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Barack Obama has been inaugurated as president of the U.S.!

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Yes...socialism is certainly not antialiased. :-)

But Hyrule has summed it up pretty well. Socialism punishes success and rewards laziness, in general. Not as badly as communism does, but pretty bad.

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Ah, Americans :D

If you guys call Obama/Democrats socialist, you should come to Europe and see what socialism really is.

Anyway, I am glad Obama won. Various things from McCain's program, like the so called 'sacred' duty to protect the rights from the second amendment, are just completely absurd from a European point of view. And personally, I am a great supporter for more rights for homosexual couples.

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Surprised that the forum didn't censor you, for I used the g word and got censored. A while back a teacher said she didn't like the communism in the former Soviet Union because no one made an effort. I like the idea of socialism because there is an idea of working together to make everyone's lives better. Capitalism seems to just make one's life better, and to ignore others. I don't agree socialism is evil, per say, but when not implemented correctly it doesn't help anyone.

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Obama shouldn't have been able to even run for president. A few days before election, he couldn't find his birth certificate. Plus, McCain had military/leader experience.. obama didn't. Yeah, he was a senator, but never fought.

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Surprised that the forum didn't censor you, for I used the g word and got censored.

The forum only censors that word to prevent it being used in an insulting way.

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I dunno, theoretically socialism is fine, though I do prefer democracy because it works better in practice, I really hate how (starting with Reagan) the word socialism has been a massive tool and scapegoat for US politicians. Anything they don't like they will accuse of being "socialist" it seems.

Also I don't think having been a soldier should make a difference in being a politician, though I expected McCain, being a soldier, to know how bad war really is, but he seemed to like that prospect which always worries me.

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I dunno, theoretically socialism is fine, though I do prefer democracy because it works better in practice, I really hate how (starting with Reagan) the word socialism has been a massive tool and scapegoat for US politicians. Anything they don't like they will accuse of being "socialist" it seems.

Better than the McCarthy era, when there were communist "witchhunts". I agree that socialism, in theory, is a much better system. Let me use an analogy: Birds flap their wings to fly, so if I make myself some wings and flap them, I should fly too right? No, it simply won't work, and neither will socialism. Human nature won't allow it.

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Sozo, you're absolutely right. Socialism is perfect on paper, when you don't take into account that people are naturally selfish.

EDIT: Besides, socialism and democracy aren't analogous. One is a market type, the other is a system of government. Though, in practice, socialism must first eliminate democracy.

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Survulus, can you tell me the difference between a socialistic system of governance and a democracy? It seems to me that we have both over in sunny Europe.

Gladi8or2, you are my new favourite person here! Thank you so much for backing me up on the European socialism deal... Oh, and David, could you tell me how allowing everyone to receive a halfway-decent standard of living no matter what the circumstances is punishing success? It seems like a form of charity to me. And it barely punishes laziness - you can only argue that with benefits such as the Jobseeker's allowance in the UK, which can be abused, but can also be exceedingly useful for those who are between jobs, and that number's only going to rise, whereas free healthcare for those who need it, how does that punish success? It is nothing more than allowing for everyone to have what has been described as a basic right by the UN, no less.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

This isn't Communism, nor Socialism, nor a privilege not to be enjoyed by those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are basic human rights.

.:EDIT:.

David: What! Have you seen any news coverage of a European democratic election? Most serious candidates have socialistic views, no matter where on the political spectrum they are, and yet the elections manage to be completely democratic. But, then I suppose the flow of news only goes one way: I don't suppose the American press covers Europe and the rest of the world in the full scrutiny that the rest of the world reserves for American news and politics.

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@BotD: My question is- where does the money come from? Answer: Higher taxes for people who earn lots of money. Ergo, the more successful you are, the more you pay in taxes. Punishing success.

And yes, I'm sorry, I don't know much about European politics. I try to follow it, but it's not very well covered on this side of the pond.

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Frankly I think the whole thing about "same pay for everyone" doesn't work when a brain surgeon gets the same as a rubbish collecter, despite probably going through years of training for being a brain surgeon, and all the effort and stress every day when the same ammount of money could be earned by doing an easier job. Some people go for jobs because of the pay. That motivation would be gone really.

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You give, you get. Think of it as an insurance policy for the nation. You pay taxes anyway, don't you? I remember someone, was it you, saying that they give to charity as a way of justifying the lack of welfare for those who need it, well, this is money that goes to help everyone in need, not just those who benefit from whatever charity you give to. Mind you, what did the Death and Taxes say for '09? It seems that over 500 billion dollars is going on war, with a massive spending increase on '08, whereas there's stagnation and budget cutting for the 68 billion you spend on healthcare for your own citizens. Here's an interesting one, though: monies allocated for housing for the elderly is going down by 27%, and housing for the disabled is down by a shameful 32%. Where is the justice in that? If you are disabled, and can not work to follow the American dream, then what would you do? What would happen if a hypothetical you were crippled in an industrial accident or otherwise severely damaged to the point where you can't work to pay for your house? What then if the budget cut there affects you? Can you rely on your family to support you for the rest of your days? Can charity help you when there might be the dreaded more photogenic case to look at first? Sorry if I'm sounding a touch cynical, but that's how it is.

Oh, and BTW, the salary for the Senators is up by 11%. And it's more, at .9 billion dollars than the budget for housing of disabled peoples. More money is allocated to the Census, whose budget is up by 111% at 2 billion; nearly more than housing for the elderly, disabled and homeless put together. Oh, and yes, virtually all budgeting for healthcare is down on 2008, as well.

You can see it all here :http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

I'm sure that the 2.699 trillion dollars garnered from the American taxpayer might be better spent on propping up its own ageing population (look at the pyramids) than on sending troops in to other parts of the world.

I'm not saying "same pay for everyone", I'm saying equal access to what are known as basic human rights for everyone, regardless of pay package.

.:EDIT:.

One good thing I can say, though, is that I'm actually loving the wall-chart. It's a really simple, easy to read condensation of what is probably one of the most convoluted budgets in the world. And interesting to boot.

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Hey, if you're just talking about reallocation of existing tax revenue, that's a different argument. I'm talking about the socialisic nature of raising taxes. :-)

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You get what you pay for. If you want assurance that you will always have some housing provision, economic support and healthcare from cradle to grave, then you've got to pay more for it. If you don't want pay, you're on your own in a struggle to survive unless you are born lucky.

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@Botd: you're welcome :)

Frankly I think the whole thing about "same pay for everyone" doesn't work when a brain surgeon gets the same as a rubbish collecter, despite probably going through years of training for being a brain surgeon, and all the effort and stress every day when the same ammount of money could be earned by doing an easier job. Some people go for jobs because of the pay. That motivation would be gone really.

True, but "same pay" is more a communist vision, not socialist. Of course a brain surgeon earns more than a rubbish collector, he has studied many years for it, and they have a lot of responsibility. But imagine that the rubbish collector gets sick, let's say he gets cancer, requiring expensive medicins and operations. He can't pay that with his rubbish collector wage, even though he has worked his entire life picking up other's people trash. Then isn't it logical that the brain surgeon has to give a part of his wage to the rubbish collector to get a cure?

From a European point of view, I am not a socialist (e.g., I have doubts about the right to start a strike, early retirements, etc.). But I am happy that our health care system here in Europe is based on socialist principles.

[edit] I think Bobofthedead can say this way better than I can :lol:

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Well, Gladi8or2, thank you for that! But I disagree with you on the right to strike though: we should have the right to strike, but that strike should be sanctioned by some independent group if it will be large enough to cause major inconvenience, or in some way checked so that it can not cause damage to infrastructure. Just look at the '70s here, and the three-day working week...

And, David, you seem to have been born lucky. You have the intelligence to form a logical, coherent argument and from what I can read into your posts, you seem to be happy as you are.

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I vowed not to enter this discussion because not only have I not been following the Presidential elections, I'm also a fan of socialism yet do not engross myself in politics of any country/form, so I can't substantially defend my stance.

Although, I will ask this: take a person who earns a low wage (<£15,000; ~$24,000) compared to a high-waged person (>£30,000; ~$48,000). Does the lower paid person not deserve the same rights as the higher paid person? Does this mean that the lower paid person is thought of less?

A 'yes' or 'no' will do, really. I wouldn't mind saving face by not spilling what I would say for my whole point to be undermined by a fatal flaw in my assumptions.

(£ - GBP; $ - USD)

----

What's been said on Communism I agree with. Allow me to elaborate my point in the way I usually do.

Egalitarianism, the core of the likes of Communism and Socialism, was fantastic way of life during prehistory (of any culture, despite the differentiating chronologies - here, though, I will be using the British timeline). However, we must realise that during the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras (450,000BC - 4,500BC), where egalitarianism is believed to have been the way of life, people were grouped in what is termed 'bands', where the largest numbers of people were in the region of 50 or so, consisting largely of family groups. For millennia, egalitarianism was the perfect way of life: hunter-gathering gave everyone equal opportunity for food (at the mercy of Nature, I might add), and the small numbers allowed greater 'control' and increase in unity. Perfect until the Neolithic Revolution that is, when a new way of life could be led. Bled from the Near East, the egalitarian system of millennia crumbled to the way of hierarchy and class systems due to larger population numbers (4000-5000 in some Grecian locales), surplus resources thanks to the advent of farming, etc., etc..

My point is this: working for one common goal, working together in equality, will only prevail in smaller groups when there is literally nothing else, or at least, a genuine desire for unity. Today, we have all grown into a world where there is chance to do as we wish, the opportunity to go farther afield, to walk through the open door of wealth which can just about give you anything and everything you want. There is now temptation, too sturdy of one for a person not to succumb. Not to mention that leadership is paramount in order to keep together the society, and that in itself is giving too much power to one person. What has been said is right, that human nature is too soaked in greed and potential for corruption for a successful socialistic society. In the way Marx wanted it, anyway.

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I say a resounding Yes, Myrddin, and I agree with you on the Communism vs. human nature argument, but I wish people would stop comparing Socialism, which gives people equal rights and access to the basic requirements of life to Communism, which gives people equal material possessions and wealth.

See the difference, anyone?

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See the difference, anyone?
I do, but whilst ever Communism is a form of Socialism and is born from Socialism, it's Socialism in my eyes. My post was long enough, in my opinion, without doubling that by making a distinction between a base ideology and one of its branches.

Wrong though it may be.

I say a resounding Yes, Myrddin...
Thank you, BotD. I'll wait for a few more answers whilst I collect my citations for my defence.

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