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View Poll Results: If you had to choose only one of these, which would it be?
Democracy 20 35.09%
Free market capitalism 37 64.91%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-06-2007, 03:03 PM  
jAZ jAZ is offline
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If you were forced to choose between democray and free market capitalism...

... which would it be?

I know it may seem like an odd juxtaposition of beliefs that in this country typically go hand in hand... but I've noticed a trend in discussions lately that caused me to consider the question in this way.

Seems like an interesting discussion.

If you were forced to choose between living in a society defined by democracy (but for instance, the people voted for communism/socialism) or one defined by capitalism (but public policy is dictated by an autocratic government) which would you choose and why?
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:21 PM   #2
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Democracy, just ask the Chinese.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:50 PM   #3
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #4
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I'll take freedom and private property over either one, but if I have to choose, I guess I'd take free market capitalism as the closest approximation.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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I can't answer this with these two choices.
I don't feel true free-market capitalism is dictated by an autocratic govt.
That would be mercantilism to me.

True free-market capitalism is actually democratic, not as an absolute, but in many respects and would call for some govt to protect public health, enforce contracts, protect against fraud,or enforce we consider to be ethics.
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Old 02-06-2007, 05:51 PM   #6
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With the realistic fear of a pure democracy devolving into simple mob rule, I have to go with a free market.
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #7
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:07 AM   #8
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Here's another vote for economic freedom over democracy:

Quote:
World Poverty
by Walter E Williams

If you're looking for a map of world poverty, check out the "2007 Index of Economic Freedom" jointly published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. You might think that's a strangely titled source for a poverty map.

The 13th edition of the "Index of Economic Freedom" examines 10 economic characteristics of 157 countries. Among those characteristics are property rights, monetary stability, and freedom from government, trade restrictions, business regulations and government corruption. Using these measures of economic freedom, countries are ranked.

Hong Kong and Singapore, as they have for 13 years, rank as the world's two economically freest countries, with freedom scores of 89 and 86 percent free. Rounding out the top 10 most free economies are Australia (83), United States (82), New Zealand (82), United Kingdom (82), Ireland (81), Luxembourg (79), Switzerland (79) and Canada (79).

At the other end of the list are the least free countries. Ranking 157th, North Korea, with a freedom score of 3 percent, is the world's least free country. Ranking 156th is Cuba, 30 percent free, and in ascending order are: Libya (34) Zimbabwe (36), Burma (40), Turkmenistan (42), Congo (43), Iran (43), Angola (43), and Guinea-Bassau (45).

The "2007 Index of Economic Freedom" displays a color-coded map showing countries that are free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree and repressed. Guess where one finds the world's most miserably poor people? If you guessed the mostly unfree and repressed countries, you guessed correctly.

Some people claim that some countries are rich because of abundant natural resources. That's nonsense! Africa and South America are probably the richest continents in natural resources, but are home to some of the world's poorest people. By contrast, countries like England, Japan and Hong Kong are poor in natural resources, but their people are among the world's wealthiest. Hong Kong even has to import its food and water. Some people use the history of colonialism as an excuse for poverty. That's also nonsense. The United States was a colony. So were Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, but they're rich countries.

The reason some countries are rich while others are poor is best explained by the amount of economic freedom its peoples enjoy and the extent of government control over economic matters. Don't make the mistake of equating economic freedom with democracy. After all, India, politically, is a democracy, but economically it is mostly unfree and poor, ranking 104th in economic freedom. There are countries on the economic freedom index that do not have much of a history of democracy, such as Chile, ranking 11th, and Taiwan, 26th, and yet these countries are far wealthier than some of their more democratic counterparts. Why? It's because their economic systems are free or mostly free, which is not guaranteed by a democratic political system.

The economic development lesson is clear: Have a system of economic freedom and grow rich. Extensive government control, weak property rights and government corruption almost guarantee poverty. A country's institutional infrastructure is critical to its economic growth and the well-being of its citizens. The most critical are protection of private property, enforcement of contracts and rule of law.

To help our fellow man around the world, we must convince him to create the institutional infrastructure for wealth creation. Foreign aid, International Monetary Fund bailouts and other handouts are not substitutes. They just make political survival possible for the elite whose self-serving policies keep a nation poor. Except for immediate disaster relief, foreign aid is probably the worst thing the West can do for poor countries. After all, how much foreign aid is necessary for a country to create the foundations for growth: rule of law, enforcement of contracts and private property rights protection?

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:57 PM   #9
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I thought democracy was a form of govt?
And that free-market capitalism was an economic system?

Does this mean Marx was right? That "democracy is the road to socialism?"

Changed my mind about not voting....freedom is the right choice which includes economic freedom. I wouldn't want a majority vote to restrict my rights.
However, my vote is done with the qualifier that, there is no autocratic govt. There would be a moderate amount of govt for some balance such as protecting my property rights, preventing fraud etc.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
However, my vote is done with the qualifier that, there is no autocratic govt. There would be a moderate amount of govt for some balance such as protecting my property rights, preventing fraud etc.
Wouldn't it be more appropriate to not vote at all. You are assuming the exact opposite of what I stated in the opening post/poll. It's your right, and you clarified your assumption... but it is 180-degrees opposite from "one defined by capitalism (but public policy is dictated by an autocratic government)".
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:57 PM   #11
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No because the others voted as well,and they didn't seem to have an issue with it. And some of the other comments, like mob rule was an influence. So I figured why not? It would be the choice out of the two for this only but not the ideal choice. Besides, the poll itself has no qualifier on it.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
No because the others voted as well,and they didn't seem to have an issue with it. And some of the other comments, like mob rule was an influence. So I figured why not? It would be the choice out of the two for this only but not the ideal choice. Besides, the poll itself has no qualifier on it.
Well, if you were forced to choose exactly as I described it (ie, democratically voted socialism/marxism... or... autocratically assigned capitialism)... which would you choose?
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ
Well, if you were forced to choose exactly as I described it (ie, democratically voted socialism/marxism... or... autocratically assigned capitialism)... which would you choose?
I realize that you are trying to engineer the poll to get the result you want, but I'm interested to hear more specifics on how free market capitalism is going to work in your autocratic system. Maybe if you gave us more information on exactly what you had in mind, we could give you the results you were after.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
I realize that you are trying to engineer the poll to get the result you want, but I'm interested to hear more specifics on how free market capitalism is going to work in your autocratic system. Maybe if you gave us more information on exactly what you had in mind, we could give you the results you were after.
It will work like I said in post #2. Enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
It will work like I said in post #2. Enjoy.
You mean the China where half of it's 750 million strong workforce work for state owned companies and where those companies still control 57% of the industrial assets of the country despite significant liberalization over the past few decades? The China where the state controls key industries like telecom, railroads banking, insurance, oil, and power? (link)

Or are you talking about Hong Kong, which does still retain a relatively free economy despite reverting to Chinese control?

It seems to me that China is to free market capitalism what Iraq is to democracy. They've made great strides compared to their historical tradition and those strides aren't just cosmetic, but they have a long way to go.

(Note: According to the 2007 version of the Index of Economic Freedom that I linked to in post #8, China comes in a dismal 119th, scoring especially low in Investment Freedom, Financial Freedom, Property Rights, and Freedom from Corruption, but scoring fairly well in fiscal Freedom, Freedom from Government, and Monetary Freedom. By comparison, Hong Kong ranked 1st in the list and the US ranked 4th.)
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