how democratic socialism would work - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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As either the transitional stage to communism or legitimate socio-economic ends in its own right.
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#14265602
So say we have a federation of credit unions in a democratised economy. How do they decide what to fund? What people say they want in an open democratic forum and what they choose to consume with their own money are often very different. Unless you produce the latter, you might need a wall to stop them going somewhere that does.
#14265640
SueDeNîmes wrote:So say we have a federation of credit unions in a democratised economy. How do they decide what to fund? What people say they want in an open democratic forum and what they choose to consume with their own money are often very different. Unless you produce the latter, you might need a wall to stop them going somewhere that does.


How, exactly, have you come to the conclusion that people will not demand the things they want in an open democratic forum? As far as I can tell that doesn't actually exist so predicting people's responses to it would be difficult--to say the least.
#14265875
SueDeNîmes wrote:So say we have a federation of credit unions in a democratised economy. How do they decide what to fund? What people say they want in an open democratic forum and what they choose to consume with their own money are often very different. Unless you produce the latter, you might need a wall to stop them going somewhere that does.

Someone5 wrote:How, exactly, have you come to the conclusion that people will not demand the things they want in an open democratic forum?
Would you, for example, stand up in an open democratic forum and say cigarettes, pornography or SUVs ought to take precendence over cancer research, education or tractors? Would your stated or voting preference as a member of a credit credit union match your spending choice as a consumer?

I don't think it's an intractable problem (see my previous post in this thread), I'm just interested in what fellow socialists think.

As far as I can tell that doesn't actually exist so predicting people's responses to it would be difficult--to say the least.
Hence my question.
#14266552
Would your stated or voting preference as a member of a credit credit union match your spending choice as a consumer?
ronimacarroni wrote:Well for the most part yeah
We'd still need cancer research, education and tractors

Then I nominate you for a credit union board. But you're probably unusual. Stated vs revealed preference (surveys, market research etc vs actual spending and consumption) usually differ quite a bit, especially where there's any ethical dichotomy.

Anyway, my point was that there's nothing inherently unsocialist about consumers being the final arbiters of what gets produced. But that assumes a certain amount of failed investment - like capitalism - but probably different ways of dealing with it ..?

Also, what about imports and exports?

The economic calcualtion problem and comparative advantage that capitalist groupies harp on about are overstated but not entirely false IMO. But that's not say that there aren't socialist solutions.
#14266602
Well the comparative advantage would that the credit unions would have an interest rate of 0% and there wouldn't be an economic calculation problem as money would still be used.
Imports and exports could still take place.
As for the pool shrinking that could be solved two ways.
1.fundraising (ideal)
2.corporate tax (although there wouldn't be corporations in the normal sense)
#14266724
Anyway, my point was that there's nothing inherently unsocialist about consumers being the final arbiters of what gets produced


surely not

I can't see how that is consistent with democracy or socialism. Consumers are not society in minature. People consume to meet individual preferences which only sometimes reflect social objectives more broadly defined

if a certain group of consumers choose large and energy inefficient cars to detriment of the environment and at the expense of living standards for the majority that is the inevitable cost of a economic system which is fundamentally chaotic.
#14267950
SueDeNîmes wrote:Would you, for example, stand up in an open democratic forum and say cigarettes, pornography or SUVs ought to take precendence over cancer research, education or tractors?


I don't hold those as priorities, but presumably smokers, porn-fanatics, and SUV drivers would have a lot more of an interest to express. I'm rather certain that people who want to eat will want tractors, thereby voting in their favor as circumstances dictate, etc. It's certainly more likely that the desired outcome will be achieved than under the current system where some loan officers take a guess.

Would your stated or voting preference as a member of a credit credit union match your spending choice as a consumer?


Utterly irrelevant; consumption preferences would still be determined as normal. This is a question of startup capital, not votes dictating what gets produced and what gets banned.
#14268057
ronimacarroni wrote:The way I think democratic socialism would work would be as follows.
1.The country would be divided in municipalities
2.Each municipality would have a credit union
3.members of credit unions would vote democratically on what businesses to fund
4.The loans would be interest free
5.Credit unions could link up through the internet to fund major projects
6.Only people who work in the business would be allowed to be shareholders and they could decide how to allocate their money.(people who work harder would get bonuses for instance)
7.There would also be public forums (free togas provided)


Who would divide the country and by what standards? It seems to me the best way to see if this would work would be on a small scale. The difficulty that one might move away might be minimized by ensuring a small enough group of like minded individuals. I would think that the interests of each individual in the group would be best served by keeping the group small anyway.
#14268310
A few questions:

1. Would these municipal credit unions have a monopoly on banking services? In other words, would opening your own private bank be illegal? If so, under what grounds?
2. Would saving with the municipal credit unions be mandatory, or will people be allowed to keep their money for themselves? If mandatory, how will that be enforced?

Keep in mind - with zero interest rate charged, and with some loans inevitably defaulting, savers are bound to get less than 100% of their money back. Saving your money "under a mattress", not to mention saving with a private bank, will give you superior results.
#14268606
Eran wrote:A few questions:

1. Would these municipal credit unions have a monopoly on banking services? In other words, would opening your own private bank be illegal? If so, under what grounds?
2. Would saving with the municipal credit unions be mandatory, or will people be allowed to keep their money for themselves? If mandatory, how will that be enforced?

Keep in mind - with zero interest rate charged, and with some loans inevitably defaulting, savers are bound to get less than 100% of their money back. Saving your money "under a mattress", not to mention saving with a private bank, will give you superior results.


It wouldn't have a monopoly, BUT...
If the corporate tax were implemented (which realistically it most likely would) it would go towards the credit unions not the private banks. Also private banks would not be insured by the FDIC.
On the plus side people would have democratic control over the economy though.
#14268853
People already have democratic control over the economy. What makes you think the new scheme would be any safer from capture than the current one?

Being paid zero interest rates plus suffering from the occasional credit losses means that your public credit unions would be at a severe competitive disadvantage relative to private banks, even if the latter are handicapped through taxation and regulation.

I like the idea of not subjecting the private banks to FDIC insurance, though. That would force them to be conspicuously safe and sound in their operations.
#14269190
Eran wrote:Being paid zero interest rates plus suffering from the occasional credit losses means that your public credit unions would be at a severe competitive disadvantage relative to private banks.

I think their credit loses would be far lower considering the fact that the investors would be the consumers.
#14269445
Credit losses are an inevitable consequence of life's uncertainties.

A dynamic economy requires speculative, entrepreneurial ventures, some (of not most) of which will fail.

Without motivating investors by offering them higher interest rates and/or equity shares, only the safest of new ventures will be funded.
#14269790
Eran wrote:Credit losses are an inevitable consequence of life's uncertainties.

A dynamic economy requires speculative, entrepreneurial ventures, some (of not most) of which will fail.

Without motivating investors by offering them higher interest rates and/or equity shares, only the safest of new ventures will be funded.

Well there could be investments that are a bit risky but would likely be funded. Like speed rails, green technology or internet towers.
But yeah the amount of choices for consumer goods would probably go down.
You wouldn't get designer jeans, you'd get normal jeans, you wouldn't get m&m's, you'd get plain chocolate, you wouldn't get a ferrari, you'd get a fuel efficient car.
Socialism is like vanilla I suppose, plain, dependable and it tastes good enough.
#14269987
Well there could be investments that are a bit risky but would likely be funded. Like speed rails, green technology or internet towers.

Calling "speed rails" and "green technology" "a bit risky"? What qualifies as more than a bit risky than? Buying lottery tickets?

But yeah the amount of choices for consumer goods would probably go down.
You wouldn't get designer jeans, you'd get normal jeans, you wouldn't get m&m's, you'd get plain chocolate, you wouldn't get a ferrari, you'd get a fuel efficient car.
Socialism is like vanilla I suppose, plain, dependable and it tastes good enough.

Ironic, given the notorious inability of socialist countries to produce even basic jeans...
#14270082
ronimacarroni wrote:But yeah the amount of choices for consumer goods would probably go down.
You wouldn't get designer jeans, you'd get normal jeans, you wouldn't get m&m's, you'd get plain chocolate, you wouldn't get a ferrari, you'd get a fuel efficient car.
Socialism is like vanilla I suppose, plain, dependable and it tastes good enough.


I am happy, rominacarroni, that you at least admit your intentions of eliminating human individuality. Thank you for being honest.
#14270087
ronimacarroni wrote:But yeah the amount of choices for consumer goods would probably go down.
You wouldn't get designer jeans, you'd get normal jeans, you wouldn't get m&m's, you'd get plain chocolate, you wouldn't get a ferrari, you'd get a fuel efficient car.
Socialism is like vanilla I suppose, plain, dependable and it tastes good enough.


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