Friday, September 19, 2008

Choices

It seems fairly easy to me. If you elect Obama, with a Democratic Congress, you will get socialism. Do you want socialism? Vote for Obama. Do you want babies born after a botched abortion to be killed anyway? Vote for Obama. Do you want to vote for someone who had his own private negotiations with the Iraqis, essentially going over the head of the current president? Vote for Obama. Do you want someone who is trying to have members from the opposing party investigated by the Feds and told his followers to "get in people's faces"? All this information is out there on the internet. This is what you'll get.

Now, Republicans were very unhappy with the choice of John McCain as Republican nominee. His stand on illegal immigration, in addition to his Gang of Whatever-Number-I-Can't-Remember association, were real negatives for a lot of Republicans. And maybe one can't believe everything a politician says. But he has never asked for a single earmark in his entire time in the Senate. You can read a great article by the Anchoress about how the Democrats are running away from the economic crisis because they don't know what to do, and how John McCain is trying to provide leadership. Whose answer do you like better? And Sarah Palin already has a record of taking out corrupt politicians, *Republican* politicians at that. You don't have to just go on her words, look at what she's done.

And if you don't like either of them in the end, vote third party. Frankly, my big issue is socialism. We're currently the least socialistic of the major countries. Where on earth are we supposed to go if more socialism gets enacted here? It reminds me of when I lived in an all-girl dorm in college with set quiet hours at night. Men, who weren't even residents but were there sleeping with their girlfriends, were breaking the quiet hour rules. Their response: if you don't like it, move to the 24-hour-quiet dorm. In other words, we want to break the rules; if you don't like it, *you* can leave. Screw that. I happen to like our Constitution and the way our Founding Fathers set things up. If you want socialism, move to Canada, or France (sorry, Canadians. You can move here).

21 comments:

ligneus said...

Actually, we can't move there, the immigration rules are really strict for those without Spanish names. And you may bash Canada all you like, try being a Conservative and living in Toronto! BUT, we do now have a Conservative gov, or did till last week and in four weeks time we'll have one with a majority in Parliament. So all is not quite lost.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I'm not really trying to bash Canada, and I was being flippant about the moving thing. My main point was that if the U.S. goes socialist, I don't know where we'd go if we wanted to get away from it. Maybe if you guys can save Canada we can move up there.

Liv said...

Hi,
I just happened upon your blog linking from a friend's blog and while I respect your opinions about socialism and your right to have them I do not agree entirely. This is based on having lived in Denmark for three of the last four years and having just moved to Iceland. In Denmark I studied and received a master's degree free of charge and also received a monthly stipend to live off of while going to school. I also received subsidized housing. I was also covered under the national health care system, again free of charge. While I did pay more in taxes then I would have in the US (I paid taxes through a student job I had to gain work experience) I found that most people still enjoyed a very high standard of living and that in general there was not the same sort of economic stratification that one finds in the US. Almost everyone had enough and there were not too many that had way too much. I just don't agree that socialism of this sort is something to get away from or fear. The idea is more that it is important to ensure that everyone has the basic fundamental support from society that ensures an even playing field, like education and health care, which helps to create a healthy society. Though, it must be said that there are also problems in these systems, but in general I had a positive view of them. This was just my impression during my time abroad. I hope you don't mind my sharing this with you and I certainly do not mean in a critical way or feel that you should agree with me in any way. It was just my reaction to your post meant in a friendly discussion like, experience sharing way. Have a lovely day and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Sorry, I don't want, or need, support from society. And I don't believe government should be in charge of "leveling the playing field." That's not how America got started. We were a nation of rugged individualists, and I'm not sacrificing my individual rights for anybody. I think you should spend some time reading the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. He's a former Danish subject who is now a very proud American citizen. There are already enough socialized countries out there, and I wouldn't live in any of them. Nor do I see any long waiting lists for people to live there.

Liv said...

Thank you for your reply, but I'll still take Denmark and Iceland where healthcare and education are considered human rights and equality means something.

Misha I said...

Dear Liv.

You lived in Denmark for all of three years, you said? Well, that definitely makes you an expert in my book. After all, having merely been born there myself and having spent no more than a paltry three decades there, who am I to question your expertise?

I'm certainly glad that you enjoyed your "free of charge" master's degree. I'm sure that the Danes who have paid for that opportunity from the day they first received a paycheck and who will continue to pay until they die and are finally released from the yoke of government will be equally enthused and gratified by your kind words for all of the freebies you received while passing through. After all, you *did* contribute to the government treasury with the taxes you paid through your employment as, let me guess having been a student of that country myself, a waitress, bartender or gas station clerk. Surely that more than compensates the overtaxed population for the generosity they underwrote.

No, I am not particularly impressed that somebody who caught a free ride off the back of others considers the system that gave them that free ride "superior." After all, even in the most rude of circles, complaining about the flavor of the free ice cream is simply not done. Particularly when the free ice cream isn't free at all but paid for by your overly generous hosts.

I'm curious, however, as to why you chose to leave that "equal playing field" once you were done leeching off of it. Surely, it would have been much better for you to stay there and continue, after your newly acquired education moved you into a more attractive pay bracket, to contribute to such a wonderful system? Think of all the good your tax monies could have done, yet you chose to hightail it out of Dodge once the benefits ran out?

The ones without your opportunities who are left behind with the burden of paying for future generations of carpetbaggers passing through would surely like to know too.

As to myself, I'm eternally grateful that I made it out of there and that I now reside in a nation that is TRULY a land of opportunity. Sure, we don't guarantee equality of outcome, we're archaically insisting on only rewarding people based on actual merit here in the U.S., but it still works pretty well if you ask me.

Liv said...

Actually, it was none of the jobs you mentioned. Also, I continue to pay Danish taxes as I work as a translator (not in a minor way) while I am in Iceland. My studies in Iceland relate directly to what I will continue to do in my career when I return to Denmark after I complete my education. I moved to Iceland, not because I did not like or want to live in Denmark, but because this education was not available there in the form I wanted. As I said, I will be returning to Denmark to live there permanently so I am not just getting a 'free ride' off the backs of the rest of the Danish taxpayers nor did I ever intend to. And I'm sorry. The original post I made was not made in the spirit of saying that the American system was so bad or that the Danish/European way is the only way to do things or the best way to do things. I just wanted to say a little about my experience in a different system and that for some people or nations it works or it is how they like doing things, but obviously for others, such as yourself, this is not the case. But thank you for your comments and opinions and I'm glad that you were able to find what you were looking for in the United States and I hope you continue to find opportunities.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I'm glad you like living under socialism so much. Don't force the same fate for those who don't wish it.

Anonymous said...

Ouch, I feel badly for Liv. She wasn't forcing "socialism" onto any of you. She was just telling you of her experience.
I live in Canada and yes there are issues but I see very few societal differences between Canada and the U.S (heck American television seems to have more of an impact on society around the world than any of the the so called "socialist" nations you refer to do). I haven't lived in the States and I am not sure if you have lived in Canada, but our societies (at least on the surface) seem to function in an extremely similar way. I grew up in a border town and have never ever lived farther away than 40 minutes from a Canada/US border. Life on both sides of the border has always been pretty much identical (except for the "rah rah nationalism of Americans"). I, honestly, don't recognize the Canada you describe.
If it is our medical system you refer to then I have one quick comment:
I have trouble understanding why anyone would think that an affordable medical system is a bad thing. I look at it from a 5th Commandment point of view (taking care of the physical needs of my neighbour, kinda thing) It infuriates me that sometimes the difference between life and death is the amount of money you have. Canada is not immune from that tragedy either despite it's medical system.

In Christ,
Chris

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I'm so sorry I posted this. It was originally a real long comment on someone else's blog that I posted here to be polite and I wasn't inviting strangers to come and lecture me on the joys of socialism. I find it really f'ing funny that someone from Canada has the nuts to lecture me about how great the Canadian health care system is when Canadians need to come here to get the care they can't get in Canada, or won't get until it's past too late. However, I really don't want to argue about this anymore, except I don't know what on earth honoring your father and mother has to do with providing health care to strangers. I don't see any relation between Christianity and socialism, and my pastor would laugh at you if you tried to argue it with him. I'm an intelligent grown adult and I Don't Want Socialism. And some stupid anonymous is not going to change my mind. Now go away, or I will taunt you a second time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are extremely rude!
And by the way, I said "a 5th commandment KINDA thing." YOU are referring to the FOURTH commandment "Honour your father and mother"
Perhaps a little Confession and absolution might be order with your pastor.
I am aghast at your attitude. Shame on you for ever speaking to anyone like that. And by the way, I did sign off (if you would be so kind as to re-read what I wrote).

In Christian love (with the hope that you will repent of your hateful attitude)

Stupid Anonymous Christian--named Chris. (who also happens to be a Confessional Lutheran. Way to bash a fellow Christian)

Gino said...

Hmm. Depending on how you choose to number them, the fifth is either "Honor thy father and mother" or "Thou shalt not murder". Neither seems to imply "Thou shalt steal from thy neighbor to pay for thy other neighbor's medical bills".

Modern medicine IS expensive. It involves tremendous cost in research and incredibly sophisticated machinery. If someone doesn't pay those high costs, no one has any incentive to develop new, and more expensive, treatments. How much medical research would you expect to happen in this world if the US starts implementing price controls like Canada has done and eliminates the profit-motive? The most successful medical research comes from for-profit, corporate sources. It always has. It always will. It's pretty clear that great rewards encourage great effort.

Socialized medicine is, like all taxes, nothing but robbery endorsed by those with control of the most weapons.

The point that BTEG seems to be trying to make is that socialist countries are plentiful. Anyone who wants to live in one can easily do so. Why can't the last non-socialist, modern nation stay that way? If US freedom dies, there really is no where else for those of us who want to live freely to go.

Now Chris, there seems to be a lot of Law in "I am aghast at your attitude. Shame on you for ever speaking to anyone like that. [...]with the hope that you will repent of your hateful attitude." Perhaps you should be consulting with you Confessional Lutheran pastor on Law versus Gospel.

Signed,
Mr BTEG

Anonymous said...

Look, I didn't mean to start anything. I found your blog from a link on another blog (his blog list was impressive at that point--it has since gone down a notch or two). I am VERY sorry that I linked to your blog from there.
All I meant was that I don't look at paying taxes towards a medical system as my government stealing from me. I look at it from this point of view: The Fifth Commandment: You shall not murder. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbour in his body, but HELP AND SUPPORT HIM IN EVERY PHYSICAL NEED. That was all I meant by "a 5th Commandment kinda thing". I, personally, think that it is money well spent.
I won't be back, so you needn't trouble yourself with a response Barb or Mr. Bteg.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I must say I really respect the kind of strengh that you must have to exercise that kind of individualism.

That being said, I have probably been the happiest person in the world growing up in Denmark. Denmark is by no measures a socialist country; we had a social democratic party throughout the 20th century, but now we have a pretty mainstream European middle-party (must more left-wing) than Obama that is:-)).

But when I grew up I never had to worry what would happen to me or my loved ones if we got ill or needed any kind of medical care. I don't come from a very rich family, but I've lived in big ol' house all my life and had the opportunity to take a first class education. Now I moved to Iceland, where capitalism has seriously broken down, but still my home country keeps paying for my education so that I can make something of myself.

As I said: I admire you for being able to do what you do, but I along with the 17 emmigrated Americans I know, would never leave first class universal education and health care.

I understand that this isn't for everyone, but consider that millions of people live and are happy in social democratic nations - not socialist. If you define 'socialist' by socialized health care for example, then how do you explain the American police force? The local fire department? The public school? Americans pay taxes just like we do, but it seems as if they get much too little for their money. What do you think?

Love
Thomas

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Urgh. Okay. I don't really want to get into semantics about what a government is called. However, saying we are socialist because we have police and fire departments is ingenuous or deliberately ignorant about what socialism is. Socialism is about control at the federal level. Police and fire departments are controlled at the local level, where they should be. Public schools *should* be controlled at the local level. Road construction should be controlled at the local level. Your examples just show the problem of federal control. Once control of public schools and roads went up to the federal government, when the corrupt fat cats pull the strings, everyone must dance, and you make no one happy. Look at the No Child Left Behind Act. It's sucking up tax money while accomplishing next to nothing, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone to defend it.

It's swell that you never had to worry about health care growing up, but lots of people under national health care do. Go here and read story after story about people who died in civilized countries after their health care system let them down. Don Surber calls it DBB, or "death by bureaucracy" and I agree. Nationalized health care does not make everybody happy and all the problems go away. What it does say is that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Which sounds great until you are the few. It also creates a dearth of doctors and hospitals. That's why people come here to get health care that they can't get in their own countries, or they will die before they can get it.

How do you know your education and health care is "first class"? Do you know where most of the medical advancements come from? It isn't from Denmark. Or Iceland. Please don't use "first class" when you mean "free". Or please document that you can get better health care and education in Denmark or Iceland than the US. Please note that many people feel that federal control is what drove many public schools here into the toilet.

India is forecasting 400,000 millionaires by 2017. To quote Don Surber, "The combination of democracy and an emphasis on education pays off."

Here is an excellent article about the youth of France, Italy and Greece, in their oh-so-excellent socialist systems. The youth have plenty of time to sit around and bash America and capitalism, because they don't have jobs. Oh, but the next socialist will be different! Yeah. I heard that in East Germany right after the Wall fell. How are they doing compared to West Germany, still?

Hurrah that socialism has worked for you. However, I agree with the commenter here, who says "Socialism occasionally works out well for a specific person, but always at the expense of a net loss of help and quality of life for more people. This is economically provable. It's not just opinion."

As for you and your 17 friends, well, the plural of anecdote is not data. You know I can point to at least one person who left Denmark because he felt he had better opportunities here. He abhors socialism and is fighting it tooth and nail in this country. Of course, he is also a fiercely independent person. Maybe there are people that need the government to take care of them. But please try to give me some evidence next time that it works economically long term, instead of just your life story. Or don't. I don't think I could provide any more evidence that will change your mind, and I'll die clinging to my independence. It's what this country was founded on, after all.

Anonymous said...

"Hurrah that socialism has worked for you"

You did not read a single thing I just wrote did you?

silvermine said...

Yea. I get equally frustrated when I try to blow off steam about things that annoy me. I'm in California. Blah.

I can't wait until we go to Mars. The people who need the government to take care of them don't go to frontiers. ;)

Susan B. said...

Let me remind some of you of the title of Barb's post: Choices. Like it or not, socialist health care takes away choices, because the government is going to offer the best choices for the government, which may not be the best choices for *you*.

It is my understanding that, in Canada, it is *illegal* to go outside the government system and get private health care. It is wrong to force gov't health care on people even if they would prefer private health care.

When the gov't runs you health care, you lose the ability to choose your own doctor and treatments. You end up waiting in line for surgeries and other treatments. This is not something that enhances personal freedom.

Do you really want some gov't bureaucrat making decisions on your health care instead of you?

Anonymous said...

In no way am I saying that any kind of societal socializing, be it as ’extreme’ as socialism or just social democracy, is necessarily perfect. Many countries have trouble with their universal health care systems – but USA also has trouble with its own health care system. To me; trouble in a health care system is simply when people don’t get the correct treatment or get treatment when they need it; regardless of INCOME! That is what is important to me.

I don’t know about you, but for me, life is about being happy. And a happy life for me is a life of freedom, love and security. Security is when I don’t have to struggle to get my hands on the next meal, to have a decent education or money to go to the doctor. I want to struggle with the things that matters to me; making the world a better place for others. I will do that by educating myself and get out into the world afterwards and pay back the love that was shown me. My freedom I don’t get from economy or money; I get my sense of freedom by knowing that I can be the person I want to be and letting others know that they are good enough as they are.

You talk so much about freedom, and how freedoms are curbed in the name of anything social. But do you in your daily life think that everyone is entitled to freedom? What about people’s right to love or marry whoever they want? People’s right to be free of public religious discourse if they so wish? People’s right to be loved as whoever they are given that they hurt no one else?

If you think the state shouldn’t intervene in your money issues, they why should it intervene in what I do with my love life?

Maybe I’m making assumptions here… If I am, I’m sorry.

Anonymous said...

Barb said "Police and fire departments are controlled at the local level, where they should be"

so socialism is okay, as long as it's local?

Rob

Susan B. said...

Rob,

Protection of the populace through local police and fire departments and through the military on a national level are legitimate functions of the government. The U.S. Constitution allows for such protections. This is not considered socialism for that reason. Socialism refers to the redistribution of wealth.