Which economic system is better: Socialism or Capitalism
Debate Rounds (5)
Second is opening arguments/rebuttals
Fifth round will have no new arguments.
Sources need only be cited if requested by the other side. That being said, minimal citations are appreciated. Sources shall not count against either debaters, so please, voters leave it as a tie.
Both debaters will have burden of proof to show that their system is superior.
Opening statement: I will be arguing that Socialism is a superior economic system to Capitalism.
http://www.dailykos.com...#). I highly recommend reading this exhaustive list.
There are many aspects of a civilized society that only exist through Socialism. The sheer existence of a unifying government that collects taxes is an aspect of socialism. There are many other aspects of civilization that just can't exist under pure capitalism. For example there is the military. In most countries this is is not privatized, and it should never be. If a single man was able to control and entire military, chaos would ensue. This brings me into my next point.
Pure capitalism assumes anarchy. Capitalism is a machine that feels neither compassion nor empathy. The main difference between Socialism and Capitalism is the Socialism works to ensure that nobody can get left behind, and that all are treated equally. Meanwhile Capitalism thrives on some getting ahead while others fall behind. Companies rely on people to be willing to accept low wages so that the company can get ahead and thrive.
In summary I argue that socialism is superior to capitalism because A) Capitalism can't sustain an organized government with necessary things such as roads, bridges, and a military. B) Socialism works to ensure that all people are given a fair chance to succeed.
Which brings me to another point. There is a fallacy that was used by pro slavery people in the 1800s, and it goes something like this: slaves pick cotton. we need cotton. Therefore, if we don't have slavery who will pick the cotton?
You know what else is important? Roads. ya man, I love me some roads. They are important. And the government funds them. Sooooo..... without government... WHO WILL BUILD THE ROOOOAADS!!!!!!????? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? You mean to tell me that the same species that went to the moon, split the atom, found the higgs bozone and invented the internet can't figure out how to build ROADS without pointing guns at peaceful people? You can't be serious. You just can't be. I wont address military in this round, I can talk more about it later. But yes, the fallacy is that Government does x. x is important. Therefore, if government doesn't do x, x wont get done.
Now to answer some more of your points: you say in essence that some people make money at the expense of others. And that is certainly true, it's called the government. One of the core principals of Capitalism is win win relationships. For example, i'm very thirsty and you are writing a book. So We trade my pen for your bottle of water. who loses? Nobody.
Do companies force workers to work for them? No. workers are there by their own choice. The workers work for the company in exchange for money. That is the trade. The company can fire them for any reason, and the worker can quit for any reason.
Capitalism is a system that respects self ownership and property rights. Socialism does not.
And what was that garbage about socialism giving people the opportunity to succeed? Oh right, like how in the soviet union each and every citizen had a fair chance to succeed at going to the gulag. You can't trust people with that much power.
"Oh right, like how in the soviet union each and every citizen had a fair chance to succeed at going to the gulag."
The Soviet Union was not Socialist. (http://www.chomsky.info...). The soviet union was a dictatorship where the government had absolute control over the economy. This wasn't even communism. The soviet republic in no way resembled a Marxist economy. A true communist nation has never existed because in order for communism to exist there cannot be a central government. Nobody is able to have more power than anybody else.
"I'm very thirsty and you are writing a book. So we trade my pen for your bottle of water. who loses? Nobody."
This statement completely ignores why we do not barter anymore. John Green wonderfully explains the problem with barter here: https://www.youtube.com...
If Con does not wish to watch, he explains that "If I make cheese and you make shoes, but you're lactose in tolerant, barter breaks down, because I need shoes, but you don't need cheese." He also mentions that if I raise cows, and I want a pair of shoes, well they're not worth an entire cow. However, trading in partial cows is very messy, and the cow loses a lot of its value because it's dead."
Barter is not a good idea. Yes, I will concede that barter can be used effectively in some situations, but it does not work as an economic system on a large scale. Currency is a much more effective form of economy, which is why there are no civilized nations that have barter as their economic system.
Con may be thinking that barter could be used in the form of a pair of shoes for favors, but that doesn't work either. The man who receives the actual good might disappear before you can collect on the favors. This system of barter only works well with family or close friends, which as anybody who as loaned something to friends or family can tell you, can be very problematic. Why would you pay back your nephew when he can't exactly hire Ed to come and shoot you if you don't pay him what you owe him?
"Now if there were a man named Ed, and he went around pointing guns at people and taking their money with the purpose of using the funds to building roads, there would be no question of his guilt."
There's a slight difference between Ed and the government here. The difference is that people want the government doing things for them. People are unable or maybe even unwilling to do everything for themselves. Even the champions of capitalism, Conservatives, rely on socialism. (http://politicalblindspot.com...). Owsley County, Kentucky has the highest rate of food stamp usage in the entire country, even though it is 95% republican. The fact that capitalists rely on socialism says a lot about capitalism. Without my tax dollars going to these people, they would be dying of starvation.
Con's attempt to claim that the idea that "if government doesn't do x. x won't get done" is a logical fallacy is itself a logical fallacy. I'd like for Con to elaborate one who will pave the roads if the government doesn't. Surely it cannot be companies. I would not be willing to pay a company to build a road I wouldn't be using. Also, if cities all pitched in to have the company build roads all over the city, that is socialism.
"Do companies force workers to work for them? No. Workers are there by their own choice. The workers work for the company in exchange for money. That is the trade."
This statement goes against what the United States learned in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. During this time there were way more workers than jobs. As a result of this, companies could pay their employees whatever they wanted to, and workers couldn't afford to leave, because there was a very low chance that they could get another job. Families were starving at the hands of the monopolies. Companies would create alliances so that they would not have to raise wages to stay competitive. We have so much regulation for businesses in the US because of this. Also these conditions sparked the idea of labor unions, which by the way, are socialist. The idea that many workers would pool their money/resources to create better conditions for themselves is socialism.
I noticed in that when trying to claim that government is unnecessary, you failed to mention the military. Who is going to fund our protection? As I articulated earlier, leaving someone who does not represent the people in charge of our defenses is terrifying. If the US Military Complex were a private entity, it could potentially be purchased by an Irish corporation, that would then shut it down so Ireland could invade.
I would now like to bring the free lunch program into the spotlight. Without government funding the lunches of children in poverty, they will not be able to perform well in school, and then not succeed in life. You can't simply take away this option from children. It's not their fault that their parents cannot afford lunch for them, it may not even be their parent's fault. This is a pretty good segway into my next point.
In capitalism, if you are poor, you have to be smart/lucky to become rich, while if you are rich, you have to stupid/unlucky to become poor. The idea of socialism is that your social status should not be defined by the family you were born into. "Free" public school and "free" university are both examples of Socialism trying to combat the problem of inequality. I say "free" because it's not free, it's paid for via taxes. If I was born into a poor family, I couldn't afford the obscene prices of a good university in the US. I'd have to rely on scholarships and student loans. The next thing you know I'm 50 and still paying off my student loans which have kept me from being successful. If university was free here, like in most civilized nations, my socio-economic status at birth would be irrelevant. I'd be able to afford to go to a good university, and not have to worry about making money while I'm laying out the foundation for a successful career. Also, I know that many of the best universities in the world are private schools, and that should stay that way, but for people that do not have rich daddies that can buy them into Harvard, or were not able to get straight A's in school, public universities are necessary.
Social programs don't even cost that much to the average taxpayer. Somebody in the USA making $50,000 a year will pay 36 dollars to food stamps, and 4000 dollars for corporate welfare/tax cuts. Although, I'm sure that as a libertarian Con is against the idea of corporations receiving money from the government. On the other hand, Con is probably also against corporations paying taxes, so I'd be interested to hear Con's point of view regarding this conundrum.
I will also concede that any social program will have fraud. Less than 1% of all SNAP (Food stamp) receivers are fraudulent. This doesn't mean that the 99% should be impacted by this. If 1 out of every 100 people were a murderer you would not incarcerate all 100 of them just because of the vast minority that was breaking the law.
In summary, I argue that Socialism is necessary in order for a common citizen to rise from the bottom to the top of the economic food chain. Before Ed went around pointing guns at people, he tried to get into a good university but could not afford it. After years of trying and failing to make it in the world without a college degree, Ed finally snapped, don't let there be another Ed, introduce more socialism.
Now, when I was talking about the pen and the bottle of water, I wasn't saying barter is the way to go. I'm pretty surprised that was how you took it. I wasn't talking about barter per say. I was talking about trade. The whole reason we have moved from barter to a money based economy is because of the inefficiency of barter. For example, you can't save chickens for college. Well you can, but you'd need some pretty healthy chickens and a lot of grain. But barter is only one example of trade. I think that the best definition of trade is a voluntary exchange of goods and services to mutual benefit. For example, I went to the Apple store and bought an ipad for 300 dollars (I don't actually know how much they cost) because I value my 300 dollars less than the ipod, and Apple values the ipod less than the 300 dollars. We make the exchange, and we both leave better off. Neither of us would have made that exchange unless each of us thought we would be better off, or we were coerced into doing it *(cough *cough government). When I go to the store to buy oranges, if the price isn't worth it to me I won't purchase them. But, if I find the price worth it, or if i'm starving then I will trade with the store my say 5 dollars in exchange for a few oranges. Now i'm not necessarily sure that I needed to say all of this because what you said about barter was probably a misinterpretation of what I meant.
"There's a slight difference between Ed and the government here. The difference is that people want the government doing things for them." Ummmm.... Not everybody. Here's a problem: even if I wanted to, if I opted out it would make no difference to the government. In the same way that if I opted out of giving the mafia protection money, they wouldn't be like " okay that's swell!", they'd drive over too my house, beat me within an inch of my life and take the money anyway. Maybe shoot a member of my family to send a message. My wanting or not wanting my money taken makes no difference to the foot of the CRS agent ( Canada revenue service, since i'm Canadian) which is kicking my door in because I didn't pay my taxes. And here is another scenario: " Hi, my name is Ed, and I am pointing this Gun at you because "the people have spoken", and X number of people have voted for me to take money from you because we need roads. Hey, stop resisting, don't you believe in DEMOCRACY!?"
And let me ask you this: is a slave that gets to choose his masters really any less of a slave?
And yes, many people are on food stamps. But the claim that they would otherwise be starving in the streets is ridiculous. It's called soup kitchens. It's called charitable acts. It's called human decency. And without the Government, there would likely be many more charities than exist today. Also, without government taxes and red tape there would be far more jobs so that less people would need such a service anyway.
Roads? Like I said, for the species that has discovered the Higgs Boson, E=MC squared and Quantum Mechanics, roads are NOTHING. Did the government invent asphalt? Of course I don't know EXACTLY who will build the roads. I'm not an oracle, although my friends say I have a creepy voice sometimes. There are plenty of examples of private roads in the U.S, here are some examples http://en.wikipedia.org... . There are plenty of toll roads, and there is no reason why private companies could not take them over. The same goes for buses, subways, taxis, trains, planes etc. Communities could get together voluntarily and build roads, there are plenty of examples of that in my town. Companies want customers, so chain stores could contribute funds for roads that will lead traffic into communities where they are set up. Also, carrier drones will soon be a thing, which is awesome.
And in the 1800s during the industrial revolution we saw an ENORMOUS spike in wages and the standard of living. Low compared to now, but compared to the previous centuries? There had never been such a dramatic increase in wages before or since. We saw the invention of the steam engine, and later the internal combustion engine, the real harnessing of electricity which lead to many labor saving devices. It's perfectly easy to compare our privileged lives to those back then, but understand that up to that point people had never had it that good.
Labor union: an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions http://www.merriam-webster.com... .
There is nothing in that definition that is inherently Socialist. As a Capitalist, I have no problems WHATSOEVER with unions. I have no problems with workers getting together and negotiating with their employer, or even going on strike for wages, working conditions etc. What I object to is when the unions get special grants from governments, are able to ban workers from working and force them to join the strike, and help create laws that don't allow employers to fire the employees while on strike.
As for the military? Before I get into it, I will link a video below that explains it pretty well: https://www.youtube.com... this does not count as an argument, but I highly recommend you watch it for educational purposes because I can't really do it justice. Basically, there would likely be competing private militias. Now keep in mind that these militias would not have the benefits of crony capitalism or government handouts and subsidies or bailouts, and it would not have the FED to print money for them. These companies could potentially be funded by advertising. "A&W: protecting america since(insert random year)". Now the obvious question is what if one militia got a bunch of weapons and people and try to take over? Well the fact is that is a TERRIBLE business decision. Why would a company be so stupid? Firstly, where would they get the funds? Advertisers and investors would withdraw immediately. War is expensive, and without Ben Bernanke's magical printing press of destiny they simply would have no way of funding such an endeavor. The costs would be directly imposed on the company. Secondly, if there was a growing sense that something like that was going to happen, then the water company would stop supplying the militia with water, and the same thing with electrical companies and so on. Many of the employees would likely quit in protest, and there would be public pressure as well as pressure from other militias to back down. It simply wouldn't happen.
Looking forward to your response.
"I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged".
"In socialism there is no private property."
While this is true in pure Socialism, in pure Capitalism there is no public property. Imagine walking into a playground, and there being an ATM because the groundskeeper only accepts cash. Imagine being a child whose parents cannot afford books. Well if they cannot afford books, they certainly cannot afford a monthly library fee for them to get books. Finally, imagine a world where doctors can turn down patients because they don't have the money to be treated.
We need public parks/playgrounds, we need public libraries, and we need universal healthcare. The idea that rich people are worth more to society than poor people is in idea that is outdated.
"If I'm starving then I will trade with the store say 5 dollars in exchange for a few oranges.
This is precisely what is wrong about Capitalism. Under capitalist rule, the rich can easily take advantage of the poor. I'm sure that you simply used 5 dollars as an example, and not what somebody would be paying for oranges, but I must jump on this to prove a point.
A store owner sees that you are starving. You have 5 dollars, and he has oranges. He could either sell you the oranges for what they're worth, or he could take advantage of your predicament and overcharge you, simply because he can. For you it's either the oranges or death, and for the shop owner, it is between some profit and more profit. https://tristate.doortodoororganics.com... one orange as costing 1 USD. You just paid $5 for four oranges that were only really worth $4. Before anybody thinks that the starving man should just go to the store's competitor in order to get cheaper oranges, keep in mind that when capitalism took over the United States in the early 1900s, companies were making alliances to keep prices high, and at the same time paying agreeing to pay their workers nothing. All of the orange shop owners see that you're vulnerable and will pay whatever they ask of you, so they will jack up the prices. If we don't have government involved in this system, the disadvantaged will continue to be dominated, and the rich will continue to dominate.
I hate to use the United States as an example, as my opponent is not an American, but I will do so anyway. In the USA the economic top 1% control 40% of all of the wealth in America. The bottom 60% of the American people own less than 2% of all of the wealth in this country. The bottom 40% of people in America control 0.3% of the wealth. How can anybody consider this to be fair?
93% of all new wealth created between 2009 and 2010 went to the top 1%, leaving the remaining 99% of the people to fight over to remaining 7% of the wealth. This is capitalism at it's best, the super-rich dominating the poor.
(http://youtu.be...) [Bernie Sanders]
"If I opted out it would make no difference to the government."
Well you always have the option of moving to an Anarcho-Capitalist paradise e.g. Somalia.
I would like to take a second to laugh at the phrase "Ben Bernanke's magical printing press of destiny".
Moving on, Con has made the claim that there could be private miliias run by advertising. Why does that seem like a good idea? If the Walton family, the Gates family, and the Koch family decided to sponser their own private army, we're looking at $326B in military funds. That would give them a military the size of Canada's military for 14.5 years, assuming their collective incomes froze at the current numbers.
This problem could give, let's say... New England, the deep South, and DelMarVa the ability to create alliances by defense contract. Private Militaries would ultimate result in defense contracts by each state. Alliances would set in, and the next thing you know, companies, and therefore states, are warring over things such as a competitor growing very fast, or negative ad campaigns. We've seen what Americans will do when they get their hands on a gun (http://www.cdc.gov...). Let's avoid giving them guns whenever a Whopper gets rated higher than a Big Mac.
In conclusion, I don't believe that a pure capitalist form of government could work because of the isue with private militaries and the way that the poor are treated in a capitalist society. Also, I believe that socialism is necessary to protect people from the rich that are ready and willing to screw them over when given the chance.
Also, as I mentioned Somalia before, I'd like Con to consider the state of this nation, and what Anarcho-Capitalism has done to it. I argue that government is necessary for keeping order, and protecting citizens.
Health care is not a right. Plain and simple. You do not have a right to somebody else's service. They can give it to you for free, or you can trade with them, but it is not your right. In the province where I live, there used to be plenty of charity hospitals, and people would get treated. Now those organizations don't exist, because they CAN'T exist, because the government has claimed a monopoly on providing those services. Or in the united states, they issue licenses. Doctors would either treat patients that couldn't afford it for free or charge a lower fee, or would allow the patient to barter with him, or the various charities and friends and family and churches would step in and pick up the tab. And that was hardly necessary, because the dollar had more purchasing power and there was more competition and almost no government regulations and controls. In fact, the main reason the government first really got involved in medicine at all was because of doctors complaining that medical prices were too low.
I will link an article below describing this better than me. This will not count as an argument, this is just to give you a better idea http://www.google.ca...
One of the main drivers of high health care costs, especially insurance costs is the fact that you can only shop for insurance within your state. Imagine the possibilities if you were not limited in that way.
Another reason the costs are so high is because of regulation. Some doctors need to hire 3 or 4 staff members to deal with the regulations alone, to make sure they aren't breaking any laws. That is time doctors could be spending with patients. It's money essentially gone down the toilet. If you look at LASIK eye surgery, an area of healthcare that government is barely involved in, prices have actually fallen.
When more than 50 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare is spent by the government, it is far from a free market system. Also, you might find this video interesting: https://m.youtube.com...#
Just to address the wealth inequality issue: what matters isn't the gap, but the standard of living. is it fair? Well it depends of how they make their money. I they make their money by stealing it ( like the government does) or through cronyism (Halliburton ) then no it isn't fair. But If they make it by providing a good or service which people voluntarily accept with their dollars, then not only should they be allowed to keep it and do what they want with it, but they should be proud of it, and they should be allowed to be proud of it without being looked at as just rich snobs. Bill gates should not feel an ounce of guilt about all the money he has made. Bernie madoff on the other hand? Different story.
And about the store owner taking advantage of the customer because he is starving to death? First of all, not all store owners would do that. The vast majority wouldn't. And if they did? It's their right. It's their property. Price gouging is overall actually a good thing. Say there is a storm Nancy is selling gasoline. The price of gasoline is say $30, and nancy raises the price to $40. What happens in an economy is prices act as a signal to the rest of the economy. The risen price acts as a signal flare that says " more gasoline needed in this area". This increases the likelihood that more gas will be brought into the area. Also, it separates those that need it vs those that can go without. If you had a mostly full tank you are less likely to pay more, but someone running on empty will be willing to pay more. not only that, but remember it is a bad time for the company as well. If they are struggling to stay open while pumping water out of their basements, then they deserve to make more money.
If there is a law against price gouging, less gasoline will be brought to the area, Nancy would be arrested, and the gasoline would be confiscated instead of being in the cars of people.
Now, to address the military again: in spite of what you said, no business with an IQ above 14 would even consider something like that. War does not create value, it destroys value. The only reason the wars in Iraq/Afganistan were able to last so long is because of the federal reserve printing the money. It simply would not be worth it to them. Assuming they have no morals. And if those are your concerns, then why on earth would you want the federal government in charge of a massive military? What is to stop them from simply taking over and silencing decent? Nothing. Literally, the problem is hiccups and your solution is Aids.
Somalia? Really? THAT is a capitalist paradise. Your joking right? You couldn't possibly be bringing up that old leftist talking point could you? Well apparently you are.
Are we talking about the same country here? You know, that country with a MASSIVE government that was a military dictatorship, That nationalized everything from the banks to the mines, the country that made gossip a capital offence? THAT country? The country that descended into a bloody cival war that destroyed what little wealth and infrastructure it had? When you start from zero, it can be pretty slow going at times. The country is now basically a pile of rubble, ruled largely by warlords, which is another form of government. Things are actually improving in some ways. But because of the war, things aren't exactly hunky dorey as you would expect.
Capitalism is about free trade, voluntary exchanges of goods and services, and private property rights. Are you really telling me that there is a lot of THAT going on in Somalia? If so, I recommend you call 911 immediately. I will give you this much: there is EXACTLY, 100% as much capitalism in Somalia as there are hairs on lex luthor's head.https://m.youtube.com...#
Concluding statement: I feel that under Capitalism it is assumed that everyone is good and philanthropic, while under Socialism it is assumed that everyone is greedy. While both of these are absolute statements, and only Siths deal in absolutes, I think it's important to keep in mind that keeping an eye on everyone is safer than keeping an eye on no one.
I would like to thank my opponent for a great debate, as a result of research during this debate I have learned more about economics than I did in my entire life. I will use this new found knowledge to pummel my future opponents into oblivion. I wish Con luck during the voting period.
I view capitalism as a system that will bring the best out of people, and I view socialism as a system that views people as the scourge of the earth, or just blind dumb animals to be hearded in the direction that the few people at the top want it to go.
Thanks once again. Peace!
I don't think I will win any points for civility ahaha.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con largely trolled this debate, and his arguments suffered for it. Pro gave some justification for a socialist system--Con responded with a great deal of snark and opinion, but not a great deal of rigor. Some of his comments did amuse me, but I didn't find his arguments compelling in terms of the debate, so, arguments to Pro. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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