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John Smith
10-05-2009, 10:03 AM
We hear that term a lot lately, like it's some kind of plague.

As I watched my grandkids' games this weekend, I thought about how terrific the parks around here are. Some local community, some country, and some, I think, state.

One of them has a nice lake I can sail on without cost to launch, with some very nice docks included.

In the other direction, a very few miles, is town provided launch ramp with security for the Delaware River.

Then I got to thinking about all the nice things in life we enjoy that are, basically, socialist.

Of course, there's Medicare and Social Security, and our defense department. How often do we think of libraries, museums, police, firemen, courts, or record keeping (birth, death, marriage, etc.) that frequently comes in handy.

Then, of course, there are the roads and highways. How about the water that comes out of our tap, for most supplied by a government provided resevoir system. Then there's the water after we've used it and the drain it goes down, and the system of sewers and catch basins that usually keep up with the rain.

How about the street lights on those roads and highways? The signs that help us find our way?

We also have some terrific new technology in our lives: GPS, sattelite tv/radio, and cell phones. Would we have these today if the government hadn't done the early heavy lifting in the space program?

Of course, there's the Postal Service that, while the butt of many a joke, actually does a marvelous job of moving first class letters in a timely manner for a reasonable cost.

It's not my point here to promote any sort of government take over of everything. It is my point to show some areas where the government does things that need to be done, and provide an infrastructure that allows our lives to be better, and allows private industry to be more productive.

Just some thoughts I thought I'd share.

Keith Wilson
10-05-2009, 10:26 AM
"Socialism" as currently used by the US right wing in political discussion or propaganda, means "anything the government does that we don't like."

The word does have a definition, which resembles nothing that anyone in US politics today is advocating.

Socialism (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism): noun
Date: 1837

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

rbgarr
10-05-2009, 10:37 AM
You'd get an argument that the last phrase ("unequal distribution of goods and services according to work done") is a condition that's increasing.

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Think about those libraries...what you read is (can be) reported to our spy system...this is the result of libraries "belonging" to the government instead of the people...not so benevolent after all

downthecreek
10-05-2009, 10:49 AM
"Socialism" as currently used by the US right wing in political discussion or propaganda, means "anything the government does that we don't like."

The word does have a definition, which resembles nothing that anyone in US politics today is advocating.

I keep seeing Obama described as a "Marxist". It's absurd....surreal....:o

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 10:55 AM
I keep seeing Obama described as a "Marxist". It's absurd....surreal....:o

you don't hear it from me...both sides practice it

JimD
10-05-2009, 10:56 AM
There are few topics that reveal more clearly the extent of American ignorance and knee jerk reaction.

TimH
10-05-2009, 11:01 AM
The right wingers are a scourge on society.
I, for the life of me, cannot figure out what they are worried about losing, other than the fantasy that they are somehow elevated from the rest of us.

John Smith
10-05-2009, 11:17 AM
I've come to the conclusion that we, as a society, require many things done. Some are best done by the government, some best done by the private sector.

Knowing which is which is important.

Nicholas Scheuer
10-05-2009, 12:02 PM
Fortunately for Obama, and the Liberal Agenda, The Right is currently doing itself more harm than good with all this harping on "Socialism" and "Marxism".

Their idea that ,since McCain and Palin didn't win the election, they will be "Dogs In The Manger" about EVERYTHING is absurd.

Moby Nick

Peerie Maa
10-05-2009, 12:04 PM
I am currently reading "In place of Fear" (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0704301229?tag=encyclopediap-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0704301229&adid=0NQQZXQ96PDAJGB1J8XS) by Aneurin Bevan. I recommend it to you all, very topical, if over 50 yeas old.

peb
10-05-2009, 12:12 PM
"Socialism" as currently used by the US right wing in political discussion or propaganda, means "anything the government does that we don't like."

The word does have a definition, which resembles nothing that anyone in US politics today is advocating.

Keith, how in the world do you come to that conclusion? What we have done with GM and AIG fits precisely into definition #1. Are you just saying no one is advocating any further socialist policies? Is it not hard to say that the so called "public option" for healthcare insurance does not fit into definition #1?

John Smith
10-05-2009, 12:25 PM
Keith, how in the world do you come to that conclusion? What we have done with GM and AIG fits precisely into definition #1. Are you just saying no one is advocating any further socialist policies? Is it not hard to say that the so called "public option" for healthcare insurance does not fit into definition #1?
If it works, it was a good thing to do. If it doesn't, it wasn't. Doesn't matter what category it fits in other than successful or unsuccessful.

My point is that we enjoy many things in our life that are because of what many would call a socialistic vein in our country.

Keith Wilson
10-05-2009, 12:28 PM
Peb, I think we have a bit of trouble with bipolar thinking. Between the Libertarian ideal of government staying out of economic activity altogether, and socialism as defined by the dictionary where the government has charge of the vast majority of the economy, there is a tremendous amount of middle ground. The current political arguments are about modest steps in either direction. Almost nobody in the US wants genuine socialism, and few people really want laissez-faire capitalism - or wouldn't if they really thought about it. Shrieking about "socialism" when what is proposed is really a very modest change may be an effective political tactic (although I have my doubts), but it's fundamentally dishonest. When you're 100 yards from a cliff and propose moving three steps closer, "You're going to fall off!!!" is not an honest objection.
I've come to the conclusion that we, as a society, require many things done. Some are best done by the government, some best done by the private sector. Knowing which is which is important. Exactly. Governement should not do everything. Some things are best done by government. The question is which things.

B_B
10-05-2009, 12:29 PM
Keith, how in the world do you come to that conclusion? What we have done with GM and AIG fits precisely into definition #1.
"means of production" means ALL means of production - not three companies which comprise but a tiny % of the "means of production".

in other words, when Political Scientists talk about 'controlling the means of production' they mean controlling, owning, everything.


Means of Production
definition:Are all the aspects or things required to produce. They include labour, capitalgoods (such as machinery and tools) and natural resources, such as iron ore or crude oil.

peb
10-05-2009, 12:43 PM
Peb, I think we have a bit of trouble with bipolar thinking. Between the Libertarian ideal of government staying out of economic activity altogether, and socialism as defined by the dictionary where the government has charge of the vast majority of the economy, there is a tremendous amount of middle ground. The current political arguments are about modest steps in either direction. Almost nobody in the US wants genuine socialism, and few people really want laissez-faire capitalism - or wouldn't if they really thought about it. Shrieking about "socialism" when what is proposed is really a very modest change may be an effective political tactic (although I have my doubts), but it's fundamentally dishonest. When you're 100 yards from a cliff and propose moving three steps closer, "You're going to fall off!!!" is not an honest objection.Exactly. Governement should not do everything. Some things are best done by government. The question is which things.

Keith, I did not see in your quoted definition #1 that requirement of "vast majority of the economy". There is no bipolar thinking. A given policy can be socialistic at its core and when it is, there is nothing wrong with calling it such. And it is highly disingenous to deny that a policy, such as the GM situation, is not socialism. It plainly is. Why be afraid of calling a spade a spade, are you worried about people knowing the truth.

PS. and do not accuse me of claiming all governement invovlment in the economy is socialism (as you have in the past). It plainly is not.

peb
10-05-2009, 12:44 PM
"means of production" means ALL means of production - not three companies which comprise but a tiny % of the "means of production".

in other words, when Political Scientists talk about 'controlling the means of production' they mean controlling, owning, everything.


Means of Production
definition:Are all the aspects or things required to produce. They include labour, capitalgoods (such as machinery and tools) and natural resources, such as iron ore or crude oil.

BS.

So according to your reasoning, the government could nationalize every industry in our economy except for one and it would be plainly wrong to call it socialism?

Kaa
10-05-2009, 12:45 PM
"means of production" means ALL means of production

That case is generally called "communism" in American political discourse.

Kaa

Kaa
10-05-2009, 12:47 PM
I think part of the difference between peb and Keith is that peb calls the direction socialism, while Keith calls the end result socialism.

Kaa

Keith Wilson
10-05-2009, 12:50 PM
I think part of the difference between peb and Keith is that peb calls the direction socialism, while Keith calls the end result socialism.
That's reasonable. While I might want to move some in that direction - tax-financed heath care seems an obvious case - I certainly wouldn't want to go too far. I like capitalism, and mainly want to save it from its self-destructive tendencies.

Bruce Hooke
10-05-2009, 12:51 PM
Think about those libraries...what you read is (can be) reported to our spy system...this is the result of libraries "belonging" to the government instead of the people...not so benevolent after all

I disagree. Some libraries are owned or run by government entities, some are owned and run in partnership with non-profit organizations and some are completely independent of the government. All are subject to the "spy" rules, just as telecom corporations are subject to similar regulations despite being independent, for-profit corporations.

The issue of government being able to get patron's borrowing records from libraries is an example of excessive government surveillance powers, which has nothing to do with government's role in the economic system. Many people who are advocates of a hands-off approach to government regulation of the economy are also advocates of strong "homeland defense" policies that include intrusive government surveillance powers.

peb
10-05-2009, 12:52 PM
I think part of the difference between peb and Keith is that peb calls the direction socialism, while Keith calls the end result socialism.

Kaa

Close, but not quite. My poiint is that an individual policy can be an instance of socialism, regardless of the general direction of a government at the time. Keith's argument seems to be that this is not fair political discourse, since too many people have a negative view of the word.

George.
10-05-2009, 01:05 PM
Guys, what the US government is doing to rescue the economy is socialism.

If you want to know what the real capitalists think of that, consider how financial markets reacted almost precisely a year ago today, when a bunch of Republican airheads decided to take a stand and vote against this socialist rescue plan. ;)

Bruce Hooke
10-05-2009, 01:07 PM
Close, but not quite. My poiint is that an individual policy can be an instance of socialism, regardless of the general direction of a government at the time. Keith's argument seems to be that this is not fair political discourse, since too many people have a negative view of the word.

If the right was using the word "socialist" with no intent to create a negative image of a policy your point would be much stronger. As the word is clearly used by the right to create a negative image I think it is fair for the left to fight back by pointing out that the government does many things that could be consider "socialist" that are also quite popular.

John Smith
10-05-2009, 01:14 PM
Guys, what the US government is doing to rescue the economy is socialism.

If you want to know what the real capitalists think of that, consider how financial markets reacted almost precisely a year ago today, when a bunch of Republican airheads decided to take a stand and vote against this socialist rescue plan. ;)
Hopfully, it will be successful socialism.

My point in this thread is that a lot of GOOD things in our lives come from what many would call socialism, in which case, socialism is hardly a four letter word.

A lot of the private sector depends upon infrastructures created by that socialist vein of our nation.

John Smith
10-05-2009, 01:15 PM
If the right was using the word "socialist" with no intent to create a negative image of a policy your point would be much stronger. As the word is clearly used by the right to create a negative image I think it is fair for the left to fight back by pointing out that the government does many things that could be consider "socialist" that are also quite popular.
Well put....

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 01:26 PM
not all good things are socialism...our interstate hiway system is a military expendature

peb
10-05-2009, 01:29 PM
If the right was using the word "socialist" with no intent to create a negative image of a policy your point would be much stronger. As the word is clearly used by the right to create a negative image I think it is fair for the left to fight back by pointing out that the government does many things that could be consider "socialist" that are also quite popular.

No problem with that at all. But I don't think that is the tactic taken by the left. Instead they deny that anything is socialism. For an example, see Keith's original post on this thread.

George., in general you are correct. I will quibble a little bit with the details. The initial idea behind the TARP plan was not socialistic, it was simply the government buying up loans, not capital infusion. Unfortunately, it changed quite rapidly.

ahp
10-05-2009, 01:30 PM
As used by some it is a standard propaganda method. In this case Socialism is a "Loaded Word". Bad, bad, bad.

Another method is "Bandwagon". You must have seen the full page ads of all the PhD Scientists that disbelieve global warming. "Get on the bandwagon with the smart people." What is interesting with these ads is what is left out, but most people don't notice.

B_B
10-05-2009, 01:35 PM
BS.

So according to your reasoning, the government could nationalize every industry in our economy except for one and it would be plainly wrong to call it socialism?
It ain't my "reasoning" its the definition.

When you use a word, or a phrase, it helps if you understand it.

"Means of Production" is a specific phrase with a specific meaning.

http://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C1SKPC_enCA325CA327&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=define+%22means+of+production%22

edit:

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
peb and Kaa - please read my initial post in light of this definition for Socialism, and re-read this definition of Socialism, and focus on the word "the". .... "governmental ownership and administration of the means of production"

for example:
I own real estate in Canada - I do not own the real estate in Canada.

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 01:36 PM
both sides manipulate their base...the left is just as guilty as the right...perhaps more so...I despise being used and that is why I don't belong to any party (and why I'm not married)

there are some folks here on this forum who are poster children for sheeple...and they have no idea that they are any more than our religious fanatics realize how dorky they sound

Keith Wilson
10-05-2009, 01:38 PM
Instead they deny that anything is socialism. For an example, see Keith's original post on this thread.Please do, and you'll find I said someting rather different than what peb claims.

George.
10-05-2009, 01:39 PM
The initial idea behind the TARP plan was not socialistic, it was simply the government buying up loans, not capital infusion. Unfortunately, it changed quite rapidly.

Aren't loans the "means of production" banks employ? And anyway, everyone from Paulson on down knew that TARP was just the thin edge of the necessary wedge. That's why the rabidly anti-socialist right voted against it.

I may be mistaken, but I watched the vote live on CNN. Not only was it the largest one-day point drop for the Dow ever - unlike other "black" days, most of the crash took place within minutes of the "no" vote.

My point is that the failure to adopt a socialist program on an emergency basis, no time to ask questions, resulted in the destruction of trillions of dollars in private property. The broader point is that many "socialist" policies are win-win, because they benefit capitalism.

George.
10-05-2009, 01:43 PM
not all good things are socialism...our interstate hiway system is a military expendature

National militaries are the most socialist of all institutions.

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 01:46 PM
National militaries are the most socialist of all institutions.

but seperate from the rest of the population

George.
10-05-2009, 01:54 PM
But they are a government agency serving (defending) everyone, regardless of merit.

Keith Wilson
10-05-2009, 01:55 PM
. . . our interstate highway system is a military expenditure . . . That's just how they managed to get funds approved at the time; it was easier if they could convince congress it also had a military function.

B_B
10-05-2009, 02:01 PM
Guys, what the US government is doing to rescue the economy is socialism.
sorry, I don't think that is correct.

They have invested money into ownership for two reasons:
1) stabilize the economy and prevent economic meltdown
2) as investors - they plan to sell the shares when it's profitable.

the first could've been accomplished without ownership, the second is the definition of capitalism: to attempt to profit through the investment of capital.

Socialistic ownership has nothing to do with investment or reaping capital gains profit through investment, ownership is about control for the sake of control (and possibly the generation of operational profits in lieu of raising money through taxes) - ostensibly for the benefit of the community.

The intent are two different things as I understand it.

George.
10-05-2009, 02:09 PM
That's just how they managed to get funds approved at the time; it was easier if they could convince congress it also had a military function.

I thought it was because Ike was so impressed by the autobahns on his advance through Germany.

Kaa
10-05-2009, 02:26 PM
...the second is the definition of capitalism, to attempt to profit through the investment of capital.

I really don't think that attempting to profit through the internal investment of capital is a legitimate government function, under capitalism or not.

Kaa

Peerie Maa
10-05-2009, 02:27 PM
Socialistic ownership has nothing to do with investment or reaping profit through investment, ownership is about control for the sake of control - ostensibly for the sake of the community with no profit motive, no potential payoff other than control.



Sorry, that is incorrect:D

State ownership of industry was to accomplish two things.
The avoidance of cycles of boom and bust that you get through free market capitalism by planning output to match demand.
The generation of profit for use by the state instead of revenue raised by taxation.

There may be a political decision to be made about the making of profit. For example it may be decided to run utilities at break even as meeting a social need.

BTW I have to smile at all of you on your side of the pond talking about left and right. UK Labour party used to be left wing, no where near as far left as communism, but with Blair's New Labour is now just to the right of middle.
Your politics is right wing and FAR right wing.

John Smith
10-05-2009, 02:37 PM
not all good things are socialism...our interstate hiway system is a military expendature
True, but our military is "socialized".

B_B
10-05-2009, 02:42 PM
Sorry, that is incorrect:D

State ownership of industry was to accomplish two things.
The avoidance of cycles of boom and bust that you get through free market capitalism by planning output to match demand.
The generation of profit for use by the state instead of revenue raised by taxation.

There may be a political decision to be made about the making of profit. For example it may be decided to run utilities at break even as meeting a social need.

BTW I have to smile at all of you on your side of the pond talking about left and right. UK Labour party used to be left wing, no where near as far left as communism, but with Blair's New Labour is now just to the right of middle.
Your politics is right wing and FAR right wing.
yes, I meant "to profit on the sale of the entity - capital gains" which is different from the "generating a yearly operational profit" which is, I think, what you are describing.

The reason this yearly profit thingy wasn't at the forefront of my mind is because the vast majority of businesses run by government don't seem to make a yearly operational profit. There are exceptions of course. My apologies.

I'll edit my post for clarity.

and please be so kind as to differentiate between us and some folks to the south of us. We still have a New Democrat Party in Parliament which proposes some policies which would make New Labour blush.

Robert L E
10-05-2009, 02:44 PM
"Socialism" as currently used by the US right wing in political discussion or propaganda, means "anything the government does that we don't like."

Rather a blanket statement. Give some examples of things being labeled as socialistic by the "right wing" that are not socialistic.


The word (socialism) does have a definition, which resembles nothing that anyone in US politics today is advocating.

You must live somewhere else. Taking over banks and industry...... wanting to take over health care....I don't know what else to call it. I think communistic would be a bit extreme. Calling current Democrat "accomplishments" and proposals capitalistic would be an outright lie.

Bob

Peerie Maa
10-05-2009, 03:20 PM
and please be so kind as to differentiate between us and some folks to the south of us. We still have a New Democrat Party in Parliament which proposes some policies which would make New Labour blush.

I do apologise for lumping George and yourself in with the Yankee right wingers:o, You are rather outnumbered in this thread though:p

B_B
10-05-2009, 03:25 PM
I do apologise for lumping George and yourself in with the Yankee right wingers:o, You are rather outnumbered in this thread though:p
I think we're outnumbered everywhere! ;)
and really, no offence taken :)

peb
10-05-2009, 04:03 PM
It ain't my "reasoning" its the definition.

When you use a word, or a phrase, it helps if you understand it.

"Means of Production" is a specific phrase with a specific meaning.

http://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C1SKPC_enCA325CA327&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=define+%22means+of+production%22

edit:

peb and Kaa - please read my initial post in light of this definition for Socialism, and re-read this definition of Socialism, and focus on the word "the". .... "governmental ownership and administration of the means of production"

for example:
I own real estate in Canada - I do not own the real estate in Canada.

If you want to start parsing definitions fine by me. I'll play that game. Your argument would hold water IFF the definition included an object on the end such as "of the economy". It does not. The phrase means of production does not imply the entire economy.

You do own the real estate or some particular area.

Furthermore, historically the nationalization of a company has always been associated with socialist policies.

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 04:03 PM
I thought it was because Ike was so impressed by the autobahns on his advance through Germany.

a "benefit" of the cold war...undoubtably it paid off in the trillions...road taxes, car taxes, driver licensing fees, trillions in the insurance economy, add to that the expansion of the economy of cartage and tourism and the list goes on...

PeterSibley
10-05-2009, 05:13 PM
but seperate from the rest of the population
but less so in the US than any other country I can think of ...except China perhaps ?

peb
10-05-2009, 05:23 PM
but less so in the US than any other country I can think of ...except China perhaps ?
This is an ignorant post. There is no other country in the world that has as much of an ironclad separation and subordination of the military to the civilian government. And it is not just by law, if anyone has ever known or had family members who are military officers in this country, they would know that the subordination of the military to the civilian government is drilled into an officer's head very early on. It is almost the "prime directive" of the US military.

B_B
10-05-2009, 05:38 PM
argument would hold water IFF the definition included an object on the end such as "of the economy". It does not. The phrase means of production does not imply the entire economy.
the phrase "ownership of the means of production" in the context of Keith's proffered definition of Socialism, certainly does mean the entire economy.

You asked Keith how Gov't ownership of AIG was not an example of his proffered definition of socialism - in particular point #1 which says:
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

I pointed out that the definition of "means of production" in this case means ownership of all the means of production - hence the emphasis on the word "the"


You do own the real estate or some particular area.
Absolutely - but to confuse the ownership of SOME real estate with the ownership of THE real estate is silly.
Who is parsing words and definitions?


, historically the nationalization of a company has always been associated with socialist policies.
Generally speaking, historically Gov'ts have nationalized healthy co.s in order to reap the benefits of a healthy operating profit and privatized badly managed Gov't entities in order to rid themselves of the cost. The reverse happened to AIG.

PeterSibley
10-05-2009, 05:48 PM
This is an ignorant post. There is no other country in the world that has as much of an ironclad separation and subordination of the military to the civilian government. And it is not just by law, if anyone has ever known or had family members who are military officers in this country, they would know that the subordination of the military to the civilian government is drilled into an officer's head very early on. It is almost the "prime directive" of the US military.

What an ignorant response .I was refering to the intergration of military into the US society , the sheer number of citizens who have served .Far ,far higher than in other Western countries and from this the support for the military in industry and government ....it's sheer SIZE and percentage of of government expenditure !:rolleyes:

John Smith
10-05-2009, 06:17 PM
Rather a blanket statement. Give some examples of things being labeled as socialistic by the "right wing" that are not socialistic.



You must live somewhere else. Taking over banks and industry...... wanting to take over health care....I don't know what else to call it. I think communistic would be a bit extreme. Calling current Democrat "accomplishments" and proposals capitalistic would be an outright lie.

Bob
I can only speak for myself here, but it's my view that the right views anything that can be called socialistic is bad; that we should be afraid of anything the government provides the people.

I started this thread behind the thought that the government actually provides many things that we benefit from that can be deemed as socialistic in their very being.

It appears to me that the righties have allowed their basic ideology take such control of their thought that they forget some of the niceties of life in America that are the direct result of "socialized" government programs.

Some of us recognize that of all the things our society needs, some are best provided by government, while others are best provided by private entities. While no one is suggesting in our health care reform a "government takeover", that is the accusation from the right.

Meanwhile, we are told by the right that a government run plan would be inefficient and costly. At the same time we are being told the private companies can't possibly compete with a government run plan.

Do those two arguments make any sense?

John Smith
10-05-2009, 06:23 PM
If you want to start parsing definitions fine by me. I'll play that game. Your argument would hold water IFF the definition included an object on the end such as "of the economy". It does not. The phrase means of production does not imply the entire economy.

You do own the real estate or some particular area.

Furthermore, historically the nationalization of a company has always been associated with socialist policies.
Perhaps my post starting this thread wasn't as clear as I'd like it to be.

It was not my intention to start a war about the meaning of "socialism", but to point out that our quality of life, as well as the ability of private industry to function, is directly related to many things the government has provided that we, as a people, seem to forget the government has provided.

A lot of folks seem to view anything the government provides to the people as socialism. I'll let others argue that. Whether it fits the precise definition or not, I like having drinkable water coming from my tap. I like having roads and highways to drive on, to pull my boat on, and having a number of government provided places to launch. I like my public library, and I appreciate the well kept record of my birth, my mom's death, and my marriage.

Simply put, my point is our lives benefit daily from things we forget we got from the government at some level: local, county, state, or federal.

B_B
10-05-2009, 06:39 PM
Meanwhile, we are told by the right that a government run plan would be inefficient and costly. At the same time we are being told the private companies can't possibly compete with a government run plan.

Do those two arguments make any sense?
it makes sense if one believes that the Gov't run plan will be subsidized by taxes

Duncan Gibbs
10-05-2009, 06:49 PM
This is an ignorant post. There is no other country in the world that has as much of an ironclad separation and subordination of the military to the civilian government. And it is not just by law, if anyone has ever known or had family members who are military officers in this country, they would know that the subordination of the military to the civilian government is drilled into an officer's head very early on. It is almost the "prime directive" of the US military.

"Prime directive" my ass! Try "Kent University" for starters! One can also go onto "Chicago Democratic Convention" and a bunch of other examples that DIRECTLY contradict your statement Peb.

Phillip Allen
10-05-2009, 07:12 PM
"Prime directive" my ass! Try "Kent University" for starters! One can also go onto "Chicago Democratic Convention" and a bunch of other examples that DIRECTLY contradict your statement Peb.

national guard...the state's private army and not the federal army

Duncan Gibbs
10-05-2009, 07:32 PM
Phillip, other than the semantic one you've pointed out, tell me what the difference really is between one branch of military and the other.

Iraq Deployments of the US National Guard. (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/terrorism/a/deploymentrates.htm)


Jan 16 2005
Turn on any nighly news program, and you'll hear that about 150,000 U.S. Military troops are currently serving in Iraq. While Afghanistan doesn't make the news as much, between 15,000 and 18,000 are currently serving there.
So, what are your chances of being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan? The Department of Defense recently released deployment data, from 11 December 2001, to 31 October 2004 for Iraq and Afghanistan.

955,609 (about 36%) of our total Active Duty/Reserve/National Guard forces of 2,656,300 have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan during this period. 651,622 (24.5%) have one deployment during this period, and 303,987 (11.4%) have deployed more than once.

For active duty, 708,428 (48.2%) of the force has deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. 494,482 (33.6%) have deployed once, while 213.946 (14.6%) have deployed more than once.

For the National Guard and Reserves, 247,181 (20.8%) have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. 157,140 (13.3%) have one deployment and 90,041 (7.5%) have multiple deployments.

A Little Historical Perspective

DoD estimates that about 31 percent (about 1,790,000) active duty members served in the combat theator during the Korean War, from 1950 to 1953.

About 3,400,000 military members (about 39 percent of active duty) served in Soutyheast Asia during the Vietnam War, from 1955 to 1975.

During the first Gulf War, DoD statistics show that 584,342 active duty members and 110,208 National Guard and Reservists deployed to the Gulf during DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. That represents about 26 percent of the 2.2 million on active duty at the time.

Back to the original topic: I suggest that a mongrel will always be healthier, live longer and be a better all round animal than a pure breed anytime. Viva "Sociocapitalism!" :D

Kaa
10-05-2009, 07:44 PM
"Prime directive" my ass! Try "Kent University" for starters! One can also go onto "Chicago Democratic Convention" and a bunch of other examples that DIRECTLY contradict your statement Peb.

These examples contradict "the subordination of the military to the civilian government?" Really?

Kaa

Kaa
10-05-2009, 07:54 PM
...the sheer number of citizens who have served .Far ,far higher than in other Western countries...

I am not sure I understand you. Do you imply this is a bad thing?

Besides, have you considered such Western countries as, say, Switzerland?

Kaa

Duncan Gibbs
10-05-2009, 09:05 PM
These examples contradict "the subordination of the military to the civilian government?" Really?

Kaa

Yes! If the core value of US governance is for, of and by the people, then turning a military force loose, with mortal results, upon a unarmed dissenting group not only contradicts this fundamental core value, but also - by proxy since the "civilian" government isn't behaving like one - this notion that the military is suborned to a civilian government. Another, perhaps simpler way, of putting it is: A government that uses military force upon its own populace is not a civilian one.

As far as the intertwining of the military and government in the US goes, I would look at the percentage of GDP that is part of the military industrial complex in the US: How many jobs depend upon it in both private and public sectors? How does this compare with other countries? My "wild" stab in the dark is that the statistics would show that the total spend and percentage of employment related to the military is much, much higher than most other OECD countries. Funding of such a beast probably makes all the bailouts put together look like the smallest fiscal and monetary dwarf in the tale of Snow White.

purri
10-05-2009, 09:11 PM
I thought Eisenhower said it all.

peb
10-05-2009, 09:57 PM
"Prime directive" my ass! Try "Kent University" for starters! One can also go onto "Chicago Democratic Convention" and a bunch of other examples that DIRECTLY contradict your statement Peb.
What are you talking about? Who gave the orders for the national guard to be at Kent State? It was the civilian govenor. They were acting under civilian orders. Now, you may question those civilian orders, but the military is trained to not do so.
Did the violence at the chicago convention have any military involvement? No, it was police.

In 200+ years of this countries history, you simply cannot find any major event where the military tried to usurp the constintutional civilian authority. Even in critical times like WWII, the civil war, the cold war and the military leaders knew that the outcomes would likely have great historical impact, you don't see it. This is actually very rare in world history. You could say it is also true for the major the English commonwealth nations, almost nowhere else.

peb
10-05-2009, 10:31 PM
What an ignorant response .I was refering to the intergration of military into the US society , the sheer number of citizens who have served .Far ,far higher than in other Western countries and from this the support for the military in industry and government ....it's sheer SIZE and percentage of of government expenditure !:rolleyes:

First of all, I apologize about my "ignorant" comment. It was definitely uncalled for in that context. And I did not understand your meaning. Now that I do, I must point out your actual ignorance.

As to number of people who server, you are way off base. Please refer to the following link:
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_arm_for_per_percap-armed-forces-personnel-per-capita
You will see that on a per capita basis, the size of the It is actually smaller than your countryUS military is 56th in the world.

As to the amount of money spent on the military as a percentage of the caountries GDP, I refer you to this wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
You will see that the US ranks 27th on that list.

Neither position seems out of line considering the amount to which other countries expect the US to help "keep the peace".

Kaa
10-05-2009, 11:35 PM
Another, perhaps simpler way, of putting it is: A government that uses military force upon its own populace is not a civilian one.

LOL. So, please, do tell me which military officers ran the US government around the time of Kent State?

Shall we consider the UK and the IRA troubles as well? :D

Kaa

Osborne Russell
10-05-2009, 11:37 PM
Reds want a different kind of socialism, something truly full-blooded American, something that reflects and honors our national values -- you know, national socialism.

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 12:12 AM
First of all, I apologize about my "ignorant" comment. It was definitely uncalled for in that context. And I did not understand your meaning. Now that I do, I must point out your actual ignorance.

As to number of people who server, you are way off base. Please refer to the following link:
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_arm_for_per_percap-armed-forces-personnel-per-capita
You will see that on a per capita basis, the size of the It is actually smaller than your countryUS military is 56th in the world.

As to the amount of money spent on the military as a percentage of the caountries GDP, I refer you to this wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
You will see that the US ranks 27th on that list.

Neither position seems out of line considering the amount to which other countries expect the US to help "keep the peace".

You are right of course , in the context you mention :D.I have always been struck however by the huge growth in the US military and it's expenditures during the 20th century , from the earliest years pre WW1 to the present .It doesn't seem to have been a healthy development ,but you may disagree .

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 12:19 AM
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mi...nel-per-capita (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_arm_for_per_percap-armed-forces-personnel-per-capita)

Of countries that could be considered "Western " ,first comes Israel ,Singapore ( rather Western ) Norway ,Austria and France .Then the USA.

Duncan Gibbs
10-06-2009, 01:27 AM
What are you talking about? Who gave the orders for the national guard to be at Kent State? It was the civilian govenor. They were acting under civilian orders. Now, you may question those civilian orders, but the military is trained to not do so.

Ahhh... The old Nuremberg Defence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defence)!


Did the violence at the chicago convention have any military involvement? No, it was police.

Ahhem... Linky Link 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Democratic_National_Convention#Protests_and_p olice_response) and Linky Link 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Democratic_National_Convention_protests)

From the second:

Police officials and Mayor Daley had worked with the National Guard to create a plan to effectively use the National Guard. The Guard would be called up at the beginning of the convention, but held in reserve at strategically placed armories or collection points such as Soldier Field. This made the Guard into a rapid response force. In previous civil disturbances, much of the delay in regaining control was in the implementation of the National Guard. With the Guard in place at their armories, the CPD could request and receive assistance before they were completely overwhelmed by protesters. By the time of the DNC, Chicago was prepared for the worst, making it appear almost as an occupied city.


LOL. So, please, do tell me which military officers ran the US government around the time of Kent State?

It's that ol' pesky Nuremberg Defence agin eh? Almost as good as the Chewbacca Defence! You've both completely missed the point that a government has exerted control over its populace via military means which hardly notes it as being "civilian" nor "democratic."


Shall we consider the UK and the IRA troubles as well? :D

No!! What on Gawd's green Earth made you think there is ANY comparison between the actions of placard wielding, pot smoking protesters (no matter how long their hair may be) and those of bomb and gun wielding thugs and the route that either countries' militaries became involved? We shall not consider the UK and the IRA troubles at all.

Peerie Maa
10-06-2009, 06:32 AM
LOL. So, please, do tell me which military officers ran the US government around the time of Kent State?

Shall we consider the UK and the IRA troubles as well? :D

Kaa

Kaa, you have glittery pink ponies for brains if you think that deploying armed amateur soldiers on a peacefull demonstration by students on a campus can be compared with trying to control a terrorist war.

George.
10-06-2009, 06:52 AM
Even in critical times like WWII, the civil war, the cold war and the military leaders knew that the outcomes would likely have great historical impact, you don't see it. This is actually very rare in world history. You could say it is also true for the major the English commonwealth nations, almost nowhere else.

Except for Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands... shall I go on?

John Smith
10-06-2009, 06:56 AM
it makes sense if one believes that the Gov't run plan will be subsidized by taxes
I find those two arguments diametrically opposed to each other.

If it would be inefficient, expensive, and provide poor coverage, it ought not be too hard to compete with.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 06:57 AM
national guard...the state's private army and not the federal army
Not any more. Look who got sent to Iraq.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 07:06 AM
Reds want a different kind of socialism, something truly full-blooded American, something that reflects and honors our national values -- you know, national socialism.
I don't know anyone who wants socialsim of that nature.

However, I also don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy those many things we have that have been provided by our government at various levels.

Certainly, you enjoy the interstates, and, although they were initially military in purpose, private industry enjoys shipping there goods on trucks that travel them. The hotel/motel industry has thrived because of them, as well as all those restaurants that are on them or near the exits.

GPS systems, satellite tv/radio, cell phones all are here today because the federal government invested in the space program.

National parks are lovely places to visit

My point is that if there were no socialistic vein in our country, we would not have the water supplies, the elecricity supply, the roads, the parks, public schools, and a whole bunch of other things that, I think, we take for granted, and forget they are provided by the government at one level or another. Many have been joint ventures of levels of government.

peb
10-06-2009, 07:11 AM
Except for Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands... shall I go on?
Germany, what about WWI. The generals pretty much took over the government.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 07:13 AM
You are right of course , in the context you mention :D.I have always been struck however by the huge growth in the US military and it's expenditures during the 20th century , from the earliest years pre WW1 to the present .It doesn't seem to have been a healthy development ,but you may disagree .
Military spending is a subject onto itself. Much of it's been very dumb spending; building weapons for the last war, rather than the next war. Also cost overruns that no one cared about

Until now: http://www.mccollum.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=725&Itemid=92

peb
10-06-2009, 07:14 AM
You are right of course , in the context you mention :D.I have always been struck however by the huge growth in the US military and it's expenditures during the 20th century , from the earliest years pre WW1 to the present .It doesn't seem to have been a healthy development ,but you may disagree .

Very much so. After WWI, the US military was pretty small. But most definitely it was a healthy development that the US military grew enough to help win WWII and to win the cold war. Seems indisputable to me.

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 07:19 AM
Except that now it seems an unproductive "socialist" drag on your economy , an expensive luxury with a will to live , grow and a mind of its own .

I was originally thinking of offering the period pre 1900 when the US had a remarkably small military compared to the bloated creations of the European powers .Nothing to skin off the fat from productive effort ...very different from now .You now have a very healthy leech on your arteries .

George.
10-06-2009, 07:25 AM
Germany, what about WWI. The generals pretty much took over the government.

Not that I know of - the Kaiser ran things till the end. Same in WW2 - Hitler intervened in strategy and tactics, and ran the show to the end - the generals who tried to topple him were all shot.

I believe military governments are only common in underdeveloped countries - Latin American, African, and tropical Asian lands, as well as places like Spain, Portugal, and Greece back when they were underdeveloped.

cookie
10-06-2009, 07:37 AM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:

bob winter
10-06-2009, 08:30 AM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:

Govenment involvement is a necessity of modern society. Things are way more complex than they were years ago and I personally think that any civilized state has a duty to protect its citizens and to enable their advancement. Hence my support in universal health care and my belief that a student should not have to graduate from university with a staggering debt load.

Canada, as you know, has universal health care but we don't have any sort of national prescription or dental plan. Prescriptions and dental work can be very expensive. In Ontario, where I live, seniors get most prescription drugs on a very reasonable basis bu that doesn't do a whole lot for somebody under the age of 65, unless they are on welfare.

I know of way too many university graduates starting off their working lives with staggering debt which just doesn't seem right to me.

I am not in favour of socialism in the sense that I believe the state should nationalize everything that moves but there does have to be some state involvement and imposition of control in certain areas.

Look at the delightful mess the US created for themselves when they deregualated the banking sector, etc.

cookie
10-06-2009, 09:23 AM
Govenment involvement is a necessity of modern society. Things are way more complex than they were years ago and I personally think that any civilized state has a duty to protect its citizens and to enable their advancement. Hence my support in universal health care and my belief that a student should not have to graduate from university with a staggering debt load........

I am not in favour of socialism in the sense that I believe the state should nationalize everything that moves but there does have to be some state involvement and imposition of control in certain areas.
Look at the delightful mess the US created for themselves when they deregualated the banking sector, etc.

Totally agree. In Europe we are used to governments having a tad more influence on our lives. Not that we like governments much though, we are just a bit less suspicious of governments than of corporations.

BTW, did you know that one of the fellows that really propagated deregulation of the energy sector in the 70's/80's also created the Enron mess. Ken Lay was his name.

Osborne Russell
10-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Red creature Sean Hannity (Fox News) was in California's central valley the other day standing up for the beleagured farmers on a live show, doing the call-and-response demand for the federal government to leave them alone.

California's central valley is lock, stock and barrel a federal creation. Every drop of water subsidized by taxpayers from Miami to Seattle.

Hey Phillip Allen, show me an instance of a national network of "the left" lying in this fashion.

Kaa
10-06-2009, 09:47 AM
Kaa, you have glittery pink ponies for brains if you think that deploying armed amateur soldiers on a peacefull demonstration by students on a campus can be compared with trying to control a terrorist war.

Oooh, glittering pink ponies.... :D

Eh, where were we? Oh, yes. Ahem, sorry.

Duncan made a general unqualified statement:


A government that uses military force upon its own populace is not a civilian one.

No mention of circumstances, no discussion of what can be justified and what not -- just a flat bald statement.

And as such, it is, of course, laughably false.

Of course, Duncan is also conflating a military government with a repressive one, but that's par for the course. He's also confused between the Nuremberg defense ("just following orders") and the nature of the power of the government, in particular whether the civilians or the military are in control.

Kaa

George.
10-06-2009, 09:53 AM
Oooh, glittering pink ponies.... :D



That's what drinking this crap will do to you. :D

http://bevwire.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/vitamin-water.jpg

Kaa
10-06-2009, 09:59 AM
That's what drinking this crap will do to you. :D

Think switching to caipirinhas will help? Or will that just swap glittering pink ponies for sparkling neon-green caymans? :D

Kaa

B_B
10-06-2009, 11:04 AM
I find those two arguments diametrically opposed to each other.

If it would be inefficient, expensive, and provide poor coverage, it ought not be too hard to compete with.
If, for a highly theoretical example, two co.s are competing, one spends 50% of gross income on costs and manages to make a profit, the other spends 500% of its income on costs it would soon go out of business.

Now if the second co. had a benefactor, say a billionaire willing to absorb losses in order to drive the competition out or a Federal Gov't willing to absorb losses in order to prove a point, then the second co. would keep on going.

Now if the second co. was spending 500% of its income because it had much, much lower premiums than the other, regardless of how efficient it was, then the first co. would likely have to follow suite, lower its premiums to keep and attract customers thus increasing the % of its income it pays for costs no matter how efficient it was run - at a certain level things can't get 'more efficient' all else being equal.

And if the first co. didn't have that wealthy benefactor (most investors don't like losing money) then it would close.

The argument against Gov't run insurance is that because there is no profit oriented investor, and there is a benefactor willing to absorb losses ad infinitum, that no matter how inefficient it is, no matter how efficient the private co.s are, they can't compete.

Someone else could probably say this much more succinctly than I :(

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:17 AM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:
That's the point that Moore keeps making. His religion taught him that we are judged by how we treat the least among us. Funny how the religious right has cherry picked from their beliefs to support there actions.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:18 AM
Red creature Sean Hannity (Fox News) was in California's central valley the other day standing up for the beleagured farmers on a live show, doing the call-and-response demand for the federal government to leave them alone.

California's central valley is lock, stock and barrel a federal creation. Every drop of water subsidized by taxpayers from Miami to Seattle.

Hey Phillip Allen, show me an instance of a national network of "the left" lying in this fashion.

Don't hold your breath.

Kaa
10-06-2009, 11:23 AM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:

There's a huge difference between helping fellow people and having a big government.

Kaa

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:24 AM
If, for a highly theoretical example, two co.s are competing, one spends 50% of gross income on costs and manages to make a profit, the other spends 500% of its income on costs it would soon go out of business.

Now if the second co. had a benefactor, say a billionaire willing to absorb losses in order to drive the competition out or a Federal Gov't willing to absorb losses in order to prove a point, then the second co. would keep on going.

Now if the second co. was spending 500% of its income because it had much, much lower premiums than the other, regardless of how efficient it was, then the first co. would likely have to follow suite, lower its premiums to keep and attract customers thus increasing the % of its income it pays for costs no matter how efficient it was run - at a certain level things can't get 'more efficient' all else being equal.

And if the first co. didn't have that wealthy benefactor (most investors don't like losing money) then it would close.

The argument against Gov't run insurance is that because there is no profit oriented investor, and there is a benefactor willing to absorb losses ad infinitum, that no matter how inefficient it is, no matter how efficient the private co.s are, they can't compete.

Someone else could probably say this much more succinctly than I :(

Medicare has substantially less overhead. It doesn't have to pay multi million dollar salaries. That means it spends less of its premium dollar on overhead and more on benefits. For profit insurance companies have to take their profit off the top and that leaves less of the premium dollar for benefits; less efficiency.

The mere fact that private companies don't want to compete FOR Medicare patients or with a public option should make you realize a public option is a good thing for the people.

The brutal truth is that we spend more than anyone else, yet get poorer results.

Kaa
10-06-2009, 11:31 AM
Medicare has substantially less overhead. It doesn't have to pay multi million dollar salaries. That means it spends less of its premium dollar on overhead and more on benefits. For profit insurance companies have to take their profit off the top and that leaves less of the premium dollar for benefits; less efficiency.

Hmm... your argument seems to work for all kinds of businesses. If government made TV sets, there would be no profit off the top and no multi-million dollar salaries, so TVs would be cheaper or better -- right?

Kaa

B_B
10-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Meanwhile, we are told by the right that a government run plan would be inefficient and costly. At the same time we are being told the private companies can't possibly compete with a government run plan.

Do those two arguments make any sense?

I was answering this question John. Don't go changing the reference points now :rolleyes:

let me clarify - I'm not a proponent of the position outlined.

I'm merely trying to outline their argument to help you understand it. Yer welcome. ;)

Peerie Maa
10-06-2009, 11:35 AM
Duncan made a general unqualified statement:

No mention of circumstances, no discussion of what can be justified and what not -- just a flat bald statement.

And as such, it is, of course, laughably false.



No not false, just in need of some qualification.
There are very few circumstances where any government, whether military junta or democratic civilian can justifiably use the military against its own population. Controlling the armed Protestant and IRA paramilitaries, and the Tamil Tiger insurgents are about the only cases that I can bring to mind.

On the "Neuremberg Defence" in the case of Kent County (I don't remember enough about Chicago to comment) both the authority who decided to send in the National Guard, and the Guardsmen themselves should have stood trial.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:37 AM
Hmm... your argument seems to work for all kinds of businesses. If government made TV sets, there would be no profit off the top and no multi-million dollar salaries, so TVs would be cheaper or better -- right?

Kaa

Not hardly. Insurance companies don't make anything. They provide a service. Although, if you've ever had to deal with an insurance company when you've suffered a loss, you'd likely not agree with that statement.

Medicare doesn't perform surgery. It's simply a means of providing payment to those who do.

That tv you mention, however, is shipped in a truck over publicly funded highways.

No one has proposed the government make anything. With a very few exceptions, the government doesn't make roads; it contracts with private firms to do the actual paving.

If you could get a lower interest rate from the government to finance a car, then the car would be cheaper to finance. If banks operated like insurance companies, then I might be looking for the government to do that to keep the private firms honest.

B_B
10-06-2009, 11:38 AM
The mere fact that private companies don't want to compete FOR Medicare patients or with a public option should make you realize a public option is a good thing for the people.

no, the fact that Private co.s don't want to compete against a competitor with unlimited budget, willing to absorb unlimited losses for an unlimited amount of time, should tell you that they are smart business folks looking out for themselves.

and why shouldn't they look out for themselves? They're a business - they should look out for themselves.

This is the only reason - Insurance Co.s are in it for themselves - why private insurance has no place in Health Care.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:39 AM
I was answering this question John. Don't go changing the reference points now :rolleyes:

let me clarify - I'm not a proponent of the position outlined.

I'm merely trying to outline their argument to help you understand it. Yer welcome. ;)
I'll try to behave.

I don't mulit task as well as I used to.

Kaa
10-06-2009, 11:41 AM
No not false, just in need of some qualification.
There are very few circumstances where any government, whether military junta or democratic civilian can justifiably use the military against its own population. Controlling the armed Protestant and IRA paramilitaries, and the Tamil Tiger insurgents are about the only cases that I can bring to mind.

The question wasn't when using the military against your own people is justified. The question was whether any government that used military against its population is a military government.

And I can bring to mind many more cases -- most civil wars, violent secession movements, Shining Path, etc. etc.

However, the question is becoming moot since the police is now heavily militarized and armed with heavy weapons...

http://blog.kir.com/archives/images/DallasSWAT800x600.jpg

Kaa

Kaa
10-06-2009, 11:45 AM
Not hardly. Insurance companies don't make anything. They provide a service.

That's irrelevant to your argument. You're saying that government can provide goods or services cheaper and more effectively because there's no profit and no oversized salaries. Is that what you are saying?

But let's even take insurance companies. Why not have government provide fire insurance? And auto insurance, and loss insurance, etc. etc.?


If you could get a lower interest rate from the government to finance a car, then the car would be cheaper to finance. If banks operated like insurance companies, then I might be looking for the government to do that to keep the private firms honest.

So, would you like the government to go into car financing? Do you want to the government to lend money competing with banks?

Kaa

John Smith
10-06-2009, 11:57 AM
no, the fact that Private co.s don't want to compete against a competitor with unlimited budget, willing to absorb unlimited losses for an unlimited amount of time, should tell you that they are smart business folks looking out for themselves.

and why shouldn't they look out for themselves? They're a business - they should look out for themselves.

This is the only reason - Insurance Co.s are in it for themselves - why private insurance has no place in Health Care.
I saw a piece a while back on how insurance companies avoided paying for damage done by Katrina. Some people were smart/lucky enough to latch onto a suit against State Farm, which they won.

Most were not so fortunate. Homeowner with hurricane insurance had claims denied because they had suffered "water damage". There was a bit more in the piece I saw, but that's the general idea.

I've had, and know many who've had, less than delightful experiences with car insurance. My daughter was hit by a car that was insured by the same company she was insured by. You'd think that would make things easy; it didn't.

I'm not sure any insurance should be "for profit" Imagine if we had to pay to insure the money we leave in our bank?

bobbys
10-06-2009, 12:02 PM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:.

Funny thing is when i have work to do i dont see anyone jumping up to come lend me a hand, In fact when i had a large crew and there wives or girlfriends got there Gov checks they would not show up for a week till it was gone, Never saw any Gov workers stay till midnight to button up a roof before a rainstorm or even stay 10 minutes after 4, Not saying i dont believe in Police or Fireman or road crews but The Bible also says he who does not work does not eat, If people have troubles i can understand but right now i know a hundred people that wont work, Whos going to check up on these people or is it all the Conservitives fault for not bringing them some cake and tea?

cookie
10-06-2009, 12:51 PM
That's the point that Moore keeps making. His religion taught him that we are judged by how we treat the least among us. Funny how the religious right has cherry picked from their beliefs to support there actions.

Moore as in Michael Moore?

George.
10-06-2009, 12:56 PM
Jesus was talking about voluntary charity. He was thinking Mother Theresa, not Robin Hood.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 01:00 PM
That's irrelevant to your argument. You're saying that government can provide goods or services cheaper and more effectively because there's no profit and no oversized salaries. Is that what you are saying?

But let's even take insurance companies. Why not have government provide fire insurance? And auto insurance, and loss insurance, etc. etc.?



So, would you like the government to go into car financing? Do you want to the government to lend money competing with banks?

Kaa
I'm saying that some things are not as well suited to "for profit" business.

My mom's Medicare worked a lot better than my federal employee Blue Cross.

John Smith
10-06-2009, 01:02 PM
Moore as in Michael Moore?
Yes, in his interviews over his new movie.

Kaa
10-06-2009, 01:07 PM
I'm saying that some things are not as well suited to "for profit" business.

Well, what things specifically and why do you think so..?

Do you think there are any drawbacks to have government run these "some things?"

Kaa

cookie
10-06-2009, 01:10 PM
.
.......Whos going to check up on these people or is it all the Conservitives fault for not bringing them some cake and tea?


He can explain things better than me.
http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=-782159081457451178&ei=dIPLSpHdGtef-AajmMy1AQ&q=krugman+paul&hl=nl

Oh, he's got a Nobel prize, so he ain't just another nutter. ;)

High C
10-06-2009, 02:13 PM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:

Ahh, an argument for integration of church and state. Interesting... ;)

It's incorrect to suggest that conservatives don't believe in helping their fellow people (couldn't bring yourself to use the word "man", could ya? :p ). Rather, conservatives look at what liberals have done to alleviate poverty and declare it the disaster it so clearly is. The prescription is for less, not more, of what has already gone wrong.

peb
10-06-2009, 02:47 PM
Ahh, an argument for integration of church and state. Interesting... ;)

It's incorrect to suggest that conservatives don't believe in helping their fellow people (couldn't bring yourself to use the word "man", could ya? :p ). Rather, conservatives look at what liberals have done to alleviate poverty and declare it the disaster it so clearly is. The prescription is for less, not more, of what has already gone wrong.

Modern liberals make the assumption that since conservatives do not support the idea of the state solving all of humanities problems, they are selfish and lack compassion. Cookie's post shows how it never crosses their mind that conservatives may just do quite a bit from a personal standpoint to help out. Or perhaps, they just try not to think about that because in contradicts their myopic view of the world.

Osborne Russell
10-06-2009, 02:55 PM
And if the first co. didn't have that wealthy benefactor (most investors don't like losing money) then it would close.

The argument against Gov't run insurance is that because there is no profit oriented investor, and there is a benefactor willing to absorb losses ad infinitum, that no matter how inefficient it is, no matter how efficient the private co.s are, they can't compete.(

The gov's greater ability to absord losses might well cause investment capital and credit to dry up for the non-gov-backed company long before the latter's product becomes uncompetitive in the market place. So they would be beaten financially before they were beaten in the market.

OTOH in the health insurance context especially, the gov-backed company will likely run into political trouble in trying to cut costs. Political trouble which the private company just doesn't have.

It seems to keep coming down to health insurance as a product vs. health care as a government service. They aren't entirely comparable.

If greater socialism were the goal than socialized medical care would obviously be a big step forward. Is it possible to have socialized medical care without socialism? Americans could profit by the studying the example of the furners, if they really wanted to learn something worth knowing.

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 04:38 PM
That's irrelevant to your argument. You're saying that government can provide goods or services cheaper and more effectively because there's no profit and no oversized salaries. Is that what you are saying?
I would depend on whether the criteria for success was the health of your population or the health of your insurance companies .

Gill
10-06-2009, 05:15 PM
When I hear conservatives use the word socialism as if it were a plague, I always have to think about the Bible and what is tought in the Gospels. I just can't understand how consrvative believers reconcile the selfishness and don't help your neighbour attitude they advocate with the things that are promoted in church.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the teachings of Jesus say one ought to help his fellow people. :confused:

Studies have shown that conservatives donate significantly more money, time and blood per capita than liberals. One study that I saw stated that although the conservatives in the study earned 6% less than the liberals, they gave 30% more in total dollars.
I also saw a television show that came up with similar findings. When interviewed, the conservatives stated that they felt it was their duty to help their fellow man. Is it possible that liberals give less because they expect the government to take care of things?

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 05:23 PM
Studies have shown that conservatives donate significantly more money, time and blood per capita than liberals. One study that I saw stated that although the conservatives in the study earned 6% less than the liberals, they gave 30% more in total dollars.
I also saw a television show that came up with similar findings. When interviewed, the conservatives stated that they felt it was their duty to help their fellow man. Is it possible that liberals give less because they expect the government to take care of things?
That would be the Australian position ,considerably less philanthropy from the wealthy , the middle and poor give generously but as a country we have organisedthings so no one is extrememly poor or has to do without health insurance .These things are covered by the society through the mechanism of government and taxation .No one misses out because they haven't fitted some philanthopist's view of deserving .

2MeterTroll
10-06-2009, 05:50 PM
.

Funny thing is when i have work to do i dont see anyone jumping up to come lend me a hand, In fact when i had a large crew and there wives or girlfriends got there Gov checks they would not show up for a week till it was gone, Never saw any Gov workers stay till midnight to button up a roof before a rainstorm or even stay 10 minutes after 4, Not saying i dont believe in Police or Fireman or road crews but The Bible also says he who does not work does not eat, If people have troubles i can understand but right now i know a hundred people that wont work, Whos going to check up on these people or is it all the Conservitives fault for not bringing them some cake and tea?

I find this pretty hard to believe Bobbys.
I have not seen many folks work this way. most folks continue to work in some form unless the benifit is taken away if they make to much per month. unemployment IIRC works this way. if you are paying a living wage you should not be having any problems keeping a crew but if you are not paying a living wage and you are claiming your employees on your taxes then the money they would normally get is cut and they cant make obligations.

this is the fallacy of the right.

the one time i was on UE i took a part time job and the benifit was cut over half. with the part time job and UE i could not make my bills. with three part time jobs i could not make my bills. but with the unemployment i could. What exactly is my motivation to keep showing up for the part time jobs?

So 12 hours of work every day could not pay me the equivalent of the insurance i paid for. it happens allot in this state.

When i hear repubs and libertarians flapping gums about how lazy the American work force is. I have to laugh, neither will pay a fair days wage for a fair days work with out being forced to do so.

Peerie Maa
10-06-2009, 06:01 PM
Studies have shown that conservatives donate significantly more money, time and blood per capita than liberals. One study that I saw stated that although the conservatives in the study earned 6% less than the liberals, they gave 30% more in total dollars.
I also saw a television show that came up with similar findings. When interviewed, the conservatives stated that they felt it was their duty to help their fellow man. Is it possible that liberals give less because they expect the government to take care of things?

Are you talking about donations in the form of charitable gifts of cash, or by some other means?

The relevance of my question is that I saw an interview with s wealthy church going southern philanthropist who stated that because his Bible gave him an injunction to be charitable he donated cash handouts. When challenged that by giving handouts he was keeping the poor in poverty, whereas by contributing to training schemes etc. he could be helping the poor climb out of poverty, he replied " the Bible says be charitable, so I'll continue with the cash handouts". To me it sounded that he new that his "charity" was doing more harm than good, but was happy to keep the poor poor.

Duncan Gibbs
10-06-2009, 06:50 PM
The question wasn't when using the military against your own people is justified. The question was whether any government that used military against its population is a military government.

The question was what happens to the principles of "of, for and by the people" when a government (State or Federal; who cares, so take your pick) uses its military against a group of unarmed civil protesters. I didn't say that it automatically becomes a military government. I did say, however, cease to be a civilian government. Perhaps the adjectives of 'repressive' or 'authoritarian' should be applied.

And so...


However, the question is becoming moot since the police is now heavily militarized and armed with heavy weapons...

On this point we can agree. Perhaps our good mate Mark Tylerdurden is correct with his general argument that it matters not a tinker's cuss which colour of politics inhabits the oval office, authority is surely and inexorably being centralised away from "of, for and by the people."

Gill
10-06-2009, 08:04 PM
Peerie Maa,

I am not sure of the nature of the contributions. However, in the television show I saw they did an experiment where they set up Salvation Army collection pots at their busiest locations in San Francisco and someplace in the heartland (South Dakota, a Walmart I believe). The S. Dakota location out collected SF two to one even though the foot traffic was considerably higher in SF and the passersby were more affluent. When interviewed, the people cited their religious beliefs as the primary influence for their donations. It was quite impressive, even though most earned modest incomes they donated considerable sums to charity often through payroll deductions.

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 08:14 PM
I used to collect for Save the Children .Young blokes with girlfiends in hand were very generous , without girlfriends you were ignored .City types in suits would NOT give a dollar , ever .The rest gave and surprisingly well ,I didn't poll political affiliation .

cookie
10-07-2009, 03:02 AM
Modern liberals make the assumption that since conservatives do not support the idea of the state solving all of humanities problems, they are selfish and lack compassion. Cookie's post shows how it never crosses their mind that conservatives may just do quite a bit from a personal standpoint to help out. Or perhaps, they just try not to think about that because in contradicts their myopic view of the world.

I don't think modern liberals believe that the state can solve all problems. I certainly don't.
If conservatives are helping out the less fortunate, that is great, but unfortunately I see and hear more about conservatives displaying and promoting selfish behaviour.
As for the myopic view, I think you underestimate the willingness of liberals to look at things objectively.

cookie
10-07-2009, 03:06 AM
Ahh, an argument for integration of church and state. Interesting... ;)

It's incorrect to suggest that conservatives don't believe in helping their fellow people (couldn't bring yourself to use the word "man", could ya? :p ).

What, no conservative women??? :confused:


Rather, conservatives look at what liberals have done to alleviate poverty and declare it the disaster it so clearly is. The prescription is for less, not more, of what has already gone wrong.

May I suggest you briefly listen to what Krugman says in the lecture I posted a link to. It kind of contradicts your statement. ;)