75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

  
Via:  TᵢG  •  8 months ago  •  150 comments

By:   TheNewDeal00 (Daily Kos)

75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.

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Critical Thinkers


This is an old article but I am seeding it to illustrate how screwed up some people are in what they define as 'socialism'.

The author has posited 75 examples of socialism and misses on every single count.   Yet another 'expert' who has clearly not done a lick of research in this area.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




This is a repost of a blog I wrote last year.

You can see the original here . It's exactly the same except the original has pictures!

I just wanted to bring this back in hopes of sparking a real, rational conversation about socialism.

I feel the narrative around common sense, Democratic Socialism is constantly negative and too many liberals are afraid to associate themselves with the word.

Socialism is not a bad thing. It benefits each and every one of us in one way or another.

Below the fold is 75 ways socialism has improved, shaped, and built America.








Socialism.


There is nothing more feared and hated in America.

The word alone sends shivers down the spine of the American people.

Those three syllables conger up images of Big Brother Government ruling over us all, telling us what to eat, wear, buy, and think. Our children in national uniform being indoctrinated with propaganda in government education camps that use to be schools, turning them into little slaves. While their parents work twelve hour shifts in the concentration camp that slaughters rich successful billionaires, as the poor and needy get a million dollars a month in welfare. A murderous government waging a war against freedom and liberty to gain complete control over everyone and everything.

You know, the way things were under that socialist Bill Clinton. And the way things are now under that socialist Barack Obama.

They imagine the USSR and how Democrats are turning America into it because our government will give money to poor people so they don't starve to death. (Giving money to billion dollar corporations is NOT socialism somehow. You would be a communist and a hippie to think otherwise.)

This is scary stuff!

And it's about to get scarier, because I have some terrifying news for you....

Socialism is alive and well in America and it has been here for a very long time!

Oh, that's not all. it gets much worse! I hope your sitting down...

As it turns out, You love socialism and you use it everyday, and you may not even know it! It may have even saved your life. I know, this is bad...

Now relax and breath. It's going to be okay! We are going to get through this.

You see, we are still a capitalist nation. In America, you can still make a billion dollars, get a giant tax cut, and pay your employees barely enough to survive while you sail in your yacht to escape any guilt that might inconvenience you. So don't freak out just yet!

The thing is, socialism is all over America and people actually like it. Even you... Yes you!

I know, I know. You're a conservative that believes in freedom and the constitution. You hate handouts and believe in hard work and the individual. You think government should get out of the way and let you live your lives and allow you to prosper on your own. You know that all rich people must have worked hard and all poor people are lazy. There is no other reason why they could be poor considering life is completely fair and all people are born into situations and environments that allow them to have all the opportunities and blessings that you had. There is no fathomable way they could have 2 or 3 jobs they work very hard at but still can't make ends meet. You got it all figured out.

But still, even you get your kicks from a little socialism every now and then.

Don't think of this as an intervention, think of it as a coming out of the closet party. We know you are a closet socialist. It's okay, you are amongst friends and we support you. Besides, we always knew...

Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.

Sounds horrible, huh?

Well I hate to be the one to tell you, but Socialism, which you have been told to fear all your life, is responsible for all this...

1. The Military/Defense - The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world.  It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.

2. Highways/Roads - Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one's use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany's autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That's right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.

3. Public Libraries - Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.

4. Police - Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?

5. Fire Dept. - Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn't pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn't pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people's houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don't take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.

6. Postal Service - Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it's all made possible by socialism.

7. Student Loans and Grants - Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.

8. Bridges - Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.

9. Garbage Collection - Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.

10. Public Landfills - Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.

11. War - That's right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it's biggest. Private companies don't attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.

12. Farm Subsidies - Our government uses taxpayer funds to pay farmers and businesses to provide their income and keep them growing food for the public.

13. CIA - The Central Intelligence Agency is vital to America's security. The CIA is completely taxpayer funded to protect the public from enemies.

14. FBI - The Federal bureau of investigations is a taxpayer funded government agency.

15. Congressional Health Care - As Republicans in congress warn us of the evils of government-run health care, most of them are covered by taxpayer-funded government-run health care. You literally pay for their health care while they tell you that paying for your neighbors health care through a public option or single-payer system is socialism. They are 100% correct, it is socialism. They're just not telling you that they like their socialist health care, they just don't think you should have it. They are afraid you might like it better than the private insurance you have now that funds their campaigns and gives them money to push what is best for them and not for you. Members of congress are free to opt out of their evil government health care, but most of them don't because deep down, they like socialism too.

16. Polio Vaccine - In the 1950's polio ravaged the United States. Until Dr. Jonas Salk invented a cure, finally ridding America of this terrible disease. Dr. Salk could have sold his vaccine in the free market and made millions and millions of dollars. Instead he gave it to the federal government to begin eradicating polio. He said that he made plenty of money as a scientist and felt it was too important to try and profit from or create a business around.

17. EPA - Republicans hate this taxpayer-funded government program because they have the nerve to tell corporations that they may have to follow environmental rules ad regulations for the greater good of the earth and the people who live on it. But if you don't like breathing mercury, drinking dirty water, and breathing in chemicals, you should like this example of socialism working for the people.

18. Social Security - You pay a tax to help ensure that our grandparents and senior citizens of America have money to live off of when they are retired or too elderly to work. I love hearing rich people bitch about this one because the truth is that they do not pay a social security tax, like most payroll taxes. This little piece of socialism helps prevent our senior citizens from sinking into poverty and starving to death.

19. Museums - Many museums are privately owned by organizations and groups, but many are also taxpayer-funded state, national, and federal museums.

20. Public Schools - Can't afford to send your children to an expensive private school? Thanks to socialism and government, you child can still get an education. Public education has been under attack for decades in this country by the radical right because public schools don't teach Christianity to your children and it enables people like Barack Obama to work hard, gain scholarships, and eventually become President of the United States.

21. Jail/Prison System - Many murders and criminals are behind bars right now and not out on the streets because of our taxpayer-funded, federal and state run jails and prisons. Taxpayer money is collected and used to help protect all of society from murders, molesters, rapist, etc. I know there's a lot of disagreement and controversy about how to handle our prison system, but I think we can all agree that serial killers should not be freed into society. There are also many private prisons in the United States. However, they have a higher escape rate than their socialist counterpart. Besides, don't you see the bad incentives in having a private prison system that profits from having people in prison? Since a business's  top goal is to make more money than the year before, the only feasible agenda would be to get everyone in prison.

22. Corporate/Business Subsidies - This is the type of socialism that is acceptable in the Republican party. You tax dollars are given to big corporations to do things they should be doing anyway out of morals and ethics. Like not sending jobs overseas and hiring people. Wouldn't you like a nice big check just for not breaking the law? To be fair though, many businesses do earn their subsidies by advancing green technology and practice, donating to charity, helping communities, etc. They aren't all bad. People just get mad when big billionaire oil companies get billions of their taxpayer dollars while they're paying $4 at the pump. For the corporations that don't earn their subsidies other than donating to their very own political party, it's merely welfare. Though however you look at it, it is socialism.

23. Veteran's (VA) Health Care - Our soldiers bravely go to foreign countries and risk their lives at the request of their government and the American people. For those who survive, we as a country feel committed and obligated to ensure that they have everything they need for the rest of their lives for their service to us in which we could never fully repay. So we the taxpayers fund their health care in a government-run single-payer system for veterans. Many soldiers return with mental and/or physical health issues that would cost them thousands in a private health care plan. Socialism funds the military, the overall war, and also takes care of our troops when they return home.

24. Public Parks - Like going to the park on a sunny day? Just being able to walk right in, or at the worse pay a small fee? This is once again the work of socialism. If it were private, it wouldn't be a park, it would be someones back yard. That small or non-existent fee will turn into a $15 fee faster than you can say "No Trespassing".

25. All Elected Government Officials - From the Supreme Court, to the President of the United States and all the way down to the County Dog Catcher, taxpayers pay their salary and provide the funding for them to do their job. We pay for every aspect of their job. So in a sense, I guess you could say our whole country is run on socialism.

26.  Food Stamps - Republicans fill with bitter contempt knowing that our government at the expense of the taxpayer is giving poor people money to buy food they couldn't otherwise afford. This, like welfare, is what the right thinks socialism is all about, along with mass murder. However, just like corporate welfare, welfare is socialism. I'll just end this one with a quick story. I have been down and out in periods of my life and sought assistance via food stamps. Even though I was what anyone would consider poor, I was not poor enough to get food stamps. Which means people who do get them, must really, really need them. As far as my personal experience, they weren't thrown around like candy the way the right would have you believe.

27. Sewer System - Do you like having a sewer system to remove waste and prevent pollution and disease from seeping into our environment? Thank the taxpayers of America and the socialist system it operates in.

28. Medicare - Medicare is one of the most liked socialist programs in America. Most of us don't mind paying taxes to provide our senior citizens with health care and hope the next generation will do the same for us. If you don't believe me, just look at almost any poll. Most seniors would not be able to afford private health care. So this form of socialism is a life saver for this nation's grandparents and senior citizens.

29. Court System - Whether it's the murder trial of the century or a case in a small claims court, the taxpayers of America fully fund our courts and legal process. You may pay for your own lawyer, but the courtroom, judge, and jury is paid for through socialist means.

30. Bird Flu Vaccine - You don't have bird flu right now and probably aren't worried about it because our federal government used taxpayer funds to pump vaccines all over America.

31. G.I. Bill - The G.I. bill allows veterans to pursue an education by using taxpayer dollars to help them pay for most of their schooling. It also helps them with loans, savings, and unemployment benefits.

32. Hoover Dam - Remember when our country use to build things? Our government built the Hoover Dam using taxpayer funds. It is now a vital source of power for the west coast.

33. State/City Zoos - American families have been going to the zoo for generations. A place where kids and adults can have fun seeing creatures and animals from all over the world and learn at the same time. Many zoos are ran by the state and/or city, using taxpayer funds to operate and even bring the animals to the zoo.

34. IRS - I know, the IRS is about as popular and well liked in America as a hemorrhoid, but think about it. The IRS is the reason that we have anything. The IRS collects taxpayer funds for the federal government. The government then dispenses these funds to our military, states, and social programs. If there is no one collecting taxes, no one will pay them. If no one pays taxes, our country shuts down. Without money to operate, nothing operates. This may sound like a good thing to some radical republicans, but for those of us with sense, we know this means anarchy in the USA. The IRS gets a bad rap because if you don't pay your taxes or owe them money, they can be ruthless. Like everything else, the IRS is not perfect, but without them we literally have no country or no means to run it.

35. Free Lunch Program - Some children are living in poverty by no fault of their own. I'm not saying it is even their parents fault, but you surely cannot blame a child for the situation they are born into. In most if not all states, there are programs where children who live in poor households can receive school lunch for free. The taxpayers of the state pay for this. Sounds like socialism to me, and also the moral and Christian thing to do.

36. The Pentagon - Our defense system in America is a socialist system from top to bottom. We as taxpayers fund the pentagon completely.

37. Medicaid - Our government uses taxpayer funds to provide health care for low-income people. Republicans, the compassionate Christians that they are, absolutely hate this program. What they fail to understand is that when people can't afford to pay their outrageous medical bills, they don't. This bill does not disappear. The loss that the insurance company, doctor's office, or hospital takes gets passed down to everyone else. So covering people and giving them a low-income option reduces costs for them and everyone else. This is the main argument behind a health care mandate. It's not to force you to buy health care out of cruelty. If everyone is covered, costs drop for everyone. If you have no compassion for the uninsured, you can at least understand the rational in a selfish sense.

38. FDA - The Food and Drug Administration is far from perfect. It is infested with corporate corruption and they have been wrong many, many times. Countless times they have approved things that they later have to apologize for and have banned things that would have helped people. However, they have also stopped many harmful foods and products from being sold to the public and protect us everyday from poisons being disguised as products. While not perfect, they are needed to prevent harmful food and drugs from being sold to you and you family. Without them, corporations can send whatever they want to your supermarkets and drug stores without any testing or evaluation. I don't mind my taxes going towards a middle man to inspect the safety of the products we are being sold everyday.

39. Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers - After beating back GOP obstruction, Democrats finally passed a bill last year to allow government to help 9/11 rescue worker's with their health care after many came down with horrible lung diseases from the toxins they breathed in rescuing people from smoldering buildings. These brave citizens risked their lives and health to help complete strangers. They deserve more, but covering their health care is a good start.

40. Swine Flu Vaccine -  Do you have swine flu right now? Then thank government and the socialist structure.

41. Disability Insurance (SSDI) - For those who are disabled and cannot work, our government provides an income for them via taxpayer dollars as opposed to the other option of letting them starve to death.

42. Town/State Run Beaches - Like going to the beach? Like it when the beach is clean and safe? Like having lifeguards on staff in case of an emergency? Then once again, thank the taxpayers and the socialist structure that makes it all possible.

43. Corporate Bailouts/Welfare - The whole point of this post is to prove that we ALL use, benefit from, and like socialism. This example is a form of socialism that the republicans not only like, but fight tooth and nail for. They don't like it when socialism is used for working/poor people, but when it's for millionaires and their corporate donors, socialism becomes as American as apple pie. The middle/working class who are the majority of taxpayers pay for welfare for corporations and people who have more money than all of us combined. When our government bails out a bank or gives a subsidy to a billion dollar corporation, you are paying for it.

44. State Construction - Ever see those construction workers in your town fixing potholes, erecting buildings, repaving highways and roads, and fixing things all over town? They themselves and the work they do is taxpayer-funded state socialism.

45. Unemployment Insurance - All your working life, you pay payroll taxes. Some of these taxes go toward a program that temporarily provides for people who lost their jobs until they can find another one.   You pay for others, others pay for you. Especially these days, you never know when you might lose your job. You may need temporary assistance until you get back on your feet. The government recognizes this. UI also keeps the economy moving in times of recession because people still have some money in their pockets to buy goods and promote demand.


46. City/Metro Buses - If you lack transportation, you can catch a city bus. Taxpayer funds and the fee you pay to take the bus make it possible for millions of people to go to work.

47. WIC - WIC is a federally funded program to assist women, infants, and children. WIC helps low-income families by providing funding for nutrition, education, and health care for children.

48.   State Snow Removal - Even though sometimes it may take them longer than you like to get to your street, do you like having snow plow service to clear our roads and highways in the winter? This is a state socialist taxpayer-funded service.

49. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - PBS operates on donations and government funding. The provide non-partisan news and information to the public. They are the home of Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater, and The Antiques Roadshow. Surveys show that they are literally the most trusted name in news. I wonder how Fox feels about that?

50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The CDC helps promote and enact the health and safety of the public along with helping to prevent and control illness and disease. The CDC is a government program that operates on taxpayer funding.

51. Welfare - Is there anything the republicans hate more? Of course I'm talking about the welfare that goes to poor people. Corporate welfare is not only accepted in the republican Kabul, but it's mandatory that we give our tax dollars to billionaires and not question the logic of it. Though if you look at it realistically and not through the red scare glasses in which the right sees the world, welfare helps the economy. As I've said many times, when poor people have money in their pocket, they buy things made and sold by companies. This creates a demand. To keep up with demand, businesses must hire to keep up. If you yanked everyone who is on welfare off of it tomorrow, the economy would take a blow and lose jobs due to the down tick in consumer demand because we just took what little money they had away.

52. Public Street Lighting - Like being able to see at night when you walk or drive? Thank Socialism.

53. FEMA - If Disaster strikes, FEMA is there to help pick up the pieces. As a part of homeland security and an agency of the federal government, they use taxpayer dollars to help cities, states, and towns recover and rebuild. I don't know to many private companies that could assist in disaster relief and ask nothing in return. Thank God for socialism.

54. Public Defenders - Ever been in trouble and couldn't afford a lawyer? Well the taxpayers and the government make sure you still get representation.

55. S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) - S-CHIP is a program that matches funds to states for health insurance for children in families that cannot afford insurance but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Your tax dollars go towards covering uninsured children, is that so wrong?

56. Amtrak - Amtrak transports tens of millions of passengers a year in 46 states and three Canadian Providences. It is owned by the federal government and your tax dollars are used to fund it. All aboard!!

57. NPR - National Public Radio operates on private and federal funding along with public donations. NPR has been one of the most trusted news sources in America for over 40 years.

58. The Department of Homeland Security - Created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this heavily federally funded department of the U.S. government helps protect us from future terrorist attacks. This is the third largest department within the United States government.

59. OSHA - Do you have a safe and healthy workplace that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance? Thank OSHA! Brought to you by the taxpayers of America and socialism.

60. State and National Monuments - The Lincoln Memorial. Mount Rushmore. The D.C. National Mall. All brought to you and maintained with your tax dollars. Socialism is patriotic?

61. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - The USDA enforces regulations on the farming, agriculture, and food industries to ensure food safety, natural resources, and hunger worldwide and in the United States. Your tax dollars are used to help keep what you are eating safe and even feed those who are not eating.

62. Government Scholarships - if you work hard in school and show true potential, our government will give you a scholarship towards college so you can advance your education. Your tax dollars have been used to send future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even presidents of the United States to college.



63. Department of Health and Human Service - The overall goal of HHS is to promote, implement, and ensure the health of the American people. Your tax dollars are used to do this. Government looking out for the well being of it's people, imagine that!

64. Census Bureau  - Every ten years, our government collects data about our people and economy, to better serve and represent us. From the forms that are sent to your home for you to fill out and send back in and to the census worker who shows up and kindly asks you to fill out the form if you don't send it in, all taxpayer funded socialism. The information collected is used to better understand the economic situation and population in your area. Not to enslave you in a FEMA camp.

65. Department of Energy - This taxpayer funded cabinet of the federal government oversees nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste disposal, and energy production. To those of you who care about our environment and would rather not witness a nuclear holocaust might consider this money well spent.

66. Customs and Border Protection  - the CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in America. This is big government that republicans actually do like because they don't like Mexicans immigrating to our country like our ancestors did. However, this taxpayer funded, socialist agency of the federal government regulates trade, imports, and immigration.

67. Department of Education - This cabinet of the federal government is actually the smallest. They administer and oversee federal assistance to education. They also collect data and enforce federal laws and regulations involving education. Even though the right thinks that this department is indoctrinating your children, they actually have no control over curriculum or standards.

68. Secret Service - Your tax dollars are used to provide highly-trained, skilled professional bodyguards to protect the President of the United States.

69. Peace Corps - The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the government that helps people outside of the US to understand our culture as well as helping us learn about other cultures. However they are more well known for their work with economic and social development in less-fortunate countries. Sounds very Christian for being a socialist program, huh?

70. Department of Justice - The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the law. Socialism keeps our civilization intact.

71. National Weather Service - Like knowing when a storm, tornado, earthquake, or snow is coming? Socialism makes this possible and available to everyone.

72. The White House - Our taxpayer dollars through a socialist means pays for the house that the president and his family live in during a presidents time in office.

73. Government - Like it or not, our country would not be a country without a government. Every single day, government on state and local levels serve us in ways we simply take for granted. Government as an entity operates and functions on our tax dollars through a socialist structured funding system. From the military down to the county dog catcher, socialism turns the wheels that make our society function.

74. Law - Laws and rules make our democracy possible. Remove these laws and you have sheer anarchy. Laws do not appear out of thin air. To have law, you need a government. You need elected lawmakers to make the laws and a government to implement and enforce them. Socialism is responsible for every law in this country. Without our government and lawmakers which exist thanks to socialism, there would be no laws. So the laws themselves, are enforced and implemented thanks to socialism.

75. Civilization - As an American citizen, you enjoy freedoms that many in other countries do not. Like anything else in this world, our government is not perfect, but you should be thankful everyday that your country has a government that feels an obligation to serve the people and protect their rights and freedoms. This is completely possible because of government, taxes, and socialism. Do you think the private sector would do a better job of governing our country? Do you think corporations would enact laws to help protect and serve you and your family or them and their profits? The reason you can read this blog and the reason I can write it whether you agree with it or not is because of the freedoms we have here in America enforced and protected through socialist means. Our entire civilization depends on us being a people united. Socialism is a glue that binds us together and makes possible the things that we could not accomplish as individuals working against each other.



I don't care who you are.

Rich or poor. Teaparty Republican or Liberal Socialist.

You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.

My overall argument is not for a completely socialist nation. This would not work. A completely capitalist nation would not work either.

I'm just simply saying that I, as a Democratic Socialist, feel that the two can co-exist. I know this because they always have. Socialism and capitalism have always co-existed in America.

I also believe in freedom. I believe options are a form of freedom.

Right now in the United States of America, I can send mail through the public postal service or I can choose a private option like FedEx. I can send my kids to public school or private school.

As liberals, we don't want a government takeover, we want options. We think we should have the freedom to be able to choose to have government health care if we don't like our private plan.

If we are 18-64, we have no options or freedom over our own health care. I don't understand why this isn't viewed as a corporate takeover of health care.

Socialism is not a bad thing. It is a foundation in this country of ours. Claiming socialism is bad because of radical and non-factual comparisons to Hitler and Stalin is like saying all guns are bad because of the Columbine killers and Jared Loughner.

National socialism and communism are very, very different from Democratic Socialism here in America. I'd explain further but this topic is for another post, this one is long enough. Besides, socialism defeated Hitler.

So let's just stop the madness and have a serious discussion about socialism and the role it plays in America.

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country" - FDR






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TᵢG
Professor Principal
1  seeder  TᵢG    8 months ago

The author of this seed is one of many who conflate public services (and functions of government) with socialism.   What the author describes are not defining characteristics of socialism but rather characteristics of modern government.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
1.1  cjcold  replied to  TᵢG @1    8 months ago

The meanings of words tend to morph over time. 

The language we speak over generations (no matter where you're from), changes.

Curious as to how many actually know the definition of true communistic ideals.

Good in theory but horrible in practice so far. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2  Bob Nelson    8 months ago

Very few Americans care what "socialism" is. Most know, vaguely, that "there's no socialism in America". A significant number fear that socialism is sneaking in... without having any idea what it is.

Of course, very few Americans know what capitalism is, either.

Learning these things requires a little time and effort... for very little practical result. So most Americans can't be bothered. Most Americans just parrot their Tribe's "Truth", without knowing or caring if it makes any sense.

If I let myself slip into "paranoid mode", I imagine that the powers that be conscientiously cultivate American ignorance.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    8 months ago

No disagreement from me.   I am just amazed at what appears to be ultra-stubborn willful ignorance.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
2.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    8 months ago
Very few Americans care what "socialism" is.

Perhaps because there isn't a simple definition of socialism except in generalities but generalities become useless, depending on the flavor of socialism being talked about. For instance, Wiki defines socialism as:

Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprise as well as the political theories and movements associated with such systems.

This will mean different things to different kinds of socialists. 

Of course, very few Americans know what capitalism is, either.

Probably true. Not that I'm an expert, either. I can say that I doubt what we practice today is what the founders had in mind, though. 

If I let myself slip into "paranoid mode", I imagine that the powers that be conscientiously cultivate American ignorance.

Not paranoid at all, nor is it restricted to Americans. As TiG pointed out the first time he posted this subject, we haven't seen a truly socialist society, historically. I don't think we've seen a truly capitalist one, either. I don't think we ever will. For two reasons.

The first is that for any system to really work, everyone under that system has to believe the same thing about that system. If you don't have that, someone will always try to work against it. 

The second is,  human nature won't allow it. Governments always end up being filled with people who are only looking out for themselves, looking for power and wealth. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2    8 months ago
Perhaps because there isn't a simple definition of socialism except in generalities but generalities become useless, depending on the flavor of socialism being talked about.

I agree.   It would be cool if more Americans realized that the term ' socialism ' is so overloaded with contradictory definitions that the term, unqualified, is meaningless.

Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprise as well as the political theories and movements associated with such systems.

Note how the above definition you supplied jrSmiley_115_smiley_image.png narrows ' socialism ' down considerably.    Note (in blue ) that this definition does hit on a few key defining characteristics of socialism (theory and modern theoretical proposals such as Economic Democracy).   If one just understands that socialism = the actual people have democratic control over the productive resources of the economy that would lead them to understand that the following are NOT defining characteristics of socialism:

  • Redistribution of wealth
  • Expropriation of private property (e.g. state expropriating businesses)
  • Public services
  • Authoritarian rule
  • Command economy
  • Statism (big 'benevolent' government)
  • State ownership of the MoP/MoD
  • ...

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
2.2.2  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.1    8 months ago
If one just understands that socialism = the actual people have democratic control over the productive resources of the economy that would lead them to understand that the following are NOT defining characteristics of socialism:

Preface: I am not an authority on socialism by any means. I know what it is in a general sense but there are so many flavors and nuances that, in all honesty, I can't be bothered to spend what time I have on learning more about all of it. 

That said, concerning the quote above, regardless of what socialism may actually be, those items you say are not socialistic are usually how socialism presents, historically. One might put forth China as somewhat of an exception but I don't think so. As stated, I do not believe human nature would allow a truly socialistic society. It always ends up being the things you say are not socialism. The people who think their vision of socialism is the right one end up taking the power out of the hands of the people in order to impose their vision. Anyone opposed to that vision is oppressed as an "enemy of the people."

In that light, I'm not sure it makes any difference what socialism actually is because it isn't achievable and inevitably turns into what it wasn't supposed to be. 

Lastly, this is a point of view, not an argument against any position you may hold. I don't remember what your position on socialism is, one way or the other, other than it's never actually been achieved in a society before. I'm pretty sure that's right. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2.2    8 months ago
That said, concerning the quote above, regardless of what socialism may actually be, those items you say are not socialistic are usually how socialism presents, historically.

That is why I mentioned those particular items.   All of them are items that people have considered to be 'socialism'.

As stated, I do not believe human nature would allow a truly socialistic society.

The key aspect of human nature that brings socialism into question is the ability for the vast majority of the people to operate in a world where what is good for their community is good for them.   That is, to expand selfishness from the individual+ family to a much larger group (organization ... community ... society).   This means making decisions that will affect them more indirectly.  

This is one of the key reasons why I have suggested that socialism (as theoretically defined) will not emerge (if ever) without significant societal evolution.  If socialism emerges, it will be because the people understand it, want it and are psychologically oriented towards such a system.

I don't remember what your position on socialism is, one way or the other, other than it's never actually been achieved in a society before. I'm pretty sure that's right. 

My position is that I understand the value of its key objective:  to not have control over a nation's economy (and thus much of the socio-economic/political system) in the hands of a small minority.   That minority, by the way, could be the major capitalists (as is true in the USA) or the State (as with Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, ...) or both (as with China).

And I like certain proposals such as employee-ownership and workplace democracy.   But these will emerge incrementally and if they work in general they will eventually replace our current model (but the economic system might still be predominantly capitalistic).

Finally, the uber-large-scale capitalism in play now is net bad.   I see great value in the ability of entrepreneurs to pioneer disruptive products/technologies, the ability of ordinary people to start, run and grow a small to medium sized business, etc.   All good stuff!   But what is not good is when a minority of capitalists grab such control over the market that they can leverage the system to produce ridiculous wealth and power.   I find the current extreme lopsided power to be dangerous.

In the future we might have a socialist system (such as that fantasized in the Star Trek genre).   We might also have a very modified, limited capitalistic system.   Almost impossible to predict this, but I can predict that you and I will not live long enough to see any significant change from our current system.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.2.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.1    8 months ago
... that would lead them to understand...

IMNAAHO, we're dealing with people who either
- don't care enough to learn, or
- do not intend to learn, because they wouldn't have the strawman they've been so comfortable "debating" since forever.

There are very few actually interested in learning. Unless and until the abuses of capitalism become so egregious and blatant that they force a significant population to seriously consider major change... there's not much reason to expect anyone to listen.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.4    8 months ago

I think you are correct.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.2.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2    8 months ago
I don't think we've seen a truly capitalist one, either.

This can get tricky, because of the danger of derailing from substance to semantics.

People are not angels, regardless of economic policy. There's no reason to suppose that an employee-owned enterprise would be any more angelic than an enterprise owned by one person - see "Mondragon". Regulation is needed to restrain human nature.

Also... "supply and demand" - a method for determining prices and allocating resources - is a different subject. It may or may not be applied to either capitalism or socialism. (Over the last century, we have seen that "central planning" can also be effective: Nazi Germany and WWII America were both capitalist and centrally planned.)

So... when we discuss economic systems, we must be careful with our vocabulary. We must be explicit about what is or is not in the box.

Our audience perceives this as "splitting hairs", yawns, and goes away. 

😴  🤔  🙄  ☹️

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
2.2.7  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.3    8 months ago
The key aspect of human nature...

As you may surmise, we probably don't have much common ground here. I would assume that, for you, aspects of human nature are linked to evolution in some manner. My position, of course, is that human nature is fallen from what God intended it to be and we cannot be otherwise without God to fix the problem. 

This is one of the key reasons why I have suggested that socialism (as theoretically defined) will not emerge (if ever) without significant societal evolution.  If socialism emerges, it will be because the people understand it, want it and are psychologically oriented towards such a system.

Perhaps, but in my opinion, what founders of this country attempted is about the best humans are capable of. I don't think that the socialism you have in mind could ever happen because it seems to me that those who desire socialism, in any form, are as keen on imposing their ideas of correct human behavior as economic behavior. I just can't imagine a society where all are on the same page enough to make it work.

My position is that I understand the value of its key objective:  to not have control over a nation's economy (and thus much of the socio-economic/political system) in the hands of a small minority.   That minority, by the way, could be the major capitalists (as is true in the USA) or the State (as with Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, ...) or both (as with China).

The problem with such an objective, to my mind, is that it requires everyone to be highly educated in numerous disciplines. It would require everyone to have a rather high degree of understanding about economics, for instance. Not just understanding of the current socialist model but all models, in order to understand the impact of any decisions. This would mean, I think, each individual would have to be highly motivated in educating themselves through whatever means. I can't see what would have to be a significant portion of such a society with that level of motivation being satisfied in the many menial, tedious jobs that would have to be filled for that society to work. 

Most people aren't that motivated, which is why power tends to concentrate in a small minority. The larger the population, it seems, the more this true. 

But what is not good is when a minority of capitalists grab such control over the market that they can leverage the system to produce ridiculous wealth and power.   I find the current extreme lopsided power to be dangerous.

As do I but I don't see what can be done about it. No matter what we do it will eventually go back to what it is now. It always has. 

But this puts me in mind of one possibility, which may sound good on the surface but I think would most likely turn out to be pretty awful. I'm thinking of what would a post-scarcity civilization look like? We're talking Dyson sphere tech, where power and resources are unlimited. Would political systems even matter in a society where everyone had no material wants? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
2.2.8  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.6    8 months ago
This can get tricky, because of the danger of derailing from substance to semantics.

Which, in my opinion, pretty much sums up the problem with trying to get everyone behind any political system. While people who favor socialism, for instance, may have broad, general agreements about such a society, the nuance each feels about how socialism actually works more or less creates a bag full of cats. 

So... when we discuss economic systems, we must be careful with our vocabulary. We must be explicit about what is or is not in the box.

Which just restates the problem. Who decides what's in the box? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.9  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2.7    8 months ago
My position, of course, is that human nature is fallen from what God intended it to be and we cannot be otherwise without God to fix the problem. 

Human nature, being what it is today, is a problem.   I think we agree on that regardless of the believed origin of human nature.

I just can't imagine a society where all are on the same page enough to make it work.

It would be very different from what we experience now.

It would require everyone to have a rather high degree of understanding about economics, for instance.

People would necessarily be better informed and more actively involved.   But there would be no need for the level of expertise you describe.   There would still be experts providing options, advantage and consequences.    We can do referendums today, no reason to presume human beings incapable of rising to a higher informed level and making decision about a new product offering (workplace democracy) or to allow a wind turbine farm to operate in their region (economic policy).

Most people aren't that motivated, which is why power tends to concentrate in a small minority. The larger the population, it seems, the more this true. 

Yes, this is my concern too.   I wonder if this is a function of our system or a fundamental barrier imposed by our nature.   I do not know.

Would political systems even matter in a society where everyone had no material wants? 

Best way to imagine this is to think of the Star Trek genre.   If such a society existed where anything can be replicated, what does that do to societal dynamics?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.2.10  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2.8    8 months ago
Who decides what's in the box?

Since there's just the two of us... we do...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.11  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.9    8 months ago
what does that do to societal dynamics?

There's no more need. People won't become any less evil or any nicer but at least they shouldn't be arguing over goods, correct?

They will find something to fight about tho

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.12  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.11    8 months ago

I wish I knew the answer to my question.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.13  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.12    8 months ago

I take it you don't like my answer. lol

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.14  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.13    8 months ago

Need (conventionally speaking) would disappear and I suspect people will indeed find new things to fight about.

But I do not know if society would truly be more sophisticated (informed, engaged citizens) or if it would find some other way to be dysfunctional.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.15  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.14    8 months ago

For mankind to be less dysfunctional human nature will need a complete overhaul

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.16  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.2.15    8 months ago

In a sense, that is what I mean by societal evolution.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    8 months ago
Very few Americans care what "socialism" is.

I was told yesterday that there are "no positive aspects" to Socialism, Communism or Fascism."  Leaving aside the arguments about whether any of them work or the regimes that tend to use them as they see fit, imagine the statement that there isn't a single positive aspect?

The person who told me that is a member of NT.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3    8 months ago

Depends on how one defines those terms:  especially the terms 'socialism' and 'communism'.

I would argue that there are almost no positive aspects to the socio-economic/political system known as Stalinism (the operative system of the former USSR).   This was a brutal, authoritarian regime based on single-party rule, command economy and military force.  The positive of the system is that it quickly turned the former USSR into an industrial / military powerhouse but the negatives of the system far outweigh the positive.   The negatives include working the people to death (literally), murdering millions in the opposition, extreme regimentation of human lives (no liberty), low quality of life, rationed resources, etc.

The person who told me that is a member of NT.

Is this significant?   I have been told by a member of NT that biochemical evolution is pseudoscience, a worldwide conspiracy of godless scientists.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.2  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3    8 months ago

If you are referring to your discussion with me, we never used the word "Socialism".  "Socialism" was never a topic in that discussion.  Let's keep things straight, ok.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.2    8 months ago

So Socialism might have positive aspects?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.3    8 months ago

Again, Vic, define what you mean by 'socialism' because there is no single meaning to the word 'socialism' unqualified.   After all, this seed is illustrating how entirely screwed up is the term 'socialism'.

TiG @2.3.1Depends on how one defines those terms:  especially the terms 'socialism' and 'communism'.
 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.1    8 months ago
The positive of the system is that it quickly turned the former USSR into an industrial / military powerhouse but the negatives of the system far outweigh the positive. 

So there was a positive, but the cost outweighed it?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.5    8 months ago
So there was a positive, but the cost outweighed it?

If you consider the end result of an industrialized, military powerhouse a positive, then yes the former USSR under Stalin (Stalinism) produced that positive but it did so with the blood and misery of its citizens (an incredible negative).

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.7  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.4    8 months ago

I appreciate what you are asking, but my question was directed to the person who told me yesterday that he would go down for the American Republic and in no way would he choose between the lessor of two evils - even if we were faced with just that!

He was a purist yesterday. Now he is hedging on Socialism!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.8  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.7    8 months ago

It is common (and naive) for someone to ascribe a single meaning to the unqualified word 'socialism'.   I do not know what that person meant by 'socialism' so (other than speculation) there is nothing one can say until s/he defines the term as used.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.9  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.6    8 months ago
If you consider the end result of an industrialized, military powerhouse a positive,

That was your interpretation of what the end result was. I think if Vladimir Putin were a NT member he might be responding with - we don't have people living in the street in Russia.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.9    8 months ago
That was your interpretation of what the end result was.

I carefully worded my subsequent comment to not presume that you considered it a positive.   I offered an answer to your question.   What is the problem?

I think if Vladimir Putin were a NT member he might be responding with - we don't have people living in the street in Russia.

Possibly.   In any system one can find positives — even amongst an ocean of negatives.   What is really important in discussions like these are the 'net' results.   Stalinism, for example, is net extremely negative.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.11  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.10    8 months ago
In any system one can find positives — even amongst an ocean of negatives.  

That was the point I tried to make two days ago. I never had any problem with you. Yesterday you came on board and you clearly knew & defined what I was talking about.

Right now in America we have a candidate for president who won a contested primary over a Socialist candidate. If you want to define the Sanders brand of Socialism, that's ok. The point I would like everyone to take note of is that Socialism has substantial support in the US and as Benjamin Franklin said "It's a Republic if you can keep it."

Thus, we may face the kind of decisions in our future, which I posed two days ago.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.12  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.7    8 months ago

You are the one who apparently thinks Fascism is "the lesser of two evils" as opposed to Marxism/Communism.  I hope that I am wrong, but your comments lead me to believe otherwise.  I do not agree with your assessment.  Both are evil in equal proportions in my opinion.  I do not favor dictatorships.  Period.

If you define "Socialism" as "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole", then I am not in favor of it.  Is it evil?  Do I consider the Nordic model of "Socialism" as evil?  No, it is not evil, but I would not necessarily favor that system for our country. 

Do you believe that all social welfare programs are "evil socialism"?  I see great value in many social welfare programs.

Do you agree with Reagan that Medicare will lead to a "socialist dictatorship"?  

I believe in well-regulated capitalism.  Is that "evil"?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.13  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.11    8 months ago
The point I would like everyone to take note of is that Socialism has substantial support in the US ...

Hard to comment since I do not know what you mean by 'Socialism'.   Seriously, that word is in effect meaningless and must be qualified.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.14  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.12    8 months ago
If you define "Socialism" as "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole", then I am not in favor of it. 

Because ... ?

Do I consider the Nordic model of "Socialism" as evil? 

The Nordic model is social democracy — a variant of capitalism.   It is highly regulated (and taxed) capitalism funding public programs such as healthcare and education.   Per the definition you provided, the Nordic system does not have MoP/D owned/regulated by the community as a whole.   Instead it is based on capitalism where the MoP/D are owned/regulated by a minority (capitalists).

Do you believe that all social welfare programs are "evil socialism"?  I see great value in many social welfare programs.

That is not socialism (see this article).   Social welfare programs exist in every socio-economic/political system.   They are not distinguishing characteristics of socialism.

Do you agree with Reagan that Medicare will lead to a "socialist dictatorship"?  

Do you?   Seriously, a 'dictatorship'??

I believe in well-regulated capitalism. 

Then you would likely find social democracy to have value.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.15  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.12    8 months ago
Both are evil in equal proportions in my opinion.

So do I, as I said two days ago. That wasn't the point, was it?


Do I consider the Nordic model of "Socialism" as evil?  No, it is not evil, but I would not necessarily favor that system for our country. 

We both agreed yesterday that we favor the form of government we now enjoy. I submitted that it was under attack and you withheld any response to that.


Do you believe that all social welfare programs are "evil socialism"?

No, but that is consistent with what Iv'e been saying. All forms of government have some positive aspects. It was you who said you would go down for the Republic. Well, there are cities burning, civil liberties being violated, Judges making un-Constutional rulings, talk of removing a president from the WH, which btw was under seige during the DC riots and as I have already pointed out, considerable support for a Socialist candidate. So I expect to hear your outrage at what is happening, yet I don't?


Do you agree with Reagan that Medicare will lead to a "socialist dictatorship"?  

So, for the second time, you do think there are good aspects with Socialism?


I believe in well-regulated capitalism.  Is that "evil"?

I'll let the objective observer decide on what you believe in.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.16  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.13    8 months ago
Hard to comment since I do not know what you mean by 'Socialism'.  

I think Bernie Sanders gave us ample explanations of his version of Socialism.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.17  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.16    8 months ago

Bernie Sanders' definition of socialism is social democracy.   His proposals focused on regulating and taxing the capitalist engine to fund government sponsored public programs.

So is that what you mean by 'socialism' ... whatever Sanders described?   If so, then I agree with you that Sanders' redistribution of wealth proposals demonstrably enjoy significant popularity as evidenced by his supporters and the younger voices such as AOC advocating same.

Regardless of the terms used, these folks are advocating social democracy, not socialism.  They are advocating more statism funded by capitalism.   More big government, higher taxes/borrowing/spending as a means to force a more egalitarian society.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.18  Gsquared  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.14    8 months ago

Because ... ?

Because I do not believe in collective ownership of everything.

The Nordic model is social democracy — a variant of capitalism.

I actually agree, but as you have correctly indicated, "socialism" is difficult to define.  Am I right?

Do you believe that all social welfare programs are "evil socialism"?

That question was specifically directed to Mr. Eldred.  I see his response below.

Do you agree with Reagan that Medicare will lead to a "socialist dictatorship"?  

Do you?   Seriously, a 'dictatorship'??

Do I?  Not for a minute.  Reagan did however.

Then you would likely find social democracy to have value.

It depends on how you define it and how you implement it, I guess.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.19  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.17    8 months ago

Yup, you got it!

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.20  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.15    8 months ago

So do I.

Well, good.  I did not see that from your comments before.  If I missed it, my fault.

I submitted that it was under attack and you withheld any response to that.

I believe that it is under a certain level of attack.  You think the attack comes from "The Left".  I think there are forces, foreign and domestic (of various political persuasions) that are subjecting our system to some level of attack.

I expect to hear your outrage at what is happening

Criminal misconduct should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Civil liberties are being violated by the Trumpist regime as well as those engaged in criminal misconduct.  I bet we would disagree about which judicial rulings are un-Constitutional.  Removing Trump from the White House would have been a blessing for our country.

Do you agree with Reagan that Medicare will lead to a "socialist dictatorship"?  

From your silence, I suspect you agree with Reagan.

So, for the second time, you do think there are good aspects with Socialism?

Repeating my comment at 2.3.7:  If you define "Socialism" as "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole", then I am not in favor of it.

I'll let the objective observer decide on what you believe in.

That's a specious comment. 

Objective observer 

That certainly doesn't include you.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.21  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.18    8 months ago
Because I do not believe in collective ownership of everything.

Everything is not collectively owned.   It is the MoP/D that is collectively owned.   Why is this necessarily bad in your opinion?

I actually agree, but as you have correctly indicated, "socialism" is difficult to define.  Am I right?

Socialism is so overloaded that it has no meaning.  Social democracy, in contrast, has a very well-defined meaning.

It depends on how you define it and how you implement it, I guess.

I agree.   The definition and the implementation is what matters.   There are many examples of capitalism across the planet (basically every system is a variant of capitalism) yet the state capitalism of Venezuela is clearly a crappy way to operate whereas the social democracy capitalism of the Nordic nations seems to work well for them.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.22  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.20    8 months ago
From your silence, I suspect you agree with Reagan.

My silence wasn't because I didn't know how to answer, rather it was because you were changing the entire substance of the conversation - namely, that there are good aspects to be found in virtually any form of government. You really came to a pause when the term "Socialism" was raised. You then asked me what I thought of certain aspects of Socialism. My answer remains the same - There are good aspects to all forms of government!  The thing is, for you to ask me that indicates that you do agree with me, finally, when it comes to Socialism - and yes, we have had a dose of Socialism mixed in to our way of life since the 1930's. You do know what the most popular social program is? - It's Social Security. As a young man I thought that was a kind of ruse by FDR. He wanted to get a lot of people out of those bread lines, so he came up with that. After all nobody was asking for Social Security in the 30's.

As I got older I began to see the wisdom of that safety net. Certain people can't or won't provide for their retirement. That safety net saves almost all of them. In 2014 I officially retired by selling a limousine company I had built for over 13 years. There was one guy who drove for me who had driven cabs & limo's all his life. He never reported income, which meant he had to drive until he died. When I sold the company I asked that he be kept on, explaining his circumstances to the new owner. Recently I discovered that between Uber & the Coronavirus the new owners had gone out of business. I tell you that story to underscore the importance of safety nets.
If you regard SS as a Socialist program, I'd say it's a big positive.


That certainly doesn't include you.

Nor you.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.23  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3    8 months ago

It seems to me that the "success" of any economic system depends a great deal on what criteria are applied.

"Does the system maximize well-being for everyone?" None are successful.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.24  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.23    8 months ago
"Does the system maximize well-being for everyone?" None are successful.

True, so then should it be the system that best serves the most people?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.25  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.24    8 months ago

That's a good criterion. ...  And then we have to define what "best serves" means.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.3.26  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.25    8 months ago
... define what "best serves" means

Crucially.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.27  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.25    8 months ago

It would have to mean a prosperous economy. One that would make consumer goods readily available to more people than ever before. One in which only one family member had to work to provide for an entire family. One that ensured peace & tranquility and an era of goodwill.

Oh, wait! I think I lived through it, approx 60 years ago!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.28  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.27    8 months ago

Material well-being is one aspect, but a minor one.

Health is more important.

Education / personal fulfillment is more important.

IMNAAHO...

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.29  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.22    8 months ago

There are good aspects to all forms of government!  

I'm not completely convinced.

The thing is, for you to ask me that indicates that you do agree with me, finally, when it comes to Socialism - and yes, we have had a dose of Socialism mixed in to our way of life since the 1930's.

OK I probably do agree with that to a certain extent.  For example, if you really do consider Social Security to be a "Socialist" program..

You do know what the most popular social program is? - It's Social Security.

Yes, I know.  And it is the most popular social program with good reason.

If you regard SS as a Socialist program, I'd say it's a big positive.

Whether it is or is not by definition a "Socialist" program, it is a very big positive.

That certainly doesn't include you.

Nor you.

Sure it does!  (Is there really such a thing as an "objective observer"?)

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.30  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.28    8 months ago
Health is more important. Education / personal fulfillment is more important.

That's quite an undertaking. There isn't much left for the individual.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.31  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.29    8 months ago
(Is there really such a thing as an "objective observer"?)

Don't you think there are people who aren't even thinking about the election which is 12 weeks away?

Don't you think there are people who are totally uninterested in politics?

Don't you think there are people living day to day?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.32  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.30    8 months ago
There isn't much left for the individual.

How do you figure?

Full-time access to good care doesn't require much individual engagement, regardless of the economic system. The onus is on the medical professionals.

Education, OTOH, does require serious individual engagement, regardless of the economic system.

I'm not sure what you're saying.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.33  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.32    8 months ago
Full-time access to good care doesn't require much individual engagement, regardless of the economic system.

I'm saying that when we focus on which government serves best for the most people we cannot forget about individual motivation and self worth. Do we want to offer opportunity or blanket results. The more you have of one the less you have of the other. (I'm sure there is a better way to say that.)

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.34  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.33    8 months ago

Opportunity, of course.

Results, in many areas, depend a great deal on the individual. The best schools cannot do better than the students.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.35  Vic Eldred  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.3.34    8 months ago

Correct. There is a role for government. We have learned that government can change attitudes. The government got people to stop smoking. They really got the message out!  I think it's fair to say that the same was achieved in defeating racist attitudes and sexual orientation. Those were achievements that cost little.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.36  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.31    8 months ago

Don't you think there are people who aren't even thinking about the election which is 12 weeks away?

Don't you think there are people who are totally uninterested in politics?

Don't you think there are people living day to day?

Yes, of course.  Everyone is not totally out of their minds like most of the people raging about politics on this website.  (Except you and me?  Nah.)  That would not make any of them "objective observers" though, would it?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.37  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.36    8 months ago

I saw a poll somewhere today showing people who only now are thinking about the election. It seems like after the summer ends people start to focus in on the election. I know this year might be different. 

That would not make any of them "objective observers" though, would it?

I'm not sure. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.38  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.37    8 months ago

I believe that most people do not usually focus on the elections until after Labor Day, but this year might well be different.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.3.39  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @2.3.38    8 months ago

Two and a half months. How important will the debates be?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.3.40  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.35    8 months ago
 I think it's fair to say that the same was achieved in defeating racist attitudes and sexual orientation.

Racism is a personal issue, each of us being responsible for our behavior.

When enough people have the same objective - in this case an end to racial discrimination - it becomes a national objective.

One of the essential purposes of government is to translate objectives into policy.

So... yes. Anti-racist action is a legitimate role for government. I agree with you.

OTOH, you expressed yourself as though racism has been vanquished. I do not agree at all. Far from it.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Sophomore Principal
2.3.41  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.3.39    8 months ago

How important will the debates be?

That's a good question.  I guess it depends on how the candidates perform in the debates.

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
3  Dig    8 months ago

Sheesh. I will never understand why this concept is so damn hard for so damn many people to grasp.

As an example, if the lord of a Feudal estate used some of the resources he collected from his tenants/villagers (analogous to modern taxes) to have a 'public' well dug for them in center of the village, it might be analogous a public service today, but it's not socialism just because everybody in the village can use it and benefit from it.

For it to be socialism, the lord would have to go the way of the Dodo, and instead of his minority ownership of all the productive resources on the estate there would have to be some kind of mutual ownership and democratic control over it, at the very least involving everyone who is combining their labor with it in order to produce whatever they are producing to live. The lord and tenant, master and economic servant socioeconomic relationship has to be replaced with some form of economic democracy.

Public services are not the same thing. Hell, Augustus started the first public fire departments in Rome (so to speak) but it didn't turn Rome's extremely harsh class society (including the use of slave labor) into socialism.

Ugh. It makes me want to bang my head on the wall sometimes.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Dig @3    8 months ago
I will never understand why this concept is so damn hard to for so damn many people to grasp.

I think people do not try to understand the concept.   Most seem to stop at the slogan level.   They hold on to bad systems that have been coined 'socialism' such as the former U.S.S.R and Venezuela and use those as their 'definition' for socialism.  

In short, most people (I am convinced) do not try to understand the concept.   They are content with a slogan/propaganda level understanding and will stubbornly insist that they have done all the research they need to be correct.    And even when additional information is provided, rather than investigate they just deny it and hold true to their preconceived notions.   Unteachable.

Yeah, it is frustrating to observe so much stubbornly willful ignorance.

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
3.1.1  Dig  replied to  TᵢG @3.1    8 months ago

I can't help but wonder if a lot of the confusion regarding social programs is because of the way socialists in the past worked to get them, but they weren't doing so because they thought it would create socialism, they were just trying to make life better for the working class in capitalism. That's what socialists always do in capitalism, but the policies and programs they manage to get passed aren't creating socialism, the point is just to make a still-existing capitalism a little more humane than it would otherwise be.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Dig @3.1.1    8 months ago

I think the main confusion stems from social democracy.   Because of its Fabian Society origins, social democracy is tagged by many as socialism (rather than conditioning a capitalist system through redistribution of wealth).   Labeling social democracy 'socialism' is of course technically incorrect since it is highly regulated / taxed capitalism used to fund big government public services.   Even Mr. Socialism (Bernie Sanders) deems this socialism as does the Democrat Socialists of America.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
3.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.2    8 months ago

While I will not dispute what is said above, the only thing I can say is that people like AOC are definitely giving what people perceive Democratic Socialism to be a really bad name...

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.3    8 months ago

How so? What has she said?

I'm aware of her ideas about society, but I don't know much about her ideas about economic policy.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
3.1.5  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.4    8 months ago

There have been a fair amount, but her New Green Deal is the one that first comes to mind. That gal is nuttier than the fruitcakes I got in my C-rats in Vietnam!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.3    8 months ago
... people like AOC are definitely giving what people perceive Democratic Socialism to be a really bad name..

She is doing what Bernie Sanders did.    She is using 'socialism' as the label for statist policies.   She is indeed compounding the confusion.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.5    8 months ago

What's wrong with the Green New Deal?
1 America needs to update its infrastructure.
2 Infrastructure projects create jobs that cannot be off-shored.
3 As long as we're doing infrastructure, we might as well try to save the planet at the same time.

Obviously, all the details are up for discussion.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to    8 months ago

As I said, all the details are up for discussion.

We know that sooner or later, we must shift from petroleum to renewables. It seems to me that we'd be better off, if we managed the transition, rather than to (sooner or later) get body-slammed when an unplanned transition rolls over us.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.11  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.7    8 months ago
What's wrong with the Green New Deal?

The problem with AOC is that she leaps to the extreme in a reality where progress is necessarily incremental. 

Infrastructure and renewable energy are important but we need to take a sensible, well-conceived approach that is effective and addresses real problems.   Government initiatives in the past do not inspire confidence.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.12  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.11    8 months ago

I suspect that her self-assigned mission is to move the goal posts.

When she sets out a position that is politically impracticable, she opens up space for "more moderate" colleagues to propose "more moderate" propositions... which are nevertheless to the left of what is happening...

Government initiatives in the past do not inspire confidence.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has done some stuff...

We should have stopped after the first round, but the Interstate Highway system has probably been a net positive...

Do you have any particularly spectacular failures in mind?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
3.1.13  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.11    8 months ago

I know that big thing about cow emissions was pretty far out there....

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.14  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.13    8 months ago

I just did a quick Google search... and it seems that methane from cattle is indeed a very significant contributor to global warming.

Don’t take my word. Search yourself.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.15  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.1.13    8 months ago

See @3.1.14, I know it sounds nutty but Bob is right.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.16  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.12    8 months ago
Do you have any particularly spectacular failures in mind?

My favorite spectacular failure is the Federal government's lack of even a framework to organize a practical healthcare system that would work organically in the USA.   If competent, the Federal government would have by now (by using private sector medical and medical delivery expertise by the way) established federal standards (in a federated manner:  states establish their own more detailed standards) for basic things such as:

  • Medical healthcare ids attached to shareable patient data
  • Unified medical records
  • Medical conditions (damages, diseases) to unify the factors for insurance (allowing apples to apples comparisons, for example)
  • Protocol for sharing medical information and equipment across the nation
  • Protocol for sharing, evaluating, monitoring medical equipment usage and efficacy
  • Protocol for sharing medical resources, special expertise. etc.

We should, by now, have a means to start gaining economies of scale and effectiveness even with a private-sector based healthcare system.   A disparate, redundant system can never compete effectively with one that is based on standards and economies of scale.

And I am still talking about a system that is private-sector based.   We should logically evolve to a system that offers basic healthcare (most common issues such as broken bones, viruses, etc.) via a public system and offer tiers of higher, more exotic care funded by those who are willing to pay for same.    Finally, we would need a way to help people get care for catastrophic ailments (accidental loss of limbs, cancer, etc.) since the healthcare costs could easily bankrupt most families.

My point, of course, is that the Federal government has had decades to even start establishing the framework for an effective system and has instead just whipped up 'fixes' and tossed them out with fingers crossed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.17  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.16    8 months ago

You're right that the failure to do health-care is BAD. But it's not a failure of government. It's a failure of the American people.

So many countries have created so many different health-care systems that it's hard to not see the American situation as linked to American society more widely.

One of America's two parties works exclusively for the ultra-rich. Since the ultra-rich will always have their own health-care, it's obvious that they have no interest in establishing a universal health-care that will cost them higher taxes. (Likewise, the ultra-rich refuse to spend for education - their kids are always in private schools. And so on...)

Republicans oppose health-care, just as they oppose all spending other than for the ultra-rich. Until that padlock is broken, America will fumble.

"Government" is not the problem. The excessive power of the ultra-rich is the problem.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.18  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.17    8 months ago
"Government" is not the problem. The excessive power of the ultra-rich is the problem.

That is true too.   But you are seguing into another topic.   I gave you my prime example of government failure.   Yes the electorate has much to do with how our soci-economic/political system has evolved and why we have the kind of politicians and capitalists (uber-wealthy) in place today.   

But I am not going to give government a pass based on your reasoning because then nothing would be considered a failure of government.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.19  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.18    8 months ago

Oh, it's certainly a failure of American government, but it's not a failure of government in general, because there are so many that have succeeded.

It's an interesting case, precisely because the exception is so flagrant. It cries out for an explanation.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.20  Split Personality  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.15    8 months ago

As long as the grass grows and we still like mill, ice cream and steak, cows will be safe.

Almost every living thing produces organic waste and the planet will deal with that.

it's the non essential non organics which need to be studied and controlled.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.21  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.19    8 months ago
but it's not a failure of government in general, because there are so many that have succeeded.

When I speak of a failure in government I was and am referring to failure in our federal (and to a lesser degree) state governments.   I was not writing about government in general.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.20    8 months ago

There's nothing natural about cattle. The animal was created by people, maximizing milk and meat production.

The number of bovines is strictly function of people's dietary habits.

So... the methane problem is human-created.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.23  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.21    8 months ago
I was not writing about government in general.

OK.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
Masters Principal
3.1.24  XDm9mm  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.22    8 months ago
There's nothing natural about cattle. The animal was created by people, maximizing milk and meat production.

Really Bob?   Maybe you should speak with the people from the stone age that would obviously disagree with you.

Man has used cattle for the past 6500 years as a source of meat, milk, clothing, objects of worship, and as beasts of burden and power.

The art of raising animals for food, fiber and power has paralleled the development of. our civilization.  In fact, changing the natural habits of animals to meet the needs and desires of man was necessary to allow people to rise above barbarism. Cattle were probably hunted for food and fiber in the Old Stone Age.

The New Stone Age brought the first primitive type of cattle domestication.

During this period, man needed a more steady, and perhaps a more desirable, meat and milk supply.

Simply put, the animals were domesticated to provide for the need of man as opposed to having man hunting them for the same thing.   I guess it was easier to domesticate cattle as opposed to woolly mammoths or sabre toothed tigers.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.25  Bob Nelson  replied to  XDm9mm @3.1.24    8 months ago

We're saying the same thing. "Man created bovines."

Having cattle at hand, humans modified their diet to include a nutritionally unnecessary quantity of beef.

Having chosen to eat far more beef than necessary, humans are now responsible for the impact of an excessive number of bovines.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
Masters Principal
3.1.26  XDm9mm  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.25    8 months ago
Having chosen to eat far more beef than necessary,

Finding and killing "bovines" was likely much easier than finding other animals that had the ability to fight back, and in some cases make a meal of the hunter.

And it's only more beef than necessary to some, but then I appreciate duck, chicken, turkey, fish, and of course baby back ribs and bacon!!!

Maybe that's why I like all others of our species have incisors and eye teeth for ripping and tearing in addition to molars for crushing.

As to "excessive" bovines, I must surmise you never read about the herds of bison that would roam the great plains and their herds would number in the hundreds of thousands if not millions without our species help at increasing numbers.

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
3.1.27  Dig  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.2    8 months ago
I think the main confusion stems from social democracy.   Because of its Fabian Society origins, social democracy is tagged by many as socialism

Well, I don't know about Fabian Society origins. The term social democrat was used by many early revolutionaries (Lenin included) to describe themselves and others in their movement, along with fellow travellers. 

The term didn't become what it means today until a little later on (basically post-Eduard Bernstein), when social democratic parties in Europe decided on pragmatism over revolution and started focusing on reforms within capitalism instead of trying to overthrow it (which is what 'social democracy' means now).

But, yeah, lots of people do get modern social democracy and socialism mixed up.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.28  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Dig @3.1.27    8 months ago
The term social democrat was used by many early revolutionaries (Lenin included) to describe themselves and others in their movement, along with fellow travellers. 

The Fabians pre-dated Lenin.   The basic concept of social democracy pre-dated the Fabians.   But the Fabians highly influenced the Labour party and the emergence of social democracy in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.

But, yeah, lots of people do get modern social democracy and socialism mixed up.

They refuse to realize that social democracy (as can be witnessed today) is a variant of capitalism.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.29  Bob Nelson  replied to  XDm9mm @3.1.26    8 months ago

If you'd like to converse some day, fine. But I'm not going to chase squirrels.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.31  Bob Nelson  replied to    8 months ago

Good question.

I googled fifty million dollars. There are 80 000 of them. That's two one-hundredths of one percent.

To get an idea of how much that is:

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.32  Split Personality  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.22    8 months ago

So dogs, cats and lots of birds are collectively man made problems?

Like Xdm9mm said, what of the Bison before we slaughtered them, surely they created a methane problem too?

Imagine that, you've forced 9mm and I into the same agreement box.

smh

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.33  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.32    8 months ago
So dogs, cats and lots of birds are collectively man made problems?

Are these animals also generating planet-damaging volumes of methane?

Please don't put words in my mouth.

Ask, rather than presume.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
3.1.34  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.20    8 months ago

Just out of curiosity, did anyone ever see the commercial Burger King did a while back with a bunch of kids singing about cow emissions and what Burger King is doing about it? One kid dressed as cowboy all in white while  playing a guitar and singing. I guess BK came to the conclusion that it was a mite too far on the PC side and pulled it relatively quickly. But at least it had a catchy tune...

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.35  Split Personality  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.33    8 months ago
Please don't put words in my mouth. Ask, rather than presume.

Good grief Bob, there's two comments that are begging for a CoC.

900 million dogs, more cats, hundreds of thousands of other pets aren't part of the problem?

7.6 billion people are not the real problem? 

smh

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.36  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.35    8 months ago

Do us both a favor.

Look up the impact of bovine methane on climate change.

I wouldn't have imagined it.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.37  Split Personality  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.36    8 months ago

Bob, stop being obtuse.

The dinosaurs created more methane for millions of years.

the problem is 7.6 billion bugs called humans.

blaming the cows and chickens we raise for food is disingenuous .

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.38  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.37    8 months ago

You didn't look it up, hmmm?

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.39  Split Personality  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.38    8 months ago

Yes Bob, it comes in right behind coal mining, oil and natural gas production and exploration and landfills

all of which have man-made in common and all of which should be replaceable.

My steaks, milk, ice cream, dairy and sheep products

are once again, the result of too many people, but I would like to keep the cows,

some of the people, not so much...

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.40  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.39    8 months ago
man-made

Today's ridiculously beef-rich diet is the (man-made) problem. The cattle, and their methane, are a consequence.

If we don't change in a lot of ways, the planet will die. Eating less beef would not be a great hardship, and would make a significant difference.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1.41  Split Personality  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1.40    8 months ago

And eat what instead?  Fish?  The seas are already over fished  & suffering...

Grains and vegetables?  The rain forests are shrinking by the day and they kill the trees to make more farms

or pasture.

There are simply too many people

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3.1.42  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.41    8 months ago

Our diet needs to be renewable, like everything else.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Dig @3    8 months ago

I watched a live action movie of "Animal Farm" the other night. It was good, but it had a happy ending.

Anyway, watching it, I started to understand socialism. What the old boar, Major, had intended for the farm was indeed socialism. The animals would control the production and all would share in the labor and the fruits of the labor.

But then it got bastardized by the pigs and it all went to hell and everybody but the pigs starved.

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
3.2.2  Dig  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2    8 months ago
Anyway, watching it, I started to understand socialism. What the old boar, Major, had intended for the farm was indeed socialism. The animals would control the production and all would share in the labor and the fruits of the labor. But then it got bastardized by the pigs and it all went to hell and everybody but the pigs starved.

Yeah. Orwell was pro-socialism and fiercely anti-totalitarianism. Animal Farm was an allegory about what had happened in the Soviet Union after the Revolution, when Stalin took over and ruined everything (but still called it socialism in all of his propaganda, of course). Old Major was Marx (and some of Lenin), Napoleon was Stalin, and Snowball was Trotsky. That's another thing that amazes me — how many people read Animal Farm but never understand Orwell's point, which was that genuine democratic socialism is desirable, but that totalitarianism masquerading in its place is neither desirable, nor actually socialism.

Trotsky also wrote about that subject in The Revolution Betrayed, in which he said that for socialism to exist in the Soviet Union there would have to be yet another revolution, but this time to overthrow Stalin (and Stalinism). And of course Stalin had him assassinated for that. A mountain climbing ice axe to the head while in exile in Mexico.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Dig @3.2.2    8 months ago

If Trotsky had seized power after Lenin's death, things might (might) have gone differently, but you know what they say about absolute power and ruling by committee is hazardous, too.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.2.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.3    8 months ago

Chances are good that anyone other than Stalin would have been an improvement.   Further, Trotsky seemed to genuinely want the people to be in control whereas Stalin wanted only Stalin to be in control.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.4    8 months ago

Unfortunately, the world will never know.

Off topic...but there's a movie on either Showtime or Amazon called "The Death of Stalin"

It's hilarious

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
3.2.6  Sean Treacy  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.5    8 months ago
but there's a movie on either Showtime or Amazon called "The Death of Stalin" It's hilarious

Well, that's something I can agree with you on. One of the funniest movies in the last few years. 

 
 
 
Dig
Senior Guide
3.2.7  Dig  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.3    8 months ago
If Trotsky had seized power after Lenin's death, things might (might) have gone differently, but you know what they say about absolute power and ruling by committee is hazardous, too.

Well, no individual should have been allowed to seize power at all. Having a single, autocratic ruler is absolutely not socialistic. The highest ruling institution in the government should have been some kind of democratic assembly, with members elected by all of the various soviets.

But yeah, given the way things worked out, Trotsky would have been far better than the low-intellect, criminally-minded Stalin.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  Dig @3.2.7    8 months ago

Ok then how about "wrested power away from Stalin and given it to a democratic assembly"?

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4  Kathleen    8 months ago

I was wondering out of curiosity besides those 75 programs we all support, what else would taxpayers support if socialism was allowed.

Just trying to understand it better.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @4    8 months ago

Socialism simply means that the productive economic resources of a nation are not controlled by a minority.   Instead of leaders of mega-corporations determining what to produce, where, when, etc. (and largely controlling government operatives), those choices are made more organically by the people.   The how behind this gets complicated (and varies) and is largely theoretical (a practical example in part, however, is Mondragon corporation).  

Just think of a system where businesses are owned by the employees, communities decide which businesses they will allow in their domain (hierarchic), major business and societal decisions are put to a vote, etc.   The system would be inherently democratic but necessarily employ indirect democracy.   That is, there will still be individuals deemed by the people to act on their behalf (in the workplace and in the workings of society).

The presence of social programs is not a distinguishing factor of socialism;  social programs are part of every socio-economic/political system.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @4.1    8 months ago

I would like to see the fashion industry socialized. They decide what society is going to wear and tough shit if you don't like it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.1    8 months ago

Well, there would be nothing stopping a minority from establishing the informal rules for fashion.   There would likely be more variety in what to wear but as long as their are influential people with a voice, there will be those who will follow the advice.   I mean, after all, fashion is nothing but trends.   It is not as though the designs of today are substantially more artistic than those of 100 years ago.   Technology has produced more functional fabrics and manufacturing methods, but the essence of fashion —the design— is entirely subjective and trendy.   Am I right?

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.3  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @4.1    8 months ago

Okay, so you are only talking about big corporations then. Sort of strip away at the executives and CEO's. What about small businesses? 

Another question if you don't mind answering T,G, So everything I own and my family worked for will never be touched? 

Thanks for the above reply.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.3    8 months ago

Socialism theory typically includes a market-based economy based on a plethora of competitive businesses (small, medium and large, but not uber-large) struggling for market share.

Another question if you don't mind answering T,G, So everything I own and my family worked for will never be touched? 

Personal property (I think this is what you are describing) remains personal.   The term 'private property' refers to economic resources (although it is misleading and seems as though it is referring to what individuals own).

Also, in my way of thinking, if our system ever were to be based on a socialist economy (versus a capitalist economy) it would be the result of evolution.   It would evolve (slowly) over time.   People simply would not notice the daily changes.   One would have to look over decades to recognize the significant changes.    As an example of this phenomenon, we are all tied to our intelligent devices nowadays.   Consider the difference in our lives now versus what was taking place as of the 1990s.   It happened slowly, but the change in our society is rather substantial.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.2    8 months ago

Yes, you are. But I see people that are slaves to fashion and have to have the latest trendy shirt, skirt, or shoes.

I stick to the basics and wear clothes out before I buy new ones

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.6  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.4    8 months ago

Yes, personal property, that also includes investments that I own.  I got the idea. Thanks...

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.7  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.5    8 months ago
I stick to the basics and wear clothes out before I buy new ones

Same here.   But my wife is a fashionista.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.7    8 months ago

I'm sorry

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.9  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.8    8 months ago

jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg    Well, she always looks great.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.10  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.2    8 months ago
I would like to see the fashion industry socialized.

A couturier is a good example. One of the myths about socialism is that everyone gets paid the same. That's silly. The fashion house needs a good designer. To keep the designer from moving the to a competitor, the house must pay well.

Remuneration is three parts: dividend, salary, and bonus. Only the dividend is the same for all employee-shareholders. The designer might have a modest salary, with a bonus proportional to the company's profits.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.11  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.4    8 months ago
It would evolve (slowly) over time.

It would be via the tax code, favoring employees' purchase of stock.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.12  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.10    8 months ago
One of the myths about socialism is that everyone gets paid the same. That's silly.

It is naive and ill-informed as well.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.13  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.11    8 months ago

Maybe, in part.   I see it as a natural progression.   If it is not natural it will not happen.   The people must grow towards it ... similar to how they out-grew feudalism.

 
 
 
Account Deleted
Freshman Quiet
4.1.14  Account Deleted  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.11    8 months ago
It would be via the tax code, favoring employees' purchase of stock.

Actually there is another less direct approach that might happen as an unintended consequence if   the Federal Reserve looks at helping corporations in order   to shore up the economy.

While the idea of the FED purchasing corporate bonds is not new - they are also considering the purchase of corporate stocks. Done deliberately over time, Americans might find themselves in a controlling position in some corporations - through the government.

Also - the next time we bail out a bank or auto manufacturer - do it through stock purchases and hang on to the stocks.

This is an alternative to taxing corporations to fund social programs.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.15  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.13    8 months ago

Certainly.

Structural changes are usually expressed through the tax code, which is a good tool for controlling the speed of the change.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.16  Bob Nelson  replied to  Account Deleted @4.1.14    8 months ago

Pertinent!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5  Nerm_L    8 months ago

Another dictionary debate that will create voluminous clouds of smoke to obscure what is really being sought.  The concept of 'socialism' has been misused the same way as the concepts of 'liberty', 'justice', and 'equality' to elevate political greed to some sort of twisted virtue. 

Socialism, like capitalism, is about controlling supply and production to satisfy a profit motivation.  The fundamental characteristic for both socialism and capitalism is ownership of the means of production.  Owning the means of production allows owning and controlling profits and wealth.  Blowing clouds of political smoke doesn't change the nature of supply-side economics, no matter who owns and controls the supply.

The examples cited in the article are neither socialist or capitalist.  The list enumerates needs; not production.  The socialist and capitalist profit seekers view those needs as markets that can be exploited for profit.  Socialism, like capitalism, is about exploitation; not about benevolence or charity or sympathy.  Socialists expect to make a profit just as capitalists do.

The demand-side of the economy doesn't define the supply-side.  Profit seeking exploitation of identified needs doesn't validate greed.  The distinction between socialist greed and capitalist greed is only important to the greedy.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
Professor Participates
5.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Nerm_L @5    8 months ago

You lost me because none of us own our competitors means of production. How can one control means of production if they have competition? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Dean Moriarty @5.1    8 months ago
How can one control means of production if they have competition? 

It is the group (all the competitors) that controls the means of production and distribution.   And there is no implied coordination/cooperation between the owners/controllers of the means of production and distribution.   The key is that ownership/control over the productive resources of the economy is held by a minority:  capitalists, state, combination rather than collectively by the people.

Take Venezuela, for example.  The Venezuelan people have never had any control over the productive resources of their economy.   It is the state that assumed control (and then blew up this resource rich nation's economy).   If one is to assign an economic method to Venezuela it is capitalism (minority control over the MoP/D) and in whole the system is one of State Capitalism (the minority controller is the State itself).  

In China, with the advent of private sector capitalism, the minority control is held by a combination of the State and private capitalists.   It is a hybrid of State and private sector capitalism.

There has never been a nation where the people themselves (not a minority) had collective (albeit distributed) control over the means of production and distribution.   (And there may never be.)

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5.1.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Dean Moriarty @5.1    8 months ago
You lost me because none of us own our competitors means of production. How can one control means of production if they have competition? 

Each competitor owns a means of production and pursues profit on the supply-side of the economy.  However, no one on the supply-side of the economy owns the means of consumption.

A government guaranteed basic income is not socialist or capitalist because that would be applied to the demand-side of the economy and would only affect the ability to consume.  Socialism and capitalism are only about the supply-side of the economy.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @5    8 months ago
The examples cited in the article are neither socialist or capitalist. 

Indeed.   The examples in the article are not about the core economic factors but rather about societal / government factors.   Not one of the listed 75 items is a defining characteristic of socialism (or capitalism).   The author, as with so many, does not know what he is talking about.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @5.2    8 months ago
Indeed.   The examples in the article are not about the core economic factors but rather about societal / government factors.   Not one of the listed 75 items is a defining characteristic of socialism (or capitalism).   The author, as with so many, does not know what he is talking about.

I agree to a very large extent.  But that doesn't address how 'socialism' is being applied to the list of examples.

What does a fire department produce or supply?  Fire protection can certainly be exploited for profit.  Isn't the misuse of the concept of 'socialism' really about obtaining control over exploiting needs to pursue profit?

IMO, the political debates over socialism are really about using government to exploit the needs of the populace to satisfy greed.  That's the problem with political focus on supply-side economics.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.2.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @5.2.1    8 months ago
But that doesn't address how 'socialism' is being applied to the list of examples.

Nerm, I am stating that the author of the seeded article does not know what he is talking about.   The man is confused.   He conflates government and government services with socialism.   I would not expect this author to properly address anything in this topic.

IMO, the political debates over socialism are really about using government to exploit the needs of the populace to satisfy greed. 

Yes I think the debate really is between people who think socialism = big 'benevolent' government redistributing wealth.

 
 
 
The Magic 8 Ball
Masters Guide
6  The Magic 8 Ball    8 months ago
You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.

tax funded, social services, and or public works do not equal socialism.

socialism is an economic system (which is not like the fire dept, military, or any of the 73 other examples)

save the socialism pseudointellectual bs for the morons.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  The Magic 8 Ball @6    8 months ago
save the socialism pseudointellectual bs for the morons.

To whom are you addressing this insult?   As the seeder, it would seem you are addressing me.

Did you, by any chance, happen to read anything I wrote about this seed?    For example, here is my prelude:

This is an old article but I am seeding it to illustrate how screwed up some people are in what they define as 'socialism'. The author has posited 75 examples of socialism and misses on every single count.   Yet another 'expert' who has clearly not done a lick of research in this area.

So you are agreeing with me that this is clearly NOT socialism.  

 
 
 
The Magic 8 Ball
Masters Guide
6.1.1  The Magic 8 Ball  replied to  TᵢG @6.1    8 months ago
So you are agreeing with me that this is clearly NOT socialism.  

of course... LOL

did I say anything to the contrary?

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
6.1.2  MAGA  replied to  The Magic 8 Ball @6.1.1    8 months ago

Well there’s this:  

left2.png?resize=600%2C67&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/mediabiasfactcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/left2.png?resize=300%2C34&ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" > MBFCMixed.png?resize=355%2C131&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/mediabiasfactcheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/MBFCMixed.png?resize=300%2C111&ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 355px) 100vw, 355px" >


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These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation.  They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.  See all Left Bias sources.

  • Overall, we rate the Daily Kos strongly Left Biased based on story selection that almost exclusively favors the left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to non-vetted content as well as a few failed fact check and misleading claims.

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Factual Reporting: MIXED
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History

Founded in 2002 by Markos Moulitsas , Daily Kos is an outlet for Political Blogging. It functions as a discussion forum and group blog for a variety of netroots activists whose efforts are primarily directed toward influencing and strengthening progressive policies and candidates. In addition to being a blogging, news, and digital media platform, Daily Kos is a  political organization that has raised money for Democratic candidates.

Daily Kos is based in the United States. Read our profile on USA government influence on media .

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The Daily Kos is held through Kos Media, LLC and is funded through advertising, sponsored content, donations, fundraising and subscription fees for ad free browsing.

Analysis / Bias

In review, Daily Kos reports news through bloggers, who generally lean strongly left. There is moderate use of loaded language in headlines such as this: Voting Rights Roundup: Michigan GOP attempts to sabotage redistricting reform by withholding funding . This particular article is properly sourced to credible mainstream media outlets and newspapers. In some articles there is very strong use of emotional wording such as this: This is how Republicans get away with their lies: The media lets them do it, again and again .

Most articles are written by community members with the rest written by staff members. Editorially, there is very strong left bias with mostly positive articles in favors of left leaning positions and denigration of conservatives. In general, all information tends to favor the left and most articles are sourced, however some of the information written by community members is not vetted by Daily Kos and may contain factual errors or extreme bias.

A factual search reveals that the Daily Kos has failed a few fact checks.

Overall, we rate the Daily Kos strongly Left Biased based on story selection that almost exclusively favors the left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to non-vetted content as well as a few failed fact check and misleading claims. (5/13/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 12/11/2019)

Source:

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  MAGA @6.1.2    8 months ago

Has it completely escaped you that I seeded this article to illustrate the wrong-headed thinking of the author?

Your attempt to discredit the Daily Kos is pointless and counter-productive.

Read the seed or cease commenting.

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
6.1.4  MAGA  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.3    8 months ago

So you can discredit the source and I can’t?  Not!  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  MAGA @6.1.4    8 months ago

Again you fail to read.

This seed exists to illustrate how people routinely get the concept of socialism wrong.   You, by context, presumed that I am supporting the incorrect and naive depiction of socialism presented by the author.  

Your subsequent blind attempt to discredit the website is pointless;  it would only make sense if I were promoting the seed as true.

In short, pay attention to what is going one.   Read the seed and understand at least the point before polluting the article with lengthy, ugly comments that have nothing whatsoever to do with the point.

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
8  MAGA    8 months ago

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
8.1  MAGA  replied to  MAGA @8    8 months ago

I practice socialist distancing.  

 
 
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