Capitalism vs Socialism
Side Score: 228
Side Score: 232
While I believe in theory socialism is really great, I have to side with capitalism. Capitalist societies seem to have very powerful economies. The U.S. has only been a country for 232 years, and has become a superpower. One huge reason is because of the great freedom, but capitalism has definitely helped. The GDP of the U.S. far exceeds that of any other individual country.
People like to say that capitalism doesn't work well because of greed. I'll agree that is one of the negative points of capitalism, but it's also one of the positive ones as well. In capitalistic societies, companies compete in a free market. They are of course greedy, but because of greed they fight to gain more customers. Competition almost always benefits the consumer because they are reaping the benefits of having amazing products or services.
all i have to say is screw crime rates obiesity ect. Do you really want the government to tell you what to work, how long you can work, how much money you make and tax you till you're broke? In china it used to be a law that you couldn't have more than one child, and you couldn't take you possesions out of the contry. Honestly, china wouldn't let you leave.
p.s. the u.s. is totally obiese because we have the CHOICE to eat the crappy food from McDonalds, not because we have a capitalist government.
Side: i want a say in my life
Wow. The one baby act is actually an beneficial idea especially in the sort of environmental/resource crisis we are in. They are actually doing something to help future generations where we look at it as a choice. We are the beholders of a choice that could end humanity. Lastly if anyone in this world had principles (which capitalism does NOT support) then all of this would seem ridiculous to the eyes of free thinkers (also not promoted by capitalism). If you looked at it from an objective standpoint i would believe you would be saying much different things.
I'm not as well versed in the ideas of capitalism as i would like but capitalism seems to be just about profit and thus is run mainly on greed. In a real capitalist society there wouldn't be any regulations on businesses so some important factors such as using clean technology might never be utilized since at first it is expensive, and innovation is usually driven by profit not the good it will do to society. The consumer wins when there are multiple companies producing the same or similar services and products, but in a true capitalist nation there would be no laws against monopolies. Once a monopoly is reached the consumer loses. I agree that capitalism or at least the semi-capitalism the United states practices is very good at making money, but at what cost?
A socialist nation may not make as much money as a capitalist nation but most of the people in it will live better lives. Once you reach a certain wealth threshold additional wealth means little, unless you feel you must show off you wealth and well...
If a monopoly is reached theoretically there are only two things the monopoly will do: raise prices and/or stop improving quality. The consumer will stop buying the product if these things happen so it is in the best interesnt of the monopoly financially to keep the consumer happy by keeping prices low and quality high.
"The U.S. has only been a country for 232 years, and has become a superpower. One huge reason is because of the great freedom, but capitalism has definitely helped. The GDP of the U.S. far exceeds that of any other individual country."
These facts are definitely true. However, you're attributing the cause to the wrong system. Do you remember that the U.S. (and the entire world) had a Great Depression in the 1930s? This was due to the capitalist society of the time. Unregulated banks, speculation, and greed were destroying the world economy, and no one knew about it until it was too late. Only when FDR started to begin regulating the economy did it start to improve (for example, he decreased the unemployment to only 2/3 of what it was during Hoover's presidency. Not a huge decrease, but imagine what he was up against). Of course, it was really WWII that brought the world out of the Depression, but FDR's policies put the world and America back on the right track. And that kind of government power in the economy was heretofore unknown. It was becoming more socialist.
Recently there has been the global recession. Say what you will, but because we began to regulate more, our economy has begun to recover somewhat. The crazy amount of deregulation of the Bush Era is what helped a great deal to cause the recession.
On another note, perhaps we need another war to spring us back into prosperity ;)
Actually the cause of the Great Depression was too much regulation. The protectionist policies of all the world nearly halted all free trade. And there was a depression/recession in 1920-21 when the administration cut spending and taxes in half, and the unemployment rate plummeted. That's where the roaring twenties come from. FDR's policies kept the unemployment rate rather high for over a decade. His friend and major architect of the New Deal said, "I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot." And Bush's tax cuts spurred the largest peacetime expansion of the US economy. Your argument is flawed.
Yes, America is prosperous. But surveys say we have fewer friends than ever, and that financial prosperity does not make one more satisfied with life. And yes, we benefit from better products and services, but the capitalist mutant advertisement has become has convinced people to keep wasting their lives saving for the next piece of shit they absolutely don't need.
I prefer Capitalism for two reasons.
1. Don't like the idea of a government controlling what's supposed to be private.
2. Competition and greed produce better products than government work. Look at government workers... they don't give a shit about making shit better for you, but private corporations will work as hard as they can to keep you as their customer.
1. Socialism is not the government controlling 'what's supposed to be private'. This is rubbish on two counts. One it assumes "stuff that's meant to be private" and wrongly equates it with property. And two, and more importantly, socialism has nothing to do with government control. That is what we call state capitalism. If you have bothered to read anything by the German/Dutch left-communists you would know this.
2. Socialism and Capitalism aren't 'systems of governemnt' you can compare side by side and choose the better one. Socialism is the real expression of working class oppression and the historic tendency toward it's realisation. Go read a book and come back when you have half a brain.
You really need to be more specific when you talk about the "German/Dutch left-Communists". Non-Communists have no idea who you would be referring to; I don't even know who you are referring to.
I can, of course, introduce you to Karl Marx; who was explicit in his expectation that the state would play a role in Socialism; then disband at the onset of Communism:
"Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.
These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.
Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."
That sounds like a pretty heavy involvement of the state during the revolution and transition.
Though I agree that capitalism is not without its disadvantages, (what is?) I am all for it! A note to all…these disadvantages could be turned into advantages…it all depends on who’s looking at it.
In my mind the advantages far outweigh the so-called disadvantages. Human beings are born with the knowledge that in order to survive one must work right? Only those born with the proverbial silver spoon are able to make it to the top easily and in a short time.
People need incentives at home, work, wherever…people need to believe in something better in order to be a part of something. Capitalism is outwardly consistent as survival requires originality and elasticity to stay abreast with the dynamic changes in supply and demand. (My Economics teacher should be proud…)
Capitalism also encourages large populations which determine a certain degree of diversity…being multi-racial I know!!
Side: Capitalism is outwardly consistent as su
History has shone that every government that has attempted using Socialism has FAILED. Share the wealth is a load of crap. Why should I give the money that I work hard to earn to a bum with 12 kids that is living completely on wellfare that has never worked a day in his life. Mr.Obama, tell what is fair in that.
I am as patriotic as the next guy. However, I am going to set aside all the "Huzzah America".
Fact of the matter is, socialism sounds better. It sounds fair and it sound utopian.
However, it does not work.
Human nature is not perfect or utopian.
Socialism does not factor in the dark side of human nature, such as greed. Capitilism does.
In a Capatilist society, the citizens can be lead by their own wordly desires and pursue their wants.
In a Socialist society, the normal citizens can not. However, the country's leaders; the Mao Zedongs, the Stalins and the Castros can.
Capitilist country's leaders do the same. They follow the dollar to whatever destination it may lead them. However, they are bound by democratic and capitilist restraints.
Socialist society enable the people by promoting corruption.
If a socialist society could be run devinely, then perhaps it could work. But it won't...after all we are all human.
Side: Capitlism Pro
I agree. Ish. I live in America; I practice capitalism. But, theoretically, socialism is better. In practice, socialism has its pros and its cons. But so does capitalism.
There are both sides to every issue. For example:
Some people say that capitalism is better, because the people who actually work don't have to support the lazy bums on street corners, or those who don't want to work. In addition, capitalism encourages people to work because by working they will get rich. The rebuttal to that argument: Some of those "lazy bums," cannot, in fact, work due to mental retardation or physical disability. And the rich people in capitalist societies aren't always the ones who work hard. Oftentimes, they are the ones who inherited Daddy's money, or the ones who know how to corrupt the system, or the ones who were in the right place at the right time.
Both systems have their faults.
Side: They're both imperfect
Ok, here's the thing: We all love to put labels on everything because it helps us to refer to it easily by using that label, but sometimes it doesn't help at all!
1 - Ideas such as Socialism and Capitalism are very hard to simply label and they cover many different ideas and so they've been broken down into many different labels and forms.
2 - These 2 labels cover both economy as well as political structures.
In the Socialism camp, there are different forms of it and sometimes they oppose each other even on the most basic of principles. Currently there's a Socialist Market Economy in China where the state only controls certain crucial elements of the economy and the rest is free enterprise..
In the Capitalism camp, there's also no consensus on its definition. There are lots of different types of Capitalism although there are some features about it that most people can agree on.
Now, unless we're arguing PURE Capitalism vs PURE Socialism (actually, I don't think the pure forms exist anywhere in practice), we should actually look at the stuff in between.
Let's remove the labels for a bit and consider these 2 economical political theories as simply ways on how to best operate a country where everyone are happy and everything develop and grow to their best. So, at the present time, we have what people have been labelling as Regulated Capitalism in most democratic countries and some forms of Socialist Market Economy in the dictatorial communist countries. These 2 things are almost the same (as everyone are striving to run a country where people are happy and are well provided for) except for one crucial element: The political systems.
Here's why I would not support a Socialist country: The socialism structure seems to require a dictatorial political system. Dictatorial one party systems will never give humans the freedoms we all naturally yearn for and I don't care how well they think they can run the economy: it's useless to be prosperous when you don't have freedom It's like living in a 5 star prison. Simple.
First of all, capitalism and socialism are not forms of government. They relate to how economies are organized, and what is privatized (untaxed) and what is socialized (taxed, treated as common treasure).
Actually, my position would be a third way, between socialism as most of us think of it and the sort of capitalism we in the US are used to.
I'd like to refer you to an article which makes the case better than I can. It is online at wealthandwant dot com (among other places) and is called "Henry George and the Reconstruction of Capitalism."
Briefly, I think things which nature (or, if you will, God) provides, and things which are created by the community together rightly belong to the community. This would include non-renewable natural resources, particularly those in short supply, and it includes the value of urban land, which can be awesomely valuable. Individuals and organizations and corporations can't create these things, and so ought not to be able to privatize their economic value. Those who require them ought to compensate the rest of us for what we take.
But once we've compensated our fellows for what we've "enclosed" or privatized (via an annual payment of land rent, or royalties, or a lease payment on a particularly slice of electromagnetic spectrum), we ought to be able to privatize that which we create using it. I'd pay rent to the commons equal to the annual value of the land I wanted as mine, be it a postage stamp lot in the city, or a grand spread in the middle of nowhere, or on the value of, say, 880AM within a 200 mile radius of NYC. As long as I didn't harm my neighbors, I'd have rights to those bits of the commons, and if I made a success of that radio frequency, it would be mine to keep. Mind you, I couldn't turn around and sell the rights to 880AM to someone else at a higher price (except for the duration of my lease on that frequency slice), but I could sell my transmitter and studios and the possibilities of my office and on-air staff staying. On my urban postage stamp, I could place a cottage or a skyscraper, but my rent to the commons would be what the market says that land is worth. If I could afford that rent while keeping just a cottage for myself on the land, fine. If it made sense to build a skyscraper on it, I'd be entitled to keep the portion of the rent which related to the building itself and the services I provided my tenants, while passing along the portion attributed to the locational value.
And 100 years ago, this was known as The Single Tax. The powers that be didn't like it much, but it is still a fine idea. (In fact, the board game Monopoly is based on The Landlord's Game, which was developed to teach the ideas behind The Single Tax.
Wealth and Want (www.wealthandwant.com)
When looking at the Capitalism vs Socialism economically, statistics have proven that a country is far more productive and wealthy under capitalism. This doesn't always mean that everyone is happy, and may vote socialism until they aren't happy with that, and bring back capitalism.
Personally i think that if you're looking for equal rights, you will actually find it under capitalism as well as a safe society (i.e. good military and police force).
Ideally I would like a government that is mostly capitalistic, but where essential services are socialized (government run). I think services such as road-building, schools, police, hospitals, parks should be run by the government so that everybody has access to these things regardless of ability to pay. The reason that some things should be government run, but not others is simple. For things where the service is significantly more important than any boost to the economy it could provide, we need to ensure that these will run no matter what. For all other services we need competition to ensure good quality, and reasonable prices.
Capitalism has lead to an unprecedented generation of wealth throughout the world and has been largely responsible for a significant reduction in poverty throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Socialism has had the opposite effect.
The wealthy benefit the poor as long as they do not inefficiently utilize resources.
People who support socialism usually do not grasp the idea that the wealthy actually generate the wealth that pulls the poor out of poverty. Any action that a wealthy person engages in benefits the poor.
If a wealthy individual...
Puts money in a mattress: leads to deflation, which reduces the cost of products that the poor purchase.
Invest money: expands businesses, which creates jobs that the poor can take and also generates wealth that can be donated to the poor.
Buy stuff: stimulates demand which leads to the creation of jobs that the poor can take.
Start a business: creates jobs and also creates products that the poor need.
Socialism, on the other hand, destroys the mechanism of wealth generation that pulled society out of the dark ages and inefficiently allocates resources.
When fully informed, the only people who would support socialism are government bureaucrats because they're the only ones who benefit under socialism. Everyone else, especially the poor, suffer.
As socialism provides the poorest with higher levels of income via social security payments, it deters them from working hard, if at all. It also creates a negative feeling in the minds of hard working fellows, as they gain no extra incentives for working hard. Adding to their woes, lazy people get paid equally as they do. This negatively impacts productivity and thus economic growth.
Capitalism creates an environment in which innovation and entrepreneurship allow any individual with the will to work to become enriched. This spurs competition, innovation, and quality. These are eliminated by socialist policies that penalize success and do not even improve the conditions of those who were not in higher income brackets to begin with.
Despite what detractors say about capitalist systems, crime and corruption can easily be isolated and eliminated. However, because of the centralization of power inherent to socialist systems, these become parts of the institution because there are no separate entities to eliminate such vice.
Capitalism is good. Capitalism also has some REALLY BAD traits. Actually, a lot of them. Now, in theory, socialism is probably the greatest idea since tools. Now the problem is, people are fat, lazy, greedy and corrupted. This is bad. But its so much worse in a socialist society, because socialism relies on people being the opposite. Thus, capitalism wins because its less negatively affected by our nature (in fact it could positively affect capitalism, cause everyone's greed will cause them to attempt to do things better and cheaper).
Side: They're both bad
Capitalism results in a decentralized economic system. This is considered as one of the greatest advantages of capitalism. In a decentralized economy, individuals are open to more number of options in business. They are exposed to competition and have to face different challenges and find solutions to them to stay in competition. It is in a capitalist economy that hard work is rewarded. Entrepreneurs who pitch well and are able to better their business are the undoubted winners.
Capitalism gives rise to an economy where the consumers regulate the market. Many consider this as one of the greatest strengths of a capitalist economy. A competitive market provided by capitalism facilitates the manufacture of a wide variety of products and the formation of a wide range of services. Consumers are happier in a capitalist economy. It encourages people to work towards financial freedom.
Cons of Socialism -
The difficulty with socialism is that people don't necessarily like to share. In addition, we have difficultly relating to socialism in American because the capitalistic system is all about the individual and singular life. There is no compassion built into capitalism that allows for poor people to be cared for on a regular basis. Throughout history, countries have had a hard time implementing socialism because enforcement is very problematic. Getting people to agree that everyone should share is a nice idea, but how do you get "buy-in"? Unfortunately, some countries have tried to implement socialism through unilateral control, which tends to stifle people's willingness to participate.
In socialist countries today, there are a handful of bureaucrats who control and use the power of the state. They redistribute and regulate wealth and decide on taxation for the people. Thus, in reality, people do not have control over wealth. This limits people’s political freedom and reverses the overall concept.
Poverty & Social Evils Are Not Eliminated
Socialism might redistribute some of the wealth of the richest members of the society to the poor, but this move does not eliminate poverty as a whole. The overall growth of economy suffers considerably. If there is not enough wealth, then distribution can be hampered.
1) Socialism benefits the few at the expense of the many: Socialism is superior to capitalism in one primary way: It offers more security. It's almost like an extremely expensive insurance policy that dramatically cuts into your quality of life, but insures that if worse comes to worse, you won't drop below a very minimal lifestyle. For the vast majority of people, this would be a terrible deal. On the other hand, if you're lazy, completely incompetent or alternately, just have a streak of very bad luck, the meager benefits provided by socialism may be very appealing.
2) Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship while socialism discourages it: A government in a capitalist economy can quite easily give everyone equality of opportunity with a few basic laws and regulations, but socialism strives to create equality of results. Capitalism encourages people to start a business and build a better life for themselves while socialism lays in wait with IRS agents, nooses made of red tape and meddling bureaucrats looking for businesses to control and loot.
3) Capitalism leads to innovation: Coming up with new products is often time consuming, expensive and hit or miss. Nine ideas may fail before that tenth one takes off. The less the creative people behind these ideas are allowed to benefit, the less time, money and effort they'll put into developing new concepts and inventions. Put another way, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward has to be to convince people to take it. Capitalism offers big rewards for productive people while socialism offers makers only a parade of bureaucratic leeches who want to take advantage of their "good fortune."
4) Capitalism produces more economic growth: Capitalism produces considerably more economic growth than socialism and as John Kennedy said, "A rising tide lifts all boats." A fast growing economy produces more jobs, more wealth and helps everyone. Many people assume that capitalism isn't working if there are still poor people, but that misses the point. In many parts of the world, poverty means living in a hut with a dirt floor while in America, most poor Americans have TVs, refrigerators and cell phones. The rich may take home a larger share of the pie in capitalism, but the poor also benefit tremendously from living in a growing, thriving economy.
5) Socialism is too slow to adapt: Capitalism is extremely good at allocating capital to where it's most valued. It has to be. Either you give people what they are willing to pay for or someone else will. On the other hand, socialism is slow and stupid for a variety of reasons. Because the government is spending someone else's money, it doesn’t get particularly concerned about losing money. Political concerns about appearances often trump the effectiveness of a program. Moreover, even if politicians and bureaucrats are intelligent and competent, which are big "ifs," they're simply not going to have the specific knowledge needed to make decisions that may impact thousands of different industries. This is why capitalism may have its share of troubles, but when there are really colossal economic screw-ups, you'll always find the government neck deep in the whole mess.
6) Socialism is inherently wasteful: Milton Friedman once said, "Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own." This is very true and it means that the more capital that is taken out of the economy and distributed, the more of it that will be wasted. The market does a considerably better job of allocating resources than the government because there are harsh penalties for failure. A company that makes products no one wants will go out of business. A poorly performing government program that wastes a hundred times more money will probably receive a bigger budget the next year.
7) Capitalism works in concert with human nature while socialism works against it: Ayn Rand said it well, "America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way," but Adam Smith said it better, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” A man will work much harder to take care of himself, his family and his friends than he will to make money for the state, which will then waste most of it before redistributing it to people who aren't working as hard as the man who earned it in the first place.
But closer to Capitalism than Socialism
In the USA we are not capitalist, we are free market. We have anti Trust laws that break up monopolies.
Sometimes, especially in our current environment, there is an unfair over correction that is harmful to a business owner. They aren’t big enough to sustain it, but are forced into loosing their businesses because of “a war on capitalism” Like the raisin farmer in California. I believe he won in the Supreme Court, but he didn’t deserve the cost he incurred to stay alive.
These are the people that need protection from this society we are becoming!
I hate to say, I’m not name calling. But that’s just stupid!But if we think its true then it must be. Regardless of history of facts and even the blatant manipulations in our society today.
But keep in mind, without these businesses we'd be far behind in the progress we know and enjoy today. And also they employed much of the population of the day. Although, we did need corrections to improve working conditions, increase safety, and pay higher wages. But the beauty of America isn’t that we were perfect. But the systems we have to correct greed when greed doesn’t correct itself!
We are a land of equal opportunity
Anyone can take an idea and create a successful business, and charge "what the market will bare" and make a living and/or gain wealth.
Many have overcome obstacles for the successes they achieve, with risk.
And as far as inheritance and the hand me down wealth - inheritance tax is probably the highest proportional tax in our society. So if you consider "fair share" we accumulate wealth to provide a better life for our families and to pass to our children.
The starting point, or tipping point varies of both failure and success in over generations. And sometimes it continues as it is for generations without change.
American success is built on ideas, enterprise, risk, and the wants and perceived needs of the general market.
An Informative History Lesson on Capitalism
Many through our history are "capitalist" but not many did so without loss, even bankruptcy.
Here is a Capitalist Parade – And while your at it look at the giving back some of these people did. Do you think that would happen in the USSR or Denmark or Turkey?
Milton Hershey – Drooped out of school, he was a poor student. Apprenticed for 4 years then - after two failed attempts, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Co. sold it then made the worlds largest Choc factory – then built a community and a home and school for children.
Walt Disney - fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas, started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure
Henry Ford – businesses failed and left him broke five times
R H Macy - Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City
F W Woolworth - Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so. I guess he said F... YOU, and opened his own store, followed by successful chains of stores!
Good ole Colonel Sanders and his Fried Chicken - rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it
Albert Einstein - teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped
Thomas Edison - teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything
Sidney Poitier brutally rejected by American Negro Theater for his heavy Bohamian accent
Others with similar stories - H J Heinz - Emily Dickinson - Lucille Ball - P T Barnum - Fred Astaire - Jerry Seinfeld
And African Americans – Successful in the face of adversity
Like anything in the social front, with twisting, and media led head hunting, and the public's eagerness to follow without knowledge. Capitalism is redefined, then accepted for whatever they want.
Like the urban racial legends believed with a fury, that Democrats and Republicans switched places. So those Republicans who believed in Civil rights and paid for it putting their money and their lives where their heart was on the matter, are NOW called White Supremacists, while Democrats who were always white supremacists (and also some Black slave owners also) are hailed as civil rights heroes!
Teddy Roosevelt broke up the capitalist in the early 1900's. And it needed to be broken. They built great industry. We are where we are because of them. It was corrected, they kept the wealth they made, but the monopoly was broken and out of 1 came many oil and gas companies, for competitive free market competition. .
An Informative History Lesson on Capitalism (www.khanacademy.org)
Capitalist societies produce a concentration of wealth that proves detrimental to the general population, the economy as a whole, and even the capitalists, the businessmen themselves.
Lassaize-faire Capitalism allows a small number of individuals and businesses to posess, to horde, a large proportion of the wealth and land in a nation; depriving the majority of control over their labor, their lives, and essentially leaving them under the direct control of their employers.
Capitalism, as well, tends to operate irrationally when it comes to human welfare. Happiness, health, art, education, knowledge, science, freedom, family, the environment, religion; these are unquantifiable, non-monetary benefits that tend to be thrown out of the equation due to the difficulty in extracting financial gain out of them. You can, of course, exploit all of these needs; it is extremely unlikely that the system would try to fulfill them.
Basically, the world around us would be shaped only by what is most profitable, or what a small group of people with economic power want.
If it is profitable for an industry to work its people 16 hours a day or more, as well as their children, for enough money to pay for one meal a day then so be it, that is what will happen. If it is more profitable to use a poisonous substance to preserve milk, that is what would be used.
Without regulation, without direction, and without an overriding value that places human needs and human happiness above profit and business we would see a complete deterioration of our people and our society while at the same time a wonderfully prosperous economy. Well, that is, until an economic depression occurs.
Socialist economies of the past, even the worst ones, and socialist economies currently have shown remarkable feats. In the Soviet Union we saw an agrarian kingdom turn into an industrial superpower in decades (in the west it took hundreds of years). Even though the Soviet Union wasn't as productive as the United States its people held a standard of living close to it.
In Cuba, while its Capitalist neighbors suffer through civil wars, famines, crime, corruption, poverty; the red island's standard of living is rather close the United States; the health of its people is actually higher and its literacy rate is enviable.
Europe, while slightly less productive than the United States, maintains the highest standard of living in the world. Its people are healthier, smarter, freer, enjoy paid vacations, benefits; they simply, on average, have it better than the average American.
The trade-off is clear; do you want an extremely productive society with a handful of extremely wealthy people while everyone else remains uncared for or a productive society of a more equal distribution of wealth where the average person enjoys an extremely high standard of living?
It's the difference between a society where a man could, possibly, maybe, become rich but will most likely be relatively poor. Or a society where noone can become rich but everyone is well-off.
"Basically, the world around us would be shaped only by what is most profitable, or what a small group of people with economic power want...
"Without regulation, without direction, and without an overriding value that places human needs and human happiness above profit and business we would see a complete deterioration of our people and our society while at the same time a wonderfully prosperous economy."
What's this "Would" business? You're demonstrably right; This perfectly describes what's going on in the US right now. Though you very well might have meant that... Just thought I'd say it outright in my usual heavy-handed style :-P
But yes, I agree with you on 100% of your argument.
Well, I should clarify by saying that the United States isn't Capitalist anymore, it is a Mixed-Market economy. So while we still have a huge amount of political influence and control going to economic interests (businessmen and businesses) there are protections and buffers against that power. We the people can still vote, still have a say in the way our country is governed; we still have common Democratic power to shape our nation and its policies. We can, through the vote, force companies to do something or not do something, we can take money away from businesses and put them into social projects. In a purely Capitalist society this would not be able to occur.
In a pure Capitalist society; there wouldn't be any vote-buying, any lobbying, any corruption. The government would be under direct control of, or have little to no power over the business world. Meaning, we would literally have a government (or society governed by) Mcdonalds, IBM, and Wal-Mart.
To say that the health of europeans is due to a socialist society is pure fallacy.
The health of that nation is directly correlated to the foods they eat and the way their countries infrastructure is structured. In the states, people generally walk less and eat food of poorer qualiy. that's because alot of people live out in the burbs.
Also to say a capitalist society would put poison to preserve milk is silly. Maybe they'd do that at first. But once the population starts dying they'd realize that it may not become profitable to be known as the milk producer who poisons their milk.
I get what you're saying. Pure capitalists will sometimes cut corners to lower costs. But this is something you see more in a communist society like China, rather than anywere in the US. And if anything,the chinese society models socialism more so than capitalism.
Oh - and Cuba having a standard of living 'close' to ours? What's your definition of 'close' a million miles away? Up until recently they weren't allowed to have cell phones or internet. They also aren't allowed to show any type of dissent without being tured in. Doesn't sound close to us at all.
As far as Europe is concerned, I have no argument. I agree that Europe did alot of good things to help their citizens over the years. But now that entitlement spending is ballooning and their society is aging, you'll see changes to the way they are structured.
While i don't agree with unrestricted capitalism, I do feel capitalism - such as the type we have here in the states - is a MUCH better way to spread out a limited number of goods and resources over an entire society.
As for Cuba:
Let's compare some facts between the United States and Cuba, shall we?
Prison rate per capita:
Cuba: 3.6 per 100,000 people
United States: 5 per 100,000
The U.S. government may not have a dozen "political prisoners" under lock and key, but it has tortured foreign and American prisoners:
By the way, many of those political prisoners are paid American government agents; taking money from our government to destabilize and overthrow Cuba's government.
By the way, if I was receiving money from Chinese agents, or any country for that matter, with the express purpose of undermining the U.S. government I would be in jail as well.
Secondly; I suppose they don't have cell-phones and little access to the internet (though the new, Communist leader Raul Castro is lifting those restrictions), the Cuban government hasn't killed hundreds of thousands of people overseas. A nice trade-off; I would say. Then again; it's typically American to cherish material goods over human life; your laptop is much more important than the life of an Arab or other foreigner.
Of course, dissent is also perfectly allowed in Cuba; perhaps not as voraciously as in the United States, but the idea that Cuba is a repressive, tyrannical dictatorship isn't well-founded. Here's an account from people that visited the country in the 90s (things have only improved since then):
I might add that cell-phone and internet access isn't widespread with many of Cuba's neighbors; a comparison with them will come later though.
Here's a few other comparisons to the United States:
United States: 99%
That's right, Cuba has a slightly higher literacy rate.
United States: Male:75 Female:80.4
Cuba: Male: 76.4 Female 79.9
So, about the same. According to some statistics the United States is slightly higher (by a point and a half or so). Either way, Cuba, a third world Socialist state is comparable, if not slightly better than the richest nation on earth in terms of life expectancy.
United States: 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births
Cuba: 5.93 deaths per 1,000 live births
Again, a third world country beats the richest nation on earth in protection of its own babies.
As for their eating habits; they are eating quite well; organically even. This socialist state survived having all of its trading partners disappear; all of its oil dry up, and its food supply cut off. Could the United States see so much economic upheaval and come out ahead, the same as before? Without a global war, perhaps not.
In fact, Cuba is being seen as a leader and model for other nations; its success is being studied heavily.
Take a look at other figures here at MSN Encarta:
Compare Cuba with the United States and other nations. Sure; Cuba doesn't have as many televisions and internet connections as the United States; but compare Cuba with its neighbors; other third and second world countries with similar circumstances but Capitalist economies. You'll find Cuba fairs equal or better than nearly all of its neighbors in nearly even respect; it is certainly the top of the heap in terms of third world nations and it gives many first world nations a run for their money.
Again, this is coming from a Communist third world nation with minimal land, resources, friends, and military might.
Makes ya think, doesn't it?
"The health of that nation is directly correlated to the foods they eat and the way their countries infrastructure is structured. In the states, people generally walk less and eat food of poorer quality. that's because alot of people live out in the burbs."
Eating habits certainly have an impact on health, but much of those eating habits are influenced by public programs on nutritional education and information through the healthcare system, the schools, and the media outlets.
Here are some interesting statistics that might gum up your point of view:
Top healthiest nations (in order, 2006)/Obesity rate rank
Hong Kong: n/a
New Zealand: #7
Costa Rica: n/a
As you can see, most of the nations in the list of the top healthiest countries in the world are also towards the top (or even in the top ten to twenty) of the world's most obese nations.
The thing that all of them have the most in common is a universal healthcare system. (Some of them go about it in different ways, such as mandating government insurance, setting prices if private hospitals are the main source of healthcare, or forcing all hospitals to be non-profit.).
'll deal with your other arguments later, but at this time I think I've shown that your belief that diet is what has made these nations the healthiest on earth is pretty much bunk.
(and, I would like to point out to you that even though the United States isn't in the top spot for healthiest nations, evil Cuba is.)
wow! where to start?
Capitalism may operate schizophrenically where it comes to human welfare but it is anything but irrational or indifferent. Socialism seemingly is always accompanied by a draconian form of totalitarian dictatorship. Every capitalist society I can think of puts limits on the Capitalist. While it took time, the US now has child labor laws, minimum wages, OSHA, and a whole hierarchy of limitations on pure capitalist free market industrial hell. Art, freedom, the family, religion, all thrive in a capitalist environment and wither in a pure socialist environment. Tired of the US as the example? Compare Sparta and Athens. Everything credited to the Greeks and the Hellenistic era is 100% Athens and 0% Sparta. Sparta took kids from their family to train as soldiers. Weak ones were abandoned in the wilderness. Their idea of art was a bronze spearhead. And many consider this the most pure example of true socialism on a large scale.
Your paragraph that begins "without regulation" is a screaming outrage. Capitalism to date has always evolved to more regulations and less free market extreme. Because it is NOT prone to totalitarianism and dictatorships, it has a chance to evolve. Dictators rarely let their subjects evolve towards more freedom and their nation towards a more free market.
Capitalism is forced by the market to consider non quantitative elements that affect profitability. Your examples are ludicrous. If a dairy farmer used poison in his milk, he would exterminate his market. How is that profitable? The free market takes into account human nature and some philosophical impact on profitability. Whether you lean towards Bentham's pain/pleasure propinquity or Buber's personalism, there are aspects of the equation to maximizing profit that are not obviously reflected in numbers on an income and expense sheet; If there weren't, why would accountants have a category such as good will?
The efficiencies of the soviet union lied more in the totalitarian government than in socialism. Stalin abused the people you say socialism protects in order to industrialize. How many tens of millions of citizens died in order to advance the good of the people? DO you REALLY want to compare that with the abuses which occurred here as the US industrialized? The excesses of the Robber Barons led to reform. Did Stalin's excesses lead to reforms to protect the worker? Hell no! The Pyramids were built by slaves. VERY efficient. Is that efficiency enough of an argument to return to slavery?
I was in the Soviet Union in the decade before the wall came down. The trains were amazingly prompt. You think that is efficient? So efficient that stores had shelves over 50% empty. Classless society? I stayed an a magnificent hotel which normal Soviet citizens were not allowed in. Freedom? The "key lady" on my floor asked me the first time I returned to my room how much it would take to buy my blue jeans, the ones on the bottom of my zipped up suitcase. Human Welfare? No one on bus or train would look up from the floor and certainly not meet my eye. Unless you were there, please don't insult millions and millions of Soviet citizens by saying they were relatively well off as you do in your summation.
As for Europe, on the whole they are no more or less socialist than the US is. All the Western democracies have aspects of socialism and capitalism co-existing.
Cuba? Why have so many Cubans risked life and limb to come to America and so few, if any Americans are fighting to move to Cuba?
in short if you want to discuss theoretical capitalism and theoretical socialism, have fun. But in the real world, the examples are clear, capitalism leads to a better state of affairs for the most people. Let Bentham work out the equation for you.
The trade-off is clear; do you want an extremely productive society with a handful of extremely wealthy people while everyone else remains uncared for or a productive society of a more equal distribution of wealth where the average person enjoys an extremely high standard of living?
It's the difference between a society where a man could, possibly, maybe, become rich but will most likely be relatively poor. Or a society where noone can become rich but everyone is well-off.
Let me ask you this, in a society where noone can become rich but everyone is well-off, what then becomes the source of motivation that will drive people, (scientists, entrepreneurs, philosophers) , to work hard, contribute to society, and strive to make the advancements that will push their society ahead of others. If I know that no matter what I will be "well-off" what reason do I have to get off the couch and build roads. While I must admit that the free enterprise certainly has its flaws, I believe that ultimately, capitalism promotes progress, while socialism promotes idolism.
"capitalism promotes progress"
In judging this assertion, I think you contend that technical progress is better promoted by private enterprise than by a nationalized industry. If my judgement is accurate, then you are only recognizing the side of the goods and the capitalist, and not the side of the wage earner... which is what the rest of your argument fully recognizes. Thus, your argument contradicts itself.
The incentive to work would not come from the desire to earn a wage, it would come from the impulse to participate in creative activity ( I will forego a lengthy explanation regarding how socialism can secure the latter principle, I feel a bit lethargic at the moment. Feel free to question my assertion when you care to dispute!). I could assert the axiom that a satisfied impulse (enacted responsibly) bears far more individual happiness and far less individual misery than any satisfied desire (enacted responsibly) ever has, but I only want to argue it if you disagree with me. By the way, it is not essential in Socialism that everyone earn the same wage, just that each earning be justified en reason.
I would also like to note... the relevant justification for utilizing creative impulses and direct workers management as a means to produce goods is the fact that it stimulates far more growth and progress than if left in the hands of bored, subservient workers. If you wish to dispute, I will explain this point further.
Total Koolaid drinker and wrong on the facts to boot. The Soviet Union never had a living standard anywhere near the United States, and was never an agrarian kingdom. It was so inefficient that if you weren't murdered by Stalin, you died of starvation. Cuba became socialist after a civil war which was started by the murderous Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Now they are stuck in the fifites and jail more political dissidents than the US ever has. Some paradise. To say that anybody anywhere has it better than the average American is such total BS! You mean tell me that, that some poor person living in the slums of Paris would not rather trade his circumstances with a poor person here with their SUV, Flat screen cable TV, car, air conditioning and opportunity? Really? There has never been a country in the world that has lifted more of it's own people along with people in countries out of poverty as the United States. Socialism fails everywhere and every time it has been tried. Because try as they might, central planners just can't plan for the human condition. Some people just don't want to be the same as everybody else.
Okay, I see a lot of cut and paste on here to make an argument on both sides. I'm gonna just say it the way I see it. Capitalism originally would of worked if it wasn't for Greed. The CEO's and Share-holders had sold out their own American brother.
Corporation CEO's and Shareholders control;
- your salary
- what you can wear and not wear
- what your appearance should be
- how long you can take lunch or even take a break
- your vacation leave
- if you deserve bonuses/incentives
- your benefits
- annual raises
- credit rating
- the type of car you can afford
- the type of home you can qualify for
- and basically control your fate to loose everything
You’re a modern day slave. So why all the paranoia about Socialism? I think some people are mistaken the word Socialism with State Capitalism.
Capitalism was working until GREED and CORRUPTION began to take over. I can't see it repairing itself unless there is government oversight or socialism to be introduced to spread the wealth.
Corporation's control none of these. In a free market,if you produce a large profit for your employer and he does something you do not like,you have the option of leaving and taking your marketability elsewhere.A worker controls his salary,benefits,raises, etc by how much he or she is needed by said company. Now,if you are easily replaced then you really are not worth that much.
Personal accountability. I control my credit rating,which type of car I can afford,home I can afford,bonuses,incentives,raises,vacati
Copied from the Other Socialism vs Capitalism debate:
Socialism is the better form of government for the same reason that Capitalism is a terrible form of government. In a Capitalist society, where regulation is preferably at a minimum if it exists at all, the rich prey upon the poor. We saw that in the Industrial Revolution, where immense corporations manipulated the poor to remain rich. Specifically in America, railroad companies in the late 19th century lobbied to prevent regulation so they could exact extraordinarily high prices from the farmers. Politicians were corrupted (because everyone has a price). Large corporations and factories prevented workers' rights by blocking the formation of unions, making them work 18 hours a day for extremely low wages. Lawyers used the 14th Amendment to claim corporations the same rights as a human being. Naturally, with this kind of power, basic human rights were lost to those who fell below the poverty lines. Even today, massive corporations demand so much from an individual that only with difficulty can one rise through society. Those who are rich tend to remain rich, with their children educated the best, and the poor remain poor (unless their children are brilliant).
Socialism, on the other hand, addresses these issues. It gives a piece of every company, of every corporation, of every factory, to every individual. Contrary to popular belief, the government isn't necessarily given control of the means of production (that's communism). Therefore, Democracy is one of the fundamental attributes of a Socialist society. When the people make the decisions, the corporations aren't allowed to abuse a person's innate rights. People are given material items according their needs. People are paid according to their skill, the difficulty of the job, and the time that they dedicate to that job. It's what most people hope to have in their lives: freedom.
Capitalism is based upon the negative attributes of mankind. Greed, betrayal, selfishness, and thrives upon strict class distinctions (i.e. rich and poor, with little to no middle class). In order to succeed, one MUST step on others, one MUST destroy others' economic futures, one MUST advance forward without looking back to consider what he or she has done. What kind of a society wishes to leave the good people in society writhing in the dust? What kind of society doesn't prevent bad people from gaining to much power? What kind of society cares so much about the present that they forget the future?
When you're praising Socialism and condemning Capitalism, are you purely talking about the theories? Theoretically I'd love to live in a Socialist society. But if you're talking about reality, please tell me an example of a society where Socialism worked its miracles on its citizens.
You have a good point. But again, Capitalism is also pretty great in theory with lots of social mobility. But when it comes to practice, it's impossible to have a pure Capitalist because of innate human greed. Hence the necessity of government regulation. So it's not really Capitalism anymore (or at least as defined by laissez-faire economics). It's pretty much the same with Socialism. But Socialism I believe benefits more in practice (since neither Capitalism or Socialism are ever instituted in full) than Capitalism. As for your other request:
I can think of 1. China is one half and France is the other half. China because currently they are one of the highest producing countries in the world whereas the U.S. (the main advocate of Capitalism) produces very little. So it has a fantastic economy, but it really hasn't worked the "miracles" of Socialism. France is only a half because it's composed of two parties essentially, the Socialist one and the Capitalist one. Currently the powers-that-be in France are in the hands of the Capitalists. (interesting economic factoid about France: only 8.3% unemployment as of 2007. I don't know if there are any statistics as of 2009/10)
Perhaps I should also count Netherlands because they, like France, are capable of being socialist at any given election because they have a pretty powerful socialist party(another employment factoid for the Netherlands: theirs is a little over 4% unemployment as of the beginning of 2010) and Belgium (sorry no recent stats).
Another point I would like to make however, is that socialism has never been truly instituted in a nation. In fact, it wouldn't work on a national level because there would always be the corrupting influence of capitalism on the outside of the nation. Instead it would either have to be a global socialist state, or the potential socialist "nation" would have to be completely cut off from the rest of the world. It would have to be almost entirely self-sufficient, which we know is nearly, if not completely, impossible. I suggest this article: http://www.worldsocialism.org/canada/
I tried to force myself to read all the post and failed. I have witnessed capitalism and now ready for something else.
Capitalism is wasteful. Do you know how much labor and resources are wasted in a capitalistic environment? Take the follow example: The trucking industry, aboard those trucks coming and going are the same product. A company in Chicago trucks its goods to New York and a company in New York ships its goods to Chicago. This is the same product made by two different companies. Competition, good for the consumer? We just added cost to a product because it is a free for all. Both companies have contracts to deliver goods, neither one will work to reduce the cost of labor and transportation. This happens all the time. The same thing happens with people commuting to work. You drive an hour to work and pass someone on the road driving an hour to work the other direction. Capitalism is wasteful. A waste of resources, man or other wise.
Socialism should employ people closer to their living and use products produced locally. A benefit to all and not a few.
Socialism is the good, IF and only IF it is properly carried out, if the people at the early stages are even the slightest bit corrupt then you can kiss it goodbye. Since a good socialism is almost completely out of the picture at this point, however, I am perfectly fine living in my capitalist society…
My favorite working model so far is the kind like they use in northern Europe, with a capitalism under-structure but many facets of life socialized, which, for the most part, is the "best of both worlds"
Extremes of either Capitalism or Socialism can run into problems. Since the current economic depression was caused by out-of-control Capitalism and "fixing" the problem within a capitalistic framework is going to cause "pain" - such as job losses, along with loss of basic support for food, housing and health insurance - I must side with Socialism which would provide basic support for everyone, even when jobs are scarce.
I personally believe that capitalism got out-of-control because we allowed private interests to concentrate wealth and power into the hands of a few people. This provided them with the means to unduely influence our elected officials. After using their wealth to run advertisements (or even buy the media) they could also unduely influence us and sway the public as a whole.
When wealth is concentrated to the point where those who have it cannot find productive investments, they start gambling. Rather than gamble in casinos, they gamble with the stock market. They invest heavily in one sector of the market - causing prices to rise, and kicking off a bubble in that sector. When the bubble approaches the top, they sell of their assets, causing prices to drop and bursting the bubble. Since the last people into the market are usually middle-class investors with limited time and experience, they don't realize how the bubble was created (or that there even is a bubble). They also lack the time and expertise to properly evaluate the market so as to leave with a minimum of loss. Instead, they are the ones who lose their hard-earned wealth to those from whom they bought their investments. This is nothing more than fraud.
"I personally believe that capitalism got out-of-control because we allowed private interests to concentrate wealth and power into the hands of a few people"
From Babylon to each and every nation today, wealth and power has been in the hands of a few. Why just say capitalism got out of control because of this?
Name one place where socialism raised the standard of living for all of it's people?
Cons of Capitalism
Capitalism makes an economy money-oriented. Business corporations look at the economy with a materialistic point of view. Profitability remains their only primary business goal. Business giants take over smaller companies. Employment rights are compensated with the sole aim of higher productivity.
Advantages Of Socialism
A Fair System
Socialism gives equal distribution of national wealth and provides everyone with equal opportunities, irrespective of their, color, caste, creed or economic status. Socialism, in its truest sense, means equality by all means
Socialism reduces the social, economic, and political inequalities that exist within capitalist societies. By taking the ownerships of production units from the rich and presenting them to the workers, the government gives the workers a chance to earn more profits and thus rise to levels of economic well being
There is no profit in socialism. There is no motive to innovate, or to better oneself. Why innovate or better yourself if you are just going to be compensated the same as if you hadn't bothered? Socialism doesn't equally distribute the wealth, it equally distributes the misery. The only we can all be the same is if we all are at the lowest common denominator. Socialism will never work because society doesn't want to be a bunch of automatons. Socialism can never provide the disparate goods and services that people desire, because we all don't desire the same thing. I might like my widget to be medium sized and blue, but somebody else might like their's to be small and red. Socialism does not allow for the different widgets, because the central planners (elites), which socialism depends on, can not take into account human desire and plan accordingly. Now if you can figure out a way to control our thoughts and desires, than socialism would be a spectacular success for those doing the controlling. If the choice is between fat cat robber baron capitalist pigs or mind controlling, individuality smashing, socialist elitists, I'll take my chances with the pigs.
Creates Better Human Resources
As all people, irrespective of their differences, are provided extensive public services and better facilities, they achieve their full potential. Better education facilities for all also help in creating better human resource. Manpower doubles, thus doubling the country’s economic growth, as everyone works towards a life of betterment.
As people work for a common cause and all the profits are shared equally, the feeling of selfishness is eliminated and a united feeling is gained. Plus, since socialism bars the difference caused on the grounds of color, sex, creed or religion, harmony and unity become the keywords for the countrymen.
Socialism has been branded as a "moral" system, but only in advertisement. Indeed, there have been attempts to brand capitalism with some ethical foundation (I think it is the fairer and more democratic for example) but with less success. Ultimately though, it is fallacy to judge them based on how they've been branded because the systems themselves are detached from subjective meaning. Socialism is about centralization and the public sector (state owned), and capitalism is about decentralization and the private sector (people owned). The reason it should be looked at objectively is because anyone can do what you did and get different results. EX. Collectivism < Individualism = Capitalism, or Coercion < Self Determination = Capitalism etc.
Socialism is truly a road paved with good intentions. It is a system based on ethical assumptions instead of empirical data, which is why Bono and his UN economist friend Jeffery Sachs (who is no right-winger) and along with all the most community, advocate liberalization to eliminate poverty like it has in India, China, Bolivia, and Poland. Sachs also advised reforms in Russia, for example, but they failed because of a corrupt reluctance to decentralize government, further illustrating the failings of socialist and protectionist economies which have historically always failed.
So, myself - I support capitalism because I feel it is not only the more philosophically just economy, but also because the productivity it unleashes is the only known way to raise the tide and the living standards of the population. I think its rather niave and superficial (and romantic) to reject capitalism, particularly when its raised so many people out of poverty when implemented correctly, provided radically new innovations that continue to benefited us, and has generally made places with capitalism freer, more democratic, and wealthier. Ironically, mostly wealthy western democrats and dictators are socialists anymore.
I agree with you, and the general attraction to the freedom in USA was based on our democracy..the chance for a better future. The Democrat party leans toward socialism, and in theory, the Republicans toward capitalism.
It amazes me though to see the wealthy leaning toward socialism and more and more of it filtering into our country..Social Security, Medicare, and maybe Universal Health care in our near future. The problem is with our middle (and upper middle) class who work 46 weeks/yr (avg), 30-50 years until retirement and are taxed hardest to "share".
Every Socialist economy has "always failed"? According to what standards? According to what measurements? What is "failure"?
Was the Soviet Union a failure? By all accounts, even though its economy was marginally less productive than the West's, its people enjoyed a standard of living in parity with "Capitalist" west. Not only that, but the Soviet Union had an extremely late start; industrialization had taken hold in the United States and Britain hundreds of years before the peasantry in the USSR had traded their plows for wrenches.
Is Cuba a failure? Despite economic catastrophe when all of its major trading partners disappeared, almost over night; its people's standard of living are in parity with those of the United States and countries with gargantuan economic systems.
The more Socialist Euro-nations economies develop at a slightly slower rate than the United State's, but their people are healthier happier, better educated, and enjoy greater benefits than those in the United States.
The United States' economy itself has only increased in Socialization, in government control, since the 1930s, yet its economy has developed fantastically since that time and its people have become remarkably prosperous.
Lastly; if the society was a Democratic Socialist Centralized economy it would be far more "people owned" than a Capitalist economy. The whole of the population would have a say in how the economy is run, not a handful of wealthy businessmen and landlords.
Of course; that's only if you implement a society based on centralized principles instead of a decentralized cooperative economy. The USSR, Cuba, and Maoist China, among others, used only a brand of Socialism; an extremely militaristic Centralized brand. It is, of course, good for some situations but has some extreme defects.
In most cases, the failures of Socialism in the past can be laid at the feet of those nations which buck Democracy and turn to Totalitarianism. Of course, we'd have more examples of democratic Socialism had it not been for U.S. intervention in Latin America and the USSR's policy towards events like the "Prague Spring".
Hugo Chavez, though, a Democratic Socialist, has certainly improved Venezuela's situation. The Venezuelan people's standard of living has increased significantly since his presidency began and will, hopefully, continue to do so.
More Humane & True
The effort to make everybody equal in economic, social, and political terms makes socialism more morally worthwhile than capitalism. It reinforces the fact that everyone was created equally and it was only through human actions that disparities arose.
Eliminates Social Evils
Socialism reduces poverty with eatable wealth distribution. It also eliminates ill health, as it lays the foundation for the availability of proper health facilities for everyone. Socialism eliminates other forms of social deprivation too, by caring for everyone.
The only reason that capatilist cosieties are more common is cuz people are unwilling to change or if they do people are to selfish to share power. socialism could work if people were less selfish and were more open to eqaulity... capatilism does not work well a sthe wall treet protests show!