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Tyler



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: NC, USA
Tyler
We have a lot of Europeans on this board and I'm looking for European opinions (but non-Europeans are welcome to participate as well, of course). The American left presents the European model of socialism as the ideal realization of leftist policies in the US. How do you guys think it works? Do you like your single payer healthcare? What about the public education (do the people end up well educated)? Does the social welfare disincentivize work (or not)?

On a different note, unrelated to economic policy, how much world history vs national history did you learn in school? It is common belief that the US public is ignorant of the rest of the world, I'm interested to know how our world history education differs from other countries' education systems. (We had one semester of world history at my school, for comparison.)


Just looking for opinions, not really to debate, unless someone wants to.
Post 10 Aug 2015, 21:30
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AsmGuru62



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1408
Location: Toronto, Canada
AsmGuru62
European model?
Like Greece, right?
No thanks!
I will stick with "right" people.
Capitalism Rules!
Smile
Post 10 Aug 2015, 21:50
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l_inc



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 881
l_inc
Tyler
Quote:
The American left presents the European model of socialism

If by that you mean that Europe is socialistic, then that's not quite correct. Europe is rather social and democratic. E.g., we definitely don't have planned economy, but our market is mostly not totally free, which doesn't equalize everybody, but allows to put some limits to uncontrolled enrichment and impoverishment. No extremities.
Quote:
Do you like your single payer healthcare?

Again there's no pure form of it. There are many private ensurers. I like the system.
Quote:
What about the public education (do the people end up well educated)?

Pretty much, but it depends. There's a lot of freedom after the mandatory basic part of the school education is finished. If you decide you'd better have a worker profession and the higher education is not interesting for you, you can drop the rest. One is pretty well educated after completing a master study in a university. But you won't finish it if you aren't good enough (fair number of dropouts).
Quote:
Does the social welfare disincentivize work (or not)?

Again, no extremities. There are no limits right above one's head. Americans do pay taxes and that's social welfare. Our taxes could become just a bit above 50% of one's income if it's on the order of hundreds of thousands a year and more. Though I didn't check the exact numbers.
Quote:
How much world history vs national history did you learn in school?

Half, half, if I remember correctly. But I always hated it and have no real clue of any of it. It was like pass and forget.

_________________
Faith is a superposition of knowledge and fallacy
Post 10 Aug 2015, 22:47
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gens



Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 161
gens
most countries here have good healthcare and education

i payed some 15% for healthcare and it was worth it
now i don't have a job and still if i cut my finger of it wont be expensive

education is bad all over the world
a friend was living in america from 5 to 15 years of life and when he came back here to school he was a couple years behind

other thing about education i noticed is that the hype doesn't match the quality
Post 10 Aug 2015, 23:04
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Tyler



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: NC, USA
Tyler
I_inc, it is put forward as a possible implementation of socialist ideals. That's sorta the US idea of how Europe works. It's "practical socialism". But it's not pure socialism, I agree. (But I'm a pure capitalist, so I tend to call anything less than pure socialism. I'll admit it's a pretty loose usage of the word. Not that I posted this thread with ill intent. I find I get too absorbed in theory and forget that there are actual people out there experiencing different economic systems, so I thought I'd ask some of those people what they thought about them, with the idea of tempering my admittedly idealistic view of capitalism.)

I think you missed the meaning of "social welfare", at least what I meant, which may have been unclear. I meant, for example, the payments they give to people who are unemployed. A common theory you hear in the US, from capitalists, is that when you pay people who don't work, you remove the incentive to work. But those capitalists could be misdiagnosing the problem. A large part of our problem is that we're really stupid about how we do welfare. The welfare is actually set up so that people have more total income (wages + welfare) when they make $12/hr than when they make $18/hr. Graph. So it's possible that welfare isn't inherently a bad idea; we could just be doing it wrong.
Post 11 Aug 2015, 05:21
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nyrtzi



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Off the scale in the third direction
nyrtzi
Socialist utopias? Nope, I don't think so. Doesn't feel that socialistic at all. At least not compared to real socialist countries.

Tyler wrote:
The American left


Even your left would be the center or the right in some if not many countries.

Tyler wrote:
presents the European model of socialism


That's a rather abstract notion. There is a whole lot of variation over here. After all when you say European you are referring to 50 plus countries and a whole bunch of different kinds of cultures speaking over 200 different languages. Trying to simplify politics into a left vs right or capitalism vs socialism framework is to me like trying to tell where a point is in 1000-dimensional space by talking about just one or two of those dimensions.

I think your politicians are just cherry picking to try and build some favorable mental image of a better society they want to create. They can't just take one idea from here or there and then apply it in a completely different kind of a legal, social and cultural context (yours) and expect to get the same results as it had in the original context (some European country).

Tyler wrote:
How do you guys think it works?


In my country it works ok. I do think that I prefer living here compared to for example the USA but to answer the question of why I think so we'd need a much wider ranging comparison between the USA and various European countries.

Tyler wrote:
Do you like your single payer healthcare?


I'm my country we have that I haven't had any problems with it. Then again in other bigger European countries they don't have that but still manage to provide universal healthcare and I hear that their systems work too (some might actually even work better). Single payer might make the system simpler in some ways but that is just an implementation detail as far as I'm concerned. The main issue I'd say is providing universal healthcare.

Tyler wrote:
What about the public education (do the people end up well educated)?


Free public education including university degrees so yes we have a lot of educated people. Students do have to take loans to cover their finances while studying but it's not some insane tuition fees but just the living costs they are paying for and thus in the end they are not up to their neck swamped by loans when they get their degree. Didn't you use to have free tuitions in the States too at some point in recent history when you still had a bigger and wealthier middle class? According to the statistics the USA has recently started to fall behind compared to other developed countries in the ratio of people with higher education compared to the entire population. You used to be at the top but then you stopped investing as much in a well-educated workforce.

Tyler wrote:
Does the social welfare disincentivize work (or not)?


We do have some hippies, anarchists and others who live on welfare. Then again there are not a lot of those and their living standard is not that high. There will probably always be people like this in any system as long as it's a free society. I'm more worried about the people who'd want to get a job but can't get a job for one reason or another with the job market changing and automation and digitalisation obsoleting many manual jobs. I'm kind of inclined to think that everyone who can work should have a suitable job as far as human rights are concerned.

Tyler wrote:
On a different note, unrelated to economic policy, how much world history vs national history did you learn in school? It is common belief that the US public is ignorant of the rest of the world, I'm interested to know how our world history education differs from other countries' education systems. (We had one semester of world history at my school, for comparison.)


One book per semester and I think I've had at least two books about national history and four or five about world history which would add up to six or seven semesters during elementary and high school. Most of that was during elementary school starting from the 4th grade I think. Only a couple of semesters in high school. So yes you could probably add a semester or two.

As far as the assumed ignorance goes I'd put much of the blame on your media just like I blame the media of my own country for dumbing everything down to entertainment instead of educating the masses.
Post 11 Aug 2015, 06:30
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nyrtzi



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Off the scale in the third direction
nyrtzi
Tyler wrote:
A common theory you hear in the US, from capitalists, is that when you pay people who don't work, you remove the incentive to work. But those capitalists could be misdiagnosing the problem.


They're at least oversimplifying it. There are people who don't want to work but then again it's smart to support people who are trying to find or create a job for themselves while they're doing it.

Tyler wrote:
A large part of our problem is that we're really stupid about how we do welfare. The welfare is actually set up so that people have more total income (wages + welfare) when they make $12/hr than when they make $18/hr.


It's the same over here. The system doesn't work as intended. The income traps which incentivize not getting a job. In some situations you're financially worse off if you actually do take a job as the wages cut more out of your welfare than they bring in and that difference can be the deciding factor in if you can pay the rent and feed your kids. That's what you meant, right?
Post 11 Aug 2015, 06:38
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nyrtzi



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Off the scale in the third direction
nyrtzi
I'm just wondering how many people in the USA still consider their country a democracy. Many countries in the West are starting to look more and more like oligarchies which also explains the drop in peoples' enthusiasm to even bother voting in elections.
Post 12 Aug 2015, 19:21
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AsmGuru62



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1408
Location: Toronto, Canada
AsmGuru62
It is OK.
US will recover from the recent president and all will return to their roots.
Smile
2 terms only - and that IS democracy.
And now, look at (my native) Belarus - it needs some democracy too.
Post 13 Aug 2015, 13:41
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fasmnewbie



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 553
fasmnewbie
I don't about utopia, but in my country we pay only a quarter (yes, that's equal RM1 in local currency) for an outpatient service from government hospitals and we get high-quality medicines for free. USD1 dollar for minor surgery. No insurance needed. And for the last 1000 years, I've never heard of my fellow countrymen died of starvation or famine, regardless of political or economy model being employed. We have on average 3 personal vehicles possesions per home, we live on sunny days all year long, no major disasters, tropical fruits and vegs abound. Extremely multicultural and traditional. Controlled unemployment rates, controlled inflations, controlled poverty rates, controlled entertainment and consistent GDP.

You can hardly see homeless people on the streets. 24/7 food stalls are available along the streets, open air. No major wars. No enemies. We love DURIANS. But we have the worse taxi service in the world. That's not utopia. IMO, that's heaven. If capitalism / socialism can't promise any of these, then no thank you. We don't need theories.

Carry on gentlemen.
Post 13 Aug 2015, 15:06
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Tyler



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: NC, USA
Tyler
fasmnewbie wrote:
I don't about utopia, but in my country we pay only a quarter (yes, that's equal RM1 in local currency) for an outpatient service from government hospitals and we get high-quality medicines for free. USD1 dollar for minor surgery. No insurance needed. And for the last 1000 years, I've never heard of my fellow countrymen died of starvation or famine, regardless of political or economy model being employed. We have on average 3 personal vehicles possesions per home, we live on sunny days all year long, no major disasters, tropical fruits and vegs abound. Extremely multicultural and traditional. Controlled unemployment rates, controlled inflations, controlled poverty rates, controlled entertainment and consistent GDP.

You can hardly see homeless people on the streets. 24/7 food stalls are available along the streets, open air. No major wars. No enemies. We love DURIANS. But we have the worse taxi service in the world. That's not utopia. IMO, that's heaven. If capitalism / socialism can't promise any of these, then no thank you. We don't need theories.

Carry on gentlemen.
That all sounds really nice. What country do you live in, if you don't mind me asking? (You can PM if you prefer.)
Post 13 Aug 2015, 22:44
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AsmGuru62



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1408
Location: Toronto, Canada
AsmGuru62
Everything controlled = no liberty.
Sad.
Post 14 Aug 2015, 02:28
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fasmnewbie



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 553
fasmnewbie
Tyler wrote:
That all sounds really nice. What country do you live in, if you don't mind me asking? (You can PM if you prefer.)
I am a Malaysian.
Post 14 Aug 2015, 03:26
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fasmnewbie



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 553
fasmnewbie
Guru,

Liberty is expensive, green, tall and is a woman. It's expensive and only large corporations can afford it.
Post 14 Aug 2015, 04:14
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