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Socialism, schmocialism

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by bwana, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. bwana

    bwana New Member

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    Socialism, schmocialism

    Socialism and socialist ideals have been alive and well as part of the American political and financial landscape for decades. It exists in shades of gray and in whole cloth. The word itself is most often used as an insult or label for ultra-liberal politics by those who tend to abhor anything one click left of center. The problem is, the socialists are here and have been for some time, and the very folks who think they are defending the American people from those darn Socialists and protecting Capitalism have been wrong for a long time. They are so busy pointing fingers and watching the left-wing dogs they never noticed that a few of their fellow right-wing sheep were sporting awful long teeth and looking pretty well-fed.

    Case in point 1… Our health care insurance “system” is cleanly divided in two parts. Part A is where everybody with a great job and adequate coverage meets the insurance company who can make a “profit” from exchanging premiums for payment of health care. Unless of course, you are actually sick and need (gasp) long-term care for a grave illness and then, you’ll find your coverage terminated, withheld, delayed, limited or cancelled because it’s just too darn expensive. Part A is where the “profit” lies and the insurance companies have been allowed to tailor their own playing field and make their own rules without any of that pesky (and unprofitable) oversight or regulation.

    Part B is the ever-growing group of everybody else. Guess who gets to pay for this? This segment is clearly socialized health care. All of the costs and mountains of losses are absorbed by the taxpayer.

    I would argue that since the government is both subsidizing the entire industry AND failing to provide ethical oversight , NOT to guarantee health care for all but, to ensure profitability for the insurance companies, Part A cannot really be considered capitalism either. At best this is quasi-socialism or an oligarchy. Millions of Americans do not have capitalist free-market choices available for health care, their only option is that which is provided by taxpayer dollars or nothing. The folks who fund the system are routinely denied free choice, do not receive fair value for services or basic ethical oversight.

    Case in point 2… The “bailout”. I was a bank loan officer 1999-2001 and witnessed my bank and others do the very things that caused this mortgage crisis. They gutted a 50 year old working credit model because they didn’t want to have to operate in the shrinking credit-rate margins, plain and simple. They all added a fee structure to generate income instead of the usual spread between how much they paid for cash and how much they earned for loaning it back out. The snake in the grass was the fact that they quickly figured out they could make a lot more short-term fee income from LOTS of loans instead of quality loans or even higher dollar amounts. So as a result, it created an even larger number of these stupid loans.

    Couple reduced levels of oversight with lenders left to their own greedy motivations, and we have the 2008 Crisis of Colossal Proportions. How else could one define the nature of actually sending newly minted, unsecured, taxpayer cash to these very lenders to fix the damage caused by their own greed and poor management but socialism? I’d accept oligarchy here too for the literal sticklers in the room, collusion for the conspiracy-theorists and outright theft for the realists.

    So, the feared socialists are not tree huggers, Green-Peacers and half-naked PETA girls. They are not newlywed homosexual, art-district sculptors. They are not liberal activists, members of the media, wide-eyed movie stars, the nouveau riche, the leftist underground, pro-choice feminists or scary ethnic groups. They are rich, white, country-club Republican, Fortune 500 insurance, finance industry executives. The shocking news is that this group has laundered their windfalls as “profits” in industries where they make their own rules without oversight, get subsidized by the taxpayer and stick to a strict diet of feeding on the very people who so staunchly defend them.

    It sure makes some poor sap seeking a few extra bucks for infrastructure, education and a livable minimum wage seem like small potatoes. The sheer weight of so many Americans allowing themselves to be so utterly bamboozled by such a blatant pack of lies and then, propped up like mannequins and made to believe they are also responsible to be the defenders of this lie, packaged as some higher social ideal, is mind-boggling.

    Who will defend us from Socialism? Who will defend us from these corporate wolves in sheep’s clothing!? These slick perpetrators operate in broad daylight and have all the money and an awful lot of power. Their defenders are too busy stomping their feet to notice they have been duped, let alone admit it. They are so busy being terrified about paying a few thousand dollars in taxes to fund some hated social programs, they hardly notice they’ve lost 40% of their 401k’s and a big chunk in their next 10 year’s earning power making the super-rich, super-richer. It’s really hard to fathom. But they will predictably, simply continue to stomp their feet, never admitting they have been wrong for years.

    Are you feeling ripped off? I’d bet the ones with all the money did it. Whatchuthink?

    Chomp. There goes another sheep dinner.

    Happy Halloween.

    bwana
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    No, when someone on the left is called a socialist, it's because they support or have proclaimed socialistic ideals or principals. It's not even considered an insult by most on the left, since they are what they are. Most of the time, they act like it's an insult because they know if people find out what they are, they will lose in the realm of public thought.

    Further, most on the right do not ignore socialists on our side. When Bush supported the Bailout, no conservative backed him on it, and many, like myself, called him out for it. We are not like the left. We don't not blindly support our political leaders even if they commit felonies, or hang out with terrorists from the 60s.

    If there was no ability to make a profit, there would not be any health insurance at all, thus no one would be able to get any care unless they paid upfront. It's easy to complain about a system, but the left never seems to understand the consequences of arbitrarily changing the system.

    Here, try this. Open your own insurance company and setup your premiums so that you don't make a profit. It's not that hard really. Of course... how long do you think you'll be in business? :)

    And see how it doesn't work? Socialism always fails. You are making my point.

    Not true. If I can choose any company to get my health care through, why can't anyone else?

    The federal government pushed and imposed on banks to make these loans. It's socialism at it's worst. Government intervention moved this forward. The reason banks didn't make sub-prime loans for 50 years, was because there was too much risk. The government, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, relaxed the rules purposefully to "help minorities qualify for loans". It was an official policy of the government under Clinton.

    [​IMG]
    Socialism always fails. This is just another example.

    How and when did we reduce the level of oversight? Name the bill. How passed it, and when? In what way did it reduce oversight? I've asked this to a dozens leftist now, and not one had an answer.

    There are socialist republicans. They suck just as bad as democrat socialists. You still can't name how there isn't oversight. Profits are rightly earned money to those who earned it.

    Most of this post was a lie. American's being bamboozled? Compare the US to any communist country, and explain how we're bamboozled? The fraud here is the idea you can socialize your way to a livable minimum wage or so on. That's failed a universally every time it's been tried, yet here we are still wanting to try it cause we are too stupid to learn some history.

    The minimum wage is particularly destructive because people are plain stupid about the economic effects of the minimum wage. First, a "livable wage" is a subjective thing. I watched a guy from Romania come here with not much more than clothes and his family. He worked at a Wendy's and supported his two kids and wife that did work, off of his wage. The wage was 'livable'. No he didn't have a car, or a phone, or cable TV, or A/C in the summer. But he lived, and he worked hard, and he moved up the corporate ladder till he could afford all those things. He did not: sit on his laze Americanized butt waiting for a livable wage.

    The minimum wage also has negative effects. For example, it increases the cost of labor for all goods, generally causing inflation, as the cost of all things becomes more. It also causes cheaper labor from international market to become more competitive with American labor, causing the loss of American jobs. Finely, many companies that have limited income, it always results in lay offs. People routinely lose their jobs when the minimum wage goes up.

    The only way we will lose all of our 401Ks is if we give in to socialism, and it destroys our economy. The stock market will rebound unless we start socializing our economy, and cause a depression. Otherwise, it will go up and down as it always has in the past. The idea that the market is an indicator of much is a joke. It goes up and down constantly.

    Further, this shows how ignorant you are of the rich. Most of the rich have their money tied up in stocks. When your 401K goes down, the rich lose many times as much as you, because they have a far larger amount of cash tied up in stocks.

    I think America is in great danger if someone knowing so little about how economics works, is allowed to vote on people who will determine economic policy. Whatchuthink?
     
  3. bwana

    bwana New Member

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    If you'll put your well-rehearsed agenda down for a minute and read the post you might understand that I am not proposing socialism as a fix, nor am I necessarily proposing a fix with this piece. I am simply pointing out that there are a lot of pseudo-intellectuals hung up discussing EXACTLY what the wolves want you to be hung up discussing.

    If one large chunk of the population is apathetic and unengaged, and another large chunk is hung up arguing over what labels to apply to one another like an epic Lilliputian egg debate, there are only a small number of people left paying enough attention to understand what is going on.

    Capitalism without morality creates a killing field for the super-rich. To defend their "right" to conduct themselves this way does not make one a patriot, it simply means that one lacks the same moral compass these mega-corporations do and aspires to be just like them one day or is simply unaware.

    The oil companies, oil producing nations, insurance companies, financial industry, et al are manipulating our system and it is not creating widespread opportunity and prosperity as capitalism intended. The super-rich are simply getting super-richer and they are doing it with the blessings of people who continue to forfeit their personal freedoms and free-market choices with the mistaken belief that they are defending those very rights.

    Local sustainable economies are being lost to vulnerable global markets and supply chains. Lending, insurance and transportation is being merged into monolithic mega-corporations and it should be patently obvious to any observer that THIS is the recipe for disaster. Yet, so many well-intentioned people simply do not see this and prefer to argue about which end of the egg to break first. Sad.

    Hundreds of thousands of small, locally-based producers, growers, manufacturers, suppliers, makers, bakers and retailers collectively represent capitalism. An economy, a government and constituency that favors mega-corporations seizing every conceivable market, service and product line is not. It creates vulnerability; it creates an uncompetitive playing field and drives the average small business-person out of the market.

    The very corporations that are destroying capitalism and free-market economies all over the world are routinely, successfully negotiating bail outs, subsidised deals, tax-credits, forgiveness and freebies. They are so good at it, they can get widespread legislation and 800 billion dollars for free in just a few weeks in the middle of an election year!

    They are using our capitalist history and interests against us, have mastered using our electoral processes to their advantage, have infiltrated the organizations, parties and committees that oversee and manage every facet of the marketplace and have amassed such a network of wealth and power that they are likely unstoppable.

    You think Socialism is the demon? Not even close. The fact that so many spend all of their energy and time arguing over silly pseudo-intellectual finger-pointing and label-pinning keeps them occupied with pabulum. It is exactly the harmless toy they want you to play with.

    Entire industries are gone. Millions of local economies are gone. Supply lines have been bottlenecked into vulnerable chains owned by a single profiteer. Remember the tomato-salmonella situation this summer? Caused by the fact that there are virtually no sustainable local tomato growers anymore. They all come from South America and a single supply chain. One bad truck load of tomatoes closed the supply down. Were these local tomato growers forced out of business by capitalism? Or amoral corporate greed?

    Our enemy is not an ideology. Our enemy is people; people who place their insatiable greed over the widespread prosperity that made America great and made Capitalism work. It just ain’t working any more.

    bwana
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    No one suggested laws should not be enforced.

    How am I forfeiting my personal freedom by supporting capitalism? Capitalism is the ability to use what capital I have to advance myself. In effect capitalism is personal freedom. The alternative is government control, which automatically is opposed to personal freedom.

    Try giving a specific example where supporting capitalism reduces ones personal freedom?

    First, there is no inherent problem with mega-corporations. Many provide millions with jobs, and supply products we want at cheaper prices than small local companies can.

    The local producers and growers here have a farmers market that is thriving. That alone busts your false theory. But even more, I work for a very small but growing company. It's very competitive. So the idea that somehow it's driving out small business is also provably wrong.

    Finely, every individual is a capitalist. A corporation or business, is simply a group of capitalists together for a common purpose.

    A corporation can not destroy capitalism. Only government can destroy capitalism. Same with free-markets. The problem with all those things you list, is that they don't come from corporations. They come from government. The problem is the people we elect to government, not some private corporation.

    If they are unstoppable, stop wasting your time here. However, I don't believe anyone is unstoppable. Not even sure who "they" are that you refer to. Like the X-Files movie... 'them', 'those people', 'they' and so on. But if you refer to corporations, then this is a conventional wisdom lie that's been spread for ages and is false every time you test it.

    Enron was too big to fail. Worldcom was too big to fail. And the list goes on and on. Yet some how they all failed.

    Socialism is the demon. Every failing we have in our economy is due to socialistic policies.

    Um... hm. Well let's see how true that is.
    http://www.tomatogrowers.com/ in Florida
    http://www.ctga.org/ in California
    http://www.floridatomatogrowers.org/ Florida again
    http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/commodit/horticul/tomatoes/ North Carrolina

    Seems like there are quite a few of local tomato growers. Enough there are several tomato grower associations.

    The enemy is the ideology, and capitalism works just fine. You are wrong.
     
  5. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    Looks like bwana offers insightful analysis and andy offers ideological talking points.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    lol

    Maybe you could answer the questions I posed? Or just make empty comments unfounded in reality?
     
  7. rushhannity

    rushhannity New Member

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    Location:
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    Andy, your knowledge on this issue is well noted and put better than I could have done. To debate these people and try to teach them something
    is like kicking a dead horse.
     
  8. Unite Our Nation

    Unite Our Nation New Member

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    Don't waste your time and energy Andy. Some people don't want to learn.
     
  9. bwana

    bwana New Member

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    Listen, you guys just keep on buying from Wal-Mart, eating South American produce and patting each other on the back.

    I don't write to change the minds of folks like you. I wouldn't waste the time.

    READ THE POSTS. They speak for themselves.

    bwana
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    I greatly appreciate your concern. Ironically though, the whole reason I know so much about these topics is by talking to nutty fruity people here. I know that sounds strange, and granted I have learned a ton from those like you who have similar views, however there is a strange thing that happens when confronted with an opposing view that forces you to learn about the topic in order to determine if the view is truth or not.

    It's sad that some of us humans have to be prodded and pushed into learning new things, but that's simply the way it is. For example, I thought very highly of Geo-thermal power, until someone tried to say we should convert the entire nation over to it exclusively. When I discussed it with this person, they accused me of making up garbage, so I made this post:

    Why I Believe: Geo-power is not a long term solution.

    The reason I know so much about that topic is because the opposing side challenged me. Oddly... it was fun :D

    Yes, they do speak for themselves.... I won't repeat what they say to me. I might get an infraction from a moderator if I did.

    But joking aside... did it ever occur to you that just maybe the reasons we import some of our produce from South America..... you know... just might be due to the fact that during our winter season, it's their growing season? You know... when the upper half of the 48 states are covered in snow, central and south America are... um... producing crops? Nah, that can't be it.... right?
     
  11. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    .....And, the feeding continues........ :mad:

     
  12. bwana

    bwana New Member

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    Thanks for following the thread Mr. S!

    This is EXACTLY the sort of thing those currently in charge are all about and what this thread was supposed to be about discussing.

    The wolves in sheep’s clothing seek every opportunity to cash in. It really isn't awfully creative or too difficult to figure out how to "profit" from US policy decisions like the Carlisle Group and their brethren have done. Once the issue of not having a conscience is dealt with, all one really needs to do is simply make sure that they control WHO gets appointed to administrate, supply, ship, manufacture or manage the available contracts.

    With control of establishing the funding of the contracts in congress, overseeing the contracts in congressional committees and executing the contracts in the field with their hand-picked associates, everybody in the loop is working towards the same goal. Making copious amounts of taxpayer money is a snap! Even billing errors in the millions of dollars are easily overlooked. Oops!

    I am far less concerned about the "ties" one might have with everyone they ever sat on a board with than the "ties" the Bush/GOP administration has with the principals of virtually every corporation that they have let a contract to.

    The same holds true for how Wal-Mart has cornered the market on so many retail product niches and have driven hundreds of American companies out of business, or actually dictated wholesale selling prices to them and driven them to the edge of profitability or worse. It’s not a free market anymore when one retailer can block access to the marketplace with a predatory stranglehold on market-share.

    None of this is to suggest that all corporations are evil or that capitalism leads to abuse or anything of the sort. It simply affirms that evil is evil no matter what hat it wears. An amoral, Fortune 500, capitalist, corporate thief is still just a thief at the end of the day. Their evil is reflected only unto themselves and they should be personally accountable. Hiding behind capitalism, the US government or their fiscal responsibilities to their shareholders is a lie. No one claiming human-personhood can dismiss their basic moral and civil responsibilities and no corporation claiming the benefits of corporate-personhood should not be allowed to dismiss theirs either.

    *****

    Meanwhile, those who believe their intelligence is confirmed by having found like minds in the wake of their hero's media broadcasts, spew the same quotes they learned by accepting their well-rehearsed question/answer packages. Lacking an original thought or an inquisitive mind, they seek the comfort of arguments they think they know they can win easily. When the going gets tough the dumb ones always pick the status quo.

    They build their mutual admiration society on the basic tenet that anyone who agrees with them must be smart because they all agree that they are awfully smart themselves. The proof comes when they lash out with personal attacks and call the intelligence of their opposition into question before they actively seek to move the discussion forward. They do not see themselves as seekers of knowledge; they see themselves as deliverers of wisdom.

    It's not about constructive discussion to them, or about moving conversation towards a better world, it is about being seen as smart, as “in the know”. The easiest role to play is the defender of the status quo, it does not require original thought, it does not require a grasp of the issues, just blind allegiance to the “plan” their heroes set before them. They honor their leaders, they supplicate, they quote, they adopt their personas, they are sheep.

    After all, their goal is not to join the fray; they just want to be seen as one of the legion of “smart” ones in lock-step with the winners.

    bwana

    P.S. And please do not spend the rest of your weekend sending me links to prove your off-topic points or I will be foced to send you a few that "prove" your big toe causes cancer.
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Ooo so the socialist idiots who passed a socialist bail out, are shocked when companies take up the offer? Don't be stupid. This is why conservatives universally were against the bail out.

    Hey, get a grip on reality. Government bail outs are part of socialism. It's conservatives who are against socialism, not your democrat buddies in congress.

    For the record:
    SENATE voting AGAINST HR 1424

    Republicans 15
    Democrats 9

    And by the way, democrats controlled the Senate. They could have killed the bill at any time if they choose too.

    In the HOUSE, votes FOR HR 1424
    Democrat: 171
    Republican: 91

    The sponsor of the bill was:
    Rep. Patrick Kennedy
    a democrat.
    There were 274 co-sponsors of the bill.
    40 were Republicans.

    As long as you are willingly ignorant enough to blame one person for the action of three hundred or more, the three hundred have no reason to stop doing these things.
     
  14. bwana

    bwana New Member

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    See, here again, you think we are talking about republians vs. democrats. You are trying to steer the conversation into your well-rehearsed comfort zone so your saved data seems smart and your parroted argument proves something.

    Wake up and smell the cat food. Neither party is without guilt and neither party is calling the shots from party headquarters anymore, they haven't for years. You are making my point that people like you will ENDLESSLY rehash this same blathering nonsense and never even get close to understanding what the primary problems in Washington are, let alone seeking to enter the discussion on how to solve them. You are still arguing about Fords and Chevys and meanwhile, back on the ranch...

    Besides, if you are actually trying to steer this conversation to the election, the election is over. Obama won it four years ago with one speech at the Democatic Convention. Millions made up their minds AT THAT MOMENT that they were going to vote for him if he ever ran. Right, wrong or indifferent he did it.

    I am not really an Obama fan but I have a lot of respect for the fact that he has inspired people. It's hard to argue that he will take the election with a lot of new voters. What is the status quo going to do with millions of new voters?

    This should be really scary for you. They will all have their OWN ideas too.

    This is OFF TOPIC again, and doesn't cut it. I won't rise to the bait. If you want to discuss, I will gladly discuss, if you are looking for converts, try the few million new Obama voters. They are new to this, I'm not.

    bwana
     
  15. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    I proved my point very well. You have not. Thanks for playing though.

    I will keep saying the relevant truth for as long as I deal with ignorant people. Note how this didn't support your argument either.

    Yeah, I heard the same about Kerry, Mondel, Al Gore, and all the other socialists. Obama may or may not win. But any idea that the terrorist messiah has already won, is about as true as the gasoline will be $15 by fall predictions.

    When he has the majority of electoral votes on the 5th, then he will have won. No sooner than that.

    If inspiring people is all that is required, then I understand why leftist fawn over the dictators of the world. Stalin inspired people too. So did Hitler. Castro has inspired a bunch of people as well.

    I don't care if you inspire people. I want someone who will defeat terrorist, (not get campaign money from them) the way Reagan defeated the Soviets.

    Not really. I grew up a liberal. I started thinking and thus became a conservative constitutionalist. Hopefully these other people are on the thinking side of this, and not on the robotic liberal ignorance side. If they are ignorantly liberal, then hopefully a few years of Obama will wake them up.
     
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