I ran across an online quiz today that claims it can identify if you tend to be more of a socialist or capitalist. I think I am more of a capitalist than a socialist, despite my score (below the fold) so I think this quiz just used the wrong statements or made the statements too black-and-white for a realist, such as myself, to answer in any way other than "gee, that depends upon the circumstances, so therefore, I will disagree with this statement as written."
What were your scores and what did you think of the way the statements were written?
|You Are 24% Capitalist, 76% Socialist|
You tend to be quite wary of businesses, especially big business.
While you know that corporations have their place, you tend to support small, locally owned shops.
As far as the rich go, you think they're usually corrupt and immoral.
I'm 28% capitalist, but most questions are liberal/libertarian, not socialist/capitalist. It's easy to score a 0% while thinking Chomsky's economics makes less sense than Hayek's. For example, one of the most common elements of socialism, all the way right to social democracy, is nationalization of industry; any self-respecting quiz should ask about that. For another example, socialists and even some Keynesian liberals support deficit spending, whereas most social liberals today support balancing the budget; again, the quiz does not ask about that.
My quick run through, I got 12/88 capitalist/"socialist". I wonder which questions I got wrong? [g]
I think it's a strange dichotomy they're setting up with the list of questions. There are several questions about individual/personal rights and responsibilities which don't seem to have much to do with either capitalism or socialism.
The quiz thinks I am 100% socialist. Clearly its worldview is limited and warped :-) . I have roughly the same complaints about as Alon Levy. In addition, I think the quizes questions are a better guide for distinguishing libertarians from non-libertarians, rather than about capitalism per se. (on the other hand, capitalism and libertarianism overlap - it's difficult for me to imagine a non-capitalist libertarian, although capitalist non-libertarians seem common.)
Wake me when the free market shows up, because I haven't seen it yet. Milk price supports, subsidies for the oil industry, and let's not forget Wal-Mart hitting up the government to pay employees' health care. The "free market" is a load of crap.
Hey, I'm only 68% capitalist! I must be doing something wrong!
The "free market" is a load of crap.
I tend to think of it as akin to the physics concept of a perfect vacuum. It's useful for pedagogical descriptions, and writing class exercises that can teach something but are simple enough for beginners. However it doesn't exist in nature, and producing close approximations down here on earth requires substantial resources, even if the volume is quite small.
However ... unlike the notion of a perfect vacuum, the notion of a free market has been used to manipulatively market a great deal of logically unrelated psychology woo, and a lot of logically unrelated political nonsense. And I think much of it has been harmful. The use of the concept of a free market to market various political and social ideologies is also in some was similar to the way 'quantum' and 'energy' concepts have been used to market altie beliefs and certain modern religions.
I agree that the 'free market' is an abstraction, kind of like the 2 commodity economies that you learn supply and demand from in Econ 101. The market part is important, though. Without it, you need someone omniscient to plan production. 'Free' is a matter of degree, and should reflect a trade off between efficiency and raw power, in my opinion. But failures of free markets have to be compared to what the alternatives are.