Because they don't need to work in order to be fed, clothed and housed. Welfare, Food Stamps, subsidized housing and a host of other programs have made them impervious to economic realities. Take those away, and you would have a hungry work force that would choose labor over starvation, assuming that they didn't riot, first.
Originally Posted by Novaheart
You had me until you hit your single payer trope. Single pay would effectively kill Workers' Comp, but it would also effectively kill the medical profession.
Originally Posted by Novaheart
Kibbutzim were not successful. Most failed, despite massive infusions of resources. The Becker and Posner Blog (http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/20...sm-becker.html) had a great article on the history of the Kibbutzim and their eventual collapse, which is worth reading.
Originally Posted by Novaheart
The Transformation of the Kibbutz and the Rejection of Socialism-Becker
Much has been written about the rejection of socialism by major powers like China and the former Soviet Union. But nowhere is the failure of socialism clearer than in the radical transformation of the Israeli kibbutz. The kibbutz movement started in the early twentieth century in what was then Palestine by Zionist immigrants from Europe who were idealistic and utopian. Capitalism, industrialization, and the conventional family repelled these immigrants. Kibbutzniks, as they were called, replaced these fundamental aspects of modern societies with collective agriculture where all property was owned by the kibbutz, where adults were treated equally regardless of productivity, and they were rotated every few months among the various tasks that had to be performed on a farm, such as milking cows, planting crops, serving meals, and so forth. They considered the close-knit family to be a creation of capitalism, and substituted for that family structure communal dining, a fair amount of promiscuity, and separate communal living for all children, who were allowed only brief visits with their parents each day.
Several decades ago I spent a few days on such a traditional kibbutz located in the Negev desert, where I was a guest of married couple with two children. The husband was unusual for a kibbutznik because he was a trained nuclear physicist. They had a two room apartment-their two children lived in dormitories with the other children of the kibbutz- I met the children briefly on a couple of their daily visits to their parents. We dined communally on good food, and we watched a movie in the large dining hall afterwards. Although my host had much more advanced training than other residents, that only gave him the right to spend a few months each year working at a nuclear facility that used his skills. The rest of the time he rotated like everyone else among the numerous menial tasks on the kibbutz. He was well paid for his outside professional work, but he had to hand over his pay to the kibbutz, and received the same benefits as everyone else. He was not happy with this arrangement, but since he grew up on this kibbutz he lacked the resources to buy an apartment and car, and make the other outlays required to move off the kibbutz into an urban environment where he could get a well paying job. For at that time, rent controls destroyed the rental market for housing, so young couples lived with their parents until they saved enough, or their parents gave them the money, to buy their own place. However, in this case, their parents did not have their own apartments since they too lived on a kibbutz, and they lacked the financial resources to help their children.
The kibbutz movement was motivated in part by the Marxian dictum of "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs". By abolishing capitalistic organization, the founders expected members to live in contentment and harmony, and to work for the common good. However, from what I was told and could observe during my brief visit, there was not much harmony-jealousies abounded of those who were only a little better off, including my host because he was allowed to spend some time working at his profession off the kibbutz. Anger was also felt toward those who were considered slackers since they clearly lived off the labor of others. Since everyone ate, worked, and socialized together, small differences were magnified, and became festering sores. Nor were the family arrangements any more satisfactory since parents missed their children, and visa versa.
The kibbutz movement was very important in the creation of Israel, and in its early days of independence. Many military leaders came from the Kibbutz, perhaps because they were accustomed to communal living. A disproportionate number of the early political leaders and intellectuals also had a kibbutz background. But as the New York Times recognized in an article this past week, the socialist zeal that propelled the kibbutz movement in its early days has largely now disappeared. A trend that began more than 40 years ago accelerated in the 1980's as kibbutzim lost many young members, and they failed to attract enough new members. Many of them were forced into bankruptcy, and the future of this movement was exceedingly dim if they continued with their old ways. The vast majority of the kibbutz that remained survived because they changed their ways. They expanded into industry and even real estate, they allowed a substantial degree of private ownership and private enterprise on the kibbutz, pay is no longer equal and is now significantly related to productivity, and parents and children live and eat together privately in their own homes.
These changes may have prevented the Kibbutz movement from disappearing along with the many past Utopian experiments, but they did not prevent the kibbutz from becoming of little importance in the Israeli economy as Israel shifted toward privately owned high tech industry, and also toward privately owned farms, including cooperatives, for its much less important agricultural output. The transformation of the kibbutz movement from avowedly socialist to mainly capitalist shows clearly in microcosm what happened in socialist countries. Although even in their most extreme moments these countries were never as radical as the kibbutzim since children continued to live and eat with parents, socialist countries too tried to divorce individual productivity from individual rewards. They also believed that self-interest was a relic of capitalism, and that they could change human behavior to produce "a new socialist man" by abolishing private property and reorganizing society. Instead of the small scale of a kibbutz, countries like China and the Soviet Union tried to created socialism on an enormous scale. Moreover, and this is crucial, while members of any kibbutz voluntarily joined and could leave at will, Russians and Chinese had no choice about whether they wanted to work on collective farms or in government run enterprises, and they could leave only with extreme difficulty and at personal risk.
Utopian socialistic experiments like the kibbutz movement, and countries that tried to create large-scale efficient socialism, all failed for the same reasons. They did not realize that while the zeal of pioneers, and the result of revolutions, could sustain a collectivist and other-serving mentality for a short while, these could not be maintained as the pioneers died off or became disillusioned, and as circumstances became less revolutionary. Basically, they ignored the evidence of history that self interest and family orientation is not the product of capitalism, but is human nature due to selection from evolutionary pressure over billions of years. Sure, there is abundant altruism toward one's family, and some altruism toward others, and the latter might sustain a society for a brief time. But it shows a depressing ignorance of history to believe that a little propaganda and the enthusiasm of some leaders can organize an effective long-term society on the basis of any altruism and desires of mostl persons to help institutions, such as a kibbutz or a country, rather than themselves and those close to them.