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Old 05-20-2018, 03:08 PM   Topic Starter
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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My Liberalism

I believe in the free market as the engine of a progressive society. A government that owns the means of production rather than allowing it to flourish and regulate it when necessary is a government that strangles innovation and therefore can uphold progression in our quality of life.

As such, I am a free market capitalist. My goal is to make life for everyone in society as promising as possible, and you squander that with any other economic model.

However capitalism is a competition, and it carries with it, for all its benefits, one indisputable downside: there will be some that do extremely well for themselves, most of us will do pretty well to well, and there will be some folks at the bottom of the economic ladder who do very poorly. You could put the fire of god into every working-age adult, but it won't matter, at the end of the day, not everybody can "win." A fair percentage will struggle, and I don't see any way that the free market can rectify that on its own.

As a result, I believe a social safety net is necessary for those who fall through the cracks of our capitalist society. Food stamps for those who are hungry. Section D housing for those that qualify. Unemployment for those looking for work. Medicaid for the poor. Medicare/social security for the elderly. Disability for those that cannot work. And there are other aspects to the net that I think should be added but for now that's a fair start.

The people who need and deserve this support cannot pay for it on its own, so I am a supporter of economic redistribution to support those in the social safety net. I believe it is humane as well as beneficial: for every dollar you put into food stamps, something like four dollars ends up getting pumped into the economy.

The government does have a regulatory role in economics, as well. Keep in mind, the goal is to make society a progressively better place for everyone at all economic levels. So while companies should remain privately owned and operated with maximum freedom of choice and contract, the government should ensure they are not gouging customers. The government should ensure that they are not producing products that risks our lives. The government should ensure that we are not globally altering the planet's climate at our peril. The government should ensure that companies pay their workers a living wage, that minorities' rights are protected, that women can take time off after giving birth. That contracts are honored. That employees are not fired and have their lives upended indiscriminately. That employees can band together if they wish and collectively debate their employers for what they consider fair treatment/compensation.

To my mind, that's the precarious, imperfect balance that liberalism strives for. Balancing the freedom of a progressive society while also managing the worst impulses of capitalism that has little incentive to care about the disadvantaged and tends to consolidate power in the hands of very few.

This is, I think, the "cocktail napkin" description of mainstream American liberalism. And I think that's a lot more reasonable that many in the conservative movement give it credit for.
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