HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Friday, March 22, 2019

 

Doom. DOOM! they say

by Tom Sullivan

President "NO COLLUSION" has been tossing around the term "socialism" lately. Not like collusion maybe, but frequently enough. With the unflappable freshman Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y., a.k.a. AOC) identifying as a democratic socialist as well as presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Donald Trump believes attacking this straw man will make Democrats' brand toxic in 2020.

The press took Trump's bait, as it will, and asks Democrats running for president if they are "capitalists" or "socialists," as if the question is at all illuminating. I'm waiting for Democrats to reply if by making the charge Republicans are committed to eliminating "Socialist Security."

Modern countries are a blend of the two systems. Capitalism may be king on Wall Street, but the traffic lights at the intersections, the roads and schools are public, as is law enforcement, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and all those farm and industrial subsidies. No market fundamentalist insists true capitalists save for their own carrier strike group.

Catherine Rampell notes we still have private property and "government does not control the means of production." Trump's attempt to red bait Democrats with the socialist label is falling flat. Most Americans don't even know what the term means:

In fact, in a Gallup poll last year that asked Americans to explain their understanding of the term “socialism,” responses were all over the map. The most common answer, volunteered by about a quarter of respondents, was that it had something to do with “equality” — “equal standing for everybody, all equal in rights, equal in distribution,” something to that effect. Smaller percentages mentioned communism, government control of utilities or even “talking to people, being social, social media, getting along with people.”
The term might trigger Cold Warriors who haven't died off, Rampell writes, but Trump already had that vote locked up:
Whether it will scare younger people is a separate question. A majority of adults under age 30 already view the term “socialism” positively; about 40 percent of those ages 30 to 49 say the same.

That might be because of dissatisfaction with the results of the existing (predominantly capitalist) economic system. But it might perversely also be because Republicans have been so relentless in their alarmist attacks on socialism — or, rather, “socialism.”
People's dissatisfaction stems from the fact the country's capitalist side is no longer functioning as one. In our resurgent Gilded Age, "Checks and balances such as antitrust enforcement, regulation of major industries, progressive taxation and unions have been gutted since the 1980s," wrote in the Seattle Times. Capitalism, like our democracy, is broken. The question at hand is what to do about our slide into oligarchy.

AOC's proposal for a 70 percent top tax bracket and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's for a wealth tax hark back to days when the John Birch Society tried to brand the former WWII supreme commander of Allied forces in Western Europe, President Dwight Eisenhower, a communist. The top federal tax bracket then was over 90 percent.

Attacks on Democrats as socialists (and Democratic policies as socialism) are even older. So is AOC's getting right back in the faces of critics:
For the last 17 years [Republicans] have called every new Democratic measure "socialism" or "communism," and they have made constant predictions of doom and disaster. The plans and proposals that we have advanced for improving the conditions of the people of this country have been greeted by these same old scare tactics during all these years.

[...]

For the past 17 years, the same outcry has greeted every proposal advanced by the Democratic Party--whether it has been for better housing, social security, rural electrification, farm price supports, minimum wages, or any other program for the general welfare of the people.

[...]

The Democratic Party is going right ahead to meet the needs and carry out the aspirations of the American people.
"For the past 17 years" refers to 1933. President Harry S. Truman said that in 1950. Two years later, he was even more in-your-face:
"Creeping socialization"--or "creeping socialism"--those are the words that give the game away. Socialism--sometimes "creeping" and sometimes "galloping"--is the slogan and patented trademark of the special interest lobbies. Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Now listen to this:

Socialism is what they called public power.

Socialism is what they called social security.

Socialism is what they called farm price supports.

Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.

Socialism is their name for anything that helps all the people.
What Republicans really mean, Truman said, is "Down with Progress."

Warren proposes reforming the un-capitalism decades of bad policy has created. She wants to make capitalism work for everyone again, not just for the rich. Naturally, the conservative Heritage Foundation brands her proposal, say it with me....