"Humans are too selfish by nature for either pure capitalism or pure socialism to ever work." Agree or disagree?
If human beings have a capacity for selfishness, they should not be put in an environment that makes it worse. Socialism has been implemented very correctly, look into Anarcho Syndicalist Catalonia, the Ukrainian Free Territory, and the EZLN.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
That's why I'm a socialist, one who rejects taking state power.
This is a very flawed question. I think pure, unregulated capitalism can and would be a success by virtue of rational selfishness, not in the absence of.
obviously its never worked before, why would it start now?
Revolutionary Catalonia, Free Territory of Ukraine, and the Zapatista community today.
Both systems sound really good on paper but there are problems when put into practice
Very slippery slope and for the record Im playing devils advocate here
To think4yourself the revolution in America was over the fact we had no MPs in parliament, but the argument tends to go the people have the right to protect their rights, it never says it has to be in the "spirit" of the American revolution,
Yes without controls there would be a couple very rich and the rest poor. With socialism even though everything is supposed to be equal there is always a ruling class and they has the power because they control distribution. There needs to be reform
I do believe that people are inherently greedy and lazy. You want to know why something happened? I'd bet the motivation was greed or laziness.
no....politicians are to greedy
As for the inflation - if you go by the CPI, maybe but that ignores the prices of food and fuel. It also ignores the stock market, and capital investment - the places where inflation shows up first. Right now, much of the new money is in reserves.
I don't think the question makes sense. If humans are very selfish then wouldn't capitalism work perfectly? Capitalism is based in human selfishness. The statement makes absolutely no sense.
In pure capitalism, (not mercantilism), but one without state intervention, selfishness requires that one serve others to attain wealth. This is the nature of voluntary, uncoerced trade.
Socialism as an economic system cannot work. Ludwig von Mises showed this in 1920. Socialism cannot calculate. This is why in socialist systems you see vast surpluses of some goods, and dire shortages of others.
And Marx said that for a socialist system to work, it must come after a system that ensured that all needs were met. What an assumption!
The funny thing is, socialism is a governmental system and capitalism is an economic system. That means you can have both.
Taxes do not obstruct a "pure capitalist system." You're free to make money, you just give some of it to the state...
Even Adam Smith said that taxes were necessary, and taxing the rich higher percentages was proper.
And the dissolving of private property is not socialism, it's Marxist Communism. That's not the same thing...
Spero, Smith made a great number of errors, and is by no means the end-all-be-all of free market economists. Cantillon, Turgot, and Bastiat were all far, far more sound. Taxes are nor "neccesary" - they are theft.
Even if he supported taxing the wealthy "progressively," 40+% is absurd.
Should be two separate questions.
I think the more you take from someone the more greedy they become.
Haters gonna hate.
Capitalism functions on using greed against the wealthy.
There must be balance in ALL aspects of life...
No, you don't need to balance the cooperation of capitalism with the violent coercion of socialism.
I'm sad to see that 19% of those polled haven't a clue about the true nature of humanity :\ ...or they aren't honest with themselves.
Proponents of "absolute capitalism" include Nobel Prize economist Milton Friedman (well, he still wanted VERY little regulation, but for the time his views were fairly radical), Economist Dr. Bryan Caplan, and legal scholar Dr. David Friedman.
Oh, right, and Nobel Prize economist Friedrich Hayek.
Right...in theory it's all good and well, but then you add people into the situation and the defecation hits the oscillation.
A central assumption made in economics is that people are self-interested.
I would say it's more of a historically proven fact than an assumption.
Actually, it's the _first_ assumption.
It's only an assumption. People will act in their self-interest most of the time, but not always. It's just an approximation.
You mean 81% right.
So long as greed exist, all systems will be flawed.
So long as people exist there will be crime, and greed, and benevolence, and love, and hate, and ..........
So.... Kill all humans?
It's not because of greed that socialism doesn't work. It's because of the knowledge problem.
What the more or less educated a country?
No, avguy, that central planners can never have enough information to allocate resources efficiently. The market - millions of minds and preferences working together through the price system will always be superior,
Laissez faire worked
Agreed. Designed to funnel money upward and that's exactly what it does.
No thatguy2, laissez faire led to far greater improvements for the poor than the rich. The rich were well off in the middle ages on through. But the poor's standards of living went up tremendously during the 19th century.
Generosity works in any civil system.
Depends what you consider generous. Some people's idea of generosity is taking other people's money and spending it on themselves.
No one defines it that way.
Please give me an example of Obama taking money from others and giving it to himself and calling it generosity.
Just spent $100,000,000 on vacation to africa
How about the American people do generously providing his family a vacation every single month? A $100 million bender in Africa?!? Seriously now...
Those are complaints about the presidency not Obama. Unless you say Obama alone should not take vacations.
My beef is ANY president spending that much cash on a vacation and throwing it on the taxpayers. Now I know people including presidents need vacations, but it should come out of their pockets. I've been bitching about presidents going on too many vacations since Carter. so so this is nothing n
Also a presidential trip is not a vacation
obama stopped tours of the whitehouse for school children when one if his golf trips would pay for over a year of them.
That would be funding. If it is cut by congress you should talk to them.
We have a socialist version of capitalism. If the govn't did 0% handouts (but still set business parameters: ex. minimum wage/ working conditions) the consequence of starving becomes accountability to get a job ect. Still not a flawless system though
We shouldn't have 0 handouts but we shouldn't have the 50% now. It doesn't have to be one or the other. If we cut out the waste, fraud, and abuse we could cut it down to 10% and still provide for the truly needy.
Capitalism is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. The bigger the pyramid the bigger the company. The key is to be at near the top not the bottom.
Definitely not an economics major.
Broken down to its simplistic terms. Many people buying the goods and making the goods. It all goes up to the top person. with many layers in between, look at an organizational chart, what do you call it? I call it a pyramid.
Actually, economies are, in their most basic form, circular. Learning this would take literally five minutes of research.
Like I said, not an econ major.
Economics yes are circular. Capitalism is a company / person making or selling a widget or whatever put a bunch of these together and you can drive an economy, the structure of the company is still shaped like a pyramid I am being simplistic.
Capitalism is an economic system. What you're referring to is called a firm.
Avguy, once again you prove yor fundamental ignorance. In every voluntary trade, both sides perceive benefit, or the trade would not occur. Your Marxist version has been disproved for 150 years.
Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Jim Jones - all self-identified Socialists. Where are the free-market Capitalist rulers who can match their numbers? Never have been, never will be.
True capitalism and true socialism would actually work, you could go either way. The ideas sound fantastic on paper. The problem is that people are involved.
At this moment in time the more capitalistic a country is the better the people live and the more socialistic a country is the more impoverished. We can talk theory or what things should be but I look at what is best now, which is capitalism.
Socialism or communism do not look good on paper unless you have failing eye sight.
The first thing that jumps off the page at me is the loss of I do visual liberty that's required to make a collectivist system work.
"Loss of individual liberty."
GoFlo, capitalism works wonderfully in practice. 80% of the people currently walking around today are alive because of the prosperity and innovation of capitalism.
100 million people were killed by their own Socialist governments in the 20th century.
The main problem with these arguments, much like religious arguments, is that people conflate these systems with the actions of people who claim to champion said systems.
For example, giving a CEO millions in severance after being fired for tanking a company is not capitalism but it is defended in the name of capitalism
So then when Occupy Wall Street and others are protesting capitalism, they are largely protesting this pseudo capitalism
Thatguy, it's mercantilism that they're protesting. Which would be more sympathetic if they were not calling for more mercantilsm. Or outright Marxism.
These poll results and comments disappoint me and make me worry about what lies in store for the future of America. Socialism will always fail, Capitalism is at the root of what caused the United States and many other areas such as Hong Kong and South Korea to become what they are today.
You know very well I do not mean today as in this very moment, what I mean is that Capitalism set the foundation of which we have based this country off of. Laissez Faire worked, the depression of 1921 proved that.
Amen, capitalism! How many of you had history teachers that neglected to teach you about the recession of 1921?
I haven't heard of one frankly.
That is to say I have not heard of one who spent time on that subject.
ClarityRose, it was socialism that has led to the US debt.
T think4yourself how am I defending communism, but if I may go on a limb, if u support the right to revolution using arms, what if it was a communist revolution? Would u feel the same way. I'd suppose it but many have said the people may revolt so...
The revolution in America was for more freedom less government. A communist revolution is for less freedom more government. Big difference.
Maybe, bit once you claim the right to revolt against the government for reason A, how can you stop it for reasons, B,C,D or so on. I'm not saying I would support communism as I wouldn't but there is a huge slippery slope if you allow a revolution
And the revolution was mostly over slack of representation in parliament, the "fear of government" was a fear that as long as the colonies weren't represented there was room for abuse, if the colonies had been given MPs the issue may well have been avoided
Well our current government wants to control everything so were headed towards socialism.
You got that right it's scary but with everything Obama has put on place we are teetering ... We need to wake up "this is how freedom dies, with thunderous applause"
The problem aren't regular citizens being greedy. It's politicians who are greedy.
Socialism and capitalism could be perfect if the elected officials were %100 selfless.
The problem is when people get a taste of the nanny state (socialism) their appetite becomes ravenous.
The problem with capitalism isn't the politicians, its the corporations.
The corporations own the politicians.
Socialism cannot work. Socialism cannot calculate. I
Communism and socialism is about taking other people's stuff, that is why most people are poor in those countries. Capitalism is about having the opportunity to earn your own stuff. Capitalistic countries are the most charitable countries.
True communism is a society of sharing to benefit all it's people BUT greed gets in the way and it becomes a dictatorship
Communism will never work in a free society. Communists have started communes in America and they always fail because if the lazy people get the same as the hard workers, the hard workers will either leave or stop working so nothing gets done.
Or like I said it becomes a dictatorship like it did in the people's republic of China or in socialism such as the united soviet socialist republic (USSR) neither one works because if greedy politicians who are too power hungry.
All the big communism experiments have failed.
If Obama has his way we are next
Nightcrow, true communism leads to people starving to death by the millions. It cannot calculate, cannot coordinate production. This is before you get to the obvious incentive problem.
Nuwriter the communism you are talking about is the reality of communism not the way it was supposed to work. communism everybody is supposed to get an equal share of society great idea right, no because greed as this is a platform for dictatorship.
The communism I'm talking about is exactly the way it's supposed to work. State-owned capital. Everybody shares poverty equally. Communism cannot calculate in the models, either.
Trust me I'm not for communism or socialism (even though this country is on a fast train to it thanks to this president) but if you see the way true communism is set up it can potentially work, will it ever no because there has to be a leader and ..
That leader will always be corrupt if unchecked. Which is what happens in those countries like china and Russia
Nightcrow, "true" communism cannot work. You need a price system. Please read Mises book "Socialism". Central planning cannot work. One person cannot know the preferences of millions of other people.
To answer jenjohnson I dispise communism I support some socialist policies those being economic, communism is uber conservatism where the general secretary controls everything, universal healthcare yey learn the difference between the 2
The liberals are the ones that are always defending communism. Communist party USA endorsed obama both times.
I dislike both.
Mattwall, the difference is degree, but they fail for the same economic reasons. If you like people being able to get good healthcare, you'd want it as capitalist as possible. The current problems are all socialist in nature.
Altruism is the true evil, because it tells people to sacrifice themselves for the sake of sacrifice, and that pursuing their own interest is somehow immoral. That is a horrible thing to teach people.
And yet the there are benefits to self for altruism actually. Self confidence, influence, and an overall positive
feeling for the good you've done.
Andrew Ryan, is that you?
Selfishness, properly understood, does not involve screwing over other people. Only when most people finally learn this will our rotten, altruism-centered culture improve.
I hate greed and as long as there are people who have more than others there will always be greed by nature and when they have too much money they turn into democrats because high taxes doesn't bother them hence all of the rich hypocrites out there
“I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.”
― Thomas Sowell
"Taxes is the price we pay for a civilized society."
"Taxes are the price we pay for an impoverished society."
"Greed is good" - Gordon Gekko
Expressed in the simplest way possible, capitalism is the best market system in the world
A justification for sociopathic behavior
Well that certainly is simple.
America hasn't been the greatest world power for over 100 years by accident
It also hasn't been purely capitalistic
Not purely, no...but still more capitalist than all other countries for the most part
So... Being the greatest world power must be something that you value then?
Socialism is sociopathic.
In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith didn't like businessmen much at all, but he pointed out that even businessmen who were bad often ended up helping society as a whole b/c they would find ways to efficiently make money by supplying needed products.
Capitalism works just fine with selfish people. In fact, it requires everyone from the top to the bottom to prioritize their desires over those of others.
It also requires the people to be moral beings, but can still be made to work on an immoral people with the aid of property and contract laws.
I think there's a difference between rational self interest and selfishness, though.
selfishness is meeting an immediate need without considering short or long term consequences.
Rational self interest considers consequences and long term benefits
Capitalism is rooted in rational self interest- selfishness throws a wrench in it because people are thinking more about immediate profit than long term benefits.
It doesn't "work just fine" when the poor are forced to choose between starving and illegal activity.
What you said is humorously ironic given your choice of screen names.
I think capitalists have longer time-preferences than people realize. That's what allows them to stay in business for long periods of time. The ones with shorter time-preferences go out of business quite often and make way for others.
In fact, that is also true for capitalist and socialist societies as a whole. Socialist societies don't last too long, capitalist societies enjoy much more longevity.
I agree, brrr- but I think it's because of rational self interest, not selfishness
But we fu€£ing ROCK at Anarchy!!!
I don't agree...the Native American Indians seemed pretty socialist to me and they seemed to work...that is, until the white man came in and whiped them out.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. They were very territorial, and private property did exist. Please keep your pretty little fairy tales about my people out of here. Greed and war are constant throughout all cultures, and mine was no exception.
They owned slaves too. This is one factor that played a role in Indian involvement in the civil war (they fought with the south) and Oklahoma's eventual statehood.
Black slaves, just to be clear. Ya, personal property was alive and well in Indian culture.
Question: can anybody guess what techniques were employed to ensure the slaves worked, didn't revolt, and didn't run off?
I'll give you a hint: the techniques did not involve paying the slaves, being patient and tolerant of them, or giving them a day off to celebrate kwanza.
Sounds like you're glorifying slavery to me......all well and good until its your people that are enslaved
Lol "indian culture"... You guys do know there were hundreds of native tribes, right? There were brutal savages to communal brotherhoods and everything in between. It's frankly offensive to talk about them as a monolith.
Indians owned slaves. I didn't say they all did. No monolith was used. Kermie. Haven't I heard you generalize about about republicans or Christians? I know I've heard you generalize about religion.
The issue is people think everything must be equal for everything to be fair.
I hate to break it to you, life isn't fair. Get used to it, or you're gonna have a horrible life complaining about everything.
That's right. Fair is not "equal." Fair is receiving what you've earned or negotiated for. There's no law or moral or ethic that exists naturally or universally which declares that everybody is supposed to have the same amount of "stuff."
I could just hug you two. Well, technically, I *can't*, but if you were *here* I would. Couldn't have said it better!
No, people, as in the majority/a lot, do not believe everything must be equal to be fair. This a strawman
Some regulations on big business are necessary
Wrong spot...I'm done with SOH for tonight I've proven I can't handle it...try her again in the morning
A perfect system? Of course not! We are imperfect, a mix of wolves in sheep clothing, and naive little angels trying to navigate this crazy world.
Of course; imperfect humans cannot create a perfect system.
Pure capitalism was last practiced in the early 1900's. its not selfishness its greed. But greed has created millions of jobs and brought prosperity to millions as well. Socialism is unaffordable there isn't enough money to sustain it.