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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Social, Socialist or Capitalist System?

Capitalism: Economic system where property is owned by individuals. An economic system in which property, businesses, and industry are owned by individual people and not by the government.

Socialism: a political movement based on principles of socialism, typically advocating an end to private property and to the exploitation of workers.

Let's see: President Obama has been accused of socialistic tendencies, of advocating socialist measures, such as health care insurance for all Americans. According to the above definitions, the president has not proposed to abolish private property of insurance or of any other industry. He has simply tried to make it fairer and more equitable, more affordable to all citizens. Social Security, for example, is a social program designed to help those who paid into the system during their working years so as to make their retirement years less stressful income-wise. For any politician to call Social Security and Medicare a socialist plot to eliminate private property is simply absurd and a good reflection of their profound ignorance. Ask the common man and woman what they think about these social safety nets and they will respond vigorously in favor.

Public education is another target of those who advocate the end of social programs; they want the State to give every parent a voucher so as to choose any private school of their choice. That proposal smacks of socialistic tendencies; use tax dollars from the rich and give that money to the less fortunate? Wasn't John McCain deriding candidate Obama's suggestion to tax rich people and give it to the poor?  To spread the wealth as the Republican candidate called it? Isn't the school  voucher, favored by many Republicans, precisely that, spreading the wealth?

It's a shame when fire breathing politicians hoping to appear knowledgeable confuse social safety nets with socialist politics; or maybe they know the difference but simply act in bad faith. After all, they have hundreds of researchers who are most likely better informed. They even accuse Obama of  "Europeanizing" America; would that be so bad? Don't they have a free market society on the Old Continent? Shouldn't we imitate what works for other countries?

Do we really want a return to savage capitalism, to robber barons, and to heartless factory owners who gleefully exploited children, men, and women in the early 1900's? Look at the faces of those victims in early photographs and you will thank your stars that you are not living during that period.

 Boys in a cigar factory

No sane American wants to end the free enterprise system; we all saw what happened in the Soviet Union and, nowadays, in Cuba. Even the Chinese communist junta recognized the need to introduce private ownership and a market driven economy. We all accept that savvy individuals can flourish when allowed to invent and invest; but we must also recognize that not all citizens are gifted, whether intellectually or economically. A free market society must establish a safety net for those less able to provide for themselves. It is a profound shame that the most powerful nation on earth allows people to get kicked out of their homes and thrown, literally, into the streets with their meager possessions. It's a shame when uninsured American citizens lose their savings and their lives due to a severe illness. It's shame to let homeless people freeze to death or starve in the pitiless streets of our rich cities.

It is time to regain our original dream, to make America once again the country of the free, the country of the compassionate, the country of the just. How many politicians are willing to espouse such lofty ideals? Are you, personally, willing to write about it, to work in your community to make it a better place to live and work?

Let me know, this is your space.


Anonymous said...

How is it that the rest of the western world can afford universal, efficient, health care and we can't. It couldn't be because our Congress is in the pocket of doctors and pharmaceuticals, now could it??

Elena said...

What happened to the wonderous US OF A? Why has this great nation slept through decades leading up to the present consecuence of passing the buck and avoiding at all cost involement in it's management? We have all contributed to the present condition of this nation, we are the ones paying the salary of too many blowhards intent on keeping us at bay with their sensationalism, fear and greed mongering. How about beginning the change by taking a long look in the mirror and moving forward from there? There are many instances occuring in other nations of the world which we could mirror image in our best interests to recuperate a USA, creating the jobs here that are so necessary to return the pride to our own, rebuild the banking and financial systems and return them for the betterment of our own and universal health care to insure a solid backbone for all. Socialism? Why try to label that which should be considered "common sense" for a more level playing ground for all, unlike what exists today. Corporate America leave your greed to the side and return the jobs to enable this great nation to get back on its feet, enough is enough!