Calling Those Who live in, Or Have lived in, A Social Democracy!

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  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
    Kathryn L Hillposted 5 years ago

    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!
    Any complaints?
    Are you happy, self reliant and feeling content?
    Would you recommend it for America?

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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!

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        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.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          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?

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            "Almost free", anyway smile.  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.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              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.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                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?

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  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?

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    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.

    2. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Well we have two yes votes, I add my token third that you are very aware of tongue

    3. Credence2 profile image81
      Credence2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Most of us ultimately are not interested in socialism, but capitalism run amuck without the proper safeguards imposed upon it (oversight) is even worse

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    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.

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
        Kathryn L Hillposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        pathetic.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Why pathetic?

          You don't really believe that if you were suddenly relieved of the opportunity to pay tax that your employers would not find  a reason to reduce your wages!

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
    Kathryn L Hillposted 5 years ago

    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
    at all. sad
    But thanks, Josak and John for your much appreciated contributions. smile

    1. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      There was also Kangaroo_Jase in the other thread also from Australia.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
        Kathryn L Hillposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        yes. three (outside of US participants) in all.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Yes it's because you make us feel so welcome.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Oh, you're welcome, John, (and Josak and Kangaroo as well) just not the socialistic tendencies stripping mankind of it's independence and freedom. lol

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              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.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                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.

                1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  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.

                2. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  All that and you still think capitalism is a whizz!

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    '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.

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image97
    PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago

    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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