Poll
For a truely equitable society, we should as humanists advocate to
Return to Welfare State economics. 2
Reform the Welfare State now, and move toward eliminating capitalism for the long run. 1
Stay the neoliberal unrestricted free market course. 1
Move toward Bush-styled fascism and crony capitalism. 0
Total Votes: 4
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Why Economic Reforms aren’t enough
Posted: 25 February 2007 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Although reform is needed in these neo-liberal, crony capitalistic times where the market reigns and regulations are dissapeared… in these times where the gap between rich and poor is as wide as it was during the "robber baron" years…  Allthough a truely equitable society may not be acheived for several generations (via Participatory Economics or such), we HAVE to advocate for reforms to roll back the suffering created by Reagan/Thatcher capitalism and sustained by "third way" soft-neoliberals like Clinton/Blair, and made totaly insane by regressives like Bush/Cheney and the NeoCons ... BUT, reform will not win the day in the end.

As Robin Hahnel puts it: "The most successful atempts to humanize capitalism through reform were in the Scandinavian economics during the 1960s and early 1970s (New Deal financial reforms were subject to capture by the financial sector - the U.S. welfare system was seriously flawed from its inception).  Norway and Sweden had a full Keynesian program, the most generous welfare system capitalism has ever tolerated, and the Meidner Commission in Sweden had begun to press for significant worker participation in firm ownership and governence.  As we saw, starting in the min-1970s all these reforms came under attack, and all have been dismantled or significantly rolled back. 

"The Scandinavian model is far from dead, Wall Street Journal obituaries to the contrary. But as Magnus Ryner explained, thanks in large part to third-way leadership, Scandinavian social democracy has been in retreat for over two decades. Like the triumph of free market over Keynesian capitalism in the United States and Great Britain, the backward trajectory of social democracy in Scandinavia stands as a powerful reminder why we must go beyond reforming capitalism if we expect to sustain progress toward the economics of equitable cooperation" - from Economic Justice and Democracy (Routledge, 2005)

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Barry F. Seidman
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Posted: 26 February 2007 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Stay the neoliberal unrestricted free market course ( 1 vote)

Note I said what humanists should do, not atheists   :shock:

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Posted: 26 February 2007 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As usual, Barry is trying to force people into the few molds he sees.  The limited choices are either “good guy” (agrees with Barry’s belierfs) or bad guy (believes anything else).

I’m sure there are at least a dozen other choices that could be listed so that responders would have one that more closely matched their views.

I see Capitalism as the only economic system that makes sense for the foreseeable future.  However, it MUST be strongly controlled by laws instituted by the political system.

Occam

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Posted: 26 February 2007 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Occam said:

As usual, Barry is trying to force people into the few molds he sees. The limited choices are either “good guy” (agrees with Barry’s belierfs) or bad guy (believes anything else).

I’m sure there are at least a dozen other choices that could be listed so that responders would have one that more closely matched their views.

I see Capitalism as the only economic system that makes sense for the foreseeable future. However, it MUST be strongly controlled by laws instituted by the political system.

No no no Occam, I am not trying to tell people what they ought to think to fit my mold of a future economics.  I emphasized humanism over atheism because the person who voted for the neo-liberal unrestricted capitalism (assuming he/she knows what that actualy is and what it would do to society (and is doing to a large degree today) can hardly be a humanist.  This is not controversal Occam - except for those who think humanism is the same thing as atheism or scientific naturalism or merely a human-centered philsophy (with some vague ideas about morals or ethics).  Any atheist, naturalist or skeptic on these forums may prefer this sort of economics, but since it would (and does) naturally lead to gross inequities, a humanist can’t. 

As for the other choices not listed in the poll I set up, the program did not let me add more than three no matter what I did.  It kept on deleting any additions I typed after three.  I do not know if this is my computer problem or a problem with the site.  Nevertheless, I did not add the other “tried” systems because most of us already agree that Communism, State Socialism, Feudalism, Barter, etc. have not worked and can’t be humanistic.  Other ideas such as LETS, TimesBank, Open Money, etc. are not fully systemic systems as of yet, so they need to be passed by for such a poll (though perhaps their advocated might dissagree). 

What is really debated on these forums (and in the West) concerns capitalism.  Shall we have the American Libertarian truely free market capitalism either conservatives like Milton Freidman advocate for, or a sort of free-market anarchism or anarcho-capitalism some radicals talk about. 

Or, should we have a government regulated “New Deal” or Keynesian capitalism?  These can more easily lead to fascism then the other three systems, by the way and is doing so today.

Or should we move beyond market capitalism alltogether as the Social Democrats pre-WWII and their Libertarian Socialist brothers and sisters wanted?

I think the first is anti-humanistic.  I think the second is humanistic in that it “humanizes” market capitalism (less so the New Deal than Keynesianism); but that is like treating the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself.  And anyone who does not think market capitalism is a social disease does not know the facts about market capitalism (and what it does to people all over the planet), or has a very Hobbesian outlook on humankind and doesn’t think we can be less greedy and competitive.

Yes, clearly I am advocating for what I am because it is the only way left (I know of) where real economic justice and economic democracy can thrive.  This is based on the facts of history and the facts of today.  If anyone on this forum has an idea of a way which is not any of the above, but can prove to be about real equality, self-management, cooperation and all those other humanistic morals we lay claim to when calling ourselves humanists - like Parecon or Inclusive Democracy can - I would love to learn about it! 

In the meantime, it is clear that neo-liberal Free Market Capitalism is anti-humanistic, social democracy via the New Deal was really not very democratic and embraced market capitalism way too fully, and social democracy as in Sweden and Norway lost its way when Keyne’s work became the ends rather than social democrat’s original means (based on reaching an ends… being the end of market capitalism itself)...

If anyone feels differently, it seems to be the burdon of proof is on them as an objective and clear-headed look at history seems to back what I have said on these forums.  Tell me what a real social democracy looks like, and how it can lead to long-term equitablity for all persons?  Better yet, tell me how neo-liberal free market capitalism can do this?

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