One of many defenses for socialism and its sibling communism is those type of economic arrangements have never been really tried. All previous efforts were partial efforts. You see, if we were to ever try pure socialism or pure communism it would be wonderful and glorious and perfect and utopia on earth. It’s just never been implemented right, you see.
Helen Raleigh explains socialism has been tried in all its purity here in the United States.
“Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.”
May I suggest that figuring out how to provide for the needs and wants of your neighbor in a voluntary transaction is of far higher morality than killing him, stealing his stuff, and selling off his wife and children into a lifetime of slavery?
If you want to compare capitalism and socialism then adjust the second option to just stealing his stuff and drop the killing and slavery part. The choice and the obvious answer is the same.
How do we get enough of the respirators, personal protective equipment, and medicine we need to get through the COVID-19 pandemic?
Fascinating to watch the press conference Saturday 3/21/20 with various federal officials and members of the coronavirus task force. Most fascinating feature was looking at the various comments and questions/answers from an economics perspective. Thought about Friday’s briefing as well.
Here is the difference in perspective I perceived: do we rely on capitalism or fascism as our model to get things done?
Underlying the comments from all the federal officials is the idea that the private sector can figure out how to provide everything we need.
The common thread underlying a huge portion of the questions from media is the idea that the federal government should tell which specific companies how much of which specific products to produce, specify they price they will charge, and provide the addresses for where to send each pallet of supplies.
In other words, should we use a capitalist model to provide goods we need or should we use the fascist model?
As a thumbnail description, in the fascist economic model the means of production are owned by the private sector but the central planning authority tells companies how much of which product to produce. In contrast, the next step away from freedom is communism, in which the means of production are owned by the government and a central planning agency decides how much of each specific product to produce.
In the Soviet Union and Venezuela, grocery shopping involved/involves listening for rumors of which store got a shipment overnight, standing in line for hours, looking at lots of empty shelves, and going to the store daily to see if what you need might actually be on the shelf today.
If you have been awake the last seven days, you know that is what grocery shopping looks like in the U.S. today.
The difference between the Evil Empire and the worker’s paradise of Venezuela on one hand and the United States on the other hand is that the supply chain in the U.S. is still stocking the shelves and in a week or two or three will have them filled up.
Central planning is one of the major features of socialism. A major consequence of central planning is shortages. The widespread shortages are even more severe in the purest variation of central planning: communism.
Oh, Frederick Engels considered housework unmanly, so the burden of no washing machine, dryers, or other time saving devices fell on women. Severe shortages of makeup, hair dye, and even sanitary napkins (yes, you read that right, basic hygiene was not a production priority in the worker’s paradise) made for a harsh life for women.