Originally posted by souro
Actually, there is so much that can be said on this. Most probably you also might've realised this, that when explaining things about this topic, posts can tend to be very lengthy. Thinking and saying something is much simpler as both have almost the same speed but thinking and typing it out on a forum is totally out of sync as the typing part is so time consuming. I had to cut down many points simply because I didn't want to type any more.
True that. I saw Sarina's posts on monopolies and oligopolies etc. I so wanted to point out how we see more of them during socialism and communism. Free market does not encourage such maladies. In fact, all capitalist countries have rules and regulations to check such maladies and these rules are enforced strictly. But then, who has the time to type out all the examples out there to support this fact!!!
I believe in my post I pointed out the flaws and limitations of communism and concluded that it is a failed system. Monopolies and oligarchies result in laissez faire capitalism. The minute you introduce regulation you are introducing a 'socialist' concept. The extent of socialism is what varies. Most economies are mixed. I think that most economies still lean too much towards the laissez faire end and that we need more regulation.
For example free markets typically do not have minimum and maximum markup laws. Not unfairly undercutting a fair trader or not overcharging because you are the only seller is a parity concept. There was a time when predatory pricing in most US states was legal, in many it still is. Minimum wage, benefits, vacation etc are actually 'socialistic' concepts that promote equity and parity.
The telephone services and communications enjoyed in United States is completely because of a very socialistic stance of breaking up Bell Corporation into seven competing sub companies.
Now in the Nike sweat shop example in the free market Nike finds a country with cheap labor and goes there. Fair game. But this country does not have minimum wages and work condition laws that Nike must comply with. Over population, unemployment, economic desperation make these markets work far below fair wages and benefits. There is an ethics to fair employment and what is wrong in pushing Nike to pay these people more so that these people can uplift themselves above poverty and actually get better education and lifestyle. Especially because Nike can afford to.
Based on a purely fair trade aspect slavery and bonded labor would be perfectly kosher if overpopulation and economic hardship create a market where labor is available for full time sale and there are buyers. People illegally buy west Africans as slaves all the time. Many agree to be 'bought and sold' to escape their country, rape and a chance at the 'American Dream' Why not legalize it as fair trade of domestic labor? There is a buyer - there is a willing seller.
Same with K's schemes - sau baar point out kiya and that too with examples how such schemes have been failing all across the world. In India, equal opprtunities translate into repeated opportunities for rich sc/st/backward classes. It is not reaching the root levels. In US, majority of the kids avail the public school system where schooling is free. Elementary edication is mandatory by law and most universities offer scholarships, grants and education loans. We get citations from court if my high schooler misses more than five classes of the same subject - we have to go to the court and explain the reasons to the judge behind all those unexcused absences. Citations are issued if an elementary or middle school student missed more than 14 days out of a school year - even if they are excused absences. Even after all these measures, if most ghetto kids prefer to be stuck in ghetto life style than how is it a professional's fault? Why would a CEO be forced to earn less just because so many chose to drop out of high school and ended up making min wage flippin burgers?!?!?! So much so for "equal opportunity" rants!
I am dead against reservation and certain principles of affirmative action that provide unfair opportunities to undeserving people simply because they belong to some minority. I have never opposed that education, employment and compensation should be fair and based on due merit.
However, taking education in India. We have a very limited education system. Education is not reaching the lower classes and rural parts of the country. We all realize that education is a critical aspect in personal and career development. There are children out there who are gifted intellectually and have the perseverance to succeed. Perhaps more so that children who are sailing through school. It is just that they either don't have access to education or are limited to cheap and low quality public education. It is not a child's fault that they were born into a family and a social background that holds them down. We do need to work on finding some system that provides parity and fairness to all students.
In the United States yes, public education is free. The government even provides several grants and loans so that people can have an education. Yet we have many high school drop outs and entire societies where education is not a priority. Again the problem is not always the child who is less capable or stupid, or that the child had no potential at all. History has created beaten down backward societies where even capable children are held behind, and their intellect beaten down and held back by abusive parenting and crime. We need to work on finding some system that ends this cycle.
For this the CEO does not have to earn less, but every person in society reinvests a small percentage of their income into improving the quality of labor in society. And I consider it a reinvestment, not a loss or giving up of money. Of course government schemes and certain policies have failed. At the same time many private institutions and charities have had success stories in impoverished neighborhoods. Maybe that is the way to go in the education aspect.
Europe's economic downfall is the most current and apt example for failed socilistic schemes with forced floor and ceiling put on compensation ranges. There goes your egalitarian rants!!! Ab iss sey zyada koi aur kya boley!!!
Let us not be hasty to conclude that all of Europe has fallen. There are still several 'stable' European economies. The Euro is also rapidly gaining again after that one crash. In terms of long term economics it will be at least another 10 years before we can draw legitimate economic conclusions on Europe.
Socialism discourages enterprenuership and that discourages creation of new jobs - even if they are menial low paying jobs. Unions and higher wages for the laborers were the main reasons American businesses were running losses and many were forced to close shop and most were forced to outsource operations and other admin tasks. What was the end result --- Jo doh paisey kama rahey thhey uss sey bhi gaye. Ab yeh sab koi samajhna hee na chahey toh kya kar saktey hain!!! Kitna type kartey rahey jab ek baar type karney sey bhi samajh naheen aayaa!
I have never proposed discouraging entrepreneurship nor have I ever said that demand/supply or free market are not the right systems. I have always encouraged meritocracy - people succeeding on merit. However, I find current systems failing in the aspect of fairness and not giving enough chance to let people prove their merit.
And yes Unions are the other extreme. If its dangerous for corporates to have too much power, it is dangerous for workers to have too much power too. And social equity puts checks in place to prevent unions from being runaway. Here recently we had the GM plant close down in Janesville, leaving many unemployed. We had a couple apply at jobs at our place. We laughed at their resumes and applications. A lot of people were high school drop outs, who only knew to drive forklifts from point A to point B and expected $25+ an hour wages + benefits for that.
A functional social equity system would prevent idiotic unions from negotiating over the moon wages for dumb ***** and bringing down potentially successful companies.
Similarly unemployment is another abused system. We have some legitimate unemployed people who are skilled and qualified but lost jobs because of runaway unions and/or poor company management. At the same time we have people abusing the system. We received a couple of applications where people said in the phone interview that they applied only to meet their weekly job application quota.
I feel corporates/high earning CEO should pay higher taxes so that unemployment offices do not just give out money like that. People go to the offices. Attend workshops and acquire real job skills. They sit down in workshops, look for and apply for jobs they are qualified for. These offices also give displaced workers training so that they are not just dumb ***** and can do something. I know corporate taxes sounds unfair and people doubt that the government can do it right. However, I find this more fair that people just siphoning money.
Other ideas - encouraging collective entrepreneurship, - employee owned LLC's so that the profits and losses are equitably distributed - making people to have higher stakes in their own success and forcing them to be more competitive. Fair trade guilds and trading coops - like we farmers do. We have checks and balances in place so that one years or one farms crop failure is not the end all and there is a safety net for the local industry or that farm to bounce back into fair competition.
Maybe someday if we meet, we can argue in length in person so you don't have to read or type as much. I plan to recruit doppelganger on my side.
I am actually happy that this discussion has ended.
I hated the way it ended though.