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Home > Politics
Lies about Socialism
by Bob Powell, 10/21/16
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The transparent lies about socialism just go on and on ...

Summary

The lies about socialism just don't stop. It goes on and on ... it's impossible to keep up. Here's one meme that's a prime example of the typical, Republican black propaganda. I actually love these memes, because they're so transparently false. And yet some people evidently believe and distribute them. This article describes in detail why this particular meme is a pathetic distortion of reality.

Contents
The Mansion
The Cityscape
The Hospital

The lies about socialism just don't stop. It goes on and on ... it's impossible to keep up. The meme at the right is a prime example of the typical, Republican black propaganda.

I actually love these memes, because they're so transparently false. Find others at Government Greed? and Much of What's Called "Socialism" Is Just Pragmatic. And yet some people evidently believe and distribute them.

This article describes why this particular meme is a pathetic distortion of reality.

Such memes are promoted by those who have either an extremely limited understanding of both economics and business or a warped and destructive political agenda ... or both.

As Bill Maher said: "America's real religion is capitalism. And like any religion, it needs a devil. And that devil has always been socialism."

The devil we face in the United States is more properly identified as so-called "conservative", "free market", "free trade" fundamentalist ideology. I explain at the second link above the reasons behind many of our major economic problems. Those explanations should make it clear that the policies I describe are independent of ideology, if one is interested in having an economic system that actually works.

As I explain at the link on socialism: On the far left of communism (state capitalism), people are cogs in the machine of state. On the far right of "free market" capitalism, people are commodities to be bought and sold. So-called "conservatives" actually see your labor ... which is your worth ... as being a commodity like corn or beans. See Labor as a Market Commodity for Republican Rep. Steve King's statements on that.

Communism's imperative is for humans to serve the state. Capitalism's imperative is that humans -- and everything else, btw -- be commodified. At neither extreme are people valued as humans.

Evil lies at both the extreme economic right and extreme economic left. When combined with social authoritarianism, what we have is fascism.

Now about the sections of the meme.

 

The MANSION:

The mansion shown is in New Jersey ($56M, 30,000 sqft); it's taken from a Forbes article on The Biggest Mansions For Sale In America by Morgan Brennan, 12/23/11 - she says "I write about real estate markets, outrageous homes and cities". The article says this mansion is one of the "gargantuan homes ... actually built by real estate developers on speculation". Developers like this hope that one of the 20 people mentioned below -- who own as much as 50% of Americans -- will buy it.

So the meme saying it's a politician's manson is a bald-faced lie. Of course that matters not a whit to "conservatives" who are incredibly eager to spread this kind of propaganda.

If that mansion were to belong to a politician, it would belong to one who got rich by doing the bidding of the banks and other corporations that control the nation's economy. After all, it's obscene that 20 People Now Own As Much Wealth as Half of All Americans ... and they're the ones called Job Creators who are seen as Gods, not the "taker" parasites they are.

The mansion, if sold, will likely to to one of the wealthy who control polticians, i.e. CEOs of corporations and banks, developers, and the wealthy who get enormous tax breaks.

Note: Tax Expenditures for the top 20% ($617B) exceed military spending ($599B)!!! ... now that's the "free stuff" redistribution to the wealthy. But never mind that, be outraged at the food stamp (SNAP) benefits of $74.1B.

SNAP gets much of its support because it's a subsidy for corporate farms: "... SNAP "represents the largest, most overlooked corporate subsidy in the farm bill."

Tax Expenditures are the real "entitlements" that are not voted on every year, but remain in the tax code until rescinded -- i.e., essentially forever, which is how they've grown so large.

Former Federal Reserve Board Chair Alan Greenspan referred to Tax Expenditures as "tax entitlements" and said they should be looked at alongside spending entitlements. That should be obvious ... no wonder the U.S. has debt!

That Donald Trump knows he's "entitled" is illustrated by his comment at the 3rd presidential debate:

"We're entitled because of the laws that people like her passed to take massive amounts of depreciation and other charges, and we do it."

But the largess is not simply from "her", but from all economic "conservatives" doing the bidding of their corporate masters.

Or, that mansion could belong to an evangelical minister of a mega-church. For example Kenneth Copeland's net worth is $760 Million ... he could afford it.

 

The CITYSCAPE:

The picture of a city block is undoubtedly one destroyed by "free trade", like Detroit, that's promoted by those who believe in the "free market", "free trade" religion that's cost the nation many millions of high-paying manufacturing and IT jobs (... see the data). It's Republican/Obama/neoliberal/"conservative" faith-based economics that "free trade" agreements as structured are good for the nation. It's not reality.

Trump at 3rd Presidential Debate:

"The NAFTA deal signed by her husband is one of the worst deals ever made of any kind signed by anybody. It's a disaster."

Trump is correct that NAFTA is a disaster. But he states a misleading fact in order to lie. Republicans are by far the most responsible for the "disaster".

Those who are opposed to "trade" agreements like NAFTA and TPP should vote against Republicans as I explain below.

That it's a disaster I've documented at

Trade Truth #1: The NAFTA Nemesis, 4/18/08, After NAFTA, exports have suffered relative to imports no matter how one looks at the data. "Free trade" fundamentalists totally ignore that imports have slammed exports on all counts: absolute level, growth, and acceleration. The result? Destructive "trade" debt that's sinking the U.S. economy.

Besides Hillary Clinton's previously-stated support for TPP, the votes on NAFTA and TPP put Hillary Clinton in a tight spot. She can't admit that Republicans and Republican Party are the major supporters of these disastrous "trade" agreements.

That's because both Bill Clinton and Obama colluded with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to get NAFTA and TPP Fast Track approved. 
Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the presidents of their own party.

NAFTA:

Bill Clinton pushed NAFTA through by colluding with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to pass NAFTA. The VOTES of Republicans vs Democrats on NAFTA:

Massive Republican support: 166 for, 53 against
Massive Democratic opposition: 129 for, 184 against

Ratios Against and For NAFTA:

Against: 184 Dems vs 53 Reps; 3.5 times more Democrats against NAFTA
For:       166 Reps vs 129 Dems: 30% more Republicans for NAFTA

TPP Fast Track:

Obama similarly colluded with Republicans against majority Democratic opposition to pass TPP Fast Track. 13 Democratic senators voted with 47 Republicans to get the 60 required votes.

Ratio: 3.6 times more Republicans than Democrats for TPP Fast Track

Yes, Trump has said he'd do something about jobs lost to trade, but there's a snowball's chance in hell Republicans would let him ... unless it's to slash U.S. wages. Based on his statements, to bring jobs back it's most likely he would want lower U.S. wages. He said that the problem is that wages are too high in the U.S. and that, along with high corporate taxes (that's a lie, by the way), is why the U.S. isn't competitive.

As on many issues Trump has made exactly contradictory statements, saying both that "he doesn't want the federal government raising, or even setting, the minimum wage floor" and also that: the "federal" minimum wage "has to go up." Donald Trump gets a Full Flop for stance on minimum wage by Louis Jacobson, Politifact, 7/28/16.

 

The HOSPITAL:

Hey, it wasn't easy to get paid that much ... lots of people had to suffer and die to make it happen.
The "Your hospital on socialism" section of the meme is another obvious lie.

A single-payer system would not be "socialism" for collectivism's sake, but pragmatic because of adverse selection that causes a privatized health insurance without a mandate to fail. It would only eliminate the deadly and inefficient health insurance corporations that have high overhead, have high executive pay, and had a failed business model ... which is why they were all in for the Affordable Care Act.

With single payer everyone would be covered to correct the health insurance system failure due to adverse seletion in a market with asymmetric information. Adverse selection is a dynamic that has not penetrated "conservative" minds despite a Nobel Prize being awarded for its understanding.

I explain at Single-Payer Health Insurance why privatized health insurance without universal coverage is fatally flawed. Add to that a bunch of other reasons: When privatized there's less U.S. innovation, higher costs, personal bankruptcy, death, corporations between patients and doctors, obscene CEO pay, and high overhead & profit.

Many don't understand that a single-payer system is not "socialized medicine" because it's only about insurance; hospitals and doctors would remain privately run. Now the VHA is socialism. This article explains.

When socialism works in America By Ezra Klein, The Washington Post, 6/9/11

... The thing about the Veteran's Administration's health-care system? It's socialized. Not single payer. Not heavily centralized. Socialized. As in, it employs the doctors and nurses. Owns the hospitals. And though I think there's some good reason to believe its spending growth is somewhat understated - it benefits heavily from medical trainees, for instance - accounting for that difference still means a remarkable recent performance.

... beneficiaries of the VHA seem to have health outcomes - including mortality - that are the same as or better than those of Medicare and private sector patients. These findings are noteworthy given the population served by the VHA, which is recognized to be highly and relatively burdened by socioeconomic disadvantage, comorbid illness, and poor self-reported health. It is remarkable that the VHA has been able to attain this superior-quality care at a lower cost than that purchased through Medicare, with expenditures that have increased at a much slower rate (adjusted annual per capita growth rate, 0.3% vs. 4.4%)

 

Propaganda against democratic socialism is a lie

Anyone can find many right-wing diatribes against socialism. This article is an antidote that addresses quality of life and freedom:

Going Dutch By RUSSELL SHORTO, New York Times, 4/29/09

... Geert Mak, the Dutch author, insisted that happiness is tied directly to the social system. We were sitting at his favorite cafe, a hangout of Dutch journalists since the end of World War II, and the genial, old-wood setting of the place, as well as its location, around the corner from the Dam and the center of the city's history, added a bit of luster to his words and reminded me, for the thousandth time, why I'm still here, despite the downside. "One problem with the American system," he said, "is that if you lose your job and are without an income, that's not just bad for you but for the economy. Our system has more security. And I think it makes our quality of life better. My American friends say they live in the best country in the world, and in a lot of ways they are right. But they always have to worry: ‘What happens to my family if I have a heart attack? What happens when I turn 65 or 70?' America is the land of the free. But I think we are freer."

 

Conclusion: It's sad to say, but make no mistake; this black propaganda is designed to promote a dysfunctional society that kills in service to increasing the income and control of those in the top 1%.


URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/liesaboutsocialism.shtml

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