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  • azalphainvestor azalphainvestor Oct 28, 2008 12:24 PM Flag

    Mirror is best way to spot a socialist

    Fibs.. I know how you like to read these minor journalists:

    Mirror is best way to spot a socialist

    I'm not an expert in political or economic philosophy, so when Sen. John McCain and his folks began calling Sen. Barack Obama a "socialist," I was confused.

    But, thanks to a couple of Arizona State University professors and several enthusiastic readers, I've not only learned what a socialist is, but how to spot one.

    For instance, I learned that in politics a "socialist" is any person that you and I should not trust or vote for.

    As for identifying a socialist, that's easy:

    Look in a mirror.

    "There are surveys showing that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to socialism," said ASU Professor Terence Ball. "Those same surveys show that most Americans don't know what socialism is."

    McCain's vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, described a socialist this way: "Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. But Joe the Plumber and Ed the Dairyman, I believe that they think that it sounds more like socialism."

    It does. Only in America, "spreading the wealth" goes by another name. We call it "progressive taxation." The government uses the tax money that it collects from us to fund all sorts of programs that have their roots in . . . eek! . . . socialism. For example, public education.

    "Thomas Jefferson and many others said that if you are going to have a democracy you must have free public education," Professor Ball said. "There's that old adage that in America we have socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. And there's something to that, historically, if you look back to the 19th century."

    As well as if you look at the 21st century and recent banking industry bailout.

    Maybe the most famous socialist in U.S. history was Eugene V. Debs. Among the things that he advocated was the right for women to vote, the end of child labor and the ability of workers to unionize. In 1920, he got a million votes as a presidential candidate.

    In addition to all that, things that we now take for granted like Medicare and Medicaid, the minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek, even the public library, have a socialist tilt.

    Does that make ALL of us socialists?

    A little bit.

    "Politics has more to do with labeling the opposition in a negative way and getting that label to stick," explained another ASU professor, Patrick Kenney. "We saw that a little earlier with the attempts to link Obama to the terrorist (William) Ayers. Now, we're hearing about 'sharing the wealth.' It's a way for one campaign to try to identify risks of voting for the other person."

    Readers had their own ideas. One wrote to me via the Internet: "As a middle-class citizen I'm tired of the current 'wealth redistribution' system, where the richest one percent of Americans get wealthier and wealthier off of my back. I'm still waiting for a 'trickle.' "

    To which another responded, "Are you aware that one percent pays 60 percent of the tax bill and the top 10 percent pay 80 percent! Stop waiting and make more money on your own."

    Others tried to be academic, like the person who wrote: "There are many varieties of socialism. Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise. All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists."

    Still, people on all sides expressed a strong belief in our shared American ideals, things like "liberty and justice for all" as expressed in the Pledge of Allegiance. By the way, the original version the pledge was written in 1892 by a Baptist minister named Francis Bellamy.

    He was a socialist.

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    • my goodness alph............can't believe you are finally coming to your senses..........

      the question is "IS"...(i know..depends on how you define IS)...IS obama a socialist or does he have communistic leanings?? (ie--i know what IS best for you and yours..)

      • 1 Reply to splitrader
      • Bear.. Only one foolish, misinformed or ignorant of Obama's record asks such questions. Of course there are also the scum buckets of the Right that just care to muddy the waters.

        Obama is about as much of a socialist as John Kennedy and much less so than FDR. This may come as a shock to you b/c you were a leftie in the 60s, but Eisenhower presided when the top income bracket was 90% and the Rights Fair Haired boy, Reagan about 36%.

        What you and your fellow Cons cant get thru your ideological skulls is just how bad a President W has been. Your foolish mantra against gov't and regulation has come home to roost. The banks and investment houses did just as you preached, maximize profits, lobby for lower tax rates for the rich and super rich and get out to dodge when the undue risk is discovered and blame others.


    • I've had enough of Wallstreet thugs! Nobody ever arrests them , they bail them out!
      Ten percent of $700 rescue package may go to bonuses
      Posted Oct 19th 2008 8:40AM by Douglas McIntyre
      Filed under: Management, Industry, Morgan Stanley (MS)

      Wall Street walked into the path of its own oncoming stupidity. Of the $700 billion in Treasury rescue money, as much as $70 billion could go to bank and brokerage bonuses.

      According to The Guardian, "Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year." The paper goes on to say that the Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) pool is large enough to buy the entire company when its stock was at a recent low.

      Although this information get filed under "things you can't make up," it will probably have such a severe backlash that Congress will run hearings until the bankers have exhausted the extra money they are making on legal fees.

      The contrary argument to punishing the firms is that some of the people getting big pay-outs work in departments that actually contributed huge sums of money to their parents.

      If the management at these firms has any sense at all, they will pay nothing to the staff who worked in operations that lost money and file with the SEC to show the amount of operating income made from the operations where people are getting an extra check.

      There will be hell to pay either way. The money is being thrown into the existing bucket with all the holes in it. Nobody has been put in jail. The Glass Stegal act was not put back in place either

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