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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
What should the economy be like?
    #3281172 - 10/26/04 09:30 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Anybody who is a regular in the political forum has at one time or
another(or many times) given an idea of what their basic belief
system is when it comes to economics. Some have supported free
markets and decried forced collectivism or socialism. Some have
railed against the evils of capitalism and the virtues of social
safety nets(i.e. income redistribution). Some want pure
unrestricted capitalism. Some want pure communism. Some want a
heavily taxed and controlled free market(modern day socialism).
Some want a mix of some of these basic ideas.

In America, I think we have a moderately controlled free-market
economy that has a moderate amount of socialism injected into it.
Here are some examples of why I think this:


Free market characteristics of the American economy:

-We are allowed to engage in whatever economic activity or career
field we want to.
-Economic transactions are entered into willingly by both parties.
People choose where they work, what they do, and what they purchase.
-The amount of compensation a person receives for doing work is
usually dependant upon the amount of work they did and the skill,
education, and effort required to do the job.

Controlled aspects of the American economy:

-The federal government controls many interest rates that
significantly affect loans and investments.
-A minimum wage has been instituted. It is illegal to pay someone
below this amount for an hour of labor.
-There are many laws that dictate certain standards when it comes to
workplace safety, worker rights, and enviromental safety compliance.
-Tariffs are in place to protect American workers and companies
(often at the expense of the American consumer) from outside
competition.

Socialistic aspects of the American economy:

-Poor people often end up having more money spent on them by the
government than they pay into the government. They often get free
housing, free food stamps, free medical care, free education for
their children, and no-interest loans and generous grants for post
high school educational institutions. They also do not pay federal
income tax(they get it all back at the end of the year). The money
to pay for all of this comes from people who actually pay taxes or
money that the government has borrowed. Granted, the socialist
programs in America are not as all-encompassing as they are in
countries such as Canada or Sweden, but income redistribution does
exist in reasonable amounts here.
-People have a large part of their incomes taxed and put into the
Social Security system. This system pays out monthly stipends to
people who are ill, handicapped, or who have reached a certain
retirement age.
-The federal income tax scale is graduated. Meaning that the more
money you make, the larger a percentage of your income that you pay
in.


My thoughts on what economic system I want:

My thoughts on economic systems have been centered on theories. I
have been hostile to the theory and practise of collectivism
and socialism. I have extolled the theoretical virtues of the free-
market. But, I have never sat down and thought about the nitty-
gritty details of how things should be set up and run in order to
achieve the best possible outcome. How much free-market,
control, and socialism should a "perfect economy" have?

In determining what economic system I would prefer, things become
very complicated. I think that free-market economies offer the most
wealth creation and the highest standard of living for a
population. However, unrestricted free-market activities can bring
about absolutely massive disparities of wealth(which actually can
cause problems in the free-market). I am also concerned about
children of people unable to support themselves. I worry about an
innocent child who is not exposed to the proper nutrition,
education, and health care.

Given my animosity towards income redistribution, this following
admission may surprise some of you. When my parents were divorced,
my mother found herself in college and very poor. It was very
difficult for my father to maintain our old property and pay
support to an ex-wife and child. It was also very difficult for my
mother to pay for school and put food in my mouth. I went from
being comfortably middle-class to being poor. For about a year, my
mother and I lived in a publicly subsidized apartment. We also
got food stamps. So, my mother and I were the recipients of income
redistribution through the state.

I don't mean to be a "Bully of Humility"(a Dickens reference), but
my mother and I were dirt poor. Our entire apartment had four
furnishings; my single mattress on the floor in my bedroom, her
single mattress on the floor in her bedroom, two mattresses piled on
top of one another that acted as our couch in the living room, and a
tiny black and white television which sat on top of a milk crate. I
am not exaggerating. This is how it was. I will add that my mother
has since graduated college, worked very hard, and paid way more
into the government than she ever got out of it. And, I will also
add that without the help from the government, I think my mother and
I could have still made it by. The help made life easier, but I
don't know if it was necessary in a life and death way(for example
we could have moved in with relatives or asked for help from a
church).

While living in this public subsidized housing project, I began to
notice that my mother and I were different from most of the people
who were there. We were temporarily poor, yet we strived to reach
self-sufficiency once again. My mom worked hard and she achieved
that. Most of the people I came into contact with at that place
were the exact opposite. They were lazy and content with living on
the dole. They made no effort to get jobs, curb their sexual
reproduction activities, or take care of themselves. This is why I
have enmity for most of the people receiving public assistance. I
have looked them in the face and determined that 80% of them are
human garbage. If everyone strived to be responsible for
themselves, took pride in being self-sufficient, and curbed
irresponsible behavior, socialism would work like a dream. But, as
long as we have greedy, lazy, and immoral people, any income
redistribution program will be hopelessly abused.

To be honest, I can only vaguely describe what economic system I
want. I cannot at the moment form a coherent syllabus that goes into
detail on the matter. I can say that there should be less socialism
in America in my opinion. But, I am flirting with the idea
of a social safety net with strict safeguards, rules, and repayment
obligations. There are so many gray areas with this subject. There
are so many courses of action which might cause deleterious effects
to certain segments of the population that I am loathe to commit to
a concrete conclusion. Maybe later on in the thread I will have
come to more detailed and clear conclusion which will form an
articulate plan. If that happens I will post it.



What I want you to answer:

You have heard my ramblings. What type of economic system would
your ideal society have? What would the specifics be? How would
you accomplish such a system given the current economic situation of
whatever your area is? Would you want to bring about change quickly
or gradually? What do you envision happening as your preferred
economic system is being implemented and once it is implemented?
What would be the possible negative effects of your chosen economic
system?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Posts: 27,301
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3281239 - 10/26/04 09:42 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I'm not necessarily categorically against a social safety net, but if we are to have one, it should be funded in the most non-coercive way possible(perhaps sales taxes or land taxes, but preferably through voluntary contribution). I think maybe unemployment checks should work as a sort of loan which the person would have to pay back at a small interest rate once they get back on their feet(which they would have a finite amount of time to do). This would discourage freeloaders from mooching off the government dole, and attract only people responsible enough to pull themselves back up.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleKrishna
कृष्ण,LOL
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Posts: 23,284
Loc: oakland
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: silversoul7]
    #3281957 - 10/27/04 12:00 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

i believe that for the most part, "leaches on the dole" is largely a myth, and a result of many other aspects of our culture. the human being is, except for in cases of handicap or injury, a physical and active being. i think it is only natural for people to engage in some activities throughout their days, whether these be work, sport, socialisation, or whatever. now the claim is that if we create a social safety net (because i'm sorry, the current system in the united states is a laughing-stock... 40+ million without health-coverage, "welfare to work" programs that simply don't work), many poor people would just leach of this net, and live on the dole. and, with the way things are currently, perhaps they would. However, i think if much more money was spent in different educational outlets - allowing impoverished people from an early age to see the different opporunities available in our society - then we would, on the whole, benefit largely as a society from this expenditure. And, then, a social safety net would actually be that - instead of being the default option for, say, impoverished single mothers - "welfare" would be a combined program of education, providing for basic needs (AND HEALTH CARE IS A BASIC NEED!!!), and an actual drive to re-incorprate any disenfranchised citzens into their local communities.

as an example, the scandinavian states have had a very strong system of social welfare (as well as funding free, high-quality education opportunities) - this system is what enables students to receive governmental support and concentrate on education themselves - it allows injured, mentally ill, or people suffering from drug addictions the rights to basic needs (food, shelter, health-care) - and it greatly supports political refugees. and it is only in recent years, as scandinavian politics drifts more center-right, that there has been any major problem of people "living off the dole"... (my opinion, of course, and one might dispute it...)

i guess my belief in such a social network of support comes from my belief in humanity as an active, creative species - and my belief that if any state is to exist at all, it damn well better provide its citizens with social security!


--------------------




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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Krishna]
    #3282035 - 10/27/04 12:21 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
i believe that for the most part, "leaches on the dole" is largely a myth, and a result of many other aspects of our culture.



Are you calling RandalFlagg a liar? He claims to have seen it with his own eyes.

Quote:

HEALTH CARE IS A BASIC NEED!!!



No it isn't. If it were, the millions of people without health insurance would die rather quickly, as would the many Christian Scientists who refuse to be treated by doctors. The fact is that if you live a healthy lifestyle(as Christian Scientists tend to do), you most likely won't have much need for hospital visits and prescription drugs.

Quote:

i guess my belief in such a social network of support comes from my belief in humanity as an active, creative species - and my belief that if any state is to exist at all, it damn well better provide its citizens with social security!



I believe humanity is an active, creative species, which is exactly why we don't need to rely on government for most of our needs. As for social security, I'm intelligent enough to invest my own money, as are most people here, I imagine. For those that aren't, I'd call that natural selection.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleKrishna
कृष्ण,LOL
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Posts: 23,284
Loc: oakland
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: silversoul7]
    #3282075 - 10/27/04 12:29 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:
As for social security, I'm intelligent enough to invest my own money, as are most people here, I imagine. For those that aren't, I'd call that natural selection.




what about people who, from day one, face sub-standard education or job discrimination? are you telling me that a high-school student who fails to get into a university because of low test-scores (which may very well be linked to the dismal conditions of his schools and their lack of funding), cannot support his/her family on a despicably low minimum wage, and obviously cannot afford investment advice to invest what meager savings he/she might have - should either "sink or swim" when it comes to social security?

what about mentally ill/phsyically handicapped people who cannot work, let alone invest their savings. if their family was poor or bad investors, tough shit for them?


--------------------




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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Krishna]
    #3282128 - 10/27/04 12:43 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
what about people who, from day one, face sub-standard education or job discrimination?



That sub-standard education is largely the product of government schooling. Privatizing education could improve this immensely.

Quote:

are you telling me that a high-school student who fails to get into a university because of low test-scores (which may very well be linked to the dismal conditions of his schools and their lack of funding)



You don't solve a problem by throwing more money at it. The problem with public schools is not underfunding, but rather mismanagement and low quality, both of which are to be expected with government monopolies.

Quote:

cannot support his/her family on a despicably low minimum wage



Anyone looking to support their family on minimum wage is fucking pathetic. Minimum wage jobs are for high school and college students looking to make some extra cash on the side. There are better-paying jobs which do not require a college education. If you can't get anything better than minimum wage, I suggest not breeding.

Quote:

and obviously cannot afford investment advice to invest what meager savings he/she might have - should either "sink or swim" when it comes to social security?



You don't necessarily have to invest it in stocks. You can simply set money aside in a savings account. All you have to do is not spend everything.

Quote:

what about mentally ill/phsyically handicapped people who cannot work, let alone invest their savings. if their family was poor or bad investors, tough shit for them?



No. Private charity should be enough to take care of them.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibletrick

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 1,059
Loc: unknown
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: silversoul7]
    #3282702 - 10/27/04 03:23 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

my thoughts on economy:

it needs to be rid of.


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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 3,171
Loc: The Shining Void
Last seen: 9 years, 30 days
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: trick]
    #3282818 - 10/27/04 04:28 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

good economies come from materialism, consumer culture, excess, selfishness, cheap labor, long work weeks, deplete natural recources, SUVs, porn, cell phones and teenage girls who buy Ashlee Simpson cds.

Look what happened with last good economy: enron, xerox, Bill Clinton, to count just a few corporate scandals.


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Invisibletrick

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 1,059
Loc: unknown
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3282845 - 10/27/04 04:41 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Divided_Sky said:
good economies come from materialism, consumer culture, excess, selfishness, cheap labor, long work weeks, deplete natural recources, SUVs, porn, cell phones and teenage girls who buy Ashlee Simpson cds.

Look what happened with last good economy: enron, xerox, Bill Clinton, to count just a few corporate scandals.




which is why economy should be rid of, it thrives on globalization and capitalism.


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OfflineTao
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Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 17 days
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: silversoul7]
    #3283047 - 10/27/04 06:55 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

I'm intelligent enough to invest my own money, as are most people here, I imagine. For those that aren't, I'd call that natural selection.





ha! and you claim to still be 'compassionate' now that youre libertarian :rolleyes:


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Magash's Grain Tek  + Tub-in-Tub Incubator + Magash's PMP + SBP Tek + Dunking = Practically all a newbie grower needs :thumbup:


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Tao]
    #3283104 - 10/27/04 08:03 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

TaoTeChing said:
Quote:

I'm intelligent enough to invest my own money, as are most people here, I imagine. For those that aren't, I'd call that natural selection.





ha! and you claim to still be 'compassionate' now that youre libertarian :rolleyes:



I knew someone would attack me on that.  Perhaps I did come off as a bit mean in my subtle but lame attempt at a joke.  Of course I understand that even smart people make stupid mistakes.  I've made plenty myself.  I am confident, however, that charitable nursing homes, as well as the support of family members, could take care of those who fucked up their investments.  Sometimes I actually wonder if social security has severed the bond which families once had with their elderly members.  It was once commonplace for senior citizens to live with their children.  I feel social security has weakened this once-central bond.  As a compassionate libertarian, I feel that a return to this might benefit society as a whole.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineBillytheKid
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Registered: 10/18/04
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Loc: Connecticut
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3283235 - 10/27/04 09:29 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

well for one thing the average wage is suppose to increase with inflation, usually it doesnt increase as fast, but it at least increases, we've had a decrease in wages. and an increase in inflation AND average goods prices.


--------------------
Bingo!


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: BillytheKid]
    #3283260 - 10/27/04 09:40 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)


well for one thing the average wage is suppose to increase with
inflation, usually it doesnt increase as fast, but it at least
increases, we've had a decrease in wages. and an increase in
inflation AND average goods prices.

Really? Do you have any stats to back that up? I would be kind
of shocked if the average American has lost wealth like that
(higher inflation with wages not keeping up with it). That would
definately throw a monkey wrench into the concept of the free-market
continually producing lower prices and more wealth. However, to
be fair, America's economy is nowhere near being a pure free-market.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Tao]
    #3283424 - 10/27/04 10:45 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

TaoTeChing said:
ha! and you claim to still be 'compassionate' now that youre libertarian



Do you claim it's more compassionate to redistribute money taken from third parties by extortion (and skimming a great portion off for bureaucracy) or by reaching into your own pocket and/or working to help others yourself?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineBillytheKid
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Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 149
Loc: Connecticut
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Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3283429 - 10/27/04 10:48 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Shoot watch the election they say it all the time. Something like the average american family makes 9000 dollars less per year, because all the high paying jobs have gone over seas because of tax cuts that encourage them to do so, then those jobs were replaced with service sector jobs (waitress) which pay WAAAAAAY less and are less stable. I work for a labor union too, i deal withthese things every day, let me see if i can find that ecnomists numbers they had on CSPAN a week or two ago who was talking aobut this.


--------------------
Bingo!


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: trick]
    #3283431 - 10/27/04 10:49 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

trick said:
my thoughts on economy:

it needs to be rid of.



Is your suggestion that everyone should go back to a subsistence lifestyle, that we all should abandon division of labor, specialization and trade?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineBillytheKid
Forgeddaboudit!

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 149
Loc: Connecticut
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Evolving]
    #3283438 - 10/27/04 10:51 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Sounds like he would prefer to go back to a barter system, goods for goods... while i can see the merits of such a system its negatives far outweight the benefits.


--------------------
Bingo!


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: BillytheKid]
    #3283450 - 10/27/04 10:58 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

A barter system is still an economy.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineBillytheKid
Forgeddaboudit!

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 149
Loc: Connecticut
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: Evolving]
    #3283551 - 10/27/04 11:30 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Yeah but what he said sounded more like the present economy. Not all economies.


--------------------
Bingo!


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Offlinedeafpanda
Stranger
Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 984
Loc: Inguland
Last seen: 5 years, 8 months
Re: What should the economy be like? [Re: BillytheKid]
    #3283651 - 10/27/04 12:05 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The Green Party UK manifesto is quite similar to what I would like to see in the long run. Economic decisions are made as locally as possible, which makes a lot of sense.

They have a nice idea for welfare aswell, one I've never seen elsewhere. Basically, all citizens get a "citizen's allowance" every week, regardless of whether they are working or not. That way everyone has enough to live on, and no-one can complain that they're being "leached from".

How will they fund this? Slashing nearly all military spending. Call me a hippy, but that sounds good to me. They would get rid of the UK's standing army.


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