Socialism: A Broader Explanation

IntroductionThe term “Socialism,” as well as “Communism,” has come to allow the meaning of a broad amount of societies and governments. Loosely, Socialism means government (or public) control of the economy and business to a certain extent. I have met members of various Socialist parties of all nations who have turned this loose definition into something more specific. Some go as far as to postulate that the end of government will be replaced with Democracy, while others devise “free societies” with abolishment of money and making everything free, while still others believe in Participatory Economics and not working if you desire not to (while still receiving the benefits of working, such as pay). Many of these Socialists, though, understand how broad a term “Socialism” is, and have more thoroughly described their idea of the mechanics of their Utopian societies.

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Before addressing the question of rights,Socialism: A Broader Explanation Articles or of the benefits of industrial society, it would be essential that I describe the workings of how I view a good Socialist society and economy. I believe that the public deserves the right to own some capital. It is already true that the government owns and runs some transportation industries (roads), as well as being the greatest competitor of the education industry. Other industries such as sanitation, postal delivery, electricity, water, and other utilities are also regulated, owned, or operated by the government. However, I believe that other industries aso ought to be publicly owned, such as factories that produce electronics or other goods, a very small chain of retail outlets to help distribute goods, and — most importantly — farms to produce food for the starving population. By the public owning these industries, we can set prices, have fair working hours, have fair working conditions, and have decent quality of goods. By private industry owning capital and businesses, these desired economical conditions have rarely occured (as I shall demonstrate with evidence in the next section). As well as public ownership of industry, I believe that private ownership should not be prohibited (within Communism, private ownership of capital and means of production is prohibited). To help promote ethical business procedures within private industry, some Socialists have advocated business regulations: Minimum Wage Laws, Overtime and Minimum Working Hours Laws, Child Labor Laws, safe working conditions lows, among others, which allow private enterprise to act as it desires within certain principle guidelines. Though I do believe in regulation of private industries (with such laws as minimum wage and safe working conditions), I also believe that some industries should be publicly owned (I will delve into detail concerning Regulation versus Ownership later). Though regulation does provide an artificial standard for business to meet, the best standard is provided by companies owned by the public with the specific intention of serving the public — public industry will serve the worker by providing fair wages, good hours, and safe working conditions for honest work; public industry will serve the community and the consumer by providing high quality goods at a low, affordable price. Regulation and public ownership of some capital of most industries is my idea of Socialism, as well as having public businesses providing beyond the requirements of business regulation, and therefore providing natural competition to private enterprise. As to the question of how laws are passed and decisions are made, this is not something I can wholly answer here, though I would lean towards Direct Democracy (Anarchism).

The Plight of the Workers

Is Socialism possible? Is it needed? Is it desirable? These are questions that can only be answered with brute, hard facts. The following is a list of facts concerning the rich, the poor, and everyone concerned…

In 1974, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $125,000 anually (in 1966 dollars); in 1987, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $160,000 anually (in 1966 dollars); and in 1995, the Capitalist class (per household) was making over $200,000 anually (1966 dollars). However, from 1966 to 1995, the middle class have been making little over $25,000 anually (1966 dollars), and from 1966 to 1995, the poor class have been making little over $8,000 anually (1966 dollars) and that figure has remained virtually unchanged for that time period. From 1966 to 1995, the Capitalist class had an increase in over $75,000 (1966 dollars) yet the other classes have not been getting an increase of income at all. [Source: U.S. Census Bureau, historical income and poverty data.]

Roughly 20% of the children in the United States are living in below poverty conditions. [Source: Urban Institute.]

What we find in the United States, in 1980, is that top 1% of the United States of America owns more than 25% of all the wealth in the nation, while the poorest 20% of the nation do not even own 1% of the wealth. [Source: U.S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. Quoted from Contemporary Macroeconomics, by Milton H. Spencer, Worth Publishers, Inc., Fourth Edition, page 45.]

The mining industry made 174.5 billion in 1997 and paid its workers only 20.9 billion — each worker was paid 12% of the wealth they produced. The construction industry made 834.8 billion and paid its workers 171.0 billion — each worker was paid 20% of the wealth they produced. The manufacturing industry made 3,958.1 billion and paids its workers 595.7 billion — each worker was paid 15% of the wealth they produced. The transportation and public utilities industry made 1,143.9 billion and paid its workers 199.7 billion — each worker was paid 17% of the wealth they produced. The wholesale trade industry made 4,235.4 billion and paid its workers 234.5 billion — each worker was paid 5% of the wealth they produced. The retail trade industry made 2,545.9 billion and paids its workers 290.5 billion — each worker was paid 11% of the wealth they produced. The finance, insurance, and real estate industry made 2,474.9 billion and paid its workers 308.2 billion — each worker was paid 12% of the wealth they produced. The services (taxable firms only) industry made 1,843.8 billion and paid its workers 688.9 billion — each worker was paid 37% of the wealth they produced. [Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Comparative Statistics, Core Business Stastitics Series, EC97X-C52, issued June 2000.]

However, if it is true that these workers receive such a small percentage of the wealth they make, then the following must be true: Workers in the mining industry (who receive on average 12% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $40,820.31 per year, or $19.62 per hour. Workers in the construction industry (who receive an average of 20% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $30,716.72 per year, or $14.76 per hour. Workers in the manufacturing industry (who receive an average of 15% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $33,929.48 per year, or $16.31 per hour. Workers in the transportation and public utilities industry (who receive an average of 17% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $35,102.21 per year, or $16.87 per hour. Workers in the wholesale trade industry (who receive an average of 5% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $36,025.37 per year, or $17.31 per hour. Workers in the retail trade industry (who receive an average of 11% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $13,724.90 per year, or $6.59 per hour. Workers in the finance, insurance, and real estate industry (who receive an average of 12% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $42,136.63 per year, or $20.25 per hour. Workers in the services (taxable firms only) industry (who receive an average of 37% of the wealth they make for their employers) make an average of $27,252.51 per year, or $13.10 per hour.

The previous numbers seem inflated, because much of the money on the “payroll” still goes right back into the pocket of the Capitalist. Much of the expenditure on payroll goes to CEOs and other corporate executives, instead of the workers. Robert M. Delvin, for example, is Chairman, President, and CEO of American General Corporation. He is an employee, but in one year, he made $45,024,122. If he worked for the mining industry, where every worker is paid on average $40,820.31 per year, or $19.62 per hour, then that would mean that for him, there are 1,494 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the construction industry, where every worker is paid on average $30,716.72 per year, or $14.76 per hour for full time workers, then that would mean that for him, there are 2,249 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the manufacturing industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 1,940 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the transportation and public utilities industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 1,840 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the wholesale trade industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 1,775 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the retail trade industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 14,900 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the finance, insurance, and real estate industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 1,430 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. If Delvin worked for the services (taxable firms only) industry, then that would mean that for him, there are 2,720 full time workers that are being paid $5.15 per hour. This is, of course, all based on the average wage of workers and figuring in the wage of Delvin (or other high-paid executives).

Delvin is not the only highly paid executive in the United States. Michael D. Capellas, President And CEO of Compaq Computer Corp., made $36,873,239 in one year. Eugene M. Isenberg, Chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries, made $28,562,719 in one year. Archie W. Dunham, Chairman, President, and CEO of Conoco, made $24,960,366 in one year. Chuck Watson, Chairman and CEO of Dynegy, made $23,228,239 in one year. Kenneth Lay, Chairman and CEO of Enron Corp., made $21,189,762 in one year. A. Maurice Myers, Chairman and CEO of Waste Management, made $21,048,991 in one year. William Wise, President and CEO of El Paso Energy Corp., made $20,207,341 in one year. Jon P. Newton, Vice Chairman of American General Corp., made $18,020,000 in one year. Joseph Sutton, Vice Chairman of Enron Corp., made $17,864,387 in one year. Max Watson Jr., Chairman and CEO of BMC Software, made $16,868,901 in one year. Jeffrey Skilling, President and COO of Enron Corp., made $16,748,043 in one year. Charles E. Hurwitz, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Maxxam, made $15,645,237 in one year. Anthony G. Petrello, President and COO of Nabors Industries, made $14,760,659 in one year. Stephen Bergstrom, President and COO of Dynegy, made $14,635,884 in one year. R. L. Waltrip, Chairman and CEO of Service Corporation International, made $14,537,529 in one year. Michael J. Larson, SVP and Group GM – Consumer Group of Compaq Computer Corp., made $14,195,790 in one year. Robert J. Allison, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., made $13,469,615 in one year. John Kelly, President and COO of Crown Castle International Corp., made $12,401,690 in one year. Ted Miller Jr., CEO and Chairman of Crown Castle International Corp., made $11,729,737 in one year. In fact, it is not unusual at all for the average salary of CEOs to be anywhere between $800,000 to $1,000,000 per year, accompanied with a range of options, perks, stock awards, incentives, salary bonus, cash bonus, extra paiments, among other things, it is quite easy to see how some Chief Executive Officers are capable of making millions and millions each year. [Source: The Houston Chronicle.]

Some may argue that the reason why workers receive such a small iota of the wealth and money that they make is because the Capitalist must spend a hefty chunk of money on other forms of non-human capital. However, this is not true. Paying the workers constitutes 45% of the expenditure for Merchant Wholesale industries, 46% of the expenditure for Retail Trade industries, 40% of the expenditure for Lodging industries, 51% of the expenditure for Business Services industries, 51% of the expenditure for Health Services industries, and 52% of the expenditure for Legal Services industries. [Source: Business Expenses, 1997 Economic Census, Company Statistic Series, 1997, Issued December 2000, EC97CS-8, US CENSUS BUREAU, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU.] Half of the expenditure of businesses goes to paying the workers, and the other half goes to other forms of capital (and, if indeed the workers are being paid lower than 10% of wealth they produce, then the non-human capital for these industries is not higher than 10%). The rest is profit, and it goes into the pockets of those who did no work.

The March 16 edition of the New York Times carried a story on union busting by Nike shoe contractors in Indonesia. One worker was “locked in a room at the plant and interrogated for seven days by the military, which demanded to know more about his labor activities.” The October 17 edition of the CBS program 48 Hours had a segment on Nike’s labor rights abuses in Vietnam, including: beatings, sexual harassment and forcing workers to kneel for extended periods with their arms held in the air. On November 3, an article by Australian labor scholar Anita Chan was published in the Washington Post. She described Chinese shoe factories — producing for Nike and other companies — where supervisors submit workers to a military boot camp style of control. On March 14 1997, Reuters had a report on a Nike factory, Pouchen in Dong Nai, forced 56 Vietnamese women workers to run around the factory’s premise, 12 fainted and were taken to the hospital emergency room. In the June ’96 issue of Life Magazine, S

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Military Kit and Life Insurance From Abacus

By agreeing to join the military, one also agrees to take up the many risks that military service comes with. And while risk is an inevitable part of …

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By agreeing to join the military,Military Kit and Life Insurance From Abacus Articles one also agrees to take up the many risks that military service comes with. And while risk is an inevitable part of military life – and indeed life at large – there are various steps one can take to manage the risk. One of the most widely accepted risk management strategies is taking up insurance.

The risky nature of all military undertakings means that military insurance has to be tailored differently from insurance for the general population. Ordinary insurance companies used to have difficulties with military insurance due to the many facets it come with. As it were, the reality of military risk is such that it cannot be adequately covered by the actuarial modeling used in designing the ordinary insurance packages. This creates an obvious need for specialized military insurance. Consequently, a number of companies specializing in military insurance have come up. One of the leading companies that offer such specialized military insurance is Abacus, which is particularly well known for its services to the united Kingdom military.

One of the products for which Abacus is famous is its military life insurance, which is available to members of all units in the armed forces. Through abacus’ military life insurance, soldiers are assured of peace of mind as they undertake their patriotic duties. Thanks to abacus military life insurance, a soldier is for instance assured that his family is well taken care of even should, God forbid, sudden death come upon them. And while the possibility of sudden death is a reality that all soldiers in active duty find themselves having to live with – and which many accept valiantly – the question of the wellbeing of one’s close family upon such an occurrence is an issue that not many soldiers are willing to leave to chance. And apart from such sudden demise, abacus military life insurance also covers you in case you are suddenly diagnosed with a critical illness. The basic workings of this insurance is such that if you meet sudden death your family is paid a given amount of money, and if you are diagnosed with a critical illness, you receive a stated amount of money, which can go a long way to help you put your affairs in order, or put up investments which can provide you with an income if the illness makes it hard for you to work.

Another popular military insurance product from Abacus is the military kit insurance. As it were, a soldier’s military kit is one of the things that a soldier is personally responsible form, meaning that one has to replace the kit which – tends to be rather expensive – should it get damaged or lost. Before the advent of military kit insurance, losing one’s military kit would have been a trully terrible occurrence, as it would possibly mean foregoing several months’ pay and going through a lot of financial distress in order to replace the kit. But thanks to military kit insurance, a soldier can now go through their day to day duties without undue worry of losing their military kit. Abacus military kit is designed with a global focus. This means that it covers your military kit, even should it get damaged or lost while on foreign duty. And the Abacus military kit insurance goes beyond the kit itself, to include cover for your military living accomodation, should it get accidentally damaged. Through the Abacus military kit insurance, you have various coverage options, including the ‘all risks’ options, which can make the loss of your military insurance kit totally painless.

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