Please explain Socialism to an idiot.

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posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by red 5
O.K I get it, but I think every one is freaking out about nothing. First i will post to you the happiest nation on earth, Denmark. news.bbc.co.uk...
so I guess the thought that a socialist nation never succeeded is wrong
Second Sarah Palin,
$1,200
Special payment to each Alaskan resident this year from new oil tax.
$2,000
Estimated annual dividend each Alaskan will receive this year from oil-wealth savings account, not counting the new oil tax.
The Seattle Times.
Third you know every one says look at Canada for socialized health care it does not work, but what about the places where it does work? But what about Germany, The Netherelands, The U.K. Too many others.


The Alaska Permanent Fund dividends were there long before Sarah Palin.

Try a little research. Google is nice.




posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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I'm not American and wouldnt presume to tell you how to vote in your own election, but Obama is not a socialist. His policies are marginally less right wing than the other one, but dont deviate in any way from the capitalist neo-liberal dogma that has dominated the US political landscape for more than a century.

It also doesnt really matter what he says about socialized healthcare because he'd never be allowed to provide it to you, even if he wanted to. So dont not vote for him because you think hes a socialist. He isnt.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by LogicalExplanation
 
where everyone gets the same benefits at rretiremeent os not being like robin hood. After so many of us lost our retirement in the latest government scandal being able to retire someday and still have a medical plan sounds good if that's socialism what's wrong with it.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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"Socialist" is just a scary term that the republican party uses along with 'liberal' and 'terror'. It's a label, nothing more.
America doesn't have a problem with having a socialist fire department, police force, or school system. So what is the big problem with having a socialist health care system? Sounds ok to me (unless you're a corporation that sells pills... and therein lies the problem). Instead of paying for health insurance that may or may not cover you, pay a little more tax for a health system that will look after everyone (yes the bums, but also yourself).
Take it from someone who lives in a 'socialist' country (New Zealand). The rich are still rich, the poor are still poor, but anyone who gets sick or has an accident gets looked after for free. One less thing to worry about. Pretty sure Sweden and Canada are alright places to live.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by Dr.Venkman]

[edit on 1-11-2008 by Dr.Venkman]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 10:29 PM
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Sweden is an example of socialism that works very, very well. Same with The Netherlands to some extent. If you have never travelled to these countries, you should go see for yourself.

The paranoia about socialism is full of wrong-headed stereotype fears that shallow Republicans (who listen to jingoist, right-wing radio propaganda spewers) regurgitate.

There are millions of Americans who work very hard and struggle terribly because corporate fat cats will not present them with decent wages that could add up to a decent standard of living. They have little or no chance for promotion and very little practical opportunity for gaining higher education (too busy working as a wage slave trying to pay bills).

Greed has been rampant in corporate America, gradually getting worse over the last 50 years. Corporate executive pay is now at an obscene and totally inexcusable vis a vis employee wages.

Socialism, when applied appropriately, is good for the whole country. It means that there would be strong social services to help the less fortunate among us. Providing health care, mental health care, ways that the poorest and the poor elderly and poor children can have decent food, clothing and shelter... is decency.

Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs are good and should be expanded and fully supported. Kennedy's Peace Corps was a great idea and should be re-initiated in full force. Bobby Kennedy was serious about eradicating poverty in America and would have worked wonders if he had been given the chance.

Here's the deal... bolster the great Middle Class so that they can actually afford to be consumers and erase poverty so poor people can become Middle Class citizens and you will then have a much stronger America.

Let's cut the greed, selfishness, price-gouging, outrageous interest rates on loans and on and on. Establish strong oversight, regulations, and strong social programs before it's too late.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Dr.Venkman
So what is the big problem with having a socialist health care system? Sounds ok to me (unless you're a corporation that sells pills... and therein lies the problem). Instead of paying for health insurance that may or may not cover you, pay a little more tax for a health system that will look after everyone (yes the bums, but also yourself).
Take it from someone who lives in a 'socialist' country (New Zealand). The rich are still rich, the poor are still poor, but anyone who gets sick or has an accident gets looked after for free. One less thing to worry about. Pretty sure Sweden and Canada are alright places to live.


There are several problems with a socialist health care system, especially in America.
1. Doctors will tick off as many checks on their chart to over diagnose their patients in order to earn more money. The army has a similar system, but in there it works because they are bound by a code of ethics that they are obligated to follow while in the army. This is what my brother tells me and he's a doctor in the army, so I take it he knows what he is talking about on that topic.
2. There is a shortage of doctors as\ is, and cutting their average salary will not help matters. Medical school is expensive and very time demanding. Why not go into an easier field where you'll make about the same amount of money.
3. You really trust the government running anything, much less the quality of our health care? Disregarding the fact they spray chemicals on us daily, put rat poison in our waters, and put mercury preservatives in our vaccines, when has the government ran anything without screwing it up? Social security and welfare are but a few failed socialist programs.
4. The incentive for new medical technology and medicines will sharply decline as the government will always hire the lowest bidder. We will lag behind the world in medical advancements.
5. We are already using a socialist health care system, Medicare/aid. Let's give a truly free market health care system a chance, I'm sure you'll see a lot more charity hospitals pop up.
6. Our national debt is at ungodly levels, and several generations down the line we won't be able to pay it all back. We'll never be able to pay it all back under the Federal Reserve system, but as of right now, we won't even come close. Do you realize how much more of a burden it will be on the middle class having to pay for everyone's health care?
7. "Health care for everyone," is misleading. You have to wait months, sometimes years, for important surgeries like kidney transplants and heart surgeries under a socialist health care system.
8. Research the topic, that's all I can think of off the top of my head.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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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.


Socialism is the second phase in marxist ideological transformation.

Phase 1: workers revolution. Overthrowing the capitalist class system.

Phase 2: socialism - nationalising all means of production to benefit everyone instead of a single class.

Phase 3: Comminism - The withering away of the state, leaving a kind of anarchist society where everyone works for the common good.

In the US, socialism is just a scareword. Most people who use it don't actually know what it is, they just know that it is 'very bad'. Obama is leaning more towards socialdemocratism than socialism, which just means that he wants a level playing field where the rich and the poor have access to the same education, healthcare and opportunities, while still retaining the capitalist system.

Unregulated capitalism leads to societies with the few rich and the many poor. When the poor get angry enough, they revolt and the heads of the rich comes flying off, as it happened in the french revolution or the russian revolution. Social democratism is a way to retain capitalism, but redistribute a small part of the wealth from the rich to the poor, so that there is a more level playing field. This calms the poor and the rich tend to keep their heads, overall making for a more stable society.



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.


Except that is not true at all. The reality is that the rich doesn't work hard for their money at all and the poor can work as many jobs as they can get, but they will still be poor.

Whether or not people actually have economic success by simply working hard, can actually be measured. It's called intergenerational mobility, and shows how easy it is to move from low income to high income from one generation to the next.

www.americanprogress.org...

This is one of the findings:


By international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility: our parents’ income is highly predictive of our incomes as adults. Intergenerational mobility in the United States is lower than in France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States.


So when people start talking about how rich people work hard and poor people are lazy slobs, they are wrong. Rich people are rich because their parents were rich and poor people are poor because their parents were poor, and those poor people who do get rich propably put in more hours than most rich person ever could.

It's easy to be rich when you inherit a fortune and can live off the interest. This is also why the rich(the conservatives, neocons and republicans in general) hate the estate tax and the Capital gains tax. These two taxes alone tax the rich where it hurts the most, when they inherit their fortune and when they invest their inherited fortune.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by aaa2500]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by LogicalExplanation
 


I think the only problem with the american dream is that these people, who yes, did work hard to become rich, got rich in ways that hurt other people...
Corporations who now seek to control every aspect of everything.
Movies and Agencies that want to sell a product of one of these corporations.
Politicians that vote a certain way for a corporation for some extra pocket change.

see where Im going with this?

Yes, these people worked very hard. But a lot of these rich people are working for the bad guy.
Not all... but a lot...



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 12:28 AM
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I think the only problem with the american dream is that these people, who yes, did work hard to become rich, got rich in ways that hurt other people...


Did you read the study I linked to?
Are you saying that the study is incorrect?



Yes, these people worked very hard. But a lot of these rich people are working for the bad


Just saying that rich people work hard doesn't make it so. I provided you with a link to a study that tells you that there is a very low intergenerational economic mobility in the US, which means most rich people inherit their wealth.

You counter that with the usual propaganda... 'Rich people work hard, poor people are lazy'.

George Carlin did a standup routine on 'the American Dream' and the owners of the US. You should watch it.

[edit on 2-11-2008 by aaa2500]



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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OK, simplified using cows:

SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.



TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.


Hope this helps



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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I see that a lot of people have the wrong idea about socialism. Socialism is merely the total control of all capital ( means of production) by the government. This mean that if you live in a socialist economy that your right to property has been trampled. The founding fathers refered to this as leveling. They warned strongly against it. Samual Adams once said "The utopian schemes of leveling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [ these ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." I know that many think that the wisdom of the founding fathers is out of date for today. My argument to this is, Are not principles eternal and unchanging? If we did not set principles in place and accept them, then the world would be completely chaotic, with no order, and no good. Principles and logic are what tie us to our Creator and to each other. Without them interaction between men would not be possible. Bloodshed would abound, no trust could ever be given, and we would all be solitary creatures with no hope for any happiness. We would be as animals. Without order we would trust no one.

Stromstaerke



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:00 AM
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Originally posted by SINNER901
OK, simplified using cows:

SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.



TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.


Hope this helps


OK, simplified but using historical context:


SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows because your parents or grandparents stole or extorted one of them in the first place.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows as does the monopoly you begin to hold over the area in terms of ownership of workable land, making it difficult for others to sell their cows and so on.
You sell some of them and semi-retire on some of the income but the rest goes back into your company because the you can never have enough money or control.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:43 AM
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Originally posted by red_leader
reply to post by red 5
 


Well see.. socialism has helped you in the past, and many others I'm sure. I`m kinda surprised that Americans have such an overtly socialist system as Unemployment Benefits and yet they are so paranoid about socialism.


Few are concerned with unemployment for a number of reasons. Firstly it is done at the state level, not the ridiculously cumbersome and amazingly corrupt level of the federal government. Secondly, the government is not all that involved in it, as companies actually pay unemployment directly and therefore there isn't the standard process of the government drowning itself in debt to pay for the program until finally a fatal bankruptcy takes place. And yes the US is on track for bankruptcy at their current borrowing rates but unemployment is not at all a cause of that. Though while I'd much rather have a mandatory unemployment savings account than what we have now in my current state, I don't have particular disdain for the unemployment program that I have for universal health care and other similar programs. When the cookies in the cookie jar are free, they disappear extremely quickly. When they cost for each one, they disappear at a much more manageable rate.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente

Or that he was a simply the neo conservative Chicago style economist that Geroge Bush emulated so perfectly during his now eight year run.

 


My impression of Chicago-style economics is that they strongly favor free-market ideology which is strongly opposed to Bush's corporate favoritism. But please correct me on how I'm wrong.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 02:10 AM
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Originally posted by inthesticks
reply to post by red_leader
 


Yes but, what if as in the current economic slump in your country, you can not find a job that offers such benefits, now you and your whole family face bankruptcy if one of you has a severe medical condition.

People keep saying this, but it is just NOT TRUE!

I had a heart attack last year - no insurance. I was first treated by EMT's, then in the emergency room at the PRIVATE hospital, then flown AirLife to one of the best heart hospitals in this area and given EXCELLENT treatment.


I live in Illinois and had a similar situation. I continually told them I did not have any money and they treated me any way. I was surprised.

[edit on 2-11-2008 by truthquest]



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by ImaNutter
One flaw of Capitalism, as already pointed out, is you end up with the power residing in the hands of only the wealthy. Okay, if this country is the country by the people for the people yadda yadda, why is it that we are now ran by corporations and big business such as the Military Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, and Lobbyists?


I think you are completely making up the idea that capitalism puts power in the hands of the wealthy. Please provide any evidence you have that is true. It seems that the US is one of the more capitalist countries, and that it has a very large middle class. But please provide examples of where this is not true.

Why is it that we are now run by corporations, big business, and the industrial complex. Because the people of our country chose to transfer power from their selves to those entities. At any point we could start voting out members of congress who cast votes that simply do what their neighborhood megacorp tells them to. We chose to pay zero attention to what our congress are doing. We chose to re-elect them.

It seems to me that half of those on this thread favor at least some socialism so I don't understand at all your remark that ATS is a bad place just because half of us actually like independence from nasty federal regulations that destroy our freedoms. ATS members do not trust the government, nor should they.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 02:33 AM
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Originally posted by ImaNutter
I am not trained to think one thing is ultimately great and the other ultimately inferior. Get over that line of thinking. It's pathetic. Unfortunately, way too many people have been bombarded with so much stimuli that this is their ONLY way of thinking. Christianity = Best. White = best. Capitalism = Best. Democrat/Republican = Best. Pop Music = Best. Rap Music = Best. Country Music = Best. You're all nothing but jokers.

Seriously, I am falling further and further into disgust with ATS as well as the entirety of America because of all this B/S.

SOCIALISM IS NOT BAD. EVERYTHING YOUR PARENTS TOLD YOU IS NOT TRUE. EVERYTHING YOUR TEACHERS TOLD YOU IS NOT TRUE. GET OFF THE COMPUTER, PUT DOWN YOUR IPOD, PUT DOWN YOUR IPHONE, PUT DOWN YOUR XBOX, READ A BOOK, CRITICALLY THINK, RATIONALIZE, ASK QUESTIONS, FIND THE ANSWER YOURSELF, LEARN, EVOLVE YOUR LINE OF THOUGHT.

sheesh.


How you can be disgusted when half the people on this thread seem to agree with your view that some socialism is good is beyond my comprehension. What do you expect, for everyone to agree and like socialism?

I find your viewpoint that a certain type of religion, philosophy, etc cannot be considered the best to be totally baffling. Surely a certain religion is best, a certain political party is best, and a certain economic policy regarding socialism/capitalism is best.

[edit on 2-11-2008 by truthquest]

[edit on 2-11-2008 by truthquest]



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by LogicalExplanation
 


Actually, Robin Hood is the opposite of socialism since he's taking BACK money that the people have already payed as TAXES to the GOVERNMENT.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 03:13 AM
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Originally posted by truthquest



I think you are completely making up the idea that capitalism puts power in the hands of the wealthy. Please provide any evidence you have that is true. It seems that the US is one of the more capitalist countries, and that it has a very large middle class. But please provide examples of where this is not true.

Why is it that we are now run by corporations, big business, and the industrial complex. Because the people of our country chose to transfer power from their selves to those entities. At any point we could start voting out members of congress who cast votes that simply do what their neighborhood megacorp tells them to. We chose to pay zero attention to what our congress are doing. We chose to re-elect them.

It seems to me that half of those on this thread favor at least some socialism so I don't understand at all your remark that ATS is a bad place just because half of us actually like independence from nasty federal regulations that destroy our freedoms. ATS members do not trust the government, nor should they.


Since when was it a choice? The Bretton Woods agreement enshrined neo-liberalcapitalist policies in the 40's, effectively putting the fate of most of the worlds population into the hands of a tiny fraction of very wealthy people.

This wasnt a democractic tranference of power, it was a complete stitch up.

The saddest thing about capitalism is that its a regime that manages to convice people to oppress themselves. Milllions of people in wealthy countries who think theyre middle class toil endlessly at utterly pointless jobs waiting for their "big break", a big break thats never coming, while in reality theyre one missed pay check away from penury and bloated corporate spivs take the benefit of their efforts.

At least in the EU theres some kind of safety net if you lose your job, in Japan and the States you've had it.

And what about the rest of the world? How can a system that sees 4 out of 5 children born into poverty be considered successful?

The UK has seen a dramatic power shift towards the provate sector lately as previously state run entities are sold off to commerce for peanuts, the tax payer is then raped for subsidies or forced to pay through the nose for things that used to be free, shareholders and execs get very wealthy and all the while we hear this dismal mantra about small government, entrepreneurship, redicing state inefficiency.

Look, the government is SUPPOSED to provide public services. Theyre MEANT to look after you, thats why we elect and pay them. The fact politicians have contracted out key state services to their friends in corporate business is a scandal, not a good thing.

Yet no one questions it, this is meant to be a conspiracy site, start questioning things. Question WHY you believe the government shouldnt provide social services, is it because it benefits you, really; or does it benefit the corporation who charge you to provide them.

And do they do a good job? Have a look around your town and where you live, is everyone happy and well cared for, empowered and productive and well educatied?


[edit on 2-11-2008 by ruggedtoast]



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by NeoSocialist
Stealing from the rich is not quite right.


This is a completely true statement. Socialism is stealing mostly from the rich, then some stealing from the middle class, and stealing from the poor.

Sadly, there are a vast number of tax programs that tax the poor at a disgusting rate in the USA.

1. Inflation. Inflation hits the poor hard while doing virtually nothing to the rich, helping them if anything. The newly created money is given at an interest rate next to zero to large corporations. The newly created money reduces the value of all the rest of the money in existence. So those who hold most of their wealth in cash, namely the poor, are hurt by inflation. While those who get the new money first, large corporations, are helped. The fed has been giving billions every day in 2% loans to wealthy bankers while rest of us are screwed over by the bankers with a 7% rate, and have our US dollar value decrease. Can you imagine if we forced the US federal reserve to give its 2% rate to top-credit-rated individuals in addition to corporations? What a victory that would be.

2. Income tax. You actually can make a very low salary and have to pay a substantial portion of that to income tax. I believe in most cases a $20,000 salary will result in a good size federal and state tax applied to it. Sad and pathetic.

3. Social Security tax. This tax is extremely high for the poor. 8% of it is visible, and then through a disgusting method of disguise, another 8% tax is tacked on for a total of a disgusting and ridiculous 16%. Outrageous! However, the incredibly rich, those making six figure salaries of some extremely high number, pay a lower % of their income to it. If the government has a problem with people not saving then #ing make them save instead of start another #ing social program that costs billions. Its so stupid how the government solves problems by creating other problems instead of just solving the problem. Problem: Man not saving. Solution: Make man save. Duh! But what does the gov't do it decides to throw billions at the problem instead. My God the solutions are so obvious except to governments around the world who only want to increase their power and increase the program count because they can't stand obvious solutions.

4. Sales taxes. The poor have to pay a tax on basic needs in most states including food, shelter, and clothing. Lets see... steal from the poor to give to the poor. Brilliant. I won't say more because I'd really start cursing about that idea.

5. A large range of hidden tax through disgusting "corporate taxes". Corporate taxes seem like a way of taxing corporations. No. Corporate tax is a hidden tax on the poor. Corporations who provide basic needs are taxed at the same rate as corporations that provide luxury junk, another ridiculous point. Corporations get their money from consumers. Rich consumers pay the same as poor consumers, and so the poor are basically taxed some unknown amount every time they buy something from a corporation.

The moral of the story is if you are going to steal, then at least do the frickin' job right and just like Robin Hood did you take without asking from rich people, via taxes, and maybe to a much lesser extent the middle class, then you give it to the poor. This should be done by supplementing their salaries directly. If someone is earning $2.10 an hour, then fine the corporation can pay that via good and wonderful capitalism, but the government then suppliments them +$10 per hour so they can feed their children and buy medical care.

I know taxes is stealing, because taking without asking is stealing. Taxes is taking without asking. But, that stealing is completely justified for the greater good. Socialism could be done so simply and effectively, but if it can't be done in a simple way then screw it. I think capitalism and socialism can be mixed correctly, but won't be. So therefore I am a strong capitalist.





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