Face it, the US economy is socialist

The real debate is not whether the US economy has socialist attributes, but choosing which form of socialism to employ.

Two things happened to suggest the Republican Party had finally gone over the deep end. One was Republican Congressman Allen West's claim that around 80 Democrats are members of the Communist Party. The other was the GOP's indifference to his claim, as if West were pointing out the obvious. Water is wet, sky is blue, and the Dems are communists.

This inspired two long-time political observers, a liberal and a conservative, to write in the Washington Post that, since the 2008 crisis, many of our most pressing problems can be traced to one place: the radicalisation of the GOP. Both sides are not to blame for partisan gridlock, they wrote, and journalists should stop distorting reality with false equivalency.

I agree: Republicans are the new radicals. I agree, too, that journalistic balance can be problematic when one side is extremist. But I'd go one step further and suggest the importance of perspective outside the presumed rhetorical framework. It would help if journalists actually knew what "socialism" was and could challenge radical Republicans with the fact that "socialism" is already here. The real debate, therefore, isn't about "socialism" but rather the kind of "socialism" we want.

Different socialisms

Let's start with "socialism", as understood by libertarians like Allen West, who has views so far to the right he can see no difference between liberals, progressives, Marxists, socialists and communists. These can overlap a lot, of course, but you can't say they are the same. But to West, they are.

"There is a very thin line [between them]. It's about nationalising production, it's about creating and expanding the welfare state. It's about this idea of social and economic justice," he told Reuters, expounding on his earlier remarks.

That's a narrow view of the political left but a typical one for a libertarian. Whenever the government gets involved in a free-market economy, a little bit more individual liberty is lost.

By this standard, the US is a socialist country, because to some degree or another, the government has always got involved in the economy: the railroads, the Homestead Act, the power grid, the interstate highway system, and the internet. These are products of the government creating markets or meeting demand, and then getting out of the way to allow capitalism to work. Most in the US wouldn't call this socialism, however. They would call it good governance. [continue]

Tags: GOP, bailouts, capitalism, communists, democrats, economy, extremists, nujobs, radicals, republicans, More…socialism, welfare

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One thing I'm not sure I agree with: that Republicans are "radicals."  The way they are currently acting, I would characterize them far more readily as
 Reactionaries, as they seem to be in steadfast, intractable resistance to any kind of forward motion.

Indeed, I'm suddenly reminded of one Senator "Billboard" Rawkins, late of Rainbow Valley Missitucky, and a a portion of a speech he once gave regarding this issue:

Back, you crackpots! Forward, America! Forward to the hallowed principles of our forefathers. Forward to the sweet tranquility of the status quo. Forward... to yesterday!

Personally, I think Finian McLonergan made more sense with his theories regarding the American economy as it related to his stolen pot of leprechaun gold than the senator did back then ... or too many members of the GOP do NOW.

Radical reactionaries?  

One bright note is the media appears to slowly be taking note of the "false equivalency" complaints. I recently heard a reporter correct an interviewee after a socialism comment. There has also been some push back from the so-called Goldwater repubs. 

Hopeful prediction: we are living through some sort of new-fangled Mcarthysim that will burn itself out soon because young people are going to start kicking old fashioned fear of change shite to the curb.

Unfortunately, these things go in circles.

Louis D. Brandeis Quotes ... We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.

That is where we are. People wine about the the pennies we throw the poor, but oblivious to the corporate welfare we support. We are more socialist when it comes to corporate welfare, they are thriving where poor people are not. I worked for 35 years, payed unemployment insurance the whole time and was limited to a tiny fraction of what I paid when I lost my job recently. Socialism is supposed to be about equality, but the socialism happening in this country is only for the already rich. Until people wake up and see that the wealthy with the blessing of the government, particularly the wealthy republicans (have you ever heard of a poor one) are syphoning the wealth from this country, things won't change. We are living in an oligarchy. Wealth rules! 

Yes, we do not have democracy. Rather we have a plutocracy: rule by the wealthy. However, I think your distinction that republican = wealthy and democrat = poor is incorrect. There are many in both parties that fall into both catagories, rich and poor. I'm in Texas. We have lots of poor republicans.

Oh sorry I always forget. There are no poor republicans in charge or democrats. I just think that the poor republicans are conservatives, not necessarily republicans, there is a difference.

Republicans support less government to support the wealthy, conservatives want less government.

Well, they say they want less government. But that deep conviction seems to evaporate when it comes to gays, women, free speech, or government handouts (for faith-based initiatives).

LOL, sigh.. depends on the electoral college bribery or the 'state' you speak of or live in..

? united my ass
freaky cult CEO's and their offshore hoards of gold are coming back to 'try' and take the Constitution down!
> : )
little do they know accountability has them by the balls n' brains...

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