Thursday, August 26, 2004

Socialism scares me

This post is really long, just skip to the end to learn what is wrong with socialists.

"Global economic integration has rendered obsolete both the social democratic solution of independent national economies sustaining a strong social welfare state and the Communist solution of state-owned national economies fostering social development."

At least we agree that traditional welfare states have and the Communist states have failed. Though, it is all in the comparison. The welfare states would not have looked like they failed if it were not for the Japans, South Koreas, and the Americas of the world. The Communist would not have looked liked they failed if it where not for the (comparatively) booming economies of western Europe.

In the United States, we must fight for a humane public policies that will provide quality health care, education, and job training and that redirect public investment from the military to much-neglected urban housing and infrastructure.

Off the cuff I know that house ownership rates are at all time record highs, so why urban housing needs more public investment escapes me. I wonder what the appreciation rate of public housing is versus privately owned housing?

Only through creating material and cultural bonds of solidarity across racial, gender, age, national,and class lines can true equality of opportunity be achieved.

Hmm that sounds like a one size fits all mentality. The only way to create material bonds between me and poor African is to take my stuff away from me and give it to the poor African. We both know that the poor African owns nothing I want.

The only way to create cultural bonds is if you relate our cultures to a very high degree. For example, Australia and the US have a large amount of cultural bonds, in fact our cultures are largely the same. While America and zimbabwe don't have a high degree of cultural bonds, they only way to make us closer is to make us similar. In other words, someone's culture is going to die.

Democratic community.
Democratic socialists recognize that for individuals to flourish, a society must be grounded in the moral values and institutions of a democratic community that provides quality education and job training, social services, and meaningful work for all.

Meaningful work for all...That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I do not belief that meaningful work for all is possible under any social/political system. Even under a market based system this is impossible.

In the 21st century, such regulation will increasingly occur through international, multilateral action. But while a democratic state can protect individuals from domination by inordinately powerful, undemocratic transnational corporations, people develop the social bonds that render life meaningful only through cooperative, voluntary relationships. Promoting such bonds is the responsibility of socialists and the government alike.

So now it is the government's job to make me happy?!?! Or just to promote happiness. Which is easier for the government to do: promote happiness or just protect the right to pursue happiness. Also which job would the government be better at?

I love the meaningful bonds develop through voluntary relationships, but you as a socialist do not have a choice of not promoting those social bonds that will render life meaningful. I bet that none of those social bonds include religion at all.

Democratic socialism is committed both to a freedom of speech that does not recoil from dissent, and to the freedom to organize independent trade unions, women's groups, political parties, and other social movements.

What about the freedom to start my own business and lock out the trade unions and other groups? What about my right to abstain from those groups because I feel like they would hinder my development as a person?

The social welfare programs of government have been for the most part positive, if partial, responses to the genuine social needs of the great majority of Americans.

Personally, I would be a lot better off I had all the cash that I have paid into my retirement which the government now has. Secondly, welfare is not for the majority it should be for the minority in need, not the majority in want. Genuine...I genuinely need the money I make given to me so I can go bet it one 100 to 1 odds, and clean up.

As democratic socialists we are committed to ensuring that any market is the servant of the public good and not its master. Liberty, equality, and solidarity will require not only democratic control over economic life, but also a progressively financed, decentralized, and quality public sector.

controlling the market is the worse idea that I have ever heard of, it is like trying to control the weather. You would have to understand the market fully to be able to control it completely. A large diverse economy such as the United States is to large and complex for one single entity to manage.

The words "quality public" do not go together, when was the last time you heard of a quality public pool or a quality public bathroom?

Free markets or private charity cannot provide adequate public goods and services.

So when people don't want to help others voluntary, you are going to force people to be generous.

In the workplace, capitalism eschews democracy. Individual employees do not negotiate the terms of their employment except in rare circumstances, when their labor is very highly skilled. Without unions, employees are hired and fired at will. Corporations govern through hierarchical power relations more characteristic of monopolies than of free markets. Simply put, the domination of the economy by privately-owned corporation is not the most rational and equitable way to govern our economic life.

"except in rare circumstances".
What if I am in one of those rare circumstances? Do I lose the ability to negotiate my fair market wage?

Secondly, by trying to create a equitable economic life you are creating injustices. The fact those injustices happen to center around highly skilled, highly paid workers, does not negate the fact that you are creating injustice trying to rid the world of injustice.

Social need will outrank narrow profitability as the measure of success for our economic life.

Will social need outrank my need for success in my economic life? This is basic logic that was disproved in Star Trek IV, man these guys really need to watch more movies.

Racism, sexism, xenophobia, and resentment of the poor are exacerbated by economic insecurity.

I do not resent the poor of America, I just wish they would stop complaining, go to school, and get a job. I feel sorry for the poor of the world who lack the will to fight for their freedom and equality, and who put my country in the position of doing it for them, then resent us for their failings.

Discrimination occurs in a myriad of forms, and a socialist society must eradicate all of them.

Even though a person's feelings are often not logical, ill formed, and hateful, you cannot change the way every person feels. If you can eradicate discrimination, then the rest of the worlds social ills would be easy to solve.

In the emerging global capitalist economy the controlling economic institutions - the transnational corporations - have integrated financing, production, distribution and consumption on a vast scale. They now have the capacity to function as "stateless" institutions, relatively independent of any particular national economy.

Do you hear the fear in their voice?

U.S. dominance of the global economy is buttressed by its political power and military might. Indeed, the United States is engaged in a long-term policy of imperial overreach in a period in which global instability will probably increase. Elements of this instability include national, ethnic and religious conflicts; economic decline and stagnation of subordinate capitalist nations; trade rivalries among advanced capitalist nations; and environmental degradation imperiling the quality of life.

"global instability will probably increase", really. Why is global instability going to increase?
Is it because they are poor and hate America or is it because the poor want the right to govern their selves.

I would agree that "national, ethnic and religious conflicts" are going to increase, but those problems are not caused by the US. They are caused by bad governments with bad polices and people who want self determination. I don't see what the US has to do with any of that, except act as a lens to focus the failings of others.

"economic decline and stagnation of subordinate capitalist nations"

Here the socialists are blaming their problems on the capitalists.

The [military] resources needed to sustain U.S. dominance are a drain on the national economy, particularly the most neglected and underdeveloped sectors

Really, why has our economy out paced Europe?

Nowhere is a struggle against militarism more pressing than in the United States, where the military budget bleeds the public sector of much needed funds for social programs.

I see they don't want to reduce military spending inorder to tax us less, they just want out money so that they can give it back to the poorest among us.

They state they want to reduce spending on the military, but then next they say their must exist a multinational armed force. Who is going to pay for this army, if all the countries have small armies? All it would take would be one kick ass army from a small country to whoop up on everyone.

No country, even a superpower like the United States, can guarantee peace and stability, never mind justice. Only a genuinely multinational armed force can intervene in violent conflicts to enforce generally accepted standards of human rights and democratic practices

Wow something I agree with, but just because my country will fail trying to ensure justice, freedom, and stability, does not mean that my country should not try. I just cannot wait until the rest of the world joins us in our moral imperative.

Treaties on human rights, international labor standards, women's rights, environmental protection have all been ratified by many nations (albeit generally not by the US).

I don't even know what to say to that line.

The women's movement increasingly argues that only by restructuring work and child care can true gender equality be realized.

So by giving women breaks, we can make things equal.

If a woman wants my job she can have it, but she had better be able to work as hard as me. She can have the overtime, odd hours, late day emergencies that will make me bald, grey, and give me a heart attack.

Economic democracy means, in the most general terms, the direct ownership and/or control of much of the economic resources of society by the great majority of wage and income earners.

I think that is called a stock market?
If the poor would stop buying liquor, smokes, and VCR's, they could pool their money to buy ownership of the companies they work for. Eventually, they would control everything.

Such democratic control must also encompass existing financial institutions, whose funds can be used to invest in places abandoned or bypassed by transnational capital, such as urban and rural areas, and in sectors of the population that have been historically denied control and ownership of significant economic resources.

This takes the cake...They want to take my money and make bad investments with it...hah haaaah.

Hey.....Wait......That is not funny at all.

..Only independent, democratically run unions can protect workers

What about the ability to go somewhere else and find a job?

The great run-up in national debt is due directly to military-led deficit financing. Reduced military expenditures and more equitable taxation represent the only sources of funds on the scale needed to provide the social programs required to ameliorate declining living standards.

The national debt shrank during the 90's because our economy brought in more money to the government.

Here they say they want a more equitable taxation. Excuse me if I am suspicious, before they said this:

Social Redistribution. Social redistribution--the shift of wealth and resources from the rich to the rest of society--will require:

1) massive redistribution of income from corporations and the wealthy to wage earners and the poor and the public sector, in order to provide the main source of new funds for social programs,income maintenance and infrastructure rehabilitation, and
2) a massive shift of public resources from the military (the main user of existing discretionary funds) to civilian uses.

How is that going to happen with out unequal taxation???

No laws of nature or "free markets" dictate that we must destroy our environment, worsen global inequality, squander funds on useless deadly weapons, and continue to relegate women and people of color to second-class citizenship

Hey those weapons are not useless? They are used to kill people and destroy things. Silly socialist have you ever seen an M-16?

"We invite you to join us in this effort worthy of a lifetime of commitment."

No thanks, I am going to exploit some hot Latin chicks.



Socialist's goals are noble, proud, and worthy of being considered. They are also impossible to achieve using their own rule set to achieve their goals. They want peace and justice for everyone, but are unwilling to fund and direct their army for that purpose.

They want everyone to have a happy fulfilled life, but they want to hand people that life on a silver platter. If happiness could be given that way, then the ones born into riches would be the happiest among us. It could be passed down from the parents to the children, but it does not work that way.

They seem to think that just by organizing and demanding freedom and equality, the dictators will hand them their equal rights, environmental protections, and social programs.

To the socialist the worlds evils consist of inequality and trans-national corporations. That is it!! They think that if they make every one equal, tax and control the corporations for the good of all, have generous social welfare, and a few government programs promoting social bonds that the world's people will be happy.

What is a person with out any needs? Are they happy...Or.... Unhappy because they can't have what they want?



Dave Justus said...

Good post. I agree with you 100%.

It is interesting that environmental health seems to corelate with economic health. Rich countries have cleaner environments with less pollution than poor countries. According to the socialists, it should be the opposite.

Cubicle said...

"Rich countries have cleaner environments with less pollution than poor countries"

depends on how you measure it, if you measure it by absolute amounts that is not ture.

American is the largest producer of CO2 in the entire world by far, but we also have the biggest GDP.

I don't know how it works out for per captia GDP or per captia of population.

Dave Justus said...

According to this the U.S. is tenth in the world in terms of CO2 production as related to GDP.

CO2 isn't the best example of what I was talking about though as until fairly recently it was not regarded as a pollution.

It has been fairly conclusively documented that as a nations per capita income rises (past a certain minimum point) the amount of Air Pollution and Water pollution the society produces begins to go down. A good example of this is London 100 to 150 years ago compared to today. This effect seems even faster for today's evolving 3rd world economies as they are able to leap frog to more advanced technologies.

Probably the most serious air pollution problem is the world today is a phenomenom called Asian Brown Cloud. It is caused by dung fires from the poor in Southeast and Central Asia who have no other choice in how to provide heat for their house. Even the worst coal power plants would produce less pollution than this.