Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Socialists...

...who keep talking about the "Scandinavian" economies:

Sweden has no minimum wage, no inheritance tax, low corporate taxes, and a less progressive income tax system. It also boasts a much smaller regulatory state than the US.

Sweden isn't a socialist utopia. It's significantly closer to a capitalist utopia. Even with a public healthcare system.

I bring this up because people always point to the Scandinavian economies as proof that socialism works - but are they just picking and choosing what they're calling capitalism and what they're calling socialism based on what is doing well and what policy they're discussing right this moment?

Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Chile, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia are all in the top twenty five most capitalist countries in the world, as ranked by Heritage, a libertarian thinktank.

Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia are ranked -higher- than the US.

So, for those of you who see these countries as role models - are you willing to copy all their programs? Would you copy Sweden and eliminate minimum wage and the inheritance tax, and reduce corporate taxes and flatten the progressive tax rate to tax the rich less and the poor more, in exchange for a healthcare program and free education? What about their immigration policies?

Are you sure they prove that socialist programs work and won't bankrupt a country? Or are you ignoring the programs they haven't implemented, ignoring that they've opted for fewer regulations in order to offset the costs of their social programs?


  1. Are you going to adopt universal healthcare because it works, or oppose it because its government?

    We can play this game all day. Idealogoues never win. You should embrace each policy based on its merits. That usually leads to a mixed economy. Some countries have found better mixes then others.

  2. This fucking "game" you're talking about is the life and freedom of individuals, and no policy can be isolated from others in place nor the framework in which it rests.

  3. Yes, I'm aware it's about life, death, and freedom. That's why I want people freed from the even present threat of death and poverty because they had the audacity to be born with a pre-existing condition. Why I want people to have the freedom to choose a career based on what best utilizes their talents, not what health benefits an organization offers.

  4. You can never be free from the threat of death or poverty, and there's no such thing as a freedom which requires the fruits of labor of others. That is what we call an "anti-concept." Full stop.

    Health care should not be legally bound to a working position, but understand that what a company offers in terms of benefits is another form of compensation. With government affecting and setting criteria regarding wages, hours worked, retirement opportunities, and so forth, things like healthcare, insurance, and other tangibles merely become other forms of payment.

    Then again, the idea comes mostly from Roosevelt's wage freezes to begin with, so benefits are, in themselves, something of government's ill-spawned bastard.

  5. No full stop. All of us require the fruits of others labor. You didn't build your house, or pump your own oil out of the ground, or grow your own food. You outsourced all of it, and your able to purchase it with those dollars of yours because the cops (government thugs that use force) will enforce whatever property rights you call "natural".

    Once we start using each others labor, we need a system to determine how the fruits of that labor will be divided. I'm aware you've probably got some nutty anarcho-capatilism system in your head that never existed and whenever it has been tried in the real world it has devolved into Somolia in all practicality.

    In the world I live in, people are born sick. So sick that without assistance of others being sick will be the driving force of their entire lives, overriding their ability to actually live their life. Rawls and all that jazz, I think they deserve some help. Everyone else can sacrifice a tiny sliver of discretionary spending income so that person can live a life of dignity.

  6. No, absolute full stop. I have not, nor have I ever said in this discussion, that property rights are "natural." You want to put words in my mouth, then you can fuck off.

    I won't even read the rest of your nonsensical bullshit. Go argue with the voices in your head elsewhere.

  7. Read your own comment and apply it to yourself.

  8. Good points in the post. I too had heard the generalizations about Scandinavia -- happy to hear it ain't true.