To label something “Socialism” has become a knee-jerk reaction ultra-conservatives like to use as a convenient put down to any progressive idea or program. Bill Maher triggered some new thoughts on the subject with his “New Rule” comment this weekend:
“New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams....Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town...has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets...It's no surprise that some 100 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl next week....The World Series is like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in...they literally share the wealth, through salary caps and revenue sharing - TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call 'punishing success.'"
Total socialism has never been a good idea. Neither is demonizing, under the pejorative label of “socialism,” everything that seeks to level the playing field and see that a society doesn't become a class regimented arena in which a privileged few sit at the lavish pinnacle and grind the masses into a poverty ridden mass of the hopeless and downtrodden in never ending debt to company stores, etc.
The only legitimate way to do things is the conservative way, according to most Republicans. By conservative, they mean the “old way,” how America was before all this “New Deal” crap came on the scene.
If we really want to be totally conservative, let's go back to a monarchy, what we had before the American Revolution. Nothing is more “conservative” than that. In fact, that's what most Christians look forward to as they breathlessly await Jesus' return as a conquering “king.”
Whether we like to admit it or not, that's exactly where we have been headed ever since elitist-minded Ronald Reagan ascended to the White House and began to push for what George H. W. Bush at first called “voodoo economics.”
We progressed at leaps and bounds all through the fifties, sixties and seventies. We became the economic powerhouse of the world.
The new “conservative” tack brought us the savings and loan crisis under Reagan, but that didn't wake people up to where we were headed.
Steadily, step by step, regulations were not just modified and improved to bring more fairness and strengthen the economy; they were wiped out. The legalized criminals on Wall Street and in the banking system were given free reign to economically rape the nation and as much of the rest of the world as they could. If anyone objected, they were demonized as “socialists.” You heard catch phrases such as “greed is good.”
I recently watched the movie, “Wall Street – Money never sleeps.” It was a real eye opener. I recommend it.
Taxes weren't just cut back to keep the rates from being confiscatory. For the short time that they were cut back to more moderate but still responsible levels, the economy boomed. They were then rolled back so far that we had to borrow trillions against the future just to keep from defaulting on fiscal responsibilities and fund our international military ventures.
Any person who funded their household or business in such a manner would be considered an irresponsible idiot headed for bankruptcy and foreclosure!
The Chinese, under Mao, tried to build a totally socialist economy. It didn't work out too well. They have been steadily learning the lesson and brought in more and more capitalist principles, with the result that they are rapidly advancing to the position of a dominant super power. They haven't, at least not yet, swung to the opposite extreme like the US has.
The moderate approach is almost always the best course to take. The course we are taking now is far from moderate and is steadily eroding all the progress our nation made in the twentieth century. We are back to a mindset which is rapidly returning us to the days of the “robber barons.”
One of my great, great uncles was in that elite group at the turn of the century. He had invented the first Automatic paper folding machine, and, already wealthy and successful in the newspaper industry, founded the Dexter Printing Machine Company. He became a multi-millionaire, and, as in the case of many rich Americans of the time, hobnobbed with the rich and famous of the world and one of his daughters married into Spanish royalty. The last I saw of that company name was on a massive web printing machine at Ambassador College which sported the conglomerate name, Dexter Goss Miehle.
I remember how Herbert Armstrong hated labor unions and looked down on anyone who was not part of the exalted upper crust in the college and church (or anywhere else, really). He was always a total elitist, although he put on a front that hid it from most people in his early days. Nothing pleased him more than to hobnob with the rich and powerful, a total slap in the face to the common church membership and to the principles put forth in the epistle of James.
We have a lot of Herbert Armstrongs sitting in exalted seats in Washington today. They will not rest until they have succeeded in wiping out all the social gains so hard fought for and won in the last century.
Socialism in moderation makes sense and never hurt anyone. It leads to fairness and progress. In fact, it's a very Christian way of thinking and acting. Read your Bible again.
Try Acts 4 and 5 for a starter. Then, the epistle of James.