http://riversidereader.com/uptimebotorg.php ARE YOU A CAPITALIST?
I am watching with chuckles as liberals stumble all over themselves trying to respond to this question, “Are you a Capitalist?”. Well, you must be a Socialist if advocate for a income equality, universal healthcare, free colleges and trade school, and a living wage. This is the lie that Republicans want to proliferate so that they can continue their conservative policies of corporate welfare and extravagant tax breaks for the ultra-rich and corporations.
In truth, the United States has always been a mixed economic system nation since its inception. Written into our Constitution is that social experiment in which a union is created for the many to create “One Nation”.
“WE THE PEOPLE, IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION, ESTABLISH JUSTICE, INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY FOR OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY…”
This is a not a socialist manifesto, but it does create a collective society in which some things would be market driven and others would require government based, collective solutions for the greater good. Because that is the definition of a “Community”. Republicans represent the idea that any attempt by the government to promote the general welfare is anathema. This idea is simply not true,
Yet, this is why Republicans are constantly wrong on issues such as government debt and healthcare. They only look for market solutions in areas specifically tailored for mixed market solutions. Republicans believe healthcare is a product that Americans can purchase. Yet, have no solution for those Americans that cannot afford to purchase ever rising health insurance and treatment costs. Republicans balk at government intervention into he marketplace to use the purchasing power of the collective to hold drug prices down. Republicans believe everything is worth whatever price it can be sold.
No other major industrialized democratic nation on the planet believes this. Great Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Europe, Canada, all have guaranteed healthcare for all its citizens and the government intervenes to hold prices down while maintaining efficient and effective services. The United States is alone in the world in its belief that healthcare is a privilege that requires the ability to pay.
Why are we alone in thing thinking? What do other industrialized nations have that the United States does not have, that they can afford to provide free healthcare, free college and not be communist or socialist countries? The answer is very simple. The United States of America is unique in that America has Republicans.
Republicans are a different breed of politician than the world has ever seen. They give $1.5 Trillion dollars in tax cuts and benefits to wealthy individuals and corporations, they complain that spending is too high and the deficit is growing, so “entitlement benefits” such as social security, Medicaid and Medicare and food aid, must all be cut. Why do they believe that benefits to billionaires is ok, but helping people with nothing is somehow a bad thing.
Republicans have worked to sell the American people on the “Trickle Down Theory” for decades and every time they cut taxes, rich people prove that they will not allow tax breaks to “Trickle Down’. Instead, the rich get richer through the hoarding of profits as they increase executive salaries but complain about paying a higher wage to the workers at the bottom would damage the profitability of their respective companies. Americans have been sold a one trick pony, and that one trick is to make the rich richer.
Since the marginal tax rates have been virtually eliminated, income inequality has been on a steady increase. Today, there is a human with a net worth of $135 Billion dollars. One of his companies is reputed to have made $11 Billion in profits last year, yet paid $0 in corporate income taxes. This only allows for the hoarding of wealth. If there had been a marginal tax rate on top income, the incentive would have been to pass the extra income down to the working masses, rather than to pay it in taxes. Republicans are quick to point out that this rings of a socialist system.
Yet, this was the America of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. And it was an effective system of insuring that income of the masses would grow as did the income of the top one percent. With the Reagan Revolution, marginal tax rates fell and in most cases eliminated, as Republicans convinced Americans that the rich should be entitled hoard the wealth of their businesses. Hoarding is allowed as the minimum wage has been held to below the inflation rate and the rich get richer while the poor get screwed.
I am not a socialist, but I agree with President Obama in saying that major corporations owe a great deal of their wealth to the people of the United States. Corporate America did not build the roads and air traffic control system that allows for their goods to the Great Market of America. The American taxpayer did. Furthermore, the United States government owes as much a duty to the have nots as it does to the haves of the world.
The liberal idea would be to give the massive tax breaks to the masses, rather than the wealthy and have the market pick the winners and losers. That is a capitalist approach to a market driven economy. But, Republicans have turned Capitalism on its head, and Corporate Welfare to billionaires has become a preferable form of capitalism, while promoting market solutions to the consumers equates to socialism. Are you a Capitalist, “Yes I am”, said the liberal. “I believe in market incentives to consumers to allow for a healthier and more educated, market and consumer.”
As liberals we should proudly say, “Sometimes yes. And Sometimes no.” But we are always promoting the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity.