05-03-2012, 01:43 AM
If you are suggesting that the gifts inherent in imposed socialism came early in the republic I won't disagree. It is the easiest way to garner votes to promise a chicken in every pot, and it has been done to some degree in every election for public office. Having historic precedence reaching back to colonial times does not vindicate the disreputable act of redistributing wealth in this fashion. It simply means we have always been plagued with corrupt politicians willing to exploit the natural divide between the wealthy and all else. It is a pattern of political behavior the wealthy are more likely to recognize. Another pattern is that wealth is often a consequence of effort - that is to say, honest people, frequently educated, doing an honest day's work. Well placed people in the pop culture often demonstrate that education is not always needed.
Originally Posted by Ries
05-03-2012, 08:59 AM
I am suggesting that the United States, from DAY ONE, has been a mix of "socialism" and "capitalism", and that every functioning government on earth is also such a mix, unless its a dictatorship. And those dont really "function", they just stave off collapse by killing people, til that dont work any more.
People WANT a mix, and the only issue is what that mix will be. Which is what democracy is- an ongoing argument, discussion, and debate, about the exact recipe of compromise.
This is historical and political fact, going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
You are suggesting that a country can actually be run on ideological, rather than practical, principles. History disagrees.
As for wealth being a consequence of effort- well, sometimes. But, again, rather than the pure, ideologically driven utopia you wish for, in the real world, wealth is more often a consequence of effort, luck, aid from government, who your parents are, and who you know.
Bill Gates was born with a trust fund, which effort used as a tool, just like he used the immense government investment in the internet, computers, the electrical grid, the banking system, the legal system, public education, the government run system of visas that lets him hire cheap Indian engineers, and a lot of other socialist services of government.
Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, even Howard Hughes used the effort of having wealthy parents- and there are hundreds more like them.
And can you really maintain that Brad Pitt or Kobe Bryant works harder, and makes more of an effort, than an illegal farmworker in the Skagit Valley, who works 14 hour days roguing spinach and picking strawberries?
Effort is all well and good, but brains, startup capital, and applying it in the right place make much more of a difference. And, many times, wealth is entirely based on total accidents of genetics. I will never be tall enough to play professional basketball, no matter how much effort I expend. I will never be as handsome as Brad Pitt or George Clooney, either- and believe me, I try all day every day.
I know a lot of honest people who work an honest days work, who will never be wealthy- firemen, school teachers, union electricians, farmers, cabinet makers, and, yes, machinists.