Between Fact and Belief…

Since I have lived the largest part of my life as a scientist I have thoroughly come to believe that when facts clash seriously with beliefs then beliefs need to be modified. I know the current Oval Office occupant doesn’t believe in facts, to him everything he doubts must be fake news and sadly his loyal base blindly accepts that line.  That is one of the scariest things for me about these times. But that is not the main point of this post.  Here are some words to ponder:

They are facts. Nothing more and nothing less. Just facts. It is a fact that people are happier in social democracies. It is a fact that people are richer, wealthier, closer, live longer, saner, better lives, in nearly every regard. There is nothing subjective or unknown about that statement, and so it is not a belief in any way whatsoever. Do you see the difference here — between fact and belief? You might think that I’m splitting hairs — but I think that both the future and the greatest lesson in human history that you probably don’t know lie right here.

I really don’t understand how socialism has gotten such a bad connotation in the US.  I guess it has something to do with Soviet-style communism which was really in no way socialism.  It was just a tyrant trying to take control of a country by selling the populace a defective scheme. Much like Hitler and some during our current times are doing.

Social democracies are quite a different thing and those are the versions of socialism that are around today in much of the world. But, social democracies almost always implies an opposition to the unregulated workings of a capitalist State. Most of the countries referred to by the quote above are Scandinavian or western European.  Poll after poll shows them to have happier, saner and longer lives than we do.

I think we have a thing or two to learn from them.

America’s Form Of Capitalism…

2018-08-24_09-44-00.pngThis post is about the question “Is America’s form of capitalism being pushed aside?” Is the world moving beyond the American definition?  Some might say the Capitalism as it exists in America is “The rich get richer,  and nothing else matters…

“What happens when a society reinvests the gains from industrialization into things like healthcare, education, and so forth? Well, it’s economy changes — radically. You see, the American economy is still 75% consumption — McMansions, SUVs, designer jeans, and so forth. The problem is that 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford those things anymore. But if America had invested in public goods, then the economy would be made less of consumption, and more of investment.

Source: How to Think About the World After Capitalism – Eudaimonia and Co

I like to blame all of our problems on #CO3 but I recognize that our “consumption” problems are ingrained in our capitalist system. The “rich get richer” and “survival of the fittest” is a dominant part of our version.

Our version of capitalism will likely change in the coming years. One path will be divorcing ourselves from the rest of the world. Going it alone. Another path is that our capitalist system may morph into the version practiced by  Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada as cited in the source article.

So, what is the basic difference? These countries practice what some may call social democracy.  They give all their citizens what they see as inalienable rights.  They include healthcare, education, transportation, and retirement. Because these rights are endemic in their version of capitalism they divorce themselves from the “survival of the fittest mentality”. I think we have some things to learn from them in that and many other regards.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office occupant