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Thread: Socialism Fails Again

  1. #31
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    If you cut out energy, which amounts to roughly 25% to 30% of Russia's GDP, banking, which has deposits that amount to roughly 7% of their GDP, defense, which constitutes 20% of all Russian manufacturing jobs, and transportation, (Russian Railways alone comprises 2% of total Russian GDP), you might have the foundations of an argument that Russia is somehow a role model for a capitalist economy. Is that a meaningful comparison when almost half of the economy is state owned, controlled, or subsidized?
    You think Russia is the only European country with large state controlled industries, or heavy government involvement in the private sector? In France, government spending is 56% of GDP and the government owns shares in various corporations across the following sectors: banking, energy production and distribution, automobiles, transportation, and telecommunications. The Norwegian Government owns a controlling share of statoil (clues in the title), and heavily involvement in various other sectors. Similar stories in many European countries. Are they all 'not capitalist'

    By saying Russia is definitely capitalist, except where it isn't - and where it isn't involves entire industries and enormous swathes of their economy, are you saying anything meaningful? Are you even attempting to compare apples to apples by measuring relatively free segments of the Russian economy against the same industries in other Western countries?
    All economies are definitely capitalist, except where they aren't - as Randblade has said pure capitalism doesn't exist anywhere. What I am trying to do is establish a common definition for "capitalist" and "not capitalist" so that meaningful things can be said.
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  2. #32
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Russia's issue isn't that its economy is government-controlled; Russia's problem is that a vast majority of the economy is controlled by those with close connections to the government, and anyone without those connections finds it almost impossible to succeed economically. A government doesn't need to directly control economic activity to control economic activity.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  3. #33
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    You think Russia is the only European country with large state controlled industries, or heavy government involvement in the private sector? In France, government spending is 56% of GDP and the government owns shares in various corporations across the following sectors: banking, energy production and distribution, automobiles, transportation, and telecommunications. The Norwegian Government owns a controlling share of statoil (clues in the title), and heavily involvement in various other sectors. Similar stories in many European countries. Are they all 'not capitalist'
    No, and it may not surprise you to know that I do not think that many European countries have economic systems that could broadly be called capitalist, including France and Scandinavia. Which is not to say they do not have sectors or industries that may be more or less free market or capitalist.


    All economies are definitely capitalist, except where they aren't - as Randblade has said pure capitalism doesn't exist anywhere. What I am trying to do is establish a common definition for "capitalist" and "not capitalist" so that meaningful things can be said.
    Well, as Minx noted it may be hard to draw a definitive line in the sand that everyone here would agree on, but it is much less difficult to roughly estimate where a country falls on the economic spectrum.
    Last edited by Enoch the Red; 05-07-2015 at 03:47 PM.

  4. #34
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    Well, as Minx noted it may be hard to draw a definitive line in the sand that everyone here would agree on, but it is much less difficult to roughly estimate where a country falls on the economic spectrum.
    I'm not sure that there is a spectrum. Because that would mean that one "end" would be capitalism and the other "end" is socialism - and then we'd get into the debate where all the other economic systems would be located on this spectrum.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    I'm not sure that there is a spectrum. Because that would mean that one "end" would be capitalism and the other "end" is socialism - and then we'd get into the debate where all the other economic systems would be located on this spectrum.
    Yes? Isn't that the whole point of having a spectrum? As you yourself have pointed out many times, things are rarely binary.

    EDIT

    If you are objecting because you believe there are more than just two economic options (socialism or capitalism), I don't disagree. Feel free to replace spectrum with something more multidimensional.
    Last edited by Enoch the Red; 05-07-2015 at 06:44 PM.

  6. #36
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Yes it is a deep shame that America "The Land of the Free" has so much rent seeking going on and the non-stop creation of additional barriers of entry through governmental crony capitalism. The sad/funny story is that cartels and monopolies typically form because of government as opposed to free enterprise.
    Is this thread supposed to be about the failures of socialism or governments? Since it's already been noted that "pure" capitalism doesn't exist in practice, and democracies are a mix of regulated capitalism plus some degree of social welfare....sounds to me like you should be complaining about campaign financing, and a dysfunctional two-party system dominating the US.

    It's one thing to critique policies or corruption in Venezuela, but as Timbuk said -- boiling it down to SSSocialism vs Capitalism (or Freee Enterprise) is too simplistic. Can you say the US has 'shameful' rent-seeking and entry barriers without admitting our political process operates like a cartel/monopoly?

    It requires a ton of money to run for elected office in "The Land of the Free". Since money is speech and "Corporations are People", it's no surprise that every candidate has a wealthy Party, Super Pac, or a billionaire or two financing their campaigns. But Shame on the US didn't sound like a good thread title, huh.

  7. #37
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    Yes? Isn't that the whole point of having a spectrum? As you yourself have pointed out many times, things are rarely binary.

    EDIT

    If you are objecting because you believe there are more than just two economic options (socialism or capitalism), I don't disagree. Feel free to replace spectrum with something more multidimensional.
    It was indeed the one-dimensional nature of a spectrum. I don't think that such numeric descriptors are well suited to political and economical systems - some things simply can't be quantified.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Is this thread supposed to be about the failures of socialism or governments? Since it's already been noted that "pure" capitalism doesn't exist in practice, and democracies are a mix of regulated capitalism plus some degree of social welfare....sounds to me like you should be complaining about campaign financing, and a dysfunctional two-party system dominating the US.

    It's one thing to critique policies or corruption in Venezuela, but as Timbuk said -- boiling it down to SSSocialism vs Capitalism (or Freee Enterprise) is too simplistic. Can you say the US has 'shameful' rent-seeking and entry barriers without admitting our political process operates like a cartel/monopoly?

    It requires a ton of money to run for elected office in "The Land of the Free". Since money is speech and "Corporations are People", it's no surprise that every candidate has a wealthy Party, Super Pac, or a billionaire or two financing their campaigns. But Shame on the US didn't sound like a good thread title, huh.
    Since I'm in favor of free speech I wouldn't be in favor of restrictions on political speech.

    Your problem is you want speech to be evaluated on weather or not it 'hurts' or 'helps' society as a whole. Things that cause more harm than good in your eyes should be restricted. I reject that idea completely.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Since I'm in favor of free speech I wouldn't be in favor of restrictions on political speech.
    Bullshit, just the other week or something you replied to me that you didn't mind the FBI etc. targeting people critical of the government (at best you called it overzealous, which shows you didn't mind the principle). You only favour free speech you agree with, it seems.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Bullshit, just the other week or something you replied to me that you didn't mind the FBI etc. targeting people critical of the government (at best you called it overzealous, which shows you didn't mind the principle). You only favour free speech you agree with, it seems.
    Keeping an eye on people who are sympathizing with the enemy isn't a bad thing. Especially given the context of the situation where we knew there were communist spies working in the government and in other places. Now if someone was jailed just for a political viewpoint THAT would be a restriction on speech. It is not a restriction on speech if the government pays attention to people today that like to talk about how ISIS should take over.

  11. #41
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Keeping an eye on people who are sympathizing with the enemy isn't a bad thing. Especially given the context of the situation where we knew there were communist spies working in the government and in other places. Now if someone was jailed just for a political viewpoint THAT would be a restriction on speech. It is not a restriction on speech if the government pays attention to people today that like to talk about how ISIS should take over.
    That is all well and good when you agree with who the government deems to be an enemy of the state, but maybe not so much if you don't. Was it okay for the government to spy on Martin Luther King Jr.? Was he really the kind of enemy we needed to worry about?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    That is all well and good when you agree with who the government deems to be an enemy of the state, but maybe not so much if you don't. Was it okay for the government to spy on Martin Luther King Jr.? Was he really the kind of enemy we needed to worry about?
    That would depend on what evidence there was at the time they decided to investigate. The idea that 100% of the people investigated must have been our enemies is an impossible standard and is not reasonable.

  13. #43
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Note how the main standard has consistently been: are they a different race or religion from the majority.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #44
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Since I'm in favor of free speech I wouldn't be in favor of restrictions on political speech.

    Your problem is you want speech to be evaluated on weather or not it 'hurts' or 'helps' society as a whole. Things that cause more harm than good in your eyes should be restricted. I reject that idea completely.

    The weather has nothing to do with it, but the corruption of political speech does.

  15. #45
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Since this thread was about Venezuela, things have certainly not improved. But at least we know who to blame

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...avez-oligarchs
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Since this thread was about Venezuela, things have certainly not improved. But at least we know who to blame

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...avez-oligarchs
    LOL the British left is just as crazy as some of our loons.

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