@xhammy Why do you think socialism is bad? What are the aspects that you disagree with?
@Forthelulz As I think I replied in a previous opinion poll to you, not all forms of socialism refer to taking away what is yours, necessarily. If you consider 'to each according to his need' then you wouldn't stand to lose out if you contributed to the socialist economy.
@UtherPenguin Thank you for putting this poll up. I appreciate interesting discussions and I think that thanks and appreciation of certain polls is not provided enough on debate.Org in general. However, there are forms of socialism that potentially contradict each other though. There are forms of socialism I am mostly positive towards (such as 'each according to his contribution'), but there are other forms of socialism that I am not so keen about (such as from 'each according to his ability, to each according to his need' and obviously there are more forms then this, this is just an example), so it is a bit difficult to decide how to vote when I don't know what the overall definition is - since apparently it can refer to a group of thoughts that don't have an encapsulating definition, according to the Historical Dictionary of Socialism. So, what is your own definition of socialism?
@Episteme Socialism has been tried but it has failed many times. Often, countries that tried socialism turn into a dictatorship. Unless you're talking about countries that use slight elements of socialism like some nordic countries.
The goal of socialism is supposed to basically have everybody working together for the good of society. While this may sound good on paper, it really turn out wrong. Most of the time you work, your money will be deducted or whatever to people whom made less money then you. Socialism won't promote hard work that way, because nearly everyone gets a similar pay. There's also less competition in socialism because there's no corporations or anything. Without both of those, socialism is bound to have people working less hard. If people don't work as hard, then the economy is likely to downfall dramatically. Many socialists also like to blame the poor on being victims and the rich on being greedy. While some poor people are truely in need, it's not the best idea to label them all as victims. Socialism seems to drastically close the gap between classes to a dangerous degree. Why should somebody work hard to get into a college like Harvard and get a good job? Somebody who goofs off and doesn't care about work, they will drastically benefit from socialism because the money from the other guy is being taken and given to him. Socialism also reduces innovation. People who patent certain ideas and invent certain things or whatever, they can usually get a lot of money. In a socialist economy, where will people get the motivation to do that? Their pay is essentially similar to nearly everybody else. Socialism has also commonly failed, often turning into a totalitarian dictatorship. Look at communist China and North Korea for example. China has also been drastically growing their economy and reducing unemployment rates and such. Much of this is due to the fact that China is in fact turning towards a capitalist economy. China if anything is more Capitalist than socialist. If China were still more socialist or communist like during Mao's rule, it's unlikely it would have the same economic growth and such than it is right now.
@Triangle.128k The UK under Atlee was pretty socialist and the NHS was established. This is innovation. Researchers at Cambridge University found that the economy actually suffered - growth was stunted - since Thatcher came to power. The wild right-wing idea of neo-liberalism is not good for the economy.
Bear in mind we're talking about SOCIALISM and not Communism. There's a massive difference.
Besides, your thought is that if everyone was paid the same, no one would try. That's false. People want to work. People want to prove to themselves that they can do something and achieve, even if it's for their own personal self worth.
The opposite, of course, what you might be hinting at, is that we should have a society that doesn't have any welfare at all. A society where the only things the government funds are the police and the military. Sound like a good idea? In your mind, if this was the case then everyone would try really hard in their work and everyone would succeed well because there's nothing to support any slackers who don't want to work hard or who don't find a job.
This is 1800 England. The poor worked hard and weren't rewarded. The well off just continued to earn because they paid their workers next to nothing. If you got ill - which was highly likely given the poor living and working conditions - you wouldn't be able to go to the doctor because you couldn't pay for it. If you were ill and you missed work, you'd be sacked. If you were sacked, you'd be out of a job. If you were out of a job and with very little savings (if any) you'd be almost certainly going to die because there was no safety net to catch you - there'd be nothing to help you provide for your family while you tried to get a new job.
... Why does that sound good?
Socialism believes that people shouldn't be left to the whims of their employer - an employer who may or may not be a good person. You can have philanthropists. At the same time, you can have pretty nasty people. Socialism acknowledges that everyone is not inherently the same - people can work hard and not get anywhere because their best effort doesn't produce as much as someone else's best effort. Socialism tries to help people to achieve. Capitalism assumes people can achieve. No one should assume everyone can do the same stuff, because people have different problems in their life and different talents and skills. Socialism recognises that. Capitalism, on the whole, does not.
(This is socialism from a relatively left, but quite broadly left standpoint. Not a mild socialism, but not an extreme form either.)
@ triangle.128k Thank you for explaining your points, I just wanted to know why someone might be against socialism. In doing so, I wanted to provide some responses.
Okay, your main points are (and correct me if I’m wrong):
1. Socialism is everybody working together for the good of society.
2. This doesn’t turn out well because what you earn is taken away from you.
3. Hard work is good and socialism doesn’t promote hard work.
4. Socialists blame the rich for being greedy.
5. Socialism doesn’t allow for innovation.
6. Socialism has been tried but failed.
1. There are many different forms of socialism and to a certain extent capitalism promotes the idea of everyone working together for the good of the economy. According to the Historic Dictionary of Socialism, there is not single all encompassing definition for the term socialism.
2. Not all forms of socialism require that anything be taken away. In fact, one such idea within socialism is ‘to each according to his ability’. Meaning the more hard work you put into the socialist economy the more you gain from it. The less you put into it, the less you get.
3. Why do we consider hard work to be inherently good? It isn’t. We’ve been conditioned to believe that it is - that we have to be successful. Why? Some people work hard within a capitalist system and get no where. Why do you think it’s a virtue? As stated from 2, certain forms of socialism do praise and reward hard work, though.
4. Not all socialists blame the rich for being rich or the poor for being poor. Not everyone places blame on anyone for the markets acting as they have. The markets are meant to go up and down within capitalism. The important thing is how people react to it.
5. If a socialist society or government funded innovation, wouldn’t that promote innovation? It depends on the form of socialism you use.
6. Certain forms of socialism have failed. That doesn’t mean that all forms of socialism would fail. Similarly, some say that the banking crisis was a failure of capitalism - but that doesn’t mean that all forms of capitalism would lead to the same failures or even be failures in themselves.
@Existentia I agree that capitalism assumes people can all achieve. Unfortunately, due to society’s various explicit or implicit biases the stakes are not even for everyone to do well within capitalism. Capitalism would do much better when the issues of sexism and racism have been solved and dealt with. However, capitalism, in various forms, does look at what people can do and it does sometimes promote people’s talents. However, although many people think this is based on hard work - it’s actually based on more luck and the whims of the people around them that helped rather than merely on the hard work they do. I’m not sure if it would be any different in a socialist system either. Quite a bit of luck and the right people are involved in both.
@Episteme Well the certain forms of socialism you're talking about that go against my points aren't near pure socialism. The types of socialism you're describing which don't imply with my arguments, they do have capitalist elements to them. The only way socialism can work is if it's far from 'pure' socialism and it has capitalist elements to it. While there is some luck involved in Capitalism, you can become successful from hard work. The best way would probably to come up with an idea and start a company, that's literally what all the richest people in USA do to become rich. Socialism still does shorten the gap between the poor and rich.
The problem I have with socialism is that it's economics are too left-wing. Socialism removes corporations and there's no competition that way. Capitalism promotes more competition and self-reliance as opposed to socialism.
@triangle.128k - There's no such thing as 'pure' socialism. The closest thing would be a socialist state, which is a state which the means of production are owned via the state. Even in a socialist state, however, this only has a limited number of socialist characteristics. Socialism refers to the social ownership of the means of production. That doesn't mean it's only a government that could adhere to socialist tendencies. A group of businesses could own the means of production, potentially - depending on the type of socialism you refer to. Socialism doesn't necessarily remove corporations.
Within today's society, if you know the right people, then you will be successful. It's not what you know, it's who you know. The wealthiest business people were not all born poor. Bill Gates was born relatively wealthy before he made his money. Steve Jobs, just so happened, to get to know the right people. Warren Buffett was the son of a Congressman. Mark Zuckerberg wasn't the son of poor people either. He was somewhat talented in science and maths since he was in high school. I'm not saying they didn't work hard, but it wasn't just hard work that got them where they are. It's about luck, knowing the right people, and a certain amount of intelligence. Someone who isn't lucky, doesn't know the right people, isn't too intelligent, but still works hard won't do well in a capitalist economy. Most people aren't lucky, know the right people or are that intelligent. The majority of people can't start their own business, they have to be hired by someone else. Just because they choose to be hired instead of develop their own, doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't lucky, don't know the right people or aren't intelligent - they just chose differently. You can't run a corporation without other people - and that's why there are so few corporations! (On an aside, all of these people share the fact that they're white - so in that sense they were still luckier than other people. Carlos Slim is a bit of an exception.)
What's wrong with 'left-wing' ideas? What's so right about 'right-wing' ideas? Why demonize one type of idea over another?
Competition doesn't necessarily lead to advancement. It just leads to people being more ruthless and conniving. What does promote advancement is providing people an environment in which they don't feel threatened - in which they are able to develop and create and innovate without fear.
Capitalism, is inherently, based on having a freer economy, but a freer economy doesn't mean it's better. A completely free economy would entail that the government has no regulations on anything. You could go into a restaurant or grocery and there potentially wouldn't be any health standards. That sounds kinda awful. You could have doctors just do whatever they want and charge however they want to without consideration of the patient. That's not good either. A completely laissez faire economy wouldn't necessarily be better for people.
@Waterboy99 - Socialism and communism are not necessarily the same thing. Yes, they share similar ideas, but that's sort of like saying if a republican and a democrat agreed that they were actually the same exact party. (I know people would probably would agree with that, but that's not the point.) Socialism regards specifically there being a state that owns the means of production - while communism doesn't even want a state (or social classes or money) there at all. Money would not exist under communism, while money could still be thriving in a socialist state. Businesses could still exist under socialism and whereas businesses would be replaced by organisations run by the community.
This debate and be brought down to this point. Which country in the last 100 years has become the richest nation in the world? USA and we did it through free market. No country in the history of the world has been without major wealth distribution. Liberals think they can make it more even but by attempting to do so they have stunted the economic growth the last 10 years and we have major debt problems.
Has anyone been to Denmark? They are very socialist and all their skilled workers are leaving or at least a lot of them. Why? Because they are taxed insanely high. I had a professor in college who helped set up the Denmark National bank and he told us government officials are paid higher than anyone in the free market. Same thing in France government employees make a ton of money.
While were on France did you know 25% of your income is taxed only for health care. Who in the US outside of a few exceptions has ever spent that much of their income on health care in a year. Not to mention the health care system is very poor. (If you disagree go live there and see for yourself). This is a great example of how negative Government programs are. 25% percent of your income?? Come on.
China was dirt poor and starving. The farmers there would grow crops turn them into the government who would then redistribute it. A group of farmers got together and decided to keep 10% of what they grew. That year they grew more then they had the last 5 years combined. As a result China figured out you need to let people keep their stuff. So they began to do it. It shows that "community benefit" belief actually hurts rather than benefits.
Just a few points…
Actually Qatar is the wealthiest country in the world, because it has quite a high GDP per capita. I think the US is sixth. Anyway, it doesn’t actually matter which is the “wealthiest” because wealth is not the only attribute of success. A country or society can be successful in other ways. A socialist probably wouldn’t be socialist if they didn’t think it would make people happier with their lives via greater access to resources - while at the same time a capitalist wouldn’t be willing to be capitalist if they knew they would be unhappy under capitalism or that they would have to witness and potentially even promote suffering. Why is economic growth so important? Within a more pure capitalist society, the ups and downs of the markets would be accepted, tolerated, even utilized. Growth would not be the main aim, the main aim would be survival. Supply sometimes falls while demand increases. That’s okay - it’s about being prepared for it and making sure the business stays afloat. It’s not about continual growth all the time. Obviously, it’s good to have growth, but if that’s the main aim, it creates a path for a business that makes it incredibly risky and prone to failure. Regarding Denmark, in 2013, it was the happiest country in the world. http://unsdsn.org/resources/publications/world-happiness-report-2013/
That doesn’t stem from unhappiness towards governmental policies. Unhappiness making happiness doesn’t make sense. Denmark may be doing something right. I can’t find a source that says that skilled workers are leaving Denmark. I did find a source that said skilled workers from other countries are migrating to Denmark. http://www.icenews.is/2013/02/25/more-skilled-workers-heading-for-denmark/
Where is your source for skilled workers leaving Denmark? The ultimate tax ceiling for all municipal, state income tax, and health care cannot exceed 51.5% of your whole income. http://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oId=133800
If the people of Denmark are happy, skilled workers are actually going to Denmark and there’s actually a tax ceiling, (considering in the US, you could potentially pay even more than that depending where you live and how much you earn), Denmark as a socialist country seems to be doing quite well.
I do not know anything about the health care in France, but the UK does have a socialized health care system called the NHS. It was extremely useful and you can just call them up for advice from a doctor any time of day or night and they’ll call you back. It’s actually quite nice and they treat people quickly and efficiently.
“The farmers there would grow crops turn them into the government who would then redistribute it. A group of farmers got together and decided to keep 10% of what they grew. That year they grew more then they had the last 5 years combined. As a result China figured out you need to let people keep their stuff. So they began to do it. It shows that "community benefit" belief actually hurts rather than benefits.”
Deciding to keep some crops does not control how crops grow in themselves! That’s not how nature works. Anyway, community benefit doesn’t always hurt people and it was never intended to hurt people. It was intended to help people.