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on 'socialism'

'What Americans who support “socialism” actually want is what the rest of the world calls social democracy: A market economy, but with extreme hardship limited by a strong social safety net and extreme inequality limited by progressive taxation.'


  • That word gets tossed about in various contexts with little elaboration. A word can mean many things depending on the connotations people choose to attach to it. Case in point would be the now defunct National Socialist Workers’ Party.

    Point being - Deal with specific issues and not in meaningless name calling.
  • so you have not read the piece yet? (makes your point)
  • edited February 8
    Had trouble getting through the NYT paywall. I do pay for subscriptions thru Amazon - preferring to read the Kindle versions. But it doesn’t get me into the NYT or WP online. Did dig up the op ed.

    I hope Waldman has it right. The voting public can be fickle and easily duped (unfortunately). Often vote contrary to their own self interest as I think you know. Lots of big $$ on the other side.

    Yep - My mention of the German Socialist Democratic Workers’ Party was simply to demonstrate that the word can be bent to mean almost anything.

    Here’s the story I accessed. Seems to be from the WP. I think it’s the same one you linked.
  • edited February 8
    The remaining 20 trillion Dolars question should be who will pay for all of it and where do we come up w all the funds
  • Well john we, and by that I mean they, had no problem blowing out the deficit + handing out huge tax breaks to businesses and the rich so how about we just repatriate all that money for starters. It certainly wasn't trickled down to the masses as they said it would be.
  • edited February 8

    - I know where the first 5.2 Billion could come from. Wanna buy a wall?

    - Than there’s this big-shot millionaire who’s been undergoing the longest federal “tax audit” I’ve ever heard of. It’s lasted for years. When those back taxes and penalties are finally assessed, it should provide a gold mine of additional revenue.
  • edited February 8
    The article attempts to create a view of 'Socialism' that doesn't equate to Venezuela. The Left has made it clear, their intent is to remove the ability of Americans to have private insurance to address health care. They already have a strangle-hold on Social Security and we can use this example as a representation of what they would do with our health care. It would quickly become unsustainable and corrupted. Those in the Political class would quickly exempt themselves from whatever they believe the rest of us should have, just like Obamacare. It sounds good to say we should embrace 'Socialism' for the poor but the truth is they simply want to increase their power over all of us.....
  • Strikes me that some pols are throwing the term "socialism" around in an attempt to appeal to a not very thoughtful base, the same portion of the country that can be exploited with specious reasoning on trade (we'll bring back your jobs), immigration (our country is facing an invasion on the southern border), and race (what's wrong with white supremacy?), and so forth. Joe McCarthy, who would eat a stick of Wisconsin butter before drinking to excess, was a master of inciting fear and hatred by calling any convenient target a "com muh nist."
  • @hank, you tried private / incognito browsers?

    @BrianW, 'they' and 'us'? hope your shelter is strong and full.
  • edited February 8

    PKrugman just now. I mean, figure it out (bf mine):

    Health care isn't that hard an issue. Every advanced country besides the US has universal coverage, so we know how to do it: either government insurance or a highly regulated private system with mandates and subsidies that bring everyone in.
    In other words, we already know what a conservative approach to covering America looks like -- basically, it looks like Obamacare. The reason the GOP won't accept that is that IT DOESN'T WANT PEOPLE TO GET HEALTHCARE.
    Certainly the party doesn't want to pay the price -- the higher taxes and regulation needed to make coverage possible. But as resistance to Medicaid expansion shows, the party doesn't even want coverage expanded if someone else pays.
    So everything you read about GOP plans needs to be seen in this light. The goal isn't to solve the problem; it is to look as if you're trying to solve it, while basically leaving the uninsured out in the cold.
  • edited February 8
    The Left tends to believe no one should own guns. And, would freely give up their Liberty to own guns, if they had the comfort of knowing ‘others’ had guns to watch over them. Never mind the fact the ‘others’ are simply people appointed to watch over them. And despite their hatred of guns, they would freely allow ‘others’ with guns to confiscate the belongings of others – all in the name of helping others. True irony and indicative of their views on most things. Instead of looking for the root cause for issues, and responding without emotion, their solution is to allow those with guns to impose their emotional views/morality/opinions regarding citizenship, on others. All in an attempt to bubble wrap life. Their true version of gun control. Logic is optional, consequences are irrelevant. In a word, ‘Socialism’. We can be responsible for our fellow man with compassion and respect. We don't need people with guns to impose it.
  • @davidmoran: If Obamacare was so great, the politicians who designed it would use it. Show me a program that's sustainable and I would be the first person to support it. Just because you believe you're doing good by supporting a Government run program doesn't mean it is capable of meeting its objectives. i.e SSN
  • You're way out in right field on that one Brian. The left most certainly does NOT believe no one should own a gun. Rather, it believes that certain people shouldn't own them just like certain people shouldn't be allowed to drive, or perform surgery, or deliver babies. I am so sick of that lame ass excuse. Do I own one, no, but only because I don't feel the need to and NOT because I feel nobody should.
  • edited February 8
    @Mark, I believe 'Socialism' is way out of left field and I'm sick of those who believe throwing money (especially others) at a problem will resolve it. Poverty and financial illiteracy is the root of most problems and I don't believe Government mandates will resolve that.
  • I've been hearing this "we won't solve (insert problem here) by throwing money at it" forever, and always from those "conservatives" who freely acknowledge a given problem but don't want to pay a nickel towards ameliorating it. Please note the use of "ameliorate" rather than "solve". It is absolutely true that many social problems will NEVER be completely "solved" no matter how much money is allocated. It is equally true that many of those problems can be made much less dire by an intelligent allocation of national or local funding.

    The conservative use of the word "solve" is deliberate, to cast the issues in a false black/white context. "I'm in favor of whatever works- as long as we don't spend a nickel of my money on it!" The treadworn and tiresome conservative "free lunch" syndrome,,, it never ends.
  • @BrianW, you really need to study some US history, with the data

    also some work on UBI
  • edited February 8

    @hank, you tried private / incognito browsers?

    Thanks for the suggestion. Will give it a try. Actually, I normally just turn to another ipad that’s little used and “clean” per the publisher’s cookies. But last night the one in the house had a dead battery from lack of use and the other was out in my car in a 10 degrees unheated garage. Didn’t feel like running out there to grab it.

    But thanks again for the suggestion.

    PS - You appear to have sparked some interest with this one. The board’s been very slow in recent days.
  • edited February 8
    Mark said:

    You're way out in right field on that one Brian. The left most certainly does NOT believe no one should own a gun. Rather, it believes that certain people shouldn't own them just like certain people shouldn't be allowed to drive, or perform surgery, or deliver babies. I am so sick of that lame ass excuse. Do I own one, no, but only because I don't feel the need to and NOT because I feel nobody should.

    @Mark, I used to hunt and loved guns (the hunting type). Recall with pride the Remington 1100 12 gage semiautomatic shotgun I bought in the 1980s and owned for several years. A real work of art - loved showing it off. Kept it clean as a whistle.

    But something happened in America (or at least in my Michigan area). Guns ceased to be viewed primarily as for show or hunting or sport, and became more of a “self defense” item among the public. Hell, back when I owned one (several really) you never ever thought of using one against a human. The thought of ever using a gun against a fellow human (or pointing one at someone) was just antithetical to everything I was brought up to think about weapons. The thought never even crossed our minds. I sold that beauty one day decades back when I needed the money. But the way things are today I have no desire to own another.

    Every loose nut today seems to have one. The number of recorded incidents of civilians actually stopping a crime with a gun pale in comparison to the number of incidents where someone injures or kills themselves, a friend, a loved one or a complete stranger by accident.

    Damn - I was signed out until Davidmoran’s question got my attention. Hard to refrain from editorializing I’m afraid.:)

  • Spot on hank, all that you said. Grew up the same way. Guess we went to different schools together. Heck, in Boy Scouts I actually became a member of the NRA. Must have been a shooting merit badge thing or such but there was no gun in our family save for my dad's M-1 which was disabled from firing. Interesting aside, all of my kids have guns. Probably to defend themselves against the old man.

    Anyway since then the only one I ever carried, and I carried it 24/7/1095, was an M16 built only to inflict maximum damage to a human. I see no reason for it and similar outside it's intended purpose. But that's a debate for another time.

    I guess where I become confused is where these so-called law abiding gun owners get their panties all bunched up over some sensible changes in current gun laws, the most glaring of which are unregulated sales at gun shows and removal of guns from those deemed to be unstable. Regarding the former, if any law abiding gun owner needed to be trained, licensed and registered in order to purchase a gun why wouldn't they want every perspective new buyer to go through the same process? As for the latter, I hope no explanation is necessary but frankly I have my doubts.
  • edited February 8
    Right... Take away our guns religions statues and even holidays... The great USA.. Where everyone working will be paying 40s - 50% taxasationd for in the lazy hoarders squatters whom are 10000%capable to work but don't want to because they love to collect freebies
  • edited February 8
    johnN said:

    Right... Take away our guns religions statues and even holidays...

    Oh No John! Don’t underestimate us.

    We’re also gonna take away your house, your wife, your kids, your booze and your pickup truck. And then we’ll take your right to vote away too. (It’s a perfectly logical sequence.)
  • edited February 9
    Hi sir hank... Glad you did really like guns and stand ur ground love ur freedom previously...
  • edited February 8
    johnN said:

    I thought you were one of the lefties ...

    @JohnN, Thanks. I was born a leftie but my folks converted me over to a rightie early on - as that was the practice in those days. As a consequence, I can swing a ball bat or golf club equally bad from either side. But I do think this trait has allowed me to view and understand both sides of the left / right divide with some clarity..

    Good night.

  • You've got to hand it to John- he's a master of nuance and subtlety.
  • @hank- your answer to John is a complete giveaway on your social leanings... if you were on the "right" you'd start by taking away your opponent's right to vote.
  • @Mark, I have often wondered, here in a wealthy progressive suburb of Boston, whether I was the only person who had been an NRA member 60y ago via the Scouts (much less own a .22 in the form of a Winch 94). Or maybe it was my maternal gf who gave an NRA membership to me, along w/ subscriptions to SI and F&S.

    I think we (whatever our belief position on the noncrazy spectum) can safely ignore paranoid rants involving being robbed. I actually thought the 'undeserving poor' thing was waning a little bit, what with the new attention to the truly undeserving rich. But
    @johnN, wow, you really need to go volunteer somewhere, get to know your poor(er) neighbors.

    \\\ Right... Take away our guns religions statues and even holidays... The great USA.. Where everyone working will be paying 40s - 50% taxasationd for in the lazy hoarders squatters whom are 10000%capable to work but don't want to because they love to collect freebies
  • People like John don't need to "get to know" much of anything... they already know everything that they need to know.
  • Howdy folks,

    As mentioned, the term Socialism is being used as a pejorative, just like McCarthy using Commies and the polluters using Environmentalists. It's all bullshit and we know it as do most.

    One payer / universal health coverage would actually pay mostly for itself. The overhead for medicare is what 3-4% while in the private health care industry it's over 20%. That said, we need it because it's the right thing to do if we want to survive and prosper as a nation. Hell, it's national defense issue. Canada and Great Britain now have longer life expectancy than we do and we have a higher infant mortality rate. So I really don't care to hear about how our system is better. Bullshit.

    We also need universal education and while we're at it, we must start making the slobs pick up their messes. That's all environmentalism is - demanding that people clean up after themselves. Just like our parents made us clean up our messes when we were young. That all an externality is - passing your mess off onto someone else.

    Oh, and BTW, pay for all this be cutting the defense budget by $250B a year. And this is not a problem. Bring ALL the troops home and defend the shores. And never allow our troops on foreign soil without a declaration of war by congress. Er, just the way the constitution says. Hell, you could cut the defense budget in half while improving military technology, training and readiness.

    it's really not that gd hard,

    and so it goes,


  • Oorah!
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