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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 02-08-2007, 09:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
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.)
Nah, that's not even close to the point. More relevantly, China has transformed much of its economy into a free market capitalist one without many accompanying democratic changes. So it's more like option B in the poll will be what China appears headed toward in 20 years or so.

BTW, how did Hong Kong rate as anything? It is not even a country anymore, it is a city within China.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Nah, that's not even close to the point. More relevantly, China has transformed much of its economy into a free market capitalist one without many accompanying democratic changes. So it's more like option B in the poll will be what China appears headed toward in 20 years or so.

BTW, how did Hong Kong rate as anything? It is not even a country anymore, it is a city within China.
Well in that case, let me see what it looks like in 20 years and I'll decide how attractive it turns out to be. Right now it doesn't seem to be a good example of option 2 in the poll to me. But then, I'm having a hard time envisioning what a good example would look like.

I don't know why they separated Hong Kong, but I assume they decided that since it operates under a significantly different set of rules it's worth treating it as a distinct entity.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Nah, that's not even close to the point. More relevantly, China has transformed much of its economy into a free market capitalist one without many accompanying democratic changes. So it's more like option B in the poll will be what China appears headed toward in 20 years or so.

BTW, how did Hong Kong rate as anything? It is not even a country anymore, it is a city within China.
If you were to distill the idea down to one set of specifics... (it wouldn't fit the imaginary exact pivot point between the two alternatives, but it would get close)... it would be

Which would you prefer living in France (or your choice of modern Socialist Democracies) or being among the portion of China's population that is able to engage in free market capitalism under autocratic rule.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ
If you were to distill the idea down to one set of specifics... (it wouldn't fit the imaginary exact pivot point between the two alternatives, but it would get close)... it would be

Which would you prefer living in France (or your choice of modern Socialist Democracies) or being among the portion of China's population that is able to engage in free market capitalism under autocratic rule.
I think India is a better example of option 1 although France isn't horrible. And Hong Kong or Singapore are the best representatives of option 2.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
And Hong Kong or Singapore are the best representatives of option 2.
If you do as BEP did and dismiss the autocratic rule requirement. Hong Kong was a British Colony for 150 years, operated with an established democracy and is guaranteed at least 50 more years of operating that way politically.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ
If you do as BEP did and dismiss the autocratic rule requirement. Hong Kong was a British Colony for 150 years, operated with an established democracy and is guaranteed at least 50 more years of operating that way politically.
I pointed out some specific areas where China's economy doesn't live up to a "free market capitalism" label. Specifically, what features of democracy do the citizens of Hong Kong enjoy?

The truth is, it's a lot easier to envision a democratic society that votes in an oppressive communist system than it is to envision a repressive autocracy that somehow dictates a system of free market capitalism (which is why option 2 in your poll is the right choice, btw). Hong Kong and Singapore might not be great examples, but China certainly isn't either. And France isn't a very good example of option 1, unless what this is really all about is trying to force option 1 to appear more attractive than option 2 (which we all know is what you really want to do, of course).
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:50 AM   #22
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These sorts of trade off threads never sit well with people because they force difficult choices using imperfect information that isn't nuanced.

The point is to force people to look at a complex topic in a simplified way. It's a reflection of how we "react" to ideas (which we all do a LOT).

If you had to be pushed off of the vast middle ground between these two ideas... which side would you prefer to fall.

I think it shapes how very smart people end up in disagreeing camps politically and ideologically, even when - if nuance is applied, and we were to look at issues closely - we would actually be much closer to agreement with each other's views.

I choose the will of the people via Democracy because it assumes all people have equal voice (1 man, 1 vote)... as opposed to (in my mind) Capitalism which effectively gives 1 man a vote for each dollar he's accumulated. And given the nature of capitalism, the role of the amoral (in a non-judgemental sense) corporation, the goal of an building an uneven playing field to ensure maximum profits, the eventuality of monopoly selling power in critically important markets, effectiveness of establishing barriers to entry into other markets... there is an element of capitalism as a pure system

If we return nuance to the discussion, a hybrid of the two is optimal (possibly one leaning toward free markets...), but if pushed off that rather large hill I prefer the principle underlying democracy... over the principle underlying capitalism.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Democracy, just ask the Chinese.
Agreed. As much as I dislike socialism, I'd rather live in Europe than China.
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:31 PM   #24
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What is "democray?"
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #25
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Note: I don't post here anymore, and I don't intend to return, so don't get too annoyed by my bumping this thread, but I never anticipated such a notable comment from a politician related to a past discussion on this board. So I come back just for a very brief bump.
--

I saw this article and I thought of this discussion and several others I've had here over there years.

There is a anti-democracy vein of thought within the libertarian, free-market community. It gets down to the self vs the community.

Democracy is directly opposed to the self any time you don't like the choices of the majority (some may be good choices, others might be terrible choices).

But this is the first time I've seen a politician pull the rug back on this anti-democracy view, even a little.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.co...r-in-democracy
Rand Paul: ‘I’m Not A Firm Believer In Democracy…It Gave Us Jim Crow’
PERRY STEIN 11:45 AM EDT, MONDAY JUNE 17, 2013

The New Republic's Julia Ioffe has a big profile with quite the cover photo on 2016 hopeful and Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that went online Monday.

Ioffe reports on a little publicized remark Paul made at Simmons College, a historically black college in Louisville, where Paul sat with students and professors.

"I'm not a firm believer in democracy," he said in April. "It gave us Jim Crow."

Here's the quote in its full context:
And rather than try to prove that the Republican Party had been good to blacks once upon a time, he focused on how the Republican Party could be good to them today. He talked about decriminalizing drug offenses and getting rid of the mandatory sentencing minimums that put so many young black men in jail. He talked about fixing the local school system, about not abolishing Pell grants “as long as it’s in the context of spending what you have.” To approving nods, he talked about how urban renewal had really meant “urban destruction” and about how “they tore down a lot of black businesses so people would go to white stores.” He found that this crowd, if not totally convinced, was receptive. Though he would still not give them a definitive answer on his position on the Civil Rights Act, he did say that he believed federal intervention had been justified. “I’m not a firm believer in democracy,” he explained. “It gave us Jim Crow."
In 2010 Paul controversially said that he oppossed certain aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, specifically the provision that prohibits private businesses from excluding anyone on the basis of race. He has since backed away from this comment.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #26
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Representative Repubilc is better than a democracy. We don't need the idiot hordes (aka "Obamavoters") deciding public policy.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #27
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**** off jAZ.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:31 AM   #28
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**** off jAZ.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Representative Repubilc is better than a democracy. We don't need the idiot hordes (aka "Obamavoters") deciding public policy.
I'm pretty sure that Rand Paul was speaking of Representative Republic when he said "democracy" since that's what "Gave Us Jim Crow".

So for the purpose of this discussion, they are interchangeable terms.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:42 AM   #30
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I'm pretty sure that Rand Paul was speaking of Representative Republic when he said "democracy" since that's what "Gave Us Jim Crow".

So for the purpose of this discussion, they are interchangeable terms.
Hey, how about Obama using wiretaps? Remember when you were really bothered about Bush doing it?
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