Author Topic: Just how Socialist has America become  (Read 4389 times)

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Offline Billy T

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Offline P-N

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #1 on: 14:16 04-Jun-2009 »
Speaking as a Brit/European, I don't think even the Democrats will ever get anywhere near what "Socialism" really is and have certainly never experienced it, unlike most Europeans over the age of 30 who have got used to the cycle between Socialist and Conservative administrations.

I don't want to sound confrontational, but the Democrats in the USA are as far away from "socialism" as the GOP.

To most Americans I am fairly sure Socialism = Communism........which of course is b*ll*cks, but they seem to see it as one and the same when you read their comments on political articles on line. 

That also may give a false reading though, as they all also seem to be from the "Europe could never survive with out us (US)" brigade......which again, is b*ll*cks.  In fact, most of those comments probably come from those who have never left their home town or city, let alone their state.....and god forbid, left the USA.....and can therefore be written-off as "propaganda fed" for the most part.

However, it is something which America having so little history (under 400 years as a recognised entity/republic/nation) and being made up of countless imigrant nationalities (in the beginning) may have had in the early days.......but never recognised or documented.....who knows......maybe you can tell me.

One thing is for certain, the USA is about as close to being socialist today, as the North Pole is to being on the equator.  :D

A few Fed bailouts and part nationalisations does not equal socialism by any stretch of the imagination.



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Offline Madrigal

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #2 on: 14:17 04-Jun-2009 »
http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/what_socialism_looks_like.php

Haha thanks for posting this, it was a good read.
Socialism isn't all that bad in reality, America could socialize medicine and then allow for private supplemental insurance to be bought and sold should Americans not want to use government provided health care.

Then again are money driven medical system wouldn't do so well then would it? Doctors in America must drive Porsches in order to give proper medical care.

Health is the secondary objective in the American Health system, CASH is the number one. I have a good personal friend of mine who is Chinese and is the head of a large Pharma Division in China, she has told me how they produce an experimental cancer drug in China for sale in the US and it costs about $7.00 per pill to produce it.

It's for sale in the USA for the rock bottom bargain price of $1,000.00 USD per pill.

Capitalism is more important than saving lives and will more than likely always be this way.
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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #3 on: 15:35 04-Jun-2009 »

Socialism isn't all that bad in reality, America could socialize medicine and then allow for private supplemental insurance to be bought and sold should Americans not want to use government provided health care.


Well, in UK we still have to pay for it in a roundabout way through deductions from salary. This is known NICs (nothing to do with P-N  :D) meaning National Insurance Contributions.

National insurance is a scheme where people in work make payments towards benefits. The payments are called national insurance contributions and certain benefits are only payable if you meet the national insurance contribution conditions. National insurance contributions also go towards the costs of the National Health Service (NHS).

Therefore, those who work finance those who won't or can't as well as the NHS treatment for all. Even if you are able to afford private health cover OR your employer provides cover on your behalf for you and your family, you still have to pay NICs. In the case of the latter, if cover is provided by your employer, then you have to pay income tax on these contributions at your top rate.

Incidentally, as well as those in work having to make contributions, the employer also has to make a contribution for each employee which is rather more than the employee's contribution.

At the present time, NICs seems to average around 10% earnings. Now bear in mind, this is nothing at all to do with basic personal income tax, a totally different issue, which is also deducted from earnings before you receive your salary.

Offline clanholmes

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #4 on: 17:03 04-Jun-2009 »
http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/what_socialism_looks_like.php

Haha thanks for posting this, it was a good read.
Socialism isn't all that bad in reality, America could socialize medicine and then allow for private supplemental insurance to be bought and sold should Americans not want to use government provided health care.

Then again are money driven medical system wouldn't do so well then would it? Doctors in America must drive Porsches in order to give proper medical care.

Health is the secondary objective in the American Health system, CASH is the number one. I have a good personal friend of mine who is Chinese and is the head of a large Pharma Division in China, she has told me how they produce an experimental cancer drug in China for sale in the US and it costs about $7.00 per pill to produce it.

It's for sale in the USA for the rock bottom bargain price of $1,000.00 USD per pill.

Capitalism is more important than saving lives and will more than likely always be this way.

Sorry,but what is the cost to develop this pill?
Takes forever to do the R&D to make a safe drug and then some Chinese/ Russian company makes a copy ad sells it for nothing. If a company can't protect its patents then it won't make try to make the drug.

Same as spending money on brand recognition, in which some Turkish company puts a hacked copy of the clothes.

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Online David Rochlin

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #5 on: 17:49 04-Jun-2009 »
The difference between the two U.S. political parties is very, very small.  Most Americans actually agree about the big political, and social issues, though perhaps are wrong, and fight over piddling details. 
  The graph showing percentage of business assets nationalized is biased.  I mean, of course the value of GM is limited.  In fact it was less than nothing, negative...  So, does that mean U.S. involvement in the Auto industry is zero percent of the economy? 
And defining socialism as nationalization of businesses is only really cherrypicking the ideology, anyway.
It has been pointed out that America has enacted virtually every single item campaigned for, by socialist parties in the 1920's.  Social Security pensions, legislation empowering labor unions, the dole, more extensive public education, free or subsidized medical care for the poor and elderly.  Many if not most people don't even identify socialist ideas as what they are, anymore.  The popular ideas have been absorbed by mainstream parties, and the less popular ones, like eugenics, have been blamed on others.
   America is involved in a huge project of industrial policy of a sort that has not been done since WWII here.  If it works, great.  Unlike most of the world, Americans have a second chance, because we had a strong enough economy, and produce money that is in high demand and short supply.  I guess four trillion dollars have been printed so far.  So, we have not had to suffer in proportion to our mistakes, unlike some.  But, our reprieve is contingent upon our using all that money to invest in an industrial future.  If it is used to produce the alternative energy infrastructure and manufacturing that people will really be using in the future, or if it really builds transportation that will make the country more efficient, then it might work.  If this money merely subsidizes a temporary return to further subsidies of failed investments, failed business models and doomed visions of unearned wealth, then we will find ourselves wasting that extra chance.

Offline clanholmes

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #6 on: 18:06 04-Jun-2009 »
The difference between the two U.S. political parties is very, very small.  Most Americans actually agree about the big political, and social issues, though perhaps are wrong, and fight over piddling details. 
  The graph showing percentage of business assets nationalized is biased.  I mean, of course the value of GM is limited.  In fact it was less than nothing, negative...  So, does that mean U.S. involvement in the Auto industry is zero percent of the economy? 
And defining socialism as nationalization of businesses is only really cherrypicking the ideology, anyway.
It has been pointed out that America has enacted virtually every single item campaigned for, by socialist parties in the 1920's.  Social Security pensions, legislation empowering labor unions, the dole, more extensive public education, free or subsidized medical care for the poor and elderly.  Many if not most people don't even identify socialist ideas as what they are, anymore.  The popular ideas have been absorbed by mainstream parties, and the less popular ones, like eugenics, have been blamed on others.
   America is involved in a huge project of industrial policy of a sort that has not been done since WWII here.  If it works, great.  Unlike most of the world, Americans have a second chance, because we had a strong enough economy, and produce money that is in high demand and short supply.  I guess four trillion dollars have been printed so far.  So, we have not had to suffer in proportion to our mistakes, unlike some.  But, our reprieve is contingent upon our using all that money to invest in an industrial future.  If it is used to produce the alternative energy infrastructure and manufacturing that people will really be using in the future, or if it really builds transportation that will make the country more efficient, then it might work.  If this money merely subsidizes a temporary return to further subsidies of failed investments, failed business models and doomed visions of unearned wealth, then we will find ourselves wasting that extra chance.

Problem with the USA is that it has lost its way and become a bunch highly bureaucratic fat lazy bastards. 7 Lawyers are produced from University for every lawyer. Lawyers make money by pushing laws and they are not value added in the system (though they are necessary to a point). Innovation/Entrepreneurship of America has been sued and manipulated to all time low.
The other issue is that the average tenure of a CEO is 5 years. They plan to profit within their time at the company and pass the problems on to the next one. Focus on short term profitability and greed has harmed the capital markets of the Western World.
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Offline SmartJAzzInOdessa

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #7 on: 18:12 04-Jun-2009 »
Problem with the USA is that it has lost its way and become a bunch highly bureaucratic fat lazy bastards.

Clanholmes,

You really don't know what "tact" is, do you?
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Offline P-N

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #8 on: 18:21 04-Jun-2009 »
The other issue is that the average tenure of a CEO is 5 years. They plan to profit within their time at the company and pass the problems on to the next one. Focus on short term profitability and greed has harmed the capital markets of the Western World.

Now those are wise words and a world wide issue.
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Online David Rochlin

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Offline clanholmes

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #10 on: 19:01 04-Jun-2009 »
Problem with the USA is that it has lost its way and become a bunch highly bureaucratic fat lazy bastards.

Clanholmes,

You really don't know what "tact" is, do you?

Truth hurts doesn't it.

Maybe I am older than you, but I remember when the USA was a power house of innovation and that people believed that hard work and smart idea would bring you the American dream.
But now, you have one of most complicated tax systems in worlds and layers of bureaucracy that absolutely crazy. Your government employment has skyrocketed and the court system is jammed with civil suits.
98% of all Obstetricians are successful sued, so they pay higher insurance and they pass on the costs to the patients. Patients are now complaining that they cannot afford to have health care.
I know people hate GWB, but at least he tried to limit lawsuits of doctors.
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=27489

John Edwards, who made his money chasing Ambulances, was against it. Most of the US government is run by lawyers who profit from bureaucracy and inefficiency. Also in another thread, there was talk about bribery. What about unlimited political contribution and its influence to buy an election.

Canada suffers from similar problems as the USA, but there is differences. There is a limit on political contributions, there is a limit on how much you can sue, and bureaucracy has not got out of hand like the USA.

USA has still the highest production rate per man hour in the world, but your business tax rate is growing, costs of protecting yourself from lawsuits is the highest in the world, and bureaucracy dealing with legal issues in every county is crazy.

Think about it. You have the HIGHEST production per man hour in the world and great quality standards, yet manufacturing is moving out of your country. ??? It is not just labour cost.

 
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Offline clanholmes

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #11 on: 19:13 04-Jun-2009 »
Quote
Big Government Gets Bigger
Study Counts More Employees, Cites Increase in Contractors

By Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 6, 2006; Page A21

The federal government keeps getting bigger.

The Republican Party's oft-stated affinity for smaller government has not applied during the Bush administration. According to a recent study, not only is the number of federal civil servants on the rise, but so are the numbers of employees working for government-funded contractors and for organizations that receive government grants.
   
Roll all of those together -- and mix in the numbers of postal workers and military personnel on the federal payroll -- and the "true size" of the federal government stands at 14.6 million employees, said Paul C. Light, the study's author and a government professor at New York University.

That compares with 12.1 million employees in 2002, said Light, who has tracked the growth of government for years and has data for as far back as 1990. The latest increase is almost entirely due to contractors, whose ranks swelled by 2.5 million since 2002, Light wrote in his 10-page research brief.

"This time, almost all of the growth can be attributed from the war on terrorism, which boosted Defense spending for both goods and services systems and covered the continued cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," he wrote.

"The rest of the hidden workforce held steady at roughly 2.9 million grantees, while civil service employment inched up and postal employment fell."

Light calls the 10.5 million federal contractors and grantees the government's "hidden workforce" because politicians tend not to mention them when discussing the size of the federal bureaucracy. Yet such workers absorbed nearly $400 billion in federal contracting funds and $100 billion in federal grants in 2005. They often performed vital work such as researching new vaccines, running federal computer systems and making body armor, weapons and meals for the military.

The number of civil servants is increasing, too, up 54,000 since 2002 to 1.9 million workers. That is still fewer than the 2.2 million civil servants on the federal payroll in 1990, at the end of the Cold War.

Light acknowledges that his numbers of contractors and grantee employees are estimates from federal procurement and grant data, and are harder to nail down than the number of civil servants. But the trend is clear, he said.

Politicians who focus on the size of the civil service and fail to acknowledge the hidden workforce "encourage the public into believing that it truly can get more for less," Light said. And the heavy reliance on such workers, while sometimes necessary, makes it more difficult to figure out who is accountable when things go wrong, he said.

"The federal government often uses contractors and grantees to provide talent it cannot recruit, specialized services it cannot produce, competition it cannot generate among its own organizations, and equipment that it cannot and should not build itself," Light wrote.

"t hardly matters who produces the goods and services as long as the federal government is honest with the public about the true cost of delivering on the promises it makes."

Where is the Capitalism ?
2.5 Million Employees times 36$/hr(does not include other employee costs like insurance and health care) at 40 a week *52= 187,200,000,000
Then add a place to put these employees and machinery or equipment for them to use. You can quickly see where the USA is going.

Quote
Number, Cost of Government Workers Growing Fast, Study Says
Budget & Tax News > April 2006
Government
Government > General
Email a Friend
Written By: Chris Edwards
Published In: Budget & Tax News > April 2006
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

The nation's 16 million state and local government workers form a large, growing, and well-compensated class in society. State and local workers earned $36 per hour in wages and benefits in 2005, on average, compared to $24 per hour for U.S. private-sector workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Summary, published December 9, 2005.

Government workers also have more than four times the level of union representation. Unions represented 9 percent of private-sector workers and more than 40 percent of state and local workers, according to the Bureau report.


Soaring Numbers

Table 1 shows the number of state and local workers by budget area. The largest area is kindergarten to grade 12 schools. The number of school teachers and administrators climbed 22 percent between 1994 and 2004, even though public school enrollment grew just 9 percent during the period, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Another fast-growing area is public safety. Police, fire, corrections, and legal staffs have grown an average 21 percent in the past decade. One contributing factor has been the jump in state prison populations in recent years.
Table 1. State and Local Government Employment
    1994    2004    Change
U.S. Total    13,912,227    15,788,784    13%
               
Education    7,098,807    8,538,180    20%
K-12 schools    5,310,339    6,473,425    22%
Higher education    1,586,663    1,848,997    17%
Other    201,805    215,758    7%
               
Safety    1,925,986    2,323,323    21%
Police    749,308    892,426    19%
Corrections    584,387    701,905    20%
Judicial and legal    321,168    409,944    28%
Fire    271,123    319,048    18%
               
Welfare    2,1223,500    2,038,584    -4%
Hospitals    1,053,356    912,496    -13%
Public welfare    492,387    498,092    1%
Health    360,694    424,158    18%
Housing & development    123,173    114,281    -7%
Social insurance administration    93,890    89,557    -5%
               
Services    1,701,548    1,766,101    4%
Highways    544,233    542,642    0%
Parks and recreation    239,605    262,815    10%
Transit    205,994    231,897    13%
Natural resources    187,432    186,006    -1%
Water supply    153,143    162,251    6%
Sewerage    121,594    126,136    4%
Solid waste    110,391    108,882    -1%
Other    139,156    145,472    5%
               
Other    1,062,386    1,122,596    6%
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. Full-time equivalents.

State and local health bureaucracies have also grown as Medicaid spending has exploded. In health and other areas, the growth in bureaucracy has been fueled by growing regulatory paperwork that has accompanied expanded federal funding of state and local activities.

Some areas of the state and local bureaucracy, such as hospitals, have not grown. That may be due variously to budget reforms, a shift of work to the private sector, or other changes. In the case of public welfare, the number of state and local administrators has remained steady at about half a million. Meanwhile, the number of welfare recipients has fallen 66 percent since 1994 as a result of federal and state welfare reforms during the 1990s.


Wide Variety

The size of state and local bureaucracies varies widely by state. Table 2 shows the number of government workers in each state as a share of employment in the state. Along with the District of Columbia, the largest bureaucracies are in Alaska and Wyoming--states that have an image of rugged individualism. Some of the other states with big bureaucracies also lean conservative in their politics, including Mississippi and Alabama.

Nevada has the smallest bureaucracy, with a state and local workforce only about half the relative size of Alaska's.

Numerous factors affect the size of state bureaucracies, including demographics, crime levels, and the differing propensity of states to contract out or privatize services such as prisons and solid waste collection.

Differences between states also reflect bureaucratic efficiency levels. For example, while high-bureaucracy D.C. and Louisiana have deep-seated problems of waste and corruption, low-bureaucracy New Hampshire is known for its more effective government. Some states, such as Alaska and New Mexico, have high levels of bureaucracy across many budget areas. Other states, such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, have consistently lower levels of bureaucracy.

Chris Edwards (cedwards@cato.org) is director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute. This article was adapted from "State Bureaucracy Update" in issue No. 29 of the Cato Institute's Tax & Budget Bulletin. Used with permission.

For more information ...

Chris Edwards' "State Bureaucracy Update" may be viewed in full at http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0601-29.pdf.

« Last Edit: 19:20 04-Jun-2009 by clanholmes »
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Offline clanholmes

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #12 on: 19:37 04-Jun-2009 »
Another source
A study in 2005 by the non-partisan Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated that the average public-sector worker earned 46 percent MORE (my emphasis) in salary and benefits than a comparable private-sector worker.

The gap only continues to grow.  For example, state and local worker pay and benefits rose  3.1 percent in the last year compared to 1.9 percent in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But, the real power of the public sector is showing through in this economic crisis.  Some five million private-sector workers have lost their jobs in the last year alone, and their unemployment rate is above 9 percent, according to the BLS.

By contrast, public-sector employment has grown in virtually every month of the recession, and the jobless rate for government workers  is a mere 2.8 percent.

For anyone who thinks such low unemployment numbers are good news, remember that the bulging public sector must be paid with revenues that most governments don?t currently have.


It is more profitable to work a government fat cat job, then go into the private sector. The private sector is getting taxed to support these jobs which have increase 20% from 2002 to 2006. public sector also compete with the Private sector for the best and brightest. With 46% increase in compensation over the Private, guess who wins.



With increased government and decreased private sector, who is left to pay the deficit?


BTW there is a huge difference between bureaucracy and regulation.

Sorry Ray, but I like the OLD Capitalist USA.
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Offline SmartJAzzInOdessa

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #13 on: 19:42 04-Jun-2009 »
Problem with the USA is that it has lost its way and become a bunch highly bureaucratic fat lazy bastards.

Clanholmes,

You really don't know what "tact" is, do you?

Truth hurts doesn't it.


You know, to make a generalized statement about any group of people based on a narrow view of a very broad, very global problem that is fueled by a narrow stream of individuals in that society is one of the most narrow minded things a person can do. I have no damn clue where I, a 22 year old with an English and Anthropolgy degree, working in the marketing department of a software company who plays jazz on the side, living on a completely different side of the world, fit into your generalized, jackass statement. And the same goes for other Americans that don't spend their time chasing ambulances, milking the world of its resources, or trying to make the biggest buck in the smallest amount of time.

I agree that the system is screwed up. It's a pity that those making 40K per year can't afford to get sick because insurance companies make more money when they turn people down and doctors and hospitals charge outrageously high (in Russian I know just the right words to describe them) prices because a lawyer spends his time finding ways to make himself and others rich while the president is accepting money from lobbyists for such groups of scum.

But please, let's not reduce ourselves to playing on stereotypes.
« Last Edit: 19:45 04-Jun-2009 by rayjazz21 »
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Online David Rochlin

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Re: Just how Socialist has America become
« Reply #14 on: 19:58 04-Jun-2009 »
Another source
A study in 2005 by the non-partisan Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated that the average public-sector worker earned 46 percent MORE (my emphasis) in salary and benefits than a comparable private-sector worker.

The gap only continues to grow.  For example, state and local worker pay and benefits rose  3.1 percent in the last year compared to 1.9 percent in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But, the real power of the public sector is showing through in this economic crisis.  Some five million private-sector workers have lost their jobs in the last year alone, and their unemployment rate is above 9 percent, according to the BLS.

By contrast, public-sector employment has grown in virtually every month of the recession, and the jobless rate for government workers  is a mere 2.8 percent.

For anyone who thinks such low unemployment numbers are good news, remember that the bulging public sector must be paid with revenues that most governments don?t currently have.


It is more profitable to work a government fat cat job, then go into the private sector. The private sector is getting taxed to support these jobs which have increase 20% from 2002 to 2006. public sector also compete with the Private sector for the best and brightest. With 46% increase in compensation over the Private, guess who wins.



With increased government and decreased private sector, who is left to pay the deficit?


BTW there is a huge difference between bureaucracy and regulation.

Sorry Ray, but I like the OLD Capitalist USA.

Much of the world is industrializing and becoming more productive.  Part of the problem is that in America and in the rest of the world, fewer workers produce more of the goods consumed, every year.  The crisis will actually accelerate this trend.  So, what do you do with the surplus population, who are not needed in the industrial or agricultural sectors, and in fact, who despite being, educated, often over educated, and being virtually useless despite that, do nevertheless have more than their share of social or political power?  What do you do with the extra people?
Socialism is an incredibly inefficient way to use all that educated energy and potential.
   The world needs a new model of capitalism, that can employ all those empty hands.  Unfortunately it isn't invented yet.  So, we have to endure socialism, for now.