Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh the Hyperbole of the Progressives...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny




A panacea as this gentleman w/out facts would have you believe or the road to the reality Greece, Portugal, and Cuba et all have experienced?.

I report, you be the ultimate judge...

Via: Memeorandum

26 comments:

  1. We should be emulating Estonia and the other Baltic states and steering totally clear of England, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, etc.. Most of Europe is going down the toilet and it really needs to be a wake-up call for us.

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  2. Will: The Baltic nations had the pointy-end of the socialist super-state jabbed deep into them for so many decades from WW2 through to 1989. They are understandably wiser from the experience, especially compared to the "most of Europe" you refer to.

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    1. We (grandma and I) are going on our annual summer mini vacation in northern New England with our grandson next week. We will be staying at the Weather Vane Motel, an establishment we have been going to for the past 15 + years. The proprietors are from the old Czechoslovakia, and I truly enjoy listening to them expound on the "evils" of state sanctioned socialism.

      Americans who have grown fat and lazy out to have the privilege of listening to people with the insight of ones who have been there.

      Most interesting is their understanding that America is on the road to that which they, at great peril to themselves, left many years ago.

      But we won't mention this to the progressives. They wouldn't be interested anyway

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    2. RN said: "....and I truly enjoy listening to them expound on the "evils" of state sanctioned socialism..."

      Is there any other kind? If so, perhaps a form socialism NOT sanctioned by the state might be OK (i.e. purely voluntary). I've long held that both socialist policies AND religion really have no place in government.

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    3. And you'd be right. Both religion and socialism are altruistic at their core. Both requiring self sacrifice, which if voluntarily choosen is a proper expression of free choice. As in religion or private sector social outreach. When forcibly required by a government it becomes extortion at the end of a canon, or put another way legalized theft.

      Unfortunately the trajectory has been towards government supported and sanctioned forced socialism for approximately the past 113 years.

      Given the realities of the present perhaps there is no better alternative. Until it creshes and those that come after us have no choice but to start over again.

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    4. "Nothing appears more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their sentiment and passions to those of their rulers." David Hume

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  3. You've all been living under socialism all your lives. All forms of socialism are not alike. Tell us, for example, how you would run the military. Would you privatize it? The police? The fire department? All schools? Roads? etc.? Health care? Medicare? We're a nation of 300+ million, not the agrarian society Jefferson thought we would be. We're the 3rd largest country on the planet.

    How do you all propose to take care of roads, bridges, the military, police, firemen, teachers, etc.?

    This blanket trashing of socialism in all forms is silly and shows that perhaps you're not aware that many countries thrive under it. Why use just the failures as an example? That's not balanced. Here are some other examples:

    Finland
    Finland has one of the world’s best education systems, with no tuition fees and also giving free meals to their students. The literacy rate in Finland is 100 percent. Finland has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Like Denmark and other European countries, equality is considered one of the most important values in society. Whereas in the Netherlands, government control over the economy remains at a minimum, but a socialist welfare system remains. The lifestyle in the Netherlands is very egalitarian and organized, where even bosses do not discipline or treat their subordinates rudely.

    Denmark
    Denmark has a wide range of welfare benefits that they offer their citizens. As a result, they also have the highest taxes in the world. Equality is considered the most important value in Denmark. Small businesses thrive, with over 70 percent of companies having 50 employees or less

    Canada
    Like the Netherlands, Canada also has mostly a free market economy, but has a very extensive welfare system that includes free health and medical care. Canadians remain more open-minded and liberal than Americans, and Canada is ranked as one of the best top five countries to live in by the United Nations and the Human Development Index (HDI) rankings.

    Sweden has a large welfare system, but due to a high national debt, required much government intervention in the economy. In Norway, the government controls certain key aspects of the national economy, and they also have one of the best welfare systems in the world, with Norway having one of the highest standards of living in all of Europe. Norway is not a member of the European Union.

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    1. Government has proper functions. Military, roads, bridges, police, firefighters, those things that society requires to function, call it the general welfare.

      I can even accept the reasoning behind temporary relief such as unemployment.

      However cradle to grave socialism is not the long term panacea you obviously believe it is. It is my view that the long term effects of cradle to grave will have negative social consequences. I acknowledge I may be wrong. Perhaps I will never know, but I am fairly certain my grandchildren, or the great grandchildren I'll never know, will witness it. I actually hope I'm wrong.

      As to your statement that we have been living under some degree of socialism for some time, did I not state exactly that in my prior comment? Did I also state there may be, given present realities no better alternative?

      You see Shaw I recognize I do not have the one right answer. Nor do you or other progressives. The only real difference as I see it is that I, as well as many others with my political acumen, realize we don't have that one right answer.

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    2. Very astute, RN. There are dire consequences with trusting the rulers to control way too much. The Netherlands, with its socialist healthcare system, features a death panel situation, which allows sociopathic "doctors" to kill the weak (old people, the disabled).

      Letting the government have total control over all healthcare (single payer, etc) only serves the power-lust of those whole rule.

      Why not have socialism, welfare in the form of healthcare for those who need it (and would have major healthcare problems without it, or die), such as the poor, disabled, indigent? Of course. This fits in with the idea of "absolutely necessary". Government control of healthcare for everyone else does not.

      Les, you mention "proper functions". We must be ever vigilant over what these proper functions are. And allow government to control something only when necessary, and when there is no better alternative. But definitely not as a stepping-stone for totalitarianism, definitely not out of an ideology (textbook socialism) that the state needs to control the means of production), and not out of a very misguided ideology that if the government isn't making decisions over our lives, it means the "plutocrats" are.

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    3. Shaw said: " Would you privatize it? ... The fire department? ...
      "

      Well, Shaw, look at this.

      Hard to imagine anything worse than this... the government fire department. Public "servants"....

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    4. dmarks, that's an extreme situation, not applicable. Most normal cities and towns cover their firefighters' services and equipment through local taxes. If the people in that unfortunate town got together and pooled their resources, perhaps they would have had a better outcome.

      One extreme example does not mean tax-supported firefighters and services don't work.

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  4. But, RN, you completely ignored the examples of countries where socialism is not destroying anything, but rather allowing people to live full, happy productive lives.

    I did not say it was a panacea for long term anything. I just wanted to give examples of how it can and does work. That's not saying I have all the answers though. I don't. But we can have more information so that we don't condemn outright an economic system that obviously works in some countries.

    I'm glad to see that you acknowledge that government does have a proper functions in our lives.

    I'm always astounded to read people complain about this country "becoming" socialistic under Obama when, in fact, we've ALWAYS functioned under a degree of socialism, even under GOP presidents, including their idol, Ronald Reagan. And the conservatives/libertarians, IIRC, never yelled about cradle to grave dangers then. That's because socialism can and does work in certain degrees.



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  5. "I'm glad to see that you acknowledge that government does have a proper functions in our lives."

    Shaw, I've never known anyone who claims government doesn't have proper functions. Have you ever known such a person, RN?

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    1. Well, I have never personally known anyone, republicrat or demicon that believed government had NO PURPOSE or proper functions. Absolutely none. Not even Ayn Rand held that view.

      Rather the questions what is the PROPER ROLE of government. MANY people hold the view that the Constitution, with it's amendment process defines quite adequately the proper role of government.

      Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense and the dude who has been credited with galvanizing popular support for the Revolution had a "soft spot" as well. He believed government had a proper role in helping to insure the citizenry were not left destitute and without means to live.

      My words do not mirror his thoughts on the issue but they do give a small snapshot into his humanity. I think that is what those you support the ACA are saying. The trick is being capable and wise enough to craft a system that provides essentials and works long term without negative impact om businesses, individuals and will survive for the long haul w/out braking the bank so to speak.

      You, I, and Shaw could likely sit down and craft a plan that would work better than ObamaCare and likely be able to get 75% of the country behind it.

      The other 25% would bitch and holler but probably would add ZERO positive ideas or input of any kind. And for the record I was one of them for quite some time. I finally realized something really does need to be done.

      We need to think a bit outside the box with the goal being cooperation BETWEEN PARTIES to solve a issue that may very well cause significant social unrest and upheaval left unattended to. Not to mention continued escalating costs... But as they say... At this point it is what it is, it will be what Obama and the democrats have crafted, and we shall see how it comes out in the wash.

      Until the Great American Crap Fest between parties and ideologies comes to an end expect mre of the same. As we continue to spin our wheels. Had I ever worked for a company that is as ineffective as our Congress and Senate is I would have quit in a New York minute. But hey, in a Representative Democracy, or Republic, are we not at least 1/2 the problem?

      As the Great Sage Free Thinke pointed out... Mirrors my good people, mirrors.

      Good evening, and thank you for reading...

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  6. Here's something else to think about:

    Friedrich Hayek, a man you would think would be an influence on the Tea Party’s political program:

    Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong … Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.

    That’s from "The Road To Serfdom," one book of the libertarian and conservative Bible. And it’s common sense. It’s leveraging a simple principle – pooling risk – and extending it as far as possible to guard against the 'common hazards of life.' There is nothing leftist or socialist about it. And it demands that each of us be personally responsible for the costs our own encounters with illness or accident impose upon our neighbors, rich and poor, young and old."

    So why, then, is the GOP telling young people NOT to sign up for the ACA, thus keeping the pool of insured smaller and the rates higher? What is the point of it all except to do whatever the GOP can do to make the ACA fail? It's an abominable way to behave: encouraging young people to stay uninsured and, therefore, make everyone else pay for their irresponsibility, just to make political points and defeat a law that has been ruled constitutional.

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    1. To Re-post for Impact, Hayek: "Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong … Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken."

      A very appropriate consideration. And feel free to correct me if I'm wrong Shaw, but I believe Thomas Paine and Hayek would have had a lot in common had the lived during the same era.

      The problem with selective quoting of great thinkers lies in the fact it never does justice to their greater body of work.

      Perhaps one day the solution to the issues that divide the nation will be found. It is not likely until on a grand scale we start talk with each other rather than at each other.

      Thanks for bringing that quote to life and for reminding all of Hayek's position.

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  7. Will: Hume's quotation is useful for evaluating the success of the prehistoric chieftan weilding a big bloody club, the pharaoh of the ancient world, the pope of the middle ages, and the socialist of the modern era.

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  8. RN: When forcibly required by a government it becomes extortion at the end of a canon, or put another way legalized theft.

    I'm OK with that.

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    1. Strange enough when the revenues (taxes) are used for the proper functions of government neither do I.

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  9. Shaw, just for the record, the U.S. spends more per capita on K-12 education than any other country save for Switzerland, and a third less than Finland. To try and argue that that isn't socialistic enough is scary.......And as far as firefighters go, 70% of them in this country are volunteers. You gotta problem with that?

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  10. Will, where do I argue the U.S. "isn't socialistic enough?" Stop attributing to me things I do not write. What I pointed out is a counter-argument that socialism DOES work in other countries and that RN and others gave only failed countries as examples of the effects of socialism. And even with my examples, no one has yet conceded that in those countries, socialism is valued as an economic system, and the populations are happy with it.


    In large metropolitan cities where there are huge concentrations of populations and in many suburban cities and towns, firefighters' services and equipment are supported by local taxes. In rural areas, volunteers supply that service.

    I don't see anything in any of my comments that indicates I "have a problem with that." Why you even bring it up is totally irrelevant to the discussion.

    The majority of firefighters, police, and teachers services is funded by collective taxes.

    Why should that be a problem?

    Do folks here support the idea of private, for-profit corporations employing police, firefighters, and teachers and selling them and their services to individual cities, towns, and villages? Would that be something you'd support?

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    1. Shaw: I am open to exploring new ideas. And, as this idea of yours would cut out the deplorable public sector unions (which exist to degrade services while pillaging government treasuries) it is worth considering before dismissing it out-of-hand.

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  11. The majority of firefighters are NOT funded by collective taxes. Yes, the fire equipment is but as I pointed out, 70% of the country's firefighters are volunteers.......And you were arguing that Finland has a great educational system and used it as a shinning example of socialism. I was just pointing out that we pay more here and that it really isn't working out for us.......Do I support privatization? In many instances, yes. For instance, in CT here (and it could be the same elsewhere), people can go to the AAA to do their license and registration and they're out in 2-3 minutes! Compare that to the DMV where I've literally seen fights break out. I also strongly believe in school choice (some privatization there) and thought that it was abominable when Obama pulled the plug on that DC initiative.

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  12. And I'm glad that you don't have a problem with volunteerism.

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  13. They may be volunteers, but they are compensated:

    "According to the National Fire Protection Association, 69 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers. The National Volunteer Fire Council represents the fire and emergency services on a national level, providing advocacy, information, resources, and programs to support volunteer first responders.

    The NVFC includes 49 state based firefighter associations such as the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) which provides information, education and training for the volunteer fire and emergency medical services throughout New York State.

    In the United States, the Department of Labor classifies volunteer firefighters as firefighters that receive no compensation or nominal fees up to 20% of the compensation a full-time firefighter would receive in the same capacity.

    The DOL allows volunteer firefighters to receive benefits such as worker's compensation, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, pension plans, length of service awards, and property tax relief.

    DOL defined volunteer firefighters may be paid nominal fees on a per call basis, per shift basis, or various service requirements, but may not be compensated based on productivity such as with an hourly wage.

    The terms "part paid" and "paid on-call" refers to firefighters that are receiving some compensation less than the compensation a full-time firefighter would receive. It may often refer to volunteer firefighters that do not qualify as volunteers under the United States Department of Labor. They may also volunteer time for training, public education, fundraising, and other non-emergency department related activities."

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