You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 04:27:14 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)  (Read 5855 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HunterTopic starter

The positive is she's unlikely to be elected. Please, please tell me she won't be elected.

Oh no, it's very like she will.   And I'll be glad that it's not another one of those Socialist Democrats.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 09:39:32 PM »
Come the next election season I'm probably going to be a bit more vocal about pointing out primaries in the US and their importance. I'm not opposed to conservative positions per se, however, having a leadership so disconnected with reality or outright malignant is not healthy for a country.

Oh no, it's very like she will.   And I'll be glad that it's not another one of those Socialist Democrats.

What is socialism, Hunter?

Offline Noelle

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 09:42:39 PM »
Oh no, it's very like she will.   And I'll be glad that it's not another one of those Socialist Democrats.

...Like who? I have yet to see any signs of an impending socialist regime like all the doomsday politicians crying about Obama have predicted.

Offline HunterTopic starter

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 06:06:32 AM »
"Definition of SOCIALISM
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
   b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done"


Oh, I agree that there's not a lot of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.  Both parties have strong socialistic leanings, the Democrats simply lean a bit further.  I can't tell you how many people I've talked to, particularly small business owners, who are outright disgusted with the policies of the current administration.  Case in point, one local business has a very large banner which reads: "No Obama care"

Offline Vekseid

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 06:40:39 AM »
"Definition of SOCIALISM
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
   b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done"

So name a democratic senator or congresscritter who has advocated government ownership of the means of production.

Offline Jude

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 08:14:44 AM »
There aren't any Senators or members of the House of Representatives, that I am aware of, that have advocated complete governmental control of private industry, but there are plenty who advocate control of certain private industries.  Bernie Sanders for example, who actually is a Democratic-Socialist, wants Single-Payer which is true socialized medicine.

And I don't really disagree with you Hunter.  Democrats and Republicans alike agree that certain sectors of our country have to be controlled, owned, and operated by the government, it's just that Democrats extend that governmental control farther than Republicans do.  Not even libertarians believe that the complete absence of government-controlled sectors is wise:  you have to be an anarchist in the truest sense to buy that garbage.

What is counterproductive about the debate, however, is labeling people by which way on the spectrum they lean.  Calling Democrats Socialists because they support public takeover of certain industries is about as honest as calling Republicans Anarchists for opposing such.  Obviously I think it's fair to call someone a socialist who support a takeover of the majority -- or numbers nearing that -- of private industries in America, but there are no Democrats to my knowledge (not even Bernie Sanders) who advocate for such a position.

This debate is about government influence on the private sector and in people's personal lives.  It's appropriate, even necessary, to have such a discussion.  What isn't fair is the extent that "Obamacare" is being talked up as governmental takeover of healthcare -- it's not that at all.  It's a fairly even-handed bill that really helps private health insurance become a more productive, level-playing field and controls the cost of healthcare while not getting involved in the minutia too much.

I personally don't know how I feel about it at all.  I don't like being legally required to buy health insurance, but I understand there's a reason for it.  I also understand that sometimes laws are passed and decisions are made in order to save people's lives that may hurt others:  human life has greater value than even liberty.  Unfortunately, the same Republicans who argued so fervently for such when it comes to matters of national security can't see how that should apply to healthcare as well.

Apparently it's OK to take away our rights and freedoms to protect us from a far less dangerous threat -- terrorists -- but dying because you can't see a doctor and afford treatments is "OK."  According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health 45,000 people die a year from being uninsured -- contrast that with a total of about 3,000 who have died from domestic terrorist attack in the past 10 years.  As you can, our fears and focus are sorely misplaced.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 08:50:11 AM »
There aren't any Senators or members of the House of Representatives, that I am aware of, that have advocated complete governmental control of private industry, but there are plenty who advocate control of certain private industries.  Bernie Sanders for example, who actually is a Democratic-Socialist, wants Single-Payer which is true socialized medicine.

As long as the government didn't actually own the hospitals, it doesn't own the industry. And hospitals aren't means of production, anyway - national health care is more kin to national defense than socialism. Especially as the specter of bioterrorism rises.

Offline Jude

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 09:13:53 AM »
I can see the logic behind your arguments, but I think that labels are meaningless anyway.  Whether you call it socialism or argue that the criticisms should fall under a different label the actual complaints that make up the substance of opposition are the same.  I take more issue with them than anything else.  As for the specific complaints...

Myth:  Socialized medicine is the first step to tyranny/communism.
Fact:  Great Britain has had Single-Payer since after World War II.  Are they communist/fascist?

Myth:  People being able to choose what doctors they go to instead of being told where to go is good for doctors and good for patients.
Fact:  You can't exactly choose freely as is because you have to choose doctors that are within your insurance's coverage network.  That aside, there's plenty of evidence that shows that doctors do best when they examine symptoms without bias and provide the standard treatments without any "creative improvisation."  That doctor you go to, should by all means, give you the same treatment that any other would -- the only difference may be in their individual skill-level and the equipment they use.  Becoming personally involved with your doctor may lead to interjecting your opinions more than you should and creating an atmosphere without objectivity, resulting in decreased efficiency of healthcare.  Your doctor does not need to know you in order to read your chart and gather patient history in order to do their job.

Myth:  Socialized medicine leads to unreasonable rationing and death panels.
Fact:  We already ration our healthcare, we merely do it on the basis of who has the most money instead of survivability.  With the same amount of money in the pool and doctors deciding who is a lost cause and who isn't based on hard fact, more lives would be saved and there would be less human misery.

Of course, this all assumes that the system works.  That requires faith in government and electing competent politicians, which I don't think the American populace is very good at lately, though I digress, and that also brings us back to the origin of this debate:  Republicans nominated this crazy woman as the official party candidate.  What the hell is wrong with us?

Offline Revolverman

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 03:14:09 PM »
Didn't the US government buy out the auto manufacturing industry in the bailout? Seems like owning the means of production. (though that was Bush...)

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 03:26:06 PM »
Didn't the US government buy out the auto manufacturing industry in the bailout? Seems like owning the means of production. (though that was Bush...)
No. The federal government extended,  essentially, a very large loan to the auto industry in exchange for a shake-up of the corporate structure and a piece of the eventual profits. They do this on a fairly regular basis for industries considered critical to the United States, either because of the size of the industry (autos) or its serving a vital function (banking, airlines). Government officials are not overseeing GM's day-to-day operations, for instance, and the government plans to sell off its stake in GM as soon as the value of said stake exceeds the money spent on it.
In effect, it's the government acting as a "bank of last resort", a term any student of economics ought to be familiar with. Its role is purely capitalistic - in a socialist state, the government would acquire the industry outright instead of piecemeal (and often not for fair value), evaluate whether its products were vital, and either dismantle it or run it with the goal of providing a social benefit (jobs, a particular type of good) rather than profits.

A government take-over of the auto industry would result in everyone being taxed $500 a year more, but getting a free Ford.  :P

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 04:08:31 PM »
A government take-over of the auto industry would result in everyone being taxed $500 a year more, but getting a free Ford.  :P

Considering the average cost of an automobile these days - not a terribly bad deal.

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 04:10:44 PM »
I expect they would all run on batteries that required at-home docks that no home would have.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 05:00:10 PM »
In effect, it's the government acting as a "bank of last resort", a term any student of economics ought to be familiar with. Its role is purely capitalistic - in a socialist state, the government would acquire the industry outright instead of piecemeal (and often not for fair value), evaluate whether its products were vital, and either dismantle it or run it with the goal of providing a social benefit (jobs, a particular type of good) rather than profits.



The Government acting as a bank of last resort is closer to Mussolini's Corporatism/Fascism then Capitalism though.

Also, even if they didn't control day to day, they still had the most GM stock, making them Majority owners, no?

Offline Noelle

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 05:42:12 PM »
Does everything have to be so dramatic? If we're not socialists, we're fascists. If the government isn't completely useless, they're plotting a mass evil takeover in order to destroy our country. There is really no need to keep swinging to one extreme or the other -- comparing our style of government to WWII regimes is useless and inaccurate. Any step left or right from the center of the political spectrum is "a step closer" to its extremes in either direction, but that doesn't exactly indicate how close that is.

I guess I don't understand your point. What relevance does it have if they were the majority owners? The key idea here is that the government keeps a large-scale company that's failing afloat to keep the economy from crashing and burning any harder than it already is, and then they hand it back when it's stable again. What that has to do with fascism is beyond me.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2010, 06:27:21 PM »
I think a lot of it is, a simple stating of the obvious. Things are in fact very very wrong with this country.

The one thing that gives me hope is how much the tea party and progressive movements actually have in common. The problem is they've alienated each other, so the common causes they could get steamrolled through all levels of government (transparency and accountability, to name two) are quietly brushed under the rug for those issues that divide them.

The Government acting as a bank of last resort is closer to Mussolini's Corporatism/Fascism then Capitalism though.

America's fascist risks are more apparent in the strength of the lobbying industry, here. It's important to remember that Mussolini's definition of corporatism included things like guilds and so on - 'special interests'. In moving us slightly away from that (by tossing lobbyists from panels), Obama scores points over his predecessor.

Problem is that in a recession driven by lack of demand driven by a lack of liquidity amongst the lower (bottom 80% in the US) classes,
1) The investment markets aren't trusted by the rich and
2) The banks where they store their money aren't lending and
3) The rich don't simultaneously commit to a massive act of charity and
4) The rich have a net income minus taxes and expenditures greater than GDP growth
5) Only government spending (either through acquiring debt from those same rich, taxing them more, or printing money) is going to correct the problem in the short term.

If it isn't corrected, and everyone clams up, a different currency eventually needs to take the place of the current one, and most of the rich would lose nearly everything in such a scenario (even if it wasn't violent). It wouldn't be gold, mind.

Quote
Also, even if they didn't control day to day, they still had the most GM stock, making them Majority owners, no?

It's still a temporary situation, rather than a transitional or permanent phase as is intended by genuine socialists.

Offline Serephino

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2010, 08:22:53 PM »
Didn't GM pay back all the money?  I remember hearing something on the news that they had paid it back and were reporting profits again. 

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2010, 08:26:49 PM »
Not yet.  There's supposedly a plan, but it's going to take a while.

Reuters is a safe source, right?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2010, 09:05:41 PM »
Not yet.  There's supposedly a plan, but it's going to take a while.

Reuters is a safe source, right?

They are at least paying it back.. which is better than some of the banks right? I mean a few of them are looking to figure a way to scam every way they with the money.

Offline Jude

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2010, 09:56:59 PM »
Roughly 90% of the bailout money will be repaid; I can give you a source if you like.  Fact is, the bailout is ridiculously unpopular and it's not really justified, and it's unpopular because of popular ignorance.  Most people do not really seem to understand that the bailout was a loan, not money being given.  If you don't believe me, do an experiment.  Ask your friends, family, and neighbors whether or not it was money for nothing.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2010, 10:06:02 PM »
Roughly 90% of the bailout money will be repaid; I can give you a source if you like.  Fact is, the bailout is ridiculously unpopular and it's not really justified, and it's unpopular because of popular ignorance.  Most people do not really seem to understand that the bailout was a loan, not money being given.  If you don't believe me, do an experiment.  Ask your friends, family, and neighbors whether or not it was money for nothing.

The zero interest loans were.

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2010, 10:38:24 PM »
Roughly 90% of the bailout money will be repaid; I can give you a source if you like.  Fact is, the bailout is ridiculously unpopular and it's not really justified, and it's unpopular because of popular ignorance.  Most people do not really seem to understand that the bailout was a loan, not money being given.  If you don't believe me, do an experiment.  Ask your friends, family, and neighbors whether or not it was money for nothing.

Jude is promoting anecdotal evidence?  ::)

Offline Jude

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 10:45:34 PM »
There haven't been any studies on the matter that I can find.  :(  But you got me.

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 10:55:53 PM »
Thank you for the giggle.  :-*

Offline Wolfy

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2010, 11:29:35 PM »
Waaaaiiiiitttt....

O-o...So..Government mandating what is and is not ok...that's Socialism?...Then the whole Video Game thing that's going to congress right now over whether or not Games are protected by the first amendment or are not and can be regulated by the government...would link us to Socialism if they were found not to be protected? O-o *scratches head* O_o...my head hurts...

Offline Noelle

Re: Socialism or lack thereof in the US (split from Christine O'Donnell)
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2010, 02:30:48 AM »
Mandating what is and isn't okay is more of a totalitarian thing, as far as I know, but that's if you're talking in the extreme sense. The government has already mandated plenty of things (like murder, speed limits, and labor laws) that are and aren't okay based on what is viewed as best to create and maintain a healthy and functioning American society on the whole.

Socialism is more about public, common ownership and "spreading the wealth", so to speak, with major industries owned and operated by the government. Many people point to Europe's benefits system as example of commonly practiced socialism.