Thursday, June 14, 2018

Re: Millennials embrace socialism

Duke Clampett Two things:

1 Economic progress alone is a poor indication social development. We have a system that is very dynamic economically but the profits are distributed extremely unevenly. In the past the poor and marginal were able to pull themselves up by their industry, but that is becoming less and less possible. Our system favors 1% of the population and leaves the other 99% behind. We have an economically robust system that is broken.

2 It makes sense that the younger generation who looks around and sees a broken system would look for alternatives. Socialism, which at least on paper promises greater egalitarianism, would look attractive. Whether that analysis is correct or not doesn't matter, it is easy to see how they got there and why. It is an understandable conclusion.

Personally, I can't fault the younger generation for wanting a system different from the one we're leaving them. We've not left them much to admire.
 · Reply · 3h
John Coffey
John Coffey Greg,

Free enterprise has been by far the best system to bring people out of poverty. I take this as self evident, but you only have to compare relatively free nations to Venezuela and Cuba, which are amoral systems. The typical poor person in this country has a mobile phone, a microwave oven, a color TV, a car, and sometimes cable TV.

I also take it as self evident that as government spending increases, economic growth goes down. People have done studies, but just comparing nations shows this. This is also common sense because governments misallocate resources. Many people have said that we should be more like Europe, but the average GDP per capita in Europe is half that of the United States. (Before you bring up Nordic countries, they have achieved some measure of success by embracing free markets, and in some cases they had to cut taxes to boost their sluggish economies.)

I don't think that it is true that 99% are left behind. A great many people prosper under a free enterprise system. 

If you are concerned about disparity of wealth, then you have some sympathy from me. I do not want the country to turn into a banana republic where the wealthy control the political system. If you look at the causes of disparity, in recent decades corporations have come to rely on government for some sort support, either financially or in keeping out competition through regulation. I don't think that the solution to the problem is more government, but less.

In theory, I believe in the Libertarian non-aggression principle that says that each person is entitled to do what he wants just so as he does not interfere with the same right of others. Free enterprise is a system of voluntary exchanges, for example I might exchange my labor for money. Government achieves its aims by force, for example if it were to subsidize something then the exchange is no longer voluntary because the government takes the money by force.

In theory, if someone else is entitled to my money then I become a slave to that person. (Please read: Libertarians believe that we own ourselves. Therefore anything we produce with our body we also own. If someone else is entitled to the fruits of our labor then we become a slave to that person.

As a practical matter, I differ from pure libertarianism. I don't think that the social safety net is going away anytime soon, nor should it. The political system in the United States will not allow it, and more importantly, we as a society have become too dependent on public charity. I know too many older people who could not survive without it. Some countries, such as Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein have done quite well without public charity, which means that it is theoretically possible, but I don't see it happening here. If you look at the voting record of Republicans, despite what the Democrats may say about them, they are all welfare-statists.

Going forward, my only real concern about the free enterprise system is how artificial intelligence and automation is going to affect the labor market. Although we are hearing predictions now, we won't really know until this plays itself out.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

On Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 3:56 PM, John Coffey <> wrote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: utahtrout

Capitalism has been the most dynamic force for economic progress in history. Over the past century, it has delivered billions of people out of miserable poverty, raised living standards to once-unimaginable heights and enabled an unprecedented flourishing of productive creativity. But among young Americans, it finds itself on trial.

The University of Chicago's GenForward Survey of Americans age 18 to 34 finds that 62 percent think "we need a strong government to handle today's complex economic problems," with just 35 percent saying "the free market can handle these problems without government being involved."

Overall, 49 percent in this group hold a favorable opinion of capitalism — and 45 percent have a positive view of socialism. Socialism gets higher marks than capitalism, though, from Hispanics, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. Sixty-one percent of Democrats take a positive view of socialism — and so do 25 percent of Republicans.

Contrast the millennials' opinions with those of their parents. A survey last year found that only 26 percent of baby boomers would prefer to live in a socialist country. Among young people, the figure was 44 percent.

No comments:

Post a Comment