Socialism hurts a lot More than it helps

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SFF Madman wrote a long comment on my blog post “Socialism Cannot Save Anything”, found here: https://trutherator.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/socialism-cannot-save-anything/

It is so long it deserves another blog post. Whence this one.

But NOTE: “SFF Madman”‘s comments (that’s his handle) are prefaced by SFF. Mine are prefaced by “ttt”.

Trutherator: “Community owned mortgage banks, and credit unions, are helpless and hopeless against the power of the Federal Reserve Bank.”

SFF: Are they? I’m willing to bet they are helpless and hopeless against all the big banks, too (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.). Or do you think it was right to bail them out instead of breaking them up?

ttt Of course I opposed bailing them out, I am against ALL forms of welfare that robs Smith to give to Jones. I definitely prefer community banks over the big ones, and credit unions even more, and I support them over the big ones. But then you still have the problem of the Federal Reserve Bank, which is the main bad guy here, because all their policies favor the biggest ones over the smaller ones.We all saw that when Ron Paul finally got the Congress to force the Fed to tell us who they secretly gave the money to in that bailout, in fact. It was the big banks.

The government and the Federal Reserve, with TARP and the secret looting, robbed you and your neighbors to give to Wall Street heavyweights favored by government, both executive and legislature. You cannot trust the politicians to make it “fair”. Government is based on force.

ttt: “By the way, the Fed is one of a couple hundred central banks around the world, and establishing such central banks was part of the COMMUNIST platform. Why did Karl Marx want to help the most devious of the bankers?”

sff Personally, I don’t care. Not all socialists are Marxists. As I have said before, there are different kinds of socialism, revised forms of previous ideas, which were obviously needed (“democratic socialism,” “social democracy,” and many more). We need to rethink our “representative democratic republic,” too. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because we have allowed big money to subvert the democratic process.

ttt You’re missing the point about why Karl Marx supported Central Banks at all, and why socialism keeps popping up everywhere in memes pushed by oligarchs in their organs, like corporate media. Socialism refers to state ownership of the means of production, and then there are self-dubbed socialists who push lesser forms of state ownership of production. The Fabian Socialist Society for example pushes for “gradual” implementation of socialism. This came up in the “progressives” of the earliest 20th century, a word used today for the same idea: take by force of government from those who have, and give to those who have less.But the fact that the Fed is the institution that controls the money in your pocket, it is Wall Street-on-the-Potomac, and that a foremost socialist, advocated it, should raise alarm bells.

Look at America’s favorite Fabian socialist in the White House and their attitude toward the uprisings in the Middle East. Not even a whisper of support to the Iranian outrage against the tyranny of their rulers, as opposed to telling Mubarak to get out and a full-scale war in Libya. Something is not right here, ey?

Don’t like Wall Street? Look at the very first thing that the new Libyan government did, it created a central bank with the “help” of Europeans. Go figure.

sff  I would prefer that we scrap the monetary system altogether and try something new. But we know no one will go for that. Most of us peasants in the U.S. really believe we have a chance to become billionaires, not even considering the imbalance in political equality having all that money creates. Not even considering that very imbalance makes the probability of becoming a billionaire very low indeed.

Any bank is a bad idea, at least the way they are set up now. The entire banking system needs a serious overhaul.

ttt If you don’t understand how money works, and the effects of one monetary policy and another, you can do worse than even the mess we have now. Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” is good laymans’ terms explanation of money and how it works. He’s written another about gold.

The monetary system is the one thing that is impoverishing us. Even the “progressive” Dennis Kucinich wanted the Federal Reserve audited. Monetary policy is important. Keynesian monetary policy is disastrous. Stimulus only goes to favored cronies and patrons. It’s the law of politics, the law of political power: It corrupts.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are better than the central fiat money of the Fed, but one should understand it before deciding what to do.

ttt “County or City Owned Power Companies — Oh yeah, that’ll help, There are already a bunch of them, known for cronyism and corruption, because now the political bosses are in charge. They’re not magically made more pure just because they get to boss the lighting utility, but now they don’t have to worry about saving the owners money, because they’re government!”

sff I’m a bit confused about what you mean here. If you’re saying Verizon is corrupt, I agree. If you’re saying politicians eat from their hands, I agree with that, too. But that still shows who the real boss is in this picture: Verizon. Politicians are their cronies, and the cronies of any big corporation or bank willing to wave around huge wads of “corporate free speech.”

ttt You’re right of course in the general in what you say here. You just need to consider that political deciders only eat out of Verizon’s hands because they sell “rent-seeking” policies to them that smaller companies do not have. They have political power to sell. Don’t let them have it!

If you dissolve Verizon and give the telephone utility to that same politician or anybody else, the cronyism doesn’t go away. His family, or the politically appointed boss, gets the best phone service, his family gets the best jobs, his cousin runs it into the ground.I saw this every time in Latin America when I was a full-time missionary. Phone service by governments is beyond awful, and the poor are the worst off. Power companies are the worst. There are now blackouts again in Tegucigalpa the capital, because the company bosses rake it off the top, at each layer of boss. When I was in Santo Domingo is was every day. Take your bath quick when the water came, it didn’t last past noon.

Allende in Chile nationalized the copper mines. Goodbye Anaconda. In one year, production had plummeted, workplace accidents doubled, and Allende’s government had to subsidize the mines instead of getting taxes from it. Today, under economic policies adapted from Milton Friedman‘s “Chicago School” of economics, it’s thriving, but it could do even better if the free market principles of Austrian economics were implemented over the long run.

ttt “The Millionaires Tax — Oh yeah, that’ll help jobs. The guy doesn’t even try to pretend taxing 50% over a million has anything to do with helping the poor, except the proposal for a referendum. Never mind the ethics involved in all socialist and fascist proposals, of stealing money from somebody. Like the bloody Bonnie and Clyde, they “go where the money is”, except it’s less noble than Bonnie and Clyde because at least the robbers want it for themselves, whereas socialists just want to pull them down here to poverty with the rest of us!”

sff I see. Helping the poor does constitute a social program. However, what I really want is for the people building the cars, the skyscrapers, standing on the assembly lines, sacrificing sweat, blood, and time with their families to earn a fair living wage, and decent health and education benefits for their efforts. They shouldn’t have to fight for it. It should already be theirs. This is why I contend that corporations are stealing the most, because they are stealing it from their employees.

ttt Nobody should “have to fight for” anything, but they should indeed reap the benefits of the “fruit of their labor”. It’s a temptation to legislate righteousness, to emit decrees, and it’s easy to see the benefit that one supposes benefits the lowest-paid workers in particular.

What is not so easy to see are the “unseen” effects. Sometimes they can be measured. Allende took the corporation out of the picture when he nationalized the mines, took out the profit motive from the equation. But were they angels from heaven that took control? Nah, political cronies. Corruption goes up because now neither the crony appointee and the “appointer” have to account for either profits or taxes or workers’ safety to anybody.

The “fair living wage” sounds all nice and pretty, but if you put on your infrared X-ray eyeglasses, you’ll were just looking at the lipstick, but the ugly pig it’s on is all the teenagers that find it harder to get a job because the pay is not worth their work. The mentally slow ones have a hard time finding anything at all or don’t last because the productivity is not there.

I just read about a blind technologist working on handicapped-friendly interfaces. He said 80% of the blind in America are unemployed. The “minimum wage” is a barrier to employment for them. They can be productive at lower pay, even as family, friends, and charity works help them. (One such private charity work trained an uncle of mine in darkroom work)

But I don’t “owe you” a job. You don’t owe me a job with a “living wage” either. Forcing you to pay me more than I’m worth to you, kills your productivity as a manager, it robs you of the fruits of your labor, and robs the economy at large of that productivity too. That’s lost production that could have gone to raising the standard for others.

ttt “How about let them use that money to give a raise to their workers, hire more workers, invest in more productive activity?”

sff Great idea! It makes good sense and I would like to see it happen. So all these corporations with record profits lately, why aren’t they doing it? See: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10287

ttt That’s a question I think you should really ask yourself. I could just give you a list. But then it would get bogged down in the details.Instead, ask yourself these questions instead:

#1. Corporations just want to make more money right? So it’s not a matter of greed. If you’re saying they’re doing it just because they’re evil or just to punish us and “rob” potential workers of the new jobs that “belong” to them, they could do this better by just shutting the whole thing down.

In fact, that was the big socialist complaint against companies in the 1970s and 1980s that moved their factories to Japan and to China. Nobody bothered to point to their own neighbors for buying stuff made in Japan and China.

#2. If corporations want to “make more money”, and they could expand by investing in more jobs, and they’re not doing it, you have to ask why. If you had money to invest, why wouldn’t you?

#3. Maybe instead of moving the money by the force of the gun of the law from one grubby-fingered greedy corporate hack to the grubby-fingered greedy government hack, how about let’s look at what is causing companies to think there’s no safe investment? Why do they think there is risk in the future.

–One thing in the big long list of disincentives to investment is Obamacare. My son got his hours cut drastically from 40 hours plus lots of overtime (they love him there) to 35 max, because of Obamacare, a pet socialist program that isn’t going to work as promised and has already broken a lot of its promise.. It’s happening by the thousands in small companies across the nation. The big ones are waiting for some of the small ones to fold under the burden, to pick up the slack, I’m sure.

#3. Are there corporations or venture capitalists that indeed are investing and putting their money to use? Yes, there are, and plenty of them.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/vc100
Is it enough? No, because the USA does not have a free market.

ttt “So what if they sit on it? If it’s in savings, it’s getting loaned out to others doing much more productive activity than for warfare or for agents to spy on us.”

sff I say it’s being used for exactly what you say it isn’t.

ttt Why? Does the CEO have all those millions stuffed into mattresses?

Even the dumbest executive keeps his cash reserve in the bank. (Note: Of course Warren Buffet has quietly put about a third of his assets into metallic gold, I hear)

If a bank doesn’t lend out the savings, it dies. Mortgages on industrial property, credit cards, even treasury bills for the “safe” investment. Property of any kind.

ttt “25% solution — Finally, a good idea, cut down military spending. Better yet, Obama or the president could just order them home immediately, like Ron Paul said he would.”

sff Yay! I like this, because it appears there are some points on which you and I are in perfect harmony. But Obomber will only do what his corporate masters pay him to do, and I wouldn’t trust Ron Paul, either. I don’t trust any of them.”

ttt The only one who has proved himself in 30 years is Ron Paul. You should have noticed how they treated him in Iowa. Ron Paul 2nd, but “We now have three new front-runners: Romney, Perry, Bachman”. Abramoff said none of the lobbyists bothered to do anything with Ron Paul.

In the libertarian philosophy, nobody gets a government-guaranteed advantage and the fruits of your labor are respected as yours. No big corporation has any advantage over another. The Internet has proven that given a free market area, upstarts can make hay. If you take government’s regulations out, for example, anybody could sell anything from their home itself. Walmart would have ten million neighborhood competitors. I could sell you my beer. My wife could sell you her fine cooking, without having government snoops all over the place.

The corporations write the laws that regulate them. If you don’t let government make the regulations, the corporations don’t get to write them.

ttt “Public funding of all elections — The worst idea yet. Let government determine who gets a chance at forming part of the government. The most radical election year was 1968 when McCarthy got five millionaire backers to challenge the warfare machine. Those donations would be against the law today, because we already have too much campaign finance reform.”

sff No, we don’t. We now have the ridiculous “corporate free speech” reform: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2001844,00.html

ttt The McCarthy example disproves that. The Vietnam War would have had no serious candidate to champion opposition with McCain-Feingold. Incumbents went from using their built-in advantage to get some 80% re-election, to about 90 or 95% of them re-elected. That’s why it’s the same faces.
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-campaign-finance-reform-never-works

And now there is an irony of saying the CItizens United decision was wrong is based on the big monetary firepower of big corporations, and Obama even warning about foreign corporations. This by the one whose campaign is documented as having received foreign contributions.

The irony is that it is corporate entities like Citizens United that give a voice to citizens who by themselves cannot afford to produce a slick ad like the Demican or Republicrat Party candidates, who cannot individually express themselves with a broadcast ad, now they have a way to put a mouth to their message, by contributing to such a like-minded advocacy group. They don’t own megacorporate media empires like General Electric and Microsoft do.

So why let the big mean mega-corporations that own lots of media reach be the only ones that can contribute billions of free air time to candidates.

ttt “But the real headline of the term was the court’s decision earlier this year *giving corporations and unions sweeping new rights to spend money to elect candidates to office*. It is not an overstatement to say that the 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which was handed down in January, could permanently change American democracy.” (The Supreme Court and Corporate Free Speech, Time.com)

sff Corporate free speech actually makes bribes legal, and it drowns out all other voices–those that do not have wads of money to throw at politicians. It definitely has “changed American democracy”: it has practically crushed it.

Besides, the government has always decided who would be in the government. There’s this little old thing in fine print in the Constitution called the “Electoral College.” Now, however, it isn’t the government deciding. It’s corporate money.

ttt First, corporate free speech only provides a way for individuals to pool resources in something they believe in. Not talking about incumbency protection schemes like McCain-Feingold, which big corporations also like, because it provides long-term return on investment into incumbent campaigns.

LBJ’s wife gets the broadcast spectrum and CBS affiliation he set up for her with his legislation, and with incumbency protection laws, now LBJ would not have to worry so much about a well-financed opposition campaign. He did, though, that was McCarthy.

The electoral college is not “the government”. It only elects the president anyway.

Presidents in Latin America and everywhere, America too, have always used their power to try to limit opposition candidates. It’s like gravity. Incumbents have lots of built-in advantages in campaigns. Letting opposition candidate get financing wherever they can get it helps balance the equation.

Plus the big profitable corporations have a built-in PR disadvantage, but they are able to hide it in the Old Media. For example, Wall Street gave millions more to Obama’s campaign in 2008 than to McCain’s. But Corporate Media did not report this at the time, not a whisper. Goldman-Sachs contributions were so lopsided it would have capsized and sunk an ocean liner.

ttt “Medicare and dental care for all — except for the ones denied by the one gatekeeper with no recourse and no competition. Better to get government spending out of it altogether and nix the corporate deductions for it –they still today don’t let individuals get the deduction– so the prices will drop to affordable. Instead we got hikes in premiums with the Unaffordable Act, companies are dropping coverage, and dictates all around and the people get less choice than ever. Doctors dropping out too, the best ones that have enough are retiring.. Now functionally illiterate “graduates” of government schools who can’t read cursive are going to take care of us. Thanks a lot, socialism.”

sff I can’t make sense of this. As for Medicare, some people need help. How are they going to get it? Denying them help is what fascists do. Some extreme fascists would even advocate “lining up all the cripples and shooting them” because they are an “unnecessary strain on the economy.”

ttt The biggest faction advocating any kind of euthanasia today are the more “socialistic” minded states like Oregon. And you can check on who was more likely to see Terry Schiavo as a vegetable, and who wanted to err on the side of letting her live.

And you can check on which side all the handicapped advocacy groups came down on. Planned Parenthood was born as a eugenics program, and Hitler’s eugenics chief was even invited to give talks in America at their meetings! And the Ku Klux Klan loved her, and she documented her visit once to a Klan meeting to speak.

Fascism and socialism are two sides of the same coin. National socialism = international socialism. The “political spectrum” that should concern us is “how much government?”

The spectrum goes from total government (tyranny) to no government (anarchy, or anarcho-capitalism, not the same).

I vote for more freedom. What’s your vote?

sff For the rest of it, I need more information. I can’t be sure I know what you mean about “functionally illiterate ‘graduates,’” but I know my own situation. I haven’t graduated yet, but I’m almost there. I’m using financial aid to go to school and I am far from illiterate.

ttt Obviously I’m not talking about you. You’re obviously very articulate, and express yourself. And I was using hyperbole, I thought it was obvious.

But as long ago as the 1980s I met a New York high school graduate that could not write a gospel tract I handed her. My two oldest sons begged me to let them drop out of high school because they were so bored out of their minds (they’re successful now, one is a music producer).

Get an elementary school McDuffy reader from 1905 or 1913 and look at it. There are high school entrance exams from those years that would stump the best Harvard grads.

sff I can also say with confidence that quite a few of the young students in my classes were skilled with the English language. Not all of them, of course, but several in every class. Their grammar and diction were often better than many politicians, that’s certain.

ttt The best hope is the education that kids can get from sources independent of government schools and government influence, and the ones who are self-motivated from their upbringing. Like the home schoolers acing the academic competition.Politicians are not selected for office for their academic credentials. Their masters like them more pliant. Obama knows economics as much as he knows how to do heart surgery.

At least Ron Paul knows what he’s talking about with economics. In one debate they told the candidates to ask any of the others any question at all. Ron Paul stumped McCain with a simple economics question.

If you read up on Austrian economics you understand more than any of the politicians about how an economy can thrive.

ttt “Nationalized weapons industries. — Oh great. Make them as efficient as the post office. By cutting corporations out of the loop for the dictator, it’ll get better? The “profit” in war will be the political cronies. That’ll work as good as it did for education, and that’s going gangbusters, right?”

sff No one should be profiting from war, corporations least of all.

ttt No one should be profiting from the looting of another, period.But understand. Today’s Godzilla corporations are government pumped. Small corporations are the Moms and Pops and partnerships, more like. We NEED them to profit from productive economic activity.

Without war, weapons industries will atrophy, but we need to push on them. Allowing the people themselves individually to provide for their own self-protection would be more effective for most of it. A government monopoly would be worse because of human nature, and for self-defense too, by the way.

Maybe at least nobody can show up if they give a war.

ttt “==> I’m not a “talking head” or politician or Old Media. I’m a Ron Paul fan, anathema to Shadow Government. We cannot be accused of shilling for the richest. But socialism is a downhill slippery path to tyranny. There are over 100 million humans sacrificed in the 20th century to the god of government.”

sff And I’m willing to bet that twice as many, at least, were sacrificed to Mammon. Corporatism is just as tyrannical, perhaps more so, as any “socialist regime.”

ttt Socialism is Mammon. Socialism defines society in terms of how many each person gets of it.

A completely and truly free market (not the false one socialists accuse the US of having now) is based on the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. In anarcho-capitalism, for example, the economic application of the non-aggression principle is based on the principles of “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”.

Socialist regimes slaughtered directly and deliberately over 100 million of their own subjects during the 20th century, and that’s not counting the millions of citizens who gave their lives in battle against them.

ttt “But. Socialist talking heads are indeed shills for the richest and most powerful clique of plutocrats on the planet. George Soros is no starving peasant, and he and his peers at the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, and a lot more, they fund armies of writers and journalists to write articles that praise socialism on 100s of web sites all over the Internet.”

sff Wow. Real socialists would not be anything of the sort. They are pretenders, just like Obomber.

ttt Would not do what? Take money from them? Write the same things a “real” socialist would?

See Soros’ political influence (speaking about money influence!)
http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/special-report-george-soros-godfather-left
He has contributed mega-money for the Public Broadcasting Corporation to fund local journalists everywhere in the States. Nobody’s talking about what unwritten agreements were made but you can get an idea of what they’ll probably write about.

He funds “anti-corporate” interests everywhere, including big bucks for Media Matters, a very “progressive” tax-exempt non-profit. You’ll see their “education” on their web site. It’s a “watchdog”, it says but it only dogs the so-called “right”. See for yourself: http://mediamatters.org/

Here you can see how far big money goes to support fascism/socialism/control. It’s a false front racket, all about control:
http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/special-report-george-soros-godfather-left

I’ve been paying close attention. Remember I used to be a Communist. Leader of the Black Liberation Army came to speak at my college once. He said a “group of businessmen” offered him a million dollars. To cool it, one supposes, or “stand down”. He refused and the BLA is no more.

Former SDS members report that at one convention, the Rockefellers actually had a table there and they were offering support. In answer to the obvious question, the representative told one questioner that it was to make them look conservative in comparison.

ttt“I found that out when I battled the lies in 2009 when Honduras asserted its freedom and sovereignty against the socialist-orchestrated attack on it, when the Obama administration joined Chavez in trying to force that country to put the dictator Zelaya back in, who was running his own auto-coup against his own government and against his republic, using fraud for cover. And 80% of Hondurans backed Micheletti against that Chavez-puppet demagogue.”

sff  U.S. backing the oppressive dictator is nothing new. And the usual reason for it is money. The usual reason for just about any war after Korea was money (U.S.-owned opium fields in Cambodia, oil in the Middle East). In the past, the profits trickled down to average workers, stimulating the economy (which is why I say the average American should also accept responsibility for reaping the benefits of blood money). Now they don’t. Corporations are making out like bandits on the War on Terror, and the average American’s wages still are not going up.

ttt Like I say, you’ve GOT to understand even the basics of Austrian economics to know why. Like you said above, there’s not much that makes sense here.

Remember the Fed’s money-“printing” power makes it easier for the politicians to fund the war machine and the welfare state. The latter provides a cushion to absorb the deleterious effects of minimum wage laws and state-ordered union memberships, and the former creates its own circular effect.

And it also fuels inflation, devaluation of the dollar, which is a direct theft from the low wages they do allow, so it’s theft from the middle class and from their welfare subsidies to the poor, for a subsidy to the beneficiaries of money creation (Wall Street, big corporations, politicians)

sff It grieves me to see this. Everything you say is a problem in the U.S. (much of which I agree is accurate) still goes back to corporations and banks. Our “representatives” no longer represent the majority, they represent corporate money. This is “corporatism,” not “socialism.”

ttt And this corporatism only happens because people think the government can solve problems by just ordering it like some kind of divine king: “Make it so.” Government is not God, and a scheme based on robbing wealth and productivity from individuals is going to backfire on itself.

Keynesian economists gave their blessing to this racket, and the big bankers were glad to go along. The biggest banking interests in fact hatched the Fed at Jekyll Island in great secrecy, about to pull a fast one on the American public. And they did a double whammy on us in 1913 with the Fed and the Income Tax.

sff The U.S. has many social programs as you noted. I say we need social programs, but I will at least agree that the programs here are mismanaged and incompetently applied. The same goes for taxation. There’s no reason why we can’t come up with fair taxation rates for everyone. For me, I’d be willing to give up 60-70% of my income in taxes if I knew those taxes would guarantee me and my family a home, healthcare, and opportunities for education. People in the higher income brackets would not necessarily need that and should be able to opt out of taxes spent for that reason.

The sooner we learn that no government is so omniscient or even so benevolent as to be capable of guaranteeing anything for you in the long run, especially based on a monetary policy of fiat currency monopoly, enforced with laws that give you jail time if you mint a gold coin for example, the better.

The boom-bust cycle got worse after the Fed took over the money and the banking. It totally screwed up housing for the 21st century so far. Healthcare is a mess because of government pouring billions into it and propping up corporate insurance deductions. (Why didn’t they do that for individuals?)

The income tax does NOTHING to even “spread the wealth around”. Government actors write the laws and make themselves rich at our expense, and join the Old Boys Club where fashionable Harvard grad socialists sneer at the ignorance of the masses with their religion and their guns.

sff But at the very least, the workers in this country deserve better compensation and more respect from corporations. And corporations are much too large; they wield too much political power because of their billions, now even more so with “corporate free speech.”

It is very important to understand this. The problems here in the U.S. are not caused by socialism, they are caused by corporatism. A real social democracy would balance the power between corporations and workers, just as a real representative democratic republic would represent the interests of the majority (rather than a super wealthy minority).

ttt It’s frustrating I know and it looks that way on first glance and that’s why I was once a socialist myself.I was a missionary because I wanted to change the world, help the poor, and I did. Took food donations to distribute in poor barrios in Sto. Domingo. I saw distended bellies. Fellow missionaries told us about Haiti where the poor carry pans to the market to catch the blood flowing down the gutters at the meat market so they can get protein.

You’d be amazed at what people can do if you don’t make them learn to walk with figurative crutches.

There is no need to “balance power between corporations and workers” if you just quit meddling into people’s lives and let them work out their individual contracts as best they see fit.

Let me recommend Frederic Bastiat’s book “The Law”. It is a booklet written in the 19th century that clarifies the why and wherefore of socialism and government in general. It’s a good starter book to explain things, I think.

Others are Human Action and Socialism by von Mises, and Socialism the Road to Tyranny by Hayek.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/
http://www.mises.org
http://www.lewrockwell.com

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Socialism hurts a lot More than it helps”

  1. Socialism hurts a lot More than it helps | Bitcoin Mining Review Says:

    […] It’s the law of politics, the law of political power: It corrupts. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are better than the central fiat money of the Fed, but one should understand it before deciding what…See all stories on this topic […]

  2. SFF Madman Says:

    Okay, this is big. I hope I can give your comments the attention they deserve. You’re making some really good points.

    ttt “Of course I opposed bailing them out, I am against ALL forms of welfare that robs Smith to give to Jones. I definitely prefer community banks over the big ones, and credit unions even more, and I support them over the big ones. But then you still have the problem of the Federal Reserve Bank, which is the main bad guy here, because all their policies favor the biggest ones over the smaller ones. We all saw that when Ron Paul finally got the Congress to force the Fed to tell us who they secretly gave the money to in that bailout, in fact. It was the big banks.”

    Good. I understand where you’re coming from here.

    ttt “The government and the Federal Reserve, with TARP and the secret looting, robbed you and your neighbors to give to Wall Street heavyweights favored by government, both executive and legislature. You cannot trust the politicians to make it “fair”. Government is based on force.”

    Agreed. You cannot trust them. Any of them.

    ttt “You’re missing the point about why Karl Marx supported Central Banks at all, and why socialism keeps popping up everywhere in memes pushed by oligarchs in their organs, like corporate media. Socialism refers to state ownership of the means of production, and then there are self-dubbed socialists who push lesser forms of state ownership of production. The Fabian Socialist Society for example pushes for “gradual” implementation of socialism. This came up in the “progressives” of the earliest 20th century, a word used today for the same idea: take by force of government from those who have, and give to those who have less. But the fact that the Fed is the institution that controls the money in your pocket, it is Wall Street-on-the-Potomac, and that a foremost socialist, advocated it, should raise alarm bells.”

    It does raise alarm bells. When any politician, a member of the American “ruling class” speaks of socialism, I really don’t believe they want what is best for the majority. They are either trying to confuse the populace with outlandish socialist ideas to make them believe that a more socially democratic system is a bad idea (sort of the way we listen to Newt Gingrich talk about repealing child labor laws and laugh at him, for instance, making the ultra-conservatives look crazy), or they are merely trying to shift the focus of the totalitarian oligarchy (get the power back from corporations but still keep it all for themselves).

    Either way, we do not have a democratic society. One way is part of a puppet show to brainwash the masses; the other tries to make what will inevitably be the same–totalitarian, except we’ll all be poor, like you said–a more attractive alternative. Too much socialism can be as destructive as too little.

    What we need in America is real democracy. The “social” part of “social democracy” shouldn’t go overboard with state ownership, because something the state “owns” is supposed belong to the people anyway. A more democratic way would actually consider workers and their needs and strike a balance between capitalism and socialism.

    ttt “Look at America’s favorite Fabian socialist in the White House and their attitude toward the uprisings in the Middle East. Not even a whisper of support to the Iranian outrage against the tyranny of their rulers, as opposed to telling Mubarak to get out and a full-scale war in Libya. Something is not right here, ey?”

    Who are these Fabian socialists? Who runs the organization? I tried to check their web site through your link, but there was too much there. When I have more time, I will study the site closely and see what they have to say. I won’t get my hopes up, though. People need to think for themselves, anyway. I don’t want to put too much faith into organizations like that; I would rather see things done as part of a real democratic process, a more direct approach than either the American republican or the socialist/communist forms that have been tried so far.

    At the same time, I still would prefer a system that treats workers fairly, breaks corporations that get too big and powerful into smaller companies under separate ownership (not state-owned, privately owned), and doesn’t let people make billions of dollars.

    Ttt “Don’t like Wall Street? Look at the very first thing that the new Libyan government did, it created a central bank with the “help” of Europeans. Go figure.”

    Nope, you’re right. I don’t like Wall Street; I don’t like big banks, big corporations, or big money. Yes, go figure that Westerners helped someone set up an oppressive institution.

    ttt “If you don’t understand how money works, and the effects of one monetary policy and another, you can do worse than even the mess we have now. Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” is good laymans’ terms explanation of money and how it works. He’s written another about gold.”

    Oh, I understand how money works just fine, and I don’t like it. It has the potential to create an unfair imbalance of political power and, when it does, it then has the power to undermine the democratic process. Which it has, with disastrous consequences.

    ttt “The monetary system is the one thing that is impoverishing us. Even the “progressive” Dennis Kucinich wanted the Federal Reserve audited. Monetary policy is important. Keynesian monetary policy is disastrous. Stimulus only goes to favored cronies and patrons. It’s the law of politics, the law of political power: It corrupts.”

    Agreed. It is also the law of money, because money IS power in the current system.

    ttt “County or City Owned Power Companies — Oh yeah, that’ll help, There are already a bunch of them, known for cronyism and corruption, because now the political bosses are in charge. They’re not magically made more pure just because they get to boss the lighting utility, but now they don’t have to worry about saving the owners money, because they’re government!”

    sff I’m a bit confused about what you mean here. If you’re saying Verizon is corrupt, I agree. If you’re saying politicians eat from their hands, I agree with that, too. But that still shows who the real boss is in this picture: Verizon. Politicians are their cronies, and the cronies of any big corporation or bank willing to wave around huge wads of “corporate free speech.”

    Ttt “You’re right of course in the general in what you say here. You just need to consider that political deciders only eat out of Verizon’s hands because they sell “rent-seeking” policies to them that smaller companies do not have. They have political power to sell. Don’t let them have it!”

    Agreed…in a true representative democracy, the representatives would not have the power to sell, they would merely be representing the will of the majority. But I would still go after the ones who benefit the most from this corruption as well. Corporatists have a vested interest in keeping things as they are, and in getting more dispensations, more power–more ways to make money without consequences. I would still want to diminish their power to do this, and make things more fair for working people.

    Ttt “If you dissolve Verizon and give the telephone utility to that same politician or anybody else, the cronyism doesn’t go away. His family, or the politically appointed boss, gets the best phone service, his family gets the best jobs, his cousin runs it into the ground.I saw this every time in Latin America when I was a full-time missionary. Phone service by governments is beyond awful, and the poor are the worst off. Power companies are the worst. There are now blackouts again in Tegucigalpa the capital, because the company bosses rake it off the top, at each layer of boss. When I was in Santo Domingo is was every day. Take your bath quick when the water came, it didn’t last past noon.”

    Dissolving phone companies or giving them to the “state” is a bad solution, as you say. The state does not have to own the phone company, it can be privately owned; it just can’t be allowed to grow too big and accumulate unprecedented political power as a result. If they are making record profits and paying their employees the same miserly slave wage, as government cronies make it easier and easier to do, they cannot be allowed to continue this practice.

    Ttt “Allende in Chile nationalized the copper mines. Goodbye Anaconda. In one year, production had plummeted, workplace accidents doubled, and Allende’s government had to subsidize the mines instead of getting taxes from it. Today, under economic policies adapted from Milton Friedman‘s “Chicago School” of economics, it’s thriving, but it could do even better if the free market principles of Austrian economics were implemented over the long run.”

    As I said, state-ownership, while it is a tenet of socialism, isn’t always necessary or even desirable. It must be balanced; but, for me, the balance really needs to be between the workers’ needs and corporate ownership, rather than state and corporate ownership.

    ttt “The Millionaires Tax — Oh yeah, that’ll help jobs. The guy doesn’t even try to pretend taxing 50% over a million has anything to do with helping the poor, except the proposal for a referendum. Never mind the ethics involved in all socialist and fascist proposals, of stealing money from somebody. Like the bloody Bonnie and Clyde, they “go where the money is”, except it’s less noble than Bonnie and Clyde because at least the robbers want it for themselves, whereas socialists just want to pull them down here to poverty with the rest of us!”

    sff I see. Helping the poor does constitute a social program. However, what I really want is for the people building the cars, the skyscrapers, standing on the assembly lines, sacrificing sweat, blood, and time with their families to earn a fair living wage, and decent health and education benefits for their efforts. They shouldn’t have to fight for it. It should already be theirs. This is why I contend that corporations are stealing the most, because they are stealing it from their employees.

    ttt “Nobody should “have to fight for” anything, but they should indeed reap the benefits of the “fruit of their labor”. It’s a temptation to legislate righteousness, to emit decrees, and it’s easy to see the benefit that one supposes benefits the lowest-paid workers in particular.”

    I wouldn’t try to legislate righteousness; just a policy that is fair to both workers and corporations, without creating an undemocratic political imbalance of power.

    ttt “What is not so easy to see are the “unseen” effects. Sometimes they can be measured. Allende took the corporation out of the picture when he nationalized the mines, took out the profit motive from the equation. But were they angels from heaven that took control? Nah, political cronies. Corruption goes up because now neither the crony appointee and the “appointer” have to account for either profits or taxes or workers’ safety to anybody.”

    Since I’m finished with the discussion over nationalizing vs. privatizing (we shouldn’t go overboard with either one), I am only concerned with the last sentence of this paragraph, to which I say: EXACTLY.

    ttt “The “fair living wage” sounds all nice and pretty, but if you put on your infrared X-ray eyeglasses, you’ll were just looking at the lipstick, but the ugly pig it’s on is all the teenagers that find it harder to get a job because the pay is not worth their work. The mentally slow ones have a hard time finding anything at all or don’t last because the productivity is not there.”

    Except for the first clause, the first sentence above seems like a hodge-podge of metaphors and clauses that do very little to clarify your point. The last part could be saying the pay would be too high for the kind of work a teenager will give, so no one will hire them? The last sentence makes a point about mentally slow workers being less productive or unproductive.

    A job like McDonald’s might not have to provide benefits for employees until the employees have fulfilled a certain amount of service: good quality, efficient work for six months to a year, perhaps (part-time or full-time, doesn’t matter, because work is WORK).

    Not everyone looking for jobs, even menial labor jobs, is a teenager or necessarily “mentally slow.” However, since you bring this up, the real question becomes, what do you think we should do with people who have diminished or no capacity to work? Not people who don’t want to work, but people like the “mentally slow,” or paraplegics, people with severely injured backs, what have you. What should we do with them?

    The fascist way is to ignore them and hope they just die and save everyone all the worry and trouble they’ve caused; that is, if the fascists don’t go so far as to advocate extermination, as if these people were vermin like rats or roaches.

    I know some conservatives say let the churches handle charity. It will never be enough, especially when there is more than enough money to compensate those who have jobs. at the very least. There is no good reason for unfair compensation from corporations. They are all excuses; corporations will still reap plenty of profits, their owners will still be super-rich, and their executives will still be wealthy and powerful, too. The only difference is that workers will be better fed, and therefore MORE inclined to work–and more productive, in general.

    Churches cannot support all the homeless, poor, disabled people, many of them children, in this country. We CAN do it, however, and we should. Otherwise, what’s the alternative? Do you know one that is actually humane, not insensitive, disdaining, or worse?

    ttt “But I don’t “owe you” a job. You don’t owe me a job with a “living wage” either. Forcing you to pay me more than I’m worth to you, kills your productivity as a manager, it robs you of the fruits of your labor, and robs the economy at large of that productivity too. That’s lost production that could have gone to raising the standard for others.”

    Perhaps you don’t owe me a job, but I must disagree with the second half of that statement. If the corporation has earned record profits, then the workers have EARNED a living wage and the corporation should pay it. Otherwise, the workers are merely wage slaves. The sad truth is that corporations are not paying for the work they demand and that’s very often why they’re not getting it, too.

    As for not owing me a job, we have to come back to the question asked above about people who are unable to work or more limited in their work capacity. What do propose to do with all the people who can’t get a job simply because there aren’t enough to go around? Again, I am not speaking of people who don’t want to work. What will we do with them? If we do not provide sound, competently managed social programs to help them, we must either ignore them or blame them–both of which are FASCIST practices.

    ttt “How about let them use that money to give a raise to their workers, hire more workers, invest in more productive activity?”

    sff Great idea! It makes good sense and I would like to see it happen. So all these corporations with record profits lately, why aren’t they doing it? See: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10287

    Ttt “That’s a question I think you should really ask yourself. I could just give you a list. But then it would get bogged down in the details.Instead, ask yourself these questions instead:

    #1. Corporations just want to make more money right? So it’s not a matter of greed. If you’re saying they’re doing it just because they’re evil or just to punish us and “rob” potential workers of the new jobs that “belong” to them, they could do this better by just shutting the whole thing down.”

    I’m not saying that corporate jobs “belong” to anyone. The corporation has a function that needs to be fulfilled. If they hire someone to fulfill it, they need to be prepared to compensate that worker to meet their demands. As I said, they are NOT doing it. They are often paying slave wages and treating their employees poorly. There is no excuse for this.

    Ttt “In fact, that was the big socialist complaint against companies in the 1970s and 1980s that moved their factories to Japan and to China. Nobody bothered to point to their own neighbors for buying stuff made in Japan and China.”

    Sure. Corporations moved jobs overseas because consumers were buying too many foreign products. I’ll agree, people should have prioritized American-made products, thereby prioritizing American jobs. But part of the reason was still due to corporations wanting to pay less and less, with prices going up on everything: the 80s is when American corporatists finally got some of their chains removed, more than enough to make it easier to pull away at the rest.

    It is highly more likely that corporations moved factories overseas because they could pay lower wages (lower wages=more profit for the fat cats). Many of the jobs that remain here are controlled by people who want to see wages come down just as low here, if they can help it.

    Unfortunately, they already require many individuals to do the job of two or even three, in the same amount of time and for the same pay. If they can get away with it, they will even have some workers do double shifts and still only pay for one. Sometimes a worker will get a check missing large chunks of time, and have that money restored only to lose several hours of overtime pay in trade. Sometimes a worker will be denied benefits for missing only three days in six months, with documentation of severe illness for those few days. I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. And it’s “dangle the carrot but never let them have it.“ Wage slavery, pure and simple.

    ttt “#2. If corporations want to “make more money”, and they could expand by investing in more jobs, and they’re not doing it, you have to ask why. If you had money to invest, why wouldn’t you?”

    Yes, you’re right. I have to ask. And I am.

    ttt “#3. Maybe instead of moving the money by the force of the gun of the law from one grubby-fingered greedy corporate hack to the grubby-fingered greedy government hack, how about let’s look at what is causing companies to think there’s no safe investment? Why do they think there is risk in the future.”

    The first part: I don’t want to give it to the greedy politician, either. I want the money to go to people who actually work for it. The second part: Partly an excuse. Of course corporatists will want us to believe they must hoard all their wealth and power or everything will be lost. At least someone gets to live comfortably while everyone else scrounges and murders for food and water. Part of it is true, however. There are too many people on earth and resources are depleting fast.

    Of course, we are back to the question, what do we do about all these people competing for dwindling resources? I hope it isn’t “go to war and kill as many people as possible on all sides.” We both know what the fascist stance would be, right?

    ttt “–One thing in the big long list of disincentives to investment is Obamacare. My son got his hours cut drastically from 40 hours plus lots of overtime (they love him there) to 35 max, because of Obamacare, a pet socialist program that isn’t going to work as promised and has already broken a lot of its promise.. It’s happening by the thousands in small companies across the nation. The big ones are waiting for some of the small ones to fold under the burden, to pick up the slack, I’m sure.”

    Obamacare is, I will always contend, a sham. In the end, it will be worse for the poor and working class than it was before, completely defeating the purpose of socializing health care. It’s just another bungling mess created by American politicians to make real SOCIAL DEMOCRACY less attractive to the American people. If Obama really wanted to socialize health care, this isn’t the plan he would have supported.

    ttt “#3. Are there corporations or venture capitalists that indeed are investing and putting their money to use? Yes, there are, and plenty of them.
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/vc100
    Is it enough? No, because the USA does not have a free market.”

    It’s the most free market on earth, and American corporations have been taking tremendous advantage of that for quite a while now. You agree politicians are willing to sell their services to corporations; you should also agree that corporations have a vested interest in keeping politicians this way.

    ttt “So what if they sit on it? If it’s in savings, it’s getting loaned out to others doing much more productive activity than for warfare or for agents to spy on us.”

    sff I say it’s being used for exactly what you say it isn’t.

    ttt “Why? Does the CEO have all those millions stuffed into mattresses?

    Even the dumbest executive keeps his cash reserve in the bank. (Note: Of course Warren Buffet has quietly put about a third of his assets into metallic gold, I hear)

    If a bank doesn’t lend out the savings, it dies. Mortgages on industrial property, credit cards, even treasury bills for the “safe” investment. Property of any kind.”

    I apologize for the vagueness of my comment. I will clarify. What I mean is, money in the bank, and money in the pockets of the super-wealthy, is being used for warfare because warfare generates more profitable ventures for corporations and banks. And Obama, who talks the talk of the social democrat, actually walks the line his corporate bosses have assigned to him, letting them continue starting and waging wars for profit. After all, if they want Americans to go to war, one person they’d very much need on their payroll is the President of the U.S.

    ttt “25% solution — Finally, a good idea, cut down military spending. Better yet, Obama or the president could just order them home immediately, like Ron Paul said he would.”

    sff Yay! I like this, because it appears there are some points on which you and I are in perfect harmony. But Obomber will only do what his corporate masters pay him to do, and I wouldn’t trust Ron Paul, either. I don’t trust any of them.”

    Ttt “The only one who has proved himself in 30 years is Ron Paul. You should have noticed how they treated him in Iowa. Ron Paul 2nd, but “We now have three new front-runners: Romney, Perry, Bachman”. Abramoff said none of the lobbyists bothered to do anything with Ron Paul.”

    I really don’t have enough information on Ron Paul to to comment (anymore than to say I am as skeptical of what he says as I am of any politician). There is a family who has started a web site claiming they have been harassed by one branch of the government and that the FBI is protecting them. It might all be made up, so I’m not taking anything at face value until the truth comes out either way, but they sure are whining a lot about Ron Paul promising to help them and refusing to do it later: http://meansstotheend.wordpress.com/. Not sure what to think about half of their claims, yet the old smoke/fire saying comes to mind.

    ttt “In the libertarian philosophy, nobody gets a government-guaranteed advantage and the fruits of your labor are respected as yours. No big corporation has any advantage over another. The Internet has proven that given a free market area, upstarts can make hay. If you take government’s regulations out, for example, anybody could sell anything from their home itself. Walmart would have ten million neighborhood competitors. I could sell you my beer. My wife could sell you her fine cooking, without having government snoops all over the place.”

    I’m inclined to think that much of the reason we can’t do these things is because we’ll be cutting into corporate profits.

    ttt “The corporations write the laws that regulate them. If you don’t let government make the regulations, the corporations don’t get to write them.”

    If you don’t let corporations make too much money, they won’t have the power to sway government cronies, either. Who makes the regulations then? Not the corporations! But are you saying you think they should not be regulated at all? As far as I am concerned, that gives them free reign to continue their war profiteering, holding Americans hostage for bailout money, treating workers unfairly, etc. Since Reagan lifted many of the regulations, and since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporate free speech, you must be arguing to lift the rest. I say lifting these regulations has already been a disaster for average Americans; lifting more will only increase our problems and open the way for oppression.

    ttt “Public funding of all elections — The worst idea yet. Let government determine who gets a chance at forming part of the government. The most radical election year was 1968 when McCarthy got five millionaire backers to challenge the warfare machine. Those donations would be against the law today, because we already have too much campaign finance reform.”

    sff No, we don’t. We now have the ridiculous “corporate free speech” reform: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2001844,00.html

    ttt “The McCarthy example disproves that. The Vietnam War would have had no serious candidate to champion opposition with McCain-Feingold. Incumbents went from using their built-in advantage to get some 80% re-election, to about 90 or 95% of them re-elected. That’s why it’s the same faces.
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-campaign-finance-reform-never-works

    And now there is an irony of saying the CItizens United decision was wrong is based on the big monetary firepower of big corporations, and Obama even warning about foreign corporations. This by the one whose campaign is documented as having received foreign contributions.

    The irony is that it is corporate entities like Citizens United that give a voice to citizens who by themselves cannot afford to produce a slick ad like the Demican or Republicrat Party candidates, who cannot individually express themselves with a broadcast ad, now they have a way to put a mouth to their message, by contributing to such a like-minded advocacy group. They don’t own megacorporate media empires like General Electric and Microsoft do.

    So why let the big mean mega-corporations that own lots of media reach be the only ones that can contribute billions of free air time to candidates.”

    I’m not buying it. All that money gives the super-wealthy way too much power, and they’ve been pretty slick about how they wield that power, too. This, as far as I am concerned, is a fact: being a multi-billionaire gives a person the same kind and amount of power as the Soviet or Chinese oligarch (if not more power, with multi-national corporations).

    And, within their spheres of influence (which are very wide indeed because they are so wealthy), they tend to be quite oppressive with it. The treatment I described earlier makes workers not much better than serfs or peasants in the eyes of our corporate masters, and many of them have been caught and punished for certain excesses (usually amounting to little more than a slap on the wrist).

    It is a threat to true democracy; it will always undermine the democratic process.

    ttt “But the real headline of the term was the court’s decision earlier this year *giving corporations and unions sweeping new rights to spend money to elect candidates to office*. It is not an overstatement to say that the 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which was handed down in January, could permanently change American democracy.” (The Supreme Court and Corporate Free Speech, Time.com)

    sff Corporate free speech actually makes bribes legal, and it drowns out all other voices–those that do not have wads of money to throw at politicians. It definitely has “changed American democracy”: it has practically crushed it.

    Besides, the government has always decided who would be in the government. There’s this little old thing in fine print in the Constitution called the “Electoral College.” Now, however, it isn’t the government deciding. It’s corporate money.

    ttt “First, corporate free speech only provides a way for individuals to pool resources in something they believe in. Not talking about incumbency protection schemes like McCain-Feingold, which big corporations also like, because it provides long-term return on investment into incumbent campaigns.

    LBJ’s wife gets the broadcast spectrum and CBS affiliation he set up for her with his legislation, and with incumbency protection laws, now LBJ would not have to worry so much about a well-financed opposition campaign. He did, though, that was McCarthy.

    The electoral college is not “the government”. It only elects the president anyway.

    Presidents in Latin America and everywhere, America too, have always used their power to try to limit opposition candidates. It’s like gravity. Incumbents have lots of built-in advantages in campaigns. Letting opposition candidate get financing wherever they can get it helps balance the equation.

    Plus the big profitable corporations have a built-in PR disadvantage, but they are able to hide it in the Old Media. For example, Wall Street gave millions more to Obama’s campaign in 2008 than to McCain’s. But Corporate Media did not report this at the time, not a whisper. Goldman-Sachs contributions were so lopsided it would have capsized and sunk an ocean liner.”

    None of this is improving my disposition toward corporations or changing my mind about corporate free speech. For one, it supports what I say about Obama, how he pretends to be a social democrat when he actually works for the fats cats like all the others. It supports what I think about corporate media too.

    I don’t see corporate free speech balancing anything. All that money is practically guaranteed to undermine the democratic process. What it really does is create more imbalance.

    ttt “Medicare and dental care for all — except for the ones denied by the one gatekeeper with no recourse and no competition. Better to get government spending out of it altogether and nix the corporate deductions for it –they still today don’t let individuals get the deduction– so the prices will drop to affordable. Instead we got hikes in premiums with the Unaffordable Act, companies are dropping coverage, and dictates all around and the people get less choice than ever. Doctors dropping out too, the best ones that have enough are retiring.. Now functionally illiterate “graduates” of government schools who can’t read cursive are going to take care of us. Thanks a lot, socialism.”

    sff I can’t make sense of this. As for Medicare, some people need help. How are they going to get it? Denying them help is what fascists do. Some extreme fascists would even advocate “lining up all the cripples and shooting them” because they are an “unnecessary strain on the economy.”

    ttt “The biggest faction advocating any kind of euthanasia today are the more “socialistic” minded states like Oregon. And you can check on who was more likely to see Terry Schiavo as a vegetable, and who wanted to err on the side of letting her live.

    And you can check on which side all the handicapped advocacy groups came down on. Planned Parenthood was born as a eugenics program, and Hitler’s eugenics chief was even invited to give talks in America at their meetings! And the Ku Klux Klan loved her, and she documented her visit once to a Klan meeting to speak.”

    Anyone advocating euthanasia isn’t really interested in social democracy. They are lying, just like Obama.

    ttt “Fascism and socialism are two sides of the same coin. National socialism = international socialism. The “political spectrum” that should concern us is “how much government?””

    Again, I disagree. I say you are confusing fascism and socialism. If socialism were the same thing as fascism, why were fascists and Nazis so hostile toward them (as verified by Mussolini’s own words). Most likely because, at least in theory (and I do stress “in theory”), socialism would take care of the people the fascists wanted to oppress or kill.

    How much government? That’s a good question. Local communities voting directly for policies, without middle-men to “represent” them, hiring administrators not to run the government but to work for the community. Administrators should have no power to make laws; they will only have the delegation to implement policies chosen by an informed majority. Local communities engaging in bottom-up, direct democracy. How’s that for little government?

    Since each and every citizen becomes responsible for staying informed and voting directly for policies and laws, they are the government–a true democracy, or as close as we might be able to get for now. In a sense, the government is big, then, since it’s democratic, but since it’s also localized to communities it may be small. Take your pick.

    Of course, I would vote for more socially minded policies. Not the kind that lets people keep having babies and getting more welfare money for them, however. Just the kind that requires employers to treat their workers with respect and as equals in a democratic society, and deserving of adequate compensation for their work. The kind that won’t let corporations treat workers like dogs, making them do the work of several people for little money, buying life insurance policies without telling them, and so many more unethical practices (probably take me weeks to recount just a fraction). The kind that won’t ignore (or worse) the disabled and homeless children.

    ttt “The spectrum goes from total government (tyranny) to no government (anarchy, or anarcho-capitalism, not the same).

    I vote for more freedom. What’s your vote?”

    More freedom, of course. I just do not believe we’ll get it from corporations any more than you believe we’ll get it from socialism. In fact, I am positive will only get more oppression from corporations.

    Then again, I’m not strictly talking about socialism, not in the sense you are, anyway. I’m talking about “social democracy”; if it’s democratic, it will be fair.

    sff For the rest of it, I need more information. I can’t be sure I know what you mean about “functionally illiterate ‘graduates,’” but I know my own situation. I haven’t graduated yet, but I’m almost there. I’m using financial aid to go to school and I am far from illiterate.

    ttt Obviously I’m not talking about you. You’re obviously very articulate, and express yourself. And I was using hyperbole, I thought it was obvious.”

    Yes, I’m sorry. I really didn’t think you were talking about me. However, if I read your next statement correctly, I did mistake what you meant when you said “graduates.” I thought you were speaking of college graduates. You’re absolutely right that our public educational system is inadequate.

    ttt “But as long ago as the 1980s I met a New York high school graduate that could not write a gospel tract I handed her. My two oldest sons begged me to let them drop out of high school because they were so bored out of their minds (they’re successful now, one is a music producer).

    Get an elementary school McDuffy reader from 1905 or 1913 and look at it. There are high school entrance exams from those years that would stump the best Harvard grads.”

    Yes. This is where I made my mistake, assuming you were talking about college graduates. There are lots of problems in public education; I’m complete agreement with you on that.

    sff I can also say with confidence that quite a few of the young students in my classes were skilled with the English language. Not all of them, of course, but several in every class. Their grammar and diction were often better than many politicians, that’s certain.

    ttt The best hope is the education that kids can get from sources independent of government schools and government influence, and the ones who are self-motivated from their upbringing. Like the home schoolers acing the academic competition.Politicians are not selected for office for their academic credentials. Their masters like them more pliant. Obama knows economics as much as he knows how to do heart surgery.”

    Whether he has any notion of economics or not probably really doesn’t matter. All he needs to understand is the fat cats have all the money and they’re willing pass some his way if he does what they want. Although, I’d agree the masters want their puppets pliant.

    ttt “At least Ron Paul knows what he’s talking about with economics. In one debate they told the candidates to ask any of the others any question at all. Ron Paul stumped McCain with a simple economics question.

    If you read up on Austrian economics you understand more than any of the politicians about how an economy can thrive.”

    No matter how much we know about economics, the fact that multi-billionaire=plutocrat will never change.

    ttt “Nationalized weapons industries. — Oh great. Make them as efficient as the post office. By cutting corporations out of the loop for the dictator, it’ll get better? The “profit” in war will be the political cronies. That’ll work as good as it did for education, and that’s going gangbusters, right?”

    sff No one should be profiting from war, corporations least of all.

    ttt “No one should be profiting from the looting of another, period.But understand. Today’s Godzilla corporations are government pumped. Small corporations are the Moms and Pops and partnerships, more like. We NEED them to profit from productive economic activity.

    Without war, weapons industries will atrophy, but we need to push on them. Allowing the people themselves individually to provide for their own self-protection would be more effective for most of it. A government monopoly would be worse because of human nature, and for self-defense too, by the way.

    Maybe at least nobody can show up if they give a war.”

    I’m not sure I get it. I know, or at least I think, you don’t care for war, since you want the troops to come home as much as I do. So I can’t think you are justifying war profiteering on the part of corporations. However, I hope that by the time you get here you will understand that I want government monopoly about as much as I want corporate monopolies. As I said, the key lies in balancing the needs of the worker (not the state, unless we are saying the workers are the state) with the needs of the corporation.

    ttt “==> I’m not a “talking head” or politician or Old Media. I’m a Ron Paul fan, anathema to Shadow Government. We cannot be accused of shilling for the richest. But socialism is a downhill slippery path to tyranny. There are over 100 million humans sacrificed in the 20th century to the god of government.”

    sff And I’m willing to bet that twice as many, at least, were sacrificed to Mammon. Corporatism is just as tyrannical, perhaps more so, as any “socialist regime.”

    Ttt “Socialism is Mammon. Socialism defines society in terms of how many each person gets of it.”

    No, corporatism is Mammon; it is greed, and the love of money and power. I do not want to get stuck on the more traditional forms of socialism, as you are, and as many Americans seem to be. I am talking about social democracy, and fairness. A REAL social democracy will merely make sure conditions are fair for workers and not let corporations grow too big. It will not eliminate corporations, and it’s definition of how much each person should get should be based on the work they do. I do not agree that anyone can ever work hard enough to earn billions of dollars, and I believe that workers deserve much better treatment than they get now.

    ttt “A completely and truly free market (not the false one socialists accuse the US of having now) is based on the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. In anarcho-capitalism, for example, the economic application of the non-aggression principle is based on the principles of “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”.”

    I’ve heard this before, and I don’t believe human nature will allow it to work. You will either end up with warlords or, in “anarcho-capitalism,” super-wealthy dictactors, corporate kings. And more slavery.

    ttt “Socialist regimes slaughtered directly and deliberately over 100 million of their own subjects during the 20th century, and that’s not counting the millions of citizens who gave their lives in battle against them.”

    The point I keep trying to make is that once they system becomes totalitarian, it is no longer socialist because it is no longer democratic. It isn’t “true” socialism because true socialism would not limit the power to a small number of people. The same thing applies to the U.S.: once it becomes totalitarian, it is no longer a “representative democratic republic.” Of course, I contend that it always was totalitarian; it just happened to beneficent to wealthy white males.

    ttt “But. Socialist talking heads are indeed shills for the richest and most powerful clique of plutocrats on the planet. George Soros is no starving peasant, and he and his peers at the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, and a lot more, they fund armies of writers and journalists to write articles that praise socialism on 100s of web sites all over the Internet.”

    sff Wow. Real socialists would not be anything of the sort. They are pretenders, just like Obomber.

    ttt “Would not do what? Take money from them? Write the same things a “real” socialist would?”
    They wouldn’t be “shills for richest and most powerful plutocrats on the planet.”

    ttt “See Soros’ political influence (speaking about money influence!)
    http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/special-report-george-soros-godfather-left
    He has contributed mega-money for the Public Broadcasting Corporation to fund local journalists everywhere in the States. Nobody’s talking about what unwritten agreements were made but you can get an idea of what they’ll probably write about.

    He funds “anti-corporate” interests everywhere, including big bucks for Media Matters, a very “progressive” tax-exempt non-profit. You’ll see their “education” on their web site. It’s a “watchdog”, it says but it only dogs the so-called “right”. See for yourself: http://mediamatters.org/”

    Whatever. The more radical social democrats I’ve spoken with, like me, are complaining about the so-called “left” in American politics, too. This means he isn’t like them and likely to be criticized by them (and me).

    ttt “Here you can see how far big money goes to support fascism/socialism/control. It’s a false front racket, all about control:
    http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/special-report-george-soros-godfather-left”

    False front. Exactly. Socialism being used as a front for fascism, as the Nazis did, or as a way to make corporatism more attractive.

    ttt “I’ve been paying close attention. Remember I used to be a Communist. Leader of the Black Liberation Army came to speak at my college once. He said a “group of businessmen” offered him a million dollars. To cool it, one supposes, or “stand down”. He refused and the BLA is no more.”

    You were a communist? Well, communism isn’t quite what I’m going for, anyway. And this little story makes the “group of businessmen” and whoever they represented look even more like bullies, not less.

    Ttt “I found that out when I battled the lies in 2009 when Honduras asserted its freedom and sovereignty against the socialist-orchestrated attack on it, when the Obama administration joined Chavez in trying to force that country to put the dictator Zelaya back in, who was running his own auto-coup against his own government and against his republic, using fraud for cover. And 80% of Hondurans backed Micheletti against that Chavez-puppet demagogue.”

    sff U.S. backing the oppressive dictator is nothing new. And the usual reason for it is money. The usual reason for just about any war after Korea was money (U.S.-owned opium fields in Cambodia, oil in the Middle East). In the past, the profits trickled down to average workers, stimulating the economy (which is why I say the average American should also accept responsibility for reaping the benefits of blood money). Now they don’t. Corporations are making out like bandits on the War on Terror, and the average American’s wages still are not going up.

    Ttt “Like I say, you’ve GOT to understand even the basics of Austrian economics to know why. Like you said above, there’s not much that makes sense here.”

    I don’t think so. There’s no excuse for this, as far as I’m concerned. If corporations are making record profits, they can should pay their workers fairly. The workers earned some of those profits, too.

    ttt “Remember the Fed’s money-”printing” power makes it easier for the politicians to fund the war machine and the welfare state. The latter provides a cushion to absorb the deleterious effects of minimum wage laws and state-ordered union memberships, and the former creates its own circular effect.”

    Minimum wage laws are only deleterious for Mom and Pop businesses, not for big corporations. The Mom and Pops should be hiring those teens you were talking about, maybe. I have worked for minimum wage, and it’s no picnic. I didn’t mind earning a low wage, but I did mind being told to do the job of three people for that same wage. This is what I’m talking about; I experienced this treatment firsthand, and I am not exaggerating. From what I understand, many corporations are actually worse now, and they definitely treat people worse in other countries (the same corporations, mind you). And you advocate for anarcho-capitalism? No way would I want multi-billionaires have that kind of free reign. They have too much power now and, frankly, I really would like them to lose some of it.

    When I was eighteen, it wasn’t so bad. I worked full-time at McDonald’s and earned enough to rent my own apartment, buy food, pay transportation costs, and have telephone services. I know that can’t be done now. I’ve added it up; rents are too high even among the lowest available. This is because McDonald’s refuses to pay a decent wage for the work required.

    ttt “And it also fuels inflation, devaluation of the dollar, which is a direct theft from the low wages they do allow, so it’s theft from the middle class and from their welfare subsidies to the poor, for a subsidy to the beneficiaries of money creation (Wall Street, big corporations, politicians)”

    Maybe this is all true. It doesn’t change the fact that all the wealth owned by the top 1% equals too much power, that corporations ARE as oppressive, and that corporate free speech undermines democracy.

    sff It grieves me to see this. Everything you say is a problem in the U.S. (much of which I agree is accurate) still goes back to corporations and banks. Our “representatives” no longer represent the majority, they represent corporate money. This is “corporatism,” not “socialism.”

    Ttt “And this corporatism only happens because people think the government can solve problems by just ordering it like some kind of divine king: “Make it so.” Government is not God, and a scheme based on robbing wealth and productivity from individuals is going to backfire on itself.”

    People need to be educated, that’s true. However. I still do not agree. The money is there to make things fair and it is being unfairly obtained and hoarded by corporations; using American soldiers to secure their interests abroad, working with subcontractors overseas who are willing to kill their workers to keep the money coming in, moving jobs overseas so they can legally pay their workers slave wages, pushing to have the same thing happen here, etc.

    Government is not God, but, as I said, humankind is capable of fairness and should attempt to be as fair as possible. As long as the government is really the people, as it should be in a real democracy, they can and should protect the little people from the fat cats who want to take advantage of their labor.

    And again, I do not believe a system which emphasizes fairly compensating workers and treating them with respect for the work they do is not “based on robbing wealth and productivity”; it is meant to provide workers with the wealth THEY have earned for their own productivity, which corporations all too often disregard or even disdain.

    So perhaps all those people you mentioned are “real” socialists in the sense that they are more traditional socialists. But I am talking about social democracy and emphasizing the “democracy.”

    Corporatism happens because our government takes corporate money. It’s that simple. They are BOTH wrong for this, not just the government cronies. That’s why I keep insisting on balancing the needs of the workers (not the state) with the needs of smaller, not-too-powerful corporations.

    ttt “Keynesian economists gave their blessing to this racket, and the big bankers were glad to go along. The biggest banking interests in fact hatched the Fed at Jekyll Island in great secrecy, about to pull a fast one on the American public. And they did a double whammy on us in 1913 with the Fed and the Income Tax.”

    Gave their blessing to what? Socialism? Corporatism? I don’t know about Keynesian economists, but I do know our representatives sold us out to big business. That’s enough for me.

    sff The U.S. has many social programs as you noted. I say we need social programs, but I will at least agree that the programs here are mismanaged and incompetently applied. The same goes for taxation. There’s no reason why we can’t come up with fair taxation rates for everyone. For me, I’d be willing to give up 60-70% of my income in taxes if I knew those taxes would guarantee me and my family a home, healthcare, and opportunities for education. People in the higher income brackets would not necessarily need that and should be able to opt out of taxes spent for that reason.

    ttt “The sooner we learn that no government is so omniscient or even so benevolent as to be capable of guaranteeing anything for you in the long run, especially based on a monetary policy of fiat currency monopoly, enforced with laws that give you jail time if you mint a gold coin for example, the better.”

    If you say so. But I have to go with what my brother says sometimes, something he learned from experience: sometimes someone needs to take charge, otherwise everyone will be yelling and chaos will ensue. I don’t entirely agree, since I think direct democracy is possible and we should give it a try, but I believe he has a valid point. I think anarchy is unstable and unsafe. And I thing “anarcho-capitalism” sounds pretty scary, since it would still make the wealthiest people the most powerful, with no laws or governments to prevent them from enslaving the populace.

    Monetary policy benefits the wealthy and oppresses the poor and working class, no matter how you slice it.

    ttt “The boom-bust cycle got worse after the Fed took over the money and the banking. It totally screwed up housing for the 21st century so far. Healthcare is a mess because of government pouring billions into it and propping up corporate insurance deductions. (Why didn’t they do that for individuals?)”

    Housing is partially screwed up because of banks and their mortgage scams. Mortgages are another example of how big banks take advantage of American citizens. The whole idea is a scheme to set people up to lose their home, legally. Just because the law allows them to do it doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t absolve them of their responsibility for it, either. Reverse mortgages are even worse. Why doesn’t my mother get to keep the house when my step-father dies? The mortgage, as all their previous mortgages did, should be in both their names, and they were actually promised that it would be. After everything was signed, however, they discovered it was a lie.

    I will not believe that corporations and big banks are not greedy and do not take advantage of people. I will not believe that they treat their employees fairly, because I know better. And there’s no way I can believe that corporations with no government or regulations to restrain them won’t become more oppressive then they already are.

    Social democracy, rather than strict socialism, can be beneficial and can work to create the balance I believe we need. When people say it cannot, I am inclined to think that’s because they want corporations to have power.

    ttt “The income tax does NOTHING to even “spread the wealth around”. Government actors write the laws and make themselves rich at our expense, and join the Old Boys Club where fashionable Harvard grad socialists sneer at the ignorance of the masses with their religion and their guns.”

    Hey, I’m not denying this is what happens now…because our representatives do not represent us. They represent themselves and big money, that’s it. These “fashionable Harvard grad socialists” probably don’t really care about socialism or the plight of the workers.

    But if social programs were handled with competence, they could work and be fair. If we had administrators performing their jobs as employees of the community rather than representatives or “elected officials,” we might just be able to make it work. In a direct democracy, there would be no elections and no appointments; citizens receive all information concerning proposed policies, which are proposed by citizens, study it thoroughly, and vote directly for policy instead of letting someone else do it for them.

    sff But at the very least, the workers in this country deserve better compensation and more respect from corporations. And corporations are much too large; they wield too much political power because of their billions, now even more so with “corporate free speech.”

    It is very important to understand this. The problems here in the U.S. are not caused by socialism, they are caused by corporatism. A real social democracy would balance the power between corporations and workers, just as a real representative democratic republic would represent the interests of the majority (rather than a super wealthy minority).

    Ttt “There is no need to “balance power between corporations and workers” if you just quit meddling into people’s lives and let them work out their individual contracts as best they see fit.”

    I still disagree, because corporations will meddle into everything and try to control our lives, too. I know corporations are oppressive and can’t be trusted. I know our politicians can’t, either, but that doesn’t make corporations benevolent and beneficial. There will always be a need to balance the needs of the corporation with the needs of the worker, because corporations will always seek to take advantage of workers. As I said, I know this from experience. It isn’t just the way it looks at first glance; it’s overwhelmingly apparent to me at all levels.

    ttt “Let me recommend Frederic Bastiat’s book “The Law”. It is a booklet written in the 19th century that clarifies the why and wherefore of socialism and government in general. It’s a good starter book to explain things, I think.”

    Socialist notions have seen some revision in some groups since then. Again, I am not speaking of “socialism” in the sense of “nationalizing” everything. I am speaking of social democracy.

    But I see what you are about now. You are not a conservative spouting nonsense about socialism, which changes how I need to respond to you. You are about as anti-(this)government as I am, it’s just that you think the solution is in a more free market and I think it is in protecting workers from greedy fat cats.

  3. SFF Madman Says:

    Oh…and thank you for having this discussion with me. It does help me to open my mind a little more to listen to other people’s ideas and I appreciate the ooportunity.

  4. Ron Paul, Military Spending and Wars, the Fed, and Israel | Trutherator's Weblog Says:

    […] Socialism hurts a lot More than it helps (trutherator.wordpress.com) […]

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: