Saturday, 06 May 2017 20:15

We need a robust mixed economy in the world

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CAPITALISM ENCOURAGES COMPETITION; SOCIALISM ENCOURAGES COOPERATION; COMBINE THEM

Ebiega Michael Idoko, here is my reasoning for saying that scientific ideas are often used to justify oppressive social theories.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

The capitalist economy embraces competition; the underlying premise is that the fittest competitors survive and the weak die off. This is Charles Darwin (Origin of species, 1859) and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)'s evolution theory at work. Thus, you see the correlation of so-called objective science and social approaches. Capitalism and evolution theory rationalizes man's oppression of man.

The socialist economy encourages folks to cooperate and leave no one behind.  Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, in the Communist Manifesto (1848), said: "from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs". This recognizes differences in people's skills and encourages folks to put their different skills to work and use the product of their skills to serve all the people's needs.

Capitalism and socialism are either or propositions. I say: how about if we combine both and take what is good in each and use both of their strengths to construct a better society.

Clearly, capitalism has positive aspects to it; it asks people to pursue their self-interests and, as Adam Smith pointed out in his seminal book, The Wealth of Nations (1776), when people work for their self-interests they tend to work hard and produce maximally.

If a person is doing what he has aptitude for doing, likes doing and believes serves his interests he tends to put out incredible energy to doing it. In effect, capitalism unleashes people's creative energy and probably is the most productive economic system in the world.

Capitalism is probably the best way to allocate resources to where they are most productively used (the blind hand of the market, supply and demand, distributes resources to where they are best productively used).

If in doubt take a look at Americans capitalist economy; clearly it is very productive. Yet, capitalism has its draw backs.

Serving individual interests and not caring for the losers in society breeds social problems. See, America does not care for the masses but when wars come it conscripts the masses it ignored to go fight for the benefit of the rich.  It does not provide health care and education for the children of the poor and when it brings war along the children of the poor are conscripted to go fight to protect the wealth of the powerful. Is this morally right behavior, use the poor but do not care for their material needs?

The poor, although generally of low intelligence hence easily used by the Machiavellian rich, are becoming aware of the fact that the rich use and discard them like scrap iron so that when there is another general war  (world war three) America's poor will not allow themselves to be used as cannon fodder to go die for the rich.

If there is another general war America is kaput, dead in the waters. In fact, I can predict that in twenty years America will become like Greece, debt ridden and China will come in and rescue it and colonize it. And why is China able to do so? It is because it combines capitalism and socialism.

The dumb one, Donald Trump just proposed massive tax cuts for the rich. How is he going to then finance the government, pay for the increases in the military he is figuring on building, if he does not have the rich pay taxes? He hopes to grow the economy and a buoyant economy, an economy growing at 5% rate, he thinks, will pay for the deficit finance he is in the meantime going to generate? Economic trends tell us that if he grows the US economy at 3% he is doing fine; 5% is a pie in the sky.

The US already owes over $19 trillion dollars. Trump's first term in office will probably increase it to $25 trillion dollars; which is the maximum the economy can have and still remain afloat; during his second term, if Americans are so stupid as to reelect him, the deficit will grow larger and the US economy will collapse, as was the case in Spain and Greece. The USA is on a fast track to decline and fall; only a robust mixed economy will stave off the anticipated imminent collapse.

As they say, empires come and empires go, so it would not be unprecedented if another empire bites the dust; a replacement empire, China, is already on the horizon.

If dumb Trump's tax cuts are implemented, at least, five trillion dollars in tax revenue will not be collected over a ten years' period.

If the trajectory of the US budget remains constant, it means that America will have to borrow five trillion dollars to finance its governmental operations (recurrent and capital expenditures).

Who is the US going to borrow money from? From China and Japan, of course!

The dumb Trump, responding to his dumb racist audience, seems a divine plan to collapse this oppressive country (and the dumb racists don't even know what is coming to them!).

In a mixed capitalist, socialist economy what is good in either economic system is taken and combined with the other.

Americans embraced capitalism and ignored the fact that human beings are not only competitive but also cooperative.

Americans embrace the big bang hypothesis and Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of animals' because those hypotheses justify competition where a few are selected to live well and the many to live badly and then die out.

I believe that nature means for most of us to survive; for us to do so the strong must help the weak to survive.

To Cain's question: am I my brother's keeper, my answer is a resolute yes.

Socialism teaches us to help one another.

I am aware that socialism has loads of problems. Socialism often leads to planned economy where a few persons tell other persons what to do and produce and that stifles creativity and productivity. People must be left alone to do what they want to do, to pursue their self-interests provided that we tax them and use the money to help the poor in our midst.

Soviet socialism killed the incentive to work hard and the result was the collapse of the USSR.

I believe that every person must pay at least 20% of his income to taxes and we use that money to provide certain collective, public goods, such as give all people publicly paid health insurance, pay for all peoples education through university and take care of children and the elderly (those over age 80, no one should retire from work before age 80...those who do physical work can be retrained after age fifty-five to do softer work, but work they must until age 80) and then leave individuals to fend and shift for themselves.

CONCLUSION

I recognize that what I said here is in the nature of political ideology; it delineates my political and economic beliefs (I believe in a combination of capitalism and socialism), so be it. I do not apologize for believing in what makes sense to me.  Make of it what you like but here I stand.

As Polonius told his son, Horatio, in Shakespeare's Hamlet, one must be truthful to one's self. If one is truthful to one's beliefs one lives well but if one denies ones truth one lives like a living dead person and, perhaps, seeks refuge in alcohol, drugs, over eating and addiction to sex.

Of course, you do not have to agree with my political and economic ideology; if yours is different  and you believe that it is better please show me how so in writing!

Cheers,

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

May 6, 2017

www.centerformindscience.org

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176