Lazerus wrote:It's not a matter of OK or not but of various levels of suck. When you go through the industrial revolution, you're not going to get everything right on the first iteration. Heck, a century from now, our current "enlightened" work practices will likely horrify the great grandkids. So you look to improve but you look to do it in a sustainable way. Socialism isn't sustainable.
If you run a factory and a finger gets mashed, you lose production, you lose money. Factory workers aren't productive on day 1. It can take a year of work before you really start making money on them so they have incentives to get things safer because they want to maximize profit. Those that do not do that eventually fall behind those that do. It's an education process all around and it took some time to get it right (work is ongoing). Unionism was one response and, in the private sector, has largely done its job. Companies work hard so their workers don't need an adversarial union to get a safe workplace with decent compensation because unions come with long-term costs that never go away (rigidity in work rules for instance). Socialism, unlike unionism, was never a sustainable response because it fails at job #1 of any economic system which is to set prices. If you can't do that, you'll wreck the economy.
To the extent that soft socialism allows a parallel private economy to exist, socialism can blindly imitate the private price setters and get away with it for a time. Eventually the system breaks down though, no matter how soft the socialism, because of the distortions introduced by the government portion of the economy and the constant temptation to turn more over to the government for political reasons.
It'd be nice if it worked that way, and sometimes it does, but sometimes it dosn't. The reason those policies were persued is because, for most factories back then, it took next to no training to make a factory workers. So if one gets injured, their out the door.
So what your saying, in essense, is you do not have a moral problem with the idea of a job where you will regularly be abused, taken advantage of, and subjected to extreme physical danger, and should you be injured and rendered incapable of working, your only kickback will be your kick out the door?
It's like a time machine of embarrassingly debunked pro-socialist arguments. "It'd be nice if it worked that way, and sometimes it does, but sometimes it dosn't[sic]" is a textbook case. On the off chance you don't realize it, humans are imperfect beings. If they were perfect, any system would work. The difference between systems is what happens when humans make mistakes. In the above scenario, the guys who chew through workers in a capitalist system lose their best workers to bosses who lure them away with safe workplace rules and they lose money on high labor turnover costs. Marginally, they cannot expand as fast in the good times because of this and they will fail more surely and quicker in the bad times than their otherwise equivalent competitors. In socialism, none of this feedback occurs. There are no competitors, or no meaningful ones. Until someone with the power to change things is affected personally and creates a "crisis" the problem of poor safety just gets ignored as a cost of doing business and complaining about it is unpatriotic and economic sabotage.
Comparing real world capitalism with theoretical socialism is fundamentally unfair. You compare the theoretical with the theoretical and the real with the real. Capitalism wins on both counts.
Just to be absolutely clear, the difference in the two systems is what do you do when immoral jerks behave like immoral jerks. I do not morally condone either immorality or jerks. Showily throwing a few guys up against the wall may make you feel better but it just doesn't work. I'd like effective action to fix the problem.