I wish people would understand the definition of socialism before they state
this nation is becoming a socialist nation.
I have profound respect, admiration and appreciation for our Amazing President
Obama.He is doing a fantastic job repairing the damage caused by
Republican presidents....A daunting and near-impossible job!It will
be sad to see him leave office, but his successor will also be a president
Americans can be proud of...well, maybe not Utahns. A lot of Utahns tend to be
less-than-gracious in defeat.
Capitalism is like sugar. Sugar sounds great! It's oh so tempting!
It's sweet! But sometimes too much of a good sweet tempting thing is bad.
In fact, sometimes you need other ingredients to counter the sugar. And
sometimes, sugar just doesn't belong where salt does.Ever try
to make a cake completely out of sugar? It sounds like a great idea! After all,
flour and salt don't taste good by themselves! Yet, without the flour and
sugar, the cake won't take form and taste good. The flour and salt helps to
counter what would otherwise be an overwhelming sweet taste.Likewise, certain socialist restrictions and regulations help to ensure that
capitalism doesn't overwhelm our economy.Sometimes, sugar just
doesn't belong. Have you ever tried to season your green beans with sugar?
Corn on the Cobb, with sugar? How about season a steak, with sugar? Likewise, sectors such as police, fire department, parks, recreation,
military, and health care, are best left out of the hands of capitalism.
Capitalism doesn't belong in health care. Let the sugar sell TVs and cars.
But necessary services should be left in charge of the salt.
Where has this letter written been?This nation has NEVER been more
prosperous...EVER!The problem we are experiencing right now is not a
matter of how much there is, but the HUGE dispairity in how it is being
distrubted.All the prosperity is only going to a very few people.85% of all that SALT is in the hands of less than 1%.The other 99%
of us are left fighting over the remaining 15%.Does the letter right
know that over $100 TRILLION U.S. dollars have been taken out of circulation,
hidden and squirreled away into secret foreign bank accounts by just a few
of these people?No -- you have it all wrong.It's not a
matter of how much God has given us, It's how some of his greedy
children are not sharing what he has given.BTW -- I'm not
talking about "free hand-outs", I'm talking about an honest
compensation in the form of pay and benefits for the actual WORK being done for
Taxes were due yesterday. The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes. The
wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes. The "rich guy" is doing his part.
He is carrying many people on his back. The government is stripping him of his
wealth. He is not allowed to create jobs for others because his assets are
being taken by the government to pay for social programs, programs that are not
authorized by the Constitution. Those who defend the social
programs instituted by the Federal Government are willing to give up freedom for
money. How much is the right to speak worth? The current
administration wants someone from the government to oversee each newsroom:
"Titled the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or
CIN, the FCC will send researchers to question reporters, editors, and broadcast
station owners about their editorial decision-making, among other issues."
(Breitbart). The administration has appointed Mignon Clyburn to lead the FCC.
She is the one who promoted the idea that our newsrooms need help from the
government.Maybe that's not socialism. Maybe that's much
worse than socialism.
The thesis that underlies this LTE is wrong:"Although private
sector jobs, by necessity, provide those goods or services needed and desired by
the consuming public (such production representing our nation's wealth)
government expenditures consume that wealth"The private sector
simply adds profit (and in recent times, obscene profit) to the cost of
necessities. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the private sector can
provide these services more efficiently than the deposed public sector was able
to (take education, for example - Americans have become very poorly educated in
the era of privatization). As long as wages are essentially
stagnant, excessive profits simply push our system backwards and our citizens
into deeper servitude (peonage to the corporations). We are the
government. Government expenditures in the context of payrolls and contracts
(minus profit) circulate through the system better than do related
private-sector expenditures. Profits from privatized businesses are sheltered
off shore. Not used for job creation, not even used to pay taxes to maintain
infrastructure to keep the whole process moving forward. Rather, corporations
pay lobbyists to increase corporate welfare.No. Private profit is
not godly, it's evil. The underlying thesis of this LTE is corporate
Countries like Germany, Denmark, Finland, and Norway have highly productive
capitalist economies and large social welfare states. In fact, I would say that
it takes a highly productive capitalist economy to support a large social
welfare state. That's the problem of Greece, they tried to construct a
social welfare state on the back of a backwards, unproductive economy based
largely on agriculture and tourism.Bear in mind that the U.S. has,
by far, the developed world's smallest welfare state. I'm not
advocating that we become like Denmark or Norway, but there are some areas where
universal solutions are more efficient than individual solutions. Health care is
one of those.
Why aren't all the "Socialism is Evil" people crying for wars
against:England, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Australia, Israel, Italy, Norway, Belgium, and Sweden?Be consistant, and show some
@ Mike Richards, your selective use of the numbers hides/obfuscates a number of
issues, including the growing income disparity that will further contribute to
tax contributions. Weakening the middle class further doesn't help
anyone. It doesn't deal with the fact that even the very poor still pay
taxes. I am all for tax reform, but I wonder if you would be OK with that, such
as eliminating virtually all deductions, or going to a modified flat tax. I
wonder if you would favor elimination of many of the tax breaks and outright
subsidies provided to profitable businesses. I wonder if you would support
scaling back the military and national security systems, which dwarf so-called
domestic programs. It's easy for the rich (perhaps you?) to attack
programs that serve the weak and poor amongst us, but coming up with solutions
is another story. Based on my reading of your comments along the way, it seems
to me that you favor a Darwinian survival of the fittest model. That approach
has been utter rejected by this country, going back well over a century. Thank
Mike R:You say "The government is stripping [the rich guy] of
his wealth." If that were the case, we would see a reduction in the growing
inequality of wealth distribution. All the evidence points the other way. You say "[The rich guy] is not allowed to create jobs for
others." So how do you explain the creation of millions of jobs over the
last few years?Your mythical rich guy who is carrying many people on
his ample back is not suffering as you claim.
"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later they run out of other
people's money to spend", Margaret Thatcher. Doesn't a $17.4
trillion and growing by $5 billion a day mean ANYTHING to you socialists? You
are already out of our money and now you are spending our grandchildren's
money! Where does it end for you?
Re: Mike Richards "The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes.
The wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes. The "rich guy" is doing his
part. He is carrying many people on his back. The government is stripping him of
his wealth. He is not allowed to create jobs.... "You guys on
the right wing isolate the public sector from the private production process.
You do not reckon with how wealth accumulates to the top 1% or 2%. Their
profits and accumulation are created by the exploitation of labor, not fully
paying their hired labor for the value they add, which increment is surplus
value. So while its true the top 1% pay 20% of all taxes, they are ripping off
labor in the private arena like crazy. Consider that they did just fine thank
you when the top marginal income tax rates were 91%! The top wealth
brackets are not creating jobs in the U S. because they are investing in low
wage economies. Labor is getting the shaft domestically as usual.
As the analogies proliferate, capitalism is like ketchup. It's good with
fries. Just don't use it for blood transfusions.
Greed, envy and coveting are not reasons to transfer wealth. We learned in
school that if you studied hard, did your homework and attended class, you would
receive a good grade, probably an "A". If you sluffed class, never did
homework, and never studied, you would probably fail the class. Only those who
"failed" wanted to equalize grades.It looks like those who
sluffed, who never studied, who never did homework now want to take the wealth
from those who earned it. It looks like those who envy, who covet, and who are
greedy want Uncle Sam to equalize wealth. Obama's tax forms show that he
made well over $1 million per year since he entered office. He has no major
expenses while living in the White House, yet he has not given away his money.
He hasn't gone to the nearest McDonalds and offered to contribute his money
to those who earn minimum wage. Somehow he thinks he's entitled to his
wealth, but his followers keep telling us that the rich don't deserve to be
"The "wealth" of a nation is largely dependent upon how efficiently
it can produce (or obtain via trade) the food,..."Neoclassical
economics, the economics generally taught in higher education, is concerned
almost entirely with efficiency. Unfortunately only Marxists like me are
concerned with distribution (equity). We have lost the system most of us
boomers grew up in. We are now the Argentina of the north. I noted from
yesterdays D-News that President Uchtdorf met with President Obama to discuss
the plight of immigrants in the United States. This is a real and valid
concern. But the entire American working class is under great stress due to a
declining real wage (soaring surplus value). Would that someone in power would
speak for all of us.
Marxist. The world has had its fill of Marxists dictators like Stalin, Mao ste
Tung, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Putin and any other Marxist dictator. They scream
about the "evils" of capitalism but don't mind spending the money
capitalists generate and keep their subjects in line with gulags, poverty and
Mike Richards said:The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes. The
wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes. Well than why did I pay taxes Mike?
According to your math the top 21% paid all the taxes collected in the
United States. So the other 79% of the nation doesn't pay any federal
income tax, you should run for vice president with Mitt, he'd like those
imaginary numbers too.
And the math wizards fall apart.The top one percent pay 20 percent
of federal taxes, the top 20 percent which includes the top one percent pay 80
percent. 45 percent pay no federal tax. Which leaves you in the middle 35
percent paying 20 percent of the tax. Is that better?
Mike says, "Greed, envy and coveting are not reasons to transfer
wealth." Those are the very reasons why the wealthy try like crazy to avoid
transferring their wealth.Those who advocate a narrowing of the
wealth distribution gap are not necessarily motivated by any of those things,
but by compassion for the less fortunate, and perhaps even by pity for the
wealthy who don't realize how excessive wealth is destroying their souls.
Beware the eye of the needle.
"Unfortunately only Marxists like me are concerned with distribution
(equity)." Are you aware the Marxists are not all that concerned with
equity. China now boasts the second largest number of billionaires at 152,
china boasts a list of one million millionaires. Russia has 111 billionaires,
Fidel Castro is worth over $900 million. North Korean elite live a lavish life
style while many starve. All while proclaiming the benefits of distribution of
equity. Why? There is not one Marxist country that has ever achieved real
distribution of equity. The only real sure benefit of Marxist ideology is
poverty for the masses. Lest I be uninformed and ignorant, name me on socialist
or Marxist country that has no inequality of wealth with a range of a few
percent from top to bottom. Marxism is an ideology that cannot exist in the
real world ever. The promotion of Marxism is always by elitist wannabes that
hope to ride on the backs of the real workers in society.
For the life of me, I don't know why the moderator would not let this
through. Mike Richards did in fact bring Obama into the argument. Read the
comments you have cleared.@ Mike Richards, I don't know why you
made this about Obama. But in this tax year, he donated about 13% of his income
to charity. That's pretty good, if you ask me.
IMO the government should focus on insuring "equal opportunity"... not
"equal outcomes".When the government thinks it's their
job to guarantee equal outcomes... personal responsibility decreases.When the government says, "no matter how talented you are or how hard you
work you can only get X... and no matter if you drop out of school and refuse to
work, you will also get X... all motivation to work hard and succeed goes out
the window. You have to rely on the people's love of the country or
it's leader to keep them in line and working hard. Because there's
no reward for working harder. All are guaranteed equal outcome, regardless of
the effort they put into it.The way I was raised... that's a
cop-out.-You get better grades if you work harder (no guaranteed
equal outcome).-You get a better job and a better paycheck if you work
harder (no government guarantee of equal outcome)-In business... You get
rewarded if you take risk and make good decisions, and grow your business, and
hire more people... no government guarantee of equal outcome.====
Mike Richards, above, wrote: "Obama's tax forms show that he made well
over $1 million per year since he entered office. He has no major expenses while
living in the White House, yet he has not given away his money. He hasn't
gone to the nearest McDonalds and offered to contribute his money to those who
earn minimum wage. Somehow he thinks he's entitled to his wealth, but his
followers keep telling us that the rich don't deserve to be rich."He who made wrote this comment, I don't know why you made this
about Obama. But in this tax year, he donated about 13% of his income to
charity. That's pretty good, if you ask me.
United Nations Development Programme lists 647 staff as millionaires. And yet
the UN climate group claims that we need redistribution of wealth to third
worlds. How are the staff making millions with the socialist ideals they
promote. Could it be they skim the programs to enrich themselves.
Decrying vague notions of socialism apparently relinquishes the necessity for
critical thinking and the urge toward reasonable governance for the right, who
have already stopped reading this comment. They seem to be stuck in a
1940's time warp where exists a perfect dichotomy of capitalism vs.
socialism absent any sliding scale of one toward the other, and vice versa.
Moreover, they've created a delusional fairy tale of what the government
is, to the point where they've lost touch with reality and just echo the
empty rhetoric being spewed from daytime talk radio. Our diminishing global
position is a direct result of the boomers letting the ship drift off course,
being content to relish in our good fortune for the last thirty years, but
unwilling to be bothered by the complex issues a large country faces.
To "LDS Liberal" repeating the same lie over and over again will not
make it true. The top 1% own 45% of the wealth, wile only getting about 20% of
all income in the US. They pay 35% of all income taxes.Now for you
socialist lovers. What nation is there that has adopted socialism that can
equal the US in terms of lifestyle and innovation?Socialism
DOESN'T work. It never has, and never will. If you do think it works,
give me an example. Scriptural examples are not examples of socialim because
that was people sharing, and not the government redistributing.
annes- Lets be clear. Private schools do a much better job of producing well
educated individuals than do public schools. Look at college acceptance rates,
especially to the best colleges.2 bits is right. If there is no
incentive to work hard people don't.As for what the socialists
really want is to drag down the rich due to envy. It is not so much that the
wealthy have so much, it is that they have so much more than they do that
bothers them. It is all about relativism. If you increased the standard of
living of the poor, but at the same time increased the standard of living of the
rich by the same proportion, they would still complain. The truth is it is not
about what they have or don't have in absolute terms, it is about what they
have relative to others. In other words, they would prefer everyone to be lower
middle class than for us to have everyone at the minimum level of lower middle
class, while still having a wealthy population.
Our own history has shown that laissez-faire capitalism does not work to benefit
all citizens. There was not federal government regulation of business in the
late 1800s. The Interstate Commerce Commission initiated in 1887 was the
appearance of reform as initially the ICC had no real power. The Sherman
Anti-trust Act of 1890 was not used to curb monopolies until the 20th century
and was actually used as a weapon against labor unions, which states had made
illegal. What resulted? A boom and bust economic cycle about every 20 years. 1%
of the population having 88% of the nation's wealth by 1900. One third of
working Americans at or below the poverty level. Progressivism brought some
reforms. The Great Depression necessitated elements of socialism. Like it or not
through most of the 20th century our economy was a mix of capitalism and
socialism. It worked well. The middle class exploded in growth. Poor classes
were turned into consumers. Enough free market principles were in effect to
encourage growth. Unfortunately, today people use the term as scare tactic and
evil we must rid ourselves of completely. I personally do not want to return to
the 19th century.
To "nonceleb" and other liberals or people that want socialism. If you
want to see the best system for helping the poor and building up a nation's
ability to produce, read the TWO books. The Theory of Moral Sentiments and
Wealth of Nations. You can't just apply the teachings of one.
@jsf"Lest I be uninformed and ignorant, name me on socialist or
Marxist country that has no inequality of wealth with a range of a few percent
from top to bottom."The socialist nation of Sweden (and really
all the Scandinavian nations except maybe Finland) has low income inequality.
By the way, people like me who complain about income inequality
aren't saying there shouldn't be many-millionaires, we're just
saying that the US income inequality levels of the 1950s-1970s (which were
remarkably steady and certainly still had wealthy people) occurred alongside
greater economic outcomes in the nation than what we've had in the
boom-bust cycles before and after.
To Red Shirt: The middle class in Denmark, Norway, Finland, or Germany lives as
well or better than the middle class in the U.S., and yes, they provide far more
in social services for their citizens.
@CurmudgeonIf Greed, envy and coveting... are the reasons why the
wealthy try like crazy to avoid transferring their wealth.... would you please
transfer your wealth to me??If not.. why not? ===Are you one of those envy and coveting people who tries like crazy to
avoid transferring their wealth? ===I'm sure your
not a greedy or a coveting person, so I'll be waiting for your wealth to be
transferred to me.... and I'll take care of redistributing it to more
deserving people... just out of pity for your soul...Remember the
eye of the needle... and transfer it all to me for redistribution...===I only make this offer out of pity for your soul.Like you
said... Those who advocate a narrowing of the wealth distribution gap are not
necessarily motivated by any of those things, but by pity for the wealthy who
don't realize how excessive wealth is destroying their souls"....Beware the eye of the needle... I'll help you save your soul by
redistributing your wealth!
@ Red Shirt You misunderstood my advocacy. I am not recommending completely
socialism. We have had this mixed economy of capitalism with some elements of
socialism since the 1930s. You show me anytime in history were unregulated
capitalism with no oversight has broadly benefitted all the citizens more fairly
and not created an obscene disparity of wealth. As for the Wealth of Nations, it
has even been debunked even by conservative economists. Adam Smith's
"invisible hand" really is nonexistent.
I propose that all those who want to live under Socialism... be allowed to move
to a nice island or a nice part of the country and live it (without us).I think they would quickly find that without highly motivated innovators
and even vile capitalists to make the money they want to redistribute... it
doesn't work very long.
One of the things that really angered Adam Smith was collusion between
businessmen to suppress the wages of workers, which is exactly what has been
happening in this country since 1980. That's a part of his writing that
most conservatives tend to disregard.
To "nonceleb" I know you are not advocating outright socialism, but lets
look at what happens as you add more socialism into the mix. Things don't
get better. Socialism can only exist as long as there is capitalism to support
it. Unless the people wake up, typically the mixed systems end up collapsing
themselves. Just look at Greece, Spain, and much of Europe. They have their
socialism and capitalism, but they also struggle against oppressive taxes and
overly generous welfare programs. Just look for the new articles about how the
higher taxes are driving out millionaires from many of those nations.What do you think happens when you drive out the millionaires from the nation?
You flatten the income, and you begin to destroy the job base.
re Esquire"...Based on my reading of your comments along the
way, it seems to me that you favor a Darwinian survival of the fittest model.
That approach has been utter rejected by this country, going back well over a
century. Thank goodness."There is no way Mike R would be
advocating any facet of evolution. ROFL?to MountanmanI
hardly call the version of casino/crony capitalism running wild anything to
celebrate. All you have to do is read Michael Lewis' new book to know the
playing field is far from balanced.For the record, The US &
Russia are both oligarchies. The only difference is the US is not quite as
chaotic. Dare I say better regulated?
Sweden has 16 billionaires, Equality in Sweden does not meet the criteria.
Unless all Swedes are multi-millionaires. The request was a socialistic country
with wealth inequality within about five percent. Reasonable living standards
is not the criteria. Equality in wealth is the socialist promise that can not
To jsf: No one is advocating total equality of wealth. That's a total
distortion of the liberal argument dreamed up by conservatives to discredit
liberalism, which it would if anyone actually pursued that goal. Fortunately no
one is. Did the level of equality we had from 1940-1980 really
constitute a socialist dystopia? The rich were still rich, there were still poor
people, but anyone who was willing to work could live a decent life.
Today's rich live like Roman Emperors while working people fall further and
further behind. A society like ours cannot long survive.
You don't really have to know what it means or in what context it exists in
our nation. If you can throw the word 'socialism' into a letter,
that's good enough.
Mike Richards:You probably give more to charity than the President
and I probably do as well. But that's up to us and that's up to him.
Why do all the wealthy liberals fight tooth and nail to keep all of their money
and to accumulate more, while attacking capitalism? They will demand $20-40
million per movie but attack overpaid doctors and hospital CEOs who make far
less money. For all of their money, what do they truly contribute to society to
earn such wealth? Are they not truly the ones socialists should be attacking,
instead of those who contribute far more for their incomes? I am not
a hypocrite, so I do not complain or care if they make so much, even if it makes
it so I can't afford to see their movies. It is their right to earn what
they can. But don't complain what I earn, which is a small fraction of
theirs, while praising them for being supporters of the socialist cause. If they
were true believers in their espoused doctrine, they would live much more
humbly, and give much more of their wealth away.It is simple,
don't complain that those who earn less than you should pay more, unless
you are willing to sacrifice your wealth and live at the same level.
@jsfWithin 5%? Oh well then my answer is...there is none that even
exist (successful or failed) and you're grossly overstating what people who
have problems with income inequality are after.
To "Roland Kayser" lets look at what you said and think about it deeper.
You said that from 1940 to 1980 we had greater income equality than we
currently do. What has changed? Is the nation as a whole more or less
regulated? Does the government have more or less power over your life than it
did before 1980?If we had greater income equality when there were
few regulations and the government had less power, what does that say? An open
minded person would say wow, that sure makes socialism look like a dead end
RedShirtUSS Enterprise, UTTo "Roland Kayser" lets look at
what you said and think about it deeper. You said that from 1940 to 1980 we had
greater income equality than we currently do. What has changed? Is the nation as
a whole more or less regulated? Does the government have more or less power over
your life than it did before 1980?======== The nation as
a whole is more regulated - environment, Food, Water, Air, etc.BUTIs less regulated in regards to MONEY.Taxes were
LOWERED on the uber-wealthy.Trickle-down economics was a lie, it has
FAILED.LESS Government regulations regarding Outsourcing and
Off-shoring. Banks have become Much LESS regulated.The repeal
of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933. and Republicans have
started 3 wars with no way [or fore seeable intent] to pay for them.
To "Open Minded Mormon" what do yu mean money is less regulated?Banks and investments are more regulated than they ever have been at any
other time in history. You forget that banks had added regulations added during
the 1940's when FDR began to push for easier credit. Then again when we
disconnected the dollar from the gold standard.Here are some of the
bank acts that ADDED regulations since 1933:Banking Act of 1935,
establishing the FDIC as a permanent agency.FDIC Act of 1950
expanded the power of the FDIC.CRA of 1977 added regulations
madating lower lending requirements.The Truth in Savings act of 1001
added regulations regarding interest and fees for savings accounts.The Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987 regulated the amount of time a
bank could hold a check before deposititing it into an account.The
Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 added
additional regulations to banks in their reporting to federal agencies.Just look at the CFR and the number of regulations that have apply to banks
alone. That doesn't include rules from government agencies.What do wars that Demcorats voted for have to do with anything?
The comments I see defending Frank's misunderstanding that it is unbridled
capitalism that is killing the middle class is nothing more than an offensive
front on those of us who have worked hard for a generation only to see wages
stagnate, benefits eroded, and the cost of living skyrocket, and a constant
attack on the paid "insurance" we call Social Security, yet the overall
wealth of the nation is as great as it ever has been. Please, someone explain to
me why wealth distribution from the bottom up by gouging the working poor is so
good for the economy.
Socialsim in Utah means candidates other than Eagle Forum hand picked people.
Redshirt.... not so fast.You said "If we had greater income
equality when there were few regulations and the government had less power, what
does that say?"Depends on what is being regulated? For
example, lets take transportation. During the period in question we had a
highly regulated transportation system, both in the air and in ground transport.
Since the 80s it has become highly deregulated. And as such, average wages
have fallen. The number of companies competing, has also fallen.International trade is far less regulated now... and look at the impacts that
has had on jobs. NAFTA has had a huge impact.So you can't make
blanket statements that we are more or less regulated. In many aspects we had
parts of our economy much more regulated before the 80s.
To "UtahBlueDevil" but we have more airlines now than we did in the
1980's. In fact, if you look at a list of US airlines we have MORE large
airlines now than we did in the 1980's. Yes wages have fallen, but that
shows you how overpriced the regulations were causing.I think that
your examples only show that with fewer regulations, things only get better.Look at NAFTA. Once you cut regulations for trade between the US and
Mexico, the Mexican economy began to grow a lot. The income inequality between
the US and Mexico DECREASED once there were fewer regulations.Thanks
for helping to prove my point.