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The Government Should Run Institutions And Industry
in Politics

By AraneaAranea 53 Pts
Institutions and industry should be geared around maximizing the prosperity of everyone so that no one is left behind, thus meaning a stable and functional society.
Zombieguy1987
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Arguments

  • Study Public Choice Theory to understand why this will not and cannot work. The government does not run everything in order to maximize prosperity of everyone; the government runs everything in order to maximize prosperity of itself. And the more parts of human life you let the government control, the fatter it will get, and the thinner you will get.

    The most stable and functional societies tend to be the ones in which the government has a very limited set of functions and is kept in check by private citizens. Those in which the government runs a lot of things are the most volatile and prone to collapse societies.
    Zombieguy1987
  • Governing regulates Institution and industry. The very act of governing is saying exactly that, without doubt. Some-one will be left behind, this is in order to create a stable and functional outcome. Otherwise there is no governing taking place, and it becomes a ruling over institution and industry. Where the governing body assumes all the responsibilities of the society as a democracy, or republic. Changing constantly between the two ideologies.

  • jonesd17jonesd17 26 Pts
    edited February 11
    By having the government take over institutions and industry, you're leading more to a centralized government, which in turns produces socialism/communism. Having them regulate institutions and industry is fine to an extent. But calling for outright control is not only socialist, but can also lead to a worse society. This is why small governments prosper. You take the control of the government out of things that don't need government control, and you have a more functioning society. Look back on how centralized governments have turned into dictatorships ran by authoritarians, communists, or socialists. Those society's have turned out worse than anyone thought possible. All because they gave too much power to the government. We need to stop letting the government have too much power on us and start taking back control. As Abraham Lincoln said, "a government by the people, for the people."
    Also, please provide evidence on how giving government more control has led to a stable society.
    Zombieguy1987
  • This is called Communism correct? The system that countinues to fail all over the world?
    Zombieguy1987
    Sovereignty for Kekistan
  • @MayCaesar ;To your first point, the major issue with both of your points (that the government will function to maximize its own prosperity & that when you give more control to the government, it will get fatter and you will get thinner) is that you state them as absolute outcomes or inherent aspects to the system without demonstrating how this is the case.


    To your second point, you make another statement of absolute nature without demonstrating how this is the case. Why is it the most stable and functional to have governments which are limited and checked by private citizens? How will these private citizens check the government?


    To your third point, again another blanket assertion stated as necessary fact. You need to demonstrate why it is that any society with government control over institutions and industry will become volatile and be prone to collapse.

    Zombieguy1987
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1091 Pts
    edited February 11
    The only way this could somewhat work short-term, in my view, is if the process is completely automatised, with humans taken out of the equation. That is if an AI or a very advanced neural network runs everything, and always assures a strongly positive outcome for everyone, finding perfect jobs for people, suggesting perfect products, and so on.

    The problem is, such a system would have to be written by humans, so its very premise would be violated at the very foundation. Further, even if it works out, there are strong reasons to believe that freedom of choice is an essential need for humans, and being deprived of the ability to make choices, we might collapse as human beings and become animals operating purely on instinct. Finally, if the AI gets out of hand, there will be no mechanisms to stop it, since it has control over all the resources and will easily defeat any opposition.

    You cannot give control over all resources to some centralised being and hope for the best. The Universe does not work that way. Just as a dust cloud collapsing into a star will keep collapsing until nothing is left but the star, a centralised government owning a lot of resources will keep taking more and more resources, until nothing but the government remains. And that means death of humanity.

    A social contract between the individual and the community only works when it is voluntary. Otherwise, the community becomes the oppressor, and the individual becomes its slave. That is why, for example, in disputes between two individuals we need the third side overseeing the process - the court. Who oversees the process of disputes between the individual and the government? If the answer is "the government", then the individual has already lost the game.

    With years, I am starting to think more and more that the "government" is just a bad concept that should not be a part of the societal organisation. We have been sold the idea that the government is a necessary evil - but is it really necessary? Can we not do better by finding a way for the society to operate purely on consensual basis? I am not convinced that the market competition cannot exist on its own and needs an overseer to function. And I am even less convinced that removal of the competition is a worthwhile goal, rather than a road in hell.
    Zombieguy1987
  • @jonesd17

    Your response is very loaded and so I’ll quote each sentence of yours to show you which statements I’m individually responding to:

    “By having the government take over institutions and industry, you’re leading more to a centralized government, which in turn produces socialism/communism.” <---A centralized government and socialism in principle are not ill outcomes. What is it from having a socialist/centralized system that will cause problems?

    “Having them regulate institutions and industry is fine to an extent. But calling for outright control is not only socialist, but can also lead to a worse society.” <---Again, socialism in of itself is not an ill outcome. Also, any human government will be flawed to some degree and thus any society can be susceptible to becoming “worse”. That by itself is not saying much and needs to be elaborated upon.

    “This is why small governments prosper.” <---Such an absolute statement needs to be demonstrated. What is inherent to small governments that make them prosper?

    “You take the control of the government out of things that don’t need government control, and you have a more functioning society.” <---This can be true or false depending on the particulars of what you state the government doesn’t need control over. List some examples of governmental overreach.

    “Look back on how centralized governments have turned into dictatorships ran by authoritarians, communists or socialists. Those societies have turned out worse than anyone thought possible.” <---Each government has its own unique structure and set of functions, and so treating all centralized governments as though they will innately play out the same manner is a fallacy of logic.

    “All because we gave too much power to the government.” <--- Power in of itself is too vague to blame upon. What’s important is determining where and to what degree the power is vested.

    “We need to stop letting the government have too much power on us and start taking back control. As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘a government by the people, for the people.’” <---Having a government which is centralized in terms of controlling institutions and industry doesn’t inherently mean a singular authority figure. Democracy can be incorporated into the system so that the people have efficacy in how socialism is enforced.

    “Also, please provide evidence on how giving government more control has led to a stable society.” <---I’ll honestly be charitable here since I can see how my wording is misleading. The “functional and stable” bit was meant to be linked to part of the sentence where I talked about maximizing the prosperity of the people and not leaving anyone behind, not inherently to the nationalization of institutions and industry bit. Because, of course, inherently nationalizing institutions and industry does not inherently mean a stable and functional society, but a society which does is part to maximize prosperity to its populace and not leave any of its citizenry behind is by nature stable and functional.

    Zombieguy1987
  • @AmericanFurryBoy ;There are strong logical fallacies in this response. Firstly, systems sharing components/aspects of each other does not make them the same by default. Therefore, having a government own institutions and industry does not mean it is inherently communist. Secondly, demonstrate why it is communism in principle that has led to these nations’ downfalls and rather than problems with the exact ways in which these unique governments are structured and function, as well as other potential factors.

    Zombieguy1987
  • @John_C_87 ;First, how does the very act of governing inherently result in someone being left behind? How does a government leaving someone behind create a stable and functional outcome? How does the act of a government not leaving anyone behind negate the government in of itself? How does a government assuming the responsibilities of society make it conflicted and switch between democratic and republican government structures? 

    AlofRI
  • @MayCaesar

    Why does the system have to be automatized in order to result in positive outcomes? Also, not even AI could literally create a perfect system, because even AI are confined to certain boundaries of computing and thus can’t extend to the unrestricted nature of perfection.

    How would humans creating such a system violate it at its foundation? Next, having government orchestrate society does not mean humans are inherently ridded of free choice, but simply constricted of some possibilities (which can be complained about in any system, admittedly to differing degrees, as long as there are laws/restrictions).

    You seem to think of a centralized government as only a caricature in which there is a single authority or set of authorities running everything. There are so many opportunities to democratize the system so that people have as much efficacy as possible in how their system functions.

    This point of oppressor and oppressed is another element of this authoritarian caricature that you’re laying out. Democracy, courts and other means of liberty are not exclusive to non-socialist government structures at all and should be welcomed to best refine and perfect the socialist system.

    We cannot have a purely consensual society because there is no penalty in such a system to enforce penalty upon violations of consent, ergo the need for a government to enforce such matters. A society of competition and markets would be in danger of being consumed by monopolies (since there is no oversight to break up markets in this vision of yours) and thus we’d have a corrupted society in the form of corporate oligarchy.

    Zombieguy1987
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1091 Pts
    edited February 11
    @Aranea

    No matter how much you democratise the system, you cannot go around the fact that every single governmental employee has a strong incentive to take action that benefits themselves, and has nearly zero incentive to take action that benefits others. This leads to countless legal aberrations, and even seemingly reasonable laws do not function as intended as they go down the "chain of command", at each step subjected to some individual that mostly has self-interest in mind.

    On a free market, the problem fixes itself as a result of competition: all these individuals have to work in a way that benefits you, because it is the only way for them to get your business. But in the government, such a requirement does not exist; there is no proper feedback that can discourage poor political decisions.

    Democracy is supposed to tackle that by encouraging the actions that benefit the people, as people are supposed to vote those people who do not benefit them out, and vote those who do in. But it differs from a real free market competition in many ways, such as:
    1) On the market, you can choose whether to buy a given product or not. In politics, you can only choose between multiple brands of the product, but you cannot choose not to buy the product.
    2) On the market, multiple different companies compete. In the government, different management groups within one company compete, but the company as a whole is a monopoly.
    3) When you buy something on the market, you vote with your wallet directly. When you vote for someone, your vote goes through a long chain of command, giving you the product that you did not intend to purchase on the output.
    4) On the market, the transaction occurs immediately, with both parties getting their share of the deal. In the government, the transaction may take years or even decades to go through, as the proposals for which you voted take time to be implemented.
    5) On the market, you get exactly what you pay for; say, I decided to buy a Toyota Prius, I paid the price, and I got the Toyota Prius. In the government, I get what the majority has paid for: if I vote for the Libertarian Party, but the Republican Party got many times more votes, then chances are no Libertarians will end up in the government, my vote having been wasted.

    In short, the idea of democratic competition does not work well, if at all. Hence a system with the "benevolent government" managed by humans is physically impossible. The best we can do short of disbanding the government altogether is to limit its role to a few key sectors, so it cannot do any harm outside its small domain.

    There are many mechanisms the market itself provides to discourage violations of consent. Why is the government there in the first place? Because there is a demand for its services.
    But since there is a demand, the market will naturally provide the supply, without any tyrannic organisations forcing it. Instead of public "servants" overseeing the contract fulfilment, private organisations could do it instead - and those private organisations would compete with each other. Only those organisations that do their job properly will remain viable, as people will want to pay for their services in order to secure their investments - while the crony organisations will go out of business, as nobody will purchase their services.

    The government is a response to certain individual demands. I argue that a free market can and will naturally provide the respective supply. The government is not needed, and the market competition prevents businesses from taking over as a meta-government. The society is free, without losing any benefits which it receives from the government.

    The government is the only full monopoly out there. People are afraid of corporate monopolies, but never in the history of mankind did a private corporation build a totalitarian regime, for example. Only governments have accomplished that. The difference between the government and a private monopoly is that people are free to not purchase anything from the latter, hence having the ability to not support it financially - while the former forces people to purchase its services, and harshly punishes those who refuse to do so.

    The government is an aberration born from the primitive thinking of our ancestors, who did not appreciate that there were better models of behavior, than bowing to gods or kings. Nowadays we try to pretend that our system is modern, we gloriously call it "democratic republic" - but it is still based on that same old model of one organisation having the ultimate legalised power over everyone else.

    AlofRIZombieguy1987
  • @MayCaesar

    Well, any system is susceptible to a degree of corruption and greed-driven self-interest (especially the anarchic market system you seemed to like the idea of), so that is why we have to ensure that there is full transparency within the system and to ensure that the people have the power to remove any ill actors from the system by referendum or other democratic means.

    How would competition cleanse this society of yours of monopolies and corporate oligarchy? Next, are you saying that worker-businessman relations would serve better than government oversight and that would somehow encourage positive political decisions? I’m admittedly confused by your point.

    Yes, democracy should be designed to tackle corrupt politicians and promote better ones in the system by the leverage of democratic oversight.
    Now, I’ll respond per each of your listed points:

    1) Can’t you choose not to vote like you can choose not to buy a product?

    2) Why do you view that there has to be competition?

    3) Can you elaborate further on what this long chain of command is and how it obstructs you from receiving what you voted for?

    4) Governmental deals can take a while to take effect, but I fail to see how that is a real impactful attack against the concept of government.

    5) In a purely market system, do you really get what you paid for? With no governmental oversight to ensure that you can’t be scammed or that the product is not inefficient, don’t you think that’d cause some concern that the profit-driven company may cut some very important and perhaps vital corners to churn out the maximum profit? I fail to see how the fact that your individual vote may be poorly cast in political affairs is a valid warrant against the idea of a political/governmental process.

    How does democratic competition not work? Can’t politicians compete for more political favorability?

    It’s physically impossible to have a benevolent government ran by humans? The only thing that is impossible is a direct contradiction, and I don’t see the inherent contradiction in a governmental structure.

    Disbanding a government altogether and limiting a government are two entirely different matters.

    What mechanisms of the market discourage consent violations? You’re not honestly telling me that a profit-driven entity (a market) wouldn’t potentially be tyrannical to acquire more wealth and would have no profit incentive to penalize/enforce upon citizens, are you? Without government enforcement, what prevents these entirely free and private companies from depriving their employees and ultimately turning them into slaves, or, at the very least, indentured servants? For what reason will customers not purchase from or invest in crony businesses? Also, why would only “proper” jobs be viable, and viable in what sense?

    Upon what reason is the government simply a response to certain individual demands? No, competition does not prevent monopolistic meta-governments. Once one company gains enough leverage to defeat rivals and proceed to acquire all sectors of the marketplace, nothing prevents it from keeping its rule and enforcing its own will over lesser franchises as well as the citizenry at large. This market-ran society is also not free because it is ran by the companies which comprise it.

    The government being a monopoly is not innately conflicting because, unlike with markets, it is not inherently a self-serving and profit-driven entity. The only reason private companies have never built a totalitarian regime is because a sovereign government always presided over them in authority. To your proceeding point, yes, people can ultimately choose not to buy from a monopoly, but where is the incentive for such action? I think the average person (consumer) would naturally be more concerned about their own well-being rather than the state of “competition” in the marketplace. Additionally, and more disturbingly, a monopoly in a society lacking a government could just hire private police and military to quell any and all opposition. That would play out just like your fearmongering government scenario.

    Wouldn’t markets too be primitive, perhaps even more so, because their root design and purpose is based around the primitive drive of the man’s appetites?

    AlofRIZombieguy1987
  • piloteerpiloteer 204 Pts
    edited February 12
    @Aranea

    I have to admit, your counter arguments to everyone on here is giving them a run for their money. But, I seem to sense a serious lack information from your side of the argument. Lets start at the top. How is it that government run institutions and business will be net beneficial for all of society? How do you think it will effect societal happiness? By the way, welcome to DI. 
    Zombieguy1987
  • @piloteer ;Thank you for the courteous welcome, Piloteer. The way in which government-ran institutions and industry, in a socialist system incorporated with democracy, would be net beneficial for all of society would be in the following ways:

    Institutions would be funded from taxation and other means of revenue to the government. In turn, these institutions would provide reliable systems like healthcare, education, welfare, infrastructure, so on and so forth.

    Industry would be democratized so that the workers could be united as a strong collective bargaining force to work together and negotiate to receive the maximum benefits and compensation available for their line of work.

    So, in the end, all citizens in society could receive maximized benefits from their labor as well as contribute back to society so that they and all others would have the ability to enjoy sufficient benefits from society’s institutions and affordable commodities.

    I believe this would have a very positive effect on society because people could live in a society where they would feel fairly compensated and know that the system they lived in would be geared toward protecting them with charity and contribution.

    AlofRIZombieguy1987
  • @Aranea ;
    Government is a restriction of liberty by basic principle. This means the process is a effort of efficacy for overall operation. Government in a democratic republic such as the united States is a process of independence presented by the people, for the people. The simple truth is if an object is to be governed there is going to be exclusion to some point as many idea's and process are repetitive or just wrong.  

    How does a government assuming the responsibilities of society make it conflicted?
    The best truth here is look at woman's equality. The opinion was, is, if all men are created equal by their creator the woman should be created equal to all men. This is not truth under law. All woman should in be created equal by their creator. This process has not even come close to taking place and its been well over 243 years. the outcome is many conflicted Nations not just one.

  • @John_C_87Sure, government has to restrict and exclude certain liberties in order to be an existing authoritative body, but I just don’t know why you said someone has to be left behind in the system.

    To your second paragraph, my point was about the switching between democracy and republic thing you touched upon. Why’d you say that a government taking on societal responsibilities would cause it to switch between democracy and a republic?

    Zombieguy1987
  • piloteerpiloteer 204 Pts
    edited February 12
    @Aranea

    Okay, so now you've established how a government run business sector would function. But it's a tad peculiar that you didn't address the matter of happiness. Would this system be net beneficial to the overall happiness of society? The only thing that you've really shown us is that in a government run business sector, the workers would become a strong collective bargaining force. Does this system have any room for individual happiness, or is that not something this system is concerned with? Right now, it seems like the system of government that you are arguing for has no room for individual happiness. This system seems to only be concerned with maximizing economic benefits, but not maximizing individual happiness. Will we need to abandon the concept of individual happiness and only focus on the collective happiness of society with this system in place?

    First, is happiness a one size fits all concept? If someone can be happy from wealth or material possessions, who among us gets to sit on a pedestal and call that someone immoral? The system of government you speak of also seems quite effective at taking the genuineness out of charity. Charity can only come from those who are genuinely interested in helping others, it is not really charity if it's given because of a government mandate that requires it. Your argument is also lacking any reasoning for why "industry should be geared around maximizing the prosperity of everyone". That's just an empirical statement, but you offer nothing in the way of why this needs to be done. So far, the form of government you're arguing for is looking more and more like a buzzkill.
  • @Aranea

    There is nothing wrong with greed-driven self-interest; it is the natural state of any human organism. It only becomes wrong when one has the tools to force others to theirs, and that is precisely the problem with the government, democratic or not.

    When there is competition, then anyone can become the provider of any service they choose. If a large corporation does not provide service at the market price, then any other company can fill the void in the market, winning the competition immediately and forcing the large corporation to change their pricing to stay in business.
    And yes, worker-businessman relations are the best when everything is based strictly on a voluntary basis. Two people negotiating the terms of the contract without anyone pressuring them is how the market is supposed to work.

    1) In some countries you can, but usually you still have your vote counted. For example, in the US, even if you choose not to vote for anyone on the federal election, it will count as if you voted for the candidate who won in your district.
    2) Because without competition there is no incentive to do anything to provide a better service to your customers.
    3) Politicians in the Congress vote for the law. The law is passed, and its enforcement is given to a proper organisation. That organisation is run by public managers, and its functionality depends on a horde of bureaucrats working there. Every single of those individuals wants to get as much personal benefit out of the law as they can, which affects how exactly they enforce that law. It is easy to see that the public interest does not factor in any way here. And since they are a legalised monopoly, they can get away with it without going out of business.
    4) That means that what you purchase is not given to you, but, instead, promised to you. Such a model would not work on a free market (nobody is going to pay money for anyone promising them anything without any legal obligation to deliver), because it is essentially a gamble. Gambling is not a proper way to run the economy.
    5) Competition makes such behavior unsustainable on the free market. If someone regularly scams people and sells them overpriced products, then people will move on to buying from different companies, and that someone will go bankrupt. If I buy a Toyota Prius and have a Toyota Yaris delivered at my doorstep, then I can sue Toyota and get a large financial compensation. But if I vote for the president who promises to reduce external debt and fails to deliver, then I cannot sue anyone.

    Politicians surely can compete for more political favorability. The problem is that, unlike on the free market, there is no direct feedback from their customers, hence that favorability is defined not by how much people are pleased with their policies, but by forces far outside the scope of anyone's understanding. In short, when I cast my vote, my vote does not count for much, and I cannot even remotely predict what I would get in return even if it did. I am having my money taken away by force, getting empty promises in return, which, even if genuine, cannot be ever properly delivered.
    The system is a mess.

    The government cannot be benevolent no matter how much each one of its members tried to make it so, because people are not machines and make mistakes. Which, in case of the government, are not discouraged in any significant way.

    Like I said, competition is what prevents the companies from abusing people on the free market. If you turn your people into slaves and your competitors do not, then every job seeker will go to them and ignore you, and you will be bankrupt.

    One company will never be able to acquire all sectors on the free market, aside from crazy hypothetical cases such as a company secretly developing some sort of mind-controlling technology. Just like one lion can never eat all other animals on Earth. The power required for that is simply unreachable in practice, even though in theory that could happen.
    All recorded cases of powerful monopolies in human history had to do with anti-free market laws created by the government, such as "intellectual rights" and "patent" laws, or various mercantile laws favoring a particular company.

    The government is just as self-serving and profit-driven as any other entity. The government is not a charitable organisation; if it was (which, in my opinion, would be a decent compromise for now between a full-on free market, and the current mercantile system), then it would not be able to force anyone to give their property away.
    That the government serves people and not itself, is a pretty common and unfounded myth.

    On the free market, all companies are interested in stability and opportunity, because every company seeks profit above everything else. What happens when one large corporation hires private police and military and goes full offensive? Other large corporations unite over the common interest and put the rogue corporation down.
    Much like a lot of developed nations united to fight back the Fascist forces in the World War 2, many of which could not stand each other, but all realised that it was necessary to fight as one in order to protect their individual interests.

    I do not think basing a system on people's appetites is primitive. Our appetites is what gives our lives meaning. If we do not want anything, then we are not really alive, we are simple zombies.
    The idea that people's appetites are inherently evil and must be kept in check arose early in primitive religions and tribal societies as a means of promoting resource preservation (which was crucial for the survival of societies at the time). That idea was dubious at the time, and it is definitely outdated nowadays. We should not be ashamed of our greed and natural desires. Those aspects of our organisms are what got us from apes to where we are now.

    How and why did humans learn to make fire? They were sick of having to constantly freeze, eat cold food and drink frozen water. So they started improvising, trying new ideas, learning. Eventually they found something that worked, and it propelled humanity into the age of prosperity, improving our quality of life by orders of magnitude.
    If this drive making us always want more is removed, then our progress will die, and we will become just another animal, existing, but not really living and evolving.
     
    Zombieguy1987
  • @piloteer I'll have to continue this tomorrow. I have to sleep for work and thus must retire for the day. Will gladly reply tomorrow after work is done.
  • @MayCaesar I'll have to continue this tomorrow. I have to sleep for work and thus must retire for the day. Will gladly reply tomorrow after work is done.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1091 Pts
    edited February 12
    Let me give you one personal example illustrating why free market competition is the best driver for improvement of people's quality of life, and why a system not based on competition cannot work just as well.



    A couple of weeks ago, I sold a motherboard on eBay. The purchase occurred on Friday, and on Saturday morning I received a message that the customer had paid me.

    Now, it being a Saturday morning, and me lazily laying in my bed, I really-really wanted to just stay home and deal with organising the delivery on Monday. That was my instinctive intention.

    But then, I thought, "If I delay the delivery until Monday, then the buyer might disapprove of how much time the delivery is taking. They would write a negative review on my page, and that review would make it harder for me to sell things later."

    This propelled me to quickly get out of the bed, pack the motherboard properly, throwing in a few extras, and rushing to drive to the nearest USPS office in order to send the item out as soon as possible.



    Now, let us imagine there was no competition. That I would not have to worry about potential negative reviews, because people would have to buy from me anyway. What mechanisms could be implemented to compel me to send the motherboard out on Saturday, instead of Monday? I can think of only two solutions:

    1) People could simply hope that I care about my customers too much to provide a low-quality service. In my case, this hope would not have been justified, and, I imagine, it would be the case for the majority of people.

    2) Someone (say, the government) could force me to send the motherboard on Saturday morning. The outcome is the same as before, only now, instead of being happy about getting a profit in return for my hard work, I would feel oppressed and frustrated by having to play someone else's tune under the threat of violence.



    This example and reasoning illustrates that there is no bigger driver for productive economical activities, than personal profit. Whenever you are motivated by anything other than personal profit, there is no practical necessity for you to do anything, unless someone forces you under a threat. Nothing gets people up in the morning as easily as the idea that they can do something and get rewarded for it. 

    Did I want to get out of bed on a Saturday morning? No. Did I want to earn a lot of money by making my customers happy? Yes, and that was a much bigger motivator, than anything else could have been.

    Notice also how I did not particularly care about my customers' well-being, but my actions nonetheless were aimed at maximising it. This is the magic of the free market: you care about yourself, and such an approach ends up benefiting others the most.



    I do not see how you can build a system run by the government that will make me just as excited to get up early in the morning on the weekend and go drive to the USPS office, as the free market does - and that will make my customer as happy with the service, as he was this time.
    Zombieguy1987
  • @MayCaesar I'm sorry, but I simply don't have the energy to go through responses that are pages in length. So, from here on out, I'll only reply to responses of yours if they're not so long. Can you rephrase the core premise of your points in shorter responses? I'd appreciate it. 
    Zombieguy1987
  • Unregulated capitalism will ALWAYS, eventually, lead to an oligarchy like Russia. Like America was for a short time in the 1800's
    Government OF, BY and FOR the people HAS to prevent that because the most successful capitalists can, and WILL, buy whatever law they need to get more control, more money TO control. It's just human nature and greed.
    The government MUST control some things, especially when you have multiple states, multiple small governments. Otherwise, when you cross borders you can end up not knowing the "basic rules" of the next state. The Federal Government must keep some standards. They must run the military, the states have their own "well regulated militia .. the National Guard. The government had to run NASA. No state or independent business had the resources for that. Now, the technology has become more manageable, so independents can come in, the government welcomes them … great for democracy and capitalism. They have to run something like OSHA to protect workers and the environment. Europe's CE was, last I knew, even more strict.
    I hate that some people have somehow lost faith in our democratic government. It makes mistakes, the people correct them … unless the oligarchs get too much control, like now.
    Unless WE control and regulate, as we're supposed to, democracy will be lost. It takes a stable government that can regulate and protect the people, the environment, and regulate capitalism enough so that they don't "take over" the government. 
    Simple, keep America, America! 
  • @piloteer ;On the matter of happiness, I was trying to articulate that there would be happiness (individual and collective) if the system was geared toward maximizing their compensation as well as providing affordable and reliable institutions and commodities. They’d have less stress from less financial constraints and could achieve a life based around well-being do to the liberties garnered from financial fulfillment. And, no, no manifestation of happiness would need to be abandoned to achieve this ideal system.

    To your second paragraph, happiness is not a one-size-fits-all concept because every individual has their own means of achieving happiness. I have no particular moral/value judgements on the possession of wealth and material goods as long as it is not hoarding excess from the rest of society (which would not be the case in my ideal system). To your point on charity, I was just kind of using the word loosely to further my point on the system providing aid to its downtrodden and needy. Further on, the quote you derived is not an empirical statement but a philosophical one, because it’s not stating a necessitated outcome (which would require data/sources) but instead merely stating a desired outcome, which is just from a philosophical standpoint. Why this needs to be done is because the whole purpose of society in the first place is to separate us from the perils and chaos of nature, and so a society can only be functional in this way when it is geared toward preventing its citizenry from peril and chaos. The other reason why this needs to be done is because it will lack the instability of a degenerate system where its people suffer and thus will be inclined toward dysfunctional/criminal behavior as well as potentially seek revolt against the uncaring system.

  • @Aranea

    You have raised too many questions for me to be able to provide concise responses that cover everything.

    The key points I made are:
    1) The government is inherently inefficient, unjust and abusive. The free market is not.
    2) Individual profit-seeking is the best driver of the economy, because it both propels people to give whatever they do their best, and it benefits those who those people trade with.
    3) The market regulates itself just fine, and no centralized power is required to do that.
    4) The free market discourages monopolies. The government is a monopoly. The free market promotes competition, encouraging hard work. The government removes competition, encouraging laziness.
    5) The government is an old concept, a product of those times when our ancestors saw violence as the solution to everything. It might no longer be relevant nowadays, when people have all the tools in the world to live independently and not have to rely on the tribe to survive.

    In the recent time, our political structure has been glorified. We call it big words such as "democracy", "republic", etc. But fundamentally, it is still a centralized structure having the legalized power to force its will on individuals. It is different from, say, the medieval feudal structures quantitatively, but not as much qualitatively.

    In the modern, dynamic world, a new model is needed. I would propose starting with the transition to the "crowdfunded government". The government cannot under any excuse appropriate private property, but it can still act within a very limited domain, having voluntary donations as the only source of funding. From there, we can gradually lower the role of the government, eventually coming to the point where it no longer has a role and disappears.

    If we go in the opposite direction, on the other hand, and start surrendering more and more of our freedoms to the government, then we will end up back where our ancestors were trying to escape from by fighting the Independence War: an abusive kingdom in which people are nothing more, but tools in the hands of the ruling elite. And that is not because people ruling us are necessarily evil or incompetent; it is because the very structure of the government, its very reliance on legalized violence, makes the descent into deep tyranny inevitable, as soon as people let it have its way and stop fighting back.


    Zombieguy1987
  • @MayCaesar

    Responses to each of your key points:

    1) How is government inherently inefficient, unjust and abusive? Also, the free market can be inefficient because (without government oversight) it can sell products that are defective, misleading or outright scams. Markets too have plenty the capability to be unjust and abusive, especially in your anarcho-capitalist system where they can hire mercenary forces to oppress their workers along with society at large.

    2) Individual profit-seeking promotes maximizing wealth, which can encourage innovation but also it can easily promote cutting cheap corners to sell inefficient commodities for greater profits.

    3) How does the market regulate itself?

    4) These are a bunch of assertions that need demonstration and proof to validate. Also, what stops a monopoly arising from the competition in a free market system?

    5) This sort of appeal to history fallacy seems to be stating that since primitive and barbaric people made governments, governments themselves are too inherently primitive and barbaric. There is no such necessitation there.

    To your proceeding paragraphs:

    Now, I’m confused. You seem to be jumping back and forth between an anarchic market-driven system and a system of limited government. Which one do you want? If government disappears, then how do we enforce ethics and bring about a legal process? You also seem to think that socialism is synonymous with autocracy. You can have socialism within the framework of a democracy, where the people preside over and govern socialist policy. About your point on legalized violence, can’t there be a profit incentive for markets to wield force to dominate the marketplace and maximize revenue?

    Zombieguy1987
  • But I have already elaborated on all of these points above. We can go back and forth like this, but, like I said, these are complex matters, and their explanation cannot be summarized in a few words.

    I think your core misunderstanding is the confusion between short-term and long-term profit. You cannot cut cheap corners to sell inefficient commodities for greater profits on the free market, nor can you sell defective, misleading products and scams. You can do it for a bit, but then the competitors who do not do so and who please their customers more will bankrupt your business in a flash.

    I think many people would learn a lot about free markets if they actually tried opening their own business. Try something simple, like buying cheap jewelry from suppliers and reselling it on Amazon. You will quickly realize that, unless you work really-really hard on packaging everything properly, working out the perfect prices, etc., you will go out of business very quickly, because your competitors will eat you for breakfast and you will quickly stop being able to sell anything.

    Free market naturally puts harsh limitations on the business models that have a potential to be viable. Only those business models work that can consistently please the customers, meaning give them the impression that they are getting their money's worth from trading with you. Other business models cannot survive on a free market. They can, however, survive on a protectionist government-run market - which is one of the main reasons every attempt in human history to build a socialist economy went so poorly. When you do not encourage people to give it their best, they do not give it anything, and you end up with a state in which no one produces anything of value, and which has to survive either by conquering other lands and taking their resources, or by extorting other nations for financial aid.

    ---

    I think that the anarchic market-driven system is the logical conclusion, but it is not something that can happen quickly. Starting with a very limited government can give the society the time to get accustomed to always relying on themselves, rather than their overlords.

    Ethics and legal process will naturally arise on the free market, as long as there is demand for them. Just like any other demand births supply.

    Incentive does not come down to just one goal. Sure, ideally, on a free market every corporation would like to use violence to take control over the marketplace. Only it is impossible, as one corporation is much weaker than the rest of the market, and will be seen as a threat by everyone else and quickly put down by a joint counter-strike.
    This is the beauty of the free market: it limits what people can do down to what leads to mutually beneficial exchanges, and strongly discourages everything else. It does not mean that it is a pure fairy tale with no problems and market failures, but it does feature countless self-correcting mechanisms that provide the general stability.
    Zombieguy1987
  • @Aranea

    So, are you asserting that someone who gets happiness from endless wealth would not be able to be happy in the society you're talking about? Would they have to abandon their concept of individual happiness? Just because somebody gains wealth, it doesn't mean they are hoarding it. Wealth is not a rare mineral, it can be created. If somebody puts effort into creating a commodity, or providing a service, which in turn creates wealth for them, they're not hoarding it, it belongs to them as a result of their effort, unless of course, your ideal society doesn't leave room for freedom of possessions. Where would you draw the line where freedom of possession infringes on the "rights" of society? You could argue that only people who "hoard wealth" will be effected by your "ideal society", but when it's put into practice, it quickly becomes apparent that anybody's freedom of property infringes on the collective rights of society when a collectively based system is in place. Somewhere, at some point, an entire sector of society will be told to abandon their concept of happiness for the sake of the collective. Then from there, all individual's will need to relinquish their freedom of possessions for your ideal society to function. Your argument as to why, or how your ideal society would make everyone happy obviously comes from the assumption that those are the things that make everyone happy, but you yourself didn't disagree that happiness is not a one size fits all concept. Where do those who don't think those things are conducive to happiness fit into your ideal society?

    Perhaps you weren't using the word "charity" in the manner it is most often thought of, but I did bring up a good point concerning charity and you didn't address it at all. Your ideal society takes the genuineness of charitable actions by making it a government mandate. That's not charity, that's forceful wealth redistribution. I invite you to add some clarity to this point.

    My apologies, but I beg to differ. You're statement that "industry should be geared around maximizing the prosperity of everyone" is most certainly an empirical statement. So far as, it was not backed up by any objective evidence, which you even stated yourself that it was only a "desired outcome". If the evidence can only derive from emotional argumentation, it is empirical. Not to say the statement wasn't a philosophical statement, empiricism is a recognized branch of philosophy, but it's the antithesis of objectivism. You went on to back that claim only with more empirical statements, like for instance, "the whole purpose of society in the first place is to separate us from the perils and chaos of nature". A cunning objective debater may point out that society itself is derived from nature. We are nature, why would we want to, or need to separate ourselves from the very thing we are? It's a good thing I'm not that cunning objective debater I speak of. Also, claiming to know what "the whole purpose of society is" without any evidence as to how you came to that conclusion is simply reckless. Then there's this, "The other reason why this needs to be done is because it will lack the instability of a degenerate system where its people suffer and thus will be inclined toward dysfunctional/criminal behavior as well as potentially seek revolt against the uncaring system". Again, those are more emotionally driven statements not backed by any objective evidence. Why do "it's people suffer"? So far, it seems like your argument is that the driving force behind any kind of suffering is exclusively tied to economic hardship. C'mon, you and I both know that suffering comes from many different sources and economics is just one of many reasons we suffer. Are we really supposed to believe your ideal system will end ALL suffering simply because it will end economic hardship. It's obvious that you're capable of making intelligent arguments, so it should be equally obvious that you're capable of dynamic reasoning. I'm not truly convinced that you actually agree with that idea anyway. It just sounds like some regular cut of the mill rhetoric. 

    I have to say, this has been a very interesting conversation thus far.

    Zombieguy1987
  • jonesd17jonesd17 26 Pts
    edited February 13
    @Aranea I apologize if my response is a little late, but I am just now reading your response.

    "A centralized government and socialism in principle are not ill outcomes. What is it from having a socialist/centralized system that will cause problems?" Socialism in the past has led to numerous ill outcomes. Take a look at Venezuela. They're economy has gone from being one of the most richest countries in the world, both socially and economically, to being one of the most bankrupt countries in the world due to the current socialist government there. Socialism has not resulted in any of socialist-aligned countries to have prospering countries.

    "Any human government will be flawed to some degree and thus any society can be susceptible to becoming “worse”. That by itself is not saying much and needs to be elaborated upon." This is true to an extent. Human government is flawed. As James Madison puts it, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary". However, this does not justify socialism because of the fact that it actually has led to worse societies, as I mentioned with my example of Venezuela. Take a look at the historical USSR (Soviet Union). They're socialized government led to people being limited in their freedoms. Even people who complained about their lives there were jailed for dissenting against the government. This is exactly what's going on in Socialist countries today. In China, Christian pastors are being jailed for practicing a forbidden religion.

    "Such an absolute statement needs to be demonstrated. What is inherent to small governments that make them prosper?" My statement was not meant to be absolute. However, countries that have less government interference in their lives do better than those with more government interference. Compare the US to Russia. Although both countries do have governments that somewhat interfere in our daily lives, Russia has more control over their citizens than the US. Not to mention the fact that Russia doesn't offer the same freedoms we have here, such as Freedom of the press.

    "This can be true or false depending on the particulars of what you state the government doesn’t need control over. List some examples of governmental overreach." Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Public Safety, to name a few. Our education system for example is extremely flawed, mostly because of what is being taught in our schools, but also because of the massive regulations in our education system. Same for healthcare. These things, as well as other things, should have limited government interference. These things should be left for smaller governments, i.e. the state government, to handle.

    "Each government has its own unique structure and set of functions, and so treating all centralized governments as though they will innately play out the same manner is a fallacy of logic." However, if you look at the historical results of all the government types I listed in this particular argument, you would see that they have all failed or have led to declining societies. Classic example, Nazi Germany (Who were socialists). They instituted an authoritarian government which resulted in them not only being one of the major causes of WWII, but also led to history's most despicable crime against humanity, The Holocaust. Communist Cambodia is another example of an authoritarian government, in which millions of political dissidents and rivals were killed by the government regime. As a result of these two regimes alone, their countries never really recovered. In Zimbabwe, where they institute "Democratic Socialism", their country has suffered under the current socialist regime and their economy has declined.

    "Power in of itself is too vague to blame upon. What’s important is determining where and to what degree the power is vested."
    Yes, it could be a vague thing to blame. However, the argument I was making was that by people giving away power to governments like free candy, you're setting up your country for a possible dictatorship. Now granted, there have been times, both in modern and ancient history, where countries have granted all power to a central authority for a purpose, and afterwards, that authority stepped aside. However, as I have shown in my previous examples, this is not always the case, and has led to big governments taking over their country and invading our privacy and rights.

    "Having a government which is centralized in terms of controlling institutions and industry doesn’t inherently mean a singular authority figure. Democracy can be incorporated into the system so that the people have efficacy in how socialism is enforced." Yes, and no. The government controlling the industries can be more than one person, but that doesn't mean it's not still socialism. If you look back on when the pilgrims first made it to America, they used the socialist method of gathering food and distribution. As a result of this, many people who were not working at all took more than their fair share and left most of the people in the village to starve. The same thing goes for here. Power in a socialist government can be distributed, but that doesn't mean one person's going to take a bigger slice of the pie. Also, the people in socialist governments don't usually have too much say in how their government is ran. What you are arguing is the same thing people argue in defense for democratic socialism. Just because you toss the word "democratic" in front of something does not change the real meaning of that something. Just because people in Socialist countries, like Zimbabwe, vote for their leaders, does not make them any less socialist. Why? Because voting for socialists will just help them push their socialist agendas.

    "I’ll honestly be charitable here since I can see how my wording is misleading. The “functional and stable” bit was meant to be linked to part of the sentence where I talked about maximizing the prosperity of the people and not leaving anyone behind, not inherently to the nationalization of institutions and industry bit. Because, of course, inherently nationalizing institutions and industry does not inherently mean a stable and functional society, but a society which does is part to maximize prosperity to its populace and not leave any of its citizenry behind is by nature stable and functional." I appreciate you pointing out your mistake. However, socialism has never maximized prosperity in any country it's being tried in, thus it is not stable and functional. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. Look back at how Socialist governments were formed. Russia formed it's Socialist government through a bloody revolution. China formed it's communist government through bloody revolution. Communist Cambodia, same thing. See a pattern? And even after all the revolutions ended and the socialists took over, bloodshed still continued because these government leaders, as I have stated before, went on to kill not just political dissidents and rivals, but also their own supporters, all in the name of the state.

    So again, socialism is not the bright utopian society that many believe to be true, hence why I argue against government control of industries and institutions.

    I would like to direct your attention to the following short video, just an example to show how socialism has affected the people of Zimbabwe, and how it's an image of how it affects the other socialist countries in the world:

    Zombieguy1987
  • @Aranea Also, here is a link to other videos in a playlist that show other countries under socialist regimes and how they turned out:

    Zombieguy1987
  • Except for a few key essential areas (security, infrastructures, justice system), I don't think governments should run anything because they're ill-suited for any other task, it's just not the right tool for the job that is why most state-run businesses are inefficient. 

    That said, there are fundamental problems with capitalism as we know it, its intrinsic addiction to growth on a finite planet with finite resources being the most obvious IMO...
  • The Justice system is a business run inside the United States Constitutional separation. It is the obligation of governing to keep the system impartial. Not to run the system. Lawyers are licensed by state to oversee the business aspect in relationship to its United State in constitutional representation.

    While capitalism fundamental as the basic principle is not intrinsic to growth but service, as the object requiring service grows so does the capital investment, as so to continue, or improve to provide for the expansion. Abundant profit can be found down the road as state of capital.  Capitalism expands or improves to grasp a market share, meaning something is already in place.

    Socialism tampers with the market meant to expand natural in a way the economy grows closely regulated, and not driven by improvement to independent idea. Socialism always wants the improvement of service to appear to come from its regulated training, so conditioning market tactics can be controlled without investment. Otherwise the socialism falls victim to its on principles of manipulation and power, unregulated democracy.

  • @piloteer Sorry, but, as I had to address with MayCaesar, I don't have the energy to respond to such long replies. Can you crunch your response down to a decently smaller size? Thanks in advance.
  • @jonesd17 I don't have the time to sift through such a lengthy post. Can you downgrade the response to shorter replies geared around your arguments?
  • @jonesd17 Also, I won't sit and watch random videos by random youtubers, as that is not a debate but simply sharing videos, and, also, anyone can post anything on Youtube. You need to a) give me credible sources and b) cite the exact parts of the source of which you want to address to me.
  • I'll get back to the rest of the replies after I finish chores. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1091 Pts
    edited February 14
    To illustrate how counter-intuitive some aspects of the free market are and how hard it is sometimes to see how the governmental intrusion can harm people, consider the following example. I thought of this example when walking in the Death Valley a bit over a month ago, thinking about how hot it would be there if it was summer.

    Suppose you are walking in a hot desert, with no water. You are dying of dehydration. But you have $2,000 in cash on you.
    I am walking towards you, and I am carrying 2 full bottles of water. You ask me for water, and I say, "Okay, I will sell one bottle of water to you for $2,000".
    You are forced to pay, because that is the only way for you to survive. At the end, your life is saved, and I made a nice profit. Everybody is happy. You might not be as happy as you would be if I otherwise gave you the bottle for free, but you still are better off than you were before meeting me.

    Now, consider a different situation. Everything is as before, but the government has set the price limits: no bottle of water can be sold for no more than $3. 
    At the first glance, this is reasonable: water is very cheap, and nobody should force people to pay thousands dollars, exploiting their thirst in dire situations. Right? The government believes that, instead of having to pay $2,000, you will now only have to pay $3. Is this the case?

    Here is what happens now. I tell you that I will sell you the bottle of water for $2,000. However, you note that, according to the governmental regulations, I can only sell it for $3.
    Now, I am not going to give you a bottle of water for $3. It has a value not only for you, but for me as well. What if the other bottle I have is not enough for me to comfortably cross the desert? I can gain $3 and risk dying to dehydration myself, or I can gain $0 and confidently survive.
    So, I do not sell water to you and walk away. You die to dehydration.

    What just happened? The governmental control violated the supply-demand balance on the market. The government forced the water to cost below a certain limit, while its real market value was much higher. As a result, the water was not sold, and a person died.

    ---

    This may be an extreme example, but it demonstrates that even the most well-intentioned governmental interventions in the free market lead to negative outcomes for a lot of people they are supposed to help. My point here is that you should never take any proposed solution to an economical problem at the face value. Do not assume that, for example, just because the minimum wage has increased, the poor workers will necessarily be better off. Think a few more moves ahead, and you will be surprised by what you uncover when analyzing how people are actually going to behave in the new environment.

    And if you think far enough, you may eventually conclude, as I have, that the government should stay away from the economy, because literally any minor interference has horrific long-term effects.
    PlaffelvohfenZombieguy1987
  • @Aranea

    You don't necessarily need to reply to every post, and you certainty  don't need to reply to everyone immediately. I've made some very poinient counter arguments. My argument is unique because it mainly deals with individual happiness vs collective happiness, as opposed to the political banter of some of the other posts. When you get the time, feel free to peruse through my post and make rebuttals to the points you find in it. It's a hum dinger of an argument.
  • @Plaffelvohfen ;Why is government ill-suited to take on other tasks? Which state-run businesses are inefficient and inefficient in what regard?

  • @John_C_87 ;I had a bit of a tough time discerning the point you were trying to convey to me. I’m not meaning to ask this in a rude way, but is English a secondary language for you? They way in which you’re wording your points is making it extremely difficult, especially in that third paragraph of yours, to actually discern what you were trying to state.

    Plaffelvohfen
  • @piloteer ;I can’t say who for certain would be happy and not happy in my system, but it is certainly possible for people to change their views and find new means of happiness. We can incorporate unyielding basic liberties to protect the citizenry from the rule of the collective. If someone can’t supposedly find happiness in my system, then that’s too bad as what makes someone happy isn’t the primary determining factor of how society should run but instead how the people can meet their needs, as happiness isn’t some enforceable thing.

    To your point of charity, I suppose we can discard the term charity for mandated wealth distribution and welfare assistance.

    “Industry should be geared around maximizing the prosperity of everyone” is not an empirical statement because there is no stated necessitated outcome nor is there any claim that would require empirical data to be cited. For example, “We should have anti-murder laws to diminish murder as much as possible.” is not an empirical statement. However, “Anti-murder laws will diminish murder to a significant degree.” will require hard evidence because it’s stating a necessitated outcome and needs to be demonstrated through information how this trend will most certainly come to pass.

    There is no need for empirical data on that we created society to escape the perils and chaos of nature. That is self-evident through that humans naturally desire protection and efficiency and so this would naturally come to form a pact of security and innovation- society. Now, of course we are nature, but we can and do want to escape the feral savagery that comes from the perpetually anarchic state of primordial nature.

    Again, this second statement of mine is not empirical. It is only logical that a system that ideally protects its people with maximized economic prosperity will inherently have less [economic] suffering in that regard than one in which society doesn’t focus on economic safeguarding. Now, of course I know there isn’t only economy-based suffering, but we’re merely talking about society in a vacuum to address society itself. I would never believe economic sanctity would protect people from all other forms of hardship in life, but I have no need to address other types of suffering since, like I said before, I’m just talking about society in a vacuum to address society itself for the sake of argumentation and brevity.

  • *Looks through a thread of 40+ posts on political and economic topics*

    *Notes the way people are very very sure about their opinions to the extent they consider them facts combined with the complete lack of any evidence to back any of those opinions up*

    "Yup, par for the course"

    *Rides off into the sunset.*
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1091 Pts
    edited February 15
    @Aranea

    Historically, proto-governmental structures formed not as a way to escape the perils and chaos of nature, but as a way to survive. It was impossible for early tribes to survive without instituting some form of governing structure, as that was the only way to unite people to the extent sufficient to ensure survival of most of the tribe's members.

    We have gone a long way since then, however. Nowadays, it is not very difficult for one person to feed hundreds other people, let alone to feed themselves. Our culture has evolved as well, and we do not jump at all foreigners with a spear any more. I would argue that those structures are outdated and do not reflect the needs and the preferences of modern people. Yet, the idea of the government has been instilled so deep into human minds by millennia of conditioning, that the very idea that a system without a government even theoretically can be viable seems incredulous to most people.

    I would also argue that chaos is not something to escape; it is something to embrace. We are not machines, we are human beings. We are chaotic by nature. We need diversity in our lives, we need new experiences, new sensations, new discoveries. This is what the entire technological evolution was about: creating more options for ourselves in life.
    I do not see the appeal of a high degree of order. What is the point living when a lot of the aspects of your life are predetermined by the system? You might as well just jump off the roof, because your life is going to be like walking on a monorail: you can always predict where you will be tomorrow if you know the system well, so essentially your whole life has already passed in your mind.

    People should create their own individual versions of order. Forcing the same order on everyone is very anti-human. Just like animals in the zoo will never be happy, humans in a tightly controlled system will never be happy. I prefer to be a lion in the wilderness, rather than a lion in the zoo. Sure, my life expectancy may be lower, sure, I can get hurt or die in so many ways, sure, my life is a constant struggle - but it is my life, my struggle, my choices, and I live it on my terms, rather than on the terms forced on me by the zookeeper.

    In other words, even if your system could work as intended (which it cannot, unless you replace all politicians and bureaucrats with very well-oiled robots), the outcome would still be very unappealing.
    Zombieguy1987
  • @Aranea

    Now we're getting to the point I'm really trying to make. You fully admit that individual happiness has taken a back seat with your ideal system in place. It is expected that individuals should abandon or "change" their concept of happiness. This becomes a problem with that type of idealism because the proponents of that system somehow believe they are the end all, be all of what constitutes individual happiness. If individual or even collective happiness is not the primary goal of a governmental system, who is it actually benefiting? Even when economic security is enacted, some workers might feel they are more deserving of a higher pay, or a better position, but they have lost their individual bargaining rights and must deal with having to wait for a scheduled pay raise, or the opportunity to advance. Wanting to get a higher pay or better position is rooted in greed, but it's not always incorrect, sometimes those wants are warranted. Not being recognized for your true potential is an obvious reason for unhappiness. Your ideal system is basically telling those people to just be happy with what they get, and shut up. What if they're stuck cleaning toilets all their life? This doesn't seem net beneficial for society.

     The UN study on the happiest countries is often sited by proponents of the Nordic economic system. Not to say that that's what your arguing for, because the Nordic system has a competitive economic system, but the underlying principle is in place here. Just because the Nordic countries end up on the top of the happiest countries list, does that actually mean that all other countries should put that system in place also? Studies like that seem to have a misleading message, which I think you yourself are arguing for. Is what constitutes happiness for Nordic countries supposed to be a worldwide template for happiness? You agreed that happiness is not a one size fits all concept, so from our point of view, studies like these really hold no value. Your ideal system completely disregards the idea of individual happiness, and in my opinion it disregards happiness altogether. Perhaps one of the reasons the US is not at the top of the happiest countries list is because the US has slowly shifted toward an economic system that puts emphasis on the collective rather than the individual. This also brings us back to the charity part of this discussion. We can also take into consideration the UN study on the most charitable countries and we'll find that the US is often at the very top of that list. Overall, US citizens give a higher percentage of their income to charity than any other country on earth. I find the idea of taking the act of righteousness out of charity to be a disappointing idea, almost criminal even. A government mandate cannot force people to want to help others, in fact, it may reverse the want to do so. If we're forced to give more for the benefit of all, we may become complacent to compassion. We may only want to give what's required by a government mandate and nothing more. Your ideal system takes the righteousness out of charity. 

    Okay, perhaps I was being obtuse by throwing the word "empirical" around. That's just something I like to do to make myself sound smarter than I really am, but your argument that "we created society to escape the perils and chaos of nature", is without question a statement made without any objective evidence.Then you go on to assert that it is self evident and needs no objective evidence. Ummm, I'm gonna throw the red flag on that play my friend. I vehemently disagree!! It does require objective evidence for you to make a convincing argument, you've made a claim about why society is what it is without any evidence at all. I would love to see you try and prove that at no point in time did the evolution of society ever take into consideration any ideas of happiness and that society was created solely for functionality. How can anybody even know this anyway? Who's to say society was even a creation as opposed to being just a matter of circumstance? 

    I question whether your ideal system will actually bring about economic security, or will only serve to entrench us into our respective economic classes. In my mind, I feel that it will only bring about an economic caste system that will only prove to cement us into our respective economic classes and will disallow, or even outlaw any ability to climb the economic ladder as individuals. For this system to work, you will obviously need to have low level, low skill laborers. Who better to serve that purpose than the ones that are already in that economic class? So that will now become their purpose in society, and they will need to remain there for the system to function properly. And since prices will be set by the government, the cost of living will be predetermined for these people, and it will become a tool to keep them in their place. You'll also need the management sector. Who better to serve that purpose than the ones who already do that? Then you'll need the people who have enough assets to fund big projects and building the infrastructure, and now businesses will become part of the infrastructure because all businesses are owned by the public. Who better to be the owners than the ones that already own big businesses? Now their place in their economic class is effectively guaranteed without any worry of competition. It's very similar to the idea of merit based economic systems. In the end, what can be done about dissidents? The answer may be horrible!

    Allow me to be blunt now. In the end, I wonder if your ideal system is actually rooted in misanthropy, and it's true purpose is really population control. You conceded my point on happiness, so we can agree that large portions of the population will not properly serve their purpose in society because they can't be happy. It goes without saying that not everyone will adhere to the strict economic policies in place. What do you suggest should be done with this faction of society? The bigger this problem becomes, the more radical, or perhaps even ugly the solution may need to be. I don't see the net benefit your trying to argue for here.
  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 100 Pts
    edited February 15
    Aranea said:
    @Plaffelvohfen ;Why is government ill-suited to take on other tasks? Which state-run businesses are inefficient and inefficient in what regard?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a social-democrat at heart and I live in Quebec City, Canada...  We have many state-run businesses : Electricity is nationalized, alcohol is heavily regulated you can only buy spirits and most wines at a government run store, now that we legalized marijuana it's the same only in state run shops, gambling is also state run here, THAT is a huge problem, an ethical one IMO... But most of the problems are due to the heavy bureaucracy inherent to most governments... There are conflicting interests in regard to gambling, alcohol, marijuana and other non essential markets. 

    Take Hydro-Quebec our state run utility business, it has its undeniable benefits (relatively low electricity cost ($0,0675/khw, the US average is about double, around $0,12/kwh) but it's a monopoly and customer service is nightmarish. In the last decade it overcharged residential customers 1.4 Billion dollars, which the government refused to give back, this is state sponsored theft IMO.

    I do agree that we need to find an alternative to our current capitalist model, in the long run it's unsustainable. What I think is worth investigating is cooperative corporation models like Mondragon (MC) in Spain, it may be radical but I think there's something worthwhile to find in this model. 

    Mondragon is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits).

    As each enterprise is a constituent of the MC as a whole, its members must confer and decide with all other enterprise members what general rules will govern MC and all its constituent enterprises. In short, MC worker-members collectively choose, hire and fire the directors, whereas in capitalist enterprises the reverse occurs. One of the co-operatively and democratically adopted rules governing the MC limits top-paid worker/members to earning 6.5 times the lowest-paid workers. Nothing more dramatically demonstrates the differences distinguishing this from the capitalist alternative organization of enterprises. (In US corporations, CEOs can expect to be paid 400 times an average worker's salary – a rate that has increased 20-fold since 1965.)

    The Mondragon system is one of four case studies analyzed in Capital and the Debt Trap, which summarized evidence claiming that cooperatives tend to last longer and are less susceptible to perverse incentives and other problems of organizational governance than more traditionally managed organizations.



  • @Ampersand

    I thought that's how politics work, hombre.
  • Aranea said:
    Institutions and industry should be geared around maximizing the prosperity of everyone so that no one is left behind, thus meaning a stable and functional society.

    Oh, like that worked in the U.S.S.R

    Or Cuba

    Or North Korea

    Or literally any socialist/communist nation ever

    Plaffelvohfen
    https://www.google.com/search?q=victims+of+religion&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewihu9jugorfahwkmeakhbtib00q_auidigb&biw=1920&bih=963&safe=active

    Socialism/Communism are great on paper, but all you need to do is look at Venezuela or North Korea see why these economic systems fail

    Repealing the Second Amendment is the first step to Totalitarianism, and it needs to be prevented to protect our freedom 

    http://www.atheistrepublic.com/
  • @Zombieguy1987

    Come on, you can do better...  Are you saying the purpose of industry, commerce & institutions is NOT to promote a stable, functional and prosperous society??
    We can disagree on whether or not a government should be involved, why and to which extent, but we must agree that industry, commerce & institutions are key assets for human civilization, right?

    The communist/socialist samples seemed biased. I may be wrong so tell me, do you consider the Scandinavian countries to be Socialist and on par with those you listed? Do you make any distinctions between Socialism and Social-Democracy? It would help to see if we might be talking past each other...

    Because I could start countering with examples of Capitalist societies putting on the same basket, let's say;  The US, Somalia, Russia, Malaysia and Saudi-Arabia?

    But it would be fallacious wouldn't it?

    Could we agree that there's a spectrum here?  It could be somewhere to start...
  • @Zombieguy1987

    Come on, you can do better...  Are you saying the purpose of industry, commerce & institutions is NOT to promote a stable, functional and prosperous society??
    We can disagree on whether or not a government should be involved, why and to which extent, but we must agree that industry, commerce & institutions are key assets for human civilization, right?

    The communist/socialist samples seemed biased. I may be wrong so tell me, do you consider the Scandinavian countries to be Socialist and on par with those you listed? 

    No, they're not on par, because THEY"RE not socialist! They have free market economies and are actually called Social Democracies, which are different 

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/#3f5997c874ad

    Do you make any distinctions between Socialism and Social-Democracy? It would help to see if we might be talking past each other...

    Because I could start countering with examples of Capitalist societies putting on the same basket, let's say;  The US, Somalia, Russia, Malaysia and Saudi-Arabia?

    But it would be fallacious wouldn't it?

    No, it wouldn't, because not all capitalist nations are 100% successful, but when you look at communist/socialist nations like Venezuela or Cuba, they're FAR behind nations like the U.S

    Also, another issue is that it isn't economic systems that are the flaws of Saudi-Arabia, that's the fact it's an Islamic extremist nation, so that's not a fair comparison 

    And nations with a capitalist economy have better human rights than socialist/communist nations 

    Could we agree that there's a spectrum here?  It could be somewhere to start...

    Plaffelvohfen
    https://www.google.com/search?q=victims+of+religion&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewihu9jugorfahwkmeakhbtib00q_auidigb&biw=1920&bih=963&safe=active

    Socialism/Communism are great on paper, but all you need to do is look at Venezuela or North Korea see why these economic systems fail

    Repealing the Second Amendment is the first step to Totalitarianism, and it needs to be prevented to protect our freedom 

    http://www.atheistrepublic.com/
  • @Zombieguy1987

    -"No, they're not on par, because THEY"RE not socialist! No, they're not on par, because THEY"RE not socialist! They have free market economies and are actually called Social Democracies, which are different" 

    Glad we settled this, I've come across people on other forums who didn't make this distinction so, I had to ask.

    I would argue though that social-democracies don't have a "free market economy" but a mixed one... Yeah, maybe it's semantics to some, but mutually understood definitions are important no? Call me picky, I know I am... lol ;) 
    Zombieguy1987
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