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Is 99% really for Socialism? (In response to a poster who said "yes")
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    Dear OWS,

    I have to say, after reading this response to "Solution: Replace Capitalism with Democracy", I am really troubled if this is really how many of you feel. First, I am going to start with a basic observation then I am going to point by point. It is totally mis-guided and intellectually bankrupt.

    Observation: Democracy is close to Freedom and Capitalism is close to Choice which is close to Freedom. In a socialistic system, you do not get choice, it will be made for you. That will mean you don't get general freedom, only what some body tells you is freedom.

    Now you may think "hey, we have that now", this is true. But, we have a much looser interpretation of freedom (this is good) than a system where that type of control is now given to another body with the express mandate of delivering their version of freedom and they will tell you whatever their decision is, will be for greater equality. You may then think, that is great. One problem, we aren't all equal, some are tall, short, good at math, great painters, hoop stars or astrophysicists (get the drift)? We all come from different backgrounds and cultures and family values.

    You want choice and freedom and the best way that we have come up with so far is Capitalism, Private Property Rule of Law. I would say that Capitalism has gotten the bad wrap and "Rule of Law" is where we should be focused so the playing field is level again and we should focus on creating opportunity for our people and let them battle it out for whatever position they want. I understand that most of us are living month to month and it would be nice to just get a check and have someone tell you what to do for life but trust me, you won't like it one bit once its in place. Also, we actually have examples of Socialism in history (I read lots of old history books), I'll save you the read (but you should read), THEY DON'T END WELL FOR THE 99%.

    I have many more posts I will be authoring but for now I will finish up with the response and pick it apart to show the utter flaws in this line of reasoning. I hope you understand I am doing this to help the movement, not to point fingers. I have noticed this direction growing and its a dead end, sorry.


    "@Law "OWS is not a movement for socialism"

    OWS is a movement for the 99%. A good portion of that 99% want socialism. So to say the OWS is not a movement for socialism is not correct.

    Response: Really?? We should put this to a vote, I think this is YOUR OWN OPINION.


    The heart of the OWS and its 99% meme is rampant inequality. The only solution to inequality is equality. Capitalism is a system of inequality and the root cause of the problem. Democracy is a system of equality and, in my opinion, the only practical solution. That is why I advocate replacing capitalism with democracy and why I think OWS should adopt it as its long-term goal.

    Response: Democracy is close to Freedom and Capitalism is close to Choice which is close to Freedom. In other words. democracy is about choice and representation. Socialism is not about representation, it is about equality and that means less choice and less freedom.

    .
    "Capitalism with fair rules that are enforced actually has done well"

    When was that? The "golden age of capitalism" before Reagan?

    It may have produced better results than today but it still had enormous inequality, poverty and inefficiency. Capitalism will never produce a society that works well for everyone.

    .
    "All historic examples of the above-mentioned systems ended badly"

    When has democratic socialism ended badly?

    Response: Those don't mix, sorry. If you have socialism, that means many CHOICES are already made for you in the name of equality and that leads to high taxes that are a reality in all democratic socialist countries, that is because you have to tax for the service you want your government to provide.

    Democratic socialism works.

    NASA works

    Response: Defunded, we can't even keep our shuttle fleet up.

    National Science Foundation works

    Response: I guess, what do they do again?

    Schools work

    Response: Kids coming out of schools do not know how to think for themselves, have good inter-personal skills or have any real concept of money and debt. This is because of the standardized curriculum that has not taught this.

    Public universities work

    Response: They do work except they are still too expensive for many people. Don't forget, government and drive prices up by setting a floor.

    Veterans Hospitals work

    Response: Uh, didn't we just have a major scandal at Walter Reed about sub-standard conditions. All Veterans I see are in horrible condition and many are homeless. Guess that is working for him

    Police departments work

    Response: They are funded by local taxes

    Fire departments work

    Response: They are funded by local taxes not government welfare (no, I am not a republican, never voted that way either except for Washington's AG)

    The FBI works

    Response: I hope so, I can say much on this cause I don't know how to rate their performance. What I have noticed is every terrorism case since 9/11 always seems to involve us setting up a pissed off person and then giving them explosives and asking them if they want to back out or blow shit up. Not sure if I call that "home-grown".

    The CIA works

    Response: HAHAHAHA (HAHAHHA) - Well, this is the 2nd best one, funny how every covert operation we were NOT suppose to read about involved us TOPPLING a SOCIALIST government for American Corporate interests in the end. There is your Democratic Socialism at work. Like two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner?

    The military works

    Response: Yep, we so have some shiny toys, can't wait for the F-22. Need to get me one of those. On the serious note, 5% of the world's population and 50% of the military spending, seems to be working to me.

    The post office works

    Response: This is the best one, THEY ARE BLEEDING BILLIONS EVERY YEAR. We are debating going to a 4-day delivery week to try and save it. Give me a break on this one and do some homework.

    Garbage collection works

    Response: Privatized, anyone hear of "Waste Management"?

    And the Nordic Countries, which have the most democratic socialism of all the developed countries, have the highest standard of living in the world, the highest quality of life in the world and the citizens with the most happiness in the world directly because they have the most socialism in the developed world."

    Response: Read HIGH TAXES, so I won't dog them. If you want that level of government then please move there. I want low taxes, choices and the rule of law in America along with a healthy helping of Opportunity.

    Closing: OWS here is what we need to do, DEMAND THE RULE OF LAW AND PROSECUTION OF ANY CRIMINALS. Focusing on the current financial crisis. Last and I know this will get me flak, we need to elect some sort of leadership so we have a message. I am really thinking that the longer we don't have leadership, the more that goes in the 1%'s favor and the media is picking up on this and will use it to marginalize us. Think about it hard please.

    Please sound-off and tell me if I am right or wrong. Is the 99% for socialism? Are we against Capitalism (look it up if you have never read the definition please)? Are we for the Rule of Law?

    Thank you for your time,
    Law


  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    This post is impossible to read. You need to delineate between which things I said and what your response to it is.

    And for the record, I never said the 99% was for socialism. I said a good portion was for it. According to this Wall Street Journal poll, 8% said they want radical redistribution of wealth or an end to capitalism:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/10/19/who-is-occupying-wall-street-a-pollster-surveys-protester/

    I'll respond later to the very misinformed points you made.
  • granpachuck6 October 2011 +1 -1
    socialism is already in our system of checks and balances,,if I made one million dollars and had to pay half in taxes Id still be happy,, its that one percent who seem to have a mental disorder kinda of like penise envey only with money (my bank account is bigger than yours),,and even tho they have never seen a hearse with a U-Haul behind it going to a funeral seem to think they can take with them,,socialism and capitalism can work together just as it did in the pre Ragan yrs..(did I spell his name right?)
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @grandpachuck6 "if I made one million dollars and had to pay half in taxes Id still be happy"

    The problem is that you most likely will never make anywhere near that amount. Far less than 1% do. But because we do pay people those kinds of incomes, they consume so much of the total income available that the average wage earner now makes a measly $26k.

    But the people who make million dollar incomes do not work any harder than most other workers. So there is absolutely no justification for the enormous disparity in income. It is not fair.

    Capitalism is not a fair system.

    Socialism is a fair system because it pays you the same amount as everyone else who is working just as hard as you. That means you would no longer be making $26k.

    You would be making at least $115k and possibly twice that amount, depending on what you do.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Capitalism is not a fair system.

    Capitalism with the rule of law and proper enforcement is a fair system. The problem you seem to have is that it is not an equal system.

    As soon as you impose equality on large bodies of people then you are taking away freedom and choice to level things about. People if asked want freedom and choice or some person imposing their opinion on what is equal.

    If we are going to make an "equal" society, then I elect myself to determine what is equal because that will be the best job in that system.

    @FullDemocracy - Your living in a fantasy land and the problem is that I read your proposal not only to myself but to a friend for a second opinion, on your "system" and it is top-down control and is pretty scary.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "The problem you seem to have is that it is not an equal system."

    The only fair system is a system that treats everyone equally.

    If you and I both work 40 hours, competently doing the job we were hired to do, putting in the same effort and working a job of similar difficulty, we deserve the same pay.

    How is it fair for 97% of all workers to earn a below average income?

    How is it fair for someone to make 100,000 times more income than another person?

    How is it fair that Donald Trump starts with $50 million and everyone else starts with nothing?



    "As soon as you impose equality on large bodies of people then you are taking away freedom and choice to level things about."

    What freedom and what choice do you think you lose!?!

    In a fair system, you would likely earn 3.5 times more income which would give you MORE freedom and MORE choices.



    "I elect myself to determine what is equal because that will be the best job in that system."

    Equal is a mathematical term. It is not subject to your definition! Equal means you divide total income equally. It is a math equation, not a job somebody determines.



    "it is top-down control"

    It is not! Top down control of what!?! The economy runs exactly the way it does now. Consumers make all the production decisions based on how they spend their money. That is bottom-up. It is not top-down.

    Nobody will tell you what job to do or how to spend your money or dictates what is allowed to be produced.



    "and is pretty scary. "

    Getting paid a fair wage, which is likely 3.5 times more than what you make now, so that you are guaranteed a wealthy standard of living is scary!?!?!?!?! Are you serious?
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - We are not equal, you are better at things that I am not. In turn, some jobs are harder than others or have more risks, so they should pay more. I admit the playing field is not level and a small portion of people have taken advantage of that and have gotten a likely disproportionate slice of our collective pie, I agree.

    But the fix is not to take from the "haves" and give it to the "have nots". We would have to separate the honest and just profits from the bad ones. That needs to happen in the courts. If you come up with Google or the next Apple then I think you deserve to reap the benefits, even if it means you make $50,000,000 and I make $50,000. What the $50,000 should do if that want too, is figure out how that can make the next Google or Apple and make their $50 million if they so please.

    You just seem to have a problem with people having more than others. Thats it.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "We are not equal, you are better at things that I am not."

    That is why we don't all have the same jobs. You do the things you are good at and enjoy. I do the things that I am good at and enjoy.

    But that doesn't mean either of us deserve higher pay than the other.



    "some jobs are harder than others or have more risks, so they should pay more"

    I agree. That is why, if you actually read my post, I say differences in pay should be based on getting people to do difficult work or getting their maximum effort.



    "If you come up with Google or the next Apple then I think you deserve to reap the benefits, even if it means you make $50,000,000"

    How is it fair for 2 programmers to work on building websites and 1 gets paid $50 million and the other gets paid $50k!?!

    They are both successfully doing their job. They are both working the same hours. They are both doing the same exact type of work. They are both producing profitable products.

    It is not fair for one to get paid 1000 times more than the other. And it is not necessary either.

    We don't need to pay someone billions to get a social networking website or a cell phone. That is absurd.



    "You just seem to have a problem with people having more than others. Thats it. "

    I do have a problem with that. But that is not the only problem I have with capitalism.

    Having people make thousands of times more than others is the root cause of nearly every social problem we have, the reason why millions have to suffer and the reason why 97% of all workers have to make a below average income.

    But capitalism is also incredibly inefficient. 10% of the workforce isn't even working, 55% of the workforce is doing jobs machines can be doing, there is limited transparency, it is secretive, it charges interest to rent a digital number, it has constant business cycles, etc.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - I prefer freedom and choice over equality. Capitalism gives us more than any other system so far, if another comes along that is more fair then I will look at that with a serious mind.

    We didn't pay billions for these companies, they made the idea and people invest in their assets and revenues. You have to get that right or it shows you don't understand our current system and if you are going to design something else then you need to know our system correctly.

    To use the Google example, they took a risk and it worked out well for them. Google is very useful and that make it very valuable in my book.

    To address the unemployment, I think you are attributing that fact to the wrong reason. The reason we have high unemployment is because we have been letting our trans-national corporations ship jobs to low-wage countries and then send those finished goods back to America as cheap products.

    At the same time, we created the largest financial bubble in the real estate market and that masked the under-lying problems so we didn't notice it for 7 years and before that we have the tech bubble and that masked the outsourcing from the 1990's and that is when NAFTA, GATT and WTO hit the scene hard along with us assisting China's rise as the world's largest manufacturer. Remember we didn't even mention China in the 1980's, then it was Japan.

  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "They are funded by local taxes not government welfare"

    With logic like that it is not surprising that you are vehemently defending a system that pays you 30% of what you should be getting paid.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - THIS ISN'T LOGIC, ITS CALLED A FACT OR TRUTH. Second, I am not defending our current system AT ALL. I think its broken and I would radically change how it works but in the end it would have capitalism, a market-system, democratic republic and freedom to gain and freedom to lose.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "THIS ISN'T LOGIC, ITS CALLED A FACT OR TRUTH"

    Give me an example of a government agency that is funded by taxes and of one that is funded by welfare.


    "capitalism, a market-system, democratic republic and freedom to gain and freedom to lose"

    Since that is exactly what we have today, how would that not produce the same results we have today?

    How is it going to give you a better deal than a $115k or $230k income, no interest mortgage, guaranteed job and getting paid to go to school?
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "I prefer freedom and choice over equality"

    Equality does not mean you lose freedom and choice. You still have not explained how that is so.


    "Capitalism gives us more than any other system so far,"

    You get more freedom and choice from earning $115k or $230k than the $33k you likely earn in capitalism. You still have not explained how making less money gives you more freedom and choice.


    "We didn't pay billions for these companies"

    In a democratic system, investment no longer comes from your personal savings. You don't need to gamble your life savings in order to test a viable business idea.

    A portion of GDP is simply allocated to banks for them to invest.

    Investors in today's system make money by gambling. Casinos should pay people based on luck. The economy should pay people based on effort.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Ok, I will response to your questions.

    1. Q: "Give me an example of a government agency that is funded by taxes and of one that is funded by welfare?"

    A: First, this comment was geared toward two local agencies you mention (police & fire) and those are paid from local taxes, not federal, even though the Feds do assist police now in post 9/11 but it is mostly training and some hardware. Now, to answer, the whole government is funded by taxes but the deficits are funded by welfare because we can't afford them so we just issue more debt that our kids and kid's kids will have to either pay or default. The TARP program is a great example of welfare because we were protecting financial interests and they had the major part in creating the problem.

    2. Q: "capitalism, a market-system, democratic republic and freedom to gain and freedom to lose"

    Since that is exactly what we have today, how would that not produce the same results we have today?

    A: We have those elements but it is corrupt and we don't even enforce the rule of law we have. If we actually enforced the rules and eliminating a few that have needed to go I would agree, we have not even had that for atleast 40 years. Our system is broken and flawed but could be put in motion in a manner that would create opportunity and reduce poverty. But in the end, we can't keep everyone safe all the time and people have to be allowed to fail and gain.

    3. Q: How is it going to give you a better deal than a $115k or $230k income, no interest mortgage, guaranteed job and getting paid to go to school?

    A: Because their is no free-lunch in life. Your plan would create massive inflation for one and I explained exactly how above in line with whole ultimately owns much of our debt. There are no guarantees in life other than death and people who are selling otherwise should be watched with upmost suspision.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy -

    Here is your response to this good question:

    Q: Equality does not mean you lose freedom and choice. You still have not explained how that is so.

    A: Because "someone" or "something" will have to impose what this idea of "equality" is, by deciding what is equal for everyone. Try have tried this in history and it was horrible and caused much pain and suffering. That means that choices and decisions are made and unless I agree with it IN FULL then you have taken choice and freedom from me. I like the idea of equality but implementing it is a whole other thing if you are trying to preserve choice and freedom.

    I hope this answered your question at least from my perspective.


    Law
  • Brutal_Truth October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    Law:
    Capitalism is inherently unequal, unfair and antithetical to true democracy. What we have in this country is pretty far removed from a genuine democracy. Anytime you can go to the polls and pick your favorite conservative puppet of the elite but can't choose from anyone that is NOT a conservative, that's not a real democracy. Whether it is an overt conservative like McCain or Romney or a barely-disguised conservative like Obama or Hillary Clinton, either way it is a conservative versus another conservative. Sorry but that's nothing but a dressed-up version of some third-world "election" where you can choose between hardline General Akhbar and hardline General Achmed but nobody who isn't a right-wing general. More sophistication, better window dressing but same end result, no real choice in elections.

    I can't speak for anybody else but I personally have no problem being able to see how capitalism has failed the average American spectacularly. It is doing precisely what it does, making the rich richer and everyone else poorer, concentrating wealth in the hands of a tiny sliver of the population and truncating the possibilities for everyone else. Over the last several decades in this country who has seen the benefits of economic growth and increasing productivity? The average worker? Nope, his and her income is stagnant and in some cases has fallen in real terms. For example the minimum wage adjusted for inflation was 20% higher in 1970 than it is now. The benefits have flowed to the uppermost 5% of the population and especially the uppermost 1%, the already-overprivileged. People like yourself tend to think that the market is always right and that we should all just get out of its way and let it work its magic. Well it works its magic for a very tiny percentage of the population and takes a great big crap on the rest of us. It literally could not survive without the mass exploitation of tens of millions of people by paying us much less than our labor is worth in terms of value added, much less even than it takes to make ends meet. Ever heard of a living wage? Google "living wage calculator" to see what it is in your area. Capitalism in America gives tens of millions of American workers absolutely no incentive to work harder or to do a good job because they see absolutely NO change in their wages or benefits from the company's success. For example, if someone is stocking shelves in a retail store and that store's profits increase by 20% this month that stocker isn't going to see any difference in his wage so why on earth should he do anything above the bare minimum amount of work? What does he get out of the company's success except the same pittance of a paycheck he was getting before when the profits were 20% lower? Any system that can only function by exploiting tens of millions of people daily is an abomination and doesn't deserve to continue.

    Speaking only for myself, the kind of system that is needed to replace capitalism may as well be on a different planet from whatever anti-democratic nonsense that you think is the only alternative. To the contrary, it would be the first democratic government the U.S. has ever had, the first one that actually operates based on the wishes of the average non-wealthy person. The way it is now it's self-evident that the average person has no political respresentation. What I am envisioning is a total removal of all private campaign financing and replacing it with public funding of campaigns, a much smaller amount of funding, say $500,000 to run for president, with all the proper auditing that goes along with it to ensure nobody just pretends to run for office and socks the money away. A recall mechanism hanging over the head of every politician at all times in a similar way to parliamentary democracies having "no-confidence" votes. Abolish the Senate as its only purpose is to stand in the way of any possibility of meaningful change that could be enacted by the House and is as anti-democratic a legislative body as one can imagine, one that gives the same representation to a state with the population of Rhode Island as it does to a state with the population of California. Abolish the Electoral College as it only serves to potentially block the will of the voters as it has done four times in the past, most recently in the 2000 "election". Complete transparency in the operations of government. In other words, what this country has never had, a TRUE democracy.


    Speaking of freedoms, exactly how free of a country do you think you live in now Law? You live in a country whose government has used a contrived threat to make it "legal" for the government to tap your phone without a warrant, intercept your e-mail, read your snail mail before it gets to you then tape it shut, demand to see your medical records, investigate what library books you check out then bar the librarian from telling you, spies on peaceful protesters, can put a tracking device on anyone's car without a warrant, can assassinate American citizens with not even so much as a pretense of a trial, can designate you or anyone else on a whim as an "enemy combatant", kidnap you in the middle of the night, whisk you away to some C.I.A. dungeon to be tortured to death or to sit in 110-degree heat in a dog kennel in Gitmo. That's freedom? Sounds much more like the Third Reich with modern technology. I would rather eliminate all these police state measures, abolish the C.I.A. which by any objective estimation is the world's foremost terrorist organization and has throughout its sordid history functioned as the enforcement arm of the billionaire ruling elite's economic interests around the world, overthrowing governments, assassinating people, fomenting coups, sabotage, drug smuggling, you name it, they've done it. Amalgamate all the other fifteen (!) intelligence agencies into one intel analyzing organ that has no covert ops functions. Strip domestic spying from the F.B.I., a despicable organization that should never live down its attempt to get Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide rather than accept a Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights work. Abolish the D.E.A. and legalize all drugs, which would end smuggling and drug cartels as we know them (at least those that directly affect America obviously) and would allow adults to freely make adult decisions about what to ingest, something that is currently illegal in the so-called "land of the free".

    As for the economic end of it I am in favor of putting an end to capitalist wage slavery and replacing it with worker ownership of the productive assets. This would place the businesses in the hands of the only people who will not exploit the workers, the workers themselves. This would give the average worker a big incentive to work harder because finally he or she would see real benefits from the success of their workplace. If someone wants to start their own business in the new environment then fine, go to it as long as the business owner can do all the work himself as in a hot dog stand or a newspaper kiosk. But if it requires even one more person to carry out the operations of the business then it becomes jointly owned by its workers. A freedom that this new society would remove would be the freedom of those with more capital to exploit those without it, a "freedom" that as it is now benefits exceedingly few Americans and that the overwhelming majority would be much better off without. Another freedom removed would be the freedom to accumulate wealth far in excess of one's needs. This could be effected by taxation. I am not at all against the idea of the average American owning their own home or car or stereo etc., far from it, I want to enrich the lives of the average person. What I am against is someone having more wealth than they could spend in several lifetimes, a mansion, a fleet of 20 classic cars, a factory that produces stereos etc. In other words bourgeois wealth is what has to be eliminated, not proletarian possessions. Yes, what I am suggesting will certainly not benefit every single American but it will most certainly benefit the overwhelming non-wealthy majority of Americans greatly. As for the bourgeoisie, well, they've had centuries to benefit from an exploitative economic model and have long grown fat from the labor of others. They've had things their way for far too long. Again, I cannot speak for the movement and don't attempt to but what I feel the end goal not just of this movement but of humanity in general really needs to be is the formation of a society in which every baby is born into the same good opportunity, nobody born into poverty and nobody born into wealth. In other words what today would be considered a middle class lifestyle. This is not a guarantee of success but merely a guarantee of starting out at an equal starting line for everybody, a level playing field where someone's chances for success in life are not determined by who their parents are, what their skin color is or what their surname sounds like. We will surely never get there by keeping the odious capitalist wage slavery economic model as it is designed for inequality and class oppression.

    Now if you want to live in an undemocratic country that is basically a fascist police state where someone's economic opportunities are essentially rigged from birth in favor of the already-privileged, where workers have no real power to effect changes in their wage, benefits and working conditions and with a government that consistently sides with the business ownership class over its workers, then congratulations, you already live in such a country. My advice to you is enjoy it while you can because there are many people out there, myself very much included, who see such a rotten garbage heap of a nation as intolerable and unsustainable and who want to build a decent, fair, egalatarian, advanced nation to allow a better life for ourselves and our children. By aligning yourself against progressive ideals of fairness and equality and genuine democracy you're putting yourself on the wrong side of history. The bottom line is, eventually the slaves become conscious so the capitalist gravy train cannot go on indefinitely and can only forestall the inevitable rearrangement.

    Agrees: Law

  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @Brutal_Truth - Very nicely written and I can see you have done some reading and thinking. I had to read your post a few times to see where I wanted to start.

    First off I want to let you know, I agree with a majority of what you have written and if you have seen my other writings so far. You would know I basically am on the same side as you.

    Also some of these topics have not come up yet so I have not even had a chance to weigh in. I am below to hopefully give you a better understanding of where I am coming from and what I promote. I hope you will see we are more alike than not.

    This discussion became a specific discussion of Democracy and Capitalism. If I forget to mention an item you brought up, I apologize, I'll do my best B_T.

    First I hold no political affiliation and my voting record is mostly Democratic and Independent with a few Republicans candidates(local) that had good policies.

    Yes, as you described this is the most un-democratic, democratic country around. I was not trying to defend the current system at all, personally I want to replace it with a fair and honest system and is simple to understand and administer. I hope you didn't take that away from my above writings, I was more trying to response to a single poster to give him his due answers and responses.

    Public Finance of Elections - Bring it on, add all paper ballots to boot please.

    Taxes that don't favor the rich - Lets bring on a fair and simple tax with not exemptions or loopholes so rich and poor pay a fair and relatively equal to their means, share.

    Wages not keeping up - Agree 110%, if you caught my comment, I think it is screwed since (as you mentioned), the 1970's we have allow our corporations to send jobs overseas to produced finished good for the American market and those profits didn't go to the workers but the shareholders and owners instead. I would not allow that and if you want to call it "Protection", so be it, it called fair trade to me.

    Capitalism is Anti-Democratic - I take exception to this comment B_T, in this sense. For the first 70ish year of our republic in the North (not talking about slavery in the South), we had a great distribution of wealth through the classes and a rising standard of living with a Capitalist system. It can work again but we had laws in place that prevented the stuff we do today. Also to give you the benefit of the doubt, I am always open to read about another system to replace this one, I just have not heard one that keeps democracy, freedom and choice. I have thought about this quite a bit so this isn't some half-cocked comment.

    Freedoms in America - Brotha, you are preaching to the choir. I so agree on this point Yes, before and it really ramped up after 9/11, our freedoms have been eviscerated. I worried now this is being cataloged someone and could come back to haunt me some day. We need to repeal all that garbage legislation. We will never be 100% safe so why do we take all our freedoms away to give us this false promise. I am worried it has come to this because we don't really any really big enemies so the security complex and military need something to do.

    Post Economic System - I have actually looked at that type of model and it can work and I like the idea of making sure workers can some "skin in the game". I would add that you still need competent managers to run these businesses so they can compete.

    Opportunity - Now here is where we meet mind to mind. Outside of all the bad laws and corruption, this is the real problem we need to address. We need to provide and equal opportunity for every citizen to succeed. This sums up what I know to be true and it made me smile to read you thought the same thing.

    I am really looking forward to any response you give back. I hope I didn't come off any certain way above, it was really a dialogue between us two so I can see if you didn't totally follow this and the initial post "Replace Capitalism with Democracy", how you might think I was different than how you laid out as a solution.

    Cheers,
    Law
  • Antifascist October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    Lets start with the fact that wealth and institutional power has stolen the Adam Smith concept of the free market. They then perverted, twisted, and warped it until it became something unrecognizable from the intent.
    fact: free market capitalism can NOT survive in a society that offers its govt power to the highest bidder. Once that power is for sale to the high bidder power becomes a weapon that allows...say corporations to write the law, regulation, and treaties and devise war.
    With this kind of power it is possible to then dominate the people of a society and determine who gets to compete in the market.
    What I have just described has no free hand, that hand is hindered or broken altogether. You can call it capitalism but it has nothing to do with a free market! The word I would use is FASCISM (corporate control of the govt, the media, the society, and the market).
    Corporate villians stole the term free market capitalism....I'm an American liberal, and I am stealing it back!!!!!

    End plutocracy, demand the govt we were promised...a govt of by and for the people. Equal voice equal access.
    Do this and you will see the free market was savaged as badly as you have been.

    As for socialism, sometimes it is more important to get a known result than to deal with situation that can at times be unstable, in those instances why not socialism. The fact is the free market and socialism can co-exist.
    It is the extremist economic ideals like fascism and communism that must exist in a vaccum devoid of competition to survive.
    Anyway thats what I think......

    Agrees: Law

  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "I am always open to read about another system to replace this one, I just have not heard one that keeps democracy, freedom and choice"

    There is such a system. It is a system SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to give you maximum democracy, freedom, and choice.

    It is a system advocated for the past 250+ years by some of the most brilliant, well-respected thinkers to walk this planet like Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, George Orwell, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein and current Senator Bernie Sanders.

    How this system would work is outlined here:

    http://occupytogether.com/forum/discussion/901/solution-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/p1

    You keep saying it would not be free because someone will decide what equal is.

    Never mind the fact that a rich, wealthy minority of business owners are currently deciding that you and everyone else should make a below average income. But equality is a MATH FORMULA. It is not something some decides.

    Equal Income = GDP / Total Workers

    That formula, which just treats you fairly as a worker, will yield you likely a 350% increase income. More income means MORE democracy, MORE freedom and MORE choice.

    And your claim that an economic system that gives you a right to a fair income will turn this country into a 20th century, evil, soviet, totalitarian dictatorship with secret police, labor camps, show trials and murdering political opponents and dissenters is absurd.
  • dboydm October 2011 +1 -1
    We don' need socialism. We need a direct democracy. Replace Congress with the people. Freedom and eqality.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @dboydm

    Explain to me how you achieve equality when you have an economic system where someone gets paid 10,000 times more than someone else.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Fine, if you want to advocate that flawed system of government, go right ahead.

    I am certain people with basic math skills and common sense with a little analytic will clear see those major flaws.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    I advocate democracy. Now democracy is a flawed government system? I thought you wanted more democracy.

    Someone with basic math skills will see that there is a flaw in dividing total income by total workers in order to arrive at equal income per worker? That is grade school math. That is how it is done.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

    Definition of DEMOCRACY
    1
    a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
    2
    : a political unit that has a democratic government
    3
    capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the United States
    4
    : the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
    5
    : the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy -

    "Someone with basic math skills will see that there is a flaw in dividing total income by total workers in order to arrive at equal income per worker? That is grade school math. That is how it is done. "

    Response: Sure, sounds like a grand system. We will see how hard people will work when all their effort is always put into the big pot and divided evenly and no matter if you worked the maximum effort or minimum, you all get the same. I guess there would be some nice feelings knowing I would get a share no matter.

    Me, I would rather have a system where I am allowed to prosper or fail. Yes, we do not have anywhere close to that now, our system is broken. But when I think about a fixed system, it is along those lines. That doesn't mean I would have no safety nets for the ones that can not help themselves, I would have a "just" system as well. But I would make sure there we limits so the people have room to manifest their own destiny.

    Over-time I am sure we will become more socialized but I hope it is a natural process and we find ways to keep those incentives alive so people still have the fire to want and achieve greatness. This I do hope.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1 (+0 / -1 )
    Let's agree to disagree. I just don't think your idea of preventing women from working is going to help the economy.

    And you may be fine with advocating a system that leads to slavery, but I am not.

    Disagrees: Law

  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Now you resulting to lying???? I never even mentioned a gender once. Good day to you sir.

    Law
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law

    Since you constantly do the same to me, I figured I would return the favor.

    After what seems like 50 comments back and forth, you are still making this incorrect statement:

    "We will see how hard people will work when all their effort is always put into the big pot and divided evenly and no matter if you worked the maximum effort or minimum, you all get the same"

    I don't know how many times I need to tell you and in how many different ways, but that is not how I say compensation would work.

    So for the 51st time, there are differences in pay between workers. People who put in maximum effort or do difficult work will get paid more than those who do not.

    If you read my actual post and my responses to your questions, you will actually understand what I advocate.
  • Law October 2011 +1 -1
    @FullDemocracy - Why don't you show me a single example of me attributing a statement you didn't say?

    I have quoted you full without abbreviation and the gave my response which is how discourse works. You (FullDemocracy) on the other hand just LIED.

    It just shows your position/system is weak and it can't take real scrutiny.

    I saw your compensation of $115K and $230K, I saw these arbitrary income numbers. The point isn't if you had these numbers or not, we are telling you, your system is flawed and would not work with the obligations and liabilities the United States Government and its Citizens have to the rest of the world along with its own people. You would not only start a trade war when you went to implement this new system but I think in fact you would have a real war.

    What you should do if you believe in this system is either response to the flaws we pointed out and show us how our math is incorrect or re-design your system so they don't have those flaws. The first one you need to handle is the massive inflation you would put into the system when you gave everyone that amount of income. That is a major flaw right off the bat.
  • FullDemocracy October 2011 +1 -1
    @Law "Why don't you show me a single example of me attributing a statement you didn't say?"

    I did show you an example in my very last comment! This is what I mean when I say you don't read my posts or comments.

    So here is you attributing a statement to me which I did not say:

    "We will see how hard people will work when all their effort is always put into the big pot and divided evenly and no matter if you worked the maximum effort or minimum, you all get the same"

    I never said people who put in maximum effort will get paid the same as people who do not.


    "I saw your compensation of $115K and $230K, I saw these arbitrary income numbers."

    Total pre-tax consumption income is $13.7 trillion
    Consumption: $10.676 trillion
    Government: $3.038 trillion

    http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=5&Freq=Qtr&FirstYear=2009&LastYear=2011

    We have 100 million full-time workers and 35 million part-time workers. Of those workers, 12.3 million work in science, computers, engineering, doctors, construction, mining, and farming which would get paid the $230k.

    http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

    When you pay $110.50 per hour to the 12.3 million full-time and part-time workers doing difficult jobs and $55.25 per hour to the remaining 122.7 million full-time and part-time workers, the total comes out to $13.7 trillion which equals our $13.7 trillion total pre-tax income.



    "show us how our math is incorrect"

    I have already asked you this question before. What math are you referring to?



    "The first one you need to handle is the massive inflation you would put into the system when you gave everyone that amount of income."

    We are not increasing the total income that is getting paid out. All we are doing is reallocating existing income. So on average, costs will remain the same. And since costs will remain the same, prices will also remain the same.

    For example, if a company has just 2 workers and one was paid $200k and the other was paid $30k, their total costs would be $230k.

    If they decided to reallocate income so that they were both paid $115k each, their costs would still remain $230k. Since their costs didn't change, their prices won't change.

    Since prices won't change, there will be no inflation.
  • dboydm October 2011 +1 -1
    With everybody having money, demand for most goods will go up. This will drive up prices, so there will be inflation. I think one day the world will be ready for a socialst type government. I just don't think we are there yet.