Has Western capitalism become too efficient and ruthless?

Aug 2013
155
Finland
I am sorry, I have three questions:

- why is so often this idea that "everything else" has to be socialist?

- why so often "socialism" = Stalinist/Maoist like state?

- why so often we believe socialism => repression?
It's because the USSR called themselves a socialist state, born out of revolution and meant to be a stepping stone to communism. Since Marxist communism as they envisioned it (classless and stateless) is an impossible utopia, they were stuck in the socialist phase forever. Of course the socialist state made it pretty cozy for those in charge, so I doubt they were in any hurry to really try to move on either after the initial idealistic fervor had died down.

Western Europe have never been socialist, it's social democracy which is not the same thing.

Socialism is about the public (mainly the oppressed masses, the working class) in one way or another owning the means of production, which means they have to first take control of the means of production. The state, representing the working class, then takes control of economic activity as a whole - socializing it. Back in the early 20th century, the states were obviously not going to do this, so the states had to be replaced first by revolution and the means of production taken over by violence if they were not handed over "peacefully". Then to keep the whole thing together and to brainwash the populace into the new way of thinking needed to abolish the state and implement real communism, a constant repression of "dissidents" (normal people who resisted the brainwashing) was required.

In the social democracies the replacement of any states were definitely off the table. The societies were to be improved though democratic means and within the existing state's own rules. Socialization of the means of production was not necessary to achieve social justice. So under the social democracies, the state created state-controlled institutions to promote social justice. Everyone, regardless of class, was to get access to and be able to afford good education, good healthcare, the same access to emergency services, the same access to postal services etc. No-one needed to go hungry. But the economic system outside of what was needed to deliver this could stay private and capitalistic. This was to be paid for by taxation and since well-off people could afford it anyway, progressive income taxation was an important tool to even out (but not eradicate) economic and social inequalities. You could live a comfortable and respectable life regardless of your class, which was seen as fair and just since all the classes were needed to keep society going anyway.

The entire basis for socialism and social democracies are completely different, even if they both tried to right the same wrongs in the end (the oppression of the many by the few). This is also why the socialist states hated social democrats - they were living proof that the same ultimate goals could be achieved another way. Revolution had not been necessary after all which undermined the legitimacy of states like the USSR.

In the USA and also elsewhere sometimes it's popular to equate the two in political rhetoric. Either the people doing this are deliberately lying for populistic reasons or they have no clue about the subject.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,770
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I do not call the economies in Western Europe socialist. China is still run by the CCP and is still a repressive communist state “with market characteristics.” Where did you get the idea that it was not?
Well, most Western European countries have what you characterise as a socialist healthcare system.

China is a repressive regime, not a communist one. It's communist in name only.
 
Aug 2013
155
Finland
Why ban it? The City or an agency now controls the water supply there as it does here in DeKalb County, Georgia. If the City or the County doesn’t want privatized water, don’t permit any competition or transfer the water operation.
I see this point in the article as an important reason, but that's just my read of it: "Eckel pointed to Food & Water Watch research finding that private water utilities tend to charge almost 60 percent more than public counterparts."
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,421
This is something I have been trying to emphasize as well. The diversity within the U.S. has only a few rivals on the same scale world wide. Maybe Brazil. Genetics and cultural lifestyle have major impacts upon one’s health, and thus healthcare.
And yet what is perfectly consistent is that the cost of healthcare in the US is much higher than any other OECD country (i.e the most comparable parts of the world).

The per capita cost of healthcare, adjusted for spending-power, is still considerably higher in the US than even in those countries with substantially higher GDP per capita than the US (like Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland).

And the US is VASTLY more homogenous than the European Union. But it still makes sense to compare them at an the aggregate level.

The size of the US can't be a sufficient argument to just insulate it from any comparison.

List of countries by total health expenditure per capita - Wikipedia
 
Oct 2013
14,297
Europix
And yet what is perfectly consistent is that the cost of healthcare in the US is much higher than any other OECD country (i.e the most comparable parts of the world).

The per capita cost of healthcare, adjusted for spending-power, is still considerably higher in the US than even in those countries with substantially higher GDP per capita than the US (like Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland).

And the US is VASTLY more homogenous than the European Union. But it still makes sense to compare them at an the aggregate level.

The size of the US can't be a sufficient argument to just insulate it from any comparison.

List of countries by total health expenditure per capita - Wikipedia
Looking at the graph, in the early 70s, all countries were practically at the same level (with the exception of UK, that constantly had smaller expenses).

After 75, expenses grew in all countries, but in US they took of at a really much bigger rate.

Did something changed in US in the 75-80's in healthcare system?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,770
T'Republic of Yorkshire
This is something I have been trying to emphasize as well. The diversity within the U.S. has only a few rivals on the same scale world wide. Maybe Brazil. Genetics and cultural lifestyle have major impacts upon one’s health, and thus healthcare.
The EU has 28 (soon to be 27) different national health systems that coexist and interact without a problem, not to mention the private options available in each country.

It has a population of 508 million.

I don't think the US can argue exceptionalism on these grounds.
 
Oct 2010
5,094
DC
And yet what is perfectly consistent is that the cost of healthcare in the US is much higher than any other OECD country (i.e the most comparable parts of the world).

The per capita cost of healthcare, adjusted for spending-power, is still considerably higher in the US than even in those countries with substantially higher GDP per capita than the US (like Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland).

And the US is VASTLY more homogeneous than the European Union. But it still makes sense to compare them at an the aggregate level.

The size of the US can't be a sufficient argument to just insulate it from any comparison.

List of countries by total health expenditure per capita - Wikipedia
It is not about insulation from comparison, it is about considering local needs and expenses thereof.

Looking at the graph, in the early 70s, all countries were practically at the same level (with the exception of UK, that constantly had smaller expenses).

After 75, expenses grew in all countries, but in US they took of at a really much bigger rate.

Did something changed in US in the 75-80's in healthcare system?
It is a good question, Ronald Reagan !?
 
Oct 2013
14,297
Europix
...It is a good question, Ronald Reagan !?
Could be a clue. If I'm not mistaking, his administration was about deregulation too.


_______
I've looked a bit into the 20 mil and 40 mil European countries for comparisons. I admit it's becoming a bit fastidious ...

Poland and Romania are a bit difficult to take into account: they're still in a reforming proces (they inherited a communist system), they still have economical difficulties, and they have a lack of personnel that it's even bigger than in other countries (the emigration rate of qualified personnel is awful), lack of financement/investissement, aso. For the moment, I would rather dismiss them as examples, or take them as of examples on how things aren't working out.

I'll (maybe) go further with Spain and Netherlands ... later ....
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,048
US
And yet what is perfectly consistent is that the cost of healthcare in the US is much higher than any other OECD country (i.e the most comparable parts of the world).

The per capita cost of healthcare, adjusted for spending-power, is still considerably higher in the US than even in those countries with substantially higher GDP per capita than the US (like Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland).

And the US is VASTLY more homogenous than the European Union. But it still makes sense to compare them at an the aggregate level.

The size of the US can't be a sufficient argument to just insulate it from any comparison.

List of countries by total health expenditure per capita - Wikipedia
The EU has 28 (soon to be 27) different national health systems that coexist and interact without a problem, not to mention the private options available in each country.

It has a population of 508 million.

I don't think the US can argue exceptionalism on these grounds.
Europeans are rather homogenous, from a genetic perspective, ethnicity aside.
 

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