Capitalism or Socialism.

pro2A

Hell, It's about time!
#1
There has been some debate lately about which is better, Capitalism and Socialism. Personally I am a pure Capitalist. I believe an economic system left unmolested by the government is the best form of economy. It empowers people to better themselves as there is no limit on wealth creation.

Lets look at the pros and cons of Capitalism.

The Pros of Capitalism link to source

  • You are free to make your own choices (right or wrong) in the market place.
  • You own your life and the means to produce for your life.
  • You can choose to run your own business or get a job with ease of government regulation.
  • As a consumer, you get the highest quality of products for the cheapest prices.
  • As a consumer, you get the highest variety of the types of goods and services you can purchase.
  • You are free to innovate and invent without the government getting in your way.
  • You don't have to pay taxes beyond that of the basics to protect your rights (police, courts, national defense, etc).
  • You vote with your dollars. If you don't like a particular store, you can always shop somewhere else.
  • You have the right to own property, which comes with the right to develop it as you choose.
  • You have the right to earn as much money as you want without having to answer to the government.
  • Capitalism has given the highest standards of living this earth has ever seen and no other system has ever been able to do this
  • Capitalism recognizes your right to pursuit of life, liberty and property.
The Cons of Capitalism

There really isn't any cons for capitalism. The only cons come from people that want to be able to tell people what to do or how to live their life. In capitalism, people are allowed to make their own choices, good or bad, and this seems to bother some that think they have the right to tell others how to live their life.

As a capitalist I feel unfortunate that people do sleep on the streets, but I can't feel bad for people that make the conscious choice to stick a needle full of heroine into their veins. Everyone is given the same level playing field and everyone can play.

This is what I think the pros and cons of capitalism are. It is the best social system ever devised and I (as well as you) owe capitalism for the great standard of living that we have.
This is basically how I feel about Capitalism. Is it sad that there are bums on the streets? Yes, sure it is, but one needs to look at the underlying reasons why they are there and what economic system got them there in the first place.... Socialism.

The Pros of Socialism
link

  • The average person not being asked to provide or pay for any of their basic needs.
  • The government will provide for all of those necessities with a, 'one size fits all' approach. From housing, to health care and even employment
  • There is no need to take care of these basic things yourself – because under a strict socialist government structure, all of the basic needs in life are provided by the federal government.
The Cons of Socialism

On the cons side of a socialist form of government, most of the negative consequences revolve around a loss of productivity and since hard work and innovation are no longer rewarded, most people will only do the absolute minimum that is required by the government in their daily lives.

While there are pros and cons to socialism, my hope is that most Americans will shun this form of government, because over the long haul most nations that practice true socialism begin to decline because there is no incentive to succeed.
Socialism may sound good on paper, but from what I can find (and believe me I tried to search for the pros of socialism) it only makes people worse off. If you are given a check your whole life, or are raised in subsidized housing and end up being a bum on a street, its can be directly related to a socialistic approach on society. If the poor are given everything, they have no incentive to rise out of poverty. If it is taken away, suddenly they need to find a job to support themselves which in turn creates more profit for companies who are trying to compete in the market.

Please feel free to add or deduct from this list as you see fit.
 
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Stab-o-Matic5000

Cutting Edge in Murder
#2
There's been a debate about whether Capitalism or Socialism is better on the boards? I haven't seen it. I've seen a debate about whether a regulated capitalist system or an unregulated capitalist system is better, and a debate about whether the government should fund projects or not.

Socialism involves direct government control of business. I'm fairly certain most people in Serious Discussion will agree that everything being in the hands of the government is not a good thing.

However, I have to add a con to the idea of completely unregulated capitalism. Unfair treatment to lower class and middle class workers. You've heard of the "robber barons" of the 19th century, correct? How people would work themselves to death in coal mines for small amounts of pay? That, in my opinion, should definitely be avoided.

In my opinion, purely unregulated capitalism and pure socialism are quite similar, the main difference being who holds the reins of the economy and the well being of the people. In the former option, it's the wealthy elite. In the latter option, it's the government.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#3
Considering there has never been a purely capitalist or socialist nation to compare together its a difficult comparison. The closest we have ever seen to absolute capitalism is probably modern day Hong Kong, the closest to pure socialism; maybe Russia towards the end of the second five year plan.

pro2A said:
You don't have to pay taxes beyond that of the basics to protect your rights (police, courts, national defense, etc).
That has nothing to do with capitalism.


pro2A said:
  • You have the right to own property, which comes with the right to develop it as you choose.
  • You have the right to earn as much money as you want without having to answer to the government.
Capitalism does not give anybody the right to have anything, it gives the opportunity to pursue these things.

The first statement is more socialist than capitalist, as the right to have something displays a high degree of equality which would fit better to a egalitarian philosophy.

pro2A said:
Lets look at the pros and cons of Capitalism.
As you failed to provide them, here are;
The cons of Capitalism:

Class system
Inequality
Market Instability
Monopolies/Oligopolies
Corporate corruption
Corporate negligence
Coportae dictation
Adventual singularity
Materialistic ethics
Greed!


pro2A said:
This is basically how I feel about Capitalism. Is it sad that there are bums on the streets? Yes, sure it is, but one needs to look at the underlying reasons why they are there and what economic system got them there in the first place.... Socialism.
Your logic defies me! In your quote;

"Everyone is given the same level playing field and everyone can play."
Capitalism is not egalitarian, socialism is.

Capitalism does not provide a level playing field, it creates a class system where the world we are not born is not equal, we are born to our forefathers success. It is the exception and not the rule that people defy this. If you are born in a trailer park you will most likely die in a trailer park.
pro2A said:
The Pros of Socialism link

  • The average person not being asked to provide or pay for any of their basic needs.
  • The government will provide for all of those necessities with a, 'one size fits all' approach. From housing, to health care and even employment
  • There is no need to take care of these basic things yourself – because under a strict socialist government structure, all of the basic needs in life are provided by the federal government.
First one is incorrect, in socialism everybody is asked to provide & pay for everybody elses, including your own basic needs.

Second one is Communism and not strictly socialism

Third one is incorrect based on the first one being false information. Federal Government provides the infrastrusture but the workers must provide the goods and so to say "they dont need to take care of these basics" would be wholeheartly wrong. They still need to provide them but what they provide is then distributed.

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I think before this Divisive Issue thread continues we have to be decisive on what Capitalism and what Socialism are because there seems to be some misunderstanding.

WIkipedia, its not an academic source but its fairly reliable for summarising:

Capitalism;

Capitalism is an economic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned and controlled rather than commonly, publicly, or state-owned and controlled.[1][2] Through capitalism, the land, labor, and capital are owned, operated, and traded by private individuals or corporations,

Socialism;


Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.

The difference between these to statements are the first "Privately owned" the second "State ownership". The primary difference between the two economic systems; One is run by a government the other is run by a corporation. Most of the pros and cons displayed above can fit both economic systems, they're not exclusive to either. sure some are more prone to happen in one ot other but the only real difference is who dictates it.


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As for the intial pros and cons it is better to conclude your own than use unreliable and wholy bias sources so you can use fact rather than opinion to present an arguement:

"I think it is pretty apparent that capitalism is the best social system in existence....."

and

"While I do not believe that socialism is a good system of government...."
 

Sim

Registered Member
#4
As Bananas said above, I don't think you'll find anyone on this board who advocated genuine socialism (a system where private ownership of the means of production are illegal and all companies are run by the state).

I too advocate capitalism, but I think it needs to be tamed and corrected by certain social regulations.

Socialism is inefficient and does not provide a better life for the people, as the example of the USSR and its Eastern Bloc have proven. Free markets are much more efficient at allocating sparse resources than any government planning commission could ever be.

On the other side, I believe capitalism also has certain grave flaws: It results in extreme inequality, horrible social side effects and it does not reward hard work, because in capitalism, you are "paid" not for the work you do, but for the possessions you have (when you have few, it's very hard to get more, but if you have much already, it's very easy to make even more).

So I say capitalism, hands down, but with a social safety net to make sure nobody falls off the cliff.