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    Well, let’s go through the list and apply them to the actual definition of socialism and what’s already been discussed by other commenters and by the article I linked:

    Roads, police, emergency services: Per the article, these are not forms of socialism.
    Farm Subsidies: Not socialism but I’d also argue not capitalism. Simply crony govt officials doing what they do best; making money while screwing over the taxpayers.
    Student loans: These are, when utilized how they’re supposed to be, a profit making engine. More in line with capitalism than socialism.

    Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. Most people believes the sun revolved around the Earth at one point, but that didn’t make it fact.

  • @ainigmaris-thales Your tax dollars are being forcibly taken out of my paycheck and redistributed to society in the form of farm subsidies to ag companies that are growing soy and corn. Those are unhealthy foods that will make us sick and fat and give you bitch tits, and we don’t have a choice in this production. The fed government (e.g. community) has chosen to fund production and distribution of that particular product. It’s socialism, the bad kind.

    At the same time, your tax dollars are also being used to fund cancer research via NIH grants. That’s socialism too, but the good kind.

    These dynamics are present in American life, and have been for a long time. Is that so hard to understand? If you believe my examples are mistaken, then redefine what YOU think “socialism” is.

  • @jammyjaybird “Maybe we’re disagreeing on the definition of socialism.”

    To that end, I might find it instructive if you were to identify what you believe government does that isn’t socialism, JJB. It seems as if you are trying to diminish the value of the word in differentiating what is merely a shared cost and what is re-distributive.

    For my part, I’d suggest if you took the time to understand, you’ll find little opposition to firefighters, more but moderate opposition to student loans and farm subsidies, and lots of opposition to the ACA mandate. There is a reason for this, and it comports with the definition of socialism that you don’t want to use.

  • @boothe Pure statism quickly results in shit society. Pure capitalism also results in shit society, albeit more slowly.

    Can we agree that the best way is the middle way? One that involves using the reins of government to harness the incredibly powerful capitalistic system?

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    @jammyjaybird So what exactly is your opinion on socialism? Good or bad? I don’t think anyone is arguing that some elements of socialism exist within the USA today, but claiming that certain services like roads and police are aspects of socialism is patently false.
    From what we’ve witnessed with actual socialist programs implemented within the USA, we can deduce that socialism is a terrible mistake which leads to wasted taxpayer dollars, inferior services, and even worse conditions for the citizens.

  • @jak We have a mixed economy, like most nations do, and pretending that’s not true is useless. We have intertwined elements of socialism and capitalism. Lately in the financial sector, with the melding of private and public interests – see Govt Sachs – we are seeing something resembling the old European fascist economies of the 1930s and 40s.

  • @jammyjaybird No, I cannot agree that the middle way is the best way. The best way is to have the minimal amount of government achievable. Trying to use government to harness the free market introduces corruption and misallocation of resources. The free market punishes corrupt and bloated organizations that fail to compete for the benefit of we the consumers by putting them out of business. Government decides who the winners and losers in your scenario. Witness GM which should have been allowed to fail, it’s assets divvied up to the strong hands and new innovative companies rewarded. Instead big gun-vermin decided they were “too big to fail” and stole your money and my money to keep them afloat. The same with the bankster bailout. Government and their creations (corporations) often become to big to succeed. They need to be allowed to run their course and fail. Instead their creator keeps them on life support at our expense. Do you consider this aspect good?

  • @boothe Exactamundo. Look at the dot com bubble crash. It weeded out the weak and allowed the innovative to win out. If a company crashes it’s resources should be grabbed up by people who are more reflexive. Survival of the fittest. And don’t give me the bleeding heart about the workers. If they’re worth their salt they can find employment somewhere else. It’s all trimming the fat.

  • @murdoc34 That’s why discussing this stuff is so difficult. Where do we draw the line between a “shared cost” and something that is “redistributive”? Is it a shared cost when you agree with it but redistributive when you don’t?

  • @jak How are public roads NOT socialism? The decision to build them, and the means of doing so, are controlled by the state – and your tax dollars are used to accomplish this, in most cases without your input. Have you thought this through?

  • @jammyjaybird They are truly accessible to the general public without bias, unlike the redistributive policies of socialism. There is no ‘need’ component to their distribution.

  • @jammyjaybird I’m not interested in what Forbes says. I challenge YOU (or anyone) to point out a logical flaw in what I said.

  • @jammyjaybird I can see how you would equate public roads (as opposed to private roads) to socialism. But as @bem pointed out, everyone has equal access. Receiving this “benefit” of government is not “means based” and is funded through fuel taxes so the end user does indeed pay for it. Also, an excise on fuel is avoidable which is the best kind of taxation (and that is how this government was intended to be funded). The more direct approach is toll roads, where the end user pays directly for the use of the infrastructure and that is typically scaled to the amount of use. In other words, eighteen-wheelers pay a lot more than automobiles do for the use of the same, road due to the greater wear they impose. That is about as fair as it gets with taxation and public infrastructure. The same with water, sewer and other public utilities in the cities: the end user pays for the goods and services they receive the same as everyone else. That might be government intervention in the market, but it IS NOT socialism.

    Contrast that with government handouts to the “poor” (by the way, truly poor people are bone thin, not morbidly obese and they don’t own cars or cell phones). A good example is the “Earned Income Credit”. Let me illustrate my point with a personal experience. I was standing in line to check out in a grocery store. The girl ahead of me was a store employee. She was talking to the cashier about filing her income tax and the cashier informed her that she had gotten back everything she’d paid in the previous year plus $8000 from the EIC. How do you get back $8000 more than you paid in? That’s simple, you use the force of government (the threat of a superior force of men with guns) to extract that wealth from your neighbors and redistribute it to “the less fortunate” (i.e. those that don’t have the education, experience and motivation of the victim of this theft).

    Here’s the kicker. That year I had paid in, after taking every exemption and deduction I could muster, slightly more than $8000.00. I know exactly where that money went; right to a grocery store cashier who had popped out a couple of feral crotch fruit (yes, her illegitimate offspring were part of the conversation) and was rewarded for having a low income job with eight grand of my money! That sir, is socialism in all its glory. And it will be supported by all the “gibs-me-dats” that really don’t want to apply themselves to do something productive and will always have their hand out for more, no matter how much you give them. I think we all have a right to be pissed about that, just for starters.

  • @jammyjaybird A big difference is in how roads are taxed. Gasoline tax is what primarily pays for roads. If you don’t feel like you need the service of traveling roads, you don’t buy the gas, or pay the jacked up bus fare. Income tax is money that you pay just for existing.

  • @jammyjaybird nope, insurance is voluntary. Outside of Obamacare, there is nobody forcing you to buy insurance.

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    @jim-johnson Well there are laws for at least having liability insurance if you have a car, but again that technically CAN be avoided if you choose not to drive.

  • @jak In some states auto insurance can be avoided by paying into an uninsured motorist’s fund and or posting a bond. So if you have the money to put up a large sum of money in escrow you could still “drive” and avoid the insurance cartel.

  • The replies in this thread have just made it clear to me how much the left has succeeded in watering down and muddying the concept of “socialism” so that so many people don’t understand what it is. No wonder so many college kids are in favor of it. Socialism is not the opposite of capitalism. It is not (necessarily) government overreach or intervention. It is not anything the government does for the community rather than for individuals. It is not collecting taxes and using those for community things. There are elements of socialism in certain U.S. government policies, like Obamacare, but building roads and infrastructure is not true socialism. Many of the New Deal policies were socialistic in nature, but every use of tax dollars by governments to help poor or sick citizens is not (necessarily) socialism. I’ll rail against government overreach and redistribution of wealth as much as the next guy but I don’t have to call it “socialism” to be against it.

  • @jak I have to disagree with your take on farm subsidies. I have multi-millionaire farmer neighbors who have taken $550,000 in federal crop subsidies over the last 10 years. That was money taken directly from other tax payers including their smaller farm neighbors. That is redistribution of the wealth plain and simple. If they were small, subsistence farmers they would have never even smelled that kind of money (if any). Combine that with the fact that they can write damned near everything they buy and do off their taxes as a “farm expense” (like you really “need” a brand new King’s Ranch F350 4X4 every couple of years) and they are a classic example of the recipients of a socialistic regime’s largesse. The front door and entryway on their house cost more than a lot of their neighbors’ houses (I kid you not). But somehow they are entitled to over a half million of their neighbors’ dollars? Perhaps it doesn’t fit the true dictionary definition of socialism, I’ll give you that. But in practice this is invariably how socialism operates. You can’t change human nature.

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