How The Socialist States Of America Fell Off The Wagoner

When Venezuelan Marxist crackpot despot Hugo Chavez decides to sack the CEO of PDVSA, the national petroleum company and his private cash cow, the world wags its finger and decries the power abuses of the totalitarian Socialist dictator. Direct intervention from a head of state to replace executives in a private corporation is a clear indication that the ghosts of Marx and Lenin are operating in that country, and it flies in the face of everything that democracy has stood for since the French and American Revolutions.

That sort of thing could never happen in the great bastion of freedom and individual liberty, the United States of America!

Well... er... it just did.

President Obama has essentially just fired Rick Wagoner, the CEO of General Motors, a public corporation traded on the stock market. The Constitutional right for the President to take this action is completely... well... er... non existent. The government of the United States of America does not have any jurisdiction over who runs a public corporation. None whatsoever. There is never a justification for an elected official to go to the CEO of General Motors or any other company, large or small, and tell them to resign.

That, my friends, is Communism. The command economy of the Socialist state is entirely subservient to the whims of the government of the time. They decree what will be produced, when it will be produced, how it will be distributed and how much it will cost. The entire basis of Free Enterprise is the diametric opposite of this repressive totalitarian pseudo-economic system which has failed 100% of the times it has been applied anywhere on Earth!

It is almost unbelievable to actually be able to state this, but I have lived to see what I thought I would never see in a hundred lifetimes. Socialism in the United States of America. Joe McCarthy must be spinning in his grave.

I can already hear the cries of the knee jerk liberals who state that if General Motors wants to take the government's billions in bailouts, then the politicians do have a right to determine who sits in their CEO's office.

That again, my friends, is completely wrong. The government of a democratic nation is fully within its rights to legislate tax breaks and other forms of revenue enhancing structures to assist various sectors of the private economy. Taxes are collected for public expenditures, not to be handed to corporations. Furthermore, no democratically elected government has the right to overrule the specified wishes of the stockholders of a corporation as to the makeup of the executive board.

When the White House decreed that they would start handing out billions of dollars in bailouts, Pandora's Box was opened and now it will be well nigh impossible to shut it once again. Bailouts to corporations in a free enterprise system, whether they are deemed “too big to fail” or not, are a blatant violation of every tenet that the United States of America was founded upon. America is not a socialist state and it must never become one. Yet it's happening right before our very eyes.

Generations of Americans have given their lives on the battlefield to protect the democratic rights and liberties of the nation. How can anyone sit idly by while the present Administration tramples all over those fundamental Constitutional tenets?

It is preferable by far to lose all of the jobs at General Motors, it is even preferable to lose the entire American automotive industry than to abandon the basic principles which have been at the heart of the United States of America since 1776. Americans would suffer some short term economic pains but they would recover and go on. However, if America abandons its steadfast dedication to the very core of democracy, there is nothing ahead for America but despair and the fall of the greatest nation of the modern age.

More by this Author


Comments 89 comments

eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

You make more sense than almost anybody from the US in the last 2 years.

Who voted this three ring circus in, anyway?

This is scary and stupid and the same time.

Raise the taxes on the rich so the lazy a***s on the bottom, who voted Obama will not have to work, and pull more wellfare. This is sickening. Then they wonder why corporations are leaving the U.S. Where will this stop?

Thanks for writing this hub.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Thank you very much for the exceptionally kind words. Yes, this whole thing really is scary and stupid. I really appreciate your comments.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"Socialism in the United States of America. Joe McCarthy must be spinning in his grave."

Good thing that the old bastard's doing something useful at last!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Ventilating his neighboring graves? :)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

that's the one!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I just read today about the resignation of the CEO of GM. Did not know it was strongarmed by Obama. WOW!!!

I must say that the world (America, at least) seems totally upside down right now. I am not in favor of any of these bailouts. Agree - Pandora's box is being opened.

Haven't seen you around HP in a bit, Hal. Hope you are well. MM


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

London Girl: Although I could certainly never agree with Sen. McCarthy's tactics, I do have to state that he was an albeit extreme representation of the general public view of the times. The USA felt that it was under threat of war with Soviet Communism, and that there were operatives within the nation itself committing treasonous acts to assist the Soviets in pre-emptively winning. History now shows us that the threats were not exactly as portrayed, but with the information available to the average American citizen of the age, it would have been difficult to arrive at a drastically different conclusion.

Mighty Mom, I'm just fine thanks. How are you? I've been writing quite a few Hubs lately and I'm rarely off the Hot and Best Hubs listings (patting myself on the back so hard that I dislocate my own shoulder...) :) What is happening with GM and the bailout situation in general is completely outrageous and a slap in the face to the founding fathers of the United States of America. This HAS to stop before there is no America left to save.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL Hal don't tell me you just realized this. I am screaming about The Great American Socialist Revolution on forums for more than a year probably :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Misha, as a survivor of the Great Soviet Mess I not only hail you, but wholeheartedly concede you the lead in this call to restoring the sanity of the people of the United States of America.

E'er the thieves will out with their booty [give up their booty]

And give to all a happier lot.

Each [those] at the forge must do their duty

And we'll strike while the iron is hot.

:)


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I'm trying to decide which is worse -- overstepping executive boundary to strong-arm a failing businessman to retire, or overstepping executive boundary and declaring war on Iraq? I'm having a little difficulty understanding your outrage. Socialism is not automatic when a failed businessman is forced to retire. I think it's a little more complicated than that, but then what do I know -- I'm Irish.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Hal,

Drafting legislation to increase the taxes on the AIG bonuses is ridiculous. Congress screwed up when they spent week after week grilling the auto industry and then didn't give them any money. At the same time, the 160 billion to AIG without even a handshake. We the people should be recalling Congressman to throw them on their swords.

The focus here shouldn't be on the ism's but on the slow and painful death of the middle class. The lower class doesn't pay taxes and the upper class has the IRC to minimize their taxes. The middle class doesn't have many options but just to pay and pay. As the tax burden increases the amount of money left for the middle class decreases causing them to slide into the lower class. Unfortunately they are not able to slide far enough into the lower class to stop paying taxes.

 


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Teresa McGurk: Of course engaging in an unjust war is a far greater crime than mishandling taxpayers' funds. However, we have to realize that the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief and has the Constitutional power to declare war. The nation is ruled by the tenets outlined in the Constitution and there is absolutely nothing in there about interference in the affairs of a private corporation outside of general taxation policy.

issues veritas: I have stated in the past that this is a fully bipartisan issue and thus both GOP and Democrats need to be thrown on something even more raggedly injurious than swords. Your comment about the disappearance of the middle class is actually an ism, as it does fall into the purview of Communist policy. Under totalitarian socialism, there is a highly privileged and moneyed ruling class which lives in opulent luxury and the rest of the population slaves away under hopeless situations at a barely above minimal survival rate. The elimination of the middle class actually is a primary step in America's tragic slide to socialism.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

"The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (Pub.L. 93-148) limits the power of the President to wage war without the approval of the Congress." This is confusing, though, as I've read conflicting information on the issue (and I'm quoting Wikipedia, something I don't usually like to do). Of course the president is commander in chief. And of course there is nothing in the Constitution about interference in a private corporation. l suppose that means, though, that the company should not receive any bail out money, as this is interference with the business? (Ooh, I do love a good argument!) $39bn and counting.

The situation you describe in your response to Issues Veritas above sounds more like feudalism than socialism. Either way, I couldn't agree more with the sentiment: the disappearance of a middle class in America is a result of this fast slide into recession. But Socialism? Where?


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

"There is never a justification for an elected official to go to the CEO of General Motors or any other company, large or small, and tell them to resign. That, my friends, is Communism." Erm -- no, it isn't.


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

This is so disgusting! While it was obviously coming, it is infuriating and oppressing. The government needs to get out of private enterprise. Delete itself back down to the constitutional perimeters. Tell special interest groups to sell it on a free market -- without government funding, and let the states rule themselves.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Teresa McGurk: WPP 1973 limits but does not eliminate the power of the President. There are still many scenarios envisioned where the Prez can get out of bed on the wrong side, and decide to wipe out a country in the next ten minutes and nothing can stop him. As for the interference in corporate boardrooms, we have to look at the type of socio-economic system that the founding fathers established and almost two and a half centuries of legislative and judicial precedent has developed. Just like pirating software or creating computer viruses or flying jetliners into skyscrapers, the founding fathers could not specifically outline every possible future micro-application of their basic tenets, as that is the job of the judicial and legislative branches. What is present in those tenets is that historically the USA is a fully free enterprise nation, likely the one country in the world that is dedicated to that concept the most. That is the exact opposite of socialism - communism where the activities of businesses are managed and ordered from the executive branch. You can't have "just a little" socialism just like you can't be "just a little bit" pregnant. You either allow the wisdom of the market dynamic determine which companies succeed and which ones do not, or you start propping up this company and that company with funds the taxpayers have NOT given you for THAT purpose and then start doing the job that you are not equipped to do. Politicians have no background, training, skills, or experience in corporate affairs, and they have no more right to sit in the CEO chair of General Motors than I do. Therefore, the current activities of the White House are clearly socialist, and anathema to everything the USA stands for.

Christa Dovel: You are embodying the essence of free enterprise, and what was once known as The American Way. Look at how the markets that the White House is trying to save have just reacted to the news that the government is firing CEOs. Down almost 250 points at opening. This is getting uglier by the minute.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Hal

I agree, but my point on the ism is refer to the middle class without bringing in any of the old debates like socialism or as you mention totalitarian socialism. The average person doesn't understand these concepts and most of the people have a preconception of what these words mean. Then the endless debates short circuit the actual problem solving on the threat to the middle class. It is like your hub on the Apple using the word Terroni. I had no understanding or knowledge of that word. It was understandable once you explained it in your hub.

Catchy inflammatory words are rarely interpreted exactly the same by different people, and that may even include the term "middle class". We can agree that there is a middle class but not everyone defines its boundaries the same. So my point is that adding an ism to the debate is even more confusing.

Just my opinion...


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Hey, Hal: then by your definition, the UK is a Communist country? Also, the term "socialist" is a relative term, not an absolute; although the pregnancy analogy is engaging, it is not valid.

I guess what is so interesting about your argument is the extent of your fear of change to the current system. It isn't working as it is: why not try something different? This free market turns out not to have been free, after all: it has built a shoddy framework of private enterprises that have failed shareholders and the general public alike. If the government is forced to spend billions of dollars to rescue these failures, these failed industries, companies, and corporations, as well as the banks, then the government is administering aid, not imposing socialist dictates. If the free market is the most colossal failure in the history of America, then why complain at the means necessary to supply emergency aid? I'm just wondering.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Teresa, I have seen first hand in Venezuela how creeping socialism ends up slowly turning an entire nation inside out. I was there during the amazing double coup d'etat of 2002 and saw the polarization with my own eyes. When Chavez was first elected, no one suspected him of being anything but a centrist. It turned out that he has turned his nation into a Cuban clone. I don't fear change, I fear the historical reprecussions of introducing socialist policies to the last country in the world I would have expected to turn hard left. Socialism has always failed, every single time that it has been introduced into each country. It has invariably left its people impoverished and retarded the progress of the nation by decades.

The free market is undergoing a correction due to the failure of the previous Administration to note that CRIMINAL acts were being committed in corporate HQs. The government is FULLY WITHIN ITS RIGHTS to prosecute CRIMINAL acts, and didn't. Bush was asleep at the switch. It has nothing to do with the concept of free enterprise.

When I buy a share in XYZ Corporation, I am then part owner of that company. I can attend a shareholder's meeting and have my voice heard as to the makeup of the Executive, etc. When I pay my taxes, I am contributing my funds towards the running and maintenance of the national public infrastructure. That is free enterprise which is the essence of capitalism. In socialism, your taxes go towards running businesses which produce shoddy overpriced products consumers don't want. Does that sound familiar? :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL Yes, Teresa, UK is pretty much a socialist country. Sweden probably even more, and the flagship till recent times was Iceland. Why nobody is talking about Iceland exemplary system anymore? Because it failed spectacularly, as all other heavy socialist states...

And yes, I think Hal's analogy with pregnancy is not too good, you can have more or less socialism. The more you have, the more you eat up from your kids and grandkids cake.

 


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Excellent analogy on the kids and grandkids cake. Can anyone in their right mind tell me how our children are going to pay off a $15 trillion current national debt? Even if we don't increase it at all (and that's not damn likely) and allow for only a 3% interest rate, that debt will be $24 trillion in 20 years, which works out to about $220,000 per every taxpayer in the United States. Can most people afford to pay nearly a quarter million dollars in tax? I know I sure as hell can't. So what happens then? If anyone thinks that GM going under would mess up the US economy, imagine what happens when every taxpayer facing a quarter million dollar liability! Good luck! :(


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hal, I agree with you about everything, except this part: "The government of a democratic nation is fully within its rights to legislate tax breaks and other forms of revenue enhancing structures to assist various sectors of the private economy."

Tax breaks for some, and not for others, to enhance the revenues of some, and not others, is also a form of socialism. It is a violation of the rights of some for the benefit of others.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I thoroughly agree that Communist states are bound to fail. Countries with mixed markets (that you term Socialist) are open to failure. But not even the last administration (who were harbingers of stupidity and malicious acts of war) can be held responsible for the current economic woes of the US (much as I would like to be able to blame them). If the current situation could be fixed by prosecuting a couple of CEO's that would indeed be the most valid approach. But that just isn't the case -- there is such a morass of unfulfilled market expectations, that obscenely huge amounts of money are now disappearing down sinkholes of bad corporate management. You make it sound as if the economy can be fixed by slapping a couple of people on the wrist. You say that Socialism "has invariably left its people impoverished and retarded the progress of the nation by decades." And the current situation hasn't?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Aya Katz, granted, but keep in mind that if, say, the US government passes a "junker trade in incentive" it benefits the ENTIRE domestic auto industry, including Ford which has not received a dime so far. That is the historically acceptable free market legislative way to encourage development in an industry. Democratic governments don't cherrypick particular individual corporations to benefit, they should benefit an entire industry segment, and let free and unfettered competition determine the winners and the losers. After all, does anyone believe that if GM and Chrysler disappeared tomorrow their sales would vaporize? Of course not! The person who was in the market for a Chevy Malibu or Chrysler 300 would end up buying a Ford Focus or American made Toyota Camry. Many of the workers who lost their GM and Chrysler jobs would find new ones at the new manufacturers. So don't buy the sad sack tale about millions of unemployed! People will always need cars. They just don't specifically need GM or Chrysler cars. GM and Chrysler are failing because their products and management was not as in tune with the changing tastes of America as Ford! What should we do, end up giving the losers in the Olympics gold medals too from now on? You compete, you win, you gain. You compete, you lose, you're OUT! That is free enterprise.

Teresa McGurk, I appreciate your comments and your viewpoints, but I couldn't disagree more about the responsibility of the Bush Administration. They presided over a HUGE SEC etc. bureaucracy for eight years whose only reason to exist is to prevent the country from falling into the chaos it's now in. I can point out to hundreds of early warning signs on subprime disasters going back to 2004. Nobody paid any attention then and we're all paying the price now. Should Bush/Cheney be prosecuted for criminal negligence leading to treason? There COULD be evidence to support that. If you think that America has been impoverished now, just stroll down the streets of Havana or Pyongyang. Communism - socialism is a grim joke which devastates nations. I have relatives in socialist Venezuela, the richest oil producing country in South America, who can't find soap, or beans, or milk on any given day. Their standard of living has dropped immeasurably since the election of the Marxist dictator. So don't think that we're bad off now... there's a whole lot further we can fall! :(


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Hal...Cogent comments which I can only heartily endorse...

When a government fails to enforce its own laws and regulations, greed and theft will occur in the marketplace...human nature...what you allow is what you teach....

Its beyond me why government would allow ANY organization to become so large, so intertwined with domestic economic dependence, that they cannot be allowed to fail because of the presumed resultant disruption to the economy....

We don't need change...we need to have our laws enforced and prosecuted by politically independent agencies that are not controlled or influenced by political hacks such as Dodd, Frank, and Murtha...


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

maven101, all I can say is RIGHT ON, and thank you very much for your comments.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL I think we need to agree on terms first, or we are going to end up in a total mess instead of intelligent discussion :)

Let me start. To me socialism equals direct government involvement with economy. You can have more or less of this, and the more you have, the less efficient overall country economy is. And yes, healthcare is a part of economy, too, and bailouts equal nationalization...

Taxes and incentives are a kind of a gray area for me, I did not classify them completely in those terms yet, but as of now I feel they do relate to direct involvement, albeit in a different manner then nationalization...


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Misha, RIGHT ON to you as well, and thanks for the clear definition. As for taxes, there are volumes of legislation which unequivocally state that taxes are collected by the government for national infrastructure, defense, services and other public expenditures. Not to override the choices of the free market and hand out trillions of dollars to private corporations to reward them for their incompetence.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

so we're left with a compromise. I love your take on the Bush presidency, and agree with John Stewart's characterization of Dick Cheney as Darth Vader -- but not as a joke, as a chilling reality: a man who did what he pleased without restriction or fear of recrimination.

The "socialist" tendencies in the UK are not the ones failing as miserably as the free market enterprises at the moment. I dont' think the US could ever become like Venezuela, but then, I never thought America could sit by and let Bush get away with his actions, either.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America

Thanks for writing this one! I've bookmarked it.

How about the plans that have been discussed since the 1990s to require people to work until age 75 and also be denied all healthcare past age 70? I heard about these two while studying among medical folks linked with NIH.  


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

-- and now my brain hurts. There's nothing like a good discussion to let me realize I don't know jack---- about how the economy actually functions. And at this point, I dont' really think I want to know!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Teresa McGurk: Bush and Cheney will assuredly get off scotfree and go on to have libraries and roads named after them. They will most likely never have to face justice for their financial negligence crimes and the murder of thousands of innocent Afghanis and Iraqis. As for the UK example, direct government intervention can actually have beneficial effects in the extreme short run. It's after the "stimulus" wears off that the problem exists: Instead of having a vibrant, competitive market, you have rewarded mismanagement, making it the norm. When I was visiting Venezuela about a decade ago, it was a phenomenally prosperous, ordered, civil nation. It was unthinkable then that it could end up in such a short time in such dire straits too. I believe that especially at times like this, it would behoove all citizens to educate themselves on the dynamics of socio-economics as it would shape their views on the politics of their nations. People today shouldn't rely on soundbites and banner headlines as they are almost always misleading.

Patty Inglish: Thanks for your comments. There is no doubt that the current medical care system is a dead end as it any form of Medicare is entirely nonfunded now, let alone in the future. Health care is a huge portion of the national deficit and growing daily.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hal, people may or may not always need cars in the future. It is certainly not true that people have always needed them in the past. One would have to have a very short memory indeed to forget that cars have only recently been invented, and that before their invention, nobody "needed" them. Besides car manufacturers, auto workers, auto industry execs, and people who own cars, there are other people in this country. Why subsidize one industry and one set of workers and consumers at the expense of another? I say, keep government out of the economy, period. Then we'll see how many cars -- or any other product -- people really want, need and are able to pay for.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Aya Katz, your opinion is clearly in the Free Enterprise realm, and I wholeheartedly agree. I was making the point that in the current age, democratic governments regularly intervene to benefit specific industry niches, such as solar power, or wind energy, etc. etc. etc. They don't pick out one specific corporation and hand it billions. That's not the way Enterprise stays Free.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Yep Aya, and that is exactly why I tend to think that taxes and incetives ARE a direct government involvement in economy...


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hal, Misha, looks like we're in agreement. Now, if we could only convince everybody else!


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

We can't Aya. We can only have our opinion available to those who are ready to comprehend it, that's the best we can shoot for :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Join the HalMishAya Party! Demand immediate federal elections now! To save the USA Vote HalMishAya! :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

ummm, elections or erections? ;)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

You take the former, I'll take the latter... especially if she's in her early 20s, blonde, and buxom...

Now that we've totally debased ourselves... let's talk about bailouts! :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL where Kika gone? Don't remember seeing her around lately...


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Dang... I dunno! Last I heard Kika was "caught between two lovers, feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking all the rules..."

And I know I wasn't one of them. :(

So... how 'bout them Bailouts? :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL good for her. I hope she is having fun :)

And what about bailouts? I thought we were clear on them - this is nationalization. Are you going to argue against this? :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Nah. I'm just trying to keep the thread on track. Bailouts to automakers are nationalization in every possible respect. It's the same incredible socialistic nonsense that has been placidly swallowed by the left leaning media when it comes to the well over one trillion dollars "handed to banks so that they will lend it." If you are running a government and want your citizens to have access to more money, you CUT TAXES. You don't give THEIR money to a PRIVATE PROFIT MAKING ORGANIZATION in the STUPID HOPE that they will actually lend it out. As we've seen, credit is still just as frozen as ever, and the trillion plus bucks has ended up in the coffers of the owners of the banks, who are smiling broadly and exclaiming: "Thanks SUCKERS!"


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Ramen to that :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Ramen is just about all Americans are going to be able to eat when the effects of this profilgate wasting of the patrimony of the nation is over. :(

This just in from CNN.com:

"The New Warrantee Commitment Program, which will be funded with a mix of taxpayer and manufacturer money, will backstop all warranties issued on new GM (GM, Fortune 500) or Chrysler vehicles. The guarantees will be available on warranties issued by the participating American automakers during the period in which the government is overseeing the companies' restructuring. The automakers and Treasury Department will combine funds to cover 125% of the anticipated warranty costs. GM and Chrysler will pay in 15% of the projected cost to satisfy the anticipated warranty claims, and the Treasury Department will kick in an additional 110%. "

So let me get this straight. When my con rod breaks and blows out the head off my Chevy because GM was cutting corners on the assembly line, I get a new $6000 engine from THE TAXPAYER? Holy crap, boys and girls. Not even STALIN did that! :(


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Ok, guys, you're gaining a convert. I am wary of the knee-jerk reaction of calling everything "socialism" when it just happens to be "not what we're used to" and the only fiscal remedy available, but I agree that giving the lenders the money instead of the borrowers is wrong headed, and giving failed industries the money instead of investing in the future is wrong headed; indeed, when I think that the Clinton administration ended their term of office with a budget surplus, I feel ill. It is indeed stealing mony from future generations to rack up such an incredible deficit.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I trust you will be sending in your $10 application fee for your HalMishAya Party Card? :)

There is no doubt that whatever anyone may think about his adulterous escapades, Bill Clinton left this country in immeasurably better shape than George W. Bush did. And unfortunately President Obama seems to be putting out the fire with gasoline, as his unprecedented massive taxpayer money spending policies are clearly proving that the accusations made during the election were a little too close for comfort, and that he is fundamentally a socialist:

- In 1996 he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America.

- In 1996 he addressed a gathering of Young Democratic Socialists at the University of Chicago. 

- In 2006, Obama campaigned for openly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Furthermore, his long association with convicted Weathermen (Communist Terrorist Group) co-founder William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn is well documented as the fact that he knowingly and persistently funded an educational project that shared the extremist and anti-American philosophy of Jeremiah Wright.

We're in BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG trouble here, folks.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

I don't recall Clinton having to fund a full out war...maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me it takes a lot of bucks to engage in a full-out war, whether you think it was just or not...

I'm already tired of Obama's buck passing... He signed up for the job, quit your bitchin', and get on with it...

BTW, why isn't Obama visiting the totally devastated area around Fargo, ND...? A red state that didn't vote for him.. Rugged individualism too much for him..? Where is FEMA, the house trailers, the government handouts..? Those folks don't need 'em...they help each other through their churches, fraternal orgs, and neighbors....thousands without homes, shelter, or food are not crying victim, woe is me...they are working together as Americans to get over this huge natural disaster, with sweat, neighborly love, and strength of character....something Obama never learned about in Chicago....


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

maven 101, you're absolutely right as recent estimates of the cost of the Iraqi and Afghani wars exceed $3 trillion or $27,000 per taxpayer. I find his total silence on Fargo also quite puzzling. :(

Just for the record, I'm Canadian, thus am not a Republican nor a Democrat. I'm calling them as I see them and what I see is that both parties are guilty of massive criminal mismanagement of the very economic lifeblood of America.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

I must agree with you again, Hal....Both parties are to blame, although the Dems control both houses of Congress and the Executive...soon, I fear, they will control the third branch of government as well, the Judiciary...when that happens I believe we may see the start of the partitioning of the US as we know it....some powerful state, such as Texas or California, may say enough is enough, and declare states rights as a prerogative to the Union....Interestingly, I have just finished reading " April, 1865..The month that saved the Union "...Very interesting parallels between then and now...


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Most definitely. As it seems that a California state bankruptcy may well be inevitable, when the citizens of the Golden State realize that there isn't enough money left in the Federal Treasury's coffers to keep their state running, it is possible that separationist passions could be fanned. We are certainly "living in interesting times." May God have mercy on us all.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Maven,

Texas maybe but never California.

California is leading the country and blazing the trail of its current direction.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Astray you mean?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I never thought The Terminator was going to Terminate the United States Of America! :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL that's a good one :)


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Misha has a point...indeed. astray...However, Issues, I am also from California, SF Bay Area, and I can tell you there are plenty of folks of my ilk and disposition that will not let this stand...I think you are underestimating the conservative and moderate majority of California....My adopted state of Arizona has a saying; Don't Californicate Arizona !!!..


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

It's the edge of the world

And all of western civilization

The sun may rise in the East

At least it settles in a fun location

It's understood that Hollywood sells Californication

:)

Having lived in LA for an inordinate amount of time, I am well acquainted with the conservative tendency of much of its population. Let's pray that their adherence to free market ideologies can help save their beautiful state from ruin!


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Hal, do you write these verses yourself?


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Love the prose !!

I am an unrepentant optimist when it comes to American values and judgment...I firmly believe we will work this out and emerge a stronger, healthier, and more just society when all is said and done...We are a strong and fiercely independent people as a whole...We bend like a palm tree in the hurricane, and still snap back after the storm...As a working man all my life, and I have worked many different challenges, I know where the American heart lies...it lies with a unique kinship forged by hard war, shared tribulations, honor preserved in many different conflicts, and an abiding love of country, the best ever conceived by man....

So have heart, Hal. We, the American people will prevail, with justice and honor, with duty and pride, with the immortal writs of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin to guide us through a turbulent 21st century...


eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

1st the banks, 2nd the auto industry. What next, oil, coal, electricity?

He has said and shown on video that he was going to bankrupt the coal industry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMwBbl6RoIs

Keep on hubbing.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Actually, Misha and maven101, I'd like to take credit for it, but that's from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. :)

Wow, maven101, that was a truly stirring, beautiful and honorable statement. As a long time American patriot (who happens to have never had US citizenship), I am profoundly moved. Thank you for that.

eovery, that video is certainly hair-raising. Thank you very much for bringing that into the discussion. The video definitely does reveal how firmly Obama believes in not only nationalization, but direct government manipulation of entire industries. Nothing like this has been heard in the world since the Fall of the Berlin Wall. This is damn scary stuff.


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

I wouldn't cosider it an unmitigated disaster if the United States of America went social (though there is only a very remote possibility of this happening :-) ).

Socialism is an idea of a humane society where everyone is genuinely equal and the resources of the society are used in such a way as to benefit the entire society.

It is the next stage of social development after capitalism.

Capitalism is not desirable because it focuses on making money to the exclusion of everything else. Money is only a means, a resource that has to be used to achieve higher social goals. But capitalism will have none of that. It goes on concentrating wealth and applying it to the generation of more wealth.

Wealth generation becomes the one and only goal under capitalism.

So if the current crisis leads America out of the clutches of this inexorable wealth generation treadmill that is capitalism and makes it focus on the more pressing problems of humanity such as widespread hunger, malnutrition, illhealth, illiteracy and a whole litancy of other problems including global warming, the ozone crisis, et all, then it will be an unmitigated blessing.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Wow, what a set of marxist cliches! Do yourself a favor, open a dictionary and read the definition of socialism. :) To save you some work you can start here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/socialism


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Julaha: I can only add my profoundly heartfelt 100% seal of approval to Misha's comment to you. You are typical of the people who experience socialism only from the sterile confines of a book. I lay down the gauntlet to you and to any other of your skewed ilk: Provide the verifiable statistics to show that just one nation in the world benefited its population and GDP through the application of socialism - communism to a greater degree than it would have under a free market system. Since you can't provide that substantiation because IT DOESN'T EXIST, then go educate yourself before you engage in discourse on the subject.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Juhala, capitalism and socialism are both based on a surplus that is held by entities who are not the individuals who generated the surplus.

Free enterprise is the system where individuals make decisions about their own lives and their own preferences.

Society is composed of individuals and is not homogenous. The needs of one person are not identical to those of another. Centralized decisions lead to misery and lowered productivity, because we are primates, not insects.

Socialism works well for bees, though.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Aya, you don't get a BEE for that, you get an A PLUS! :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Thanks, Hal!


issues veritas 7 years ago

Maven

California has not improved in 30 years and their current direction is more of the same. Twenty six years under Willie Brown shows you the heart and soul of California. The California State Legislature, California Governor, California Federal House of Representatives and Senate are all together in their mindset for California.

California has a great geography and climate but it comes at a political price. It is like the curse of the Klopman Diamond, it comes with Mr. Klopman.  So any women that likes the beauty of the Klopman Diamond has to take it with the caveat of Mr. Klopman.

I have no sense of optimism, that California will change for the better. I would really like to see some indicators that can support optimism.


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

After the Great Depression of 1920s, Keynes drafted in a lot of ideas from socialism and pulled America from the depths of depression by making massive public spending, which is very similiar to socialistic planning.

The welfare system that most people in the West take for granted, has been possible only because of the fear of their societies turning to socialism-communism because of capitalistic exploitation of their masses.

What the capitalists did was to throw some crumbs from the vast amounts they were earning to the general populace to keep them happy and engaged in a blizerkrieg of disinformation about socialism-communism. You people seem to have taken in the propaganda seriously.

How about reading the books by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao for yourself and deciding about what exactly is socialism and communism? They are all available on the net.

Even in the current crisis, the Western governments are taking pages out of the socialism book in trying to save large corporations to avoid large-scale misery.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Julaha, there is no doubt that we have had a sort of socialist state here in the US since the great depression and Roosevelt's New Deal. Some of us think the new deal was a bad idea, and that it did not result in greater prosperity or greater freedom than was experienced before its introduction. We lost the gold standard. We had to shoulder the burden of income tax. We had to pay social security taxes, which are specifically designed to be a tax on the poor.

In nature, there are good seasons and bad seasons, fat years and lean years. There is no reason to reform one's social structure during a lean year, because the fat year is just around the corner. But if such reforms are put into effect that try to guarantee no market fluctuations, then this will inevitably lead to an even greater collapse.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

As for the books by communism founders - I remember quite a bit from them by heart, cause I had to learn them by heart in school, at the times when you probably was not even born :)


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

Misha, I am probably as old as you. I am 46, and you don' look any older in your photo.

Age has nothing to do with it. The question is about evaluating the worth of an idea for yourself and not being blown away by what you are told day in and day out by the media. The media is controlled by forces over which none of us have any influence. But in a free society like the USA, you always have the option of studying the basic texts. Why don't you exercise it.

As for free-trade, take the case of USA's predecessor, the British Empire. At the time it arrived in India, India was way ahead of it in technology and trade, and India was running a trade surplus with Britian of god knows how many million pounds.

Having gained controll of India, Britain systematically destroyed the local industry leading to famines that killed millions and when Indian industry had been raised to the ground, Britain went free-trade.

Similarly, in its moments of crisis in the present times, USA is turning protectionist, banning goods from China and other countries, and import of labour from outside, forgetting that it is a nation built largely by immigrants.

So is USA a free-trade supporting country or a protectionsist?

It seems, countries play by self interest, and good ideas whether socialism or Keyneism, mean little to them. And the self interest is always of those people who have money.

So this debate is pointless.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

I stand corrected then. :) Yes, I am 49, and the first 40 years of my life I lived in the USSR, knowing socialism not only by the book, but also by experience. And the last almost ten years I live in the USA, again knowing what is going on here by personal experience.

If you knew me better, you would know that all my opinions are not the product of mass media, but quite the contrary, the product of long own observations, reading, and thoughts. If I did not think something through, I don't have an opinion on it.

No, the USA is not a free society, it is a totalitarian state. No, USA do not have free markets. As for Britain and India - I don't know enough details, so I can't comment on your statement.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Wow. You guys have been busy. I'm just running out for some errands but I'll be back soon and I assure you that this debate will be anything but pointless. BRB! :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Julaha, I, too, am not familiar with the industrial situation in India prior to the advent of the British. If what you say is correct, then perhaps that was Britain's purpose, as a colonial power. If they were out to exploit India, what has this to do with what Americans have done to themselves?

Self-interest is operative in all people, not just those who are rich. A system that allows each of us to determine our own best interest is better than one in which someone else decides for us.


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

Misha, I must say, you have impeccable credentials.

But what happened in USSR has nothing to do with socialism.

USSR got into an arms race with the USA and exhausted itself of resources.

USA offered it loans, and gained control of the economy, and with a bit of help from Gorbachov, imploded the Soviet Union.

Socialism was a great success in Russia in the initial ten or so years after the revolution of 1917 when great minds like Lenin and Stalin (in his earlier years) were leading that nation.

A poor agrarian country like Russia, which was industrially backward under the Tsars, not only emerged as the most industrialised nation of the world in a short span of time, but also defeated fascist forces such as those of Hitler, in World War II.

Don't forget, the other capitalist countries like Britian and France were egging on Germany to take on Soviet Russia, so much for their morals.

It was the rise of Soviet Russia and the decisive victory that it achieved in World War II that paved the way for the emancipation of the colonies.

So don't give up on socialism because of USSR, or even the capitlalisation of China.

Socialism is basically an idea about a just society, where you don't have people rolling in money with everything money can buy at their disposal on the one hand, and misery on the other.

In today's world, we don't see such contrast within the capitalistic countries, because it has been externalised to the coutries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. We still have the rich and the poor in the world, and as so long as we have them, socialism and communism will have a place under the sun.


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

Aya Katz, the British always claimed that they were on a civilizational mission in India and were promoting free-trade, but that was of course a facade, and the real intentions were as you say, colonial exploitation of the wealth of India.

The point I am making is that capitalism lends itself to such naked exploitation of people, communities and nations, because the ultimate goal is the generation of wealth, and people are incidental.

Socialism on the other hand, places people at the centre of things, and uses the wealth they generate to promote their welfare.

Implementing socialism is not an easy project as the eventual failure in USSR illustrates, but it is an enterprise worth trying again and again unitl we succeed.

Which is why I said in my first post that if the current financial crisis pushes USA a little closer to socialism, it won't be a bad thing at all.

The needs of humanity are many and resources few. So we always have to make choices about how we spend that money.

Capitalism will spend it on weaponry, warfare (look at the war in Iraq), factories, expensive cities, entertainment industry, cars, and other luxury items, and deploy the resources in earning more and more profit. Look at the large corporations that have become larger than governments.

All the wealth of humanity is getting concentrated with them and they don't use it for the welfare of humanity or even to meet the basic needs of humanity. That is why we have hunger in Africa and India, illiteracy, malaria, TB and a host of other problems in every part of the globe, while we have resources several times over to remove them from the face of the earth in a matter of a few years.

But under capitalism, resources won't be deployed to fight malaria, or ensure that every human child in the world goes to sleep on a full belly, but in building weapons of mass destruction, war and other such pointless expenses.

Socialism gives us a different yardstick to determine how we spend our resources. We decide keeping in mind what humans need, not what the rich capitalists need.

It gives a whole new vision about humanity. It doesn't divide humanity into the rich and the poor, the white and the black, the Arab and the American, and so on. It unites people, and focuses their energies and resources to fight real problems of humanity - which are still hunger, illiteracy, lack of housing, diseases, and so on.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Julaha, you write: "Socialism on the other hand, places people at the centre of things, and uses the wealth they generate to work for their welfare."

Why can't people just keep what they make? Why do other people have to take it and use it on their behalf?


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

Aya Katz: If you live in a society, society provides certain services to you, such as security, education for your children, care for you when you become sick or old, and so on. It does all this by taking a bit out of your earnings. That is your contribution to the existence of society.

Society can't be there without you, and you can't be there without society. So it is a symbiotic relationship that benefits both.

But in most societies, things are not that simple. Some sections by use of force, deceity, or devilry, start appropriating the wealth of others and accumulate so much of it over time that they turn into capitalists. They use their wealth to earn more wealth, and society and individuals become irrelevant for them. Earning money is all that matters. That is why capitalism is evil. It transcends and engulfs society and individuals.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Julaha, I am sure that from your own experiences you know that when someone says he is acting on your behalf, it isn't necessarily so. For instance, Britain, as you said, claimed to be "civilizing" India, when in fact it was intent on destroying the civilization that was already there and trying to replace it with its own language, culture and religion.

By the same token, almost every government that takes our money, which we could be using to educate and feed our children and save for retirement, and tells us the money is being used for "our own good", is lying. Social security funds were taken from people and given to other people. They were not saved in an account earmarked for the person who paid them. It is so with every such tax. If a bank did this -- and they have -- it would be called embezzlement. If a highway robber did it, it would be called theft. When government does it, it's called socialism.

A government that thinks it knows better than each citizen how to provide for that citizen's future with his earnings is patronizing at best -- and in most cases, also completely dishonest.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

Well said, Aya...I, for one, refuse to be subordinate to anyone or any government. I'll pay my expected taxes, I'll obey all reasonable laws, beyond that I will not allow anyone to control my life, my individual rights, my freedom to think, my freedom to prosper.

Ayn Rand has said " Free minds, free marketplace, these are the engines of human advancement ". Socialism stifles and subordinates the individual to the State. The government is supposed to protect the minority against the tyranny of the majority. As an individual, I am the smallest minority, a minority of one. If government cannot protect my rights as an individual why should I support such a government..?


Julaha profile image

Julaha 7 years ago from India

Aya Katz, as societies become large and complex, they can no longer be controlled by individuals, some one above individuals have to play arbitrator. That is what the state does. You can't wish away the state, although the ultimate goal of socialism is to have no state, but that is a hypothetical situation, and the state will always be there. People who claim that there is no need for the state are called anarchists, and are not to be taken seriously. Anarchy eventually turns out to be the rule of the mighty. We don't want that in society. We want the weakest of weak, the oldest, the sick, the deformed and the differently abled to be able to lead meaningful lives in society. We need the state to ensure a level playing ground. But usually what happens is that if the people are not vigilant, the state gets commandeered by vested interests such as industry, a religious group, etc., and begins to promote the interests of that group to the detriment of others. If it is a democracy, the next elections offer a chance to people to change things. It is more difficult in totalitarian regimes.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Well Juhala, my knowledge of Russian and Soviet history does not support your statements. I don't know where you picked yours. I see so many misconceptions and factual mistakes there - it is not really feasible to try and debunk, I just don't have time and space for that. Neither I have a will. I think I am out of discussing such matters with you. :)


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

People confuse kind caring social help and programs with socialism.

I too fear the demise of the middle class...we are becoming a nation of haves and have nots.

But I will fight it every step of the way. For decades we have watched the rich get richer, where did we think it would end? Now, we have a mess, but I'm for helping Americans out, regardless of what it's called. Keeping it simple, clean, and easy to get out of if we can or need to.

What many fear, is the age old thought that giving help to our own, was like being a little bit pregnant....it would grow, giving birth to a permanent "child" that would hang around far beyond 18 years.

Let's vote some congressman out, and keep the middle class, even if they are on food stamps.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

OK, I'm back and by the time I got about halfway through typing a full reply to these various comments, I realized that I was almost at a thousand words and that likely wouldn't even fit onto a Comments entry. Therefore, I'm going to finish it up in the morning and post it as a Hub. I'll place a link here as soon as it's up! Goodnitey! :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Here's the tome that my reply turned into, folks. Enjoy! :)

http://hubpages.com/politics/Why-Does-Socialism-Al...


estopher profile image

estopher 7 years ago from Bainbridge, Ohio

I just took an entire college course on the Constitution. It was interesting to see how differently the founding fathers thought. Of the people literally meant that just because we elected you does not mean you can quit listening to us because if you do we have a right to challenge our own government (with force mind you) if it becomes too powerful and is no longer operating within the best interest of the people that elected them.Granted our country was somewhat founded in an era of violence so using force to make people listen to you was not totally uncommon. But people don't think like this any more. George W. kept troops in Iraq despite a bill from Congress (elected officials) and despite the people had his job performance rating at record levels and the majority voiced their opinion that we needed to get out. How is that Constitutional? And just for the sake of arguement if we divided the bailout money and gave it to every home owner in the U.S. how much would that be?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

The best current estimates of the bailout work out to approx. $28,000 per taxpayer. I completely agree that some of the details which the founding fathers utilized in their crafting of the basis of the American state were quite different than today's evolved political structures, as they were a reflection of their time. However, the founding fathers were completely firm and unanimous on the rejection of tyranny and the foundation of the nation on the principles of freedom and liberty in every degree, social, governmental, and financial. Free markets are a cornerstone of American liberty, and any attempt to corral this essential dynamic is to be considered deleterious to the nation, if not outright treasonous.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working