The economy in the United States is in a collapse.  The Capitalist system does not work anymore; banks have become more powerful than our politicians.  The government now has a policy based around Fear and Greed.  The rich are getting richer and more powerful, while the great masses of America wallow in poverty.

Must we continue to exist in this passive state, only living to serve the rich and powerful?  Or do we, the great masses, stand up against the policies Fear, and Greed, and God?  We must break the bonds that separate us, we must pull down the centers of Greed and Fear and we must pull down the houses of God.  These borders are created to separate us into individuals where we can be controlled easier.

We must stand up, against the tyranny of the centers of Greed, and Fear, and God.  Quoting John Adams:  "People should not fear government, government should fear people."  Once we stand up to Fear, to Greed, to God, we will become united!

This being said, I advocate the collapse of the Capitalist system and the foundation of the United Socialist Federal Republic, in which the government will exist to serve the people.  Capitalism is Dead.  We must put it out of it's misery and move on toward Socialism.

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Fair enough. It depends to a large extent on what industry you hope to enter. When I was in my late 20s I hired a number of people to work for me in my group, and before the interviews we were coached by HR how to avoid asking questions that could be interpreted as trying to determine the applicant's age. Definitely it was something that we would guess at anyway, and some managers in my company were uncomfortable hiring people only a few years older.

Where I now live in Japan, OTOH, employers do not have to hide their discriminatory practices. Want ads include age ranges and I've been told to my face that I was too old for a job (even when I was in my early 30s). Fortunately you will not have to confront anything like that.
It depends to a large extent on what industry you hope to enter.

And even that can be a crap shoot. My wife aimed for a field that had been traditionally recession proof. Not this time, though.

And when certain fields are in high demand, one has to cross their fingers that by the time they finish studying and getting a degree for that field that it still has that demand. Think of a person graduating with a computer science degree right as the dot com bubble burst. Yikes!

Want ads include age ranges and I've been told to my face that I was too old for a job (even when I was in my early 30s). Fortunately you will not have to confront anything like that.

Wow. Well, I guess it does depend on the industry. Peak earning years for Americans are from 35-55 years of age. At 33, I'm one of the younger people in my company. I can't imagine being turned down for a job based on my age at the moment.
Hi Andrew,

Before I reply, I was wondering if you knew your avatar is a symbol for Islam (moon and star). Islamists also advocate the collapse of the capitalist system.

The first thing about your opinion piece that leaps to my mind is: Without a capitalist system, how are we going to provide for a world-wide population approaching 7-billion people. True, the U.S. is a small part of that number but the world depends on our agriculture production. What will we replace capitalism with?

As far as I know, nobody has ever advanced a viable alternative system since the abject failure of the Communist revolution. I simply don't believe there IS a viable alternative.

Capitalism may suck big time . . . but if it's the best available system, it would be foolish to discard it for any other alternative -- until something better actually comes along.
My Avatar is an Atheist Symbol, not the moon and star. That one, which you are referring to, is a sideways crescent moon, with a small 5 pointed star.

The Communist Revolution failed, because it's leaders became greedy. Greedy of the power that they held, Greedy over the seer land size of their Republic. Power corrupted Stalin and everyone who came afterwards.

Socialism, however, has never been achieved, to it's full extent. Ever since the 1950s America has been on the track to ridding the world of all Socialistic advances. The United States has been launching its largest imperialistic project in its history: the whole world must become Capitalist, or the United States will force them to.

Socialism will work, it's just the United States propaganda against Socialism that is blinding the people. Take United States politics, for example. What do you hear more? The Average citizen who wants the best for his country, and the best being anything? Or do you hear the loud, Christians Tea-Bagger who wants what HE wants and anything else is treason?
Socialism doesn't have a threshold for achievement; it's a matter of degrees. Capitalism has been around since the earliest trade routes. Socialism is comparatively new. So far, its more extreme manifestations (Communism) have utterly failed.

I believe in social safety nets for those who need it. I also believe in merit. Competition drives markets as well as personal ambitions. Take away the competition and everything will fall apart . . . unless you know of something better.

But then again, you still haven't told me how any alternative(s) would be better. If you can't answer that question, you really need to think through your political ideology. How, exactly, will a socialist system maintain, improve or replace productivity?
In the Socialist system, Everyone will work for everyone's benefit. Everyone will work.

In a Capitalist Society, you have people who abuse the system, because the system is flawed. Some have or adopt multiple children just to collect the money that goes along with it. They don't work, they have no dreams in life, they are simply people who just exist. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562449457235503.html
"Twenty-three of the 30 largest states, which account for more than 88% of the nation's total population, see welfare caseloads above year-ago levels, according to a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and the National Conference of State Legislatures."

88% of the people in America are on welfare; not all of them can be cripples. Why don't these people go and work? In a Capitalist society the people in power don't care about them. They don't care about you, or me, or bob, or the 88% of people on welfare, because they only care about the money they make.

In a Socialist society, everyone will work. Imagine welfare at 0.1% or 0.2%, even less than that. Imagine the higher levels of productivity. Everyone will work. Even the elderly or those who are disabled, they can do something. Children will go through school up to and through college. In High school and College they will contribute to the working social good. If you contribute to the social good, then the social good will contribute to you. We will go back to the Jamestown idea, "If you do not work, you do not eat".
88% of the nation live in those 23 (or 30) states - not 88% are on welfare.

What will you do with the people who don't want to work?

What will you do with people whose 'work' does not contribute to productivity, such as philosophers or artists? (I'm certainly not denigrating artists or philosophers - they have valuable contributions to make, but much of their work is difficult to objectively measure in terms of productivity.)

Also, your idea is now mutating away from "Everyone eats, everyone has shelter, everyone has education" into "Those who contribute get food, shelter and education". Sounds suspiciously similar to the Soviet doctine.

You also haven't answered AE's question about how you will drive productivity - it is not simply a matter of everyone working. There must also be a catalyst for improvement - where will that come from?
Everyone will work, thus it will drive productivity. Productivity: Economics. The rate at which goods or services are produced especially output per unit of labor.

If everyone works then the output per unit of labor of goods or services will increase.

America needs a better work ethic, and in the first years of the Socialist Republic it will be a hard push toward creating a better work ethic, and so drastic steps must be taken to improve our working. Afterwards we will begin to settle down into a better Socialist Republic.

If I may Matt, it seems you care deeply about this subject.
You do, of course, live in a Socialistic country or one at least which is partly Socialistic, much more than this country. The amount of time that you have lived in your country it has always been more open, correct?
Was there ever a time where there a change in your government? I would guess not.
You've lived in your open country as it is for a long time, therefore you would not know of the true processes it takes to change the government, and to change the hearts and minds of the people. In effect, I am trying to create a country from scratch with this idea. Your comments are against such an idea.
I'm in high school and I am trying to change and fix the country I live in. I am trying to open my country up, trying to make America humble, not so arrogant anymore.
Your comments are either giving me a test in a sense--such as if I cannot stand your comments then how will I stand up to the Capitalists--or you are opposed to the hardcore ideas that will occupy the early years of the Socialist Federal Republic (do keep in mind that the country will not be that hardcore forever) because, simply you did not have to experience it.
Am I correct so far?
Matt, if you are opposed to this idea of the Socialist Federal Republic, then propose something different, because so far you have only given critic without offering other possibilities of different scenarios that might play out.
The choice is yours.
Andrew
Your labor equation is wrong:
100 people produce 100 units in 1 hour then each unit is 1 man-hour, yes?

So if we simply add more people to the mix:
250,000,000 people produce 250,000,000 units in one hour = each unit is 1 man-hour = 0 productivity gain.

You have increased production, not productivity. To gain productivity you need to reduce the amount of time it takes for each unit - that is not done by simply throwing people at the task. It requires innovation and improvement in technique. AE is asking how you will go about driving productivity through innovation, when there would be zero impetus to do so.

Now to some of what you asked me.

My country, for some time now, has been in the process of deciding whether to change to a democratic republic or remain a parliamentary democracy ultimately beholden to the monarch of England. I would guess that this is more discussion about governmental change than has gone on in your country within your lifetime.

We completely changed how our legislature is composed and selected 15 years ago. I would guess that this is more change than has occurred in your country's electoral system in your lifetime.

I would guess I know more about what is involved in changing a government than you have assumed.

But we aren't talking about a change in government, are we? Socialism and capitalism are about socioeconomics - not government.

Please don't take my criticisms too harshly. For the most part I have been
trying to ask questions in an attempt to get you really thinking about the specifics of your proposal. Unfortunately you always seem to come back with generalisms and over-estimations of human capabilities. To achieve an enlightened society would require enlightened citizens - that is not something that you can legislate for, or force through a change in economic policy. As for what I would propose, that's a little harder. I have always liked Henry Ford's idea that workers should be paid enough to be able to afford whatever it is they make.

I'm in favour of workers owning part of the company in which they work.

I'm in favour of competition with sensible limits (such as those that might be regulated by a government that serves the interests of its citizens, rather than one that serves the interests of the richest citizens).

I'm in favour of, at minimum, subsistence level welfare for everyone regardless of any factors, with those who won't work given less than those who cannot.

I'm in favor of well-funded public education including higher education for those that are both capable and willing.

I'm in favour of well-funded public healthcare for everyone.

I'm in favour of whatever taxation is required to achieve these things, with lower incomes taxed at much lower rates than higher incomes.

I'm in favour of limited-term compulsory civil service - whether that be a tour in the military, serving an apprenticeship, or working in the state-sector for a certain period of time.

I'm for education in civics and critical thinking at ALL levels of schooling.

The two bugbears that I have with modern democracies, such as yours and mine, is the promotion of a class of professional politicians and legislators, as well as how money has become a commodity in its own right as opposed to simply the medium of exchange FOR commodities. I do not have simple answers for these two issues, but I'd be more than willing to explore them.

Mr LaFont - what I want from you are specifics. Do you have a model for how you would achieve your Socialist Republic? Do you have an action plan (hypothetical or otherwise)? What parts of the current systems do you like and would keep?
If Obama does manage to achieve that growth rate then he should be reelected because his Republican opponents have advocated policies that would've made the output gap even larger. (I'm ignoring the possibility that he will not receive the Democratic nomination.)
Do you have a model for how you would achieve your Socialist Republic?
No, not really. I have not come across such a model in my studies. There probably is one, I just have not found it yet.

Do you have an action plan (hypothetical or otherwise)?
Yes. A revolution will come about, backed by other countries, and we will have to take over the government.

What parts of the current systems do you like and would keep? None. I will do a complete tear down and restructuring of the government.
@Adriana
We will be forced into a violent revolution, because the rich will never allow anything that threatens their own interests, and that interest is to make as much money as possible, while screwing everyone over.

Which countries will participate? Those who are more socialistic, and dislike the current government; so, many countries. Though they will try to take over the new government afterwards, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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