In the USA, a typical person has $60000 of debt by the end of their life. Your overall net wealth is very likely to be a negative number, after living to get into debt and perpetually paying it back. Over an entire human lifetime, most people in the richest country the world has ever known, will effectively own nothing and earn less than nothing.
And yet, the idea persists that communism is bad because it means that “you can’t own anything.”
You don’t own anything now.
In case it isn't clear, I put the phrase "you can't own anything" in quote marks there because that's just the clueless argument that people make.
And no, that isn't how communism works. Not at all.
@InvaderXan but all these debts have my name on them at least 🤦♂️
@InvaderXan most money is debt
@InvaderXan could i get a source on that $60,000 number?
@efflorescence ah, it wasn’t showing on my instance. thanks!
@efflorescence @InvaderXan i'm guessing this article is it? https://www.credit.com/blog/americans-are-dying-with-an-average-of-62k-of-debt-168045/
@efflorescence @witziege I was also curious for more information so used a public online search engine on the terms "united states of america average personal debt 60000 death" and this was the first result: https://www.credit.com/blog/americans-are-dying-with-an-average-of-62k-of-debt-168045/
Me dad always told me to never go into debt and honestly I'm lucky AF I never lived somewhere without medicade or I wouldn't had any control over it.
Credit scores, which are used for everything from buying a house to getting a job, literally encourage debt. "Good" credit scores are ones where the person has repeatedly gone into debt and paid it off in a timely manner (which itself is discouraged via those extra fees that come with paying off loans early nowadays).
@InvaderXan Yeah I wish I could convince my family of this reality
I like what you are saying.
@InvaderXan Also: you can own things under communism, as long as it's things you use and need. Owning your house is fine, being a landlord is not.
@jkb It's ridiculous how many people make a point of actively misunderstanding this very basic part of the concept.
@InvaderXan We're used to conflating the notions of private property and individual property, it's understandable that to many people communism sounds like it's about the state seizing all your belongings, not about having people work for themselves as a collective instead of working for the enrichment of stockholders.
As a starting point I usually ask people whether they think they should get pay raises every time their employer gets a net profit
Since so many self-described attempts to implement communism have been disastrously broken, I would hesitate to make or accept blanket statements about what is or is not accepted or permitted under communism.
Regardless, ownership of the means of production is a central question. The vital point which must always be emphasized is that, under capitalism, most people are non-owners. "The Servile State" by Belloc brings that, with its consequences, out very vividly.
@InvaderXan in addition to all this, the word "own" covers such a huge range of factors and nuances and complications about who has what right to which part of what, and when, and who gets to override that and when, and what happens if someone ignores any particular restriction (and what is supposed to happen and whether that then affects anyone's behaviour)
source: several major legislative changes that have been introduced in this province in recent years that deal directly with this problem
@InvaderXan obviously if communism ever "worked" or alternately possessed the capacity to overpower human nature, we'd not be having this conversation.
@neotoy if by communism you just mean that things are collectively owned by the people that use them, than that seems to be a fairly successful model.
if you mean completely propertyless societies then the probably existed for most senses of "property". tho i guess their desirability is a bit less clear.
if you mean state socialism than it was obviously complete garbage, but it "worked" insofar that some people survived it 🤷.
as for the "human nature" argument against communism, it seems to be total gobbledigook. at least i've never seen a sensible description of what they think it
communism demands and what specific human traits contradict that.
it seems to generally come down to some "people are bad, mkay?" nonsense.
I think it could be replace be something like that "you can't be owned by someone else"
@InvaderXan so, I found the article you're referencing and it looks like it's about debt, *not* about net wealth. for example, if you have a mortgage, that gets counted against you even though the mortgage debt is (hopefully) less than the value of your house.
@InvaderXan according to https://www.marketwatch.com/story/whats-your-net-worth-and-how-do-you-compare-to-others-2018-09-24, the median net worth (i.e., assets minus debts) at retirement age is about $250k
@hierarchon @InvaderXan Thanks for this; that was exactly what I was wondering. So it's completely inaccurate to say that people die with less than nothing; the median person dies with a net of a couple hundred thousand dollars to pass on.
HOWEVER, there are *huge* (like factor of 10) racial discrepancies in net worth. This is one of the enduring legacies of slavery — stolen labor from the past is compounded over time — and a convincing argument for reparations.
@InvaderXan Very interesting. Where do you find this number? Do you know how it is in other rich countries?
@InvaderXan debtors of the world unite
Not that i don't believe you. Just in case i repost.
the biggest problem here which i see as an outsider is that some people have no idea about anything else but: communism and free market
Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.