Show of HandsShow of Hands

veritas1 November 4th, 2013 12:08am

The vast majority of socialist European countries have a higher economic mobility (the ability to rise from poverty to wealth) than the United States. Can meritocracy and free competition truly coexist with high levels of income inequality?

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DrReid Ever present.
11/03/13 7:34 pm

Let's focus on the actual question. They are both fundamentally incompatible.

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MJSeals J.D.
11/03/13 5:18 pm

Are you going to claim the US is completely capitalist and is completely free?

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veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:38 pm

Of course not.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 5:14 pm

These countries have more economic freedom than the US in some respects. It's unfair to call them "socialist" and call the US capitalist.

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bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 5:17 pm

In what ways? I've never heard their economies characterized that way before.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 5:27 pm

They have less government interference in their economy, of course.

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 5:57 pm

Less overall? Or less in specific ways?

rightway101 the thought provoker
11/03/13 6:00 pm

Overall. For example the Nordic countries have a relatively free market economy.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 6:12 pm

Denmark has less overall. Sweden does have significantly more, but a lot of the regulations are about public health and the environment. Sweden has less regulations that are purely economic. Sweden has a significantly lower corporate tax as well.

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 6:44 pm

Rightway, hahaha, I understand the English words you're using but they aren't very descriptive. MisterE, Sweden and Denmark both have universal national health care and substantial "socialist" programs. In Sweden, companies must provide about a year

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 6:45 pm

of paid parental leave to employees (regardless of gender). I am just surprised to hear these things classified as free market initiatives. Usually those who favor free markets oppose such laws and programs.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 6:56 pm

I did not say that these countries were epitomes of the free market. I said the were more capitalist than the United States in some respects.

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 7:11 pm

Hahaha I understand, I am just wondering the specifics of how that is.

TomM
11/03/13 5:14 pm

Which socialist European country? Before you suggest Denmark or Sweden, they are both capitalist countries.

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MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 5:15 pm

Wow at the exact same time lol.

satiricalnick meh
11/03/13 5:16 pm

Well ive got news for you.

veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:36 pm

Capitalist in that a private sector exists. But how would you characterize a very large welfare state, free public education through college, free government healthcare, significantly more regulation than in the U.S., entire sectors of the economy…

veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:37 pm

…nationalized by the government, and strange public (and private) unions?

veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:37 pm

But none of that is strictly relevant. We're looking just as income inequality here.

TomM
11/03/13 5:41 pm

It's correct there's more income equality than in the US but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with that. China is officially at least a socialist nation, but as far as I know very unequal.

TomM
11/03/13 5:44 pm

LOL I was wondering what you meant about the strange unions.

veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:44 pm

China is also a largely un-industrialized, un-democratic third world economy. Comparing it to the industrialized, first world market democracies of Europe, Canada and the US is unfair. Within those ~40 nations, the correlation clearly exists.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 5:49 pm

Sweden also ranks 12 for billionaires per capita.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 6:21 pm

That's 10 year old data, and Sweden's regulations are mostly about public health and the environment. In the US, most regulations are purely economic.

skinner Wisconsin
11/03/13 6:43 pm

Veritas I don't see you winning this debate with Tom considering you're debating his home country.

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 6:46 pm

Skinner, does that mean I win all debates about America and Canada because I'm a dual citizen? ;-)

skinner Wisconsin
11/03/13 7:00 pm

Beth: You're a dual citizen? That's pretty cool. How did you get that?

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 7:11 pm

My mom was born in Canada and naturalized in the US. Dad is American. I was born here - my mom's Canadian citizenship passes down one generation automatically.

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 7:12 pm

Processing the paperwork to get a single piece of paper PROVING it took some doing - but once I collected the stuff I needed it was mostly a matter of waiting for Canada process my paperwork.

TomM
11/03/13 7:55 pm

This question is so complex and has many aspects which cannot really be put into a yes/no vote. I don't know where to even start.

Ebola1 Florida
11/03/13 8:07 pm

The Scandinavian countries are outliers because of the homogeneity of their populations. Their systems would never be possible in such a diffuse, large, heterogenous population as exists in the USA.

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 9:06 pm

I predict that some of their policies will only be sustainable for a couple of generations. They are only able to temporarily sustain such a system because of natural resources, military neutrality, cultural homogeny, and the prosperity of the past.

makem Chinese Xinjiang Camp
11/03/13 5:11 pm

The reason they can be so successfully socialist is because they don't have to spend much on their militaries, the United States protects them. Socialism will never work here. It is the price we pay for maintaining peace in this world.

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bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 5:18 pm

Why is world peace OUR price to pay? We've got an ocean to protect us...

MisterE Conservistan
11/03/13 5:25 pm

Military spending can be considered socialist.

makem Chinese Xinjiang Camp
11/03/13 5:30 pm

No clue, I don't think socialism works at all but I didn't want to just bash Europe

bethanyq Ess Eff
11/03/13 5:56 pm

Why don't you think socialism works at all? I have heard some suggest that it works in some European countries in part because they are smaller - which makes some sense to me. But that still means it works to some extent.

veritas1 Panda
11/03/13 5:11 pm

It should also be noted that countries that have similar or lower economic mobility rates (ex. UK, Italy) also have higher rates of income inequality.

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