re: blog from Everwas #86

What should I be voting for?

Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby Mike on Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:46 pm

To be fair, capitalism REALLY does inspire a lot more innovation, since people can get rich off of a good idea. It's important to have capitalist ideals along with some socialist ones, imo. There ARE balances that can be made. Just my dealie.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:15 am

Mike wrote:I like England's method. No taxes on normal run of the mill crap. Oh, you want an XBox? 20%, bitch. Luxury taxes are something I always thought were a good idea. Yeah, I'd have less stuff, so be it. That kinda crap generates a lot of revenue that can be used. Nobody loses anything from their paychecks... and really... if people want to go nuts over "omg I can't buy an uber T.V. without paying tax"... Whatever.

And as for "emergency:"

Hey, I broke my leg, help. Bam. I get that it takes longer to get non-life threatening/urgent things done, but again I say, better late than never. Esp. if the people with means can satisfy themselves by going private.

EDIT: And yeah, I, personally, am willing to pay a higher price so that I, and other citizens, can get help if it's needed. Even if that means giving some stuff up. Living in fear of the day I get into an accident of one form or another, or I get super sick, doesn't sit well with me. And I don't like the idea that fellow citizens have the same problem.

Health shouldn't be a fucking buisness. Yeah, there's money to be made... but THAT being the prime directive can fuckin' blow me.


I definitely agree with Mike's post about universal health care and luxury taxes; I think that's a good way to go, and a good example of what a system incorporating both socialism and capitalism would be like. People's health and well-being should be taken care of; it's important, and it shouldn't be subject to greed and the "bottom line."

My current health care plan is "Please, don't let me get sick or hurt, because I can't afford it. If I get a life-threatening condition or an emergency, I'm probably going to just die." I really don't like that. :P
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:12 am

Cyranda wrote:Why wouldn't they have? What evidence do you have to support that? What necessities wouldn't we have without capitalism, and how could you prove that they wouldn't exist without capitalism?

I think it's a bit unfair to assume that something would only have come about under capitalism (or even anything about the time it could have taken, etc.) simply because that's the system that some of them came up under (or for almost any other reason. Capitalism, as a system, is not what makes innovation possible).


We're not just talking innovation here. We're talking about the funds to make them a reality. To research and manufacture something like say, an F-22 or an Abrams tank requires an enormous infrastructure. Our economic framework is capable of generating the necessary capital. The other system that has proven it can is a totalitarian state simply TAKING the necessary resources to apply them toward these goals. But that's not an option - for all my, "roo-rah-rah yay free market system", I'd sooner give up capitalism than democracy. Until Norway puts a man on the moon, I'd say the burden of proof is on YOU to demonstrate a socialist state could produce the works in question.

Cyranda wrote:Also, the tax rate problems in relation to what can be purchased is a myth. "Can you afford to pay your bills under a 50% tax rate?" Of course you can, as evidenced by many countries in Europe that do. Taxes aren't just something that get taken and not returned. I think you would be hard pressed to support a claim that people in some place with high taxes, like Norway, "can't afford things." Other places might have high taxes and not be able to afford things, but that may have little to do with the tax.

But to expect what works there for an entity as massively complex and robust as the United States is fairly naive.

That seems to be a conceit about the United States that I'm not sure is justified.


Well, let's discuss that. The issue is that our population density and the necessary infrastructure to support it is more complex than, let's stick with Norway, on SEVERAL orders of magnitude. They simply have less necessities to pay for. Let's start with our defense budget; they don't have one. We're essentially paying for their security, pro bono. They have a homogeneous population; we have a massive immigrant population - and subsidize free education and at least emergency health services even if they're not here legally. On and on. All of our highways and telecommunications networks and water and power grids cost something. Call it a conceit if you like, but it's a robust economy that produces such things.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:21 am

Yino wrote:you jingoistic bastard ;)

I know I'm a foreign point of view, but I think I can help with a few points for you conversation. My country has a 17% taxation rate so we still have enough for some "luxuries", there's a public health system coexisting with private entities. There are hospitals that a have quite a long queue for getting atention, but for a few years that hasn't been the rule.
I can't really tell if those high tax rates you speak about should be opposite to innovation as this country's tax rate is not big enough as in the examples you mention. But for what I recall it shouldn't as every possible private competitor faces the same taxes.


I just wanted to clarify the issue of "luxuries". I've been using the personal computer as an example, so I'll stick with that. In no way am I saying the technology wouldn't exist. I'm saying the consumer products as we know them wouldn't exist at affordable prices. To be able to produce affordable home systems requires manufacturing on a mass scale, the very purview of capitalism.

And 17%?! Geez, I *wish* I was paying only that much.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:48 am

Mike wrote:Yeah, I just like going extreme! I'm not big on full blown socialism, but I damn well do think we need health care for everybody. Now, that doesn't mean people can't go out and get private insurance/etc, if they want things done faster, but it means we all have basic coverage.


That's rough - I'd hate to pay TWICE. Once for the subsidized care, and again for my private insurance. It's similar to the issue of school vouchers for private schools. However, I do agree that everybody should have basic coverage; I believe that's simply in the nation's best interest and lives up to the ethical standards our country should strive for. I'd suck it up and pay a bit more for that. I'm just waiting to hear a workable plan that can get it done.

Mike wrote:I like England's method. No taxes on normal run of the mill crap. Oh, you want an XBox? 20%, bitch. Luxury taxes are something I always thought were a good idea.


The problem is that there's a flip side. With a 20% luxury tax, would Microsoft have gone ahead and produced the Xbox in the first place? I dunno. They're losing money on it as it is. If they hadn't, think about how many less jobs there would be - we're talking from R&D to manufacturing to distribution to sales. All of the third party companies that develop games and peripherals for it wouldn't be around. Think about what that would mean in terms of lost revenue, and the taxes on that revenue would never be collected. That's the essential question here: where's that balance point? You can easily end up with less total collected taxes, if the tax rate depresses the economy. 20% of $100 is more money than 35% of $50.

Mike wrote:Health shouldn't be a fucking buisness. Yeah, there's money to be made... but THAT being the prime directive can fuckin' blow me.


Man, it's so hard to disagree with that sentiment :) The problem is that it's business that spurs advancements. I think we definitely need the government to step in with an airtight regulatory system, but the VAST costs of R&D have to be paid for on some end, or our medical technological advancement will slow to a crawl.

Let me put it this way - yeah, I think the pharmaceutical corporations are soulless husks, and that it's an outrage necessary medicines cost what they do. But consider the alternative of those medicines not even existing. The hope here is that eventually, these advancements become affordable as they become commonplace and generic.

That's the double edged sword facing our nation. We have THE BEST medical care in the world -if you can afford it-. But there's a reason it's expensive; it cost a lot to develop. It's got to be paid for somewhere, or there'll be no incentive to create it in the first place.

So yeah, Mike. I agree that rudimentary health care for all is a must. Even from a cold hearted pragmatic perspective, it's just good business to care for your assets, and our workforce ought to be looked out for. I'm also totally with you that our government should implement necessary socialist programs. Heck, the recent bank bailouts are awfully socialist. We just need to find that balance that doesn't do more harm than good.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:00 am

MadCat wrote:My current health care plan is "Please, don't let me get sick or hurt, because I can't afford it. If I get a life-threatening condition or an emergency, I'm probably going to just die." I really don't like that. :P


Okay, MadCat, sorry - I absolutely have to call you out on this one. If you get a life-threatening condition or an emergency, you will receive at least rudimentary medical care (which is STILL better than many nations' premium care) no matter what. This is still the fucking U. S. of A., and no surgical hospital will leave you to bleed out because you don't have coverage.

You'd be subsequently bombarded with collections attempts for the staggering bill, but ultimately, if you can't pay for it, they're forced to eat the cost. And that's right at the heart of the issue we're discussing. Somebody ends up paying for it. That's where the government needs to step in and find a way to subsidize the cost of basic preventative and emergency care, because the current system is currently broken.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:27 am

I suppose my point was, if I were in a horrible accident or something and was likely to die, I'd rather just say "don't call the ambulance, just let me die" because the funeral would cost a lot less than the medical bills. If I got some sort of disease like cancer, where hugely expensive treatment could save me, I'd say, "no, that's okay, I'll just take the six months then die." I'd really rather not bankrupt my family.

Then again, I doubt my family would go for that. So yeah, I'd just have to rely on the fact that I have no money and the hospital can just eat the cost of my care. Though for ongoing treatment like cancer, I don't think they'd give it to me if they knew I couldn't pay at all, would they?
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby Cyranda on Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:02 am

We're not just talking innovation here. We're talking about the funds to make them a reality. To research and manufacture something like say, an F-22 or an Abrams tank requires an enormous infrastructure. Our economic framework is capable of generating the necessary capital.


The US economic framework is not what is capable of generating the necessary capital, at least not in its entirety. The vast collection of natural resources and population is. Were it a more socialist state, the US would still undoubtedly be able to do so (if "funds" are what is required to produce). If we use GDP as a measure of "available funds" (which, in all honesty, we shouldn't, but there are few other metrics by which we could make a comparison), the United States has a higher GDP than Norway because it has more people. Norway has a higher GDP per capita, despite having a more socialist system in place. By other measures, Norway seems to be a country wealthy enough to do just about anything it could choose to do, with it's primary limitation being population/work availability.

The other system that has proven it can is a totalitarian state simply TAKING the necessary resources to apply them toward these goals. But that's not an option - for all my, "roo-rah-rah yay free market system", I'd sooner give up capitalism than democracy. Until Norway puts a man on the moon, I'd say the burden of proof is on YOU to demonstrate a socialist state could produce the works in question.


I'm not certain that the lack of a military volume in a more socialist-oriented country has anything to do with its economic capability. Historically, more socialist leaning countries (not Nationalist Socialism, which is a code for Fascism) have been less likely to build weapons and armies for reasons related to their opinions on war.

At any rate, you have made a claim that a socialist state cannot do something (or, at the least, that only a capitalist country could have come up with certain "innovations"), therefore you have burden of proof, regardless of what claims I make (my only claim was that Capitalism is not what makes innovation possible, which is proven throughout all of history, as some innovations were made before Capitalism existed).

Well, let's discuss that. The issue is that our population density and the necessary infrastructure to support it is more complex than, let's stick with Norway, on SEVERAL orders of magnitude.


The federal government of the US does not support the entirety of the infrastructure in the country, nor does it pretend to. Much of that is done at the state level. If size is the only thing you are going for, then it would be more appropriate to compare the US to the European Union, and compare each country in Europe to individual states in the US. The complexity is then broken down more appropriately.

They simply have less necessities to pay for. Let's start with our defense budget; they don't have one. We're essentially paying for their security, pro bono.


Paying to protect them from whom? Which other countries would currently be running over Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries, without the current aid of the US? Though you may be tempted, using WWII Germany as a comparison would be inappropriate, as the economic systems in Europe have changed significantly since that time, and continue to do so.

As far as having less "necessities" to pay for, that seems like an arbitrary measure by which to determine anything. The US has to pay for more, and that inspires capitalism over socialism how?

They have a homogeneous population; we have a massive immigrant population - and subsidize free education and at least emergency health services even if they're not here legally. On and on. All of our highways and telecommunications networks and water and power grids cost something. Call it a conceit if you like, but it's a robust economy that produces such things.


As individual social and infrastructural circumstances exist from country to country, it's difficult to say who has to take care of "more". Based on size alone, certainly the US is more robust. But that's like saying a $1 bill is more robust than a penny. It means little, and brushes away the individual complexities found in any government/sovereign nation.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:38 am

MadCat wrote:I suppose my point was, if I were in a horrible accident or something and was likely to die, I'd rather just say "don't call the ambulance, just let me die" because the funeral would cost a lot less than the medical bills. If I got some sort of disease like cancer, where hugely expensive treatment could save me, I'd say, "no, that's okay, I'll just take the six months then die." I'd really rather not bankrupt my family.

Then again, I doubt my family would go for that. So yeah, I'd just have to rely on the fact that I have no money and the hospital can just eat the cost of my care. Though for ongoing treatment like cancer, I don't think they'd give it to me if they knew I couldn't pay at all, would they?


That's all giving up talk! I'm sure the grief of losing YOU would be > cost of medical care. And there are many programs to try to cover the costs for low income/uninsured individuals. Not to mention the rigorous ethics that medical professionals (not the industry at large, of course) adhere to.

But that's the problem facing our health care industry. Hospitals CAN'T just eat costs. They have to pass along costs to others, or cut corners, or in many sad cases simply shut down.

Man, it's easy to blame government and corporations, but the responsibility lies with all of us. This thread kicked off on the topic of our current financial crisis - you can blame corporate greed, but that's a facile, or at least incomplete, position. Sure I feel bad for families who lost their homes, but they should have BOUGHT HOMES THAT THEY COULD AFFORD in the first place. We need to learn to live within our means. If you're flat out penniless, that's a rough situation - I've been there myself growing up. But for the vast bulk of us, all we'd have to do is buy less DVDs, eat out less, whatever in order to scrape up the premium for basic medical coverage.

But seeing as how we're terrible with this sort of responsibility, I suppose we have reached the point where we need to give up some of our freedoms and allow the government to step in and care for us. Bleh.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:43 am

Cyranda wrote:The US economic framework is not what is capable of generating the necessary capital, at least not in its entirety. The vast collection of natural resources and population is. Were it a more socialist state, the US would still undoubtedly be able to do so (if "funds" are what is required to produce).


Woah - I see where we don't see eye to eye then. We're talking about taking resources (manpower & commodities) and employing them to generate wealth. You say a socialist US would still UNDOUBTEDLY be able to do so - you mean achieve a similar output? I'd say there's a great deal of doubt. In fact, I'd say not even a reasonable chance. The stronger you push toward socialism, the more you impede the incentive for innovation. We're talking about basic, demonstrable human behavior here.

Cyranda wrote:If we use GDP as a measure of "available funds" (which, in all honesty, we shouldn't, but there are few other metrics by which we could make a comparison), the United States has a higher GDP than Norway because it has more people. Norway has a higher GDP per capita, despite having a more socialist system in place. By other measures, Norway seems to be a country wealthy enough to do just about anything it could choose to do, with it's primary limitation being population/work availability.


That's not a viable comparison. The state of Delaware has a higher GDP per capita than Norway, but that doesn't demonstrate anything other than the fact that high levels of success are more easily achievable on smaller scales/smaller sample size. Well yeah, if Norway was able to multiply itself by SIXTY-FIVE times over (the disparity in our populations) and somehow manage to maintain that high standard of wealth generation, they'd be ahead of where we are now. The fact is, the larger you get, the more complex your infrastructure and national needs get. I firmly believe the brand of socialism Norway currently practices would not be able to bear the strain of that weight.

We don't have the experimental apparatus to settle the matter definitively, but I'm adamant in this stance, as it would appear, are you in yours. I'm happy to continue the dialogue, or simply agree to disagree. It just appears we're reaching an impasse and are likely to repeat prior arguments.

I'm not certain that the lack of a military volume in a more socialist-oriented country has anything to do with its economic capability. Historically, more socialist leaning countries (not Nationalist Socialism, which is a code for Fascism) have been less likely to build weapons and armies for reasons related to their opinions on war.

At any rate, you have made a claim that a socialist state cannot do something (or, at the least, that only a capitalist country could have come up with certain "innovations"), therefore you have burden of proof, regardless of what claims I make (my only claim was that Capitalism is not what makes innovation possible, which is proven throughout all of history, as some innovations were made before Capitalism existed).


Ok fine, you got me lol. Yes, I did make that claim - let me amend it to a statement of fact then. Thus far, the two systems that have produced the works on the scale we're speaking of, have been the United States and the Soviet Union. No socialist state (at least the kind I think we're discussing) has ever come close.

And of course innovations have occurred throughout the breadth of human history. But it's a simple matter of record that the staggering RATE of innovation did not occur until the industrial revolution, and that it accelerated even further once the open market system fully bloomed.

And this is a bit of a tangent, but since you brought it up: I'd have to research some to be sure, but I'd also be willing to wager that all of the socialist nations in question were able to implement that system because they did not require a significant military, not because of their "opinions on war".

The federal government of the US does not support the entirety of the infrastructure in the country, nor does it pretend to. Much of that is done at the state level. If size is the only thing you are going for, then it would be more appropriate to compare the US to the European Union, and compare each country in Europe to individual states in the US. The complexity is then broken down more appropriately.


This is a well articulated point, but the analogy isn't apt - the European Union does not provide anywhere NEAR the amount of services that the U.S. Federal government does. And I think you railroaded me here - I wasn't referring to just our national government. What I was driving at is whether taxation occurs at the federal, state, or local level, it's capitalism that drives the economy responsible for generating those funds. That doesn't remove the complexity of our nation, compared to Norway, or Australia, or wherever one whit.

Paying to protect them from whom? Which other countries would currently be running over Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries, without the current aid of the US? Though you may be tempted, using WWII Germany as a comparison would be inappropriate, as the economic systems in Europe have changed significantly since that time, and continue to do so.


There's no doubt that the USSR's sphere of influence would have spread much farther without U.S. military opposition. Even if we're just talking about Scandinavia, it's completely reasonable to conjecture that Norway and its neighbors would ALSO have been "Finlandized" without Western support - even if it was secondary or implied support.

Even in today's post-Cold War environ, the hawks in Russia's government would love to see a return to former glory. Their very recent invasion of Georgia -"justified" by the flimsiest of pretexts- demonstrates this. I think it's reasonable to conclude that only NATO's existence curbed their ambitions, instead of Russia re-annexing all of Georgia outright. My point being, there are and always will be aggressors. Recent military stupidity aside, the trillions of dollars America has poured into our armed forces have been a significant force for peace for a very long time - and numerous nations benefit from that without contributing whatsoever.

As far as having less "necessities" to pay for, that seems like an arbitrary measure by which to determine anything. The US has to pay for more, and that inspires capitalism over socialism how?

As individual social and infrastructural circumstances exist from country to country, it's difficult to say who has to take care of "more". Based on size alone, certainly the US is more robust. But that's like saying a $1 bill is more robust than a penny. It means little, and brushes away the individual complexities found in any government/sovereign nation.


No, it doesn't brush away such complexities; that's what you're doing by not acknowledging them. The United States has provided a higher standard of living for more people than any nation in the history of mankind. Norway is something of a closed system; they don't offer refuge to millions of "the tired, the poor, the huddled masses." No other nation has had the kind of success we've managed, on the scale we have, with as many disparate and disenfranchised people as we have. Sure we have PLENTY of problems and grievances to address, but what we HAVE achieved has got to count for something.

Ultimately, we've strayed really far and wide from the point at hand :D All I'm trying to drive at, is that given the same resources, capitalism is more effective at generating wealth than socialism.

And really, we're both slinging it pretty hard, lol. The U.S. employs plenty of socialist programs, and every "socialist" nation from Norway to Australia engages and benefits from the capitalist system led by the United States.
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