Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Socialism/Economics...Thoughts today....

I do not think socialism is a viable economic system for America—especially not right now! If we consider the demographics of America at present I just don’t see how it will work. The U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders embraces democratic socialism and seems to highly appreciate the kind of socialism that exists in Scandinavian countries.

I am American and have spent some time traveling (and living) in different regions of the United-States. I traveled to Norway a year ago and had the opportunity to wander through a variety of Norwegian cities from the southern tip of Norway to the northern tip. The cities that my husband and I visisted included: Bergen, Alesund, Valdal, Molde, Trondheim, Bode, Rorvik, Narvik, Ornes, Narvik and Tromso. We spent a lot of time walking all around these cities. We also briefly spent time in Oslo, but only at the luxurious airport—perhaps the most opulent I have seen—it has real hard-wood floors! We gained a bird’s eye—big picture—look of this country and can attest that the demographics of Norway are much different than those found in the United-States.  

One of the first things you will notice about Norway is its homogeneity of culture and ethnicity. Almost every person who you walk by is a blonde-haired, fair-skinned Norwegian. Another thing that makes Norway different from the United-States is its population. Norway has a much, much smaller population than the United-States. While in Norway, we encountered very, very few immigrants from developing nations and not very many from other wealthier nations in Europe either.

One thing that almost came as a shock for us was the hotel housekeepers.  At every single hotel that we stayed at the housekeepers were young, college-age Norwegian women. This was a site we had never seen before! I am no longer under the persuasion that ONLY immigrants from poor nations would be willing to “do certain kinds of physically demanding jobs”. Citizens, within their own countries who need work will indeed take these kinds of labor and housekeeping jobs if they are available.

The crime rate in Norway (likely due to the small population size) is very low while the crime rate in the United-States is comparatively high.

I think that a socialist economic system in the US would ultimately lead to its collapse. There are just too many people in the U.S. There is too much crime in the US. Also, there are too many people in the US who are not working and/or contributing to the economic system. An economic system where there are so many people taking from the system is not going to last very long.

Yes, I do agree that extremely wealthy individuals in America should be taxed highly and this money should be distributed to individuals who are disabled, sick or otherwise unfit to work. However, I am hesitant about the idea of taxing the rich. I do not think that individuals who are successful in their creative/inventive, academic or business adventures should be punished. There should be some sort of a reward to working hard in a career or business venture. However, if you are just receiving donations or if you simply won the lottery—you should be taxed in a higher tax bracket and this money should be distributed to poor people who are disabled or veterans—what are you contributing to society by asking for donations or by out of luck “winning the lottery”?

A capitalist system is imperfect but so is a socialistic system. Practically speaking, people appear to be highly motivated by the idea of acquiring money. If you think this is false, then please explain why so many people make an effort every month (or week) to buy lottery tickets. Why do they do this? Why is so much time and money spent towards this? It is because people are motivated by the idea of wealth attainment. Yes, you might say “Well, people are actually motivated by the idea of easy wealth attainment”. Yes, this is true—but it is still wealth attainment nonetheless.

 Behavior is the best indicator of what people are motivated by. Some people make diligent, consistent efforts to buy lottery tickets. Others dedicate a good portion of their time to starting a business or attending college in pursuit of a specific career path that will ultimately yield better financial prospects for their future. Still, others do the best they can in whatever sector they find.

Like sex, people like money. This is an undeniable fact. A socialistic system is an idealistic system but it isn’t practical and it doesn’t take into account the psychology of human beings. If you see that human beings are motivated by money and also that without the reward of money, that simply being given it—they will have a disposition to be lazy—then capitalism is the more economically feasible option.

In almost every capacity people seem to be highly motivated by just the idea of wealth acquisition. We can see this with youtube. Youtube creators slowly become big and the money they make through adsense revenue and donations from their viewers encourages them to keep on making videos.

 One area of society that I see no problem taxing highly is in the area of entertainment. Superstars like Tom Cruise, Snooki and other actors, actresses and pop-star musicians who render nothing to society’s progression should be put in the highest tax bracket possible. These individuals come a dime a dozen. The only thing required in the industry of entertainment is youth and/or looks. Acting skills are important too, but once a woman passes her prime she is no longer in demand--unless she is an extremely talented actress.  I hate to be blunt, but that’s it. We all know it. Where is Catherine Zeta Jones now? Where is she?   

Instead, we should be placing more importance on individuals who are contributing to the welfare of society—educators, college professors, doctors, engineers, scientists, inventors and comedians. We need a meritocracy. We need a society where the people who contribute the most earn the most. If a person is incapable of contributing—well, it does suck to be them.  Socialism places (near) equivalent importance on every vocation—whether janitor or doctor. According to this view, who is to say that a doctor is significantly more valuable than a janitor?  Sure, a doctor will still earn more than a janitor, but not significantly more. In a capitalist system, a doctor earns significantly more than a janitor.

 My opinion is that we need an economic system that rewards individuals who are the major contributors to the advancement of society. May the best ideas win and may they be richly rewarded!