Describe your vision of a model economic system, social science homework help

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STUDENT1 (grig):

Question: Describe your vision of a model economic system – is it capitalist, socialist, or somewhere in between? In your answer be sure to compare and contrast the two major economic systems (capitalism and socialism).

Answer: A model economic system in my opinion is mixed in nature. The key to a growing economy in my opinion would be the middle class. To keep a healthy middle class we would have to tax the rich, a much higher percentage. The “carried interest” loop hole allows wealthy individuals to pay less than 20% in taxes on average. Warren Buffet paid around 16% last year much less than his secretary. With the massive income these individual makes it makes you wonder why they are paying such a small percentage. Majority of these individuals take their wealth, their income and invest it into businesses and corporations. While they make millions of dollars, it may never actually hit their bank account; instead it goes into the market helping provide jobs and research. The problem with this is that it is cutting out the middle class completely. They can argue that they helping the market with jobs and research; however they are not contributing the middle class at all. They are also choosing which business and companies they wish to support not proper “survival of the fittest”. If we increase taxes on the wealthy and decrease taxes on the middle class you are allowing the quality of life to improve for the middle class. The money still goes into circulation into the economy but also allowing a healthy market to be created due to the money being distributed evenly due to increase consumer demand. Looking at this situation though is the rich really to blame? They are doing the same thing that the middle class is doing but literally skipping the middle man and in many situations, the products. In my opinion businesses are at fault, the corporations. They need to increase their wages, 2008 caused an excess in workers and allowed workers to compete amongst each other for jobs. People argued they would take a smaller salary then they normally would just to have a paying career. Before 2008 however, there was an excess of jobs compared to workers which made these companies compete with each other for workers offering bonuses and impressive salaries. So I would change our minimal wage to a “Living wage”. Generally this is almost double if not triple the minimal wage. A living wage allows you to support a family of 4 modestly. While the government would have increased revenue this offers the potential to spend more on infrastructure, creating more jobs or even spend on purchasing health care. Personally I am not for government controlled programs due to the lack of competition. Competition in my mind is key when developing effective policies, products, technology, and even better insurance rates. Having these controlled by one entity slows the growth and allows no innovation. I think closing the loopholes in taxes for the wealthy, and creating a living wage would cause exponential growth creating an ideal economy. I would also encourage hourly wages instead of salaries that way everyone is encouraged to be more productive. I personally believe that salaries allow companies to use individuals and pay you less than what you would normally be paid for the amount of work you put into a job, it also creates lack motivation amongst the workforce.

STUDENT 2 (lester):

Question: Chambliss discusses several theories of state power in the reading this week. Identify and describe at least two of those theories. Would you say that the U.S. governance today is characterized more by pluralism or by the concentration of power in the hands of an elite? Provide examples or evidence to support your answer.

Answer: Pluralism is the theory that a huge number of groups, not the people as a whole, govern the United States. Apparently, the federal government is one of the powerful factors that drive income inequality in US particularly in the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C a town which commenced war on poverty about 48 years ago the poor are becoming more poor despite aid from the government. On the other hand, the wealthy are getting more rich because of it. In Washington, D.C top 5% made more than $500,000 on average last year and the bottom 20% made less than $9,500, this is a ratio of 54 to 1.

The gap dropped from 39 to 1 two decades ago. This gap is large compared to other states. Income inequality has increased to levels that have never been experienced in years before the infamous Great Depression. The federal government redistributes wealth down to the struggling American. However, in the year after President Lyndon Johnson talked about poverty in his State of the Union address, there has been a strong crosscurrent that the government is redistributing wealth up specifically in the nation’s capital.

REFERENCES

Pluralism and Liberal Democracy, Richard E. Flatham (2005).

Rajiv Krishnan Kozhikode and Jiatao Li, Political pluralism, public policies, and organizational choices: banking branch expansion in India, 1948–2003, Academy of Management Journal, 55(2), 339-359.

In the Beginning Was the Deed, Williams, Bernard (2005).

STUDENT 3 (jan):

Question: Describe your vision of a model economic system – is it capitalist, socialist, or somewhere in between? In your answer be sure to compare and contrast the two major economic systems (capitalism and socialism).

Answer: When looking at the many different types of political parties, and thus, the many different types of economic models to choose from we have two that really set the bar for the far left side of the spectrum and the far right side of the spectrum. When looking at the idea of socialism it is really quite simple to define, it is basically a group of people allowing the governing body to run everything, meaning citizens in this society are paying up to 90% of their salary in order to have the facilities, healthcare, and businesses keep running efficiently, by the government. Although most people would see this model as insufficient, when looking at how much of a person’s salary goes to taxes, there are many things that are actually quite beneficial of this economic model. For instance, if you were to have to go to the hospital and receive medication, everything would be paid for, there would be no outrageous medical bills, no pharmaceutical’s that cost more money than what most people make in a year, and most importantly no fear of going to the doctor simply because you know you can’t afford it. Although this is a plus side, there are also some downsides, when looking at countries that are full blown socialist we see that not much innovation comes out of these countries, many people’s salaries are not very high, and it seems that the only “rich” members of their societies are those who work in government. We have also seen many cases over the last century where countries that were socialist have become heavily influenced by “dictatorship” as well as mass genocide and war.

On the other hand we have capitalism, capitalism can easily be defined as pretty much the complete opposite of socialism, instead of the government being in control of the economics of the country we instead see a “free market” and one in which there is very little government regulation, when it comes to making laws that restrict and allow companies to do certain things. Although capitalism has been proven to allow countries to thrive and make great advancements (case and point being the United States) there are also many flaws of pure capitalism. Pure capitalism, meaning zero interference from the government, allows companies to take advantage of employees, an example of this would be lowering the amount of money they make per hour or per year, since there would be no government regulation on “minimum wage” companies would be allowed to pay their workers next to nothing and get away with it. A good example of this would be sweat shops located all around the world. Another downside of pure capitalism is that although, yes, it allows new companies to be created and grow, it also allows other companies that are larger to create monopolies in their trade, thus pushing out the smaller businesses and allowing them to charge whatever they want for the product due to the fact that they no longer have any competition.

I believe that the perfect economic model would be one of “democratic socialism.” When looking at the United States right now, that is exactly what it is, it is the mix of capitalism and socialism. I would base my model off of this for several reasons. Firstly, allowing new companies to start and allowing people to use their money where they see fit is how you can help pump money into a countries economy. I do not believe taxing everyone at 60-90% is the way to go, due to the fact that it would deter people from wanting to go into fields where more schooling equates to more money. What I mean by this is, why would I go to school for over 10 years after high school to become a doctor, just so I can be taxed at 80% and see my paycheck become equal to the person who didn’t go to college, but instead went to a trade school and only gets taxed at 25%? It does not seem fair that someone who dedicates their time and attention to going into a very difficult profession would not be compensated accordingly. Another reason I would choose this model is due to the fact that we need to be able to regulate big banks/corporations. In many cases, the government is the voice of the small business owner who is just trying to make a living for them and their family. By putting restrictions on what companies can and can’t do, this allows us to “level the playing field” and allow companies to continue to expand, all the while making sure it is fair to everyone. Another reason I would choose this model is due to the fact that I believe taxes are important. Although I do not believe that overtaxing is good for the economy, I do believe that 10-15% taxes are a necessity. Without the government taxing us things like roads, city workers, sewage, water, and electricity would all be significantly higher to pay for, or in very poor condition. We need to allow government to have some power and some ability to employ people to make sure these basic necessities are taken care of. I am curious to see what my classmates think about my economic plan?

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