Re: Is the U.S socialist? (was Re: Neal Blaike vs Michael Lorrey)

Date: Fri Feb 16 2001 - 20:19:06 MST

Brian D Williams, <>, writes:
> Nonsense again, lets try arguing from definitions:
> Capitalism: An economic system in which investment in and ownership
> of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is
> made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.
> The U.S in spades, note that there is no overide by government crap
> involved.
> Socialism: A theory or system of social organization in which the
> means of production and distribution of goods are owned and
> controlled collectively, or by the government.
> Doesn't even remotely apply to the U.S.

Perhaps our disagreement relates to the meaning of ownership. I'd say it
implies that the owner has the right to do as he wishes with his property.
Nowhere on earth is this possible, to my knowledge.

Certainly here in the U.S. the government places many constraints on
businesses and property owners that limit what they can do with "their"
property. Granted, they are called owners, but when you look at who has
the real power, they are more like renters who are granted some limited
authority by the real owner, the government. They are even forced to
pay rent in the form of taxes.

Examples of government control over private property are so numerous
that I hardly think it is necessary to list them. Look at the recent
power crisis in California, for one. Would anyone characterize it as
capitalism in action?

As I said before, the U.S. is a mixed economy, with elements of capitalism
in a framework of government regulation. Many of the original goals
of the socialists have come into existence in our regulated society.
Think back to the ideological crossroads we faced in the 1920s and 30s.
Someone from that time, an era before social security, before welfare,
before most of the growth of government that has occured this century,
would likely see us as socialist as much as capitalist.


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