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On American Socialism

September 19th, 2008 | by Steve O |

A friend of mine e-mailed me his thoughts earlier today and with his permission I thought I would share;

If we are going to have a socialist system, I think we can do a better job distributing the cash around instead of targeting the greedy bastards who sold the snake-oil disguised as mortgage-backed securities. $500 billion is more money than any average person can comprehend and is ten-times Bill Gates’ personal fortune. With that kind of money being laid out in forms of bail-outs, loans and trusts, why do I feel like I’m once again getting the short-end of the stick? I balance my books every month and if I come up short and bounce a check, I’m penalized with fees and lowered credit ratings. These incomprehensibly massive financial titans come up short to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, and instead of being penalized, they get a sweet deal.

And I’m not unfeeling here. The workers who have lost their jobs should be pitied. They were told all was well when in fact, all was an illusion. It’s not their fault. But imagine you decided that even though your income was $50,000 a year and you owed $100 million that you would think it was the right time to take your family and one hundred of your closest friends to a five-star hotel in Hawaii for three weeks? That’s essentially what Richard Fuld did when he took $22 million from Lehman Brothers this past March, six months before his Company went belly-up. It’s enough to make me puke.

So the government now gives all this money for institutions who have only proven that they are interested in greed, not in sound business practices. Nothing wrong in making money, but what they were doing was stealing, and now we all have to pay. I say, no way!

Instead of pumping all this cash into the hands of people who have proven that they cannot be trusted in managing their money, I say take that money and divide it up equally to all people who paid income taxes, no matter how small or large that payment was. The way I figure it, anyone who paid taxes last year should get a check for $16,500. If you and your spouse paid taxes, that’s $33,000. If you, your spouse and your daughter in high-school paid taxes, that’s $49,500. Financial institutions be damned, what we would create is the largest trickle-up economy the world has ever seen. If the government is going into the business of managing the entire financial structure of the country, ignore capitalism and essentially turn the corporate world into a socialized system, I want a voice in that. If we’re going to be socialists, then lets give this money to the people and let the chips fall on Wall Street where they may.


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  1. 6 Responses to “On American Socialism”

  2. By steve on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply

    I know… I agree. Uncle Sam didn’t even lube up this time and it freaking hurts.

  3. By Steve O on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply

    Well, lets count the socialist systems already inside our capitalist society;

    1. Police
    2. Fire Fighting
    3. Paramedics (where it hasn’t been privatized and destroyed)
    4. Schools
    5. Youth Centers
    6. Public Works (funny name)
    7. Public Utilities (Another funny name)

    So to that list we add the ENTIRE GOD DAMN BANKING SYSTEM? Sounds good to me.

    Funny how the party that stood for small government and were the biggest defenders against socialism and communism just nationalized a third of the ENTIRE banking system. I as part owner want my damn share and I would like it now in the form of a nice big fat middle class tax cut. Let the 1% of the richest who benefited from this complete raping of America go fuck themselves.

    OH on a liberal side note or a note to Obama, stop fucking agreeing with these fucktards in Washington that put this recovery plan in montion and speak out. A 2 minute commercial is not going to cut it, I can cook rice quicker than that, speaking of Rice . . . never mind.

    Maybe you can take a lesson from Chuck Rangel and call Governor Piglin “disabled” (politically disabled is what he really said, but you wouldn’t know that from our liberal media).

    That is all.

  4. By steve on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply

    Chuck should show Biden who is disabled. If Rangel paid his taxes we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  5. By Manapp99 on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply

    You Will Get your share of the bonus when you get your own fire truck from your socialized fire dept. Try to borrow a b ulldozer from your socialized public works dept next time you do yardwork.

  6. By steve on Sep 19, 2008 | Reply

    Try getting a cop to show up when your car gets broken into manapp. Won’t happen in Sacramento!! Too many incidents of break ins.

  7. By Liberal Jarhead on Sep 20, 2008 | Reply

    For that list, don’t forget Social Security and Medicare, two of the most successful programs in history and ones that give the most help to the most people.
    Our current system’s instabilities and inequities are not, with some exceptions, the fault of the people running the system. The way corporations are required to operate, their managers are severely punished if they put anything else ahead of short-term profits.

    As one of the best supervisors I ever had said many times, every system is perfectly designed to produce exactly the outcome it produces. When that outcome is bad, 95% of the time it’s because the system needs overhauling, not because somebody’s evil or incompetent (unless the system is designed to nurture and reward evil and incompetence!)

    If we want a more equitable system - as I think most of us do - the way to get it is to have all the people with a stake in the process study how the system works, find the parts where things fall through the cracks or otherwise go wrong, and fix those parts of the system.

    Personally, I expect that a blend of socialism and incentive-driven capitalism would give us the best result. Some things need to be socialized to be done right - national infrastructure maintenance and expansion, workplace safety, law enforcement, warfighting, firefighting, and foreign affairs. I believe we’d be better off with healthcare, education, and the prison system added to the list.

    Some of these things can be safely and effectively contracted out, like infrastructure projects and education (as long as standards are upheld and, in the case of education, no one is screened out that the public schools would be required to accept). Some, like warfighting, law enforcement, firefighting, and corrections, should never (IMO) be privatized, because their basic philosophies are not compatible with the profit motive; I’ve seen the effects of privatization in prison, and they’re abusive and ugly. They’re understaffed and hence unsafe for staff and inmates, the food and health care are totally inadequate, and the company that owns them makes a whole lot of money by charging the taxpayers about the same rate per inmate the state spends in its own prisons and then cutting corners every way they can think of. Then when they have riots or murders, the state’s corrections people have to go in and clean up the mess anyway.

    I despise the police department here in Albuquerque, too, Steve; they’re an example of a different kind of failure, i.e. ineffective oversight by the city government. The Los Angeles PD has a nasty rep for corruption and abuse - the Albuquerque PD is about 1/10 the size of the LAPD, but the two departments spend about the same amount defending themselves from misconduct lawsuits. I’ve had personal experience with APD responding to a minor domestic violence incident between a junior-high age boy and his mom by putting our block under siege with the SWAT team, up to and including an orbiting helicopter, cops dressed like ninjas running around on the roofs of our house and our neighbors, and one of them brandishing his M4 assault rifle at me at our front door and, in reference to the Glock I had been holding when he started beating on the door, said “Mine’s bigger than yours!” (Actually, it may have been bigger than the Glock, but it wasn’t bigger than the Mossberg 12-gauge that was behind the door, but I didn’t tell him about that, or about the fact that my wife was looking at him from a window a foot behind his head with a .45 in her hand.) Morons. They almost shot my brother and one of his dogs that night, too (we live on the same block).

    Anyway, great topic. Too often, the word “socialism” is a hot button that immediately short-circuits thinking and analysis on a subject, but it’s an aspect of things we need to weigh and analyze unemotionally.

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