Pros and Cons of Marxism

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  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Marxist governments, such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea rely on the money and labor of their citizens, through taxation, redistribution of wealth and work camps.

    This reliance, I consider a con.

    What are some other cons and what are the pros?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image76
      Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Have not been to North Korea, yet from what I have heard from interviews of people that have escaped. It would be the worst on the cons list and hell hole. Venezuela would have the next worse list for Cons.

      Cuba and China would have more pros than Cons. Could manage to be happy living in Cuba and I speck spainish

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        - you say that in Cuba, a communistic government has benefits. What are they?

        - and how about the benefits of communism in China, which does allow a certain amount of free market.

        ... and how about Russia, which also allows a certain amount of free market these days?

    2. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      I can't see that many pros for the Marxism in the countries that you name, however, I can relate to you  opinions from a conversation that I had with some Russian college students in Moscow during Perestroika when I visited over the Christmas-New Year holidays of 1989-90. I had gone back to school as a middle-age nontraditional student to finish a BA that I started as a teenager, and my minor was in history. This trip was part of my studies.
      Please keep in mind that this is from a personal perspective of people who lived under Marxism, not a national level of what is good or bad for the country.
      1. Jobs:  PRO: The government furnishes our jobs and we have job security for life. We can't be fired unless we commit a crime for which we are sent to prison. They also did not pay for their educations, which were administered on the levels in which they were chosen to work.
      CON: The government chooses our jobs and we have no choice. We have no social security retirement like in the U.S.A, and we must work for the rest of our lives. Boredom and jobs mismatched with talents and abilities were a complaint. The most talented and intelligent ones were sometimes lucky enough to be matched with careers suiting them, but most of us are not. (Our highly talented guide who spoke six languages was one of those.)
      They went on to say they were astounded that we Americans could be fired, and the government wouldn't help us find new jobs. I responded that most workers did have something called unemployment benefits that we could draw upon until we found another or until it ran out. They were also astounded that we had no safety net after unemployment ran out. One student said to me that he really liked the idea of being able to choose his career, but he wouldn't give up his security for life for that.
      2. Housing:  They had no pros to talk about for that, only CONS: substandard and lacking in amenities, (worn furniture and furnishings only one bathroom) crowded with too many family members per apartment.
      The students found it unbelievable that my husband and I lived in a three bedroom house, just the two of us. They said there should have been two or three families or generations living there. Our group met a Russian rock star who followed me around like a puppy when he found out that I worked for an America radio station. He invited our group to his apartment, which he said was extra nice because of his status. He lived there alone. He had three rooms, which unusual for one person, living room, bedroom, and small kitchen and dining area. In the late 80s, early 90s, it was in a dark old building and was furnished with original 1950s furniture and appliances, old but in good shape. Being a celebrity, he had some personal items he'd bought in Denmark, like a Mr. Coffee and a microwave. He also owned some beautiful antiques, including candelabra, lamps and an expensive Samovar (hot water maker).
      3. Transportation. PROS: In the large cities we visited they had marvelous efficient systems like subways, tram system, and bus lines that one could ride for around 5 kopecs. In our currency that was equivalent to 10 to 15 cents at that time. Even the taxi services were cheap. At the time I paid in kopecs the equivalent of 80 cents in our currency for a ride.
      CON: Very few people owned automobiles and most didn't know how to drive on ice and snow. Their automobiles stayed parked during snow season, and very few cars were out. Moscow reminds me of Little Rock in that it is both hilly and flat. Gasoline was pricey, but I don't remember how much per gallon.
      The students found it hard to believe that we owned two cars. I explained to them that only the largest American cities had transportation systems equivalent to the European-Russian systems. That in Little Rock our buses shut down at 6:00 pm, and that I sometimes worked a night shift so I had to have a car.  Even when I worked days, we went in separate directions and that made a second car indispensable. I explained that in smaller cities and towns, there was no public transportation at all. They couldn't fathom that.
      4. Medical. I'm sorry, but I remember very little of this discussion because I don't think we discussed it that much. I just remember one young woman saying that her mother, who was a doctor, was very poorly paid (the U.S. equivalent of $300 a month). She found it unbelievable that our doctors made six figure salaries (back then). I don't remember how their medical system was administered, but I'm sure it was socialized medicine.
      These kids found our lives fascinating, but they weren't sure they could give up their security for the insecurity we paid for our freedom.

    3. peterstreep profile image80
      peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Difficult to compare the countries.

      Cuba did pretty well. The problem here is that it became a poor country because the US had put loads of boycotts against it.

      China is a capitalistic country with one party - nothing to do with Marxism.
      And North Korea is a Dictatorship.
      Venezuela was doing not so bad but was also boycotted by the US because it did not want to privatize oil for one thing.

      One thing is the theory, the other practice.

      Personally,I think  a combination of capitalism and socialism works best, together with proper democracy.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        The combo works best for now, yet there is always some other better system or improvement to be had.

        1. peterstreep profile image80
          peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I think like everything politics is also subject to Darwinism. The left of today is not the same as the left of 100 years ago, neither the right-wing of politics. Recently we also have a green choice in some western countries. Something that's new.
          Personally, I think that the left (in terms of socialism) is dead and slowly replaced by the greens (with a doughnut model of economics for instance.)
          The right is also fighting for survival becoming more nationalistic and extreme.

          1. CHRIS57 profile image62
            CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

            I am with you that the left is close to dead. Circumstances change and the backbone of the left movements, the lower education, blue collar worker is on the retreat as more specialized workforce is needed in todays world.

            However i don´t think the greens are directly replacing the left. The green movement is conservative, conservatory, not progressive. And also the green clientel is highly educated, mostly state servants. Totally different show. Green is almost the opposite of the left, me think.

            In the US there is this special brand of conservatism which is not really right, which actually has the same supporter base as the left had in old Europe.

            You mentioned Darwinism all right. Evolutionary change in partisan composition is not necessarily "survival of the fittest", but "best adaption to social circumstances".

            1. peterstreep profile image80
              peterstreepposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Ah yes Chris. You are right. I almost added the situation in Germany where the Greens have votes from the former right (higher incomes group) and the progressive left. They do meet in a strange way.

              I guess it's different in every country.
              In the Netherlands, the green party is called GreenLeft. To show it's heritage.. Not sure if that's a good idea. Perhaps to get the green idea across you need both directions left and right. But it's in many aspects more left than the labour party in Holland.

              In Spain, there isn't a green party, although traditionally there are a lot of ecologist groups fighting for the environment. But they are getting there. It's only about 8 years ago when Spain got rid of it's 2 party system (the choice between left or right...) and you have now more flavours to choose from.

              A strange example of the "right" becoming green here in Spain is that you see that the green solar energy is thrown onto the free market. With the result of huge companies buying up farmland with olive and almond trees to make them into huge solar farms. Not out of ecological reasons, but out of profit reasons. I'm pro-solar energy, but not if you use farmland and cut trees for it if there are lots of empty places and roofs you can fill with solar panels. Strange thing is that all those companies that start solar farms aren't even Spanish, so the money goes to Italy and the US!

              My hope is to implement a green deal and there has also been looked at how this can benefit social rights and a better living standard for all. But I'm skeptical.

              Yes, I did not mean that Darwinism in politics is a good thing. It's neither good nor bad, just as nature has no morals. I was indeed thinking about political structures that are best adapted to social circumstances as you say. If I like it or not is of no consequence in the bigger picture.
              Society is changing faster than those old institutional political structures though. And perhaps this vacuum is a dangerous thing and can easily be filled with populists or other power structures like Google, Amazon,Apple...
              Just a thought.

              1. CHRIS57 profile image62
                CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

                As you mentioned G. and the green movement. Their supporting base is mostly state servants (with due respect: these people never had to take financial responsibility for more than their immediate family
                sourroundings). So these people don´t start a business on solar or wind energy mining. They only object to everything new, which i would call conservatory.

                The real issue with green energy will pop up if e-mobility is picking up speed. This will require huge amounts of CO2 free electricity production and distribution.

                We will need some 200% more electricity than today and where is that to come if it took G. and Europe 2 decades to get close to 50% renewables. For me strategic outlook for solar and wind power is bright, no matter where on our planet. So for someone who is not necessarily green but is simply following the money, the future is called: renewable.

                With respect to the main topic of this discussion: How much direction, subsidies, political will is needed to reduce carbon? And which system is suited better, capitalist (laissez faire) or socialist (government intervention). Who will be the winner of this next industrial revolution?

                1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  ... can you explain what makes it an industrial revolution?

                  1. CHRIS57 profile image62
                    CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    Typically an industrial revolution takes productivity to another level.

                    This was so with the invention of James Watts steam engine, (1st revolution in the late 18th century), then public transport by railroad (2nd revolution, in the early 19th century), electricity (3rd revolution in the late 19th century), individual transport, cars and trucks (4th revolution in the early 20th century), wireless information, radio (5th revolution in the 1920ties), computer technology (6th revolution from the 1960ties), www (we all know when), last is mobile individual connectivity (smartphones).

                    The renewable energy technologies from producing (solar and wind) to consuming (e-mobility) go one step beyond conventional electricity production: these technologies don´t have to mess with thermodynamics and generate directly electricity. They skip the Carnot process for combustion engines or ... even a nuclear power plant actually does nothing else but boiling water and then driving steam turbines.

                    Renewables and e-mobility make cars more simple. And as if history of industrial revolutions repeats itself, there are competing systems struggling for success. With electricity it was Edisons DC (durant current) against Westinghouses AC (alternating current). Today the e-mobility faces similar competition challenges. Now we have batteries against hydrogen fuel cells against methan fuel cells.

                    And in the late 19th century Edison was first, but we all know that Westinghouses AC won the race. I would not be surprised if batteries are early birds but not necessarily the first on the finish line.

                    This got a little technical. Possibly my engineering background. Of course there are more sidelining and/or additive "industrial revolutions" like robotics and artificial intelligence, aircrafts.

                    All those industrial revolution may look as something technical, but they have deep impact on socioeconomic development of mankind. Every industrial revolution leaves traces in society, by making workforce obsolete, by changing the skills of workers.

                    In the 19th century the weavers uprising https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weavers%27_Uprising
                    was an example for the impact of industrial revolutions.

                    The Great depression in the late 1920ties was also generated by 2 successive industrial revolutions (electricity and cars). WWI absorbed most of the productivity gains, but in the 1920ties it became obvious that less and less people were needed to keep things going. It ended it a collapse of the financial market.

                    The universal spirit of that time (exemplary for industrial revolutions) is well caught in this movie (music from my favourite Soviet Union composer Georgy Sviridov, scenes from Hoover dam construction)
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8r7iF39fx4

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    How about Finland, where socialism seems to be working pretty well.

    and why is there a difference of opinion in America in regards to where the money should come from: as in the wealthy.


    What is the problem in taxing the wealthy, as Bernie, Sandy and Liz advocate?
    and are the wealthy in trouble under the leadership of Joe and Kamala?

    1. CHRIS57 profile image62
      CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Finland is not socialist. Finland is simply trying to distibute wealth in the form of living quality more evenly. This does not mean that wealth in asset terms is distributed evenly.
      Finland is less "equal" in asset wealth than Switzerland. And Switzerland is same with China (Gini wealth index 2019).

      As soon as you start taxing people on the excess of how much they need for a living and redistribute, you achieve some kind of income and living standard equality. But that doesn´t mean that the economic system is socialist. On the contrary: If people don´t have to take care for their well being and their future because of redistibution of income, these people will have no incentive to collect wealth, to collect assets. The supposedly "socialist" countries like in Scandinavia and Northern Europe have very high wealth inequality ratings (Just look at Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark).


      Please remind: Capitalism is when the means for production are in the hands of a few, the bourgouis capitalists. Socialism is when the people are in control of their means for production, the public assets.
      What to think of Finland or the USA in this context? Certainly not socialist.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        "Capitalism is when the means for production are in the hands of a few, the bourgouis capitalists. Socialism is when the people are in control of their means for production, the public assets."

        ... and this limited means of production is going on in America and has been since the beginning?

        1. CHRIS57 profile image62
          CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

          "... and this limited means of production is going on in America and has been since the beginning?"

          I don´t understand. What do you want to express?

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
            Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            I do not believe capitalism puts production in the hands of a few. Look a little more closely at what is going on here.

            1. MizBejabbers profile image85
              MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Yeah, factories went overseas.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
                Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Thanks to Obama who encouraged US to be mainly a SERVICE providing country.

      2. Ken Burgess profile image87
        Ken Burgessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        I agree, many Americans think places like Finland and Sweden are Socialist nations, but they are not.

        China as well, despite its one party government, exercises Capitalism.

        One cannot have freedom and liberty if one doesn't control the means of their own production and has no control over their own property.

        The Ownership of property, the ability to build up wealth, the ability not to be beholden to the government for all things needed for survival (Food, Shelter, Income) is what allows for freedom and liberty.

    2. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      What is the problem with requiring people to pay their fair share? Does great wealth automatically preclude them from paying the same tax rate as the middle and lower classes? A report came out earlier this week that said most of the billionaires evade paying taxes and the ones who do pay around 2% to 3%, while the tax rate for most of us hardworking schmucks is 10 times that.
      Is it 39% that Biden want to raise on the wealthy? Let's see now 39% of a billion still leaves them with more money than most will ever spend in their lifetimes, while 29% on the middle class cuts such a hole in their taxes that they sometimes can't afford all necessities.
      Inflation from covid shutdown is also affecting the working class. One woman in New York said on CNN that she can't find affordable child care. She said the only place she could find charged $3,300 a month, which was more than her rent. With more taxes from the wealthy to pay for public child care, maybe working mothers could go back to work. Especially since large businesses are complaining that they can't find employees. Perhaps only the childless, teenagers, and senior citizens can afford to work.
      Are the wealthy in trouble .... I really don't know. They always seem to come up smelling like a rose whenever somebody tries to raise their taxes to a fair share.

      1. CHRIS57 profile image62
        CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

        I think we have to divide wealth into 2 parts: no. 1 is wealth where the asset is directly tradeable and creates income. no. 2 is wealth hidden in the value of a private owned business.
        No. 2 wealth is not to be taxed, me think, because it is directly linked to creating and maintaining jobs or in small businesses in creating personal income.
        No. 1 however is making income out of nothing, simply by owning assets and earning without adding personal efforts. This no.1 wealth should be taxed (imho) in addition to personal income tax.

        A second aspect to be observed: If you look at inflation, the paycheck people (or as you put it: "us hordworking smucks") are directly hit by any inflation, which is devaluation of earnings. On the other side the owners of assets are not necessarily effected by inflation.

        For example a landlord will easily raise rent and explain with inflation. His tenents will feel inflation directly while the landlord enjoys a free ride.

        In the past decade in my "semi socialist" country Germany the asset wealth rose by at least 4% annually inflation adjusted while the paychecks only increased by 1,5% annually. This widens the gap in society and is no good for coherence of society.

        In recent months and years more and more initiatives by HNWI and VHNWI (high and very high net worth individuals) call for higher taxation of wealth. Socialist, Marxist? Certainly not. People are only concerned about living quietly and comfortable in a society, and this requires higher contributions of the wealthy.

        By the way, "semi socialist" means that affordable child care has a symbolic cost of some 150 .. 200 Euro/month and people are entitled to get a place.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          It sounds like you're advocating the "wealth", in the form of partnership in a business, that produces income for many.  Retired, I'm living off of the income that my "wealth", invested in stocks, produces - you would not only tax the income (dollars) that I receive but also that "wealth" that produces those dollars, leaving me with nothing in only a few years.  That does not seem reasonable.

          Yes, landlords can increase rent...IF their competition also does so.  This is in line with every other product, including labor.  As rent prices rise due to inflation, so do wages - it sounds like you would leave landlords out of the windfall.

          I do find it interesting that your method of "living quietly and comfortably in a society means simply taking what you want from those that have it.  You may call it "contributions" but the bald fact is that the poor are taking, by force if necessary, from the rich, while the rich do everything they can to protect themselves from it.

          1. CHRIS57 profile image62
            CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

            I advocate that operative wealth should be exempt from taxation while asset wealth should be taxed.

            I am also aware that much retirement income (in the US) is derived from exactly the asset wealth that i advocate should be taxed.

            But who says taxation should be a fixed percentage, no matter of earnings. I advocate strong progressive taxation = low percentage for medium income, high percentage for high income. That would leave average incomes out of the game but will address the really wealthy.

            And yes, i like the word "contribution" more than "distribution" or "taking from the rich". In my active professional life i experienced over and over how true the takeaways from the x-y game are https://play14.org/games/x-y-game
            Local organisations (personal interest) are always suboptimal for the bigger picture, the economy, the society. Not Marx, not Communism, simply applied management principles.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Then you have to justify forcing a person with more wealth to pay for what those without that wealth wants.  Simply stating that "it's the moral thing to do!" doesn't cut it: playing Robin Hood is NOT the moral thing to do no matter how it is rationalized.

              Yes, using the term "contribute" rather than "take from" makes it sound so much better...but hardly represents the truth.  The truth is that we TAKE, against their will, what the wealthy have; they aren't "contributing" anything for "contributions" are voluntary.

              1. hard sun profile image81
                hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                "Then you have to justify forcing a person with more wealth to pay for what those without that wealth wants."

                With the way some people accumulate wealth today, and avoid taxes, I don't think this is hard to do. Robin hood is the moral thing to do when we have systems rigged to keep people down and for others to stay aloft. Ever been through the court systems with a public defender?

                No, I absolutely think Robinhood is justified sometimes, just not the French Revolution. Many Americans could go on for days about these things, and this is why we are seeing some changes start to happen. No, I don't want all out socialism, but it is clear that the end game to the corporate crony capitalism is upon us. To me, it is more about actual freedom than money though. A lot of us don't need a boat and and oversized Tonka Truck.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  "it is clear that the end game to the corporate crony capitalism is upon us."

                  C'mon now.  If corporate crony capitalism ends there will be another system with others at the top, controlling those at the bottom.  This earth has never seen a large, long lasting system that didn't have "rulers" at one end and "slaves" at the other.  Nor will it until human nature makes some really major changes.

                  1. hard sun profile image81
                    hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    Oh yeah. I'm not saying the next game will be any better than the last. I agree 100% with you here.

        2. GA Anderson profile image90
          GA Andersonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I know we have different perspectives Chris57, but this quote draws, from someone of my view, a ton of basic questions:

          "People are only concerned about living quietly and comfortably in a society, and this requires higher contributions of the wealthy."

          Why must the wealthy pay more to satisfy someone else's personal desire, ("People are only concerned about living quietly and comfortably .. .")?

          Wait, I know that is a loaded question, so I will qualify it as asking about paying for needs beyond the scope of the structural needs of any societal group; security, infrastructure, and government-function needs

          You can see where that question goes; who decides what is necessary to live a quiet and comfortable life? And, where is the line between comfortable and excessive, or comfortable and just surviving?

          GA

          1. hard sun profile image81
            hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Okay, GA I am butting here, and ignore me if you'd like, no biggie, but I will say that I read the entire interesting conversation and am curious to read Chris57's response. Something just jumps out at me here about your response

            "So I will qualify it as asking about paying for needs beyond the scope of the structural needs of any societal group; security, infrastructure, and government-function needs."

            How can we not use the same logic that you used with Chris57's wording? Who decides what is "beyond the scope of the structural needs of any societal group?" In other words, where do we draw the line with security, infrastructure, and government function needs? 

            It seems that these questions are inherent in a discussion about Marxism as they are inherent in any discussion about how people may best live together. The questions must be answered, no matter how we word them, or no matter how bad we wish that they did not have to be answered. And, the libertarian in me does wish that they did not have to be answered. These are simply the basic questions of government being worded differently, no?

            1. Castlepaloma profile image76
              Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              They are still trying to sell the old Trickle Down Theory. Billionaires are just lovin this covid world order normal.

            2. GA Anderson profile image90
              GA Andersonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              You are right that "these questions" are inherent to any comparative conversation.

              I think the "who decides" answer is the voters and the courts. For example; the voters decide whether to have a safety-net system and the courts will decide if actions derived from that choice are constitutional.

              I see it as a simple question of how much power of decision we give to our government and representatives.

              For example, we vote to have a welfare system to cover or assist with basic needs food, shelter, and medical needs. Simply as an illustration of this, (not a real charge); the U.K. has a, nearly free, cradle-to-grave welfare system. The citizens have to pay for either system, the question is the price.  And that "price" is more than just economic, but that seems to be the only cost discussed in most comparisons.

              Since the government, generally speaking, doesn't have any money that it doesn't first get from its citizens, if the price goes up, (added levels of support or increased costs of operations), then the government has to get more `citizen's' money from somewhere.

              So yes, I think you are right, at their foundation these questions are inherent to most basic societal government. Even so, that doesn't get us any closer to an answer of "who decides."

              GA

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                The plebes vote themselves bread and circuses, at someone else's cost, and the system eventually fails.  When there is no check on what is being demanded the whole system WILL fail at some point.

                1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  ... what is the check?

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    Good question.  Our politicians aren't the answer for they exhibit no checking ability at all.  The poor aren't the answer for greed will convince them take as much as possible and without shame.

                2. GA Anderson profile image90
                  GA Andersonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  History shows the truth of that.

                  GA

              2. hard sun profile image81
                hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Even so, that doesn't get us any closer to an answer of "who decides."

                You are definitely correct here, I didn't bring much to the discussion as far as who actually does decide and why. I only pointed out that changing the wording of the question didn't change the fact that we are dealing with the same difficult matter.

                Your explanation as to the voters and courts is excellent as to the mechanics as to who decides in the US and how I think most representative republics are set up, and have been set up for a long while. Of course, as I think has been touched upon here, just because these things are decided, that doesn't make the decisions correct or "fair."

                I think we see the level of correctness with this question that we have achieved in a society play out in things ranging from median income to drug abuse, violence, number of people locked up, etc. and from the number of mass shootings, etc., currently in the US, I think we have something way off kilter.

                I know Bezos and Buffett reportedly paying zero in taxes says something. And, so does the loss of worker empowerment in the US. I think that convincing the "middle class" that if they don't work 60 hours a week then they are the problem is part of the problem.

                I don't pretend to have the answer here, as it is a delicate balance, I just know a bit of what I think does, and does not help.

                1. GA Anderson profile image90
                  GA Andersonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  Your Bezos and Buffet examples are familiar ones. The difference in tax rates and tax percentages paid are the go-to arguments used. But there is never any questioning of why they pay low tax rates or even pay zero dollars in tax.

                  If the "tax rate" was replaced by tax paid and the question of why was explained the conversation would be a lot different.

                  Someone's `gut instinct' tells them it just ain't right that Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. But that "gut instinct" doesn't consider that Buffet paid "X" millions of dollars in taxes while his secretary paid "X" thousands.

                  Then there is the "why" answer. Both Buffet and Bezos spend millions of dollars doing things `We' want them to do. "We" even encourage, (bribe), them by offering tax incentives to do what we want.  And then . . .

                  . . . they get crucified for accepting the offered incentives for doing what "We" wanted them to do. Heads They lose, tails "we" win.

                  However, that thought doesn't stop my agreement with your comment that "worker empowerment" is a topic that needs consideration

                  As for who does have the answer, I think we do in our form of a Constitutional representative government. We just need to keep our representatives playing by our Constitutional and legal rules.

                  GA

                  1. hard sun profile image81
                    hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    " they get crucified for accepting the offered incentives for doing what "We" wanted them to do. Heads They lose, tails "we" win."

                    I don't crucify the guy for taking advantage of this any more than I crucify low income people for getting help when they need it. I simply think the loopholes should be remedied. Yes, my gut instinct still thinks he should pay more in taxes. I think Mr. Buffett himself has even said he agrees with this assessment.

                    As far as "the answer." I don't think anyone has found that yet. If we had, we wouldn't have the problems we are experiencing today, IMO.

            3. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              When government resources are given to an individual, benefitting that single individual rather than the country, then it is not a government function need.

              Recognizing that that is a simplistic view and the world is NOT simple, it is a good starting point.  A road benefits many people even if not the entire country, but a loaf of bread benefits a single person.  A new dam provides for thousands or millions, while a "free" doctor's appointment benefits only a single person.

          2. CHRIS57 profile image62
            CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

            There possibly is a misunderstanding. I wanted to express that if wealthy give more in a well organized society, they, the wealthy receive benefits in return that allow a "quiet and comfortable living".

            A more equal distribution of wealth and income allows people (especially the rich) to live without fear. No fences around properties needed. No security services needed. Low crime rates on theft and violence.

            "Quiet and comfortable living" was not reflecting on the poor, but on the rich.

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
              Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Who concerns themselves with quiet and comfort while in the process of a worthwhile endeavor?

            2. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              While poverty certainly breeds crime, it is not the ONLY thing that produces it.  Regardless of how much you redistribute from the rich to the poorer there will still be crime and there will still be a need for security.  Whether fences, police or private security, there will still be a need for all of it.

            3. GA Anderson profile image90
              GA Andersonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              "A more equal distribution of wealth and income allows people (especially the rich) to live without fear. No fences around properties needed. No security services needed. Low crime rates on theft and violence."

              I understand your correction about who you were referring to, but that doesn't help. Your quote sounds like extortion or payoff money; "Gimme some money and I won't disturb your life."

              And I am not sure I understand that last part. I am sure your life has seen enough examples of human nature to know better than that. Such a Utopia is not yet within our reach.

              GA

      2. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        So much depends on how you define "fair".  Is it fair for one earning a billion dollars to pay taxes of $30,000,000 while one earning a hundred thousand pays only $10,000?  When the product purchased (living in the US) is identical how is it "fair" to charge one so much more than another?

        1. CHRIS57 profile image62
          CHRIS57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Your example (or reality?) assumes that billionares pay 3% while average you and me pay 10% on earnings. Certainly this does not look fair and it is not fair.

          Let me propose another approach on taxation and social contributions. In semi socialist democracies we have a day in the year, when we start earning for ourselves. This day of the year (believe it or not) is somewhere in June for average to higher income individuals. So until June you work for the society, from June on you work for yourself (has to do with taxes, social security contributions, mandatory jobless insurance, mandatory health insurance, mandatory elderly care insurance).

          My feeling is that this specific day in the year can be reduced if those wealthy who have their day early in the year contribute more (have to contribute their earnings f.e. until February) to allow the average paycheck individual to reduce their day of the year to f.e. April or May.

          It is fair that the financially strong contribute more in relative terms than the financially weak.

          A paycheck worker can create his income tax return file in 5 minutes. Someone with high income goes to the tax break casino and enjoys him/herself. Is that fair?

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
            Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Is it fair that you even ask, " Is it fair... ?"

        2. MizBejabbers profile image85
          MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          If they are paying the same percentage, it is fair. At one time, back in the 50s, I believe it was, the ultra rich on the surface were charged a much higher tax rate than the working people. Most, however, found a way to evade this higher tax as they do now. I used to think that if the rich were charged a fairer rate, they wouldn't be so prone to evade income taxes. But tax rates on them went down (no, I'm not interested enough to research it and find out exactly when, but probably during Republican years when interest rates skyrocketed to 15%), and recent statistics proved that I was wrong.

        3. Ken Burgess profile image87
          Ken Burgessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Of course it is fair, that we do NOT do so in our country today is one reason why we have such disparity.

          Here is the reason why it is fair, that wealthy individual by giving back so much, helps to maintain a stable and civil society.

          A stable and civil society benefits the wealthy more than anyone, from being able to travel in relative safety to being able to garner more wealth from those willing to buy items or pay for services.

          In many strong Democrat cities there is rising numbers of homeless, the mentally ill, rising crime, etc. this seems to go hand in hand with the more 'progressive' and socialist States.

          Which also have the highest taxes, so this, in effect shows that even with high taxes, the Nation or State will suffer with bad governorship and corrupt politics.

          1. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            What do those that aren't wealthy "give" (we both know the wealthy don't "give" of their wealth; it is taken from them) to balance the fairness of taking from the wealthy? 

            I would say that the rising numbers of homeless, etc. goes hand in hand with the redistribution of wealth.  It shows that such programs are not a solution...while we keep insisting that Robin Hood will solve all the problems if he can just take enough from the wealthy.  It is the effect of bad governorship and corrupt politics as well, but even more so it is what happens when we take what one has earned to give away to those that do not earn for themselves.

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    If you ding the wealthy (through taxing them), doesn't the dinging trickle down to the un-wealthy?

    ... with things down the line becoming more and more expensive?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image76
      Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Musk, Bezos and Gates agree.
      Only the poor pay taxes.
      Trickle down crumbs if the have jobs or if they have an existing small business. .

    2. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Was it Warren Buffet who said that trickle down doesn't work, it only gushes upward?

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        ESPECIALLY during the covid for high technology billionaires.

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Thank you for helping to isolate the difficulty.
    There is a reason for not taxing the rich at the same rate as those who earn less.
    I will come back with that reason. It is subtle and not easily understood by those who have no ears to hear, (or eyes to see.)
    Meanwhile, if anyone can shine light on this subject, (the benefit of the rich not being taxed at the same rate as the non-rich,) please do!

    It has to do with the trickle-down theory, which does work, even though Liberals claim it does not.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      There is only one reason to charge the rich more than others: because the country could not exist if there were a flat tax everyone could pay and still have enough left to eat on.

      That does not mean it is "fair" or even particularly moral; only that it is necessary if we want a country at all.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        You don't have to be wealthy to be healthy.
        Rather, wealth is health.
        Stay clear of labels with too many ingredients.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
          Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          "Rather, wealth is health."
          is that what you meant?

          or this:
          health is wealth.

          1. Castlepaloma profile image76
            Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            It is my superfood company slogan
            :Health is Wealth:

        2. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          You may say that and I don't necessarily disagree although I will note that there is more to wealth than JUST health.

          But others will not always agree with either of us, and the dollars in their bank account is far more meaningful to them than what you and I would think.

          1. Castlepaloma profile image76
            Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            The financial is 1/5 of my world and the physical is 1/5 of my world.
            If I had to pick, it would be health physical first. Without your health, it's game over.

      2. MizBejabbers profile image85
        MizBejabbersposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Now you're talking sense!

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Three types of "goods:"
    The good which is for the sake of itself and nothing else.
    The good which is for the sake of something else only.
    The good which is for the sake of itself and something else.
    The highest form of "good" is the last one.

    Work is good not only for the sake of itself but for something else as well.
    If your work will not provide quiet and comfort, (on whatever level,) you better find work that will provide it.
    If you want your kids to have the advantages that life has to offer through work, you better help them toward that end.
    It starts in childhood.

  6. quotations profile image89
    quotationsposted 12 months ago

    Considering that Marxism has been responsible for more misery and mass murder than any single other ideology, including even nazism, it is bizarre to see anyone debating whether there are pros to this evil philosophy.

    If the retortt is that true Marxism has never been tried than one must ask why any attempt to implement it leads to economic collapse, oppression and dictatorship.

    The hammer and sickle should be held in the same horror and contempt as a swastika.

  7. hard sun profile image81
    hard sunposted 12 months ago

    I 100% agree with Ken's assessment of the wealthy benefitting from a stable and civil society. I will add that, in the end, even some of the most poor benefit from this as well.

    As far as "fair."

    Like it or not, without  a stable and civil society, a bigger, or tougher person may simply take a wealthy persons things and leave that person on the roadside. Is that fair? Nope. But then again, is it fair that some people are born with so much more than the rest of us? Are any of the rules that decide what makes a person financially wealthy or not fair"? Maybe some are and some aren't.

    So, maybe it is "fair" that a bigger person, or someone with the better weapon should come along and take that person's stuff? I mean, they were born bigger after all, just as the other was born wealthier. Why is it not the bigger persons right to take?

    I'd rather have a civil society, where we consider progressive taxation "fair."

    1. Castlepaloma profile image76
      Castlepalomaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, your only as strong as your weakest link. Balance is both healthier and happier for the mass.

    2. Ken Burgess profile image87
      Ken Burgessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Unfortunately, we are captive to a completely corrupt system in America today.

      We have the likes of Nancy Pelosi doing as much to direct the country as anyone, someone who has been in Congress for over 35 years.

      Someone who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and is totally out of touch with the realities facing most Americans.  Pelosi is a political DC creature through and through, a rich elite serving the interests of other elites.

      Same goes for Biden, he is just a puppet, a front man, nothing more.

      You don't get "Change" or "Progressivism" from putting people in political power who have been there for 30+ and 40+ years... all along ... the creators of all the problems we now inherit.

      And yes, the leadership of the Republicans in the Senate is no better, the difference being they aren't preaching about "change" and "progressivism" and "justice" while filling their bank accounts with hundreds of millions of dollars, or in the case of Joe, channeling those billions through his son's financial investment corporation.

      1. hard sun profile image81
        hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Well stated again. We need people who have been through the mill in Washington. There is no way to understand the struggles when you are so far removed from them. We need a system that encourages innovation in America. One that does not consider a large portion of its citizens to be expendable trash.

    3. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      "So, maybe it is "fair" that a bigger person, or someone with the better weapon should come along and take that person's stuff? I mean, they were born bigger after all, just as the other was born wealthier. Why is it not the bigger persons right to take?"

      I take this as sarcasm, but isn't that essentially what we do every day?  With the power and might of the country behind us, we take what others have because we want more than we have ourselves.  We're "bigger" so we take whatever we want from those that are wealthier.

      1. hard sun profile image81
        hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        It is not really sarcasm as much as making a point.

        Is it really more morally "right" for a company with the cash to pay attorneys to trample all over workers rights than it is morally right for a big guy to take the stuff of a smaller guy?

        Is it morally "right" that a rich guy buys his way out of legal trouble while those with less means serve disproportional sentences and are then ostracized from society, including the ability to get an apartment? These are the class issues that we are dealing with that some people just can't, or refuse, to see, but they aren't going away.

        There is an underbelly of American "trash" that has been considered this way for centuries. It has a lot to do with land ownership, who your daddy is, if you even have a daddy, etc. This dynamic stifled free enterprise and entrepreneurship. It puts all the wrong people in charge. Is that "fair."

        And, yes we can add to this, is it morally right for the masses to take from an individual just because they can? Hmm..likely not. However, who is keeping score and how do we keep score? Did the guy with the money use bully and or illegal tactics to get all that cash in the first place? After thinking about the long list of economic injustice resulting in loss of freedom, etc., are we really going to ask the underbelly to fight for the rights of their masters?

        Ultimately, in my mind, all of them can equally be argued to be wrong. The "correct" balance is what works, not what any one of us thinks is fair. With America's issues with violence, mass shootings, etc...I think that balance is off. I think America hasn't seen true capitalism...ever.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I agree with very nearly all that you say here.  I also recognize and agree that the rich must pay more than the poor if we wish to have a country - I'm on record more than a few times as saying that.

          But I DO take exception to the idea that it is "fair" to simply take whatever we wish from the wealthy because we want what we don't have.  It is NOT "fair" - the terminology and concept are merely used to make our actions more palatable - to make us feel as if we have the moral high ground when we do not.  Nor is it, IMO, moral to simply take whatever we wish - we have long ago crossed any reasonable line of taking what the country needs vs taking whatever we want for specific, individual people to get what they cannot afford.

          1. hard sun profile image81
            hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            I never said any of it was fair.

            "And, yes we can add to this, is it morally right for the masses to take from an individual just because they can? Hmm..likely not."

            This, maybe poorly worded, is me saying that, no it is not likely fair to take whatever we wish from the wealthy.

            And, as far as things like taking for individual needs, I don't entirely disagree with you.

            Things like direct payments to individuals do have us dangerously close to relying too much on big brother, which unfortunately results in loss of freedoms. Kinda like taking help from your mother in law. There are always strings attached.

            My thinking is that the little guys need to fight more for collective rights as opposed to a direct payments. Level the playing field for real as opposed to just taking hand outs.

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
              Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              'for real" = "the little guys"  f i g h t i n g  more strongly for collective rights.

              What would be the motivating force and what would be the appropriate action(s)?

              issues, elections, and citizens ALL recognizing the solution.
              What is the solution they would need to recognize?
              ... and what is the problem, again?

              1. hard sun profile image81
                hard sunposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Collective rights are wide-ranging. The "problem" is more like problems.

                I did skim upon some of what I feel are the most pressing issues...better work environment, including pay, vacation time, etc.

                But, criminal and civil court system reform should be the top priority IMO. These things go beyond economics into the real of personal liberty. All too often freedom is not free in the US, it costs dollars. I have a couple days of time off so the fam can go camping. I can take some time to mull on some of these things.

                However, many of my rights to do much of anything about any of this stuff have been taken from me, including my right to run for public office. Too many Americans have had their rights taken away for no good reason, other than not being able to afford the best attorneys. Things could be worse though, that is for sure.

                1. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  "... many of my rights to do much of anything about any of this stuff have been taken from me, including my right to run for public office. Too many Americans have had their rights taken away for no good reason, other than not being able to afford the best attorneys ..."

                  - could you elucidate?

  8. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    and what are the "strings attached?"...

  9. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Is Marxism "FAIR?"

  10. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Is following the Constitution of the United States UNFAIR?

  11. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Got FREEDOM?

    Got BOUNDARIES?

    Thats fair.

  12. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    You explained:

    "Collective rights are wide-ranging. The "problem" is more
    like problems ..."
    and include:

    1. Reformation of civil court system.
    2. Reformation of criminal court system.   
    3. Better work environment.
    4. Better pay.
    5. More vacation time.
    6. The right to run for public office.
    7. Cheaper freedom/justice.

    Any other problems and/or collective rights violations?

  13. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    I would add:

    8.   Longer maternity leave before and after having a child.

    9.  Public Montessori schools, Pre-K.

    10. Return autonomy to teachers by getting rid of Common Core materials and requirements. (Outlaw computers in the classroom until the students are in ninth grade, while you're at it.)

    11. Allow those who earned govt. pension access to the money they earned for non-government employment / SSI.

    12. Anti-slander laws enforced for technospeech and other legal checks on abusing freedom of speech, such as bullying, fake news and lies.  (At least consequences when it is revealed.)

  14. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Capitalism is not necessarily the totality of liberty and justice for all. First get liberty and justice for all by understanding and adhering to The Constitution of the United States of AMERICA  ... then you will be headed toward the good life for all people which includes EQUAL opportunity. If you want any degree of socialism, you are SETTLING!
    ---> settling for high taxes and catering to weakness.

    The Way I See It.

  15. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    its not the system thats so bad, its requiring allegiance to the system.
    Will Marxism work if it is not voluntarily adhered to?
    - as in w i l l i n g l y?

    ... and why would I?

    for a really green world?

  16. Kathryn L Hill profile image75
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    I found this:
    "The person who labeled today’s advances as a new revolution was Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum and author of the book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In a 2016 article, Schwab wrote that “like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world.”

    He continued: “In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.”

    It’s not all good news, however. Schwab also suggested the revolution could lead to greater inequality, “particularly in its potential to disrupt labor markets.” Furthermore, the job market may become increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” roles, which could escalate social tension.

    According to Schwab, 'The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.'''
    FROM
    https://www.salesforce.com/blog/what-is … ution-4ir/

 
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