Peter Morici: The label that scares most Americans

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  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2018 11:59 a.m.

    There's a big disconnect. A lot of people hear/read socialist and think of nations like China, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea, and policies like government control of production. And a lot of other people hear/read socialist and think of nations like Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and policies like universal healthcare. And the thing is, it's the people in the first category that are more correct in usage. Democratic socialist isn't even quite right either, it's the Nordic model most Bernie supporters find appealing.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 20, 2018 1:04 p.m.

    Re: "The Socialist label scares most Americans. "

    Well, it doesn't scare me.

    Republicans have demonized as socialist the very forward-thinking and effective governments found in northern Europe and other places, including right next door in Canada. Those nations are doing much better than the United States in terms of the safety, security, success, and happiness of their citizens. They have better schools, better working conditions, and better health care as evidenced by longer life spans.

    And us? We have decreasing lifespans among Caucasians, AND of course we have Donald Trump, the pompous, ignorant, universally disdained and disrespected blowhard and Putin puppet in the White House, who advances protectionist policies similar to those enacted by the old Soviet Union. Those Soviet policies put high tariffs on goods originating from anywhere other than in the Soviet Union or the Easter Bloc. Whatever happened to the USSR anyway? Anybody remember?

    We need to do what works, and Donald Trump's protectionist policies are NOT consistent with capitalism OR common sense. They DON'T work.

    But Putin is pleased! The Russians were smart to weaponize the GOP, weren't they?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Aug. 20, 2018 6:27 a.m.

    Re reading the title of Mr Morici's latest screed actually makes me wonder this.

    A great many Americans seem frightened by the word "Socialism", yet enjoy elements of that particular political philosophy. The essentials of American democracy remain intact.

    The scarier word in my opinion, is "trump'ism". This particular brand of political philosophy dismantles many of our dearly held and fought for American principles. Indeed, our cherished democracy is in danger and being pummeled in front of our very eyes.

    Wonder if Mr Morici will write about that?

  • batfink Australia, 00
    Aug. 20, 2018 4:39 a.m.

    The amusing thing about socialists around the globe is that they always 'know' what to do with your money.

    They whine and complain about capitalism yet when the global economy does eventually fall over and money becomes merely colored paper to start camp fires with, they will applaud their magnificent understanding of economics before claiming they also 'know' what to do with your food storage.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 19, 2018 3:48 p.m.

    Diligent Dave -- your true accounts of your family members' challenges is a prime example of the dystopia of Republican Socialism.

    In every case, your relatives' trials were because someone out there was raking in huge amounts of money that your relatives were forced to pay if they wished to reach their goals.

    Consider this one fact: Had they been living in almost any nation in Europe, they would not have been forced into such difficult situations.


    Because those nations all have to good sense to practice Democratic Socialism in which all citizens of the nation have joined together to contribute to the common good. They realize that when other citizens are able to be educated and be provided with adequate and effective health care and other services, EVERY citizen of the nation benefits, too.

    No one us sucking huge amounts of money into their private pockets as so many are able to do here in America.

    Here's a challenge I hope you and other readers will accept: Go to Google and search for Health Care Executive Salaries and see what you find.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 19, 2018 3:39 p.m.

    A prime example of Republican Socialism is our current health insurance industry's lock on health care.

    It takes only a quick Google search to find that health insurance and other health industry executives are some of the highest paid people in our country.

    In fact, the AVERAGE daily income of one of those people is about $60,000 PER DAY!

    Friends and neighbors, if you are wondering why your health insurance and care is so expensive, look no further than the current model of Republican Socialism that allows that to continue. All the money those folks are paid comes from YOUR pockets.

    If we had any sense at all, we'd be actively seeking to adopt health care models already successfully working in nations like Canada, Germany, Australia, Norway and virtually EVERY other developed nation around the globe.

    Continuing as we are simply foolish. But it sure does have great rewards for those have managed to worm their way to the tops of the industry.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 19, 2018 3:30 p.m.

    * News Flash *

    We are already a socialistic country.

    Trouble is we're Republican Socialists.

    That means we socialize EXPENSES and privatize PROFITS.

    How about using a modified form of socialism to benefit ordinary citizens instead of only corporations and wealthy people?

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2018 8:35 a.m.

    NoNames..I have to reject your premise of saving and investing as a viable alternative to SS, and Medicare. Not as a principle to be lived where possible, but as a solution for "society", and I think this is the mistake you make often. You project your own circumstances on to everyone.

    First of all the ability to save 15% of your income regularly, when you don't have enough to buy food or decent housing, medical care etc. is non existent, and that condition permeates a large % of the American population.

    Second, the ability to invest for 40 years without major market set backs, requiring major start overs is impossible for the poor.

    Third, the ability to save enough over your lifetime to cover medical expenses (even premiums and copays) as you reach your 70's, 80's and 90's is non existent. You should be very happy you weren't allowed to opt out of Medicare.

    My wife and I did what you suggest and have what most would think of as a large retirement fund, but it would be gone...long before us, without SS and Medicare, and relatives who relied on markets now rely on us.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Aug. 19, 2018 7:10 a.m.

    Be careful what you wish for. For about 150 years Europe, the U.S., and especially Japan treated China like dirt; and the United State's economy (not Europe's and not Japan's) is the only thing on this planet keeping them from giving us all the payback they think we deserve. Guaranteed health care, housing, and wages will take our economy down quite a few notches; and if we go down that road we won't be able to stand up to them anymore. You think having Republicans in charge is horrible? Wait 'till the Chinese are making up all the rules for world to follow.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 10:23 p.m.

    Peter Morici is making as much sense as Trump's early morning tweets.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 8:51 p.m.

    @unrepentant progressive: "Hypocrisy, rank hypocrisy."

    There is nothing at all hypocritical about playing by the rules on the books as we work to improve the rules.

    From the time I got my first job at 14 years of age, SS and Medicaid taxes took 15.3% of my gross income from me. (The fact that half of that only showed up on my check when I was working for myself rather than someone else, is irrelevant.) If a person can save and prudently invest 15% of his income for 40 years, he will enjoy a perpetual income throughout retirement that is equal to his average income while working. This without depleting the principle.

    Up until about age 50, I frequently said that I'd happily let the government keep every penny they had taken from me if only they'd let me out of the system: no more taxes taken, no benefits to be paid. But after that, I'd simply had too much taken not to claim the benefits promised. I'd have been much better off on my own. But I wasn't allowed to.

    I'd like my children to have more freedom than I've enjoyed. That isn't hypocritical. That is the American Dream.

    SS and Medicaid taxes force too many to retire in poverty rather than in comfort. Deep reforms are needed

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Aug. 18, 2018 4:17 p.m.

    People may be afraid of the word "socialism".

    But those same people love their "socialist" benefits. Namely Medicare, Medicaid (when you bankrupt granny and ask the state to house her) and Social Security. There are others too.

    Hypocrisy, rank hypocrisy.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 1:00 p.m.

    I think the author may be over-stating his case. If I recall, 100% of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed candidates just lost their primaries.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 11:44 a.m.

    A third son-in-law of mine, is a CPA who got his Bachelor and master's degree at USU, or he meant our daughter. She finished her degree in Elementary education there. But she is a stay-at-home mom with boys ages 5, 3 & nearly 1.

    He took a job with a big 4 accounting firm in Virginia, where they've been Leasing 1500 square foot apartment that cost him 1/3 of his monthly salary. He's worked there now for 3 years, and will probably need another trainer quote years before he can become a partner The Firm.

    It's in the past six weeks they received a letter from there owners of the apartment, informing them that they were moving back, and then a daughter and son-in-law with need to find another place to live and move there.

    Again, it will likely take a# of yrs more before they are able to save up for a downpayment & buy a house of their own. That son-in-law is also about 30 now.

    As a team leader, he works long hrs when his team needs to get audits done for client companies.

    Working waiting tables in Logan, he too was able to avoid student loan debt.

    But even working for a big 4 accounting firm, they have to save up $8000 for their copay for each baby they have. Easy? No.

  • Husker2 Aurora, MN
    Aug. 18, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    Ocasio-Cortez belongs to the Democratic Socialists of America and they are far more socialist than most people realize. According to their website, they feel there should be no privately-owned businesses. They feel the government should provide free housing, cars, health care, and education thru college. Of course, they want the government to control these industries and they never say how it will all be paid for. This is far more socialist than the Scandinavian countries. And anyone who thinks China is doing well should check their stock market lately.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 11:34 a.m.

    Another 1 of my son-in-laws just obtained an engineering degree at USU finally, just after he's turned 30. Now, he and our daughter are moving to Seattle as I write this, with their four children, where he will learn over the next two and a half years the ins-and-outs of also being a nuclear engineer.

    Fortunately, he learn decent money doing this. But, it's taking him nearly a decade just to get his bachelor's degree, well he and his wife, my daughter, have brought into the world for children, who are challenging.

    Their oldest, a seven-year-old, one of three seven-year-old grandsons I have, who is extremely bright. A couple of months ago, he beat me, the 64 year old grandpa, and our first game of chess. And I'm no slacker.

    Yes, they have received some help from family. That has helped to keep them out of that completely.

    But both of work strenuously to get where they are at now, and it will take them some time before they are able to buy their own home, and thereby fulfill the American dream.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 11:30 a.m.

    Due to the frugality of my oldest daughter, she & her husband paid off $75,000 in student loans incurred during his yrs at Dartmouth med school over 1-1/2 years ago.

    That allowed them, after saving since then, to pay just $31,000 in cash a 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan when they flew from his last medical assignment in Hawaii to LA, on a vehicle that had less than 6000 miles on it, and was bought the year before for $10,000 more than they paid for it.

    So far, the only furniture they've bought in Boston, has been on Craigslist, including a couch they had to take down 5 flights of stairs from the seller's apt.

    This is "white privilege". Work 6 13-15 hr shifts/wk, riding a bike to work & back, while your wife & 5 kids leave your 1500 sq ft condo each morning, so you can eke out 5-6 hrs of sleep btwn shifts.

    Wanna make big $? Spend 15 of your 1st 30 yrs of adulthood getting degrees & certifications. And then maybe the next 20 yrs (until you're 70) accumulTiong wealth on high fees for a specialty you've learned (& earned).

    Sounds glamorous? It doesn't to me. But it is some of what it takes to try to obtain some degree of economic utopia in this life!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 11:12 a.m.

    The article doesn't clearly at all answer the question essentially posed in the headline--

    "The label that scares most Americans". Is it "socialism"? It is not made clear in the least.

    Also, how is the GOP "begging for a shellacking"? Because going just 2 years they vastly improved the economy, just doesn't fulfill the utopian dreams of students & former students saddled with student loans? Or, it doesn't place some in high paying jobs, because what can?

    Three of my son-in-law's have worked long & hard to get college degrees to help them make more than they can at Starbucks. Matt, who married my oldest daughter, is in an orthopedic residency now at Harvard Medical School. He wasn't able to get a residency in orthopedics match until 5 years after graduating Dartmouth medical school. But he persisted, & now he's working nearly 100 hrs/wk in his 1st of 5 yrs learning orthopedics. After spending another 2 or 3 years in a subspecialty, & fulfilling his requirements with the US Air Force to pay them back for his schooling by matching # of yrs for each yr spent in school, he won't be able to "cash in" on high fees for his specialty till he's close to 50 years old.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    "Sen. Sanders’ Medicaid for all would ultimately look a lot like the German health care system — private providers, regulated prices and bigger federal subsidies. Fiscally irresponsible yes, but not the work of Bolsheviks."

    Fiscally irresponsible? Not at all. Not if it does look like the German health care system. Here are the facts. U.S. health-care costs per capita were $10,348 in 2016. German health-care costs, by comparison, were $5,550.

    What is fiscally irresponsible is the Republican effort to undermine every workable health-care reform. Their two bills (House and Senate versions) would have taken health insurance from some 20 million Americans while giving large tax giveaways to the wealthy. Even though these bills failed to pass even the Republican-dominated Congress, the GOP got its way in the end. They have sabotaged the ACA, thus reducing the number of Americans who have health insurance while passing large tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, which have ballooned the debt (which they pretended to care about while Obama was president).

    If you want to perpetuate such fiscal irresponsibility, then by all means vote Republican.