We are trying to decide if America would be better off as a full fledged Social Democracy.
I say absolutely NO!
But, I would like to hear from You!
Are you happy, self reliant and feeling content?
Would you recommend it for America?
I suppose Britain up until 1979 could have been described as a social democracy.
Although there was poverty, there was a lot more work around. When I tell kids today that in the 1970s it was possible to leave a job on Friday and find a new one on Monday morning, they tend not to believe me - it takes at least a year to find a new job.
Though taxes were higher for the higher paid, they were pretty low for the average man.
Rents were much cheaper and the cost of public utilities drastically cheaper, fuel poverty is a post privatisation phenomena.
I was happy, self reliant and content. Feelings that mostly left me after 1979.
I don't understand why you shouldn't want it!
Sounds much like the US in the 70's. Readily available jobs, low taxes for "normal" people, stratospheric taxes for the rich (mostly avoided), cheap rent, almost free gasoline, etc.
Free gasoline! Steady on there, this is the UK you know.
Ever considered that the US was much nearer to a social democracy in the 1970s?
"Almost free", anyway . I sold gas for 25 cents at about 1970 during local gas wars. Normally about double that, it's still "free" by today's standards.
No, definitely not. Welfare was just getting started and most charity was private not by government edict. No OSHA, no ADA, no Obamacare, etc; government just didn't see the necessity to act as a father watching over his children to nearly the extent it does today. It was also a small fraction of the size it is today.
But if everybody is working there is no need for welfare. It was only (well one strong reason any way) the realisation that full employment was undesirable that led to burgeoning unemployment levels.
I don't know about "undesirable", but reality and circumstances pretty much dictate it isn't possible.
And it certainly didn't lead to burgeoning unemployment levels. Where did you ever come with the idea that employers, thinking unemployment was good for them, laid people off so they could be unemployed and the company UI insurance could increase in cost?
Almost as old as capitalism is the desire to make more money using less people to do it. The "joys" of automaton, a machine that will do the work of ten men or even more.
How much has the cost of UI increased compared with the reduction in the cost of employment?
From automation, probably (probably!) not a whole lot. Somebody has to make the machines, after all, and lower production costs generally mean lower consumer price, which means more demand, more production and more automatic machines.
In the long run, I really doubt there is a big decrease in employment due to automation, although it WILL mean higher skills will be needed and a changing workforce.
You doubt that there will be a big decrease in employment due to automation! Strewth.
When the Manchester Ship Canal was dug just over a century ago an average of 12,000 men were employed, peaking at 17,000!
If they were to dig it this year I doubt they would employ 1% of that number.
Well we have two yes votes, I add my token third that you are very aware of
Most of us ultimately are not interested in socialism, but capitalism run amuck without the proper safeguards imposed upon it (oversight) is even worse
I have and I would. The differences are fairly minor but I feel the better access to healthcare and education for poorer people is a desirable aspect. Especially as taxation levels are comparable.
I prefer the Swedish (?) attitude to taxation, they aren't bothered about what they pay out but instead look to what they have left. If they have enough left for themselves they are happy.
So, how come its only John Holden reporting in from England? (John do you and your fellow country men, prefer to be called British or English. Shall we refer to your country as England, Britain, or the UK. Which is the most proper or preferred.)
We do have a limited audience here in the HP Forums, after all, don't we! I thought we would have all sorts of happy Social Democratic citizens flocking to this forum to leave their answers! No such luck
But thanks, Josak and John for your much appreciated contributions.
There was also Kangaroo_Jase in the other thread also from Australia.
yes. three (outside of US participants) in all.
Yes it's because you make us feel so welcome.
Oh, you're welcome, John, (and Josak and Kangaroo as well) just not the socialistic tendencies stripping mankind of it's independence and freedom.
Actually my friend, it is capitalism that strips mankind of its independence and freedom.
Try a year working shifts in a factory and then see if you still think the same thing.
22 years in one, although always on day shift as that's all there was.
Followed by about as far from that as you can get; 15 years in building construction, never more than a year in one place.
Negotiated a salary every year for 21 years; the last year we couldn't come to an agreement and I left. Construction work was by the job, not the worker, but I found it satisfactory. Even when it dropped 20% in the recession I still found it satisfactory.
There is a book out called Conscious Capitalism, in case any body is interested. It is being displayed at Whole Foods.( here in CA) I only have enough money for my really expensive healthy food. I have walked past the display of these yellow books too many times.($18) I'll buy one next time. Thanks for your common sense and realistic view points, wilderness.
All that and you still think capitalism is a whizz!
'shrug' I've earned sufficient through the years to keep me happy. There were, of course, good years and bad, but I have a roof, food and an RV in the drive.
Had the socialistic leaning liberals not interfered in the housing market and started the recession going, I'd most likely have a good sized retirement to live off of - as it is it's small but will do me. I'll have to cut back some on entertainment, but will keep that roof and full belly.
I ask for little more, and in particular don't ask my neighbors to buy the luxuries I want but can't afford.
There you go again with the myth that the housing bubble was all down to socialism!
Owning your own home is pure capitalism, as is borrowing and lending money to buy that home.
But then isn't that always the way, capitalism messes up and blames it on socialism!
Well, it used to be, and should have remained that way. Until the politicians got involved and declared that everyone should be able to have a house whether they could afford it or not. Banks, pressured to provide loans to people that could not repay, did just that and the rest is history. And so was around half of my retirement savings, thanks to the wonderful concept of equalization of home "buyers" that couldn't buy a pair of shoes.
There is no capitalism involved in making loans that can't be repaid, in guaranteeing those same loans or in govt. intervention pushing both. Just more wealth redistribution, more "equality" for the poor, more of the ruinous concepts from socialism.
I just happen to be one of those paying the price for those fine ideals that didn't work, that's all. A little bitter, yes, but I'll survive in spite of it.
Let's look at this factually, banks repackaged loans into huge bundles at high risk and then sold them around the world THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY NOT FORCED TO DO THIS BY ANY LAW they did so out of pure greed.
That is called unrestrained capitalism, a socialist would either believe that 1) the business should be regulated by the law to not be able to do this. 2) Banks would be owned by the state and never allowed to do this.
There is simply no way to pin this on anything other than unrestricted capitalism. Saying banks were "pressured" when there were no laws making them do anything is ridiculous especially since most of this process occurred under Republican leadership that would not be pressuring banks to do this.
The bitterness is factually speaking misdirected.
The collapse is quintessential unregulated capitalism, banks risked too much money for short term profit without considering the potential national damage and long term effects.
P.S. Loan guarantees require demonstration of means to repay and the loan is guaranteed so it cannot lead to economic collapse as private institutions do not carry the risk, before the collpapse failure rate was only about 3% proving that it could not have been the cause, after the collapse that more than doubled to about 7% as people were laid off but still had no negative effect on the economy other than to very slightly add to our debt.
When the Fed artificially lowers interest rates that incentivises the creation of high-risk packages, what do you think is going to happen? According to Alan Greenspan and Paul Krugman, back in the early 00s, this is exactly what should have happened. "The Fed needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble" - Krugman. That's exactly what the Fed did. And then when the collapse hits, they blame everyone else but themselves. Unbelievable really, though I wouldn't exactly call it socialism, more like fascism.
Do you understand that there is a difference between "force (of law)" and "pressure"? No, banks were not forced to make bad loans, it was just strongly suggested that they do so. And that Freddie and Fannie would then buy those loans. That other banks around the world bought them is downright stupid, but, it's also expected from a system that has worked well for so long. Until the politicians got into it and "suggested" that everyone could have a home regardless of ability to pay.
You can blame the banks, or you can blame the people that relaxed the rules to the point that impossible loans were almost the norm. Plus, of course, the idiots that took out loans they knew they couldn't repay, but that's another story.
I would have to ask, too - 3% defaulted before the collapse, but how many were in trouble and would ultimately end up in default with or without the recession?
Banks were "pressured" into giving out loans? Like peer pressure ? Surely you know how ridiculous that is, a bank is a financial institution, it's aim is to make money not appease government or give into any pressure except market pressure, banks did it because it made them money, government had no fault except in not banning the practice (which it should have done).
Well it had been some time and the rate was only 3% (which is actually about the same failure rate as a normal loan) so given that I see no reason to believe the failure rate would have been higher than the average 40 year loan just under 5%, loans involve a risk but these were not very risky loans, the loans that were risky had no government guarantee those were the NINJA (no income no job no assets) loans the banks were making and the government would not guarantee as they required proof of means to pay the loan (ie. a stable job).
It's patently false to blame anything other than banker irresponsibility and by extension capitalism and the failure of government oversight. As I say none of this would or could happen under a socialist system.
I am a Brit in Florida. I like being here, but I must say that do still prefer the European social model. Of course one needs a balance between being economically competitive and caring for your citizens, but I do find that there is a lot of anxiety in US culture that doesn't exist to the same extent in Britain, regarding things like healthcare, homelessness, basic welfare. You can do well in the US, but life is always more than a little precarious, as a serious illness, or a job lost, etc, can easily set an individual or family on a downward spiral. I was also surprised by how difficult everyday life actually is for a large chunk of Americans - the country as a whole is very wealthy, but many people never really see any of that wealth.
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