Every social or economic theory we tried fails for the same reason: it fails to account sufficiently for some aspect of human nature

The central failings of capitalism are no different. It fails to account for power-seeking behaviors (like willingness to manipulate), and for immediacy biases (it rewards short-term thinking, in other words)

Incidentally, if your gut response to this is “exactly, but theory/system X solves all those problems”? Sorry, but you’re making the same error. There is no system we can plan that will work around human nature. The ultimate solution to bettering society is people and communities learning and growing together

You want more socialism or whatever, cool; if there are ideas or tools we can implement to make improvements I’m all for it! But understand that just switching to a different system doesn’t solve the underlying problems

"The devil is in the details."

This is always the answer to these broad ideological conflicts, as far as I'm concerned.

Want federal health insurance or health care? It can work. But it all depends on implementation. Want it private? Likewise.

Want to go from income tax to sales tax (or VAT?) Sure. If the details work out -- TX government is all sales/franchise tax funded, and it works. Exemptions avoid the main fault of regressive taxation that people worry about.


I do think that sometimes it's easier to make broad sweeping changes in one go than it is to keep chipping away at the system we have.

I see that as the main advantage to, say, "Medicare for All" for the US. It's harder for special interests to put a stick in the spokes, than it is if your approach is to reform the "ACA" approach instead.

But whether it's the ACA or Medicare, it'll still need a massive overhaul to actually work.

@TerryHancock I’m not even really opposed to changing the underlying system. What worries me is people thinking things like “if we just replaced capitalism with socialism/communism/whatever, we’d solve everything”

Nope. People will still exploit others. You still have a never-ending effort in front of you to work toward the asymptote of a just and equitable society. We’ll have many of the same problems, and some novel ones.

@TerryHancock Take single-payer health systems. Great idea, I’m behind certain versions of it. But single-payer systems don’t magically solve (and in some cases exacerbate) all the issues of care access, systemic bias, exploitation of care workers, etc.

And it introduces new problems like being able to deny politically unpopular treatments without banning them by simply refusing to establish payment criteria. Doesn’t mean don’t do it! But imagining any such solution to be a panacea leads to bad ideas and outcomes


USPol (a little bit) 


Yeah. Though I think the examples of single-payer health systems in other countries show that, in general, they succeed better than our privatized system -- better results for less cost.

We could still screw it up, of course. But I think it's a good strategic move. If we could make it happen.

But our biggest problem in the US is the dysfunction of Congress and election finance (=bribes). If you can't fix that, it's really hard to get anything else done.

· · Web · 1 · 0 · 0

USPol (a little bit) 

@TerryHancock agreed, decision making processes are really hard

With things like single-payer, one of the underlying issues with having the conversation in the US is this cultural thing that combines utopian fallacy (X is not ideal, so we shouldn’t do anything) with “for us or against us” social models

Like, in general people really struggle with positions like “single-payer health care would be an improvement, but it also has some significant problems I’d like to see at least somewhat addressed in plans to go that way”

It’s like people think pointing out problems with a complex plan means you’re opposed to the idea in general, and so much effort is wasted on “no, this idea is perfect and if you have any criticism, no matter how constructive, I need to punish you”. It’s maddening.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Mastodon.ART — Your friendly creative home on the Fediverse! Interact with friends and discover new ones, all on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free. Admin: @Curator. Currently active moderators: @ScribbleAddict, @TapiocaPearl, @Otherbuttons, @Eyeling, @ljwrites