2. I'm not sure what this means. A collective is a mere product of the cooperation of individuals, they are inseparable. It's like asking, do you believe in the corporation, or the stockholders?
3. Empower individuals, obviously, as they are the constituents of society and thus socialism. This is why socialists support eliminating burdening, non-value producing but necessary costs like education, healthcare, housing, and so on through subsidies. This ensures equal opportunity for individuals to build their life.
Government should be responsible for protecting their citizens. Leave job creation to the private sector, but let the government help people find jobs. This could help struggling businesses get off the ground if the government would subsidize these businesses if they agree to hire a set amount of people. Obviously, the more people they agree to hire, the more funding they would get.
In short: Mixed-economies work best.
The 09' crisis was caused BY the government, they kept the interest rates ridiculously low for too much time encouraging investment institutions to find new and riskier ways of getting earnings.
When common, standard risk credits aren't profitable, it's natural for banks and investment firms to branch out into new exotic markets trying to recover profit.
You can't have a functioning economy if people are seriously just hoarding money and then keeping it locked away. There's only so much money to go around, and it doesn't stimulate the economy if it's not getting spread around.
CAPITALISM IS TH
The government can't force people to spend their money, they can only indirectly move the incentives so they have a reason for doing so. I believe the problem is excess regulation and taxation, there's nothing worse for an investor than red-tape and the government putting their hand down your pocket and taking your money away when you use it. If you diminished the costs of entrepreneurship and using the market, investment would probably come back in no time.
You can read more about that here: http://web.sba.gov/faqs/faqIndexAll.cfm?areaid=24.
Worker unions and employment laws aren't really a problem for big companies, it's the smaller ones that struggle with them. Unqualified people suffer too, since the law punishes not having a productivity level above certain threshold by not letting you get a job and earn experience that eventually raises your salary. Politicians respond to big pressure groups (read: companies) and protect their interests.
Secondly, appeasing the greedy is a terrible way to go, and you can only blame the government. It was Washington that bailed out banks in the worst possible ways, letting executives get away with millions in "performance" bonuses. It is Washington the one that supports most monopolies and protects them by not letting them compete with the rest of the world.
There's no reason to be purposely inefficient by forbidding job outsourcing. If you want to have more employment, you gotta be competitive and throw away regulation. No amount of taxation, subsidies or laws can remove the distortions from an excessively regulated market.
I have no idea what you are trying to imply here because the rights of workers apply for all levels of society and in every job (albeit in modified forms)
Take your anarcho-capitalist musings to the anarcho-capitalism thread, we are discussing the pros and cons of socialism, not the pros and cons of alternatives
Anarcho-capitalism is an absolute joke, and anyone who legitimately believes that it's the best economic system is going to be laughed out of any serious economic discussion.
Where, ever, does the government collect more than half your income in taxes?
In any case, isn't subsidisation of lower income people with cash money wealth redistribution?