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Posts Tagged ‘Socialism’

Education and Student Debt

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 26, 2016

Marshall McLuhan“The reason universities are so full of knowledge is that the students come in with so much and leave with so little.”  Marshall McLuhan

 

Republicans and Democrats attempt to differentiate themselves via their views of the government’s role in the economy.  With close examination, it is hard to find real differences between them.

Those on the Right promote the benefits of “true” capitalism that allows markets to set prices via supply and demand.  Those on the Left share the view that capitalism is too harsh and that the government needs to step in and smooth out inequities created by markets.  At the extreme Left, socialism is promoted, irrespective of its history of failure.

At the macro-economic level there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats.  Crony capitalism is rampant within both parties.  Republicans typically support large industries and those in the military industrial complex.  Democrats promote social programs that benefit industries including education, social services, medical services, and trial lawyers.  The result of crony capitalism has been a significant increase in governmental spending and a surging United States’ debt over the past 50 years.  This debt is in part responsible for the economic malaise that has been inflicted on the country over the past decade.

An example of crony capitalism and the damage it has done is the educational industry.  Through the US Department of Education, as well as at the state and municipal levels, the funds spent on primary education have been skyrocketing as indicated by the charts below.

Total Educational Spending

Spending Per StudentSat Scores

 

 

 

 

However, the increased spending has not resulted in improved education.  The chart shows how poorly our students are doing in basic reading comprehension.

Student DebtThe problem is more significant at the college level.  The educational industry, with support of the US government and its loan programs, has created the false narrative that all Americans require and deserve a college education, irrespective of whether or not it improves their economic well-being.  As a result, the amount of student debt now exceeds $1 trillion and a significant portion of college graduates cannot make an income level that would allow them to pay off the debt in a reasonable period of time.  Many have been forced to move back into their parents’ houses.

While a market-based economy can be a cruel arbitrator of scarce resources, crony capitalism has proven to be catastrophic to those who have been cajoled into inappropriate economic decisions based on government programs.  It is a major cause of the growing wealth disparity between the ultra-rich and average Americans.

Yes, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have prospered under crony capitalism.  The same cannot be said for most Americans.

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Bernie Sanders Lays off Hundreds

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 27, 2016

bernie-sandersApril 26 was a bad day for Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  During that day Sanders lost for primary elections, including the one in Pennsylvania with its huge number of delegates.  The next day, according to the New York Times, Sanders announced significant layoffs in his staff stating that the layoffs will include “hundreds of staff members”.  In explaining the rationale behind the layoffs, Sanders said:

We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around the country.  We don’t need people right now in Connecticut.  That election is over.  We don’t need them in Maryland.  So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff.”

Bernie Sanders’ decision is rational and reasonable.  He has excess human resources for what is required to get his job completed.  Therefore, in order to cut cost, Sanders is laying people off.  Still, there is a bit of irony in this capitalist move by a lifelong socialist.  Sanders is using his prerogative as an employer to cut costs irrespective of the effect it is having on those he is laying off.  A choice Sanders could have instead made, given that it is now impossible for him to get the nomination, would have been to completely stop his campaign and divide the remaining campaign funds amongst all the workers that would be laid off.  It seems that for even for some self-avowed socialists, socialism only goes so far.

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Hillary Clinton on Democrats and Socialists

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 11, 2016

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, is an unapologetic Democrat.  However, that even Matthews is concerned with the Party’s shift the radical Left.

During an interview would likely Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, Matthew stated “I want to try to help you tonight …. Locate yourself politically.”  Then Matthews went on to ask “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” in an obvious attempt to allow separation between herself and Socialists in the Party.  Clinton did not have an explanation and instead said: “Well, I can tell you what I am.  I am a progressive Democrat.

Matthews was clearly troubled by Clinton’s lame response then asked Clinton the obvious follow-up question: “How’s that different than a socialist?

Unlike Clinton this Blogger can answer the question.  There is no discernible difference between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism.  In fact, if the historic heroes of the Democratic Party including Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Humphrey were alive today, they would be unwelcome in the Party they helped create.

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Reagan Vs. Obama – Social Economics 101

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 16, 2012

Economists are often boring lot, typically assuming this or that and coming up with academic conclusions that do not meet reality.  The video below, sent in today by Henry, must have originated from an economist with at least some experiences based on economic reality.  The stories shared in a humorous manner.  This message is the sad truth.

With approximately 50% of Americans paying no income tax and about 60% receiving more from the government than they pay in, the message will likely fall on many deaf ears.

Posted in economics, Socialism | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Americans Going for the Good Life

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 20, 2012

Whether one believes in a Capitalist or Socialist system, human nature dictates most of our actions and interactions in society.  Capitalists believe that the free market is the best mechanism for self-regulating these individual desires.  Those that are Socialist leaning put more faith in the government to do the regulating.  While Capitalism has shown to be an imperfect mechanism, central planning and interventions by Progressive governments have proven disastrous.  The current sovereign debt problems affecting many Western countries are the result of such interventions.

Perhaps the most significant Progressive governmental intervention today is the efforts to fix the ongoing sovereign debt problems.  Their solution; push interest rates to near zero to keep the cost of sovereign debt service low and at the same time enable the commercial banks that are also insolvent access to nearly free money.  To assume there will not be serious unintended consequences to what is the most significant governmental intervention ever attempted on a worldwide scale is akin to a nearly religious belief in alchemy.

Today we focus on one consequences already occurring as a result of the low interest rate policies.  This artificially created low interest rates on the safest investments, governmental bonds, also affect interest rates up the chain including those at the higher risk levels.  In other words, return rates for even risky investments have been lowered proportionally.  As a result, investors’ returns have decreased to historically lower levels creating the desire (demand) to move up to higher risk in an effort to increase meager returns.  The longer the current artificial interest-based recovery continues with assets such as equities appreciating, the greater the incentive for investors to increase their risk tolerance.  This is a similar the housing bubble caused by the earlier low-interest Federal Reserve policies that not only made mortgages easier to afford, but pushed investors into buying the risky securitized bonds that ultimately failed; i.e. the toxic concoction that created this mess in the first place..  Now governments are trying to turn the tide with the same low interest rate policies.  That’s insanity!

The low-interest rate policies of the Fed are again cajoling people into risky investments that will result in another bubble and bust, possibly in the bond market.  Following is a clip titled A Day In the Life of a Financial Advisor.  With a bit of humor it shows the spiral that many Americans now face; chasing increased returns without enough concern for risk, the missing control ingredient in the Progressive model of capitalism.

 

 

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Occupiers’ Los Angeles Protests Results in Budget Cuts

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 22, 2011

The Occupy movement has gained traction across United States over the months since they began, but they have yet to coalesce around announced goals or objectives.  More recently the movement created the theme “We are the 99%” indicating disapproval on wealthier Americans.  However, the Occupiers offer little in solutions beyond a general theme that those that have should give to those that have less.  This is poorly camouflaged Socialism which is proven a failure in redistributing wealth in the long-term so many times in the past.

An example of the misplaced actions of the Occupy movement was reported yesterday by CBS Los Angeles.  The City of Los Angeles’ Mayor Villaraigosa announced he is required to cut the budget due to costs incurred as a result of the Occupy protests in Los Angeles.  This includes $400,000 to repair City Hall’s lawn damaged by Occupiers and $700,000 for the police action required to clear out the Occupiers.  In addition there were heavy cost for hauling away debris and cleaning graffiti from the defaced City Hall walls and trees.

The cuts required to Los Angeles’ budget will hurt the most needy in that city.  Such acts bring into question the true motivations behind the Occupy movement.  It also makes a shambles of the Leftist media’s attempt to compare the Occupiers with Tea Partiers.

The real enemy of both the Occupiers with Tea Partiers is the same; an out-of-control government that is run by politicians and bureaucrats more interested in perpetuating their own wealth and power and the good of the Country

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Maggie Thatcher on Socialism

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 13, 2011


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Defining Socialism, by Winston Churchill

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 25, 2011

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

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Michael Moore Shows True Intentions of Progressives: Socialism

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 3, 2011

While many Progressives have a socialist agenda, most hide it behind buzz word such as “fairness” and “rights”.  But there are those that are more honest with their agenda, as in the case of film maker Michael Moore.  While the video clip below shows Moore to be lacking of any understanding of economics, he is a least honest in his openly socialist beliefs for America.

Moore sates:  We’re not broke.  This Country is not broke.  The state of Wisconsin is not broke.  There’s a ton of cash in this Country.  Trillions of dollars of it. Let see, in 2010 we added about $1.5 trillion to the U.S. deficit with the total deficit now is in excess of $14 trillion.  With this reality Moore concludes that the U.S. is not broke and is awash with cash.  It is doubtful that Bernie Madoff could say that with a straight face.

Moore then states:“They’re sitting on the money, they’re using it for their own – they’re putting it someplace else with no interest in helping you with your life, with that money.  We’ve allowed them to take that.  That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours.  We all have this – we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it.” This in no uncertain terms is socialism, period and Moore represents that radical left that is hijacking the Democrat Party.  John Kennedy must be turning in his grave.

 

Posted in Democrats, Progressives, Socialism | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Progressives and Socialist Aristocrats

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 10, 2010

This Blog has posted various articles relating to Progressives and their agenda for this country that often portrays them as do-gooders without a clue.  Today we post an article from guest writer Jack M. Bethards whose take on Progressives and their motivations is from a different direction and a worthy read.

Jack refers to Progressives as “Socialist Aristocrats” whose real agenda is to better their own well-being over those in society that they purport to be concerned with.  While one can question Jack’s conclusion, it cannot be argued that the Progressives’ programs have indeed resulted in the outcomes discussed in Jack’s thesis.  That raises the rhetorical question; If it quacks like a duck …….

The Socialist Aristocrat. by Jack M. Bethards

Who could really LIKE Socialism?  It depends on when the question is asked.  As long as it is still a Utopian dream, there are several groups who seem delighted with the idea.  First, there is the true poverty stricken underclass.  They quite rightly see that it would improve their lot somewhat.  This, however, is a very small group in the advanced countries, particularly the USA.  Then there are the limousine liberals who out of guilt over their “unearned” privileged circumstances profess that it’s a great idea, but it’s doubtful they’ve ever contemplated the proposition any more deeply than in cocktail party conversation.  Another group is the genuine, committed Utopians.  These are people who really do like the idea of everyone being equal.  They have talked themselves into believing that equal in Utopia means a pretty nice lifestyle, probably not much different from what they enjoy now.  It’s easy to understand why all of these groups promote socialist (or, if you prefer, collectivist, or even communist) forms of political organization.

Now let’s look at who likes it AFTER the fact.  Once the dust settles after the revolution, nobody seems to be too happy except those at the top. And that leads us to the group of socialism’s promoters, who, until recently, I had a very tough time figuring out.  I’ve often wondered why people, who are doing quite well and benefitting immensely from our free enterprise system, can advocate Socialism.  This includes politicians, members of the media, academics, professionals, and even business people.

Well, it finally dawned on me.  They want more!  And they want it without effort, without real work.  They want to create a modern feudal system, a modern aristocracy.  The history of civilization has been dominated by various two-class systems of peasants and aristocrats.  The whole purpose of such societies was to support the aristocrats.  That’s exactly what socialism is all about – a modern aristocracy supported by the proletariat.  The benefits to the aristocracy are two.  First of all, they command all of the wealth and second, they do little, if any, of the work.  True aristocrats abhor commercial activity and abhor productive activity.  Note how our present leadership is encouraging people not to go into the commercial world, but to use their talents in the non-profit sector.  Look at the drive for volunteerism.  The elite promoters of socialism don’t believe in enterprise, at least for themselves.

We see the development of this aristocracy right now.  Look at the wealth that our politicians and former politicians are amassing.  This is true also of non-elected government officials.  There is a class of fellow travelers as well that have joined this aristocratic group – big labor and big business who feed on government favors.

From the point of view of the aristocrat, there are only two dangers in the system:  rebellion and invasion.  The modern promoters of socialism have figured a way to solve these problems to create a permanent aristocracy.  First, the risk of invasion can be reduced and possibly nullified through world government.  This is the aim of the Green movement and of all the other one-world advocacy groups.  We are well on the way to a domination of the globe by socialist and proto-socialist regimes.  The next step is unification.  The unified one-world government idea is being executed quite cleverly.  Its proponents know that eliminating nationalism will never work.  They simply want to de-nature nationalism, creating organizations like the European Union that preserve a shell of nationalism while maintaining centralized control over the important aspects of government.

The other threat, rebellion, obviously comes from the lower classes.  Here is the strategy on that front.  First of all, the underclass will be supported in a more enlightened way than in millennia past.  They will be kept at a subsistence level adequate to keep them quiet.  In other words, aristocratic greed will be tempered by practical common sense.

The other danger from rebellion is the middle class and the answer there, of course, is to eliminate the middle class.  Right now, just about every policy of the modern socialist and proto-socialist societies is to reduce or eliminate the middle class.  One important way to de-nature the middle class by breaking it into small units that can be content to fight with each other.  The nonsensical drive toward diversity is obviously part of this plan.  The de-valuing of religion also splits people into ever smaller groups.  The same is true of the constant war on organizations such as the Boy Scouts.  Worst of all are policies that break up the family unit.  Welfare, easy divorce, promotion of promiscuity, etc. all reduce the effectiveness of family units.  Unregulated immigration, which de-emphasizes assimilation, further cracks apart societal unity.  The lack of enforcement at the border and a poorly thought out immigration policy are tearing apart the fabric of this country and further splitting us into small, more manageable groups.  It also has the effect of growing the under class that benefits most from Socialism.  When this is complete, the final model will be an aristocracy not quite as greedy and flamboyant as those of years past, and a lower class not quite as poverty stricken as before, thus maintaining a balance of relatively happy drones and quite happy “leaders”.

Don’t let anyone tell you that the promoters of socialism are just misguided Utopians.  The real motivations for socialism among the leadership class are simply greed and sloth.  So there is nothing new under the sun.

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