We as a nation have basically told people "no, you can't have a comfortable life or save for retirement because your parents' generation still needs to get 10% annual growth to make their retirement math work". Nevermind that retirement isn't going to be an option for us. That's lead a lot of us to abandon our work ethic, which will have some severe repercussions down the road.
Do they? Try making a case that we don't need more than two sets of gendered pronouns in your tech job.
Like it or not, it matters why you believe things are "going a little to far", and why you're willing to be vocal about it
In fact, even debating whether I should be able to debate it could damage my career. I believe this widespread use of silencing tactics, by implicit threat, has gone too far.
If the position is "I should be able to question and debate anything about my colleagues" then the position is obviously absurd and I would ask a person holding such a view to reevaluate what they think society is. I don't think you would hold such a position.
So, why are you troubled that you can't debate this particular thing, when I'm sure there are things you shouldn't debate about your colleagues?
I'm troubled by the top-down nature of what is decided to be beyond debate vs not: it feels like it is leading to a scary kind of authoritarianism I don't want.
For fun, I'll throw you a specific plausible hypothetical. If an app has a gender identity field, and a user enters "Apache Helicopter", should this be treated as valid data or not?
Depends on what the data is being used for? This is irrelevant, unless you're an app that collects statistics on its colleagues.
Which set do you think would suffice?
"It said it would come tomorrow" means "He/She/It said he/she/it would come tomorrow" and it somehow works :) You're to infer the gender from context.
Royal We was forced, but in widespread use. This pronoun is an offshoot thereof.
And other languages have even better pronouns than English. Check Chinese and Japanese.
Pride? Character? Respect from colleagues?
Sometime in your mid-30s you stop caring what "everyone else" thinks and work to build a life that makes you happy. For many of us, it's going through the motions at work and spending our real energy on friends and family. I actually feel bad for my colleagues who put in maximum effort and stay late every day.
I'm not sure how the world got so fucked up where we expect people making poor wages to behave "better" than multi billion dollar businesses.
The person making everyone else look bad and who is receiving no incentives for doing so likely isn't getting the sort of respect you are envisioning.
i know this is sounds like a snarky and low-effort response, but it is not intentional. it's just the way things are, and there isn't really a diplomatic way of saying it.
I can name several dozen colleagues I've worked for over the years who will vouch for me and help me get a job if I should ever need it and that does pay the bills.
People who say things like the above quote, can't.
sure, they can get you a job, but it will be a horizontal move for you if you are currently employed, and certainly no step up from your prior employment if you're suddenly unemployed.
consider that for many young people outside of the software and finance worlds, this is precisely the situation. all the good reputation in the world doesn't much matter if it doesn't get you any further than where you are.
Horizontal moves are acceptable and sometimes even optimal.
“We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.
We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
If you want those, excel as moral human being overall and you will receive plenty. Being the best paper-pusher, bullshitter or excel in office politics won't give you any of those.
When that construction site started to wind down, he was the last carpenter to be laid off, and had many job offers at other places because of his conscientious work ethic.
I'd take any employee with that ethic in a heartbeat at my manufacturing business.
And you think that would improve under socialism or communism?
Yes, people are proposing "bestowing collective ownership of private capital to the proletariat", or something very close to it.
Mandating that some large corporations award some stock to their employees may be socialism in your eyes, but that's not actually socialism, it's just a FUD talking point.
Or at least which it very clearly is quite close to. It's bestowing collective ownership of half of private capital to the part of the proletariat that works at that business.
Suggesting two binary extremes and ignoring the possibility of a spectrum of outcomes in a multifaceted problem
We aren’t toddlers so try not use juvenile logic
Its impossible to talk nuances of resource appropriation with an evocative term used inaccurately
One time tested way is nationalization, explicit by making the owner officials or by making the company leadership national government.
(Slightly different effects.)
Authoritarian governments prefer former, market based ones the later. (Second example is Korean Chaebols and their big influence.)
The other is directly bestowing workers with ownership or equity, in the extreme converting companies into cooperatives.
This is not socialism, but communism. (Not to be mistaken with stalinism or maoism.)
It is clear the current economic system is dysfunctional and requires refactoring (50% of bankruptices are from medical debt, and this occurs in no other developed country, for example), I'm unsure how that would even be up for debate. So if we can come to the conclusion (from objective data based on income levels, household wealth, debt, well being) that the current system isn't working, why would anyone advocate for it to continue as is?
It's literally just a cash-equivalent (in that nearly every employer is going to provide a plan, and you'll need to pay for health coverage somehow, whether it be in taxes or in premiums) part of your compensation that is also coincidentally an enormous arbitrary sticking point that makes moving jobs that much more of a pain and danger. But only for the employee, of course.
Markets can be regulated to make them more free as well - if we pass a law to enforce mutually agreed upon contracts, some people (those that would go against the contract) have their freedom restricted but the market as a whole now has a trust mechanism allowing them to actually hold others accountable and thus overall it improves society.
“Free market” still implies certain restrictions, like “no stealing the other person’s stuff”.
It sounds like you are saying that having your physical well-being tied to employment is good for efficient allocation of labor/capital, but I have some problems with this claim and I’d like to check that this is what you’re actually saying.
The economic problem is that having well-being tied to employment pushes people towards employment short-term rather than value long-term.
Then there’s the moral problems, which can’t be ignored.
Also, having your health care, retirement and general well-being tied to a particular job reduces employee "freedom", which in his point of view is not efficient.
You literally cannot have comfortable life for the majority of society under a free-market system because it relies on the threat of being outcast from safety. The most socialist era of this country (1930-1980) is widely regarded as the American "Golden Era". I don't think that's a coincidence.
That means our garbage would never get collected or our toilets cleaned, because I don't think anybody's intended purpose is doing sanitation.
If you're just assigning jobs to give a purpose, you're forcing labor. If not you have dirty living quarters and a glut of artists.
"Based on family background, education, and IQ tests, we estimate that your best job is electrical technician."
vs two sentences later.
> And, yeah, at that point you have a bit of coercion
Which is it? Can you compel a poor peasant farmer to stay on the farmer and grow food because that's what society needs as a right?
> If a home doesn't, they're probably going to be in violation of some kind of law.
Law itself is coercion. Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. The only reason we pay taxes for stuff we might not use, like the public education system and libraries, is forced by the threat of violence and imprisonment. Would you be going to jail if you didn't pay the portion of them that went to the military? What do you think happens when you refuse to go to prison?
> Which is it? Can you compel a poor peasant farmer to stay on the farmer and grow food because that's what society needs as a right?
Of course not. You can, however, compel people to pay taxes. And you can compel people to not just throw their garbage out into the street.
If you think taxes are equal to slavery, you've never been a real slave.
You cannot compel people to pay taxes, as New York discovered to its chagrin.  These are no longer Oregon Trail days, where to move you have to sell property and buy a stagecoach and oxen and spare axles. You just sort of buy another house in Arizona or Florida to ride out winters and don't spend more than 179 days a year in New York.
> If you think taxes are equal to slavery, you've never been a real slave.
Slavery is just an extreme form of taxation. Not only do you give up all fruits of your labor, but also give up your children from you.
If you don't believe me, you face fines for taking your kids out of public school in the US and the UK for taking your kids on vacation while school is in session. Probably because because they know better than you do what your child needs. How's that non-slavery working out for you?  
How much of your labor is absolutely necessary, and how much of it consists in generating surplus wealth for the benefit of your capitalist overlords?
Do you need broadband, the new mobile, or a car and insurance? Will 3 days working as a garbageman make you reasonably happy?
If so, please go ahead and do that and spend the rest of your time doing art.
If you really feel as though you need amazon prime and new shoes every 3 months, you better to out and make that money.
You have no right demanding that other people work to make things you're entitled to. Instead, you have to get it yourself. Learn to be a RN and figure out how to get the money, or stop complaining.
If those who feel entitled to the work of others enrage you, then perhaps you should point your anger at the parasitic bourgeoisie who siphon wealth away from society for doing absolutely nothing useful.
Congratulations for your situation in life and happiness. Many people will never know that.
> I am a white, male software developer. I have absolutely nothing to complain about or envy others.
Then you must feel very privileged because of your ethnicity, your country of citizenship, and education.
> Find something more solid to lean on than a straw man.
You're the one that raised the example of the garbageman/artist and just because I point out some flaws in that example, your personal situation makes this a strawman?
> If those who feel entitled to the work of others enrage you, then perhaps you should point your anger at the parasitic bourgeoisie who siphon wealth away from society for doing absolutely nothing useful.
Like, maybe sit at a screen all day and tap at a keyboard once in a while? Does that count as "the parasitic bourgeoisie"?
You realize that there are people in your age group which because of differing backgrounds, live in unimaginable squalor, get paid piddling amounts of money, and fight for those jobs. Also, mess their country up with pollution because we can't do that here.
> Congratulations for your situation in life and happiness. Many people will never know that.
> Then you must feel very privileged because of your ethnicity, your country of citizenship, and education.
That's the point. My political ideology is not self-serving. I am part of those who benefit from the status quo. I recognize all of that.
> You're the one that raised the example of the garbageman/artist and just because I point out some flaws in that example, your personal situation makes this a strawman?
You did not even allude to the "garbageman/artist" example. You insinuated that I was "complaining" and "feeling entitled to other people's money", which is trite conservative bullshit.
If we keep "sanitation work" and other difficult, menial tasks to their minimum rather than putting people to work for profit first and foremost, then the people who DO clean toilets and collect garbage will have more time in their week to find purpose and actualization elsewhere. Currently they are overworked and alienated and you would have us believe that's a necessary thing.
See how trippingly accusations flow out of you. Seems like you're misinterpreting everything I'm saying, almost deliberately.
> This will be my last attempt at interfacing with you.
Can I have a written signed contract to that effect?
> You did not even allude to the "garbageman/artist" example. You insinuated that I was "complaining" and "feeling entitled to other people's money", which is trite conservative bullshit.
You misread that change "You have no right demanding that other people work to make things you're entitled to. Instead, you have to get it yourself. Learn to be a RN and figure out how to get the money, or stop complaining." I didn't think I had to clarify thatto "Nobody has a right...to make things one is entitled to." That doesn't flow as well.
Even though you're (I'm referring to you personally now) a white male (why does that matter) software engineer (which is a well paid professional job), you personally cannot demand a lear jet, just as a starving artist cannot demand that society supply him with supplies.
> If we keep "sanitation work" and other difficult, menial tasks to their minimum rather than putting people to work for profit first and foremost, then the people who DO clean toilets and collect garbage will have more time in their week to find purpose and actualization elsewhere.
If one (see how that works) keeps those tasks to a minimum, lots of people can't get the only job they're qualified to do. Either qualify for another job and demand more money, or make do.
They increased minimum wage at Target to 15 an hour. People are actually making less now because they cut hours, and they're absolutely dumbfounded. Or they'll automate more things.
I'm not saying "therefore capitalism is the right answer" (though I still think it is). I'm not saying that people shouldn't be interested in other systems. But I am saying that it matters a great deal that the "other system" be better, not just different. As my co-worker Steve Hanka used to say, "There's lots of ways to do it that don't work". There's lots of ways to structure the economy that work out worse; let's not make things worse by trying to make them better.
You have the thing where the government is trying to control, or at least closely guide, the economy. You have the thing where those who are close to power subvert that to line their own pockets. You have the thing where people are being discincentivized to work hard because they see that hard work benefits others more than themselves. Interestingly, in the USA, you even have the mass incarceration, which otherwise only shows up in the versions of socialism that hail from the other side of the historical iron curtain and from (yes, I realize what I'm about to do here, but please remain calm, but I'm only wanting to draw a parallel to some very specific things here, and to call attention to the fact that not all forms of socialism are leftist) Germany starting in the 1930s.
To poke at the USA a bit more, yes, there are still plenty of salient differences between the USA and nominally socialist societies. But it strikes me that the most salient one is that, in the USA, you have units in the grade school curriculum devoted to indoctrinating kids on the idea that they are most definitely NOT a socialist country. Moreso as an article of faith than as a matter of fact.
You have to make a really strong argument why it would be suboptimal - and without spherical cow level microeconomic lies.
Crony capitalism only causes problems because it is not transparent who rules, while generating waste from those that don't and fail.
But corporatism isn't the answer, on even a superficial look. Crony capitalism generates waste from those who fail because they are locked out. But corporatism is wasteful, too, of those who in an open system could have tried and succeeded, but in corporatism are locked out and know it, and therefore don't even bother to try.
Well, that, and that there's really only so much practical difference between de facto intermingling of the public and private sectors and de jure intermingling of the public and private sectors. Both invite rampant corruption and abuse.
The alternative is what we are seeing in Europe, with students 15 yo playing real world Resident Evil in Barcelona with chainsaws and torches (and finding it more funny and rewarding than they expected)
These police have been totally disproportionate in their use of force and hence have a huge incentive to sensationalise the actions of those 15 year olds.
You forgot that there is a policeman in critic state at the hospital after being hit with a rock in the head by this merry people (while bearing a security helmet that was perforated by the force of the impact).
And also that a police helicopter was videotaped being attacked with fireworks and the responsible faces now charges of attempt of homicide by trying to take down the helicopter
And that thousands of policemen were injured with broken hands and arms, and had being attacked with acid and steel balls launched with professional slingshoots
But yeah, sure, disproportionate use of force, foam bullets hurt a lot, police is evil, whatever...
The point is that there is so much video evidence of the entire conflict that we don't really need to deal in hyperbole. There's so much footage and - as you so graciously demonstrated - so much incentive to exaggerate the misdeeds of the other, that we don't need to believe anything which either side says to support their aggressions.
The footage might eventually emerge of the hatchas, lavadoras and motosierras, but let's wait until it does before we take it as gospel. The videos we do have show that the police have already demonstrated that they are willing to lie.
There's a video of someone using a pickup to plow into a group of mossos. Talk about that, don't casually lap up their unsubstantiated talking points.
Say I received a million $ from my father (that's income inequality, isn't it?) and now I'm saving all my work income because I can live on my capital gains from "gifts" and watch all my friends work harder and harder to try and earn few extra cents while I'm getting richer doing very little.
My dad did "things", I'm doing "things", and I'm getting paid for it! How would you evaluate my "value contributions" anyway? . My income is growing, I can wait.
PS: for some reasons, my taxes in % of my income keeps decreasing because where I live, capital is less taxed than work. And the politicians who chose that explains they're lowing taxes because other countries are doing the same. So all countries are help the rich because rich are being helped elsewhere. How cool is that?
The markets aren't exclusively available to the rich. Anyone can buy and sell stocks.
Successful people get to live better than the poor. That is why we should do more to encourage more poor people to live better by contributing more.
The economy is not zero-sum.
It's not even close to competitive with hired specialists dedicated to the task. You cannot compete.
It is not contributions not success that makes people live better or longer. It is ownership, diet, mental health (including low stress)
access to medical care.
Check out how many of successful people actually live shorter or painful lives. Your argument only works for have-nots.
Economy is negative sum, unless you discount externalities. It does not break physics. Mined out and used up materials do not suddenly reappear. We just move the goalposts to have the same "positive money" outlook, keep everything from deflation.
Until recently inventions (esp. energy and mining, then production efficiencies), made the economies grow. But it is not an infinite resource.
Contribution is the surest path to financial success. The more value you can contribute and capture, the more wealth our society will reward you with.
The Earth's resources are miniscule compared to the wider universe.
For example, there's a near earth asteroid that we discovered that has enough platinum to turn every person on earth into a billionaire at the current prices.
That's just one of tens of thousands of near earth objects.
Plus, there's millions of asteroids in the asteroid belt when we exhaust those.
Finally, we're already starting to mine them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_mining
So we are not restricted by resources.
Regardless, we live in an information economy that is mainly driven by credit and debt, not mining of resources.
You're also essentially defining an economic aristocracy. Folks with more resources can contribute more value, which in common worldviews associated with what you said suggests they deserve more profit. That's the crassest form of economic attachment, and it's silly to pretend that it's efficient or fair.
A McDonald's fry cook could be a software engineer, but they choose not to.
McDonald's fry cooks protest for $15 minimum wage; instead of spending that time studying programming.
If we protested about not fully utilizing our lower contributing members of society, instead of condemning the highest contributing mebers; we'd have a healthier society.
That position is not considered very strong by modern economic standards.
All protests are against perceived value contribution inequality, and against those perceived as contributing the least (or most negative) value; perhaps more precisely, against those perceived as producing the greatest negative externalized value contribution.
Of course, value being subjective, there are often sharp disputes about who is worthy of that treatment.
The levers our governments have been pulling to steer the economy are reaching their maximum. The system where we reduce interest rates to spur spending to stimulate the economy (probably) don’t work when interest rates negative.
TLDR It's time for the government to tax and spend.
If anything, a wealth tax is what turns things from "depression" to "catastrophic failure" - capital flight would be a massive problem. And even ignoring any effects from changing incentives, why would taking from the most productive and giving to the government improve the economy?
And if you do... A lot of public pensions are worth 2+ million. Are public pensions supposed to be excluded? How does that get explained to the voters?
Keep in mind, the problem isn't people with single digit millions of wealth, the problem is those with tens, hundreds of millions, and billions of dollars.
Look, there's two kinds of taxes. One is to raise revenue, one is to punish behavior we don't like. Once you start describing the rich as a problem, it makes me think that this is the second kind of tax, and I really don't think that accumulating wealth, and helping out everyone else along the way by growing the economy, is something we should be punishing.
If you say "the uber-rich ($10m is 99th percentile) do bad things, therefore we should tax the uber-rich", I'll really have to disagree - tax the bad things they do, not the demographic group!
The latter doesn't follow the former. In fact, consolidation of wealth is a hindrance to volume of activity outside the bounds of the owner of that wealth's interests. Case-in-point: Wal-Mart has done gangbuster business over the last half century. They've grown our economy. Almost every community its touched has been devastated by this, from the destruction of other businesses within its purview; to the flooding of the market with cheap goods that - in many cases - do nothing for society in their cheapness, and which actually create issues of overconsumption and waste; to the negative effects their influence has had on the shape of welfare. It's not about what Wal-Mart does; its very existence at its size is destructive. The only positive thing it did was grow the overall economy, which is like celebrating a tumor growing your overall lean mass.
The over-aggregation of wealth is the problem. A wealth tax is the direct solution (it does not have to be permanent or perennial). Wealth flight is a fantasy, and for anyone who tries, the federal government has access to the resources necessary to make sure everyone pays their fair share.
I would highly disagree there. The ills you describe aren't caused by Wal-Mart being big, they're from the business model itself. 100 independent companies spread across the country would be similar.
> The over-aggregation of wealth is the problem. A wealth tax is the direct solution (it does not have to be permanent or perennial). Wealth flight is a fantasy, and for anyone who tries, the federal government has access to the resources necessary to make sure everyone pays their fair share.
Because I certainly trust the US government not to come back to the money spigot after using a wealth tax the first time. Not.
As for wealth flight - dafqu you mean it's a fantasy? Does "facebook exec renounces citizenship to avoid capital gains tax" not ring any bells?
Sure it will. We're just in the early stages of the government abusing the Fed & USD for spending expansion, they've yet to begin getting truly outlandish on what could be done. They'll pump up the government spending projects, directly funded (subsidized) by the Fed's policies. It will continue to work at least for a while yet. 30 more years at a minimum, based on what Japan was able to manage (with a weaker currency (ie not the global reserve currency), in a weaker economy, lower incomes, with far less wealth to debase).
Negative rates means you get a 'free' national high-speed rail project. You get 'free' $2 trillion in infrastructure spending. You get 'free' expansion of Medicare down the ladder and Medicaid up the ladder (likely lessens the tax hammer short-term anyway). I mention those things because the next President after Trump is guaranteed to be a Democrat and is guaranteed to pursue some variation of those general things (high-speed rail is questionable, unfortunately). We're likely to enter a window in the next decade, where the US can float a trillion dollars for 30 years at 0.5% or lower. We desperately need to violently take advantage of that small window of opportunity to build a national high-speed rail network and pull off a once-in-a-generation repair of our infrastructure. The voters will support it in that time frame.
As a former soviet occupied country citizen, I am amazed that westerners would want to overthrow capitalism. Its what makes the west so prosperous.
You mean to say that Western and Central Europe don't exist? They have single-payer healthcare and it works way better than American healthcare. They have cheap tuition and it works way better than American tuition.
We see that America could be better if we stopped being dogmatic about capitalism, and stopped putting it where it doesn't belong. Capitalism is about money. It is not about well-being. It is very poorly suited for well-being.
I would say they are all capitalist countries. I cannot think of any European country after 1990 which prohibits private enterprise.
What you are referring to is still a capitalism, each with their own different taxation, social security and welfare system. You can argue which works better, which not. It is not that it does not exist in US at all, it is probably less developed or is just different. And European countries also differ between themselves, by large degree. But that is not socialism, it is still capitalism.
And destroy our habitat.
Something like medicare for all is what Americans may want, but strong businesses are a backbone of American culture, not even the leftest of leaning elected politicians in Congress are a threat to that.
The "not capitalism" of the soviet bloc is not even close to what the article is disucssing
It's paradoxical, but the West is falling victim to its own economical success. Inequality is a sign of effective competition and selection mechanism (no matter how moral or amoral it is) where the best (and sometimes the luckiest) gain an edge on others. Natural selection and meritocracy in any free society eventually lead to hierarchy and to inequality. However inequality leads to social unrest. That's why many governments suppress inequality to some extent with taxes, some rich people do charity for the same reason. Suppressing inequality slows down technical progress and development (because it reduces incentive), therefore extremely socialist countries eventually fail (USSR, Venezuela).
The problem with the West is not inequality per se. The American dream (work hard, get rich) was long time a painkiller to inequality because it gave a hope that you can change things. The problem with the West now is that people lost that hope. They don't believe they can change things no matter how hard they try. The American dream doesn't drive anymore (although it's still driving many immigrants). And when the anesthetic effect of the American dream has gone, people saw the inequality as it is, despite it has always been here.
We could do worse than look to the periods of history when capitalism seemed to work far better, or to the more social democratic countries - e.g. the Nordic model.
I sincerely doubt there'll be a Western rerun of 1917.
My grandparents saw our country mobilize for war and create liberty ships. The country was in the space race - I've seen an article (Popular Mechanics) from 1950 that thought we would not yet have landed people on the moon by 2000, but despite that reasonable expectation, they did it. They developed national healthcare for the elderly and the poor, the built the foundation of modern retirement. They crisscrossed America with interstate highways.
But me? I've seen every notable problem rejected without an attempt at solutions because "how will we pay for it?" I've seen seen infrastructure systems left to rot and crumble because of the national debt, yet somehow each time a tax cut comes up for the rich they sell the idea that THIS time it will improve things for the non-rich. I've seen education budgets gutted, healthcare systems dropped and ignored, and I've seen science regarding the global climate scoffed at because their "gut" doesnt agree. (The location of their gut seems to coincide with the location of their wallet)
I've seen our representational democracy have clear signs of distress, from gerrymandering to foreign influence, for DECADES, not just recent headlines.
I've seen wages be near-flat for almost the entire lives of people now old enough to vote or fight in wars, but that wage issue doesnt seem to apply to those with enough money to start with.
But addressing any of these issues might threaten those with money, and our worship of capitalism has lead us to conclude they should be obeyed.
Capitalism is very effective, but we've stopped using it because it is effective, and are instead being used by it. We've gone from a system that allows the worthy to find financial success to assuming that financial success means you are worthy (as lack of financial success means you are not worthy).
Capitalism isnt the problem, but our relationship with it IS.
* More search, seizure, and surveillance
* Less due process
* Less independent judiciary
* More suppression of information (violation of public records laws, gag orders, general enmity toward science/journalism/education)
* More tolerance of authoritarian regimes elsewhere
* Corruption and concentration of influence among leaders' cronies
Really, unless you're a corporation, you have much more to fear under a Republican government than under a Democrat one. If you want to see which party is more authoritarian, look at which one real civil-liberties organizations like ACLU, CCR, etc. find more objectionable. More partisan-political organizations that focus only on "economic rights" and generally act as extensions for the Chamber of Commerce don't paint an accurate picture.
Can you elaborate on this? What, in your opinion, is more significant difference than political/ideological system? I am actually curious because I cannot think of any?
They would probably say that they perceive a difference between "democratic socialism" and "fascist communism".
No one wants to completely "overthrow capitalism" aside from a tiny fringe.
It does, however, reflect on the structural complexity of distributing power. Be it capitalists or a dictator at the top social organization gravitates towards being top heavy. It takes unified, active, and uncompromising effort on the part of the powerless to prevent the vaccum at the top from being filled if removed.
Almost nobody wants to overthrow capitalism. People want to make adjustments to the current form of it to address concerns. That’s very legitimate and necessary in a functioning democracy. The people who scream “socialism “ all the time just want to move the discussion to extremes
In regards to this, "Replace Capitalism" seems to be gaining ground faster than "Improve Capitalism".
43% of Americans say socialism would be a good thing for the country
You are right, and that is exactly the problem, since it is something history proved impossible to be reformed.
EDIT: reforming capitalism is a long term desire from part of the humankind. It is not a new idea and has yield very long discussions . So, the big idea today is indeed how to overthrow it in favour of another form of social organization.
We've had, and still have, the Nordic model.
Capitalism is dramatically different today than it was in the 1960s in most countries. We've had the monetarism/neoliberal experiment for 40 years.
We've had globalisation to completely disconnect capitalism (and capital) from government, country and employee - just join the global race to the bottom.
We have had a huge number of reforms to capitalism. Trouble is for the last 40 years all reforms have been in one direction: In favour of the capitalist.
Even in "western" rich countries there is a lot of growing unequality. The capitalism is falling by itself.
Also, I would not consider China poor today, and certainly even less so in the future.
This is not as hot of a take as you think. Many reactionaries believe that a monarchy under a good monarch is the ideal government system - much better than a democracy where uninformed voters make so many decisions
Singapore is ranked 3rd in the world by PPP, at $100k
The United States is ranked 10th with at $62k
I can come with with hundreds of criteria by which US is laughable, take foreign debt for example, or number of people dying from preventable diseases.
Chile is a good example of a "western" latin american country. Brazil/Argentina are bad examples. Brazil for instance, has state-ownership of its entire oil industry - pretty textbook socialism.
Chile? Just look how people are satisfied with their system nowadays... Behind seeming positive macroeconomic numbers, there is a very unequal society. Chile is the most unequal society among all OECD members. The riots that happen there right now are not against any socialism, but against the liberal fail. They followed strict liberal rules since Pinochet dictatorship, and that is what it became.
Yes, like that socialist disaster that is Finland.
(Besides, Brazil does not have state ownership of its entire oil industry.)
Or maybe the divide isn't clear cut, perhaps?
Asking for substantive debate free of tragic reactionary propaganda is not "limiting the speech" of people who disagree, it's asking for an intellectually honest forum for a discussion.
You're complaining because folks are tired of having important conversations hijacked with slippery slope falacies and the repetition of both USSR and USA propaganda. But that's a reasonable objection, and it's reasonable to ask that folks be minimally educated before engaging in a conversation.
If you're discussing machine learning and then someone comes in talking about how they pyramids taught them neural networking via a series of sines and cosines and also aliens (yes, this has happened to me in a public setting), you might be inclined to ask them to let the adults talk. That's not limiting speech, that's exercising your speech in opposition. They're fundamentally different things.
Not that the comment in question was particularly substantive. There is certainly a debate to be had there, but it's already been done a million times over on the internet, so I don't care.
But it is very interesting to read a comment like yours. Not for any reason other than to see the pure rage, saying literally nothing "intellectually honest" about the subject, but rather comparing people you disagree with to conspiracy theorists who believe in aliens.
> But it is very interesting to read a comment like yours. Not for any reason other than to see the pure rage, saying literally nothing "intellectually honest" about the subject, but rather comparing people you disagree with to conspiracy theorists who believe in aliens.
Your "freedom to" does not invalidate my "freedom from". I am not suppressing you in any way by exercising my right to say that I'm unintrested in your straw man.
Although the article doesn't mention it, the next recession will also likely come during a powerful wave of job losses tied to automation.
Mixing popular resentment over the last debacle in which had few consequences for those responsible with the bewildering lack of jobs is a recipe for scapegoating other countries.
Did the cottongin end slavery? No. It make it more efficient.
Did the rail system go away with national highways? No. We have much better last mile access.
Have robots replaced union workers? Union membership has decreased since the 80s, but unemployment has also decreased with a lot more population.
Despite computers we still have secretaries, and librarians, we have massive drilling equipment but also have miners, there are less mounted police and soldiers but despite cars horses are still around. Sailing, boats, and marine related people have jobs despite most travel being by plane. Inventing planes created more jobs than were lost, etc etc.
With every disruptive tech comes opportunity and transition. People aren’t out of jobs despite automation. They’re just in different jobs.
This prediction that there will be a billion people standing around with nothing to do because of robots is wildly naive of history.
"despite cars horses are still around"
This is an absolutely terrible argument, because the population and societal use of horses have been greatly reduced once the automobile came into play. If we were to transfer this with people, this means that once automation comes into the play, the vast majority of working humans will be culled and those remaining are only luxury/recreational items...
It just created different jobs. Things that weren’t possible or didn’t exist before cars.
It’s the same thing with “automation”. People like to pretend that one day soon everything will just be straight up replaced with robots overnight and we just won’t know what to do with ourselves. Not only isn’t that the case, it ignores the history of disruptive technology for the last 10,000 years.
The root of the argument is made much better with overpopulation. But developed countries can’t be made to subsidize that - make the argument automation and maybe you can convince some people to believe in socialism.
this is what the constant specter of economic instability causes people to do. stash money under the bed, defer big purchases, and refuse to buy things that are not necessary for life. then, when the economy worsens, people feel like they are at least a little bit more prepared. the trick, of course, is that the actions taken to respond to their feelings of instability are more likely to cause a recession.
overall, the liberal-capitalist response to the outcry of the young public has been "shut up, get a job, consume more, be more competitive" -- and it will be just as tone deaf and infuriating in the coming recession as it has been since before the last recession.
I’m confused when people in my generational cohort say things like “capitalism is unfair” or “capitalism sucks”, in reference to the system of government and benefits we have currently. Every economy has had forces that were usefully explainable with capitalism, even the soviet economy in the 80s. Markets abound, and capitalism is a powerful explanatory tool, so to me “let’s end capitalism” sounds a bit like “let’s end gravity”.
For somebody more in the know, this can’t be what people are meaning, right? Are they just trying to bargain for a “better“ social contract with fewer free markets? Any idea why they associate this with “ending capitalism”?
This philosophy is associated with the term "capitalism" because its proponents tar any improvement of the social contract, acknowledgement of climate change, or balancing of negotiating power as "socialism/communism"- terms used interchangeably as a boogeyman rather than for any engagable definition, but always pitted as the opposite of "capitalism".
The market isn't the problem, it's government interference with the market that's the problem.
For example, socialism, to many of its proponents in 2019, means using the collective power of the government to tax the rich in order to purchase better outcomes for all citizens--even if those purchases are from private parties. Lots of people are in favor of "single payer" government health insurance... not nearly as many folks are saying let's force all doctors to work only for the government. That's what socialism meant 100 years ago. But that's not what socialism means today to most folks in the U.S.
Likewise, the popular understanding of "ending capitalism" in 2019 mean ending the political, regulatory, and tax regimes that enable complex financial engineering that results in huge paydays for Wall Street and tax avoidance for rich people and big companies. "Capitalism" in this sense is not intended to be a technical term referencing property ownership rights... the word is being more like the name of belief system or set of values--one that doesn't care about income inequality and poor people.
"Socialism vs capitalism" for most people in 2019 is really a fight over values and political priorities. The words are placeholders for systems of belief. It's not a fight about private property rights in general like it was 100 years ago. I mean, maybe it is to a few people, but not many, relatively speaking.
That is, lots of people are fighting about extracting wealth from rich people and huge companies... not many are fighting to end their own right to own any property, to surrender it all to the government.
This means that instead of capital being mostly in the hands of a few (the rich, or the state, in the case of something like China) they want it to be in the control of the people. This would mean that basically the people would control capital democratically, in most cases, but there are other systems like Mutualism which isn't necessarily democratic.
For many, they may want to end markets as well, for various reasons, but markets aren't the same thing as capitalism, as you seem to think.
Of the aforementioned experts, Marx was the most critical of capitalism, but most who are unfamiliar would be taken back by the amount of common ground shared between him and Smith.
Some basic working class complaints about capitalism in a very economic sense are concisely introduced in this essay: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour...
Like most HN readers, Marx believed work is an integral part of a healthy human life. His concern was about the relation of humans with the value they produce. He gave a prescient analysis of what we appear to be experiencing today, in his Theory Of Alienation. See: https://www.marxists.org/subject/alienation/
Talk to them, and you'll realize they don't know what the fuck they mean either.
To generalize from my conversations, by "capitailism" they mean some amalgamation of: the fact they're poor, market forces in general, Government policy not providing certain goods/services, financial markets, non-post-scarcity, and snidely whiplash mustache twirling villains lurking in the wings.
But they also mean any aspect of society they don't like and can find a specious connection to market forces. Even if it's something that's just as possible under a communist/socialist government. It just wouldn't exist in their vision of Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism.
Rodney Stark says that the distinguishing mark of capitalism is that (at least part of) the profits are re-invested in better tools for productivity gains. In this view, "the existence of property rights, money, and the right to freely enter into contracts except when prohibited by law" are prerequisites, but they aren't capitalism. Capitalism is what you do once you have that foundation in place.
Every capitalism proponent is so tied up to the stock market that they don't want to see losses. Thus they resort to policies that would somehow socialize losses.
If you are really free market, you need to accept losses.
- Let the FED not print money which causes inflation which is driving a regular life out of the young's reach
- Let students declare bankruptcy on student loans
- Let your social security go bankrupt, it is market driven
- Let your house prices go underwater. Whoever said it should always go up and that the young should burn their lives to buy it from old geezers at elevated prices.
But no, the boomers don't want those losses. This is where cries for socialism is coming from.
It might be clearer if you just called "the current form of capitalism" crony capitalism. It's not free market and that's why I laugh whenever people say that capitalism is failing. Progressives won a long time ago (during the Progressive era) and crafted a massive government, instituted heavy centralized planning, and we're seeing the failure of the centralization of government play out today.
Oligarchs in our system are people funding lobbyists. How else do you think Oligarchs work?
Let's be rational and remove the blame game. Focus on the problem and we know none of the political leaders are doing anything to fix it.
it seems that the ones that grew up in a time when tax policy was closer to bernie sanders' are less likely to support him
The author talks about it like the only alternative is overthrowing the system. This is another extreme, maybe the word you should use here is the social market economy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy). We use this term here in Germany, even our most deregulation friendly party is committed to it and by definition it's still capitalist.
Most people are unaware there are like 9 different schools of thought in economics, which complement each other. They might have heard of Keynesian and neo-liberal. Of all places, HN readers should know about Schumpeter's model, as it explains the rise of new industries often comes with disruption to the old ones.
Many problems of the last decades come from shoe-horning neoliberal economic model where it does not belong, without understanding it's limitations. (which are numerous). Privatising natural monopolies is the classic example.
It also seems the fall of USSR has freed our leaders from any need for self-reflection. The consequences for fuck ups could be dire, now all you get is "occupy wall-street".
I think what most people are really against is the one way street that capitalism established. It's a broken system, and it wouldn't matter if we had any other system as long as it would still be broken and abused.
On a global level, there are tax loopholes that allow multi billion corporations and individuals to pay essentially no taxes.
This money is then used to further enrich the same parties through a financial market that is equally broken.
It has nothing to do with capitalism that wealth is created without a flow of goods or other value that is created from it. All it does is devalue all other wealth at a growing pace.
Capitalism is not ideal, it won't be. But if we moved towards actual, functional capitalism where governments did their part in keeping the whole thing from turning into a one way street, we would have a long way to go before we needed something else.
But yes, I agree — the idea that best thing to do is dogmatically implement one particular economic system is absurd.
> It has nothing to do with capitalism
> But if we moved towards actual, functional capitalism
What you are making is the classic "it's the fault of faux-capitalism and not my idealized version of capitalism" argument.
I'm not sure that is true.
They're in favor of greatly increasing immigration
> The woke young programmers of the bay (and elsewhere)
These are not the same.
Well if that worked at all in modern society people might be more sympathetic to it. However, we've got almost no evidence that this is how border control works at all. We've got a lot of buffoonery about how other countries full of feral savages come to invade our pure and innocent land, conveniently not talking about our arms shipments and political manipulations in those countries.
EDIT: this is an observation, I am not advocating 'substitution'
Especially if the older generations take up that much space that younger people strugge to find a place on their own. It just makes sense in the context of our dilapidated pension system.
That won't work long term at all and life standards will probably decrease significantly in Germany in the future.
Instead of immigration, we actually should let the pension system collapse and see how we can supply the older generation in a more efficient way. Because the current one is evidently not sustainable.
It's is the economic system the one which should adapt.
Myself and many of my friends who have decided to have zero children or only one child rather late in life, cite the burden of having to take care of children, when one is already tired after work, one would like to pursue leisure activities that do not involve children present, etc. Even in countries where the state provides abundant infrastructure to minimize the financial expense of childrearing, birthrates are still low because of the time and effort expense that remains. So, how do you address that issue? Telling people to just suck it up and accept childbearing as their duty isn’t going to work.
Immigrants are often coming from countries where religious and cultural pressures in favor of childbearing are maintaining the birthrate higher than in the West, but even in those regions birthrates are gradually falling as their countries become more developed.
What I predict will happen:
Government will reduce pension and social security payments to those that did not support the system by having 2 or more well-raised children.
I am in immigrant in the UK. You have to prove you have education, funds to support yourself, and a job offer with high salary. Add visa expenses, moving expenses, and you might realise only fairly 'privileged foreigners' can do this.
By all means, address issues causing low birthrates. But don't go around complaining about the unwashed masses, because kids from Somalia are never getting in.
But my guess is that you take issue more with their skin color.
Lol, I feel like having a family is way too expensive and disagree that importing replacements is the only way to go. Giving birth shouldn't bankrupt you, and that has to be a huge reason young people (including me and my friends) are pushing off having children. Combine that with the overwhelming student debt crisis, I don't feel I can take on a child. So it seems weird that the solution is "screw them, just import the people we need".
But sure, make it about me being "racist" so you can imagine yourself as a big warrior fighting off bigots online.
Likewise, the answer to this immigration debate is exceedingly clear, until you throw overly emotional notions about culture and ethnicity and nationality into the mix.
And my personal beliefs about life and what it means to be human in my very finite time here goes far beyond "well the economics work out better if I'm barren forever and the government imports immigrants with higher birth rates due to being from a third world country". I strive to have a complete, well rounded life with a loving family. At the end of the day, my life goal is not to live an " economically logical" life void of emotions. I have 90 years here, if I'm lucky. I AM going to live a full life.
There is nothing wrong with immigration, but the fact of the matter is you can't strip all emotion out of the equation. You can say its overly emotional to want your own family instead of importing people with completely different cultures and values, but the drive to reproduce has been in the works for 3.5 billion years. Having others reproduce for you so the government can get an extra dollar out of isn't enough of an incentive to kick the repro drive.
On balance, it pretty much is. Adult immigrants will generally be productive in a fraction of the time that children will take to even become legally eligible to be productive.
>And my personal beliefs about life and what it means to be human in my very finite time here goes far beyond "well the economics work out better if I'm barren forever and the government imports immigrants with higher birth rates due to being from a third world country". I strive to have a complete, well rounded life with a loving family. At the end of the day, my life goal is not to live an " economically logical" life void of emotions. I have 90 years here, if I'm lucky. I AM going to live a full life.
That's fine. Please explain why we should build policy around your sentimentality, especially since people like you are unmoved (at least, to the point of actual action) by appeals to the human rights of would-be immigrants.
Searching for it yields rather the opposite.
Obviously this can greatly vary. In America, immigration is tied to lower wages for lower tier jobs like chefs, construction workers, factory workers. I don't know enough to state immigration's effects on high tier white collar jobs like software engineering.
Can you show evidence this really happens even within lower wage jobs? Folks point out that not only are immigrants much less expensive labor for communities (in that there are qualified individuals arriving pre-trained and as active adults rather than locally trained and nurtured children), and that they tend to take different jobs than the native population does in most cases.
This is a surprisingly common take on the literature, with an unlikely consensus among both the conservative and radical left, libertarians and conservative libertarians, and even many on the conservative side.
The service industry is a particularly good example of how immigrants arriving into an economy tend to expand the economy to make room for themselves (they themselves need to contribute to the additional demand on the local services industry) rather than displacing the existing infrastructure.
I hate asking but mind citing some sources?
Economic consensus is that labor pool operates on supply/demand, so greatly increase the supply through immigration will reduce demand and therefore reduce salaries. This part of the reason for why doctors have such high salaries: their supply is limited because only X number of people can become doctors each year and demand is very high.
Saying that an increased supply of workers does not affect highly commoditized jobs like cooks and construction works is an unusual claim and I would appreciate a source so i can review their arguments.
That is just my uneducated take on it.
When I search for the terms immigration wages I get the following sources:
We're debating "replacement rates" and immigration because it turns out only people who are currently in power benefit from a party that maintains the status quo. This leads to that party gripping the status quo reigns ever tighter, and in turn to most non-majority people voting against them. Well, turns out a lot of the minority are immigrants, so the status quo faction now yammers about "replacement rates" and wants to keep immigrants out - because they're aware they can't hold onto power under a democratic system that allows immigration.
And so, racism and fascism takes hold, and facts are jettisoned for the benefit of holding on to power.
But good luck with that; I think the data shows that it's not a very pronounced effect.
Yes, you're right, H1-B visas and offshoring have done wonders for the average US software engineer's wages.
I don't see that unfettered immigration need be linked to capitalism, just the belief people can move around freely being OK.
> increase competition and lower their wages (immigration), whilst railing against capitalism
I'd guess they are railing not against immigrants that undercut their £8/hour bar work but the executives at the top of companies that can earn millions, even many millions a year, while the yoof serve them drinks from the bar at £8/hour. Even more so when those executives prove incompetent or corrupt.
> Ideology has gone so far as to confuse young Americans
Well I'm a brit an not young but I guess their ideology is "I'd like to be treated with economic decency", which I support.
Because many young people are increasingly sympathetic to the anarchist argument for the dissolution of borders. That's not paradoxical, the argument is that the national state should stop having the power to limit the movement of people.
> Simultaneously they are pushing for policies that increase competition and lower their wages (immigration),
This isn't actually a true statement. Immigrants are less expensive labor for a community, freeing up more capital for civil services, education and facilities. The idea that immigration lowers wages is a populist argument made by capitalists and reactionaries alike. Modern corporate capitalists actually LIKE the state limiting the supply of immigrant labor behind elaborate processes and form-filling. So long as they get their quota promptly, that is.