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View Diary: Socialism — what it isn’t (117 comments)

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  •  I think I just see the world a little differently (1+ / 0-)
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    than you do. By your logic, motivation is purely a function of the financial reward. Would people go to law school or medical school and do that extra work for the same amount of money as a teacher? I think most would. I know I would. But then again I'm an optimist.

    But I still wouldn't think its fair that I would make so much more as a doctor than a teacher does, when their job is just as important to society. I mean, what was the teacher doing while the doctor did the residency? eating bonbons? No, they just started working sooner.

    And what about somebody who "only" works 40 hours, then goes home and takes care of their family? That's a bunch more work. And don't parents bring just as much benefit to society as doctors and lawyers? Why do doctors and lawyers get to say that they "work more," and therefore, should get more money?

    •  Because that's completely unworkable (1+ / 0-)
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      and unrealistic.  And I would never, never, want to live in that society.

      Here's the big problem:  Who gets to say what "value to society" somebody brings in?  The government?  Do you realize the HUGE control over your life you would be ceding over to the government?

      Right now, the people paying the money, and working for the money, get a lot of control (not total control -- there are limits) over setting the "value" of someone's efforts.  If I want a plumber, I can call, and he tells me what he will charge, and I decide if it's worth it to pay that, or if I want to look elsewhere, or even try to do it myself.  

      The same happens when I hire a legal secretary.  I look at his skills, and what he can do to make my practice easier, decide what I'm willing to pay for that.  He gets to decide if he's willing to work for that.  

      What you are talking about is some all-knowing, all-powerful dictator (or group of dictators) who get to decide what you, and I, and everyone else is "worth."  That kind of system -- where the government tells everybody what they are "worth" -- did not work out well at all for China or the Soviet Union.  

      "Value" is a subjective thing.  Take 10 people off the street and they will disagree as to the "value" of something.  The only way to truly measure value is by a person actually being willing to pay so many of his own dollars for something else. If I'm talking in abstractions -- and talking about somebody else's dollars, not my own -- it's easy to say, "The guy who cuts my grass is as valuable as the local banker, because I see what he does every day, and I bank over the internet so I never see that banker guy.  Therefore, if YOU want your grass cut, YOU have to pay grass cutting guy $250 an hour."

      Who do you trust to do that with your money?  

      We are a society built on private property ownership.  that is incompatible with someone else coming in and dictating to me what my "value" is -- that even if I'm the best lawyer in the world, they think a stay at home mom is more valuable so I can only earn $x a year.   I'm fine with them having the opinion that a stay at home mom is more valuable than I am -- as long as their opinion affects THEIR actions, the choices THEY make, and what they do with THEIR money.  I should have the same right to MY opinion of "value" with MY choices, MY actions, and MY money and property.

      •  I do see where you're coming from. (0+ / 0-)

        If the system switched overnight, you would probably be right to feel jilted. Under the current system, you did work harder than a lot of people and I can empathize with the feelings of the high performers like you in our system. Kind of like lowering the age for a driver's license. The older people who had to wait - they feel ripped off, but the people who got it earlier don't see the problem. I guess, how do you make the jump to a socialist system? Somebody will always feel cheesed in the beginning. But after a few generations, doctors and teachers would see themselves as equals, even if one had to spend more time in school, because they would always be paid the same amount. I know the switchover from a capitalistic economy to a socialized one would be tricky, but I guess I refuse to believe that it would remove everyone's motivation to try hard. I hope you don't think I am diminishing your hard work with my banter, that's not at all my goal.  

        •  The real problem... (5+ / 0-)

 that you two are arguing about teachers vs. doctors when the real problem is Wall Street banksters who make literally A THOUSAND TIMES MORE than they do.

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

          by Panurge on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 06:28:28 PM PDT

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          •  And they deserve it (0+ / 0-)

            Under the same metrics that determine the teacher and doctor salaries.

            If they didn't perform a service of value, no one would pay them those salaries.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:23:15 PM PDT

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            •  You are confusing real value... (0+ / 0-)

              such as that which teachers and doctors provide and fictitious value a.k.a rent extraction which is where most of the profits on Wall Street comes from. Before the 1980s, Wall Street salaries were not very different from professional careers. Ask yourself why this is no longer the case.

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