway.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/12/19 09:34 AM

Quote:
"The invisible hand is real..." -you've topped yourself PIA!

Implying that something invisible can't be real? Electricity is both invisible and real. Gravity is both invisible and real. Socialism is both invisible and real.

And I think letting everyone decide how to spend a corporation's or a nation's money with no thought to them being qualified to make those decisions, means instant bankruptcy or mass starvation respectively. You and I (to a lesser extent) might be qualified, but for every positive deviation from the mean IQ, there is an equal deviation in the other direction.

That might be the hole in my birthright ownership idea: Simply owning shares in trust probably should not include "corporate board-like" control of corporations. Each shareholder gets rights like petitioning a board to place a measure on the ballot but no corporation has to give up more than 10% of it's shares to birthright ownership unless the government funded their startup.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/12/19 03:03 PM

The 'invisible hand' theory has been misappropriated by conservative and Neoliberals for decades now. The former to get rid of regulatory rules on Capitol while the latter has embraced it in order to be more attractive to donations in their quest to win elections.
The end result has been Ma nature applying a very visible hand of reaction to the environmental external costs of that economic thinking of what appears to be a very suicidal death cult.
Like Christianity, a supernatural ingredient seems to be required and certain political/economic ideologies have made one for themsrlves in 'the invisible hand'.
Like a phrophet rising from the dead and ascending to heaven, it gives a stamp of proof in the heavenly origens of the phrophet or theory and thus needs to be obeyed and administered by the priest of knowledge.

Not that Adam Smith was going there but it sure seems like it's been packaged and sold that way to generations of voters for decades now.

As Gregor pointed out, the visible hand of nature is getting ready to slap us back to reality. The invisible hand is a mental construct that has no similarities to natural phenomonom such as electromagnetic waves or subatomic particles.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/12/19 08:24 PM

Chunk;
"Socialism is a range of" is an interesting thought. I think what you are saying is that Socialism really isn't socialism because you need a word to describe whatever it is that you prescribe and 'socialism' fills your bill.

Interesting thought - change a language to promote an idea. I wonder, are you a member of the Socialist Worker's Party? (Leon would be proud!)
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/12/19 09:03 PM

I was responding to your definition of socialism being 'government owns all means of production that is accepted just about everywhere' statement.
It isn't and hasn't been. If that is a revelation for you I'd suggest you take it as an interesting area of study to be examined further...
Or not. Perhaps your suffering the hysterics of the red scare after effects and have locked the idea away in your mind, never to be contemplated fully.
You could do worse than Richard Wolff and he's just given an interesting historical summation of socialism:

Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/12/19 09:30 PM

I thought we nudged you away from that simplistic definition of socialism a long time ago.

Type socialism into your Google search field, click enter, and you will come first to the very words Chunk quoted to you...the Wikipedia definition and explanation.

Scroll on down a ways, click around, look at some definitions, explanations and articles. You'll see that few of them state that old canard about "government owns the means of production". Socialism is when the people own and/or control the means of production.

In your mind, does capitalism have a single, one line definition or can it be a range of different things?

Do you think it's possible to have a mixed system? A system which uses equal parts of capitalism and socialism.(like police and fire deptartments)

Or is it "NOT REAL SOCIALISM" unless some corrupt powerful government owns all the factories and makes the population work like slaves in them? The "not real socialism" argument is a fallacy and it needs to die.

Socialism is a range of things...!

Socialism (disambiguation)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Socialism is a political philosophy and economic system based on the social ownership and control of the means of production; as well as the political and economic theories, ideologies and movements that aim to establish a socialist system.


Socialism may also refer to:

Democratic socialism, a political philosophy that advocates achieving socialist goals within a democratic system as opposed to what it perceives as undemocratic socialist ideologies such as Marxist–Leninist-inspired socialism

Scientific socialism, a method of analysis pioneered by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and used to analyze capitalism, where socialism is postulated to emerge from capitalist development; in the late 19th century it widely became known as Marxism

Social democracy, a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and capitalist economy

Socialist mode of production
, a more specific concept of socialist organization articulated by Marxist theory of historical materialism

Socialist Party, or capital-s "Socialists", the policies and practices of titular Socialist political parties irrespective of whether or not they adhere to the implementation of a socialist system

Socialist Party (disambiguation), variations on the above

Socialist state, a country governed by a socialist party with the constitutional aim of constructing socialism

Real socialism, a phrase sometimes used to refer to the Soviet-type planned economies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 09:05 AM

I was pretty clearly talking about the invisible hand in the original Adam Smith sense, not all that religious and political BS. Simply that individuals making their own economic decisions works, and central planning can't from a mathematical perspective. That's why I am a Democratic socialist instead of a "Real socialist" as per the definitions above. Government is the only force strong enough to counter the power of business. Corporations have a duty to make money: That's why people invest in them. It's up to government to regulate all business activity to keep the excesses of capitalism from wrecking havoc. (Because it would, if not regulated.)

Socialism versus capitalism: Either extreme is Hell-on-Earth. We (and almost all of the world) live in the middle. I think the useful debate is subtle. What goods and services should be tax-funded and universally available for free. What goods and services should be optional by our own choice to spend our money? What power should the majority of the public have to control government policies? What rights should minorities have to prevent abuse by majorities?

Arguing endlessly about your favorite "ism" is boring and ineffective. What is it you want?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 12:47 PM

To badly quote Joseph Stiglitz- 'The reason the invisible hand is invisible is because it isn't there'.
I would agree with that observation so when people start to invoke the 18th century market philosophy (usually incorrectly) you've gotta ask yourself what's their angle. Are they sellin or proselytizing?

I would like to see more 'democatize the enterprise' backed by government regulation.

Roosevelt was no fool and understood his class better than most. He understood bankers and kept them out of Bretton Woods. Knowing the psychopathic tendencies of wealth and it's eventual accrual of economic and political power he may have thought that a second bill of rights would provide a bulwark against that power and maintain stability.
Unfortunately, it didn't happen and things have deteriorated since by every reasonable measure. Yet somehow 'invisible hand' is still around....
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 04:52 PM

I'm more in favor of "ishisms", than isms. I'm both capitalish and socialish. I see merits in both and dangers in each and the goal is to navigate the currents between them without capsizing. Purists bother the hell out of me.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 07:03 PM

Quote:
I would like to see more 'democratize the enterprise' backed by government regulation.

Yeah, me too.
We aint gonna achieve socialism through revolution. Unless it's at the ballot box. That's where social democrats like AOC come into play.

It bears mentioning that their party is the Democratic Socialists of America.

Once voters/workers/proles have elected enough social democrats to legislate the living wage/health insurance/free education agenda along with environmental regulation and the beginnings of the Green New Deal(which must become a reality if we are to survive as a species) Then we can move forward into becoming a Social Democracy.

This is where Marx and Engels postulated that capitalism would evolve into socialism. Did you know that Marx and Engels were 29 and 28 years old when they wrote the Communist Manifesto? The same age as AOC.

The same age that most brilliant thinkers and geniuses typically do their most notable work.

I've mentioned before that Marx predicted all of this in his later writings. He predicted automation replacing workers until workers became superfluous. He predicted that capitalism would swing from crisis to crisis and eventually reach an end stage where all of the wealth was tipped into the hands of the bourgeoisie.

This is the scientific socialism or Marxism that I embrace.

It could be that the global warming crisis will be the very catalyst that is needed to push the world into what we might now consider a socialist Utopia.

Or we might become extinct. We're the only animal that has ever actually had a choice in this matter.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 07:40 PM

Good for you! I am firmly in your camp. All the rest is just waaay too complex for me.

Given all the different modes, words, concepts, etc. of socialism I surrender. I think what is being said is that "socialism" is a mystical thing that sometimes refers to governments, sometimes individuals, sometimes groups, and, in all cases, can be just about anything you want as long as, in the end, it involves more than one person. It also means that virtually all governmental activities may, or may not be, socialistic depending on something so long as its supported by taxes.

Interesting..............
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/13/19 08:55 PM

Sometimes you just have to look at something besides imagined simple facts.

Simple facts are often just ways to avoid looking at complex truths.

Quote:
I think what is being said is that "socialism" is a mystical thing that sometimes refers to governments, sometimes individuals, sometimes groups, and, in all cases, can be just about anything you want as long as, in the end, it involves more than one person. It also means that virtually all governmental activities may, or may not be, socialistic depending on something so long as its supported by taxes.


There is nothing mystical about the definitions above. Nor any big words or complex truths. Just simple facts that explain things in a simple way.

Socialism is an economic policy just like capitalism(which you seem to have no problem understanding despite its vast complications and the obvious damage it is doing to the world and it's inhabitants...
You have no fear of capitalism but cringe at the thought of any other less harmful way of doing business.

Socialism is a political ideology which seeks stem runaway inequality caused by capitalism.

You go on and on about Democrats standing up and tooting their horns...but you want them to play the same tune as the Republicans.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/14/19 04:53 AM

If the invisible hand does not exist, why do so many people shop at WalMart? Why is Ford deciding not to make small cars here in the US? Why do businesses decide to move some operations to foreign countries?

Are these all because the Central Planning Committee decided this shall be so? Or do people make their own economic decisions and producers respond to consumer's buying habits?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/14/19 12:39 PM

Low labor costs incentivizing off shoring and executive boardroom decision making.
Artificial demand creation, manafactured scarcity, regulatory capture, political lobbying, tax avoidence, etc, etc...
Those are not 'restoritave forces' of your mythical hand but one of many strategies that national/transnational corporations are using to tilt the board in the favor of a small minority.
A recent study was conducted that showed how undemocratic western Democracies have become when they compared legislation that was passed to public opinion. It found that the vast majority of actions being taken were not what the public supported but instead was what a small group of interests wanted.
It would say that that sentiment applies to the economy as well. For some the economy is already great. For a large and growing majority, not so much.
Now how can that be with the 'invisible hand'?
Invisible hand is a story conservatives to tell their children at bedtime.


Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/14/19 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Socialism is a political ideology which seeks stem runaway inequality caused by capitalism.

Ironically, the apparent objective of Capitalism (its Manifest Destiny) is to become super rich, yet a healthy economy depends upon everyone having plenty of money to spend. The concentration of wealth is in opposition to a healthy economy.

Socialism implemented by a government is at its root an artificial redistribution of wealth in an attempt to correct for the advancement of the cancerous disease of concentrated wealth. A truly healthy culture would accomplish that without governmental imposition - but when have humans naturally tended towards natural cultural health?

As a species, we have several screws loose. Always have had, I fear.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/15/19 06:03 PM

Quote:
Socialism implemented by a government is at its root an artificial redistribution of wealth in an attempt to correct for the advancement of the cancerous disease of concentrated wealth.
And more often than not when socialism is implemented by government, whether by revolution or decree, the changes are too much for a rather delicately balanced economic system. And ALL economic systems are delicately balanced.

Evolution doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen on demand. It comes one candidate and one ballot box initiative at a time.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/16/19 06:19 PM

It used to be that them with the bucks at least made an effort to prove they were responsible and recognized that their wealth brought responsibilities with it. During the great depression they actually had a book written about such a person to prove their point. All that stuff no longer exists. Now, the rich just get richer, more self indulgent, rarely responsible, and, basically deserve what will eventually rain down on them.

There are, however, some which do believe they have a responsibility. Bill Gates, for instance, does a LOT of good works and there are others as well. Unfortunately they seem to be in the minority. It always gives me some humor when one speaks up about their tax situations and point out that they pay fewer taxes than the hired help. I have full faith, however, that the worm seems to be turning they are are going to get a lot of opportunities to whine about how badly they are being treated. The strange thing will be the people who will buy into that one.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/16/19 09:24 PM

I aint sayin' all rich people are bad. Or that in my socio-capitalist Utopia there won't be any rich people.

Oddly...the ultimate goal is for there not to be any poor people. I got nuthin' against rich people. I wish I was one of them.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/16/19 09:34 PM

JGW, Greger...back in those "used to be" days, the Bible's Book of Amos talked about social justice and made numerous references to the fate that awaits those who abuse the poor.

Quote:
10 For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. 11 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.


In this day there are many false gods who are preaching that "God" smiles on the wealthy and visits evil on the poor, because in the scriptures of these false gods, it is said that the poor are thus because they are wicked, and the wealthy righteous.

Even if you did away with the Christian God altogether, such a thing can't even be true in Nature, let alone in Biblical Scripture. Such a notion goes against anything and everything in the Universe.
It's an impossibility.
And it's pure evil.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 12:04 AM

Wellsir...if being poor is a virtue then my entry into Pair-O-Dice is all but guaranteed!

But in my tragic fall from the middle class I bounced from safety net to safety net and came in for a soft landing.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 02:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Wellsir...if being poor is a virtue then my entry into Pair-O-Dice is all but guaranteed!

But in my tragic fall from the middle class I bounced from safety net to safety net and came in for a soft landing.



It just amazes me that the wealthiest among us, are for the most part shooting themselves in the foot, that's all.

It simply isn't possible to have a planet of seven billion souls where a thousand people own 60 percent of the wealth and assets and the rest are on the road to destitution, but that's the roadmap at the rate we're going. I'd say that as soon as it hits the point where that thousand own seventy or seventy-five percent, the sh!t most definitely will

hitsfan
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 03:02 AM

Quote:
Now how can that be with the 'invisible hand'?


Those are all failures to regulate the capitalist impulse properly. I never believed all that BS about the invisible hand delivering the ideal world. That's not economics, it's religion or philosophy. I'm talking about the effects individual decisions have on the economy. The problem with "invisible hand" with no regulation is that people may decide robbery and murder are the best economic approach. Obviously, you need the caveat "within the law" and the government has to actually regulate the hell out of our economic decisions. (pun intended)

This is why we need a mixed system. Pure capitalism equals cannibalism. Pure socialism fails be cause people are not virtuous. A mix of the two with all the regulations needed works. If you push it one way or the other (like since Reagan) it does not work as well. AOC wants a 73% top income tax rate. Eisenhower had a 93% top rate. Lots of economists think AOC has the right number, seeing as how she got it from them, not the other way around.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 01:20 PM

All government is, in essence, "redistribution of wealth." That's what "taxes" are. "We" take from "somebody" to pay for "our" benefits. The goal of whatever government should be to make that distribution as fair as possible. What we're really dickering over is what is "fair".

Americans (and people, generally) are profoundly ignorant of how things actually work - the economy, the government, the environment. In many respects that is a manufactured ignorance. I remember taking "Civics" in high school. It covered not just government, but society, culture, history, etc. Do schools even do that anymore? We live in a "Representative Democratic Republic." Each of those words has meaning. It is time we took that to heart.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
All What we're really dickering over is what is "fair".


That's what you may be arguing about but not me.

Capitalism is unique in that it's spread now thruout the entire worlds surface since it's beginnings in the turn of the 19th century. Whenever there is an eventual economic downturn, capitalism gets expanded thru money supply. The last severe economic downturn was worldwide and capitalism was saved by the Chinese government undertaking a massive infrastructure program that dwarfed our economic build out of the post WW2 decades. In fact, the scale was so mind boggling that the idea of China pouring as much concrete from 2009-20012 as the United States did from 1945- present is beyond most peoples comprehension.
The rate of resource consumption globally has increased during that time. It has to. Capitalism is predicated on growth. It is not sustainable and we are now witness to the killing of the planet in order to maintain that growth and expansion of the global economy.
During the great recession the global GDP was estimated around 55 trillion dollars. Today it's estimated at 85 trillion dollars. It's become harder and harder to continue to hit those compounding 2.5-3% growth for excess capital to expand into. IMO we have a front row seat to the contradiction of capitalism being realized. We may finally have to think of other ways to organize beyond the boomer's instinctive 'individual liberty thru mass consumption' ideology.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 05:41 PM

I have long believed (not being an expert on economics) the fundamental flaw of capitalism is its predication on the premise infinite resources exist to be utilized.

I suppose this is precisely the reason petroleum interests have posited there exists almost infinite petroleum reserves or regenerating/creating reserves, as they have to recognize the limitations of finite proven reserves i.e. it comes to an end. If capitalist economies are built on oil then only irrational players would continue this folly.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 09:10 PM

chunk, rp, I have to take issue with a premise you both make - it's not capitalism that is premised on infinite resources, but all modern economic systems. I, too, object to that thinking, but I view it much more broadly. Economics as a discipline needs to have a much more holistic view.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 10:30 PM

What other major economic systems are there?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 11:15 PM

Quote:
Capitalism is unique in that it's spread now thruout the entire worlds surface since it's beginnings in the turn of the 19th century.

Seriously? There was no capitalism before that?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 11:23 PM

I believe it was Feudalism followed my mercantilism, colonialism then industrial capitalism with shades in between?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/17/19 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
What other major economic systems are there?
Well, we can start with the thread title, I suppose.

There are a huge number of "major" economic systems we could discuss - feudalism, mercantilism, fascism and communism (state-directed economies), oligarchy, capitalism and socialism, in various combinations. As defined in the cited article,
Quote:
An economic system (also economic order)[1] is a system of production, resource allocation and distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. It includes the combination of the various institutions, agencies, entities, decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that comprise the economic structure of a given community.
One of the points I've tried to make since initiating this thread is that the "forced choice" between capitalism and socialism is fallacious. There are myriad elements within "our" system that blend both and incorporate others.

I don't disagree that there is an overreliance on "growth" as a metric for success. My preferred metrics would be sufficiency and sustainability. Our current system has neither. If we focused more on those, the former effect would probably occur naturally, but need not be our goal. [As an example: sufficient employment leads to better productivity, more distributable income (via taxes and consumption), and less economic volatility.]
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/18/19 11:43 AM

Karl Marx and Adam Smith both had remarkable ideas about how economies work, and both made major contributions to economic thinking. Neither, of course, had a complete "solution" and both were toiling in a completely different economic environment than exists today. I am a great proponent of filtering bathwater to avoid ejecting unformed humans onto the scrapheap. I, thus, reject ill-considered wholesale disregard of economic concepts that have empirical bases. Which is to say, I'm not an absolutist.

Both capitalism and socialism have provided valuable contributions of the moral, ethical, and practical understanding of economic activity - as have other systems. For example, Mussolini was famous for "making the trains run on time." A centralized economy can be quite effective for making bold changes and redirecting labor to goals. China, currently, and other authoritarian countries have demonstrated that. China has, in the last 10 years, poured more concrete than the US did in half a century or more, and has radically reshaped its infrastructure and military. For good and ill, that is effective.

The goal of the government must be to take the most effective elements and use them for the good of the greatest number. Marx was famous for the borrowed dictum "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Like Reagan's misuse of the "a rising tide floats all boats" aphorism, it is sage advice, but misapplied. Unfortunately both are tainted by the misapplication and association with unfavored economic choices.

I mentioned in an earlier post the concept of sufficiency, borrowed and shaped from the "sufficiency economy" approach of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is a useful approach that even our advanced economy can effectively adapt:
Quote:
"Development of the country must proceed in stages. First of all, there must be a foundation with the majority of the people having enough to live on by using methods and equipment which are economical but technically correct as well. When such a secure foundation is adequately ready and operational, then it can be gradually expanded and developed to raise prosperity and the economic standard to a higher level by stages."
That is, frankly, the approach that the ACA used to create exchanges for health insurance. It is no longer adequate, but it set us upon the road in the right direction. The Green New Deal, and Medicare for All are its philosophical descendants. With one eighth of our population living in poverty, it is necessary to establish a baseline for the citizenry. The same is true for health care, where a similar population are still uninsured. Those should be absolutely unacceptable statistics in the most prosperous country in the world.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/18/19 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
The goal of the government must be to take the most effective elements and use them for the good of the greatest number.
Upvote popcorn2

The pooch-screwer in all economic systems is the inherent and variable weakness of human nature - that is, in fact, the same condition that makes government a necessity.

Without a pure dominant culture of ethical, rational, "higher" motives, there will always be friction between individual desires, leading to power struggles about whose interests win out.

Capitalism might be a perfectly workable system if it wasn't for the fact that it does not include a mandatory element of humanity.

Socialism would be perfectly fine except that humans aren't perfect.

The sad fact is that no matter what intellectually fine system we come up with for economics or governance, there will always be the pressing necessity to include mechanisms to force compliance (I was going to add "on those who will not play properly, but that would include all of us to one degree or another).

Remember, Plato's Republic was ruled by a benevolent but all-powerful dictator, who had all of the human foibles bred out of him. It's no stretch to see the flaws in that plan - it's impossible to breed such a being! Besides, the benevolent dictator would be quickly overthrown.

What is there, then? Might as well face the endless struggle with an acceptance that strategies, adaptations, tricks, aspirations, and defeats will always be a part of our collective occupation of seeking perfection (a little segue into the theater of philosophy and religion), until the day of our disintegration back into the ether.

"Here lies Logtroll - he was overtaken by events"
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/18/19 07:46 PM

The solution, to both, is government regulation. To make that work you need a government that has the interest of the nation, and its citizens, as its main and overriding goal. Take the socialist (so called) nations of northern Europe. In spite of the socialist thing they rate very high in the number of millionaires per capita. They are also rated high for happiness. Gosh, that must mean them damned socialists may be capitalists too?
https://www.businessinsider.com/countries-with-most-millionaires-2017-4#15-the-netherlands-4
There is some evidence that their success may also have to do with their system of education.

On the other hand they also have politicians running on hate and fear. They surfaced when the waves of refugees started their current swarming. I believe that, not unlike climate change, that will continue for some time or until somebody figures out a solution.

I remember when the United Nations was formed. At that time there was a lot of discussion on rogue nations and how the United Nations could do something about them. That didn't work out but probably should have. The refugee thing really needs to be addressed and something done. How about when a country has more than 20% fleeing for their lives then the non rogue nations put a stop to it thereby acting in their own best interest. It doesn't make sense that countries get invaded simply because a given nation decided to start slaughtering its own. I also remember when France put a stop to the ongoing Rwandan genocide. When they did that, if my memory serves me, France was appreciated by one and all for their action.

Just a thought.............
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/18/19 10:25 PM

Quote:
In spite of the socialist thing they rate very high in the number of millionaires per capita.

I think I've mentioned that success or failure of an economic system should be judged not by how many rich people, but by how many poor people there are. Not by how rich the richest are but by how poor the poorest are.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/18/19 10:49 PM

My point is that the countries of northern Europe are considered socialist by the right. So, we have a group of perceived socialists that have somehow been able to join nations with the highest number of millionaires per capita. Not only that but the vast majority, of those countries, have also managed to have an average income higher than that of the United States which, I suspect, also means that they have managed to also do better than we with the discrepancy between the top and the bottom.

So, my points were;
them claiming certain countries are socialist, and because they call the countries of northern Europe are socialist one would think these countries would be bastions of misery and starvation yet they rate some of the highest number of millionaires per capita and their average incomes are greater than our own. This, of course, means that 1)they have no idea what they are talking about, 2)providing stuff like healthcare is possible and will not bankrupt anybody (gov or persons) if done properly.

I also think that this captalist/socialist thing is bullsh*t and actually not pertinent to today, except in the minds of idiots. I am, of course, probably wrong and "socialist" never stands alone and can be, basically, anything to anybody.

In other words this topic actually makes little sense simply because there seems to be little consensus of what the terms themselves mean even though both sides think they know what everybody else is talking about. I, for instance, will stick to my version of "socialist" which means, to me, that gov owns everything and doles it out to their friends. As far as gov being "the workers" that one has been proven, time after time, to be complete baloney.

I was going to go on but, I think, I had better shut up. If I have given offense - apologies............... <G>
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/19/19 02:26 AM

Quote:
I am, of course, probably wrong

Yes, you are. But it's gracious of you to admit it.

You seem surprised that the socialist countries in northern Europe have been so successful. So surprised that you seem sure they cannot be socialist because they don't agree with your simplistic notion of what socialism should be.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/19/19 05:35 AM

Those successful socialist countries of Northern Europe are capitalists too. I sold my condo to a Danish furniture factory owner. He wanted a nice summer home in San Diego.

Fourth King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in 1972 declared: “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” They have been measuring it ever since. It's been in their constitution since 2008.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/19/19 06:20 PM

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej ... sounds like he was channeling Rostow in a different perspective. Hard to argue against history but of course the two major communist countries did.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/19/19 06:24 PM

Quote:
The goal of the government must be to take the most effective elements and use them for the good of the greatest number.

Why would I tacitly agree to create a government which did not provide services for me and my fellows citizens?

Maybe Mr Trump or someone from his constituency can answer that question?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/20/19 04:43 PM

In Trumpworld, the "greatest" number is 1.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 12:20 AM

I see Putin has just delivered his state of the state address.

He did a little sabre rattling but mostly had to talk about higher wages, better healthcare, and other socialist issues because the proles are getting restless over there too.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 03:40 AM

Meanwhile the fascists are still having to fine tune their populist message.....

Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 07:07 PM

"Difference between Englishmen and Dutch: English are too polite to be honest and the Dutch are too honest to be polite&#65279;"

HAR!

It is a good time to have Dutch heritage though. Seriously, nobody can tell you to 'Go F#@k Yourself like the Dutch.

Billionaires paying Millionaires for not reporting on things...

Classic!
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 07:18 PM

That was pretty funny! Also true.

Side note: Apparently The Netherlands is very supportive of the LGBT community... The whole country is filled with dikes!
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 07:24 PM

how about being a "perfect number"?


It's a pun from number theory ... "Perfect number, a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors"

or maybe Mr Trump ignores the math and knows he is "perfect"
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/21/19 08:51 PM

In Trump's case it is "an integer that is equal to the sum of its proper advisors." In this case, that number is "zero".
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/23/19 09:06 PM

Obviously, there is some confusion here (which I have consistently said). The RIGHT thinks that the northern European countries are socialists. My point was that doing socially responsible things (society, as a nation, have responsibilities to themselves and others - I do not consider that activity to be 'socialist') is not particularly socialist so much as governments doing things for ALL of its citizens. They are able to do this without going bankrupt. The main quibble the Republicans seem to have is that any kind of state services, that provide for their citizens, will bankrupt America - sorry, obviously wrong.

The problem, I think, is that the Republicans think that gov should provide nothing but armies - anything else is socialist. They ignore things like public hospitals, highways, dams, libraries, police and firemen, etc. That doesn't count. On the other hand they want such gov owned enterprises to be privatized as soon as possible. They are currently going after Social Security, Medicare, public schools, etc. The shutdown, for instance, was actually considered a plus by many as they think it helped with decreasing the public payroll.

As far as 'socialism' is concerned its getting pretty interesting. Now there are "socialist democrats" which, I think, means socialism owned by democrats. It, obviously, doesn't really mean Democrat as many are not Democrats (Bernie is a good example of that silly). I still believe that a socialist state is one in which the gov owns EVERYTHING. For many that means "the workers" (another silly). In theory a Democracy is 'owned' by the workers as well, just not restricted to "the workers" but every citizen. These are not thoughts particular to me but how I was raised and taught.

I guess Jackass is not the only one trying, very hard, to actually change our language with doubletalk. Oh, I still believe a Socialist State is not the way to go and even the term "Socialist" has bad connotations. I do, on the other hand, believe that states are formed, in theory, by its citizens for their own welfare. That being the case, Those states actually doing this, have found that their government can provide certain services better than "capitalists".

I have, for a long time, believed that healthcare for profit is an abomination - it costs too much, its simply not the best solution, and costs a LOT less when run by gov. I also find it interesting that Europe is able to do this kind of stuff and succeed but not us. It reminds me of the Portuguese solution for drugs. They figured it out but, instead of fixing our own problems we are into punishment and criminal private industry. One can only wonder.

I have probably said this one before but a story. When Clinton was talking about healthcare the right went nuts. One of their lies (suprise!) was that Canadians were flooding down to our hospitals to get their healthcare. We have a public hospital here that figured they would get a bit of that business (mainly from Victoria) if they changed their name, dressed themselves up and spend big bucks advertising their marvelous services. That little exercise cost the citizens something like 100,000.00 - they didn't get a single Canadian customer. They could have known this had they simply taken the ferry to Victoria and asked anybody if they preferred the American for profit system or their 'socialized' system. They would have figured out, real quick, that what they believed were just lies but they didn't even check. I am not, incidentally, saying that the Canadian system has no problems, on the other hand they live longer than Americans,amongst other little things. I also continue to believe that Americans firmly hold to the "If it ain't invented here its no damned good" view and I think that's hurting us all.

So, basically, my only real quibble, has to do with the word 'Socialist", that's it! I am even a little embarrassed about it, as going to war over a simple word kinda puts me in the insane corner - sorry about that...........
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/23/19 11:13 PM

A coupla points with your musings JGW.

I don't think you can make a case for what YOUR interpretation is of socialism. At least not because it was how you were taught when being raised. I woouldn't trust that insight anymore than how you were taught what capitalism means when you were raised.

Why not give it serious study as an adult? If nothing else, it helps to discuss the subject with a better understanding of it? At least it would help you understand where millions of people are coming from....

I think it's unfair to say that there is any double talk of language going on with socialism let alone on a Trumpian scale. Again, you've stated previous the depth of your understanding of socialism.

The democratic party has had socialist traditions. Not much in the last 3-4 decades since 'Third Way' democrats marketed themselves as republican light. Lashing together a constituency of Eisenhower Republicans with moderate professional class white suburban democrats. You couldn't apply your adolescent age Democratic party to the current one anymore than you could of the Republican party past vs. present.

I mainly agree with your observations on Healthcorp. Should be socialized. Better, cheaper allows people to breath a sigh of relief on that score. We get tax breaks and drones instead. By both right wing parties.

I still agree with Wolff that 'socialism is capitalism's shadow'
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/24/19 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: jgw
So, basically, my only real quibble, has to do with the word 'Socialist", that's it! I am even a little embarrassed about it, as going to war over a simple word kinda puts me in the insane corner - sorry about that...........

Your point is good. The problem seems to be that there isn't a good word to describe what we all agree is the right blend. And as soon as we find one the Regressives will corrupt it. So we either try to reframe "socialism", which is much harder to make into a positive that it was to make it a negative, or get get a real catchy new word, and pronto!

BTW, the reason I call them Regressives is that they have turned "Progressive" into a bad word, so I always first ask Righties if they are Progressive... "Hell, no!", they say. Then I agree that they are so not Progressive that the only thing they can be is Regressives! (They all hate me...)

I'm trying out a new approach - a social, economic, and religious faction called Be Excellent to Each Other! The BETEO Party.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/24/19 06:23 PM

"Capitalists don't freely choose. They've built a system which, in a sense, is running them"

- David Harvey
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/24/19 08:02 PM

Maybe it's time for a new brand, something new, something "neo"...as in "neo-capitalist".
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/24/19 09:04 PM

I remain confused. Apparently our Democratic Socialists believe that the Northern Europeans are all socialists. I don't buy that one (for my thoughts expressed above). the USA, for instance, has any number of social services offered by its government but to suggest that makes us all socialists is just wrong and I don't buy it. I believe that the two are not, and need not, be exclusive to each other. Some here believe that they are and they are, obviously, wrong. I base this on my own observations.

A couple of things. I am certainly not against social services its just a case of which ones we can afford. Remember, this is the nation that has never skipped a war. I think we are spending, right now, over a billion a month just on Afghanistan. We are, basically, the undisputed military nation in the world! Anyway, good works are dandy but we gotta pay the bills! I would also point out that anytime gov has financial difficulties its ALWAYS social services that get cut. You know, little things like schools, insane asylums, police, firemen, etc. Orphanages, for instance, got done in because gov cut support and they were being run by unqualified working for minimum wage. Somehow orphanages got demonized and so, now, we have the so called fostercare which, in my mind, is a HUGE mistake and a genuine mess.

Here is a bonus. A few years ago we had a Rotary exchange student from Switzerland. I was talking to him. His parents were both doctors and Switzerland had just installed their healthcare. I no longer remember all the specifics but, if I remember correctly, they moved straight from a for profit system to healthcare for all. What they did was tricky. They told the insurance companies that, if they wanted to stay in business, they would provide basic healthcare for everybody for free (basic healthcare being defined by gov). After a couple of years their insurance companies ended up owning every hospital in Switzerland. Switzerland healthcare, incidentally, is considered one of the best in the world. Just saying, there are a number of solutions but we gotta study them all before we go off half cocked. The basic trick, to make it work, is to get rid of healthcare for profit and regulate the hell out of it.

One last. All the social stuff being offered is interesting but, I think, nobody seems to have thought it through and 'they' just want it done. Free higher education for free is one of those. This is not unusual in the world but, in every incident, one must qualify for that free part. They must also remain qualified, ie. show up for class, keep up grades, etc. This doesn't seem to be well fleshed on, hopefully I am wrong. Then there is the simple fact that Capitalism, the current whipping horse of the "Democratic Socialist". The simple fact is that Capitalism has been responsible for the raising of millions from poverty.

I will be interested when the Democratic debates start. Then we will see I think?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/24/19 10:48 PM

Quote:
The simple fact is that Capitalism has been responsible for the raising of millions from poverty.


It did a pretty good job of sinking me and millions of others into poverty in 2008. Current income inequality is steadily sinking millions more into poverty as we speak. That's capitalism in action. You've perhaps heard of the Great Depression? Capitalism in action.

World War II? Capitalism in action. More recently the aforementioned Great Recession and the Iraqi and Afghan wars? Capitalism in action.

A handful of billionaires holding more wealth than the rest of the nation? F*cking capitalism in action. Young people dying because they have to ration their insulin? Capitalism in action.

Global Goddam Warming!!! The icecaps melting and our very survival as a species in question? Yes indeedy, that would be capitalism in action.

But it has indeed raised up some millionaires into billionaires and CEOs worldwide into the upper economic stratosphere but most of us are just barely getting by.

Speaking of social democracy have you seen the headline over at Huffpo?

Quote:
Republicans Have Been Smearing Democrats As Socialists Since Way Before You Were Born


Republicans believe they have hit on a bold, brand new line of attack that is sure to doom Democrats heading into the 2020 elections. President Donald Trump made it a central point of his State of the Union. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, promises to bring this fresh hit in his party’s effort to regain control of the House.

The big plan is to &#8213; wait for it &#8213; attack Democrats as socialists.

“Socialism is the greatest vulnerability by far that the House Democrats have,” Emmer told the New York Times.

As any American who has developed to the stage of object permanence can tell you, this isn’t a new plan. It is, in fact, the oldest trick in the book.

Every single political actor since the late 19th century advocating for some form progressive social change &#8213; whether it be economic reform, challenging America’s racial caste system or advocating for women’s rights or LGBT rights &#8213; has been tarred as a socialist or a communist bent on destroying the American Free Enterprise System.
LIMK

Those of us who believe in Utopian Social Democracy (would it suit you better if I called it that? Are pretty much used to being slandered as the Socialists of your imagination, which is largely a product of conservative brainwashing since the day you became politically aware.

We don't care anymore. If that one word is enough for you to re-elect Donald Trump rather than a Democrat who wants to give everyone a leg up then, dude, go for it!
Donald Trump is also....capitalism in action. Lifting up millions more from poverty every day.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Greger

Speaking of social democracy have you seen the headline over at Huffpo?

Quote:
Republicans Have Been Smearing Democrats As Socialists Since Way Before You Were Born


Republicans believe they have hit on a bold, brand new line of attack that is sure to doom Democrats heading into the 2020 elections. President Donald Trump made it a central point of his State of the Union. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, promises to bring this fresh hit in his party’s effort to regain control of the House.

The big plan is to &#8213; wait for it &#8213; attack Democrats as socialists.

“Socialism is the greatest vulnerability by far that the House Democrats have,” Emmer told the New York Times.

As any American who has developed to the stage of object permanence can tell you, this isn’t a new plan. It is, in fact, the oldest trick in the book.

Every single political actor since the late 19th century advocating for some form progressive social change &#8213; whether it be economic reform, challenging America’s racial caste system or advocating for women’s rights or LGBT rights &#8213; has been tarred as a socialist or a communist bent on destroying the American Free Enterprise System.
LINK

Those of us who believe in Utopian Social Democracy (would it suit you better if I called it that? Are pretty much used to being slandered as the Socialists of your imagination, which is largely a product of conservative brainwashing since the day you became politically aware.

We don't care anymore.


You beat me to it.
How is it that they so damned effective with the scare tactics?
I wish we could find a way to make this go viral again somehow:

Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues



"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them."
(Philip K. Dick)

In this case, the word being manipulated is "SOCIALISM".
Conservatives have been attacking people as socialists for over a century now.
Everyone who doesn't agree with them is a socialist, everything done for the general good is socialism, any investment in society is socialism, it's all socialism and it is all leading to totalitarianism.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 02:59 AM

And the extremely weird thing is that the head of the KGB under communist rule in the USSR, was Vlad Putin, President Trump's best buddy. So who's the socialist now?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 07:39 AM

Republicans call Democrats "Socialists", Democrats call Republicans "fascists". Who is more accurate? I'm not sure.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 11:28 AM

I think the new politico/religio/economo brand for the Be Excellent To Each Other Party should be “Americanism”. Let the Regressives try to make that into a negative!
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Republicans call Democrats "Socialists", Democrats call Republicans "fascists". Who is more accurate? I'm not sure.


Ohhh no...
I called a lot of Republicans a lot of things but it wasn't until Trump that I honestly and truly believed they were becoming fascists.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
In this case, the word being manipulated is "SOCIALISM".
Conservatives have been attacking people as socialists for over a century now.
Everyone who doesn't agree with them is a socialist, everything done for the general good is socialism, any investment in society is socialism, it's all socialism and it is all leading to totalitarianism.
And the irony is, those attacking "socialism" ARE the totalitarians. As it ever was.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 04:34 PM

The history of socialism in western europe and america is as interesting a social, political and Labor history as anything else. We, as a society, haven't done well in navigating co-operation, inclusion and contribution with our existing consumer set up. It's being successfully argued that were in a front row seat to witness the unassailable contradiction of the current system.
For me, the main thrust of Marx was the criticism of capitalism (which he supported in his early life as a progressive force but witnessed it turning the corner into a familiar feudal pattern (taking a lot of liberty in paraphrasing).
As Harvey states in his lecture linked above, America has always gotten out of it's economic contradictions by house building and making things to fill them up with. Expansion and wealth accumulation are capitalism's laws of motion that have to exist for it to function.
China pulled our chestnuts out of the fire by expansion similar to our suburban housing expansion from WW2 to apx. 1968. For china to achieve enormous growth rate as well as lifting countries invested in the China trade out of recession, they poured as much concrete as the U.S. did in it's last 100 yrs, between 2008-2011!
That also represented all associated planetary resources for ore and minerals that went with that scale of expansion.... Expanding the global GDP the historical 2.5% sweet spot on a apx. 50 trillion world GDP. We are now working at apx. 85 trillion world GDP and rising. How will we expand to stay within the historical 2.5% after having depleted planetary resources?

What then?

History provides me with some answers. One way I would prefer but it is the historical underdog. The other way is pretty repressive and intolerable. I have that sentimentalism of always rooting for the underdog. I think a good deal of America has that 'underdog' cultural roots and mystique.

To be clear, though, I don't view politics thru a romantic lense. I prefer history and rational economics mixed with public goods and assets and democratic workplaces to what's been on tap and getting worse in Murika.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 08:27 PM

I guess I just don't understand the socialist thing. I agree, the Republicans use "socialism" as a whipping boy and punish Democrats for being socialists. Its actually kinda interesting. They do that because IT WORKS! Those of you who support using the word 'socialist' are, obviously, among those determined to stick with a losing path. The word 'socialist' is flat out demonized. You cannot change that and, again obviously don't get it. There seems to be a strong contingent who are determined to lose. Hillary lost for two reasons. The first is that the Democrats were beat when they decided to ignore the electoral college to work in blue states (basically, the Dems got outsmarted). The second is because Hillary had been well demonized. Hell, large numbers of the population actually believe she was a murderer, child abuser and child trafficker. People believed this so much that they encouraged the Republican Congress to spend 100 million dollars trying to prove their point!

I do, however, give up. This business with socialism just isn't worth it. I guess there are true believers on both sides and I would prefer not to get involved.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/25/19 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: jgw
I guess I just don't understand the socialist thing.

I do, however, give up.


I don't recall you ever putting the time in to understand it JGW.
No one is saying you have to agree with something to understand it. Frankly, I don't see you making an effort but restating mischaracterizations that you've apparently picked up from your childhood.
For myself, I wold like to at least be aware of what a large portion of the world is on about. I don't see capitalism as a sustainable system under it's desribed laws of motion. THere's not enough planet to continue it.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/26/19 03:58 PM

Once again, chunk, you keep missing because you're shooting at the wrong target. Lack of resources is not a "capitalist" thing. Communists and capitalists alike work with limited resources. Since the age of Carthage vs. Rome, power seeks expansion. Monarchy, theocracy, dictatorship, Republic or Soviet - it applies to all. Growth and expansion are sides of the same coin - Just ask Lenin.

The resource that will (has) run out before oil is water. And with it, food. Human existence requires sustenance. We don't currently have the resources to sustain the current population. The crash has started. The best we can do right now is divvy up what we have, but that is not sustainable. What comes next will be devastating.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/26/19 06:31 PM

You are dead right! Its starting even now. I watched a thing with an Al Gore thing that explained why there are so many folks from Latin America fleeing. We have been told, by just about everybody, that it has to do with violence and gangs. That is certainly part of it but there is now a huge area of Latin America undergoing drought and they have been experiencing it long enough that they are now running out of food.

As far as I know this is the first disaster but there are sure to be others following. Its a shame that Jackass can't bring himself to explain the true reason for this migration and the fact that its likely to get MUCH WORSE!

http://www.fao.org/in-action/agronoticias/detail/en/c/1024539/
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/26/19 07:08 PM

I was familiar with Honduras and Nicaragua in the 1980-90s through my Army associations. One of my compatriots was in Honduras in 1986 and 1996. In that 10 year span he watched the same camp go from jungle to arid biome. He traveled into the country and saw the same thing in other areas he was familiar with and was shocked at how denuded and arid the land had become. That was 20 years ago. It has spread since.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/26/19 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Once again, chunk, you keep missing because you're shooting at the wrong target. Lack of resources is not a "capitalist" thing. Communists and capitalists alike work with limited resources. Since the age of Carthage vs. Rome, power seeks expansion. Monarchy, theocracy, dictatorship, Republic or Soviet - it applies to all. Growth and expansion are sides of the same coin - Just ask Lenin.

The resource that will (has) run out before oil is water. And with it, food. Human existence requires sustenance. We don't currently have the resources to sustain the current population. The crash has started. The best we can do right now is divvy up what we have, but that is not sustainable. What comes next will be devastating.


I never meant to infer that lack of resources or expansion of power was a Capitalist thing only. I WOULD say that nothing accelerates resource depletion like capitalism. It is the requirement necessary for capitalism to exist. At least consumer capitalism. I would also say that capitalism has been the singular force that has spread thruout the world, unlike your other examples.
To me anyhow, it's the structure of capitalism that is driving the resource depletion and inequality more than any other factor.
If there's a broad majority thru out the world that wants to have a livable planet and end fossil fuel consumption, restore biodiversity and reduce our impacts on nature but the power collected by a very small minority of capitalists want to preserve the status quo, as we have seen by their holding action thru the political and economic power they wield, then that power structure must go if there is any chance for a future that's not one of life boat politics.
Democratize the enterprise, as Wolff has promoted seems like a good start to counter the accumulated power of capital over the many for the very few.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/27/19 02:34 AM

We have nearly infinite water right off all coasts of every coastal country. All it takes is energy to remove the salt. And surprisingly little energy, too. It takes less energy to desalinate at the Carlsbad California desal plant than it takes to transport fresh water from the Sacramento River to Carlsbad. Every country in the zones that are short of fresh water have adequate ensolation to use PV panels and reverse osmosis or solar distillation facilities to supply fresh water to every citizen, farm, industry, etc.

That "running out of water" myth is really "running out of easy water", as in a river running through the center of town. Fortunately, we humans have technology we can use. We don't need to stick out faces in a stream to drink.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/27/19 05:52 AM

From QUORA - you decide whether or not you think Quora is a good source.

"The proposed Al Khafji desalination plant in Saudi Arabia is planned to provide 60,000[1] cubic meters per day powered by a nearby 15-megawatt solar power generation plant."

"It takes approx. 2.6MJ to evaporate 1kg of water from 15 degrees c. 1kWh is 3,600kJ, so say solar day is defined as 8 hours for energy gathering purposes and we take a year as 365 days we get 3,600kJ x 8 hrs x 365 days = 10,512MJ, enough for 4,043, say 4000kg of water (4000 litres). All on the assumption that the 1kWh is net input energy, not incident solar energy."
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/27/19 02:27 PM

Would you characterize this model as capitalist or socialist?

Mesquite Manifesto
Quote:
The recent acrimonious debates about further fortifying barriers all across the 2000 mile US/Mexico boundary line beg a larger question: Just what might make communities more stable, secure and prosperous while providing more livelihoods as well as wildlife habitat on both sides of the border? What particular natural resources and cultural assets in the region can be utilized to offer long-term solutions to problems perceived to be border-related?

Within the US, border counties have twice the level of poverty and food insecurity as the national average. But how do we deal with the irony that some of these same counties harbor the highest levels of biodiversity anywhere in North America? In other words, they have an abundance of underutilized natural resources that may help lift residents out of poverty, if properly managed. Mesquite (Prosopis spp.) is one of them. A mesquite-based restoration economy may help keep in place those who do not wish to leave their homes to cross border and take refuge in cities for lack of other economic activities.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 02/28/19 11:46 PM

https://study.com/academy/lesson/capital...nd-economy.html

the differences between the two, as to which is best, has to do, I think, with the competence of the government in charge. In Northern Europe, for instance, the governments are considered to be competent and have the interest of the nation as their goal. In the USA we have a government that, more and more, have their own personal interest as their goals (at least it seems that way to me).

In a perfect world, with a competent government dedicated to the welfare of its citizens socialism might be OK. However, a completely socialist government like that has not, as far as I can tell, ever existed. Seems that a completely central socialist government with those credentials always seems to fail. The trick, I believe is a capitalist socially responsible government wherein the elected class actually act in the best interest of the nation and them that brought them to the party.

At the risk of many frothing at the mouth the USA used to be such a government. But, little by little the greedy capitalists (not all are, you know) have been taking over and I have no idea what we have now. I do know that this nation is incredibly greedy and certainly not taking care of those who need such. Our problem are not that we are a capitalist nation (even though our government supplies a number of social services (including police, firemen, public schools, marginal healthcare, etc)) but that we have allowed, greed to just about take over.

In theory there is really not much all that wrong with either Socialism OR Capitalism. The real problem is with the electorate which, in the end, are responsible for what we are going through. Amongst other stuff my thought is that we have been doing a worse and worse job of educating our youth. Every now and then there always seems to be somebody reporting that X children know little or nothing about how gov works, that high school kids cannot read, spell, write, know where their state capital is, etc. We have all read those stories. I haven't noticed so many these days but, from what I see, I think that is because its become normalized to the point where nobody gives a damn.

One last. I have seen any number of attacks on Capitalism. Most have little to do with Capitalism and a lot to do with the incompetence of gov to regulate. The Right, for years, have been trying to 'reduce' gov, have never met a regulation they don't want gone, trying to privatize, etc. FOR YEARS! The Left, on the other hand, has not, as far as I can see, fought back in any really way. They have, everytime they took over, for instance, been forced to cleaned up and fix gov finances and have actually saved the nation. They do this quietly, not reminding anybody how it got that way in the first place. The other side, however, screams and yells, and lies, etc. Not only do they get away with it but they convince because, I believe, there is not a voice raised, on the Left pointing out who did what.

I know, I have pounded this one before. I think it needs pounding. I am sick and tired of the internecine wars of the left, along with the attitude of "my way or the highway" crap. Hillary, for instance, lost, at least in part, because of those from the Left who voted for Jackass. Those fools proved they were ignorant, sly, self indulgent. In spite of that they were indulged (and still are) My fond hope is that this kind of stuff will eventually end - before everything else ends! For that to happen we need somebody willing to actually lead whilst not kissing every butt. Hillary was not the one. She got beat up for over 30 years and publicly stated that she would not respond to "that kind of behavior".

Wow! Didn't mean to go off like that - apologies.............
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 03:24 AM

The left didn't vote for your 'Jack Ass'. Stop scapegoating her awful run.
15-20% of Hillary voters defected to Romney rather than vote for a Black candidate.
You need to stop identifying with 'the left'. Your not and don't know what it is from reading your posts over the years.
That was a hilarious summation of 'Capitalism vs. Socialism' in your provided link. Are you really paying for those classes?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 01:41 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
The left didn't vote for your 'Jack Ass'.
Statistically, my friend, you're "wrong." About ten percent of Trump's vote came from self-identified "liberals". (link.) Now, I confess, we don't know how you would place them on the political continuum, but we do know where they placed themselves. Does that constitute the majority? Certainly not, but then the claim also lacked a bit of clarity. At least some on "the left" voted for Trump, in any event. He only "won" by under 100,000 well-placed votes, and I don't think anyone would claim it was by dint of a well-conceived and -executed campaign.

"Stop scapegoating her awful run." Not sure where that came from, but it cannot be denied, again statistically, that she out-polled Trump by several percentage points. "Awful" is a loaded, value-laden term that, again, lacks the specificity necessary to mount a rational, reasoned response.

"15-20% of Hillary voters defected to Romney rather than vote for a Black candidate." Again, without citations, is hard to know where this comes from, nor what the point is.

"You need to stop identifying with 'the left'. Your [sic] not and don't know what it is from reading your posts over the years." Not sure you know where the "left" is either, my friend. Certainly, jgw is not as far left as thou, but then, who on this forum is? What this discussion illuminates, however, is that there is (notwithstanding your humble opinion) a variety of viewpoints that constitute "The left", philosophically-speaking, in the United States. Most political scientists I know, and I know quite a few, find that the majority of Americans hold views that are typically more "liberal" than "conservative", but measuring those values is difficult because of the myriad variations in "issues" that are considered along those spectrums. Now, I confess, I'm not particularly familiar with your idiosyncratic definitional matrix - what does, in your view, constitute "The left"? Please be specific, it's for posterity. [video:youtube]https://youtu.be/ZlzoLPPifzo[/video]

"That was a hilarious summation of 'Capitalism vs. Socialism' in your provided link. Are you really paying for those classes?" Are you really arguing against education, now?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 03:30 PM

Well now NWP,
In case you skipped it, I pretty much spelled out my opinion of what LEFT is in a thread started called 'what left'. I pretty much stated my opinion there and made an argument that there was little traditional left in America any more but the Democratic Party continues to masquerade as one.
Here's a lousy peice straight from queen Hillary's court explaining how democrats need to focus on the Romney Clinton voters:

Focus on the socially liberal fiscally conservative

Not that I agree with this guy or his reflexive rightward strategy to find votes as so much of the New Democrats have persued. The suburban white collar lanyard crowd basically.

If you think the left spectrum of politics went and threw a vote for a Trump your deluding yourself. There is always some shift of alliegance that happens after every primary. Some don't like the eventual winner and shift. Not a big deal except the Hillary wine moms and her devoted following have been screeching about 'it's all Sanders fault!' Since their brains were damaged from Election Day.
Mobilizing your base turnout is politics. She came up short. For a party transformed to one of meritocracy based on resume building it failed miserably and it's corporate centrists having been punching left to hide this failure. It's been equally obtuse in trying to understand why trump won, preferring a legal solution to a political problem.

I'm not against edjucation and think that should be a public good period. It bothers me that so many of the so called left party want to strip it for parts and privatize it.
I thought JGW's online course was pretty ham fisted explaining either capitalism or socialism. From what I saw I think you have as much chance of learning what either topics are presently than I can become an artist by sending in a drawing to a correspondance school. I could be wrong as I hit the paywall and didn't get beyond it.
No, I don't see JGW as 'the left'. Not in as much as I've come to recognize it. Nor do I see the Democratic Party 'the left' with the exception of some insurgent progressives newly elected. There could have been more but were primaried by the Party campaign arm. Too bad. Based on what I've seen so far, they have shown energy, intelligence and purpose. It's my opinion that the party could use more like em. The party prefers not.


Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 06:32 PM

Quote:
In a perfect world, with a competent government dedicated to the welfare of its citizens socialism might be OK.


In a perfect world, with a competent government dedicated to the welfare of its citizens capitalism might be OK. You know...a socialist government which taxes and regulates industry so that none must starve, lose their homes, or lack medical care when they need it. Because Capitalism cannot, by its very nature, support "a competent government dedicated to the welfare of all its citizens".
Capitalism is dedicated to the success of business and the hoarding of wealth. It cannot, by its very nature, be socially responsible.

I'm pretty sure I've said it before...a socialist government does not need to own the means of production.

It needs only to tax and regulate them.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 07:18 PM

I really don't intend to be argumentative, chunk. I enjoy the discussion. I do, however, get frustrated with your idiosyncratic definition of "the left", and any insistence on purity in that regard. It is very much akin to the ideological purity tests administered by the radical right. Over time the conservative voices on ReaderRant have left or fell silent, with the exception of Ma Rep. I miss the discussions and contrarians.

I think the vast majority of posters here identify as "left", but probably don't conform to the rigid definition you prefer. Occasionally I like to hold up the mirror, is all. The majority of "the left" writ large would also fail. I'm not sure Marx himself would pass muster. Do you think he would? After all, his work is premised on the existence of capitalism and his seminal volume entitled "Capital".
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
In a perfect world, with a competent government dedicated to the welfare of its citizens socialism might be OK.


In a perfect world, with a competent government dedicated to the welfare of its citizens capitalism might be OK. You know...a socialist government which taxes and regulates industry so that none must starve, lose their homes, or lack medical care when they need it. Because Capitalism cannot, by its very nature, support "a competent government dedicated to the welfare of all its citizens".
Capitalism is dedicated to the success of business and the hoarding of wealth. It cannot, by its very nature, be socially responsible.

I'm pretty sure I've said it before...a socialist government does not need to own the means of production.

It needs only to tax and regulate them.



D#MN! Someone had to frame it. I gotta steal that one!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/01/19 10:21 PM

I'd only add, as I have previously stated, that it's capitalism itself that must be democratized. If you leave the very structure intact it will accumulate political power and bend politics to it's favor. A collective of socialist boardrooms that don't mind sharing of the wealth among themselves and fellow shareholders. Not so much anywhere else.
I can take a push NWP. It's called a rant after all. I wasn't trying to be idiosyncratic (whew! made it thru spell check..) and have stated my belief. It's in the thread and I'm lazy to retype it all. It's easier to read than re-typing.

What Gregor says about the government owning the means of production is correct, to my knowledge, and it isn't hard to watch a video, but I'd rather get it from those academics who have devoted a lifetime to understand it and teach it. Do you think Marxism is about the government owning the means of production?...
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/02/19 09:45 PM

I think Marxism is about controlling wealth.

Socializing it so to speak. Democratizing it works too if you want to avoid that word.

But I'm just an armchair Marxist
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/02/19 11:30 PM

Marxism isn't about controlling wealth. Marx had a plan. Put all the super rich on a boat and send them to an island, and keep them there. Oh, I guess that's one way to do it.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 03:50 AM

Here's the thing, Marx was perceptive about economics, not politics. That's why he got it so wrong about the politics. Then he tried to make it work, but all that really happened, ever, is that totalitarians used his words to fool people into letting them take control. There have never been nations that have been truly either socialist or communist, they just called themselves that. Compare/contrast Hitler and Stalin...

Is China communist? Not if you follow the conceptions of Marx and Engel. The "sin" that Marx preached against was a minority with control of the means of production suppressing the masses. Every so-called "communist" nation in the world has exceeded the depredations of every capitalist nation on that score, they merely substituted one group of oppressors with themselves. I'm happy to consider any counter examples anyone might suggest. I'll wait...

Then again, show me a "conservative" who is truly conservative.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 04:22 AM

Rubbish.
The Stalin Hilter comparison (groan) reminds me of every family get together I've had over the last 30 years.
The millions of Indians that starved to death under British rule.
Ditto to the millions of chinese.
Enslavement of Africans and Indochinese.the hundreds of thousands of colonial subjects that fought and died in imperial capitalist wars of Europe.
That's just an opener. Haven't made it to north, south and Central Americas yet.
Those are some examples of depredations off the top of my head but those are some starters. What you got NWP?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 06:22 AM


The Communist Manifesto is a warning about the failure of capitalism and a rough draft of a form of government which might evolve when capitalism failed. Lenin tried to implement textbook Marxist Socialism and failed. It turned into a nightmare totalitarian regime that cost millions of lives. Nobody is looking to go down that path again.

Our Constitution prohibits that sort of government overreach anyway. We are ruled essentially by the Lockean Theory which overrules(wisely) some of the tenets of Marxist Socialism. It does not, however, overrule Social Democracy. In fact I think John Locke would heartily approve of it. So would Marx and Engels.

Quote:
Social democracy is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist economy.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 06:22 AM

Boy, you completely missed the point, but here's a list: 10 biggest massacres in history. Four of the top ten, and both of the top two. (Maybe your family has a point?)

But you ignored the larger point: were any of these butchers really "socialist"? (Short answer: no.) What I was saying is they used socialist propaganda and communist trappings, but were really neither. If you're suggesting otherwise, I haven't seen it. Those "communists" sure were efficient killers, though, huh?

And you're lumping an awful lot of activity into the "capitalist" bucket without much merit. Maybe it's because your definition of "capitalists" is too broad? Nazism wasn't "capitalist", nor was the Spanish inquisition, Japanese imperialism, the Norman conquest or Roman rule. At least not according to academia, or modern understanding.

A suggestion: try focusing on the argument actually made, rather than a preconceived notion of what you'd like it to be.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 02:19 PM

Here's a question I don't recall being asked anywhere: Are capitalism and socialism actually polar opposites - apples and oranges, black and white? The norm is to discuss them as though they are, yet it is easy to make the case that practically all cultures function with a mix. I will note that capitalism is an economic system while socialism can be an economic or a governing system.

A second question, also not usually the main topic of discussion: What is the allure of capitalism? What are the fundamental anticipated superior aspects of it over the different forms of socialism (only rule is that its features can't be defined by listing socialism's weaknesses)?
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 03:13 PM

"Every so-called "communist" nation in the world has exceeded the depredations of every capitalist nation on that score, they merely substituted one group of oppressors with themselves. I'm happy to consider any counter examples anyone might suggest. I'll wait."

You asked for examples and I answered. Don't ask questions if there's a chance you might get an answer that isn't fitting your expectation of a correct one.
I think the 'who's killed more' argument is a fools errand anyway.
I find a list that omits the starvation a of chinese and Indians suspect.
I notice we're not on the list for North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and our more recent 'humanitarian, democracy spreading, foriegn military adventures that neocons and NeoLibs authored for the management of hedgemony.

Facism seems to be a nationalist populism that serves it's capitalism quit nicely. Both are hierarchical top down orginizational. They seem to complement more than compete. Frankly, I think the corporate state is fascism.

You want to frame the current or former manifestations of Socialism as imperfect and nothing but despotism NWP. You could say the same for our representative democracy. It's been largely representing money and not people. So I really don't understand what your point is. Systems of government are always evolving as is capitalism and socialism.

Yes, socialism can work well with capitalism. Witness China having supplanted the US as an economic hedgemon since the Great Recession.

It's been working well in Spain, Italy and now Greece has some fledgling Co-operatives. They have been ruthlessly suppressed in South, Central and North America.
Instead of a board of directors deciding who gets what, it gets decided by all employees.
'Democratize the Enterprise' as wolf has been calling for.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 05:12 PM

Quote:
Are capitalism and socialism actually polar opposites - apples and oranges, black and white?

Yes.
Private control vs government control.

Quote:
What is the allure of capitalism?

Wealth, power, and the accumulation thereof.

Quote:
socialism can be an economic or a governing system.

Only inasmuch as capitalism can also be an economic or governing system.

Quote:
it is easy to make the case that practically all cultures function with a mix

Yeah it's pretty easy because all cultures function with a mix. It's human nature, it's tribal. Things fall apart when they become unbalanced. Our current system of economic governance has become too heavily loaded on the capitalist side. it's unbalanced and it's falling apart.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 06:05 PM

I'll restate two things that I've noted before: first, that capitalism and socialism spring from the same roots, and second, that I noted early in the discussion that I didn't think the opening question was actually valid - as it is expressed as alternative choices. In short, it's a stupid question.

Briefly, both capitalism and socialism were variations on the theme of spreading "the wealth" among participants. Capitalism was based upon "shares" that represented contributions by "investors", whereas socialism was premised upon roughly equal shares (later, based upon needs) of all "contributors." It was only later with the marketing/trading of shares as investments themselves in "exchanges" that capitalism took on the tenor that marks it out today. Similarly, the broadening application of socialism to larger and larger organizations, then nations and beyond, changed its nature. Both, in essence, though, are premised upon spreading, rather than concentrating, "capital".

In modern parlance, though, both are now focused on to whom power is accumulated. There, I think, is where the error in both lies. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 07:54 PM

I once had a professor of Philosophy tell me that he had once been a Communist. He got skewered by McCarthy, lost his job, got it back, etc. Anyway, he told me that he changed when he realized that anybody could actually actually participate and share in the economy, ie. they could buy stocks.

He was right. What he didn't say was the power capitalists had over the system. This was over 60 years ago. Now they have bought their way to inequity. This is not the fault of capitalism, its the failure of the state to do its damned job. That was a time, for instance, when congress actually worked more than three hours a day for a third of the year. Kinda different now.

As far as I can tell we now have a government run by a congress dedicated to self indulgence, lies, and greed. The current liberal swing of the Democrats, I believe, is the result of that. They are not going to get everything that they want but, hopefully, they can start a swing to a congress that actually is willing to at least make a try at doing some of the things that really need to be done?
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 08:02 PM

And keep in mind that giving power to a committee or a majority does not always mean that they will use it wisely. An employee-operated company could simply starve the company into bankruptcy by giving too much of the profits and assets to the workers. We (US residents) certainly do just that in terms of high credit card balances and lack of retirement savings. We have a real problem with short-term thinking corporate raiders coming in and destroying viable corporations for immediate profit.

Trump is the political manifestation of this concept. Break anything that gets in your way and screw the long term consequences. It's kind of like having a 13 year old running the country.

The other side of that coin is wise long-term financial planning (on the capitalist side) and responsible competent governance (on the socialist side).
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 08:47 PM

Bow pia

Why Power Corrupts (Smithsonian) discusses a study to determine whether “When you give good people power, are they more able than others to enact that moral identity, to do what’s right?” It turns out, yes.

Quote:
People’s sense of “moral identity”—the degree to which they thought it was important to their sense of self to be “caring,” “compassionate,” “fair,” “generous” and so on—shaped their responses to feelings of power.
...
[T]he study found, power doesn’t corrupt; it heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies. Which brings to mind another maxim, from Abraham Lincoln:&#8200;"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."

So, we really are just electing the wrong people. People who seek power for power's sake have the wrong attitude, and aptitude. Just ask Julius Caesar.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/03/19 11:40 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
In modern parlance, though, both are now focused on to whom power is accumulated. There, I think, is where the error in both lies. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We can argue about one theoretical system for government or economies, or another, but the real issue is the control and regulation of humans.

Nothing is going to work all that well until humans are more evolved...
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/04/19 01:17 AM

Quote:
the real issue is the control and regulation of humans.

The proles are pretty easy to control it's the rich ones you have to watch out for.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/04/19 11:42 AM

we could just democratize capitalism....

People are running up credit card debt and not saving for retirement because it's the only way to cover existing expenses. Wasn't there something about a large number of Citizens that couldn't cover an $800 emergency?
Housing costs are at an all time high
Labor uptake at a low
Household debt at a high
Auto loan defaults at a high.

The hat trick of neoliberalism is that it doesn't allow thier to be a critique of the system. Instead, it reflexively criticizes the individual working in the system's framework.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/04/19 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
we could just democratize capitalism....
Now we're getting somewhere, but what do you mean? Flesh that out and let's follow that line of reasoning.

I've always considered ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) to be a way of democratizing capitalism. Minimum wage guarantees are another, very small, way of doing so. Executive pay limitations, too. Progressive tax schemes. I'm sure there are more comprehensive approaches.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/04/19 08:49 PM

One way to cleanup politics would be to make political claims, ads, etc. part of the laws that control defamation. Right now, apparently, anybody in the public eye, including politicians, can be lied about with impunity which, as far as I am concerned, is just crazy. This allows anybody who lies well to lie their way into a job. Its especially true when the politician being lied about refuses to call out the liar (Hillary is a great example of that one).

I once had an employee who ran the post office at McNeil Island (husband was in charge). She told me that if I wanted to hire a salesman the best choice was somebody who had done more than 10 years in prison. I seems that the social workers , over time, train the inmates to lie. The better they lie the more perks they can bamboozle out of staff I think. She told me there was this young kid who actually convinced her that he was pregnant and she REALLY knew that couldn't be true.

Anyway, clean up our lies against defamation might be a really good place to start a cleanup?
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/04/19 10:40 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I got extremely mad about Bloomberg's and Schultz's BS, calling Medicare for all "unaffordable" and "un-American", because it demonstrated that they are either stupid (unlikely), or dishonest (probable). Here's a good explanation as to why: The media is badly botching the Medicare-for-all debate. (WaPo, subscription).

Let me start with an obvious observation: Bloomberg and Schultz are both billionaires. Billionaires are not like us. But Schultz started life poor. He certainly knows better. Or, maybe, money causes myopia. Schultz calls himself "self-made". That's a clue. It automatically ignores all of the circumstances that assisted his success.

But more importantly, to be successful in business one should be aware of the ecosystem in which one's business exists. Here's why their basic argument is stupid. And I mean STUPID: The majority of the countries in which they do business have universal healthcare. If they were "bankrupt", how are they doing business there? If they are bankrupt, how are they kicking our collective butt in health care outcomes and costs?


Simply put, I'd like to see just one of these right wing moguls explain to us why what we're doing right NOW IS affordable (which it isn't) and why they are sure it will remain affordable (which it won't) or at the very least, prove that it will NOT become even MORE unaffordable. (which it most definitely WILL)
If they could prove that what we are doing RIGHT NOW will become substantially CHEAPER in the next ten years, I will eat a MAGA hat dipped in poodle piss.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 03:20 AM

ESOPs look great on paper, but every one I ever participated in screwed me over royally. From a wise investor viewpoint, having all your money invested in the same company you work for is idiotic: If the company fails, you lose your job AND all your savings! It's much smarter to cash in all company stock you get as soon as you can and buy index funds.

Now of course, if you worked for Google or Amazon that would have cost you. But how many of us work for Google or Amazon?
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 03:38 AM

Quote:
People are running up credit card debt and not saving for retirement because it's the only way to cover existing expenses.

But that does NOT cover existing expenses, unless they plan on living in a cardboard box upon retirement. Running up credit card debt does not increase your income or lower your expenses. It increases your debt, so it makes the situation worse. Blaming this on neoliberalism is fanciful thinking. People need to adjust their income/expense expectations to be realistic. Sure, try to change the system, ask for that raise, etc. but socialism is not going to give us all new cars every year and $6 Starbucks lattes every day.

Socialism would make life a lot better for the homeless, the mentally ill wandering around in the streets hungry and cold, the disabled living on SSI, minimum wage workers, students racking up massive debts, etc. But it wouldn't dramatically change the lives of the middle class. I believe it's a good thing, an ethical thing, but I am not looking forward to any "socialism goodies" for me personally.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 03:50 AM

Quote:
So, we really are just electing the wrong people.

I think that's a pretty important summation. We don't need "Christians" so much as we need "Christ-like people". (You find as many of those in synagogues, mosques, and among atheists, as in churches.) Jimmy Carter may have actually been the best President we have ever elected, from that point of view. And I am not a Christian in any sense that would be recognized by any church.

Maybe reporters have to start asking candidates ethical questions. Trump would have failed that test miserably.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 04:32 AM

I'm probably too late to benefit from any socialist goodies beyond existing Social Security, Medicare and VA... but my sons aren't!

I learned an early and painful lesson about living within my means and saving for the future when I was a young Lieutenant. When my wife left work after our first son was born, we continued to live as if we had two incomes, making up the difference with credit cards. In a year we had accumulated an enormous debt - the problem with having "good credit". I put together a 5-year plan to pay it off (completed in 3 1/2), with saving and scrimping. The habits I learned in that period governed the rest of my working life and allowed me to retire early, and comfortably. But.. that comfort is anchored by the expectation that SS and Medicare will be available when I am eligible.

That doesn't at all mitigate my enthusiasm for a comprehensive overhaul and expansion of our social security systems. I'm a believer in the Green New Deal.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 02:20 PM

When the rents due and your out of inspection on the car cuz of a 'check engine' light is burning and your backed up on the electric you aren't thinking about PIA' a elementary course in debt economics. Your trying to make it thru the week.
It's why Direct mail Debt loan operations like Obama's former Treasury Secratary now runs relies on the poor to cash those checks. It's a tilted economic system favoring the rich and upper middle income that puts downward pressure on the poor.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 02:32 PM

"Today, there’s literally nobody on the right between those frantically accommodating Donald Trump, on the one hand, and us on the other. Except for our brave friends in exile from the Cato Institute now trying to build something in the ruins at the [centrist] Niskanen Center. There’s simply no political place for neoliberals to lead with good policies that make a concession to right-wing concerns."

Full VOX interview
Sheesh, I don't know what surprised me more. The political ideology that never speaks its name, neoliberalism, being discussed so openly or the fact that the article was found at VOX .
Either way, it is a suprising admission from the inside of how empty and full of sh!t the Neoliberals were/are. It came as a shock to see one break from a market fetish they have been so committed to and, based on 2018 primary campaign experience, still are.
For one on the inside to call it out for being both politically and economically bankrupt ideology is refreshing. I wouldn't trust em, though. No matter how much of a 'come to Jesus' moment they are having. They've damaged the party and country enough with there self serving politics.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 03:16 PM

Then there's this: How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich (npr). Worse, this administration skews its support to "Republican" States - Texas, Alabama, Mississippi - and away from "Democrat" States (California, Puerto Rico). Politico; WaPo
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 05:11 PM

The Dutch guy who went to Davos and told the billionaires 'Eff U, pay your taxes!' has been a hoot. Speaking truth to power caught my attention as has his career and speaking engagements or interviews. His book 'Utopia for Realists' got him to the Davos party and I'll have to read it.
In case you haven't payed to close attention to the guy, this TEDtalk lecture was a good one. I like his going after the b#llsh!t jobs:

Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/05/19 08:26 PM

In them United States the top 20% of earners pay in excess of 85% of the total taxes. You can google "percentage of taxes paid by wealthy 2018" to get the figures. The "2018" was my effort to get the latest figures (most of what is available seems to be between 2015-2017). When you talk to those in the upper 10/20% they will tell you how much they are paying and also how much of the total they are paying. They do not talk about how much they are making.

This one has always been of interest to me. Some are suggesting that the rich should get charged more. We have done that in the past and I have no problem with that. The rich, for instance, get tax breaks on many of the things they do for their income. Capital gains, for instance, is charged at a lower rate (there are several of these sorts of things). I will also agree that the rich pay more than those who are not rich (and that is dandy with me). My point is that we have an INCOME tax and, as such, it should cover ALL income! Nailing somebody, for instance, 2% because they are rich is probably not a great idea. If we just kept the current system but applied it to ALL income, we would probably increase our income tax revenues significantly.

The reason for the complexity and size of our code is pretty simple. When we fix it we add to it, when somebody buys enough politicians to 'help' it gets added to. When we want to do something for the poor it gets added to. Taxes are for paying bills - not social engineering! I believe its possible to create a fair and just tax code. I also believe that once a tax code is established that it cannot be changed without a 2/3 majority, in both houses agreeing to such. That, at least, would go far, insofar as the complexity is concerned.
s a little like Social Security. The plan was that everybody pays in and gets to retire on what they paid in. It was not a giveaway. The giveaway was in SSI (Social Security Supplimental Income). this was setup to help people who
My point is that if we are not going to eventually go broke giving it all to the very rich (the last income tax 'cut' was a really bad idea) then we need to actually do something about our tax code. We currently have what is considered one of the more complex, confusing, and arcane tax codes in the entire world. Its literally books long and nobody really understands it all. Its a bit like a religious tome with a bunch of accounts as the tax priest class. Anytime our congress 'fixes' it actually means that they haven't removed anything so much as they have added yet more to an already incompreheIn them United States the top 20% of earners pay in excess of 85% of the total taxes. You can google "percentage of taxes paid by wealthy 2018" to get the figures. The "2018" was my effort to get the latest figures (most of what is available seems to be between 2015-2017). When you talk to those in the upper 10/20% they will tell you how much they are paying and also how much of the total they are paying. They do not talk about how much they are making.

This one has always been of interest to me. Some are suggesting that the rich should get charged more. We have done that in the past and I have no problem with that. The rich, for instance, get tax breaks on many of the things they do for their income. Capital gains, for instance, is charged at a lower rate (there are several of these sorts of things). I will also agree that the rich pay more than those who are not rich (and that is dandy with me). My point is that we have an INCOME tax and, as such, it should cover ALL income! Nailing somebody, for instance, 2% because they are rich is probably not a great idea. If we just kept the current system but applied it to ALL income, we would probably increase our income tax revenues significantly.

The reason for the complexity and size of our code is pretty simple. When we fix it we add to it, when somebody buys enough politicians to 'help' it gets added to. When we want to do something for the poor it gets added to. Taxes are for paying bills - not social engineering! I believe its possible to create a fair and just tax code. I also believe that once a tax code is established that it cannot be changed without a 2/3 majority, in both houses agreeing to such. That, at least, would go far, insofar as the complexity is concerned.

There are a lot of suggestions going on, right now - each and every one will increase the complexity and bulk of the code (not a real good idea) This is not a simple thing and cannot be done overnight. All that being said, its really time to at least start the process?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/06/19 03:00 PM

Here's a thought: how about we set tax rates to a percentage of GDP? I don't have the math skills to establish rates, yet, but it seems to work conceptually:

Assume that income is related to domestic output and that all income is treated equally (wages, capital gains, interest, dividends, inheritance). If the GDP is a fixed number (annually), the ratio between one's income and the adjusted GDP should be easily calculated. As a gross example:

If the GDP is $1 million, and my income is $100, my ratio is 1/10,000 of the GDP, so I'd pay 1/10 thousandth of the federal budget. Obviously there are a lot of other calculations, but the concept is straightforward, rational, and fair. To the billionaires that complain that they contribute to the GDP, they only get taxed to the extent that is true, and no more. One beauty of the system is that it is self adjusting. GDP goes up, taxes go down; budget goes up, taxes go up.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/06/19 07:02 PM

An Automated Payment Transaction Tax is another good one. A tiny fee on each and every automated movement of funds into or out of any account. Collected automatically by banks and card services on each transaction as it occurs. I suggest that it be phased in first to fund social programs and ultimately increased as all other forms of taxation are decreased until it would eventually replace all taxation and the need to pay or collect taxes at all.
Here's how it works according to WIKI...
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/06/19 09:30 PM

You know that we just vastly simplified the tax code by changing what is and is not deductible. Most taxpayers will find the standard deduction is better for them than itemizing. Keeping track of our deductions was most of the tax complexity the vast majority of us had to deal with. There are a huge number of rules in the code to make things fair for people with special situations. It started out simple but grew over the years as new complexities arose. But for most of us, those arcane rules do not apply. For example, there is all that stuff about depreciating your oil wells. I don't know about you, but I don't have any oil wells! Most of those rules are there for a reason. You start throwing them away and some business activities become vastly profitable or economically unfeasible. You would be changing the economy for no reason other than a love of simplicity:
Quote:
For every complex problem, there's a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
H.L. Mencken

So the prudent thing is to tread carefully. Propose a change and have CBO analyze the effects before you enact it. Even something as benign sounding as charging the same tax rates on all income would be horribly disruptive. The effects would probably be a massive flight of money out of stocks, a market collapse, and a depression.

The IRS has done a great job of keeping things simple. They have a form that everybody starts with and then additional forms (with their rules) for added complexities. Most people need very few of those additional forms. I own a farm, have rentals, and usually some stocks so I need some more forms. But I find those forms pretty straightforward. They have dozens and dozens of forms I don't need to fill in. In effect, they are hiding that complexity from me because it does not apply.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/06/19 10:07 PM

If we keep on adding to the tax code we are going to be in trouble. Its already an incredible mess. Too many people, businesses, good works, problems, etc. Taxes are to pay the bills, nothing more and nothing less. The trick is to have a code wherein EVERYBODY pays in. I mean that literally. If somebody is poor then they should still pay something in. The way we are doing now there are a large number of folks who pay in absolutely nothing. I am told that includes some that are very rich and very clever.

We need a code that is bullet proof, very difficult to change, add, delete, etc. For all the deals, social engineering, etc. there should be some kind of set-aside which is public and has an ending date on it. Why, for instance, should any income be off the table, or considerably less, than what others pay on their income?

The arguments of the rich are very simple. They pay more so they should get a break. Get rid of those breaks and they will be paying a LOT more. I am also for taxing traded stocks, so .05 cents or even .025 cents per share. For most that will be very little. However, them with the huge computers are trading, literally and automatically, millions of shares a day. They are 'special' so they get a 'special' tax. The tax itself is so small that it wouldn't even be noticed by most.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/07/19 06:57 AM

All that daily volume of microsecond stock trades lowers the "friction" of trading considerably: It decreases the difference between buy and sell prices. Get rid of it and that difference affects everybody in the market.

I also think your worry over poor people not paying is overblown. If they did pay a lower limit, that limit would be either inconsequential or significant. If inconsequential, why bother collecting it at some expense that their payment would probably not cover. If significant, then you are taking an important part of their income! $50 may not mean much to you, but it could be a week's worth of food for a poor family. Income disparity is so high in this country that you will never come up with an acceptable minimum tax payment.

I could be one of those "rich" people you are complaining about who doesn't pay. I could make $150,000 in long term capital gains and pay no tax on it. Because in prior years I lost money in long term capital investments and I have $150,000 in loss-carry-forward. Complex? Yes Unfair? No

The other big complexity is depreciation. I buy farm equipment with a limited useful life. So I have to track the loss of that equipment's value every year. That is deductible against the income I make from the farm. Complex? Yes Unfair? No
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/07/19 08:09 PM

Quote:
If we keep on adding to the tax code we are going to be in trouble.

Read the Automated Payment Tax I outlined above. It could completely eliminate tax codes altogether.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/07/19 08:32 PM

Just think, we're not even talking about the battle over resources yet. Talk about working to get to the work.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/07/19 09:50 PM

>automated payment tax

To easy to just pay cash and avoid the tax. In that aspect it's like the lottery. A voluntary tax to fund schools doesn't fund them nearly enough.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/07/19 11:54 PM

Sure it's easy to cheat! But that cash came from somewhere and it's going somewhere. The last and the next transaction will fold it back into the digital world. The tax is also so small it's not worth fussing over. Unless you're buying and selling a zillion things a day, like Jeff Bezos....ya know?
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/08/19 08:35 PM

The reason I think EVERYBODY should pay taxes is pretty simple. First, the poor is a group that is not even noted for voting. My thought has always been that if you have no skin in the game then why bother? I used to have a couple businesses that hired a lot of the poor. Every election I got them all together and explained a simple fact; "if you are poor you are going to get screwed. Politicians know which groups vote and those are the groups,that get paid attention to". I never told them how to vote only that they should. I failed miserably.

Capital gains - you don't pay the same taxes as on normal income, you pay less. I know the logic but disagree. Income remains income. There are lots of those kinds of things in our tax code. Hell, the last so called "tax break" have some interesting examples.

The logic behind depreciation is simple. Its a cost of doing business and our tax code allows us to take these costs off before arriving at how much we owe. Over the years this has moved around, ie. how fast can you depreciate, is depreciation considered the same as buying a truck used in business, etc.

I can't go into all this stuff in detail but its just taxes and the 'deals' that help the businessman, investor, etc. The problem with these things (deductions) is that they can be pesky. It really boils down to whether you pay taxes on the net income or the gross income. The real problem is the simple fact is that we now have a system which is at least as complex as any religious book and actually contributes to our economy (accountants, bookeepers, attorneys, etc). I wonder what would happen if we had a system where business had standard deductions based on business category. Lobbyists would have a field day I fear.

Microsecond stock trades come under the heading of "Because they can". As long as we have markets its gonna happen. That's one reason I want them taxed. We could call it "Microtax" <g>

Anyway............



Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/09/19 07:26 PM

Quote:
The New Deal Wasn’t What You Think
If we are going to fund a Green New Deal, we need to acknowledge how the original actually worked.

How the New Deal was paid for...
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 02:00 PM

One word descriptions:

Capitalism = competition
Socialism = collaboration
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
Quote:
The New Deal Wasn’t What You Think
If we are going to fund a Green New Deal, we need to acknowledge how the original actually worked.

How the New Deal was paid for...
What are you, logtroll, some kind of neoliberal! (That's a really good article that makes any excellent point.) FDR's primary focus was on leveraging capital for public good, and it worked brilliantly. Yes, it saved capitalism from itself, but it also saved socialism, making it mainstream. What conservatives have lost sight of is that the nation really hasn't changed that much since then. They've just been fooled into thinking it otherwise. As Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." Conservatives fall into the seconds category.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
What are you, logtroll, some kind of neoliberal!

I confess, I have been trying to make capitalism work for achieving triple-bottom-line (TBL) objectives, but it is very difficult. Neither the rules nor the mental attitudes (even of liberals) for investing are a good fit for a people/planet/profit opportunity at a local level.

I have concluded that practically everyone is of two minds - literally - when it comes to money. One mind, of the philanthropist, will give money to good causes and expect nothing in return... even failure is tolerated as at least being an attempt to do good. But that same erstwhile philanthropist, when presented with investing the same amount of money in good deeds close to home that actually might return some dollars, will switch to a mind full of fear of the risk of loss.

I have been soliciting investors since last July to join the Trollworks LLC, for the purpose of raising the money to build what we call a Biochar+Energy Sys3, a pyrolysis machine that will take waste biomass, dry it, and make pelletized feedstock that can be stored and transported (holy grails of the energy markets) for use in pyrolyzers that will heat buildings. Both pyrolysis steps create heat and char, two products of substantial monetary value, and even greater associated TBL values. The system will sequester a pound of CO2 out of the atmosphere into the soil for every pound burned, and regenerate soil productivity in the process.

The machine in question is already under a three year lease contract to a grant funded pilot project, which will pay 150% more than its cost, operating just four months each year. Sounds like a no-brainer investment opportunity to me, especially for folks concerned about climate change. "Get paid for CO2 drawdown? Are you f*_king kidding me??"

Yet.... I have secured four investors so far, all friends of mine for whom trust in me as a person is not an issue - however trust in me to not lose their investment is an issue. I have been working on four more potential investors since last September, all climate and social activists who live in Colorado where a second pilot project is being developed. Basically the same scenario, the Sys 3 would be leased to the project for four months a year, doubling the ROI! But those folks, who do not know me so well, are perseverating over minutia in the company documents. Did I mention that the price of a membership is in the ballpark of what all of these people give away to good causes in the same period of time?

All of the same people have their life savings in 401Ks and normal investment vehicles where they generally know neither the managers nor exactly what their money is being used for (often it is being used by companies who are causing climate change).

I might actually have to borrow the money to complete the pre-leased Sys3.

Strange, ain't it?
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 04:27 PM

Maybe you should market yourself as a non-profit dedicated to preserving the planet and seeking donations for the cause.

Kickstarter might get you a few bucks from some of the save the world types with $2-5 to spend...

I might even be tempted to send $5 your way which goes entirely against my nothing for nothing investment and philanthropic policy.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 05:46 PM

I appreciate the ideas - I have looked at Kickstarter but it's not without its drawbacks. I'm actually confident that the track I am on will work out okay.

The underlying point of my post is to shed a little light on the embedded psychological and cultural issues that are part and parcel of these things we casually call "socialism" and "capitalism" and "neoliberalism", etc.

When you get right down in the mud, we are dealing with "peopleism", not to be confused with "humanism". crazy
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 06:10 PM

Here's an interesting new approach to venture capital, one that applied to in 2016 but was rejected because the company "wasn't developed enough". I am about to apply again...

Quote:
Tin Shed Ventures is Patagonia’s corporate venture capital fund, which invests in start-ups that offer solutions to the environmental crisis. Originally launched as $20 Million and Change in May 2013, Tin Shed Ventures partners with businesses focused on building renewable energy infrastructure, practicing regenerative organic agriculture, conserving water, diverting waste and creating sustainable materials. The Tin Shed name is rooted in Patagonia’s history. In 1957, a young climber named Yvon Chouinard decided to make his own reusable hardware. Using supplies procured from a junkyard, he taught himself how to blacksmith. By 1970, Chouinard Equipment had become the largest supplier of climbing hardware in North America—produced in a tin shed in Ventura, California. But there was a problem. The company’s gear was damaging the rock as popular routes had to endure repeated hammering of steel pitons. So Chouinard decided to phase out of the piton business, even though it comprised 70 percent of the company’s sales at the time. He introduced an alternative: aluminum chocks that could be wedged in the rock and removed by hand, rather than hammered and left behind. The audacious move worked. Within a few months, the new chocks sold faster than they could be made. Patagonia has since expanded from a climbing hardware company into a global outdoor apparel brand with $800 million in sales while maintaining a strict commitment to sustainability in its products and supply chain. Tin Shed Ventures is funding the next generation of responsible business leaders who share these core values.
We started the fund because we felt existing models for start-up capital were broken. Traditional investors tend to focus on short-term growth and profit, then quickly flip the companies in which they invest. We take a completely different approach to investing. We place environmental and social returns on equal footing with financial returns and provide long-term, patient capital that helps to support forward-thinking entrepreneurs for the long haul. Overall, our aim is to support like-minded start-ups that embody Patagonia’s mission to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/11/19 11:15 PM

Yes, it is. This is the sort of project the Green New Deal should support.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/12/19 12:15 AM

God, I hope they approve you Loggy...prayers for best turnout.
Posted by: matthew

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/13/19 09:21 PM

'
Are we going to Hell in capitalist Rolls Royce or in socialist mass transit?

Some people might think the destination more important than the mode of transport.
.
Posted by: matthew

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/13/19 09:42 PM

'
Western civilization collapsed in 1914, as ancient Rome collapsed in 476 AD.

Read Margaret MacMillan's THE WAR THAT ENDED PEACE.

Ever since then, we have lived in an age of barbarism that shows no signs of ever ending.
.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/13/19 10:09 PM

Why mathew, it's so good to see you!
An end is finally in sight now, climate change should pretty much wipe us out in the next couple hundred years unless we make some pretty drastic changes.
I don't really see any changes on the horizon.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/14/19 08:22 AM

When you actually look at the carbon cycle model, with all the compartments and flows, you notice that putting carbon into the soil could actually offset all the fossil fuel burning and more. If we did that to the extent that the soil had before we farmed it to death, CO2 movement into the atmosphere would turn negative. Of course, once we got the soil saturated with carbon, it would rise again but maybe no faster than movement from the atmosphere into the ocean would handle.

It's an interesting model because it has very short, short, and long sequestration loops as burning fuel crops, soil carbon coming out over the course of decades, and limestone deposits locking up carbon for epochs, respectively. I suppose all the models are incorrect because they don't include methane clathrates bubbling out of the not-so-permafrost.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/24/19 12:01 AM

Soil carbon is an important piece of our model.

I have been getting a lot of inquiries in the past several weeks, and the range of applications is very interesting. Yesterday I spoke with a fellow with a new sawmill venture in Dolores, CO. They will be generating a lot of waste (about half of the wood in a log is turned into waste biomass when sawing boards) and they will need to dry the lumber. If they use pyrolyzers instead of biomass burners to make the heat for the kilns they can avoid using fossil fuels and make as much money from the biochar as they will make from the lumber. He was pretty enthused.

Thursday I visited a pecan processor in Las Cruces, NM, who is currently giving away the shells as they are a waste liability. I was looking for a source of shells since we presently can't get any woody biomass from the Forest Service and I happened to ask if they had any process heat needs. As it happens, they buy $4,400 worth of natural gas every month to sterilize the nuts in a hot water bath and to dry them afterwards. I did a pro forma this morning that indicates we could provide them with a biochar+heat pyrolysis system that would replace their NG bill using about 20% of their shell production and make $500,000 in char (at below the rock bottom of current market prices). The ROI on the heat component alone would be 20% annually, and with char sales included the ROI would be 200%. They are kind of excited at the prospect. As it happens, two of the owners are also pecan farmers, so they can use the biochar in their orchards and then market their demonstrated soil improvements to the rest of their supply chain, thus building the market for the char.

So what do you call it - Capitalism, or Socialism - if a person became wealthy as a result of using their time and money to create sustainable local economies where large numbers of people benefitted, where lots of jobs were made, and environmental problems were reversed?

I am calling it Americanism. The Green New Deal needs to adopt this approach.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/24/19 03:53 AM

It is capitalism but with zero externalization of costs. In fact, the "costs" of the business are negative, which should mean that a lot of people will start doing it. People do like to make money, you know! In this unusual case they don't have to screw anybody or the environment over to do that. That's real technological progress.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/24/19 05:22 PM

Quote:
So what do you call it - Capitalism, or Socialism - if a person became wealthy as a result of using their time and money....


That right there is capitalism, plain and simple. Entrepreneurism if you put a finer point on it.

It would be a mixed system if half his "wealth" went to the state to insure that everyone was well taken care of and...If a person worked and the state became wealthier, thus increasing the wealth of all then it would be a socialist system.

Whether his endeavor was a good thing environmentally or a bad thing doesn't effect the system. Sustainability is an entirely new concept.
Survival hasn't so much been an issue before either...
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/24/19 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
So what do you call it - Capitalism, or Socialism - if a person became wealthy as a result of using their time and money....
That right there is capitalism, plain and simple.

I'm afeared you boys are just skittering along on the surface of this thing. If a person looks the part that follows the quote above, you will see that a big chunk of the purpose of using that time and money is to improve the general welfare of all - some directly, more indirectly.

There have been lawsuits where shareholders in corporations have sued their boards of directors for pursuing objectives that were not strictly about increasing their capital. That is Capitalism at its most raw-bonedness. In our organizing documents it clearly states that the purpose of the company is to improve the triple-bottom-line - people, planet, and profit. So far, every single one of my investors has declared that their top interest in the company is climate change... second is community vitality and sustainability. There are about a dozen expected benefits and the last on everyone's list is making money - in fact five of the six (so far) say they only hope to not lose their money.

I don't think this model fits in the box of Capitalism, or in the box of Socialism. That's why I claim a new box ... Americanism!
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/25/19 05:17 PM

I'd like to play in your sandbox, Log. I agree it is "Americanism" - it aims at balancing free market economics, the strive for social fairness and the sustainable use and protection of the natural resources. Four Pillars.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/25/19 07:48 PM

That's the stuff!!

Let's take that word and define it as we please, then let the morons try to corrupt it.

Americanism - both an economic and political reality (not a theory). The righties will go nuts speaking ill of Americanism!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/25/19 10:59 PM

Sounds like a fairy tale based on a myth.

I haven't seen any evidence of free markets for my entire adult life.

It also looks like you can't have democracy and capitalism in the long run. The trend lines would indicate that anyways.

Looks like capitalism is winning out.
Posted by: matthew

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/26/19 06:44 PM

Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

I haven't seen any evidence of free markets for my entire adult life.

It's nice that there are people who can point out the obvious in our world of lies.
.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/26/19 09:40 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
That's the stuff!!

Let's take that word and define it as we please, then let the morons try to corrupt it.

Americanism - both an economic and political reality (not a theory). The righties will go nuts speaking ill of Americanism!
I so agree.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/28/19 11:05 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
Soil carbon is an important piece of our model.

I have been getting a lot of inquiries in the past several weeks, and the range of applications is very interesting. Yesterday I spoke with a fellow with a new sawmill venture in Dolores, CO. They will be generating a lot of waste (about half of the wood in a log is turned into waste biomass when sawing boards) and they will need to dry the lumber. If they use pyrolyzers instead of biomass burners to make the heat for the kilns they can avoid using fossil fuels and make as much money from the biochar as they will make from the lumber. He was pretty enthused.

Thursday I visited a pecan processor in Las Cruces, NM, who is currently giving away the shells as they are a waste liability. I was looking for a source of shells since we presently can't get any woody biomass from the Forest Service and I happened to ask if they had any process heat needs. As it happens, they buy $4,400 worth of natural gas every month to sterilize the nuts in a hot water bath and to dry them afterwards. I did a pro forma this morning that indicates we could provide them with a biochar+heat pyrolysis system that would replace their NG bill using about 20% of their shell production and make $500,000 in char (at below the rock bottom of current market prices). The ROI on the heat component alone would be 20% annually, and with char sales included the ROI would be 200%. They are kind of excited at the prospect. As it happens, two of the owners are also pecan farmers, so they can use the biochar in their orchards and then market their demonstrated soil improvements to the rest of their supply chain, thus building the market for the char.

So what do you call it - Capitalism, or Socialism - if a person became wealthy as a result of using their time and money to create sustainable local economies where large numbers of people benefitted, where lots of jobs were made, and environmental problems were reversed?

I am calling it Americanism. The Green New Deal needs to adopt this approach.


Are people like AOC even AWARE of your biochar ideas?
How do we make that happen?

You should already be a multi-multi-millionaire or bigger, it's amazing how this isn't growing huge legs already.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/29/19 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Are people like AOC even AWARE of your biochar ideas?
How do we make that happen?

You should already be a multi-multi-millionaire or bigger, it's amazing how this isn't growing huge legs already.

One of the most painful lessons of trying to get this thing off the ground is how important marketing is, especially of the overall concept. Selling some machines is not so difficult, but growing the thing to scale without many talented people on board and lots of money is virtually impossible for a couple of "farmer entrepreneurs". We are not very good marketers, except when talking to fellow equipment geeks.

Ironically, there are so many powerful benefit vectors to the broad concept that it is hard to explain it to folks without their eyes glazing over, and they usually end up failing to retain any of it. The easiest entry seems to be through the "free heat" door and barely mentioning the soil carbon and global warming aspects.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/29/19 05:28 PM

Are you planning on becoming a manufacturer of pyrolizing machinery, Logtroll? Stuff like this?
AliBaba biochar machine.

China might be way ahead of us on this...Maybe they've been practicing Americanism?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/29/19 06:19 PM

Those are all closed retorts and don't do double duty as building and process heat suppliers in widely distributed micro-applications, hence, to wit, and therefore not triple-bottom-line qualifying. The business model for using them would be the standard corporate centralized one that externalizes costs and concentrates wealth, without optimizing the non-monetary benefits.

Maybe that is Chinaism?

As far as I know, we have the only top-lit, up draft, continuous process pyrolyzers in existence - which is a key factor in maximizing triple-bottom-line benefits - Americanism! ThumbsUp
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/29/19 08:16 PM

Maybe you should sell them to China, at least they recognize a need to process biomass. We're happy just hauling it to the landfill and being done with it...
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 03/30/19 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
When you actually look at the carbon cycle model, with all the compartments and flows, you notice that putting carbon into the soil could actually offset all the fossil fuel burning and more. If we did that to the extent that the soil had before we farmed it to death, CO2 movement into the atmosphere would turn negative. Of course, once we got the soil saturated with carbon, it would rise again but maybe no faster than movement from the atmosphere into the ocean would handle.

We are working with Dr. Johnson to use biochar as a delivery vehicle for microbial soil inoculants.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 06/29/19 10:14 PM

Originally Posted By: logtroll
Here's an interesting new approach to venture capital, one that applied to in 2016 but was rejected because the company "wasn't developed enough". I am about to apply again...

I applied again... we are setting up a time for an "introductory call". ThumbsUp

Here is an interview with Phil Graves, CEO of Tin Shed Ventures (formerly $20 Million and Change). Long but very interesting.

https://youtu.be/5sgMt4llfao
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? - 07/06/19 02:03 PM

A very interesting article on the relationship between soil carbon, soil biology, CO2 drawdown, and water vapor.

Quote:
CO2 drawdown is essential because we need to rebuild organic matter in soils in order to have the soil carbon sponge that supports the water cycle. But the only way we can safely and naturally cool the planet and prevent the climate catastrophe is by restoring these hydrological processes. We’ve been advocating, talking and educating about that for 10 years. In all of those years, not one person has ever said no, that’s wrong. They all say yes, that’s climatology 101. But in a sense it is new, because we’ve been focused on reducing CO2 emissions for so long. Of course, we have to do that, but really the solution lies in restoring these hydrological cooling balances by one percent.

The Soil Carbon Sponge