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View Diary: Socialism — what it isn’t (117 comments)

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  •  You're missing the point (3+ / 0-)

    People want to live in a society where basic fairness is valued and, if necessary, enforced by law.

    The New Dealers (from whence much of “liberal” economics comes) had a central insight: unregulated capitalism tends to concentrate wealth, and thus power, in a smaller and smaller slice of people at the top of the economic pile. This eventually leads to crisis, because so much wealth is concentrated at the top that the rest of society does not have enough money to buy the products the elites are producing. Of course, elites can respond by loosening credit so that their workers can go into debt to buy their stuff, but eventually the credit cards are maxed, and then everything grinds to a halt. And by “grinds to a halt,” I mean, “people stop buying things, and then everyone – including the elites – stares terrified into the economic abyss.” See 1929 and 2008 for some sense of what that experience is like.

    Liberalism is designed to prevent capitalism from self-destructing by supporting the bargaining power of workers, restraining the myopic and ultimately self-destructive greed of the rich through progressive income taxes, and so on. It came to save capitalism, not to destroy it.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:00:03 PM PDT

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    •  I am not arguing against regulated capitalism (0+ / 0-)

      I am not arguing for a completely free market.  

      What I am saying is that socialism is a bad as unregulated capitalism.  The solution is somewhere in the middle: capitalism that allows people to get rich through talent, innovation, invention, and hard work, but is regulated enough so that everybody has an opportunity to better their own lives, and that happens by providing more people with the opportunity to gain the education and skills necessary, in our information-based economy, to make a better life for themselves and their families.

      I'm no Bill Gates myself -- I'm a lawyer in a mid-size city (New Orleans).  I've managed to build a pretty good life for my family and my children, largely because I worked really hard in school, sacrificed seven years of my life post-high school, and have been working 50-60 hours a week on average ever since.  I have no desire to take away the wealth of zillionaires like Al Copeland, who started with a little chicken stand in Arabi, Louisiana and built Popeye's Fried Chicken.  What I do think we ought to do is more to see to it that everybody has the opportunity to get marketable skills (a marketable vocation, or college, if they want to and have the scholastic skills) to make a better life for themselves.  And we should provide a social saftety net for people who cannot take care of themselves.  That's the regulation of capitalism I would favor.  

      •  And Al Copeland's reward... (0+ / 0-)

        is that he gets to be on top, from which lofty perch he cannot complain.  

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

        by Panurge on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:24:19 PM PDT

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