Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on February 13, 2010 By Draginol In Politics

During my daily journey to Digg to see what’s cool and new I usually fail the temptation test of reading the comments on some of the political  articles.

For example:

http://m.digg.com/political_opinion/George_Will_Progressives_and_the_growing_dependency_agenda

The most dugg comment (indicating that the Digg community found this comment to be insightful):

Thanks for that myopic right wing rant-o-rama, George. Just because you have the money to afford private schools for your kids, doesn't mean you don't have to help support public schools. Yes, I read the article, he's misrepresenting the nature of the DC program. The same with health care. Nobody is stopping you from paying for a private room and your own personal doctor if you have the money, but you still have to help provide care to everyone else. Just because we have social services doesn't make us socialist. Most of you don't run your own electric company, water or sewer company, but most of you don't have a choice where you get those services, either. You take what the electric company offers at the price they set. Sometimes as a society we find it's easier to band together for collective services. Water, electric, education, health care, police protection, courts, fire services. And, yes, the list keeps growing because our society keeps changing. Most of you depend on collective water and electric but you have the option of turning it off and going solar if you find it impinges that much on your freedom. After 9/11 we decided to make airport security a collective service, maybe that wasn't such a winner but we know the alternative doesn't work. If you have the money to fly private, you can avoid all that inconvenience. All this teabagger blather is just nonsense.

The world Socialist or Socialism isn’t an insult. It is a specific concept with a specific meaning: The believe that society’s resources should be distributed by the government.

Let’s take a look at this genius’s comment in detail now:

“Just because you have the money to afford private schools for your kids, doesn't mean you don't have to help support public schools”

Don’t have to? In a completely free society, you would not be forced to pay for services that you do not use.  Now, I don’t happen to support a completely free society. I support a certain level of socialism because I do believe that individuals do owe an inherent debt to society. But I’m not going to say that something has to be a certain way.  There’s no particular reason why the government must pay for schools – particularly the federal government.

“The same with health care. Nobody is stopping you from paying for a private room and your own personal doctor if you have the money, but you still have to help provide care to everyone else. Just because we have social services doesn't make us socialist

Um, yea it does actually. By definition. If you are forcing other people to “help provide care to everyone else” you are executing a socialist policy.

That is the core part of socialism – forcing people to pay for other people.

He doesn’t even recognize the distinction himself when he writes:

“Most of you depend on collective water and electric but you have the option of turning it off and going solar if you find it impinges that much on your freedom”

Yes, and we don’t “still have to help provide” electricity and water to other people. They pay for what they use. If a citizen goes solar then they don’t have to pay for electricity.

By contrast, as the guy originally grasps but then forgets later in his own comment, if you send your child to private school or buy private health care you still are stuck having to pay for other people’s healthcare.  That’s socialism.

When tax time hits, I’m always pained to know that guys like this will be mindlessly voting for policies they clearly don’t understand.


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 14, 2010

Some push socialism when it suits their agenda, yet will gladly invoke capitalistic tendencies to help attain their goals. Once that happens they will pour their socialist "goodness" back on. The solar panel owner will have to share his/her bounty.

on Feb 14, 2010

Don’t have to? In a completely free society, you would not be forced to pay for services that you do not use. Now, I don’t happen to support a completely free society. I support a certain level of socialism because I do believe that individuals do owe an inherent debt to society. But I’m not going to say that something has to be a certain way. There’s no particular reason why the government must pay for schools – particularly the federal government.
Well said. But how exactly would you make "a certain level of socialism" work without any government institutionalization in the form of a welfare state? And how high or low is your level and how do  you decide that - unfortunately that question is great for big arguments. Substitute "socialism" with the principle of solidarity and you might be a christian democrat if you lived in Germany. But solidarity implies voluntary participation which isn't possible if the government decides that you have to pay a tax. I don't know of  a good solution that makes everybody happy.

on Feb 14, 2010

But how exactly would you make "a certain level of socialism" work without any government institutionalization in the form of a welfare state?

I don't think he is really against government organising these things. His comment was more about the ignorance of socialism's supporters than against socialism per se.

 

And how high or low is your level and how do  you decide that - unfortunately that question is great for big arguments. 

Elections.

The people vote and government abides.

The problem is when a majority of people don't contribute and yet have the power, by their number, to decide what the money will be used for.

My own limit is direct payments. I am in favour of government providing all sorts of services using tax payers' money except direct payments of that money to individuals.

 

on Feb 14, 2010

Many criticize "Big Government" that wastes a ton of money for welfare on allegedly lazy people. Or at least I remember having read alot of comments on JU to this regard. Case in point: 

That is the core part of socialism – forcing people to pay for other people.
My question was how it is possible to implement a system based on social solidarity but also personal responsibilty without a "Big Government".

The problem is when a majority of people don't contribute and yet have the power, by their number, to decide what the money will be used for.
True. We need more babies so that it will be the other way around sometime in the future or we'll stay really  screwed.

on Feb 14, 2010

My question was how it is possible to implement a system based on social solidarity but also personal responsibilty without a "Big Government".

The kibbutz movement managed to do that.

Kibbutzim and moshavim work on a system based on social solidarity and personal responsibility without barbed wires or a secret police. I understand the Soviet Union has repeatedly protested against the concept in the UN.

The problem with socialists in Europe (and probably in America) is not their ideals but the fact that they want other people to implement them. In Germany there are way more socialists than there are volunteers for kibbutzim. Why is that? If socialism is so great, why do socialists keep coming to the capitalists for help?

My father was a socialist. I am not. But my father did volunteer on a kibbutz. And he believed in contributing. But today's socialists believe in taking.

Socialism was an ideal of people who wanted to contribute and who wanted better ways to contribute. Today socialism is just a way to take money from other people.

 

True. We need more babies so that it will be the other way around sometime in the future or we'll stay really  screwed.

If you work children are a net loss. If you are unemployed, they become a net win. The unemployed will multiply faster than the employed and they will teach their "values" to their children.

We don't need more babies. We need more people who contribute.

Socialism needs more contributors and fewer socialists.

 

 

on Feb 15, 2010

what jarrs me the most is:

he's misrepresenting the nature of the DC program.

how could anyone defend the atrocity the democrats are committing against those poor children? forcing them to go to violent, badly managed schools instead of allowing them to go to a school of their choice.

And they said george bush hates black people...

The only possible explanation I can come up with is that the believe non white children to be lesser and that they must be corralled into failing schools rather then allowing them into a school of their choice. That they are so evil that they will sacrifice the well being of children just to further their delusional agenda by intentionally sabotaging the future of those children to create more government dependency.

on Feb 15, 2010

Socialism and racism... the two most commonly misunderstood terms in the English language.

on Feb 15, 2010

The only possible explanation I can come up with is that the believe non white children to be lesser and that they must be corralled into failing schools rather then allowing them into a school of their choice. That they are so evil that they will sacrifice the well being of children just to further their delusional agenda by intentionally sabotaging the future of those children to create more government dependency.

No not that sinister IMO. It is payback to the NEA union. This organization is against vouchers because then teachers are held to a standard, many of which would not make the cut now. The NEA basically provides welfare to teachers. My nephew in PA started out with $35K as a teacher when he finished school, he's over 40K now (with increases each year), just a few years later and makes extra on top of that for being a football coach. Those amounts don't sound so wonderful until you figure in the medical, retirement program, and other benefits, oh and working 9 moths out of the year (summer vacation, spring break, Christmas break and every holiday possible). Now consider most other people in the area are lucky to make 30K working year round. I'm happy for my nephew, he's just taking what is offered. I don't deny being a teacher is hard work, it is, for some. I recall a teacher from my high school days that would have us read a chapter or two on Mondays while he rested from a weekend of hard partying, many times with kids from the same school. The NEA protected him like a hawk.

on Feb 15, 2010

Socialism and racism... the two most commonly misunderstood terms in the English language.

Do explain.

 

on Feb 15, 2010

Nitro, if that is the case then instead of:

That they are so evil that they will sacrifice the well being of children just to further their delusional agenda by intentionally sabotaging the future of those children to create more government dependency. (those children would depend on the government via welfare in the future)

it becomes:

That they are so evil that they will sacrifice the well being of children just to further their delusional agenda by intentionally sabotaging the future of those children to create more government dependency (of the NEA union teachers).

The exact individuals targeted for government dependency change, the malicious sabotage of children does not.

on Feb 15, 2010

Leauki

Do explain.

Socialism is misunderstood as pointed out by Brad in the OP.  Racism is misunderstood because people think that just about everything these days is racism, when oftentimes it is not.

For example, saying that "black neighborhoods have more crime" is not necessarily racism.  Unless the speaker intends for the comment to be derogative against black people, it's not racism.  However, were some prominent politican to say that - even if he was merely pointing out a trend - he'd be labeled as a racist.  The same thing happened with President Obama's election here in the US.  If you didn't vote for him, then you must be a racist.  The list goes on from here.

I guess my point was that the definitions of both socialism and racism are becoming very vague.

on Feb 16, 2010

Socialism is misunderstood as pointed out by Brad in the OP.  Racism is misunderstood because people think that just about everything these days is racism, when oftentimes it is not.

True.

 

For example, saying that "black neighborhoods have more crime" is not necessarily racism.  Unless the speaker intends for the comment to be derogative against black people, it's not racism.  However, were some prominent politican to say that - even if he was merely pointing out a trend - he'd be labeled as a racist.  The same thing happened with President Obama's election here in the US.  If you didn't vote for him, then you must be a racist.  The list goes on from here.

True. Pointing out a verifiable fact is not racism. Pointing out the "black neighborhoods" have more crime is not racism. But pointing out that "black neighborhoods" would necessarily have more crime because they are "black" could be.

 

I guess my point was that the definitions of both socialism and racism are becoming very vague.

The definitions have not. Some people who use the terms have.

 

on Feb 16, 2010

True. Pointing out a verifiable fact is not racism. Pointing out the "black neighborhoods" have more crime is not racism. But pointing out that "black neighborhoods" would necessarily have more crime because they are "black" could be.

Exactly. Just like when I lived in Miami, the top 3 most dangerous areas in Miami were all Black communities. Black communities in the sense that the majority were Black people who lived there. There were also many Latinos and some Whites. I should know, I lived in the 3rd worst area and my sister-in-law lived in the second. I also worked in the first area so I have personal experience to back this up. Does this mean that it's because Black people are prone to criminal activities? No, it just so happens that in these particular areas Black people out number everyone else and it's likely they are the ones committing the most crimes. But then if you look at an area when one race out numbers another, it's likely however not necessarily a scientific fact, that the one race with the most numbers is the one with the most crimes commited.

on Feb 16, 2010

another common issue is the use of racism to describe all bigotry... "you think women belong in the kitchen? YOU RACIST!" "you hate gay people? YOU RACIST!"

Its like those people never heard of the word bigot before.

on Feb 16, 2010



another common issue is the use of racism to describe all bigotry... "you think women belong in the kitchen? YOU RACIST!" "you hate gay people? YOU RACIST!"

Its like those people never heard of the word bigot before.



That's the same people who then excuse barbaric rituals and violence against women as parts of a "culture" that we have to respect because all cultures are equal.

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