President Trump promises that we will never become a socialist country. Agreed if; “total collective government ownership and administration of the means of production” is his meaning. However, resurrecting “red scare” visions of our country succumbing to a failed economic system is as likely as a zombie apocalypse.

There is competitive versus monopoly capitalism. Social democracy is capitalism. Capitalism can be fascist. Russia and China like capitalism safe for autocrats. What is your favorite?

The word “social” is emphasized to pretend that we will become Cuba. The long-term agenda around that discussion, by pure capitalists and Mitch McConnell, is to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

No major presidential candidate wants to eliminate private ownership and enterprise. They might be better labeled “society sensitive.” They propose programs to balance opportunities in reaction to pure capitalists’ power-driven excess.

Owned by the federal government, the Tennessee Valley Authority is a poster child of socialism. Southerners, normally opposed to socialist programs, said “no” to President Obama when he suggested privatizing the TVA. It did not suit their political and regional economic purpose. So, socialism is OK when it benefits the very powerful?

Conservatives and wealthy elites traditionally protest against deficit spending, but when it comes to revenue-depleting tax cuts, they do not demand spending cuts that threaten their investment portfolios.

Taxpayers bailed out big banks. If that was not socialism, at the very least, free markets became meaningless. The general pubic took a financial beating yet bank executives reaped handsome bonuses with the taxpayer rescue.

Israel and other Western countries have universal health care, mandatory military service, welfare, public housing, public schools, libraries and free universities. Surprise! Private ownership and enterprise thrive.

Explore, stay open minded and know when the “socialism scare” is a dishonest attempt to vilify a more inclusive capitalism.

 

(19) comments

BBB

The American Medical Association used the socialism scare in the 1950's to steer the country away from universal health care or in the view of the AMA-socialized medicine. With a war chest in the millions, the AMA hired a California PR firm to wage a propaganda assault on the American public, utilizing radio spots, canned press releases, and billboards. Small town newspapers were always looking for free copy to fill their pages. A tinge of pink was all that was needed to shelve any thought of national health care.

The Trump administration is beating an old drum.

What

TVA hasn’t been funded by congress nor tax payer money for many, many years. In fact well before the Obama administration. It is in no way an example of socialism. It operates the same way as a private business does. Simple research would have revealed that. “Despite its shares being owned by the federal government, TVA operates exactly like a private corporation, and receives no taxpayer funding.” You’ll have to keep searching for that poster child because they aren’t it.

BBB

Our military is one of the few functioning examples of collective living and social welfare in this country. The VA and medicare as well.

gagec11

Your examples are mixing oranges with grapes and apples. All 3 systems are not the same.

horsehouse

True the TVA is a corporation owned by the U. S. Govt. Government ownership is the first criteria of Socialism. Other than the slightly snarky comment about checking facts, the rebuttal has some merits.

bill jenkins

Britanica defines socialism as public ownership or control of property. TVA is both owned and controlled publicly therefor it is an excellent example of socialism.

horsehouse

Whether one does or does not believe that the TVA is socialist, which I do, the focus glosses over the bigger point of the letter. Just calling a system this or that means many different things to people who fixate on the word socialism. The comment that the TVA is not socialist probably comes from a narrow view that socialism only comes Cuba style. Just as capitalism is widely glorified, it has greatly ignored weaknesses while a contribution of a socialistic program can make life better for communities/regions as happened with the TVA.

bill jenkins

i agree. socialism is probably the most divisive political term we have. the fact is modern society is impossible without it. perhaps we should rename our existing mix of "capitalism" and "socialism" to let's say "westernism".

don krouse

I like that term; Westernism.

TwoToeJoe

The TVA was started during the New Deal in 1933 by taking land surrounding the Tennessee River and tributaries across seven states by the use of eminent domain. With the advantage of taxpayer funding and federal legal power the TVA bullied private power producers out of the way, removed more than 15,000 people from their land, and grew by selling power through municipal power distributors which were also subsidized by the government. The TVA is owned by the federal government and benefits from a variety of special advantages. It is a legally protected monopoly within the service region and it has unilateral authority to set its own rates without the regulatory reviews that private utilities faces. The TVA does not pay federal, state, or local income, property, or other taxes. It does make "payments in lieu of taxes" to state and local governments but much less than the typical taxes paid by private utilities. In the early years federal taxpayer dollars heavily subsidized the TVA that allowed it to charge artificially low rates. But rates have risen substantially over several decades because of the TVA's many expensive mismanagement mistakes. A 2014 study by former federal budget official Ken Glozer found that the utility has somewhat higher rates than utilities in nearby states today despite the tax and regulatory advantages that it enjoys. The TVA's employee compensation is generous. It pays its management not like civil servants but like top-performing corporate executives. In 2015 its top five executives "were paid anywhere from 5 to 16 times more than what our President is paid." The company has had a history of shady dealings like handing out noncompetitive contracts to cronies of company leaders and creating secret retirement fund for executives. The TVA was compensating employees as if it were a very successful private company but delivered the performance of a government bureaucracy. In the federal budget for 2014 President Barack Obama proposed the "possible divestiture of TVA, in part or as a whole" because it "no longer required federal participation." In recent years the TVA has made a few reforms due to these "privatizing threats" such as trimming its bloated labor force and canceling work on the Bellefonte nuclear plant. The TVA no longer relies on taxpayer revenues like it once did in the beginning but now relies on tax free bonds bought by "capitalist" to ensure the continued success of this "socialist" dream.

Branson Hunter

America is helping its people and it is helping American corporations to corner 99% of the American pie. Trump is an Internationalist. That's the problem. The problem is described the National Review. A conservative political opinion magazine founded by William F. Buckley in 1955. National Review is the largest and most prominent conservative magazine in the United States. Here is what the NR and it's chief correspondent thinks of TRUMP:
I’ve finished reading the entire Mueller report,
and I must confess that even as a longtime,
quite open critic of Donald Trump,
I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and
brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections
detailed by the Special Counsel’s Office.
We’ve become accustomed to Trump making up his own facts
on matters great and small, but to see the extent to which
his virus infected his entire political operation is sobering.
And the idea that anyone is treating this report as “win” for Trump,
given the sheer extent of deceptions exposed (among other things)
demonstrates that the bar for his conduct has sunk so low
that anything other than outright criminality is too often brushed aside
as relatively meaningless.
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-mueller-report-should-shock-our-conscience/

horsehouse

I do not intend to distort what anyone has said, so if I do, it is not intentional. It seems that TTJ and BH both offer perspectives on the benefits or weaknesses in economic systems. My take away from TTJ is that an abuse by the TVA system gave some personal advantage and I agree. Furthermore, the TVA has adjusted over time to reduce abuses as he points out through more “capitalist” involvement with the socialistic founding of the TVA. The “dream” of any system is to narrow excess by people who take advantage of opportunities to scam. In a world where multitudes seek to infiltrate bank accounts or trick people to pay for something under false pretense will continue under any system. Surely, that is not right and as a society we need to work harder to undermine the scammers. On the other hand, dreaming that they system can work for a wider societal wellbeing is not an unreasonable dream. A blending of capitalism and socialistic programs is doable with compromise which seems lacking with weak leadership and dishonest players. Electing better government representation is hard when so much lying takes place in the public forum. Vigilance will always be necessary under any system and that is up to a properly informed citizenry as long as well are not led by autocrats. HB illustrates that “spin” is alive and well today and really is hurting the majority for the benefit of the few. Some will do whatever is possible to further their own corruption and greed under our predominantly capitalist system.

bill jenkins

in a modern western society a certain amount of socialism is mandatory e.g., physical and institutional infrastructure. beyond the basics however socialism can only grow when capitalism fails. it seems to me capitalism by it's very structure will always fail to a certain extent; unless it is lead by honest, frugal, strong leaders. good luck on that last point.

Branson Hunter

The socialist promo is nothing more than a political gambit to influence elections and scare people. Free enterprise and capitalism str as compatible as whip cream and deserts. Both have been married since the great white fathers to the East gave life to a burgeoning new nation to experiment in granting its people extraordinary personal freedoms, expanded rights to engage in commerce and civil liberties. Corporation get their share of the pie: as I recall it was a TRILLION during the recession; and another trillion with the trillion tax cut. It clearly has worked both ways. WHAT IS REALLY A CONCERN TO THIS COUNTRY is the President ramping up his dictator rhetoric act with idea of two more unconstitutional years in White House!!

don mckinney

We have 900 military bases in 200 countries including around China , Russia , and Iran . We bailed out the biggest banks while they plead guilty to money laundering for the drug cartels and no one went to jail . We have at least seven illegal wars of aggression ongoing and a concentration camp in Palestinian Land . None of this helps the UNITED STATES CORPORATION COMPANY citizens . Is this socialist , capitalist or fascist ?

don mckinney

All factors considered , I would call it a corporatocracy . It is actually the UNITED STATES CORPORATION COMPANY . " What is the act of 1871 ? , Teach this in your schools " . Also the act of 1913 , act of 1933 , act of 1971 , Patriot Act , War Powers Act , National Defense Authorization Act , Marshal Law , Gold braid around the otherwise American flag is english maritime laws of the seas where you are guilty until proven innocent .

horsehouse

Don, I read your many references to the United States Corporation Company and I’m not on board with you yet. Intrigued by your comments I have done some searching for more about this title. I believe that corporations have the upper hand, but only until people eventually realize they have been robbed legally.

don mckinney

horsehouse I can only give you clues here due to space and censorship here . Informative sources on youtube are being " demonitized " which means robbed and censored . This is due to free speech being further shut down by the purveyors of the official narrative . 5 global corporations own all of the mass media , TV , newspapers and magazines . This is 100 per cent of the available convenient news and truth . youtube has some real independent news left , but is shutting down those sites rapidly . This is for total corporate control of the narrative and the truth is a casualty . State run schools lie by omission or out right lie regarding history and social sciences and the control mechanisms . What were slaves are now referred to as migrant labor as an example . Check out Alan Lamont regarding the hierarchy that owns the UNITED STATES CORPORATION COMPANY . And see the documentary " HELLSTORM " . or David Irving orations . AEfor911truth , or " " English Admiralty Laws of the Sea " , or " Why We Fight " , Wlfgang Halbig , james Traficant , J.F.Kennedy's last few speeches . Google " whodidit.org. " British Accreditation Registry BAR " . These are crucial , bigger picture realities to fit into the equation and are about to be censored . Why do they not tell us already ? This is reality , situational awareness being replaced and masquerading with misplaced patriotism for wars of aggression for the global few controllers . Land of the FEE , home of the SLAVE . With plenty of greedy mercenaries ready to take the money and run . They have their money while we have our souls . All roads lead to Rome .

don mckinney

horsehouse and others . Please refer to ' utu be ' for any information on " british accreditation registry " and english maritime law of the seas " , and the act of 1871 , and the jesuit oath , and our " seven laws of noah " from the babylonian Talmud regarding goyim , and sanhedrin pgs.56-59 . for the correct consept of the control mechanisms that operate our world .

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