First of all, you have given me ZIP, ZERO, NADA, NO "data" or "examples."
Well then you may want to look through some of the posts on here. But the same goes for you.
I'll give you some examples and data:
62% of Americans agreed that "The economy is not good for the middle class and working people. Jobs are scarce, incomes stagnant, and benefits being cut back" this was in May 2006 at a time when unemployment was under 5%. This study was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
Now, to the actual data that gets into some detail why 62% of Americans thought so:
In 2006, even though the GDP grew by about 3%, for the vast majority of Americans, wages and salaries declined and economic life became less secure. Layoffs accelerated & Health Insurance costs were shifted onto employees more and more. The notable gains went to the top 10% of Americans and even in that percentage, it mostly went to the top 1%.
Since 2000, median income (with adjustment to inflation) has fallen by 5.4% for all families of working age, despite GDP growth of more than 18%.
NAFTA shifted jobs south of the Border and left thousands of Americans unemployed.
As an overall summary, the Middle, Lower and Lower Upper class struggle to maintain their lifestyle. I have given statistics & numbers of the increase of the average hours worked, but I'll give it again.
From 1979 to 2000, the number of hours worked by married couples increased by several hundred hours a year. Obviously, most of this was in the form of hours worked by wives. Working-class men started to pick up 2nd & 3rd jobs, just to maintain their middle class standing. Think about the fact that if these family members would not have worked extra, the decrease in income would be a lot more severe.
And since we all care about the rich too, I'll give an example of how they were affected:
The hands-off policies about Hedge Funds have cost many Americans millions of dollars. The Hedge Funds contract was subject to change while investors had their money locked away. The Hedge Funds percentage of reimbursement, any kind of risk insurance, etc. was all subject to change and there were no laws regulating this. This is how Berny Madeoff made all his money, and now people are crying big tears about it.
I got more of any of the above if you want it, dbl, but I think it's your time to give me some data and statistics of the problems mentioned above were because of government interference.
You might want to add a dictionary to that history book kiddo...
Once again, a glorious try to distort the subject at hand.
If you want actual DATA, our GDP growth (prior to this current mess) was ALWAYS about DOUBLE that of Western European nations including the UK!
And our percentage of the world's GDP is greater than any other nation on earth! Hell, our percentage of GDP is nearly DOUBLE that of China's, and they have a BILLION more people than America does.
And GDP per-capita for Europe has been consistently 30+/- lower than that of America.
I have given you my response to this above. GDP growth does nothing to guarantee average Americans a comfortable lifestyle & the freedoms and rights they used to have at their place of work, as NAFTA very well has proven.
And all of this DESPITE the fact that the federal government has a strangle hold on the private sector through MASSIVE regulatory intrusions into it.
If we actually practiced REAL free market capitalism our productivity could easily be quadruple that of any European nation and the EU as a whole.
Germany's economy is the 4th largest in the world, even though the population of Germany is just a little more than a quarter of the US population. Germany is also World Champion in exporting. And all this while Germany is one of the countries with the highest wages.
Free market capitalism (which will, of necessity, include competition) works just fine when it is allowed to operate free of the false and destructive inputs of government intrusion.
Free market capitalism enables greed and exploitation to take place. It is just as prone to human nature as everything else. While a free market may be able to provide certain benefits to the people due to competition, competition will not regulate things like environmental damage, etc.
The "examples" of the statement above are all around you bubbles. Every industry that the government has gotten excessively involved in (in ever more unconstitutional ways) has ultimately suffered. Automotive, manufacturing, medical, financial, all industries HEAVILY regulated by the Federal government.
They are regulated because they need to be regulated, if they weren't citizens and the environment would suffer. It is just a cheap trick to try to get a huge amount of profit out of the customers and then trying to blame it on government intervention. But you're still falling for it.
I would also like some statistics and examples here, please.
Then there are the (what should be private sector) businesses that the Federal government directly "runs" like Social Security, which is broke; Medicare, which is broke; Medicaid, which is broke. Then there's those "businesses" (formerly owned by the government in one case) which have government-granted monopolies like the USPS and Amtrak... both broke.
I think the President made a very good point about this in his speech tonight. Medicaid was designed to provide the rich with some peace of mind and financial security. The same goes for Social Security. It provided something that no private industry provided. Medicaid, Social Security & the Post office do not need to make a profit, they simply need to self sustain.
What would happen if you privatized these? Just like regular health insurance, Medical coverage for seniors would go up, coverage would be denied and senior citizens would have to work in their golden years just to get some medical coverage.
Social Security simply CANNOT be privatized. It's impossible.
As for the post office, they have been losing money largely because of the internet. Again, these guys are not in for profit, they're just there to exist and self sustain.
So I would submit that should actually take your "economic competition may work beautifully, but only to an extent," statement (which is also inaccurate and untrue), and make a substitution... so that it now reads:
"A socialist economy may seem to work out beautifully, but only to an extent, and only for a limited time, in direct proportion to the level the economy has been socialized."
You just can't get it into your thick head that just because it's not free-market capitalism it doesn’t have to be Socialism, can you? Seeing this, I advise you to explore different governments & Economies throughout the world, or maybe open a newspaper, dictionary, etc.
And now, I forgot to address that first little gem you tossed off: "History books teach us that Human nature needs to be controlled."
Yes... indeed they do teach us this. But HOW to control human nature (to the degree that it actually can be controlled) is the key thing here.
By only controlling human nature in the government and letting human nature go nuts in the private sector? Get a grip on reality! No kind of competition is going to control this greed & exploitation in the private sector.
But while I'm on the subject, I guess you'd think that the "Pure Food & Drug Act" was also just a government takeover of the private sector, huh?
And we have seen every manifestation of how this control could be accomplished or not in the form of countless religions and government and economic systems over the thousands of years that mankind has been at this "civilization" thing, from small groups of hunter-gatherers to entire empires.
Yes, and the last ~50 years have shown that the American system does not work.
I would put free-market capitalism in the framework of a constitutional republic and rule of law as at the very pinnacle of mankind's most revolutionary and successful creations.
Big Ayn Rand fan there, dbl?
I would do the same thing, but I would also add that there are always such creations to be added and previous creations to be perfected, free-market capitalism being one of them.
It has proved to be the very best system for harnessing human nature in constructive ways to better the whole of society.
As the statistics way above have shown you, of course. Decline of middle class income, less medical coverage… yes, it's proven to be pretty good.
Under the rule of law (when it is actually enforced by government), greed is constructively channeled and punished by market forces when free competition is actually allowed.
That may be true but when everybody is greedy, there is only a certain low competition will drive corporations to. Not to mention such things like Environmental Regulations, Quality regulations, Consumer Protection programs and worker's right would not be improved by competition.
This system has consistently proven to be the most efficient, effective and just means of utilizing scarce resources with alternative uses. It rewards hard work, initiative, creativity, ingenuity, perseverance and personal industry.
Not in the last couple of years it hasn't. Nowadays, it rewards greed & exploitation. Provide a good that you know everybody needs, then raise the prices. Prime example, Gas, College tuition and medical coverage.
Only when you introduce crony-capitalism, socialism and other false inputs from extra-constitutional intrusions into the private sector do you begin to pile up ever more destructive unintended consequences on the marketplace as a whole.
As the prime example of Germany's economy and other European economies truly show.
YOU on the other hand believe that GOVERNMENT should have a wider role in the economy and free markets. Somehow you miss entirely that the government, like free markets, are comprised of PEOPLE!!! And it is PEOPLE who are the source of, and subject to, HUMAN NATURE!!!
Those PEOPLE in the government are here to protect the citizens of its country and that's what they're elected to do. If they don't provide for the well being of their citizens, they will only serve 1 term, be impeached, whatever.
However, YOU on the other hand think that the PEOPLE in the private sector should be competing with such other PEOPLE who will all be driven by human nature while these PEOPLE in the government stand by and watch how the lower & middle class of their country is sliding farther downhill. I applaud you for that, dbl.
You think politicians aren't GREEDY?!?! You think they don't lust for power and wealth?!?! You think that they are free of all the foibles of human nature?
Last time I checked, putting restrictions on the Private Sector did not benefit a Congressman or the President in any kind of way except for re-election. They gain no significant power over the private sector by imposing certain laws to protect the consumer and the average American.
If you can, please prove me otherwise.
At least in the private sector, you don't have to do business with anyone you don't really want to (provided the government hasn't set up a monopoly). At least the private sector has to PRODUCE something that a consumer considers desirable enough to voluntarily spend their money on it.
I have given you this list before and I'll give it again:
Did you purchase gas because you WANTED to or because you had to because there is not public transportation where you live and you NEED to drive your car to work?
Did you purchase that college education because you WANTED to or because you NEED to get a College education nowadays to make something of your life?
Did you purchase that medical insurance because you WANTED to or because you NEEDED to in case something happens to you or your family?
Those are all necessary assets one should have nowadays, at least for the majority of Americans. This list goes on also.
But when government takes the reigns, they DON'T have to please you, produce something you'd consider valuable, or produce a profit. And the government has all the artillery with which to enforce their dictates!
NOBODY wants the government to take the reins, nobody. Simply all one could expect from the government is a little more to ensure those slipping average Americans that they are safe at their work place and that they do NOT need to be working extra hours to pay for that College education of their children or the medical coverage for their family.
Of the two, I'll take the free market please.
Of the two, you have one completely twisted to fit your beliefs.
And as for the bit I highlighted above -
You gotta be kidding, right?
I'm a boomer kiddo... and I know that is FLAT OUT WRONG!!!
I bet you really remember how it was before the war and how it was after the war, that's just irrelevant information that does nothing to your case. Look at the economic trends of the AMERICAN CITIZENS not the American economy, and you'll see what I mean.
Looking forward to your answer, dbl, if I'm worthy to receive one.