Socijalizam

7 Feb

Proletarians of the world, unite!

No.

My parents actually fled socialism in the mid-60s to come to this country and make a better life for them and me. So, no, I don’t remotely consider myself a supporter of the system that my parents fled.

But because I believe in the idea that society should pay for things like Fire protection, Police protection, health care for the poor and elderly, etc., the Ron Paul people are so happy to label me a “socialist”, without regard for what that word means generally (a hundred different things), or more specifically that it is an epithet that, to me, are fighting words.

Seriously, however, being called a “socialist” by the likes of the local Ron Paul supporters is something I take as a compliment. Because in practice, that’s all they do.

Yes, they put up signs and rally in Niagara Square for their candidate. But they also come on the internet and, like the sandwich-board messiah of yore, predict the end of the world in intemperate tones. Other than that, it comes down to labeling those who disagree with their opinions as “socialists”, “sheeple”, equating them with SLA-era Patty Hearst, and accusing them of being complicit in perpetuating a fascist/socialist/nazi America.

Yet these insult-hurling, people-labeling, philosopher-adoring people complain bitterly when insults are hurled at them, when they are labeled, and when their views are mocked as strenuously as they mock others. I believe the market gives them the liberty to purchase some cheese with their whine.

69 Responses to “Socijalizam”

  1. Jim Ostrowski February 7, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    We used “socialism” in the context of a socialized medicine, not police or fire. You really need to read our policy statement on local governments which we generally favor.

    And if the word means so many different things, I guess you can’t complain about how we use the term.

    Socialism is not intrinsically an insult though of course we consider it a pejorative term.

    Socialism in my view is the economics of force (government force). The market is based on choice. Obviously, we have a mixed economy but always tending towards socialism (force) for reasons I and many others have explained many times. Government intervention causes problems that lead to demands for further intervention by those who don’t understand that the problems were caused by the initial intervention.

    Health care is a prime example. Medicare and Medicare and numerous other government interventions have created a crisis and many want even more government intervention to solve it.

  2. Christopher Smith February 7, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    Is this about Free NY, their readers, or the issue?

  3. Rob February 7, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    The biggest irony is their constant use of “sheeple” to denigrate non-members of their cult. Read the FNY thread Pundit linked to above – all the FNYers have the same mannerisms, use the exact same catch-phrases – chief among them “that’s socialism” and “you just don’t get it” – and retreat into bleating herds when challenged. If they were any more ovine they’d need regular shearing.

    Commenting on the downward trajectory of the Giuliani campaign, someone – Josh Marshall maybe – noted that the more people learned about Mr. 9/11, the less they liked him. That’s how I feel about the FNYers. From a distance they appear to be just a slightly whacky bunch of anti-tax activists. But the more you learn about them the stupider and more obnoxious they seem.

  4. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    “A “mixed” economy is a mix between socialism and capitalism. It is a hodgepodge of freedoms and regulations, constantly changing because of the lack of principles involved. A mixed-economy is a sign of intellectual chaos. It is the attempt to gain the advantages of freedom without government having to give up its power.”

  5. Buffalopundit February 7, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    Just get a load of this.

    At best, it’s calling 95% of America stupid sheep for rejecting Ron Paul. At worst, it’s damning you to eternal hellfire for rejecting the truth, the light, and the way; Ron Paul.

    (UPDATE: LINK FIXED)

  6. Rob February 7, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    I think that’s the wrong link. Or I’m missing something.

  7. dougk February 7, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    bp, don’t feed the village idiots!

  8. Paul Jonson February 7, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Are the FNYers trying to write their own bible on what they believe? All you ever hear any of them say is “read this” or “read that” or “you don’t understand what we wrote”

  9. Rob February 7, 2008 at 10:45 am #

    More whining from Jim O. As for your “original point”, it amounted to no more than this: Obama is a liberal; liberals aren’t radical libertarians; therefore, Obama is an “obvious canard”. That’s it – nothing more. If no one wanted to “address your point”, I’m guessing it’s because they don’t start with the same assumptions as you, and view your “point” as a self-evidently stupid one.

    By the way, a “canard” is a false or misleading story. A person is not a “canard”.

  10. Jim Ostrowski February 7, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    No, my point is that Obama talks of change and unity but his proposals give us neither. There is nothing new about making government bigger–Bush has set a record in that department. And the only people he will unify are in the left-wing of the Democratic Party. The rest of the country will fight him every step of the way since they don’t agree with him.

  11. Rob February 7, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Universal health care – to give only one example – isn’t a change? Tell that to sick people who have no insurance. You’re simply whining that Obama’s “changes” aren’t the same ones you want. Which is exactly what I said in my last post; your big “point”, which you imagine has everyone stumped, amounts to: Obama doesn’t share my radical libertarian ideals, so he’s a “canard”.

  12. jesse February 7, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    The complications seem to arise when libertarians speculate on policy issues and others dismiss them out-of-hand.

    Of course there are libertarians who baaaah along with their favored ‘leaders’, but it’s not like righties or lefties of a certain style DON’T rip those they disagree with in various silly, sound-bitey ways (Listen to Rush or Air America for copious examples).

    But feel free to lump all who disagree with the current state of big government affairs as “the Ron Paul people” if it makes you feel superior.

  13. Rob February 7, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    LOL. You seem to be forgetting that “sheeple” is what the FNYers call everyone else – not vice-versa. They’re the ones who lump all their opponents (i.e. 95% of the country) together in an attempt to fell superior.

  14. jesse February 7, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    “the FNYers”…. as if they’re the only ones who use the phrase… Okay.

    Hate to break it to you Rob, but 90% of us are “sheep” to some cause or another, and probably 99% of us use some term or other to make others less than us. Like suburbanites goofing on the city folk, or city folk goofing on “the hicks”. The Germans ripping on the Irish, blacks ripping on whites.

    It’s funny to hear you guys whining that the libertarians are calling you names when the libertarians have been picked on for, literally, decades.

    You’re neighbor is always the kook, it’s never you.

  15. Rob February 7, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    I no longer know what point you’re trying to make. We are sheep, so the FNYers are right? Libertarians have been picked on for decades, so they get a pass on using stupid insults? decide what your point is and I’ll respond if I can.

    In any case, you obviously missed the start of this, so you’re misstating the case. FNYers are the ones doing the whining.

  16. Jim Ostrowski February 7, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    “Universal health care” is simply the continuance of a decades-long series of interventions into the health care market and it was made inevitable by the predictable and predicted failures of the prior interventions.

    The federal government has been growing in power, size and scope since at least 1917.

    It would be a startling change if we DIDN’T get national health insurance.

  17. ike February 7, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    you’re an ass…stop flaming for hits

  18. Jim Ostrowski February 7, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Ike, please don’t call Rob an “ass”.

  19. Rob February 7, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Like I said, if you don’t thing universal health care represents a “change”, ask an uninsured person.

    Everything you write simply confirms what I already said: your only objection to Obama’s “change” rhetoric is that it’s not radical libertarian change. That’s all you got.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’ve answered your post. If you want to go on repeating yourself, feel free. As eac might say, maybe you’ll get a World’s Tallest Midget prize.

  20. Rob February 7, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    Wow, great one, Jim. You’re quite the debater.

  21. jesse February 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    What point I’m trying to make? Whether or not FNY was whining, it sure as hell looks like that’s what Alan’s doing here. And all that does is put everyone in a sorry light.

    Nice job with the leaps of logic, by the way. My point is simply this: Why are you complaining about someone else using the same tactics everyone uses, everywhere, all the time? You all do the same crap, but when FNY does it, they’re somehow worse? Please.

    “your only objection to Obama’s “change” rhetoric is that it’s not radical libertarian change. That’s all you got.”

    Umm… isn’t that EVERYONE’s argument about what the other side is going to do? That it’s not “what I’d do”?? That makes no sense.

  22. Mike In WNY February 7, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    Universal health care represents an escalation of commitment to failing government programs. If you want long waits, shortages of supplies and services, and decreased cost accountability, you will love universal health care. Buy some stock in Sears, the price of pliers will be rising as more and more people use them to pull teeth because the wait for a dental appointment is much too long.

  23. Russell February 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m no Ron Paulista so please do not associate me with those wackos, but Rob, Obama’s rhetoric about universal health care is not a change. Democrats have been talking about it for well over a decade now and Hillary proposed a system that died in Congress some years ago. Remember? If universal health care did come to pass, then that would be a change in some way, but at this point, what Obama is saying is nothing new. Part of the problem in this discussion is the Paulists talk in theory when referring to the pratical world and are even confusing themselves.

    I’d also just like to highlight this discussion to some of the folks on here that jumped all over me a few months ago for talking about how far to the left the left was in this country. I think BP and Totanka, to name a few, ripped me for bringing up universal health care as my example because they claimed none of the Dem candidates were speaking to it nor would pursue it. What happened there?

  24. Buffalopundit February 7, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Russell – I don’t remember which thread you’re referring to, but I know that in countries that do have universal health care, even the staunchest conservatives would never dream of abolishing wholesale a system that, while not perfect in any country, benefits society as a whole by providing universal access, and the opportunity to receive world-class health care without the threat of bankruptcy.

  25. mike hudson February 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    a delicious irony to be savored alan; your parents showing more courage in one single act than ostrowski will manage to cough up in a lifetime.

    as ron paul’s brand of libertarianism involves denying women the right to make their own choices about health care, even if they pay for it themselves, he is a fraud. jim ostrowski, brave defender of crooked, guilty-pleading politicians everywhere, for a buck, author of books nobody reads, publicity whoring class clown of buffalo, isn’t fit to shine the shoes of people like your parents.

  26. Rob February 7, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    “Democrats have been talking about it for well over a decade now and Hillary proposed a system that died in Congress some years ago.”

    And yet there are still tens of millions of long-term uninsured. If Obama’s plan provides coverage to most or all of them, I would call that quite a change. This has become a silly semantic argument. If you think Obama’s “change” rhetoric is overblown, good for you. I don’t.

    “If you want long waits, shortages of supplies and services, and decreased cost accountability, you will love universal health care.”

    Hopefully people who currently face destitution or death if they get sick can be provided coverage without inconveniencing Mike in WNY too badly.

  27. hank February 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    If a person can’t work, or WON’T work and is on welfare, that’s what Medicaid is for.
    If a person is elderly, and doesn’t have private insurance, that’s what Medicare is for.
    Nobody can be turned away from an emergency room for inability to pay.

    So what’s all these tears for the “Tens of Millions of Uninsured”.
    There’s 3 different safety nets already in place.

    Before Social Security, homes were shared by 2 and 3 generations, and the family looked out for their ancestors. Look at The Waltons, for cryin’ out loud. That wasn’t fiction, but fiction based on FACT.

    Today too many people want to send their elderly relatives “to the home” because they don’t want to care for them. So instead of giving their family members love, they pull at the heartstrings of the government to care for these people.

    If you ever were in the military, you’ve already experienced Socialized Medicine. I was a cog in that machine for 10 years.

    IT’s FREE-AND THAT IS THE ONLY GUARANTEE.
    Nobody will tell you it’s fast, or of high quality.

    Twice a year I go to my doctor in town and get my blood work drawn, and a urinalysis. I go over to the Hospital and get a chest X-ray. Then I go back to my doctor (busiest in town) and wait about an hour to see her and get my prescriptions. Total time spent about 2 hours.

    In a Military Hospital, if you can get it done in one clinic day, it will take you at least 8-9 hours. So take a vacation day or lose a day’s pay to get done what you need to by Socialized Medicine, with questionable quality.

    Tens of millions of uninsured? even the 12 million illegals have access to health care. Since we love them too much to round them up and toss them back across the border, it’s choking the healthcare system as it is to death. Socialize it and the bottle neck will be unfathomable.

    But so many of you are liberals, and you think with your hearts instead of your brains.
    Isn’t Medicare and Medicaid enough of a disaster as it stands now? and you want to make it worse?

    How about a common sense Brain-thought out solution to fixing the socialized medicine we already have—perhaps the savings could better serve the people who are in situation where they need it.

    Socializing the entire health care system would be disastrous. There is no incentive for research and development of new equipment, drugs or treatments. And the quality of care offered would suffer greatly.

    Now for all you FNY fans.

    The FNY Blog—If you believe the FNY’ers–is only the opinions of the FNY authors who write on the blog. It doesn’t mean that FNY endorses Ron Paul or any of his wacko ideas. At least, that’s what they say.

    In my mind it doesn’t wash with every author being a Ron Paul supporter, and the blog being an unoffical Worship Ron Paul here Blog.

    I have authoring priviliges on the FNY blog, but I’ve not used them since I grew weary of the worship of the doddering old Libertarian coot that continues on the FNY Blog around the clock. JO’s converting mush-head college students teaching part time at Canisius, and now he has a couple of acolyte converts chanting the Ron Paul Mantra.

    Any statement, true or false, that doesn’t agree with the Ron Paul Agenda, or cannot be attributed to the moldy Austrian Economists worshipped by domestic libertarians, is a Canard.

    Any Person who dares to suggest that the FNY theory of libertarian populism is not carved in stone tablets by tongues of flame is also a Canard, whether it fits the definition of the word or not.

    If you disagree with them, you “don’t get it”, or you’re a Canard.
    No gray in libertarian populism.

    I’ll give my friend Alan kudos publically this time. It takes balls to print even one word in the blogosphere that is critical of Ron Paul, and the Austrian economic philosophy that he and his adulators accept as dogma not unlike the word of the Almighty himself. As you can see the moRons descend like a vulture on a piece of roadkill.

  28. Russell February 7, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    Rob, tell me what’s so different about Obama then, that you believe he will be able to accomplish what others before him tried but were unable to do. And also please explain to me how Obama saying what has been said for over a decade constitutes change? That’s not semantics. Furthermore, please tell me why this great agent of change that’s going to bring the US the universal coverage the huddled masses have been pining for hasn’t done a single thing to attempt this while he’s been in the Senate.

    BP, in many cases, it’s not exactly world-class. And just because Conservatives (and conservatives) in other countries understand their need to get elected and know it’s unwise to oppose a handout that’s already been given doesn’t mean it’s not a left-leaning issue.

  29. Mike In WNY February 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    as ron paul’s brand of libertarianism involves denying women the right to make their own choices about health care, even if they pay for it themselves

    I would think that someone who claims to be a journalist would stick to facts and leave the false implications for others. Ron Paul has never said women shouldn’t make their own health care choices. You are trying to bring up a point using abortion, one very narrow issue, and failing. Ron Paul doesn’t support the federal government regulating abortion and believes that the constitutional solution is to leave the issue to the States.

  30. Rob February 7, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    Obama has shown an ability to work with disparate groups to get things done. But I’m not claiming he’s uniquely suited to this, or that it’s a cinch if he’s elected. This stupid argument started because Jim O. claimed that the “change” rhetoric was a canard because, in effect, Obama’s changes weren’t the ones Jim O. wants. That was my original point; read his posts if you think I didn’t characterize him fairly. And even if his argument (if you can call it that) wasn’t complete blarney, it was incredibly trite. “Obama doesn’t really represent change!!” Wow. Bush wasn’t really a compassionate conservative. So?

    For some kind of health care reform to pass, the Congressional Dems will need to increase their majorities (which seems likely) and either the Dem congressional leadership will have to get those spine transplants they’ve been needing (which seems impossible) or a Dem president will have to persuade them. I think Obama has a much better chance than Clinton or (obviously) McCain to do that.

  31. Russell February 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    Aight, I can see your point Rob. I’m not too sure Obama’s really shown himself to work all that much with disparate groups to get things done, especially not anything unique beyond what’s pretty much required to get things done in this Congress. Jim’s arguments are trite. They’re trying to argue theoretical concepts and lofty ideals that are never as pure when put into real practice. They don’t understand the difference between theory and reality, alot like Ivory Tower types.

  32. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Be careful what you wish for: http://blog.freeny.org/?p=2822

  33. hank February 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    Mike—Stop Trolling for hits.

  34. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    LOL, Hank….

  35. Jaquandor February 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Ron Paul doesn’t support the federal government regulating abortion and believes that the constitutional solution is to leave the issue to the States.

    Paul’s voting record doesn’t exactly bear this out; he was on board with the banning of “Partial Birth” abortions at the Federal level, for instance, and his sponsoring of the “Sanctity of Life” act doesn’t exactly leave a lot of wiggle-room for the “Leave it to the states” crowd. As usual, he’s just tossing out nonsense that sounds appealing to the Libertarians who eat it up.

  36. Rob February 7, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    As for Mike Walsh’s “be careful what you wish for” link:

    1. Gratzer is a conservative (affiliated with the Manhattan Institute) critic of all universal health care proposals. He was the source of Rudy Giuliani’s widely discredited claim about prostate cancer survival rates in the U.S. vs. Great Britain, so he’s not IMO a very dependable source of information.

    2. In any case, Canada has a single payer system, and neither Obama nor Clinton have proposed a single payer system.

    But I guess the important thing is just to raise enough objections to prevent the U.S. government from doing anything to promote universal coverage, right? Cuz otherwise you might be somehow inconvenienced.

  37. Jon Splett February 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    The other side of Mike Walsh’s ridiculous propaganda.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19299.htm

  38. mike hudson February 7, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    hank, how is it that the united kingdom (they still call it that but really it’s just england/scotland/wales these days) recently surpassed the united states in standard of living and enjoys the benefits of universal health care so much that even magggie thatcher didn’t dare to mess with it? i don’t think they’d tell you it’s a disaster. they also have far lower infant mortaility than we do, a higher rate of live births and their citizens a greater life expectancy, as do sweden, switzerland, spain, norway, the netherlands, monaco, japan, israel, france and many other civilized nations now laboring under the nightmare of universal health care.

  39. mike hudson February 7, 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    and you know what hank? the cost, per person, for those countries to keep their citizens healthier is ACTUALLY LESS than the cost per person here, where we’re not as healthy. isn’t that remarkable? now tell me again how exactly universal health care is a disaster.

  40. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 7:08 pm #

    Here’s Glatzer’s rebuttal to the “discredited” claim: http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-10-31dg.html

  41. mike hudson February 7, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    wow, a right wing writer promoting the findings of a right wing think tank to “prove” that something a right wing politician said was true! walsh, given your talent for conducting, uh, “research,” they could have used you in moscow circa 1956.

  42. Slim Whitman February 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    Yes, libertarians associate the federal government funding a department that fights forest fires as a socialist endeavor.

    Personally, I find that the military-industrial complex is a socialist endeavor. It’s right-wing backdoor socialism, often perpetuated as a jobs program.

    If the wackoid Libertarians, or the far-right Economic Darwinist wing of The Republican party keep pasting the Socialism label on every government initiative from testing water quality to building highways, then just remember that what they propose is anarchy. They are Anarchists. If anyone to the left of Barry Goldwater is a Socialist, then by golly, everyone to the right of Ted Kennedy is an Anarchist.

  43. mike hudson February 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    why do you suppose such a smaller percentage of brits develop prostate cancer walsh? could it be because of socialized medicine’s focus on preventative care and the fact that everyone can afford to see a doctor regularly? no, that couldn’t be it, could it?

  44. Rob February 7, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    I know the FNYers have cited factcheck.org when it suited their purposes. Here is factcheck.org on Gratzer.

  45. Rob February 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    And as I already said, neither Dem candidate is proposing a single payer system.

  46. eac February 7, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Did your parents really flee socialism? Or an authoritarian regime that used the trappings and arguments of socialism as a tool–one among others–to keep the populace in check? I mean, fwiw, the Nazis claimed to be socialists, too, but that was certainly not democratic socialism; we typically call it fascism, in fact. Similarly, especially under Stalin, the USSR pretty much used the rhetoric of communism to (poorly) disguise what was really totalitarianism.

    As I see it, people always drag out the wrong examples of ‘socialism.’ I think modern Sweden, even Europe more generally, fits the bill much better than Mao’s China.

  47. hank kaczmarek February 7, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    Hudson—What country develops and produces more drugs than any other?

    Not England, and not any country with Socialized medicine.

    What country leads the world in the development of diagnostic Technology?
    and its equipment?

    Yep–Not England, or any other country with Socialized medicine.

    Where are over 90% of the pharmaceuticals in the world produced?

    The USA develops more new drugs, produces the cutting edge equipment, technology and tests to diagnose and treat diseases earlier in their progression. The vast majority of the planet’s pharmaeuticals are made in Puerto Rico. All US drug companies produce there because they don’t have to pay taxes on the production of those drugs. Bill has been in place since the Truman Admministration to provide manufacturing jobs to PR. Many non US companies have moved there due to the trained work force. I spnt 3 years working in a Pharmacy in Puerto Rico, and you can see the drug plants on the sides of the main roads all the way around the Island. Amazing what you can see outside Ohio…

    I’ve spent 17 of my working years working in and around pharmaceutials, so I know better than someone who spent an equal amount of time melting their brain with them. Stick to yellow journalism, though you’re not even great at that.

  48. al-alo February 7, 2008 at 10:36 pm #

    you know what i hate most about socialism? little kittens. i hate kittens.

  49. al-alo February 7, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    hey hank,

    you know who else does a LOT of patents for new drugs? france. dont you hate them socialists?

  50. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    What do you guys think of HMO’s and managed care? What are your general impressions? Good, bad, indifferent?

  51. Mike Walsh February 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm #

    “why do you suppose such a smaller percentage of brits develop prostate cancer walsh? could it be because of socialized medicine’s focus on preventative care and the fact that everyone can afford to see a doctor regularly? no, that couldn’t be it, could it?”

    The brits claim they know how to prevent prostate cancer? They should share it with the world medical community.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, Hudson. There is no known way to avoid cancer with preventative care.

    Did you mean early detection through yearly PSA tests? If so, that’s available here.

  52. Ray February 7, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    “why do you suppose such a smaller percentage of brits develop prostate cancer walsh? could it be because of socialized medicine’s focus on preventative care and the fact that everyone can afford to see a doctor regularly? no, that couldn’t be it, could it?”

    Where did you get this crap from Hudson? Link to the source please.
    God forbid you get diagnosed with prostate cancer in England, it could takes weeks get treatment from a specialist.(rationing you know, a socialist specialty) The mortality rate is 77.5% in England vs 99.3% for the US.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/561737

  53. Ray February 7, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    Correction, that should read The survival rate is 77.5% in England vs 99.3% for the US.

  54. Mike Walsh February 8, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    “Personally, I find that the military-industrial complex is a socialist endeavor. It’s right-wing backdoor socialism, often perpetuated as a jobs program.”

    Of course it is. You won’t find many libertarians who disagree with that.

  55. Mike Walsh February 8, 2008 at 12:12 am #

    Facts are stubborn things, Ray.

  56. Ray February 8, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    Ya Mike, we selfish social & economic Darwinist cavemen are stubborn about knowing the facts.

  57. mike hudson February 8, 2008 at 1:24 am #

    i didn’t mean to imply that you are selfish scial & economic darwinist cavemen, ray. merely that you’re stupid. and walsh the psa tests are not available here if you can’t afford to see the doctor. health care must be judged in terms of life expectancy. healthy people live longer than unhealthy ones. and people live longer in all the countries i mentioned, those with socialized medicine, than those in america, where health care takes up a greater percentage of gdp than anywhere else.

    and hank, going to other countries is a pretty meaningless measure of anything if all you do is bitch about the people there.

  58. Russell February 8, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Mike, health care cannot be judged solely on the measure of life expectancy. There are a number of things that contribute to the length of life expectancy other than quality of health care, like diet, activity level, work habits, genetics, and a whole lot of other things that have little to do with the health system. A better way to judge the quality of a health program is to compare health programs, like survival rates, treatment times, number of doctors per 1,000 (population), number of hospital beds per 1,000 and other points that are either directly associated with the health system or a direct result of it.

    eac, the Nazis form was National Socialism not Democratic Socialism. There’s a reason why that distinction exists. You’re getting confused between economic systems and government systems. The two work together, but they are not the same. Totalitarianism is mainly a government system, but because of its attempt at total control it affects the economy, but it is not incompatible with socialism or communism.

  59. TseTse February 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    In re comment as to what country produces more pharmaceuticals. Top 5 companies in world :
    1) Pfizer (Us)
    2) Galaxo Smith Kline (British)
    3) Sanofi-Aventis (France)
    4) Novatis (Swiss)
    5) Hoffman-laRoche (Swiss)

  60. eac February 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    *I’m* not confused, but you’re right that often people are. My point is that the coercive aspects of, e.g., fascist Italy, had more to do with the politics than the economics; the economics were used as a tool. They don’t have to be. If the people freely elect to have a socialist economic model, they are not being tyranized. Unlike the Paulistas, I recognize that you may in fact excercise your political liberty to reduce your economic liberty; so long as it is your decision, it’s not oppression.

    Which is why I hate to see the word ‘socialism’ tossed around as though it necessarily implies dictatorship.

  61. Mike Walsh February 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Let’s back up here for a bit. There’s a whole other aspect to this issue.

    Try this one for a start: http://www.publicintegrity.org/rx/report.aspx?aid=723

  62. Russell February 8, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    TseTse, the top 5 companies does not mean the top 5 countries. That’s just where they’re headquartered, not necessarily where they’re greatest production is. What would be interesting is to look at some of these companies and breakdown where their greatest production and introduction of new pharmaceuticals take place.

    eac, I’m not convinced socialism has been taken to imply dictatorship. What it does imply, and what it seems people have been talking about, is greater encroachment of the government into the market. Some economic systems work better with some political systems and socialism is more closely correlated to governments with less civic freedoms because it has less economic freedom. Even communism, a somewhat combined economic and political system, does not necessarily mean dictatorship.

  63. eac February 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    I think the way BP was using it was. Again, people aren’t fleeing socialist Sweden, so what Croatia in the 60’s and modern Sweden have in common must not have been the problem unto itself; the differences are critical. I think we basically agree.

    As for “some political & economic systems” work better together, maybe, but none are a natural fit and as you rightly (though implicitly) point out, all/any permutations are potentially possible. For example, I think free-market capitalism, which promotes individuality, competition and a “me/us-first” mentality, is sort of antithetical to democracy, which requires building majorities, concessions, and civility to work best. Antithetical, but obviously not impossible (though we all know the market is never, ever, completely free, anywhere, and likely never will be) But as we become hypercapitalistic, and more and more money and business become the provenance of politics and politicians, I find our democracy is weakening. Legislating for the good of the producers rather than the consumers, given the necessary ratio of the former to the latter, is pretty antidemocratic, imo.

  64. Russell February 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    There are tradeoffs to balance the government system with the economic system. The type of socialism in Sweden was not the type of socialism in Croatia because the government was not the same. It can be said that people fleeing Croatia were fleeing that type of socialism. Just because it fits into a broad classification does not mean it’s similar all the way through to what Sweden has. This is known as Congruence Theory and developed by Harry Eckstein.

    Are you saying democracy does not promote individuality and competition? Because I think it is the only system currently in practice that does.

  65. eac February 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    I think we already agree on paragraph one; socialism ? dictatorship; oft, the two are used synonymously but should not be; it’s more complex; yadda yadda yadda.

    congruence theory, I’m guessing from a quick search, has something to do with political and economic systems coming into equilibrium in any given country… um, ok; sure. I mean, it’s a political theory, right? Probably has some evidence to support it… probably, other theories interpret the same evidence other ways, other theories also adequately capture the data, there are academics in this and other camps, etc, … PoliSci… Great. Certainly no “pure” political or economic systems exist, and every combination of the two is unique, and both evolve over time, so sure… why not? I don’t see the relevance to this discussion, well, obliquely, but ok.

    As to the second: No, I’m saying:

    Legislating for the good of the producers rather than the consumers, given the necessary ratio of the former to the latter, is pretty antidemocratic, imo.

    Right? Democracy, um, supposed to be rule of the majority… but instead we have a political elite legislating for themselves moreso than for us… But since most of our politicians are also of the corporate class, it’s no surprise that Washington chronically sucks Industry’s swollen prick. So right now, no, I don’t think “free-market” capitalism is serving democracy too well for the time being. Health care is a perfect example of that, dovetailing with the other theme of this thread.

    Keep in mind of our Constitution that it is a pre-Industrial document; there’s a lot of interplay between commerce and government that our Founders didn’t really anticipate. It’s evolved with the economic changes post 1778, but not necessarily for the good of the governed. So there’s your Congruence Theory.

  66. eac February 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    that question mark was a “not-equal-to” sign when i typed it. erp!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Socijalizam - February 7, 2008

    […] The Lang Report’s Authoritative Commentary on Politics, Religion, and the Human Condition wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Proletarians of the world, unite! No. My parents actually fled socialism in the mid-60s to come to this country and make a better life for them and me. So, no, I don’t remotely consider myself a supporter of the system that my parents fled. But because I believe in the idea that society should pay for things like Fire protection, Police protection, health care for the poor and elderly, etc., the Ron Paul people are so happy to label me a “socialist”, without regard for what that word me […]

  2. Ron Paul » Socijalizam - February 7, 2008

    […] Welcome to Street Vein – Vox wrote an interesting post today on SocijalizamHere’s a quick excerpt…should pay for things like Fire protection, Police protection, health care for the poor and elderly, etc., the Ron Paul people are so happy to… […]

  3. Free New York Blog » SpeakupWNYMedia.net - February 7, 2008

    […] another local thread where I posted a comment that was on the merits and directly responsive to the main post and it […]

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: