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Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist'

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We're up for a Webby! Vote TSR to help us win. 10-04-2014
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    Hugo Chavez- yay or nay?
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    1: Do you feel that a true socialist egalitarian society can ever exist?

    2: Do you feel that New Labour has betrayed socialism?

    3: Do you all use Linux? :P
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    But workers can't be paid less than the value of their labour. It's literally impossible. If they can get away with paying them so little, then supply must be higher than demand, in which case their value is low.
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    Hugo Chavez- yay or nay?
    A reserved yay! The reason being is that Chavez has improved the lives of ordinary Venezuelans. But he has done some unnecessary things like switching the direction of the horse on the flag to face left instead of its traditional right. Amusing sentiment but pointless as it cost huge sums of money in wasteful rebranding. Similarly the attempt to railroad through his quasi-dictatorial powers. The 'revolution' should be brought about through democratic means. In other words, beat the capitalists at their own game (to use some rhetoric)! More seriously, look at Chavez's role in Columbia. There he did something that no western leader has achieved.

    The real problem for Chavez is the interference of the Americans. Learn the lessons of Chile!
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    (Original post by Elipsis)
    Why do you think the world is ready for Socialism? When Marx himself even said that capitalism has to reach its pinnacle before Socialsm can be achieved.
    Depends on whether you agree with Lenin or not. He argued that imperialism is the highest form of capitalism. We are still in the age of imperialism, which would seem to suggest that capitalism has reached its pinnacle. Time for a bit of a change don't you think? I'm sure others will elaborate.
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    (Original post by BruceTaylor)
    1: Do you feel that a true socialist egalitarian society can ever exist?

    2: Do you feel that New Labour has betrayed socialism?

    3: Do you all use Linux? :P
    1. Maybe. I certainly hope so. But if not, then working towards one has to be better than not doing so.

    2. Yes. Although that started in the eighties...

    3. No. Well, I don't, not regularly...
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    Hugo Chavez- yay or nay?
    More yay than nay, I'd say. I agree with a fair bit of what he's doing internationally (cheap oil to poor carribean states, Cuba, for London Buses, etc.), and he seems genuinely popular with his people.
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    (Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
    Remove market forces from the NHS; allow absolutely no privatisation.

    Tax all private health care providers into submission. That way, rich people don't get to skip the queues and use your doctor, just so that he can make a quick buck.

    And obviously raise income tax on the v. rich significantly, so that we can plough more money in and make it world class.

    That answer your question.
    It does!

    I'm a Socialist now, so I can snwer questions
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    [QUOTE=alasdair_R]1. Maybe. I certainly hope so. But if not, then working towards one has to be better than not doing so.[QUOTE]

    May I then ask why you are working towards one if you're not sure if it can work? Isn't that a rather dangerous idea, to try to create a radical socialist state with no assurances of success?
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    (Original post by BruceTaylor)
    1: Do you feel that a true socialist egalitarian society can ever exist?

    2: Do you feel that New Labour has betrayed socialism?

    3: Do you all use Linux? :P
    1. I'm not sure. I hope so. I do think that a more socialist society can exist, which is why i and most others advocate a gradual movement to the left rather than straight into anarchism.

    2. Yes

    3. Family Computer, so they won't let me. I do use firefox though, and am addicted to wikipedia
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    Would you agree with the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, that Fidel Castro is "a hero of the left"?
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    That's a difficult one, really. In some ways he is, in others no.
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    Do you think that your political persuasion can change depending upon the country you are in?
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    Do you think that your political persuasion can change depending upon the country you are in?
    Not sure I understand the question? One individual's persuasion?
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    (Original post by Skipper)
    Would you agree with the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, that Fidel Castro is "a hero of the left"?
    Yes, I do...
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    (Original post by alasdair_R)
    Not sure I understand the question? One individual's persuasion?
    I mean there are some people who change their political stance depending on the country. For example, they are socialist in a developing country because of the inequalities, but elsewhere they are more right-wing, if that makes any sense.
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    (Original post by alasdair_R)
    Yes, I do...
    How can anyone with a modicum of respect for democracy call Fidel a hero?
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    Generally the minimum wage means that a little more of the profits of the capitalist are placed in the hands of the person who actually does the labour. It is a means of limiting the asymetrical economic relationship which heavily favours the capitalist over the worker.

    Interestingly the Conservative Party claimed that there'd be an economic disaster if the minimum wage were introduced yet it never happened. Bosses probably just had to buy themselves slightly less extravagant BMWs.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    It creates a disincentive to have low-wage jobs. In fact, you'll find that the high wages of manufacturing workers in Britain is the main reason for the loss of manufacturing jobs there. Then again, that entails a knowledge of economics, which none of the socialists here seem to have. You try to answer every question from an ethics point of view with complete disregard for the laws of economics.
    Did the introduction of a minimum wage create an economic disaster?
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Firstly, a vast majority of workers earn more than the minimum wage, so increasing the minimum wage isn't really going to address that issue. Secondly, as long as there's competition, employers can't pay workers substantially less than what they're worth. If they do, their workers will just be snapped up by another company.

    Um, no, you'd have to question why some people offer nothing more to the table. Whose fault is it that a portion of the population has virtually no skills? Supply meets demand over the long term. The reason there are jobs that pay so little is because there are workers who can't justify a higher wage. To suggest that it's wrong for employers to offer that low wage is ridiculous, because it means de facto unemployment for anyone who doesn't justify a higher wage. The job of a business is to maximize profit while minimizing cost.

    Using that brilliant logic, why not make the minimum wage 100 pounds? Your logic is blatantly wrong, because higher minimum wage means higher unemployment and and an inability for domestic companies to compete with international ones, which means less profit. So you end up less people employed and businesses with less money to hire or to increase production, which in turn further increases unemployment and decreases the incomes of workers.
    Not in the situation where there are more potential employees than jobs, as then someone has to work for whatever they are offered, or lose their job. And at a higher wage, it is not so much of an issue because a person at a higher wage has a decent quality of life, while those who would be earning very little (before the minimum wage i knew people who were working for £2.50 an hour, simply because there were not enough jobs for all those who wanted it), are exploited.

    The logic was to show that it is not as simple as saying that a minimum wage = less economic activity. An excessive one would, the same way that any excessive government action would (such as high taxes). But one which does what it is meant to (and that is protecting people from being exploited, and ensuring that those who work have some standard of living from it) is good for the individual, and the economy, whilst having no effect on any business which does not rely on poor business practices.

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Updated: April 22, 2014
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