Socialism

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LuckyR
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Re: Socialism

Post by LuckyR » January 14th, 2020, 3:31 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 13th, 2020, 5:40 am
LuckyR wrote:
January 13th, 2020, 4:15 am
It's just a question of allocating enough money to pay for enough buses to accommodate everyone who doesn't own a car.
I think perhaps it's a matter of "allocating enough money to pay for enough buses to accommodate everyone", so that cars can be phased out. But that's more about ecocide than Socialism, so maybe it's off-topic here? 😉
Uummm... no. Running numerous half full buses is bad for the environment, (when compared to running half as many full buses).
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Socialism

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 14th, 2020, 9:24 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 13th, 2020, 1:35 pm
Competition between public and private transport? So much the better.
Competition between public and private transport? Inefficient. Therefore I think there must be active reasons to promote or allow competition.

Why would either type of company expend effort to compete, when the effort they need to apply to do this is costly and unnecessary, and therefore inefficient? It is possible for competition to promote the discovery of new efficiencies, but these efficiencies do not rely on the presence or use of competition; there are other (more efficient) ways of achieving them. It is (I think) a cornerstone of capitalist thinking that competition is necessary and desirable. I'm not convinced of either.
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Re: Socialism

Post by gad-fly » January 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Competition is a term to be applied on the performance of different performers doing the same job. Competition can be insufficient, but putting it as inefficient is meaningless.

Consider public and private school competing to have your kid. Public school is free, while private is expensive. In this respect, the competition is unequal. Why would one still want to send his kid to private school? Because he thinks private school has outperformed substantially. Public school is tempted to ask itself: What has she got that I have not? Is there room for improvement on my performance? I know I cannot win them all, but I cannot simply sit on my ass, which would be less costly.

Competition has nothing to do with capitalism. It is inherent in every choice: To be or not to be; to have more or less; To pick one or the other. Competition may not be the strongest push for efficiency, but it is as strong as it goes, short of pushing a gun at the head.

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LuckyR
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Re: Socialism

Post by LuckyR » January 14th, 2020, 6:35 pm

gad-fly wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Competition is a term to be applied on the performance of different performers doing the same job. Competition can be insufficient, but putting it as inefficient is meaningless.

Consider public and private school competing to have your kid. Public school is free, while private is expensive. In this respect, the competition is unequal. Why would one still want to send his kid to private school? Because he thinks private school has outperformed substantially. Public school is tempted to ask itself: What has she got that I have not? Is there room for improvement on my performance? I know I cannot win them all, but I cannot simply sit on my ass, which would be less costly.

Competition has nothing to do with capitalism. It is inherent in every choice: To be or not to be; to have more or less; To pick one or the other. Competition may not be the strongest push for efficiency, but it is as strong as it goes, short of pushing a gun at the head.
Transportation and education are more similar than you stated. For example parents commonly use the expense of private school as a form of "peacocking" their wealth, regardless of the quality of their local public school, ie quality of education can be a nonfactor, just as cost can be a reverse factor, ie the more expensive, the better. Not unlike the purchased Ferrari that sits in the garage undriven.
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Re: Socialism

Post by gad-fly » January 15th, 2020, 12:32 am

"Peacocking" or showing off must have existed, but only for a minority. My experience with private school parents is that many are not that wealthy as not to care about the haughty school fee. Some cannot afford to have all their kids in private school. Many are concerned about the lax discipline in private school, like smoking outside the school gate. "My kid's assured future and circle of friends is worth it, even if I have to down-size or travel less."
Assured? That is what they want to believe, and belief is what drives most of us, unlike throwing money down the drain just to show off.

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Re: Socialism

Post by LuckyR » January 15th, 2020, 1:56 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 12:32 am
"Peacocking" or showing off must have existed, but only for a minority. My experience with private school parents is that many are not that wealthy as not to care about the haughty school fee. Some cannot afford to have all their kids in private school. Many are concerned about the lax discipline in private school, like smoking outside the school gate. "My kid's assured future and circle of friends is worth it, even if I have to down-size or travel less."
Assured? That is what they want to believe, and belief is what drives most of us, unlike throwing money down the drain just to show off.
It depends if you live where public schools are of good quality or not. They are great where I live.

Regardless of school quality, parents tend to brag about their kids and trumpeting their swanky private school is exceedingly common.

BTW, this can be exaggerated in those who aren't wealthy, but want to be perceived as such.
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Re: Socialism

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 15th, 2020, 7:34 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Consider public and private school competing to have your kid. Public school is free, while private is expensive. In this respect, the competition is unequal. Why would one still want to send his kid to private school? Because he thinks private school has outperformed substantially. Public school is tempted to ask itself: What has she got that I have not? Is there room for improvement on my performance? I know I cannot win them all, but I cannot simply sit on my ass, which would be less costly.
As this is a topic about Socialism, I will ask the socialist question. What happens to the kids from poor families, who cannot afford to send them to these better-performing private schools? Why not ban private schools, encouraging the wealthy parents to use their money, power and influence to improve the performance of public schools, so that everyone gains? That's the socialist approach. And why not? Society is not an external alien force, it is us, considered collectively. Surely an approach that gives benefits to all is superior to a system where only the rich can succeed?
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Re: Socialism

Post by gad-fly » January 15th, 2020, 1:36 pm

I agree with LuckyR on the existence of the "proud" factor in parents. I may also add another factor. If you send a kid to private school, you cannot send him to a public one at the same time. How do you compare between the two? How do you justify spending that which can be spent somewhere else? You have to defend your prior decision. It is human nature wanting to believe having done it right, and to brag about it.

Banning private school as suggested by Pattern-chaser would accord with earlier socialist platform to "nationalize". Such platform are rare now, for a good reason. The education market, in conformity with nearly all other markets, is diverse. Public fund can only be enough to satisfy at the "primary" level. Provide free education up to eleven plus, or up to age 16. It depend on how much you can afford. Include overseas educational cruise in the program? Leave that to the rich, or whichever parent preparing to sacrifice. Free education at the primary level would give every student a chance to succeed, even if the chance is not equal. I would say: as good as it gets.

Provide the best education to everyone, free of charge? Affordability apart, it is wasteful. Everyone defines "best" differently. Your 'best" program would include some items considered by me to be unnecessary. Thank you, but you are throwing money down the drain. Hey, it is my money, what you collect from taxing me.

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Re: Socialism

Post by LuckyR » January 15th, 2020, 2:42 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 7:34 am
gad-fly wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Consider public and private school competing to have your kid. Public school is free, while private is expensive. In this respect, the competition is unequal. Why would one still want to send his kid to private school? Because he thinks private school has outperformed substantially. Public school is tempted to ask itself: What has she got that I have not? Is there room for improvement on my performance? I know I cannot win them all, but I cannot simply sit on my ass, which would be less costly.
As this is a topic about Socialism, I will ask the socialist question. What happens to the kids from poor families, who cannot afford to send them to these better-performing private schools? Why not ban private schools, encouraging the wealthy parents to use their money, power and influence to improve the performance of public schools, so that everyone gains? That's the socialist approach. And why not? Society is not an external alien force, it is us, considered collectively. Surely an approach that gives benefits to all is superior to a system where only the rich can succeed?
This (can be) akin to the argument: hey why do I have to take the bus, Joe has a Kia and Jim has a Mercedes? Why don't we just close the Mercedes factory and sell the equipment and use the proceeds to expand the Kia factory? Buy everyone a Kia, I'll be better off, Joe gets his car "free" and who cares about Jim. We're all (except Jim) better off!!

Part of the problem with this is psychological. The only reason the capital that made the Kia switch possible (the value of the Mercedes factory) was the drive of those who want excellent and didn't settle for just OK. If you eliminate the drive for excellent to promote OK, in order to stamp out terrible, it ends up a race to the bottom.

Much better to decide that we as a society will not tolerate terrible, make a minimum standard for public school that is OK while allowing excellent schools both public and private.
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Re: Socialism

Post by Steve3007 » January 15th, 2020, 3:14 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:As this is a topic about Socialism, I will ask the socialist question.
I'll give (my understanding of) the Libertarian/Free-market answer.
What happens to the kids from poor families, who cannot afford to send them to these better-performing private schools?
In a truly free market, competition for workers will drive up wages and competition among schools for customers will drive down prices and drive up standards.
Why not ban private schools, encouraging the wealthy parents to use their money, power and influence to improve the performance of public schools, so that everyone gains? That's the socialist approach.
That's not quite the socialist approach. The error is in the word "encouraging". The socialist system does not "encourage" what you've described; it forces it with threats of punishment for non-compliance. This is a violation of the rights of individuals to be left alone so long as they do not violate the rights of others.
And why not? Society is not an external alien force, it is us, considered collectively. Surely an approach that gives benefits to all is superior to a system where only the rich can succeed?
I (the Libertarian/Free-market advocate) don't regard Society as an alien force any more than you do. But I think both rich and poor are best served by a society in which individuals are left alone to make private contractual agreements and where the principle role of government is to enforce those contractual agreements, enforce property rights and protect the right of individuals to be left alone, unmolested.

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Re: Socialism

Post by gad-fly » January 18th, 2020, 12:10 am

Steve3007's Jan 15 Libertarian/Free-market advocate would not have both the rich and poor served best a the same time. Society has an obligation to safeguard the welfare of those less capable to gain power and wealth, to the extent of being destitute. Hence the justification for the present discussion on free education, which also happens to be a good investment. With increasing affluence, we can now afford what socialism has tried to push ahead: The Welfare State. I would suggest three essential programs: Free Education, Affordable Housing, and Minimal (not subsistence) Income. Compassion and mercy would make us all happier. Socialism is not about plundering the rich to feed the poor.

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Re: Socialism

Post by Alias » January 18th, 2020, 2:06 am

gad-fly wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Consider public and private school competing to have your kid.
No, they are not. They are completely different entities with completely different bases.
The basis of private schools is enterprise: they are in business to make to make a profit. That is: for the owners to take in more money than they spend on overhead, salaries and taxes. That is why they have to be expensive: the overhead is considerable; and so are salaries, unless there is an excess of qualified teachers. Taxes may be negotiable, depending on the government.
They are not competing for the kid of anyone unable or unwilling to fork out big bucks.
The kids don't matter. They don't make the decisions or sign the cheques. They are piece-work items.
Private schools compete with other private schools for a high approval-rating among affluent parents. In order to do that, they must keep turning the submitted items into a product the customer is willing to pay for. To that end, they may need to employ quality staff, or rigid discipline or potent religious indoctrination or energetic sports programs - whatever the customer values.
Performance simply means satisfying the customer.

The basis of public school is to raise the competency of the population. It is a society's investment in its future. A public school not only doesn't compete with anyone, it needs constant help from law-enforcement, to claw back the children from sweatshops and numbers-running and farm labour. Its purpose is universal literacy and numeracy; to produce a citizenry that can function in a democracy and in a volatile labour-market.
To that end, it must be voted sufficient revenue to cover overhead and salaries; if possible, also books, school supplies and learning materials and nourishment for the poorest students. Its 'performance' is directly proportional to the community support it receives.
Public school is free,
No, it isn't. There may be no user fees, but the revenue has to be collected in the form of taxation - IOW blood from stones.
Why would one still want to send his kid to private school? Because he thinks private school has outperformed substantially.
In the majority of cases, because it is perceived by the parents to be superior, because others of their class do it; because their child is expected to make useful contacts, because they want their child prepared for its leadership role in the world, and because they don't want their child mixing with plebes.
Public school is tempted to ask itself.
No, it isn't. What public schools are constantly asking is "Why don't we get the support we need to do the job we're supposed to?"
Competition has nothing to do with capitalism.
Competition may be about other things: ego, choosing the best leader, exercise, youthful fun, inspiration to try harder. As a natural part of life, it has a place alongside observation, collaboration, romance, etc.
But capitalism is [ostensibly, according to the label, supposedly] all about competition [while, in fact, every major player is trying to eliminate competition, by fair means and foul].
It has very little to do with education.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: Socialism

Post by Sculptor1 » January 18th, 2020, 7:48 am

gad-fly wrote:
December 22nd, 2019, 12:50 pm
Well said, LuckyR.

Communism is a social experiment which we have been through; which we have paid the price and learnt the lesson. It is time to move on.
Communism never existed. The Soviet and Chinese models are better characterised as "State Capitalism"; where the state controls the means of production. That's not what Marx meant.
The means of production were to be put in the hands of the people. The State is not "the people".

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Re: Socialism

Post by gad-fly » January 20th, 2020, 11:16 am

Sculptor1 wrote: Communism never existed. I say communism may be swept away soon, but it has left a significant footprint in the history of our Twentieth Century. So much inspiration, and so much bloodshed, in the name of the masses. Let us pay it with our due respect and sadness. May it rest in peace.

Sculptor wrote: The State is not the people. If the communist party is taken to be the vanguard of the people, the state is the people. What exactly doe he want "the people" to be?

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Re: Socialism

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 20th, 2020, 11:26 am

Yes, the state is the people. Not that a practical implementation (of "the state") will necessarily act as we hope it might....
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