When The “S” Word Is Okay

The 2020 election is quickly approaching……and we have the usual word in the debate….socialism…..

Soon we will be bombarded with the “S” word as the Dem field starts to take its final shape……Trump will be out front with the accusations followed closely by the GOP and their lies that they do so well.

The problem is they are not against “socialism” just not for the people of the nation…they prefer that corporations get the “free stuff”……

This news report of 7 years ago helps understand just how bad “corporate socialism” can be……

A proposal to spend $250 million of taxpayer money on a retail project here illustrates the damage state and local subsidies do by taking from the many to benefit the already rich few.

Nationwide state and local subsidies for corporations totaled more than $70 billion in 2010, as calculated by Professor Kenneth Thomasof the University of Missouri-St. Louis

In a country of 311 million, that’s $900 taken on average from each family of four in 2010. There are no official figures, but this one is likely conservative because — as documented by Thomas, this column and Good Jobs First, a nonprofit taxpayer watchdog organization funded by Ford, Surdna and other major foundations — these upward redistributions of wealth keep increasing.

http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2012/06/01/how-corporate-socialism-destroys/

Fast forward to the Trump presidency…….

“America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism.

In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21 billion saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.

Banks that are too big to fail – courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout – enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83 billion a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4 billion. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/12/trump-wants-socialism-rich-brutal-capitalism-rest-us

After over a 100 years of demonizing socialism is now what the GOP tells their child-like followers to send them hiding under their beds…..

And while they are hiding democracy is slowly slipping from their grasp……

This growing animosity toward the greed of the immensely wealthy is not merely symptomatic of a popular presidential candidates’ rhetoric, but indicative of the harrowing economic inequalities existing in American society and politics. The 62 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the world, roughly 3.6 billion people. The wealthiest 1 percent of the global population have as much wealth as the other 99 percent of the world’s population. For decades, wages of the middle and working classes have remained stagnant in the United States while the top earners have seen their wages grow exponentially. In the United States since the 2008 recession, nearly 99 percent of all new generated income has gone to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Current trends suggest these enormous disparities in wealth are expanding.

https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/268947-a-democracy-lost-to-corporate-socialism

Political lies have replaced knowledgeable discourse and the specter of socialism taking over and people will lose all their rights……under these lies that is exactly what is happening and socialism did not have anything to do with that loss.

 

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Leon Remembered

This post should have been written and posted on 03 September but I was lazy and worried about a doctor’s visit to pay attention….

This is the 80th anniversary of the 4th International…..this will mean very little to most people but as a student of political history I feel that he, Leon Trotsky, needs to be remembered….if not for his life then for is contribution to political discourse.

…the 80th anniversary of the founding congress of the Fourth International, held on September 3, 1938. The establishment of the Fourth International, under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, was an event of great historical significance and contemporary relevance. During the next three months, the World Socialist Web Site will be celebrating this anniversary with a series of publications and events explaining the significance of the Fourth International.

…..

On September 3, 1938, the Fourth International held its founding congress in a suburb of Paris. The conference agenda allowed for only one day of official proceedings, owing to—according to the minutes—“the illegal circumstances under which the congress was held…” The “illegal circumstances” to which the minutes referred were those created by the relentless persecution of the Trotskyist movement by the police of the bourgeois-democratic state in France, the armed gangs of fascists acting with legal impunity in much of Europe, and above all, the ruthless assassins of the Soviet secret police, the GPU, working to carry out Stalin’s instructions that Leon Trotsky and his closest collaborators be physically eliminated.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/03/four-s03.html

Like I side mean little to most people but to students it is a study in political discourse…..

Just felt I could drop some history on my readers….enjoy your day….chuq

Sicilian Fasci Movement

This will be your final history lesson for the week…..enjoy.

About here some person will read the title and immediately set off schooling me about the Godwin Law because they will assume that I am aiming this at the their fearless leader in DC.

As usual they would be WRONG!

This post is not about Mussolini or even his patron Hitler…nope….it is about a movement in Sicily in the late 19th century.

During the 1860s and 1870s, workers in Sicily supported each other through mutual aid societies, which claimed the right to strike and to lobby for wage increases. This precedent of organized labor, along with a recent history of peasant uprisings against feudal aristocracy and the spread of socialist ideology, set the stage for the Fasci Siciliani movement. A trade war affecting the main components of Sicily’s economy (fruit, wine, and sulfur) led the Sicilian elite to institute higher rents and taxes, transferring the economic hardship to the working class. Fasci, meaning “bundle” in Italian, were associations of laborers that advocated for workers’ rights constituted Sicily’s first social movement.

Source: Sicilian Fasci movement, 1893-4

For those that like history and politics it is always a joy to find out about how the world looked at society back in the day.

I hope that you, my reader, enjoyed your small slice of history for the day…..

Class Dismissed!

Closing Thought–18Jan17

Ever since I have been writing there has been this deathly fear of the “s” word……to the point of obfuscation.

Now word has come out that should get all the old farts losing what little sleep they get……

On Wednesday, November 9, at 9:47 am, BuzzFeed News sent out a push notification: “Trump is leading a global nationalist wave. The liberal world order is nearly over and the age of populism is here.” This, from a publication better known for listicles than sweeping political pronouncements. If even BuzzFeed felt it necessary to ring the death knell for the “liberal world order,” then liberalism must be really, really dead.

But what, besides global nationalism, can replace it? The answer is clear if we look at the 2016 election from its inception. The race we should be remembering is not just Clinton versus Trump, but Sanders versus Clinton. For nearly a year, millions of Americans supported an avowed socialist, and many of those people were young—like me.

Source: Why Millennials Aren’t Afraid of Socialism | The Nation

Will this make a difference in upcoming elections?

Is Trump A Socialist?

Did you hear that?  That was the sound of millions of Trump supporters asses slamming shut!

Please read the post and not just the title like so many do…..

Ever read something that makes sit back and have a good chuckle?  Well I found one over the weekend……

Surely you have heard about the deal the Trump made with Carrier (UTC)…..the one about the jobs….ring a bell yet?

Don’t strain that sleeping brain……

With his deal to keep Carrier’s factory in Indianapolis open, Donald Trump has fulfilled a big campaign promise, saved 1,100 highly paid American jobs—and, once again, created an enormous controversy. Carrier, which had planned to shift production to Mexico, will receive at least $7 million in financial incentives from Indiana. Critics say this sets a dangerous precedent, and wonder whether Trump is planning to make deals with every company that threatens to move jobs overseas. A round-up of coverage:

  • Trump praised the deal in a visit to the factory Thursday, CBS reports. “Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not gonna happen,” he said.
  • United Technologies, Carrier’s parent company, “took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country,” Bernie Sanders writes in a Washington Post op-ed. With the deal, he writes Trump has endangered previously safe jobs by signaling “to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives.”
  • White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the deal is “obviously good news,” but hardly comparable to the 804,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector he said President Obama created, the Guardian reports. Trump would need to “make 804 more announcements just like that” to equal what Obama did, Earnest said.
  • Trump revealed to Carrier workers that despite his promise to keep jobs there, he hadn’t really been talking about that particular factory. “I said Carrier will never leave,” he said. “But that was a euphemism. I was talking about Carrier like all the other companies from here on in.” He said he decided to get on the phone to execs anyway “because of the love affair I’ve had—this has been a very special state to us.”
  • Jimmy Pethokoukis, an analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, didn’t pull his punches in an interview with CNBC. He said Trump’s remarks were the worst economic speech since Walter Mondale’s attack on Reaganomics in 1984. He says it is “absolutely chilling” that American corporations will now have to make business decisions based on “fear of punitive actions based on who knows what criteria exactly from a presidential administration.”
  • NPR notes that United Technologies makes a lot of money from government contracts, suggesting “strong-arm” tactics played a role in the deal. Analysts including George Mason University professor of economics Tyler Cowen, a libertarian, warns that “crony capitalism” could prevail under Trump, with plenty of rewards flowing to companies that please the president.
  • But at the Carrier plant itself, the mood is unsurprisingly jubilant—and pro-Trump. The announcement was a “Christmas miracle,” Jeffery Blackford, who was worked for the company for 25 years, tells the Indianapolis Star, which reports that under the deal, the average wage will be $30.91 an hour. “Hopefully this right here will be a start of a new beginning, where we can stop manufacturing from leaving this country.”

That should catch you up…..

A leading conservative writer has stepped up and given what Trump has done a name……

GEORGE WILL: So far Donald Trump’s style is personal, not to say visceral, and ad hoc. And what that adds up to is a kind of use of presidential power absolutely unconstrained by law and statute and all those other niceties. The problem is when you have, in the Carrier case, political power used to bring pressure upon a privately held corporation that has a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value and drive them off with political pressure from making economic decisions about economic assets, you are, in effect, at the end of the day, getting the federal government involved in capital allocation. There is a name for that, it’s called socialism.

This ought to put the conservative writer on the shit list of all those slobbering Trump supporters……

After accusing the Left for decades of being a socialist group and plotting to somehow install a socialist government….we find the Trump is more socialist than the Left…..according to Will.

I cannot wait for the mindless dribble that should come my way…..but…….

Please before you slugs on the Right have anything to say….leave me out of it…..your point of contention is with George Will, a fellow conservative….all I did was show that not all conservatives are willing to kiss his ass like you.

Frederick Douglass on Capitalism, Slavery, and the ‘Arrant Nonsense’ of Socialism

Yes I know…I am a history nerd and I am proud of it.

One of my favorite people from around the Civil War time was the abolitionist Frederick Douglass…..I recent did a press of an article in slavery and capitalism and I saw another related article in Reason ….I thought I would pass it along….

Understanding the political philosophy of the abolitionist leader.

In November 1848 a socialist activist gave a speech at the 13th annual meeting of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society. “Mr. Ingliss” began his remarks well enough, reported the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, who was present to give a speech of his own that day, “but strangely enough went on in an effort to show that wages slavery is as bad as chattel slavery.”

Douglass soon became infuriated with the socialist speaker. “The attempts to place holding property in the soil—on the same footing as holding property in man, was most lame and impotent,” Douglass declared. “And the wonder is that anyone could listen with patience to such arrant nonsense.”

Frederick Douglass heard a lot of arrant nonsense from American socialists in those days. That’s because most socialists thought the anti-slavery movement had its priorities all wrong. As the left-wing historian Carl Guarneri once put it, most antebellum socialists “were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism.” The true path to social reform, the socialists said, was the path of anti-capitalism.

Source: Frederick Douglass on Capitalism, Slavery, and the ‘Arrant Nonsense’ of Socialism – Reason.com

Douglass is a fascinating individual that does not get the attention he should in our educational system….read an learn about a true American hero….a hero that some would just as soon forget…..but that will not happen as long as I breath….period.

You may thank me later…..

Russia: Back To The Future?

In am old enough to remember the days of the USSR….the days of hiding under desks in case of a A-bomb attack…..the days of HUAC….and the days of a communist under every rock…..kinda like the rocks that ISIS is hiding under these days.

We were told that the communism/socialism was a bad thing…..that you would be oppressed if it were instituted….and they gave the Russian peasants as an example…..all that propaganda has lead to a situation today in Russia……

A recent poll revealed that most Russians would like to see the return of the Soviet Union and socialism.

The majority of Russians polled in a recent study would prefer living under the Soviet Union and would like to see the socialist system and Soviet state restored.

According to the latest poll conducted by the Levada Center, over 50 percent of Russian citizens believe the collapse of the Soviet Union was bad and could have been avoided. Only 28 percent of the population surveyed feels positive about its collapse, while 16 percent were unable to answer such a complex question.

Source: Poll: Most Russians Prefer Return of Soviet Union and Socialism | Informed Comment

Does that surprise you?

It shouldn’t!  You see there was a study here in the US and the ages between 18-29 were polled and they said that they would have no problem living with socialism.

Millennials are simply not that alarmed by the idea of socialism. For instance, a national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds view socialism favorably, compared to only a quarter of Americans over 55. A more recent January YouGov survey found that 43 percent of respondents younger than 30 viewed socialism favorably, compared to 32 percent thinking favorably of capitalism.

It is an interesting stat….the problem, for me, is I am not sure that those polled have any idea just what socialism is and how it effects the country.

Back to Russia…..what are the chances of a return to the days of yore and the days of the USSR?  Could Putin make the adjustment?

If communism returns to Russia, just how contentious will the world become?

This is like any other “survey” it will probably change tomorrow….take it with a grain of salt….but it was an interesting survey.

But what does it matter?  Most will wait and see what happens then go about bad mouthing someone….I just think ahead not in reverse.