Silly socialism

AS ART LINKLETTER used to say: People are funny.

ArtIn the 132 years since Karl Marx died, plenty of folks still swoon for Marx’s notion of fairness and equality. Let’s look at how Marx’s ideas have played out in real life.

There are varying degrees of Marx’s nutty notions. You’ve got Communism. A little further down the scale you’ll find, with somewhat less impracticality and brutality, socialism and, of course, “social democracy.”

1. Communism. The Soviet Union collapsed after murdering millions of its citizens. Red China, also with rivers of blood on its hands, saw the writing on the wall and is shifting to capitalism while officially saying it’s still communist. Cuba, of course, is a Caribbean basket case.

2. Socialism and Social Democracy. I’ll lump these together because there’s really little difference. In this category, you’ve got much of Europe and its poster boy of Greece where able-bodied youths are running wild in the streets demanding their welfare while the economy collapses.

Another bright ray shining from the Socialist Sun is the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico where just over half of the population is on the dole and another third of the folks hold unionized government jobs.

That big, beautiful island is on the verge of sinking into the Red Sea it has excavated for itself. Blame government unions to a great degree.

Indeed public-sector unions, a terroristic arm of the socialist philosophy, are sending governments into bankruptcy all over the West. A government union job is a great gig if you can score one. Retire at 50 with 99 percent of your salary, full health benefits, etc., all underwritten by taxpayers.

Taxes are highest where social democracy is embraced, but they still fall short of the delicious benefits paid.

Today’s Democratic Party in America, more than ever under President Barry, embraces social democracy as the nation sinks into its own Red Sea. And cities run by Democrats are even worse off financially as their municipal populations also collapse into social pathologies. Related?

And the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders is looking real sweet these days to Democrats as a presidential contender. Stunning.

You have no problem finding millions of people who vote for this egregious nonsense and who call themselves socialist and “Democrats.” Yes, people are funny. Art Linkletter sure did know us.

Moral: Limited, conservative, proudly capitalist governments do not deliver this grief. They deliver prosperity and opportunities.

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” — George Bernard Shaw

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43 thoughts on “Silly socialism”

  1. I like most of the platform that Sanders espouses. He’s honest. He’s his own man. Labels don’t mean much. Look to the character, heart and words of a man. He’s got a lot of the others beat when you look at his record, too.

    It’s a bit of a stretch to only use 2 failed economies as your basis for judging democratic socialism. There are plenty of economies that espouse the liberal philosophy and are prospering.

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    1. Yes, here’s a list of economies that “espouse the liberal philosophy and are prospering.”

      Denmark
      Sweden
      Norway
      Finland
      United Kingdom
      United States
      Ireland
      Other first-world countries

      Countries with low taxes and no social safety net:
      Most of Latin America
      Most of Africa
      Most of Asia

      Which areas are richer, with more opportunity, though higher taxes and bigger governments?

      Hint: it’s not the low-tax places.

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          1. Kim: If there is a bigger waste of time and effort, it’s arguing politics or religion. You know that. So I state my opinion, and you can state yours. No problem.

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            1. Politics is one thing. Policy is another. Determining policy without some kind of reasoned debate on the merits is likely to end in tears. That’s one of America’s big problems today. It’s all politics and little policy. Policy is what’s important, and politics is mostly hot air.

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              1. By the way, which countries are the richest and best places to earn a first-world, middle-class income are not opinions, but facts. And you can review the facts I noted above. That is not politics, but again, facts.

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      1. Developed Socialist economies are eating their seed corn. Capitalism has created so much plenty the Socialists can live off of it for years. The end looks like Detroit, Greece, Illinois: the bankrupt leftist nirvanas.

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    1. Keep in mind that Romney’s 47% includes:

      Social Security recipients (I earned it!)
      Military retirees (I earned it!)
      Public sector retirees (I earned it!)
      Disabled people (Would making them beg in the streets help America be a better place? And note that I’m as opposed to paying for fake disabilities as anyone.)
      Food stamp recipients (Do we let people starve or beg in the streets?)
      Slackers (I’m with you. Throw them out! But they’re a small piece of that particular pie.)

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        1. P.S. the prosperity of the US in the 50’s was in no small measure due to the fact that all of the factories, structures, and other infrastructure of all of our competitors had been bombed into dust. No one seems to remember this fact, but it is a fact, and it is one of the largest reasons why 50’s and 60’s America was successful. Luck of the draw.

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      1. Also keep in mind that these people have an almost equal say so as to how much of the working class money they have to give them. When it exceeds 50% the politicians are helpless. If a politician wants to stay in power, he must offer to give them more of working class money than their opponent. As for public sectors, you will flip in your shoes at how outrageous that is. Social security benefits, think Ponzi scheme. Military retirees, you really need to take a look at the top 10% there. It makes CEO’s look like paupers.

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        1. If you look at the information posted by the IRS, you will find that the top 20% of the population pays the overwhelming majority of the taxes, something like 80% or more. I’m not going to look up the number now, but I have looked at it in the past, and it is close to what I cite.

          And I don’t disagree with some of your points. Personally, I think we all need to vote for someone who’s main goal in life is not necessarily being reelected, but in doing the right thing.

          My point in my reply was to point out the fact that the 47% aren’t all slackers, and in fact are mostly people who can reasonably think they’re entitled. That is the real problem, isn’t it? Sadly, fixing the system isn’t just a matter of cutting out a few slackers.

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      2. A government worker by definition is a slacker. As my father said, “Get a job in government, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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  2. So Felipe, two questions.

    One, what economies do you regard as successful? Two, are any of them Limited, conservative, proudly capitalist governments?

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Which is a *very* Democratic city, yet prosperous and peaceful, with plenty of big businesses, innovation, and opportunities for success.

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    1. Kim: The United States in the 1950s. It was a beautiful time.

      Look, you voted for Barry twice, and he lit up the White House with your rainbow. Of course, you’re on that far side. Understandable. One must make allowances. I’ll cut you some slack, but don’t ever vote again, please. For the good of everyone.

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  3. What seems to be a miracle can and will turn into a nightmare. If everyone is using the food stamp card and living off the system, where does the money come from? We don’t have enough wealthy people to support the system. There is a disincentive to work in a society that promises to care for every one, even if one does not work. I am afraid it will not end well.

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    1. The State is the great fiction where everyone tries to live at the expense of everybody else. Freddy Bastiat endures

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  4. Denmark has nailed it with a tax rate of almost 60%…the people are among the happiest in the world…the reason being they have free education, including universities, and free healthcare…maternity leave is up to one year with all living expenses paid…I’m sure I’ve not covered all of the benefits they enjoy…but it has worked quite well for them…and the unemployment rate is extremely low. Ditto Iceland and Norway…

    I do not share the pessimism of you and many of your readers regarding the USA…unless of course Ted Cruz or Scott Walker is elected the next president…then we have a problem…have a good week!

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    1. Those countries listed by Kim all seem to have a pretty good income from the North Sea oil fields. Maybe Greece needs to do some drilling. But what happens when the oil and gas run out?
      I wonder about the people of Saudi Arabia. They have a pretty good standard of living now, but will it last forever? They all seem to have degrees in philosophy and religion. Maybe they should have studied engineering and medicine. They can tell you all about the Koran and the Hadiths, but to change a tire, they need a couple of Pinoys.

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    2. Charles: Tell your left hand to glance at the right one. A 60% tax rate, and you think the education, healthcare, etc., are free? As for some of the other pluses you mention, the small, uni-cultural population figures into that significantly.

      There is no free lunch.

      When I say uni-cultural, I’m assuming Denmark is similar to what it’s been historically. I have not kept up with the Danes. Maybe they’ve opened the borders to the European Mohammedan invasion, which would change a lot. They likely have. Sweden has, and it’s not the sweet deal it was anymore, plus the cultural strife is skyrocketing. And crime.

      This is what happens with multiculturalism, a related issue to the topic at hand.

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      1. Well…the point I was trying to make is that the Danes don’t have a problem with the high tax rate because of what they get in return…the tax revenues and their benefits are spread equally among the population regardless of individual contributions…socialism at it finest!

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        1. Charles: I submit that some Danes are happy with the system and some are not. As for me, the thought of any government confiscating over half of my income to “spread it around” for the “common good” is outrageous. Bottom line is that the government is taking from the successful and giving to everyone, including the unsuccessful and the layabouts too.

          Of course, I think the Danes are historically a responsible, energetic people, and the system has worked rather well for them despite the confiscatory tax system because there weren’t too many layabouts. But with the new “open borders” system of the EU, lots of less-Danish people are entering Denmark and other European nations and attaching themselves to the public tit. The world has changed, and not for the better.

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        2. Left-wingers promoting socialism usually lack facts. My understanding is that businesses get exemptions from taxes in Denmark and that they have good labor laws. No one gets anything in return for taxes except politicians who get votes.

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    3. Walker would be a good thing. Hopefully he would take the wood to the lazy miscreants known as public workers. You know those lazy people living fat off the taxpayer. Since they have pretended to work all those years perhaps we should pretend to pay them.

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  5. The US government already takes a good share of your income amigo…I would imagine almost 1/3…and unfortunately “spreads it around” in ways not even close to the “common good.” Being the good commie/socialist that I am, I would prefer that my tax dollars were spent on national infrastructure and feeding the hungry/homeless and making sure everyone has adequate health care…not on illegal and unjust wars….

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    1. Charles: Years that I do not withdraw from my IRA, I pay no tax, which is fine with me. That is due to our being officially in poverty. But I have nothing against taxes, which are how a nation, city, state, whatever, functions. Ideally, the tax is used intelligently.

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  6. Public Unions are like a bad skin rash affecting the taxpayers (a minority of citizens nowadays). They are the number one lobby for increased taxes,in particular property taxes. The best thing would be for taxpayers to default on their bloated pensions. Justice is a dish best served cold. People need to realize that the Evil (Democrat) party is largely funded by unions, especially public unions. Destroying the public unions would be a good thing. The taxpayer would benefit. Plus it would deprive the Evil Party of a large source of its revenue, also a good thing.

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    1. Wesmouch: If memory of my reading serves me, I recall that stalwart Liberal FDR said that letting unionism into the public sector would come to no good. He was quite correct, of course.

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