A few days ago, I came across a rather stunning comment on the Facebook “Your Say” application, which is often trolled by both Right and Left wing extremists (with the vast majority being extremely far Right). The gist of this comment, as far as I can tell, was that the poster’s state had severe budget issues, and that he hated Obama’s “socialism” because his state taxes were “killing” him. The man concluded with a statement about how Obama is destroying the Free Market by giving “socialized pay-outs to druggies and bottom-feeders”.
My response to his post is as follows:
I don’t know where you live, but we have some severe budget problems here in Indiana too…but I fail see how you connect those fees back up to Obama, who is in charge of the federal government, not the city, county, or state governments. 75% (9 out of 12 trillion dollars) of the National deficit is the fault of the Bush, and honest to God, I can’t understand this sudden fervor against Obama when the deficit was slowly filling for 8 years. I mean, I’d be all for joining these tea party movements against Obama, but I can’t out of principle, since they have demonstrated their utter partisanship by only protesting during a Democrat majority.
I think the fact that the richest 1% of Americans are wealther than the bottom 90% seems to contradict your last statement. We’ve not all just gotten lazier, you know. We’ve been victims of corporate lock-in.
Let’s use a recent issue that I have specifics on as an example..texting. We have only four primary cellular providers here in the United States (“free market” my ass) that all have increased their rates from 10 cents to 20 cents since 2005. In Europe (which actually has real market competition), the rate is almost always below a dime because of the fierce competition and lack of large monopolies in those countries.
The same goes for the following market sectors: Agriculture/farming (Archer Daniels Midland monopoly), Internet Service Providing/Cable Providing (Comcast/Timewarner/AT&T), Defense Contracting (Boeing/Lockheed/N-G/General Dynamics), Software Development (Microsoft/Apple), Retail (Walmart/Target/Kroger/Home Depot).
In a healthy economy of days gone past, there would be thousands of small companies on that list after each market sector, not just ~ 4 or fewer. This is what the “free market” has done to us. We really do need to rebalance the playing field in order to survive economically.
Additionally, I do not deny that a great number of leechers are drug addicts. Which is why we should test for drugs before we allow people to take advantage of our social support programs. But simply assuming that all such people are leeches is fallacious in the extreme.
I support social support programs and policies to increase Wall Street regulation to promote competition. I do not support bailouts or thrown-together health care plans. However, I do not think such things can automatically classify our current Administration as “socialist”, particularly as compared to the previous one. Only time will tell.