Friday, October 28, 2011

A Conversation with a Semi-Socialist

A friend posted this on Facebook.
“OWS crowd: rape, violence, hundreds if not thousands of arrests; vandalizing property; urinating and defecating on private property; assault; anti-Semitism; desecrating the American flag; public sex; drug use; selling drugs and other lawless acts! This is the LEFT... this is what Obama supports? Is this what you liberals support? It's your crowd! I wish Andrew Breitbart was offering 100K to show racism and violence by this crowd as he offered with the Tea Party Crowd... but he would go broke fast! BTW, no one has ever been able to cash in on that 100K offer. Tea Party ... OWS... there is no comparison!”

One friend commented that he was a liberal and he thought the OWS was stupid; just angry about being screwed over by an unregulated capitalist system; that they should be shouting “I’m the 99%; REGULATE!” He also stated that the commonality with the Tea Party, in his opinion, was the anger that each had and that BO/BS was supporting the fact that they are angry, not their actions.

My reply to him was this question:
“You say that they are angry because ‘they've been screwed over by an unregulated capitalist system.’ What industry specifically do you think is unregulated? We are regulated `read; loss of freedom~ down to the toilets in our houses and the light bulbs we can buy. How exactly have they gotten screwed over?

“Also, I can't speak specifically to your situation, but my quality of life didn't go down during the Bush years. Mine started when the DemonRats took over Congress in 2007. They have added $4.463 Trillion to the national debt in 4 short years. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in over 900 days as a strategy to let BO/BS spend whatever he wants to get re-elected.

“OWS is BO/BS. He's a community organizer. This is what he does.”

This is where he stated that he was in fact a semi-socialist and that he thinks we are highly under-regulated in everything. There was some back and forth between him and other friends about communists and he also stated that communism shouldn’t be blames for the horrible things that communists have done in the past. His thought is that communism is a well-thought , but poorly executed idea.

So then I asked him this:
“You think every industry is under-regulated? You are a semi-socialist. What specifically does that mean? How much more control do you think the government needs? What makes a government bureaucrat more of an expert than you or me?”

Another liberal then joined in the conversation with:
“I am a liberal. I work hard. I have a big family and am not on government assistance. I am a business owner. I pay taxes. I am a job creator. If the OWS people are what you think solely makes up the ‘left’ you are mistaken.”

So then I asked him:
“You state that you are a liberal. What exactly do you mean by that? CD stated that he's a liberal and then later said he was a semi-socialist.”

His reply was a quote from JFK:
“’‎..someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal', then I’m proud to say I’m a 'Liberal'. - JFK's words not mine, but sums up how I feel.”

So I asked him:
“So by saying that you are ‘someone who cares about the welfare of the people --their health, housing etc’ does that mean that you think that you are responsible to provide that for them or do individuals have a responsibility to provide for themselves? It sounds like you provide for you and your family. Do you expect others to do the same?”

He has yet to answer me on that point; but CD replied with examples of corporations lying about products and being tired of being “screwed” by people who are trying to make money off him.

In answer to my question about why a government bureaucrat is more of an expert than he or I, he answered with
“I'd rather be be controlled by my government instead of being controlled by corporate America. At least in theory these guys are supposed to be helping us. I see it as the lesser of two evils.”

He then talked about how he likes the theory of socialism because
“I feel distribution of wealth is a very positive thing, especially old wealth. We have to draw the line somewhere, lets at least draw it with other Americans.”

He then went into the example of how when his wife went to photography school, she had a classmate whose father paid for all his classes, bought him expensive equipment, paid for him to go to exotic locations and now he has a business where he’s in a lot of magazines and charges much more than his wife does. He doesn’t think it’s fair. His final comment I believe sums his belief up nicely. It was:
“so, essentially, you have one example of a person living their dream, and making a ton of money doing it. You have another person trying to live their dream, but fitting it in around "real life" to make ends meet, and making significantly less money, with arguably the same amount of skill, and certainly the same amount of education. The only different variable here was money, money that the first guy never earned, but was born into.

“I can't look at this situation and say "Fair" And this leaves out the millions of people who don't get to go to college or photography school, who went to a dropout factory, maybe had a drunk for a role model, and can't read, because nobody taught them.

“It isn't fair. It simply isn't fair. So yes, I feel like every one of us has the responsibility to help other people raise their family. We're all human, we are Americans, and compassion is what separates us from the animal kingdom. In theory.”

My reply to him:

“In reading your answers it sounds like a lot of your belief that we need more government is because you are afraid. Afraid that individuals like yourself don't lack knowledge and power to make decisions for their individual lives. You think corporations are evil and that by making a profit, they somehow don't care for people. You also mentioned "in theory" a lot and "fairness". You are right. In theory, it sounds good that everyone would be the same and everyone would all work and provide for their families and there wouldn't be any poor; but as you know, the reality is that no one can guarantee any of that. The very system that you feel is evil is the system that has produced the most innovation and highest standard of living for all of its citizens in all of history. The "poor" here in America are rich compared to most of the rest of the world.

“Your belief that someone in government is better informed and knows more than you is based on what evidence? I don't know where you live, but here in Memphis, our Congressmen Steve Cohen has been in "public service" his whole adult life. He's never run a business, never met a payroll; yet I'm supposed to trust him because he's a Congressman? Why do you believe that political self-interest is better than economic self-interest?

“I agree that a lot of what we are seeing in "big corporations" these days is corrupt, but what makes them corrupt is a perverted system called "crony capitalism" It's corporations buying influence with corrupt politicians. Where is the greed there? In government or with the business? This is why we need a flat tax code that makes it "fair" for small businesses that don't have the money to buy influence in government.

“As far as your example that it's not fair that your wife didn't have the same advantage as one of her classmates. Do you have children? Don't you want to help your kids as much as possible so they can have a good life? What makes it different or wrong because of a level of income? And who decides what level of income is too much?”

We’ll see if I get an answer from either one of them.

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