I'm a Capitalist - what that means to me is that the closest thing to an ideal economy we can achieve is one where the government has almost no interference in the private business sector whatsoever. I think you can put Capitalism into one word: Freedom. The freedom to innovate, grow, succeed, or fail all on your own merits and labor.
My nutshell assessment of Capitalism above is 62 words. Are there any Socialists who would be willing to state in 60-70 words what you feel it means to be a Socialist and what one word you could sum up your beliefs in?
I am not a Socialist, but I recieved an awesome e-mail a while back about Socialism and why it could never work:
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan"..
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A....
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on) Remember, there is a test coming up. The mid-term election in 2010!
For the love of all that is holy, please find out who when and where this happened... If you could document this, I would be eternally grateful.
I searched, and unfortunately I could only find "a Texas tech teacher", with no date given... I would love to find out if this was true.
However it's hilarious to think about how it is almost definitely NOT true: if a professor taught his class socialistically, then he would almost certainly be fired.
I was just commenting that even socialists would be mad at a teacher using socialist practices in his grading
That is so true... I have yet to meet a Economic's professor that believe Socialism works... It would be interesting to find one who does.
You didn't really think it was true. Did you?
I had my doubts.
Either way, socialism is a sham.
Well either way it expains it enough for me to see why it (socialism) doesn't work. I still e-mailed my source and I will see what they tell me about how they came about it. It could have been read by a professor and he attempted it much to the same result or it could very well have been a scam that was sent to me, but like Evan I agree that Socialism is a sham.
Are you two seriously talking about this? It is from an email from March 2009, originally cited from a Bible college class in 1994. It isn't real. Wow. No wonder we have a tea party.
Much of what constitutes the foundation of teabag philosophy ( ) is based on urban legend.
Okay first of all Obama was a nobody in 1994. And second of all I think I will verify my source instead of just taking your word for it.
As for Ron we were having a nice intelligent debate on Socialism vs. Capitilism, so why is it that you feel necessary to come in with your Deragotory term, and suggest that Capitilism is a teabag philosopy?
It is not true in the literal sense.It's what we call a fable or a fairy story.
I am puzzled about the trust you guys have in capitalism after the recent bank crashes etc? We are all individuals but none of us can survive alone so we are all part of a society.The question is to get the balance right.You want to be fre to run your business,but you need people to work,to buy your stuff.You need doctors and eye specialists and roads ,cars,police.We can't all arrange this individually.It makes sense to do it jointly.So we all have to contribute.That means taxation As soon as civilisation began in the Middle East [Iraq] there was a need for bartering thus for money and for building skills ,farming skills,Everyone helped and shared the results,
As the poet John Donne wrote "No man is an island"
Look it up on google!!
Come on,guys,think a new thought.We all need others.We may even love others.But we have to pay our share.That's only fair.Don't give me that glare.
Think about it.
Evan i wanted to personally thank you for a Quote you made in an article i found on the web this evening.
"Morals can not, and SHOULD not be the basis of laws... after all, WHO's morals should be made law? i sure as heck hope it ain't yours! (and you sure as heck hope it ain't mine)." - Evan G Rogers
The founding fathers beliefs are truly close to the Libertarians veiw points but do differ in some regards. The term i believe you need to search out is "Classical Liberalism" there is a good book, which you probably have already found by Ludvig Von Mises regarding this topic titled "Liberalism" a classical tradition.
I must say to you though that Capitalism in society does need to have some checks and balances, or else the evil and greed in mens hearts will lead to a world of tyrranical oppression. It has happened before and will happen again if not kept in balance. Greed is a disease, the disease of the addiction to money. If it is allowed to run free unchecked it will corrupt even the most compassionate and just man's principles. in time he will rationalizes his actions to fit his moral and principles creating new law unto himslef be ruled, and feed his hunger for the all mighty dollar through acts of treachary and Violence. History tells this tale millions of times over the course of 10 millenia. Most laws have been legislated by man to serve that very need. I believe that in a perfect world with perfect people living in it all forms of governement would work on principle alone, but unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world, for our hearts are easliy corrupted by evil, Greed being only one of those many evils. Pure unadulterated capitalism can only lead to pure unadulterated Greed, for the heart of no man can be trusted, for all men think in the end that they are smarter than the man beside them and shall exert there will over them if given the chance, or need. A starving man can steal or murder for food just as easily a rich man can over work children to make and extra penny. and i quote you on this one..... WHO's morals should be made law? i sure as heck hope it ain't yours! (and you sure as heck hope it ain't mine).
in a pure capitalist world the man with all the money has all the power. "He who hath all the power shall be the one to write the laws and history, formed of his point of view of his own hearts agenda." If history can teach us anything, it is that simple lesson.
Again thanks for the use of that quote Evan, keep up the good work!
Wow Rachell, great story no matter if it actually happened or not. That story pretty well sums up my assessment of Socialism. It appears a fairly large percentage of our population has adopted this as their current lifestyle. Take all you can but put nothing back into the system. With a growing number of taker outers, and fewer and fewer putter inners, how much longer will we survive?
My thought is that those that feel Socialism is the way to go should move to a Socialistic country and try it on for size for awhile.
Where are the people "who feel socialism is the way to go?" Socialism is a dead issue around the world. Bernie Sanders is the only socialist in Congress.
Here is the thing the professors test was not performed correctly. Socialism is more about you have to contribute. So here is an example.
If your community gets together and builds a driveway for a fellow neighbor. You contributed to the work so when your time comes you get a drive way built by the neighbors that all contributed to work. The person that does not contribute will not have a driveway built by the neighbors. Every individual has to contribute to the whole or that individual is assed out. That is the essence of socialism. If this professor would have graded by how each individual contributed to the whole then the results would have been fair. Instead he introduced a variable of giving to everyone even to those that did not contribute to the work and that is where his experiment fails and is not an example of socialism.
That's a very good explanation Rasman1.
That's not socialism. That's called "being a neighbor". It is voluntary. You see, helping your neighbor do something, and in return, they helping you, is called CAPITALISM, not socialism. It's free and fair trade. You invest YOUR time and they invest THEIR time, in an agreement that benefits you and them.
Socialism is when you want a driveway, and you can't have one until the entire city has collected enough money from you and your neighbors to pay union union scale government contractors to build all the driveways.
Here's a test for you? What President took Trillions of our tax dollars and started TWO wars. The return on the investment is MORE war?
Funny, I do not need to name any party affiliation, people who want their taxes spent by the government in the country of origin understand.
Government supplies water. That did not sop Coca Cola from filtering the water and selling it for 1000% mark up. that's capitalism.
Here's a test for you. What President took even more Trillions of our tax dollars and prolonged the war. The return on the investment is MORE war?
Has GITMO been closed yet?
The Iraq war is "over":
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa … train.html
While this is not complete, troops remain, etc. it's a lot better than anything Bush did.
I said prolonged the war not wars.
Has GITMO been closed yet?
Question 1: do you really think that Gitmo should be closed?
Question 2: why hasn't Gitmo been closed?
From the BBC:
Why the delay on closure?
There has been opposition to the transfer of prisoners to a facility in the US itself. Congress has not given any money for this purpose and Attorney General Holder said in April 2010 that Guantanamo could not close without it.
In other words: Obama has tried to close Gitmo but has been prevented from doing so by Congress.
I bet if he tried to overrule Congress and strongarm some decision rightwads would be screaming about Tyranny. Either way you're going to find something to criticize.
The democrat leader has been thwarted by the democrat congress.
Why should anyone vote for a democrat?
Even when you are in control you can't get anything done.
LOL. OK, so what you are telling me is, I should support the party of the man who wrecked this country and started two wars, and criticize the party of the man who's trying to fix things and making slow progress in doing so.
Makes perfect sense to me. /sarcasm
no thats republicans. they were supposed to pay the countries bill. couldnt do it! they were supposed to drive the country, couldn't do it . they wrecked it. supposed to work for the people. they sit in d.c. drawing gov't checks and do or offer nothing but confusion. put us in a pointless and illegal war. we may as well had no one in office when the republicans were in. if you were here when all occured then you must have some sort of disorder to try and defend them. they my friend . . . are useless!
No, Bush WON the war. Obama tried to make the investment worth nothing by surrendering.
But the Iraq War was pointless. Yes Saddam was a terrible dictator, but there are 100s if not 1000s of bad dictator that we hav done nothing about and it isn't our job to do it. Was he a threat to US? No, therefore it was worth the time, the manpower, troop lives, material, or the trillions of dollars we didn't have to go to this war. We took our eye off Afghanistan and we should have finished the job there first before going anywhere else. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and that was suppose to the goal of why we have troops in that region. Our troops did a great job after being put in a terrible situation. I was against it from the start and I still haven't seen any reason why I should change that opinion. And no I am not a liberal or a Democrat, so please don't come back at me with that.
Have a good day.
Bush's invasion of Iraq was a costly, foolish and needless mistake. It unleashed a civil war in Iraq and became a magnet and training ground for Islamic terrorists from throughout the Middle East. Half the Christians, who were protected under Saddam Hussein were driven out of the country. Terrorist bombings and electricity shortages are a daily occurence remain after Bush "won" the war. Moreover, the invasion diverted attention and troops from Afghanistan, allowing Osama bin Laden to escape and continue plotting attacks on the United States and our allies around the world.
The Iraq war was an "investment"? You gotta' be kidding. Call it an investment if you wish. If so, the return was negative for all concerned--for the U.S. and our NATO allies and for Iraq.
I'm both. But, to me, socialism is about freedom from discrimination, from sickness, and from economic despair by not having enough education to make it in this fierce labor market. Whether the government is the best medium to affect this freedom is a whole other debate.
How's that? 50 words.
Are you doing a homework assignment? I only ask because you seem very specific about the answer being 60-70 words. I understand your summary of Capitalism is 62 words, but is that significant in some way? If so, what? Does a 60-70 word summary signify something different about a concept than say a 70-80 word summary of it?
Someone produced a Hub about what Socialism means for them, but you still asked them to condense it to 60-70 words. Do you have a 60-70 word reading limit? What if a comment has 71 words? And how do you know? Do you count the words? Wouldn't it be quicker to read them instead? Okay I am being just a bit facetious, but seriously, just to satisfy my curiosity, why are you counting words?
Ben Stien did it in less;
Socialists: spoiled people who are angry because they do not get what they want!
A rediculous assumption, but he did it non the less!
Unbridalled Capitalism is wrong cos the winner shouldn't take all.Economic development policies should always be pro- poor.The United Nations recognizes, at last, the difference between economic growth and economic development. Synergy is the answer to solving world poverty.
Socialists generally share the view that capitalism concentrates power and wealth within a small segment of society that controls the means of production and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation. This creates a stratified society based on unequal social relations that fails to provide equal opportunities for every individual to maximize their potential, and does not utilise available technology and resources to their maximum potential in the interests of the public, and focuses on satisfying market-induced wants as opposed to human needs. Socialists argue that socialism would allow for wealth to be distributed based on how much one contributes to society, as opposed to how much capital one holds.
Is this the case or isn't it
Why worry about socialism? I haven't heard anybody advocate it for many years. Nearly everyone agrees that the market is the best allocator of resources. The only argument is how much regulation and what regulations are is required to assure that the market works honestly and performs the way it is supposed to function. Our recent experience with the housing bubble and mortgage derivative/banking fiasco has proved again that the market doesn't always function well automatically.
A socialist economy has a built - in - destabilizer inside, that's the human nature or in economic jargon "the consumer behavior" of the economy. The advocates of socialism say to stay away from profit making, but in reality that doesn't happen. Why, well we the human beings and all other animals are born with an instinct... that's to influence the weak and gain from their weakness! And that's the only reason for socialism's sad demise. You just can't force someone to stay away from something that's in her genetic coding. We the capitalists exist because we follow the instinct, but socialists went against it. Capitalist's profit comes from influencing the economically weak people, and it's proven by economists. Perhaps that's the only reason to disobey capitalism. The recent worldwide economic crisis that's burning the human civilization is an example of that.
let's see you term freedom and capitalism together. that would mean that you can hire children 4,5,or 6 years old , work them 7 days a week for nickles a day with no insurance, no safety reg, no workmans comp. so when an employee gets hurt, too bad. . .for him! no unemployment.women are not allowed in the workforce and when they are , pay them 25% less. you hire illegal aliens and pay them less than minimum wage.but talk against illegal immigration.you force employees to "donate" part of their pay to some fund or they will be fired.no labor laws. you complain about this 3% bush tax difference but with all the exemptions,deductions and loopholes,we know you don't pay one dimes worth of tax anyway,(the workers do) yet you complain about the deficit. thats what capitalism and freedom mean . i am in business and no one in this country wants socialism. you always try to set up the question to look like if you cant totally abuse the system then it's socialism. not true and the question is manipulative.
Capitalism is finally being reviewed as one of the most if not the most dangerous world issue. Being worldwide traveler I choose Canada as my balance between Capitalism and Socialism, and happiness has been the goal,
A happiness surrey out of Canada said 6 Northern European countries out of the top ten countries in the world were to be happiest countries. Many of those are strongly Socialist countries,
If wasn’t for much of my feeling about the arrogance in those areas, maybe I would move there.
Well I'm a Socialist. You are allowed to be a Socialist in Europe because we are democratically inclined people and are in favour of freedom of speech. Socialists are democrats. we believe in democracy. The easiest way to understand us is "To each according to his/her needs, from each according to his/her abilities" Now that's not too hard is it? Even for an American? Surely you don't need to blow us away with a shot gun for believing that?
Ummm... Americans defend life more than any other nation on earth, your question is ignorant.
Yes, we understand that you endlessly repeat your sophistry "To each according to his/her needs, from each according to his/her abilities". And, we also understand that it's nothing but pure childish ignorance, unworkable, impossible, and utterly daft.
The freedom to live in the street cause you have no money. The freedom to die in the street cause you can't afford healthcare. The freedom to watch your kids go hungry, without new clothes, without heat/hot water.
The freedomg to pay more for things than they deserve, just so some guy/women can have more money than god.
The freedom to ignore the misery of your fellow human beings because after all---you did it, why can't they? There must be somthing wrong with them.
The freedom to be an a**hole, and proud of it.
As the story (be it true or made up) of the classroom experiment suggests, pure Socialism only works if every single person is working their hardest. I don't think there are too many people who wouldn't accept an equal distribution of wealth in a society where EVERY person was TOTALLY pulling their weight to the best of their ability. That's just never going to happen.
On the other hand, pure Capitalism results in all the wealth pooling in less and less hands until, ultimately, it becomes government. Wealth is power. Pure Capitalism would end up in monarchy or oligarchy or some concentration of that sort (which we may actually already be seeing and just not totally know it).
Why do you think that pure Capitilism would end up going straight into a government form?
Because pure capitalism is survival of the fittest, and as wealth accumulates, measures are taken to protect that wealth. The greater the wealth, the greater the influence. The greater the influence, the greater the mechanisms by which obtaining greater wealth come about. You really don't have to think very hard to see how over time, wealth and influence become power. With enough power comes rule. Period. Always has. Always will.
It that were the case then how Come America hasn't taken over the world and become a one world government yet? Thanks to Capitilism we have grown in leaps and bounds over the last two hundred and thirty four years, when this country was founded we were still using a horse and buggy system, making clothing the same way, yet in a short time we changed the whole way that the world worked, including placing a man on the moon. If it weren't for Capitilism we wouldn't have Automobiles, Airplanes, or Cell Phones. If it weren't for Capitilism we wouldn't have the internet or Hubpages. Capitlism has helped to shape the entire world, without destroying it. Since you say it always has (capitilism) corrupted name a time in history or a country in which Capitilism has led to corruption?
Rachell, Look at Enron, Bernie Madoff, Subprime mortgages, the need to borrow from other countries. The achievements you mention above, came about on the credit card of the American people. Look at total indebtedness. National debt, corporate debt and consumer debt.
How many people lost their pensions during this last bubble bust?
How many jobs were lost? How many businesses moved out of the country?
How much has the value of your property dropped during this so-called recession? How many people are upside down on their mortgages?
Are the current costly wars the result of corporate greed in this so-called capitalist system?
Check out the value of the dollar, our foreign trade imbalance, derivative debt and tell me that capitalism as it is practiced today is working.
Why did we have to bail out the auto companies and bankers, if capitalism works?
People want less government control. Isn't that how Madoff and others got away with what they did, for as long as they did?
Should we install an honor system and hope that greed will not be a factor?
Just some things to ponder.
The majority of people who lost their homes and the subprime mortgages you talk about are tied to people living beyond their means. Which isn't Capitilism's fault. But since you want to point out what you consider the the bad seeds of capitilism what about the bad seeds of socialism. One responder Home Girl, says that she lived in the USSR and that socialism was absolutely awful. Okay, so it didn't work out so well in the USSR you think it would be different here? Why? What makes America a better candidate for socialism than the USSR? No, Madoff is a bad person who did bad things, but handing over blind control to the government isn't the answer. Just because Madoff was an evil man who did bad things you want to take away what freedoms others enjoy? We shouldn't have bailed out the auto companies and banks, perhaps if they were allowed to fail something better would have come along. Obama isn't practicing capitilism with all these bailouts (and don't start screaming that Bush started it, he's no longer in office let's focus on the man who is) the bailouts are no better then Socialism, and don't forget Obama has admited to being a Marxist.
I didn't say that socialism would be better. I do realize that unchecked capitalism has brought us to where we are today. The answer lies somwhere between the lines. On one hand you have the lazy asses
Wanting a free ride.
On the other you have the greedy bastards that would bilk their own mothers for personal gain.
Didn't Madoff take away freedoms others would have had? How many will have to work until their dying day?
Wasn't it the lack of oversight that allowed Madoff to bilk so many out of their nest eggs?
It has been the general concensus that if the bailouts had not been put into place, the system would have crashed.
I do focus on the man who is in office. However, you want to gloss over the debts and wars that were left for him to clean up. Get real.
Just what would you have done if you were elected POTUS?
Anxious to hear your answer.
Maybe the system needed to crash, is my point. Think of companies that have failed in the past because of whatever reason, the Government is not there to keep businesses open. I think it is ridiculous the argument of the Wars that Obama was left to clean up, apparently you've forgotten 9-11. We are a war with Islam because Islamic Muslims flew planes into buildings and killed 3000 people. Which since we are so much into the blame game lets state facts if Clinton had gotten Bin Ladin when he was captured in Saudi Arabia instead of telling them to let him go 9-11 probably wouldn't have happened. As for the debt, fact is things didn't really start going down until after the 2006 election when Democrats took over the House & Senate, but it's just easier to blame Bush. As far as what I would do if I were President, I have no idea... guess it's a good thing I am not running, I know one thing for sure I wouldn't be off taking a vacation while Oil flooded the gulf or coming up with new things to blame on my Predecessor.
Wait a second, Rachell you're full of it. First of all, Bush and your conservatives put together the bailouts. Secondly, this isn't a smack in the face new thing. We, and several other areas of our world, have experienced similar recessions, and without securing the banks, people routinely withdraw their money and the entire thing crashes. Upon that happening, people start looting and social services are dismantled. Read a newspaper once in a while. Secondly, we don't have and absolutely NEVER have had unregulated capitalism. If you want that, go see Afghanistan and Somolia. Technically, they are pure capitalist markets without regulation. Even Adam Smith, who wrote the Wealth of Nations which is the foundation for our interpretation of modern capitalism, penned several letters regarding the need for regulation on his own capitalist model. The invisible hand only works when the populace is provided with the same matter of information as the corporations, which is by no means the case.
With regards to you concept of the wars...which is about as flawed of an argument as I could have imagine, you're cause-effect line of logic is illogical. Obama WAS left with 2 wars. He didn't start them. He couldn't immediately finish them. Obama chose to escalate Afghanistan, which was not a good idea. Clinton DID have an opportunity to get Bin Ladenm potentially. However, Reagan bought, trained, and fed him. Bush received the August 6, 2001 PDB which clearly discussed how Al Queda was planning using planes to fly into buildings, and ignored it. He invaded Iraq for absolutely NO reason involving 9.11; how much did that cost? How about the soldiers who died there? How about the civilians who died there? It isn't difficult to blame Bush for too many things, but the economy is only partially his fault. The deficit funded tax cuts during a war, and the deficit funded pharmaceutical plan hurt. The tax cuts alone cost more than Iraq, and that was expensive! The crash wasn't because people were living beyond their means. Don't be so juvenile. We allowed no regulation on derivatives, bundled commodities. It was designed to put risky commodities together, but to spread the risk upon different qualifications like income, credit score, etc. However, AIG and the like purposely bundled all bad commodities, sold them as viable, short sold them to make a profit off of the failure that they planned, and then sold credit default swaps, which are basically insurance without any capital, on the derivatives. When this all hit, 9% of the mortgages had defaulted. 9% of American mortgages don't bring down a global economy. Use your brain McFly. Things are more complicated than Glenn Beck is telling you.
Upon that happening, people start looting and social services are dismantled... Do What? Are you smoking something?
He invaded Iraq for absolutely NO reason involving 9.11.... Do you remember Hilliary Clinton going before Congress and urging that we go to war with Iraq? Of course not because there goes your whole let's blame Bush.
Finally just because you disagree doesn't mean I am the one being Juvenile, so please no name calling.
First, Obama never "admited" (sic) to being a marxist. I cannot even find a right wing blogger to confirm a quote.
Second, Hillary never urged congress to authorize going to war in Iraq. The statements concerning authorization came October 10th, 2002 and ended with the following:
“If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?
So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.” Sen. Hillary Clinton October 10th, 2002
The Financial Services Modernization Act or Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 effectively repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the latter having been introduced to prevent banks, insurance companies, and brokerages from meddling in each others' businesses. This was a direct result of financial sector abuses prior to the Great Depression. It was repealed by a bill introduced by Phil Gramm and Jim Leach, republicans, and signed into law by Bill Clinton. This paved the way for our current predicament. Read: our current financial state is the direct result of unfettered capitalism. Do some research and you'll understand why.
I will do research but I just want to make sure I am reading this correctly our current financial state was brought about by a Bill that President Clinton signed?
Hey, I am an equal opportunity critic. If you're culpable you're culpable. Yes, I believe so. It was a republican bill and I believe passed with a Republican Senate voting along party lines and a bipartisan House vote. I remember it vaguely as reported by a couple of financial talk show hosts on WABC New York, way back when. They thought it was a terrible idea. There is information out there on the 1999 bill, which suggests that the signature was part of a last minute negotiation, and that Clinton got something in return. I'd be interested to know what you turn up. Whatever he got, it wasn't worth it.
From the web site: http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/06/obam … -question/
It is probabilistic, not deductive, reasoning that best deals with causal relationships. While we cannot conclude with certainty from the truth of documented facts concerning his Marxist associations that Barack Obama himself is a Marxist, it is reasonable to conclude that there is a significant probability that he is and doing so commits no logical fallacy. So his associations are not, as his defenders maintain, irrelevant as evidence of his own beliefs. They are, in fact, determinant.
Yet, all of the above might be a moot point when another of his associations, rarely discussed, is considered: that of his relationship with his own Marxist father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. Guessing whether he was influenced significantly by the Marxism of his father is utterly unnecessary here for, in his first book Dreams from my Father, the younger Obama clearly states that it was his deliberate intention to build his own life in his father’s likeness: “It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”
Others have speculated that part of that image involved carrying out his father’s Marxist dreams. In view of this president’s nationalization of the banking and auto industries—and his impending nationalization of health care—it’s hard to seriously gainsay such speculation. Next week we shall see that a major means of his doing so involves adopting the Marxist principle that his father championed most: that of wealth redistribution.
MLK was a Marxist—since the Civil Rights Movement was a progressive, social justice initiative. If you believe in taxation (or, more specifically, a tax system that takes more from the wealthiest) and the government helping the homeless, then you're also in favor of redistribution of wealth.
In fact, capitalism redistributes wealth all the time. The key is: Where does the money flow to? The middle-class has been shafted as of late.
The Progressive Income Tax Bracket is outdated (not adjusted for inflation), with the wealthiest as earning "$250,000 and up.” Honestly, who doesn't see that's only to lump small business owners with CEOs?
John Kennedy said "A government that fails to help the poor won't be able to protect the rich." Or words to that effect. Was JFK a Marxist? Hardly. He was a thoughtful, wise man.
You make an excellent point, but Marxism isn't satanic worship. It's about giving the majority (the workers) decision-making power, just like a democracy. It's about helping the poor to survive and to try again, like social safety nets. It's about equality of pay between genders and races, like the feminist and civil rights movement.
At the end of the day, we're all a little Marxist. It's become a dirty word for intellectual laziness. Half of the people bashing Socialism don't understand what it means. They see 1 type of socialism as the only way to accomplish it. Nothing is ever that simple.
“In this suitcase, I’ve a list of Communist conspirators.”—McCarthy
We don't have PURE capitalism, for one thing. Secondly, nationalism doesn't have anything to do with capitalism in the long term. Nationalism allowed capitalism of the kind you describe as having done all those cool things you mention. Now, the capitalists have and are going global. Capitalists are playing capitalism around the globe. Borders and national identity only matter where the governments involved have the power to restrict or control activity. OVerly restrictive governments will be bypassed as quickly as possible by the growing capitalist enterprises (as the U.S. is being bypassed by global corporations moving operations out of here prove.)
You just have to think a little bigger and longer along the course of time. It's not about "America" its about CAPITALISM. The two are only incidentally connected, despite the truth of what you have said about the progress in the last two or three hundred years.
I agree with you. Capitalist (or largely capitalist) enterprises and spirit did expedite this. But, I repeat, you aren't following the trajectory far enough down the line of time.
The United States of America through out the last 150 years is a great example of Capitalist corruption. Though you are right it is not 100% truly capitalist. It is the true essence of capitalism. The rich are often the most corrupt because the have the power and financial ability to commit unethical and immoral behavior and escape the due process of the law. Each man's moral compass leads him in his own direction. When the power of the "almighty dollar" is your hearts desire, compassion and kindness naturally take a back seat, since there is no profit in either. The Catholic Church is another example of pure capitalist corruption, under the guise of humanitarian activism. If you want proof, look at how much money the Vatican has in holdings around the world while "good Christians" starve world wide. The Catholic church was the main governing factor appointing rulers across europe for over 1000 years. ...and yes the Catholic Church is a governing body, it has governed the hearts and minds of rulers worldwide for 2000 years. Numerous rulers have been placed upon thrones to feed the churchs greed. A capitalist is guided by there own code of Morals and Ethics just as every other person is.....Morals can not, and SHOULD not be the basis of laws... after all, WHO's morals should be made law? i sure as heck hope it ain't yours! (and you sure as heck hope it ain't mine). - Quote from Evan G Rogers. "Greed is good" -Gordon Gecko (Wall Street) When most capitatists have the morals and ethics of the character Gordon Gecko, how can you expect them not to want to rule the world. In a capitalist society money is the ultimate power: Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.-Lord Acton. Therefore the pursuit of more money to gain more power can only lead to corruption of mans heart against society and humanity. Libertarianism would be better served as a political avenue is the capitalist theories of Absolute free trade were a secondary argument to Civil Liberties. But than again it would be defined as "Classical Liberalism" which was the basis for our founding fathers views on Government. Those views have been in there death throws ever since the industrial revolution began. I myself do not believe in Socialism, for i too want my individual rights above all, but i will never abide by pure Capitalism, because it is fed by one thing and one thing only: Greed!
Capitalism requires a government of some sort to work - because you need someone who will define and protect property rights, and probably someone to print money, etc.
Pure capitalism - that with minimum government interference - would still require a government, but the government would only be involved in protecting the rights of property.
Therefore, if you had no property, you would have no protection from the government.
This is also known as Feudalism. Not a good situation for the masses - there are plenty of examples throughout history.
Plutarchy...had to look that up..that's a good one...controlled by the wealthy for the wealthy...it is IMO just below Oligarchy which basically involves bloodlines...
Interesting debate above this post....today Geithner was on Charlie Rose and politically fumbled his way towards answering the question of future bailouts for the "too big too fail".....basically what I heard was " Yes " but don't worry, it won't be so painful the next time around...
As for the argument about the crash or meltdown I tend to side with Rachel when she says maybe the markets should have been allowed to crash.
But then again you have to ask yourself what is a crash.
A crash is essentially the flip side of a full out bull market based on greed. But a crash is based on fear. I know that's common knowledge but the next question has to be who drives fear and greed and to me the JayDeck says Plutarch while I say Oligarch.
Regardless... the next question with respect to capitalism is how much money should be in the markets considering the industrious capacity of the total global economy - within a few trillion !!!! If you, or any economist that believes in transparent and open markets can answer that then we know exactly where the stock market should be at.
Currently it's wherever the wooden nickels fall and to me that spells pseudo-capitalism.
I think I used up your 70 words and mine on that one.
First I do not believe that story could possibly be true but it does make for a good example of what Socialism is not.
Equality is not sameness, we are not the same. Socialism means equality of opportunity, that does not occur when there exists a priveleged class with better access to health care, education, etc.
Socialism is all about individual freedom. The role of government in a Socialist society would be to ensure the maximum freedom of the individual in an equal society. That does mean curtailing the freedom of the privileged few to have control over the majority
For the record, I am a Socialist, (In case you didn't guess)
Explain to me where in that story it's not Socialism.
Ianto, I am curious: I said that I believe Capitalism can be summed up by the word FREEDOM. Yet you seem to think that Socialism is also about freedom.
Can you respond to my original request in this forum to state in 60-70 words what you feel it means to be a Socialist and what one word you could sum up your beliefs in? I would love to see those thoughts encapsulated.
Happy to oblige but it's more than 60-70 words. If you really want to know;
OK, I've read your hub - plenty of material to chew on. But can you express the core of socialism in less than 70 words?
Well I've tried, maybe it's just today or something. I can't seem to explain myself without writing a Hubnugget on a forum post and I consider that disrespectful to the people who own this joint. So how about this from the last paragraph of my Hub. Maybe I can come up with something else later. Sorry but even this is 91 words.
"There is a dream of freedom in us all and this is the moral imperative of Socialism, the drive to make the dream of freedom, peace and well-being a reality. It is this dream; this striving to a better day that has pulled the masses out of slavery, out of serfdom, out of feudalism and slowly but surely it draws us out of the global, one-world tyranny of the multi-national corporations. The quest for the New Jerusalem with all that means in every real sense is the ultimate goal of Socialism."
Can I ask a kind of obnixous question, realizing that is how it's going to sound, even though that is not how it's meant.
If Socialism is the dream of freedom, then can't part of it be accepting that other people do not see it that way, and do not want to live their lives that way?
Does that make sense?
It makes perfect sense and it's a very good question. Every movement will have those who object to it. Even if you agree with the general goal you may wish to disagree with the path taken to get there. This is human interaction. I don't write to change anyones mind. I really believe that to be a futile endeavour. I only place my view on life out there because that is what writers do.
Mainly I expect you to disagree with me, I hope that what I say will cause you to think further about WHY you disagree.
I hope that makes sense
It does, It seems like nowadays at least there are some individuals and some "movements" out there who believe it's their way or no way, so I was just curious since I am not going to be disuaded into believing Socialism is ok, how you feel about that. (I am not trying to change your mind either )
All socio-political beliefs have some strengths and weaknesses. The problem with many, if not all, of them is they are idealistic.
Capitalism works great until people use their "freedom" to exploit and suppress others, including other people that are trying to enjoy the same beliefs in the idealistic nature of Capitalism.
Socialism works great until people figure out that they can abuse it and/or become complacent. It is meant to be a safety net for those that have been abused, fallen on bad times, or just need a helping hand. It is too often abused and is a huge social cost.
Communism sounds nice, but I don't see it working in an industrialized country. I can't see it working well in an agrarian society either, unless very small. Share everything, good and bad. Works great in a village, where there is social pressure to work hard and not steal.
Democracy Yeah, it works fine until spin doctors, media, and rich people can influence the vote. As they say, "people are sheep". Unfortunately, most people won't vote based upon bad information, or worse, no real information at all.
Dictatorship Works great, if you have a fair, just, compassionate ruler. But what happens when their evil kid takes over?
Everyone being graded equally is called foolishness.
Everyone getting the same opportunity for education and being allowed to take it as far as they want whether they are rich or poor. That is Socialism.
Right now everyone has the same opportunity for education and they are allowed to take it as far as they want regardless of whether or not they are rich or poor. We are socialist. I still want an explaination other than your opinion that it's Foolishness... so again I ask what part of that isn't socialism?
We don't all have the same opportunities.
Also, with education costs rising so much, the burden on a college graduate could very well be many 10's of thousands of dollars.
And then that same college graduate probably won't be able to find a job in their chosen industry.
Sure we do... I am proof of that, I made "gross income" less then 10,000 this year and I am a full time college student. Anyone can go to college in this country and get loans, grants, or scholarships. What you desire you can do, but I shouldn't have to pay for you to do something that you desire just because you don't want to put your priorities in the right order.
Right, most anyone could get a loan and go to college or a vocational school.
They can make the best of it. Maybe they will get a job afterward that will pay enough to begin paying off their debt. If they are fortunate, that job will be related to their education.
That old Pell grant is paid for by our taxes. One way or another all tax payers pay for others. I'm fine with that, as long as the "system" isn't being abused.
You're young yet. You have plenty of time to watch your neighbors swindling the system and having more kids. Or watch unskilled, unqualified coworkers move up in position and pay, while others have worked hard, played fair, and continued their education, but are still in their same position.
The system that you want. Welfare is socialism, food stamps is socialism, you claim that's a better system than capitilism which requires we carry our own weight? I worked for six years for Wal-Mart, I watched people come in buying steaks, shrimp, and even alcohol on their "EBT" cards, while I struggled to pay my bills. Not once have I ever been tempted to get food stamps though, I would rather struggle to pay my bills then expect someone else to do it for me. I would rather own my own home and pay my bills without federal assitance then have a cell phone, cable television, or a car. If you are getting passed over for promotions instead of looking at why someone else is getting the promotion you think should be yours look inside yourself and figure out how you can do better to get that next promotion that comes along.
When did I ever say that socialism is good? Are you talking to someone else?
Are you familiar with the Dilbert Cartoon or the IT Crowd? Or the Office?
It's called brown-nosing and backstabbing. My entire department watched in dismay as a buxom young women, barely out of high school was given a management position of women and men with years of IT experience and education. This kind of crap happens all the time. I've seen it many times over the years.
Not to derail the tread, but doing IT job and managing people who do IT jobs require quite different sets of skills and knowledge.
I do appologize the way you said I was young and therefore didn't understand I thought you meant that when I got older I would understand that Socialism is a better way to go.
Wrong. Schools vary widely in quality, most of the poorest neighborhoods have the poorest schools.
I thought I said; Being graded the same without regard to effort or ability is foolishness, not socialism, and there are plenty of kids who do not have the economic means to attend the best colleges where they could achieve their full potential.
And where I work it's the ones who have NO further education beyond high school that have been promoted.
Each of use with college degrees and continuing education that are at the same level as we were when we started. And I work in IT!!
What about Grants? Scholarships? Loans? Sure any kid who has good enough grades can attend whatever college they desire. So I don't believe you, grads should be based on ones effort just like work should be based on ones effort, however in Socialism it would be based on what is fair for everyone not what kind of effort you make.
What's not to believe?
Did you read what I wrote?
I did read what you wrote. Is it the fact that those with High School educations are perhaps working harder then everyone else and therefore deserve the promotions?
First of all socialism is not about individual Freedom. it is not about freedom at all. Ask me, I was born and lived there - under socialism for many years. The rules of socialism are so artificial, so unrealistic, everything starts to happen as in this example with a professor and his "socialistic" grades. No one wants to work hard, no one wants to work at all. Authorities lie to you to save their face. People go to work but they do nothing, just pretend they are working. In USSR as soon as they established socialism, after eliminating/killing other half of the population, who thought otherwise; everything in the society started to fall apart. And you know what? They/authorities without proper understanding what is going on, just invented the theory, that "enemies" were sabotaging the system. They started to sistematically catch and arrest people by slightest suspicion and kill them as "enemies of the state". And there were no enemies. The system itself was the enemy. But who was suicidal enough to say it loudly? A person in socialism has no more power than a mouse. That's the truth. Pure socialism is not going to work same as pure socialism. We need to combine them, but to do it wisely for better results. So far it is not happening.
I believe it was Abraham lincoln who, in a debate, asked "How many legs would a dog have if you called his tail a leg?" Someone answered "5" He replied "No 4, calling it's tail a leg doesn't make it one."
The USSR was not socialist in the end. It was run by the state where the people had no more say over their lives than do the people in a capitalist economy. Eventually it became a brutal dictatorship. I don't have to tell Home Girl that, she knows better than any of us.
In a socialist society the role of government is to ensure freedom of the individual, not to enslave us.
Did you live in the USSR which I believe stands for the United Soviet Socialist Republic? Home Girl say's that she grew up in a Socialst state and you disagree that it wasn't a socialist society because it doesn't meet your ideal of what socialism should be.
The USSR was communist, not socialist. Though related, they are different political philosophies.
I think there is no ideal system - as in capitalism per se... Half half maybe -- half capitalism and half socialism, I think most of European countries are half half.
The US is going into that, maybe 60 percent capitalist and forty percent socialism.
In USSR socialism was a fairytale that they tried to transform into reality. It never happened, but they tried so hard, that finally they believed they succeeded, right before it fell apart in 1992. Gorbachev just had no choice but to go out and tell the truth. It was socialism pure and simple, and it could fall apart much earlier if not for the size of USSR. It took long time for a big monster to die.
LOL Alla, they just don't get it, I tried and tired. Your turn I guess - hope you manage better than me
I am not surprised, Misha. All socialist ideas were born in a nice developed capitalist country. It is so convenient to dream about better world on a full stomach, try it on an empty one, it will be a different story.
I suggest to everybody who is still believing in socialism pure and simple: go and try to live in a socialist country - any that is still claims being the one, and to live and work there for 6 months if you can survive that period. Then - return and tell your story. I think it will be a very interesting story. I am sure of that.
I read a book by Bruce Bawer, who lives either in Denmark or the Netherlands, I am not sure which, I know he has lived in both, and he said that he moved there because of how open it was to Gays only to find out that the Socialist way of life was just horrible.
I used to believe in Democratic Socialism, but not any more.
I think that all political systems may begin for all the "right reasons" and may start off very well, but it doesn't last. Someone, maybe the leadership or maybe the citizens, but it get abused.
The founding fathers had the right idea in the US and initially there were limitations as to who could vote.
A friend said this "Democratic federal republic, but only the contributors (at that time people with land, right now those who net contribute, rather than withdraw from the govt. coffers).
Problems that have arisen since – democracy has been expanded to include everyone without any minimum requirements. Result – people can now effectively vote themselves someone else’s money. Goes hand in hand with the general way too much government from the Socialism comment below; the safety net needs to keep people alive but make them REALLY want to get off it and back into productive lives. Frankly I’d like to see it made harder to get the vote than to get a driver’s license!
Federalism has taken a bad beating here in the last 100 years – a good example is in healthcare, where if there was true interstate competition in pricing and in lawsuit control, we wouldn’t have the price rises we have now. Someone would find a way to offer it cheaper."
I'm not a Socialist, but I think they would reply that their economic philosophy is in part based/motivated on the disgusting conditions brought on by the 'pure' uncontrolled capitalism circa industrial revolution
An oligarchy is a system where the elite at the top level are generally related by bloodline and control of the economic enterprise is passed from generation to generation. They love a democratic socialist system where government owns all property since they have the power to control governments therefore they control " we the people ".
edit - wow that was only 54 words
After socialism comes communism....Marx
I find it dificult to understand how anyone can view Barak Obama as a Marxist. I see nothing in his programs or intentions that reflects a Marxist viewpoint.
Such programs as National Health Care and bank bail outs etc. are, at best, Social Democracy. What Eldridge Cleaver called "Wishy-Washy Liberalism" A Marxist view would be to change the system, Obama's programs are; "We can make the system work better."
The mistake made by far too many is to believe your own propaganda.
We have to remember/to learn our own history and not to be naive. If you do nothing in crisis and just let it go, the system can collapse and anarchy steps in. Look what is happening in some regions of Russia/USSR now. Complete degradation, corruption and chaos. I cannot even talk about details, it is so horrible! Barak Obama at least tries something. May be he is a socialist, may be he is just a monkey's uncle,we'll see, - time will show.
Obama is a moderate Democrat, nowhere close to being a socialist. The socialist B.S. comes from the Teatards, financed by the far right--the Koch brothers, foreign corporations, Dick Armey's Liberty Express or whatever he calls it, Richard Scaife Mellon, and others who are seeking to prevent effective regulation of their industries--oil, coal, mining, timber, electric power, etc.
And I'm trying to understand the Tea Partiers, Social Conservatives, Christian Evangelists, Libertarians, and doctrinaire capitalists,et al.
I found this long article by historian Sean Wilentz helpful.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010 … rentPage=1
Capitalism and government must be kept balanced. Too much capitalism and corruption takes place. Corporations buy politicians, bought politicians pass legislation, and soon corporations will have the ability, by proxy, to circumvent our very rights.
Too much government interference and the free market is hindered. Innovation is hindered.
Fact is, capitalism isn't the answer. Neither is Socialism. The best we can do is take what's best from each system, toss what's useless, and make do. I little bit of Bruce Lee there for ya.
True. The issue is what regulations are necessary to make sure capitalism delivers honestly on the results promised by free markets.
Very true. There's compromise. I wrote about this extensively in my hubs, especially, "Libracracy," "I am a radical," and "Bi-Polar America."
I'm with Jon Stewart. What happened to the moderates that understood things are too complex for dichotomies?
Elliott T - Thank you for being interested enough to try to understand.
Engels' phrase "From each according to his ability - to each according to his need" is only 12 words.
Before Blair, the British Labour Party Clause 4 Part 4 printed on every party card said
"To secure for the workers by hand and by brain the full fruits of their labours and the most equitable distribution thereof upon the best system of public administration that may be possible." -33 words.
You have the good fortune to live in a regulated capitalist democracy. The big companies almost all have paid lobbyists who try to influence what laws are made. Part of this is legitimate in that they want to make sure the activities and interests of their companies are not damaged by the simple ignorance of law makers. Some of it involves political contributions, bribes, and favours to achieve extra benefits and government contracts.
Do you sense any imbalance in power and influence between the many poor and the relatively few rich?
Is that a rhetorical question? Much has been written to the effect that income disparity is getting to the point that increasing numbers of people are losing faith in our democratic, free market system. This has no doubt been factor in the under-conceptualized Tea Party movement.
You can be a free trade socialist. Socialism need not interfere with trade in order to tax earnings at a level that minimises loss of incentive. In fact taxes in many socialist countries are lower than in the US.
Capitalism is not the great panacea. A system based on greed is not self sustaining, for the chasm between those who have and those who have not, grows. American companies go foreign so they can pay third world wages for products that fetch a high price in the market place, and only greed can convince them to part with any portion thereof. High unemployment, the disappearence of the middle class and the depletion of our own resources, is all attributable to these things. Further, it is this same capitalistic greedy mindset that has been central to the situation which allow people like Madoff to further bring the system itself into jeopardy. In capitalism, it's every man for himself. Don't know what can replace it, short of a new "ism", but that last bit REALLY bothers me.
Actually too, there's a lot of socialist concepts that are, and have been in place in the U.S. and our government has involved itself in areas that are better left to the employer and the employee, but that came about because of the same capitalistic greed mind set. Retirement, decent wages/ working conditions. healthcare.
Socialism doesn't have a precise meaning. I was taught in economics class that it meant ownership by the state of the basic means of production--mines, mills, railroads, etc. Social insurance programs (Social Security, unemployment compensation, Medicare and the like) were not considered socialism but welfare capitalism. Evan and some of the other libertarians seem to consider many government activities and programs that most people have taken for granted for a long time "socialism" or "socialistic" public libraries, public transportation, Social Security, and even and police and fire safety and even public schools.
Elliott - If you think how a large family operates, there are some members of the family earning money, and some members of the family not earning money or not earning much. They are carried by the other family members.
There are problems with the kids who do not do their chores and who think their parents are a cash dispensing taxi service, but that is part of growing up.
I would suggest that socialism is a larger family.
"Every president is usually worse than the previous one."
Most historians rate George Washington #1. We must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel. However, I think Obama reversed the downward trend. He's clearly not worse than Bush.
I'd like to hear you back that up. He's exactly the same.
As I've pointed out before Obama has accomplished quite a lot in his first two years in office with near zero cooperation from Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats. I'll list some of them if you like. With a little more cooperation he could have accomplished more--a more perfect health reform bill; more rigorous banking reform; a bigger economic recovery program; ratification of the SALT nuclear disarmament treaty, and so forth.
The thing is, all the capitalists, apart from those at the top are a bunch of turkeys voting for christmas.
Capitalism is nothing more or less than pyramid selling, it involves the majority at the bottom of the pyramid working for little personal return and handing the real fruits of their labour to those above.
Don't tell me you really believe Bill Gates got so much money from his own hard work and with a bit of effort you could be as rich. You couldn't, there isn't that much fricking money around, to be as rich as Gates you need people unprotected by minimum wages or any other forms of protection.
Hell, you're constantly whinging about having to pay tax but you'll happily pay more to capitalists lining their own pockets.
I heard recently that BP is back in profit, what do you reckon to that?
""At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth......"
Might it be time to return the Statue of Liberty to France?
It no longer seems to stand for what America stands for.
I hate to be a pedant but it is important to catch misquotations asap. The quote from Engels is
"From each according to his ability- to each according to his need"
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