The Instigator
Ozzie
Pro (for)
The Contender
Capitalistslave
Con (against)

Democratic Capitalism (pro) vs Libertarian-Socialism (con)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 847 times Debate No: 99287
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (0)

 

Ozzie

Pro

This debate is the continuation of another debate (http://www.debate.org... ) in which Capitalistslave accidentally forfeited Round 3. For clarity he will paste his argument from round 2 of the original debate into this round and we'll go from there.
Capitalistslave

Con

I agree to the resolution con proposed, that whichever system " benifits the populous, or at least the majority, to a higher degree is ultimately a better system."

Anarcho-syndicalism and Revolutionary Catalonia.

Now, since libertarian socialism is a fairly wide range of economic ideas, I would argue that anarcho-syndicalism would fall under the umbrella of libertarian socialism. The reason for this is because anarcho-syndicalism is also anti-state, anti-authoritarian, just like libertarian socialism is. Both are forms of socialism as well. While anarcho-syndicalism is not the specific type I want, I would be perfectly okay with an anarcho-syndicalist society as well. Anarcho-syndicalism, as I understand it, is basically when union leaders own the means of production. These union leaders are elected by the workers, and that is how there is democratic control of the means of production, and how syndicalism is still considered a socialist ideology.

The reason why I decided to bring up anarcho-syndicalism, is because the type of libertarian socialism I argue for, has never been attempted before. However, there was one instance I know of where anarcho-syndicalism was attempted. Revolutionary Catalonia is the example of an anarcho-syndicalist society. In my research of the nation, there is not much data on how the economy of revolutionary Catalonia went, but what we do know, is that the standard of living went up significantly after implementing anarcho-syndicalism[2].

I understand that one example of the system working out well is a weak argument, however I don't know of any other country in history that implemented a form of libertarian socialism. Nonetheless, the one who did was a success, and the only reason it is not around today was because it was taken over by fascists. Losing a war more has to do with the poor military strategy or military in general, and not so much with the economy. We all know fascism does excellently well with orienting the economy towards a war economy, but that doesn't necessarily make it a superior ideology or make libertarian socialism an inferior ideology.

Workers' Cooperatives
As my opponent stated, cooperatives can exist in capitalist societies. I would also argue that capitalist companies could exist in socialist societies. What makes a society socialist or capitalist, depends on which type of business is the majority: worker coops or traditional/capitalist businesses(there are of course, other things that would make the society socialist, but for the purpose of my argument, this is what I'm arguing for since this is what I personally want). The more worker coops there are in an economy, the more socialist it becomes.

Since my opponent already seems familiar with coops, I would urge voters and readers to look it up themselves to see what a workers coop is, here's a wikipedia page on them if you want a link on here to click to: [3]

Now, while there are no countries that have a socialist economy wherein coops are the majority, I believe such an economy would be greatly beneficial to the population. I will argue this through examples and studies of coops.

1) Cooperatives are actually, in many ways, more successful than traditional business models. For example, 80% of cooperatives survive the first 5 years of being in business, compared to 41% of the traditional business model. [4] This suggests that coops are likely to get what consumers want right to begin with, more often than traditional businesses. The whole point of a business is to give the consumer what they want, and coops seem to do so more successfully, and I would argue this is the case because more people are involved in the decision making of the company, instead of a single disconnected-from-the-average-person wealthy individual.

2) Additionally, In a comparative study performed by Gabriel Burden and Andres Dean, where they looked into how cooperatives performed in the Uruguayan economic crisis between 1999-2001, it was found that Workers cooperatives employment index rose, while their capitalist counterparts fell in employment. [5, pg. 520] In addition to this, average wage remained higher in worker cooperatives than in capitalist businesses. [5, pg. 523] Therefore, I believe that coops would help increase the average wealth of people in society.

3) Coops make it so that there is no business owner at the top of a company taking a percentage of the profits. Because of this, workers get to split that income amongst themselves, thus improving many more lives of people than would be done with traditional business models. There is evidence that this happens in practice, and not just in theory, as it was found that "in Italy the median capital per employee is higher in worker co-operatives" [6 pg. 17]

I believe this is all sufficient argument for having an economy of all, or mostly, cooperatives, and thus make the economy socialist in this manner.

Why limited government?
Now, since I am arguing in favor of libertarian socialism, this means I also need to argue for why small, decentralized government is best. Really, I have only one reason for this: to do the will of the people. If we have a stronger central government, what occurs is you will have millions of people in a system they do not agree with. Just look at the United States today: you have more than 50 million people who voted against the president-elect, Donald Trump, and millions also who didn't want a republican administration. Now, they(the republicans) are going to be able to impose their will, against the will of those millions. Now if you're a republican, that's great, but just remember the first few years of Obama's adminstration where the government was reversed: surely you weren't happy with what was going on there. If, instead, we had more power given to local governments, there would be fewer people who are having someone else's will imposed on them. If the president of the US had much less power, and the congress had much less power, it wouldn't matter that Donald Trump is going to be president.

How much power would I take away from the federal government and give to local governments? Well, the only powers I think the federal government should have would be: minting coin/money, control of the military, foreign relations, and interstate relations/disputes. All else should be left up to the local governments. I would cut programs like Social Security, the EPA, department of education, etc. I believe local governments can better handle all of these issues. It should be self-explanatory as to why local governments would know your, individual needs better than a federal government.

A worthwhile statistic to bring up is is that 72% of Americans trust their local(city) governments, while only 62% trust state government[7] and 19% trust the federal government[8]. I argue the reason for this is because people don't trust the federal government to get their desires met. Local governments are just better at meeting the wants and needs of the people, as is talked about in this ted talk[9]


Sources:
The sources will be a little time consuming to post again, as I'd have to open up each link and copy/paste them here. You can instead see the sources I used by clicking on the debate my opponent listed in round 1.
Debate Round No. 1
Ozzie

Pro

REBUTTALS
"Revolutionary Catalonia is the example of an anarcho-syndicalist society. In my research of the nation, there is not much data on how the economy of revolutionary Catalonia went, but what we do know, is that the standard of living went up significantly after implementing anarcho-syndicalism"
I'm fine with my opponent using Anarcho-Syndicalism in their argument. However, in the text they've cited doesn't seem to say anything about the standards of living in Catalonia actually improving during the Spanish Civil War, only that it was meant to happen in theory. That particular essay was on the often-overlooked atrocities committed by the anarcho-syndicalists during the war and brings little praise for the Republican faction, let alone any mention life did actually improve during that period. The article goes further to say "[the Spanish Anarchist Movement's] horrific behavior was largely the result of their incoherent view of human freedom, their unsuccessful attempt to synthesize socialism and liberty, and their uncritical and emotional way of thinking."[1] So the one time a Libertarian-Socialist system very similar to the one Pro is arguing for was actually implemented, it was a complete flop. (The facist dictator that followed was equally terrible, but that's irrelevant). The standard of living certainly didn't improve during union governance and neither did society in general.and society in general.
"Cooperatives are actually, in many ways, more successful than traditional business models. For example, 80% of cooperatives survive the first 5 years of being in business, compared to 41% of the traditional business model."
Yes, cooperatives, on average, do have a higher chance of surviving the first five years of business. However- in Economics, just like biology, there is natural selection. Good business models survive, and people copy or take ideas from such models to create more successful businesses. So, if co-ops are as old as the United States[2], why were only approx 0.3% (and that's a high range estimate[3]) of all businesses (in 2005) co-operative?

"This suggests that coops are likely to get what consumers want right to begin with, more often than traditional businesses. The whole point of a business is to give the consumer what they want, and coops seem to do so more successfully. I would argue this is the case because more people are involved in the decision making of the company, instead of a single disconnected-from-the-average-person wealthy individual. " This statement is very flawed. The point of a business is to benefit it's owners and/or stakeholders (i.e. employees/members in a co-op). Consumers benefit from businesses by trading some of their capital for goods that will (supposedly) improve their quality of life, but they don't owe anything to businesses and businesses don't owe anything to them. Despite our shared BoP my opponent hasn't provided any evidence that co-ops do sell what consumers want any better than other businesses, for good reason- it's hard to find a product that is completely unavailable for any average person to purchase. If there's a demand, there's a supply. Also, business owners aren't necessarily holier-then-thou snobs, and stereotyping like that is ridiculous. For example, small business owners are rarely rich but are generally very respected in the community.

"Additionally, In a comparative study performed by Gabriel Burden and Andres Dean, where they looked into how cooperatives performed in the Uruguayan economic crisis between 1999-2001, it was found that Workers cooperatives employment index rose, while their capitalist counterparts fell in employment. [5, pg. 520] In addition to this, average wage remained higher in worker cooperatives than in capitalist businesses. [5, pg. 523] Therefore, I believe that coops would help increase the average wealth of people in society. " I think my opponent has either gotten confused or cited the wrong parts of the Burden and Dean study. Where he cited "Workers cooperatives employment index rose, while their capitalist counterparts fell in employment" ([x], pg 520) there are actually two graphs, one on the relationship between Uruguayan economy and the manufacturing sector, and one on the national employment/unemployment rate. And yes, Co-ops briefly had a better employment index during the recession, just before sinking back below conventional business's during average times. The conclusion I take from that graph? Socialist businesses' job markets are worse than capitalist ones, unless in recession. I would imagine this is because idealistic businesses like these aren't really exposed to the grunt of the economy, instead focussed on communal agriculture and more tame pursuits that don't go bad in times of recession.

WHY DECENTRALISED GOVERNMENT WON'T WORK
My opponent has been fairly vague on what role 'local governments' will have, or what a local government even is. It could be anything from a council presiding over a few suburbs (what local government means in Australia) to a city government to a state government. The only thing they have specified is federal government will exclusively deal with minting, defence, foreign relations and internal relations. I assume this means most of a citizen's tax dollars will go to their local government. Local governments will inevitably have much smaller budget, meaning much, much less purchasing power than a federal government. Sure, a smaller region needs less funds to be serviced, but spending more money on something in a higher quantity means more value for money (it's like wholesale, I'm sure you understand. Words are hard for me today). It's a universal effect, so even if federal money has to be spread out more, a region would receive more value for it's tax dollars if the money comes from a larger pool (the federal government). I know that was very badly articulated, please bare with me!
CAPITALISM vs. SOCIALISM
Winston Churchill perfectly captured the spirit of socialism in this quote: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Although my opponent is proposing a different type of socialism, the idea is the same: complete economic equality. This sounds nice and idealistic until you think about it. If all the workers of all the businesses own their respective businesses in equal parts everyone is stuck at the same level. You eliminate poverty amoung the employed, but if no-one can own more than their equal share no-one can become wealthy. This takes all the optimism and spirit out of the economy. Mondragon, an example my opponent enthusiastically mentions, has an annual revenue of about "12 million and around 75,000 employees. If their annual revenue was truly shared evenly each employee would control exactly "162.91 a year, and much of that would be re-invested back into the company. Depressing, isn't it? The numbers just don't add up. In a capitalist society everyone has the right to earn as much money as they can. If you work hard enough you can live a satisfying life free from economic concerns. It's inequality, but if you work your way to the top you can really reap the benefits. Winston Churchill really was right, socialism really is all about giving up on ambition and punishing people who have it in them to be successful.
REFERENCES
Capitalistslave

Con

RE: Revolutionary Catalonia
I was a little hesitant with bringing up Revolutionary Catalonia, not because of the bad things about it, but because it was so short-lived, so I don't know that we can really conclude anything for libertarian socialism based off of them. And I realize that when I said the standard of living went up, I had this argument from previous debates and I think I accidentally had it alter over time. You know how a game of telephone works, right where when one person tells another person something and so on and eventually it gets changed? I think something similar happened here since I brought this point up several times without refering back to the original work, and I should have read the article over again before posting about Catalonia. Anyways, the part I was refering to can be found by pressing ctrl+f, and searching for "standard of living", go to the second time those words are found in that article. It specifically says "But at least some urban workers clearly seemed to greatly improve their standard of living during the early stages of the war." And goes on to say how it remained unchanged for most of the people or even was worse for the unemployed, etc.

So, I don't think I can point to any examples of libertarian socialism, because there haven't been any that were allowed to last longer than a few years.

I was also hesitant with continuing this debate, because maybe we should change it to be Libertarian socialism versus Democratic capitalism in theory only because I would be at a clear disadvantage since there really aren't any long-term libertarian socialist countries, but there are examples of democratic capitalist countries.

So, I will agree to completely have my example of Revolutionary Catalonia dismissed, on the grounds that it was too short-lived to conclude anything meaningful from it in terms of how well libertarian socialism works if my opponent would also agree not to bring up examples of democratic capitalist countries.

RE: "So, if co-ops are as old as the United States[2], why were only approx 0.3% (and that's a high range estimate[3]) of all businesses (in 2005) co-operative?"
I would say it's because we live in a capitalist society. Let's go back to when feudalism was the majority system and capitalism was in the minority for centuries. Just because something is the majority system, doesn't mean it is the better system. Feudalism was once the majority, so we could technically apply this argument to when capitalist businesses were just barely being introduced. Let's suppose capitalist businesses were once only .3% of the businesses out there and feudal lords owned everything else. I'm sure my opponent would agree that in spite of feudalism being the majority, capitalism would be better.

Now, to further explain why cooperative are very much in the minority, there are many things in our society that promote capitalist businesses. For one, banks rarely loan out to cooperatives[10](despite the fact that the ones that do exist are generally more successful than their capitalist counterparts as established above), the government only ever bails out traditional businesses and never cooperatives, cooperatives are not generally set-up to out-compete other companies either[10], and finally cooperatives are at a disadvantage since the vast majority(89%) of people can't even define what a cooperative is[11], I personally didn't even know what a cooperative was until I was 20, but I could give you a basic idea of what a capitalist business was before I was 10. I think I can safely assume that a vast majority of people have heard of and can define what a traditional/capitalist business is like, so most people shop at those and people looking to create a business probably never thought about making it a cooperative instead of a traditional business since most don't even know what one is. Also, I would argue that the business owners who do know about co-ops, they don't want to create one because they would rather be selfish and keep the business under sole-ownership for themselves. This is probably one reason why feudalism was in the majority once in society: most of the feudal lords were selfish and wanted to own the means of production by themselves.

RE: Cooperatives getting what consumers right to begin with
You could argue the point of a business is to benefit it's owners, but to do so you have to benefit other people. If you don't provide something that other people want and/or need, you won't stay in business long and thus the owners are not benefited, so the fact that in order to benefit the owners of a business you have to benefit society, means the point of a business is also to benefit the consumers. It's really just an argument regarding perspective.

Now, my opponent says that I have not provided evidence that co-ops do sell what consumers want better than other businesses, but the evidence is that more co-ops stay in business than other businesses. In order to make a profit, you have to sell stuff people want. If no one wants it, then you will go out of business. The fact that a vast majority of co-ops do not go out of business in the first 5 years suggest that they sell to consumers better than traditional businesses. It's also logical to conclude that workers, who are also poor or middle class, would get what the majority of people want(since majority of people are poor or middle class) than a single wealthy individual who is disconnected from majority of people(the poor and middle classes). Can you argue this is not the case? I mean, it seems to be the logical position that someone who is also poor/middle class would know what poor/middle class people want better than a rich person does. Therefore it seems logical to conclude that traditional businesses fail at a higher rate because they have someone in charge who is disconnected from the people. While I may not be offering specific evidence proving this, does my opponent have another explanation? If there is no other explanation, then we can conclude that my explanation is true. I personally can't think of another explanation for co-ops surviving the first 5 years at a higher rate than traditional businesses. So, while I didn't use direct evidence of this, I'm using logic and logic is just as valid as evidence.

Re: Comparative study on co-ops
I think I cited the wrong page, a direct quote from page 522 of that source says "Average employment and wages in WCs tend to be greater than in CFs. "[12] Where WC is short for Worker-cooperative and CF is Capitalist Firm. The graph for employment index does seem to show something slightly different than that, which is odd. Maybe either the graph was a little off or their statement is. That statement is true when it comes to the wages though, as the graph shows that average wage in WC's was greater than CF's for most of the time.

RE: Decentralized government
By local government, I would mean cities. Some things would be handled by the state/provincial government, but I think most things should be handled by the cities themselves. I did offer a TED talk that talked about mayors and city governments, so I thought that would imply I meant city governments, for the most part.

While local governments would have a smaller budget, they also have less people in them. So, things would be less expensive too. I don't think this is a problem at all, as the price per person for an item remains the same, as does the revenue per person. Revenue and prices per person doesn't change when you go from local governments to federal governments. As long as they are the same, the local governments would be able to afford the programs themselves. For example, let's take social security. Each person gets a certain amount of money when they retire, but there are fewer people so the cost goes down from what it would be for the federal government. The revenue you get from a tax for social security would also go down, but it would be in proportion to the amount costs went down, so there would be no difference.

Now, my opponent did make the wholesale argument, but I don't think this would apply to most things the government provides. Taking the social security example again, you still spend the same amount per person as you would if it was the federal government doing it. Think about it, the reason why buying things in bulk costs less is because it's cheaper to make items when you do so in great quantity, but this doesn't apply to social security, for example, since it's not products we are talking about, but money that is given to someone for social security. Money is money, and the amount it costs is the same per person no matter what. It's not making a product for the person, if it was making a product, then my opponent's argument would work.

Re: Mondragon corporation
Actually, the yearly revenue for Mondragon Corporation isn't 12 million, it's 12.11 Billion[13] and there are 74,333 employees in Mondragon Corporation[14]. That means they have a revenue per employee of 162,915.52. That's more than what professors of universities make and close to the amount a psychiatrist makes. I would say this is evidence for socialism, not against it, since my opponent got the revenue for Mondragon corporation incorrect.

Also, I didn't mention mondragon corp in this debate, but thank you for doing so.
Sources
[10] https://www.youtube.com...
[11] http://www.geo.coop...
[12] http://disjointedthinking.jeffhughes.ca...
[13] dragon+corporation+revenue&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8">https://www.google.com...dragon+corporation+revenue&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
[14]
dragon+corporation+number+of+employees&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8">https://www.google.com...dragon+corporation+number+of+employees&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
Debate Round No. 2
Ozzie

Pro

Capitalism is economic freedom. A man can be born poor and die rich in a capitalist system, but not in a socialist one. The guiding principle for socialism seems to be resent for the rich and admiration (or at least advocation) for the poor and underprivileged, but instead of providing the latter with a means to reach the income level of the former, socialism brings both parties to a sort of dreary middle ground. It is impossible to stress how important having the liberty of class migration is to society.

So, what is the benefit to (at least having the ability to) owning great wealth? Every aspect of life improves. Being free from economic constraints means living a much more fulfilling, stress-free lifestyle. Parents can afford to take time off work to be with their children, and send them to decent schools. People can treat themselves and generallly experience a higher quality of life and social status.
Rebuttal
"I would say it's because we live in a capitalist society. Let's go back to when feudalism was the majority system and capitalism was in the minority for centuries. Just because something is the majority system, doesn't mean it is the better system. Feudalism was once the majority, so we could technically apply this argument to when capitalist businesses were just barely being introduced. Let's suppose capitalist businesses were once only .3% of the businesses out there and feudal lords owned everything else. I'm sure my opponent would agree that in spite of feudalism being the majority, capitalism would be better. Now, to further explain why cooperative are very much in the minority, there are many things in our society that promote capitalist businesses. For one, banks rarely loan out to cooperatives[10](despite the fact that the ones that do exist are generally more successful than their capitalist counterparts as established above), the government only ever bails out traditional businesses and never cooperatives, cooperatives are not generally set-up to out-compete other companies either[10], and finally cooperatives are at a disadvantage since the vast majority(89%) of people can't even define what a cooperative is[11], I personally didn't even know what a cooperative was until I was 20, but I could give you a basic idea of what a capitalist business was before I was 10. I think I can safely assume that a vast majority of people have heard of and can define what a traditional/capitalist business is like, so most people shop at those and people looking to create a business probably never thought about making it a cooperative instead of a traditional business since most don't even know what one is. Also, I would argue that the business owners who do know about co-ops, they don't want to create one because they would rather be selfish and keep the business under sole-ownership for themselves. This is probably one reason why feudalism was in the majority once in society: most of the feudal lords were selfish and wanted to own the means of production by themselves."
Saying co-ops aren't prevelant because we live in capitalist society just isn't true. There are zero constraints co-operatives face from capitalism. Also, capitalism did exist during the later feudalist period from what I understand, and the two go hand in hand (I think).
Perhaps the fact that 90% of Americans can't define a co-operative is something to do with a greater lack of outside knowledge. Co-ops are very un-American, as is, say, Afganistan. 90% can't point to Afganistan on a map of Asia. Or maybe people don't know what co-ops are because they aren't particularly relevant, or useful. I'm not going to pretend that I knew how a co-op worked before i started this debate. Blaming society for not knowing what a co-op is isn't fair, so perhaps it would be better to question why public perception is so bad.
My opponent's suggestion that sole ownership of a business is selfish really grinds my gears. Is building up a business from scratch, navigating all the complex issues that come with running a business, and risking your own capital in the vague hope of returning a profit selfish? Would it be better to hand out your money to a bunch of workers who haven't gone through university, haven't risked anything and put in varying degrees of effort into the business? No, of course not. And the suggestion that there is a conspiracy to hide the potential benifits of co-ops is ludicrous.

I'm sorry I can't put more into this round but I'll have to leave it there. There are a few more errors and fallacies in my opponents arguments which will have to wait for next round.
Capitalistslave

Con

Quotes from my opponent will be in italics, if the quote is too large I'll offer a summary in bold, and I'll offer rebuttals below.

A man can be born poor and die rich in a capitalist system, but not in a socialist one.
Yet, billions of people can work hard, perhaps harder than the rich man, and still remain poor under capitalism. Just look up how many people live off of a dollar or less a day in the world, majority of which are in capitalist countries, since capitalism is the majority system in the world. And the idea that this can't hapen in a socialist nation is not true. Let's take Vietnam for example, who has a socialist market economy. Here is a short list of very wealthy people in Vietnam[15]

There are varying degrees of socialism, some of them want to make everyone equal in wealth, others allow for people to be able to acquire more wealth. In general, socialism will lower the wealth gap inequality. Sure, you won't have people who are multi-billionaires in socialism(or it's unlikely), but who needs that much money anyways and why should they have that much money? Do you really think they worked so much harder for that money than you did for your money? You also won't have people who are living off of a dollar a day, if the socialism isn't totalitarian. I would argue the socialism that tries to make everyone equal in wealth, would lead to a lot of people living off of a dollar a day, but this is irrelevant since I'm arguing for libertarian socialism which doesn't force people to earn the exact same amount of money. Many people will be paid more than other people, and that's fair because that person may have needed more education in order to get that job, may work more hours, may work harder, and may need higher skills to do that job. All of these are legitimate reasons for someone to be paid more than someone else.

By the way, I would recommend to my opponent to not quote an entire paragraph from me. It would greatly limit the argument you can put into your round. Just summarize it, if I have a problem with your summarization, then I'll say so. But when I want to address a long paragraph, that's what I do. I only quote if it's a sentence or two.

There are zero constraints co-operatives face from capitalism.
Well, I listed the constraints in that paragraph you quoted from, though yes, they may not be constraints due to capitalism existing. Banks almost never loan to coops, the government almost never bails out coops(I recognize that Spain does bail out Mondragon corporation actually, but it doesn't happen in most countries, such as the United States), but they will bail out traditional businesses. The fact that they bail out traditional businesses prevents those businesses from failing, if they were allowed to fail, perhaps society would start thinking we need a more reliable form of business... such as coops who fail at a lower rate than traditional businesses, as established before. And finally, the vast majority of people haven't heard or can't define what a cooperative is. That alone puts coops at a huge disadvantage for trying to take over the economy.

I'll name another reason why coops are so few and far between: they're generally not malicious like some privately-owned businesses. The workers rarely want to take over another business and cause other businesses to fail. I could name numerous examples of traditional business owners acting maliciously to other businesses, where they out-compete them to the point of driving them out of business, where they are forced to be sold to that other business, or some other result. If you want me to provide examples, I could, but for now I won't. If you ask that I do name some examples, I'll do so next round. I just figured you would have heard of examples of this happening before, especially if you've had any decent history class.

Cooperatives don't do this, since coops are governed by the workers, I would guess that workers are not interested in doing that, because they recognize it is a terrible thing to do. You have more people involved in the decision, which means the liklihood that they will choose to do something moral increases. When just one person is in charge of a business, who knows what they will do? They could be a ruthless, evil human being. I would contend that evil people are in the minority, but they still have huge impact when they're business owners, as they act maliciously to other businesses and take them over. This doesn't really happen in coops. So, this also would mean coops are more likely to be in the minority. It certainly doesn't have to do with their performance though, since as I established previously, coops usually do better than traditional businesses. Now, if you had a coop, and there's one or maybe a few people who are malicious, the majority who are not would outnumber them and they would never be able to act maliciously against other businesses.

Perhaps the fact that 90% of Americans can't define a co-operative is something to do with a greater lack of outside knowledge. Co-ops are very un-American, as is, say, Afganistan. 90% can't point to Afganistan on a map of Asia.
Right, I suppose that could be one reason why few people know about coops. Regardless of the reason why few people know about coops, it's still a reason why they would be in the minority. Now, one does need to wonder why coops aren't talked about in economics classes. Why aren't they? Maybe it's because the government we live in promotes capitalism. Just like socialist states leave out facts about capitalist ideas, I contend that capitalist states do the same thing. America is not any better in that regard. To fix this issue, I would require it that economics classes have to teach about cooperatives, as well as all business models. Maybe some people have learned about coops in their economics class, but I even took AP economics in high school and I didn't learn about them. You could even buy(or otherwise look through at the store) an AP economics book for test prep, and it's not listed there either.

My opponent's suggestion that sole ownership of a business is selfish really grinds my gears.
Well, let me state why I believe this. I want to say, first, that I have no problem with someone having sole ownership of a company if they are the only one who works at that company. All of the things my opponent listed after this is not selfish, I agree. However, I contend that workers are entitled to the product of their labor. It just makes sense, doesn't it? If you work for something, you should be entitled to have the results of your labor. If you disagree with that, please tell me why, and I'll further argue for that idea. The results of a worker's labor, often enough, is the expansion of a given company, for a company cannot grow without workers, which this would entitle them to own that company too. The fact that someone keeps the company to themselves, when the worker is entitled to owning it because it's the product of their labor, I consider to be stealing, and that is selfish. Stealing is a very selfish act. What I would propose should happen, is that the original business owner should sign on their workers to be joint-owners of the company, essentially making it a coop. I agree that the original business owner has right to own the company, but as I said in this paragraph, the workers do as well, thus joint-ownership through a cooperative is the intelligent and moral decision. It makes it so that the original business owner still owns a portion of thier business, as they are entitled to, and it makes it that the workers acquire the product of their labor, which is the business too. Perhaps my opponent can see where I am coming from now. They don't have to agree with me, but hopefully this makes more sense now.

And the suggestion that there is a conspiracy to hide the potential benifits of co-ops is ludicrous.
I don't think I made this suggestion. I'm looking through my previous argument and can't find anywhere I said that. Maybe you're saying that in general. Though, I don't think there would be a conspiracy, primarily because this would be true to an extent(notice that I said "to an extent", I don't say it's completely true). I mean, the government is controlled by liberals and conservatives, all of which are pro-capitalist. Perhaps the most left-wing senator we have, Bernie Sanders, even supports social democracy, which is still a capitalist system since there is still primarily private-ownership of the means of production in it. So, why would a pro-capitalist government want us to know about other alternatives to capitalism? I mean, just look at what the government has said about socialism and communism in the past with the two red scares we had in our history. To say the government doesn't hide information from us, or try to paint certain things they like in a positive light and certain things they don't like in a negative light would actually be ludicrous.

Sources:
[15] http://english.vietnamnet.vn...
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
You have to click on "rich text" in the corner of your debate round when you're about to post an argument. There will be buttons that appear which you can push, or you can use the ctrl keys, like ctrl+b and ctrl+i for bold and italics respectively. You can't use the control keys until you click on rich text though.
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
Capitalistslave how do you make text bold/italicised?
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
I don't think it's fair to deliberately limit information that we can use in this debate because one side has less of a case. From what I've seen on this site no one does that. We'll just use the facts we have.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
Ozzie: I highly suggest offering more argument in favor of your system, rather than attack my points. Otherwise voters might just vote for me because we both have the burden of proof in this case, and you aren't providing much proof of your system yet, whereas I am.

This is just a suggestion. I think it would help you try to win this debate.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
Well, true, it's just Uruguay is not a libertarian socialist country. What I mean is I don't have examples of libertarian socialist countries to use that lasted long enough to judge anything off of. I used Uruguay as an example of co-ops working well, which could be used in libertarian socialism.

So for it to be equal, you can use a study done on capitalist companies and bring up examples like that, but I don't know if it would be fair for you to point to a democratic capitalist country since I have no specific libertarian socialist country to point to. Does this clear it up a little bit more, and does it seem like what I'm saying would be fair?

If you still have an issue with it, I guess I'll keep debating despite that.
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
What do you mean I have to agree to not bring up any examples of democratic capitalist countries? I may or may not look at Catalonia and point out the flaws in their system (probably not considering the short time span) but I will not hesitate to bring up examples of capitalist countries (remember, you cited all those Uraguan studies or whaterver). Don't worry about your lack of historical evidence, this debate is fairly theoretical already.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
Yeah, the fact Europe does that makes things even more confusing... But I think we both agree it's 12 billion right?

Like I said, it would make no sense for it to be 12 million only, as they would have gone out of business. No worker would work for a company that only paid a little over 100 euros a year.
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
Whoops you've already said that. I should really read the comments.
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
Oh I'm so sorry, it turns out I'm wrong. The EU uses decimal places instead of commas to mark place value so they mean 12,110 million.
Posted by Ozzie 11 months ago
Ozzie
Don't edit!!!! The Mon<x>dragon website says their annual revenue is 12.11 million euros.
"12.110
IN TOTAL REVENUE (MILLION ")" - http://www.mon...<x>dragon-corporation.com/eng/
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