Like It or Not, You're a Supporter of Socialism...Here's How
Like It or Not, You’re A Supporter of Socialism…Here’s How
Many Americans have different views and definitions of socialism. Some people think of it as being similar to communism. There are several people that define it as a “left-wing” theory of radical change in the government and corporate sectors. Some Americans think of socialism as the concept of the community looking out for one another as a whole, while holding governments accountable. And then there’s the group of people that think of socialism as the concept of people getting welfare or “free handouts” from the government. For those that have the latter view, I’d like to prove the point that you may already be a supporter of welfare-corporate welfare.
Corporate welfare is simply the concept of a corporation receiving free government money either through grants, contracts, tax breaks or loan guarantees. This is the same concept as a laid-off worker temporarily receiving food stamps until he gets back on his feet. The difference is the worker is the one that needs the assistance, not billion dollar companies. If you are against welfare for struggling individuals, I’d like to break down the different ways you may be a supporter and recipient of welfare without knowing it. Here’s how:
1. You may be typing on a “socialist” computer
Intel is one of the largest makers of semi-conductor microchips for computers. It’s more likely than not that you’ve had an Intel chip in a computer you’ve owned in the past decade or so. Intel is also profitable, having earned over $50 billion in 2019. This billion-dollar company has received a total of $2.6 billion in government assistance from 59 individual subsidies. This means that they are direct recipients of a “ government handout”. So if you own an Intel product and you’re against “welfare” then you should replace your computer…otherwise you’re talking from both sides of your mouth.
2. Do you purchase gas for your car or home?
As of 2017, the total amount of government subsidies that were given to the oil & gas industry were $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in state-level incentives. That’s a total of $20.5 billion annually. Of that amount, 80 percent goes to oil and gas and 20 percent to coal. With that being said, if you use gas to fuel your car or warm your home, then you are also a supporter of welfare.
One example is with the company Shell, which is one of the largest petroleum companies in the United States. They’ve received over $2.4 billion across 79 subsidies. For a company that made $16.5 billion last year, one should wonder why they need any financial assistance from the government. If someone is against a single mother that makes $20,000 a year getting government funding then he or she should be livid about the amount of government funds Shell gets.
3. Your physician may be a “socialist” doctor
If you visit a doctor or dentist that work at a federal hospital or clinic then you are benefiting from socialism, or government funding. A good example would be a veteran hospital. Federal hospitals are mostly funded by government money and government programs. Most patients that go to federal hospitals pay for doctor visits via Medicare or Medicaid. These Medicare and Medicaid payments are made from the government on behalf of these patients. The payments are one of the ways in which the hospitals’ doctors and staffs are compensated.
Most private hospitals and clinics are government funded too since they allow their patients to use Medicare and Medicaid to pay for their visits. Similar to public hospitals and clinics, these government funds go toward paying doctors’ salaries and staff. They also use these funds to service patients and pay for medical equipment. So, even if you go to private hospitals, your doctor and/or hospital staff could be getting compensation with the help of the government. This means that if you visit a doctor or hospital that’s received government assistance (and it’s rare to find one that isn’t), you are also supporting or benefiting from this.
4. You may be literally living in a “socialist” home
There are many new homes and commercial properties that have been built or renovated over the past few decades. Many real estate developers receive either tax credits and/or government subsidies to build properties. The House of Representatives even passed a bill on March 27, 2020 that includes tax breaks for real estate investors and developers. Some development companies get funding from lenders that receive government-backed loans. Whether you live in an urban or rural area, you may be living in a home that was subsidized during the development stage. If your home happened to be developed by someone that received tax breaks, then you are a supporter of socialism without knowing it.
5. You may already be flying with the government’s help
Are you a jet setter? Or perhaps you are someone that flies on occasion. Whatever the case, if you step foot on an airplane then you are literally flying with socialism. The airline and aircraft industries are heavily dependent on government funds. Airliners often use fuel that is government subsidized. Aircraft companies receive government funds also. For example, Boeing receives $13 billion a year in government subsidies and contracts. Since Boeing supplies more than half of the aircraft that’s currently in operation, there’s a chance that you’ve been in a Boeing plane. So if you’re anti-socialism or anti-welfare and want to prove it, then you should never travel by plane ever again.
6. You may be driving a “socialist car”
Be careful what brand of car you buy if you’re against socialism. Fiat, an Italian based carmaker, expanded their operations to the USA. Government subsidies funded this expansion, totaling $2.6 billion from 96 subsidies. This funding was used to improve the brands Dodge, Chrysler and Ram. In other words, they received a “free handout” from the government.
Another car brand that receives heavy government funds is Ford, which has received $2.8 billion in government appropriations and subsidies. Ford makes over $7 billion per year but they’re receiving and accepting “corporate welfare”.
General Motors (GM) is another government subsidized car brand, having received $3.4 billion from over 320 appropriations. The taxpayers even paid for their bankruptcy in 2009 during the financial crisis.
With all this being said, the point is that all of these car companies have received help from the government one way or another. So, if you drive any of these brands then you are supporting government handouts.
7. You may be stepping on socialism
Nike is one of the largest manufacturers of athletic footwear, apparel, fitness equipment and accessories. If you’re a Nike fan then you’re also a fan of socialism. Here’s why. Nike has been given $2.4 billion in government funds from 75 subsidies. In 2019, they earned a total of $39 billion but they still received “corporate welfare”. So the next time you decide to buy a Nike product, remember that they receive welfare, something you are against.
8. If you use aluminum foil, you may be wrapping yourself around corporate socialism
Aluminum is one of the most used materials that Americans consume. Many products are made with aluminum, from cars to food containers. Alcoa is a large producer of aluminum. If you’ve used aluminum products, it’s likely that you’ve used one of their products. Besides being the third largest aluminum producer, they are also very profitable. Their 2019 fourth quarter earnings were $2.4 billion. Even though they generated billions in revenue, they’ve received 5.6 billion in government money from 99 subsidies. Whenever anyone buys their products, they are supporting corporate welfare. You should definitely stop using aluminum products if you’re against socialism.
It seems that most supporters of government bailouts for large companies are against a low-wage earner getting a “government bailout”, or government assistance. But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. In other words, if someone opposes government bailouts for an individual then they should also be against it for everyone else.
So the next time you or your loved one gripe about people getting “welfare”, keep in the mind that all the above companies also receive money from the same system-the government. With this being said, you are benefiting from welfare also if you patron any of these companies and institutions.
So if you’re truly against the concept of socialism, it should be shown with action…ban all of the government funded companies from your life, if you can. That’s more productive than reciting empty complaints. Otherwise, you are being a hypocrite.
© 2020 Melissa Pitts