Thursday, October 18, 2018

The S Word Revisited

Back in early 2010 I wrote a post about the ludicrous way some on the political right use the word socialism as if it were a four letter word, a curse. What I said then was that these people either lack the slightest clue about what socialism really is, what the word means, and how much socialism we have in the American economy today or else they really do know but assume their audience is ignorant. Instead they equate small s socialism with communism or the Soviet Union. Now, as then, I ended up making essentially the same points to a Republican stalwart on social media. He finished his rant with, "If you support Socialism you don't belong in America." What follows, with minor editing, are my responses to him.

Oh for crying out loud. I support socialism, you know, like Social Security, public schools, public libraries, law enforcement by government rather than private security firms, Medicare, Medicaid, my local fire department... all good, common sense socialism. I am a former Republican. Liberals or moderates like me are not "anti-America".

Every successful Western economy is a mixture of socialism and capitalism, including the United States. All the items I mentioned as common sense socialism are just that even if you don't see it. If you're against public schools, law enforcement, fire protection, roads, etc... then you are off in the far right fringe. I'll add that Israel is a much more socialist country than we are. They have universal healthcare. The fact that we are the only developed country that does not is shameful.

Medicare and Social Security as not entitlements. We pay for them out of each and every paycheck we earn. If you are self-employed you pay it quarterly. Either way, cutting those is stealing money that people paid in all their lives for their retirement. Social Security is running at a surplus. The only reason it runs short on money is that Congress (both parties) keep raiding the trust fund to pay for other things. Al Gore was laughed at when he called for putting social security in a lock box. He was right.

Finally, the older I get the more liberal I become. I have learned that what the Trump GOP calls conservatism is all about making the rich richer and the poor poorer and to hell with the middle class. I cannot support a political party that will steal my retirement money to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. Thanks but no thanks.

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