Arkadi

do Germany and France live under socialism today?

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The US is also a Social Democratic/Mixed Economy country. There's a substantial degree of Economic Fascism in the US too. 

The US is not a free market paradise. It is MORE free market than Continental Europe but not anywhere near laissez-faire.

What metrics are you using to establish Germany as "doing better" than the US? GDP per capita? Median income adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity? Growth rates? Job creation rates?

In addition, Economic Fascism CAN result in very fast economic growth; the Asian Tiger model for instance (also Japan). No one would argue that nations CANNOT develop without full laissez-faire (I don't think any nation historically did) and no one would argue that anything short of complete laissez-faire makes development impossible. Social Democracies don't have the economic calculation problem like full-on socialist economies do. 

What makes one country grow faster than another? There are a huge number of complex policy variables which all ultimately impact growth rates and some are more impactful than others. But from what I know, Germany and Western Europe in general is extremely anemic in terms of economic growth and job creation. I'd say labor market rigidities and regulations are more damaging (in growth terms) interventions than interventions in at least some other areas. 

The short answer is that you can't just "put economies on a spectrum" of "more free to less free" (economic freedom is multidimensional/multivariate) and then presume that every economy with a similar "level" (in net terms) of economic freedom will have exactly the same growth rate. 

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Applying economic fascism to Germany does some oversimplifying. Indeed, thinking there is only a one-dimensional spectrum with totally free markets at one end and heavy government controls at the other does some oversimplifying. It's a useful spectrum but not the only perspective. Another dimension is cultural and common practices. 

I'm reading a book that classifies Germany as a coordinated market economy and the USA as a liberal market economy. Briefly, in a coordinated market economy activities are decided more by collaboration and less by competitive markets. Briefly, in a liberal market economy outcomes are decided more by market transactions even when cooperating. Of course, coordination can be imposed by government, but it also arises between individuals and firms and non-government institutions. 

Some differences between Germany and the USA are: 

1. Germany: Wages are set through industry-level bargains between trade unions and employer associations. Workers don't switch jobs as much and employers don't try to poach hires from their competitors as much. Finance is more institutional with closer relationships between investors/lenders and the companies they invest in/lend to. Investors/lenders have longer outlooks with less focus on short-run financial results.

2. USA: Wages are affected by a more active labor market in which employers more often poach hires from their competitors, workers are more mobile, and employers are more free to cut costs in a downturn by shedding employees. Finance is more dispersed with more decisions made by individual investors/lenders. Investors/lenders have a shorter outlook with greater focus on short-run financial results. 

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It's the practical relative evaluation of two sub-optimal economies, the United States and Germany with no acknowledgement they are basically sub-optimal or why. Neither, as described, comes with a moral metric but if that were to be uncovered It's USA! USA!

--Brant

yuckedy yuck yuck

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

Applying economic fascism to Germany does some oversimplifying. Indeed, thinking there is only a one-dimensional spectrum with totally free markets at one end and heavy government controls at the other does some oversimplifying. It's a useful spectrum but not the only perspective. Another dimension is cultural and common practices. 

I'm reading a book that classifies Germany as a coordinated market economy and the USA as a liberal market economy. Briefly, in a coordinated market economy activities are decided more by collaboration and less by competitive markets. Briefly, in a liberal market economy outcomes are decided more by market transactions even when cooperating. Of course, coordination can be imposed by government, but it also arises between individuals and firms and non-government institutions. 

Some differences between Germany and the USA are: 

1. Germany: Wages are set through industry-level bargains between trade unions and employer associations. Workers don't switch jobs as much and employers don't try to poach hires from their competitors as much. Finance is more institutional with closer relationships between investors/lenders and the companies they invest in/lend to. Investors/lenders have longer outlooks with less focus on short-run financial results.

2. USA: Wages are affected by a more active labor market in which employers more often poach hires from their competitors, workers are more mobile, and employers are more free to cut costs in a downturn by shedding employees. Finance is more dispersed with more decisions made by individual investors/lenders. Investors/lenders have a shorter outlook with greater focus on short-run financial results. 

This sounds to me very much like Germany is more economically fascist than the USA. More "coordination" between big industry groups and unions... That is VERY corporatist. More decisions are made by large, centralized institutions. All you need to do in order to turn this "coordination" into textbook economic fascism is to have the government "encourage" (ahem) this coordination. 

A more institutionalized, more consolidated economy is a more corporatistic one. 

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There is a seminal difference between mere economic fascism and overt political, ideologically driven fascism which was Italy's case in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

Fascism is the implicit ideology that underlies all political fascism including Nazism and communism and, frankly, socialism. It's the rule of force. There are cultural limits country to country. Italy in the 1930s wasn't nearly as totalitarian as Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was a more intelligent fascism than communist totalitarianism, but that's because of a higher cultural base than Russia and China. You can only do so much fucking people over so Hitler focused on the mostly hapless Jews he could get his hands on. Hitler's Germany was much more dangerous than Stalin's Russia unless he attacked Russia. That was when Germany lost WWII. The only thing that Germany could have done then was get the atom bomb. Fat chance of that it turned out.

--Brant

if it's not freedom it's fascism and how much fascism is the next question

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Germany, France, Britain, Canada and U.S. function under a mixed system.  Partially market based,  partially regulated by government.  Private property still exists in these States as well as private ownership of some of the means of production.  But private ownership is constrained to some degree by regulations and redistributive taxation.

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BaalChatzaf: "Germany, France, Britain, Canada and U.S. function under a mixed system."--yet there are striking differences as regards medical and higher education coverage.

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Just now, Arkadi said:

BaalChatzaf: "Germany, France, Britain, Canada and U.S. function under a mixed system."--yet there are striking differences as regards medical and higher education coverage.

the proportions of the mix differ from nation to nation.  But mixed it is.  Pure Capitalism  lives and has lived only in myth.

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10 hours ago, studiodekadent said:

This sounds to me very much like Germany is more economically fascist than the USA. More "coordination" between big industry groups and unions... That is VERY corporatist. More decisions are made by large, centralized institutions. All you need to do in order to turn this "coordination" into textbook economic fascism is to have the government "encourage" (ahem) this coordination. 

A more institutionalized, more consolidated economy is a more corporatistic one. 

I agree with your first sentence. Coordination in my prior post didn't refer to coordination merely by government or large institutions. Economists talk about coordination in various ways. For example: "That markets provide important institutions of coordination is widely accepted in economics. Hayek (1945, 1946, 1978) contributed to a significant extent to an understanding of how coordination is achieved through a price system, and in addition, to an explanation of how the institutions of the market evolve spontaneously (Hayek 1967).“ (Link.) This link is to a long article, but scanning it will support my claim. 

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21 hours ago, Arkadi said:

BaalChatzaf: this is trivially true.

Which implies that it is true.

The important thing is that rootin', tootin' Simon pure capitalism is nowhere to be found on this planet. 

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As a Frenchman, I have often wondered whether I lived in a socialist country or not. My conviction is that in France we simply live in a mixed system, as in the United States. Of course the United States is much more capitalist than France, but France is much more capitalist than Cuba. There is, however, more common ground between the France and U.S. than between France and Cuba. Why ? Because basically, France, from its start, is a country that recognizes human rights and property, at least formally. As Ayn Rand said in his essay Collectivized "Rights" (from VOS): « There is a difference between a country that recognizes the principle of individual rights, but does not implement it in practice, and a country that denies and flouts it explicitly. » Read the french Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which is in the beginning of the french constitution, you'll see it is fully compatible with objectivist view of politic and rights.

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hi, Gio-- i see your point. yet, it is my impression, that there are other principles, on the par with the principle of individual rights, which are recognized in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, etc., but which many objectivists explicitly reject. in other words, it seems to me that the system in place in those countries is not just an imperfect realization of the one principle that you mentioned but there is a combination of principles at work.

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On 2/4/2017 at 7:15 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Which implies that it is true.

The important thing is that rootin', tootin' Simon pure capitalism is nowhere to be found on this planet. 

Not by you.

--Brant

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Capitalism? Retained earnings invested in new products, services, disruptive competitive advantage. Doesn't sound much like France.

Billy Beck used to call it the Endarkenment. Earnings are vaporware nowadays. Look at Uber.

Maybe what U.S. has in common with France, Germany, Holland, etc is race wars fueled by lavish welfare spending.

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32 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

Not by you.

--Brant

Not by anyone.   I seriously doubt it ever existed, and it certainly does not exist on a large scale  right now.  Governments have their hands on the market place up to their elbows. 

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10 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I seriously doubt it [capitalism] ever existed

That's because you don't know history, apparently. For everyone except Bob, the Gilded Age was capitalist. I'll fetch a graph.

1ca7f71a62e585869152d7b18f560129--steel-

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1 minute ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

That's because you don't know history, apparently. For everyone except Bob, the Gilded Age was capitalist.

It have forgotten more history than you ever knew.  The government has always had its sticky hands in business.  My specialty is ancient history and Chinese history.  

In any case Simon-Pure capitalism does not exist on a large scale  anywhere in the world at this time and it hasn't existed anywhere on a large scale in the last 100 years. 

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Medicaid 100% free health care: 73 million people (2017)

Medicare 80%-100% subsidized: 55 million people (2015)

Total approx 130 million "single payer" beneficiaries. 44.2 million Americans get free food, and 5 million get free housing.

Businesses deduct 100% cost of providing group health benefit to employees, another layer of "single payer" subsidy.

Same thing for primary, secondary, and higher ed. Almost all costs paid by state and Federal spending + 100% deductible corporate / alumni giving.

Federal Student Aid: $144 billion in new aid to 15 million postsecondary students (2011)

FY 2017 total US government spending on welfare — federal, state, and local — estimated to be $1.2 trillion

2016 total US government spending on education — federal, state, and local — was approximately $1 trillion

2016 total US government spending on Social Security and government retirees — approx another $1 trillion

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45 minutes ago, Arkadi said:

"Medicaid 100% free health care" --isn't this precisely what is being enthusiastically dismantled at present?

Sigh. Oh, yes, certainly. Be sure to accept everything the press says ("24 million will lose coverage!") instead of fussing with silly old facts.

Removing the penalty for NOT buying high-priced MANDATORY health insurance, it is projected that 20+ million young healthy people will opt out and voluntarily choose to pay cash when they want to visit a doctor. This is what me and my family have done for the past 15 years. We pay cash. I chose one the best urologists in Houston, had a CAT scan and lithotripsy, paid $8000. He would have charged an insurance carrier triple that price. Under Obama MANDATE, most people had super-high deductibles, with no choice of doctor and waiting lists to see a specialist. And guess what else? I pay cash for veterinary pet care, too. My kid is in a university high school program, $500 per semester class, studies at home instead of being assaulted and terrified in a big city black-majority public high school war zone.

Whatever the government imposes, it does badly. When people make individual decisions, they do fine.

By all means, make everything COMPULSORY like the NHS. I lived in Britain many years. Do you want a 4-min appointment, or an extended 8-min appointment with a low-paid Bangladeshi or Nigerian GP assigned by locality? Six month waiting list for most hospital procedures. By all means, let's FORCE everyone in America to do that, too, in the name of equality.

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