reply to post by pierregustavetoutant
I saw this posted elsewhere on ATS but it seems appropriate to this thread:
In Germany (I am born there) we have "democratic socialism". I guess there is also some forms of "democratic socialism" in countries such as Sweden,
Funny, how Germany right now is dominating entire Europe and how wonderful "democratic socialism" works in Norway, Sweden etc. I can tell you, maybe
you should visit one day....but prepare for a SHOCK because compared to the hardships in the US and elsewhere, this might look like a surreal
Disneyland to you.
And by the way..."democratic socialism"...while having the "oh so hated" name "socialism" in it, is nothing else than capitalism, but with SOME
problematic aspects of it addressed and improved.
If you had democratic socialism such as in Norway or Sweden...you would now be the RICHEST, most powerful country on this planet without any of the
problems facing America today....
YOUR problem is that you don't see democratic socialism as a chance to improve, but rather as a something negative.
It's true most people in American have no idea what democratic socialism is. The US education system (which fell to 19th in the world since the
"Reagan Revolution") is mostly to blame for that as it does a very poor job of teaching anything but the most rudimentary and cursory examination of
history, politics and social science/civics.
I as an American who lived in Europe for 3 years learned this pretty clearly.
That is why we are as divided as we are. Ask a person who voted for Romney and they believe that half of the country voted for socialism when in
reality Obama is to the RIGHT of Bill Clinton on fiscal issues and Ronald Reagan on issues relating to the poor. No one accused Reagan or Clinton of
being a socialist.
A lot of these people pine for the 1950s as some halcyon time when everything was perfect but they have little historical understanding of the
It's like a line from the movie The Watchmen - "I'm 67 years old. Every day, the future looks a little bit darker. But the past... even the grimy
parts of it... keep on getting brighter. "
The thing is most of these people have no idea that corporations paid far more taxes in 1950, the top 1% did as well and percentage of income going to
the government was HIGHER overall in 1950 than it is today yet everyone took home more then than they do now when you adjust for inflation.
No one would ever call Dwight D Eisenhower a socialist would they? Yet he supported many policies today which the far right would call socialism. (ie:
The idea that people with more should pay more in taxes.)
So yeah, those Bush tax cuts really put more in our pocket didn't they? If you aren't in the top 1% of the country then the answer is no, not really
and study after study proves this.
Also compared to productivity the US is far more productive today than it was in 1950 however income has not at all kept pace with it. Who is to
blame for that? Socialists? Hardly. The trend of income being closely related to productivity really changed during the 1980s. Had they not then the
average American would make $90,000 a year today rather than $50,000.
There is also this lie that in "socialist countries" (presumably like Denmark, Norway and Germany) people have no incentive to move up. Meanwhile
class mobility is actually higher in those countries than it is in the USA today. Clearly democratic socialism doesn't deter anyone from moving up,
rather it provides more OPPORTUNITY for those who were not born into the means to move up to do so.
Whenever someone misuses the word socialism to describe centrist or center left politics in this country I just laugh at how ignorant they really
Another interesting thing about the 1950s: Even though the US was locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union (which could have turned hot at any
time) people who really WERE socialists actually ran for and in some cases won offices and people who were center-right and center-left worked
TOGETHER in Congress for the good of the country.
Now it seems there is no center-right. The Tea Party being co-opted by racists, homophobes and bible thumpers saw that anyone who was Republican
center-right was "the enemy". Anyone willing to work with a US president who was Republican just had to be voted out of power according to their
purity test so now the Republicans (the entire party) are left wondering how they will ever win in a country that is increasingly ethnically diverse
and where women and LGBT people vote for people who don't demonize them.
One party drifted into the extreme of their side, the one that won drifted to the center.
America is not right or left. Libertarian or Socialist. It is both and all of the above. America tends to drift to the center and this election was
just further proof of that.
edit on 7-11-2012 by JadeX because: (no reason given)