I'm not knocking what you're trying to convey, but I just wanted to say that perhaps using the American public education as an example wasn't necessarily a correct choice. True, public education is prvoided from elementary through high school levels in the United States, but the quality of the curriculums and materials tends to range from average to sub par.
I'm not against the public school system; in fact, I hope it will continue on. Ending the public school system after such reform was put into bettering it during the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries would simply be a waste. All I'm saying is that the learning materials seriously need re-evaluation, which is odd, considering that quite a sizeable chunk of tax money in the United States goes to education. I would have thought that that amount of money would have solved the problem, but that just might be me being naïve.
As for college social programs, the United States actually did come close to having that at one point in history. The sixth president of the United States, John Quincey Adams, had wanted to create a national university in the United States, but the plan, sadly, never came to fruition.
Your view of the education in Europe is a bit rose-tinted, like a lot of American liberals tend to have...
For example, I live in a country in Europe. And we do have "free education", as in you don't have to pay tuition, but most schools still require you to buy your own study material, and such things. People still take student loans, they may not always be as big as the ones in the US, but there are still some people who end up in financial trouble after failing to find work after school and being unable to pay off their loans.
Just a thought: How about explain 'socialism' in the following manner?
Greetings, Mr. Repub! It appeals that you would like for me to explain what 'socialism' is. I am not going to overwhelm you with convoluted politico-economic words. Well, sir ...... your ass-cheeks belong to the government (nominally as representing public interests) and they will be distributed under government control. If you cause disruptive behavior, the government will savagely spank your ass-cheeks until they become as blushed as a pair of ripe tomatoes.
Hehe! Think of it this way. Over the years, Mr. Repub has been behaving, for all practical purposes, just like a spammer or a troll. So, might as well take his rants at their face value and respond to him accordingly.
Explaining socialism to Republicans amounts to beating a dead horse. I would even go further and say that this amounts to beating three dead horses -- anything that goes against WIMIM & WIYIN capitalism is labeled as 'socialism', they still are having 'red scare' hangover, plus they do not even practice free-market capitalism.
WIMIM = What is mine is mine. WIYIN = What is yours is negotiable.
Except when it comes to blame/mistakes. Then it's:
You are responsible for your actions. You are also responsible for my actions. Any attempt to hold me responsible for my actions is just you blaming others for your own failures even if it actually is the fault of others, namely, me.
(If I had a dime for every time I've been blamed for someone else's mistakes, then told some form of that third sentence when I point out I didn't make the mistakes, I'd be rich enough to get away from the damn motherfuckers doing it. And it happens to other liberals and poor people often enough.)
My train of thought: Since Mr. Repub has become excessively demanding out of proportion, do not bother with rationality, let alone humility.
If he insists on -- You are responsible for your actions. You are also responsible for my actions. Any attempt to hold me responsible for my actions is just you blaming others for your own failures even if it actually is the fault of others, namely, me -- very well. So be it! ( )
STANDARD PUNITIVE ... *ahem* ... SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURE
1. Grab Mr. Repub's ass-cheeks.
2. Spread Mr. Repub's ass-cheeks. SPREAD them ARART until his anus (from here on, this will be referred as 'the rear exhaust') can be seen with your naked eyes.
3. Install an elongated object containing fuel-oxidizer mixture, such as diesel oil soaked into pellets of ammonium nitrate, into the rear exhaust. You may use fuel-oxidizer mixtures other than the one mentioned earlier, as long as the mixture in question performs redox reaction upon ignition.
4. Proceed to ignite the fuel-oxidizer mixture you have just installed.
5. Calculate the followings: The thrust-to-weight ratio of Mr. Repub, the trajectory of Mr. Repub, the aerodynamic drag due to Mr. Repub's shape and weight distribution, Mr. Repub's moment of inertia, and so on.
6. Additional area of research: Install Mr. Repub into the bomb bay of a strategic bomber. Upon approaching the target zone, release Mr. Repub. Measure Mr. Repub's CEP (circular error probable).
all this shit is good on paper, but never work in real life for example, you talking about US vs EU study programs, where EU government pays for you. BUT here`s the trick, when YOU PAY for your study, you know, that this is an INVESTMENT to your future, but in Europe more than half of students are studying just for the process of study, with no direct plans to use these knowledges in real life. So more than half of them, are sitting on government`s neck for 10-20 years for nothing in return....
and another point, European Socialism worked in 70-80ies because it was mainly for the citizens of the country, like Swedish socialism was working on Sweden`s "then" population, but as the level of immigration grew, and mostly fueled by non-swedish or non-western population, the system failed, now more and more hard working swedes are paying more and more taxes for the immigrants from Pakistan or Turkey...
I really liked one comment of "tea movment" member SHARE MY WORKING ATTITUDE, NOT MY WEALTH.... as for the topic, Socialism IS NOT WORKING...period... just look at the Soviet Union history. and it`s getting worse if you mix socialims with capitalism like Obama
roads, education, public services are the backbone of the STATE. So generally speaking the government MUST build the backbone of the country, but getting into the pockets of part of it`s citizens because other part is lazy as a turtle it is not good. There`s a good chinese proverb about this situation "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
and in socialism there will be no greed? kidding? even in the times of Stalin, when government terror on citizens was enormous, greed was a major distraction, and actually greed ended up USSR as state, so I don`t think you can eliminate greed from human society or soul. Deal with it.
The one fallacy that underlies each "different kind" of socialism is the mistaken belief that "society" somehow has a right to what I have earned. This is absolutely not true and it directly contradicts my inalienable right to owning property.
The proper role of government can be explained this way: as a human being in my natural state, I have three basic, inalienable rights--life, liberty, and property. I can either choose to protect these rights myself, or I can enter into a contract with the people around me, and we can delegate this responsibility of protecting our rights to a governing body. This is the origin of government. What is important to note is that if I do not have the right to do something, I cannot delegate that right to anyone else, and thus the government--the group of people that I am delegating some of my rightful actions to--has no authority to do that thing. I cannot take something from one person and choose to give it to another who is less fortunate, and thus the government has no authority to do this either. The only legitimate function of government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens.
Now, in order to exist, the government must have funding from somewhere. This is why I don't protest all forms of taxes. However, I am only obligated to pay the government for what it does to protect my rights, and any time that the government takes my money to pay for something unrelated to the protection of my rights, it is committing theft. The government can commit crimes.
Now finally onto the "democratic socialism" you have described. This system, like all forms of socialism, is an attempt at creating a more fair and benevolent society--a utopia. You paint a pretty picture, where everyone "contributes" their money for the betterment of society. What you are leaving out, however, is that the government is actually going to be forcing people to give up the money that they earned to pay for the schooling, housing, etc., of another person. This is no longer a proper function of government, and in fact goes directly against the proper role of government--eroding my rights instead of protecting them.
You might not see anything wrong with this scenario. But you see the very moment the government steps beyond the bounds of its legitimate authority, it has a license to go even farther beyond the boundaries. "But we'll make laws preventing the government from going farther than we want it to," advocates of socialism will say. "We'll only let the government do what we think will help society. Anything else will be against the law." Don't you see the problem here? Once the government steps beyond its legitimate boundaries, laws are meaningless. They broke the natural laws already, so why would your arbitrarily-written laws be any harder to break? This is why every kind of socialism is simply a step on the road to communism and total government control.
In closing, it is never a good idea to give up some of your rights in the name of security or society. History has shown that every time a society chooses to forfeit some of its rights for whatever reason, they end up losing their freedom, their prosperity, and in many cases, their lives. Call me a fear-monger if you want to, but history repeats itself.
How so? Last I checked, "unfettered capitalism," aka the free market, brought more prosperity and raised the standard of living for more people than any other economic system in history. You disagree? Show me a system that has done more.
PS - we most certainly do not have unfettered capitalism today. We have a mixed economy with some capitalism, but extensive government regulation and control (President Obama alone has added over eleven thousand pages of regulation). Notice that the more control we have, the worse the economy is getting. The last two periods of major deregulation, under Coolidge in the 20s and Reagan in the 80s, resulted in two of the periods of highest economic growth in history.
Seriously? I suggest you actually study history before making such an absurd claim. Last I checked, Coolidge took over in the aftermath of the "Forgotten Depression" of 1920--a gift of the Wilson administration--and his laissez-faire policies resulted in the Roaring Twenties, aka one of the most prosperous eras in American history.
Read "New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR's Economic Legacy has Damaged America." Since you're not going to read it, I'll explain. The president who enacted many of the policies that were directly responsible for the Great Depression was Herbert Hoover. Foremost among these damaging policies was the Smoot-Hawley tariff, passed in 1929, which was the highest tariff ever passed in the United States. It severely harmed trade and the domestic economy, and resulted in retaliatory tariffs from major U.S. trading partners. That, coupled with interest-rate meddling that contributed to the stock market crash of 1929 and the policies that caused contagious bank failures, was a major cause of the Great Depression and was passed under the progressive Herbert Hoover.
I like how you haven't responded at all to anything I said in my first post.
This is really a matter of interpretation. Scholar's are not in complete agreement on the exact causes of the Great Depression. I guess it depends what side your on.
Having said that, I think had their been more regulation of the banking system in place leading up to the crash in 2008, it might have been avoided entirely. I think the 2008 crash was a good example of the free market's failure to account for those who will take advantage of loopholes to further their own ends. In other words, of the market's failure to regulate itself.
The problem with modern economics is that it is based on the premise that we are all rational beings that will only make rational decisions that benefit us in the long run. However, we are not rational. According to economic theory it wouldn't be rational for someone to take on a mortgage that they can't possibly afford (because it goes against our interest to not acquire unnecessary debt). However, that is exactly what happened. People did not make all the necessary calculations before applying for and taking these mortgages, they were basing their decisions on their desires to fulfill the American Dream. The credit card debt crisis is another example of this.
Actually, the 2008 crash was also caused by increased regulation as well. The people in government have no experience running banks or businesses, so what makes you think they should be able to, or even could, control the economy effectively? This is why the only role for the government in the economy should be to enforce the law and make sure no fraud, etc., occurring.
I am an economics student, and the whole "rational actor" part of it has always bothered me a bit, but that's really the only way that economic laws can work. But the thing about the mortgage crash was that the government promised to back up mortgage loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and then--to fulfill their goal of increased home-ownership--encouraged banks to make loans to people with poor credit. Because the banks knew they would not take the fall for poor banking practices, they all acted in their own self-interest to make as much profit as possible. While the banks did make bad choices, it is highly unlikely that they would have given out these poor loans if government hadn't set up this situation for the banks to take advantage of.
In here nation "steals" 7-40% of your paycheck no matter what's the monthly/weekly income. Then comes reductions with that like pension, county/muncipal reductions, church tax if you belong to one etc.. So in short if you make roughly 2500€/month (which is average in some jobs) - after taxes, which is 20-25% average. You are left with 1700-1900€ in your hand, then you have to pay car debts, house debts/rent and shit back and you most likely live rest of this month having 300-700€ in your hands. Not to mention that we have one of the most expensive foods around here nowdays. Even fastfood is expensive but that's a good thing. Did you know that Quarter Pounder costs ~5€ (7 dollars) in our McD's?
You'd like our system! Not to mention that everything is located in backwoods, only moderately working public traffic works in bigger cities. Also gas costs 1.80€ per litre (and 1 gallon is 4 litres, i think) would you pay ~9 dollars for 1 gallon?
Who wish to have our extreme social system? I'm not going to school and medical stuff because that is now under reforming.
I'd add that an average car costs much more in Europe. The cheapest Chevy Cruze costs 18,120€ (=$23,100), even though it is less equipped (6 airbags instead of 10, worse engine, no Bluetooth, no steering wheel-mounted audio controls, electric windows in the front only, no remote keyless entry, 5 gears instead of 6 etc.). Also housing, power and water are damn expensive compared to the US prices.
You sir have no idea. To make it short, what you hear in news is just polished iron wall so to speak. We have this fancy car tax that was supposed to bring some cash to nations pocket in our "great depression" during late 80's to early 90's - then they figured out that it's nice milk cow. Then climate "punishment" and other stuff were added to it.. That is what makes cars expensive.
Audi TT depending on place costs roughly 50k? You know 40% of that price is car tax so if you can get that car roughly about 20-27k in other countries.. I think it's closer to truth.
I have no idea whats stuff is in sweden but some cars there seems to be about same or 10k cheaper >_>
Yeah, climate taxes are killing us here too. Our power provider send us a letter telling that because of the new EU climate policy in 2013 our bills are going to raise 30% at least... Fortunately, we don't have any climate taxes for cars (like they do in Germany) yet.
Well, it doesn't work so well in reality. [link] to begin with.
But apart from the most drastic examples, social state does require some efforts, not only benefits. For instance, as Romney said in his famous statement, 47% of Americans don't pay income tax because of low earnings. It doesn't happen in Europe. Everyone pays taxes, no matter if they earn a lot or not. I'm not so sure if some "all my live on a dole" people in Detroit can accept that.
College is an example of not working so great in reality issue. First of all, not every European country pays for college (the UK doesn't, for instance), second of all, European universities (except for the British ones - what an interesting correlation) are not the best in the world, as the American ones are. The idea of not having a debt after graduating is great, though it makes people lazy. In the US, most of the people attend majors that can benefit in future (like engineering, accounting etc.) in huge career opportunities. In Europe the most popular majors are gender studies, art and sociology... It's a huge problem (in Spain in particular) because the economy doesn't need ANY gender studies graduates, not so many sociology graduates and only a small number of artists. That's why unemployment rate among young people in Spain is 55%! 55%, can you imagine it? It's not there are no jobs in Spain (there is a lot of jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism), it's there are no jobs that people want to take.
When it comes to health care, I mostly agree with you, although I'd like to point out two important things: 1) Because of private health care in the US, many Americans really take care of their health by not smoking, jogging, not eating fat meals etc. That's understandable - they want to stay fit as long as possible because they don't want to pay for health care. In Europe people have no such incentive so they don't care. The state pays for their health care, so what's the point of keeping fit? 2) This point connects with the previous one. Although health care tax is included in your salary, many governments have to subsidize their national health care providers by money from income tax or value added tax, that could be invested somewhere else.
To sum up, I'd like to emphasize that you can't automatically implement European solutions in the States. European countries are small, not really ethnically diversified, communities are smaller and there are long traditions of self-organization (like Sparkasse in Germany). The US are very dynamic, with millions of immigrants coming every year, vast areas of the country are not inhabited or economically used, differences between Alabama and New York or Oklahoma and Oregon are really huge, in my opinion even larger than differences between European countries. That's why I believe most stuff should be organised on the state level, not the federal level.
Forcibly dismantling unions Forced drug testing of welfare recipients (ended up COSTING money) Voter suppression Illegal purges of the voter rolls that favor Conservatives When legislatures left the state to protest being forced to vote on a bill, they sent police to arrest them ETC
If unions are sabotaging their employers (like unions in automotive industry), I see nothing really unfair in it. Drug testing is also a good idea. I mean, welfare should go to people who really need it, not to those who are using drugs. What do you mean by voter suppression? Those issues with proving that they haven't voted earlier? It's a standard in European countries. In fact, I'm kinda surprised many states don't require citizens to show their IDs while voting.