Capitalism Vs. Socialism

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#1 xor-logic  Icon User is offline

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Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:29 PM

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Throughout history, few governmental systems have lent themselves so well to the transition to an oppressive autocracy as have communism and socialism, with communism being the easier transition. The reason being that these are systems that require people to play by the rules and not abuse the system - since when has everybody played by the rules?

This close relationship has, I believe, inevitably led to the unnecessary vilification of anything related to either of these systems.

Now, on to the question. Since Obama has assumed the presidency, I have heard frequent and repeated outcries over the socialist direction in which Obama is leading this country, an example being Obama's attempts to "socialize medicine." My response to the claim that Obama is trying to socialize medicine is: So what? American society is already more socialist than people realize, mostly in the name of helping those less fortunate.

Capitalism is all about profit. The person earning the profit keeps the profit & it is good to make more profit, etc. Socialism is about redistributing the goods and wealth to those who need it. So, a few examples of socialist/anti-capitalist behaviors in American society:
-Welfare/Medicare (incidentally, that protester above is either the most brilliantly sarcastic person I've heard of, or a moron. Unfortunately it's probably the latter).

-ANY time you donate to a charity or cause (you are redistributing your wealth because presumably the charity or cause has greater need of it than you).

-The considerable public backlash against companies like Starbucks and Walmart who, through a brilliantly capitalist business model, have managed to put many smaller and local competitors out of business. The capitalist end (their business practices) are commonly regarded as pure evil, whereas the socialist end (protecting the smaller businesses) is upheld as the right thing to do.

-The teachings of most mainstream religions, including christianity, are wholly socialist as opposed to capitalist. I mention christianity specifically because, like it or not, there is a strong link between republicans (who oppose socialism) and christians.


So, what's the big deal? Why do we blindly accept capitalism as the only way to do things, when we ourselves don't even completely do things that way? Why do we vilify the philosophies of other systems when we already engage in behavior more closely aligned with their philosophy than with our own?

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#2 eker676  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 04:38 PM

I think the reason people dislike socialism is because they don't want to pay for everyone else. I would say this trait is more common among the working class. People who work all day to feed their family don't want to give their money to the lazy guy on the corner that refuses to get a job. These people accept capitalism even with its occasional downfalls.

I accept capitalism because I feel its better than socialism. I don't want to pay for all the lazy a$$es of this world with my taxes. Yes, I know some people truly need the help but there are others that will exploit the system. What happens if we take the system away that they choose to exploit? (i.e healthcare) They will now have to find and job and become productive members of society like everyone else.

Another downside of socialism. The government runs it. The government is slow, they always have been. Who wants to wait 5 hours to get treated for a broken leg in the emergency room? There are so many examples that show socialistic principles fail. Look at how India was. Most of their citizens were living in complete poverty while bureaucrats fought over what kind of food they should eat.
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#3 xor-logic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

View Posteker676, on 26 March 2010 - 10:38 PM, said:

They will now have to find and job and become productive members of society like everyone else.


Many people are simply incapable of getting or keeping a job, due to physical or mental disabilities. What happens to those people when the assistance gets taken away?

2 out of 3 people who are currently indigent and dependent on the state fall into those categories. It's not uncommon for people to tell these people to get a job, but the reality is that if you are unlucky enough to become homeless (this is actually not as far-fetched as most people think), it is nearly impossible to find a job. You can't shave, you can't shower, you can't do your laundry. How many people would hire someone who reeks, whose clothes are dirty, who hasn't shaved any time in recent history? What happens to these people when the assistance is taken away?
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#4 eker676  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:24 PM

I'm fine with the people that actually need the help but lots of the people that actually need it have to much pride to go and get it. It seems that more and more people roll up in their new 10k cars and then whine about not having anything to eat. I guess I'm fine with the current system because when is the last time someone actually starved to death? There are shelters/food banks/etc. all over the U.S. When I was in economics we watched a series of videos pertaining to this exact topic. How poor are people really? The videos were a bit dated but things haven't really changed. The Bronx in New York was the poorest congressional district at the time. A reporter went and interviewed the people living there and asked them what they had. Turns out they all have tv's with cable but they still came to get food handouts. Some people just need to get their priorities straight.

This post has been edited by eker676: 26 March 2010 - 09:25 PM

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#5 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:44 PM

preface : I believe in capitalism as the best working (but obviously not ideological) system. However, straight capitalism is a lie, there is always (and needs to be) some government intervention.

Why are we comparing capitalism and socialism though? one is a form of government and one a way to run an economy. The majority of americans are fiscally conservative but ideologically liberal.

eker676 - I know your young but your lack of compassion seems like you haven't ever experienced these things.

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More than 49 million people -- including 16.7 million children -- live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in seven households in the United States (14.6 percent).

In 2008, household food insecurity rose more than 35 percent due to the recession and increased unemployment.

8.9 percent of U.S. households are at risk of hunger. Members of these households have lower quality diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. 31.8 million people, including 15.6 million children, live in these homes.

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#6 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:57 PM

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The majority of americans are fiscally conservative but ideologically liberal.


[citation needed] as those are not compatible.
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#7 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:01 PM

WiKYApedia to the rescue. :lol:
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#8 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:52 AM

View Posteker676, on 27 March 2010 - 03:24 AM, said:

I'm fine with the people that actually need the help but lots of the people that actually need it have to much pride to go and get it. It seems that more and more people roll up in their new 10k cars and then whine about not having anything to eat.


I have fairly strong opinions on this subject which I'm not going to weigh in with right now. What I would like to point out is specific to this post and generalised towards another (up there ^ about homeless people). I also have never been to America so I am basing most of my in-depth knowledge of its political system on my studies of the exported documentary series Joey.

Over here, poor people and rich people have new cars. When I say poor, I don't mean homeless - I mean the lowest income end of the home-renting or -owning population, who generally are worst off at the end of each passing month. Rich people can buy a new car whenever they want. Poor people can only buy a car (that won't fall apart in a week) on HP. So they walk out of the showroom with a new 10k car and end up paying 20k for it over 5 years. It's not a status symbol, and it's not a contradiction that they have it and complain that they can't afford food. You can easily be paying off a car you can't afford to travel to the only job you could find - it's a vicious circle, and the only way capitalism wins here is for the car salesman and his fat commission.
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#9 Predictor  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:11 AM

View Postxor-logic, on 26 March 2010 - 02:29 PM, said:

Attachment medicare.jpg
Capitalism is all about profit. The person earning the profit keeps the profit & it is good to make more profit, etc. Socialism is about redistributing the goods and wealth to those who need it.


I disagree with both of these characterizations. Fundamentally, the question is: Who decides how to distribute economic resources? In capitalism, it is the individual, in socialism, it is some proxy for the community. While socialism has come in a variety of flavors, they all involve some degree of removal of the power to answer the above question from the individual, which is one basic reason people find socialism unpalatable.


View Postxor-logic, on 26 March 2010 - 02:29 PM, said:

Attachment medicare.jpg
So, a few examples of socialist/anti-capitalist behaviors in American society:
-Welfare/Medicare (incidentally, that protester above is either the most brilliantly sarcastic person I've heard of, or a moron. Unfortunately it's probably the latter).


I agree with that this represents some degree of socialism: It is not a free market process. Some "representative" of the community (the American federal government in this case) decides who pays and who receives. It is economically inefficient, and that may be OK, if you find the benefit of the program worth more than the alternative.


View Postxor-logic, on 26 March 2010 - 02:29 PM, said:

Attachment medicare.jpg
-ANY time you donate to a charity or cause (you are redistributing your wealth because presumably the charity or cause has greater need of it than you).


I completely disgree that this is an example of "socialism". Private acts of charity are performed at the volition of the individual, not under orders from a representative of the community.


View Postxor-logic, on 26 March 2010 - 02:29 PM, said:

Attachment medicare.jpg
-The teachings of most mainstream religions, including christianity, are wholly socialist as opposed to capitalist. I mention christianity specifically because, like it or not, there is a strong link between republicans (who oppose socialism) and christians.


I disagree with this as well. While Christ repeatedly indicated charitable giving, I would characterize this from a religious perspective necessarily as an individual decision, not something undertaken at the behest of the politburo, kibbutz or other socialist power claiming to represent the community.
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#10 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:51 AM

The most hilarious thing in all of this is that Capitalism is a pure function of socialism. Socialism is defined as the idea that you will give to your fellow man because he needs it, but this has the logical error of not allowing for dishonest people who claim to need more than they actually do (eg, the communist aristocracy in the soviet union).

Capitalism is a self-regulating system. If you can make money, you can get what you need. If you can give someone else what they need, you can make money. Since all humans are created equal with the ability to hope, dream, aspire, and work towards their dreams, hopes, and aspirations, we are therefore all able to function socially in a way that is valuable- socially- to our fellow men in the interest of our dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

Long story short: Capitalism is Socialism that isn't sociable to antisocial behavior.
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#11 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:19 AM

View Posteker676, on 26 March 2010 - 02:38 PM, said:

Who wants to wait 5 hours to get treated for a broken leg in the emergency room?


Bad example, I can take you to a hospital in San Diego, California where you'll be lucky if all you wait is 5 hours to see a doctor over a broken leg. In fact I've seen people have heart attacks and die in an emergency room so hat really has nothing to do with socialism, considering we live in a capitalism society here in the US
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#12 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:55 AM

View PostChoscura, on 27 March 2010 - 07:51 AM, said:

Capitalism is a self-regulating system.

I think the really Big Lie that we've been taught since birth is that we have a Capitalist system. We (in the U.S.) really have a Mercantilist system that is now very much outdated. We believe that if we make the rules favorable to Big Business and they prosper, then the wealth will "trickle down" to the rest of us, but that is no longer the case. Giving tax breaks doesn't create jobs here, it merely gives the rich more money to invest in factories in places like India and China, which means more layoffs in the US. Since the Chinese and Indian workers aren't paid well (Nike/Adidas factory workers can't afford the sneakers they make!) the end result must be economic stagnation, since eventually no one can afford to buy anything!

The debate isn't really about capitalism vs socialism. Those are just buzz words used to distract and divert the emotions of the naive. The real debate is about who you want making the big decisions. You can choose elected government officials who are citizens of your country and are responsible at least to some degree to the voters, or you can choose the heads of large, international corporations who don't see themselves as beholden to any citizenry anywhere. For them, there are no rules other than those they decide to implement. If they see that dumping toxic waste in your town's rivers (as they do in China) will make more profit for them, they'll do it. If they can drop the sick from insurance policies to boost profits, then that's what they'll do.

This post has been edited by CTphpnwb: 27 March 2010 - 07:56 AM

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#13 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:37 AM

View PostChoscura, on 27 March 2010 - 11:51 AM, said:

Capitalism is a self-regulating system. If you can make money, you can get what you need. If you can give someone else what they need, you can make money. Since all humans are created equal with the ability to hope, dream, aspire, and work towards their dreams, hopes, and aspirations, we are therefore all able to function socially in a way that is valuable- socially- to our fellow men in the interest of our dreams, hopes, and aspirations.


So a child born to a starving family has the same chance as one born to a millionaire? I ain't no senator's son.
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#14 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:44 AM

Same chance for what? If you're going for the emotional argument at least have some qualifiers.
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#15 xTorvos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Capitalism Vs. Socialism

Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:38 PM

What he's saying is that a black female born in the Bronx definitely does NOT have the same chance at surviving in this capitalist world as one of the Walton, Rockefeller, or Carnegie new-born babies. Thus

everyone != born_equal;

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