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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Socialism Is and Isn't



12 comments:

Sevesteen said...

"Still a capitalist" uses a definition of capitalist vastly different than mine. At best it would seem their version is that we'll let capitalists take all the risks, but if they are successful we'll split the rewards.

Where is the dividing line in profit margin between legitimate profit and greed?

Mo Rage said...


Because it's a "definition of Capitalist (sic) vastly different than yours" patently doesn't make it wrong or incorrect, that's for sure. for starters.

Capitalists can and do take the risks but insurance alone makes sure it doesn't "take all the risks."

And no, that's absolutely untrue. It's not about Capitalists taking all the risks and then others splitting the rewards.

If anything, this is just about seeing to it the business people, the Capitalists are held in check by laws, rules and regulations but only to keep law breaking and true, deep greed from running wild. It's that law-breaking and deep greed that, as one great example, got us things like the Great Depression and the 2008 financial debacle that started here, due to illegal mortgage practices, and went around the planet, to other nations.

As for "...the dividing line in profit margin between legitimate profit and greed"? It's only when it is truly huge and really obviously gross, obscene profit and profits that we're trying to keep in check. I have no formula to reach that here and now but, as an example, our ratio of wages between the top paid executives and the lowest workers is outlandishly wide, even when looked at by itself. When compared to that gap in other nations, say, in Europe, that gap is even more pronounced and obvious.

Sevesteen said...

I understand that there's not an exact number, but there must be a range you have in mind--I'm guessing that you'd consider 90% profit as excessive, 0.1% profit acceptable--are you willing to narrow that range up a bit? If there are other factors, what are they?






Mo Rage said...

Actually it's not the profit(s) at all. It's two things.

---Corporations should all pay a decent, humane, true, living wage--not that much to ask, honestly and

---corporations should keep their CEO and executives pay in check so they're not, say, literally 300 to 400% higher than that of the lowest wages in the company.

Sevesteen said...

Probably the biggest difference between us is that we have vastly different ideas of the results of policies like this.

I've worked retail, it is a lot easier than my job--if I could make what I consider a living wage as a cashier, it would take more to get me to do my current job. Costs would go up, and whatever the new minimum wage was set to would soon have about the same buying power as current minimum wage. If minimum wage is indexed to inflation, it will cause severe inflation.

If CEO pay is tied to the lowest paid workers in their company (without a multiplier for the size of the company) high tech firms will be encouraged to outsource their assembly workers and janitors, among other things. It will benefit Foxconn more than it will Americans.

Mo Rage said...


The fact is, we have laws on the tax books now that actually reward business for offshoring jobs, manufacturing and otherwise.

Clearly, those should never have even been written, let alone proposed and passed. They should now be taken off and they should have been taken off before now. The very people who wrote, proposed and passed them--Republicans--have fought Democratic Party people and efforts to take them off. It's verifiable. These laws should go as should laws that allow offshoring profits. It's un-American and it's certainly unpatriotic. It's indefensible all the way around.

Sevesteen said...

The fact is, we have way too many people who don't understand that consumers will always pay the overwhelming majority of corporate taxes in one way or another. If you increase the cost of all automakers by 5%, the consumer price of autos will go up by at least 5%--whether that cost is raw materials, regulatory compliance or taxes. We have a ton of people who think "Tax everyone but me", or who want a scapegoat to blame everything on. The scapegoat used to be Jews, now it's corporations and the 1%--but not much other than the target has changed.

Both sides have proposed stupid and counterproductive taxes and loopholes, trying to get anyone but their voters to pay, trying to get their pet projects funded and both sides overspending and continually increasing the size of government.



Mo Rage said...


Consistently, the ones "continually increasing the size of government", however, is the Republican Party.

I give you no better recent example than George W. Bush and Company's Department of "Homeland Security."

Even the Republican candidates are doing it. Check this out from John Kasich:

Gov. John Kasich Wants to Create a Government Agency to Promote “Judeo-Christian Values”

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/18/gov-john-kasich-wants-to-create-a-government-agency-to-promote-judeo-christian-values/

The Democrats merely want some protections from the already-wealthy and corporations so they don't eat us alive---on pay, with pollution, etc.

Sevesteen said...

Since the Democrats have made no significant efforts to scale back the department of Homeland Security even when they were in power, they have no moral right to blame it on the Republicans. (and since the Republicans created Homeland Security, they have no right to whine when the Democrats abuse it too) And that's my point. Both sides increase government, and when a different party takes control, neither will give up the powers the others created. A little more nanny state this term, a little more law and order the next, less freedom regardless.

Mo Rage said...


You deny my point, the history. The Republicans have increased the size of government more, far more.

On "larger government"---surprise--we agree. But the only way government is going to be more held in check is if we overturn the Citizens United ruling and kill campaign contributions. If we don't do that, nothing will change for the better, for the people.

Mo Rage said...


And by Republicans have increased the size of government, I mean in recent years, that's all. Clearly, we wouldn't have Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid---all of which Americans and America needed. I don't for a moment deny or ignore that, of course.

Sevesteen said...

I won't defend the republicans on growing government any more than I would defend Democrats on their war record. Republicans are supposed to be small government, Democrats are supposed to be the party of peace, both of them fail miserably. You brought up Homeland Security, it merely demonstrates the problem. If the Democrats would dismantle Republican growth when they had power and the Republicans would dismantle Democrat growth, we would be in much better shape.

Obama by himself and with only the traditional established executive powers could make a huge difference in a lot of ways, by giving up power--A prime example is the drug war. Rescheduling marijuana out of Schedule 1 is an executive branch decision and would go a long way towards reducing the harm of the drug war.