"Like I said before in another forum before they closed it: Can't discuss with Americans because they don't have any clue about anything; they just think they know stuff but they don't, especially about Europe, socialism, communism, etc.
They don't even know anything about their own country...
Freedom, freedom... Bulls!it I say, they don't know what freedom is, they only know what the illusion of freedom looks like...
Ignorant, Illusioned, Hypocrites, selfish, and the list goes on and on..."
Prove it. Proclaiming all Americans "don't have any clue about anything" is not an argument, it is a failure to make an argument. You are apparently only capable of throwing out insults.
"The US is on the path towards "socialism - ?" Is THAT what you said, Cyrezar?"
The U.S. is mixed; i.e. part statist part capitalist.
"Corporate control over the US government (not to mention most of the world) has never been greater."
Again, a failure to understand the difference between economic power and political power.
Corporations don't use force, governments do. Economic power is based on voluntary trade; political power is based around force. If a corporation does use force, it is the job of the government to retaliate / protect individuals from that force / provide defense.
If a corporation uses force as a means, it has ceased to be a corporation any longer. A corporation can only use force as a means if the government fails to protect individual rights; if the entity that was formally a corporation is given the ability to use force *by* the government (i.e. government sanction of the use of force by the ex-corporate entity), such entity has become part of the government; if the entity formally known as a corporation grows to hold more political power ('force power') than the government, such entity has become some kind of rogue government entity unto itself.
"All those multi-national companies, the big pharmaceuticals, the big oil companies, etc, with the millions of dollars they "contribute" to both Republicans and Democrats - you are saying they are doing so to further SOCIALISM?"
Many of them are furthering socialism; they often pay for restrictions (on their competition, or other various threats to their business), or pay just to have restrictions removed (essentially extortion by the government).
"Yet, you actually claim that "nothing less than a revolution will turn the US around from its path to socialism.""
The U.S. is becoming a lot more statist; for each tax or law that is passed, a dozen more are often passed for that one, and then those almost never get removed from the system - even if they fail to be actively enforced.
Europe has demonstrated for a hundred years how this works in practice.
"In return, you give up some of your individual rights as well. There's no such thing as a free lunch!"
Capitalism has nothing to do with "a free lunch" it is the opposite; it removes the possibility of a free lunch. Statism makes possible the free lunch, and then enforces the right of some to have a free lunch at the expense of others - all backed up with the threat of force.
"in return, you give up some of your individual rights" - this statement is a declaration that it is ok to use force - individual rights can only be violated by force. Even if one individual declares that they do not wish to recognize their individual rights, that does not give them a right to declare that some other person does not wish to recognize their rights.
There is no way to "give up" individual rights anyway - there is only a way to take away (eradicate/remove) individual rights, and that is by force. In a capitalistic system, even if someone decides to *attempt* to "give up" their individual rights (through a simple declaration for instance), their individual rights do not fail to exist, and it remains the government's job to protect such rights.
Individual rights are not something that are 'granted' by a government (or some group, etc.), they are something that exist so long as force isn't used to impede them.
"The USA is about the most un-socialist country I can think of."
The USA is very likely the least statist country in the world; however most of the rest of the world is quite statist by comparison (countries violate individual rights to the degree they are statist; Red China, the USSR, Cuba, Nazi Germany, etc. demonstrate such).
"So ... the fact that the DOJ--before BUSH INC. took over--tried to stop Microsoft from using illegal business tactics--that proves we're heading towards socialism?"
Anti-trust is just as immoral now as it was a hundred years ago; it was one of the first large holes for socialism to creep in - that is, it was one of the first major regulations that gave politicians power over the economy. Power over the economy is nearly like a holy grail for a politician, when it comes to expression of political power.
"They are basically basing what his believes were on what other leaders claimed to be doing in his name such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who all followed little of Marx's ideas. Dictatorship of the workers did NOT mean there was an actually dictatorship, it meant that control of production and government would be moved away from the elitist ruling class and into the hands of the workers and common majority of the population."
Define "common majority of the population," there is no such thing. You mean, the "elitist ruling class" is not included in "common majority of the population"? What you mean, is that one group is given the right to violate the rights of others; there is no 'right' to enslave, which is what Marxist theory calls for.
That is, if someone is able to achieve great wealth by ability, intelligence, effort, etc. and that person comes to have *economic* power (which relies on voluntary trade, i.e. uncoerced trade), then suddenly that person's rights are negated. That person's wealth is declared to belong to "the people" (some group of people, chosen by whatever gang is in power) who did not earn it. For instance, John Carmack, who is a programmer of great ability; his *earned* wealth would, under proper Marxist theory, be redistributed to those that did not earn it, do not deserve it, and could not write a good 3D graphics engine.
Marxist theory revolves around giving unearned values; i.e. sacrifice. That is why it is immoral, that is why it doesn't work, that is why it has never worked, that is why it will never work.
The individuals who did not create the product, were not able to, did not try to, are rewarded as though they had. That is; from those according to ability, to those according to need. One individual's need is not a claim on another person's life, ability, or success.
"Marx would say that government now is a dictatorship of the capitalists. Corporations and greed almost completely dictates government action... just look at the US's war history.. vietnam, iraq, etc. It was all done in the name of corporations and greed. What about US intervention and funding of brutal dictators in south america? The evidence is all there. All I have to say to capitalists now is that you better watch out... change is coming if the corporate globalization protests are any indication. The numbers of protesters is only growing. The myth of the "New Economy" is quickly falling apart... the income gap is growing and with it will only come more restlessness and distrust of capitalism, the rotten system."
There is no such thing as a "dictatorship of the capitalists." Capitalism is the only system that protects individual rights, and therefore is the only system that makes actual freedom possible. You are displaying an inability to conceptualize 'freedom.' Your mind is so used to "it is either this gang, or it is that gang." Capitalism eradicates such 'political pull' gangs (i.e. gangs that use force as a means to achieve their ends).
U.S. intervention or funding of dictatorships have nothing to do with capitalism; it has to do with the politicians who were elected, who declared such acts. The United States is a mixed system, yet it has always been capitalism that has taken the blame (even though statism has displayed that it is a system which requires force, which can be easily shown either through historical example, or by logic from the ground up). That statism now exists in the U.S. political system to perhaps as great a degree as capitalism does, and that statism has demonstrated how brutal it is in application, why do you think it is capitalism that gets blamed? Because the the statists that backed the initiation of force, use capitalism as an excuse; just as statists use capitalism as an excuse when regulations are passed, a market collapses, and then the statists declare the free market (which wasn't actually present) doesn't work and that the market must be nationalized (i.e. pass more of the same regulations that caused the problem in the first place).
Protests aren't inherently a good or bad thing, nor do they inherently indicate which side of an issue is good or evil; of course statists are going to resist and protest freedom (that is, capitalism) in all its forms - without slavery statism loses its power (or to be more specific, the gangs in power lose their power). All statism requires some level of slavery. The proletariat in the USSR were taught to denounce capitalism, were taught that it was evil, etc. Keep in mind that every statist that denounces individual rights, or capitalism, is proclaiming that he holds a right to some value that belongs to you. Watch Fidel Castro denounce capitalism, yet proceed to execute individuals without trial (estimated to be in the tens of thousands over the course of his reign); watch the Stalins denounce the capitalist system as being evil, unjust, etc. and then proceed to lock a million (or ten million) people up in slave labor camps.
And prove it is rotten, you haven't done such (and will be unable to do such). Statists have tried just about every variation of political statism; all of the systems have failed to work for any significant length of time - statist governments will butcher 250 million people in slave camps, but won't touch capitalism. Capitalism is a political system that requires the protection of individual rights; that is not something that statists are interested in.
Capitalism has existed in one form or another in the U.S. for 225 years; it has worked for that length of time, and it has made possible the only mass affluent middle class in the history of the world (which is something statists declared was not possible under a capitalistic system). It created wide-spread prosperity, which is what statists proclaimed it could not achieve. It has led to a technological society without rival, yet statists declared that only [insert statist political system] would make such possible. etc.
America's 285 million people (roughly 5% of the world), nearly out produce the other 5.8 billion combined. It isn't the aspects of statism present in the American political system that make such possible - or China would be full of nothing but millionaires. It isn't that Americans are superhuman or somehow better than the other 95% of the world's population; it is that Americans are freer to achieve, to innovate, to prosper. It is capitalism that has made such possible.
There is nothing to "distrust" about capitalism, it is a political system; the only thing to distrust are the people proclaiming their right to enslave you for the benefit of the "whole" or the "collective" or the "common people" (which includes some but not others, depending on what the gang in power decides) - that is, the statists who believe it is their right to use force to achieve whatever goal they declare.
"In the US, we have socialism for the big arms manufacturers and other multi-billion dollar corporations ... taxpayers keep them in wealth whether their products work or not (take Bush Incorporated's "missile defense" for instance).
Big pharmaceuticals get help from the government, which pays for research, so they can then take the results and gouge consumers with incredibly high prices ..."
Unfortunately, what isn't often understood, is that these problems (some individuals bribing government officials, etc.) only grow worse under greater levels of statism (want to operate a business in China, get ready to pay hefty extortion taxes). Each regulation passed, acts as incentive for a corporation to pay to get exempt from said regulation; it's an extortion racket.
Capitalism removes such; then corporations can no longer buy special favor - there is no favor to be granted.
"We have billion dollar taxpayer bailouts for big business, like the S&Ls, when they fail."
Such is eradicated under actual capitalism. The government is not allowed to interfere with economics.
"We, the average citizens, get cutthroat, sink or swim capitalism."
Who do you think you are speaking for? There is no such thing as "the average citizens," an average is a mathematical device, it doesn't exist in actual. There is no "average person" or family with 2.5 kids.
Capitalism isn't sink or swim, and there is nothing "cutthroat" about it - it is a system of justice; those that have not earned values are not given them as though they had (at the expense of those that did earn them).
Statism punishes those that are able to succeed by taking from them through the use of force; there is no incentive to succeed if the products of your labor will be taken from you by some nearly random declaration by some politician or gang in power. This is why most of Europe has been stagnant for a hundred years.
"What will happen now to programs like Real player, WinAMP and Jukebox? It looks like this is the next 'browser' war.
Will there be any reason for a new user to install these other programs now?"
Re: WinAMP; I'm suprised AOL hasn't used their platform to build out a competing product to Windows. They have the applications which could be bundled from the beginning. AOL could probably team up with RealNetworks. This would provide a great deal of competition to the consumer edition of Windows.
"Just because you may not have kids does not excuse you from paying taxes in order to support their education."
If I don't have kids... who does "their" refer to? Other kids that are not mine?
What right does my neighbor have to come across the street, rob me, and then spend that money on his/her kid's education? Right... that is considered a crime; what makes it legal and moral when the government does it? There is no rational justification - that money (which the government takes) is still spent on my neighbor's kid/s, it is simply someone else other than my neighbor who is robbing me.
If the government didn't take 40% from each individual in taxes, a large chunk of that could be put toward a system of education that would introduce competition. An element of competition would raise performance (because the schools that did not do a good job in producing results would fail to attract students). Parents would have more choices for education because they would have the money that is normally taken. New methods of schooling would be created to attract the money that consumers would now have to spend on such. This would introduce innovation into the education system; something that it has very noticeably lacked. America has many of the best colleges on the planet because the college education system is not quite so controlled by the government as is the public education system (usually K through 12th grade); that is, the college education system is open to competition.
Another thing. Americans, under the supposedly evil capitalist system, give more away in charity each year many times over than the rest of the world combined. Just because the capitalist system creates great wealth, does not mean charity is eradicated, quite the opposite. Wealthy Americans do not spend any significant percentage of their wealth on personal consumption; they invest in the economy (eg- through venture capital) - which helps to raise productivity, increase innovation, and create jobs; they create charities to help those that are homeless or very poor, and so on. Gordon Moore (a founder of Intel) wasn't going to spend $15 billion dollars on personal consumption, so he gave half of it away (and will likely end up giving the other half away). Bill Gates has limited use for his vast fortune... even his $100 million or so dollar house is not a significant portion of his wealth (one fifth of one percent), particularly compared to what he has spent on fighting all manners of disease via charity (and only thus far); so he has directed it towards creating new value.
"Taxation is a fundamental part of how the government works. It would be great if they were smarter about how tax dollars are spent, but even then, you'd still need taxes in order to maintain society. Period."
Saying taxes are a requirement of society, is the same as saying that the initiation of force is required. A truly massive amount of money is spent on services like insurance, which is something that isn't needed everyday (in fact, it is rarely needed, essentially in emergency situations). There is no reason why individuals would not be willing to pay for government services, such as fire protection, police protection, military protection.
If the 40% that is taken by taxes were erased, consumers would on average have $12,000 + more to spend each year (which would actually lead to an increase in that average salary of $30,000 because some of it would be put toward consumption/production, which would expand the economy a great deal, which would lead to higher wages). If $1,000 of that $12,000 were put toward military protection, that would come to around $300 billion, which is near what is spent now on the military in the U.S. (around 3% of GDP).
It wouldn't have to be done solely in the form of a contribution/donation; fees for the use of the court system, to protect contracts for instance, could be put toward such. There are many other methods that can be done in the form of *uncoerced* services.
Regarding the eradication of taxes, and the correlation to increase in wages. There was a joint study by Republican and Democratic politicians released not too long ago (in April), that showed on average for every dollar in taxes that is cut, the government gets around $1.25 back in increased taxes from economic growth that is stimulated (this is based on historical examples). This demonstrates by example, how the money that isn't taken in the form of taxation, ends up expanding the economy and increasing the level of real wages (in order for the government to get that $0.25 more, there must be increased productivity, investment, production etc.).
Hong Kong is another good example; from something like 1965 to 1985, where taxes were extremely low, the Hong Kong government saw the greatest percentage increase in tax revenue out of any nation. I think Hong Kong's income tax currently sits around 17% / 19% or such.
Ireland is another good current example; they've benefited tremendously from cutting taxes. Many European nations are annoyed with Ireland for cutting taxes; it has led to other European nations having to compete with Ireland's tax rates to attract investment and jobs.
This comment was edited on Sep 11, 01:54.