I want MORE economic freedom, not less!

One of the most laughable misconceptions people have about economics is that laissez-faire capitalism is somehow an example of economic freedom, while socialism is a form of economic tyranny. Certainly the type of socialism that Communism was came across as tyrannical and deserved to be abolished. But not socialism itself. Socialism coupled with a democratic government that has a written constitution that guarantees civil rights for all citizens actually promotes the most economic freedom, while laissez-faire capitalism is economic ANARCHY that eventually results in both chaos and tyranny, like political anarchy does. With no restraints by government, corporations will only get larger and more powerful by merging with smaller and weaker corporations and will so dominate the market that small businesses started by individual owners seldom have a chance to even get off the ground. That is NOT a free market! Such a concept doesn’t really exist, except in the deluded minds of many Conservatives and Libertarians. You either have a market in which government occationally intervenes to break up giant corporations (trust-busting)  to allow small businesses to thrive and maintain their independence, or you have a market in which individual efforts at owning one’s own means of production and income are destroyed by the giant corporations themselves. The Founding Fathers of the United States understood that unrestrained government destroys individual liberty, so they made a system of checks and balances in the Constitution to restrain government. They should have done the same with the American economic system. If a democratic government can have its own method of checks and balances against corporations, and thus prevent corporations from ever merging and even buy out and sell off the properties of failing corporations to individuals who wish to start their own small businesses, then we will have more economic freedom. Corporations themselves are more like governments in their makeup and operations than like individuals. They should never be “free” to exploit resources and people as they please. Only INDIVIDUALS should be free for freedom to have any real meaning! We see imperialism, which was the norm 150 years ago, as evil today, because it involved governments conquering and ruling other peoples for the gain of the conquerers. Why should laissez-faire captalism be seen any differently? Can we not abolish that as well and promote real economic freedom instead?

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8 thoughts on “I want MORE economic freedom, not less!

  1. What is your definition of freedom? “Free to be ruled”? “Free to be governed”? “As free as the masses want me to be?”. If you truly cherish freedom, I would gladly discuss the topic.

    // hpx

    • Hello hpx83,

      My definition of freedom includes the concept of maximum personal autonomy for the most people. If you live in a “free” market economy where your best job prospects are to work a for a giant business that sets your hours and that pays you according the amount it thinks you are worth, that’s NOT freedom! If you operate your own business, you get to set your own hours and your own pay, according to how much you want to make and how successful your business is. From a standpoint of genuine liberty, it is far better to have millions of small businesses with individual owners or partners, than to have a few dozen giant corporations owning almost everything. If the government does not restrain giant corporations from conquering all small businesses, then those corporations will ultimately tyrannize over YOU! Expressing fear that the government may rule over you badly misses the real point, that corporations can be just as oppressive as any government and that it is never logical to trade one sort of tyranny for another. That’s why I specified that we need “Socialism coupled with a democratic government that has a written constitution that guarantees civil rights for all citizens”. Not Communism! Not laissez-faire capitalism! DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM! Corporations are not democracies, because workers do not vote in them, only stockholders. And the more stock you own, the more votes you can cast, and therefore the more power you have. Yet we let them operate freely?

  2. But I think you have it all backwards? Big business largely live off the favours handed to them from the government. Lobbying, campaign-sponsoring – all of this is a way for big companies to get favours through regulation (and as of recently – handouts) by the government. We would have millions of small businesses, if only the governments of this world would make it so bloody hopeless to start your own business, and to profit from it. And the difference between government and business is this – government rule you by law, while business can never rule you unless you consent (by taking employment). If it was easy enough to start your own business, no one would be ruled by big corporations – because they would find other employment, and the big corporations would either have to make it more preferable to work for them – or go under.

    And it doesn’t matter that the stockholders decide – because the stockholders will realize that without any employees – their corporation is worth nothing! Being a stockholder used to be a token of your ability to save up money, and to invest it in the future, supplying jobs and future development. Thanks to the Leviathan that is government, it has now been degraded to the job of finding the best government cronies so you can have unfair advantage over your competitors.

    There is only one big business I agree with, and that is big business that was created (and sustained) on a laissez-faire market, that built its profits on open competition, and did what they did better than anyone else. Because no company can be the biggest unless they are the best, and this includes getting the most out of your employees, which means paying them well for their services. Sadly that is not the case today, since there is more money in government favours than actually doing good business. Government has guaranteed that as long as you do them favours, it doesn’t matter if you would be slaughtered in a real free market – because they will make sure you are kept in business.

    So basically, our premises are very alike. I hope I can convince you to read one or two pages of my blog – because you are actually the kind of person I want to read it. People who are fed up with a society that feels like something have gone seriously wrong, but have had the idea that we have had a free market and that it is to blame repeated over and over again. I too believe in maximum personal autonomy – and therefore I hate government. Government is the only institution that can rule you by force. If an employer were not to give me what I was due, I would tell him to shove it and hand in my resignation. If the government takes more money from me than I think is correct and I tell them to shove it – I am thrown in jail.

    I have seen the face of democratic socialism, and no matter if it may be appealing to some, it is the face of corruption and power over others. If we truly want to be free, our enemy is not the free market, but those who wish to limit and destroy our freedom. Government.

    • Big business largely live off the favours handed to them from the government. Lobbying, campaign-sponsoring – all of this is a way for big companies to get favours through regulation (and as of recently – handouts) by the government.

      That is indeed true. The government should be bailing out the people, not the corporations.

      We would have millions of small businesses, if only the governments of this world would make it so bloody hopeless to start your own business, and to profit from it.

      I will assume you meant “if only the governments of this world would NOT make it so bloody hopeless to start your own business.” However, it is because the corporations already control so much of the market that small businesses are hindered. And because big businesses are already so powerful, they can influence the governments to maintain and even increase further their power.

      And the difference between government and business is this – government rule you by law, while business can never rule you unless you consent (by taking employment).

      Well, you CAN immigrate from one country to another, actually. Plus, corporations make their own “laws” to govern their employees. Sure, in theory you can quit that job and look for another, but in practice most corporations tend to adopt simular policies to benefit themselves more than their employees or customers, because ALL corporations ultimately seek to make the most in profits. Higher profit margins result from low pay to employees and high prices to customers, regardless of the corporation. The only agency that can force them to provide better for employees and customers is…..the government, which is why deregulation from the 1980s onward was such an insidious scam!

      If it was easy enough to start your own business, no one would be ruled by big corporations – because they would find other employment, and the big corporations would either have to make it more preferable to work for them – or go under.

      I agree with that point. I want it to be as easy as possible to start small businesses and to see as many of them as possible. First, we must get rid of most of the corporations. They are already too big and powerful.

      And it doesn’t matter that the stockholders decide – because the stockholders will realize that without any employees – their corporation is worth nothing!

      Invalid claim. That would only make sense if employees were totally free to quit their jobs and wait for months for a better one to be found. In practice, thanks to the absurdly high cost of living, most employees live paycheck to paycheck and risk bankruptcy when they quit a job.

      Being a stockholder used to be a token of your ability to save up money, and to invest it in the future, supplying jobs and future development. Thanks to the Leviathan that is government, it has now been degraded to the job of finding the best government cronies so you can have unfair advantage over your competitors.

      I’ll take that claim with a grain of salt, thank you. I am already aware of how giant corporations influence government and want that stopped!

      There is only one big business I agree with, and that is big business that was created (and sustained) on a laissez-faire market, that built its profits on open competition, and did what they did better than anyone else. Because no company can be the biggest unless they are the best, and this includes getting the most out of your employees, which means paying them well for their services.

      As if the actual history of unrestrained capitalism reflects this! Sorry, I know better! Cheaters do sometimes win if there is no referee to watch over the game!

      Sadly that is not the case today, since there is more money in government favours than actually doing good business. Government has guaranteed that as long as you do them favours, it doesn’t matter if you would be slaughtered in a real free market – because they will make sure you are kept in business.

      Boy, are you assumptions messed up! The purpose of bailing out giant corporations is to keep the capitalist economy moving by preventing unemployment from skyrocketing, which is what would happen if those corporations go bankrupt! How could you NOT see that?! Such bailouts wouldn’t have been an issue at all if those corporations had not been allowed to get so massive in the first place!

      People who are fed up with a society that feels like something have gone seriously wrong, but have had the idea that we have had a free market and that it is to blame repeated over and over again.

      Let me get this straight. You argue that because a moderatly free market has failed us, we should try a COMPLETELY free market? But that’s exactly what we had in the 19th Century, and that’s what allowed corporations to form TRUSTS to totally dominate the markets! Then the government had to engage in trust-busting during the Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft Administrations to stop the economic tyranny that resulted. Therefore, you are WRONG!

      I too believe in maximum personal autonomy – and therefore I hate government. Government is the only institution that can rule you by force. If an employer were not to give me what I was due, I would tell him to shove it and hand in my resignation. If the government takes more money from me than I think is correct and I tell them to shove it – I am thrown in jail.

      Sorry, but anarchy is not viable because human rights is a meaningless concept there. And in a democracy you can always vote for candidates that promise to lower your taxes. When you cheat the government out of taxes, you also cheat the people that democratic government serves.

      I have seen the face of democratic socialism, and no matter if it may be appealing to some, it is the face of corruption and power over others.

      I do not beleive you. Democratic socialism is what Western European countries had for many decades, even as they opposed Communism that ruled most of Eastern Europe. You seem to mistake firm control for “corruption and power over others”. I hope you are not a parent, because that attitude of yours would be a disaster with regards to raising children. You CANNOT use a laissez-faire approach with children. And my regard for human nature is that when most people are not kept in check by government or by extreme peer pressure, they will cheat each other any way they can.

      If we truly want to be free, our enemy is not the free market, but those who wish to limit and destroy our freedom. Government.

      It’s BOTH the free market and the government operating without restraints! Period!

      • “However, it is because the corporations already control so much of the market that small businesses are hindered. And because big businesses are already so powerful, they can influence the governments to maintain and even increase further their power.”

        But the problem here is the government – not the corporations! Remove the government and its crony policies, and any business that isn’t working honestly to provide that which people want will go bankrupt. Any business that cannot attract competent labour will rot from within.

        “Plus, corporations make their own “laws” to govern their employees. Sure, in theory you can quit that job and look for another, but in practice most corporations tend to adopt simular policies to benefit themselves more than their employees or customers, because ALL corporations ultimately seek to make the most in profits. Higher profit margins result from low pay to employees and high prices to customers, regardless of the corporation. The only agency that can force them to provide better for employees and customers is…..the government, which is why deregulation from the 1980s onward was such an insidious scam!”

        The reason that some many corporations adopt similar policies is that the corruptions is so widespread, that everyone knows a government friend is more valuable then a good employee and satisfied customers. Striving for profit drives the economy forward, and a free market will guarantee the failure of anyone raising prices / lowering wages enough so that a competitor can take over the market. In the long run, a free market guarantees that workers can demand the maximum value for their services, and customers minimal price for that which they purchase.

        “That would only make sense if employees were totally free to quit their jobs and wait for months for a better one to be found. In practice, thanks to the absurdly high cost of living, most employees live paycheck to paycheck and risk bankruptcy when they quit a job.”

        Again, if we had a sound business climate this would not be a problem. The absurdly high cost of living is due to government incompetent and interference. Through taxes and price manipulation (which is created by subsidizing certain sectors) we are all significantly poorer, and have to pay significantly more, for basic goods and services.

        “As if the actual history of unrestrained capitalism reflects this! Sorry, I know better! Cheaters do sometimes win if there is no referee to watch over the game!”

        Why do you think the industrial revolution lead to the biggest increase in living standards ever experienced? Because capitalism was unrestrained. Why do you think 600 million people have moved out of absolute poverty in China the last 25 years? Because China, while politically being a communist dictatorship, has made sure they have among the free-est markets in the world. Why do you think that every country that has economic freedom experiences an wealth increase that is many times as large as those of unfree economies? Why do you think that growth in the western world has decelereated and now seemingly come to a complete halt? Cheaters can never win long term in a free democracy, because there is always someone watching, ready to beat the cheater at his own game as soon as he is discovered.

        “Boy, are you assumptions messed up! The purpose of bailing out giant corporations is to keep the capitalist economy moving by preventing unemployment from skyrocketing, which is what would happen if those corporations go bankrupt! How could you NOT see that?! Such bailouts wouldn’t have been an issue at all if those corporations had not been allowed to get so massive in the first place!”

        The capitalist economy is currently being completely hindered from working, because bankrupcy is a part of a capitalist economy. If companies do not pay for their mistakes, then there is no competition, no strive forward, and we are thus rewarding incompetence and punishing competence. Right now, the capitalist system needs MASSIVE unemployment because due to government manipulation of the economy, there are millions of people working jobs that produce things people really aren’t interest in, especially not at the price tag it comes with. The majority of the US banks and financial institution, GM and Chrysler and god only knows who else would have gone down in flames long ago in a free economy, and replaced by far more competent business.

        “Let me get this straight. You argue that because a moderatly free market has failed us, we should try a COMPLETELY free market? But that’s exactly what we had in the 19th Century, and that’s what allowed corporations to form TRUSTS to totally dominate the markets! Then the government had to engage in trust-busting during the Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft Administrations to stop the economic tyranny that resulted. Therefore, you are WRONG!”

        The trust-busting was one of the biggest scams ever performed. Did you know that a company manufacturing aluminum was sentenced under the anti-trust laws, because they predicted an increase in demand and therefore increased production, which was deemed “unfair”, because then the competitors (who didn’t predict the increase in demand) didn’t have a chance to compete. No monopoly can ever be sustained without government help, because the longer the monopoly exists, the higher the profit in starting to compete with it.

        “Sorry, but anarchy is not viable because human rights is a meaningless concept there. And in a democracy you can always vote for candidates that promise to lower your taxes. When you cheat the government out of taxes, you also cheat the people that democratic government serves.”

        I am not an anarchist, I am a minarchist. I want a minimal government, providing the minimum amount of rules needed for the peaceful operation of society. And I will not accept a system where the majority can rob the minority simply because there is more of them. After all – if a band of thugs came and said “there are more of us, and we have bigger clubs”, you wouldn’t approve of them stealing your money, would you? Taxes are a necessary evil to maintain a state, but they do not need to be especially big. A couple of percent is all it takes to maintain a minimal government. The rest of peoples money should not be up for vote, because then people will form private-interest-majorities with the sole purpose of robbing other minorities.

        “I do not beleive you. Democratic socialism is what Western European countries had for many decades, even as they opposed Communism that ruled most of Eastern Europe. You seem to mistake firm control for “corruption and power over others”. I hope you are not a parent, because that attitude of yours would be a disaster with regards to raising children. You CANNOT use a laissez-faire approach with children. And my regard for human nature is that when most people are not kept in check by government or by extreme peer pressure, they will cheat each other any way they can.”

        Yes, we have had democratic socialism here in Europe, and those countries who have taken it the furthest, are those that have the least growth and prosperity. Some european countries are realizing this, and trying to cut back on government spending, sadly most of them are going to have negative growth for a long time to come, because of the massive burden of government on the economy. I am not a parent, but even if I was one I do not see a problem with raising children.

        A child is not an economic system, or the other way around. A child needs to be raised correctly, but once it was grown up and knows enough about the world that it could stand on its own feet, I would let it know my ideological standpoint and why I think its the only correct one. I am discussing how to interact as adult, thinking, reflecting people in a free economic system, a child is not allowed into such a system until they have reached an age where its generally conceded that they have the capability for rational thinking.
        If you see man as a beast that needs to be tamed, then yes, being socialist comes naturally. I believe man is capable of great things, were he to be released from the shackles of a corrupted socialistic society. But if you think that people cheat each other any way they can, why don’t you change this – starting with yourself? Or do you deem yourself so much better than everyone else that only others cheat each other, while you are always truthful? Why, in this case, would you be so quick to pass judgement on everyone else being worse than you?
        Only by giving up on your own ability to improve can you pass judgement on humanity as a whole.

    • I think this argument between me and Hph83 illustrates why it is so difficult to have productive dialogues between people of different ideologies. Unlike him, I do not blindly assume that only one ideology is right for all societies, for that would make me (and him) no better than the Communists were. While I am willing to ask for help from the government to solve our economic problems, I do not have absolute faith in the government to run an economy completely, as the Communists did. Nor do I have the pathological hatred for governments that Hph83 does. But what infuriates me the most is how he is even willing to distort history to support his ideology, as shown here:

      The trust-busting was one of the biggest scams ever performed. Did you know that a company manufacturing aluminum was sentenced under the anti-trust laws, because they predicted an increase in demand and therefore increased production, which was deemed “unfair”, because then the competitors (who didn’t predict the increase in demand) didn’t have a chance to compete. No monopoly can ever be sustained without government help, because the longer the monopoly exists, the higher the profit in starting to compete with it.

      And at that point, he completely lost me, because I knew that was total NONSENSE! Note that he didn’t specify the aluminum producing company in question that was the alleged victim of trust-busting. One of the first lessons I learned in economics class in high school was about the scarcity of resources, which I later realized makes monopolies in an unrestrained capitalist system possible. If you’ve ever played the game MONOPOLY, then you know that in an unrestrained capitalist system that the game was made to mimic that companies in competition with will inevitably destroy each other. Eventually only a few, or even just one, are left to ruthlessly dominate the market and shut out any future competitors that attempt to start themselves later. Then they can fix prices and underpay their employees with impunity, resulting in a vast and growing gap between rich and poor that will eventually cause the capitalist system to implode. That’s why I wouldn’t imagine a new oil company being founded today to try to compete with Exxon or any of the other giant oil companies that have existed since the early 20th Century. It just doesn’t happen. Once a company gets large and powerful enough, it perpetuates itself by constantly expanding itself at the expense of other companies. If you think that’s just, you might as well be a fascist and favor wars of conquest in which weaker nations are brutalized by stronger nations.

      I have already stated that corporations are more like governments than like individuals in their makeup and operations. How can Hph83 seriously blame government corruption for all that goes wrong with an economy? That’s putting the cart before the horse, since in my mind it was corrupt corporations lobbying the government that made it corrupt in turn.
      In the long run, a free market guarantees that workers can demand the maximum value for their services, and customers minimal price for that which they purchase.

      And that’s the real problem, isn’t it? Competition between companies creates low profit margins, which cause most of them to go bankrupt eventually until finally there is one left that can then drive up the prices for consumers and lower its employees’ pay! That’s what I was talking about in the original essay! That’s what a trust is like! That’s economic tyranny!

      And I will not accept a system where the majority can rob the minority simply because there is more of them. After all – if a band of thugs came and said “there are more of us, and we have bigger clubs”, you wouldn’t approve of them stealing your money, would you?

      Strawman. Taxation at ANY rate is not robbery! If it is done by due process of law, it is LEGAL! Robbery by definition is ILLEGAL! I consider using rhetoric to make something look more evil than it really is to be DISHONEST!

      Yes, we have had democratic socialism here in Europe, and those countries who have taken it the furthest, are those that have the least growth and prosperity.

      Another reason for lack of economic growth in Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere is the low birth rates and long life spans of the people, resulting in an aging population that consists largely of retired people living on welfare paid for by fewer workers of younger ages. So what should we do about that? Exterminate the older people? Force them to keep working well past age 65, even if they tend to be far less productive as workers? Replacing socialism with capitalism won’t make the problem of the aging population go away!

  3. “I think this argument between me and Hph83 illustrates why it is so difficult to have productive dialogues between people of different ideologies. Unlike him, I do not blindly assume that only one ideology is right for all societies”

    This is the difference between socialism and capitalism – in a capitalist society, people are free to form socialist communities, as long as they do not force anyone to join. In a socialist economy – everyone must join in or the system collapses.

    “One of the first lessons I learned in economics class in high school was about the scarcity of resources, which I later realized makes monopolies in an unrestrained capitalist system possible. If you’ve ever played the game MONOPOLY, then you know that in an unrestrained capitalist system that the game was made to mimic that companies in competition with will inevitably destroy each other. Eventually only a few, or even just one, are left to ruthlessly dominate the market and shut out any future competitors that attempt to start themselves later. Then they can fix prices and underpay their employees with impunity, resulting in a vast and growing gap between rich and poor that will eventually cause the capitalist system to implode.”

    Resources are indeed scarce. That is why the economy moves forward by finding new, more efficient ways to use them. Let’s see whats happened during this century. At one point, most of the oil in the world was produced by saudia arabia and the countries around there. Suddenly, someone realized that you can use the gas that you sometimes find when you drill for oil as an energy source as well. This is what made Norway rich – they started drilling off the coast and found natural gas (don’t know if thats the correct english word). And thus, they are competing with the oil companies, bringing prices down and more, cheap energy to the market. And a single company can only drive prices up until someone finds a better way to produce the same good/service with another resource. For instance – if we had a diamond monopoly, artificial diamonds would be made in ever increasing quantities. The problem with oil has lead to a huge increase in demand for windmills and solar power. Why do you think cars cost a fraction of what they did 80 years ago? It’s not because ford monopolized the business (despite the fact that they held a HUGE market share at one point), it’s because as soon as one company makes a lot of money doing something, everyone wants in.

    What is people going to monopolize without government protection? What natural resource could “the evil capitalist” possibly monopolize? Because there is a problem – any monopoly is done with a profit motive, and this will inevitably lead to a situation where there is more to gain by breaking the monopoly and selling off parts of it, then keeping it. Also notice that you are argumenting like a true communist, but I get the feeling you do not wish to be called that. Compare your arguments to a reference point, and you may find scary results.

    “And that’s the real problem, isn’t it? Competition between companies creates low profit margins, which cause most of them to go bankrupt eventually until finally there is one left that can then drive up the prices for consumers and lower its employees’ pay! That’s what I was talking about in the original essay! That’s what a trust is like! That’s economic tyranny!”

    If competition was a problem, we would all have died during the stone-ages. As soon as one person harvested a resource, one of them would kill anyone else harvesting the same so until there was a government to prevent him. Does this sound like a viable argument? And most companies do not go bankrupt – must companies have a lifespan where they start profitable, and live until they are not. You are arguing from a statist point of view, where no new company ever enters the market, and no new competition ever arise to compete with existing companies. You should check the average lifespan of todays companies, and then come back and tell me that we are more and more monopolized. The average number of workers working for a single employer is constantly decreasing, which means that more and more small, specialized companies are entering the market. Doesn’t really sound like a monopoly situation to me.

    “Strawman. Taxation at ANY rate is not robbery! If it is done by due process of law, it is LEGAL! Robbery by definition is ILLEGAL! I consider using rhetoric to make something look more evil than it really is to be DISHONEST!”

    Is 100% taxes not robbery? Was the USSR a “just” place to live in? According to your argument it was. And if not, where is the limit? 90%? 80%? 70%? Only taxes for the rich? Slightly less taxes for the poor? Your argument is based on the fact that oppression is okay, as long as the majority does it to the minority. And what do I care about your justification of what is LEGAL? I obide to laws not because someone forces me, but because I find them morally correct. I do not adhere from theft, robbery, murder, rape, fraud and other crimes because the state will punish me – I keep from doing it because IT IS WRONG. Just because a majority tells me something is right does not mean I will agree. I pay my taxes because otherwise I will be put in jail – and where this not the situation I would only pay taxes for what I want the society to provide. Your argument is based on the complete lack of ideology, and the complete lack of moral that is the trademark of modern society. Just because the majority says so doesn’t make it right. Or would you argue that 51% of the population is right if they create a law that allows them to kill the other 49%? Sounds like nazi germany to me.

    The only moral principle that can guide people is freedom. You may not negatively affect another persons freedom, and vice versa. Any laws that cannot be derived therefrom has no moral basis, and I will only follow them because I am forced. There is nothing dishonest with expressing an opinion about what is evil. The real dishonesty is commited when you argue that a law should be followed because YOU AND THE MAJORITY SAYS SO. If you cannot base your argument for a given law on logic, it is worthless and an abomination. But the true power of tyranny and oppression never came from government or dictators – it came from the people who accept the creed of ruling others, whether the minority rules the majority or the other way around. You have no right to me, my life, or what I produce, nor will you ever have. If you make a law stating so, I will break it as long as I get away with it. Why? Because I have a MORAL RIGHT to break it, and you have no moral right of enforcing it.

    “Another reason for lack of economic growth in Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere is the low birth rates and long life spans of the people, resulting in an aging population that consists largely of retired people living on welfare paid for by fewer workers of younger ages. So what should we do about that? Exterminate the older people? Force them to keep working well past age 65, even if they tend to be far less productive as workers? Replacing socialism with capitalism won’t make the problem of the aging population go away!”

    Under your economic system, you may have to start exterminating old people. The welfare system is a ponzi scheme, and as such it will go under. If it goes under when 100% of the younger peoples earnings goes to paying for the old, and for the ones who dont wish to work, and for the government cronies, or if people protest enough before that : Time will tell.

    Replacing socialism with capitalism WILL make the problem of an aging population go away. You see – capitalism produces wealth. It also gives people a choice to live on whatever wealth they have accumulated, or work more. I feel sad for the coming retirees, because their government has played the largest trick in the history of mankind on them. Because there is NO RETIREMENT MONEY anywhere. What exists is the implicit claim that future generations will provide for those who retire, because the government never saved away the retirement money they demanded people put into the system. THEY SPENT IT ALL! So when the productive burden on coming generetions becomes to heavy – it doesn’t matter how much money you saved for retirement ( or thought you saved – the government either spent it or forced you to put it into stock markets and such through destructive inflationary policies) – because it won’t buy you anything! This is the true face of socialism – it pretends to provide safety for people, when all it really does is set up a framework were corrupt politicians can spend peoples savings, promise things that won’t happen, and do it all under the cover of “the common good”. Any socialist who contributes to this system should either be damned for being evil, or be damned for being ignorant.

    Socialism has never produced anything. Without production, there will only be poverty. The reason that those who produce are often capitalists is not only because they want to keep what they have earned – it’s because they see the socialists and know that they will never ever produce enough to fill the holes their consumption create.

    • “This is the difference between socialism and capitalism – in a capitalist society, people are free to form socialist communities, as long as they do not force anyone to join. In a socialist economy – everyone must join in or the system collapses.”

      Another strawman. You confuse democratic socialism with Communism and think there must be an absolute distinction between socialism and capitalism, when in practice mixed economies can also be a viable option. In a democratic society, there will be several political parties that have different ideologies competing for power, some favoring capitalism, others favoring socialism. If the people get disgusted with the excesses and corruption of laissez-faire capitalism, then they can vote for a Socialist or Liberal party. If they find socialism to be more harmful than helpful, then they can vote for a Libertarian or Conservative party. The biggest flaw in American democracy is that both major political parties favor capitalism and neither are socialist, even though the Democrats are slightly to the left of the Republicans. We might as well have a one-party state here.

      And once the concept of a mixed economy is brought in, the rest of your arguments become pointless. You see, capitalism to excess is just as destructive as communism, and your idealizing capitalism strikes me as fanaticism. Moving us Americans towards a mixed economy, thus making it more socialist than it is now, is what I see as the best solution, but it need not be a permenant one. Once the corporations are cleaned up and stop seeing the world as their oyster to steal all the pearls from at the expense of their competition, of consumers, and even of governments, then they may be trusted once more. Until then, I am determined to see their power over most of us broken.

      “Socialism has never produced anything. Without production, there will only be poverty.”

      The mistake made by Communists (not socialists) was that they tried to establish a permenant society of absolute government control, forgetting that Karl Marx had called for the state to eventually wither away and eliminate force as a tool for economic progress. It is possible that Marx, like me, wanted to break the power of corporations, but mistakenly attacked the concept of private property for individuals as well. Individuals should be allowed to own property, run their own businesses, and make profits off their work. NOT CORPORATIONS!

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