Capitalism v Socialism

How should society be organised, if at all?

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commonsense
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Capitalism v Socialism

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:44 pm

Both have both benefits and disadvantages in particular situations, but on the whole does one system offer more than the other?
Last edited by commonsense on Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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henry quirk
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Capitalism/Socialism

Post by henry quirk » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm

What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism

Gary Childress
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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by Gary Childress » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:22 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is "free enterprise" and how does it differ from capitalism which basically means private ownership of businesses?
Last edited by Gary Childress on Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

commonsense
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Capitalism v Socialism

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:23 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is the difference between free enterprise and capitalism?
Last edited by commonsense on Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Harbal
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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by Harbal » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:26 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:44 pm
Both have both benefits and disadvantages in particular situations, but on the whole does one system offer more than the other?
Either one is just a preference. Which one is better depends entirely on which one you prefer.

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henry quirk
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ROL & G

Post by henry quirk » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:11 pm

What is the difference between free enterprise and capitalism?

research: google free enterprise vs capitalism vs socialism

here's a link for such a search: https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... s-wiz-serp

here's another link from duckduckgo: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=free+enterpri ... pad&ia=web

Gary Childress
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Re: ROL & G

Post by Gary Childress » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:33 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:11 pm
What is the difference between free enterprise and capitalism?

research: google free enterprise vs capitalism vs socialism

here's a link for such a search: https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... s-wiz-serp

here's another link from duckduckgo: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=free+enterpri ... pad&ia=web
I saw only one source; Investopedia: which contrasts capitalism vs free enterprise. Here's what that source said:
Is Free Market the Same as Capitalism?
A capitalist system and a free market system are both economic environments that are based on the law of supply and demand.


They both are involved in determining the price and production of goods and services. On one hand, capitalism is focused on the creation of wealth and ownership of capital and factors of production, whereas a free market system is focused on the exchange of wealth, or goods and services.


Some key features of capitalism include the competition between companies and owners, private ownership and motivation to generate a profit. In a capitalistic society, the production and pricing of goods and services are determined by the free market, or supply and demand, however, some government regulation may occur. On the other hand, a private owner in a capitalist system can have a monopoly on the market and prevent free competition.

A free market system is an economic system based solely on demand and supply, and there is little or no government regulation. In a free market system, a buyer and a seller transact freely and only when they voluntarily agree on the price of a good or service.

For example, suppose a seller wants to sell a toy for $5, and a buyer wants to buy that toy for $3. A transaction will occur when the buyer and the seller agree on a price. Because a free market system is based solely on supply and demand, it leads to free competition in the economy, without any intervention from outside forces.
So what Investopedia seems to be saying is that "free enterprise" is just another form of capitalism. Capitalism is typically defined as private ownership of businesses, not by whether a market is free or regulated or the amount of regulation. And since both capitalism and your "free enterprise" system involve private ownership of businesses, it is just another form of capitalism technically.

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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by FlashDangerpants » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:52 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:22 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is "free enterprise" and how does it differ from capitalism which basically means private ownership of businesses?
You've discerned between two competing ideas for who owns what, Henry is aiming more for who can do what. So consider any consumer product such as cars...
Communist or other centrally planned economies set a quota: The state owned car maker will build 7 million cars this year, they will all be red.
Socialism (of the variety that has famously never been tried anywhere) might under one description say to the privately owned car firms: Please produce more of these cheap family cars, and have union representatives on your board of directors. Or it might just create a state owned car firm. Or it might bail out failed car firms to protect jobs - there's no very fixed thing that socialism actually requires here, nominally socialist governments have done all of the above at various times, and others have just allowed bankrupt car firms to fail and be bought by foreign investors.
Capitalism: If you have the money to build a factory, you can build your car. But it needs seatbelts and crumple zones and next year we will want to see better mileage.
"Free enterprise" / Laissez-Faire: Do what you want, buyer beware, the invisble hands of the market will sort out the wheat from the chaff.

The general complaint is that burdensome regulation strangles markets and tramples liberties to boot. Sometimes this is a valid complaint, as anybody who has ever got a taxi in Milan can attest (I am still salty 10 years later about that, and it wasn't even me paying). But it suffers from the problem of freedom for the pike being death to the minnow.

Laissez-Faire's most easily exploited weakness lies in the way it cannot offer much by way of prevention of suffering. Proponents tend to offer either vengeance as a solution (see Henry's rock salt and helicopter rides comments), or it just really believes that markets will sort amazing things out.

The Economist Milton Friedman famously told an audience of doctors in the US to end medical licensing on much the same basis as I would recommend ending the taxi licensing regime in NYC and Milan where a license just to drive a cab has at points cost as much as a house. Here he is making the case (5 minute video, sort of intersting) https://youtu.be/TdcaLReCG3Y
Even with a certain logic to it, the case strikes me as sort of batshit, but ymmv.

To give him his due though, check out that list of failed government interventions he reels off at the end and ask yourself if any have improved noticably in the fully 42 years since that address.


I borrowed that link by the way from a very good (but still batshit) and highly readable economist over at Forbes who tends to make a fairly good case fo this sort of stuff even though he is a dreadful Brexiteer. Nonetheless, if you want to see what a good case for this sort of thing looks like, I would recommend Tim Worstall as the first place to check.

commonsense
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Capitalism v Socialism

Post by commonsense » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:29 pm

I have no problem contrasting capitalism and socialism. However, it seems to me that capitalism and free enterprise are the same.

(n.b. I have revised the thread title where I was able.)
Last edited by commonsense on Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gary Childress
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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by Gary Childress » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:26 am

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:52 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:22 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is "free enterprise" and how does it differ from capitalism which basically means private ownership of businesses?
You've discerned between two competing ideas for who owns what, Henry is aiming more for who can do what. So consider any consumer product such as cars...
Communist or other centrally planned economies set a quota: The state owned car maker will build 7 million cars this year, they will all be red.
Socialism (of the variety that has famously never been tried anywhere) might under one description say to the privately owned car firms: Please produce more of these cheap family cars, and have union representatives on your board of directors. Or it might just create a state owned car firm. Or it might bail out failed car firms to protect jobs - there's no very fixed thing that socialism actually requires here, nominally socialist governments have done all of the above at various times, and others have just allowed bankrupt car firms to fail and be bought by foreign investors.
Capitalism: If you have the money to build a factory, you can build your car. But it needs seatbelts and crumple zones and next year we will want to see better mileage.
"Free enterprise" / Laissez-Faire: Do what you want, buyer beware, the invisble hands of the market will sort out the wheat from the chaff.

The general complaint is that burdensome regulation strangles markets and tramples liberties to boot. Sometimes this is a valid complaint, as anybody who has ever got a taxi in Milan can attest (I am still salty 10 years later about that, and it wasn't even me paying). But it suffers from the problem of freedom for the pike being death to the minnow.

Laissez-Faire's most easily exploited weakness lies in the way it cannot offer much by way of prevention of suffering. Proponents tend to offer either vengeance as a solution (see Henry's rock salt and helicopter rides comments), or it just really believes that markets will sort amazing things out.

The Economist Milton Friedman famously told an audience of doctors in the US to end medical licensing on much the same basis as I would recommend ending the taxi licensing regime in NYC and Milan where a license just to drive a cab has at points cost as much as a house. Here he is making the case (5 minute video, sort of intersting) https://youtu.be/TdcaLReCG3Y
Even with a certain logic to it, the case strikes me as sort of batshit, but ymmv.

To give him his due though, check out that list of failed government interventions he reels off at the end and ask yourself if any have improved noticably in the fully 42 years since that address.


I borrowed that link by the way from a very good (but still batshit) and highly readable economist over at Forbes who tends to make a fairly good case fo this sort of stuff even though he is a dreadful Brexiteer. Nonetheless, if you want to see what a good case for this sort of thing looks like, I would recommend Tim Worstall as the first place to check.
I see. Thank you for the clarification. So it sounds like what Henry is proposing is what is usually called laissez faire capitalism or what is probably the ideal form of capitalism for many. I've never heard it called "free enterprise" and being held as distinctly different from capitalism. It's a bit like how socialists often contrast various forms of socialism. Democratic socialism, anarcho-socialism, etc.

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RCSaunders
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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:44 am

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:22 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is "free enterprise" and how does it differ from capitalism which basically means private ownership of businesses?
Both capitalism and socialism are considered forms of government, or government policy. A "capitalist," system supposedly provides the kind of social and economic environment in which a free market (which would include private property) is possible without government interference. A socialist system provides a social and economic environment which is totally controlled by the government. In actual practice, neither system actually exists and all so-called capitalist government exercise enormous control of the economy, and socialist systems must allow some degree of free markets or they would immediately fail, as in communist Russia.

Those who promote free enterprise do not want any government control of any aspect of the economy which would allow individuals to exercise capitalist economic policies in their own lives and businesses or collective policies with others of like collective views if they choose.

Most people have no idea why capitalism is called capitalism. Here's the simple principle. There are two farmers who both have very successful years. One of the farmers sells one hundred percent of his produce and enjoys spending his wealth in a year of pleasure. The other farmer sells eighty percent of his produce but keeps back twenty percent, in case next year is not so successful, and for the seed grain to use to plant the next years crop. The twenty percent he keeps back is called capital.

The next year the first farmer must buy seed from the second farmer, but since he has no money left he must go into debt to the second farmer, so the second farmer not only makes money on his new produce but on the interest the first farmer must pay him. Obviously capitalist farmers are hated by foolish farmers, just as capitalists today are hated by foolish socialists and other collectivists.

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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by Gary Childress » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:48 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:44 am
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:22 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:04 pm
What you shoulda titled the thread: Free Enterprise vs Capitalism/Socialism
What is "free enterprise" and how does it differ from capitalism which basically means private ownership of businesses?
Both capitalism and socialism are considered forms of government, or government policy. A "capitalist," system supposedly provides the kind of social and economic environment in which a free market (which would include private property) is possible without government interference. A socialist system provides a social and economic environment which is totally controlled by the government. In actual practice, neither system actually exists and all so-called capitalist government exercise enormous control of the economy, and socialist systems must allow some degree of free markets or they would immediately fail, as in communist Russia.

Those who promote free enterprise do not want any government control of any aspect of the economy which would allow individuals to exercise capitalist economic policies in their own lives and businesses or collective policies with others of like collective views if they choose.

Most people have no idea why capitalism is called capitalism. Here's the simple principle. There are two farmers who both have very successful years. One of the farmers sells one hundred percent of his produce and enjoys spending his wealth in a year of pleasure. The other farmer sells eighty percent of his produce but keeps back twenty percent, in case next year is not so successful, and for the seed grain to use to plant the next years crop. The twenty percent he keeps back is called capital.

The next year the first farmer must buy seed from the second farmer, but since he has no money left he must go into debt to the second farmer, so the second farmer not only makes money on his new produce but on the interest the first farmer must pay him. Obviously capitalist farmers are hated by foolish farmers, just as capitalists today are hated by foolish socialists and other collectivists.
Yes. I understand all that. I took economics in college as well.

What if the "foolish" farmer's crop was wiped out by a flood or natural disaster. Or what if the foolish farmer became ill and couldn't farm anymore?

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RCSaunders
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Re: Capitalism/Socialism

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:10 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:48 am
Yes. I understand all that. I took economics in college as well.
That explains a lot, since all they teach in college is Marxist nonsense.
Gary Childress wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:48 am
What if the "foolish" farmer's crop was wiped out by a flood or natural disaster. Or what if the foolish farmer became ill and couldn't farm anymore?
I guess they didn't teach that in college, but you're too intelligent not to be able to think of it yourself. Reality is ruthless. It's, "produce or die."

Natural disasters happen. The wise farmer prepares for those too. If the foolish farmer makes no preparation for the future, he dies.

As John Wayne said, "Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Capitalism v Socialism

Post by FlashDangerpants » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm

Wow, it looks like the thread title needs even more extending as mister Saunders there has gone way past mere Lassaiz-Faire with that Social Darwinist hot take.

The options were on the table to suggest private (capitalist) crop insurance, spreading weather related risk among a society of businesses rather than socialising it via government.
Also that in those circumstances the farmer's land still has resale value if he is the private enterprise land owner, and that the fable (stolen from Aesop) can be seen as merely advocating consolidation where failed businesses are bought up by successful ones which is pretty normal.

But sure, 'everyone who is bad at business should die and exit the gene pool' is another option to go for if that's the way you like to think.

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Re: Capitalism v Socialism

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:46 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm
Wow, it looks like the thread title needs even more extending as mister Saunders there has gone way past mere Lassaiz-Faire (sic) with that Social Darwinist hot take.
Since I have no use for government of any kind (but certainly don't care if others do) and have no interest in forcing my views on anyone else, and do not swallow anyone else's views on how life and existence came to be, either the superstitious creationist views or the pseudo-scientific evolutionist views, how do you derive either laissez faire or Darwinism from that?

Have any collectivist or socially-engineered political system you like, just don't be surprised when it doesn't work. My point is that Capitalism vs Socialism is a false dichotomy. They are both attempts to make societies what someone would like them to be--by some agency of force called a government.

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