You Are Not Seeing Socialism

I came across the following in our local newspaper’s “Opinion” column. It had been submitted by a reader who felt it was “spot on” … and I agree.

Apparently it was originally written by a British journalist named Paul Field, who died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack at the age of 48.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you need to know how silly you look if you post some variation of, “Welcome to Socialism…”

You are not seeing Socialism. What you are seeing is one of the wealthiest, geographically advantaged, productive capitalist societies in the world flounder and fail at its most basic test. Taking care of its people.

This crisis is not about the virus.

This crisis is about the massive failure of our, “Booming economy,” to survive even modest challenges. It is about the market dissonance of shortages in stores, even as farmers/producers destroy unused crops and products. This crisis is about huge corporations needing an emergency bailout within days of the longest Bull Market in our history ending and despite the ability to borrow with zero percent interest rates.

This crisis is about corporatized healthcare systems being unable and ill equipped to provide basic healthcare, at the same time they post record profits. It is about crisis response depending on antiquated systems nobody remembers how to operate.

But most of all, this crisis is a direct result of the politicization of every aspect of our society for the benefit of a privileged few. The vilification of education, science, media, natural rights, rural lifestyles, urban lifestyles, charity, compassion, and virtually everything else for brief political gain has gutted our society.

What you are seeing is a quarter century of technological brilliance being reduced to a narcissistic popularity contest. You’re seeing the folly of basing the health and welfare of an entire society on personal greed. You’re seeing all the necessary tools, for us to shrug off this crisis, go unused while people argue over who should get the credit and profit. Even worse, you’re seeing vital help withheld because recipients might not, “deserve it…”

You’re seeing a lot of things nobody thought they’d ever see, but you’re not seeing Socialism…

It seems the original was posted on Paul’s Facebook page, which I was able to access, but there is no personal information. He did write some interesting posts so if you’re on FB and want to take a look, you can find him here.

80 thoughts on “You Are Not Seeing Socialism

    • And who are the “global elite” you refer to and where did they come from? They are the capitalists ie. the owners and shareholders of everything. They did not come from the dawn of time or from other planets. They and their families came from “free markets” where nobody really even tried to restrict their freedom to exploit the work, or even the misfortune of others. That is how the capitalistic economic model works.

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  1. Nan, I like this. But, brandishing the word socialism is the ultimate use of name calling by the president and Republicans. Since we are ill-informed as a nation, he can brandish this term as a weapon, with very few people knowing what it is (including him) and what we have. The above is good, but does not totally describe what we have. We have a fettered capitalism model, with some socialism underpinnings. The real debate we must have is what is the correct balance for our country.

    We have fettered capitalism because of rules governing interlocking boards, collusion, monopolies, insider trading, etc. Our social underpinnings include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment benefits, Workers Compensation, Union memberships, etc.

    Sadly, very few people in the US understand this is what we have. Yet, with tax law changes dating back to the early 1980s, again in the 2002 and under Trump along with deregulation under Trump and offshoring jobs, we have moved the dial more toward capitalism. Union memberships have been under attack since the 1980s, which has hurt the worker’s voices.

    Right now, Trump is attacking the ACA which has subsidies for those in need and he has advocated doing away with Social Security and Medicare. The impact of these attacks, if successful, will be a surprise to his base, as they likely do not know what he is up to. There are too many that do not know the ACA (or KyNect in Kentucky) and Obamacare are the same thing. His distractions keep the focus away from his stealing people’s marbles.

    I am very tired of name calling attacks by people who do not know what the word means. Trump relies on this. It amazes me how hard working people will fund a dream of protecting a wealth level for a rich person that they will never achieve. Socialism already exists in our country to a degree – the question is what is the right level to have.

    Keith

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    • IMO, this short phrase — altho’ it led to something else in your comment — sums up the current U.S. situation perfectly …

      There are too many that do not know …

      Then I would add … but they think they do, to their detriment.

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      • Nan, I agree. I detest smugness – people who are overbearing in the certitude. There hope is you will assume they are correct. When a politician says “everyone knows,” dig further. My experience tells me everone does not know. Keith

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      • I agree with that Nan and “they think they do” is not relevant for the zombie Trump supporter with herd mentality. Trump will screw them at the end of the day but it is the indoctrinated political religiousness that corrupts their understanding of his blundering and blubbering words dribbled over the media leading to stupid conspiracies and the worshipping of this total idiot.

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        • True. Trump did not create this environment, but he is using it and making it worse. Long before Trump and just after I left the GOP around 2008 (I am fiscally conservative and socially progressive), I wrote that more than 1/2 the Republican party is voting against their economic interests and have no idea they are. Here is a good example – an energy consultant said a few years ago, Trump is not for coal workers, he is for coal owners – there is a difference. Coal miners have long been owed the truth, but folks like McConnell, Trump, and coal state Senators have not told them the truth. Coal jobs have been going away for almost ten years – why not embrace new technologies, job training and transition compensation. The wind blows and sun shines in WVa, KY and PA, eg.

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          • Thanks for the information, I am not very clued up on American politics, however it is the most colourful or should I say the most disruptive political environment within a leading democratic country for a long time.

            I do worry that because Trump has so many radical Republicans supporting him what will they do when Trump gets voted out. People have brandished their guns simply to remove people off their lawns, what happens when their glorious brain dead leader insists the Democrats cheated and they should go into the street to vent their anger.

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          • They would rather risks their lives, the environment, and the health of the nation embracing the old and known, rather than discovering the new, the scientific, and the safer. They can look only as far as their wants, instead of considering the needs of others.
            How much profit does a coal mine owner make off their sweat, toil, and risking of life? They don’t care, as long as they are getting a pittance more than they did the previous year!
            Try something new? Why fix what they cannot see is broken.

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    • What we are seeing is unfettered capitalism. Capitalists have been writing their own laws for decades. What we are seeing is the result of Congress relenting its duty to regulate trade and commerce. The price of accepting money from the people they are supposed to regulate. Both parties are guilty.

      You need to look up the definition of Socialism. Although taxpayers keep the industry afloat, the state does not own the capital. Capitalists and Republicans (they do not deserve the monicker ‘conservative) have screamed out the scare tactic of Socialism and Communism for years. Check your history and you will see Hitler was doing the same thing in the 1930s. Also, the word and act privatization was born in that government.

      In the past few months, we have seen how easy it is for the government to throw money at capitalist. But as soon as there is a bill that would help taxpayers, McConnell declares we have spent too much. By the time covid-19 is controlled, we will see another great transfer of wealth, again, up the ladder.

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  2. From a WebMD blog-article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, MD. entitled “Why Is the US Death Rate Rising? Dr. Sanjay Gupta Looks at the Deadly Effects of Despair”:

    In the 1960’s, Americans had among the highest life expectancy on the planet. The United States was the country pushing the boundaries of longevity and setting an example for the rest of the world.

    Today, the U.S. ranks at the bottom of major developed nations. We are currently 43rd in the world when it comes to life expectancy and predicted to be 64th by the year 2040. Despite spending more on healthcare per capita than anywhere else, the fact is we are living shorter lives and in poorer health.

    I can provide the link to this great article if requested.

    So… if not a form or new refined version of helping and taking care of each other socioeconomically and health-wise, then what!? Do what we’ve been doing since the 60’s and 70’s? Demonize those who are not “successful” or wealthy, even stable, because they don’t work hard enough? Segregate Have-Nots away from those that Have-Lots simply because they don’t have some unwritten non-standardized work-ethic that is always changing, always moving based upon very diverse values and principles of every kind and sort?

    Not just no, but HELL NO!!!

    Dr. Robert Sapolosky of Stanford University’s Biological Sciences, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery. He is also a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya. In the groundbreaking disturbing HBO documentary I’ve mentioned to you before, One Nation Under Stress, Dr. Sapolosky states:

    When humans invented social-economic status, we found a way of subordinating the Have-Nots like no other primates has ever come up with in all of bipedal or quadrupedal primate history. What’s the surest way to make people feel poor? Put them in a lot of income inequity. Have them surrounded by all the stuff they don’t have. Rub their noses in it over and over. This is a sledgehammer that overwhelms any of these sort of individual coping styles.

    Clinical study after clinical study, et al, going back to at least the 1960’s has shown that—whether done on primates or human groups—we need to take care of each other because we all thrive better in life. A prime example of this is the Roseto-effect.* We are social animals and with healthy social connections, engagement, and support, human health problems like heart disease and chronic stress as a whole decline significantly.

    * – Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseto_effect

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      • Hello James. I see you’re a new visitor to my blog. I hope in the future you’ll expand a bit more on your comments. Fly-bys can be impressive, but discussion is much more welcome.

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      • Money is at the root, along with religion or belief in gods as well as the belief that people need to be governed, of all society’s problems. How do you make the biggest corporate profits, by selling the things that need to be purchased every day: food, shelter, and other “necessities of life,” like stoves, refrigerators, toilets, water, etc. Even air is a commodity, but it hasn’t yet reached the stage where we need to buy it by the breath. Hope we never do!

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        • AN HONEST GOD IS THE NOBLEST WORK OF MAN.

          I don’t know who to attribute that to, but I like it. The creating part. The honesty we have yet to see.

          “Whole nations are compelled to starve in order to indulge the extravagances of a few morose tyrants, who are no happier than the slaves whom they oppress!”

          baron d’ Paul Henri Thiry Holbach. Superstition In All Ages (1732) / Common Sense

          “The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict the majority’s ability to harm a minority.”

          James Madison

          When government, industry, and religion form a coalition, life for the citizenry becomes a tribulation. We are right to credit that trio with all our maladies.

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          • “God, gold, and government:, the three worst inventions of humanity”–Me. Wrote that in the late 60s, early 70s. Have yet to see any reason to change it. Don’t expect I ever will. Maybe, once we get rid of all three, we can build a different world. As long as even one exists, we cannot.

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    • I look even farther back historically, to the publishing of Das Kapital by Karl Marx in 1867. Had it stayed an unpublished thesis, capitalists may not have clued into the foreseen outcome of capitalism, that eventually it had to implode. It wasn’t long before they were making communism and socialism the twin bogeymen of all living the great life of capitalism. Communism especially struck great fear into the hearts of Americans. They feared without ever knowing what was the origin of their fear, the possible loss of the great American dream.
      The “great red scare” of McCarthyism from the later 40s through to the mid 50s laid the foundations for the misunderstood fear of praising hard work for little return. If you do not work hard, you deserve to get nothing.
      Now, under Trump, the Bushes, Reagan, and Nixon, Communism and Socialism ARE EVIL INCARNATE. just say the words, and people run away, hiding their washed brains in fear of getting something more modern.

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    • “Today, the U.S. ranks at the bottom of major developed nations.” Maybe that is the problem to what Trump is referring to when he talks about “making America great again”. Why has he not done anything about this problem during the years of his reign? Perhaps he is only talking what he thinks pleases his audience, as he is – after all – a property agent and a game show host, but is that the issue to wich he is expected to react? Do his voters hear him say, he will make the country better to live in, not just for the super rich (like himself) but for everybody?

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      • Most all reasonably intelligent Americans, moderates and liberals alike, who truly understand how far “politics” should go in life and that there is a point where differences MUST be understood and at minimum tolerated, at maximum respectively collaborative… since after all, we ARE supposed to be the UNITED States of America, not the DISUnited States of America. But somewhere in all of the Trumpster’s form of divide, sow hate, and conquer politics, the Authoritarian in the White House is incapable of leading a nation of “E pluribus unum.” That was never in his repertoire, along with several/many other missing qualities.

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  3. Socialism?! HA!!! America is a country of liberal pansies! Truly, a whole bunch of woke pansies and this includes Trump and his woke GOP party. What this country NEEDS is ME!! A level headed guy who will build, not walls along our southern border, but gas chambers and functioning, state of the art crematoriums in order to get rid of everyone and everything in America that is liberal, poor, socialist, woke, undocumented, disabled, non-Christian, non-straight, and not white. Truly, are you not tired of the pandering to woke nonsense like those who support Medicare and Social Security? I am. I’m also tired of the faux conservatives who tell me my ideas “aren’t nice” or are “too extreme.” These people, too, belong in my gas chambers. I’m sick and tired of lazy poor people mooching from my government and collecting food stamps and Social Security. Lazy bastards who didn’t plan ahead. Gas ’em! I’m also tired of this fake covid-19 nonsense. There is no covid-19. It is a liberal plot created by atheists and non-Christian SOB’s who want to insult and pee on the American flag by making up silly stories about “viruses” so woke people can have something to complain about. This country was founded by Jesus Christ, several 78 year old wealthy white guys, and my grandfather back in 1953 and everyone and everything that doesn’t fit into my ideology simply must be eliminated. Therefor, I’m asking you to vote for me on Nov 3rd for President and help me end “wokeness” in America permanently. Socialism! HA!! Woke-ism is a better world for American culture, and it needs to be gassed out of existence. Period. May the all-loving arms of Our Lord and Savior protect and keep you safe in these trying times of wokeness and liberal-ness from Trump, Biden, and everyone else in the American government but me. $Amen$

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    • When you fight evil withe evil it only begets MORE evil……only way I know is to make gentle progress to the GOOD.

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    • Kill all the poor people and sack all the dissidents, then there will no longer be poverty, nor disagreement. It is like cutting a hole out of your pants, it kind of repairs them – or maybe not…

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      • Absolutely! Gas and cremate every thing and every one that doesn’t fit into my Christian/ Conservative view of America, and all will be well. BTW, even though you’re not an American, please request a vote by mail ballot so you can vote for me from afar. Once UI clean up all the disgusting things in America, I’ll declare myself Emperor of the world and wipe out all the poor, disables, liberal, woke bastards across the globe! God bless freedom! God bless Jesus! God bless those who don’t mooch off the State and sicken us with the blight of their disgusting appearance, and, most of all, God bless all those intelligent people who see Covid-19 as the fake, disgusting, liberal/woke lie that it is! $Amen$

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  4. If we want to “see socialism”, we have only to look at Denmark, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, or indeed almost any of the countries which have government guarantees of universal healthcare, a far stronger social safety net, and everything else the wingnuts of the US denounce under the name “socialism” — and which have handled the pandemic far better than we have.

    It also helps that those places’ populations don’t include a 30% element with the IQ of coleslaw and an entrenched hostility and suspicion toward science and education (and government), of course.

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    • Hear hear Infidel!!! 👏🏼🥃

      And the results of Anti-socialism or actually opposing core characteristics of those working socioeconomic models in the nations you mentioned, i.e. caring, helping, and supporting each other with genuine compassion and empathy??? It’s the results of what Dr. Sanjay Gupta found (in my comment above) over 2-3 generations.

      The U.S. is long over due for a major shift in socioeconomic values and principles BEFORE it collapses into its own Second Civil War of the Have-lots versus the Have-nots!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t you mean the Have-a-littles vs the Have-nots?
        Is there anyone else in the USA, not counting the Elite 1%? At least, they tell us they are the Elite. IN THIS SO-CALLED CLASSLESS SOCIETY, THE ONLY ELITE ARE THOSE WHO SELF-DECLARE AS THE CALCIFIED CLASS!
        Your way is more poetic, I must agree. But how often is real life poetry? As Thomas Hobbes said in Leviathan in 1651, life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.
        Has anything changed in the past 369 years?

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        • rawgod,

          I am indeed a Minimalist when it comes to material propriety or collecting more and more “STUFF” (in George Carlin’s definition) every year, or in a lifetime, or in a hoarder’s sense “a neurotic Consumer” obsessed with Keeping Up with the Joneses. Too many Americans belief that consumer goods are the way to true happiness. Nope, wrong. 🙂

          What I’ve learned over my 57-years of being an 8th-generation American, but raised by quite frugal parents and a large paternal extended family—who strongly believed in SAVING for a rainy day and building a huge “nest egg,” not showing it off in lavish items such as a 6,000 sq. ft home complete with large pool, hot tub, tennis court, separate guest house on 5-10 acres, a 3-4 car garage full of all the top-of-the-line 6-digit to 8-digit price tag vehicles, a 300-ft yacht and racing boat, and 1-2 vacation homes in the Rocky Mountains or Europe or a Caribbean Island.

          That was a lifestyle and psychological financial TRAP we heavily frowned upon. Why? Because there are really NO MILLIONAIRES or BILLIONAIRES that are truly happy, healthy, and fulfilled in their life. They spend way too much of their valuable time, energy, and money PROTECTING all that material wealth—much of it perishable—they become enslaved to it, and don’t have any time in a 24-hour day to experience the ORGANIC interpersonal relationships with family, lovers, spouse(s), or endearing friends making life-long memories and impacting lives in those intangible ways that money, all the wealth in the world can NEVER touch! In other words rawgod, there is a CLEAR CUT CEILING to what all human beings really need to live a sublime life… and it has little to do with money or a large collection of material things, i.e. hyper-consumerism or capitalism.

          But everything negative I’ve mentioned there about super-fueled Consumerism/Capitalism is absolutely an empty illusion when it comes to TRUE human fulfillment in life. As in fulfillment where on one’s deathbed you can look back on most of your life and say… “I’ve had the most profound, endearing, compassionate, helpful impact on several (many?) people’s lives as was possible.” THAT is a good death at the end of life, not how much wealth or digits you have in your bank accounts. After 10, 25, 50, or 100-years people and the world don’t remember those material things you had or even when a stadium, building, or highway is named after you! HAHAHAHA! 😄

          No… a life very well lived is one where you made the most impact in some people’s lives and they miss you terribly every single day. THAT is wealth.

          Liked by 1 person

          • And, kind sir, how many of Earth’s 7.8? billion human inhabitants, even get a chance to live for your (and mostly my) ideas of a “successful” life? I am going to go out on a long, weak limb and say a good 5 billon are more concerned with subsistence levels of life than those who could take the spiritual path (so-to-speak) of emotional wealth because if they so chose, but ended up taking the path of materialism as it is easier to see success or failure before you die, even if one has time to evaluate their deaths at the ends of their lives. Does a police knee on carotid arteries provide more time to self-evaluate a life well-lived than 7 bullets in the back were intended to provide?
            To be able to contemplate success in life, whatever you believe that to be, is a rarity in this world. Appreciate that you get the chance to even try.

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            • To be able to contemplate success in life, whatever you believe that to be, is a rarity in this world. Appreciate that you get the chance to even try.

              I appreciate your awareness and understanding of my comment rawgod. Thank you. Regarding contemplation of “a life well lived,” that is, one not consumed in hyper-materialism, consumerism, capitalism, et al, it’s a matter of priorities and values taught by family I guess.

              I do think much of the world’s cultures know innately that there is much more to our very brief lives than things, than stuff/junk—with the exception of irreplaceable family heirlooms with significant stories behind those cherished items. I have five heirlooms myself from my ancestors: one from paternal grandparents, one from my deceased father, one from my great, great, great, great—that’s 6 generations paternal grandfather (an earliest frontiersman before any U.S. states in the far West were around) who spoke at least 3 different Native American tribal languages (that we know about)—a 5-page handwritten letter in French from the 1840’s from my/our aunt and uncle (5-6 generations back) who lived southwest of Paris in Baillou, France near Le Mans. A very personal, intimate, endearing letter to my paternal grandmother’s family members living in Alta Loma, Texas. And finally a 1913 Edison Amberola phonograph in pretty good condition that still plays the cylinders of music and speeches that family collected. 🙂

              What sort of price-tag can be put on those items? For me and our family… there is no price. It’s intangible that way, yet priceless to me/us.

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            • Even so, though you would grieve the loss, you would not commit suicide if you lost or ruined one of your heirlooms. You would still have the memory, and hopefully a photogragh of two.
              My family once owned a large, but skinny, tract of land with water access to the Red River–for one whole day. We earned it in the 1881 Metis settlement. All we have now is a photocopy of a map, and a government decree giving us ownership. The next day, maybe even the same day (we don’t know for sure) a whiskey agent got my great-grandfather drunk, and he traded away that land for a bottle of watered down whiskey. The land is now worth millions. We coulda been somebodies, but, so goes the life of a half-breed…)

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            • Even today many, MANY Americans—of a specific demographic & ethnic background—would love to live in a nation of little to no justice, civil order, and an 1800’s Wild Wild West… where almost anything goes and con-artists, criminals, and apathetic law-enforcement (if there is any active at all?), a place where brute strength, cunning (dog-eat-dog) authoritarians or Mob-bosses not getting caught for criminal behavior… survives and thrives. Today they call that “big government” intrusions over great free-enterprise deregulations, and every other corrupt principle under a veiled verbal guise called “Individual liberties and freedoms.” Pro-gun advocates use this rhetoric and jargon all the time.

              I am very, very sorry that your family lost out on those millions/billions in this plentiful rhetoric of a “great nation of freedom, equality, and justice for all.” Pfffffffttt. 🙄😔

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    • In Aotearoa New Zealand we do have an element with the IQ of coleslaw, but our education system has limited the “fallout” inflicted on others. When free, compulsory education was introduced almost 150 years ago, it was founded on several goals, the most important ones being (a) to reduce inequalities and enable social mobility. This was achieved through the pedagogy of progressive education, and from my personal experience of the system, an emphasis was placed on problem solving and critical thinking.

      Unfortunately some of the goals are being forgotten, and who knows, in another one hundred years we might “progress” to the point where we emulate the American education model.

      I think perhaps because of the different periods in history in which the modern state was established has played its part. It seems to me America was established at a time of extreme idealism (religious and political), and that still seems to run through the veins of American society. We see that in “Capitalism good, socialism bad”, “my religion is true, your religion is false” and the often repeated mantra of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”.

      On the other hand in NZ, pragmatism and egalitarianism have been the mainstay of policies since its foundation. It’s resulted in left of centre political parties introducing right of centre laissez-faire economic policies when in government and right of centre political parties introducing policies what would be considered socialism in American politics.

      An example of our differences might be not only in the way our respective governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also how the public have responded to the outbreak and to the government’s response. In the long term I think our pragmatism of “short term pain for long term gain” will be less costly than holding to a principle of “liberty at all costs, individual rights before community good”, not only in economic terms, but also in social terms.

      I appreciate this is very much a generalisation and our perception of a very chaotic and disunited America is relative to our prevailing attitude of being a “team of 5 million” united “in kindness” to “eliminate the virus”.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree Barry, spent the majority of my life in New Zealand and there are certainly those with the IQ of coleslaw. This fellow Terry Opines reminds me of the “reds under the beds” era. He has quite a few videos on YouTube and has never said one good thing about NZ.

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      • Canada just elected its new lead Cabbage head this week. To call him a coleslaw would be giving him too much credibility, Shit, “cabbagehead” is insulting to heads of cabbage everywhere. At least you can make “Brain Soup” out of a head of cabbage.

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  5. Excellent post. I keep having to remind Trumpeteers that “socialism” has become meaningless. It simply means “anything the government paid for when I was growing up is okay, but anything the government didn’t pay for is evil.” They don’t consider the reason for the government funding, the history, the result, or the options. It’s just “socialism” to them.

    I’ve asked dozens and dozens of Trumpeteers to tell me why 13 years of free, taxpayer funded education is “totally fine and free market”, yet the 14th year is “socialist!” K-12, free. No problem. The first college year free? Socialism! But why?

    Also, why is it that they are perfectly fine with paying for High School? High School in the US about 100 years ago was NOT publicly funded. There were STRONG feelings about how horrible publicly funding something as unnecessary and elective as High School would be. They didn’t use the word “socialist”, as that wasn’t really a vogue word yet, but they did articulate that government interference in the free market of high schools was a gross overstep. And yet here we are, 100 years later, and we can still own property and companies are owned by individuals. The socialist warnings were false.

    If you think about all the things the government already does, and everyone is okay with, it is a real head-scratcher why they oppose so many of the current propositions. The government already controls many utilities in the country. Road construction and maintenance. The military. Courts and jails. Space exploration. Over 20% of medical research. Nearly half (although decreasing) of the funding for basic medical research. Patent listing. Medicare/Medicaid. Social Security retirement. And that isn’t even scratching the surface.

    If you want to see the government more or less involved in certain things, or you see more or less of a need, we can discuss that. That’s a good debate. But calling it “socialist” is just lazy. It is intellectually vapid, hyperbolic, and meaningless.

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    • Thank you for the kudos. And I would like to say to you — Excellent Comment!

      I sometimes wonder if the people who use the word “socialism” in a derogatory manner are actually aware of what it means at its core. As you pointed out, we have many “socialist” activities within this country right now, many of which are a DIRECT benefit to the individuals who are “anti-socialism.”

      IMO, the core problem is the strong connection that was made in past years between communism and socialism. Too many have not moved on and are still clinging to outdated maxims.

      I like the way this site defined the two …

      In both communism and socialism, the people own the factors of economic production. The main difference is that under communism, most property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state (rather than individual citizens); under socialism, all citizens share equally in economic resources as allocated by a democratically-elected government.

      Those last three words are what we’re battling for today.

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      • But, where has true socialism worked anywhere in the world in the long term?

        Canada and the European nordic countries are not socialist countries. They all have free market economies with people paying higher taxes for a more expansive social safety net. There’s a difference.

        It seems to me that we can work toward providing equal opportunity for people, but to guarantee an equality of economic outcome also will mean a loss of individual freedom and liberty. It will also kill incentive.

        I don’t feel that true socialists are evil people by any means. Often they are well meaning and compassionate. But, sometimes what can feel good in the short term does not do good in the long term.

        I definitely feel that we should practice compassionate capitalism, and certainly avoid monopolies or “crony capitalism.” But, IMO, the free market system is the best way to generate wealth and provide economic opportunities for the greatest number of people.

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          • Well, before this whole tragedy and mess with Covid, the economy really was strong with the lowest minority unemployment numbers ever. There are hopeful signs that we are bouncing back. Nan, let’s face it, no system can ever be perfect, and we always have to work to make things better.

            But, I don’t think socialism is the way to go. But, as mentioned in another comment, I do think a discussion of how much or how little the govt. should be involved in various issues is a good discussion to have, things like healthcare or school choice, etc.

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        • All I am hearing is the same senseless rhetoric Americans have been spouting for decades. How the hell can socialism affect incentive? An idea is an idea, it comes when it comes. Does the USA have the exclusive rights to new ideas? I think not.
          On top of that, who the hell needs ideas like MYPILLOW?
          I live in Canada, and yes we have a free market. But for the most part we don’t go around killing our children in their schools, or our consumers in Walmarts. We have Covid problems, but not like yours. I would never live in the USA by choice. Canada is not perfect, far from it. I have complained about Canada all my life! But the only other country I might choose to live in would be New Zealand. America is THE LAST nation I would choose to go to, including Haiti, Russia, or China.
          You choose to live in the States? Good for you, I won’t try and stop you.
          But are you aware that National Geographic ran a contest in 2019 for new ideas on how to help improve the world WE ALL live on? Guess what? IT WAS ONLY OPEN TO AMERICANS! Seems no one else is smart enough to repair what Capitalism has screwed up!
          GO FIGURE!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Rawgod, I have to admit that your comment is difficult for me to understand. You would rather live in Haiti than the US?? The vast majority of people in the US would never think of shooting up a school or killing people at Walmart. Contrary to what is often commoningly portrayed, we are actually one of the least racist countries on the planet. We’re far from perfect, I admit that. There’s plenty of room for improvement. And, I think many countries are also great and beautiful, including Canada. I’ve always enjoyed my visits there.

            But, overall, do you know that most people by far in the world who are looking to immigrate actually very much want to come to the US, followed by Germany and Canada. Hey, they all have to be seeing something good here. Just sayin. 🙂

            You’re right, I am very proud and happy to be an American.

            Pax.

            Like

            • You do know the name America is racist in itself, do you not? Take the rest of today to think about it. I don’t have time right now to explain. I gotta go on a day trip. If, by the time I get home, you can tell me why America is a righteously racist word, I will retract my rant. I promise.
              But if you cannot tell me why, expect my rant to get worse, because it can and will get worse. You got 12 hours to shut me up. Use them wisely, please.

              Like

            • I see you did not accept my challenge, Becky. I wish you had. America has been a racist country ever since Columbo landed on its shores, and called the people Indians despite not being able to talk to anyone in Hindi, if he even tried. If he truly believed he was in India, why else did he take it upon himself to call this New World America after his friend and fellow Italian Amerigo Vespucci? Either he knew he was not in India, and the people were not Indians, or he thought he had the right to rename India as America. As it was, he decided to do both because he was the great White explorer.
              He considered himself superior to every original human inhabitant of the land he couldn’t help but bump into on his way to India. As it was, he was so far south he would never have ended up in India even if the New World wss not in his way. He could have ended up in Vietnam, or the Philipines, or Malaysia. What would that world look like today?
              As it is, Indians are people from India whom everyone calls East Indians, even though there is no West India as such, just the West Indies, which opens up a whole new barrel of snakes, or pit of mahi mahi. Americans, such as you are, are all citizens of the United States of America, and not simply inhabitants of the American continents, another racist/nationalist claim.
              If America is not a racist nation, Becky, why are there BLACK LIVES MATTER protests all over the world? BLM started in the USA! Why are Indians still thought of as savages, or natives, both extremely pejorative words.
              Ach, best get off my high soapbox before I fall of and break my fool neck.
              Sorry, Nan.

              Liked by 1 person

          • I agree that life in a country of fanatical religious folk waving around guns and political slogans is also not the life for me, especially with the current administration in place. It wont be long before many decent Americans are dragged into political confrontations that could be life threatening. By the news and pictures we see here in Australia it appears the gun mentality has become more confrontational, one man is gunned down, it will soon be ten and then what, military law Trump style?

            Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, I think a discussion concerning how the govt. should be more or less involved in certain things is the wise discussion to have. It is a good debate.

      For instance, would it be wise to have a universal healthcare system run totally by the govt. or would it be better to find other ways to reduce the cost of healthcare across the board, and increase competition in the insurance industry to bring the costs of good insurance down with lower deductibles and co-pays to , of course, cover pre-existing conditions.

      Which system would work best for our country and our situation? How can we meet everyone’s needs while keeping standards high, and avoiding these long wait times for procedures that can occur under systems like say, the NHS, in Britain.

      These are very good conversations to have without demonizing those who disagree or have other perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

      • While I do support universal healthcare — I feel that anything “run by the government” in this country tends to have its drawbacks. However, this does NOT mean that I don’t support government-sponsored programs. There are too many circumstances where individuals need help to simply survive.

        I do agree that increasing competition in the insurance industry would tend to bring down costs; however, in this country (particularly under Republican rule), it has been shown that the keyword is PROFITS (translated as $$$$$) … so the rich can get richer.

        Unfortunately, I think it would take a complete reworking of the existing culture — and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

        Like

      • Dear Becky,
        When it comes to “avoiding these long wait times for procedures that can occur under systems like say, the NHS, in Britain”, you are only looking at about 10% of the picture. If I may enlighten you, please:
        1) Conservative (read Repuglygarbagecans) are defunding public healthcare bits at a time to create those long waiting times/lines ON PURPOSE. We Canadians, Brits, etc., know this. Americans have no idea.
        2) Most public systens are under hiring freezes, especially operating room personnel, to cut down the number of surgeries than can be performed safely on any given day. GIVE THEM THE REQUIRED WORKERS, THERE WILL BE NO WAITING
        3) Politicians are trying to cut doctors wages. They want the doctors to beg for private healthcare in order to get back to the wages they already have today. Mostly the politicians want our doctors to head south, so they can say even the doctors want private healthcare. Those doctors who want the big bucks go, and good riddance. The doctors who stay are more interested in people first, and bank accounts second. Many of the doctors volunteer to spend their vacations working in poor nations, risking their lives to help fellow humans. THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A REAL DOCTOR.
        4) A huge number of politicians, at least those in Alberta, own shares in private clinics, and have the clinics ready to start up the second they can pass a law to allow them. That money has been tied up for years, because no one wants to take them off their hands. Everytime they try, We the People rise up to stop them. We want public healthcare. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOOD AND FREE HEALTHCARE! No, it is not really free, the money comes from taxes, but most of us like it that way.
        5) Politicians are not trying to destroy only our public healthcare, but but public education, public shelter, and public food systems too. According to conservatives, especially secondary education should not be subsidized. It should only be available to those who can afford it. We the People disagree. We do not believe in eliteism.

        This is just the tip of the conservative iceberg. Believe me, what you Americans are allowed to see is what your politicians want you to see.

        IF, A MIGHTY BIG IF. the Canadian and British governments funded public healthcare the way it was originally designed, Americans and other private healthcare countries would be clamouring for change. But as long as you continue to be brainwashed, and lied to, you cannot ever see the truth. PUBLIC HEALTHCARE WORKS JUST FINE WHEN EVERYONE SUPPORTS IT.

        As for private insurance companies, they take people’s money, but try their damnedest to not provide the services they say they will provide. The amount of money spent on Private Insurance for one year in the USA could provide public healthcare for everyone living below the poverty line,and a helluva lot more besides. Take away the executive wages, and I’m betting everyone would be covered except those who demand private care–the people who can afford it anyway.

        (Question for Jill: Do you consider this a rant, or just good conversation? You have set a limit, no rants, so now I need real definitions by example, not by dictionary phrases..

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not “Jill.” 😉

          No, this wasn’t a rant. In fact, i felt it was well laid out.

          For me, part of the reason it becomes a rant is when someone starts “screaming” (all caps) about something. Far better to “bold” comments for emphasis. If you’re not sure how, quick lesson … you add a “b” enclosed within “( )” at the beginning of the word/sentence that you want to emphasize, and then put “/b” at the end, again enclosed within “( )”. Do not include the quote signs. I just used them for explanation.

          Liked by 1 person

            • MY FAULT! You use the “less than” sign and the “more than” signs — not the parenthesis. Sorry ’bout that!! Try again. I’ll delete the efforts thus far.

              Like

            • MY FAULT! You use the “less than” sign and the “more than” signs — not the parenthesis. Sorry ’bout that!! Try again. I’ll delete the efforts thus far. I used the copy and paste features for the block quote inside the i’s.

              Like

          • CAPITALS = bolds, quotation marks = italics. I have no underlines, or even cross-outs I see so many people use. Where to get them I have no idea. The options do appear in comments on my own posts, sometimes. When I comment, nothing.
            I seldom mean to be rude, or insulting, though, yes, there are times…

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            • It’s all spelled out here.

              This blogger rarely posts anymore, but he put this page together quite some time back and it’s a great resource.

              Like

          • Yes, I apologize for calling you Jill. At the time I wrote that comment her picture was on the left side of the screen, and I unthinkingly typed Jill instead of Nan. That was my bad. This time I am writing from directly on the page which WP provides for me, and not the “Notifications insert” that I usually use in my laziness.

            Meanwhile, have you received notitication of a new post on my wordartbyrawgod blog? About 5 days or so ago I posted a new piece of true fiction in short story form, but have had no response from any readers of that blog. It shows up as published on my screen, and normally I can count on you for a comment (for which I profusely thank you). Did you receive notification of the new post: A Dream? OR A REALLY VIVID MEMORY!
            Please let me know. Thank you.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I did receive the notification and I apologize that I didn’t take the time to visit, read, and/or comment. Some days I get so many “blog” emails that I feel a bit overwhelmed. On those days, I often put some of them aside to read later. But then they get pushed down the list (and out of sight) by the newer ones. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to yours.

              I will make a concerted effort to visit today. I know how important it is to receive feedback — especially on our more “creative” works. 🙂

              Like

            • Actually, I wouldn’t know what to do with millions or billions of scriptmoney. I live just fine without it. Besides, my father or my grandfather would already have sold it anyway…

              Like

            • …know that the notifications went out. Funny coincidence though, everyone ignoring me at the same time! (Nothing serious, just me whining my lost pertinance.)

              Liked by 1 person

      • Becky, for me coming from a country with a universal healthcare system, the question you pose seems at first strange. However, I thank you for providing me with a lot of thought on the subject.

        On the other hand, your comment made me think about the universal cost of living on the planet. Perhaps, if all the developing countries would reach for a universal healthcare system, the cost would grow so high, that the working effort of the children in Malaysia would simply not be enough to pay for the exess. Much of the living standards in the western countries are based in this free markets system on the cheap labour of the third world countries. You simply could not buy many of the everyday products you are used to at the price you do, unless they were made very cheaply by child labour in Philippines, India or Indonesia. We in the west have grown so used to our consumerist culture, that it might be a bit of a shock, if forced slave labour would be taken out of the capitalist equasion. Providing affordable healthcare to all humans equally might just be the first step to take down such a system of abuse. A system in wich most of us westerners are co-beneficiaries to the ultra rich, to whom the world economy is merely a game where their thirst for digits indicating more money on their bank accounts is more important than the irrefutable human suffering caused by the game.

        To me, the division between countries that have or do not have the universal healthcare appears as the actual division line between the developed and the developing countries. If a country – despite their military might or GDP – does not afford to provide the minimum healthcare for all their citizens, or worse, chooses not to, then that country has a very low level of social development. Even China can afford it’s citizens the universal healthcare. Almost every European country can afford it. Somehow the USA can not, even though the treatment of a single patient is far more costly in the US, than anywhere else in the western world. Of course it is, since the profits of the medical company treating the patient have to be paid to the shareholders of the company. Does that expensive cost buy better treatment? No it does not, as is evident from the fact, that in Cuba they have a better infant survival rate, to that in the USA.

        There is this big lie going around, that I sometimes run into and I wonder have you run to the same claims? The lie is, that only free markets provide an incentive for human innovation because ultimately everybody wants money. It is clearly not true, because it is based on the silly notion, that money in itself is something valuable. It is not. Money represents safety, pleasure, health, nourishment and shelter in a system where money is the only way to achieve these. Societies where universal healthcare is provided are no less innovative than societies where healthcare is restricted to only those who can afford it. On the contrary, providing for that basic need only directs the innovativeness of people away from getting money to more universal (or trivial) problems. That is one of the reasons why crime rates are lower in countries where universal healthcare is provided by the society. But, perhaps you do not see high crime rates as a social problem?

        Ultimately restricting healthcare to only those who can afford it is a fascist notion. At the core of fascism is the idea, that some individuals are more deserving than others, even when we speak about the basic needs or rights. It is the same as putting the most woulnerable individuals to the most dangerous situation. People who have serious issues with their health are the least likely to be able to accumulate money. If the treatment is more expensive according to the nature of the health issue, then the risk of not being able to pay for your treatment is accordingly higher. This sets the poor person in a terrible jeopardy and their poor relatives in a temptation of doing something drastic or even illegal to gain the funds to treat their loved one. Would you be cool and not tempted to brake the law, if it meant you could save your loved one?

        Finally, I think that this sort of system of redistribution of wealth produced by the work of people based on the incentive it gives for the super rich to compete with each other should be taken down. It is not divinely set and there is no justification for it other than this is where history has brought us so far. We as humanity do not need such massive incentive for such an unhealthy behaviour. As universal healthcare is cheaper, than the healthcare provided by the private sector, we as a global and unavoidably co-dependant humanity should be able to provide universal healthcare for the entire population of the world. It would cost us, yes. It would remove some of our consumer products from the markets, but do we really need all of them? What price do we put on human life and dignity? As a result we could expect not only happier people, but also lowered birth rates, that in turn would mean better treatment of nature and less exploitation of both nature and humans. We should have a universal healthcare for all human beings. All humans deserve to be treated well and their sicknesses to be treated in the first place, not just those who can afford it. Would you not agree?

        Sorry Nan, this is once again long and I fear I may have entered the forbidden “rant sector”. Please do tell me, if this is not OK and kindly remove it, if I have surpassed my welcome by it.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Your comment is entirely safe, rautakyy. This is one of your BEST responses to an issue that is so desperately needed within our U.S. borders. But, as you indicated … The lie is, that only free markets provide an incentive for human innovation because ultimately everybody wants money.

          And the last five words of that sentence are the kicker.

          It’s unfortunate that so many have been brainwashed into thinking the U.S. economy system is superior to other countries. No argument that it has its advantages, but when ordinary people suffer because of it, one can’t help but ask … isn’t there a better way?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion…”

    Bullshit. Harlan Ellison said it best:

    “Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble. It’s like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks.”

    — Harlan Ellison

    Like

    • And who is “Harlan Ellison” that makes his “opinion” more valid than anyone else?

      Why I do agree that informed opinions are much more valuable, I’m not sure that I would agree all other opinions are just “bibble-babble.” Sometimes life experiences create circumstances that provide a person with some very substantive “opinions.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • In a weekly OPINION PIECE in the LA Times from 1968 to 1972. Ellison talked television to the masses, later compiled into 2 NON-FICTION publications: The Glass Teat and other editorial pieces, and The Other Glass Teat and other editorial pieces. He is famous as the originator of the term BOOB TUBE for television, with boobs being the mindless victims of the Boob Tube. Great writing!
        How he thought about himself I do not know, but I always considered him a member of the “Inteligentsia” of the day. He wrote from the heart, and from his head.

        Like

  7. This will happen when you vote for politicians to do things that you know are immoral if you do them.
    Reality Check “First and foremost, Hitler saw the State as the ideal form of social organization; managed by people dedicated to making it finer and stronger. Wrong! He failed totally to get his premise right, i.e., that individual humans each own themselves, and should interact only when and how each wishes to do so – in what we call the “market.” This fundamental error he shares with all who favor the continuing existence of government. Thus, at root, every politician is a Nazi.” From: http://strike-the-root.com/monster-in-making

    Like

    • FYI to my readers:

      The above quote in Ed Martin’s comment was from Jim Davies, who seems to be a Libertarian. He has written several books (available in PDF format) and articles that some may find interesting. The most I could discover related to his background is that he is a retired businessman who led the development of an on-line school of liberty.

      Like

  8. Hello Nan. Not much more to add to the discussion than has been said already. I do remember our conversations during the primary how you reminded me that to some generations it was a scare word and the Republicans seem to be all about fear and hate now. I still say the wealthy have convinced a lot of people including the elected Republicans that government should only serve the desires of the wealthy, and never serve the needs of the people. The wealthy lose control when the needs of the people are taken care of , and and educated populous is much harder to control, to make them willing to accept that life is supposed to be a struggle. No matter if it is runaway unconstrained capitalism or demonizing helping the people, the US has become a two class caste system. The powerful ruling upper class, and the powerless poor lower class. With 55 million people out of work and desperate to pay bills and have food, I will gladly accept the fear word socialism for some assistance and help for those in need. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “There is nothing to fear about socialism, but the fear of something you do not care to understand for yourself.”
    Repuglycans trust their leaders to tell them the truth about the world, and that trust is what makes them so vulnerable to dictators like Trump and McConnell.
    “Trusting a fool to be honest is the same as being the fool you are trusting, bdcause you are not trusting yourself.”

    Liked by 1 person

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