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snowgirl's Journal: Why am I a Socialist, and why should you be, too? 48

Journal by snowgirl

A socialist purports social policies that directly attack the exploitation of the haves against the have nots. The Rich should have higher taxes, they have a higher moral obligation to provide to the social good, because they've benefited more from the social good. Employers should not have the power in a corporation, the EMPLOYEES should have all the power.

There will come a time, where running a corporation through any other means than a democratically elected republican management will be viewed in the same way that we view dictatorships... HARSHLY.

Obama does not stand for this idea, and is FOR THAT REASON not a socialist. It's a moderate, a centrist. That he's proposing support systems to protect HUMAN DIGNITY against tarnish is not a sign of socialism. Republicans agree that slavery is a tarnish against Human Dignity. That one must be paid for their work, and that humans cannot be owned.

It is a common exercise in Ethics classes to consider the situation of a starving child stealing a loaf of bread in order to stave off starvation. Is the child justified? Ethics finds this to be a grey area. How has our society decided to resolve this situation? If you are unable to afford food, then we will grant you public money to purchase food, so that you do not have to steal that food, even though it could be argued as justified under the legal doctrine of necessity.

Go on, I dare you. Argue the side that claims that people do not deserve by Human Dignity to be fed (not on filet mignon, but just fed). That they do not deserve by Human Dignity to have housing, safety, protection from fire, prevention of life-threatening medical conditions. All of these policies are implemented openly and "happily" all but unanimously by Americans.

Now, I want you to load of up a picture of the most pity-worthy starving child in Africa. I want you to ask yourself: "What does this person deserve to have, just because they are human?" Food? Somewhere to be protected from the elements? If they're coughing and sick, don't they deserve to be seen by a doctor? Who could argue against the natural human social behavior of empathy to provide for those in need?

Now, when you talk about denying healthcare to someone, just because they can't afford it... I want you to ask yourself... Who the fuck are you to deny humanity from another human being? What's next, stealing candy from a baby, because it didn't pay for it?

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Why am I a Socialist, and why should you be, too?

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  • Hate politics really, but I am happy we have the NHS here in the UK. I don't mind my taxes going towards helping other people out. If people don't want national healthcare, why are they happy with having a police force, fire service, armed forces, or even a government at all?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill (34294)

      If people don't want national healthcare, why are they happy with having a police force, fire service, armed forces, or even a government at all?

      Police and fire services are local services, not national. Local gov't allows more participation. It is easier to tailor the services to the needs of the population, since you know what your local situation is.

      Armed forces are a damn good example. IMHO they have VASTLY overstepped their usefulness. I am of the opinion the armed forces should be used for DEFENSE, and not defense on the far side of my neighbor's border. They have grown much too large and powerful.

      The argument is where to draw the line wi

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        It is easier to tailor the services to the needs of the population, since you know what your local situation is.

        Certainly... in building the hospitals, and implementing the healthcare provisions, local governments most certainly should be involved. Your medical care should only be limited based on medical necessity.

        Should our interstates be controlled exclusively by local governments? Oh wait, that's the Federal Government, dictating requirements, and providing funds to State Governments to provide a common good that applies universally across the entire country.

        Let me ask you a question: what reason is there for t

        • by chill (34294)

          Neither should be setting rules about heart health, doctors should. Hell, right now insurance companies do most of it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by snowgirl (978879)

            Neither should be setting rules about heart health, doctors should. Hell, right now insurance companies do most of it.

            You do realize that establishing a rule saying "anything that a doctor authorizes shall be covered" would be a government setting rules about heart health, right?

            Saying "they shouldn't be making rules" is retarded, because they have to establish rules about who can authorize care, and if they place that authority in the doctor, then they're still making rules.

            The government works EVERYTHING through rules... even the rules that say that they CAN'T make rules about something are RULES about that something.

            Jus

            • by chill (34294)

              To clarify, I'm against having the politicians making the SPECIFIC DETAILS. Appointing an appropriate group of specialists is acceptable, but when specifics are legislated it leads to bad things.

              A brief example is the law in California mandating CFL bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs. The correct response would have been to mandate a minimum efficiency standard, not a specific product. Legislation of specifics is hard to undo.

              • by snowgirl (978879)

                To clarify, I'm against having the politicians making the SPECIFIC DETAILS. Appointing an appropriate group of specialists is acceptable, but when specifics are legislated it leads to bad things.

                A brief example is the law in California mandating CFL bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs. The correct response would have been to mandate a minimum efficiency standard, not a specific product. Legislation of specifics is hard to undo.

                And you seriously think that the federal government would pass a law saying you couldn't say... use Zoloft, you had to you Paxil?

                As for passing a law requiring CFL and not incandescent... the actual bill as chaptered [ca.gov]:

                25402.5.4. (a) On or before December 31, 2008, the commission
                shall adopt minimum energy efficiency standards for all general
                purpose lights on a schedule specified in the regulations. The
                regulations, in combination with other programs and activities
                affecting lighting use in the state, shall be structured to reduce
                average statewide electrical energy consumption by not less than 50
                percent from the 2007 levels for indoor residential lighting and by
                not less than 25 percent from the 2007 levels for indoor commercial
                and outdoor lighting, by 2018."

                So, in no way does the bill actually say "no incandescent bulbs" but rather, it says EXACTLY WHAT YOU COMPLAINED THAT IT SHOULD SAY. Do people even CHECK facts about this shit, or are you all just listening to pundits?

                • by chill (34294)

                  Califonia, Canada [reuters.com], whatever. maybe throw in Australia for good measure, which was the first country to do it, Politicians are politicians.

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    In February 2007, Australia enacted a law that will, in effect, by legislating efficiency standards, ban most sales of incandescent light bulbs by 2010.

                    Australia is legislating by way of efficiency standards.

                    I can't find anything on Canada's "ban" beyond newspaper articles. But considering that they would then be the only legislature to not legislate by way of efficiency standards, I'm going to request that the burden of proof be placed on you to show that the actual language of the bill bans "incandescent lighting" itself, and not simply via efficiency standards.

                    (BTW, California's bill is based on the European Union legislation, and specifically incorpor

                    • Started reading the thread and I'm enjoying the back and forth. Particularly since I support your position fully.

                      I just wanted to point out that the referenced Reuters article about the Canadian ban actually states that the ban IS based on efficiency standards. "By banning inefficient lighting..."

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Started reading the thread and I'm enjoying the back and forth. Particularly since I support your position fully.

                      I just wanted to point out that the referenced Reuters article about the Canadian ban actually states that the ban IS based on efficiency standards. "By banning inefficient lighting..."

                      I saw some of that implicit arguments, but I couldn't really find any explicit text stating that it was specifically efficiency regulation. Unlike being able to find the actual California bill, and the Australian text as well.

              • by snowgirl (978879)

                A brief example is the law in California mandating CFL bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs. The correct response would have been to mandate a minimum efficiency standard, not a specific product. Legislation of specifics is hard to undo.

                Oh, and as another particularly delicious piece of irony gleaned from reading the bill: Section 1(b): "Many existing lighting choices contain toxic materials. Most fluorescent lighting products contain mercury."

                CFL lights are subject to the exact same restrictions, and are particularly brought out as needing to reduce the toxic content of those lights as well. So, if we walked into the full enforcement of the act today, you couldn't sell CFLs either.

                • by chill (34294)

                  yeah, yeah. And mercury is released into the air by coal burning electricity plants. the energy saved by replacing an incandescent with a CFL results in a net DECREASE in mercury emissions.

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    yeah, yeah. And mercury is released into the air by coal burning electricity plants. the energy saved by replacing an incandescent with a CFL results in a net DECREASE in mercury emissions.

                    The concern isn't about mercury emissions... it's about having items in your home that contain hazardous chemicals. You appear to readily admit that CFLs contain mercury... California isn't allowed to legislate a maximum amount of mercury that CFLs are allowed to contain?

                    Be happy that they can legislate how much lead is in your paint...

      • In the United States our Constitution is supposed to be the guile for what National gov't can and should do. That was the entire purpose of the document.

        To be honest I think treating one document as infallible is getting into religious territory.. if it becomes apparent that there are serious health issues in your country resulting from the insurance system, then that does seem like a government should be stepping in for. I wasn't trying to suggest that there shouldn't be armed forces or government, I was just asking for example: if people are happy for their taxes to be put towards saving people from fires, why then have the same person put below the pover

        • by chill (34294)

          To be honest I think treating one document as infallible is getting into religious territory..

          I never claimed it was infallible. We have a mechanism for changing it that has successfully been used 27 times. Don't like it? Change it. But just doing an end-run is dishonest.

          I'm not sure what you've heard about the American healthcare system, but it is fine for the poor. They get healthcare, though not the absolute best. It is the middle class it can be a bitch to. They have to pay for it and it gets expensive.

          • I thought you had to have insurance to get healthcare in the US, and that some people found this really difficult to get in the first place - especially if they actually have any known serious illnesses for example? At least that would have been the way it was before "ObamaCare", if that's been implemented yet - I have no idea what the current system is.

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              The desperate in need actually can get Medicaid, and then nearly all of their healthcare is paid for at special health clinics. I was on Medicaid for awhile, because I have been unemployed for about 2 years now, and have had zero income for quite awhile. I've also been unable to work in my field as a result of psychological injuries. (Yay, PTSD from jobs!)

              So, with zero income, and a documented disability, I qualify as "in need"... but the paperwork is atrocious, and the stuff you have to comply with make

  • Definitions (Score:2, Troll)

    by chill (34294)

    There will come a time, where running a corporation through any other means than a democratically elected republican management will be viewed in the same way that we view dictatorships... HARSHLY.

    If you think this will work, please feel free to implement it. There are no laws nor restrictions against doing this now, just the high capital cost of failure. Running a corporation by committee is a recipe for failure.

    Now, I want you to load of up a picture of the most pity-worthy starving child in Africa. I want you to ask yourself: "What does this person deserve to have, just because they are human?" Food? Somewhere to be protected from the elements? If they're coughing and sick, don't they deserve to be seen by a doctor? Who could argue against the natural human social behavior of empathy to provide for those in need?

    Please draw a line for me as to what said child "deserves", and explain exactly who should provide it, including the necessary infrastructure. "All of us" is not an answer.

    A. Seen by a local doctor
    B. Access to basic bloodwork lab and x-ray -- portable and local
    C. Access to full diagnostic

    • by Eivind (15695)

      This is partly a strawman. Doing something democratically, does not nessecarily mean running them "by committee", actually one of the most common ways for democracy to function, is to elect leaders, who then function for a predetermined period before the next election.

      This is how corporations are run today. It's just that it's not the employees who gets to vote. Instead it's the stock-holders. These democratically elect a board -- you could call that a a "comittee" if you like, but nevertheless, this is how

      • by chill (34294)

        Except it isn't fair, by any stretch of the imagination.

        Say I save my money, start a company and put in $250,000 worth of cash and resources. Then, I hire two people for $35,000 each as employees. You're proposing they should get an equal vote in how the company is run? Fuck that.

        Stock is a representation of resources invested. The investment in time, money and resources are NOT equal among all persons involved with the company and thus they don't get an equal vote.

        Yes, it CAN work on small scales, but

        • by Eivind (15695)

          Did you even bother reading my message ? Particularily in businesses that require large human-capital and modest cash-investments, I said. For example, I work as a programmer and earn around $100K/year. I work in a company with 25 other people of similar salary. That is, our salaries sum to around $2.5M/year.

          Meanwhile, the equity used to establish the firm was $25.000. This amount of money, does not even cover salaries for a week.

          Also, if you read my message, you see that I didn't recommend "giving" anyone

          • by chill (34294)

            Sorry, I misread. Microsoft and many others did this. It works great for those in privately held companies, but has limited effectiveness in public companies where stock is openly traded.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      If you think this will work, please feel free to implement it. There are no laws nor restrictions against doing this now, just the high capital cost of failure. Running a corporation by committee is a recipe for failure.

      I can't implement this. The idea: that ALL corporations should be non-profit or run as a democratically elected republican management, is beyond the scope of what a single person can do, because it requires laws to be passed, and potentially constitutional amendments to be made.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      Finally, just what are you doing to help provide that African child with any of these? Have you joined the Peace Corps and not told us? Training to become a nurse or doctor and join Doctors Without Borders? Volunteered regularly at the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen?

      Why is it that you draw the line for "what are you doing to help" at direct intervention? Why is it that people think that charity must be offered directly? What of donating money? Isn't that charity? But you're only giving something ephemeral really. Why is it that arguing for the advancement of the respect for human dignity is not sufficient?

      Were the only patriots in the American Revolution those that fought in the war? What of those who only gave the rally cry, speaking out support for the advancemen

      • by chill (34294)

        Why is it that you draw the line for "what are you doing to help" at direct intervention? Why is it that people think that charity must be offered directly? What of donating money? Isn't that charity? But you're only giving something ephemeral really. Why is it that arguing for the advancement of the respect for human dignity is not sufficient?

        I'm not drawing the line there. I originally had a line in there about donating money, but it sounded trite next to the others. I have no issue with it at all. Charities need resources, including money, and donations are a critical part of that. Donating money is good.

        What did Benjamin Franklin do to advance the independence of the US? Did he fight on the front lines? Did he command any troops? Is the only valid input for helping the American independence cause that of taking up arms?

        He was a diplomat that traveled the world seeking support, raising money and troops. He also designed and oversaw the building of critical military fortifications. http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/history/franklin.html [ushistory.org]

        What good reason do we have to deny other human beings basic and necessary healthcare beyond: "they can't pay"?

        We don't. Medi

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          "Medically necessary" is a well established guideline, and insurance currently denies payment for any procedure that is not "medically necessary".

          "Medically necessary" is much more than "life threatening" and no one would ever claim that the only things that are "medically necessary" are "life threatening".

          "Basic healthcare" is obviously checkups, treatment for coughs, "hey, I have this odd blister-like object under my tongue, but it won't drain when lanced." You know, the random shit that you go to your g

          • by chill (34294)

            I'm not being argumentative for no valid reason. Much of the current national debate in healthcare has revolved around "Cadillac" plans and the unfair access to superior healthcare services and techniques by those who can best afford to pay for them. This is what I'm trying to address.

            Do we move towards something similar to the British and Nordic plans, where basic healthcare is available to everyone but those with the resources can step outside the system and pay for something better? Or, do we move tow

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              Several cases have cropped up where gov'ts are trying to tax or ban sweetened foods on the excuse they are a leading cause of diabetes, hypoglycemia and obesity.

              Oh... just like has happened here in Washington State, where we DO NOT have Universal Healthcare.

              Your "camel's nose under the tent" argument fails, because governments are "poking their nose where it doesn't belong" already. They don't need a Universal Healthcare system to let them do so.

              While I'm willing to think about it, right now this seems like a bad direction to go.

              This is because you're ill informed. Either under-, or mis- in particular. The government has already been regulating what we do in the interest of human health. New York (again, no Universal Healthcare) banned transfat

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Exactly right.

      Finally, just what are you doing to help provide that African child with any of these? Have you joined the Peace Corps and not told us? Training to become a nurse or doctor and join Doctors Without Borders? Volunteered regularly at the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen?

      Snowgirl is a typical liberal: she wants to force everyone else to donate to her pet causes, rather than do so herself (most liberals don't have much money, except the Hollywood elites). She spends all her time hanging out

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        Snowgirl is a typical liberal: she wants to force everyone else to donate to her pet causes, rather than do so herself (most liberals don't have much money, except the Hollywood elites). She spends all her time hanging out with her pot-smoking friends doing nothing productive and talking about liberal causes, posting on the internet, and (maybe) working at a minimum-wage job pouring coffee.

        Actually, my last job was $45/hour at Amazon, and I paid my taxes in full, and the one before that, I earned $75,000/year at Microsoft. I would honestly rather the government simply keep my refund rather than pay it back to me. In fact, I was due $900 last refund, but since I earned so little that I didn't have to file, I chose not to file, and I let the government keep "my" money.

        But then, this doesn't fit your preconceived narrative, does it?

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          I would honestly rather the government simply keep my refund rather than pay it back to me. In fact, I was due $900 last refund, but since I earned so little that I didn't have to file, I chose not to file, and I let the government keep "my" money.

          But then, this doesn't fit your preconceived narrative, does it?

          The government's always happy to take an extra donation. I'm sure they'll put it to great use, like starting another war in a middle-east country over oil or mineral resources, or bailing out a mism

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            The government's always happy to take an extra donation. I'm sure they'll put it to great use, like starting another war in a middle-east country over oil or mineral resources, or bailing out a mismanaged corporation. Weird how you dumb liberals want everyone to pay for such important causes as those.

            Weird how liberals were against the Iraq war, cautious about the Afghanistan war, and absolutely against the bailout...

            Can you like, maybe give a comment that doesn't require a rejection of reality to take credibly?

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Weird how liberals were against the Iraq war, cautious about the Afghanistan war, and absolutely against the bailout...

              Wrong. Now that Democrats are in power in Congress and the White House, we're still in both quagmires Iraq and Afghanistan. They also voted for the bailouts (remember, Democrats came into power in '06), and Obama was the one who pushed the GM/Chrysler bailout. Also, the Democrats pushed through Obamacare, which is just a big giveaway to big insurance companies.

              Funny how dumb liberals thi

              • by snowgirl (978879)

                We're still in both quagmires Iraq and Afghanistan

                Of course, because we could just walk out tomorrow, I mean... it's not like we're invested or anything.

                This is like complaining how we're still stuck in quicksand after you walked us in there. "Jesus fuck dude, I can't just magic shit away."

                They also voted for the bailouts (remember, Democrats came into power in '06)

                Democrats rejected the first bailout, and finally voted for the second because Bush's administration (who were you know... still in power) sounded the alarms and talked about the doom and gloom that would come to the world if we failed to act.

                This is analogous to compla

                • They also voted for the bailouts (remember, Democrats came into power in '06)

                  Democrats rejected the first bailout, and finally voted for the second because Bush's administration (who were you know... still in power) sounded the alarms and talked about the doom and gloom that would come to the world if we failed to act.

                  This is analogous to complaining that I authorized the police to come to my house because they were yelling and screaming outside my door that there was a killer inside. Again, we can't magically detect liars intent on fucking us over.

                  In this case, we are talking about trusting the Republicans not to fuck you over. If you trust them, I have a nice bridge to sell you...

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    In this case, we are talking about trusting the Republicans not to fuck you over. If you trust them, I have a nice bridge to sell you...

                    Hey, when they're yelling that the sky is falling, at some point we're going to slip up, and give them ready access...

                    To point: TARP is the most expensive Brooklyn Bridge that anyone has ever bought... although, how much is the running total on the Iraq war?

  • There's many different "brands" of socialism. There's the communism dictatorships of yesterday, which pretty much nobody wishes for. Then there's the democratic socialist[*] states, such as Norway. (*: since they're democratic, it depends on the results from the latest election whether these states are socialist or not at any given moment)

    The very label itself, is inflammatory in USA. So I've pretty much switched my focus to talking of concrete policies.

    * We've got universal grade-based access to education.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I don't even consider authoritarian socialism to be socialism. One friend on Facebook asked me in the link to this: "Sweden-style socialism or Russian-style?" I commented, that the Russian system usurped the Bourgeoisie, but supplanted the government into the position of the Bourgeoisie. You cannot walk in, "equalize" everyone and then have a ruling class that forces everything to stay equalized... you cannot have a "ruling class" at all. Creating a parent-child relationship between the government and t

    • Actually, those maternity and paternity leave mandates aren't the best in the world.

      Canada now has up to 18 months maternity leave and up to 10 months paternity leave but the 10 months of paternity leave counts towards the 16 month as a total so if the father takes all 10 months there is only 6 months left for the mom. The company from which they take the leave is required to hire them back afterwards in their former position as well(there was also talk of accrual of any benefits that would normally be gain

      • by Eivind (15695)

        To be fair, I said "among the most generous", and didn't actually claim that we're world record-holders (I think that's Iceland, actually). But it sounds to me as if our system can compete with the Canadian one.

        16 months beats 54 weeks, which is what we get, true. But you seem to have a significantly lower cap. $913 bi-weekly works out to $22K/year max, whereas our cap is at $77k/year. This means the large majority of people can take slightly over a year of paid leave, with no reduction in income whatsoever

  • My current favorite argument for socialism is thus: we live in a highly technological age. Adaptability is everything, we must be able to build up new industries quickly, and just as importantly, tear them down again when they have served their purpose. To do that, people must feel comfortable investing time learning new skills, and they must not fear that they will not have a new job if their current job becomes obsolete. And to provide that security, we must provide socialism.

    We can not and should not equ

    • In addition to guaranteed healthcare and education (these things we take for granted over here), I would like us to implement a basic income that everyone gets, regardless of their employment status or anything else. I wouldn't get into specifics of how this money is spent, like guaranteeing a minimum amount of space, this should be up to individual choice.

      This can be implemented as a negative income tax or simply giving everyone a certain amount and on top of that they can earn more money by working. I wou

      • by snowgirl (978879)

        You could establish a base line at X, then someone can earn up to say X/2 or 2X/3 and still receive the full base line negative income tax so long as they only work part time. That would make working part-time a reasonable practice.

        I like the idea as well, and I agree... if people want to stay home and be lazy, then fine, there are non-monetary pursuits that these people can do. For instance, if I didn't have to worry about income, I could volunteer at the local legal housing assistance as a paralegal. I

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I'm down with everything you just said here.

  • by Nyder (754090)

    I think for socialism to work we all need to work for the government. Maybe 20 hours a week you do your government job, 20 hours a week you do a normal job. But everyone has a part in the government. No one can get a life term seat in any position of authority.

    Capitalism is fine, just there would have to be limits on the powers of corporations and they would be held liable for anything they do.

    And so on, but it's time to raid in EQ2.

    I do like what you said and have a lot of similiar ideas. But it woul

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I do like what you said and have a lot of similiar ideas. But it would take a rethinking of people to accept them, which most people wouldn't do.

      Truth to power right there.

  • Republicans agree that slavery is a tarnish against Human Dignity. That one must be paid for their work, and that humans cannot be owned.

    No they don't. Republicans' only problem with slavery is the maintenance costs. In addition, it's much harder to justify the capital sitting idle (read: unemployment) for long periods of time.

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