Defining “socialism”

First, look at the AIG situation.  The government bailed out AIG; AIG went on a bonus bender with some of the money it was given and is now being asked to give some of the money back.  That is not socialism.

George W. Bush greatly expanded the federal government and the power of the office of the President during his 8-year reign, and apparently even considered suspending the First Amendment at one point.  He also gave the greatest tax cuts to the top income-earners in the U.S.  Some of this is close, but overall, none of it is socialism.

Barack Obama is now planning to reverse the longtime trend toward tax cuts for the wealthy.  That is not socialism.

In his final months in office, George W. Bush was talking about nationalizing the banking system.  Whoa!  Wait a minute!  That may be socialism.

Read this link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism for some common definitions of socialism.  Obama is talking about only one of them (nationalizing the healthcare system — if indeed, that is the plan; it’s unclear at this point).   Again, Bush actually considered implementing some of them. 

Certainly he succeeded in the “unequal distribution of goods and pay” part, although he got it backwards.  I’ve heard that some of his beneficiaries on Wall Street are considering covering their well-heeled tracks by threatening to go on strike to let the rest of us see how hard they work and how valuable they are (and I’ll wager that at this point, the rest of us won’t even notice if they actually do).

To state it briefly, if you’re talking strictly about “Big Government” meaning “socialism,” kiddo, you’ve been listening to the Fat Man too much, and not paying enough attention to how big the government already got in recent years.  It’s all a matter of what you want to believe.

If you still want to believe, after all these years, that the Trickle-Down theory works, look at AIG.

If you want to believe that a retooled and refocused Big Government isn’t just about the only way to turn the economy around, look at the early 1930’s.  If those times didn’t turn us into a socialist nation, neither will the actions of the present.

If you believe that our present healthcare system is a total, affordable success, you must work for either a pharmaceutical company or a health-insurance conglomerate.

If you want to believe that continuing the policies of the last 20+ years will reverse what is now happening, I can’t help you.  No one can.

But if you are willing to try to keep some version this old saw in mind: those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat it (that’s my version, anyway), you will stop falling for the Fat Man’s rhetoric and the blabbering of his ilk.  You will stop being afraid.  And perhaps…just perhaps…we can start getting something done around here.

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