I’m not going to bother to respond to anyone on this thread as I just want to get your opinions.
I agree that we should avoid having a pure socialist state, as that will never work. However, I believe certain government programs do work to advance democracy and capitalism and I will explain why.
Education-My parents taxes and the taxes of my teachers, friends parents, and that store clerk I saw the other day paid for my education. If their taxes didn’t pay for it, well, my parents never would have been able to form my knowledge, find my interests, and get on the honour roll and go to University. Now, my parents are very successful people. Essentially, they’re living the American Dream in Canada. However, they’re parents were poor, being uneducated immigrants, but both were able to go to school because it was free and became successful people. I have friends that are incredibly intelligent that never would have been able to go to school if it wasn’t funded by taxes.
Firefighters- If taxes didn’t pay for our firefighters, where do you think they would get money? That’s right, you. If my house caught on fire, I’d hate it if I was charged a few thousand dollars for putting out the fire. Thankfully, I don’t have to as taxes pay our finest heroes.
Police-I have a few issues with the police, but I don’t want to give the police money out of my pocket if they catch a guy who robbed my house or if they apprehended someone who kidnapped someone I love. I’m real glad taxes cover that.
Health care-There are flaws (every system does) but if I get cancer tomorrow, I want to worry about living and not think about finances at all. My grandmother got eye surgery recently and didn’t pay a dime and no, she was not forced to wait three lifetimes for it. In all developed nations with a nationalized health care, there have been no bankruptcies due to medical costs (unless you have been buying waaaaaaay too many prescriptions).
These are programs that are socialized programs. Our taxes pay for these programs. Would you look at all of these and say “yep, all countries with these programs are socialist ones”?
I’ve been told that Americans pay among the lowest taxes in the world because it’s the only country that’s not socialist, which is a silly argument. Lower taxes equals less socialism? I find that absurd.
Now I’m going to turn it over to you. How would you define a socialist nation? Please don’t simply say the USSR or Cuba, give me explanations.
I don’t want to repeat the same discussion points over and over.
You might want to read the posts about and by Father John Corapi on why socialism doesn’t work.
But there are a couple of quick points:
When the government takes more than 40% of GDP, then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When the forces of competition have been marginalized, then that’s also a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When the government restricts development and distribution of energy, then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When it turns out that education has been dumbed down [can current school students take and pass an examination from 50 or 100 years ago, or is those subjects too difficult for students today?], then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When it turns out that bans on DDT are defended even when millions of children are dying of malaria, then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When it turns out that statements about science are proven to be false, then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When it turns out that free political speech has been suppressed, then that’s a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
When the BIBLE is suppressed, as it is in Canada, and certain Christian teachings are banned as “hate speech”, then that is a good indicator that socialism has taken over. In fact, the very concept of “hate speech” is so subjective, that that is a good indicator that socialism has taken over.
Fr. Corapi’s April Newsletter, The Evils of Socialism: “socialism has never worked, it cannot work, and morally it is inherently evil”
Fr. Corapi’s April Newsletter The Evils of Socialism: “socialism has never worked, philosophically it cannot work, and morally it is inherently evil (because it undermines the right of private property”
The Evils of Socialism
An excerpt from Father’s latest book, “Letters.”
"At a time when it surely seems that capitalism has run amuck and poised the world on the edge of economic ruin, the temptation is very strong for the pendulum to swing too far left into the failed and immoral territory of socialism. Historically pure socialism has never worked, philosophically it cannot work, and morally it is inherently evil (because it undermines the right of private property ownership, an inherent human right) and hence should not be given a chance to work.
The response might be that what we have at the moment isn’t pure socialism. The problem is that the moment is incredibly fluid and the direction toward a more radical form of socialism is under way with frightening speed. Unless, of course, you believe the politicians and their appointees whose stock-in-trade has become lies, deception, and self-interest.
The common error is to think that socialism helps the poor and disenfranchised. As Pope Leo XIII pointed out as long ago as 1891 in his Encyclical “Rerum Novarum”, socialism does not help the poor. Rather, it reduces everyone to the same lowest common denominator of poverty and misery, while at the same time drying up the very sources of capital."
It’s actually quite solid. The whole concept behind socialism is the use of government to deploy resources in a way that is deemed “fair” or “just”. In large part this is done by taxing the wealth of some and using it to benefit others. It follows that the less tax money a government has to do this with, the less it can act in a socialist manner.
But, American and Canada are pretty close as concerns economic freedom. Democracy only lasts until the majority realizes they can vote themselves a paycheck, then it is through.
Socialism includes the idea that Man can make society perfect and is based on the idea that people are born good and turn bad because of equity. The exclusion of God makes it inimical to Catholicism right off the bat.
The second reason it is inimical to Catholicism is that people have the rights to the fruits of their labor. The more the government “owns,” the more people cannot “own.”
In Canada, where I understand any private ownership of medical facilities is forbidden, people in the medical field cannot have a medical business, right? So that would be socialized medicine, where the government owns the means of production.
The third problem with socialism is that it violates the principle of subsidiarity, which is that the smallest unit of society which can take care of a problem should take care of it. When schools were controlled at the very local level (town or county), that was all right; however, now that in the US the federal government has taken so much control of the schools, the principle of subsidiarity is being violated in this area.
There are certain functions in society which belong to the government–the Catholic Church does not advocate free-market anarchism. Military, interactions with foreign powers, and sorting out inter-state or inter-province disputes would properly fall under the central government; police, fire, and education under the most local government (altho the Church would naturally like to see education fall under parish control rather than governmental control, but that’s a whole other can of worms!).
sighs I know I said I wasn’t going to respond to anything, but making a huge lie about my country like that I won’t let go unchallenged.
If I may, we do in fact have conscience laws so we can oppose gay rights and abortion rights based on religious grounds. Our pro-life community is incredibly intelligent and our House of Commons destroyed a euthanasia bill some weeks ago and also destroyed a bill that would contraceptives in our health plan for the G8 Summit this year. Last time I checked, we have a Bible in every school library and religious discrimination is still illegal.
That’s not what I call suppression of the Bible. I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, so I think I would know a little more about the nation than someone who hasn’t.
I think my country has become a socialist nation, when we elect a president who unabashedly believes in redistribution of the wealth.
When he says there comes a point when you have earned enough money.
When he says there is a time for profits, but that time is not now.
I could go on but it depresses me too much. Especially since as a Patriot Guard I buried three Vietnam vets today, and will escort an Afganistan KIA tomorrow from the airport. These poor soldiers who fought for freedom to make what they could of themselves in the former bastion of freedom, the USA.
I need to correct the notion of Obama saying you’ve earned enough money. He did say that, but essentially, admitted that’s capitalism. I don’t think FOX News remembered that part though (okay, I don’t really know if you watch FOX News or not).
And that’s your (or anybody else’s) call because… I’d rather see someone buy a 24th flat screen television with their own money then someone else buy their one and only television with that person’s money, or by extension the government’s money.
I don’t know if this is the best way to say it, but I think socialism is where wealth is redistributed, so that some people are harmed by it (high high high taxes) and others are helped (but specific people).
Education, fire departments, military, infrastructure - all these things are within the realm of government because they provide for the common good. EVERYONE benefits, not just a select few. I would not call them social programs.
I would say America started to cross the line of socialism when we implemented Social (not the word social…) Security. Here one group (the employed) pay for another group (the retired) to live. But it is a slow descent.
Another way you can tell is the complexity of the tax system - all kinds of rules and regulations. Some people get a benefit for doing one thing, but not too big of a benefit, and then others get a different benefit. It’s a mess because it’s all designed to move the money around from one group of people to another without too many people catching on.
Are volunteer fire departments part of “government”? Or are they private voluntary organizations, paid for by private free-will donations [perhaps with a government “charter” but no government funding]
Education: provision for non-government schooling? Home schooling? Private schools?
I admit, these programs could be argued to be done away with.
Fire Department - for the protection of the people, I believe this is necessary. Who hasn’t interacted with them? Many cities have a volunteer fire department, so it may not really fall under the jurisdiction of government. But it’s one use of tax money I wouldn’t mind. Socialism would be if they just took our tax money and gave everyone a check “in case of a fire.”
Eduction: This is preventative socialism. Much better to give everyone the chance to make something of themselves than to blindly issue checks later on. However, education should not become free day care. That is a social program. I am discouraged how many people I hear talking about extending school days here “for the parents.” Fix the schools, yes, but don’t base school hours on parent work schedules. And, yes, consideration to those who want to homeschool or send kids to private school should be made.
How then to respond to charges that government run school systems only dumb down the kids who then graduate being unable to read or do math anywhere near historic grade levels? [Much less any of the other things expected and achieved by previous years’ / generations’ students]
Voluntary associations can perform most of the tasks being assumed by government.
Public transportation originally was done by voluntary associations. Government attempted to perform those tasks but found themselves unable to do so without losing vast amounts of money. So they basically forced the private systems out of business and then used taxpayer money to do a mimic and then incurred increasingly large losses.
I agree - government is not efficient or effective. If these programs are in place, the lowest governmental unit is the best to take care of them.
Perhaps school systems are a bit socialistic, but, like I said before, I’d rather have this kind of socialism than the kind that hands out money. While the well educated and well off can afford private schools and homeschool, many need the opportunity to learn to read and write. The schooling may be terrible compared to other countries, but if it “learns them kids to read” then it is better than if no one taught them at all.
Of course, that’s also why this is best left to the lowest government level available. Parents can become involved, genuinely concerned about their kids’ education, and do something about it.
Can I ask you the question then, what do you consider the line? What is and is not non-socialistic government behavior?
Our nation *is *socialist!!! How do I know? because I heard this ad which the Census put out: It is very important for everyone in X-town to fill out the Census forms and mail them back in. This is the way X-town government will know how many busses to run…
The idea that without government run schools kids would not learn to read is absolutely false. In fact, AFTER government took over the schools, the dumbing down began.
Read: “None Dare Call It Treason” by John A. Stormer which among other things discusses the origins of government controlled school systems. Also read “Why Johnny Can’t Read”.
Federal government involvement is almost a 100% lock on the definition of socialist government behavior when it is specifically NOT included in the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution.
The Federal Dept of Education is a total violation of the Constitution and is also utterly ineffectual AND a total waste of money. Just shut it down and cut the taxes. Let each individual state and municipality decide how best to educate the children of that state.
Just one example.
There are many more.
Please click on this:
[Why you never heard of the Great Depression of 1920]
Hoover was an engineer who thought that he personally had all the answers.
Do you remember the Civil Aeronautics Board?
Under the CAB, every aspect of airline operations and management was controlled by the government. Scheduling, fares, frequency, meals … every aspect.
In California there was an intrastate airline, Pacific Southwest Airlines, and they offered rock bottom fares and frequent service and were wildly successful. Because they were intra-state, they were subject to the FAA for safety but outside the CAB for all the little nits and nats.
When Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy and Afred Kahn saw the success of PSA and the high fares of the airlines that operated under the CAB, they abolished the CAB. With open competition, airline fares plunged and airline traffic skyrocketed.
People loved it. Not all fares were as cheap as people would like and not all passengers like the lack of amenities. The city-pairs with the largest number of trips had the lowest fares. Some airlines sought out airports that had lower fees so they would have less congestion and lower costs. New airlines started up to provide more amenities, but quickly learned that no matter how much people complained, they always went for the lowest price ticket.
Some airlines that were unable to make the change or made bad decisions went out of business. But, there were plenty of other airlines. New airlines came up. Small airlines that were well run expanded. Take a look at Southwest Airlines. Take a look at Ryanair in Europe.
There is a lot of turmoil in the airline industry; nevertheless, it is vigorous, employs a lot of people and offers service where people want service.
There is also a vigorous general aviation sector, but mostly with crew-served jet aircraft, for people who need to do three cities per day or who want amenities. And then the fractional shares business airplane industry developed for people who didn’t want to buy a whole jet. The small plane general aviation sector atrophied primarily due to the lawsuits from the relatives of people who let their 40-year old airplanes run out of gas. [Yes, I am oversimplifying.]
The really big problem is the FAA which is about 50 years behind the state of the art in air traffic control.
The obsolete air traffic control system: In 1968, I worked with the USAF’s SAGE SQ-7] air defense system. It was a 1950’s system and it had more advanced displays and traffic management than FAA systems today. [Yes, yes, yes, different missions.] Nevertheless, the FAA is 50 years behind the state of the art in ATC. A while ago, I got a backstage tour at NAFEC - Atlantic City - where the FAA does their R&D for air traffic control. A lot of third-world ATC managers also were there; they were embarrassed for me; they were buying from “a catalog” more advanced ATC systems than the FAA was developing.
Take a look at how sclerotic the railroads were under the Interstate Commerce Commission. And look at how rigorous the railroads are today after the abolition of the ICC. The railroads are now able to provide competitive and attractive pricing and service. There is even a rebirth of short line railroads.
Take a look at the radical expansion and improvement in the telephone system after the abolition of the AT&T telephone monopoly. The government was removed from the equation.
Take Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There were warnings after warnings [they are all on YouTube], but Barney Frank and Jamie Gorelick also known as the Mistress of Disaster and a bunch of others had the votes and refused any of the suggested remedies; you can look her up. They falsified their books and refused any accountability and got big bonuses and then just walked away. Government economic regulation, in action.
I’m a 4 year old Catholic, and have been learning and still have lots to learn about my new faith.
I’m glad that I’m on the side of Jesus now and the not the confused secular side anymore.
I’m in my thirties now, I was made aware a couple of years ago that our tax dollars are paying towards abortions (which a girl under age 18 can get, without consulting with her parents first and paid for by the government, aka tax payers). I’m very saddened and troubled to know this. Yes, I do like our healthcare system in Canada. My family and I have used it several times, and without it I’m pretty sure we would have been in deep financial trouble if we had not had this. But I don’t blame Americans especially Catholic Americans for questioning and making sure that Abortion is clearly stated to not be covered by their newly proposed Healthcare.
Yes Socialism is really messed up like Communism. Yes our Canadian government does control many things, so this is a concern of mine with letting our government take over too much. I know my generation is less trusting of the government then my parents & grandparents for helping us, so maybe this will help with the secular & Christian population of Canada to not let them have full control.
The “hate speech law” I think can be a very subjective issue regarding how our Catholic Church speaks about our beliefs. (We had an Archbishop speak out recently against abortion relating to Rape and called it for what it still is “Murder” and was attacked by politicians and of course the media) I don’t want my government to tell me what I believe is hatred because it doesn’t align with keeping everyone happy. This concerns me too. Now that I am Roman Catholic, I am Catholic first and whatever country I reside in never trumps that. God comes first!
I confesss, I don’t understand a lot of the hostility about the Census. All of the Constitutional minimalists out there shouldn’t have a problem with it- it was in the original Constitution; it wasn’t created by partisans yesterday.
I love using old Census data for genealogy research. It’s a gold mine. And you know what questions were being asked way back in the 1890’s and 1920’s? Ethnicity. Country of origin. Highest level of education. Asking such “invasive” questions way back then doesn’t seem to have launched our country into a downward spiral.