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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by government regulations and government bureaucracy? Do you have the uneasy sensation that you are not in control of your life? Do you find yourself constantly disagreeing with the government? Are you tired of constant market manipulations, booms, busts and other debacles? Do you have the suspicion that this everyday rat race to feed and shelter your family is rigged? Well, you are not alone. Most people feel like this. And do you know why? Because it is true.

You are indeed being regulated and controlled and manipulated and cheated out of your life. You just don't know it. And do you know why? Because politicians do their utmost to make sure you never wise up.

Not to worry; that's our job!

You feel that way because of socialist policies from your government. The only problem is that to date there was no way to quantify this feeling and to place it into its proper perspective. To date.

The scale that we developed, the Gut Feeling Socialist Scale (GFSS) attempts to quantify this feeling. The idea came from an income distribution index called GINI.

GINI

The theory behind the GINI index is complex and heavy. We won't overwhelm you with it. If you are interested in the technical details, feel free to go to Wikipedia and search for "Gini coefficient".

We will provide just enough information so that you may understand the GFSS index.

The GINI index (or coefficient) attempts to measure the differences in distribution. As long as you have some distribution, you can measure how well or bad this stuff is distributed among people.

In general terms, you can apply GINI to just about anything. In our case, we chose GINI applied to income because it is the most widespread calculation available and because for our purposes it more-or-less makes sense.

GINI AS A MEASURE OF SOCIALISM

The GINI index is a percentage and as such it runs from 0% to 100%.

  • 100% means that you have no dispersion. In terms of income, it means that in a country only one person earns everything while everybody else is a slave with no wages at all.
  • 0% means that you have complete dispersion. In terms of income, it means that in a country everybody (and we mean absolutely everybody) gets the same wages.

At first glance, it would seem that a level of 0% would indicate communism and a level closer to 100% capitalism. And this is approximately correct; the problem is that it is not quite correct. Ideal communism dictates that since everything is provided by the state (according to one needs), there is no need for income. In a theoretical communism, income would only make sense as disposable income, this is, a small amount of money so that you may purchase a few things that you may want, because everything else is provided by the state. As such, everybody should have the same income.

Note: pundits absolutely love to equate dispersion with equality or inequality. Technically speaking this is correct; a GINI index of 0% means that all salaries are equal and a value of 100% means that all salaries are in-equitable. But we prefer to speak about dispersion because this is what the GINI index actually, statistically measures; a dispersion level.

OUR INDEX

In practice

In practice, however, communists (even the most fanatical ones), found out that absolute equality does not actually work. People do need some degree of incentive. In addition, as communism is simply an oligarchy, the higher the bureaucrat (or apparatchik) the higher the privileges this person will demand. As a consequence of this reality, even in the most abject communism there is a certain level of income distribution.

In order to create a scale that reflects practical communism instead of a theoretical one, we looked at actual GINI values of former communist countries in their glory days and calculated an average. It turns out that the approximate GINI average of most former communist countries is about 25%. We took this as a maximum. We created a scale where if a country has a GINI index of 25%, its policies are the same as, for example, the USSR. This is a much more accurate and useful measurement.

Unfortunately, we do not know what the GINI value of a purely capitalist country may be, because no such country exists. And so we were forced to assume (not a good assumption) that a GINI index of 100% is pure capitalism. We suspect that the true value is somewhere around the 60% mark, but we are not sure nor do we have sufficient data to support this assumption. If such data becomes available, we will re-process the GFSS index.

In other words, our mathematical transformation is:

GINI 25% = 100% communism (socialism)

GINI 100% = 0% communism (capitalism)

The GFSS is therefore expressed as a percentage.

The mathematical equation is:

Y = -4/3 X + 400/3   or

Y = -1.333 X + 133.333

What this transformation does, is to create an index where the closer a country is to 100%, the closer the country is to an USSR-style communism. At the opposite end of the scale, the closer a country is to 0%, the closer the country is to pure capitalism. This scale is the exact opposite of the GINI scale.

The Gut Feeling Socialist Scale

This scale is efficient because it provides a reasonable understanding of the amount of restrictions to freedom (economic or otherwise) that a country imposes on their citizens in the form of socialism or communism.

This scale does not measure economic viability of a socialist government (we have left this task the next index). The GFSS only provides a feeling as to how bad it is to live in certain countries in terms of mimicking the old-style, iron-fist communism of the USSR.

The following picture provides the color codes to understand the scale.

Gut Feeling Socialist Scale Color Codes

Green: means that a government is between 40% and 55% of what the USSR used to be. This is the closest any current government has managed to get to capitalism

Yellow: means that a government is between 55% and 70% of what the USSR used to be. This implies a heavy dose of socialism.

Pink: means that a government is between 70% and 85% of what the USSR used to be. This implies socialism bordering communism.

Red: means that a government is has policies beyond 85% of what the USSR used to be. This is outright communism.

The Table

This is the table of countries sorted by GFSS. The first column contains the name of the country and the second column contains the GFSS. Data was obtained from multiple sources; although GINI is a well-known index, it is not widely calculated and as such, the results are less than optimum. You will notice that in the third column there are years. These years are the most current GINI data available that was used to calculate the GFSS.

GFSS Sorted by Scale value

As is to be expected, there are discrepancies between the ESSII and the GFSS. However, what is noticeable are the coincidences. Supposedly "free market" oriented countries do not have this orientation and supposedly "socialist/communist" countries aren't either. Another surprise is the large degree to which many countries are under socialist/communist policies and how many of them they are. Marx, Engels and Lenin were probably right in the sense that, despite all their attempts, socialism and communism are indeed winning over the world! It is paradoxical that the requirement for this to happen had to be the world-wide collapse of communism.

The other table

For your convenience, we have also included a table with the data sorted by country name.

GFSS Sorted by Country Name

The scale

There is one more thing that we did. Using the GFSS data, we created a histogram which shows just how much and how many countries have switched to socialism/communism. What is even more striking, is that there are no governments whatsoever; none, that can be squarely defined as being more capitalist than socialist. This clearly explains why there are so many problems in the world today. This provides a whole new perspective to the many political lies and games that politicians play. Please see below.

GFSS Histogram

Final Notes

Also, if you want the entire table, please download the attached Excel or PDF files.

Have fun with the data!

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