lowfog01 wrote:... show me one country where liberalism has worked to the benefit of the citizens ...
rberq wrote: "Norway. Small, liberal, and one of the richest in the world in per capita income." [/quote]
Yes a quick trip around the internet shows that Norway has a very high standard of living. It also will show you that Norway has a 49.5% income tax and is topped off with a 25% value added tax. In case you not familiar with the VAT tax – that tax is added every time your product moves from one stage of production to another, i.e. you have added value to the product. By the time the consumer purchases the product it will have been taxed multiply times and that tax is passed on to the consumer at each level. You can buy a lot of benefits with that but over time that level of taxation will become unsustainable. The well is only so deep before you hit the bottom. Just imagine the standard of living you could have if you were able to keep a little more of what you earn in your pocket by not providing for others who don’t work as hard as you do for the same benefits you work hard to achieve. http://www.mn2020hindsight.org/?p=2812
lowfog01 wrote:Like it or not capitalism works and it provides the standard of living we each enjoy ...
rberq wrote; "The U.S. has not been purely capitalist for a VERY long time. I guess you could consider slavery capitalist, since slaves were property used for production. Sadly, we did away with that piece of capitalism. Capitalism as such refers to owning the means of production, and does not define whether a country is socialist or not. Socialism, as the term is used nowadays, refers to the distribution of whatever is produced. "Competition" is what many people really mean when they say "capitalism" -- in your example, the ability of a poor boy to compete and become a Senator. Competition still exists, largely in the small business world, but get much beyond that and you have monopoly and oligopoly. Witness your cable TV company, the oil companies, the big banks, Microsoft, and on and on and on -- their specialty is squashing competition to further enrich themselves. I'm all in favor of strong and fair COMPETITION -- but there's not enough of it around to give it so much credit."
No, the U.S. hasn't been purely capitalist for a very long time. I can't remember a time in our country's history that the government didn't try to get his fingers in the pie. That doesn’t mean we should abandon the system. We should work harder to make it work better for us all. I don't understand your reference to slavery - slavery was a horrific system which was left to fester for too long a time. If anything it is a representation of socialism where the means of production is owned by the central authority and profits are distributed equally among the workers. Except even under this model slaves had incentive to do better, house slaves received more return on their effort than did field slaves.
I have to disagree – capitalism does define whether or not a country is socialist or not. Under capitalism the means of production, i.e. materials and labor, are privately owned and the benefits gained are split among those that produced the product based on the level of each individual’s efforts. Understandably competition plays a huge part in capitalism. The drive for less expensive materials and labor while producing a quality product people want is what provides a lasting high standard of living. That drive to build a better mouse trap is what makes Americans stand apart from citizens of other countries. The harder you work, the more you gain. Socialism does not allow for unbound individual advancement. The means of production is control by the state and all benefits derived by the effort are split equitable. There is no incentive to work harder or build a better mouse trap. Someone is going to delivery your benefits tomorrow regardless of what you did today. That’s been documented through time.
Rberg wrote “ And while we're on the subject, I know there are some here that use the term "libs" just to p*ss people off. Your arguments, Lisa, are generally on a higher plane than that, so I hate to see you adopt the term. Just call us PWDAWYOE -- people who don't agree with you on everything.
I don’t use the term libs to tick people off. There is nothing to gain by ticking people off as it does nothing to advance the conversation. I use libs to describe the thoughts and actions of individuals who display the ideology of liberals or progressives. Since that is the simplest label that best defines that ideology that is the term I will use. I am sorry if offends anyone or maybe doesn't quite define you but you are known by the company you keep. Lisa