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Americans Love Socialist Programs, but Hate the Word Socialism


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    Conservatives are great at telling everyone else how they should live their lives but after veterans are discharged they don't really care what happens to them sorta like the same reason there are so many unwanted babies out there. Birth control and abortion are bad, go against their god, but after the fetus is born, well who cares, it's not our problem anymore is it?
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    Dutch Wrote:
    iolo Wrote: Americans misuse the word 'socialism', which really means 'political control by the working class'. Only in America. even theoretically, does anyone believe in unrestrained capitalism, surely?
    I guess you are mistaken; the word social has nothing to do with political control, but instead makes a fair distribution of wealth possible, so the lower classes have a life and don't have to sleep on the street, like the case is in the US. How come that we have 50,000 homeless veterans?
    Do you really suppose capitalism gives a twopenny whatsit for what is 'fair'? Only ending the capitalist dictatorship will bring about anything worth doing.
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    iolo Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote:
    iolo Wrote: Americans misuse the word 'socialism', which really means 'political control by the working class'. Only in America. even theoretically, does anyone believe in unrestrained capitalism, surely?
    I guess you are mistaken; the word social has nothing to do with political control, but instead makes a fair distribution of wealth possible, so the lower classes have a life and don't have to sleep on the street, like the case is in the US. How come that we have 50,000 homeless veterans?
    Do you really suppose capitalism gives a twopenny whatsit for what is 'fair'? Only ending the capitalist dictatorship will bring about anything worth doing.
    Yes, you can have it anyway you look at it ; "dictatorship" in "capitalism" or "socialism" is both wrong. You can have a democratic society which can have both elements, like they do in Europe. For instance in The Netherlands you have more than 10 parties represented, which range from communist to capitalists. So the whole country on all levels is represented . Not that that makes it easier to govern, but plenty of Ferrari's around as well no one sleeps on the street. Here with a two party system, you are forced to choose for a party who does not fully represent your thoughts.
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    There is a significant portion of the population that does not regard socialism as a pejorative term. A large sector of Gen-Xers and an even greater number of millennials have a favorable view of socialism. Capitalism has not treated these younger people very kindly and they are inclined to look upon socialism as a viable alternative. They are much more aware than the older generations that the ruling class is the donor class. It is huge corporations and powerful oligarchs who write the rules of the road.

    What everybody needs to know is that there is such a thing as ALEC which is a cadre of large corporations and some legislators, nearly all GOPers. They have an army of corporate lawyers and actually write legislation that finds its way into the state assemblies and often enacted as law. They were responsible for the Citigroup Amendment in last year's Omnibus bill in our Congress which was sneaked in at the 11th hour.

    And yes, I am also amazed at the number of right wing wackos that blast socialism while they happily drive our interstate highways. Those who are vets are also happy to accept their hearing aids from the VA as well as many of the healthcare services they are eligible for. The Preamble to the Constitution states to "promote the general welfare" which to me seems to mean we really don't want people dying in the streets.

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    Yes there are many aspects of our society that are truly socialistic, but are not thought of as such by those who lambast socialism. But we also are a capitalist society and can function with the right mix of social programs and capitalistic incentives as long as we have fair laws and regulations to control greed and excess. Unfortunately as you point out, ALEC has been instrumental in swinging the pendulum in favor of large corporations at the expense of the working class and society as a whole.

    Likewise we seem to be less understanding of the strength in our diversity, the value of education and know how, and how entrepreneurs at every level and demographic contribute to the richness of our culture and its economic success. When did our government seemingly become the enemy for so many who depend on it?

    Donald Trump by his divisive rhetoric and shady real estate ventures is an example of the worst of our society, but what about the 45 percent or so of Americans that plan to vote for him, if not outright adore him? I know many good Republicans (my neighbors for one) who plan to vote for Trump just out of party loyalty. I don't understand it.

    For the young people who supported Bernie Sanders socialism so passionately, their revolution can only be achieved through participation in our democracy at all levels. It takes time and patience covering many election cycles to build a base of supporters and a platform that can be sustained. They need to understand that Hillary Clinton is now carrying that baton for them at the presidential level, and they need to support her and be ready to have several "Bernies" ready to take the baton if they want that race to continue. That means finding the right candidates and getting out the vote for local, state and federal offices..., now and in 2018.

    I've deviated from the topic a bit. Socialism and social programs are not something that we vote for every for years. It requires a 24/7 commitment. It needs to be defended passionately and at the ballot box.

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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    I've always wondered why so many Americans insist they will never vote for a Socialist-Democrat President, but then tell the Government to keep their hands off their socialist Medicare health benefits......

    Just to add a point of clarification:

    Medicare Parts B&D are not bound to payroll tax revenues, but funded automatically by Congress out of the General Fund. It's spelled out in writing by the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare.

    neweconomicperspectives.org/2011/04/4-t...

    In general response to your OP:

    Capitalism runs on sales. The very people screaming about Socialism are often the same people screaming about balancing the budget and/or austerity measures. That means they are against sales in the economy, i.e. the feature that Capitalism requires for it to exist. These people have done more damage to our Capitalist economy than any Communist or Socialist ever.

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    To clarify Carlitos comments above with respect to funding of Medicare Parts B and D, it is true that Congress authorizes the funding but also the taxation. As a retiree I pay a premium every month to be covered under Part B (which covers medical). Part A for hospital insurance is largely covered by the payroll deductions, but also interest paid on the Medicare Trust Fund surplus.

    For those retirees enrolled in Part D (Prescription drug benefit) the monthly premiums can be quite hefty.

    Medicare: How is Medicare funded?

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    The US is wandering away from the usefulness and definition of: economy, capitalism and money.