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Explaining Socialism to a Republican

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http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/12/11/explaining-socialism-to-a-republican/

 

Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens take part. It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Socialism is where we all put our resources together and work for the common good of us all and not just for our own benefit. In this sense, we are sharing the wealth within society.

Of course when people hear that term, “Share the wealth” they start screaming, “OMG you want to rob from the rich and give it all to the poor!”  But that is NOT what Democratic Socialism means.

To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.

 

The fire and police departments are both excellent examples of Democratic Socialism in America.  Rather than leaving each individual responsible for protecting their own home from fire, everyone pools their money together, through taxes, to maintain a fire and police department. It’s operated under a non-profit status, and yes, your tax dollars pay for putting out other people’s fires. It would almost seem absurd to think of some corporation profiting from putting out fires.  But it’s more efficient and far less expensive to have government run fire departments funded by tax dollars.

 

Similarly, public education is another social program in the USA. It benefits all of us to have a taxpayer supported, publicly run education system. Unfortunately, in America, the public education system ends with high school.  Most of Europe now provides low cost or free college education for their citizens. This is because their citizens understand that an educated society is a safer, more productive and more prosperous society. Living in such a society, everyone benefits from public education.

 

When an American graduates from college, they usually hold burdensome debt in the form of student loans that may take 10 to even 30 years to pay off. Instead of being able to start a business or invest in their career, the college graduate has to send off monthly payments for years on end.

 

On the other hand, a new college graduate from a European country begins without the burdensome debt that an American is forced to take on. The young man or woman is freer to start up businesses, take an economic risk on a new venture, or invest more money in the economy, instead of spending their money paying off student loans to for-profit financial institutions.  Of course this does not benefit wealthy corporations, but it does greatly benefit everyone in that society.


 

 

 

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yeah look what happened in Greece with so called socialisim there broke and need a bailout..they tried to retire at 55 which is a socialist thing too..

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http://rdwolff.com/content/pure-capitalism-pure-fantasy

 

"Pure" Capitalism Is Pure Fantasy

 

As the global economic meltdown drags most of us through its sixth year, one kind  of explanation is heard often and from several sides, including the libertarian right. The crisis since 2007, we are told, is not capitalism's fault or flaw. That is because capitalism is not the system we now have; it is not the systemic problem the world now faces. If only we could "get back to" something like "pure" capitalism, that would dissolve our economic woes.

 

Policy prescriptions flow smoothly from this explanation. We must end the bad economic system we now have. "Crony," "gangster," "casino" and "monopoly" are among the adjectives designating today's actually existing - impure - capitalism. It fails to achieve all the progress and prosperity that a pure capitalism would deliver. Those who reason in this way then denounce one or another of the demons they believe to have rendered capitalism impure. Those demons - external and antithetical to pure capitalism - include big government, monopolies, the Federal Reserve, welfare, taxation, labor unions, etc. Their intrusions interfere with pure capitalism and block its intrinsic efficiency. They prevent economic justice: how pure capitalism would allocate incomes according to each person's and each enterprise's contributions to economic output. Those demonic outside institutions distort economic rewards to favor "special interests." And so the economy and society suffer.

 

By celebrating pure capitalism, such arguments can criticize the economic crisis without sounding anticapitalist. They reaffirm their loyalty to capitalism in the abstract even as they attack its concrete here and now. The trick is to identify the present system and its enduring, deep crisis as anything but capitalist.

 

This is fantasy. Impure capitalism is the only kind we have ever had. For example, government always accompanied capitalism. Government often served a rising capitalist class to undermine, defeat and destroy other classes. In the French Revolution, the rising class of merchants, bankers and small capitalists captured state power and used it to undermine French feudalism. American revolutionaries took over government from Britain and used it to facilitate the growth of capitalism in the United States in countless ways. Those include the wars on native people and the taking of their land; the enabling and often also building of crucial infrastructure (harbors, canals, railways, roadways and airports); the Civil War and its aftermath; the postal system; the judicial system (police and courts to adjudicate disputes); modern public education and so on. Capitalism without government is a fantasy.

 

Likewise, monopolies have always been with capitalism. Each enterprise constantly fears and seeks to block or undermine monopolies within industries from which it must buy inputs. Each enterprise likewise seeks opportunities to organize monopolies for what it sells. The profit motive prompts both behaviors. Competition thus leads to monopoly and vice-versa. Capitalism always displays monopolies being erected (competition eroded) and monopolies being dissolved (competition strengthened). A pure capitalism without any monopolies is another fantasy.

 

The Federal Reserve replaced alternative monetary institutions when and because the latter proved unacceptable for capitalists (among others). Money and credit and their roles within capitalism evolved together with institutions to control or manage them.  Every modern capitalist economy has developed a central bank with functions comparable to those of the Federal Reserve. All such central banks serve as well as depend on the larger capitalist economy. Developed or modern capitalism without a central monetary authority is a fantasy.

 

Capitalism's profit-driven automation and its recurrent business cycles often yielded more workers than there were available jobs. Especially when prolonged and large, unemployment generated suffering, anger and eventually rebellion. Capitalism's automation and instability, separately or combined, always risked provoking threats to its survival. To limit such threats by easing the suffering, capitalism developed various modes of charity and welfare for the unemployed. Welfare systems are not external intrusions upon, but rather self-protective outgrowths of, and within, capitalism's actual functioning. Full employment has been extremely rare in capitalism's history; unemployment was and is the norm. Debates over how much and whose wealth will be diverted to support the unemployed via welfare systems have always agitated capitalism. However, to imagine a pure capitalism without one or another kind of welfare is delusion.

 

Finally, capitalism's recurring tendencies toward greater inequality of income and wealth have always and everywhere lead to social mechanisms of redistribution. Taxation has been such a mechanism since it almost always functions as more than a means to raise money for government activities. Shifting between more progressive and more regressive tax structures and their enforcement redistributes income and/or wealth as social conditions shift and political tensions permit. Incomes and wealth get redistributed among capitalists and between them and the rest of the population. A pure capitalism without a tax system that redistributes income and wealth is imaginary.

Labor unions too are products of capitalism. Workers' problems in capitalist economies have almost universally provoked them to try to form unions. They are not some external institution intruding upon some pure capitalism. Capitalists have always struggled to prevent, destroy or weaken them. They have never fully succeeded. A pure capitalism without unions is purely wishful thinking.

 

Yet such fantasies, delusions and imaginary scenarios serve ideologically. Beliefs in the possibility and desirability of a "return to pure capitalism" divert people from considering or supporting social change going forward beyond capitalism. Instead they work to reduce or destroy government, monopolies, the Federal Reserve, tax systems (and agencies like the Internal Revenue Service), welfare and unions. Even when libertarians and others partially achieved such goals, they never thereby solved capitalism's problems. The capitalism that generated those institutions always responded to their partial destruction by regenerating them or variations of them.  

The economic crisis and decline most of us are now living through will not be overcome by fantasies of return to some golden age of pure capitalism. We need to push forward, to do better than actually existing capitalism. For the first time in a long time, we can now ally with the fast-growing number of people reaching that same conclusion.

 

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yeah look what happened in Greece with so called socialisim there broke and need a bailout..they tried to retire at 55 which is a socialist thing too..

 

 

When people and corporations dont pay their taxes you dont get the revenue needed to run the government. That's far more responsible for what happened in Greece than the early retirment age (though I dont discount that all together).

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXAtZkx5Ykc[/media]

 

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ib9N7L9y08[/media]

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That Abbot and Costello sketch was freaking brilliant.

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Pure socialism or pure capitalism doesn't work. A pure capitalist system would watch the ultra rich destroy the poor. I know I will hear "that is what is happening now" but I mean like 20 times worse. On the other side of things, a pure socialist society would lead to little innovation, which is the driving force of the economy. There would be little to no incentive to do better because you are basically going to get the same either way.

 

Key is to find the middle ground and figure out what makes sense. Does giving every worker a guaranteed 4 weeks vacation a year make sense = No. This would hurt the economy more than it would help our well-being. Does giving every person a free higher education = Yes if they can keep up the grades and attendance. This would lead to people pushing their selves and better educating their selves, therefore creating more opportunities and a smarter populace. Should there be help for single families to have vouchers (or something like that) for child care so they can make a living instead of living off of welfare (with no other choice) = Yes.

 

Point is, there are many things that most of us could agree on, if we put down our conservative vs. liberal, or capitalist vs. socialist bias's.

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I'm not advocating for socialism however I do disagree with the idea that innovation only comes from the private sector there are numerous examples were that's just not the case

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I'm not advocating for socialism however I do disagree with the idea that innovation only comes from the private sector there are numerous examples were that's just not the case

 

I am advocating for Socialism.. You would have to be insane to not be.. The only question is how much Socialism is appropriate, and are the specific social mechanisms already in place effective, or should they be tweaked.

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I am advocating for Socialism.. You would have to be insane to not be.. The only question is how much Socialism is appropriate, and are the specific social mechanisms already in place effective, or should they be tweaked.

 

I like. 

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The "fear" of "socialism" in this country is confounding to me. When people hear that word, they must think "In Soviet Russia, Socialism owns YOU" or something. I am not an advocate of "pure socialism" in this nation nor do I think anyone else in this thread is. "Socialism" needs to stop being a scary word. It's become one step away from "terrorist" in the groupthink of America. What makes it so confounding is the fact that we have "Social Security". "Socialism" is right fucking there in the word to describe it, folks, let alone the "socialistic" nature of it to begin with. What in the fuck is wrong with our nation when people argue about their stupid tax dollars going towards keeping old people alive? Have they not earned that privledge? And again with healthcare....are we not a modern nation with a ton of revenue? Why is it that we insist on depriving people of honest healthcare when it's been PROVEN that allies of ours like Canada and England CAN and DO have it? Sure...it costs more. Maybe if we as a populace would vote in the right direction we could actually effect a budget change in our bloated military and use the savings for everyone to have decent healthcare.

 

 

I say this as a person that makes about 60k a year and due to circumstances surrounding my divorce and children (mostly because my ex doesn't work), I cannot afford a health insurance plan for my family. And soon I am going to be forced to buy one. This is not a sane policy. This is madness.

 

You heard that right. I make above median income and cannot afford health insurance. I don't have it and neither do my young kids either. It's a fucking travesty. 

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I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the noise of socialism over here.

 

This bears repeating...

 

[attachment=1189:healthcare.jpg]

 

BTW, the 10€ office visit copay was eliminated from German public healthcare recently.  hahahaha.

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I am advocating for Socialism.. You would have to be insane to not be.. The only question is how much Socialism is appropriate, and are the specific social mechanisms already in place effective, or should they be tweaked.

 

 

When I say socialism, in this tense im talking pure socialism.

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The "fear" of "socialism" in this country is confounding to me. When people hear that word, they must think "In Soviet Russia, Socialism owns YOU" or something. I am not an advocate of "pure socialism" in this nation nor do I think anyone else in this thread is. "Socialism" needs to stop being a scary word. It's become one step away from "terrorist" in the groupthink of America. What makes it so confounding is the fact that we have "Social Security". "Socialism" is right fucking there in the word to describe it, folks, let alone the "socialistic" nature of it to begin with. What in the fuck is wrong with our nation when people argue about their stupid tax dollars going towards keeping old people alive? Have they not earned that privledge? And again with healthcare....are we not a modern nation with a ton of revenue? Why is it that we insist on depriving people of honest healthcare when it's been PROVEN that allies of ours like Canada and England CAN and DO have it? Sure...it costs more. Maybe if we as a populace would vote in the right direction we could actually effect a budget change in our bloated military and use the savings for everyone to have decent healthcare.

 

 

I say this as a person that makes about 60k a year and due to circumstances surrounding my divorce and children (mostly because my ex doesn't work), I cannot afford a health insurance plan for my family. And soon I am going to be forced to buy one. This is not a sane policy. This is madness.

 

You heard that right. I make above median income and cannot afford health insurance. I don't have it and neither do my young kids either. It's a fucking travesty. 

 

 

IIRC Canada's healthcare system is cheaper than ours. But +1 otherwise.

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The "fear" of "socialism" in this country is confounding to me. When people hear that word, they must think "In Soviet Russia, Socialism owns YOU" or something. I am not an advocate of "pure socialism" in this nation nor do I think anyone else in this thread is. "Socialism" needs to stop being a scary word. It's become one step away from "terrorist" in the groupthink of America. What makes it so confounding is the fact that we have "Social Security". "Socialism" is right fucking there in the word to describe it, folks, let alone the "socialistic" nature of it to begin with. What in the fuck is wrong with our nation when people argue about their stupid tax dollars going towards keeping old people alive? Have they not earned that privledge? And again with healthcare....are we not a modern nation with a ton of revenue? Why is it that we insist on depriving people of honest healthcare when it's been PROVEN that allies of ours like Canada and England CAN and DO have it? Sure...it costs more. Maybe if we as a populace would vote in the right direction we could actually effect a budget change in our bloated military and use the savings for everyone to have decent healthcare.

 

 

I say this as a person that makes about 60k a year and due to circumstances surrounding my divorce and children (mostly because my ex doesn't work), I cannot afford a health insurance plan for my family. And soon I am going to be forced to buy one. This is not a sane policy. This is madness.

 

You heard that right. I make above median income and cannot afford health insurance. I don't have it and neither do my young kids either. It's a fucking travesty. 

Shouldnt your kids be covered somehow? Medicaid?

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When I say socialism, in this tense im talking pure socialism.

 

I'm not sure what that is... Or if it exists anywhere.. Perhaps you mean Communism?  That is Socialism taken to it's extreme.

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IIRC Canada's healthcare system is cheaper than ours. But +1 otherwise.

yeah they won't treat if you are too advanced in a disease..for instance, stage 5 cancer not even worth treating just give pain pills..so yeah they are cheaper

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yeah they won't treat if you are too advanced in a disease..for instance, stage 5 cancer not even worth treating just give pain pills..so yeah they are cheaper

 

 

link?

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yeah they won't treat if you are too advanced in a disease..for instance, stage 5 cancer not even worth treating just give pain pills..so yeah they are cheaper


Complete and utter balderdash.

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yeah they won't treat if you are too advanced in a disease..for instance, stage 5 cancer not even worth treating just give pain pills..so yeah they are cheaper

My god you are some kind of stupid.

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yeah look what happened in Greece with so called socialisim there broke and need a bailout..they tried to retire at 55 which is a socialist thing too..

Seriously.  My brain actually hurts from reading your comments.  It is YOUR fault the US is in the condition it is. 

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The "fear" of "socialism" in this country is confounding to me. When people hear that word, they must think "In Soviet Russia, Socialism owns YOU" or something. I am not an advocate of "pure socialism" in this nation nor do I think anyone else in this thread is. "Socialism" needs to stop being a scary word. It's become one step away from "terrorist" in the groupthink of America. What makes it so confounding is the fact that we have "Social Security". "Socialism" is right fucking there in the word to describe it, folks, let alone the "socialistic" nature of it to begin with. What in the fuck is wrong with our nation when people argue about their stupid tax dollars going towards keeping old people alive? Have they not earned that privledge? And again with healthcare....are we not a modern nation with a ton of revenue? Why is it that we insist on depriving people of honest healthcare when it's been PROVEN that allies of ours like Canada and England CAN and DO have it? Sure...it costs more. Maybe if we as a populace would vote in the right direction we could actually effect a budget change in our bloated military and use the savings for everyone to have decent healthcare.

 

 

I say this as a person that makes about 60k a year and due to circumstances surrounding my divorce and children (mostly because my ex doesn't work), I cannot afford a health insurance plan for my family. And soon I am going to be forced to buy one. This is not a sane policy. This is madness.

 

You heard that right. I make above median income and cannot afford health insurance. I don't have it and neither do my young kids either. It's a fucking travesty. 

 

I agree with you wholeheartedly.  If there is on additional thing that that we should have "Socialized" it should be medicine.  One of the big things they talked about when they debated the ACA was putting government between a patient and his doctor, when the system in force at the time put profit between a patient and their doctor.  To give you an example, I currently take Omaprazole, an acid reducer because by stomach produces too much acid.  I originally was taking a 40 mg tablet once a day, but after diet and lifestyle changes, I could now take 20mg's and would be perfect.  However, my insurance company has decided that if I take the 20 mg tablet, i have to pay a $35 copay, but if I take the 40 mg tablet, my copay is $4.  You see, since more people won't make the lifestyle changes, they perscribe more 40 mg, and they also sell the 20 mg over the counter where they have a huge profit margin, so they've decided that if I want to take the 20, I should have to pay the profit margin difference.  So, I now take the 40mg every other day, which provides about 85% efficacy compared to the 20 mg daily, or I pay the profit monster a lot more.  I guess I could just go back to bad habits, and be like all the other people, so I need the 40, huh?

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I agree with you wholeheartedly.  If there is on additional thing that that we should have "Socialized" it should be medicine.  One of the big things they talked about when they debated the ACA was putting government between a patient and his doctor, when the system in force at the time put profit between a patient and their doctor.  To give you an example, I currently take Omaprazole, an acid reducer because by stomach produces too much acid.  I originally was taking a 40 mg tablet once a day, but after diet and lifestyle changes, I could now take 20mg's and would be perfect.  However, my insurance company has decided that if I take the 20 mg tablet, i have to pay a $35 copay, but if I take the 40 mg tablet, my copay is $4.  You see, since more people won't make the lifestyle changes, they perscribe more 40 mg, and they also sell the 20 mg over the counter where they have a huge profit margin, so they've decided that if I want to take the 20, I should have to pay the profit margin difference.  So, I now take the 40mg every other day, which provides about 85% efficacy compared to the 20 mg daily, or I pay the profit monster a lot more.  I guess I could just go back to bad habits, and be like all the other people, so I need the 40, huh?

Can you cut the pill in half?

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When people and corporations dont pay their taxes you dont get the revenue needed to run the government. That's far more responsible for what happened in Greece than the early retirment age (though I dont discount that all together).

 

Who isn't paying their taxes?  Have you reported them to the IRS?

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