Here’s a recent and ongoing discussion in the American Politics Culture & Economy group on Linked In. Add your comments below.
The thread begins when “Sue” posted a link to the article The Socialist Mind Game: A Brief Manual. With regard to this confused and incoherent article, which pretends that Obama and the socialist liberals are the enemy and right wing Republican neo-con fascists are here to save us, the following digression followed here.
Jim F, one of the brightest and most level-headed thinkers I’ve seen on the net, jumps in with his response to the “garbage” written in The Socialist Mind Game: A Brief Manual:
Jim F. • What garbage–socialism, totalitarianism and dictatorship, all packaged in the same wrapper by a writer who uses his experience in a failed communist state as evidence.
“The Game existed since Cain and Abel, but it developed into an art form in the 20th century, with the rise of totalitarian regimes armed with state-controlled education, entertainment, and the media.”
Oh, you mean like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland? Pretty scary police-states, those. Pretty miserable citizens, having to choke down good schools, excellent health care, open political dialog and the failed ‘freedoms’ that spawned Nokia, Leggo, IKEA and other dastardly enterprises that so brutally held down wealth accumulation. Bet they wish THEY had Wal-Mart and Goldman Sachs, educational costs beyond the reach of all but the wealthy and a prison system that quadrupled inmates since 1980.
Sorry Sue, this was a worthless, wild-eyed rant that blinds by its ignorance.
We’re being played alright, but if you intend to define the battle for America, a good beginning would be to get your facts and history straight.
Many Americans know that the United States is not a Democracy but a “Corporatocracy,” in which we are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite and corporate-collaborator government officials. However, the truth of suc…
Brenda interjects about the “one thing” missing in his remarks about socialist countries that have nothing to do with how they got or are able to remain that way by focusing on taxes as the reason why the US cannot enjoy their socialist agendas.
Brenda K. • Jim, there is one thing missing in your argument about Sweden, Denmark, and Holland. If the American people want the social programs from cradle to grave of these countries, which this election may have proven many do, they will also have to have the tax rates of these socialist countries at all income levels. That apparently is not wanted by the people in America.
The middle class and poor can not have the goodies and not the tax rates to pay for them. America still thinks the goodies can be had by only taxing the heck out of the “evil rich”, or successful as I call them.
Confiscation of all income from the to 1 or 2% does not pay for them. We have already run out of other people’s money before we started as a $16.4 Trillion debt reflects today.
At this point I have to throw in my 2 cents.
Dan T. • Brenda, not to stray from this “worthless, wild-eyed rant that blinds by its ignorance” and utter incomprehensibleness, but why do you persist in talking about the $16 trillion debt and taxes on the “evil rich” without a single mention of the $5 trillion squandered on illegal, unnecessary wars in the last 12 years alone, the $500 billion a year wasted on a massive war/security apparatus bent on fascist control and the destruction of our constitutional freedoms, the $1 trillion+ squandered on banking and insurance fraud that is ongoing, the $ trillion a year printed by the Federal Reserve (illegally) to pay for a $trillion deficit, the $1 trillion waste and fraud built into a healthcare system that suppresses alternative natural healing and supports a pharmaceutical industry that dispenses toxic chemicals to treat diseases that end up killing and maiming millions of people who become new drug addicts to these criminal peddlers, the untold $ trillions wrought by industry allowed to dump millions of tons of toxic waste and pollutants without penalty, wreaking near total environmental destruction — anything, pick one, focus on something other than the reality that you will have to spend some of your well-earned money paying for the sins of an utterly corrupt government and an uninformed, unengaged citizenry.
Thanks Jim for the pat on the back.
Jim F. • Well done, Dan. The ‘issue’ is not single and yet we continue to treat it as such, often from our own narrow perspectives–and I do not exempt myself from that charge.
There are no easy answers to a systemic failure–only that such failure is deep, but does not have a long history. America worked not so very long ago and yes, it had it failures then as well–graft and hubris as well as an ignoring of certain ‘lost’ elements of society. But we can come back. Being as old as I am, I’m somewhat shocked at the short memory of those arguing today for the long and successful aspects of American life and how they came to be long and successful.
America is not lost–it has merely lost its way and the job is to stop blaming this or that aspect of the loss and look deep into the totality. That’s neither easy nor simple. It is necessary.
Brenda takes exception to my comments.
Brenda K. • Dan, you are putting words in my mouth, or a better description, thoughts I have not expressed into my logic. What do you think has made up the $16.4 Trillion in debt? I point out the corruption in crony capitalism and special interests that brought us to this fiscal situation all the time. You might want to read a majority of my posts prior to deciding what my positions are in fact.
Don’t decide what my position is and then present it as my opinions or position. I believe it is common sense at this point that massive tax increases on all income levels, not just the top 1-2%, as well as massive spending cuts are the only combined solutions that will ever pay the national debt.
I think you have assumed, based perhaps on your own bias, anyone that points to the ridiculousness of class warfare as a solution for the fiscal problems in the US does not realize tax increases must be a part.
But, also ridiculous, which is what I am pointing out, is that the current debt and continued increased spending can be paid for by only increasing taxes on the top 1-2%. I am pointing out that the 47% that have no tax liability must also be a part of the solution. They also must be included in the “pay your fair share” mantra politically, and any expectations of a life of government dependency as a right must be eliminated in America.
I didn’t think Brenda fairly represented my comment, and thought she was a bit too defensive. Here’s what I’m going to post after Google spiders my blog.
“Dan, you are putting words in my mouth, or a better description, thoughts I have not expressed into my logic… Don’t decide what my position is and then present it as my opinions or position.”
Obviously I have done nothing of the kind. Please point out an example. I feel your comment lacks context in that you’re talking about taxes without government corruption in the same breath. I know you have spoken of crony capitalism and taxes before, but my point is precisely that one cannot be divorced whatsoever from the other, ever, in any way.
The issue is not even about taxes, it’s about corruption.
We agree that it is “crony capitalism”, as you put it, that has gotten us into this mess. I assume that is the case when you write, “What do you think has made up the $16.4 Trillion in debt? I point out the corruption in crony capitalism and special interests that brought us to this fiscal situation all the time.”
After making that point, you then go on to write, “I believe it is common sense at this point that massive tax increases on all income levels, not just the top 1-2%, as well as massive spending cuts are the only combined solutions that will ever pay the national debt.”
That argument is a non-sequitur. If corruption or crony capitalism has gotten us into this mess, why are raising taxes and cutting spending the only way out? You fail to explain why the one should follow from the other. The only logical answer to that question is that you believe it is impossible to reduce corruption sufficiently to reduce the debt. I would disagree with that with my semi-automatic rifle firmly in hand.
It makes no sense to talk about taxes outside of a discussion of corruption because the problem is the corruption, and all the taxes in the world can’t fix that problem. As Jim says, the problem is “systemic”.
I think you are setting up a straw man argument when you argue against tax increases on the top 1% being able to pay down the debt. I’ve never seen anyone argue that point, perhaps you can show it to me.
Your “massive tax increases” and “massive spending cuts” would send the economy into a “massive” depression. In fact, tax increases on anyone are unnecessary. There is enough fraud and corruption to be rooted out of the system to pay down the debt without any problem. We only lack the political will to stop the thieves at play. Tax increases and spending cuts are merely the way that racketeers of the corporatocracy socialize their losses while pocketing the profits.
As I point out here, the “fiscal cliff” soap opera seeks to save about $1.3 trillion over 10 years. Big deal. A 10% cut in the massively out of control defense/homeland mafia apparatus alone would cover that. Probably 20% of the defense budget is fraud and another 30% unnecessary. What’s the problem? The defense budget of the US is larger than the next 10 countries combined. For what? Who are we protecting ourselves from? Al Qaida? China? Russia? “Terrorism”? The Truth?
Based on the billions now being spent to destroy people’s rights to privacy and spy on everything from phone calls to emails to position tracking and Internet usage, one would have to conclude that the enemy is also us. Show me the threat that justifies a $trillion a year security state that is increasingly directed against its own people.
The entire 2008 global financial “crisis” soap opera was caused by massive financial fraud that cost the American taxpayers over $1 trillion, a theft that is ongoing as the Fed has just announced QE4, where it is now printing monopoly money out of thin air in the name of monetary policy at a pace of $1 trillion a year to pay for more fraud and corruption.
Will the American people ever wake up? This is not a problem of taxation.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that health care fraud costs American taxpayers $60 billion a year.” That joke of an estimate by the defenders of the corporatocracy means the reality is that the healthcare system has at least several hundred billion dollars a year in outright fraud. Hospitals overcharge patients and government health programs. Pharmaceutical companies — a $500 billion a year revenue scam — with government collusion owns the healthcare system. Natural healthcare, which could prevent, treat and cure 80+% of all disease, is virtually prohibited by law.
Out of control fraud and corruption is the only problem facing America. Political apathy on the part of citizens allows it to happen; a democracy cannot function without the active participation of an informed populace.
Americans have turned into complacent, ignorant cowards who are allowing the thieves of the corporatocracy cabal to steal their money and destroy the civil rights enshrined in the greatest political doctrine in history — the constitution of the United States. The 2nd Amendment is the next brick to fall.
There is no economic problem in America; it is political, social, cultural and moral dysfunction.