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Old 11-13-2006, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,610 posts, read 22,373,981 times
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I see the term "socialism" getting tossed around a lot. So-and-so is a socialist.

What do you think a socialist is?

'Cause I'm looking at the people you're calling socialists, and I don't see any socialists. I'm wonder if maybe people no longer understand exactly what socialism is.

I blame Limbaugh.
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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It's purposely meant as a diverse label I think. It can range from the strict brand of socialism that used to be practiced in Communist Russia, to the "hands-off/experimenting with capitalism" of the Peoples Republic of China, to the economic euro-socialism being currently practiced in Western Europe.
Basically the doctrine is that the government, rather than the free-market and competition, drive the economic system. The goal, at least to some degree, is redistribution of wealth and collective rather than private ownership.

And just to add some debate to this topic - I am a firm believer that if the european brand of socialism starts creeping into the US, as it is being thinly promoted by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy, it will be the nail in the coffin that will destroy the United States.
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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Other than another attack, my biggest fear is a socialist run govnerment. I am afraid it is closer than we think!!
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
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I think of Sweden when I think of socialism. Everyone lifted from the bottom rung, no true poverty, but no real chances for lifting oneself up to one's potential with pure ambition and hard work/skill. To me it's bland and blah and I would not like to live somewhere where I'm capped, or, where my ambition and drive is counter to the prevailing culture which looks down on it. I would like to see some kind of health system in this country that gives every American citizen access to needed healthcare, but not like Canada or the UK where the quality is poor and people are on interminable waiting lists. There must be a happy median that saves money and gives access to all.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Thumb of Michigan
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Communism is a perverse form of socialism.

Socialism=community-oriented/commune?

I think the U.S. has the best of both worlds when it comes to socialism and capitalsim. You are free to live communally yet if you want to live/reach out your God-give talents, open game.

This country has a good balance when it comes to socialism and capitalism.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
752 posts, read 656,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
I think of Sweden when I think of socialism. Everyone lifted from the bottom rung, no true poverty, but no real chances for lifting oneself up to one's potential with pure ambition and hard work/skill. To me it's bland and blah and I would not like to live somewhere where I'm capped, or, where my ambition and drive is counter to the prevailing culture which looks down on it. I would like to see some kind of health system in this country that gives every American citizen access to needed healthcare, but not like Canada or the UK where the quality is poor and people are on interminable waiting lists. There must be a happy median that saves money and gives access to all.
Hi,

I think it comes down to where you live. You'll find a lot of Swedes would have the opposite opinion. Many folks I know from Scandinavia react with horror at the idea of becoming a society like the US. As for me, when I think of socialism I think of Finland. No real poverty, the best hospitals & schools in the world, and the second most economically competitive nation in the OECD (behind socialist Switzerland). And contrary to the understanding of most people from the outside, no, the State doesn't own most of the economy. It still is private enterprise that drives innovation, development and trade.

I'd trade the US healthcare system for the NHS, without a doubt. At least in Scotland, the quality is absolutely comparable to the US. Can't speak for England/Wales. The waiting lists aren't interminable, and when there is a wait it's certainly a mild tradeoff compared to bankruptcy or not getting treated at all.

For those who don't want to wait, there's private health cover as well.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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To add to my previous post and to comment on some of the responses - I guess you can say socialism is on a sliding scale with raw capitalism on one side and communism on the other. The U.S. is on one side of the sliding scale, with some regulations on industry, capitalism, and some social services. Countries like Sweden and France are on the other side of the sliding scale - socialized medicine, generous social services, strict government control and regulations on industry.

In Sweden it works pretty well, albiet with the highest suicide rate in the world (probably not related to it's socialist economy, but who knows). In France it is a disaster. 15% unemployment, outragious tax rates, labor riots (how dare you tell a frenchman he has to work more than 32 hours a week), 6 month wait to get an xray, thousands of senior citizens die during a summer heat wave (and why not, the doctors make the same salary as a postal worker), stagnant economy, zero innovation and productivty growth.

And this is probably the weakness of socialism - it does not reward innovation, entrepreneurship, or creativity. Sure no one starves, but no one grows. No one is rewarded for being that one person that invents a better way of doing things. There would be no Bill Gates or Donald Trump in Sweden.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
752 posts, read 656,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
To add to my previous post and to comment on some of the responses - I guess you can say socialism is on a sliding scale with raw capitalism on one side and communism on the other. The U.S. is on one side of the sliding scale, with some regulations on industry, capitalism, and some social services. Countries like Sweden and France are on the other side of the sliding scale - socialized medicine, generous social services, strict government control and regulations on industry.

In Sweden it works pretty well, albiet with the highest suicide rate in the world (probably not related to it's socialist economy, but who knows). In France it is a disaster. 15% unemployment, outragious tax rates, labor riots (how dare you tell a frenchman he has to work more than 32 hours a week), 6 month wait to get an xray, thousands of senior citizens die during a summer heat wave (and why not, the doctors make the same salary as a postal worker), stagnant economy, zero innovation and productivty growth.

And this is probably the weakness of socialism - it does not reward innovation, entrepreneurship, or creativity. Sure no one starves, but no one grows. No one is rewarded for being that one person that invents a better way of doing things. There would be no Bill Gates or Donald Trump in Sweden.

No, Sweden never produced a Donald Trump, but for a country of 8 million it produced Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA. One of the Earth's richest men, himself worth about $30 billion. If The Donald had that kind of mojo.

As for not rewarding innovation, entrepreneurship or creativity...companies like Nokia, H&M, IKEA, Ossur and Stora Enso have done quite nicely. For their population, Scandinavia as a whole punches well above its weight in terms of technology exports and patents.

France is an interesting case, but I think your comments were more based on stereotype than fact (France has their heatwaves, America has its hurricanes). Their unemployment is very sticky, but in other ways their tax regime is actually quite innovative. First of all, no other Western country rewards families from a tax standpoint as much as France does. And in spite of their 32 hour workweeks, their productivity rate (GDP per hour) is acutally higher than and has grown faster than the US.

But still, the Frogs do sit around and smoke too much.
(sorry, some stereotypes exist for good reason)
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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I think the Swiss have one of the highest living standards in the world. If being socialist means living like the Swiss, then I'll take socialism.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,610 posts, read 22,373,981 times
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Originally Posted by UB50 View Post
I think the Swiss have one of the highest living standards in the world. If being socialist means living like the Swiss, then I'll take socialism.
I don't know much about them, other than they make great cheese.

And Max Von Sydow. He's awesome. Or is he Norwegian? I can never remember.
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