The Instigator
sqharawa
Pro (for)
Losing
23 Points
The Contender
Chickenman
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Socialism is a viable solution to the failure of US social programs.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,334 times Debate No: 628
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (18)

 

sqharawa

Pro

It should be of no surprise that the United States is ideology opposed to Socialism, and has taken measures to ensure its alienation. The existence of free-market capitalism rests upon this fact. However, this is not the current dispute.

The implications of this dismissal, however, is where I find myself stranded. In the United States the worst consequence of free-market capitalism and its associated "personal responsibility" philosophy is the lack of social programs available to those who are structurally disadvantaged my the system itself. Under a socialist system, and let me remind you that most of Western Europe has implemented very successful DEMOCRATIC socialist governments, those who find themselves on the economic margins of society can still have access to basic functions of modern society (such as education and health care).

We have seen the "red scare" attitude time and time again. Most recently it is in the conservative assault on universal health care. Despite the fact that the free market is entirely inadequate for insurance, as has been empirically shown, we see Republican politicians equate the faux-universal proposals of the Democrats with socialized medicine and dismissing them. We even have George Bush vetoing the S-CHIP bill twice for this reason. By simply invoking the term "socialism" itself, the Right has successfully alienated any chance for universal care.

My grievance lies in this fact. In specific regards to social programs, from your point of view, yet-to-be-determined opponent, why is socialism NOT the answer to the the current failed state of American social programs? In other words, why should we stick with the private sector when it has routinely failed us in the past? I am anxious to see where this takes us.
Chickenman

Con

Although Socialism seems like a very appealing alternative it wouldn't work, with the health care system as the only exception.
America's GDP is just barely over thirteen trillion dollars. Our closest competator Japan's GDP is four trillion. That is possible only because America's market is so free. Competition just thrives in it. It produces better technology and better schools. It is a given in the united states that college is expensive. A benifit from this is that the US has seven of the top ten universities.
How do you think the US could remain econoically and educationally domminant in a socalized system? What programs would your new system take over, and how would it be paid for?
Debate Round No. 1
sqharawa

Pro

A sort of democratic socialism, the difference lying in the philosophically different attitude towards social programs, would work just fine. In fact, it would work better than our current system. Given it would require a broad acceptance of the fact that simply working hard and exhibiting "personal responsibility" (by far my favorite phrase of the American political arena) DOES NOT always result in positive results.

As I mentioned in my opening statement, the welfare reforms provide a perfect example of this. The ethnographic data shows single mothers, for example, who WANT to work, yet are forced to stay home because of a lack of access to child care during the fluctuating hours of their service job. A more socialist philosophy would work here. Once there was an acknowledgment of the structural obstacles the poor and minorities face, and society was willing to address to problems, socialism would work. A more comprehensive welfare would help reduce poverty, without question.

You see, it is not just the case that socialism would work for our problems, it is also the case that it is the best solution to them. You spoke of competition in your first argument, stating that it is the spirit which keeps the US on top. However, if you compare American institutions with those of the socialist Western European countries, the US lags behind every one of them (except, as you point out, upper-level education, which will be discussed in a minute). The power of competition is a great fallacy within capitalism. In the global arena, competition no longer drives economic prosperity. The corporation has grown too large, the world too interconnected. And given "agreements" such as the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc., the transnational corporation is given access to new markets for the fact that it has the most amount of money. The "opening up" of markets does not provide equal access, as the capitalist suggests, but instead the opportunity for the wealthy to outsource in search of higher profits. There is no competition between the developed world and the underdeveloped world, just the exploitation of the latter.

In terms of college education, the top universities you mentioned receive funding directly from the state. You may have some sort of a case if they were exclusively privately funded (following the neoliberal idea of school vouchers). However, these are state-funded institutions which actually make a case for socialism rather than one against it, in my opinion. A tiered system of education is not negative to the socialist. However, the lack of access to it is.

The fact is, globalization has changed world politics. The US is no longer economically dominant (e.g. the Euro is roughly $1.40). A socialist philosophy would work for the US as it would no longer marginalize MOST of its people--those who the system feels cannot or are somehow unwilling to work. Through a philosophy informing us that the rich do not deserve access to services any more than the minority born into a ghetto, wealth redistribution would work wonders for this country.
Chickenman

Con

Chickenman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
sqharawa

Pro

Because there was no argument made against my own, I will limit my closing comments to the following:

Socialism is the only way to prevent the private sector's endless pursuit of capital accumulation from infringing upon the viability of social programs. Given the fact that the corporation cares only about profit, it is illogical to allow it to make decisions regarding welfare, health care, education, etc. because it looks only towards profit, rather than towards the well-being of the individual.

I look forward to my opponent's response to my previous two arguments.
Chickenman

Con

Chickenman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
no matter where you grow up, everyone in the country has the opportunity to go to school and get an education. It's their decision and their life. They control how successful they want to be. Socialism doesn't pull people out of the hole, it just throws money at them. Socialism doesn't give them the incentive to get out.
Posted by SocialistRI82 9 years ago
SocialistRI82
I just wanted to let you know that I believe in personal responsibility, and hard work. I work well over 40 hours every week. I admit when I've done something wrong and eagerly accept the consequences. Do not make a habit of telling me that because I am a socialist that I am lazy, and lack personal responsibility. Its simply not true. Now on to your comment. I find it very laughable that you would attempt to tell me that people can simply become "un-poor" through hard work. To suggest that we all have equal access to opportunities to better ourselves is just plain nieve. The kid from Detroit born into poverty will have a far more difficult time than a kid born into spoils from Greenwich, CT. Money talks in this country. If you have it things will be easier. If you don't, have fun trying to do anything. I'm not saying that its imp[ossible for a kid from Detroit to suceed in life, however I am pointing out that it will be much more difficult. I wonder if the people who worked for ENRON reaped what they sowed when their pensions/retirement benefits went bye-bye.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
socialism is a pathetic philosophy for those who dont believe in personal responsibility or hard work. everyone in the United States has the opportunity to become however wealthy they want. You people make it seem like the poor are left for dead. They don't have to be poor. They have the ability to become "un-poor." You reap what you sow.
Posted by SocialistRI82 9 years ago
SocialistRI82
-Healthcare
Clawki agree that in America the wait times are lower and that the quality is generally better than in other systems. I will not attmept to say that the systmes in Europe and Canada are perfect. Here's a question, what happens to the people who have no health care insurance. Sure they can see the doctor in a day, or in the case of most ER's hours. What happens to he/she when they get home? They are tagged with a massive medical bill. A bill I'm sure they cannot afford. to simply look at other examples of it in the world, point to their failures and state, it can't work is weak. Instead of saying "it doesn't work there, it won't work here" why don't we say "a system has yet to be created, but in principle we all should have health care". Why don't we get beyond the partisan bickering about the issue and realize that most people agree that we should all have health care. It can be done.
-"True Socialism"
Lets not attempt to use Cuba as a reference point for "true socialism". Many of their programs are in fact socialist based, but there failures are not due to the system, but rather the economic penalty which the US and many other countries have put on them.
-"Sadly the greatest failing is it fails because at it's heart it uses compulsion to bring about the "appropriate" response."
Once again your arguement is speculative since it has yet to be implemented. (Almost forgot Venez., I personally believe you have to have capitalism before socialism to gain massive capital and wealth. Without the financial/industrial/societal base socialism cannot work. Since Venez. has never had any of the above we cannot expect immediate and glaring results. I only advocate socialism for countries with the wealth to make it happen. Its more evolutionary in its application, socialism being the next logical step after capitalism.)
Posted by clawki 9 years ago
clawki
Many countries have tried to implement "TRUE Socialism" and they continue to do so (Venezuela, Cuba, etc.). The underlying principles that would make socialism viable are not possible in a political system. Ultimately it requires that everyone suffer equally. While this is beneficial to some,particularly those who choose or because of unfortunate circumstances, are forced to stay on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale.

The example that was used about European healthcare is that it is better in terms of potential access, not quality. People with a tumor will wait for 8 months get an MRI and an additional 9 months to get the operation. In America this usually takes place within a couple of weeks (even for the poorest among us who use the Medicaid system).

Ultimately socialism relies on the principle that result in it's consistent failure: that government can establish a "program" that will result in this "fair" behavior becoming natural.

The first failing is obvious because the definition of fair is one that is somewhat subjective, but certain codes could be accepted that would give a decent ground for this.

Sadly the greatest failing is it fails because at it's heart it uses compulsion to bring about the "appropriate" response. If Socialism was to ever work people need to willingly subject themselves to the venture, and they need to be morally accountable. What result is people who try to get the most gain from the system while putting in that least effort. This then results in people who feel that they are carrying an unfair burden. They then burn out or give up resulting in the most productive being discouraged from producing because it requires added stresses with punitive results. Additionally when "government" takes over a program or responsibility citizens who would be inclined to assist become less so because they feel that there is a govt. program that should be meeting that responsibility and they have already "contributed".
Posted by sqharawa 9 years ago
sqharawa
My opponent wrote a whole 8 sentences and I'm losing... Wow... I guess this is what you can expect when you live in a place where people have been convinced capitalism actually cares about them...
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
The comrade below me is absolutely right. People dont understand communism or socialism anymore, they simply read a George Orwell book once and listen to talk shows and get afraid, thinking they know what they're talking about.
Posted by SocialistRI82 9 years ago
SocialistRI82
out of curiousity how is the example of France any different then the US government taking money out of our pockets to fight wars, give money to oil companies, give no bid contracts to Halliburton, spend money on trailers for Katrina refugees that never were used, and on and on. Wheres the differnce? At least the money is going out of their pockets and back to them in one way or another. There is 10 billion dollars that our government gave to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq that, well as they said, "we don't know where it went. we have to investigate" and you don't see that as a failing system???? Socialism may not be the answer, but downing France's system and Championing our own doesn't make mmuch sense either.
Posted by SocialistRI82 9 years ago
SocialistRI82
"JUST LOOK AT HISTORY SOCIALISM FAILS EVERYTIME" thats funny because I recently saw that US health care ranks far below SOCIALIZED systems in europe. Sweden is socialist, have they failed? No country has ever attempted TRUE socialism. Therefore since its never been tried its never failed. Tell me what socialist sytems have failed in history.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
Just look at history. Socialism has failed every time. It's a demoralizing, tax-hungry, greedy bureaucracy that juyst cant wait to take our money. Look at France for the example, the shining socialist country in Europe. Their economy is in shambles, but HEY! when you're pregnant in the France, the government pays for a maid to come to your house weekly and do the laundry!! Aren't the nanny perks of socialism just awesome? I wonder how that govt. pays for these nanny services. Oh ya, straight out of its people's pockets.
18 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Mharman 7 months ago
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