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Systems of government

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Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
23-Sep-2020 21:35 Message #4793071
I probably used the wrong word 'Systems', but couldn't think how to describe the idea differently.

I'll hold my hands up and say I dislike the tory party because I associate them with the old lords and masters stuff from the past hundreds/thousands of years, they are (to me) steeped in the idea they are superior to the majority of us. I could well be wrong, as has/is being discussed in the thread about whether they are the new socialists; I'll also hold my hands up to being one of the less well knowledgeable when it comes to politics.

But what interested me was the statement about socialism never working, if I'm correct the system we have in this country is capitalism? does anyone have any experience of living under a different system? what different systems are there? what makes you prefer one system to another? and the biggest question, how might a non capitalist system work?
Male
persona_non_grata  Male  North London
23-Sep-2020 22:02 Message #4793073
I'll hold my hands up too terry and I think most of the statements we here every day on the political scene are meaningless drivel designed to score points. Nobody seems to be working to genuinely help the people and that's the same across the world.
I see on another thread the question of difference between socialism and communism and I would be interested in the answer because if you google communist countries ...

Which countries are socialist?
Marxist–Leninist states
Country Since Party
People's Republic of China 1 October 1949 Communist Party of China
Republic of Cuba 1 January 1959 Communist Party of Cuba
Lao People's Democratic Republic 2 December 1975 Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2 September 1945 Communist Party of Vietnam


These are the first answers to appear.

Our country relies on capitalism and these days even the previously communist countries are turning to capitalism to survive.

When you step away from cheap headlines and soundbites the truth is we need compromise and only compromise brings benefits to a country and it's people. The Tories have moved to the left which is a good thing but will never be socialists but you don't have to be a socialist to believe and fight for a more equal society. It annoys me that anyone seriously believes that one party is good and another party is bad just because that is what extremists want us to believe.

We need capitalism to survive and give incentive to work and better our lives but it can still be good capitalism.
Male
CircusMaximus  Male  North Yorkshire
24-Sep-2020 08:26 Message #4793082
A coupe of interesting posts not spoilt by police dogma. I cannot see how we could survive without some capitalism, unless kept in small self sufficient groups on islands, but I'm looking forward to hearing others explain how it might work.
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
24-Sep-2020 09:17 Message #4793091
I love these questions, as long as we don't get "correct", or people trying to establish an uneducated authority on what is right or wrong.

I think one of the mistakes is many see socialists as people who abhor any kind of business or profit, which they don't. It doesn't have to be one extreme or the other, but maybe those in charge have different perspectives on who should benefit from capitalist activity?
Male
Templar2013  Male  South East London
24-Sep-2020 09:30 Message #4793094
JustLyn. That s explained by a post by png. It doesn't have to be extremes and everything good in our lives requires some compromise. Maybe those in charge want to benefit personally from socialism or capitalism but I don't believe that is the case.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
24-Sep-2020 09:48 Message #4793095
Yes Lyn there are many who carp on about people profiteering from basic needs like housing/food etc - but without a profit motive how many would want to work at all?

Almost nobody today would want to return to a past era when most families the world over were working in agriculture simply for basic survival.
Male
Maglorian  Male  North Yorkshire
24-Sep-2020 10:04 Message #4793100
Socialism is when the Fire Brigade arrives.

Capitalism is when the insurance company refuses to pay.
Male
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire
24-Sep-2020 10:07 Message #4793101
Very witty I like it lol.
Female
NoSaint  Female  Devon
24-Sep-2020 10:08 Message #4793102
Good to see Maglorian and Michael arriving together again. I wonder if they are lovers!
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
24-Sep-2020 10:41 Message #4793113
Insurance though was probably one of the very first examples of any kind of socialism - ie the banding together of a dozen merchants in a coffee house who agreed to collectively share the losses if one of their ships went down.

Over the years that expanded to other classes of insurance - the original life insurance needed the applicant to parade in front of the group who would underwrite the policy - and if you looked healthy you were granted the cover and vice versa.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
24-Sep-2020 10:51 Message #4793115
I think trade has been around as long as humanity, we like novelty and we like to express ourselves through style, art and objects, also if I live in an area where the fishing is better than the crop production it makes sense for everybody to trade. I believe that to be true now just as much as it was in the early years of humanity. The problems seem to come when the profits are not shared out with any sense of equality and people are allowed to sit there like over sized toddlers shouting 'MINE, MINE, whenever others get a share.

To be honest I don't know if socialism works or not, I'm not sure the world has ever really had a truely socialist country? We've had lots of totalitiarian communist states, just as we've had lots of totalitarian capitalist states, or at least ones where those at the top take the profits whilst those creating the wealth live in dire poverty. I don't think we should count them as either socialist or capitalist, but should look upon them as a seperate catagory all together

I think theres a sense of entitlement on both sides, in this country the Tories, as Terry says, are the old class of aristocracy, along with the hangers on who like to ape the aristo's and have done since at least the industrial revolution and probably before. But in so much of socialism theres a sense of "getting back at" the lords and bosses, with thier inherited wealth and status, I don't think theres anything intrinsically wrong with inherited wealth, but what is wrong is the inherited sense of entitlement and lack of common humanity and ethics displayed by many who inherit wealth and status. Of course there are many good people with massive empathy and ethical standards who inherit wealth and put it to work making the world a better place, are these people natural Labour voters, Labour peers in the house of lords? Probably.

So I'm not sure if its a label of socialist or capitalist that makes things work or go horribly wrong for so many, but the attitudes of those who identify with those labels ad what they think they mean.
Female
Greencare  Female  Berkshire
24-Sep-2020 11:20 Message #4793120
That is why extremists hate anything other than the extremes. I look around and see good and bad people but there is no obvious connection with those people and any particular political party. Now both main parties are moving towards a more central position which will benefit the vast majority and make the country a fairer place the extremists hate it.
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
24-Sep-2020 16:34 Message #4793145
BOYDEL,

Interesting about a work ethic. I think most would want to work without profit.
Maybe some wouldn't I accept, but then maybe that is another advantage of a universal income as I don't think anyone would want to employ someone either, if they didn't want to work.

Maybe the reward should be on job satisfaction, tackling bullying in the work place.

If I had won a large sum 20 years ago, I would still have chosen to work, but having the money would have allowed me to ability to vote with my feet if treated badly at work.
In fact I spent several £thousand on my own training from 1989 because GPs did not support what I wanted to do to help patients more, and advance my skills as this made it more difficult to move to another practice.
Male
FirmButFair-TrollPatrol  Male  North Yorkshire
24-Sep-2020 17:06 Message #4793147
I think trade has been around as long as humanity, we like novelty and we like to express ourselves through style, art and objects, also if I live in an area where the fishing is better than the crop production it makes sense for everybody to trade. I believe that to be true now just as much as it was in the early years of humanity. The problems seem to come when the profits are not shared out with any sense of equality and people are allowed to sit there like over sized toddlers shouting 'MINE, MINE, whenever others get a share.

To be honest I don't know if socialism works or not, I'm not sure the world has ever really had a truely socialist country? We've had lots of totalitiarian communist states, just as we've had lots of totalitarian capitalist states, or at least ones where those at the top take the profits whilst those creating the wealth live in dire poverty. I don't think we should count them as either socialist or capitalist, but should look upon them as a seperate catagory all together

I think theres a sense of entitlement on both sides, in this country the Tories, as Terry says, are the old class of aristocracy, along with the hangers on who like to ape the aristo's and have done since at least the industrial revolution and probably before. But in so much of socialism theres a sense of "getting back at" the lords and bosses, with thier inherited wealth and status, I don't think theres anything intrinsically wrong with inherited wealth, but what is wrong is the inherited sense of entitlement and lack of common humanity and ethics displayed by many who inherit wealth and status. Of course there are many good people with massive empathy and ethical standards who inherit wealth and put it to work making the world a better place, are these people natural Labour voters, Labour peers in the house of lords? Probably.

So I'm not sure if its a label of socialist or capitalist that makes things work or go horribly wrong for so many, but the attitudes of those who identify with those labels ad what they think they mean.


A good post wonderoushen. Very fair.

Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
24-Sep-2020 19:04 Message #4793156
Given that insurures seem to be happy to do so much to avoid paying out on claims I'm not sure they could be called socialist, even if that was the intent at the conception stage. I think maybe building societies would be a better analogy, those who are still mutuals that is.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
24-Sep-2020 20:09 Message #4793160
With most classes of insurance around 90% of premiums are paid out in claims - with much of the rest going in expenses.

Much of the management focus is now around cutting the admin expense via better systems - so that the small portion left after paying claims can improve pre tax profits.

With term life cover for example a healthy 25 yr old for a cover duration of 12 months would pro rata pay an annual premium of £1 for a sum insured of around £8000 - or more realistically a £10 monthly premium for close to £1 million of cover - so careful selection of risks is essential.

The shipping merchants are a better analogy as the loss of a ship is financially catastrophic as is say job loss in modern era - where taxpayers agree to fund basic living costs for a household for potentially the rest of their lives - which for a family in London/SE getting benefits for around 40 yrs capped at £23000 OBC level in London could easily be £1 million.

I don't recall mutual building societies conferring any greater benefit to members than a typical high street bank - sole exception being a windfall if they demutualised. Certainly the best savers rates over many decades were often with banks.
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
25-Sep-2020 08:28 Message #4793168
Socialism seems to work pretty well in the nordic countries.
Male
Templar2013  Male  South East London
25-Sep-2020 08:52 Message #4793170
Some of the media particularly in America have tried to paint the Nordic countries as socialist so they can point to socialism working but Sweden, Denmark and Norway are all a very long way from socialist. They have been described as "cuddly capitalist" but capitalist they certainly are.
Socialist countries such as Vietnam and Cuba show how it is the worst possible system for the people.
Socialism simply doesn't work and only keeps everyone, except the leaders, poor. Some socialist ideals and non-greedy capitalism works for the people.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
25-Sep-2020 09:55 Message #4793181
Few workers in UK would want to adopt eg Norway's personal tax rates which for a standard rates taxpayer are 46.2% vs 32% in UK.

Currently in UK over half of all households are net takers from the Tax/Welfare system - and with almost all benefits paid tax free there will be quite a few working households on higher incomes whose net income is maybe less than a household on lower gross earnings.

The media is fond of promoting the idea of an unequal society in UK - and whilst a simple look at average gross earned incomes for the top v bottom quintiles does indeed flag a 15 fold difference - when the effects of Taxes and Benefits are factored in the difference in net incomes falls to nearer 4 fold.

If we take a more nuanced look at where the bulk of working age benefits go - it becomes clear that households with dependent children get a far higher eligibility than childless couples/singletons - simply because rent subsidies are far higher for households with children.

At one extreme a childless singleton gets only the SAR/bedsit rate of LHA whilst at the other extreme a family with eligibility for a 4 bed property.

That gives the singleton in say Guildford an LHA benefit of £5864 pa vs the family with a 4 bed eligibility £21541 pa. LHA varies by individual postcodes/BRMA so the monetary difference will be far less in cheap locations and vice versa in eg central London where the top LHA rate is over £30,000 pa. The larger family will also get over £3k pa in child benefit.

In Guildford an LHA claimant in say a 4 bed house will then be living in a property worth over £600k - where a neighbour who just bought with say a 95% mortgage is paying over £36000 pa in mortgage repayments from taxed income.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
25-Sep-2020 10:06 Message #4793182
For clarity - childless singleton below age 35 gets bedsit rate of LHA - whilst at age 35 and over it's the 1 bed LHA rate (but latter gets all the extra household bills to pay too).
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
25-Sep-2020 10:38 Message #4793187
Do Scandinavian countries have higher employment rates than us?

Do they organise their benefit systems differently or do they have identical ones to us, because if they don't then you're not comparing like with like.

Higher taxes are spend on high quality public services, I think you'd have to ask people who'd lived in both systems to get any real idea of how it works or not, is it worth it etc? I think in this country its often feels as though we have the worst of both worlds higher taxation and poor public services. Many also seem to want to pay peanuts for a first rate service which dosen't help.

Is the housing market the same in Scandinavian countries?

I'm asking these questions, mostly of Boydel as he always has the raw data at hand but that dosen't always give the full picture.
Male
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
25-Sep-2020 10:52 Message #4793192
Read all about it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EconomyofNorway
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
25-Sep-2020 11:40 Message #4793197
WH,

Excuse me for contributing to your question to BOYDEL,

My friend who has lived in Sweden since 2009 has often discussed the differences with me in part.
He is an IT manager of an International tech company and it took him a while to get a job because in 2009 he had to be fluent in Swedish to get an interview, even though the Swedes all learn good English. But recently he says they are more relaxed about it and do take on staff who do not speak Swedish.

He also states they are more ageist and tend to go for younger workers, but not sure if that is different to the UK. It took him a couple of years to get a job suitable to his experience, but even a basic job proved impossible, but he didn't want to risk his marriage again doing International Consultant work and living away from home most of the year.

He had to pay in the region of £15 to see a nurse which is obligatory before you get to see a doctor. Children don't pay. But although it's a socialist country in part, for example, the drug stores are Government run and alcohol stores have to close by 6pm (if that still applies as it was a couple years ago), as it reduced anti-social drinking.

Kids start proper school at age 7 and prior to that the emphasis is on play, but access to nursery from age 2 is free.

VAT was 27% I think.

All trades have to be booked through a Government agency and paid that way which reduces tax avoidance and cash under the counter. He wanted a new bathroom and applications are made through the agency and perhaps it suggests the VAT and tax is then deducted before it gets to the tradesman which I think is fair and brilliant.

The above are just bits I remember him saying but may have subsequently changed.
He also said the differential between low paid and high paid is smaller as he was on really big money before, but that seems fairer to me too, and to him as well, even though he'd like the money...lol
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire
25-Sep-2020 11:52 Message #4793201
Some of the media particularly in America have tried to paint the Nordic countries as socialist so they can point to socialism working but Sweden, Denmark and Norway are all a very long way from socialist. They have been described as "cuddly capitalist" but capitalist they certainly are.
Socialist countries such as Vietnam and Cuba show how it is the worst possible system for the people.
Socialism simply doesn't work and only keeps everyone, except the leaders, poor. Some socialist ideals and non-greedy capitalism works for the people.


That is the problem in a nutshell regardless of all other arguments. Socialist countries have sacrificed their people for the sake of socialism.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
25-Sep-2020 19:18 Message #4793237
But what interested me was the statement about socialism never working, if I'm correct the system we have in this country is capitalism? does anyone have any experience of living under a different system? what different systems are there? what makes you prefer one system to another? and the biggest question, how might a non capitalist system work?
.................................................................................................

The UK is actually a Constitutional Monarchy. The political system used is Democracy. Capitalism, which we use, is Economics. It's the economic system that we use, and have done very well out of. It is the most profitable of economic systems, because it is based on profit, in a free market, though free market is a bit of a loose phrase. Having said that, there is of course a lot more to it than that.

Socialism can be work, imo it's the economic system used that creates the wealth of a country.

Sweden is socialist with ..... benefits of capitalism.
Cuba is communist, it is not socialist, even if it calls itself socialist. It's ideology is communism, I believe the ruling (one party) is even called communist. Raul Castro is a communist. imo

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