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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6443
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:42 pm 
 

Okay, so a coworker of mine just forwarded this to everybody, because people still take chain-mail seriously, you guys. This is specifically in reference to Obama's plan and the whole, "socialism doesn't work/Obama's going to make us socialists!" shit that was going around. I'm politically dumb, but something seems kind of off comparing a classroom socialism experience to actual socialism, or faux socialism or whatever. Basically, for all you political duders and dudettes, can you guys read this and tell me if this is relatively spot on or way off the mark?
Quote:
Is this man truly a genius? An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an “A”.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a “B”. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a “D”! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the new average was an “F”. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Human nature will always cause socialism's style of government to fail because the world has producers and non-producers (makers and takers). It could not be any simpler than that.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:11 pm 
 

Chain emails aren't a logical appeal, they are anecdotes to reinforce one's preconceived notions. No reasonable appeal nor quality/quantity of facts will change this individual's mind. He believes this because it reinforces what he already believes.

Here's what you need to understand:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
http://www.skepdic.com/cognitivedissonance.html

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ObservationSlave
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:27 pm
Posts: 409
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:11 pm 
 

I don't really know much about politics, but this is my take.

First of all, Obama has no intention of implementing any laws that equalize the pay of all citizens. Bill Gates will continue to make millions, and Mcdonald's workers will continue to make minimum wage. I don't think this country will even ever come close to everyone making the same amount of money.

Secondly, as I am currently in college, I find it extremely hard to believe that a situation like this would ever happen, even if it is hypothetical. People care about grades WAY too much to stop trying. There may be a few people per class who decide to not care and take the average, but a majority of people will try to do the best they can to help the class average, especially if the class gets a D for an average. I can see the second test being worse than the first, but the third would most certainly be better than the second, because no one wants to settle with a D.

I really don't think that this applies though. Obama is as much of a socialist as anybody else. Public education is socialist, yet many Right-wingers agree with it. It really comes down to what aspects we believe should be socialistic or capitalistic, or somewhere in between. Generally, we are somewhere in between (but much closer to capitalism than most developed countries).

This is just my take, I really don't know about politics so I could be completely wrong.

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Desperta_Ferro
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 608
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:10 pm 
 

Socialism doesn't mean "everyone makes the same amount of money" I would like to explain, but my english sucks. There are several over-simplifications and the "but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed" is outright wrong. Funny thing, I discussed this very same chain-mail today.

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GTog
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:34 pm 
 

An idiotic professor, with a class full of idiots. If the story were true, which it isn't because it's a chain email, then they all deserve what they get.

The professor deserves what he gets because he's allegedly an economics professor yet doesn't know how the graduated marginal tax rates work. Fail.
The students deserve what they get because they're apparently a group of slackers who see no reason to be any good at anything unless someone gives them a cookie. Fail.

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mcmufffins
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:30 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:57 pm 
 

Desperta_Ferro wrote:
Socialism doesn't mean "everyone makes the same amount of money" I would like to explain, but my english sucks. There are several over-simplifications and the "but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed" is outright wrong. Funny thing, I discussed this very same chain-mail today.


This.

Socialism is (basically) common ownership of the "means of production" ex. farms, factories, any workplaces really and the tools/machines that go along with them. It's not just the gov't taxing and redistributing. I left a bunch of stuff out but I don't really have time to leave a full reply.
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mjollnir
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:14 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:52 pm 
 

GTog wrote:
The professor deserves what he gets because he's allegedly an economics professor yet doesn't know how the graduated marginal tax rates work. Fail.


You really believe that?? The income tax and it's graduated marginal rate has caused the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer!!

With our Keynesian central planned economy, we are and have been socialist since 1913. Of course the politicians, corporatists, and the bankers will tell you that what we have in the US is a free market and capitalism. FAIL!

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mcmufffins
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:02 pm 
 

Dude we're not even close to socialism -__-
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mjollnir
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:08 pm 
 

mcmufffins wrote:
Dude we're not even close to socialism -__-


Um...yes we are. We have a centrally planned economy. We have the government in bed with business. The government even took control of two of the three automobile companies as well as other businesses. We have programs in place to re-distibute wealth. We have government controlled health care. China has a partial capitalist economy....but they are still communist.

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xThe__Wizard
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:59 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:10 pm 
 

I saw that like 3 years ago. Basically a bunch of BS. Pretty sure that isn't how socialism works...
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ObservationSlave
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:11 pm 
 

I don't think you can call a government completely capitalistic or completely socialistic. Each has aspects of both and can fall anywhere on the spectrum. Compared to other countries, the United States is much closer to capitalism. Ask anyone and they will tell you that, regardless of their beliefs. Obviously we don't have a fully free market because that would be idiotic. We are definitely not a socialist country though.

Any tax that causes the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer doesn't sound very socialistic to me...

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:21 pm 
 

mjollnir wrote:
mcmufffins wrote:
Dude we're not even close to socialism -__-


Um...yes we are. We have a centrally planned economy. We have the government in bed with business.


That's not socialism, that's corrupt capitalism.

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Atrocious_Mutilation
KITTY SO PUFFY

Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:51 am
Posts: 1687
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:02 pm 
 

That chain letter sounds just as bad as this snippet I saw a friend post on his wall.

Quote:
Obama has stepped in and decided that Alabama got too many points yesterday and has redistributed some of those points to Notre Dame resulting in a tie in the game and a tie for the national championship. When asked for a comment, Obama said, "Alabama obviously got more than their fair share. They didn't win that all by themselves! What does one team need all those points for"?


I guess this comes to show that the right-wing American populace knows next to nothing about socialism but still tries to make an argument over a flawed point of view.

Especially you, mjollnir.
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TheOldOne
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Location: Stalling at the present time
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:31 pm 
 

mjollnir wrote:
mcmufffins wrote:
Dude we're not even close to socialism -__-


Um...yes we are. We have a centrally planned economy. We have the government in bed with business. The government even took control of two of the three automobile companies as well as other businesses. We have programs in place to re-distibute wealth. We have government controlled health care. China has a partial capitalist economy....but they are still communist.


lol?

Realized State Socialism is complete government ownership of the means of production, what you have in America is certainly not that, but rather a type of crony capitalism that's leaning in a Corporatist direction.

In addition, I don't think that you know what Communism is, because if you did it's unlikely you would have used it to describe modern China, a borderline if not completely Neo-Fascist State.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:42 pm 
 

You should reply to this email with some of John_Sunlight's Marxist fanfiction.

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mjollnir
Metalhead

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Location: Boswell, PA USA
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:08 pm 
 

Okay, first of all, I am not right-wing....far from it. I am a libertarian in the truest sense. I believe in limited federal government as outlined in the constitution. I do not agree with the wars of aggression that we have been involved in since the 1950s. I do not believe in the Patriot act or the War on Terror. I believe the US Government has overstepped its bounds and has been doing so for over 100 years. I also believe in the separation of church and state.

I never said that the US was completely state socialist. However, we are much more geared towards socialism as well as state capitalism in which our economy is centrally planned and manipulated by the Federal Reserve in direct violation of the Constitution. We do not have a free market economy as we should. Yes, it can be considered crony capitalist and even corporatist. However, we do have a massive social program structure in which the main goal is redistribution of wealth. We are heading in more of a socialist direction with the mindset of "the good of the whole" attitude. Our founders believed that protecting individual liberty first would work for the better of the whole rather than thinking about "the whole" as a staring point. We also have a huge military industrial complex which is borderline Imperialism.

In the case of China, they are run by the Communist party of China and is still majority state owned business but could also be considered state capitalist.

I do know what communism is and The Old One described it when he described socialism. The two are just about one and the same.

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TheOldOne
Metalhead

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Location: Stalling at the present time
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:31 pm 
 

mjollnir wrote:
Okay, first of all, I am not right-wing....far from it. I am a libertarian in the truest sense. I believe in limited federal government as outlined in the constitution. I do not agree with the wars of aggression that we have been involved in since the 1950s. I do not believe in the Patriot act or the War on Terror. I believe the US Government has overstepped its bounds and has been doing so for over 100 years.

I never said that the US was completely state socialist. However, we are much more geared towards socialism as well as state capitalism in which our economy is centrally planned and manipulated by the Federal Reserve in direct violation of the Constitution. We do not have a free market economy as we should. Yes, it can be considered crony capitalist and even corporatist. However, we do have a massive social program structure in which the main goal is redistribution of wealth. We are heading in more of a socialist direction with the mindset of "the good of the whole" attitude. Our founders believed that protecting individual liberty first would work for the better of the whole rather than thinking about "the whole" as a staring point. We also have a huge military industrial complex which is borderline Imperialism.

In the case of China, they are run by the Communist party of China and is still majority state owned business but could also be considered state capitalist.

I do know what communism is and The Old One described it when he described socialism. The two are just about one and the same.


At this point I've lost count of the number of times I've had to explain the difference between Communism and State Socialism, so many people are woefully ignorant on this subject, it makes my head hurt.

First of all, if you consider yourself a Libertarian in the American sense, that is to say, pro free markets, limited if not abolished government, and personal liberty and individualism, than you are right wing. Just not an authoritarian right winger.

Secondly, the mindset of "the group is more important than the individual", is not exclusive to right or left politics. It is a common theme in almost all authoritarian nations. It is a collectivist notion that is not limited to the left or right.

And finally, it is now clear that Communism must be explained to you, so here: Fully realized Communism is Anarchist. No government, no money, and no private property. The difference between State Socialism and Communism is easily summed up like this: In State Socialism, the means of production are entirely under State control, whereas in Communism, the means of production are communally owned.

Modern China is not Communist, and if you read this you will see it has more in common with Italian Fascism than it does with the Communist visions of men like Kropotkin.
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GTog
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:42 pm 
 

We are not in a socialist state because workers do not have all that much control over the means of production. It's just that simple. It has nothing to do with the redistribution of wealth, or "averaging all the grades together", or any of that idiocy. The economy is not centrally controlled, and 9/10 of the crazy conspiracy powers attributed to the Federal Reserve Bank by right wingers do not exist. Basically it just buys & sell bonds and provide a couple of convenient banking services common to any clearing system anywhere in the world. You don't need to take my word for it, anyone with Wikipedia and some grasp of reality can understand that, but if you do buy into the ct loonybin stuff, you are already lacking one or both of those things.

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mjollnir
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:06 pm 
 

GTog wrote:
We are not in a socialist state because workers do not have all that much control over the means of production. It's just that simple. It has nothing to do with the redistribution of wealth, or "averaging all the grades together", or any of that idiocy. The economy is not centrally controlled, and 9/10 of the crazy conspiracy powers attributed to the Federal Reserve Bank by right wingers do not exist. Basically it just buys & sell bonds and provide a couple of convenient banking services common to any clearing system anywhere in the world. You don't need to take my word for it, anyone with Wikipedia and some grasp of reality can understand that, but if you do buy into the ct loonybin stuff, you are already lacking one or both of those things.


What?? Are you serious? You are clueless as to what the Fed does and what they are capable of. Try looking up fractional reserve banking. Do you realize they answer to no one and have never been audited?

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4760
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:38 pm 
 

Marxist-Leninist here. No comment on the story.

Read an interesting post today related to the fed reserve though:

Quote:
Now, if the 99 Percent ever caught on, they might question why government issues debt at all. There is no real need to do so. The laws that currently require it have been retained to disguise our corporate welfare as a return on supposedly necessary lending. Rather than issuing debt, it would be much simpler if the government permitted itself just to spend money into existence, as appropriate, without borrowing from anybody. Bank reserves could simply be allowed to mount, with no need at all for them to attract positive interest unless the government deemed it appropriate.

Needless to say, any such move must be prevented from happening at all costs! Otherwise, reality would be easily perceived even by many in the 99 Percent, making it more difficult to justify our corporate welfare as legitimate income.


http://heteconomist.com/what-we-in-the- ... #more-6890
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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:44 am 
 

mcmufffins wrote:
Socialism is (basically) common ownership of the "means of production" ex. farms, factories, any workplaces really and the tools/machines that go along with them. It's not just the gov't taxing and redistributing.

+ what GTog & TheOldOne said.

Though it is kinda ambiguous to me if socialism is per definition democratic or not. Is a government that claims to work in the interest of the people but doesn't have real democratic legitimation socialist & at which point is government allowed privatization so rampant that a claim to socialism becomes void? For both questions China is an example.

I think according to Marx a government must govern completely in the interest of the working class to be socialist. But I'm not 100% sure.
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xThe__Wizard
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:59 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:47 pm 
 

Economics and politics make no fucking sense to me. Guess I will have to do some research.
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GTog
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:17 pm 
 

mjollnir wrote:
What?? Are you serious? You are clueless as to what the Fed does and what they are capable of. Try looking up fractional reserve banking. Do you realize they answer to no one and have never been audited?


I know exactly what the Fed does, because I work with them all the time. The most oppressive they ever get is when they mandate some stupid format change and make everyone who wants to bank in the US adhere to it.

Fractional reserve banking was not invented by the Fed. It's just a requirement for how much cash an institution has to have on hand at any given time. For consumer banks, it's set by the FDIC, which is not the Fed. The Fed has capital requirements for banks too. Monetary policy however is set by the Department of the Treasury, which is also not the Fed.

Everyone has capital requirements. When you go apply for a loan at your corner bank, they verify your income, don't they? They're checking to see if what you have is sufficient to meet the capital requirement they have for you, according to some formula. Nothing sinister about it.

The Fed isn't audited because the Fed doesn't need to be audited. Because they don't do anything. They buy and sell government bonds, but even those go up for public auction just like any other bank would do if they underwrote bonds. The Fed is not a regular bank where people make deposits & withdrawals. They don't engage in investment activity. They're just there to make sure the money keeps flowing. The chairman of the Fed has to report to Congress twice a year to say how things are going, but that's it. The Fed does have some enforcement power, but again policies are set by the Treasury, not the Fed. They don't get to make up their own rules.

Lastly, the Fed does answer to someone - it's stockholders. It's stockholders are its member banks. It's actually a requirement to join the party, you have to have stock in it. This is supposed to ensure that everyone participating in the Federal Reserve System has a stake in making sure it runs ok. No one's forcing you into the system though. If banks don't like it, they are free to leave and even set up a competing clearing system if they want. There's nothing stopping them. The New York Clearing House is one such organization. For practical reasons though, most members of NYCH also maintain a presence with the Fed.

People talk like the Fed is some big evil bank that everyone cowers before because they can snap their fingers and crush the economy if we don't. They really aren't, and they really can't.

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JT Rager
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:26 pm 
 

Anytime anyone uses "socialism" to describe Obama means they clearly don't know what they're talking about and have a poor grasp of the definitions of different government systems. And thus I don't have to listen to them, because they have nothing to contribute.

I always wonder why people say socialism has never worked when there are plenty of democratic socialist countries whose economies are far better off than America's right now.
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In
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:31 pm 
 

JT Rager wrote:
Anytime anyone uses "socialism" to describe Obama means they clearly don't know what they're talking about and have a poor grasp of the definitions of different government systems. And thus I don't have to listen to them, because they have nothing to contribute.

I always wonder why people say socialism has never worked when there are plenty of democratic socialist countries whose economies are far better off than America's right now.

O RLY? Name one.

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TheOldOne
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:33 pm 
 

JT Rager wrote:
I always wonder why people say socialism has never worked when there are plenty of democratic socialist countries whose economies are far better off than America's right now.


When people refer to Socialism they (Hopefully, usually) mean State Socialism ie the USSR, Cuba, etc, which do make decent evidence for an argument against State Socialism.

The European countries you refer to are more Social Democracies then they are all out Socialism.
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JT Rager
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:54 pm 
 

When people use terms like that, they use it synonymously with communism. Which admittedly does not work on large scales (for instances where it does work, look at the social structure of the Kibbutz in Israel, which isn't really applicable to country-sized populations). But you look at Social Democracies like Norway and Sweden and their economies are absolutely fantastic.

So whenever somebody says we are taking a step towards Socialism (the "pure Socialism" definition) by making steps towards higher graduated taxes, etc. I suppose they're technically correct, but they're making a huge leap to get to that conclusion. It's like saying that removing laws that make marijuana illegal is a step towards anarchy, since that is one less thing that our leaders govern. When America today takes steps towards a social democracy is by default also closer to pure socialism, since America is so much further to the right than most European countries.
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elf48687789
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:03 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:48 am 
 

In wrote:
JT Rager wrote:
Anytime anyone uses "socialism" to describe Obama means they clearly don't know what they're talking about and have a poor grasp of the definitions of different government systems. And thus I don't have to listen to them, because they have nothing to contribute.

I always wonder why people say socialism has never worked when there are plenty of democratic socialist countries whose economies are far better off than America's right now.

O RLY? Name one.

Sweden, Germany, France, Holland, etc.

I don't think they're really socialist in an extreme sense, but they are probably much more socialist than any changes which Obama would like to bring.

You have to also see that many anti-Obama people make little sense. I mean, how can he supposedly be communist and muslim at the same time? Not that he is either, but that's what their propaganda claims.


By the way, that professor is a real idiot. You don't teach people by giving them all Fs. If you do, it means you are hopeless as teacher and incapable of teaching. I hope he gets fired.

Plus his assumptions are wrong to begin with. For point 1. you cannot assume Obama wants to legislate the rich out of prosperity, nor can you assume 2. that all people who work will receive nothing.


It may indeed be that that's not a real teacher. However, I do know of a university professor, an American one for that matter, that would give low grades to make a point, without being really clear.

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The SHM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:54 pm
Posts: 134
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:59 pm 
 

So just another "Government making me do something I don't want to do=Socialism!" buff? That, just because his name and skin colour aren't white, he's Muslim and hates America and shouldn't be president? (Do you know how much other people laugh at Americans???)
Really, they need to look up this mythical word they keep abusing means. What America is REALLY heading towards is blatant international fascism (where the state is all but global, but to glorify the state is to sound ignorant and backwards.) Somewhere along the line, it got labeled socialism by Glenn Beck-crazed neo-cons. Socialism, to me, sounds more like the Scandinavian places or some of the African states and even then, not fully or exactly. (And I love how the neo-cons LOVE portraying Scandinavians as 'suffering from an oppressive government' or 'living without purpose.' Happiest people I've ever met. More fit than any American assknob. Grades, productivity out of this world. America? Backwards capito-fascist corporatism (funny how the neo-cons HATE America being called 'fascist' but abuse the word 'socialist' when, if you look at it, America is definitely heading down the path of the former?)
Now the African socialist states, I don't know. Africa, historically, has been a volatile place but with the end of blatant Euroamerican imperialism, I know some of the states have been improving somewhat, but the socialist ones I've heard are rather chaotic.
Fascism is the real word to throw around. The American liberals, they just want to joke around and party like clowns all day. The American conservatives, they throw around the word 'socialism' as probably as much as they fuck in Thai brothels. Their government seems.... incompetent, to say the least (but what government, outside of those on the big peninsula, isn't!?)
Just a mess.
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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:11 pm 
 

elf48687789 wrote:
In wrote:
O RLY? Name one.

Sweden, Germany, France, Holland, etc.

:lol: :durr:

"America is in the middle so central Europe must be socialist hurr durr"

That's just as dumb as Angela Merkel calling the Christian Democratic Union a party of the political middle (everyone else is extremist).

Last time I checked nobody was doing anticapitalistic politics, and fuck me if that's not a crucial part of socialism.
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