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So, Bernie Sanders' "social democracy"

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posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 04:22 PM
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So with all the talk about this "dreaded" socialism in Scandinavia, which is actually democratic socialism. Bernie Sanders really promotes this type of government, and he is winning a lot of hearts and minds around the US. A lot of arguments have been made for and against social democracy, some good and some bad. While it isn't a perfect system, it certainly has advantages aimed at the general populace.
However, a trend I've noticed amongst anti "socialism" comments and posts, is that is feared and marked as evil. I've found that it is especially republicans (might not be the case, but that is based on my findings on facebook etc.) are more inclined to argue against social democracy. Well, aren't a lot of republicans christians? And aren't a large percentage of the American population christian in general?
Christianity is about helping the needy and feeding the poor etc. etc., but isn't that what social democracy is all about actually? We pay a minimum of 38% in taxes (the baseline) and it all goes towards economical security for the poor or jobless, healthcare with no payments involved except at the dentists, free schooling and so on. All of that seems to be what christianity is all about: helping the ones who can't help themselves. So I think it's very hypocritical to argue against the social democracy that Bernie Sanders is promoting, while at the same time trying to be a good christian.
What do you think ATS?




posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude


originally posted by: VikingDude
Well, aren't a lot of republicans christians? And aren't a large percentage of the American population christian in general?
Christianity is about helping the needy and feeding the poor etc. etc., but isn't that what social democracy is all about actually?


Organized Christianity in the US has morphed into something else entirely, unfortunately. Christianity USED to be about loving your neighbor, helping the needy, etc., but these days, it SEEMS TO ME to be more about control and power. Keeping the gays down, not allowing women to have abortions, starting wars with Muslim countries, embracing xenophobia and a general attitude of "I've got mine, get a job"!

It's pretty sad.

But I love me some Bernie!



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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Good Christians give to charity voluntarily. Having it taken from them is not the same thing.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

But wouldn't a good christian support this kind of system though? It is helping the needy just like what I imagine a lot of the donations would do.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:12 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Good Christians give to charity voluntarily. Having it taken from them is not the same thing.


No, "Good" christians give to their church, we have all seen how well that works out. Pastor in a $1000 suit, rolex, fancy cars and private jets. Somehow, I do not believe homeless or hungry people will ever see the inside of that fancy car or jet.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude


The government has a pretty bad history of running things poorly. Besides they might prefer to choose where their money goes like local charities.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: BubbaJoe

I don't think most preachers fly around in private jets..lol
Nope.
edit on 4-9-2015 by Bluntone22 because: Spelling



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude

We already help the needy by paying taxes. You know Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, WIC, pel grants, free lunches, free school supplies, free college tuition, subsidized housing etc etc etc

What else would you like us to do?
edit on 4-9-2015 by avgguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

...and private insurance companies have a record of greed and raping the consumer. There are some things better left to government such as energy, health care, environmental protection, social security and Medicare. Ask anybody who is retired if they would elect to have government get rid of social security or Medicare. Hands down the majority would say hell no! Maybe our government should have injected social security with the 100 billion they're giving to Iran! Than pass laws to prevent the government from dipping into it! It would be considered embezzlement for the average citizen if they dipped into an account that wasn't legally theirs.

If the government would use some of the excessive amount of money they spend on the military, military bases, and foreign aid, and spend it here on programs that benefit it citizens, we wouldn't have a healthcare problem or social security problem. Isn't that what government was elected for, to benefit and protect it's citizens? Instead we're spending money to help and protect everyone else but our own citizens!



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: avgguy

Ah, yes I see. Needy didn't mean what I thought it meant. Damn second languages! Lol.
What I meant by needy was people who are needing help from the government - medical services, rehabilitation, economical security and so on. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Are there any benifits for the regular Joe, who might go to the hospital once in a while, might get fired at his job and has to go without for a few months, or wants to send his kids of to college or the university?



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: WeRpeons


So you are surprised that people that have paid into social security their whole lives would like to keep receiving the benefits they were promised?
And the money for Iran you are referring to is not our tax dollars, it's iran's money that was held from economic sanctions. They now will access their own money.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude

The flaw in your logic in assuming that most republicans are Christians. There are many who don't identify with the Republican party that don't believe in democratic socialism and the ideology entailed. Many independents, especially business owners shudder at the thought of a transition from capitalism to socialism, although they contribute to the health and welfare already through taxes and deductions.

Democratic socialism rejects the social democratic view of reform through state intervention within capitalism, seeing capitalism as incompatible with the democratic values of freedom, equality and solidarity. From this perspective, democratic socialists believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by a transition from capitalism to socialism, by superseding private property with some form of social ownership, and that any attempt to address the economic contradictions of capitalism through reforms will only cause problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy

en.wikipedia.org...



Charity and giving of oneself is part of many Christian religions. Forced giving to be distributed by government entities known for waste and bureaucracy is tantamount to extortion, if the alternative is to be labeled a hypocrite or hater. I think labeling Christians that don't share your views as hypocrites smacks of high-handedness.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude

Yes health insurance which Joes job provides and he pays into, Medicaid for Joe and his family if the don't make enough money and Medicare if Joe is older and can't afford healthcare. As for losing his job most places continue to pay you based on your tenure and place in the hierarchy and if not there is unemployment. If Joe wants to send his kids to college he gets a discount if its in state and most cases gets a bigger discount if he lives in the county. Now if Joe happens to be poor, black, Indian or Hispanic then Joe will qualify for even more subsidies, grants, scholarships etc Joe can even get 10,000 a semester in spending money and is even able to write off clothes and food expenses and owes nothing back thanks to our tax dollars.
edit on 4-9-2015 by avgguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: VikingDude


All of that seems to be what christianity is all about: helping the ones who can't help themselves. So I think it's very hypocritical to argue against the social democracy that Bernie Sanders is promoting, while at the same time trying to be a good christian.


I'm thinking you aren't familiar with this quote from St Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10:


For even when we were with you, this we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.


Many Christians truly believe that most people on welfare are just lazy no good you-know-whats, and if they're not willing to work, they don't deserve to eat. They also believe that their "giving" should be via tithing, or otherwise in a voluntary and personal manner (in part to be sure their charity goes to those they consider deserving.)

From my own perspective as a Christian, we must help those in need. But more important, we must give people the skills and resources to be able to provide for themselves. Empowerment beats entitlements every time.

From my perspective as an American, what some refer to as social democracy, I prefer to think of in terms of the Social Contract. Our free market capitalism has been corrupted into crony capitalism. We must level the playing field. We must also do better to provide both life skills and vocational training/college. In so many ways, we are being made dependent on government and corporations. We must make people as resourceful and self-sufficient as possible. The stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we are as a society and a nation.

But "socialism" is one of those so-called dog whistles that bring up all kinds of horrible connotations... and keeps us fighting and hating each other instead of "them"... divide-and-conquer.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:41 PM
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I think that many Christians in the United States lost their way a long time ago and they are not interested in being good Christians anymore, especially the extremists.

On the other hand, I know a lot of good Christians in my everyday life who are actually liberals because they have good hearts and want to help others. Some are conservatives, but they aren't extremist, and they still agree with social programs like funding education and helping the poor.

If you go to Idaho on the other hand, there will be a lot of legitimately racist, sexist and downright disgusting Christians who don't want to fund education or help the poor and are interested in promoting wars. They will say things like "Why should my tax dollars go towards helping the poor person who isn't helping him or herself?" without realizing the poor people often work harder than rich people but for much less. The list goes on... but I do not consider these people good Christians.
edit on 04pmFri, 04 Sep 2015 18:45:01 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 05:08 PM
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Your observations in regard to American politics are very interesting and keen. I think the system here is broken, so it's hard to make a blanket statement. And I am not the authority on politics or religion but will try to give a perspective, as I see it.

Republican politics is generally associated with appealing to small business owners and people who are in middle or upper classes. It also appears to appeal to Christian values. Yes, it is a paradox because Republicans are selective about which Christian values it chooses to acknowledge. For example, they generally label Christian values as being against abortion, against same sex marriages, against stem cell research, while pushing for Christian prayers as well as teaching Creationism in the public school system. The consequence of choosing selective values is that Christianity has become attacked as a religion in America, especially by Democrats. The absurdity of this is the Democrats are technically more in line with Christian values, socially.

Republicans run on Christian values yet appear to disregard Christian values when it comes to social welfare because they do not like big government. They greatly dislike tax increases, and 'appear' to favor cutting social programs to keep taxes lower. At first glance it appears this is the opposite of traditional Christian values, but I question whether tax increases will help because if our taxes were working properly then our people in need would be receiving a lot more help than they currently receive. It seems, to me, every socialist concept we address in America is only making the system more corrupt, more broken. The middle class is disappearing. The billionaires get away with not contributing properly. The millionaires could even be on a direct path to poverty at this rate. Even our socialized health care has serious issues. If it was working then why are people in the middle class having to mortgage houses to get treatments for ailments such as Hepatitis C? The middle class pays income taxes to help the poor yet is stuck gambling everything they own to receive the same help they pay for poor people to receive. I do not blame them for feeling bitter about this situation. I suspect this is because the government is looking out for the interests of pharmaceutical companies and not for the interest of the people here. So, technically the Republicans may have a point. I'm unsure at this time. But what I see here is a system that encourages individuals to settle for less.

I do not affiliate with either party but if an election was held tomorrow I'd have to vote Bernie Sanders. For now, I sit on the side lines and watch two political parties attack each other and unfortunately, Christianity is attacked. I'm not in an organized religion and do not affiliate with either political party. To me, they are both responsible for making the system more corrupt in America. I think (personal opinion) corporations are running the politics and media. It will likely have to get worse before it gets better here because the people will need to look past the political division to find unity... and as long as it is divided, nothing will be done.



posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 07:39 PM
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originally posted by: VikingDude
So with all the talk about this "dreaded" socialism in Scandinavia, which is actually democratic socialism. Bernie Sanders really promotes this type of government, and he is winning a lot of hearts and minds around the US. A lot of arguments have been made for and against social democracy, some good and some bad. While it isn't a perfect system, it certainly has advantages aimed at the general populace.
However, a trend I've noticed amongst anti "socialism" comments and posts, is that is feared and marked as evil. I've found that it is especially republicans (might not be the case, but that is based on my findings on facebook etc.) are more inclined to argue against social democracy. Well, aren't a lot of republicans christians? And aren't a large percentage of the American population christian in general?
Christianity is about helping the needy and feeding the poor etc. etc., but isn't that what social democracy is all about actually? We pay a minimum of 38% in taxes (the baseline) and it all goes towards economical security for the poor or jobless, healthcare with no payments involved except at the dentists, free schooling and so on. All of that seems to be what christianity is all about: helping the ones who can't help themselves. So I think it's very hypocritical to argue against the social democracy that Bernie Sanders is promoting, while at the same time trying to be a good christian.
What do you think ATS?


It's true, one thing many conservative or right wing Christians don't seem to get is that if there is a moral mandate to do something, let's say help the poor, then you can only support public policies that facilitate that. If you vote for politicians and policies that are pro-rich, anti-poor, exploitative, etc, then you are not putting into action Christian principles.

The evidence is clear across economics, education, health care, nutrition, etc, that investing in social programs along these lines, having equitable taxation systems, quality schools for all, and so on, provide far more economic return for all and help the disadvantaged far more.

Republican and right wing ideology ironically is more social darwinism, i.e. survival of the fittest, and pure self-interest. It in actuality has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings, but instead to do with social darwinism, capitalism, and functional atheism in that sense. Complete opposite of the right wings claims to religiousity.



posted on Sep, 5 2015 @ 08:07 PM
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originally posted by: Quetzalcoatl14

It's true, one thing many conservative or right wing Christians don't seem to get is that if there is a moral mandate to do something, let's say help the poor, then you can only support public policies that facilitate that. If you vote for politicians and policies that are pro-rich, anti-poor, exploitative, etc, then you are not putting into action Christian principles.

The evidence is clear across economics, education, health care, nutrition, etc, that investing in social programs along these lines, having equitable taxation systems, quality schools for all, and so on, provide far more economic return for all and help the disadvantaged far more.

Republican and right wing ideology ironically is more social darwinism, i.e. survival of the fittest, and pure self-interest. It in actuality has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings, but instead to do with social darwinism, capitalism, and functional atheism in that sense. Complete opposite of the right wings claims to religiousity.


You might actually have it all backwards.

Unless of course, you can prove it all out.




posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 02:15 AM
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At some point, and I have a hunch it was around 1980 if you know what I'm getting at, it went from, "It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven" to "Jesus wants you to be rich."

Christianity became a political tool for the Republicans that wanted to privatize everything and they have had a lot of success doing it. Brilliant actually.. sad but brilliant.

They knew that the idea of helping the poor and frowning on the rich was really bad for business so they had to figure out a way to spin it. And a lot of people ate up the whole "Jesus wants you to be rich" idea.



posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 05:17 AM
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a reply to: VikingDude

I admit total ignorance about Bernie Sanders and anything he has said.

However, I am familiar with the concept of social democracy, and live in such a system currently.
Being originally American, I have had to observe much of my conditioned ideas and perspectives faced with it, making me aware of thoughts and values I had, but wouldn't even be conscious of otherwise.

Our focus upon individuality, individual merit, and the protestant ethics is a big obstacle to this sort of system.
It is framework of the American Dream, and what called immigrants to us for a long time- the idea that you can become successful based upon your own individual merit, unfettered by the collective constraints.

I notice where I am here, there is an idea that I grappled with at first, and I watched my parents completely unable to grasp as we talked about this week. (they came to visit).

Here, there is no separation seen between "those who pay" and "those who receive". Everyone is both. The people will take their medical care, or other aid, with the proclamation "it is MY money, I have the right to it."
The taxes they pay into social security (which, unlike america, means all social security, not just old age), is seen like one would a mutual insurance- everyone uses it when they need it. Nobody considers that they will never need it. Only that everyone needs it at different times. One moment I am healthy and someone else is sick, later they are healthy and I am sick. (or unemployed, etc.) Hard times fall on everyone sometime.

But we americans like to feel and believe we are in complete control of our destiny- if I work hard enough, if I am smart enough, I will never be sick, I will never be unemployed, I will never need help paying for college education....
So the objection is a "Not I!" in reference to need - I won't need it because I am smart and hardworking! I don't want to pay for those who are lazy and dumb (and get sick, or fall on tough times, as a result.)
Neediness is somewhat akin to the judgement of God- you haven't been virtuous, so you are paying the price.
Even admitting need or lack becomes a challenge to the ego.

Another aspect to be aware of when observing the knee-jerk reactions of Americans to the word "social" is that during the Cold War, a purposeful effort was made to condition people to be extremely individualistic, in order to thwart possible invasion of the Communist ideology. I watched a documentary about this once, in which it was discussed that in the fifties, they asked themselves, how can we keep people safe from that? They decided that conditioning them early on to be extremely individualistic would make them deeply repulsed to that ideology. So school curriculum was geared towards that.
Not following a crowd, or peer pressure, was valued... thinking for yourself, and listening to no one else... only you know what is good for you.In colleges, writers like Ayn Rand were raised up to the masses. Ego was no longer the downfall of man, but it's savior.

As the resulting "Me" generation grew, the problem became clear- they'd gone too far with it and family values fell apart in their drive towards self fulfillment and pleasure at whatever cost to others, and a rejection of their own group solidarity as a nation.

Such deeply instilled values take a few generations to change. I notice that the younger generation right now has a much better grasp upon the value of solidarity and collective force then we've seen in a while. Interdependence makes sense to them. Better then for my generation, the X'ers.... we are stubbornly independent, because we had to be while our parents were out finding themselves, and it is familiar- we only trust ourselves. Yet I see that things could be so much easier if we could just accept a helping hand and work better with others.

Watched my husband take a year to build a three foot thick, nine foot tall stone wall, having to lug huge heavy rocks up a steep incline, in an effort that risked destroying his body, while his kids would have just called up a few friends and gotten it done together in a week.

But him and I both love to say, at the end of such ridiculous efforts, "I did it all by myself, without aid." Our ego is appeased- we are virtuous and brave. Our aching backs and tendons, emotional band aids like smoking or eating junk, just tell our kids we're stubborn idiots.



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