General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Do you have any suggestions for sustainable resolution of the wealth inequality problem in the US?

Asked by crazyguy (1085points) 1 week ago

This is a favorite subject of mine. So, bear with me, while I give you my take on the problem.

Inequality in wealth and income is measured by the GINI coefficient. For the US, the 2019 value for the GINI coefficient is 0.852. It is topped by only three other countries: Netherlands, Russia and Sweden. Netherlands and Sweden are big surprises, Russia is not. However, keep in mind that Russia is the only one of the four top nations that went through a massive revolution about a century ago. The revolution resulted in complete equality in the Marxist sense. So it is a surprise to see them revert to their old ways except the czars have been replaced by the oligarchs.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wealth_equality

One other country that went through a violent wealth redistribution was France. France has a 2019 GINI of 0.696, lower than Denmark, Germany, UK, and most other European nations. In fact the only Western European nations with more wealth equality than France are Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and Italy. So France may be a good model for the US to follow.

What do you think?

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65 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

Wealth inequality is a factor of greed. Some place on the globe view money differently. CEOs in Japan, for instance, don’t make the huge multi-million dollar salaries that US CEOs do. They recognize that money could go back into their company making it even stronger and more solid and profitable.
But greed is the key. So until someone figures out a way to curb human greed, there will always be income inequality. If you took all the money in the world right now and divided it equally between all the humans, it wouldn’t stay that way. Some people would waste it, others would use it to build things or businesses and eventually you would end up with income inequality again.

LogicHead's avatar

I have two suggestions.
1) Outlaw abortion, which preys on the Black Community
Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., once said, “No one is going to kill a child of mine.” Tragically, two of his grandchildren had already been aborted when he saved the life of his next great-grandson with this statement. His son, King once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.

2) Open up School Choice…Most of the Democratic candidates that spoke strongly for public schools without choice SEND THEIR KIDS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS. We all know that the poor in this country get the worst schooling and that ensures they stay poor.

LogicHead's avatar

How about the world…

Hernando de Soto has always seemed to me to offer the best worldwide poverty solution: Legally-enforced PROPERTY RIGHTS

The basics are that all of us Third Worlders have in common a very underdeveloped property rights system, a very underdeveloped legal apparatus, and that’s what keeps you ahead of us. That’s the part I look at. The fact that I’m able to find it in different cultures is first of all important to us because it indicates that there are basic principles that account for development, that there are general theories that one can bring together and that, therefore, there are solutions that one can devise on the basis of this information. But it’s not the differences that make it interesting for me to go into any particular part of the Third World; it’s the fact that we’re so similar in spite of the fact that this might be manifested in different cultural forms.

ragingloli's avatar

Strengthening worker’s rights, protections, unionisation, and collective bargaining power of the working class.
One of the primary drivers of income inequality is the massive power differential in the relationship between employers and employees, that makes it extremely difficult for employees to effectively and safely negotiate for the fair compensation and treatment that they deserve.
Someone without leverage, without legal protections, without legal recourse will inevitably end up underpaid, mistreated and exploited.

LostInParadise's avatar

Restore the federal tax rates to what they were under Eisenhower.
Provide universal healthcare.
Provide free college education.

@LogicHead , We don’t know what MLK thought of abortion. We do know that he was in favor of birth control.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is the key question of our age, and I don’t believe its importance can be overstated. I truly believe it underlies our growing social unrest as well as the fraying of our concept of the public good.

To begin, I don’t believe Russia belongs in this discussion, simply because it is much more a gangland enterprise than a country footed on electoral politics.

@seawulf575 ‘s astute observation on capitalism being based on greed should be extended to recognize that greed is enabled through the exploitation of most of us to the great benefit of a few of us. THIS in effect is another way of stating the problem and why wealth under capitalism will ALWAYS accumulate at the top.

With this in mind, all of us can remember periods in this country when the standard of living for all of us was on the rise simultaneously. Clearly, this is certainly no longer the case. Why?

For my money, it’s the simple fact that it is cheaper to buy the politicians than to pay billions in taxes. The beauty of capitalism is that it is all about CLASS—with plutocracy the actual goal. If you are rich and wish the system to favor the rich, you simply see to it that your politicians are enriched, and surer than shit laws will be dependably enacted favoring the rich and GUARANTEEING that wealth flow uphill at the direct expense of the non rich.

Now, it’s rather obvious that this cannot continue without the losers eventually noticing that “things ain’t right”. There’s enormous wealth in the country, yet it grows ever more difficult for the guy on the ground to maintain a reasonable existence. So we get sideshow explanations for our plight: blame those suffering the consequences; greedy teachers unions, lazy unemployed, etc.

Meantime our politicians are tasked with insuring that the rich get richer, yet must find some method of mitigating the effect on the voters on whom they must depend for employment. The solution? Why of course it’s SOCIALISM. But it is an insidious socialism based on debt. Since the rich don’t pay their share, and the middle is falling behind and groaning under the load formerly carried by corporations and the wealthy, the government is increasingly compelled to provide the services we formerly were able to provide ourselves. And this trend will almost certainly continue.

Demosthenes's avatar

This isn’t my area of expertise, so I’m just spitballing here, but I think a lot of it has to begin with the schools. The massive disparities between quality of school districts, graduation rates, and test scores is readily apparent where I live. Two school districts can border each other and yet exist in different worlds: one is among the highest-achieving in the state, the other is among the lowest-achieving. The low-achieving district has a student body that is nearly 90% Hispanic and black. (This is an actual example of two districts in the area I grew up in). This disparity in access to quality education furthers the cycle of poverty.

We talk about wanting good “race relations” in this country, but race relations are never going to be good as long as certain races are at the bottom of every statistic. As long as the divisions between races are made obvious by the stratification of wealth along racial lines, there’s no healing racial relations. Wealth inequality is key to it all, I believe.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think it’s the other way around. The sinking quality of our schools to me is but another consequence of our stagnant and declining standard of living facilitated by the piling of money at the top. The impoverishment of the middle class means revenue shortfalls for states and school districts. It means slow moving catastrophe for every social service we once took for granted.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Note that wealth inequality and income equality are two different things..

The Netherlands and Sweden have high Gini numbers for wealth inequality, not income. The US is high for both.

crazyguy's avatar

Thanks all for your input. Like I said upfront, this subject is near and dear to me. And I am truly in search of a panacea where we will not be all equal but close enough that there would be no incentive for revolution. I fully understand what @seawulf575 stated: “If you took all the money in the world right now and divided it equally between all the humans, it wouldn’t stay that way.”
I do believe the Russians and the French did that; we know how Russia turned out.

Here are my comments on the individual posts.

@seawulf575 Greed is a vital part of human nature. It is the emotion that drives individuals to excel, to come up with and develop new ideas that drive our economy forward. One reason socialism can never compete with capitalism is that socialism takes away the rewards for excellence. The longer you keep doing that, the more you kill the desire to excel, because you cannot reward excellence. So I do not think we want to kill greed. The reason we reward our CEOs more than the Japanese is precisely the reason that we are at the forefront of most industries.

@LogicHead I am not certain that increasing the number of babies born into homes that cannot look after the new babies is an answer. I agree that school choice is extremely important.

You lost me in your second post. I am not trying to address wealth inequality between nations, only that which exists within the US.

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli Strengthening worker’s rights sounds good. However, keep in mind that it cannot possibly work when you have any number of workers willing to work for less than the agreed wage. We live in a capitalist society; and for reasons that should be obvious to all, I do not see any other option to keep increasing the size of the pie. All wages and all prices are set by the laws of supply and demand. The first step on the road to reducing “the massive power differential in the relationship between employers and employees” is better immigration control. I do not mean to step on any political toes, just economic.

@LostInParadise By making government larger by increasing government funding and responsibilities, you may reduce income inequality but I am not sure you will do anything to reduce wealth inequality. And you will ensure that the size of the pie, otherwise known as the GDP, will start to stagnate.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly First of all, the only reason Russia was mentioned in the question was that Russia was the first country in the recent past to attempt forcible wealth equality by confiscating assets of the “rich” and redistributing them among the “poor”.

Capitalism is based, pure and simple, on greed. If you eliminate greed either by legislation or by changing the system over to socialism, the effects would be immediate. And disastrous. The first thing you will notice is a slow, but unmistakable, decline in the rate of new business formation. Most small businesses are based on a belief that they can do something better than it is being done today. If they can succeed in their mission, the founders of the company, and the investors, shall be rewarded ‘bigly’. That is why the founders invest a lot of time (and sometimes money), and investors invest a lot of money. You take away the potential rewards, you will kill most small businesses.

I agree with you that living standards in this country are not rising in all sectors of the economy. I do not agree that the reason is only corruption. I think the main reason is that the employer-employee balance has been thrown off by unfettered illegal immigration. Keep in mind that most illegal immigrants are unskilled laborers. Therefore, a large supply of unskilled laborers exerts downward pressure on wages. If the low end of wages goes down, downward pressure is exerted on all wages. Thu=is concept is a little harder to grasp, so let me try and explain. Not all minimum wage people are happy where they are. Some of them try hard to move up. Moving up requires either more education or hard work. Incentive is provided by the differential earnings. If the difference in earnings is large, there will be more people willing to put in the effort to move up. The larger supply of employees at the next higher level will exert pressure on the wages in that tier, and so on.

crazyguy's avatar

@Demosthenes Like you, this is not my area of expertise either. I worked as an engineer all my life, and never thought of deep ideas like this until I retired. However, I think you and @LogicHead have hit the nail on the head. We need school choice. That may be the only way to get a reduction in income and wealth inequality.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly I think the point is that poor schools propagate income and wealth inequality. The cycle can be broken by providing a choice in schools to the poor, so they can educate their children as well as their richer compatriots. In other words, if we start looking forward as a society, we may find solutions for our basic problems.

@Call_Me_Jay You are right they are different. I should have emphasized that more. Income inequality can be fixed much easier than wealth inequality (one suggestion is increase the progressiveness of the tax code). However, care has to be exercised in tweaking tax rates. Because it is so easy to mess them up so bad that the incentive for taking huge risks of starting small businesses is taken away.

LostInParadise's avatar

Government works best when it concentrates on things that are mutually beneficial. For example, we all benefit from having an army to protect us from foreign invasion. Similarly, we all benefit from having an educated workforce. A college degree is now the equivalent of what a high school degree previously was. In the same way, having a healthy workforce is to everyone’s advantage.

Corporations pay for worker insurance and give financial incentives for taking college courses because it is to their financial advantage. Why not shift the burden to government for these services, in order to cover more people and save money on all the paperwork?

kritiper's avatar

It doesn’t need a resolution. We are a capitalistic democracy of free men (and women). It is what it is.

LogicHead's avatar

Stop abortion, strengthen families, grant School Choice.

Your falling Black Child is often from a broken home and going to a lousy school

crazyguy's avatar

@LostInParadise Not everybody can and wants a college degree. Heck, there are high school “graduates” who would be better off going through an apprentice program. The one-size-fits-all approach of most government programs is unnecessary.

Perhaps a compromise would be:

1. Toughen the standards for college admission. Make sure no qualified student misses out for financial reasons.

2. Provide apprenticeship opportunities for those who do not qualify for state college.

3. In healthcare, provide options at lower levels of coverage. One possibility that I would have happily signed up my healthy wife for would be a high deductible and co-pay (which essentially amounts to self-insurance). That way she would be protected against the really bad, highly unlikely stuff, while we would take care of minor stuff.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper Those words: “It is what it is” are loaded. It is true that we are a capitalistic democracy of free men. It is also true that government does play a role through its:

1. Tax policy.
2. Rules and regulations.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The government more than plays a role. Increasingly, it has become the function of the government regardless of what we profess to mitigate the effects of capitalism. By this I mean the rewards of working no longer accrue primarily to those doing the work. Productivity rises, yet wages remain stagnant and the rewards of that productivity are channeled EXCLUSIVELY to the top. When you look at what is actually going on, there is no denying that ours is actually a galloping plutocracy disguised as a republic. The schools as the issue for our failings is another red herring. The conditions of our schools are simply one more reflection of the reality that the rich grow richer at the visible expense of everyone else. In fact, the schools in particular illustrate my point. For it is the schools in this country whose districts are funded through property taxes. There was a day in this country when the middle class fielded excellent public schools across the board. But it is the destruction of the working class and decline of the middle class that generates our school problems rather than the other way around. School choice or charter schools WILL NOT remedy the situation where schools are increasingly blamed for the societal failures generated by economic disparity. How many families do you suppose consider moving to Detroit for the charter school of their choice?

Immigration is another red herring as an excuse for what afflicts us. The only thing that immigration pressure on this country reflects is the fact that there are still places far worse off than ourselves. In our case, places to the South of us are far worse off BECAUSE of our policies geared to assure that the rich get richer, which is EXACTLY what NAFTA is about.

But if greed is indeed the solid reality behind capitalism, it should be crystal clear that it MUST be the government that regulates and mitigates that greed. In fact this by force becomes ever more necessary as a matter of routine as ever more of the nation’s wealth accumulates at the top.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly “By this I mean the rewards of working no longer accrue primarily to those doing the work.” Did they ever? If they did, what would accrue to the job creators, the entrepreneurs and the investors?

Stanley, I think you have it totally confused. A capitalist economy is all about supply and demand. If ideas were a dime a dozen and venture capital there for the taking, the rewards for entrepreneurship would decline. By the same token if there was a labor squeeze, wages would rise.

If, after decades of failed Democratic policies, you still think they have any answers, my friend, I feel for you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Failed Democratic policies? As if the Republican solutions are superior. A capitalist economy may be about supply and demand. That is however irrelevant to the question of whether the society is a net beneficiary overall. My argument is that the era of the rising tide lifting all boats has CLEARLY ended, and we had damned sure better quickly come to recognize WHY. The country was once distinguished as a place where the standard of living rose for EVERYONE. But the rather stark revelations of end stage capitalism confront us with some disturbing truths, the crucial one being that any system geared for whatever reason with its primary dictum that the rich get richer is doomed to dysfunction. This is no longer about Democrats vs. Republicans. The plutocrats own both. BOTH parties are OWNED by the rich. The only difference is in that the Democratic party is tasked more or less with the label of attempting to mitigate the destructive aspects of capitalism, while the Republicans pretend such aspects inventions of the left with no basis in fact.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“If, after decades of failed Democratic policies, you still think they have any answers, my friend, I feel for you.”

Your humble opinion @crazyguy ?

Oh and no source so it must be your opinion !

kritiper's avatar

@crazyguy Be that as it may.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly The Democrats pretend to be the guardians of the working man; at the same time they let in thousands if not tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to compete for the scarce lower-paid jobs. How can you keep the minimum wage up if there are so many potential employees who will willingly work their butts off for less money?

In order to raise standards of living for everyone, it is necessary to have supply and demand balance, preferably more demand and slightly constrained supply.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The Democrats are about as inclined to open the borders as the Republicans are to shooting refugees at the border. Of course the undocumented depress wages at the bottom of our society. But they are NOT the reason that our society can be viewed as one in which its citizens are moving toward refugee status themselves. Here are the facts for all of you screaming about socialism and redistribution of wealth. The wealth IS being redistributed upwards and has been for decades. The trend is accelerating in more ways than you can count. It has gotten so out of hand that the entrepreneurship you are touting is increasingly about swindles and con games. This is where the creativity resides nowadays in a country that sacrificed its manufacturing and industrial base on the altar of quarterly profit. Corporations and businesses are booming with profits, while wages stagnate and even fall. The stock market booms in the midst of depression level unemployment. The market’s up—the rich get richer. The market drops—the rich get richer. Covid epidemic? The rich get richer. Economy in the toilet and guess what????

What conclusions are to be drawn?

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly In an otherwise reasonable post, you include the following words: “entrepreneurship is increasingly about swindles and con games”. Being the father of two children who live in Silicon Valley and have started half a dozen companies themselves and know of dozens more, I find your statement not only ill-informed but despicable. You have now sunk to the level of name-calling. Good day, Sir!

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy I have done nothing of the kind, and if you believe I have insulted your kids, you are too weird to be taken seriously. Perhaps instead of living up to your monicker, you might look beyond my back yard of silicon valley and consider the rise of payday check cashing stores, derivative stock swindles, crooked mortgage schemes, reverse mortgage cons, multi level marketing pyramid ripoffs and both states and their municipalities resorting to casinos, lotteries, onerous forced property forfeitures for bogus crimes, scandalous debt loads accumulated by suckers of such scams as Trump University—this is the sort of “entrepreneurship” to which I refer, and the sort of “creativity” culminating in such atrocities as a know nothing thug and criminal reprobate being elevated to the Presidency of the United States.

crazyguy's avatar

Your words that threw me into a rage were: “entrepreneurship is increasingly about swindles and con games”. You did not explain your statement. Now that you have, let me ask you this: would you happen to know what percentage of entrepreneurs are engaged in swindles and con games? You said “increasingly”. So I imagine you have stats on then and now?

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ @crazyguy – I’m sorry that this isn’t a safe space where you’re only exposed to right-wing speech. It would seem that you are easily triggered. It might make sense to try to expect a level of conversation that you’re not used to.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy You are once again asking the wrong question. Rather than asking for stats, look at that list of my complaints, then tell me how many of them were valid when you were the age of your kids. Then tell me whether or not my assertions hold water.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly Every one of the businesses you list can be abused. But the reason they thrive is because they provide useful services to intellectually challenged people who do not know how to calculate the cost of an offered benefit.

However, I still take issue with your choice of words which basically stated that today’s entrepreneurs are more into swindles than they used to be. I still think a statement like the one you made needs to be supported by stats.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You don’t need stats to understand that each of those realities was non existent when you or I was born. If your excuse is “there will always be suckers”, I am not arguing with you. I will stick by my argument that entrepreneurship can now be gauged in creative methods for fleecing the suckers, and the deplorable fact of strapped governments now being complicit in many of the schemes.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly This will be my final post on the subject. “entrepreneurship can now be gauged in creative methods for fleecing the suckers” – I am not sure what you mean, and frankly I don’t even care. All I can say is I know a lot of entrepreneurs, and all of them are not trying to fleece anybody. Of course, whenever you get money for doing something the customer could have done him/herself, that may be called fleecing.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I have an odd idea:

What if every year all money and assests gets put in a pot and divided equally amongst all adult citizens?
You would get first dibs on your stuff and everyone starts over again on equal terms and footing.

No one wants to start a new game without the same footing. Like starting a Monopoly game where all the land is pre owned by a select few.

I call it financial reincarnation.

crazyguy's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 What would be the incentive to build a fortune?

ragingloli's avatar

“A lot has changed in the past three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.” – Jean Luc Picard

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@crazyguy None. It would be better than giving up after all the largess is gone. You would have the freedom to save a little each turn. Also you could choose every year which program that you want. If you want to amass a fortune you would take plan b. If you are starting at the low scale you can choose plan a.
That way no one is upset at tax time. Each picks a system that they want.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@ragingloli Good quote. Can you suggest where I can go further into similar futuristic economic policy?

ragingloli's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1
The entirety of DS9.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@ragingloli I saw all of DS9. What other books, YouTube videos, or shows do you suggest after DS9? Other than the Ferengi rules of Acquisition?

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli @RedDeerGuy1 Picard’s quote misses the fact that most of us still work for a living, and don’t really want to. Last time I checked, it takes a lot of things and wealth to never have to work again.

Greed is the cornerstone of most human endeavor. Take that away, and the size of the pie to be split every year will start shrinking.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy Let’s forget about the “creativity” involved with new fangled scams and discuss the reality involving greed and inequality. Once you recognize that greed is indeed at the foundation of capitalism, you must admit that it must be the role of the government to not only regulate said greed, but more importantly, the government alone must assume the primary role in compensating for greed’s effects. In other words, the more successful greed is in concentrating the nation’s wealth at the top, the more the government will be forced to come to the aid of those impoverished as a result. It’s just that simple. All of you screaming about the evils of socialism should come to understand this fact, and recognize that the visible evidence of our society disintegrating right in front of us is a direct and open exhibit of the “success” of capitalism (greed). The dysfunction confronting us is in fact a measure of the government’s inability to devise remedies to counter the galloping greed as more of us fall behind.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly Let me paraphrase your comment:

1. Greed, in the context of capitalism, is defined as the instinct to accumulate as much wealth as possible.

2. Government should define rules governing capitalism.

3. If the rules are followed, but are unsuccessful in preventing concentration of wealth (which is, of course, a very, very bad thing), then Government shall be responsible for helping out the ones at the bottom of the ladder.

4. The answer, of course, is socialism.

Did I miss anything? Did I misstate?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Nope. It isn’t that the government SHOULD set the rules regulating greed. The entire setup is designed that government MUST set and regulate the greed. Which is why Bernie Madoff’s in jail and Trump University now a bad memory. That’s pretty much the way it turns out. You are neglecting the very salient adage that this is a setup where profit is privatized while it is the debt necessary to finance it which is publicized. The rich not only rob the society through not shouldering their share of the load, they are also busy as a necessary expedient in robbing the country of a future.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess the question I would have when it comes to @stanleybmanly‘s answer is: How does a group of men and women who are probably the most greedy in the country set effective rules tho regulate greed?

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’ve already told you that you merely see to it that those proposing the laws are rich, and laws will be enacted guaranteeing the further enrichment of the class. If you don’t believe that’s how it works, take a look at Hillary or Obama, the people YOU claim are raging communists. You wouldn’t recognize an actual leftist if he fell on your head.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly I took the time to read and understand your earlier post and summarized it in 4 bullet points. You changed one word in my item #2 (should to MUST). So I assume you agree with my bullet points with that one change?

Then you bring up a brand new point that profit is privatized while necessary debt is public (you said publicized which means something totally unrelated). Last time I checked, most debt is also private. So, I have no idea what you are talking about. Do you?

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m talking about the public debt. Our perpetual and growing deficits required in the attempt to compensate for the wealth transferred to the top. And the expanding private debt is ANOTHER result of the transfer of wealth to the top. It’s another indicator of the disguising of our slipping standard of living through the utilization of debt. Rather than tax the rich and corporate sectors, we allow them to extract the money from our economy, compelling us to borrow in order to finance the public services required to compensate for the missing money.

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly I am coming to a conclusion that you have guilt feelings about being better off than the majority. I fully understand your guilt (I feel it sometimes), but I am not going to hold your hand. Any more.

stanleybmanly's avatar

it has nothing to do with guilt. I genuinely would prefer to live among people not compelled to suffer the abuse at the hands of those pulling strings.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly and yet you always are such a strong supporter of Socialism!

stanleybmanly's avatar

You just do not understand that there is no avoiding socialism. It is the only thing that makes living in a society tolerable. YOU need clean streets, a working sewage system, water and fire department, army, post office, social security administration, department of public health. You need to learn EXACTLY what socialism means and understand that we are condemned to its ever growing encroachment as the only possible relief from the “success” of capitalism in removing the wealth from the average citizen. Look about you. The clues are everywhere that the government cannot keep pace with remedies to the galloping “success” of capitalism.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Well gee….I came up with two definitions:
“Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which the means of production are collectively owned but a completely classless society has not yet been achieved.
THAT is what you are espousing. THAT is what you are calling for. And THAT is what puts all the power in the hands of the government and compels the suffering and abuse at the hands of those pulling the strings. Now, you can argue all day long, but you have to ignore many, many examples that show what I am saying is 100% correct.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You can call it whatever you like. But like it or not, it falls on the government to remedy the failings of capitalism. And I am telling you point blank that every one of the disruptions confronting this society can be attributed to the spectacular “success” of capitalism, and the government’s inability to keep up with remedies for the consequences. As ever more resources are siphoned off to further enrich the ruling class, that class in its greed enhances the odds of those deprived rising up to cut their greedy throats. THIS is the dynamic that GUARANTEES the advance of socialism. The only question is whether the pace of that advance can possibly keep pace with the greed. And you better hope that we get better at devising socialist antidotes to capitalist gluttony.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Have you ever considered that it is government that causes the failings of capitalism?

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Have you ever considered that “capitalism” can only exist through massive government intervention?

Note: There are many flavors of “socialism”, and the existence of a government is not assumed.

seawulf575's avatar

@hmmmmmm Gee…thought you were not going to interact with me. Well…that went out the window a while back, I guess. But capitalism has fully existed without government. It is called a barter system. It is where you set your prices for your goods or services. It existed long before government. When we created the concept of money, it only gave a common basis for trade…it didn’t change the idea that you would only get paid if you earned it.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Even the most libertarian capitalists don’t argue for an absence of government.

Global capitalism is maintained via massive government interference. The history of the 20th century is the US (and others) invading countries on behalf of global capital. It’s quite absurd to argue that capitalism can exist without workers paying for their own oppression.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 have you ever considered that it is ownership of the government that PROMOTES the failures of capitalism?

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly This is in response to your earlier post:

it has nothing to do with guilt. I genuinely would prefer to live among people not compelled to suffer the abuse at the hands of those pulling strings.

So you would substitute people with unlimited power in position to pull the strings. Some people will never learn how good they have it now!

crazyguy's avatar

@stanleybmanly This is in response to your latest post:

You can call it whatever you like. But like it or not, it falls on the government to remedy the failings of capitalism. And I am telling you point blank that every one of the disruptions confronting this society can be attributed to the spectacular “success” of capitalism, and the government’s inability to keep up with remedies for the consequences. As ever more resources are siphoned off to further enrich the ruling class, that class in its greed enhances the odds of those deprived rising up to cut their greedy throats. THIS is the dynamic that GUARANTEES the advance of socialism. The only question is whether the pace of that advance can possibly keep pace with the greed. And you better hope that we get better at devising socialist antidotes to capitalist gluttony.

The capitalist gluttony that you speak of is controlled by a government that we elect every 2, 4 or 6 years. We have seen swings in the level of control throughout US history. However, you would rather that everything be nationalized because “government will then control who can earn what”, so there can be no “capitalist gluttony”. Isn’t that the same system that has been tried unsuccessfully in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Venezuela? Even India had a sort of socialism until about 1990. Like I said in my previous post, some people never learn…

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy – You speak with such confidence about things you know nothing about.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy It makes no difference what I want. I’m telling you what I think MUST happen regarding the ever increasing necessity for socialist remedies to the evils generated through capitalist success. It’s merely a matter of common sense. If you allow people to vote, a society defined by merely the rich and paupers is impossible. If the society is engineered such that the rich get richer NO MATTER WHAT, there must come a point when it is at the direct and undeniable expense of everyone else. We are living through EXACTLY this encroachment on the middle class, and the markers for this are undeniable. The cracks in the setup grow on front of us to the point that aberrations such as Trump grow ever more commonplace as the temperature rises in the pool in which we simmer. If it grows ever more difficult to earn a living in a land where the rich MUST get richer, eventually the only way to fulfill that dictum will be through the impoverishment of the non rich, and it must fall on the government to deliver the necessities the non rich can no longer provide for themselves.

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