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    Socialist Monday

    socialists-now-newsweek-cover-wmarkAlready Tired

    I have a confession: I write my Monday blog entries on Sunday. Haffta. There’s too much going on Monday mornings to surf and post. But yesterday, I couldn’t find much to blog about. Everything was about health care. In the time between this typing and this posting, the country could be upside down and careening toward socialism.

    But is it really socialism? Isn’t that term just a hyperbolic scare tactic?

    Well, no.

    The term “socialism” originally referred to the broad panoply of reform movements in the early-to-mid nineteenth century that had a common theme: “the need to transform capitalist industrial society into a much more egalitarian system in which collective well-being for all became a reality.” Compare that to the compromise bill, which would

    spend $940 billion to extend coverage to 32 million Americans over the next decade, leaving only about 5 percent of non-elderly citizens without coverage, according to projections by the nonpartisan [but not disinterested and impartial] Congressional Budget Office. Millions of people would be added to the rolls of Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, while millions more who lack access to affordable coverage through the workplace would receive federal tax credits to buy insurance. Link.

    In the twentieth century, “socialism” broke into two camps: the Marxist sort, seen in the USSR and Eastern Europe, and the Labor Party sort, which “used Keynes to support a non-Marxist approach to the regulation and control of capitalism, stressing the need to achieve social justice and equality through effective management of the economy . . . and redistributive welfare policies.”

    Does this ring any bells? “Health care is broken,” the “free market has failed,” “too many people lack insurance.”

    Obamacare is socialism alright. Entertain no doubts. If you want to ponder the issue further, you should start with a better question. The question you can put to yourself is: “Is a little socialism okay?”

    The answer is “no,” but reasonable people can disagree. Heck, the USCCB and I disagree, and I like to think I’m reasonable and am obliged to think the bishops are reasonable. Although reasonable people can disagree, it doesn’t mean both sets are right. Rest assured: they’re wrong. Anyone who welcomes “just a little socialism” is like a person who likes “just a little sex.” Possible? Yes. Highly unlikely? Definitely. Government power is a one-way ratchet. Once it’s in, it’s in. It doesn’t withdraw, period, much less withdraw in time (you can draw your own string back to the sex analogy). Government just keeps growing and growing as it finds more and more “evils” to address, all the while blithely ignoring the messes (and deficits) that its other efforts to remedy evils have created.

    I could write another ten pages about the cost of our creeping socialism: the decay of social power (as government takes care of things, people stop coming together to take care of them, with the result that society decays while government grows), the irony that efforts toward egalitarianism result in gross inequality (the politically-connected in DC and NY with their obscene salaries and government bailouts, and the rest of us), the crowding out of the private sector and crippling of the private economy (how many more government jobs is this monster bill going to create?), the health care mess in Canada, England, and other more-socialized countries.

    Sigh.

    It gets tiresome.

    Why work? The government will provide. And if you work, the government will take.

    When I worked on my taxes last weekend, it all hit me hard. The tax maze that the federal leviathan has created is an insult to civil living, but the complex tax code is part of the socialist game: it’s a tool of social engineering. A simple flat tax would take away many of the socialist’s tools.

    But I’m tired of those tools.

    I’m tired, period. But the government isn’t going to stop: it’s not going to withdraw those tools. Garden My only option: Withdraw from the areas those tools penetrate and concentrate on those areas where those tools don’t (yet) penetrate. Right now, that means (i) my garden, and (ii) precious metals. The government doesn’t tax the food that my garden produces: no income tax, Medicare tax, social security tax, fuel tax, alcohol tax, luxury tax, sales tax, health care tax, value-added tax (those last two are coming). And precious metals just sit there. They pay no dividends, so there’s nothing to tax. If I sell the metals, I pay dearly (no capital gains breaks, since all metals–even if held in ETF stock form–are considered “collectibles,” and hence outside the reduced capital gains rates), but I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

    In the meantime, I give up.

    And, as of this writing, the vote hasn’t even occurred yet.

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    4 Responses to “Socialist Monday”

    1. Gramma Susan Says:

      Is that your garden? WOW! You did a lot, lot better than I did! One thing I am going to add to my gardening fiasco this year is seeds from seed saver exchange. If any plants survive the deer raccoons and squirrels, I will be able to use the seeds for next year…
      Socialism is very very tiring to us workers. Newt said a long time ago that some of us pull the wagon and some of us sit in the wagon. With socialism, too many ‘entitlements’ are sitting in the wagon. And yes it is very tiring to pull the load; BUT we hafta!!!
      We also have to find the bumps in the road and toss the bums out of the wagon. We have to read the fine print in the wagon assembling instructions and make the wagon smaller. YOU can help! Find out how to overcome those taxes!!! …and let the rest of us know!

    2. Eric Says:

      Oh no, that’s not my garden. That was a generic pic I found online. My first year of gardening last year was a train wreck (except I had some luck from my Fall crop). I have higher hopes for this year.

    3. Steve Nicoloso Says:

      One unintended good consequence (and any good one would *have* to be unintended) of the HCR is that it may shift the balance slightly toward small business vis-a-vis corporations because A) it takes away the latter’s economy of scale (or at least part of it) to provide health insurance for their employees; and B) makes the jump away from corporations and into self-employment or other small business incrementally less dangerous. Now if we can eliminate the self-employment tax…

      But yes, ultimately, this, along with every action of government for the past 100 years, has been basically to shift economic burden from the productive set to the non-productive, and thereby perversely discouraging the virtues of the former and encouraging the vices of the latter. We are entering the late-Soviet Brezhnev era of USG. It remains only to be seen how velvety our reaction/revolution shall be.

    4. The Daily Eudemon Says:

      […] likely voters Find ‘Socialist’ an accurate label of Obama. Well, he is, isn’t he?: “The term ’socialism’ originally referred to the broad panoply of reform movements in the….’” * * * * * * * Jeffrey Tucker wants to eliminate a legal drinking age altogether, and […]

     

     

    Enter Amazon here, buy something, and get me a kickback.


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    Bethune Catholic
    Betty Duffy
    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
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    Chesterton and Friends
    Crossroads
    Decent Films
    Digital Hairshirt
    Dyspeptic Mutterings
    EWTN
    Fathers of the Church
    First Principles
    Get Blogs
    Gilbert Magazine
    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
    Mark Shea
    Mere Comments
    Michelle Reitemeyer
    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
    Reasoned Audacity
    Reconnaissance of the Western Tradition
    Roman Catholic Info
    Ruri et Orbi
    Scholium
    Shadow of Diogenes
    Signs of the Times: Salvo Blog
    Some Have Hats
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    Stella Maris
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    Suicide of the West
    Summa Minutiae
    Taki
    The American Conservative
    The Blue Boar
    The Cafeteria is Closed
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    The Curt Jester
    The Dawn Patrol
    The Drunken Dollar
    The Impractical Christian
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    The Muniment Room
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    The Reticulator
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    The Scratching Post
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    The Waffling Anglican
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    Things and Stuff
    Thursday Night Gumbo
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    Victor Lams
    Video Meliora
    Vita Mea
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    With Both Hands
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