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    (Original post by Danleman)
    Hi I have a few questions/statements.


    1. Socialists are in favour of a command/planned economies. Do you not accept that command/planned economies are EXTREMELY inefficient. You only have to look at countries in Eastern Europe who had command/planned economies. They had to queue for bread, cooking oil, shoes etc. And any goods they could buy where of an extremely low quality. What is your comment on this?

    2. At what level do you consider someone to be rich. A person who has an income of £80000, or £125000 or even £40000 ?


    3. Are there any areas of the economy that you would allow to be left in the hands of private owners?


    Thanks
    1. Not quite right. Socialism is more accurately defined by the organisation of society to mutually beneficial, egalitarian ends. On this basis there are any number of socialist economic arrangements, including market socialism. However, taking your point about command/planned economies anyway. The extent to which an economic system is 'efficient' depends on where you draw lines and determine criteria for inefficiency. If, for the sake of argument, a command economy ensures with some effectiveness that everyone has food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, work and education, but struggles to offer TVs, motorcars and dishwahsers for those who might have afforded them, the issue of efficiency is complicated. It's all about priorities in the end. Capitalism sees many people at the dirty end of the arrangement struggling to get such things as food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, work and education while others enjoy an abundance of these things, alongside an abundance of all kinds of crap that no-one really needs. Is such a disparity of allocation supremely 'efficient'? Not by my socialist standards it isn't.

    2. The capitalistic concept of wealth is something of a red-herring for socialists. Our interest is in the egalitarian satisfaction of actual human needs and which include opportunity for every individual to maximise their own productive and creative potentials. How much gold you have in your pockets is not what we're about.

    3. That's an interesting one. In a substantively socialist society private property will have been abolished, or at least subject to some kind of regulation which limits the level of capital anyone can accumulate (because capital accumulation generates the social and economic asymmetries through which subsequent alienation and exploitation are possible). Markets in non-essential goods and services may still be possible, provided they are always second place to wider socialist objectives.
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    I have a question.

    Why do socialists hate people with money?

    This is not a slanderous question. It's just that whenever I meet someone who labels themselev a socialist/communist, they always rant and rave about people who have a lot of money, despite the fact that the highest earners pay the most tax.

    Just wondering.
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    (Original post by Zionic)
    I have a question.

    Why do socialists hate people with money?

    This is not a slanderous question. It's just that whenever I meet someone who labels themselev a socialist/communist, they always rant and rave about people who have a lot of money, despite the fact that the highest earners pay the most tax.

    Just wondering.
    The highest earners do everything they possibly can not to pay any tax at all.
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    What is your view on privacy laws? The last Labour government introduced ID cards and plentiful surveillance systems.
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    What is your view on privacy laws? The last Labour government introduced ID cards and plentiful surveillance systems.
    Depends where we are on the social scale. As a libertarian socialist I am wholly against any violation of John Rawls' liberty principle: "each person is to have an equal basic right to the most extensive liberty compatable with a similar liberty for others" and JS Mill's harm principle:"That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

    So I am strongly opposed.
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    (Original post by Zionic)
    I have a question.

    Why do socialists hate people with money?

    This is not a slanderous question. It's just that whenever I meet someone who labels themselev a socialist/communist, they always rant and rave about people who have a lot of money, despite the fact that the highest earners pay the most tax.

    Just wondering.
    Because they got that money through exploitation and then they fight any attempt to pay back their immorally gained profits by taxation for social services.
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    (Original post by Dahut)
    Because they got that money through exploitation and then they fight any attempt to pay back their immorally gained profits by taxation for social services.

    And what of those who have a lot of money because they earnt it? Take a friend of mine for example, lived in the crapest part of my crap town, no support from his parents, he worked his way up from getting paper rounds at 6am and shelf stacking to buy books to study and is now in university with a £35000 job ready for him when he leaves in 2 years. How has he exploited anything there, and why doesn't he deserve that money for his reward?

    I agree about rich people exploiting loop holes to avoid paying tax, they need to be stopped. But not everyone who is rich does everything to avoid paying tax. That's just generalization.
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    (Original post by Zionic)
    I agree about rich people exploiting loop holes to avoid paying tax, they need to be stopped. But not everyone who is rich does everything to avoid paying tax. That's just generalization.
    But we're not talking about the £35k pa earner. That's a fairly middle-class wage and doesn't even reach the second tier of taxation.

    As has been said before, the highest earners often do everything possible to find a loophole in the taxation system. This is the problem. Not a meager issue of your mate earning £35k. Good for him as far as I am concerned.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    But we're not talking about the £35k pa earner. That's a fairly middle-class wage and doesn't even reach the second tier of taxation.

    As has been said before, the highest earners often do everything possible to find a loophole in the taxation system. This is the problem. Not a meager issue of your mate earning £35k. Good for him as far as I am concerned.
    The point of my friend earning £35k from a starting job (expected to be earning £65k in 5 years after graduation) is that not everyone who is rich exploits everything.

    About taxes, my friends job was not connected, sorry if I didn't make that clear. My point was that not everyone who earns a lot of money does their utmost to avoid tax.
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    (Original post by Zionic)
    My point was that not everyone who earns a lot of money does their utmost to avoid tax.
    And my point is that we don't hate people with money, notwithstanding those whom have earned it through exploitation, but those who seek to avoid paying taxation.
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    What would you say to those who state that Keynesian economics are no longer viable in a changing economic world where fossil fuels which have been the bakcbone of economies for so long are running out and therefore we cannot simply grow quickly through high government spending (without first cutting taxes and reducing the size of the state) without serious consequences in the near future.
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    What would you say to those who state that Keynesian economics are no longer viable in a changing economic world where fossil fuels which have been the bakcbone of economies for so long are running out and therefore we cannot simply grow quickly through high government spending (without first cutting taxes and reducing the size of the state) without serious consequences in the near future.
    easy answer - I am not a Keynesian, I am a Marxist.
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    (Original post by Zionic)
    I have a question.

    Why do socialists hate people with money?

    This is not a slanderous question. It's just that whenever I meet someone who labels themselev a socialist/communist, they always rant and rave about people who have a lot of money, despite the fact that the highest earners pay the most tax.

    Just wondering.
    It's not, ultimately, about rich people as individual human beings, but about a system which allows some to get rich through the inevitable alienation and exploitation of the many. So it's really the system we 'hate' even if sometimes that spills over.

    Defending high 'earners' through their 'high' taxation misses the point entirely, we're not left-liberals, we're looking to ensure that economic and social arrangements benefit everyone equitably not look for ad hoc and meek correctives to a thoroughly unjust arrangement.
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    The sticking point for a genuine socialist system always seems to come back to the question of how to incentivise people to innovate, succeed and build without allowing the accumulation of wealth and subsequent passing on of property and income to children, grandchildren, etc. As someone who benefits from the latter, i can naturally see the personal advantages of the current system but am still sympathetic to the overall picture which is that capitalism seems to be coming to a complete global crisis and appears to not be viable in the long run without destroying the planet. Do you think that a socialist state would still have to allow people to inherit to some extent so as not to run against human nature (eg, the desire to advance one's children)? I wondered if a start could be some maximum limit set on personal inheritance, say for example £1m, so as not to make it impossible for the existing wealthy to subscribe and a limit on unearned income, say £50K. I realise these figures sound huge but to make a start.

    What do you think?
    Emma
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    What would you say to those who state that Keynesian economics are no longer viable in a changing economic world where fossil fuels which have been the bakcbone of economies for so long are running out and therefore we cannot simply grow quickly through high government spending (without first cutting taxes and reducing the size of the state) without serious consequences in the near future.
    Keynesian Economics is merely an alternative method of stimulating the Capitalist system. It isn't Marxism.

    And now for a question!

    In the democratic work places of a Socialist Society, how does a person get a job? Would there be a vote whether or not to let the fellow join or would the workers set up a human resources department to handle such affairs?
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    I wonder Fusilero if it could all be run via a wiki and forum threads?
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    (Original post by emmanottinghil)
    The sticking point for a genuine socialist system always seems to come back to the question of how to incentivise people to innovate

    the incentive would be to help further the development of ones own species, your argument is also false as it assumes that the species has only ever innovted when offered a financial incentive, in fact this is not even close to being true, many innovations came about before the existance of money (the wheel springs to mind, use of fire also)
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    Maybe - it's true that good ideas spread and the internet was invented by people who didn't care about money - Tim Berners-Lee never got a penny for the web. However, perhaps other incentives than money operated in the remote past - we don't know who invented the wheel but i am picturing wars and rivalry between cities pushing along technology with greedy all-powerful potentates and emperors reaping the benefits. Maybe the original inventors just get cheated? I guess then the problem switches to how to stop cheating.

    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    the incentive would be to help further the development of ones own species, your argument is also false as it assumes that the species has only ever innovted when offered a financial incentive, in fact this is not even close to being true, many innovations came about before the existance of money (the wheel springs to mind, use of fire also)
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    (Original post by emmanottinghil)
    The sticking point for a genuine socialist system always seems to come back to the question of how to incentivise people to innovate, succeed and build without allowing the accumulation of wealth and subsequent passing on of property and income to children, grandchildren, etc. As someone who benefits from the latter, i can naturally see the personal advantages of the current system but am still sympathetic to the overall picture which is that capitalism seems to be coming to a complete global crisis and appears to not be viable in the long run without destroying the planet. Do you think that a socialist state would still have to allow people to inherit to some extent so as not to run against human nature (eg, the desire to advance one's children)? I wondered if a start could be some maximum limit set on personal inheritance, say for example £1m, so as not to make it impossible for the existing wealthy to subscribe and a limit on unearned income, say £50K. I realise these figures sound huge but to make a start.

    What do you think?
    Emma
    What amounts to 'human nature' depends on the context people find themselves living within. Capitalism is a system which generates wealth for some, poverty for others, turns everything into a competition and makes long-term economic uncertainty for all but the very wealthiest. It is thus in a capitalist context people feel the need to secure their children's future health and happiness through capital accumulation. If a socialist society can ensure that everyone's needs are supported, everyone's productive and creative energies engaged, everyone's material future secured, as they can be, then the issue of the 'need' to accumulate loses its legitimate motive force.

    Socialism isn't tinkering with the current system, it constitutes a revolutionary change.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    And my point is that we don't hate people with money, notwithstanding those whom have earned it through exploitation, but those who seek to avoid paying taxation.
    Pardon my intrusion, but surely you would positively want a society whereby the rich spend their money, instead of giving it to government officials?

    The spurious manner in which you, Jace Falco and Oswy have spoken about the rich would imply that they deprive society of resources. Almost as if they hide their money. The reality is that laissez-faire creates incentives for rich people have to spend or lend that money. That money could otherwise be used as capital investment for a small business. Alas, that money went to government sustaining people on welfare (who contribute nothing) all-the-while depriving people of capital.

    Anyway, how is my favourite Jamiroquai fan?
 
 
 
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