Tag Archives: free market

SOCIALISM – PART TWO (CAPITALISM VS. SOCIALISM)

Currently candidate for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, is an avowed socialist, calling himself a Democratic Socialist. While Senator Sanders will probably lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton, he is currently a viable candidate. As of this writing, he will soon be giving a speech explaining just what a Democrat Socialist is, but in the meantime, the following will contrast Capitalism, our current economic system in the United States with Socialism. As you read this, keep in mind that while we call or economic system capitalism, it is not a purely capitalistic system.

The central arguments in the socialism vs. capitalism debate are about economic equality and the role of government. Socialists believe that economic inequality if bad for society and that the government is responsible for reducing it through programs that benefit the poor such as free public education, free of subsidized healthcare, social security for the elderly, and higher taxes on the rich. In contrast, capitalists believe that the government does not use economic resources as efficiently as private enterprises do, and therefore society is better off with the free market determining economic winners and losers.

As I indicated above the United States is considered a bastion of capitalism. However, large parts of Scandinavia and Western Europe are considered socialist democracies. As you know, though, the United States has a plethora of entitlement programs that allegedly benefit the poor. The U.S. also offers free public elementary and secondary education to its citizens and has implemented a Social Security program to benefit the elderly. Furthermore, its present tax system imposes higher taxes on higher income earners. As such, the United States is not a pure capitalistic society. We currently have a strong private sector and income inequality. Those individuals who work hard and take risks have chances at accumulating more wealth than those who prefer not to take large risks and work less. But for those individuals willing to work harder than normal and take the risks, additional wealth is not guaranteed. Of course, there’s those in between. In a capitalistic society such as what we have in the United States, you get to choose.

The following will outline the differences between capitalism and socialism:

DEFINITION

Capitalism: A theory or system of social organization based around a free market and privatization in which ownership is ascribed to the individual persons. Voluntary co-ownership is also permitted

Socialism: A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers.

PHILOSOPHY

Capitalism: Capital (or the means of production) is owned, operated, and traded in order to generate profits for private owners or shareholders. Emphasis on individual profit rather than on workers or society as a whole. No restriction on who may own capital.

Socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries.

 

IDEAS

Capitalism: Laissez-faire means to “let it be;” opposed to government intervention in economics because capitalists believe it introduces inefficiencies. A free market produces the best economic outcome for society. Government should not pick winners and losers.

Socialism: All individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization. Large-scale industries are collective efforts and this the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

KEY ELEMENTS

Capitalism: Competition for ownership of capital drives economic activity and creates a price system that determines resource allocation; profits are reinvested in the economy. “Production for profit:” useful goods and services are a byproduct of pursuing profit.

Socialism: Economic activity and production especially are adjusted by the State to meet human needs and economic demands. “Production for use:” useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Capitalism: Market based economy combined with private or corporate ownership of the means of production. Goods and services are produced to make a profit, and this profit is reinvested into the economy to fuel economic growth.

Socialism: The means of production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives, and individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution. Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Capitalism: Can co-exist with a variety of political systems, including dictatorship, democratic republic, anarchism, and direct democracy. Most capitalists advocate a democratic republic.

Socialism: Can co-exist with different political systems. Most socialists advocate participatory democracy, some (Social Democrats) advocate parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Leninists advocate “Democratic Centralism.”

PRIVATE PROPERTY

Capitalism: Private property in capital and other goods is the dominant form of property. Public property and state property play a secondary role, and there might also be some collective property in the economy.

Socialism: Two kinds of property: Personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property includes factories, and means of production owned by the State but with worker control.

 

OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE

Capitalism: The means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit. This drives incentives for producers to engage in economic activity. Firms can be owned by individuals, worker do-ops, or shareholders.

Socialism: The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in public ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative ownership models.)

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Capitalism: Classes exist based on their relationship to capital: the capitalists own shares of the means of production and derive their income in that way while the working class is dependent on wages or salaries. Large degree of mobility between the classes.

Socialism: Class distinctions are diminished. Status derived more from political distinctions that class distinctions. Some mobility.

FREE CHOICE

Capitalism: All individuals make decisions for themselves. People will make the best decisions because they must live with the consequences of their actions. Freedom of choice allows consumers to drive the economy.

Socialism: Religion, jobs, and marriage are up to the individual. Compulsory education. Free, equal access to healthcare and education provided through a socialized system funded by taxation. Production decisions driven more by State decision than consumer demand.

The above outline a few of the major differences between capitalism and socialism. Again, pure free market capitalism doesn’t exist on the planet. The United State, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong are strongholds of capitalism.

With Bernie Sanders running for the Democrat nominee for president, front-runner Hillary Clinton has moved far left. Millennials are leaning toward socialism because they see our capitalistic economic system as one that benefits the wealthy. However, younger adults tend to be more idealistic, but tend to change as they mature and are able to view the world from a practical standpoint rather than an academic stand point.

It is my hope that American from the entire political spectrum will read this post and think hard and long about socialism. Is this something you really want because there is a good chance this country, built on the principals of capitalism and a free market will veer toward socialism if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are elected President in 2016.

The contents of this article was mostly provided by diffen.com and your administrator’s personal opinions.

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DEMOCRAT WAR ON WORK

A liberal Facebook friend of mine shared a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King. The photo included one of his quotes, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

As this week of Labor Day came to an end, I couldn’t help but notice another disturbing trend among liberals. It seems that they have declared a “war on work.” I’ve stated all along that liberals/Democrats/progressives, or whatever they want to call themselves these days are not followers of Dr. Martin Luther King. Liberals judge people by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character. Now it appears that liberals are discouraging and making efforts to eliminate the work ethic of this nation, one of the things that made this nation great. Also, liberals are dead set on dividing us by race and turning race against race, in their quest to weaken the United States of America to the point that it no longer resembles the visions of our forefathers. Thus Dr. King’s vision of former slave owners and former slaves dining at the table of brotherhood together is something liberals apparently want to keep from happening.

After the ACA was passed, Nancy Pelosi suggested to the American people that they could quit their jobs and do what they’ve always wanted to do such as write that great American novel. With ACA, they wouldn’t have to worry about health insurance.

In the early part of 2014, an article was published on liberal rag, slate.com indicating that it was unfair that some folks had jobs they loved while others didn’t. Of course, liberals think that’s grossly unfair and denigrated the American work culture for allowing such a thing to happen. The author of the article also seemed to be advocating the distribution of work so that all Americans would be able to have that rewarding job, limiting the time that Americans would have to perform such loathsome tasks as sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms, washing windows, and pulling the feathers out of dead chickens, etc.

In March, the current president of the United States signed an executive order that directs the Department of Labor to require overtime pay for millions of Americans classified as executive or professional employees. This will further denigrate America’s once strong worth ethic and make achievement by those with a strong desire to achieve virtually impossible.

The anti-work advocates are also championing government ordered vacation time for those working in the private sector.

As I have indicated many times in my writings, more and more Americans have jettisoned the idea of individuals working hard to better their lifestyles and achieve their dreams. Now they want the government to handle all of that with mandatory overtime, mandatory vacation, mandatory paid holidays, etc. Of course, this is another overreach into the private sector in an effort to destroy our free market, capitalistic economy.

Hey liberals, has it every occurred to you that some folks actually like to work, actually enjoy the challenge, actually have a drive to succeed? It’s been my personal observation that most of the folks who actually like to work and work hard are Republicans. Not saying that Democrats don’t work hard. They do. But most of the Democrats I know who work hard constantly gripe about it.

I regularly visit liberal websites and it’s just amazing how many commenters to articles about work actually want to see work hours cut to 32 hours per week, and minimum wage raised to $15.00 per hour. I’m going to make a sweeping assumption and say that these people are not motivated people. They want to put in the least amount of work and get as much as they can for it. These are the takers in our society.

Of course, these folks point to certain European countries where everyone gets 6 weeks of vacation and only has to work 32 hours per week. If this is what you liberals want, why don’t’ you move there and leave those of us who believe in free enterprise and capitalism alone. In fact, I’d be willing to chip in a few bucks toward your one-way ticket. But if you decide you don’t like it over there because you can’t heat or cool your house as you would like to, you’re having to stay in a ward at the hospital, you don’t like that tin can of a car you’re having to drive with gas costing over $5.00 a gallon, or you’re having to flush the toilet two or three times; don’t expect me to help you fund a ticket back to the USA. You’re on your own.

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