Thursday, May 1, 2014

What's so bad about socialism?

It's May Day and its time for the Communists and Socialists to yell in megaphones at the college campuses. For most of us who've gone to college, the "protests" were something to walk past while we were on on way to do something important like throwing a frisbee, drinking a few beers or heaven forbid studying! These days, the conservatives and mouthpieces for the Koch Brothers are about the only people who get hot and bothered about socialism. Well, lets look at our current form of government versus the "evils" of Socialism. I'll start with our current system.

1) Idiots like Sean Hannity would tell us that under a socialistic government, we the people would lose our freedoms. Really? Our freedoms are shrinking daily. From the NSA spying on US citizens, to governments taking away people's homes under the guise of eminant domain only to turn that property over to a corporation and the police which now operate as a military organization, complete with tanks and other heavy weapons routinely smash down the doors of innocent people and kill them.

2) Sean would also say that under Socialism, the citizens would lose all control over who is elected and what laws are passed. Again, really? Our politicians are owned by corporations. The lobbyists for the corporations write the laws, give the draft to the politicians who then introduce it into Congress or the state legislatures. The vote of an average citizen is irrelevant.

3) Sean would rant that socialism requires that all children attend "state" schools that would be substandard to what students currently receive. Please. In the U.S., if you aren't affluent, guess what? Your kid goes to a crappy school with overworked teaches and few resources. Your kid's chances of going to college are nil. If you are affluent, well then your kid goes to a school that looks like a college campus, has computers in every room, plenty of aids and aides for the teachers, most likely a library and most importantly, connections to college administrators eager to accept your child and your dollars into their school. Oh and who pays for this? Why you do Mr. and Mrs. Parent or worse, Ms. Parent.

4) Sean complains that citizens are overtaxed. Here, he has a point. What he and his fellow conservatives always fail to point out is that wealthy people's incomes are mostly derived from investment income not a paycheck. So yes, poor people and middleclass people are overtaxed while Sean and his cronies are undertaxed. Let's not forget the corporations which extort tax free income from municipalities under the threat of leaving to a more "business friendly" state. Of course, like all blackmailers, the payments never really end. Once the tax free period runs out and the corporations are to begin paying their taxes, the corporations renew their threat of leaving and either get an extension of a tax free existance or the corporation moves to another friendler locale.

Now, let's look at the "evils" of socialism, shall we?

1) In Europe, especially France, spying on citizens is strongly discouraged and the citizens were rightly outraged that the US NSA had violated their laws to spy on European citizens. Those citizens don't meekly comply. They have taken to the streets and the threat of a national strike is a reality that their politicians have to face and accordingly, are careful not to tread on the privacy rights of their citizens.

2) The politicians in socialized countries haven't been proven to be more corrupt than politicians in the US. And those same politicians vote for laws enabling people to work 35 hour work weeks, retire at 55, free healthcare for all, retraining for people out of work, subways that aren't death traps and food that isn't full of Monsanto chemicals. The Socialists get my vote.

3) Socialized countries have national curriculums so that it doesn't matter what size your bank account is, each kid gets the same educational opportunies. Tests determine which college your kid goes to. Oh and if your kid does go to college, the government pays for it, not mommy and daddy. Another win for the Socialists!

4) Under socialism, the Corporations are taxed at an equal or higher rate than working citizens. For the most part, the taxes are limited to a national tax and a sales tax such as VAT in Europe. I've run the numbers and I'd pay about the same amount in taxes in France for example as I do now. The difference being that I receive some benefits from those taxes.

So, bring on the Socialism in the U.S. BABY, cause I"M READY!!!