Does Anyone Really Understand?
Many Americans never studied economic principles or techniques and may get confused by emerging trends as the 2020 election approaches. If you are in the baby-boomer generation, you certainly were pounded with the negatives about communism in the 1950s and 60s. The almost demonic label sewn into our very fabric elevated capitalism to an unholy, higher ground.
Here in America we know that money gets things done. It can make a crime go away or embellish a business through creative marketing and awareness. But money is not a capitalist tool. It’s simply a medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes ordained by a government or community for trade. All economic realities must have a means of exchange.
Donald Trump screams his guarantee that America will never be a “socialist country,” but he cannot intelligently discuss the merits of any system other than capitalism. Trump is not a conservative Republican or a fiscally responsible caretaker of the US budget. The debt is soaring under his lack of leadership, despite his promise that wouldn’t happen.
Even as far back as the beginning of the United States, our government’s fiscal fingers have been deep in the many problems and solutions of our society and its evolving programs. The term “Democratic Socialism” is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production. But there are gray areas we ignore.
At the time of 9/11, the security of our nation’s more than 15,000 airports was being administered by private companies. When the government discovered how the terrorists were able to penetrate that line of protection, it immediately established the Homeland Security Administration, which ended private, capitalistic oversight and control of our airports. We created the TSA, a fully owned and government operated enterprise. Socialism.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was faced with massive unemployment after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the government created public works programs. These social activities helped millions of people get back on their feet and do useful things for the country. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a government funded infrastructure program which put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work during its eight years of existence. Sheer socialism.
When Social Security was created, it was a purely socialistic program that permitted us American workers to pay into bank accounts held by the government until we were eligible for retirement. Some have described it as the ultimate pyramid scheme, with younger people paying into the administration’s bank which is then used to fund the current crop of retirees. It’s just more socialism.
Strong unions offered wealthy pensions to their members but many people had no parachute to protect them in their later years. Some believe Social Security is a great motivator and keeps people working longer and harder to make that nest egg grow. For many of us, it’s how we now exist.
We also created Medicare for older Americans needing help to maintain their quality of healthcare once they stopped receiving benefits at work. It’s another social program in which the government helps fund healthcare for retired citizens. Someday, it could become the basis for healthcare for all.
As this country grew and a larger disenfranchised group of people emerged, we wanted to help those souls who either couldn’t work or were underemployed, Our country felt morally obligated to fund Food Stamps and Medicaid. These programs help disadvantaged people keep themselves and their families alive and fed. One can argue the worth of these systems, but no one can deny that they are fundamentally socialist programs.
Sure, capitalism funds these programs, just as it bailed out automakers and banks during the collapse of the financial market in 2008. Without them, however, people like Donald Trump would be faced with more anger and disapproval. We saw how quickly the President changed lanes when he attempted to defund the Special Olympics. The money given to his non-profit is just another socialistic handout. The Department of Education distributes vouchers (taxpayer money) so that people can send their children to parochial or private schools; sounds like socialism to me.
When the Trump tariffs cut a hole in the soybean market, the administration jumped up and threw some farm aid in the their faces. This is pure socialism.
The idea of the government taking the reins of an industry might sound okay to some people, but hardcore conservatives would rather allow private industry to assume control. The FAA should be more involved in the approval and safety area of the airline industry. The current Boeing controversy shows us that the FAA did not do its job. Events like 9/11illustrate that private companies might not have the ability to properly rule. People die when the government looks the other way.
The foundational basis of taxation is a form or socialism. We all pay taxes with the expectation that our elected officials will make good decisions on how to spend that money, whether on infrastructure, protection or social programs. When the President declares a national emergency to decide how money will be spent, it becomes taxation without representation.
Donald Trump has little, if any, comprehension of how all this works. He lives in a world of catch-phrases, campaign slogans and lies. The idea that we can eliminate all social programs and steal money from disaster relief and social programs to pay for an unnecessary wall in the south is exactly what socialistic dictators do in other countries. The word we don’t use yet is “Totalitarianism” but that’s where we are headed.
It’s not about labels and misinformation, it’s about the way we treat our people. In 1789 France, the price of bread increased, and people were hungry. They marched to the palace and arrested the King and his wife. If we let the well designed and proven principles of the combination of capitalism and socialism be tossed aside by the screeds of a lunatic President, we are doomed to failure. A revolution is a messy way to solve a problem. Working together to eradicate hunger and provide all Americans with a high quality of life should be priority one. Our brand of socialism keeps us safer and we should not discourage it. We should understand what it is, how it works and embrace it fully.
BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.