Socialism is on a winning streak!

The people living under it, not so much

The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.
— Margaret Thatcher.

Socialist electricityOver the weekend, Nicolás Maduro was reinstalled as the Cuban-style socialist president of Venezuela, a resource-rich country rapidly sliding into a hunter-gatherer  economy. Not that the election was free or fair, either. It was run on the Cuban model.

Which makes the headline in Friday’s The Nation magazine both prophetic and chillingly ironic. “Socialism Is on a Winning Streak,” declares socialist provocateur John Nichols. Comrade Nichols celebrates the primary election victories of a couple candidates for state legislature in Pittsburgh, PA. 

“We’re turning the state the right shade of red tonight,” declares the Pittsburgh chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. Heh heh.

Crime, indolence, drug abuse, truancy are not the issues in Steel City. It’s da system! “Capitalism works on the back of my community and communities of color and poor communities across this country,” one of the socialists says.

A tax on … Jobs?!

Nichols celebrates the 2013 election of one Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council. Is it any surprise that Seattle’s largest employer, Amazon, is seeking a second headquarters? Or that it is halting construction on a new 17-story office building in Seattle, jeopardizing 7,000 jobs? (More here.)

Seattle socialists want to levy a tax on jobs, up to $500 per worker; recently scaled back to $275.

A tax on jobs! Why? Because Seattle’s high cost of living is pushing people out of their homes. Does anyone else think this bit of rainy mountain chavismo is counter-productive?

Venezuela is the bull elephant in the socialist study hall. The drunk uncle with the busy hands. Not a whiff of the weekend’s sham election today in The Nation. Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! is silent now! Even the Socialist Workers website is practicing omertà. The latter does post an editorial proclaiming, “Our socialism is international.” It quotes Marx, Engels, and the Communist Manifesto and full-on in support for taxing Seattle’s workers. 

store-empty-shelves_1

Empty shelves in a Venezuelan store. Photo credit: CIPE

‘Far from being uniformly pretty’

The most recent exegesis of Venezuela is The Nation’s May 9 “The Rise and Fall of the Latin American Left.”

 

The Nation acknowledges that “few Latin American governments regard Venezuela’s ravaged economy and diminished democratic institutions as an inspiring model.” Maybe “the region’s leftists can still look to Uruguay for direction.”

Taking Cuba as a model, these self-termed revolutionaries [the triumvirate of Chávez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador] nationalized large sectors of the economy, reinvigorated the role of the state in redistributing wealth, promoted social services to the poor, and created interstate institutions … to challenge US hegemony.

The Nation admits, “To be sure, the picture is far from being uniformly pretty, especially when it comes to democracy.” 

“Far from being uniformly pretty?” That’s Big Brother saying The Wehrmacht’s destruction of the ghetto in Warsaw was “far from being uniformly pretty.” How about DOWNRIGHT HIDEOUS!

‘Willing to break democratic norms’

The Nation tip toes through the proletariat’s tulips:

The strong strand of populism that runs through the Pink Tide [!!!] accounts for why some of its leaders have been so willing to break democratic norms. Claiming to be looking after the little guy, the likes of Chávez and Maduro have circumvented term limits and curtailed the independence of the courts and the press. But there is little doubt that the Pink Tide made Latin America more inclusive, equitable, and democratic, by, among other things, ushering in an unprecedented era of social progressivism.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tear down THIS stone! Madison’s monument to the Communist brigade in the Spanish Civil War

Are you getting this? Let’s plow through the Orwellian Doublespeak: By “breaking democratic norms” the socialist dictators are making Latin America “more inclusive, equitable, and democratic”???? Sure, they had to break a few eggs to make the omelet. And a few heads. Re-educate the dissidents, imprison their leaders, expropriate private wealth, reward zealous commissars, shut down this press and take over that radio station. But the state terror is inclusive and socially progressive!

Blaska’s Bottom LineComrade Nichols is undoubtedly correct. Socialism IS on a winning streak, even if the people living under that system are losers. According to a Gallup poll, a majority of young Americans say that they have favorable views of socialism.

There’s hope for Tammy Baldwin and Iron Stache yet!

 

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About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Socialism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Socialism is on a winning streak!

  1. AnonyBob says:

    The Danes have democratic socialism. The Venezuelans have an authoritarian strongman. Something Trump aspires to.

    Like

  2. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    Democratic socialism. That’s a good one. You’d almost think that democratic socialism is somehow different than dictatorial socialism. It’s not.

    As F.A. Hayek said years ago, “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.”

    Like

    • AnonyBob says:

      News to the democracies of Western Europe…

      Liked by 1 person

      • AnonyBob says:

        More mindless PragerU propaganda. The democratic socialists of Western Europe are happily and prosperously capitalistic. The two are not mutually exclusive, except to the reality denying and ill-educated ideologues of the right.

        Like

        • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

          Ill-educated? I tell you what Bob, why don’t you try and grow a pair of balls and start posting under your real name. Then we could meet, exchange credentials and have a debate about who understands economics better, you or me. Something tells me you dare not.

          Like

        • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

          Excuse me Bob, did somebody say they were mutually exclusive? I must have missed that part. Even here in the good old United States we have more than a few socialist programs. Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and the bailout of GM, to name a few. But your point, if you want to call it that, only tells us that we haven’t gone down the socialist path to the point of destroying our economy…yet Neither have the Swedish and Danes apparently, but Venezuela may be in for a long, tough, slog back, even worse than Brazil who is trying to undo their experiment. More mindless propaganda for you to dismiss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKhR9i5CGkA

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Calm down O’L. I was referring to people like Splat who hear the word socialist and think it can only mean murderous Stalin or Mao types. You’re right, the good ol’ USA does have a few programs that could be considered socialistic. Conservatives have been trying to kill them ever since FDR, despite the good they do and the popularity they enjoy.
          And sorry, the cheesy Prager”U” videos are too slanted to be considered credible, Mr. Credentials. They’re propaganda.

          Like

        • Batman says:

          “More mindless PragerU propaganda.”
          More mindless trolling because bobo doesn’t like the U in PragerU, despite their innumerable distinguished speakers.
          Use that oversized brain of yours and challenge the merits instead of resting on genetic fallacy.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Batman, yes the “U” offends just like Trump University should’ve. Cheesy graphics, cheesy hack speakers. No credibility.

          Like

        • Eric Z says:

          Just curious Patrick, if Obamacare had turned out to be Romneycare, would you have supported it and called it socialist?

          Like

        • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

          Eric Z.

          No, I would not have. A bad idea is a bad idea. Remember, the false premise for socialized medicine was to reduce the COST of healthcare. But as Thomas Sowell wrote at the time, How do you believe we can now pay for healthcare, AND a giant bureaucracy to administer it too, at a lower cost? Not gonna’ happen, no matter whose name is on it. By the way, where’s my $2,500 per year?

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          And now you have giant private sector, for profit bureaucracies: insurance companies; answerable to stockholders and handsomely rewarding executives.

          Like

      • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

        Yes, it is probably news to them Bob. If you don’t understand economics (and you obviously don’t) then a lot of things are probably “news” to you.

        Like

    • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

      Sorry to reuse some material Bob, but it was all I could think of when I read your posts which are simply dismissive, with no accompanying argument. Calling them “mindless propaganda” is just you strutting about as if you won the argument, without ever actually making an argument.

      But on the matter of me “calming down,” you were responding to my comment, not Splat’s. Perhaps in the future, you should direct your insults more precisely. But the real point is that it is much too easy to be an insulting jerk when you are anonymously hiding behind a screen name. There is a certain license that you allow yourself when you hide your name, and it’s not a good one. That’s why I stopped doing it. You give yourself permission to be incivil, when your name is not attached.

      But tell me honestly Bob, have you ever set foot in an economics classroom? Do you have a favorite economist? Even Paul Krugman says socialism is a losing proposition.

      Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Favorite economist? Robert Lampman. Yes, I have set foot in economics classrooms. More than one.
        I was speaking in general terms about ignorant and ill-educated conservatives and their simplistic and inaccurate use of “socialism,” not you specifically, but I see your point about being more precise. Kudos to you for using your real name (I’ll have to take your word it is) and you are correct; commenting anonymously does allow one to be ruder than one normally would be. But many of us choose anonymity here, it’s a rough and tumble place. I’m not the only jerk. People gleefully and aggressively leap on any personal information. Why would I provide more? Besides, back when I started plaguing Dave with comments I held a job that could’ve been threatened for criticizing GOP legislative leadership. Now, after many years, my anonymity is part of my brand.

        Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          And the PU video with that Crowder blowhard is vague, unsubstantiated, inaccurate, blustery commentary. It’s insulting. It’s crude propaganda. I’m not impressed with PU. Pee-yew!

          Like

        • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

          I would agree that Crowder is not the most respected of all the Prager instructors, but you can find videos of MIlton Friedman or Thomas Sowell making the same points about socialism, and they are hardly blowhards. The Prager videos are made for the shorter attention spans that seem to be prevalent today.

          Like

      • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

        Robert Lampman was famous for suggesting the negative income tax as a manner of income redistribution. And I’m afraid that it just doesn’t get much more socialist than income redistribution. The idea of the Earned Income Tax Credit did come from Lampman’s suggestion, and it’s not a bad thing. But while it is income redistribution at its core, it’s more important function was to address the moral hazard created by outright welfare, and it did that by requiring earning on the part of the recipient.

        But if he recommended the rate cuts that JFK implemented, then at least he understood the Laffer Curve.

        Like

  3. madisonexpat says:

    ABob. do you prefer national socialism or international socialsim?
    Or, as the Bernie Bros would say, “we mean the everyone gets free stuff socialism not the two last socialists fight over the only beet in the market socialsim.”
    Or as Soglin’s hero summed it up, “Socialism or Death.”

    Like

    • richard lesiak says:

      Free stuff? You mean like all the free money the elite got with trump’s tax cuts? Walker giving a free 100 bucks/kid to everyone this election year? That kind of free stuff?

      Like

      • David Blaska says:

        Honest to god, Lesiak! You think getting some of your tax money back is “free stuff”? You ARE bad!

        Like

        • Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

          Richard, as most socialists think, believes that all money belongs to the government, and it is their rightful duty to determine how much we can keep.

          Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          My kids are grown up so I get nothing. Besides that, when did Wisconsin become so bloated with cash? Why are schools, roads, healthcare, prisons, etc in such bad shape then?

          Like

      • old baldy says:

        Or my grandkids paying for Foxconn. That kind of free stuff.

        Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          With all of scooters friends getting no-bid contracts it will be more like your great-great-grandkids.

          Like

    • madisonexpat says:

      Also, ABob, when I hear Socialism I not only think of Stalin and Mao but also Hitler. Good Socialists all.

      Like

  4. richard lesiak says:

    “not that the election was free or fair.” Wow; does that leave the door open for debate.

    Like

  5. Tur says:

    Equal Misery for all, with no hope of upward mobility or agility built in the market place. This leads to misery, hopelessness in society. But I know we are America, we can do socia-commu-fascism (All sides of the same coin) better because we are the USA. Who is John Galt? Are you with the body, we are of LANDrew, you must be absorbed!

    Like

  6. richard lesiak says:

    China seems to be doing pretty well. Trump declared a trade war and they got him to fold like a paper napkin in 30 days. He did stay in the game long enough to screw American farmers (again) and then crawled away.

    Like

  7. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    Debating liberals about Economics. It’s like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what you do, the pigeon is going to knock over all the pieces, crap on the chessboard and then strut all over the place as if he had won.

    Like

  8. madisonexpat says:

    OOPS! Hey ABob you better get the liberal democrat members card chiseled off Poor Richard’s frontal lobe. He just admitted the core message of the Democratic Party.
    We know it hurts you to let people keep any of their own money but you’re NOT supposed to say it out loud.

    Like

    • richard lesiak says:

      Maybe Pruitt will let you ride in his new bullet proof car. Or Carson will have you for lunch at his 39,000 dollar table. Hell; Vos may even bring you along on one of his free trips. Just think how much more money you could keep if it wasn’t for all the grifters in the swamp. Now you can take some of that money you saved and buy a freshly minted trump coin celebrating the meeting of him and the supreme leader of NK. Which hasn’t happened yet and may very well go badly.

      Like

      • madisonexpat says:

        You wish.

        Like

      • old baldy says:

        Or get one of those taxpayer funded KAED challenge coins from the AG Schimel.

        Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          I hear you OB. They are so worried that granny might get an extra 5 bucks on her SNAP card that they don’t see the big bucks that are being ripped off. 12 investigations going on against Pruitt? Zinke spending 2 days in Paris for a 4 hour meeting? Blockade of Qatar being lifted now that Jared got a bailout for that 666 moneypit? If DC ever becomes a state their plates will say The Great Swamp State.

          Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          I just saw that Schimel and his merry band of bigots went to the ADF conference in ’17 and tried to keep it secret. All expenses paid by a group that is listed as a hate group Everything except the grand that us taxpayers kicked in. Wonder what he gave away at that little conference? Bet it was more than coins.

          Like

  9. richard lesiak says:

    Gotta love the Goobers On Parade. Now Blankenship wants to run as a third (or is it turd) party candidate. The Conservative Socialist Party? “I’m more like trump than trump”‘ said the convicted felon. I went to a convent and grabbed all the nuns. My lawyer sold his car to pay off my hookers. Yooooo; is this mike on?

    Like

  10. richard lesiak says:

    Gop congressman Mo Brooks said at a hearing on climate change that he believes the sea levels are rising because rocks are falling into the water. Claims he got that info from NASA. I wonder if Larry and Curly will appear at the next hearing. MoAmericaGreatAgain.

    Like

  11. Batman says:

    bobo writes:
    “Batman, yes the “U” offends just like Trump University should’ve. Cheesy graphics, cheesy hack speakers. No credibility.”

    Like anyone believes the “U” actually offends or that you care about the (effective) “cheesy graphics.” You are threatened by individuals who create the slightest crack in your refractory mind, which then activates the troll in you. Don’t be so afraid of new ideas or unfamiliar people.

    “cheesy hack speakers. No credibility.” you say.
    A sample of PragerU speakers:

    Alan Dershowitz
    Larry Elder
    Walter Williams
    George Will
    David French
    Jordan Peterson
    Heather MacDonald
    Ben Shapiro
    Judith Miller
    Tammy Bruce
    Carol Swain
    Dave Rubin
    Taleeb Starkes
    Derryck Green
    Sharyl Attkisson
    Mike Rowe
    Kimberley Strassel
    Charles Krauthammer

    Liked by 1 person

  12. madisonexpat says:

    Poor Richard blurted out the core message of the Democratic Party up thread and has been digging even more furiously ever since.
    As this liberal democrat has told us, “You didn’t earn that. The government just let you have that money temporarily. Now send it in or else. And if you want to do something about it, you can complain to Lois Lerner who will sic every department in the government on you.”
    Which begat the Tea Party which begat President Trump.
    Here endeth the lesson.
    (OB. ABob et al. carry on with the ankle biting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • richard lesiak says:

      Just read about Harly D. Bigly tax cut. Then gave a big dividend, bought back millions of shares of their stock. On a lighter note; they closed a plant, cut jobs, moved some of their stuff to Asia. Which begat the Blue Wave, which begat Ryan retiring. Here endeth the lesson.

      Like

  13. madisonexpat says:

    So don’t buy one.

    Like

    • old baldy says:

      How about if only potential H-D purchasers paid for the credit? Big difference between a discretionary purchase like a H-D, and medical care that all of us are going to need at some point.

      Like

  14. madisonexpat says:

    Ooh. What if Trump mandated you buy a Harley and had the IRS make sure you did. Po folk would get subsidized hawgs of course.
    I know ABob would be all for it.
    You, PR?

    Like

  15. Batman says:

    Annoying bob wrote:
    “And the PU video with that Crowder blowhard is vague, unsubstantiated, inaccurate, blustery commentary. It’s insulting. It’s crude propaganda. I’m not impressed with PU. Pee-yew!”

    Perfect description of how the rest of us feel when reading your comments.

    Like

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