News America's aversion to socialism ?

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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

1. Then embrace the repercussions.
2. Nope, but if I see two boys in the sandbox slugging it out over a toy, I simply question why the parents didn't teach them the joys of sharing.
In this conversation, the repercussions are clarity. As for the joys of sharing - is it better to give or receive - what is your experience?
 
107
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

I had a coffee from a shopping mall food court kiosk this morning. Three young men sat down at the table next to me - 2 of them were "working" - the third was in the mall looking for employment. He was very angry.

Apparently, he had been working in a small business that closed down. One of the fellows asked why he wasn't happy - that he's entitled to unemployment (as if he'd won the lottery). The fellow then started swearing and calling the business owner names - ranting about how he was a no-good crook, etc. (because the owner didn't pay unemployment taxes). The third fellow then asked how much he had been making an hour.

The fellow explained he was paid $8.00 per hour - to which both fellows said that was good and why did they close, and what was wrong with the owner (not paying into unemployment) - lot's of questions.

When the fellow explained - I laughed out loud and nearly spilled my coffee. The owner had been paying "under the table" - not taking taxes out or paying them into the system - so the young fellow could take more money home. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough business and the owner closed (hung a for sale sign) when he found a job.

The young fellow said it wasn't fair to him. He also didn't appreciate my laughter much and quickly walked away after telling me so - and hearing my response (louder laughter). I think his friends might have actually understood the irony of his anger - given they indicated working for minimum wage with taxes deducted. I bought them each a coffee and went to my appointment across the street.
 

ginru

Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

In this conversation, the repercussions are clarity. As for the joys of sharing - is it better to give or receive - what is your experience?
In my experience it's not really about the giving or receiving, but rather the peace you find in between. But when one sees the world as just Black vs. White, then peace is never possible in their constant war for clarity. It's either with us or against us.
 
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

In my experience it's not really about the giving or receiving, but rather the peace you find in between. But when one sees the world as just Black vs. White, then peace is never possible in their constant war for clarity. It's either with us or against us.
Not when it's a matter of giving (your) or receiving (someone else's) cash money.
 
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

And so we continue to see discussions of anecdotes used to smother the fact that every last statistical study of any repute ever performed shows a clear and strong correlation between poverty and (economic) socialism. This is not science.

EDIT: (Not to imply the last several posts did this. My complaint is more over the general direction of the thread.)
 
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mheslep

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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

I've been away from this thread for some time, so forgive me if this has already been addressed.

Firstly, I've noticed Sweden is frequently used as an example of socialism that breeds wealth. Actually according to every metric I could find, Sweden is one of the least socialist countries economically. Its socialism is almost exclusively non-economic. It is very much an outlier, and thus referenced frequently by socialists that ignore statistics. But I repeat myself.
I think the idea is just outdated: Sweden was much more socialist in the past, peaking in the 1970s. Most people are apparently assuming outdated facts; I know I was surprised when I looked into it.

Secondly, a few minutes of research shows the clear inverse correlation between economic freedom and poverty level. Just google together phrases like 'correlation', 'economic freedom', 'country', and 'poverty'. Here's a good starting point:

http://www.economypolitics.com/2009/12/first-annual-economypolitics-global_18.html [Broken]

If these statistics are all biased, then find some that aren't!

Fourthly, speaking of correlations, I see a clear correlation in this thread of those defending socialism with a preference of anecdotes over statistics.

This is not a rhetorical question: Why is it so difficult to realize boycotting gives the people far more power than do ballots? And then why is it so difficult to realize moving power from corrupt industrialists to corrupt politicians also takes power away from the people? If you don't like big industry, then start buying your food from local farmers. Its not that hard. If a mere ten percent of the people moved ten percent of their business to local companies, Monsanto, Haliburton, et al would be hurting in a notable way. Do you really think voting for one of two politicians chosen by the system is so much more effective than boycotting, that it makes boycotting a waste of time? Or do you socialists really put your heart where your hand is and boycott? I doubt you do. Try boycotting the government for not delivering the services you paid for and see how soon their thugs will be at your door. Government can prevent Haliburton thugs from coming to your door, but it won't stop its own thugs coming to your door. The reason is that Government is a big business, and its big because it need not obey any laws. There is a tremendous amount of wealth to be made through government via many channels, including loan interest. Or do you really think the U.S. government has been obeying the Constitution lately?
If the real agenda is power over others then solutions relying on the individual and go-your-own-way approach will never appeal.
 
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107
0
Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

And so we continue to see discussions of anecdotes used to smother the fact that every last statistical study of any repute ever performed shows a clear and strong correlation between poverty and (economic) socialism. This is not science.

EDIT: (Not to imply the last several posts did this. My complaint is more over the general direction of the thread.)
Anecdotes can have a role in these discussions - to clarify and focus the discussion.

I think the casual use of the word "poverty" to describe working class persons in the US is part of the problem. If you were on the space station looking down onto the planet - you would not describe a family living on a mandated minimum wage, in a Government subsidized 4 bedroom house with subsidized utilities, electric appliances, a satellite dish, HD TV and stereo system, a car in the drive, cell phones, food stamps, Medicaid, EITC, Make Work Pay (redistribution), subsidized college funds, etc. as living in poverty. On the other hand, you might think persons living in overcrowded ghettos in India or Brazil (first 2 places that came to mind) as slightly less fortunate than the subsidized Americans family. Then, if you looked over to a remote place Africa (or elsewhere) - where children are starving and people live in huts with dirt floors - you might want to save the poverty label for them rather than the subsidized American family. Please label this post IMO.
 
107
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

Is this relevant?
http://www.walletblog.com/2009/09/universal-coverage-for-car-insurance/ [Broken]

"Universal Coverage for…Car Insurance???"
 
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523
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

Is this relevant?
http://www.walletblog.com/2009/09/universal-coverage-for-car-insurance/ [Broken]

"Universal Coverage for…Car Insurance???"
An interesting idea, and I kind of agree that since driving is a privilege and not a right (or at least I see it as a privilege), you can mandate auto insurance, but the government shouldn't subsidize it. That's also the reason why I see that since I view medical care as a right rather than a privilege, I can understand the mandate for health insurance, and government subsidizing if you are "priced out" of the market. I'm all for subsidizing rights, but not privileges.
 
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russ_watters

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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

On what do you base your view that medical care should be considered a right?
 
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

On what do you base your view that medical care should be considered a right?
Without trying to derail the thead, I base (as much as I can) on the categorical imperative (cf. Kant), where I see if I would want something applied universally or not, and whether or not it treats a person as a means to an end or an end itself.
 
2,400
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

On what do you base your view that medical care should be considered a right?
Also, possibly, on all the other developed countries where medical care is (1) a right and (2) so much more efficient.
 

russ_watters

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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

Also, possibly, on all the other developed countries where medical care is (1) a right and (2) so much more efficient.
Well as my mother always used to say, if the French jumped off a bridge, does that mean you should too?

Everyone's entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but frankly, I find the 'Everyone else is doing it' and 'it's cheaper' reasonings to be a pretty lame basis for what in my opinion should be an issue of morality.
daveb said:
Without trying to derail the thead, I base (as much as I can) on the categorical imperative (cf. Kant), where I see if I would want something applied universally or not, and whether or not it treats a person as a means to an end or an end itself.
Thanks for that. A specific, morality-based justification is exactly what I was after and I rarely get it -- and I'm a big fan of the categorical imperative. I realize you haven't given a full explanation so I'll have to think about it some on my own, but at first glance, I'm having trouble seeing how that applies or would apply any more to healthcare than, say, an ice cream sandwich. Everyone wants an ice cream sandwich, but I don't think that's what Kant was after with the idea.

Be that as it may, my reason for asking does have relevance to this thread: I find it common for people, particularly those who favor socialism, to favor incorporation of rights without moral justification. Some of the arguments look to me to be pretty cavalier. And IMO, that follows from/fits with socialism because humans seem wired for the desire to be moral, but socialism seems difficult to justify morally. And by labeling something a "right", you are basically saying 'this is morally correct'. But it is my perception that people use the label to avoid the justification and wide-ranging government control over our everyday lives really should have a justification grounded in morality -- something more principled than 'everyone else is doing it'. And I believe that socialism is difficult to justify morally which is why, in my perception, people avoid doing it or short-circuit the argument by applying the label cavalierly.
 
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

I am not saying "right" like in "right or wrong". Such comment does not belong here. I am saying "right" like in "right and duty" and from the etymology "regulate".
 

russ_watters

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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

I've never heard that etymology for "right" and can't seem to find it on the net. Could you post a source please?

In any case, it seems an odd and usage of the word in this context. If you look on Dictionary.com, the first five definitions (of the noun, of course) all contain references to morality.... indeed, the word "duty" implies both civic and moral requirements. But, we could, for example, look at this - due to use of the word "or":

"that which is morally, legally, or ethically proper: to know right from wrong."

(Caveat: The etymology I see for "right" is much tighter, having it mean exactly and various permutations of "morally correct": http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=right )

...and ignore most of it to focus on "that which is legally proper", but it seems like an inappropriate edit to me. Nevertheless, the reality is that a government can in fact simply declare something a "right" for any reason, without any basis.

Point being, one can, if they choose, say that a "right" is just an idea, action, etc. that is written into law for protection by the government, but historically those things are based on moral principles. As I said before, to separate right from morality allows for anyone to choose anything and just declare it a "right" for any reason. I find grave danger in such a capricious basis for rights -- but as I said before, that fits with my perception of socialism.
 
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Re: America's aversion to "socialism"?

Point being, one can, if they choose, say that a "right" is just an idea, action, etc. that is written into law for protection by the government, but historically those things are based on moral principles. As I said before, to separate right from morality allows for anyone to choose anything and just declare it a "right" for any reason. I find grave danger in such a capricious basis for rights -- but as I said before, that fits with my perception of socialism.
In Queensland, Australia, people from countries without reciprocal health agreements (i.e. US) are still treated in our casualty wards for free but our state government has finally announced that these people will have to go to private hospitals and pay for their own elective surgery in future.

The right to treatment in a casualty ward when required is probably the lowest common denominator when it comes to the moral obligations of a host to its guest.
 

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