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Author Topic: The Socialism Discussion Thread!  (Read 2283 times)

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FraggedTopic starter

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The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« on: November 03, 2008, 12:13:28 AM »

To start off this thread, which I hope will be very interesting, I first need to ask you all:

Define Socialism/Communism, please.

What do you think of when you hear the word "Communism"?


I ask this because I need to know if the majority of this board is well-informed on what these concepts actually mean before I start a real discussion about it.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 01:18:23 AM »

A definition is a good starting point because many people running for office or supporting someone running for office talk about both and can't even define either. They are not the same thing. People often mistake socialism for authoritarianism or totalitarianism which may or may not be the case.

There are many socialist governments around the world and in fact, at least one socialist in the US Congress. Socialism and democracy are not mutually exclusive. You can be a socialist and still believe in a free, democratic society.

Socialism has more to do with a government's economic policies than social freedoms. The goal is to spread wealth more evenly among the populous than to concentrate it in the hands of a very small percentage like in the US. In the U.S. i think it's something like 5% of the population own 50 to 60% of the wealth.

Communism is an extreme form of socialism where according to Marx, after a pure egalitarian, classless society is established, the government would "wither away." The problem with that is that is hasnt worked. To the contrary, it has failed miserably.

You can sort of see Socialism moving towards Communism right now in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez is a democratically elected socialist who is nationalizing different segments of the private sector which is another way of saying that the government is confiscating private property for whatever they decide to pay in compensation, if anything.

His aim is to spread the wealth to the large segment of the dirt poor people in the country which is how he was able to rise to power to begin with and one of the pearls of unchecked capitalism.

When you have a huge gap between the haves and have nots and the have nots outnumber the haves by 20 to 1 or more, it's easy to see how a populist socialist who empowers them and gives them free health care and other services they couldnt afford before, can rise to power. Not by a military coup either but by an election.

However, now that he's entrenched in power, he has started to consolidate his power base by taking many anti-democratic steps to assure that he stays in office for life - like Castro. Eventually, he wants to have a classless society like Cuba, i/e communism. That's why people usually think that the two are synonymous but they really aren't.

Personally, I think people like Bush who think that capitalism is the lord's gift to the world, are egocentric fools. Im not even sure that he knows or appreciates the differences between democracy and capitalism on one end and totalitarianism, socialism and communism on the other end.

Some governments and countries just arent cut out to thrive under capitalism. Especially in Africa. There isnt much opportunity there to set up much of anything without government help. Those places would be better off with a socialist government or some other form of government that provides for the citizens.

If say, all they have is oil and the government controls that, they should use the proceeds to provide for the basic needs of their citizens instead of letting a couple of families make billions while everyone starves to death or dies from malaria and dysentery.


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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 06:02:35 AM »

Communism=government control economically
Socialism=government control politically

When I think of "communism" I think of China and Russia.
In the past, when I thought of China, I thought of people killing their first born if the child was a female. When I think of China present day, I think of people having to register to have children and having to pay a fine if they have more than the number of children "allowed".
When I think of Russia, I think of 7th grade history class and a horribly boring slideshow of Russian people during the 1950's; waiting in massive lines in knee high snow, for a loaf of bread and toilet paper.

Theoretically, the basis of "communism" is a classless society where everyone produces what they are capable of producing and their needs are met accordingly.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 08:11:55 AM »

The problem when we look to Russia or China to define our idea of communism is that it assumes that they werea sucessful model for it when dictatorships etc there have proved that they failed dismally.

In fact I don't think it is possible to have a working model of absolute communism or capitalism for that matter as it assumes a certain thing within human nature...and we all know what a perverse bunch of idiots parade the earth.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 08:38:39 AM »

We've been pushing towards unfettered Capitalism the past 8 years and look what it's got us.  The sad part is the rest of the free world has taken our lead.  Regulation and progressive taxes isn't Socialism.  Matter of fact, TDR was a big proponent of them.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 10:59:12 AM »

The problem when we look to Russia or China to define our idea of communism is that it assumes that they werea sucessful model for it when dictatorships etc there have proved that they failed dismally.

I agree, but those are the first two forms of communism that come to mind when asked, "what do you think of when you hear the word 'communism'?"
I can't help it.


In fact I don't think it is possible to have a working model of absolute communism or capitalism for that matter as it assumes a certain thing within human nature...and we all know what a perverse bunch of idiots parade the earth.

I don't think any singular form of government, leadership, or attempts at establishing and implementing any sort of structure otherwise for the masses to exist in cohesively and justly, will be infallible.

The road to hell is always paved with good intentions. Allotting ultimate power and trust in one single person to decide the fate of a nation is not only archaic, but has proved to be disastrous in many, many instances. Why this cycle of failure continues, is beyond my comprehension. 
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 02:28:32 PM »

I agree, but those are the first two forms of communism that come to mind when asked, "what do you think of when you hear the word 'communism'?"
I can't help it.


Thats part of what I was talking about. When people say communism and talk about China, North Korea and Cuba (Russia is no longer communist), what comes to mind is lack of civil freedoms and total government control over the lives of people which has more to do with authoritarianism and totalitarian dictatorships than with socialism and communism.

Communism and socialism are mainly economic terms for socioeconomic planning. The more the central planning, the more towards communism the government is. The more freedoms are repressed, the more towards totalitarianism the government is. North Korea is an example of both a totalitarian dictatorship and a communist country. China is an authoritarian communist country which lately has adopted many capitalist reforms.

Marx didnt write that people's civil liberties should be repressed and crushed and that the government should control every aspect of their lives. As I mentioned, he famously said that the pure communist state would see the government whither away which would make him something of an anarchist.

Somewhere along the line, a long list of dictators took his economic concepts and perverted them to suppress their population, keep themselves in power and wage an economic war against the West. However, if you read some of his critiques about capitalism you would see that he was right on. Especially back in the early 20th century during the days of the robber barrens and before the moves toward socialism that the U.S. took after the Great Depression left this country no better than Russia in the late 80's.

It's ironic that we are in the midst of another economic crisis and again, the U.S. and it's president have taken more huge steps towards socialism to keep the country's economic system afloat.

Unchecked pure capitalism results in a tiny fraction of powerful and wealthy and a huge underclass of people. If this country had the same type of unbridled, unregulated capitalism as it had in the early 1900's, it would have collapsed by now.

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RizenPhoeniz

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 11:05:08 PM »

Socialism as defined by a Socialist(me)

It's we the people setting a standard of living which provides dignity to all people. A living wage, universal health care, good retirement, environmental protections, good housing, high quality/low cost food, high quality public infrastructure(roads/water/sewer/transportation/etc.), and easy to obtain education are some of the most important things a socialist believes should be guaranteed to everyone that is willing to work or is physically/mentally unable to.

Does that mean there is no room for capitalism in a socialist society? Absolutely not. Socialist simply believe that the basics for having a good life shouldn't be hindered by profit motive. If apple can sell I-pods for $400 let them, but is it really such a good idea to let Phisher sell a 30 day supply of your grandmothers heart meds for $400 just because they can?

PS - Modern Socialist despise being lumped in with Communism, we believe in democracy.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 11:15:26 PM »

Bra1n's pretty much got it down to a T, thought I thought this statement was interesting:

Quote
Marx didn't write that people's civil liberties should be repressed and crushed and that the government should control every aspect of their lives.

Absolutely right, in fact he wrote the exact opposite. Marx wrote in Alienation of Labor that capitalism fails in the regard of it inevitably turning humans into objects, or resources, to which then become inhuman and merely a means to an end, that end being a produced object(product) which then takes on a life of it's own and becomes more valuable than the worker itself. On paper, Marx's ideas were simply brilliant for the time he lived in, and even today. In practice, his teachings were corrupted and twisted to form the totalitarian "communism" of the Red Scare of the 1950s and the current form we think of today.

I asked what you think of when you hear the word "communism" because it's important to note that a decent discussion about the possibilities and drawbacks of a socialist influenced government can't be had if the notion of socialism is still being connected with vicious dictators like Stalin and Mao.

To be honest, from my point of view any government regulation that protects the workers of the USA is socialist based. The very notion of protecting the working class is based in socialism. Unions are socialist, minimum wage is socialist, and all labor laws are socialist. This is easy to see by reading some of what Marx wrote and his criticism of capitalism and how he believed it was a tool with which the rich crushed the poor and turned them into things rather than people.

Now, I would even go so far as to say capitalism as it exists today is nothing more than slavery under a different name. By economic class, you're either a slave or a master. Now before anyone goes off saying "But Fragged, you have the freedom to choose! You can make something of yourself, you don't HAVE to be a slave!" Well that's true. About as true now as it was for slaves 200 years ago. A black man had the "option" of buying his own freedom, and making something of himself, should the very rare opportunity arise. A citizen of a capitalist society today has the same opportunity, assuming it ever comes by. Most people however will fail to migrate social classes in their time on earth, and either be born into a higher class where they receive higher education and better financial breeding, or born into middle or lower class where they will slave away *willingly* to make money and get by.

Socialist policies are not all bad, in fact a lot of them make a hell of a lot more sense than the bullshit spewed by our government today. People making a quarter of a million dollars a year actually have the cojones to complain about a tax hike on their income? Are you fucking kidding me? They seriously can't be invested enough in their own country to share some of their fortune with the rest of the populous to improve the failing infrastructure or present new energy sources to break our dependence on foreign oil? They see it as being, of all things, PUNISHED? I tell you right now, if I'm ever fortunate enough to be seeing a $250,000+ annual salary come flowing through my door, I would have no problem giving up even half of that to my government if I knew it was going to a noble cause. And when I say noble cause I mean NOT pissing cash into Iraq and other unnecessary wars.

I'm fucking tired, I'll finish commenting later.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 12:42:18 AM »

To be honest, from my point of view any government regulation that protects the workers of the USA is socialist based. The very notion of protecting the working class is based in socialism. Unions are socialist, minimum wage is socialist, and all labor laws are socialist. This is easy to see by reading some of what Marx wrote and his criticism of capitalism and how he believed it was a tool with which the rich crushed the poor and turned them into things rather than people.

Not just from your pov, that is absolutely correct. People are just ignorant to the fact of all the socialist reforms that have been made to our country since the early 1900's to keep it afloat just like China has taken numerous capitalist reforms to keep them from going the way of the USSR, North Korea and Cuba. The ideal type of government should probably be somewhere between the two extremes.

That's why I have to shake my head when McCain and his midevil ignorant supporters go around talking about taxes as redistribution of wealth and Obama being a socialist when they dont even have a fucking clue of what they are talking about. Without socialism there would be no schools, no social security, no medicare, no unemployment and no Katrina disaster relief to name a few of the hundreds of socialist based government programs.

You want an education? Build a private school and pay for it yourself, motherfucker. Your lost your job or your home got wiped out by a hurricane? Too fucking bad, ask Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to help you out. THAT, is core capitalism, my friends.

Redistribution of wealth by taxing people at a progressive rate to provide services for everyone, especially the poor who otherwise wouldnt be able to pay for a private school or get through a disaster like Katrina, is socialism. I think we need to do the same for health care because it is absolutely disgraceful that people who need medical treatment can't get it because they cannot afford it while at the same time our government spends 1 trillion dollars fighting an asinine war in Iraq. 

But to hear the McCain people talk, you would think that "winning the war" should be our national priority and anything that taxes the rich to provide for our citizens should be soundly rejected on principle in the name of anti-socialism.

Ever since the Red Scare people are just taught that socialism and communism are evil by word of mouth repetition and no one bothers to learn what those concepts actually mean. I guaranty you that if you ask 10 random Americans to define communism and socialism, not one will be able to. The closest they will come will be like what VC said - "you mean, like Russia?".
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 08:17:54 AM »


Ever since the Red Scare people are just taught that socialism and communism are evil by word of mouth repetition and no one bothers to learn what those concepts actually mean. I guaranty you that if you ask 10 random Americans to define communism and socialism, not one will be able to. The closest they will come will be like what VC said - "you mean, like Russia?".

I think I need to clarify my position.

I'm fully aware of what the "concepts" of communism are and the multitude of socialist elements integrated into our system already. I mean come on, that desperate fucker McCain hypocritically waving his broken fingers about at Obama after signing a 700 BILLION bailout and then suggesting the government BUY bad mortgages, is riotous in and of itself.

Beside that point, being educated in a bureaucratic system that pretty much DICTATES what is taught in schools, I spent almost an entire year being taught communism BAD, capitalism GOOD, by some peg legged bastard named Ziko. I was actually quite fearful of Russia and taught to HATE what their government stood for, lmao! Isn't that just fucking insane? I was force fed someone else's ideals in the "free world". Therefore, it's something that can not be helped; the first thing that comes to mind when someone says communism, is indeed Russia...then China, etc.

My whole outlook on leveling the playing field educationally, is pretty much communist/socialist. It's a good concept, a well intentioned concept, but place a dollar amount on it and it quickly goes sour and is bastardized before you can blink.

Like I said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 11:18:04 AM »

I think I need to clarify my position.

I'm fully aware of what the "concepts" of communism are and the multitude of socialist elements integrated into our system already. I mean come on, that desperate fucker McCain hypocritically waving his broken fingers about at Obama after signing a 700 BILLION bailout and then suggesting the government BUY bad mortgages, is riotous in and of itself.



I know you are but still, when you say 'communism' in this country that's about the only thing that people know about it - Russia. Cardy and SoG played into that a while back when they started calling Twap a communist and making all kinds of communist Bolshevik references for overmodding something which i thought was hilarious.  Cardy still brings it up once in a while though she can probably write a book about the Russian Revolution.

In North Korea, Cuba and many other places, from an early age kids are taught that the USA is the enemy and capitalism is evil. They are drilled every day to be prepared for a US invasion of their country and of course, everyone grows up paranoid, hating the US and believing all the propaganda about all the bad things we stand for and do. Bush didn't help things any by invading Iraq and threatening Iran but that's beside the point.

The point I want to make is that we do the same thing vis-a-vis communism and Russia propaganda on a smaller scale. Back in the 50's, it was more or less on a par with Cuba and Venezuela today. That is why we have so many people educated in the 40's. 50's and 60's who are so irrationally adamant about being anti-communist and why John McCain foams at the mouth when he talks about Vladimir Putin.

It's irrational because most don't even know what communism and socialism really is. It's brainwashing at an early age. The same thing that adults do to kids over religion, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny to get them to believe irrational stuff.

They were brought up that way and never questioned it just like the Cubans are taught and believe that we are going to invade them any day now ever since the Oct. Missile Crisis and Bay of Pigs. It's one thing to know what it means and be able to critique its flaws but what people do when you say communism is think of "Russia" and "North Korea" and associate it with evilness (axis of evil, anyone?) without being able to identify a single element of a Marxist economic system.





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FraggedTopic starter

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2008, 11:31:33 AM »

I think the thing that annoys me the most out of every ridiculous anti-socialist comment made by nearly anyone who makes them, is the fact that it's all based on unbelievable levels of greed by the wealthy part of society. People don't want any form of socialism(too late assholes) because they think it meas that the gov't is going to rampage through their 14 bedroom, 2 pool, 6 bathroom house and un-bolt the toilet seat to steal everything they own and give it to hobos. It's frustrating to have argument after argument with people who don't even understand the basics of the economic system they have the balls to criticize(with false information).

Ironically, you could see these anti-socialist movements by the wealthy as "Unpatriotic" if you really wanted to spin it politically. The most ironic part about it, is that it'd be completely true. What other way to hate your own country than to refuse to support it? Take so little pride in your own homeland that you would rather own 8 cars and a summer home in paris than you would to own 2 cars, stay at a nice hotel when you go on vacation, and give the supplement to the federal systems to help them educate the next generation, invest in new energy sources, and better the lives of millions of people.

That's what gets me.

I'm glad Obama won because he understands that Socialism at its core is not a bad thing, it's when you twist it and use it as a totalitarian tool to aid in controlling the people that it becomes a symbol of hate and oppression. I'm going to laugh when in 4 years the middle class people I know are getting tax breaks as opposed to the massive tax hikes they think Obama was straight up lying about, when healthcare is on the track to being affordable, when we're out of Iraq and either looking for the people we need to be looking for, or simply out of the Middle East all together, and when the rest of the world stops seeing America as the laughingstock superpower and starts actually LIKING our leader.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 12:50:31 PM »

I think the thing that annoys me the most out of every ridiculous anti-socialist comment made by nearly anyone who makes them, is the fact that it's all based on unbelievable levels of greed by the wealthy part of society. People don't want any form of socialism(too late assholes) because they think it meas that the gov't is going to rampage through their 14 bedroom, 2 pool, 6 bathroom house and un-bolt the toilet seat to steal everything they own and give it to hobos. It's frustrating to have argument after argument with people who don't even understand the basics of the economic system they have the balls to criticize(with false information).

Ironically, you could see these anti-socialist movements by the wealthy as "Unpatriotic" if you really wanted to spin it politically. The most ironic part about it, is that it'd be completely true. What other way to hate your own country than to refuse to support it? Take so little pride in your own homeland that you would rather own 8 cars and a summer home in paris than you would to own 2 cars, stay at a nice hotel when you go on vacation, and give the supplement to the federal systems to help them educate the next generation, invest in new energy sources, and better the lives of millions of people.

That's what gets me.

I'm glad Obama won because he understands that Socialism at its core is not a bad thing, it's when you twist it and use it as a totalitarian tool to aid in controlling the people that it becomes a symbol of hate and oppression. I'm going to laugh when in 4 years the middle class people I know are getting tax breaks as opposed to the massive tax hikes they think Obama was straight up lying about, when healthcare is on the track to being affordable, when we're out of Iraq and either looking for the people we need to be looking for, or simply out of the Middle East all together, and when the rest of the world stops seeing America as the laughingstock superpower and starts actually LIKING our leader.

Right. You must be a political science student?  :lol:

Allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire (which were passed that way by the then Republican Congress so that they could say that not extending it would be a tax hike in the election year) to roll back taxes on the top 5% of earners to what it was in 2000 when we actually had a budget surplus and were paying down the national debt instead of adding trillions and trillions to it, wont seem like such a bad thing four years from now. Especially when the other 95% has their taxes cut.

When we talk about redistributing wealth and progressive tax rates in this country, we're not talking about 95% of the people which is what Joe the Plumber and most of the McCain supporters don't understand. I find it woeful that some uneducated backwoods hick from Buttfuck, West Virginia who makes $10,000 a year stuffing cotton into aspirin bottles is worried about anything having to do with redistribution of wealth. McCain kept hammering the topic to the delight of his audience even though 99% of them will never live to see the day when they have to worry about the top tax rates.

McCain was really talking about people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Cindy McCain who has earned over $10 million in the past two years while Obama was talking about making THOSE PEOPLE contribute a little more of their fortune back to society for the public good. It's called a social contract. They aren't going to go to the poor house or not be able to afford a mortgage payment or a doctor bill because of it.
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princess of pt

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 02:10:53 PM »



I'm glad Obama won because he understands that Socialism at its core is not a bad thing, it's when you twist it and use it as a totalitarian tool to aid in controlling the people that it becomes a symbol of hate and oppression. I'm going to laugh when in 4 years the middle class people I know are getting tax breaks as opposed to the massive tax hikes they think Obama was straight up lying about, when healthcare is on the track to being affordable, when we're out of Iraq and either looking for the people we need to be looking for, or simply out of the Middle East all together, and when the rest of the world stops seeing America as the laughingstock superpower and starts actually LIKING our leader.

I am very leery of anticipating anything like a tax cut that will effect the middle class exponentially in the next four years. I think that is a very high expectation considering the current state of economic affairs in our country on top of the largest deficit we've ever seen. I think a lot of people will use Obama's tax ideals against him when he is not able to accomplish his narrative in four years. I don't know if it is something he will be able to even accomplish in eight. What I do know is he has well intentions and will at least try to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Nobody should be complacent in feeling like this man will magically solve our financial woes. His plan will take many, many years to come to fruition.
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RizenPhoeniz

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 07:44:00 PM »

I am very leery of anticipating anything like a tax cut that will effect the middle class exponentially in the next four years. I think that is a very high expectation considering the current state of economic affairs in our country on top of the largest deficit we've ever seen. I think a lot of people will use Obama's tax ideals against him when he is not able to accomplish his narrative in four years. I don't know if it is something he will be able to even accomplish in eight. What I do know is he has well intentions and will at least try to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Nobody should be complacent in feeling like this man will magically solve our financial woes. His plan will take many, many years to come to fruition.


We can afford the tax cuts for the middle class, Here's where we can get the money to pay for them.

Corporate tax rates were also cut so severely that they went from representing over 33% of total federal tax receipts in 1951 to less than 9% in 1983 (they?re still in that neighborhood, the lowest in the industrialized world).

I got that quote from ThomHartmann.com but the underlying source for the stats is this link.

http://www.cbpp.org/10-16-03tax.htm
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2008, 12:13:59 AM »

Interesting, but that is from 2003  :vc:

This is where my concerns lay;

Most of the ideas were floated before credit markets froze and the economy faltered. By the time the Obamas and their new puppy settle into the White House, things could be even worse.

Pundits say this could force Obama to shelve his tax plans while he focuses on the economy.

"Most of his tax proposals will be deferred because they don't have a stimulus effect and some of them will make the economy worse," says Roberton Williams, principal research associate with the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The centerpiece of Obama's tax plan is the Making Work Pay Credit. It would give workers making up to $75,000 per year a credit equal to 6.2 percent of their first $8,100 in annual earnings.

The credit, worth about $500 per year, would essentially refund what eligible workers paid in Social Security tax. Couples earning up to $150,000 a year could get up to $1,000 if both work.

The credit would not stimulate the economy because it "rewards people for what they have already done. Those people are already working," Williams says.

Like other proposed tax cuts, the credit would provide no immediate stimulus because people would not get the benefit until they file their 2009 taxes in 2010, unless it was sent out in an advance refund check - a tactic used in the Bush administration.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/05/BUS013URIE.DTL&tsp=1
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RizenPhoeniz

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2008, 02:12:47 AM »

Interesting, but that is from 2003  :vc:

This is where my concerns lay;

Most of the ideas were floated before credit markets froze and the economy faltered. By the time the Obamas and their new puppy settle into the White House, things could be even worse.

Pundits say this could force Obama to shelve his tax plans while he focuses on the economy.

"Most of his tax proposals will be deferred because they don't have a stimulus effect and some of them will make the economy worse," says Roberton Williams, principal research associate with the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The centerpiece of Obama's tax plan is the Making Work Pay Credit. It would give workers making up to $75,000 per year a credit equal to 6.2 percent of their first $8,100 in annual earnings.

The credit, worth about $500 per year, would essentially refund what eligible workers paid in Social Security tax. Couples earning up to $150,000 a year could get up to $1,000 if both work.

The credit would not stimulate the economy because it "rewards people for what they have already done. Those people are already working," Williams says.

Like other proposed tax cuts, the credit would provide no immediate stimulus because people would not get the benefit until they file their 2009 taxes in 2010, unless it was sent out in an advance refund check - a tactic used in the Bush administration.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/05/BUS013URIE.DTL&tsp=1


Giving money to people that live paycheck to paycheck doesn't stimulate the economy? That's a new one on me. They spend it buying stuff, helping create a job for the clerk that sold it to them, the stock boy that put it on the self, the truck driver that brought it to the store, the fork lift driver that put it on the truck, the Haitian that worked on the ship that brought it to the dock and the 12yo Chinese girl that made it.

Even if that was 2003, do u really think that corporations are paying more of the share now? There is another place we can get the money to shore up the budget until the economy gets rolling again. We should put an across the board tariff on imports that equals the amount of trade deficit we have. This will help us balance the books in the short term and move high paying manufacturing jobs back to the USA in the long term.  The trade deficit was 759 billion last year.

Another place to get it is  a securities surcharge of say .25%. Most countries in the world do this already and the cost added to a single stock is minuscule. Say for instance a stock costs 100 dollars, the surcharge costs  25 cents. I've heard estimates ranging from 200 billion to 500 billion in revenue from this alone.

But do u want to know the easiest way to increase revenues? Double the minimum wage. You would reduce outlays due to the EIC and push about 15 million Americans from paying no income tax to paying several hundred dollars a year. Not to mention you will move some more money into the hands of people that spend it, thus creating yet more jobs and growing the tax base more.

But what about the small business man you say? Well lets take a Pizza parlor for instance. Lets say a large Pizza costs $20 dollars. In the food industry a labor cost of 25% is pretty standard so that would mean that is about $5 dollars of labor in that 20 dollar pizza. So if you double the minimum wage the labor cost in that pizza will go to probably $9. Why not $10? because not everyone working in the parlor makes minimum  wage(i.e. shift manager) Now the other related costs will probably go up 10 percent or so do to increase costs for his suppliers. So that means doubling the minimum wage increases his costs a total of about $5.50 to make that pizza. So to make the same profit on the same pizza he will have to charge $25.50. Here's the upside for the pizza parlor, everyone in the community that makes minimum wage had to work 3 hours to pay for the $20 dollar pizza, but only has to work 1 and 2/3 hour to pay for the $25.50 pizza.
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FraggedTopic starter

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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 03:07:32 PM »

Right. You must be a political science student?  :lol:

At the risk of missing any sarcasm that may or may not be here, no I am not lmao.

Quote
Allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire (which were passed that way by the then Republican Congress so that they could say that not extending it would be a tax hike in the election year) to roll back taxes on the top 5% of earners to what it was in 2000 when we actually had a budget surplus and were paying down the national debt instead of adding trillions and trillions to it, wont seem like such a bad thing four years from now. Especially when the other 95% has their taxes cut.

When we talk about redistributing wealth and progressive tax rates in this country, we're not talking about 95% of the people which is what Joe the Plumber and most of the McCain supporters don't understand. I find it woeful that some uneducated backwoods hick from Buttfuck, West Virginia who makes $10,000 a year stuffing cotton into aspirin bottles is worried about anything having to do with redistribution of wealth. McCain kept hammering the topic to the delight of his audience even though 99% of them will never live to see the day when they have to worry about the top tax rates.

Exactly. McCain in all his grandfather time wisdom pounded the idea that Obama is going to steal people's money and just give it away to the public, or that he's going to raise taxes on everyone, not just the wealthy and the corporations, and everyone is gonna end up with the IRS fucking them up the ass on a yearly basis.

What saddens me is the damage these statements have the potential to do to Obama's support come the start of his term. Just because McCain lost doesn't mean that the country will forget these statements, and while most people with a brain know that it's not possible for Obama to fix all our problems on day one, the stupid and impatient will more than likely look at his term within 60 days and go "Wait, why aren't I shitting money yet?! WHAT THE FUCK HE LIED TO US! RAAAAAAAAGE" and we may end up ruining something that has the potential to be a nation repairing Presidency through impatience and ignorance. We'll just have to wait and see if the U.S. populous is REALLY as stupid as I think it is.
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Re: The Socialism Discussion Thread!
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2008, 07:41:14 AM »


Socialism as defined by a Socialist(me)

It's we the people setting a standard of living which provides dignity to all people. A living wage, universal health care, good retirement, environmental protections, good housing, high quality/low cost food, high quality public infrastructure(roads/water/sewer/transportation/etc.), and easy to obtain education are some of the most important things a socialist believes should be guaranteed to everyone that is willing to work or is physically/mentally unable to.

Does that mean there is no room for capitalism in a socialist society? Absolutely not. Socialist simply believe that the basics for having a good life shouldn't be hindered by profit motive. If apple can sell I-pods for $400 let them, but is it really such a good idea to let Phisher sell a 30 day supply of your grandmothers heart meds for $400 just because they can?

PS - Modern Socialist despise being lumped in with Communism, we believe in democracy.

yes obviously your definition, mine I will give in a follow up post.

I would agree with your sentiments up to a point.

The profit motive doesn't hinder the good things in life it provides them.

ACME inc doesn't charge $400 dollars for its meds because it wants to, it needs to recoup the research and developement costs before the patent expires to make it worth while in the first place.

If it was a pure case of profiteering, or monopoly pricing then there is a problem with market structure. This can be addressed by market reform and is not the same issue.

Not leftwing since I was 18 but can share a lot of those sentiments and would say a lot of those are issues of regulation. I would describe you as more of a soial democrat, or Democratic socialist but will come back to that in my next post.
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