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Please explain Socialism to an idiot.

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posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:02 AM
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Originally posted by Gateway
IT is why WE Americans see the newest drugs here FIRST, because introducing them where the prices are determined by bureaucrats would mean taking a loss on a new innovation.


Yes, America is probably seeing a lot of new drugs first, but how many people are able to buy them?




posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:08 AM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by Gateway
 


On your last point, the communists always claimed they were for smaller government, but what they always created was larger forms of government. Just like the free market people.


This is wrong. In order for communism to exist not only will millions have to be killed, as pol pot, stalin, and castro undertook in order to make people subvert to its will, but will also require a MASSIVE government to control the means of productions which is an impossible task.

Capitalism, REAL capitalism require volunteer exchange with little to no government. Who needs government when people are free to exchange for goods and services.

What you talk about is our current form of political economy which is corporatist at best.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:12 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


I would say most that need them. Why would companies create a product that nobody could afford and hence create a product that nobody buys. That would be self-defeating.

Would apple create an Ipod that is worth 1 billion dollars? So that nobody could buy them?


Also, the price these new drugs cost is because the inherent research that it takes to make them, (do you know how much it costs to hire the best doctors and Ph.D.s) then the testing that goes along with it, and finally the endless government regulation in must jump over to get their product to market. All of this accounts for its high costs; not to mention the free rider Nations that unduly put a burden on US AMERICANS to pick-up the slack for European and Canadians that don't pay the TRUE COSTS for these drugs.



[edit on 1-11-2008 by Gateway]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:30 AM
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Originally posted by Gateway
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


I would say most that need them. Why would companies create a product that nobody could afford and hence create a product that nobody buys. That would be self-defeating.

Would apple create an Ipod that is worth 1 billion dollars? So that nobody could buy them?


You might have noticed that I didn't say that "nobody could buy". I don't actually care about the people that can afford to buy the medication.



Also, the price these new drugs cost is because the inherent research that it takes to make them, (do you know how much it costs to hire the best doctors and Ph.D.s) then the testing that goes along with it, and finally the endless government regulation in must jump over to get their product to market.


Yes, you're right. I know quite a few people that work for the pharmaceutical industry in various areas. I know how qualified many of them are, I know what goes into the R&D side of it and I even know a professional human guinea pig. I can imagine it costs a lot for the R&D, paying staff and all the other overheads. However, in the greater scheme of things, the actual overheads aren't that big an issue - despite what you're trying to suggest - because we're talking about firms with billion dollar profits aren't we?

Also, I'm fairly sure there's going to be some threads on this board as to why so much health care is pitched beyond the availability of many Americans.


All of this accounts for its high costs; not to mention the free rider nation that unduly put a burden on US AMERICANS to pick-up the slack for European and Canadians.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by Gateway]


WTF? How are you picking-up the slack for Britain?



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by LogicalExplanation
 


Canada is a largely Socialist state,; Australia is almost entirely. Both countries contain the most secure financial systems on the face of the planet. Wealth redistribution is simply a minor component, if it's at all even considered, and is definitely not the greatest concern of any true Socialist state. Social welfare is the primary affair of such states, which includes implementing programs and policies, usually Nationalized ones, but not restricted to corporate competition, that relates to common issues, such as health, education, pensions, social services for the disabled, basic issues of employment. etc. I do not believe in a economic market directed by the aims of any state body. There isn't any indication that Obama is deciding to take this route. I mean, he did sign the EESA, but so did John McCain and so had just about every member of Senate ratified the Bill. If he didn't, he might have appeared to the public in such a crucial point in his election campaign to be unconcerned about the economic situation that the average American was in during those two weeks, further advancing the notion that he is an "Elitist". Or that he was a simply the neo conservative Chicago style economist that Geroge Bush emulated so perfectly during his now eight year run. He has, however, proven that he can lead the discussion on the progression of such Acts, even if they are not in the ostensible interest of the public, and that's more than any member of Congress or Senate can say for themselves, all of whom simply voted to get it over with, or under the pressure (Senator Dodd) of the Federal Reserve and the influential financial analysts.

In this example, political pundits are throwing around the term "Socialist" so liberally that it has essentially become a harrowing term little more effective at describing the targeted politician's agenda than perhaps reading his palm and discerning his future course merely by evaluating from the lines on his hand.

Now of course there are extremes, Nazi Germany and USSR are included. You can only attribute their lack of success, however, as an amalgam of their initially poor political and economic conditions, and total lack of foresight for the future. It was all about expanding NOW, conquering whatever territory TOMORROW to meet the industrial capacity of the previous DAY. You can't say it was Socialism's fault for the ruination of those economies. Pragmatically, it was the fault of isolationism, autarchy, Nationalism, the subsequent lack of multinational concern, which didn't play well with the League of Nation member states (GB, France... Japan in fact left for those same reasons as WWII approached), and so on and so forth. It's blatantly obvious why the Nazis lost the war, and so too is clear why the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s. Greed, corruption, embezzlement, private political interests, are all but a few of the factors involved in the production of such an undefinable collapse. We can be confident in assuming that the American market is well prepared for all those things. Two hundred years of essentially uninterrupted free market capitalism has indoctrinated all its players to a sufficient degree in order to operate seamlessly, despite the aforementioned ailments (corruption, etc).

Obama's social schemes aren't all that cunning as you'd like to believe. He's being pretty smart about it too. He'll use the CPI (consumer price index, a model for the standing of living) to calculate the nominal change in minimum wage prices so that they match the level required for such a worker to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He's not raising taxes. He's going to cut tax breaks to corporations, which in a free enterprise economy might not be such a bad thing. Tax breaks for large corporations aren't free market. People today refuse to acknowledge the fact they have become indoctrinated by Corporatism, becoming wholly ignorant of the Capitalist society from which their accusations are supposedly supported. You might argue that giving the businesses (which run our capitalist society) tax breaks would increase their levels of production and efficiency, and lead to economic growth, which is good for every right? (This has not only proven to be false on several occasions-Enron in particular-but that excess capital is simply divested into operations which are not in a slightest degree beneficial to the capital it has invested in-lots of dead weight loss that could have been used to fund schools, hospitals and pensions).

Tax breaks implemented on the basis of some state plan, which would supposedly stimulate economic growth, is in it's very essence the pinnacle of Socialism. Is that not ironic? So what if the corporations, which happen to be the country's largest revenue generators, pay a little extra? By all means they should already be doing so. A true Capitalist wouldn't care.


[edit on 1-11-2008 by cognoscente]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:53 AM
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What cognoscente said.

Australia and Canada aren't 'socialist' per se, but they do subscribe to the ideals of the 'welfare state' where people are given equal opportunity.

Now, naturally, a minority people are going to outright slack off and sit on their bum all day and not want to work - but that doesn't mean we should stop giving to those who are genuinely in need.

The average Australian family actually pays next to no tax - planning on having a baby?

You'll get AU$5000 a 'pop', along with family tax benefits.

One thing Australia and other like-countries do not do so well with is dental care, but if you need something like cancer treatment, the health system has you covered.

Conservatives can call that socialism if they want, but you're royally stuffed if you lose your job and can't pay the health insurance, or the insurance company is wary of treating you.

McCain is using the socialism moniker to appeal to those that watched Red Dawn one too many times (or who thought it was somewhat a realistic scenario).

"Socialism = bad" is the equation that McCain is using, really just to make it sound like a dirty word.

Fannie, Freddie, and a gaggle of other banks are lined up to be nationalized and bailed out if the need arises, so people may as well say that the US already a corporate-welfare state, no matter who will be in its government.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by mattguy404]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by LogicalExplanation
Socialism is like Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor.

The problem is, in this country the rich actually work hard for their money and deserve it. That's what made this country so great, "The American Dream", where anyone can "make it" (get rich) if they try hard enough.


It's the sole reason we became the only super-power in the world.



If we become a socialist nation, there will no longer be "The American Dream" and our nation will slowly wither away and become a third world nation. No one will have the desire to do anything anymore or to go out and make something of themselves, since their hard earned money would just be taken from them.

What's the point of going out, starting a business, and making money if the money is just going to be taken away and given to other people? Nothing at all.


Socialist nations have always failed. Look at the Soviet Union. It collapsed, while our capitalist nation kept on truckin'. And now as our nation moves closer and closer to socialism, look at the state our economy is in.


Obama is a socialist, a very mild one, but still a socialist. He wants to tax the heck out of the wealthy. If he does this, people will no longer want to try hard and become wealthy themselves, since their money will just be taken any way. So what would be the point in going out and making something of yourself? Absolutely nothing. With no one going out and forming businesses, hiring employees, etc, etc, our nation's infrastructure and economy would flat out collapse.


For anyone that believes in Socialism, I dare you to actually move to a Socialist nation and live there. Hmm, no takers? You would rather prefer to stay here in our capitalist paradise? That's what I thought.

[edit on 31-10-2008 by LogicalExplanation]


Socialism has nothing to do with Robin Hood.
The US redivides a heck of a lot of money, mostly from companies and the people AND the outside world (fake loans) and redistributes is to their army and secret project. The pentagon is leader in stealing money (see video of Cheney on dissapearing funds 10 sep 2001)

Socialism has to do with taking care of society with infrastructure and education. It is taking care of hte WHOLE, providing chances for everybody, instead of just the kids of Bush and Clinton.

Most poor people work harder than rich people. Is is a shame but that is true. They are just less smart or they work on jobs that don'pay a lot but are chosen from the heart like teaching or nursing.

In Holland we seem to be the most productive per head per year, but we work less hours, so we are more effective. You would call outr country socialist (left from Obama), but we still don't, so it is a matter of perspective. The American dream is still an option in Europe. Strange HUH.
So we work harder in a smaller amount of time and are RICHER per head. Hmmm...so also when you pay taxes there is a reason to work (I know, I work hard, earn a lot and am sill very happy, and proud to be contributing to one of the healthiest econimies of this world)

Most of what you say is distilled out of old one-liners an views that have been brought to you by your polticians.

So you can still make it big with Obama as your pres. No problem. May be you could be even a superpower again.. because the neocons stole you money and now the US is broke and living on WELFARE of the world.

And I travel to the US a lot for vacation (just the nature!), but I prefer to live in what you would call a socialist country. (Is is not , but it is a different concept for us)



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:16 AM
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I you want to compare socialist an capitalist systems you should agree on how to do this. I lived in Soviet Union and now live in an independent capitalistic country in EU. I can compare both systems. In theory both systems have advantages. Main problem is practice, or implementation of the theory. So, if you wish to discuss seriously, not just to fight for your ideas, you should agree with your opponents on main values you think society should provide to its members. For example, freedom, security, etc. And after you agree on these main values, only then we may discus how these values are guaranteed in socialist or capitalist systems. Without such agreement in advance discussion will be chaotic and not very productive. It even may wound somebody feelings.
So, what is the main values?
Freedom:
To speak?
For ownership?
To buy?
Security:
Social security (health care, unemployment, disability)?
State security from aggression from other countries?
Criminality?



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:38 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 





despite what you're trying to suggest - because we're talking about firms with billion dollar profits aren't we?
Yes but we are also talking about billions of losses in R&D that is unfruitful. Do they have the cure for Aids, or Cancer yet? How long have they been working on these things? How many years has it been, how many billions spent on that and how many medications did not pan-out, despite the time and effort that have been spent? You only are only talking about the successful drugs that yield a profit, what about the other drugs that never yielded a return? You see only profits but not the losses that have occurred to get there.




WTF? How are you picking-up the slack for Britain?


As I have mentioned before, countries within the E.U. have bureaucratic Health Boards dictating to our companies the prices that we are to sell to your countries, you therefore FREE Ride on the American people. Your countries threaten to take our Pharmaceutical companies patents away and give them to YOUR ineffective companies if they don't choose to give them the price they require. Therefore since Pharmaceutical companies cannot raise the price to meet the market they must therefore increase OUR prices here in the U.S. to make up the difference. You therefore are getting a free ride at U.S. consumer's expense.


U.S. consumers resent having to shoulder more of the R&D funding burden than EU consumers, but we show that there are substantial benefits for doing so. U.S. consumers enjoy more new pharmaceutical advances because they bear this burden. Of course, the rest of the world including the EU, also enjoys the therapeutic benefits of these U.S. advances while taking what appears to be a free ride.

Source:www.medicalprogresstoday.com...

Also because you have price controls, you see less of the newest drugs over there, as well as stifle your own pharmaceutical industry. Here a case again shows that socialism particularly in the health care industry is counter productive, despite all the socialist rhetoric. Source:See here




[edit on 1-11-2008 by Gateway]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by red 5
 


Think of China Nazi Germany and the old USSR. Add to that Cuba and North Korea and you get the picture. Gov controls all. All work for the state. The state has total power over you and does not have to pretend you are free. I will fight to the death against it. As many millions have.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by red 5
Would someone please explain what it means to be a socialist to me? I really am having a hard time getting that. The reason I ask is Presidential candidate Barack Obama is beeing accused of pushing toward socialism, and I am planning to vote for him.


Hello there. Nice to know that some people do care to know more about Socialism...
I haven't read this whole thread yet, so forgive me if I'll end up 'repeating' what others have already stated. I'd just like to contribute the following thoughts for your consideration, in hope of helping & learning more from all others on this thread :
-Socialism, as far as I knew, is completely different from the more practically-oriented Marxism-Leninism as well as from the 'state-capitalism' expounded by Stalinism. Socialism, in its modern sense, relates more to the effort of establishing a fairer & more balanced system of wealth distribution. A direct opposite of the current global Neoliberal system that focuses more on the growth of wealth rather than its proper distribution.
-Adam Smith, the so-called 'Father of Capitalism & Free Market' himself, have criticized the 'growth for the sake of growth' tendency of early Capitalism, as can be seen here
www.sundayherald.com...
As I quote some of the more interesting points...
Despite his friendship with merchants and manufacturers in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Smith had a cool loathing for the class: "Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour.
"Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent and regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.
"The interest of the dealers in any particular branch and trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from and even opposite to, that of the public."
Smith was not a fan of what would come to be called lobbying: "The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from merchants and manufacturers should always be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined with the most suspicious attention."

Hope that can contribute something positive to your choice & understanding


[edit on 1-11-2008 by KembaraLangit]
[edit on 1-11-2008 by KembaraLangit]

[edit on 1-11-2008 by KembaraLangit]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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Reply to Gateway:

"Also because you have price controls, you see less of the newest drugs over there, as well as stifle your own pharmaceutical industry. Here a case again shows that socialism particularly in the health care industry is counter productive, despite all the socialist rhetoric."

As EU citizen and knowing that all ailments have been successfully treated fo decades by the drugs used by the Army in my country(hahaha), I'm not worried at what you say. I don't rely on new and perhaps unnecessary drugs... first tested in the Third World.

And as to the OP question, what amazes me is that in the US (self-proclaimed first democracy in the world) you can't get DIRECT and FEAR FREE information about any and all political options.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:00 AM
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reply to post by Gateway
 


Theoretically, communism calls for elimination of government, just as theoretically, the free market calls for reducing government as much as possible, but in reality both systems create large military police states. Look at the U.S. since Reagan's free market principles have been put into practice.

The two concepts are supposed to be polar opposites, but when put into practice, they are almost the same.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by Gateway
 


Our current corporatist state is the result of almost thirty years of trying to establish a free market system, which is an impossibility, just as establishing communism is an impossibility. The evidence is quite clear.

Government doesn't create market systems, but government does provide the environment where a healthy market system can grow. Healthy market systems require an evenly enforced fair set of rules, or else they morph into coporate controlled economies backed by a corporate controlled government as we are currently dealing with here in the U.S. You can't get away from the money is power influence.

All first world nations have representative governments regulating capitalistic market economic systems. This is the proven formula for success. No where does a free market system exist, because there is no such thing.

If you know of a successful free market economy, please name one.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by NeoSocialist
Stealing from the rich is not quite right.

I agree that people who work hard deserve to make a decent amount of money.

Socialism is about spreading the wealth and looking after people who are less fortunate than yourself. Not stealing from the rich.

The last post sums up everything that I hate about America...... it's just so black and white.

Why not take certain elements form different political ideals to make a better world in general.

I am amazed that people are so scared of the word socialsim !!!

You say that this is the reason why Soviet Russia collapsed but it seems to me that capitalist USA is about to collapse pretty soon if you are not to careful... due to your very problem....GREED.



Very well stated.

My problem with usa and I am an american citizen is this idea that keeps getting put forth by all the capitalist lovers that "if you just work hard"

They all seem to think everyone can make it if they just work harder and then everyone can get rich and enjoy the great life, and that my friends is a lie.

I'm also sick of these people who think anyone who isn't making it or has to rely on some kind of social handout program, it's all their own fault and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

In America we all need someone to give us a break, some boss to hire us, some bank to loan us money to get our business off the ground, etc. Without a break, this capitalism can't work for everyone.
The thing I've noticed in the last few years is that employers want to pay less, yet the cost of living keeps going up, wages don't keep up. Employers I've worked for have given poor raises if any at all.

Our system has some serious flaws in my opinon and I don't buy into this theory that if we had socialism everyone would just get lazy and no one would work and we would somehow become a 3rd world country.

I will admit I could be naive on this subject.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:26 AM
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Socialism is when the people or community control the means of production & distribution, resources and wealth. It is the transition before communism. The state is then replaced with a society, which all property is owned by the people and each person is paid and works according to his or her needs and abilities.

The Kabutz are the closest to a socialist/communist system in the world.

From evaluating the US election as a mere foreign spectator, I can safely conclude Americans have no idea what socialism even means.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Gateway
reply to post by Merriman Weir

Yes but we are also talking about billions of losses in R&D that is unfruitful. Do they have the cure for Aids, or Cancer yet? How long have they been working on these things? How many years has it been, how many billions spent on that and how many medications did not pan-out, despite the time and effort that have been spent? You only are only talking about the successful drugs that yield a profit, what about the other drugs that never yielded a return? You see only profits but not the losses that have occurred to get there.


Not really, because the profits are surely taking those loses into consideration, meeting them, breaking even and then going into actual profit.

Also, if you think that everything American pharma-related is down to solely American-borne research, then I think you need to cut back on your cutting edge pharmaceuticals. A lot of big American firms, in various industries, do what other big firms do: buy up existing patents for technologies. It happens the world over, America is no different in that respect.



As I have mentioned before, countries within the E.U. have bureaucratic Health Boards dictating to our companies the prices that we are to sell to your countries, you therefore FREE Ride on the American people. Your countries threaten to take our Pharmaceutical companies patents away and give them to YOUR ineffective companies if they don't choose to give them the price they require. Therefore since Pharmaceutical companies cannot raise the price to meet the market they must therefore increase OUR prices here in the U.S. to make up the difference. You therefore are getting a free ride at U.S. consumer's expense.


U.S. consumers resent having to shoulder more of the R&D funding burden than EU consumers, but we show that there are substantial benefits for doing so. U.S. consumers enjoy more new pharmaceutical advances because they bear this burden. Of course, the rest of the world including the EU, also enjoys the therapeutic benefits of these U.S. advances while taking what appears to be a free ride.

Source:www.medicalprogresstoday.com...

Here's another quote from the same article:


In our recent research, we show that the ride is not completely free after all.


The same article points out how big European firms do their own R&D in America and sell to America and therefore pay taxes, create jobs &c too.

The whole article is explaining that what appears to be detrimental to America is actually also beneficial, so what exactly are you complaining about? The fact that you can't have it all ways?


Also because you have price controls, you see less of the newest drugs over there, as well as stifle your own pharmaceutical industry. Here a case again shows that socialism particularly in the health care industry is counter productive, despite all the socialist rhetoric. Source:See here


It's not really being stifled, it's just being operated elsewhere. It's no different than firms moving their operations elsewhere. If they can make or save money on it, then jobs move abroad. You can't get too 'high and mighty' about this as lots of American firms are moving or are moving operations abroad in various industries. I read a lot of complaints about 'outsourcing' on this site.

I thought you'd approve of all this, going where the money is to maximise profits?

[edit on 1-11-2008 by Merriman Weir]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 08:08 AM
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quote: If we become a socialist nation, there will no longer be "The American Dream" and our nation will slowly wither away and become a third world nation. No one will have the desire to do anything anymore or to go out and make something of themselves, since their hard earned money would just be taken from them. end of quote

The above is typical of the scare tactics put forward by McCain and others.
I advise you to look to countries like Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden etc. These countries are SOCIAL DEMOCRACIES, and would most likely be regarded as communist states by people like McCain.
Social democracy has very little to do with the term socialism, since socialism in its purest form is the total lack of free enterprize. In a social democracy there is free enterprize, but it is more or less looked after by the government.
As an example, the finacial crisis would never have happend had your government looked after Wall Street as in a social democracy.
Barrack Obama is called a socialist by his advesaries, but Obama isn't anywhere near the "socialism" even found in a social democracy.
Furthermore it's a LIE that anything but McCain's policy will rob hard earned money from people. In socialdemocratic states in Europe there are countless millionaires.

I think you can safely vote Obama without fearing a communist takeover in the US.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by dooper
Socialism is stealing from those who produce, and giving it to those who don't.
(Lazy people are socialists.)

Socialism is taking a third of your paycheck, and giving it to the bum soaking up wine all week. (No-working drunks love socialism)

Socialism is the creation of an entire group of people who confuse a right with legalized theft. (This is taking the benefit of other people's money.)

Socialism is the enablement and enlargement of a class of people who can assume no responsibility and are too damned sorry to better themselves.
(this is the creation of an entire army of slugs.)

Socialism is a method of creating more and more dependent people who have lost any ability to think for themselves, or do for themselves.
(talk about social leeches and zombies. They don't even have to think for themselves.)

Socialism enables the uneducated and unknowing to breed like rats, creating more of the same. It's a self-perpetuating disease.

By bringing social and economic slugs the benefits of those who actually produce, you instantly have an army of people to give you political leverage.

Yet a socialist economy stagnates, innovation stagnates, production stagnates, and the next thing you know, the entire country has lost its pride, nationalism, greatness, uniqueness, and prosperity.


In some ways I agree, in other I just can't.

There will always be people who work the system. There will always be people who take advantage of a situation that is meant to help people who truly need it. On that part, I agree with you.

However, there are many people who do work, don't drink or get high until their money is gone and no matter what they do they can not get ahead. As I read your post, I could not help but to remember this program that aired a couple years back. It was nice to see a program that showed the reality of what is really going on in the world.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by red 5
 


Its their when i need it.

got glassess for the first time ever a few months ago... they work!

so i cant complain, might be different for others but for those unhappy with it theirs private.



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