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    (Original post by Natasharox)
    TBH, my views fit in with neither of the two definitions. I'm not a socialist, as I believe more in meritocracy, but at the same time, I think capitalists place too much emphasis on money. There doesn't seem to be an inbetween definition though
    economic pragmatist
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    Socialist I place value on human life as opposed solely to material gain.

    Many prominent academics and intellectuals are/were socialists, contrary the OPs ignorant assertion that all socialists are 'peasants'.
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    i take nozick's view. in my view any forced redistribution of fairly acquired property against the will of the owner is basically legalized theft.

    And socialist have never, ever advocated the redistribution of wealth now have they :rolleyes:
    But Nozick has no convincing argument for how property can originally become fairly acquired. And his argument doesn't show that wealth redistribution violates any right.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    But Nozick has no convincing argument for how property can originally become fairly acquired. And his argument doesn't show that wealth redistribution violates any right.
    i'm pretty sure that if the owner doesnt want his wealth redistributed then it constitutes theft. and no i dont think taxation to fund the nhs, education and such is theft because people realise it's necessity...so it's a sort of voluntary tax....but if you take socialism to it's extreme i'm pretty sure that would be a case of the former.
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    Socialist (or something along those lines). To me, the current system doesn't really make sense. ... At first I had planned to make this explanation as to why but... essentially, it just comes down to the fact that capitalism is a system which advocates consumption and nothing else and therefore making it an unsustainable system in the long run. And the various theories such as 'if we let capitalism/liberalism run its course without interference from the government, all shall be well' doesn't make sense either.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    But Nozick has no convincing argument for how property can originally become fairly acquired. And his argument doesn't show that wealth redistribution violates any right.
    If Nozick has no convincing argument for how property can originally become fairly acquired, then no-one does. This line of criticism is irritatingly common amongst people who offer no alternative theory of acquisition, and who, if we take their arguments seriously, would be forced to deny that any person or group can legitimately exclude any other group from any natural resource whatsoever.

    As for wealth redistribution not violating any right, it sure as hell violates self-ownership. I personally cannot imagine any principle being a more plausible foundational right, but maybe that's just me.
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    personal experience. or does that not count? :rolleyes:
    Not if you want to be taken seriously
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    Well, first the effects of a car manufacturing company collapsing are less drastic than a bank because car companies don't hold the deeds to millions of mortgages or hold accounts that businesses need to continue operating. If the bank goes bust and can't honour all its deposits, all of the companies that lost their money also go bust, people lose their jobs, all security is lost.
    Your arguments are all based on promoting the people benefited by the intervention while ignoring those harmed by the intervention. Certainly if you bail out banks, companies that invested in duff banks don't lose money, and can spend this on expanding their operations and buying things from other companies.

    But you've ignored that the intervention isn't creating this money out of nowhere, nor is it preventing it from disappearing. It is merely transferring it from the general public to specific politically favoured businesses. At least an equal amount of money (a greater amount, when bureaucracy is accounted for) is lost by other people and businesses.

    No greater amount of employment or consumptions results. The only difference is that you have stolen some of that money from good investors and given it to bad investors. I don't see how this can be justified on the basis either of your socialism or my liberalism.

    And although I supported government intervention in the financial sector, it wasn't done how I would have done it, which would have been to take all the troubled banks out of the private sector.
    That doesn't change the fundamental problem - that you are transfering debt obligations and risk from those who voluntarily entered into contracts for them onto the general public - while introducing enormous additional problems, such as the politicisation of all investment.

    And on thatcher- no, not all incomes went up. Some went up. Incomes went up during the same period in social democratic Sweden. So what? The dramatic increase in unemployment under Thatcher was harmful. Unemployment was 3 million officially, and there were many more moved onto incapacity benefit, mainly to massage the figures. A lot of these people never worked again, and now twenty years later them and their offspring are living in ghettos where unemployment stands at over 50%. Essentially, this long term disregard for the unemployed reinforces itself, and the problem grows over time. We are going to have to deal with it some day, and the longer its left the harder it is going to be. Free market capitalism will never fix it.
    You're confusing two different issues, real wages and unemployment. Of course real wages didn't go up for everyone. No one has claimed that. On average, though, they did go up, for all sections of society.

    The second issue, unemployment, was caused by a closing down of loss-making state enterprises. Hardly something that was caused by the free market or one that had the long term in mind. As for people who allegedly never worked again - I know students with no work experience who haven't had much problem getting jobs in a couple of months. I have very grave doubts that any substantial number of people are totally incapable of finding any sort of job in more than 20 years. I am willing to accept that the welfare trap makes some people inclined to live as permanent benefits claimants, and to bring up their children to live that way, but again, this is hardly something that can be blamed on free markets.
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    (Original post by hopeneverfades)
    Socialist (or something along those lines). To me, the current system doesn't really make sense. ... At first I had planned to make this explanation as to why but... essentially, it just comes down to the fact that capitalism is a system which advocates consumption and nothing else and therefore making it an unsustainable system in the long run. And the various theories such as 'if we let capitalism/liberalism run its course without interference from the government, all shall be well' doesn't make sense either.
    wrong. It advocates consumption because they also advocate social mobility, wealth creation, decent employment and new emerging industries. consumption is the means to achieve allt he latter. Neither is it a reason for it being unsustainable as what happens is that the consumption is multiplied and generates future consumption. in fact, busts occur because of a lack of consumption...possibly because of shortages causing less c light droughts or famines or other economic shocks....but inevitably it is always even indirectly coming back to c. although, in a cpaitalist system these busts are evnetually overcome by new emerging markets.

    much more sustainable i'd say than a system where all resources and amenities are magically available in ample amounts to everyone free of charge like marx suggested. especially when a foundation for his argument, that all humans are naturally altruistic...else it wouldnt work would it?,.......is flawed and nonsense. how can that be sustainable...all it takes is for 2 out of the world's billions of people to start bartering and waheeyy they have created a market. socialism is the biggest load of unsustainable nonsense ever.

    i accpet the inequalities of capitalism because i know that NO economic system will eliminate them altogether and they are less because of capitalism. and as a victim of those inequalities to an extent i know i'm still better off than those in the less fortunate parts of the world who dont have shops to be food from or money to spend even if they did. instead they starve and have a government who has destroyed an economy through intervention causing massive inflation and making the poorest poorer. THAT'S the face of socilism
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    (Original post by Natasharox)
    TBH, my views fit in with neither of the two definitions. I'm not a socialist, as I believe more in meritocracy, but at the same time, I think capitalists place too much emphasis on money. There doesn't seem to be an inbetween definition though
    Go with political flip-flopper.
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    Capitalist.

    Having read alot of economics, it is the only logical system.
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    (Original post by Entangled)
    Go with political flip-flopper.
    Nothing wrong with being pragmatic!
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    (Original post by Natasharox)
    Nothing wrong with being pragmatic!
    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

    I got that original statement wrong anyway. Capitalism and socialism are economic systems first and foremost, political systems second.
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    (Original post by FatboyGinger)
    Capitalist.

    Having read alot of economics, it is the only logical system.
    although obviously there are many exceptions, i must say that hte vast majority of economically educated people are capitalists and many socialists tend to be quite naive.

    problem with economics is that unlike many other academic disciplines it affects EVRYBODY. despite this it is at the end of the day an academic discipline and without studying it in depth it's hard to have anything other than a reactionary yet uninformed opinion....but becazuse everyone is affected by it everyone has a very strong opinion on it....becaus of this a lot of people just look at the problems of capitalism, like all systems it has some, and immediately have this knee jerk ''alas, if only in a perfect world....socialism!!!'' reaction withpout actually doing the economic homework and realising how unfeasible and liberty restricting socialism actually is.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    If Nozick has no convincing argument for how property can originally become fairly acquired, then no-one does. This line of criticism is irritatingly common amongst people who offer no alternative theory of acquisition, and who, if we take their arguments seriously, would be forced to deny that any person or group can legitimately exclude any other group from any natural resource whatsoever.

    As for wealth redistribution not violating any right, it sure as hell violates self-ownership. I personally cannot imagine any principle being a more plausible foundational right, but maybe that's just me.
    Exactly- no one does. That's because any theory of original fair acquisition is just a bullshlt lie. We know how property was actually originally acquired. It was taken with force. Capitalism is not a system based on any grand economic theory. The theory grew from the fact that the most important thing that a capitalist state must do is protect property rights. It does this first with force, and second with bourgeois apologist philosophy.

    You can defend capitalism by claiming that maybe for the most part it works. I would disagree with that, but I can see the case. But to pretend it has anything to do with desert or morals is nonsense. Socialism, and redistribution, are coercive. But at least the aim is fairness. Capitalism is coercion disattached from morality. I know which one I prefer.
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    (Original post by PAPAdawg)
    although obviously there are many exceptions, i must say that hte vast majority of economically educated people are capitalists and many socialists tend to be quite naive.
    Obviously- that is pretty much an a priori deduction. Those who profess an expertise in economics will be capitalists, because economics is only relevant to the capitalist mode of production.

    In other economic systems, economic theory is completely different. In a socialist system profit is not required, and money is defined differently. Pricing systems are different, and the value of labour is different.
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    (Original post by favh)
    Your arguments are all based on promoting the people benefited by the intervention while ignoring those harmed by the intervention. Certainly if you bail out banks, companies that invested in duff banks don't lose money, and can spend this on expanding their operations and buying things from other companies.
    If one bank collapses, EVERYONE loses.

    But you've ignored that the intervention isn't creating this money out of nowhere, nor is it preventing it from disappearing. It is merely transferring it from the general public to specific politically favoured businesses. At least an equal amount of money (a greater amount, when bureaucracy is accounted for) is lost by other people and businesses.
    Actually it pretty much does create the money. It creates it in the form of debt. The amount of cash in a capitalist economy is not, as you imply, a stable amount. Money does literally disappear. A lot of wealth only exists on balance sheets, created from supposed values of assets. When demand decreases, values fall, and the amount of capital in the economy decreases. So you are wrong- capitalism is not zero sum.

    No greater amount of employment or consumptions results. The only difference is that you have stolen some of that money from good investors and given it to bad investors. I don't see how this can be justified on the basis either of your socialism or my liberalism.
    If the banks collapse, then there is a greater amount of unemployment. And both good and badly run companies would collapse.

    That doesn't change the fundamental problem - that you are transfering debt obligations and risk from those who voluntarily entered into contracts for them onto the general public - while introducing enormous additional problems, such as the politicisation of all investment.
    Many people would say that all investment is moral and political anyway. We are transferring debt obligations from an organization that would face collapse if the debt was demanded of it to an organization that is credible enough to maintain confidence in ability to repay the debt. It's not that desirable, but it is better than the alternative.

    You're confusing two different issues, real wages and unemployment. Of course real wages didn't go up for everyone. No one has claimed that. On average, though, they did go up, for all sections of society.
    I'd like to see empirical evidence that income has went up for all sections of society. I don't think you can possibly provide it though, because it hasn't. And I wasn't confusing the two issues, I clearly differentiated between them. It is pointless to consider one without the other.

    The second issue, unemployment, was caused by a closing down of loss-making state enterprises. Hardly something that was caused by the free market or one that had the long term in mind. As for people who allegedly never worked again - I know students with no work experience who haven't had much problem getting jobs in a couple of months. I have very grave doubts that any substantial number of people are totally incapable of finding any sort of job in more than 20 years. I am willing to accept that the welfare trap makes some people inclined to live as permanent benefits claimants, and to bring up their children to live that way, but again, this is hardly something that can be blamed on free markets.
    As 'loss making' is a description that only applies to organizations operating under a capitalist mode of production, I think this is indeed something that can be blamed on free markets.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    If one bank collapses, EVERYONE loses.

    Actually it pretty much does create the money. It creates it in the form of debt. The amount of cash in a capitalist economy is not, as you imply, a stable amount. Money does literally disappear. A lot of wealth only exists on balance sheets, created from supposed values of assets. When demand decreases, values fall, and the amount of capital in the economy decreases. So you are wrong- capitalism is not zero sum.


    If the banks collapse, then there is a greater amount of unemployment. And both good and badly run companies would collapse.
    'Capitalism' isn't zero sum, but wealth transfer is. Debt is not "created money," it is money that is temporarily being loaned from one person to another. When the government 'creates' banknotes, that money comes from all existing currency holdings, which are inflated (ie. reduced in value). You've made the companies that invested in dud banks richer, but you've made other people (the general public) poorer by precisely the same amount. [It's probably wrong to characterise this as a loan, because the money will never actually be returned to specific individuals who 'lent' it. Even the indirect repayment through services in kind from the state will mostly accrue to people do not have large currency holdings. It is theft.]

    Nor, when the value people place on things changes, does the amount of physical wealth decrease. The changes in subjective value, when the result of voluntary exchange in a market economy, are beneficial: they signal information to the rest of the economy on what should be produced, sold, and invested in. Interfering with that does not benefit anyone at all.

    Many people would say that all investment is moral and political anyway. We are transferring debt obligations from an organization that would face collapse if the debt was demanded of it to an organization that is credible enough to maintain confidence in ability to repay the debt. It's not that desirable, but it is better than the alternative.
    It is theft. If your argument is that theft is moral, there isn't much I can say to challenge this assumption. If your argument is that theft is economically beneficial, it plainly is not economically beneficial for incompetent economic actors to be rewarded with even more funds to waste, and for competent actors to be expropriated.

    I'd like to see empirical evidence that income has went up for all sections of society. I don't think you can possibly provide it though, because it hasn't. And I wasn't confusing the two issues, I clearly differentiated between them. It is pointless to consider one without the other.

    From the MoD website.

    As 'loss making' is a description that only applies to organizations operating under a capitalist mode of production, I think this is indeed something that can be blamed on free markets.
    The nationalised companies did not operate on some sort of barter system: they had accounts denominated in pounds and it is not disputed that they lost money and were subsidised by the DTI, whose budget shrunk enormously when they were abolished. Wealth was transferred from the general public for their upkeep by the government. That isn't anything to do with markets.
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    (Original post by favh)
    'Capitalism' isn't zero sum, but wealth transfer is. Debt is not "created money," it is money that is temporarily being loaned from one person to another. When the government 'creates' banknotes, that money comes from all existing currency holdings, which are inflated (ie. reduced in value). You've made the companies that invested in dud banks richer, but you've made other people (the general public) poorer by precisely the same amount. [It's probably wrong to characterise this as a loan, because the money will never actually be returned to specific individuals who 'lent' it. Even the indirect repayment through services in kind from the state will mostly accrue to people do not have large currency holdings. It is theft.]

    Nor, when the value people place on things changes, does the amount of physical wealth decrease. The changes in subjective value, when the result of voluntary exchange in a market economy, are beneficial: they signal information to the rest of the economy on what should be produced, sold, and invested in. Interfering with that does not benefit anyone at all.


    It is theft. If your argument is that theft is moral, there isn't much I can say to challenge this assumption. If your argument is that theft is economically beneficial, it plainly is not economically beneficial for incompetent economic actors to be rewarded with even more funds to waste, and for competent actors to be expropriated.



    From the MoD website.


    The nationalised companies did not operate on some sort of barter system: they had accounts denominated in pounds and it is not disputed that they lost money and were subsidised by the DTI, whose budget shrunk enormously when they were abolished. Wealth was transferred from the general public for their upkeep by the government. That isn't anything to do with markets.
    1. I'm not saying wealth in the economy hasn't decreased. All value is subjective. What is your point? It has decreased by less than it would have if we allowed the banks to collapse. It isn't zero sum. We've opted for one of the least worse alternatives.

    2. Taxation isn't theft.

    3. That doesn't prove anything except that average wages and military wages have increased faster than the retail price index (which in any case is a carefully politically managed index, which is used as a propaganda tool by governments. It doesn't take into account that some sections of society have gained while others have lost. It certainly doesn't show that more people have gained than lost.

    4. Nationalized industries operate in a market economy. That isn't socialism, but there is no reason that nationalized industries in a capitalist economy shouldn't be subsidized by taxation anyway. Sometimes the benefits of subsidization outweigh the negative of allowing loss making industries to exist.
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    (Original post by nikdc5)
    1. I'm not saying wealth in the economy hasn't decreased. All value is subjective. What is your point? It has decreased by less than it would have if we allowed the banks to collapse. It isn't zero sum. We've opted for one of the least worse alternatives.
    I'm not sure what this means. What I am arguing is that, contrary to your claims, bailing out banks doesn't increase the amount of consumption, currency holdings or firms' access to debt. It merely transfers these things from individuals who have made good decisions to banks that have made bad ones.

    2. Taxation isn't theft.
    At risk of going enormously off-topic, how else would you describe an involuntary seizure of property?

    3. That doesn't prove anything except that average wages and military wages have increased faster than the retail price index (which in any case is a carefully politically managed index, which is used as a propaganda tool by governments. It doesn't take into account that some sections of society have gained while others have lost. It certainly doesn't show that more people have gained than lost.
    You said real wages hadn't increased. Wages increasing faster than inflation is what 'real wages increase' means. Of course some individuals are worse off than in 1979. It would be absurd to suggest otherwise. But on average, people are better off. Even the welfare budget had increased significantly since then.

    4. Nationalized industries operate in a market economy. That isn't socialism, but there is no reason that nationalized industries in a capitalist economy shouldn't be subsidized by taxation anyway. Sometimes the benefits of subsidization outweigh the negative of allowing loss making industries to exist.
    Subsidising a loss making industry is the equivalent of forcing people to pay what they consider an unreasonable price for those goods. In general, people know better what something is worth to them than a small elite in the state.
 
 
 
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