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View Poll Results: As an Obama supporter, do you believe in socialism?

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  • Yes, socialism should gradually replace capitalism in our society

    1 5.00%
  • No, I believe capitalism is still best for our country

    6 30.00%
  • I am not an Obama supporter, but I support a conversion to socialism

    0 0%
  • I am not an Obama supporter, and I believe capitalism is best

    13 65.00%
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Results 76 to 86 of 86
  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ari1013 View Post
    Well to be fair you have to understand the history. A big reason for the push against Socialism in this country was because of the emerging power of the labor movement in this country. The socialist party gave way to the large unions in this country like the IWW and the AFL (and later CIO).

    Labor was at its strongest in the 20 year period between 1935 and 1955 after the AFL and CIO merged. It was in that same time period that big business really began pumping money into anti-communist candidates that they knew would pass anti-labor legislation.

    After decades and decades of rhetoric coming out of both sides of the aisle in Washington, it's no surprise that entire generations grew up with an outright fear and hatred of anything remotely associated with communism, socialism, collectivism, and labor. And that includes such soft-left issues like public education.
    I understand the context, though I appreciate the detailed background you just gave. Thanks. I still find that only in America has the picture been so exaggerated and the fear-mongering been so extreme. And fear-mongering is always most successful when it's founded on bad information. It's now generations since the "Red Scare" of the 30's, or even the McCarthy era of the 50's, and yet the language of paranoia continues. "Socialists" in the US were really small time compared to anything that happened in the Weimar Republic, or in Czarist Russia, and yet the fear-mongering rhetoric suggests that the consequences of anything done for the benefit of "society" would be just as dire. "Social conscience" and "socialism" are two different things.

    The politicized labor movement in the US probably never stood a chance as a political force precisely BECAUSE there was such extreme paranoia and such all-out dedication to free enterprise. But the biggest bogeyman myth is around taxation. A country doesn't have to be socialist to have taxes. Democracies around the world run by ideologically conservative governments have a taxation base. The entire US presidential discussion is still well within the confines of capitalism. Obama is not advocating anything even remotely close to "socialism". No one has much to worry about.
    Last edited by ink; 07-17-2008 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakey32 View Post
    You're absolutely correct. I wasn't insinuating that liberals were uneducated by that statement though, but that's besides the point. Flaming is lame and I am guilty as charged.

    I just eventually flipped out when that PHX person keeps trying to say Obama isn't going to raise taxes. He's going to cut them for people who hardly pay them and raise them on those who are already paying the most. He's also going to raise the capital gains tax, which effects anyone who is investing outside of a tax-deferred account. I am an investment advisor, and believe me, that's a big deal.



    Believe me, I understand what taxes are for and agree that they are necesary. I just don't think that the burden should only be shouldered by the wealthy. Progressive tax rates are completely unfair, unjustified and are uncongruant with the capitalist principles that have made our country prosperous.

    The wealthy would still pay the majority of taxes if we just had a flat tax.
    Well yes, the rich would continue paying more than the poor in a flat-tax system, but the poor would be paying much more than they are now. And while you say that may be fair, think about the consequences.

    For a poor person, 100% of their disposable income is used as consumption. That directly injects money into our economy. Essentially for every disposable-income-dollar earned by the poor, we're talking about roughly $8.50 added to our GDP.

    On the other hand, for a rich person, anywhere between 1 and 20% (depending on how wealthy) gets spent. So for every disposable-income-dollar earned by the wealthy, we're talking about roughly 8.5 cents up to about $1.70 that gets added in via consumption. Granted there's a remaining portion that may be invested in the US, or may be put away into an offshore account, or may be invested overseas, but investment plays a much smaller role in GDP (accounting for about 18% of overall GDP relative to 70% for consumption).

    Finally, bear in mind that with poor people having less money to spend on food and clothing, we're going to have to start increasing welfare programs like food stamps to help them out. That's going to lead to more government spending on less government revenue. Not a good situation to be in.
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  3. #78
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    I believe in capitalism with socialism safeguards.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by ari1013 View Post
    Well yes, the rich would continue paying more than the poor in a flat-tax system, but the poor would be paying much more than they are now. And while you say that may be fair, think about the consequences.

    For a poor person, 100% of their disposable income is used as consumption. That directly injects money into our economy. Essentially for every disposable-income-dollar earned by the poor, we're talking about roughly $8.50 added to our GDP.

    On the other hand, for a rich person, anywhere between 1 and 20% (depending on how wealthy) gets spent. So for every disposable-income-dollar earned by the wealthy, we're talking about roughly 8.5 cents up to about $1.70 that gets added in via consumption. Granted there's a remaining portion that may be invested in the US, or may be put away into an offshore account, or may be invested overseas, but investment plays a much smaller role in GDP (accounting for about 18% of overall GDP relative to 70% for consumption).

    Finally, bear in mind that with poor people having less money to spend on food and clothing, we're going to have to start increasing welfare programs like food stamps to help them out. That's going to lead to more government spending on less government revenue. Not a good situation to be in.
    I agree with the majority of what you're saying, but there are a couple of things I question. For starters, you believe that the wealthy only spend between 1-20% of their take home income? I really find that hard to believe.

    Also, not 100% of the disposible income of the poor gets spent. Some "poor" people are responsible with their money and live within their means. Also, unfortunately a lot of their discretionary money goes to drugs, which I would like to see legalized and taxed, but that's a different discussion.



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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakey32 View Post
    I agree with the majority of what you're saying, but there are a couple of things I question. For starters, you believe that the wealthy only spend between 1-20% of their take home income? I really find that hard to believe.

    Also, not 100% of the disposible income of the poor gets spent. Some "poor" people are responsible with their money and live within their means. Also, unfortunately a lot of their discretionary money goes to drugs, which I would like to see legalized and taxed, but that's a different discussion.
    The really rich -- meaning the top tenth of a percent of society -- who controls a huge portion of wealth in this nation have an average income of $5.6 million annually (as of last year: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/business/29tax.html).

    The top 100th of a percent has an average income of $25.7 million.

    One percent of 25.7 million is $257,000 -- or about $5,000 per week. That's a lot of money to spend. Of course they could spend more than that, but at some point, there's not enough time to spend that kind of money.

    20% of $5.6 million is $1.12 million, or roughly $20,000 per week. That's a lot of money to spend in a week. Now contrast that with the 88.6% that the middle class spends on average. You'd be talking about spending around $90,000 per week.

    Of course, the reason I gave you those numbers is based on an empirical study that looked at the marginal propensity to consume for individual at different levels of income distributions.

    As for the poor, when you're living under the poverty line, as nearly 40 million Americans currently do, you're spending everything you have. That's a fact.

    This isn't anything new. Economists have worked with Presidents on issues like this for 60+ years: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1905333
    Last edited by ari1013; 07-18-2008 at 12:14 AM.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakey32 View Post
    I agree with the majority of what you're saying, but there are a couple of things I question. For starters, you believe that the wealthy only spend between 1-20% of their take home income? I really find that hard to believe.
    I agree with you, snakey, that the rich should not be punished for making more money than the rest of us. But in the real world, we would not be able to live in the type of society we do unless someone pays for it. A flat tax truly does unfairly punish the poor. A rich person can pay 30% federal income tax without having to worry about where his next meal (or Bentley) is coming from. A poor person could potentially lose his home if he had to pay a 30% federal income tax. It's not necessarily fair, but until congress decides to stop spending like a bunch of drunken sailors, we have to pay for our way of life without putting millions of people out on the street.

    Also, not 100% of the disposible income of the poor gets spent. Some "poor" people are responsible with their money and live within their means. Also, unfortunately a lot of their discretionary money goes to drugs, which I would like to see legalized and taxed, but that's a different discussion.
    I agree about legalizing and taxing drugs. Let's make them a controlled source of income rather than wasting billions of dollars a year on the failed war on drugs. I think it's a cheap shot for you to imply that poor people spend all their money on drugs though... every segment of society contributes to the drug problem in America. You think the rich aren't buying just as many drugs as the poor?

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padres Son View Post
    I agree about legalizing and taxing drugs. Let's make them a controlled source of income rather than wasting billions of dollars a year on the failed war on drugs. I think it's a cheap shot for you to imply that poor people spend all their money on drugs though... every segment of society contributes to the drug problem in America. You think the rich aren't buying just as many drugs as the poor?
    Personally, I'm against legalization and taxation of substances. Even when it comes to marijuana. But, I have personal reasons as to why, and I'm not delving into them. It's a belief that won't be changed, so don't try and convince me otherwise. I'm set in my belief.

    However, as to the "War on Drugs," it doesn't have to cost as much if we turn more of a focus on education and re-evaluate the entire punishment system. We need to make the punishment fit the crime and we need to focus more on education at early levels. I believe we can help to curb the problem of drug use on many levels instead of focusing all the attention on DEA agents kicking down the doors of dealers.

    We can still be tough on crime, but that's a reaction to a problem. Instead, we should focus on the root of the problem and work to change. The best way to battle a cancer is to get it early. It's not ideal to wait until it has metastasized.
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  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    Personally, I'm against legalization and taxation of substances. Even when it comes to marijuana. But, I have personal reasons as to why, and I'm not delving into them. It's a belief that won't be changed, so don't try and convince me otherwise. I'm set in my belief.

    However, as to the "War on Drugs," it doesn't have to cost as much if we turn more of a focus on education and re-evaluate the entire punishment system. We need to make the punishment fit the crime and we need to focus more on education at early levels. I believe we can help to curb the problem of drug use on many levels instead of focusing all the attention on DEA agents kicking down the doors of dealers.

    We can still be tough on crime, but that's a reaction to a problem. Instead, we should focus on the root of the problem and work to change. The best way to battle a cancer is to get it early. It's not ideal to wait until it has metastasized.
    it comes as no surprise that my stance on drugs is that some substances (weed, for example) should be legalized and taxed. however, i find decriminalization a perfectly adequate compromise for time being, as it would hinder spending on the so-called war on drugs while also appeasing those who feel that it should not be legalized outright.
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  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    Personally, I'm against legalization and taxation of substances. Even when it comes to marijuana. But, I have personal reasons as to why, and I'm not delving into them. It's a belief that won't be changed, so don't try and convince me otherwise. I'm set in my belief.

    However, as to the "War on Drugs," it doesn't have to cost as much if we turn more of a focus on education and re-evaluate the entire punishment system. We need to make the punishment fit the crime and we need to focus more on education at early levels. I believe we can help to curb the problem of drug use on many levels instead of focusing all the attention on DEA agents kicking down the doors of dealers.

    We can still be tough on crime, but that's a reaction to a problem. Instead, we should focus on the root of the problem and work to change. The best way to battle a cancer is to get it early. It's not ideal to wait until it has metastasized.
    The main problem of not legalization is corruption. Untill we control it, it will control us and kill us as a people. You see it now in poor and minority areas. But since we live in a society where if it isn't in my community, it isn't my problem. It's like a doctor saying that since the cancer is in the legs, why worry about it. We have three choices
    1. Treat it like a war and put a bullet in every dealers head on the spot. Thus drug war is a drug war.
    2. legalize it, control it and the addicts on it, with the goal of curing and lowering their numbers.
    3. Bomb the hell out of those producting the drugs, I like dealing with the supplies side of the drug world, not the demand.
    Anything else is wishfull thinking. Check out the history of the Opium War in China during the late 1800. Foreigners flooded the country with drugs and destory the chinese government.. The latin-american drug lords are very willing to do the same to us.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by WES445 View Post
    The main problem of not legalization is corruption. Untill we control it, it will control us and kill us as a people. You see it now in poor and minority areas. But since we live in a society where if it isn't in my community, it isn't my problem. It's like a doctor saying that since the cancer is in the legs, why worry about it. We have three choices
    1. Treat it like a war and put a bullet in every dealers head on the spot. Thus drug war is a drug war.
    2. legalize it, control it and the addicts on it, with the goal of curing and lowering their numbers.
    3. Bomb the hell out of those producting the drugs, I like dealing with the supplies side of the drug world, not the demand.
    Anything else is wishfull thinking. Check out the history of the Opium War in China during the late 1800. Foreigners flooded the country with drugs and destory the chinese government.. The latin-american drug lords are very willing to do the same to us.
    I think there are more options than just those three, although I technically see it as two. Your first point and your last point are related in my eyes. But, I still see the best chance at beating the drug epidemic is by starting at the base. I think programs, such as DARE, have done a pretty decent job of educating youth. I'd like to see more funding of these types of programs, clubs, after school activities.

    I also think we need to invest more into education and opportunity. Inner city Jimmy might not turn to dealing if he has the opportunity to lift himself up. He won't become part of a perpetual circle of group poverty.

    The reason drug use is prevalant is because it's in-demand. If we can cut the demand, the supply will follow suit. That's how I see it.

    I'm not, however, naive enough to believe that we can stop the drug problem with every single person. Some people just have addiction wired into them (gambling, alcohol, video games ... you name it, it exists). But, it couldn't hurt.
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  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    I think there are more options than just those three, although I technically see it as two. Your first point and your last point are related in my eyes. But, I still see the best chance at beating the drug epidemic is by starting at the base. I think programs, such as DARE, have done a pretty decent job of educating youth. I'd like to see more funding of these types of programs, clubs, after school activities.

    I also think we need to invest more into education and opportunity. Inner city Jimmy might not turn to dealing if he has the opportunity to lift himself up. He won't become part of a perpetual circle of group poverty.

    The reason drug use is prevalant is because it's in-demand. If we can cut the demand, the supply will follow suit. That's how I see it.

    I'm not, however, naive enough to believe that we can stop the drug problem with every single person. Some people just have addiction wired into them (gambling, alcohol, video games ... you name it, it exists). But, it couldn't hurt.
    I can see some of your points and would never consider you naive. I think alot of our drug problems stems from hopelessness that is growing in this country. Who don't know that smoking leads to cancer, let more and more people pick up the habit. Living in a rural area, I am seeing meth use on the rise. On the news, one hears about prescription abuse. You know the old saying "The poor self-medicate, the rich over medicate". So eduaction only goes so far.
    Those opportunities, like McCain said about manufacturing jobs in Ohio, are gone. Gone are the days when a man can be the sole-supporter of the family, while the wife ran the family, church-groups, PTA, and maintaining the neighborhood network. Gone are the days where a high school drop-out can get a good manufacturing job. There are parts of society that aren't cut out for school. Trade, skill, or industry was always a outlet for them untill now. With these problems contributing to our drugs problems, we will never win the war on drugs without blood being spilled abroad or at home, or legalize it. We are already a drug infested society legally and illegally. I won't even go into our need to take drugs because we don't take care of ourselves ( drugs for heart-burn, regulate our bowels, etc). Feel bad pop a pill, so you can keep doing the things that cause you to feel bad in the first place.
    No, the government will not invest in better schools. If they haven't done it in the last forty years, they aren't going to start now.
    Last edited by WES445; 07-18-2008 at 05:21 PM.

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