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Making Chimichangas

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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I absolutely LOVE this woman!!!!

 

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This ^^^^ is Ocasio-Cortez's platform.

 

Cortez's platform is, according to Trump's chief apologist, and propagandist Sean Hannity, a "dangerous" and "scary" platform.  

 

Stop and think about that for a moment: Sean Hannity (and probably most conservatives) think that people having a job, health care, a home, college or trade school education for their kids, and people having the basic necessities....that's a "dangerous" and "scary" platform.

 

What kind of selfish, self-serving, uncaring monster does someone have to be to say, "Nope, not everyone deserves a job, a home, and healthcare."  

 

 

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I don't know any of the specifics of how she may go about satisfying all those platform bullet points but, playing devil's advocate, it could indeed be scary depending. Sure most of that sounds pretty nice on the surface but bringing them to fruition could be the biggest shift towards pure socialism this country has ever seen. She could be well intentioned or she could be a hard left loon. If concern about the details of possible radical change like this makes me an uncaring monster so be it.

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5 hours ago, Making Chimichangas said:

Stop and think about that for a moment: Sean Hannity (and probably most conservatives) think that people having a job, health care, a home, college or trade school education for their kids, and people having the basic necessities....that's a "dangerous" and "scary" platform.

 

Sean Hannity can get bent, but there are plenty of reasonable conservatives that don't think those things are dangerous and scary, but think that giving the federal government carte blanche control over education, health, property, money, and weapons is dangerous. And I'd probably agree with them, at least in theory.

 

I do like Cortez though. Talk about an amazing underdog story and a refreshing change of pace.

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When conservatives see stuff like this, I imagine their reaction goes something like this:

 

Conservatives: [Putting both hands on their cheeks and crying out in sheer terror/horror] BUT WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?????????

 

All of Ocasio-Cortez's goals can be achieved without government completely taking over the entire economy.  And you know what, even if government does take over the entire economy, it wouldn't be any worse than the corporate welfare state, ran by crony capitalists, and a class of corrupt billionaire oligarchs that we have now.

 

Here's the one thing that just sticks in my craw: In this country, a rich person demands to be even richer.  They make millions to billions in profit every year, and continually want to make ever increasing amounts of money--and nobody blinks.

 

But when the people who are struggling financially demand to make a wage they can live on...the crooked and corrupt capitalists who benefit from this rigged system--they lose their minds.

 

Jeff Bezos is a perfect example...he has an estimated personal net worth of 143 billion dollars.

 

Greed Of The Oligarchs

 

Analysts are expecting Amazon to become the world's first trillion dollar company.

 

Amazon The First Trillion Dollar Company

 

And yet, there are people who work for Amazon who need food stamps because of how little they earn.

 

Unconscionable

 

Now in fairness....

 

Snopes

 

Here is the point: Jeff Bezos is not hurting for money.  He, along with all his other biillionaire cronies, could more than afford to pay people wages they can live on.

 

And regarding Sean Hannity, that a*hole makes 36 million a year.  He makes more money in one year than probably 80% of Americans will earn or see in 10 lifetimes.  But right, those at the top of the economic ladder "can't afford" to pay us nobodies at the bottom a wage or salary we can actually live on.

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Making Chimichangas said:

When conservatives see stuff like this, I imagine their reaction goes something like this:

 

Conservatives: [Putting both hands on their cheeks and crying out in sheer terror/horror] BUT WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?????????

 

All of Ocasio-Cortez's goals can be achieved without government completely taking over the entire economy.  And you know what, even if government does take over the entire economy, it wouldn't be any worse than the corporate welfare state, ran by crony capitalists, and a class of corrupt billionaire oligarchs that we have now.

 

Here's the one thing that just sticks in my craw: In this country, a rich person demands to be even richer.  They make millions to billions in profit every year, and continually want to make ever increasing amounts of money--and nobody blinks.

 

But when the people who are struggling financially demand to make a wage they can live on...the crooked and corrupt capitalists who benefit from this rigged system--they lose their minds.

 

Jeff Bezos is a perfect example...he has an estimated personal net worth of 143 billion dollars.

 

Greed Of The Oligarchs

 

Analysts are expecting Amazon to become the world's first trillion dollar company.

 

Amazon The First Trillion Dollar Company

 

And yet, there are people who work for Amazon who need food stamps because of how little they earn.

 

Unconscionable

 

Now in fairness....

 

Snopes

 

Here is the point: Jeff Bezos is not hurting for money.  He, along with all his other biillionaire cronies, could more than afford to pay people wages they can live on.

 

And regarding Sean Hannity, that a*hole makes 36 million a year.  He makes more money in one year than probably 80% of Americans will earn or see in 10 lifetimes.  But right, those at the top of the economic ladder "can't afford" to pay us nobodies at the bottom a wage or salary we can actually live on.

 

 

 

 

And you are aware of how Bezos spends his dollars politically I assume?

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6 minutes ago, TheSker said:

And you are aware of how Bezos spends his dollars politically I assume?

 

That's not the point.  Did you click on, and read, any of the links I provided?

 

However, since you asked: I would imagine that Jeff Bezos, along with every other super rich person, spends his money politically on furthering the corporate welfare state and to further enrich himself (themselves) at taxpayers expense.  

 

 

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10 hours ago, Comfortably Numb said:

I don't know any of the specifics of how she may go about satisfying all those platform bullet points but, playing devil's advocate, it could indeed be scary depending. Sure most of that sounds pretty nice on the surface but bringing them to fruition could be the biggest shift towards pure socialism this country has ever seen. She could be well intentioned or she could be a hard left loon. If concern about the details of possible radical change like this makes me an uncaring monster so be it.

 

Go to YouTube and actually listen to what she has to say.  She is an articulate, smart, hard-working person who sincerely wants to make everyone's life (especially those at the bottom of the financial ladder) better. 

 

Conservatives will talk about Cortez and throw out the "S" word (socialism) as a perjorative and derogatory term.  But all they're really doing is protecting a corrupt system, that they built, that mostly just benefits those at the top.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Making Chimichangas said:

 

Go to YouTube and actually listen to what she has to say.  She is an articulate, smart, hard-working person who sincerely wants to make everyone's life (especially those at the bottom of the financial ladder) better. 

 

Conservatives will talk about Cortez and throw out the "S" word (socialism) as a perjorative and derogatory term.  But all they're really doing is protecting a corrupt system, that they built, that mostly just benefits those at the top.

 

 

Well let’s be clear. Our people and our government and our politicians (both parties) built the system we have. It’s not just conservatives and it’s not just the rather recent hard right republicans responsible for where we find ourselves. There is plenty to blame them for but let’s not rewrite history. These situations always benefit the out of power party. They can throw out all these grandiose ideas and plans and they sound great but no matter who is in power nothing much changes and they surely never change as drastically as her platform would indicate.

 

As far as socialism as a perjorative and derogatory term....

1-Medicare for all (Healthcare)

2-Housing as a human right (Housing)

3-Federal jobs guarantee (Jobs)

4-Higher education for all (Education)

 

I will asssume all 4 of these guaranteed to each and every citizen regardless their level of input into making the system work. If you can’t see how this drives the car off the cliff I’ll never be able to explain it to you. We’ve already got about 50% of our people relying on the other 50% for their day to day existence. You kick all 4 of these into high gear and watch what happens. I’m gonna choose to sit on my butt and let you provide for me. I mean this is all guaranteed by our government, right? Where is the incentive for anyone to try to get ahead, to contribute? Where do the funds come from to pay for this utopia? Sure we can cut back on military, reign in the wealth accumulation of the top 5% etc, but do you really think that is going to pay for some pipe dream free ride society? If I know only one thing it is that this will never ever in a million years work. Hell the limited socialism we currently have isn’t even working or sustainable. Hannity and the far right may very well use socialism as a scare phrase or derogatory term but please show me the country or society where these 4 things are provided as guarantees and have also shown sustainability long term. It doesn’t exist because by its very nature is so ludicrous that no reasonable person that goes even one step beyond the talking point can make it work.This is like Bernie Sanders on steroids. It’s not a scare tactic when the reality of it is actually that scary. When I know something can never be made to work, yes I’m opposed to it.

 

Now as far as Medicare or single payer healthcare for all. I could get behind that because our current system is so broken, so unsustainable and spiraling further out of control by the minute, something absolutely needs to be done about it. So maybe I’m not a complete monster....

 

edit- Disclaimer, maybe I’ve interpreted her platform bullet points in the most extreme sense. Maybe she has some limited ideas that aren’t so extreme. Like I said earlier I haven’t delved into any of her specifics but based on the compiled list I will assume it is much more radical than I am remotely comfortable with.

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41 minutes ago, TheSker said:

So poverty doesn't exist in socialized countries?

 

So poverty exists, and we should just ignore it? 

 

Further, we should ignore how rich people lobby Congress to get tax breaks for their company?  

 

It is literally the second biggest scam in human history:

 

Rich Person: If you give me tax credits and no income taxe on my company, I'll create X number of jobs that'll pay millions in taxable income revenue.

Society: Yeah that sounds reasonable.

[When the actual tax revenue collected falls well short of what was promised.]

Society: Hey rich person, we're going to need to tax your income and corporation.

Rich Person: If you do that, I'll move my company to another city or state.  In fact, if you want me to keep these jobs here, I'll need even more tax breaks.

Society: Well we don't want this city to lose those jobs, so okay, here's even more money from the taxpayers.

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

And all through this, those at the top get richer and richer, while those at the bottom fall further and further behind.

 

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@Comfortably Numb, I should have stated this from the outset...

 

My view is that things Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for should only apply to those who are willing to work.

 

I fully agree that people shouldn't be rewarded for being lazy or thinking they're too good to work.

 

It is, in my mind, a basic social contract: If you're willing to work full-time, then yes you deserve a wage you can adequately live on.

 

And I notice, with some dismay, that people are conveniently ignoring the fact that rich people demand to make ever more money and that is fine.  But people at the bottom demand a wage they can live on...and somehow that's not sustainable or possible.  But rich people making more money every year is totally acceptable and sustainable.  /sarcasm

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7 minutes ago, Making Chimichangas said:

@Comfortably Numb, I should have stated this from the outset...

 

My view is that things Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for should only apply to those who are willing to work.

 

I fully agree that people shouldn't be rewarded for being lazy or thinking they're too good to work.

 

It is, in my mind, a basic social contract: If you're willing to work full-time, then yes you deserve a wage you can adequately live on.

 

And I notice, with some dismay, that people are conveniently ignoring the fact that rich people demand to make ever more money and that is fine.  But people at the bottom demand a wage they can live on...and somehow that's not sustainable or possible.  But rich people making more money every year is totally acceptable and sustainable.  /sarcasm

 

Im not okay with the accumulation of wealth at the very top. But I’m equally not okay with guaranteeing these benefits to those who don’t contribute. If you can’t contribute that is one thing but I’ve seen too much to think too many people in this country won’t take the path of least resistance. Sad but true fact.

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1 hour ago, Making Chimichangas said:

 

So poverty exists, and we should just ignore it? 

 

Poverty does not get ignored.

 

With a little bit of effort and drive, capitalism offers opportunity.

 

I don't disagree about lobbying dollars, but I don't have a simple answer for that either.

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7 minutes ago, TheSker said:

Poverty does not get ignored.

 

With a little bit of effort and drive, capitalism offers opportunity.

 

I don't disagree about lobbying dollars, but I don't have a simple answer for that either.

 

The part I bolded, is a stereotype which assumes that people are poor because they don't work hard, aren't willing to work hard, and/or are lazy. 

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29 minutes ago, Making Chimichangas said:

 

The part I bolded, is a stereotype which assumes that people are poor because they don't work hard, aren't willing to work hard, and/or are lazy. 

 

It's only a stereotype if it's applied to all poor people. It's reality when used on those who it actually applies to. They do exist, probably fewer than some of us imagine and more than others think.

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Those are some nice ideas but she won't accomplish any of that. The US is still a long ways away from viewing things like access to quality healthcare and quality public schools as a right and not a privilege.

 

She might find it easier to move to some where in Scandinavia.

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13 hours ago, Making Chimichangas said:

 

My view is that things Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for should only apply to those who are willing to work.

 

 

 

Who determines who is or isn't willing to work, and how do they determine it?

 

 

 

 

12 hours ago, TheSker said:

With a little bit of effort and drive, capitalism offers opportunity.

 

Sometimes. Maybe most of the time. But not for everybody - not by a long shot. I know dozens of people with better work ethic than me who are worse off than me. People who have worked their tails to the bone and not been able to show anything for it.

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5 hours ago, Landlord said:

 

 

Who determines who is or isn't willing to work, and how do they determine it?

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes. Maybe most of the time. But not for everybody - not by a long shot. I know dozens of people with better work ethic than me who are worse off than me. People who have worked their tails to the bone and not been able to show anything for it.

You are arguing simply for the sake of arguing.....and it's not something that appeals to me.

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9 minutes ago, TheSker said:

You are arguing simply for the sake of arguing.....and it's not something that appeals to me.

lol....you never do answer.   you just state something and never answer anyone who questions your statement.  

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12 minutes ago, commando said:

lol....you never do answer.   you just state something and never answer anyone who questions your statement.  

I fully realize it's an internet message board and we all "know people" who are the exception.

 

My original statement was chopped anyway......I said capitalism provides an opportunity.  I did not say "if x, then y".

 

Does a socialistic system offer incentive for productivity?  That's probably my main question.

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7 hours ago, Landlord said:

 

 

Who determines who is or isn't willing to work, and how do they determine it?

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes. Maybe most of the time. But not for everybody - not by a long shot. I know dozens of people with better work ethic than me who are worse off than me. People who have worked their tails to the bone and not been able to show anything for it.

 

To the first part: Give someone a job and you'll find out pretty quick if they're actually willing to work.

 

To the second part: That literally describes me.  I have busted my hump my whole life and things just never seem to pan out.  Everything I have tried to move up the economic ladder, to make my life better, has failed.  It is frustrating beyond belief.  So yeah.

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2 hours ago, TheSker said:

Does a socialistic system offer incentive for productivity?  That's probably my main question.

 

 

You're arguing just to argue :P

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2 hours ago, TheSker said:

I fully realize it's an internet message board and we all "know people" who are the exception.

 

My original statement was chopped anyway......I said capitalism provides an opportunity.  I did not say "if x, then y".

 

Does a socialistic system offer incentive for productivity?  That's probably my main question.

 

To the first bolded part, I full quoted you...I just bolded the part I specifically wanted to comment about.

 

To the second bolded part: The answer is no.  However, in a capitalist system, there is usually no incentive for productivity for people within an organization either.  What I mean is, in many jobs it doesn't matter how "productive" you are, you're going to be paid whatever your hourly rate or salary is. 

 

To use a funny movie analogy...It is like Peter in Office Space tells the "Bobs" [paraprasing]: Say I bust my hump and Innatech ships 10 extra units, they see additional profit, but I don't see any extra in my paycheck.  So you know what that does?  It makes me work just hard enough not to get fired.

 

Capitalism only rewards those who have money in the first place.

 

And here in America, we're already more "socialist" than one might think.  We educate our kids, build/maintain our roads and infasfructure, have cable and satellite programming packages, social security, medicare, medicaid, health insurance in general, etc.  In all of those things I just mentioned, we all pay into a pool and that money is used for the things I mentioned.  We pay into things like roads even though there are roads we may never drive on.  We pay into a health insurance pool because not everyone will need or use the benefits but they are there if we need them.  Satellite and cable subscription packages have countless channels I will never watch: religious, info-mercial, Lifetime, Oprah's channel, etc.

 

All that ^^^^ is a form of socialism.  Socialism just means we all pay into a pool because it is cheaper for everyone rather than paying for everything on your own.

 

We have to somehow get past this notion that "socialism" is a four letter word.  

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15 minutes ago, Making Chimichangas said:

 

To the first bolded part, I full quoted you...I just bolded the part I specifically wanted to comment about.

 

To the second bolded part: The answer is no.  However, in a capitalist system, there is usually no incentive for productivity for people within an organization either.  What I mean is, in many jobs it doesn't matter how "productive" you are, you're going to be paid whatever your hourly rate or salary is. 

 

To use a funny movie analogy...It is like Peter in Office Space tells the "Bobs" [paraprasing]: Say I bust my hump and Innatech ships 10 extra units, they see additional profit, but I don't see any extra in my paycheck.  So you know what that does?  It makes me work just hard enough not to get fired.

 

Capitalism only rewards those who have money in the first place.

 

And here in America, we're already more "socialist" than one might think.  We educate our kids, build/maintain our roads and infasfructure, have cable and satellite programming packages, social security, medicare, medicaid, health insurance in general, etc.  In all of those things I just mentioned, we all pay into a pool and that money is used for the things I mentioned.  We pay into things like roads even though there are roads we may never drive on.  We pay into a health insurance pool because not everyone will need or use the benefits but they are there if we need them.  Satellite and cable subscription packages have countless channels I will never watch: religious, info-mercial, Lifetime, Oprah's channel, etc.

 

All that ^^^^ is a form of socialism.  Socialism just means we all pay into a pool because it is cheaper for everyone rather than paying for everything on your own.

 

We have to somehow get past this notion that "socialism" is a four letter word.  

In your analogy, Peter isn't leveraging a marketable skill.  Doing just enough to not get fired isn't exactly driven......

 

I disagree that capitalism only rewards those who already have money.  Let's just say I know a guy who that isn't true about.

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My girlfriend was listening to a podcast this morning discussing the concepts of socialism vs. capitalism in the American economy. They made a really good point which is similar to the thoughts I had reading through this thread.

 

People like to argue about whether an American capitalist or, for some more recently, socialist economy would be better for us as a country. The truth is the economy is ultimately mixed - it's got aspects of both. They said we thrived from the middle of the 20th century up until about Reagan because both beasts were well-fed. Well, since then, they've done their best at starving the socialist side of the equation. Only Obama since then tried to stimulate it at all with the ACA and a lot of people think that was a compromise half-measure. 

 

But its not like most, if any, of these more socialist-style programs would just be straight giveaways. I think it's fair to put to rest concerns about welfare queens and lazy people who won't work. Most of our socialist programs now already have similar checks on them. You have to be 65 to get Medicare. You've got to be in your 60s to collect Social Security. You've got to prove financial hardship and/or be looking for work OR working to get unemployment or Medicaid. I've always found the complaints about people cheating the system a bit overstated.

 

Similar checks would be implemented with new programs as well. It's simply impossible, short of a Dem supermajority in both houses of Congress, for such programs to pass without fiscal conservatives having some input, meaning those checks will be in play. These programs may wind up being more targeted than Dem Socialists like AOC may care for; regardless, they would still represent massive steps forward for progressivism in the U.S.

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4 hours ago, TheSker said:

I fully realize it's an internet message board and we all "know people" who are the exception.

 

My original statement was chopped anyway......I said capitalism provides an opportunity.  I did not say "if x, then y".

 

Does a socialistic system offer incentive for productivity?  That's probably my main question.

In a purely socialistic system maybe not as much, but that's really not what Cortez, or anyone else is proposing. Democratic socialism still leaves plenty of room for the same small minority of people who got rich using capitalism to succeed.They may  not to the extreme degree were seeing now, and they would have to contribute more back to the greater good of this country, but the incentive is still there.. Democratic Socialism does however do a much better job of providing a safe, dignified , happy life to millions of people who go to work every day. Capitalism really doesn't.

  

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20 minutes ago, TheSker said:

In your analogy, Peter isn't leveraging a marketable skill.  Doing just enough to not get fired isn't exactly driven......

 

I disagree that capitalism only rewards those who already have money.  Let's just say I know a guy who that isn't true about.

 

I think you missed the point of my "Office Space" analogy and now you're moving the goalposts.

 

1) My Office Space analogy demonstrates that people within an organization are usually not rewarded at all for being more productive, or harder working, than their co-wokers.  So in this capitalist system, what incentive do average workers have to be more productive?  None.

 

2) Now you're moving the goalposts and saying it's about leveraging a marketable skill.  No, we're still talking about productivity and how it is NOT tied to financial incentive for the average person.

 

And your guy that you know?  That's why they're called exceptions and not rules.

 

Here's the one concept that rich people just can't seem to figure out: paying people at the bottom more ultimately makes them way more money.  Why?  Because when people at the bottom make a comfortable living and have extra discretionary income, they spend it.  They go to movies, out to dinner more frequently, take more expensive vacations, spend more at Christmas time, etc.  That's what drives our economy...consumer spending.  When us at rhe bottom have more money those at the top benefit more because they own practically everything.

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Lots of talk here about financial aspects of Cortezs proposals, but i was noticing a few that wouldn't cost a thing. They are just common human decency. 

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8 minutes ago, Big Red 40 said:

In a purely socialistic system maybe not as much, but that's really not what Cortez, or anyone else is really proposing. Democratic socialism still leaves plenty of room for the same small minority of people who got rich using capitalism to succeed.They may  not to the extreme degree were seeing now, and they would have to contribute more back to the greater good of this country, but the incentive is still there.. Democratic Socialism does however do a much better job of providing a safe, dignified , happy life to millions of people who go to work every day. Capitalism really doesn't.

  

 

Exactly.  In Democratic Socialism there is still plenty of room for people to acquire and have wealth.  And you hit the nail on the head with the statement that in democratic socialism wealthy people will be required to put more back in than the zero they do now.  (Okay "zero" might be hyperbole, but not by much.)

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@Clifford Franklin, you are correct...America has never truly been a purely capitialist country.

 

Right now America is a hodge-podge of socialism, crony capitalism, and corporate welfare.  Of those three, the latter two are viewed as good and somehow the first is viewed as bad.  Why is that?  It's because 90%+ of all wealth flowing up to the top 5% is viewed as good.  Conversely, when wealth flows down to the people who actually work to make it happen, that is somehow "bad" and/or "wrong."

 

Again, most of society never criticizes a rich person for demanding ever higher profits.  But as soon as those at the bottom demand a wage they can live on--that's somehow outrageous and unacceptable.  SMH.

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19 minutes ago, Big Red 40 said:

Lots of talk here about financial aspects of Cortezs proposals, but i was noticing a few that wouldn't cost a thing. They are just common human decency. 

 

Also true.  But we can't have common decency and treating everyone with a basic level of courtesy, dignity, and respect though...that's the devil's socialism talking there.  

 

:ahhhhhhhh   :D

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10 hours ago, TheSker said:

I fully realize it's an internet message board and we all "know people" who are the exception.

 

My original statement was chopped anyway......I said capitalism provides an opportunity.  I did not say "if x, then y".

 

Does a socialistic system offer incentive for productivity?  That's probably my main question.

Give a read to the definition of democratic socialism - the short answer to your question is yes.  Incentive is increased (or not) based on increased productivity.

 

Quote

Socialism's mantra is, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution." Everyone in society receives a share of the production based on how much each has contributed.  That motivates them to work long hours if they want to receive more.

 

Workers receive their share after a percentage has been deducted for the common good. Examples are transportation, defense, and education. Some also define the common good as caring for those who can't directly contribute to production. Examples include the elderly, children, and their caretakers.

 

Socialism assumes that the basic nature of people is cooperative. That nature hasn't yet emerged in full because capitalism or feudalism has forced people to be competitive. Therefore, a basic tenet of socialism is that the economic system must support this basic human nature for these qualities to emerge.

 

These factors are valued for their usefulness to people. This includes individual needs and greater social needs. That might include preservation of natural resources, education, or health care. That requires most economic decisions to be made by central planning, as in a command economy.

 

edit:  posted this before I scrolled through and saw Big Red 40's Democratic Socialism comments - he nailed it.

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Well at least people are being open and honest about their desires for socialism and/or democratic socialism. It's much better to call these things what they are rather than acting like it's not some radical departure from what this country was founded on and what it has stood for for so many years. I won't say our system hasn't devolved and doesn't need to be tweaked, heavily in some cases but it should be easier as long as we know exactly how certain groups or individuals want to change things.

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2 hours ago, Comfortably Numb said:

Well at least people are being open and honest about their desires for socialism and/or democratic socialism. It's much better to call these things what they are rather than acting like it's not some radical departure from what this country was founded on and what it has stood for for so many years. I won't say our system hasn't devolved and doesn't need to be tweaked, heavily in some cases but it should be easier as long as we know exactly how certain groups or individuals want to change things.

That's the entire reason the 1st Amendment exists - to allow open discussion about our policies and politics.

 

I think we need socialism in parts of our society and economy like law enforcement, fire fighting (cue teachercd complaining), the military, infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports), etc. The discussion shouldn't be about whether capitalism or socialism is good or bad or whatever - it should be about what policies we should implement to solve our problems and make our society and country a better place for us. Various "-isms" can give us ideas to form these solutions and to debate their merits, but none of the "-isms" will ever be the end-all, be-all for all of our issues.

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I agree . And while you, and I, and many on this board may understand that I don’t think millions of Americans do . They are conditioned to be scared,  and fiercely reject anything associated with the word socialism . I think If it’s explained enough, in the right way, it may ease those fears , and help them realize that these concepts are actually beneficial to them, and could improve their lives . 

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It's always amazing to me when self-declared Christians speak out against Socialism.

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10 minutes ago, knapplc said:

It's always amazing to me when self-declared Christians speak out against Socialism.

 

 

There seem to be a lot of things in the Bible Christians are opposed to politically. I'm sure there are good excuses for all of those things.

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On 7/16/2018 at 7:01 AM, knapplc said:

It's always amazing to me when self-declared Christians speak out against Socialism.

 

That is baffling, like when self-declared non-Christians and non-believers completely embrace socialism and the primary message of Jesus. It's a real headscratcher.

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Just now, Comfortably Numb said:

 

That is baffling, like when self-declared non-Christians and non-believers completely embrace socialism and the primary message of Jesus. It's a real headscratcher.

 

What's the primary message of Jesus?

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2 hours ago, knapplc said:

 

What's the primary message of Jesus?

I suppose there are a lot of possible answers to that question. Some may say the Golden rule; love others as yourself. Some may say it is the salvation message. What I was referring to by "primary" (sorry, I may have used primary incorrectly) was the overarching theme of socialism contained in Jesus' teachings.

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4 minutes ago, Comfortably Numb said:

I suppose there are a lot of possible answers to that question. Some may say the Golden rule; love others as yourself. Some may say it is the salvation message. What I was referring to by "primary" (sorry, I may have used primary incorrectly) was the overarching theme of socialism contained in Jesus' teachings.

 

Jesus didn't invent those ideas/ideals. They can be found in philosophical tenets that pre- and post-date Jesus, as well as religions that pre- and post-date his time. So atheist Socialists who embrace loving one another, caring for the less fortunate, feeding & clothing the poor & hungry... they're just embracing basic human ideals.

 

I wouldn't think humans doing those things is really that much of a head-scratcher.

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26 minutes ago, knapplc said:

 

Jesus didn't invent those ideas/ideals. They can be found in philosophical tenets that pre- and post-date Jesus, as well as religions that pre- and post-date his time. So atheist Socialists who embrace loving one another, caring for the less fortunate, feeding & clothing the poor & hungry... they're just embracing basic human ideals.

 

I wouldn't think humans doing those things is really that much of a head-scratcher.

I identify as a Christian. But I always get a chuckle when people claim morality started with us. I once had a conversation with a person that claimed murder was considered appropriate until we had the 10 Commandments. She couldn’t really explain why Moses had to go into hiding after murdering an Egyptian...

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1 hour ago, knapplc said:

 

Jesus didn't invent those ideas/ideals. They can be found in philosophical tenets that pre- and post-date Jesus, as well as religions that pre- and post-date his time. So atheist Socialists who embrace loving one another, caring for the less fortunate, feeding & clothing the poor & hungry... they're just embracing basic human ideals.

 

I wouldn't think humans doing those things is really that much of a head-scratcher.

 

As usual the point was severely missed. I don't think Jesus or Christians invented these ideas and I sure don't think they are exclusive to any group of people. Anybody that got that as the take away from what I said either doesn't want to have an honest discussion or is too mired in preconceived notions about others.

 

I'll try to be more clear. My point was more of a question, why are you amazed that some Christians struggle with some concepts of socialism? Do you actually believe or think it is healthy for each and every member of any particular group (Christians, atheists, Democrats....whatever) to subscribe fully to each and every platform bullet point of said group?

 

Yes I am a Christian and yes I struggle with accepting many issues of socialism. I know what Jesus had to say on these matters. I know I am running afoul of the party line on some of them. But as much as it pains me to admit it, it is pretty darned easy to promote some of these things when you have the ability to say feed thousands with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread or to raise people from the dead. It's a lot more difficult when you've seen hundreds of examples of people not willing to help themselves or others and a whole world history of socialistic policies not culminating in the Utopia so many claim they will deliver. Frankly I don't find it amazing in the least when some people, Christians or otherwise, struggle with these things. In a perfect world pure socialism would be awesome. In our f'd up broken world, ehhh not so much.

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17 minutes ago, Comfortably Numb said:

it is pretty darned easy to promote some of these things when you have the ability to say feed thousands with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread or to raise people from the dead. It's a lot more difficult when you've seen hundreds of examples of people not willing to help themselves or others and a whole world history of socialistic policies not culminating in the Utopia so many claim they will deliver.

 

 

In your first sentence you said it was easier for Jesus to preach these ideas, and in your next sentence you said it was harder for Jesus (who is God, who has seen billions of examples of people not willing to help themselves) to believe these ideas. Which is it? :P

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22 minutes ago, Comfortably Numb said:

 

As usual the point was severely missed. I don't think Jesus or Christians invented these ideas and I sure don't think they are exclusive to any group of people. Anybody that got that as the take away from what I said either doesn't want to have an honest discussion or is too mired in preconceived notions about others.

 

I'll try to be more clear. My point was more of a question, why are you amazed that some Christians struggle with some concepts of socialism? Do you actually believe or think it is healthy for each and every member of any particular group (Christians, atheists, Democrats....whatever) to subscribe fully to each and every platform bullet point of said group?

 

Yes I am a Christian and yes I struggle with accepting many issues of socialism. I know what Jesus had to say on these matters. I know I am running afoul of the party line on some of them. But as much as it pains me to admit it, it is pretty darned easy to promote some of these things when you have the ability to say feed thousands with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread or to raise people from the dead. It's a lot more difficult when you've seen hundreds of examples of people not willing to help themselves or others and a whole world history of socialistic policies not culminating in the Utopia so many claim they will deliver. Frankly I don't find it amazing in the least when some people, Christians or otherwise, struggle with these things. In a perfect world pure socialism would be awesome. In our f'd up broken world, ehhh not so much.

 

I always appreciate it when my neighbor points out the speck in my eye. 

 

22 minutes ago, Comfortably Numb said:

why are you amazed that some Christians struggle with some concepts of socialism?

 

Because Christ's teachings are heavily socialist. He decries avarice, he preaches tolerance, he exhorts his followers to give up worldly things, to help the poor, the sick, the less fortunate.  Selfless giving, loving and understanding... these are the very basics of Christianity.  Why wouldn't I be amazed that people who claim to be Christian struggle with these things?

 

This is like saying I shouldn't be amazed at someone who avers that they love hamburgers above all other foods, but who wants their hamburger on a long bun split down the middle, with the meat in tube form and tasting vaguely of bologna, covered in relish & mustard. That's not a hamburger, that's a hot dog. Wouldn't you kinda be amazed that someone claims to love only hamburgers in that circumstance?

 

22 minutes ago, Comfortably Numb said:

Do you actually believe or think it is healthy for each and every member of any particular group (Christians, atheists, Democrats....whatever) to subscribe fully to each and every platform bullet point of said group?

 

I don't think it's too high of a hurdle to expect self-declared Christians to follow the teachings of Christ. Do you?

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Here is where I think some of the 'rub' is that Comfortably Numb may be trying to say (I don't pretend to speak for him - just trying to read between the lines -- so he can correct me as needed). 

Christian compassion and giving is to be internally motivated out of a love of God and a love for our neighbor.  It is not an external compulsion that motivates our giving and care.  Knapp accurately and thoughtfully captured the essence of Christian giving and what is to be our heart.  (Knapp - one day I hope you return to your faith roots - you have a good heart. But with that I affirm that one can have a good heart wtout a particular faith)

The rub is this:

Socialism is an external "mechanism' which exerts pressure via taxes forcing others to be "compassionate' in the way and to the recipients of the govt choosing.  In that way, it is not different than any other govt - democratic or otherwise - it may exert more pressure than let's say a very conservative or libertarian democratic govt and it may exert less pressure than a full bore communist govt - looking at the extremes.  Govts should be all about providing a safety net for its citizens - the debate is where to balance it out - how much 'giving' comes from private sector and how much from the public sector.   If govts take so much through very high taxes it will leave little funds for individuals (Christian or non-Christian, religious or non-religious) to give freely as their conscience dictates to the individuals or organizations they wish to personally assist.  I will say that the USA as the world's richest nation could have a greater and more encompassing safety net than what it does have.  If our priorities were right we would be spending less money in some areas so that we could provide better health care and other assistance to the needy.  However, the USA has also taken on the burden of caring for the world in so many other areas. Without our military, much of the world may be under dictatorships now.  We are usually the first nation to help in a disaster - providing food, medical supplies, etc for people around the world.  So we cannot flippantly say - just cut the military or cut foreign aid.  We could however make better choices - like not fighting 2 wars in the MidEast at the same time.  That could have funded a lot of safety net things here. 

 

This isn't a matter of being compassionate or not - it is a matter of how or the method by which compassion is to be administered in a free society.  Too much 'govt sponsored' compassion leaves less funds available for private donors (unless you are the very wealthy) to contribute freely as they desire.

 

So I think in an ideal world - socialism would work and we should and could all endorse it.  But we aren't in an ideal world - there is too much selfishness at every level (sin) to make it not work.  As a Christian we believe the ideal is yet to come.  In the mean time we are called to render to Cesar that which is Cesar's and render to God that which belongs to God(our lives).  And if we live in a society where Cesar is unusually large, we are to trust God for grace to give sacrificially both to Cesar and directly to our neighbor as our conscience dictates.  If we live in a society where Cesar is small, then as Christians we aren't to let the god of materialism to take over our hearts and the best way to do that is to give generously and freely to those who are in need out of a hear of obedience to God and love for our neighbor.  

 

Let me add: it isn't just in socialism that the sin of selfishness can ruin the utopia we try to build.  Capitalism, at its core, has a lot of 'self interest'.  So while the left leaning person may try to build a utopia through govt largeness, and while the right leaning may try to build a utopia via capitalism both utopias will ultimately fail because each are vulnerable to the seed of destruction - our internal selfishness or self interest.  

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14 minutes ago, TGHusker said:

Here is where I think some of the 'rub' is that Comfortably Numb may be trying to say (I don't pretend to speak for him - just trying to read between the lines -- so he can correct me as needed). 

Christian compassion and giving is to be internally motivated out of a love of God and a love for our neighbor.  It is not an external compulsion that motivates our giving and care.  Knapp accurately and thoughtfully captured the essence of Christian giving and what is to be our heart.  (Knapp - one day I hope you return to your faith roots - you have a good heart. But with that I affirm that one can have a good heart wtout a particular faith)

The rub is this:

Socialism is an external "mechanism' which exerts pressure via taxes forcing others to be "compassionate' in the way and to the recipients of the govt choosing.  In that way, it is not different than any other govt - democratic or otherwise - it may exert more pressure than let's say a very conservative or libertarian democratic govt and it may exert less pressure than a full bore communist govt - looking at the extremes.  Govts should be all about providing a safety net for its citizens - the debate is where to balance it out - how much 'giving' comes from private sector and how much from the public sector.   If govts take so much through very high taxes it will leave little funds for individuals (Christian or non-Christian, religious or non-religious) to give freely as their conscience dictates to the individuals or organizations they wish to personally assist.  I will say that the USA as the world's richest nation could have a greater and more encompassing safety net than what it does have.  If our priorities were right we would be spending less money in some areas so that we could provide better health care and other assistance to the needy.  However, the USA has also taken on the burden of caring for the world in so many other areas. Without our military, much of the world may be under dictatorships now.  We are usually the first nation to help in a disaster - providing food, medical supplies, etc for people around the world.  So we cannot flippantly say - just cut the military or cut foreign aid.  We could however make better choices - like not fighting 2 wars in the MidEast at the same time.  That could have funded a lot of safety net things here. 

 

This isn't a matter of being compassionate or not - it is a matter of how or the method by which compassion is to be administered in a free society.  Too much 'govt sponsored' compassion leaves less funds available for private donors (unless you are the very wealthy) to contribute freely as they desire.

 

So I think in an ideal world - socialism would work and we should and could all endorse it.  But we aren't in an ideal world - there is too much selfishness at every level (sin) to make it not work.  As a Christian we believe the ideal is yet to come.  In the mean time we are called to render to Cesar that which is Cesar's and render to God that which belongs to God(our lives).  And if we live in a society where Cesar is unusually large, we are to trust God for grace to give sacrificially both to Cesar and directly to our neighbor as our conscience dictates.  If we live in a society where Cesar is small, then as Christians we aren't to let the god of materialism to take over our hearts and the best way to do that is to give generously and freely to those who are in need out of a hear of obedience to God and love for our neighbor.  

 

 

 

 

 

Would we also say it's true that the just punishment of not having that internal love of God/people that motivates you to pool your resources is to be instantly killed on the spot, ala Ananias and Sapphira? :P

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47 minutes ago, Landlord said:

 

 

 

Would we also say it's true that the just punishment of not having that internal love of God/people that motivates you to pool your resources is to be instantly killed on the spot, ala Ananias and Sapphira? :P

Well I'm thankful that was a very unusual situation and that God's grace allows us the ability to overcome & mature out of those less than pure motives we often have in the way we serve.  If we look deeper we see that 2 deep character flaws came to the forefront: (1) Remember they did give and were generous - they gave money from the sale of the land.  However, they did not give out of that love of God/people as you noted - they gave out of a desire to be 'well thought of'.  They wanted others to 'see their generosity' whereby they would be the object of praise and not God who supplied for the needy through them.  This is partly how we 'steal the glory of God' when we take credit and not reflecting gratefulness back to God (we can think of Romans 1:18-22 - applying the 'not being thankful' portion to any of us .)  The other aspect of this is that it builds the illusion that the needy or the church in this case is dependent on certain wealthy donors and not on God.  Thus faith is deflected from its rightful object to an inferior object.  (2) More seriously - they lied to the Holy Spirit as the biblical account notes.  They said they gave all of the money from the sale of the land but in reality they only gave a portion. Pride was at the center of their giving and at the center of their deceit. They wanted to be well though of but they were also consumed by greed (they wanted to have their cake and eat it too)  This was a seed (pride) that had to be squashed at the beginning of the church age less it spoil the whole group.  Pride is the 'parent seed' of all sin. It is the core or center of sin.  The result was that a healthy 'fear of the Lord' was in the church to do right and to live purely.  I'm thankful that this type of 'strong mercy' isn't administered by the Holy Spirit outside of that one case. 

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