Socialism

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 1:19 AM GMT
    Socialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 1:26 AM GMT
    Is this for an essay?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 1:28 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidIs this for an essay?


    Honestly, no. I just want to see how the ordinary American citizen views socialism since we all have the ability to define a certain thing in different ways.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 1:52 AM GMT


    1) How do you define Socialism

    Socialism is a economic model where in some or all of the means of production are owned by the state.


    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?

    I think in some cases, it's good, such as when it's paired with a recognition that capitalism is not all bad and some stratification in society can be a healthy driver of ingenuity.

    3a) If you view it as bad, why?

    I think it - and any economic model, really - can be bad when paired with autocratic or despotic rule.

    3b) If you view it as good, why?

    I view as a social good when it's limited in its scope. There are some needs a society has that are simply not solvable via capitalism (or are easily warped by capitalism), like healthcare, insurance, basic infrastructure, and others where regulated market forces are much better drivers (industries, media, research, etc.).

    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?
    Yes. There have been many terrible regimes that have been socialist in nature.

    In general, I think most democratic societies require a mixed economy to push innovation while ensuring that vulnerable members have their basic needs met.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:01 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidI'll actually step up to the plate instead of giving some idiotic answer as we've seen from Tiny Tim.

    In a nutshell, socialism in the USA is any twisting of the term "General Welfare of the United States of America" to mean that the Federal government must provide citizens with whatever is deemed necessary by the left for a citizen's "welfare."



    Oh. Is that what a definition looks like in American dictionaries?


    Proof positive Obama's vocabulary came from Kenyan madrassas.



    Op, I think you are going to be dismayed to discover many of your countrymen are like Southbeach and do not even know a basic wikipedia definition of socialism.

    If you ever wonder why other nations seem to dislike Americans so much (bordering on condescending contempt) , SB is the embodiment of why.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:16 AM GMT
    1) Socialism is an umbrella term, almost exclusively in the US a pejorative one, for a very broad range of government interventions into market economies with a commensurately broad range of objectives. It is a very loose synonym for what is sometimes called a "mixed economy" which is supposed to lie somewhere between a "command" or "planned economy", where resources/production is completely regulated by the government, and a "market" economy with no government intervention. In fact only the former has ever existed, and so there is a strong cultural relativism in which particular government interventions are thought of as "socialist" or not. For instance, Farm Subsidies are thought of in France as socialist, and they are not in the US.

    2) Being so nebulous, socialism cannot be a good or bad thing. Only particular interventions can be criticized on the basis of the justification given for them and then only when compared against some measure of "goodness" for society. Because "socialist" is such a pejorative word, it is best left out of serious political discussion which ought to focus on specific policies.

    4) Since the only countries that have declared themselves "socialist" have also generally labelled themselves "democratic" (with similar levels of validity, I would argue), and in view of the incoherence of what exactly constitutes socialism, the question is impossible to address in the manner formulated. Instead, one should understand that market conditions will inevitably vary from country to country [contrast resource rich countries like Australia and Canada with Germany for instance]. If you agree that government intervention ought only to target market inefficiencies, then such policies ought to reflect local conditions. Whatever socialism is, there is likely no universal form of it because of such variations. Nonetheless, there do exist some problems [natural monopolies, tragedy of the commons, etc.] that seem inevitable in any economy, and so one ought not be surprised that some policies seem to overlap between countries. What I would argue is that labeling a particular policy as "socialist" is nothing more than a posture, a branding, a political statement. That it is positive in Europe and negative in the US reveals only the emptiness of the word.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    Upper_Canadian saidOp, I think you are going to be dismayed to discover many of your countrymen are like Southbeach and do not even know a basic wikipedia definition of socialism.

    If you ever wonder why other nations seem to dislike Americans so much (bordering on condescending contempt) , SB is the embodiment of why.


    Must you quote the ugly old troll? I have no desire to read his nonsense.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:21 AM GMT
    Socialism is the current Republican Party model for US economics (see also the online definitions for Fascism). Not uncharacteristically, Republicans have mounted an effort to erroneously slander the liberal, non-socialist Democratic Party with the title, in order to confuse voters, and divert attention from what they are doing themselves.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:31 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    Upper_Canadian saidOp, I think you are going to be dismayed to discover many of your countrymen are like Southbeach and do not even know a basic wikipedia definition of socialism.

    If you ever wonder why other nations seem to dislike Americans so much (bordering on condescending contempt) , SB is the embodiment of why.


    Must you quote the ugly old troll? I have no desire to read his nonsense.


    I'm sorry icon_redface.gif . I tried to select only the barest minimum but even to respond to the OP was no excuse for quoting him.icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 2:38 AM GMT
    TigerTim said1) Socialism is an umbrella term, almost exclusively in the US a pejorative one, for a very broad range of government interventions into market economies with a commensurately broad range of objectives. It is a very loose synonym for what is sometimes called a "mixed economy" which is supposed to lie somewhere between a "command" or "planned economy", where resources/production is completely regulated by the government, and a "market" economy with no government intervention. In fact only the former has ever existed, and so there is a strong cultural relativism in which particular government interventions are thought of as "socialist" or not. For instance, Farm Subsidies are thought of in France as socialist, and they are not in the US.

    2) Being so nebulous, socialism cannot be a good or bad thing. Only particular interventions can be criticized on the basis of the justification given for them and then only when compared against some measure of "goodness" for society. Because "socialist" is such a pejorative word, it is best left out of serious political discussion which ought to focus on specific policies.

    4) Since the only countries that have declared themselves "socialist" have also generally labelled themselves "democratic" (with similar levels of validity, I would argue), and in view of the incoherence of what exactly constitutes socialism, the question is impossible to address in the manner formulated. Instead, one should understand that market conditions will inevitably vary from country to country [contrast resource rich countries like Australia and Canada with Germany for instance]. If you agree that government intervention ought only to target market inefficiencies, then such policies ought to reflect local conditions. Whatever socialism is, there is likely no universal form of it because of such variations. Nonetheless, there do exist some problems [natural monopolies, tragedy of the commons, etc.] that seem inevitable in any economy, and so one ought not be surprised that some policies seem to overlap between countries. What I would argue is that labeling a particular policy as "socialist" is nothing more than a posture, a branding, a political statement. That it is positive in Europe and negative in the US reveals only the emptiness of the word.



    That was awesome.

    I saved that.


    SB's take-away on that whole definition: socialism is an umbrella.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 3:15 AM GMT
    TigerTim said1) Socialism is an umbrella term, almost exclusively in the US a pejorative one, for a very broad range of government interventions into market economies with a commensurately broad range of objectives. It is a very loose synonym for what is sometimes called a "mixed economy" which is supposed to lie somewhere between a "command" or "planned economy", where resources/production is completely regulated by the government, and a "market" economy with no government intervention. In fact only the former has ever existed, and so there is a strong cultural relativism in which particular government interventions are thought of as "socialist" or not. For instance, Farm Subsidies are thought of in France as socialist, and they are not in the US.

    2) Being so nebulous, socialism cannot be a good or bad thing. Only particular interventions can be criticized on the basis of the justification given for them and then only when compared against some measure of "goodness" for society. Because "socialist" is such a pejorative word, it is best left out of serious political discussion which ought to focus on specific policies.

    4) Since the only countries that have declared themselves "socialist" have also generally labelled themselves "democratic" (with similar levels of validity, I would argue), and in view of the incoherence of what exactly constitutes socialism, the question is impossible to address in the manner formulated. Instead, one should understand that market conditions will inevitably vary from country to country [contrast resource rich countries like Australia and Canada with Germany for instance]. If you agree that government intervention ought only to target market inefficiencies, then such policies ought to reflect local conditions. Whatever socialism is, there is likely no universal form of it because of such variations. Nonetheless, there do exist some problems [natural monopolies, tragedy of the commons, etc.] that seem inevitable in any economy, and so one ought not be surprised that some policies seem to overlap between countries. What I would argue is that labeling a particular policy as "socialist" is nothing more than a posture, a branding, a political statement. That it is positive in Europe and negative in the US reveals only the emptiness of the word.


    You win. (I couldn't be bothered to go into such detail, but we're of a similar mind.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    Come, Christian, Tim, you can share my umbrella.

    SB prefers to stand out in the rain by himself, the way an all-wet Libertarian should. No socialist is gonna control him.


    Don't worry of you catch a sniffle either, you we all clubbed together for a box of Kleenex and anyone who needs one can just take one.
    Out in the rain, I know you'd rather use the hanky you brought.

    (oh, you didn't think you'd need one. Maybe your sleeve? Yes it is a lovely silk shirt. Nothing but the best for you, indeed.)


    OMG! he's fallen down! He's clutching his chest!



    No no leave him! you mustn't call 911! He's a Libertarian.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 3:51 AM GMT
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 3:58 AM GMT
    John Stuart Mill is probably considered a socialist these days icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 3:58 AM GMT
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:00 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.


    since it's a government of enumerated powers, tell me where it can? the all encompassing commerce clause?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:03 AM GMT
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.


    since it's a government of enumerated powers, tell me where it can? the all encompassing commerce clause?


    The Constitution doesn't mandate an economic model. You're conflating political issues with economic ones.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.


    since it's a government of enumerated powers, tell me where it can? the all encompassing commerce clause?


    The Constitution doesn't mandate an economic model. You're conflating political issues with economic ones.


    No, it doesn't, but socialism necessarily implies a national government with extensive powers to effectuate it. That would go well beyond any power granted to the federal government.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Apr 18, 2011 4:12 AM GMT
    The problem with static definitions of socialism and whether it's good or bad is that most people don't have a working knowledge of socialism, and therefore they base their opinions or interpretations off of historic half speak.

    For instance, if you tell Americans that their nation is already pretty socialist, people like Southbeach will jump up and down claiming it's not.

    However everything from public education, to the police and firemen, and from the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure, through to the government owned corporation that ships mail from coast to coast is all socialist by design.

    Most "capitalists" like to minimize the impact that democratic socialism has had on the success of capitalism because if a socialist idea like free access to public education can succeed in creating the environment where the US rose to economic prominence in the world, the idea of a universal public health option doesn't seem so bizarre...especially given that the costs of the American health care system are the highest anywhere at this time!

    So, although the OP actually is focused on answers to specific questions, I think the most interesting question that he is not asking is: given the successes that socialism has had in transforming the USA to a position of prominence in the world (because after all let's face it...without that public education system, it's hard to imagine that legendary American innovation would have ever gotten off the ground), why are so many American conservatives ignorant to the potential benefits of exploring socialist solutions to current problems?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:17 AM GMT

    Ax,
    Do you think somehow our government, then, is more powerful in that regard?

    Our successive governments have tended (knowing the Canadian mind-set for inclusion) to take what's beneficial in socialist aspects and eschew the rest. This is a good thing. Every party has something to bring to the table.

    My personal slanted opinion, lol!

    -Doug

  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Apr 18, 2011 4:23 AM GMT
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.


    since it's a government of enumerated powers, tell me where it can? the all encompassing commerce clause?


    The Constitution doesn't mandate an economic model. You're conflating political issues with economic ones.


    No, it doesn't, but socialism necessarily implies a national government with extensive powers to effectuate it. That would go well beyond any power granted to the federal government.


    Actually, that's not correct at all.

    Nothing about socialism specifies a strong central government: in a de-regulated socialist system, you can have a network of governments at the national, regional and local level which handles national, regional and local issues respectively.

    I suspect it's your bias that is spilling out, equating socialism with totalitarian communism, that is underpinning your view that socialism requires one government to control everything!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:31 AM GMT
    atl2atx85 said... No, it doesn't, but socialism necessarily implies a national government with extensive powers to effectuate it. That would go well beyond any power granted to the federal government.

    Absolutely correct. There have been examples in history where the socialist economic system did not involve an oppressive political system (Oneida community in upstate NY in the 1800s, kibbutzes in Israel). But on a national level, a political system is necessary to enforce socialist principles. If you want to see a real world, current day example of socialism, with an accompanying political system to enforce it, look to Venezuela and Hugo Chavez. That is your best living dictionary.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 18, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    TrentGrad said
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Christian73 said
    atl2atx85 said
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism - notwithstanding any official definition, it's come to mean government intrusion into private economic areas: nationalizing industries, instituting social welfare programs (telling you what's good for you, and not letting you decide for yourself)

    2/3a. Using a means-end analysis, the "end" of social progress and improvement overall is good, but the "means" of a government takeover is not the most efficient nor a good way of getting there

    4. Possibly, but to allow the federal government to nationalize industries would be entirely contrary to the Constitution of this country.


    I'm curious where you find in the Constitution a prohibition against nationalizing industries. I'm pretty familiar with that document and can't recall it.


    since it's a government of enumerated powers, tell me where it can? the all encompassing commerce clause?


    The Constitution doesn't mandate an economic model. You're conflating political issues with economic ones.


    No, it doesn't, but socialism necessarily implies a national government with extensive powers to effectuate it. That would go well beyond any power granted to the federal government.


    Actually, that's not correct at all.

    Nothing about socialism specifies a strong central government: in a de-regulated socialist system, you can have a network of governments at the national, regional and local level which handles national, regional and local issues respectively.

    I suspect it's your bias that is spilling out, equating socialism with totalitarian communism, that is underpinning your view that socialism requires one government to control everything!


    I'm actually glad you pointed that out. At a state level, theoretically all states could enact socialist measures (which they do--as someone pointed out--in public education, welfare, etc). while there are some aspects of socialism at the state level that i might disagree with, it's well within their right to enact such programs. However, at the national level, socialism can't really exist without violating the Constitution. And you're right, it is my bias that's spilling out. While we can argue theory all day, when it comes down to it, what liberals want IS an all-powerful central government.
  • alphatop

    Posts: 1955

    Apr 18, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    Columbusite777 saidSocialism is being used an awful lot this day in age to describe a number of politicians and their ideas and policies. As such, I have just a few questions for you all because I want to see how the 'average' man views it:

    1) How do you define Socialism
    2) How do you view it, i.e. good or bad?
    3a) If you view it as bad, why?
    3b) If you view it as good, why?
    4) Can it be viewed as good for certain countries and bad for others?

    Short, succinct answers of any type will more than suffice. Thanks for your answers.


    1. Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources. A socialist society is organized on the basis of relatively equal power-relations, self-management, dispersed decision-making (adhocracy) and a reduction or elimination of hierarchical and bureaucratic forms of administration and governance, the extent of which varies in different types of socialism. This ranges from the establishment of cooperative management structures to the abolition of all hierarchical structures in favor of free association.
    More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    2. I was born and grew up in socialist country that doesn't exist anymore ( former Yugoslavia ). I've had perfectly happy childhood, and therefore I don't have any bad memories about living in socialist country. However, in the late 80's/early 90's nationalist in every former republic came to power (Tudjman in Croatia, Milosevic in Serbia, Izetbegovic in Bosnia ) and that was absolutely wrong. There is nothing worse than extreme nationalist.

    3. Today, I live in China, which is one of the few countries in the world with socialist/communist system. But, Chinese socialism is overlapping with capitalism, so it's not easy to define it. Let's say that economy is free, but human rights are not. Chinese government practice heavy censorship on the internet ( no FB, or Youtube, for example ), but, at least, they allow RJicon_lol.gif

    4. All in all, socialist idea of human society is good and not wrong. But, turns out that in real life that idea just didn't work out due to human factor (greedy fucking politicians).
  • MagillaNectar

    Posts: 72

    Apr 18, 2011 5:34 AM GMT
    I do not know enough about economics to honestly say. Most people on here will give you there points of view but unless they have a doctorate in economics and are well regarded in their field, chances are they're opinions aren't backed up enough (even though I'm sure they would like to think so). I've talked to smart economists who think we should live in a completely libertarian society and I've read krugman who thinks we should live in a socialist one. I know I prefer personal freedoms and choice. I enjoy owning what I have and I don't think the government should get to say what I do with it as long as it doesn't fuck over other people (like not letting me dump my secret barrel radioactive waste in my neighbors backyard). This doesn't really put me as a libertarian and it definitely does NOT put me as a socialist. This is probably somewhere in between leaning slightly right. This is what I like for me, without thinking about anyone else.

    If you're interested in reading some libertarian ideas that might make you go I think I actually agree with them, check out:

    http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2010/05/robert-frank-and-libertarian-beliefs.html

    This guy is the son of one of the great economists, milton friedman. I don't agree with libertarian beliefs completely but I don't think they should be ignored because you have crazy tea partiers who claim they endorse it but really only do when it suits their needs.