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NewinWW: Amen to your comment!
Igor-this is my last comment. It is in response to these comments you made:
"Likewise I disagree with your comments and observations on socialism. You seem to distinguish between “bad” socialism, where the government owns the means of production, and “good” socialism, which is characterized by radical redistribution of the wealth. Both eventually lead to the same thing, namely, economic stagnation and the further impoverishment of the most vulnerable."
We have a progressive tax system. Asking for wealthy individuals and individuals to pay their fair share is not socialism. (If asking the top to pay more is really socialism then is asking for lower rates for the top fascism?--Of course not.) The redistribution of wealth is going increasingly to the top. A number of corporations, GE, Boeing and many more pay no taxes or very minimal taxes (eg, Exxon 1%) after posting healthy profits. Between 1978 and 2011 workers pay went up 5.7%; the S&P 500 went up 349%; CEO pay went up 726.7%. Remember Romney's 13.9% tax rate. Getting huge corporations and the ultra wealthy to pay somewhat more in taxes isn't going to "kill the goose that laid the golden egg," even though they whine that it will. If someone suggested a 90% tax rate for the ultra wealthy I'd oppose it. That isn't going to happen. I do, however, think that if someone could only afford a 100 ft. yacht instead of a 120 ft. yacht, their life would go on.
pdywgn--- Did you even read the letter? It stated that communism and socialism in which the state owns and operates the means of production and distribution of goods are systems not to be wished for. SUMMARY: Progressives are not getting on this same dead horse! Calling progressives socialists is wrong, calling them communists is just silly.,
Too many conservatives use the word "socialism" to describe anything they don't like in economics and politics. They do this because Rush and Fox News encourage it. Anything that helps the middle class or poor is socialist. If their dog pees on the carpet I wouldn't be surprised if they called Fido a socialist.
Giving the uber wealthy enormous tax breaks or writing weaker environmental laws for corporations in the thought process of the right are good laws. In truth, the bigger share of the pie they bogart, the more power they have to increase their piece of the economic pie even more.
Having the Supreme Court on your side doesn't hurt either when it declares money is speech, corporations are people and the wealthy can give unlimited amounts in political donations,.
If you don't believe that the upper percentiles are increasing their share of the pie, look at graphs provided by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office): http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42729 Their share of wealth has continued to increase since 2007. You can look it up.
Igor--I can't open the online WSJ article. I disagree with the idea that adding in transfer payment, etc to the lower half evens everything out. Of course everyone agrees that an economy that is growing faster would be a good thing. More jobs are needed. It is sort of trading in the obvious However, the TPP (I'm 100% against this Obama treaty, especially fast tracking) appears to be a job and consumer interests killer. I'm still going to collect petition signatures calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, march for a higher minimum wage, and other progressive bu not socialist stuff. This is America!
Namvet: There we go Namvet, or course there are multiple idiots on both sides. There are thoughtful people on both sides. You have discovered the true rule of politics, which is very few things are black and white, most the time the answer, at least the only workable answer, is a shade of grey. Politics in the art of the possible.
The American people are getting sick of a do-nothing Congress and "my way or the highway" politics.
See, you can talk about matters of some substance. Most of the posts on the UB comments are mindless "so's yer old lady!" and back and forth "you're a commie!, you're a fascist!"
The sad part is that many people in the middle class or below support corporations and the wealthy dodging taxes and hiding trillions overseas, suppressing wages, sending jobs overseas, and making sure they have the best Congress money can buy. Instead of asking to make a more level playing field, too many when smacked on the head say "thank you 1%, hit me again."
Namvet--It's the conservatives, and especially right-wing conservatives who complain about people being on a free ride--families on food stamps, kids getting free lunches at
school, medicaid, welfare for single mothers with kids (cf. "welfare queens"),etc. Pete Peterson, Jim Demint, and the Koch brothers actively work to get rid of social security and medicare, which they apparently consider a free ride.
Progressives don't blindly support everything the President does. The NSA is one example. By the way it's füherbunker.
You folks always have an eagle eye out for socialism. NamVet do you use VA healthcare? It is the closest thing that the U.S. has to a socialized system. The government owns the hospitals. The doctors and staff and paid by the government.
Users do not pay money into the system. That said, I personally believe that you and other veterans deserve every nickel of medical care you get for serving your country.
You should worry about the NSA because it's trashing the 4th Amendment search and seizure guarantees. Many people on your “side” in the comments would be out in the streets if the 2nd Amendment was being trashed to the same extent.
You should worry about drones because of “collateral damage” they cause. Totalitarian states use “prophylactic justice.” If you know that the person you want to kill is in a room and you also know that 100 perfectly innocent people are in the room, you blow up the room with a clear conscience
because the state's desires are more important than the lives of innocent people. “If you want to make an omelet, you must be willing to break a few eggs”--Lenin
To clear up some things about “socialism,” a term loosely bandied about, consider this:
To have a truly socialist healthcare system (like England's NHS) the hospital and clinics would be owned by the government and the doctors would be salaried employees of the government. Medicare is a single payer system, but care is given by private doctors. The ACA isn't a single payer system and entrance into the system is through private insurance. The two most socialist health systems in the U.S. are the Indian Health Service and the VA. Should we kick those “taker” verterans off their health care even though they served and afought for America?
In the economic sphere socialism is defined as:
so·cial·ism [Merriam Webster online dictionary]
: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
The Soviet Union was a socialist system , except for the fact “some were more equal than others.” Communist party members had their own stores with better quality goods. And, yes, this system was wildly inefficient and it did kill incentive. More food was grown on private plots than on the huge state farms.
Even Sweden isn't a socialist country in the economic sense. Volvo and other companies are not owned
by the state, they are private. Sweden uses a high tax rate to fund free university education, day-care, long maternity leave, etc.
The Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are ahead of the Unisted States in many areas of measureable “success.” The UK Telegraph noted: “On Tuesday Legatum published its 2012 Prosperity Index, which ranks 142 countries - covering 96pc of the world's population and 99pc of global GDP.” The United States dropped out of the top 10, to 12th place followed by the UK and Germany. The U.S. only has “the best healthcare system in the world” if you throw out the 30 million without insurance, the fact that insurance companies have a history of dropping sick people and won't take many “prior condition” people and your quality of healthcare goes up in direct proportion to your wealth.
Gordon--Don't forget the Marshall Plan. It wasn't all Germany pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
"Never in our history have we had a president of the United States who lies repeatedly."To be bipartisan, what about Nixon & Clinton. Nixon invented "I misspoke myself." "I am not a crook" was a lie. " He resigned when he was days from virtually sure conviction in the Senate after impeachment. Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman" was a lie.
Candidates have made campaign promises throughout out history that were not kept. It is undoubtedly fair to say that every President has made promises in the campaign or in office that were not kept. Sometimes promises are cynically made and sometimes the President really wants to keep his promise but is unable to for a variety of reasons.
Your letter proves two things: (1) You despise President Obama, and (2) You champion the Tea Party faction that the majority of American public and world opinion blame for really wrecking the Constitution and nearly wrecking the U.S. and world economy. Polls show that the public blames Congress in general and the Tea Party in particular for taking us to the brink.
You need to go back to biology class. What Luther Burbank did was cross breeding, like Gregor Mendel before him, not GMO's.
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