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Showing posts with label socialism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label socialism. Show all posts

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Underlying Social Contract

By now, these lines from Barack Obama have been burned into the 24/7 news cycle by the American right: "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen." Mitt Romney on the campaign trail and Fox News in its programming (presuming you see a difference) have apparently been using it relentlessly.

Here's the video for those who have missed the uproar:

Here is the wider context from the White House website:
     I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them.  So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way.  We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.  We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.  (Applause.)  And, by the way, we’ve tried that before -- a guy named Bill Clinton did it.  We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine.  We created a lot of millionaires.

     There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

     If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

     The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people
Typical socialist, eh? He's talking about how government can promote free enterprise to grow the economy for everyone. Not exactly how Marx and Lenin mapped the future.

As others have noted, these words from Obama echo those of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (starting about 0:50):

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Socialism is more popular than Rick Perry

Today, in a New Hampshire debate, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, borrowed some rhetoric from Sarah Palin:
“We have a president who is a socialist,” Perry said in response to a question at the early-morning eye-opener GOP debate in Concord, N.H.

“I reject the premise that Obama reflects our founding fathers,” Perry said. “He doesn’t.”
I've dealt with this kind of labeling many times in the past, so there's no need to address the substance of the charge.

Instead, let me make a different point. Socialism is more popular in the United States than is Rick Perry. A Gallup poll from 2010 found that 36% of Americans had a favorable view of socialism. Granted, few Republicans share this view and Perry is first trying to win their nomination for President.

A Pew Research Center Poll from a bit later in 2010 found that 29% of Americans had a positive response to "socialism." Among people aged 30 and younger, both socialism and capitalism scored 43% positive. A Rasmussen survey from 2009 likewise reflected ambiguous results when comparing socialism to capitalism.

The latest Pew Research results from late December 2011 show socialism with a 31% positive response.

Among all Americans, in a number generated by averaging his poll results, Rick Perry has a favorability rating of just under 25%. He's getting drubbed by socialism.

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