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By: Wayne Brown
How much “Socialism” is too much? I hear various people state that the concept of socialism should not be feared. They believe that we should embrace it as a form of fairness in terms of government and the existing population of a country. Then they begin to cite all the wonderful things that come as a result of it. To listen to the description of all that can be accomplished leaves one feeling that this philosophy must be utopian in both concept and application. In some ways, that conclusion is true but only if one is looking at a country not yet heavily immersed in the concept.
No doubt, the United States has danced on the edge of socialism’s deep caverns for many decades now yet managed to hang on to its democratic roots. America has never really taken on enough of the concept to fear the dominance of it, at least not in the past. Since the Obama Administration took office, that position has changed greatly and America flirts a little closer to the edge and the predictable fall into socialism with each passing day. Amazingly, the same people that elected this President to office are also of the mindset that socialism is not to be feared. In fact, the programs they seek to move America into lead directly to the cliff of socialism.
So, how much is enough or too much Socialism? America has always had some programs within our government which could easily be described as “socialist”. We are a society of people who have compassion and believe in helping others. Therefore, it is not surprising that some programs evolved overtime which in applications are socialist in form and philosophy. Some examples might be Social Security, Medicare, welfare programs, school lunch programs, and such. These programs exist because at some point or other, those running our government were convinced that the “will of the people” demanded such programs.
These programs are put in place in a variety of ways. Some have specific tax bases associated with them such as Social Security and Medicare. Others are paid for through funds appropriations that are extracted from income tax revenue streams flowing into the government. As these programs develop without a designated tax base, they place a larger and large payout load on the existing revenue stream provided by income taxes. Soon, if enough programs are enacted, there is not enough money to support them and deficit spending becomes the order of the day in keeping everything functional. Sadly, government officials have never taken this deficit as a signal that the social welfare state might be somewhat out of control. So, what does this have to do with Socialism? After all, we have a democratic form of government in the USA.
True, we do subscribe to a democratic approach in our government. At the same time, Socialism meshes well with public welfare programs which in effect become the platform whereby wealth is collected in the form of taxes and redistributed through the license of social welfare and support among the populous based on need. Socialism then becomes insidious in a society of free and caring people while also driving the provisions for big growth and regulation in government. For some in our population, these two factors are the stuff dreams are made of in America.
Okay, so on the one hand there seems to be some good in it and on the other it can be bad. So then how do we know when enough is enough and too much is too far? Are there indicators which signal whether we are at the edge or over the cliff into the fall? Can we measure it in some manner in order that we might control the rise of it in our society?
I, for one, believe there are indicators which tell the story quite well. In the past two years we have seen those indicators move in a manner which should set alarms to ringing and raise some red flags. Just about any country can flirt with socialism and continue to operate in a reasonable manner. But, once there is too much of it, things begin to happen which will eventually erode the country and undermine its ability to exists long term. Over time we have seen many cases of this as examples in the world.
Socialism by its philosophy espouses equal sharing throughout a society. This does not seem too threatening when looked at from the perspective of programs which tend to benefit the entire populous. At the same time, these programs are also financially supported by the majority of the populous to shoulder the necessary burden. In effect, no one falls through the crack it would seem and the “will of the people” is done.
Now, let’s take a look at America and see what it is that should alarm us as to whether or not we have enough “Socialism” in the country.
Alarm #1: Government begins to expand expotentially as it becomes the “all serving” to the populous. The federal government is bigger than ever and continuing to grow by almost 10% per year at the present. It dictates heavily to the individual States using federal funds promise as levers of compromise.
Alarm #2: Government regulations and restrictions suppress the private sector investment; costs associated with regulation conformity reduces or eliminates profits. Investment and growth grind to a halt. The private sector fears future investment due to the uncertainty. The Obama Administration invoked of $ 9 billion dollars in regulatory costs for private sector businesses in July 2011 alone. Where does common sense begin to override regulatory surpression?
Alarm #3: Companies become uncompetitive and shrink or at the very least relocate their operations. Jobs disappear and unemployment goes higher and higher. Increased burden is placed on the government revenue coffers and the frustration levels of those unemployed rises as the search for employment drags out.
Alarm #4: Government spending surges out of control. As the revenue streams are reduced by high unemployment numbers, the effort to sustain public programs while adding new ones strain the finances, increase the borrowing, increase the debt level and threaten credit standings which ultimately increases the cost of borrowing and reduces the potential number of lenders. The federal government has increased deficit spending and debit by almost five trillion dollars in less than three years…a feat never before accomplished by the U.S. Government.
Alarm #5: Those who run the government see the solution to resolve issues as an increase in taxes to raise revenue. This happens but spending is never reduced which only continues to grow the same old problem. Increasing taxes becomes the cure all and the process is repeated again and again without any improvement due to a lack of spending controls in the government.
Alarm #6: Less than a majority of the population is responsible for the revenue collected by the government. The majority pays nothing. Today, less than 50% of the population is financially supporting the spending/revenue needs of the government. Attitudes and work ethics begin to change. Why work when you can get free stuff from the government?
Alarm #7: Outsiders begin to infiltrate the country and gain access to the benefits of social programs adding more to the load on the public dole. Currently more than 15 million illegal immigrants are in the USA today and a large portion are taking advantage of public programs while paying no taxes.
Alarm #8: The government’s demand for money outstrips that of the private sector eventually driving interest rates up. The government begins to indiscriminately print money citing the dangers of inflation.
Alarm #9: The infusion of “government created money” floods the money supply and ultimately weakens the buying power of the currency resulting in an inflationary condition. Those without jobs suffer even more looking to the government for their survival.
Alarm #10: A significant portion of the population is on some form of “public dole”. Currently 46,000,000 American are receiving nutrition assistance in this country. That is approaching 15% of the population base. One-third of the population of the State of Alabama looks to the government for food assistance each month.
The list can certainly be expanded even further as more and more facts and evidence pile up to say that we have a federal government whose number one focus is to create a populous which looks to the government first for their subsistence and existence. As many have pointed out in recent months, America has developed a serious “entitlement” pschycosis which is spreading throughout the population like a virus.
As a country, we have reached and are starting to see that point at which the wheels come off of “Socialism”. That would be the point at which more than a majority of people realize that there is no reward in working, in producing, or in attempting to gain individual achievement. Eventually, the government will find a way to take more and more of it away and redistribute it to those who have long since given up on being a productive member of society. We are at that point or very near it in America today as the reality of many of these social programs hit home as more and more of us become aware that the government cannot fulfill all our expectations. Unfortunately, for so many, that realization is coming far too late to do much about it.
As President Obama continues his ten day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, he no doubt is contemplating how he can explain to America that those who are now paying must pay more so that those who are not producing will go without. That is the narrow socialistic ditch that he operates from in his quest to “fundamentally transform” America. For all the politicians who have come and gone over time, there is none who even comes in a close second to the success that Obama has attained in his fundamental transformation of America since he took office just three years ago. Most folks don’t like what this change represents and claim that Obama has failed. From their perspective, he has failed but from his, the effort has been an amazing success which any good Socialist would be in awe of simply by looking at the accomplishments.
Obama is the landmark or the “red flag” in determining what is enough in terms of Socialism. At this point, America has all it can handle and more even if Obama leaves office as a one term president. The damage which has been done to the republic which is America will last for many generations and will only be righted with a persistent focus of the majority in gaining control of spending over the coming years.
“Socialism”, which representing the crown jewels of Obama’s legacy as a president, is a train wreck in the American society which will bring forth pain and suffering for many generations to come. At this point, it is no longer just a “choice” which will fundamentally change America; No! It is beyond that point. It is now a cancer upon the vital organs of America and the treatment must begin forthright if there is any hope for the patient. Left untreated (i.e. give Obama another term in office) and the patient will die. There is no fairy tale ending or utopian outcome in the philosophy of Socialism. Anyone for another bite of cheese…it’s free.
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