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The Political Lounge

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Re: The Political Lounge

#6281

Post by Cippenham » May 26th, 2019, 8:50 am

Scott Morrison birthday 13 May Andrzej Duda Poland President 16 May, both Taurean Conservatives (. My birthday 16 May,..).

I take it this is comedy but with some truth.

Nowadays image is more important than substance , that is why Boris will win despite not being up to the job in the Uk. You find a lot of comedy gold with him for sure.

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#6282

Post by Rainy Red Carpet » May 26th, 2019, 8:57 am

Happy Birthday, for the other day. Here's the same show taking the piss out of the Labor leader:

Money talks and bullshit walks.

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#6283

Post by Cippenham » May 26th, 2019, 11:56 am

We had our own robot with the Maybot of course

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#6284

Post by Cippenham » May 26th, 2019, 6:43 pm

Some of the exit polls are in for the EU elections.
Conservatives do well in Greece, Le Pen narrowly ahead of Macron in France

A poll of polls in Uk has Brexit party 24 seats Lib Dem’s 15 Labour 14
Conservatives 10 Green 4 SNP 2 Plaid Cymru 1

So not quite as bad for old parties as expected but still Brexit Party 31.6 percent from nothing

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/li ... b455f88b25

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#6285

Post by brokenface » May 26th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Cippenham wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 6:43 pm
Some of the exit polls are in for the EU elections.
Conservatives do well in Greece, Le Pen narrowly ahead of Macron in France

A poll of polls in Uk has Brexit party 24 seats Lib Dem’s 15 Labour 14
Conservatives 10 Green 4 SNP 2 Plaid Cymru 1

So not quite as bad for old parties as expected but still Brexit Party 31.6 percent from nothing

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/li ... b455f88b25
It's not really from nothing, it's a rebrand of UKIP which has taken vast majority of that vote. UKIP got 26/27% in last European elections. If it is around 31/32% it's not as bad as it could have been and it might be that the clear remain parties have higher vote than the clear Brexit parties overall.

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#6286

Post by Cippenham » May 26th, 2019, 8:52 pm

Some 30 per cent of remain party supporters voted for Brexit so it’s not that clear, Labour is not a remain party but is divided, Len McCluskey , Seamus Milne and Corbyn are leavers.

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#6287

Post by Cippenham » May 26th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Those are not results as such though. Also many Brexit supporters not voting, And might never vote again.

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#6288

Post by brokenface » May 26th, 2019, 9:39 pm

Cippenham wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 8:52 pm
Some 30 per cent of remain party supporters voted for Brexit so it’s not that clear, Labour is not a remain party but is divided, Len McCluskey , Seamus Milne and Corbyn are leavers.
I wasn't counting Labour as a remain party. I was counting LD+Green+Change+SD+PC as parties with clear Remain policy vs Brexit+UKIP as Leave.

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#6289

Post by Cippenham » May 27th, 2019, 6:20 am

Labour and Conservatives should technically count as leaver parties but soft leavers. That makes around 60 % for leave anyway

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#6290

Post by brokenface » May 27th, 2019, 9:31 am

Cippenham wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 6:20 am
Labour and Conservatives should technically count as leaver parties but soft leavers. That makes around 60 % for leave anyway
If May's deal is dead, then 'soft leave' no longer exists - it's either exit with no deal on Oct 31 or rescind. And if that's the choice, we need a new referendum with the actual choices (as opposed to the imaginary Brexit deals proposed in 2016) - i.e. No Deal Brexit vs Remain. Surely you can't object to that, if you are so confident the majority wants to leave under any circumstances?

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#6291

Post by flaiky » May 27th, 2019, 1:22 pm

Overall - Far Right parties and Eurosceptics did worse than I thought they might, which is encouraging. This is a clear and useful graph of the results:

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#6294

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 27th, 2019, 9:04 pm

Everyone is talking about the ozone-depleting gas being traced to China, but not talking about this: https://vancouversun.com/news/world/chi ... f22adceddf

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#6295

Post by Dolwphin » May 27th, 2019, 9:27 pm

Image
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#6297

Post by Cippenham » May 27th, 2019, 9:50 pm

But good results in France Italy Poland Hungary and others and in some countries where populist nationalist, not far right , were not winners, some mainstream parties stole their policies so they did better than it officially appears.

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#6298

Post by Cippenham » May 27th, 2019, 10:03 pm

Soviet Russia, first country to kill millions and send millions to the Gulag. I think it is as wrong to promote such an evil regime as it is the Nazis and doubt it should be allowed to be honest

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#6299

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » May 27th, 2019, 10:09 pm

Cippenham wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 10:03 pm
Soviet Russia, first country to kill millions and send millions to the Gulag.
First country?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Britain (also probably not the first country)

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#6300

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 27th, 2019, 10:15 pm

Yea, let's be real here. You always hear the "communism killed 100 million people" argument. What about capitalism? It's tough to measure it, but we must consider stuff like slavery and especially colonization. A good example is that 3 million Indians died during WWII under the hands of Churchill. Many of the atrocities during the communist wars was because of American intervention under the name of freedom. That also contributed to more deaths than there should have been.

Honestly, capitalism can also work in theory, but it must be heavily regulated. Companies doing whatever they want will eventually lead to exploiting loopholes and a capitalist monopoly. You have to let small businesses thrive and ensure that a perfect competition exists.

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#6301

Post by Dolwphin » May 27th, 2019, 10:54 pm

Please, stop white-washing Communist atrocities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_kill ... viet_Union

Listen to the anarchist, Marxist and other leftist critiques of the Soviet Union before your world view gets totally warped on the subject. (Yes, Capitalism, is also a highly unethical & murderous economic system. You can add things like the fact that 30 000 people die every year in the US, due to the liberal health care system.)

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#6302

Post by xianjiro » May 27th, 2019, 10:59 pm

XxXApathy420XxX wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 8:56 pm
Image
:thumbsup:

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#6303

Post by Dolwphin » May 27th, 2019, 11:23 pm

Classic:
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#6304

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 27th, 2019, 11:27 pm

The reason why I post these is that despite what America says about them, they have done things 100 years ago that are somehow better than other first world countries today. Even for something shitty like USSR it's still quite impressive. Also these statistics that I posted were under Lenin's rule, who I found to be a hell of a lot better than Stalin (although I was unaware of the thing I mentioned below from your link).

Why should I get accused of whitewashing? I mentioned the atrocities in the other countries from the wars, and the fact that capitalist deaths get ignored because they are from third world countries.

All of the USSR atrocities mentioned there were under Stalin, except for Lenin's Hanging Order. I have already said my opinion on Stalin and won't mention it again. Lenin's Hanging Order says 5 districts with 100 people each. 500 people is shitty but considering the time period and the other atrocities, a hell of a lot worse has been done.

As I mentioned in a previous post, communism has been modernized. The perfect example is the Communist Party of Canada. I'm still glad I voted for them, and consider myself a communist as they had the perfect election platform.

Capitalism has been modernized too, but it still includes some form of colonization, such as Bangladesh child labour, and a horrific case of income equality where people can't afford the essentials.

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#6305

Post by Cippenham » May 28th, 2019, 8:23 am

Communism is systematic and deliberate murder by lists. You might die under capitalism but that is not the same.

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#6306

Post by cinephage » May 28th, 2019, 10:28 am

XxXApathy420XxX wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 11:27 pm
All of the USSR atrocities mentioned there were under Stalin, except for Lenin's Hanging Order. I have already said my opinion on Stalin and won't mention it again. Lenin's Hanging Order says 5 districts with 100 people each. 500 people is shitty but considering the time period and the other atrocities, a hell of a lot worse has been done.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_f ... E2%80%9322

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

I'm not quite sure where you are trying to go. Weren't there good aspects to socialist countries ? Well, if there wasn't any, why would anyone choose and fight for it ? Still, there are huge, major, cons to that system. The main one being that it wouldn't work or subsist its initial inertia... After a while, people in charge find ways to remain stay in power and gather wealth again. It's just as unfair as capitalism, but much, much, more violent, as it doesn't need a justification to its actions.

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#6307

Post by Cippenham » May 28th, 2019, 11:18 am

Look Lenin led directly to Stalin. Many books about this. Tbh it is or should be unacceptable to condone such regimes as it is Hitler so no point carrying on with this.

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#6308

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 28th, 2019, 1:51 pm

I can understand the first famine link, but the war may have been a factor. The 2nd one was under Stalin's rule.

The thing is Stalin practically reversed everything that Lenin did.

There is a quote the capitalism can led to fascism as fascism is capitalism in decay.

The only jusitifcation for the violent actions of capitalism is to make profit. It may be a motive but a very shitty one.

I guess I must say this point oncd again for the 3rd time. Modern communism is much different now. They even mention factors that won't cause them to remain in power. Elections will still run, and the military budget is drastically reduced. That is why you must have regulations.

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#6309

Post by St. Gloede » May 28th, 2019, 4:29 pm

cinephage wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 10:28 am
XxXApathy420XxX wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 11:27 pm
All of the USSR atrocities mentioned there were under Stalin, except for Lenin's Hanging Order. I have already said my opinion on Stalin and won't mention it again. Lenin's Hanging Order says 5 districts with 100 people each. 500 people is shitty but considering the time period and the other atrocities, a hell of a lot worse has been done.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_f ... E2%80%9322

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

I'm not quite sure where you are trying to go. Weren't there good aspects to socialist countries ? Well, if there wasn't any, why would anyone choose and fight for it ? Still, there are huge, major, cons to that system. The main one being that it wouldn't work or subsist its initial inertia... After a while, people in charge find ways to remain stay in power and gather wealth again. It's just as unfair as capitalism, but much, much, more violent, as it doesn't need a justification to its actions.
Hey now ... :satstunned:

That is only applicable for State Socialist/State Capitalist systems.

You can't have "the people on top" seizing power if there literally is no specific group of people on top, or if they have limited power and direct democratic accountability. Norway had a Democratic Socialist government for decades, and no one got killed, Attlee and Wilson over in the UK didn't exactly bring out the machine guns either.

Now, Norway was never a Socialist Country (TM, pending definition), but USSR, China, etc. didn't and do not actually fit the definition of socialism either, i.e. "worker, consumer and/or collective ownership/control", what we are looking at are two distinct and unsuccessful (to varying degrees) methods of transitioning into a socialist economy.

Clearly Leninism is doomed to produce authoritarianism, while Democratic Socialism is doomed to cave to Capitalist supremacy and embrace Social Democracy - and sadly, as others have pointed out, this was always reasonably apparent, especially the former.

-

What we need is a far more dynamic approach, where we do not trust elected representatives to just go out there are reform the world by their best intentions (and we should certainly not trust a sociopathic vanguard). We need a system that offers maximum freedom by ending exploitation, bringing democracy and accountability to the workplace, and ensuring that we as a society and as individuals are in control of our destiny.

A decentralized mixed socialist economy, like the one Labour in the UK is working for, which takes power away from the state and moves it to the workers, consumers and local administration is close the perfect set-up in my view (I would have liked an even stronger push for the co-operative sector, but this should not come from the parties, but from people wishing to form co-operatives).

And to be clear, a system like this would be even more secure against tyranny than any currently existing model.

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#6310

Post by cinephage » May 28th, 2019, 5:24 pm

I'm sorry, I was replying within the context, and realize just how confusing my reply might have been. I didn't think of democratic socialist governments, but of the totalitarian ones.

You are absolutely right. I did mean State Socialist/State Capitalist systems (being french, i've lived under a socialist party on various occasions, even though there was debate whether they actually behaved as socialists of not).

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#6311

Post by xianjiro » May 28th, 2019, 5:36 pm

It's a bit disappointing to see us (yet again) debating the relative good/evil of the Soviet empire (and it's capitalist rivals) when there are so many more pressing current issues such as 1) how will EP leadership roles shake out now with the shift towards the left and right with a healthy infusion of support to the liberals (who, interestingly enough, the BBC styles as more left than right), 2) the complete collapse of the conservative and nationalists government in Austria only 15 months after taking office (Ibizagate), and 3) the ongoing trials and recent settlements of capitalist corporations that abused the free-market/liberal healthcare system in the US to get millions (including me) legally hooked (dependent or outright addicted) on opiates. These are real, serious issues affecting millions in the world TODAY.

Sorry, I don't really believe anyone is actually trying to say Stalin or Mao were great humanitarians that brought unbridled peace, justice, and freedom to the oppressed masses. It is clear Art is trying to make the case that some positives have come from communism and I'd love to see him talk more about the actual proposals being made by reformed commies in Canada. Other than that, it seems like all we're doing is trolling since we know exactly what Cipp will respond since he's done it hundreds of times before.

I don't remember if an earlier post of mine related to post-communist documentaries made it or not - I know I put effort into a good post on this subject and once again had it disappear, most likely due to the stupid "another post has been made, are you sure" dialog that for some reason I don't always see.

Anyway, the one thing I've thought telling is that even in repressive systems like the late Soviet or pre-capitalizing Chinese, people miss the certainty they had: they knew they'd have housing, could get basic food and healthcare, and their children would be educated. Regardless of what one thinks about 'communism' this is often seen as a 'benefit' of the Cuba state and a massive failing of the Venezuelan experiment.

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#6312

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 28th, 2019, 5:45 pm

xianjiro wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 5:36 pm
It is clear Art is trying to make the case that some positives have come from communism and I'd love to see him talk more about the actual proposals being made by reformed commies in Canada.
I'll mention my favourites from their election platform:

- Raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour
- Benefits for all workers, including part-time and contract
- Have voluntary retirement at 60
- Higher CPP (retirement) benefits
- Oppose all military aggression, and leave all foreign countries.
- Reduce the military budget
- Public ownership and democratic control of energy and natural resource extraction, production, and distribution
- Put banking and insurance under public ownership and democratic control
- Restores home mail delivery services (we have them in hubs. Doing home mail will add more jobs)
- Include pharmacy, dental, eye-care, and long-term care as part of the medicare system
- Nationalize the pharmacy industry
- Impose 100% taxes on capital gains instead of 50%
- End tax loopholes and shelters
- Double the corporate tax rate
- Eliminate taxes on low-income families
- Impose tax on inheritance of $1 million or more
- Ban racial profiling
- Expand parental benefits
- Repeal the prostitution law and legalize it
- Increase wages for child care workers and publicly finance child care to make it affordable
- Ban discrimination on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression
- Public education free, and eliminate student debt

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#6313

Post by xianjiro » May 28th, 2019, 5:59 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 4:29 pm
cinephage wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 10:28 am
XxXApathy420XxX wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 11:27 pm
All of the USSR atrocities mentioned there were under Stalin, except for Lenin's Hanging Order. I have already said my opinion on Stalin and won't mention it again. Lenin's Hanging Order says 5 districts with 100 people each. 500 people is shitty but considering the time period and the other atrocities, a hell of a lot worse has been done.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_f ... E2%80%9322

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

I'm not quite sure where you are trying to go. Weren't there good aspects to socialist countries ? Well, if there wasn't any, why would anyone choose and fight for it ? Still, there are huge, major, cons to that system. The main one being that it wouldn't work or subsist its initial inertia... After a while, people in charge find ways to remain stay in power and gather wealth again. It's just as unfair as capitalism, but much, much, more violent, as it doesn't need a justification to its actions.
Hey now ... :satstunned:

That is only applicable for State Socialist/State Capitalist systems.

You can't have "the people on top" seizing power if there literally is no specific group of people on top, or if they have limited power and direct democratic accountability. Norway had a Democratic Socialist government for decades, and no one got killed, Attlee and Wilson over in the UK didn't exactly bring out the machine guns either.

Now, Norway was never a Socialist Country (TM, pending definition), but USSR, China, etc. didn't and do not actually fit the definition of socialism either, i.e. "worker, consumer and/or collective ownership/control", what we are looking at are two distinct and unsuccessful (to varying degrees) methods of transitioning into a socialist economy.

Clearly Leninism is doomed to produce authoritarianism, while Democratic Socialism is doomed to cave to Capitalist supremacy and embrace Social Democracy - and sadly, as others have pointed out, this was always reasonably apparent, especially the former.

-

What we need is a far more dynamic approach, where we do not trust elected representatives to just go out there are reform the world by their best intentions (and we should certainly not trust a sociopathic vanguard). We need a system that offers maximum freedom by ending exploitation, bringing democracy and accountability to the workplace, and ensuring that we as a society and as individuals are in control of our destiny.

A decentralized mixed socialist economy, like the one Labour in the UK is working for, which takes power away from the state and moves it to the workers, consumers and local administration is close the perfect set-up in my view (I would have liked an even stronger push for the co-operative sector, but this should not come from the parties, but from people wishing to form co-operatives).

And to be clear, a system like this would be even more secure against tyranny than any currently existing model.
While I don't ultimately want to support any form of tyranny, could it be that it's a natural part of the evolution from one system to another? People, especially power elites, are loathe to accept change. Would the French aristocracy have been willing to say, "Sure, let's change everything so that the peasants and urban masses can have a say in how much taxes we're soaking people for and how they live"? Every state I think of that has tried to change dramatically (especially after a violent revolution) seems to move towards or through tyranny, so I wonder if it's more a consequence of the upheaval and less the system chosen. And clearly, certain Westerners have such a severe distrust of anything socialist or communist that too often this over-colors their rhetoric.

The other thing, how can a large state truly be decentralized so that power can reside with masses? I would argue that this is one of the benefits/problems with the American system and we see it playing out now, once again, on the issue of abortion. So-called 'blue states' are protecting the right of access while 'red states' are stopping just short of execution for anyone even thinking about an abortion (but give them a chance). Clearly the positive is that people are able to make the decisions locally that reflect their values, so, as another example, porn has always been fairly freely available since I moved to a blue state and, especially gay male porn, was much harder to find in a red state. On the porn issue, the courts (believe it was Supreme, but not certain) have been clear that community standards are import in deciding not only what is pornographic but the availability in a given community. And continuing with the theme of vice, some states allow communities (some as narrowly defined as a precinct) to decide if they will be wet or dry (alcohol) and now states are deciding how to decriminalize, regulate for medical use, and legalize recreational use of marijuana. All these are examples where the local community has different ideas on how these things should play out in their community. This decentralization is criticized since men in Alabama are deciding to criminalize a woman's choice to terminate even in the case of rape and there are still jurisdictions that will prosecute grannies who toke to deal with their cancer treatment.

So if we're talking a change, and for the sake of argument, let's talk flipping a Christian or Muslim nation to the other religion. Is there any way this could be done through a grassroots movement after a revolution or would theocratic tyranny be required to force the masses to convert publicly? Seems to me this is analogous to what has happened after revolutions in France, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, and China. I'm not arguing it is good, just that it seems to be the natural order.

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#6314

Post by xianjiro » May 28th, 2019, 6:07 pm

XxXApathy420XxX wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 5:45 pm
xianjiro wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 5:36 pm
It is clear Art is trying to make the case that some positives have come from communism and I'd love to see him talk more about the actual proposals being made by reformed commies in Canada.
I'll mention my favourites from their election platform:

- Raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour
- Benefits for all workers, including part-time and contract
- Have voluntary retirement at 60
- Higher CPP (retirement) benefits
- Oppose all military aggression, and leave all foreign countries.
- Reduce the military budget
- Public ownership and democratic control of energy and natural resource extraction, production, and distribution
- Put banking and insurance under public ownership and democratic control
- Restores home mail delivery services (we have them in hubs. Doing home mail will add more jobs)
- Include pharmacy, dental, eye-care, and long-term care as part of the medicare system
- Nationalize the pharmacy industry
- Impose 100% taxes on capital gains instead of 50%
- End tax loopholes and shelters
- Double the corporate tax rate
- Eliminate taxes on low-income families
- Impose tax on inheritance of $1 million or more
- Ban racial profiling
- Expand parental benefits
- Repeal the prostitution law and legalize it
- Increase wages for child care workers and publicly finance child care to make it affordable
- Ban discrimination on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression
- Public education free, and eliminate student debt
:thumbsup: Art!

Two things jump out: 1) I assume by "leave all foreign countries" this is only in a military context beyond basic protection of diplomatic missions, right? I sure hope they aren't arguing that Canada should close all its embassies. 2) 100% tax on capital gains?!? Seriously? So how would the spur investment and entrepreneurship?

Also, are mail delivery hubs something like communal boxes for a block or something or does everyone have to go to the PO to get their mail now? This is an issue we're wrestling with in the US (and most places I assume now that so much happens electronically - after all, we might be having these conversations via a newsletter if this was the 1970s. The PSE's union basically keeps much from changing here when clearly the postal service is having trouble making ends meet - though day-to-day operations are less the issue than funding the pension scheme negotiated under prior contracts.

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#6315

Post by brokenface » May 28th, 2019, 6:50 pm

"2) 100% tax on capital gains?!? Seriously? So how would the spur investment and entrepreneurship?"


Communists typically not big on entrepreneurship or private capital gains!

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#6316

Post by Leopardi » May 28th, 2019, 7:16 pm

brokenface wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 6:50 pm
"2) 100% tax on capital gains?!? Seriously? So how would the spur investment and entrepreneurship?"


Communists typically not big on entrepreneurship or private capital gains!
I think what Art's referring to here is the capital gains tax inclusion rate, which has fluctuated here in Canada for the last few decades but which is now 50%. In a nutshell, if you make a profit on an investment, when tax time comes around you would multiply that profit by 50%, add it to the rest of your income (e.g. salary), and that sum will be taxed depending on your tax bracket. By bumping the inclusion rate to 100%, that's effectively saying we should treat the gains we make from investments the same way we treat any other work-related income, not give preferential treatment to those making investments over those whose income is purely salary-based. When I started investing this inclusion rate was 75% (here's a history for those interested) and I don't think that rate particularly deterred me from investing at the time, so I'm not sure raising it to 100% now would be as much of an economic drag as one might think, at least from the point of view of the small investor. Entrepreneurs might think otherwise, though - I have no experience there.

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#6317

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » May 28th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Pretty much what leopardi said. Income is income, and I don't believe it's fair for someone who makes $200k a year on investments to pay a hell of a lot less in taxes than someone earning that through another type of job.

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#6318

Post by xianjiro » May 28th, 2019, 10:17 pm

Okay, thanks for the information guys. Clearly taxes on capital gains are more complex in Canada. I just didn't think a 100% tax on capital gains sounded right. Talk about a great way to put an end to things like home buying, investing retirement or college savings, or growing a small business!

So, I'm curious, especially with our international mix - how many countries treat capital gains much like ordinary (wage) income? And besides staunch conservatives, do many users feel CG should be treated the same as wages or differently?

Of course this is a favorite political football in the US and I won't be surprised to see it thrown back and forth not only in the general, but also in the D primary race.

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#6319

Post by St. Gloede » May 29th, 2019, 7:32 am

xianjiro wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 5:59 pm
St. Gloede wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 4:29 pm
You can't have "the people on top" seizing power if there literally is no specific group of people on top, or if they have limited power and direct democratic accountability. Norway had a Democratic Socialist government for decades, and no one got killed, Attlee and Wilson over in the UK didn't exactly bring out the machine guns either.

Now, Norway was never a Socialist Country (TM, pending definition), but USSR, China, etc. didn't and do not actually fit the definition of socialism either, i.e. "worker, consumer and/or collective ownership/control", what we are looking at are two distinct and unsuccessful (to varying degrees) methods of transitioning into a socialist economy.

Clearly Leninism is doomed to produce authoritarianism, while Democratic Socialism is doomed to cave to Capitalist supremacy and embrace Social Democracy - and sadly, as others have pointed out, this was always reasonably apparent, especially the former.

-

What we need is a far more dynamic approach, where we do not trust elected representatives to just go out there are reform the world by their best intentions (and we should certainly not trust a sociopathic vanguard). We need a system that offers maximum freedom by ending exploitation, bringing democracy and accountability to the workplace, and ensuring that we as a society and as individuals are in control of our destiny.

A decentralized mixed socialist economy, like the one Labour in the UK is working for, which takes power away from the state and moves it to the workers, consumers and local administration is close the perfect set-up in my view (I would have liked an even stronger push for the co-operative sector, but this should not come from the parties, but from people wishing to form co-operatives).

And to be clear, a system like this would be even more secure against tyranny than any currently existing model.
How can a large state truly be decentralized so that power can reside with masses?

I would argue that this is one of the benefits/problems with the American system and we see it playing out now, once again, on the issue of abortion. So-called 'blue states' are protecting the right of access while 'red states' are stopping just short of execution for anyone even thinking about an abortion (but give them a chance). Clearly the positive is that people are able to make the decisions locally that reflect their values, so, as another example, porn has always been fairly freely available since I moved to a blue state and, especially gay male porn, was much harder to find in a red state. On the porn issue, the courts (believe it was Supreme, but not certain) have been clear that community standards are import in deciding not only what is pornographic but the availability in a given community. And continuing with the theme of vice, some states allow communities (some as narrowly defined as a precinct) to decide if they will be wet or dry (alcohol) and now states are deciding how to decriminalize, regulate for medical use, and legalize recreational use of marijuana. All these are examples where the local community has different ideas on how these things should play out in their community. This decentralization is criticized since men in Alabama are deciding to criminalize a woman's choice to terminate even in the case of rape and there are still jurisdictions that will prosecute grannies who toke to deal with their cancer treatment.
Before I start answering the main question of how power will actually be placed into the hands of each individual, I need to address the core premise:

I am actually not advocating for a large state. Collective ownership can, and I would argue should, be managed (at least to a large extent) outside of the state. I am quite pragmatic on what tasks the state may need to take charge of for practical purposes, however I would personally, in an ideal world, prefer a small civic state, primarily involved in the economy to the extent that it drafts and enforces laws, and looks after consumer interests.

I must also make one additional clarification:

As you rightfully point out above there are benefits and negatives to having a federated system where each unit has a large degree of legislative autonomy. This brand of political organization is not actually what I am referring to here (though it is a great debate to have).

(A socialist economic system may have any kind of political organization on top of it, just as a capitalist economy may).

When I talk about moving power down to the workers, consumers and local administration I am first and foremost speaking about the direct economic power they should have in their everyday life:

1. Decentralizing power to the worker refers to workplace democracy. Most European countries already have a form of co-determination. Workplace democracy is when the workers are a part of the decisions their workplace makes - and their bosses are directly accountable to them. For big organizations this is usually done by the workers voting in (a part of) the board of directors - though they may also hire/elect their direct manager. (By extension I am also referring to increasing the workers' ability to start their own co-operatives, associations, credit unions and personal enterprises).

2. Decentralizing power to the consumer means that the users of public services have a direct say in how they are run and managed (decisions for public services being a democratic process between the workers and consumers - in other words the government/state can in theory be cut out entirely of management).
(By extensions I am also referring to increasing the consumers ability to start user co-operatives, credit unions, mutual banks)

3. Decentralizing power to local administration refers to their ability to influence and organize their local community, for instance creating specific organizations or companies where the needs arise, or invest/incentivize local businesses that are wanted by the community.
(And by extension also referring to increasing the public's ability to start mutual banks, and take matters into their own hands - this would of course also be applicable on a national and international scale)

This leaves very little room for the state, and places economic power into the hands of the people who the decisions directly affects.
While I don't ultimately want to support any form of tyranny, could it be that it's a natural part of the evolution from one system to another? People, especially power elites, are loathe to accept change. Would the French aristocracy have been willing to say, "Sure, let's change everything so that the peasants and urban masses can have a say in how much taxes we're soaking people for and how they live"? Every state I think of that has tried to change dramatically (especially after a violent revolution) seems to move towards or through tyranny, so I wonder if it's more a consequence of the upheaval and less the system chosen. And clearly, certain Westerners have such a severe distrust of anything socialist or communist that too often this over-colors their rhetoric.

So if we're talking a change, and for the sake of argument, let's talk flipping a Christian or Muslim nation to the other religion. Is there any way this could be done through a grassroots movement after a revolution or would theocratic tyranny be required to force the masses to convert publicly? Seems to me this is analogous to what has happened after revolutions in France, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, and China. I'm not arguing it is good, just that it seems to be the natural order.
I think history has demonstrated that you are entirely correct, if you launch a violent revolution, regardless of how worthy the cause is, there is a strong likelihood that the violence will continue, and we end with a period of tyranny.

Similarly, if you wish to, over a short period of time, force people to give up their basic beliefs, or merely push people to reach the same position, a form of tyranny is likely also inevitable.

The latter point accepted, there have been many instances where major social decisions have been made without violence/coercion/tyranny, some even within a short time frame, for instance legalizing homosexuality was instant - and while certain conservatives may find that "tyranny" I think most people would beg to differ.

A certain law, or social change may certainly cause a violent response from those who oppose it - we have seen it time and time again - the Civil War in the US being a particularly glaring example - but in many countries ending slavery was a far more peaceful process (though in part because it was no longer as profitable as it had been - wage labor was cheaper than slaves - who "you" had to clothe, feed and otherwise take the legal responsibility for).

However, bringing this back to socialism - a transition period need not be as extreme or urgent as you may think.

In Norway for instance about 33-37% of the working population work for collectively owned industries (the majority of wealth is collectively owned), and some of our biggest brands are co-operatives (Gilde, Tine, Coop) - we also have 30% codetermination on boards of directors (Germany has 50%), and a Syndicate Congress (Union Congress).

Expanding the collective sector by investing in Green Energy and industries likely to ensure collective value creation or be of social value in itself would not be a shock to the system - nor would incentivizing co-operatives, nor expanding workplace democracy to at least rival Germany, nor would strengthening unions.

Without any degree of coercion and only minimal annoyance for the capitalists, the capitalist sector could relatively quickly become a minority - and Norway would have a primarily socialist economy. Not only that, workers would have 50% of the say even in the capitalist sector, and with strong unions backing the workers for additional support. (The co-operative sector and the collective sector could then in theory even out-compete the capitalist sector, especially if consumers actively choose their products). Moving economic decisions away from the state and into the hands of the workers/consumers would also make it harder to turn back progress (if liberals were to win state power).

Moderate policies like share-dilution and inheritance tax on capital (shares either going to the workers or the public) would also not directly disturb the system, but would over time give even more ownership and control to the workers and the people as a whole - and as the economic power thoroughly shifts measures which today may seem as extreme, such as legally abolishing wage labor, or making direct changes to property laws, may be possible (in which case the entirety of the capitalist sector would be ended).

(Of course, as we have seen in other country, even moderately social policies may lead to a US backed coup - luckily Norway is both white and part of Nato)

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#6320

Post by xianjiro » May 29th, 2019, 9:05 am

:thumbsup: St G.

The near-term future will be anything but uninteresting.

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