What is the most socialist thing in the US?

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I like the fact that Thom always points out to Republicans all the socialist things that they use (firefighters, police officer, water, electricity, etc).

But I've wondered a few times.... what is the most socialist thing in the US?

My vote goes to "School buses": We all are forced to pay for them by the government and we would be thrown in jail if we try to ride the school buses that we all paid for.

Is there anything more socialist than "School buses"???

Rodriguez's picture
Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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It depends on how you define "socialist," but I would say even the air (quality) is.

"Socialism" involves collective or governmental ownership of means of production, administration, and/or distribution of goods (m-w.com). So everything in the commons is technically socialist, even such things as the court system.

One thing is for sure: the Obion County Fire Department is NOT socialist!

think_r
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Sep. 26, 2010 8:38 am

Maybe to the right knows that, and they're the reason school buses don't have seat belts.

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RyanClark
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Jun. 1, 2010 11:22 pm

In the Koch brothers lexicon, ANY regulation is socialist. Your right to poison your neighbor should not be impinged. Freedom is letting your dog shit in your neighbors yard. Liberty is polluting upstream water source. Socialist is preventing parents from denying their diabetic child insulin. Socialist is preventing parents from beating their children. Liberty is allowing companies to fire their lifelong employee a day before they can claim their pension. Or allowing companies to kill 16 employees a day, now that's freedom, that's free market.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Why are we such nerds? (just a joke)

I know the definition of socialism, but I'm referring to the definition of socialism that most people have in their mind "The government running something by forcing everybody to pay for it".

If you ever have a debate with a rightwinger about socialism/communist. Ask them why they are always in favor of "Big government zoning laws", lol.

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Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Rodriguez:

I like the fact that Thom always points out to Republicans all the socialist things that they use (firefighters, police officer, water, electricity, etc).

But I've wondered a few times.... what is the most socialist thing in the US?

My vote goes to "School buses": We all are forced to pay for them by the government and we would be thrown in jail if we try to ride the school buses that we all paid for.

Is there anything more socialist than "School buses"???

Back in the "old days" school buses were operated by the district. So we were forced to pay for them even if your kids did not use em. Now a days the School buses are outsourced by such companies such as Laidlaw, Ryder Truck Rental, and First Student. First thing parents noticed is the price went up, they shot up by 30%. Bus drivers were required to get CDL with a Bus and School Bus endorsement. School Driver pay went down. The price shot up for all users even more when the football team demanded a air-conditioned coach bus (greyhound like bus). The bus company had to buy a coach bus and spread the cost to all, when the football team got sticker shock over the new coach bus fee. What they told us, this "deregulation" would result in better service and a cheaper service with increased competition. None has resulted.

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shalwechat
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Military hospitals are the most communist thing in the US. Govt owns the buildings, employs the entire staff, and runs them through their central planning committees.

Socialist wise, the VA medical system, social security, Medicare, FDIC, and unemployment insurance are all paid for thru taxes, and the money is given to someone who is non productive.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

This may come as a surprise to some given my libertarian tendencies, but I don't see a problem with socialism or socialistic practices as long as they are done by choice. I have no issue with local police, fire, garbage collection etc, as long as the people of that town/city agree that is what they want. I dislike socialism on a national scale however, because it tends to treat people all the same, and comes up with one size fits all solutions, and while it is easy to leave a town that you don't agree with it is much more difficult to leave a nation.

I would say that SS and Medicare are probably the biggest two. I know it won't happen but I would love for people to be able to opt out of these programs. I would even be willing to surrender what I have put into them, if from here on out I never had to contribute again, and could never receive benefits from it.

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 1:20 pm

If the obvious advantages of a single risk pool for a commonly needed program for retirees and those needing medical care, that is potentially all of us, is too much for the conservative mind, let me assure you that this is the best bang for the buck. For those who think that public health is confined to your personal luck in staying healthy, or not, please think about disease as both a danger to us and a sap on our collective abilities to prosper.

If you are not for a volunteer army, you have even better reasons than the military to protect the homeland with programs that increase the security of the citizenry. Not having to worry about affording retirement, not luxury, but a decent place to live with decent food, etc., does help every citizen now. Not having to have your parents come to live with you, or many other relatives as well, is a boost to your security and prosperity. Being part of a community where success is about sharing and caring for unit solidarity includes a "family value" like the human rights of healthcare, food, housing, education and the other things people in the same boat wind up seeing as their common interest.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I always liked the public library for American socialism, and an example of good coming from a Robber Baron who did not see a state funded institution as a bad thing. Carnegie probably could have made the Nader Club of the Rich Who Can Save Us. But the VA is Socialized Medicine. The military is Big Government Socialism on steroids. The rhetoric of the Right has no content other than to protest any "intrusion" into its right to exercise power without accountability. Spending our collective ante collectively does not require anything more than having players in the game. If you want out of the game, you have to leave America. I am not a love it or leave it guy, but there are some basic rules of engagement in democracy, and even if we are operating in the shadow of empire you cannot pretend that everything is voluntary. If you want to choose whether you are an American or not, go ahead. If you think someone else will have you if you don't want to be an American, good luck. Otherwise, ante up and play your hand with some dignity and style. Whining will not help you win anything.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

tmoney13> Here's the problem with your philosophy.... are you saying that we shouldn't have a national military to defend our country?

DRC> I forgot about public libraries, the only thing is that you could have a library with 100% donated books and volunteers working. I bet you can't do anything similar to that with a school bus (volunteer drivers and fill it up with donated gasoline)

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Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I would say actual schools.. for my area, local schools is 1% of the 2% I pay on real estate taxes. If you don't have any kids and older men are reported on sight and removed from premises (from what I remember of my school years). Of course when those kids graduate they'll contribute positively to the society you are a part of instead of being a detriment. Socialist is really a bad name for things that are just meant to help out society we are willingly a part of.

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makuck
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Mar. 31, 2010 9:13 pm

Rodriguez, No I am not say that we shouldn't have a national military.

DRC, your take it or leave it approach is classical left/right paradigm. If you don't like that which we force upon you, then leave. How about crafting an approach where we aren't at odds with each other, how does that sound? How about an approach where your tax dollars could fund that which you enjoy and my tax dollars could fund that which I enjoy with a minimal amount going to those things that are truly common. Rather than the ever expanding definition of common elements that you would like to force me to pay for. Would it be so much to ask that we act like mature responsible individuals rather than try to force each other into arrangements that benefit one at the expense of the other.

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 1:20 pm

tmoney- I have got to say I like the tenor of your approach here, but I thought part of the libertarian project is to not engage in discussion and cooperative efforts with others. This might sound like I am being provactive, but I am genuinely curious if I am missing something

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mattnapa
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

mattnapa, I do follow a libertarian philosophy (I am not sure what libertarian project refers to however) but I am not so naive as to believe that the few of us that there are will be able to affect any change on our own, so being practical I try to find ways that will allow for increased freedom through the current structure. DRC's approach is counterproductive because it maintains the current guns vs butter paradigm, and if you don't like either the butter offered from the left or the guns offered from the right well then you can get the hell out. I have had similar conversations with the far right and their approach is no different than his, only the subject matter is different. Yet they both fail to understand the logical conclusion which is that their philosophy doesn't work with out the use of force, which is antithetical to the idea of a free society.

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 1:20 pm

tmoney- my impression is that libertarians do not believe that goverment can be an institution where a discussion takes place in order to establish rules for the marketplace.

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mattnapa
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Opting out of SS and Medicare? Look up the term "adverse selection." The people who opt out would be those who live comfortably and have little risk of needing the help. This leaves only the poor and needy to fund the system which flies in the face of social support policy.

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LiberalLawStudent
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Jun. 22, 2010 10:39 am

mattnapa, I am not sure if libertarians would agree with that or not. I would prefer that the government not establish rules for the marketplace, but like I said before I am not so naive to believe that I am going to get everything I want and as someone who has a minority view I have to win the battles I can and try to find compromises where possible even if it is not ideal.

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 1:20 pm

LiberalLawStudent, While I don't doubt that the term "adverse selection" means what it does, I think it would be impossible for someone to know ahead of time whether or not that they will live comfortably or will need medical assistance. I have been paying into the system for 20 years now, and if I opted out that seems to me to be beneficial to the system as a whole, as I would have to surrender the money and would never recieve a nickel in benefits.

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 1:20 pm
Quote LiberalLawStudent:

Opting out of SS and Medicare? Look up the term "adverse selection." The people who opt out would be those who live comfortably and have little risk of needing the help. This leaves only the poor and needy to fund the system which flies in the face of social support policy.

That's assuming that rich people never go bankrupt

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Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The rich are already bankrupt

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mattnapa
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