I'm tired of an America that is simply run by and for, the benifit of wealthy corporations. I long for a country that cares about the working class. I'm sick of all my tax money going to the military corporations. I'm tired of living in a bully country that starts wars with smaller countries...because of corporate greed. How can THE PEOPLE get their country back, from the hands of the powerful super pacs?
You ARE living under socialism, Mary OP! All of North America and most of western europe have had socialist economies since at least 1933.
The best way to begin to end the horrors that you mention is for every single american and business to stop paying all federal income taxes immediately. That would be a good start.
It can be done.
But the people LOVE their socialism because they think they are getting something for nothing. They are not smart enough to realize that for every dollar they lose to taxes/inflatia they are getting back not two dollars but about 5 cents!
R2, go back to Spain or wherever the hell you've been living. You are clueless.
Well, socialism has worked so well for France.
Unfortunately, the US is currently living with many of the bad, unintended consequences of both socialism and capitalism, rather than the benefits of a healthy debate and tension between the two - a check and balance between the downside impulses to either system.
I never knew Mrs. Patrick Campbell was such a misinformed idiot. Now I know.
MPC, most people do not want something for nothing...that's what YOU want. Like most greedy pigs, you judge everyone by your very low standards. You my dear, are more ignorant than I could have imagined.
Our country is not socialist. It's a plutocratic oligarchy. We're run by a clique of super-rich people who have little regard for labor and clerical workers, and families in general.
For thirty years, the mantra of the Republican party is the problem in the economy is that rich people don't have enough money. Everything wrong in the economy would be solved by lower wages, tax cuts, lower taxes, and cutting off aid to the poor.
Oh please R4, we have been living by the rule of greedy corporations for 30 years. The only wages that have gone up, are the wages and the perks for the CEOs. There has been no give and take...there has only been the taking FROM the middleclass.
I agree, OP. When I tell people about all the benefits that most European countries have, they are flabbergasted. As I told a man just the other day, "Even austerity measures in Spain are better what we have now!"
The sad thing is, we pay almost as much in taxes an most Europeans do, and we get very little in return. That is, except for useless pieces of equipment even the Pentagon doesn't want.
Here's Jan Brewer's approach to killing socialism (and human beings) in Arizona. The Medicaid she eliminated was [italic]mandated by voters[/italic] in 2000. Watch if you have a strong stomach.
The people get their country back by getting off their asses and doing something about it. Congress can have a single digit approval rating yet 90% of incumbent's are re-elected. Go figure.
The attitude that it's "them" and not "us" is seriously messed up. It's the people's responsibility to abolish/change the country; not some magical candidate. I think many people thought President Obama would be that person but it's not up to one person.
[quote]Oh please [R4], we have been living by the rule of greedy corporations for 30 years. The only wages that have gone up, are the wages and the perks for the CEOs. There has been no give and take...there has only been the taking FROM the middle-class.
It's easy to blame corporations, but the cause is the U.S. going off the gold standard on August 15, 1971.
We've had a little bit of inflation since then gold has gone from $33 to $1,600 oz.
The world has been running on nothing but credit and paper ever since. (we'll just print more!)
BTW, Socialsim is broke.
What I don't get is these CEOs need to have such obscene amounts of wealth. I don't mind them having bigger pieces of pie but why do they want absolutely all of it? Is it really fun to be filthy rich and live in a gated, controlled environment community when you're surrounded by the destitute hoards living in squalor looking at you with hatred? They can't leave their cages and freely walk around. I don't get it.
Any body who can't see that we exist in a Plutocracy, not in a Democratic Republic, is just plain wrong.
I'm eagerly re-voting for Obama, however, if only to slow our inevitable decline into an outright,jumbo-sized banana republic.
And, in large part, that we've allowed this country to become a Plutocracy is our fault. We're too fucking lazy, stupid, unmotivated and have been so successfully conditioned to accept our lot that it's hopeless.
I'm so glad I never had children and, barring a fatal accident or disease, I only have two or three more decades to live.
The middle css is gone. It's never coming back. There are are no solutions. And yes, the game IS rigged.
Della, have a nice day
OOps- The middle class is gone.
The peoples responsibility? How can we compete with the Super Pacs? I have no idea. Even if millions of us marched on Washington, our news sources would not cover it, because the wealthy news organizations are owned by corporations who don't want change. I believe the only thing that could possibly turn this country around is an actual revolution or perhaps a worldwide strike by workers and not just a one day strike. Could that ever happen? I don't think so. We actually need to cut off the head of the corporate leaders...military corporate leaders. They are in such a position of power and protection...I guess it's impossible.
I've always been a Communist or Socialist or whatever you want to call it. I like the It Takes A Village mindset, where you pool all resources and share. A doctor should earn the same as a laborer- no job is "less than". Work at whatever you like, but no one is a bilionaire or homeless. And a great portion of the earnings goes into the community kitty for health care, food production, infrastructure, defense, etc. Everyone except the elderly and infirm works at SOMEthing.
You don't want socialism, R16, you want Utopia.As
long as there are human beings around, your brand of socialism will not work. It's never worked and never will.
OP, move to China.
What you want is not socialism. What you really want is some one or some organization to take care of your lazy ass instead of working hard to make it happen yourself.
If by "socialism", you mean "social democracy with a strong welfare state" then I can't agree OP. Look at Western Europe. A strong safety net would surely help Americans right now, but it can't last.
We would still be subject to massive fluctuations in capitalism, and these shifts in the status quo will be impossible to resist unless you couple what you desire with an even greater sense of nationalism than what you see in Americans today. That will be the only thing to put a gap in the bleeding this transnational socio-economic class has caused in many countries. This is dangerous though, look at the rise of Greece's Golden Dawn party (as well as the rise of the right-wing in many European countries.)
Plus, how will you dismantle the already bloated military-industrial axis after this goal is accomplished, when such a thing cannot even be peacefully and democratically done now?
Back to Free Republicker with you Jim Robinson (R18). Now GO. And take your Medicare wheelchair with you.
I don't want communism, I actually want a true democracy but one that would not allow propagandist to influence the most ignorant among us. Paid corporate propagandist have bombarded our airwaves with complete lies and hate mongering. For 30 years we have had Republicans twisting the truth, destroying our democracy. The most vicious of these propagandist, Rush Limbaugh. Others have come up behind him with half truths and lies. It should not be allowed in a democracy. We have paid a terrible price for allowing these propagandist to have a free platform to spread their agenda. We made a foolish mistake. We thought it was the American way. What is it? It's the exact same thing that got Germany in so much trouble.
If by “socialism”, you mean “a revolution that results in the direct ownership of the means of production by the working class” then I agree. It would provide the basis for an entirely new organization of the economy.
R15 is correct, this is what you're up against. That, and the sky-high material conditions of the so-called Western world. Our luxury is provided for by the exploitation of the Global South. Such a thing cannot be sustained, especially with a looming worldwide environmental crisis. That is not to say that I wish even greater misery upon American citizens, but it appears that our falling status in the world will be necessary to spur the average citizen into action.
As usual, Republicans have their noses up corporate assholes. They support the very people who are trying to destroy our country. Destroy our middleclass. They support the weathy thieves, while our workers are only asking for a fair shake. At least have of our tax money goes to a war machine that most of us, don't even want. A war machine that bullies small counties into submission. Is that what America stands for? If it is, then we deserve what will eventually come our way.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
What we have now is the 1% destroying an entire way of life. A country needs a middleclass. Americans want to work but we want to work for a fair wage. There is no problem with a healthy middleclass...there is a terrible problem in every country where the wealth is not spread out over the whole population. Think of the countries south of us.
The people complaining about Republicans in this thread need to think bigger. Look beyond national politics (which have been infected with irrelevant party politics) to see this country's fate. Republicans and Democrats are EXACTLY THE SAME. They use social issues as wedge issues, and idiotic political theatre to obscure the fact they are in agreement on the issues that really matter: defense and economics.
True socialism and communism would be fine if they worked the way they're supposed to, and they never do. In any socialist or communist country you'll find the same thing. The people in political power always have far more than the citizenry.
Remember, ALL politicians are corrupt to some degree! Some are just better at hiding it than others.
Blah blah blah R27. Cold war propaganda lies. Socialism is working out very well in Finland, in Sweden, in Norway, in Denmark. Communism is working out very well in China.
And is Capitalism the heighth of development? Like when the Belgian king ran Congo as a private company and ten million people died?
How about when Latin America turned away from socialism in the 70s and the income of the ordinary people fell by half?
When I think what my government and the CIA did to Latin America...all to protect American owned corporations, it revolts me. We created slave labor in Latin America and then our corporations sent our jobs down to them.
Neither side seems to understand what socialism really is.
Socialism works hand in hand with capitalism. It isn't a replacement. It isn't its opposite. Socialism is [italic]required[/italic] for capitalism to work. Without it you just end up with a downward spiral into feudalism or plutocracy. Socialism is the ingredient in a successful capitalist society.
Just because some communist and fascist countries adopted the name doesn't mean it's in opposition to capitalism or democracy.
The police? Firefighters? Public roads and education? The military? All socialist enterprises working within a capitalist system.
One is necessary to balance the other.
R28, you're a blithering idiot. Communism in China is working well? Ask the hundreds of thousands of people in China who are starving to death or on the verge of it.
Exactly, you should have democracy, socialism and capitalism all working together. Unfortunately, we let the capitalism take over and then democracy and social welfare was completely ignored. If you allow the greedy rich to buy every politician, they always will and they did. They took over America and turned our democracy into a joke.
R30, socialism can have different meanings. What you are referring to is democratic socialism (social democracy.) Socialism can exist with or without capitalism. Unfortunately, capitalism does not require socialism to work.
R31, China is a communist state in name only. They haven't been communist since Deng Xiaoping came to power. What you have is a single party state that is organized to benefit the politburo and their families. They are a perfect example of state capitalism.
Hell, OP, I'd just be happy for a country that doesn't criminalize and vilify the poor.
[quote]Unfortunately, capitalism does not require socialism to work.
Yes it does, if you define "working" as persisting over time.
Without it, Capitalism eats itself and degenerates completely. It is unsustainable on its own.
It's also deeply inhumane and immoral when left to its own devices, without "socialist" solutions and regulations in place to guard against it.
R35 is correct. Too much capitalism and not enough consideration of our society as a whole...we are on the edge of complete destruction.
Capitalism is just a narrow form of socialism. That's why in Texas, the Rethugs (who understand this perfectly well), tried to eliminate the word "capitalism" from the textbooks and replace it with "Free market economics." Why? Because capitalism is not free markets. Capitalism is a series of innovations in banking, corporation law, legal tender laws, nationalized currency and socialized credit, which a variety of states adopted beginning in the eighteenth century. Markets, of course, have existed forever and they never made anybody rich. But Capitalism, the narrow form of socialism, the superstructure on the economy identified by historian F. Braudel, that did. And that's why the rethugs are trying to suppress the term. Because to admit CAPITALISM works is to admit that SOCIALISM works and to lay bare the fact that more socialism would work better.
I was thinking of asking my employer to make me a 1099 employee so I can control when and how much I pay in taxes. If I don't pay them, they garnish my pay but if I become unemployed, have no house, no bank account, etc., what can they really do to me?
I've lived long enough to see many George Carlins form from those I never would have thought would end up thinking like George Carlin. And none of them are poor but they struggle.
I long for a world where people know how to spell and don't, use extra commas, for no reason.
[quote]Communism is working out very well in China.
Nice sentiment OP, but could you clarify what you mean by 'working class'?
So do I R47. Thirty years of American economic decline caused by thirty years of Republican economics.
Republicans didn't screw up the economy. You want to see what Dems do, look at Calf under total Democrat control. 3 communities declare bankruptcy, so far and governor Moonbeam Brown proposing another tax hike.
[quote]Republicans didn't screw up the economy.
Yes, they most certainly did.
Where did such willful ignorance come from, R49? Such willful blindness to the obvious reality...
You're an idiot.
I guess you haven't heard of Proposition 13 R49.
r12 I totally agree with you. I often wonder 'how much is ENOUGH for these people?' If you already have $1 billion, why do you need $2 billion? If you already have five houses and 10 cars, why do you think you need six houses and 11 cars? I just don't understand that way of thinking at all.
R49 is hilarious, like Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't run California for years, putting them into a fiscal hole. Especially hilarious since a large proportion of Bain Capital's investments went bankrupt. So it's okay for Mitt Romney to declare parts of his business bankrupt, but not for cities to go bankrupt, oh no.
But let's look at those three cities. Stockton was lead for many years by a Republican mayor Gary Podesto. He saddled the city with the following insane projects:
"Beginning in the late 1990s under the mayorship of Gary Podesto, Stockton has experienced some revitalization.
"Newly built or renovated buildings include the Bob Hope Theater, Regal City Centre Cinemas and IMAX, San Joaquin RTD Downtown Transit Center, Lexington Plaza Waterfront Hotel, Hotel Stockton, Stockton Arena, San Joaquin County Administration Building, and the Stockton Ballpark.
"The 'sunken parking lot' in front of the Hotel Stockton was transformed in the late 1990s into a public space named 'Dean DeCarli Waterfront Square.' The area is designed to provide for many different settings including a sunken plaza, shade structure, numerous trees and planters, stadia seating, bench seating, viewing platforms, a weir at the west end, and a cascading waterfall at the east end. DeCarli Square is now a popular location hosting music, art and religious events, festivals, Farmers Markets and social gatherings.
"A new Downtown Marina and adjacent Joan Darah Promenade were added along the South Shore of the Stockton Deep Water Channel during 2009. Various public art projects were also installed throughout the area."
Mammoth Lakes is another Republican town, which filed for bankruptcy because it was being sued by a developer. Why? Because it signed a deal with the developer for the developer to improve their airport in return for a development project. But Mammoth Lakes (typical Republicans) then found out the project would violate FAA rules and wouldn't be approved. So they didn't let the developer move forward with his planned hotel.
San Bernardino is the only one of the three with historic Democrat dominance, and it is the only one which is really poor, with more than 40% of the people on public assistance.
If anyone believes in “a revolution that results in the direct ownership of the means of production by the working class”, he/she is either naive or ignorant of human psychology and history, the same as Karl Marx. That theory has been proven a dead end after we human race tried and tried resulting in millions and millions of unnecessary death.
Always remember, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And they are plenty of "those" people here.
California's biggest problem is the requirement that any tax increase must be approved by voters or a 2/3 majority. Direct democracy completely goes against American republicanism - we elect our officials to conduct our business on our behalf, and any extra requirements just cost the government more money, and slow progress.
But blaming California and America's problems on one party or one ideology is absurd since neither party has enjoyed a monopoly of power for 30 years - the closest thing to that at the federal level was the Democrats from 1993-1995 and 2009-11 and the Republicans from 2003-2007.
Blaming our problems on one party or one ideology shows a severe lack of critical thinking skills.
[quote]Blaming our problems on one party or one ideology shows a severe lack of critical thinking skills.
Actually, at least 80% of the blame for this country's problems can be laid squarely and fairly at the feet of Republicans. ESPECIALLY for the last decade or so.
[quote]Actually, at least 80% of the blame for this country's problems can be laid squarely and fairly at the feet of Republicans. ESPECIALLY for the last decade or so.
make it 90%, and you've hit the nail on the head.
80% of the blame is a much more reasonable statement than ALL of the blame.
I really think that the Reagan and Clinton years did more damage than the Bush years - the Bush years were really just the consequences of the Reagan-Clinton economic restructuring.
Let's not forget that we had a Democratic congress during the Reagan years, and the Clinton eliminated welfare and signed NAFTA.
Clinton may not have helped us but he did leave our country with money in our treasury. Then Bush gave ALL OF OUR MONEY TO HALIBURTON FOR A WAR THAT WAS NEVER NEEDED! Now...how do you figure THAT was a good thing?
I don't think that was a good thing - Unsustainable deficit spending was a trend that began with Reagan (and the Democratic Congress). By the end of the Clinton years, we finally had a surplus which was paid for by the poor and an economy increasingly dependent on complicated and unregulated investment strategies.
If Bush hadn't started two wars, we would certainly have less debt, but we probably would still have year-after-year deficit spending, and the economy would have still crashed.
"I never knew Mrs. Patrick Campbell was such a misinformed idiot. Now I know."
You are obviously male.
For some reason American's believe you can have a huge military and full service government but no one has to pay taxes. When a population is entirely ignorant of the facts, we can't hope to have a strong country. Since the Republicans HATE free education, we haven't got a chance in hell of survival. Some day we will be fighting like they are in Syria. I'm hoping for another civil war, rich against the poor. The poor are the 99%. I hope people will recognize their enemies.
The top 75-98% are also doing quite well. They are the ones with the stable marriages, the children born in wedlock, the house, two cars, and college-educated children who are doing well for themselves, too.
[quote]hey are the ones with the stable marriages, the children born in wedlock, the house, two cars, and college-educated children who are doing well for themselves, too
You know, the white people!
75% to 98% are doing well? Hahahahahahha! Was that suppose to be a joke? Oh! Forgive me. I think a Libertarian has crossed my path. What a delusion group of people...must be nice to live in complete ignorance.
R65, I think the person meant the people in the top percentages (75% and up... or about a quarter of the population).
At least I hope they did.
The fact is, we will never be able to address the class divide if folks like R65 continue to ignore the problem. The real divide isn't the 1% vs the 99%, it's the 75% vs the 25%. If you really think someone earning $100,000 a year is "poor," I feel sorry for you.
Send R28 to Tibet to experience his longing for socialism/communism.
Even in metropolitan like Shanghai, right behind the skyscrapers, you can find people who live on less than a dollar a day without air conditioning in the summer. Yes, that is TODAY, 2012.
I go to China about twice each year on business.
And I am just, just appalled on how ignorant people are on this forum and how irresponsible to spew out stupid imaginary, ignorant statements, such as R28.
You are absurdly ignorant yourself, obviously skipping post and having no idea of what is being discussed, r68. I never said I wanted communism. I said I want a mixture of socialism, democracy and capitalism. We have allowed capitalism to run wild, with no checks and balances. We are on the verge of being just another third world country, because of it. Grow a thinking, brain. Obviously the only thing you ever consider is your own bank account. I'm thinking about an entire society.
R68, you do realize that people also live on the street in capitalist countries don't you?
[quote]Even in metropolitan like Shanghai, right behind the skyscrapers, you can find people who live on less than a dollar a day without air conditioning in the summer.
How very different than the people who live on American streets.
R70, again you displayed your ignorance about China. Homeless people in capitalist countries count for a tiny percent of the population. People behind the skyscrapers in Shanhai are the majority of the population.
You know what you see on TV about China is just a facad, don't you?
Let me give you another perspective on China. Last year, one of my colleagues had to be taken to the hospital due to a severe food allergy. The dim lit hospital in Shanghai had patients sitting on the floor in the corridor like rolls of living zombies. We had to dodge dripping water from the ceiling, muddy puddles on the floor. The whole place had peeling paint and missing ceiling tiles. Why hospitals in Shanghai are so dirty and miserable? Because that's not a place foreigners frequent. That's why the socialist/communist government does not spent money on places behind the skyscrapers. It is all about the "face".
Sigh. R70, you really don't get out much, do you?
R68? That has [italic]nothing[/italic] to do with socialism. Just as socialism has nothing to do with communism. Before castigating someone else for ignorance, make sure you're not spewing ignorance out of your own mouth.
Why do you keep bringing up China? That has nothing to do with socialism. China isn't socialist.
standard freeper disinformation troll- let's talk about china! you don't understand china! china! communist! bad! shitty healthcare! poor people!
we're talking about the USA, motherfucker.
I like chinese food... but I'm NOT a comunist
R76, please don't put a space between the "R" and the reply number. Thanks.
[quote]People behind the skyscrapers in Shanhai are the majority of the population.
1.3 billion people and the majority of them fit behind the skyscrapers in Shanghai? Those buildings must be huge!
The reason I keep bringing up China is because China is a classic case of socialism defined by Karl Marx, the Godfather of socialism and communism. Socialism, a precursor of communism, is written in the Chinese constutition.
You can put your austridge head into the sand and screaming China is not socialism, just ask anyone, a billion of them in China, if their country is socialism.
So, you have not read Das Kapital or the constitution of the PRC. You have never traveled to China and know practically little about that country and its socialist structure. And you want socialism. When I tell you about China, the living example of socialism, you call me a troll.
You guys are really hopeless, ignorant and shall I say fucked in the head?
so good, r82. he has no clue what a moron he is- typical freep retard.
Another that agrees with OP.
[quote]The reason I keep bringing up China is because China is a classic case of socialism defined by Karl Marx
No, it isn't.
[quote]Godfather of socialism and communism
Marxist communism yes. Socialism? No.
God you're so damn ignorant.
Everything you call us, is actually true of you, not us. You're a fucking idiot.
Here's a good article about a die-hard Republican who hated the idea of universal health care, she moves to Canada and realizes how completely DUMB she was about it and now thinks it's great and indispensible. This is probably the way the majority of idiot right wingers would feel if they stopped yelling and used their heads.
Wow, read the MCP post, and once a-gaine, she has frau politiker.
The real MCP, doll, now she was interesting, and more thoughtful than that.
Culture attuned to it, and stars started it (Branting, etc), AND MOST OF ALL, non-violent revolution of interests.
Humane aesthetic in Sweden often prevails (except for the Nazis).
Great Socialist movement dimmed with murder of Olof Palme (many US coverts spotted around town that day, but some think it was an arms dealers' plan). Now, Moderaterna (Swedish Repubs) in power for several years dismantling, Reagan-style, many pro-popula items. Museums charge now, for instance, a good indicator that.
US fights "communists" and "socialists" but never mentions the rich ones.
When Branting came in, for the people, they rid Stockholm of its infestations of rats and roaches. They clean all the sections of the city.
Imagine if Bloomberg got rid of rats in NYC. At least tried.
It's really strange that you people think what we have in Europe is "socialism". Thankfully, it's not. What can be said, however, is that those countries which had "socialist" systems (central and eastern Europe) and more ideological socialist governments (Greece) things have been pretty fucked up.
R28, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. do not have "socialism".
Things like universal health care are not "socialist", they are simply the products of modern societies and are fairly standard throughout the world - except the US. The fact that such things are described as "socialism" in the US, especially by critics, just shows how skewed the political debate is in the US.
Europe currently has a lot of problems precisely because of uncontrollable public spending and much of our system needs huge reform. It's mainly the political elements that describe themselves as "socialist" that are the greatest opponents of this reform, though (especially the unions). Even so, almost all the socialist political parties in Europe recognise there is a need for reform and that over-bloated state/public sectors with artificial jobs are a huge part of the problem and need to be reduced.
In short, OP doesn't really understand what "socialism" is and r8 hasn't got a clue what Europeans pay in taxes. R16 would destroy any country he/she became the political leader of (in some fantasy-land). R19, as many other outside observers, totally misunderstands and inflates what Golden Dawn in Greece is about. They are a bunch of jerks with no political influence whatsoever who only got votes because they were the only ones to "do" anything about the huge numbers of illegal immigrants coming in on boats from Africa and Asia and settling on the streets and neighbourhoods of the cities, running down most neighbourhoods. It's not racist to say that, it's a fact, and it's the result of effectively having no immigration policy.
Austridge is correct, surely. It's just not an ostrich.
It is one of those composite beasts, say part ridgeback, part Austrian, like Ah-nold a bit, but more rabid. It looks like a flyover Sandusky pet given to hysterical frothings at any suggestion it might be much less well constructed than the Bush beasts to which it believes it is related socially. Its usual habitation is non-descript with dead artless walls, and it eats at huge slave-food slopping troughs with names like "Denny's" and "Bugger King." It has no idea of what real money is, or who has it, and thinks it is the lamer beasts it can see who steals its savings through partnership by polity.
A sad beast, really.
Arnold had a Democrat controlled state house and senate asshole. They appropriate spending.
Nonsense R91. Arnold's first act as Governor was to drop the $9 billion class action had against the energy companies like Enron who had deliberately sabotaged the California power grid to make blackmail profits. That was under a Republican deregulation scheme. His first day in office he gave up $9 billion that the state needed, and you are defending the worthless prick.
R89 is a clueless idiot. Socialism is that SOCIETY controls the means of production. Society has always controlled the means of production, there were neither corporations nor banks until GOVERNMENT created them. Indeed, the USA had no banks at all until 1792, which was almost 200 years after English settlement began.
Europe's problem is the same as the USA, a corrupt plutocratic class that wants everything to itself, along with a serious lack of banking standards that make the US' fractional reserve banking look conservative.
But the CRISIS in Greece, Spain, and Italy this year is artificial, manufactured by Euro rules that were arbitrary, inappropriate, and designed by US monetarists. What needs to happen is the policy and the banks (some American) that are making usury off these policies need to be cut off at the knees and repudiated.
As far as employment, business climate, etc., the US has never exceeded Europe and the GOP propaganda to the contrary in the 80s and 90s was never substantiated by facts. Which country has had a greater percentage total growth since 1945, France or the USA? France!
Where you can retire at 60, have good health care, and spend your time with intelligent good looking people who like to fuck.
R81 = running-dog hooligan who needs reeducation
I hope R18/54/68/72/81 is off being tested for heavy metal exposure. You know, cognitive issues & visits to China & all.
You're the clueless idiot, r92. So, what you're saying is that until 1792 the US had socialism? Or that Europe was socialist until a few hundred years ago? Or that we are all living in socialist systems because "society has always controlled the means of production"?
And, please, with this "society owns the means of production" crap. So, if I borrow money to start a bakery, manage the bakery and make and sell bread, I don't own the bakery but "society" (i.e. the state) does and all my profit goes not to me but to "society" (i.e. the state)?
So, the crises in Greece, Spain and Italy (what about Portugal) are the result of "Euro rules"? Really? Which ones? Can you actually cite a "Euro rule" that "caused" the crises in these countries? And, the crises didn't start "this year", their roots go way back.
I mean, the fact that Greece is totally up shit creek and Spain and Italy have crushing debt has nothing to do with the fact that those countries have over-bloated and wasteful public sectors with 1000s of artificial job places. The fact it's difficult to create real jobs in those countries is nothing to do with the rigid labour laws and over-powerful unions. Not to mention, these countries followed a "growth model" of borrowing to fuel consumption-led growth. And, there are huge black markets and tax evasion. And, it's kinda funny that the Eurozone and other EU countries that don't have such economic structures and corrupt practices aren't doing anywhere near as bad. What needs to happen is that Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal need to make some serious structural reforms. No one else is to blame except for these countries themselves. And I live in the worst of all of them so know quite a lot more about the reality than you do.
As for France, you get the pension system completely wrong. Only those who have worked for 40 years since the age of 18 or 19 can retire at 60 on a full pension. Anyone else who wants to retire at 60 won't get a full pension. And, France is not doing very well at the moment - the new government has already had to halve projected growth figures.
I mean, I'm a proud European, but your glorifying caricature of my continent is ridiculous and quite creepy.
Thanks R86. I'll never understand how the Republican party convinced people that they didn't want health care.
Republicans are greedy, selfish, thoughtless and mean to the core.
Thank you, R89 and R95. Excellent posts.
Not an excellent post an idiot post from an idiot European, probably Mrs Patrick Campbell.
"So, what you're saying is that until 1792 the US had socialism?"
No, I'm saying that all the economic structures that the Republicans call "free market capitalism" today, such as corporations and banks, were invented by governments (that is to say the people, socially transmitting their power through the political system) in the last few hundred years to correct market failure. Capitalism is just a narrow form of socialism, and it is ANTI-MARKET in its rationale, its history, and its experience. The intellectual dishonest confusion of markets with capitalism is one of the trademark lies of US and British conservatism.
The European Monetary Union mandates that domestic public sector deficits not exceed 3% of GDP. They all do and Greece's large deficit meant that EU officials were pressuring Greece to make budget cuts, so Greece turned to US banks to do interest rate swaps in order to fake a lower deficit. With the end result that their borrowing ended up in the 15% interest range, which made it impossible to show the EU deficit progress.
R98, you're a crank, no point trying to discuss anything with you.
"They all do and Greece's large deficit meant that EU officials were pressuring Greece to make budget cuts, so Greece turned to US banks to do interest rate swaps in order to fake a lower deficit."
Wow, talk about completely rewriting history. Such complete, utter bullshit. Moron, moron, moron.
First of all, there was absolutely no pressure on Greece prior to 2009 to do anything about its deficit, just as there was no pressure on any eurozone or EU country to sort their huge spending out. The EU's mistake was not in implementing its rules but in not actually bothering to stick to its rules - that's what caused the debt situation to go crazy. If Greece didn't want to stick to an entirely reasonable deficit of 3% then Greece shouldn't have joined the eurozone: it was Greece that was desperate to join.
The Goldman Sachs credit default swap was just a piss in the ocean of Greek debt. The problems of Greece's debt are much huger and more systemic and related to Greek structural and cultural problems.
Greek public spending is absolutely huge and utterly wasteful. Do you know what nasty austerity cut the troika (ECB, IMF, Commission) wants to "impose" on Greece now? A maximum state pension of 2200 euros a month. That's really not austerity and no European government needs to be paying out such pensions. Not to mention, in Greece there are all sorts of "additions" to the standard state pension, many have been claiming much, much more. And, pensions are just one tiny aspect of the Greek situation.
Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus - the situation has not been dramatically different. We southern Europeans like to enjoy life and tell ourselves that everything will somehow sort itself out at some point later. Ireland thought that if everyone got out large mortgages to buy houses they couldn't afford then the country would have overcome all its historical problems. Except, at some point they would have to pay them back - and now the rest of the eurozone has to bail their banks out.
I don't think you know what the Economic and Monetary Union is. (What's the European Monetary Union, by the way? It's not a term used within the EU.)
Anyway, you're nuts and a waste of time. Enjoy living in your own bizarre fantasy.
People, China is NOT "Marxist communist/socialist/whatever". They are currently a state capitalist society. Just because the CCP calls themselves "communist", it does not make them so. Jesus.
thank you, r100.
Well there you go lying again R99.
First, some background. The Greek economic miracle.
I call your attention to the last sentence:
"From 1950 until the 2008 economic crisis, with the exception of the relative economic stagnation of the 1980s, Greece consistently outperformed most European nations in terms of annual economic growth."
So much for those evil irresponsible profligate lazy Greeks!
Now let's look at what happened. Well it started with a rating agency in 2009. Then a socialist government was elected, which found that the previous government had been fudging the numbers.
Jan 14: S&P cuts Greece to A- from A. The rating company cites
the country’s weakening finances as the global economy slowed.
Greek 10-year bond yields rise to 5.43 percent the next day.
"Oct. 4: George Papandreou leads Socialist Pasok Party to
landslide victory in Greek elections, beating New Democracy by
the widest margin since 1981 on pledges to boost spending and
"Oct. 20: New Greek Finance Minister Papaconstantinou says
deficit will balloon to 12.5 percent of GDP in 2009, more than
double the previous government’s forecast. Yield on Greek 10-
year bond 4.58 percent."
Bear in mind the U.S. deficit as a % of GDP topped out at 9.4% in Q2 2009, so at this time nothing materially was happening to Greece that wasn't also happening to everybody else, but the announcement that the forecast had been hugely wrong hit the EMU like a ton of bricks.
So Greece's SOCIALIST government announces an austerity program to get the deficit down to US levels by 2010 and then down to EMU requirements by 2012
They are downgraded again, anyway.
"Oct. 26: Former head of Greek National Statistics Service says
his body “holds no responsibility” for the revision of deficit
figures since 2008.
"Nov. 5: Papandreou announces first budget. The plan aims to trim
the deficit to 9.4 percent GDP in 2010.
"Dec. 16: S&P Cuts Greece to BBB+ from A-, three steps above
Jan. 14: Greece adopts three-year plan to bring the European
Union’s biggest budget deficit within the EU limit in 2012. The
same day, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said Greece won’t
win any special treatment from the central bank.
"Jan. 21: Papaconstantinou says Greece won’t need a rescue
package. The yield on Greece’s 10-year bond reaches 6.248
percent, a euro-era high.
"Jan. 29: EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says in Davos there is
no ‘Plan B’ for Greece. “Greece will not default. In the euro
area, default does not exist.”
"Feb. 2: Greek government announces austerity package to get
deficit to 3 percent of GDP in 2012."
You're welcome R96 and I totally agree with your comments about Republicans.
BTW Japan is not broke but its government debt to GDP ratio is much higher than Greece's.
All of today's problems in the USA stem from one fatal clause in the US Constitutia - the one that gave the federal government the power to borrow money. Because that is the clause that ultimately caused the American people to lose control of their government and become perpetual debt slaves.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that if he could change just one thing in the Constitutia it would be to remove that borrowing power from the government.
Wow, the loony guy who's going on and on defending Greece is the same guy who said
[quote]It just means black men are more likely to lie about it afterward.
in the thread about Black men doing more heroic acts than whites men.
The the crisis begins, engineered from the outside. Greece is invited to a rescue summit with the EMU partners in Feb. 2010. They agree to a bailout of 45 billion Euros with the EU and IMF (USA) on April 12; nonetheless, Greek debt is downgraded again on April 27 and their borrowing rate goes up. On May 2 the Europeans increase the aid package to 110 billion Euros (over several years, never more than a few billion at a time) if Greece will agree to 30 billion euro cuts. Protests erupt in Greece about the austerity May 5. A bank is burned by rioters and banks stop lending to Greece. May 6 Greek parliament passes their budget cuts but on May 8 Greece's borrowing rate hits 12%. The EU meets and creates a 750 billion euro fund for troubled countries. The rating agencies CONTINUE to downgrade Greece.
"2011. More downgrades. The socialists increase the Greek austerity effort to 78 billion euros and pledges 50 billion euro sale of state assets. "
So Greece gave them everything they wanted, but they cut Greece off in the capital markets. It is clear with hindsight that the real target was to get rid of Greece's socialist government and that the innocent Greeks facing unemployment and starvation are just collateral damage in what amounts to a political war against the left, managed by the banks.
Your story is more or less correct, Miss r11 except that you mistakenly refer to a secured bank loan as an "aid package". It is not "aid", it is a secured loan with a high interest rate, payments on which must be paid each year by the working taxpayers of Greece.
The loan is made of course with fiat money created out of thin air by the master criminals who own/operate the ECB - who are more or less the same criminals who own/control the Bank of England and the NY Federal Reserve Bank.
Once again it is obvious that the problems originate with national governments being allowed to borrow money.
[quote]So Greece gave them everything they wanted, but they cut Greece off in the capital markets. It is clear with hindsight that the real target was to get rid of Greece's socialist government and that the innocent Greeks facing unemployment and starvation are just collateral damage in what amounts to a political war against the left, managed by the banks.
The point being that this is a GLOBAL struggle, and what the Republicans are doing to our economy, they are attempting to manage overseas also.
Yes, with the help of the NSA, CIA and our military or black ops.
[quote]America that is simply run by and for, the benifit of wealthy corporations.
And it's impossible to change this, except to vote the politicians out of office.
But as long as the gays think Obama is cute, they will vote for him.
He's no better than any Republican, but you guys can't see that.
The point is you're PART of the problem.
R102, R103 etc. is a complete fucking moron who knows fuck all about Greece, the Pasok party, the euro or economic and monetary union. Same goes for that idiot at r113.
The downgrades are nothing to do with the EU or the Commission or the euro - they are done by credit ratings agencies and their downgrades have always been criticised by the Commission and European governments. The downgrades are because Greece (and other countries) are completely uncreditworthy.
The Pasok government did fuck all and gave nothing. It was trying all it could to avoid having to rein in the huge, bloated state which EVERYONE in Greece knows is a huge problem but only some ideological idiots outside of Europe attempt to defend. 93% of the stuff agreed with the troika - most of which is structural reforms - has not been carried out.
Pasok didn't want to do anything to change anything - just like the centre-right New Democracy government before them - because they are afraid of change. The whole rotten system in Greece is built on fragile, dysfunctional foundations and they were afraid any slight change would bring the whole thing crashing down. Also, the unions are all-powerful and they have always opposed change and pushed for continuous spending increases. I guess you didn't know that, up until a few years ago, public sector workers were given jobs by their local politicians whenever that party got into power. Now they have to pass an exam (a joke) but the political clientism still continues. That's the main reason they don't want to grapple with the public sector.
Do you even know anything about Pasok's political programme? It had absolutely nothing "socialist" in it except for the obsessive notion that we were going to have "green growth" through the state-owned electricity utility, making solar panel units. The Greek electricity utility and many other state-owned utilities here are huge, wasteful black holes that offer a shit service. And the solar panel enterprise it wanted to start (which it never did, just talked about) was a complete joke: Greece doesn't produce practically anything industrial or technical and it was suddenly going to become a world leader - through a state-owned enterprise that was going to be part of an abyssmal state-owned dysfunctional utility company - in solar panel production, a sector in which there are world leaders and which new dynamic companies are entering all the time. And that was George Papandreou's only "growth" proposal!
As for public spending, Greece was only able to spend so fucking much all the time and keep increasing spending without any increased GDP because of the billions of euros pumped into the country each year from the EU (NOT the bailout, but various funds, "programmes" and "projects") and through huge, almost unchecked borrowing. Public spending and borrowing shot up in the 2000s, and it was already out of control in the 1990s.
"Protests" have always "erupted" in Greece. It's a rite of passage to occupy your high school for the most spurious reasons, e.g. students not being allowed to smoke. A few years ago the hip thing was to blow cars up with Molotov cocktails, now the hip thing is to blow shops up.
Bill Clinton was in town yesterday - his motorcade sped past me in an otherwise empty Syntagma Square (most of us poor Greeks are on holiday, even though we supposedly can't afford to go). It reminded me of one of his previous visits when still US president in 1999, when there were huge riots against him because of Nato's attacks on Serbia in an effort to end the war in Kosovo. Did you know that the average Greek thinks Milosevic is a hero and that no Albanians were ever killed?
You know fuck all about Greece, Europe or the eurozone. Just because you pick a few dates and a few distorted "facts" and try and string them together to create an "argument" doesn't mean you know anything about the situation. It just means you're a moron trying to exploit a situation you know nothing about to push your own stupid ideological platform.
1999 riots in Greece on visit of Bill Clinton.
President Bill Clinton flew into Greece last night to face the fury of tens of thousands of leftwing demonstrators in what is proving to be his most controversial visit yet to a Nato member state. Protesters fought running street battles with riot police as banks and shops in the heart of Athens were set on fire.
Hostility, tinged with official embarrassment, greeted Mr Clinton from the moment Air Force One touched down from Istanbul where the US leader had been attending the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit.
As the president's motorcade swept past posters likening him to Adolf Hitler, anti-American slogans were shouted and teargas canisters were fired to disperse Greece's burgeoning cast of self-proclaimed anarchists.
Mr Clinton arrived at his hotel to see a banner denouncing him as a "fascist murderer" for the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Greece's fellow Orthodox Balkan neighbour.
"He is a symbol of everything that is rotten with America," said Thanassis Pafilis, a senior Communist party cadre who said the protests would continue until the president flew out this evening. "We want to let him know that we don't want him here."
Speaking in Istanbul earlier in the day, Mr Clinton said: "Greece is the world's oldest democracy. If people want to protest they should have the right to do it. They have a right to their opinion and I have a right to mine."
But Greek authorities, fearing the demonstrations could spill into uncontrollable violence this weekend, mounted the largest security operation seen in the capital. A swath of historic Athens - from the southern suburbs to beyond the US embassy north of the city centre - resembled a ghost town after being cor doned off. Even access to hospitals was restricted.
By early evening the city's main square, Syndagma, and nearby Omonia Square appeared devastated by the riots. More than 60 shops and banks had been damaged, police said. Clothes mannequins were strewn across streets, burglar alarms wailed and fires started by petrol bombs roared.
Officials said 7,000 police officers had been seconded to throw up a "wall of protection" around the leader whose visit, originally scheduled to last three days, was shortened to a 24-hour stopover. FBI agents also asked the city - the home of Europe's most dangerous terrorist group, November 17 - to crack down on the use of mobile telephones.
"Not even a mosquito will be able to penetrate the areas in which the president will pass," one security officer boasted. "Greece simply has never seen anything like it."
The show of force came as demonstrators vowed to defy the restrictions with a march on the US embassy. In the runup to the visit, there has been a rash of bomb attacks on US interests.
"There are more than 600 ways for the demonstration to get there," said Spyros Halvatzis, a member of Greece's small but powerful KKE Communist party. "We will try them all."
"The measures are unconstitutional," said Stratis Korakas, another rally organiser. "In essence the government has imposed martial law on Athens. We will not accept this."
The protests have quickly eclipsed what many had hoped would be the most serious effort yet to settle Greece's feud with Turkey - not least over the future of the war-divided island of Cyprus.
"Greece's national interests have been undermined by this irrational and reckless hostility to the US president," said John Sitilides, who heads the Washington-based Western Policy Centre, a regional interest group. "The US state department came close to cancelling the visit altogether."
Mr Clinton is only the third US president to visit Greece, a country where antipathy towards America has run deep since the defeat of the left in the brutal 1946-49 civil war. Anger at Washington has been compounded by the perception that it supported the colonels who ruled the country between 1967 and 1974. The growing sense that, more often than not, the US sides with Turkey has deepened resentment.
For anyone truly interested in what the unions, especially in the state-owned enterprises, in Greece are like and just how crazy and destructive they are, watch this video. This is the leader of GENOP-DEI, the state-owned electricity utility union, which thinks it owns the electricity utility and can do what it wants with it, storming in and shouting at the members of the utility's board of directors for not inviting him to one of their meetings.
Note: this is on GENOP-DEI's own youtube page, because they are so proud of this moment! This is how they see themselves and their role. The union leader, Fotopoulos, in the striped t-shirt, is a big socialist and thinks he is the embodiment of the "workers". Pasok (which he also thinks he owns) disappointed him and so he has being flirting with Syriza (because Syriza's rise is really just down to hard-core "deep Pasok" switching over to Syriza as Pasok has been attempting to become realistic and not use the national budget to create positions for them or do their bidding).
This is a must-watch video for anyone sincerely interested in understanding the situation in Greece.
What caused our problem? It was the over spending on our military...at the expense of every other part of our government. Government that we actually needed. Then Reagan (with the help of his friends) decided that voodoo economics was a good idea and we have continued to write loopholes for big business and greedy, wealthy assholes, for decades.
How can you have a strong government with no middle class? The corporations don't want to pay fair wages and they don't want to pay taxes.
There are people who need to be punished.
Oh, shut up, R120. We're tired of your tin-hattedness. Take your meds.
But R116, in an obvious two-party system, who is the alternative? Obama is the incumbent; he's all we've got. There is no chance of an independent candidate winning unless he/she has the kind of popularity Obama had in 2008. If your argument is that all politicians are the same, then why are you relying on yet another politician to come in to fix a fucked up system? You're complaining, but offering no real solutions. Meanwhile, voting Repub will never be in the best interests of the LGBTQIA community.
You mean you are tired of the truth? Our military budget is as much as the next 26 countries combined. Don't you see a problem with that? I do.
We pay, so that Israel can have national health insurance and Americans (millions of Americans) are going without. I don't appreciate it.
I liked it when Joe Jonas and Zac Efron got "social" with each other.
See. Socialism is a good thing.
[quote]See. Socialism is a good thing.
ask any resident of sweden, germany, france, finland, norway, canada, etc... and they will all tell you, socialism, captialism and democracy are three great things that go great together.
If our congress wasn't completely owned and paid for by the most wealty segment of our population, we might have a chance.
sad, but true, r127.
i just don't understand all the stockholm victim republicans, though- they vote for themselves to get screwed over! WTF?
How is that worse than Enron deliberately sabotaging the California power grid in order to charge an extortionate rate?
How is that guy worse that typical American CEO's who make $50 million to steal from their own companies and eliminate all future planning and slack resources?
How is that guy comparable in the evil category with the dozens of hedge fund managers who made $1 billion dollars a year or more by manipulating market prices using computer programs to play off each other and volatility indices on the futures' markets?
R119, you just don't get it. Union leaders can be awful and corrupt, but there has never been one in history that even compares to the AVERAGE evil of an American CEO.
They're right about Clinton. He is a symbol of everything that is rotten about America.
Having lived in a democratic socialist country (the Netherlands) I'd love to see the US adopt many of their social policies, as far fetched as they would be.
But you wouldn't like what "they" do to sabotage the socialist in power, OP.
I hate fascist pigs in America. There are so fucking many of them.
I wish we were like the Netherlands. Could America ever be better than it is today?
I have given up all hope.
You can always move. There, problem solved.
What a ridiculous comment, r135. Don't you think I WOULD move, if I could? I would be out of here tomorrow, you damn dummy.
Socialism works better in smaller, more homogenous countries where people feel a sense of kinship and immigration is controlled. Here we have too many divisions and resentments.
R137, you misunderstand the situation. We already have socialism, the only question is whether the greatest good for the greatest number prevails (as in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark), or whether the gains are stolen for a privileged class (USA now, Russia for decades).