GuideToACrazyWorld wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:07 pm
Anyone who talked to me much in Disqus (and even some here) knows that I’m not a fan of the right vs left paradigm. It’s not just that it is an inaccurate way to describe political thought, though it is. It’s not just that it often means different things to different people causing confusion, it does. I think the biggest issue with the scale is that it lends itself to people thinking about politics in a binary fashion. You are either of the left or you are of the right, and every one of the other side is the same. It kills conversation.
I wanted to talk were we all stand on economic policy, but I wanted to do so without these issues. I’m going to propose a numeric scale as opposed to a right vs left scale. Any forum with Engineering in the name has to start scales at 0. So this scale goes from 0 to 5, with 0 being a true lasissez faire economy and 5 being a communism or an entirely state owned economy. Filling it the scale it would look something like this
0. Laissez faire
1. US Economics
2. Progressives/Crony Capitalism
Let’s define a few of these tiers and why I put the examples I did here. (note. The names are just examples of economic systems that fit roughly in these categories. They are not meant to imply that they are the only school of fiscal thought that is at this level. For instance, Anarcho-captialisam would also be 0
0. Laissez Faire
This was the easiest one to classify. It is the belief that the market will take care of itself and that any intervention on the part of the government is detrimental. In a lasissez fair economy the consumer is the only balance against wrong doings of companies. In the truest sense this would include contract enforcement, although it unlikely many people truly believe this. There are many different names, and many different ideas for how to consumers should regulate companies, but the lack of government involvement is consistent in this case.
People often assume that libertarians are synonymous with Lasissez faire economics. This is true for some libertarians, but the broad sense libertarians believe that the government has a place in contract enforcement and managing externalizes. This may seem like a small distinction but when you start to think about what externalizes might include it is very different from the Laissez fare crowd. Other ideas might fall into this category if they allow for government involvement but severely limit it
2. The US economy, Republicans and Democrats
Both the DNC and GOP fall into this category. I can feel the seething objections now. The general conception is that the GOP wants less control over the economy and DNC wants less. One might argue the GOP is about 1.9 while the DNC a 2.1 but the differences are small when compared to the totality of economic thought. This is mostly because of our myopic focus on taxation in this country. While the parties differ in the kinds of regulations that should be used to control the economy, they actually agree in the level of government involvement. The GOP focuses on regulations to increase production while the DNC focuses on regulations to increase demand.
3. Progressives/Crony Capitalism
Modern progressivism is generally focused on income inequality. They believe the government should take an active role in regulating wealth distribution. They also believe that profit should be regulated to meet this goal.
Crony capitalists believe in giving clear market advantages to preferred companies. They think that by empowering the production the wealth will “trickle down” to others. While the US economy shows aspects of Crony Capitalism it differs in the level of direct control.
Theoretically, socialism puts the rights to produce into the hands of the people and there are some models of socialism that try to do this through various nongovernmental controls. I would argue that these methods would better fit somewhere around level 1 or 2. Here we are talking about socialism as it has been historically implemented. In which the government regulates most of the rights of production and either takes control of entire industries or only allows “friends of the party” to own companies.
Fascism needs know introduction and we can go down the dead end argument of whether it is of the right or the left, but no one can deny the level of control in a fascist and socialist model are very similar if not identical.
Communism is defined as the government ownership of the rights of production. Ultimately this means the government controls every aspect of the economy. Remove the concept of ownership and replacing it with the idea of use, puts the government firmly in the driver’s seat. Like a true Laissez Faire economy you are unlikely to find many people who truly believe this.
As I wrote this I was really disappointed. I was as honest as I could be here, and while normally I’d argue that Keynesian Economics are of the left, in this chart they would fall right around 2.5 or dead center. I’m sure this will tickle @John B Des Moines. I also wanted to tag him because there is not another person I’d rather have check my work on this. But if anyone disagrees with my classifications please speak up and let’s talk about it. This is only a first run through after all.
So, what now? First I thought it might be fun for us to all post below with where we fall on this scale along with some explanation. You don’t have to label yourself with a particular moment, but you certainly can if you wish. Remember it is okay to discuss the advantages or disadvantages of a given spot on the chart, it’s even acceptable to strongly defend your position, but demonizing others is not acceptable here.