Socialism Source Links

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  • #342 Score: 0
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    Mark
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    Post your link on socialism here. One link per post, please.

    Democratic socialism is en vogue at the moment, with democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders leading the charge. You’ll hear from many people “Feeling the Bern” that democratic socialism is different than the socialism that has caused the collapse of several economies throughout history. When asked to explain the different between democratic socialism and “regular” socialism, the answers from Bernsters often fall flat. They may attempt to say that democratic socialism doesn’t take control of the means of production, but when people can vote for the government to take ownership of private property, history shows that’s what will happen.

    You’ll likely hear about how well Scandinavian countries do under socialism. Such claims are dubious at best. First of all, Scandinavian countries have healthier corporate environments than the US, allowing for a freer market with top marginal corporate tax rates all being substantially lower than in the US. Second, the taxes on the employed in those countries are often high compared to the US, with Denmark topping out at over 60% for their top marginal tax rate. To make matters worse, the top tax rates start at much lower incomes in those countries, usually resulting in the average middle class families paying the top rates.

    Another point to raise when discussing socialism is its failures, both past and present. Venezuela, Brazil and Greece are all suffering catastrophic economic hardships due in large part to socialism. Socialists will say that Venezuela is not a failure of socialism, but rather of a state that put too many eggs in the oil basket. The problem with that line of thinking is that governments are terrible at predicting market outcomes, so the governments can’t determine which industry or products need to be created to keep the economy healthy. The US economy is better suited to weather a storm because we allow individuals to create new industries for which governments would never be able to identify a need. It is that economic diversity that keeps the US market going in hard times.

    #343 Score: 0
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    How Scandinavian Countries Pay for Their Government Spending
    By Kyle Pomerleau
    http://taxfoundation.org/blog/how-scandinavian-countries-pay-their-government-spending

    #344 Score: 0
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    Behind Brazil’s corruption crisis is a deeper socialist disaster
    By Roger Noriega
    http://nypost.com/2016/04/19/behind-brazils-corruption-crisis-is-a-deeper-socialist-disaster

    “The looming impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is about more than cooking the books to hide election-year spending or looting the state-owned oil company for her campaigns and cronies. What’s really on trial are Rousseff’s socialist policies.

    Those policies drove up deficits to win votes, bet too heavily on exports to China and not only failed to retool the world’s ninth-largest economy to compete in the world but drove it into a recession.

    Rousseff was first elected in 2010 on the coattails of her mentor Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva — a leftist labor leader who exceeded expectations as president from 2003-2011. Da Silva benefited from the windfall of revenue from exports of oil, natural gas, minerals and agriculture goods — which convinced him that his bloated anti-poverty programs were sustainable.

    Unfortunately, both da Silva and Rousseff ignored the dire need to improve education, reform tangled tax codes, fix stifling labor laws, invest in infrastructure or make it easier to create or operate a business.

    Protectionist policies intended to preserve Brazilian jobs and industry drove away foreign investors. Instead of jumpstarting private-sector growth and controlling government spending, they expanded welfare programs that drove up their popularity among the very poor.”

    #345 Score: 0
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    When the top tax rate really kicks in [in top industrialized nations]
    http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/taxes/top-income-tax-rate/?iid=EL

    “When combining federal and state income tax rates, the U.S. top rate was far from the highest relative to other OECD countries in 2012. And it kicked in at a much higher level of income than most.”

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    Americans pay more in taxes than for housing, food, clothes combined
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-pay-more-in-taxes-than-for-housing-food-clothes-combined-2016-04-13

    “In 2016, Americans will likely spend roughly $1.6 trillion on food, $2.1 trillion on housing and $360 billion on clothing, totaling about $4.1 trillion. Meanwhile, their total tax bill will be about $4.9 trillion ($3.34 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6trillion state and local taxes).”

    **Note – Keep in mind when using this link in your debates that, even though we’re spending more on taxes than food, this link also points out that Americans pay less in taxes than most other countries as a percent of income. That could very well be because Americans earn more than most other countries, but you should be prepared to counter that rebuttal should you decide to use this link in your debates.**

    “While that number may seem staggeringly high, Americans still spend a lower portion of their income on taxes than residents of other countries, according to an analysis of 39 countries released this week by the Pew Research Center.”

    #427 Score: 0
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    45% of Americans pay no federal income tax
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/45-of-americans-pay-no-federal-income-tax-2016-02-24

    Keep in mind, though, that according to this article, the richest 20% pay 86.8% of all individual federal income taxes and 69% of all taxes when including excise taxes like gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes.

    “On average, those in the bottom 40% of the income spectrum end up getting money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of Americans, by far, pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87% of all the income tax collected by Uncle Sam.”

    #437 Score: 0
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    Venezuela calls for mandatory labor in farm sector
    by Richard Washington
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/29/venezuela-calls-for-mandatory-labor-in-farm-sector.html

    “A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.”

    #441 Score: 0
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    It was once the richest country in Latin America. Now it’s falling apart.
    By Ioan Grillo / CaracasS
    Venezuela on the Brink

    “Venezuela was once Latin America’s exemplar: home to Simón Bolívar, who freed much of the continent from Spanish rule. Now, after years of political mismanagement and months in economic free fall, it is the region’s cautionary tale. The bolivar, the currency named for the Liberator himself, is now carried in backpacks instead of wallets; one unit is worth less than a penny. While production plummets, crime soars. Fights frequently break out in food lines. The number of murders last year ranged between 17,000 and 28,000. No one knows the exact tally, but regardless it would put the nation’s murder rate—driven by a lethal mix of street gangs, drug cartels, leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries jostling for power—among the world’s highest. Even animals are dying: some 50 zoo animals have starved to death over the past six months because there’s not enough food.

    And domestic production has been decimated as farms and factories that Chavez expropriated are all but idle. The crisis has hurt international companies as well, which have seen some $10 billion in profits wiped away over the past 18 months. Many are giving up on the country. In May Coca-Cola suspended its bottling operation in Venezuela because of a lack of sweetener, and in July McDonald’s temporarily stopped selling Big Macs because of a lack of bread.”

    #442 Score: 0
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    Why Luxury TVs Are Affordable when Basic Health Care Is Not
    By: Richard N. Lorenc

    https://fee.org/articles/why-large-screen-tvs-are-affordable-and-health-care-is-not/

    “Consider each product or service shown. College is heavily subsidized, regulated, and exclusionary, and the costs are soaring. The textbook industry is hobbled by extreme copyright regulation, and can depend on captive buyers. Childcare is one of the most regulated industries in the country. Not just anyone can enter. Every aspect of childcare provision is controlled by the state.

    On the other hand, software, wireless service, toys and and TVs (see: free trade) exist in relatively freer market settings. The price pressure is down.”

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