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Socialized Capitalism

by grandpaw7 / November 16, 2005 6:18 AM PST

First of all, the word "socialism" is not an evil word. It has nothing to do with the putrid atrocities in countries such as the former Soviet Union, any more that capitalism has anything to do with what went on the archenemy of communism, fascist Germany. Pure socialism is the ownership of the means of production by the government; that does not include the extermination of opponents.

Second of all, while socialism may work well in small groups such as monasteries and religious communities, it has proven a failure as a way to govern nations. There is no major nation that practices pure socialism, if there ever was. All modern nations recognize that the market system, with restraints and controls, is necessary to compete in today's world.

Third, even before pure socialism showed itself to be a failure, pure capitalism showed itself to be a failure. The present economic system of the United States bears little resemblance to that of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the robber barons ran roughshod over the populace, child labor was rampant, corporate thugs were in high demand to quell and kill those who objected to corporate tyranny, industrial workers were forced to work in unsafe conditions for long hours and below poverty wages, unsafe food and drugs were common, the environment was exploited with impunity, consumers were lied to with impunity, debtors were exploited through exorbitant interest rates and terms, etc.

All civilized nations now practice various forms and degrees of socialized capitalism.

"To socialize" means, among other things, to make fit to live together in a civilized society. Thus, we socialize, or at least try to socialize, juvenile delinquents and all forms of law-breakers, as well as pit pulls.

Hopefully, no one today would claim that the raw, predatory capitalism of those earlier days was fit for a civilized and peaceful society. Certainly, you will not hear any Democrat, Republican, or otherwise advocating that we go back to those days.

It became necessary to socialize capitalism, to make it fit for everyone and not just corporate executives and their cronies. We did this by enacting various laws which controlled and restricted the practice of capitalism, made unlawful the former practice of raw, predatory capitalism.

Food and drug laws.
Environmental laws
Usury laws
Antitrust laws
Industrial safety laws
Child labor laws
Wage and hour laws
Security laws
Social security laws
Deceptive advertising laws
Consumer protection laws
Racial discrimination laws
Fair labor practice laws

These laws are not evidence of raw capitalism; they are evidence of socialized capitalism.

What has happened is that capitalism has been socialized, that is, made fit to exist in society without being allowed to continue the immoral and greed-driven practices inherent in raw, predatory capitalism. Man?s greed is omnipresent; it cannot be eliminated. So capitalism harnesses that greed to produce goods and services at a greatly accelerated level. But left unattended, it is like a like a campfire that reaches out to devour the forest because no one is controlling it. Capitalism, that is, man?s greed, needs to be reined in and controlled. It is like a wild horse that can be of service only if it is socialized, that is, only if reins are put on it to control it. Capitalism has been a blessing, but only after it was made fit for a civilized society, that is, only after it was socialized. It is time we told ourselves the truth.

AMEN.

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Ahh...those were the good ol' days!
by Dan McC / November 16, 2005 10:41 AM PST
In reply to: Socialized Capitalism

...when the robber barons ran roughshod over the populace, child labor was rampant, corporate thugs were in high demand to quell and kill those who objected to corporate tyranny, industrial workers were forced to work in unsafe conditions for long hours and below poverty wages, unsafe food and drugs were common, the environment was exploited with impunity, consumers were lied to with impunity, debtors were exploited through exorbitant interest rates and terms, etc.

And we could go back to that, too, it those liberal commies would just go back where they came from!

Dan

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Remeber the "good ole days" before capitalism ?
by duckman / November 16, 2005 11:11 AM PST

Living in caves, lifespan of 30 years, etc. Called progress

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(NT) (NT) LOL!
by Dan McC / November 16, 2005 12:25 PM PST
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But that list of laws you posted are just what everyone here
by Ziks511 / November 16, 2005 3:37 PM PST
In reply to: Socialized Capitalism

at SE are opposed to.

And what about Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, and to a lesser degree France, Germany and Britain. They have far greater social protection, and social assistance than would be tolerated in the US. In Britain if you have a disabled family member who needs transportation to Doctors visits or school or any of a dozen other places you get a car. I don't mean you get a car if you don't already have one, I mean you get another car. It is maintained on a regular schedule by the state and costs the family nothing but petrol. I don't remember if the family we knew with one got petrol vouchers or not. And then they get traded in every 3 to4 years, and the best place to buy one is at the auto auctions. They're cheap, they've been perfectly maintained, and the worst thing you may have to do is replace the steering wheel if its had a knob affixed. That's where we got our Ford Mondeo, and loved every minute of it.

Why Ford in its wisdom chose to redesign the very attractive European Mondeo into the ugly Mercury Contour, I'll never know. I was determined to buy one when we got back, took one look at it and said no thanks.

Anyway I live in faintly socialist Canada and enjoy it immensely, though I miss some of the perks available in Europe.

Rob

I agree with much that you say Grandpaw, there's nothing wrong with the ideas of socialism, just that it puts the backs of so many in pretzel shapes because of the word's misuse by Revolutionary Socialism like Stalin. As to the continuing blessing of Capitalism, ask those folks whose jobs are being outsourced, whose pensions are being looted, whose health care (if they're lucky enough to have it) is being down-sized and being removed from their pension settlements. The benefits of Capitalism are more and more reserved for the management class, and not even all of those, just the lucky ones who have missed the reorganizations.

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Hmmm...benefits of socialism...
by dirtyrich / November 16, 2005 8:34 PM PST

joblessness and lack fo financial support are not exclusive to the US... ask the rioters in Europe if they like the economic system there.
Socialism's effectiveness is inversely proportional to the population it has to support and the size of the nation - hence USSR's failure and many small communes' success.
Look at the size of the European nations (both population and geographical). They're small compared to the US. China, while Communist, is probably less Socialist on the whole when compared to European nations.
The US is successful. It's economy effectively supports more people than any socialist economy in the world. Yes, unfortunately there are those who fall outside the economy's benefits, but that is simply an issue of there being more people than the economy can support (due to recent downturns, a shifting of the markets and production, etc.) Socialism would limit the success of the US economy, throwing even more people into the have-not category. Of course, we could adjust for the cost by getting rid of our aid to other nations, our military, the UN, and we might be as successful as some other nations, but of course, then the world would go to h#ll.
Funny, now that I think about it, the more socialist a country is, the less it contributes to world security and prosperity.

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