Socialism? No he di’in’t!

Thanks for the link, Sheila.

Here’s to David Limbaugh’s editorial/blog:  Socialism!  There I said it

To this I say, I’m getting more and more comfortable with the word “douchebag”.  I’m sorry.  This kind of fear mongering bothers me, though.

DON’T BUY IT.  IT COSTS WAY TOO MUCH.

First thought: The Democratic and Republican leadership supported the bailout bill, proposed by Mr. Paulson and endorsed by Pres. Bush.  And not because there’s some sinister goal to turn the country socialist and rob hardworking business owners of their property.  Agree with it or not, the bailout is all about pragmatism and not ideology.  It’s a step that, now that it’s been approved, is being taken warily.  I hope.  I don’t think anyone really wants this, but the people who understand economics were scared s—less enough to do this.  (Ben Bernanke is an expert on the Great Depression, oddly enough.)

If you believe D. Limbaugh’s dreck, please read on.  Here’s the short version if you’ve got better things to do with your time:  looking out for the common man is not the same as socialism.  What happened to all this talk of Joe Sixpack and Jane Winebox?  The regular guys ‘n girls.  The ones who make less than, say, a quarter of a million dollars a year.

Second:  But first let me say that Sen. Obama has no desire to make America a socialist country.  For goodness sake.  I mean, I’m not his spokeperson, but I’d bet these expensive sliced mangos I’m eating on it.  What I want and what I believe Democrats and Republicans and 3rd, 4th and 5th parties want is for our society to flourish.  I want businesses to be successful and robust WHILE treating employees fairly with dignity and compassion.

We want a strong middle class, which is a socio-economic oddity, historically speaking.  There will always be poor people.  There will always be rich and super rich people.  There may not always be a middle class by our standards.  It takes intent and design to maintain a middle class, otherwise you end up with a bonafide plutocracy.

That doesn’t mean unfairly or unjustly taking money from businesses and the wealthy to dole out to poor folk.  It means having those businesses and wealthy people pay their fair share.  We may have to give businesses tax breaks to encourage them to set up shop in our cities and towns, but those tax breaks should be given to encourage behavior that benefits us all.  (e.g. – Like research into alternative fuels or clean burning fuels or whaterver.)

How does it serve America and our economy if we give businesses a tax break and they outsource work to another country (like all of the call/support centers)?  Or if they hire illegal immigrants so that they can pay them next to nothing and provide no benefits?  How is it that many ultra-conservatives laud what amounts to corporate welfare but bristle at the idea of social welfare?

Most (large) companies in US avoid federal income taxes

There’s got to be a balance.  Everyone knows, every Democrat and Republican — Obama and McCain — knows that a healthy economy requires healthy businesses.  And they know that it also requires workers and citizens that feel confident enough to spend money on these businesses.  They provide jobs.  They also require society to have cash and credit to spend to make them successful enough to hire employees who get paid so they can consume…

Businesses need a competitive labor force.  We need a lot of skilled or educated workers in order to be competitive with other countries. Need a healthy labor force.  And so on.  It’s all kind of connected.  But it seems to me that Mr. Limbaugh says give more and more to those with the most.  “Charity” for the wealthy in the form of tax cuts and credits.  But tax cuts and credits for the working man and woman is socialism??

Limbaugh’s single-dimensional straw man premise falls flat on its face the moment we stop demonizing our political opponents.  The candidates, Obama and McCain, are not evil villains that want to destroy our way of life.  They are both citizens that want the best for our Democratic Republic or whatever you want to call it. They’ve got kids and want to see them grow up safe, sound and with the opportunity to live long and prosper.

We’ve seen caricatures of Sen. Obama as an Islamic Terrorist, on the face of a supposed food stamp, on a box of waffles full of stereotypes (the box packaging, not the waffles).  What’s next?  A picture of Obama with a hammer and sickle?

Capitalism is not perfect.  If left unchecked, it will eat you.  Socialism is far from perfect.  If enforced, it will take your stuff, then crush you.  Partisan fear mongering … eh.  You know the deal.  I’ll boo that without reservation.  It will demoralize and drain you.

THAT REMINDS ME

There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read and here are some quotes.  It’s a great book.  Lots of drama, sex, warring, tension.  You name it.

  • “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.”
    -Proverbs 22:16
  • “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”
    -Proverbs 21:13
  • “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
    -Proverbs 31:8-9
  • “He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.”
    -Proverbs 17:5
  • “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”
    -Proverbs 28:27
  • “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
    -Ezekiel 16:49
  • “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”
    -Proverbs 22:9
  • “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”
    -Ecclesiastes 5:10
  • “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”
    -Deuteronomy 15:11

Goddamn socialism.  I could go on.  Is it naive of me to think that one’s personal or philosophical morals should be consistent with one’s political and social morals?

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