“Capitalism is killing us” A message on a Philadelphia, PA banner

If you are series about that statement, I would suggest that you see an analyst and perhaps read a some history. Communism has a terrible human rights record.

It will be the biggest challange of his life against a fully entrenched globalist, Media, crony capitalist and deep state swamp. But if anyone can do it, he can. My only advice to him would be more Diet Coke, less KFC, MacDonalds and Pizza Hut.

Rest assured; his tongue is in his cheek.

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Trump faces a much bigger challenge that Grover Cleveland did in 1889. After Cleveland lost, his wife said that they would be back in four years. Sure enough, he won re-election and became the only president to serve two non consecutive terms.

Benjamin Harrison, Cleveland’s opponent, raised taxes (tariffs) to the roof and made life hard for working people. He was deeply unpopular.

Biden will be gone in four years, and Harris will be president. Probably 50% of the voters will think that we “owe an election to a Black woman.” That is the mindset these days.

Today it takes three tons of money, a lot of rubber chicken dinners and a tough campaign to win the nomination of a major party. I don’t see how Trump can do it. The RINO Republicans will have their long knives out for him so that one of them can get the nomination and lose again. I don’t understand their motivations, but that’s what they do.

The Republican base is fully behind him. Kasich, Jeb, Romney, Flake, Christie and all the other sewer rats are going nowhere without their luggage in the GOP. They have a choice: officially join the Democrats or fade into the dust bin of history.

Among those three, only Christie might still be a Republican. The other four have quit the party. I would not vote for any of them. I worked hard for Romney in 2012 and now regret it.

Thanks for the heads-up. I was thinking we had yet another looney-tune in our ranks.

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I would add dozens of Senators, Governors and Congresscritters to my list. They have exposed themselves in their cowardice and/or complicity in the “Steal the Vote” effort. Jeb spent $100 million in the '16 primaries and got 3 delegates and that was before he exposed the true depth of his treachery against Trump and the MAGA electorate. The old school “red meat lies” aren’t gonna work anymore.

Nah; I’ve known G&C on RO from over a decade ago.

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I have no filter between sarcasm and reality but I mean well.

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The term ‘socialist’ is used very loosely.

It might mean any party that is in favor of any of the ‘immediate demands’ in the Communist Manifesto. Or it might mean any party that seriously wants to nationalize the means of production and distribution, and run the economy through a central plan.

These are the two ends of the spectrum. Some people would like to include as ‘socialist’ all parties that lie anywhere on this spectrum. Others might want to include only those at the far end of it – the ‘nationalize everything’ end.

In the US, that would just be a few Marxist sects, plus … perhaps… the increasingly-influential DSA caucus within the Democrats. (I’m not very familiar with the DSA’s current beliefs – fifty years ago their ancestors were serious nationalize-everything socialists, and its quite possible that the current generation is as well, although perhaps cloaking their ultimate objectives.)

Myself, I put the cut somewhere about about 2/3 towards the ‘serious end’. (I myself certainly agree with a few of the immediate demands in the Communist Manifesto, and in fact I suspect almost all sane conservatives do as well.)

But … if you want to use the word ‘socialist’ to mean people who are in favor of high taxes to fund a comprehensive welfare state, while sitting on top of a vigorous free-enterprise economy … ie what we used to call ‘Social Democracy’ (as opposed to Communism), then … yes, such people are in the Democratic Party, and may, someday control it completely. But they are far from that yet. It wouldn’t make them a ‘genuine’ socialist party as I use the word, but calling them ‘socialist’ in that sense wouldn’t go against current popular usage either.

But if you mean people who aim for a nationalized, centrally-planned economy – the way I would really like to use the word ‘socialism’ – then no, no way. ‘Socialists’ in the general sense are not stupid people: they learned, several decades ago, from both the experience of the Communist countries, and their own naitonalized industries in Europe, that, surprise, surprise, the lack of market discipline leads to inefficiency. These industries, far from subsidizing the welfare state as they were supposed to, became drains on it.

So they wised up, went along with the denationalization or even did it themselves, and decided to manage capitalism. This is sometimes called ‘neo-liberalism’.

And, consider this: isn’t there a huge glaring contradiction between these two propositions:
(1) the Democrats want the government to take over all the capitalist enterprises, the corporations, etc (which is what socialism is), and
(2) the Democrats are controlled by the big globalizing corporations, George Soros etc.

The corporations want their property nationalized? They want their rich shareholders to be taxed to death? Really?

Words should have meanings. Reality is complex – we need lots of words with precise-as-possible meanings to distinguish among all the different aspects of it. We must not be like those primitive tribes whose counting systems are ‘one, two, many’ and who do not distinguish among more than three ‘colors’.

There really is a difference between Nancy Pelosi and Kim Jong-un, between North Dakota and North Korea. (Hell, there is a huge difference between Cuba and North Korea, although it’s correct to say that both are Communist, totalitarian countries.)

Anyway, the Democrats – or rather, their Progessive wing – are attacking America at a far more deep level than the economy. They’re destroying the culture. You can nationalize industry, and then de-nationalize it. But once you’ve destroyed a culture … it’s very hard to rebuild it.

When kids learn that their country is founded on racism, that the flag should not be honored, that the family is a patriarchal institution, that 2 + 2 = 4 is just the opinion of some old white men … that is far far worse than a maximum marginal 90% tax rate for the top earners – which is what we had under President Eisenhower.

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As one of those liberals, I agree with a ton of what you said. We just want to pay higher taxes and take better care of our people with the money as so many other modern industrialized countries do. I do welcome not being labeled a socialist for having slightly left of center views though. On this, are you at all concerned about the shift in what’s considered left/right? I’m not sure the term, but the concept is at least related to the Overton window.

One point I’d potentially disagree with is, on neo-liberalism, “the Democrats are controlled by the big globalizing corporations.” This is true, but I would clarify that globalizing neo-liberalism, as a modern extension of imperialism at the behest of corporate influence is rampant through nearly all of our elected leaders since at least Truman (NATO).

P.S. I fall into the wing of liberals I believe you described in another post that doesn’t believe establishment Democrats or Republicans have our interests in mind.

High taxes mean nothing when it comes to paying for government programs. They are now paid by sales of bonds to the Federal Reserve Bank System. Taxes are now aimed at punishing those who do well, which is stupid.

More than half of the jobs are created by small businesses. Every dollar you pull out of small businesses is one less dollar that could have provided a job to someone. This is even more true given what Covet has done to small businesses which have been disproportionately effected.

The Democrats now have the perfect formula for the next great economic depression.

  1. Raise business taxes
  2. Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  3. Institute more government regulations
  4. Raise energy prices with a carbon tax.
  5. Pay for “Medicare for all” with a payroll tax system.
  6. Ship jobs abroad with unfair trade deals.

After they have wrecked the economy, the Democrats will solidify their hold with a giant welfare state with a “guaranteed income.” That will support higher taxes and dependent voters who will always vote Democrat.

Net result: a socialist state and universal poverty except for those who work for the state. After a while, the state workers income gives out and you have Venezuela.

The problem is how it’s paid for, and what models are advocated.

Singapore takes rather good care of its people, they even have universal health care, and a well-respected welfare system.

Yet, their tax caps out at 22%, no capital gains tax, and only a modest GST tax of 7%. Equally all of their hospitals, even the Government owned ones, are privately run.

America has a problem of course in that it is a far larger country and population. Administrative costs compound in our situation, so do mal-incentives to treat any such program as simply a way to transfer money from the Feds to your state/district. Or to your bank account.

The best approach would be regional, if not simply State-level, and it is striking that none of the Blue states have managed to implement any healthcare or insurance system as effective as the Europeans. Or the Far East Asian nations.

It shows a lack of Administrative discipline, or the presence strong social feedback loops into the people managing it, which is what is necessary for these programs to work.

And if it doesn’t work at the State level, asking for it to work at the Federal Level is pretty much asking to build a system that is filled to the brim with grift, and mediocre results. With a centralized bureaucracy that will tend to strike averages while pleasing no one.

In short, I’m all for the theory for Health insurance and certain welfare models , as small nations have shown it can work, and without enforcing a large tax burden to carry it. But we first have to prove it at level of a State before I’m convinced the Feds could be trusted with any part of one.

The human element of the administrators, their incentives, and their failure modes, cannot be ignored.

Gene: First, thanks for being here. In reversed circumstances, I would not have the fortitude to remain. We need you here, if only on a know-your-enemy basis.

The real difference between Right and Left in America today is not ‘economic.’
Conservatism is seen best as a disposition, not an ideology. We borrow a lot from the Libertarians, (with respect to economics, not social policy), but that’s really just a kind of Statement of Virtue, not something we follow rigidly, or even, often, flexibly: sort of like the morals and ethics of traditional organized religious groups. A kind of statement of how we would like to be, not how we really are.

I had my first encounter with this years ago, on a visit to my relatives in Texas: all good rock-hard Republicans, and – some – Southern Baptists. We were eating in a little roadside cafe returning from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, fairly late at night … our waitress was tired-looking, poor woman, and we briefly talked about the hard lives of waitresses … and … it turned out my relatives were absolutely for the minimum wage … just reflexively, no economic justification. And it hit me that this is generally true. Our base is not that much different in what it wants from government than the average UAW member.

Just consider: in the early 90s, a battleground between Democrats and Republicans was Free Trade. Republicans would just cite the elementary lessons of comparative advantage that we all learned in Econ 101 (the “first non-trivial theorem of microeconomics” as someone said), the Democrats, with an eye on their union supporters, would counter with a reference to the effects free trade would have on the American working class. Then they caved. And those effects came about:

In 2000 we had 17 million manufacturing jobs, in 2020 we had 12 million. And all those laid-off assembly line workers and fitters and welders did not go out and become PHP programmers. In 2000 the workforce was 158 million, today it’s 150 million. Charles Murray – liberals should make the sign of the cross here – wrote about the social consequences of this ten years ago, in Coming Apart – well worth reading, like all his books.

Then along came Mr Trump and said , “Free Trade??? Are you kidding?” All the average Republicans agreed. The Democrats must have felt like asking for their money back.

We could have had it – we certainly wanted it – 70 years ago. But things have changed.

The world my generation, and that of everyone over 40 or so, has gone. It probably required a certain material basis, namely, that which the USA had at the end of WWII: all its potential competitors ruined – their industries either piles of rubble, or their nations deeply in debt. The USA probably had more than 50% of the entire productive capacity on the planet. We could sell anything we made. (I can recall when “Made in Japan” was a code for “crappy”.)

After WWII, our Democratic rulers were very smart, or at least acted that way. They had learned a lesson from pre-war isolationism and Mr Hitler: we can’t stand apart, plus, never appease a dictator.

They performed a massive act of systemic charity with the Marshall Plan, and possibly saved Europe from going Communist. (Just as FDR had saved capitalism in the US in the 1930s, and then, by effectively tricking us into going to war, saved democracy in the first half of the 1940s.)

Unfortunately, they weren’t smart enough to deal with insurgent third-world nationalists wearing Communist masks, and turn them into Asian Titos. (Masks they only put on when Mr Wilson told them, after WWI, that ‘self-determination’ was for whites only – making them turn to the only other great power that offered them support, Moscow. And which they took off pretty fast later.)

But they did pretty well, and eventually the Republicans came around to their point of view. As President Eisenhower said, to attack Social Security would be suicide. (And helping to pull the trigger would be 90% of the Republican voting base.)

So we ruled the world, except for the Communist part … and that finally collapsed in 1991. (The sly Chinese had slipped out of the Communist economic chains five years earlier.)

Now we’re like some heavily-armoured knight in the waning years of the Middle Ages, facing opponents who have firelock muskets. We can’t do the smart thing, because we have so much invested in the armor-making and horse-breeding industries. Except they have been outsourced to the musket-making people.

I like a lot of what Mr Trump did in office, but, with respect to foreign policy, it was just a continuation of Obama – don’t slam another fist or foot into that Tar Baby, and gingerly try to extract your extremities that are now held fast in it. Snarl occasionally so you still look scary.

The national debt has gone up under Mr Trump, as it has under Republicans since Nixon. If we hadn’t had the Chinese Communist Virus, he would have probably won re-election.

The problem from my point of view is this: the ‘Left’, broadly speaking, has changed. Liberals used to be better defenders of free speech than conservatives. Not now. The witchhunt is on in academia, and not just against reactionary racist neo-fascists like me.

The BLM hysteria and group-think have taken over the Left, with a very few honorable exceptions. And further down, the very culture of America is being destroyed. Young Americans are being taught to despise their country. Except for a brief opportunistic diversion into faux-patriotism – “Trump is a tool of Russia!” – the upcoming generations of Americans is not patriotic. I’m not a nationalist flag-waver, but … American patriotism is the only real anti-racism. We undermine it at our peril.

Anyway, I don’t think this can be reversed from your side, and, actually, not from mine either. We’re on a downhill slide, and we’ll be lucky to avoid WWIII, when the Americans finally wake up and realize that there is now a new Number One Military/Economic power in the world, which has no love for us.

But no one knows the future. History gave our ancestors Lincoln and Churchill and FDR – then the books got balanced with Trump. Maybe we’ll get lucky again.

In the meantime: Patriots, stock up with tinned beans and 5.56 ammo!

Whoa, nice link on Singapore. We also have to remember that they – or 85% of them – are Chinese. But I agree that there approach to state-implemented social welfare is the way to go.

The problem with trying to “take better care of our people” via government is, well, government. When the source of the financing isn’t directly in the loop (the taxpayers, in this case), they don’t really know much about the decisions as to who needs what care. And the “provider” (government) is relatively isolated from accountability. Further, it makes people more dependent upon the government, and makes the government more powerful. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and inevitably, those in power who are in charge of redistributing the compulsorily-provided wealth decide that they or their cronies (or prospective voters) need more than everyone else.

To use the example of healthcare, and as I’ve often said in the past here on RO, if we can’t afford a given level of healthcare for all without government involvement, how in the world can we afford it plus the cost of a wasting, misusing, and abusing government bureaucracy? You might not define it as socialism, but it’s at least socialistic. Further, when the door has been cracked open on that oxymoron concept called “government charity,” the rest of socialism will start leaking and ultimately flood in. That’s history, and it’s happening now (there’s some quote about our society holding together until people figure out that they can vote themselves largess out of the public coffers). It only takes longer in free nations like ours (or like ours used to be).

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Except that NO ONE ever paid 90%…not even under Eisenhower. The people in that bracket had the wherewithal to hire CPAs to fiddle with the tax code and get them all the possible deductions they might be entitled to. They bought “art” and were able to write it off. They bought race horses and were able to write THEM off. The tax code was DESIGNED to aid the wealthy…and still is, for that matter. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with anyone paying the LEAST amount of taxes they can manage to get away with. Take property taxes, as an example. Most people who own modest homes will pay three and four times their home’s value just in property taxes. Miss one or two years of them and the State will come and take your property away from you, too. I paid off my modest 2,200 square foot home’s mortgage 2 years ago after paying it out over 30 years. I just wrote a check for $2,100 for this year’s property taxes. I’ve never had occasion to call the police or fire department for anything and our children have been out of the public schools for well over 20 years now. I do get municipal water, sewer and garbage pickup and power from the contracted power company, but I’m paying through the nose for those monthly. The only time I ever called for an ambulance, I paid over a thousand dollars for that 4 mile ride to the hospital out of my own pocket. As far as I can tell, the only “benefit” I’m getting from my property tax money is street repairs, and that’s sort of “iffy” anyway and my gasoline taxes are supposed to pay for that. I’ve paid almost $73K in property taxes during the time I’ve lived in this house. Actually more than that because there was a time when the county taxed what they SUPPOSED the value of my belongings inside the house might be though they repealed that tax about 20 years ago.

I don’t know if we disagree here, or not. I know that the very high marginal tax rates that get quoted are, as you say, mainly for show. People who are smart enough to earn big money and not usually dumb enough to pay big taxes.

I think taxes have to discussed/argued on a case by case basis, and on the basis of concrete information which is actually often hard to come by.

For instance, I have no problem with paying taxes for public education (although I’d rather see it done via vouchers). And I know that, in general, to get better quality, you have to pay more. But the converse (?) is not always true: sometimes you pay more and don’t get better quality, and I think that the current public education system in some places may be an example of that. But … to know for sure, we would need detailed insider-knowledge of the public school system in question. And the insiders have every motive not to reveal anything which might cut down the sources of their income.

True. Proof is in the reported instructions by some school systems to students engaged in so-called “remote learning” to “prevent your parents from watching lectures on-line.” Why would any legitimate teacher or administrator want to prevent parents from seeing what their children are being taught?