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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) William-607613 said: (Quote) James-17080 said: I'm not sure what is going on with the Vol...
(Quote) William-607613 said:

Quote:
James-17080 said:

I'm not sure what is going on with the Volt. I understand it runs on both gas and electric.

[/quote]


James, you are correct about the Volt. It runs on both gas and electric, and the battery does not need to be charged for the engine to run. I stand corrected.


[quote]

The Culture War was linked to the Volt? I didn't know that. Here's a question for you. You're upset about the Volt, and maybe there is something there. I'm upset about the chiselers on Wall Street which caused the crash in 2008. But when I suggested that we stiffen regulations, wizards here said, "Oh no! That would be socialism". Yeah, and violating the Seventh Commandment is just fine. If I didn't know better, I would have guessed that they all grew up in Chicago.





I actually thought that the government's involvement in the banking industry is the best example of socialism, but I wanted to keep to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word that was posted here and I couldn't quite fit banking services with the "product" part of it so I went with the second-best subject, which I clearly knew less about.

The current relationship between the government and the banks is socialism, whether or not anyone from the right on this site wants to admit it. There are several large banks that simply cannot stand on their own two feet, due to the large amount of worthless debt on their books. The government's latest response to this is to print money to purchase up to $40 billion a month of mortgage debt (a.k.., QE3).
www.bloomberg.com

(As you know, the Fed's printing of paper here (and the resulting inflation) is a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to the banks.)

The story behind this would make anyone sick, but we can go back to the Clinton Administration and the new relationship that the President (and by default, the Democrat Party) formed with the financial services industry to learn about our current situation. The Clinton Presidency marked the heyday of financial deregulation in modern times. It was then that, at the request of the big banks and with a bill presented to him by Senate Republicans (led by Phil Gramm), Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall (which broke down the barriers between investment and commercial banking, which created "too big to fail," and led to the commitment of the US government (read: you and I) to step in and provide money to financial institutions that faced bankruptcy). He signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in December of 2000, which was probably the bill most destructive to the US economy, as it allowed credit default swaps to go unregulated.
www.time.com

For those who don't know, credit default swaps are basically insurance products, in that they are committed to making payment in the event of the default of an institution (or a home mortgage). With insurance products, however, an insurance company is very strictly regulated (at the state level) to ensure it has the capital to meet its obligations. In the event of a hurricane like Hurricane Sandy, an insurance company has to be able to demonstrate that it would not go out of business because of such an event; there are testing requirements that it must meet.

The problem with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act is that it took a product with the same type of commitment, and it allowed it to be marketed without the maker demonstrating that it could meet its commitment to pay. The result is that there are banks that have these on their books and there is absolutely no way they can meet their obligations to pay, so the government has stepped in to prop up the banks. (More here: www.ritholtz.com

Because of the close relationship the government has with the banks (read: socialism), the government is not reversing the steps it took during the Clinton Administration that allowed the current financial crisis to occur. The big banks enjoy it this way.

This isn't socialism? Give me a break.



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Thanks for a detailed answer.

The statements you made (except perhaps for the last paragraph) are correct, insofar as I can check them. But here's the thing. When the Glass-Steagall Act was passed, that was considered "socialism". When the banks were bailed out in 2008, that was considered "socialism". There's been talk (for what it is worth) of bringing back a variant of Glass-Steagall. That is considered socialism. Interestingly, when the Bush administration decided to bail out the banks, nary a word was said here about Bush being a socialist. I wonder why?

If I hold up a bank, and a swat team shows up, I don't cry "Socialism!" At least, no if I still have two brain cells rubbing against one another. Likewise, controlling what the banks do with our money isn't socialism either. It's common sense.

Now, here's what I have to say. If you're too big to fail, then you're too big to exist. Break up the big banks. I used to deal with a local Chicago bank, which got eaten up by a big nationwide bank. Then they started charging me fees. I complained, and they flipped me off by say, "Well, that's just our policy!". They were genuinely shocked when I started cancelling some services with them, which makes me think they live in pretend-land.

You brought up this bank business. Perhaps a question to ask ourselves is what would have happened if Treasury hadn't bailed out the banks. It's interesting (if futile) to speculate on the results. It's also getting away from the topic.

James

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) Scott-804356 said: Honestly I'd like to know myself... Okay I am 28, I do live in a blue state and do go to a wi...
(Quote) Scott-804356 said:

Honestly I'd like to know myself... Okay I am 28, I do live in a blue state and do go to a wicked liberal college, what I don't understand is why most of the freshmen think the distribution of wealth is a great idea, when every history class uses the old axiom "learn from history or you bound to repeat it". How many more examples do we need? History has given us enough...look at Cuba, Look at Russia before the revolution (yes I know they were Communists but the government still controlled everything). Obama didn't win with my vote.

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"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 - 2005

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) Florian-626971 said: (Quote) James-17080 said: I do want to debate t...
(Quote) Florian-626971 said:

Quote:
James-17080 said:



I do want to debate the definition of "socialism. "Big Government" is not the topic of this thread. If you wish, you may start a new thread with that idea.

Somehow, The Morrill Act of 1862became the misnamed "Merrill Act" . When we get through with this thread, maybe we should investigate how my brain mangled the name of the law. I thought only the beautiful Representative Michele Bachmann did that. But let us move on.

You're against the Morrill Act. I'm curious. Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?

When we talk about the Morrill Act, let us talk about it within the framework of the definition of socialism, and not "big government". Likewise, when we discuss Social Security and Medicare, let us talk about it in the context of Socialism, and nothing else.

I've seen far too many wizards here over the years bandy about the word "socialism". And then when you ask them for a definition of socialism, you never get one. I get the impression that they hear this on Fox News, where perhaps the motto should be changed from "Fair and Balanced" to "We make up your minds for you". But that again is perhaps another story.

To sum up, let us answer the questions I've put forth. I eagerly await your responses.

James ☺


Fine. But we have already defined socialism earlier in this thread: the government ownership of the means of production. This definition doesn't seem to satisfy you. You say you are not sure "where the line is where socialism begins." You seem to be wondering if ANY enterprise the gov't engages in can be construed to be socialism. That's why I changed the question to "what is the role of government?" I suggest thatwe can use the answer to that question to define where we draw the line. I think the role of government is to provide public goods that are not best provided by the public sector. There are many private goods, or debatable public goods, that are already being provided by the private sector. When government starts taking over these industries (such as banks, auto companies, health care) it is legitimate to cry SOCIALISM!

The other mark of socialism is the lack of recognition of private property, which has also been pointed out in this thread. Socialist programs are typically set up using tax money. Taxes are collected by force from the government. Why isn't tax collection regarded as stealing, the taking of someone else's property? I think taxes are justifiable, strictly speaking, only to pay for public goods. Somebody has to pay for them. If it is a public good, then everyone should pay through taxes. So, again, public goods vs. private goods seems to be a good place to draw the line between socialism and non-socialism.

I did undergrad at a local private Catholic university and graduate school at Washington St. University, a land-grant univ.

Yes, I would say I am against the MorrillAct if it is still in effect. I don't think the federal gov't needs to reclaim the land it granted to the states. But I wouldn't require the states to run land-grant universities on them.

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I'll try again. Was the Morrill Act socialism? Is Social Security Socialism? Is Medicare socialism? Here's a puzzler: Is the Internet, which was developed by DARPA for national security reasons, and not for buying useless junk on EBAY or Internet porn, socialism?

Tax collection is not regarded as stealing because the funds collected by taxation generally serve the public. If there is no taxation, then how do expect things like roads and bridges to be built, infrastructure repair, and police protection to take place? Some wizards here have a peculiar notion that we have a special destiny to protect Israel. Without taxation, there are no funds to help Israel (or anybody else, for that matter).

James ☺

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) Denise-687929 said: People want everything for nothing. They want the government to take care of them. Live off food...
(Quote) Denise-687929 said:

People want everything for nothing. They want the government to take care of them. Live off food stamps. They want National Healthcare. People are not worried if our country is in debt. People in America don't know what it is really like to live under socialism or communism.

--hide--


Oh dear, here we go with those categorical remarks.

With the possible exception of "They want national healthcare", everything you said is wrong.

James ☺

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said:I'll try again. Was the Morrill Act socialism? Is Social Security Socialism? Is Medicare socia...
(Quote) James-17080 said:

I'll try again. Was the Morrill Act socialism? Is Social Security Socialism? Is Medicare socialism? Here's a puzzler: Is the Internet, which was developed by DARPA for national security reasons, and not for buying useless junk on EBAY or Internet porn, socialism?

Tax collection is not regarded as stealing because the funds collected by taxation generally serve the public. If there is no taxation, then how do expect things like roads and bridges to be built, infrastructure repair, and police protection to take place? Some wizards here have a peculiar notion that we have a special destiny to protect Israel. Without taxation, there are no funds to help Israel (or anybody else, for that matter).

James ☺

[/quote]

I think of socialism as the philosophy that industries in general should owned and controlled by government. Socialism isn't a term that's best applied to individual government programs. But if you insist, using the criterion of public vs. private goods, I would say that the Morrill Act was not socialism, social security and medicare are socialism, and the internet is not. I can imagine some would see the internet as a public good because it is like infrastructure. The fact that it was developed by DARPA is not problematic, though. Nat'l security is a public good.

[quote]James-17080 said:

Tax collection is not regarded as stealing because the funds collected by taxation generally serve the public.

--hide--

Yeah, that's the question: how much tax money really does serve the public?

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said:I'll try again. Was the Morrill Act socialism? Is Social Security Socialism? Is Medicare socia...
(Quote) James-17080 said:

I'll try again. Was the Morrill Act socialism? Is Social Security Socialism? Is Medicare socialism? Here's a puzzler: Is the Internet, which was developed by DARPA for national security reasons, and not for buying useless junk on EBAY or Internet porn, socialism?

Tax collection is not regarded as stealing because the funds collected by taxation generally serve the public. If there is no taxation, then how do expect things like roads and bridges to be built, infrastructure repair, and police protection to take place? Some wizards here have a peculiar notion that we have a special destiny to protect Israel. Without taxation, there are no funds to help Israel (or anybody else, for that matter).

James ☺

--hide--

I think of socialism as the philosophy that industries in general should owned and controlled by government. Socialism isn't a term that's best applied to individual government programs. But if you insist, using the criterion of public vs. private goods, I would say that the Morrill Act was not socialism, social security and medicare are socialism, and the internet is not. I can imagine some would see the internet as a public good because it is like infrastructure. The fact that it was developed by DARPA is not problematic, though. Nat'l security is a public good.

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11/14/2012 new

De-regulate to allow the big boys to fleece everyone. Re-regulate to lock in the gains while the same bad behavior goes somewhere else and the situation repeats itself. Corporate socialism is the real economic form in the US. Could our corporate overlords compete if they had to follow laws? It's not much different from the days when old John D. would send out agents to blow up competing refineries.

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said: Thanks for a detailed answer.The statements you made (except perhaps for the last paragrap...
(Quote) James-17080 said:

Thanks for a detailed answer.

The statements you made (except perhaps for the last paragraph) are correct, insofar as I can check them. But here's the thing. When the Glass-Steagall Act was passed, that was considered "socialism". When the banks were bailed out in 2008, that was considered "socialism". There's been talk (for what it is worth) of bringing back a variant of Glass-Steagall. That is considered socialism. Interestingly, when the Bush administration decided to bail out the banks, nary a word was said here about Bush being a socialist. I wonder why?

If I hold up a bank, and a swat team shows up, I don't cry "Socialism!" At least, no if I still have two brain cells rubbing against one another. Likewise, controlling what the banks do with our money isn't socialism either. It's common sense.

Now, here's what I have to say. If you're too big to fail, then you're too big to exist. Break up the big banks. I used to deal with a local Chicago bank, which got eaten up by a big nationwide bank. Then they started charging me fees. I complained, and they flipped me off by say, "Well, that's just our policy!". They were genuinely shocked when I started cancelling some services with them, which makes me think they live in pretend-land.

You brought up this bank business. Perhaps a question to ask ourselves is what would have happened if Treasury hadn't bailed out the banks. It's interesting (if futile) to speculate on the results. It's also getting away from the topic.

James

--hide--

Well, if something is at least constitutional, I and most others won't bother to complain or cry "Socialism." Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress various powers, among them to "coin money and regulate the value thereof." It is believed that this clause ultimately gives the gov't the right (the excuse?) to regulate the banking industry. Long before we enacted Glass-Steagal, the U.S. government set up the Federal Reserve System. Is the whole Federal Reserve idea socialism? Is that going beyond government's power to coin money? Certainly, it is major interference of government in a whole sector of the economy: banking, which gets special backing by the government by way of the Federal Reserve.

I tend to agree with those who wish to abolish the Federal Reserve. BUT if we keep it, then it does make sense to me to bring back a variant of Glass-Steagal, and separate commercial banking from investment banking. The Federal Reserve System is a government system, so the banks that are a part of that system will be quite regulated by government. These banks are basically the commercial banks. Investment banks would be those that are not limited to the same regulations as the banks in the Federal Reserve System, but they are forbidden to be part of that system. They don't get backed up by the Federal Reserve, and they can't expect to get gov't bailouts. If I understand correctly, such a proposal would be essentially a variant of Glass-Steagal. The big banks would be more subject to market forces again (which would limit them from getting too big in the first place), so that if they fail, then they fail. There would no longer be the tremendous moral hazards in big banking. In short, such a variant of Glass-Steagal would introduce MORE free enterprise and LESS socialism into the banking industry. So, not all of those who call for a new Glass-Steagal are socialists.

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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said: You brought up this bank business. Perhaps a question to ask ourselves is what would have happ...
(Quote) James-17080 said:


You brought up this bank business. Perhaps a question to ask ourselves is what would have happened if Treasury hadn't bailed out the banks. It's interesting (if futile) to speculate on the results. It's also getting away from the topic.

James

--hide--




James, if the Treasury didn't bail out the banks, it would have been the end of the world. These financial institutions had marketed AAA-rated securities around the world; institutions and governments had bought them based on the AAA ratings. It turns out that the rating agencies were rating paper with a much higher rating than the mortgages that made up the product were actually worth, and the chance for default was much higher than the buyers actually believed. Because the US government could not actually admit its oversight of the US financial services sector was managed like one in a banana republic, it had to step in and shift the burden of the payment from the banks (which could not carry it) to the taxpayer.

More here: reporting.sunlightfoundation.com


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11/14/2012 new

(Quote) Sheila-371804 said: I just wanted to be clear on the nature of your question. BTW out of curiosity, so I am clear on...
(Quote) Sheila-371804 said:

I just wanted to be clear on the nature of your question. BTW out of curiosity, so I am clear on your opinion, exactly what Immigrants were you referring to that need to arrive by boat ?

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Typical and predictable as always, same ole, same ole stuff. Got to love the never changing attitude of always trying to stir the pot! Its getting cold! ???

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