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    Wealth Inequality
    • urnotlikeme wrote:

      One doesn't have to walk in an impoverished neighborhood long to conclude that capitalism does not work for everyone. Take it from those who taught through Teach for America, there will never be proper education throughout the city until the wealth inequality issue is solved.
      I get that for North Americans, ‘capitalism’ has become an evil thing. The US has a terrible system where capitalism goes largely unchecked and the rich get richer and the poor remain poor while they waste hundreds of billions on their military. This is fact.

      But countries with the best & affordable (for everyone) healthcare and education, from primary to university, are countries like the Nordic ones (last time I checked Finland ranked #1 in education). And Northern Europe most certainly operates through capitalism and free market, which has helped them become so wealthy–most being in the top 10 for median household income. I’m on my phone but I bet if someone has ranked household income for the 90th percentile (i.e. the poorest 10%) Northern Europe would also be all over the top 10 (Watchmojo hire me). Not that it’s perfect, but they just don’t let capitalism go unchecked and put in place a lot of solid social systems; balanced, as all things should be.
    • john_marston wrote:

      I get that for North Americans, ‘capitalism’ has become an evil thing.
      If that was the case, Trump wouldn't be president. He is literally the face of capitalism. Moreover, there are democrats that are undeniably capitalist. There's a minority that is against capitalism. I am not even going to say they are wrong to be against it, but it's a fact that they are indeed a minority.

      And you are absolutely right, unchecked capitalism is a problem.
      "Can't post that on a Christian forum."
    • john_marston wrote:

      urnotlikeme wrote:

      One doesn't have to walk in an impoverished neighborhood long to conclude that capitalism does not work for everyone. Take it from those who taught through Teach for America, there will never be proper education throughout the city until the wealth inequality issue is solved.
      I get that for North Americans, ‘capitalism’ has become an evil thing. The US has a terrible system where capitalism goes largely unchecked and the rich get richer and the poor remain poor while they waste hundreds of billions on their military. This is fact.
      But countries with the best & affordable (for everyone) healthcare and education, from primary to university, are countries like the Nordic ones (last time I checked Finland ranked #1 in education). And Northern Europe most certainly operates through capitalism and free market, which has helped them become so wealthy–most being in the top 10 for median household income. I’m on my phone but I bet if someone has ranked household income for the 90th percentile (i.e. the poorest 10%) Northern Europe would also be all over the top 10 (Watchmojo hire me). Not that it’s perfect, but they just don’t let capitalism go unchecked and put in place a lot of solid social systems; balanced, as all things should be.
      There actually is a ranking of nations by income inequality: data.oecd.org/inequality/income-inequality.htm

      In order of most equal to most inequal, here is the top ten from that ranking:

      1. Slovak Republic
      2. Slovenia
      3. Czech Republic
      4. Iceland
      5. Norway
      6. Denmark
      7. Belgium
      8. Finland
      9. Sweden
      10. Austria

      Notably, take a look at what trait the top fifteen, except for Iceland, all have in common: They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor. And Iceland often operates as part of the Nordic cultural block, so it is heavily influenced by nations like Finland. North Europe nations that don't meet either requirement, like the United Kingdom, tend to rate the bottom portion of the list.

      This heavily suggests the moderating factor isn't putting checks and balances on capitalism, but heavy influence from Soviet communism.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Kerest ().

    • Kerest wrote:

      There actually is a ranking of nations by income inequality: data.oecd.org/inequality/income-inequality.htm
      In order of most equal to most inequal, here is the top ten from that ranking:

      1. Slovak Republic
      2. Slovenia
      3. Czech Republic
      4. Iceland
      5. Norway
      6. Denmark
      7. Belgium
      8. Finland
      9. Sweden
      10. Austria

      Notably, take a look at what trait the top fifteen, except for Iceland, all have in common: They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor. And Iceland often operates as part of the Nordic cultural block, so it is heavily influenced by nations like Finland. North Europe nations that don't meet either requirement, like the United Kingdom, tend to rate the bottom portion of the list.

      This heavily suggests the moderating factor isn't putting checks and balances on capitalism, but heavy influence from Soviet communism.
      rubbish.

      1. Why is the ranking of inequality the sole defining ranking as to what to strive to? Just because a couple ex-Soviet nations slightly edge out Northern European countries in lower inequality doesn't mean the average person has it better there. Quite the contrary, actually.

      You gotta aslo look at
      - education quality
      - happiness
      - real median income. Or median purchasing power
      - healthcare quality
      - corruption
      etc.
      In these factors, these few ex-Soviet states do fine, but don't crack the top 10.

      There's a reason Eastern Europeans wanna come to North/Western Europe you know...

      Also ever heard of East Berlin vs West Berlin? Probably the most clear cut example of Soviet influence vs Europe's influence...resulting in people killing themselves trying to cross the border.

      2. Why not compare it to THE Soviet state (if your point is that Soviet communism is the beneficial factor): Russia. Most of Northern/Western European countries crush Russia in the above mentioned 'standard of living' departments. So how is Soviet Russia's influence the beneficial factor to these ex-Soviet European states, and, idk...not Europe being the beneficial factor to these states?

      3. Iceland *is* Nordic. And I don't consider the UK part of Northern Europe. They don't even really consider themselves European to begin with.

      4. Idk what your knowledge is of Europe, but Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, etc etc are their own nations and don't have any significant Soviet Russia communism influences, just because Russia lies somewhere not too far to the east.

      That's like saying South Korea is now one of the leaders in Asia because of North Korea's influence :cookiemonster:
    • john_marston wrote:

      They don't even really consider themselves European to begin with.
      cite your sources


      “Gandalf put his hand on Pippin's head. "There never was much hope," he answered. "Just a fool's hope, as I have been told.”
      ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Viajero de la Galaxia ().

    • john_marston

      john_marston wrote:

      1. Why is the ranking of inequality the sole defining ranking as to what to strive to? Just because a couple ex-Soviet nations slightly edge out Northern European countries in lower inequality doesn't mean the average person has it better there. Quite the contrary, actually.

      You gotta aslo look at
      - education quality
      - happiness
      - real median income. Or median purchasing power
      - healthcare quality
      - corruption
      etc.
      In these factors, these few ex-Soviet states do fine, but don't crack the top 10.

      There's a reason Eastern Europeans wanna come to North/Western Europe you know...

      Also ever heard of East Berlin vs West Berlin? Probably the most clear cut example of Soviet influence vs Europe's influence...resulting in people killing themselves trying to cross the border.
      You were the one who brought up income inequality as though it was an important measuring stick. I'm just pointing out that, really, it's not as connected to all of those other items as you'd think and that there is a secondary possible factor than can explain the outcome based on the list of nations it is connected to.

      Notably, let's take a good look at education, using just years of schooling: hdr.undp.org/en/content/education-index

      As you can see, Northern Europe as you define it barely even cracks the top ten. Most of the nations in the top ten for education are not even in Europe.

      Ah, but what about quality of education? Let's take a look: undispatch.com/here-is-how-countries-rank-in-education/

      Northern Europe doesn't even rank in the top ten there. In fact, the Nordic nations mostly struggle to reach the education standards of a nation like the United Kingdom.

      How about happiness? cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-…d-nations-2019/index.html

      In happiness, the Nordic nations dominate quite a bit. They really are the happiest people on Earth right now.

      How about real median income? news.gallup.com/poll/166211/wo…household-income-000.aspx

      Wait... Is that the United States in that top-ten list? No, I'm not being sarcastic; I'm shocked the U.S., even with all of the wealthy people, would rank that high. WTF, Gallup?

      In any case, the Nordic nations are doing well here, too.

      Ah, but what about healthcare quality? In 2010, the Nordic nations did not even rank in the top ten for the World Health Organization, and in 2016 only three of them managed the top ten for a different ranking.

      The problem here is that you are approaching this from a flawed premise and having been fed misinformation. Are the Nordic nations the best at income equality or education? As I've just demonstrated, they are not. In fact, most of them seem to struggle with education quality.

      And, hold on... That East vs. West Berlin bit is comical with one item you said later.

      john_marston wrote:

      2. Why not compare it to THE Soviet state (if your point is that Soviet communism is the beneficial factor): Russia. Most of Northern/Western European countries crush Russia in the above mentioned 'standard of living' departments. So how is Soviet Russia's influence the beneficial factor to these ex-Soviet European states, and, idk...not Europe being the beneficial factor to these states?
      Because I didn't argue Europe wasn't a factor and you're putting words in my mouth?

      john_marston wrote:

      3. Iceland *is* Nordic. And I don't consider the UK part of Northern Europe. They don't even really consider themselves European to begin with.
      Did I say Iceland wasn't Nordic? I pointed out it is part of the Nordic block and is influenced by other Nordic nations, who all used to be neighbors of the Soviet Union.

      Also, if you hold that about the UK, then Iceland isn't part of Northern Europe either. The island nations of Europe all usually dissociate themselves from mainland Europe. So if we can't count one as part of Europe for this, we can't count any of them. Which means that we have to put a split between Iceland and the rest of the Nordic nations when grouping them.

      And I don't think it says anything good about Europe that they have nations off the mainland actively trying to distance themselves from the mainland.

      john_marston wrote:

      4. Idk what your knowledge is of Europe, but Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, etc etc are their own nations and don't have any significant Soviet Russia communism influences, just because Russia lies somewhere not too far to the east.
      Hold on, I'm copying a comment you said earlier:

      "Also ever heard of East Berlin vs West Berlin? Probably the most clear cut example of Soviet influence vs Europe's influence...resulting in people killing themselves trying to cross the border."

      Well, since I know Berlin has always been in Germany...

      Germany had a history of half of it being part of the Warsaw Pact and occupied by Soviet troops from 1945 up until 1994. So for France and Belgium Russia wasn't some nation not too far to the east; it was a dominant aspect of their international politics and a looming threat of land invasion that was almost on their border for 49 years. Let's not forget that forget that for Norway and Denmark, this wasn't just a looming threat of potential invasion; Russia was literally next door and had tried to invade them in the past. And the continuing possibility of Russia invading those nations is still a massive concern of NATO and it wasn't that long ago Russia threatened to nuke Denmark.

      Seriously, pull up an old world map sometime and take a good look at where the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations were.


      john_marston wrote:

      That's like saying South Korea is now one of the leaders in Asia because of North Korea's influence :cookiemonster:
      And relying on an urban myth and ignorance of geography to argue your stance is like saying vaccines cause autism just because some people believe so and you never bothered to look it up.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Common Knowledge: Spoiler-tagged multi-quote ().

    • Avalanchemike wrote:

      john_marston wrote:

      They don't even really consider themselves European to begin with.
      cite your sources

      Having lived in the UK multiple years. And having heard various statements along the lines of 'are you European?', 'We're going to Europe', 'in Europe they...' more times than I can count. The psychic distance between the UK and continental Europe is quite big.



      @Kerest

      I didn't define 'Northern Europe', didn't think it'd cause confusion. But from now on I'll stick to North/Western Europe, including: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria.

      Because I didn't argue that and you're putting words in my mouth?

      Ok, this was your previous statement:

      Notably, take a look at what trait the top fifteen, except for Iceland, all have in common: They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor. And Iceland often operates as part of the Nordic cultural block, so it is heavily influenced by nations like Finland. North Europe nations that don't meet either requirement, like the United Kingdom, tend to rate the bottom portion of the list.

      This heavily suggests the moderating factor isn't putting checks and balances on capitalism, but heavy influence from Soviet communism.

      So, to clarify, your point is that North/Western Europe has its high standard of living more thanks to Soviet communism influences rather than operating under controlled capitalism. And that you can see this in the success of some ex-Soviet states. Correct?

      Hence why I mentioned why not compare with Russia if these Soviet communist influences have been so good?

      Btw I'm curious what some Nordic people's take is on this (@'GuardianFIN', @jalo, @ich Will, @MVS?), as you're claiming they're struggling with education quality and such. I know that my irl Nordic friends would say that's rubbish.

      Look if you *really* think Eastern Europe (or Russia for that matter) has a higher standard of living than North/Western Europe, then you just don't know what you're talking about. I read yours, but I'm not going to go back and forth looking at top lists.

      Hold on, I'm copying a comment you said earlier:

      "Also ever heard of East Berlin vs West Berlin? Probably the most clear cut example of Soviet influence vs Europe's influence...resulting in people killing themselves trying to cross the border."

      Well, since I know Berlin has always been in Germany...

      Germany had a history of half of it being part of the Warsaw Pact and occupied by Soviet troops from 1945 up until 1994. So for France and Belgium Russia wasn't some nation not too far to the east; it was a dominant aspect of their international politics and a looming threat of land invasion that was almost on their border for 49 years. Let's not forget that forget that for Norway and Denmark, this wasn't just a looming threat of potential invasion; Russia was literally next door and had tried to invade them in the past. And the continuing possibility of Russia invading those nations is still a massive concern of NATO and it wasn't that long ago Russia threatened to nuke Denmark.

      Seriously, pull up an old world map sometime and take a good look at where the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations were.

      I know, Russia came deep into Europe in WW2 and is still a threat to some...what's your point here?

      Please provide evidence of Soviet communist influence contributing to the success of North/Western European countries, like the Netherlands or Norway. Just stating some were neighbours and Russia being a threat doesn't say a thing.

      I said East vs West Berlin is a good example of Soviet communism influences vs capitalist influences in Europe, resulting in the well-known fact that East Berlin was a shit show and everyone tried to cross the wall, often at the cost of their lives. What do you say to that?

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Viajero de la Galaxia: Response to edited post ().

    • john_marston wrote:

      So, to clarify, your point is that North/Western Europe has its high standard of living more thanks to Soviet communism influences rather than operating under controlled capitalism. And that you can see this in the success of some ex-Soviet states. Correct?

      Hence why I mentioned why not compare with Russia if these Soviet communist influences have been so good?

      Btw I'm curious what some Nordic people's take is on this (@'GuardianFIN', @jalo, @ich Will, @MVS?), as you're claiming they're struggling with education quality and such. I know that my irl Nordic friends would say that's rubbish.

      Look if you *really* think Eastern Europe (or Russia for that matter) has a higher standard of living than North/Western Europe, then you just don't know what you're talking about. I read yours, but I'm not going to go back and forth looking at top lists.
      I don't have any interest to deepdive into this discussion, but I will make one post anyway. Not a single North-European country (unless you count Russia and/or the baltic states) were part of Soviet, not even Finland. And Eastern Europe under the influence of Soviet Union were poor and had less living standards (and they still have)... I mean this is very common knowledge. Just compare West- and East Germany under the influence of Soviet. Finland has a good education system last time I checked, but yes it sucks in Sweden, but it has to do with stupid leftists that have ruined it completely over the many years where students have too much power in the classrooms and the teachers low status and can't do anything without getting punished for it.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by MVS ().

    • John Marston

      john_marston wrote:

      @Kerest


      I didn't define 'Northern Europe', didn't think it'd cause confusion. But from now on I'll stick to North/Western Europe, including: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria.
      Why not France as well? I'm just finding it odd your definition seems to be "North-Central Europe" for this. You seem to be leaving out a lot of the economic power of the continent.


      john_marston wrote:

      Ok, this was your previous statement:


      Notably, take a look at what trait the top fifteen, except for Iceland, all have in common: They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor. And Iceland often operates as part of the Nordic cultural block, so it is heavily influenced by nations like Finland. North Europe nations that don't meet either requirement, like the United Kingdom, tend to rate the bottom portion of the list.

      This heavily suggests the moderating factor isn't putting checks and balances on capitalism, but heavy influence from Soviet communism.
      So, to clarify, your point is that North/Western Europe has its high standard of living more thanks to Soviet communism influences rather than operating under controlled capitalism. And that you can see this in the success of some ex-Soviet states. Correct?

      Hence why I mentioned why not compare with Russia if these Soviet communist influences have been so good?
      Ah! I see the interpretation issue!

      No, I see it as a success of those who bordered the old Soviet sphere of influence, or managed to escape the sinkhole it created in its aftermath, and learned from the mistakes of it. These lessons, when applied to their own versions of controlled capitalism, seem to create a far better success than other nations who practice controlled capitalism and did not have the Soviets bordering them. I do not think, at all, that it is a direct success of the old Soviet practices. Thus why controlled capitalism works well for Finland, but not as well for the United Kingdom.

      When we have varying applications of the same system with different levels of success, we have to take a look at the applications and notice what the successful ones have that the unsuccessful ones lack.


      john_marston wrote:

      Btw I'm curious what some Nordic people's take is on this (@'GuardianFIN', @jalo, @ich Will, @MVS?), as you're claiming they're struggling with education quality and such. I know that my irl Nordic friends would say that's rubbish.


      Look if you *really* think Eastern Europe (or Russia for that matter) has a higher standard of living than North/Western Europe, then you just don't know what you're talking about. I read yours, but I'm not going to go back and forth looking at top lists.
      They can claim that such is rubbish if they like. I know what the data says. It is possible that they view their education in a much better light because they are happier overall. In which case, maybe it's that they have hit the right levels of education for their nations for overall success in life; that is an entirely different issue that requires more study.

      And I really think you should spend some time looking at those various top ten lists. They paint a fascinating picture; they show that, depending on what criteria you rate as most important, the nations that have the best quality of life vary massively. If you rank overall happiness as best, for example, you'll want to live in the Nordic nations. If you want education that leads to college, you want to live in Mexico.

      It shows that, ultimately, for quality of life you have to weigh what standards matter to you the most. Those will inform what nation or nations come out on top.


      john_marston wrote:

      I know, Russia came deep into Europe in WW2 and is still a threat to some...what's your point here?


      Please provide evidence of Soviet communist influence contributing to the success of North/Western European countries, like the Netherlands or Norway. Just stating some were neighbours and Russia being a threat doesn't say a thing.

      I said East vs West Berlin is a good example of Soviet communism influences vs capitalist influences in Europe, resulting in the well-known fact that East Berlin was a shit show and everyone tried to cross the wall, often at the cost of their lives. What do you say to that?
      My point is that Russia isn't some nation that is just off to the east for this; it's a major influence that shaped the history of the continent, influenced the courses of a lot of nations on it, and even now presents an ever-present juggernaut that nations have to react and adapt to. It's not something you can discard the influence of when it's still a primary mover in European politics and still has impact on European societal trends.

      As for evidence... Well, this argument is about to become circular. Quite circular. The evidence has already been posted. You just have to stop refusing to read it.

      Now, how about you cite sources for your claims? I've noticed that, when asked for sources, you don't link any that support your claims. You just make more claims.

      As for your last question: Berlin is in Germany. Today, Germany ranks #6 in the world on hours spent in the classroom, quite high in full time employment, #18 in the world for healthcare quality in the 2016 ranking, and has the highest GDP in the EU and fourth highest in the world. I think the long-term effects of East Germany being under Soviet occupation have worked out remarkably well for the city. What do you think of that?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Kerest: Spoilered so that this post is not in violation of the rules. I need to do that more often. ().

    • john_marston wrote:

      So, to clarify, your point is that North/Western Europe has its high standard of living more thanks to Soviet communism influences rather than operating under controlled capitalism. And that you can see this in the success of some ex-Soviet states. Correct?

      Hence why I mentioned why not compare with Russia if these Soviet communist influences have been so good?

      Btw I'm curious what some Nordic people's take is on this (@'GuardianFIN', @jalo, @ich Will, @MVS?), as you're claiming they're struggling with education quality and such. I know that my irl Nordic friends would say that's rubbish.

      Look if you *really* think Eastern Europe (or Russia for that matter) has a higher standard of living than North/Western Europe, then you just don't know what you're talking about. I read yours, but I'm not going to go back and forth looking at top lists.
      I also don't really have much interest to dive to SD conversations, but I can say a few words of the point of view for Finland and Estonia...

      Finland is my country and my honest opinion is, it has succeeded through the hardest times despite SU as neighbor, not thanks to it. SU only brought misery to all the countries it influenced. I think this experience functions as a warning example of the madness of communism and far-socialism. I don't give any credit to SU for the success that our country now has gained so far, I think our success is achieved mainly by the heavy efforts of our people. We had no help from anyone, we were the only(!) country to pay full ww2 war reparations demanded, we built our country alone. We had wise politicians during the cold war and they managed to keep the country from falling to one more Soviet puppet.

      Estonia is very familiar to me due to close family ties and I know SU and communism is commonly remembered there with great disgust and hatred, even much more so than in Finland. Estonia was conquered by SU in the 40s, since they could not possibly defend themselves like Finland could in Winter war. It got free again in 90s. It is a common opinion here that nothing good came from the cold war and communist tyranny, it only brought misery and dragged the nation backwards. Now, decades after cold war, Estonia has managed to develop and catch up with Finland somewhat decently... And people always wonder how things would have been, had SU left us alone in peace and independence... To hear that communism 'benefited' the country in some way, feels utterly laughable and outrageous joke.

      I admit I did not read much of the previous posts. If I reply out of topic, sorry and carry on..
    • The state planned Soviet model and the laissez-faire British Empire model are definitely two opposing extremes. However, there is one thing you forgot about that list and their locations:

      Kerest wrote:

      They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor.
      Then why isn't Russia anywhere on that list? The answer is because really the influence came from Germany (which is not much farther down from number 10). Note that more of these countries share a border with the world's first welfare state. (EDIT: With the exception of Iceland; however, Iceland is also a nation that has a survivalist tradition. Definitely go sometime. It's a beautiful country.) It was Otto von Bismarck who policies for universal education and social insurance. Germany began their industrial revolution almost a century after England, France, and the US did, but by 1900, Germany was the leading producer of steel, and eventually coal. The truth of the matter is, every country now follows Germany's example to some degree or another. While the US is indeed a mixed economy and not a fully capitalist one (nationalized defense and law enforcement, social security, and public education), concerning trends like the dropping labor participation rate and prioritization of defense production over education (which, btw, a majority of defense money doesn't get touched by anyone in the military; most of the defense budget goes straight into the pockets of Boeing, Ford, Raytheon, and about a dozen other mega corporations) are reason enough to show that concentrating control of the economy into fewer hands is not viable.

      Still, whether you believe in a state-planned model, a neoliberal model, or everything in between, remember too that economic policy is not a spectrum. For oftentimes in this debate about what is best for society, we leave out the working class. Whether people preach for more power of economy to the state, or to private individuals, they never preach for the power of economy to transfer to the laborers who actually make the economy run. (Soviet) Communism, welfare state, capitalism all bicker over who gets to determine how much the working class get paid.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by urnotlikeme ().

    • urnotlikeme wrote:

      The state planned Soviet model and the laissez-faire British Empire model are definitely two opposing extremes. However, there is one thing you forgot about that list and their locations:

      Kerest wrote:

      They either were part of the Soviet Union or had it as a close neighbor.
      Then why isn't Russia anywhere on that list? The answer is because really the influence came from Germany (which is not much farther down from number 10). Note that more of these countries share a border with the world's first welfare state. (EDIT: With the exception of Iceland; however, Iceland is also a nation that has a survivalist tradition. Definitely go sometime. It's a beautiful country.) It was Otto von Bismarck who policies for universal education and social insurance. Germany began their industrial revolution almost a century after England, France, and the US did, but by 1900, Germany was the leading producer of steel, and eventually coal. The truth of the matter is, every country now follows Germany's example to some degree or another. While the US is indeed a mixed economy and not a fully capitalist one (nationalized defense and law enforcement, social security, and public education), concerning trends like the dropping labor participation rate and prioritization of defense production over education (which, btw, a majority of defense money doesn't get touched by anyone in the military; most of the defense budget goes straight into the pockets of Boeing, Ford, Raytheon, and about a dozen other mega corporations) are reason enough to show that concentrating control of the economy into fewer hands is not viable.
      Still, whether you believe in a state-planned model, a neoliberal model, or everything in between, remember too that economic policy is not a spectrum. For oftentimes in this debate about what is best for society, we leave out the working class. Whether people preach for more power of economy to the state, or to private individuals, they never preach for the power of economy to transfer to the laborers who actually make the economy run. (Soviet) Communism, welfare state, capitalism all bicker over who gets to determine how much the working class get paid.
      Believe it or not, but I had considered the possibility of Germany, up until a problem was reached: It would require a temporal paradox in order to be true.

      The main reason I limited my focus in that statement to post-WW2 is because of the economic shifts across the planet that war, and the resulting Cold War, brought. There are many modern markets that are completely disconnected from their past markets; Sweden is just one example of this, having massively altered their economic model back in 1995. Germany is another, since they had to rebuild their entire economy after not existing as a nation for 45 years.

      Prior to that era of focus, Germany never predated Sweden in economic power; Sweden was an established economic powerhouse before Germany even unified as a nation. Around the same time Germany was becoming a powerhouse in steel exports, Sweden was undergoing a Second Industrial Revolution. And the Swedish Model for welfare is actually an evolution of the Civil Code of 1734; it was a evolution of an already-established system, not a new system based upon German ideas.

      In short, in order for Otto von Bismarck to have influenced Swedish welfare, his ideals would have to had been transported back in time to around 100 years prior to his birth. And Germany as a nation would have had to be established around seventy years prior to when it actually was.

      And, notably, many of the Nordic nations copied ideas from each other primarily, so you saw systems similar to what was in Sweden pop up in others; there's a reason why the term "Nordic model" exists as a classification of welfare systems.

      It is more likely Otto von Bismarck was inspired by ideas that originated with the Nordic nations when coming up with his own welfare plan.

      As for modern growth: Sweden's last economic growth pattern began before Germany was reunified as a nation in the 1990s. It's pretty obvious they weren't borrowing from a nation that didn't even exist at the time.

      So, ultimately, Germany cannot be the explanation, no matter which founding of Germany as a nation you are using as the starting point. The only other factor I could find that they shared was the Soviet Union; two of the nations I provided in that initial list are not members of the EU, so that had to be ruled out as a shared factor.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Kerest ().

    • i think the argument that could have been made is that most of those country's marston noted are social democracies, and the "checks" that they have are actually marxist in thinking. they have strong social safety nets and regulation/nationalisation of certain industries that give the state greater control/select to which degree the global market affects certain outcomes.


      and it makes sense, capitalism is a system of economic wealth generation, marxism is one of wealth distribution. capitalism does not necessarily have an internal ideological system of wealth distribution, it is a market system that flows like a river to the top if let to play out in its ultimate scenario. marxism wont tell you how to get the most out of natural resource based economy for instance, just how to redistribute that wealth between your citizens.
    • Kerest, if you're going like that, then Russia and the USSR can't really be used as a measuring stick either, as Russia didn't switch to the nominally socialist model (or any other left wing model) until around 1917 with the Russian Revolution... two decades after Bismarck died.

      So either we measure from the 20th century and both Germany and Russia could be local influences, or you measure from the 18th and neither were.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Sabbo ().

    • Lucretia wrote:

      i think the argument that could have been made is that most of those country's marston noted are social democracies, and the "checks" that they have are actually marxist in thinking. they have strong social safety nets and regulation/nationalisation of certain industries that give the state greater control/select to which degree the global market affects certain outcomes.


      and it makes sense, capitalism is a system of economic wealth generation, marxism is one of wealth distribution. capitalism does not necessarily have an internal ideological system of wealth distribution, it is a market system that flows like a river to the top if let to play out in its ultimate scenario. marxism wont tell you how to get the most out of natural resource based economy for instance, just how to redistribute that wealth between your citizens.
      This is a very good point. Trying to find a cause for their current set-up is the important part; if found, it could serve as an easy method of altering the current problems within the United States and several other nations. If it's simply cultural, then there's no way it could ever be applied to the United States and be an effective solution; the United States is a polyculture while nearly every single nation I listed is a monoculture.

      Sabbo wrote:

      Kerest, if you're going like that, then Russia and the USSR can't really be used as a measuring stick either, as Russia didn't switch to the nominally socialist model (or any other left wing model) until around 1917 with the Russian Revolution... two decades after Bismarck died.

      So either we measure from the 20th century and both Germany and Russia could be local influences, or you measure from the 18th and neither were.
      I think some people are misunderstanding the concept. It's not that the USSR is being used as a measuring stick; it's that the USSR is a primary influence. A bad example where someone says "I really don't want to be like them" is still an influence, even if the influence results in doing the opposite of the example.

      To see an example, here's a comment @jalo made earlier:

      "Finland is my country and my honest opinion is, it has succeeded through the hardest times despite SU as neighbor, not thanks to it. SU only brought misery to all the countries it influenced. I think this experience functions as a warning example of the madness of communism and far-socialism."

      I don't think jalo realizes it, but that comment there shows the Soviet Union has influenced jalo's thinking, even though the outcome of that influence is "I don't want to be like you." The mere fact that jalo later states "We had wise politicians during the cold war and they managed to keep the country from falling to one more Soviet puppet" shows that the Soviet Union was a direct influence on the politicians of Finland at the time, in that it influenced Finland to make decisions to keep themselves out of Soviet control.

      A misconception a lot of people have is that influence must always be toward the positive; that if I influence you to be more democratic, it must be because I want you to be more democratic. It often doesn't work that way in real life, for either people or nations.

      Now, as I explained in my previous post, I was limiting my efforts to the post-WW2 period for a particular reason: There were a lot of political and economic shifts during that period, and some economies had to be completely rebuilt after the Soviet Union fell. So for the nations I listed, there isn't always a direct line of progression involved; Germany, Slovackia, Slovenia, and Czechia did not even exist as nations for much of the post-WW2 period. So we can't necessarily say they were all following Germany's example, since many of them were altering their economies while Germany was an example of how to be permanently divided as a nation.

      The rest of the post was mostly me pointing out that for the examples where we could trace them to prior to WW2 and the argument of progression can be made, again Germany cannot be held as an example since Germany had not been founded yet when they began their reforms in the 1700s and 1800s. So Germany simply is not a usable explanation at all.
    • It’s not just about hoarding wealth (I don’t know why Marxists keep bringing this up). In a way, it’s also about redistributing to better society. Generally, capitalism rewards people that choose difficult career paths that benefit other people. Bezos is the richest man because Amazon has benefitted millions of people. Heart surgeons are rich because it’s a very difficult career that also benefits lots of people. Taxi drivers are also beneficial, but don’t get rewarded as much because otherwise no one would bust their balls studying for a decade to become a surgeon.

      It’s simple and it works. The obvious flaw (that is most prevalent in America) is that, as Lucretia kinda pointed out, capitalism in its purest unregulated form is a river that flows towards the top 0.1%.
    • john_marston wrote:

      It’s simple and it works.
      For whom? It has never worked for the bottom of the hierarchy, the first to die in war and the last to be educated. The reason why your Amazon example sucks is because at this point, Bezos never has to work another day in his life now in order to collect his tens of thousands per second. Heart surgeons are rich because there is plenty of demand for their jobs and few people with the rigorous training, not because capitalism deemed so. And the taxi driver does not make as much money because they have the opposite problem, less comparative demand to supply. Also, take into consideration how many workers have died in the past century just so that taxi driver even gained the right to organize and unionize? How many lives did it take before capitalism allowed an 8-hour workday? Or overtime pay? Or health benefits? Or retirement savings? I'll tell you this much, capitalism provided and fought for none of these things. All the wonderful job perks you may enjoy came from the bodies and minds of those who opposed capitalism.

      And yet, the heart surgeon and the taxi driver, both hard working laborers, will never make as much as a dividend payout to a heavy investor, not a laborer, of a $300B+ market cap corporation. Capitalism has never been about rewarding people for choosing difficult career paths (and if it has, cite it), it has been built upon the idea that if you have money, you can use that money to generate more money without ever having to work a day in your life. Do you actually believe Trump "worked" for his wealth? Do you even think he had to? That is what it means to hoard wealth. Capitalism puts the power of economy into the hands of people who have never once cared about distributing other people's hard generated wealth to the laboring class. Our economy is still founded on this principle. Even the welfare states in Europe fundamentally operate off of this belief.

      The laboring class isn't supposed to be begging for favors from the rich for their problems to be solved. But that's exactly what capitalism wants. But you're right on this much, oppression does indeed work. Millenia of human suffering have proven your point that oppression does indeed work. My question for you is, why are you defending a fascist economy?