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15 July 2019

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Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

TTG, there was one, however, important feature of those peoples (such as Koryaks in Kamchatka) which USSR absolutely didn't tolerate. In some those Northern nomadic, deer-herding, cultures incest, especially fathers sleeping with daughters was a "normal". The State usually removed young girls into boarding schools and then gave them education through the indigenous peoples' programs. I know this for a fact, because my mother taught in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Pedagogical College and one of her classes was only Koryak girls. In some sense, one may view those tribes as a sort of "communist" organization but, of course, what went under the moniker "communism" in USSR was a concept of a profoundly modern industrialist (hi-tech by today's lingo) society. Yet, what is always missed about this whole thing is the fact that since 1930s USSR was becoming increasingly (and inevitably) culturally conservative society. Stalin is on record in early 1950s with his famous "we need new theory". In the West Soviet "communism" (or "socialism") is, often deliberately, combined with Western (primarily Frankfurt School abomination) "version" of it, forgetting, of course, that most of those Western "communists" would have been put squarely behind bars or placed into mental institutions as renegades. This major difference somehow escaped Western thought, which mostly deals with "socialists" many of who, for all intents and purposes, are "progressiveLY" mental, such as Washington States Governor Inslee promising, if he becomes POTUS (good grief!!) he would make this militant flaming (and utterly insane) lesbo Rapinoe from US Women's National Soccer Team his Secretary of the State. A complete madness.

Fred

Everyone employed by Amazon is not a warehouse laborer nor are they bound in indentured servitude. "Control of the details of how the work is to be performed" is what every employer does.

Terry

And many people choose their political stance based on whether they see their fellow citizens as members of their tribe or members of an enemy tribe.

Terry

There are small town factories where workers are paid less now than 40 years ago and medical benefits are less and more expensive. The capitalist grind toward ever greater profit has affected small towns and rural areas hard, affecting around 60 million people.

It is a slow process but unrestricted capitalism leads back to feudalism and slavery.

upstater

Socialism is necessary, particularly for care of the disabled and elderly. With respect to a social safety net consider the following example within my family:

I have a very intelligent son that graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics. But he has schizophrenia, which manifested itself almost 10 years ago in his first year at university.

We have run the gauntlet with the provision of mental health services. And while it is true hospitals will admit a psychotic person, the treatment provided for mental illness when contrasted with "physical" illness or injury is striking. Let it suffice to say, mental health care is abysmal and if our son didn't have a VERY active family assisting in his care, I have no doubt whatsoever that he'd have fallen through the cracks. There is a VERY good reason why 50% of prison inmates have diagnosable mental illness -- it is because comprehensive care is NOT provided and such people are considered as disposable.

Our son volunteers part-time in a university lab as a technician. He is disabled and collects about $600/mo SSDI and has Medicare for insurance. It is doubtful that he'll ever be able to hold a regular job, but we're hopeful. If we did not provide housing, support and transportation, I cannot conceive how he'd manage. Care management for such people is horrendous, even in a place like New York State -- elsewhere is far worse.

I should also note he attended university in Ontario. The provision of his medical care was both seamless and with only nominal costs. He saw psychiatrists bi-weekly. Here in the US, his medication, even with Medicare Part D, costs thousands per year. Basically his SSDI stipend goes entirely to medical care. We have found the waiting times in the US for psychiatric care are measured in months.

With all due respect, Colonel, the social safety net looks fantastic on paper. But 10 years of painful experience has proven that if you rely on the social safety net, you'd better be ready to listen to splat. We have seen this happen again and again in clinics and support groups we have attended.

The state should control the means of production in medical care, end-to-end -- it should be entirely free at the point of service. The parasitic grifters that are attached to the healthcare system should be eliminated. We pay double per capita for healthcare compared to OECD countries and have the poorest OECD outcomes. The numbers don't lie.

Balint Somkuti, PhD

All those so joyfully endorsing ANY sort of communism should read the Black Book of Communism. It makes Hitler look like a bloody amateur.
Pun intended.

Eric Newhill

Sir,
Last year I sat down and calculated what I pay in total taxes/forced govt income and wealth confiscation. This is everything from sales tax, to property tax, to vehicle associated taxes and fees, to state and federal income tax.

I live in NY, a very democrat state and therefore a very high tax rate state.

Turns out I pay around 30% of my annual income in annual taxes now that I'm out of the horse racing biz (lost the associated write-offs and breaks). I'm a lower end of 6 figures income guy.

How much more "socialism" can someone like me handle? Seriously, if democrats get elected and achieve their expensive policy goals, I'm going to cash out my 401K and retire. I passed the 55 years old no 041K withdrawal penalty point fairly recently. There's no point in working if the govt is going to confiscate a greater portion of my earnings. If it happens, hope it's one of those dems that wants to provide the basic income. I don't owe a dime to anyone right now. No loans to worry about. I'll sit on my porch, enjoy my fav bourbon, pick guitar and do some under the table side jobs here and there for a little extra pocket money and to cover property taxes until my wife and I are eligible for Social Security. I like working with my hands.

I think a lot of people like me, who actually pay into the tax system, with no returns on tax day, feel the same. In the meanwhile, I'm in the process of selling and moving to AZ, where the taxes and cost of living are much lower. Since I work primarily from home now, I can do that. The work from home trend, as well as the fleeing of democrat/high tax states is also increasingly common among my class of worker. I note that a lot of blue collar folks I know work under the table/off the books whenever possible.

I mention all of this because I think it illustrates another reason that socialism is ultimately going to have to rely on totalitarian force. If there's a way for people to keep their hard earned money, they'll find it. The state must then up the penalties and close all loop holes and impose increasingly draconian laws (can't leave NY on pain of arrest without paying an exorbitant exit fee? - under the table workers will be shot?). If the taxes are too high and there are lots of freebees, people will stop working, unless forced to work. Those most able to stop working are those with the most experience and knowledge, experience and knowledge that normally would be guiding the new workers. That lost experience is a big hit to productivity.

Terry

The socialism/capitalism discussion is a reflection of the people, their norms, and morals i.e. society that they take place in.

The tribal models might be a good start. In a tribal model capitalism is the hunter. No committee controls the hunters or dictates where they hunt. Successful hunters are praised and rewarded with social status, and the hunters gift food to others. It is an obvious mutually beneficial transaction. An injured hunter will need care from others, a hunter far from home might need food, assistance, or shelter, and also the hunter values the protection of the group from other tribes. In a conflict with another tribe it might be better for survival to be someone valued that a stingy, useless bastard. Gifting was an important part of this system as would be traditions of hosting guests and honorable behavior. Someone off hunting would rely on honorable treatment of their possessions by other members of the tribe.

In that model it isn't enough to have a pile of game to get public accolade and social status but rather the willingness to share and serve the tribe. Unfortunately in the society we currently live in traditional and honorable behavior is in fast decline while greed and selfishness are worshiped. Just having a pile of money is enough to gain status and influence.

Our democratic institutions and republic depend on a supply of honorable men and women entering into service. Thus, some uses their skills to become successful, they share their bounty with the community, they do so to gain reputation and social status, they use that status to serve their people to the people's benefit, they use power wisely, they respect their opponents and deal fairly in politics.

On a psychological level I've been doing some interesting research into children around power seeking behaviors and there relationship to feeling capable. Controlling, manipulative, demanding behavior arises from not feeling capable. Seeking power and abuse of power originates in that lack of a personal sense of capability in the world. It explains a lot in that in our wealthy society too many have had everything handed to them since birth and some of them eventually a lot of real world power and a sense of privilege but never developing a sense of their own abilities. More and more these are the people running our institutions and politics.

Long story short - Capitalism is best way to advance human civilization but only if it is based on capable and honorable people.. Rural and poorer societies are more likely to produce such people and wealthy societies more inclined to producing people that are neither honorable or capable. If a wealthy people wants to continue their civilization they are going to have to find a way to produce capable, honorable people reliably and in sufficient numbers and also to screen out the greedy, amoral, and dishonorable from public service and roles of power.

I've also thought the best way to do this would be to have all children around age 10 go to traditionally run farms/schools to learn real world skills, hard work, an appreciation for nature, and discipline.,,, but that is a pipe dream. Most likely is that the cycle of rise and fall of nations continues until humankind itself is modified through technology into something else.

Peter C

Please don't put words in my mouth - I didn't propose any "free stuff". Covering the cost would be straightforward if military expenditures could be brought down to a sane level.

Peter C

In Canada students are falling over each other to get into medical schools so they can be allowed to accept government reimbursement rates. The big losers in the US would be the insurance companies and the superfluous beaurocrats that present a huge unnecessary cost to the system, but I have no sympathy for them.

In the end it would be cheaper to pay for health care through taxes, but non-medical personnel who profit from the current setup would prefer for Americans not to understand that.

Eric Newhill

Lesly,

It is well recognize in economics that there are market failures in capitalism. These are actual well studied and well defined situations; not situations that in your opinion are unlikable or unfair. It is further recognized by most economists that when there is a true market failure, the govt should step in, as gently as possible, and do something about it.

In the case of Medicare, there is a specific market failure usually called "Markets failing to form". Insurance carriers will not offer healthcare insurance to seniors because they know that seniors are going to use that insurance a lot and be very costly because they are seniors. That's when expensive healthcare issues are a certainty for most people. If the insurance was priced at an actuarially fair price, the vast majority of seniors couldn't afford it. Hence Medicare.

Social security is similar in that there is not a viable labor market for the employment of seniors for various reasons.

Subsidizing farmers is more a matter of national security, but there are market failures there too. In order to ensure a continued and sufficient supply of food for the nation, the govt must take measures to keep the farmers going and going with the right crops. Farming is an incredibly capricious endeavor. The farmer is at the mercy of the elements. It is very hard work and increasingly expensive due to the cost of machinery and tech involved. The urge to find another way to make a living is always strong amongst farmers and, especially, their offspring who would be the next generation of farmers.

The problem with the social justice socialists is that they are not addressing market failures in the true economics sense. They want to throw money at people that are young, healthy and perfectly capable of working, but are not - or are not at a compensation level that permits a comfortable lifestyle.

Worse, the SJW socialists create the very conditions that lead to people not being able to make it on their own; for example telling women that having children out of wedlock is perfectly fine - even rewarding it with welfare, free housing, etc. - or importing a gazillion immigrants, legal and illegal to do the jobs that lower IQ/lower skilled Americans used to work. Actually, H1Bs are taking jobs that higher IQ/higher skilled Americans used to do. Or encouraging the young to waste time obtaining expensive degrees in women's studies, etc.

There are very real free market solutions for this cohort. Just for a few examples; decrease the available labor pool such that demand (and wages) increase (i.e. decrease immigration). Don't send blue collar jobs overseas. Establish trade schools as opposed to college. Tech schools (learn to code - so many H1Bs taking those good jobs). Generally improve the K-12 school system by giving citizens more control over what is taught (gear the curriculum to prepare for the available jobs). Lower taxes and decrease the insane tangle of regulations so companies don't go overseas. Trump is well along he right path in all of this.

With regards to non-senior healthcare, costs are increasing because Americans get the best and most and the newest tech. They demand it. That all costs money. They pay it, which incentivizes the development of more tech and the ability and demand to treat more people, more intensely, for more medical conditions. The only way around it is rationing, like in the socialized system (please don't quote that those systems get more bang for the buck because WHO says so. Those are bogus statistics based on social justice measures as opposed to actual health outcomes. Look it up). I have professionally studied healthcare cost drivers for about 20 years. I know that's what it's all about. Every time we seek to significantly cut costs by rationing (e.g. deny services with low marginal benefit, but high marginal cost increase) the public, media, AMA goes berserk. Insurance is killing people by denying needed care!!!!! American pharma companies give drugs for free to Africa and other impoverished lands and make up the difference in the American market. Americans object (ironically, many protesters are the socialists that want to help the third worlders). It's a complicated topic and most people talking about are woefully uninformed; especially Bernie.


GeneO

Fred -

"...is what every employer does.".

I always tried to give my tiny group of employees goal oriented instructions and give them autonomy in how to achieve that goal. That was the same system I had learned from a damned good commanding officer I had served under. It mostly worked. There were always the 10% that needed more specifics, but those were typically newbies not yet familiar with their trade and their tools. They eventually got the message from their co-workers, or decided to look for employment elsewhere.

That same concept works in multi-billion companies. Except for perhaps places like fast-food burger joints that hire teenagers, and typically control every specific task and sub-task.

Jack

When discussing socialism and capitalism it is easy to focus on utopian ideology while reality is never given sufficient consideration.

IMO, both socialism and capitalism tends towards concentration. One leads to rule by a politburo as assets get owned by the state and the other leads to an oligarchy with a symbiotic relationship between big business and big government. In China for example CCP politburo member and head of domestic security Zhou Yongkang was reportedly worth $30 billion when Xi ousted him in his purge of competitors before becoming President for Life. Here in the US under the rhetoric of free markets we've had immense concentration of market power over the past 50 years that has lead to the largest wealth inequality in a century. Jonathan Tepper from Wall St research firm Variant Perception has written a data driven book "The Myth of Capitalism", that shows the extent of concentration across sectors from airlines to healthcare, media, agriculture and defense. Then when we consider the $25 trillion bailout of Wall St speculative losses which was socialism for the oligarchy it is,always rationalized as an "emergency". With the bottom 50% owning 1% of financial assets and the financialization of the economy over the past 50 years backed by government driving wealth inequality it is natural that those who were deliberately sacrificed by policy that favored the oligarchy will question the current framework. There was a reason why anti-trust, securities and transparency laws were enacted. It is imperative for free markets that there's competitive markets and failure. When there's regulatory capture we get more oligarchy and socialism for the 1%.

GeneO

Semiconscious -

More like #1. They don't want to upset their own corporate management.

Eric Newhill

upstate,
First, my sympathies. Schizophrenia is a terrible mental disease. You watch a loved one die in mind, but there is a still a body walking around, often causing trouble, that continually reminds you of what once was. I know. I have a younger brother that is a chronic paranoid schizophrenic. He's 50 now, but was also diagnosed in his first year of college. My mother had died shortly before that and my father would have nothing to do with him. As a young man in my mid 20s I became his caregiver. It changed my life and career path and a lot of other things.

That said, your story doesn't correlate with mine.

First, My understanding is that the Canadian system covers neither drugs nor mental health services. I have had that confirmed by people that work in the system. I understand that some provinces have limited waivers and some other programs, but, generally, I is as I said.

Second, my brother lives in AZ (where I used to live). Yes, it was very challenging getting him legally petitioned into care when he was proving to be a danger to himself and others. AZ finally changed the law to include an "acutely and persistently disabled" category and that did the trick. It was challenging to get him to take his meds the first few years (he's been on the program and stable now for 20 years, though still 100% disabled). I bought him a small house that he still lives in free and clear. Otherwise, all of his medication and other treatment - that's for the schizophrenia and for general medical services - has been totally covered by the state. And this is AZ; notoriously low funded for indigent healthcare.

In the early phase of my care taking of my brother people told me to let it go and live my own life. Well I couldn't do that. I don't regret the decisions I made one bit. I don't regret buying the little house that has done so well for him. That's what family is for. Do you want gov't to take over for family?

upstater

Eric, the university had a supplemental drug plan that cost $200 per year. Most Canadians have such drug plans. My son's Medicare D more expensive and covers far less.

Mental health is covered by the provincial plans; talk therapy is not in provincial plans.

I agree families should be involved in provision of care to the mentally ill. But as we know the task can be daunting, particularly with a floridly psychotic person. Some families are simply overwhelmed with the task and people are cast out on the streets, with unfortunate and predictable consequences. Where would your brother be without your personal sacrifice? Treatment is cheaper than jails. I'm not suggesting the state do 100%, but I won't live forever and there isn't any family member to pick it up when we're gone.

We utterly fail at providing comprehensive psychiatric care. It is a financial loser for hospitals and psychiatrists are among the lowest paid MDs. The free market has failed to respond to a basic human need. Only socialism came fix this problem.

Barbara Ann

Ed Walsh

This is thankfully one of the very few places remaining mostly free of "heathen rage". The headline topic may be a misdirection, but the Committee has largely picked up on this and as you have observed much thoughtful commentary has ensued.

If I understand you correctly I share that tiny corner. Personal sovereignty is paramount for me. In TTG's recent confessional post, I argued that the right place for social justice is the individual's conscience. Those who seek to coerce our consciences will not stop there and if these same people advocate "socialist" policies I see this merely as coercion dressed up in a different garb. Far too few recognize this.

I have no intention of submitting to anyone else's idea of who I should choose as my neighbor or my brother. However, if war comes and I am forced to, I will choose the side I think most likely to guarantee my right to personal sovereignty. I doubt I'll be fighting alongside the Social Justice Warriors.

turcopolier

Barbara Ann

Hey! Whoa! My title was intended to cause the hard left to identify themselves for elimination and that worked.

Eric Newhill

upstate,
I hear you and understand, but here's the thing, mental health are just tough for everyone involved. In 2012 my son, who was an Army officer, suffered a head wound in Afghanistan. He's designated 100% disabled. He can walk around and look normal, but he sure doesn't think normal. He's a disaster or crime waiting to happen (see Phineas Gage). Being service connected, he gets full VA care for that and related issues. Fully socialized. Yet I don't see where his care/outcome is any better or worse than my brother's and the other living/care giving, etc issues are the same.

Again, heart felt sympathy to you from me. Just not seeing how socialized medicine would make a difference in your son's case.

blue peacock

Jack

Spot on! The tendency for concentration exists in both ideologies. Tepper's book is an eye-opener on the degree of concentration since the 80s. The issues with concentration including the capture of the political system should be of serious concern to anyone who wants a functioning market system. Indeed with the rhetoric of free markets and free trade both parties essentially sold out the working class to Wall St & corporate financial interests. That has led to the dismantling of the US industrial base, growth in systemic leverage and the financing of our biggest strategic competitor - China. This article on the national security threat of market concentration in the defense industry is well worth a read.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americas-monopoly-crisis-hits-the-military/

You are correct that Robinson-Patman, the creation of the SEC & FTC were all designed to make sure we had a competitive marketplace. Now we spend trillions in corporate welfare but spending any money that benefits the bottom 50% immediately brings up charges of socialism. Not to mention the added barriers like a complex tax code that put small businesses at a distinct disadvantage to the big corporations who have all the loopholes to not pay any tax. History shows that whenever wealth inequality becomes extreme there is always a reaction as demagogues take advantage.

“The economy is there to serve the fundamental needs of society, which are prosperity, stability and contentment… If you have a situation whereby the economy grows but you create poverty and unemployment and you destabilise society, you’re in trouble.” - Sir James Goldsmith

This interview of James Goldsmith and his debate with Laura Tyson, Clinton's Trade Representative is still so important as it shows how the propaganda of free trade & free markets is used to obfuscate the real agenda of concentration. If one believes in liberty then concentration either in the form of direct state control or control by a small minority of ostensibly capitalists in cahoots with the political elite amounts to pretty much the same thing.

https://youtu.be/wwmOkaKh3-s

Barbara Ann

I have to pity those unfortunate enough to have found themselves at war with you Colonel.

turcopolier

Barbara Ann

Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

EVERY large multi-ethnic multi-confessional country that has adopted socialism has adopted a form of Stalinism.

What is "Stalinism"? What are its defining features?

Fred

Peter C,

You haven't looked into US medicare reimbursement rates. Canada should feel free to open her borders to victims of the American medical system and pick up the tab to boot.

rho

Peter C,

"Covering the cost would be straightforward if military expenditures could be brought down to a sane level."

No. You are engaging in wishful thinking here. Total US military expenditure is 693 billion $ per year. Total US population is about 330 million. Even if you would eliminate military spending completely (!), you would free up only a little bit more than 2000 $ per person per year. That's not even remotely sufficient to fund "free" healthcare and "free" college for everybody.

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