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This Is Not Socialism

04.04.09

While bored, I ended up jumping around friends’ Facebook walls and read posts from random people that I may or may not have ever met.  The Six Degrees of Facebook, essentially.  On one wall I found a post that read as follows:

yeah, i agree, i am not against Obama, but i disagree with the philosphy that the stimulus package and more government spending is the right solution. and i don’t think pelosi and reid did him any favors by locking out the republicans when they created the bill and then expected support for it. but it is what it is – moving towards national healthcare run by the government and nationalization of banks is socialism.

This person has every right to disagree with Obama’s politics.  But the final remark is incorrect.  A country can have social programs without being a socialist state.  No one was screaming socialism when Bush was in office, yet he was the one whose spending was completely out of control to the point where the administration claimed that deficits don’t matter.  We’ve also had social programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for decades, yet again, the Republicans weren’t screaming socialism 6 months ago.  In fact, Bush spent a TON of money on Medicare just before he left office.  Finally, Bush was the one who started the whole “nationalization” of banks with the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG bailouts.  Again, no calls of socialism, yet these were all characteristics of socialist policy.

Obama does have a plan for health care reform and so did all of the other presidential candidates.  Only Clinton’s even came close to being universal coverage.  I am not sure that Obama’s plan of forcing employers to provide health care really is the answer at all, but I do know that it’s not national healthcare nor socialism.

I am not an economist.  I’m not even an political scientist by degree.  I have no idea what the best course of action is with regards to the banking system.  In my gut I would rather them fail than the Big Three.  I also would rather the president didn’t tell the GM CEO to step down – but that’s what happens when the government essentially owns part of the company.  I can see this being a dangerous state of affairs but I also don’t see it as socialism.  If you ask for the government’s help, then you should be held accountable to their stipulations.  If you don’t want the help, then let capitalism do its thing and GM would most likely be going through bankruptcy right now.  Which they still could be doing soon.  Either way, it wasn’t a hostile takeover by the government like what happened in Venezula.  Far from it.

Regardless of how it all turns out, we are not living under socialism, we are not heading toward socialism, and having social programs when you’re one of the wealthiest and strongest countries in the world is not socialism.  It’s part of what makes us one of the best nations on the planet.

(P.S. I don’t know the protocol for the content of a random Facebook wall posting.  I don’t want to credit the writer because I would like for him/her to remain anonymous.  It’s nothing personal and if he/she so chooses to want credit for said quote, I’ll be happy to attribute accordingly.)
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2 comments

  1. It’s not so much socialism, as fascism actually. Bush had some socialist tendencies, while pretending to be a “free-market” guy as long as it suited his agenda. However, Bush was a fascist when it came to foreign policy, the patriot act, lying about the causes of war, Guantanamo Bay etc.

    The Obama Administration is even worse for americans, because they are bringing fascism to the United States. Letting business and enterprise be private, as long as they do what the government says is almost a text-book definition of fascism. The “volountary mandatory youth work program” is per definition fascism. And the theft of the money of regular people so it can be given to banks and ceo’s that should go bankrupt …. well, I’d call it fascist.

    So while bush was a slightly socialist fascist, the obama administrations promises more of both. Should be a blast? It used to be us here in Europe being worse ….


    • No, it’s not at all fascism.

      Bush definitely expanded the power of the executive branch beyond the limits of the constitution as well as complete imposing upon freedoms like you mentioned with the Patriot Act. He also broke the Geneva Convention and bypassed the UN to invade Iraq.

      Obama did none of those things. In fact, in his first week he started to repeal Bush policies. He also isn’t controlling all business and private enterprise. Like I said in my post, only those who are asking to be bailed out are getting assistance and subsequently those loans come with strings attached. As they should.

      If anything, the “theft of money of regular people” would be a socialist venture, not fascist. It’s also not theft when a landslide majority vote handed Obama the presidency, whose campaign ran on the very things that he’s now currently doing. He happened to also pass through one of the largest tax cuts in history. Even larger than Bush’s. Is that socialist? Or fascist?

      If anyone was/is fascist, or has/had fascist policies, it would be Bush by far. I also don’t see how Obama can outdo Bush on the foreign policy fascism that you mention unless he invades Iran soon. Which I just don’t see happening. He also disapproved of the Iraq War off the bat and has initiated steps to condemn torture and close down Gitmo. Not exactly fascism either.

      So, if my calculations are correct, the only evidence you give that Obama is more fascist than Bush is the bailout of AIG. The thing is, Bush started this whole bailout business and did so with zero oversight to the point of companies receiving TOO MUCH bailout money. This led to executives getting bonuses, etc. You do not prove anything other than that Bush is worse. You can’t just say “[t]he Obama Administration is even worse for americans[sic], because they are bringing fascism to the United States” when all of your “fascist” evidence relates to Bush’s policies, not Obama’s. You might not agree with all of Obama’s ideas, but that doesn’t make him fascist.



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