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FishandChips

Policies based on Socialism a strain on the economy ?

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I have to admit I am no expert when it comes to socialist policies. However from what I can see countries like Holland and Germany. When someone loses their job the state will intervene and ensure that they are paid upto 75% of what they were earning. 

Does this not put a strain on the economy ?.  Having to pay out such large sums of money to millions ?

 

 

 

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We have it in the US, too. It’s called unemployment insurance.

Why is “the economy” the primary concern, and not the people?

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One policy does not 'make' Socialism.
It is best described as 'pooling resources to achieve common good'.

Does that mean it can't be misapplied or abused ?
Of course not ( look at USSR, Maoist China, Pot's Cambodia or Venezuela  for obvious examples ).
But so can Capitalist policies. Or even Democracy itself, for that matter.

Canada has Employment Insurance, and it is not a strain on the economy.
The right mix of Socialism, to ensure equal opportunity for all, and Capitalism, to strive for the better, is the way to go.
The trick is finding the right mix which will appease all people.

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36 minutes ago, FishandChips said:

I have to admit I am no expert when it comes to socialist policies. However from what I can see countries like Holland and Germany. When someone loses their job the state will intervene and ensure that they are paid upto 75% of what they were earning. 

Does this not put a strain on the economy ?.  Having to pay out such large sums of money to millions ?

 

 

 

It works like any insurance: as long as the premiums coming in exceed the payouts it works fine. The individual burden is spread out. Private healthcare organisations have investors and they want to see high returns, so you have cost + profit to pay as a private patient.

Edited by StringJunky

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As always, it depends on what you mean by socialism.

As countries with the largest social safety net programs for their people seem to be dong quite well economically (Denmark, Finland, etc), it seems those policies don’t mandate failure. 

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12 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

It works like any insurance: as long as the premiums coming in exceed the payouts it works fine. The individual burden is spread out. Private healthcare organisations have investors and they want to see high returns, so you have cost + profit to pay as a private patient.

Insurance is anti-socialism, it profits from and consumes the needy...

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Insurance is anti-socialism, it profits from and consumes the needy...

What about our National Insurance then? How is that not Socialistic?

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Just now, StringJunky said:

What about our National Insurance then? How is that not Socialistic?

It's not insurance, it's a tythe; the difference is, the payment has nothing to do with the benifit.

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Auto insurance.
It oppresses everyone, and helps very few.
But it gives Insurance companies lots of leverage to influence Governments.

( is my cynicism showing again ?)

Edited by MigL

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Insurance is anti-socialism, it profits from and consumes the needy...

A risk pool is basically a group-oriented strategy, which is more akin to public ownership than private. I disagree that regular insurance is anti-socialism. It's a pretty straightforward capitalist deal made between private entities, and value can be determined and agreed upon by both parties. As long as the terms of a claim are clear, everybody benefits. The weirdest part about it is that you're technically betting something bad will happen to you, and the insurer is betting it won't.

Health insurance is a whole different matter, imo. It should never be handled privately, and should always be part of a publicly-owned program aimed at health and not profit, using as large a portion of a country's population as possible to reduce costs and maximize effectiveness.

3 hours ago, FishandChips said:

I have to admit I am no expert when it comes to socialist policies. However from what I can see countries like Holland and Germany. When someone loses their job the state will intervene and ensure that they are paid upto 75% of what they were earning. 

Does this not put a strain on the economy ?.  Having to pay out such large sums of money to millions ?

An effective social system is like a tapestry. It's easy to pick apart individual threads and break them, but the whole is very strong, beautiful, and resilient.

On the other side, you'll have those millions to pay out because you've saved millions on different aspects of your society. If the US did more for working class folks, there would be less crime. If we went back to socialist approaches to our legal system, and got rid of jails-for-profit, we could reduce our prison system drastically (currently, the US has about 1/20th of the world's population, but it's hybrid privatized system has 1/4th of the world's prisoners). 

You'll have even more millions because people will have access to better healthcare, where studies show us we'll spend less because we'll catch more before it gets bad, and people won't resort to ER care because they can't afford insurance. Sick people are bad for your economic concerns.

To me, it's really simple. Private, public, state ownership, they're all tools to use for the right job. Private ownership drives growth, so it's great for things you don't mind having potentially unlimited growth for. But you don't do that with things like roads and energy, because you only need so many/so much of those things. Education is another good example, since the vast majority only need to know what will help them have the life they want. 

As for socialism putting a "strain" on the economy, that sounds like the argument of someone who owns a private road construction company. It goes like this:

"I employ hundreds of workers at my company who keep our city streets maintained."

"Yes, but your roads have tons of potholes because you let us drive on the asphalt before it's cured."

"It's for your convenience that we keep construction wait times to a minimum."

"But you charge us to re-pave every other year. In Germany, the road crews close off the section of road they're paving for three months to let it cure."

"THREE MONTHS! Americans would never stand for that!"

"The Germans only have to re-pave a road every 10 years. Because they treat the roads as more important than the profit or the economy, they spend far less for far better roads. The Autobahn is world-famous."

 

If we went back to public services for energy and other areas where it makes sense, the overall population would have a LOT more money to spend. Historically, it's not the wealthy who spend it if they got it. Wealthy folks are sitting on their cash right now, but if the middle and working classes were to get a break on utilities or education, they'd go right out and spend that savings on something they've wanted. Rather than it being a drain, policies based on socialism would boost the US economy considerably, imo. 

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Promoting less taxes through not having "socialist" welfare makes a voter winning slogan but is not a good way to run a nation. Some nations do have political parties and governments that manage to look further than simplistic ideas about presence of welfare/health/education programs being an unnecessary burden on the productive people, meaning them not paying makes them - and the economy as a whole - better off. I don't think that is true.

My own view is the presence of an underclass of unemployed poor that gets none of those kinds of support comes with costs that may be difficult to predict and quantify but don't stay neatly confined to society's losers and, on the contrary, impact the whole society and economy in costly ways. Those costs can be as simple as more policing and enforcement to prevent beggars and homeless camps messing up the streets and more security measures to prevent petty and not so petty theft. Not having such programs becomes an absence that can lead to costs that can blow out spectacularly, when social discontent becoming social disruption; social disruptions can be incredibly destructive. Extremist ideology as well as criminal gangs can thrive amongst people who have few options to better themselves.

People who get little or no access to education or health services may never become productive employees, let alone paying consumers of products and services that grow the economy; they represent lost opportunities at least as much as they represent a drag on an economy.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

Promoting less taxes through not having "socialist" welfare makes a voter winning slogan but is not a good way to run a nation.

Trickery, imo. That slogan is basically misrepresenting the issue, and getting conservative voters to say "I'd rather pay $1000 to a private company for something than have my taxes go up by $500 to pay for it." Roughly half of Republicans send their kids to public schools, and I think they're the ones being tricked into voting against their own best interests.

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21 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Trickery, imo. That slogan is basically misrepresenting the issue, and getting conservative voters to say "I'd rather pay $1000 to a private company for something than have my taxes go up by $500 to pay for it." Roughly half of Republicans send their kids to public schools, and I think they're the ones being tricked into voting against their own best interests.

Is socialism much viewed as a slippery road to communism in the US, or presented often that way by its detractors?

Edited by StringJunky

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3 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Is socialism much viewed as a slippery road to communism in the US, or presented often that way by its detractors?

Notice how these tools are referred to in the collective, as an -ism, like you need to pick one and stick with it. This strategy lets people who don't consider working class folks worthy of social spending frame the issue as "Capitalism is our only hope". Communism failed, and socialism is just a step away, so capitalism must be the best choice, right? But we formed our democracy because our king wasn't treating us right and he owned everything. And it's easy to show that 100% private ownership leads to one person owning everything, so it's obvious some of these capital extremists want to be king.

So they misrepresent the argument, and insist we give up our saws and drills and only use the hammer. The hammer is good, the hammer does a lot, but it's not the best tool for everything.

 

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19 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Notice how these tools are referred to in the collective, as an -ism, like you need to pick one and stick with it. This strategy lets people who don't consider working class folks worthy of social spending frame the issue as "Capitalism is our only hope". Communism failed, and socialism is just a step away, so capitalism must be the best choice, right? But we formed our democracy because our king wasn't treating us right and he owned everything. And it's easy to show that 100% private ownership leads to one person owning everything, so it's obvious some of these capital extremists want to be king.

So they misrepresent the argument, and insist we give up our saws and drills and only use the hammer. The hammer is good, the hammer does a lot, but it's not the best tool for everything.

 

When you have just a hammer everything looks like a nail. :) The two extremes lead to same end result: dictatorship.

Edited by StringJunky

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

That slogan is basically misrepresenting the issue, and getting conservative voters to say "I'd rather pay $1000 to a private company for something than have my taxes go up by $500 to pay for it.

In addition to paying twice as much, they also collect more in government benefits than more liberal states. They’d just rather not pay for it or use deficit spending to do so

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Is socialism much viewed as a slippery road to communism in the US, or presented often that way by its detractors?

Honestly? Majority likely don’t even have any idea what the difference is between them.

We’re lucky most can even spell those words. Defining them is a step too far. 

They’re just scapegoats and bogeymen really

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

In addition to paying twice as much, they also collect more in government benefits than more liberal states. They’d just rather not pay for it or use deficit spending to do so

Honestly? Majority likely don’t even have any idea what the difference is between them.

We’re lucky most can even spell those words. Defining them is a step too far. 

They’re just scapegoats and bogeymen really

Right.

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17 hours ago, Phi for All said:

A risk pool is basically a group-oriented strategy, which is more akin to public ownership than private. I disagree that regular insurance is anti-socialism.

Maybe anti-socialism is a little strong, but most important insurance is, or almost, mandatory and that means we're in the grip of the invisible hand which is fundamentally in the private sector. As I said earlier (I think in this thread) a tythe is, I think, the ideal in terms of public ownership of insurances as there's a disconect between the money paid and the potential benefit received; one is in need and there's no one argueing "you can't be payed because it was an act of god, or...".

17 hours ago, Phi for All said:

The weirdest part about it is that you're technically betting something bad will happen to you, and the insurer is betting it won't.

And the house wins...

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23 hours ago, iNow said:

As always, it depends on what you mean by socialism.

Indeed.

on a very simple level, i.e. that of the OP, just about any government spending is socialism (as long as the people are participants in the government)

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Social Security, Medicare, and all insurance and taxes are basically socialistic programs, right?

Edited by Airbrush

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17 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

Social Security, Medicare, and all insurance and taxes are basically socialistic programs, right?

No, really really not.

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30 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

Social Security, Medicare, and all insurance and taxes are basically socialistic programs, right?

Standard insurance involves a pooling of resources by all involved, and in that it resembles a program defined and owned by the public, but since it only involves a small portion of the population, it's a far cry from a national risk pool that benefits heavily from economy of scale.

I wish people would stop focusing on the tools we use to fix problems instead of solving the problems themselves. Let me ask you this, do you go out to your garage, pick up a hammer, and then go looking for things that need hammering? Most folks I know look at a problem first, figure out the best solution, and then use the appropriate tools. If you start out stubbornly planning to use your hammer no matter what the problem is, you'll probably make things worse (unless you sell hammers, in which case things will just be worse for others).

This is part of the problem in the US, we took smart public works (like utilities, roads, and other critical infrastructure sectors) and privatized them, which shifted the focus from serving the many to enriching the few. I think it's sheer hypocrisy that the extreme capitalists warn about socialism when they're applying private growth models to infrastructure solutions and failing us so badly. These models seem to suggest that the best tool to use is to wait until a structure falls down, then force the taxpayers to hire a private company at exorbitant emergency rates to come to our rescue. 

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27 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

No, really really not.

Explain why not; using more than one line, please.
Socialism is the collective pooling of resources ( taxes ) to make social services ( Soc Security, Medicare ) more affordable and available, than if single sourced.

I like to think of Communism as Socialism with an added dose of Fascism, such that society is no longer the beneficiary of the pooled resources, but the state is. In idealistic( Marxist ) theory, an improved state would benefit society, but it hardly ever works out that way.
That is why J Stalin could starve 8-12 million Ukranians to death, in an effort to modernize the USSR ( 5 year plan ) and , ostensibly, improve society.
That is why Mao Ze Deong could starve 60 million Chinese in the 60s ( Cultural Revolution ), to make life better for the remaining population.
None of these worked out well.

Scandinavian countries seem to have the largest Socialist to Capitalist mix.
The rest of Europe and Canada are close behind.
For some reason, Americans seem to tolerate the least Socialism in their society.

Kind of a shame; they are cutting off their noses to spite their face.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

I like to think of Communism as Socialism with an added dose of Fascism, such that society is no longer the beneficiary of the pooled resources, but the state is.

I think many Americans agree with you. I think it's wrong to think in terms of -isms, though. Nobody is talking about public ownership of everything. It's still an extreme left position to have publicly-owned manufacturing, for instance. I think it could work in the case of a national solar panel system, where The People are offered work making panels to be employed as part of a grid, but I would argue that public ownership is the wrong tool for making automobiles and mattresses.

I appreciate the lure of economy of scale; if one publicly-owned company made all the pots and pans and cookware Americans used in their kitchens, and the aim was quality and durability instead of bigger/better profit, the best quality would be affordable by all. But I concede that complete Socialism would assume a lot about what products and services The People require/desire, something I think a free market is better designed to do. But of course, we don't have a free market either, with all the influence extreme wealth has on the politics of our economy.

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16 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I think many Americans agree with you. I think it's wrong to think in terms of -isms, though. Nobody is talking about public ownership of everything. It's still an extreme left position to have publicly-owned manufacturing, for instance. I think it could work in the case of a national solar panel system, where The People are offered work making panels to be employed as part of a grid, but I would argue that public ownership is the wrong tool for making automobiles and mattresses.

I appreciate the lure of economy of scale; if one publicly-owned company made all the pots and pans and cookware Americans used in their kitchens, and the aim was quality and durability instead of bigger/better profit, the best quality would be affordable by all. But I concede that complete Socialism would assume a lot about what products and services The People require/desire, something I think a free market is better designed to do. But of course, we don't have a free market either, with all the influence extreme wealth has on the politics of our economy.

Where you want nationalisation is in infrastructure because there's no opportunities for real revenue growth and competition, and the only way for investors to see 'growth' is by artificial means for prices to rise.

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